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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 20, 2009

Date published:
August 20, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Koga extends Skil-Shimano supply deal

    The Skil-Shimano team-issue Koga time trial bikes are fitted with PRO integrated aerobars.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 0:25 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Team will help with time trial bike development

    Skil-Shimano will ride Koga bicycles for a further two years after announcing the extension of the Dutch duo’s agreement. Koga will develop a new time trial bike during the agreement, with feedback coming from the team’s riders.

    Skil-Shimano general manager Iwan Spekenbrink is pleased his riders will receive new carbon framesets for the coming seasons. “We are pleased that Koga will also remain our cycle supplier in the next two years,” said Spekenbrink.

    “Koga’s intensified research and development-path over the next two years appeals to us, particularly since our specific wishes constitute one of the key starting points for the development of new products, and we also want to reap the rewards of this in the two coming seasons,” he added.

    Koga has supplied the outfit with its bikes since 2006. The company was founded in the Netherlands in 1974 and started exporting its bikes to Belgium the following year.

    Koga BV general manager Wouter Jager was pleased with the team’s efforts at the Tour de France in July, with the team earning itself a much sought-after wildcard invite to compete. ““It is a major priority for our team to be able to play a particularly leading role in the coming years through cooperation with the team in the area of developing new high-end products,” said Jager. “The intensive collaboration with Iwan Spekenbrink’s team enables us to achieve this goal because we can exchange knowledge with athletes that perform at the very highest level and who are extremely demanding when it comes to their equipment.”

    Skil-Shimano is one of three teams that have applied for a ProTour licence for 2010. The two other outfits are both start-up teams - Lance Armstrong's RadioShack and British Cycling's Sky - but it's not yet clear whether any new ProTour licences will be issues.

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  • Davis rewarded with Vuelta spot?

    Allan Davis (Quick Step) started his season on a high note by winning the Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 1:58 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Australian’s professionalism to be recognised

    Allan Davis will contest the Vuelta a España this month as a reward for his professionalism during July, when he was drafted in – then back out of – Quick Step’s Tour de France roster at the last minute. Team boss Patrick Lefevere will let the Australian rider contest his second Grand Tour as a reward for his handling of July’s saga, according to Wielerland.nl.

    Davis is currently in strong form, finishing fourth in the sprint at Saturday’s Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg. Team-mate Tom Boonen, who is also expected to start the Vuelta, finished back in 46th place.

    Davis was a last minute call-up for the Belgian squad at the Tour, even taking part in the team’s presentation in Monaco leading up to the race. Davis’ call in was a result of questions hanging over Boonen’s participation, following another positive test for recreational drugs.

    Boonen was forced to miss the previous year’s Tour due to a separate positive test, also for recreational drugs. The Belgian sprinter accepted the organiser’s calls in 2008 to not take part in the event but when requested to stay away from the 2009 edition lawyers reviewed the situation, finding Boonen had the right to start at the eleventh hour and he subsequently took back his original spot on the team from Davis.

    Davis started his season off strong at home by winning the Tour Down Under. The victory at the season’s first ProTour race saw the rider hold the series lead for a relatively long period.

    The 64th Vuelta starts on August 29 in the Netherlands, the first time the opening stage has been held outside of Spain in 12 years.

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  • Visconti in running for spot on Italy's worlds team

    Giovanni Visconti (ISD) is definitely pleased with his victory.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 12:19 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Italian's Coppa Agostoni win adds strength to worlds selection

    Italian Giovanni Visconti is a strong candidate for the Italian worlds team after his win in yesterday's Coppa Agostoni in Lissone, Italy. It was only his second win of the year, but three weeks before the team is selected, Visconti could be set for his first ride with the Azzurri.

    "I don't win often, but I'm always trying," Visconti (ISD) told La Gazzetta dello Sport. There is not a race that starts without a dream of arriving with your hands in the air."

