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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 31, 2009

Date published:
July 31, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Cyclingnews Felt F2 SL competition winner named

    44-year-old Christopher Bracewell from Clapham Park in London, England.
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 6:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton Bracewell tops Tour competition

    Cyclingnews is pleased to announce that Christopher Bracewell will be riding around Clapham Park in London, England on his new Felt F2 SL road bike after being selected as the random winner of the Felt-Cyclingnews competition.

    44-year-old Bracewell says he loves road, track and cyclo-cross racing. “I built my first bike when I was 15,” he said. “I raced for fun but now I’m slowing down a bit.”

    Bracewell followed the Tour de France avidly this year, so it’s without surprise that his highlights were the efforts of his countrymen. “Watching Bradley Wiggins do so well and Cav the great with his post race interviews,” he says, before naming a lowlight: “George Hincapie missing out on yellow.”

    The F2 SL is one the sweetest rides in the Garmin-Slipstream's range and comes with extraordinary sensitivity, stiffness, strength and weight thanks to its Ultra High Modulus carbon fiber. Dura-Ace parts make this a bike perfectly suited to the hardest races that demand flawless performance.

    The race-ready parts pick includes a Felt carbon fiber handlebar and seatpost, plus carbon fiber shell saddle with hollow Cr-Mo rails and Mavic Equipe wheels for the ideal blend of strength and low weight.

  • Dombroski adds U23 road title to collection

    Under 23 Champions Amy Dombroski and Colin Cares
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 7:01 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Road title joins cross country, cyclo-cross titles

    Amy Dombroski has added the U23 United States of America Road Championship to her collection of stars and stripes jerseys. The Webcor-Builder all-rounder finished fourth place from a breakaway of five riders.

    “Meredith [Miller] attacked when she found out the chase group of climbers were coming,” said Dombroski, who was the only U23 rider represented in the move. “I should have followed her because that was smart. The rest of us were looking at each other and playing cat and mouse. I was going for the U23 jersey but I was also in the final four. I could have been smarter - but all in all it was a good day.”

    Dombroski took fourth from the combined field behind winner Meredith Miller (TIBCO), runner-up Chrissy Ruiter (Value Act Capital) and third placed Kristin LaSasso. Kori Seehaffer (Team Type 1), who initiated the break, finished fifth.

    “Going into this race we only had three women from Webcor-Builders and we knew that TIBCO and Value Act Capital had eight,” said Dombroski. “We needed to be smart as to what we were going to cover. Going into the last lap, our directeur Karen Brems told us that we needed to be aggressive before the last climb because most likely the climbers were going to go there.”

    The young talent currently holds the U23 titles in the cross-country mountain bike, cyclo-cross and now on the road. After taking a week off, Dombroski hopes to pick up a fourth jersey at the U23 Mountain Bike World Championships held in Canberra, Australia on September 2.

    “I’m still young so I’m still trying to figure out where my real passion is. I enjoy riding in the dirt so I guess it shows I’m a well rounded rider but I can’t be doing all three for the rest of my career. I need to think about what I want to focus on.”

  • Miller headed to Worlds after US road title win

    Meredith Miller rode for Aarons in 2008 before moving to TIBCO this season.
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 8:16 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Super domestique steals the spotlight, gets trip to Switzerland

    TIBCO’s Meredith Miller is headed for the International Cycling Union World Championships after claiming the elite women’s United States of America Road Championship title. The super domestique’s national title assures her a slot on USA Cycling’s team for this year’s championships, which will be held in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    “To be honest I never even thought about it [World’s selection],” said Miller. “Yes, I would like to go compete at the World Championship. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”

    Miller has an extensive palmares including a three year term with the Danish Team Sats. She returned State-side in 2006 to compete for two years with Team Lipton alongside Kristin Armstrong. She then joined Aaron’s for the 2008 season before signing on board with TIBCO in 2009.

    The TIBCO squad began to put a mark on the American peloton in 2004 when Linda Jackson, a former Canadian national champion, took over what was the California-based Palo Alto team. The squad has its sight set on becoming UCI-registered team in 2010, focused on competing overseas on the UCI World Cup circuit and contending some of Europe's most well known stage races.

    “If we go to Europe next year I think we will be able to give them a run for their money as well,” Miller said. “So many girls on this team have Euro experience.”

    With no road races left on the National Racing Calendar for women, the first place finisher Miller will have little opportunity to wear her stars and stripe jersey. “All I have left are crits and I can’t wear my road jersey in those,” Miller said. “Bummer, I’ll have to go find some road races to race just so I can wear it this year.”

    Millar outsmarted a breakaway of five talented riders to take her first ever national championship after 11 years of racing. The win could have gone to...

  • Horner to ride Elk Grove solo

    Chris Horner (Astana)
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 9:39 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    September focus on the Vuelta, not Missouri

    Chris Horner (Astana) is back to race his fourth Tour of Elk Grove, a three-stage race set to begin today in Chicago, Illinois. The National Racing Calendar (NRC) event has attracted the top elite teams in the nation who are eyeing the $125,000 prize purse and the series’ points. According to Horner, it’s going to be tough to win without teammates but he’s will try regardless.

    “I’ve been doing it since it started, it always comes after the Tour de France or when there isn’t a lot going on,” Horner said. “I get three days of great racing in and then head back over to Europe. They do a great job here and it has the biggest prize list in all the country.

    “If I had the choice between doing a top quality race like this one or another local race, I’d fly to the top quality race every time,” said Horner. “Elk Grove Village mayor Craig Johnson puts this race on and he is so stocked to have the guys in.”

