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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 18, 2010

Date published:
February 18, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Former East German coach Lindner dead

    Jan Ullrich leads Lance Armstrong during the 2003 Tour de France
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 10:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Also directed Team Coast, Swiss and Iranian national teams

    Former East German national cycling coach Wolfram Lindner passed away Tuesday night at his home in Berlin, the German cycling federation has announced. Lindner, who would have turned 69 next week, was the head coach for East Germany from 1970 to 1990. His riders on both road and track brought in 1,119 international victories, including three Olympic wins and six World titles.

    In 1992, he became Swiss national coach, working with Alex Zülle and Tony Rominger.

    Lindner helped organise and lead Team Coast (later Team Bianchi) from 2000 to 2003. As sports director, he accompanied Jan Ullrich in the 2003 Tour de France.

    From 2007 to 2008, Lindner was national trainer for Iran, helping the country to qualify for the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He retired in April 2008.

  • Boonen confident despite defeat

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) at the start of stage three. He won the day with a powerful sprint into Mesaieed.
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 10:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian serene for immediate future, Spring Classics and Tour

    Even though Tom Boonen was beaten in yesterday's Tour of Oman stage four by 20 year-old Australian Leigh Howard (HTC-Columbia), the Belgian feels confident about his season build-up. Having won two stages in the Tour of Qatar, Boonen assured the media that his form as well as his weight was where it needs to be for his further objectives.

    "I think that I am already stronger than last year," he told La Dernière Heure. "I was very cautious this winter and I'm already five kilos lighter than in 2009."

    Boonen hopes to take advantage of this in the coming weeks in his home country, where his main objectives for the first part of the season lie. Moreover, this year, he will not be haunted by jetlag coming back from the Tour of California, once the Belgian Spring Classics start with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (formerly Het Volk).

    "That's one of the reasons why I've never won this race - the only Flandrian event missing on my palmarès," he explained.

    After the Classics, Boonen will do specific time trial training in order to win the prologue of this year's Tour de France in Rotterdam. "The idea is to enter Belgium wearing yellow in July 4," he smiled.

  • Specific training pays off for FdJ

    Benoît Vaugrenard (Francaise Des Jeux) on the podium for his stage victory.
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 11:49 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    French team scores early with four victories so far

    ProTour team La Francaise des Jeux has had a promising start in the new season by taking four victories already. Belarusian sprinter Yauheni Hutarovich won two stages of the Tour Méditerranéen, in which teammate Jussi Veikkanen also took a stage and wore the race leader's jersey for several days.

    Just yesterday, the French squad obtained its fourth victory in the Volta ao Algarve, as Benoît Vaugrenard took off in the final kilometre of stage one to snatch the win from the chasing field. Now, Vaugrenard and his teammates will be defending the overall lead in the Portuguese event.

    Having already been very successful in 2009 when the team finished ninth on the UCI ProTour team ranking and was best French squad, La Francaise des Jeux seems on track to show off similarly good performances this season, if not better.

    "We are very happy for our riders," said sports director Yvan Madiot to Cyclingnews, speaking from the Tour du Haut Var. "This is great for the team, but we are especially happy for our riders because they worked very hard during the winter. This is a great reward for them, and of course everybody shares their joy."

    The thorough training during an especially harsh European winter has paid off for the team, whose three training camps all took place in France - where other squads headed to the South of Spain. "Our three team meets were held in December and in January. They were not very long - only five days each - but filled with intensive workouts under the guidance of our trainer, Frédéric Grappe. After that, the riders all got specific training plans to follow at home," explained Madiot.

    Moreover, for the last two camps, the roster was divided in two groups: one destined to perform at the Classics and another one designed for stage races. "Each group had their own training camps separately," added Madiot.

    The team's objective clearly was to start off 2010 where...

