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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Date published:
October 19, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Hushovd to attend Tour de France presentation in Paris

    World champions Thor Hushovd and Giorgia Bronzini at the Gran Gala.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 10:59 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    World champion to undergo collarbone surgery on Thursday

    Thor Hushovd will lead the parade of big-name riders at the 2011 Tour de France presentation in Paris on Tuesday but it is set to be his last public appearance of the season after a whirlwind two weeks since winning the rainbow jersey.

    The big Norwegian was due to go on holiday immediately after the world championships but his victory in Geelong meant he was obliged to race in the rainbow jersey at Gran Piemonte and the Tour of Lombardy. He was proud to show of his rainbow stripes in the last races for the Cervelo TestTeam but admitted to Cyclingnews he is now ready for a holiday.

    "I lasted for 130km at the Tour of Lombardy but realised that I was empty both physically and mentally," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I tried to get in an early break but when that didn’t happen and I saw the warm team car at the feed zone, I knew it was time to call it a day. It's been a crazy two weeks since I won the world title. It's been nice but I'm ready for a holiday now."

    Hushovd flew to Brussels for the Flandrian of the Year awards night on Saturday but caught an early morning flight back to Italy to ride the two-up Borgomanero time trial. He then attended the Gala Ciclistico Internazionale awards night in Conegliano near Venice, collecting a special prize for winning the world title.

    He will be in Paris on Tuesday for the unveiling of the 2011 Tour de France route but will then undergo surgery on his collarbone he fractured in the spring, before finally taking a well-deserved holiday.

    "The Tour de France presentation is my last event of the season. It'll be interesting to see the route of next year's Tour de France and see what we will face next July but it'll be my last public appearance of the season," he said.

    "On Thursday I'm having an operation to have the plate removed from left collarbone that I broke in the spring and after that I'll switch off my phone and go on holiday with my family."

  • Basso ready to share Liquigas team leadership with Nibali

    Cheers! Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali will be careful not to tread on each other's toes in 2011.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 11:22 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Giro winner still to decide his objectives for 2011

    Ivan Basso had to share the stage and the spotlight with teammate Vincenzo Nibali at the Gala Ciclistico Internazionale awards night in Italy on Sunday but insists that the two Italians will not fight over who leads the Liquigas team in next year's Giro d'Italia and Tour de France.

    Basso is very proud to have won the Giro d'Italia this year and will ride the corsa rosa again in 2011, but still feels he has a chance of winning the Tour de France. He targeted the Tour for several seasons while riding for Team CSC but struggled this year in his first appearance in France since being suspended for his involvement in Operacion Puerto.

    "I'm satisfied with my 2010 season because I won the Giro and it was a very special moment in lots of ways. However I can't be totally happy with my season because I wasn't happy with my performance in the Tour," he told Cyclingnews.

    "Unfortunately the Giro d'Italia was very hard and that meant that all the riders who ride it then struggled in the Tour."

    Basso will be in Paris for the presentation of the 2011 Tour de France route on Tuesday but will not be at the Giro d'Italia presentation on Saturday.

    The Liquigas team is keeping tightlipped about their plans for 2011 and Basso refuted the rumours circulating that he will target the Tour de France and Nibali will try and win the Giro in 2011.

    "I won’t be in Turin for the Giro presentation because I'm riding a criterium in Cancun which was agreed before the Giro presentation was scheduled for October 23. There's no other reason," Basso said.

    "We'll decide our goals for 2011 at the first Liquigas get together at the end of November. Any decision will depend on several factors, including the details of the two races, but I can assure people that there won’t be any problem between me and Vincenzo."

    "I've got a lot of respect for him and I think he's got a lot of respect for me. He's had a great...

  • 2010 World Rankings complete

    The Giro di Lombardia peloton rides along Lake Como.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 13:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Rodriguez wins individual ranking, Saxo Bank best team

    Philippe Gilbert's second straight success in the last European ProTour race of the 2010 season, the Giro di Lombardia, could not prevent Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha) from wrapping up the overall number one spot in the UCI's individual World Rankings for 2010.

