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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Date published:
October 06, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Van Winden to Rabobank's ProTour team for two years

    Mark Cassidy (An Post – Sean Kelly Team) and Dennis Van Winden (Rabobank) had built a formidable lead as the race reached the first climb of the day at ‘The Vee’.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2009, 15:01 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Youngster moves up from Rabo Continental team

    Dennis van Winden will move up from Rabobank's Continental team to the ProTour team.  He becomes the second rider to make the jump for 2010, joining Steven Kruijswijk.

    Van Winden, 21, has ridden for the Rabobank developmental team since 2007. "This is a boyhood dream come true," said the Dutch youngster, who signed a two-year contract. "I'm super motivated."

    He has had five wins this season, most recently winning a stage at he Tour de l'Avenir. Two of his wins were time trials, and he finished 11th in the Under 23 World Championship time trial in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    Rabobank had earlier announced that Kruijswijk, 22, would also joint the team in 2010. "We want to give the young talented riders explicitly time to develop their talent, confidence and attention to themselves, and with Steven and Dennis, we now get two riders from our own training team who have good opportunities," said general manager Harold Knebel. "Our focus is increasingly placed on the intensive supervision of the riders, so that everyone's talent comes to maturity."

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  • Ballan's rainbows days over, big plans remain

    Alessandro Ballan (Lampre-NGC) races in the Memorial Cimurri
    Article published:
    October 05, 2009, 18:25 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Alessandro Ballan plans for wins in Paris-Tours, Lombardia

    Italy's Alessandro Ballan has big plans for the season's finale despite ending his year in the rainbow jersey of World Champion last week. On Saturday, he raced for the first time in over a year in Lampre-NGC's trade team colours at the Memorial Cimurri.

    "I miss the jersey a little bit. It had become normal for me to put it on before a race," Ballan said to Cyclingnews. "But the rainbow stripes will remain prominent around my jersey's collar and sleeves. It will be a small reminder."

    Ballan won the rainbow jersey of rhe World Champion last year in Varese, Italy. A virus stopped him from racing and showing the colours in the spring, but he fought back with a stage and overall win in the Tour de Pologne.

    Saturday's Cimurri went well, but he is already looking ahead to the big one-day Fall Classics: France's Paris-Tours on Sunday and Italy's Giro di Lombardia on October 17. Ballan is neither a pure sprinter nor speedy climber, but he counts himself as a contender for the victories.

    "Paris-Tours has the small climbs in the finale, and it's not guaranteed to end in a sprint, so, I will try to anticipate the sprint," he said. "At Lombardia last year, I was not very confident, but I arrived with the first guys. I think the race fits my characteristics."

    He and three-time winner Damiano Cunego will lead Lampre's Lombardia team. Ballan's last race in Lampre's blue and pink colours will be the Giro di Lombardia since in September, he signed with BMC Racing for the 2010 and 2011 seasons.

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  • Tour de France racers may tackle Tourmalet twice in 2010

    Rinaldo Nocentini is led to the top of the Tourmalet by his loyal teammates
    Article published:
    October 05, 2009, 18:35 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Other details about next year's Tour route begin to emerge

    The 2010 Tour de France will feature two ascents of the Col du Tourmalet to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the climb's inclusion in the race, according to Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen. Other possible route details have started to trickle out, too.

    The Belgian newspaper reported that Tour de France organisers will incorporate the Tourmalet first on stage 15 from Bagnères-de-Luchon to Pau, retracing the 1947 Tour.  The climb will appear a second time in the race as a summit finish.

    Since 1947, the hors categorie Col du Tourmalet has featured in the race's profile on 47 occasions, with Liquigas' Franco Pellizotti the most recent recipient, this year, of a special prize awarded for the first rider to summit on each occasion.

    Other newspapers in the southwest of France, such as the Sud Ouest have had details about the end of the French Grand Tour. After visiting the Pyrénées, the Tour will arrive in Bordeaux on July 23.

