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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Date published:
December 08, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Lance Armstrong demos RadioShack kit

    Lance Armstrong models the possible Team RadioShack jersey for 2010
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 9:45 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    RadioShack twitters a sneak preview of its red and grey kit for 2010

    Lance Armstrong has presented a sneak preview of the possible new RadioShack jersey on the team's twitter site. According to a photo of him in the new outfit, the US-based team will present itself in grey and red for the coming season.

    The top has a red neckband and and is grey with dark grey dots on the sleeves, shoulders and upper chest. Beneath that, the front is red, with an the RadioShack logo in white (a circle with an off-centre capital R), and the name underneath. The sides feature white strips with the team name in black and red. The left sleeve has a yellow cuff band with the name of Armstrong's cancer foundation, Livestrong.

    Other sponsors whose names appear on the front are Nissan, Trek, and Nike, who designed the jersey.

    The shorts were not shown.

    RadioShack will debut the new jersey at its first race of the season, the Tour Down Under in Australia January 17-24. Don't be surprised, though, if it looks different then. Armstrong noted that there is “still some tweaking to be done.”

  • Vorarlberg with one new rider, three extensions

    Sprints leader René Weissinger (Team Volksbank)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 10:19 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Weissinger, Ludescher, Gufler re-up, youngster Baldauf joins Austrian team

    Team Vorarlberg-Corratec continues to grow for the 2010 season as it announced one new rider and three contract extensions on Tuesday morning. Rene Weissinger, Philipp Ludescher and Alexander Gufler have re-signed with the team, while Sebastian Baldauf joins the team for the first time.

    Weissinger won the sprinter's jersey at the Tour de Suisse in 2008. The German, who turns 32 later this week, is going into his sixth year with the Austrian Professional Continental team. “Rene is a veteran with a lot of good experience,” said team manager Thomas Kofler. “He has already shown that the knows how to win races.”

    Ludescher is going into his fifth year with the team, although he is only 22, turning 23 the start of January. “I specially want to show what I can do in the Spring Classics,” he said. The Austrian returned from training with a hand injury suffered in mountain bike crash, but was able to fully participate in last week's team building exercise in the Austrian Alps.

    Gufler, 26, is an Italian who has been with the team since 2008. “Alex is an unconditional team player and valuable helper,” said Kofler. “He also fits in well personally.”

    The newest rider is also the youngest, 20-year-old Sebastian Baldauf. He comes over from the Milram Continental team, which will withdraw from the sport at the end of this year. “He is a climber who does well on long climbs and difficult one-day races,” according to Kofler.

    Baldauf said, “My goals for 2010 are a medal at the German Under-23 championships and a top-15 placing in one of the difficult stage races, like the Bayern Rundfahrt.”

  • Cantele ready for new season with Columbia-HTC

    Noemi Cantele (Bigla Cycling Team).
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 10:46 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Italian Champion to continue her trademark early escapes

    Noemi Cantele is known in the professional women's peloton as “Little Crazy Horse” for her early attacks. The Italian time trial champion will continue her trademark early escapes in her first year with new team Columbia-HTC in 2010, a team whose attitude she says, “I really like and admire.”

    Cantele, 28, turned pro in 2002 and rode for Team Bigla for five years. She was the most successful woman at this year's World Championships in Mendrisio, winning silver in the time trial and bronze in the road race. She also won the Italian national women's time trial title in 2009.

    “I'm a very restless sort of person, so I guess by now almost everybody's seen me charge off the front in the first couple of hours,” she said on her new team's website.

    The native of Varese, Italy, started riding when she was only two and could barely reach the pedals. “Then when I was nine, what inspired me even more to take up racing was seeing [Italian champion] Gianni Bugno winning the uphill time trial [and the overall classification] in the Tour of Italy."

    Her two biggest career wins are in the GP Ouest Plouay World Cup race, the first in 2005 and a second title in 2007. This year she brought in four victories, but admitted to being surprised at her success in time trials this year. “I never used to like them. They ask for a lot of self-control for an aggressive rider like me," she said.

    "In the last year or so I've changed my training and things have got a lot better in the time trials,” Cantele continued. “But if anybody had told me I'd get the silver medal in the World Championships, I'd never have believed them!"

