Astana, Androni and Lampre pass on two-time Giro d'Italia winner
Gilberto Simoni will not continue with Gianni Savio's Androni team in 2010, signalling the possible conclusion to his career. Savio named the riders for next season yesterday, but there was no mention of Simoni, a two-time winner of the Giro d'Italia.
"In 25 years I've had a lot of great wins, but the biggest win is that every year everyone, riders and staff, are always paid," Savio told Cyclingnews. "The key is making a team with the budget that you have available.
"We would never offer Gilberto Simoni a minimum-wage contract. It's better to say we don't have the money for next year than to make that offer."
The 38-year-old Italian joined Savio's Diquigiovanni team in 2008 (to be called Androni in 2010). He had finished fourth overall at the 2007 Giro d'Italia and won the race's stage 17 to Monte Zoncolan.
This March, he won stage three and held the lead of the Vuelta Mexico. He also raced this year's Giro and helped the team win three stages, but finished 46 minutes behind overall winner Denis Menchov (Rabobank). It could have been his last major race as a road rider and Savio's team could be the last of his 11-year career.
"I don't know, and I don't think he still knows what he wants to do," continued Savio.
Last month, Simoni's agents met with team Lampre's team boss, Giuseppe Saronni. Saronni discussed the idea of re-uniting Simoni with his star rider, Damiano Cunego.
"It was an interesting idea, he's given Lampre a lot of success. But, it ended there, as an idea," said Saronni today.
Simoni and Cunego rode together in the same team from 2002 to 2005. ...
Bastion Hotel Group to provide new training base as part of sponsorship agreement
Skil-Shimano today announced the Bastion Hotel Group as a co-sponsor for the 2010 season.
"Cycling is an outstanding platform for raising awareness of our name," said Maik Willems, director of the Dutch Hotel group. "We are also very interested in the business opportunities that this partnership opens up."
As part of the agreement, the team's central training base will move from the village of Deurningen to one of the Bastion Hotels in the Limburg province.
"The team's centralised training sessions will be coordinated from Limburg," said Skil Shimano Team Manager Iwan Spekenbrink today. "The site is perfectly suited to the modern supervision of riders and team-building to be developed by the team."
Bastion's Sales Manager Kurt Oprins said the pro continental team was viewed as a good match for the company's goals and objectives. "We feel that the young, ambitious team organisation has a lot in common with our own organisation," he said.
"We are very enthusiastic and we look forward to working together."
Italian aims for stage win in the 2010 Giro d'Italia
Italian Giampaolo Caruso renewed with Ceramica Flaminia for two more years. The team confirmed yesterday Caruso's decision and its hope to take him to the Giro d'Italia next year.
"I am thankful that I had the interest of a ProTour team for next year, but I've always felt well at Ceramica Flaminia," said Caruso in a press release.
Caruso won two stages and the overall of the Brixia Tour for Italy's Ceramica Flaminia this year. The team races in the Professional Continental division, or one division lower than the ProTour level, but hopes to earn an invitation to the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
"Everyone wants to show well the Giro d'Italia, and if we are invited I will try to have my chance, above all in the mountain stages."
The Giro d'Italia, May 8 to 30, ends with mountain stages in the Dolomites and Alps. Organiser RCS Sport will take the riders up the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the final week.
Caruso finished 12th in the overall classification at the 2006 Giro d'Italia.
The team signed Riccardo Riccò through 2011 in June. He will be a favourite for stage wins at the Giro d'Italia, where he won two stages and finished second overall in 2008. He is able to return to racing March 18, following a 20-month ban for doping.
RCS Sport usually announces the wild card invitations to the Giro d'Italia in January.
Cycling Australia has announced the complete list of finalists for its annual awards evening, the Jayco 2009 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards. The winners will be presented at a gala celebration being staged at the Plaza Ballroom Melbourne on Sunday 22 November.
"Australian cycling has enjoyed a stellar year both at home and on the international stage," said Mike Victor OAM, President of Cycling Australia. "45 Australians have been crowned World Champions in 2009 across every discipline and category.
"Australia topped the medal table at the UCI Track (elite, junior and masters) and Road World Championships this year which is a clear indication of the depth of talent in our sport,” he said. "From juniors to masters, in road, track, BMX, mountainbike and Para-cycling Australians continue to make an impact and the Jayco 2009 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards is an opportunity to recognise the hard work and effort put in by everyone involved in Australian cycling."
International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Champion Cadel Evans leads the nominations for elite men’s road cyclist of the year award. Evans is one of three contenders for the award, alongside Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a Espana stage winner Simon Gerrans and Tour Down Under winner Allan Davis.
Star sprinter Rochelle Gilmore is joined by Ruth Corset and Chloe Hosking as the nominees for the elite women’s road cyclist of the year award.
Toshiba Elite Male Track Cyclist of the Year
- Jack Bobridge - Leigh Howard - Cameron Meyer
Toshiba Elite Female Track Cyclist of the Year
- Kaarle McCulloch - Anna Meares OAM - Josephine Tomic
Cycling Central Elite Male Road Cyclist of the Year
- Allan Davis - Cadel Evans - Simon Gerrans
Cycling Central Elite Female Road Cyclist of the...
Roubaix champion not dwelling on cause of collapse
Stuart O’Grady will be released from hospital in Spain later today after undergoing tests following a seizure suffered on Sunday. The Australian was attending the Valencia round of the MotoGP championship when he experienced a frightening seizure.
