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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Date published:
October 25, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Thomas chooses Olympics over Tour de France

    Geraint Thomas talks to the press
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 10:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sky rider eager to ride in home Olympic games

    The track events at the  London 2012 Olympics have priority for Geraint Thomas over the Tour de France. The Sky rider has said that he will ride the Giro d'Italia next year and skip the Tour so that he can do as well as possible in the London Olympics.

    Thomas took gold in the team pursuit on the track in Beijing in 2008, and will follow the same routine. "I'm going to be doing similar preparations to before Bejing when I rode the Giro and didn't ride the tour," said Thomas to BBC Sport Wales.

    "That'll give me the work from a three-week race but also give me time to adapt back to the track and give myself every chance of making the team."

    It was his decision alone to miss the Tour, but this will allow him to concentrate on what may be his last Olympics. "The Olympics is the main goal for me so I don't want to jeopardise that in any way."

    "Riding the tour is a bit more of a gamble. I could be going really [well] but could also end up on my knees and pretty tired."

    It basically came down to the fact that the Tour is held every year, while the Olympics don't come to London so often.

    While he would have liked to have ridden the Tour with Sky newcomer Mark Cavendish, “for me this year as in previous years the Olympics is the main goal. I'll still have the Tour de France the year after, it's an annual event so that's one way we're fortunate.

    "But home Olympics, it's a once in a lifetime thing."

  • Gallopin believes RadioShack-Nissan will be strongest Grand Tour team

    An emotional Stuart O'Grady is greeted by manager Alain Gallopin and wife Anne-Marie
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 10:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman looks forward to working with Schleck brothers

    Alain Gallopin is confident that Andy and Fränk Schleck will have the strongest Grand Tour team in the world at their disposal next year following the merger of the RadioShack and Leopard Trek teams. The Frenchman previously worked with the Schleck brothers as a directeur sportif at the CSC team from 2004 to 2007, and they will renew acquaintances with RadioShack-Nissan next season.

    Though the 2012 Tour de France features almost 100km of time trialling, Gallopin believes that the strength in depth of his new team means that Andy Schleck remains a contender.

    “Even if at first glance the Tour suits Andy less than it does Cadel Evans, for example, I think that our team will be without doubt the best grand tour team in light of the coming together of the teams,” Gallopin told Le Quotidien.

    Gallopin acknowledged that there are obvious areas in which both Andy and Fränk Schleck will need to improve in order to land a grand tour, but he believes that their new manager Johan Bruyneel can help them find the winning formula.

    “As I was no longer part of their team [in recent years], I took the time to observe them, and I’ve seen that there is work to be done,” he said. “Johan Bruyneel has the experience to steer the ship.”

    While Gallopin has worked under Bruyneel at Astana and RadioShack since leaving Bjarne Riis and CSC, he has remained in close contact with Andy Schleck, who he guided to second place behind Danilo Di Luca at the 2007 Giro d’Italia.

    “That 2007 Giro and Andy Schleck’s second place remain my best memory as a directeur sportif,” he admitted....

  • Steensen, Vandborg and Gustov out of Saxo Bank-Sungard

    Andre Steensen was best young rider.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 11:36 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riis releases three more veterans

    Andre Steensen, Brian Vandborg and Volodymir Gustov are the latest riders to leave Saxo Bank-Sungard, after not being offered new contracts. Team manager Bjarne Riis has publicly said that he is having budget problems and does not plan to hire any additional riders, although Alberto Contador has asked for more help in the mountains. However, he may be looking to use the money saved from those three riders to make one or more new hires.

    "I unfortunately have not renewed my contract with Saxo Bank. Bjarne called me and told me that he wanted to try some new riders," Steensen told Ekstrabladet.dk.

    The Dane was not happy with the decision, but accepted it, saying he was not bitter. “Life does not end because I am not riding with Saxo Bank.”

    He hoped to sign on for next year with the Continental-ranked Glud & Marstrand team, for which he rode before joining CSC-Saxo Bank during the 2008 season.

