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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 27, 2011

Date published:
October 27, 2011, 17:00
  • Honda Dream team set for another Australian summer

    The Honda Women's Dream team has been a regular part of the Australian summer racing calendar.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 04:30
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cooke and Gilmore to join forces for weekend's Noosa GP

    The Honda Women's Dream Team has returned for the 2011/12 summer with the additional strength of the current Olympic Champion, Nicole Cooke adding to the team's depth. Cooke will join the team starting at this weekend's Noosa Grand Prix as part of a guest stint for the team during the European off-season.

    Dream Team co-ordinator Rochelle Gilmore said she was excited to be back in Australia for another summer with the Dream Team.

    "It¹s the first race of the Australian summer season so we don¹t know the form or level of our competitors but we¹re all excited about our new team and very motivated to start racing again in Noosa," said Gilmore.

    Gilmore and Cooke will be joined by Peta Mullens and Myfanway Galloway, with the final place still to be decided. Lauren Kitchen had initially been confirmed as the fifth rider for the Dream team but was forced to withdraw due to commitments with her new team, Rabobank.

    The Dream Team are scheduled to race the Noosa GP, NSW Crit Series, Jayco Bay Classic, National Criterium & the Tour Down Under criteriums.

    Dream Team for the Noosa GP

    Nicole Cooke (GBr), Rochelle Gilmore (Aus), Peta Mullens (Aus), Myfanwy Galloway (Aus)

    Tags:
    sprinter
  • Two-year ban recommended for Mosquera

    Ezequiel Mosquera attended the presentation in hopes his doping case will be overturned
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 10:10
    By:
    Cycling News

    Investigation dragging on from 2010 Vuelta a España

    A two-year ban has been proposed for Ezequiel Mosquera for his 2010 Vuelta a España doping case. The prosecutor in the case has made her recommendation to the Spanish Cycling Federation, according to the Spanish media.

    Mosquera tested positive for Hydroxyethyl starch at last year's Vuelta, which he finished as second overall. Hydroxyethyl starch is a blood plasma volume expander that can serve to dilute the blood without decreasing the amount of red blood cells present. It may be used as a masking agent for EPO, for which he did not test positive.

    Hydroxyethyl starch is only illegal if used intravenously. According to farodevigo.es, the prosecutor asked the Spanish anti-doping agency if it could be proved that the substance was used intravenously, with the agency replying that this was impossible to determine, and that Hydroxyethyl starch did not in any event improve an athlete's performance.

    The prosecutor has nevertheless decided to ask for a two-year ban.

    The case has been marked by long delays. The International Cycling Union did not send the case to Spain until April of this year, and the federation only opened its investigation in July. After the 2010 Vuelta and before his positive test was revealed, Mosquera signed with Vacansoleil-DCM, but the team has held him out of racing all year, pending the results of the case.

    After an equally drawn-out investigation, the Spanish federation recently suspended Oscar Sevilla for six months for Hydroxyethyl starch.

  • Gilbert wins 2011 Vélo d’Or

    Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert at the Tour presentation in Paris.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 10:42
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian takes aim at Milan-San Remo in 2012

    Philippe Gilbert has won the prestigious Vélo d’Or award for 2011, after a season that saw him dominate the Ardennes Classics and pick up no fewer than 18 wins.

    The Belgian beat Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and world champion Mark Cavendish into second and third in the annual poll of international journalists organised by the French Vélo Magazine. Fabian Cancellara captured the prize in 2010.

    “I think I’ve had an exceptional season and I know that you have to go a long way back to find a season of this calibre,” Gilbert told Vélo. “But I think it’s too early to assess it, I really need a few years of distance.”

    Gilbert, who moves to BMC in 2012, has earmarked Milan-San Remo as the next monument classic that he would like to inscribe on his palmares. While the Tour of Flanders finale is set to alter dramatically next season, the romantic in Gilbert appreciates that La Classicissima remains more or less unchanged.

    “Milan-San Remo is a very historic race, with a route that is practically always the same,” he said. “Eddy Merckx won it seven times, and I have the chance to ride the same route as he did thirty years ago. It’s good to be able to identify with the exploits of other generations, to superimpose the images. That’s what’s beautiful.”

