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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 22, 2011

Date published:
December 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Hosking's focus firmly on Olympic berth in 2012

    Chloe Hosking (HTC-Highroad) gets ready to head out for her eventual win.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 4:45 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Specialized-lululemon sprinter taking cues from Teutenberg

    At just 21 years of age, Australian Chloe Hosking has already shown herself to be among the fastest women in the world when it comes to bunch sprints. In her third year racing alongside Ina Teutenberg, Hosking is aiming to continue to learn from the German sprint legend and graduate to racing the Classics with the Specialized-lululemon team in 2012.

    Hosking burst onto the scene straight out of the juniors when she won three stages of the Canberra Women's Tour at age 17. For her 18th birthday, she was given a round trip ticket to Europe to race her bike, and quickly showed herself at the front of bunch sprints - finishing third behind Dutch star Suzanne De Goede and Teutenberg at a stage of the RaboSter Zeeuwsche Eilanden and going on to a few minor victories and more podiums during the course of the season.

    Even though most of her results have come in bunch sprints, it wasn't until Hosking finished sixth at the World Championships in Copenhagen this year that she believed she had the ability to be one of the world's top female sprinters.

    "I had a few results before I went to Europe, and they just happened to be in sprints, and in the juniors, I was always stronger in the sprints than in climbing or time trialing, but I never said 'I'm going to beat Ina'," Hosking told Cyclingnews at the team's camp in Carlsbad, California. Yet she did just that to win stage 3 of the Tour of Chongming Island this year.

    "I never thought I would be a world class sprinter. I'm still not at that level yet, but I think some of the results I've had so far have shown that maybe if I work really hard I can get there and I can be the sort of rider that Ina is."

  • Four WorldTour teams to Glava Tour of Norway in 2012

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) enjoys his second trip to the podium in this Tour de France.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 9:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race announces route and first teams

    The Glava Tour of Norway can already boast four WorldTour teams for next year, and hope for the participation of native son Edvald Boasson Hagen. The five-stage race also features a stage starting in the national capital on the national holiday, May 17.

    The race, which was held last year for the first time as a 2.2 ranked race, was upgraded this year by the International Cycling Union to 2.2. “This means that the greatest teams of the world for the first time in history will be able to ride on Norwegian soil,” according to the race organisers' press release.

    The four WorldTour teams so far confirmed to ride are Team Sky, GreenEdge, Garmin-Cervelo, and Lotto-Belisol. They will be joined by the following Professional Continental teams:  Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, Bretagne Schuller, Team NetApp and Colnago-CSF Inox.

    In all, 20 teams of eight riders each are expected to take part.

    The race will be held in southeastern Norway, around Oslo. A highlight will be second stage from Oslo to Drammen on May 17, the national holiday, Norwegian Constitution Day.  “This is a very special day in Norway with children’s parades in all villages and towns. A bike race at this day is something very new, and crowds waving the Norwegian flag will be surrounding the route,” the press release said.

    The stages:

    Stage 1: Wednesday, May 16:  Sandefjord – Tønsberg, 185 km (flat)
    Stage 2: Thursday, May 17: Oslo – Drammen, 155km (flat)
    Stage 3: Friday, May 18: Lillestrøm – Elverum, 185km (flat)
    Stage 4: Saturday, May 19: Hamar – Lillehammer, 205km (Partly hilly)
    Stage 5: Sunday, May 20: Gjøvik – Hønefoss (Final laps),...

  • Riis: points system is inflating values

    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 11:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dane unhappy with WorldTour's effect on transfer market

    Bjarne Riis has criticised the UCI points system for skewing the true worth of riders and forcing teams to pay over the odds in certain cases. While the Saxo Bank manager admitted that he was unable to secure all of his desired reinforcements on the transfer market, he is satisfied that his team has been strengthened.

    “I’ve put together a fine group, maybe even better than in 2011. I’m very happy with the manpower I have at my disposal,” Riis told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Certainly, I wasn’t able to get all of the riders that I wanted, but that’s ok. With certain figures, it’s not easy to sign riders. The market really seemed out of control to me.”

    Riis pointed the finger at the current points system, which made riders with WorldTour points prized commodities as teams scrambled to secure their places at cycling’s top table.

