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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 10, 2012

Date published:
September 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Freire a dark horse for Worlds

    Oscar Freire (Katusha)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 10:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard shows good form at recent one-day races

    While the Spanish sports media have been largely focusing on the Vuelta a España these past three weeks, another Spanish rider fine-tuned his form ahead of the World Championships in Northern Europe, at the Paris-Brussels and GP Fourmies races. Besides Vuelta winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank), his runner-up Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) and third-placed Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), triple world champion Oscar Freire could also be one of the favourite candidates of national coach José Luis de Santos when he will choose his line-up for the upcoming Worlds in Valkenburg, Netherlands.

    Freire performed well recently by finishing third behind Tom Boonen in Paris-Brussels, and going on a 180km-breakaway on the roads of the GP Fourmies the very next day - clearly showing his intentions of shaping up to the big event in two weeks. Even though he failed to score a win, his confidence is still on a high.

    "Of course, it's always better to win, but I reassured myself. I'm on time," Freire told L'Equipe on Sunday evening, after almost having held off the chasing peloton to the finish line. The Katusha rider and his breakaway companion, Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank), were caught just after the last kilometer banner, where the third man of the escape and race winner, Lars Ytting Bak (Lotto Belisol) made his decisive move.

    Spain has a...

  • Hunt to retire at the end of 2012 season

    Sky's Jeremy Hunt on the Molenberg
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 11:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider closes out final season

    Jeremy Hunt has announced that he will retire at the end of the season, drawing the curtain on a professional career that has spanned three decades.

    "As a young boy I dreamed of racing my bike professionally. With the support and guidance of many, I was able to pursue those dreams,” Hunt said on the Team Sky website.

    Hunt, 38, turned professional in 1996 for Miguel Indurain’s Banesto team and mixed it with the likes of Erik Zabel and Mario Cipollini in bunch sprints during the first few years of his career. After winning 11 races in his second season, he extended with the Spanish team for another two years before moving to BigMat - Auber '93 in 2000. He also rode for MBK-Oktos-Saint Quentin, Mr Bookmaker,, Credit Agricole and the Cervelo TestTeam before joining Sky in 2011 on a one-year deal. He re-signed with the British squad for one final season after Mark Cavendish’s win at the Worlds in Copenhagen.

    "Through the difficult times and memorable moments, the experiences during my career have been far more fulfilling and memorable than I would have ever imagined.

    "Those moments will stay with me forever, have matured me and have given me a lifetime of experiences. I know cycling will always remain a part of my life, whether I am a professional or city commuter, as it is my passion.

    "After reflecting on my career and considering my future and family, I have made the decision that this will be my last season of racing.

    "There are many people I would like to thank who have helped and supported me over the years: the Mid Devon road club and Colin Lewis guided me as a boy; CC Giro and Bob Grinsell and Pascal Codier at St Quentin taught me and coached me through the ranks. As a professional I rode for many teams but in Team Sky I found home.”

    Hunt was a...

  • Valverde to hold Vuelta form until Worlds

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 13:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Vuelta a España runner-up still motivated

    After 79 days of competition this season and having raced Tour de France, the Olympic Games and the Vuelta a España this summer, Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is still motivated to hold his form another two weeks to participate in the World Championships in Valkenburg, the Netherlands. The Spaniard, who just finished second overall at the Vuelta, is looking forward to some well-deserved rest this week, but remains excited about the Worlds road race course and the opportunities it may offer to the Spanish team.

    "It may sound untrue, but I finished this Vuelta still feeling eager to race, and I'm going to the Worlds with a lot of ambition," the Movistar rider told Bicicilismo. "After all these hard days, I still want more and I think I can do well in the Netherlands. To win will be difficult, but I think I have the legs."

    An Ardennes Classics specialist, Valverde knows the roads of the Worlds course well from having finished on the podium of Amstel Gold Race once, in 2008. Together with Vuelta winner Alberto Contador, overall third-placed Joaquim Rodriguez and triple world champion Oscar Freire, Spain will have a strong contingent in Valkenburg two weeks from now.

    "But this week will all be about total recovery," the 32-year-old meanwhile admitted. "It's better to rest well and to do good training rides on the week of the Championships, than to continue to strain the body right away."

  • Evelyn Stevens heads to Worlds in form

    On the podium - winner, Evelyn Stevens (Specialized - lululemon)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 16:15 BST
    Daniel Benson

    US athlete takes on TTT before racing in stars and stripes

    Evelyn Stevens is hoping to transfer her strong recent form into next week’s Worlds where she’ll compete for both her trade team, Specialized – Lululemon, and the US.

    Stevens recently finished second overall in the Holland’s Ladies Tour behind Marianne Vos, but with Stevens and her Lululemon teammates winning the race's team time trial, the American could get off to the perfect start at the Worlds in the team time trial. The American will then compete in the individual time trial and road race for the US.

    “I was second yesterday in Holland. It’s been a long season but I like the Worlds courses and it’s really exiting to have he chances to ride the team time trial with Specialized – Lululemon. We did a team time trial in Holland so to get the chance to compete for a World championship medal with the team, is really exciting,” the 29-year-old told Cyclingnews.

    Specialized – Lululemon has yet to announce their line up for the 34.2 km team time trial but Stevens added that the squad will be similar to the one that dominated the discipline at the Holland Ladies Tour. Despite the win Stevens isn’t allowing herself to become complacent and while a gold medal is the goal she admits that a number of other teams will raise the bar.

    “You can’t ever underestimate anyone. Everyone is to bring their ‘A game’ and there’s a lot of completion out there.”

    Once the team event is out of the way Stevens will switch her attentions to national duties...

