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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Date published:
December 21, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Mouth watering prospect for Tour Down Under as GreenEdge announce all-star line-up

    New teammates Robbie McEwen and Matt Goss
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 3:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Goss, McEwen, O'Grady, Gerrans to ride together in opening WorldTour event

    Spoilt with options, it comes as no surprise that GreenEdge will bring all of their big hitters to the opening round of the WorldTour in Adelaide next month for the Santos Tour Down Under, with a firm eye on taking the title on Januray 22.

    With three former winners in the team, Cameron Meyer, Stuary O'Grady and Simon Gerrans, as well as multiple stage winners Robbie McEwen and Matt Goss the team have to be considered the favourites to take out what is its' "home race".

    "We’re obviously really proud to have such a great line-up for our first race on the WorldTour," said team general manager Shayne Bannan.

    "Having our debut in Australia is exciting. It’s a race that has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. We are trying to honour that by bringing a really competitive roster. It will be a hard race, but we have a good chance to put GreenEdge on the map in our first big international competition."

    The final squad does omit former winner Allan Davis, who will miss his first Tour Down Under in his career. Davis has been a long time supporter of the race but will be following a different build up as he seeks to finally make his mark on La Primavera in March. Bannan said that even without Davis the team selected would be more than prepared for all possibilities.

    "The riders we have selected reflect the various scenarios that could very well play out in the race," added Bannan. "We’ll have a good chance of being up there in the sprints, but with the new stage finish on Willunga Hill, we also come...

  • Video: Chris Jory reflects on a frustrating 2011

    Mark Jamieson scores the biggest win of his road career with a convincing sprint to the line agains Chris Jory (BikeBug.com) and Brian Mcleod (Budget Forklifts)
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 4:00 GMT
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    GPM Racing leader hoping to convert second place finishes to wins next season

    Chris Jory (GPM Wilson Racing) says that he is happy to be racing for another year in Australia, despite coming close to a berth with a Belgian Continental team.

    The affable 23-year-old showed himself to be one of the strongest riders in this year's NRS, highlighted by podiums at the two big New South Wales classics, the Goulburn to Sydney Classic and the Grafton to Inverell.

    Jory explained to Cyclingnews that it had been a frustrating season in many ways after so many close calls.

    "It's hard to go a year without winning, especially when you get four or five seconds. The goal for next year is definitely to win one."

    The Australian was philosophical about his results however, saying he had put it all on the line, particularly in Grafton where he ran second to former world track champion Mark Jamieson.

    Looking ahead Jory says he is hoping for a strong performance in the Tour of Manawatu (formerly the Tour of Wellington) before he heads to Europe where he'll ride in some of the Belgian classics including Brabantse Pijl.

    "A good results, a top 10, a top 5 in one of the bigger races is worth a lot."

    See the full video interview with Chris Jory below.

  • Genesys Wealth Advisers set for 2012 NRS title defence

    Nathan Haas was doing his best to help Genesys Wealth Advisers teammate Steele Von Hoff on the climb at Poatina.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 5:30 GMT
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    Australian team bolstered by signings of Carver, Dyball, Davis and Hose

    It's going to be a hard act to follow for the Genesys Wealth Advisers 2012 team. The class of '11 set the bar extremely high, proving almost untouchable on the Australian National Road Series in which Nathan Haas, Steele Von Hoff and Patrick Shaw finished first, second and third.

    The team won all but one of the events on the Australian calendar, with the one race in which they missed out, the Grafton to Inverell, more than made up for by their show of force at the 1.HC rated Japan Cup on the same weekend.

    But things will be different in 2012. The team's two stand-out riders Nathan Haas and Steele Von Hoff have embarked on professional careers with Slipstream Sports and that has left a big hole for any rider to follow. Between them, the two boasted more than 30 victories - a tally that will be hard to account for in their absence.

    "Of course it's hard to replace those guys," said team manager Steve Price, "But I'm confident that we have riders who can step up next year.  You can't compare what you do year-on-year but I think we have the right ingredients for a strong season next year."

    The team have recruited well in the off-season and along with incumbents Anthony Giacoppo and Pat Shaw who are the most likely to assume the leadership mantle, the team's new signings; including under 23 national champion Ben Dyball and Asian Tour general classification rider Sam Davis are exciting prospects for the "orange army".

    Young talent Blake Hose, who comes from John West Cycling, and former Jayco-AIS rider Alex Carver will also be interesting to see develop further under the tutelage of coaching guru Andrew Christie-Johnson.

    "Blake Hose and Sam Davis are...

  • Boasson Hagen signs new Sky deal

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) gets his trophy
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 10:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian to stay until end of 2014

    Edvald Boasson Hagen has extended his stay with Team Sky after signing a new three-year contract with the British squad. The 24-year-old had one year remaining on his existing contract but has penned a new deal that will keep with the team until the end of 2014.

    “I have enjoyed two great years at Team Sky and really enjoy being part of this team,” Boasson Hagen said. “I have some great teammates here and the support staff are also fantastic. They have helped me improve a lot over the past two seasons and I hope they can help me get even better in the future.”

    Already a winner of Gent-Wevelgem in 2009, Boasson Hagen will aim to add to his tally of Classics victories over the coming seasons. “The Classics are going to be my main focus for the next few seasons. I would love to win a race like Milan-San Remo or Paris-Roubaix and I’ll be working hard to try and achieve those goals.”

    Boasson Hagen was Sky’s star man at the 2011 Tour de France, taking two fine stage wins. With the arrival of Mark Cavendish from HTC-Highroad and with Bradley Wiggins primed for an assault on the general classification, however, the Norwegian may not enjoy the same freedom next July.

