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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 17, 2012

Date published:
September 17, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rhodes says farewell with world championship silver

    Alexis Rhodes as well as all the girls are in good spirits.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 3:37 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian "relieved" to end remarkable career

    Australian Alexis Rhodes has called time on her career with a silver medal in the women's team time trial with Orica-AIS aged 27 at the UCI Road World Championships.

    "I'm sort of relieved [it's all over]," she said. "[My career] it's been long, is the best way to describe it."

    Specialized-lululemon had dominated the discipline all season and the trend continued as they finished 24 seconds quicker than Orica-AIS.

    Rhodes joined Judith Arndt, Shara Gillow, Loes Gunnewijk, Melissa Hoskins and Linda Villumsen in Limburg in the effort that she described as "a highlight" of her career which began a decade ago at the junior world track championships where she won gold in the individual pursuit. This year's road world titles will also be the curtain call for German veteran Arndt and so Orica-AIS was particular driven.

    "We put together the best race possible as a tribute to Alexis Rhodes and Judith Arndt, our teammates for whom this was their last professional race," said team sports director Martin Barras. "I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank them both for a wonderful first season with Orica-AIS. It has been a real privilege to work as a team towards a world championship."

    Rhodes was satisfied with her role in the performance on Sunday.

    "Of all the races we've done this year we've always come second to Specialized so we figured second was ours to lose and first was ours to win.

    "We didn't quite get there on the day but I can honestly say I gave it everything I had. Judith and Linda were awesome today and basically towed me around the course."

    Rhodes joined Orica-AIS for their inaugural season and claimed her fourth

  • Davison not focused on retaining NRS lead in Tasmania

    Win number 11 for the season. Luke Davison (Budget Forklifts) wins the 2012 Goulburn to Sydney
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 5:15 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Goulburn to Sydney winner credits Budget Forklifts' determination

    Luke Davison's victory at the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic on Sunday was somewhat of a reflection on his last twelve months.

    Davison joined Brisbane-based outfit Eclipse Pro Cycling before completing the back end of the year National Road Series season with Budget Forklifts where he found an all-new resolve. With his win in the 170km Goulburn to Sydney, Davison chalked up his 11th victory of 2012, the biggest of his burgeoning career - but it wasn't easy by any means.

    "I wasn't feeling fantastic but you've just got to push through it and just persist," the 22-year-old told Cyclingnews. It's a very tough sport and you've just got to keep pushing through the tough times. When you have big wins like this it's awesome but you've definitely got the hard days.

    "They [his teammates] had faith in me and there were some moments where I was really starting to struggle but they came back and they spurred me on. It was just a matter of trying to follow all those attacks and moves."

    Davison had just enough clear space on runner-up Scott Law (Illawarra CC) and Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers) to be able to celebrate his victory in Camden, wearing the white NRS leader's jersey. The Sydney-based rider moved ahead of Giacoppo with his general classification victory at the Tour of Murray River earlier this month, and gained an added buffer of over 200 points on Sunday. According to Davison, the fact that he is able to wear the white jersey is testimony to his Budget Forklifts teammates.

    "The boys deserve it. We've ridden like we've wanted to win the race," he explained. "The amount of time and effort that the managers and the sponsors have put into the team is really showing...

  • Dumoulin takes overall French Cup

    Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) leads the Coupe de France after Tro-Bro Leon
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 9:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Third consecutive series win for Cofidis

    For the third consecutive time, the overall French Cup will again be won by a Cofidis rider, Samuel Dumoulin. With one race left on the 2012 series calendar, the 32-year-old leads the classification by 59 points over second-placed Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun), and is therefore already certain to take the national prize.

    Despite a crash during the race, Dumoulin finished fifth in the final sprint of Sunday's Grand Prix d'Isbergues, the penultimate event of the French Cup. He suffered substantial road rash but still managed to finish the race to gain more points for the French Cup standings.

    "The crash wasn't serious but I have some nice wounds on the leg and left elbow," Dumoulin tweeted after the race. "I did have some trouble to continue."

    His high points tally in the Coupe de France stems from his victory of the GP La Marseillaise at the beginning of the season, as well as his three second placings achieved at the Tour du Finistère, GP de Plumelec and the Polynormande. "Thanks to all the team's riders for putting aside their personal ambitions at every round to win the Coupe de France for the third time," Dumoulin added.

