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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Date published:
October 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Wilson breaks hand on Tour of Bejing eve

    Matt Wilson (Garmin-Cervelo) heads to the sign on
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 0:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Climbing specialist out of WorldTour race and Jayco Herald Sun Tour

    Garmin-Cervelo's Matt Wilson is a late withdrawal from the inaugural Tour of Beijing which starts today, following an incident in training.

    Wilson, part of a line-up which included Jack Bobridge, Heinrich Haussler, Michel Kreder, Cameron Meyer, David Millar, Andrew Talansky and Johan Vansummeren for the WorldTour event, reportedly crashed during a training ride on Tuesday on an oil-slicked road which resulted in a broken hand.

    The 34-year-old is on his way home to Melbourne, leaving Garmin-Cervelo a man down for the five-stage event.

    The injury will also rule Wilson out of next week's Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which he won in 2007. Having grown up not far from the Tour's penultimate stage which will take in Arthurs Seat, Wilson who will join GreenEdge in 2012, is disappointed

    "The boys and I had talked about it and I had set myself for it," Wilson told the Herald Sun.

    "Getting injured in a race is one thing but training accidents are frustrating – it's a crazy sport."

    It's been a frustrating season for the courageous Australian, after he was forced to retire from the Giro d'Italia following a battle with a stomach virus.

    Wilson will not be replaced for the Tour of Beijing and Cyclingnews has contacted the team regarding a replacement for the climber for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.


  • Contador confident of victory in CAS hearing

    Contador looks back as he distances the amateurs in attendace.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 3:50 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Spaniard visits USA, but likely won't race here

    It has been more than a year since the world learned that the winner of the 2010 Tour de France might lose his title to a positive doping test, but Alberto Contador is confident that his attorneys will put forth a winning argument in the arbitration hearing come November 22.

    WADA has said it would seek a full two-year ban on the rider for his clenbuterol positive, while the UCI will look to have him stripped of his Tour title, but Contador is already planning his 2012 season in anticipation of the appeals being overturned.

    "I'm very confident because of all of the controls and the scientific facts supporting my case," Contador said during a brief visit to the San Francisco Bay area. "I believe there will be a favourable resolution."

    In February, the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) cleared Contador to compete after it accepted arguments that clenbuterol, which first appeared in Contador's doping controls during the second rest day of the 2010 Tour de France, was the result of contaminated beef, and he was not at fault for the substance being in his body.

    The UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency have lodged separate appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the hearings for which were originally scheduled for June, but were delayed on request of Contador's defense team until late this autumn.

    Contador was found positive for a minute quantity of the drug, which is thought to increase aerobic capacity as well aid in fat loss. However, the lab which found the clenbuterol in his...

  • Beppu finally confirmed for GreenEdge

    Quite a way for Fumiyuki Beppu (RadioShack) to spend his birthday.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 5:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Japanese national champion "honoured" to join fledgling team

    GreenEdge has confirmed the signing of Japanese road and time trial champion Fumiyuki Beppu.

    The news was initially launched on September 1 however, it was countered at the time by the 28-year-old on Twitter saying: "I do NOT have any official announcement and comment about a team for 2012 yet. Pls wait till it is all clear."

    One month on, Beppu says that with a stage win at the Tour de France high on his list of priorities, GreenEdge is the right place for him to ply his trade following the past two seasons with RadioShack.

    "I am looking forward to riding with the superb riders and staff that have been recruited to the team, who are all highly motivated and have a clear vision," he said.

    "This very impressive team structure will put me in the best position to just concentrate on races, and to build my career.

    "I'm honoured to be part of this team, which has been 20 years in the making by the best in Australian cycling. I can't wait for next season. I am hoping for a wonderful season with GreenEdge."

