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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Date published:
October 27, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Tchmil wants Cipollini as a Katusha consultant

    Filippo Pozzato (Quick.Step) with Mario Cipollini on the podium
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 10:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Team manager wants a mentor for Pozzato and Rodriguez

    Katusha team manager Andrei Tchmil is hoping to convince Mario Cipollini to accept a role as a technical consultant with the Russian team, as he tries to get the better results from his riders in 2011.

    Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez topped the UCI World Ranking and Filippo Pozzato is considered one of the stars of the sport but Tchmil is not satisfied with the results the team achieved in the 2010 season. The team won 20 races but missed out on success in the major classics.

    "There were some great moments and some bad moments. But the results indicate that we're still missing something," Tchmil told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "What we've achieved so far is comforting because we built the team from scratch but we want to do even better and win even more. We need someone like Cipollini, but as a mentor."

    Tchmil raced with Cipollini in the MG-Bianchi team in 1992 and 1993 and knows that behind his Playboy image, the former world champion and Milan-San Remo winner is a demanding perfectionist and who knows how to win races.

    "I'd like someone in the team that can point out to Pozzato the mistakes that he makes," Tchmil explained.

    "He's got class and talent but is just missing that little bit that makes a huge difference, probably a bit of extra determination. He doesn't seem to realise that time is going by and that he'll never get it back. It really hurts me to see him wasting so many chances. I was more aggressive, hungry. I knew I had to win, that nobody was going to give me anything for free and that I could never make excuses."

    Cipollini refused to comment on Tchmil's proposal but worked with Pozzato when he was a consultant with the Liquigas team.

    He is expected to meet with Tchmil later this week but will have to resolve any conflict of interest with his current role as consultant with the ISD-Neri team and his bike and clothing business in partnership with Giordana.

  • CAS to hear Caucchioli's appeal on biological passport

    Pietro Caucchioli when he rode for Credit Agricole
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 12:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian challenging two-year suspension

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) will hear Pietro Caucchioli's appeal of his two-year ban in December, in a case which will consider the validity of the International Cycling Union's biological passport programme.

    Caucchioli, who rode for Lampre,was one of the first five riders caught under the programme with irregular blood values. That announcement was made June 17, 2009. The Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal (TNA) suspended him for two years, until July 18, 2011.

    Two other riders who have since been challenged under the biological passport programme have been cleared recently. Franco Pellizotti and Tadej Valjavec were among riders named by the UCI in early May of this year. Pellizotti was cleared to race earlier this month, with the TNA ruling that “there aren’t enough elements to prove the cyclist guilty of blood manipulation”. The UCI may appeal that ruling to the CAS.

    Valjavec was also cleared by the Slovenian anti-doping agency, and his case is pending before the CAS. He recently said that he has so far been unable to find a team for the coming year.


  • Txurruka donates bike and money to Typhoon Megi victims

    Basque rider Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in Taiwan.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 12:40 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Euskaltel rider first on top of Taiwan's gruelling climb

    The Taiwan Cup may have been cancelled due to the effects of Typhoon Megi but Amets Txurruka won the replacement event, a hill climb in Wuling, around the area of the famous Sunmoon Lake, in which Oscar Freire, Robert Hunter, Darren Lill, David Tanner, Tadej Valjavec and other professionals visiting Taiwan competed on Sunday morning.

    "This climb is twice the Tourmalet!" Txurruka exclaimed when he realised the summit is at an altitude of 3275m. The Basque rider didn't get to see the Tourmalet at this year's Tour de France though, as he broke the same collarbone for the second time in four months in stage four to Reims. He rode a strong Vuelta a Espana at the service of Igor Anton until the race leader crashed badly on stage 14. He was the most aggressive rider overall at the 2007 Tour de France.

    After hearing about the consequences of Typhoon Megi - which left 13 dead and 25 people missing in Taiwan - he decided to donate his bike to the victims plus the 250 euros prize money won in the Wuling hill climb, which was eventually multiplied by 10 by his Euskaltel team, making it 2500 euros.

    "This is a bike I used during the 2009 Tour de France," Txurruka told Cyclingnews in Taichung. "It's an Orbea Orca equipped with Shimano Dura Ace and carbon wheels. I don't know the exact value but the bike is now for sale at the bike shop 'De Cycle' in Hsinchu. I hope it'll be sold at a good price to help the people in need. It's not a big action but I'm happy to do it."

