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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Date published:
January 11, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Sulzbergers stick together at Tour Down Under

    Wes Sulzberger from Tasmania is riding for the E3 Pure Tasmania team during the series and was never too far from the front during stage two.
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 4:03 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Brothers aiming for contracts on home turf

    The Sulzberger brothers will be reunited under the UniSA-Australia banner - essentially an Australian national team - for the Santos Tour Down Under, starting with the Cancer Council classic in Adelaide this coming Sunday.

    Elder sibling Bernard received the seventh and final place allocated by selectors after he finished fourth at the national championship road race behind ProTour stars Jack Bobridge, Matt Goss and Simon Gerrans. That seventh spot on the start list is usually reserved for the eventual road race national champion, should he not be a member of a team already lining up for the World Tour event.

    Wesley Sulzberger was one of the very first riders to be selected. He became available when his trade team, FDJ, was rejected from the ProTour at the beginning of November and therefore not eligible for the Tour Down Under.

    "The day after I found out about that, I emailed [now former Cycling Australia high performance director] Shayne Bannan telling him I hoped to be considered for the Uni-SA team as I was really keen to ride the Tour Down Under anyway," the winner of French Cup race GP Plumelec told Cyclingnews from his home in Tasmania after the Australia Open Road Championships.

    "This is the biggest race in Australia and I knew I'd already have good form because of training for the Nationals. The Bay crits were a very good lead up but I got a sore throat and on the second day it went to my chest; that's why I didn't have it when the decisive move went at Nationals."

    But brother Bernard was healthy enough to catch up with Gerrans and co. Following the news of FDJ's relegation, the Sulzberger family got an even worse piece of news with the fallout from the Pegasus Sports situation; Bernard was supposed to race for the squad after riding successfully for Fly V Australia during the past two years.

    "I've sent as many emails as I could to help Bernie find another team but it's just so late," said the...

  • Riccò says it is possible to win Giro d'Italia without doping

    Riccardo Riccò shows his attitude
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 9:50 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian set to return to Grand Tours in 2011

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil-DCM) has said that it is possible to win the Giro d’Italia without doping. In 2010, Riccò and his then Ceramica Flaminia team were not invited to the Giro but the Italian is set to make his return to the race in May. Last season was his first back in the peloton after testing positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France.

    “The Giro is my primary objective,” Riccò told dhnet.be. “Of course I want to win it, but a place on the podium would already be a good result. It’s hard, very, very hard, but we say that every time. In Italy there are an awful lot of difficult climbs and they put more in every time, but it’s the riders who make the race.

    “And yes, winning the Giro without doping is possible. To do that, you have to work and do your job properly.”

    This winter, Riccò began his Giro preparation by collaborating with the late Aldo Sassi and his team at the Mapei Centre in Castellanza. In spite of Sassi’s untimely death in December, Riccò is continuing to avail of the centre’s facilities and expertise.

    “Unfortunately, Aldo is dead, but his spirit lives on at the Mapei Centre,” Riccò explained. “I’m now working with people who have collaborated with him for the past fifteen years and who use his methods.”

    Riccò acknowledged that his collaboration with Sassi was born partially of a desire to boost his credibility but he insisted that the opportunity to follow a structured training programme was his primary motivation for working at the facility.

    “Working with Sassi did a lot of good for my image, it’s true, but above all I want to get results from it,” Riccò said. “Before that, I trained according to feel, whereas now I have a precise programme, plans and a method of preparation. They analyse and correct what I do....

  • Faiers pursues American dream after end of Footon fairytale

    Thomas Patrick Faiers (Footon-Servetto) in action during stage four.
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 10:15 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Friebe

    Englishman’s 2010 season was ruined by heart condition

    A year ago, it was said that Tom Faiers had been plucked from obscurity. Or to be more precise, that the young Englishman had once gone on a cycling holiday to Spain, dazzled local pros Luis Leon Sanchez and Alejandro Valverde on a training ride, signed up for a local team on their recommendation, then turned pro in the sport’s top division three years later. As one does in sporting fairytales...

