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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Date published:
November 02, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Cobo free to leave Geox-TMC

    DS Joxean Matxin assured he had found new backers for his team
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 13:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Matxin gives Vuelta winner green light to look for other team

    Josean Fernández Matxín, the sport director of Spanish Geox-TMC, has given 2011 Vuelta a España winner Juan José Cobo the green light to look for another team for next season. Ten days ago, Geox announced that it was pulling its financial support of the squad, which could mean the end of the entire outfit.

    On Spanish radio Cadena Cope, Matxín has admitted that he has not yet found a new sponsor and that he has agreed to let Cobo as well as David de la Fuente go if they find new team. "I told them both that they have to look for a solution now instead of waiting. That's what I would do. They have to find something else," he said. "If we, in our quest, can uphold our project  then we will let them know immediately. If then they decide to stay - perfect. If they continue with another team, we'd understand."

    While the UCI has already said that Geox riders are free to find other teams, the fact that the team's own director advises its star riders to actively look for another contract is not a good sign for the team's continuity. Indeed, Matxín admitted that the search for a new sponsor was difficult at this point in the year.

    "Today, the situation is that there are motivated and interested companies to sponsor the project but no-one has yet made a sufficient offer. So there are talks but nothing is concrete yet and no contract is signed," he added.

    Denis Menchov is already heavily rumoured to sign at another squad, possibly Katusha, and Cobo may also be interesting to a number of teams - provided they still have the budget to sign a Grand Tour winner.

  • Nordhaug extends with Sky

    Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 15:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Norwegian signs on for another year with British team

    Lars Petter Nordhaug will remain at Team Sky next season after signing a new one-year contract with the British outfit. The Norwegian has been with the team since its formation in 2010 and said that he was pleased with his progress during his second season with Sky.

    “I am very happy at Team Sky and am pleased to have signed this new deal,” Nordhaug said. “Over the last season I have been given the chance to ride a lot of higher-profile races like the Ardennes classics and the Giro, and I’ve learnt a lot as a result. I feel a much stronger rider now than I did twelve months ago and hopefully I will be able to keep getting better next season.”

    Nordhaug was a strong performer at the Critérium International in March and at the Coppa Sabatini near the end of the season. Although he is happy to continue in his support role at Sky, he has one eye on picking up his first win for the team since joining from Joker-Bianchi.

    “I’ve had some good results this season but it would be nice to get a win for the team," he said.

    Nordhaug’s fellow Norwegian Kurt-Asle Arvesen hung up his wheels at the end of the 2011 season, but he will remain at Team Sky as a directeur sportif next year. “He has been a mentor to me throughout my career and I’ll continue to work closely with him in 2012,” Nordhaug enthused.

    Team Sky Principal Dave Brailsford welcomed Nordhaug’s contract extension. “He is a rider entering the prime of his career and we will be working hard with him over the next twelve months to help him achieve his full potential,” he said.



  • Bertogliati wants to win again

    Rubens Bertogliati (Team Type 1 - Sanofi Aventis)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 16:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    2002 Tour de France stage winner continues with American Team Type 1

    Two-time Swiss time trial champion Rubens Bertogliati hopes to win again next season when he will continue to race with American Team Type 1. The Swiss rider, whose biggest win was stage one of the 2002 Tour de France, was Swiss time trial champion in 2009 and 2010 but failed to achieve a victory this season.

    Still, Bertogliati was satisfied with his form in 2011. "My season was regular. I was going really well in the US races in Utah," the 32-year-old told Radsportnews. At the American stage race in August, he wore the King of Mountains jersey for one day.

    Earlier in the year, Bertogliati took part in the Tour de Suisse but couldn't score in his home race, either. "I was simply too tired. I felt jet-lagged as I travelled to the race from America only four days before the start," he commented.

    But the Swiss rider is far from throwing in the towel and is confident to return to his best level in the coming year. "I want to win at least two bigger races and participate in the Olympics as well as in the World Championships," he said. Switzerland had a team of four riders at the Worlds road race in Copenhagen this year but Bertogliati was not nominated. The country earned five places in the Olympic road race.

    He also wants to return to the Strade Bianche one-day race in Italy, where he this year finished 20th as first rider of the chase group behind winner Philippe Gilbert. Bertogliati has developed a liking for the Classics and is looking forward to attend as many of these races in 2012. "I hope that we will be invited," added the Team Type 1 rider.

