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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 30, 2010

Date published:
April 30, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Wiggins to lead well-rounded Sky at Giro

    Bradle Wiggins (Sky) awaits the start of stage five.
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 1:39 BST
    Cycling News

    General classification, sprint hopes for Grand Tour debut

    British rider Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky as the British ProTour squad makes its Grand Tour debut at next month’s Giro d’Italia. While Wiggins main ambition for the season is the Tour de France, Sky’s principal Dave Brailsford said Wiggins is taking his role as team leader at the Giro seriously.

    "We're all incredibly excited about racing in the Giro d'Italia. It is Team Sky's debut in a Grand Tour event and another special moment for us," Brailsford told "You can't go to a race like the Giro and not take it seriously. You go to the Giro to race the Giro and that's what Bradley will do."

    The British squad is hoping to capitalise on the absence of HTC-Columbia’s Mark Cavendish from this year’s race, sending a strong lineup for the sprint stages. Sky will have Greg Henderson for the sprint finishes, with Australians Mathew Hayman and Chris Sutton to lead out the New Zealander.

    After being active throughout the Spring Classic season, Hayman is now looking forward to the year’s first Grand Tour. "We've got fast guys and GC guys and people who can support them,” said Hayman. “It's nice going into a race with different goals every day, whether the focus is on Greg, Wiggo or whoever.

    "The Giro normally has something spectacular thrown in and I'm sure this edition will be no exception,” added Hayman. “They always try and make it pretty special each year."

    Team Sky for the Giro d'Italia: Bradley Wiggins, Dario Cioni, Michael Barry, Steve Cummings, Chris Froome, Mathew Hayman, Greg Henderson, Morris Possoni and Chris Sutton.

  • Armstrong trying to compensate for missed racing

    Lance Armstrong (Mellow Johnny's) leads the pack in the chase.
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 9:20 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Armstrong defends US racing as Tour preparation

    Seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is trying to make up for lost time after an intestinal virus forced him to pull out of the Circuit de la Sarthe at the beginning of this month. This week he is racing stateside at the SRAM Tour of the Gila and is hoping to gain fitness for upcoming targets like the Amgen Tour of California held in May and ultimately the Tour de France in July.

    Armstrong is racing under his Austin-based bike shop name Mellow Johnny’s with his two RadioShack teammates Levi Leipheimer and Jason McCartney. With Leipheimer wearing the leader’s jersey after winning the stage one Mogollon Road Race, Armstrong and McCartney did the lion’s share of the work on the stage two Inner Loop Road Race, one of the windiest bike races in recent history.

    “It’s probably a good thing,” Armstrong said. “I’m definitely missing race days and this is an opportunity to not only get some race days but do some work to compensate for all the things that I’ve missed. If you sit back and look at the year so far, between bad luck and illness, I’ve pulled out of a few races and now is the time to make up for that.

    “People can talk about domestic or American races, but I don’t think that’s necessarily accurate,” Armstrong said. “The field is fast and American pros are strong. The other key thing here is that it’s an altitude race and there are a lot of guys that live at altitude so it’s not a big adjustment for them. Us lowlanders come up here and definitely pay the price for being at five, six or seven thousand feet and making efforts, it’s difficult.”

    Armstrong pulled out of Milan-Sanremo at the end of March citing acute gastroenteritis. At the beginning of April, he went on to pull out of the Circuit de la Sarthe before the start of the second stage because of an intestinal virus.

    Last year, he arrived to the...

  • Katusha's Giro line-up confirmed

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 9:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian team heads to Netherlands with Pozzato and McEwen

    The Katusha outfit has released its roster for the upcoming Giro d'italia, the first Grand Tour of this season. Heading the team will be Filippo Pozzato, with the objective of scoring stage victories, and Giampaolo Caruso, the outfit's general classification hope.

    Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen is also coming back to the Giro, this year starting in the Netherlands. McEwen has won 12 stages at the Italian stage race in the past and will again mingle with the fast men this year.

    Rounding out the roster are Luca Mazzanti, Marco Bandiera, Joan Horrach, Mikhail Ignatyev, Evgueni Petrov and Sergey Klimov.

