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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Date published:
October 07, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Lloyd aims for good end of season, has bigger goals for 2010

    Matthew Lloyd (Silence-Lotto) ascends the Col de la Colombière.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2009, 20:02 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Impressed with Evans' Worlds win

    Former Australian road race champion Matthew Lloyd has said that he wants to start chasing personal goals in 2010 and beyond, taking a more ambitious approach to competition. The 26-year-old has spent much of this season recovering from a bad crash he suffered in the Amstel Gold race, and also working for Silence Lotto team leader Cadel Evans.

    Now he's feeling more like his old self and wants to get in a good end of season prior to building up for what he hopes is a strong year.

    "My plan is to do four one-day races in Italy with Cadel and the Silence-Lotto team, the last of which is Giro Lombardia," he said to Cyclingnews recently. "With Cadel being the world champion, the motivation is great. I look forward to finishing the season in good fashion, and am passionate about these last races.

    "After that, I'll spend some time back in Australia. I'll be able to do more work to make sure that everything is fine after the crash this year, as I've got great osteopaths and physiotherapists there."

    Lloyd has ridden in a support role this year but wants to start chasing personal goals. "When I look to the future, I want to start trying to get more involved and win some big races," he said. "I definitely want to start chasing results – I do like the Classics and I do have ambitions in longer stage races. Obviously that sort of thing takes time, but I would like to target some personal things next year."

    The Melbourne rider has been a professional with the Belgian team since the start of 2007 and has taken top-20 results in races such as the Giro di Lombardia and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He was part of the Australian team which backed Evans during the recent road race world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, and which were rewarded with the first ever elite rainbow jersey for the country. Lloyd was impressed by the result and also with its implications for cycling back home.

    "The victory was...

  • Comeback cyclist Gerlach relapses

    Chad Gerlach leads Jonathan Baker in their race-winning break.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2009, 20:24 BST
    Gary Boulanger

    Amore & Vita pro living on the streets again

    Sacramento, California has seen both the dramatic return of Lance Armstrong and local racer Chad Gerlach to the pro peloton in 2009, but while Armstrong stood on the podium at the Nevada City Classic, Tour de France and Leadville 100, Gerlach's 'summer vacation' has turned tragic, as the 36-year-old has relapsed into living on the streets to panhandle for drinking money.

    Gerlach, racing for the Amore & Vita cycling team, raced alongside 2008 world road champion Alessandro Ballan in Italy, captured the King of the Mountains climber's jersey at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota, won the Tour de Nez, then finished fifth behind Armstrong at the Nevada City Classic in June.

    Gerlach's triumphant return to professional racing was well documented when he became the subject of several episodes of the reality TV show "Intervention" on the Arts & Entertainment (A&E) channel due to his alcohol and crack cocaine abuse while living on the streets of Sacramento, his hometown. Gerlach is often recognised from the show while panhandling.

    According to a recent article in the Sacramento Bee, this past spring and summer Gerlach trained five hours a day, returning to his old dominant ways on the bike, attracting worldwide media interest. Gerlach retired from racing in 2003 after his team folded and losing interest in the grind of pro racing.

    Records show Sacramento police picked him up on September 25 for suspected public drunkenness. His father, Peter Gerlach, says he got his son into drug rehabilitation about three weeks ago, but Chad didn't stick it out.

    "I've had a wonderful summer vacation," he said while panhandling on a recent Saturday night outside a Safeway grocery store on 19th Street. "I'll be back racing next year."

    His Italian-based pro team learned of the relapse only when Gerlach stopped showing up for major races in July, following his fourth-place finish behind Rock Racing's Rahsaan Bahati...

  • Bissell signs three new riders

    Ben Jacques-Maynes gets ready for a ride in the beautiful Santa Rosa area.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2009, 21:22 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Wamsley, Holloway and Willams augment American squad's talent

    The Bissell Pro Cycling Team signed three new riders and announced the first 10 members of its team for 2010. Kyle Wamsley will serve as the team's new criterium strongman while Daniel Holloway will come over from the felt-Holowesko-Garmin Under 23 team, and David Williams will step into the pro ranks for the first time.

    "In shaping our 2010 roster, we have bolstered our finishing speed across the board and this will now complement the team's fantastic time trialing ability," said Team Director Eric Wohlberg. "Our new acquisitions are very gifted riders, who specialize in sprint finishes and are known commodities with regard to mixing it up all day long. We are all very excited for the 2010 season to get underway and anticipate some great days on the podium."

    Wamsley's 2009 results include two top-five stage wins at the Tour of Missouri, as well as a stage win and the overall points jersey at the Redlands Classic. In 2008, Wamsley won the overall at the Fitchberg Classic and took the National Racing Calendar (NRC) victory at the Cox Charities Cycling Classic.

