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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Date published:
June 15, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Rogers quits Tour de Suisse to head to altitude

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) had even more reason to smile after the stage, having taken the race leader's jersey.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 12:42 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Australian focuses on final Tour de France training

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) has pulled out of the Tour de Suisse in order to train at altitude ahead of July’s Tour de France. Rogers had completed the first three stages and the team took overall race lead with Tony Martin on Monday.

    Rogers has already had a successful but demanding 2010, winning both the Amgen Tour of California in late May as well as the Ruta del Sol in February. With over 40 race days in his legs already this season, the Australian preferred to work on more specific training at altitude, rather than continue racing in Switzerland.

    "Michael expressed interest at the beginning of the year to be at altitude in the lead up to the Tour de France," said Team Manager Rolf Aldag, "so we are supporting him in this plan.

    "Ideally he would continue at the Tour de Suisse where we have the Yellow Jersey and some exciting racing ahead, but after a tough race at the Tour of California and with the ultimate goal being his form at the Tour, this is the best option for him."

    Rogers is likely to spearhead HTC-Columbia’s GC bid at the Tour de France where the team will be looking to also win stages and the green jersey with Mark Cavendish. Last week the team announced their long-list for the Tour but the final nine will not be picked until the Tour de Suisse has concluded on Sunday.

    Last November Rogers told Cyclingnews that, “"I'd like to be where I was in 2005, when I was competitive in stage races. It's going to be hard, but I'll be looking to a do good general classification ride."

  • Widespread shock at RadioShack’s Vuelta exclusion

    Chris Horner paces RadioShack teammate Levi Leipheimer at the head of the field.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 16:05 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Bruyneel not the only one stunned by team’s absence from Vuelta

    Team RadioShack boss Johan Bruyneel was far from being the only one astonished that his team missed out on one of the six final invitations to the Vuelta a España. Most commentators in Spain had the American team down as certainties for selection alongside Spanish pro continental outfits Andalucía-Cajasur and Xacobeo-Galicia. Instead, those two teams were joined by Garmin, Sky, Katusha and Cervélo.

    All are strong teams, but none is likely to field a line-up anywhere near as powerful as RadioShack would surely have done, with Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner and Janez Brajkovic all likely or possible contenders for the overall title.

    Vuelta boss Javier Guillén defended his choice by saying, "Every fan has their own preferences, but for us, the list [of teams selected] is ideal for our race." Guillén did say of RadioShack that "it’s a good team, that can’t be denied," and insisted that the recent doping allegations made against Bruyneel and RadioShack team leader Lance Armstrong had nothing to do with his decision. "There is no evidence that proves Landis' allegations. Our criteria [for selection] have been strictly sporting."

    But some didn’t see it that way…

    Chechu Rubiera, veteran RadioShack rider with nine Vuelta appearances behind him who won't now be seen on the Cotobello climb in his native Asturias that has been renamed in his honour: "There is no justification for this based on sporting criteria. We were going to take Brajkovic, Horner, Haimar Zubeldia and Steegmans. And we didn't ride the Giro in order to save ourselves for the Vuelta. I can't begin to understand what has happened. I can understand that Cervélo are there if Sastre, a winner of the Tour de France, is in their line-up. And also that they have picked two teams with Spanish sponsors. But there are some foreign squads that have been picked...

  • Kohl given additional lifetime ban

    Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner) is now untouchable as king of the mountains leader.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 16:08 BST
    Cycling News

    But Austrian NADA shortens ban to four years

    Bernhard Kohl has been given a life-long ban by the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency. However the NADA also announced that the ban will be set aside after four years, so that he would be able to ride again after July 6, 2014.

    Kohl had originally been given a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO CERA during the 2008 Tour de France. That ban was due to expire next month.

    In a press release issued Tuesday afternoon, the NADA said that it had reviewed transcripts of Kohl's questioning by the police and public prosecutors. It ruled that he had violated anti-doping regulations “through the taking of, use of and possession of forbidden substances and methods in the time from April 2001 until at least September 2008.”

    The large number of violations justified an additional life-long ban, the NADA's legal commission.

    However, during the investigations, Kohl co-operated with all authorities and gave the names of those who had helped him. Under those circumstances, the NADA can shorten the additional ban, which it has done.

    Kohl has announced that he has retired from cycling. He now owns and operates a bike shop in Vienna.

  • Tour of Utah teams selected

    Alex Howes soloed to victory in a stage of the 2009 Tour of Utah.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 16:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Big field for 'America's toughest stage race'

    Tour of Utah organisers have released the list of teams for this year's race, to be held August 17-22. A total of 18 squads have been invited, with 144 riders set to compete for a share of the US$45,000 prize purse and valuable National Racing Calendar (NRC) points.

    The event is regarded as one of the toughest races on the US domestic calendar, with testing high altitude climbs matched with time trials and criteriums over five stages. The event kicks off with the 4.5-kilometre Salt Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau Prologue.

    Organisers have dubbed it 'America's toughest stage race' thanks to the 30,000-plus feet (over 9,000m) of climbing that are a feature of a race route that includes 300 miles (over 480km) along Utah's Rocky Mountain Wasatch Range.

    Squads to watch include Bissell Pro Cycling, Fly V Australia and UnitedHealthcare presented by Maxxis, the trio of teams taking the lion's share of race wins throughout the NRC thus far in 2010. Each has been invited to Utah and will no doubt continue their run of good form during the week.

