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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Date published:
September 06, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Van Garderen aims to be Evans' Tour de France support

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) riding in yellow.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 14:16 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Three-year deal from BMC impossible to turn down

    Tejay Van Garderen has stated his ambition of riding as Cadel Evans’ right hand man in the mountains of the Tour de France in 2012. The American climber signed a three-year deal with Evans’ BMC squad on August 1, despite interest from a raft of teams including Garmin-Cervelo, Sky and Rabobank.

    Although other teams were willing to match BMC’s financial offer, it was the longevity of a three-year contract, as well as the fact that the squad had been following Van Garderen from an early age, that helped swing the deal.

    “They had been interested in me since before I went to Rabobank, so it’s good to have a team that has been following you for a long time rather one that had just seen some recent results. They saw me come right through the juniors and saw that I’d been consistent, and that meant a lot to me,” Van Garderen told Cyclingnews.

    “Rabobank was interested in taking me back and Garmin was really interested. RadioShack showed some interest as well, but the fact that their sponsorship hunt ended pretty late meant they couldn’t make an offer until I was into negotiations with other teams. Leopard Trek expressed interest and Sky expressed a lot of interest.”

    Van Garderen would not comment on the size of the financial package offered by BMC but did say that the rumoured amount, 1.25 million Euro per season, was not correct.

    “That’s exaggerated. For sure BMC made a really good offer and showed that they wanted to invest and take a risk to some degree - but that figure is exaggerated.

    “The biggest thing with BMC wasn’t that they were one of the top offers, because a number of teams were willing to match it. The biggest thing was that...

  • Modena prosecutor concludes Riccò investigation

    Riccardo Riccò (Meridiana-Kamen)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 14:39 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Evidence of blood transfusion may lead to lifetime ban for Italian rider

    The Procura of Modena has completed its investigation into the circumstances surrounding Riccardo Riccò’s dramatic kidney failure in February this year and, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, prosecutor Pasquale Mazzei has concluded that Riccò’s illness was triggered by an attempted blood transfusion.

    Gazzetta reports that given the evidence at his disposal, Mazzei may request Riccò’s formal indictment before the end of September.

    Riccò was hospitalised in a critical condition on February 6 and allegedly told doctors in Pavullo that he had transfused himself with blood that had been stored in his domestic fridge for 25 days. However, following his recovery, Riccò denied making this confession.

    The Modena investigation began shortly after Riccò’s hospitalisation, and three doctors and five nurses who saw Riccò on February 6 were questioned as part of the inquiry. Riccò himself twice declined to speak with investigators.

    Riccò could not have acted alone

    The aims of the Modena Procura’s investigation were twofold: firstly, to establish if Riccò was conscious on his arrival at Pavullo hospital on the morning of February 6 when he allegedly admitted to a blood transfusion, and secondly, to determine if Riccò’s condition was caused by the transfusion of inadequately stored blood.

    On his admission to hospital, Riccò was given an intravenous drip, but according to Gazzetta, he asked the nurse not to administer it into one arm as it was painful. The nurse noted a...

  • Monfort remains realistic on Vuelta podium chances

    Maxime Monfort and Leopard Trek are having a solid Vuelta.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 16:17 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Leopard Trek rider is fifth on GC after solid performance on Angliru climb

    Heading into the last week of racing, Maxime Monfort has overtaken his team leader Jakob Fuglsang at the Vuelta a España. The Belgian Leopard Trek rider now sits in fifth overall place after he finished eighth on Sunday's mythical stage to the summit of the Angliru - a dreadful climb that held its promises.

    Monfort limited his losses on the ascent that saw other GC contenders such as Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) seriously struggle and lose time. Having never ridden the climb before, the Belgian decided to tackle it conservatively, and his tactics paid off. "I was quite afraid of the Angliru, which I didn't know at all," Monfort told Nieuwsblad. "Normally, this sort of steep col is not my thing. So I chose to ride it at my own rhythm. Near the top, I caught quite a lot of riders this way."

    After this performance, the 28-year-old will work to maintain his placing, albeit without much hope of improving it. "I wouldn't say 'no' to a Vuelta podium," he admitted. "But I have to be realistic. Cobo [the current overall leader - ed.] is impressive and the Froome-Wiggins tandem is also very good. There's not a lot of room left." Moreover, fourth-placed Bauke Mollema from Rabobank will also have his say.

