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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Date published:
May 04, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • AIGCP hopeful for compromise on radio ban

    Hein Verbruggen
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 17:59 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Verbruggen steps in to mediate between UCI and teams

    Despite upholding their position on boycotting September's Tour of Beijing, the AIGCP and CPA are hopeful that a compromise with the UCI over race radios can be achieved after the two parties began negotiations.

    The hunt for comprise involves former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, who is helping bridge the differences between the UCI and AIGCP.

    "All of the AIGCP teams signed a document agreeing to not participate in Tour of Beijing if a solution is not found, but I'm hopeful and confident a solution will be found," Jonathan Vaughters, president of the AIGCP told Cyclingnews.

    In March, the AIGCP had publicly stated that if a ban on race radios has not been overturned by May 1 they would not participate in the Tour of Beijing later this year. Although that deadline has passed, Vaughters can see a light at the end of the tunnel.

    "We're trying to reach a compromise that's acceptable to everyone, so I've noticed there has been some very good negotiations on the part of the UCI and we're certainly trying to get to the point where everyone is ready to move forward.

    "I don't really have a specific timeline. I just know that both parties are trying to get to a place where we can both move forward and that's really it. I don't know what the timeline will be," he told Cyclingnews.

    The UCI had banned the use of race radios in all races ranked 1.HC/2.HC and below. It plans to extend this rule to cover World Calendar races in 2012. However, one possibly solution could involve the UCI upholding their current rule until such a time when an independent commission investigates the pros and cons of the radio ban.

    "I think that the teams and UCI need to respect their own rules, but for instance...

  • Bruseghin out of Movistar's Giro d'Italia line-up

    Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar) gets ready for a long stage
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 19:35 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Menchov and Sastre lead Geox-TMC; Quick Step, Euskaltel and Team Sky confirm

    More teams have confirmed their final rider selections for the Giro d’Italia as they prepare to set off for Turin for the final build-up to the race and Saturday’s opening team time trial.

    The teams all submitted long lists of 12 riders to race organiser RCS Sport in April, but now Movistar, Geox-TMC, Quick Step, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Team Sky have all confirmed their final starting nine.

    Italy’s Marzio Bruseghin was expected to be confirmed as one of the leaders of the Movistar team but doubts arose about his presence in the Giro after he was caught up in the Mantova doping investigation. He was initially given race number 122 by RCS Sport but was not included in the list of nine names issued by the team today.

    The nine are: David Arroyo, Pablo Lastras, Vasil Kiryienka, Sergio Pardilla, Luis Pasamontes, Branislau Samoilau, Ignatas Konovalovas, Carlos Oyarzun and Francisco Ventoso.

    Arroyo finished second overall in the 2010 Giro d’Italia after gaining 12 minutes on the other overall contenders in a breakaway on the stage 11 to L’Aquila.

    Menchov and Sastre lead Geox-TMC

    Geox-TMC has built its team around Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre as the Professional Continental team targets overall victory.

    Menchov won the 2009 Giro despite a spectacular crash in the final time trial in Rome. The Russian has also won the 2005 and 2007 Vuelta Espana, meaning he is the most successful of the all the contenders in this year’s Giro.

    Sastre won the 2008 Tour de France and won two mountain stages at the 2009 Giro while riding with Cervelo.

    Also in the team are Spain's David Blanco and Rafael Valls,...

  • Landslides re-route Amgen Tour of California stage 5

    The profile of the re-routed stage 5 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 20:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Inland route from Seaside to Paso Robles to add climbing

    AEG, organisers of the Amgen Tour of California, announced today that they have altered the route of this year's stage 5 from Seaside to Paso Robles. The change was necessitated due to landslides which blocked the coastal Highway 1 after late winter storms in March. The stage will start and end in the same cities, but will take an inland route which avoids the coastal highway entirely.

    The organisation was working with the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), monitoring the status of repairs to the road. One landslide north of the Bixby Bridge resulted in part of the road collapsing and another slide 45 miles to the south buried the road.

    Reports last month stated that the repairs to the highway would take right up until the May 19 stage. AEG president Andrew Messick set a deadline of April 30 to make a decision on the route and today announced the change.

