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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 21, 2010

Date published:
January 21, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Cardoso not afraid of Pro Tour jump

    Portuguese national road champion Manuel Cardoso (Footon Servetto) rides a unique gold and white Fuji frame, the only one in the team's collection Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 8:59 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Portuguese champion earns Footon-Servetto some respect

    Manuel Cardoso made his mark at the highest level of cycling at the Tour Down Under, beating Alejandro Valverde and world champion Cadel Evans in his very first Pro Tour event on stage three.

    "This kind of uphill finish is exactly what I like in cycling", he told Cyclingnews. "With 300 metres to go, I gave it everything I had."

    It was a shock, especially for the Caisse d'Épargne team that had worked flat out for Valverde during the final lap. "We’d done everything we could for the win", Caisse d'Épargne's team manager Eusebio Unzue said. "When Cardoso attacked, we had a moment of doubt. Evans looked like he'd go across but he stopped his effort and Alejandro reacted too late. It's a disappointment but not a drama. It's good to see that kind of teamwork."

    Cardoso, 26, was also full of praise for his Footon-Servetto squad, a team he joined after the dissolution of Liberty Seguros in Portugal. His previous team and sponsorship was affected by a string of positive doping tests last year with Hector Guerra, Isidro Nozal and Nuno Ribeiro all caught.

    "It's an opportunity for me to join Footon-Servetto after winning 34 races in four seasons in Portugal", said Cardoso, who turned pro with Carvalelhos-Boavista in 2006 and joined Liberty Seguros in 2008. "This is my first Pro Tour race. To win here is different... and much better! All my preparation has been based on the idea of performing here in Australia. I felt strong in the final hill today. This year I'm going to take part in some of the world's best races. I even have the Tour de France on my programme but I'll take it day-by-day."

    The current Portuguese champion didn't know what to expect with the climate change as it was only 1°C in his home town of Paços de Ferreira when he left.

    "I didn't think he'd be at this level," admitted his directeur sportif Stefano Zanini. "The level of the Santos Tour Down Under is very high. To beat...

  • Evans' stirling performance a surprise

    World Champion Cadel Evans (BMC)
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 9:22 GMT
    Les Clarke

    Early season form welcome for World Champ

    After two days of André Greipel dominating the Santos Tour Down Under, no one expected world champion Cadel Evans to feature in finale of the third stage, held in Stirling when he finished third behind Manuel Cardoso and Alejandro Valverde.

    Even the BMC Racing rider was a bit surprised, although that's not to say he wasn't a happy rider after the finish. "I sort of surprised myself a bit today but like I said at the start it's just about getting everything going with BMC Racing, getting to know everyone and I think it's going very well," he said.

    "I'm a bit disappointed I didn't tell them [Evans' teammates] to ride for me today and I got third. That's okay, I wasn't feeling so flash myself earlier on," he added.

    Stage winner Manuel Cardoso, Evans and 2009 Vuelta a España champion Alejandro Valverde relegated the sprinters, who had featured in Tanunda and Hahndorf, to the lower pegs of the ladder after the blistering pace of the final 30km.

    "It was a bit of a strange old day; it was a bit harder than most people expected - hard racing from the start and [it was] pretty windy plus the heat, of course," said Evans.

    "Coming into the last kilometre it was like riding a race in slow motion, everyone was so exhausted. When I saw that it looked like they had the leadouts going - Sky, Rabobank... when they started to accelerate they blew.

    "I was on Graeme Brown's wheel with 700m to go and he's just gone out into the wind and just stopped completely - for a lot of the sprinters here it's a little bit different and of course it changes. It's not often I get into the last kilometre with Robbie McEwen... in fact, never!

    "I was just following the wheels through and it looked like Caisse d'Epargne had enough guys left to follow close to Cardoso but obviously not and I couldn't come round him," he added.

    "It was a tough little race, early in the season."

    Evans has been getting acquainted with...

  • Pagliarini eyes stage win in San Luis

    Luciano Pagliarini (Saunier Duval-Prodir)
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 10:30 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Brazilian's Scott-Marcondes squad makes history at home

    Scott-Marcondes Cesar Sao Jose Dos Campos made history in Brazil when the International Cycling Union (UCI) granted it a license to become the nation's first Professional Continental team. Luciano Pagliarini is one of Brazil's most decorated sprinters and he hopes to bring his new team an opening victory at the Tour of San Luis.

    "I would like to win a stage - maybe today maybe the next stage," Pagliarini told Cyclingnews in Argentina. "I have good fitness, I would like to win one or two stages but it will be very difficult."

    Scott-Marcondes was one of 21 international teams to secure Professional Continental status for the 2010 season. The team started out seven years ago but until now has competed at the Continental level in South American events.

