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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 7, 2011

Date published:
October 07, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Gilmore unable to defend Honda Hybrid Women's Tour title

    Rochelle Gilmore (Honda) celebrates her victory on day 1 in Geelong's Botanic Gardens
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 6:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Extra time off the bike required ahead of Olympic year

    Rochelle Gilmore's injury woes continue, the defending champion forced to pull out of next week's Honda Hybrid Women's Tour in Victoria, which begins on Wednesday.

    A broken pelvis suffered at the Giro Donne in July kept Gilmore off the bike until the recent Holland Ladies Tour, with the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and 2010 Road Cyclist of the Year deciding to sit out the five-stage event after the recent world championships in Denmark.

    "I am disappointed not to be able to race the Honda Hybrid Women's Tour next week, but my long-term health must remain my number one priority," Gilmore said. "While I won't be riding, I will enjoy supporting Australia's best female cyclists as they compete in what is sure to be a fiercely contested Tour."

    Gilmore will instead use the time to recover properly with her focus on her 2012 Olympic Games campaign.

    The Honda Hybrid Women's Tour is run in conjunction with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and too features a challenging stage taking in Arthurs Seat and Gilmore expects the unfolding events to have a major bearing on the final outcome.

    "With five stages, the 2011 Tour will be more demanding than the three-stage Tour of 2009. I think the toughest stage for the competitors will be the Arthurs Seat stage, because it's the penultimate stage finishing on a challenging hill top," Gilmore said.

    Meantime, Gilmore is hoping to be ready to race again in the Noosa Grand Prix series at the end of October.

  • RadioShack riders injured at Paris-Bourges

    Ivan Rovny (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 9:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Cardoso and Rovny out of Paris-Tours

    French one-day race Paris-Bourges turned out to be a nightmare for American team RadioShack, with five of its riders crashing and injuring themselves. It rained all day and Ivan Rovny and Evgeniy Shalunov were in the middle of a big early crash and had to be taken to hospital. Later, in the final kilometer, Ben Hermans, Manuel Cardoso and Geoffroy Lequatre also went down.

    Rovny's season is over as an ankle fracture was diagnosed. The fracture is situated at the lower extremity of the right tibula. Shalunov was involved in the same crash, but suffered only contusions and is expected to be able to start in Paris-Tours on Sunday.

    In the finale in Bourges, early escapee Lequatre was in a six-man counter-attack but the peloton was on its heels. "We started to bring Manuel Cardoso up for the sprint," explained directeur sportif Alain Gallopin on the team's website. "But at a corner we all went down on the slippery roads. It was over and out for Hermans, Lequatre and Cardoso."

    Cardoso's injury initially looked to be only general pain to his right shoulder and hip. A trip to the hospital in Bourges showed no fracture to the area, but his shoulder needs to be immobilized for eight days. The Portuguese rider, winner of a stage in Tour of Catalunya this year, will thus not be able to participate in Paris-Tours on Sunday.

    The final team line-up for Paris-Tours is as follows: Matthew Busche, Michal Kwiatkowski, Geoffroy Lequatre, Robbie McEwen, Gregory Rast, Jesse Sergent and Evgeniy Shalunov.

  • Vacansoleil-DCM to ride Bianchi in 2012

    Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) on the attack.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 10:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch squad to race on Bianchi Oltre bikes in 2012

    Bianchi and WorldTour team Vacansoleil-DCM have announced the signing of a two-year sponsorship agreement, with an option to extend the contract into future years. The Bianchi Oltre will be the new official bike to the team for 2012 and 2013.

    Vacansoleil-DCM team manager Daan Luijkx was excited about the new partnership with Bianchi. "For us, Bianchi is the best option for our long term strategy and we look forward to our winning cooperation. With a history of 126 years, we believe Bianchi will be an incredible partner. The Bianchi Oltre stands for high-technology, advanced product development and Italian design, which support our goal to reach victories in WorldTour races. Both Vacansoleil-DCM and Bianchi are product-driven with a global vision."

