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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Date published:
August 25, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Cantwell wants more success at Murray River

    Original tour leader Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia) hits the line in eighth place and is now sixth on the GC.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 5:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian ready for more home wins after successful year abroad

    Jonathan Cantwell wants to continue his successful season at next week’s Tour of Murray River, with the aim of opening new doors for his career in 2010. Cantwell finished fifth at the Tour of Geelong, but admits he is better suited to the August 30-September 6 race.

    “It was a bit of a reality shock to get back to Australia for the Geelong Tour and see how fast they are going these days, but it was a terrific race, even the hilly stages,” he said. “Maybe Murray River will be good for me and I will win my first major race in Australia.”

    Cantwell enjoyed a successful start to his 2009 campaign in the United States of America, where his Fly V Australia team has been focusing its efforts. He won 17 races in the United States before claiming another victory in the opening stage of the inaugural Geelong Tour.

    “I’ve got my fingers crossed. My form is quite good and I’m looking to the future,” said Cantwell. “If I can continue my stellar year, then the sky could be the limit for me next year with overseas opportunities.”

    The Elgas Tour of the Murray River has attracted a 115-man field from Australia, New Zealand, USA, South Africa and Taiwan. The line-up includes a record number of 12 New Zealanders, who have an impressive Murray Tour record having won with David Lee in 1997 and Greg Henderson in 2000.

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  • Basso rates himself a Vuelta contender

    Italy's Ivan Basso (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 7:12 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Italian says he's improved since lackluster Giro

    Ivan Basso believes he’s a contender for this month’s Vuelta a España, despite falling drastically short of his own ambitions for May’s Giro d’Italia. Basso believes his form has benefited from the lack of pressure leading into the final Grand Tour of 2009.

    "I have dealt with the preparation for this race calmly and without undue stress,” said Basso. "It’s the first time that I face the Vuelta in my career and I have decided to leave my mark.

    “Five uphill finishes, full of tricky stages and two time trials - I can not deny that it is suitable to my characteristics,” said Basso. “This factor, together with the good form that I have achieved thanks to the races in August, let me lean toward optimism: the final victory is a concrete goal.”

    The Liquigas rider will face stiff competition in the race to the Spanish race's title. Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) and Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel Euskadi) will be hungry to shine on home soil, while there’s a swag of other big named riders seeking redemption at this year’s race like Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto).

    In addition to those super experienced names, Basso needs to hold the younger brigade – like Robert Gesink (Rabobank), Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) and Daniel Martin (Garmin Slipstream) – at bay. To do that, Basso says he’s moved away from scientific data and if focusing more on his own feelings on the bike.

    “The weeks preceding the start of the Giro was full of expectation: the pink race represented the first race where [I could] get some feedback that would allow me to give substance to the sensations felt during preparation,” he said. “It was a fundamental step that has provided me with useful information.

    “In summer I was able to focus on areas for improvement, such as changes of pace,” he added. “Finally,...

  • Armstrong brings Classics riders to RadioShack

    A deep breath for Gregory Rast and he'll be off to 107th place.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 10:34 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Tomas Vaitkus and Grégory Rast to join Lance Armstrong's RadioShack team

    Lance Armstrong's team RadioShack has started to build for the one-day spring Classics. Director Sportif Dirk Demol said on Tuesday that Lithuania's Tomas Vaitkus and Switzerland's Grégory Rast will join the new team along with some Belgian one-day specialists.

    "The emphasis is, of course, on the Tour, but we want to do well in the Classics also," Demol told Het Nieuwsblad. "Tomas Vaitkus is sure to come over from Astana, probably Grégory Rast too."

    Demol said he also wants to hire some Belgian specialists who are motivated for riding in the Classics. He said he is unable to give names at this point.

    Belgian Stijn Devolder, winner of the last two Ronde van Vlaanderen editions, will stay at Quick Step for 2010. Demol said the team is unable to negotiate with Devolder and other riders who have contracts in place for the next season.

    Armstrong will part ways with team Astana and Tour winner Alberto Contador. Armstrong announced on July 23 that he would form new team RadioShack. It is yet to be confirmed whether he will be joined by long-time director, Belgian Johan Bruyneel.

