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Second Edition Cycling News, Sunday, April 11, 2010

Date published:
April 11, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Oakley reveals Limited Edition BMX Chrome Array

    Oakley will offer the new arrays in both Jawbone and Radar styles and both will be exclusively available in the full package only.
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 9:44 BST
    James Huang

    Collection to debut at Paris-Roubaix

    Oakley's style machine has struck again, this time just prior to the start of Paris-Roubaix with the ultra-shiny Limited Edition BMX Chrome Array Collection.

    Oakley will offer the arrays in both the Radar and Jawbone frame models, and each will include three similarly limited edition lenses (Jade Iridium, Violet Iridium, and Positive Red Iridium), matching ear socks, and a custom Microclear bag with special graphics. All lenses in the Radar option will be in the versatile Path shape.

    Both of the arrays will be available this May for US$350 but potential buyers beware: Oakley means it when they say 'chrome' and they positively glimmer in sunlight so the timid need not apply. No such worries here at Paris-Roubaix, though, as Oakley sports marketing front man Steve Blick was on hand to personally deliver the new pieces to key riders such as George Hincapie (BMC) and Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam).

    But what does BMX and chrome have to do with bike racing? Oakley puts it this way in its press release: "Inspired by the decades Oakley has been part of two-wheeled sports, the BMX Chrome frame salutes the chromed bikes of kids who have become today’s champions. The three included lenses and matching earsocks that come with both arrays are a nod to the colorful stickers they plastered on their number plates, and these pieces honor the young daredevils who stomped on the cranks to turn an obsession into a sport."

    Blick was also in town to deliver some new Transitions photochromic lenses to a few riders here in France (though unfortunately they weren't on hand to photograph). The new lenses should prove useful in changing lower-light conditions, supposedly adjusting from a light grey all the way down to virtually clear.

    The new lenses will also be available this May for Jawbone and Split Jacket styles.

  • Savio: Mantova investigation damaging for Italian cycling

    Gianni Savio
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 12:16 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Androni Giocattoli educating its riders against doping

    Gianni Savio has spoken about the Mantova investigation that has engulfed Italian cycling in the past week. The Androni Giocattoli manager was at the Paris Roubaix team presentation and believes that whatever the outcome of the investigation, Italian cycling has taken another severe hit to its already shaky integrity.

    “Fortunately it’s not a question for us. We have no riders in the investigation so it’s very difficult to know what happened and what will happen,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “But it’s damaging for Italian cycling,” he added. “I think that all these questions are bad for cycling.”

    Savio’s team has already been hit by drug-related news this year after Massimo Giunti was provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) after testing positive for EPO in a targeted out-of-competition test in February. However Savio believes that his team is doing all it can to change the consciousness within Italian cycling.

    “In our team in the last year we tried with education and then repression,” he said. “Education; we had meetings about doping and we explained to the riders that it’s not right to dope. That in the past there was allowances but now it’s completely different. Also we have a contract that if a one rider is in violation he is finished and he must pay one year of his contract, so we do all we can.”

    According to Savio, Giunti has already paid back a year’s salary, although he was only with the team for two months, after signing from Miche - Silver Cross - Selle Italia at the end of 2009.

    Asked if all teams should enforce internal financial penalties, Savio said: “I don’t know if all teams should do this. I don’t know their codes. We have our own ethic code. We keep telling the riders, especially the ones who rode in the old days, that the world of cycling has totally...

  • Cobblestone would make Hincapie’s career perfect

    George Hincapie (BMC) will have five spare bikes for tomorrow's race
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 12:38 BST
    Cycling News

    USA’s hope feeling ready for 17th Roubaix appearance

    If the United States of America’s George Hincapie wins today’s Paris-Roubaix it would define his career as being perfect, according to the rider. Hincapie has never lifted Roubaix’s famed cobblestone trophy despite having contested the event 16 times.

    Hincapie has enjoyed a love-hate relationship with the monument, coming close to winning in 2005 when he finished second. On the eve of this year’s race Hincapie described what appeals to him about the spring Classic.

    “I’ve done it many times and it’s just a race that brings a lot of excitement to me and a race that I’ve always dreamed of winning. I think a lot of people feel sort of the same way as I feel about it,” said Hincapie. “I think just the fact that the race is so hard, so epic. It’s almost like it’s a battle; you really can’t even just call it a bike race. There’s so much that goes on in this race that the fans don’t even see.

    “To me if you win one of these, if you win one Paris-Roubaix you can look back on your career and say always say ‘yeah, I had a perfect career’,” he added.

