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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 21, 2012

Date published:
January 21, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: Garmin-Barracuda train in Calpe

    Team leader Christian Vande Velde
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 15:12 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vaughters' team heads to the coast

    A lot has changed at Garmin in the last few months with riders leaving, riders coming and a new co-sponsor in Barracuda coming on board.

    Ten riders, including Thor Hushovd, departed for new teams in the off-season but Slipstream has picked up a number of bargains in the transfer market with Thomas Dekker, Fabian Wegmann, and Koldo Fernandez all joining.

    The core of the squad remains relatively stable with Heinrich Haussler, Martijn Maaskant and Johan Van Summeren to lead at the Classics and the trio of Christrian Vande Velde, Ryder Hesjdal and Tom Danielson expected to manage the team’s expectations in the grand tours.

    With part of the squad competing at the Tour Down Under the rest of the team headed to Calpe, Spain, for their second major camp in as many months. These photos, from Lucas Gilman, show off the team as they prepare for the season.
     

  • Murphy wants to get back to winning with Kenda/5-Hour Energy

    John Murphy (OUCH pb Maxxis) already enjoying his time in the stars and stripes jersey.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 17:51 GMT
    By:
    Neil Browne

    Former criterium champion returns home after European stint

    After two years of racing for BMC, which included almost a full European campaign of the Spring Classics and a start in the Giro d' Italia, John Murphy has returned to competing for an American based squad.

    Murphy made a two-year commitment to the Kenda/ 5-Hour Energy squad and is hoping to return to his winning ways before racing full-time in Europe. He has decamped from Europe to his new home base of Asheville, North Carolina. Previously Athens, Georgia was home, but the mountains, better training conditions and being closer to his family were the deciding reasons for his move.

    With the domestic racing season only weeks away is Murphy going to miss the high level of competition he faced as a member of a WorldTour team?

    "I am going to miss racing in Europe, but not living there," said Murphy. "I'm really excited to live in the U.S. again. I'll have a home base that I can actually spend some time at and see my friends and family more than once or twice a year."

    Murphy's European home base was Ghent, Belgium – home to several one-day classic stars – which was appropriate for a rider pegged for that style of racing.

    Describing his transition to a domestic team the 2009 U.S. national criterium champion understood why his contract wasn't extended.

    "BMC is one of the best teams in the world – no question. I wanted to continue to grow with the team. But the issue was that the team was continuing to grow faster than I was."

    With the addition of Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert, it is evident that BMC wants to add a one-day classic to the team's list of victories.

    "I understand how it ended...

  • Young talent to the fore at FDJ-BigMat in 2012

    The 2012 FDJ-Big Mat jersey
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 19:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Madiot waiting on outcome of Offredo whereabouts case

    After regaining WorldTour status for the 2012 season, FDJ-BigMat manager Marc Madiot is ready to hand greater responsibility to the team’s younger riders, with Thibaut Pinot, Arnold Jeannesson and world under 23 champion Arnaud Démare expected to continue their progress.

    “We’re going to really give them their responsibilities, have them express themselves at 100 percent of their capabilities,” Madiot said, according to Ouest France. “Perhaps they will find it difficult to win the first year, but the objective is to put them in the role of leader as often as possible, racing at the front.”

    The promising Thibaut Pinot would dearly love to make his Tour de France debut in 2012, given that stage 8 to Planche des Belles Filles passes though his home town of Mélisey, but Madiot hinted that he may instead choose to hand the youngster a leadership role at the Vuelta a España. Similarly, Démare is set to take his Grand Tour bow at the Giro d’Italia.

    “That might be the case for Thibaut Pinot if we chose to send him to the Vuelta, but also for Démare at the Tour of Qatar or the Giro, so that he might learn how to race in a Grand Tour. The team will be built around him at the Giro. He has more of a chance of not winning than of winning, but we want to put ourselves in a situation where we could win with the young riders.”

    While Sandy Casar is set to make a return to the Giro d’Italia, Arnold Jeannesson will lead FDJ-BigMat at the Tour de France. 15th overall in Paris last...

  • Gallery: Liquigas-Cannondale training in Tuscany

    Eros Capecchi and Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) in training.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 20:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basso and Sagan on the road in Cecina

    While a number of their colleagues are already in racing mode at the Santos Tour Down Under or about to start their seasons at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, Ivan Basso and Peter Sagan were among the Liquigas-Cannondale riders still fine-tuning their form at the team’s training camp in Cecina, Tuscany during the week.

    Basso is building towards the Giro d’Italia and will not begin his season until February 18, at the Trofeo Laigueglia, long a staple of the early-season in Italy. His first stage race of the campaign is set to be Paris-Nice, and he will continue his Giro preparation at the Volta a Catalunya and the Giro del Trentino.

    Given his ambitions in the Classics, it’s no surprise that the precocious Peter Sagan’s season begins a little earlier. He’ll measure himself in the sprints against the likes of Mark Cavendish at the Tour of Qatar and Oman, before returning to Europe. After tackling Strade Bianche and Tirreno-Adriatico, the 21-year-old will line up among the dark horses for victory at Milan-San Remo, and then head north for a tilt at the cobbled classics.

    For a gallery of Liquigas-Cannondale’s recent travails in Tuscany, click here, and check out a behind-the-scenes video from the team below.

