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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Date published:
August 10, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Pinotti on the slow road to recovery

    Marco Pinotti drove the pace in the final kilometer
    Article published:
    August 09, 2011, 22:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    HTC-Highroad rider hints he has found a new team for 2012

    Marco Pinotti (HTC-Highroad) is on the road to recovery after fracturing his hip at the Giro d'Italia but true to character, the Italian is able to see the bright side of his long spell out of the saddle.

    He spent more than a month in hospital and then several weeks in bed and on crutches, before finally getting back on his bike 10 days ago. He hopes to race again, perhaps for one last time with his HTC-Highroad team before the end of the season, but knows he has to be patient so that he can return to the Giro d'Italia in 2012 with his new team.

    "When you've been off the bike for a month, it takes two month to get fit again. I was off the bike for two and a half months and so I need five months to be competitive again. But I'm not ruling out anything. My determination is my best medicine," he told Gazzetta dello Sport after a short training ride near his home in Bergamo, near Milan.

    "I've ridden my bike eight times so far and six of them were alone. I'm not bothered about training alone because its actually helping me listen to my body. I've got to get the my muscle tone back first of all. I've lost a centimetre and 2.5 centimeters in the circumference of my legs. I'm also having physiotherapy and will do some gym work later. It's a long process but any improvement gives you moments of happiness."

    Pinotti revealed that he watched a lot of the stages of the Tour de France as he recovered from his injuries.

    "The last few days were amazing but I also enjoyed the sprint stages," he said. "[Mark] Cavendish is so strong that he's in the headlines even when he loses. He's very demanding, critical but responsible and able to motivate even teammates like Velits and Martin who were going the GC."

    Stunned by the demise of...

  • Duggan looking to shine in Utah

    Brent Bookwalter (BMC) and Tim Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) lead the day's main break.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 2:13 BST
    Laura Weislo

    American has not re-signed with Liquigas-Cannondale

    Twenty-eight-year-old Timothy Duggan is looking to the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah as a place to get results and perhaps catch the eye of a team manager or two. He confirmed to Cyclingnews that he has not re-signed with the Italian Liquigas-Cannondale team, which he joined this season after leaving a six-year stint with the Slipstream organisation.

    Duggan got off to a good start in the prologue in Park City, finishing in 27th place, 20 seconds down on stage winner Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia).

    "I just came off a big block of training in Colorado, and it was excellent preparation for the Tour of Utah and the Colorado race," Duggan said.

    Duggan said he has been doing his job as a good domestique for the Liquigas-Cannondale team, but that he is looking for some freedom to race for his own results here and in his home state of Colorado at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    The relative lack of such opportunities on the Italian squad led Duggan to look for greener pastures, with the two domestic races acting as a proving ground for his talents.

    "Utah has an amazing variety of stages - every stage favors a rider with different strenghts, there's something for everyone," he said.

    Duggan is targeting the 14.5km time trial stage and the Salt Lake City circuit on the penultimate stage as venues in which to showcase his strengths, as well as helping their sprinter Elia Viviani on the second stage.

  • Weening joins GreenEdge

    Pieter Weening (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 2:15 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Dual Grand Tour stage winner leaves Rabobank

    GreenEdge have secured the services of Pieter Weening from Rabobank, the Dutchman having ridden for the outfit since turning pro in 2004.

    Weening won Stage 5 of this year's Giro d'Italia, triumphing by eight seconds after 23km of strade bianche. He then went on to wear the pink jersey for four days. He rose to prominence in 2005 with his first Grand Tour stage victory at the Tour de France, besting Andreas Klöden on Stage 8.

    Weening said in a statement provided by GreenEdge that while it was a "priviledge" to ride for Rabobank, he was looking forward to the new opportunities that could present themselves with GreenEdge.

    "But it's now time for the next stage in my career and joining GreenEdge is a great new opportunity for me to help build a team and pursue my own ambitions.

