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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Date published:
September 09, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Nibali ends season early

    GP Camaiore winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    September 08, 2009, 22:50 BST
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    No worlds or Lombardia for Italian

    Liquigas racer Vincenzo Nibali has officially closed his 2009 season. Following an incident which occurred during the Eneco Tour, in which he sustained a fracture of his left collarbone, Nibali decided, in agreement with his team management and doctors, not to force the pace of his recovery and return to racing.

    "With regret, I must say goodbye to the last two goals of the season: the worlds in Mendrisio and the Giro di Lombardia," said the 24-year-old Nibali. "It's a shame, because I was in very good condition. Given the risks with a hastened recovery, however, I prefer to be at rest for now and look forward."

    "I had a good season and my thoughts are already on next season."

    Nibali won both the Giro dell'Appennino and the Gran Premio Città di Camaiore this year. He was 10th overall at the
    Tirreno-Adriatico and sixth overall at the Tour of California. He was second in the best young rider classification at the Tour de France.

    Nibali's manager was pleased with his rider's season. "Vincent is a rider of undoubted talent who has made a quantum leap this year. In recent years, we invested in his growth - in the way a young man needs. Now Nibali has shown he can compete with the best in the world. I am sure that next season will give us new rewards and allowing recovery is the first and fundamental step to make that happen."

    Nibali's doctor, Roberto Corsetti, predicts a full recovery in plenty of time for next season.

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  • USAC confirms women’s worlds squad

    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 0:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Two selected to join automatically nominated riders

    USA Cycling has announced its full women’s squad for the upcoming International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Championships to be held in Mendriso, Switzerland. Selectors for the governing body only picked two riders for the squad after the nation had the majority of its riders automatically qualify for positions.

    Mara Abbott and Evelyn Stevens will fill the only vacant spots in the squad, with both riders contesting the road race. Stevens won a La Route de France stage and finished runner-up overall at the event while Abbott took second place overall at the Giro Donne.

    Defending time trial champion Amber Neben will be joined by former champion, and current Olympic Champion, Kristin Armstrong. The pair received automatic nominations for both the time trial and road race based on their top-25 UCI rankings.

    Another automatic qualifier Jessica Phillips will join Neben and Armstrong in the time trial event. Phillips secured her place by winning USA Cycling’s Elite Time Trial Championship.

    Kimberly Anderson and Meredith Miller round out the women’s road squad. Anderson claimed her automatic nomination with an overall victory at La Route de France while Miller’s elite women’s road race victory secured her position on the team.

    USA Cycling's women's road worlds squad:

    Kristin Armstrong (Cervelo-Lifeforce) – Time Trial and Road Race
    Amber Neben (Equipe Nürnberger) – Time Trial and Road Race
    Kimberly Anderson (Columbia-HTC) – Road Race
    Mara Abbott (Columbia HTC) – Road Race
    Meredith Miller (Team TIBCO) – Road Race
    Evelyn Stevens – Road Race
    Jessica Phillips (Team Lip Smackers) – Time Trial

  • BMC adds youth to experienced 2010 roster

    Mauro Santambrogio (Lampre-NGC)
    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 3:16 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Santambrogio, Kristoff sign with growing squad

    BMC Racing Team has signed Mauro Santambrogio and Alexander Kristoff to join its star-studded line-up for 2010. Both riders are aged 25 or under and will join the likes of George Hincapie, Karsten Kroon, Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt and Steve Moribito at the growing squad for next season.

    BMC’s sports director John Lelangue was delighted to announce the two new signings. “Our two latest signings are both very interesting for our team," said Lelangue. "Santambrogio will be a good addition to our stage race team since he is young, but he has already found a good deal of success racing in Italy. And to win in Italy is already quite an accomplishment he can be proud of."

    Santambrogio turned professional in 2004 and has spend the five seasons since riding for Italy’s Lampre squad. Norway’s Kristoff however is a neo-professional and the team hopes his classics experience will blossom riding alongside someone with the experience of Hincapie.

