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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Date published:
May 10, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Löfkvist encouraged by Martini to emulate Petterson 40 years later

    Alfredo Martini talks with Swedish rider Thomas Löfkvist
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 7:57 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Swede focused on Giro d’Italia overall classification

    At the start of stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia in Reggio d'Emilia, Team Sky's Swedish rider Thomas Löfkvist met Italian cycling legend Alfredo Martini who passed on his encouragement and wished him to emulate his compatriot Gösta Petterson who won the race exactly 40 years ago.

    "In 1971, I was his directeur sportif when he won the Giro," said the 90-year-old Tuscan who directed the Italian national team at the world championships from 1975 to 1997 and led Francesco Moser (1977, San Cristobal), Giuseppe Saronni (1982, Goodwood), Moreno Argentin (1986, Colorado Springs), Maurizio Fondriest (1988, Ronse), Gianni Bugno (1991, Stuttgart, and 1992, Benidorm).

    From 1969 to 1972, Martini was the directeur sportif of the Ferretti team in which he had under his orders the four Petterson brothers, Gösta, Erik, Sture and Tomas, who were the pioneers of Swedish cycling.

    On March 10, at the start of stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico, Martini donated the pink jersey of the 1971 Giro d'Italia won by Petterson to the cycling museum of the Ghisallo.

    "These were years before me but I know that Petterson won the Giro, came third in the Tour de France and was the world champion for team time trial," Löfkvist commented. His passion for the Giro d'Italia was passed on to him by Tommy Prim, who was second to Bernard Hinault in 1982. Prim was Löfkvist's first directeur sportif at Team Bianchi Scandinavia in 2003 before he joined Française des Jeux.

    Riding for Columbia, Löfkvist had the pink jersey of the Giro in 2009 and fell in love with the Italian race. Last year, he felt sad not riding it when he saw the race on TV, so he made it his major goal for this season.

    "I want to ride a good GC," he...

  • Sastre rode end of Giro d'Italia stage on borrowed bike

    Carlos Sastre talks about his chances for the Giro.
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 8:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Mourns loss of Weylandt

    Carlos Sastre rode the last six kilometers of the Giro d'Italia's third stage “practically standing” on a teammate's bike which was too small for him. The Geox-TMC rider finished 1:14 behind stage winner Angel Vicioso, and some 53 seconds behind the race favourites.

    The Spaniard crashed on the descent of the final climb, the category three Madonna delle Grazie, near the end of the race. He was uninjured, but broke both wheels.

    "In the final part of the race, with just ten kilometers left before the finish line, my teammate (Mauricio) Ardila gave me his bike, which meant that I was able to finish the stage losing as little time as possible,” Sastre wrote on his personal website.

    “His bike is a lot smaller than mine and I did the last six kilometers practically standing, I could hardly sit down as we are different heights and I really had to give it my all to complete the last six kilometers without losing too much time.”

    Sastre is 1,73m tall, with Ardila eight centimeters shorter at 1,65.

    Sastre admitted that it was not easy to think of his problems on the stage in light of the news of Wouter Weylandt's death.

    “Commenting on the third stage of the Giro is not an easy task considering the loss of Weylandt. It is a situation that none of us were expecting and that no-one wanted, but this is what has tragically happened in this Giro d'Italia.

    “The news of the loss of this young man is hard and difficult for all of us, but that is cycling and now we just have to keep looking towards the future, and send all our love to all his family, his teammates and everyone who was close to...

  • Leopard Trek to lead tribute to Weylandt in Giro d'Italia

    The Leopard Trek riders lead the minute silence
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 11:59 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sombre mood as riders pay their respects at the start

    The Giro d’Italia will pay a moving tribute to the late Wouter Weylandt on the road to Livorno, with his Leopard Trek teammates to cross the finish line ahead of the peloton in a stage dedicated to his memory.

    Competition has no place on such a day of mourning, as the Giro and cycling at large come to terms with Weylandt’s tragic death on the descent of the Passo del Bocco on Monday.

