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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Date published:
February 17, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Young Hosking focused on learning at HTC-Columbia

    Chloe Hosking (Team Columbia-HTC) sprinted to second place in the Australian criterium Championship. She was first-placed under 23 rider and took that title.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 21:50 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    Qatar performance shows 19-year-old's potential

    With her first overseas race as a professional at HTC-Columbia done and dusted, Australia's Chloe Hosking is looking forward to a year of learning with the American squad. Two top six finishes at the Tour of Qatar against some of the world's top sprinters has given Hosking an early season boost.

    "It really does give me a lot of confidence," Hosking told Cyclingnews. "It has cemented the fact that, while I'm 19, I do have the speed to compete with some of the fastest girls in the world. So I'm really looking forward to the season."

    While her international debut with HTC-Columbia in the Middle East was successful, Hosking admitted it's also shown some areas where she's in need of improvement. "I think I can beat them but I've got a lot to learn, which was really evident in Qatar," she said. "I just made a lot of smaller mistakes with timing and positioning that will be easy to fix and once I do hopefully I'll be able to come out on top.

    "Throughout the race I've got to do little things to conserve my energy rather than wasting it in moments that aren't crucial to the race," Hosking added. "It's all learning and at this level of the sport it's so different to when you're just racing in Australia. It will just come with time, I hope."

    Hosking crashed on the final day in Qatar but escaped with just bruising and a little skin loss. With the crash occurring at high speed in the final 150 metres, Hoskings admitted she was lucky to escape without more serious injuries.

    "The photos actually made it look a lot worse than it actually was," she said. "It was just a bit of skin off my knees and some bruises, I was quiet lucky really.

    "My poor parents didn't get my e-mail saying that 'I'm okay, don't look at the pictures,' so all they saw was the pictures," she added. "They were freaking out, ringing everyone they could think of trying to find out how I was."

    Hosking will travel to California in the United States of...

  • Neben adds know how to US squad

    Amber Neben (USA)
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 8:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    US national team one of the best in Kiwi tour

    Former time trial world champion Amber Neben will lead the charge for the US national team at the NZCT Women's Cycle Tour of New Zealand, which begins on February 24.

    The 35-year-old American will head a five-rider squad that includes 2002 women's US Pro champ Jessica Phillips, Janel Holocombe, Shelley Evans and Alison Starnes. Holcombe has prepared for the race in New Zealand by competing in this month's Tour of Qatar

    At a time when race organisers have been announcing the cancellation of women's events, NZCT Women's Cycle Tour of New Zealand director Jorge Sandoval is excited about the standard of teams on display at next week's event. That inclues the NZCT New Zealand team, Rochelle Gilmore’s Lotto line-up, and the best of the Australian teams.

    "The Norwegian, Chinese and Japan teams all have Olympic representatives looking to make an impression here," said Sandoval. "With the number and standard of overseas riders it ensures the NZCT Tour continues to grow in terms of its international profile. All the hard work we have done in the last few years to make people aware of the tour, and the standard of racing, is paying off."

    The NZCT sponsored event starts in the Wairarapa on February 24 with a stage from Martinborough to Masterton. Day two goes over the Pahiatua Track to Palmerston North while the Manawatu hosts day three before returning to Masterton, via the Pahiatua Track, on day four. The final stage is a criterium on Lambton Quay in Wellington on February 28.

  • Tirreno-Adriatico dedicated to Ballerini

    The men behind Tirreno-Adriatico (l-r): Captain Vittorio Alessandro, Michele Acquarone (General Manager, RCS Sport), Alfredo Martini (former director, Italian cycling team), Gianni Valenti (Vice Editor Gazzetta dello Sport), Giuseppe Bellandi (Mayor of Montecatini), Mauro Vegni (Chief of Operations, Giro d’Italia)
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 9:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    RCS Sport will honour deceased Italian cycling legend

    As this year's edition of Tirreno-Adriatico was launched in Montecatini Terme yesterday, race organiser RCS Sport announced that the 2010 race will be dedicated to deceased Italian national team manager Franco Ballerini

    Ballerini died a fortnight ago in a rally accident, where he was navigator for Alessandro Ciardi in the Rally Ronde. The two-time Paris-Roubaix winner has been honoured by Italian riders and race organisers alike, such was his influence in the nation's cycling fraternity.