    Although Gilbert took the overall classification at the Tour of Belgium and Ster ZLM Toer in 2011, he has no immediate ambitions to try his luck in more demanding and longer stage races.

    “I’ve never tried to win stage races, it’s something to be explored,” Gilbert said. “But for now, I’m dreaming of one-day races. It’s one or the other, and I don’t want to make that choice yet.”

    Not surprisingly, Thomas Voeckler comfortably picked up the Vélo d’Or Français for best French rider for the second successive year, ahead of his Europcar teammate Pierre Rolland and sprint world champion Grégory Baugé.

    The prize for best young rider went to Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), who edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) by just one point, with Matt Goss in third.

    Gilbert, Voeckler and Sagan are also all in the running for prizes in the Cyclingnews 2011 reader poll, and you can vote here.
     

  • Jungels confirms RadioShack-Nissan Continental team for 2012

    Bob Jungels (Luxembourg) powers to the world title in the junior time trial.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 11:21
    By:
    Cycling News

    Young Luxembourger to ride for new team

    Team RadioShack-Nissan will sponsor a Continental team in the coming season. The news was confirmed by Luxembourg rider Bob Jungels, who will be a part of the project.

    The 19-year-old will sign with the team, he told Wort.lu. “I will ride in the coming season for the Continental team.”

    He could not say who else would be on the team, but since it will have a Luxembourg licence, the majority of the eight to 16 riders must come from that country.

    Jungels won the junior Worlds time trial title in 2010. This year he won gold at the Games of the Small States of Europe in both the road race and time trial. Riding for UC Dippach, he also won the Amay Haut and GP Francois Faber this year, and was best young rider at the Fleche du Sud.

    He has big plans for the coming year. “After finishing third overall in the Fleche du Sud this year, I want to win it next year. We will surely also take part in many other races which are equally difficult as the Fleche du Sud.”

    Jungels didn't know whether he would be able to take part in any training with the “big boys” on the WorldTour team, which is currently meeting in Belgium.

    The team must submit its dossier for the founding of the Continental team by October 31 to the Luxembourg cycling federation, which will pass it along to the UCI.

  • Riccò meets with Modena investigators

    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 11:40
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian claims he underwent iron infusion

    Riccardo Riccò met with the Modena Procura on Wednesday and reiterated his claim that he infused an iron solution before being hospitalised with kidney problems in February. At the time, the Italian was alleged to have told medical staff that he had undergone a blood transfusion.

    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Riccò and his lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi presented investigators with documentation to show that the rider had reported very low iron levels in blood tests taken in Rimini in January. They also forwarded a prescription recommending that he use three drips of the iron solution Ferlixit per week.

    Riccò claimed that he carried out the infusion alone, and is quoted in Gazzetta as saying, “I know how to do infusions, whether it’s endovenous or intramuscular.”

    After performing an infusion on the evening of Friday, February 4, Riccò fell ill the following day. “I fell to the ground and I woke up in Baggiovara hospital,” he said. “I don’t remember speaking to anyone.”

    Modena prosecutors have also interviewed staff at the hospital, however, and no fewer than eight witnesses are reported to have heard Riccò tell doctors on admittance that he had undertaken an autologous blood transfusion using blood stored in a domestic refrigerator.

    Riccò denied making that confession at an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hearing last month. CONI has since recommended that Riccò be handed a 12-year ban.


     

  • Lotto-Ridley a Belgian team with foreign riders, says management

    Marc Sergeant The directeur sportif of Predictor-Lotto
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 13:46
    By:
    Cycling News

    Non-Belgians Greipel and Sohrabi needed for their points

    Lotto-Ridley's management is very much a Belgian team, despite the presence of a number of foreign riders. “Our project will remain Belgian,” sports director Marc Sergeant said. “But if you want to count in the World Tour, you also need foreigners.  It's that simple at the top of the game.”

    Lotto split with Omega Pharma earlier this year with the stated purpose of establishing a Belgian team, especially hoping to encourage young Belgian riders. “That's still the case,” new administrative manager Bill Olivier told Sportswereld. “With Tosh Van der Sande, Gaetan Bille, Jonas Vangenechten, Sander Cordeel and Dennis Vanendert there are five Belgian neo-pros on the team. It's not that we are ignoring the youth.  On the contrary, young riders remain key for Lotto- Ridley.”

