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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Date published:
November 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Di Luca confirms Acqua & Sapone for 2012

    Danilo Di Luca (Katusha) was cleared to race by the UCI in time for the Challenge Mallorca
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 9:06 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian looks to Giro d'Italia and Classics

    Danilo Di Luca has confirmed that he will be riding for Acqua & Sapone in the coming season.  “I will be with Acqua & Sapone, with whom I will sign a contract as soon as I arrive back in Italy,” he said at the Cycle Fair in Tokyo, according to biciciclismo.com.

    His manager Palmiro Masciarelli had previously said that he was in talks with the Italian Professional Continental ranked team.

    Di Luca was clear as to his goals in the coming season: “The Giro, the Italian Classics and the Belgian Classics, if they invite us.”

    The 35-year-old, who won the Giro d'Italia in 2007, finished second in the 2009 Giro, but was later disqualified after testing postiive for EPO-CERA twice during the race.  He served a nine-month suspension.

    Di Luca signed with Katusha for his return to cycling this year, but was unable to meet expectations. His highest finishes were fourth place in stages at the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de Suisse.

    Di Luca turned pro in 1999 with Cantina Tollo and has also ridden for Saeco, Liquigas, LPR and Katusha. In his career, he can look back on eight Giro stage wins as well as the overall title, two stages at the Vuelta a Espana, Amstel Gold Race, Tour of the Basque Country and the Giro di Lombardia.

  • Freire bitter about Rabobank exit

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) speaks to the media after stage five.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 10:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Both sides "sad" to have separated

    After nine years of successful collaboration, Oscar Freire and Dutch team Rabobank will part ways for what could be the rider's last season, 2012. The separation hasn't been easy, as both sides have now declared.

    "It happenend with a coolness that I would not have imagined in my worst moments," Freire told El Pais. He will continue on with Russian team Katusha next year. "They could have told me at the beginning of the year that they did not want me anymore: I declined great offers from GreenEdge and others because I was certain that I would stay with Rabobank. But they took advantage of an opportunity they created themselves. To end it this way is very sad, but they are the ones who were at fault."

    Freire complained that the offer the team management made him in August had been too low, so low that it implicated they did not want him to accept. "I thought they weren't being honest. I've always been straight with them. It was a huge blow. It's true that it hadn't been my best year, but my return had still been good," added the 35-year-old, who won two stages at the Vuelta a Andalucía this season.

    Erik Breukink, Rabobank team manager, of course had a different version and was adamant that the squad made efforts to keep the rider. "Between his market value and what he asked for, there was a big difference," the Dutchman declared. "Despite that, we increased our offer, but at a certain time Oscar told us that he would stop cycling, that he would only continue if he won the Worlds again. To us, that was definite, and when he changed his mind we told him that the conditions had changed. It's a pity because it's not a nice ending."

    Indeed, there was some confusion about Freire's...

  • Sanchez to lead Rabobank in Santos Tour Down Under

    Stage nine winner Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) on the podium.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 11:13 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch team also sending stage winners Brown, Renshaw and Matthews

    Luis Leon Sanchez will lead Rabobank in the Santos Tour Down Under in January 2012, as the Dutch team became the first to confirm for the opening ProTour race of the new season, January 15-22. The Spaniard won the race in 2005 and finished second in 2006.

    Sanchez will be supported by three strong Australian teammates, Graeme Brown, Michael Matthews and Mark Renshaw. Brown has won four stages at the TDU in the past, and the others have won one each.

    "The Rabobank team line up is quite formidable with Luis Leon Sanchez leading the team. The experience in this strong team should show on the results board come January,” said race organizer Mike Turtur. "Having past winners continue to return to compete is a compliment to the level of fierce competition the race delivers."

    "It is always fantastic to welcome back our Aussie champions to the race. Graeme and Mark tend to perform well here and we expect nothing different from them next year,” Turtur said.