    “This is not a day for fighting for positions,” pink jersey David Millar explained before the start in Genoa.

    The stage will not be contested and the peloton will stay together for the course of the 216km between Genoa and Livorno, with Weylandt’s Leopard Trek teammates to cross the line in front.

    At 11.15, race director Angelo Zomegnan called a meeting of team managers at the start village in Genoa’s Piazza Kennedy, although the day’s proceedings had already been established by that point.

    It was decided that the teams would take it in turns to pace the peloton for 10km at a time at speed of between 37 and 40kph. The order in which the teams are taking up the pace-setting duties is based on the reverse order of the team classification, meaning that Garmin-Cervelo will be the last team to take to the front.

    With 1km to go, maglia rosa David Millar will then give the signal to the remaining eight Leopard Trek riders to move to the front and cross the line ahead of the peloton to pay tribute to their late companion.

    After the stage, there will be no post-race protocol or jersey presentations. Instead, the Leopard Trek...

  • Farrar to leave the Giro d'Italia after stage 4

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 14:00 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Contador and Millar lead peloton in unity

    Tyler Farrar will leave the Giro d’Italia after stage 4, a stage neutralized by a common agreement between the riders and the organisation of the race. He was a close friend and neighbour of deceased rider Wouter Weylandt in Ghent.

    “Wouter was like a brother for Tyler,” Garmin-Cervelo's directeur sportif Lionel Marie told Cyclingnews in Genova. “We’re also sending a masseur, Joachim Schoonaker, to assist and support him in Belgium as his wife is in the States at the moment.”

    Race leader David Millar was prompt to lead the bunch in the process of paying tribute to Weylandt. “Today is not a day for fighting for position,” he said. “We’ll ride to the finish. We’ll respect Wouter’s memory and ride well. We’ll learn from this as well and work more on safety. This can happen every day.”

    Solemnity reigned at the sign in area where commentator Stefano Bertolotti explained to the people that it was “just a formality”. Millar spoke with race favourite Alberto Contador like brothers in arms.

    “This is a very difficult day,” Contador told Cyclingnews. “It’s impossible to explain but we are paying a tribute to Wouter today. We’ll remember him as a champion who won stages at the Giro and the Vuelta.”

  • Impey signs with Team NetApp

    Daryl Impey (Barloworld) at GP Carnago, his first race back since his crash.
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 15:09 BST
    Cycling News

    South African returns to European racing

    Daryl Impey will return to the European peloton with Team NetApp.  He is expected to make his debut with the German Professional Continental team at the end of this month at Bayern Rundfahrt.

    “My heart is split into two. It was certainly not an easy decision to make but obviously I want to race in Europe. My objective is to try and race all the Grand Tours one day (Giro d’Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta Espana),” Impey said on

    The South African rider rode for Barloworld in 2008 and 2009, joining Team RadioShack in 2010.  He then signed with the Pegasus Cycling Project, which failed to get a licence. Impey then returned to his homeland and rode for MTN Qhubeka for the first part of this season.

    “It is really admirable of Douglas Ryder (MTN Qhubeka’s team owner) to release me.  It shows a lot about his character especially that he is true to his word,” Impey said. “Right from the beginning Douglas made it clear that he would not stand in my way if I get an offer to race for one of the bigger teams in Europe.”

    "I am pleased that we have been able to gain Daryl Impey for our team,” said NetApp team manger Ralph Denk.  “Daryl is an all-rounder who will support the team in the demanding upcoming racing schedule. He is strong in tours, is an absolute team player and has proven to have a very stable form despite some turbulence in the last six months. We are counting on this morale and performance.”

    "My special thanks go to Douglas Ryder, the Team Manager of MTN Qhubeka. He didn't hesitate for a minute and released Daryl immediately to make the switch, despite his important role in the team," Denk...

  • Nygaard and Leopard Trek share in grief of Weylandt family

    Brian Nygaard - manager of Leopard Trek
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 16:02 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Dane pays tribute to race organisers

    Brian Nygaard explained that his Leopard Trek team has continued in the Giro d’Italia at the request of the family of the late Wouter Weylandt and because they feel that staying together is the best way to try to come to terms with their teammate’s tragic death.