    By teaming up with Vacansoleil, Bianchi secures participation in the major international WorldTour events after having supplied Italian team Androni Giocattoli this year.  "Bianchi Oltre is the ideal bike for professional and expert riders, and our new partnership with Vacansoleil-DCM will provide us with an important opportunity to further develop and test our carbon technology," Bianchi CEO Bob Ippolito said.

    This season, Vacansoleil was equipped with Ridley bikes, but the Belgian manufacturer has decided to join the new Lotto-Ridley squad for next year. Bianchi's technical suppliers FSA, Vision, Fast Forward, Vredestein, Selle San Marco, Elite and KMC will also join the team as part of the new agreement.

  • Heavy crash for BMC's Eijssen in Beijing

    Yannick Eijssen (BMC).
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 12:29 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Young Belgian suffers with a fracture to alveolar ridge

    The first serious crash of the Tour of Beijing involved Belgian Yannick Eijssen (BMC Racing Team) on a descent during stage 3 on Friday.

    The accident took place about 10 kilometers from Young Ning, on the left side of a smooth and apparently not dangerous road. An advertising board was blown down and hit a TV motorcyclist who then struck Eijssen. The Belgian rider was racing at the back of the main peloton and was the only rider involved in the crash.

    The origin of the accident remains uncertain. “The TV helicopter was flying pretty low at that time and it was windy too,” a member of the organization told Cyclingnews. “It's perhaps a combination of those two factors which blew the barricade down.”

    In a bid to avoid another similar crash, the organising committee is going to recommend that Beijing TV, the broadcaster of the race's pictures, fly higher above the peloton on the last two stages.

    Eijssen sustained facial abrasions and a fracture of the alveolar ridge in the roof his mouth, team doctor Scott Major told Cyclingnews. The rider was admitted to Yanqing County Hospital with a suspected broken leg but X-rays revealed he had no fracture except to the alveolar ridge and might leave hospital in the coming hours.

    A 22-year-old neo-professional, Eijssen is a strong climber, notably having won the Under-23 Ronde de l'Isard in 2010, but is above all a downhill expert. Thanks to this talent, he captured a stage at the Tour de l'Avenir last year.

  • Hayman and Sutton extend with Sky

    Mathew Hayman (Sky) winner of the 2011 Paris-ourges
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 13:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Australians happy to stay with British team

    Team Sky has announced that Mathew Hayman and Chris Sutton have both signed contract extensions with the WorldTour team for 2012. The two Australians have been with Sky since their debut last year and have become integral parts of the squad.

    Hayman was their top finisher in Paris-Roubaix this year and has formed a formidable alliance with Juan Antonio Flecha in the Spring Classics as the Spaniard's right hand man. The timing of his new contract comes less than 24 hours after he won his first race since 2004, at Paris-Bourges. Sutton has also had a strong season, winning Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne earlier this season, as well as a debut stage win the Vuelta a España.

    Sky team principal Dave Brailsford paid tribute to the success both riders have had at the team. With Kurt-Asle Arvesen set to retire, Hayman will become an even more valuable rider on the team with his experience.

    "Mathew's win this week at Paris-Bourges underlined his huge talent as a rider and he has continued to show all season why he is one of the most respected riders in the peloton. His strength, stamina and leadership are second to none and we are delighted that he has seen Team Sky as the best environment to continue his career," Brailsford said.

    Sutton's contract extension sees the team retain another sprinter at a time when Mark Cavendish still hasn't put pen to paper on a deal with the team. However, Cyclingnews understands that a deal is close.

    "CJ is one of the most exciting sprint prospects in professional cycling,” Brailsford said. “His stage win during this summer's Vuelta was typical of his talent. He is a rider that is reaching the pinnacle of his career and we expect him to go from strength-to-strength over the next two...

  • Italian federation: CAS ruling changes nothing

    The President of Italian Cycling, Renato di Rocco was present at the first stage
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 14:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sanctioned riders to remain sidelined from national team

    The Italian cycling federation (FCI) will continue with its policy of refusing to select riders with previous doping offences for the national team in spite of the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s rejection of a similar provision that had been put in place by the International Olympic Committee.

    CAS ruled on Thursday that handing additional lifetime Olympic bans to athletes who had been suspended for six months or more was “invalid and unenforceable” and did not comply with the WADA code.

