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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 5, 2011

Date published:
September 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Goss attempts to rescue worlds campaign at Giro di Padania

    Britain's Mark Cavendish enjoys a joke with Australian Matt Goss.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 3:30 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Milan-San Remo winner lines up with national team

    In a bid to rescue his campaign prior to his tilt at his second UCI Road World Championships later this month, Matt Goss will line up in an Australian composite team at the Giro di Padania in Italy on Tuesday.

    Goss (HTC-Highroad) became the first rider to abandon the Vuelta after being dogged by food poisoning since the day before the start of the Grand Tour. With HTC-Highroad not running a team at Paris-Brussels, where Goss told Cyclingnews he was hoping to get a start, Australian National Men's Road Coordinator Matt White was forced to look at other options in order to keep the Milan-San Remo winner on track prior to the worlds in Copenhagen.

    As he'll line up for his national team at the six-day stage race, Goss was able to get clearance from Vuelta organisers – unlike his HTC-Highroad teammate Mark Cavendish who Cyclingnews understands is struggling to find a start given the limited options between now and the elite men's road race on September 25. The Tour of Britain (September 11-18) is believed to be his best bet.

    Goss will be joined at Padania by Wes Sulzberger (FDJ), Mitch Docker (Skil-Shimano), Cameron Meyer (Garmin-Cervelo), Lachlan Norris (Drapac),...

  • Boonen abandons Vuelta with broken scaphoid

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 5:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian "very disappointed" with injury so close to worlds

    Tom Boonen has been forced to abandon the Vuelta a España after being involved in a pile up prior to the Alto del Cordal during stage 15. The Belgian was able to finish the stage, despite a serious contusion on his left hand.

    "I was 20th in the group when in the span of a moment I found myself on the ground, due to a sudden movement of the peloton," Boonen explained in a Quickstep media release.

    "I immediately understood that my problem was serious, but I wanted to finish the race and then evaluate what to do together with the team's medical staff. I didn't even manage to hold the handlebar, I had a lot of trouble getting to the finish line."

    Tests carried out at the General Hospital in Gijon revealed Boonen had sustained a fracture to his left scaphoid.

    The 30-year-old has been struggling throughout the Vuelta, revealing late last week that he was suffering from an uncomfortable groin wound. It’s now highly unlikely the 2005 world champion will be in a position to compete in Copenhagen later this month.

    "It's a really tough moment for me," Boonen said of his abandonment. "I was doing really well in the past few days and, as we're getting closer to the World Championship, it was perfect. The entire scenario changed in a moment. I am very disappointed."


  • Hepburn, Dennis set the standard at the Tour de l'Avenir

    Michael Hepburn (Australia)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 7:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Young Australians the ones to beat in the "race of the future"

    Continuing their season of great results, the next generation of Australians posted another one-two result at the Tour de l'Avenir with Michael Hepburn and Rohan Dennis posting the top two times in the prologue time trial on Sunday. Tom Dumoulin of the Netherlands was third.

    Aided by a tailwind, Hepburn set a winning time of 0:07:13 for an average speed of 54km/h with Dennis just four seconds back – streaks ahead of Dumoulin, 18 seconds in arrears of Hepburn.The other members of the Australian team finished solidly with Richard Lang, Jay McCarthy (+ 32sec), Pat Lane (+ 36sec) and Thomas Palmer (+ 49sec).

    "Big congrats to Dirty Dennis on 2nd and the rest of the Aussie boys with great rides! Hope this is a good enough present Dad!" said Hepburn post-race on his Twitter feed, with his win falling on Father's Day.

    The result almost mirrored that of the Olympia's Tour in May where Australia also went one-two, although Australian under 23 time trial champion Luke Durbridge pipped Hepburn by a meagre few tenths of a second.

    The following month, Hepburn took out the second stage of the Tour of Norway and then combined with Jayco-AIS teammates to win the 22km team time trial of the Thüringen-Rundfahrt. Hepburn is also a member of Australia's world champion team pursuit squad which won gold at the UCI Track World Championships in March.