    Feltet.dk also reported that Vandborg and Gustov would be leaving Saxo Bank. Vandborg, 30, rode for the team from 2004 to 2006 before putting in one year each at Discovery Channel and Team GLS-Pakke Shop. He then was with Liquigas in 2009 and 2010.

    Gustov, 34, was also an earlier CSC alumnus.  He rode for Fassa Bartolo from 2000 to 2005, CSC from 2006 to 2008, and Cervelo in 2009 and 2010 before re-joining the Danish team this year.

  • Laengen and Rosskopf sign for Team Type 1-Sanofi

    Joey Rosskopf (Team Type 1) put in a good ride at only 10 seconds back.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 13:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Calabria and Callegarin renew for 2012

    Team Type 1-Sanofi have confirmed the arrival of Norwegian talent Vegard Stake Laengen as well as the promotion of American Joey Rosskopf from the team’s development squad.

    Laengen joins after three years at the Bianchi-Joker squad, which culminated with a fine fourth-place finish at September’s Tour de l’Avenir. A solid time triallist, the 22-year-old took bronze in the discipline at the European under 23 championships this season, as well as second place behind Alexander Kristoff in the elite road race at the Norwegian championships.

    “We're very excited about Vegard,” said Team Type 1 general manager Vassili Davidenko. “He is a champion time triallist, a very strong climber and a smart racer.”

    Rosskopf has competed as a stagiare for Team Type 1 in the latter part of the 2011 season, and will make his full-time graduation from the development set-up next year. The Athens, Georgia, native impressed at the Tour de Toona in July.

    "With Joey we saw excellent results after a lot of tremendous effort, and we're very happy to welcome him to the teamwe’re very happy to welcome him to the team,” Davidenko said.

    Team Type 1 have also confirmed that Daniele Callegarin and Fabio Calabria will remain at the squad next season.


     

  • Now online: The 2011 Cyclingnews reader poll

    Enter your selections in the 2011 Cyclingnews reader poll for your chance to win a - a 2011 Cervélo R3 race bike used by Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo) this season.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 13:21 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UPDATE: Final vote tallies unveiled for each of the 19 categories

    It's here again...the 2011 Cyclingnews reader poll is now online.

    Every year, we give you the chance to pick the riders, teams, races, moments and equipment that have really stood out from the pack in the last 12 months. To keep things simple, we'll be asking you to vote from a fixed selection in each category, so the survey should take you less than five minutes to complete.

    As an incentive, we're giving away a remarkable prize to one lucky reader - a 2011 Cervélo R3 race bike used by Tyler Farrar* (Garmin-Cervélo) this season - featuring a 54cm Cervélo R3 frame/fork, SRAM Red components, Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheelset, Rotor cranks, 3T bars/stem/seatpost, fi'zi:k saddle, and Arundel bottle cages. Pedals are not included.

    Tyler Farrar's Cervélo R3 bike is provided courtesy of the official online store of Team Garmin-Cervélo, where team race equipment such as bikes, components, and wheelsets, along with other unique and exclusive team apparel are available for purchase. Visit the Garmin-Cervélo store or email sales@slipstreamsports.com for more information.

    Entries for the 2011 Cyclingnews reader poll will close at midnight, November 26, 2011. Enter here today!

    *The bike will be shipped without any structural issues to the frame, and will be fully rideable, but cannot be customized to suit the winner. Slipstream Sports must have a signed and returned used equipment liability waiver from the contest winner prior to shipping the bike.

    UPDATE - A record 21,634 readers cast votes in the 2011 Cyclingnews Reader Poll. Following are...

  • UCI releases top 15 teams toward WorldTour

    Team Euskaltel wating for the start.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 16:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Project 1t4i fails to be considered

    The UCI today released its top 15 teams according to its sporting criteria, a calculation of points accrued during the 2010 and 2011 seasons by riders which are included in their 2012 rosters. These teams will automatically earn WorldTour licenses if they meet the UCI's other licensing criteria.

    A notable absence on the list of teams 16th-20th in the rankings, who will vie for the final three of the 18 spots on the WorldTour, is the Skil-Shimano team, Project 1t4i, the only team which had applied for the WorldTour but failed to make the list.

