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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Date published:
May 01, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Orica joins GreenEdge in three-year sponsorship deal

    The Orica-GreenEdge kit
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 1:32 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Mining industry giant announced as naming-rights partner

    GreenEdge has announced they have come to a three-year sponsorship arrangement with Orica, an Australian multi-national company which provides chemicals and explosives for the mining industry. The Australian-based outfit will now be known as Orica GreenEdge with the women's team also being re-named. Orica's investment in the team remains confidential.

    "We've all worked hard on and off the bike," GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews late yesterday. "We've had a great start, so far, to the season as far as results go and that's been noted and the discussions that we've been having, it has all come together just at the right time."

    GreenEdge has enjoyed a dream start to their debut WorldTour season, claiming overall victories at the Tour Down Under (Simon Gerrans), Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (Michael Albasini), Circuit Cycliste Sarthe (Luke Durbridge) as well as at Milan-San Remo via Gerrans.

    Bannan admitted that the team's success had certainly played a significant role in securing the sponsorship.

    "Being in the WorldTour being able to compete in events such as the Giro and the Tour de France which has a lot of drawing power media-wise, I reckon it's been a combination of the [results and] presentation that we've been able to put together," he said from Italy. "You have your goals and ambitions before the season starts but to be able to pull off a win such as Milan-San Remo, it certainly helps our cause, that's for sure."

    Orica have made headlines for all the wrong reasons of late and will be hoping that the partnership brings much-needed good...

  • Thomas disappointed over CAS ruling over lifetime Olympic ban

    Great Britain's Geraint Thomas during qualifying
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 3:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Welshman has "no issue" with Millar

    While Geraint Thomas has no personal ill-feeling towards David Millar, the Welshman has voiced his disappointment at the Court of Arbitration for Sport’s decision to overturn the British Olympic Association’s lifetime ban for convicted drug cheats.

    "It will improve their [Great Britain's] chances of winning. At the same time I would have liked to have kept the ruling and kept that lifetime ban," said Thomas who will ride as part of Team GB’s team pursuit squad on the track.

    "I've got no issue with him [Millar]," Thomas pressed. "I rode the worlds alongside Dave last year and raced week-in, week-out with him.

    "It's good for Cav [Mark Cavendish] and the GB road team for sure.

    "I've got no issue with him personally. He does a lot of good for the sport, but at the same time that ruling was great for Britain. It was a real hard stance on doping.

    "It was a good thing. It's sad that that is lost now.

    "It's not our decision - it's for the guys in the suits who have decided the rules."

    In a statement released immediately after the CAS announcement, British Cycling moved to stifle speculation as to whether Millar will indeed be in the five-man team for the London road race.

    "Our team for the Games is being selected in June and across all disciplines we'll pick the team based on which riders are fit and available, and who we believe have the best chance to deliver medals. Ahead of that we won't be speculating on who may or may not be selected," said a British Cycling spokesperson.

    Millar said late last year that the BOA stance left no room for athlete rehabilitation and that each case needs to be considered on its own merits.

     

  • Phill Bates remembers Jim Beer

    Jim Beer
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 5:12 BST
    By:
    Phill Bates

    Funeral to be held this Thursday

    Cycling lost one of its big wheels on Friday when Jim Beer passed away after losing his battle with cancer.

    Jim, a 1951 State Road Champion and winner with of road premierships with Canterbury Club, has been a wonderful mentor and coach to so many people that graduated to great things on and off the bike, will be a very hard person for the sport of cycling to replace.

    Jim and Elaine lived in the Sutherland Shire for 50 years, produced three wonderful children and many grand kids but for much of his life he devoted to helping people – assisting and giving focus to young cyclists achieve their dreams, and that list is endless.

    Jim's son won NSW Championships and finished second in the National Junior Road Title and benefited from Jim's knowledge. Olympian Wayne Nicholls, who won the 1974 National Road Championship, Shane Sutton, Chris Sutton, Matt White are just a few that have benefited from his support and help.

    Jim has had a rough few years – losing half his leg and then to end up with liver cancer – something that claimed his life in his 79th year. But it did not stop him.

