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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 28, 2012

Date published:
January 28, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • O'Donnell signs with Vanderkitten-Focus

    Bridie O'Donnell (VIC) was runner-up
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 1:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Australian champion will race US series

    The US-based elite women's team Vanderkitten-Focus announced today that it has completed its 2012 roster with Bridie O'Donnell, a former Australian and Oceania time trial champion.

    After two seasons of racing in Italy, O'Donnell will return to racing in the USA, which she last visited in 2009 when she rode there with the Australian National Team.

    Vanderkitten Founder Dave Verrecchia explained the addition of the outspoken Australian. "Bridie embodies many of the qualities we foster and promote at Vanderkitten. She is articulate, athletic and feminine. And she is has proven herself as one of the fastest women in the world in the time trial. She fits in precisely with our mission to empower women through athletics, and I feel the Vanderkitten brand is energized with this great voice for Women athletes amongst our ranks."

    The team's directeur sportif Jono Coulter is looking for O'Donnell to use her experience to help guide the team's younger riders and to be another GC threat in the US stage races and one-day events.

    "Bridie will add valuable firepower to the Vanderkitten-Focus team and help guide our speedy youngsters including Emily Collins and Ruth Winder to the line in hectic race finales. Moreover, Bridie's prowess in the time trial will give us a further option in the general classification of NRC events including Redlands and the Nature Valley Grand Prix. We look forward to bringing her to key North American UCI events, including the Liberty Classic, UCI 1.1 Chrono Gatineau and hopefully the UCI 2.1 Exergy Tour."

    O'Donnell herself is looking forward to a return to the USA after she completes the Oceania Championships.

    "I am super excited to be riding in a terrific team like Vanderkitten-Focus in 2012. It will be my first season racing the NRC after a short stint in the Auatralian National team in 2009 where I won the Kelly Cup & was second in the Tour de Prince Edward Island.

    "I have had great...

  • Gallery: Team Sky working hard in Mallorca

    So much of Sky's ambitions for 2012 rest on Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 9:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cavendish and Wiggins train together before season debut

    Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish have different race programmes and objectives for 2012 but the two spent several days together at Team Sky’s base in Mallorca for some quality training with their teammates.

    Team Sky have again organised an open training camp, based in Alcudia, on the north eastern side of the Mediterranean island, with different groups of riders attending the camp for structured training aimed to get them ready for their early goals of the season. They were also in demand from the media and rode with several guests of sponsor IG Markets.

    Cavendish, Davide Appollonio, Michael Barry, Bernhard Eisel, Juan Antonio Flecha, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees and Ian Stannard will ride the Tour of Qatar that begins in the gulf on February 5. In Mallorca they worked on perfecting the Team Sky leadout train and prepared for the opening team time trial stage in Doha.

    They also worked on their endurance and climbing, joining Wiggins, Chris Froome, Richie Porte for some tough climbing efforts on the Lluc and Sa Calobra climb on the rocky north edge of Mallorca.

    Wiggins is set to make his season debut at the Volta ao Algarve stage race on February 15. Porte and Froome will begin their European season at the Trofeo Mallorca on February 5.

    This gallery of images from Mallorca is courtesy of Michael Frogley at IG.

  • Bartali honoured for saving Jews during the Holocaust

    Bartali leads Valetti at the 1939 Giro
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 11:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI releases details of how Italian smuggled photos and documents in his bike

    Tributes have been paid to cycling great Gino Bartali, with evidence now showing that he helped save the lives of up to 800 Jews during World War II. The Yad Vashem Memorial in Israel is looking into giving him the title "Righteous Among the Nations", a term used by Israel to describe non-Jews who risked their lives during the Holocaust to save Jews from extermination by the Nazis.

    The details about the Italian's actions in the 1940s have only just recently come to light, through a university study. His son, Andrea, has continued the research along with the Jewish community and journalist Laura Guerra.

    “In 1943 Bartali, who had already won the Tour de France once and the Giro d’Italia twice, was assigned to the traffic police by the fascist regime, before leaving the job on 8 September,” according to the UCI.  “That was when he went underground, choosing to help persecuted Jews by smuggling identity photos to a convent that produced counterfeit papers.

    “As far as the soldiers who guarded the road between Florence and San Quirico, near Assisi, were concerned, Bartali was merely on a 380-km training run. In fact, valuable documents were hidden inside the frame and saddle of his bicycle.”

    Bartali remained modest about his actions, not even telling his wife. His own public comment was “Good is something you do, not something you talk about. Some medals are pinned to your soul, not to your jacket.”

    He was imprisoned for 45 days in late 1943, officially because of his support for the Vatican, which opposed the fascist regime. However, he was never tried and was ultimately released.

  • Wellens' heart scare tooth related, according to Het Nieuwsblad

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea)
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 12:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    No doping, no viral infection for Belgian 'crosser

    Bart Wellens' heart and other problems were caused by tooth root abscesses, according to a Belgian newspaper. Doping or a viral infection, which had also been mentioned as probably causes, are therefore eliminated, the newspaper said.

