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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Date published:
June 23, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Mancebo inks two-year deal with RealCyclist.com

    Francisco Mancebo (Realcyclist.com) with his overall GC win and yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 4:11 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Spaniard content to race stateside

    Francisco "Paco" Mancebo re-signed a two-year contract with the US-based UCI Continental team RealCyclist.com following his overall victory at the Tour de Beauce last week. The team is hoping that his commitment will attract stronger riders and additional sponsorship dollars to the program as it heads into its second season in 2012.

    RealCyclist.com directeur sportif Gord Fraser confirmed the signing of the 35-year-old, "We are happy to have him. I think it shows that he is not slowing down too much and he is so methodical in his routine and he is so dedicated that giving a guy of that age a two-year deal might be kind of risky, but with him we are all seeing how passionate he is about his craft and the team and sponsor have enjoyed his success and reward him."

    Mancebo joined the team at the beginning of this season. He is currently leading the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) after winning overall titles at the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Sea Otter Classic and Tour of the Gila earlier this year. He is scheduled to next participate in the Boise Twilight Criterium, Cascade Cycling Classic and the Tour of Utah.

    "He likes the environment that we have and hopefully we can improve it so that we can compliment him with good riders, better riders, more results and bigger races," Fraser said. "I'm sure he is not making what he was normally used to making, on our smaller team, I'm speculating."

    "It think it's great that he is with us for two more years because it shows the program is going to be here for a while and it shows that our sponsors are committed," he said. "Maybe it will help us with recruitment of new riders and new sponsorship and we can get to a level where we want to be."

    On The Rivet Management LLC and Jason Kriel run the RealCyclist.com team. The current roster also includes Cesar Grajales, Cole House, Thomas Rabou, Frank...

  • Worlds course designer names Hushovd, Breschel as potential road champions in 2012

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    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 5:07 BST
    By:
    Sam Dansie

    Breakaways predicted to steal the race again

    The 2011 world champion will emerge from a large breakaway says the course designer, and suggested home favourite Matti Breschel, current world champion Thor Hushovd or puncheur Philippe Gilbert could win.

    Course designer and Denmark's Cycling Federation director, Jesper Worre, believes the 266 kilometre race, centred just north of Copenhagen, will be decided by a power sprint of about 30-50 riders because the finish line sits on top of a 500m incline. He pinpointed riders like Thor Hushovd, Denmark's home favourite Matti Breschel and even Philippe Gilbert as potential victors. He questioned whether Britain's Mark Cavendish had the power to contest the sprint.

    Worre said: "The easiest thing to say is someone like Thor Hushovd because he has good endurance and is very fast in a finish like this. It's a little bit harder than the finish in Geelong last year - there's more uphill from the base of the climb. Then of course Matti Breschel is the same kind of rider.

    "The Danish team is 100 per cent for Matti. He's been practicing on the course a lot. He's dreaming of being in the first group in the corner at the bottom and what he has to do in the sprint."

    Last year, the final stage of the Tour of Denmark included five laps of the championship course and New Zealander Hayden Roulston won from a break. He maintained a slim advantage on the final circuit and pipped the peloton by two seconds.

    Worre suggested breakaways could steal the race again: "It is a course that can give advantage to the breakaway. The hills aren't going to break their legs like they did in Geelong [last year]...

  • Sastre rates Contador as favourite for Tour de France

    Carlos Sastre (Geox-TMC) comes over the line
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 6:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Veteran tips Martin, Brajkovic to perform well

    Carlos Sastre has named compatriot, Saxo Bank-SunGard rider Alberto Contador as the favourite for the Tour de France.

    Sastre, 2008 winner who will not be competing in the Grande Boucle in 2011 for the first time in a decade with his team Geox missing out on an invitation, says that while the three-time winner should be considered "the number one favourite", there are "a lot of riders who have prepared well".

    HTC-Highroad's Tony Martin is one such rider, according to Sastre who he says "surprised" him this year. Martin's season so far has been highlighted by overall victories at Paris-Nice, and the Volta ao Algarve, along with a second-placing to BMC's Cadel Evans at the Tour of Romandie.

    Another who rated a mention in Sastre's list of challengers was RadioShack's Janez Brajkovic.

    "There are a lot of people this year who I'm sure will do really well and will not make it an easy task for Contador," said 36-year-old Sastre.

    While the veteran explained he feels "pity" and "a certain amount of nostalgia" when it comes to his non-participation in this year's Tour de France, Sastre said that he realises "this is the situation this year."

    He will instead ride the Tour of Austria, which starts on July 3.
     

  • All eyes on US Elite women's time trial in Augusta

    Current US TT Champion Evelyn Stevens (HTC Highroad) finished in 2nd place with a 14:53.410
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 7:57 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Armstrong, Neben, Stevens battle for UCI Worlds spot

    The USA Cycling Elite women's time trial championships will offer a showdown between the nation's top time trialists on June 24 in Augusta, Georgia. Former World champions Kristin Armstrong (Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12) and Amber Neben (HTC-Highroad) along with teammate and defending champion Evie Stevens will be among the powerhouse participants who will battle for a nomination to the UCI World Championships held in September in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    "All eyes are going to be on the time trial because we have some of the best time trialists in the world," said Andrea Smith from USA Cycling. "The winner of the U23 men, Elite women and the Junior 17-18 men and women will qualify for an automatic nomination to the worlds team in Copenhagen, Denmark in September. There are only two spots so that is the big hang up, only two spots at worlds and this event will decide one of them."

    Armstrong, a form two-time worlds winner in 2006 and 2009 and Olympic gold medalist in 2008, has made it no secret that she is targeting this year's world championship and next year's Olympic time trials. She returned to professional bike racing at the beginning of this year after taking a year off to give birth to her first child.

