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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 4, 2011

Date published:
November 4, 2011, 21:00
  • Fuglsang satisfied with progress in 2011

    Jakob Fuglsang donned the red leader's jersey
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 10:10
    By:
    Cycling News

    Only one win, but a high level of performance

    Jakob Fuglsang had only one individual win in 2011 but he was still satisfied with the season. “I am really very happy with my season,” the Leopard Trek rider said. 

    The main difference this year was in his racing calendar. “I rode many races, and that makes it hard to get top rankings, because it eats away at your energy,” he told the Ritzau news agency.

    Fuglsang thought that this year he has proven he can ride at a high level. “I was at the forefront of races like Amstel Gold and Tour de Suisse.” He finished fourth in both of those.

    His win this season was the queen stage of the Tour of Denmark. He had won his homeland race the previous three years, but only finished 18th this year.

    If both the Tour de France and the Tour of Denmark were disappointing, the Vuelta a Espana made up for them. “It went better than I had expected. I had one day in the lead, was in the top ten until the final and just missed the top ten by 17 seconds.”

    The 26-year-old led his team across the finish line in the best time at the opening team time trial in Benidorm.  It was his first grand tour leader's jersey.

  • CONI seeks bans for five in Mantova case

    An Italian flag flies over the peloton
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 11:03
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two sporting directors and three young riders named

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has been asked to ban two sporting directors for four years each and three young riders for two years, for their participation in the Mantova doping investigation. None of the Team Lampre or BMC riders earlier named in the investigation were amongst those named today.

    The two sporting directors are Loris Tagliapietra and Mariano Piccoli, who raced professionally from 1992 to 2005, riding for Lampre from 1999 until 2004.

    The three riders are Andrea Menapace, a 24-year-old who rode for Mantovani Cicli Fontana this year; Enrico Mantovani, 24, who last rode for 2010 Cycling Team Trentino-Ballan-Legno Case; and Andrea Garardini, 22, who was a stagiaire at Miche this year.

    CONI also announced that it had sent its file on Russian rider Oleksander Grigorenko to the UCI for further action.

    No further details were released.

    The Mantova investigation centred on the sale and use of prohibited substances including EPO, ephedrine, testosterone and cortico-steroids. Many current and former riders from Lampre were named in the investigation, as were Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego and Michael Rasmussen.  Their status was not known.

  • Roberts signs up for another year at Saxo Bank-SunGard

    Luke Roberts is starting to enjoy his time on the podium as the KOM leader.
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 13:01
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian veteran happy with “best team in the world”

    Luke Roberts will continue to ride for Saxo Bank-SunGard in 2012, the team announced Friday. The Australian rode for the Danish team from 2005 and 2007 before re-joining it last year.

    “Luke has been solid throughout the season and yet again shown he is both a strong and versatile rider that the team can rely on in all kinds of races. At the same time he brings important experience and great spirit, so I'm pleased he has agreed to stay with us for another season,” team owner Bjarne Riis said.

    “I'm extremely grateful and happy to be able to continue to work with Bjarne Riis and his staff,” said Roberts.  “In my opinion this is probably the best team in the world, when it comes to organization and helping riders to achieve their maximum in their career.”

    Looking to his eleventh pro year, he said, “My first goal of the season will be the Tour Down Under. I finished inside the top ten in the GC the last two years without really ideal preparation. So now to be able to prepare and focus on that race, and the fact that it has a mountain top finish that could take some of the sprinters out of the GC, is my chance of a top result. For sure I will be looking at getting a score on the board there. Then I would be keen on riding a Grand Tour again."

    Roberts, 34, turned pro with Team ComNet-Senges in 2002 and rode with them until joining  CSC as it was then called. In 2008 and 2009 he returned to Team Kuota-Senges for two years, and rode for Milram in 2010. He had signed with the Pegasus project, and joined Saxo Bank when that project folded.

    On the road, he has won stages in smaller stage races such as the Tour Down Under and the Tour of Murcia.  This year he finished tenth overall n the Tour Down Under and won the mountains jersey.

    His major successes have been on the track, having won the team pursuit worlds title three times, as well as the gold medal in that discipline at the 2004 Olympics in Athens.

