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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 7, 2011

Date published:
February 07, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Sella on track for successful Giro d'Italia return

    Piccolo scalatore: Italian Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli) moved closer to the front once the gradient increased.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 6:37 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Savio provides another second chance to repentant rider

    Three years after his epic ride at the Giro d'Italia where he won three stages and the king of the mountains title followed by a positive test for EPO in July that year, Emmanuele Sella is back on track for another good showing in what is set to be an Italian tour for climbers.

    His recent third place overall at Le Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia, combined with the win for his neo professional team-mate Yonathan Monsalve, has pleased Androni Gioccatoli team manager Gianni Savio who has picked Sella as a potential successor of Michele Scarponi.

    "Le Tour de Langkawi was a great experience for my debut with my new team," Sella told Cyclingnews. "I didn't have my best form yet as I hadn't trained much for this race, unlike Monsalve, who rode under warm conditions in Venezuela.

    "I would have liked to know Genting Highlands before climbing it but I'm very satisfied anyway. I felt very good within this team and I want to repay Gianni for the confidence he put in me."

    Savio hired Sella from the defunct Continental oufit CarmioOro that didn't receive an invitation to the Giro last year. Sella, 30, only served a one-year ban because he co-operated with investigators but race organiser Angelo Zomegnan wasn't keen to welcome back a rider who had failed a dope test so recently.

    However, this year is another story. Sella, Riccardo Riccó and Danilo Di Luca are eligible again while Davide Rebellin remains likely to come back on time and Franco Pellizotti still awaits a final decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport in his battle against the UCI concerning his biological passport.

    One year after the successful returns of Ivan Basso and Scarponi, controversy will be once again in the air at the start in Turin in early May.

    "I care a lot about the Giro," Sella said. "I want to do well at other races too but it's at the Giro that I want to demonstrate my real value. I want to win something important after the...

  • Geox-TMC unveils 2011 kit

    Geox - TMC 2011 - David De La Fuente (Geox - TMC)
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 6:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Presentation set for February 12

    Geox-TMC took to the roads in their new kits ahead of their team presentation scheduled for February 12 in Padova, Italy.

    Designed by Diadora in collaboration with the team’s many co-sponsors, the team jersey is black and white with Diadora neon accents, which complement Geox-TMC’s 2011 Fuji Altamira LTD Team Bike, designed using the same colour palette.

    Following Geox-TMC’s recent snub by organisers of the Tour de France, the ProContinental outfit is hoping to fill one of two places up for grabs should they do well at Milan-San Remo. Giro d’Italia organiser Angelo Zomegnan will announce the 22 teams selected for the race on March 7, exactly two months before the start in Turin on May 7.

    One man many speculated wouldn't be racing in the team's new colours was Denis Menchov, with rumours the Vuelta a España and Giro d'Italia winner was on the move after Tour de France organiser Amaury Sport Organisation denied Mauro Gianetti's squad a place in this year's race.

    In recent days Menchov’s agent Raimondo Scimone told Cyclingnews that the Russian rider will not walk away from the Geox-TMC team despite the non-invite to the year's biggest race, however.

  • Could Van Petegem replace White at Garmin-Cervelo?

    Peter Van Petegem (Quick.Step) would be a great domestique on the cobbles for Tom Boonen.
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 9:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian interested in working at Spring Classics

    Peter Van Petegem is in talks with Garmin-Cervelo to be a directeur sportif for the team. The Belgian would take the place of Matthew White, who was let go earlier this year.

    Van Petegem, 41, would concentrate on his speciality, the Spring Classics. Garmin-Cervelo will have a strong team in the Classics this year, with world champion Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler, Tyler Farrar and Martijn Maaskant.

    He confirmed the negotiations with team manager Jonathan Vaughters. “I've been asked to be a team leader for one year, but I fear that would be too much of a good thing,” Van Petegem told

    Van Petegem and his wife Angelique Segaert run abed and breakfast, Le Pave, in Horebeke, Belgium. He also serves as race director for the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Tour of Flanders.

    “I have not only a full time job outside of cycling which I enjoy. There is also our bed & breakfast, and I enjoy my role within the organisation of the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Tour of Flanders.”

    “I could imagine doing the Spring season, but first I must talk with organiser Wim Van Herreweghe of the Flanders Classics (ed. the organiser of the Tour of Flanders and Omloop). Only then could I go.”

    The Belgian turned pro in 1992 with P.D.M., and retired in 2007. His biggest year was in 2003, when he won both the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. He won Flanders and Three Days of De Panne twice in his career, and also won, among others, the Grand Prix E3 Harelbeke, Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, and Omloop Het Volk.

    Floyd Landis raised Van Petegem's name in a recent...

  • Video: Prologue Highlights from the Tour of Qatar

    Boom zips up the race leader's golden jersey
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 10:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Boom, Cavendish, Wiggins and Flecha

    The Tour of Qatar got underway on Sunday with a 2 kilometre individual prologue in the Doha Cultural Village. Lars Boom (Rabobank) took top honours, with World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) and Tom Veelers (Skil – Shimano) rounding out the top three.

    In these Cyclingnews exclusive videos, Lars Boom talks about his win and how Rabobank will look to defend his leader’s jersey in the coming days.

    Meanwhile there are pre-race comments from Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad). Wiggins finished in 29th, while Cavendish crashed. Indications are that he will start stage 1.


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  • Team Christina Watches still waiting for UCI licence

    Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 10:37 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    UCI waiting on word from Danish federation

    There is still no change in the status of Team Christina Watches. The Danish team, built around Michael Rasmussen, is still not listed on the International Cycling Union's website as a registered Continental team.