    This will be followed on July 24 by an individual time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac. The course is said to be about 60 km, and will pass through the local vineyards, similar to the St. Emilion stage in 1996. It will be an undulating, but not terribly difficult course, and features a scenic route, passing such sites as the Château Margaux.

    The race will end on July 25, from an as-yet unknown start town to the traditional finish on the Champs-Elysées in Paris.

    The 2010 Tour de France will begin in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, on July 3. Race organiser, Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), will announce full details of the route at the race's official presentation on Wednesday, October 14 in Paris.

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  • UCI considers new partner for anti-doping testing on French soil

    The Tour de France peloton rides during stage 15
    Article published:
    October 05, 2009, 21:04 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    International Cycling Union disappointed in AFLD

    After the release of a report by the AFLD (French Anti-Doping Agency) criticising procedures of the anti-doping testing carried out during the Tour de France, the International Cycling Union (UCI) said it will study options for future collaboration with a neutral partner for anti-doping controls performed on French soil.

    The AFLD's report was simultaneously released to the media, the UCI, the World Anti-Doping Agency, the French ministers of health and of sport, and Tour organisers ASO on Monday morning. The UCI called the manner in which the AFLD's Pierre Bordry and his colleagues proceeded with regard to the report's release "completely unacceptable".

    "While the UCI and AFLD together agreed a programme of testing for the 2009 Tour de France, the AFLD has drawn up and published a unilateral report, without giving the UCI the opportunity to study it and correct any erroneous comments that it may contain. This is certainly not what one would expect from a professional, reliable partnership working together in the battle against doping," read a statement from the UCI.

    Earlier on Monday, the UCI's head of anti-doping services, Anne Gripper, insisted any problems over testing procedures had been dealt with during the Tour. "The UCI is confident that there was no preferential treatment given to any team during the Tour," she had told Cyclingnews.

    Later on Monday, the governing body issued an official statement calling the accusations made by the AFLD against officials sent to the Tour de France "completely unfounded and indeed very serious". The organization said it operates per the obligations of the World Anti-Doping Code and that it had already conducted an investigation on the treatment of the Astana team, which had been questioned in the AFLD's report. "This clearly showed that the Astana team had not been favoured in any way," said the UCI.

    Though the UCI had committed to a close collaboration with AFLD after the...

  • Geniez to Skil-Shimano

    Alexandre Geniez (French National Team - Espoirs) is in the overall lead.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2009, 21:07 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Young French climber signs for three years

    Alexandre Geniez has signed to ride for the Team Skil-Shimano as of the coming year. The Dutch Professional Continental team announced Monday that the young French rider had signed a three-year contract.

    Geniez, 21, is a climber who turned to road racing only two years ago, after three years in mountain biking. He was on the French national team which helped Romain Sicard win the World Championship Under 23 road title last month.

    His wins this season include the overall title in the Tour de l'Isard and a challenging mountain stage in the Giro della Valle d'Aosta Mont Blanc.

    Geniez also earned second-placed finishes in the Souvenir Vietto-Gianello, in two mountain stages of the Tour d’Isard Ariège and in the final classification of the Tour de Gironde. His other top ten finishes were seventh in the final classification of Giro della Valle d’Aosta and fifth in the final classification of the Tour de Moselle.

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  • Bordry: "Two new products were used at the Tour"

    Pierre Bordry
    Article published:
    October 05, 2009, 21:44 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Samples could be re-rested for the substances

    French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) president Pierre Bordry told Le Monde that he is convinced that "two new products were used during the Tour de France: two medicines that aren't yet on the market". Bordry also said that he believes there was clear evidence of blood transfusions taking place during the race.

    According to Le Monde, the two new products are hematide, a third-generation EPO that maintains haemoglobin levels, and Aicar, a product that works on muscular tissue and encourages the burning of fats. Bordry is quoted as saying he was shocked to see how thin some Tour riders looked.