    The 27-year-old from Etxebarria in the province of Biscaia stayed in Taiwan to visit some bike manufacturers. In the Basque country, he lives only 12km from Mallabia, the home of Orbea cycles. While travelling to Taiwan, he set his sights on next year's Tour de France as he hopes for better luck in 2011.

  • Andersen denies there is pressure for instant results at new Luxembourg team

    CSC directors Scott Sunderland, Kim Andersen and Alain Gallopin
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 12:59 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Speculation continues about the title sponsor and team name

    The quality of the roster of the new Luxembourg team means it will be under pressure to be immediately successful next season but sports director Kim Andersen is not letting the expectation get to him. 

    "There are obviously high expectations for us. I cannot get around that. There must be expectations, but at the moment I'm relaxed about things. I cannot say now whether I will be nervous in the future, I guess I don't know," he told the Danish website

    "My philosophy is that of course there is a lot of pressure on us, with more to come, but we must be careful not to let it run away with us. If you work through it 100 percent and coach riders properly, it will come, even if it might not happen in the first week. "

    Some of the pressure and expectations come from within the new team. Team manager Brian Nygaard recently stated that his goal is put both Andy and Fränk Schleck on the Tour de France podium. This year Andy Schleck was second, only 39 seconds behind winner Alberto Contador, while Fränk crashed out.

    "When we talk about the Tour de France, it is clear that we have some riders who will go for the overall win,” Andersen said. “But I believe that we have a team that is so strong that we could help in many areas throughout the season."

    Team sponsor and name still up in the air

    Earlier this week, Nygaard sparked speculation about the team's possible main sponsor when he twitted: “Watch this space in future for the coolest team in cycling in 2011,” with a link to the Leopard True Racing site. So many people thought it was to be the team's name that Nygaard was forced to explain his remark.

    “Leopard True Racing is the name of the project behind our new group. The name of this structure has nothing to do with the actual team,” he told the Luxembourg Wort newspaper. “Both are basically different things. I can...

  • Pellizotti in talks with Team Sky, Astana, Geox and Movistar

    King of the mountains Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 15:39 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Team Sky amongst those interested after Italian was cleared of doping

    Franco Pellizotti is in talks with several major teams, including Team Sky, Astana, Geox and Movistar, after he was cleared of a biological passport violation by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

    The Italian was named by the UCI as one of three riders with suspicious biological passport data late in May. He has always denied doping and was cleared last week because of a lack of evidence that variations to his blood values were caused by doping.

    The UCI has yet to decide if it will appeal against the verdict at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). In the meantime the Italian stage race rider is free to race again and has attracted lots of interest for 2011.

    "Franco is on holiday but we're working hard to find him a new contract," his agent Alex Carera told Cyclingnews.

    "Several teams have shown interesting in signing him, including Sky, Astana, Movistar, Geox and Acqua & Sapone. His contract with Liquigas ends this year but we're also talking to them because they've been so supportive."

    "I've spoken directly to Dave Brailsford at Team Sky but the interest came from Sky Italia and the team's bike sponsor Pinarello. I've got to talk to Franco about the interest when he gets back from his holidays next week but a decision could be made soon about his future."



  • Hunter hopes for more opportunities with Pegasus Sports

    South Africa's Robbie Hunter (Garmin-Transitions).
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 16:57 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    South African sprinter wants to race for four more years

    Robert Hunter is one of the most experienced riders on the roster of the new Pegasus Racing Team. And as the team awaits news on its 2011 ProTour licence application, the 33-year-old South Africa sprinter hopes a change of teams will mean more opportunities to ride for himself next season.

    Hunter was under contract with the Garmin-Transitions team for the 2011 season but when the block of Cervélo riders moved to Garmin, he used a buyout clause to move to the Australian team.

    “When I heard the news I started looking around as I realised there was no more space for me at Garmin,” Hunter told Cyclingnews in Taipei, where he was due to ride the Taiwan Cup that was eventually cancelled due to Typhoon Megi.

    “When I signed with Garmin for 2010 and 2011, it was made clear that I’d have space to racing for myself, even in the Grand Tours,” he said. “But Tyler Farrar developed more as a rider and wherever he was racing we had to work for him. Any other plan was out of question, even when he was injured like after his crash at the Tour de France.