    Rodriguez completed the season with 551 points after winning the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya overall, as well as taking stages in the Tour de France, Vuelta a España and Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco. He also finished second in La Flèche Wallonne, fourth overall in the Vuelta a España and Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco, fifth in the Clasica San Sebastián, seventh in Paris-Nice, eighth overall in the Tour de France and ninth in the Tour de Suisse.

    While Rodriguez's impressive season-long performance earned him the number one spot, Astana's Alberto Contador finally retained his second place ahead of Gilbert with 482 points, pending the outcome of the case concerning his adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol at the Tour de France.

    Nonetheless, Gilbert still managed to push Spain's Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d'Epargne) down to fourth overall, and 2009 World Champion Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) was forced to settle for fifth.

    Surprise in the teams ranking

    Of the three UCI World Rankings, the most dramatic upheaval caused by the Giro di Lombardia was in the teams classifications, which saw Team Saxo Bank and Liquigas-Doimo push Astana down from first to third at the last possible opportunity.

    Team Saxo Bank rider Jakob Fuglsang's fourth place ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) in Lombardia, taken in a two-way sprint, proved critical for this last-minute power-shift. Team Saxo Bank finally clinched the classification with 1005 points, a mere nine points ahead of Liquigas-Doimo, with Astana dropping to third with 986.

    Meanwhile, Michele Scarponi's 2nd place finish in Como was enough to push Androni...

  • Bettini not concerned by dearth of Italian classics victories

    Paolo Bettini took over as national team coach from the late Franco Ballerini.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 13:25 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Tuscan defends his Worlds selection

    Paolo Bettini has again defended his selection for the world championships in Geelong and insisted that Italian riders’ failure to win a classic for the second consecutive season is not a cause for undue alarm.

    2010 saw Bettini take charge of the Italian national team after the death of his friend Franco Ballerini and he guided Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) to 4th place in his first Worlds as manager in Geelong.

    “You can criticise Pozzato because he wins less than is hoped, but between his victories and his podium placings, Pippo remains our point of reference,” Bettini told La Gazzetta dello Sport at the Gran Gala in Conegliano on Sunday.

    The Tuscan also defended bringing riders such as Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone) to Australia and denied that friendship and past reputation were more significant factors in his selection policy than current form.

    “It’s not true that I called up my old friends to the national team,” Bettini said. “A guy like Maldini played right to the end [for the Italian football team], not because he has a famous name, but because he still had a lot to offer.”

    Bettini’s football metaphors continued as he pondered the fact that just two Italian teams have ProTour status: “It means that too few Italian riders are playing in the Champions League and you pay for that at the Worlds.”

    Nonetheless, Bettini was philosophical about the overall state of Italian cycling, feeling that the glass is half-full, in spite of the fact that a second successive season has passed without a classics victory going south of the Alps.

    “If life is like a wheel, cycling is even more so. You go through different moments and phases,” Bettini said. “Up to two years ago we were stronger in the classics and less so in the stage races. Now it seems that the opposite is the case.

    “We haven’t won a classic in...

  • Rui Costa and his brother test positive

    Alberto Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 15:04 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Portuguese claims banned product was ingested in dietary supplement

    The Portuguese federation has revealed that Caisse d’Epargne’s Rui Costa and his brother Mario, who rides for the Barbot team, have tested positive for Methylhexanamine. The tests were conducted during the Portuguese national championships at the end of June. Rui Costa took the national time trial title during the championships, while his brother finished third.

    Costa, 24, had been unable to secure a new deal with what will become the Movistar team in 2011. Reportedly in dispute with team boss Eusebio Unzue, he has not ridden for the team since he finished the Tour de France on July 25.

    Writing on his Facebook page, Costa has said that he believes that he ingested the product concerned in a dietary supplement. He denies doping.


  • Millar ends season in best time trialling form of his career

    David Millar (Garmin - Transitions) on his record-breaking Chrono des Nations ride.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 17:46 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Scot wins Chrono des Nations without rear brake

    David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) broke the course record in winning the Chrono des Nations on Sunday and revealed afterwards that one of the secrets of his success was riding without a rear brake.

    “When you think that your brakes are rubbing against the wheel, it obsesses you and you no longer feel free to perform,” Millar explained to L’Équipe after his victory at Les Herbiers.