    "Kristoff has a really good classics résumé. I saw him racing in Ireland and was hugely impressed," Lelangue said. "He is already a good sprinter so we will be looking for him to help build up our lead-outs while also making strong contributions to our Classics program."

    Kristoff hails from the Norwegian Joker Bianchi team, the same team 2009 sensation Edvald Boasson Hagen joined Columbia-HTC from. " I believe that BMC represents my best opportunity for my further development as a rider, and I hope to contribute to the success of the team and my new team mates," said Kristoff.

  • Hesjedal delighted with best Grand Tour finish

    Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam) sprintes ahead of Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream), r, in Vuelta a España stage 10
    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 4:35 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Warns more to come in Spain from Garmin-Slipstream

    Garmin-Slipstream’s Ryder Hesjedal finished second on the Vuelta a España’s stage 10 from Alicante to Murcia, but the Canadian believes there’s more to come from his Garmin team-mates. Tom Danielson is currently sitting in fourth overall and Tyler Farrar remains in the hunt for stage wins.

    Hesjedal formed part of a 19-man breakaway that built up an eight minute lead on the stage. The group included pre-race favourite Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana), Adam Hansen (Columbia-HTC), Linus Gerdemann (Milram), Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) and eventual stage winner Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam).

    “The team wanted to be represented in any big group that split from the bunch,” Hesjedal told Cyclingnews after the finish. “Once we could see that the time was starting to go out and that most teams were involved we could start getting excited about going to the line.”

    With the category 4 climb of Alto de la Cresta del Gallo situated 20 kilometres from the finish the lead group began to splinter. Hesjedal followed the lead selection of Vinokourov, Gerrans and Fuglsang over the top.

    “It was definitely a solid group and a lot of people were getting ready to do battle on that climb,” he said. “Obviously there were a lot of strong guys there but I was confident. I just had to get over the top with whatever selection was possible and fight out the finish.”

    Despite a solo move in the close kilometres, Hesjedal was piped to the line by Gerrans, who continued his excellent streak in Grand Tours. However the Garmin rider was pleased with his ride.

    “Gerrans is pretty quick so I can’t be too disappointed to run second to him,” he said. “I’m happy as that’s my best results in a Grand Tour in an individual stage. A lot of good guys were in the break and in the final selection, so I can’t be too disappointed. It does sting a...

  • Ekimov to direct Armstrong's RadioShack in 2010

    Viatcheslav Ekimov and Johan Bruyneel have a chat before the ride gets rolling back to town.
    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 5:02 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Former US Postal rider will follow Bruyneel to new squad

    Viatcheslav Ekimov has confirmed he will join Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel’s newly formed RadioShack team as a directeur sportif next season. The news comes as no surprise given that the famed Russian spent over a decade of his professional career alongside the two prominent figures, while riding for the US Postal, Discovery Channel teams and now as one of Astana’s on-road leaders.

    “I’m going to the RadioShack team but I don’t have a deal signed yet. I have a verbal agreement,” said Ekimov, who is finishing up his season directing team Astana at the Tour of Missouri. “It will be Capital Sport and Johan Bruyneel Sports Management, which will manage the whole thing. Johan will be the sport manager of the team and I will be a sport directeur.”

    Ekimov’s notable victories include two gold medals at the Olympic Games in the pursuit in 1988 as an amateur and a second in the time trial in 2000 as a professional. Despite his long list of personal achievements, Ekimov is better remembered for his near decade long efforts as a domestique for the famed American-based team US Postal turned Discovery Channel team that was directed by Bruyneel. He started and finished 15 Tour de Frances and played a key role in six of Lance Armstrong’s seven victories.

    “I’m happy working with these guys and if you are happy then why do you need to change something,” said Ekimov, who would like to manage his own team someday. “If it isn’t broken then don’t fix it. I like this job and it’s nice to be on the road again once in awhile. It’s a good transition from being a professional cyclist. I can see the race, feel the race and I can concentrate on tactics and strategy. When you are a professional cyclist, you don’t see [the] things that I can see from the car and hear on the radio.”

