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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Date published:
February 10, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Cancellara building up slowly for Spring Classics

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 9:50 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Saxo Bank rider targets Ronde van Vlaanderen this spring

    Many people were surprised to see World time trial champion Fabian Cancellara get left behind during the opening team time trial at the Tour of Qatar. He also missed the front echelon on Monday's road stage, while most of his big-name Classics rivals were in the thick of the action.

    However the big man from Berne is not worried about his results in Qatar and what people might read into them. He is starting his tenth season as a professional and knows he has to build his form gradually, even by sacrificing his chances for his teammates and leading out the sprints, so that he can be at his very best for the Spring Classics in April.

    Cancellara had to leave his home in Switzerland and train in Spain because of the snow and cold conditions. He was ill in early January but his relaxed manner in Qatar indicates he is where he wants to be at this early point of the season.

    "This winter was pretty tough and then I got ill in the New Year, but I quickly got better. Other teams got wet and cold elsewhere in Europe, but we had our training camp at Fuertaventura in the Canary Islands and I got in ten days of great work, doing exactly what we planned," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I don't know exactly how good I am, that's why I'm riding Qatar and in Oman. Racing hurts a little bit, but it's important to be here and progress. You can't go deep like that in training."

    "I'm not worried about the results and what people might read into them. I know that I did some massive turns in the team time trial before sitting up and that I worked a lot early for the team in the first road stage. I'm happy to work for the team here in Qatar, as I did in the sprint lead out."

    "I'm not interested in being at the front all the time just because I'm Fabian Cancellara. The important thing is that my teammates can benefit from the work I do for them and that it all helps my form grow gradually. I also hope to avoid crashing and not to get sick...

  • A day of rest for RadioShack

    So glad you made it : Alain and Beppu talk shop
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 10:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    American team enjoy an easier day at their Spanish training camp

    Careful not to overcook things before the season has begun, RadioShack's riders were afforded the luxury of a rest day this week at the team's Spanish training camp.

    After several days of hard work on the roads around Calpe, most of the squad still made their way out for a one to two hour spin before retiring to a local café for a coffee and a chat.

    Once back at the team hotel, the usual routine of massages and mechanical work took place as team managers Johan Bruyneel, José Azevedo, Alain Gallopin and Viatcheslav Ekimov took the opportunity to carry out impromptu pow-wows with team staff and suppliers.

    But with the agenda eased for the day the entire team had plenty of time to kick back with one another. In this day-and-age of rigorous team bonding exercises there's a lot to be said for the old fashioned advantages of quality social time together.

    As the saying goes, all work and no play…

    Click here to view a gallery of images from the rest day at the RadioShack training camp.

  • Rabobank releases details of 2009 doping controls

    Two Rabobank riders in the bunch
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 10:40 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dutch team's riders underwent a total of 484 UCI tests last season

    Dutch ProTour squad Rabobank has issued a detailed list of the urine and blood control tests carried out by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on each member of its 30 rider roster in 2009.

    The total of 484 tests included 304 urine tests and 180 blood tests, conducted both in and out of competition. The riders averaged 16 tests each over the year. Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov was the most tested as he underwent 42 controls throughout the season. At the other end of the spectrum was Mauricio Ardilla, with only five.

    The team pointed out that the numerous tests make it easier for the International Cycling Union (UCI) to develop individual profiles for each rider under the biological passport programme; enabling the UCI to detect potential abnormalities. Despite the stringent requirements of the programme, team management expressed their satisfaction with the efforts made by riders to meet their responsibilities.

    "The biological passport requires an effort from everyone in the team: riders have to fill in their whereabouts and be available for testing. The riders have done this task well,” said Harold Knebel, general director of Rabo Cycling Teams.

    In June 2009, Rabobank reported that in the first half of the season, its riders had undergone 240 controls.

    The following is the complete list, with the riders' names followed by the number of urine and blood tests undertaken by each rider, respectively:

    Denis Menchov (21 - 21)
    Juan Manuel Garate (19 - 9)
    Oscar Freire (17 – 10)
    Robert Gesink (16 – 10)
    Juan Antonio Flecha (13 – 7)
    Stef Clement (13 – 8)
    Joost Posthuma (11 – 8)
    Laurens Ten Dam (11 – 7)
    Paul Martens (13 – 5)
    Lars Boom (10 – 8)
    Koos Moerenhout (12 – 5)
    Bram de Groot (12 – 5)
    Pieter Weening (10 – 6)
    Tom Leezer (10 – 6)
    Grischa Niermann (12 – 4)

  • Ciolek out for two months after Qatar crash

    Germany's Gerald Ciolek (Milram) celebrates his win in Emmen, Netherlands.
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 13:30 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Doctors in Germany discover further injuries, Milram sprinter to face surgery

    Gerald Ciolek was more seriously injured in a crash at the end of the third stage of the Tour of Qatar than originally thought, with the Milram captain expected to be out of competition for up to two months.