  • Dowsett targeting Olympic qualification

    Dowsett (centre) is hopeful of a place at next year's Olympics
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 13:42
    By:
    Cycling News

    British rider will up the miles in 2012 to appeal to selectors

    After narrowly missing out on selection for Team GB at the World Road Race Championships at Copenhagen in September, Team Sky rider Alex Dowsett is hopeful that a step up in distance will result in him gaining a spot on the Great Britain team for next summer’s Olympic Games in London. With the bonus of five team places for the Olympic road race up for grabs, Dowsett is looking to force his way into the selectors’ thoughts, as he told Cyclingnews when he helped to launch the new Gatorade G Series in London on Tuesday.

    “It’s brilliant news that Great Britain has been recognised as one of the world’s leading cycling nations with the announcement of the five spots on the Olympic road race team,” he said. “It will give us the best chance possible of achieving good results in both the time trial and the road race. I think we’ll produce the strongest possible team for the road race and hopefully we can deliver Mark Cavendish to the line and the gold medal.

    “Making the team will be tough. There’s a lot of competition and a lot of good riders out there. It was a bit of a blow for me to miss out on the Worlds but I understood the reasoning behind it and there’ll be plenty of opportunities for me to prove that I’m up to it in the run-up to the Olympics.”

    Dowsett feels that increasing his mileage over the winter and taking part in some races over a longer distance early next season will make the selectors take notice of him and put him in the picture for one of the berths on the Olympic team.

    “One of the main reasons why I didn’t go to the Worlds was that it’s a longer race than what I’ve been used to,” he said. “I’ve mainly been racing between 160-200km and the Worlds is a 266km race. So it wasn’t a slight on my fitness, commitment or form – more that it would have been a risk to take me as I hadn’t really proved myself over that longer distance.

    “Next year I’ve been pencilled in to ride the Giro and one or two of the early classics. Those races should give me the opportunity to prove that I can handle the longer distance. Upping the training mileage over the winter is also a crucial element. Plus I’ll be starting early at the Tour Down Under.”

    Alex Dowsett was speaking at the launch of the Gatorade G Series Pro range, a new series of sports performance products that fuel athletes before, during and after workout, practice or competition. Available to buy in stores from November 20th, follow @GatoradeUK for more information.
     

  • Leipheimer: 2012 Tour of California could be toughest edition yet

    Race leader Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) climbs in the front group up Lookout Mountain.
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 15:32
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    American targets a fourth overall victory

    Levi Leipheimer is pleased that race organizers of the Amgen Tour of California have granted his hometown of Santa Rosa the stage one start and finish line in 2012. The three-time winner believes the seventh edition of the race has the potential to be the toughest route yet and he is targeting a fourth overall title during the eight day event scheduled from May 13-20.

    “It is definitely a target for me to try and win the race again,” Leipheimer told Cyclingnews. “This is a race that I want to win every year. I’ve won it three times, it starts in my home town and it is the first target of the season for me.”

    Race organizers recently announced the 13 host cities to include Santa Rosa, San Francisco to Santa Cruz County, San Jose to Livermore, Sonora to Clovis, Bakersfield, Palmdale to Big Bear Lake, Ontario to Mt. Baldy and Los Angeles.

    “I think they've made a great route,” Leipheimer said. “They hit the Bay Area, they need to get to southern California, and Los Angeles is very important. I think it is logistically very hard for the organizers to get everything they want and satisfy everyone, it is just not possible. I think it is as good of a course as any. Until we know the details of the routes it is hard to say whether this is the hardest edition, but I think it has the potential to be the toughest edition yet.”

    Santa Rosa has been a participating city of the Tour of California in every edition with the exception of 2011. Leipheimer acknowledged the effort he invested in helping to bring the race back to his hometown along with the importance of garnering both the start and the finish of stage one.

    “We get the whole stage,” Leipheimer said. “The route is not final yet, but I think we can count on it having a downtown start and finish line. It is really important for Santa Rosa and for myself.”

    Leipheimer won the Amgen Tour of California on three occasion from 2007-09 and wore the leader’s jersey in Santa Rosa during the 2006 and 2007 editions. Although he would like to wear the leader’s jersey in his hometown again, he believes that the chances are unlikely. “It is a nice feeling to have the yellow jersey in Santa Rosa,” Leipheimer said. “I have had that before, but I doubt that the stage will be the kind of stage where I would have that possibility next year.”

