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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 7, 2010

Date published:
January 07, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • ASO to organise 2010 Dauphiné

    Caisse d'Epargne looked after their leader all the way to the final climb.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 9:55 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    French daily to remain close partner

    The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), which already owns the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Critérium international, Paris-Roubaix, Tour de l'Avenir and Paris-Tours on French soil alone, is preparing to take over the organisation of the second-most important French stage race, the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré. The pre-Tour de France preparation event, taking place in the South of France in June, has been in the hands of French regional newspaper Dauphiné Libéré since its creation in 1947.

    This year, ASO will organise the race for the first time as it is preparing to become its owner. "ASO has been given the mandate to organise the 2010 edition," said Dauphiné Libéré group CEO Henri-Pierre Guilbert on Thursday. "Moreover, very advanced negotiations are underway for a transfer of the competition."

    The race has reportedly created a deficit in recent years, and because the newspaper did not want the event to cease to exist, the choice of ASO as a new owner was "a legitimate one. Our objective is the Critérium's continuity, as it is an important part of our region's sports heritage. We will remain closely linked to it as a partner. This is not an abandon."

    The 62nd Dauphiné will this year finish in Sallanches, with a moutnain top finish on L'Alpe d'Huez planned for the penultimate stage on June 12.

  • Hansen changing his habits

    Australian Adam Hansen (Columbia-HTC) looks like he's had a tough day at work
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 9:58 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    No Nationals or Tour Down Under for Columbia's Australian

    Adam Hansen of Team Columbia-HTC is skipping his favourite race this year, the Australian national championships. In fact, he has not travelled to Australia at all this off-season, in an attempt to try something different in his preparations for the 2010 season.

    Hansen, 28, is staying at his European base in the Czech Republic over the winter, where he has been enjoying some snow. "The team wanted me to take a different approach this year and spend my winter training here in Europe and not in Australia," he told Cyclingnews. Instead of riding the Tour Down Under as in the past, the team wanted him "to try something different."

    While it wasn't an easy change for him to accept, Hansen acknowledged that "it makes sense. The season is long and you have to set your priorities. I'm open to different ideas and I'd like to see where this brings me."

    His priority this year will be the team's number two sprinter, Andre Greipel. "The team wants me to work more with Andre this year. So my programme will be built around his. Some of my highlights will be Paris-Roubaix, Tour of Romandie, the Giro d'Italia and the Philadelphia International."

    Hansen will open his season at the Mallorca Challenge in February, "which will be something different than every other year. Just hope it's not too cold."

    The downside of the new schedule is missing the races in Australia. The national road race title has "always been my favourite race of the year and I always wanted to win the race." His worst result in the event was third in 2009, having finished second in 2008 and 2006.

    "I love the course," Hansen noted. "It's the first race of the season, so the lead-up to it is very clear and undisturbed. It gives me total control of my efforts and I am able to peak on that given day."

    While Hansen has never won the road race, he was national time trial champion in 2008.

  • Haussler to target 2010 Classics

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 11:41 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Cervélo rider going for Flanders and Roubaix

    After enjoying his best season to date in 2009, Heinrich Haussler is hoping for a stellar 2010 in which he'll aim for the first Classic win of his career.

    Haussler was a revelation last year, finishing second to Mark Cavendish at Milano-Sanremo, fourth in Flanders, seventh in Paris-Roubaix and winning a memorable stage in the Tour de France. Overall, he scored nine races, more than he'd won in the previous three years of his career.

    This year, the Cervélo rider has altered his training programme and aims to be bang on form for the Classics instead of starting to peak in February, like he did last year. "I've changed my training a bit so I won't peak as early this year. You won't see that much action from me in the first few races this season," he told Cyclingnews.

    At the Classics, Cervélo will once again be one of the strongest teams, and despite the loss of Simon Gerrans to Sky, the team look a fearsome outfit with Haussler joined by Thor Hushovd and the likes of Roger Hammond. "For me, in my eyes, Cervélo is the best Classics team in the World," he said.

    Haussler also believes that the Classics will be even more competitive than ever before with the new Sky team as well as BMC strengthening and Katusha, Quick Step and Rabobank all having strong teams. "I think there are ten guys who could win a race like Flanders. If I had a choice that's the race I'd like to win most though. It doesn't necessarily suit me the best as I know I can be up there in Roubaix too.

