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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 5, 2010

Date published:
June 05, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Retired Belgian journalist Jan Wauters dies

    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 10:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Merckx mourns loss of friend who covered 25 Tours

    Retired Belgian sports journalist Jan Wauters died Friday night at the age of 71. He worked for the BRT (Belgian Radio and Television) , covering sports for Belgian radio, including 25 Tours de France.

    Wauters suffered a heart attack two weeks ago and passed away in hospital. The funeral is planned for Saturday, June 12.

    He joined the news department of BRT in 1964, moving to the sports department 18 months later. He was named head of the sports department in 1973, and retired in 2000.

    One of the highlights of his career was covering the 1989 Tour de France battle between Greg Lemond and Laurent Fignon. According to Sporza.be, he was known not only for his reporting but also for his critical commentary.
     
    He spent much time covering Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx, who as hit hard by the news. “This is a big blow,” he told Sporza. “I didn't know he was so badly off.”

    "I remember Jan as a great reporter and a wonderful human being. We had a lot of joy but also some sadness."

    Merckx said that he and Wauters had become friends, and that he had been an excellent journalist. "Jan posed pertinent questions which were also in-depth. He was professional and not just out for sensation, as is currently often the case."

  • Moreau lost without Valverde

    French veteran Christophe Moreau (Caisse d'Epargne) signs an autograph
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 14:28 BST
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman now leader for Caisse at Dauphiné

    Caisse d'Epargne rider Christophe Moreau has been left in shock following the recent world-wide suspension of team leader Alejandro Valverde. The Spanish outfit, which was counting on Valverde to spearhead them at both the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France, now have to compose different line-ups for the two events and re-think its strategies and objectives.

    "It was a blow to the whole team," Moreau told Cyclingnews as he was preparing to travel to Evian-les-Bains, where the Dauphiné will get underway on Sunday. "It's difficult for all of us. We all feel a bit lost in how we'll have to re-evaluate the odds now. The points of reference have changed, and we'll have to function differently as a team."

    The upcoming Dauphiné will be the first race where Caisse d'Epargne will race without its long-time leader.

    "Obviously, we won't be there anymore to defend Alejandro's title from last year. Personally, I will try to take his place as team leader but it will be difficult to fill in for him. My function has changed from that of a helper to team leader, so I will try and take advantage of it as it of course opens up possibilities for me. As for the rest of the team, they will also get more individual freedom," the 39-year-old said, adding that Luis Leon Sanchez, the team's second captain, will not participate in the Dauphiné but take up the team leader position in the Tour de France.

    Moreau has won the overall Dauphiné twice in his career (2001 and 2007), but the Frenchman knows that he could be his final season as a bike rider. Against the likes of Alberto Contador (Astana), he knows it will be an almost impossible task to take the GC honours for a third time.

    "Of course I want to shine at the race," he said. "My aim is to go for a stage victory and as for the general classification. Why not? I have won this race twice so I know I've got it in me. In any case, I want to...

  • Bahati continues to support Landis personally

    Rahsaan Bahati before the start
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 15:37 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    But calls Landis' tenure with the team a failure

    Rahsaan Bahati has labelled Floyd Landis’s time with the Bahati Foundation team as a failure but stressed that he will offer support to Landis should he need it in the future.

    The team and Landis recently parted company after Landis produced a set of stinging allegations centred around drug abuse and sporting corruption during his time with US Postal and Phonak.

    “Ultimately it was a failure,” Bahati said of Landis’s time with the team. “We accepted him with open arms. Of course you knew he had baggage but at the time it looked like that was over with. If we had known he was going to come out with that information of course we would not have signed him.”

    Landis had been brought into the team in March this year with the dual role of ambassador for the sport and rider. However the position with the team became untenable after several letters between Landis and some of the sport’s governing figures were leaked. Despite many people within the sport being aware that letters were circulating, most, Bahati included, were not aware of the seriousness of their contents.

    “I knew what was going on but not to that magnitude. I knew that Floyd wanted to come clean, better himself and get that burden off him. I didn’t know he was going to name names.”

    “After that the team was affected. People say that any press is good press but that definitely wasn’t the case here. I understood what it’s like to bite your tongue and it feels weird. I told him that I understood and that he’d feel a lot better when he’d done it but I didn’t think that throwing everyone else under the bus was the smartest move.”