    "This is the first time that a Brazilian team has had a Professional Continental license and this is a big, big part of our history," Pagliarini said. "I am so happy to be on this team. I think that this will
    be a great, great history for us. I was in Brazil and the manager called me with this big team project and asked me to be a part of it.

    "The manager wanted to bring the team up a level year by year and step by step," he added. "This is the big step that the team wanted to invest in for the future. We have a lot of power to be stronger."

    Pagliarini is dedicated to helping the team progress to the next level and hopes to see the team racing in the three Grand Tours one day.

    "We hope to be in the biggest competitions in the world like the Giro, Vuelta and maybe the Tour," Pagliarini said. "We have very important sponsors so this investment now means that we can possibly get bigger."

    Pagliarini took a step up in his professional cycling career when he signed with Lampre in 2001 for a four-year term. Since that time, he has competed for teams Liquigas-Bianchi and Saunier-Duval. Last year, he signed a contract with TelTech-H2O however, the team...

  • First pro win for Loubet

    Julien Loubet (AG2R) takes his first pro win
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 11:05 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Frenchman opens up score for AG2R La Mondiale in Gabon

    After five years with AG2R La Mondiale, France's Julien Loubet has finally started to fulfill his promise by winning the second stage of the Tropical Amissa Bongo (Tour of Gabon) in Africa and taking the leader's jersey.

    The 25-year-old turned pro early in his career after numerous victories in the Junior ranks, but has had some difficulties adapting to competing at the highest level. His win in Gabon is especially significant as it is the first success for AG2R this season after a disappointing 2009,. Loubet also beat experienced riders such as David Moncoutié (Cofidis) and Anthony Charteau (Bbox Bouygues Telecom).

    "I'm very happy," Loubet said after the stage. "It was very important for the team to achieve a victory early this season. I hope this will give the whole squad confidence and that it will continue like this for me and the team throughout the season."

    Loubet also thanked his teammates who worked for him during a rather difficult day of racing. His directeur sportif, Gilles Mas, said the team had targeted the stage. "We had looked at the finale yesterday [Tuesday] and saw that it was difficult," Mas explained. "We started by taking things into our own hands with 35 kilometres to go. Our riders attacked one by one, so the victory is a nice reward! Julien takes the lead and the other three jerseys, so it's a very very good day for us!"

    Mas added that Loubet's win is especially important after 2009 did not go as hoped. "The team really needed something like this to find confidence again after the 2009 season was a bit disappointing. I'm very happy for the riders."

    Team manager Vincent Lavenu was equally delighted. "It's good to start the season with an early win as it will encourage the rest of the team to try and do the same. Congratul;ations to Julien for his first victory in the pro ranks, especially in front of Moncoutié and Charteau who are not nobodys!"

    The Tour of Gabon continues on...

  • Haussler focused on classic success after "wasted" years

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam), 25, wants to represent Australia at the World Championships
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 11:36 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Cervélo rider to decide on Australian nationality in April

    Heinrich Haussler has admitted he needed to ‘waste’ a few years of his early career to learn what it takes to be a 100 percent dedicated rider.

    The Australian-born German emerged as one of the best classics riders of his generation in 2009, finishing second at Milan-San Remo and second at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. Yet he says those results came in his first season as ‘serious’ professional.

    “You have to make mistakes to learn how to be become 100 percent professional,” Haussler said during an intimate interview at the Cervelo Test Team training camp in Portugal.

    “During my time with Gerolsteiner I wasn’t so serious, and was doing other stuff like drinking and partying," he admitted. "I started thinking stupid, spending my money on shit. I was thinking I was it. That’s the reason why in 2006 or 2007 I had glandular fever, because in the winter I was drinking like crazy and turning up to training drunk.

    “It was really stupid and I maybe I threw four or five years of my career out of the window, but I had to go through it to learn how to respect my body and learn how to live like a professional. Because if you want to be good at this level, you’ve got to be 100 percent otherwise you’ve no chance.”

    The desire to ride alongside Thor Hushovd and Carlos Sastre at the Cervélo Test Team made Haussler become more focused and totally dedicated to cycling.

    “You don’t want to disappoint guys like those and I had to push really hard to get into this team,” he said. “It made me realise I didn’t want to stay a dodgy rider. I knew I had it in me and wanted to show them that I can ride. I can’t do this for ten years. No way. But as long as I haven’t reached my goals I’m going to stay serious.”

    "Living like Cadel"

    Haussler claimed he has been living like a monk...

  • Web designer/developers: Cyclingnews is hiring

    Work for Cyclingnews, the world's leading cycling website
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 12:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Come and work for Cyclingnews

    Are you a web designer/developer with a passion for usability and clear, clean online design?

