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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Date published:
January 05, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Tech news: New Vaypor editions coming from Bont

    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 1:02 GMT
    James Huang, technical editor

    World champion Thor Hushovd honoured

    Australian cycling footwear company Bont is set to release additional versions of its latest Vaypor road model.

    The new Vaypor WCE (World Champion Edition) honours Thor Hushovd's world championship win last October in Geelong, Australia, with rainbow stripes on the forward strap and sides plus a Norwegian flag on the heel. Aside from the unique graphics treatment, the Vaypor WCE is otherwise identical to the standard Vaypor and will cost US$389.

    Sitting atop the standard Vaypor is the new Vaypor Premium range, featuring laminated silver fiberglass fibres integrated into the microfibre uppers. Bont will offer the Premium models in black microfibre with silver straps or white microfibre with silver straps for US$389, or full silver fiberglass uppers for US$425.

    Subbing in the glass fibre construction will save a bit of weight, although Bont's Steven Nemeth admits the difference will be "very small" and the changes amount mostly to an aesthetic upgrade. According to Nemeth, the overall fit and feel of the Premium models will be very similar to the standard Vaypor as well.

  • Gerrans in great shape for Nationals

    Simon Gerrans (Team Sky) from Victoria leans into the bend out of the home straight in Portarlington.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 3:01 GMT
    Les Clarke

    Sky star pleased with pre-season preparation

    Team Sky rider Simon Gerrans showed he is in devastating form ahead of the Australian Open Road Championships in Ballarat, Victoria, this weekend with a sensational ride to finish second during the second stage of this year's Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Portarlington on Monday.

    The Victorian spent most of the day battling ahead of the field, eventually finishing behind race winner Michael Matthews in a two-up sprint. He explained that his performance owed much to solid pre-season preparations.

    "I've done a pretty solid pre-season, really... I finished my season at the world championships last year and had a good rest after that. Since then I've pretty much done two months solid work just to prepare for the season. I want to start the season going well," Gerrans told Cyclingnews.

    "I took about a month off after Worlds then lost a week because I had to go back to the UK for some team meetings and photographs, that sort of stuff. The first month of the pre-season was a little bit off-and-on but December was pretty solid," he added.

    Gerrans' ability in tough one-day races - he finished top 10 in all three Ardennes Classics during the 2009 season - means he starts the Australian national road race championship decider on Sunday as one of the big favourites, with Michael Rogers recently admitting that his new teammate should prove a tough adversary for the title contenders.

    "Simon is in pretty good shape and we have a few guys who can support him," said Rogers. "We are in with a great chance to win."

    Gerrans wasn't talking up his chances however, explaining that a race day plan is yet to be decided. One thing's for certain though - Team Sky is giving itself an excellent chance of taking the win with the likes of Mat Hayman, Chris Sutton, Gerrans, Rogers and Briton Ben Swift riding the race for the green-and-gold.

    "We haven't had a really good talk about it yet but we have a solid team - we have five...

  • Bauer betting on tough challenge in NZ Nationals

    New Zealand National Road Champ Jack Bauer looks relaxed before the start
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 5:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Defending champion "won't fly under the radar"

    Defending New Zealand road race champion Jack Bauer is expecting to be a marked man in this year's battle for the title, to be held in Christchurch this Sunday.

    The 25-year-old from Takaka upset more fancied rivals to edge out Hayden Roulston and Julian Dean in the sprint to win last year's race on the tough terrain on the Cashmere Hills.

    A field that includes ProTour riders Julian Dean (Garman Transitions), Greg Henderson (Team Sky), Hayden Roulston (HTC-Highroad), Sam Bewley and Jesse Sergent (both Radioshack) along with national series champion Jeremy Yates and former Francais de Jeux pro Tim Gudsell (now with the new Pure Black Racing team) awaits Bauer for the 186km race.

