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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Date published:
July 28, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Lobato Elvira suspended for two years

    Astarloa, Caucchioli, De Bonis, Serrano and Lobato Elvira were the riders named by the UCI
    Article published:
    July 27, 2010, 12:11 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Former Saunier Duval rider sanctioned for Biological Passport violation

    The International Cycling Union has announced that Spanish rider Ruben Lobato Elvira has been suspended by the Spanish Cycling Federation for two years because of a violation of the UCI’s biological Passport programme.

    Lobato Elvira was part of the first group of five riders named by the UCI for violating the blood value monitoring system in June 2009. Also named at the time were Italy’s Francesco De Bonis and Pietro Caucchioli, and Spain’s Ricardo Serrano and Igor Astarloa, who was world road race champion in 2003. All the riders, except Astarloa have been given two year suspensions in recent months.

    The UCI did not specify the dates of Lobato Elvira’s suspension. However other riders were banned from June 18, 2009 until June 17, 2011.

    Lobato Elvira raced with Acqua & Sapone, Domina Vacanze and Saunier Duval before being named by the UCI. He officially announced his retirement in December 2008. Since then, he has been working as a directeur sportif for the amateur Sansi-Spiuk team in his town of San Sebastian de los Reyes near Madrid.

  • Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway

    Easton claims its new EC90 TT carbon tubulars are actually faster than Zipp's 1080 model in certain wind conditions.
    Article published:
    July 27, 2010, 16:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Final question in our competition

    The Tour de France may be over and the jerseys may all have been awarded but there is still one prize on offer. The last installment of our Easton-Cyclingnews Wheelset a Day Giveaway has arrived hors delai.

    The final question in our Tour-long competition is: Which country has won the most Tours?

    For a hint click here.

    Enter your answer in our contest page here.

    Today’s prize is an Easton EC90 Aero wheelset. Click here for information about the prize.

    Easton makes some of the most durable high-performance wheels in cycling and they are used by World Champion Cadel Evans and US National champion George Hincapie, who ride for Easton-sponsored BMC Racing Team.

  • Contador plays down chance of Vuelta appearance

    Alberto Contador triumphed in a difficult Tour de France.
    Article published:
    July 27, 2010, 17:53 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Tour winner says he’s unlikely to take on the Schlecks in September

    Alberto Contador was greeted by more than 300 fans when he returned to Madrid on Monday having wrapped up a third Tour de France victory the day before. After meetings with Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and the president of Madrid’s regional government, the Astana team leader got a hero’s welcome in his home-town of Pinto, where he once again stated that he is unlikely to line up in his national tour, which starts in Sevilla on August 28.

    Just as he had said in the winner’s press conference following the Tour’s final time trial, Contador indicated that he will again attempt to ride two major tours in one season, but probably not this year. “Although it’s quite a complicated task to take on two major tours in a season because of the long-lasting fatigue that you’re guaranteed to face, in 2011 I will attempt this once again,” he said.

    However, Contador did not close the door completely on this year’s Vuelta, where Andy and Frank Schleck are set to be among the main contenders for the title. After admitting that he always enjoys racing on home roads, Contador added: “The route of this year’s Vuelta is very attractive, and although I’m not saying it is 100% certain I won’t ride it, the likelihood is that I won’t appear. But I certainly will be back in the future.”

    Contador’s comments will give some hope to Vuelta organizers Unipublic that they can tempt the Spanish champion into appearing in next month’s final major tour of the season. Speaking in Murcia where he was presenting that region’s Vuelta stages, Unipublic director-general Javier Guillén said of Contador: “He’s just finished riding the Tour, which was very tough for him, and history has shown that the winner of the Tour very rarely comes to the Vuelta, although Carlos Sastre did so, for which we warmly thank...

  • New Zealand’s Avery joins Radioshack for Denmark

    Clinton Avery (New Zealand)
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 1:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Rotorua rider joining Sergent in stagiaire role

    New Zealand’s Clinton Avery has joined the list of young riders Team Radioshack will field at next week’s Tour of Demark, as the 23-year-old became the squad’s newest stagiaire.

    “I have some mixed emotions. I am excited for sure but also nervous,” said Avery. “I’ve got a lot at stake. I know that a lot of teams will be looking at how I compete in the next few weeks and a couple of bad rides could mean the end.

    “At the same time I have to be confident with my form right now and I really want to show them why I am a rider that should have a ProTour contract,” he added.

    While riding for PWS Eijssen in Belgium this year, Avery has had a string of podium places in local events. The former mountain bike rider's results include two victories this season at Vlaamse Pijl Harelbeke and Roeselare.

    Radioshack’s team for Denmark will have at least three stagiaire – or trainee – riders. Avery will be joined by compatriot Jesse Sergent and America’s Taylor Phinney, who have both been awarded stagiaire roles after riding for Trek-Livestrong this season.

  • Contador returns to massive acclaim

    The sign says it all: Campeon.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 1:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour winner received by Spanish Prime Minister

    Alberto Contador returned to a hero's welcome in his native Spain after taking out a third Tour de France on Sunday, the fifth Grand Tour triumph of his career.

    Received by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero at the Palacio de la Moncloa in Madrid before heading to his home town of Pinto, on the outskirts of the capital, to celebrate with family, friends and fans.

    "Champion, I want to express our pride, satisfaction and congratulations on this new triumph in the Tour with which moved us in this great month for sports," said Zapatero to those gathered for the reception.

    "Congratulations Alberto, now [it's time for] the fourth Tour, because I'm sure you're going to win [again]."