    "I'm also looking forward to being part of a team from Australia, which is one of the most exciting cycling countries in the world. They can't be producing so many promising young cyclists without doing something right."

    GreenEdge General Manager Shayne Bannan explained that the Dutchman would be a real asset to the team.

    "Being able to win at the two biggest tours in the world doesn't come by chance, particularly when you look at the quality of the victories across such difficult terrain," he said.

    "Pieter brings great climbing qualities for our grand tour ambitions and also has plenty to offer in the one day classic, where we'll be aiming to make a mark.

    "A key factor in going after Pieter and getting him to sign with the team is he's at a great point in his career. He's been in the professional peloton for eight seasons yet is only 30 years of age. This is the perfect balance of experience while still being his...

  • Ivan Dominguez comes out of retirement

    Ivan Dominguez couldn't stay away from the professional racing scene for long.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 4:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Sprinter to lead newly formed MRI Performance / Franco Bicycles team

    After a brief retirement Ivan Dominguez has announced that he will ride with the newly-formed MRI Performance / Franco Bicycles presented by Win's Wheels Racing Team through the remainder of 2011. The former Saturn, UnitedHealthCare, Colavita and Toyota United rider will bring experience to the team as it finalises plans to field a UCI Continental team in 2012.

    Cyclingnews reported Dominguez retirement in late 2010, but after a brief break, the Cuban-American became excited about the prospect of racing again.

    "I know a lot of people have no idea why I stopped racing," said Dominguez. "After 20 years on the saddle, racing everywhere, and some really nice wins, I decided to take time off and retire. My wife and son had been there for me all that time and I wanted to spend more time with them, my family.

    "But when the Tour of California came around, I texted Chris Horner to congratulate him on winning stage 4. He texted me back with a thank you, and told me that I should get back on the bike and be out there kicking butts too. It was really then that I started thinking that maybe I should start riding again."

    "I figured that if nothing else, I would ride for fun."

    "The guys at Franco have a team that is sponsored by MRI Performance and they mentioned that they were looking to move up to the Pro class for the rest of 2011 and asked me to be a part of it. I said let's do it. The timing was right it all fell in to place."

    Dominguez originally rode for his native Cuba on the track before defecting to the USA program in 1998. His rise to prominence saw him take wins at almost every race on the American racing calendar including the Tour of Missouri, Tour of California and Tour de Georgia.

    In 2009 he had a brief stint in Europe with the ill-fated Fuji-Servetto...

  • Tactics heat up after Utah prologue

    Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia) stands victorious on the podium
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 6:06 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Top teams battle for the overall classification

    The UCI 2.1 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah’s uphill prologue generated the potential for some exciting racing as the peloton heads deeper into the high-altitude Wasatch Mountain Range around Salt Lake City. Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia) leads the way in the overall classification and he is expecting tough competition from the assembled group of international and high-quality riders and teams during the next five stages.

    “Wearing the yellow jersey into the first stage, we have to be patient because there are strong teams here,” Henao said. “There are a lot of stages in the mountains. We have to play day-by-day and we have to go by a plan each day. I think it was a big surprise for me, and for other teams, that I won the prologue.”

    Henao won the two-kilometre prologue in a time of 4:05 minutes, besting Francisco Mancebo ( by two seconds and teammate Oscar Sevilla by five seconds. There are a series of climbers who recently participated in the Tour de France who are trailing Henao’s overall lead including Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) in fourth, Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) in fifth, Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) in sixth and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo).

    “There are a lot of good teams here like RadioShack, Garmin, HTC and others,” Henao said. “We are a modest team and in competition with other really good teams. We are here to do a great show for the people and to make a great accomplishment and fight until the last minute every day.”

    Leipheimer, who is the defending champion, expressed slight disappointment in his performance during the prologue but noted the mix of riders at the top of the early general classification. The mix of riders...