    But Monfort will still be happy with a top 10 placing in Madrid one week from now. "That was also my goal at the start in Benidorm. In principle, the final week is less hard than the first two weeks, but the peloton has also become very tired. My impression is that I'm one of the fresher riders here. So it looks like a top 10 placing is possible."

     

  • Team Sky signs Rowe

    Young Brit Luke Rowe gives it his all in the UIV Cup.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 18:19 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Promising neo added to 2012 line-up

    Promising British rider Luke Rowe has been snapped up by Team Sky for 2012. Rowe comes from the same Olympic Development Programme that produced the likes of Ben Swift, Ian Stannard and Peter Kennaugh. The 21-year-old is currently racing in the Tour de l’Avenir. He joins Team Sky on a two-year deal.

    “As a British rider, signing for Team Sky is a dream come true and I am very excited about what the next two seasons hold. I already know a lot of the guys in the team so I shouldn’t have any problems settling in. I’ve spoken to Peter Kennaugh and Ben Swift, and they only have good things to say about how the team is run and the way they treat their riders,” Rowe said.

    The Welshman first made a name for himself on the track and notched up two European Championship titles as a junior and the first of his three senior National Madison Championship crowns before he turned 19.

    In 2010 he also tasted victory at the GP Sportivi di Poggiana and has gone from strength to strength this year by winning his second ZLM Tour title as well as a stage of the Thüringen Rundfahrt and three criteriums in Belgium.

    The signing is an indication of Sky’s continued policy to develop talented British riders. On Sunday Alex Dowsett, a British Sky neo-pro won the British time trial championships. Team boss Dave Brailsford believes that Rowe’s potential marked him out as a possible signing for the team.

    “Luke Rowe is one of this country’s outstanding prospects for the future. At Team Sky we are determined to ensure that the best British talent have the opportunity to compete at the highest level of our sport. We have watched him grow from a promising teenager into a well-rounded and gifted rider and are delighted to be able offer him his first professional contract.”

     

  • Freiberg eyes worlds berth as he builds for 2012 Olympics

    Free wheeling Freiberg: Michael Freiberg (V Australia) takes out stage six in Rochester.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2011, 0:21 BST
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    20-year-old Australian realistic, but hopeful

    The announcement that Michael Freiberg (V Australia) was on the long-list Australia’s under 23 team at the UCI Road World Championships is just reward for an impressive season from the 20-year-old. Already an established member of the national track program in which Freiberg became World Omnium Champion in March, the Australian has been making enough noise with his road results to make National team selector Matt White seriously think about his inclusion for Copenhagen.

    Not that balancing road and track has come easily to Freiberg.

    "It took a month of long, hard training before I even started to feel improvement in my legs after track worlds," he admitted to Cyclingnews. "It really wasn’t until June and July where I really started to become competitive.

    "But then I did the Philadelphia International Grand Prix. We did some testing there and I blew some of the highest [power] numbers I’ve ever done, so I was pretty happy with that. Then I went to Beauce and I was second in the time trial behind Svein Tuft by two seconds – and that was massive."

    Freiberg has carried that form on through July where he rode at the Tour of Qinghai Lake, to August and September where he’s just finished riding the Tour of the Murray River. The Australian finished 5th overall there, took a stage win, and all while riding a "little underdone".

    With the under 23 World Championship road race in just three weeks, Freiberg is leaving no stone unturned...

  • Leopard Trek confirms merger with RadioShack

    Fabian Cancellara leads the Leopard Trek train
    Article published:
    September 06, 2011, 2:37 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UPDATED: Bruyneel hails announcement as a "great milestone" in cycling

    Leopard announced on Monday that RadioShack and Nissan are joining the Leopard Trek WorldTour team as sponsors for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. Leopard will continue to hold its existing UCI WorldTour License and the team will be re-branded as RadioShack-Nissan-Trek Professional Cycling Team as of next year.

    "As we stated in January, 2011 would be our apprentice-year," said Team Leopard owner Flavio Becca in a press release. "We intend to improve upon our results. In modern cycling you cannot move forward without strong sponsors.

    "It is in this respect that today is a further milestone in the development of this exciting young project, which has gained the trust of two well-established players in the world of professional cycling. I continue to believe in the bright future of our athletes and have high expectations for the performance of this team. This is a major strategic move for all partners involved."