    In 2010, it was Cofidis' Leonardo Duque who led the standings at the end of the season, and last year, Tony Gallopin - now at RadioShack-Nissan - took the trophy home. Dumoulin thus presents Cofidis with a special gift before leaving the team at the end of the season. After five years at the team, the Tour de France stage winner returns to AG2R La Mondiale, where he raced from 2004 to 2007.

    The last round of the French Cup, the Tour de Vendée, will take place of October...

  • Van Garderen shoulders responsibility for Cauberg mistake

    BMC on the podium: Tejay van Garderen, Alessandro Ballan, Philippe Gilbert, Taylor Phinney, Marco Pinotti and Manuel Quinziato
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 10:26 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American’s attention now turns to individual time trial

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing) admitted that his excitement on the Cauberg may have cost BMC the chance of winning the Worlds team time trial in Valkenburg.

    The team finished second to pick up an impressive silver medal but were just three seconds down on winners Omega Pharma – Quick Step over the 53.2km course. At the foot of the final climb van Garderen and his teammates had the Belgian team in their sights, having reduced the deficit from 8 seconds to just two.

    However, van Garderen, who finished in the white jersey at the Tour de France this July, moved to the front, dropping his team and causing them to slow and regroup.

    “The team rode perfectly until the Cauberg and then it all came apart,” a disappointed van Garderen told Cyclingnews at the finish.

    “We heard that we were two seconds down and I think I got a little excited and started putting the hammer down. The next thing I realised I was alone. It sucks that you know that you made a mistake and you finished so close. I have this burden right now that I let the team down because on the Cauberg I blew things apart.”

    “I heard on the radio ‘Tejay you’re alone’ and I thought ‘oh God, this is not good’. I thought there was me Gilbert, Pinotti, Ballan, so four climbers and two seconds down, we can go. I tried to keep it somewhat steady and try and get the two seconds back but I looked back and I was alone and I though ‘shit, now we’ve lost the race’. I’m kicking myself now because we finished three seconds down, and when it’s a mistake that you made, that’s tough. If we’d stayed more...

  • Saronni frustrated with Lampre-ISD's poor performances

    Alessandro Petacchi puts his Lampre teammates through their paces
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 11:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Team manager announces changes after 2012 season

    Following a rather poor performance at the World Championships team time trial, Lampre-ISD manager Giuseppe Saronni has spoken out about his current dissatisfaction with the outfit's poor performances this season. The squad's six riders Adriano Malori, Alessandro Petacchi, Matteo Bono, Davide Cimolai, Daniele Pietropolli and Davide Viganò finished in 28th position of the 32 participating teams, 4:18 minutes adrift of the winning team Omega Pharma-QuickStep. Moreover, the Italian team scored only seven victories this season, none of which were WorldTour events.

    "I didn't expect to be at any level close to the teams that finished in the top quarter of the classification, but a poor showing such like this does not reflect the team's value. This season has been scarce with satisfactory results for our outfit, so I was hoping for a show of pride: but we need a change on a technical as well as a sporting level," Saronni said.

    Lampre directeur sportif Roberto Damiani echoed the team manager's comments. "We knew we couldn't compete with the teams that are much more specialized in this type of competition, but we thought we'd do a little bit better than what we showed today," Damiani added. "For us, this was a test to understand out potential: we started out well, at the first time check we weren't far off the best, but then in the fast part we weren't competitive.

    "Unfortunately, we don't have the instintive skills necessary for a team time trial in an effective way, all those mechanisms that can be acquired only by intensive training. The only positive note was Malori, who is in good form and efficient as always, despite today's result."

    Lampre's total of seven victories so far in 2012 were scored by Diego Ulissi (3), Alessandro Petacchi (3) and Damiano...

  • Voeckler prepares to shoulder French hopes at Worlds

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) celebrates winning stage 16
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 12:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Heavy mileage weekend for Frenchman

    The designated leader of the French team at the world championships in Valkenburg, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has admitted that he is feeling the pressure of the role, which he says is a very different to leading a trade team.

