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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 9, 2009

Date published:
October 09, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Armstrong to tackle Ironman Worlds in 2011

    USA's Lance Armstrong (Astana) arrives in Monaco for stage two of the Tour de France.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 9:49 BST
    Richard Tyler

    RadioShack leader's coach says he will aim for victory in Kona

    Lance Armstrong's coach Chris Carmichael has revealed that the seven-time Tour de France winner will take part in the 2011 Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii. In a video posted on Carmichael indicated that Armstrong would head to the race with high ambition.

    "2011, [Lance Armstrong] will be here. He's super psyched and I think he wants to do more than win his age group," said Carmichael, who is in Hawaii to observe the 2010 World Championships, taking place on Saturday.

    Armstrong's participation in the Ironman World Championships would fall in line with an announcement made in July by the sponsor of his new professional cycling team, RadioShack. The company said that as part of its sponsorship arrangement, the 38-year-old would participate in cycling, running and triathlon events around the world.

    For Armstrong, who competed as a professional sprint-distance triathlete prior to his professional cycling career, it will be his first participation in the Ironman World Championships.

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  • Saxo Bank signs Porte

    Richie Porte finished third in the Australian TT championships
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 10:04 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Australian up-and-coming talent newest addition to Danish squad

    Australian talent, 24-year-old Richie Porte, has signed a two-year contract with Danish Team Saxo Bank. The young gun has only been in the sport for three years, but in his phenomenally short career he has already made it to the sport's top level.

    This year alone, Porte has celebrated wins at both one-day and stage races throughout the European season, including a victory in the individual time trial at the Baby Giro.

    "Richie is relatively new in the world of cycling, but he has already shown his great talent on the road by scoring several impressive victories in diverse terrain and on time trials," said Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis on his latest signing. "With his winning character and team spirit, he will undoubtedly fall well into place on Team Saxo Bank. We are looking forward to working with Richie and even more so to developing his obvious great talent."

    Porte only took up cycling at 21, after having competed in triathlon since the age of 18. The Launceston, Tasmania, native then took the decision to head to Europe as an amateur in search of a professional contract, instead of progressing through the route of the Australian Institute of Sport.

    Read more about Porte's progression in our recent feature.

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  • Boonen aiming at Worlds time trial?

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was on a top time until he crashed.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 10:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian sprinter wants new challenge in race against the clock

    Tom Boonen, Belgium's premier sprinter and Classics specialist, wants to further improve his time trial capabilities. The 29-year-old said he is looking for new challenges and has pointed to the World Championship time trial in Geelong, Australia, as a target for next year.

    Having had some good results in the time trials at the Eneco Tour and Vuelta a España, Boonen has plans for specific training to prepare for his new goals. "It's time that I did some serious work for [the time trial]," he told Belgian radio RTBF. "I'm now 29-years-old, and my best years as a pro are still to come."

    Time trials are no novelty to Boonen, who won several events in the discipline throughout his junior and espoir years. As a sprinter, he has a natural gift for riding at high speed over short distances - the challenge will be to maintain them in longer competitions, such as the World Championships.

    Quick Step team director Wilfried Peeters confirmed the objective, but pointed out that the course for the Worlds road race in Australia also suited his rider. "Maybe he should concentrate on the road race once again and wait until Copenhagen 2011," Peeters said.

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  • Dockx joins Landbouwkrediet in 2010

    Jose Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval-Scott) and Bart Dockx (Silence Lotto)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 11:03 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Belgian signs one-year deal, compatriot Caethoven yet to confirm

    Belgian rider Bart Dockx will join Landbouwkrediet-Colnago for the 2010 season on a one-year contract. The 28-year-old will leave Silence-Lotto after five seasons with the ProTour squad, according to Sporza.

    Dockx began his career with continental team Quick Step - Davitamon – Latexco in 2003. He spent a season at Spanish team Relax-Bodysol before moving to Davitamon-Lotto in 2005. At Lotto he has worked as a domestique and has ridden in support of his team at four Grand Tours, including Cadel Evans' fourth place finish at the 2007 Vuelta a España.

    Dockx's compatriot, Steven Caethoven, has not yet confirmed a move to Landbouwkrediet-Colnago from French team Agritubel. Sporza says the 28-year-old, who the opening stage of this year's Tour of Normandy, will meet with Landbouwkrediet manager Gerard Buelens on the weekend to discuss details of a possible transfer.

    Caethoven's current team, Agritubel, will withdraw from professional cycling at the end of the current season.

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  • Pinarello named as Team Sky bike sponsor

    President Fausto Pinarello with the Dogma FPX
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 12:41 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Team Sky sign three-year deal with Italian manufacturer

    Team Sky has announced Pinarello as the team's bicycle sponsor for three years. The Italian manufacturer signed on to act as the official frame and fork supplier to the new British squad until 2013.

    Fausto Pinarello, President of Cicli Pinarello said: "We are very happy with this new partnership. Team Sky’s goal of becoming one of the world’s leading cycling teams fits with our objective of continuing and growing our presence as one of the world’s leading bicycle manufacturers. We have signed a three year agreement and we look forward to a long, prosperous and successful collaboration."

    Pinarello are one of the world's most recognisable marques. The family company's patriarch, Giovanni Pinarello, began his eponymous company in 1952 and began sponsorship of professional teams in 1960. Since then the company has enjoyed exposure with teams including Team Telekom, Banesto, Fassa Bortolo and Caisse d'Epargne.

