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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Date published:
September 29, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Thomas returns to the track

    Fresh from Le Tour, Geraint Thomas will take on the national title this weekend
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 9:52 BST
    Cycling News

    British rider trades road for track World Cup

    Geraint Thomas of Great Britain is returning to the track after a disappointing World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Having finished in the top ten of the recent Tour of Britain, he had hoped to do well in the worlds road race, but abandoned in the penultimate lap.

    After three years with Team Barloworld, Thomas will join the newly-formed Team Sky in 2010, but his successes have come on the track. The 23-year-old was on the British team which won the World team pursuit title in both 2007 and 2008, and the Olympic gold medal in Beijing last year.

    Thomas said that he would now prepare for the World Cup in Manchester in the end of October. "I'm really looking forward to getting back on the track and with all the boys in our team," he said. "Ed Clancy and Ben Swift are good team-mates of mine and they are great riders and brilliant lads so hopefully we can get out there and do well in the team pursuit."

    Clancy and Ben Swift will also be included the British team pursuit squad after Paul Manning retired.

    "I know we have got a good team with the likes of Ben [Swift], who's done well at the Tour of Britain. I am really looking forward to that," said Clancy. Swift won the seventh stage of the Tour of Britain earlier this month.

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  • No Paris-Tours for Cavendish

    Stage winner Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) talks to the fans after going two from two in Missouri.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 10:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Manx man still suffering from lung infection

    After already having had to pull out of the British Worlds team for Mendrisio, Mark Cavendish will not be able to participate in Paris-Tours, taking place on October 11. The Columbia-HTC sprinter is still suffering from a lung infection, the same illness that saw him pull out of the Tour of Missouri earlier this month.

    Moreover, the 2009 season must have been tiring for Cavendish, who sprinted to victory an amazing 23 times this year. "It's been a long season for Cavendish to also take on Paris-Tours this year," confirmed Columbia-HTC director Brian Holm.

    The Manx man has never participated in the French autumn Classic, which could be suited to his caracteristics as a fast finisher. But Cavendish started this season early, at the Tour of Qatar in February, before accumulating two Grand Tours, the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France. He was competitive through September at the Tour of Missouri, where he wore the leader's jersey for two days and won the first two stages before illness forced him to abandon.

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  • Vacansoliel with wild card to Lombardia

    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 12:16 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team sees invitation as recognition of its successes

    Vacansoliel has received wild card invitations to the Giro di Lombardia, October 17, and the Giro del Piemonte, October 15.  The Dutch Professional Continental team sees the invitations as a result of not only its strong performance in the recent Vuelta a Espana but from a year-long team effort.

    "These invitations are a recognition of the results that the whole team has brought in the whole year," Sport Director Hilaire Van Der Schueren told  The team has 13 wins this season, including Borut Bozic's stage win in the Vuelta.

    The team will likely be led in the two Italian fall classics by Matteo Carrara, who finished sixth in Lombardia in 2006.  This year the 30-year-old Italian won the Circuit de Lorraine stage race in May.

    Sprinter Bozic has brought in five of the team's wins.  In addition to the Vuleta, he won stage sin the Tour de Limousin and the Tour du Pologne,  as well as two in the Tour of Belgium.

    Two of the team's other Vuelta heroes were Johnny Hoogerland and Lieuwe Westra, both of whom were extremely active in escape groups.  Hoogerland won the Driedaagse van West-Vlanderen in March, winning one stage along the way.  Westra won the Arno Wallaard Monument and one stage in the Tour de Picardie, as well as the  overall title.

    The Giro di Lombardia is traditionally the closing race of the European season.  First run in 1905, it favours climbers.  Damiano Cunego has won it the last two years.

  • Pereiro keen on ending career with Xacobeo

    Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 13:31 BST
    Peter Cossins

    2006 Tour winner would like to ride with local team

    2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro has revealed that he has had “contacts” with the Xacobeo-Galicia team with a view to ending his racing career with them in either 2010 or 2011. Speaking to the El Faro de Vigo newspaper in his home region of Galicia, the 32-year-old Caisse d’Epargne rider also said that the mental and physical problems that led to his unexpected and premature retirement from the Tour de France in July are now behind him.