  • Reus returning to racing in Frankfurt

    Kai Reus (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 10:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider hopes for Vuelta this year

    Kai Reus of Rabobank is preparing to make yet another comeback to racing. Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt on Saturday in Frankfurt, Germany, will be his first race since the end February.

    Reus had to drop out of the first stage of the Tour du Haut Var on February 20. “After 50km I had to put on the brakes. I was completely empty,” he said on the team's website. He was subsequently diagnosed with mononucleosis.

    The diagnosis was hard to take at first, not knowing how seriously ill he was and fearing that he might have to miss the whole season. “Fortunately I had a light case and I knew I could train again relatively quickly.”

    He has been on the bike again for three weeks and is now ready for his first race, which was formerly known as Rund um den Henninger Turm. “My main goal is to finish. I am glad that I can ride again.”

    This return to racing is not as dramatic as the first. A training accident in July 2006 caused head injuries serious enough to have him placed in an induced coma for 12 days. Reus returned to racing late the next season for the Rabobank Continental team, and capped his comeback by winning the first stage of the 2009 Tour of Britain and wearing the leader's jersey for three stages.

    Frankfurt is only the first step now for the 25-year-old. “One of my big goals for this season is the Vuelta a España. I'm ready to fight. I want to deserve the Vuelta. It would be a great reward for everything I've experienced the past three years.”

    Reus will be one of only seven Rabobank riders in Frankfurt. Koos Moerenhout was expected to start, but is still suffering from a respiratory tract infection, and no one has been nominated to take his place.

    Rabobank for Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt: Stef Clement, Jos van Emden, Steven Kruijswijk, Tom Leezer, Nick Nuyens, Kai Reus and Bram Tankink.

  • Bellis to return to racing at UK nationals

    Jonathan Bellis (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 12:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank rider expected to be fully re-integrated this summer

    Team Saxo Bank is plotting the return to racing for Jonathan Bellis, with initial plans calling for him to make his comeback at the UK national road championships in late June.

    The 21-year-old suffered serious head injuries in a motor scooter accident in Italy in September of last year, and was placed in an induced coma.

    “Jonathan must still complete some tests at the hospital in England, which has steered his be rehabilitation, and if they are satisfactory, he will be able to compete again within a few months,”
    team boss Bjarne Riis told the Danish website

    Bellis is currently training for a few hours every day, and it looks like he will be able to increase that volume. "Unless there is something wrong, what is absolutely not in sight after the reports I have received, he will soon be able to intensify training under Bradley McGee's leadership,” Riis said.

    “And as it stands right now, the plan is for him to make a comeback in the national championships in late June. Then will he be ready to again become part of the team , and we have started organising the plans for that. “

    Bellis came from a track background before going on to place third in the U-23 World championships road race in 2007. In 2008 he served as a stagiaire with Saxo Bank, riding the Tour of Britain. Bellis then signed with the Danish team for the 2009 season.

  • Ex-Xacobeo doctor launches attack on Pino

    The Xacobeo Galicia team director Álvaro Pino responds to reporters' questions.
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 12:58 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Accuses team of replacing him with a doping doctor

    Former Xacobeo-Galicia team doctor Juan Manuel Rodríguez Bastida has made a fierce attack on the team's manager, Alvaro Pino, accusing Pino of "only being able to understand cycling with doping". The doctor was released by the team last year and is launching legal action to obtain payment of wages he says he has not received from the Spanish Professional Continental squad.

    Rodríguez Bastida said his tenure with the team ended during last year's Vuelta a España, but he has never been told why. "They replaced me with [Colombian doctor] Alberto Beltrán, but nobody ever gave me an explanation. They didn't sack me or terminate my contract. It was simply as if I didn't exist for them any more," he told AS.

    Rodríguez Bastida claims that Pino contacted Beltrán during last year's Tour of Portugal, where he was working with the Liberty Seguros team. Beltrán was subsequently taken on to work with the Xacobeo riders at the Vuelta, but was released from his post when news came out that three riders Liberty Seguros riders had tested positive for EPO CERA at the Tour of Portugal.

