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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Date published:
September 14, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Team Sky concede overall is beyond them in Tour of Britain

    Greg Henderson (Team Sky) races to a stage 2 victory in Stoke
    Article published:
    September 13, 2010, 18:07 BST
    By:
    Richard Moore

    De Jongh optimistic for more stage wins

    What a difference a day makes. Just 24 hours after taking a seemingly tight grip on the Tour of Britain, placing three men in the eighteen-man break to Stoke and setting up the finish for Greg Henderson, Team Sky saw their chances of winning their home tour effectively torpedoed on a rain-soaked and hilly Welsh stage on Monday.

    They were left to rue the decision to sacrifice Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas on the run-in to Stoke on Sunday. Although the British riders’ efforts helped Henderson win the stage and claim the race lead, they also contributed to the fact that both riders lost contact with the lead group in the final 2km, with both conceding over a minute.

    That left Henderson exposed as the only Team Sky rider who could win the race. But the New Zealander began to struggle on Black Mountain, 70 miles into Monday’s third stage, as Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia), who had also been in the previous day’s 18-man break, piled on the pressure, eventually going clear on the descent.

    Ironically, Wiggins was the only Sky rider able to stay with Albasini, who was later joined by teammate Tony Martin as HTC-Columbia sensed that the race could swing back in their favour.

    “Bradley was up front but the others stayed with Greg, because Greg was on the limit,” explained Team Sky sports director Steven de Jongh at the finish in Swansea. “They went really hard on the climb and Greg didn’t have anything left.

    “Then Bradley made the call to wait to help Greg,” continued de Jongh. “And then they did everything they could to chase, but they couldn’t bring it back. We weren’t getting time gaps, and there were some mix-ups [on race radio] with names, but it was forty seconds, fifty seconds, a minute - they were losing time.

    “It was Bradley’s call to wait,” added de Jongh. “It didn’t change much in general classification...

  • Jalabert aiming for Frenchman on Worlds podium

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) jubilant on the podium at the Tour.
    Article published:
    September 13, 2010, 21:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Without Voeckler, goal is more difficult

    French national team selector Laurent Jalabert is still aiming to put a Frenchman on the podium at the world championships in October, even though GP Quebec winner Thomas Voeckler has declined to compete.

    Jalabert concedes that a podium placing is a long shot even with dual Tour de France stage winner Sylvain Chavanel on the team's roster for the championships, which take place September 29-October 3 in Geelong near Melbourne, Australia.

    "Chavanel will be the leader, but he perhaps lacks the freshness and rhythm he needs," Jalabert told AFP. Lacking a one-day specialist like "Belgium’s Philippe Gilbert, Italian Filippo Pozzato or Russian Alexandr Kolobnev, who are all capable of making a decisive break on a tough climb,” Jalabert said his team could have used Voeckler.

    “Voeckler’s selection for me was all but a certainty as he is the French champion, but he rang me at the end of August to tell me that he hadn’t really got the mindset to compete in the championships. After Friday’s race in Quebec, I tried to convince him otherwise," Jalabert said.

    “It is a shame that he doesn’t want to come but I understand. He says he is exhausted after a long season.”

    Jalabert will instead look to Chavanel or sprinter Romain Feillu for the road race, hoping for a podium finish at best. "But I am remaining realistic. Without underestimating our riders abilities, when did we manage a podium finish in a Classic this year? In fact when was the last time that a Frenchman finished in the top three in a Classic?

    “I know that under those circumstances I am asking for quite an exploit and there will have to be favorable circumstances.”

    France for the world championships:

    Road race: Sylvain Chavanel, Romain Feillu, William Bonnet, Cyril Gautier, Anthony Geslin, Sebastien Hinault, Yoann Offredo...

  • NRS contest heads to Tasmania

    Hole in one: Pure Tasmania/TIS teammates Luke Ockerby and Jack Matthews (at rear) and Matthew Rice and Alex Clements (front) with an extra large golf ball at Launceston's Country Club Casino prior to the running of the 2010 Launceston to New Norfolk One-Day Classic and the Tour of Tasmania.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2010, 2:09 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Shaw tipping teammate for New Norfolk success

    Cycling Australia’s National Road Series heads to Tasmania for a week of racing, starting with today’s Launceston to New Norfolk Classic. Scody Cup leader Patrick Shaw has tipped his Virgin Blue-RBS Morgans teammate Ben Dyball as a favourite to win today’s one-day race.

