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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 4, 2010

Date published:
February 04, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Scientific study on altitude training

    A meadow and mountains line this section.
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 9:19 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner and Brecht Decaluwé

    University of Zurich seeks elite athletes for training camp research

    The Center for Integrative Human Physiology of the University of Zurich is planning a scientific study to investigate the effects of altitude traning (live high - train low) on performance. For this purpose, it is seeking a total of 30 endurance athletes to participate in the study, taking place in September and October.

    Enrolled subjects will spend eight full weeks living in altitude facilities (nitrogen houses) located in Premanon (30 min drive north from Geneva) in the Jura mountains in France. This location was chosen among others because of its excellent training facilities/surroundings. The nitrogen houses were built to accommodate elite athletes and the personnel, which is used to working with elite athletes.

    The study will be conducted double blinded, meaning that neither athletes nor scientists will know if they are the group living at altitude or at sea level. 15 athletes will be chosen to serve as experimental group (exposed to altitude) and another 15 athletes will serve as controls (not exposed to altitude).

    Experiments include performance tests, blood sampling, assessment of total blood volume and two muscle biopsies. No special training activities are required, but will be structured/recommended by experienced cycle coaches on a daily basis. Athletes will have no expenses during the stay and a small amount paid as compensation.

    For further information please contact Prof. Dr. Carsten Lundby from the Center for Integrative Human Physiology (ZIHP) of the University of Zurich, e-mail:

  • Team Noris looking forward despite lack of sponsor

    The 2009 Equipe Nürnberger
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 10:05 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    World Champion Cooke not expected to join the team

    Team Noris is officially registered for the 2010 season, although it still has no name sponsor and has lost many of its riders. But the former Equipe Nürnberger is not about to let that stop it, although it looks as if World Champion Nicole Cooke will not be joining the team.

    The team was on the list of registered women's teams announced by the International Cycling Union on Wednesday, but it was simply confirmation for team Sport Director Jochen Dornbusch. “I have known this since January 18,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I see this as a chance for a new start. Of course we must all make financial sacrifices, but I think we can be successful.”

    The team will reportedly hold on to one of its former World champions, Amber Neben, but apparently not the other, Nicole Cooke. Cooke, of Great Britain, had signed with the team in autumn when it appeared that Skyter Shipping would take over team sponsorship. Skyter withdrew from the deal unexpectedly in December, leaving the squad scrambling.

    “I don't think Nicole Cooke will ride with us. I think she doesn't want to,” Dornbusch said. “Amber wants to. I have spoken with her and am waiting for an email from her as to how she plans to do it.” Neben is not yet confirmed with the team, but has told Cyclingnews that she intends to remain faithful to the team. Cooke could not be reached for comment.

    The riders will be paid at a reduced rate or be supported by private sponsors or by their families.

    Still, Dornbusch was looking forward to the start of the season. “I am happy. I am happy that that we will continue, and I hope that we find a new sponsor in the coming month. We have a good team, with Trixi Worrack, Angela Hennig and the others.

    The team will open its season with the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 27. Trixi Worrack, Elke Gebhardt, Angela Hennig, Marlen Jörhend and Bianca...

  • Generational change for Euskaltel

    Euskaltel wasn't expected to find the hills long enough for their taste.
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 11:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team supported by Basque Country president at 2010 presentation

    Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi held its 2010 official presentation on Wedesday, at the Palacio Euskalduna in Bilbao. This year's team counts 24 riders, including two neo-pros. The squad has signed six new riders to the roster and seen five athletes leave to other teams.

    A generational change has put its mark on the 2010 team with Miguel Madariaga leaving his function as general manager. Taking his place is former professional Igor González de Galdeano, who has been sports director with the team since 2006. Nevertheless, Madariaga will preside the Euskadi Foundation behind the ProTour team and its Continental and development squads.

    The President of the autonomous government of the Basque Country, Patxi López, the "Lehendakari" ,joined the launch and supported the squad, making a passionate speech about the first Basque rider to participate in the Tour de France, Vicente Blanco El Cojo.

