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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Date published:
February 16, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Fleeman eager for first season with Raleigh

    Dan Fleeman
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 10:58 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    UK team hopes to expand in the future

    Dan Fleeman and his Raleigh teammates recently returned from Mallorca, where they spent time training together and despite facing atrocious weather, the UK team are ready for their inaugural season on the road.  Fleeman signed for the team after his one-year contract wasn't renewed by his 2009 team, Cervelo TestTeam.

    “The winter has gone pretty well. I was training in Portugal over the winter and then got back from Mallorca on Sunday because we had our first team training camp. It went well, the weather wasn’t great but everyone has been going well and I was really pleased. We’ve got a really strong team especially on the climbs. I was quite surprised that going up the climbs I was going up them as hard as ever and quite a few were staying with me,” Fleeman told Cyclingnews.

    The team’s racing programme already looks full for the first part of the year. Along with the biggest UK races the team will race the Cinturón Ciclista Internacional a Mallorca and the Vuelta Mexico Telmex later this Spring.

    “It’s all coming together quite nicely now and we’re actually getting to the point where we have to turn some races down because we’re double booked.”

    However despite forays into Europe the team’s main focus will remain in the UK for 2010. Fleeman, though, believes that if the team expands then more European racing could be on the cards next season. “The main problem is that we have the UK races and we need to field a team for those and then we don’t have enough riders to fill a roster in Europe at the same time. that’s the goal for next year.

    “We’re hoping to get into the Flèche du Sud too as well as the Tour Des Pyrénées that I won two years ago. It’s coming together.”

    Of course Fleeman is no stranger to racing on the Continent after riding for Cervelo TestTeam in 2009....

  • Landis denies hacking charges

    Floyd Landis (OUCH) has been spending time in the Utah mountains getting ready for this week.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 14:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    American says he has not been served with arrest warrant

    Floyd Landis has denied hacking into the French anti-doping laboratory Chatenay-Malabry. He also said that he has not been served with a warrant for his arrest. Yesterday it was announced that a French judge had issued an arrest warrant for Landis in connection with his Tour de France 2006 doping case.

    Landis tested positive for testosterone during that Tour de France, and the controls were handled by the French lab. In November of that year, the lab said that its computers had been hacked, with data being removed or changed. The hacked files were subsequently used in Landis' defence in his US Anti-Doping Agency hearings.

    The attack was traced to a computer with the same IP address as that of Landis' coach Arnie Baker. A warrant has also been issued against Baker.

    "I can't speak for Arnie, but no attempt has been made to formally contact me," Landis said in an e-mail to the Los Angeles Times. "It appears to be another case of fabricated evidence by a French lab who is still upset a United States citizen believed he should have the right to face his accusers and defend himself."

    Landis said he didn't not know why the French judicial system was pursuing the hacking charges. "But certainly I hope it's not lost on anyone that it is a grand admission to having substandard computers at their self-proclaimed 'nation's best lab'. "

    The head of the US Anti-Doping Agency, who prosecuted Landis, saw things in a different light. "Obviously, the French believe they have sufficient evidence to ask Floyd to appear before them. It was a serious breach of security in a high-profile situation. Hopefully, French law enforcement can get to the bottom of it. Somebody hacked the lab and whoever did violated the law.” he said.

  • NRC and Women's Prestige Cycling Series priorities for Powers

    US time trail champ Alison Powers (Team Type 1) finished second in the opening time trial.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 15:18 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Defending champ to prepare with Team VBF in Santa Cruz

    Team VBF rider Alison Powers has planned a smaller 2010 race schedule that will allow for stronger performances at key US stage races and time trials. Her main focus is to defend her title in both the National Racing Calendar (NRC) and Women's Prestige Cycling Series.

    In 2009 while racing under the banner of Team Type 1, Powers achieved consistent podium positions in the overall classification of the top stage races in the country, placing her above time trial world champion Kristin Armstrong and Joanne Kiesanowiski in the NRC series at season's end.