  • Cliff-Ryan, Schnider sign with Exergy Twenty12

    Theresa Cliff-Ryan (Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) takes an easy field sprint win
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 17:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympic hopefuls boost American team

    The American women's team Exergy Twenty12 has this week announced two more Olympic hopefuls for its roster, US sprinter Theresa Cliff-Ryan and dual Swiss champion Pascale Schnider.

    Schnider, who will relocate full-time to the USA next season, currently holds national titles in the road race, time trial and omnium, and is targeting those events at the London Olympic Games in 2012. She will focus on the UCI Track World Cup and World Championships to help qualify spots with the Swiss National Team.

    Cliff-Ryan comes to the squad after two seasons with the Colavita team where she rode alongside two-time world champion Giorgia Bronzini. The team folded suddenly last month, and while a number of the riders and staff will move to a new team under the Kelly Benefit Strategies organisation, Cliff-Ryan had already inked a deal to join Exergy prior to the team's demise.

    "I chose Exergy because they are very committed to getting athletes to their goals. They have an Olympics focus. I wanted to match my personal goals to a team with the same goals," Cliff-Ryan told Cyclingnews.

    While the team may not have as strong of a European focus, Cliff-Ryan said she doesn't see the move as a step down, but a step toward her goal of making Team USA for the Olympic Games in London.

    "Yes, this year, Exergy is a domestic only program but they are working with USA cycling to get me rides in international events where I can gain valuable UCI points. I will also be riding alongside riders like Kristin Armstrong... need I say more!"

    The women's allocations for the Olympics will not be decided until May 31, 2012, and with only 67 places on offer in the road race and 25 in the time trial, Cliff-Ryan and the other American women will face stiff competition to earn the maximum four places per country for the...

  • BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Team created to develop U23 riders

    George Hincapie (BMC) was all smiles
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    New US-based UCI Continental team a feeder squad for BMC Racing Team

    BMC, Hincapie Sportswear and Holowesko Partners announced today that they will create a professional under 23 development team for the 2012 season. The BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Team will be US-registered, a UCI Continental-level professional squad and act as a feeder team for the ProTour BMC Racing Team.

    "I strongly believe in supporting the next generation of cyclists," said George Hincapie. "Without the help of development programs and folks like Jim Ochowicz guiding me as a new pro, I never could have gotten where I am today."

    Jim Ochowicz is the founder of the 7-Eleven and Motorola Cycling Teams and the one who gave Hincapie his first professional cycling contract in 1994. Ochowicz is the president and general manager of the BMC Racing Team and is a driving force behind the new BMC-Hincapie Sportswear U23 team.

    "George and I have a long history together in cycling," Ochowicz said. "We are both passionate about the sport and want to see it grow. It's only natural that BMC and Hincapie Sportswear join forces in creating a professional U23 program."

    To manage and direct the new BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Team, former 7-Eleven professional Thomas Craven has been hired as the Chief Sports Director. Craven spent several years in the European professional peloton and has seen action in races such as the Giro d'Italia and the road race world championships.

    The development squad is comprised of riders from the former Hincapie-Holowesko Partners amateur development team plus several international riders. The full, 14-rider roster includes Isaac Enderline (USA), Tyler Karnes (USA), Parker Kyzer (USA), Matt Lipscomb (USA), Ty Magner (USA), Alder Martz (USA), A.J. Meyer (USA), Tanner Putt (USA), Will Richter (USA), Michael Stone (USA), Blair Turner (USA), Aleksa Velickovic (Srb), Larry Warbasse (USA) and Jovan Zekavica (Srb).

  • Shpilevski helps AG2R-La Mondiale to WorldTour

    Points classification leader Boris Shpilevski Tabriz Petrochemical Team)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2011, 22:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Russian makes his Asia Tour points count

    Boris Shpilevski believed his chance of joining the big league had passed when he had a difficult year with Fuji-Servetto in 2009, but the points he collected through his results on the Asia Tour with Iranian team Tabriz Petrochemical have earned him a contract with AG2R-La Mondiale.

    The French team's poor season forced manager Vincent Lavenu to recruit Asia Tour's performers Shpilevski, Iran's Amir Zargari from Azad University and Slovenia's Grega Gazvoda from Perutnina Ptuj in order to keep the team's position in the World Tour. Now ranked sixteenth by the UCI, they're very likely to receive one of the last three tickets to the top tier that are up for grab.

