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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Date published:
August 30, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Speculation surrounds RadioShack-Trek possible merger

    Fabian Cancellara leads the Leopard Trek train
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 10:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Gazzetta reports Becca and Bruyneel to partner up

    The Leopard Trek team has denied reports of a possible merger with RadioShack in 2012 but today the Italian Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper claims a deal has been struck between Leopard Trek team owner Flavio Becca and RadioShack manager John Bruyneel to create a new and more powerful Luxembourg-based team for 2012.

    Gazzetta dello Sport suggests that Becca is not satisfied with the running of the team and hopes Bruyneel can help Andy Schleck win the Tour de France after his long run of success with Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador.

    According to the well respected Italian sports newspaper, the team will be called RadioShack-Trek, with the core of the staff coming from Bruyneel’s current RadioShack team.

    There are 27 riders under contract at Leopard Trek and 13 riders under contract at RadioShack. With a limit of 30 riders per ProTeam, that could mean at least ten riders will need to be let go.

    Gazzetta suggests that current Leopard Trek team manager Brian Nygaard is set to return to his former role of as a press officer, possibly with the new Australian GreenEdge team.

    However GreenEdge team manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews: "I've been reading the rumours about RadioShack and Leopard but I've had no contact with Brian (Nygaard)."

    Cyclingnews tried to contact Flavio Becca, Brian Nygaard and Johan Bruyneel but none of the individuals replied to calls and messages.

  • Rasmussen disputes secret recordings in doping investigation

    Michael Rasmussen (Christina Watches)
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 11:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Dane reports on Italian hearing in Mantova pharmacy case

    Italian investigators apparently hope to convict Michael Rasmussen on doping charges based on recordings from hidden microphones from a pharmacy in Mariana Mantovana. They claim the recordings contain the sound of an ampoule being broken and thrown away, which indicates that the Danish cyclist underwent “infusion therapy” about one month before the end of his suspension in 2009.

    Rasmussen's hearing in the matter was held Monday before the Italian Olympic Committee CONI. He has said that he used the pharmacy for his family and denied any “talk of illegal products or illegal practices.”

    The tapes are said have “the recorded sound of an ampoule that is broken and then thrown into a metal garbage can. Based on this, they have concluded that on this day I have gone through infusion therapy,” Rasmussen told

    Infusion treatment consists of medications, vitamins and minerals entering the body through a drip. It is not doping and he did not receive such therapy anyway, he claimed.

    Rasmussen further disputed the interpretationof the sounds heard on the tape. “I hear rather a bunch of keys or a pen being put on a desk. And I can not hear that it is an ampoule that is thrown into a metal trash can. It might as well be an empty box of gum.”

    “But if we play with the idea that prosecutors hear correctly, one must remember two things. First, it makes no sense that I should throw myself into something fishy one month before the end of my quarantine, where I had no team or the prospect of finding one.”

    Secondly, “it would not have been illegal to...

  • Froome's Vuelta success sparks transfer interest

    Chris Froome celebrates his first Grand Tour jersey
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 12:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky facing competition to retain Kenyan

    Chris Froome’s outstanding performance at the Vuelta a España has sparked interest from several major teams who are all keen to sign the Kenyan-born Briton if he decides to leave Team Sky.

    Froome has ridden strongly for Bradley Wiggins in the first week of the Vuelta but then overshadowed his team leader by beating him in the Salamanca time trial and taking the race leader’s red jersey. He now leads Jakob Fuglsang of Leopard Trek by 12 seconds, with Wiggins third at 20 seconds.

    “I’m really happy for Chris, his career has been transformed overnight. He’s also tripled his contract value,” his agent Alex Carera told Cyclingnews, clearly looking to boost his rider’s value.

    “I’ve been his agent for three years and always believed he could do well in stage races. But there was always something that stopped him performing at his very best.”

    Froome and Carera has been in talks with Team Sky since July about a new contract for 2012 but the British team has been dragging its heels as it undergoes a significant evolution to its line-up for 2012. Mark Cavendish is widely expected to join the British team, sharing team leadership with Bradley Wiggins. That could leave little room for Froome if he goes on to prove his stage racing ability at the Vuelta.

