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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Date published:
January 06, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Freire to continue into 2011

    Oscar Freire will return for 2010 with Rabobank.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 12:24 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Spaniard rethinks retirement plans, will start Giro d'Italia for first time

    Rabobank sprinter Oscar Freire has decided that if all goes well this season he will not retire at the end of 2010 as he had previously stated. Instead, the Spaniard, who will turn 34 in mid-February, will continue for another season with Rabobank, with whom he has spent the past seven seasons.

    Asked by Spanish website Biciciclismo whether or not he had decided on his plans for retirement, Freire responded: "I’ve more or less taken a decision… I would like to continue in 2011. The aim is to do well this year and, if that’s achieved, then to continue… if I have a good offer from the team. Doing two more years until 2012 I see as more complicated, but another year [after this] is more certain."

    He also confirmed he would like to stay with Rabobank. "I know the team, it’s good and well organised. I feel very comfortable here. At the moment there are few others that fulfil these criteria. On a sporting level, it may be that there are more interesting teams out there, but if you take everything together it would be difficult to find better than this team."

    Freire also revealed a significant change to his calendar for this season. "The difference this year compared to others is the Giro [d'Italia], which I have never ridden before. As it starts in Holland, the team was interested in me riding it… I think that it will suit my characteristics. The finishes are difficult and it is more complicated for teams to control the race, which should give me more opportunities. It would be good to win a stage there."

    With the Tour and northern Classics set to stay on his programme, three-time World champion Freire confirmed that he won’t follow his usual route into the Worlds via the Vuelta a España. "I will do an alternative calendar to prepare for the Worlds. In other years I’ve not ridden the Vuelta and it suited me well. I don’t think there’s any problem with...

  • Brown won't change race-to-win attitude

    Graeme Brown (Urban) ponders a question from commentator David McKenzie at the presentations of stage two in Geelong.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 15:02 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    Rabobank rider not angry person, just gets carried away

    Graeme Brown has defended his style of racing following an eventful Jayco Bay Cycling Classic. The 2009 series winner has been baited, sworn at and interfered with during the stage race and also returned serve with his fair share of each of those throughout the series.

    The Rabobank professional said he felt as if it was him against the world during this week's event. Despite flare-ups with close friend Chris Sutton and not-so-close pal Baden Cooke, and a $250 fine for intimidating an official, Brown said he's not an angry person.

    "I'm not angry, I'm definitely not angry, but every time I pin a number on I want to win," he said. "It doesn't matter if it's Gent-Wevelgem, Milan-Sanremo or a stage of the Bay Classics – as far as I'm concerned I do everything I can to win the race. Sometimes I get a little bit carried away.

    "I race every day to win," added Brown. "I race every bike race I do all year to win and I'm going to continue to race the same. It's been good and yet bad, the way I race. A lot of people appreciate my aggression towards winning, some people don't. Baden Cooke is a prime example, he doesn't like it and complains at every opportunity he can. I start every race to win and I'm going to continue starting every race to win."

    Brown admitted that he does have regrets about some incidents that have taken place throughout his career, but the rider has no plans to revise his approach to racing. He said Jack Bobridge and Brett Lancaster's efforts to try pulling back a break on the last day, despite riding for rival teams, is evidence of the close friendships he shares with members in the peloton.

    "Of course I do think maybe I'd like to have changed a few things, but from that point of view people like the way I ride because it is aggressive and I race," said Brown. "Some people don't like me because I do that. There's pros and cons to the way I race: Obviously Cookie doesn't like it because he says so quite...

  • Armstrong adds Flanders and Liège to race programme

    Lance Armstrong heads out for a training ride.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 15:30 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    American to use Spring and Ardennes classics to tune up for Tour de France's cobbles

    Lance Armstrong has expanded his return to the Spring and Ardennes Classics this year, announcing that he will ride the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The inclusion of the two races on his race calendar follows confirmation from the 38-year-old that he will also ride the Amstel Gold Race.

