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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Date published:
October 05, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Hesjedal looking to improve in 2011

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) took second in the Amstel Gold Race.
    Article published:
    October 04, 2010, 21:39 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Canadian looks back on a successful season

    With a successful 2010 season under his belt Ryder Hesjedal has already turned his attention to next year. The Canadian had a breakthrough year, winning a stage of the Tour of California, finishing second in Amstel Gold and becoming Garmin-Transitions leader at the Tour de France with seventh place overall.

    "When I look at next year the aim is going to be to do the same again but improve where I can. It's about refining and if I can be just be a little bit better in a few races that will be a good season. Turning some of those seconds and thirds into wins, that's where it gets tough. The margin for error is so small. Sometimes it's out of your hands but if you get something perfect..." Hesjedal told Cyclingnews.

    The Canadian raced a total of 71 days this year, a similar programme to previous years, but rose up the UCI ranking to eighth, to become the highest placed North American.

    "You don't get that if you've not been riding consistently so I'm really proud of that and it's been a great year," Hesjedal said.

    While strong performances in the Ardennes and California stand out, it was Hesjedal's Tour that threw the Canadian onto the true world stage. An energetic display on the epic stage to Arenberg gave him the platform to build on his GC ambitions as well as giving Garmin an alternative as Christian Vande Velde crashed out and Farrar struggled with injury.

    As the Tour unfolded Hesjedal began to talk more confidently about his GC ambitions and for 2011 he'll return more assured that he can aim for another top performance.

    "I was planning on stepping up to ride a better Tour no matter what," he said.

    "I was always looking to do well but the way it unfolded just happened. It was only my third tour."

    Despite the Garmin team being decimated through injuries and withdraws, Hesjedal found inspiration in the survival instincts and dedication displayed by his team as they threw what they had behind...

  • Germany denied gold, but leads medal tally at Worlds

    Podium (L-R): Matti Breschel (Denmark), Thor Hushovd (Norway), Allan Davis (Australia).
    Article published:
    October 04, 2010, 23:05 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Australia next best with three

    Germany may not have won any of the six rainbow jerseys which were awarded at the UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne, Australia last week, but they came away with the biggest medal haul of any country.

    Thanks to the efforts of John Degenkolb (U23 road race) and Judith Arndt (Women's time trial), who scored silver medals, and Tony Martin (time trial) and  Marcel Kittel (U23 time trial), who both claimed bronze, Germany led the medal table with four.

    The host country, Australia, was next best, with gold in the U23 men's road race by Michael Matthews, silver in the U23 time trial by Luke Durbridge and bronze in the elite men's road race from Allan Davis.

    The USA took home a gold and bronze thanks solely to Taylor Phinney in the U23 races, while Great Britain netted gold and silver in the time trials thanks to Emma Pooley and David Millar.

    The Nordic countries Norway, Sweden and Denmark put in remarkable performances, topped by Thor Hushovd's spectacular win in the elite men's road race and Matti Breschel's silver, and Emma Johansson's bronze in the women's road race.

    Italy could score just one medal, but made it count with a fine gold by Giorgia Bronzini in the women's road race, as did Switzerland with Fabian Cancellara's repeat win in the men's time trial. The Netherlands (Marianne Vos - silver, road race), New Zealand (Linda Villumsen, bronze time trial) and Canada (Guillaume Boivin, bronze U23 road race) rounded out the medal tally.

    Two of cycling's traditional powerhouses, Spain and Belgium, were shut out of the medal tally.

    Germany - Silver (2), Bronze (2)
    Australia - Gold (1), Silver (1), Bronze (1)
    Great Britain  - Gold (1), Silver (1)
    USA - Gold (1), Bronze (1)
    Italy - Gold (1)
    Norway - Gold (1)
    Switzerland - Gold (1)
    Denmark - Silver (1)
    The Netherlands - Silver (1)
    New Zealand - Bronze (1)
    Sweden - Bronze...

  • McQuaid hails Aussie Worlds a success

    President of the UCI Pat McQuaid talks about Canada as a possible 2015 road Worlds host.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2010, 4:08 BST
    Cycling News

    156,000 spectators watch Sunday's main event

    International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid has labeled the 2010 UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia, a success after the event attracted 156,000 spectators for Sunday’s road race. With the event being staged so far from cycling’s traditional homeland in Europe many worried the event would be greeted with small crowd numbers, particularly once the Australian Football League’s grand final in Melbourne was carried over to the same weekend.