    Hepburn's win on Sunday in the "race of the future" gives the Queenslander the lead in both the overall and sprint classifications and given...

  • More rumours around Leopard Trek-RadioShack merger

    Brice Feillu (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 9:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Still no confirmation from either team management

    The rumours linking up Luxembourg team Leopard Trek with American outfit RadioShack, also equipped by Trek, continue to persist. On Monday, French newspaper L'Equipe has claimed that eleven Leopard Trek riders still under contract for next season have been asked to look for another employer.

    Indeed, with a limit of 30 riders per ProTeam and 13 riders also still under contract with Johan Bruyneel for 2012, at least ten riders will need to be let go if the two teams decide to merge.

    According to L'Equipe, eleven riders on the Leopard Trek team managed by Brian Nygaard have been asked to look for another squad for next season, including Brice Feillu, Fabian Wegmann, Thomas Rohregger, Martin Mortensen, Martin Pedersen, Tom Stamsnijer, Bruno Pirès, Anders Lund and Davide Vigano. Moreover, the contract of German veteran Jens Voigt runs out at the end of this year.

    Although there is still no official confirmation of the merger, the paper also maintains that current Leopard Trek manager Nygaard will return to his former role as a press officer next year, this time working for the new-born Australian team GreenEdge.

    "In 2012, RadioShack, with the financial support of Trek and Nissan, should continue its adventures with the Schleck brothers as leaders," wrote L'Equipe journalist Manuel Martinez. "Becca will be part of the project but should not invest more than half of the budget he has personally put in this year."

    RadioShack manager Bruyneel is also maintaining his silence, but is apparently back at the Vuelta a España after a trip to Luxembourg last week. While one of his team leaders, Levi Leipheimer, will be riding for Belgian team Quick Step next year, Frenchman Geoffroy Lequatre and...

  • Cavendish confirmed for Tour of Britain

    A relaxed Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) rolls to the start.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 10:06 BST
    Cycling News

    HTC-Highroad announces line-up for sprinter's home race

    HTC-Highroad has confirmed that Mark Cavendish will be part of its selection for the Tour of Britain, which starts in Peebles, Scotland, on September 11. The news reported by British newspaper The Telegraph ends speculation on whether Cavendish would take part in the eight-day event following his withdrawal from the Vuelta a España almost two weeks ago.

    Indeed, the rider needed special permission from the UCI to do so. The world governing body's rules state that if a rider pulls out of one of a race, he cannot enter another for the duration of the original event - and the Vuelta and Tour of Britain overlap by one day. However, rules also allow exceptions for major tours.

    It will be the first time since 2007 that Cavendish will compete in his home race, although his HTC-Highroad team has claimed the overall title twice with Edvald Boasson Hagen and Michael Albasini.

    "We're delighted to have Mark return to the Tour, as to a certain extent we feel he has grown up with the Tour of Britain, thanks to impressive performances in 2005 and 2006, and his wins in 2007," race director Mick Bennett said.

    "It's a tremendous boost for the race to have Britain's most successful Tour de France cyclist competing in the Tour of Britain. Thanks to his success Mark has transcended cycling to become a household name, so we're sure that many casual fans will be excited about this opportunity to see him racing in Britain."

    Bennett believes the 2011 Tour will field its strongest line-up since the reintroduction of the race to the cycling calendar in 2004. "I think Mark is the last 'surprise' inclusion. The big...

  • Andy Schleck ruled out of GP de Québec and GP de Montréal

    As part of his programme to improve in time trials, Andy Schleck beefs up with pizza. This time next year he'll look like his derny driver.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 10:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Wisdom tooth operation for Luxembourg rider

    Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) will forgo the GP de Québec and GP de Montréal in order to undergo surgery to remove a wisdom tooth.

    The Luxembourger suffered an infection to the root of his left wisdom tooth during the recent USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and a statement from his team explained that “complications demanded the surgical removal of the tooth.”