    Cyclingnews is looking for a talented web designer to work across our group of cycling websites. Our portfolio includes Cyclingnews and BikeRadar, plus smaller projects such as BikeRadar Live and our Bike Demo Days sites.

    We offer a competitive salary; an informal, highly bike-friendly working environment; extensive training opportunities to develop your skills; and the chance to make your mark in the further development of Future Publishing’s two most successful websites.

    We’re looking for a designer/ developer with substantial work in user experience, interaction design and wireframing, and a current portfolio that demonstrates a strong understanding of online design. With solid experience of using Photoshop, you will have an appreciation and flair for design and branding. A good knowledge of HTML, JavaScript and CSS is essential, as well as some experience of PHP sites.

    This position is based in Bath, UK, so applicants must be legally able to work in the UK.

    For full details, and to apply see the full ad on

  • Dominguez sidelined after crash in Tour de San Luis

    Ivan Dominguez rode for Colavita Bolla in 2004, when he led the Tour de Georgia.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 14:57 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Borrajo suffers concussion in car accident

    Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home) was sidelined from competition following a crash that took place during the final kilometres of the stage three road race at the Tour of San Luis held in Argentina this week.

    Dominguez was transported on a backboard by ambulance to the Policlinico Regional Villa Mercedez located nearly 100 kilometres away from the races' finishing city of Buena Esperanza. Despite severe abdominal and wrist pain, x-rays determined that there were no broken bones. Doctors confirmed torn ligaments to his wrist.

    "I have broken my wrist three times before," Dominguez said. "It takes me so long to recover from accidents, sometimes like two or three months. I'm disappointed because I am at this race to get some good training and now I can't do anything. I think I had stomach pain from the way I crashed my stomach tightened up."

    Jamis-Sutter Home is the only US-based Continental team competing in the seven-day stage race. The team was hit with bad luck that started when it lost is prime Argentinean sprinter, Alejandro Borrajo, who was injured following an accident with a car the week before the start of the race.

    Borrajo suffered a concussion during a training ride when he hit a car while descending the Formula One Raceway in Potrero De Los Funes last Tuesday.

    "The doctor said not to race so that they will do more testing," said Directeur Sportif Sebastian Alexandre. "It is a big loss for us because he was going very good. He was the guy that the team was expecting to go for the stage wins. All the other guys are coming from the USA and training in cold weather, but Alejandro is from Argentina and has been training really hard for the last 45 days to do well here."

    Both Dominguez and Borrajo will restart their racing season at the UCI 2.2 Rutas de America in Uruguay, February 16-21. The Jamis-Sutter Home team will begin its North American calendar in California at the San Dimas Stage Race and the Redlands...

  • 2010 Paris-Nice route unveiled

    2009 Paris-Nice champion Luis León Sánchez is a favourite for the 2010 edition.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2010, 16:05 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Massif Central and the Col d’Eze expected to decide the winner

    Race organizers ASO have unveiled the route for this year’s Paris-Nice, with the weeklong stage race going through the Massif Central via Limoges and Mende before the traditional finish in Nice.

    The 68th edition of ‘The Race to the Sun’ starts with an eight-kilometre prologue in Montfort-l’Amaury, west of Paris on Sunday March 7 and ends in Nice with a hilly 199km road stage on Sunday March 14.

    Race director Christian Prudhomme believes the race will be decided by a few seconds but the route includes some serious climbs, although there is no Mont Ventoux finish this year.

    Stage four to Mende finishes on the plateau overlooking the town, the same approach where Laurent Jalabert won a Tour de France stage on Basitlle Day in 1995 and Spain’s Marcos Serrano won in 2005. The climb to the finish is only four kilometres long but has section as 15%.

    Stage six from Peynier to Tourrettes-sur-Loup is 22km long and includes the 963m high Col de Vence just 30km from the finish.

    Stage seven around Nice is only 119km long but goes over the Col de la Porte, La Turbie and the Col d’Eze before the high-speed descent to the finish on the Promenade des Anglais.

    Possible overall contenders include Alberto Contador (Astana), Frank Schleck (Saxo Bank), who was second to Luis Leon Sanchez (Caisse d’Epargne) in 2009, Olympic gold medalist Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel), Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma).

    2010 Paris-Nice stages:

    March 7: Prologue: Montfort-l'Amaury 8 km
    March 8: Stage 1: Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines – Contres 201.5 km
    March 9: Stage 3: Contres – Limoges 203.5 km
    March 10: Stage 4: Saint-Junien - Aurillac 208 km
    March 11: Stage 5: Maurs-la-Jolie (Cantal) - Mende 172 km
    March 12: Stage 6: Pernes-les-Fontaines - Aix-en-Provence 153.5 km
    March 13: Stage 7 Peynier - Tourrettes-sur-Loup 220...