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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 26, 2010

Date published:
November 26, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Copenhagen Worlds course under threat?

    The early breakaway under blue Danish skies
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 10:42 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    City Council yet to decide on three-day traffic closure

    Plans for the 2011 Worlds in Copenhagen may have to be changed, since Danish politicians are reportedly unwilling to close down traffic in the city for three days.

    All of the time trials are scheduled to be held on a course through the city centre, starting and finishing at the City Hall Square. The men's road race is also scheduled to start there.

    However, according to sporten.dk, the million-krone income expected from the event is not large enough to justify shutting down all traffic for three days. “A group of politicians are now considering whether it is worth the traffic closure,” according to the Danish website. The group had already expressed its opposition in committee hearings, and now the issue is up before the City Council, which will make its final decision next month.

    This has sent the organising committee of the Danish Cycling Union scrambling to make alternative plans.

    DCU director Jesper Worre is ready to present his case, but if the decision goes against him, “we must move to another location ,” he told news agency Ritzau. Further plans will not be disclosed until the City Council makes its final decision.

  • Basso to skip Giro for Tour de France

    2010 Giro d'Italia champion Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Doimo)
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 12:18 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian wants Tour victory, Nibali to contest Giro

    Ivan Basso of Team Liquigas has opted not to defend his Giro d'Italia title in 2011, looking instead to win next year's Tour de France. On Friday, his 33rd birthday, he revealed to La Gazzetta dello Sport that his team and himself had already decided that Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the 2010 Vuelta, will be Liquigas' leader at the Italian Grand Tour.

    "If I won the Giro d'Italia I would be on a special list of three-time winners, but the yellow jersey would give a special light to the two pink jerseys I already have at home," Basso told the newspaper ahead of the official team presentation in Milan on January 10.

    Basso, who already won the Giro in 2006, will make the Tour his main season objective - and he doesn't want to ride the Giro just for training. "To go slowly through the Dolomites would be offending the fans," he added.

    Luckily, the Italian top team has another Grand Tour winner in its ranks, who will be honoured to take up the challenge of winning the maglia rosa: Vincenzo Nibali. The 2010 winner of the Vuelta a España finished third behind his captain Basso at this year's Giro, also winning a stage.

    "Vincenzo is maturing and is no longer a little kid. As he showed at the Vuelta, he can win the Giro," said Basso.

    Liquigas will meet in Passo San Pellegrino in the Dolomites for a first team camp next week. A second meeting will then be hald from December 9-22 on the Italian island of Sardinia. The first race for Liquigas will be the Tour Down Under in Australia, starting on January 16. Basso will start racing at the Tour de San Luis on January 17.

  • No increased salary for Hushovd

    Thor Hushovd contemplates how Castelli will incorporate argyle into the rainbow jersey design.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 12:37 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Worlds title did not change Garmin-Transitions contract

    World champion Thor Hushovd has revealed that the terms of his 2011 contract with Garmin-Cerveöp remained unchanged even after the Norwegian won the gold medal in Geelong, Australia. Hushovd, who announced his one-year contract with the American team in August, said that the rainbow jersey did not give him an increase in salary even though he had asked for it.

    "No, I have not received any new offers from Garmin," Hushovd told Norwegian media Fædrelandsvennen. "They wanted to give me a better contract, but they have no more money, they have used up their budget."

    But Hushovd remained philisophical about it. "It's just the way it is, so I'm not going to waste my time and energy to dwell on it. It's just part of the risk when signing a new contract early," said the 32-year-old, who kept the same contract conditions as he had with Cervélo, estimated by the media at approximately 1,200,000 Euro per annum.

    Now, Hushovd looks forward to getting to know his new teammates and management, even though he still gets offers to change teams in 2012. "I do not know what happens after 2011," he said. "Now I have to wait and see if I like Garmin first, I have not met people there yet."

    On Sunday, Hushovd will fly out to the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean for the team's first get-together, and he is eager to meet one of the squad's leaders, Tyler Farrar, for the first time. "We need to sit down and talk about the opportunities we have. We must take advantage of the fact that we are such strong riders," Hushovd said about the fast sprinter, with whom he will share team leadership.

