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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Date published:
August 10, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • White predicts "aggressive" London-Surrey Classic

    Aussies Stuart O'Grady and Simon Gerrans await the start in Melbourne.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 11:40 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    No designated leader for Australian team at Olympic Test Event

    Predicting some good old-fashioned Australian-British rivalry, Cycling Australia's Professional Men's Road Coordinator, Matt White, is unperturbed by the inclusion of both an English and Great British team for this Sunday's London-Surrey Classic road race, the Olympic test event for the London 2012 Olympics.

    "If I'd known a bit earlier I could have assembled a team from New South Wales and one from Queensland," White laughed. "We could have even got a West Australian team together. It was a tricky one by the Poms."

    "Their objectives are quite simple, they want to win the race and I dare say they want to win with [Mark] Cavendish," White continued on a more serious note. "I'd dare say this is as much about psychological preparation and getting guys working together for the first time in their national jerseys as it is about the physical toughness of the race."

    Australia takes the high quality team of Stuart O'Grady, Matt Goss, Heinrich Haussler, Michael Matthews and Leigh Howard to the event.

    White told Cyclingnews that there was no one rider designated as leader.

    "It's very hard to build a team around one guy with a team of five and the line up I've got – if any of them are in a small group heading towards the finish I'd be pretty confident of them getting the result," he explained.

    Sunday will be the first time that Haussler represents Australia, the country of his birth having previously ridden for Germany, where he spent much of his It's also Howard's debut in a senior Australian team on the road.

    White had between 15 and 20 riders in mind for the job however, some of his plans were scuttled by the Eneco Tour.

    Sunday's Classic is the final chance to use the 2012 Olympic course under race...

  • Alex Rasmussen signs with Garmin-Cervelo

    Alex Rasmussen (HTC Highroad)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 12:00 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Two-year deal for Danish road racer

    Alex Rasmussen has signed a two-year contract with Garmin-Cervelo. The Danish rider will switch from HTC-Highroad after his one-year deal the team came to an end following the demise of the team.

    The 27-year-old will form part of the team's Classics strategy and help also Tyler Farrar in sprints, while Jonathan Vaughters believes his latest recuit has the talent to win races in his own right. 

    "He's a hugely talented rider," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    "I've actually been interested in him in a number of years but it just hasn't worked out. We either didn't have space on the team or there have been various other reasons. He's a guy that has a really big future in a lot of disciplines. He can ride an excellent time trial and he's won a few of those. He can also be a great leadout rider and in his own right he can win races."

    "He's got a big future ahead of him for the Classics too. He's very multi-dimensional. He can win time trials, he can help Tyler Farrar and Heinrich Haussler win races and can fit into our Classics team."

    Rasmussen has a strong track background, having won multiple national titles and four world titles. He won a silver medal in the team pursuit in the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008. However it was his performance on the road that year that truly caught Vaughters' eye, when the Dane took the points classification at the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

    "He won the points jersey at the Tour of Qinghai Lake years ago and it gave me the heads up. He was just with the Danish national team, training for the team pursuit in the worlds. Qinghai Lake is a tough race so though if he can do that, then he must have more than just one ability."

    Rasmussen rode for Saxo Bank for two years from 2009...

  • Freire, Breschel and Sanchez to lead Rabobank at the Vuelta

    Sanchez and Freire talk pre-race
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 14:18 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Euskaltel work on time trialing to back Antón

    The Rabobank team has announced a strong line-up for the Vuelta a España, including sprinters Oscar Freire and Matti Breschel, all-rounder Luis León Sánchez and climbers Steven Kruiswijk and Bauke Mollema in their team.

    Carlos Barredo, Juan Manuel Garate, Paul Martens and Tom-Jelte Slagter complete the Dutch team’s line-up, which is packed with potential stage-winners for the final grand tour of the season, starting in Benidorm on August 20.

    Breschel and Freire -winner of seven Vuelta stages in seven previous appearances, will be using the Vuelta as a springboard for the World Championships in Copenhagen. Breschel finished second behind Thor Hushovd in last year’s world championships, while Freire is a three-time former world champion.

