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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 8, 2010

Date published:
October 08, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Specialized to sponsor HTC-Columbia in 2011?

    The all-new Specialized Roubaix SL3
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 13:59 BST
    Cycling News

    US bike producer said to provide bikes and possibly replace Columbia

    Bike company Specialized may move to fill the gap left by Columbia after the company withdrew their sponsorship of Bob Stapleton's HTC team.

    According to the Danish website  the US-based bike manufacturer will not only supply the bikes to the California team, but will provide more money than previous supplier Scott.

    Team HTC-Columbia could not be reached for comment.

    The team had been riding Scott bikes, but Scott will be the new material sponsor for the Australian Pegasus team. Specialized provided material for the Astana and Saxo Bank teams in 2010.

    Only this week was it confirmed that Columbia Sportswear would not renew its sponsorship of the team when its contract expires the end of this year. The first hint came when the International Cycling Union announced that “HTC-Highroad” had applied for a further ProTeam licence in 2011. Highroad is the name of the operating company.

    Team owner Bob Stapleton is apparently in talks with several companies who may replace Columbia, while HTC could also increase their backing and become the sole major sponsor of the team.

    Mark Cavendish has confirmed he will see out the last year of his contract with the team in 2011 but Amgen Tour of California winner Michael Rogers has revealed he will leave. HTC-Highroad is expected to have a roster of  25 riders in 2011, the minimum allowed in the ProTour.

  • Haussler happy to finish an unsatisfactory season

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam).
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 15:34 BST
    Cycling News

    No knee pain in final races of the year

    Heinrich Haussler had big plans for the 2010 season, and none of them came true. Instead of winning in the Flanders Classics, winning a stage at the Tour de France and wearing the homeland colours at the world championships in Melbourne, he struggled with knee problems for much of the year until he was forced to undergo surgery. But the Australian is now ready to leave the past in the past and look forward to the coming year.

    “I rode my last race of the year at Paris-Bourges in France, and now I can finally put this season behind me,” he said on his personal website. “Of course this season was less than satisfactory. I could not do well in any of the planned highlights, like the Flanders Classics, the Tour de France or the World Championships – I could not even start in some of them.”

    The first thing on his agenda is vacation. The 26-year-old is off to Australia next week for the first time in a year, looking forward to seeing his family again and spending time with them in Inverell. But after that, “I will have to start my preparations for the 2011 season. I am quite confident about it. I didn't have any problems with my knee in the last races of this season and I am sure that next year I will be able to go all out again.”

    Haussler will be wearing a new kit in 2011, rather to his astonishment. “This step came as quite a surprise to me. But I am looking forward to next wearing the Garmin- Cervélo kit and being a part of this team. I think we will have a powerful team.”

  • Additional stages possible for future Amgen Tour of California editions

    The Amgen Tour of California peloton takes in stunning scenery along the coast.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 16:08 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Race positions itself as key preparation for Tour de France

    While the exact route details of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California won't be revealed until late December or early January, yesterday's unveiling of the 15 host cities and key highlights of the eight-day stage race reveals an event more primed than ever for its position as a must-do race for those with aspirations for the Tour de France later in the season.

    A couple of key firsts were announced, including the first true mountain top finish at Mount Baldy for the penultimate stage as well as the tour's first trip outside California's borders, with a section in Nevada for the opening stage around Lake Tahoe. More than 50 cities applied to host either a stage start or finish, so is it inevitable that the Amgen Tour of California will add more stages to accommodate the demand and better position itself as an alternative to the concurrent Giro d'Italia?

    "We are always looking at whether it makes sense for us to be an eight day race or whether for us to extend a little bit," said AEG president Andrew Messick. "I don't think we aspire to be a three-week race. I can envision us being a nine, 10, potentially even an 11-day race in the future. We want to be positioning ourselves as a race that is important and helpful for people that want to do well at the Tour de France.

    "Being much longer than that starts to become more than what people are looking for. I don't think we get the riders. We get Andy Schleck, who's been at our race the past couple of years. An eight-day race in California in May is something that works really well for him because his overall objective is to be at his peak in July - same as Fabian Cancellara, same as a lot of guys.

