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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, August 15, 2011

Date published:
August 15, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Vacansoleil keeps Mosquera out of Vuelta

    Ezequiel Mosquera attended the presentation in hopes his doping case will be overturned
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 9:18 BST
    Cycling News

    2010 Vuelta a España runner-up still waiting for doping case resolution

    Last year's Tour of Spain runner-up Ezekiel Mosquera will not line up at the start of the 2011 event on August 20 in Benidorm. The Spaniard's Vacansoleil-TCM team is maintaining the 'inactive' status of the rider, as his doping case is still pending. Mosquera tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch at the race last year.

    "We stick with [his inactive status]," team manager Daan Luijkx told the Telegraaf. "In the end of July, we were unsure as to line him up. We expected [the case resolution] to take more time, but it has been extremely long now."

    The Spanish Cycling Federation has not yet issued a decision regarding his positive control for hydroxyethyl starch, which can be used as a masking agent for blood-boosting products such as EPO. Mosquera has continued to claim his innocence, saying, "My second place at the Vuelta a España was achieved on my own merit."

    Luijkx added that even if the 35-year-old was cleared in the coming days, his participation in the Vuelta would still be highly unlikely. "It's become impossible. Condition-wise he should have at least one race in his legs before starting the Vuelta, and that's not going to happen."

    Vacansoleil will travel to the start of the Vuelta with the following nine riders: Wout Poels, Martijn Keizer, Pim Ligthart, Stijn Devolder, Santo Anzà, Matteo Carrara, Michal Golas, Ruslan Pidgornyy and Sergey Lagutin.

  • O'Grady: Leaving Leopard was the hardest decision

    Aussie Stuart O'Grady happy on the start line.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 9:55 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Australian could line up for sixth Olympics in 2012

    Stuart O’Grady may have time left on his contract with Leopard Trek but there was no hiding his excitement at joining Australian team GreenEdge for 2012 when he led a homegrown squad at yesterday’s London Olympics test event.

    O’Grady finished a creditable fourth behind Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) after a number of his Australian teammates were caught behind a crash in the final few kilometers.

    O’Grady signed for Leopard Trek on a one-year deal in 2010 but the lure of riding for a team comprising mainly Australian riders was too good an opportunity to miss.

    "I’m really excited about the new project. It’s going to be a new team and that’s great to be a part of that. It was really hard leaving the team I’m at. It’s the number one team in the world and it’s pretty hard to leave when you’ve got everything like that,” he told Cyclingnews, nevertheless emphasizing the prospect of a homeland project where his experience will be valuable.

    “This is a new and exciting opportunity for the future, to help Australian cycling and help develop the young guys and pass on my years of experience,” he added.

    O’Grady turned professional in 1995 at a time when the number of Australian road professionals could be counted on one had – in fact most of them rode on the same team, GAN. But in 2012 Australia is set to have their first WorldTour level team and ranked as the third most successful nation in the world behind Spain and Italy.

    Despite this, O’Grady admitted that leaving Leopard Trek had been one of the toughest decisions of his...

  • Movistar announces Vuelta a España line-up

    Team Movistar in action in the team time trial
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 11:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Team built around Bruseghin, Acosta and Lastras

    Spanish Movistar team has announced its roster for the upcoming Vuelta a España. Directeurs sportifs José Luis Jaimerena and José Luis Arrieta will take a versatile team to the race start in Benidorm next week-end, comprising former Vuelta stage winners Chente García Acosta and Pablo Lastras as well as top ten finisher Marzio Bruseghin.

    The three veterans are joined by several young and upcoming riders such as Ignatas Konovalovas, who won a stage in the 2009 Giro d'Italia.

    The full Movistar line-up is: Beñat Intxausti, David López, Sergio Pardilla, Pablo Lastras, Marzio Bruseghin, Ignatas Konovalovas, Ángel Madrazo, Imanol Erviti and Chente García Acosta.

  • Wouter Weylandt athletics stadium opened

    Wouter Weylandt comes over from Quick Step)
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 11:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Gent sports community honours fallen Leopard rider

    Last weekend a new athletics stadium was inaugurated in Gent by the name of "Wouter Weylandt atletiekstadion". In accordance with Weylandt's family, city officials granted the proposal of the local athletics clubs and thereby honoured the rider. Wouter Weylandt suffered a fatal crash in the Giro d'Italia earlier this year.

    "You don't have to search very long to find the symbolism in this, as Weylandt started his sports career in athletics," explained Christophe Peeters, member of the town's College of Aldermen, to Het Nieuwsblad. "The Mondo track is in accordance with all the international competition norms. The track may be used for Olympic teams."

    Weylandt died tragically on May 9 this year after crashing in a descent of the Giro d'Italia stage three. The Gent native is still very much remembered in his Belgian home town, which has also erected a memorial for him as well as two other recently deceased riders, Dimitri De Fauw and Frederiek Nolf.

  • Landis: Contador’s coach was a drug-trafficker

    Floyd Landis in 2006 giving a press conference after testing positive in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 12:24 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Alleges he was sold doping products by coach who went on to work with Contador

    Floyd Landis has alleged that he was sold doping products by a former coach at the US Postal team, Pepe Martí, who then went on to work with Alberto Contador at Discovery Channel and Astana. Interviewed on Germany’s ARD TV channel, Landis alleged that Martí was “nothing more than a known drug-trafficker. During my time as a rider at US Postal he sold me growth hormones, EPO and other illegal substances.”