    “Chris would love to stay at Team Sky for next year but two teams were very interested in him before the Vuelta and after taking the lead, two other teams have contacted me,” Carera said.

    “His future in the WorldTour is secure because a major Dutch team, a US squad and a leading European team have all shown interest. A French team is also keen to sign him.”

    Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford told Cyclingnews that Froome would stay...

  • Phinney happy with first Grand Tour

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) remains in the overall lead at the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 13:52 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American thinks he has secured Worlds ticket

    After making it through to the first rest day in his first grand tour Taylor Phinney (BMC) is aiming to complete the Vuelta and position himself for a strong showing at the Worlds next month.

    The 21-year-old neo-pro endured a difficult start to his year with BMC with injuries and a lack of form. However he knuckled down in the second half and has seen some of the best form shine throu A fifth place finish in Tuesday’s individual time trial at the Vuelta signalled one of Phinney best results this year, considering it marked the longest period of racing of his career.

    “I’m really happy with how the time trial went. I wasn’t really sure on what to expect because this is the longest race I’ve done. I did eight days at the Tour of Austria and now I’m passed that. So to be up there and competitive after ten days of racing and in my first grand tour, I’m really happy. And I’m also really happy for Chris Froome for his ride. He’s a friend of mine and a great guy who I’ve been lucky enough to get to know this year,” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    Phinney lined up for the Vuelta despite the appeal of racing at the US Pro Challenge which took place on his home roads in Colorado. The three week test in Spain marked his first grand tour and despite some difficult stages in the first week he believes that the race has been a positive step in his career.

    With no more time trialling left in this year’s Vuelta, Phinney will turn his attention to finishing the race but he already has one eye on the Worlds. Although not confirmed, he believes that his

  • Rodriguez vows to keep on fighting in Vuelta

    Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) suffered and lost time
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 15:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Katusha Spaniard dropped from second to fourteenth

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) had hoped to lose two and a half minutes in Monday's time trial at the Vuelta a Espana, but it turned out to be more than four minutes. His performance dropped him from second place, one second down on leader Bauke Mollema (Rabobank), to fourteenth place, 3:23 behind new leader Christopher Froome of Sky.

    The Katusha rider is not giving up hopes of winning the Vuelta, though. “I will continue to fight in the mountains which lie ahead,” he told the EFE news agency,

    “Please remove the time trial,” he said wryly. “The time trial is the only day of cycling I don't like.”

    In last year's Vuelta, his lack of time trialing abilities proved equally disastrous. Leading the race by 33 seconds going in to the 46 km stage, he finished 105th, 6:12 minutes down. It dropped him to fifth place overall, and he was only able to work his way up one spot, finishing the race just off the podium.

    "After that time trial, I would have left. I hurt all over and had no desire to continue fighting, but after this time trial I have the head to keep on fighting,” he declared.

    Being passed on the course by Mollema, who had started two minutes after him, was not easy, but he controlled himself. “I knew if I raised my pace, it could be worse. My pace was good and I did not have to go crazy.”



  • Breschel looking to end of “crap” season

    Matti Breschel (Rabobank) lost his overall lead
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 17:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider may still need surgery, Worlds up in the air

    This has not been Matti Breschel's year. Or, as the Rabobank rider put it, “it has just been a crap season in all ways.” He has about given up hope of winning a medal in next month's World Championships in Copenhagen, and still doesn't know whether he will need surgery on his broken fingers.

    Breschel crashed out of the Vuelta a Espana last week, suffering the two broken fingers, a deep gash on his chin and extensive road rash on his leg. The fingers aren't the only problem now, as his left leg is also giving him problems.

    “Right now I cannot under any circumstances sit on a bike. My left knee and hip especially hurt,” he told The leg is ripped open “from the hip down to ankle. There is probably inflammation in the wounds, so I am now on antibiotic treatment to keep it down," all of which is keeping him in bed at the moment.

