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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Date published:
May 25, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Stetina talks about his first Giro d'Italia

    Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) leads David Arroyo (Movistar) on the Monte Zoncolan.
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 21:52 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Young American still enjoying his Grand Tour debut

    Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) was disappointed with his performance in the Nevegal mountain time trial but looked to the positive aspects of his first Grand Tour while speaking to Cyclingnews.

    Like everyone in the race, he suffered during Sunday's marathon mountain stage in the Dolomites but revealed he has not had to overcome a dreaded 'bad day' on the bike in the first two weeks of the Giro d'Italia.

    In the final week of the Giro, he is ready to help team leader Christophe Le Mevel, but will also look for a chance to leave his own mark on the Italian Grand Tour.

  • Golas withdraws from Giro d'Italia to get married

    Michal Golas (Vacansoleil-DCM) left the Giro d'Italia after stage 15
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 22:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil racer will tie the knot this weekend

    Some riders quit a race like the Giro d'Italia because they are tired or ill. Sprinters may withdraw once the mountainous stages start to dominate the route. But Polish racer Michal Golas (Vacansoleil-DCM) had a more positive personal reason for not being on the start line at Tuesday morning's stage 16: he is getting married this weekend.

    Golas will marry his fiancée Agata on Saturday, May 28 in Plonsk, Poland. Michal, 27, and Agata, 26, have been together for three years.

    During this edition of the Giro d'Italia, Golas was part of two breakaways, one in stage 2 and one in stage 11.

    In honor of the occasion, he was spotted wearing a special team jersey, one with a pink tie with the name of his girlfriend on it.

  • Contador's mechanic expelled from the Giro

    Alberto Contador has won the stage 16 mountain time trial, the Spaniard's seconds stage win of the Giro.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 0:13 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    "No problem with the tifosi," says Contador

    Alberto Contador's personal mechanic Faustino Muñoz has been expelled from the Giro by a panel of judges after hitting a spectator during the uphill time trial from Belluno to Nevegal. Muñoz opened the door of the Saxo Bank-SunGard team assistance car to punish the person he believed tried to punch the wearer of the pink jersey.

    Race judges have urged the staff of team Saxo Bank-SunGard to return his accreditation.

    "We approve the sanction given by the UCI because this is an undesirable behaviour from our mechanic," directeur sportif Philippe Mauduit told Cyclingnews. "He has realized, but too late, that he shouldn't have done that. He apologized to the team for what he did and we hope this sanction will help him to control his reactions."

    Contador denied any wrongdoings by the people in the crowd. "It's incredible how they are behaving towards me", the Spaniard said in a press conference. "They have showed me their affection since the first day of the race. There was some confusion about the cancellation of the Crostis but that wasn't my fault. Today again, the tifosi have inspired me to do my best. There was no problem."

    A syringe under Contador's name was painted on the road and apart from the last kilometre of the Monte Zoncolan where the Spaniard was booed, the three-time winner of the Tour de France has largely been welcomed as a hero in Italy.

    Muñoz who was Manolo Saiz' mechanic at ONCE and Liberty Seguros will keep his job at Saxo Bank-SunGard and he'll remain at the Giro, however will work on Contador's bike only at the hotel, as he's now banned from attending the race.


  • Video: Dario Cioni talks about the difficulties of the Giro

    Dario David Cioni (Sky) and Damiano Cunego (Lampre - Farnese Vini) climb to the finish in Aprica.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 2:01 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Team Sky rider suggests an extreme route can damage the racing

    Dario Cioni (Team Sky) is one of the veterans of the Giro d'Italia peloton and is often a rider representative during negotiation with race organisers.

    He spoke with RCS Sport during the negotiations about the Crostis climb and is highly respected in the peloton for his views.

    In this video interview he talks about his performance in the Nevegal mountain time trial but also about the need for dialogue between the riders and race organisers to ensure the safest conditions for the riders while also ensuring some spectacular racing.

    He believes too many mountain stages and too much climbing in a long stage actually make the racing boring as stages turn into a battle for survival.

    As a former mountain bike he knows cycling will always be a dangerous sport but hopes a dialogue with the race organisation can help create a better racing environment for future generations of riders.

  • Brown happy to be back at the Tour of Belgium

    Repeat win on this circuit for a happy Graeme Brown (Urban) ahead of Matthew Goss (Team Degani Cycling Cafe) and Robbie Mcewen (Mazda)
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 2:58 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian relieved after his Giro d'Italia "training camp"

    His Giro d'Italia campaign prematurely over, Rabobank's Graeme Brown will now focus on the comparatively flat parcours of the Tour of Belgium starting Wednesday where he will work as a lead-out man for Theo Bos.

    The 32-year-old missed the time cut by 33 minutes on the Giro's ninth stage between Messina and Etna, finishing along with compatriot and occasional sparring partner Robbie McEwen 59:35 down on the time by stage winner, Alberto Contador.

