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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 17, 2010

Date published:
September 17, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Zwizanski wants USPro time trial victory

    Scott Zwizanksi (Kelly Benefit Strategies), the 2009 bronze medalist in the US professional time trial event, will vie for another podium appearance in 2010.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 6:38 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Kelly Benefit Strategies looks to improve on 2009 podium finishes

    Scott Zwizanski (Kelly Benefit Strategies) is prepared to put forth a winning performance at the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial Championships held on Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina. The time trial specialist has been focussed on the stars and stripes jersey since his third place performance last year.

    “My goal was to improve on that finish ever since the race last year,” Zwizanski told Cyclingnews. “That is all I've thought about. I've been focused on this event all year. My team has supported me with all the top time trial equipment that I need. I've had the bike for training at home and I've specifically trained for it.”

    Zwizanski placed third last year behind winner Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) and Tom Zirbel, over the 33.3km parcours that included three laps of a short circuit around the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. The top two riders from last year will not be participating in this year's event. Zabriskie is currently racing at the Vuelta a España and will not competing in this year's event while Zirbel is currently serving a two-year suspension.

    Strong time triallists registered to participate in this year's race include former national champion Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong). “It will be tough because Levi is racing it and he is one of the best time triallists in the world,” Zwizanski said. “There are other guys who have been time trialing really great this year too. I'm going to put in my best effort and I want to improve on my third place finish last year. I'm going to do the best I can.”

    Kelly Benefit Strategies placed four riders inside top 11 at the championship road race last year. Andrew Bajadali was the team’s highest placed rider in second to race winner George Hincapie. Bajadali will not be participating in the event due to a lingering knee injury....

  • Nuyens to ride Classics for Saxo Bank if Cancellara leaves?

    Nick Nuyens (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 11:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian 90 percent sure to sign with Danish team

    Fabian Cancellara's departure from Team Saxo Bank would leave a major gap in the team's Classics squad, but team owner Bjarne Riis has a good idea how to fill it, if the need arises. He is extremely interested in Nick Nuyens of Rabobank.

    Nuyens is expected to decide this weekend where he will ride in 2011. “It is 90 percent certain that Nick will go to Saxo Bank with Bjarne Riis and Alberto Contador,” his manager Jef Van den Bosch told Het Laatste Nieuws. He also has an offer from Patrick Lefevere at Quick Step.

    The Belgian rider has postponed his decision to see whether Cancellara will be with the team. “We've waited a while to see what will happen with Cancellara, but we can't wait forever,” Van den Bosch said.

    Riis confirmed to that he has been in contact with Nuyens, but that nothing is settled. “I've had talks with Nuyens, but there is still a way to go,” he said. Riis is also said to be talking to Kevin Ista of Cofidis.

    Cancellara has indicated that he may be leaving the Danish team at the end of this season, although he still has one year left on his contract. The triple world time trial champion also shines in the Spring Classics, having won Paris-Roubaix twice, and Milan-Sanremo and the Ronde van Vlaanderen once each.

    Nuyens, 30, has won Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne (2006), Omloop Het Volk (2005), and Paris-Brussels (2004) in his career. He has also won the GP de Wallonie three times (2004, 2005 and 2008).

  • Worlds organisers withdraw support for Landis conference

    Floyd Landis at the Tour of California.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 11:52 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Melbourne 2010 committee unhappy with American's presence in Geelong

    The world championships organising committee has withdrawn its support for a conference in Geelong on the eve of the race that will discuss doping in cycling due to the fact that Floyd Landis will be in attendance. Landis’ participation in Deakin University’s New Pathways for Professional Cycling conference was confirmed this week.

    “Providing Floyd Landis with a soapbox to deliver a tirade like he did on the eve of the Tour of California is not something the world championship organisers want," Melbourne 2010 media director David Culbert told the Herald Sun. “The official imprimatur of the organising committee has been withdrawn.”

    In May, Landis made allegations of systematic doping at the US Postal Service team ahead of the Tour of California. He is expected to take part in a panel discussion at the conference at Geelong in the week of the world championships. Other speakers include Biological Passport panel member and anti-doping researcher Dr. Michael Ashenden and Carlos Arribas, the Spanish journalist instrumental in breaking the story of Operacion Puerto.