    "After working closely with Caltrans and assessing our options, we have determined that it is necessary to re-route Stage 5 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California," said Messick.

    "We appreciate the hard work of all involved, including Caltrans and our Stage 5 start and finish host cities, to make this route change a seamless one. We are looking forward to showcasing a portion of California that the race has never visited, and a stage that will feature challenging terrain and a remarkable day of racing."

    Seaside will remain the host city for the start, but instead of heading south to the coast, the race will instead head east through Fort Ord and the Laguna Seca raceway. The course then heads down highway 68 to Laureles Grade and the day's first classified climb.

    A sprint in Carmel Valley precedes two more KOM sprints on Carmel Valley Road, both category 4. The day's second sprint comes in Greenfield at kilometer 91, when the stage is not even half over.

  • Talansky impresses at Tour de Romandie

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Cervélo) won the best young rider classification at the Tour de Romandie.
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 21:51 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Romandie's best young rider heads home for Amgen Tour of California

    One year ago Andrew Talansky raised eyebrows with his top-10 overall finish and best young rider classification title at the Tour of the Gila while racing for the amateur California Giant-Specialized squad.

    Fast forward to this year and the 22-year-old American has duplicated the feat, albeit this time at the ProTour-level Tour de Romandie while in his debut season for Garmin-Cervélo. The US-based ProTour squad conducted a successful campaign at the Swiss stage race as Talansky and David Millar finished ninth and 10th respectively on general classification, David Zabriskie won the penultimate day's time trial, Talansky and teammate Peter Stetina claimed a 1-2 finish on the young rider classification and Garmin-Cervélo prevailed in the team classification.

    "It was a great week for the team. Short of winning the whole race, we did just about everything you could do there," Talansky told Cyclingnews from his European base in Lucca, Italy.

    Talansky's opening day prologue result, however, was hardly a harbinger of his week to come. He crashed on the 3km circuit and finished the stage in dead last, 155th place at 1:02. He would ultimately finish only 40 seconds off the podium at week's end, but the pragmatic Talansky was quick to brush aside any speculation of what could have been.

    "If it's a longer TT and you do a quick bike change maybe you'll get back into your rhythm, but in a prologue like that, it's all about getting into it and nailing every corner," Talansky said. "I wasn't thinking about the overall after I crashed, I just pedaled to the finish.

    "That's bike racing and things happen. If you spend your time thinking...

  • Bannan eyes wealth of Australian talent up for grabs in 2012

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 22:48 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    GreenEdge targets wary in a post-Pegasus world

    As Shayne Bannan's GreenEdge project ramps up its efforts to gain a UCI ProTeam licence for 2012, a perfect storm is brewing as top teams fight to hold on to their Australian talent. For the riders themselves, it may be a case of once bitten, twice shy.

    It would no doubt be a mouth-watering prospect for Australian riders to be linked with a home-grown team, however it is a move that comes with some trepidation, especially following Pegasus Sports' failed bid to create Australia's first-ever ProTeam or second-ever Professional Continental outfit.

    Bannan accepts that given that a number of seasoned professionals were caught out by the Pegasus collapse, it's not going to be an 'easy' decision to jump ship to a team in its infancy.

    "We're going to really do our homework and spend a lot of time and energy on our structure so when we get the opportunity to go to riders and their managers, we've got a really good package," he explained to Cyclingnews.

    Cyclingnews' research suggests that over a dozen Australian riders are off contract at the end of the current season. When GreenEdge was launched at the Tour Down Under last January, Bannan said that he was aiming for a roster made up of 75 per cent Australian riders, claiming "I don't really think it's healthy to state that we want to be 100 per cent Australian - I think that may cause a little bit of complacency." With that in mind, the next few months will prove crucial for both Bannan and his potential targets.

    Bannan says that GreenEdge will only court "guys who are at the end of their...

  • Rebellin to ride for Miche - Guerciotti

    Davide Rebellin in action during the 2008 Olympic road race.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 1:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian veteran on comeback from CERA ban

    Davide Rebellin has reportedly signed for Pro Continental team, Miche – Guerciotti according to Biciciclismo.

