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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, March 4, 2011

Date published:
March 04, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Lloyd suffers second training accident in three months

    Matt Lloyd on the hunt for mountain points
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 3:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian sees the upside to latest setback

    The bad luck has continued for Omega Pharma-Lotto's Matt Lloyd, who was hit by a car while training in Italy on Valentine's Day.

    Lloyd, King of the Mountains in last year's Giro d'Italia was on a training ride in St Kilda near Melbourne in late December when he was involved in a traffic incident. The result was a broken right rotator cuff and damage to his upper vertebrae. It was an unfortunate end to an otherwise stellar season for the wiry Australian.

    SBS' Cycling Central reports that Lloyd was on his first training ride near his European base when the latest incident happened.

    "There was a lady and she was on her way to a Valentine's date and she was late," he explained. "She turned into a driveway and she wasn't looking. She said, 'sorry, sorry I'm running late for my Valentine's date.' I said, 'don't worry about it it's just my knee, make sure you're not late for cupid's arrow.' She was pretty nice and I just thought, shit happens, let it go."

    Lloyd said he sustained some slight ligament damage to his knee following the accident but even then, he was optimistic about the events.

    "It sort of made me take it a bit easier and not go too crazy at the start," he said. "I think it was good to build into [training] gradually and the knee made me tentative to try and replicate what it would be if I was racing."

    Lloyd's first race of the season will be at the Tour of Catalunya later this month prior to his build up for the defence of his Giro d'Italia green jersey.

  • Goss chasing more early-season success at Paris-Nice

    Matt Goss (HTC - Highroad) celebrates his victory in stage 2.
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 4:31 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Aussie sprinter riding high on confidence

    HTC-Highroad's Matt Goss is eyeing a stage win at Paris-Nice starting this weekend, in what would be a continuation of the Australian's sensational early-season form.

    Overall victory at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Victoria was followed by a second place to Jack Bobridge in the Australian national road titles at Mt Buninyong during January, before he took out the Santos Tour Down Under prelude, the Cancer Council Classic. A stage win later that week and second overall in the Australian World Tour race preceded another stage win, this time at the Tour of Oman.

    "I've done Paris-Nice once before and it didn't go too badly, but this season has been the best start I've ever had to a year, so that's great for my confidence," Goss said.

    "There are two flat stages at the start of the race, so the leader's jersey is a possibility, which makes it pretty exciting."

    "The third stage is hillier, particularly at the end, but I'll try my best there, afterwards in the mountainous stages it'll be a question of working for the team's GC guys and getting good form for the Classics."

    Tony Martin will be other go-to man for HTC-Highroad. He along with Tejay Van Garderen took out the first two podium spots at the Volta ao Algarve last month.

    "Matt's had great form since the start of the year so it's only normal for him to want to get some more wins in," said HTC-Highroad's directeur sportif Allan Peiper. "We're also very hopeful about Tony's chances in the general classification.

    "The mid-race time trial is long enough to decide a lot of what happens overall, and we know that Tony and Tejay, who are both specialists in that area, are going well. Paris-Nice has a really good field this year, but we've got two very good cards to play overall."

  • Jens Voigt speaks out against UCI race radio ban

    Jens Voigt brought his family along to Mallorca.
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 9:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Leopard Trek rider cites safety reasons in critical open letter

    Jens Voigt continues to speak out against the race radio ban and has issued an open letter voicing his thoughts. The veteran Leopard Trek rider emphasised not only the safety aspects but also the possibility of loss of sponsors and railed against those who support the ban.

    Voigt, at 39 one of the oldest riders in the peloton, cited several crashes where race radios have played or could have played an important role in warning of traffic on the course or warning that a rider – in this case, Voigt himself – lay on the road after a crash, blocking a curve on a descent.

    “If I had a fatal crash, who of you, who think the radio ban is a great idea, will go to Berlin and explain to my six children that it was the right decision and daddy was just an unlucky victim in the so important battle for more drama in cycling?” he said.

    The German also asked “how we’re going to attract sponsors if we develop our sport back into the stone age?” and added bluntly, “Another urban myth is that the breakaway has better chances without the radios - never heard more nonsense than that.”

