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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 13, 2012

Date published:
September 13, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Australian Cyclones team announced for World Championships

    Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans beat Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) for the win
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 2:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Gerrans to lead powerful nine-man squad in Valkenburg

    Australian selectors have announced their line-up for the UCI Road World Championships which begin this Sunday 16 September in The Netherlands. The elite men’s road race team will be headlined by recent Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec and Milan-San Remo victor Simon Gerrans.

    Included in the nine-man roster is Allan Davis who will be the team's best hope if the race comes down to a bunch sprint. Davis won bronze at the World Championships in Geelong in 2010 and recently finished the Vuelta a España where he came close to a stage win on a number of occasions. He’s shown his form is on track for the road race in Valkenburg however the course appears to be suited to more of a classics-style rider.

    After winning a stage and taking the Vuelta’s KOM classification, Simon Clarke is a significant inclusion. He could be one of the Australian team’s standout riders in a race which should suit his characteristics. It’s Clarke's third time riding in the elite team after making a stunning debut in 2009 where he was clearly one of the strongest riders in the team that helped Cadel Evans to win the world title. Similarly to Clarke, David Tanner is coming off a strong result at GP de Québec when he finished 19th.

    After an enormous season which saw him ride all three Grand Tours, Adam Hansen will be one of the strongmen in the team. He has demonstrated his endurance and mental toughness to finish the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and the Vuelta in a single year.

  • Omega Pharma - Quickstep aiming for TTT podium at World’s

    Omega Pharma - Quickstep during the opening TTT at the Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 3:33 BST
    Cycling News

    World and national time trial champions included in six-man team

    Before defending his world champion title in the individual time trial, Tony Martin will seek to add another world championship win to his palmares when he leads his Omega Pharma - Quickstep team in the team time trial on Sunday at the UCI Road World Championships. Martin has been preparing specifically for the individual TT held three days after the team event and will not participate in the road race.

    "The riders are motivated," said Sports Director Wilfred Peeters. "We did some specific training but it will be important that on Friday and Saturday, we will do more training on the parcour to tune up all of the duties and responsibilities of each rider - the perfect line, who takes the corners, who makes the final effort, things like that.

    "It's a very dynamic parcour with some tricky roundabouts, but also with some climbs. The Cauberg for the final will be really difficult. The team is good. The riders that are part of the team are really good and prepared for this race. In general I have a good feeling, and we are quite confident for the race," he said.

    Joining the current German national champion Martin in the 53.2km race will be national TT champions Kristof Vandewalle (Belgium), Sylvain Chavanel (France) and Peter Velits (Slovakia) with Niki Terpstra and the in-form Tom Boonen filling the final spots.

    "We have the ITT World Champion and German Champion in Tony Martin, a strong rider like Niki Terpstra, Tom Boonen who proved he is in very good condition at the moment and three other ITT national champions in Vandewalle, Peter Velits and Sylvain Chavanel. Those three are in good condition and ready to fight for a solid result. Our goal is to get a spot on...

  • Wiggins’s achievements set to become a Hollywood film?

    Bradley Wiggins was all smiles for sign on at the Tour of Britain
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 7:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Life of Tour de France and Olympic champion coming to the big screen

    Bradley Wiggins’s life from childhood up until his Tour de France and London Olympic time trial victory is set to become a Hollywood film, says the Daily Express. Wiggins is currently racing the Tour of Britain, alongside current race leader Mark Cavendish before lining up for his country in The Netherlands for the UCI World Championships road race next Sunday.

    The Olympic champion has already expressed his decision to skip the time trial as his preparation has not been adequate to contend for a medal.

    Wiggins became Great Britain’s most successful Olympian when he won his seventh Olympic medal in the time trial at the London Games. It was the 2012 Tour de France winner’s fourth gold medal since first winning bronze for the team pursuit at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

    With his stunning year of success almost complete, the now ‘star’ of Britain is said to become the headline for a US-backed film. Little is known about the specifics of the film however, 45-year-old British actor Rhys Ifans is said to be in the running to play the 32-year-old Wiggins.

