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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Date published:
November 03, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Roulston abandons Tour of Southland with knee injury

    Hayden Roulston (Cervélo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 13:56 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    New Zealander's dream of fourth straight win over, looks ahead to 2010 with Columbia

    Hayden Roulston's dream of winning his home race, Tour of Southland, ended today with a crash near Invercargill, New Zealand. He abandoned the race, likely his last before switching to Columbia-HTC for the next two seasons.

    "I'm gutted really," Roulston (Cervélo) told "I have trained really well for this event."

    More than 40 riders crashed midway into the second stage of the nine-stage race. Crosswinds and a narrow bridge passing helped cause the crash about 30 kilometres from the start town of Invercargill.

    Race organisers stopped the stage for 25 minutes and allowed the teams to get their riders back in the race. Roulston avoided the big crash, but fell down with another rider while he rode next to the race commissar's car to discuss the neutralisation.

    Roulston re-started, but knew something was wrong immediately.

    "My knee is really sore and it left me with no alternative," he continued.

    Heath Blackgrove (Zookeepers) took over the general classification lead. He finished 13th in the morning's team time trial stage and second in the stage from Invercargill to Bluff Hill.

    Roulston won the last three editions of the stage race. He has competed this season for Switzerland-based Cervélo TestTeam, but started the Tour of Southland with team Colourplus. Colourplus won the morning team time trial and Roulston sat second in the overall classification prior to the afternoon stage.

    The USA-based team of Bob Stapleton signed Roulston, 28, in September for two years.

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  • Fränk Schleck aiming high for 2010

    Fränk Schleck leads brother Andy, r, at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 15:18 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Schleck brothers divide up the Ardennes Classics, both aim for Tour podium

    Fränk Schleck would very much like to have a 2010 season equally successful as 2009. “It was a wonderful year, in which I brought in a number of good wins,” the Saxo Bank rider said.

    In fact, he told the Luxembourg's Wort newspaper, he and younger brother Andy “have already agreed for 2010: He will win the Amstel Gold Race, then I will take Liège-Bastogne-Liège.”

    “My goal is absolutely clear: To stand together with my brother on the podium in Paris, that would be the greatest," he continued. "And why should that be an impossibility?”

    They came close to that goal this year, with Andy finishing second overall and Fränk fifth.

    A crash in the Amstel Gold ended Fränk Schleck's hopes in the Ardennes Classics. Andy went on to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege, with Fränk finishing back in 23rd.

    “Andy's win was something very special," said Fränk Schleck. "Looking back, I am sorry though that once it was clear Andy would win, that I didn't do everything I could to finish second. That would have been possible, but the emotions were just too over-powering.”

    After the successful Tour de France, Fränk Schleck finished his season after 10 stages of the Vuelta a España, and had to miss the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He had been having knee problems since March, and admitted to a few difficult days in the Tour.

    Schleck had surgery on his left kneecap to resolve the problems.

    “Now I can recover quietly and come back strong again. I would very much like to repeat my performance of the 2009 season again in the coming year. It was a good year.”

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  • Xacobeo Galicia adds Rodrigo García to 2010 team

    Spanish team Xacobeo Galicia
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 16:02 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Spanish team near complete for next season, lacks two riders

    Spanish team Xacobeo Galicia announced today that it signed Rodrigo García for the 2010 season.

    "The team believes his characteristics and experience will help in stage races," said the team in a press release.

    Garcìa became professional in 2005 with Kaiku and then rode with Fuerteventura in 2007 and Extremadura in 2008. This year, he rode for Italian team Miche-Silver Cross. He finished eighth overall in the Tour de Slovaquie.

    "His experience in Italy enabled him to acquire a broader knowledge of international cycling."

    Xacobeo Galicia has 14 riders for 2010 with the addition of Garcìa. The team plans to sign at least to more riders before the start of next season.

    2010 team: Ezequiel Mosquera, David Garcia, Gustavo César Veloso, Gustavo Dominguez, Serafín Martínez, Gonzalo Rabuñal, Delio Fernández Cruz, Carlos Castaño, Marcos Garcia Fernandez, Alberto Fernández Sainz, Vladimir Isaichev, Gustavo Rodríguez, José Antonio De Segovia and Rodrigo García

    Xacobeo Galicia is a Professional Continental or second division team. It competes in most of Spain's races and relies on wildcard invites to the bigger international races.

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  • Keisse doping charges dismissed

    Iljo Keiss in action during the Six Days of Gent.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 16:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian federation rules “insufficient evidence”

    The doping charges against track rider Iljo Keisse were dismissed Monday by the Belgian cycling federation. Keisse tested positive for cathine and HCT during the Six Days of Gent in November 2008 but it was ruled that there was insufficient scientific evidence that he knowingly used doping products.

    Cathine is a breakdown product of pseudo-ephedrine, an allowed product. It is contained in Sinutab Forte, a cold pill which Keisse admitted taking, and which the federation found not to be serious. In addition, there was no quantification of the drug in the B-sample analysis.

    HCT can be a masking agent for other doping products, but the federation accepted the defence's argument that it came from a food supplement. The amount found was so small that it could not possibly have been performance enhancing.

