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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Date published:
August 05, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • FatCyclist teams up to fight cancer

    Internally routed Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 wires make for a cleaner package.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2009, 12:54 BST
    Cycling News

    LAF fundraiser to give away an Orbea With a Shimano Di2 Build, in partnership with Shimano and Orbea, is holding a fundraiser to benefit the Lance Armstrong Foundation (LAF). The winner of the ten-day (August 4 - 13) contest will become the owner of a true dream bike: an Orbea Orca or Diva (winner's choice), outfitted with the Shimano Di2 group and PRO components, a retail value of approximately $9,600.

    Elden Nelson, who blogs as "Fatty" on, is fundraising for the LiveStrong challenge primarily because his wife of 21 years (the contest ends on their 21st anniversary) is in the final stages of a long-fought battle with breast cancer.

    "I hate cancer and I love cycling," says Nelson. "Raising money for the LiveStrong Challenge feels like I'm taking something awful and making something good. I have firsthand experience with what a great foundation the LAF is, and wanted to do something to help."

    "This is the sexiest contest we've ever had," says Nelson. "I can't imagine any cyclist not wanting this bike. And the fact that you're doing something important - joining the fight against cancer - by entering the contest is gravy."

    Doug Ulman, President & CEO, Lance Armstrong Foundation said, "There are 28 million cancer survivors worldwide - this disease touches virtually everyone. By next year cancer will be the #1 killer in the world and yet most of the world's leaders lack any real plan to fight back. Now is the time to take action. That is why LiveStrong is mobilizing a global grassroots movement to fight cancer with the LiveStrong Global Cancer Campaign."

    Do Something Good, Win a Dream Bike

    The rules for entering the contest are simple: for every $5 donated at Nelson's LiveStrong Challenge page, the donor gets a chance at winning the Orbea Orca with Shimano Di2 components. The winner will be chosen randomly on Thursday, August 13, at Midnight MDT.


  • Sojasun to upgrade to Pro Conti in 2010

    Jimmy Casper (Besson Chaussures - Sojasun) leads the general classification.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2009, 22:08 BST
    Cycling News

    New sponsor raises Tour hopes

    The UCI Continental team Besson Chaussures-Sojasun intends to upgrade to Professional Continental status in 2010 thanks to the signing of a new sponsor, Saur.

    The team of Stéphane Heulot signed on with the water supply company Saur, allowing it to budget for the higher status. The newly renamed Saur-Sojasun team hopes to line up in Rotterdam at the start of the 2010 Tour de France.

    18 to 20 riders are expected to be part of the team next year with Jimmy Casper and Jimmy Engoulvent still on the roster.

    Bretagne-Schuller, the other continental team hailing from Brittany with the current French champion Dimitri Champion, is also rumoured to announce new sponsorship and upgrade to the Pro Continental status soon.

    The elevated status of these French teams may help to fill a gap which could be formed if the Agritubel team does not find a replacement sponsor for the company which announced it would end its sponsorship of cycling at the end of this season.

  • Broken collarbone for Sivtsov

    Kanstantsin Sivtsov (Columbia-HTC) during the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    August 04, 2009, 22:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Crash in Tour of Poland sidelines Columbia rider

    Columbia-HTC's Kanstantsin Sivtsov was forced to drop out of the Tour of Poland after breaking his collarbone in a crash on Monday's second stage.

    "He finished the stage, but went straight to hospital afterwards," said team director Tristan Hoffman. "Today [Tuesday] he flew to Hamburg and doctors confirmed that he has a broken collarbone."

    "We wish him all the best from here for a fast and safe recovery."

    The bad news of the Belarusian's departure was balanced by the team taking over the race lead in Poland. Sprinter Andre Greipel took third place on the stage, but the time bonus was enough to put him into the overall lead. He is tied on time with stage three winner Jacopo Guarnieri (Liquigas), stage one winner Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil) and stage two winner Angelo Furlan (Lampre NGC).

  • Vinokourov backs Contador at Astana

    Alexander Vinokourov (Astana) celebrates victory
    Article published:
    August 05, 2009, 6:46 BST
    Les Clarke

    Kazakh squad wants Spanish star to stay

    Having recently returned to professional cycling, Alexandre Vinokourov has weighed in with a message of support for Alberto Contador following the war of words between the Spaniard and teammate Lance Armstrong. The net result may be Contador staying at Astana for next season.

    Europa Press reports that while Vinokourov has made it clear that Armstrong and team manager Johan Bruyneel would have to accommodate his return or find another team to build - which they have done in recent weeks - the Kazakh rider threw his cards on the table and announced that Contador would be a leader within his outfit next season.

    "The goal is to construct a team around you [Contador]," said Vinokourov. "I would work for him, but the decision belongs to him [whether he wants] to stay."

    In early July Vinokourov had held a press conference in Monaco - in the same hotel as the Astana team - ahead of the Tour de France start to announce his return and declare that the Astana squad would be making room for him in its roster, citing the fact that he had helped establish the outfit.

    His actions effectively alienated Bruyneel from the squad, establishing the 35-year-old Vinokourov as a self-appointed rider-cum-manager.

    Following the end of the Tour, Contador declared that the relationship between himself and Armstrong was "zero", the result of tensions that built throughout the three weeks of the race. While Armstrong and the team continually denied there was a rift between the pair, events after the finish in Paris on July 26 indicated otherwise.

    The two riders traded insults via Twitter and had cycling fans in a twirl as each openly aired his true feelings. While the seven-time Tour winner had to take a back seat to Contador during the race, the battle for hearts and minds was being waged via the social networking website.

    Given the events in Monaco and three weeks later in Paris, Vinokourov's support for Contador is...

