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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 3, 2011

Date published:
October 03, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Posthuma to join GreenEdge?

    Joost Posthuma (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 8:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Leopard Trek rider would be fourth Dutchman on Australian team

    Joost Posthuma is said to be the next signing for the new GreenEdge team, according to De Telegraaf. He would be the fourth Dutch rider to join the Australian team, which is aiming for a World Tour licence for the coming season.

    Posthuma, 30,  specializes in time trials and short stage races. His most recent win was the individual time trial at the Tour of Austria in 2010. In his seven years as a pro, he has taken overall victories in the Sachsen Tour, Three Days of De Panne, Tour of Luxembourg and the Vuelta a Andalucia. He rode his entire career for Rabobank before joining Leopard Trek this year.

    At the Australian team, Posthuma would join former  Rabobank teammates Sebastian Langeveld and Pieter Weening, as well as Jens Mouris, currently with Vacansoleil-DCM.

    Posthuma had only a one-year contract with Leopard Trek. For the coming season, the team is merging with RadioShack and a number of riders form each squad is currently looking for new employment.

  • Katusha, RadioShack and Rabobank for Tour of Beijing

    Stage one winner Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha)
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 9:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Sprinters and time triallists look for wins

    Teams Katusha, RadioShack and Rabobank have announced their line-ups for the inaugural Tour of Beijing starting on Wednesday. The Russian and Dutch teams will look to their sprinters,while the US-based team is sending its stage racers.

    Denis Galimzyanov will lead a Katusha team of six Russians, one Moldavan and a Belgian. The 24-year-old has three victories this season, winning stages at the Three Days of De Panne and the Tour of Luxembourg. He most recently won Paris-Brussels and has numerous top ten results on the season.

    Rabobank's sports director Erik Dekker didn't name a captain, but the team is not only looking to sprinter Theo Bos but also time triallist Lars Boom. Boom most recently won the Tour of Britain, taking two stages, while Bos has five wins this season. Dekker said, “I think we can do a very good job here, maybe even win the race.”

    Jani Brajkovic will lead RadioShack in the Chinese race. His only win this season was the Slovenian time trial title. Brajkovic was one of the team's co-captains going into the Tour de France, but had to abandon the race after a crash on the fifth stage left him with a broken collarbone and concussion.  He will ride for Team Astana as of 2012.

    “Brajkovic comes here from the Worlds in very good condition and (Haimar) Zubeldia can do a good race also,” said sport director Jose Azevedo on the race's website. “For us, it is important that we have a good time trial in this race and we have several guys who can do...

  • Cavendish to Omega Pharma-QuickStep?

    Mark Cavendish (Great Britain) in his rainbow jersey
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 10:56 BST
    Cycling News

    World Champion said to insist on Specialized bike

    A persistant rumour indicates that World Champion Mark Cavendish may be riding for Omega Pharma-Quick Step in 2012. The Briton has long been expected to join Team Sky, but no announcement has been made yet. The hold-up is said to be the bike that he wants to ride.

    In September, it appeared certain that Cavendish would join Sky, ”but recently we have not been so sure that he will ride with us next year,” a Sky employee told the Gazet van Antwerpen during the Tour de Wallonie Picarde. "Apparently there are a few things that have changed since Cavendish became world champion in Copenhagen."

    The major issue is said to be the bike. According to the GVA, Cavendish insists on riding a Specialized frame, as he currently does at HTC-Highroad, and the company wants to keep him on their bike. However, Sky has a contract with Pinarello, which it is not willing or able to cancel for his sake.

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step will no longer ride Eddy Merckx bikes next year and it is said that it will ride Specialized, at the demand of time trial World Champion Tony Martin.

    Lefevere denied to the newspaper that Cavendish would be joining his squad. "If  Cavendish is on my cycling team next year? I wish. But I have thirty riders under contract."

    The team did not respond to Cyclingnews' request for a comment on the story. 

    If Cavendish were to join the Belgian team, he would be the third World Champion on the roster along with Martin and cyclo-cross champion Zdenek Stybar. He would also meet up with current and former Highroad teammates Martin, Matt Brammeier, Gerald Ciolek, Bert Grabsch, Frantisek Rabon, and Martin and Peter Velits.

