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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Date published:
September 29, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Porte prepared for tough time trial at Worlds

    Richie Porte claimed the white jersey
    Article published:
    September 28, 2010, 14:50 BST
    Les Clarke

    Australian an outside medal chance on home turf

    Richie Porte says he'll use his climbing ability and stature in Thursday's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong as the Australian seeks to add further success to what has been an excellent year.

    The 25 year-old from Tasmania was full of praise for Saxo Bank teammates Fabian Cancellara and Gustav-Erik Larsson, saying that the Swiss rider's power was phenomenal and would serve him well on the testing Geelong time trial course while the Swede's climbing ability and his status as an under-dog could help him cause a surprise.

    As for his own chances, Porte explained that he's a different type of rider to his teammates but that won't necessarily hinder his potential as a medal contender in the 45.6km Elite men’s time trial on Thursday.

    "I'm not a big, powerful time trialer; I'm a smaller guy, but I do have a good power output and being shorter means I'm quite aero," Porte told Cyclingnews, adding that guidance from team management has been useful at his first world championships in the senior ranks.

    "I've looked at the climbs and I've spoken with Neil Stephens; he's been awesome for me. I'm just going to have to use those hills to my advantage,” he explained.

    “If the weather stays crappy like this I won't mind. Most of the Europeans are a bit jetlagged and I think that's also going to be a pretty big factor in it."

    Successful 2010

    The 2010 season has been an overwhelming success for Porte. After signing his first pro contract in late 2009 he wore the leader's pink jersey, won the best young rider jersey and finished seventh overall in the Giro d'Italia. His confirmed his pedigree for time trials by beating the likes of countryman and triple time trial world champion Michael Rogers, Denis Menchov, Larsson and Vladimir Karpets in the Tour de Romandie time trial.

    He performed well at the Tour of Britain earlier this month but it was his 10th...

  • Phinney looking to kick off US Worlds challenge

    Tyler Farrar and Christian Vande Velde ride in the rain
    Article published:
    September 28, 2010, 14:53 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Phinney goes for gold in U23 time trial

    Taylor Phinney will look to kick start Team USA’s Worlds campaign with a winning ride in Wednesday’s Men's U23 time trial. The American will line up as a strong favourite having recently won his national time trial title. He hopes to give the US team a spring board to success for the rest of the championships.

    “I’ve ridden the time trial course four times,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    “It’s really hard, a lot harder than anyone expected except for the Australians. I think they might have been just being cruel with us. The climbs are not shallow, they’re steep and short. It’s a course where it's  really easy to go too hard on the climbs and blow up and not have enough for the finish.”

    “I’ll try and use my weight and power on the downhill and flatter sections of the course but the profile looks hard. It’s not going to be easy and very hard to settle into a rhythm. It'll be a real mental game.”

    Phinney will be joined by Ben King and Andrew Talansky in the time trial as well as a cluster of other strong rider he affectionately calls the dream team, in the road race.

    “The under 23 team is basically the Tour de l’Avenir team which I call the dream team because we get along so well and work well together. I’m excited for Wednesday but Friday is a unknown just because the course is so hard but I’ll make an assessment after lap one.”

    Despite his relaxed manner, all eyes will be on Phinney as he aims to complete a hat-trick of objectives for the year: victory in the individual pursuit at the track world championships, defend his U23 Paris-Roubaix title and  tomorrow’s Worlds time trial.

    “There are a lot of people expecting me to win and I know have the capabilities to win the race," he said.

    "It’ll come down to what happens on the day but winning the US time...

  • Høj announces retirement

    Frank Hoj (Saxo Bank) was all smiles at the start
    Article published:
    September 28, 2010, 18:46 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Dane calls time on 16-year professional career

    Frank Høj announced his retirement from cycling after failing to reach an agreement with Bjarne Riis on a deal for 2011.

    “I’ve reached saturation point,” Høj told “My legs have been through a lot, so it will be nice to be able to ride my bike without it necessarily having to hurt.”

    2010 was Høj’s 16th season as a professional, making the 37-year-old one of the longest-serving riders in the peloton. His biggest wins came in 1998, when he took the Danish national championship and Veenendaal-Veenendaal.

    Thereafter, Høj was a consistently strong performer in the cobbled classics in a career that saw him ride for Palmans, US Postal, Française des Jeux, Team Coast, Gerolsteiner and Cofidis, along with two stints competing for Bjarne Riis’ teams. He also took top 10 finishes in the road race at both the Sydney and Athens Olympic Games, while his last victory came at the Circuit Franco-Belge in 2005.

