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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Date published:
September 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Bernaudeau still optimistic of finding new sponsor for BBox

    Jean-René Bernaudeau Photo: © Régis Garnier
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 13:49 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Announcement expected later this week

    BBox Bouygues Telecom manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has said that he is still optimistic of finding a sponsor for his team for 2011 and that he will make a formal announcement later in the week.

    According to Ouest France, Bernaudeau was in Paris on Monday for talks with an unnamed French multi-national company that had expressed an interested in funding the team. Bouygues Telecom is set to withdraw its sponsorship at the end of this season.

    “They like the team and the project,” Bernaudeau said. “I’m very optimistic and a press conference will be organised before the end of the week.”

    Bernaudeau is up against a tight deadline to secure the future of his squad. The name of the team, copies of the riders’ contracts and a bank guarantee for 2011 must all be presented to the UCI by the end of the month if the team is to continue next season. The team currently employs around sixty people, including 25 riders.

    “I have lost a lot of sleep, I wouldn’t wish it on anyone to be in such a situation,” Bernaudeau admitted to Ouest France. “But my riders have given me their trust and they know that I am working for them.”

    Pierrick Fédrigo, one of the team’s star performers, last week announced that he will join FDJ for next season, while French time trial champion Nicolas Vogondy is leaving for Cofidis. Thomas Voeckler remains committed to the team so long as it continues to exist but last week admitted to fearing the worst for its future.

  • Giro di Lombardia route announced

    Riders negotiate the twisting Giro di Lombardia roads.
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 15:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Milan start and addition of Colma di Sormano climb for 2010 edition

    The route for the 2010 Giro di Lombardia has been unveiled in Milan by race organisers RCS Sport and it includes a number of interesting changes from recent editions. The race start has been switched from Varese to Milan, while the climb of Civiglio is replaced by the Colma di Sormano. As has been the case since 2004, the race will finish in Como.

    The decision to start the race in Milan had been taken in conjunction with Lombardy’s regional government and will serve to showcase their new office complex, the 161m-high Palazzo Lombardia. The gruppo will assemble there on the morning of October 16 before heading north out of the city.

    “The local government would like that the Palazzo Lombardia become a start point for sporting events, including the Giro di Lombardia, so we’re leading the way” explained race director Angelo Zomegnan to Gazzetta dello Sport.

    The Giro di Lombardia began exclusively in Milan until 1984, and the race finished outside the city’s Duomo between 1985 and 1989. Next season will see the finish of the Giro d’Italia return to Milan after finishing in Rome (2009) and Verona (2010).

    On leaving Milan, the race heads towards Como, before tackling a testing circuit around the lake. The first serious climb is the Intelvi, after 64km, and that is followed by the Portone on 142km and the Colle Balisio on 161km as the race builds towards a crescendo.

    The town of Lecco heralds the coming of the race’s major difficulties. First up is the iconic climb to the church of the Madonna del Ghisallo and that leads on to the greatest addition to this year’s route, the Colma di Sormano. Standing 1124m and coming after 219km, the climb is sure to be a major factor in this year’s event.

    “We’re leaving the climb to Civiglio and taking on the one to Colma di Sormano,” said Zomegnan. “Then the race descends to Nesso to give that...

  • Elliott discusses Cavendish comparisons

    Malcom Elliott
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 15:41 BST
    Richard Moore

    1989 Vuelta points winner on sprint trains, climbing and Cav's will to win

    Mark Cavendish’s points win at the Vuelta a España came twenty-one years after the last British victory in the competition. But Malcolm Elliott, the winner of the blue jersey in 1989, admitted to being slightly bemused by the attention associated with being the last British winner of a jersey in a Grand Tour.

    Elliott was on last week’s Tour of Britain with his Motorpoint Pro Cycling team - driving a team car rather than riding, for a change - and, as Cavendish homed in on the points win, he reflected on his success at the 1989 Vuelta.

    “It wasn’t something I particularly targeted,” said Elliott. “Nor was it made a big deal of at the time; it’s only in the intervening years that it’s become something that people talk about.

    “I don’t even remember when I took the jersey,” he continued. “I know that I had it for a large part of the race, and that it was me and [Dutch sprinter] Mathieu Hermans battling for it. He won more stages than me [three to Elliott’s two] but I had greater consistency.”

