Tools and tricks of the pro mechanics
A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
Former world champion will focus entirely on road racing
With four wins in only his second season as a road rider, Theo Bos (Cervelo TestTeam) appears to be making a success of his switch from track racing. And the Dutchman says that his progress has made decide to make the switch permanent.
Although he will still ride the boards occasionally - and could even turn his hand to the omnium or team pursuit at the 2012 Olympics in London - he says his days as a track sprinter are well and truly behind him.
For a former world sprint champion and 200m world record holder, that's a big career change. But Bos insists that he is now committed to the road and that there is no chance of him competing at the London Olympics in 2012 as a purely track sprinter.
"I watched the world track championships [in Copenhagen] very closely," said Bos. "Of course I wished I was there a bit, because they're always good to watch - it's the highlight of the track season and really special. But then again, Paris-Roubaix [which Bos rode a couple of weeks later] is also really special."
"I prefer the regularity of road racing," Bos continued. "On the track it's one big race per season and it's difficult to focus all year on that. But on the road it's a totally different lifestyle. You have a target in front of you, and then another and another. If a race doesn't work out, you have another chance the next day, or the day after. Of course, if you have a good result, you can't sit back - you have to do it again. But I like that. And I'm happy with the steps I've made so far. I feel my form is okay, but not special at the moment. I'm not quite there yet, but I think it'll come eventually. I have to be patient."
In his first season as a road rider Bos was given a one month suspension for dangerous riding at the Tour of Turkey, when he caused South Africa's Daryl Impey to crash heavily in a sprint finish. One of his old track rivals, Britain's Sir Chris Hoy, was among those who defended Bos' reputation in the...
Cocaine-related suspension to run through September 2010
David Kopp said that the International Cycling Union has extended his doping ban until September 10, 2010, putting a temporary stop to his return to racing this season.
The Flemish cycling federation had first suspended him until December 31, 2009, after which he signed a contract for the 2010 season with the German Continental Team Kuota-Indeland. The Flemish federation later extended its ban, which applies only in Belgium, until September at the urging of the World Anti-Doping Agency.
The UCI has now adopted the suspension, which applies worldwide. UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani confirmed to Cyclingnews that it “has accepted the Flemish decision on David Kopp.”
Kopp tested positive for cocaine in September 2008 at a Belgian national race while riding for Team Cycle Collstrop. He claimed that he had not purposefully taken the drug, but that his drink must have been spiked at a disco two nights earlier. However, he did not deny or fight the positive results, and accepted the suspension.
After serving his one-year ban, Kopp signed for this season with the German Continental Team Kuota-Indeland. Earlier this month, the World Anti-Doping Agency said that it had appealed the one-year suspension to the UCI, and asked that it be extended to two years. According to Kopp, his team received a fax over the weekend from the UCI concerning the ban, but he had not heard anything directly.
“I am very disappointed,” Kopp told Radsport-News.com. “First the UCI give me an unlimited licence for the 2010 season after my one-year-suspension ended, and let me train and ride races. And not four months later they change their mind and tear me out of the team, without any new findings. That is inhuman.”
The 30-year-old German said that he planned to return the end of the season. “I will continue to train and prepare myself for the last races of the season, like the...
Team manager says sponsor talks going well
Team Milram Team Manager Gerry van Gerwen has not given up hope for the future of the Germany's only ProTour team. says that the search for a new backer is going “better than expected”.
Dairy company Nordmilch AG has been title sponsor for five years but their contract expires the end of this year. The company has said it does not wish to renew the contract, although it has indicated it may stay as minor sponsor.
“I can't imagine, that the team will end,” van Gerwen told the German news agency dpa. “II don't want it to stop. It will not stop.”
He revealed there has been interest from potential sponsors: “A few sponsors have come to us” and opened discussions, the Dutchman said. “That surprised me. But I don't want to give a status update, I can only say: Things are going better than expected.”
