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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Date published:
August 19, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Bole becomes second Slovenian at Lampre

    Grega Bole (Slovenia) beaten to the line by Visconti
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 1:39 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Classics capabilities bolstered with signing

    Lampre-NGC has signed young Slovenian Grega Bole to ride for the Italian squad during the 2010 season. Bole will join coutryman Simon Spilak at the team following the recent departure of Marzio Bruseghin to Caisse d'Epargne.

    Directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi is excited about the young rider, who took out the GP Nobili Rubinetterie and a stage of the Vuelta Asturias earlier this year.

    "It was Milan Erzen, head of ADR Mobil, who advised me about the employment of Bole with the Slovenian team," said Bontempi. "We have excellent relations, so then we knew we had found a strong rider with great reliability."

    "We had already noticed the personality and the qualities displayed by this rider during the season. Bole is a rider with a good background and this will allow him to add a great element to our racing in the North [the Spring Classics]."

  • Voigt back in action at Missouri?

    Jens Voigt suffers like a three-legged dog up the final climb on stage four.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 2:32 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German veteran could return next month

    Jens Voigt may return to racing at next month's Tour of Missouri, German news agency SID reported. The Saxo Bank stalwart fell during stage 16 of this year's Tour de France, suffering a cheekbone and jaw fracture, and a concussion.

    Making a visit to the Athletics World Championships in Berlin, Voigt told reporters, "My body is almost back to 100 percent. I would like to start riding again in mid-September."

    The 37-year-old German will miss next month's road world championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, citing an obvious lack of racing as the reason. "This is a too large a target," he explained. "I won't reach the necessary form this year."

    Voigt will instead seek "a few small or medium-sized" races to compete in, the likes of which include the Tour of Missouri, where Saxo Bank will again be racing. He said his racing would be, "just to indicate to myself and also the world: I'm still here, and I'm riding."

  • Emphatic win for Eeckhout despite stomach complaint

    Niko Eeckhout (Ireland An Post M.Donnelly Grant Thornton Sean Kelly)
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 2:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Warm weather to blame for gastro blues

    He may turn 39 in December, but Belgian veteran Niko Eeckhout still knows how to suffer and win races.

    The man from Izegem took out Tuesday's GP Stad Zottegem from the likes of Jurgen Roelandts and in-form Dane Martin Pedersen, although as the Belga news agency reports, the finale was a little unsavoury.

    "I was vomiting full on," said Eeckhout of the finish. "The warm weather was certainly not my ally. I like the cold much better."

    The An Post - Sean Kelly Team rider was active throughout the race but eventually the field came together for a bunch kick, which Eeckhout managed to take, despite his poor stomach.

    "I was in an early break of 26, but when they didn't drive. When the four leaders got close to five minutes, Silence-Lotto began driving in the peloton. We picked up our pace and so did the other teams later," he explained.

    "Silence-Lotto took the final initiative in full, but I could still squeeze out the win on the finishing straight. I think this is a beautiful race and it was one that was missing on my palmares. Today I have also filled that hole," he said.
     

  • Clarke aiming for worlds spot after joining ISD

    Australia's Simon Clarke shows off his new team kit after signing with ISD for the remainder of 2009.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 3:00 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Australian rider will contest Tour of Britain

    Australia’s Simon Clarke is hoping to earn himself one of Australia’s nine UCI World Road Championship berths with some solid results between now and the September 16 selection deadline. Clarke has just returned to his Italian home after completing his first race with new squad ISD, with whom he’ll spend the remainder of 2009.

    Clarke will contest three one day races this week, before taking part in Trofeo Melinda - val di Non and Giro della Romagna in the lead up to next month’s Tour of Britain.

    “I am hoping that in these following races I can gain a result in order to be considered for the World Championships in Mendrisio,” said Clarke. “Like the worlds last year, it’s right at my back door where I live in Italy and therefore know the roads very well and is a course that I really like.”

    Clarke returned to Italy on Monday after finishing the Tour of Portugal, his first race in three months having started the season with Amica Chips-Knauf.

    “I have signed with ISD until the year end,” the 23-year-old said. “It’s an experience that I am really looking forward to as the head team director, Luca Scinto, who I know from the last years racing as an amateur in Italy, is well known for achieving great things with the riders he has. So it will be great to be able to become apart of his mission.”

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  • Team harmony strong despite changes at Columbia-HTC

    Bernhard Eisel on TV after his stage win in Suisse
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 3:23 BST
    By:
    Les Clarke

    Eisel looks ahead to 2010

    This season has been one of Bernhard Eisel's best, the Austrian rider cementing his role as a key domestique for Columbia-HTC and playing an important role in the team's Tour de France success. Despite pressures arising from the current transfer environment, he believes that changes within the squad won't hinder it accumulating another stellar palmares in 2010.

    Edvald Boasson Hagen has declared he's leaving the team, while it's likely that another big name, Thomas Lövkvist, will also be departing in addition to American veteran George Hincapie. Eisel's own contract runs until the end of next season and he says the recent upheavals surrounding rider transfers hasn't changed the harmony of the American outfit.

    "Bob [Stapleton] and Rolf [Aldag] obviously want to hold on to as many riders as possible, but there is also a large financial aspect to this. Neither the riders nor the team leaders are angry because someone leaves," Eisel told radsport-news.com.

    He attributes this to the cohesion within the team, something that has been spoken of on many occasions as the key to success within Bob Stapleton's squad. "Of course we aren't a family, because the family is at home and this here is our job. It's been a lot of hard work, and we do recover at home.

