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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Date published:
March 09, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Armstrong on retirement, Contador and "the look"

    Lance Armstrong signs on and on for his fans.
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 11:04 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    American undecided on racing in 2011

    During a wide-ranging and candid interview with Spanish daily El País, Lance Armstrong has spoken about his hopes for the Tour de France, riding into 2011 and, of course, Alberto Contador. There was nothing controversial in his comments about Spaniard.

    Indeed, the most interesting sections of the interview focused on questions the seven-time Tour winner is seldom asked, such as how he thinks he’s viewed in the peloton.

    Asked whether he feels he’s respected or feared in the peloton, Armstrong responded: “It’s impossible for me to know what the rest are thinking. I know that at one time they used to fear me and perhaps they do now respect me. Young riders come up to me and ask me, very respectfully, if they can have their photo taken with me. That makes me feel old,” admitted the 38-year-old.

    “But you are old,” El País’s Carlos Arribas told him. “I’m old, but not as old as [Cervélo’s 40-year-old Iñigo] Cuesta,” Armstrong joked in return.

    He was then asked about the time when riders did fear him and Armstrong was quick to employ “the look”, that burning stare of disapproval directed at those who had got on his wrong side.

    “That look… I’ve still got it. In life there are passionate, committed, intense people and passive people. I’m one of the former… I might once have used that look on some journalist, but I also use it on my kids when they don’t obey me. The same intense look. And I use it just the same on those I don’t like as with my children, who I love more than I do myself. It’s the same personality, the same intensity.”

    Asked how important an eighth Tour win is to him, Armstrong said, “It’s not essential. I don’t need it especially. I only need it as a reward for my hard work. But, honestly, there’s no...

  • Hoste gets suspended sentence for assault

    Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma Lotto)
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 12:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto rider punished after 2008 incident

    Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Leif Hoste was handed a suspended sentence by a Bruges court on Tuesday, after he was found to have assaulted a cycling fan in Eernegem, Belgium in 2008.

    Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad reported that Hoste, 32, received the sentence after he punched a man, Xavier Vansevenant, 48, outside a retirement party being held for former Silence-Lotto teammate Wim Vansevenant on October 5, 2008. The incident occurred after Xavier Vansevenant had been ejected from the party.

    Former-professional Peter van Petegem, who was also present at the party, was alleged to have been involved in the incident, but escaped prosecution.

    The newspaper also reported that Hoste had reached an out-of-court settlement for a separate civil suit for damages caused in the incident.

    Hoste will return to competition with Omega Pharma-Lotto on Wendesday at Tirreno-Adriatico.
     

  • Martin satisfied with improvement in Paris-Nice

    Tony Martin, finishing a stage of the 2009 Tour de France
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 12:45 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    HTC-Columbia rider comes close to stage win, leaps up overall

    HTC-Columbia's Tony Martin lamented missing out a victory on stage one of Paris-Nice on Monday, but said an attack within the final kilometre of the race was a signal that his form is headed in the right direction.

    The 24-year-old had not performed as well in the race's prologue as he had hoped, finishing 41seconds behind winner Lars Boom (Rabobank), in 65th place. But in Monday's opening road stage, he was near the front of the peloton when the final split occurred. Caisse d'Epargne leading a charge of 15 riders, including Martin and race leader Boom, that opened an eventual 17 second gap over the peloton.

    “In the finale I was able to jump into the lead group,” Martin told Radsport-News.com. “I knew I that I would have to look for my chance shortly before the finish line, since there was a headwind for the last four kilometres.”

    With 700 metres to go, Martin took off. But the headwind proved too strong for the young German, and he was caught shortly before the finish line. “The finish line was unfortunately 100 metres too far away,” he said. Martin finished ninth, in the same time as stage victor Greg Henderson (Team Sky).

    Despite his near-miss Martin was still satisfied with his result, especially in comparison to his prologue performance. “There is a definite upwards trend as compared to yesterday,” he said.

    Martin's ninth place finish on the stage saw him shoot up the overall standings, where he now sits in 24th place, 43 seconds behind race leader, Boom. The Dutchman picked up two one-second time bonuses after finishing third on each of the day's two intermediate sprints.