  • Boonen, Gilbert head Belgian team for world championships

    For the first time in his career Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) has won Paris-Brussels
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 18:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Vanendert disappointed to miss out on team

    Belgium announced its nine-rider team for the upcoming UCI Road World Championships, naming Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) as its protected riders.

    Boonen and Gilbert have both shown themselves to be on form in the past weeks: the Belgian champion showed his colors on the top step of the podium at Paris-Brussels, while Gilbert won two stages in the Vuelta a Espana.

    Selector Carlo Bomans explained the choices to, stating the team's ambition: "Like every year, we are going to win," Bomans said.

    Boonen picked Stijn Vandenbergh as his helper, while Gilbert opted to nominate Kevin De Weert, a teammate of Boonen, according to Sporza.

    Also named to the squad are Vacansoleil-DCM's Björn Leukemans, Gianni Meersman and Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol), Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) and Garmin-Sharp's Johan Vansummeren, who was picked as a worker rather than including someone like Jelle Vanendert, who came second in the Amstel Gold Race which finished on the same climb which will be employed at the Limburg world championships.

    "Johan is a worker in the pure sense of the word, perhaps the only one in the Belgian squad," Bomans said.

    Vanendert was named as a reserve rider, along with Jan Bakelants, Dries Devenyns, Ben Hermans and Nick Nuyens, but was quite unhappy with the snub.

    "I had my sights on the World Championships, and I have done everything I could. This is a serious blow," Vanendert said to Sporza.

    Belgium for the UCI road world championships

    Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma-Quickstep
    Kevin De Weert (Bel) Omega...

  • Hopes of France lie with Voeckler at world championships

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) on the podium
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 19:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Ferrand-Prévot headlines women's team

    French national team selector Laurent Jalabert has built the country's team for the UCI Road World Championships around Thomas Voeckler, L'Equipe reported today. The feisty Europcar rider will have several other puncheurs at his side, including Sylvain Chavanel and Tony Gallopin.

    With the Limburg road race course finishing just after the Cauberg, Voeckler's fifth place in the Amstel Gold Race on the same climb shows he has the capabilities for a high finish this year.

    Voeckler will also be assisted by his trade teammate Vincent Jerome, Mickaël Delage and Arthur Vichot (FDJ-Big Mat), Jérémie Galland (Saur - Sojasun), Maxim Bouet (AG2R) and Jerome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun).

    Chavanel will also compete in the time trial along with Jérémy Roy (FDJ - Big Mat).

    France's top finisher at the 2012 Olympic Games women's road race, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, will head up the women's team for the road race.

    France for the UCI Road World Championships

    Road Race: Maxime Bouet (AG2R), Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick Step), Jerome Coppel (Saur-Sojasun), Mickael Delage (FDJ-BigMat), Jérémie Galland (Saur-Sojasun), Tony Gallopin (Radioshack Nissan), Vincent Jerome (Europcar), Arthur Vichot (FDJ-BigMat) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar). Reserve: Jérémy Roy (FDJ-BigMat)

    Time trial: Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma - Quick Step), Jérémy Roy (FDJ-Big Mat)

    Women's road race: Sandrine Bideau, Audrey Cordon, Sophie Creux, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Edwige Pitel, Amélie Rivat. Reserve: Mélodie Lesueur

  • IG Pro Cycling Index: Tour of Britain competition

    Luke Rowe (Team Sky) wins the opening stage of the 2012 Tour of Britain
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 20:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Win a Specialized Tarmac Expert SL3

    IG is an official partner of the Tour of Britain and to celebrate the biggest and best ever edition of the race, we’re holding a special competition on the IG Cycling Facebook page.

    IG will give away a prize after every stage of the Tour of Britain – with prizes including an autographed Mark Cavendish world champion’s jersey, a set of Mavic Ksyrium SLS wheels, a Garmin Edge 800 GPS, Team Sky fi’zi:k saddles, a Velobici sweater, and Specialized shoes and helmet. The top prize for the final stage is a brand new Specialized bike worth more than £2500 and a Tour of Britain jersey signed by the overall race winner.

    The competition is open to anyone over 18. Follow the linkabove, ‘like’ the page, enter your name and email address and you have a chance of winning some great prizes. The contest is open until the final rider crosses the line at the final stage on Sunday 16th September. Each winner will be selected randomly and has 72 hours to claim their prize after being contacted.

    This year’s Tour of Britain starts on Sunday September 9 with a stage from Ipswich to the Royal Norfolk Showground and ends in Guildford a week later after some testing racing across England, Scotland, Wales and the hilly South West. 102 riders will compete in this year’s Tour of Britain, including Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins and world champion Mark Cavendish of Team Sky.

    Visit the IG Cycling Facebook page for inside news and posts from the Tour of Britain.

    Check out our series of special Tour of Britain videos that give insight on the secrets of each stage of the race.


  • Farrar out of Tour of Britain with concussion

    Tyler Farrar (United States of America)
    Article published:
    September 10, 2012, 21:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Sharp rider's worlds could be in jeopardy

    Garmin-Sharp sprinter Tyler Farrar dropped out of the Tour of Britain this morning before the race's second stage. According to team doctor Prentice Steffen, he was diagnosed with a concussion following a stage 1 crash and unable to continue.

    "Tyler was unable to take the start at the Tour of Britain today after crashing heavily during stage one, significantly hitting his head and suffering a severe concussion," Steffen said. "The team has a strict head injury policy and protocol and Tyler continues to undergo evaluation. Team medical staff is working closely with him to monitor his condition."

    Farrar was named to USA Cycling's team for the UCI road world championships, which start on September 16 with the team time trial. It is not clear whether he will be able to participate in the road race on September 23.