    "My first Asian experience was the 2008 Tour of Hainan with [Italian outfit] Preti Mangimi," Shpilevski told Cyclingnews in Wuxi on the start line of stage 1 at the Tour of Taihu, only three hours prior to scoring his seventh international victory this year. "From the beginning, I've loved these races. That's what I like with cycling: this sport gives us opportunities to discover something new.

    "To ride for a French team will also be new to me next year. I've spent five years in Italy before joining [Iranian team] Tabriz Petrochemical. Most of the European riders look down at Asian cycling but they should come and see how fast these races go from start to finish. Look at this Tour of Taihu: it's very well organised and the crowd is big although it's only the second edition and it's a stage race for the first time."

    Rather than buying the Asia Tour points scored by riders unknown in Europe, some team managers like Lavenu are considering racing more in Asia and scoring the points themselves in the future. "I'll begin my 2012 season...

  • Holloway signs with Team Raleigh for 2012

    Daniel Holloway works hard on his "Hollywood" image.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2011, 0:30 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Former US pro criterium champion makes the move to the UK

    American professional Daniel Holloway will be based in Great Britain for the 2012 season as he's joined the UCI Continental squad Team Raleigh. Holloway, 24, who rode for US professional teams Bissell in 2010 and Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth in 2011, had been unsure of what team he'd be riding for next season, if any, but is looking forward to "an exciting adventure" in the nation that's hosting the 2012 Olympic Games.

    "We kind of found each other," Holloway told Cyclingnews, regarding his new team. "I didn't hear for a while if I had a ride or not with Kelly [Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth] for 2012. It was getting late and I had almost settled into finding a regular 9-to-5 thing. Through the grapevine they found out I was available, I found out they were interested in an American and things just kind of went from there."

    Holloway, the 2010 US professional criterium champion, thinks the Raleigh squad will be a good fit for his talents.

    "They've got a lot of good guys and I'm excited to go over and race the UK crit series," said Holloway. Holloway, however, expects his race calendar to be much more than British criteriums as the team holds plenty of ambition for next season.

    "I understand they're looking at trying to get into the Tour of Taiwan, they talked about the Tour of South Africa. Last year I think they raced in France and did some Belgian stuff so I don't just think we're going to be in the UK. We'll be traveling a bit and doing some bigger stuff."

    A foray into North America may also come to fruition.

    "They want to come over to the US and race, but exactly what races is unsure. I think it would be kind of hard to get into California and Colorado with entry fees and costs, but hopefully they can get an invite to Philly. I'd like us to come over...

  • Wang Meiyin hungry for success after inspirational Tour of Beijing

    Meiyin is one of the Chinese riders who has shown that he's not far off graduating to a WorldTour spot in the future.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2011, 4:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour of Taihu the last destination for Chinese talent in 2011

    A rider to watch during the second edition of the Tour of Taihu (November 1 to 5) will be Wang Meiyin riding for continental team Hengxiang. Meiyin, one of China's best young cyclists, is coming off a strong showing at the recent Tour of Hainan where he finished in fourth place overall, one position in front of 2008 Tour de France stage winner Vladimir Efimkin.

    "It came as a surprise to me to do so well on GC at the Tour of Hainan," Wang said upon arrival in Wuxi for the Tour of Taihu. "This is the best result of my career so far. Every day, I remained in the main bunch and I did well at some intermediate sprints."

    The 22 year old from Qufu in the Shandong province is said to have been boosted by his ride at the inaugural Tour of Beijing, where he was awarded as the most aggressive rider of stage 4 after bridging the gap to a breakaway with Lampre-ISD’s Damiano Cunego.

    "Competing alongside World Tour riders has been an inspiration," he said. "I was really impressed by [overall winner] Tony Martin, to see just how good these guys are gives a rider like myself something to aim for."

    "Now that I have good form, I want to do better here than at the Tour of Hainan," he said. "The field of the Tour of Taihu is maybe a bit less competitive but the course is pretty flat and it might be a race for sprinters. There are some very good riders from the Ukraine and American team Jelly Belly."

    Wang finished ninth in the inaugural Tour of Taihu last year. Then, It was a one-day race won by Australia’s David Kemp. The race is Wang’s last event on his agenda for 2011 but he already has next season in mind.

    "I want to learn English and improve my cycling by communicating with riders from other countries," said Wang.