    The 23-year-old returned to Germany on Tuesday night where doctors in Bergisch Gladbach, Germany, discovered that in addition to a broken collarbone he also suffered a fracture of the scaphoid bone in his hand, as well as a separated shoulder. All the injuries are on the right side of his body.

    Ciolek will undergo surgery on Thursday. He is expected to be able to start doing light training in three weeks at the earliest.

    “This is a heavy blow for us, since Gerald is one of our two captains,” Milram spokesman Max Biermann told Cyclingnews. “We are all really sorry for Gerald – he was also very unlucky in the spring of last season. We hope that he heals quickly.”

    Ciolek was involved in a mass crash 300 metres from the end of Tuesday's stage. He is one of a number of riders to riders have suffered broken bones in crashes at this year's Tour of Qatar.

  • Rock Racing abandons McCarty

    Patrick McCarty (OUCH) looking strong in the break.
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 13:32 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Matrix/Richardson Bike Mart steps in to help out

    Rock Racing stamped VOID on Pat McCarty's 2010 racing contract when the International Cycling Union (UCI) denied the team the Professional Continental license it was expecting. The former Discovery Channel rider has been left to fend for himself along with would-be teammates Tony Cruz and Fred Rodriguez.

    "Yes, I signed with Rock Racing at the end of November," McCarty told Cyclingnews. "I actually went through the whole process of signing a contract, sending it in and applying for all the insurance. There was a clause in it, of course, that said if Rock Racing did not receive the UCI Professional Continental licence or status then either Rock Racing or the rider could terminate the contract at that time."

    McCarty joined the US Postal Service in 2004 at the age of 23 and moved forward with the team as it turned into the Discovery Channel in 2005. He went on to race for Phonak in 2006 and when it folded he was offered a spot on Garmin-Chipotle through 2008. Last year he raced for the US-based OUCH presented by Maxxis.

    The 28-year-old says he had trouble finding a professional contract in the US, in part because of the recent age restriction placed on Continental teams whereby half the riders must be under the age of 28. As a last resort, he signed on with Rock Racing in November despite widespread knowledge of the team's struggle to find an additional sponsor, announced by Michael Ball in August last year.

    "Everything I had heard from the team was that they were doing everything they could to get the Pro Continental licence," McCarty explained. "I had dead-end alleys with the age limit and getting on other teams, so it was a 'what if' situation. It sounded like they had a good sponsor but it was pending the Pro Continental licence; they had big plans and Michael was motivated to make it happen.

    "Nothing is for sure in cycling and I knew the situation going into it," he continued. "It was late in the year and I was...

  • Phinney in Qatar sprint action for a second day

    Taylor Phinney and Tyler Farrar relax before the start
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 15:32 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Trek-Livestrong rider beats Boonen on stage four

    Taylor Phinney (Trek-Livestrong) finished in the top ten in the sprint at the Tour of Qatar for a second consecutive day on Wednesday, showing he has the speed and sprinting skills to match some of the best in the world.

    He finished seventh on stage three on Tuesday and was eighth on Wednesday in a high-speed, tailwind assisted sprint, on the Al Khor
    Corniche, north of Doha.

    Despite only being 19, Phinney is not afraid to fight for wheels at breakneck speed and again finished ahead of some big name sprinters. On Tuesday he had a privileged view of Tom Boonen winning the sprint but today Phinney finished three places ahead of the Belgian.

    "I wanted to come out and prove that yesterday wasn't just luck, that it was me being in the right place at the right time," Phinney proudly told Cyclingnews just after the finish.

    "The race was made going into the roundabout with one and a half kilometres to go and before that I really had to fight to be up front, it was really sketchy."

    "I just kept the wheel and tried to sprint as hard as I could at the line. I can hold the power they go at but the peak-end power for the sprint is what I need to work on. But I'm really happy with today. It reinforces that I wasn't lucky but that I can also get some top tens here."

