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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Date published:
January 10, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Wellens' condition caused by infection, not doping, doctor says

    Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) runs with his bike
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 11:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cross star still in intensive care but improving

    Bart Welllens' condition is improving, but the Belgian cyclo-cross rider will remain in intensive care. His personal doctor has said the heart and kidney problems were caused by an infection and are in no way doping-related.

    Wellens was hospitalised over the weekend with a high fever. It was discovered that his heart was operating at only 10 per cent capacity and that he was suffering from kidney and liver failure.

    A cardiogram on Monday showed that his heart performance is improving.  “The heart recovers fine,” his personal physician Peter T. Seyen said on the website of Wellens' team, Telenet Fidea.  “Everything is running smoothly, but caution says that Bart should still provisionally stay in intensive care.”

    He also said that the heart muscle inflammation was clearly due to a bacterial viral infection, denying that doping played a role. “This allows us to now say with confidence that it is absolutely impossible that bad things have happened here, as has unfortunately been suggested. There is no indication so we strongly refute it. A virus is the cause of all misery.”

  • 2012 Vuelta will have 10 uphill finishes

    IMG_4498 - The shepherd with his son at Xiangpi
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 11:32 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Route will not venture south of Madrid according to leaked details in Spanish press

    Spanish sports daily Marca has leaked the route of the 2012 Vuelta a España just a day before the official presentation takes place in Pamplona. According to Marca, the 2012 edition of Spain’s national tour will feature no fewer than seven summit finishes, plus another three uphill finishes in race that should suit the climbers perfectly. The whole race will take place in the northern half of Spain, with the final day finish in Madrid its most southerly point.

    Details of stage finishes on the famous Arrate climb in the Basque Country, Valdezcaray in Rioja and Lagos de Covadonga in Asturias had already been released. But Vuelta organizers Unipublic look set to include a string of other summit finishes, some of them new to the race.

    Starting with a team time trial in Pamplona on August 18, the race will head into the Basque Country a couple of days later for the finish on the Arrate, then head to the Valdezcaray ski station the day after. The race will then loop back towards the Pyrenees via Logroño for a short, but very sharp finish at the Fuerte de Rapitán above Jaca. Two days on from that there is a more severe test with a finish at the Santuario Canolich in Andorra. The next day the race heads into Barcelona, where the riders will tackle the same uphill finish where Thor Hushovd claimed a stage win in the 2009 Tour de France.

    After transferring from Barcelona across to Galicia in Spain’s north-west, the riders will face a time trial on stage 11 into Pontevedra, followed by another uphill finish at the Mirador de Ezaro above the city of La Coruña, which features ramps of up to 28%. That is merely a taster of what is to come, however.

    Over three consecutive days there are three summit finishes on the fearsome Ancares pass, at Lagos de Covadonga and at the Cuitu Negro. The last of these three is a 2.5km extension of the climb to the Pajares pass in Asturias and at the moment is...

  • Vos to ride men's races in coming years?

    Marianne Vos
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 13:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Blijlevens worried about how to motivate Rabobank star

    Marianne Vos now rides for the Rabobank women's team, but could she one day ride for the ProTour team? Women's team manager Jeroen Bleijlevens is looking into the possibility, “purely to learn, not to win.”

    Vos, who is only 24, has won virtually everything there is to win on the road and track, as well as on the mountain bike and the cyclo-cross circuit.

    Blijlevens' biggest problem is how to keep his star motivated. “We are now thinking very hard  about how we can continue to challenge and excite her in the coming years,” he told “I am not worried about 2012, with the Olympics and World Championships at home. But what about next year? It is an option to ride with the men in races.”

    It is not clear whether she could actually ride on the men's team. “I am currently discussing it with people who deal with such matters. Yes, of course, with Marianne herself. She responds as always: modestly. "

    If Vos does race with the men, then it would “not be to win. But she can improve herself, become even better.”

  • 2012 Giro d'Italia wildcards named

    The 2012 Giro d'Italia route was presented in Milan on Sunday.
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 13:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Surprise inclusion for Team NetApp

    RCS Sport has revealed the four wildcard invitations to the 2012 Giro d’Italia, with Team NetApp a surprise addition alongside Italian squads Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Colnago-CSF Inox and Androni Giocattoli.

    There is no place at the corsa rosa for Marcel Kittel’s Project 1t4I squad, while former Giro winners Stefano Garzelli and Danilo Di Luca are also sidelined after their Acqua e Sapone squad failed to land an invitation.

    RCS Sport has also announced the wildcard invitations for its other principal events in 2012, namely Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Lombardy.

    The invitations were decided upon following a vote of RCS Sport’s wildcard commission, made up of Giacomo Catano (RCS Sport CEO), Michele Acquarone (RCS Sport general manager), Mauro Vegni (technical manager of the cycling area), Marco Gobbi Pansana (cycling marketing manager) and Pier Bergonzi (Gazzetta dello Sport).

    Giro d’Italia wildcards: Androni Giocattoli, Colnago-CSF Inox, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Team NetApp.

    Tirreno-Adriatico: Acqua & Sapone, Colnago-CSF Inox, Colombia-Coldeportes, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia.

    Milan-San Remo: Acqua & Sapone, Colnago-CSF Inox, Colombia-Coldeportes, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Project 1t4I, Team Type 1 – Sanofi, Utensilnord Named.