    Earlier this year, Landis, who was stripped of the 2006 Tour de France title after testing positive for testosterone, sent a series of emails to the US Federation and the UCI alleging that he had been systematically doped at US Postal from 2002 and that Martí had supplied him and a number of other team-mates with performance-enhancing products, including Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie and Levi Leipheimer.

    Contador’s spokesman, Jacinto Vidarte, responded to Landis’s latest comments in a statement sent to AS. “Alberto knew Martí when he was at Discovery. As he was then a coach at the team, he was in charge of training. He also fulfilled that role at Astana as he moved into the Kazakh set-up after the North American team folded,” said the statement.

    It continued: “This year, the only people responsible for Alberto’s calendar and preparation are the members of the Saxo Bank team and Bjarne Riis. What he says about Martí is false.”

  • Freire: Worlds course is easier than I expected

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) in Southern California, where he can speak his native Spanish everywhere.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 14:27 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Three-time world champion picks Hushovd, Gilbert and Sagan as favourites for Copenhagen

    Three-time world champion Oscar Freire has revealed that the Copenhagen course for next month's World Championships is easier than he had been expecting it to be. The Spaniard competed on the course during last week's Tour of Denmark, and has told AS that only if it rains will the Worlds be a tough race.

    "When I saw the course during the Tour of Denmark it was easier than I expected. There's just one drag that's 600-700 metres long, which runs up to the finish line," said Freire. "Only if it rains will it be a tough race. But perhaps that might turn out for the better because given the way that [Philippe] Gilbert is riding at the moment if it was a demanding circuit there would only be one winner."

    Asked who he sees as the favourites for the title, the Spaniard picked out, "[Thor] Hushovd, Gilbert and [Peter] Sagan. Those three are the ones best suited to this circuit."

    Freire won his last world title back in 2004 and still remains on the threshold of what would be a record-breaking fourth triumph. Although he's not sure of his form going into the Vuelta a España later this week, he believes it's better than it has been for some time and that he can contend in Copenhagen.

    "I think I've got a chance. The fact that the final sprint is hard will suit me. And, although the course is easy, it is 280km long, plus 20km that are neutralized. With 300km in your legs it's not going to be an easy sprint for anybody."

    Before the Worlds, though, the 35-year-old Spaniard is looking to complete the Vuelta for the first time in his career and take a stage win along the way. Asked whether Mark Cavendish's presence in the Vuelta field will be good or bad for him, Freire responded: "Bad. It's not just Cavendish. He's got a team of riders who specialize in...

  • Video: Haussler heads to Vuelta looking for stage wins

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) finished in 32nd place, 28 seconds behind Sagan.
    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 15:28 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Australian pulls on national colours for first time

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) will line up at the Vuelta a España later this month with the dual aims of wining a stage and building his form for 2012. It has been a difficult couple of years for the 27-year-old Australian. In 2009 he finished second in Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, before winning a stage in the Tour de France. He seemed destined for greatness but a run of injuries and crashes wrecked his 2010 season and this year he has struggled to regain full fitness.

    However, he now believes that the bad times are behind him and riding pain-free and in-form he will head to the Vuelta ready to make his mark. Notably it will be his first Grand Tour ride since the Tour in 2009.

    “I’ll do the Vuelta because I need it for my legs,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I’ve not done a three week Tour for two years. It’s not just about the Worlds training, though, it’s also for next year as well.

    “Even in Poland I started to feel like things were going in order again with my legs and the muscles and ligaments. It was all smooth. There are no little problems that need to be fixed and I’m starting to feel more comfortable on the bike so I’m really looking forward to coming out of the Vuelta with some racing in my legs.”

    Garmin-Cervelo heads to Spain with a number of options. Daniel Martin and Christophe Le Mevel will lead the charge on GC, while Haussler and Tyler Farrar will compete in the sprints.

    “For me it won't be about the pure sprints like with Cavendish, Greipel and...

  • Horner ends season due to blood clot

    Article published:
    August 15, 2011, 16:38 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Extends contract with RadioShack

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) has had to call time on his 2011 season as he recovers from a blood clot in his lungs. The 39-year-old American was scheduled to take part in Colorado's USA Pro Cycling Challenge later this month but instead will have to undergo a series of medical treatments. Although he will be fit to train in a matter of weeks, the medication he will receive would leave him prone to crashing and taking unnecessary risks with his health.

    “In a few hours, I went from thinking I was going to be exceptionally well prepared for the Tour of Colorado, to a two night and two day stay in the St. Charles Medical Center in Bend, Oregon. With a pulmonary embolism, the season quickly went from an exciting and positive one (for the most part), to an abrupt end,” he wrote on his blog.

    The Amgen Tour of California winner must now go through 6 months of prescribed blood thinners.

    Horner also confirmed that he had extended his contract with RadioShack for a further two seasons. With a full recovery in the offing he will hope to make amends for a disappointing Tour de France.

    “Looking ahead now, there’s a lot to be excited about. Since leaving the Tour de France, RadioShack has extended my contract for another two seasons, which gives me a lot of peace of mind and the ability to be completely focused on the next two years of great racing.

    "I can’t thank them enough for all of the fantastic support throughout my time with the team, especially in the past month of challenges since...