    Pereiro admitted that there was some truth to recent stories suggesting that the main difficulty in reaching an agreement with Xacobeo would be economic. “I never said that I wasn’t interested [in joining Xacobeo]. On occasions you may have heard or read that a deal is not viable economically, but this would not be the problem,” said the Spaniard. “I know that I’ve got very few years of my career left – I don’t know whether it’s one or if it’s two – but it would be a real pleasure for me as a Galician to finish my career in a team from this region. In reality, what I always say is that I am expensive but you never know, I might want to ride for nothing next year. The only thing that I want is to enjoy life.”

    Having said he is ready to ride for nothing, Pereiro then went on to suggest he would want some money no matter who he rides for next season. “I am ready to lower my asking price, I’m going to have to do this wherever I ride. But if I’m going to be riding for a ‘home’ team it would be much easier to reach an agreement.”

    As well as Xacobeo, Liquigas are among the foreign teams reported to be interested in signing the Spaniard. Any team signing Pereiro, though, is sure to want assurances that the psychological issues that resulted in him pulling out of the Tour are now well behind him. He insists they are.

    “My problem was more mental than physical. I did have some...

  • Trek-Livestrong to develop riders for Team RadioShack

    Axel Merckx called Taylor Phinney's U23 Paris-Roubaix win the highlight of the team's 2009 season.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 15:28 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Taylor Phinney remains on squad, half of roster to change for 2010

    Lance Armstrong's Trek-Livestrong team will act as a feeder squad for Team RadioShack in the coming years, with the U23 team already confirming that half the roster will change for 2010. Speaking to team director Axel Merckx at the Interbike Trade Show in Las Vegas, Nevada, the Belgian outlined the team's plans for next year.

    "RadioShack will be a sponsor [of the Under-23 team] for next year. We'll share some responsibilities and for me it's also great to have Johan Bruyneel as a sounding board for advice. Also, we can use the service course in Belgium and they can use our services in the US. We'll still be two different teams but what we're trying to produce are two riders that will move up to their team and develop every year," Merckx said.

    "It will be interesting how the team evolves in the next couple of years. It's been really exciting for me."

    As for the make-up of his 2010 squad, Merckx could only confirm that nine riders had been signed so far, with more possible signings still to be finalised. Remaining with the team will be Jesse Sergent and Taylor Phinney, while Ryan Baumann and Sam Bewley will leave as they no longer meet the age guidelines.

    The fact that Phinney will remain with the squad suggests that he could be one of the first riders to graduate to RadioShack in the coming years. However, Merckx, himself a successful teen prodigy, who hailed from a family steeped in cycling, believes that Phinney, 19, has time on his side.

    "My situation was a bit like his but for me, amateur racing in Belgium was really hard. I was a target, the guy to beat and it was difficult mentally. So I made the step so that I could develop at my own pace. With Taylor we have to see. He's having great results but everyone wants to beat him and when he doesn't win people ask questions of him.

    "He's still only 19 but he's got time. He's comfortable with us and there's no rush. In my eyes he should stay another two years unless...

  • Cofidis, Bouygues Telecom denied ProTour status

    The International Cycling Union (UCI)
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 16:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Lampre, Milram in; UCI still to decide on RadioShack

    The UCI's License Commission announced today that it will not award ProTour licenses to the French teams Cofidis, le crédit en ligne and Bouygues Télécom.

    The Italian squad Lampre was awarded a four-year license, while the German team Milram was given ProTour status only through the 2010 season.

    "That is very good news for us,“ said Team Milram's general manager Gerry van Gerwen. "That gives us more security in our planning for the coming year. We can now continue developing the team at the highest level. And of course, as the only German team at the highest level, it is important that we be able to present ourselves in a fitting manner at the season's highlights.“

    Lance Armstrong's new team RadioShack is still under consideration for the ProTour. A UCI statement said, "The Commission continues to examine the file submitted by the new American team Radio Shack. It will announce its decision at a later date."

    The statement made no mention of the ProTour license situation of Armstrong's former Astana team.

