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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Date published:
September 07, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Mosquera on track for Vuelta final podium

    Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo-Galicia).
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 6:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Galician rider underdog for the fourth consecutive year

    After nine stages of the Vuelta a España, perennial contender Ezequiel Mosquera is once again a threat for the general classification win.

    He lost a spot on the overall standings when Olympic mountain biking silver medallist Jean-Christophe Péraud moved up after his breakaway on stage nine but MOsquera now lies in seventh position, only 1:18 down on race leader Igor Antón, who shares the top of the classification with Joaquin Rodriguez, both riders currently sitting on the same time.

    The 34-year-old from Xacobeo-Galicia is riding in a similar fashion as in the past three years, having finished successively no lower than fifth overall during the last three editions of the Vuelta. It's a race he never had the oppportunity of doing before the professional team of his region, originally under the name of Karpin-Galicia, was created in 2007.

    Mosquera took his first pro win in 2005 during stage three of the Tour of Rioja in the colours of Kaiku, the Basque team he joined after riding for Portuguese teams for six years.

    This year, the slightly-framed Galician again collected consistent results with a third place overall at the Vuelta Castilla y Leon behind Alberto Contador and Antón, fourth overall at the Tour of Asturias and second overall at the Tour of Burgos behind Samuel Sanchez and ahead of Vincenzo Nibali.

    "I've geared up for the Vuelta as well as I wanted," Mosquera told Cyclingnews. "I was a bit scared of some of the first stages because of their steep finale but I coped pretty well with the terrain. It's been a difficult beginning of the three weeks of racing. The long climbs are yet to come and they'll suit me better.

    "My goal is simple: I want to improve the result I got last year," the Spaniard continued. "That means to finish on the podium in Madrid but it's not an easy task, especially because there are a lot of contenders this year.

    "I've seen Antón and Nibali...

  • Colavita-Baci merges with Italy’s Chirio Forno D’Asolo

    Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Baci) won stage 1 and assumed the race lead.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 7:59 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Squad jumps to UCI ranks in 2011

    Colavita-Baci is set to announce a merger with Italian women’s team ASC Chirio Forno D’Asolo for 2011. The new team, to be known as Colavita-Forno D’Asolo Pro Cycling, has applied for a license with the International Cycling Union (UCI) and will re-sign the core group of riders from each existing program, including USA Cycling National Racing Calendar (NRC) winner Cath Cheatley.

    “With Franco's corporate partner, Forno D'Asolo, already focused on the women's side of the sport and Colavita now exclusively supporting that direction, the timing couldn't be more perfect for this collaboration,” said Fabio Gallina, President and Founder of Forno D’Asolo, SPA.

    Discussions between olive oil company Colavita USA’s Vice President of Marketing John A. Profaci, Treviso-based Gallina, and the Italian team’s general manager Franco Chirio began several months ago. According to Profaci the team will have a strong presence in both US and Europe.

    Chirio will work with Colavita-Baci’s directeur sportif Rachel Heal to develop a dual program in Europe and North America.

    ASC Chirio Forno D’Asolo was founded in 2001 and is based in Montechiaro d’Asti in Italy. It has a long-standing history amongst the European racing circuit bolstered by more than 200 victories throughout its existence. The Colavita-Baci squad is the product of more than 10-year program that started as a regional team based out of New Jersey, USA.

    “On the sport side, this merge is good for Colavita and its riders because the history of cycling is in Europe and this will provide a good opportunity for the riders to compete over here,” Chirio said. “But the advantage for us is that the future of cycling is in the USA where the sport is growing very fast. On a business side, Forno D’Asolo is well known in Europe and with the help of the Colavita can expand distribution into the USA as...

  • Riis says it is time for Schleck to attack

    Luxembourg road champion Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 10:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team boss assumes Cancellara will still be with team in 2011

    Fränk Schleck has said he has come to the Vuelta a España to win the race. Team owner Bjarne Riis thinks it is time for his rider to live up to his words. He also said that as far as he was concerned, world champion Fabian Cancellara would continue with his team in 2011.

    “It's not that hard. If Fränk announced that he will win the Vuelta, then he will have to attack,” Riis told sporten.dk.

    “There is no reason to give up. The rankings can change quickly when it is only a couple of minutes. There are still many difficult mountains to come,” Riis said Monday, on the race's first rest day.

