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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Date published:
September 15, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Team Xacobeo rage against Mosquera penalty

    Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) gets some assistance from teammate Gonzalo Rabanal
    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 15:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Ezequiel Mosquera receives 20-second penalty for taking a water bottle

    The Vuelta's three key mountain stages in Andalucía have left Alejandro Valverde looking an ever more likely winner of his first major tour title and the Xacobeo-Galicia team raging at what they see as unjust treatment of leader Ezequiel Mosquera by the race's commissaires.

    The upset stems from Saturday's Sierra Nevada stage won by David Moncoutié, with Mosquera second, 24 seconds ahead of Valverde. Later that evening, Mosquera was handed a 20-second penalty by the commissaires for accepting a bottle of water outside the designated feed zones. The eagle-eyed judges had seen Mosquera take a bottle of water from someone wearing a Xacobeo team jersey 6.5km before the summit finish.

    The commissaires insisted that this was a case of illegal assistance by a team helper. However, Xacobeo team boss Alvaro Pino is vehemently denying that the person who had handed Mosquera the bottle has anything to do with the team beyond being a passionate fan of the Galician squad.

    "What Ezequiel did is what everyone does. I am going to take that however far it needs to go, even if I have to win the Vuelta in court," Pino said.

    "The second place Mosquera took on the stage and the gaps he achieved on his rivals were 90% thanks to the bidon he took in prohibited fashion," president of the race's technical jury, Italian Celeste Granziera, told El Diario Vasco.

    Granziera upset Pino with his comment. "Have you ever raced on a bike in any category at all?" he said. Getting a negative response, Pino replied, "That explains everything, because then you would know that what you're saying is not right."

    "If we miss out the podium or a place in the overall standings because of those 20 seconds, we will take whatever action we can because this is an injustice," Pino added.

    Pino denied the man in the Xacobeo jersey who handed the bottle was a team member. "I've got four soigneurs and four mechanics and if you want I will put them...

  • Biondo suspended for EPO positive

    Maurizio Biondo (Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce)
    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 15:10 BST
    Cycling News

    (Updated) Ceramica-Flaminia rider faces doping case after placing second overall in Denmark

    The UCI announced Monday that it has suspended Italian cyclist Maurizio Biondo after he tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control on August 12, 2009.

    The 28 year old rider from Ceramica Flaminia-Bossini Docce won the time trial at the Tour of Denmark last month and placed second overall. He was hoping to be selected for the Italian team for the World Championships in Switzerland.

    The provisional suspension was issued after the WADA laboratory in Lausanne declared an Adverse Analytical Finding for the blood booster NESP (Novel erythropoiesis stimulating protein/ darbepoetin alfa) in a test on Biondo's blood sample.

    "I'm bitter, upset. I don't understand why, given the numours controls, some riders still think they can break the rules without detection," said team manager Roberto Marrone. "Several times the team directors and I have reinforced with the riders that the fate of 30 people and their families depends on their behaviour. None of us have ever demanded results at any cost."

    The provisional suspension will be in effect until the Italian Cycling Federation has determined whether Biondo has violated anti-doping rules.

    The rider can request a counter-analysis, and his team has said it would await the results of the B-sample before taking any further action against Biondo.

  • Sprinters top German Worlds team

    Fabian Wegmann (Team Milram) celebrates his victory on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 15:28 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Germany announced teams for World Championships, Gerdemann out with viral infection

    Germany is sending a team strong on sprinters for the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, from September 27.

    The team features sprinter Gerald Ciolek (Milram), who ought to come over the course's climbs better than fellow sprinter André Greipel (Columbia-HTC). Fabian Wegmann or Christian Knees (both Milram) are suited for an escape group.

    Linus Gerdemann will not be able to ride, due to viral infection.

    The German men will have good chances in the time trial. Bert Grabsch (Columbia) will defend his title. Grabsch will be joined by Tony Martin (Columbia) and Sebastian Lang (Silence-Lotto).

    The women's team is led by Judith Arndt (Columbia), who finished third in the 2008 Worlds and Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung), fifth in 2008. It also has Ina-Yoko Teutenberger (Columbia), who with 14 wins, has the most wins of any German woman this season.

