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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Date published:
September 04, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Slagter and Hoogerland complete Netherlands team for road Worlds

    Johnny Hoogerland in the Dutch road champion's jersey
    Article published:
    September 03, 2013, 21:50 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Westra and Terpstra to ride the elite men's time trial

    Tom-Jelte Slagter (Belkin) and Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) have been named in the Netherlands elite men's team for the world road race championships in Tuscany, completing a strong and balanced squad for the tough road race around Florence.

    Tour Down Under winner Slagter and current Dutch national champion Hoogerland join Bauke Mollema, Laurens ten Dam, Robert Gesink and Wilco Kelderman (all Belkin) Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM), Tom Dumoulin (Argos-Shimano) and Pieter Weening (Orica-Green Edge) in the nine-rider team. All seem capable of performing well on the hilly course.

    Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will ride the individual time trial. Lars Boom opted not ride the world championships as his partner is reportedly expecting their second child.

    The elite men's road race will be held on Sunday September 29, with the Elite men's time trial on Wednesday September 25. The time trial covers a flat 57.9km course between Montecatini Terme and Florence. The road race is 272km long. It starts in Lucca before heading to Florence for the hilly circuit around Fiesole and the north of the Renaissance city.

    Mollema is expected to lead the team but has struggled to remain an overall contender at the Vuelta a Espana.

    "The world championships are still almost four weeks away. I know that all the riders will be 100% focused and keen for a Dutchman to do well," national coach Johan Lammerts said, cautious about the Netherlands' chances.

    "We have to be realistic about what we can do. This is also the toughest course for the last 10 years."

  • New Zealand team named for world championships

    Linda Villumsen (New Zealand)
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 0:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Villumsen chasing a fifth medal

    Linda Villumsen and George Bennett will lead the New Zealand 14-strong team for the UCI Road World Championships in Florence, Italy later this month.

    Villumsen, a four-time medallist at the world championships and the only Kiwi to have won a medal at the elite level, took a break following the London Olympic Games before returning with the Wiggle Honda team. The 28-year-old won the overall at La Route de France, was fifth at the Thuringen Rundfahrt and 14th overall in the Giro Rosa. She is currently leading the Tour of Ardeche after victory in the prologue.

    Joining Villumsen in the women's line-up will be her Wiggle Honda teammate Emily Collins, Jo Kiesanowski (Team Tibco) and Reta Trotman who has impressed this season in Europe riding in her debut season for German pro team MaxxSolar, including finishing second in the mountain classification in Gracia Orlova Tour.

    "Linda has an outstanding record in the time trial at the world championships and will be gunning to get to the top of the podium this year," said Mark Elliott, BikeNZ High Performance Director.

    "She needed the break from the sport after the disappointment of the Olympics and the time out from the rigours of a professional team has done wonders. She has returned fresh and enthusiastic. Her results suggest she will be competitive on this tough road circuit and we have selected a strong team to support her."

    Two more riders may be added to the women's squad dependent on results this week.

    Meantime, Bennett has had an impressive season for RadioShack Leopard, including a top-10 performance at the USA Pro Challenge. He will be joined by Jack Bauer (Garmin Sharp) and London Olympic medallist Sam Bewley (Orica GreenEdge).

    "George is...

  • Van Garderen, Phinney, Horner, Abbott headline US team for world championships

    Taylor Phinney (BMC)
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 2:16 BST
    Cycling News

    Medal defence on the line in Florence

    USA Cycling will field a strong line-up of riders for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships later this month.

    Joining automatic selections Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly Cycling), Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) and Tejay van Garderen (BMC) will be current Vuelta a Espana overall leader Chris Horner (RadioShack Leopard), Taylor Phinney (BMC), Alex Howes (Garmin Sharp) and Peter Stetina (Garmin Sharp).

    Phinney, 2012 bronze medallist in the individual time trial, will get a chance to better that this month and will be joined by Talansky. The Garmin Sharp rider finished second in the time trials at Paris-Nice, prologue at the Tour of Romandie and the USA Pro Challenge.

    Tom Danielson (Garmin Sharp) was eligible to race courtesy of his fourth overall at the Tour of Romandie, however he declined his start.

