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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Date published:
March 30, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Fly V Australia turns focus to Tour of California

    Ben Day (Fly V Australia) stays tucked in and safe behind teammates.
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 10:05 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Day does more than dream of Californian success

    Fly V Australia concluded a successful block of racing in California when all-rounder Ben Day won his second consecutive stage race at the Redlands Bicycle Classic on Sunday. The team is poised to turn its attention to the Tour of California, May 16-23.

    Day won the San Dimas Stage Race held last weekend where he started and ended the race in the leader's jersey. Next, the team traveled to the Redlands Bicycle Classic to compete in the four-stage event where Day again won the prologue. Through the efforts of his team, he held the leader's jersey until the final stage.

    "I am a little bit surprised this week," Day told Cyclingnews. "These races kind of suit me a bit with the time trial at the beginning of the races but I've never expected to have the form that I have had at these races. I am about halfway through my preparation whereas in other years I was a lot more on the gun."

    Manager Chris White launched the Fly V Australia team at the end of 2008,with the primary objectives to become the leading professional team in North America and Australia this season, whilst becoming Professional Continental in 2011 and Australia's first ProTour team in 2012.

    "We are aiming very high and we're very ambitious - so far we are reaching all of our aims," Day continued. "We hope to be in Europe next year and then in the ProTour. To do that we need to remain humble, keep working and never think that we've done enough."

    Day finished eighth overall at the Tour of California in 2007 and is hoping his team receives an invitation to this year's event. "The Tour of California is a very big goal for us. That is what our focus is on now. It's pretty hard tackling the ProTour guys after they've been racing the ProTour races in Europe. They are racing so hard week in and week out," he explained.

    "If we can go there, have a good showing, win a stage or two, animate and be a part of the race and if I could have a good general classification...

  • No Freire in Flanders, Nuyens in doubt

    Oscar Freire takes his third Milan-San Remo title.
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 10:55 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Rabobank without top team in Tour of Flanders

    Rabobank will take on the Tour of Flanders without Milan-San Remo winner Oscar Freire, and their other Classics captain, Nick Nuyens is in doubt after crashing three times in the E3 Prijs Harelbeke last Saturday.

    Freire adamantly refused to ride the Tour of Flanders, saying “I want to put everything on the Amstel Gold Race.” He has ridden Amstel nine times, finishing in the top ten four times. however he was only 64th last year.

    “I regret that Oscar is not ride,” Directeur Sportif Erik Dekker told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “Especially since two mountains have been removed from the finale. But when he gets something in his head, then he won't let it go. He thinks he has better chances to win at Valkenberg. At the Tour of Flanders, he is afraid of the Muur van Geraardsbergen."

    Nick Nuyens is still suffering the after-effects of his three crashes during the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - Harelbeke. The injuries to his right hip and calf are not as serious as the one to his sternum, which is still causing him breathing problems. “I tried to ride, but couldn't,” he said. “Hopefully it will get better day by day.”

    Dekker said that the team would see  how Nuyens is doing on Wednesday. “It is still questionable whether he can participate in the training rides as we explore the course. From there we will see whether he is fit to ride in the Tour of Flanders.”

  • HTC-Columbia women prepared for World Cup events

    Ina Teutenberg (HTC-Columbia) awaits the start.
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 11:33 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Teutenberg targets Ronde van Darthe

    HTC-Columbia women's team depart the US after a successful California campaign, well prepared to take on a series of UCI World Cup events in Europe, beginning with the women's Tour of Flanders on April 4 in Belgium.

    "We won Flanders in the last two years and so we want to do it again with the team," said defending champion Ina Teutenberg. "We will have a very strong line up with Judith [Arndt] and Noemi [Cantele] but there are more than a hundred people that want to win that race."

    Teutenberg will lead a team into the famed one-day Classic that will include 2008 winner Judith Arndt, Noemi Cantele, Kim Anderson, Adrie Visser and Linda Villumsen.