    After five years with the Swiss team Bigla, she is ready for her move to Columbia. "[The team has] the right values for our sport in all sorts of ways. They win races, they have a lot of fun and they're very united as a squad. They have an attitude toward racing...

  • Lövkvist expects Sky's Tour de France captaincy

    Thomas Lövkvist (Columbia-HTC) at Eroica
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 12:30 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Swedish rider's race programme designed to deliver top form for July

    Thomas Lövkvist expects to see himself confirmed as Team Sky's captain for next year's Tour de France. “When we come to the Tour de France, I will be riding for the general classification,” he told eurosport.se.

    The 25-year-old Swede said he will enter 2010 with a programme of races that he hopes will deliver him to top form in time for July. His focus on the French Grand Tour means he is unlikely to repeat or improve on his fourth place finish at this year's Tirreno-Adriatico.

    "I have a slightly different approach this year to develop my form for later," he said. "It means I'll take it easier earlier in the season, compared to previous years. I won't race the Tour of California [where he finished fifth overall in 2009 - ed.] and invest less effort in the Tirreno-Adriatico."

    It is still not certain that the newly-formed Team Sky will be invited to the Tour, however Lövkvist indicated that the ProTour outfit is confident of invitation to the three-week race. “I would be very disappointed if that did not happen. The team has had very positive talks with the Tour organisation and we have high hopes.”

    Satisfied with the progress of his preparations for debut with Sky, Lövkvist is aware of the responsibility he will carry if selected as the team's leader for an overall result at the Tour. “I have a lot of self-confidence. But it is clear that I must perform. You are only as good as your last race.”

  • Future uncertain for Equipe Nürnberger and Milram

    Team Milram riders during the 2009 season
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 13:00 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Sponsorship woes continue to affect German cycling

    German cycling continues to suffer as its two major men's and women's teams face up to an uncertain future. Sponsorship problems have plagued German professional teams in recent years, with Milram and Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung the latest squads to suffer the pinch.

    The past decade has witnessed a huge reduction in the number of top-level German-registered professional teams. Long-time sponsors T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner withdrew from the sport in 2007 and 2008, respectively, while Team Bianchi lasted only one season after it rescued Team Coast in 2003.

    Now, Milram - Germany's only ProTour team - is faced with the search for a new sponsor after this season. Sponsor Nordmilch AG, maker of the Milram brand of dairy products, confirmed to the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Monday that it will stop sponsoring the team at the end of 2010 and that an extension of the sponsorship is not under consideration. “Sponsoring is an efficient method to increase product recognition. We have achieved this goal.”

    Team manager Gerry van Gerwen is already searching for new sponsors, and hopes to maintain the team as German. He has promised to announce details of the team's future in July, “on the second rest day of the Tour de France.” Van Gerwen told the FAZ that he is already going all-out in the search for new sponsors, “with all contacts that we have. We are not nervous [about finding a replacement sponsor].”

    Nordmilch will continue to fulfil its financial obligations for this year, “but only what is necessary.” It has already cancelled its sponsorship of the Milram Continental team, which has subsequently folded.

    However, Milram's situation looks good compared to that of Germany's only women's team, Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung. The insurance company announced over the summer that it would stop sponsoring the team after 16 years of support. ...

  • Eladio Jiménez protests innocence

    Eladio Jimenez rocks the baby.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 13:17 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Spaniard disappointed he won't join friend Mancebo at Rock Racing

    Eladio Jiménez has responded to the announcement that he has tested positive for blood-boosting product EPO by insisting that he is innocent of any wrongdoing. "I am innocent because I've done nothing, but I know this is difficult to demonstrate because there have been similar cases before," the 33-year-old Spaniard told his local paper, La Tribuna de Salamanca.

    Jiménez was informed on December 4 that an A sample given on August 12 after he had won the sixth stage of the Tour of Portugal had shown traces of EPO. "I still haven't asked for the counter-analysis because I haven't had time, but I will do so after talking with my lawyer and the [riders'] association. It will be on December 15," Jiménez said.

    A former-member of the Banesto (1998-2003) and Kelme (2004-2006) squads, the Spaniard has spent the past two seasons riding in Portugal, latterly with the CC Loulé team. He had agreed a deal to join his close friend Francisco Mancebo at Rock Racing in 2010.

