- Article published:
- June 29, 2009, 08:00
- Richard Tyler
Cyclingnews' update on the rosters for all 20 Tour de France teams
Full team confirmed: Maxime Bouet, Sylvain Calzati, Brice Feillu, Romain Feillu, Eduardo Gonzalo, David Le Lay, Geoffroy Lequatre, Christophe Moreau and Nicolas Vogondy.
AG2R La Mondiale
Full team confirmed: Jose-Luis Arrieta, Cyril Dessel, Hubert Dupont, Vladimir Efimkin, Stéphane Goubert, Lloyd Mondory, Rinaldo Nocentini, Christophe Riblon and Nicolas Roche.
Full team confirmed: Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador, Andreas Klöden, Levi Leipheimer, Dmitriy Muravyev, Sergio Paulinho, Yaroslav Popovych, Gregory Rast and Haimar Zubeldia.
BBox Bouygues Telecom
Full team confirmed: Yukiya Arashiro, Pierrick Fedrigo, William Bonnet, Saïd Haddou, Laurent Lefèvre, Alexandre Pichot, Pierre Rolland, Thomas Voeckler and Yuriy Trofimov.
Full team confirmed: David Arroyo, Rui Costa, Arnaud Coyot, Ivan Gutiérrez, Luis Pasamontes, Oscar Pereiro, José Joaquin Rojas, Luis León Sánchez and Rigoberto Uran.
Full team confirmed: Inigo Cuesta, Volodymir Gustov, Heinrich Haussler, Thor Hushovd, Andreas Klier, Brett Lancaster, José Angel Gomez Marchante, Hayden Roulston and Carlos Sastre.
Cofidis Le Credit en Ligne
Full team confirmed: Stéphane Augé, Samuel Dumoulin, Leonardo Duque, Bingen Fernandez, Christophe Kern, Sébastien Minard, Amaël Moinard, David Moncoutié and Rémi Pauriol.
Team Columbia - HTC
Full team confirmed: Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Bert Grabsch, George Hincapie, Kim Kirchen, Tony Martin, Maxime Monfort, Mark Renshaw, Michael Rogers.
Euskaltel - Euskadi
Full team confirmed: Mikel Astarloza, Igor Antón, Rubén Pérez, Amets Txurruka, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Juan Jose Oroz, Koldo Fernández de Larrea and Alan Pérez.
Française des Jeux
Eight riders confirmed: Sandy Casar, Jérôme Coppel, Anthony Geslin, Yauheni Hutarovich, Sébastien Joly, Christophe Le Mével, Benoît Vaugrenard and Jussi Veikkanen.
One rider to be selected from: Rémy Di Gregorio and Jérémy Roy.
Garmin - Slipstream
Full team confirmed: Julian Dean, Tyler Farrar, Ryder Hesjedal, Dan Martin, David Millar, Danny Pate, Christian Vande Velde, Bradley Wiggins and David Zabriskie
Full team confirmed: Alexandre Botcharov, Joan Horrach, Mikhail Ignatiev, Sergei Ivanov, Vladimir Karpets, Danilo Napolitano, Filippo Pozzato, Nikolay Trusov and Stijn Vandenbergh.
Lampre - NGC
Full team confirmed: Alessandro Ballan, Marco Bandiera, Marzio Bruseghin, Angelo Furlan, David Loosli, Daniele Righi, Mauro Santambrogio, Marcin Sapa and Simon Spilak.
Full team confirmed: Daniele Bennati, Vincenzo Nibali, Franco Pellizotti, Roman Kreuziger, Fabio Sabatini, Alksandr Kuschynski, Alessandro Vanotti, Fredrik Willems and Brian Bach Vandborg.
Full team confirmed: Gerald Ciolek, Markus Fothen, Johannes Fröhlinger, Linus Gerdemann, Christian Knees, Niki Terpstra, Peter Velits, Fabian Wegmann and Peter Wrolich.
Full team confirmed: Carlos Barredo, Sylvain Chavanel, Steven De Jongh, Stijn Devolder, Jérôme Pineau, Sébastien Rosseler, Matteo Tosatto and Jurgen Van de Walle (+ Tom Boonen or Allan Davis).
Full team confirmed: Stef Clement, Juan Antonio Flecha, Oscar Friere, Juan Manuel Garate, Robert Gesink, Denis Menchov, Grischa Niermann, Joost Posthuma and Laurens ten Dam.