    Millar acknowledged that he has mined a particularly rich seam of time trialling form this October, something he attributes to riding four long time trials in the past four weeks - at the Vuelta a España, world championships, Commonwealth Games and the Chrono des Nations.

    “For the past month, I’ve ridden a 45km time trial a week,” Millar said. “It’s been ideal preparation. Physically, your body gets used to the time trial position.”

    After finishing 10th in the final Vuelta time trial in Peñafiel, Millar improved to second place behind Fabian Cancellara in Geelong, before taking victory in Delhi last week and in France on Sunday.

    “I’ve never felt as good in time trials as I do now,” he said. “From experience, I’m no longer stressed and I know my schedule from sunrise until the moment I start. I’m also no longer afraid of tiring early, I go hard from the first half hour.”

    Sunday’s victory at the Chrono des Nations brought the curtain down on Millar’s season and he showcased his talent on a route seemingly tailor-made for a rider of his panache: “It was an ideal course for me, with constant changes in pace.”

  • Rollin signs two-year deal with FDJ

    Dominique Rollin (Cervelo TestTeam) is ready to race
    Article published:
    October 18, 2010, 19:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Canadian secures team for next year

    Dominique Rollin has signed a two-year deal with French outfit FDJ. The 27-year-old from Boucherville, Canada has ridden for Cervelo TestTeam for the last two seasons but found himself on the transfer market in September when Cervelo announced that they were ending their sponsorship of their ProTour team.

    Rollin, who had been rumoured to be close to signing with Marc Madiot’s team for a number of weeks, travelled to Paris on Monday to finalise the details of his contact.

    "It’s official, I’ll be racing with them for the next two years. I’m the final addition to the team so we’ll have 27 riders,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Rollin has carved a reputation as a strong Classics rider in the last two seasons and he believes that the atmosphere at FDJ will allow him to flourish in his favourite races.

    “We’ve not discussed the details of my racing programme yet but I’ll be set up for the Classics. They’re races I can do we’ll and I have a love for them and the roughness they offer. I will be back to my roots as well. I raced in France as an amateur for three years.”

    “I’ll have more opportunities with FDJ too. They have a long background with Classics riders over the years with Guesdon and Gilbert. Also there’s no main leader so that opens things up for me to express myself and we’ll able to get some good results in the Classics.”

  • Rodriguez proud of world number one ranking

    Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) back in red at the Vuelta a España.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2010, 3:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Consistency pays off for Spanish climber

    Joaquin Rodriguez's season ended just 40km into Saturday's Tour of Lombardy but the Spanish climber ended the year on a high after securing the top spot in the UCI World Ranking. Victory in a Grand Tour or a major classic may be more prestigious than the season-long ranking in cycling but Rodriguez racked up a total of 551 points, finishing ahead of Alberto Contador and Philippe Gilbert.

    "For me it proves I rode well throughout the season. It rewards my consistency as well as my results," Rodriguez told Cyclingnews. "I'm very proud to be able to say I'm the number one ranked rider in 2010. It's like an extra victory and something that will always be on my palmares."

    Rodriguez won the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in the spring as well as taking stages in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. He also finished second in Fleche Wallonne, fourth overall in the Vuelta a España, fifth in the Clasica San Sebastian, seventh in Paris-Nice, eighth overall in the Tour de France and ninth in the Tour de Suisse.

    "I scored a lot of points in the first half of the season but to be honest the world ranking didn't become a big objective until after the Tour de France. That's when we saw that I was well-placed to win it and so that's why I decided to ride the Vuelta with the aim of scoring as many more points as possible,” he said.

    Rodriguez spent two days in the red Vuelta leader's jersey and eventually finished fourth overall, securing him a mathematical unbeatable advantage over Contador and Gilbert. Rodriguez’s compatriot has since been suspended after a failed anti-doping test while Gilbert went on to ride a strong Worlds road race and finish his season with a victory at Lombardy.

    "I thought I had a shot at overall victory but the Vuelta proved a little bit too long and too tough for me after raced for so much during the season,” said Rodriguez. “But I'm not disappointed with fourth overall. I...