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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Date published:
February 09, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico to start and end with time trials

    The 2011 Tirreno-Adriatico route map
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 21:38 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    The race of the two seas opens with a 16.8km TTT

    Race organiser RCS Sport has unveiled the route of this year’s Tirreno-Adriatico, including an opening team time trial for the very first time. The seven-day race begins on Wednesday March 9 in Marina di Carrara with a 16.8km team time trial and ends on Tuesday March 15 with an individual 9.3km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

    “We’ve never had a team time trial before and it’s an extra spectacular stage,” race director Mauro Vegni told Gazzetta dello Sport. “The idea is to make more of a selection compared to recent editions, when the race was decided by a few seconds.”

    After the opening TTT, the race of the two seas heads south and east across Tuscany for a finish in Arezzo on stage two and then in Perugia on stage three. Both stages seem likely to suit the sprinters.

    Stages four and five are much hillier and longer. Stage four is from Narni to Chieti and ends with several short, steep climbs. Stage five is 240km long between Chieti and Castelraimondo. It includes the 1455m high Sasso Tetto climb before more climbing near the finish. Stage six is a shorter and easier affair between Ussita and Macerata before the final 9.3km individual time trial stage around San Benedetto del Tronto.

    160 riders from 20 leading teams will line-up for the race, including world champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), Tom Boonen (Quick Step), 2010 Milan-Sanremo winner Oscar Freire (Rabobank), Fabian Cancellara and Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek), Daniel Oss (Liquigas-Cannondale), Cadel Evans (BMC), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) and 2010 winner Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone).

  • Cyclingnews' Tour of Qatar race videos

    The bunch on the wide roads of Qatar
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 22:32 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Your one-stop page to access exclusive video from men's and women's Tours of Qatar

    Welcome to Cyclingnews' Tour of Qatar video hub. Enjoy exclusive video content from the Middle East as we capture the daily action from both the Ladies Tour of Qatar, February 2-4, and the men's Tour of Qatar, February 6-11.

    Tour of Qatar

    Stage 5: Sealine Beach Resort - Doha Corniche

    Pre-race interviews with race leader Mark Renshaw and points leader Heinrich Haussler, race highlights

    Stage 4: West Bay Lagoon - Al Kharaitiyat

    Pre-race interviews with Rolf Aldag, Sean Kelly and Mark Cavendish regarding Riccardo Riccò

    Stage 3: Al Wakra - Mesaieed

    Pre-race interview with Heinrich Haussler, race highlights

    Post-race interview with race leader Heinrich Haussler

    Stage 2: Camel Race Track - Doha Golf Club

    Pre-race interview with Juan Antonio Flecha

    Pre-race interview with race leader Tom Boonen, race highlights

    Stage winner Heinrich Haussler interview

    Stage 1: Dukhan - Al Khor Corniche

  • Vacansoleil-DCM manager Luijckx reacts to Riccó news

    Riccardo Riccò cracks a rare smile
    Article published:
    February 09, 2011, 2:07 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Zero tolerance for Italian rider if guilty of transfusion

    Vacansoleil manager Daan Luijckx has promised to act swiftly and decisively with Riccardo Riccó after it emerged the Italian had possibly conducted a blood transfusion and was consequently admitted to hospital on Sunday.

    Luijckx hasn't been able to reach Riccó and his manager and while he's not overly optimistic, he's trying to maintain the appropriate level of impartiality.

    "We have to make do with the news from Italy. The fact that he is not reachable, I find it strange," Luijckx told news agency ANP.

    "We assume it's true. But as a good employer should, we apply both sides to the present situation. We are working hard on it, but it is not easy.

    "At the moment I'm assuming the worst."

    Riccó was given another chance with Vacansoleil-DCM, the team signing him late last year before it heard news of its upgraded ProTeam status.

    He was coming off a 20-month ban after being found guilty of using CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, during which he was infamously kicked off the race. Then-teammate Leonardo Piepoli was also found to have used the banned substance but has since retired.

    Vacansoleil has a zero tolerance policy of doping in the team and Luijckx was pulling no punches when asked what would happen to the rider should he be found guilty of another doping offence.

    "If we get something fixed, it's over for Riccó. A rider like him, who has previously been suspended, he knows that the next mistake [means a] lifetime suspension," said Luijckx.

