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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Date published:
September 20, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Barker celebrates unexpected medal at UCI World Championships

    Elinor Barker (Great Britain) took the silver medal
    Article published:
    September 19, 2011, 13:58 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Cardiff native scorches to silver in junior women’s time trial

    Elinor Barker (Great Britain) surpassed her own expectations with a silver-medal winning performance in the junior women’s time trial at the UCI World Championships on Monday, but the Welshwoman was stunned to learn afterwards that she had missed out on the rainbow jersey by just two seconds.

    Still only 17 years of age, the first year junior scorched around the circuit to dislodge Mieke Kröger (Germany) from top spot on the leader board. Barker had scarcely taken her place in the hot seat, however, when pre-race favourite Jessica Allen (Australia) came home to nudge her into second place.

    “I was talking through it with my dad the other day, and we were thinking top fifteen, maybe ten at a push, that would be great,” Barker told Cyclingnews, “And then when they said I was winning and there were three riders left, I was like ‘no!’ But yeah, I’m really, really chuffed with that.”

    With a mere three seconds separating the riders on the podium, Barker could be forgiven for contemplating what might have been as she sat in Copenhagen’s Radhus with the silver medal around her neck after the race, but she was level-headed in her assessment of the race and Allen’s victory.

    “I knew she was a good time triallist so I sort of expected her to beat me,” Barker admitted. “I didn’t expect to be even in the hot seat area, so I wasn’t really that nervous. Just shocked.”

    Raised on a steady diet of out-and-back British time trials, Barker enjoyed the novelty of the technical city centre circuit in Denmark. “British time trials tend to go straight out and straight back, so it was a nice change,” she said. “I knew it was going to be pan...

  • Brammeier joins Omega Pharma-Quickstep for 2012, Seeldraeyers to Astana

    Matthew Brammeier (HTC-Highroad) at the start
    Article published:
    September 19, 2011, 17:14 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Bozic heads to Astana from Vacansoleil

    The Quickstep team has announced that Irish champion Matthew Brammeier will join the 2012 Omega Pharma-Quickstep team. The 26-year-old will be reunited with fellow HTC-Highroad refugees Tony Martin, Martin and Peter Velits, Bert Grabsch and Frantisek Rabon as well as directeur sportif Brian Holm on the new Belgian super squad.

    "Brammeier is a rider the team wants to bet on for the near future," said manager Patrick Lefevere in a press release. "We're sure he has everything it takes to cut out a role for himself, first within the team and then during the season in the races for which he'll line up. Matthew is entering an important phase in his career and we think he can even improve in our group."

    The day's transfer news also includes the exit of Belgian climber Kevin Seeldraeyers from Quickstep. The 25-year-old turned professional with the Belgian team in 2007, but is heading to the Astana team for two years.

    Astana has also signed Slovenian sprinter Borut Božic from Vacansoleil-DCM. Bozic, 31, won a stage of the 2011 Tour de Suisse and stage six of the Vuelta a Espana in 2010.

  • Durbridge conquers pressure to take Worlds gold

    The podium: Quaade, Durbridge and Hepburn
    Article published:
    September 19, 2011, 18:56 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Australian aiming for London 2012 Olympics

    After missing out on the rainbow jersey by the tightest of margins in Geelong twelve months ago, Luke Durbridge (Australia) admitted that he felt under immense pressure in the build-up to his winning ride at the under 23 time trial at the UCI World Championships in Copenhagen.

    The West Australian’s status as the overwhelming favourite was heightened by a crushing victory in the recent Chrono Champenois, but in spite of his pre-race apprehension, he was a convincing winner on Monday afternoon.

    "I’d not normally feel the pressure but I felt pretty sick beforehand," Durbridge said. "Lots of people were talking me up and I had articles telling me that I was the favourite. I think it was probably the most nervous I’ve been for an event, just because I knew I was a big shot to have a go and to win."

    As he waited to travel to the start on Copenhagen’s Hans Christian Anderson Boulevard on Monday morning, Durbridge watched on television as his fellow West Australian Jessica Allen took the first gold of the championships in the junior women’s time trial.