    ““There will be plenty of other opportunities to show what I can do in the next three years and when I’m not going for wins myself I will be helping my team-mates out as much as I can,” he said.

    A rapid sprinter, solid time triallist and able climber, Boasson Hagen has the capacity to win on all terrains, and Sky Team Principal Dave Brailsford is hopeful that he will continue to develop over the coming seasons.

    "Edvald is widely recognised as one of the most exciting talents in the...

  • Maaskant ready to take on Classics

    Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 11:05 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin-Cervelo rider putting 2011behind him

    Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Cervelo) is hoping to put a disastrous year behind him and relaunch his career in the 2012 spring classics. The 28-year-old had a year to forget in 2011, crashing out of Paris-Nice and missing the spring campaign with a punctured lung and several broken ribs. He returned to racing later in the year but struggled to get to grips with the pace of the peloton.

    However, with a basis of a solid winter behind him, the Dutch rider’s confidence is on the rise again.

    “The training is going well. I just got back from a training camp in Spain and I can tell that the form is where it needs to be at the moment,” Maaskant told Cyclingnews.

    Maaskant will head to the season opener at the Tour Down Under next month, a race he has never participated in before, and will then head back to Europe to fine tune his Classics form. Once again, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix – he has finished 4th in both races – will be the main aims for his season.

    “For me the season starts really early because I’ll go to the Tour Down Under and then head back to Europe for a full schedule of races. That will be good for me as I didn’t do too many races last year and missed a lot of the season.

    “I feel like I’ve fully recovered but after my crash this season I didn’t get back into form again and I was struggling in races but I’m back onto a schedule now and I’m looking good for the classics in 2012.”

    And Maaskant is eager to make up for lost time.

    “In many ways 2011 was a wasted year for me. I started pretty well but and I was hoping to do something in the classics but my crash destroyed everything for me. I want to be in top condition up until...

  • Contador CAS decision due in mid-January

    Alberto Contador arrives for his CAS arbitration hearing on day 1
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 12:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Court spokesman says decision now being written

    Alberto Contador will learn his fate in the middle of January.  The Court of Arbitration for Sport is writing up its decision on his doping case, which will be announced next month.

    The decision is expected to be announced “between January 15 and 20”, the court's Secretary General Matthieu Reeb told the French website rmcsport.fr

    Contador faces a two-year ban and the loss of the 2010 Tour de France title.  He tested positive for Clenbuterol during that Tour.  The Spanish Cycling Federation cleared him of  the doping charges in February.  Both the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed that decision to CAS.

    After a number of delays, the CAS hearing was finally held in November. The rider not only attended the multi-day hearings, but also gave the closing address.

  • Matxin throws in the towel at GEOX

    Daniele Colli is ready to ride again
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 13:04 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Director says economic uncertainty prevents sponsors committing

    Ever since Italian shoemaker Geox pulled the plug on their team towards the end of October, team manager Mauro Gianetti and director Joxean Fernández Matxin have remained steadfastly upbeat about the prospects of finding a new backer. However, after contacting dozens of companies and getting some way down the road with the Venezuelan tourist board but failing to cement an agreement, Matxin has finally had to admit that there will be no successor to the Geox-TMC squad, in 2012 at least.

    The team’s final hope was the Organización impulsora de Discapacitados (OID), a Spanish organisation that helps those with disabilities find jobs. Gianetti and Matxin initially made contact with the OID in 2005, but eventually negotiated a deal with Saunier Duval. They reopened negotiations following Geox’s bombshell. Although discussions are reported to have been positive, they have ultimately come to nothing.

    “It’s been impossible. In the current economic era it has simply not been feasible, although I’m not giving up and will keep on looking for something for the future,” Matxin told Marca, indicating that that future is likely to be in 2013 rather than next season.

    “We knew that it would not be easy, but I’m the most optimistic guy in the world and we’ve tried right to the last minute. We have been close on a number of occasions but because of the economic circumstances in which we find ourselves it has been impossible. I am sorry for all those who work with us, but they know that we’ve done all that we could.”

    Speaking to Meta2Mil last week, Matxin said that he couldn’t remember how many companies he and Gianetti have been in touch with since Geox announced they were quitting the sport. “We’ve called...

  • Menchov pleased with Russian return

    After a slow start, Denis Menchov (Geox-TMC) has found his legs on this Giro.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 14:01 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Kozontchuk and Ardila to join him at Katusha in 2013

    After an unhappy parenthesis at Geox-TMC, Denis Menchov returns to the WorldTour in 2012 in the colours of Katusha, where his season will be built around the Tour de France. Menchov was left without a team when Geox announced its decision to withdraw from sponsorship after just one season, but he was snapped up by Katusha.

    “In the past people had spoken a lot about my possible arrival at Katusha,” Menchov told Velochrono. “Although they had a bit of a difficult start, Katusha has finally been able to lay the foundations to progress and become a top-level team. I think that it was the right moment to go there. And then, let’s not forget: I’m Russian.”

    Based in Pamplona in Spain, Menchov has spent the whole of his professional career riding for foreign teams, and he admitted that the idea of leading his home nation’s flagship team was one that attracted him.

    “It’s a very important aspect and it’s given me a lot of motivation,” he said. “Since 1999, I’ve travelled all over the world, but I’ve laid down roots in Spain. And I have to say that I have missed mother Russia a little bit. I’m still going to continue being abroad a lot, but the national imprint of the Katusha project stimulates me. It’s an honour that finally I am considered as the most important representative of this movement.”

    Menchov’s primary target for 2012 is the Tour de France, a race he missed this year after Geox-TMC failed to secure one of the wildcard invitations. Given the arrival of Oscar Freire and Andrei Tchmil’s departure from the manager’s role, it remains to be seen if Katusha will continue...