    This year, Powers plans on winning the NRC individual title by focusing only on major stage races and time trials such as the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Tour of the Gila, Joe Martin Stage Race, Fitchburg Longsjo Classic, Nature Valley Grand Prix and the Cascade Classic.

    "I know that winning the NRC is Team VBF's goal," said Powers. "In order to do that you have to be consistent all season long. I learned that I can do that, I know how to do that and I had good luck with my health and by not having mechanicals last year."

    "I hope to be super consistent again day after day, one race at a time," she continued. "Also, I will mostly target the time trials because I like to win those; if you're smart in the other races then you can hold your GC placing."

    Powers added a second overall series title to her palmares last year when she won the Women's Prestige Cycling Series. She aims to defend that title too, beginning with the series' kick off at the Redlands Bicycle Classic. The Tour of the Gila was recently added to the series as the second event, followed by the Nature Valley Grand Prix and Cascade Cycling Classic races.

    "I had such a good year last year that it will be hard to top that," Powers said. "Anytime people make something special for the women that the men do not get you should target it and show enthusiasm and support for it. I am going to go and try to win. The...

  • Gent-Wevelgem: Eight times as many climbs for 2010

    The route map and profile of the 2010 Gent-Wevelgem Classic
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 17:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Organisers announce 219km parcours with a sting in the tail

    The organisers of the Gent-Wevelgem classic announced the final route for the 2010 edition today, rolling out a 219km course with 16 short, sharp climbs in the final half of the race. The race will take place on March 28.

    The total distance is some 40km shy of what had been planned when the race was moved from its previous mid-week position between the Ronde van Vlaanderen and Paris-Roubaix to the current weekend slot after Milano-Sanremo.

    The decision was made by race organisers after consulting with the International Cycling Union and Flanders Classics, which owns and organises the Ronde van Vlaanderen.
    "Since 2010 is a transitional year and given the calendar for 2010, we decided to shorten the race. That in the interest of the riders, and pending a final solution in 2011," the organisers said, according to the Belga news agency.
    In past years, the race has been between 204 and 215 kilometres in length, but after the move from the mid-week position between the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, the organisation had planned to increase the length to 257km in order to attract more riders who are preparing for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, keeping the finale the same but adding in more cobbled sectors and climbs in the middle.

    The final parcours, while reduced in length from the earlier ambitions, will make some significant changes to the course from previous years - cutting out 13km between Diksmuide and Veurne by taking a more direct route, and extending the section toward the end of the race to increase the number of bergs from the two trips up the Kemmelberg to 16 climbs in total.

     "There is a loop in France, with a double passage of Mont des Cats and Mont Noir. In total there are only 16 climbs, making the second ascent of the Kemmelberg even more important.”

    Previously the domain of sprinters, the new, more difficult finale could shift the dynamic more to the...

  • Merckx impressed with Boasson Hagen

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) took the overall lead.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 18:26 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Cycling legend talks about the new "Eddy"

    Eddy Merckx was one of the first to congratulate Edvald Boasson after he won stage three at the Tour of Oman on Tuesday and extended his overall lead to ten seconds.

    Merckx is part of the organising team for the new stage race. He convinced the Municipality of Muscat to fund the race and brought in ASO to organize the technical details.

    The Belgian is widely acknowledged as the best rider of all time because of the results he achieved during his career in the late 1960s and 1970s. He has been out riding most days in Qatar and Oman and still knows how to spot a good rider.

    "It was fantastic what he did in the sprint. I think that he's the best young rider we have in cycling at the moment," Merckx told Cyclingnews after warmly congratulating Boasson Hagen.

    "He's young but you can see he's a complete rider. I'm very impressed. He was good when he won Ghent-Wevelgem and all the other races but now he's even better. He's thinner and stronger and although he spent most of the winter in Norway, he was still good enough to win here. That shows how talented he really is."

    When told that Boasson Hagen has been nicknamed "Eddy" at Team sky, Merckx let out an appreciative laugh.

