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Latest Cycling News, September 11, 2008

Date published:
September 11, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Milram to Nürnberg

    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Team Milram will start in Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt on Sunday, September 14, with four members...

    Team Milram will start in Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt on Sunday, September 14, with four members of its Tour de France team. "Rund um die Nürnberger Altstadt is always a great race with lots of fans and guaranteed good mood," said Jochen Hahn, Team Milram's directeur sportif.

    "Races like this are important for the young riders, since Germany's youngsters don't have a lot of chances to race against the big names in the scene," Hahn continued. "We will be at the start with a strong team and clearly want ride for the win."

    Milram will have two young riders, stagiaire Arne Hassink, and U23 World Champion Peter Velits. The team will be led by Christian Knees, who won the Bayern Rundfahrt in May, and Björn Schröder, who won the Rothaus Regio Tour last month. The squad will be completed by Markus Eichler and Ralf Grabsch. Knees, Schröder, Grabsch and Velits all rode the Tour de France this year.

    (Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)

  • Sinkewitz looks to ride again in 2009

    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    There is a "99 percent chance" that Patrik Sinkewitz will return to the professional peloton in the...

    There is a "99 percent chance" that Patrik Sinkewitz will return to the professional peloton in the coming season. The German rider was suspended for the use of testosterone after an out-of-competition test before the 2007 Tour de France.

    According to Radsportnews, the 27 year-old is currently in "close contact" with three Professional Continental teams and one ProTour team.

    Sinkewitz cooperated with authorities after his positive doping control and was therefore given only a one-year suspension, which ended in July 2008. He allegedly told German authorities that during the 2006 Tour de France he and other team T-Mobile members went to the University of Freiburg Clinic for illegal blood transfusions.

  • Boogerd next on comeback trail?

    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Afetr Lance Armstrong, Michael Boogerd is the next retired cyclist to consider making a comeback....

    Afetr Lance Armstrong, Michael Boogerd is the next retired cyclist to consider making a comeback. The Dutchman would consider a return to the peloton if he can find a team, he told De Telegraaf newspaper.

    "This option has gone through my head a couple of times in recent days," he said. "I have trained a lot the last few weeks and am only one kilo over my riding weight. Plus there is a bitter aftertaste about the way I had to stop."

    Boogerd, 36, had planned to retire last season after the Giro di Lombardia, but suffered a knee injury in a training crash in early October.

    Most recently, the Dutchman announced that he was leaving his communications job at sponsor Rabobank. and would look to "orient myself in other directions." He is also said to go through a difficult phase on a personal level.

  • Agony in Asturias: Alto del Angliru

    Roberto Heras (USPS) driving through the rain
    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    They either hate it or detest it. No sane cyclist - professional or otherwise - would climb the Alto...

    They either hate it or detest it. No sane cyclist - professional or otherwise - would climb the Alto del Angliru for fun. But for all those whose sentiments for the hardest climb in the world are the polar opposite of affection, no one will argue that whoever wins this stage of the Vuelta a España will become a legend.

    Used just three times in the past, the list of winners on Alto del Angliru is a who’s who of the most explosive and exciting climbers in recent history. But what makes the climb, first used in 1999, so exciting for the fans is that they get to see their heroes suffer like mere mortals.

    "We’re not animals and this is inhuman," David Millar cursed while refusing to cross the line in 2002.

    Having crashed descending the Cordal and gone down again when hit by a team car, Millar rode to the finish, tore off his number, and told the bedraggled press corps exactly what he thought of the stage.

    "Half the field was wiped out the previous year - and there are other and safer ways in. But in the wet they sent us over again, and loads crashed," Millar explained. "I had already had a heavy crash, and then got hit by the car. That was what I was protesting about. I was dripping with blood, and they were treating us like performing bears on bikes.

    "The police held back the crowds, and then fenced them off so there was no pushing allowed," he added. "Everyone had talked about a protest, it just happened to be me that did it."

    Legend in the making

    Although it is the most mountainous country in Western Europe after Austria, Spain has relatively few legendary climbs considering it hosts one of the sport’s three major Tours.

    The introduction of the huge ascent to the Sierra Nevada ski station in 1979 went a little way towards rectifying this aberration, but Spain’s mountainous reputation was given a tremendous boost when what had recently been no more than a goat track was...

  • Caldwell breaks hip, collarbone in Missouri

    Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Chipotle)
    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor Garmin-Chipotle's Blake Caldwell, runner-up at the recent US...

    By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

    Garmin-Chipotle's Blake Caldwell, runner-up at the recent US professional road championships, crashed during the individual time trial of the Tour of Missouri. The 23 year-old from Boulder, Colorado suffered numerous injuries, including a broken hip (illiac crest) collarbone and a lacerated lung, team director Jonathan Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    Caldwell also injured his head in the crash with reports that he lost consciousness for a moment. But he was alert and responsive when medical attention quickly arrived on the scene, and transported him by ambulance to nearby St. John's Hospital in Branson.

    Caldwell lost control in a turn at the bottom of a fast descent of the 18-mile course, possibly from a tire puncture or related malfunction.

  • Garmin-Chipotle hones in on the time trial

    Hard work paid off for Vande Velde in Missouri
    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Robbins in Branson, Missouri

    By Kirsten Robbins in Branson, Missouri Christian Vande Velde of the Garmin-Chipotle squad clocked...

    By Kirsten Robbins in Branson, Missouri

    Christian Vande Velde of the Garmin-Chipotle squad clocked in with the fastest time of the day in the Tour of Missouri's stage three time trial, taking the victory in Branson. The result placed him more than twenty seconds ahead of three-time world champion Mick Rogers (Team Columbia) and bested the mark set by last year's winner Levi Leipheimer by a few seconds.

