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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 3, 2011

Date published:
February 03, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Video: Stage 1 Highlights of the Ladies Tour of Qatar

    A celebration for for stage winner and race leader, Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto Honda)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 12:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Gilmore interviewed on her sprint win

    Cyclingnews has special video reports from the Ladies Tour of Qatar.

    2010 Commonwealth Road Race Champion Rochelle Gilmore narrowly beat reigning World Champion Giorgia Bronzini (MCipollini-Giordana) and Chloe Hosking (HTC-Highroad) to win the first stage and so took the first race leader’s gold jersey.

    The 104km stage started at the camel race-track at Al-Shahaniya before finishing in Dukhan on the western coast.

    Gilmore talks about her tactics for the race, her Australian summer season, and how it feels to win the first race of the year with her Lotto-Honda team.

    Cyclingnews will have daily reports, news, photographs and video from the women’s Tour of Qatar and the subsequent men’s race that begins on Sunday.
     

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  • Dan Martin: first focus on spring

    Dan Martin forces a selection in the Giro dell'Emilia
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 14:16 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervélo rider hopes for less allergies in 2011

    After undergoing two nasal operations over winter to try to improve his reactions to allergies, Dan Martin is looking forward the coming season and a spring programme that centres on the Ardennes Classics. Speaking from the Garmin-Cervélo training camp at Calpe, the Irish climber revealed his plans to Cyclingnews and how the Ardennes Classics will be central to his 2011 season.

    "I know I'm doing the Tour Mediterranean and the Vuelta Murcia, then races are really up in the air - whichever races I'll be doing, I'll be going to help the team. I'll definitely be going to the País Vasco and the Ardennes, they're my first objectives on the calendar."

    It will only be after the Ardennes Classics that Martin will start to think about the rest of the year, taking into account his form and health - and his performance in relation to the rest of the team. After that, he'll think about the possibilities of riding the Grand Tours.

    "I think I've got to keep the options open. Whether I do the Giro or not, it's not going to affect my Spring programme anyway - maybe I'll do Romandie instead of the Giro, if I am going to the Tour or the Vuelta - but until the Ardennes are out of the way, I don't really want to think about it.

    "The Giro is a super-hard parcours, it suits me really well, but my allergies might never be right for me to have it as an objective. Obviously this year we'll see what goes on, we'll talk to the medical staff as much as the coaches and the directeurs sportifs. If they believe that my allergies are still a problem, there's no point in me going."

    Although he finished the 2010 Giro with two top-ten stage placings, he's still frustrated that he wasn't riding his best.

    "It's one of the things I hate most about racing. There's not really much point going to a...

  • Madiot angry with Tour Méditerranéen organiser

    Marc Madiot has won this race as a rider and a team boss
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 14:37 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Says Aimar broke contract by sidelining French teams from the event

    The Tour Méditerranéen made headlines in France before even getting underway on February 9. Marc Madiot, manager the FDJ team and president of the French Cycling Ligue (LNC), accused the organiser of the stage race, Lucien Aimar, of breaking a contract by not having invited all of the French teams.

    In a line-up of 16 squads, three French teams (Big Mat, Roubaix, Saur-Sojasun) were sidelined to give race entries to foreign squads. Madiot claimed that the Tour Med sealed a three-year deal with the LNC in January 2009, in which the organiser committed to inviting all of the French teams to his race, after receiving financial support when the race was in peril.

    "When the Tour Med was in a difficult situation, it was able to count on the support of the League," Madiot told AFP. "I was one of those who defended it. Today, I feel cheated.

    "BigMat-Auber 93 team manager Stéphane Javalet has been fighting for his team for 20 years, but what can he do if the organisers won't allow him to enter competitions? It is time for greater transparency in the sport. In France, French teams must be protected."

    On the other side, race co-organiser Claude Escalon said that the deal did exist, but not for 2011. A meeting on January 6 between the opposed parties did not bear any fruit. "We had an agreement with the Ligue these past three years to invite all French teams but nothing obliged us to it this year," said Escalon. "We received over 50 team candidacies, so there will always be disappointment."