    “We believe the conference and the whole discussion around doping in sport – and particularly cycling – is worthwhile,” Culbert continued. “But we believe it is inappropriate to have Floyd Landis attend the world championships, particularly when the federal investigation in the US into his allegation is still on-going.”

    Conference organiser Martin Hardie has defended Landis’ presence at the event and pointed out that the conference is forum for an open discussion of cycling’s doping problems and the sport’s future direction.

    “We’ve invited people throughout the cycling world to an open forum without retribution and recrimination,” he said. “There’s still an open invitation for every one to attend the conference.”

    Hardie also...

  • Pino using insults to motivate Mosquera

    Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia) on the attack.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 13:41 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Xacobeo boss admits he’s deliberately criticised his leader in the press

    It is said that a good manager knows both when and how to motivate his riders, which made Alvaro Pino’s scathing criticism of Ezequiel Mosquera following the finish of the Vuelta’s Cotobello stage hard to understand.

    While Xacobeo team leader Mosquera said that he had had “a terrible day” and complained that “not just my legs but every part of my body hurts” as he gained just a handful of seconds on Vincenzo Nibali at the Cotobello finish, Pino’s analysis was caustic. Although Pino acknowledged that it had been an extremely tough day, probably the toughest Mosquera had ever experienced as a pro, he questioned Mosquera’s desire to push himself right to his very limits.

    “He said that his whole body was hurting, but that’s what you need to do to win the Vuelta a España,” said Pino. “He said he was feeling dead, but I know that Nibali was more dead than him. I told him to attack but he didn’t.” That was only part of Pino’s post-stage rant in which he also criticised Mosquera’s tactic of leading Joaquin Rodríguez towards the line, where the Katusha rider reclaimed the race leader’s red jersey.

    But, a couple of days on from that apparent setback to Mosquera’s Vuelta chances, Pino has revealed that his biting comments were nothing more than an attempt to motivate his leader to push himself to the max in the Peñafiel time trial. In addition, added Pino, Mosquera’s superb performance against the clock demonstrated that his tactic had worked to perfection.

    “I want Ezequiel to be calling me an asshole, because you have to provoke him,” Pino told El Correo. “If you provoke in private, he doesn’t react, which is why I did it in public. I want him to be telling me: ‘There’s no director who is more of an asshole than you are!’ That’s what I’m looking...

  • Vacansoleil team to use Ridley bikes in 2011

    Alistair Brown and his custom decorated Ridley bike
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 17:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian company to reveal major signing and second sponsor next week

    The Vacansoleil team will ride Ridley bikes in 2011 and the team has told Cyclingnews it will announce a new Belgian second sponsor and another major signing next week.

    Ridley managing director Jochim Aerts and Luijckx Daan from the Vacansoleil team announced the three-year deal during the official
    unveiling of the Belgian bike manufacturer's headquarters near Brussels on Thursday night.

    Vacansoleil has already recruited Riccardo Ricco, and two-time Tour of Flanders winner and current Belgian national champion Stijn Devolder. The further high-profile signing is widely expected to be Spain's Ezequiel Mosquera, who is fighting with Vincenzo Nibali for overall victory in the Vuelta a Espana.

    "We're growing very quick and have a lot in common with Ridley, so when we talked, we quickly reached a three-year agreement, Daan of the Vacansoleil team told Cyclingnews.

    "Next week we're announcing a new Belgian second sponsor and another new rider. Yes, it could be Mosquera but we also have some other possibilities too. We're hopefully of securing a ProTour licence for 2011 but even if we don’t, we feel we've got a strong enough team to secure wild card invitations to the big races."

    Ridley supplied bikes to the Katusha team this year but passed up on an option with the Russian team to hook up with the Dutch-based
    Vacansoleil team. "It's important for us to stay with a top level team. We had several teams that were interested but we opted to go with Vancansoleil, who are local to us" Ridley's Jochim Aerts told Cyclingnews.

    "It's also important for us to have a team with riders from lots of different countries and Vacansoleil will have that even more in 2011.
    We started negotiations late but we closed the deal just in time to announce at the presentation of our new headquarters. It's an
    extremely exciting moment for us. I think we combine the creativity...

  • Phinney primed for USPro Time Trial

    Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong) tries an early attack.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 18:02 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Under 23 World title is the main objective

    Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong) is primed to put on a show at the USA Cycling Pro Championships held this weekend in Greenville, South Carolina.

