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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Date published:
August 18, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Updated: UCI announces qualified countries for road worlds

    The scene at the start of the 2009 Elite men's World Championship road race.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 19:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Rider quotas for Elite men, Elite women and U23 men revealed

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today the list of qualified countries and their respective quota of riders in the Elite Men, Elite Women and Under 23 Men categories for the road races at the upcoming UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, September 29-October 3.

    Elite men road race

    9 starters (from 14 qualifiers): Spain, Italy, Belgium, Australia, United States Of America, Russian Federation, Switzerland, Germany, Netherlands
    7 starters (from 9 qualifiers): France, Slovenia
    6 starters (from 14 qualifiers): Kazakhstan
    6 starters (from 9 qualifiers): Morocco, Colombia, Venezuela, Islamic Republic of Iran, Poland, Portugal, Ukraine, Denmark
    4 starters (from 5 qualifiers): Luxembourg
    3 starters (from 5 qualifiers): South Africa, Canada, Brazil, Argentina, Japan, Korea, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Lithuania, Estonia, Ireland, Norway, Great Britain, Austria, Serbia, New Zealand, Slovakia
    2 starters (from 3 qualifiers): Belarus, Sweden
    1 starter (from 2 qualifiers): Uzbekistan, Cuba, Bolivia, Uruguay, Chile, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Latvia, Greece, Romania

    Australia won't get to start 10 riders despite having the outgoing champion Cadel Evans. The UCI's rule of starting the outgoing Olympic or world champion in the elite men's championship only applies where a country hasn’t already qualified, which Australia has under the nation ranking system.

    Elite women road race

    7 starters (from 14 qualifiers): Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Great Britain, United States Of America
    6 starters (from 12 qualifiers): Sweden, Australia, Lithuania, Belgium, Russian Federation, New Zealand, Canada, France, Switzerland, Ukraine
    5 starters (from 10 qualifiers): South Africa, People's Republic of China, Korea, Estonia, Denmark

    The outgoing world...

  • UCI still investigating two passport cases

    Pat McQuaid confirms suspects of passport programme
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 21:04 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Corrects Wall Street Journal "mystery" story

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) issued a press release today stating that it is still in the process of investigating two riders who showed abnormal blood passport values.

    In the statement, the UCI responded to a Wall Street Journal article published on August 7, 2010 which speculated that the sport's governing body might be shielding riders from disciplinary action.

    The UCI called the article, which was titled, "The Mystery of the Five Missing Tests" an "unfair attack", and defended itself against insinuations that the sport has "failed to aggressively police itself".

    The article cites a statement by UCI president Pat McQuaid which revealed that eight riders had been flagged by the expert panel that analyses all the blood passport data as having suspicious values.

    According to the latest UCI statement, the correct number of riders who were flagged by the panel is six, not eight.

    Three riders, Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas), Tadej Valjavec (AG2R La Mondiale) and Jesús Rosendo Prado (Andalucía-CajaSur) were named in May and are in the midst of disciplinary proceeds.

    The UCI stated that a fourth rider tested positive and has been suspended, "which is why it was not necessary to open a procedure on the base of his passport".

    For two other riders "the procedure is still in progress", the statement said. "The time lapse between the discovery of an abnormal profile and the opening of a disciplinary proceedings is sometimes longer than one would like, but that is mainly because the biological passport is an avant-garde, sophisticated tool, which the UCI is the first Federation to have introduced," it continued.

    The article also reported that the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has taken steps to monitor the blood and urine profiles collected as part of the UCI's passport system, and quoted president David Howman as saying, "Our job is to make sure the system isn't being...

  • Fröhlinger signs for Skil-Shimano

    Johannes Frohlinger and Rinaldo Nocentini racing toward the end of stage seven.
    Article published:
    August 18, 2010, 9:46 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman Bonnet switches to FDJ

    Skil-Shimano have announced the addition of Johannes Fröhlinger to their roster for the 2011 season. The German rider had been strongly linked with a move to Skil-Shimano in recent weeks and he has signed a one-year contract with the Dutch-based team.

    25-year-old Fröhlinger turned professional with Gerolsteiner in 2007 before moving on to Milram last season. He is the second rider to move from Milram to Skil-Shimano in recent days, following in the footsteps of his compatriot Roger Kluge. Milram have yet to confirm a sponsor for the 2011, although they have applied for a ProTour licence for next season.

    ‘We have been monitoring Johannes Fröhlinger for a while now,” said Skil-Shimano general manager Iwan Spekenbrink. “We’ve known him since his time with the espoirs. He is a perfect fit for our team.”

    Fröhlinger’s most notable performance in the professional ranks to date was third-place finish on the stage to Andorra-Arcalis in the 2009 Tour de France, while in 2008 he was edged out by Pavel Brutt for a stage win at the Giro d’Italia.

