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Latest Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Date published:
July 01, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Kreuziger's Tour goal a top ten

    Czech Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) following the Tour de Suisse.
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 12:20 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Czech Republic's first Tour winner?

    Czech Republic's Roman Kreuziger is only 23 years old but has clear ambitions for his second Tour de France, July 4 to 26.

    "The goal is to try to arrive in the top 10. It would be good to win a stage and maybe arrive 51st, but I prefer to arrive in the top of the classification," he told Cyclingnews.

    Kreuziger is young but has shown that he has the abilities to at least repeat last year's Tour performance, where he finished 12th overall. He finished 10th in the País Vasco stage race in April, won Tour de Romandie in May and took third at the Tour de Suisse just over a week ago.

    "I have to keep my feet on the ground because at the Tour because others are more mature and stronger than me. I have my top 10 goal and then once the race gets going we will see how situation looks."

    Though he lost the Tour de Suisse to Fabian Cancellara he rode stronger than his Tour rivals did over the nine days. Kreuziger finished 26 seconds up on Andreas Klöden and nearly a minute on Vladimir Karpets. He also took time on them in the final 39-kilometre time trial.

    "Everyone saw that Cancellara won the final long time trial strongly. With respect to my other rivals – Karpets, Klöden – I went very well. It was a good test before the Tour."

    A strong Liquigas team supports Kreuziger. The roster includes Franco Pellizotti, third overall at the Giro, and Vincenzo Nibali, 18th in last year's Tour. The three riders plan to help each other for the overall classification until a clear leader among them emerges.

    "Pellizotti went very well at the Italian championships, with him and Nibali we will have a great team. We also have strong riders at our side, they know how to do their work for us and help Daniele Bennati in the sprints."

    Liquigas' full team is Kreuziger, Italians Nibali, Pellizotti, Bennati, Fabio Sabatini and Alessandro Vanotti, Belorussian Aleksandr Kuschynski, Belgian...

  • Stetina aiming for Tour de France in 2011

    Peter Stetina (Garmin) attacks on the final stage
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 12:20 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Garmin U23 rider joining ProTour team next season

    USA's Peter Stetina has his eyes on the Tour de France, the 2011 edition. The 22-year-old, who will move up from the Garmin-Slipstream Under 23 team to the ProTour team next year, wants to win a Grand Tour someday.

    He hopes to ride either the Giro d'Italia or the Vuelta a España in 2010, "to get one in my legs. It doesn't matter to me which one, they're all awesome," he told Cyclingnews.

    This year has gone well so far for him. "I have won races and shown I can compete with the best in the USA, and around the world when I am on form."

    Stetina raced against Lance Armstrong and Levi Leipheimer in the Tour of the Gila. He was second overall for most of the race, behind Leipheimer. He lost his place on the last stage when he became sick.

    "It was a huge boost for my confidence and to show others what I can do," he said. "Gila is one of my favourite races and to have Lance and co. there made something turn from good to great."

    He hopes that one of the two riders or teammate Christian Vande Velde will win this year's Tour de France, July 4 to 26. "I'd like to see an American take it."

    Stetina took the confidence gained from racing against Tour challengers to the Ronde d l'Isard the end of May. He won the opening stage of the race.

    "I'd been so close so many times, it was the fruition of finally putting all the pieces together and it paid off."

    He was sick again at the Tour de Beauce, where he called himself "pack fill", although he finished 19th overall. He took a short racing break and will return to action this weekend with the Firecracker MTB marathon. He will follow it with local events, Mt Evans and mountain bike nationals, in the coming weeks.

    The rest of the year includes the Cascade Classic, Under 23 nationals, Tour of Utah, L'Avenir and the world championships.

    Stetina said his strengths are climbing, time trialling and stage races. He wants to be a challenger...

  • Froome readies for season's second half and new team

    Chris Froome (Barloworld) at the 2009 British Championships
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 12:29 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Looking ahead after fourth in first British nationals

    Chris Froome is preparing for the second half of his season after a fourth place Sunday's British nationals. He will fill his time with races and talks with teams about a new contract for 2010.

    "I am taking three or four days off with easy riding," he told Cyclingnews from Como, Italy. "The next race on my calendar is Vuelta a Burgos [August 5-9] in Spain. It's a really nice one, with a time trial and one stage it ends on a mountain pass."

    Froome races for Claudio Corti's team Barloworld. He joined the team for 2008 with the help of Robert Hunter, but he plans to change teams for 2010.

    "I am not 100 percent sure if Corti's team is going to be going on next year, and I don't know if he knows."

    Froome was the first Kenyan to race the Tour de France last year. He finished 14th in the final time trial and 81sth overall. The 24-year-old hopes to one day build his season around the Tour de France, even if this year Barloworld is not racing.

    "You always think I wish I was there, but you can't always be there. I think it will be hard to beat Alberto Contador this year, or his Astana team. A lot of guys are up, though, with Carlos Sastre, Cadel Evans, the Schleck brothers [Fränk and Andy]."