  • Sky gives its sprinters a work-out at training camp

    All smiles: John-Lee Augustyn looks cold but happy
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 12:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Andalucia squad practices its leadout train

    After spending the last couple of days perfecting their time trial skills, Team Sky switched disciplines and worked on their leadout train and sprinting at their training camp in Valencia, Spain.

    The riders, who included Greg Henderson, Thomas Löfkvist, Michael Barry, Sylvain Calzati and Simon Gerrans, had a hard day in the saddle. They began with a five-hour ride before sprint work began on a closed circuit.

    The team camp ends Friday with Sky’s camp line-up departing for Andalucia and the Tour du Haut Var.

    The team have already chalked up four wins this season. Edvald Boasson Hagen won stage three in the Tour of Oman but lost his overall lead during Wednesday’s stage 4 after the Norwegian lost over a minute to Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo).

  • Debate continues about stage 4 tactics in Oman

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) made the front group when the peloton split
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 14:59 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Boonen and Farrar point out mistakes by Team Sky

    The day after Team Sky's Edvald Boasson Hagen lost the overall lead at the Tour of Oman, riders and directeur sportifs were still discussing if cycling's unwritten rules had been broken and by whom.

    Everyone had a slightly different take on exactly what happened and a slightly different opinion on if Boasson Hagen made a mistake by stopping at a key moment in the race.

    Some riders pointed the finger at the Cervelo TestTeam for attacking when the race leader had stopped, but most teams were also quick to jump in their slipstream and join the attack. There was also debate about how far from the finish Boasson Hagen actually stopped and questions were asked why Team Sky didn't really ease up and why they failed to fully let the peloton know what was going on.

    As the Team Sky riders put on their numbers, tightened their shoes and loaded up with bottles, their anger and disappointment from the day before had clearly eased. Smiles replaced their scowls and they seemed to have learnt a lesson. They probably won't forget what had happened out on the road but tried to turn the negative into positive and insisted it will only make them stronger as a team.

    Edvald Boasson Hagen finished sixth in the sprint behind Tom Boonen and is now focusing on Friday's time trial stage. Victory will surely be some kind of revenge.

    "Shit happens," he said, clearly not really wanting to talk about it.

    "But it'll make us stronger. We did a good job in the sprint today and we were good together. Now I'll do my best tomorrow in the time trial."

    Boonen: "It was a race thing, it happens"

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was one of the riders who took advantage of the attack but he insisted that he and the other riders who made the front echelon had not broken any unwritten rules.

    "I don't think anybody did anything wrong, it was a race thing, it happens. It could have happened to anybody," he told...

  • Team Type 1 jump starts season in Georgia

    Spaniard Javier Megias Leal adds European experience to Team Type 1.
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 16:15 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Pro team outlines ambitious program

    One of the fastest growing teams in the USA rolled out its professional squad this week: Team Type 1 is on an ambitious path toward a world-wide presence aimed at not only contesting a Grand Tour but also spreading its message of hope for diabetics.

    Team Type 1 has grown into a huge program centered around the mission to 'instill hope and inspiration for people around the world affected by diabetes.' The squad's UCI Continental men's team was just one of six cycling programs supported under the Team Type 1 umbrella and all were invited to a week long training camp that concluded on Thursday in Gainesville, Georgia.

    Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge are the two young and highly ambitious co-founders of Team Type 1, both live with Type 1 diabetes. Founded in 2005, the team began to grow after eight Type 1 diabetic cyclists won the Race Across America (RAAM) in 2007. Southerland, soon-to-be 28, is now the CEO of Team Type 1, one of the largest and most successful cycling organizations in the United States of America.

    Team Type 1 hosted a training camp for all six teams that included the men and women's professional cycling team, development team, elite team, triathlon team and Team Type 2 squad. The crew totalled 70 athletes and 16 staff members.

    "To think that we would have this many programs and moving parts was a just evolution every year," Southerland said. "Our guys have a million and a half people in the US alone, pushing them like a tailwind and cheering for them to accomplish this. I'm pumped with where we are and I'm even more excited about where we can go."