    “Ben will go up over Poatina a minute-and-a-half faster than anybody in Australia,” Shaw said of the tough climb. “If he can find his climbing legs he’ll be tough to beat in both races.

    “Launceston to New Norfolk is an exciting race, very tough, but a few of those young fellows from New Zealand can really climb,” he said. “They won’t be bothered by cold and rainy weather either.”

    The one day race, a round of the men’s series, is followed by the Tour of Tasmania, a round of the national team’s series. In addition to the NRS series the Tasmanian tour contribute towards the Scody Cup title, which Shaw leads by 44 points over Genesys Wealth Advisers’ Joel Pearson.

    “I really have a lot of time for him as rider. He rode a tremendous race at the Murray tour. Some of his (Genesys) team tactics looked silly but they turned out to be brilliant,” Shaw said. “I am going to Tassie to win the Scody Cup. It means a lot to me. I want to have the title.”

    The Tour of Tasmania runs from September 16 – 21.

  • Cycling Australia, BikeNZ finalise Worlds squads

    Ruth Corset (Team Tibco) on the top of the podium at the women's Open Road Race Championship
    Article published:
    September 14, 2010, 6:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Host nation's women's squad named

    The national federations for cycling in Australia and New Zealand, Cycling Australia and BikeNZ, have confirmed their rosters for the 2010 UCI World Road Championships in Geelong, Australia. Today's confirmation includes the naming of Australia's women's squad for the first time.

    Current Australian road champion Ruth Corset will lead the host nation's women's road race squad, which will also feature Carla Ryan and Vicki Whitelaw after their strong rides at Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l'Ardèche last week. They will be joined by Tiffany Cromwell, Shara Gillow, Bridie O'Donnell and Amanda Spratt.

    The team’s composition highlights O’Donnell’s focus on road racing, with the current Australian time trial champion not contesting the time trial. Those duties will be taken care of by Gillow, Whitelaw and Oceania champion Alexis Rhodes.

    New Zealand meanwhile has confirmed that Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston and Greg Henderson will represent it in the men’s road race. Both Dean and Roulston have endured a difficult Vuelta a España through accident and injury, while Henderson has been on a high after taking a Tour of Britain stage victory.

    BikeNZ Road Programme Sporting Director Andy Reid said he was excited by the nation’s strong representation. “It’s exciting that we can go to a world championship with three men who are all now established Pro Tour riders with success under their belt at the highest levels of the sport,” said Reid. “Both Julian and Hayden had injuries on the Vuelta a España. Julian is fine and has already gone up to his altitude training base and is working very hard on final preparations.

    “Hayden has had a few days rest and his knee has responded well to treatment at this stage and he is really happy with his form at the Vuelta,” he added.

    Commonwealth Games rider Gordon McCauley and US-based Jeremy...

  • Vuelta a España: Grand Tour battle heats up as Madrid nears

    Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) takes the stage win
    Article published:
    September 14, 2010, 6:25 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Time trial, penultimate stage to decide winner

    As it reached its first rest day the Vuelta a España had nine teams share as many stage victories, but that was turned on its head just 24 hours later as Imanol Erviti gave Caisse d’Epargne its second stage win, in back-to-back fashion no less.

    It was an indication of the changes that the Spanish Grand Tour would see in its second week, with the general classification race still a three-man show, but with one different protagonist and increasing time gaps.

    Spain’s Joaquin Rodriguez (Team Katusha) has made an unexpected move into the race’s leadership, with Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) still amongst the contenders in second place. The fortunes of hitherto Euskaltel-Euskadi front man Igor Anton have taken a turn for the worse however, with the former race leader leaving the Vuelta with a broken elbow as Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) replaced him in the three-way tussle for leadership.

    Rodriguez, Nibali and Mosquera are separated by just 53 seconds with five stages remaining, yet it’s a long way from the two seconds that had split the former pairing and Anton just one week ago. At 2:16 minutes, his rivals climbing well and a flat time trial ahead, it’s unlikely Luxembourger Frank Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) will live up to his promise as a potential winner of the event this time around.

    After a well earned rest day the Vuelta resumed last Tuesday with Caisse d’Epargne becoming the first squad to win more than one stage in this year’s edition. Erviti’s solo stage 10 victory 37 seconds ahead of a group of seven chasers continued the team’s success leading into the rest day, when David Lopez claimed stage nine in similar fashion. The day saw a slight reshuffle of the...