    Høj refused to be drawn on his precise plans for his retirement, only that his future would lie outside of cycling. “I’m going to start off again from zero with a new career that has nothing to do with cycling,” Høj explained. “It’s going to be a big change, because I’ve been a professional rider for 16 years.

  • US women motivated for Worlds time trial

    Evelyn Stevens will contest both the road race and time trial.
    Article published:
    September 28, 2010, 20:35 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Neben, Stevens looking to continue team's streak

    The USA has assembled its strongest squad for the UCI world championships in Melbourne this week, and its women are looking to continue a streak of success in the time trial which includes three gold, one silver and two bronze medals over the past five years.

    While 2008 time trial champion Amber Neben will be hoping to overcome her difficult season to put in another top result, newcomer Evelyn Stevens is one of the top contenders for a rainbow jersey when the women take to the time trial course on Thursday.

    Neben started out the season well with wins in the time trials at the Women's Tour of New Zealand and the Redlands Classic, but a serious muscle pull at the Tour of Flanders put her on forced rest for several weeks in the spring. A second place to Stevens in the US time trial championship was followed by another setback - a broken collarbone sustained in a crash at the Giro Donne in July.

    Neben told Cyclingnews that she is excited for the world championship race in Geelong. A win in the Memorial Davide Fardelli time trial earlier this month was a good indicator that her form is returning.

    "I have been working hard and staying patient with the recovery and build process," Neben said. "I have also been very focused and motivated. I know that I have had a very challenging year, but I still have high expectations for myself."

    The US has won the rainbow jersey in the time trial three out of the past four years, with Kristin Armstrong (2006 and 2009) and Neben in 2008. To gain a second gold medal, Neben said she would need "that perfect day where everything works in sync... my head, my legs, and my heart", but that she will give everything she has. She tipped Stevens for the time trial win.

    "I can only focus on my race. I will go and do my best, and see where the result lands me. Evie is primed to have a fantastic day, and I hope she does!"

    The national championships in Bend, Oregon, proved to be a...

  • Dennis a strong presence at Worlds

    Team Jayco Skin's Rohan Dennis powers towards the gold medal. Dennis finished the 20kms in 24:48.20 minutes at an average speed of 48.38km/hr.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2010, 0:37 BST
    Les Clarke

    Australian tips Anglo riders for U23 time trial glory

    Australian Worlds under 23 time trial hope Rohan Dennis goes into today's title decider one of the men to watch and believes fellow Anglophones Taylor Phinney, Alex Dowsett and Luke Durbridge will be among the top finishers in the 31.6km race against the clock.

    The 15.8km course features a steep climb up the oddly-named Mt Pleasant Road, which won't be a pleasure for riders who'll have to tackle it twice. Dennis believes it will play a part, although finding the right rhythm will be more important.

    "It's going to be a tough course - it's going to be all about pacing - everything's pacing for the first lap," Dennis told Cyclingnews. "Obviously you've got to go hard, just not go into the red zone.

    "The second lap's where you're going to have to make up a lot of time and if you go out too hard you could lose between one and two minutes over the second lap."

    Taylor Phinney has been tipped as the red-hot favourite, given his recent US national championship TT win, and Dennis recognises the American's status as virtual number one seed. He further emphasised that the climb won't necessarily be the deciding factor, rather the riders' ability to find the right rhythm.

    "Sure, weight does come into the equation, but I think that more so it's pacing. Some of the stronger guys like Phinney can still get over the climb - they put out some big power - and if they can get over quick enough I don't think it's going to hurt them too much. Hopefully it does, for my sake!

    He's quick to point out that while Phinney is the favourite, some other names who could impress, given their ability against the clock, include his teammate Luke Durbridge, who has enjoyed a solid year of development on the road.

    "Definitely Luke Durbridge and [Britain's] Alex Dowsett, who has had some good results this year, are guys to watch," said Dennis.

    The 20-year-old firebrand from Ashford, South Australia, has also enjoyed another...

  • Cantele aiming for Worlds time trial gold

    Noemi Cantele is ready for the cold weather
    Article published:
    September 29, 2010, 5:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian wants to be one better in 2010

    Italian Noemi Cantele is aiming for a gold medal in this afternoon’s elite women’s time trial in Geelong, Australia, after finishing second at last year’s event in Switzerland. Cantele faces some strong opposition at the Australian event with Germany’s Judith Arndt and Great Britain’s Emma Pooley among the favourites.