    “The points system has made prices rise too much in respect to their actual values,” he said. “We need to watch out, because it doesn’t seem that there are too many teams around with mountains of money to spend, we risk exploding the entire movement. We’re living in a very dangerous situation: Leopard (which failed to find a sponsor and merged with RadioShack – ed.) is a clear example.”

    While Riis acknowledged that his team does not possess the same strength in depth as the high-spending BMC, he is confident that Alberto Contador will be well supported at the Tour de France, should he ride. The Court of Arbitration for Sport is set to decide in mid-January whether Contador should face sanctions for his positive test for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour.

    “I’m convinced that he will be...

  • German-Azerbaijani team to debut in 2012

    One of the German rider makes an attack
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 11:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Newly formed Continental team features riders from two nations

    Team Specialized Concept Store will join the peloton at Continental level in 2012. Based in Sulz am Neckar, Germany, the team will feature 11 German riders and four from Azerbaijan.

    The German riders all come from southern Germany. “We wanted to give the young riders here another chance,” said team manager Hartmut Täumler. “There were practically no other chances for young riders to develop themselves.”

    Only two of the Germans are over 20 years old. One of them is 21-year-old  Fabian Schnaidt, who is also German Under-23 champion and a member of the national team.

    The Azerbaijan connection comes about from co-sponsor Ata Holding. One of the four riders from the country is Tural Isgandorov, the national champion.The project hopes to encourage cycling in that land.

    The new team has modest goals for its first year, hoping to first establish itself. It will concentrate on national races in the Radbundesliga, the German championships and international stage races such as the Tour of Azerbaijan,

    Team Specialized Concept Store for 2012: Elchin Asadov (Azerbaijan); Emanuel Buchmann (Ravensburg); Achim Burkart (Achern- Önsbach); Mike-Aaron Egger (Offenburg); Nikodemus Holler (Eberdingen); Tural Isgandorov (Azerbaijan; Nico Knab (Laufenburg); Jonas Koch (Stuttgart); Thorsten Marth (Renningen); Ruslan Mustafayev (Azerbaijan); Fabio Nappa (Eutingen); Fabian Schnaidt (Rottenburg); Christoph Springer (Wittershausen); Aleksandr Surutkovic (Azerbaijan); Mario Vogt (Weil im Schönbuch)



  • Voeckler harbours Tour de France regrets

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) reads all about it in Limoux.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 12:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Podium place was possible, says Frenchman

    Darling of the French public after spending ten days in yellow at the Tour de France, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has admitted that tactical errors on the road to Alpe d’Huez cost him a place on the podium. While he insisted that winning the race outright was never possible, he was disappointed by the manner in which he lost the jersey and dropped to 4th on the final mountain stage.

    “I never believed in Tour victory,” Voeckler told L’Équipe. “That’s not a bluff, but I did seriously believe in the podium. After Plateau de Beille, I said to myself that there was no reason why I lose more ground in the mountains.”

    When Alberto Contador attacked on the Col du Télégraphe in the opening kilometres of stage 19, Voeckler opted to give chase by himself. The yellow jersey continued his lone pursuit over the top of the next climb, the Col du Galibier, before eventually waiting for a group containing three of his Europcar teammates on the descent. On the final haul to Alpe d’Huez, Voeckler was finally dispossessed of his yellow jersey.

    “With a clear head, I’d say that I lost second place at the Tour on the Col du Galibier. I shouldn’t have tried to follow Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck at all costs,” he said. “If I had finished in the same time as Cadel Evans… But I lacked clarity. My directeur sportif should have ordered me to stop. It was an error, but that’s how it was.”

    Voeckler had put up a surprisingly stout defence of his yellow jersey in the Pyrenees, but with the benefit of hindsight, he harbours some regrets that he didn’t take...

  • Neben brings Christmas joy to at-risk kids

    Neben is using the off-season to get some chance to encourage youngsters to jump on the bike.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 14:03 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    70 Specialized bikes go to Californians

    Former time trial world champion Amber Neben and a crew of volunteers from her Dare To Be Project brought the spirit of Christmas to 70 disadvantaged children in Southern California this week.

    Neben's non-profit teamed up with Specialized and the Illumination Foundation, which helps to break the cycle of homelessness in Southern California, to deliver bikes to at-risk children in Costa Mesa and Anaheim on Monday.

