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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 22, 2010

Date published:
November 22, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Devolder aims at third Flanders title

    Belgian champion Stijn Devolder and his daughter.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 12:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian may race Milano-San Remo as preparation

    Stijn Devolder, the new Classics leader of Team Vacansoleil, is targeting a third Tour of Flanders victory next season. The Belgian, who celebrated with his fan club in Deerlijk on Saturday, said that a third-time title at the "Ronde" would be his main objective for the coming year.

    "If I could choose, then that would be my pick," he told Sportwereld when asked which race he'd most like to win in 2011. "Unfortunately, that's not the way it works." Devolder, who won the Belgian Classic in 2008 and 2009, only finished 25th behind 2010 winner Fabian Cancellara this year.

    The two-time Belgian champion does not know when he will start his 2011 race programme yet, whether this will include the Tour of Qatar before the Belgian season opener Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 26.

    "Next year, I might do Milan-San Remo, even if it's only for the many racing kilometres. My plan is not to ride Amstel Gold Race and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, not like I did this year," he added, further strengthening his focus on the Flandrian Classics only.

    Looking even further ahead, Devolder said that he would surely have an eye on the 2012 Worlds in Limburg, Netherlands, which may be suited to a Classics rider. "Much more than Copenhagen, where it will be located in 2011," he said.

    Devolder pulled out of the Belgian team selection for Geelong, Australia, at the very last minute this year due to a lack of form. He may have to share team leadership with Philippe Gilbert again when the event turns to the Cauberg two years from now.

  • Gilbert nominated for Belgian male athlete of the year

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) gets the kisses on the podium
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 13:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto rider looks to repeat the title

    Philippe Gilbert will look to defend his title as Belgian male athlete of the year. He has again been nominated for the award, which he won in 2009.

    He will be up against two other male athletes, track runner Kevin Borlee and show jumper Philippe Le Jeune.

    The award is to be announced December 19, at the Sportgala at the Casino in Oostende.

    Gilbert won the award, which is voted by Belgian sports journalists, by an overwhelming majority last year. It was the third consecutive year that a cyclist had won, as cyclo-crosser Niels Albert won in 2008 and sprinter Tom Boonen in 2007.

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider had six wins this season, starting in April when he became the first Belgian to win Amstel Gold Race in 16 years. Five weeks later he won the opening stage of the Tour of Belgium, wearing the leader's jersey for three days before ultimately ending up fourth overall.

    His only Grand Tour in 2010 was the Vuelta a Espana, and it was highly successful. Gilbert won the third stage to take over the leader's jersey, which he held for four days. He then won again on the 19th stage, beating the sprinters in Toledo.

    Gilbert was a top favourite for the world championships, but finished a disappointing 18th. He came back to finish off the season strongly, winning the Gran Piemonte and then the Giro di Lombardia for the second consecutive year.

  • Dowsett enjoys first taste of Team Sky

    Alex Dowsett (Trek-LIVESTRONG) rode to second place behind his team-mate.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 14:03 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Former Trek-Livestrong rider set for Amgen Tour of California in 2011

    Alex Dowsett will target time trials and prologues in his first season with Team Sky in 2011 but aims to gain experience in other fields, with the Tour of Romandie and Amgen Tour of California on his race schedule.

    Dowsett, 22, signed for Team Sky after an impressive season in the U23 ranks with Trek-Livestrong. He won the European time trial championships, a stage in the Cascade Classic and the Chrono des Nations. He also took second at the Commonwealth Games time trial and in the prologue at the Tour of Utah and Tour de l’Avenir.

    Now based back in the UK and already training for 2011, Dowsett spent several days meet his new Team Sky teammates at a recent team get-together in Windsor, England.

    “It was great. I learnt all about my year coming up and was given with my race programme. It’s was pretty over whelming meeting all the guys, to be honest. The set up is incredible and the there’s no stone left unturned,” Dowsett told Cyclingnews.

    “There are so many experienced guys, from Bobby Julich to Kurt-Asle Arvesen. There’s so much for me to learn.”

    Programme packed with time trials and leadout work

    Dowsett’s race programme includes the Amgen Tour of California, where Team Sky will look to defend Michael Rogers’ 2010 crown, and the Tour of Romandie in Switzerland.

    “It’s very much a neo pro programme but with a strong emphasis on time trialing,” Dowsett said.

    “I’ve got eight time trials before the end of June in stage races. That’s great to pick up where I’ve left off from this year and so I’ll aim to try and improve even more.”

    Despite a strong emphasis on racing against the clock, Dowsett is unwilling to be pigeon-holed and will look to broaden and improve in other areas. This year he played a fundamental role in leading out Taylor Phinney in sprints. In...

  • Criterium International to stay in Corsica

    Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) in yellow
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 14:45 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Race will continue traditional format on the Mediterranean island

    The Criterium International race will return to Corsica for the next three years, following its successful debut on the French island this year. It was the first major race on the island since the Tour of Corsica in the late 1980's.

    The three-year agreement was signed after “the race formula won over not only the riders but also the organisers, the representatives of the local authorities involved and the local public,” a statement from organisers Amaury Sport Organisation said. Race director Christian Prudhomme recently met with Porto-Vecchio Mayor Georges Mela to sign the three year contract.

    The next edition of the race will be held on March 26 and 27, 2011. It will maintain its traditional three-stage, two-day format over the demanding roads of Southern Corsica. There will be one mountain stage, one flatter stage and a short time trial.

    This year's edition of the race was won by Pierrick Fedrigo of Bbox Bouygues Telecom, who won the first stage and held on for the overall win. Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) had won it the previous three years as well as in 2004.