    In a neat bit of symmetry Elliott claimed a stage victory in the Catalan city of Lleida. It took twenty-one years for the Vuelta to return to Lleida and, you guessed it - Cavendish also claimed his first stage win there, to take what is now a green jersey for points leader. “To do at the Vuelta what Malcolm Elliott did before is special,” said Cavendish. “He still races when I race back at home. I'm not quite
    as good looking as him, but I try to be as good on a bike as he was at these kind of races.”

    Elliott, while no doubt flattered, wouldn’t be drawn on any comparison with Cavendish in the looks department, but he does make a distinction in terms of what type of rider they are.

    “We are very different riders,” he said. “I was a leaner build, and I could get over the medium mountains. In...

  • Vuelta a España was “sublime” says race boss Guillén

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) became the first Italian winner of the Vuelta in 20 years.
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 15:43 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Stages in the Basque Country likely for 2011

    Vuelta a España director Javier Guillén has said that race organizers Unipublic won’t be resting on their laurels after one of the most successful editions of the Spanish grand tour for years. Having described the 75th anniversary edition as “sublime” from an organisational point of view, Guillén admitted that “our biggest problem now is maintaining the level of success of this Vuelta”.

    Speaking to Spanish newspaper AS, Guillén acknowledged there had been setbacks. “We can’t forget the sad death of [Sky soigneur] Txema González or Igor Antón’s crash, but we are very satisfied that our plan for the race worked out.

    "There was an intense battle right to the finish between a Spaniard and a foreign rider, which was only decided on the final three kilometres of the Bola del Mundo, which was our hope. You can’t ask for more than that.”

    Italy’s Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) managed to limit his losses to Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) on the climb to Bola del Mundo and so triumphed on Madrid on Sunday.

    Guillén said that although there had been some criticism of the route, most of the feedback Unipublic have received has been positive.

    “Looking ahead to next year we will have to continue with our innovative approach and not rest on our laurels,” said Guillén.

    Pressed for details on next year’s route and, more specifically on whether the race will return to the Basque Country, Guillén responded: “We will stick with the summit finishes of the kind that we had in Valdepeñas de Jaén and Malaga, and the race will start in Benidorm.

    "The prospect of taking the race back into the Basque Country really excites us, because there are so many fantastic fans there who deserve to enjoy the race again.”

    Asked about a fall in the...

  • Pino retires after Mosquera's Vuelta podium

    The Xacobeo Galicia team director Álvaro Pino responds to reporters' questions.
    Article published:
    September 21, 2010, 16:25 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Xacobeo-Galicia DS leaves cycling saying he needs "tranquility"

    Xacobeo-Galicia team director Alvaro Pino has confirmed that he is retiring from his position with the team in order to spend more time with his family. The 54-year-old has been with the Xacobeo team for four seasons after previously working with Kelme and Phonak following an 11-year racing career in which the highlight was victory in the 1986 Vuelta a España.

    Pino's final act as a director was to guide Ezequiel Mosquera to second place in this year's recently completed Vuelta. He admitted it was a good way in which to bow out. "I'm really satisfied with how things went. Ezequiel's win on the Bola del Mundo made me really happy because I knew that it was going to be very difficult for him to win the Vuelta overall," Pino told Marca. "Another thing that made me happy was the way in which the fans were enthused by the Vuelta. It's years since I've experienced enthusiasm at that level."

    Pino affirmed that he is not likely to change his decision to leave the sport even after his team's recent successes at the Vuelta. Indeed, he revealed that his original plan had been to quit the sport when he parted with Phonak four years ago. "It does pain me to leave because cycling is my life, but I need to be with my family because I have not had a year off since I retired from racing. Being in the sport in the last few years has had an impact on me and I need to find some tranquility," he said.

    Looking back on his career as a DS, Pino said his best memory was "Fernando Escartín's victory [in the 1999 Tour de France] at Piau-Engaly, as well as his podium finish at the Tour. Plus, Ezequiel's stage win at the Bola del Mundo and his Vuelta podium. As both personalities and cyclists, Escartín and Mosquera were very similar. I identify with them a great deal. Xacobeo's victory in the team competition at last year's Vuelta is also a good memory."

    As for the downsides, Pino recalled the positive drug cases during his time at Phonak...

  • Anti-doping conference gains sponsor

    Floyd Landis was helping out at the OUCH-Bahati Foundation VIP tent in California.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 5:13 BST
    Cycling News

    SKINS throws support behind "New Pathways" forum

    Australian compression garment manufacturer SKINS will sponsor the 'New Pathways for Pro Cycling' conference, to be held ahead of the UCI Road World Championships on September 27 and 28 at Deakin University, Australia.