    Arndt and Worrack will also ride the time trial.

    This year's course in Mendrisio has two climbs, Acqua Fresca and Novazzano, in a short 13.8-kilometre circuit repeated 19 times, 262.2 kilometres. The Under 23 men will race 13 circuits and the women nine.

    The time trial covers three 16.6-kilometre circuits, 49.8 kilometres. The Under 23 men will race two circuits and the women will race two 13.4-kilometre circuits.

    Men's road race:
    Gerald Ciolek
    Johannes Fröhlinger
    André Greipel
    Christian Knees
    Paul Martens
    Tony Martin
    Grischa Niermann
    Marcel Sieberg
    Fabian Wegmann
    Simon Geschke (Reserve)

    Men's time trial:
    Bert Grabsch
    Sebastian Lang
    Tony Martin

    Women's road race:
    Judith Arndt
    Sarah Düster
    Claudia Häusler
    Tina Liebig
    Ina-Yoko Teutenberg
    Trixi Worrack
    Charlotte Becker (reserve)

    Women's time trial
    Judith Arndt

  • Carlstrom anticipates possible Sanchez attack

    Kjell Carlström (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 16:12 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Says team will work for Basso and Bennati

    Finland's road race champion Kjell Carlstrom is riding shotgun for Liquigas team leader Ivan Basso in the race, and said that the team will watch out for a possible move by Samuel Sanchez on today’s stage to Cordoba.

    The stage finishes with two ascents of the category two Alto de San Jerónimo and with a technical descent down to the finish and it is clear that the Basque rider might try to make up some time there. He’s currently third overall in the general classification, 1’10 behind Alejandro Vavlerde, and 18 seconds ahead of fourth-placed Basso.

    "I don’t think there will be a bunch sprint today. I think there will be 30 riders ahead and it will all happen on those last two climbs," said Carlstrom at the start. "I think Euskaltel will want to keep it together until then and then try something on the final descent with Sanchez…especially if it is raining."

    Carlstrong said that he was starting to feel tired in the Vuelta, but that it was expected in the final week. He downplayed any talk that he might go in breakaways, although that’s nothing to do with fatigue. "I probably won’t go on the attack. Ivan is fourth overall, and we also have to work for Bennati. I think that he could win a stage. He’ll be up against Ciolek, Greipel and Bozic but it’s possible.

    "As for Ivan, I hope he can still move up the general classification. There is still the day after the Avila stage with Navacerrada to be climbed twice. And there is still the time trial, too."

  • Gilbert to lead Belgian Worlds squad

    Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) won the 20th stage of the Giro in Anagni.
    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 16:16 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Silence-Lotto rider will complete Vuelta in preparation for Mendrisio

    Philippe Gilbert will lead Belgium in the World Championships later this month in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Belgian national coach Carlo Bomans today named eight of the nine riders for the men's road race, with the final selection to be named on Wednesday.

    Also on the team is former World Champion Tom Boonen, along with Francis De Greef, Kevin De Weert, Maxime Monfort, Nick Nuyens, Greg Van Avermaet, and Maarten Wynants.

    Stijn Devolder is one of the candidates for the final place on the team, along with Bert De Waele, Serge Pauwels, Johan Vansummeren and Jurgen Van den Broeck.

    Philippe Gilbert has shown solid form thus far in the Vuelta, placing 14th and 21st in the time trials and netting a fine second on stage eleven. However despite good sensations, he isn't obsessed about chasing a stage win in the race.

    "I will go all the way to Madrid, but I don't need to go too deep," the friendly Belgian told Cyclingnews at this morning's stage start in Jaén. "It's now 13 days to the worlds and that's my focus.

    "I crashed near Liège but otherwise the race has been going well. I had a chance to win a stage a few days ago but Farrar was too strong for me. But I have a second place, I have good condition, and am feeling that my form is holding as the worlds gets closer."

    The course in Mendrisio could well suit the Walloon, who is a puncheur – a strong rider who is good on medium climbs and also fast in a sprint. He's twice won Het Volk, and this year was fourth in both the Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, showing that he can cope well with hilly courses. If he calculates his form just right, that could see him as one of the strong challengers for the rainbow jersey.