    Horner’s team-mate Levi Leipheimer considered flying in to Chicago for the race before his untimely accident during the Tour de France where he broke his wrist. Racing alone means he will have to play his cards close to his chest against some heavy-hitting domestic sprinters and all-rounders over three day event.

    “It’s going to be tough because I don’t have a sprinter and I’m certainly not a sprinter,” Horner laughed. “I’m going to try to win the time trial tomorrow. What ever happens after that, I will have to change the plans constantly according to what’s playing out each day.

    “I can’t just drive it all day like I normally do,” he added. “That’s impossible at this level. I’ll have to pick the strongest team and go off their best GC guys. If there’s a sprinter in the top three after tomorrow - Then I think that’s who I’ll keep my eye...

  • Milram stops sponsoring Continental Team

    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 11:31 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Only one rider jumped to ProTour team in four years

    Nordmilch AG has said that it will stop its sponsorship of its Continental Milram team at the end of the season. The dairy company had earlier announced that it will continue sponsorship of its ProTour level team, Milram, through the 2010 season.

    The Continental team formed from Team RSH and had Nordmilch sponsorship since 2006. Its purpose was to prepared young cyclists to ride in the ProTour, from a third- to first-division team. However, only one rider has made the spring to the ProTour in the past four years, Christian Kux, who moved up in 2008.

    Team manager Sylvia Haueisen was unable to say if the team would continue next season under a new sponsor. “We are sorry about Nordmilch's decision, but we accept it,” she said.

  • Van den Broeck wants shared leadership with Evans

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Silence - Lotto)
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 11:47 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Belgian 15th in first Tour de France

    Belgium's Jurgen Van den Broeck looks forward to a shared leadership role with Silence-Lotto teammate Cadel Evans in next year's Tour de France. He finished 15th on Sunday in his debut Tour, while the Australian placed out of the top ten for the first time, in 30th position.

    "Evans has been on the podium before and proved he can be a good leader at the Tour. It would be good for me if he is still around so we can have two guys for the GC," Van den Broeck told Cyclingnews.

    Silence-Lotto's Tour de France started badly with a 2:35 loss in the team time trial on day four. Van den Broeck crashed and did not finish with Evans and teammates.

    Van den Broeck's time loss that day, 7:04, gave him greater freedom to join escape groups. He was present in four significant escapes over the following 17 days of racing.

    "I did not really have a goal in the classification, especially after the team time trial. But by taking time, being in all the breaks, I moved up bit by bit to arrive in 15th," said Van den Broeck.

    Race winner Alberto Contador said Saturday that it does not work to have two riders who want to win the Tour within the same team. Van den Broeck believed there were different factors for Silence-Lotto than Astana's Contador and Lance Armstrong.

    "Armstrong and Contador are too different, they both wanted to win the Tour. Cadel wanted to win this Tour and I didn't."

    Evans never finished outside of the top ten in the Tour de France prior to this year. In the last two years he placed second and wore the leader's yellow jersey for five days.

    "I think his condition was good, based on what I saw at all the training camps with him. He was feeling good," Van den Broeck said.

    Evans will race the Vuelta a España next, Van den Broeck races Spain's San Sebastián one-day race Saturday and the Eneco Tour, August 18 to 25.

  • Voigt skips Worlds this year

    Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) is always popular
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 12:34 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    German recovering from Tour crash

    Germany's Jens Voigt has said he must skip the World Championships this year, following his horrific crash in stage 16 of this year's Tour de France. Germany selected him earlier this week on its preliminary team for the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, September 27.

    “Jens is a practically a tradition in the squad,” said Udo Sprenger, the German federation's vice president, when he was announced the team. If he were unable to ride, “that wouldn't be a problem, first of all he needs to get well again.”

    “I want to ride races again in September, but it absolutely won't be the Worlds,” the Voigt, 37, told the German news agency “SID”. Voigt said that he would not be in top form in time for the Worlds. “There are others who should be considered before me.”

    Voigt suffered a severe concussion, a blood clot in his brain and a broken cheekbone in the crash. Doctors also diagnosed a broken jaw this week, for which Voigt will have surgery today.

  • Contador refuses Astana offer

    Tour de France champion Alberto Contador waves to supporters from a balcony in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid.
    Article published:
    July 31, 2009, 12:46 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Tour champ turns down 16m euro contract

    The winner of this year's Tour de France, Alberto Contador, declined a contract extension with team Astana Wednesday. He plans to leave the Kazakh squad at the end of this season, although he is still has one more year in his contract.

    Spain's Contador received an offer from the Kazakh government to remain with the team for an additional four years, earning four million euro net per year, according to L'Equipe. "Indeed, this proposal has been made," said Contador's brother and manager Francisco Javier. It also offered Contador sole leadership within the team even with the return of Alexander Vinokourov. "It is a rather appealing offer."

    But Contador, tired from the power struggles within the team, declined the proposal. "I replied that we refuse and that Alberto's future wasn't about money only," said Francisco Javier.

    "I said that Alberto had experienced a demanding season psychologically and that we now had to take care of his future and his tranquility. This season, there was [team manager Johan] Bruyneel on one side, the Kazakhs on the other side and Alberto in the middle, without us really knowing what was happening. We have nothing against the Kazakhs, to the contrary, but now we have to seriously think about Alberto. Things are too complicated to continue in these conditions."

    Contador's teammate Lance Armstrong has already announced he will leave and form his new team, RadioShack, together with manager Johan Bruyneel and several of Astana's other star riders. Contador knows that building up a competitive squad from scratch around him as Grand Tour leader will be difficult. Contador likely to join an existing team that is able to meet his sporting needs.

    Contador won the Tour for the second time this year, two years after his first. He missed the 2008 edition, but he raced and won the two other Grand Tours: the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España.