    While it’s hard to miss the race’s importance to Hincapie, he denied a victory would bring his career to an immediate end. “No, no, no. But it definitely would make stopping a lot easier in the future,” he said.

    On the eve of this year’s race Hincapie is feeling confident his form is where it needs to be to win Roubaix, despite Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen stealing most of the pre-race attention. Hincapie added that he expects to get a good night’s sleep, as he’s experienced enough to not let the nerves get to him.

    “I feel really good,” he said. “Wednesday I felt okay at the race we did in Belgium, I took it easy there and I’ve been able to recover quiet well. Today I felt great on the bike so I just...

  • On the start line at Paris-Roubaix

    Stuart O'Grady, Boonen, Pozzato and Cancellara
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 13:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    The sun was out at the start in Compiegne

    The sun was shining at the start of Paris-Roubaix in Compiegne for the start of l'enfer du nord, although it was the likely headwind on the exposed roads and sections of cobbles that was causing most of the debate.

    As the riders signed on and gathered for the start, most predicted the headwind would create a more tactical race and perhaps favour an outsider, rather than one of the big favourites.

    Cyclingnews talked to James Murdoch before he jumped into a VIP with Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford and French cycling legend Bernard Hinault.

    Just before the flag was dropped and the riders rolled out, a minute's silence was held in memory of two-time winner Franco Ballerini, who died in a car rally accident on February 7. A special cobblestone prize will be awarded to the first Italian rider at he finish in the Roubaix velodrome.

    195 riders rolled out from the start, with Belgium's Wilfried Cretskens (Omega Pharma-Lotto) the only none starter.

    The 259km race is scheduled to finish at around 5:00pm local time in France. If you want to know more, Cyclingnews' live coverage started the moment race left Compiegne.

  • Team Sky get a visit from Murdoch at Paris-Roubaix

    James Murdoch and Brailsford traveled as guests with Bernard Hinault
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 14:14 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    News Corp Chairman watches the race from a VIP car with Brailsford and Hinault

    James Murdoch was a special guest at Paris-Roubaix and watched the race with Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford and French cycling legend Bernard Hinault in a VIP car.

    Murdoch is the Chairman and Chief Executive of News Corporation in Europe and Asia, the parent company of Sky, which sponsors the new British team. He is also keen cyclist and flew to France overnight from New York to be at the start in Compiegne.

    "This is the first time I've been able to follow a major race like this. It should be fun," he told Cyclingnews just a few minutes before the start.

    "It's a huge day, it's one of the great days on the cycling calendar for any fan and also for the team. They're looking forward to this and it's going to be really exciting."

    "It's also the first time I got to see the Team Sky bus. I said to Dave [Brailsford], I'd been hearing about the darn bus all the time. But it's a good one and the guys seem to like it."

    The best team in the world

    Murdoch talked to Juan Antonio Flecha and the other Team Sky riders on the bus before the start of Paris-Roubaix. He said Sky is happy with the results of the team but has set them the goal of being the best team in the world.

    "They all seem ready to race and are pumped up for this," he said.

    "I can say from Sky's perspective that we're very happy with the results so far. We're really proud to be associated with a team like this. We're trying to make the best cycling team in the world. We're trying to push the envelope. It's early days, but so far, so good. Dave and everyone in the team are doing a tremendous job. They're juggling a busy calendar but have really high goals. That's what you need to have. I think the guys are progressing really well. Cycling is a complicated sport and it's a big programme but we're getting there."

    Murdoch rode the Maratona dles Dolomites sportif in Italy last summer. His late arrival in Compiegne...

  • Kelly: Cancellara one of the best of all time

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) holds up his cobbled trophy
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 18:28 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Classics legend praises Swiss' emphatic Roubaix win

    Ireland’s Sean Kelly was one of the finest ever Classics specialists, winning nine of cycling's 'Monuments', including two Paris-Roubaix. After watching Fabian Cancellara’s (Saxo Bank) triumphant display at the 2010 Paris-Roubaix, Kelly believes the Swiss maestro deserves to be considered amongst the best Classics riders of all time. On Sunday, Cancellara became just the sixth rider history to complete the Flanders-Roubaix double inside a season.

    "He’s up there with best riders of all time in the Classics and going forward I can see him winning Liège-Bastogne-Liège and Lombardia," said Kelly, who won Liège-Bastogne-Liège twice and Lombardia three times.