    RCS Sport and La Gazzetta dello Sport have also launched a new classification for the race in honour of Ballerini called the The 'Fair Play' ranking.

    Assistant manager of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Gianni Valenti, also announced the imminent publication of the book 'Ciao Ballero' dedicated to Ballerini. It will be on sale from February 22. Editors and photographers have worked on the publication for free, with all proceeds from sales of the book to be donated to the Hospital Meyer in Florence.

    The 45th edition of the 'Corsa dei Due Mari' (Race of the Two Seas) features the likes of world champion Cadel Evans, defending champion Michele Scarponi, Samuel Sanchez, plus HTC-Columbia riders Mark Cavendish, Marco Pinotti and Michael Rogers. The 2008 winner, Fabian Cancellara, returns to the race for Saxo Bank whilst his teammate Andy Schleck will also kick off his 2010 campaign at the event.

  • Vorarlberg-Corratec to Langkawi

    Sebastian Siedler showing the wear and tear after a tough day at the office
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 9:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Austrian team to Malaysia for the second year in a row

    Team Vorarlberg-Corratec will make the long journey from Austria to Malaysia for the second year in a row after it was confirmed that the Professional Continental team will ride Le Tour de Langkawi. They will be led by all-rounder Sebastian Siedler and sprinter Rene Haselbacher.

    Siedler, 32, is a former world track champion who also has had numerous successes on the road for teams Wiesenhof, Milram and Skil Shimano. As a pro, he has won numerous races, including Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt in 2004. Last year, he won stages in the Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey and the Post Danmark Rundt for Vorarlberg-Corratec.

    Haselbacher, 33, signed up with Vorarlberg for another season late in the year. He finished in the top ten in three stages at Langkawi last year, but suffered the rest of the season. A crash in the Ronde van Vlaanderen left him with multiple fractures, and in September he was diagnosed with a severe case of mononucleosis. The Austrian previously rode for Gerolsteiner and Astana.

    Le Tour of Langkawi has a UCI ranking of Hors Category, and covers 1013.9km in seven stages. There will be 20 teams, including two local teams, with a total of 120 riders in the race.

    Vorarlberg-Corratec for Le Tour de Langkawi: Sebastian Siedler, Rene Haselbacher, Josef Benetseder, Christoph Sokoll, Rene Weissinger, Philipp Ludescher


  • Ellingworth's debut as Sky race coach

    Wiggins has been working with Ellingworth
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 9:53 GMT
    Richard Moore

    Wiggins, Thomas and Stannard benefit from time trial training

    Rod Ellingworth, the Team Sky race coach, will make his first appearance at a race on Sunday, when he assists sports director Sean Yates at the Vuelta a Andalucia. So far, Ellingworth has focused on the team’s training camps in Valencia and Mallorca, performing his race coaching role remotely, but to good effect, with the new squad notching up four wins in the first five weeks of the season.

    As well as planning lead-out and team time trial formations, Ellingworth is individually coaching many of Team Sky’s twenty-five riders. His is an unusual role, and one that is unlikely to see him spending the bulk of the season in a team car, as he explains.

    “Being sports director in the car isn’t my favourite part of the job,” admits Ellingworth, who previously ran the British under-23 academy, overseeing the early careers of Mark Cavendish, Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift, among others.

    “With the under-23 team I was with the riders constantly, and being in the team car was part of that, but even then I always preferred the training part of the job. I haven’t been to a race yet with Team Sky. We’re just building things at the moment, and it’s been important to focus on that process, so I’ve been in training camps pretty much since the start of the year.

    “But it’ll be good to get in amongst it, because there’s so much you can take in at the races,” he adds. “After Andalucia, where I’ll be second director to Sean, I’ll go to the Tour of Murcia as first director, and then, later in March, the Tour of Catalunya.”

