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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 21, 2009

Date published:
August 21, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Evans and Silence-Lotto management clear the air

    Marc Sergeant.
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 9:24 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Australian Cadel Evans ready for Vuelta a España stage race

    Australia's Cadel Evans and Silence-Lotto management sat down and talked over their problems, and are now looking forward to the Australian doing well in the upcoming Vuelta a España.

    Relationships between the rider and the team management were unstable after his disappointing performance in the Tour de France. Evans had gone into the race as one of the favourites but finished in 30th place.

    General Manager Geert Coeman and Sports Manager Marc Sergeant met with Evans in Italy earlier this week. "It was a constructive conversation," Sergeant told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

    He noted that Evans had seemed shy, nervous and perhaps too relaxed in the Tour. "Cadel thought he would be fired on the last day of the race, something he heard from an Australian journalist. Complete nonsense, of course, but it played with his head."

    Evans, 32, said that his difficulty in the Tour was due to physical problems, but Sergeant puts it down to a mental collapse. "But I have the impression that things are in order again."

    He now looks to make up for things in Spain. "He is motivated to do things right in the Vuelta. Two years ago he finished fourth. Moreover, Contador is not riding there and that makes a would of difference in his head."

    Evans' put a comment on his Twitter account after the meeting. "Afternoon spent with Silence-Lotto management. Lots of talking... and talking..." he wrote.

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  • Ciolek goes into Vuelta with improving form

    Milram's Gerald Ciolek leads the breakaway
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 11:00 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Milram sprinter optimistic after podium in Vattenfall Cyclassics

    Gerald Ciolek's 2009 season has not gone to plan. The young German sprinter moved to Milram as one of the team's captains, but so far he has only brought in one victory. He sees his form improving and looks forward to the Vuelta a España for redemption.

    Ciolek, 22, said that he came down with an intestinal virus before Tirreno-Adriatico that he just couldn't get rid off, according to His condition was better in May and he finished in the top-ten six times in July's Tour de France. He finished third in Hamburg's Vattenfall Cyclassics Sunday.

    The Vuelta a España, August 29 to September 20, will provide an opportunity for his second win with Milram.

    Ciolek left team Columbia after two years to move out of Mark Cavendish' shadow and to become one of Milram's team captains. He noted that his former teammate is "simply the dominating sprinter" of the moment.

    The help he gets from his teammates in setting up a sprint is very important, Ciolek said. "If you just let Columbia ride and try to hang on to them, then you will see there are six sprinters fighting for Cavendish's rear wheel. So it is very imprint to be able to put together your own well functioning sprint train."

    Ciolek has always said that he is more than just a pure sprinter and can also do well in one-day races.

    "It is possible to vastly improve your sprint abilities without being dropped on every small climb. You can see it in Cavendish: he is 100 percent stronger in climbs than last year, but still continues to dominate the sprints."

    Ciolek will be without cycling's number one sprinter and his teammate André Greipel in the Vuelta. "I won't be just riding against Greipel, but against 19 other teams with their sprinters," said Ciolek "We have to try to be just a little bit stronger than in the Tour."

  • Paolini wins Bernocchi, next Worlds team

    Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) on the podium after his Coppa Bernocchi win.
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 12:40 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Luca Paolini won Coppa Bernocchi, but has fight for spot on Italian Worlds team

    Italian Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone) won the Coppa Bernocchi yesterday in Legnano, Italy. The win came in front of national director Franco Ballerini, 25 days before he selects the nine-man World Championships team.

    Paolini formed part of an escape group that went free on the fourth of five times up the Morazzone climb. He sprinted ahead of Danilo Hondo (PSK Whirlpool), Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC) and last year's winner, Steve Cummings (Barloworld), 50 kilometres later.

    "Now I am thinking of going to race Melinda to help Stefano Garzelli, then Veneto and Romagna for me," Paolini told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

    He wants to take his third win of the season, adding to a stage in Settimana Lombarda and the Coppa Bernocchi. He also wants to prove to Ballerini his worth for the World Championships, September 27 in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    "He's there, he already knows it," Ballerini said. "I never selected him on the national team just because he was Paolo Bettini's friend or my close friend."

    Paolini has raced on the Italian national team at the World Championships five times. He finished third in 2004 behind Spain's Oscar Freire.

    Ballerini has more freedom in selecting the national team this year with the absence of Paolo Bettini, Davide Rebellin and Danilo Di Luca. Defending champion Alessandro Ballan is the only rider secured of a position in the team. Ivan Basso, Damiano Cunego and Stefano Garzelli are possible leaders.

    "I was able to take some good indicators in the last three races," said Ballerini. "I hope to have some confirmations in the next races, but now it is still open."

    Italy has won the World Championships for the last three years: Paolo Bettini in 2006 and 2007, and Ballan in 2008. A national team has never won the race in four consecutive years.

    Mendrisio's course will be one of the hardest since 2003 in Hamilton, Canada. The circuit has two climbs,...

  • Rasmussen unable to race Vuelta a España, Vino eligible

    Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) is very professional, puts on a hat and won't let a cold interfere with his ambitions.
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 15:34 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Michael Rasmussen failed to register with eligible team for Vuelta a España, UCI says

    Denmark's Michael Rasmussen had planned to make his ProTour comeback in the Vuelta a España next week, but has been told he is ineligible because he failed to register with a team that will racing. However, Alexander Vinokourov is eligible and listed as a reserve with team Astana.

    Rasmussen complained the Vuelta organiser Unipublic sent him a letter saying he was ineligible to race. It cited a International Cycling Union (UCI) rule that riders must be registered with a qualified team at least 20 days before a race starts.