    One week ago, team sport director Michael Blaudzun told Cyclingnews that the team had submitted the final paperwork to the UCI to take over the licence from Bianchi M1 and that Christina Watches should appear on the UCI list “soon”.

    However, UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews, “Actually the Danish federation - which is responsible for this procedure – hasn't given us any indication about their registration. We were aware of the intention of Team Christina Watches to buy the Team Bianchi licence, but nothing has been confirmed. The Danish federation should be able maybe to give more on this: we are only involved in the final part of the procedure, on the basis of their evaluation.”

    The Danish Cycling Union has not responded to requests for a comment.

  • Chavanel targets Paris-Nice and Gent-Wevelgem

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 11:45 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Quick Step attacker builds up fitness in Mallorca and Portugal

    Now in his third season with Quick Step, Sylvain Chavanel  is looking to improve on a strong 2010 and has Paris-Nice and the Spring Classics in his sights.

    After his first 2011 race in Gabon, Africa, Chavanel flew to the Mallorca Challenge on Sunday, where he will be able to compare his state of form with fellow European riders and possible rivals during the next few weeks.

    "[The Tropicale Amissa Bongo] was a beautiful experience," he told Velochrono. "I was surprised by the Africans' level and I think we will soon see them in European races, too. Now, I hope to get fit fast, but I know from experience that I'm never very competitive in my first races, I explode all the time. I need a few days for proper performances and results."

    The series of one-day races on the Spanish island are not an objective for Chavanel, who prefers to peak in March for one of his favourite events, Paris-Nice, where he is a regular stage and overall contender.

    "I want to be really competitive at Paris-Nice, to fight for the general classification as I have been doing these past few years. I'm still hungry to win this race."

    Another milestone for perfect fitness for the "race to the sun" will be the Tour of Portugal. Chavanel finished second in the stage race in 2008 and in 2009, "behind some very good riders" [Stijn Devolder and Alberto Contador - ed.] and hopes to put insome performances there again this year.

    A first test on the Belgian cobbles at the end of February at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will also reveal Chavanel's progress in view of the Spring Classics. While he hopes to be in the mix for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix again later this spring, he sets himself realistic goals.


  • Schenk encourages independent investigation of UCI

    "I won't be forced and I won't be bought."
    Article published:
    February 07, 2011, 12:38 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Former German federation president hopes UCI can restore its credibility

    Sylvia Schenk would welcome an independent investigation into alleged corruption at the International Cycling Union (UCI), following comments made Pat McQuaid.

    Last week the UCI president told Cyclingnews that, "We'd welcome any investigation into the UCI. There has never been corruption in the UCI."

    Schenk is the former German federation president and UCI management committee member and has encouraged the idea.

    While Schenk dismissed the idea that the UCI could cover up a positive doping result in return for a bribe - simply because national federations and accredited labs would also have knowledge of it - she did not discard other forms of corruption.

    "I doubt that a positive result could be covered up in return of a payment," the lawyer and chairwoman of an international organisation fighting corruption, Transparency International, told Cyclingnews on Monday. "But I could imagine that a medical explanation - whether accurate or not - would be found and accepted."

    Schenk was adamant that the UCI needed an independent investigation in order to restore its credibility, adding that the way in which it handled the allegations made by Floyd Landis was "poor.”

    “The UCI's problem is the treatment of the Armstrong's late positives [the re-tested samples from 1999, allegedly positive for EPO - ed.].

    "The UCI should have initiated a process to ensure an objective investigation. Also, Armstrong's 'donation': the UCI stated different amounts, dates, etc., and it never made any account receipts public, even though that should have been easy.”

    "The UCI has very little credibility because of this, and an independent investigation could restore it. This should be done by a consulting company like PWC or Deloitte and include public monitoring, for example by WADA representatives and...

  • UnitedHealthcare presented in West Lake

    Brad White answers a question during the team presentation.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 20:17 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Förster says family atmosphere is good for racing success

    UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team capped off a successful week-long training camp by presenting its 17-man roster to a sponsor-filled audience on Saturday night at the Hyatt West Lake Plaza in West Lake Village, California.

    The newly upgraded Professional Continental outfit made use of the sunny state’s warm climate to do a little training but the main priority of the camp was to get to know one another, entertain the sponsors and work the camera lens.

    Race announcer Dave Towle presented the team one-by-one on stage, highlighting race results and special characteristics for each rider including Rory Sutherland, Karl Menzies, Andrew Pinfold, Brad White, Adrian Hegyvary, Jonny Clarke, Hilton Clarke, Max Jenkins, Jake Keough and Morgan Schmitt and new riders Robert Förster, Christian Meier, Boy van Poppel, Scott Zwizanski, Davide Frattini, Charles Wegelius and Chris Jones.

    "We presented the athletes to the world," said Thierry Attias, president of Momentum Sports Group. "We have quite a few new sponsors and some that have been with us since the beginning. The athletes were under the spot light. There was a raised stage, a nice dinner and a chance for our sponsors to meet the riders -- think academy awards."

    The team also presented a jersey and a bicycle to an 18th rider, a child from the UnitedHealthcare Children's Foundation who was one of the recipients of the treatment benefits, according to Attias.

    Prior to the team presentation, the camp provided an opportunity for sponsors, athletes and management to bond together as a team. Sponsors of the team include UnitedHealthcare, Maxxis, SRAM, Boardman Bikes, ENVE Composites, Ritchey Logic, Voler, Larry H. Miller Dealership, Thule, Westone, Speedplay, Chris King, Bell, Smith Optics, Arundel, Chamois Butt'r, Cat Eye, SpiderTech, 2XU and Marco Pro.

    "We had all of our sponsors show...