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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Date published:
October 04, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Dean confirms move to GreenEdge

    Kiwi Julian Dean expected to figure in the results of a bunch sprint.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 23:07 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Kiwi commits to at least one more season

    Julian Dean remains non-committal on his cycling future beyond 2012, with the sprinter confirming he has signed a one-year deal with UCI ProTour hopefuls, GreenEdge following weeks of speculation.

    "At this stage I am just looking one year at a time, and there are no specific plans to race in 2013. But you never say 'never'," he said in a GreenEdge media release. Dean finishes up with Garmin-Cervelo at the end of this current season following four years with Jonathan Vaughters' squad.

    The 36-year-old former New Zealand road champion says that his experience will be an asset for the fledgling outfit in the twilight of his career.

    "I think I have something still to offer and believe over the last two to three years especially, I have raced at my best," he said.

    "There're plenty of incentives next year with this new team wanting to make a mark and I would also love to compete in my fifth Olympics - that would be special."

    Dean's signing gives further credence to the notion that GreenEdge could well be the new HTC-Highroad when it comes to dominating sprints with the Kiwi set to support Milan-San Remo-winner Matt Goss, with riders the likes of Tour de France green jersey winners Robbie McEwen and Baden Cooke, Leigh Howard, Michael Albasini and Allan Davis already announced.

    With GreenEdge launched at the Tour Down Under last Jaunary, Dean said that the premise of at least one more season on the road was too good to refuse.

    "It is a hugely exciting development for cycling, especially in Australia and New Zealand," he said. "After I learned more about the team and their philosophies, I was really...

  • Team Specialized lululemon resurrects High Road women's team

    Ina Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-HighRoad) managed to get onto the podium with third fastest
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 1:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Teutenberg, Stevens, Neben, Hosking all confirmed to ride

    The hugely successful High Road Sports' women's team lives on under the banner of Team Specialized lululemon in an announcement today by Velocio Sports, run by HTC-Highroad's former marketing and communications manager, Kristy Scrymgeour.

    The HTC-Highroad team was forced to disband after five years in August, following a failed search for a new sponsor. Team owner Bob Stapleton held out hope that the women's outfit would continue and Highroad will support the Team Specialized lululemon.

    "Bob [Stapleton] has been an avid supporter of women's cycling for many years and we would like to carry on his hard work by continuing the team with much of the same structure in place," said Director of Velocio Sports, Kristy Scrymgeour. "He has been very supportive of the project and will provide us with valuable equipment to get us going."

    Many of the Highroad women will continue to ride for the new squad with Ina-Yoko Teutenberg , U.S national time trial champion Evelyn Stevens and former world time trial champion Amber Neben, Ellen Van Dijk, Emilia Fahlin, Chloe Hosking, Ally Stacher, Charlotte Becker and Katie Colclough.

    Meantime, Canada's Clara Hughes has been announced as a new signing, joining her first trade team...

  • Australian champions headline Garmin-Cervelo at Jayco Herald Sun Tour

    Australia's Jack Bobridge
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 3:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bobridge, Meyer head home after Tour of Beijing

    Six key recruits of the GreenEdge squad will line up for their final appearance for Garmin-Cervelo at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which starts next Wednesday, October 12 in Whittlesea.

    Australian road race champion Jack Bobridge and Australian time trial champion Cameron Meyer, brother Travis, 2007 Jayco Herald Sun Tour-winner Matthew Wilson, and Brett Lancaster will be joined by Heinrich Haussler at the 59th edition of the event which returns after a one-year absence.

    Bobridge, Haussler, Cameron Meyer and Wilson will head back to Australia following their appearance at this week's WorldTour event in Beijing, China.

    For Adelaide's Bobridge, it's only the second time this season where he'll be able to wear his national jersey on home soil.

    "I will see how I go in the Tour of Beijing (this week), then see what comes in the early part of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and see if I can get a stage win," he said. The 22-year-old recently finished fifth in the elite men's time trial at the UCI World Road Championships in Copenhagen.

