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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, April 11, 2011

Date published:
April 11, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Cancellara marked out of Paris-Roubaix

    Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), totally spent after the finish of Paris-Roubaix after a futile chase of eventual winner Johan Van Summeren.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 11:16 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    "If I had stopped for coffee, they would have done the same"

    For the second time in two weeks of racing the Spring Classics, Fabian Cancellara found himself in a stalemate situation. After his outstanding victory at the semi-classic E3 Prijs Harelbeke and his 2010 Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix victories, he was widely considered as the strongest rider in the bunch and therefore subsequently marked in both the 'Ronde' and Roubaix. The result was that none of these monuments were taken by any of the race favourites, but by outsiders.

    At Sunday's 'Hell of the North', Cancellara was again the victim of other team's tactics. While it was Quick Step's Sylvain Chavanel who was up the road in Flanders to cover for fast finisher Tom Boonen, the 'Queen of the Classics' saw Garmin-Cervelo's Johan Van Summeren in the lead while Cancellara was marked by top sprinter Thor Hushovd. Other contenders such as Alessandro Ballan (BMC) or Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) also refused to collaborate when the Swiss powerhouse launched a chase of the breakaway in the race finale.

    Summing up the situation, Cancellara stated after the race: "If I had stopped for coffee, they would have done the same. They never got off my wheel."

    Of course, Hushovd had a good reason not to take a turn in the chase, and so did Ballan, who also had team-mate Manuel Quinziato in front. But 'Spartacus' also had all the reasons to blame them for lost opportunities. "It's really too easy to hide behind their alibis like they are. Of course, I wasn't going to tow them behind me," he added. "It's a pity, because if they had helped in the chase, we would have finished just the three of us and you never know, I could have punctured or had cramps like in Flanders."

    Cancellara saved his honour as supreme favourite by finishing second....

  • BMC management defends Ballan decision

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 12:14 BST
    Barry Ryan

    ProTeam application not a factor in suspension 12 months ago, says Ochowicz

    BMC has defended its decision to field Alessandro Ballan at Paris-Roubaix in spite of the allegations of blood doping that were levelled against the Italian by the head of the same Mantova-based anti-doping investigation that saw him withdrawn from the race twelve months ago.

    BMC general manager Jim Ochowicz denied that the team had temporarily suspended Ballan for his implication in the Mantova investigation last year in order to safeguard its chances of earning a ProTeam licence for 2011.

    “We don’t do things for licences,” Ochowicz told Cyclingnews after Paris-Roubaix. “That has absolutely nothing to do with it.”

    In April 2010, Ballan was suspended by the then-Pro Continental BMC team when he was first named in relation to the Mantova inquiry, which is centred on his former Lampre squad. Now a ProTeam licence holder, BMC decided not to take any action when investigating magistrate Antonino Condorelli alleged in Saturday’s Corriere della Sera that Ballan had undergone a blood transfusion in May 2009.

    Incidentally, Ballan had recently told Cyclingnews that he understood BMC’s decision last year was indeed based on the fact that the squad was not guaranteed of its place in the major races.

    “It was a decision on the team’s part that I respect because at the end of the day they had to protect themselves in order to take part in races, because we weren’t in the ProTour,” Ballan said at BMC’s training camp in Denia in...

  • Cancellara, RadioShack and Italy top UCI WorldTour rankings

    Defending Paris-Roubaix champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) recons key sections of the route.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 13:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider uses consistent Classics performance to move to number one

    Fabian Cancellara was unable to claim his desired victories in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but used his podium positions to claim the top of the International Cycling Union's WorldTour rankings. All three of the UCI rankings changed leaders, with Italy and Team RadioShack moving to the top of the nation and team rankings.

    Cancellara (Leopard Trek) knocked previous leader Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad), who did not finish Paris-Roubaix, down to second place, and now leads with 236 points ahead of Goss' 203 points. While Cancellara has won only one stage of a WorldTour race (the Tirreno-Adriatico time trial), his consistent performance of second and third places in Milan-San Remo, Flanders and Roubaix was enough to give him the lead.