    Marianne Vos won the first World Cup of the season at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda held in Cittiglio, Italy last Sunday. There are three World Cup events in the next three weeks, with the Tour of Flanders, the Unive Ronde van Darthe in the Netherlands on April 10 and La Fleche Wallone Feminine in the Ardennes region of Belgium on April 21.

    "It's always a goal - winning a World Cup - and there are a couple in a row," said Teutenberg. "I really want to try to win the Dutch World Cup round."

    Teutenberg capped off a successful four weeks of racing that began at the Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic in California. The German national champion won a total of four race days including two overall titles at the San Dimas Stage Race and the Redlands Bicycle Classic. Her teammates included Evelyn Stevens, Emilia Fahlin, Kim Anderson and Chloe Hosking.

    "These races are perfect to get fit and we want to race good next weekend in Flanders," Teutenberg continued. "We have to be fit when we go there. You can't be getting dropped here and then think you're going to go to Europe and be competitive in a World Cup."

    "These races in California are important because we are a California-based team," she added. "They have been very rewarding wins especially when the other teams make it hard...

  • Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil disappointed at Tour de France non-selection

    Several Skil Shimano riders
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 13:47 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Vacansoleil claims to be first reserve

    The Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil teams were both disappointed to hear they had not been invited to ride in this year’s Tour de France.

    The two Dutch Professional Continental were hoping for wild card invitations because the Tour starts in Rotterdam on July 3 but were overlooked by Tour de France organisers ASO. Both teams also missed out on places in the Giro d'Italia, which starts in Amsterdam and so will have to now create alternative race programmes for May and July.

    Skil-Shimano rode the Tour last year, had hoped for another invitation. “Secretly, of course, you hope for good news,” Team Manager Iwan Spekenbrink told the Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf. “The fact that they are only now deciding shows that it was not an easy choice.”

    Spekenbrink acknowledged that his team was up against especially tough competition for a wild card spot this year. “We did well last year and have grown a step since then. But we also knew that with RadioShack and Team Sky, two big teams had been added, and that BMC had developed enormously. I will certainly not say that I don't understand the choice of teams.”

    No invite for Vacansoleil despite signing Feillu brothers

    Vacansoleil made its Grand Tour debut in last year's Vuelta a Espana. They also accepted ASO’s decision philosophically, despite having signed French riders Brice and Romain Feillu in the hope of securing an invitation to this year's Tour de France. "It is good to know where we are at so we can focus on what's next. The next few weeks we have beautiful classics in which the team will show what we are worth,” Team Manager Daan Luijkx said. “As well as doing at least one Grand Tour, we had a 2010 goal of finishing in the top three in a World Calendar Classic and a goal to be in front for the whole season. All those goals are still in reach. In September we might do the Vuelta a Espana, which we...

  • Haussler to miss Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo) dropped out with a knee problem.
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 13:55 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Cervélo Test Team leader struggling with knee injury

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) as been ruled out of Sunday's Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix due to injury.

    Haussler and his Cervélo TestTeam called a press conference today in Melle, Belgium, to announce the news. The Australian-German is suffering from a torn ligament above his knee and does not yet know when he can return to racing.

    "Recovery time depends on the body and how quick it recovers. Therapy is full on eight hours a day," Haussler said despondently.

    "After I got second in the Tour of Flanders last year it was all I've been thinking about. It's hard. Being here and watching the races on television and reading about in the papers has been hard. But now I can deal with it because I know what the problem is."

    The Cervélo TestTeam also confirmed that Andreas Klier has also been ruled out of the two major spring Classics after he suffered a concussion in a crash in the E3 Prijs-Harelbke.

    Thor Hushovd will be team leader for the Cervélo TestTeam in the two cobbled classics.

  • On the start line of De Panne

    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 14:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Photos from the start line in Middelkerke, Beligium

    Fans and riders alike braved grey conditions in Middelkerke, Belgium this morning for the start of the 2010 Three Days of De Panne-Koksijde. Cyclingnews was there to capture these images as the peloton prepared to set off on the 198 kilometre journey to Oudenaarde.