    Rasmussen asked the UCI about his eligibility to race the Vuelta a España, UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews. It wrote back there is "no obstacle from the UCI," but he must comply "with all the rules applicable to such a participation," said Carpani.

    Rasmussen forwarded that letter to Unipublic and asked for permission to race. It wrote back that he was ineligible because he does not have a contract with a team which will ride in the Vuelta.

    Rasmussen said that he will sign with such a team before the Vuelta starts, but it is already less than the 20 day requirement.

    The UCI rules require teams to notify a race organiser of which riders might race at least twenty days before the race. Reserve riders must also appear on this list, and riders not on the submitted list are ineligible to race.

    "He is not entitled to participate in the Vuelta even if he finds a new team before the start," said Carpani.

    Rasmussen, 35, led the Tour de France in 2007 when he was taken out of the race and subsequently fired by Team Rabobank. He was found to have lied about his whereabouts in the time leading up to the Tour, which is considered a violation of the anti-doping regulations. The Monegasque Cycling Federation subsequently suspended him for two years, and the suspension expired the end of July.

    "I am as good as signed with a team that will start in the...

  • Time trial vital to Louder's Utah defence

    Jeff Louder (BMC) made the break and will be one to watch in the overall this week.
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 16:00 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    BMC rider could move closer to lead with good showing

    Tour of Utah defending champion Jeff Louder is looking forward to the stage three time trial as an opportunity to move closer to his goal of winning a second consecutive title.

    Friday's 14km individual time trial was held as the closing stage in last year's event. On that occasion Louder placed third behind stage winner Tom Zirbel (Bissell) and his own teammate Brent Bookwalter. Third place was all he needed to solidify his title as the overall winner of the 2008 Tour of Utah, his first stage race victory.

    "Tomorrow is the time trial and it's a good event for me," Louder said. "It could be a really good day for BMC because we are all really good time trialists. Individually on that day I think we have a really good chance of winning."

    A repeat victory atop the stage five's Snow Bird Ski Resort is also on the agenda for Louder, the second of two mountain top finishes held on Saturday. He won the race to the top of the decisive climb ahead of talented climbers Blake Caldwell (Garmin-Slipstream), Chris Baldwin (OUCH p/b Maxxis), Oscar Sevilla and Glen Chadwick (Rock Racing).

    "There is a climb on Saturday too and that's really good for me," Louder said. "So there are two really hard stages left. I hope I feel better and keep going toward getting on the first step by Saturday."

    For now, the Salt Lake City native is pleased to sport the event's Best Utah Rider jersey, taking it from David Zabriskie (DZ Nuts). "The Utah leader's jersey is exciting, it's cool," Louder said. "I'm happy to do that, to wear this jersey."

    Though the local jersey is important, the BMC team has its efforts focused on bringing home the yellow jersey and its riders will do everything they can to support overall contenders Louder and prologue winner Brent Bookwalter.

    "My team has performed really well," Louder said. "We were able to sit back and watch Rock Racing work today. My teammates brought me to the bottom of the climb fresh and kept...

  • No Vuelta for Klöden

    German Andreas Klöden (Astana)
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 16:51 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Decision made before wrist injury

    Andreas Klöden of Team Astana will not ride the Vuelta a Espana, but not because of the wrist injury he suffered this week in the Eneco Tour. "It was already decided at the Tour de France that he would not do the Vuelta," team spokesman Philippe Maertens told Cyclingnews on Friday evening.

    Klöden was listed as a starter on the preliminary Vuelta starting list. One of the four nominated reserves may be named to his place.

    Klöden crashed on a roundabout in stage two of the Eneco Tour, at the foot of the Old Kwaremont. He withdrew from the race at the top of the climb. Initial examinations in Belgium revealed no fractures.

    Klöden, 33, flew home to Switzerland and had his left wrist examined again in hospital there. "There were no fractures, but it was bruised," Maertens said. "There is a big haematoma inside. He may not move it for one week, and then may start training again."

  • Rock Racing searches out sponsorship

    Rock Racing's Michael Ball
    Article published:
    August 21, 2009, 20:22 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Ball promises that team will continue into 2010 despite budget cutbacks

    The Rock Racing team has added some more outstanding results to their palmares at the Tour of Utah which kicked off on Tuesday in Salt Lake City. However, despite the squad's ample success this season, its riders' occasionally mismatched gear could suggest that the team under financial distress.

    Spaniards Francisco Mancebo and Oscar Sevilla have highlighted the early stages with their surprise two-up victory in stage one that gave Mancebo the overall leader's jersey. He went on the maintain his overall lead in stage two, in which he placed second. Their top results come as no surprise after Sevilla won the overall at the Cascade Cycling Classic last month and placed fourth overall in the Vuelta a Madrid prior to that.

    However, the squad has been seen with the occasionally mismatched kits and equipment that could suggest financial difficulty lurks beneath their on-the-road success. Most noticeably, the team's marque rider Sevilla is currently riding his De Rosa bike from last year despite the team's current Kestrel sponsorship. Other riders have been photographed wearing different kits and helmets throughout the season in the past.

    Team owner Michael Ball has made it no secret that he has made some significant cutbacks and acknowledged the team's financial struggle. However, he claims the equipment inconsistency is due to a lack of sponsorship interest. "I'll be really candid about this," said Ball who claims the team is waiting for their bikes to arrive.

    "Some of our current sponsors, with the exception of the great ones like LG and Shimano, have had issues with us," he said. "They look at us for some reason and think I'm a certain way and so the team doesn't deserve them. But I don't get it because the only people they are affecting are these riders. They try to ding me, and it's wrong."

    After clearing the air regarding the lack of team equipment, Ball went on to calm the concerns regarding lack of funding. He assured...