    "I don’t mind working for other people as long as I get paid for the job I do. I started off the season really good by making the top ten at the Tour Down Under [he was ninth overall] and winning two stages at the Vuelta a Murcia. Then I picked up an injury but I came good again for the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France.

    “I would have stayed with Garmin but with the sprinters coming with Cervélo, I wasn’t sure my chances and I wanted a long term project. I don’t want to keep changing teams.”

    Long career

    Hunter started his career with Lampre in 1999. He joined Mapei in 2002, rode for Rabobank in 2003 and 2004, for Phonak in 2005 and 2006, and for Barloworld from 2007 to 2009.

    “I want to race for at least another four years and stay with the same...

  • Dominguez steps down as Jamis-Sutter Home solidifies 2011 team

    Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home) close up
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 23:29 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    US Continental team finds success in UCI Tour do Brasil

    Jamis-Sutter Home is putting the finishing touches on its plans to come back strong as a US-registered UCI Continental team in 2011. The squad recently announced a preliminary 13-man roster which did not list sprinter Ivan Dominguez. The Cuban-American confirmed to Cyclingnews that he intends to retire.

    "Sebastian and I spoke before the Tour of Elk Grove about next year and I told him that I was not motivated to keep racing," Dominguez told Cyclingnews. "We spoke about it a little more and I decided that I did not want to race anymore because I was just not motivated and I'm tired of doing all the contract stuff. I haven't won many races in the last few years. I'm happy with my decision. It will open up a place for other riders to get a contract."

    Team director Sebastian Alexandre confirmed the 2011 team, which will include National Racing Calendar (NRC) overall winner Luis Amaran, brothers Alejandro and Anibal Borrajo, Tyler Wren, Jamey Driscoll, Ignacio Pereyra, Andy Guptill, Tucker Brown, Nick Frey and Jackie Simes.

    The squad added three new riders Fernando Antogna, Eric Shildge, Bradley Ghrig.

    "We will be back, and the team name is Jamis Sutter Home, with the majority of the 2010 riders," said Alexandre. "After a great 2009 season we needed to make some roster changes and I recruited some young guys for whom I have big expectations. When I re-built this team this year I was thinking of 2011. So I am very excited about what we can do."

    Expanding the international program

    It is Alexandre's plan to further expand the team's international presence in 2011. This year, the team began its season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, and recently extended the season in order to competed in the UCI 2.2 Tour do Brasil Volta Ciclista de Sao Paulo-International that ended on Sunday. The team found success with one victory and three podium places during nine-day stage race.


  • Cancellara claims Vélo d'Or

    Fabian Cancellara smiles on the podium
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 6:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider rewarded for exceptional season

    Reigning Olympic and world time trial champion Fabian Cancellara has received cycling's highest honour, the Vélo d'Or, after a season that saw him win both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix plus a record fourth world title in Geelong, Australia.

    Awarded to the world's best rider according to French magazine Vélo, the Vélo d'Or has been won for the past three years by Alberto Contador and was won a record of five times by American Lance Armstrong between 1999 and 2004.

    The 29-year-old is the second Swiss rider to win the prestigious trophy, with Tony Rominger claiming it in 1994. It's the equivalent of football's Balon d'Or, awarded to the world's best in that sport each year and in 2010 Cancellara earned the title by taking the aforementioned northern Classics, plus two stages at this year's Tour de France where he helped teammate Andy Schleck to second overall.

    In Australia he rode to a dominant time trial victory to secure his fourth world crown, a record for any rider, and securing the undisputed title of world's best rider against the clock.

    Voeckler wins Vélo d'or français, Andy Schleck wins Vélo d'or espoirs

    Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) won the Vélo d'Or français, reserved for French riders, ahead of Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) and track sprinter Grégory Baugé, who won the prize in 2009. Voeckler win the French national title, a stage at the Tour de France and the GP de Quebec one-day race in Canada. He described the 2010 season as his best ever.

    Andy Schleck won the Vélo d'or Espoirs award for the best under 25 rider. Vuelta Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) was second and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) was third.

    Vélo d'or Vélo:

    1. Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) 63 points
    2. Alberto Contador (Astana) 42 points
    3. Andy Schleck (Saxo...