    Schleck, 30, is still recovering from injuries suffered early in this year's Tour de France, and acknowledged that he is not fully prepared for the challenge. Going into Tuesday's 10th stage, the Luxembourger is in 13th place, 1:47 down.

    “I must admit that eight weeks without racing has not been an optimal build-up,” he said. “The rest day came at just the right time, but I think the stage to Calpe on Sunday gave me some confidence, because I did not suffer so much on the ascent.”

    Schleck finished that stage in the group with the other favourites for the race title, seven minutes behind stage winner David Lopez of Caisse d'Epargne.

    Building a team for 2011

    World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara recently said that he was considering several options for the coming season, but according to Riis, the Swiss rider has only one option open to him.  “Fabian Cancellara has a contract for 2011.”

    Riis is still trying to put together his squad for next year, which will ride under the name Team Saxo Bank-SunGard. Fränk and Andy Schleck have already announced they will leave the team, as will, among others, Matti Breschel, Jakob Fuglsang, Stuart O'Grady and Jens Voigt. However, he has been able to lure three-time...

  • Jalabert regrets France's Vuelta absentees

    Laurent Jalabert in the car.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 10:10 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    French coach to announce Worlds line-up next week

    French national team manager Laurent Jalabert has bemoaned the fact that so few of his riders have opted to compete in the Vuelta a España as build-up for the world championships. Jalabert has spent two days following the Spanish race and reiterated his believe that it constitutes the best preparation for Melbourne.

    “For many years, we’ve seen that the world champion and the majority of the top twenty were in Spain before the worlds,” Jalabert told L’Équipe. “However, this isn’t an exact science, and all existing approaches and preparations have to be taken into account.”

    One of the riders Jalabert would have liked to have seen line up at the Vuelta is Sylvain Chavanel, but the Quick Step rider has instead opted to build towards the Worlds by riding the new Canadian ProTour races next Friday and Sunday. “I’m not the one who is going to push him [to go to the Vuelta]. That’s his problem,” Jalabert said.

    Jalabert took over as French manager last season and for his first worlds campaign in Mendrisio he attempted to play an active part in his riders’ preparation. This time around, however, his role seems a more passive one.

    “[Last year] the moment that I explained what I wanted in terms of preparation, the response was a bit ‘I know myself, I know what I have to do,’” Jalabert explained. “I was a little bit disappointed. I didn’t see it like that at the start. Now that I’ve understood that the riders know themselves well, it’s different. I’ll let them get into form themselves…”

    For his part, Française des Jeux trainer Frédéric Grappe feels that the riders’ professional teams could offer input into their world championship preparation if they were given the chance. “[Jalabert] communicates very little with the various technical staffs,...

  • Contador to return to Vuelta in 2011

    Alberto Contador Velasco (Astana) leads Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) with just over six and a half kilometres to Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 10:56 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard aims to ride Tour and Vuelta for new team

    Alberto Contador has announced his plans to return to the Vuelta a España next season. The Spaniard last participated in the event in 2008, when he took overall victory.

    “If everything goes normally, I will do two major tours,” Contador told Marca. “It’s not completely certain, but in principle, I will do the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.”

    Contador’s only previous Vuelta start was his winning ride in 2008, a year in which he also won the Giro d’Italia. The Tour de France winner explained that he did not participate this season because he had raced so much earlier in the year and that he did not feel that he would be capable of continuing that form into September. “I never go to a race simply for the pleasure of it, I always try to win,” he explained.

    “Some people don’t realise that when I rode the Tour de France in July, my season was almost over,” Contador said. “I was already up there in my first race of the year, the Volta ao Algarve. When I rode the Tour I was hitting top form for the second time in the year.”

    Contador is currently recovering from a minor knee injury sustained in a training crash last week, but he expects to be back training in the next week. Next season, he leaves the Astana squad to ride for Bjarne Riis’ Saxo Bank-Sungard, and he is looking forward to the challenge. “I’m very motivated and I’m sure I will be a lot stronger in 2011,” he said.

     

  • UPDATED Andy Schleck, O'Grady removed from Vuelta

    Tour de France runner up Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank).
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 12:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riis boots pair for drinking alcohol

    Bjarne Riis has removed Andy Schleck and Stuart O'Grady from the Vuelta a Espana after the pair violated team rules by drinking alcohol after dinner.

