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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Date published:
November 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Rasch's future in limbo

    - Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 14:13 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    No space at Garmin or BMC but determined to continue

    Gabriel Rasch believes he can race at WorldTour level for another four years. The 35-year-old Norwegian is currently without a team for 2012 but told Cyclingnews that he is in negotiations with a number of teams to extend his time in the pro ranks.

    Rasch turned professional in 2008 with Credit Agricole and rode as a domestique for Thor Hushovd. He followed his compatriot to Cervelo TestTeam and then to Garmin-Cervelo but with Hushovd signing for BMC for 2012, there wasn’t a space for Rasch in the American team.

    “The spring was good but the rest of the year wasn’t great. I had some crashes at the Tour of Denmark and then at the Eneco Tour and I never really recovered.” Rasch told Cyclingnews.

    “I’m still waiting for some answers from some teams. I hope it will be okay and that I’ll ride WorldTour next year but at the moment I don’t know. I think I can another 3 or 4 years at this level. I turned professional really late and I still feel fresh and I’m really motivated. I like this life.

    “I tried with BMC but they didn’t want to sign me so that’s not a possibility. I also thought about Garmin but they thought I was going with Thor and when I asked about staying it was already too late.”

  • Madariaga: Euskaltel-Euskadi looking for new sponsor

    Euskaltel-Euskadi's Miguel Madariaga, left, and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano at the 2008 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 15:11 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Euskaltel and Orbea face loss of public funds

    The returning general manager of Euskaltel-Euskadi, Manuel Madariaga, has confident the team will continue beyond 2012 even though it is currently facing reduced funds going into the new season. Following the resignation of Igor González de Galdeano, the president of the Fundación Euskadi - which manages the World Tour squad and its feeder teams - Madariaga took over the reigns again but only for one year. After which, he announced, the team would have to set up a new structure as the current public funds supporting the squad have been substantially cut.

    "Right now, the team is in the hands of the Fundación. Euskaltel [the Basque telephone company] covers 38 percent of the budget and the rest comes mainly from [bike manufacturer] Orbea and the public institutions. Euskaltel and Orbea have not drawn back a single Euro, but the institutions, the Basque government and the delegations of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba have decreased their contributions," Madariaga explained to Deia, saying that the team was going into the 2012 season having lost about one million Euro in their budget.

    This situation was no surprise for the orange outfit, which includes stars such as Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, but Madariaga said that the build-up of a new structure was inevitable and that he feared that no other private company would be found to keep the squad at the top level of cycling.

    "This team cannot disappear, but whoever will take over will have to create a new structure different to that of the...

  • Lewis and Butler join Champion System

    Craig Lewis (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 18:49 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Updated: Pro Continental license pending, expected to be approved

    Craig Lewis and Chris Butler have signed for Champion System team for 2012. The two riders will form the American contingent of the newly formed Pro Continental team.

    The team will race primarily in Asia – where they’re to be registered – but will also compete in the US and Europe.

    Lewis signs from HTC-Highroad, which folded this year. The experienced climber had a strong start to the season but crashed out of the Giro d’Italia with a broken femur. He told Cyclingnews at Interbike in September that he had secured a team for 2012.

    "I was only going to [sign] if it felt right for me. I wasn't going to go to any random team," Lewis said. "This team showed me a lot of belief and a lot of respect. I will have a leadership role, and it will give me more freedom. What more can you ask for from a team?"

    Team manager Ed Beamon confirmed to Cyclingnews that the squad is on track to gain a Professional Continental license, but that, even though it posted the bank guarantee early, as a first year team, they were subjected to extra scrutiny by the UCI when it came to licensing.

    "The Champion System team is a first year program and as such there are a few questions that UCI has put forth to guarantee the stability of the team and protect the rights of the athletes and staff. I believe we are firmly on track for Professional Continental Status for 2012 and we have addressed all of UCI's questions," Beamon said. "As is the case with many of the World Tour and Professional Continental team candidates, we will meet with the licensing commission this month to be certain we fulfill all of the UCI requirements. I am confident they will find us in complete compliance."

    Beamon has confirmed 13 of the planned 18 riders for the team, with Lewis and Butler the only two Americans on the squad. Butler joins after two years at BMC. Like Lewis, he too crashed out the Giro d’Italia, with a...

  • Düster motivated by Rabobank teammates

    Sarah Duster (Nederland Bloeit)
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 22:00 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Dutch rider targets Classics, Olympics

    Sarah Düster is excited about the prospect of racing in Rabobank colours in 2012. The 29-year-old German will form part of a strong squad that includes Marianne Vos, Roxanne Knetemann, Lauren Kitchen and World Cup winner, Annamiek Van Vleuten.

    Rabobank took over sponsorship duties from Nederland Bloeit at the end of the season and although the majority of the team left, a strong nucleus remained with Vos, Duster and Van Vleuten.

    "It's only Annamiek and Marianne, the rest of the riders are new. We've got our first team meeting at the end of November and it's really exciting from the rider's point of view," Duster told Cyclingnews.

    "I'm so happy because it means I can stay with the team. I like racing with Marianne because she's a great rider and we're not only teammates but friends, so we like to win together."

    "We're a strong team. Some strong riders are coming and some young riders as well. We've got a blend of youth and experience. Like the men's team, Rabobank only sign strong riders. We're not the strongest team in the peloton but we're going to be very competitive."

    Although the details of the team's race programme are yet to be finalised, Duster is already pinpointing the Classics as her major objectives. Selection for the Olympics will be a tough ask but she is determined to aim as high as possible.

    "My goals are still the Classics but of course the Olympics and the Worlds are also important for a rider like me."