    Two events were confirmed for the ProTour through 2013: The Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race were each granted a four-year license.

    UCI rules allow a maximum of 20 ProTour licenses, but are likely to give out fewer for the coming season. Cyclingnews reported earlier this week that three Professional Continental squads, Diquigiovanni, Cervélo TestTeam and Acqua e Sapone, would be guaranteed entry into the ProTour events by merit of their rankings in the World Rankings.

    Bouygues Telecom and Cofidis were the lowest-ranked ProTour squads in the UCI's world rankings this year at 19th and 20th, respectively, lower than the aforementioned Pro Continental teams.

  • Armistead signs with Cervelo

    The final jerseys: Mara Abbott (mountains), Claudia Hausler (overall) and Lizzy Armistead (best young rider)
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 18:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton joined by Slappendel on 2010 team

    The Cervélo TestTeam will add two new women to its formidable professional team, with Briton Lizzy Armistead and Dutch rider Iris Slappendel becoming the latest recruits this week.

    Armistead will join her compatriot Emma Pooley on the squad. The 20-year-old Armistead holds the world title in the team pursuit and took the win in the women's scratch race at the Track World Cup in Copenhagen earlier this year. Her success has not been limited to the boards, as she claimed the best young rider classification in the women's Giro d'Italia and a stage of the Tour de l'Ardêche.

    “I wanted to be part of the best women’s team in the world,” said Armitstead. “When the opportunity to join the team came along, I couldn’t turn it down."

    Cervelo TestTeam manager Thomas Campana was impressed by Armistead's performances. "She had an incredible track and road season this year,” said Campana.

    “We saw her for the first time in the Giro d’Italia, where she won the jersey for best overall young rider, and usually the winners of these jerseys are the future champions. She has impressed us with her excellent climbing and sprinting abilities and her good race instincts. We are really delighted to have her on board for next year.”

    Slappendel, a native of Ouderkerk aan de IJssel was the 2008 University World Champion in the time trial, won a stage in the 2006 Giro della Toscana, and was third overall in the GP Elsy Jacobs this year. She will be a prime support rider for the team's sprinter Kirsten Wild.

    “This is a new step in my career,” said Slappendel. “I am honored that the best team in the world offered me a contract for 2010. That provides me with a lot of motivation. I have some goals planned as a cyclist and I think that this team suits me the best. My goal for 2010 is to be of value to the team, and if I get the chance I will also go for...

  • Tour of the Battenkill gains UCI status for 2010

    The peloton tackles a section of dirt road in the 2009 Tour of the Battenkill.
    Article published:
    September 29, 2009, 20:59 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Race expands to two weekends

    The 2010 Tour of the Battenkill in Cambridge, New York has received for the first time a place on the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar and has expanded to two weekends.

    The five-year-old event, the largest one-day race in North American with over 1,500 registrants in 2009, will have a pro/am and amateur races on Saturday, April 10 and the UCI 1.2-sanctioned professional men's invitational the following weekend on Sunday, April 18.

    The Tour of the Battenkill is labeled 'America's Queen of the Classics'. Unique on the North American professional calendar, the race features 25 percent dirt roads as it passes through the small villages, rolling countryside and covered bridges of Upstate New York's Washington County.

    With its place on the UCI calendar, race promoter Dieter Drake hopes that European teams will make the trip across the Atlantic. "With the Tour of California being switched to May I hope this will inspire a sweeping from East to West for some of those teams coming over for California," Drake told Cyclingnews. "Maybe we'll be able to latch on to some of that excitement.

    "My real focus is getting everything right for 2010 and making sure that everyone's taken care of in terms of the pro teams coming in, racing and being safe as possible. I haven't had correspondence yet from any European-based teams. That's the long-term goal to create the buzz over in Europe as well as in North America.

    "The aspirations are to make it a higher level [UCI] race eventually. I'm in no big hurry. If it happens the next year then that's great, but we've already had success getting most of the Continental teams in North American coming here in 2009."

    Expanding what was previously two races taking place on one weekend to a separate weekend for each race creates a more manageable work situation for Drake and his staff. "From our perspective it was very compressed and hard to handle from what amounted to a 48-hour...