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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 10, 2010

Date published:
September 10, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Burghardt, Lang out of German Worlds team

    Marcus Burghardt (BMC) on his way to victory
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 8:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Martens and Klemme step in

    Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing Team) and Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) have withdrawn from the German team for the Worlds in Melbourne, due to physical problems. They will be replaced by Dominik Klemme (Saxo Bank) and Paul Martens (Rabobank).

    Burghardt is suffering from an infection which has kept him out of racing since the Vattenfall Cyclassics. He also had to cancel his appearance in this weekend's races in Canada.

    Lang has problems with an Achilles tendon which has caused him to end his season early.

    It will be the first Worlds appearance for Klemme, 23. “I am very happy about this and the chance that I am getting,” he said. He will ride for the team, but noted “It is a big learning process for me personally. The experience that I will get there will surely be useful later on.” He is currently riding the Vuelta a Espana.

    Martens, 26, had earlier declined to ride due to his serious injuries from a crash in the Dauphine Libere. He suffered a torn kidney, which kept him out of racing for three months. However, he has returned to racing this month, successfully finishing the GP Jef Scherens and the Memorial Rik Van Steenbergen. “I feel honoured. That gives me confidence and we will be at the start with a strong team,” he said.

  • RadioShack turn to CAS after Lombardia snub

    A spectator snaps a photo of the Giro di Lombardia peloton.
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 9:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Team wants compensation for Lombardy exclusion

    The management of American outfit RadioShack has turned to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Lausanne, Switzerland, to arbitrate on the team's non-invitation to the Giro di Lombardia, the final ProTour race of this season taking place on September 16.

    According to a press release, the team managed by Johan Bruyneel had a contract with the organiser RCS Sport guaranteeing the participation in the Italian Classic, and now seeks compensation. "In January 2010, an agreement was reached between Team RadioShack and RCS Sport regarding the participation of the US Team at the Giro di Lombardia 2010 (October 16th, 2010)," the release stated.

    "Team RadioShack has immediately summoned RCS Sport before the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, seeking compensation for damages due to the non-fulfillment of the contract between Team RadioShack and RCS Sport regarding the participation in the Tour of Lombardy."

    RadioShack will be represented by Attorny Jean-Louis Dupont in the case, which has been asked to be ruled upon as soon as possible.

    Earlier in the year, the team chose to not participate in the Giro d'Italia, also organised by RCS Sport and was subsequently left off the invitation list for Tirreno-Adriatico. RadioShack also suffered a major blow when it was not invited to the Vuelta a España.

  • White delighted with McEwen signing, more names to follow?

    Robbie McEwen has been suffering since he was knocked down by a TV cameraman.
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 9:27 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Australian team committed to Europe, regardless of licence

    Pegasus Sports CEO Chris White was clearly pleased after announcing the signing of sprinter Robbie McEwen for 2011, but the Queenslander isn’t getting too carried away with the news, remaining focused on the application process for a ProTour licence. McEwen is the biggest signing announced to date for White’s ambitious step to take his Continental team, known as Fly V Australia, to the sport’s top ProTour level for next season.

    “He's someone who I've been chasing, or seeking support from, for some time, so it's great to get one of Australia's best, if not the best, current Australian cyclist running around the peloton,” White told Cyclingnews. “I've had him abreast of what I've been doing pretty much all year. We've had a long-term focus on the ProTour and being relevant to the guys that matter. Robbie is just down the road, so to speak, so we've been in touch for a little while.”

    White said there was no tipping point in courting McEwen, but instead a process over time.

    “It's interesting. It's a series of little steps…of moments in time. The continuum brings the fabric together that gets us to that critical point. It was just a whole lot of little milestones, I feel,” said White.

    “I think probably the major step, at least in our recent history, is around the ProTour application itself. Making the application for 2011; making it real; making an end date to the game - that's probably the tipping point if you look back on it.”

    McEwen has a long term relationship with Belgian bike manufacturer Ridley, which will also part ways with the Katusha squad after Focus was announced as the team’s 2011 bike sponsor. White wouldn’t comment when asked if the company would follow McEwen to the Australian squad, which currently rides bikes supplied by DeRosa.

    “I can't comment at this stage,” he said.

    McEwen is one of...

  • Time bonuses no break for Bruseghin

    Marzio Bruseghin suffered the same embarrassment as Ted King did on stage 2.
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 10:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Experienced Italian in contention to crack final podium

    As the leading member of an interesting trio from Caisse d'Epargne laying sixth, seventh and eighth of the Vuelta a España general classification - around two minutes down on race leader Igor Antón after the Pyrénées - Marzio Bruseghin has become a man to watch for the last part of the race while team-mates Rubén Plaza and Rigoberto Uran are likely to make life hard for hot favourites Antón and Vincenzo Nibali.

    "This year's Vuelta is very hard with a high level of riders in all the aspects of the race," Bruseghin told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 12 in Andorra. "It's a very demanding race. We spend a lot of energy every day.

    "The race remains very open with a 46km time trial and the gruelling uphill finish of the Bola del Mondo on the second last day. We've seen yesterday with Joaquin Rodriguez that everything can happen. He looked the strongest in the climb to Pal and he lost quite a lot," he added.

    Bruseghin has set himself the opposite goal: to lose the least time possible on every climb and compensate his deficit in the time trial. "But the problem for me is the time bonus," said the Italian veteran. "Antón has already scored 48 seconds bonus.

    "At every mountain top finish, there are 20 seconds for the winner. Imagine if Antón wins the six of them: only in bonuses, it represents two minutes! That's a lot of time to regain during the time trial. And there's only one time trial this year - usually at the Vuelta there are at least two."

