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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 27, 2010

Date published:
August 27, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Schleck says Contador signing was no surprise

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    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 11:07 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Luxembourg rider voices doubts on Contador-Riis union

    Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) has claimed that he was neither surprised nor disappointed when Bjarne Riis signed Alberto Contador as his replacement for 2011. Speaking to Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien, Schleck also voiced his doubts that Riis and Contador would be capable of working well together.

    “No, I wasn’t really surprised [when I heard that Contador had signed] because when Fränk and I met Bjarne to tell him that we were leaving he told us that he wanted to stay at the highest level,” said Schleck. “This might seem pretentious, but I didn’t see any other option than to attract Contador.”

    “Everybody wanted Contador as soon as he was free. If Bjarne signed him, it’s because he had the money to pay him, which is good for him…”

    However, Schleck is not convinced that Contador will be a natural fit for Riis’ team. “I don’t know if they’re going to work well together in 2011. They’re two very different characters,” he said. “At the same, Contador is Contador, a very strong rider.”

    Schleck finished in second place behind Contador at July’s Tour de France, 39 seconds behind. He refused to blame his slipped chain on the Port de Bales for the deficit, simply stating that the incident had “made the Tour even more interesting and more open.”

    Andy and Fränk Schleck are set to ride for a newly-formed team based in Luxembourg next season, but the younger Schleck revealed that he would have left Saxo Bank this winter even without the lure of a riding for a home sponsor.

    “I wanted to leave and even if the Luxembourg team hadn’t been set up, I would have left anyway,” Schleck explained. “At a certain moment in life, you have to make choices.”

    In spite of saying that it was “no great surprise” that he and Fränk were leaving Saxo...

  • Worlds organisers plan for flooding

    Daniele Bennati, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato and Giovanni Visconti preview the course for the 2010 world road championships in Geelong, Australia.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 12:55 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Changes to Geelong circuit to be prepared if needed

    World championships organisers in Australia are making contingency plans should flooding disrupt the route of the race, according to the Geelong Independent. A section of the 15.9km-long circuit in Geelong passes along the Barwon River and crosses it shortly before the finish line.

    Geelong councillor Brian Harwood was quoted as saying that organisers are preparing an alternative route in the event of heavy rainfall in the lead-up to the race.

    “They’ve suggested that if the Barwon River floods, Mount Pleasant Road will come further into play,” Harwood said. “If there is extreme flooding and the Breakwater Bridge is affected they may have to look at turning the course back onto itself.”

    Harwood went on to say that the possibility of a change to the route is remote. “These contingencies are being discussed by the committee and they will have more information in the future. While it’s unlikely, you do have to plan for these things,” he explained.

    Meanwhile, Geelong Environment Council president Joan Lindros welcomed the organisers’ initiative in coming up with an alternative route, remembering that September had been the city’s wettest month in 2009.

    “Organisers need to work out a fall-back plan and inform residents before the race because that (riverside) section of the track may be unusable,” she said.

    The world championships take place from September 29 to October 3 in Geelong. The men’s road race starts in Melbourne, before covering 11 laps of the 15.9km Geelong circuit.

  • Eisel leads Austria at the Worlds

    Big Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Columbia) wins Gent-Wevelgem
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 13:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Gent-Wevelgem winner to be supported by Denifl and Wrolich in Australia

    Bernhard Eisel of HTC-Columbia will lead Austria in the world championships in Australia. The Gent-Wevelgem winner will be supported by Stefan Denifl (Cervelo TestTeam) and Peter Wrolich of Milram. Austria is allowed only three riders in the elite men's road race. The reserve rider is Thomas Rohregger of Milram.

    The Austrian cycling federation said that it would not send anyone for the elite men's time trial. “We wanted to nominate Matthias Brändle,” General Secretary Rudolf Massak said. But the 20-year-old, who is in his first year in the ProTour, “is understandably no longer really fresh after a long season.”