Van Gerwen hopes to know his future by July 21. “No later than the second rest day at the Tour de France, I want to say whether we will continue or not.”
van Gerwen refuses to give up hope for the future of the team and neither will his Tour de France captain Linus Gerdemann. “I think that German cycling is improving again, step by step,” he said, knowing that the team's future may partially depend on his performance in July. “I'm hungry for success. We want to show that it is worthwhile to invest in us.”
The 27-year-old added that doping controls were no problem. “We are glad that we are often controlled, because then our credibility increases.”
Saxo Bank rider abandoned on second climb of Mur de Huy
Jakob Fuglsang was defeated by the Mur de Huy on Wednesday, abandoning after his second time up the dreaded “wall at Flèche Wallonne.
“Nothing went right for me,” the Saxo Bank rider told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet. “I well and truly had an off-day, and I certainly cannot be satisfied with my performance."
It was one of the worst days of his career. “It is said that a rider may suddenly experience such day, but I have not experienced it before,” he added. “At least not as bad as it was today.”
Realising he wasn't going to accomplish anything, the 25-year-old decided to abandon with 30 km to go, and save something for Sunday's Liege-Bastogne-Liege. “I must look ahead. It cannot be worse, so I still believe I can do a good run on Sunday,” he said.
The second-year Danish pro didn't come in for any criticism from his teammates or team management. “Everyone knew that I didn't want it to happen. It is not something you have any control over.” Even team boss Bjarne Riis and directeur sportif Kim Andersen were understanding. “They've been professionals, so they understand that it can go wrong occasionally.”
Cunego and Nibali hoping for better results at Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was one of the favourites for Flèche Wallonne but finished a somewhat anonymous eighth, 11 seconds behind Cadel Evans (BMC).
The Caisse d'Epargne leader missed last Sunday's Amstel Gold Race and had to drive all the way from Spain to Belgium on Monday, after the volcanic ash cloud from Iceland had paralysed European air traffic.
"It wasn't good, but not bad either," Valverde wrote on his personal website post-race. "I felt a bit strange in the beginning of the race. I don't have an explanation for it but I won't blame our long car trip for it, as I have recovered well from it."
"It got better as the hours passed," he continued, recalling the unfolding of the race. "In the last climb, I felt much better, but not enough to go for the win. I passed riders one by one and I think that with a little more confidence in myself I could have fought for fourth place."
"For sure, I lacked a bit of rhythm in my legs, which I could have gained at Amstel Gold Race. But that's just how things are and I have to concentrate on Liège now, where I hope to be in front and give the very best of myself."
Cunego and Nibali suffer on the Mur
Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) both suffered on the final climb of the Mur de Huy, meaning the Italians finished out of the top three.
Cunego refused to speak to Italian television immediately after the finish of Flèche Wallonne. The 'Little Prince' of Italian cycling was angry at missing out on victory yet again and was not satisfied with fifth place behind Cadel Evans (BMC), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Alberto Contador (Astana) and Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi).
Later he talked to Gazzetta dello Sport about his race: "I was in a crash after 120km and I ended up on top of some other riders. I wasn't hurt but it affected my race. First I had to...
Maintains form in view of "La Doyenne"
Amstel Gold Race winner Philippe Gilbert was Belgium's best finisher in Wednesday's Flèche Wallonne, coming in sixth atop the famous Mur de Huy. The leg breaking, lung bursting steep finish does not really suit Gilbert's style of racing but Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège does and it is the last big goal of the spring for the Omega Pharma-Lotto rider.
"It's a good result to be finishing in the top ten," Gilbert told Belgian journalists at the finish in Huy. "Compared to the real climbers, I come up a little short in the finale. But I'm satisfied mith my performance."