    Jim was honoured with life membership of St George Cycling Club in 1983, as well as his wife Elaine – the first couple in the long history of the club to achieve this honour and won various other awards as an outstanding official and volunteer – including the Leader award for Volunteer of the Year.

    In 2005, Jim was honoured by Cycling NSW with the Medal of Merit for 50 years service to the sport.

    Many cycling members will have impeccable memories – no one will have a bad word.

    Phill Bates AM, President of St George Club enjoyed 40 years of close friendship with Jim and could write a book on what Jim achieved in his lifetime. Bates said that many people have their own very special moments with Jim and Elaine and one special person, Shane Sutton OBE, the head of British Cycling said: "I was...

  • Champion System begin US campaign at SRAM Tour of the Gila

    Craig Lewis (Champion System)
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 7:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Butler, Lewis hoping to lead team to overall victory

    Champion System will make its racing debut in the United States this week when then 26th annual SRAM Tour of the Gila begins on Wednesday.

    Americans Chris Butler and Craig Lewis headline the team's five-man roster.

    General Manager Ed Beamon said the mountainous, five-day race in New Mexico is an ideal event to launch the first Asian pro continental team's American campaign.

    "We won't have a full squad because of our international schedule, but I think we're sending a very good group of guys with the goal of trying to win the overall," Beamon said. "I know there will be some good, strong American teams there. But Craig is really starting to come into form and Chris and Australian Cameron Wurf are both ready to tackle the climbs. So we feel pretty confident we'll be able to challenge."

    Joining Butler, Lewis and Wurf on Champion System's roster is former Malaysian national road champion Adiq Othman and past Chinese national road champion XU Gang. Othman's five top 10 finishes this year include a pair of third place performances at the Tour de Taiwan last month.

    The SRAM Tour of the Gila features mountain-top finishes on Wednesday's opening stage and Sunday's final stage and a 26.6 kilometre individual time trial with two categorized climbs on Stage 3. Champion System Assistant Director Chris Wherry, a two-time winner (1999, 2002) of the Tour of the Gila himself, will direct the team.

    Lewis has not competed at Gila before, but said he is familiar with some of the climbs after doing a few training camps in the area.

    "It's been five or six years since I've last been there, but I remember the climbs and how the roads are," he said. "So I'm pretty comfortable with it even though I've never done the race. The altitude is kind of an unknown for everybody. And...

  • GreenEdge founder lauds Orica's investment in cycling

    The man with the cash behind GreenEdge, Gerry Ryan
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 10:01 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Gerry Ryan's one-on-one interview with Cyclingnews

    If an Australian multinational company were to jump on board as a primary sponsor of GreenEdge, the chances of it being from the mining sector were greatest, with the resources boom keeping the nation's economy afloat off the back of demand for iron ore, coal and natural gas, coupled with a strong Australian dollar.

    Today, Orica was announced as the new naming-rights partner for the WorldTour outfit, which will now be known as Orica GreenEdge for the next three years. Based in Melbourne, the global publicly-listed company boasts around 15 000 employees across 50 countries worldwide. Orica has three arms to their business, all focussed on the mining production process, including explosives, ground stabilisation and chemicals.

    Reaction to the "multi-million dollar" investment online was mixed, with many pointing to the negative press Orica has generated due to environmental concerns resulting from recent chemical leaks from plants on the Australian east coast. Others suggested that cycling fans should be pleased with the investment regardless.

    GreenEdge to this point has been primarily financed by the highly-successful businessman, Gerry Ryan, to the tune of around $60million. Ryan has interests as varied as caravans, horse racing, wineries and animatronics, and is a long-standing benefactor of Australian cycling.

    Cyclingnews spoke to Gerry Ryan at the announcement in Melbourne.

    Cyclingnews: Has the GreenEdge sell been tougher or easier than what you had thought?

    Gerry Ryan: We always believed it was going to take time. We didn't have a track record and it was only November, or early December that we got a UCI licence and it's pretty hard. It's like going out and selling...

  • Dekker ruled out of Giro d'Italia

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 10:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Knee injury for Dutch rider

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda) has ruled himself out of the Giro d’Italia due to the effects of a knee injury sustained in a crash at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. The Dutchman complained that the injury continued to flare up when he returned to training in recent days.