    "We want to be a great race on a stand alone basis, and I think we're making progress. If we start to become too hard, too challenging, then the guys who are serious about July may not choose to do our race."

    For 2011 the race organisers balanced three critical criteria in order to create an...

  • Astana source alleges Contador used Clenbuterol after Criterium du Dauphiné

    Alberto Contador Velasco (Astana) leads Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) with just over six and a half kilometres to Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 18:14 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Spaniard accused of withdrawing blood in June

    Belgian magazine Humo has published allegations on its website that Alberto Contador used Clenbuterol after the Criterium du Dauphiné in June. The magazine quoted an anonymous source close to his Astana team, who also alleged that Contador withdrew blood after the event to be used for a transfusion at a later date.

    Contador has repeatedly denied knowingly using Clenbuterol and has refuted claims cited in L’Équipe that his positive sample for the substance is explicable by a blood transfusion during the Tour de France. The Spanish rider has since stated that he will not speak to the press on the matter again until after a ruling has been made on his case.

    Humo’s unnamed source from the Astana set-up claimed that Contador used Clenbuterol in order to lose weight. The source suggests that it was used in combination with the thyroid hormone Triiodothyronine, which aids in the digestion of fat.

    “During the Dauphiné, Contador was still a little overweight,” the source told Humo. “Ordinary people would not notice, but he was still a kilo or two off. That’s what Clenbuterol is used for: to lose the last kilos and at the same time not decrease muscle mass, or in the best case, increase it.”

    Contador finished in second place overall at the Dauphiné, winning the queen stage to l’Alpe d’Huez.

    The interview will be published in full in the print edition of the magazine on Tuesday.



  • Boonen contines to test form in France

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) returned to racing at Circuit Franco-Belge.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 18:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Belgian already looking toward 2011 after this year's knee troubles

    Tom Boonen will step up his comeback to racing at Sunday's Paris-Tours but has issued a strong a warning that repeating his second place from last year and possibly winning could be beyond him.

    The Belgian returned to racing last week at Franco-Belge after missing the last three months of racing due to injury. He will use the French classics as a testing ground for his form as he turns his main attention to next season.

    "It's been hard to come back after 100 days without racing, so I didn't do the race Binche Tornoi Binche on Tuesday," Boonen told Cyclingnews.

    Since competing in Franco-Belge the three-time Paris-Roubaix winner a trained at home. "I took a few days of rest, but I did five hours of training on Wednesday and three yesterday so that I can be in the best condition for Sunday. Last year, I was second but this year it's completely different."

    Boonen's season was affected by crashes in the Tour of California and the Tour de Suisse. He missed the Tour de France and was forced to have knee surgery in July. Any hopes of recovering for the Worlds in September were dashed by a lengthy rehabilitation, but now that he's back on the bike he's already thinking about turning the page and building his form for the new year.

    "It's just another step to build for my 2011 season. Of course I want to ride a good race, but I don't have any ambitions to win. The most important thing is that my knee is good after a week of racing and hard training. I'm really motivated."

    While Boonen may be finding his form, Quick Step will still line up with a number of winning options for Paris-Tours with both Sylvain Chavanel and Wouter Weylandt set to start.

    Quick Step for Paris-Tours: Tom Boonen, Sylvain Chavanel, Kurt Hovelijnck, Kevin Hulsmans, Nikolas Maes, Andreas Stauff, Matteo Tosatto, Wouter Weylandt.

  • Team RideClean steps up to Continental level in 2011

    James Carney (RideClean) rode an aggressive race, placing eighth overall.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 19:17 BST
    Cycling News

    American elite team registers status with USAC, UCI

    Team RideClean, based in the United States, will register an a professional team per USA Cycling and a Continental (tier III) team per the UCI for the 2011 season.

    Founded in 2006, the team is sponsored by RideClean, a national corporation headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. RideClean is committed to clean sport and runs educational outreach programs as well as managing a cycling team. It promotes a drug-free and ethical culture in professional and amateur sports.