    "Last year in Roubaix I made a stupid mistake and it cost me. I was on the back of the lead bunch just as Boonen attacked. It meant that I was left with Cancellara and Chavanel while Thor was up the road. If I'd chased it would have looked like I was going after my own teammate."

    As for the dynamic of racing on the same team as Hushovd, Haussler believes that it can be as successful as last year. "With Thor on the team it's hard...

  • "Back to basics" for Milram

    General Manager Gerry van Gerwen and Linus Gerdemann join forces.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 11:45 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer in Dortmund, Germany

    Germany's only ProTour team working for a better 2010

    It is "back to basics" for Team Milram, which presented its official team roster on Thursday morning in Dortmund, Germany . Germany's only remaining ProTour team will work for a more successful 2010 after bringing in only seven victories at the end of last season. Once again, the team will be led by co-captains Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek.

    The new guidelines for the team are "be healthy, have fun and work professionally," according to general manager Gerry van Gerwen. "Our riders should concentrate on the basics."

    And the most important of those basics is winning. "A winner has a plan, a loser an excuse," Van Gerwen continued. "There are no more excuses."

    The Dutchman once again called for 25 wins this year. "With a team like this, with these athletes, these talented young men, 25 wins is possible, it must be." He would nevertheless be willing to accept less under certain circumstances. "I will take 15 if it includes a Classic and a Grand Tour stage."

    Captains Gerdemann and Ciolek both admitted to an unsatisfactory previous season. "I can't be satisfed with 2009. I didn't live up to my own expectations," Ciolek, 23, said. "But I am going into 2010 with a good feeling."

    Gerdemann, 27, said that "I certainly didn't achieve what I expected of myself. I will be a different rider in 2010, one who wins races."

    The team features 24 riders from six nations, with two-thirds of them being German. There are five newcomers to the team, including Germans Roger Kluge and Dominik Nerz. Kluge, a track specialist, is expected to be a major helper in setting up sprints for Ciolek. Nerz, 20, comes over from the Milram Continental Team and is the German U-23 road champion.

    The team's Classics squad has been strengthened by the signing of two Belgians, Roy Sentjens and Wim de Vocht. The other new signing is Luke Roberts of Australia, who is currently in his homeland for the national championships. He finished third in the...

  • Fränk Schleck: team stronger despite departures

    Saxo Bank's Frank Schleck after the race.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 12:13 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Father-to-be training well despite cold and fishing accident

    After suffering through a cold winter and light surgery, Fränk Schleck is looking forward to Saxo Bank's next training camp and fatherhood in 2010. With temperatures plummeting across Europe, Schleck had been forced to slow his training in the last few weeks.

    "It's not that easy. It's really cold but the training we've been doing is just about okay. We came back and started doing three or four hours on the bike per day but we're still lacking the really long rides that we'll do at the training camp next week," Schleck told Cyclingnews.

    However, Schleck's progress took a serious turn for the worse on an innocuous fishing trip with his brother, and Tour runner-up Andy, just before Christmas. After a day of training with the team the pair ventured out for a fishing trip - a pastime they regularly enjoy.

    "I caught this tinny one and as I grabbed it to unhook it the stupid thing stung me. Thirty minutes later it was swollen like bad ass.

    "I Googled the fish and it turned out to be poisonous. Ten days after the swelling came back and I went to the hospital and they had to operate and remove the bacteria. I had eight stitches."

    Despite the set back there has been good news in the Schleck household, with Frank set to become a father for the first time in May. He got married to girlfriend Martine on New Year's Eve after proposing to her on the island of Curacao in November.

    "I'm going to be a daddy. I can't believe it," he said, "It's due on May 5 which is a great date. April 25 is Liège-Bastogne-Liège and I really want to win that race and dedicate it to mother and baby. The baby will come right in my break between Classics and Tour of Luxembourg, which I won last year. So having it in between that break will be good as I'll be at home resting anyway."

    In more racing-related news, Saxo Bank have gone through a small renaissance within their riding staff. Out have gone Kurt Asle Arversen...

  • Kessiakoff eager to prove himself at Garmin-Transitions

    Fredrik Kessiakoff at the finish of the 2009 Giro d'Italia's fifth stage in Alpe di Siusi.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 16:08 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Swede to lead at Giro, proud to race for team's philosophy

    After a debut season with Fuji, Fredrik Kessiakoff is brimming with excitement as he embarks on his second road season with his new team, Garmin-Transitions.