    Andre Greipel is the team's most prominent non-Belgian.The German this year had eight victories, including a stage at the Tour de France, more than anyone on the team other than Philippe Gilbert, who is leaving. The team's most recent signing was Iranian Mehdi Sohrabi,who won the 2011 Asia Tour title.

    A one-hundred percent Belgian team “is impossible in the current international cycling scene,” Sergeant said. For some of the necessities, “you have to go abroad. The man with the most points was Andre Greipel and he was crucial to the future of the team, like the points of Sohrabi.”

    One-third of the riders in the 27 man squad for 2012 are non-Belgian.  Not all of the foreigners were fired for their points  “But if we want to bring our Belgian riders to the top, you must also add a few foreigners who can help you realize the sporting goals,” Olivier said.

    “Moreover, the National Lottery has never claimed that Lotto would be an exclusive Belgian team,” he continued. With 18 of the 27 riders being Belgian, “we did very well and we keep the image of a Belgian team. We are a Belgian team. "

    The team captains remain – mostly – Belgian. “In the spring races, we believe strongly in Jürgen Roelandts and I think the interplay between him and Greipel can give good results,” Sergeant said. “For the grand tours, we will draw on our Belgian riders.  Many of them are planned to help Jurgen Van den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert in the mountains.”

    With 27 places filled, the team could still hire a few more riders, with the names of Belgians Gianni Meersman and Leif Hoste being mentioned. But the team is holding a place free for another young rider “during the course of the season,” according to Olivier. “Furthermore, we have a financial ceiling.”

    As regards Meersman and Hoste, “there are negotiations underway, but contrary to what is claimed, they are not freely available. If that were the case, we would be happy with them. But for now that's not the question.”

    Lotto-Ridley for 2012:

    Riders from the 2011 Omega Pharma-Lotto team:  (Belgian unless otherwise indicated)

    Bart De Clercq,  Francis De Greef, Jens Debusschere, Kenny Dehaes, Gert Dockx, André Greipel,  (Ger), Adam Hansen (Aus), Olivier Kaisen, Maarten Neyens, Vicente Reynes (Spa), Jürgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Jurgen Van den Broeck, Jurgen Vandewalle, Jelle Vanendert, and    Frederik Willems

    New signings: Lars Bak (Den), Gaetan Bille, Brian Bulgac (Ned), Sander Cordeel, Greg Henderson (Nze), Frederique Robert, Mehdi Sohrabi (Irn), Tosh Van der Sande, Dennis Vanendert, Jonas Vangenechten and Joost Van Leijen (Ned)

  • Newcomer Rhae-Christie Shaw joins Exergy Twenty12

    Rhae Shaw in full flight.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 15:28
    By:
    Cycling News

    Canadian’s impressive debut season rewarded

    Former elite triathlete Rhae Shaw made the move to full-time professional cycling last season and the potential she showed in her first year of competition has been recognized by Exergy Twenty12, which has added her to its full-time roster for next season.

    Shaw, who resides in Seattle, Washington, took third in the Canadian time trial championship before embarking for Europe with the national team. There, she took her first European win in the time trial of the Tour de Bretagne Féminin, and soloed to victory for another win the following stage. She finished the race third overall.

    Shaw won another time trial in the Tour Féminin en Limousin and led the race for one stage, but fractured her hand in a crash on that first trip across the pond. She was chosen to represent her country at the UCI road world championships and placed seventh in the time trial and held the fastest time for two hours.

    The move to Exergy Twenty12 will see Shaw join forces with Kristin Armstrong, who won gold in the women’s time trial at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and returned to action last season after taking a break to have a child, and Shaw told Cyclingnews she is excited to team up with such a talented group of experienced riders.

    "My goal for 2012 is to continue to improve and Exergy will be phenomenal for that. We'll be at top notch races, and I will get to learn from Armstrong, which is huge for me. She's the best in the business."

    Like Armstrong, Shaw hopes to represent her country at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, but knows that getting chosen for one of two spots for Canada's team in the time trial will be a tall order.

    "Racing in the Olympics and representing Canada would be a dream come true for me and I am incredibly excited to be in a position where I have the potential to represent my country at the highest levels. There are so many talented Canadian women cyclists riding really well that selection for the team is going to be very difficult."