    Time trial world champion Fabian Cancellara as well as Andy and Fränk Schleck will continue to lead the team in its plans for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. While the complete roster has not been announced, they will be joined by Amgen Tour of California champion Chris Horner, two-time Tour de France runner-up Andreas Klöden, Haimar Zubeldia, and national champions Matthew Busche, Jani Brajkovic, Nelson Oliveira and neo-pros Jesse Sergent and Ben King from RadioShack as well as Robert Wagner, Jakob Fuglsang and Daniele Bennati from Leopard Trek. The team will continue to be based in Luxembourg. Further details in regards to staffing and rosters will be announced on September 15.

    In a statement later...

  • LeMond will ride the Palo Alto Challenge & Gran Fondo

    Greg LeMond at the 1985 Giro where he would land his only final podium appearance (3rd) for the Italian Grand Tour.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2011, 3:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three-time Tour winner goes back to his roots

    At just age 18, American bike racing legend Greg LeMond began his bike racing career in Palo Alto, California. He went on to become the first American to win the Tour de France in 1986, again in 1989, and 1990. LeMond is back to his roots this September 17, 2011 to ride in the Echelon Palo Alto Gran Fondo.

    Greg LeMond will ride the Palo Alto Echelon Gran Fondo, a day-long event including distance cycling rides (65, 80 and 95 miles) as well as a new twist, The Echelon Challenge, a festive lapathon around town for walkers, joggers, striders, and riders. LeMond will lead out rides at 8am alongside Palo Alto's mayor and cycling advocate Sidney Espinosa. Earlier this year, Mayor Espinosa announced that 2011 is the "Year of the Bike" in Palo Alto, as evidenced by the introduction of several new bike-share programs, increasing bike parking and signage throughout the city, and promoting a Safe-Routes-to-School program.

    "What could be better than to have Greg LeMond join us," said Hunter Ziesing, Echelon's executive director. "He is not only an American cycling legend but he is very philanthropic, overcame many obstacles in his own life and is thus supportive of our new Charity of Choice platform." Though fundraising is not required, Echelon recently announced its new platform where participants can submit charities of their own or choose from an array of existing ones to support through fundraising. LeMond also a founding board member of 1in6 foundation, 'a great foundation for a difficult subject' as Greg puts it," Ziesing said. "He is also passionate about promoting exercise as a means to reduce obesity, diabetes and overall heath, and cycling is one of the best ways to achieve this."

    "I am really excited to do the event in Palo Alto. I have a long history with the city that goes back to when I started racing," said LeMond. "Palo Alto Cycles and Avocet were among my first sponsors back in 1979. My first four years of racing were here in...

  • Goss chasing more big results with GreenEdge

    2011 Milan-San Remo champion Matt Goss (HTC - Highroad)
    Article published:
    September 06, 2011, 4:40 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian project lands all-important points with Milan-San Remo winner

    GreenEdge gains the biggest individual points haul of its rider signings to date with today's announcement that Matt Goss will join the project currently bidding for a ProTour licence.

    Goss, 2011 Milan-San Remo winner and only the second Australian to claim one of cycling's monuments, joins GreenEdge from the disbanding HTC-Highroad where he has grown into a world class power sprinter. From his third placing at Gent-Wevelgem and win at Paris-Brussels in 2009 at the end of his time with Saxo Bank, to 2010 where he took out the GP Ouest France – Plouay, Stage 9 of the Giro d'Italia, Stage 1 of the Tour of Denmark and the Philadelphia International all went a long way to proving Goss was worthy of the hype. 2011 has similarly been a boon on the back of the 24-year-old's win at La Primavera with overall victory at the Jayco International criterium series, second at the Australian road championship, runner-up on general classification to Cameron Meyer at the Tour Down Under, stage wins at the Tour of Oman and Paris-Nice, and the Tour of California along with a close second to Edvald Boasson Hagen on Stage 6 of the Tour de France.

    Those results from the last two seasons adds up to a value of at least 326 points – the next best of the GreenEdge signings so far being Robbie McEwen (112) and Simon Gerrans (111). It also goes some of the way to explaining why Goss will be a team leader for GreenEdge - an opportunity he is clearly relishing.

    "There's going to be more pressure as a team leader but I work well with pressure," the Tasmanian said in a team press release. "It's not as if I've come from riding down the back of the bunch to all of a sudden being the protected rider.

    "The...