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  • Majority of Barloworld's Anglophones destined for Team Sky

    Steve Cummings (Barloworld) held on to finish fourth from the break.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 10:41 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Riders find new teams as Barloworld sponsorship ends

    More than half of team Barloworld's Anglophone cyclists are likely to ride for new British squad Team Sky in 2010. Sprinter Robert Hunter has also been linked with a move to American team, Garmin-Slipstream.

    Barloworld announced earlier this month that it will end its sponsorship of the professional continental team at the end of 2009, after seven years as title sponsor.

    South African John-Lee Augustyn and Brits Steve Cummings, Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas should join Team Sky for next season, according to a Cyclingnews source. Cummings and Thomas finished fourth and fifth, respectively, in the Coppa Bernocchi Thursday.

    Hunter should join Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin team, said the source. Hunter, who has four wins this season, would work with fellow sprinter Tyler Farrar, winner of Vattenfall Cyclassics and three stages of the Eneco Tour.

    The official date for riders and teams to announce their contracts is September 1.

    The future team of South African Daryl Impey is unknown. He returned to racing this month after recovering from a crash in the Tour of Turkey. He won the general classification at the Tour of Turkey despite breaking two vertebrae in the crash, caused by Theo Bos, in the final kilometre of the last stage.

    Barloworld manager Claudio Corti is currently looking for a new sponsor to replace the South African company in order to ensure the team's future into 2010. 

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  • Wiggins to lead Garmin at Tour of Britain

    Bradley Wiggins (Garmin-Slipstream)
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 10:47 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Garmin, Cervélo, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Vacansoleil confirm for British race

    Brit Bradley Wiggins will join team Garmin-Slipstream for his home tour, the Tour of Britain, September 12 to 19. He finished fourth overall in last month's Tour de France.

    Garmin, Cervélo TestTeam, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Vacansoleil will join the nine teams already scheduled to start the sixth edition of the race, race organisers confirmed Monday.

    Wiggins will be the highest profile British rider competing at the event after Columbia-HTC's Mark Cavendish confirmed earlier this month that he will race on the other side of the Atlantic at the Tour of Missouri. Neither Scot David Millar or Irish rider Daniel Martin have been named in team Garmin. Chris Sutton, Ricardo Van der Velde, Huub Duyn, Thomas Peterson and Trent Lowe will join Wiggins for the Tour of Britain. The first there are currently racing with Wiggins at the Eneco Tour.

    Cervélo TestTeam, who will make its Tour of Britain debut, will send three British riders to the race: Roger Hammond, Jeremy Hunt and Dan Fleeman. Irishman Philip Deignan, who finished 12th overall at the Tour of Ireland on Sunday, Germany's Martin Reimer and Italian stagiaire Davide Appollonio will complete the team.

    ProTour team Euskaltel-Euskadi is also making its first appearance at the Tour of Britain. The Basque team will be represented by Javier Aramendia, Koldo Fernández, Iban Velasco Murillo, Sergio Andres De Lis, Josu Agirre Aseginolaza and Jorge Azanza.

    Dutch squad Vacansoleil will bring Rob Ruijgh, Thomas Berkhout, Martin Mortensen, Baden Cooke, Reinier Honig and Wouter Mol.

    The four teams join the AG2R La Mondiale, Agritubel, Barloworld, CantiTV-Marshalls Pasta, CSF Group Navigare, Rapha Condor, Columbia-HTC, Halfords Bikehut and Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator.

    The Tour of Britain begins in Scunthorpe on September 12 and finishes, eight stages...

  • Nocentini races for Worlds spot at Vuelta a España

    Rinaldo Nocentini (AG2R) is in yellow for another day.
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 12:01 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Positions on Italian Worlds team up for grabs as Ballerini observes Vuelta a España

    Italian Rinaldo Nocentini wants to put his name back at the top after wearing the leader's yellow jersey at the Tour de France. He will start will start the Vuelta a España on Saturday with the goal to earn himself a spot on his national team for the World championships.

    "I am going there to win a stage and to earn the maglia azzurra [Italy's national team jesey - ed.]," Nocentini (AG2R La Mondiale) told Cyclingnews. "I don't need to do a lot, but I need to show that I am still available."

    Italian team director Franco Ballerini will be at the Vuelta a España for 12 to 13 stages to observe the progress of his candidates. Nocentini said he wants to win a stage in the first days while Ballerini is at the race and highlighted the race's fourth stage to Liège.