    The team’s overall hopes will lie with Kruiswijk, who finished an impressive ninth place in the Giro d’Italia back in May and then went on to finish third in the Tour of Switzerland.

    Euskaltel-Euskadi back Antón for the Vuelta

    Euskaltel-Euskadi have also confirmed their nine starters for the Vuelta, with Iván Velasco the rider missing out from the Basque team’s initial selection of 10 riders.

    Led by Igor Antón, the Euskaltel-Euskadi line-up also features Giro d’Italia stage winner Mikel Nieve, Egoi Martinez, Gorka Verdugo, Amets Txurruka, Juanjo Oroz, Iñaki Isasi, Pierre Cazaux and Jorge Azanza.

    With the goal very much on helping Antón win overall, Euskaltel’s riders will spend Thursday morning...

  • Piva to join Katusha as directeur sportif for 2012

    Valerio Piva
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 15:40 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    HTC-Highroad riders and staff move on after team's demise

    Experienced Italian directeur sportif Valerio Piva will work for the Katusha team in 2012, according to media reports in Belgium. Piva has been a valued part of the HTC-Highroad team in recent years but has been snapped up by the Russian team after the demise of HTC-Highroad.

    "Team Manager Andrei Tchmil asked me to become a directeur sportif for them," Piva was reported as saying in Het Laatse Nieuws. "There was also a Belgian team interested, but they were too late. It's a pity because I live in Belgium. But now I'm focused on working for Katusha."

    On Monday HTC-Highroad team manager Rolf Aldag told Cyclingnews that all but three riders from the US-registered team have found places for 2012. He was also working hard to ensure staff members also found new positions with other teams.

    Garmin-Cervelo announced the signing of Alex Rasmussen on Tuesday, while Mark Cavendish has revealed that he has decided which team he will ride for in 2012. Team Sky seems the favourite to land the Manxman but his name has also been linked to GreenEdge.

    Other key riders such as Tony Martin and Mark Renshaw are close to deciding their futures, with the Australian linked to Rabobank. Martin is understood to have several offers.

  • McCarty looks for strong performance in Utah

    Pat McCarty (Team Spidertech) gets some encouragement
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 16:15 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Stage wins and overall classification a priority

    Pat McCarty is hoping to have a strong ride at this week's UCI 2.1 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on August 9-14 in Salt Lake City. He was off to a good start at the uphill prologue in which he placed 11th behind a short list of world-class talents.

    "Maybe I'll be good in the overall here," McCarty told Cyclingnews. "I have always ridden for the overall before but the field is stronger this year. But, I am feeling better this year too. I will have to see how it goes because I haven't raced for so long and some of the guys here are coming from the Tour de France, so it's hard to say. I'd like to say I can go for the overall but things might change."

    McCarty's uphill prologue performance landed him just 12 seconds behind the stage winner and overall race leader Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia). Other riders who placed inside the top 10 included Francisco Mancebo (RealCyclist.com), Oscar Sevilla (Gobernacion de Antioquia), Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-HighRoad), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo), Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo), Jack Bauer (Endura Racing), Tyler Wren (Jamis-Sutter Home) and Cesar Grajales (RealCyclist.com).

    "I rode the prologue course yesterday and I liked it, but it was painful," McCarty said. "The overall will change a little bit this week. Snowbird is a big day and I would like to try for the overall. We have to see how it plays out because the race is a little different this year."

    The race will continue with a new stage 1 circuit race from Ogden to Ogden, a 187km race will climb over Ogden Pass three times. Other decisive stages include stage three time trial held at the Miller Motorsport Park, a new stage 4 circuit race held on the steep pitches in...

  • Kittel named in Skil-Shimano team for the Vuelta a España

    Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) takes his second win of 2011 in Orchies
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 19:30 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    German sensation to take on Cavendish, Bennati and Freire in Spain

    The Skil-Shimano team confirmed that Marcel Kittel will be part of the squad’s line-up for the Vuelta a España.  The Professional Continental team is targeting stage victories in the Spanish Grand Tour.