Team Saxo Bank
Full team confirmed: Kurt-Asle Arvesen, Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O'Grady, Gustav Larsson, Andy Schleck, Fränk Schleck, Chris Anker Sørensen, Nicki Sørensen and Jens Voigt.
Silence – Lotto
Full team confirmed: Mickael Delage, Thomas Dekker, Cadel Evans, Sebastian Lang, Matthew Lloyd, Staf Scheirlinckx, Greg Van Avermaet, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Johan Vansummeren.
Skil - Shimano
Full team confirmed: Fumiyuki Beppu, Simon Geschke, Kenny Van Hummel, Jonathan Hivert, Kurt de Koen, Cyril Lemoine, Piet Rooijakkers and Albert Timmer.
- Article published:
- June 24, 2009, 12:25
- Gregor Brown
Italians previewed "difficult" Mendrisio course
Danilo Di Luca believes the 2009 World Championships course he tested yesterday in Mendrisio, Switzerland, will allow him a chance to win the famed rainbow jersey.
"It's a very hard course, certainly the hardest in the last 10 years. It is suited to my characteristics, the last climb is only two kilometres from the arrival. If I have the condition I had at the Giro d'Italia I will have a chance at victory," he told Cyclingnews.
Italians Di Luca, Alessandro Ballan, Ivan Basso, Damiano Cunego, Danilo Di Luca, Stefano Garzelli, Filippo Pozzato, Vincenzo Nibali and Giovanni Visconti rode three laps of the course followed by national director Franco Ballerini.
"In the past there have been some other hard courses, like in Columbia or Agrigento, but this is 13.8 kilometres long and so there will be a lot of laps, and 4655 metres of climbing. There will never be a chance to relax and you will always need to be at the front, ready to fight."
Cyclists will repeat Mendrisio's course 19 times for a total of 262.2 kilometres. Each lap contains the Acqua Fresca climb (1600 meters long, with the last 780 meters averaging above 10%) and the Novazzano climb (1750m long).
"The first one has a really hard section, but the second climb also has a pretty stiff gradient, then it eases off and starts again. At the end of 262 kilometres and 38 climbs, the course will be very difficult."
Di Luca named Spain's Alejandro Valverde as his number one rival because "he is so fast on these types of climbs." He also noted Luxembourg's Fränk and Andy Schleck
Di Luca has not raced the Worlds since he helped Paolo Bettini win the 2006 title in Salzburg, Austria. Ballerini assured him of a spot last year when he left Di Luca off the team.
"If my condition is what it was at the Giro then I will certainly be the captain. We will see if there will be a co-captain, depending on the others' conditions in August and September."
Di Luca led the Giro d'Italia last month for seven days. Russian Denis Menchov took the leader's jersey from Di Luca in the Cinque Terre time trial and held it to the end. Di Luca finished second overall at only 41 seconds back.
Italy has won the World Championships for the last three years: 2006 and 2007 with Bettini and 2009 with Ballan.
- Article published:
- June 24, 2009, 12:06
- Shane Stokes
Aborted move by Astana riders to Garmin unconfirmed
Garmin-Slipstream team manager Jonathan Vaughters declined to confirm or deny rumours that 2007 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador had been close to signing with the US team and riding this year's Tour with them.
Spaniard Contador, domestiques Benjamin Noval and Sergio Paulinho plus Contador's preferred mechanic and soigneur were set to jump ship had Astana folded, according to US media reports. Astana's Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and others would have ridden the Tour under the Livestrong-Trek name.
The rumoured split ultimately didn't happen due to a last minute sponsor payment which kept Astana together. It suggests that there is a real rift within the Kazakhstan-backed team which could lead to further tensions at the Tour de France.
"We always keep our negotiations confidential, with any rider, until they are complete," Vaughters told Cyclingnews today. "It's just best for the rider, his current sponsors and all parties involved."
The latest media reports suggest that there was indeed some truth to Contador's move. Herbalife was to be Garmin's secondary sponsor and the team sent bicycles to Contador, said an Astana source.
Armstrong commented on the story on Monday. "Just read this [the article]," he wrote on Twitter. "JL [US writer Joe Lindsey, who broke the story - ed.] may not be far off on this (for once). I'm choosing to ignore and remove myself from drama. TdF – hard enough."
Cyclingnews asked Vaughters if the arrival of a Tour winner would have caused concern for Christian Vande Velde. Vande Velde was aiming for a podium spot prior to breaking several bones in the Giro d'Italia.
