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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, May 28, 2011

Date published:
May 28, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Durbridge eyes more time trial success

    Luke Durbridge (Jayco/AIS) powers towards the gold medal in the men's under 23 national time trial championship in Learmonth near Ballarat.
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 7:01 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Jayco-AIS rider maintains future focus

    Team Jayco-AIS' Luke Durbridge came out on top for both time trials at last week's Olympia's Tour against some of the world's best under 23 riders, hopefully a sign that he can go one better that his second place in the event at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong last October.

    Back then, USA's Taylor Phinney denied the West Australian top spot on the podium however Durbridge because the youngest-ever medal winner in the event, aged just 19.

    "Improvement for me this year is just about getting through the year consistently, keeping healthy and getting a good base under me for the following year," Durbridge told Cyclingnews from his Varese base. "My major goal for the year is the time trial at road worlds so that's in the back of my mind."

    Current national Under 23 time trial champion Durbridge took out the opening prologue at Olympia's where he surprised himself to finish ahead of teammate Michael Hepburn by a meagre few tenths of a second. With the Australian team forced on the front, the pressure was on. The efforts of teammate's Hepburn, Nick Aitken, Alex Carver, Aaron Donnelly, Damien Howson, Richard Lang and Malcolm Rudolph was not lost on Durbridge.

    "They sat on the front for us most of the week to keep us protected and I guess that's why I was able to have a good time trial on the second last day after five hard road stages," he said.

    Just three seconds separated Durbridge and Hepburn in the second time trial, with Hepburn taking the race lead from his compatriot by one second. After four days on the road, some of which had been over 200 kilometres, the final stage went over the Amstel Gold course with 13 hill climbs.

    "I think we just ran out of numbers and if we hadn't of taken the jersey so early on in the race it...

  • Sivtsov and Gadret fight for positions at Giro d’Italia

    Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) is second on GC
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 8:02 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Frenchman gained more time on stage 19

    While the final top three of the Giro d’Italia has looked untouchable pretty much since the major summit finish at Mount Etna on stage 9, riders are still fighting for the highest possible positions in the overall ranking with two crucial days to go.

    Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) had moved back up on GC after taking part in the large breakaway on stage 17, where he placed tenth and gained 2:49 over the other contenders for the top ten. The three consecutive high mountain stages at the end of week two (stages 13, 14 and 15) had seen him drop from second to twelfth place.

    “I’m happy with the time I got during the stage of the Passo Tonale,” Sivtsov told Cyclingnews. “It could have been more but it’s quite a significant bonus. At the end of that stage, I was too tired from all the efforts I made to stay with (Giovanni) Visconti for the stage win. That move has boosted my morale and ambitions for sure. I’m not only going to defend my fifth position. If there is an opportunity, I’ll try to go for more and I won’t wait for the Milan time trial.”

    Frenchman John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale), who is fourth on GC, increased his advantage over Sivtsov and some other followers by 28 seconds as he came fourth on stage 19.

    “For me, to defend is not enough before the final time trial,” Gadret told Cyclingnews at the finish. “I’m satisfied that the course of the time trial had to be reduced by five kilometres but still, this is not my forte, so I need to gain time in the mountains. As a cyclo-cross man, I’m particularly inspired by the gravelled roads of the Colle delle Finestre....

  • Di Luca: three or four more years before turning to team management

    Danilo Di Luca (Katusha) worked hard for Joaquim Rodriguez.
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 9:35 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Former Giro d’Italia winner has the Vuelta in sight

    Danilo Di Luca (Katusha) intends to remain in the cycling world once he calls a halt to his career. Despite riding the Giro d’Italia in a low-key manner, his ambitions as a rider are far from over, and he plans to ride the Vuelta a España at a higher level than the Giro.

    “Yes, I have thought of what to do after my cycling career,” Di Luca told Cyclingnews on the start line of stage 19 of the Giro d’Italia in Bergamo. “In any case, I want to remain in the world of cycling. I’m already a bike manufacturer.”

    At last year’s Eurobike in Friedrichshafen, the winner of the 2007 Giro d’Italia launched his own bike brand named Kyklos, a Greek word that means “cycle” with a political sense. In his town of Pescara, he is said to have invested two million euro in the 400 square metre bike shop he opened after using his knowledge as a designer – a job for which he studied – and as an architect – his brother’s profession.

    While many observers can easily imagine Di Luca in the role of directeur sportif as he is an expert when it comes to reading the race in advance and analysing facts and figures in the bunch, he sees his future slightly differently: “It’s true that I’d like to have my own team but I don’t want to become a directeur sportif, I see myself in the role of team manager.”

    Di Luca started bringing sponsors into professional cycling by making the connection for Farnese Vini – a wine producer from his region of Abbruzzo – to become a co-sponsor of LPR, his team in 2009, and later of Lampre, the team that he was rumoured to join for the 2010 season until he got banned.

    Farnese Vini is now the title sponsor...

  • Impey happy to be back in the European peloton

    Daryl Impey is happy to be with Team NetApp
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 10:31 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    South African takes over as Team NetApp captain

    Daryl Impey is happy to have returned to the European peloton, and has taken over the captain's role at Team NetApp. The South African is currently riding the Tour of Bavaria as his first race and has his eye on Saturday's time trial.

    Impey had signed with the Pegasus Cycling Project for the 2011 season, but like his other prospective teammates, was left hanging when the project received no racing licencez He returned to his homeland of South Africa and rode with a local Continental team for the early part of the season.

    However as confirmed earlier this month, he has been with the German Professional Continental-ranked Team NetApp, replacing the ill Steven Cozza as team leader.