    "We are a good organization but we need to be great," he added. "If we are great we will affect that many more lives. If everyone on this team makes small changes to be better than we will hit the sky and the sky is the limit here."

    Eldridge is now a leading member of the Team Type 1 pro men's team, an 18-man roster aiming to step up to UCI...

  • Haedo goes close in Oman sprint

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) pips JJ Haedo on the bike throw to claim the stage 5 win
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 17:33 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank sprinter shows form in the Gulf

    JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) was unable to beat to Tom Boonen (Quick Step) in the sprint that decided stage five of the Tour of Oman but the Argentinean was pleased to have pushed Boonen so close and pick yet another good result.

    Haedo finished third in two stages at the Tour of Qatar and was fifth on another. He was 13th on stage four in Oman, but more importantly, he was in the front echelon that decided the race. On other days he helped teammates Baden Cooke and Stuart O'Grady by providing some excellent leadouts and even helped his younger brother Lucas Sebastien in other sprints.

    "I should be proud of a second place like that but we've been so close for two weeks now, it's not something that makes us happy at the moment," he said to Cyclingnews as he tried to recover from his effort.

    "The legs are okay, it's just a matter of timing. Today I was trying to help (Baden) Cookie and so I burned some matches before the sprint. Then when I went, I went really well, but Boonen got my wheel and caught me on the line."

    Haedo is an aggressive sprinter and was not afraid to bump shoulders with Boonen but he is professional and did not even think of trying to block Boonen against the barriers.

    "It was on the right, then the middle and then I went to the right. But I didn't close the gate on Tom. I'm not the kind of sprinter who'd try to kill someone for a win," he said.

    Saxo Bank have ridden well in the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman but missed out on victory. However the consolation is the excellent team spirit that has developed during two weeks on the road together.

    We're just lacking a win to break our luck," Haedo admitted. "We've been riding well, and we had five guys in the front when it split yesterday. We didn't win that stage but at least the team is working well and as a unit. That's important for the future. The guys really know each other now."

    After a big block of early-season racing,...

  • Rain-soaked misery for the peloton in Portugal

    André Greipel (Team HTC - Columbia) was no match for the field as he powered to victory on the uphill finish.
    Article published:
    February 18, 2010, 19:45 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Cold, wet day for difficult 207km stage

    Last year the peloton basked in 25-degree heat at the Tour of the Algarve, and this year they seem to be paying the price. After wind, rain and cold with a touch of sun on day one, day two brought incessantly heavy rain and biting cold.

    The stage, at 207km through some rugged Portuguese mountain terrain, would have been tough enough on a decent day. On an appalling one, it was brutal. So it was no wonder that André Greipel's winning time of six hours plus was 75 minutes beyond the scheduled finish.

    There was no chance of a quote at the finish from riders who looked as stony-faced as Lot's wife. It would have been unfair to ask. However, Greipel and runner-up Jurgen Roelandts did hang around long enough to give the riders' perspective.

    "It was horrible out there," said Greipel. "It's not really healthy to do 207km in rain like that, and if I've got a cold tomorrow I'll know why. It was very hard all day and I just tried to eat as much as I could to keep off the cold. I told the team not to do any work at all as I felt really bad all day. I didn't want them riding to chase the break down, we let the other teams do that for a change.

    "To be honest, we didn't expect to catch the last breakaway rider [Footon's David Vitoria] at all. We got up to him at the last roundabout with 200m to go just as we hit the steep climb up to the finish. I don't know what happened then, I can't really remember anything about the sprint, who I beat or what happened. But it certainly helped that we looked over the last 3km of this stage in the team car yesterday."

    Roelandts was pleased with his ride, although disappointed to have finished second once again. "At some points today I couldn't feel my legs because of the rain and the cold, but they must have been good because I was climbing alongside [Alberto] Contador and [Levi] Leipheimer. I do like cold and wet conditions. I won last year at the Tour of Poland when it was very similar.