    Matthews made his professional debut at the race last year with Rabobank, and promptly won the third stage. The then-20-year-old outsprinted none other than Andre Greipel and Matthew Goss.

    "Matthews has had a taste of victory here in Adelaide and I am sure he will be hungry for more come January,” Turtur said.

    Rabobank will send Sanchez, Matthews, Renshaw, Brown, Tom Leezer, Jos Van Emden and Wilco Keldermann.

  • Braveheart Cycling Fund dinner raises £35,000

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    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 11:57 GMT
    By:
    Richard Moore

    Sean Kelly, Alex Dowsett and Russell Downing attend

    Saturday saw the ninth annual Braveheart Cycling Fund dinner and a total of £35,000 raised to support ambitious young Scottish riders with training and racing costs in 2012.

    The evening included the announcement of Braveheart Rider of the Year, with junior world sprint champion John Paul proving a popular and deserving winner.

    Paul accepted the award from one of the special guests, Team Sky’s Alex Dowsett. Recently accepted to the British Cycling Academy, Paul thanked the fund for its help and support in 2011 and said he was “excited for the future.”

    Paul, 18, who also took the European junior title this season, is following in the wheel-marks of his fellow Scottish sprinters Sir Chris Hoy and Craig MacLean, with a similar stocky build to his fellow Highlander.

    He told the 390 guests at the Park Hotel in Kilmarnock that training with Hoy - who is patron to the Braveheart Fund, but had to miss the dinner because it clashed with the World Cup in Astana - is “like being at Manchester United with Wayne Rooney.” While the London Olympics will come too soon for Paul, he hopes to compete with Hoy at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014.

    Along with Dowsett, the evening’s other special guests were Sean Kelly, Russell Downing, Matt Stephens and Ian Stannard. Downing, who has not been offered a contract with Team Sky for 2012, said that he hopes to announce his new team “in the next few days.”

    The auction again provided much of the funding for next year’s activities, with Mark Cavendish’s signed and personalised world champion’s jersey topping the bidding at £2,500. In fact, Cavendish’s rainbow jersey raised a total of £4,800 - as bidding peaked at £2,500, it was revealed that Cavendish had donated two. The...

  • Team Type 1 confirmed Professional Continental squad in 2012

    Team Type 1
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 13:34 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    CEO Southerland looking forward to continued international programme

    Team Type 1-Sanofi has been confirmed as a Professional Continental squad based in the United States for the 2012 season. General Manager Vassili Davidenko said he received official confirmation from the UCI early this week.

    "There was some minor concern from our fans last week when the UCI announced its preliminary registry of top teams, but there were loose ends in some of the banking paperwork, and we spent a few extra days working closely with the coordinators in Switzerland to cross the Ts and dot the Is. I'm very happy to say that the extra work paid off and our re-registration as a Pro Continental team went off without a hitch," Davidenko said.

    In 2012 Team Type 1 will race its second full season in the Professional Continental division, and will close out the 2011 season at the Tour of Rwanda at the end of November.

    "Rwanda for us is really at the very heart of our organization," added Team Type 1 CEO Phil Southerland. "We race against a very tough field on a very hilly course in a beautiful African country, and at the same time we bring over enough donated diabetes test strips and glucose meters to help almost 650 young type 1 Rwandans live better lives. When we leave, a mechanism remains in place to distribute the supplies equitably and continue to educate health care providers in detection and care of diabetes patients. For us Rwanda is a win-win."

    The 2012 squad will gather in Arizona in early December for a training camp. "Next year we will triple our race calendar around the globe, building on a 2011 season that saw us in China, India, Australia, Turkey, South Africa, Singapore, Korea, all across Europe and at home in the biggest races in the United States. We have new riders from France, Norway, Italy, Austria, Russia and America, and we're very excited to get together in Tucson and prepare for the 2012 season," Southerland commented.
     