    "RideClean demonstrates a positive path for athletes to successfully develop and compete at an elite level without the use of performance enhancing drugs," said co-founders Doug and Tanja Loveday. "The example of 'clean sport' affects future generations, thus imparting the legacy of ethical competition. That's why there has always been a youth component to RideClean. We see that people gravitate to the RideClean concept worldwide. It starts one athlete at a time: RideClean and the rest will follow."

    "I am honored to return to the team in 2011, and look forward to our continued success," said two-time US Olympic Track Cycling Team member Jame Carney. "As the team progresses, its efforts and impact on our sport are visible and rewarding. The RideClean movement has grown from its infancy and is now a strong presence in cycling, reaching out to thousands of athletes and kids alike to support a positive competitive racing culture and drug-free sport."

    The team currently includes the following elite riders: Brian Forbes, Dan McGehee, David Glick, Doug Loveday, Jake Rubelt, Jame Carney, Jared Gilyard, Jon Scholnick, Kyle Colavito, Paul Thomas, Rob Alvarez, Ron Jensen

  • No Santa Rosa in sixth Amgen Tour of California

    Levi Leipheimer (Radioshack) with one more lap to go.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 20:31 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Leipheimer inteprets AEG Sports' course selection

    Andrew Messick, President of AEG Sports, recently announced the list of 15 cities that will highlight the sixth annual Amgen Tour of California held from May 15-22, 2011. Notably absent from the list was Santa Rosa, which has had a five-year tenure on the race route and is the home of three-time overall winner Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack).

    "Let me talk about the things that weren't considerations and those are any doubts about Santa Rosa as a community, the organizing committee, as a place where there's a passion for bike racing, and a passion for our race," Messick said. "I've said many times and I'll continue to say that Santa Rosa is one of the cities that gets it right, and there's very little that we can tell Santa Rosa to do that they're not already doing."

    Santa Rosa was selected as a host city for all five previous editions of the Amgen Tour. Leipheimer admitted that he was disappointed his hometown did not make the cut for the sixth edition. However, he acknowledged the importance of the race visiting other California cities.

    "When I first learned that it wasn't going to be able to make it Santa Rosa, I was disappointed but I quickly realized that it's the Tour of California and it has to go in different places, that is the way it should be," Leipheimer told Cyclingnews. "Now we are going up to Tahoe, Auburn and Baldy which are new places for the race. Santa Rosa was involved in every edition of the race so far, and we should be proud and grateful for that." San Jose is the only city which will have hosted in all six editions of the race as of the 2011 running.

    Messick noted that there were more than 50 cities that applied to host a stage for the 2011 Amgen Tour, more applications than any previous year. "There is just a reality that we can't go to every city every year, and I think that more than anything is the reason that we weren't able to include Santa Rosa in this year's race."

    "We spent a lot of...

  • Contador calls for end of defamatory news

    Alberto Contador was easy to spot in his yellow kit.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 22:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner wants quick resolution regarding failed doping test

    Alberto Contador called for both a quick decision in the case involving his failed doping test and for an end to "defamatory news items" about him. The 27-year-old Astana racer issued a statement through his press agent on Friday afternoon.  The original news of his positive test broke on September 30, opening the floodgates for subsequent related news items published throughout the global media.

    "The rider asks the sport authorities and especially (the UCI) to provide a quick resolution of this case, as this is the best way to end the speculation and the publication of false and defamatory news about him," read a statement from Contador's press agent Jacinto Vidarte on Friday, according to Reuters.

    "The legal team of Alberto Contador will take legal actions against defamatory information published so far by various media and websites, due to their absolute lack of veracity," the statement continued. "Additionally, they will proceed in the same way with any defamatory information that will be published in the future."

    The three-time Tour de France winner tested positive for a small amount of clenbuterol in a doping control performed during the Tour de France on July 21. Since the positive test result was announced, Contador has consistently maintained his innocence regarding any doping claims. He cited contaminated meat consumed while at the Tour de France as the cause of the banned substance in his body.

    "Alberto Contador reiterates that the clenbuterol found in the analysis of the last Tour de France was solely caused by food contamination and in no case has he resorted to an autologous or any other method of doping," the statement said.