Spanish pro continental team invited to Giro d'Italia presentation
Spanish team Andalucía-Cajasur has made a step towards racing the 2010 Giro d'Italia. Team Manager Antonio Cabello attended the Giro route presentation in Milan on Saturday at the request of race director Angelo Zomegnan.
"There is a possibility, otherwise they would not invite you," Cabello told todociclismo.com. "But being invited to the presentation does not necessarily mean you will be invited to the race."
Organiser RCS Sport presented the Giro d'Italia, May 8 to 30, at Italy's X Factor television studio. It unveiled 21 stages, that will include the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the third week.
Riders or team directors from most of the top-level ProTour teams attended. Team director Gianni Savio represented his Diquigiovanni squad and 2000 Giro winner Stefano Garzelli represented Acqua & Sapone, both professional continental or second division teams.
"We have earned an international reputation, but it was a surprise to be invited," continued Cabello. "We have worked hard in the last years. For our team to be invited to the presentation it means we have a good reputation, not just in Spain, but in Europe."
Fifteen ProTour teams and seven Professional Continental teams raced in this year's Giro d'Italia. The invitation of the Spanish Xacobeo Galicia team had been a surprise inclusion in this year's race. RCS Sport based its decision on the performance of Ezequiel Mosquera at the 2008 Vuelta a España, where he had finished fourth overall.
Xacobeo Galicia was also represented in Milan on Saturday, with Mosquera in attendance at the Giro presentation.
RCS Sport will select the teams for the Giro d'Italia in January 2010.
Former world time trial champion Amber Neben has been cleared to resume riding after a four-week rest to recover from a broken hand sustained at this year's world road race championship. The American will now be able to prepare for the upcoming season with the former Equipe Nürnberger, now Skyter team, alongside the team's new recruit, Olympic champion Nicole Cooke.
"I'm looking forward to next year - when you bring in someone like Nicole who can win the overall World Cup it really raises the morale on a team."
Despite having an injury-plagued season as time trial world champion, Neben, 34, said she is motivated to work to regain her rainbow bands when the championships head to Melbourne, Australia next year and has an eye on the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"After an injury it's hard. There are still plenty of things I want to accomplish on the bike. Medaling in the Olympics is still a huge goal, especially after having tasted gold at Worlds."
Neben shattered her second metacarpal when she slammed into a metal barricade during the road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland in September.
"It was about halfway through the road race - Nicole Brändli had attacked and taken a group away, and I was at the front of the next group. We weren't too concerned because Marianne Vos, Nicole Cooke, Emma Johannson - all the women we expected to be in contention - were still behind," Neben told Cyclingnews about the events preceding the crash.
"Emma was getting antsy, and humped hard into a fast turn and Kristin [Armstrong] and I followed. Emma took a really aggressive line on the wet roads and just slid out. Kristin went down, and everything from there felt like it was in slow-motion.
"I was upright and took a wider approach to get around the fallen bodies and bikes - I was trying to figure out where to...
The Xacobeo-Galicia Cycling Team announced today that it has released eight riders from the squad for the 2010 season.
Included on the list are David Herrero, who placed second on a stage of the Vuelta a Espana behind Lars Boom in Cordoba. He finished the race 28th overall.
Also exiting are Iban Mayoz, Ivan Rana, Eduard Vorganov, who has joined the Katusha team and Spaniards Juan Francisco Mouron Doldan, Alejandro Paleo, Héctor Espasandin Rama and Pedro Fernandez.
The team is left with just three riders who have contracted for 2010: Ezequiel Mosquera, David Garcia and Gustavo Cesar Veloso. The team is still in talks with Serafin Martinez, Gonzalo Rabuñal, Gustavo Dominguez, Delio Fernandez, Marcos Garcia, Carlos Castaño, Vladimir Isaychev and Alberto Fernandez.
The team said it would have sixteen riders in 2010, three fewer than last season, but said that it could increase the number if it is able to secure a new sponsor.
25 ProTour and Pro Continental directeur sportifs to attend week-long programme in Aigle, Switzerland
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced that its UCI Academy will conduct the first directeur sportif programme at the World Cycling Centre in Aigle, Switzerland from November 2-5.
The programme will see directeur sportifs from UCI ProTour and UCI Professional Continental teams come together to undertake specifically designed workshops, develop practical skills, enhance knowledge sharing throughout the teams and ultimately assist with the overall global development of the sport - a key objective of the UCI and the UCI Academy.
The training allows directeur sportifs to improve their knowledge of many aspects of the sport, such as cycling regulations (sporting, technical and anti-doping) and team management (budgetary control, supervision of activities, human resources). Participants who successfully complete the training will receive a certificate awarded by the UCI Academy and the Manchester Business School.
"Next week, 25 directeur sportifs from UCI ProTour and UCI Pro Continental teams will take part in the first directeur sportif programme at the World Cycling Centre," said Alain Rumpf, UCI ProTour manager. "This constitutes a key step in the improvement of the quality of professional cycling worldwide, one of the goals pursued by the UCI ProTour since 2005. Ultimately, anyone who wishes to become a directeur sportif will have to be in possession of this diploma (by 2013 for UCI ProTour and 2015 for UCI Professional Continental Teams)."
Programme Manager Michael Cary commented on the success of the programme to date in generating positive feedback and full registration.
"We were confident that this new and exciting programme would be well received by the UCI teams," said Cary. "It has been developed with a large amount of industry input so that it addresses real requirements and issues faced by the directeur sportifs today. We are pleased with the response to date and look forward to welcoming the directeur...
Dutch company BBB has long offered a remarkably diverse array of products including components, accessories, clothing, tools, and more but now is devoting more resources to items designed and developed in house as opposed to rebranded items from overseas manufacturers.