  • Katusha looks back at last season

    The Katusha team
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 14:32 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    And Russian team reveals management changes for 2012

    Katusha has concluded its first team meeting for the 2012 season, and took the opportunity to look back at their accomplishments from its third year of existence.  Those accomplishments include 22 victories and a total of 67 podium places.

    The top three riders for the team were Russians Pavel Brutt and Denis Galimzyanov. Brutt, 29, won  the Classica Sardinia and a stage of the Tour de Romandie. The 24-year-old Galimzyanov made his breakthrough in 2011 in his third ProTour year.  The sprinter won stages at the Three Days of De Panne, Tour of Luxembourg and Tour of Beijing, as well as the one-day race Paris-Bruxelles.

    Spaniard Joaquin Rodriguez was unable to repeat his victory in the UCI WorldTour ranking this season, but finished fourth.  He started out the season with stage wins at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and Criterium Dauphine, before doing well in Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and the Giro d'Italia.

    The team really came into its own in the second half of the season.  It won three stages at the Vuelta a Espana, with Rodriguez taking two and Daniel Moreno claiming one.  In addition, Rodriguez very nearly won the points jersey, losing it only on the last stage.

    Things also went well at the autumn Italian Classics, as Moreno won the Giro del Piemonte and Filippo Pozzato the GP Beghelli.  The team also had three further podium places in those races.  Finally, Egor Silin closed out the season for Katusha by winning the queen stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

    Changes in 2012

    The team held its first training camp for 2012 in the middle of October, under the leadership of

  • Video: Herety looks ahead to 2012

    John Herety
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 15:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team boss explains new direction for Rapha Condor-Sharp

    In an exclusive video interview with Cyclingnews, Rapha Condor-Sharp’s manager John Herety has revealed that the 2012 season will mark the beginning of a new long-term plan for the British-based team. The team wants to mix things up and create an exciting new project for their main sponsors while still generating enough revenue to build solid foundations for the future.

    Herety stated that there will be a conscious shift towards young talent. The aim is to create a purely British team within five years that will complement the British Cycling Academy and offer up-and-coming British talent a clear pathway in terms of their career ladder. Herety also said that there are no plans for Rapha Condor-Sharp to move up in status and that he sees the team becoming a feeder operation for ProTour teams in the future.

     

     

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  • Cantwell to Saxo Bank-SunGard for 2012

    Defending Champion, 2010 Charlotte presbyterian Crit Winner, Jonathan Cantwell (Fly V Australia Pro Cycling Team).
    Article published:
    November 08, 2011, 16:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Criterium specialist to help with sprints

    Australian Jonathan Cantwell has signed with Saxo Bank-SunGard for one year, the Danish team announced Tuesday afternoon.  The 29-year-old is a criterium specialist.

    Cantwell rode for the Continental-ranked Fly V Australia team in 2009 and 2010, bringing in 37 wins in those two seasons.  He had signed with the Pegasus Project for the 2011 season, and when it folded, he joined V Australia again as of May.  He had eight wins this year, including the Australian Criterium Championship. Virtually all of his career wins have been in criteriums, but he's had high placings in stage races such as Tour of China, Tour of Hainan and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.

    The end of last month Cantwell told Cyclingnews that he was still looking for a new team for the coming year, after having several options fall through. 

    "Jonathan has won many races in the past four years whilst riding in Australia and the States and has shown he is a winner,” said team owner Bjarne Riis. “I feel he now deserves a shot at the very top level. He is a hard working person and a tough guy, and I believe he can further lift his level. So I see Jonathan as an asset for us in the stage races, when it comes to helping out J.J. Haedo in the sprints, or going for a win himself.”

    "To get a spot on Saxo Bank-SunGard is pretty much a dream come true for me, and if I could choose a team myself, it would be this team, so I couldn't be happier, and I'm really looking forward to get onboard," Cantwell explains.

    He plans to "be a strong lead out for J.J. Haedo and just learn from Bjarne Riis, his group of sport directors and my new team...