    The letter comes shortly after the International Cycling Union met Thursday afternoon with team representatives to discuss the issue. The UCI did not change its stance and will continue to stand firm on its rule banning radio communications between riders and their teams during races. The ban will alsocover World tour races from 2012.

    Voigt had earlier called for a boycott of the World Championships if the radio ban was put into...

  • Christina Watches-Onfone licence paperwork moves forward

    Angelo Furlan and Christina Watches-Onfone team owner Christina Hembo
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 10:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Danish team signs Italian sprinter Furlan

    The Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone continues to take form, as the squad has announced the signing of Italian sprinter Angelo Furlan and the Danish Cycling Union (DCU) said that it is ready to send the licence paperwork on to the International Cycling Union (UCI) for final approval.

    The team around Michael Rasmussen is taking over the Continental licence from Bianchi M1. Last month the UCI and the team confirmed to Cyclingnews that the process was underway.

    DCU chairman Tom Lund confirmed that the federation has finally finished its part of the licence dossier. “The status is that the papers have now been processed by the DCU, we got them this week, and I will deal with them when I get home tonight,” he told on Thursday. “So they should be sent for approval by the UCI tomorrow.”

    He added that he hoped the UCI will act promptly, and did not have any doubt that the licence papers would be validated. “I reckon it is a formality that the UCI will approve them.”

    The team also announced the signing of Furlan, another veteran on the young team and the first non-Danish rider. The 33-year-old, who last rode for Lampre, won two stages of the Vuelta a Espana in 2002 and last October finished second in Paris-Tours.

    "I had no doubt when I got Christina’s offer – this team was a team which I could not resist and I simply had to go for the chance,” Furlan said in a press release. “ My job is clear. Every time a race will be decided...

  • Romain Sicard ready for Paris-Nice

    Romain Sicard (Euskaltel - Euskadi).
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 10:22 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Euskaltel rider wants to shine at his first French stage race of 2011

    Former Under 23 world road race champion Romain Sicard is looking to his first French race of 2011. After riding the Vuelta a Andalucia Ruta del Sol, the Euskaltel-Euskadi rider is motivated for Paris-Nice, even if he remains modest about his possible results.

    "I'm a realist - with only the Vuelta a Andalucia in my legs, I'm not competitive enough yet. But Paris-Nice is a race that I respect and I won't go there just to clock up racing kilometres," Sicard told L'Equipe. "Of course, if I have an opportunity, I will try to shine, but I will mostly be there to help my leader Samuel Sanchez."

    The 23-year-old is hailed as a future possible Tour de France winner in France but he has opted to develop his career with the Basque team managed by Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano. A native of the French Basque region in the Pyrenees, Sicard's integration in the team was a natural process and he hopes that it will allow him to develop gradually.

    "I don't want to cut any corners," he told the Sud-Ouest newspaper when asked why his 2011 race schedule did not include the Tour de France as his first Grand Tour. "In protecting me like that, I think that my directors show that they respect me. They think that I'm too young for it and prefer to make me debut at the Vuelta Espana as my first Grand Tour. I discussed it with me teammates and they also think that the Vuelta is more appropriate for me."

    The 2010 Dauphiné stage winner has his first major objective coming up in the beginning of April: the Vuelta al Pais Vasco.

    "The Tour of the Basque Country will be a major event of the 2011 season, where the team wants to...

  • Taillefer admits having doped

    Fabien Taillefer (Véranda Rideau).
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 12:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Junior Paris-Roubaix winner under investigation in France

    Fabien Taillefer, currently under investigation in Brittany and Normandy, has admitted to doping offenses in his career. Speaking to, the 21-year-old said that he cooperated with the authorities examining the so-called "Medi 14" case, but also stated that he had stopped doping this season.

    "When I started my professional career [in 2009 - ed.], I had surgery twice for a cyst in my thigh. The pro peloton is a merciless world. I couldn't hold the pace. With the help of certain persons [allegedly two members of his family were also involved - ed.], I came to doping.

    "I neglected the most important things in the life of a rider: training, nutrition and sleep. I replaced all of that with doping. The result was that I wasn't at my best, I was even less good. I didn't train. I chose the easy way. But I didn't win any races that year," Taillefer explained.

    Still, he admitted that his cheating continued during the 2010 season. "I had problems during a certain period of my life. It lasted a year or a year and a half. It corresponds to a period when I didn't get any results, even if I must admit that I won two stages of the Tour de la Manche [in 2010] thanks to doping."