    It's the third year Neben has held the annual bike giving, and each year it has grown. "The idea began with an Arthur Ashe quote: 'Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.'," Neben told Cyclingnews.

    She began with a homeless shelter in her area where families in transition stay. Using her connections with Specialized, she arranged to provide a little holiday spirit and hopefully some motivation to persevere and succeed in life to the children who stay there.

    "It's not a lot, but it's a little bit. Hopefully I can take the bike, I can take the message of embracing and overcoming adversity, and encourage them to work hard, to motivate, inspire them... to light that fire - to dare them to be what they want to be, and not to give up on life.

    "To bring that message to them in a face to face way, with the bike ... it can be a tool to help them with fitness, with their weight, it might be a tool to get to school or work. It simply might be something that lets them know that they're valued. I think sometimes people need a positive push. If I can do that in a small way, it's exciting."

    Some may doubt that a sports figure visiting some young children with gifts can create an impact, but Neben knows it can because when she was very young, she had a special visitor at a time when her life was in danger, and it stuck with...

  • Stybar wants too much, team manager says

    Zdenek Stybar (Quick Step) rides to a 6th place finish.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 15:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    World champion needs to choose between road and 'cross

    Zdenek Stybar wants to defend his cyclo-cross world championship title as well as put in a full season on the road. It isn't working, says his supervisor at Quick Step, Wilfried Peeters, who says it is time for the Czech to decide which discipline he wants to ride.

    Stybar has won the world title two years in a row, and over the last few years has won numerous World cup races and titles. But not this year.

    After taking the Czech and World titles in January, he moved to the road and Quick Step after March 1. He got off to a good start, finishing third overall in the Three Days of Dunkirk and he rode a full schedule in May, June, and August.

    Stybar returned to the 'cross season in the fall, but with a noticeable lack of success. He has won only one race, in Hamme-Zogge. Last weekend after finishing a dismal thirteenth in Essen, he came back to finish fifth in Namur.

    He is simply trying to do too much, Peeters told Het Nieuwsblad. “That boy does everything with great enthusiasm and energy, but sometimes it's stronger than him. You have to constantly rein him in. I don't blame him, because he's a great guy to work with. But he must gradually go a different way. No one is indestructible, huh. Draw the line somewhere. Therefore it is not that bad once he sat with his head bumped against the wall. He must himself feel how far he can go."

    Even if Stybar wants to win everything, he will certainly not be able to, Peeters said. "You can be as strong as you want, the programme of 2011 is not sustainable," says Peeters. "Nobody can be top on both the road and in the field. That combination is not sustainable. A man must choose in life, and we must  remember for the...

  • Will Dugan: Keeping the balance

    William Dugan (Richard Sachs - RGM Watches - Radix) grabs the $1 barrier prime.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 17:15 GMT
    Clara Cureton

    Team Type 1 rider talks goals, challenges ahead for 2012

    Affectionately dubbed "Panino" by his Italian soigneurs, Team Type 1 - Sanofi’s Will Dugan may be mad about sandwiches, but what he’d rather sink his teeth into are a few UCI race wins this upcoming season.

    This will be the Vermont native’s third full year with Team Type 1. In 2009, Dugan began racing with TT1 as a stagiaire at the Tour of Utah, eventually signing with the pro continental team in 2011.

    Starting his racing season in January, Dugan said competing in the Sun Tour was already an extension of what he thought his regular season was going to be, but on his way home from the Australian race in October, he found out he was also on the roster for Tour of Rwanda, less than a month away.

    "So it’s been quite a long season for me actually. It’s about 12 months of training and racing in a row without a solid break, so I’m trying to take it as easy as I can right now. I’ll start ramping it up again when we have our next camp in Italy in January."

    With such a grueling program, taking those mid-season rests is imperative to finish up the season on a high note, Dugan told Cyclingnews at Team Type 1’s Tucson-based training camp last week.

    "It’s really important that when you want to rest, to take your break and get back to the bike actually missing it."

    Going into next season with "some fire and some fuel to burn" is what the 24-year-old plans to do, which he predicts will start in February or March. After racing in the US, Africa and Asia, he hopes that this year will be the year he is able to concentrate on the European calendar.

    And with a swiftly evolving team like TT1-Sanofi, he’s excited about his chances to perform with an experienced pool of riders and staff, something he considers "super...