    "I have spoken to the sports director Jonathan Vaughters, too. We must share our thoughts and find a middle ground that fits," he added with regard to dividing up the 2010 race programme.

    Hushovd will probably start the season in the Far East, either in Qatar or Oman, with an exact racing schedule to be decided at the team...

  • Tour de France still a goal for a more relaxed Wiggins

    Brad Wiggins warms down after one of his races
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 13:24 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Wiggins prepares for UCI Track World Cup

    Brad Wiggins will return to training with the British track squad next month in preparation for the UCI World Cup round next February, with the event to form part of of a more "relaxed" approach to his off-season.

    Wiggins was in London on Friday with Sky teammates Geraint Thomas, Russell Downing and Ben Swift to support a publicity event for new team sponsor IG Markets. Wiggins told Cylingnews he hopes a more settled off-season will put him in good stead for the coming season on the road.

    "It's a bit less stress this year. This time last year I hadn't been announced in the team so it's been a bit more of a traditional off-season this year where I can really relax, plan for next year and there's nothing else going on outside of that. It's been good," said Wiggins, before taking on members of the public in a one-mile race on stationary bikes.

    "I had three weeks off after the Tour of Lombardy and I've just slowly been getting back into training. I finished racing quite late so it's sort of works out a bit better really, I didn't lose too much fitness," he continued.

    Wiggins' attendance at the track World Cup round in February is part of a lead-up to the 2012 Olympics, which will take place in his hometown in just over 18 months time. Despite the track coming back into sharper focus for the Olympic gold medallist, his major goals for 2011 remain on the road - albeit with a more relaxed approach.

    "We start back with the track squad in December and train through with those guys until February. That's with a long-term view to 2012," he said.

    "I'll be following quite a different programme on the road. I won't be doing the Giro, that's for sure. I'll do a few more early season Classics, just a bit more like 2009 really. I'll be racing the races I enjoy racing, have a bit more fun, rather than your traditional Tour [de France] programme."

    While the Tour de France will remain a key goal, Wiggins said he will...

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi announces Tour Down Under line-up

    Team Euskaltel wating for the start.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 15:24 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basque sprinters to look for their chances

    Euskaltel-Euskadi is sending its sprinters to the Tour Down Under. The Basque team announced its line-up Friday for its first race of the 2011 season.

    Gorka Izaguirre, who had two wins last season, and Ruben Perez, with one, will look to challenge Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo).

    Ivan Velasco will be the team's man for the fifth stage, which takes the peloton over the Willunga climbs twice.

    The team finished last in the team rankings at the 2010 race, with Ivan Velasco the top finisher in 18th place.

    The Tour Down Under is the first ProTour race of the season, from January 18-23. It runs for six stages, all in the Adelaide, Australia, area. The Cancer Council Classic criterium will be held on January 16.

    Euskaltel-Eusakadi for the Santos Tour Down Under: Rubén Pérez, Iñaki Isasi, Gorka Izaguirre, Ivan Velasco, Miguel Minguez, Daniel Sesma and Ion Izaguirre.

     

  • Lloyd dreaming of the maglia rosa in 2011

    Giro d'Italia stage 6 winner Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma Lotto) on the podium.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 16:24 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Australian willing to trade mountain jersey for leader's jersey

    Matt Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has set his sights on another strong ride in the Giro d'Italia and is dreaming of making a bid for the maglia rosa in 2011. The Australian won a stage and the mountains jersey in 2010, featuring in a number of key stages. He finished the race in 50th place overall, over two hours down on winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas).

    However, the Australian has already discussed the possibility of racing for GC with his Belgian team.

    "Whether it's about trying to replicate the green jersey success or to go for different things and try for something bigger and better; it's something I have looked at. If the possibility arises, and it seems to be a good course to try and be part of the GC, then Id' be more than happy to do so. The team have been supportive of the idea," Lloyd told Cyclingnews.

    "To change the jersey from green to pink isn't an easy thing to do but I'm going to try and put it together. I don't see a reason why we can't give it a crack. It will be fun to at least try and see how far I can push myself. If you don't try then you'll never know."