"Christian is a team leader and team player," he answered. "He's a guy that only worries about the fit and function of new teammates. He thinks of this team as his family, and only wants what's best for his family. He's just not one to get caught up on specific roles.
"It'll be interesting to see if he can make it back to form, after five broken vertebrae, for the Tour. But it is pretty amazing that he's even racing the Tour."
Garmin has a doping-free reputation and it carefully assesses riders before it offers contracts. Investigations initially linked Contador and Paulinho to 2006's Operación Puerto, but they were later cleared by the International Cycling Union (UCI).
"Any rider coming to our team has to pass the same level of scrutiny," he said. "We are meticulous, cautious and very focused on this process with all riders. Just ask anyone who's ever come to this team. All of their medical records, anti-doping records and blood passport records must be released to us or we don't consider them. Period."
Astana's financial rescue means that Contador must stay put for now. Vaughters downplayed the suggestion that Garmin could sign him at the end of the season. "I would guess Contador has a contract with Astana that lasts a long time," he said.
Garmin should announce its Tour de France line-up today, with Vande Velde, David Millar, Julian Dean looking set to be part of the nine-man squad. Astana will also finalise its line-up soon.
- Article published:
- June 24, 2009, 11:29
- Gregor Brown
Filippo Simeoni's bittersweet year
Filippo Simeoni will close a bittersweet year in the prized Italian Champion jersey today at the Giro dell'Appennino. There is little chance he will repeat his 2008 surprise national title win this Sunday in Imola, Italy.
"It was a great feeling to be able to race in the tricolore jersey. It was a dream I had since I was a little boy. It gave me a lot of popularity with all the fans," Simeoni told Cyclingnews.
Simeoni attacked with four kilometres remaining at the 2008 championships in Bergamo and held his advantage to the finish. His move caught the favourites off guard, but the win was unwelcomed by some.
This April, Giro d'Italia organisers refused to include Simeoni's team Ceramica Flaminia in the final selection. The decision by head director Angelo Zomegnan rehashed the Armstrong incident and prompted critics to question the Italian champion's absence.
"You could never find a simple reason from Zomegnan as to why the Italian champion or my team was left out of the Giro, there are no excuses for this behaviour. It remains the bitterest moment of the year."
The decision prompted Simeoni to return his championship jersey to the Italian federation. It was the first time it had been returned in its 100-year history.
"It was a strong gesture that was full of the rage that I had towards Zomegnan and the Giro organisers. When I was racing outside of Italy people would tell me it was wrong, but many would tell me that they appreciated the important and strong message I made and that Zomegnan made a mistake."
Simeoni changed his mind and kept racing in the champion jersey so he would not be labelled "disrespectful". He competed in the Route du Sud in France last week and will wear the jersey for the last time today in Italy's Giro dell'Appennino.
He will line up Sunday at the 2009 Italian Championships in his team jersey. The riders will race 260.4 kilometres, which includes 12 7.5-kilometre closing circuits.
"I think that Cunego had a good chance, 90%. I think he is out to get a great win and take the tricolore jersey."
- Article published:
- June 24, 2009, 11:05
- Susan Wesetmeyer
German course could be more suited to sprinters
Fabian Wegmann aims to defend his German national championship road title on Sunday and win his third straight title but the Team Milram rider knows that the course profile does not suit him.
"It will be very difficult, but I'm really ambitious," he told Cyclingnews at the Milram Tour de France squad presentation Tuesday in Dortmund, Germany.
Being German champion for two consecutive years "was good," Wegmann said. ”To wear this special jersey is a great feeling, and every time I put it on I'm reminded of my win. It's not like the with other wins as you can forget them very quickly. You wear the national jersey for a year, or in my case two years, and for me, it was two very nice wins and a great experience."
Wegmann, who turned 29 earlier this week, said that the main problem was the course in Cottbus. "240 totally flat kilometres isn't really what I do best," he said.
It seems likely that the race will come down to a mass sprint, in which case his favourites would be, "Gerald Ciolek, Andre Greipel and Heinrich Haussler."
Greipel, of Team Columbia-Highroad, has said that it would be difficult to win with just four teammates compared to the 17 German Milram riders. "I see it that way too. It's clear that it will be hard for him and we will try to make his life hard," Wegmann said with a laugh.
If he is successful,Wegmann would be third rider to win the title three years in a row. The others were Hennes Junkermann (1959-1961) and Winfried Bölke (1965-1967).