    "I was sitting in my room about an hour before I came here and I watched Jess Allen take the gold for Australia," he said. "She’s from WA, from my town as well, so it was a really special moment for her and it just motivated me to come out and get mine."

    Within minutes of rolling down the start ramp, it was apparent that Durbridge was the class of the field, and he steadily increased his lead at every intermediate checkpoint.

    "I had the coach in my ear and he told me I was up at all the time checks so I just had to bring it home," he said. "On the last...

  • Video: McQuaid praises absence of race radio at the Tour of Britain

    UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe
    Article published:
    September 19, 2011, 19:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI President talks about delays with Contador’s CAS appeal

    UCI President Pat McQuaid was in London to see the final stage of the Tour of Britain and praised the quality of the racing, suggesting that it was partially due to riders not using race radio.

    “You can’t judge things on one race but I’ve had a chat with several team managers here and they said its better without radios, it makes the racing more interesting,” McQuaid said.

    “That's the view the UCI holds for all the races and we stick to the position that cycling is better without them. The riders are more responsible for themselves and make decision by themselves. We hope it’ll still be like that in the future.”

    The UCI recently bargained with the teams association, the AIGCP, to study a full radio ban in 2012 rather than impose it at the World Tour level. In return, the teams agreed not to boycott the Tour of Beijing.

    McQuaid arrived from Switzerland where he had attended the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Executive Committee meeting. In light of Alberto Contador’s Court of Arbitration of Sport case, McQuaid said that talks are underway to review the time needed for the sporting justice procedures to reach a final verdict.

    McQuaid accepted that the Contador case is casting a cloud over the sport.

    “It’s unfortunate that sporting justice takes so long,” he said. “It’s out of our hands and there’s nothing we can do but wait for the result. When justice is done by an independent tribunal, we’ll accept that decision.”

    “A discussion is ongoing at the international level. Hopefully in the years to come we’ll find a quicker solution to expedite these cases - and in a better way.”
     

  • Quaade lifts Denmark's spirit with time trial silver

    Rasmus Quaade (Denmark) claimed a silver medal in the men's under 23 time trial.
    Article published:
    September 19, 2011, 20:55 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    First medal for host country in under 23 men

    Rasmus Christian Quaade's silver in the under 23 time trial secured Denmark's first medal at the UCI World Championships and raised the nation's spirits after a less than ideal build up.

    Heading into the Worlds Denmark had two major realistic medal hopes at senior level with Matti Breschel and Alex Rasmussen targeting the road race and time trial on home soil. However, Breschel was ruled out through injury, while Rasmussen courted controversy after he was removed from his national and trade teams for missing three out-of-competition doping controls.

    It left the home nation clutching at straws for serious medal contenders but Quaade's ride has rescued Denmark and set them up for the rest of the Worlds.

    "There were so many different journalists asking me about the time trial yesterday and today I wasn't talking at all because I wanted to focus on the race. The crowds were fantastic, and I've never seen anything like this. I could barely hear what the coach was yelling at me from the team car behind," he said.

    As Quaade delighted the delegation of Danish press at the post-race press conference, the most relieved man was national coach Morten Bennekou, who sat at the back of the room.

    "I'm very happy. Of course we aimed for the gold but we're very happy with the silver. After seeing him race today I know he gave his very best, gave it everything and it's all gone as well as we could have expected. All year he's been...

  • Video: Hepburn overcomes crash to take bronze in Worlds TT

    Michael Hepburn (Australia) rode to the bronze medal
    Article published:
    September 19, 2011, 22:52 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Australian primed for aggressive road race showing

    In spite of an early crash, Australian talent Michael Hepburn delivered a fine performance to take the bronze medal in the under 23 men's time trialat the UCI World Championships in Copenhagen on Monday.

    Hepburn was forced to stop and change bikes after he came a cropper on a sharp left hand turn, but while the time he lost may well have cost him a silver medal, he acknowledged that his fellow countryman and newly-crowned world champion Luke Durbridge was always out of reach.

    "I think it cost me maybe twenty seconds or so. It knocks you out of the rhythm and stuff, but there was no way I was going to win the gold today," Hepburn told Cyclingnews in Copenhagen's Radhus after the finish.