    Lloyd had one of his best seasons on record this year, along with his success in the Giro he was a key part of Jurgen Van Den Broeck's strong GC ride at the Tour de France and he stamped his authority as one of the strongest climbers on the world circuit. Next year the team could be one of the most competitive squads in the ProTeam ranks, after signing several reinforcements, including Andre Greipel, while the likes of Adam Blythe have started to blossom.

    "It was a fantastic year and one to be really proud of for all the guys on the team," Lloyd said.

    "I think we've got one of the strongest teams we've had in a while. When I stared in the team we had Robbie McEwen and he had the name and kudos to back himself wherever he went. But Philippe Gilbert has really taken that mantle on his shoulders and VDB has been stepping things up at...

  • Contador critical of Astana and media treatment

    Alberto Contador attacks Andy Schleck near the fog-shrouded summit of the Tourmalet.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 18:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard says team hasn't shown him the respect he's shown them

    Alberto Contador's comments about the likelihood of him retiring if he is banned for doping have been widely reported, but the Tour de France champion has also had plenty to say about other aspects of the affair in which he is embroiled, notably the attitude of his Astana team. Interviewed on Thursday evening on Spanish TV show Teledeporte, Contador said that Astana "hasn't shown me the same respect that I've shown them".

    The Spaniard, who has ridden in the colours of the Kazakh team for the past three seasons, said, "I think I can safely say that during the last three years I've ridden out of my skin in every one of the races I've taken part in. I think I've achieved good results, with two victories at the Tour, one in the Giro, another in the Vuelta, as well as winning prestigious events such as Paris-Nice, País Vasco and others.

    "This year has been particularly difficult because the team came together at the last moment, and it was very difficult to coordinate everything. And then they... Let's look at just one of bits of information that they've released, that it was all to do with a diet to lose weight. This came from a source at Astana, but they couldn't even put out a few lines to deny this information. Everyone acts in a certain way at certain times, but it's fair to say that as far as I'm concerned they haven't shown me the same respect I've shown them."

    Contador compared Astana with the supportive attitude of his new Saxo Bank team. "It's a shame that I wasn't on a team like Saxo Bank during the past year." He added that he is sure that he would have received more support from Saxo Bank in the same situation, and summed up Astana's attitude by saying, "The truth is that this hasn't been a surprise for me at all."

    The Spaniard said the response to the news of his positive test for clenbuterol had also been especially hard to deal with. "Since the news came out, it's been very difficult because of the...

  • Wagner and Pedersen to Luxembourg

    Robert Wagner (Skil Shimano).
    Article published:
    November 26, 2010, 19:22 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Schleck team recruits strong team helpers

    The newly-founded Luxembourg Cycling Project managed by Brian Nygaard has announced two additional rider signings. German Robert Wagner and Dane Martin Pedersen will be added to the 2011 roster of the team built around the Schleck brothers.

    With the ambition to performing well in the great one-day Classics as well as being capable of controlling the peloton during long wind-swept Grand Tour stages, Wagner and Pedersen are "two strongmen who are keen to work for their leaders and also well-equipped to take their own personal glory when the moment presents itself," according to the press release.

    "Robert [Wagner] is a solid rider who is very strong on the flat, in the wind, on the cobbles - basically: the tough races in Northern Europe," General Manager Brian Nygaard said about the rider coming in from Skil-Shimano. "He knows how to place himself in the sprints and always comes away with at least a couple of nice victories a year."

    This season, Wagner achieved four victories, including a stage at the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and one at the Bayern-Rundfahrt. He will be one out of five German riders an the team, and is eager to start racing with his new squad.

    "I will be very determined to help this team be successful from the first race through the season finale," Wagner explained. "Every one of my teammates is an absolute world class athlete. They are all well-known for their perfectionism and professionalism, so I can’t wait to get the 2011 season underway."

    Pedersen will most certainly be happily helping Wagner ride tempo at the front of the peloton for many of the 2011 Grand Tour stages. "I think my strengths rest in my ability to do well in many different terrains which will mean that I can be a service to the team in multiple situations," Pedersen said. "I also have a snappy sprint, so that I can take advantage of that when given the chance in breakaways, for instance."

    Nygaard brought Pedersen on...