Despite still feeling last Sunday's race-winning effort in his legs, the Belgian raced hard and was set-up perfectly by his Omega Pharma-Lotto teammates ready for the final, third ascent of the Mur de Huy. "The first 100 kilometres were tough, but after that I felt better. At the second passage of the Mur de Huy I got dropped. It was difficult for about 10 kilometres, but then I was able to start the finishing ascent in a good position, also thanks to my teammates," he said.
Gilbert knew which wheel he had to follow on the closing climb, and extended his effort not only in view of a victory but to also secure some precious points in the UCI rankings as he tries to secure the number one ranking after Liège-Bastogne-Liège. "Evans' wheel was clearly the best one. His acceleration was "smooth", if you can say that, but I still had to let him go. On the Mur I gave it everything I had, but the last 200 metres really are unbelievably hard. I had some extra motivation left to ride for the points in the UCI ranking."
However, the Belgian's hopes of scoring the number one in the ranking were complicated by Joaquin Rodruiguez (Katusha). He finished second and theoretically leads the classification before Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the culmination of the Ardennes Classics.
Gilbert finished fourth at...
2005 Liège winner to support Contador on Sunday
Alberto Contador will have some additional support for Sunday's Liège-Bastogne-Liège after Astana named Alexandre Vinokourov its line-up for the final Ardennes Classic on Thursday.
The Kazakh rider won Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2005, when he attacked with Jens Voigt 50 kilometres from the finish and then beat him in the sprint.
Despite now being 36, Vinokourov showed he is on excellent form this week by dominating the first stage of the Giro del Trentino on Tuesday. He also finished second to Riccardo Ricco (Ceramica Flaminia) on the first mountain finish on Wednesday and still leads overall. The four-day event ends on Friday and Vinokourov will immediately travel to Belgium to get ready for Sunday's race. He will replace Josep Jufre in an otherwise unchanged Astana roster.
It will be Vinokourov's first ride in Liège-Bastogne-Liège since his suspension for blood doping at the 2007 Tour de France. However, he has ridden the race with Contador once before, in 2006, when both were part of the Liberty Seguros-Würth managed by Manolo Saiz. Just four weeks after that race the Spanish team manager was arrested as part of the Spanish doping investigation, Operacion Puerto.
The complete Astana line-up is thus as follows: Alberto Contador, Dimitri Fofonov, Andriy Grivko, Maxim Iglinskiy, Benjamin Noval, Oscar Pereiro, Gorazd Stangelj, Alexandre Vinokourov.
Exclusive images of the US team's European base
RadioShack may be one of the newest teams in the ProTour peloton but the team's Service Course, in the heart of Flemish Belgium, has been the base for the success of the US Postal Service, Discovery Channel and Astana teams for over a decade. Some of Lance Armstrong's framed yellow jerseys on the walls and a collection of trophies show just how successful the team has been over the years.
With RadioShack currently deployed at races in three different countries, their Service Course was described by the remaining staff as "bare", however Cyclingnews still discovered plenty of equipment and history when we were given exclusive access to the European home of the US squad. The well-established base also provides a fascinating contrast to the comparatively young Service Course of fellow ProTour-newcomer, Team Sky, Cyclingnews visited last week.
The genesis of the RadioShack Service Course adds to its rich history. The collection of buildings used to be a car dealership, which RadioShack manager Johan Bruyneel visited in 1999 to have repairs done on his personal vehicle shortly after taking the helm of US Postal Service. He became friends with the owner of the dealership, who subsequently offered the space to US Postal to use as their Service Course. The friendship has remained strong, as the former-car man is now one of the RadioShack's three bus drivers.
The Service Course is also the office of Bruyneel's management company, which is responsible for the employment of RadioShack's 60-70 riders and staff. Director of Johan Bruyneel Management, Gert Duffeleer, oversees the administration of the company, with Barbara Van Maeldergem in charge of RadioShack's rider logistics (her imposing task made even more difficult last week after the eruption of the Icelandic volcano). Duffeleer, or 'Duffy' as he is affectionately known within the...