    At this year's Tour de France Nocentini finished fourth on stage seven to Arcalís and took over the leader's yellow jersey. He wore the malliot jaune for eight days, the longest of any rider at the Tour. Spaniard Alberto Contador won the race by 20:45 over Nocentini, who finished 14th.

    Nocentini said his performance in the Tour helps, but is insufficient to earn a spot on the nine-man Worlds team. He last raced for the Italian team at the 2006 Worlds in Salzburg, Austria, when teammate Paolo Bettini won his first title.

    Ballerini has a difficult job selecting the team this year with Paolo Bettini retired and both Danilo Di Luca and Davide Rebellin suspended for doping offences. Vincenzo Nibali was to have a key role, but he crashed and broke his collarbone in Sunday's stage of the Eneco Tour.

    Ballerini will likely build the team around defending champion Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego.

    "Cunego can have a great Worlds," said Nocentini. "Nibali would have been important for us. He could have made the escapes and gone for the win. It will be a team that has to enter into the escapes...

  • Wegmann skips Vuelta to protect Worlds chances

    Fabian Wegmann (Milram) after Tour de France stage six
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 13:34 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Milram brings in Schröder to bolster Ciolek's chances in Spanish sprints

    Milram's Fabian Wegmann will miss the Vuelta a España due to an ongoing back injury, he confirmed. The German said that while the injury has responded to recent treatment he will miss the Vuelta in order to ensure full recovery for the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    "I have decided today to waive the Vuelta in order not to jeopardise a possible World championship start," wrote Wegmann on his personal website on Monday.

    Wegmann's doctor is confident that Wegmann is close to full recovery, Milram press officer Max Biermann told Cyclingnews today. The doctor warned the Wegmann, 29, against starting his second Grand Tour of the year.

    "The doctor checked Fabian again over the weekend and said that it's nearly okay," said Biermann. "But he said that it's too early to race a three-week Tour like the Vuelta, because he's not sure how secure his back is."

    Wegmann crashed at the Dauphiné Libéré in June and worsened his injury with his participation in the Tour de France. Wegmann missed both the Vattenfall Cyclassics and the GP Ouest-France while he was treated.

    Milram said it now expects Wegmann to return to competition in Italy, on the weekend before the World Championships. "He is planning to race two Italian one-day races, the Memorial Viviana and GP Industria," said Beirmann. "His main goal is to be prepared for the Worlds. He will continue to train and then start with these races to be as well prepared for the World Championships as possible."

    Björn Schröder will replace Wegmann in Milram's Vuelta team.

    "If [Wegmann] is healthy he's always a good weapon because he's always good for an escape group or to help the team and the captains," said Beirmann. "But now that Björn Schröder will now replace him at the Vuelta, it may be a bigger advantage for Gerald Ciolek. Schröder's also good for an escape group, but may be able to help set...

  • Ballan and Cunego both included in Lampre's Vuelta team

    World Champion Alessandro Ballan (Lampre)
    Article published:
    August 25, 2009, 14:19 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Lampre-N.G.C to use Spanish race as tune up for Worlds

    World Champion Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego will lead Lampre-N.G.C's team at the Vuelta a España after the squad announced a predominantly Italian lineup for the Spanish race. The team says it will head to the Spanish Grand Tour with a view to stage wins and the upcoming World championships.

    "The team that will take part in the Vuelta will be almost completely Italian, Ukrainian [Vitaliy] Buts will be the only rider from another country, and some of them will probably be in the [Italian] national team in Switzerland," said Team Manager Giuseppe Saronni. "Our aim will be to try to win stages and improve the fitness of athletes such Ballan and Cunego before the World championships."

    After a lacklustre season Ballan has only recently shown a return to race-winning form. Earlier this month he won stage five at the Tour of Poland, his first victory of the season, and then claimed the overall classification as well. Like Ballan, Cunego has also struggled for results this season. The former Giro d'Italia winner has not recorded a victory since the Settimana Coppi e Bartali in March.

    Both riders will be looking to impress Italian national manager Franco Ballerini when they line up alongside compatriots Emanuele Bindi, Enrico Gasparotto, Marco Marzano, Massimiliano Mori, Paolo Tiralongo and Francesco Tomei for the Vuelta's start in Assen, the Netherlands on Saturday. Vitaliy Buts has been named as the ninth member of the team.

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