    Ever the optimist, Brown describes his time at this year's Italian Grand Tour race as his "training camp."

    It's a busy time of the year for Brown as he battles the cross-winds in races over the Belgian and Dutch hills where he is perhaps most comfortable. Following this week's Tour of Belgium, Brown will tackle the Tour de Rijke which he won in 2006, and the Delta Tour Zeeland where he finished third overall last season.

    Rabobank heads to the Tour of Belgium two men down, with the squad hit hard with injury. Tom Leezer was not an option for the Dutch team, as he is still struggling with a knee injury. The other Australian at Rabobank's disposal, Michael Matthews, is still recovering from his heavy crash at the Tour of California, which he was forced to abandon. On a more positive note, Danish rider Matti Breschel will make his return from a difficult knee injury.

    "That didn't leave us much to choose from but I am happy with the team we've put together," said Rabobank director sportif Erik Dekker. "They are great names, and men with ambition. And as the saying goes, 'you need two to tango...

  • Menchov: the man of the third week

    After a slow start, Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) has found his legs on this Giro.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 4:06 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Russian targeting Sestrières stage

    Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) was a satisfied man after he finished the Giro d’Italia’s mountain time trial in seventh place. The Russian has continued to improve his position on GC despite losing more time to race leader Alberto Contador. Menchov, who now sits in seventh place in the general classification, is only 20 seconds behind current fifth place Jose Rujano, and is confident that he can improve further going into the third and final week.

    "Two or three riders are really strong in this race", Menchov told Cyclingnews in reference to Alberto Contador, Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali who dominate the top three.

    "So I don’t dream of finishing on the podium but I still want the highest possible ranking in Milan."

    At last year’s Tour de France, Menchov was also pretty quiet in the early mountain stages but moved up to third overall after riding one of the best time trial’s of his life from Bordeaux to Pauillac. The third week always seems to play into the Russian's hands and Menchov hopes that this year will be no different.

    "I had some serious allergy problems - in Sicily, and at the end of the first week", the Russian said, adding that he was confident that those problems were now behind him.

     "After the race entered Austria, I’ve felt better and better every day," he said. "I’m now taking the Giro day by day."

    The Russian is hoping to use his improved condition to go for a stage in the next week, and has already pinpointed the possibility of doing something on Stage 20.

    "The last week of this race is always hard...We’ll see what happens. It’s always good to win something. I think the Sestrières is an interesting one, but we’ll have...

  • Giro d'Italia forced to change Milan time trial course

    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 5:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    City elections cut number of police available for the race

    The organisers of the Giro d'Italia have been forced to change the route of the final time trial stage in Milan on Sunday after city officials decided that local police where needed for the local elections, rather than the city centre time trial course. Milan residents will vote in a final ballot to decide the next mayor of the city.

    The original stage was 31km long and was supposed to start outside the Castello Sforzesco, head to the new Fiera exhibition centre and then cover a loop around the city before the finish in the Piazza Duomo in front of the Milan cathedral.

    The new 26km course will start in the Fiera exhibition centre and do a circuit of the huge area before heading into Milan via a direct route before the finish in Piazza Duomo. The final 150 metres of the course will be raced on red, white and green carpet, the colours of the Italian flag, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy.

    The first rider is expected to start the modified time trial course at 2:20pm, with the last rider scheduled to arrive in the centre of Milan at 5:30pm.


  • Barnes joins GreenEdge as Chief Medical Officer

    Dr Peter Barnes
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 5:48 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    More high-level experience for Bannan's project

    As GreenEdge ramps up its bid for a UCI ProTeam licence for the 2012 season, the project has announced that Dr Peter Barnes will be on board as the team's Chief Medical Officer.

    Barnes brings many years of experience to the table, having worked on the medical staff on the Australian Olympic teams at the 1996, 2000 and 2004 Games and worked closely with Cycling Australia, through its most successful period, as part of the Australian Institute of Sport medical team. The South Australian also spent 12-years (1997-2009) as the Chief Medical Officer for Port Adelaide Football Club in the AFL. He has also worked as Chief Medical Officer at the Tour Down Under.

    "To maximise performance in these athletes with almost super-human physiology, complex nutritional and recovery demands, and extreme workloads, and to do this with ascientific, evidence based program will require a dedicated team of support staff," explained Dr Barnes.

    "The most appealing part of working with a group of elite professional cyclists is the integration of medicine and sports science. It will be very rewarding to be part of this group."

    Barnes has been working with Shayne Bannan, general manager of the GreenEdge project for the last two decades so the opportunity to join the bid, seemed like a natural progression.

    "Throughout most of those years we have all talked about how great it would be to have an Australian team in the Professional Road cycling competition in Europe," Barnes said.

    "Through his roles with Cycling Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport, Shayne, and before him Charlie Walsh, has worked tirelessly to develop the trust and respect of the international cycling world in the Australian way of doing things.

    "So when he approached me about this role, with the team, and started talking about the other people involved I knew our...