    In other transfer news, William Bonnet will switch from BBox-Bouygues Telecom to the La Française des Jeux team for the 2011 season. According to, the Frenchman has agreed on a two-year contract with FDJ.

    Bonnet had previously been linked with a move to rejoin his former Credit Agrigole teammate Thor Hushovd at Cervelo TestTeam, but he has instead opted to stay in France with Marc Madiot’s squad. The 28-year-old has enjoyed his best season to date in 2010, winning a stage of Paris-Nice and finishing tenth at the Tour of Flanders.

    Under the new transfer rules created by the UCI this year, riders and teams can announces new contracts in a so-called transfer period that runs from August 1 to October 20.

  • Dan Martin to ride the Tour of Britain

    Daniel Martin (Garmin-Transitions) wins in Varese
    Article published:
    August 18, 2010, 10:41 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    HTC-Columbia likely to field Renshaw and Greipel

    Dan Martin will lead the Garmin-Transitions team at the Tour of Britain in September as part of a line-up that includes sprinters Robbie Hunter and Murilo Fischer.

    The 23-year-old Irishman is one of the most successful riders of the summer, having recently won the Tour of Poland. On Tuesday he also won the prestigious Tre Valli Varesine one-day race in Italy with a late solo attack.

    Also in the Garmin line-up for The Tour are brothers Travis and Cameron Meyer, respectively the current Australian National Road Race and Time Trial champions. Cameron is also the current World Champion in the Team Pursuit, Madison and Points Race disciplines on the track. Reserves for the Garmin-Transitions team are Timothy Duggan; Ricardo Van der Velde; Johan van Summeren.

    Nine teams have now announced their provisional rider line-ups for The Tour of Britain: AN Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team, Endura Racing, Garmin-Transitions Pro Cycling Team, Motorpoint-Marshalls Pasta, Rapha-Condor-Sharp, Sigma Sport-Specialized, Sky Professional Cycling Team, Team Raleigh and Team Saxo Bank.

    HTC-Columbia is also expected to ride the Tour of Britain, with sprinter’s Andrei Greipel and Mark Renshaw possible team leaders as they prepare for the world championships in Australia. Mark Cavendish is not likely to be in the team and is scheduled to ride the Vuelta Espana instead.

    Team Saxo Bank has already revealed its provisional line-up, with Britain’s Jonathan Bellis set to compete again after recovering from near-fatal scooter accident in Italy that left him in a coma. Also in the line-up are Lucas Sebastien Haedo, Frank Høj, Jonas Aaen Jorgensen, Jaroslav Marycz and Alex Rasmussen.

    Team Sky has also named its provisional line-up, which includes Bradley Wiggins, Steve Cummings; Russell Downing; Matthew Hayman; Greg Henderson and Geraint Thomas.

    A total of 17 six-man teams will compete in this year’s race. The eight-day...

  • Pereiro almost certain to sit out Vuelta

    Article published:
    August 18, 2010, 11:19 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Hand injury might result in premature retirement

    Oscar Pereiro says that he is almost certain to miss the Vuelta a España due to a hand injury that is preventing him from training. The 2006 Tour de France champion has been told that he requires surgery to remove a lump that has formed between the metacarpal bones in his right hand. The injury stems from his horrific crash off the road while descending the Colle d’Agnello at the 2008 Tour.

    “The Vuelta is pretty much out of the question,” Pereiro told El Faro de Vigo. As a last hope, Pereiro is set to visit the holy shrine at Fátima after conventional treatment failed to resolve the problem.

    “The race is only 10 days away and I can’t see any possibility of making it,” Pereiro confirmed. The Astana rider had hoped that ultrasound and massage treatment might enable him to delay the problem that flared up after he hit a pot-hole during the recent Tour of Poland. The pain is now so severe that the Spaniard cannot grip the bars with his right hand when riding.

    Pereiro was hoping to finish his career with a competitive performance at his national tour, but is now considering calling a premature halt in order to have surgery on his hand. His doctor has told him that the procedure is not complicated and should require a minimum of time for recuperation. But he has also told Pereiro that there is not sufficient time remaining before the Vuelta to allow that surgery and recuperation.

    Indications are that Pereiro may now pull down the curtain on his career at the prestigious Valencia criterium on October 3, where a special tribute is planned to pay homage to his career. Beyond that his future is uncertain, although the Faro de Vigo reports that he has been in talks with Astana about taking up a role as a directeur sportif.

  • Bettini critical of Italians at Tre Valli Varesine

    Italian manager Paolo Bettini was able to check out the form of his riders close up at the Tre Valli Varesine
    Article published:
    August 18, 2010, 15:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Leadership of Italian worlds team still undecided

    New Italian national coach Paolo Bettini was never one to mince his words and has criticised many of the riders that he is considering for the Italian national squad after they allowed Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions) to steal the glory at Tuesday’s Tre Valli Varesine race.