    "I will go there with ambition," he admitted. "Mendrisio has a nice parcours. I will do my best and we will see after the race how it worked out."

    Today's fifteenth stage of the Vuelta covers the...

  • Tour de l'Avenir riders indicted for doping offense

    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 16:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Three Ukrainians arrested for blood transfusions

    Three riders who had participated in the Tour de l'Avenir race for riders between ages 19 and 22 were indicted on Sunday for possession of banned substances, AFP reported Monday.

    The physical therapist and the father of one of the riders were also indicted for importing the prohibited goods and promoting the use of banned substances. The therapist was also charged with illegally practicing medicine.

    The Ukrainian team did not start the race's eighth stage on Saturday, and were subjected to an anti-doping control after the two men were detained by customs officials on Friday in Saint-Sauveur, and were found in possession of suspect products and syringes.

    Jean-François Parietti, the prosecutor in Vesoul, said "there is nothing to say that the whole team is concerned. For now, it is geared more towards the individual doping."

  • Cooke to Saxo Bank for 2010

    Baden Cooke
    Article published:
    September 14, 2009, 20:14 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Contact came through fellow Australian McGee

    Baden Cooke will join Team Saxo Bank next season. The team announced on Monday that the Australian had signed a one-year contract.

    "Throughout the years I have seen good colleagues become even better and decidedly take a great leap in their careers after a switch to Team Saxo Bank, and I hope I can do the same," Cooke said.

    The 30-year-old's contract came about through Saxo Bank Directeur Sportif and fellow Australian Bradley McGee. "Bradley knows me better than anyone within the sport and it is thanks to him I now get the chance to become a part of Team Saxo Bank," Cooke added.

    Cooke did not have any wins this season for Team Vacansoleil, and only three the previous year, but hopes to change that. "I still believe that I have my best years ahead of me."

    Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis called the veteran "a very exciting rider that we can expect much from. I believe the team can help him develop to a new level and I have no doubt that he would be a definite benefit to our troupe for the Classics."

    Cooke turned pro in 2000 with the US-based Mercury Cycling Team. From 2002 to 2005 he rode for Francaise des Jeux, before joining for two seasons. In 2008 he rode for Barloworld and this year for Vacansoliel.

    In his long career, Cooke won the green points jersey at the Tour de France in 2003, as well as a stage win that year. He has also won stages in the Tour Down Under, the Peace Race, the Tour de Suisse, the Tour de Pologne and the Tour Méditerranéen.

  • Hoogerland impresses in Grand Tour debut

    Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil) is making his Grand Tour debut in Spain.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2009, 1:34 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Dutch rider 12th overall in Vuelta

    Vacansoleil is one of the smaller teams in this year’s Vuelta a España field, but its rider Johnny Hoogerland is more than holding his own in the race. The Dutchman is 12th overall in the ranking, 12:18 minutes behind overall leader Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d’Epargne) and has marked himself out as one to watch in the months and years ahead.

    “The race has been very hard, but it is also good,” the 26-year-old said. “It is my first Grand Tour. I didn’t have any expectations beforehand as I never did a Grand Tour, but it is very tough as the starts are always crazy. I hope that there are some stages that they go easier in the beginning, but I guess that was 10 years ago when Cipollini was riding. They were easier stages, but now it is every day at full gas.”

    Hoogerland’s strong showing began with a long-distance break on stage eight to Alto de Aitana. He finished 13th there and was 22nd, 14th and 22nd again on the three most recent major mountain stages. That’s left him in 12 overall, a placing that he hopes to improve on if at all possible.

    “There is a possibility to come in the first 10, and it is also possible to drop to 15th or 16th,” he said. “But providing there are no crashes or mechanical problems, I should stay in the first 15. I think that is perfect for my first Grand Tour.”

    Hoogerland had a trial with Quick Step in 2003 before turned professional with a small Dutch team the following season. He competed with the Van Vliet – EBH Advocaten team in 2007 and 2008, then donned Vacansoleil colours this season. He’s clocked up some good results in 2009, with the Vuelta performance topping the others.

    “I won the Three Days of West Flanders, was 12th in the Tour of Flanders, fourth in Bessèges, fifth in Marseillaise,” he said. “And all the Classics were pretty good, but not in the top level. This is...