    “I regret that I can’t take part in these two races because I love racing in North America, and I was very excited by the idea of taking part in these two Canadian races,” Schleck said, according to Le Quotidien.

    Schleck will not be replaced in the Leopard Trek line-up for the two Canadian races. In his absence, Brice Feillu and Fabian Wegmann will be the headline names for the Luxembourg squad, which has been heavily linked with a merger with RadioShack in recent days. Schleck is expected to return to action at the GP Wallonie in Belgium on September 14.

    “It’s a disappointment but we understand his decision and we wish Andy good health, hoping to see him on our roads next year,” said Serge Arsenault, organiser of the Canadian events, which take place on Friday and Sunday.

    Leopard Trek team for GP de Québec and GP de Montréal: Brice Feillu, Fabian Wegmann, Anders Lund, Stefan Denifl, Martin Mortensen, Tom Stamsnijder and Bruno Pires.



  • Wegelius calls time on cycling career

    Charly Wegelius (UnitedHealthcare)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 11:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Domestique hangs up his wheel after 11 seasons

    Charles Wegelius will retire after 11 seasons in the professional ranks. The 33-year-old will make his final racing appearance at the Giro di Padania this week in Italy.

    Wegelius rode as a stagiare for the Linda McCartney Racing Team in 1999 and was snapped up by the Mapei team at the start of 2001. A solid climber, Wegelius made a name for himself as a reliable domestique and rode ten grand tours for De Nardi, Liquigas and Silence-Lotto. He rode for UnitedHealthCare this season.

    “During my career I did what I could as a rider, always trying to give my best for my team and my teammates. I think my work was appreciated and made a difference, especially in races like the Giro d'Italia,” Wegelius said.

    “One of the my proudest moments in that sense came at the 2006 Giro when I read in Gazzetta dello Sport that Eddy Merckx said his son Axel would have won the previous day's stage to Peschici if he'd had a teammate like me to help him. It was nice to hear such praise from some one like Merckx.”

    Despite his talents and work rate Wegelius never won a professional bike race on his own. He did, however, form part of three team time trial wins.

    “Of course I've got a few regrets and wish I could have done some things differently but I'm proud of my career,” he said.

    “One of the big regrets is that I never won a race. I was part of three team time trial winning teams but that is not like winning alone. I went very close this year at the Vuelta Asturias on a mountain finish but finished third after Constantino Zaballa passed me in the final kilometre.”

    Wegelius was also part of the controversial Great Britain Worlds team in 2005. Along...

  • Nibali endures Angliru disappointment

    Defending champion Vincenzo Nibali lost more time and all hope of the win
    Article published:
    September 05, 2011, 12:11 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sicilian under-raced in Vuelta build-up?

    After seeing his hopes of a repeat victory at the Vuelta a España evaporate on the slopes of the Angliru on Sunday, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) admitted that he was at a loss to explain why he was unable to match the other overall contenders on the vertiginous slopes of the Asturias climb.

    Nibali crossed the line in 15th place, 2:37 down on stage winner and new race leader Juan José Cobo (Geox-TMC). Already on the back foot after losing ground at La Farrapona on Saturday, Nibali’s lost weekend has seen him slip to 8th place, 3:27 behind Cobo.

    “I had a bad spell,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It seemed like it was going to be a good day, but it didn’t work out like that. I’ll assess carefully what I did wrong, but it’s not easy to say so soon afterwards. I’m the first person to know that the real Nibali is better than the one you’ve seen in the past two days.”

    Nibali’s Liquigas-Cannondale teammates were prominent at the head of the peloton on the approach to the base of the Angliru, but even before the road pitched up to its sharpest gradients, the Sicilian began to lose contact with the red jersey group.

    “I thought I was going quite well, so I asked the team to set a strong rhythm,” he explained. “I didn’t want there to be too many of us at the foot of the Angliru, but on the steeper sections, I understood that Cobo couldn’t wait to attack.”

    Nibali admitted that he was surprised by Cobo’s display...