    “I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot of pressure because it’s being written everywhere that the team is built around me,” Voeckler told L’Équipe. “It’s a bit of a heavier burden to carry that the usual responsibility because we’re not in the habit of being part of national teams in cycling. It’s only once a year, and what’s more, you don’t get selected every year!

    “In a trade team, it’s ok, you’re used to it. It’s a closed circle – it’s for me, it’s for my team… But when you wear the French colours, it’s something else. You can’t afford to blow it.”

    Voeckler’s heavy weekend schedule was a demonstration of the seriousness with which he is preparing the Worlds. On Saturday, he completed what he called a “mini Milan-San Remo” by riding the GP Impanis-Van Petegem and then training after the race, clocking up 285km in all.

    Voeckler repeated that kind of effort on Sunday, riding 60 kilometres before lining up at the Grand Prix d’Isbergues, where he finished in 35th place. “I felt a bit tired, but that’s normal, because on Saturday, I racked up 285 kilometres.”

    The Frenchman’s build-up also included the GP de Québec and GP de Montréal last week, although he admitted that in hindsight, he should not have travelled to Canada. “It was only two days ago that I began to recover from the jetlag and because of that, I couldn’t work in training as I would have...

  • Breschel confirmed at Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank

    Matti Breschel (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 14:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Danish Classics specialist agrees to two-year deal

    After having spent two seasons riding for Dutch team Rabobank, Matti Breschel has agreed to return to Bjarne Riis' team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. The Danish team has announced a two-year deal with the Classics rider, who recently won a stage in the Vuelta a Burgos and had top ten results in both Tour of Flanders and Gent-Welvelgem this year.

    "At the end of the day, the choice wasn't that difficult, even though I have enjoyed being part of Rabobank," Breschel said, confirming the rumours that had him signing with Riis at the end of July. "Personally I have great ambitions, and I'm convinced Bjarne and the team are the right ones to help me move on. Over the last two years I have always kept in contact with Bjarne, and now, when I had the opportunity to come back, I wouldn't miss it. After all, this team is where I feel at home. I'm super happy to be able to return to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, and I'm very much looking forward to the coming season."

    The 28-year-old Breschel has had some difficulties due to various injuries in the last couple of years, but hopes to build up again to his former level and take full advantage of his abilities in 2013.

    "Ever since Matti left the team a couple of years ago, I have always hoped for him to come back to the team for obvious reasons," commented team manager Riis. "I know Matti very well, both as an athlete and as a person, and I know what he is capable of on the bike. In peak form I have no doubts that he has the potential to win a spring classic or the Worlds one day, and together we will pursue this goal. It will take a whole lot of hard work and commitment, but Matti is eager to start over again...

  • Olympic gold medalist Hansen narrowly misses Worlds podium

    Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) finished fourth, just two seconds shy of a bronze medal.
    Article published:
    September 17, 2012, 17:07 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dane will stay in U23 ranks for another year

    Olympic Omnium champion Lasse Norman Hansen (Denmark) missed out on a medal in the U23 Worlds time trial by just 2 seconds, finishing fourth in the 36 kilometre individual test on Monday.

    The 20-year-old lined-up as an outside podium contender having made a smooth transition from the boards of the Olympic velodrome to the road in recent weeks. He was 10th in the European time trial championships which took place within a matter of days his Games success but backed that up with second place in the Tour de l'Avenir prologue earlier this month.

    In Monday’s race Hansen posted the third best times at both time checks at 13.1km and 26.5km but he faded on the ascent of the Cauberg just as Damien Howson (Australia) found enough energy to turn a two second deficit into an advantage.

    "That was really hard but I felt better than ever for a time trial. I can’t really describe the feeling. On the one had it’s a great comeback after the Olympics so I’m satisfied," Hansen told Cyclingnews.

    "I’m happy with my performance here but it’s still bitter to be pulled down from the podium by two seconds."

    Asked if the transition from track to road had taken time to adjust to, he said: "It’s been difficult. This was a big goal for me on the road this season so it hasn’t been a problem to focus on this but the European championships and the Tour de l'Avenir was really difficult."

    After the success at the Olympics, where Hansen claimed one of two Danish gold medals from the entire athletic programme, interest in his future greatly intensified. At just 20 he has decided to remain in the U23 ranks for at least one...