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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Date published:
August 25, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Swiss name womens' team for road Worlds

    Start line of the elite women's road world championships in 2009
    Article published:
    August 24, 2010, 19:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Last two national road champions to lead team

    Swiss Cycling has named its women's team for the UCI Road World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, September 29 – October 3.

    It will have four women in the road race: Emilie Aubry, Jennifer Hohl, Patricia Schwager and Doris Schweizer. The 21-year-old Aubry, who rides for Cervelo TestTeam, won the national road title this year. Hohl, 24, with Bigla Cycling Team, won the national road title in 2004, 2008 and 2009.

    Schwager, also with Cervelo, and 20-year-old Doris Schweizer will ride both the road race and the time trial.

    2010 Swiss elite women's team for UCI Road World Championships

    Road race

    Emilie Aubry
    Jennifer Hohl
    Patricia Schwager
    Doris Schweizer

    Time trial

    Patricia Schwager
    Doris Schweizer

  • Scott-Marcondes team suspended by UCI

    Luis Carlos Amorim Tavares rolls off the stage
    Article published:
    August 24, 2010, 20:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Brazilian squad struggled to pay its riders

    The UCI has suspended the Scott-Marcondes Cesar-São José dos Campos team from competitive action from August 20 until further notice. The withdrawal of a number of sponsors has caused severe financial difficulties for the Brazilian team, and it had been struggling to pay its riders.

    The team’s suspension from activity comes on the back of complaints from some of its riders that they were owed outstanding wages. Star rider Luciano Pagliarini publicised the issue in June by skipping the Brazilian national championships in protest.

    In a statement released yesterday, the Continental team said that it is “undergoing a complete overhaul for the remainder of the season and may not take part in any events until this situation is resolved.”

    The team also claimed that before the announcement of the UCI suspension, it had already decided internally not to compete in any events until issues such as the lack of funds for travel and its inability to pay wages had been addressed.

    “The team will break with some sponsors who have not fulfilled their financial responsibility,” the statement continued. “The team’s priority is to resolve the issue of riders’ expenses, before deciding whether or not to continue.”

  • Two-fold tactics for Australian Worlds team

    Simon Gerrans (Sky)
    Article published:
    August 24, 2010, 21:28 BST
    Les Clarke

    Combination of climbers and sprinters for all outcomes

    Cycling Australia's national performance director, Shayne Bannan, has indicated his team will go into its home world championships with a "flexible" tactical approach.

    Bannan defended the decisions of the three-man selection panel, saying the balance of the team suits the type of course on offer. "The course does determine the type of rider selected, the composition and the balance in the team that we're after," he told reporters in a press conference.

    He explained that riders who are suited to the "Ardennes Classics, and to a lesser extent, Gent-Wevelgem" were favoured, with the likes of Cadel Evans and Simon Gerrans (pictured right) chosen thanks to their track record in the likes of Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne and Liége-Bastogne-Liége.

    Bannan added that the team's management expects Evans and Gerrans to "play a major role in the world championships", before adding that Heinrich Haussler would also suit the purposes of the selectors, but due to unexpected delays in his rehabilitation he was omitted from the squad.

    In terms of sprinters, Bannan acknowledged the terrific form of Matthew Goss, who has risen to a higher level of international prominence in 2010 thanks to wins at the Giro d'Italia and recently the GP Ouest France-Plouay and Allan Davis, who has entered a promising vein of form during the Tour of Poland and Eneco Tour.

    Asked who would therefore be the protected rider in terms of Australia's strategy going into the event, Bannan explained that the changeable nature of the race and the approach utilised during last year's championship showcase in Mendrisio could be applied on home turf.

    "The race is pretty dynamic and the guys may go into the race in their various roles... [but] a lot can change. And the change is from the honesty from within the group. I saw that last year and without question I'll see that in Geelong."

    Bannan will be at the centre of the team's...

  • Bannan confident in Baden's new role

    Former Tour de France green jersey Baden Cooke has stepped back up from his Professional Continental squad to a ProTour outfit in Saxo Bank for this season.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2010, 2:53 BST
    Les Clarke

    Former Tour green jersey turns worlds domestique

    This season Baden Cooke has undergone the transition from sprinter to trusted domestique and Cycling Australia hopes it can get the best out of him during this year's UCI road world championship elite men's road race on October 3.