    Martin attacked with Domenico Pozzovivo (CSF-Colnago) in the final stages and dropped him on the rise to the finish line in Varese. Before then Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) had taken turns to attack but quickly chased each other down. Martin then timed his move perfectly and he was allowed to jump clear, denying the Italian riders a prestigious win on home roads.

    “They’ve thrown this race away,” Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I know there are team strategies at play as well but it’s a pity when Italian riders mark each other too much and leave space to the foreign riders.”

    Bettini was disappointed by one tactical failing in particular that would be fatal to Italy’s hopes of a rainbow jersey if repeated by his charges in Australia. “The Italians have to understand who their most dangerous rivals are,” he said. “I’d never have let Martin get away. He won the Tour of Poland ten days ago, they know he is one of the men who is most in form at the moment. I’m not saying they gave it to him, because he is strong, but they certainly made it easier for him.”

    The form of Damiano Cunego is also a concern for the Italian coach. “For the Worlds, I’d need the real Damiano, not a Damiano half in form,” Bettini said. “He battled, but with the polish of his golden days he would have entertained us in a finale like that.” Cunego led the Italian team at the world championships in Mendrisio last year, finishing in 8th place.

    The leadership of the Italian squad for this year’s race is still up for...

  • Aldag says Van Garderen will ride Vuelta without pressure

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    August 18, 2010, 18:01 BST
    Barry Ryan

    HTC-Columbia manager also plans to strengthen Cavendish's train for 2011

    Team HTC-Columbia manager Rolf Aldag has confirmed that Tejay Van Garderen will start the Vuelta a España but says the young American will race without any obligation to finish the race. Aldag also indicated that Mark Cavendish will remain at the team in 2011 and he spoke of his plans to bolster the Manxman's lead-out train.

    “The Vuelta will be a learning process for Tejay,” Aldag told Cyclingnews. “We have to be careful with a young rider like him. There was a lot of internal discussion in the team about whether or not to send him to the Vuelta. Of course he wants to show himself, but it’s a grand Tour, it’s three weeks of racing and we don’t want to kill him.”

    Van Garderen has impressed throughout his first season with HTC-Columbia. He was third at the Criterium du Dauphiné in June and has just finished fourth at the Tour de l’Ain race in France.

    Aldag said that the 22-year-old American will ride the Vuelta primarily to gain experience. “The most important thing is that he doesn’t come out of the Vuelta with the impression that he can’t do a race like that,” he explained. “Tejay will have the freedom to do everything, and that includes quitting the race after ten days if he feels tired.”

    Van Garderen surprised many with his strong showing at the Criterium du Dauphiné but for Aldag, the most pleasing aspect of the American’s year has not been his peaks so much as his lack of troughs. Unusually for such a young rider, Van Garderen has ridden consistently throughout his debut season with HTC-Columbia.

    “It’s surprising how stable he’s been the whole season. Often a young, talented rider will perform well, race on a good level for a little bit and then disappear, but not Tejay,” Aldag said. “He started off well at the Volta ao Algarve and just continued from there....

  • Boonen on course for late season return

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    August 18, 2010, 20:17 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian will miss Vuelta and Worlds

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) has returned to training on the road and is aiming to make his comeback to racing at the end of September, according to Quick Step team doctor Yvan Van Mol. The Belgian underwent knee surgery on July 15 after knee ligament trouble prevented him from riding the Tour de France.

    “He can now train daily and is doing rides in Monaco of two hours without pain or irritation,” Van Mol told Gazet van Antwerpen. “I had him on the phone on Tuesday and he sounded happy.” Boonen first returned to training in early August with a thirty-minute session on a stationary bike and has made steady progress since.

    Boonen will miss both the Vuelta a España and the World Championships, but Van Mol anticipates that the former rainbow jersey wearer will be back in action before the end of the season. “We hope he’ll be able to ride the Circuit Franco-Belge (which starts on September 30) and Paris-Tour. If he can get back sooner, that would be a complete bonus,” said Van Mol.

    It has been a difficult 2010 campaign for Boonen. He has suffered throughout the year from knee trouble and was powerless to stop Fabian Cancellara’s domination of the cobbled classics in April. His problems were compounded by crashes at the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse.

    Meanwhile, Quick Step has looked to strengthen their line-up for next season. The team was heavily linked to Riccardo Riccò before he went to Vacansoleil, and has already confirmed the signings of Marc de Maar and Francesco Chicchi for 2011. Double Tour de France stage winner Sylvain Chavanel has also re-signed with Patrick Lefevere’s outfit for next year.