    Race organizers replaced the individual time trial in Solvang with a new location in Bakersfield for stage five. Leipheimer won the time trial during all three of his overall titles. He believes that the new route could offer terrain challenging enough to make the time trial one of the more decisive stages in hunt for the overall classification.

    “I have an affinity for Solvang, obviously, but I’m looking forward to what they do to the course in Bakersfield,” Leipheimer said. “I know that there is a lot of elevation there for a time trial. We finished there two years ago and the finishing circuit was on the bluff. My guess is that they will incorporate that into the time trial. A lot of people will come out because Bakersfield is a big city.”

    Stages six and seven will host the mountaintop finishes used in the previous two editions: Big Bear Lake, won by Peter Sagan in 2010, and Mt Baldy, won by Leipheimer this year. Although the ascent to Big Bear Lake left the pure climbers with something to be desired, Leipheimer believes that next year it will create an element of fatigue in the climbers legs prior to the more decisive climb up Mt Baldy the next day.

    “There are three decisive stages in a row,” Leipheimer said. “Big Bear won’t be as decisive as Baldy, that is obvious, a lot of the climbing is in the last part of the stage and the pitches on the climbs are not as steep. It doesn’t really break up the favourites but the stage is hard on the peloton as a whole. It is definitely a hard stage and will take it out of your legs. It will make the next stage on Baldy more decisive that it was this year.”

     

  • Hannover Six Day race cancelled due to organiser's illness

    Packed stands are a good sign for the German Six Day circuit
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 16:08
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank drops Rotterdam sponsorship

    December was to have seen the return of Six Day racing to Hannover, Germany, after 30 years, but the event has been cancelled. Also, Rabobank has cancelled its sponsorship of the Rotterdam Six Days race.

    In Hannover, race organizer Christian Stoll and sport director Erik Zabel had put together a strong field, including Iljo Keisse, Robert Bartko, Leif Lampater and Franco Marvulli. The event was to be held December 15-20.

    However, this week everything was cancelled. “Due to the severe depression suffered by organiser Christian Stoll, those responsible saw themselves forced to cancel the cycling event this year,” according to a statement on the race's website. 

    In addition, Rabobank announced that it would no longer be the name sponsor for the Rotterdam event. The bank has been the race's main sponsor since 2006. It will continue to support the race, but did not indicate to what extent.

  • 2012 season already started for UCI's America Tour

    Marc De Maar (Netherlands Antilles) won the Pan Am Games road race
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 19:00
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two races already held in young season

    The 2011-2012 UCI America Tour has been underway for more than a month now, with two races already having been run. Jose Eriberto Rodrigues of Brazil leads the early rankings, as does his native country.

    The first race of the new season was a new race, the Tobago Cycling Classic. The win here went to Ricardo Zoidl of the Austrian Continental team RC Arbo Gourmetfein Wels. The 23-year-old won the mass sprint on the first stage and while he lost the lead on stage three, he took it back on the fourth and final stage.

    The second race of the season was the Tour do Brasil Volta Ciclistica de São Paulo-Internacional  was held October 16 -23, with the overall win going to Rodrigues. Although he did not win any of the eight stages, he took the leader's jersey in the fourth stage and held it until the end.

    The third race of the season is the Tour of Bolivia, with the start being overshadowed by a coach crash which injured several riders.

    The Panamerican Games are not part of the UCI's America Tour, but many riders participate in both. This year's road race was won by Mark De Maar of the Netherlands Antilles/Curacao on a two-man sprint against Miguel Ubeto Aponte of Venezuela, who last year won the America Tour ranking. Third place went to Alberto Alcoloa of Cuba.

    Marlon Aliro Perez Rango won the Panamerican time trial, ahead of Matias Medici (Argentina) and Carlos Oyarzun (Chile).

  • Andrenacci facing two-year ban for EPO

    Danilo Andrenacci
    Article published:
    November 4, 2011, 20:30
    By:
    Cycling News

    CONI recommends suspension for D'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo rider

    The national anti-doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has recommended a two-year ban for D'Angelo & Antenucci - Nippo rider Danilo Andrenacci.

    The 33-year-old Italian tested positive for recombinant EPO at the Trofeo Melinda-Val di Non on August 20, 2011.

    Andrenacci placed 12th in the Trofeo Melinda behind winner Davide Rebellin.