Evans, Gerrans, Buchanan - vote for your favourite
Cycling Australia has announced its now accepting votes for the Scody 2009 People’s Choice Cyclist of the Year award. People can vote for any Cycling Australia-registered cyclist, regardless of their discipline of category.
Voting will remain open until midday Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, October 30. Only votes from Australian residents will be included, but entering will put you in the running for a prize pack that includes tickets, flights and accommodation to attend the Jayco Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards, where the 2009 People’s Choice Cyclist of the Year award will be presented on November 22, 2009.
Some of the highlights internationally for Australian cycling include Cadel Evans’ recent International Cycling Union (UCI) World Road Championship victory and Simon Gerrans’ Giro d’Italia and Vuelta a España stage victories. The nation’s successes haven’t only been limited to road accomplishments, however, with both Jared Graves and Caroline Buchanan winning UCI Mountain Bike World Championships on home soil.
While many months have passed since the event, the nation’s efforts at the UCI Track World Championships also fall in the period of reference for the award and shouldn’t go unnoticed. Youngster Leigh Howard claimed gold on the Poland event’s final day, but his was just one of four gold medals and 10 medals in total the team brought back from Europe.
Team RadioShack general manager Johan Bruyneel has reflected on a manic season at Astana, the experiened Belgian not mincing his words on a number of topics, including the Kazakh squad and his former star rider, Alberto Contador
The man who guided Lance Armstrong, and more recently, Contador, to their Tour de France wins, opened up to Belgian lifestyle magazine Humo at home in Spain, talking about a season that included Armstrong's comeback, the death of Frank Vandenbroucke and strained relations with Contador, Alexandre Vinokourov and the man behind the Astana team.
An obvious highlight of Bruyneel's season was Armstrong's comeback, and the Belgian spoke glowingly of the experience. "There were two components to the comeback of Lance. First: the globalisation of Livestrong, his cancer foundation. This went fantastically well everywhere. Second: racing at the top level," said Bruyneel.
"And top level for Armstrong means winning the Tour de France. That didn't succeed: Contador was way stronger, without discussion. But as a veteran, to finish third behind two young men, after three years without competition... try to copy that. During the last week I've seen a few glimpses of the young Lance: when he returned to the leader's group on the Petit Saint-Bernard, when he attacked Bradley Wiggins on the Col de la Colombière and how he controlled Fränk Schleck on the Mont Ventoux."
Bruyneel admitted that Armstrong's crash during the Castilla y Léon almost ended the comeback, however. "At that moment his comeback was on the verge of collapsing. Nobody knew that, except for some insiders. After the operation he was no longer motivated. He didn't want to race anymore.
"I had to force him: 'Lance, you have to. You can't go back now.' I had to send him one of his famous sayings: 'Pain is temporary, quitting lasts forever.' I didn't get a response, but he gave it a good think and pulled through. During the...
Prologue only chance for specialists and Plan de Corones badly placed, says three-time Giro winner
Felice Gimondi has criticised the time trials in next year's Giro d'Italia, after he saw the 2010 route unveiled in Milan on Saturday. The three-time race winner said that the first stage, in Amsterdam, will be the only opportunity for time trial specialists.
"This Giro penalises the time trial riders," Italy's Gimondi told Cyclingnews. "There are not many chances, only the prologue in Holland. The final stage in Verona has a climb and doesn't suit specialists and a climber can do well in the team time trial if he has a good team."
Giro organiser RCS Sport presented a route, to run from May 8 to 30, with four time trials. The race starts with an 8.4-kilometre time trial in Amsterdam and continues in Italy with a 32.5-kilometre team time trial. The last two come in third week, the Plan de Corones mountain time trial and the 15.3-kilometre Verona trial on the final day.
The Giro d'Italia also ends with mountain stages in the Dolomites and Alps. RCS Sport will take the riders up the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the final week.
"A time trial rider, a little heavy, will find it difficult to ride all of these mountains," continued Gimondi.
The Plan de Corones stage, May 25, comes the day after the second rest day. The 12.85-kilometre stage will start in San Vigilio di Marebbe and ends with 5.25 kilometres over sterrato ('gravel') roads, including sections of 24 percent gradient.
Franco Pellizotti won the stage the first and only time the Giro used Plan de Corones in 2008. He took 22 seconds from the overall lead of Alberto Contador. Contador defended his lead and won the Giro six days later
Gimondi was unhappy to with the scheduling of what will be one of next year's most explosive stages.
"I don't like how the Plan de Corones time trial comes after the rest day. It would be better during [continuous days of] the Giro, not the rest day and then...
Lefevere confident sprinter will overcome difficulties and will return at full strength
Quick Step's Tom Boonen says counselling for his excessive drinking has progressed well. Talking with a counsellor "really helps" he said on the Dutch TV programme Holland Sport this week. Team manager Patrick Lefevere has attributed Boonen's problems to his competitive spirit and is confident that the rider will overcome the problems.