Case in point is the new Falcon helmet, which was not only developed in-house but also signals a new focus towards the higher end of the market with its €145 price tag – not to mention its selection as the official team helmet for the Cofidis squad. Defining traits include 23 gaping vents made possible by generous 'SpiderWeb' carbon fiber and aluminum reinforcing structures (which, of course, are left visible in spots), in-mold construction, an easy-to-use retention system, anti-bacterial pads and a sleek appearance.
BBB will offer the Falcon in two sizes and three colors.
Riders on more of a budget, however, can instead look to the new Fenix helmet, which boasts a similar look and feel to the Falcon but with a more conventional internal reinforcement skeleton instead of the fancy carbon fiber and aluminum extras. The vents are slightly smaller and the internal channeling not quite as deep as a result so it won't feel quite as cool when summer returns but then again the price tag is also more palatable at €95.
The Fenix will come in the same two sizes as the Falcon but in four color options instead of three. Those looking for a visor can opt for the otherwise identical Moco for another €4.95.
Two new designed-in-house sportglasses will greet riders for 2010 as well. The Rapid is a full-framed model with Grilamid construction, rubber nosepieces and temple inserts, and a choice of standard, photochromic, or even polarized polycarbonate lenses when glare is an issue. Even with the polarized lens option, pricing is still quite reasonable at €59.95 with other lens options coming in for even less.
United States of America Criterium Champion John Murphy has signed a two-year deal with BMC Racing team beginning in 2010. Murphy’s move means the stars and stripes jersey may not be in action in the North American nation, because his contract will likely land him in the thick of a full European schedule beginning with the spring Classics.
“Hopefully the second year will be more clear about what’s going to happen and what my role is over there,” Murphy told Cyclingnews. “I know the schedule will be mostly in Europe, so I will live over there and the team will be all over there. They will send teams to the big races in the US but I don’t know when I will come back. I hope to do as many of the Classics as possible and help out there. Hopefully I’ll do well wherever they put me, I think that’s the reason they put me on the team.”
Murphy signed the dotted line in mid-September after lengthy discussions with team manager Gavin Chillcot and directeur sportif Mike Sayers. The team felt that he would fit the role of a Classics rider, according to Murphy. “Help in the Classics: that’s what I think I’m on the team for and it’s where I can help the most,” he said. “Hopefully I can do my job whatever that is, whether it’s fetching bottles or leading out sprints. I’m up for whatever.”
The Spring Classics are scheduled to begin in March at Italy's Milan-Sanremo, with the peloton then heading to Belgium for the Tour of Flanders and Gent-Wevelgem, France for Paris - Roubaix, The Netherlands for Amstel Gold Race and back to Belgium in April for La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Murphy joins a series of big name signings that include George Hincapie, Amstel Gold runner-up Karsten Kroon, 2008 World Champion Alessandro Ballan, Tour de France stage winner Marcus Burghardt along with Steve Moribito, Mauro...
Dane on verge of revealing new European professional contract
Michael Rasmussen expects to announce his new professional squad by week’s end, signaling his return to the professional peloton in Europe. The Danish rider hasn’t yet signed an agreement with his new squad but has told Danish media he expects everything to be in order by Saturday’s International Cycling Union (UCI) deadline.
"I feel as confident as you can be that I will be riding a Grand Tour,” he told Berlingske Tidende. “I am more than satisfied with the outlook for next year. The Giro [d’Italia] looks mighty interesting and the Vuelta [a Espana] also tends to be good for me.
“In February I expect to be riding the Ruta del Sol for my next employer,” he added. “I won’t say what team it will be until it is permanently in place, but I expect that to happen by the UCI’s deadline of October 31.”
Rasmussen has been racing in South America with Tecos-Trek since returning from his two year ban. The rider had attempted to start the Vuelta a España in August, however race organiser Unipublic moved to prevent the former Tour de France leader from starting its race. Unipublic issued Rasmussen a letter citing an International Cycling Union (UCI) rule that riders must be registered with a qualified team at least 20 days before a race starts.
While Rasmussen is confident of returning to the professional peloton next year he has admitted he’ll be earning significantly less than prior to the 2007 Tour de France, where he started as a general classification contender for Rabobank. "Although the wages are way below what I earned before my suspension, it will not be like starting from scratch again,” he said.
Rasmussen was dumped by his Dutch squad while leading the 2007 Tour de France, almost certain of victory, and flown out of the country. The controversial dumping came as new information was revealed, indicating that Rasmussen had lied...
Jakob Fuglsang is looking forward to riding the Tour de France in 2010 in only his second year with Team Saxo Bank. “There is no Tour guarantee built into my new contract, but I have however been promised that I will ride the Tour de France,” he said.
The 24-year-old, who comes from a successful mountain biking background, joined Saxo Bank in 2008. He had four wins this season, with a stage win and the overall title in both the Tour of Slovenia and the Post Denmark Rundt. His contract has been extended for another two years, through 2013.
In 2010 the young Dane will focus on the Ardennes Classic to build up for the Tour. “But that does not mean I have a ticket to France,” he told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. “The Tour is a huge goal for me, but I must also show that I can ride strongly enough.”
Fuglsang had other offers for 2011, some of which involved more money, but he elected to stay with Bjarne Riis' team. “You can't look at everything in dollars and cents. Of course, it would have been better if there was more money in the agreement with Riis, but I enjoy being on the team and there is enough money that I'm not going to suffer.”
There is another advantage, he said. “High salaries also bring more pressure and it is mentally tough to perform in every race. Now I have space to take it quietly, and it is better for my development as a rider.”