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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 27, 2010

Date published:
September 27, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Freire says Worlds course finish good for him

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 10:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Wind may play a role in race, Spaniards say

    Oscar Freire is optimisitic about his chances for a fourth world title. He rode the Melbourne course this weekend for the first time.
    “The finish is good for me,” he said in a statement issued by the Spanish cycling federation. “All of the Worlds courses have their difficulties, and this one is different from that of lsrt year.”

    He said the Australian course is “going to be faster, with more chances of recovery and is unlikely to see an attack by a solo rider, but that depends on the wind.”

    Like Freire, Garate said that the wind could play a significant role, “The wind can be decisive, because if it blows from the front on steep slopes will be impossible for anyone to go out alone, but if it comes from the back, it can be very dangerous."

    Freire, 34, got his 2010 season off to a great start, with five wins in addition to his third victory at Milano-Sanremo. Things went downhill for him after early April, as his highest finish in the Tour de France was fifth in the closing stage. After the Tour he underwent surgery on his nose and sinuses, and returned to the Vuelta a Espana, which he abandoned on the 15th stage.

  • Appollonio signs for Movistar

    Davide Appollonio (l) and Romain Feillu on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 11:14 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Three-year contract for young Italian

    Davide Appollonio will ride for Movistar in 2011. Biciciclismo reports that Appollonio has signed a three-year contract with the Spanish squad.

    The Italian turned professional with Cervélo TestTeam this year and obtained some impressive results. He took a stage win at the Tour du Limousin and second place finishes at the GP Fourmies and the Tour de Vendée.

    With Cervélo TestTeam disbanding at the end of the season, Movistar appear to have moved swiftly to secure Appollonio’s services. According to Biciciclismo, manager Eusebio Unzue has high hopes that the 21-year-old will develop into a classics contender at the team.

  • Voeckler waiting for a miracle

    Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 12:06 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Bernaudeau still holding out for Bbox's future

    With a decision on the future of his Bbox Bouygues Telecom team pending on Monday, Thomas Voeckler has admitted that he is “waiting for a miracle.”

    The French champion has stoked interest from a number of other teams but recognises that if he opts to leave Bbox at this point, Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team will not exist next season.

    “I’m lucky that a lot of teams want to sign me, but they also understand my commitment to Jean-René,” Voeckler told Ouest France. “If I let Jean-René down, then there’d be no more team.

    “I want it to continue so we have to keep going to the end. There’s been a little bit of hope since Friday and things have started moving. We’re waiting for a miracle…”

    Voeckler has spent his entire professional career with Bernaudeau’s team and has never been in such a position before. “At this time of the year, our future was always already secured,” he said. “This is the first time that I’ve been obliged to think of other options and make a choice.”

    Pierrick Fédrigo and Nicolas Vogondy have already left the team for FDJ and Cofidis, respectively, but Voeckler has opted to persevere with Bernaudeau until the last possible moment. “I’ve taken it upon myself to think about things, I don’t have an agent,” he said. “But I shouldn’t complain about my situation.

    “There are other riders and staff and for them it’s not just a question of knowing whether or not they’re leaving the team, but of whether or not they’ll have a job. I have no right to complain.”

    Meanwhile, Jean-René Bernaudeau has told L’Équipe that he is still hopeful of saving his team even though his potential sponsor is reportedly stalling on making a decision. “That’s not necessarily...

  • Verbrugghe joins BMC management team

    Thanks very much Rik Verbrugghe salutes from the podium
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 13:10 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian leaves Quick Step after two years

    Rik Verbrugghe will be a directeur sportif with BMC next season. The former Tour de France and Giro d’Italia stage winner retired from racing at the end of 2008 and has been part of Quick Step’s management for the past two years.

    “BMC Racing Team has a bright future ahead of it, with both young and experienced riders,” Verbrugghe said. “It also has a very modern approach and that’s crucial. This team will be very productive very soon.”

    BMC Racing president Jim Ochowicz was pleased with the capture of Verbrugghe’s services: “He’s someone who’s fresh off the racing scene, but who also has experience in the field directing a ProTour level team.”

    Verbrugghe will serve as directeur sportif at many of the one-week stage races in the early part of 2011, while Fabio Baldato will take charge of the team at the Giro d’Italia. Michael Sayers will be behind the wheel for American races, including the Tour of California.

    “Even though Rik only has two years of experience as a directeur sportif, he has a great insight into all the races,” BMC manager John Lelangue said. “From talking to him during races we’ve both been at, we seem to share the same view of things.”

  • Martin says time trial course harder than expected

    Race leader Tony Martin held onto his advantage by finishing 8th.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 15:08 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Climbs don't scare German national champion

    The Worlds time trial course is harder than Tony Martin had expected, especially the climbs. The German admitted that while it is not his ideal terrain, he still sees himself as a candidate for a medal.

    “I must admit, my mouth fell open the first time I saw the climbs,” he told “The course is really challenging, even if not technical.”

    “This is not a rolling course,” he continued, “but with the 10-to 15 percent gradient climbs it will really require a lot of strength – irregular, windy and with a rough surface.”

    Despite the difficult climbs, the German time trial champion expects the race to go a a pure time triallist, rather than a climber. “I don't think that a climber will win here. The climbs are too short for that.”

    His pick to win gold is titleholder Fabian Cancellara, even if “Fabian will also surely not be exactly happy about the climbs.”