    "We have all sorts of clauses in the contract which stipulate that it [a doping offence] could incur a substantial fine and damages. That he is going to so much trouble, I cannot understand."

  • Ben Day finds a home with Kenda p/b Geargrinder

    Fly V Australia's team doctor said that if Ben Day were not wearing a helmet, it's likely the Australian would not have survived a traumatic crash that sent him to hospital in yesterday's queen stage.
    Article published:
    February 09, 2011, 3:06 GMT
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Australian all-rounder to lead the team at the Amgen Tour of California

    Ben Day has accepted a contract with US-based Continental team Kenda p/b Geargrinder after a turbulent stint with the widely publicised Pegasus Sports program. The addition of the Australian all-rounder has elevated the team to be one of the nation's strongest stage race contenders for 2011.

    "Bringing Ben Day on board made us, in my eyes, the best team in the country," Kenda p/b Geargrinder General Manager Chad Thompson told Cyclingnews. "The guys are so pumped to have him on board because it makes us a contender for the win no matter where we go. Ben was unanimously desired by everyone on the team. More than that, he was desired by all the sponsors. He has generated tremendous excitement.

    "The news of him coming on board is almost right after we got our surprise invite to race our first Tour of California," he added. "We now have a complete support cast for him to win any stage race in America and I think he can bring us a top ten result at the Tour of California, or higher."

    Day, 33, spent the previous two seasons competing under the Fly V Australia Continental team, managed by Pegasus Sports. He played a large part in the team's overall success, having won titles at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, San Dimas Stage Race, Tour de Beauce and La Visite Chrono De Gatineau in North America. He is also a former Australian time trial national champion in 2003 and stage winner at the Tour Down Under, Volta ao Alentejo and the Boulevard Road Race.

    Pegasus Sports' Chief Executive Officer Chris White hired a number of former Fly V Australia riders to his proposed Pegasus Sports ProTeam program, including Day, Bernard Sulzberger, Jonathan Cantwell, Aaron Kemps, Jai Crawford, Darren Lill, Jay Thomson and Phil Zajicek.

    However, the UCI refused to issue the team a ProTeam, Professional Continental or the Continental license it requested due to a lack of funding after the outfit failed to secure a main financial backer.

    ...
  • Kemps calls Fly V home for another year

    Aaron Kemps (Fly V Australia) gets his breath back after taking a stage victory.
    Article published:
    February 09, 2011, 3:31 GMT
    By:
    Les Clarke

    Australian keen to get back to European racing

    Experienced Australian rider Aaron Kemps will spend another year riding for the Fly V team in the US and Asia following the demise of the Pegasus Sports program which had ProConti aspirations and could have seen him riding in Europe this season.

    Those same aspirations had prompted the former Astana rider and 2010 Australian criterium champion to sign for Chris White's outfit, although when the milk went sour during January, he was facing the prospect of unemployment and retiring from the sport.

    "If I didn't get this ride, I would have had to hang up the bike because we have a 16-week-old child and he's got to be fed," Kemps told Cyclingnews from his home in Queensland, Australia.

    "I'll be riding with the Fly V team again this year and we hope to race in America and Asia; it was either this or nothing. You'd maybe get a start if you were willing to race for nothing but trying to find a job in January is different to September."

    Kemps won seven races last season, including three stages of the Tour of China, and he hopes to repeat those kind of performances with a racing programme that allows him to demonstrate his strengths.

    "I was speaking to [directeur sportif] Henk [Vogels] recently about race programmes and he said he was behind where he'd normally be at this time of year but he's working on getting to plenty of races," Kemps said.

    "We're also trying to get starts in the Tour of Taiwan, the Tour of Qinghai Lake and the Tour of Japan," he added.

    Among the Asian events the team could ride are the aforementioned trio of races, plus the Tours of China and Hainan, where the squad enjoyed success last year, in addition to the Singapore Professional Criterium, where Ben Kersten, Jonathan Cantwell and young gun Scott Law will compete.

    And speaking of Cantwell, Kemps said his fellow Queenslander was also in a frustrating situation, having received offers to ride for teams before the advent of the Pegasus...

