The Saxo Bank team has denied that its star rider, Andy Schleck, is in talks with Lance Armstrong's new RadioShack team. Spokesman Brian Nygaard told Cyclingnews on Tuesday that the rumour, reported by L'Equipe, was not true.
Schleck, who placed second in the Tour de France and stood on the podium as best young rider overall, has a contract with the team of Bjarne Riis through the 2010 season. The report on his negotiations with Armstrong's team also stated that Schleck wished to take his elder brother Frank along, but Nygaard confirmed that both brothers are still under contract until the end of next year.
Nygaard said there is no option for another team to buy the Schlecks out of their contracts.
"He has a contract with Saxo Bank for 2010 and is not going anywhere. Obviously the team also hopes that he will stay with beyond next year."
Teams and riders are, by UCI regulations, forbidden to discuss transfers until September 1. Rule 2.15.125 states "Riders and UCI ProTeams may not, before 1 September, reveal that they are involved in negotiations about renewal of their contracts or transfers.
Upon complaint by a prejudiced team or any third party with a legitimate interest, the rider is liable to a fine of CHF 2000.00 and the UCI ProTeam to a fine of CHF 5000.00."
Wiggins remains at Garmin for 2010 and will confirm objectives in coming weeks
Bradley Wiggins has countered speculation about his future career plans after a report on Tuesday said he would target victory in the Tour de France within the next three years.
"A lot of the press reports you read today that I am supposed to have said post tour with regards to 2012 etc are all bollocks!" said Wiggins on his Twitter feed, on Wednesday morning.
The response by Wiggins, who finished fourth overall at this year's Tour de France, comes a day after AFP reported that 29-year-old would dedicate the next two years of his career to road racing in a bid to claim victory in the Tour de France's general classification by 2011.
"A lot has changed now and the obvious path for me is to try and win the Tour de France within the next three years," AFP quoted Wiggins as saying. "What a challenge winning it is and I want a go at it. There will be no track racing for the next two years, it will just be full on for the Tour."
AFP also reported that Wiggins had held discussions with the new British squad, Team Sky. Team Sky are due to enter the peloton in 2010 and have previously stated its objective to see a British winner of the Tour de France by 2011.
However Wiggins, who finished fourth at this year's Tour de France, told Cyclingnews at the finish of the race in Paris on Sunday that was happy at his current squad, Garmin-Slipstream. He attributed his strong performance at the Tour to the environment within the American squad.
"There’s a reason I’m doing to well here and that’s because of the people around me," said Wiggins. "A lot of teams say that they’re a bit like a family but this one really is. A lot us live in Girona and there’s something quite special about it that I’ve not had in other teams."
International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations prohibit teams and rider disclosing information related to negotiations and...
More surgery for Voight as BDR includes him World's long list
Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) will undergo an operation on Friday after a break was detected in the German's jaw by a hospital in Berlin.
According to German press agency SID the break was discovered by doctors at the Berlin-Marzahn Hospital following Voigt's return to Germany a week after his crash on the decent of the Col du Petit Saint Bernard during the Tour de France's stage 16 to Bourg Saint Maurice.
Voigt had earlier been treated for a broken cheekbone and concussion in Switzerland immediately after the accident on July 21. He is also suffering deep lacerations to his hands.
Despite his injuries the German cycling federation (BDR) named the 37-year-old in their preliminary selection for the World championships to be held in Mendrisio, Switzerland in September.
"Jens is almost a traditional selection for the team," said Udo Sprenger, vice-president of the BDR. "He has been informed of his pre-selection, but has not yet responded. This is no problem, he should first aim to return to riding."
The German cycling federation (BDR) named 18 men to its preliminary selection for September's world championship road race, to be held this year in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
11 riders on the list, released on Tuesday, have been drawn from the Columbia-HTC and Milram squads. Current world time trial champion, Bert Grabsch, was named alongside trade teammates Tony Martin, Marcus Burghardt, Marcel Sieberg and André Greipel.
Milram's Gerald Cioleck, Marcus Fothen, Johannes Fröhlinger, Linus Gerdemann, Christian Knees and Fabian Wegmann also appear on the list that will be reduced to a final 12 prior to the championships.
The Current German national champion, Martin Reimer, is also named, alongside Cervelo teammate Heinrich Haussler.
The winner of stage 13 at this year's Tour de France, Haussler is currently transferring his riding licence from Germany to Australia, where he was born.
"Heinrich Haussler has been informed of his nomination, and we will keep in contact," said Sprenger. "If he wants to go, he gets the chance."
Haussler has not raced for Germany for the past two years in an effort satisfy the UCI's criteria for a change in national representation. The UCI states that a rider must not race for their current country for three years in order to be eligible to compete for a new nation.
The following 18 riders have been selected to the BDR's preliminary world championship team:
An Post Sean Kelly's David O'Loughlin may have to miss his home Tour of Ireland due to injuries suffered in a serious crash in stage four of the Sachsen Tour in Germany this past weekend.
The Mayo native fell heavily after a collision with another rider and had a minor operation on his face in Germany before flying back to Dublin on Sunday. He is currently hoping to recover for the August 21 start in Ireland.