    Andy Schleck confirmed the news to Cyclingnews, releasing a statement while on his way home:

    "I acknowledge that I have broken a rule on the team by going out for a drink after dinner and for that reason Bjarne has decided to send myself and Stuart O’Grady home.

    "I’m responsible for my actions and even though I think it is too harsh a decision, I respect that Bjarne is the boss and he needs to do what he thinks is the best.

    "I was getting back into shape and I would really have liked to stay at the Vuelta and help Frank and the rest of Team Saxo Bank."

    Neither Andy Schleck nor O'Grady was at the start of the tenth stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Tuesday in Tarragona.

    Schleck, who finished second in this year's Tour de France, was riding in support of his elder brother, Fränk, who is currently in 13th place, 1:47 down. The younger Schleck had also hoped to do well himself, until losing 14 minutes on the third stage. He continued to lose time and at the end of stage nine was in 77th place, at 37:16.

    It is the second year in a row that Andy Schleck has left the Vuelta early. In 2009 he dropped out of the ninth stage, suffering from stomach cramps.

    Both Schleck brothers are leaving the Danish team at the end of this season, to join a new Luxembourg team being organised by Brian Nygaard and Kim Andersen. O'Grady is also leaving Saxo Bank and is said to be joining the new team.

  • Wiggins fired up for Tour of Britain

    Wiggins in his new Sky kit
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 13:02 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    “It’s an important race for us” says Team Sky leader

    Bradley Wiggins says that he’s relishing the opportunity to get back to racing when he leads a strong Team Sky line-up into the Tour of Britain on Saturday. Speaking to Cyclingnews in London after a photo shoot to publicise the team’s one-off kit for the Tour of Britain, Wiggins said he would love to do well in his home tour and believes he has the form and the team to make an impact.

    Wiggins said he has been working hard at getting back to racing since his “disappointing” Tour de France appearance when he finished 24th overall. “I’ve trained well since the Tour and got myself together,” he said just a day on from retaining his British time trial title.

    “I won yesterday, so I’m looking forward to going to the Tour of Britain and racing it and just enjoying it as well. I’m looking forward to getting back to racing and just enjoying riding the bike. I think that’s the overriding thing.”

    Wiggins will be joined by Geraint Thomas, Steve Cummings, Russell Downing, Greg Henderson and Mathew Hayman in the Sky team for the Tour of Britain. “We’ve got a good team for it and it’s an important race for us, so I think we’ll have a good shot at it. I’d love to do well in it,” said Wiggins.

    “It starts with a stage that takes in a lot of my training roads around the Trough of Bowland. It’s quite a tough opener to the race as it’s hard in the middle of the stage, but there’s quite a long run-in to the finish in Blackpool – about 60k flat into the finish. So that stage probably won’t have too much impact on the race, but from what I understand stages 3, 4 and 5 are really difficult.”

    Sky’s riders will be racing in a new jersey during the Tour of Britain in line with a new UCI ruling that allows teams to race in an altered kit for one race during the season. The team’s...

  • Belgian Worlds team announced

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is all smiles on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 07, 2010, 15:38 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Five Omega Pharma-Lotto riders in line-up

    Philippe Gilbert will be able to count on the support of four of his Omega Pharma-Lotto teammates at the world championships in Geelong next month. The Belgian team was announced by national coach Carlo Bomans today and his line-up of nine riders is built largely around Gilbert.

    Mario Aerts, Jan Bakelants, Jürgen Roelandts and Greg Van Avermaet will ride the race in support of their trade team leader Gilbert. Bakelants and Van Avermaet are currently competing in the Vuelta a España with Gilbert, who demonstrated why he is among the favourites to take the rainbow jersey with an impressive opening week at the Spanish race.

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto quintet will be joined by two riders from arch rivals Quick Step: Stijn Devolder and Kevin De Weert. Devolder will also ride the time trial event along with Dominque Cornu (Skil-Shimano), who is listed as a reserve for the road race.

    The Belgian team is completed by Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) and Frederik Willems (Liquigas-Doimo). 2005 world champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step) had already ruled himself out of the Belgian selection following knee surgery in July.