    The team's race programme will largely remain as in 2009, with González de Galdeano emphasizing on the importance of "the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour and the Vuelta a España, as well as the races that take place in the Basque country like Llodio, Getxo, Urkiola and Amorebieta."

    The team's leader, Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, will be the man to follow at the Tour de France, while Igor Anton will focus on the Vuelta where he will be the squad's captain. "I want Samuel Sanchez, Igor Anton and Koldo Fernandez de Larrea to start off strong in the season and then concentrate on the Tour," continued González de Galdeano. "The idea is that Samuel comes to the Vuelta al Pais Vasco in good shape. Other riders like Gorka Verdugo, Ivan Velasco and Mikel Nieve will also start the season strongly."

  • Fuglsang slowed by knee problems

    Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) flies past
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 11:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tendonitis probably caused by new equipment

    Jakob Fuglsang of Saxo Bank is the next young rider to incur knee tendon problems during training. He has been forced to cut down his training and undergo medical treatments.

    Earlier this week it was announced that HTC-Columbia's Tony Martin, 24, had incurred tendon problems by overtraining.

    Fuglsang, 24, told the Danish news agency Ritzau, “ I can train, but it hurts if I strain it too hard. They say that it would be preferrable not to strain it too much, but it's sometimes hard to resist.”

    The Dane is undergoing daily laser treatment and taking anti-inflammatory medication. He has also adjusted his bike and pedals to reduce the burden on his knee.

    Fuglsang thought he knew why the problem occurred. “I've got a new bike and new shoes, and it may well be what triggered it. I have moved around a bit, so I sit differently on the bike.” This has helped the inflammation, but not cured it.

    The 24-year-old is still scheduled to open his season at the Mallorca Challenge, which starts on Sunday. However, he does not know what his condition will be for his first big race, Paris-Nice, in early March.

    “I'd like to do well in Paris-Nice, but it will of course depend on how I'm doing at the time. I would like to see where I stand compared to the others. But I will not push my workout just to run strong in Paris-Nice.”

    In his first pro year of 2009, Fuglsang won the overall titles in both the Tour of Denmark and the Tour of Slovenia.

  • Steegmans and Katusha in court over unpaid salary

    Gert Steegmans (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 11:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dispute stemming from refusal to sign team's anti-doping charter

    Gert Steegmans and Team Katusha are having their days in court, a labour court in Geneva, Switzerland. The rider is suing the team for unpaid wages from the 2009 season.

    Steegmans refused to sign the team's anti-doping charter prior to the Tour de France. After Toni Colom and Christian Pfannberger were suspended on doping charges, the team required its riders to sign the charter which included, among other things, a clause that that obliged a caught rider to pay back five times their salary.

    When the Belgian refused to sign in late June, he was placed on inactive status by the team, and did not ride again for the rest of the season. He announced in the beginning of August that the contract had been terminated, but team manager Andre Tchmil denied this. Steegmans now claims that the team had not paid him from August through December, and he is suing to recover that money.

    Steegmans appeared personally in court Monday evening. The trial is taking place in Switzerland, where the team is licensed. A decision is scheduled for March 5, but however it turns out, it is expected to be appealed.

    Steegmans, 29, is riding for Team RadioShack this season, and finished 36th overall in the recent Tour Down Under. He turned pro in 2003 2ith Lotto-Domo and joined Quick Step in 2007, before moving to Katusha in 2009.

  • Steve Bauer auctions maillot jaune at Canadian team launch

    Steve Bauer auctioned off his 1990 maillot jaune at the team launch
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 16:12 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    SpiderTech p/b Planet Energy showcased in Toronto

    SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy is Canada's pride of professional cycling and it launched its new look in one of that nation's historical landmarks, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada last Thursday.

    High profile industry sponsors and guests mingled and dined at a VIP dinner for 165 guests. During dinner, the hot ticket exhibit was presented at a team-fundraiser auction: Steve Bauer's last yellow jersey earned as the leader of the 1990 Tour de France.

    "The purpose of the yellow jersey auctioned was two things," Bauer said. "To indicate publicly that our vision with the team is to reach the highest level so another Canadian should have the opportunity to win that jersey, and to raise money for team projects which is never ending. The yellow jersey expectations were met for the goals."

