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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 30, 2011

Date published:
September 30, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Machado to ride with RadioShack-Nissan-Trek

    Tiago Machado (Team RadioShack) suffers in the harsh conditions
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 10:41 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Portuguese rider to stay with Bruyneel for next two seasons

    Tiago Machado has confirmed that he will ride for the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek squad for the next two seasons. Like many of his RadioShack teammates, the Portuguese rider’s future was uncertain following the announcement that the team would merge with Leopard Trek ahead of the 2012 campaign.

    “This is what I wanted, so I’m very happy and I want to thank Johan Bruyneel publicly for the confidence he has always shown in me,” Machado said, according to velofutur.es.

    Although Machado had signed a new contract with RadioShack before the Tour de France, the merger with Leopard Trek meant that he had further discussions with Bruyneel before confirming his plans.

    “I have a contract with them since before the Tour,” he said. “After the announcement of the merger between RadioShack and Leopard it was necessary for us to sit down and talk again about the future.”

    The 25-year-old explained that the decision to extend his stay at the team was a logical one given the progress he has made over the past two years.

    “I know them and they know me, and since we’re all happy, it makes sense to keep working together,” Machado said. “It’s true that in 2012 there will be a lot of new developments with the merger of RadioShack and Leopard but this has only increased the team’s sporting potential.”

    Machado signed for RadioShack at the beginning of the 2010 season after impressing on the Portuguese circuit. He has delivered a string of solid results in short stage races since and finished 20th in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

    “Two...

  • Reus to UnitedHealthcare

    Kai Reus (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 11:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider returns to pro peloton

    Kai Reus is expected to return to the pro peloton for the 2012 season with the American team UnitedHealthcare. The Dutch rider was out of cycling from September 2010 until late June this year.

    Team manager Hendrik Redant went after Reus after seeing his dedication to sport. Reus took up competitive speed skating last winter. “I've seen how fanatical Kai was at marathon skating and how he picked up cycling again with utmost pleasure this summer when he rode with the De Rijke team. Reus' talent has surely not been lost. I hope it will survive,” Redant told De Telegraaf.

    Reus, 26, was with Rabobank when he suffered head injuries in a July 2007 training crash, which put him in an induced coma for 11 days. He returned to racing in September 2009 with the Rabobank Continental team.

    In 2009 he moved back up to the ProTour team, and wore the leader's jersey for three days at the Tour of Britain, finishing the race as fourth overall. In the spring of 2010 he was diagnosed with mononucleosis and although he returned to racing that year, he ultimately decided to take time off from the sport to consider his future.

    He returned to racing this summer with the Continental Di Rijke team, where he won the first stage of the Mi-Août en Bretagne.

  • Freire surprised by Cavendish Worlds win

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) speaks to the press before the start.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 11:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard calls for revision of green jersey rules

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) has admitted that he was surprised by Mark Cavendish’s victory at the UCI World Championships road race in Copenhagen last week but he paid tribute to his ability to repeatedly finish off the work of his team. The Spaniard also called for the rules regarding riders who finish outside the time limit at the Tour de France to be revised.

    “Mark is a great rider, who has surprised many times,” Freire told a webchat on Marca.com. “He surprised me by winning Milan-San Remo [in 2009 – ed.] and now by winning the Worlds. He has won a lot of races, especially at the Tour. He has a great team but he responds as well.”

    The Spaniard noted that Cavendish is virtually impossible to stop when his teammates bring him to the final 200 metres of a race at the head of the peloton, but acknowledged that he is also capable of winning from further back.

    “If they leave him with 200 metres to go, he is almost unbeatable,” Freire said. “You can only beat him when the conditions are equal, if he is left like the others. Even in that situation, he is still really good, but you can win.”

    Freire was also asked about Cavendish’s march to the green jersey at the Tour de France, which saw the Manxman finish outside the time limit on consecutive days in the Alps, albeit as part of a large group. The size of the gruppetto meant that Cavendish and the other riders involved were not eliminated from the race, but were punished by being docked 20 points from their tallies in the points...

  • Brajkovic confirmed to Astana for two years

    Janez Brajkovic (Radioshack) coming in sixth.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 12:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Slovenian to be co-captain with Kreuziger

    Team Astana has confirmed that Janez Brajkovic will ride for the Kazakh team in 2012 and 2013.  The transfer from Team RadioShack was reported yesterday by the French Cycling Federation's website.

    “He is a strong rider who will held an important place in the Pro Team Astana. With Roman Kreuziger they will form a key pair for the Grand Tours and will be leaders of the team. They will also benefit from the experience and lessons of Alexandre Vinokourov,” said Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli.

    Brajkovic, 28, finished third in the Tour of Utah, seventh in Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie, and ninth in the Dauphine, which he won in 2010.   He was forced to abandon this year's Tour de France on the fifth stage, when he suffered a concussion and broken collarbone in a crash.

    His future had been cast into doubt with the RadioShack/Leopard merger for the coming year, and he had said he wanted to be sole captain for the Tour de France in the next few years.

  • Fuglsang critical of 2012 Giro d'Italia's penultimate stage

    Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) will ride for the Schlecks in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 15:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Says trend is for Grand Tour courses to be more “extreme”

    Jakob Fuglsang is stunned by the revelation of the penultimate stage of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, with its 5900 meters of climbing over 218 kilometers.