    “Bradley is a larger-than-life personality and his story really appeals to movie executives,” said the Daily Express.

    “Funding is already looking healthy and it is hoped the project will get the green light before...

  • Kessiakoff dials in for Worlds time trial

    Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) celebrates the biggest win of his career.
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 10:01 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Forgoes team event to focus on individual TT

    Fredrik Kessiakoff (Sweden) has decided to forgo the team time trial at this year’s Worlds and instead focus on the men’s individual time trial and road race. The team event, which takes places this weekend, would have seen Kessiakoff ride alongside five of his trade teammates from Astana, however with the Vuelta just behind him the Swedish ride has decided to rest-up and commit fully to next week’s events.

    “I feel that it’s better that I focus on the individual time trial. If I was to do the team event then I’d have to leave for the Worlds today or tomorrow and just coming out of the Vuelta I feel that any extra day of recovery is an investment in the time trial. Eather than compete in all three, I’ll try and do two and have those few extra days to recover,” Kessiakoff told Cyclingnews.

    The 45.7 km individual time trial poses as Kessiakoff’s best chance of a medal after the 32-year-old won the individual tests at both the Tour de Suisse in June and the Vuelta a España earlier in the month. That final win in Pontevedra has marked Kessiakoff as a dark horse for the podium, his chances greatly improved by the fact that Bradley Wiggins and Fabian Cancellara will not complete in Valkenburg.

    “I think I’ve shown that on the right type of course I can be very competitive. I know that the course should be quite twisty and contains lots of up and downs but whether the climbs are long enough for me to get the benefit, I don’t know. We’ll have to see when I get there and ride the course. On race day we’ll see if I can put in a good performance but my focus is just to get there and to finish and feel like I’ve got out the maximum. How...

  • Blijlevens to join Rabobank WorldTour staff in 2013

    Jeroen Blijlevens wins a stage of the 1998 Tour de France
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 10:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Michiel Elijzen switches from Lotto Belisol as part of overhaul

    Jeroen Blijlevens will join Rabobank’s WorldTour team as directeur sportif next season after a year at the helm of the women’s team. The former TVM sprinter’s move comes as part of an overhaul of the management structure of the Dutch team.

    Michiel Elijzen, currently a directeur sportif at Lotto Belisol, will also join Rabobank in 2013. The team recently confirmed that both Erik Breukink and Adri van Houwelingen will finish up with the team at the end of the season while the newly-retired Grischa Niermann has agreed to join the management staff of the Rabobank Continental team in 2013.

    In May of this year, former Rabobank general manager Theo de Rooy told Volksrant that doping had been tolerated at the team at least up to 2007. De Rooy left the team that year in the wake of the Michael Rasmussen affair at the Tour de France.

    The new season will see modifications in both the personnel and the structure of Rabobank’s management team. An important part in this next stage will see sports directors working more closely alongside trainers and their riders, with a primary focus on the technical aspects of training.

    “The limits of the current guidance model within our team have been reached. We are breaking up with the traditional working methods in cycling. Hence the restructuring towards the standards of the future,” says Rabosport’s General Manager Harold Knebel.

    “Primarily, we stopped focussing on foreign top riders [after 2008]. After that, the available Dutch talent had time to mature and grow under the motto Time for Talent. Now it’s time to push our ambition, which was the basis of this project, to the next phase: the...

  • Simon responds to Worlds disappointment with GP Wallonie win

    Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) bides his time in the peloton.
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 10:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman times his effort well in Namur

    Julien Simon (Saur-Sojasun) responded to the disappointment of missing out on selection for the French team for the world championships by claiming a fine hilltop victory at the Grand Prix de Wallonie in Namur on Wednesday.