  • Boasson Hagen and LL Sánchez out of Worlds time trial

    Edvald Boasson Hagen enjoys his time on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2010, 9:39 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riders want to concentrate on road race

    The Worlds time trial event in Geelong, Australia, will be raced without the participation of Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and Luis León Sánchez (Caisse d'Epargne). Both riders have opted out of the race against the clock to focus on the road event.

    "I haven't raced a lot with the time trial bike lately. I've decided to concentrate on the road race," explained the young Norwegian to Procycling.no. Boasson Hagen finished 27th in the time trial in Mendrisio last year, 5'28" adrift from race winner Fabian Cancellara.

    "I've always competed in the two events, so I don't know if the effects of that were negative or if that was why I felt tired in the road race," the Norwegian time trial champion explained further. Boasson Hagen recently finished second in the GP de Québec and third in the Eneco Tour.

    Spaniard Luis León Sánchez has also dropped out of the time trial held on September 30. According to Biciciclismo.com, the national time trial champion of 2008 and 2010 was the favourite selection of the national coach José Luis de Santos, who will now choose the country's two representatives after the Vuelta a España time trial in Peñafiel on Wednesday, September 15.

    Sánchez won the Clasica San Sebastian in the beginning of August.

  • Hushovd out of Vuelta

    Thor Hushovd celebrates his Vuelta stage win on the podium in Murcia.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2010, 9:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian to concentrate on Worlds training

    Cervélo TestTeam rider Thor Hushovd has left the Vuelta a España to prepare for the World Championships. The Norwegian noted that he has met his goal of winning a stage in Spain.

    “I feel I'm in good form now, and that I won't take any chances on breaking down what I have now built up. So I think it's wise to give up now," Hushovd told Norway's TV2 after Monday's stage.

    Going into the Vuelta, Hushovd said his goal was to win a stage, which he did, taking the sixth stage as a reduced peloton came to the finish for a mass sprint with most of the pure sprinters thrown back on the rolling parcours.

    “It was tempting to continue the race,” he told procycling.no. “But I've reached my goal. It is best to go home now with a view to the world championships.”

    He finished Monday's queen stage in 99th, over half an hour down. On the overall rankings he was 117th, at 2:48.07.

    Hushovd will fly to Australia on September 22 as part of the Norwegian team that boasts Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and Alexander Kristoff of the BMC Racing Team.

  • Barredo signs for Rabobank

    Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) makes a powerful attack on stage 15
    Article published:
    September 14, 2010, 10:05 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Breukink says 2011 line-up is almost complete

    Rabobank have officially confirmed the signing of Carlos Barredo from Quick Step for the 2011 season. Barredo, who took an emotional win atop Lagos de Covadonga at the Vuelta a España on Sunday, has agreed to a two-year contract with the Dutch outfit.

    Rabobank technical director Erik Breukink said that he believes Barredo will be a crucial support rider in the major tours. “We were looking for a bit more balance in the team and in particular somebody who could play an important support role in the Grand Tours, Barredo was the ideal candidate,” he explained. “He has shown enough times that in the big mountain stages he will last with the leaders.”

    “We want to be able to draw from a larger arsenal of climbers, so the choice of Barredo is deliberate,” Breukink continued. “He is not a man to challenge for the classification in the big tours but he can support the leader and when he gets a little more freedom he can also take his chance, like at Lagos de Covadonga on Sunday.”

    In recent years, Rabobank has maintained a Spanish contingent in the team and Breukink also believes that will help Barredo’s integration into the line-up. “We feel that he fits well with our team and he is a good friend of Juan Manuel Garate,” Breukink said.

    Breukink also said that Barredo should be Rabobank’s final signing for the 2011 season. “We’ve now almost completed the team, bar a few formalities,” he said, before confirming that Jetse Bol, currently a stagiaire at the Rabobank ProTour team, will return to the Continental team for one more season.

    Rabobank had already signed Matti Breschel (Saxo Bank) Theo Bos (Cervélo), Luís León Sánchez (Caisse d’Epargne), Michael Matthews (Jayco Skins) and Maarten Wynants (Quick Step) for 2011, while Tom Slagter and Coen Vermeltfoort will be promoted from the Rabobank Continental...