"He has to learn his limits," Lefevere told Cyclingnews. "Sportspeople have competition in them. They like to win on the bike, they like to win when they play cards and they like to win when they drink."
Boonen himself told Holland Sport that he has already taken steps to curb his consumption. "In the recent weeks I've had a lot of time to do other things than cycling. If I go out, then I have no need to drink heavily. You always just keep in control," said the former World Champion.
Boonen, 29, tested positive for cocaine in April, two weeks after winning Paris-Roubaix for the third time. It was his second positive for cocaine in two years. A third, previously unreported, positive test from November 2007, was also announced this year.
The Quick Step rider blamed his positive doping controls on his drinking; indicating that he drank so much that he did not know what later happened. "I was very drunk. I do not know what happened, but the next day I tested positive for cocaine," he said.
Boonen escaped sanction from the International Cycling Union (UCI) and World anti-doping agency (WADA), as cocaine use is not prohibited when used out of competition. However, he was suspended by his team after the positive control was announced in the spring, and he did not race from April 12 to June 7. Quick Step later accepted Boonen's explanation that his positive test had come as a result of contact with other cocaine users, rather than direct ingestion of the drug.
"Hair samples proved that there was no cocaine in his system for more than four months," said Lefevere....
Giovanni Fidanza's De Rosa-Stac Plastic born from ashes of LPR Brakes
Bicycle manufacturer De Rosa will become a title sponsor for the first time, as it funds Giovanni Fidanza's new team, De Rosa-Stac Plastic in 2010. Fidanza will leave LPR Brakes and has started to build his new team from its former riders and staff, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Fidanza was one of the directors for Fabio Bordonali's LPR Brakes. He will bring 11 former LPR cyclists to the new De Rosa-Stac Plastic team, including Roberto Ferrari, Giairo Ermeti and Claudio Cucinotta.
Bordonali failed to find a replacement sponsor after the doping cases of Danilo Di Luca and Gabriele Bosisio this year.
Eddy Ratti and first year professionals Giorgio Brambilla, Gabriele Tassinari and Stefano Borchi will also join De Rosa-Stac Plastic. Fidanza will sign more riders in the next week.
De Rosa-Stac Plastic will be a second division, professional continental, team. The team are likely to ride mostly Italian races, including the Giro d'Italia.
De Rosa is one of Italy's most well known frame manufacturers. Founder Ugo De Rosa supplied frames for Eddy Merckx and the Belgian's team Molteni, who brought the manufacturer many wins. De Rosa has continued to supply frames to professional squads, this year for LPR Brakes and in 2008 to US squad Rock Racing.
Without Phinney, small team to focus on Scratch and Points races
The United States has selected a five-rider squad for the opening round of the World Cup season, this weekend in Manchester this weekend. In the absence of individual pursuit World Champion Taylor Phinney, the US team will focus its efforts on the Scratch and Points Race events.
Daniel Holloway (Garmin-Holowesko-Felt) will contest the men's Points Race in Manchester, while Colby Pearce will carry the team's hopes in the men's Scratch race. The duo will then combine to contest the Madison, an event the partnership won at the US National Madison Championships in 2008.
The three-person women's team have all been drawn from the Proman Hit Squad. Coryn Rivera and US Scratch Race Champion Shelly Olds will represent the USA in the women's Points and Scratch races. US Omnium and Team Sprint Champion Cari Higgins will join Olds and Rivera in the Scratch race.
With the exception of the women's Keirin the US team will skip the sprint-based events at the World Cup. Higgins, who finished third at the women's Amsterdam six-day on Saturday, will be the USA's sole representative in the women's Keirin.
The US team for the Manchester World Cup, October 30 to November 1:
Vitoria, Merlo, Corti confirmed for youthful squad
The Footon-Servetto team announced seven new signings for the 2010 season, showing an emphasis on young Spanish riders for its rejuvenated ProTour squad.
The team confirmed that Swiss rider David Vitoria will join from Rock Racing along with Italians Michele Merlo and Macro Corti from Barloworld.
Also named are 26-year-old David Gutiérrez Gutiérrez, winner of a stage of the Circuito Montañes and 22-year-old David Gutiérrez Palacios (Camargo elite-2), a Spanish U23 road race champion and the younger brother of José Iván Gutiérrez Palacios.
Also signed is Rafael Valls from Burgos Monumental, who led Circuito Montañes this year for two stages and placed fourth overall, and Colombian Miguel Ángel Rubiano from Centri della Calzatura-Partizan.
The team will also retain the services of Eros Capecchi (23), Arkaitz Durán (23), Alberto Benítez (29) and Ermanno Capelli (25), while Beñat Intxausti chose not to renew his contract with the team.