  • McEwen's second Franco Belge victory "unexpected"

    Still got it. Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) sprints to win stage one of the Tour de Wallonie Picarde.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 12:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian hopes to finish season in style at Paris-Tours

    Robbie McEwen has added a fifth victory to his season tally at the Tour de Wallonie Picarde (formerly known as Circuit Franco Belge), winning the fourth and last stage as well as the overall classification of the event on Sunday. The 39-year-old sprinter took the yellow jersey off Tom Veelers (Skil-Shimano) in the ultimate sprint in Tournai, thereby sealing his second overall victory of the race as he had previously won it in 2002.

    Going into the stage, McEwen was not sure about the day's outcome. "This was not expected," he said after his victory. "This was a hard stage with seven climbs of the Col de la Croix de Jubaru. Despite the heat I felt good and actually felt better and better as the stage went on."

    McEwen knew that he could take the overall victory by winning the stage if Veelers or Chris Sutton (Sky) were not in the top three. "That's what happened. To be honest, this was an easy sprint for me. I choose the right wheel, that of Sutton and could easily pass him. This proves I'm still there in cycling."

    Team Director Dirk Demol was full of praise for the Australian veteran and the teamwork that made him finish off the job on the line. "Again I have big respect for Robbie McEwen. I admire his motivation. January through October, it doesn't matter for McEwen. There was nice work from the team, too. We didn't have to defend the leader's jersey but we were in all of the breaks. But it ended in a sprint and Robbie created the crowning moment. We are very satisfied."

    Now, the man who has won 12 Grand Tour stages in his career hopes for a good result in the last but not the least sprinters' classic, Paris-Tours next Sunday October 9. "The season is not over yet. I hope I can show the same fast legs in Paris-Tours. That would be nice. I've never won that race," he added.

  • Aldag moves to Triathlon management company

    Rolf Aldag chats at the start.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 12:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Highroad team manager to become German Managing Director for WTC

    Rolf Aldag is moving from cycling to triathlon. He will be Managing Director, Germany, for the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC), which licences and organises the Ironman series of triathlons.

    Aldag, 43, has been team manager at HTC-Highroad since 2007. He raced professionally from 1993 to 2005, riding the Tour de France ten times and the World Championships 16 times.  He took part in the Olympics twice.

    Aldag turned to triathlons when he retired from cycling, completing the Ironman Lanzarote in 2006, qualifying hm for the World Championships.

    "Rolf is an exceptional addition to WTC's global management team," said Andrew Messick, CEO, WTC. "He has a lifetime of experience in the endurance sports world and has distinguished himself as a leader and manager. We are confident that under Rolf's leadership, WTC will continue to grow in Germany and across Europe."

    "I enjoy triathlon and seeing athletes overcome challenges," said Aldag. "People want to test their limits, and Ironman allows them to do it under the best conditions. I am happy to become part of the WTC family and to help endurance athletes achieve their goals."

    Aldag had previously indicated he might leave cycling. “I have interest from some teams, but I have also a very interesting offer from another sport, outside of cycling, in a management position,” he told Cyclingnews last month. He was most persistently rumoured to join Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

  • Garmin and Liquigas count on Millar and Sagan in Beijing

    David Millar (Garmin - Cervelo)
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 13:05 BST
    Cycling News

    All teams have arrived in Chinese capital

    All participating teams have arrived in China for the upcoming Tour of Beijing. Garmin-Cervélo has travelled to Asia with David Millar as their road captain, and Italian outfit Liquigas-Cannondale is counting on Peter Sagan for stage victories.

    Despite having to leave his wife Nicole and three week-old baby Archibald, Millar was content to have arrived in Beijing for the event beginning Wednesday, October 5. The Scotsman, who spent his teenage years living in Hong Kong, is conscious of the potential of the sport's foray into new markets.

    "Now that I am here, I am happy to be here. It's tough to leave my son so soon after his birth but this new race is important for pro cycling," Millar said. "I am curious to see how it's all received. This is a new venture for our sport and we want it to succeed."