    Visconti, who has never featured in the worlds, formed part of a six-man escape group on the fifth time up the Lissolo climb. The group survived until the end, where Visconti marked the winner of Tuesday's Tre Valli Varesine, Mauro Santambrogio.

    The Italian has only a few more races to further impress national director Franco Ballerini: today's Coppa Bernocchi, Melinda, Veneto and Romagna, with the championships on September 27 in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    "At the worlds I will put myself at the disposition of the national team. I can try to enter escape groups," said Visconti.

    Visconti took the race leader's maglia rosa at the Giro d'Italia last year thanks to an escape in stage six to Peschici. He wore the jersey, instead of his national champion jersey, for eight more days.

    Ballerini will make his final selection of nine riders and two reserves on September 14. Damiano Cunego, current champion Alessandro Ballan, Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali are the most likely leaders.

    Mendrisio's course will be one of the hardest championships since Hamilton, Canada, in 2003. Italy has won the World Championships for the last three years (Salzburg, Stuttgart and Varese), but never has a country won the race four consecutive years.

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  • Time trial world champion Grabsch out of Tour of Ireland

    Bert Grabsch powers to victory in the 42.4-kilometre time trial.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 13:36 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team Columbia's Bert Grabsch out of Tour of Ireland with bronchitis

    Time trial world champion Bert Grabsch of Columbia-HTC had to cancel his appearance in the Tour of Ireland due to bronchitis. It would have been his debut in the race, which runs August 21 to 23.

    "Since I have a light case of bronchitis, it's better to stay at home," he said on his website. "Especially since the weather forecast for Ireland is not very good, with 16° Celsius and rain."

    Germany's Grabsch, 33, still plans to be at the start of the Vuelta à España on August 29. That is "an important preparation for the upcoming World Championship, which I don't want to take any risks of missing."

    Grabsch said that his condition is improving thanks to antibiotics and he hopes to start training again Thursday.

    He has two victories so far this season, the time trial in the Dauphiné Libéré and the German time trial championships.

    He won the time trial world championships last year in Varese, Italy.

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  • Barredo looks towards Vuelta and World Championships

    Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) is ecstatic with his San Sebastián victory.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 13:53 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    San Sebastián winner eyes Vuelta a España stage and World Championships

    Despite winning the Clásica San Sebastián a fortnight ago, Carlos Barredo isn’t resting on his laurels and is targeting a stage win the Vuelta a España, August 29 to September 20, and making the Spanish national team for the worlds.

    "You can't live on what you won before, you have to keep looking ahead," Barredo told Cyclingnews.
    Barredo was present in all the key moves in the final 15 kilometres of the San Sebastián. He joined Roman Kreuziger in an attack in the final two kilometres and out-sprinted him for the win.

    It was Barredo's biggest one-day race win and a boost to his Quick Step team after a less than impressive Tour de France in July.
    "San Sebastián was important for the team, we saved ourselves after the Tour de France. We didn't do anything there."

    Barredo finished 10th overall in the 2007 Vuelta a España, but he said he is only thinking about a stage win, pointing to stages in the second week that suit him, like Xorret de Cati. He hopes a stage win will ensure he selection for Spain's team at the world championships, September 27.

    "If I’m as strong in the Vuelta as I was in the last week of the Tour I won't have a problem making the worlds team," said Barredo. "I have a chance of making the team. There are three fixed spots, Valverde, Samuel Sánchez and Freire, and there are there spots that are semi-secured – me, Joaquím Rodríguez and Gárate."

    Spain is one of ten nations to have nine riders due to their rankings as of August 15. The country has won four of the last ten editions and is one of the strongest teams along with Italy.

    Barredo said it will be the hardest course in recent years, maybe since Spain's Astarloa won the 2003 edition in Hamilton, Canada. "It is full of climbs and curves, never five kilometres of flat like in the last years."

    The circuit has two climbs, Acqua Fresca and...