  • More details emerge about Pegasus team bikes

    A stack of red and black Scott F01 bikes
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 16:03 GMT
    James Huang, technical editor

    New Australian team using Scott, SRAM, Zipp, Vittoria and Selle Italia

    One of our eagle-eyed readers has spotted a gaggle of new Pegasus team bikes, providing more information on what equipment the Australia team will be using in 2011.

    The riders, including team leader Robbie McEwen, stopped at a café in Noosa, during their first training camp in Queensland, Australia.

    While the team’s official colours remain a secret, the rider’s Scott F01 carbon aero road frameset will apparently be equipped with SRAM Red groupsets and power meters, Zipp wheels, bars, and stems, Vittoria tyres, and Selle Italia saddles. Scott also looks set to be the helmet supplier, with all their riders equipped with their lids.

    All the bikes were fitted with Zipp's alloy 101 clinchers during this training ride but the team will obviously have the full catalogue of carbon tubulars to choose from on race day, including the company's speedy new 808 Firecrest. It remains to be seen if the team will also use Zipp for its time trial bars.

  • Alex Rasmussen: Every rider at HTC can win races

    Alex Rasmussen (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 17:11 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American adventure for former Saxo Bank rider

    Alex Rasmussen is planning on becoming one of HTC-Highroad’s most influential riders next season, with Classics and Tour de France firmly in his sights. The Danish track specialist was speaking at last weekend’s Revolution 30 event, in Manchester. He is set to ride the Gent Six this week with fellow Dane Michael Morkov and then will head to California for his first training camp with his new teammates.

    The Dane is hoping that his early season form - carried through from his winter on the track - will earn him a place in the HTC-Highroad Spring Classics squad and that if all goes to plan, he’ll make the American team’s Tour de France line-up. Despite several riders leaving the team, he is well aware that the team still posses one of the most qualified set of riders.

    “The Tour would be the highlight of my career but I’m also thinking about the Classics,” the versatile Dane told Cyclingnews.

    “Every guy on Columbia can win races though and that’s why I’ve gone there. There will be less wins with some of the riders we’ve lost but that’s the same for every team that goes through changes. They go up and up and then they rebuild.

    “I’ll start out in Het Volk and then go straight into the major Classics. We don’t have an exact leader so we’re more outsiders but we’ll all have a chance.”

    Rasmussen signed for HTC after a spell at Bjarne Riis’ Saxo Bank and almost re-signed for the Danish team for 2011 before HTC made him an offer.

    “I assumed I was going to stay at Saxo Bank but then later in the season I put out the feelers and Brian Holm found I was still available. We reached a good agreement and I think they can really use me a lot more than at Saxo Bank, where things will be orientated around Contador, assuming he is there of course.

    “It’s better for me to be on team...

  • UCI announce 18 ProTeams for 2011

    UCI president Pat McQuaid at the inaugural ProTour awards in 2005
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 18:23 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Geox-TMC, Cofidis Le Crédit en ligne denied

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today the 18 teams registered as ProTeams for 2011, the sport's highest division formerly know as ProTour.

    Ten teams which already had valid licences for 2010 have been approved by the UCI Licence Commission. AG2R (France), Katusha (Russia), Lampre-ISD (Italy), Quick Step (Belgium), Saxo Bank-SunGard (Denmark) and Team RadioShack (USA) today joined four teams already previously registered on November 2, 2010: Garmin-Cervélo (USA), Omega Pharma-Lotto (Belgium), Rabobank (Netherlands) and Sky ProCycling (Great Britain).

    Eight additional teams were named either requesting a renewal of a licence or applying for a new licence. The BMC Racing Team (USA), HTC-Highroad (USA), Liguigas-Cannondale (Italy) and the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project (Luxembourg) were all granted a four-year licence. Movistar (Spain), Astana (Kazakhstan) and Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team (Netherlands) were each issued a three-year licence and Euskaltel-Euskadi (Spain) received a two-year licence.

    The Licence Commission refused the licence requests of Spain's Geox-TMC, the team of Denis Menchov and Carlos Sastre, and France's Cofidis Le Crédit en ligne. As a result both teams will automatically be registered as UCI Professional Continental teams for 2011.

    The complete list of UCI Professional Continental teams will be announced on December 10, 2010.

  • BMC Racing Team pleased to be granted ProTeam status

    The BMC Racing Team battles crosswinds during the team time trial.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2010, 19:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI issues BMC four-year ProTeam licence

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) granted the BMC Racing Team ProTeam status on Monday, issuing the team a four-year licence which fulfilled one of the team's long-term goals, said team owner Andy Rihs.

    "I'm very happy because we have had a vision to always be one of the top teams and this confirms it," Rihs said. "It also reflects well on what we have accomplished to date and it fits perfectly together with our program as a race team and with BMC bicycles as the title sponsor."

    The Professional Continental team finished as one of the top 10 teams in the UCI World Rankings for the 2010 season.

    "We can bring in young riders, for example, and build with them for the future - already looking forward to Paris-Roubaix or the Classics - in two or three years," said John Lelangue, directeur sportif. "But we still have to race well to preserve this level and be sure at the end of the year we can stay ProTeam for the upcoming years."

    BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz was pleased with the team's boost to ProTeam status as it guarantees entry in all the biggest races on the calendar.

    "What this means is that we can certainly prepare the team better and have more opportunities for success throughout the year," Ochowicz said. "We are proud to be included as members in this prestigious group and thank the UCI for their confidence."

    BMC Racing's three-time US pro road champion George Hincapie welcomed the news. "This is a testament to all the hard work the riders, managers and staff have put into this team," Hincapie said. "I am very proud to be part of this organization and look forward to a successful 2011 season."

    The first event for BMC Racing on the 2011 ProTour calendar is Australia's Santos Tour Down Under, January 16-23.