     
  • Santos extends with Tour Down Under

    Gerrans takes the kisses as race leader.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 20:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sponsorship guaranteed through 2016

    The Tour Down Under's future was assured as title sponsor Santos announced it would continue for another four years. The agreement gives the Australian energy corporation naming rights through 2016.

    "This is fantastic news for the State and it shows the confidence Santos has in the event," said South Australian premier Jay Weatherill.

    "The race is now truly established on the world stage, kicking off the annual UCI WorldTour calendar and attracting the best teams and riders to Adelaide each January."

    The Tour Down Under, in its 14th year, became the first non-European race on the UCI's top tier racing calendar in 2008. The UCI extended the race's WorldTour license through 2015 last August. Santos first signed on as title sponsor for the 2010 edition.

    "The Santos Tour Down Under is the biggest cycling race in the southern hemisphere and the news that our successful partnership will continue ensures this event can continue its impressive growth."

    The race organisation's press release estimates last year's event was worth $43 million to South Australia's economy and was attended by "more than 780,000 people".

  • Cofidis rider Monier struck by car while training

    Damien Monier (Cofidis)
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 21:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman stable with skull fracture

    2010 Giro d'Italia stage winner Damien Monier is in stable condition after being hit by a car while training today. According to AFP, the Cofidis rider is in a hospital in Clermont-Ferrand with fractures to his skull and face.

    "He's regained consciousness and fortunately, his life is no longer in danger," said Cofidis team manager Eric Boyer.

    Monier, 29, has been with the Cofidis team since turning professional in 2004, and scored the first and biggest win of his career on stage 17 of the 2010 Giro d'Italia when he made the winning breakaway and was able to ride away from Danilo Hondo and Steven Kruijskwijk to take the stage victory in Pejo Terme.

  • Haas finds only positives in Willunga escape

    Nathan Haas has a great start to the season
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 22:00 GMT
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Garmin-Barracuda neo pro climbs his way to good sensations

    Not content with spending over 100 kilometres in the day's break, Nathan Haas (Garmin-Barracuda) decided to go it alone with two laps left to race of Old Willunga Hill on stage 5 of the Tour Down Under on Saturday. While it didn't pay off in the end, it was a good indicator of the neo-pro's promise at the WorldTour level.

    "It wasn't exactly a gamble, I was just trying to be in front for my team all day so I thought I'd capitalise on the lead we already had just to take some pressure off the boys up the climb," Haas explained after the race.

    It's been a big week for Haas, the 22-year-old making his WorldTour debut on home turf after blasting his way into the wider cycling world's consciousness with overall victory at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour last October when he wrapped up Australia's National Road Series in the process.

    "The thing that I've noticed so far is that there's more depth here, there's more guys on top condition as opposed to the racing that I've done where there's only 20 to look out for," Haas noted. "The biggest change hasn't necessarily been the speed or the quality; it's more how many guys are good."

    Haas believed that being out in front benefited his teammates in the hunt for prime GC positioning, namely Heinrich Haussler, Ryder Hesjedal and Jack Bauer, who were all 12 seconds in arrears before stage 5.

    "Coming into the climb, if I still had a bit of legs left I wasn't going to be able to be there on the last lap with them because I'd been out all day, so the best thing was for me to go then and there and keep them on the front foot until the latest time possible," he said.

    When Haas took off on his own during the first ascent of Willunga, it was hard not to think about to his epic performance to...

  • Saur-Sojasun rolls out 23-strong team

    The 2012 Saur-Sojasun team
    Article published:
    January 21, 2012, 22:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France a top priority

    Saur-Sojasun team manager Stephane Heulot has set his team's main goal for 2012, and that is earning an invitation to the Tour de France. The Professional Continental team was presented in Châteaubourg on Friday, January 20.

    Heulot said that the 14th place overall of Jerome Coppel in last year's edition of their home Grand Tour only served to whet the team's appetite for more.

    The addition of Brice Feillu and David Le Lay to the team's developing young riders will reinforce the attacking style of the Professional Continental squad.

    "Our style is oriented primarily toward aggression, and we have a number of young riders who are maturing, such as Jonathan Hivert, Julian Simon, and Anthony Delaplace, without forgetting Jerome Coppel or Brice Feillu: we have strong statements to make."

    The all-French line-up features 23 riders, with Maxime Méderel and Eugène Tortelier amongst the newcomers. The team will begin its season at the Grand Prix de la Marseillaise and l'Étoile de Bessèges followed by a trip to Spain for the Trofeo Mallorca. After earning an invitation from the ASO, the team's first major race will be Paris-Nice.

    Saur-Sojasun for 2012:

    Cyril Bessy, Jérôme Coppel, Arnaud Coyot, Anthony Delaplace, Jimmy Engoulvent, Jérémie Galland, Jonathan Hivert, Fabrice Jeandesboz, Christophe Laborie, Cyril Lemoine, Guillaume Levarlet, Laurent Mangel, Jean-Marc Marino, Rony Martias, Jean-Lou Païani, Stéphane Poulhiès, Paul Poux, Julien Simon and Yannick Talabardon.

    New riders: Brice Feillu, David Le Lay, Maxime Méderel and Eugène Tortelier.