    Breschel hopes to be able to ride the Tour of Britain (September 11-18) as his final warm-up for his homeland worlds, for which he was to be team captain.

    “It certainly looks very bleak in comparison to riding for medals. It is the biggest World Championships ever for a Dane, because it is at home, and I would never want to let that chance go by. But I have since tried to prepare myself for the worst, and I've also thought about that you really should give a chance to another when they are better prepared and riding stronger. But I'll have that discussion with national coach Lars Bonde.”

    However, possible surgery on his hand, in which he also tore a tendon, may be the deciding factor. He is scheduled to meet with Rabobank doctors Thursday in the Netherlands to determine whether an operation is necessary.

  • Cusin joins Team Type 1-Sanofi

    Rémi Cusin (Cofidis) wins stage 2 in Aarhus.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 17:33 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Bertogliati, Dugan, Megias extend their contracts

    Team Type 1 - Sanofi has confirmed the signing of Frenchman Remy Cusin, who currently races with the Cofidis team. It also announced the extension of contracts with Rubens Bertogliati, Will Dugan and Javier Megias.

    Cusin, 25, began his career with the Agritubel team before joining Cofidis in 2010. Earlier this month he scored his first professional victory in the Tour of Denmark, where he took a close sprint win over Matti Breschel after the pair attacked in the finale of the stage.

    "Remy won stage two at the Tour of Denmark this year, and we saw him succeed on what was likely the most difficult day of racing on the hardest course of the year. He's a tremendously talented and exceptionally promising addition to Team Type 1 - Sanofi, and his experience at Grand Tours and one-day classics is very exciting for us. We have great ambitions for wider European success next year, and Remy is going to help us achieve our dreams," said team manager Vassili Davidenko.

    Bertogliati, who wore the mountains jersey at the Tour of Utah, has been a key team player for the squad, while Will Dugan, in his second professional year, took third overall at the Tour of Korea.

    "Will Dugan is a talented young rider who is growing by leaps and bounds as a professional. He was 3rd on GC in Korea, and we expect to see him on the podium more and more as he develops."

    Megias, one of five type 1 diabetics on the team, will continue to represent the team's mission on and off the bike.

    "Getting Javi back to Europe this year was a number one goal for the team, and he has raced to great success in France, Switzerland, Turkey, Italy and the United States. He's the perfect example of how far and how high an athlete can go with type 1 diabetes, and his continued...

  • Thomas ready to work for Cavendish in 2012 sprints

    Up close with Team Sky's Geraint Thomas.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2011, 19:28 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Welshman looking forward to the Tour of Britain and worlds

    Geraint Thomas has said he would happily lead out Mark Cavendish in the sprints if the Manxman joins Team Sky for 2012.

    Thomas is known for his time trialing skills and his huge potential for the cobbled classics but also played a key lead-out role in Edvald Boasson Hagen’s first stage victory at the Tour de France and more recently at the Hamburg Cyclassics race in Germany.

    Cavendish has yet to reveal who he will ride for 2012 but all the indications point to Team Sky. If that is the case, he will no longer be with his loyal lead out man Mark Renshaw, who has signed with Rabobank. Thomas could be an excellent replacement for Renshaw in many of the big sprint finishes. He believes the arrival of Cavendish at Team Sky would be a good thing.

    “We’ve grown up together and we’ve know each other since we were 14, so to ride the Tour de France and to lead him out would be special,” Thomas told a select group of media following Team Sky’s announcement that the Welshman will ride the Tour of Britain.

    “It’d definitely be a big change in the team because he’s such a strong character but I think it’d be great for the team as a whole. If you’re winning consistently in the Giro and Tour, success breeds success. I think it’d be a bit like this year: we did well at Bayern-Rundfahrt, then the Dauphine, the Tour de France and the Eneco Tour. You get on a roll and I think Cav would add to that.”

    Thomas is ready to work for Cavendish at this year’s world championships in Copenhagen on September 25. He believes the Manxman has huge opportunity to win the world title.

    “I think it’s the best chance Cav’s had since he’s been pro,” he said.

    “From what I hear, the course suits him well....