    Cancellara has beaten Martin in every time trial this year, with the exception of the Tour de Romandie and Tour of California. In the Tour de France, the Swiss rider won both time trials with Martin second. However, in the long time trial near the end of the Tour, Martin was the only one to finish close to Cancellara, only 17 seconds down. In addition, Cancellara finished only third in the Vuelta a Espana time trial, 37 seconds behind Martin's HTC-Columbia teammate Peter Velits.

    Martin, 25, is also riding the road race on Sunday, where he will help the German team. “To be perfectly honest, I have prepared for the time trial and don't want to do anything by half measures. Plus I don't have the condition for 260 kilometres, to be able to ride for the win after six hours.”

    He has also joined the chorus of those who are doubting a mass sprint finish. “I think that it will be hard for the pure sprinters, even if I trust Andre Greipel to...

  • Women's Worlds race may be pushed back for football

    The peloton stays together early in the women's World Championship road race.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 15:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Bauer steps in for Vennell on New Zealand team

    The women's road race world championship race may kick off earlier than originally scheduled due to a conflict with an Australian Rules Football match.

    Last Saturday's AFL Grand Final between Collingwood and St. Kilda ended in the first draw in 33 years, making the previously remote possibility of an overlap between the two events this coming Saturday a reality.

    The football match is expected to draw upwards of 100,000 fans to the pitch in Melbourne, while the world championship race in neighboring Geelong was anticipated to attract 50,000 spectators.

    While the overlap between football and cycling fans is likely not huge, race organiser Michael Palmer told the Geelong Advertiser he felt sick when he realized that the nightmare scenario of an overlap would materialize.

    "While it might have an impact on the crowd numbers, I don't think we're suddenly going to go from 50,000 to zero," Palmer said. "Instead of 50,000 we might have 47,000 or 45,000.

    "It's just more about the publicity. Our media partners have been very good, but of course the replay is going to be the biggest game, media-wise, in history, probably."

    The start of the women's race may be moved 30 minutes earlier to put the finish in the middle of the football match's first quarter, but former Australian national champion Birdie O'Donnell wasn't happy with that solution, and wants the start moved even earlier so that there will be no overlap between the finale of the women's race and the replay of the AFL grand final.

    ''I don't know if this clash is damaging, but it makes me feel very dismayed, because it is hard enough to get cycling in general in the papers, let alone women's cycling. People, when they think of cycling, think of the Tour de France and men's elite cycling. I had my hopes that this was a really wonderful opportunity where people could visualise and witness excellent work. Like any race, men's or women's,...

  • Xacobeo four days from extinction

    Spanish team Xacobeo Galicia
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 18:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Galician team needs to find a sponsor to ensure its survival

    The Xacobeo-Galicia team have revealed that they need to find a new backer before this coming Friday in order to avoid going under. Having already lost star rider Ezequiel Mosquera to Vacansoleil following his second place finish in the Vuelta a España and team manager Alvaro Pino to retirement, the Spanish pro continental team is battling for its future.

    José Ramón Lete, the secretary-general for sport in the Galician regional government (the Xunta), has pledged to do all that he can to locate a new backer for the team before Friday, which is the final date on which teams must be registered with the UCI for 2011.

    Lete has said that he has been speaking to a variety of potential partners in recent days, but he has not been able to finalise a deal that will guarantee the team’s future. Hopes had been raised when it was revealed the Xunta was in talks with Aluminios Cortizo, but according to La Voz de Galicia these negotiations ended without result last Friday (September 24).

    Xacobeo went through similar problems and almost went under at the end of last season, before the Xunta stepped forward to provide financial guarantees to the UCI. Describing the situation as “extremely delicate”, Lete has confirmed that the riders and staff on the team will receive their salaries until their contracts run out at the end of the year.

    With Mosquera already confirmed as leaving, Xacobeo’s other main star, Gustavo César Veloson, has admitted he is in negotiations with two ProTour teams, one of them based outside Spain. He said he is almost certain to leave “unless there is some kind of miracle”. Veloso lamented the fact that “we have gone from being heroes in Galicia and even at national level to being out in the street. It’s sad that the future of this project is not guaranteed”.

  • Romoli's rehabilitation continues

    Marina Romoli
    Article published:
    September 27, 2010, 19:38 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Italian team jerseys will carry dedication to injured rider

    Marina Romoli (Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan) is continuing her arduous recovery from the injuries that she sustained in a training accident on June 1. The Italian rider remains at the Villa Beretta rehabilitation clinic in Lombardy, where she has been undergoing intensive therapy since late June.

    “I’m still at Villa Beretta,” Romoli told Gazzetta dello Sport. “However, I have a special dispensation to get out at weekends and go to the house that my parents have rented nearby in Costa Masnaga. I can go there during the week as well, but only so long as I’m back before the 9 o’clock curfew.”

    Romoli was struck by a car while training near Lecco in June, injuring her back and sustaining deep lacerations to her face. She was placed in an induced coma for over a week and remains unable to walk.

    “My rehabilitation is continuing every day in the gym,” Romoli explained. “My upper body is improving and now I’m becoming more mobile there, but my legs still aren’t showing much sign of life.”

    As well as working on her recovery in the gym, sessions in the swimming pool have been added to Romoli’s rehabilitation. “I go there once a week,” she said. “From the first moment, it was a most beautiful feeling. At least in water, I get to feel quite normal. I can swim without using floats. I have a bit of an advantage here because I used to swim competitively when I was younger, although my legs just float behind me.”

    Romoli has also begun using a wheelchair to move around but is still working to regain the use of her legs. “I’m learning how to use my wheelchair and I want to learn as much as possible so that I don’t need to ask anyone for help,” she said. “But my goal is still the same: to walk again.”

    As a silver medallist at the 2006 junior world championship road race, Romoli will be...