    In spite of a campaign that has seen him claim four wins, including two stage victories at the Volta a Catalunya, Simon was overlooked by French coach Laurent Jalabert, who has built his team around Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

    “I wasn’t picked by Laurent Jalabert on the Worlds team and that was hard to digest,” Simon told RTBF. “This was my answer.”

    Second to Philippe Gilbert at the Grand Prix Wallonie twelve months ago, Simon timed his effort to perfection on the testing uphill finish at the citadel in Namur to take the win after his Saur-Sojasun team had worked in the finale to bring the peloton back together.

    “After my second place last year, I really wanted to win this race, it’s a race that makes me dream,” Simon said. “I was a bit worried when I got caught out in the echelons but the team did great work and they didn’t ride for nothing.”

    On the deceptive final haul to the finish line, Simon bided his time until the final 200 metres, when he emerged from behind Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) to claim the win.

    “I knew the finish by heart,” he said. “I was well-placed and I knew where it was all going to kick off. When the move went in front of me, I followed and I felt like I still had some energy. When we got to the key point I had identified, I gave it my all without thinking about it, and on the last bend, I could...

  • Moser confident he can cope with Worlds distance

    Moreno Moser wins stage 6 of the Tour of Poland
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 11:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Liquigas rider set to be youngest Italian in race since 1979

    At just 21 years of age, Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale) is set to become the youngest rider to represent Italy in the elite men’s world championships road race since Silvano Contini in 1979, incidentally also in Valkenburg.

    The Italian federation’s new selection policy decrees that riders who have served doping suspensions and riders under investigation for doping are ineligible for the squadra azzurra, and with the emphasis now firmly on youth, Moser could be handed a degree of responsibility in Valkenburg on September 23.

    His Liquigas-Cannondale stable-mate Vincenzo Nibali will lead the Italian team, but coach Paolo Bettini has hinted that Moser and 23-year-old Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) will also be expected to be active in the finale.

    “We’re a good team and on paper we’ve certainly got more possibilities than last year [when Italy endured its worst Worlds finish since 1983 – ed.],” Moser told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We have Nibali as leader and then some other cards to play, and I hope to be one of them.”

    In spite of his tender years, Moser has already won the Trofeo Laigueglia and the Tour of Poland in 2012, and he insisted that he has no qualms about his ability to last the distance over the 260km-long course in Limburg, which includes ten laps of a circuit that comprises the Bemelerberg and Cauberg.

    “I did a good national championships [3rd behind Franco Pellizotti – ed.] and that made me realise that I have the distance in my legs,” said Moser, who...

  • Howman welcomes HGH test, talks Hamilton and UCI

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    September 13, 2012, 12:14 BST
    Daniel Benson

    WADA director-general says there's no vendetta against UCI

    World Anti-Doping Agency director-general David Howman has welcomed a new test for human growth hormone. The test was approved by WADA prior to the Olympic Games and was used to catch two athletes at the recent Paralympics. Speaking to Cyclingnews, Howman also commented on the Tyler Hamilton’s autobiography “The Secret Race” and explained the agency’s stance on the US Postal and Lance Armstrong case.

    “It’s a significant step forward,” Howman said when discussing the finalisation of a human growth hormone test. Although still in its infancy, the ability to test for HGH is a major stepping stone in the fight against doping. Originally funded by the IOC in the late 90s, WADA took up leadership in the development of the test in the mid-2000s.

    “It’s something that came into effect just prior to the Games and we’re happy that it works. From that point of view, it’s a step in the right direction. It’s been a long haul and a lot of work but it’s been pretty well done by scientists. When you get a new analysis in place it does take a wee while before it goes global.”

    Howman recently attended the Paralympics but away from the spotlight of competition, WADA is scrupulously working on a re-draft of its code. The first draft has already been published but there are several consultation phases before a new code will be approved in November and brought into place in 2015.

    Howman is aware that the code itself is only part of the fight against doping. This spring he told Cyclingnews that the number of cheating athletes was in double figures.