    But FCI president Renato Di Rocco rejected the idea that the CAS ruling could now force a rethink of his policy, pointing out that the selection of the Italian national team was a matter for the federation and its coaches.

    “We will continue not to select dopers. The blue jersey is handed out at our discretion,” Di Rocco told ANSA. “We will continue with our project, which has changed the credibility of cycling and has helped bring about generational change.”

    The FCI policy meant that a number of riders, including Ivan Basso, Danilo Di Luca, Alessandro Petacchi, Riccardo Riccò and Michele Scarponi were ineligible for selection for the world championships and also unable to compete in the national championships. Italy's men endured their worst Worlds since 1983 in Copenhagen last month, with Daniele Bennati (13th) their highest finisher.

    Di Rocco said that the CAS ruling “changes nothing” and maintained that the FCI stance was similar to that of the British Olympic Association (BOA), which bars athletes with past offences from representing the country at the Olympics, including David...

  • Kroon returns to Saxo Bank

    Karsten Kroon (BMC)
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 16:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Classics specialist leaves BMC

    Karsten Kroon has signed a two-year contract with the Saxo Bank team. Currently wearing BMC team kit, the Dutchman will thus return to his former employer Bjarne Riis with whom he worked from 2006 to 2009.

    "For me this is a return to the team where I had the greatest years of my career, and I am really looking forward to the next years," Kroon said on the Saxo Bank-SunGard website. The Classics specialist has suffered several bad crashes in the last two years, including facial injuries at the 2010 Flèche Wallonne and a collarbone fracture at this year's Tour of Flanders.

    But the 35-year-old still has a few more years of performances ahead of him. "Some say that me being 35 years old and after these crashes, it would be better for me to stop. But I still have a lot of love for the sport and I still have plenty of energy to give the best of myself. I am convinced I will get back to my old level and be a key player in the big one day races," he added.

    Saxo Bank team manager Riis shared this view. "I have always enjoyed working with Karsten, and it's no secret that I wanted to keep him on the team two years ago. So I'm happy he is returning, and I really believe we can bring him back to his full potential and the level he had, when he rode for the us some years ago," Riis declared.

    "I'm sure Karsten will be an important rider for us in the spring, especially in the Ardennes races, which suit him perfectly. And with both Nick Nuyens and Karsten onboard I think we have a strong outsider team for the classics."

    During his last stint with Riis, Kroon landed five top five results in the classics, amongst which a fourth place in the 2007 Tour of Flanders and a second in the 2009 Amstel Gold Race.


  • Video: Deignan at an optimistic turn of his career

    Philip Deignan (Radioshack) started the breakaway
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 19:41 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Irishman takes second at queen stage of Tour of Beijing

    “The first time of the season I go to the finish for the win and there’s another Irish guy there...”

    There was a blend of irony and disappointment in Philip Deignan's voice, at the end of Tour of Beijing's queen stage on Friday in Yong Ning. His second place in a breakaway sprint behind his countryman Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) summarizes a lot of his career at this stage: a panache attack without the final victory, evidence of his climber's gifts, unfinished business and the remaining hope of better days to come.

    In fact, Deignan was the first rider to attack on the last category 1 climb of the stage, before being caught by Chris Froome (Sky) and Roche.

    “Nico is faster than me,” he admitted. “He had a little bit more power too.” Three seconds after they crossed the line they shook hands with one another. They know each other very well, both from wearing the same green jersey for the national team and from their time at the same French amateur club, VC La Pomme Marseille.

    Roche and Deignan’s one-two might well evoke comparison with the former's father, Stephen, and Sean Kelly in the 1980s: urban style versus countryside spirit. The difference, however, is that the younger Roche is more familiar than his countryman Deignan to the wider Irish public.

    Moving on to UnitedHealthcare

    Before the stage, the discreet and humble Deignan was relishing “a consistent season” at the start in Men Tou Gou, ahead of his best ride of the year.

    Earlier in 2011 he was 14th on two occasions at the Giro d'Italia, stage 15 to Gardeccia/Val Di Fassa and stage 18 to San Pellegrino Terme. Above all, however, the Irishman was a domestique for RadioShack's leaders.

    “I got some results and did a lot of work for...