    Keisse had been fired by Topsport Vlaanderen last year and since then has been riding as an elite without contract. He did not attend the hearing as he is currently riding the Six Days of Grenoble.

    His father Ronny was at the hearing and told that, “Naturally I am very happy. I had not dared to hope” for such a good result.

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  • Gesink honoured at home with climb

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 17:36 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Dutch city Aalten name climb after home cyclist

    Dutch city Aalten officially re-named a climb Saturday after its cyclist Robert Gesink (Rabobank).

    "It's been permanently named after me, which is obviously very nice," Gesink told De Gelderlander.

    The short climb "Robert Gesinkbult" is on the N318 ring road, which passes the north side of Aalten. City officials posted a road sign and unveiled it Saturday. Rabobank director sportif Harold Knebel and ex-professional Tristan Hoffman attended the ceremony.

    Gesink, 23, finished his best season since turning professional in 2007. He won the Giro dell'Emilia and finished seventh at País-Vasco, third at Amstel Gold, fourth at Dauphiné Libéré and sixth at Vuelta a España.

  • Armstrong's custom designed bikes raise $1.25 million

    Brian Donnelly: KAWS painted bike. Used at the Milano-Sanremo and the first stage of Castilla y León, where Armstrong crashed and broke his collarbone.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 19:38 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    New York auction sells seven of Armstrong's comeback bikes for LiveStrong cancer foundation

    Lance Armstrong's custom designed bikes used during his comeback season raised $1.25 million in an auction in New York City yesterday. The money raised went to Armstrong's LiveStrong cancer foundation.

    "So incredibly humbling," Armstrong wrote on Twitter after the auction.

    The auction at Sotheby's ended a six-day exhibition called "It's About the Bike," which featured the seven bikes Armstrong used this season. Famous artists designed six of the seven bikes for Armstrong to use in his first season back since retiring in 2005.

    "Each of these artists gave their time to this cause," said Armstrong in a LiveStrong press release. "Through the dollars that we raise, we'll increase awareness, fund research and work to end the stigma about cancer that many survivors face."

    The Damien Hirst designed bike that Armstrong rode on the final stage of this year's Tour de France earned the most money. The butterfly decorated bike sold for $500,000.

    Armstrong raised a total of $1,255,000 for his Livestrong charity.

    • Damien Hirst: Bike decorated a bike with real butterflies and used in Tour de France stage 21 to Paris. $500,000
    • Brian Donnelly: KAWS painted bike. Used at the Milano-Sanremo and the first stage of Castilla y León, where Armstrong crashed and broke his collarbone. $160,000
    • Yoshitomo Nara: Painted by Japanese modern artist and used at Tour de France Annecy time trial stage. $200,000
    • Shepard Fairey: "Hope" bike honouring Barack Obama's presidential campaign and used at Giro d'Italia. $110,000
    • Kenny Scharf: Designed with planets and comets, and used at the Giro d'Italia time trial stages. $45,000
    • Marc Newson: "Speed Concept" design used at Tour de France time trial stage in Monaco. $110,000
    • Trek's all-black "Stolen bike" built for Tour of California. Thieves stole the bike, but later returned it....

  • Costa awarded Olympic grant

    Rui A. Da Costa (Caisse d'Epargne) wins stage three in Guachochi.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2009, 23:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Portugal's Costa only cyclist to receive funding from Portugese government

    The government of Portugal announced the names of 82 men and women from 16 sports who will be recipients of a grant for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Among the athletes to be provided financial assistance was 23-year-old Caisse d'Epargne rider Rui Costa, the only cyclist to be selected.

    Costa turned professional in 2007 with Portugal's Benfica team and remained with the squad through the 2008 season. Costa finished fifth in the U23 world road race championship and eighth in the U23 world time trial championship in Varese, Italy.

    Costa made his ProTour debut with Spain's Caisse d'Epargne team in 2009. With Caisse d'Epargne Costa won the 4 Jours de Dunkerque, the GP Credito Agricola and a stage of the Vuelta a Chihuahua. Costa also won the Vuelta a Chihuahua's mountains classification.

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  • Boogerd returns to peloton with new Continental team

    Dutchman Michael Boogerd in 2007
    Article published:
    November 03, 2009, 11:02 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Former Dutch cyclist hopes for team to become ProTour level

    Dutchman Michael Boogerd is returning to professional cycling. The former cyclist announced yesterday that he will form his own Continental-ranked team.

    Bike manufacturer Specialized asked Boogerd to establish a new Dutch team. He will become sports manager and talent scout for the team.

    "This is a huge challenge. I will start from scratch to put together a proper organisation,” he told Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “We want to have a good programme for the young talents to ride, so that they can develop and move up to the big teams.”

    The team will have a budget of about €500,000 for its first years. “Ultimately our ambition is to become a ProTour team, but I realise that the development of such a team must go step by step,” Boogerd said.

    His Continental, or third division, team should race most of The Netherlands' smaller races and rely invites the bigger races.

    Boogerd, 37, turned pro in 1993 and rode for Rabobank from 1996 to 2007. His biggest career wins include the 1999 Paris-Nice and Amstel Gold, two Tour de France stages and three national titles. He retired after the 2007 season.