  • Austrian lab employee under investigation

    Bernhard Kohl in the mirror showing off his dots.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 15:33 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Lab employee suspected of illegally testing doping samples

    Austrian authorities are investigating an employee of the World Anti-Doping Agency-approved laboratory near Vienna for possibly illegally testing urine samples. Earlier this month Stefan Matschiner, the former manager of convicted doper Bernhard Kohl, said that he had paid employees of WADA-approved labs to test samples to help his athletes avoid detection.

    Gerhard Jarosch, a spokesman for the public prosecutor, confirmed to the Austrian newspaper Kurier on Thursday that one employee was being investigated. He emphasised that the lab itself is outside of the investigation.

    The head of the lab, Günter Gmeiner, previously denied that his lab and his employees were involved in such activities.

    Matschiner declined to name the labs involved when interviewed earlier this month on German television. He said that more than one lab was involved and that they were located in "central Europe".

    Austrian authorities questioned Matschiner again, and Jarosch said he had made clearer statements about the urine samples. However, a spokesman for the SoKo, the special commission handling the investigation, said that Matschiner failed to specifically name any lab or location involved.

    The spokesman, Gerald Tatzgern, said that there was a reason why the employee of the lab in Seibersdorf was under investigation. "We don't just randomly look for suspects and possible perpetrators," he said. He did not elaborate on what evidence there was.

    The employee had been previously questioned, and other Seibersdorf employees will also be questioned.

    Kohl, who finished third overall and won the mountains classification at last year's Tour de France, tested positive for CERA in post-race examination. He was suspended for two years and subsequently announced his retirement at the age of 27.

  • Sella finishes first race back following doping suspension

    Emanuele Sella (Carmiooro - A Style) returned to racing after serving a one-year doping ban.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 15:37 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Italian Emanuele Sella raced Agostoni, his first race since testing positive for drugs

    Italy's Emanuele Sella returned to racing yesterday at the Coppa Agostoni in Lissone, Italy. It was his first race after last year's Giro d'Italia and serving a one-year doping suspension.

    "It was tiring, but beautiful," Sella told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I did it and I finished with the best, just behind the winners."

    An escape group of six men decided the race on the fifth of six climbs up the Lissolo. The group with Sella finished 20 seconds behind the winners. Sella, racing for team CarmioOro - A-Style, finished in 20th after 197.2 kilometres.

    "Some riders said 'hello', some asked how I was doing, some shook my hand and some turned the other way," said Sella. "My teammates helped me, [Francisco José] Ventoso encouraged and advised me."

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) tested Sella July 23, 2008, at his home in Vicenza. The blood control showed him positive for third generation blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA.

    Sella, 28, cooperated with prosecutors and the Italian anti-doping tribunal issued him a shorter ban.

    Sella won three stages in the 2008 Giro d'Italia – Alpe di Pampeago, Passo Fedaia and Tirano – and the climber's jersey. CarmioOro would need to be Professional Continental, second division, if Sella would have a chance to race the 2010 Giro d'Italia. The team said it might consider moving up from third division for 2010.

     

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  • Klöden out of Eneco

    Andreas Kloden (Astana) pulled back 6 seconds on teammate, Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    August 20, 2009, 17:17 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German withdraws after wrist injury

    Andreas Klöden abandoned the Eneco Tour on Thursday after a wrist injury. The Astana rider had been involved in a crash with five riders just before the climb of the Old Kwaremont, about 50 kilometers into the stage from Ardooie to Brussels.

    At the top of the Old Kwaremont, Klöden withdrew with a swollen left wrist. An initial examination by the race doctor was followed by one from the team doctor after the race, and neither revealed any fractures according to the team's spokesperson.

    "It's a pity," said the German rider who finished sixth in the Tour de France. "After the Tour, I took some rest but I was really motivated for this race. The Saturday stage suited me especially well."

    Klöden will return home to Switzerland where he will undergo further examination of his wrist. Prior to his injury, he was listed for Team Astana on the Vuelta provisional start list.

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