  • Report: Renshaw to be number one sprinter at Rabobank

    Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) takes stage four of the Tour of Qatar
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 7:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch squad outbids Sky for Australian's services

    Sky has reportedly been beaten to the punch by Rabobank to sign Mark Renshaw for the next two seasons, outbidding the British outfit.

    According to De Telegraaf, Renshaw will head to next year’s Tour de France as Rabobank’s appointed sprinter. The report cites the Dutch bank’s growing interests in the Australian market as a catalyst for the 28-year-old’s recruitment. Sources close to Renshaw had informed Cyclingnews earlier this week that he and Mark Cavendish were both Sky-bound in 2012.

    Cyclingnews contacted Rabobank for comment however a spokesman said that nothing would be confirmed "until a deal is signed."

    De Telegraaf also reports that another HTC-Highroad rider looking for a new home, John Degenkolb is close to reaching an agreement with Leopard Trek. The Luxembourg team is also believed to be courting Tony Martin.

  • Fleeman tips Cavendish for Olympic Games test event

    Dan Fleeman works hard for the Raleigh boys in his second year with the team.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 10:03 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Raleigh rider expects a sprint finish on sunday

    Dan Fleeman has tipped Mark Cavendish as the favourite to win this weekend’s Olympic test event in London, but said that he and his Raleigh team will be looking to animate the race.

    Sunday’s race will see a number of national teams from Australia, GB, Germany, Italy, France, and Australia take part in a dress rehearsal for next year’s London Olympic Games road race. For the British domestic teams like Raleigh it will be a rare opportunity to test themselves against the likes of Cavendish, Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Haussler.

    “It’s something quite special to say you’ve been part of. Obviously to be able to preview the Olympic course in your own country, not everyone is going to get that opportunity, so I’m looking forward to it,” Fleeman told Cyclingnews. 

    “It’s a really high level field and it’s almost like a ProTour race. It’s a shorter distance but there are certainly some very good riders there and some of those guys come to the race having done the Tour de France so it’s going to tough but I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

    “Daniel Lloyd used to live up near there and I went training with him there a few times. We stopped at the top and had scones and jam, I can’t really see that happening on Sunday, but in the Olympic race next year they go up it nine times and that’s going to cause problems but in the test event they’ll only do it twice.”

    Fleeman, who has raced with Raleigh for the last two seasons and with Cervelo TestTeam in 2009 is considering his options for next year after a strong season. Domestically he has competed in a number of Premier Calendar races, picking up top 10 places in each event he has raced in. However his standout performance came on Canadian soil when he finished eighth overall at the Tour de Beauce.

    This weekend’s...

  • Degenkolb to reveal his 2012 team during the Vuelta

    John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 11:04 BST
    Daniel Benson

    German sprinter finalizing new contract after the demise of HTC-Highroad

    John Degenkolb has decided on his team for 2012 but has not signed a contract, his agent has confirmed to Cyclingnews.

    Degenkolb has been linked to Skil-Shimano and on Tuesday the team’s manager Iwan Spekenbrink, told Cyclingnews that any official announcement would be made through official channels and at the appropriate time. The 22 year-old German sprinter joined HTC-Highroad this year and has won five races, including two stages at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    We understand that the rider’s future will be finalised in the coming weeks with an announcement made on the first rest day at the Vuelta Espana.

    “John has decided about his future and I hope we can sign a contract in the next two weeks. At the moment there are just a few little things that we need to agree on with the new team. No contract has been signed just yet but he’s made a decision on where he wants to go so in my opinion it’s all settled,” Werner told Cyclingnews.

    Werner also represents both Marcel Kittel and Tony Martin. Kittel is already part of Skil-Shimano and will ride the Vuelta, while Martin is currently on the market after the HTC-Highroad team released their riders after failing to find a new sponsor.

    On Tuesday Cyclingnews also reported that Martin was in negotiations with Skil, something Werner confirmed.

    “Things a little bit more difficult with Tony. There are more teams interested in him but I think that he’s looking between two or three teams but he needs to make a decision in the next few days.”

    When asked if Degenkolb...