    The Team RadioShack captain has special motivation for riding the Ronde van Vlaanderen in particular - he will use the race to prepare for the cobbles that he will face at the Tour de France in July. Stage three of the Tour covers 207 kilometres from Wanze, Belgium, to Arenburg Porte du Hainaut, France

    The cobblestone roads of Belgium and northern France will make their first appearance in the Tour since 2004. The stage will include seven cobbled sectors, covering a total of 13.2 kilometres. The final section will end only 10 kilometres before the stage finish.

    "There are many more cobblestones than in 2004. The hardest moment is just before the stones where everyone chooses position,” he said in an interview broadcast on Monday night on Dutch NOS television.

    “Last time I had Hincapie to lead me, but now I have a few other experienced guides.”

    Armstrong has competed in the Ronde van Vlaanderen three times in his career (1995, 1996 and 2005). He has finished 28th on each of his two previous participations in the event.

    He has raced Liège-Bastogne-Liège on five occasions (1994, 1995, 1996, 2002 and 2003), with second place finishes at the 1994 and 1996 editions.

    The seven-time Tour de France winner will open his season this month at the Tour Down Under.

  • Davis brothers sign with Astana

    The Davis bros, Allan (L) and Scott,
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 17:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Allan and Scott become teammates for the first time

    Team Astana confirmed today that Australian brothers Allan and Scott Davis will join the team for 2010. Allan Davis was heavily rumoured to be rejoining the squad which he was a member of in 2006.

    Older brother Scott, who rode in 2009 for Fly V Australia, will now re-join the ProTour after a season at the Continental level. He was previously part of the Columbia and T-Mobile teams.

    Allan Davis, 29, rode for the Quick Step team for the past two seasons following the dissolution of his Discovery Channel team in 2007. Quick Step general manager Patrick Lefevere had indicated that there wasn't enough funds for Davis in this year's budget, although the Australian had one year remaining on his contract.

    The Astana team confirmed it had reached an agreement with the UCI to sign Allan Davis.

  • Sutton to battle at Tour Down Under, skip nationals

    2010 Jayco Bay Classic Champion Chris Sutton will enter a new phase of his career in the colours of Team Sky for the coming season in Europe.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 21:37 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    Team Sky warrior aiming for debut ProTour stage win

    Jayco Bay Cycling Classic winner Chris Sutton will skip the Scody Australian Open Road Championships this year as his Team Sky wants its riders to debut in its new uniform at the same race, January's Tour Down Under. Team Sky unveiled its new kit just hours before Sutton took victory in Williamstown, Victoria.

    "I'm preparing for the Tour Down Under. I'm not doing the nationals as the first time we use our team clothing we're all going to race as one," Sutton said. "They want us to go to battle, as they say, all as one. We're warriors and we're all going to stand on the front line together, that's the way they see it and that's the way they've said it.

    "I would love to ride the nationals but if I had the opportunity to win it then I'd want to be wearing my Team Sky kit," he added. "So it's the bigger picture. Hopefully the nationals the following year, you never know. I'd love to win the national title one day, but this year, no."

    Sutton's Jayco Bay Cycling Classic teammate Baden Cooke won the final stage, denying Greg Henderson the points needed to take the overall victory away from Sutton. Ironically in just over a week's time Sutton will be leading out Henderson in the sprints at the new team's debut race.

    "At Tour Down Under I'll be working with Greg Henderson in the sprints. I'll be there as last man for Hendy - hopefully and I can deliver him to a stage win at Tour Down Under," said Sutton. "That's our objective, to hopefully come away with a stage win. People are saying the overall, but yeah, you never know what can happen but at the moment we're just going there and hopefully we can get a stage win. If we can do that, our team is going to be more than happy. "

    While Sutton is disappointed not to be taking part in the Ballarat, Victoria-based nationals, he believes his faith in Team Sky is well founded. Sutton's uncle Shane and highly regarded compatriot Scott Sunderland are members of the new squad's management.