    The former mountain bike rider turned to road cycling in 2009 and competed in over 100 days of racing, taking in two Grand Tours and securing a number of promising results. After such a demanding year, Kessiakoff has taken an extended off-season, but despite signs of fatigue he will be Garmin's potential overall leader at this year's Giro.

    "So far it's been going well. I've had a bit of fatigue and tiredness in my legs. The training is going well, though. I started a bit later than usual but I felt that I needed those extra days to recover," Kessiakoff told Cyclingnews.

    Kessiakoff, who only had a one-year deal with Fuji, was approached by Garmin in April 2009. It was an easy decision for the Swede when it came to signing for the argyle-clad team. Embracing their philosophy on cycling and being a rider that prides himself on racing clean, he was also impressed with the level of support on offer at Garmin.

    "There are maybe five teams that I would call dream teams. Garmin is certainly one of those. When Jonathan Vaughters approached me I only had a one-year contract. At that time I'd been racing really well and he was missing someone for that period. He wanted someone who could do well in some of the week-long races in the spring, who could help the team and develop further.

    "Their mentality towards doping is something that attracted me. Here's a team that says 'we are here to get publicity for sponsors but not through just winning'. If you tell the riders it's just about winning then you're putting a gun to their heads and saying that if you don't perform you're out. Maybe Garmin doesn't win every race but when they do win you see the joy on their faces and it's done clean."

    Kessiakoff didn't enter cycling with the blinders on. He knows that the sport...

  • 2009 Reader Poll: Columbia crushes competition as Best Team

    The Team Columbia-HTC train drives the pace.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 16:45 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    American team takes top honors in new poll category

    Columbia-HTC's victory in the inaugural "Best Team" category of the 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll mimicked its dominance of the 2009 road season. The American team was judged an overwhelming winner with over 51 per cent the votes cast by 14,070 Cyclingnews readers.

    Columbia-HTC's winning ways began just eight days into last year with Michael Rogers the first to chip in to the men's season total of 85 victories. His victory in the Australian time trial National Championship was a sign of things to come, with 14 of his colleagues to join him in the winners circle by season's end.

    Despite the distribution of wins throughout the team, three names stood out above the rest. Mark Cavendish, André Greipel and Edvald Boasson Hagen's personal tallies each reached double figures and accounted for 55 of the total wins.

    Cavendish and Greipel were particularly prolific. Cavendish's 23 triumphs included six Tour de France stage wins and three at the Giro d'Italia. Not to be outdone, Greipel's 21 wins stretched from January's Tour Down Under to October's Paris-Bourges, with four stage wins at the final Grand Tour of the year, the Vuelta a España.

    The consistency of both sprinters' journeys to race podiums was also a clear indication of the team's strength as a whole. Cavendish's lead-out train at the Tour de France formed an almost daily demonstration of the team's efficiency, while team time trial wins at the Giro d'Italia and Tour de Romandie further displayed their enviable continuity.

    Boasson Hagen is likely to be sorely missed as he starts a new chapter in his career at Team Sky this season. In the last of his two seasons with Columbia, the 22-year-old snatched 11 wins, including Belgian semi-Classic Gent-Wevelgem, and overall victories at the Tours of Benelux and Britain.

    Columbia-HTC's women's team added a further 46 wins to the team's overall total. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (24), Linda Villumsen...

  • Gallery: Team Milram launch

    Adjusting the helmets.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2010, 22:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    German ProTour team presents roster in Dortmund

    Team Milram presented its official team roster on Thursday in Dortmund, Germany. The German ProTour team seeks a more successful 2010 season after accumulating only seven victories during their 2009 campaign. Once again, the team will be led by co-captains Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek.

    The team features 24 riders from six nations, with two-thirds of them being German. There are five newcomers to the team, including Germans Roger Kluge and Dominik Nerz, Belgians Roy Sentjens and Wim de Vocht plus Australia's Luke Roberts, currently in his homeland for the national championships.

    From the snow of Dortmund, the team will head to balmier weather on the Spanish island of Mallorca for training. Team Milram's first race of the year will be the Tour Down Under in Australia.

    Check out the photos taken by Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer in the associated gallery.

    Getting in place for the team photo: who gets to hold the bike?

    The bus of Team Milram.