    With Landis and his OUCH Medical Center backer both separating from Bahati, the team have been forced to restructure under a new management in a bid to raise revenues and ultimately continue in the sport.

    “We have to...

  • Goss turns from lead-out to leader in Philadelphia

    Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 16:07 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    HTC-Columbia sprinter looking for a win

    Matt Goss (HTC-Columbia) is on the hunt for a victory at the TD Bank International Cycling Championships held Philadelphia on Sunday.

    The Australian sprinter is well-known for his role as the last lead-out man for André Greipel, however, this weekend he will take the reins with full support from his teammates should the 250 km American classic come down to a bunch kick. He is a proven contender in Philadelphia having placed second in 2007.

    "I have high expectations for Philly this year," Goss told Cyclingnews. "I'm feeling pretty good. We have a pretty good team here and some of us are just coming from the Giro, although I didn't finish, I think I have good shape for here and for a circuit like Philly. It is certainly a race that I always want to do well in and I want to win it one day."

    Goss arrived stateside fresh off of winning stage nine at this year's Giro d' Italia. He is hoping that his top-notch form will get himself over the famed Manayunk Wall ascent ten times, through the three final short circuits and on to the finishing lap around Logan Square in good position to sprint for the win.

    "That was my first Grand Tour stage win and I'm pretty happy about that, I guess it means my form is not too bad," Goss said. "I haven't raced since the Giro. I had to recover and now I feel good after doing some good training last week."

    "I think all these guys are very quick and since we are all coming from the Giro we know what to do," he added. "I think we have a pretty experienced team and if it comes down to a sprint I hope we can do something in the finish. But, we have some good riders who will want to take their chances and be in the front at all times."

    Goss was grateful for the opportunity to be the lead sprinter. His season is normally spent organizing the lead-out train for his teammate Greipel who won last year's race in Philadelphia but will sit out the event this year.

    "I probably...

  • Contador plays down Dauphiné chances

    Alberto Contador's 'pistolero' salute never fires blanks.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 17:52 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Spaniard focused on testing new time trial bike

    Despite being the only rider in last year’s top eight to return to the Dauphine, Alberto Contador has ruled himself out of winning the competition this year.

    The double Tour de France winner reached Evian, near the Leman lake, after a training camp in the Pyrénées in which he trained on the mountain stages where he intends to win the Grande Boucle.

    “I’m in a phase of building my foundations for the Tour de France”, Contador said. “I have the feeling that I’m getting better and better each day but yet, my physical condition isn’t good enough for me to target the overall win at the Dauphiné. Therefore I’ll race here in a more relaxed way than usual. I’m back at this race because twice in the past it’s been a good preparation for the Tour.”

    Last year he finished third but it was a troubled time at Astana when wages didn’t arrive on time and the future of the team was uncertain.

    “The Dauphiné is a great race to have on a record book”, he added. “Shall the opportunity to win occur, I’d give it a try but I’m here mostly to test my new time trial bike recently delivered by Specialized. It’s more compact. It has a smaller frame. It’s adapted to my changes of rhythm when I move out of my saddle.”

    The 6.8km time trial on Sunday and the 49km race against the clock on Wednesday will be an important test for him. Shall he consider the test not completed, he’ll take part in the Spanish championship for time trial – but not the road race – which is the only race he might compete in before the Tour de France.

    For two days after the Dauphiné, Contador will remain in the Alps to study the finish of Avoriaz and the only real Alpine stage that features four passes including the col de la Colombière and the col de la Madeleine.

    “The...

  • Count down to Philly: Teams prep for a stormy day

    The Team Type 1 bus is dwarfed by the Philadelphia skyline.
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 20:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Photo gallery: Mechanics prepare for the TD Bank Philadelphia International

    Philadelphia is a town that loves its sports: the NHL Philadelphia Flyers are currently fighting in the Stanley Cup playoffs, the baseball team the Phillies has been in the World Series two years running and won in 2008, and the Eagles have been in the Super Bowl. It's no coincidence that this city is also the heart and soul of American bike racing.

    The TD Philadelphia International Championship has been arguably the biggest spectator draw in North American cycling since the race began 26 years ago. Drawing close to a million spectators along the course, it is the Big Show for most domestic teams.

    The race also draws top professional squads for men and women to the event, with most teams congregating at the race hotel on the day prior to the event.