    "But we consider ourselves really strong and there are friendships among each other. And when you're with some of the riders and have less contact with the others, it's a pleasure to see those other guys at the races again."

    Another aspect of this stability is the fact that in a slightly questionable financial environment, the team's sponsorship is safe for the next two seasons. "The team has sponsorship contracts until the end of 2011 and it also looks as if it will run longer," said Eisel.

    "It's not easy to leave this team. Not just because we are so dominant, but also because our team offers so much. We lack nothing and it's just fun; whether it's the...

  • Silence-Lotto lets four riders go and hires one for 2010

    Jan Bakelants (Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator) out the back after some mechenical problems.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 11:20 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Jan Bakelants expected to join Belgium's Silence-Lotto from Topsport-Vlaanderen

    Silence-Lotto is setting up its team for the 2010 season, letting four riders go and considering a contract for Jan Bakelants from team Topsport-Vlaanderen. Roy Sentjens, Pieter Jacobs, Géry Gardeyn and Bart Dockx might leave the Belgian ProTour team at the end of the year, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

    "The decision is not yet final," said sports director Herman Frison. He said contract talks could continue if the four do well in the coming races.

    Sentjens, who has been with the Belgian team since 2007, expected to search for a new team. "It obviously has to do with my protest after not being selected for the Tour," he told the Gazet van Antwerpen. "I have never regretted my words. I think that as a rider I should state my own opinion."

    The 28-year-old is currently riding the Eneco Tour. "I am doubly motivated to do something there."

    Bakelants, 22, told Sporza that he has "an attractive offer. Several teams have made me offers, but Silence-Lotto is currently in the pole position."

    He denied media reports that he had signed with Team Columbia-HTC. "The team has never made me a firm offer and I have never spoken with them. This story is not true."

    Bakelants lacked victories this year, but in 2008 won the Circuit des Ardennes, Under-23 Liege-Bastogne-Liege and the Tour de l'Avenir overall classification.

  • Weylandt angry over Vuelta a España non-selection

    Wouter Weylandt (Quick Step) on the podium.
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 11:25 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Allan Davis selected for Quick Step's Vuelta squad

    Wouter Weylandt is angry about his non-selection for the Vuelta a España, August 29 to September 20. Team Quick Step selected Australia's Allan Davis as a back-up sprinter to Tom Boonen instead of Belgium's Weylandt.

    Weylandt, 25, won stage 17 to Valladolid in last year's Vuelta. He is especially frustrated at missing the race since he has missed other big races earlier this season. "First I was promised Paris-Nice and then the Giro," he told Het Nieuwsblad. "But I could not ride them because it was too soon after the Classics."

    "I put everything on the Vuelta, but it's nothing again. Instead it is the Eneco Tour and the Tour of 'Miserie' [Missouri]."

    Team manager Patrick Lefevere discussed the selection with Weylandt earlier this week and indicated that the young rider hadn't met the team's expectations this season. "Lefevere has always believed in me, but since this year, it seems the faith is gone. I don't know why."

    Quick Step selected Davis to make up for his last-minute removal from the Tour de France squad. A French court ruled that Boonen could start despite an out-of-competition doping control for cocaine.

    Weylandt lacked understanding in the decision to take Davis to the Vuelta. Lefevere said in January, according to Weylandt, that Weylandt was a stronger rider than Davis.

    Davis won the three stages and the overall of the Tour Down Under this season. He finished fourth in Milano-Sanremo and fourth in the recent Vattenfall Cyclassics. He had seven top-ten stage finishes in the Giro d'Italia.

    Weylandt won Le Samyn and a stage in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, both in March.

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  • Farrar considers other one-day classics after Hamburg win

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Slipstream)
    Article published:
    August 19, 2009, 11:29 BST
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    USA's Tyler Farrar hopes for World title in coming years

    Tyler Farrar has his eyes on other one-day Classics after he won the biggest race of his career Sunday in Germany, Hamburg's Vattenfall Cyclassics. He hopes to have a strong 2010 season, one which could end with him becoming the first World Champion from the USA since Lance Armstrong.

    "I have to keep in mind my strengths," team Garmin's Farrar told Cyclingnews. "Races like Milano-Sanremo, Gent-Wevelgem, Paris-Tours, Vattenfall are the one-day Classics for me."

    Farrar put his name in the Hamburg annals alongside Alessandro Ballan, Oscar Freire, Paolo Bettini and Johan Museeuw, all riders who have won the World Championships at least once. The next two seasons present World Championships suited to sprinters like Farrar, Melbourne in 2010 and Copenhagen in 2011. He could become the first World Champion from the USA since Armstrong won his title in at the 1993 edition in Oslo, Norway.

    "I would think [it's possible] some day in the future, but not this year," he said. "With the progress I've made this year I have to be considered a contender for the one-day races that can end in a sprint."

    Hamburg topped off a season of sprinting persistence for Farrar. He began with a stage win in Tirreno-Adriatico, three second places in the Giro d'Italia, a stage and overall at the Delta Tour Zeeland and twice second in the Tour de France.

    Farrar rode easy for 10 days after the Tour de France and took part in some post-Tour criteriums. He intensified his training heading into his third participation in Hamburg.

    "I know I was in decent form from the Tour and the Hamburg course suits me pretty well. The team had it in mind for me. Once we got over the [Waseberg] climb the last time, we knew it would be a sprint. I had Martijn [Maaskant] and Chris Sutton working for me. They both did a great job putting me where I needed to be for the sprint."

    Farrar is continuing strong in the Eneco Tour, August 18 to 25. ...