    Andreas Hofer and Riccardo Zoidi will ride the U-23 time trial. For the U-23 road race, Daniel Schorn and Matthias Krizek are assured of starts, and the other two places will go to two out of Hofer, Zoidi, Dominik Hrinkow and Georg Preidler.

    The federation has nominated national champion Andrea Graus, 19-year-old Jacqueline Hahn and Daniel Pintarelli for the women's races. Austria has two slots in the women's time trial and three in the road race.

  • Hushovd speaks on end of Cervélo team

    Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) raises his arms in victory.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 14:08 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Norwegian refuses to be drawn on Garmin-Transitions rumours

    Thor Hushovd broke he media silence on Friday at a press conference in which he talked about the demise of the Cervélo TestTeam.

    The Norwegian sprinter and his teammates were notified on Wednesday via email that the team would end on December 31.

    “I will thank Cervélo for the chance the team gave to me, and to my teammates, I’ve been proud to be part of this team for the past two years,” Hushovd told the media.

    “We’ve had two great years that we’re proud of. We are all proud of what we did for such a young team. We’re all sad that the team is stopping.”

    The Norwegian is strongly linked to Garmin-Transitions for next year, although neither party would confirm the story. A source had informed Cyclingnews on Wednesday that the American team were interested in signing Hushovd and his teammates Heinrich Haussler, Andreas Klier and Brett Lancaster. However the majority of the team are still without contracts for next year.

    “We know they are doing everything they can to help riders and staff to find new contracts and stay inside the cycling world in the future. I have made contact with several teams, I still have not decided. I am sure that in the next few days it will be decided,” said Hushovd.

    The Norwegian is about to begin his Vuelta a España where he will hope to improve his form before the Worlds and pick up possible stage wins along the way.

    “My goals are to get back the race rhythm and get good form for the worlds. My goal is to win a stage here in the Vuelta."

    Hushovd signed for Cervélo for 2009, and along with Carlos Sastre was one of the team’s marquee riders. He won a stage in each of his two Tour de France with the team, along with the green jersey in 2009.

    Sastre left the team earlier this month and will ride for Team Geox in 2011.

     

  • Danish team for Worlds announced

    Danes Michael Morkov and Alex Rasmussen finished one lap behind in the men's madison final.
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 14:19 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Rasmussen and Mørkøv confirmed for time trial

    The Danish team for the world championships in Australia has been finalised, with Saxo Bank riders dominating the line-up. The Danish Cycling Union today confirmed that Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen as the final additions to the team. They will join Lars Bak (HTC-Columbia) and their Saxo Bank teammates Matti Breschel, Anders Lund and Chris Anker Sørensen on the plane to Melbourne at the end of September.

    “Alex [Rasmussen] and Michael [Mørkøv] have both been having a great autumn and are good riders,” Denmark manager Lars Bonde told CyclingWorld.dk. “We can make great use of Alex on the first flat 85km of the Worlds course between Melbourne and Geelong, and he can also help on the first laps of the circuit in Geelong.”

    Bonde was also unconcerned by the fact that Mørkøv will miss out on riding the Vuelta a España in bizarre circumstances. “Even though Michael’s not going to the Vuelta now, he trains very well and I know that he will come to Australia well prepared,” he said. Mørkøv travelled to Seville to ride the Vuelta only to find that he was ineligible to ride as he had not been named twenty days beforehand on the provisional long list of riders for the event that Saxo Bank had submitted to the UCI.

    Both Rasmussen and Mørkøv will double up in the time trial and road race for Denmark at the world championships. The duo finished in second and third place behind Jakob Fuglsang in the national time trial championships in June, but Fuglsang has opted not to compete in Australia.

    “Michael has developed a lot as a time trial rider this year and Alex can aim for success this year as well as using the experience as a starting point for next’s years Worlds in Denmark,” Bonde explained.

    In the road race, Danish hopes will rest in particular on the shoulders of Matti...

