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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Date published:
November 02, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Sastre seeks calmer season in 2011

    Carlos Sastre
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 5:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spanish veteran finished the year exhausted

    With the captaincy of Team Geox beckoning for Carlos Sastre in 2011, the experienced Spaniard says he'll be aiming for a "calmer" year next season.

    Speaking to Spanish news agency EFE after receiving the Aleroañil Cultural Association's Guisando (Ávila) Gredos award with enduro motorcyclist Iván Cervantes, Sastre said, "I'm not excluding anything, but I still don't know what I will [do]" adding that "the year would be different".

    He admitted to being very tired at the end of the 2010 season, a year in which the relationship between himself and the Cervélo TestTeam became somewhat strained, prompting him to say of his new team: "It's a team that is already established and only the sponsor has changed, so you have very experienced people and it gives [me] much comfort."

    While Sastre rode all three grand tours, he wasn't able to take the results for which he was aiming, with murmurings of discontent within the Cervélo team when Xavier Tondo performed better over the course of the Vuelta's three weeks than his countryman and teammate. It all culminated with the Cervélo TestTeam announcing it would be defunct in 2011, becoming the co-sponsor and technical partner for Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin-Transitions squad.

    After announcing his move to Mauro Gianetti's Team Geox outfit he'll be a stablemate to 2009 Giro d'Italia and two-time Vuelta a España winner Denis Menchov, the Russian a perfect match for the Sastre, according to the 2008 Tour de France champion. He said they have "a very good relationship" and believes Menchov's quiet demeanour will be "100 percent complementary".

    "He is strong against the clock and does well in mountain and I, perhaps, am more explosive in the mountains and aggressive when riding, so we are complementary and stronger [together]," explained Sastre.

  • Cavendish tests difficult Copenhagen Worlds course

    Mark Cavendish uncorks the bubbly after his third stage win
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 9:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Expects an uphill mass sprint finish

    Mark Cavendish is expecting that the 2011 road world championship race in Copenhagen will end in a mass sprint. After testing the circuit, he said the course is harder than it looks but not as hard as this year's Worlds road race in Melbourne.

    Cavendish and HTC-Columbia directeur sportif Brian Holm took to the course on Sunday, with the sprinter riding two laps of the 14 km circuit course.

    "The route is much easier than in Geelong, but actually harder than I thought,” Cavendish told “It's technically very difficult. But I think it'll be a finale with a large group sprint.

    "The uphill finish will result in a power sprint.”

    The Manx rider added, "It's the most important race of the 2011 season and I aim to be at my absolute best and bring home the rainbow jersey."

    The Copenhagen world championships will be held Septemer 19-25, 2011.

  • Rogers signs two-year deal with Sky

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) at the finish at Morzine-Avoriaz
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 9:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Australian attracted by team's management structure

    Michael Rogers has signed a two-year deal with Team Sky. The 30-year-old will join up with the likes of Bradley Wiggins and Edvald Boasson Hagen, and spearhead the team in week-long stages races and the Tour de France.

    “Sky was looking to bolster their team. I started speaking to them some weeks ago and we came to a deal and finally sealed it,” Rogers told Cyclingnews this morning.

    Rogers returned to his winning ways in 2010 after a number of difficult seasons due to injuries and illness. This season he put in a very strong spring, taking the overall win in both the Amgen Tour of California and the Vuelta a Andalucia. Rogers also finished second overall in the Criterium International and third in the Tour de Romandie, taking the same result in the Montepaschi Strade Bianche.

    He will now join up with a contingent of ex-High Road riders that includes Boasson Hagen, Michael Barry, Greg Henderson, Thomas Lovkvist and Morris Possini. However it was the management structure, as well as the roster at Sky, that helped to convince him to change teams.

    “I know a lot of the riders like Michael Barry and Thomas Lovkvist quite well. With regards to the management I’ve speaking to Dave Brailsford and Shane Sutton, who I’ve known for more than ten years. With my results, especially this year and my experience I think I was a person that made sense for them,” Rogers said.

    “I really like where the way the team is heading. I really liked the project and the technical side of things, that’s something that’s really interested me throughout my career. They’ve revolutionised track racing and that’s a tough thing to do, and now they’re working hard on the road. No team comes into their first year and has a perfect year straight away. I’m just a part of getting the team where they want it in the future.”