    Holloway had wins both on US and European soil this year and is also a respected track competitor, having achieved four first-place wins at the 2008 US Elite Track Nationals. Newcomer Williams posted impressive local results in Michigan, where he is currently the state time trial champion. Williams also wrapped up his 2009 season with results on the track, where he recently won the men's individual omnium, 4km pursuit and team pursuit at the US Collegiate Track Nationals.

    Ben Jacques-Maynes will continue to captain Bissell after another strong year, in which he demonstrated his ability to compete against the world's best at the Tour of California, Nevada City and Tour of Missouri. Co-leader Frank Pipp will support Jacques-Maynes with his wealth of experience and ability to captain the riders - a major part of the team's success in 2009. New Zealand time trial champion,...

  • Delightful uncertainty key to late-season classic

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream)
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 1:39 BST
    Les Clarke

    Cyclingnews' preview of the 103rd Paris-Tours

    When the drama of the grand tours has passed and the leaves begin to fall, the classics riders know it's time to come out and play, and what better playground than the road from Chartres to Tours in the first week of October.

    Paris-Tours is generally seen as a sprinter's haven, a race where the likes of Petacchi, McEwen and Zabel have battled it out in the past, although there's a place for those riders brave enough to chance their legs against the fast men and make a fleeting bid for victory off the front of the peloton.

    Philippe Gilbert's victory in last year's edition is evidence of this - the Belgian risked all in the finale and it paid off. A look at the race's palmares shows that this is an event that can reward the strongmen of the peloton; riders such as Jacky Durand - the winner in 1998, Andrea Tafi, the 2000 victor and Erik Dekker, the Dutchman who added his name to the trophy in 2004.

    In 2009 there will be no Mark Cavendish at this late-season classic so while the sprinters may be thanking the cycling gods and preparing their team trains, those with an appetite for destruction in the closing kilometres of a long day in the saddle will also be weighing their odds of a shot at the title.

    A man capable of destroying the peloton is Fabian Cancellara, the Swiss rider singlehandedly animating the finale of the world championship road race on home roads in Mendrisio. With an unquestionable pedigree in the classics, should the Saxo Bank star get a sniff in the finale, the smart money will be on the man they call 'Spartacus'.

    At 230km, this year's Paris-Tours is approximately 20km shorter than the traditional route, although it still provides enough scope for the 'Ardennes contenders' such as Alejandro Valverde, defending champion Philippe Gilbert or reigning Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez to shine on the côtes littered throughout the parcours and make their move late in the race.

    The strongest...

  • Armstrong recruits Trek-Livestrong duo for RadioShack

    Bjorn Selander (L) and Taylor Phinney at the Trek-Livestrong team camp earlier this year.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 1:40 BST
    Daniel Benson and Richard Tyler

    New Zealand's Bewley, American Selander to turn professional in 2010

    RadioShack has signed young talents Bjorn Selander and Sam Bewley from the Trek-Livestrong team. The two riders have become the first from Lance Armstrong's Under-23 development squad to make the progression to the Texan's new professional team.

    “It’s a great move and opportunity for them and shows how the programme with Radioshack is working,” Axel Merckx, director of Trek-Livestrong told Cyclingnews.

    Selander and Bewley will race for RadioShack until at least the end of 2011, in line with the International Cycling Union's (UCI) requirement that all neo-professionals be signed to a minimum two-year contract.

    “It will be a step up for both of them in terms of competition but they’ve been consistent and very strong this year. It was natural that they moved up another level. Bjorn I think is an overall rider, he can climb, time trial and sprint. He’s a good all-rounder that can be used in every type of race. He just has to find out what his specialty is. He could be a stage race rider in the future,” Merckx said.

    Selander, 21, has made a rapid progression to the professional level after one season with Trek-Livestrong. This year, he finished fifth overall at Canada's Tour de Beauce and seventh at the Univest GP last month.

    Bewley, too, has spent only one season with Trek-Livestrong, but would have had to have left the squad regardless as he is in his final year of the Under-23 category. The 22-year-old was a member of the New Zealand team pursuit squad that took bronze at last year's Beijing Olympics.

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  • Landis to ride Down Under

    Floyd Landis (OUCH) responds to an early attack.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 1:48 BST
    Cycling News

    American will contest Southland with composite team

    Floyd Landis will ride next month’s Tour of Southland in New Zealand after a group of locals reached out to the American to fill a void in their five-man composite team. Having already finished his first full season since serving a suspension, Landis was open to the idea when New Zealand locals Wayne Hudson and Richard McIlraith approached his manager to join their team.