    Despite a slow start to attendance during the elite women and Under 23 men’s time trials on Wednesday organisers said 293,000 attended the event over the five days.

    “It has been a decision which was an absolutely correct decision,” said McQuaid. “I can tell you that the teams that are here and the team managers that are here and that have many, many years experience of cycling, world championships and major events, have said they’re absolutely happy with everything that has been laid on from here.

    “They’re happy with the atmosphere, happy with the course, happy with the security, happy with everything,” he added. “I was talking to one of the directors of Slovenian Cycling and he said this was his 10th world championships and it was the best he’s ever been at.”

    Former professional cyclist Phil Anderson, who was also an advisory committee member, said the committee was pleased with the attendance figures. “They’ve been very impressed, we’re getting better [crowd] numbers than what they had in Switzerland last year and that’s the home of cycling. A great result,” he said.

    “The UCI, the owners of the world championships, are very happy. It’s a credit to the work that’s been done by all the stakeholders and the crowds that have come out,” he added.

    The Australian event was just the seventh time the Worlds have been held...

  • The end of the road for Team Milram

    A relieved Niki Terpstra savours his win.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2010, 9:07 BST
    Cycling News

    No sponsor found for 2011, still hoping for 2012

    Gerry van Gerwen has finally conceded that Team Milram will not exist in 2011, but he still hopes to come back with a new team in 2012. He was not able to find a new sponsor for the five-year-old team.

    "It's never fun to do. We talked to a number of sponsors for a long time. Also, we were even close to a contract, but it fell through at the last minute," van Gerwen told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

    “We have even applied for a ProTour license for 2011, but we have to give up.”

    He refused to consider this the absolute end, though. “"In 2011 we won't have a team, but we have invested in different contacts for later. We don't know whether it will succeed, but in 2012 the intention is to come back with a new cycling team.”

    The Dutchman continues to focus on the German market but the heated discussion about doping in the sport was not helpful.

    “But I've noticed that several companies might yet be interested. It takes time, but I am confident that it will manage to have one year to set a new team. "

    Team Milram was formed in 2006 as an Italian team under the leadership of Gianluigi Stanga, with van Gerwen as business manager. He took the team over in 2008 and made it into a German-based team.

    A number of the team's riders have already found new teams for the coming season. Gerald Ciolek and Niki Terpstra will ride for QuickStep, Christian Knees, Luke Roberts and Thomas Rohregger are going to Pegasus Sports. Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann are rumored to be going to the new Luxembourg team, with Wegmann saying he would announce his new team this week.

  • Plasticisers in Contador’s urine could indicate blood transfusion

    Alberto Contador during his press conference as he tries to explain how his urine sample became contaminated with clenbuterol
    Article published:
    October 05, 2010, 9:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Found day before the positive sample for Clenbuterol

    Alberto Contador returned a positive test for the so-called “plasticizers” in his urine the day before his positive control for Clenbuterol, according to the New York Times. The newspaper also says that the results could indicate that he had had a blood transfusion, which is banned by the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    The test looks for a chemical found in plastic IV bags. “A test performed on at least one of Contador’s urine samples from the Tour revealed levels of that chemical eight times higher than the minimum amount that signifies doping, according to a person with knowledge of the test results,” the New York Times said.

    The sample is said to have been taken on July 20, the day before the Tour's final rest day. The other positive sample was taken on the rest day.

    Contador has denied using any doping product or method. His press spokesman, Jacinto Vidarte, said that the Spaniard “has done nothing illegal” and added that “there has been no official confirmation at all” about the plasticizers.

    The test to detect the plasticizers was used at the Tour de France this summer for the first time. It has been available for more than a year, but is not yet validated for use. While an athlete could therefore not be sanctioned on the basis of this test alone, it could be used in conjunction with other evidence.

    “Even without a validated test, it could be looked at in a case-by-case basis,” Francesco Botré, head of the WADA-lab in Rome, said. “If someone has a very, very high level of plasticizers in the urine, it would be hard for that athlete to explain how that happened if not from doping. If the level is lower, it obviously would make it much harder, but it would still be possible to prove."

  • Four mountaintop finishes in 2011 Tour de Suisse

    Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) hoists aloft the trophy for his overall Tour de Suisse victory.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2010, 10:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Race also features two time trials

    The 2011 Tour de Suisse features four mountaintop finishes, two individual time trials, and three nations. Tour organisers released the route for next year's race on Tuesday.

    The race will run June 11 to June 19, with nine stages running through not only Switzerland but also neighbouring Austria and Liechtenstein.