    Wellens was taken to hospital with a high fever and heart and other organ problems the night before the Belgian cyclo-cross championships. He was in intensive care for a number of days. He still has only 31 percent liver function and his spleen is not functioning correctly, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

    “It is not uncommon for patients with dental infections to contend with heart problems,” said Jeremy Hanson, spokesman for the Association of Flemish dentists. “Therefore, anyone who has to undergo surgery on the heart, must first be sent to a dentist.”

    Wellens was pleased with the “very good and confirming news”, and his team, Telenet-Fidea is expected to issue a statement “with good news" soon.  Wellens' house was searched this week as part of a doping investigation.

  • Video: Vande Velde believes in Tour de France podium spot

    Team leader Christian Vande Velde
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 14:46 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American searching for 2008 form and no bad luck

    In 2008 Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Barracuda) topped most people's expectations by finishing fourth in the Tour de France. To many, it seemed as though GC aspirations in a major Tour were out of the American's reach; he was a strong climber and time trialist but lacked the edge that would turn him from a reliable workhorse and domestique into a true team leader.

    However his run at the Tour in 2008, and backed up by eighth the following year suggested that Vande Velde could maintain a top 10 presence in the future. Yet he crashed out of the 2010 Tour de France and in 2011 found himself as the support act that helped propel Tom Danielson into the top 10

    This year Vande Velde is confident that he can once again lead the line for Garmin at the Tour. Despite his age (35) he believes that if he can discover the form that served him so well in 2008 that he can even challenge for a podium spot. A more confident rider, and with a number of strong performances towards the tail-end of 2011 suggest that his dream could become a reality.

    In these two exclusive videos, Vande Velde talks to Cyclingnews about his Tour aspirations and why he'll return to the Giro d'Italia in 2012 as part of his Tour de France preparations.

    Use this on all articles. The player is narrow enough to fit next to the article gallery images box on the...
  • Fractured pelvis for Mathieu Perget at Tour de San Luis

    Mathieu Perget (Ag2r-La Mondiale) pictured ahead of the 2011 Santos Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 15:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Operation needed but team expect a speedy recovery

    Mathieu Perget (AG2R) is in the hospital with a broken pelvis after a crash on stage 5 of the Tour de San Luis.

    “Mathieu is suffering from a fractured pelvis on the left side. This fracture doesn’t affect the hip joint but only the iliac wing,” Eric Bouvat, the team’s medical officer said.

    Perget will undergo surgery in order to speed up his recovery.

    AG2R is hopeful that Perget can resume training within three weeks and return to racing within six weeks.

  • Video: Gilbert on Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders

    Philippe Gilbert on the track
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 16:48 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian looks to add to his tally of monument classics

    The Ardennes classics may be the perennial centrepiece of Philippe Gilbert’s (BMC) spring campaign, but the Belgian champion will again look to be in contention at Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders in 2012.

    Now among the galacticos at BMC’s expensively-assembled classics squad, Gilbert will be flanked by Thor Hushovd and Alessandro Ballan in the opening two monuments of the season. Gilbert went on the offensive in each race last season, but in spite of his sparkling form, he ultimately fell short on each occasion.

    Speaking at the BMC training camp in Denia, Gilbert admitted that the route of Milan-San Remo has never quite proved difficult enough to eliminate the sprinters during his career. In 2007, he led over the Poggio with Riccardo Riccò, but the pair were swallowed up on the drop into San Remo.

    “Cycling is different now with big teams and it’s difficult to make the difference,” Gilbert said, pointing out that Gabriele Colombo’s surprise 1996 win was one of the last occasions when the sprinters did not dominate proceedings. Indeed, even in 2011’s remarkably open race, it was the last sprinter standing, Matt Goss, who took victory on the Lungomare Italo Calvino.

    “There was already a big selection with the crashes on the descent of the Manie. I was thinking that all the sprinters were not there, but there was one and he won,” Gilbert recalled.

    Gilbert led the Tour of Flanders over the final climb of the Bosberg last season, but was again unable to get enough purchase on his acceleration. 2012 sees De Ronde tackle a new course, where the Paterberg and Oude Kwaremont will be the final obstacles. Although well familiar with the roads, Gilbert will not...

  • Lance Armstrong junior race series underway

    It's still about the bike: Lance Armstrong back in the saddle
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 19:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Armstrong and Dunlap series start in US

    USA Cycling announced the start of the Lance Armstrong Junior Series and the Alison Dunlap Junior Series. Both race series kick off this weekend and are designed to promote racing for junior cyclists in the US.

    The Armstrong series, now in it’s 20th year, begun Saturday at the Annual Spring Fling of Cycling in Deland. The series continues up until June, with events in Florida, California, Arizona and Illinois.

    The Dunlap series begins Sunday. The first of three events in the Winter Mountain Bike Cross Country Series, held in Fairfield, Ohio, kicks off the ADJRS, which stretches into July and also includes racing in Maryland and Tennessee.

    Both programs also act as a possible entry point to USA Cycling's Athlete Development Pathway.

    For more information on the Lance Armstrong Junior Series Calendar, visit

    For more information on the Alison Dunlap Junior Series Calendar, visit