    “We had already formed a team of five riders, four of whom had ridden together in the 2008 Tour of Southland but a couple of weeks ago the fifth rider switched to another team,” said Hudson. “Although we asked a number of local riders if they wanted to ride for our team, nearly all of them had made commitments to other teams that were entering.”

    Running out of options with local riders the pair started throwing around some bigger names over coffee. “Although it was a long shot at first, I said to Richard ‘well, why not? All we can do is ask and if we don’t ask, we’ll never know whether or not he might have said yes.”

    The Tour of Southland won’t be Landis’ first competitive outing in the Asia-Pacific region. In 2000 he contested Malaysia’s Tour of Langkawi, winning the race’s opening stage.

    Landis will join Nico de Jong, Nick Lovegrove, Jeremy Meech and Jamie Whyte on the Team.

    Landis was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title following a drawn out legal battle over an anti-doping control taken from the American on the event’s Stage 17. He returned to cycling in February at the Tour of California following his ban from competition, the same event he’d won three years earlier. Landis finished the race in 23rd place, one of his best results during a year of predominately North American stage racing.

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  • USADA: All athletes subject to testing in and out of competition

    Mitch Comardo (Bike Barn / Gary Fisher) relaxed at the start of the Rocky Hill Round-up in November, 2008.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 2:01 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Comardo case a warning shot for amateurs

    The United States Anti-doping Agency issued a somewhat surprising press release on Tuesday, stating that it had suspended an amateur racer after he tested positive out of competition. For many amateur American racers, the fact that they can be tested out-of-competition might come as a shock.

    Yet on August 24, 2009, Texan Mitchell Comardo, a category 1 racer who competed at the elite level in both road and mountain bike events, was located and subjected to an out-of-competition control. Lab analysis found five different banned substances in his sample.

    USADA communications director Erin Hannan clarified to Cyclingnews that out-of-competition testing is not just for those who race at the professional level or volunteer to be part of the testing pool. "All those who are members of their sport’s governing body, regardless of their level, make a commitment to compete clean and are subject to both in-competition and out-of-competition testing," Hannan stated.

    She did not specify the circumstances surrounding USADA's decision to test Comardo, but indicated that he may not have been chosen at random.

    "We use our limited resources as efficiently and effectively as possible, and where we believe it is an effective use of those resources we will execute tests in an effort to detect instances of doping, and let those who think they may not regularly be tested know that the possibility is always there," said Hannan.

    Comardo, 22, accepted a two-year suspension, which began September 24, 2009.

    "It is positive that he has admitted his violation, accepted the results, taken responsibility, and can now serve his sanction and move forward, hopefully learning from the experience. This is a good outcome for the anti-doping movement and for the clean athletes who work so hard to do it right," said Hannan.

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  • Armstrong pushes for Coors Classic revival

    Lance Armstrong rides in Dublin, Ireland's Phoenix Park on Tuesday. Armstrong is in Ireland for the three-day Livestrong global cancer summit.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 5:15 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Phinneys join Governor for stage race discussions

    More than 20 years after its last running Lance Armstrong has commenced a bid to revive the Coors International Bicycle Classic by meeting with Colorado government officials. The seven time Tour de France winner met with Governor Bill Ritter to gather support for the idea of launching a stage race similar to the historic event by 2011.

    "There is no reason the Coors Classic doesn't come back. I think U.S. cycling needs it," Armstrong told Associated Press.

    Armstrong and Ritter were joined by Connie and Davis Phinney for the discussions about reviving a stage race in Colorado. Davis, the father of Trek-Livestrong rider Taylor, was the last person to win the event sponsored by the Coors Brewing Company in 1988.

    Ritter has thrown his support behind the idea in principal and while state funding is unlikely due to a funding crisis, he’s reportedly hoping to help form a commission with the aim of obtaining commercial sponsorship money to fund the project. "I think Lance Armstrong is committed to some kind of race in Colorado. This is a big deal for us," Ritter said.

    Other riders to have won the Coors Classic during its nine year history include Tour de France winners Greg LeMond and Bernard Hinault. The first Mexican rider to contest the Tour de France, Raúl Alcalá, also won the race towards the start of his long career in 1987.

    Interestingly, while no connection has been suggested by involved parties, Armstrong’s meetings to launch a race similar to the brewery-sponsored event came on the same day he launched a three year partnership with Anheuser-Busch InBev to become a spokesperson for the Michelob Ultra beer brand. Armstrong travelled to St. Louis for the announcement, with the company announcing it planned on using Armstrong in television and print advertising.

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