    Rebellin tested positive for the blood boosting drug CERA in re-testing of the 2008 Olympic doping controls done by the International Olympic Committee. The Italian had claimed the silver medal in the men's road race. Rebellin's positive test was announced in April 2009, shortly after he had won Flèche Wallone. He had also finished 4th in the world championships in Varese in the intervening period.

    At Miche – Guerciotti, Rebellin will join Stefan Schumacher, who also returned a positive test for CERA at Beijing 2008.

    Late last year, the 39-year-old was quoted as saying in Il Giornale di Vicenza, "I want to come back with a squad that will enable me to ride the biggest races, the classics above all, and to earn a blue jersey at the next world championships."

    Rebellin's doping ban ended on April 27 and he's recently been linked to a number of teams, including Spanish Pro Continental team Andalucia-Caja Granada.

    In 2004 – perhaps his finest season, the Italian unprecedentedly won the Amstel Gold Race, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège–Bastogne–Liège; the treble recently bettered by Omega Pharma-Lotto's Philippe Gilbert.

    News of Rebellin's signing comes on the same day as Miche – Guerciotti's Pasquale Muto has tested positive for EPO following the Giro...

  • Dutch talent Wilco Kelderman signed to professional ranks for 2012

    Wilco Kelderman (Rabobank Continental) remains the leader of the young riders classification.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 5:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank continues commitment to youth development

    20-year old Dutch climbing talent Wilco Kelderman will join the senior Rabobank Team as of next year, having proved himself in the continental development team over the last few seasons.

    Last year the young Barnevelder rode impressively, putting in good performances at the Tour Alsace (where he won a stage and claimed the overall) and also at the prestigious Tour de l'Avenir. The Dutchman has continued his run of results this year impressing management enough to be awarded with a professional contract for 2012.

    "I'm thrilled that I get my chance in the pro ranks. I’m looking forward to next year and I hope that I can repay the confidence placed in me by team management by picking up some good results. I’ve really only ever been interested in riding for Rabobank, and so this is definitely the realization of a dream for me," Kelderman said.

    Rabobank’s continental team continues to churn out new Dutch talent. Kelderman’s signing continues a flow of riders from the feeder team that includes, Tom Jelte Slagter, who made the switch to the pro ranks this year, Lars Boom and Robert Gesink.

    Erik Breukink was quick to highlight this fact when quizzed about Kelderman’s signing.

    "We will continue our motto 'Loyalty and Time for Talent’" the Rabobank technical director said.

    "With Kelderman we have another great product of the training team of Peter Kuys and Arthur van Dongen. Young riders want to join our team because we help them develop. This is a great compliment to the entire team."

  • Stybar excited but realistic about road debut at the Four Days of Dunkirk

    Zdenek Stybar in his new Quick Step kit
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 9:17 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Cyclo-cross world champion races for Quick Step for the first time

    Zdenek Stybar is excitedly looking forward to his making his debut  in the professional peloton with the Quick Step team. The reigning cyclo-cross world champion will ride the Four Days of Dunkirk that begins today.

    "It feels like the first day of school", he told Het Nieuwsblad. "I'm going to see my new mates, new teachers are coming ... Everything will be as I dreamed for years.

    “As a little boy I always looked with wide eyes at the professional cyclists: What kind of bike do they ride? What shoes do they have? What does their jersey look like? Now I have all of that myself.”

    The 25 year-old was so excited that as soon as he returned from his post-cross season holiday, “I could no longer stop myself. I jumped into my kit and went training. Then when you pick up your water bottle and see Quick Step written on it: Great.”

    Stybar admitted that “I do not know what to expect, because I just don't know how quickly the pack goes. Though I am realistic. My last race was in the indoor cross in Hasselt, since then I've just been training. I'm not thinking of winning but of getting water or jackets, in short, making myself useful to the team. "

    "If you're not good enough to win, you work. Simple. And then you're honest,” the Czech explained. "The first year I have no problem with that. But ultimately I want to prove something to myself. I didn't want to just be one of many in cyclo-cross and I don't want to be one of many on the road. I need victories."

    “I want to be one of the best on certain courses. If not - and I'll soon find that out - then I will return to cyclo-cross. Because otherwise the investment of time and money is...