    Taillefer, who also placed third at the 2010 Paris-Roubaix Espoir event, assured that he stopped doping before the 2011 season. "I stopped everything this year because I've understood it now. Before being arrested, I had time to realise my capacities even without it [doping]. I was tested during the Circuit des Plages Vendéennes and during my time in custody, and everything is negative," he stated, hoping that he will be able to resume his cycling career quickly following a likely ban.

    "I assume entire responsibility...

  • Paris-Roubaix, Flèche and Liège teams announced

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) arrives at the Roubaix velodrome with plenty of time to celebrate.
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 13:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Races organiser ASO invites 25 teams to Spring Classics

    Tour de France organiser ASO has announced the final list of teams that will take part in this year's editions of Paris-Roubaix, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. A total of 25 teams have been selected for each of the events, including seven wildcard invitations on top of the 18 ProTeam squads.

    For Paris-Roubaix, these seven wildcard entries include five French teams - Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ, Bretagne-Schuller and Saur-Sojasun - as well as German team NetApp and Dutch Skil-Shimano.

    Four former winners of the 'Hell of the North' are expected to be at the start line in Compiègne on April 10: Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) will be trying to retain his 2010 title, accompanied by teammate and 2007 winner Stuart O’Grady, along with three-time victor Tom Boonen (Quickstep) and veteran Frédéric Guesdon, who triumphed in 1997.

    Six other podium finishers will be in attendance, planning to move their way up the standings: World Champion Thor Hushovd, Filippo Pozzato, Alessandro Ballan, George Hincapie, Juan-Antonio Flecha and Roger Hammond.

    Moreover, ASO has confirmed a number of other big riders expected to start, such as Under 23 winner Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing Team), Peter Sagan (Liquigas), Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Bernhard Eisel and Matt Goss (HTC Highroad), Robbie McEwen and Robert Hunter (RadioShack), Edvald Boasson Hagen and Bradley Wiggins (Sky), Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Lars Boom (Rabobank).

    As for Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, scheduled on April 20 and 24, the seven wildcard entries include three French teams - Cofidis, FDJ, Saur-Sojasun - as well as Belgian teams Landbouwkrediet, TopSport Vlaanderen, Veranda’s Willems Accent and Dutch squad Skil-Shimano.

    Cadel Evans (BMC), who took one of his most beautiful victories on top of the Mur de Huy as last year's world...

  • Spanish Subida al Naranco race cancelled

    The final podium: Fabio Duarte (2nd, Cafe De Colombia - Colombia Es Pasion), Constantino Zaballa (1st, Loule - Louletano) and Beñat Intxausti (3rd, Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    March 04, 2011, 14:58 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Long-standing one-day race a victim of the economic crisis

    Spanish cycling has been hit by the loss of another long-standing race. A change to the UCI calendar has revealed that the Subida al Naranco, held in the northern province of Asturias will not take place in early May this year.

    First run in 1941, the race finishes on the Alto del Naranco climb that stands over the city of Oviedo. Last year’s 44th edition was won by Asturian rider Santi Pérez.

    The Naranco race traditionally took place a couple of days after the finish of Vuelta Asturias. Both races are organised by the Club Ciclista Aramo, which has announced that the Naranco climb will now feature on the final day on this year’s Vuelta Asturias, which comprises of six stages spread over five days.

    Asturian newspaper La Nueva España has revealed that the Vuelta Asturias is also facing financial difficulties. The Club Ciclista Aramo has admitted there is a €20,000 shortfall in their budget and are hoping that the regional government will plug the gap.

    “Times are hard from an economic point of view,” said Cristina Alvarez Mendo, president of the race organisation. “I am grateful to the sponsors who have remained faithful to us and also to the efforts of public institutions and I hope that we can ultimately cover the budget.”

    Back in 1997, the Asturian Tour of the Mining Valleys was one of the first five-day stage races in Spain to disappear from the international calendar. Initially, its organisers had been aiming to miss just one year, but the event has not been organised in subsequent seasons.

    The 55th edition of the Vuelta Asturias will take place on April 28-May 2 and feature two summit finishes, including the finale on the Naranco.

    The 2011 Vuelta Asturias stages:

    Stage 1: April 28: Oviedo-Gijón