    "In today’s race Cancellara was the big favourite and who could stay with him was the big question. Now we have the answer. No one was near," Kelly told Cyclingnews.

    Cancellara rode away from his rivals on the Mons-en-Pévèle sector, with still more than 50 kilometres-to-go. Kelly said that although it was a brave move, it could have failed had the chase group contained more energy. However, with Tom Boonen (Quick Step) starting to fade and riders like Pippo Pozzato (Katusha) unable to follow wheels, the chasers soon lost their impetus and began racing for second.

    "Cancellara has the cohones to go with 50k to go the finish, with ten, fifteen guys behind. You have to think that if they ride behind they can leave you out there but he went away, further away, and they couldn’t make any impression on him."

    Kelly was puzzled by Cancellara’s attack initially, wondering if the Saxo Bank rider had gone too early. "It thought it could be too early because you have to be careful. When you feel so strong and you feel so good that’s the time when you can make the big mistakes and from the past and in my career I made that big mistake so I was thinking that if they organise behind and...

  • Cancellara cracks his rivals on the road to Roubaix

    Paris-Roubaix winner Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 19:23 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Mental strength the key to Saxo Bank rider's Flanders-Roubaix double

    When Fabian Cancellara attacks and opens a gap, he has the physical ability to leave the best of the peloton behind, but after winning the second Paris-Roubaix title of his career on Sunday the 29-year-old now also knows he can defeat them on a psychological level too.

    That was perhaps the key to Cancellara's victory at the 2010 Paris-Roubaix. He proved he was strongest on the bike, but had already defeated his rivals before they even had chance to organise a chase. The Saxo Bank rider launched his race-winning attack near the Mons-en-Pévèle sector of cobbles, with more that 50 kilometres to race. He said afterwards that even when he only had a small gap, he was convinced he was going to win and that his rivals, including Tom Boonen (Quick Step), knew it.

    "I knew that with my form and the way the last few weeks were going, I knew they'd be scared of me, even when I only had a ten metre gap," Cancellara said in the post-race press conference, clearly still struggling to comprehend what he had achieved.

    "When I accelerated I knew they'd have a hard time trying to get on my wheel and that was extra motivation too. I knew it would hurt them again, this time physiologically."

    "After the Mons-en-Pévèle section of pave I asked the team car how many riders there were behind, because I knew they might ride against me, but they didn’t. As the guys in the car said, 'they're tired and now is the time to go'. So who would have closed the gap? Boonen, Flecha and Hushovd and the others were there but I think they knew straight away that they were riding for second place. I was able to stabilise the gap and then keep going all the way to the end."

    Making cycling history

    Cancellara joined just a handful of riders who have won both the Tour of Flanders and the Paris-Roubaix in the same year. He knew he had made history.

    "I think the history of cycling is very important and I...

  • Boonen rues lapse in concentration at Roubaix

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    April 11, 2010, 20:05 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Belgian Champion frustrated by failed chase for Cancellara

    The 108th edition of Paris-Roubaix had been presented as a duel between Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) and Tom Boonen (Quick Step). Cancellara was in a position to crack the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix double, while a fourth win in Roubaix for Boonen would have put him level with record holder Roger De Vlaeminck.

    During the legendary passage of the Arenberg forest the two Classics titans had the measure of one another as they led the peloton over the 3000 meter-long stretch of cobbles. Twenty kilometers later neither rider had any more teammates in the lead group of about thirty riders. At that moment, Boonen launched several attacks which were in turn responded to by his Swiss rival. The Belgian's final salvo was neutralized by the other riders in the group. A few moments later Boonen took a breather at the back of the group and Cancellara sneaked away in a cross wind section. It was the last time Boonen would see the eventual race winner before the velodrome in Roubaix.

    "Am I disappointed? Yes, I am, and also frustrated because Cancellara attacked at the only moment that I wasn't near the front," said the disappointed Belgian Champion as he talked with the press at his team bus. "He was probably informed by the team car that I was at the back of our group. Then again, I don't think I could have won from Cancellara today, especially not when seeing how he won it. But I wasn't able to defend my chances and that's a bit disappointing. If I would've been dropped by him I would accept that but now it's a bit awkward," Boonen said.

    Just like Stuart O'Grady's winning attack in 2007, Cancellara attacked off the cobbles, profiting from some hesitation in the group of favorites. Boonen explained he didn't expect the attack nor the reaction from the other riders in the lead group, while emphasizing it was the best tactic to use.

    "I wouldn't hesitate to use the same tactics," said Boonen, who had attacked on the asphalted roads too,...