    Bruseghin was the 2006 Italian champion against the clock. With his "tricolore" jersey, he won the uphill time trial in Oropa at the 2007 Giro d'Italia. The donkey breeder - his other job - who turned pro in 1997 with Brescialat has become consistent in the grand tours during his thirties. For three consecutive years he made the top ten at the Giro (8th in 2007, third in 2008 and ninth in 2009) and also finished tenth at...

  • Pozzato: No sex before the world championships

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) looking a little weary on the podium
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 10:37 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian living like a monk as he prepares for Melbourne

    Filippo Pozzato has revealed he is happy to abstain from having sex if it will help him stay focused and win the world road race title in Melbourne.

    The Italian Katusha rider, who celebrates his 29th birthday today, while racing at the Vuelta, has a reputation of being a playboy who lives in Monte Carlo and drives around in a Ferrari. But he has told Gazzetta dello Sport that he has not had sex for five months, since breaking up with his longtime girlfriend during the Giro d'Italia.

    "Staying away from women isn't a problem for me at the moment. For the world championships I'm willing to make that sacrifice and lots of others," Pozzato said.

    "I haven't had sex since I broke up with my girlfriend during the Giro d'Italia. The end of my relationship was a difficult time and at the Giro I was sleeping for just two or three hours. I was a wreck.

    "I've been away from home for two months now, either at races or training camps. I'm getting used to it, even if I'm missing my family a little.

    "I've been labeled as a playboy but I hope things will change now. I've had some fun in the past, like everyone my age. But I'm 110% dedicated to cycling now."

    Gazzetta reveals that several Italian riders from the past used to abstain from sex for months on end during the season. In the forties and fifties it was believed to help performance and Vittorio Adorni didn't have sex during the whole of 1968 season before winning the world title in Imola.

    Pozzato revealed in his latest blog for Cyclingnews that he has been living like a monk and is riding the Vuelta a Espana as build-up for the world championships. He intends to finish the Vuelta and then will fly to Australia just two days later.

    He was in Melbourne and Geelong in July to see the course and is convinced that it is too...

  • Sentjens declares he is innocent of EPO charges

    The peloton is led up the Kemmelberg by Roy Sentjens (Team Milram).
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 10:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian fears end of career

    Roy Sentjens has denied using EPO despite the blood-boosting drug showing up in an out-of-competition doping control last month. He now fears that his career may now be over.

    “I don't understand what is going on. I know everyone says this, but I'm really innocent,” he told Het Belang van Limburg. “I am perplexed.”

    The UCI announced the positive doping control on Wednesday evening and Sentjens was provisionally suspended by both the UCI and Team Milram. He has requested that his B sample be tested.

    The control was done at a training camp on Mallorca. “They were at my door at 6 a.m. According to my whereabouts, I didn't have to open my door at that time, but I have nothing to hide.”

    “I'm in a mess,” he continued. “Milram is being tough on me. I must arrange and pay everything myself.” He flew home from the Vuelta a Espana Thursday.

    The 29-year-old said he had little hope for the future of his professional career. “Maybe even the B sample will be positive. It is a thing which I cannot win. I fear for the end of my career.”

  • Valjavec back to racing

    Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 11:10 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    AG2R manager critical of procedure, UCI to decide appeal

    Slovenian rider Tadej Valjavec is back from his provisional suspension, having raced for the first time since April this year at the French Tour du Doubs last weekend. Valjavec was sidelined from competition by his AG2R La Mondiale team throughout this summer because the International Cycling Union (UCI) found irregular blood values dating from 2009 in his biological passport.

    The UCI then handed the case over to the Slovenian Cycling federation, who was to decide on disciplinary action. But in mid-July, Valjavec was cleared by the Slovenian expert commission after having presented a solid medical file to support his case.

    AG2R team manager Vincent Lavenu was thus obliged to re-integrate the rider in his team. "When the UCI received the official document from the Slovenian cycling federation, considering Valjavec innocent of the charges, of course we put him back in the circuit," Lavenu told Cyclingnews on Friday.

    "The main element of Valjavec's defense file was that he has been suffering from a recurrent stomach ulcer for several years," explained Lavenu further. "This caused him important loss of blood, which to the commission explained his values."

    While the team manager respected the authority of the sports institutions in carrying out regulatory procedures, he was critical of the way in which this particular case unfolded. "We took our responsibilities as a team and suspended him straight away as soon as the UCI notified us. But it is a bit annoying to find out that in the end, there was nothing... This affair hasn't tarnished our image much because we reacted swiftly, but it would have been less damaging for everybody if more research had been carried out before making the accusation," continued Lavenu.

    Now, it is up to the UCI to decide whether or not to appeal the Slovenian federation's decision of clearing the rider. According to Lavenu, the world governing body of cycling will study Valjavec's defense...

  • Boonen riding pain free

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) leads Fabian Cancellara (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2010, 12:17 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Quick Step rider to test his knee in Belgian sportif

    Tom Boonen is now riding pain free and has announced he will ride a sportif at the weekend as he prepares to return to racing at the Circuit Franco-Belge at the end of the month.

    The former world champion has been struggling for most of the season with a ligament problem, which was aggravated by a crash at the Tour de Suisse. He underwent surgery on July 15 and missed the Tour de France. A slow recovery also meant he was forced to miss the Vuelta a España. He will test his knee in the Innergetic Pijl sportif around Tielt in Belgium.

    “In the last few days I've been training constantly and well. The knee hasn't been bothering me, the pain seems to be gone” Boonen said.
    “I still have to be careful but my recovery is going in the right direction. This is why I was happy to accept the Maes family's invitation to take part in the Innergetic Pijl. It will be a lovely Sunday of sport and I hope that the cycling tourists will come out in force like last year, or even better. It's going to be a lot of fun."

    Boonen will ride with Quick Step teammates Kurt Hovelijnck and Frederique Robert.