  • Garmin-Transitions confirm Cervélo partnership

    The Garmin-Transitions truck that will carry the team's equipment to the Vuelta a Espa
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 15:41 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson & Barry Ryan

    Vaughters breaks silence to speak to Cyclingnews

    Garmin-Transitions has confirmed that Cervélo will supply bikes to the team for the 2011 season. Since the announcement of the demise of Cervélo TestTeam earlier this week, there had been widespread speculation that the Canadian bike manufacturer would remain in the professional peloton with Garmin-Transitions.

    It has yet to be confirmed whether riders from Cervélo TestTeam will be joining Garmin-Transitions as part of the arrangement. A statement from the Slipstream Sports organisation behind the team said that Garmin-Transitions “will join forces with Cervélo for 2011.” Cyclingnews spoke to Garmin-Transitions boss Jonathan Vaughters who elaborated on why the two teams will work together. “Because of that stable background we’re going to be able to build the best team in the world," he said.

    “This gives our team long term stability and a long term and meaningful partner. This leads us to be an internationally recognised team that can dominate from February to October and it’s a move that allows Slipstream Sports to give as many people as possible a job for the long term,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    “This is about stabilizing professional cycling and making a team that has long-term plans founded on grounded business principles and that will be around for a long time.”

    The official statement concentrated on the relationship with Felt and said that prior to the announcement, Slipstream had met with Felt Bicycles regarding its option to continue as the team’s bike sponsor for next season and that “after careful consideration Felt Bicycles chose not to exercise its option.”

    “Felt has been an invaluable partner since the inception of our organization and is truly an exceptional company. Together we achieved quite a bit and we have a tremendous amount of respect and gratitude for the contributions and...

  • Nuyens leaning towards QuickStep

    Nick Nuyens was all smiles on the podium in Austria
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 17:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Hopes to announce 2011 team on Friday

    Nick Nuyens hopes to announce on Friday for which team he will ride in 2011, and Quick Step is leading the list at the moment. Nuyens, now with Rabobank, is also considering offers from Cofidis and Saxo Bank. "My preference is for Quick Step, but I have not yet made the decision," he told Sporza.com.

    The 30-year-old rode previously with QuickStep from 2002 to 2006 and Cofidis in 2007 and 2008.

    "I left both teams with the best relationship. When I go to the team buses, I am greeted like a friend. And now (QuickStep team manger) Patrick Lefevere shows an interest again. I feel flattered."

    Nuyens has only one victory in an otherwise forgettable year, winning a stage at the Tour of Austria. "That was a lot of fun," he said, and it made up for "the worst year" of his career. "I lost this spring. I was ready for a good spring, but it was a crap year, with bad luck, illnesses and crashes."

    That is reflected in his contract negotiations, Nuyens noted. "I rode well, but with no results," he said. "My market value isn't what it used to be."

  • New name for combined Team Garmin-Cervélo for 2011

    The Garmin-Transitions team at Amstel
    Article published:
    August 27, 2010, 20:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Joined team includes women's squad

    When Team Garmin-Transitions and Cervélo SA join forces for the 2011 season, the resulting new professional cycling team will be named Team Garmin-Cervélo according to Garmin-Transitions' owner Slipstream Sports. 

    "Slipstream Sports and Cervélo share the key philosophies of developing the next generation of cycling champions and an unwavering commitment to ethical sport," said Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports and Director Sportif of Team Garmin-Transitions.  Vaughters confirmed to Cyclingnews earlier on the Friday that the two teams would be uniting.

    "We are happy to work with another company that, like Garmin, so closely shares our goals. We will be adding great talent to an already outstanding roster and we believe the new team will build on past successes and will produce incredibly exciting racing in 2011. The possibilities are endless - on the road and off - and we look forward to what we can achieve."

    "As we have often mentioned, our primary goal has always been to have some control over the direction that cycling will take," said Phil White, Cervélo co-founder. "With Slipstream Sports, we share common goals and values. Together we will be in a stronger position to keep moving the sport forward."

    Cervélo rider Thor Hushovd spoke in a press conference on Friday about the end of his current team.  He said he is still in process of deciding his future plans after he was notified of the news earlier this week. Philip Deignan, another Cervélo rider, also talked about...