    Kittel won four stages at the recent Tour of Poland, out-powering the likes of Tom Boonen (Quick Step), (Heinrich Haussler) Garmin-Cervelo), Leigh Howard (HTC-Highroad), Francesco Chicchi (Quick Step) and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil).

    He will face Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad), Daniele Bennati (Leopard Trek) and Oscar Freire (Rabobank) in the Vuelta's sprints, but appears to have the speed and sprinting ability to take them on.

    Skil-Shimano named Rudi Kemna and Christian Guiberteau as its leaders, with Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Tom Veelers, Albert Timmer, Koen de Kort, Roy Curvers, Yukihiro Doi and Alexandre Geniez completing the line-up.

    Of the nine riders, five are making their Grand Tour debut: Kittel, Veelers, Curvers, Doi and Geniez.

    “Skil-Shimano strives for a stage victory in the 66th edition of the Vuelta a España and hopes to achieve this goal in a mass sprint or as escaping group,” the team said in a press release.

    The Vuelta a España starts on August 20 in Benidorm and ends on September 11 in Madrid.

  • Sprinters revel over potential stage two sprint in Utah

    The familiar blue & white train of UnitedHealthcare bringing their sprinters to the finish
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 21:17 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Fast men expected to go head-to-head in Provo

    The UCI 2.1-ranked Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah is one of the toughest high-altitude and mountainous stage races in the nation and not typically suited to a sprinter. The handful of fast men in attendance, however, are chomping at the bit for the chance to win the only predominantly flat stage, held on Tuesday, August 11 from Lehi to Provo.

    "I think I can have a good sprint because there aren't too many fast guys at this race," said Jamis-Sutter Home's sprinter Alejandro Borrajo. "I will have to see how I do in stage one, the sprinters have to survive that. I felt good last week and I hope that I can survive stage one and then have a good sprint in stage two."

    The Tour of Utah kicked off with a two-kilometre uphill prologue at the Utah Olympic Park in Park City. The race continued into stage one, a 182.9km circuit race that passes three times over the steep and decisive North Ogden Pass.

    "Stage two is the only reason I'm here," said UnitedHealthcare's sprinter Jake Keough. "I think the overall race will be good and we brought a well rounded team because every stage has something different. We have climbers, time trialists, sprinters and opportunity guys. We have two sprinters here with Frosi (Robert Forster) and myself. Hopefully we can get through stage one without using too much energy and have a good stage two."

    Stage two's 159.6km road race is the only flat stage of the six-day event and likely the only stage to look forward to for sprinters such as Borrajo, Forster and Keough along with Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth), Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad), Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale). Other fast men in the field include Francois Parisien (SpiderTech p/b C10), Tommy Nankervis (RealCyclist.com), Patrick Bevin (Bissell) and Roman Van Uden and Mike Northey...

  • Video: Kennaugh talks about his two years with Sky

    Peter Kennaugh (Sky) had a brilliant ride
    Article published:
    August 10, 2011, 22:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Manxman progresses in second pro season

    Peter Kennaugh (Sky) spoke to Cyclingnews' Pierre Carrey during the Tour of Poland about his transition to the professional ranks in 2010, both his and Team Sky's debut seasons.

    "The first year was quite hard and a bit of a shock," said Kennaugh. "You find yourself doing a lot more teamwork rather than going for results yourself."

    In his second year as a professional in 2011, however, the 22-year-old Manxman has begun to find his legs and garner results. "So far, so good this year. I've really enjoyed it this year, the team's running a lot more smoothly."

    While part of the British National Team in 2009 Kennaugh put his stage racing abilities on display with a third place finish in the Baby Giro. Two years later, now with Team Sky, Kennaugh completed an extremely taxing Giro d'Italia in May, his first Grand Tour, and parlayed his post-Giro form into podium finishes at the Route du Sud and the British road championships.

    After taking a break from racing while the Tour de France was taking place, Kennaugh returned to racing at the Brixia Tour and then the Tour of Poland, in which he finished fifth overall.

    Kennaugh speaks about his progression as a professional, particularly in stage races, his strengths as a road rider, as well as his future regarding track cycling.