  • USA CRITS moves finale to Texas

    Elite men's podium (L-R): Adrian Hegyvary (Hagens-berman Llp Cycling, 2nd), Eric Barlevav (Mountain Khakis, 1st), Gavi Epstein (Champion System Racing,3rd)
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 14:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Nine races for 2010 series announced

    The USA Crits series will expand to nine races for men and five races for women, with the finale moving from Las Vegas to Dallas, Texas.

    The series will maintain its traditional start at the 31st Athens Twilight Criterium in Georgia on April 24 with events for both men and women. It will then take a two month break before the next race on June 19, the Giro d'Grafton in Wisconsin, which is also part of the Tour of Americas Dairyland.

    The series will continue at the Hyde Park Blast in Cincinnati, Ohio on June 26 with a race for the men only, and then move on to West Chester, Pennsylvania for the return of the Iron Hill Twilight on July 10 where the women's series will resume.

    The next two stops are for the men only: the Capital Criterium in Washington, DC on July 11 and the Boise Criterium on July 17.

    Both fields will contest the August 7 Presbyterian Hospital Invitational in Charlotte, North Carolina in an event which benefits the Brain Tumor Fund for the Carolinas and has one of the largest prize purses in the country.

    The women's finale will take place at the Chris Thater Memorial in Binghamton, New York on August 28, but for the men it will be the lead-up to their finale in Dallas, Texas.

    The men's series winner will be decided at the Texas Tough Grand Prix on September 16 - a move from the previous finale in Las Vegas during the Interbike trade show.

    "This was the right move for the future of the Series," said Gene Dixon, co-founder of the USA CRITS Championship Series. "We have heard nothing but positive feedback from teams and riders who have attended the last 2 years. In addition, this guarantees the Series finale will be televised and have a large prize purse."

    With the start/finish adjacent to the American Airlines Center, the posh W-Hotel and more than $20 million in large outdoor video screen technology built into the venue, spectators will enjoy non-stop action as the riders compete for...

  • Tour of Utah returns to the NRC in August

    Alex Howes soloed to victory in a stage of the 2009 Tour of Utah.
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 16:30 GMT
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Race chief Weiss aims for future UCI status

    The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah will return to the United States' National Racing Calendar (NRC) on August 17-22 in Salt Lake City, Utah. The six-day stage race promises to bring back 17 of the top professional men's teams in the nation to compete over the challenging and mountainous parcours.

    The Tour of Utah mourned the loss of its former executive director Terry McGinnis, who passed away after a two-year battle against colon cancer in October. Karen Weiss was promoted to fill that role and aims to continue the steady growth of a race that has become one of the most anticipated events in the country.

    "Terry took this race to another level and he has given us a wonderful platform to keep going with it," said Weiss. "We take a look at becoming UCI every year and weigh the options. It's a big jump and our race is definitely that caliber. We need to take baby steps and make sure that we do it correctly."

    In addition to title sponsor Larry H. Miller, Zions Bank returns as a long term presenting sponsor. Weiss says the return of the Utah-based savings bank and trust company along with all of its sponsors from the previous season will once again ensure a well-organised event.

    "Having all our sponsors return has been a tremendous testament to the wonderful job Terry did on this race," Weiss continued. "It has been so pleasant to sit down with all of our sponsors and talk to them. We made really great, new, bigger and better deals with them. It is really great and the race is going to look a lot bigger."

    It has become branded as America's toughest stage race because it passes the Rocky Mountain's Wasatch Range and challenges the peloton to 480 kilometres of racing in six days, all held in and around Salt Lake City.

    "It's a great race, there are very few races in the US that have those kinds of mountaintop finishes and big mountain passes and it's nice to have that opportunity," said Mike Tamayo, director sportif...

  • Petacchi to start Tirreno-Adriatico

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre)
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 16:53 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian sprinter in pain after training crash

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) will start Tirreno-Adriatico on Wednesday despite crashing heavily in training on Monday.

    The Italian sprinter had five stitches applied to a wound in his forehead and hurt his right ankle but is determined to start because he knows Tirreno-Adriatico is vital preparation for Milano-Sanremo, the biggest objective of his season.

    "I tried to ride my bike this morning. The pain in my ankle was still there and won't disappear quickly, just like pain where I had stitches put in on my forehead but I really want to ride at Tirreno," Petacchi said.

    "Tirreno-Adriatico is vital for building up for Milan-Sanremo and so I'll give it everything to try and ride. We'll see if I'll be okay physically."

