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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Date published:
March 01, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Sutton's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne win, one for the team

    Chris Sutton (Sky) celebrates his victory
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 0:23 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Video: Australian bounces back from injury

    Chris Sutton dedicated his win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne to his Sky teammates, after the Australian benefited from the likes of Juan Antonio Flecha and Edvald Boasson Hagen sacrificing their own chances to help him in the sprint finish.

    "Today it wasn't just a victory for me but for the whole team because the work they did today was just incredible. I owe the victory to them. We're all really close, like a family. They all rode for me so let's say there's a race tomorrow, we could all work for Edvald, everyone helps each other here," said Sutton.

    While he was almost invisible in the race until the final few hundred meters, Sutton's biggest move came the night before during dinner with his team. There he put his hand up, telling his teammates that he had the legs to win. It was an act he repeated the following morning on the team bus and then once again within the final kilometres when Matthew Hayman pulled alongside him and asked if he still felt strong.

    "I said to the boys that I think I can win today. I had confidence in myself and had that feeling that you don't get very often. Edvald said on the bus that if we're all there then he would lead the sprint out for me," Sutton said in the post-race press conference.

    Kuurne marked Sutton's biggest win in the professional ranks and saw him back on track after a difficult start the season. The Australian crashed at the Tour Down Under last month and despite time off the bike through injury has bounced back.

    "It was a difficult start to the season for me. I hit the ground running but on the second stage of...

  • Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne level-crossing expulsion questioned

    A trio of Landbouwkrediet lads before the stage.
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 2:00 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Cammaerts and breakaway companions removed from race

    Edwig Cammaerts (Landbouwkrediet) has claimed that the decision of the race commissaires to exclude him and his breakaway companions from Sunday's Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne was overly harsh. The Belgian was part of a four-man escape that was pulled from the race after they rode through a level crossing after the lights had turned red, but he insisted that it would have been more dangerous for them to stop in the circumstances.

    “The lights had just turned red and we got there at 50kph,” Cammaerts told RTBF.be. “The barriers hadn’t been lowered and if we had braked it would have been a guaranteed crash, and maybe we might have fallen on the rails.”

    Cammaerts and his breakaway companions Arnaud Coyot (Saur-Sojasun), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Cervelo) and Arnoud van Groen (Veranda's Willems-Accent) had a lead of over seven minutes when they were expelled from the race in an episode that recalled the finale of the 2006 edition of Paris-Roubaix.

    On that occasion, Leif Hoste, Peter Van Petegem and Vladimir Gusev rode through a closed level-crossing in pursuit of winner Fabian Cancellara. Although they crossed the finish line in second, third and fourth place, the trio were subsequently removed from the official results.

    Cammaerts directeur sportif Gérard Bulens supported his rider’s claims and said that the commissaires could have shown a degree of clemency in dealing with the matter.

    “I believe Edwig when he tells me that if he had braked, he would have crashed or fallen...

  • 24 teams announced for 2011 Amstel Gold Race

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) launches his race-winning attack on the Cauberg at Amstel Gold Race
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 5:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cofidis, Farnese Vini awarded final wild cards

    Organizers of the 2011 Amstel Gold Race announced the final two teams to compete in the only Dutch Spring Classic, giving the last wild card spots to the Professional Continental teams Cofidis and Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli.

    The news follows an announcement last week that Skil-Shimano, Landbouwkrediet, Veranda's Willems and Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator had been given wild card invitations.

    The six Pro Continental squads join the 18 ProTour teams to complete the 24-squad roster for the 46th edition of the race.

    Among the teams which competed last year which did not earn a repeat invitation are FDJ and the Spanish team Geox-TMC, formerly Footon-Servetto.

    The number one rider on this year's start list will be Omega Pharma-Lotto's Philippe Gilbert, who was victorious atop the Cauberg in the 2010 Amstel Gold Race.

  • McQuaid to meet with team representatives on radio ban

    UCI president Pat McQuaid has been nominated for membership to the International Olympic Committee.
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 9:22 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    UPDATED: UCI confirms meeting; Voices pro and contra on the issue

    The planned protest against the race radio ban did not occur at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, but the issue has not gone away. UCI president Pat McQuaid is to meet with various team management representatives this week on the ban. Meanwhile more and more of those involved in the issue are speaking out, including Cervelo's Gerard Vroomen, FDJ Sport Director Marc Madiot and Rabobank rider Grischa Niermann.

    McQuaid is scheduled to meet in Switzerland with Bjarne Riis (Saxo Bank), Patrick Lefevere (Quick Step), Harold Knebel (Rabobank) and possibly Geert Coeman of Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani confirmed the meeting this coming Thursday at the UCI headquarers in Aigle. "They asked for this meeting, and Mr. McQuaid - who is always available to listen the opinions of members of cycling world - didn't see any problem in accepting it,” he told Cyclingnews. “Hopefully the discussion will be open and constructive, which doesn't mean at all, however, that the UCI will reconsider its decision to progressively ban earpieces.”

    “McQuaid is now willing to talk about safety,” Coeman told Sportwereld.be. “I do not expect him to change his mind completely on Thursday, but there is still a small opening in the debate.”

    Coeman cited a survey done earlier this year by the CPA, the association of professional cyclists, which asked 344 members for their opinion. 60% were in favour of unrestricted radio usage and 28% in favour of using it for Radio Tour, passing on only safety information and times gaps. Only 11 percent called for a complete ban.

    Vroomen: those involved must have input

    There...