    Automatically selected for the elite women's road race are Mara Abbott (Exergy Twenty16), Shelley Olds (Team Tibco-To the Top), Carmen Small (Specialized-lululemon), Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) and Jade Wilcoxson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies). Runner-up at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and US elite women's road champion Megan Guanier (Rabobank-Liv-Giant) and overall winner of the Cascade Cycle Classic, Kristin McGrath (Exergy Twenty16) are the other selections.

    Last year's silver medallist in the individual time trial Stevens, will be joined by national champion Small in the chrono.

    The five-man...

  • Gilbert wants sole leadership for world championships defence

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC), running out of time to win something - anything - during his time in the rainbow jersey.
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 4:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Bomans in Spain to discuss form and Florence course

    Defending Road World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) is yet to win a race in 2013, but the Belgian says that he won't be riding for anyone else come September 29.

    In an interview with, Gilbert said: "I certainly do not want to work for someone else… It's such a nice course I want to try it for myself."

    Gilbert is currently working on building his form at the Vuelta a Espana and he will be bet this week by national coach Carlos Bomans to discuss his thoughts on the world championship course.

    Earlier this week, Gilbert earned his ninth podium for the season finishing runner-up to Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-Quick-Step) on Stage 7. Asked by Nieuwsblad if Gilbert's current form was enough to earn him the title of leader of the Belgian team, Bomans would not say.

    "He is getting better," he admitted. "In difficult circumstances. With that knee injury, racing the Vuelta is not easy. "

    Gilbert was forced out of the Eneco Tour late last month following a crash which left the 31-year-old with stitches in his left knee.

    Gilbert's lead in to his world championship victory in 2012 was also light-on in terms of results, winning two stages of the Vuelta before his victory on the Valkenburg circuit. He said there is no reason to think that this year is any different.

    "Three weeks in Spain will give me freshness that will come in handy at the world championships," he said.

    Belgium has qualified for seven riders in the men's road race.

  • Stage win a dream come true for Leo König

    Leopold Konig (Team NetApp-Endura)
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 7:15 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    NetApp rider still recovering from emotional strain

    Winning the seventh stage of the Vuelta a Espana was “a dream come true” for Leo König. The NetApp-Endura rider was awed to have won a stage in his very first Grand Tour.

    “I came to this race to learn and to get a result, but mostly to learn,” he told Cyclingnews on the rest day. "It is still my first Grand Tour -- you set some goals and believe in them, but you don't really think that they will come true so early. To win a stage in my first year .....

    “At first I could not believe it. It was like a dream come true.”

    The Czech rider had stayed with the group of favourites on the climb up to the Altos Penas Blancas, and with two kilometres to go, he attacked and went after solo leader Igor Anton of Euskaltel. Four other riders came up and joined him, but with one kilometre to go, he shook them off.

    “When I saw Igor Anton, I thought it was not going to happen because he seemed really strong. Then he started looking back and shaking his head, and I saw from his body that he was very tired and I realized I had a chance.  I just kept going and thought maybe I could win. With 50 meters  to go I realized it, that was the moment.”

    The victory had its price, though. The ceremonies, interviews and formalities took over an hour after the stage, and he still had to ride back to the hotel.  The emotional strain hit him, and his body reacted to it.

    “I was, I don't know, just exhausted. Everything coming together after winning the stage and that took so long. I didn't sleep very well, with all the emotions and everything,” König told...

  • Report: Santambrogio could be cleared of doping

    An exhausted Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) at the finish line in Ivrea
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 9:44 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Gazzetta dello Sport claims low levels of EPO in sample leaves case in doubt

    As Danilo Di Luca is questioned by the Italian anti-doping investigators in Rome about his positive test for EPO at the Giro d'Italia, it has emerged that his former Vini Fantini-Selle Italia teammate Mauro Santambrogio could be cleared of doping after doubts about the amount of EPO found in his urine sample.

    According to Wednesday's Gazzetta dello Sport, Santambrogio was initially declared negative by the Rome anti-doping laboratory in a test carried out on a sample from May 4. However that sample was retested after Di Luca's positive test in the final week of the Giro d'Italia and declared positive.