    Tour of Lombardy: Acqua & Sapone, Androni Giocattoli, Colnago-CSF Inox, Colombia-Coldeportes, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Project 1t4I, Utensilnord Named.


  • Video: Horner on peaking for the Tour de France and Tour of California

    Chris Horner will be looking to win the Tour of California again
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 14:33 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American veteran talks recovery, racing and McDonald's

    RadioShack-Nissan presented five grand tour contenders on stage at their launch last week in Luxembourg and one of their quintet of hopefuls, Chris Horner, isn’t worried about the team’s hierarchy.

    The American veteran will aim to peak for both the Tour of California in May and then the Tour de France. Easier said than done, no rider has managed to pull off successful bids at both races in a single calendar year since the US race moved from February to May.

    Well aware of the task at hand, Horner is a resilient character, epitomised by his desire to prolong a career when others may have chosen to retire after crashing out of last year’s Tour de France.

    In this exclusive video for cyclingnews Horner talks about his recover from his crash at last year’s Tour de France that left him with serious injuries and the potential battle with Levi Leipheimer at this year’s Tour of California.

  • Team NetApp happy with Giro d'Italia wildcard

    Team NetApp 2012
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 15:04 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    First grand tour for young German team

    Team NetApp was relieved and happy to hear Tuesday afternoon that it would be riding its first grand tour in 2012.  The German Professional Continental team received one of four wildcard invitations to the Giro d'Italia.

    Team manager Ralph Denk told Cyclingnews that he wasn't surprised that it worked out.  “I have believed in it all along.  We have been working hard for this for half a year.”

    He said that “it was a difficult application process.  The standards were very high and the application very comprehensive.  I am happy that RCS Sport had the courage to invite a young German team.

    “I want to thank them for giving a boost to German cycling.”

    Now the work begins.  “Tomorrow we start our training camp on Mallorca.  We will have our first talks with the riders who come into consideration to ride the Giro, and we will start our planning.”

    Once at the Giro in May, the team hopes to “in any case offer attractive cycling.  We will go with Leo König as our captain, maybe he can do something in the GC,“ Denk told Cyclingnews.

    “And we certainly want to give something back to the organizers, to justify our invitation.”

  • Busche aims for freer rein at 2012 Tour of California

    Matthew Busche (Radioshack) dons his arm warmers
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 16:48 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    American champion ready to defend title

    Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Nissan) has earmarked May’s Amgen Tour of California as one of the main objectives of his season. The US national champion looks to continue his rapid progress at the highest level after his late arrival to the sport.

    Busche impressed in California last year with a series of strong rides in support of Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer, the RadioShack veterans who dominated the event. While the 26-year-old will again ride in the service of Horner, he acknowledged that he may be given a slightly freer rein this time around.

    “I’d like to repeat California and help Chris defend his title, and have a good performance myself in helping him do that,” Busche told Cyclingnews. “I could see myself even having a little bit of leash this year. In helping him, I could potentially do the GC myself and maybe be the team’s third man for the GC.”

    Busche’s effervescent form on Californian roads last May carried across to the national championships in Greenville, South Carolina the following week, where he out-sprinted George Hincapie (BMC) to take the stars and stripes jersey.

    “2011 was a dream,” he said. “I didn’t really know what was going to happen going into the season, but I had a really strong May. That was a big delight for me to be able to perform on a big stage like California and then carry it through to USA Pro Championship. It was an outstanding year for me.”

    A cross-country runner at Luther College in Iowa, Busche only began cycling competitively in 2008 when his collegiate athletics career came to an...

  • Davidenko calls on Team Type 1 riders to step up after Giro wildcard disappointment

    Groups of Team Type 1-Sanofi riders broke out for the day in the sunny Tucson weather.
    Article published:
    January 10, 2012, 18:30 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Team awarded Milan San Remo spot

    Team Type 1-Sanofi may have missed out on a wild card slot at the 2012 Giro d’Italia but its team director Vassili Davidenko vowed that his team would demonstrate their strength throughout the season, proving that they deserved a slot in the Italian Grand Tour.

    It wasn’t all bad news for the team that aims to spread the awareness of diabetes. The squad, founded by Phil Southerland, were awarded a wild card place at this year’s Milan-San Remo.

    “Of course I feel disappointed that we’re not in the Giro because I really believe that this team deserves a spot. Last year was our first season at the pro continental status and we won the Tour of Turkey and had a lot of podiums and top tens with a really competitive team,” Davidenko told Cyclingnews.

    “This year we invested in a number of high quality riders, riders who are ready for that level. It’s a young team but we also have some good experience and that we’d have been competitive at the giro. We did all we could and we’ve built the team well. I think we’ll have our chances throughout the season so show that we deserved more.”

    RCS Sport awarded the four wild card spots for the Giro d'Italia to Team NetApp, Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Colnago-CSF Inox and Androni Giocattoli and although Davidenko believed that Team Type 1 deserved a slot he did acknowledge the tough decisions the Giro organisers had to make.

    “All four teams are pretty strong but I’m surprised that a team like Acqua & Sapone, that had two former winners, was not included but again I think it was a really tough choice for RCS. They were look at several parameters but I don’t want to criticise anyone.”

    In terms of a consolation, a place at Milan-San Remo is nothing to be sniffed at. It will mark...