    “If I started, there would be too big a risk that I would have to pull out after a few days,” Dekker said in a statement released by his management company. “It’s too much to start a Grand Tour if you’re not at 100 percent.”

    The injury means that Dekker’s wait to return to the Grand Tours will now stretch to at least five years. His last participation in a three-week race came at the 2007 Tour de France. In the intervening period, he served a two-year ban for a positive test for EPO, and only returned to the professional peloton with the Chipotle Development team midway through last season, before earning promotion to the WorldTour squad in 2012.

    “I’ve spoken with the team management and my programme has been overhauled,” Dekker said. “I’m still going to do a Grand Tour this year, either the Tour de France or the Vuelta a España.”

    The 27-year-old Dekker’s revised race programme should now see him line up at the Tour of Norway (May 16-20), as he builds towards the second half of the season. In April, Dekker took his first individual victory since the end of his suspension when he won stage four of the Circuit de la Sarthe.

    “I need to recover from this injury and will...

  • Rabobank head to the Giro d'Italia with eye on sprints

    Theo Bos takes the win in the final stage at the 2012 Tour of Turkey
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 12:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Renshaw and Bos head Dutch line-up in Italy

    Dutch team Rabobank will be heading to the Giro d'Italia with two sprinters in its line-up, clearly aiming at stage victories. Mark Renshaw and Theo Bos, who claimed three wins between them at the Tour of Turkey last week, will head the squad's roster that will be at the start of the Italian Grand Tour race in Denmark this weekend.

    "The main goal of this Giro is a stage win," said sporting director Jan Boven, who hopes for his fast men to score in the first week before the race heads into the mountains. "With this team, we have to go for stage victories. As we saw in Turkey, Renshaw is able to lead out the sprint perfectly for Bos, but he can also win himself."

    While Dutch rider Bos took the first as well as the last stage in the Turkish stage race, Renshaw secured the victory on the fourth day. These three victories for the Rabobank sprint train have boosted the team's collective morale and also their that of their management. "It's great to have concluded the Tour of Turkey with another win. It's always the last impression that stays with you the longest," Boven added.

    In Italy, Bos and Renshaw will be supported by many riders that also lined up in Turkey: Graeme Brown, Tom Leezer and Dennis van Winden. Grischa Niermann, Stef Clement, Juan Manuel Garate and Tom-Jelte Slagter round out the roster.

    The two latter riders, Garate and Slagter, will have the freedom to look for opportunities beyond the sprint stages. "Slagter can go on attacks; we will see how far he'll get. He'll be supported by...

  • Brailsford: Morale is Sky high ahead of Giro d'Italia

    Dave Brailsford keeps a watchful eye over Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 13:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Romandie win for Wiggins was "for the entire team"

    Victory for Bradley Wiggins at the 2012 Tour de Romandie last weekend continued Team Sky's solid form beginning to the season, and team principal David Brailsford has stated that it will give his entire squad a real boost ahead of the 2012 Giro d'Italia, which starts in Denmark this Saturday.

    Wiggins added the title in Romandie to his Paris-Nice win earlier in the year and Richie Porte has also claimed a stage race victory this season, at the Volta ao Algarve in February. In addition, the team has won two one-day races, courtesy of Mark Cavendish (Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne) and Lars Petter Nordhaug (at the Trofeo Deia), and 13 individual stage victories in 2012.

    Team Sky's progress has delighted Brailsford and the 48-year-old Briton sees no reason why the squad's form can't be continued into the Grand Tours over the next few weeks and months. He had sent a particularly strong team over to Switzerland for the Tour de Romandie and while much of the pre-race talk surrounded Wiggins and Cavendish riding together for the first time in Team Sky colours, the performance of Geraint Thomas, who won the prologue only a few weeks after his exploits at the Track World Championships in Melbourne, was also heartening. Cavendish was tuning up in Romandie for his attack on the Giro and he performed his duties in support of Wiggins enthusiastically.

    “I’m very happy and pleased with the week in Switzerland. Now it’s about moving on to the next one,” Brailsford said on the Team Sky website.

    “There was a lot of discussion pre-race about Bradley and Mark riding together. Obviously that has...