"It's a nasty injury but also looks bad as it is his face," An Post team manager Kurt Bogaerts said. "He collided with a rider in front of him but it was not David's fault, there was nothing he could have done.
"It's not looking great for David in terms of being ready for the Tour of Ireland in a few weeks, but you never know as it is a while away, so we will just have to wait and see. The team and sponsors wishes him well and hopes he has a speedy recovery."
The team is also hoping for a quick recovery of Paidi O'Brien, who suffered a serious injury training last month.
O'Brien injured his hand when he was on a training run the day after the National Championships, where he had placed third behind winner Nicholas Roche and O'Loughlin.
"It's a bad injury to my hand but I am hopeful of being fit in time for the Tour of Ireland," O'Brien said. "It's not looking great but I'm getting physiotherapy and every day I can see improvements. I got back on the bike last week and trained a few times, so you never know, but I really hope I can recover and take part in the Tour as it's a massive race."
The three-day Tour of Ireland takes place on 21st to 23rd August.
Tour of Missouri organisers announced the Canadian team Planet Energy as the 15th and final squad for the September race this week.
The team will join ProTour teams Astana, Columbia-HTC, Garmin-Slipstream, Liquigas, Quick Step and Saxo Bank and Professional Continental teams Cervelo TestTeam and BMC. Domestic teams include Jelly Belly, OUCH presented by Maxxis, BissellPro Cycling Team, Colavita / Sutter Home presented by Cooking Light, Kelly Benefit Strategies and Team Type 1. BMC Racing, which is a Swiss and American based team, rounds out the field.
"Just as we have a commitment to top American teams, we have always tried to include a top North American-based continental team in this race to support the goals of the UCI," said Chris Aronhalt, managing partner of Medalist Sports, the tour's organizer. "Planet Energy is one of the top teams outside the U.S. in this hemisphere, and we are glad to reach an agreement to include them."
The 2009 Tour of Missouri begins September 7 in St. Louis and finishes a week later in Kansas City. The seven-stage race was won last year by Garmin-Slipstream's Christian Vande Velde.
Odds are on the tough-to-beat Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin team to defend the US U23 National Road Championships in Bend, Oregon on Wednesday. The young squad took on the professional teams in last week’s Cascade Cycling Classic where they captured three jerseys and several podium places.
"We are going to go out and have the strongest race we can by racing with our best guys up at the front," said the team’s directeur sportif, Chann McRae. "We want to try to eliminate as many guys from the peloton as possible and see what we can come away with."
Last year, Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin swept the podium with Kirk Carlsen taking the stars and stripes jersey. This year the team will be up against young heavy hitters who also race for professional team counterparts like Tejay Van Garderen (Rabobank), Chris Barton (BMC), Cody O’Reilly (Bissell), Danny Finneran and Alfredo Cruz (Rock Racing), Jacob Keough (Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Ryan Baumann (Trek-Livestrong).
The U23 championships are held on the same course as the Cascade Cycling Classic finale however, it includes an additional two laps for a total of nearly 200 kilometres. "The field won’t have as much depth and the course is going to be longer," McRae said. "We saw how much it split apart during the last road race at Cascade. It’s going to be about a lot of attrition that day and who ever has the endurance are the ones who are going to win the race."
The Cascade Cycling Classic’s sixth and final stage saw Taylor Sheldon and Alex Howes place second and third respectively. Their teammate Peter Stetina took second place in stage two’s mountaintop finish, captured the event’s best young rider jersey and the best climber jersey. The squad’s young sprinter Raymond Kreber won the best sprinter competition.
"We didn’t have the other jerseys as a goal in the beginning," he continued. "The points just started to...
Team owner satisfied with team's progress in debut season
Cervélo TestTeam owner, Gerard Vroomen, says his team's performance at its first Tour de France exceeded expectations. While the team's defending Tour champion, Carlos Sastre, was unable to repeat his success of a year before, Vroomen indicated his satisfaction with the squad's performances throughout their debut season.
"I think for a first year [Tour de France] team if you win a stage then you should be pretty happy but we’ve won two and Thor [Hushovd] has taken the points jersey," Vroomen told Cyclingnews. "More importantly the way we won the two stages has been crucial. What [Heinrich] Haussler did for example was talked about for a long time after he won, and Thor’s big mountain break, well, that hasn’t happened in a long time."
The Swiss registered pro continental team claimed two Tour stage wins through Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler on stages six and 13, respectively. Hushovd was also able to achieve the second overall points classification win of his career thanks, in part, to a day long breakaway on the Alpine stage 17.
Cervélo had gone into the Tour with the ambitious strategy of supporting both Hushovd and Sastre in their different objectives. Sastre finished 17th overall, 26:21 down on winner Alberto Contador. However Vroomen was satisfied with his performance and feels the Spaniard was in better form that the Giro d'Italia, where he claimed two stage wins.
"The outside world might say that the he [Sastre] didn’t perform up to the standard, but I think he did," said Vroomen. "He raced to his maximum, and that’s all we want to achieve, we want to support him but in the end if there’s one guy or ten guys who’ve found a way to be faster than him then c'est la vie."
Sastre's performance at the Giro in May also saw him finish fourth, although he could find himself awarded third place after Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) returned two positive tests...