    "There is a lot of pressure for this event, particularly because the US did not get that third spot at Pan Ams," said Peanut Butter & Co Twenty12 manager Nicola Cranmer. "Alison [Starnes] and Kristin are feeling great. Kristin is really relaxed and having her son around really helps. When she starts to feel a little tension, she looks are her baby's smiling face and it all goes away. She is feeling really good."

    Neben is also a strong contender for the coveted spot having won the world championships in 2008. Her teammate Stevens won the individual time...

  • Sky announces Tour de France team

    Team Sky works to defend the lead of Bradley Wiggins (Sky)
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 8:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Wiggins, Swift and Thomas selected

    After his winning performance at the Dauphine Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky at this year's Tour de France. The 2009 fourth place finisher will be backed up by fellow Brits Geraint Thomas and Ben Swift, who will be making his Tour debut.

    Edvald Boasson Hagen will make his second Tour de France appearance after last year’s debut where he secured two podium finishes. Joining him will be Colombia’s Rigoberto Urán, both having proved key strengths in the mountains at the Critérium du Dauphiné.

    “This is a strong and balanced team with a real depth of talent to cater for all the challenges, from the team time trial to its high mountain finishes. The squad have raced and trained together consistently well and are full of confidence after excellent results at Bayern Rundfhart and the Critérium du Dauphiné,” said Dave Brailsford.

    Wiggins is looking forward to his second Tour de France in Sky colours and will be hoping to improve significantly on his 24th place finish of twelve months ago.

    “The team is in great shape, full of confidence and riding well,” Wiggins said. “We all want to put on a good show for our fans as their support for the team throughout this season has been incredible. It’s going to be a great three weeks of racing.”
     

    The line up also includes Juan Antonio Flecha, Xabier Zandio, Christian Knees and Simon Gerrans.

  • Three Belgian riders possibly excluded from national championships

    Belgian champion Stijn Devolder shows off his new duds
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 10:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Unpaid social security contributions cause concern

    Three Belgian cyclists employed by American teams RadioShack and HTC-Highroad might not be allowed to take the start of their national championships this Sunday because of unpaid social security contributions. The Belgian cycling federation RVLB has told the Gazet van Antwerpen that Ben Hermans and Sébastien Rosseler of team RadioShack and Jan Ghyselinck of HTC-Highroad will be excluded of the event taking place in Hooglede-Gits if they or their teams do not proceed to payment before this weekend.

    "As their teams do not pay, they should do it but it's not the case," said RVLB sports secretary Marc Bollen. "We think it is very serious and we don't have a choice but to remain firm until the problem is solved. We hope the payment of the contributions will be made before Sunday. In that case, the three riders will be able to participate in the national championships. If not, they will be sidelined."

    Contrary to the United States, pro riders in Belgium are obliged to adhere to the national social security system. "Apparently American law is different to ours. In Belgium, the social contributions of self-employed workers have to be in order. If the team doesn't pay them, then we consider that the rider has to," Bollen added.

    Ben Hermans, one of the concerned riders, confirmed that his team did not cover his social security in Belgium but said that it didn't mean much to him. "The Belgian teams pay for their riders, but an American team like RadioShack doesn't. If it means I can't take to start on Sunday that's OK, I won't race. It's no big deal, the route doesn't suit me anyway," he said.

  • Video: Cavendish wants quality instead of quantity

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) after his stage win
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 10:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Manxman primed for Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) has no regrets about the testing race programme he has followed in the first half of 2011 and explained that he champions quality over quantity when it comes to victories.

    The Manxman has just four wins to his name ahead of the Tour de France, but numbered among them are two stage victories in a challenging Giro d’Italia where sprint opportunities were at a premium.

    “I’ve made it no secret in the last couple of years, I want quality wins now instead of quantity,” Cavendish told Cyclingnews.

    “I want to race, and I’m lucky I’m in an environment that gives me an opportunity to race. So I’ll go and I’ll try difficult races. And whether that means I’m last or whether that means it’s just preparation for the Tour de France then that’s what it is.”

    Cavendish has not contested a bunch sprint since his second Giro stage victory at Ravenna, but he is not concerned about lacking top-end speed at the Tour. His preparation has been centred on making sure he is in contention come the finishing straight.

    “I know I’m fast, I know if my team delivers me perfect I’ll always come out on top,” Cavendish said. “So it’s about getting delivered perfect, it’s about getting to the finish, it’s about being able to sprint and that’s what I’ve had to work on, and that’s all going good.”

    In this exclusive video, Cavendish also clarifies the comments he made about “shit small races” as he looks forward to the biggest one of them all, the Tour de France.

  • Cyclingnews Australia/New Zealand - Advertising Sales Manager required – Sydney, Australia

    New Cyclingnews.com team navigation
    Article published:
    July 18, 2011, 1:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Looking for a fantastic career opportunity?

    CyclingNews is looking for a versatile, confident, highly organised self starter, to take on the role of Sales Manager, based in our office in Sydney.

    Working across our sport portfolio of print and online media, we're seeking an individual with a solid knowledge of the cycling / sport industry in Australia, with the ability to develop new business and nurture relationships in a very competitive market. You'll be able to work autonomously but also contribute as a team player too. You'll demonstrate strong numeracy and literacy skills, tenacity, confidence, commitment, willingness to learn, good personality and sense of humour. You may not currently be in a media sales environment, but you will have a genuine interest in what we do.

    So if you're looking to develop a career in the sports industry, then we're keen to hear from you. Please send your CV with a covering letter to Karl Penn, MD, Future Publishing Australia via e-mail to Karl.Penn@futurenet.com with "Cyclingnews Sales Manager position" in the subject line.

    Applications close 20th August. You must have the right to live and work in Australia. No agencies please.