    "This really hurts because I was very much looking forward to riding again with Paco Mancebo. Finishing this way is the toughest thing that's ever happened to me. After all that I've struggled for in this sport! Moreover, last season they even did eight random controls on me at home and I didn't say a thing about it," Jiménez added.

    He concluded by questioning the timing of the testing and the release of the news of his positive control. "This has all been spinning around in my head: if the urine control was taken on August 12, why did they wait until November 16 to test the sample, and then why did they wait so long to tell me about it? That's what I don't understand."
     

  • Allen Lim confirmed with RadioShack

    Allen Lim leaves Garmin and will take up an appointment with RadioShack
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 13:34 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Armstrong welcomes Lim, Garmin confirm Marc Quod from Australian Institute of Sport

    Allen Lim and Team RadioShack have confirmed that the Boulder-based sports physiologist will be joining the new squad, headed up by Lance Armstrong, for the 2010 season.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews on Sunday evening, Lim confirmed the news that he had left the Garmin-Slipstream set-up and described rumours that he was set to join RadioShack as "interesting". Confirmation that Lim's link to RadioShack was more than just 'interesting' came on Monday when he admitted that the rumours were true and was subsequently welcomed to the new team by Armstrong on his twitter page.

    While some will no doubt see this as a continuation of the rift between Garmin boss Jonathan Vaughters and Armstrong, his former team leader at US Postal, it had been clear for some time that Garmin wanted to change the make-up of its backroom staff. Lim, too, was wanting to spend less time on the road and more at home in Boulder, Colorado. This move should allow both sides to achieve those objectives.

    Lim has admitted that one aspect of the offer from RadioShack that especially attracted him was the opportunity to spend less time on the road. Over the past few seasons he has had to spend increasing amounts of time working out of Garmin's base in the Spanish city of Girona. At the same time, Garmin have brought in several new members to their backroom staff to provide their riders were more support in specific areas.

    Vaughters confirmed to Cyclingnews on Sunday that what will be the Garmin-Transitions team in 2010 has already taken on the head of sports physiology at the University of Colorado, Dr Iñigo San Millán. He will oversee the team's physiological testing. Also joining is Marc Quod, who has worked with members of the Australian under-23 team - including new Garmin signing Jack Bobridge - at the Australian Institute of Sport.

    Lim, who said on Sunday he was "looking for a new challenge and trying to better oneself",...

  • Taylor Phinney arrives in Arizona for Trek-Livestrong camp

    Axel Merckx called Taylor Phinney's U23 Paris-Roubaix win the highlight of the team's 2009 season.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2009, 15:01 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Phinney takes media attention in his stride, pleased with RadioShack association

    After what he describes as one of the ‘biggest training weeks he’s ever done,’ Taylor Phinney has linked up with his Trek-Livestrong teammates as they commence a pre-season camp with Lance Armstrong’s and Levi Leipheimer’s Team RadioShack in Tucson, Arizona.

    Phinney spent last week in Los Angeles, California, at a track camp hosted by USA Cycling, in a bid to escape the winter weather surrounding his home of Boulder, Colorado. In the mornings the individual pursuit World Champion rode for an hour on the track before taking to the road in the afternoons for up to four-hour training rides. "I did some strength work too, but being in LA meant I could ride in the sun and enjoy myself outside a bit more," Phinney told Cyclingnews after landing in Arizona.

    Phinney will join up with his Trek-Livestrong teammates after a long and largely successful season. The team will spend much of the camp getting to know one another after team director Axel Merckx signed eight new riders to the roster for next season.

    "I’m really excited about the team camp. I think it’s going to be a really good time. There’ll be a lot of meetings and it will be good to get to know all of the new guys. They’re from all over the world and from what Axel's told me they’re good guys and strong riders. Hanging out with Bjorn [Selander] and Sam [Bewley], who went up to RadioShack…well that’s a little reunion right there," Phinney said.

    Phinney’s season was hampered by a crash at the Cascade Classic in July and the removal of his tonsils in November. After a successful recovery the American now says he has begun to feel like his old self and one year on from his first team camp with Trek-Livestrong is steadily building his form.

    "I wasn’t able to train like this for the last two months or so and I’ve just put in one of the biggest training weeks I’ve ever done...