    Trek-Livestrong punch above their weight

    Phinney is riding the Tour of Qatar and then the Tour of Oman as part of his build-up to the world track championships in March.

    The two six-day races are highest profile events on Trek-Livestrong's 2010 race calendar. Yet despite the riders being far younger than most of their rivals, they are punching far above their weight and are earning the respect of the big names in the peloton.

    On Tuesday Briton's Alex Dowsett was part of the early break. Today Kiwi Jesse Sergent was part of the three-rider attack that went away
    at the kilometre zero mark and was only swept up with 14km...

  • Farrar flummoxed by four flats in Qatari finale

    Garmin's Tyler Farrar
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 17:40 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Garmin sprinter misses out on stage four

    The Garmin-Transitions team avoided the crashes and finished stage four at the Tour of Qatar with six riders, but their bad luck continued as team sprinter Tyler Farrar punctured four times in the last 20km of the stage.

    The Garmin team finished a strong second in the opening team time trial on Sunday and looked set to challenge overall and in the sprints with Farrar. However, Steven Cozza crashed out on stage two and broke his collarbone. Then young neo-pro Kirk Carlsen crashed heavily during stage three and broke his collarbone and shoulder.

    Martijn Maaskant and Murilo Fischer were also brought down in the crash that took out Cozza. Both crashes were caused by other riders trying to avoid the metal road reflector dots that are often used in Qatar.

    On Tuesday Farrar was slowed by the high-speed crash during the sprint on stage three and only finished ninth behind winner Tom Boonen (Quick Step). He was hoping to finally get a clear run to the line today and test his sprinting form but his four flats in the finale meant he finished more than four minutes behind stage winner Francesco Chicchi (Liquigas-Doimo).

    "Four flats in 20km is ridiculous. What can you do when that happens?" Farrar said after the stage, fortunately wise enough to laugh about it rather than get upset.

    "It was a nice finish and I think it was a good finish for me today. I was motivated but it all went wrong.

    "First I flatted with 18km to go. It was easy to get back on because it was a headwind and we were going pretty slow. But then I flatted again with 10km to go. I took [teammate] Murilo Fischer's back wheel and that one was a little harder to get back from. I'd made it back up to the front but then with 4km to go I hit a big hole and flatted both wheels! There was no way back from that.

    "Yesterday they crashed in the sprint, today I flatted. Maybe one of these days, I'll get to try in the sprint.

    "The only consolation is that at...

  • Sierra Grade, Bonny Doon back in Tour of California

    The peloton heads down Highway 1 on the way to Santa Cruz in the 2009 Amgen Tour of California
    Article published:
    February 10, 2010, 17:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stages 3, 4 offer more climbing but could fall to the sprinters

    The Amgen Tour of California organisers continued their staged release of the details of this year's race, today giving out information on the third and fourth stages of the 2010 Tour.

    The third stage from San Francisco to Santa Cruz is a near repeat of the 2009 stage, minus the trip across the iconic Golden Gate bridge since the stage is no longer on a public holiday and shutting down the route on a workday would cause a traffic jam of epic proportions.

    The 182.9km stage will still take in some of the most spectacular scenery that California has to offer as well as providing a potential launching pad for those riders seeking a high finish in the overall classification.

    The riders will take in the wild beauty of Half Moon Bay before turning inland toward Kings Mountain toward the first difficulty of the day on Tunitas Creek Road.

    The route then heads south again toward La Honda on highway 84, but rather than staying on this road for a flatter route to the coast, the route turns onto Pescadero Road to take in two climbs, then drops back to sea level on highway 1 before hitting the Bonny Doon Road climb which Levi Leipheimer used to catapult himself into the overall lead last year.

    Garmin-Transitions' manager Jonathan Vaughters predicted how this stage would play out. "That depends on what's happened the day before. If the race has a real GC contender on a top team in the leader's jersey, then we'll see a defensive day, with perhaps a rider from a small, early, breakaway winning alone, and a group of 15 or so coming in together with all the contenders in it just behind. 

    "However, if the leader of the race is a more vulnerable rider, then I'd say all-out attacks from riders like Levi Leipheimer, Michael Rogers, and maybe our own Tom Danielson will split the race to pieces."

    Vaughters predicted the fourth stage, from San Jose to Modesto, would play into the hands of the sprinters. The 195.5km route...