    The American admitted that focusing on the individual discipline was an addition to his training regimen this year. The specialty helped him capture the pink jersey in the opening of the Giro d'Italia and a fifth place in the Tour de France. His team is built around talented time trialists that fine-tune their ability with the latest training and technology.

    "I've been working on my time trial position a lot this winter, I've been in the wind tunnel, and my team has put a lot of effort into that," said Vande Velde who admitted that this was his first year training specifically on his time trial bike at home.

    "This team doesn't mess around when it comes to warming up, time trial equipment, wattage and Team Columbia is the same," he continued, complimenting Mick Rogers sat beside him in the post race press conference. "So it's no surprise when you see our two teams, Garmin-Chipotle and Columbia so dominant in the this event."

    According to Jonathan Vaughters, time trialing is an area the team will continue to hone in on in the future. "We put a lot of effort into our time trailing," he said while watching Vande Velde cross the finish line with a large lead over riders like Rogers, Svein Tuft and George Hincapie. "I like time trialing, I think it's a fun game. Moreoverm, the technology aspect of it is something that we are passionate about."

    Garmin-Chipotle recently added to their array of top-notch soloists when they signed Great Britain's...

  • Germany's Schumacher signs with Belgian super-squad

    Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner) will continue under the wing of Patrick Lefevere next year
    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Gregor Brown Stefan Schumacher confirmed his signature on a two-year contract with Team Quick...

    By Gregor Brown

    Stefan Schumacher confirmed his signature on a two-year contract with Team Quick Step for the coming two seasons on Thursday morning. The 27 year-old German, winner of both Tour de France time trial stages, will ride for Patrick Lefevere's team for 2009 and 2010.

    "For me, as a Classics rider, it is a perfect team," said Schumacher to Cyclingnews this morning. "I am hot for the Spring Classics and Ardennes Classics, and I will have the best team for these races."

    Schumacher leaves Team Gerolsteiner after its manager, Hans-Michael Holczer, was unable to find a replacement sponsor for the upcoming season. The move from a German to a Belgian team will help Schumacher take the next career step after three years with Gerolsteiner.

    "There will be more pressure for these races because it is a Belgian team - they are more important for them and there is more publicity. I want to do it; I am ready for this step. I am really happy to be in this team."

    Schumacher blossomed at Gerolsteiner, starting with his win in the 2006 Giro d'Italia. Other highlights include wins in the 2006 Eneco Tour, Tour de Pologne, 2007 Amstel Gold Race, third in the 2007 World Championships and a two-day spell in the maillot jaune at this year's Tour de France.

    "I had good memories; it was my chance to break through, to win my first big races. The first big victory was the stage and jersey the Giro d'Italia - in Namur. Then I won the Amstel Gold Race; I really wanted to win one of those Classics. Then, at the last Tour we had a lot of fun - rooming with [Bernhard] Kohl. It is a pity the team can't go on."

    Lefevere announced in a press release, "Over the past years he has proved to be an excellent all-round athlete able to stand out in the time...

  • No return for Ullrich

    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Lance Armstrong's biggest rival, Jan Ullrich, will not follow the American's comeback comeback to...

    Lance Armstrong's biggest rival, Jan Ullrich, will not follow the American's comeback comeback to pro cycling. "At the moment I can't imagine that."

    In an interview with the German tabloid Bild, when asked about Lance Armstrong's return to the peloton, Ullrich said with a laugh, "If he starts, then I ought to start again, too. But I haven't thought about that. You should never say never, though."

    He added, "We have different history. He left with a win, I left with a disappointment. That still hurts. I wish him lots of luck."

    Ullrich said that he would return to the Tour de France only to watch his son Max (one year old) ride. "But seriously, I would never force him into the sport. He must choose his own way. I have other plans. Plus I don't miss it. I am happy with my life."

  • French reactions to Armstrong comeback

    Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has no objections to Armstrong racing the 2009 event if he sticks to current anti-doping tests
    Article published:
    September 11, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    By Hedwig Kröner The sensitive relationship between the seven-time Tour de France winner and the...

    Prudhomme welcomes American "in principle"

    By Hedwig Kröner

    The sensitive relationship between the seven-time Tour de France winner and the home country of the greatest bike race on earth, France, is once again put to the test with the announcement of Lance Armstrong's comeback in 2009. The American's bid to win the Grande Boucle once again after three years of retirement from the sport has triggered many reactions in the homeland of cycling; most of them not of a positive nature. Still, Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme said that Armstrong could participate in the race "if he complies with today's much more severe anti-doping rules."

    The overall feeling within the French cycling community following the surprising news this week was one of bewilderment. Jean-René Bernaudeau, manager of Bouygues Télécom, could not understand Armstrong's decision and even cast a new shadow of doubt on the way the American was going to try to achieve his goal. "I don't know what to think of it," he told L'Equipe. "In any case, this kind of come-back does not fit into my view of the sport. Bernard Hinault would never have done this... With Armstrong, you get the impression that everything is easy: he stops for three years and then comes back as if nothing happened. That's not how cycling works. Now, we can ask ourselves what the recipe is..."

    Speaking of Bernard Hinault, the five-time Tour de France winner was not as incredulous at the return of the 37 year-old champion. "Jeannie Longo is still there, and she's almost 50 years old," he commented. "Lance Armstrong has a lot of time in front of him, still. If I'm surprised at his comeback? Yes and no. Yes, because he had stopped the bike, and no, because he is not the first, nor will he be the last rider to attempt a come-back of this kind.

    "Now, will he have the capacities...