    Whilst Spain's leader jokingly thanked Tour organisers for playing the correct national anthem in Paris this year, he had a serious message about Contador's achievement. "You put cycling back at a high level. You are a great example of how to fight and do battle in sport. I'm proud because I have always seen you defend the Spanish flag and what makes Spanish sport great," he stated.

    Spanish Prime Minster Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero poses with Alberto Contador.
    Contador (l) and Zapatero presumably talk cycling at the Palacio de la Moncloa.
    Spanish flags were in abundance as Alberto Contador was presented in his home town of Pinto.
    As the old saying goes: 'If the shirt fits...'

  • Morton wants to continue form in Utah

    Lachlan Morton (NSWIS) in action around the back of the 1.2 kilometre course in Ouyen.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 6:15 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Australian junior delighted with Canadian success

    Lachlan Morton has his sights set on next month’s Tour of Utah, after enjoying a successful appearance at Canada’s Tour de l'Abitibi last week. The Port Macquarie rider claimed a time trial and solo stage victory at the junior race on his way to winning the overall title.

    “It was a really nice win for me,” Morton told Cyclingnews. “I knew I had good form coming into the tour and I was confident in my time trial after beating Lawson Craddock a couple of weeks ago, who is effectively the benchmark for junior time triallers.

    “It was a crazy tour, being so flat and with everyone so motivated there were a lot of crashes,” he added. “So I kept out of trouble the first few days and then took the lead in the tough time trial, which started underground in a mine. From there the team did an awesome job, helping me defend the lead until the end.”

    The Canadian victories are the biggest wins of Morton’s career to date. He joined Under 23 squad Team Holowesko Partners this season after being spotted by Jonathan Vaughters at last year’s USA Junior Cycling Championships in California.

    Morton noted his motivation to win in Canada, a trend he hopes to continue at August’s Tour of Utah. “It was nice to get road victory, holding off the bunch for 15km,” he said. “Winning in the leader’s jersey is something special.

    “I also had huge motivation to pull off the victory here to send a leader’s jersey home to my grandpa who is having a tough time at home in Australia. Maybe a little frustration at not being able to contest the worlds helped too,” he said. “From here I hope to continue my form into Utah.”

    The six stage Tour of Utah runs from August 17-22, covering some 525 kilometres. The teams taking part, which include BMC Racing Team, Trek-Livestrong, Bissell, UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis and Fly V Australia,...

  • HTC-Columbia already planning for the 2011 Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish and his HTC-Columbia teammates looking very cool.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 9:36 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Team manager Bob Stapleton reveals future sprinter strategy

    Bob Stapleton's HTC-Columbia team may have won five stages and secured four second places in this year's Tour de France but the American team manager is planning how to do even better in next year's race.

    HTC's five stage wins came courtesy of Mark Cavendish but that tally only tells one side of a Tour that involved Adam Hansen crashing out, Mark Renshaw being thrown out and both Tony Martin and Michael Rogers faltering in the race for GC.

    Originally coming to the race with the aim of propelling Tour of California winner Rogers up the leader board, while Mark Cavendish would take aim at the coveted green points jersey, the squad were forced to refocus their efforts continually through the race.

    "We had to use our resources differently without Hansen and Renshaw. We couldn't put nine guys on the front. We thought we could win five stages, that we had a chance for seven and the maximum feasible was nine. We've had four seconds but you can never count on that," Stapleton told Cyclingnews.

    After five days of racing, Rogers had already lost two minutes to his GC rivals and Cavendish had yet to hit form and was well done in the race for the green jersey. But the following day Cavendish made a spectacular comeback and claimed his first stage win. It led to one of
    the most memorable images of the race, as the Manxman's emotions were laid bare on the podium and his eyes filled with tears.

    "We never had a loss of confidence in Mark," Stapleton said. "We knew he could do it but we also knew that we had to change our game-plan because some teams had come in with a tactic designed to derail our train. We needed to adapt and we did. It's worked pretty well."

    "We watched the news reports the next day where everybody basically said Cavendish didn't have it. I watched them interview nine other sprinters and ask them if they could win because Cavendish isn't that good."

    Cavendish went on to win four stages but...

  • Contador to leave Astana at end of season

    Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win
    Article published:
    July 28, 2010, 12:20 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Tour winner could team-up with Bjarne Riis

    Speculation that Alberto Contador may team up with Bjarne Riis in 2011 is growing after the Tour de France winner refused to sign a new deal with the Astana team in Paris on Sunday and issued a statement saying that he and Astana will go separate ways when their contract ends later this year.

    During the Tour de France, Contador said he was likely to stay with Astana. However his brother Fran is now negotiating a deal with a new team for 2011. The statement says Contador “wants to have time to calmly explore all possibilities available to him for the coming seasons. But so far none has been excluded.”

    The Astana team moved quickly to confirm the separation, saying: "By setting a dead line on July 25 evening of the arrival of the Tour de France and then extending it to 48 hours as he had requested, we thought we had complied with the wishes of Alberto Contador. We have never put any pressure, we have always acted according to his will. His decision to leave does not depend on us but on other outside proposals. We respect his choice, and wish him good luck."

    According to a report in Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport, Contador could be close to signing with Riis, who will has found new backing from US software company Sunguard.

    Riis confirmed he has also secured a second major sponsor for his team but refused to say the name of the backer during the Tour de France. Specialized has stepped in to save Riis' team and will bring Contador to the team as replacement for Frank and Andy Schleck, who are leaving to create their own team in Luxembourg.

    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Specialized founder and chairman Mike Sinyard convinced Contador to team-up with Riis during the final days of the Tour de France. As part of the deal, Spanish riders Benjamin Noval, Daniel Navarro, David De La Fuente and Jesus Hernandez expected to join Contador at Riis' team.

    Contador has a personal sponsorship deal...