  • Campagnolo unveils EPS electronic systems

    The EPS ErgoPower levers are positioned in the same manner as the mechanical version as well, so while there is a difference in feel, switching from mechanical to electronic ErgoPower shifters utilizes the same muscle memory, which ensures a seamless adaptation and switching
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 23:30 GMT
    James Huang

    Both Record and Super Record groups to be offered

    This article originally appeared on BikeRadar

    Twenty years and four generations in the making, Campagnolo has finally presented not just one but two electronic groups, Record EPS (Electronic Power Shift) and Super Record EPS, both with identical functionality but slight differences in weight and bearing performance just like the mechanical analogues.

    (Discuss the new systems in the Cyclingnews forum or on our Facebook page)

    Just like Shimano's Dura-Ace and Ultegra Di2 electronic systems, Campagnolo promises foolproof shifting accuracy and reliability plus faster gear changes than with mechanical groups. But EPS will also uniquely offer riders a lever feel that more closely mimics mechanical systems for genuine tactile – and audible – feedback, not to mention even better multi-shift capability of current Record and Super Record groups, all at a weight penalty of around 200g.

    Electronic guts paired with pseudo-mechanical feel and multiple shift capability

    Campagnolo's new EPS group share some basic characteristics with Shimano's next-generation Di2 systems: dedicated switches in the levers sending signals to a...

  • GreenEdge completes 2012 roster with Durbridge, Hepburn

    Durbridge and Hepburn added to Australia's medal tally.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 0:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympic hopefuls round out WorldTour-to-be squad

    The new GreenEdge team has completed its 2012 roster with two Australian talents, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn. Durbridge, the Under 23 world time trial champion, and Hepburn, bronze in the same event, also shared in Australia's world title in the team pursuit.

    GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan confirmed that the pair would be allowed to pursue their Olympic dreams on the track in addition to their road programme.

    "Although we're a road team, part of our mission is to support our riders who have ambitions on the track, particular Australian riders as we head towards next year's London Olympics," Bannan said.

    "Luke and Michael will form a critical part of Australia's hopes to win gold in the team pursuit in London and we want to be part of helping them achieve that."

    Durbridge has already established himself as a top talent on the road, not only claiming the world time trial title in the espoir ranks, but also winning the prologue in the Olympias Tour and the Chrono Champenois. Hepburn, winner of two stages of the Tour de l'Avenir and a stage of the Tour of Norway is also on track to become one of the peloton's fastest finishers.

    "They are both also massive talents on the road and any team would want on their roster so we weren't about to take the risk of giving other teams the chance of signing these guys up before we did."

    Both Durbridge and Hepburn are looking forward to learning from the team's experienced professionals, including Robbie McEwen and Stuart O'Grady.

    "When you are a junior coming through the ranks your...

  • Locke seeking new team

    It was a fantastic effort from Deon Locke (Champion Systems) to win the stage. It may be bitter sweet though as Locke was dumped from the team recently. This win will surely help his chances of securing a ride on another team.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 2:45 GMT
    Shane Goss/

    No room on Champion System for talented Aussie

    Australian rider Deon Locke's time at Continental team Champion System finishes at the end of the season and his search is on for a new home. The former Queensland triathlete has been competing as a professional cyclist for four years, spending time on the road between Europe and Asia.

    24-year-old Locke began his career with Australian Continental teams FRF Couriers and Budget Forklifts in 2009. The following year he switched to CKT before they re-formed to become Champion Systems at the start of this season.

    The team is now under the guidance of American Ed Beamon and will become Asia's first UCI Professional Continental team in 2012. The team has recruited extensively, hiring Americans Craig Lewis and Chris Barton and Aussie William Clarke from the WorldTour. Unfortunately for Locke, he didn't fit into the team's plans.

    Beamon explained, "It was a pretty difficult decision but it was going to be impossible to keep too many of the 2011 guys.

    "We expect to step up the competitive schedule for the team in 2012 and that meant using some of our roster places to bring in some experienced guys and at the same time we wanted to have a big group of Asian based riders, so ultimately it meant that there was only going to be room for a handful of guys coming from the 2011 program," he added.

    Locke's season was interrupted earlier in the year when he suffered an elbow injury after a heavy fall. He returned to racing in June, basing himself in Switzerland and raced the 2.2 Fleche du Sud in Luxembourg. Top-10 and podium placings featured heavily in European criteriums over the next couple of months for Locke before he finished second in the King of the Mountains competition at the 2.1 Tour of China in...

  • Booth looking to add a women's event to Vault criterium

    Thompson takes the win.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 5:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Plans in place for "Super Week" around Brisbane CBD to help flood affected communities

    In its first year, the Vault criterium elite men's race went smoothly, with Australian criterium champion Jonathan Cantwell, and former under 23 world champion Michael Matthews (Rabobank) competing alongside many of Australia's top domestic talents.

    Drapac bound Peter Thompson won the 2011 Vault, but event organiser Adrian Booth felt that the lack of a specific women's race was something that needed to be changed. Speaking to Cyclingnews, Booth explained that plans were already under way to bring in a women's event for the 2012 edition of the Vault.

    "As a family man, it was really hard not having a women's event for the Vault this year. There are plenty of quality women cyclists in Australia and we'll be hoping to add a specific women's event to cater for them."

    "Many of the women had been in contact leading up to this year's race and my hope is that by next year, we'll have an event for the women. That's the plan."

    Booth also added that he had plans to introduce a "Superweek" of events around the Brisbane CBD to help surrounding communities "bounce back" after the devastating floods that ravaged much of Queensland earlier this year.

    The event builds on Australia's growing domestic criterium calendar, which already boasts the NSW Criterium GP series, the Noosa GP, and the historic Bay Classic series.

    A full report of this year's Vault is available here.