    The primary objective of the conference is to bring together cyclists, administrators, academics, scientists, fans and others interested in the future direction of professional cycling to discuss the problems the sport faces in relation to doping as it undergoes changes in the process of its globalisation.

    The company, which is a headline sponsor of the Australian Institute of Sport's Jayco-Skins development team in addition to being a technical partner for several ProTour teams and BikeNZ, believes the findings of researchers in the project are in line with the values the team and its sponsor upholds.

    "The conference aligns with SKINS' ethos of 'fuelling the true spirit of competition'," said SKINS International CEO, Jaimie Fuller. "SKINS salutes all those who leave their sport better than when they started and respects those who handle themselves with honesty, integrity and class at all times."

    In recent days the conference has come under fire from Australian cycling institutions, including the organisers of this year's UCI Road World Championships and Cycling Australia, as a result of Floyd Landis' announcement that he would appear at the gathering; the American's allegations earlier this year have instituted a federal investigation into alleged doping practices by prominent riders in the US.

    Whilst the Worlds organsing committee has withdrawan its support for the conference, citing Landis' apparent agenda as grounds for its decision, SKINS Sports Director for Cycling Benjamin Fitzmaurice is unerring in voicing his company's support for the event.

    "There can be no tolerance for doping or attempts to dope in sport," he said. "A big part of the process to eliminate such behaviour [doping] is to...

  • Worlds aspirants head to World Cycling Classic

    Simon Gerrans (Sky)
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 6:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Ballarat event a warm up for Gilbert et al

    Many of the world's best riders will head to the Victorian city of Ballarat this Sunday to ride the Herald Sun World Cycling Classic as preparations for next week's UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia, reach a crescendo.

    Organisers announced today that the 18-nation men's field includes Australian grand tour stage winner Simon Gerrans (pictured right), world championships favourite Philippe Gilbert of Belgium, a full contingent of Italians including recent Vuelta a España winner Vincenzo Nibali and team leader Filippo Pozzato, plus Norwegians Edvald Boasson Hagen and Thor Hushovd, French Tour de France stage winner Sylvain Chavanel and New Zealander Greg Henderson.

    Starting and finishing at Buninyong, the course will travel a 16km circuit with the final lap following the road race course used for the Australian Open Road Championships. There's a 90km race for the women and a 130km hitout for the men - roughly half the distance they will face in the world championships road race on October 3.

    A close to full strength Australian women's contingent, including both world championships and Commonwealth Games squad members will compete, along with reigning women's road race world champion Tatiana Guderzo of Italy, who heads the 14-nation women's field. The 2004 world champion Judith Arndt of Germany and her teammate Hanka Kupfernagel, plus 1999 winner Edita Pucinskaite of Lithuania and 2008 time trial world champ Amber Neben (USA) are also entered.

  • Interbike 2010: Cyclingnews' complete coverage

    Pivot Cycles again uses a dw-link suspension but in a more gravity-oriented tune for the Phoenix DH.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 14:00 BST
    Cycling News

    The latest in cycling rolls up on American shores

    Yes, it's that time of year again - Interbike.

    It all starts with the outdoor demo days, September 20-21, giving those in the trade and the cycling public a chance to sample some of the newest products from the on-and off-road scene.

    Bootleg Canyon plays host with "a world-class cross country mountain bike trails, downhill-specific courses, a professionally built BMX track, a closed road course and cyclo-cross demo course designed by the experts who put on CrossVegas."

    Cyclingnews and BikeRadar technical editor James Huang will be riding some of the latest offerings and bringing you the verdict from his days in the dirt.

    It's then time to head indoors for a glimpse of what the 1000-plus exhibitors have in store for the public; the latest in bikes, components, accessories and clothing. It's a chance for the good folk of the US cycling scene to see what all the hype was about at the recent Eurobike show in Friedrichshafen, Germany.

    If you're looking for something in particular there will be a small army of Future Publishing staffers and of course our man James Huang will be on site with camera, laptop, smartphone and notebook. Send requests directly to him on Twitter at @angryasian.

    October 11: New heat moldable shoe options coming for 2011
    October 1:
    New road, mountain, 'cross tires coming to you in 2011
    September 29:
    Hydration pack round-up