    “I think there were some who said that the Giro should be easy next year? I would have preferred that it had been more human, and without such an important stage so late in the race,” the Leopard Trek rider told the Ritzau news agency.

    The stage, announced Thursday, contains five ranked climbs, finishing off with the Mortirolo and a mountaintop finish at the Stelvio.  The latter is at 2758 meters, the highest point ever for the Giro.

    “It can turn upside down everything when it is so late in the race, and it sounds a little extreme,” Fuglsang said.  “They want the big stage races now to be as extreme as possible.”

    The Dane was recently confirmed to ride for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek next season, and is expected to be captain for the Giro.  “If I prepare myself 100 percent, and the Giro will be the goal, then I might expect of myself that I must be about a top five, “ he said. “But it is also highly depends on the route and how much time trialing there is at the Giro.”

  • Cummings signs for BMC

    Stephen Cummings (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 16:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Briton leaves Sky after two seasons

    BMC has announced that Steve Cummings will join the team from Sky for the 2012 season. The Briton is BMC’s seventh signing in a busy transfer campaign that has also seen the squad secure the services of Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd and Marco Pinotti.

    “They've just won the Tour de France, and the riders they've signed have the chance to win almost any race," Cummings said on Friday. "Their entire program really has the whole package."

    Cummings has spent the past two years at Sky and enjoyed a solid season in 2011. In February, he beat future BMC teammate Tejay Van Garderen and Alberto Contador to take stage 3 of the Volta ao Algarve on the Alto do Malhão, and bookended his campaign with a strong second-place finish at the Tour of Britain.

    “I want to work as hard as possible for the team and make the most of any opportunities that come my way. If I can do that, then I'm happy,” Cummings said.

    A professional since 2005, Cummings has also ridden for Landbouwkrediet, Barloworld and Discovery Channel. His experience on the track means that he is a very reliable performer against the watch on the road, and took silver in the recent British time trial championships.

    “Steve is an accomplished time triallist – both in the individual and the team version – in addition to being a good climber," BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz said.

    Cummings' fellow countryman Adam Blythe has already confirmed that he will join BMC from Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    BMC has not disclosed the length of Cummings’ contract with the team.

     

     


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  • Belletti joins Ag2r-La Mondiale

    Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF Inox) is in his fourth year as a professional.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 18:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Giro stage winner signs off at Colnago-CSF Inox

    Manuel Belletti will ride for AG2R-La Mondiale in 2012 after penning a two-year deal with the team. The fast-finishing Italian joins from Colnago-CSF Inox, where he has spent the past two seasons.

    “I’m very happy to sign for a WorldTour team like AG2R-La Mondiale and I thank Vincent Lavenu for that,” Belletti said. “I think that it was the best decision for me.”

    The biggest win of Belletti’s career to date came at the 2010 Giro d’Italia, when he sprinted to victory on home roads in Cesenatico. He has taken four wins this year, including stages at the Tour of Turkey and the Brixia Tour, but his sprint opportunities at Colnago-CSF Inox have been limited as Sacha Modolo has stepped up his sprinting abilities this season.

    “I also want to thank Bruno and Roberto Reverberi as well as Ernesto Colnago for the chance they gave me,” said Belletti of the team he joined from Diquigiovanni-Androni at the end of 2009.

    AG2R-La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu welcomed the 25-year-old Belletti’s arrival. “He’s a rider who knows how to win races, he has proved it again this year in taking four wins,” Lavenu said. “He’s a recognised rider who is reaching maturity.”

     

     

  • Jamis-Sutter Home says goodbye to Zirbel

    Tom Zirbel (Jamis-Sutter Home) looking pretty pleased with his second place ride today.
    Article published:
    September 30, 2011, 21:00 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    American brings time trial specialty to new team in 2012

    US-based Continental team Jamis-Sutter Home recently announced a portion of its 2012 roster and noticeably absent was its time trial specialist Tom Zirbel. The 32-year-old American confirmed having signed a contractual agreement with a new outfit, which will fulfill his goal of competing in a combination of US and European events.

    "Everyone knows that Tom's dream is to race in Europe so if his new team takes him there, I am happy for him," said Jamis-Sutter Home directeur sportif Sebastian Alexandre. "Tom is a great athlete and a great person and I wish him only the best. Jamis-Sutter Home has always been a strong team, but with Tom we became a complete team. Having Tom on our squad helped us to challenge every stage race. The combination of Tom and Luis Amaran was very good for us."

    When contacted by Cyclingnews, Zirbel said he will be joining a US-registered team and will announce the details at a later date. "I'm really excited about my team for next year, but I know that racing for Jamis-Sutter Home in 2012 would have been a great experience as well. I was feeling very fortunate to have such great options for next year.

    "The decision to leave Jamis-Sutter Home for 2012 was a tough one," he said. "I had a lot of fun this year and I was so grateful to be added to the roster in May. The guys really made me feel welcome and by the end of the year, they felt like old friends. Jamis-Sutter Home has a "blue collar" vibe to it which I enjoyed. The guys work really hard to achieve great results but without any egos or entitlement. And we laughed a lot along the way!"

    Despite the loss of Zirbel, the team recently announced that it re-signed many of the riders that delivered the team to the top ranking in the National Racing Calendar (NRC) in 2011, including Luis Amaran,...