    Froome did race the three-week Giro d'Italia in May. He finished 36th overall and was sixth on the hot day up to Bologna's San Luca. His season also included a win at the Giro del Capo, third in a stage at the Méditerranéen Tour and fourth at nationals.

    "It doesn't leave a nice feeling to miss out after being in front all day and having it taken away in the last 150 metres," he said of nationals. He formed a two-man escape with Bradley Wiggins that later became the winning five-man move.

    "It was great to be very active in the race. Because of that a lot of Brits see that I am now a Brit and I am racing there."

    Froome started racing with a British licence in January 2008. He...

  • Quick Step denies Sinkewitz's charges

    Patrik Sinkewitz (Quick.Step)
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 12:56 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian team says it will take legal action

    Team Quick Step has said that it was "shocked" at the German television show Frontal 21 which aired Tuesday evening and contained Patrik Sinkewitz's claims of organised doping at the team from 2003 to 2005. The Belgian ProTour team said that it would commence legal action over the matter.

    In a press announcement issued Wednesday afternoon, the team further noted that  it "absolutely contests the false and defamatory content that was aired."

    Frontal 21 is a magazine programme broadcast by German station ZDF.

    Team manager Patrick Lefevere questioned the timing of the programme. "It’s obvious that the false statements regarding the team … were suspiciously used only a few hours before the start of the one of the most important cycling events, the Tour de France, and only a few days before an important point in proceedings in the slander case between the ex-world champion and former Quick Step rider Paolo Bettini and the ZDF for the well noted events at Stuttgart 2007."

    Bettini is suing the ZDF over a report that he provided Sinkewitz with doping products. That report aired shortly before Bettini won his second World title.

    The team statement said that Quick Step was "shocked that a television network that claims to present fair and balanced information could broadcast such outrageously false statements in such unserious manner." (SW)

  • Sella signs contract with CarmioOro

    Italian Emanuele Sella in CarmioOro team gear
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 13:10 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Banned Italian cyclist to return

    Italian Emanuele Sella signed a contract on Wednesday evening with third division team CarmioOro - A-Style, the team confirmed to Cyclingnews. He will be eligible to race when his one-year doping suspension ends on August 18.

    "We are deciding if he will do a stage race prior to his first race in Italy. He might be ready to race right away in Italy with the last two Trittico Lombardo races: Coppa Agostoni and Coppa Bernocchi," press spokesperson, Pietro Illarietti, told Cyclingnews.

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) tested Sella July 23, 2008, at his home in Vicenza. The blood control showed him positive for third generation blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA.

    Sella, 28, cooperated with prosecutors the Italian anti-doping tribunal issued him a shorter ban.

    Sella won three stages in the 2008 Giro d'Italia – Alpe di Pampeago, Passo Fedaia and Tirano – and the climber's jersey. CarmioOro would need to be Professional Continental, second division, if Sella would have a chance to race the 2010 Giro d'Italia.

    The team said it might consider moving up to the next division for 2010.

    "We are first looking at signing other important riders," said Illarietti.

    The team's recent wins have come thanks to Spaniard Sergio Pardilla. He won a stage of the Circuito Montañes last month and a stage and the overall of the Tour of Japan in May.


  • British Cycling announces 'Whole Sport Plan'

    Victoria Pendleton (Great Britain) celebrates
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 13:30 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Ambitious plan to secure Britain's cycling future

    British Cycling unveiled its Whole Sport Plan on Tuesday, a four-year programme designed to ensure the ongoing future of cycling in the United Kingdom. It announced that it will implement a range of initiatives to help the development of British cycling from its grass roots to elite level competition.

    "With increased funding and fantastic public and commercial partnerships on board, we finally have the resources in place to drive real progress in all areas of our sport," said Ian Drake, CEO of British Cycling.

    The plan encompasses both public campaigns and targeted programmes designed to increase involvement in cycling. Plans include increasing the number of cycling clubs and to develop "traffic-free facilities".

    British Cycling also announced plans to increase the number of international events hosted in Britain. Recently, it confirmed the that the 2012 UCI BMX World Championships will be held in Birmingham and a round of the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup hosted at Dalby Forest, Yorkshire.

    Two high profile components of the Whole Sport Plan have already been started. Last month, broadcaster Sky and British Cycling announced Skyride, a series of mass participation events created to encourage Britons to use bicycles as a form of transport.

    Skyride followed last year's announcement of the new Great Britain-based professional road team, Team Sky. The team will begin competing next year. One of its goals is to produce a British winner in the Tour de France by 2014.

    The Whole Sport Plan was been announced during a period of high cycling awareness amongst Brits. Cycling benefited from the national Olympic team's success at last year's Beijing Olympic and Paralympic games. With the plan scheduled to run through 2013, it will be in action for the 2012 Olympic Games, which will be in London.

    "We have a once in a lifetime opportunity in the run up to London 2012 to really engage Britain with...