    Forging a new path

    Shaw's path from triathlete to contender for London started at age 35 when she made the decision to quit her job of 12 years as a technical advisor to the CEO of Microsoft and take up racing her bike full time this season - a decision that came after eight years of racing Ironman triathlons to the point that the sport no longer was enticing.

    "When I looked at the Ironman calendar for 2011 none of the major races were exciting. I wasn't even excited about doing Kona, and if you're not excited about the world championships, well.. in order to put your body through that you have to be passionate. I decided to change things up so I could still be excited about a sport."

    She found her new inspiration while watching an old recording of the time trial world championships, and decided it was time to focus on something different. But if she thought she would just spend a year off from work, racing her bike in preparation for a return to triathlon in 2012, Shaw was seduced by the prospect of mastering new skills and negotiating different circles and went all in.

    It can be daunting to launch into a national and international racing calendar as a relatively new road racer, but Shaw used the burgeoning racing scene in Seattle, where she raced with the elite men, and support from her boyfriend and fellow racer Lang Reynolds and her coach to quickly find success in the US.

    Shaw funded her own domestic season, hitting Redlands, Sea Otter, where she placed second in the time trial to Armstrong, and the Tour of the Gila, where she took second to compatriot Clara Hughes in the time trial, all the while picking up new skills and getting a feel for the road racing scene.

    "It was the best way to work on race tactics, bike handling - to learn things. I'd never had a feed from a car, or a wheel change. I learned as much as I could.

    "Redlands was my first NRC race experience, and I was nervous and overwhelmed. My coach told me to watch people like Kristin Armstrong, and I said, 'ok, I'll look up her number'!," she laughed. "I didn't even know what she looked like and now we're teammates!

    "The hardest part was getting on a composite team for the race, because I was new and didn't have the experience. But I finished Redlands, and I made the second group on the final stage - finished 12th - it was solid. I enjoyed it, and I knew I had made a good decision."

    European adventure

    Her success at the Canadian National Championships, where she took third in the time trial and criterium and ninth in the road race, was critical to the next step in her progression; racing in Europe.

    "Kudos to Team Canada for taking me to Europe. The cool thing was that I won a road stage there, Canada hasn't won too many races in Europe. To take a new racer was a big risk for them. I'm happy that they were willing to overlook my lack of experience."

    The team showed further faith in Shaw by selecting her to its squad for the world championships. While she knew based upon her previous results that she would be one of the fastest early starters, Shaw said she oscillated between confidence and fear of coming in last place until finally, at race time, she was relaxed and calm.

    "The entire week was a great experience... I thought I could come top 25, and a top 10 was a long shot, but to spend two hours in the hot seat and come in seventh was surreal - it was super cool.

    "Canadian cycling is super exciting right now - there's a lot of momentum and it's really positive - there are people who are act and talk like they're going to win and it just spreads."

    That kind of winning dynamic has also been prevalent in the Peanut Butter & Co/Twenty12 team which will be named Exergy Twenty12 next season, and Shaw is excited to have a group of women to race with who have proven abilities but are also fun to be around.

    "I've been thrilled with the change. The team dynamics are so new, it was important to me to select a team where the management and the personalities ... you spend so much time travelling together I wanted to be with women I would enjoy spending time with. I gave up my job to do this, and I want to make sure it's going to be enjoyable. It was a huge factor in my decision to join Exergy."

    Shaw will continue to reside in Seattle, but will spend time over the winter training in Northern California with the team in preparation for the 2012 road season.

  • Verbeke seriously injured in training accident

    Grace Verbeke on the podium.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2011, 16:24
    By:
    Cycling News

    2010 Women's Tour of Flanders winner hit by vehicle

    Grace Verbeke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) was hit by a vehicle in Gistel, Belgium while on a training ride this morning and suffered serious injuries, according to Sporza.

    Verbeke's team stated on Facebook that the 26-year-old Belgian initially lost consciousness and has been diagnosed with a fractured eye socket, cuts to the face, upper leg and pelvis, plus heavy bruising. She's being treated at a hospital in Ostend for her injuries.

    In 2010 Verbeke became the first Belgian to win the women's Tour of Flanders and later that year she added a national time trial championship to her palmares. Verbeke capped off her 2010 season with a sixth place finish in the world road race championships.