    “Our position was to stay close to the boys and take the most suitable decision in such a difficult situation,” Nygaard said in Genoa on Tuesday morning. “From our point of view, it was very important to start, both because it was the request of the family and because it was important for the team. Our life is here.”

    Weylandt’s family arrived in Italy late on Monday and they spent the night at the Leopard Trek hotel in Rapallo. Nygaard was proud that his riders were able to comfort Weylandt’s family in such a distressing moment.

    “It was a very difficult situation,” he said. “They were with the team last night and this morning, and we lived a very sensitive moment. I’m very proud of the boys that they were able to support the family at this time, it was very difficult.”

    Nygaard believes that the riders will be able to take some solace from being among their colleagues and from the outpouring of solidarity from the cycling world at large.

    “In difficult times, it’s also important to stay together and share the grief and the emotions with your teammates, your companions from other teams and the tifosi of the Giro d’Italia,” he said.

    The decision was taken to neutralise Tuesday’s stage, with each team spending 10km at the front of the bunch setting the pace, before Weylandt’s...

  • Belgacom won't go in as sponsor with Lotto

    Omega-Pharma Lotto are full of confidence
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 16:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Too expensive, telecommunications company says

    Belgacom will not step up to become a cycling team co-sponsor with the Belgian National Lottery, as the required sum of money is too high, according to Belgian media reports.

    The two sponsors of Omega Pharma-Lotto have announced that they will split at the end of this season. Lotto is looking for a new co-sponsor for the coming years.

    Belgacom was requested to provide an annual sum of 4.5 million euros. “That's too large an amount compared to all of our sponsorship activities,” spokesman Jan Margot told De Tijd, according to the Belga news agency.

    The Belgian communications company will continue its other cycling sponsorships. “We reach the sport of cycling through other channels: mountain biking, the Gazet van Antwerpen Trophy cyclo-cross and the personal sponsorship of Sven Nys.”

    Lotto is also said to be in negotiations with the international personnel firm Adecco.

  • NRC standings: Pipp and Keough big movers

    Frank Pipp (Bissell) took his first NRC victory of the season with his win at the Inner Loop Road Race.
    Article published:
    May 10, 2011, 18:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Joe Martin winner Janel Holcomb takes top spot amongst women

    There has been a big shakeup in the US National Road Circuit (NRC) with almost all categories affected by racing in the last week at the Joe Martin Stage Race and Speedweek.

    US Roundup

    Frank Pipp (Bissell Pro Cycling) used three top-10 finishes, including a second-place finish in Sunday's 85-kilometer criterium, to win the Joe Martin Stage Race in Fayetteville, Arkansas. In addition to Sunday's result, Pipp placed seventh in Thursday's Devil's Den 2.5-kilometer time trial, fourth in Friday's 110-kilometer road race and 26th in Saturday's 81-kilometer road race.

    On the women's side, Janel Holcomb (Colavita Forno D'Asolo) finished atop the general classification of an NRC event for the first time in her career after winning the women's Joe Martin Stage Race.

    Holcomb won the time trial and Saturday's road race while placing sixth in Sunday's criterium and 29th in Friday's road race.

    Meanwhile US Crit Series Speedweek was dominated by Jacobe Keough (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team p/b Maxxis) emerged atop a 225-man field as the omnium winner, amassing 1,621 points through the seven events. Keough won three criteriums, placed second in one and did not finish worse than 12th in any of the seven events. Keough won the omnium by 20 points over his teammate Hilton Clarke (UnitedHealthcare Professional Cycling Team p/b Maxxis).

    On the women's side, Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom) won the women's omnium award in a 79-woman field. Van Gilder stayed in the top five of each of the seven criterium events and led a total of 11 laps. She compiled pairs of second-place finishes, third-place finishes, fourth-place finishes and a fifth-place finish.

    Men’s standings

    Francisco Mancebo ( remains...