    "For me by then it's the harder, the better, I guess. I know the weather, especially the winds at this time of the year, can affect the race, so let's see.

    "And I am not forgetting that we have a strong team."

    For Travis Meyer, the event marks a return to racing following surgery on...

  • Sky confirms no signed contract with Cavendish

    Great Britain manager Dave Brialsford and Mark Cavendish before the start
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 9:42 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Brailsford calls situation “complicated”

    The question of where Mark Cavendish will ride in the coming season remains open. Team Sky have admitted that while they have an oral agreement with the world champion, nothing has yet been signed. Meanwhile, Patrick Lefevere has denied recent rumours that Cavendish will join the new Omega Pharma-Quick Step team.

    “It is quite complicated,” Dave Brailsford, Sky general manager, admitted to De Telegraaf.  According to the Dutch newspaper, Cavendish signed up with the Wasserman management company in early September, and since winning the world title, “the new management is seeking to financially exploit the rainbow jersey.”

    Brailsford is also the Performance Director for British Cycling, and thus responsible for the national team. He has indicated that the British team would do everything possible to help Cavendish win in the London Olympics next year, but that “it would be bitter” if Cavendish was “in the colours of a foreign team.”

    The difficulties seems to be that of personal versus team sponsorship. Cavendish has a personal deal with Nike, while Sky's kit is supplied by Adidas, and Cavendish prefers a Specialized bike but Sky has a contract with Pinarello.

    The bike question was at the root of the latest rumour suggesting Cavendish would ride for the new Omega Pharma-Quick Step team next year, which will be on Specialized bikes, but team manager Patrick Lefevere has firmly denied the story.

    "This season I have not yet exchanged three words with Cavendish. I have negotiated with his friend and teammate

  • AG2R desperate for UCI points

    Ag2r-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 10:36 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French World Tour team could get relegated in 2012

    French team AG2R La Mondiale will start the Tour of Beijing with a clear goal: to score as many UCI points as it possibly can. The squad directed by Vincent Lavenu is the only French team featuring World Tour status this season, but it could get relegated to Professional Continental level in 2012 for a lack of victories.

    AG2R only had five wins this year, and its combined top ten results don't add up to enough points for the outfit to be on the safe side. Even though John Gadret finished fourth in the Giro d'Italia and his teammate Jean-Christophe Péraud placed in the top ten in Paris-Nice, the Dauphiné and the Tour de France, the squad is desperate for points at the end of the season.

    "There are bonuses only for victories and not for good results," Lavenu explained to L'Equipe. "Either you win, which we don't, or you have to find solutions. Our sponsor and myself want to remain in First Division next year, so I have decided to try and find riders who win races."

    Lavenu currently spends great amounts of time assessing his team points with a new software especially designed for the job. Comparing his outfit to other World Tour teams and taking into account the latest transfers, the Frenchman believes that AG2R sits between 15th and 20th place in the UCI ranking and therefore has no guarantees to remain in the World Tour.

    Paradoxically, it is not the team's leaders that have the most points, but Anthony Ravard who won several races in the UCI Europe Tour: the overall Étoile de Bessèges, Classic de l’Indre and a stage at the Tour du Poitou-Charentes. "If I'm right, I think I have a total of 75 points in these last two years - the same amount as Jean-Christophe Péraud," said Ravard.

    "I would have liked to...

  • 2012 Giro d'Italia will tackle Passo Giau in final week

    Carlos Sastre, Denis Menchov, Fabio Duarte, David Blanco and Gianpaolo Cheulthe on the Giau
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 10:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Valparola and Duran also included on road to Cortina

    The Passo Giau will feature in a testing stage in the Dolomites in the final week of the 2012 Giro d’Italia. Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed details of the 187km stage on Wednesday May 23, which takes in four mountain passes on the road from Falzes to Cortina.

    The first major obstacle of the day is the Passo Valparola, whose 13km of climbing brings the riders to an altitude of 2,197 metres. Though the average gradient is a manageable 6 per cent, the steepest sections of the climb come near the summit, including stretches of 13 per cent.