    As for his race programme, Rogers will wait...

  • Sinkewitz looks forward to riding Giro d'Italia in 2011

    Patrik Sinkewitz (ISD - Neri) after winning the Giro della Romagna.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 10:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    German happy to have a contract already for the coming year

    Patrik Sinkewitz rode only four months of the 2010 season but still managed to deliver a win and a number of top placings. The German is also pleased that he will continue with team ISD-Neri in the coming season.

    The German is anticipating a debut ride in the Giro d'Italia in 2011. “I have already been at the Vuelta and the Tour, but that will be my first ride at the Giro, he told German newspaper Fuldauer Zeitung.

    This year is the first time in several years that he already has a contract for the following season secured before the winter. “You can imagine how extremely important that is for me. I can really relax on vacation, clear my head.”

    “And in my preparations, I now have a very clear goal which I can work towards. That is exactly the reason why I feel that I can improve on my performance next year.”

    He is pleased with his ISD-Neri team, which will operate under the Farnese Vini name in 2011. “We ride good races and especially, those which are good for me. And with [Italian champion Giovanni] Visconti and me, we have two riders who can win.”

    For 2011, Sinkewitz plans “to give a good performance again and to be ever-present. That doesn't necessarily winning, as I showed this year. We were often at the front, but when you aren't a sprinter, you just don't win in the last metres.”

    Sinkewitz served a one-year suspension after testing positive for testosterone before the 2007 Tour de France. He received a short sentence in exchange for co-operating with investigators

  • Nibali calls for swift Contador verdict

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) was looking to cap a dream season with a win at Lombardy.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 11:29 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Sicilian remembers first visit to Etna

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) has called for a speedy resolution to the Alberto Contador affair. The Spanish rider returned an adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol at the Tour de France but a verdict has yet to be returned on his case.

    “I only hope that the sporting justice system can operate more quickly,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “You can’t be stopped from riding for a year and then exonerated, thus paying a price for nothing, as happened to [Franco] Pellizotti.”

    Nibali’s Liquigas teammate Pelizotti was sidelined in May after his UCI biological passport showed suspicious values, but he was recently cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

    Regardless of whether Contador is cleared to ride next year’s Tour de France, Nibali is adamant that the centrepiece of his season will be an assault on the Giro d’Italia. The 2011 edition of the corsa rosa is particularly enticing to Nibali given that it will give him the chance to showcase his talent in front of his home support in Sicily.

    “I’m aiming for the Giro,” he said. “There’ll be the Sicilian stage with the finish at Etna.”

    Stage 9 of the Giro brings the gruppo from Messina to a finish on the slopes of Mount Etna and Nibali will be hoping to reach the top in significantly better shape than he did the first time he tackled the volcano over 15 years ago.

    “When I was small I rode up Etna from the Linguaglossa side with my father and a big group of cyclo-tourists,” Nibali explained. “That time, since I didn’t have anything left, I arrived at the summit attached by a rope to the car that my mother was driving. But I was 10 years old…”

    The Vuelta a España winner has been off the bike since the Tour of Lombardy two weeks ago and will spend the first part of November in Sicily. Nibali will begin his 2011...

  • O'Grady to Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

    Stuard O'Grady (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 12:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian to use 16 years' pro experience as road captain

    Stuart O'Grady is the latest new signing to be announced by the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project. The 37-year-old will be road captain for the new team, sharing his experience from 16 years as a professional cyclist with the young riders on the team.

    "Stuart is a real legend and probably among the most phenomenal athletes of his generation,” team general manager Brian Nygaard said. “He has won everything worth winning on the track, as well as an impressive list of victories on the road, topped off by claiming one of the most beautiful recent editions of Paris-Roubaix.

    “Stuart is technically brilliant and has a very sound mind,” Nygaard said. “He is instrumental in setting up a road strategy and can carry a team through a Tour.”

    O’Grady recognised the leadership role he could play, saying, “experience is something you cannot buy and it is a nice value to pass on.” The Australian will also continue to chase some of his own objectives at his new team. “Personally I want to have another big classics season,” he said.