    That will see Ellingworth pair up with Bradley Wiggins as the British star steps up his preparation for the summer. Apart from Team Sky’s two training camps in Valencia, with the last of these finishing this weekend, Ellingworth recently travelled to Mallorca with Wiggins, Thomas and Ian Stannard for a week of specific...

  • Boonen still looking for success in Oman

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) heads to a second stage win.
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 10:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Edvald Boasson Hagen is too strong

    Tom Boonen's began in promising fashion when he claimed two stage wins in the Tour of Qatar, but the Paris-Roubaix winner hasn’t been able to use that form to good effect in the Tour of Oman. Boonen has so far been shut out in the Tour of Oman, finishing no higher than fourth in the first three stages, all of which have ended in sprints.

    His highest finish of fourth came in Tuesday's third stage, and the explanation for not winning was simple. "Edvald Boasson Hagen was too fast for us," Boonen told The young Norwegian with Team Sky cemented his overall lead by easily outsprinting his rivals.

    Quick Step tried to set up the sprint for its former World Champion, but it didn't work out, with Boonen apparently waiting too long to start his sprint. “I don't know where I finished,” he said after the stage.

    According to Directeur Sportif Wilfried Peeters, the other teams have been passing Boonen on both sides in the final sprints. “To avoid this, we formed a sprint train, but of course that's never a guarantee of success.”

    Wednesday's fourth stage is the race's longest, at 187km. There are two serious climbs in the stage, but the last 50 km are flat, so another sprint finish is not out of the question.

  • TT training time for Team Sky

    Thomas Löfkvist puts in an effort on the TT bike.
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 11:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Brailsford and the boys run aero gear in Valencia

    While teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen took out stage three at the Tour of Oman, Sky riders put the squads time trial equipment through the paces in Valencia.

    Under the watchful eye of team manager Dave Brailsford, director of operations Carsten Jeppesen and directeurs sportif Marcus Ljungqvist and Scott Sunderland, the likes of Thomas Löfkvist, Michael Barry, Sylvain Calzati and Morris Possoni ran the team's Pinarello time trial bikes (pictured, right).

    The team has yet to use the equipment in competition, as the Tour of Qatar opening time trial didn't feature aero bikes, although the squad will get its first opportunity to use this gear at the Vuelta a Andalucia, beginning on February 21.

    Team Sky also hit the road for regular training rides around the area as it prepared for Andalucia and the Tour du Haut Var.

    Team Sky for Tour du Haut Var: Michael Barry, Sylvain Calzati, Dario Cioni, Chris Froome, Peter Kennaugh, Nicolas Portal, Morris Possoni and Ben Swift
    Team Sky for Vuelta a Andalucia: Kjell Carlstrom, Steve Cummings, Simon Gerrans, Greg Henderson, Thomas Lofkvist, Serge Pauwels and Bradley Wiggins

  • Swiss drop Ullrich doping investigation

    Germany's Jan Ullrich in 2006
    Article published:
    February 17, 2010, 18:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    No jurisdiction over a retired athlete

    The Swiss have ended their doping-related investigation into Jan Ullrich, taking no action against the retired Tour de France winner. The disciplinary committee of Swiss Olympic ruled that it had no jurisdiction over Ullrich.

    The case stems from Ullrich's alleged involvement with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and Operacion Puerto. Ullrich was suspended by the T-Mobile team the day before the start of the 2006 Tour de France. He retired in February 2007.

    In a statement released Wednesday night, Swiss Olympic said that Ullrich, who has lived in Switzerland for many years, had quit his membership in Swiss Cycling, the national federation, in 2006.

    At the time he left the federation, there were rumours of his involvement in doping, but there was no disciplinary investigations of him ongoing.

    The Swiss Olympic doping statute applies only since January 1 to athletes who have retired. Therefore, the committee said, Swiss Olympic and the disciplinary committee have no jurisdiction to take disciplinary measures against Ullrich.

    Both the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Association have agreed with this interpretation. However, these two parties may appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Swiss Olympic is to bear the costs of the case, and Anti-doping Schweiz must repay Ullrich for his expenses.