    Speaking to reporters following the announcement of the nation's elite men's squad yesterday, Cycling Australia's national performance director, Shayne Bannan, said he's confident Cooke can go the distance and help the team's two sprinters, Allan Davis and Matthew Goss.

    Some have questioned why the man who won the points classification of the 2003 Tour de France was selected as a domestique when he has spent most of his career as a protected sprinter, while the man he narrowly beat for that title in '03, Robbie McEwen, was left out of the squad. Bannan believes the 'Benalla Bullet' will prove vital to Australia's chances of victory, given his change of role this season.

    "Baden Cooke was selected as a worker and solely as a worker, therefore the comparison between him and Robbie [McEwen] is really not significant," said Bannan. "If Robbie went in, he would go as a leader, not a worker. Baden has been selected in this team as a worker, not based on results.

    "When you look at Baden's results, you don't actually see many there - I think his best result this year was 13th in Gent-Wevelgem. We're not looking at results, we're looking at his work rate capacity in the first 200km."

    While Cooke started the season with a new squad that boasted Classics powerhouse Fabian Cancellara, he was hoping to boost the team's sprinting stocks, adding his presence to that of Juan José Haedo and Matti Breschel, who have enjoyed reasonable success in that area over recent years.

    Instead he has evolved into a domestique for sprint stages and the Northern Classics, helping Cancellara to Flanders and Roubaix glory. Bannan explained that it's for this reason Cooke was selected, given the possibility of a...

  • Petacchi returns to CONI for hearing

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) answers question about his links to the police investigation in Italy
    Article published:
    August 25, 2010, 8:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Teammate Bernucci also faces questioning

    Alessandro Petacchi made a return to the offices of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) yesterday as he attended a hearing in relation to the Padua doping investigation.

    He and Lampre teammate Lorenzo Bernucci were summoned for questioning by Tammaro Maiello concerning the investigation by Italian police in Padua into doping; forces raided the Girobio stage race in June, while Petacchi's home was searched in April as part of an investigation by Mantua police. Nothing was found.

    It's believed the accusations of doping stem from phone taps carried into the activities of Brescia-based doctor Filippo Manelli.

    AP reports that Petacchi spent two hours in front of CONI's anti-doping prosecutor, the outcome of which the Italian sprinter said he was pleased. "I think I explained my position and I responded to all the questions they asked me," he explained.

    Bernucci did not speak to members of the media following the conclusion of his questioning.

    Petacchi has been accused of using Pfc (Perfluorocarbon) and human serum albumin. Pfc can be used to increase the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood without raising haematocrit level.

    Its use in the peloton was first rumoured in 1997 as an alternative to EPO, when the UCI introduced "health checks" preventing riders with haematocrit levels in excess of 50 per cent from competing. Human albumin can be used to reduce haematocrit levels.

    Petacchi, who won the green jersey at this year's Tour de France, is hoping to start the Vuelta a España on Saturday but may be prevented from doing so if CONI issues a preliminary ban ahead of a trial before the committee's anti-doping court.

    "I don't know," said the 36-year-old of his chances for a Vuelta start. "It's not up to me."

    Both riders have a checkered past in relation to doping, with Petacchi serving a nine-month ban for Salbutamol use at the 2007 Giro d'Italia and Bernucci testing positive for...

  • RadioShack confirms 20 riders for 2011

    Race leader Haimar Zubeldia rides behind a line of RadioShack teammates.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2010, 9:43 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Bruyneel expects younger team to have 27 riders

    Team RadioShack has confirmed 20 riders for the 2011 season, and expects to have a total of 25 to 27 in the team. However team manager Johan Bruyneel has told the Spanish website Biciciclismo that there will be “very few changes” to the team. 

    19 riders with  the team have contracts for 2011: Lance Armstrong, San Bewley, Janez Brajkovic, Matthew Busche, Ben Hermans, Chris Horner, Markel Irizar, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Geoffroy Lequatre, Tiago Machado, Dmitry Muravyev, Sergio Paulinho, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast, Sebastien Rosseler, Bjorn Selander, Gert Steegmans and Haimar Zubeldia.

    Ivan Rovny is expected to renew his contract shortly, making a total of 20 riders.