  • New BH road racers for AG2R

    BH claims the down tube channel dramatically increases rigidity while also partially concealing the derailleur cables for a cleaner look. An integrated battery mount for Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 is included down by the bottom bracket, too.
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 13:48 BST
    James Huang

    G5 ready for Saturday's Tour start

    AG2R will replace its BH G4 carbon road bikes with a new G5 model that the team hopes will carry its riders to some success in this year's Tour de France. According to BH, the new frame is substantially lighter – claimed weight is just 810g in a 54cm size – but also more rigid by as much as 100 percent at both the bottom bracket and in front triangle torsion.

    Stiffness increases come courtesy of larger tubing diameters nearly across the board, a newly tapered 1 1/8"-to-1 1/2" front end, and a rounded rectangular down tube that features a stiffening channel down the full length of its underside. That channel also helps conceal the derailleur cables for a cleaner look and there's also an integrated mount down by the bottom bracket for a Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 battery. Up front, the matching all-carbon fork – made by Edge Composites – includes a correspondingly oversized crown for improved braking performance and carbon dropouts.

    BH has also maintain the oversized theme down at the bottom bracket with the inclusion of the increasingly popular BB30 system. Though AG2R will undoubtedly use BB30-compatible cranks from team sponsor FSA, BH will also offer to consumers press-fit adapter cups with built-in bearings for Shimano cranks – or presumably any other crankset that uses a 22mm-diameter spindle and identical bearing spacing. Seat stays, on the other hand, have actually gone down in size and adopt a slight curve to add a modicum of comfort over rough roads.

    AG2R will use BH's new G5 frame in this year's Tour de France.

    The G5 retains the G4's deep-section cutout seat tube and semi-integrated seatmast design but matches it with a new, easier-to-use two-bolt seatpost 'stub'. This setup provides the sleek look and stiffer pedaling platform of a fully integrated deep-section setup but doesn't need to be cut to the...

  • NEWS FLASH: Lotto throws Dekker off Tour team

    Thomas Dekker (Middle)
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 13:56 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dutchman out of Cadel Evans' squad

    Thomas Dekker has tested positve for blood boster EPO in a re-test of a December 2007 doping control. He has been placed on non-active status and removed from the Silence-Lotto Tour de France team, the team announced Wednesday afternoon.

    Charley Wegelius will take his place on the Tour team.

    Dekker underwent an out-of-competition doping control in December 2007, while he was under contract with Rabobank. That control was negative, but because his blood values throughout 2008 were suspicious, the World Anti-Doping Agency retested that December 2007 control. Using new testing methods, the sample showed the presence of EPO.

    "I am extremely disappointed," said team manager Marc Sergeant. "This happened when Dekker was riding for Rabobank, but the news is no less hard."

    Dekker left Rabobank the middle of last season under unexplained circumstances.

  • Dekker caught under biological passport programme

    Thomas Dekker (Middle)
    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 15:20 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    UCI orders disciplinary proceedings

    Thomas Dekker will be pursued for doping under the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport programme, it was announced on Wednesday. The UCI has notified the rider, who lives in Monaco, of his positive test for EPO and instructed the Monagasque Cycling Federation to open proceedings.

    The case is the result of the UCI's blood passport programme. According to its press statement, the UCI's evidence is based on Dekker's haematological profile, as well as the presence of EPO in the urine sample taken in an out-of-competition control conducted in December 2007.

    Dekker's profile “demonstrates convincing evidence of the use of the prohibited method of enhancement of oxygen transfer," said the UCI.

    The Dutch rider's haematological profile led the UCI to review the EPO analyses for urine samples conducted since the introduction of the biological passport programme. An anti-doping laboratory in Cologne, Germany, re-examined the December 2007 sample, and on June 20 reported finding EPO in the same.

    Belgian team Silence-Lotto announced earlier Wednesday afternoon that it had removed Dekker from its Tour de France squad and placed him on non-active status.

  • LPR Brakes welcomes Caruso

    Article published:
    July 01, 2009, 18:03 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Former Under 23 Italian Champ changes teams

    LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini officially welcomed Damiano Caruso to its team today. While they signed the contract last year, the agreement came into effect after Caruso's year as Under 23 Italian Champion ended on Sunday.

    "He only is 21, but I think he can do well right away in one-day races. He can mature to do well in races like Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège and to be a stage racer for races like Paris-Nice," LPR Brakes team manager Fabio Bordonali told Cyclingnews.

    Caruso, from Sicily, won the Italian championships for under 23 riders last year in Bergamo. He made a deal with former team, Mastromarco, that kept him on the team through the end of June.

    One of his last races before joining LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini was the GiroBio, or Baby Giro d'Italia. He won the second stage in Lonato del Garda and finished second on stage seven. The win was a confirmation for Bordonali.

    "I was happy to see it. He arrived late in cycling, but he showed well right away in the first races."

    Bordonali has scheduled Caruso to participate his first race July 19, the Giro della Reggio-Calabria one-day race. Caruso plans on training with the team's star, Danilo Di Luca, to prepare for this fall's World Championships. Caruso will race the Under 23 Worlds and Di Luca will lead team Italy in the elite men's race.

    "We could also see him helping Danilo Di Luca in a race like Giro di Lombardia."

    Caruso's contract with LPR Brakes runs through the end of 2011.