    Andreas Klöden (RadioShack), who won the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, jumped from twelfth to third place. He is tied in points with Michele Scarponi of Lampre, who is now fourth.

    Klöden and teammate Christopher Horner finished one-two in Pais Vasco, which moved RadioShack to the top of the team rankings, moving up from sixth place. Former leader HTC-Highroad is now seconds, only 12 points down. Rabobank dropped from second to third.

    Even the national ranking changed this week. Australia had led the rankings all year, but gained no points this week, while Italy gained enough to hopscotch over them from second place. Australia is still second, and Belgium continues in third place.

    The next WorldTour points will be awarded on...

  • Movistar announces long list for Giro d'Italia

    The Movistar team spent plenty of time at the front.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 14:57 BST
    Cycling News

    11 riders practicing for the opening team time trial

    Movistar Team has announced its 11-man long list for the Giro d'Italia whilst conducting training for the 21.5km team time trial which will open the Corsa Rosa in Turin on May 7. The Spanish ProTeam is riding on the Circuito de Navarro, in Los Arcos, as training for the team time trial, it announced on Facebook.

    Nine of the following 11 riders will be selected to stand at the start of the Giro: Andrey Amador, David Arroyo, Marzio Bruseghin, Javier Iriarte, Vasili Kiryienka, Pablo Lastras, Carlos Oyarzun, Sergio Pardilla, Luis Pasamontes, Branislau Samoilau and Francisco Ventoso.

    Last week the group underwent biomechanical and aerodynamic preparations at the Tafalla velodrome.

    Also at the training camp, but not in the running for the Giro squad, are Chente Garcia, Mauricio Soler, Jesus Herrada and Enrique Sanz.

  • Gran Fondo Colnago San Diego give cyclists a true Italian experience

    The start of the 2011 Gran Fondo Colnago San Diego
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 16:02 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    First of US series enjoys California weather

    The third edition of the Gran Fondo Colnago San Diego was highly successful as more than 2,500 cyclists experienced a piece of Italian culture at a mass-start group ride held on April 10 in San Diego, California. The social ride was followed by a late-lunch where riders were treated to quality foods and wines of Italy.

    "The event was phenomenal because we were graced by good weather with sunshine and it became a gorgeous day with a breeze from the ocean," said Matteo Gerevini of Gran Fondo USA. "This race is becoming a classic, starting in Little Italy, and all the riders rode out to the seaside."

    Former professional cyclist, Peter "Paco" Wrolich of Austria, lined up at the front of the mass of cyclists under the Little Italy arch in downtown San Diego. The sound of three Ferrari engines and two Ducati motors roared to signify to start of the 168-kilometre Gran Fondo and 100km Medio Fondo.

    The Gran Fondo route included more than 5,500 feet of climbing that included a timed King (and Queen) of the Mountain ascent on Honey Springs Road, a 10.7 km ascent that average a 5.2 percent gradient. Italy’s Luca Ortolani won the race to the top of the climb in a time of 29:17 followed by Lars Finanger in a time of 29:22 and David Brummer who made it to the top in 30:13.

    Canada’s Yew Ann won the women’s timed ascent in a time of 35:47 followed by Athena Countouriotis who rode in 36:32 and Terry Martin Durel in 38:18. "This woman was spectacular because she arrived to the Gran Fondo without her bike and had to borrow a fiends bike," said Puglielli. "But she still went out there and did it."

    In addition to the aid stations along route, participants were treated to an Italian-style lunch that included an array of pastas, Grana Padano cheeses and wines from Il Palagetto, Il Borro and Castiglion del Bosco, Ferragamo's Family and Brunello Di Montalcino wineries.

    "The riders were given a feast of Italian foods and it...

  • Gesink and Tjallingii to lead Rabobank in Amstel Gold Race

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) speaks to the media after stage five.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 18:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Freire looks for fourth title in Brabantse Pijl

    Rabobank is sending its “hero of Roubaix”, Maarten Tjallingii, to the Amstel Gold Race, along with virtually all of the squad which rode the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. While Dutch riders have won the race 17 times, Rabobank has won it only twice, with Michael Boogerd in 1999 and Erik Dekker in 2001.