    For the team mechanics, it's a mad scramble to wash and maintain dozens of bikes and wheel sets and fine tune the machines for the grueling 250km race.

    With the weather predicting an 80% chance of rain, the choice of equipment for the race, which features one screaming fast descent from the Manayunk wall with several fast turns, will be critical.

    Cyclingnews spotted several teams lined up along a side street with the contents of the trucks spewed out onto the pavement in various forms of organization. It's a system only the mechanic can keep up with, so we'll let the photos do the talking.

    Enjoy the gallery here.

  • Le Mével overlooked for Vasco win after Valverde suspension

    Christophe Le Mevel (Française Des Jeux) took the first overall classification result of his professional career at the 2010 Tour du Haut Var
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 21:11 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Frenchman will not argue, eyes Dauphiné with great motivation

    The 2010 Criterium of the Dauphiné will start on Sunday with a 6.8km prologue in Evian-les-Bains, but only three of the riders who occupied the top 10 last year are on the start list this time around. The third man behind Spaniards Alberto Contador and Haimar Zubeldia is Christophe Le Mével, who claimed 10th last year.

    Le Mével will be seeking his third victory of the season, even if he should have been given one win on a technicality but was denied.

    The result in question comes from stage one of the Volta al Pais Vasco, where the Française des Jeux rider finished third in Zierbena behind Oscar Freire and Alejandro Valverde. Freire got disqualified for irregular sprinting and the stage was given to Valverde. After his losing his arbitration, Valverde has been suspended effective January 1 and is now written off all the results of the races he took part in this year.

    "Strangely, the judges re-classified Freire in second place behind Valverde instead of the last position of our group, as rules state," Le Mével said.

    "Now Freire is the winner again, I suppose, but not me. However, I won't go to court to be given the stage win. I don't really deserve to win a race I finished in third place but I guess it would have been valuable in terms of world ranking points for my team."

    Marc Madiot told Cyclingnews that Française des Jeux is now going to question the UCI in a written letter over the unusual interpretation of the race regulations by the judges at the Volta al Pais Vasco. They hoped for Le Mével to be declared the winner.

    The Frenchman heads into this weekend seeking to fine-tune his form for the Tour de France, where he also finished 10th place overall last year, duplicating his performance in the Dauphiné.

    "My approach of the Dauphiné is very different this time compared with last year," said Le Mével. "The Volta Catalunya was in May...

  • Teutenberg banks on speed and experience for Liberty victory

    Winner of the first stage of the Tour of Chongming Island, Ina Yoko Teutenberg (HTC - Columbia Women)
    Article published:
    June 05, 2010, 21:26 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    HTC-Columbia sprinter looking for fourth Philly win

    Defending Liberty Classic Champion, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) is hoping to win a fourth career title in Philadelphia on Sunday. The German National Champion displayed good form by recently capturing three stage wins at the Tour de l’Aude in France last month and is poised to use her extensive knowledge of the stateside race to her advantage.

    "I got sick at the end of April and had a forced rest," Teutenberg told Cyclingnews. "I came back to shine on Tour de l’Aude again so I am happy with my Spring. I won three stages in Tour de l’Aude so I should be ready for this race. This race is important because we have an American boss, American sponsors and this race has tradition. It is a good atmosphere in this town so it is always good to come and try to win."

    HTC-Columbia will field a team of five riders that also includes Kimberly Anderson, Evelyn Stevens, Linda Villumsen and Emila Fahlin. Teutenberg is confident that any one of her teammates is capable of winning the prestigious Liberty Classic.

    "We come here to win and that is the main thing, so do a lot of other girls," Teutenberg said. "The plan is to try to win the race and if that happens great but if not, well, someone else was stronger."

    "Evelyn and Kim are Americans and they were home before this race," she added. "Evelyn just came off a great Tour de l’Aude and it made sense for her to do this race. Linda came over to do this trip because she doesn’t have nationals at the end of June. Emila was pretty sick with the chicken pox so it was a good way for her to start getting back into races, instead of going to the really hard European races."

    Stevens is HTC-Columbia’s newest recruit and fiercest competitor. She kicked off the season with a stage three win at the Redlands Bicycle Classic and went on to place third in stage four at the Tour de l’Aude last month. Last year, she guest rode for several...