    Petacchi crashed late on Monday while training with teammate Lorenzo Bernucci near his home in northern Tuscany. He hit a flower planter and crashed heavily. As well as the cut on his head and his ankle, he also hurt his right shin. Petacchi tried to pull his foot out of the pedal before the crash but ended pulling a muscle in his groin.

    "Alessandro isn't feeling great but it's right that he starts and tries to make to the finish of the first stage because Tirreno-Adriatico is very important for getting ready for Milan-Sanremo," Lampre directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi said.

    "Hopefully the pain will ease, thanks to special massage he'll have. We'll take it day by day and see how he feels. Even if Alessandro can't do well, we've still got a good team and hopefully Gavazzi and Hondo can do well in the sprints. Hondo has already shown he can take Petacchi's place when he won the sprint in Sardinia."

    The Lampre-Farnese Vini team for Tirreno-Adriatico includes: Alessandro Petacchi, Lorenzo Bernucci, Mauro Da Dalto, Danilo Hondo, Manuele Mori, Daniele Pietropolli and Simon Spilak.

  • Steegmans holds onto hope of Paris-Roubaix start

    Gert Steegmans (RadioShack) speaks about his collarbone injury at a press conference in Waregem, Belgium.
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 17:00 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    RadioShack rider aims for Classics return despite recovery prognosis

    RadioShack's Gert Steegmans says he still hopes to compete at the 2010 Paris-Roubaix, despite an indication from doctors that his recovery from a broken collarbone suffered during the prologue of Paris-Nice could take up to eight weeks.

    "I hope all the way to ride Paris-Roubaix. That's my big goal for the year," said Steegmans at a press conference on Tuesday, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

    "If the pain is bearable, I hope to ride on the rollers tomorrow. Depending on the progress of my recovery, the team doctors will make a decision as to whether I can train again on the road," he continued.

    On Monday, Steegmans underwent successful surgery at OLV van Lourdes Hospital in Waregem, Belgium, where surgeons inserted a plate and ten screws to stabilise the injury to his left collarbone. The doctors that performed the surgery on Monday announced Steegmans' full recovery was likely to take between six and eight weeks.

    Doctors at the hospital also treated Steegmans, 29, for deep road rash down the left hand side of his body. He will return home to Monaco on Tuesday.
     

  • Paris-Nice stage winner Bonnet padding his resume

    William Bonnet (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) earned his first victory of 2010 at Paris-Nice.
    Article published:
    March 09, 2010, 17:37 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Bonnet eyes Roubaix as his team seeks a sponsor

    Frenchman William Bonnet defied expectations in the Paris-Nice bunch sprint on stage two to Limoges, handing his Bouygues Telecom team its biggest victory since last year's Tour de France when it took home two stage wins. It was an important step in his 6th year as a professional, not the least of which is his team's uncertain future.

    For the relatively unknown sprinter from Vierzon, today was his first victory since the 2008 GP of Isbergues when he was declared winner over Wesley Sulzberger who was riding a trainee at Française des Jeux.

    Bonnet has missed out on the past two campaigns for the Spring classics due to knee problem for which he underwent surgery. He's clearly shown today that he is back in business after besting Slovakian phenomenon Peter Sagan by no more than 5 centimetres.

    "I hope this is the start of a good series," Bonnet commented. "When we aren't used to winning anymore, it's a vicious circle. We get used to staying in the waiting room." As he brought his first success to Bbox Bouygues Telecom, he mentioned that he wasn't born a winner. "I blossomed as a worker for Thor Hushovd [with Credit Agricole] and I wouldn't mind to ride for him again."

    Confronted with the proliferation of trains for sprinters, Bonnet admits that his team can't match the trains of HTC-Columbia, Sky or Garmin-Transitions. "Sincerely we don't have the level for competing against these guys and I'm the only sprinter at Bouygues. With Hushovd, we had a train but it was still a slow one although we had Jimmy Engoulvent, Julian Dean, Mark Renshaw and myself for the job."

    Bonnet finds another less fortunate similarity between his last year at Crédit Agricole and this year at Bouygues: the team manager is seriously looking for a sponsor to replace the current one at the end of the season.

    "Jean-René Bernaudeau is the person working on it, not us, as riders, we can only do our job the best we can", the 28...