    The UCI Cat. 2.1 race, whose regular highlight is the ascent of the Mont Faron above Toulon, is a traditional and popular race in the cycling world but has been in financial troubles these last few years.

    The invited teams for the 2011 event are: Sky, FDJ, Bretagne Schuller, Ag2r, Katusha, Skil-Shimano, Europcar, Garmin-Cervélo, Miche, Cofidis, Acqua & Sapone, Movistar, Saxo Bank, Endura Racing,...

  • Cyclingnews contest: Win your dream Orbea

    One lucky reader will win the Orbea bike of their dreams.
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 15:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    One lucky US reader will take home an Orbea Orca or Ordu of their design

    Cyclingnews and Orbea US have teamed up to bring our American readers the chance to win their dream Orbea. Whether you're interested in the stunning design of the race-proven Orca or the time-cutting technology of the Ordu, all you have to do is create your ideal build on the new MyOrbea website and you could take home your dream bike.

    Entering the contest is simple:

    1. Click over to myo.orbea.com and use the My Orbea Custom Bike Builder to create your dream bike.
    2. Select your frame, color scheme, groupset, crankset, saddle, components, wheels and tires.
    3. Share your design via Facebook or Twitter and you'll be entered into a drawing to receive a Grand Prize of the bike you built.

    One Grand Prize winner will be drawn at the conclusion of the contest to receive the bike they built. In addition to the Grand Prize, Orbea will be drawing for a weekly winner to receive a team kit from the Orbea Continental professional cycling team.

    Go to http://myorbea.cyclingnews.com for full contest details and to learn more about the Orca and Ordu.

    *Competition is open to all legal US residents who are 18 years and over, except: residents of Rhode Island, New York, Florida and Puerto Rico.

  • Van Dijk dedicates stage win to Swart's memory

    Eddy Merckx congratulates Ellen Van Dijk (HTC-Highroad).
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 17:25 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    HTC-Highroad honours late South African rider in Qatar

    Ellen Van Dijk (HTC-Highroad) has dedicated her stage win at the Ladies Tour of Qatar to her late teammate Carla Swart. The 23-year-old South African was killed while training on January 19.

    "I'd like to dedicate this win to our teammate Carla Swart who passed away two weeks ago," Van Dijk said at the finish of stage two in Lusail. "She died in an accident and it's really sad and very hard for us all and we wanted to win for her here."

    Swart had signed for the team ahead of the 2011 season and made an instant impression at the squad's December training camp in California. The HTC-Highroad riders are wearing black armbands in Qatar to honour the memory of their late teammate Swart. They were the dominant force on the road to Lusail, forcing a stage-deciding echelon after 36km.

    "It was beautiful because there were four of us in the breakaway at the start, although unfortunately we lost Chloe [Hosking] to a mechanical problem," Van Dijk said. However, Van Dijk still had Charlotte Becker and Adrie Visser for company in the seven-rider move, and they delivered her to the stage win and the overall lead.

    The Dutchwoman admitted to feeling at home in the strong winds that marked the stage, conditions that she believes were well-suited to her talents.

    "I'm from Holland, so I'm used to a little bit of wind, but this was really a lot of wind," Van Dijk joked. "Normally you have some trees or something along the side of the road but here there is nothing, so it's even more crazy than in Holland."

    The high drama of stage two was in stark contrast to the rather more conservative racing on offer the previous day, and Van Dijk admitted that she was glad that circumstances allowed her to showcase her current rich vein of form on Thursday.

    "Yesterday we couldn't really do anything because there wasn't too much wind," she said. "But I felt really...

  • Video: Stage 2 Highlights of the Ladies Tour of Qatar

    The silver points jersey was also taken by Ellen van Dijk (HTC-HighRoad). She also took the young rider competition lead
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 18:05 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Van Dijk claims a chaotic, windswept stage

    Cyclingnews has special video reports from the Ladies Tour of Qatar.