    Millar will lead the Garmin-Cervelo line-up that also includes Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Van Summeren, Heinrich Haussler and world track champion Jack Bobridge, who just finished an impressive fifth in the world time trial championships.

    "My goal was to make the top ten in Copenhagen, so to finish fifth was something I was very happy with," Bobridge said. "I had a few easy days back in Girona after the worlds and then some good training. I have trained straight for the time trial but I want to see how I go over the longer stages here. It could be okay."

    Liquigas also enters the five-day race with expectations, especially in the sprint stages, according to the team's Australian rider Cameron Wurf.

    "We come with three really top sprinters and all in good condition. Elia Viviani, Daniel Oss and Peter Sagan are all chances for a stage, especially when you...

  • Tour of Beijing teams wary of clenbuterol in food

    The peloton passes through the finish line
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 19:35 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin-Cervelo riders advised to avoid beef and pork

    Cyclingnews has learned that teams have advised their riders not eat beef or pork during the Tour of Beijing in order to avoid accidentally testing positive for clenbuterol. The drug is used in the farming of certain meats in countries including China and has lead to a number of positive tests.

    Last year Alberto Contador tested positive for the drug during the Tour de France. The amount of clenbuterol was 40 times less than the amount World Anti-Doping Agency accredited labs must be able to detect, however his sample was transported to a clinic in Cologne which is able to detect minuscule amounts of the substance. If his sample had been tested in Paris or most other European labs he would have likely escaped a positive test.

    Garmin-Cervelo told Cyclingnews that its riders were under orders to avoid all beef and pork products during their stay in China, as a precaution.

    "I advised my riders not to eat beef and pork. You can't use clenbuterol on chicken or fish," said Garmin-Cervelo manager Jonathan Vaughters.

    Vaughters raised the issue of clenbuterol fears at a recent meeting with the UCI at the world championships and was advised that his riders should keep away from beef and pork and stick to eating fish and chicken, which are not treated with Clenbuterol.

    According to Vaughters the fear wouldn't be over testing positive in China but once the athletes leave the countries. For example, an out of competition test taken in Europe or the US in a two to three day window after the race could lead to a positive. Testing will be carried out during the race, contrary to rumours that circulated on the web in the build up to the race. However the Beijing lab used for testing is not as...

  • Specialized helps Leipheimer's decision to sign with Omega Pharma-Quick Step

    Levi Leipheimer (Team Radioshack).
    Article published:
    October 03, 2011, 20:10 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    American targets Tour de France podium in 2012

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step was recently bolstered by the addition of Specialized as its bike and helmet sponsor for the 2012 season. The California-based equipment manufacturer helped seal a contractual agreement between the team and Levi Leipheimer, who intends to secure a podium place at the Tour de France next summer.

    "Specialized had a lot do with my changing teams," Leipheimer told Cyclingnews. "Quick Step had shown interest already and then Mike Sinyard (founder and chairman of Specialized) called me up a while ago, as the Tour de France was ending, and he told me that Specialized had decided to go back to Quick Step. I've always had a good relationship with Specialized since I raced with Gerolsteiner and we kept in touch and saw each other at various events."

    Leipheimer, who is currently under contract with RadioShack, admitted that he envisioned a future with the California-based HTC-Highroad team, owned and operated by Bob Stapleton. However, then it announced that it would disband at the end of 2011 due to a lack of financial support. Leipheimer's decision to move from RadioShack to Omega Pharma-Quick Step was made easier when it expressed an interest in bringing on HTC-Highroad's equipment sponsor Specialized along with many of its staff and riders.

    "I had the idea that I would go to HTC someday because I thought it was a good fit for me," Leipheimer said. "When Mike called me, and I also spoke with Patrick Lefevere, they explained that the team was going to grow and they were going to invest more in the stage racing side, with Tony Martin, Bert Grabsch and Brian Holm, and others who are coming over from HTC.

    "I was very interested and it seemed like an easy decision after that. Quick Step is one of the best Classics teams in...