    The 11 professional squads attending include:

    Adageo Energy Pro Cycling
    Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling
    Bissell Pro Cycling
    Fly V Australia
    Holowesko Partners/Garmin U23
    Jamis/Sutter Home
    Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling
    KENDA Pro Cycling presented by GEARGRINDER
    Trek-LIVESTRONG Development Team
    Team Type 1
    UnitedHealthcare presented by Maxxis

    Seven amateur teams slated to start the event include:

    Official California Giant Cycling Team
    Canyon Bicycles Utah Allstars
    Cole Sport Racing
    Team Exergy
    Hagens Berman Cycling Team
    K-FANN Elite Composite Team
    Team Rio Grande

  • Boonen, Cavendish, Ciolek escape serious injury in sprint tumble

    The crash on stage 4 of the Tour de Suisse
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 19:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de Suisse crash sends sprinters flying

    The high speed gambles that cycling's sprinters take usually pay off in victory, but today the luck ran out for HTC-Columbia speedster Mark Cavendish and several of his closest competitors.

    Cavendish was unleashing his powerful final burst to push his way past Milram's Gerald Ciolek. On his left, Heinrich Haussler was attempting the same feat. Both riders came past at the same time, then dove for the center of the road, collided and crashed causing a chain-reaction wreck that took down some of the sport's top sprinters.

    Cavendish was given a 30 second time penalty for irregular sprinting. He, Ciolek and Haussler were scraped up and bruised but preliminary examinations showed no serious injuries.

    Tom Boonen, who is still trying to recover from a knee injury sustained in a wreck at the Tour of California last month, was right behind the incident and landed on his bum leg just as he should be improving his form ahead of the Tour de France.

    "The consequences of the fall could have been worse," said Boonen. "Fortunately I realized right off that riders in front of me were falling and I managed to reduce my speed significantly. But a rider hit me from behind and I ended up on the ground, hitting my left knee. The knee hurts a little but tomorrow I will be at the starting line for the stage hoping that the problem doesn't get worse during the race."

    The worst off appears to be Arnaud Coyot (Caisse d'Epargne) who has a suspected broken hip. Two AG2R-La Mondiale riders also hit the deck hard, but their condition is unknown.

  • Rock stars join racers at the Harlem Cycling Classic

    Bahati is interviewed after taking second in the Harlem Rocks crit.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 19:50 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    New York City race to rock on Sunday

    Rockstar Games will host the 37th annual Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic, a series of criteriums for children and professionals held on June 20 in New York City.

    The event is designed to inspire the youth and bring together the surrounding community for a day of festivities that includes live music from hip-hop performers Biz Markie and Mister Cee.

    “It's an honor for us to be involved with the Harlem Skyscraper Classic for a second time,” said Sam Houser, Founder of Rockstar Games. “We think the event is a really fun way to bring together a community of cyclists and their families, and many of us at Rockstar are die-hard cyclists, so we are really excited to be able to support it in any way we can.”

    The late David Walker, an NYPD Community Affairs Officer, founded the event to encourage the city's children to get more exercise and learn to lead more active lifestyles. The day will host a series of children’s races designed to bring an element of fun and introduce the kids to competitive cycling.

    The New York City Mayor's Office has recognized David Walker's vision and designated the children's races as official NYC Mayor's Cup Events for the "Fastest Bicycle Riders” in New York City.

    The event also includes a professional men’s race that will host Olympic Champion Walter Perez of Argentina and four-time World Champion Franco Marvulli along with German track racing stars Leif Lampater and Christian Grasmann.

    “The Skyscraper Harlem Cycling Classic has served its host community for 37 years by providing a free, world class sporting event designed to inspire children to ride bicycles,” said Race Director, John Eustice. “The winners of the races all receive new bicycles for their accomplishments. So the race serves as a true community event, bringing positive family activities and world class pro racing excitement to Harlem.”

    The festivities...

  • Haussler abandons Tour de Suisse after crash

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) appears shaken up after the crash.
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 20:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Cervelo rider gets stitches for deep wound

    The Cervelo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler has withdrawn from the Tour de Suisse following the dramatic crash in the sprint on stage 4 in Wettingen. At the time of his crash, the German/Australian was leading the points classification in the race.

    Team spokesman Geert Broekhuizen informed Cyclingnews of the Haussler's condition on Tuesday afternoon.

    "He was taken to the hospital for an examination and stitches. He has a deep wound on his right elbow and will need to rest for a few days," Broekhuizen said.

    Haussler was battling Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) for the stage victory in a high-speed sprint when the riders collided and both tumbled to the ground.

    "I didn't see Cavendish coming," Haussler said. "He drove into my wheel and before I knew it, I went down and was lying on the ground. I could have won the stage today."

    While both riders deviated from their line before running into each other, Cavendish was given a 30-second penalty by the race jury. The crash took down numerous riders including Milram's Gerald Ciolek and Tom Boonen (Quick Step), who escaped without serious injury.

    The crash is the latest incident in a difficult season for Haussler. He was just returning to form after suffering from knee problems which shut him out of the Spring Classics.

  • Vorarlberg-Corratec optimistic about solving problems

    Volksbank team manager Thomas Kofler
    Article published:
    June 15, 2010, 22:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Vague team statement says talks going well

    Team Vorarlberg-Corratec has been “working on a solution to its problems,” and the prognosis looks good, the team said in a statement issued Tuesday evening.

    The team's vague statement did not identify the problems. However, last week the International Cycling Union suspended the Professional Continental team's license, apparently in a dispute over the riders' contracts. Austrian media sources reported that the contracts were held by a personnel leasing firm rather than by the team's “paying agent”.

    “We have been working towards a solution to the problems pretty much round the clock since last week, and it looks as if things are developing in a good direction.”

    Without going into any detail, the team said, “The last mediating discussions which we had let us be carefully optimistic that the wheels will turn again soon. At this time nothing concrete can be announced.”

    Team manager Thomas Kofler said, “One thing is clear: legal battles are not our thing, but we also won't give up easily.”

    The team said that it hoped “to be able to announce concrete results” in the next few days.