    “It's awesome to  be back,” he told Cyclingnews.  “My priority was to bet back to Europe.  I'm glad to be here and to be a part of NetApp.  They have been very welcoming.

    His one-year contract started on May 21, and he immediately leapt into racing action at the Tour of Bavaria – not necessarily the easiest race to start up with.

    Friday's third stage “was one of the hardest days, the weather as well,” he said. Impey finished in the main group, over five minutes down on breakaway winner Michael Albasini of HTC-Highroad.

    Hıs aim now is to do well in Saturday's time trial, a relatively flat 26 km. “I am South African time trial champion, and really looking forward to it.  It's hard to tell right now how I will do,” he said.  “I'd like to have a good performance.  I haven't done a time trial in a while, but the way I've been riding so far, I think I can...

  • WADA helped with Novitzky investigation

    Director General of the WADA, David Howman
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 11:12 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Howman on the UCI, Armstrong and the future fight against doping

    World Anti-Doping Agency director-general David Howman has told Cyclingnews that his agency, along with the help of Interpol, helped facilitate meetings between the FDA and several parties across the globe in the investigation understood to involve Lance Armstrong and his former US Postal team.

    Howman confirmed that Jeff Novitzky and investigators from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) first made contact with WADA last summer, and that although he has not met with the US agency, there has been a level of collaboration.

    “I’ve facilitated meetings that they’ve had with other people,” Howman told Cyclingnews.

    “We learned that there were enquiries in the US and then there were enquiries going on in Italy and one or two other countries. What we were entrusted with was making sure that those people who were doing these enquires could liaise with each other, so we brought them together with Interpol so that they could do that.”

    Those meetings included the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD, police forces from both Italy and France, and according to Howman, parties from Switzerland and Spain.

    “We were aware that investigators in the US wanted to talk to people on the ground in France, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. We were able to introduce people and then clear out.”

    Howman stated back in October 2010 that the FDA’s work into alleged doping and the facilitation of doping could be as significant as the BALCO case. Much of the BALCO investigation work was carried out by Novitzky, and Howman reiterated his comments on...

  • Video: Millar targets Giro d'Italia final time trial

    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 16:39 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin rider sees Contador as his biggest rival

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) is targeting the final 26km time trial to Milan on Sunday in the hope of ending a tough and very testing Giro d'Italia on a high.

    Like everyone in the peloton, Millar is physically and mentally tired after three weeks of racing but hopes to get through today's final mountain stage to Sestriere and then preparing for one final effort.

    He admitted to Cyclingnews that he is a little unsure how his body will respond on the flat, straight 26 kilometer course.

    Following Marco Pinotti's crash and retirement during stage 19, Millar sees Alberto Contador as his biggest rival for stage victory, "even if he has been ripping people to pieces for the three weeks."

    Other rivals could be Millar's Garmin-Cervelo teammate Cameron Meyer, Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar), who won the final time trial in the 2009 Giro.

  • Contador ready to celebrate Giro victory in Milan

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) crosses the line
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 18:23 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard to avoid any risks in final time trial

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) still has to ride the final time trial stage of the Giro d'Italia on Sunday in Milan but with a lead of over five minutes he has already began celebrating the sixth grand tour victory of his career.

    While other riders fought for places in the top ten and the best young rider's white jersey, Contador was able to sit at the back of the lead group on the Colle delle Finestre and then follow the wheels on the final climb to the finish in Sestriere.

    He finished eighth on the stage in the same time as his nearest rival Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) who is second overall at 5:18. Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) lost 18 seconds and is third at 6:14.

    "I'm very happy because unless something crazy happens, I've won the Giro," Contador said before getting a helicopter ride from Sestriere to Milan.

    “Today was a very tough and long stage. A big break went very early and so my teammates had to work hard to control it but then in the final part my only aim was to control my closest rivals."

    Contador has dominated the Giro and was clearly the strongest in the mountains. He won on Mount Etna in Sicily, dominated the Nevegal mountain time trial and finished second on two other mountain stages after letting other riders take the stages.

    "I had good form on the stage to Mount Etna and I've been very consistent since then," he said. “A lot of different riders have been strong at different points in the race, but the key to victory has been riding consistently throughout the Giro.”

    "I've got thank all my teammates who worked so hard for me, until their last drop of energy. I also want to thank my family who have always supported me, and all the Italian tifosi who supported me and welcomed me so warmly at the Giro."

    Contador revealed he was not interested in winning the final time trial stage to Milan, preferring caution and celebration with his...

  • Video: Pete Stetina happy with Giro d'Italia performance

    Peter Stetina (Garmin-Cervelo) en route to a 15th place finish on Monte Zoncolan.
    Article published:
    May 28, 2011, 19:26 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Young American set to finish 22nd in Milan

    Pete Stetina put up another impressive ride in the mountains to finish 19th on the stage to Sestriere, virtually securing him 22nd place overall in his first grand tour.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews immediately after reaching the finish, the 24-year-old American was tired but happy. The Garmin-Cervelo team had again given him the freedom to ride his own race and he finished ahead of team leader Christophe Le Mevel.

    In the overall classification Stetina is just one place behind Sweden's Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) and has a comfortable lead on Jan Bakelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto), who is at more than six minutes. Riders of the calibre of Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) and 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre (Geox-TMC) are both behind him.

    Stetina is a former mountain biker and enjoyed the dirt roads of the Colle delle Finestre but admitted he is ready for a vacation after three hard weeks of racing. He hopes completing the Giro will give him extra strength and endurance for the second half of the season.