    The 20-year-old, reigning world pursuit champion, will compete in his first-ever elite national championships and is focused on winning the stars and stripes jersey in the individual time trial on Saturday.

    “It is my first elite national cycling championships so I have a long career ahead of me,” Phinney told Cyclingnews. “But I would like to
    achieve as much as I possibly can as young as I am. I do have realistic goals so the podium is the big one and if I got to the top step I would be very happy.”

    The best time trial contenders in the nation will compete along a 33.3km course consisting of three 11km circuits at the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research. “I spent two days riding on the course and did some efforts and looked at the corners,” Phinney said.

    Phinney put forth a strong performance at the recent Tour de l’Avenir, winning the 7.8km prologue ahead of his Trek-Livestrong teammate and current UK and European time trial champion Alex Dowsett. He maintained the overall race lead during the opening two stages.

    “I feel really good and my fitness after l’Avenir is really high so I have some high hopes for this weekend,” Phinney said. “It is a star studded field so I will do my best to be up there. I’m coming off of one of the longest stage races I have ever done. It was eight days and a 32-hour race week which was a lot.”

    “I finished stage eight and I felt great,” he added. “That was a good sign that my fitness was coming up throughout the race and I was resting well.

    Prior to the Tour de l’Avenir, Phinney competed in the Tour of Utah where he won the prologue. He continued his success in the individual event winning the stage...

  • Ciolek to QuickStep for 2011

    Germany's Gerald Ciolek (Milram) celebrates his win in Emmen, Netherlands.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 18:08 BST
    Cycling News

    German to strengthen sprint and Classics factions

    Gerald Ciolek will ride for QuickStep in the coming season, the Belgian team announced Friday evening. The German, whose Team Milram still has no sponsor for 2011, signed a one-year contract.

    “Ciolek's arrival and the return of Francesco Chicchi ensure that we will be strong in the mass sprints,” said manager Patrick Lefevere, according to the Belgian news agency Belga. “With the signing of Ciolek we are better armed for the Classics.”

    “This is a dream come true,” said Ciolek. “I have always looked with great admiration to this team. At QuickStep I find my friend and fellow German Andreas Stauff, and I look forward to the start of this new adventure. Besides the mass sprints, I will do the Classics and work for the team.”

    Ciolek, 23, burst onto the scene in 2005 when he won the German national road race as a teenager. The next season he won the World U23 road race title. He turned pro with Team AKUD in 2005, and rode for T-Mobile and Team Columbia in 2007 and 2008.

    In 2009 Ciolek joined Milram, where he has struggled with injuries and health problems and never quite lived up to expectations. He won the sprint of the second stage of the Vuelta a Espana in 2009. This year he has only one victory, a stage in the Tour of Bayern.

  • Papp confirms additional doping investigations underway

    Joe Papp testifies during the 2007 Floyd Landis arbitration hearing.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2010, 23:11 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Up to 187 athletes involved

    Joe Papp confirmed to Cyclingnews that the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) is investigating possible doping violations stemming from sales of EPO and HGH that he facilitated on behalf of the Shandong Kexing Bioproducts company.

    Purchases of the illegal performance-enhancing drugs were made by up to 187 international athletes from a variety of sports, including cycling, from September 2006 to September 2007.

    The transactions took place with Papp as an intermediary between his sportsman clients and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH.

    Yesterday, Cyclingnews confirmed that USADA had given a two-year suspension to Jonathan Chodroff, who bought EPO through Papp in the spring of 2007 - though at the time he was unaware that it was his compatriot who was facilitating the transaction.

    "I have nothing but praise for Jonathan Chodroff's decision to accept responsibility for his actions," said Papp. "He made a mistake - albeit a costly one - but unlike at least one of his colleagues in the US pro peloton, Jonathan stood up and took it like a man."

    It was unclear to whom Papp was referring.

    However, today Papp confirmed that he was in Denver, Colorado, on September 14th to give testimony in a separate anti-doping inquiry that did not involve Chodroff, and he said as much via Twitter, writing in the early-morning hours of the 15th: " Gnite from Denver, peeps. Remember - speed kills, EPO works, but doping isn't worth the long term negative consequences..."

    Papp declined to confirm whether the inquiry targeted any of his clients, though he did reveal that he expects a ruling on the case before the start of the World Championships in Australia.

    "I was in Colorado for an anti-doping hearing but I can't say who that was for," Papp told Cyclingnews. "I can't provide any detail on what...