  • Androni Giocattoli continues dominance at Tour de Langkawi

    Tour winner Jonathan Monsalve celebrates his victory with Androni Giocattoli teammates in KL.
    Article published:
    February 09, 2011, 3:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian squad builds for Giro d'Italia

    Jonathan Monsalve's victory in the recently-concluded Le Tour de Langkawi was the fifth overall victory in the race for his team, Androni Giocattoli. Gianni Savio's Professional Continental squad won the race in 2002 with Hernan Dario Munoz, 2004 with Freddy Gonzalez, 2008 with Ruslan Ivanov and 2009 through Jose Serpa.

    In the 2009 edition, the team dominated the race, picking up five stage wins - four of which were through Mattia Gavazzi and the other by Jose Serpa. They also won the general classification, king of the mountains, points and team competitions.

    They didn't participate in 2010 because the race was in March and team manager Savio told Cyclingnews why they didn't travel to Malaysia.

    "As the Tour was in March, it coincided with our most important races: Tirreno-Adriatico and Milan-San Remo. I like the Tour de Langkawi but for me it would not be right to participate with a second team. If I come to Malaysia, I want to be competitive."

    The team's return to the race this year was a successful one, this time through Monsalve, a 21-year-old Venezuelan neo-pro.

    "I am very happy for the victory because Monsalve is a young rider and it's his first race in professional cycling. It's a great beginning to his career," said Savio.

    Team goals for 2011

    Savio has highlighted two major goals this season with the Giro d'Italia being the main priority. They have enjoyed success in the past and Savio believes they have always honoured the Italian Grand Tour.

    "In the past few years we have won stages. We finished fourth overall last year, we won the king of the mountains twice with Freddie Gonzalez and in 2005 we got on the podium when Jose Rujano finished third."

    One...

  • BikeRadar UK storefinder is now live

     BikeRadar storefinder is now live
    Article published:
    February 09, 2011, 10:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Looking for a bike shop but don't know where to turn?

    Cyclingnews is proud to introduce the BikeRadar UK storefinder which you can find at bikeradar.com/storefinder.

    It's easy to use: just type in a place name or a post code into the search box and you'll be given all the bike shops nearby. Click on one to get its address and location on the map. Then you can zoom in and out using the + / - buttons.

    You can also filter your search results by brand stocked. At this stage it's Shimano stockists only, but more will be added very soon.

    The BikeRadar storefinder is perfect if you're unfamiliar with an area as we have nearly 2000 bike shops in our database. But even if you know your area well, you might find some hitherto undiscovered options.

    Currently the BikeRadar storefinder works for locations in the United Kingdom and Ireland only, but we aim to expand this into other territories soon.

    If you have a shop and and would like to have it listed in the storefinder, please email Steve Hulbert at Future Publishing.

     

  • Tough 2011 Tour de Suisse includes three mountain finishes

    Picture postcard scenery for the riders at the Tour de Suisse
    Article published:
    February 09, 2011, 10:11 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Stage race opens and closes with time trials

    The Tour de Suisse will be shorter but more challenging this year, with three mountain top finishes and two time trials. The race will held between June 11-19 and visit every region of Switzerland and also dip into both Liechtenstein and Austria. Fränk Schleck won the 2010 Tour de Suisse, beating Lance Armstrong by just 12 seconds.

    “Once again we have put together a great course for the Tour de Suisse 2011,” said the race's sport director, Beat Zberg, said at the official presentation. “It will be a challenging tour for the riders.”

    The race is celebrating its 75th anniversary and will open and close with time trials. The first stage is 7.3km long around Lugano and includes a two-km climb. The closing stage is a 32.1km time trial around Schaffhouse and also includes a climb.

    The second stage features two major climbs, the hors category Nufenpass (2478m) and the finish at the ski resort of Crans-Montana. It is followed by the “short but painful” third stage from Brig-Glis to Grindelwald, just 107.6km long. Roughly halfway through, the peloton will climb the category one Grimselpass. This is immediately followed by the hors category Grosse Scheidegg. No mountain top finish here, as the finish is after a descent.

    Two stages for the sprinters follow, before the queen stage from Tobel-Tägerschen to Triesenberg/Malbun in Liechtenstein. A bumpy course over 157.7km includes two category three climbs in the second half of the stage, before taking on the final nine km climb up to the 1600m high mountain finish.

    Stage seven takes the riders from Liechtenstein to Austria and is the longest stage of the race, at 222.8km, and is also the final mountain finish. ...