    The second stage of the Ladies Tour of Qatar was high drama, thanks to strong winds that helped to shatter the field on the 94.5km route from the Museum of Islamic Art to Lusail.

    HTC-Highroad's Ellen Van Dijk scored an emotional victory, dedicated to the memory of the team's fallen rider, Carla Swart, who was killed in a crash while training last month.

    Van Dijk out-powered Australian champion Alexis Rhodes (Garmin-Cervelo) from a breakaway group which was comprised of three HTC-Highroad and three Garmin-Cervelo riders plus Nederland Bloeit's Loes Gunnewijk.

    Cyclingnews will have daily reports, news, photographs and video from the women’s Tour of Qatar and the subsequent men’s race that begins on Sunday.

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  • Leopard Trek to ride Tour of Denmark

    Jakob Fuglsang (Leopard-Trek) will ride for the Schlecks in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 19:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    No decision yet as to whether three-time winner Fuglsang will defend title

    The Tour of Denmark is on the racing calendar for Leopard Trek this season, a familiar race for the Luxembourg team with Danish roots. It was, however, not yet known whether Jakob Fuglsang will defend his title in the race, which he has won the last three years in a row.

    "The Tour of Denmark is a really good race and it fits well into our season. We look forward to the race, which means a lot, especially for our Danish riders," sports director Kim Andersen told sporten.tv2.dk.

    "We are pleased to present this exciting new team from Luxembourg, which are undoubtedly among the world's best. On the whole it seems that we get a great field in the 2011-edition of the Tour of Denmark," said race director Jesper Worre.

    Leopard Trek, which features manager Brian Nygaard and Andersen as Danes in management roles, has four Danish riders: Fuglsang, Anders Lund, Martin Mortensen, and Martin Pedersen.

    Fuglsang has won the race each year since 2008 but Andersen would not confirm whether the 25-year-old Dane would be at the start this year.

    "We have not yet taken a position on what should happen after the Tour de France, so I can not answer that," said Andersen.

    The other participating teams and the course for the 21st edition of the race, to be held August 3-7, will be announced mid-March.

  • Baccaille back in action at Ladies Tour of Qatar

    Monia Baccaille (MCipollini-Giordana)
    Article published:
    February 03, 2011, 21:25 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian champion returns to peloton after breaking collarbone

    Monia Baccaille (MCipollini-Giordana) has made her return to competitive action at the Ladies Tour of Qatar after breaking her collarbone at the European Track Championships in November.

    The double Italian road champion crashed while competing in the omnium in Pruszkow, Poland. After undergoing an operation on her return to Italy, Baccaille spent the winter recovering and was only able to return to full training early in the new year.

    "I'm only back training for less than a month," Baccaille told Cyclingnews in Doha ahead of stage two of the Ladies Tour of Qatar. "I broke my collarbone at the European Track Championships in November, and I had to undergo an operation. They had to insert a plate, so I started back training a little bit later."

    Baccaille explained that she is still searching for form after her truncated winter preparation, and that she is in Qatar without any aspirations of personal glory, but rather to help her MCipollini-Giordana teammates.

    "I'm here to try and help Nicole [Cooke] and Rosella [Callovi], who are our riders for the overall here," she said. "For me here in Qatar, the only real objectives are the team's objectives. I'm also using the race to train and gain condition and above all to get rid of the fear of being in the middle of the peloton after that accident."

    After a relatively calm opening day's racing, the wind was a huge factor on stage two as HTC-Highroad split the race, and such conditions may well have an impact on Friday's finale.

    "It's difficult when it's windy here," Baccaille said. "There'll certainly be echelons and you'll need to be in front."

    On returning to Europe, Baccaille will begin to turn her attention to objectives later in the season. While April sees a number of races well-suited to her characteristics, the Umbrian also has ambitions for the world championships in...