    Hematide is still undergoing clinical testing and won't be authorised for use until 2011. It is already on the World Anti-Doping Agency's banned list.

    Le Monde reported that tests to detect use of these two products should be ready in the near future and could be used on samples given by riders at the Tour de France. The AFLD is reported to be ready to re-test samples given by some riders during the 2008 race.

    Bordry also said that the AFLD had found evidence of what he described as "hardcore medicines" in rubbish bins during the Tour, among which was "a substance for producing insulin that is normally used by diabetics".

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  • Rebellin's future to be decided in December

    Davide Rebellin
    Article published:
    October 06, 2009, 1:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Results of Olympic positives announced before Christmas

    Davide Rebellin's future will be clearer after the results of counter-analysis conducted on his positive blood test from last year's Olympic Games are announced in December.

    The Italian veteran tested positive to the banned blood booster EPO-CERA during the Beijing Games after the International Olympic Committee conducted a targeted re-testing campaign of samples, focusing on endurance sports, including cycling.

    A total of 948 samples were re-tested, with a reported 5,000 tests being conducted during the Olympics.

    Four other athletes who returned positive samples include Bahrain's 1500m gold medal winner Rashid Ramzi, German cyclist - and former teammate of Rebellin - Stefan Schumacher, Greek 20km walker Athanasia Tsoumeleka and Croatian 800m runner Vanja Perisic.

    Rebellin was provisionally suspended from all competition by his Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli team, having delivered the squad its biggest result of the year when he won La Flèche Wallonne in April.

    Soon after this victory he was informed of the result of the anti-doping measures, taken after he had won silver in the men's road race in Beijing in August last year.

    Should the counter-analysis confirm the presence of CERA, Rebellin could face a two-year ban, ending a career which he looked set to draw the curtains on at the end of this season anyway.

    The Italian is no stranger to doping-related controversy, however; in 2004, following a stellar season in which he took out all three Ardennes Classics - Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège - Rebellin and his wife Selina were amongst the accused in an investigation focusing on Italian doctor Enrico Lazzaro and video footage taken during the 2001 Giro d'Italia.

    Whilst Rebellin was not found guilty on this occasion, this indiscretion, if confirmed, will end his career and threatens to cast doubt over his achievements during...

  • New tour a boost for women's cycling in Australia

    Kirsty Broun (Australia)
    Article published:
    October 06, 2009, 7:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Honda Hybrid Women's Tour launched

    Australian women's cycling took a step forward today with the launch of the Honda Hybrid Women's Tour.

    Although the Australian men have been grabbing the headlines recently, it has so often been the women delivering the results for Australia including Kathy Watt's gold medal ride at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 and Sara Carrigan in Athens in 2004.

    This success has been achieved despite the lack of a major multi-stage tour for women in Australia, which is about to change with the inaugural Honda Hybrid Women's Tour, which will run in conjunction with the 2009 Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

    Former world championship silver medallist Liz Taylor (nee Tadich) was the driving force behind the race: "The Honda Hybrid Women's Tour is a landmark event for women's cycling in Australia. It gives female cyclists the opportunity to compete in a world class event on home soil and help raise the profile of our future superstars in Australia and around the world," said Taylor

    The race will feature some of Australia's leading women, including Rochelle Gilmore, who has just returned from the world championships in Switzerland.

    The current Oceania road champion will start among the favourites for the race, having previously won a round of the World Cup in Geelong and ridden to multiple Australian track titles.

    She won't have it all her own way however as the strong MB Cycles team from Queensland will field a five women team, including current Australian criterium champion Kirsty Broun and former Olympic rowing representative Amber Halliday, 29.

    Earlier this year, 30-year-old Broun won the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic and finished an impressive third in the Tour of Qatar, making her one of the women to watch.

    Halliday and Broun will be joined by another former Olympic rower as Sally Robbins, 28, continues her foray into cycling.

    The race will also feature many of Australia's developing cyclists from state institutes of...