    Beppu became the second Japanese rider to complete the Tour de France, finishing behind compatriot Yukiya Arashiro in 2009 and this season, the man from Chigasaki became the fourth to have completed the Giro d'Italia, after Masatoshi Ishikawa (50th in 1990 with Hitachi), Hidenori Nodera (139th in 2002 with Colpack) and Arashiro (93rd) last year (with Bbox Bouygues Telecom).

    Beppu is the 26th signing for GreenEdge which will learn next month if it will be the first Australian team to secure a UCI ProTour licence.


  • Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic looks to build on 50th anniversary's success

    Pro Men on the start line.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 7:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Organisers hopeful of encouraging more women to enter 2011 race

    The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, New South Wales' longest one day classic, is fast approaching and entries for the historic race will be soon closed.

    The event which boasts past winners including former Australian time trial champion Ben Day, New Zealander Greg Henderson and Peter McDonald, is the 10th event on the National Road Series and is open to entries for both men and women.

    The current field is close to 150 riders, but organizers are hoping to get close to matching last year, when more than 500 riders, including a healthy contingent of women took part in the race’s 50th anniversary. The women's race, the Classic de Femme is particularly light on numbers with organisers hoping for a late rush of entries to bolster the field.

    Riders looking to participate in this year's race will get the chance to race against some of Australia’s best local talents including Patrick Shaw (Genesys Wealth Advisers), Phil Grenfell ( and Peter Herzig (Budget Forklifts). The course has also been changed slightly in 2011 to include a new 1.5 kilometre climb in the final 10 kilometres of the race.

    Race director Scott Sunderland said the addition was only a minor one, but would help to keep the race exciting as the riders approach the finish.

    The Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic is on October 22, with entries closing October 9.

  • Team Sky signs Danny Pate from HTC-Highroad

    Danny Pate (HTC)
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 10:04 BST
    Cycling News

    First American to join British team

    Danny Pate has joined Team Sky on a two-year deal. He becomes the first rider from the United States to join the team and leaves HTC-Highroad after one year with the soon to be defunct squad.

    The 32-year-old turned professional in 2000 and was the World Under-23 Time Trial Champion a year later. In 2006 he broke into the European racing scene with TIAA-CREF, which later developed into Garmin Slipstream and the American formed part of their first Tour de France line up in 2008. He rode the Tour the following year as well as the Giro d’Italia.

    “I was fortunate to have a number of offers from teams for next season,” Pate said in a Team Sky press release.

    “After riding with HTC-Highroad, I wanted to stay at the highest level in cycling and be part of the most professional team in the peloton. That is why I have chosen Team Sky and I am delighted to be joining one of the best-structured teams ever in cycling.”

    “Team Sky has a fantastic back room staff, some highly talented riders and a shared motivation to be the best. I know it’s a team that I am going to do well with and I am very proud to be joining this ambitious and exciting project. For the team my work as a domestique will remain my main focus and on a personal level I will be looking to target the World Championship TTT in 2012.”

    Pate will add experience and strength to Sky’s line up after the departure of Steve Cummings to BMC last week and Sky’s Dave Brailsford highlighted Pate’s all-round talent as one of the reasons for signing him.

    “Danny is a hugely experienced rider with a fantastic pedigree. As well as being one of the peloton’s strongest riders he is also a world-class time...

  • Confusion over Freire’s future

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) gets out of the saddle
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 10:40 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Rabobank say Spanish sprinter has retired

    The future of three-time world champion Oscar Freire remains unclear, with his Rabobank team indicating that the Spanish sprinter has told them he is set to retire. “As it stands now there is no offer on the table for Oscar,” Rabobank PR Luuc Eisenga told Cyclingnews on Wednesday morning.

    Eisenga has also told Spanish website that, “Oscar has informed us that he is leaving cycling. With that being the case we have withdrawn our offer. That’s the situation.”

    However, El Diario Montañés, the local paper in Freire’s home region of Cantabria, has a different version of events. It claims that there is “total agreement” that Freire will ride for one more year with the Dutch team he’s been with since 2003. The paper does add, though, that the deal has yet to be signed.