    Bruyneel denied rumours that Horner and Brajkovic would be leaving the team. “Of course they will be with us, they have a contract in force,” Bruyneel said.

    The team's contract with Chechu Rubiera ends this year, and the Spaniard has said he would like to stay with the team. However, Bruyneel seems to indicate the team does not feel the same way. “I have yet to hold a conversation with him, so we have not talked about the future,” he told Biciciclismo.

    Further signings would probably focus on younger riders. Negotiations with unnamed riders are underway “but for now we cannot announce anything,” Bruyneel said.

    The three new young riders could be the team's three stagiares who are riding with the team in the final months of the season: Taylor Phinney, Jesse Sergent and Clinton Avery.

  • HTC-Columbia names its Vuelta line-up

    Mark Cavendish (HTC - Columbia) lets everyone know this is his fifth stage victory of the Tour.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2010, 10:13 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Cavendish targets the sprints, Van Garderen makes grand tour debut

    The HTC-Columbia team has named its final line-up for the Vuelta a España, with Mark Cavendish leading an international squad that will support him in the sprints and also target success in the mountain stages later in the race. The USA’s Tejay Van Garderen will make his grand tour debut after an impressive first season with the team, including a third-place overall finish at the Criterium du Dauphiné in June.

    Cavendish will ride the Vuelta for the first time in his career as he prepares for the world championships in Australia. His lead out train will include Bernhard Eisel, Lars Bak and Hayden Roulston, while recent GP Plouay winner Matt Goss could be an alternative to Cavendish in sprint finishes at the end of hillier stages.

    "Our first goal is to get an early stage win with Mark, and then we will see how it goes from there," HTC-Columbia directeur sportif Tristan Hoffman said.

    "He's in really good shape and very focused, to the point that he didn't do any criteriums after the Tour de France. He's going to the Vuelta for the first time and he's taking it very seriously. He knows there's a lot of climbing but he did really well in the mountains in the Tour de France and he will be looking to race as strongly in September as he did in July."

    HTC-Columbia has selected Konstantin Sivtsov and Peter Velits as their hopes for stage victories in the mountain stages.

    "Konstantin and Peter will pick a good day on the climbs and we'll try and take as many wins as possible there too. Tejay is also keen to see what he can do in his first major tour, although he's young and there'll be no pressure on him. So we've got lots of options, and we'll be giving it 100 percent."

    The HTC-Columbia riders will travel to Seville in the south of Spain today. The Vuelta starts with a team time trial on Saturday evening and ends in Madrid on September 19.

    HTC-Columbia for Vuelta a España: Lars Bak (Den);...

  • Andy Schleck rules himself out of world championships

    Tour de France runner up Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank).
    Article published:
    August 25, 2010, 10:18 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Kreuziger prioritises Vuelta over Worlds

    Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) has opted not to ride the world road race championships in Australia. He has instead decided to make the Tour of Lombardy his primary late season objective.

    The Luxembourg Cycling Federation (FSCL) yesterday released a brief statement announcing the decision. “Andy Schleck has just informed the FSCL that he has withdrawn from this year’s world championships and that he aims to round off his season after the Vuelta with a good performance at the Tour of Lombardy.”

    Schleck will start the Vuelta a España on Saturday with the stated intention of supporting his brother Fränk’s ambitions of overall victory. In 2009, he was forced to abandon the Spanish race on stage 8 with stomach cramps.

    The Tour de France runner-up’s withdrawal from the Worlds means that Luxembourg may struggle to fill its allocation of four riders at the event. Fränk Schleck has yet to announce his intentions, but with just a two-week gap to recover between the Vuelta and a world championship on the other side of the globe, his participation may also be in doubt. Kim Kirchen (Katusha) is also ruled out as he has not returned to racing since suffering a cardiac arrest at the Tour de Suisse in June.

    Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien reports that Laurent Didier (Saxo Bank) is also a doubtful participant, and that thus far Ben Gastauer (Ag2r) is the only top-level Luxembourg rider to confirm his desire to travel to Melbourne for the race.

    Meanwhile, Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) has also announced that he will not take part in the Worlds as he wishes to focus his energies on the Vuelta a España, according to AFP.

    “I would not be well prepared for these championships because it would be a problem acclimatising after the Vuelta,” said Kreuziger, who will ride for Astana next season. The Czech Republic will be represented instead by national...