    "Those riders said that [Beltrán] had supplied them with the product. I started the Vuelta with the team although I knew then that they did not want me there. I am a victim for not permitting doping practices. They threw me out of the team and replaced me with a doper who had been arrested in Italy for possessing banned products, who was known by everyone for his murky past and had to flee from our country," said Rodríguez Bastida.

    Speaking about Pino, Rodríguez Bastida declared: "He can only understand cycling with doping... He is not concerned with the problems the sport has or take measures to ensure its regeneration." Asked if he himself had doped any riders, Rodríguez Bastida replied: "No, I've never resorted to doping. I never saw anyone doping themselves when I was with the team, and I...

  • Team Type 1 targets 2011 Giro start

    The Team Type 1 boys train in Georgia.
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 13:40 BST
    Peter Cossins

    US team meets Giro boss in view of Grand Tour participation

    Team Type 1 founder Phil Southerland has revealed that he is looking to boost his team's budget and bring in new riders in order to secure a place on the start line of next year's Giro d'Italia. Southerland and Team Type 1 directeur sportif Vassili Davidenko met with Giro director Angelo Zomegnan yesterday to find out what they needed to do to raise the team's profile to the point where Zomegnan will consider them for the 2011 corsa rosa.

    "It's been our plan all along. We've always been looking to develop a global platform and finding out what it would take to get the team into the 2011 Giro d'Italia is a key part of that strategy," Southerland told Cyclingnews. "We met up with Angelo Zomegnan to find out what would be required to get the team to a level where he would consider selecting us. He couldn't offer any guarantees that we will make the race but what we have to do now is put together a team with the right DNA, the right chemistry to get into the Giro d'Italia and use that race as a launchpad."

    The meeting with Zomegnan was one of a series set up for Southerland and Davidenko by Piero Bondi at Limar Helmets, one of Team Type 1's key sponsors, with a view to raising the squad's level in the upcoming seasons.

    "Now we know the things we have to do to get into the Giro," said Southerland. "We know what kind of budgetary requirements we're looking at, what calibre of riders we need. I don't know whether we will have more type 1 diabetic riders in the line-up. We already have four riders with type 1 diabetes in our pro team and they are capable of riding a race like the Giro."

    He acknowledged that his very US-focused team will be looking to expand its European racing programme, with a place in the Tour de France the eventual goal. "We'll be looking at races leading up to the Giro and our longer term goal is to have the team in the Tour de France by 2012 and to ride the Giro every year from 2011 onwards.

    "We've got to go...

  • Cavendish apologises for rude salute

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2010, 13:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Updated: HTC-Columbia pulls Cavendish from Romandie

    Mark Cavendish has apologised for an offensive gesture he made at the end of Thursday's stage at the Tour de Romandie. The HTC-Columbia said he made the two-finger salute as a response to critics who had written him off this season. It was only the second win for the sprinter in 2010.

    Despite the apology, his team decided to remove him from the race, and in addition it will "direct payment of Cavendish's prize money from his stage win to the international charity Right To Play. Right To Play operates in 25 countries and helps millions of children around the world by teaching them life values and lessons through sport and has been a partner of High Road Sports for the last three years."

    The race jury decided to fine Cavendish 6,000 Swiss francs ($5,545) for his actions, a move with which the team agreed.

    "I want to publicly apologise for the gesture I made on the finish line of the Tour de Romandie yesterday. I did want to make a statement to my critics, but I realise that making a rude gestures on the finish line is not the best way to do that,” Cavendish said in a statement issued Friday afternoon.

    “I apologise to everybody watching the race and especially the kids. I am not proud of releasing the feelings in that way. I hope I can redeem myself and show my feelings and passion for cycling with some exciting results in the next couple of months rather than with gesture such as the one yesterday.

    International Cycling Union spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews that the UCI did not have a comment on the matter at this time. The UCI has no regulations against obscene gestures, although it could punish Cavendish under Section 12.1.006, subsection 2 which calls for a one to six month suspension for a rider who “behaves in such a way as to blemish the image, the reputation or the interests of cycling or the UCI.”

    In a case similar to Cavendish's, German Judith Arndt made an obscene...