  • Jacques de Ceaurriz, LNDD director, dies at 60

    Jacques de Ceaurriz
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 22:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman co-developed urine test for EPO

    Jacques de Ceaurriz, director of analysis at the French Laboratoire national de dépistage du dopage de Châtenay-Malabry (LNDD), died Tuesday at age 60, the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) announced today. De Ceaurriz's cause of death was not disclosed.

    A researcher in pharmacology, de Ceaurriz worked in various laboratories before becoming a university professor in 1992. De Ceaurriz started working on doping issues in sport in 1997.

    While head of the LNDD, de Ceaurriz co-developed with Dr. Françoise Lasne in 2000 a urine test to detect the presence of Erythropoetin (EPO).

    In 2005 L'Equipe used data from the LNDD's retrospective testing of 1999 Tour de France urine samples to allege that Lance Armstrong used EPO during the 1999 Tour. De Ceaurriz maintained that the results of the retrospective tests were unequivocal but stated that since there was no possibility of a counter-evaluation that a cyclist could not be sanctioned on the basis of the lab's findings.

    The LNDD performed the testing of urine samples from Floyd Landis during the 2006 Tour de France which led to the American being stripped of his 2006 Tour championship. Despite accusations by Landis of violations of testing protocol at the LNDD, Landis lost his appeal to overturn his doping violation.

  • Cromwell targeting Australian women's road title

    Tiffany Cromwell (Honda Womens Cycling Team) leads Helen Kelly (Jayco VIS/NSWIS) during their winning break on day three.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2010, 22:34 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    Time trial an experimental sweetener

    Tiffany Cromwell is hoping to put a turbulent off-season behind her as the Scody Australian Open Road Championships get underway today. Cromwell will contest both the women's time trial today and Saturday's road race, with the 21-year-old hoping to see a little success in each of the events.

    "I think I'll still give the time trial 100 percent but for me, honestly, I have no idea how I'll go in the time trial," she said. "I have been training for it a lot more this year, but I haven't done a 28 kilometre time trial in a long time. The beauty of it is it does suit me a lot better."

    Cromwell had initially signed with German super-squad Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung for the season, but the late withdrawal of the team's new sponsor – Skyter – has brought the team undone. She will now spend the year riding with the Australian National Team, and hopes to have at least one national champion jersey to wear throughout the year.

    "Hopefully I bounce out of this [Jayco Bay Cycling Classic] really strong, the last two days I've been coming up even stronger than the first day," said Cromwell. "It would be fantastic to do the double, even if I got under 23 in the time trial and elite in the road race. The time trial is more of a see how I go whereas the road race is the major, major target."

    In both races Cromwell is expecting fellow South Australian Alexis Rhodes to challenge for the titles. Rhodes was second in both the Oceania and Australian time trial championships in 2009, however is also the current Oceania Road Race Champion.

    "I think someone like Alexis Rhodes could try an early move," she said. "I've been training with her at home and she's looking super strong. I know her major target is the time trial but at the moment she could do almost anything. I wouldn't be surprised if she tried to move and people just look at each other and she may just scare them off."

    Cromwell won the Route de France time...

  • Gallery: Team Sky braves the cold in London

    It's all about simple elegance for Team Sky.
    Article published:
    January 06, 2010, 7:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sky's boys and their bikes meet and greet in the chilly English capital

    Following a presentation in London on Monday, the riders of Team Sky met with the public - those who'll be supporting the team throughout 2010 - in a display of stars and equipment to keep the fans entertained.

    All eyes were on the Jaguar team cars and the Pinarello Dogma 60.1 bikes that will carry the likes of Bradley Wiggins, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Simon Gerrans through the ProTour this season.

    The team has set its sights high in its debut year, with the Tour de France an obvious highlight as Wiggins aims to improve on his fourth place finish in last year's edition of the race.

    Cyclingnews presents more images from the English capital as the ProTour's newest team makes an impressive display after its official launch.

    One of the Team Sky Jaguars is ready and loaded after the presentation.

    Team Sky is one of two Pinarello ProTour sponsorhip deals this season.

    Edvald Boasson Hagen was all smiles at the Team Sky launch.