    Bauer is one of Canada's most decorated cyclists with a collection of yellow jerseys that totaled fourteen. He captured them while leading the 1988 Tour for five stages and again in 1990 where he led the race for nine consecutive stages. The jersey went for $23,500.

    Other items on the auction list included 2010 SpiderTech presented by Planet Energy team kit, a complete team issued Argon 18 Gallium Pro equipped with Shimano Dura-Ace and PRO components, two individual trips to the 2010 Giro d'Italia with the Steve Bauer Bike Tours.

    "The other items auctioned well for their just value," Bauer said.

    The team will starts its racing season at the Vuelta a Cuba and Vuelta Ciclista Independencia in the Dominican Republic before returning to North America for the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of the Gila and Joe Martin Stage Race. It is currently working on getting approved for a starting-spot in the two Canadian ProTour races set to take place in Montreal and Quebec City in September.

    American Lucas Euser will lead the team that includes the newest signing from Mexico, Flavio De Luna. The core group of Canadian riders...

  • Kopp to German Professional team Kuota Indeland

    David Kopp (Collstrop) shows the effort of a very fast stage.
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 17:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    German coming off one-year suspension for cocaine use

    David Kopp will ride for Team Kuota Indeland for the 2010 season. The German Continental team announced on Wednesday that he had signed a one-year contract.

    Kopp is coming off a doping-related suspension, which ended December 31. He tested positive for cocaine at a Belgian national race in September 2008, while riding for Cycle Collstrop. In November 2009 he was given a back-dated one-year suspension.

    “It wasn't an easy decision,” said Kuota Indeland team manager Markus Ganser. “Germany and the team are very sensitive as to doping and cycling, but I listened to David's view of things and we decided that we should give him a chance. David is one of the strongest German riders and we want to help him become that again.”

    Ganser continued, “This is not a classical doping case and that is why he was given such a short ban. It is a human mistake. Everyone deserves a second chance, especially when they admit they made a mistake and promise to improve.

    “David is highly motivated and I am convinced that he will bring in some good results for himself and the team,” Ganser concluded.

    Kopp's first race will be the Giro del Capo (March 9-12), to be followed by the two German races Köln-Schuld-Frechen (March 23) and Rund um Köln (April 5).. which he won in 2005.

    Kopp has consistently denied having purposely used cocaine, but said that he must have ingested it at while at a disco two nights before the race. “My mistake as a pro rider was to celebrate so excessively at a disco,” he said.

    The 31-year-old turned pro in 2002 with Team Telekom, where he rode for two years. He subsequently rode for Team Lamonta, Team Wiesenhof, Gerolsteiner, and Cycle Collstrop.

  • Ciolek seeks stage win in Qatar

    Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram)
    Article published:
    February 04, 2010, 20:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    German sprinter to lead Team Milram

    Team Milram, led by captain Gerald Ciolek, will be looking for its first win of 2010 when it takes part in the upcoming Tour of Qatar, February 7-12. The flat profile of the Tour of Qatar favors the sprinters and the 23-year-old Ciolek will rely on his finishing speed in order to open his season with a victory.

    "We have prepared well and are looking forward to our first racing," said Ciolek about his season's start in Qatar. "I have trained a lot with this group over the winter. The three newcomers [Roger Kluge, Roy Sentjens and Wim de Vocht] were quickly integrated and we meshed quickly both on and off the bike.

    "Now we have to see how it works out in a race, to start successfully in the season."

    The German ProTour squad's best results in last year's Tour of Qatar came from German sprinter Robert Förster's two top-ten finishes, fifth in the fourth stage and second in the closing stage.

    Team Milram's Tour of Qatar roster:
    Gerald Ciolek (Ger), Wim de Vocht (Bel), Roger Kluge (Ger), Servais Knaven (Ned), Roy Sentjens (Bel), Björn Schröder (Ger), Niki Terpstra (Ned), Peter Wrolich (Aut)

    Directeur sportif: Ralf Grabsch (Ger)