    There was plenty of poetic licence but also, lurking in there somewhere, the story of a dream come true. A dream that, five months after his first race in Footon-Servetto colours at the Trofeo Cala Millor, took a detour towards Faiers’ worst nightmare in a stage of the Tour of Austria, when the 23-year-old’s heart began to beat out of control.

    Within seconds, Faiers had recognized the symptoms of a condition from which he’d suffered since his youth, but which rarely troubled him on his bike; within minutes he’d abandoned the race and, little did he know then, raced for the last time in 2010 and for the last time in Footon’s yucky gold livery.

    “It used to happen now and again when I played squash, because it seems to be brought on by certain body movements, but it hadn’t happened in a bike race since the 2008 Tour of Madrid,” Faiers recalled on Monday.

    Somehow left behind in the handover which saw Footon become Geox-TMC, the talented all-rounder was speaking to Cyclingnews from California, where he will race for the Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling Continental division team in 2011. While excited about that prospect, Faiers doesn’t deny that this wasn’t quite the outcome he’d imagined.

    “Last year, the team obviously didn’t want me to race until I got the problem sorted, but it was slow going because there would always be a wait of a couple of weeks between the appointments with specialists,” he explained. “The consensus in the...

  • Trek planning lengthy Leopard partnership

    Frank and Andy Schleck with their new Trek bikes
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 12:39 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American brand seeking to boost European presence with Luxembourg team

    Ben Coates, the team liaison for Trek has told Cyclingnews that the American bike manufacturer will support Team Leopard for ‘multiple years’ in a partnership that will aim to give the brand a greater ‘European presence’.

    Coates was speaking at the launch of the ProTeam in Luxembourg last week where Trek was unveiled as the co-sponsor of Brian Nygaard’s team.

    “We actually reached out to Kim [Andersen]. I caught wind of a potential new programme coming together during the Tour last year and there were some rumblings of it before that, but we didn’t have any real knowledge of anything coming together until then,” Coates told Cyclingnews.

    “I reached out to Kim and that spurred a set of meetings that took place during and just after the Tour. We met with a few members of the team early on and followed up on that until we had a deal signed in the fall.”

    Trek, who already provide bikes for Lance Armstrong’s RadioShack, as well as the Trek-Livestrong under-23 programme, may have made the first moves but their initial steps were not based out of a desire to be a co-sponsor.

    “We didn’t necessarily go and reach out to the team saying that we wanted to be a co-sponsor, it was a negotiation platform that we came into and it made sense for us to be on the title line. From the first negotiations of real time we fell into that and we wanted to be a named sponsor of the title.

    “Our communications with the team were private and they went from ‘we want to be a part of what you’re doing’… We didn’t go in saying that we wanted to be a title sponsor but it certainly wasn’t like we got talked into it because of money or anything. It spurred in the early conversations.”

    With a deal done, Trek and Leopard waited several months before announcing the team name. While Nygaard used the...

  • Amador describes assault as most frightening moment of his life

    Andrey Amador
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 12:51 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Movistar rider hopes to be back for Majorca training camp

    Movistar rider Andrey Amador has described the attack he suffered by a group of muggers when out training in his home country of Costa Rica as “the most frightening moment of my life”. The incident happened on the 24-year-old’s final training ride of the year when the occupants of two cars stopped him, severely assaulted him, stole his Pinarello team bike and left him for dead in a river bed.

    Amador was taken to hospital in the Costa Rican capital of San José, where it was discovered that one of his kidneys had been paralysed and that he had suffered severe bruising to his lungs. He is still in hospital receiving treatment but has told Costa Rica’s Sprint Especial that he hopes to be back with his team in time for the Majorca Challenge races next month.

    “I think that what was perhaps even more frightening than the incident was receiving the diagnosis and being told that it could be something serious and result in complications,” said Amador. “But I’m recovering in a very satisfactory way, better than was expected.”

    Amador revealed that his biggest wish now is to get back on his bike and into full training. “I am hoping that the doctors will give me the green light. But sometimes things turn up in cases like these. It might turn out to be better not to ride and to achieve a 100% recovery.”

    The Costa Rican said he had received a huge amount of support from his team as well as many messages of support from fans around the world, and thanked everyone for their messages. Speaking of his possible return to racing, Amador explained: “I think it will be almost impossible for me to be at the Tour of San Luis, but I do think that I will be in Mallorca and able to go out training with the team.”
     

  • Team NetApp to ride Amgen Tour of California

    Then NetApp took over on the front
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 13:56 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German Professional Continental team presented in Amsterdam

    Team NetApp is Germany's highest-ranked squad, and is looking to build for the future.  The team was presented on Tuesday in Amsterdam, at the sponsor's European headquarters, and also made the announcement that it had officially been invited to the Amgen Tour of California.

    NetApp has risen from a 14-rider Continental-ranked team in 2010 to being an outfit with 17 riders from 10 nations and a Professional Continental licence.  The team boasts three riders with ProTour experience, including new signing and former Garmin rider, Steven Cozza.

    “We want to grow in the peloton step by step,” said team manager Ralph Denk.  “2010 was a sensational season, and we were accepted immediately in the peloton.  Not just sporting-wise but also with the management, everything worked out.”

    The new season brings, “a strengthened team, clear goals, Pro-Conti status.”  That status has helped with race selection as well. The team already has the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on its calendar, and only recently learned that it will ride the Vattenfall Cyclassics in  Hamburg. 

    But the biggest news arrived last night – an invitation to the Amgen Tour of California, which “overjoyed” the team.  Sponsor NetApp is based in Sunnyvale, California, so the race is “in their backyard.”

    That hoped-for invitation was one of the reasons behind the signing of Cozza, sport manager Jens Heppner told Cyclingnews.  They wanted an American rider and the Californian from fitted the bill.  He also has several years of ProTour expereince to share with the young team, with eight riders 23 or younger, and has the ability to bring in wins on his own, according to Heppner.

    Cozza, who no longer sports his trademark moustache, is very excited with the new challenge, telling Cyclingnews, “this year presents a lot of new...

  • Vuelta a España returns to Drenthe in 2015

    Fabian Cancellara won the 2009 Vuelta's opening time trial which took place in the Dutch province of Drenthe.
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 15:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch province hosted start of 2009 Vuelta

    The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) announced today that the Dutch province of Drenthe will once again host stages of the Vuelta a España in 2015, according to RTV Drenthe.

    Jos Vaessen, president of the commission which presided over the Spanish Grand Tour's 2009 start in Drenthe, will meet with the ASO to determine how the Dutch province can be incorporated into the stage schedule for the 2015 edition of the Vuelta.

    The 2009 Vuelta a España started with an opening time trial in Assen, the capital of Drenthe, followed by two stages in the Netherlands. Stage four ran from the Netherlands into Belgium, before the race returned to Spain after an early rest day.

    The 2009 start in Assen was only the second time in the Vuelta's history that the event started outside of Spain and was such a success both financially and athletically for the Dutch province that local politicians had stated their desire for the event to return again.

  • Dessel forced out of Tour de San Luis with prostatitis

    Cyril Dessel (AG2R La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    January 11, 2011, 17:46 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman off the bike for 45 days

    Cyril Dessel (AG2R-La Mondiale) has been forced to withdraw from the Tour de San Luis in Argentina after he was diagnosed with acute prostatitis.

    “It’s annoying because I had prepared myself well this winter and I had ambitions for the races at the start of the season,” Dessel said. “In spite of that I remain convinced that I can have a fine season, I just need to take care of myself properly now so as not to have any further problems.”

    To that end, Dessel will now spend 45 days off the bike as he makes his recovery. The Frenchman, who wore the yellow jersey in the 2006 Tour de France and won a stage two years later, is set to focus his energies on the Giro d’Italia in 2011. In spite of this setback, he is confident that he will be on form in May.

    “My objective is still the Giro, and I’m glad that I’ve encountered this problem now rather than a week before the race,” Dessel said. “This still leaves me time to build up to the Giro d’Italia and the races that follow it. Even though it’s a hard blow, I know that everything isn’t lost and I remain focused.”

    Dessel will be replaced in the AG2R squad for the Tour de San Luis by Luxembourg rider Ben Gastauer. The race gets underway on January 17.

    AG2R team for Tour de San Luis: Julien Berard, Guillaume Bonnafond, Ben Gastauer, Sébastien Hinault, David Le Lay, Matteo Montaguti.