    Teams outside the top 20 cannot be considered for the WorldTour. Skil announced it would end its involvement with the squad, but the team will continue with a new title sponsor that will not be announced until the Spring.

    The UCI's press release listed teams in alphabetical order, with Euskaltel-Euskadi as the only team in the top 15 in the 2011 UCI WorldTour team rankings to drop out of the list of squads which get automatic bids toward the 2012 top tier.

    The Basque team is reportedly fighting for its existence as its sponsorship deal runs out at the end of 2012, and should it fail to make the WorldTour, finding new funding will be more difficult.

    The new GreenEdge team showed its recruiting prowess by making the top 15 on its first go, while the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, 16th overall in the 2011 WorldTour teams, moved up in the rankings after acquiring Omega Pharma from its Belgian rivals Lotto and hiring many of the HTC-Highroad riders.

    The remainder of the Lotto team, which finished the 2011 season on top...

  • Europcar ready to recruit more riders if it gains WorldTour status

    Team Europcar has been working hard to protect leader Thomas Voeckler
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 18:02 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Voeckler and Rolland to dovetail at Tour de France

    Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has said that his team will recruit more riders if it succeeds in securing WorldTour status in 2012. Ranked 20th in the UCI’s ranking of the applicants released on Tuesday, Europcar must wait until at least November 20 to learn if it will be included in cycling’s top division next season.

    Europcar will now compete with Geox-TMC, FDJ, Euskaltel-Euskadi and Ag2r-La Mondiale for one of the three final berths in the 18-team WorldTour, although Geox’s financial woes would appear to rule the team out of the running.

    “We’ve put in our application. We’re hopeful, but we’ve continued in our way of acting, so we’ll see,” Bernaudeau told a webchat on Eurosport.fr on Tuesday morning. “Given the problems that certain other teams have, our reliability could pay off.”

    Bernaudeau acknowledged that he would need to reinforce his roster should Europcar’s application be successful.

    “[We would need] endurance riders, people for stage races. The WorldTour means riding three grand Tours, so you need solid riders,” Bernaudeau admitted. “If we’re 20th, 19th or 18th in the WorldTour ranking, it doesn’t matter. We have confidence in the UCI. The important thing is that the team progresses.”

    At the tail end of the 2011 season, Bernaudeau also attempted to bolster his classics squad and was in negotiations with Filippo Pozzato, but the Italian ultimately opted to join Luca Scinto’s Farnese-Neri team.

    “We weren’t able to get him because it’s difficult to have three-way negotiations between the rider, the...

  • Kolobnev, only Tour de France doping positive, gets warning

    Russian champion Alexandre Kolobnev (Katusha).
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 19:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian fined, could face UCI and WADA appeals

    Russian Alexandr Kolobnev, the only rider in the 2011 Tour de France to test positive for a banned substance, has been recommended a warning and fine by the Russian anti-doping agency (RUSADA), news.sport-express.ru reported today. The final decision is due in the next two weeks.

    Kolobnev, 30, tested positive for a diuretic, hydrochlorothiazide (HCT), on stage 5 of the Tour de France, and quit the race on the first rest day pending confirmation of the B-sample testing. The result was confirmed nine days later.

    The Katusha rider denied doping, and judging from his punishment by the Russian authorities, he was able to demonstrate that he did not intentionally ingest the substance. World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) rules allow for situations where athletes may unintentionally ingest banned substances through, for example, contaminated supplements.

    These drugs are classified in the WADA Prohibited List as "specified substances", of which HCT is one.

    The WADA web site explains, "Generally speaking, 'specified substances' are substances that are more susceptible to a credible, non-doping explanation. If the athlete can prove that he or she did not intend to enhance performance by using them to the satisfaction of the results management authority, the sanction under the World Anti-Doping Code can go from a warning to a 2-year ban."

    However, HCT is the same substance for which Belgian Iljo Keisse tested positive, and the UCI and WADA appealed his federation's decision to let him go with minimal punishment. However, when Keisse...