    Not only is Ekimov attracted by the idea of working...

  • Astarloza's counter-analysis positive

    Mikel Astarloza feels at home in the mountains.
    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 10:37 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Euskaltel continue to back Mikel Astarloza despite B-sample positive for EPO

    Team Euskaltel-Euskadi announced on Tuesday that counter-analysis has confirmed Mikel Astarloza's positive test for blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).

    "It is not a surprise, since the result was leaked to the media a few days ago," said the Basque team.

    Astarloza, 29, tested positive for EPO on June 26, but the International Cycling Union (UCI) only announced the result on July 31. He rode the Tour de France and won the mountain stage to Bourg-Saint-Maurice, on July 1, ahead of France's Sandy Casar (Française des Jeux).

    The UCI temporarily suspended Astarloza when it announced the result. "I know that I have not taken anything prohibited," said Astarloza last month.

    Euskaltel, who have backed Astarloza since the announcement of his initial positive test result, re-affirmed their faith in the rider yesterday. Astarloza has "given this matter to his lawyers and experts to show innocence," the team added.

    Astarloza was the second rider from the Basque team to test positive in July, after Iñigo Landaluze.

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  • Maes to RadioShack in 2010

    Nikolas Maes (Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator) RadioShack bound for 2010
    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 11:17 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Sprinter the lastest Belgian to join American team

    RadioShack signed Belgian rider Nikolas Maes to its roster for 2010. The 23-year-old sprinter will leave Pro Continental team Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, according to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure, and will join a growing number of his compatriots at Lance Armstrong's new American squad.

    The move to RadioShack will be the first change of teams for Maes since he began his professional career as a stagiaire. He started in 2006 with Chocolade Jacques - Topsport Vlaanderen, as the team was then called.

    Maes finished sixth at the Belgian Championships in June before he took the biggest win of his professional career, Vuelta a Burgos stage three. The win at the Spanish stage race came two positions ahead of Topsport teammate Ben Hermans, who will also race for RadioShack.

    Maes is the fourth Belgian addition to Team RadioShack in the past two weeks. Maes and Hermans follow fellow Belgian riders Gert Steegmans and Sébastien Rosseler to the new team.

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  • Froome heads to Britain ahead of Worlds and Lombardia

    Chris Froome (Barloworld) at the 2009 British Championships
    Article published:
    September 09, 2009, 11:28 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Chris Froome to use Tour of Britain as preparation for season finale

    Chris Froome will start final preparations for his end-of-season goals at the Tour of Britain on Saturday. He will support his Barloworld teammates in Britain ahead of two key races: the World Championships and Giro di Lombardia.

    "I will use Britain as a bit of a stepping stone," Froome told Cyclingnews. "I will work as a domestique for our sprinters, I am more than happy to do that to help my condition for the World Championships."

    The Tour of Britain starts in Scunthorpe and finishes in London on next Saturday. Froome will race with teammates Robert Hunter, Steve Cummings, Geraint Thomas, Michele Merlo and Carlo Scognamiglio.

    It is Froome's last race prior to the World Championships, September 27, in Mendrisio, Switzerland. He will form part of the nine-man British team with Bradley Wiggins, who finished fourth overall at the Tour de France, and David Millar as captains.

    "[The Worlds course] is very hilly," said Froome, who's home in Como, Italy, is nearby the Championship parcours. "It is technical, the descents are tricky. You have to stay at the front all day, if you drift towards the back you will fall off the pace."

    Great Britain will name its complete team in the coming days. Steve Cummings can also lead the team, said Froome of his Barloworld teammate.

    "It will be a good race for Wiggins and Millar, they're natural favourites based on how they've been riding."

    Both Cummings and Froome are planning on leaving Barloworld at the end of this season. Sources say they will ride for new British team Sky.

    Froome started his professional career with a Kenyan racing licence, but switched to a British licence in January 2008. It will be his second World Championships racing with the British team.

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