O’Grady explained that the ‘hot lap’ he had just taken aboard the Ducati two-seater MotoGP motorcycle with Randy Mamola may have triggered the episode. "When the ride finished of course I could feel my heart rate soaring, my blood pressure rising, but I didn't give it much more thought," he said. "But then I started having blotchy vision and 20 minutes later I had a seizure and collapsed.
"It was possibly the extreme 'hyper tension' or maybe an old scar on my brain from one of my previous crashes but there's no use speculating or guessing, it's happened and that's that."
The Saxo Bank professional has endured life-threatening crashes during his career and is regarded as one of the toughest riders in the peloton. Despite the medical side effects of his close encounter with motorcycle racing on Sunday, the Australian remained typically upbeat about the experience. "The ride around the Valencia circuit was unbelievable," said O'Grady. "I've jumped out of planes, been in a Russian fighter jet, a V8 Supercar, the works - but the twin seater Ducati blows them all out of the water!
"I have never come close to the experience of hanging on for your life. The braking on those bikes had my feet coming off the rear pegs, and my butt way off the seat, the acceleration meant I needed my full strength to hang onto the machine and not get flicked out onto the track in front of 90,000 fans," he explained. "It was something I will never forget and would do again tomorrow if my body could handle it."
Despite the serious nature of O’Grady’s collapse, the South Australia took a light-hearted approach to the matter. O’Grady said he’s even accepted the...
MotoGP star Stoner visits Roubaix winner in hospital
Saxo Bank rider Stuart O’Grady is recovering well with the help of fellow Australian and 2007 MotoGP champion Casey Stoner, according to the South Australian’s brother Darren. O’Grady suffered a frightening seizure and collapsed before Sunday’s final MotoGP round in Valencia, Spain, after being taken on a ‘hot lap’ aboard the Ducati two-seater MotoGP bike – a specially-built replica of Stoner’s machine.
He was taken to hospital where he remains under observation, although brother Darren told Cyclingnews that a visit from Stoner was welcome relief for the man affectionately known as ‘Stuey’. “He just told me it’s one of the bonuses [of being in hospital] - Casey Stoner’s come in with a pile of Maccas,” said O’Grady.
Darren, himself an elite rider who has ridden the Crocodile Trophy in the past, explained that Sunday’s medical scare could be related to the head trauma Stuart suffered during an attack in Toulouse, France, before the Sydney Olympic Games. Two months after the attack he had a focal seizure before a race on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, Australia and it appears this latest episode could be linked.
“That’s what they suspect it could be, and the nature of a lap on the back of the MotoGP bike has just upset it. It’s potentially a bit of relapse,” said O’Grady.
It was certainly unexpected, although O’Grady explained that there could be an upside to the episode – a potential long-term solution could be identified. “In all optimism we hope that it’s something that will be treated and it might actually be a good marker of where he’s at with the condition so we can stamp it out once and for all,” said Darren.
Like a number of Australian professional riders, the 2007 Paris-Roubaix champion is a massive motorcycle racing fan. Former World Superbike...
Bianchi agree to two-year deal with pro continental team
Bianchi announced yesterday that it will supply bicycles to Italian team Ceramica Flaminia for the next two seasons. The Italian company continues its sponsorship at the professional continental level after two years with Barloworld.
"It provides Bianchi with a direct connection to our Italian heritage and builds recognition of our brand outside of Italy," said Bob Ippolito, Bianchi's Managing Director.
Bianchi has a long history in cycling. Felice Gimondi, Magnus Backstedt, Andrea Tafi, Marco Pantani, Gianni Bugno, Moreno Argentin have all raced in Bianchi-sponsored teams. Over the past two seasons it has sponsored Barloworld, including riders Robert Hunter, Steve Cummings and Chris Froome.
The 17-man Ceramica team's best-known rider for 2010 is Riccardo Riccò, who is serving a suspension for doping that ends March 18. He won two stages and finished second overall at the Giro d'Italia in 2008.
Ceramica will race in the professional continental division, or one division lower than the ProTour level, and has to earn an invitation to the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
"Team Flaminia, together with the arrival of Riccardo Riccò in March, will compete at a very high level and we have very high expectations of the feedback they can offer to Bianchi in terms of product design. The Bianchi factory is now in the process to preparing our new and improved 928 SL bike for the team," said Lars Svalin, Bianchi Product Department Manager.
Ceramica Flaminia's 2010 roster is: Alessandro Maserati, Andrea Noè, Cristiano Fumagalli, Daniele Colli, Donato Cannone, Edoardo Girardi, Enrico Rossi, Fabrizio Lucciola, Filippo Baggio, Giampaolo Caruso, Leonardo Giordani, Luca Celli, Massimiliano Gentili, Paolo Bailetti, Raivis Belohvosciks, Riccardo Riccò and Santo Anzà.
Bianchi is one of four famous Italian companies supplying bikes to teams...
Dutch professional continental team to head into next season with 25 riders
Skil-Shimano announced today that it has completed its team for the the 2010 season. The Dutch team has signed home riders Robin Chaigneau and Job Vissers as the final members of a 25-man roster.
"Chaigneau has come on leaps and bounds and is now ready to turn pro," the team said in a press release. The 21-year-old sprinter had several second and third place finishes this year with continental squad, Cycling Team Jo Piels.
Vissers, 24, was Dutch amateur champion last season and this year road as a trainee for Skil-Shimano. "He made an outstanding impression," said the team.
The professional continental or second division team had a successful season 2009, which included racing at the Tour de France. Frenchman Cyril Lemoine placed third on Tour de France's stage three to La Grande-Motte.
Dutchman Kenny Van Hummel brought the team five wins this season, Robert Wagner and Tom Veelers each won once.
Chaigneau and Vissers bring the number of Dutch riders in the team to nine.