    Freire’s brother and manager Antonio has been in negotiations with Rabobank and a number of other teams since before the Vuelta a España. Freire has previously said that he would like to finish his career with a Spanish team, and it has been widely reported that Antonio Freire did discuss his brother’s situation with both Movistar and Geox. Freire himself said that the proposals he received didn’t show “sufficient interest” in him.

    In recent weeks, staying with Rabobank has seemed like Freire’s most likely option given that the Spaniard has said that he would like to race for one more year and have a final shot at the Worlds in Valkenburg, where the course should suit him. However, the latest update from Rabobank suggests that this weekend’s Paris-Tours, where Freire is the defending champion, may turn out to be his...

  • Giro d'Italia 2012: Danish stages announced

    Lars Krarup, Micheleacquarone_jan_tr_jborg
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 12:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Opening changes to prove a tough test

    The opening stages of next year’s Giro d’Italia were presented today, with the 198 strong field set to compete in Denmark for the opening 3 days of racing. It marks the first time that the race has entered a Scandinavian country.

    The start of the Giro on May 5, 2012, will take place in the city of Herning with a 8.7 kilometer individual time trial.

    The first road stage starts from Herning and takes the peloton towards the west of the country, to the coast, and finishes in Herning after 206 kilometers. It could prove to a testing stage with windy conditions predicted along the coast and two small climbs.

    The final stage on Danish soil starts and finishes in Horsen and comprises of 190 kilometers that run along Horsens Fjord and with a city-centre loop. Both road stages should however end in bunch sprints.

    New Giro d’Italia race director Michele Acquarone praised the route and the team of organisers that helped bring the race to Denmark.

    “From the very first day, we have experienced a great involvement and a high degree of professionalism on the Danish organisers’ part and, certainly, the route designed for the first three stages of the Giro d’Italia 2012 reflects this. I am very much looking forward to introducing the corsa rosa to the Danish population. Let me put it this way: the world’s toughest bike race in one of the world’s most beautiful countries meets the world’s happiest people”.

    The Giro d’Italia will be the second major international cycling event on Danish shores in the space of twelve months after the country hosted the UCI Road World Championships last month. The event was seen as a success in terms of logistics and organisation and the CEO of Sport Event Denmark is...

  • Dowsett notches up his best WorldTour result in Beijing

    Alex Dowsett (Gbr) Sky Procycling rode to third place in the time trial
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 14:11 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Briton third in opening time trial in China

    Alex Dowsett wore a broad smile at the finish line of stage one of the Tour of Beijing, in the shadow of the Olympic aquatic centre known colloquially as the “Water Cube.” Team Sky's young rouleur certainly didn’t sink in the 11.3km time trial as he coped admirably with jet lag to clock the quickest time of the early starters.

    “I used to do time trials in England and they were always at six o'clock in the morning anyway, so it’s normal for me,” Dowsett told Cyclingnews.

    When Dowsett went to the start ramp outside the Olympic Stadium, the iconic “Bird’s Nest,” it was indeed 6:28am at home in Essex. After he crossed the line, he waited until the very end of the race, about two hours, without going back to his hotel. He knew in his own mind that he had good chance of climbing onto the podium, at least for the best young rider's trophy.

    Ultimately, Dowsett finished third on the stage, 24 seconds behind Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) and seven seconds behind his fellow countryman David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo). He also beat his teammates Chris Froome (4th) by two seconds and Steve Cummings (5th) by eleven.

    “I went to the Tour of Beijing do to something today,” Dowsett said.

    The Briton has had a very strong end to the season. In the last five weeks, he has won a stage at the Tour de Poitou-Charentes (second in GC) and the individual time trial of the Tour of Britain, as well his national time trial championship. His third place in China is a special result, however, as it is his first podium finish in a WorldTour race.

    Dowsett explained the hard work that he did to prepare the first stage. “I knew the course suited me, it was quite...