    Team Sky is not the first British team to be sponsored by the Italian company. Pinarello have supported the CandiTV-Marshalls Pasta squad since 2007 and had previously supplied bikes to Rapha-Condor predecessor, Pro Cycling Team.

    The announcement of the Team Sky deal is not expected to affect Pinarello's current sponsorship of ProTour team Caisse d'Epargne. Team Sky's ProTour status will see the company represented by the both squads in the top level of professional cycling.

    While Pinarello have been confirmed as frame and fork sponsor, Team Sky are yet to announce which companies will provide groupsets, wheels and components.

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  • Vierhouten to close career at Paris-Tours

    Aart Vierhouten (l) and Thijs Al ride together during the latter stages.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 13:32 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Dutch veteran to retire after 14 year professional career

    Aart Vierhouten will close a 14 year professional career on Sunday at Paris-Tours. Vacansoleil announced that the French Classic will be the Dutchman's final road race, as they named in their eight-man team for the French Classic on Friday.

    "I am glad that a beautiful race such as Paris-Tours is my last official race and I will give everything in this final event," said Vierhouten. "Throughout the past fourteen years I have loved cycling, something that will continue after my career."

    He began his career with Rabobank in 1996 and rode with Lotto squad from 2002-2005. After two years with Skil-Shimano he transferred to P3 Transfer-Batavus, the predecessor to current team Vacansoleil.

    Vierhouten has recorded two top-ten finishes in Paris-Tours. He finished eighth in 1998 and 10th in 1999 while riding for Rabobank.

    Vierhouten will race this Sunday alongside: Borut Bozic, Björn Leukemans, Sergey Lagutin, as well as fellow Dutchmen Jens Mouris, Lieuwe Westra, Johnny Hoogerland and Gerben Löwik.

    No stranger to the track, Veirhouten has consistently spent his winters competing in Six Day events, and will bid a final farewell to his Dutch fans later this month at the Six Days of Amsterdam. Jens Mouris will partner with him in the event, which will honour the 39-year-old's career on October 21.

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  • Tour de France 2010: route speculation continues

    Stunning views and hopefully beautiful weather await the riders in the Alps this June
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 14:10 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Avoriaz summit finish, first rest day in Morzine?

    Speculation has continued to build around possible routes the 2010 Tour de France could take through the country next year. Using local newspaper sources and hotel reservations, cycling fans have been trying to discern the race parcours, prior to the official announcement of the route by organiser Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) in Paris next week.

    French website has raised the prospect of the first mountain stages of next year's Tour taking place in the Alps. The website listed the eighth stage, on Saturday, July 10, as the first possible mountain-top finish of the race. It suggested that the stage could finish at the ski resort of Les Rousses in the French department of Jura.

    However, if this is the case, the stage would merely be an appetizer for bigger things to come, as Les Rousses is located at 'only' 1120 metres above sea level.

    The ninth stage on Sunday, July 11, is speculated to start in the village of Bois d'Amont, a community part of Les Rousses, and end in the ski station of Avoriaz (altitude 1800 metres above sea level). Belgian newspaper Le Soir indicated that the first rest day, on July 12, would be in Morzine, the town right next to the ski resort.

    The next stage, number 10, would then depart from Morzine on Monday, July 13, and lead to Fontcouverte-la-Toussuire, another ski station, at 1800 metres altitude. This would translate in a stage almost identical to that of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Morzine at the Tour 2006, but in reverse order.

    The final and official race route will be revealed by the race organiser on Wednesday, October 14.

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  • Gilbert ready for Paris-Tours defence

    Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto) claims victory in the 2009 Coppa Sabatini.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2009, 18:10 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Belgian satisfied as he nears the end of debut season with Silence-Lotto

    Philippe Gilbert has shown that will be in good form to defend his Paris-Tours this weekend, after he claimed victory at the Coppa Sabatini on Thursday. Ahead of Sunday's race in France the Silence-Lotto rider told Cyclingnews that he was pleased with his preparation, but was cautious about his chances of a back-to-back win.

    "I'm feeling strong and confident, and I hope to have a strong team with me on Sunday," said Gilbert. "My condition may even be better than last year. Obviously, to do better [than last year] is impossible, but if I can do the same again it will be a great result."

    His victory in last year's Paris-Tours was a rare triumph for a non-sprinter in the event. In one of his final races for former team Française des Jeux he joined a late race breakaway to outsmart the peloton on the famed Avenue de Grammont by a mere four seconds. Yesterday, Gilbert underlined why he will be considered a dark horse once again after claiming victory from a 24-man breakaway group at the Coppa Sabatini.

    "When we rode off the climb for the first time, I could see saw that it was a great finish for me," he said of Thursday's result. "It was a special win; it's never easy to control everything in a long breakaway, especially one as big as that, but I had some good help from Cadel [Evans]."

    The presence of Evans at the Coppa Sabatini attracted particular attention. It was the first time the Australian raced in the rainbow stripes of World Champion and although Gilbert held high hopes of taking the coveted jersey this year he acknowledged the value of the title to their team.

    "I was disappointed for myself because I worked two or three months for the Worlds and finished sixth. I did a good race but I wanted more of a result. But, for sure, with Cadel having won the Worlds, it’s important for us as a team," he said.

    "Yesterday was the first race with Cadel wearing the jersey and there were a lot of people...