    The Amstel squad will feature Robert Gesink, who finished third overall at Pais Vasco, and Tjallingii, third in Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. Sprinter Oscar Freire will also tackle the hilly course in the southern Netherlands.

    Many of the same riders will also take on the Brabantse Pijl on Wednesday, led by three-time world champion Freire. He has won the race three times in a row, from 2005 to 2007. Most recently, in Pais Vasco, he was first over the finish line in the fifth stage, but then relegated for dangerous racing.

    Rabobank for Brabantse Pijl: Carlos Barredo, Oscar Freire, Luis Leon Sanchez, Paul Martens, Bram Tankink, Michael Matthews, Grischa Niermann and Coen Vermeltfoort

    Rabobank for Amstel Gold Race: Carlos Barredo, Oscar Freire, Robert Gesink, Paul Martens, Grischa Niermann, Luis Leon Sanchez, Bram Tankink and Maarten Tjallingii

  • Italian anti-doping prosecutor to study the Mantova doping investigation

    Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 21:40 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    CONI investigators given permission to use evidence from the case

    The Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping prosecutor has confirmed it will begin to investigate the accusations of doping sparked by the police investigation in Mantova involving past and present riders and staff from the Lampre team.

    CONI confirmed in a statement that it first requested the evidence and documentation from the investigation in 2010 and that the judge handling the case in Mantova has agreed to supply it now that the investigative phase has concluded.

    On Friday, Mantova public prosecutor Antonino Condorelli announced the conclusion of the investigation and said a preliminary judge is set to decide if 32 people should go on trial.

    Damiano Cunego, Alessandro Ballan, Marzio Bruseghin, Michael Rasmussen and Lampre-ISD team manager Giuseppe Saronni are amongst the 32 people named in Italian media. Cunego won the Giro dell’Appennino one-day race on Sunday and Alessandro Ballan finished sixth in Paris-Roubaix. He now rides for the BMC team alongside fellow Italian Mauro Santambrogio, who was also facing formal charges.

    The Mantova investigation centred on the sale and use of prohibited substances including EPO, ephedrine, testosterone and cortico-steroids. Many of the Lampre riders used to travel from across Italy to see Nigrelli in Mantova. The riders and Nigrelli have denied any wrong doing, with Nigrelli insisting that he only supplied legal medicines to Lampre team at discount prices.

    The Mantova public prosecutor explained that the police used phone taps and tailed people as part of the investigation.

    “Beyond the intercepted telephone calls, carabinieri...

  • Stangelj pleased with belated Paris-Roubaix debut

    Gorazd Stangelj (Astana)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2011, 22:06 BST
    Barry Ryan

    38-year-old Slovenian champion active on the front on cobbles.

    Gorazd Stangelj (Astana) was a highly visible presence in the colours of Slovenian champion during Paris-Roubaix after bridging across to the day’s early break in the company of André Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto). Remarkably, it was the 38-year-old’s first ever appearance in the Hell of the North, in his 15th season as a professional.

    After contributing richly to the breakaway, an exhausted Stangelj crossed the line in 44th place, 4:46 down on winner Johan Van Summeren. He explained afterward that his presence at the head of the race was born partly of the fact that he had precious little experience on the pavé.

    “This was my first Roubaix, I didn’t really know the route,” Stangelj told Cyclingnews. “It was definitely easier to stay out in front to tackle the sections of pavé because that way you had a better view of what was coming ahead and it was just a bit calmer. I think it was better that way.”

    Stangelj’s role ahead of Paris-Roubaix was to attempt to infiltrate a break to protect the interests of Tomas Vaitkus, and the Slovenian was pleasantly surprised that he was able to perform so strongly on unfamiliar terrain.

    “I didn’t expect to do a race like that because like I said, it was my first Roubaix,” he said. “I’d never seen the hard parts before, so it was hard to do it for the first time, but with a lot of grinta and desire, I got through it and helped the team.”

    As the breakaway group fragmented following Johan Van Summeren’s attack, Stangelj suffered over the final sections of cobbles, and ultimately dropped back to finish in the Sylvain Chavanel group.

    “If I’d known it was...