    "That's nice. I hope he'll go on to be better than me," he said.

    Boasson Hagen might not go on to better Merckx but he has already earned the respect of another Belgian cycling great: Tom Boonen.

    The Quick Step rider and current Belgian national champion was beaten in the sprint by Boasson Hagen and finished fourth behind Danilo Napolitano (Katusha) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions).

    "He's fast, eh," Boonen admitted as he recovered from the stage. "I started my sprint 20 metres behind and there was no way I'd could catch him."

    For Boasson Hagen, compliments like these probably mean as much as winning itself.

  • Confident Ted King to start Vuelta ao Algarve

    Cervelo Test Team's Ted King.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 18:46 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American rider hopeful a year of European racing will pay off

    With his 2010 racing debut under his belt, a more confident Ted King will take to the start line in the Vuelta ao Algarve on Wednesday. The Cervelo TestTeam rider took part in Etoile de Bessèges last month and despite abandoning on the final stage, the American is hoping to progress in Portugal before this year's Paris-Nice and Giro d'Italia.

    King has spent his first winter based in Europe after relocating to Girona, Spain, last summer. The European hotspot is the Saint-Tropez of cycling with many of the world's current stars - including the Garmin-Transitions team - basing their rides in the city during the season. The new surroundings have helped King settle into his new way of life.

    "It was a big draw being here. It has the things I look for in a training camp; good weather, almost ideal training rides; a fun town and there are some good people here," King said to Cyclingnews.

    As for his own training King is positive that his winter miles will hold him in good shape for the year ahead. "It's going really well. I logged my first race in Besseges, and I leave for Algarve tomorrow. I'm really focused. A lot of my season is in the spring and I'm going into it headfirst."

    King turned professional last year and went through what he describes as a "total learning year" racing from the spring through his first Grand Tour at the Giro d'Italia until the Tour of Missouri in late September. "Every race was new, but now that I've seen how the European races go down - they differ from country to country - I can recognise that and last year is something I really want to build on. European cycling is a steep learning curve, but once you get the hang of it you can go from there."

    This year King will aim to bring that confident game to the Giro once again, where he'll race in support of former Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre, who has signaled his intent to hit top form for the Italian race. "Instead of being on the...

  • Fractures delay season start for Dominguez

    Ivan Dominguez will be back in the NRC.
    Article published:
    February 16, 2010, 21:30 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Sprinter admits Tour of California stage win will be tough

    Ivan Dominguez (Jamis-Sutter Home) will further delay the start of his racing season to nurse a broken wrist and elbow sustained in a crash at the Tour de San Luis held in Argentina last month. The sprinter will restart his season at the at the San Dimas Stage Race held at the end of March in California.

    Dominguez crashed during the final kilometres of the stage three road race and was transported on a backboard by ambulance to the Policlinico Regional Villa Mercedez where doctors took x-rays and released him with what he thought was a sprain.

    "Right after I came home to Los Angeles, a week and half later, I got an MRI and it showed two fractures in my right wrist," Dominguez told Cyclingnews. "My doctor ordered an MRI because I was in a lot of pain and they found I had those fractures. I went back to the doctors four days ago and they found another fracture in my left elbow."

    Dominguez will not compete at the team's next scheduled race at the UCI 2.2 Rutas de America in Uruguay, February 16-21. Doctors will remove his cast during a final check-up on February 23. He hopes to return to racing at the San Dimas Stage Race held on March 19-21 in California.

    Dominguez hopes that his Jamis-Sutter Home team will receive an invitation to the Tour of California, May 16-23. Although he won stage seven of the 2007 Tour of California in Long Beach, he admitted that winning a stage in this year's edition of the race will be more difficult than in years passed.

    "I'm going to try to win a stage but it will be different now," Dominguez said. "The race is more difficult than before. There are lots of hills, not many flat stages left. This time there are only two flatter stages for the sprinters and even they have some hills in the middle."