    The four mountaintop finishes are on Crans-Montana, Grindelwald, Malbun (Liechtenstein) and Serfaus (Austria). The Grindelwald stage will also cover the Grimsel and Grosse Scheidegg climbs.

    The race opens with a time trial in Lugano and ends with one in Schaffhausen. No further details of the route were yet available.

    Tour de Suisse 2011 stages:

    Saturday, June 11, Stage one: ITT in Lugano
    Sunday, June 12, Stage two: Airolo - Crans-Montana
    Monday, June 13, Stage three: Brig - Grindelwald
    Tuesday, June 14, Stage four: Grindelwald - Huttwil
    Wednesday, June 15, Stage five: Huttwil - Tägerschen
    Thursday, June 16, Stage six: Tägerschen – Malbun (Liechtenstein)
    Friday, June 17, Stage seven: Vaduz - Serfaus (Austria)
    Saturday, June 18, Stage eight: Tübach - Schaffhausen
    Sunday, June 19, Stage nine: ITT in Schaffhausen

  • Cipollini critical of Italian Worlds tactics

    Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) with Mario Cipollini on the podium
    Article published:
    October 05, 2010, 10:29 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Cipo, Bugno, Moser, Saronni and Gimondi have their say on Bettini's first outing as manager

    Mario Cipollini has led criticism of the Italian team’s performance in Sunday’s world championships road race and questioned Filippo Pozzato’s credentials to lead the team. He also reiterated his belief that manager Paolo Bettini should have brought a sprinter to Australia.

    Cipollini was perplexed by the Italian tactics and wondered whether it was in Pozzato’s best interests for his teammates to ride on the front and make the race difficult.

    “I wouldn’t have started making the race hard from so far out, because the route didn’t allow it and because Pozzato was leader,” Cipollini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “What tough races has Pippo won in the last four years? And if he had cramps in the finale, as I read, who was Bruseghin riding for on the last lap?

    “This isn’t a personal criticism of Pozzato, but I repeat, let’s look at what he has won in the last four years.”

    The 2002 world champion was one of a number of former Italian rainbow jersey winners who offered their analysis of the race to Gazzetta dello Sport after the dust settled on the squadra azzurra’s Australian campaign.

    Opinion on Pozzato’s performance among the former champions was divided. For Gianni Bugno, Pozzato “did what he could” while Francesco Moser felt that “he could have done better.”

    Meanwhile, both Felice Gimondi and Giuseppe Saronni believed that Pozzato should have followed Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) when he attacked on the last lap. “Pozzato said that Gilbert was the favourite,” Saronni said. “Therefore he should have gone with him. I think they could have gone to the finish together and decided the title between them.”

    The thorny issue of whether the Italian line-up should have included a sprinter continues to fester. Cipollini had been vocal in his criticism...

  • Calzati and Portal to leave Team Sky

    Sylvain Calzati (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    October 05, 2010, 11:27 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    French riders reveal they have not been kept on

    French riders Sylvain Calzati and Nicolas Portal have confirmed that they have not been retained by Team Sky for the 2011 season.

    Calzati told l'Équipe that he has signed with the small French team Bretagne-Schuller, while Portal is still looking for a team and may retire and become a directeur sportif.

    Calzati missed the first half of the season with an intestinal virus and only raced for 49 days with Team Sky. Portal was offered a place at Team Sky despite missing most of the 2009 season due to a heart problem. He raced for a total of 54 days but failed to secure a place in the Team Sky line-up for the Tour de France and has made little impact in races.

    Both riders were enthusiastic about riding with Team Sky at the start of the season but were critical of the British team when speaking to l'Équipe.

    "Cycling is still about riding your bike. But when the scientific part becomes too important, that makes your brain work more than anything else. But the basis of everything is training on the road. They've got a lot of theories but if you look at the results, they have not lived up to their expectations," Calzati told l'Équipe.

    "I've had no sign of life from the team since the moment Sky told me I hadn't been selected for the Tour de France. Even today they haven’t officially told me that I haven't been kept in the team."

    Team Sky refused to respond to Calzati's accusations. However Cyclingnews understands that Calzati's agent Michel Gross was aware that he would not be retained for 2011.

    Calzati is expected to be a team leader at the Bretagne-Schuller team.

    "He's got a lot of experience and will make a great road captain for us. He's had a difficult season at Sky but is still hungry for success," Bretagne-Schuller directeur sportif Manu Hubert said when he confirmed Calzati had joined the team for 2011.

    Team Sky has so far...