    "The difference between second and third is not a huge deal to me. Obviously if I thought it had cost me the rainbow jersey I'd be hugely disappointed, but I don't think it did. Luke was too strong and hats off to Rasmus Quaade. He performed with the home pressure."

    Putting l'Avenir behind him

    Hepburn arrived in Copenhagen under something of a cloud following a mixed Tour de l'Avenir. The 20-year-old showcased his sparkling repertoire by winning the prologue and followed that up with a forceful uphill sprint triumph on stage 3, the day after he had been handed a 30-second penalty for irregularities in the sprint.

    However, his victory celebration in Porrentruy was deemed inappropriate by team coach Neil Stephens, and a disappointed Hepburn was sent home that evening. Although he had already intended to abandon the following day in order to prepare for the Worlds, he was upset by the way his race ended.

    "Tour de l'Avenir...

  • Allan Davis ready for fresh start with GreenEdge

    Bronze medalist Allan Davis (Australia)
    Article published:
    September 20, 2011, 1:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    31-year-old to target Worlds and Olympic road races in 2012

    After an at times frustrating couple of years with Astana, Allan Davis will hope to return to the highest echelons of the sport when he joins GreenEdge in 2012.

    Davis has long been one of Australia's most accomplished riders, but has failed to string together much consistency over the past few seasons, having been in and out of five different teams since 2006. The 31-year-old says with the solid base that GreenEdge provides, he will be aiming to perform well next year at his two major targets, the London Olympic Games, and the World Championships in the Netherlands.

    "I was third at the World Championships last year, fifth in 2004, despite getting tangled up with another rider a few hundred metres from the finish line, and twelfth in my second year as a professional in 2003," said Davis. "So I’d be silly not to try and get a good result in these sorts of races."

    The 31-year-old puts his desire to wear the national colours down to a lifelong love of all sports, which ensures he doesn’t take a spot on any Australian team for granted.

    "I’ve always taken a lot of pride in representing Australia and wearing the green and gold," said Davis. "Watching people sing the national anthem when standing on the podium is something that I’ve always been inspired by, regardless of what sport it is.

    "It’s a privilege to ride for your country, so the first step in achieving my goals at the Olympics and World Championships is to get the results needed to be selected for the team."

    Davis was also excited to emulate that 'national team atmosphere' when he joins up with GreenEdge.

    "National pride plays a big part in Australian teams performing so well at big international races. Now, with GreenEdge, instead of getting that sort of spirit once a year we’ll get it every time we race," he said.

    Davis is the 22nd signing for...

  • Law laments indecision on Razorback descent

    Scott Law (V Australia) takes out stage one of the tour in North Shore.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2011, 5:09 BST
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    20-year-old sprinter says escape was stronger than expected

    Scott Law (V Australia), one of the fastest sprinters participating in this year's Goulburn to Cycle Sydney Classic, admits that a period of indecision about whether to get his team to chase on the descent off Razorback Hill may have cost him a chance to win the 109-year-old race. Speaking to Cyclingnews after the finish of the Classic, Law said that he had misjudged the strength of the front group.

    "Last year, it was a very similar situation, but it all ended up regrouping at the very end, after the descent [and then we set up Cantwell for the win]," said Law.

    "I think that made us initially a little apprehensive trying to chase on the descent, thinking that it probably would come back, but because of the sheer strength of the front group we simply couldn’t get them back. By the time we tried to get working together and bring them back it was too late."

    The front group, which included teammate Johnnie Walker, had only one recognized sprinter in it, Steele Von Hoff, and the Genesys rider ended up cruising to the win after a perfect team lead-out. Law commented that the presence of Walker complicated matters, and exacerbated the delay in the chase.

    "We knew we had Johnnie up there and we knew he could do a good result, but we came into today’s race with the plan to try and work for myself," said Law. "Towards the end we really tried to get it all back together with Chris Winn and Cam Peterson and about three or four of the BikeBug.com guys but it just wasn’t enough."

    Phil Grenfell, also in the chasing pack, was particularly critical of the V Australia team when asked about the situation at the end of the race.

    "Steele was the only one of the sprinters to get over the top of old Razorback," said Grenfell. "When V Australia ended up riding it was too late. There was...