    While a number of ProTour squads have forgone the Three Days, the race still boasts a formidable entry list. Tour of Flanders favourites Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) and Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) both donned their rain capes for what will be their final tune-up for this Sunday's major Belgian Classic.

    After learning of their non-invitation to the Tour de France on Tuesday morning, Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil were in a mood that matched the weather, but indicated to Cyclingnews that they respond on the road in their typically attacking fashion.

  • BMC happy to be in the Tour de France

    Former World Road Champion Alessandro Ballan leads a group along the highway, en route to the ocean.
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 17:16 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Cadel Evans and George Hincapie to lead US team in July

    Team BMC Racing director sportif Mike Sayers was understandably pleased with the news that the American team secured a place in this year’s Tour de France. Cyclingnews were in fact the first to inform Sayers that the team had won one of the 22 spots handed out by race organisers ASO before the start of the first stage of the Three Days of De Panne.

    “That’s good news and ever result counts as the Tour selection is very tight,” he said.

    BMC shocked the sport late in 2009 when they signed World Champion Cadel Evans. The Australian bought himself out of his contract with Lotto just days before joining the US-team, that had also bolstered their squad by signing George Hincapie (Columbia), Alessandro Ballan (Lampre), Marcus Burghardt (Columbia) and Karsten Kroon (Saxo Bank).

    So far this year the BMC team has failed to win a single race, Evans being their best performer with three podium places. However the signings made during the winter were what impressed ASO enough to give the team a wildcard entry ahead of Skil-Shimano and Vacansoleil.

    “Cadel put us over the top and George brings his own results and experience that you need on a team. He’s a poster person for our team and we appreciate it,” said Sayers.

    Asked if he was confident before the announcement that the team would be invited to the Tour de France, Sayers said: “You never take anything for granted. Me, I’m relieved as I have something to do during July. There’s relief but we’re of course disappointed for the teams that didn’t make it because I know they’re trying equally as hard and they deserve a spot too but that’s the name of the game, you can only have so many teams.”

    BMC will bring Evans to the Tour as their hope for the overall. He has twice finished on the podium, in 2007 and 2008, but had a disappointing race last year. As world champion he’ll be...

  • Hansen injures wrist in De Panne crash

    Australian Adam Hansen (Columbia-HTC) looks like he's had a tough day at work
    Article published:
    March 30, 2010, 17:36 BST
    Richard Tyler

    HTC-Columbia's Peiper pleased with team, individual performances

    Adam Hansen will face an anxious wait to see whether he can start the second stage of the Three Days of De Panne on Wednesday after injuring his wrist in an awkward crash on the race's opening stage.

    The Australian HTC-Columbia rider tangled with another rider moments after bridging across to a strong late-race escape group. The force of the contact was enough to knock Hansen's front wheel out and send him into a roadside banking. He was able to complete the stage, but was uncertain about the condition of his injured right wrist.

    "My wrist is kinda sore, I think I might have broken it, I don't know yet," Hansen told Cyclingnews immediately after he crossed the finish line in Oudenaarde. "I'll have to get it checked out, I'm having trouble holding the bars at the moment.”

    "I think because I've got all the adrenaline pumping I'm coping with it, but it's still pretty bad and I think once I settle down that's when I'll find out if there are any real problems."

    HTC-Columbia team director Allan Peiper told Cyclingnews that Hansen will be examined by team medical staff before a decision is made on his continued participation in the race.

    "It depends what the doctor says, whether it's a little bit of swelling or something [more]," said Peiper. "We'd better get it X-rayed tonight. It's a bit of a damper for Adam, because he was really good.”

    The incident was a low-point in an otherwise strong performance from Hansen, who had spent 60 kilometres as part of a four-man break during the first part of the stage. When the move was caught, the Australian was forced to chase back to the main group after a mid-race pile-up blocked the road.

    "I was in the first break at the start and I jumped across to the main group because I was stuck behind the crash," Hansen explained. "Then from the main group I caught the front group, but I was only there for about 20 seconds when a rider cut me off and put his rear...