  • Contador calls on UCI and WADA to believe in their anti-doping system

    Alberto Contador in action during stage 2.
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 10:44 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Controversial Spaniard trumpets defence dossier

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) has challenged the UCI and WADA to “show that they believe” in their anti-doping system. The Spaniard tested positive for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France but was cleared to race by his national federation (RFEC) last month. It is thought that the UCI and WADA will look to appeal the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Contador admitted that he didn’t know what action the two bodies would take regarding the RFEC’s hugely contentious decision to absolve him, but he claimed that his 600-page defence dossier and his biological passport data are sufficient evidence of his good faith.

    “I would just like that they read the whole dossier without preconceptions and without yielding to external pressures,” Contador told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Between the biological passport and anti-doping controls they have hundreds of pieces of data collected from years of my career. I believe in the system and they too should show that they believe in it.”

    Contador’s defence is built around the claim that the traces of Clenbuterol in his urine are ascribable to having consumed contaminated meat before the test, which was taken on the Tour’s second rest day on July 21. The meat in question is alleged to have been brought from Spain.

    “The life of a cyclist, especially in stage races, is made up of routine,” Contador said. “The only thing that...

  • Meyer, Bobridge and Meares to lead Australia in World Track Championships

    Fresh from the Tour Down Under Cameron Meyer is preparing for the Worlds in Berlin.
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 11:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cycling Australia sending nine defending champions to Apeldoorn

    Australia will send nine defending champions to the UCI Track World Championships later this month in Apeldoorn, Netherlands. Cycling Australia will look to equal or better its 2010 tally of six gold medals, two silver and two bronze.

    "We're coming off the back of a strong World Cup campaign where we fielded both development and elite squads," said National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta. "We used the series to chase Olympic qualification points and to ensure we qualified all the places we needed for the World Championships and now the team we're sending to Apeldoorn is the cream of the crop."

    The men's endurance squad will be led by Cameron Meyer, who won three gold medals last year, as well as triple gold at the Commonwealth Games on his way to being named Australian Cyclist of the Year. The Garmin-Cervelo rider has gotten his 2011 road season off to a good start, winning both the national time trial title and the overall Tour Down Under.

    Another outstanding rider is Jack Bobridge, who last month set the new world record for the 4000m individual pursuit. He will be joined by Rohan Dennis, who on the same day set the third best time ever.

    Anna Meares will lead the womens' sprint line-up. She has won both World Cup sprints she has contested this year, and will look for her first Worlds gold medal. “Anna heads to Apeldoorn in the best position she's ever been in to deliver a sprint medal," said Tabotta.

    Women's Sprint Events: Kaarla McCullouch, Anna Meares, and Emily Rosemund

    Men's Sprint Events: Daniel...

  • Hushovd, Vansummeren and Van Petegem scout out Paris-Roubaix

    World champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 11:41 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervelo riders on the muddy cobblestones

    Thor Hushovd and Garmin-Cervelo teammate Johan Vansummeren have taken a first look at Paris-Roubaix with the new team Classics advisor Peter van Petegem. Hushovd has finished second and third in the race the last two years and is aiming to win it this year wearing the World Championship jersey.

    The trio had hoped to recon the cobblestones unnoticed, but they were spotted. “We wanted to do it quietly so we could do our thing,” van Petegem told Het Nieuwsblad. “Thor combined this ride with a strong workout. We ended up on the stretch after the Carrefour de l'Arbre. The stones there are very bad, lots of mud and puddles.”

    Hushovd tried a new bike, “that is slightly longer with a custom fork. He also tested some tires.”

    The Norwegian had ridden the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday, while Vansummeren rode the Omloop and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne, but both took on the muddy cobblestones of Paris-Roubaix on Monday. “I guess that says everything about the ambition that we both have,” Vansummeren told Het Belang van Limburg.

    "Initially we chatted, but after a time we didn't. Thor was in a good rhythm,” he continued. “We also had to be extra careful, because the stones were covered in mud.”

    Van Petegem, who won Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders in 2003, has joined Garmin-Cervelo as an advisor through Paris-Roubaix.

  • Genevois hopes AFLD can work with UCI on Tour de France testing

    The French National anti-doping Laboratory
    Article published:
    March 01, 2011, 12:21 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    French anti-doping agency in battle to maintain funding

    Bruno Genevois, the president of the France Anti-doping Agency AFLD, has expressed the hope that his agency will be able to work alongside the UCI in carrying out anti-doping tests at the Tour de France.

    Last year, the UCI attempted to block the AFLD from performing any testing at the Tour, before a compromise brokered by WADA allowed the French body to order some targeted tests.

    “I hope that the agency exercises controls at the Tour de France as in all other (national) competitions that it is charged with controlling,” Genevois told rmc.fr. “But it has to pass through dialogue. I don’t want another scenario where there isn’t an agreement between the AFLD and the UCI.”

    In 2008, disagreements between the UCI and Tour organisers ASO saw the AFLD lead controls, and the French body’s groundbreaking use of targeted testing saw a number of riders return positive samples for CERA. The UCI reassumed charge of testing ahead of the following year’s race, which saw Lance Armstrong return to the race.

    The now-retired American was recently labelled an “icon” by UCI president Pat McQuaid, in spite of the accusations of impropriety that have mounted against him. Genevois was more circumspect in his assessment of Armstrong’s legacy.

    “If you only consider his palmares, it commands admiration,” he said. “That doesn’t stop American justice from taking an interest in the compliance of one of its nationals with the laws of his country. In the meantime, let’s keep Lance...