    A long descent to the foot of the Passo Duran follows, and it is here that the stage’s difficulties begin in earnest – the final 70km see the peloton tackles three climbs in quick succession, with little if any opportunity for the race to come back together on the short descents between them. The Duran goes up for 12.2km, with an average gradient of 8.1 per cent but stretches of 14 per cent, and is followed immediately afterwards by the Forcella Staulanza (12.3km at an average of 6.9 per cent).

    The final climb of the day is arguably the toughest, however, as the mighty Passo Giau awaits. The riders are faced with a series of 14per cent slopes at the foot of the climb, and there is little respite to be had all the way up the 9.9km pass, which has an average gradient of 9.3 per cent.

    Included as part of the tappone to Gardeccia-Val di Fassa this year, the Passo Giau takes centre stage in 2012 and is just a short 17km descent from the finish in Cortina. The Dolomite town has itself hosted four Giro stage finishes in the past, including a victory from Fausto Coppi in 1948 after an attack on the Passo di Monte Croce.

    While the Giro route is due to be presented in full on October 16, the map of the 2012 corsa rosa is already beginning to take...

  • Boasson Hagen ends season early

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) in red
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 11:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian looks to Tour Down Under for the first time

    Edvald Boasson Hagen has ended his season, citing exhaustion. The Team Sky rider said that he has not touched his bike since the World Championships, but that he hopes to open his 2012 season at the Tour Down Under for the first time.

    “The main reason is that I now had the opportunity to take time off ,” he told procycling.no. “I'm tired after a long season and was not particularly motivated to ride the last races.”

    Right now, the 24-year-old is taking two weeks totally free from training. “Then I will start with a different activity before starting my preparations for next season the end of the month or the beginning of November.”

    Boasson Hagen is looking to start his season in a new way. “I want to ride the Tour Down Under. I have not ridden it before and I think it would be ok to try something new for the spring season. If it works well, I might ride it the next year, too. If it doesn't work out, then at least I will know that.”

    Riding in Australia might mean he would miss the Tours of Qatar and Oman. He has finished second in the latter race the last two years. “I don't know yet. We have not talked about the remaining races on the season schedule.”

    This year, he opened his season with a second-place overall in Oman.  He won two stages at the Tour de France and the Vattenfall Cyclassics, took his national time trial title and won the overall at the Eneco Tour of Benelux.

  • 15th victory for Kittel in 2011

    Race winner Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano)
    Article published:
    October 04, 2011, 12:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German sprinter takes homeland Sparkassen Münsterland Giro

    Marcel Kittel may well end the season in the top three of most race victories after equalling Peter Sagan's score of 15 wins last Sunday at the Sparkassen Münsterland Giro in Germany. The Skil-Shimano sprinter got the better of his 2012 teammate John Degenkolb and is now only three victories behind Philippe Gilbert's phenomenal score of 18 wins this season.

    Kittel enjoyed the victory even more as it was achieved on home soil. "It's a great feeling to win here in Germany," he told Radsportnews after the race. "The teamwork was perfect and the spectators were great, and I hope that I will be racing here again next year."

    The neo pro, who has made an enormous impact in his first year amongst the professionals, again showed his fast finishing speed in the finale of the circuit event in Münster despite some last minute complications. "We were riding in the wind a bit too soon in the last lap, and I ended up with only one or two riders in front of me with 800 meters to go. But Roy Curvers had great intuition and moved me to the left into another train, where I had an excellent position for the sprint," the 23-year-old added.

    Before taking a well-deserved vacation, Kittel is preparing to travel to Australia for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, another first for him. "I think it will be a great race - not exactly a holiday, but after Evans' win at the Tour de France the country should be on a cycling high. I look forward to it, and if there is a sprint I hope I can be in the mix again."

    Meanwhile, Sagan will be looking for more success in the Tour of Beijing and Gilbert will try to defend his Italian Classics titles at the Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia.