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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Date published:
January 04, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Cromwell cream of the crop in Portarlington

    Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) won the second day of the Bay Classics series at Portarlington
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 6:16 GMT
    Les Clarke

    Honda Women's Team climber shows how it's done

    Honda Women's Team rider Tiffany Cromwell made it another day to remember for the squad captained by overall leader Rochelle Gilmore at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic second round in Portarlington yesterday.

    Whilst Gilmore won the opening round of the Classic in Geelong's Eastern Park the previous day, Cromwell achieved what she told Cyclingnews she had set out to do before the start - go for the break and try to convert it into a win.

    "I felt good and the team said I could help myself in today's stage so I went for it," said Cromwell. "Alex Carle was a good break companion but when Lauren [Kitchen] came across I was a little bit worried because I then had two AIS riders with me.

    "I went for it and got a gap after the second [intermediate] sprint and the Honda girls controlled the bunch really well behind me."

    Cromwell's preparation for the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic was slightly unorthodox in comparison to her teammates and competitors - she spent time in the US snowboarding and riding two cyclo-cross races, something to which most Australian riders are unaccustomed as preparation for the upcoming season.

    "This is my first set of criteriums for the Australian summer," the 20-year-old South Australian explained. "I've been doing a bit of cross-training over the off-season. I did some cyclo-cross, which I wasn't very good at but all the mud we rode through seems to have made me stronger. And the snowboarding seems to have worked, too.

    "I've started working with a new coach - Dave McPartland - and that has been good so far, too."

  • Basso to start season at Tour de San Luis

    Ivan Basso finished 5th in the 2009 Tour de San Luis and will return to Argentina to kick off his 2011 season.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 6:20 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Race organizers announce 21 teams

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) will start his racing season at the UCI 2.1 Tour de San Luis held from January 17-23 in San Luis, Argentina. The two-time Giro d'Italia winner will use the seven-stage event as a valuable first step in his preparations for the Tour de France in July.

    Basso last competed in the Tour de San Luis in 2009 where he placed fifth overall. It was the opening event in his first full season of professional racing following a two-year suspension.

    Notably absent from the 2011 Tour de San Luis start list is Basso's teammate Vincenzo Nibali who secured the overall victory last year. Liquigas-Cannondale will likely want to defend that title and Basso points to Eros Capecchi as the man to do that.

    "This year I will start very easy with my training and racing so right now my form is not super," Basso told Cyclingnews. "So, we will see. But my team has Capecchi who is feeling good."

    Race organizers announced the participation of 21 teams including three ProTeam outfits: Liquigas-Cannondale, Ag2r-La Mondiale and Movistar.

    Four Professional Continental ranked outfits will start including Androni-Giocattoli, Andalucia Caja Granada, De Rosa-Ceramica Flaminia and UnitedHealthcare. Geox-TMC recently pulled itself from the start list and will open its season at the GP Costa degli Etruschi in Italy on February 2.

    Continental teams that will take part include Endura Racing, Trek Livestrong, Nutrixxion, Boavista, Funvic, Centro della Calzatura and D'Angelo & Antenucci.

    The Continental US-based team Jamis-Sutter Home was expected to participate in the event with a roster that includes two of Argentina's top cyclists Alejandro and Anibal Borrajo. The team recently announced that it will delay the start of its season to mourn the death of older brother and former Argentine national road champion Armando Borrajo.

    The field will include a strong contingent of national teams from...

  • Boasson Hagen helps inspire Hushovd and Arvesen

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) at the start.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 10:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hushovd finds motivation from younger rider's performances

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) is considered by many to be the future of cycling, but his success has motivated experienced riders and fellow Norwegians, Thor Hushovd and Kurt-Asle Arvesen to remain at the top of the sport. World champion Thor Hushovd says the competition from his younger Norwegian rival has helped him over the last few seasons.

    “Last year when he did so well, I thought, heck, I will be motivated by his success, but I also think I can retain my position. For that is what it is to be an athlete, you want to be on top,” he told TV 2 Sporten.

    Boasson Hagen agreed with his countryman. “I think we are motivated by each other. The fact that the won the Worlds inspires me to do the same one day and if I can motivate him, that is very good.”

    Fellow Norwegian and Sky teammate Kurt-Asle Arvesen concurred as well. “He inspires me to get up and get on with my training, and do what I'm supposed to be doing,” he said.


  • Lefevere still waiting on Stybar

    The 2011 Quick Step team
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 10:55 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Quick Step boss holding out for contract to expire while team enjoy first training camp

    Patrick Lefevere is still holding out for Zdenek Stybar’s signature but has told Cyclingnews that he will not be dragged deeper into a negotiation battle involving the cyclo-cross rider and his current team, Telenet-Fidea.

    The Czech rider’s contract runs out on February 28 but despite Telenet-Fidea having first refusal on any contract offer before that point Lefevere could wait before signing his man as a free agent.

    “The ball is still in the court of his manager and Telenet-Fidea. There was an offer but they have to decide if he’s going to stay with the team or leave,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews.

    “I don’t want to talk too much about it because I’m only interested if he’s free to move. I don’t want to be involved in a fight for him. If they want to fight between themselves that’s up to them but I’m just going to concentrate on my team. I don’t want to pay him out of a contract, if he wants to do that then that’s fine.”

    Stybar has made clear to sections of the press that he wishes to sign for Quick Step, while Lefevere is keen to bolster his team after a number of riders left the team at the end of 2010.

    “He knows he’s welcome in the team. He’s a good rider, he makes a lot of publicity and I’m convinced he can be important at the Olympics and he can try things on the road too. He’s an interesting rider but I don’t want to be involved in a fight. If he’s free he’s more than welcome.”

    Calpe Training Camp

    Quick Step leave for Calpe, Spain in the next few days for there second pre-season training camp. According to Lefevere, team leader Tom Boonen is in fine form as he aims to build up for another Classics campaign.

    “He’s in good form. Last time we spoke was at the training camp in Calpe. We have another one coming up...

  • Rous parts company with Europcar

    Directeur sportif Didier Rous
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 11:03 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman linked with Cofidis role

    Didier Rous has parted company with Europcar after three seasons as a directeur sportif with Jean-Rene Bernaudeau’s team. The Frenchman has been linked with a new role at Cofidis.

    “It’s black or white with him [Rous],” Bernaudeau told Ouest France. “Didier called me on December 28, I was in hospital the day after a gallbladder operation.

    “I was surprised by his intention because because Didier had done the preparations for the season with us since Europcar had joined us as our new sponsor. It’s his choice. It’s the end of a nice shared chapter.”

    Rous joined the management set-up of the then Bouygues Telecom team in 2008 after spending the last eight seasons of his career as a rider with Bernaudeau’s squad. He had previously admitted to doping during his time with the Festina team in the 1990s, but went on to become a respected figure in the French peloton in the second half of his career, winning the French road race championships on two occasions.

    Rous is the fifth member of Bernaudeau’s management team to leave the set-up since 2004, following in the footsteps of Thierry Bricaud, Nicolas Guille, Philippe Mauduit and Christian Guiberteau.

    It is understood that Rous left Europcar because he wanted to have more of an input into the team’s recruitment policy, while retaining his role in the team car as directeur sportif.

    In Rous’ absence, Bernaudeau will temporarily return to a more active role in the management of the team at races.

    “Didier will need to be replaced in the long-term,” Bernaudeau said. “But for now I will address a frustration in being with the team more often.”

    Reports in Ouest France link Rous with a new role at Cofidis, who yesterday announced that Stephane Auge would join its management team.

  • Rasch thanks Hushovd for pro contracts

    - Gabriel Rasch (Nor) Cervelo Test Team
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 11:40 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Norwegian fighting for spot on Garmin-Cervelo's Classics squad

    Gabriel Rasch knows that it is good to have an influential friend and he credits Thor Hushovd for his opportunity to ride at cycling's top level.

    “For my part, it was Thor who got me into this professional circus,” Rasch told TV 2 Sporten.

    The two first rode together professionally with Credit Agricole in 2008. From there, Rasch has followed his countryman to Cervelo TestTeam and Garmin-Cervelo.

    Hushovd, however, downplays his role in Rasch's career. “He deserves a spot. It's not for nothing that he has ridden the biggest races.”

    Rasch, 34, has ridden two of the three Grand Tours. “I've ridden the Giro d'Italia and even if people don't believe it, it is perhaps even harder than the Tour de France. I also rode the Vuelta a Espana twice.

    But it is clear that it is the Tour de France which people watch at home and which matters most.”

    He has still not ridden the Tour, although he hopes to, some day. “Yes, that is clear. But I don't think I should have high hopes this year.”

    Rasch realises that he faces even more uncertainty this year. He is a Classics specialist, but is now part of a team filled with other Classics specialists. “At Cervelo I was part of the Classics squad, and I felt confident to ride the races I wanted. Now there may be more competition, but I will have to go all out.”

  • Augé takes up directeur sportif role at Cofidis

    Stéphane Auge (Cofidis) heads on stage to receive the sprinter's jersey.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 12:30 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman retires from racing to join management team

    Stéphane Augé has decided the hang up his wheels and become a directeur sportif at Cofidis. The 36-year-old had a contract to race for the team in 2011, but has instead opted to take up a management role with the team in the wake of the departure of Francis Van Londersele.

    "For a little over a year, I've had this change of occupation running through my head," Augé told L'Equipe. "I discussed it with [Cofidis manager] Eric Boyer, who was attracted by the idea and I set about getting a state certificate in sports coaching."

    Augé has just one more week of training left before obtaining his official diploma. The Frenchman admitted that he was inspired to follow the course after seeing many of his fellow professionals retire from the sport without any firm plans.

    "After a beautiful career, I didn't have any desire to suffer from stopping racing," Augé explained. "I saw a lot of riders finish their careers and unfortunately get left to their own devices. This is a great opportunity that's opening up for me."

    Augé joined Cofidis in 2005, after turning professional with Festina in 2000. His biggest success came with victory in the Four Days of Dunkirk in 2008, and he also participated in 8 Tour de France.

    "I couldn't have wished for any better than to start a career as a directeur sporfif with Cofidis," Augé said. "I'm lucky that I know everybody and I think that I'll know how to talk to the riders, most of whom were my teammates over the years. I also think that I can bring something to the role, especially for the young riders. It's really a great pleasure for me."

    Reports in Ouest France on Tuesday have also linked former Bbox-Bouygues Telecom directeur sportif Didier Rous with a role in Cofidis' revamped management set-up. The French squad was disappointed to miss out on a ProTeam licence for 2011.

  • Rodriguez undecided on 2011 Grand Tours

    Joaquim Rodríguez in the 2011 Katusha team kit
    Article published:
    January 04, 2011, 13:33 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    2010 UCI number one releases first part of racing calendar

    Joaquin Rodriguez had only five victories on the 2011 season, but rode consistently enough to finish atop the International Cycling Union's season-long rankings. The Katusha rider is now looking to top those results this season.

    His 2010 wins may have been few in number, but they were all top quality: the overall win in the Volta a Catalunya, the GP Miguel Indurain, and stages in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. He also helped himself with his high finishes in the two Grand Tours, ending the Tour in eighth overall and just missing out on the podium at the Vuelta, finishing in fourth place.

    Rodriguez is as yet undecided as to which, and how many, of the Grand Tours he will tackle in 2011. “There are different options. Seeing how hard the course is, the team wants me to fight for the Giro d'Italia,” he told “It scares me a little and I am certainly not going to change my Classics preparation for the Giro.

    “I will have to see how I am after Liege. If I feel good and I can keep myself in shape, I will do the Giro and then decide between the Tour and Vuelta. If, on the contrary, I am all in after Liege like I was in 2010, I will rest and prepare for the Tour and Vuelta.”

    The 31-year-old will start his eleventh season with the Mallorca Challenge, the Tour of Oman, Paris-Nice and Tirreno-Adriatico, before looking to repeat his wins in Catalunya and the GP Miguel Indurain. After Pais Vasco and the Clasica Primavera, he will head north to the Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege Bastogne-Liege.

    The Spanish races, which “I've always loved”, will help him prepare for the Ardennes Classics, “a fantastic week.” He admitted that “I'd like to win Liege because it gives you a place in history, but I'm better at the Fleche.”