  • Quick Step trainee position likely for Robert

    Article published:
    August 05, 2009, 9:42 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Belgian youngster hopes to ride five races for ProTour team

    Belgian Fréderique Robert, 20, is likely to ride as a stagiaire ('trainee') with team Quick Step this autumn. Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere told Cyclingnews yesterday that he would meet with team management to decide whether Robert would be recruited for a trial period with the ProTour-level team.

    "I have to speak with [director sportif] Wilfried Peeters, but I think [he will]," said Lefevere.

    "On Monday I am meeting with someone from Quick Step to confirm things," Robert told Het Nieuwsblad. "I would like to go [with the team] to five races in September and October."

    Robert, from Mol, Belgium, is currently an amateur cyclist. He was a talented junior track rider and won six national track titles, primarily in sprint events.

    Last year, he won a stage of the Triptyque des Monts et Châteaux and, in May this year, he won the Triptyque Ardennaise. Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) and Danny Pate (Garmin-Slipstream) are both former winners of Triptyque Ardennaise.

  • Fractured neck bone for De Ketele

    Kenny de Ketele in action.
    Article published:
    August 05, 2009, 11:18 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    First child born a day later

    Belgian Kenny De Ketele of team Topsport-Vlaanderen has had a dramatic week. After breaking a bone in his neck in a crash at Sunday's Sparkassen Giro he then celebrated the birth of his first child on Monday.

    De Ketele, 24, crashed in Germany's Sparkassen one-day race and fractured a bone in his neck. Doctors cleared him of serious consequences and ruled out a need for surgery. De Ketele's recovery from the injury is expected to take about four weeks.

    The drama of De Ketele's injury had been amplified by an incident involving the ambulance transporting him from the race. On the way to the hospital, the ambulance collided with another vehicle. However, De Ketele did not suffer further injuries.

    His wife, Sara Peeters, had been expected to give birth to the couple's first child later this week, but daughter Lena arrived the day after her father's accident.

    "Maybe the news of his fall had something to do with the early delivery," Peeters told Het Nieuwsblad. "The most important thing is that Kenny and Lena are doing well."

  • Flecha ready for team change

    Juan Antonio Flecha (Rabobank) at the start hopes to make a good race.
    Article published:
    August 05, 2009, 11:19 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Enjoyed four years with Rabobank

    Spaniard Juan Antonio Flecha is ready for a team change after four years with the Dutch Rabobank team. He said yesterday that he expects to have a new contract in the coming month.

    "It's true, I am leaving Rabobank," Flecha told Cyclingnews. "It's the team I have been with the longest. I will be 32 years old at the end of this year and I feel like I need a change; a new team."

    Flecha won once in his time with Rabobank, the 2008 Circuit Franco-Belge. He is one of the best Spanish Spring Classics riders, placing third in the 2008 Ronde van Vlaanderen and second in the 2007 Paris-Roubaix. He said yesterday's reports in Dutch speaking newspapers that he was under-appreciated in the last four years were wrong.

    "They said I am leaving because there is not respect – it is not true. The last four years with Rabobank have been beautiful, there are always ups and downs, but there were more ups than downs."

    Flecha is looking for a new team where he can ride as a captain and co-captain as he did at Rabobank. He said British team Sky is a possibility, but he is waiting until later in the month to confirm his new home.

    "I am not looking for a team where I am the 'big guy'. Even when I raced at Fassa Bortolo I had no problems racing with Fabian Cancellara. I think a team can achieve bigger results when you share your role with other top guys.

    "I have been a leader in the cobbled classics in the last four years, but shared my role with others, like Nick Nuyens and Sebastian Langeveld."

    The only other Spaniard to make the Paris-Roubaix podium before Flecha was Miguel Poblet, in 1958 and 1960. Poblet also won the Milano-Sanremo twice and three stages of the Tour de France.

    Flecha won a stage in the 2003 Tour de France when he was with team When he raced with Fassa Bortolo, from 2004 to 2005, he won the 2004 Championship of Zürich and Giro del Lazio.

  • Pinotti ready for Tour of Ireland defence

    Marco Pinotti (Columbia-Highroad) came straight over after his ride in the Giro D'Italia to race in Philly.
    Article published:
    August 05, 2009, 11:36 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Italian champion looks towards Ireland and Worlds

    Italian Marco Pinotti has entered the second half of his season and said yesterday that he will be ready in two weeks to defend his 2008 Tour of Ireland win.

    "I have returned well after my break," Pinotti told Cyclingnews. "I almost won a stage in the Sachsen-Tour and took a top ten result in San Sebastián on Saturday."

    Pinotti ended the first half of his season in June with his fourth Italian Championships time trial win. He had just finished the three-week Giro d'Italia, where he helped his Columbia team win five stages.

    Pinotti finished 10th behind winner Carlos Barredo in Saturday's rain-soaked San Sebastián in Spain. He is back in Italy and preparing for Ireland with 10-days at high-altitude in Livigno.

    "I did this same altitude training after the Tour de France last year. This year I did not race the Tour, but I hope the training leaves me well for Ireland.

    "The Tour of Ireland will be different this year because it is only three days. There is still that last day to Cork, however, that will change the classification."

    Pinotti was 15th overall in the classification prior to the final stage last year. He rode clear from the other classification favourites in the final 10 kilometres to gain enough time and win the overall by 19 seconds.

    The high-altitude training and Tour of Ireland should leave Pinotti in good form for the season finale. He wants to win the time trial World Championships on September 24 in Mendrisio, Switzerland. His final race prior to the championships will be the Tour of Missouri, in the United States.

    "I went well in the time trial in Missouri last year and I think I can go for the classification this year if I have another good time trial."

    Pinotti finished 38th, after a flat tyre, in the time trial and 14th overall last year. He achieved his highest career placing, 13th, at the World Championships 11 days later.