    Gazzetta dello Sport claims that a low level of EPO was identified possibly due to micro-dosing. It is widely accepted that a micro-dose of 500 units of EPO is very difficult to detect just 12 hours after it has been injected.

    While it is reported that Santambrogio has requested the analysis of his B sample, it appears that the UCI has so far failed to push the procedure forward.

    If Santambrogio's B sample proves to be negative for EPO then he will be formally cleared of doping.

    Gazzetta has pointed out that in 2010 Vania Rossi, Riccardo Ricco's partner, was cleared of doping after her B sample was declared negative for CERA-EPO after showing a low result and a long drawn-out investigation.

    Santambrogio was widely suspected of doping before and during the Giro d'Italia. He won the mountain stage to Jafferau and was overall contender until fading to ninth place in the final week of the race.

    Di Luca facing a 8-12 year ban

    Danilo Di Luca is expected to be questioned at length about his EPO positive by the anti-doping...

  • Vuelta stage 11 preview: The time trial specialists hit back

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was the story of the day on stage 6 after an all-day solo escape
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 10:44 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Fast, largely untechnical course with straightforward climb

    Just like the Vuelta a España's one individual race against the clock in 2012, this year's test in Tarazona represents the one opportunity for the time triallists to regain the upper hand on the climbers. But if 2012’s technical and lumpy time trial made it impossible for the chrono-men to do so, 2013 is another story altogether.

    Starting and finishing in Tarazona and 38.8 kilometres long, the time trial begins with a steady, grinding climb on well-surfaced roads. The climb is never steep, and there are sections where it flattens out briefly, but for the first six kilometres as the time trial heads out into the countryside around Tarazona on a double-width ‘A’ road, it is anything but technical.

    This changes abruptly but briefly when the race goes through the small hamlet of Los Fayos. The road narrows and for half a kilometre or so the race goes onto gnarly little backstreet roads. It’s only when the course climbs out of the hamlet and onto the start of the climb, the third category Alto de Moncayo, that the route broadens out again.

    The start of the Moncayo climb is actually almost three kilometres before it ‘officially’ begins in the Vuelta route maps and it is the hardest part too: a long, relentlessly rising ramp that takes the road away from the small clumps of woodland and little rivers, into the rolling dry semi-desert that makes much of the region seem so bleak.

    The ‘official’ climb starts when the road reaches 720 metres above sea level - compared to 485 metres above sea level in Tarazona - and swings right into the national park, which consists of a huge area of forest. Now on a single track, the climb is very long - nine kilometres and rising to 1090 metres above sea level - but it is not at all steep. .

    The first serious hairpin and slightly tougher gradient comes after about seven...

  • Armstrong ordered to answer doping questions as legal case closes in

    Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration
    Article published:
    September 04, 2013, 11:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Insurance company hoping to recover $3 million dollars

    Lance Armstrong is under pressure to reveal more details about his doping past as legal cases against him gather pace.

    According to the Associated Press news agency, a Texas judge has ordered Armstrong to provide documents and written answers to a series of questions by the end of September. The case could also reveal if and what Armstrong's former wife Kristin and UCI President Pat McQuaid knew about his doping.

    The US-based news agency claims that Nebraska-based Acceptance Insurance Holding is seeking the information on Armstrong's doping as it tries to recover $3 million it paid Armstrong in bonuses between 1999 and 2001.

    Armstrong's legal team is fighting the case but has so far been unable to stop the risk that the disgraced Texan could be forced to give sworn testimony about his doping. They have suggested that Acceptance Insurance Holding is engaged in a "harassing, malicious ... fishing expedition" intended to "make a spectacle of Armstrong's doping."

    The case has been set for trial in April 2014.

    Armstrong is under pressure to detail who helped him dope. Acceptance specifically asks for information on when and how Armstrong's closest friends, advisers, ex-wife and business partners learned of his doping.

    The USADA reasoned decision included huge amounts of evidence about Armstrong's doping network, including some on the role of Kristin but Armstrong remained vague about details when he confessed to doping to Oprah Winfrey in January.

    Armstrong is tied up in a series of legal battles. He recently settled with the Sunday Times for an undisclosed amount. US Federal prosecutors have joined a whistle-blower lawsuit that seeks to recover more than $30 million in sponsorship money paid to Armstrong by the...