    "That will be the dream, but you have to always be looking to racing," said Cantele. "I will start with this goal."

    The rider admitted that the course’s difficulty has taken her by surprise. Cantele hadn’t expected it to be so difficult and expects the weather conditions may make victory even harder to accomplish.

    "The weather tomorrow will be a key part for the performance," Cantele said. "It is a really tough course.

    "We were thinking it was not so tough from before, but from when we rode it the first time, we understood it was hard for the world championships, especially in the time trial."

    Cantele hopes a strong showing in today’s time trial will also take some of the pressure off ahead of the women’s road race on Saturday.

    "It will be good to do another race to get the best condition for Saturday and it helps for me, especially the mental approach as the stress is gone and I have done one race already," said Cantele.

  • Durbridge dares to dream after Worlds

    Luke Durbridge (Australia) went out hard on the opening lap.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2010, 10:05 BST
    Les Clarke

    Australian comes close to breakthrough gold medal win

    He's been part of Australia's most successful team pursuit squad in recent history and today Luke Durbridge further enhanced his reputation as an emerging star with an excellent performance to claim silver in the U23 time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong.

    And he came agonisingly close to becoming Australia's second consecutive U23 time trial world champion, with just 1.9 seconds separating him and USA's Taylor Phinney, who was pushed all the way by the 19-year-old West Australian.

    "To come so close - 1.9 seconds - at my first [senior] Worlds... I'm pretty stoked," said Durbridge after the finish. "It would've been nice to win but it wasn't to be. I've got next year and hopefully bigger things to come."

    Durbridge left the starter's gate early in the event and went out hard early, setting the fastest first lap time of all riders; he then faced a nervous wait as the world's best espoirs riders tried to better the Australian's time of 42:52.19

    "I didn't have any time checks that were good to gauge myself on but I just had [Australian coach] James [Victor] in the car yelling at me and telling me to keep my rhythm," explained Durbridge. "When I came in and I was a fair bit faster I thought, 'Hey, we've got a long way to go here' so I just waited and waited and everyone was just coming through slower.

    "I guess I didn't expect how good a time mine was throughout the day - I thought it was a good one but I still had ages to wait so I wasn't getting too ahead of myself," he added. "As the day progressed I got a bit more nervous and Taylor put in a fantastic ride and got me on the line.

    "I went really hard in the first lap but when they came through and the times just kept coming through... then when I went to doping and came back I was still 17 seconds faster than Taylor and I thought, 'He's one of the favourites, this could be a medal'. I started to get pretty excited, then when he came through 1.9...

  • Pooley makes history with time trial gold

    Emma Pooley (Great Britain) shows off her gold medal.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2010, 10:07 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Briton emulates Boardman as time trial champion

    Emma Pooley has joined a very short list of Great Britain riders to win gold in the time trial following her victory at the UCI road world championships today. Pooley is just the second British rider to win in the discipline, behind Chris Boardman, and the first female victor.

    "Yeah, it's fantastic,” said Pooley. “I can't quite believe it. Maybe I will wake up in five minutes and it will be this morning again!

    "I think the time trial is a fairly good test,” she added. “I'm really happy. I guess it all went well.”

    Pooley was pleased with the decision to ban radios at this year’s event, something riders including Fabian Cancellara have spoken out against. Pooley claimed the event by 15 seconds over Judith Arndt and Linda Villumsen.

    “I quite like the fact that this year no radios were allowed so no one was getting intermediate time checks which meant all you could do is ride your fastest and the fastest person wins,” she said. “I prefer not to think about the other competitors, just do the best I can and see what happens at the end."

    Pooley was quickest from start to finish over the 22.8 kilometre course. She took a 3.8 second margin over Villumsen by the first check point at 6.6 kilometres and opening it out it by nearly two more seconds at the second check point at 14.7 kilometres. The final third of the course, however, was where Pooley did the damage, putting the hammer down to extend her lead by a further 10 seconds.

    Pooley suffered a last minute scare when she was required to make changes to the positioning of her seat and bars. Despite making the late adjustments to meet International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations, Pooley said she wasn’t fazed by the alterations.

    "We had some last-minute adjustments to make. I have two bikes, one to train on and one to race on, and at the last moment I was racing on the training bike and maybe I haven't raced...