    “I have been a bit unlucky with injuries and broken bones since winning Roubaix in 2007. So it would be nice to win some big races with the team and of course help the Schlecks win the Tour de France! Most importantly of all, enjoy cycling, racing and giving it 100% every time.”

    O'Grady turned pro in 1995 with GAN, moving to Cofidis in 2004 and 2005, and then joining CSC (now Saxo Bank) in 2006. He has won three Tour de France stages, wearing the leader's yellow jersey in both 1998 and 2001.

    He was Australian national road champion in 2003, and has won the Herald Sun Tour (2008), the Tour Down Under (1999, 2001), and the Tour of Britain (1998).

    O'Grady also has a fine pedrigree as a track rider, and took the world team pursuit title in 1993 and 1995, and won the Olympic gold medal in the Madison in 2004.


  • Felt partners with Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12

    Cari Higgins and Lauren Tamayo with Pete Coulson and Doug Martin
    Article published:
    November 01, 2010, 19:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Elite women's team targets 2012 Olympic Games

    Felt Bicycles has partnered with Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 Professional Cycling Team for the next two years to back the elite women's team. The squad, which won 55 races in 2010, will compete on Felt bikes at the world's most prestigious road and track events with a clear target of the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

    "With such an amazing line of road, time trial, and track models, combined with their passion for racing excellence, Felt was an obvious fit for our team," said Nicola Cranmer, general manager and founder of the team. "As our name indicates, our goals are to develop Olympic caliber talent that can compete internationally at the highest levels. We are delighted to have a bicycle partner that is as focused about this mission as we are."

    The Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 Team was directed by one of the most accomplished American racers in the sport - two-time World Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist Kristin Armstrong, who last week announced her comeback to the sport of cycling.

    "Kristin's contribution as a director was invaluable this season," said Cranmer. "Having her directing and competing in 2011 will really take this team to the next level."

    The California-based team got its start as a premier women's elite squad in 2006. Since inception, it has collected an impressive list of results and this year amassed 88 podiums including nine national championships, two Pan American Gold Medals, and two World Cup Track Silver Medals. The team's 2011 roster includes US National Team member and time trial specialist Alison Tetrick Starnes, 2010 Irish National Road and Time Trial Champion Olivia Dillon, and Lauren Tamayo who was part of the world-record setting US team in the Pan American Championship team pursuit. Other members include three-time Collegiate Track Champion Kaitlin Antonneau, and Coryn Rivera, who has already earned 32 junior national championships and bronze medals at both the junior track and road...

  • Matxin juggles Grand Tour captains Menchov and Sastre

    Denis Menchov (Rabobank) would finish 41st in Alpe d'Huez, over nine minutes behind the winner.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 10:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Geox divides up three Grand Tours between two captains

    Joxean Matxin Fernandez has to figure out how to divide three Grand Tours between his two captains and he may even want to use a third rider as captain in one of those three-week races. The team manager of what will be known as Geox-TMC in 2011 is ready to take on the challenge, as he juggles the demands of Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana winner Denis Menchov and Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre.

    Sastre looks set to take on all three Grand Tours, as he did this year. "I talked to both after the presentation of the Tour and we are considering the possibility that Carlos can participate in the three Grand Tours, which is complicated but Sastre has done it before and knows how to deal with it,” Matxin told the Spanish website ESPN Deportes.

    Looking at the two major tour routes announced to date, Fernandez believes that the balance between time trials and mountain stages means that Denis Menchov can attempt to double up. “I think the Giro and Tour combination is perfectly adaptable to the characteristics of Denis,” he said.

    Sastre would most likely be the captain at the Vuelta, but Matxin admits that there is another possibility, newcomer David Blanco, who he describes as “a veteran who has not been valued enough after getting four titles in the Tour of Portugal.” Blanco, 35, won both the Vuelta ao Alentejo and the Tour of Portugal this year for Team Palmeiras Resort-Prio-Tavira.

    Matxin has spent a lot of time with Blanco in Mexico, where both were in attendance at the Criterium a Chihuahua. “This trip to Mexico has given me the opportunity to get to know him much more on another level, I was pleasantly surprised by the vision he has, how professional he is and the seriousness of his goals. He's the kind of rider who sacrifices himself for what he wants and works really hard and the final result always comes. "

    But no matter which race the team rides and who the...