    He says that a year of racing professionally in the UK has him wiser and ready to take on Henderson, Roulston and co. "It definitely won't be the same [as last year]. I won't be able to sneak up on them this time. The riders that are there to win will be more wary about having me there at the end and will try to get rid me of early on," said Bauer.

    "I have to approach it in a different way and race it a lot smarter. Compared with the person I was last year I have a lot more up my sleeve.

    "I have a lot more to bring to this race, not just fitness-wise but a little bit more experience and a bit more know-how. Fitness-wise I am good and raring to go."

    Bauer said wearing the national champion's jersey had been a highlight of his year, which included rides at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia and the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India.

    "It's been a privilege and an honour to wear the jersey. It certainly got plenty of attention in the media when I raced. It's something that I had always aspired to," he said. "To achieve the national title and race professionally made 2010 very special and it came earlier in my career than I had expected."

    He said the introduction of the trade teams Pure Black Racing alongside...

  • Milne targets early season races with Kenda

    2007 US pro criterium podium (l-r): Alex Candelario, Kirk O'Bee, Martin Gilbert, Shawn Milne and Tony Cruz.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 8:18 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    New Englander to meet new team in Florida

    After a turbulent start to the season last year, Shawn Milne (Kenda p/b Geargrinder) is hoping to kick off the New Year with good form and strong early season performances. The New Englander is preparing for the upcoming season in warmer climates in North Carolina, Florida and California with a mid-term goal targeted at the USA Cycling Pro Road Championships held in May in Greenville, South Carolina.

    "I talked with Frankie [Andreu] and Chad [Thompson] a few weeks ago about my schedule and goals," Milne said. "I told them that I just want to be raced. My goal early this season isn't to train my way to become flying by March. My goal is to put in a solid foundation now so that I can get in 60 plus races in this year. If I can race that much, I have no doubt that the results will come and be numerous."

    Milne has raced for notable US-based outfits such as the former Navigators Insurance and HealthNet. He spent the previous three seasons with the US-based squad Team Type 1, a team that secured a UCI Professional Continental license for 2011. His contract was not renewed for a fourth season and he found a new opportunity with Kenda p/b Geargrinder.

    "Last year certainly wasn't a good year for me," Milne said. "From getting a virus in Morocco in April, to not being selected to Tour of California, to the team cutting back on races during the summer so I wasn't racing much. I would consider it a very frustrating and tough year. It mentally took almost everything out of me just trying to survive the year. I have cleared my head this off-season and am really hoping to reach the level that I am capable of this year with Kenda p/b Geargrinder."

    Milne started last season with food poisoning followed by a crash at the Tour du Maroc. He ended the year having competed in a total of 35 race days. He earned a respectable sixth place at the USA Cycling Professional Road National Championships and is hoping to improve on that performance this...

  • Paris-Roubaix voted Cyclingnews One-Day Race of the Year

    An exhausted Fabian Cancellara after his Paris-Roubaix victory.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 9:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cancellara's dominance on the cobblestones honoured

    The Hell of the North added another chapter to its legend in 2010, as Fabian Cancellara pulled away from the field with 50 km to go and won by two minutes. It was the Swiss rider's second victory at the famous velodrome, and one of the most impressive in the race's long history, rewarded by being voted Best One-Day Race by Cyclingnews readers.

    The 2010 edition of the race was held on a clear, dry and sunny day, so the riders were spared the worst of the dust and mud which have so often added an additional layer of drama to an already spectacular race.

    The favourite going into the race was not Saxo Bank's Cancellara, who had won in 2006, but Tom Boonen of Quick Step, who was looking for his third consecutive win and his fourth in total. In 2009, it was the Belgian who had pulled away and soloed into the velodrome.

    But 2010 was not to be Boonen's year, and he must have had forebodings going into the race. Cancellara has already proved his dominant form, dropping Boonen with a kiilometre to go in the E3 Prijs Harelbeke, and more importantly, outriding him on the Kapelmuur before going on to win the Tour of Flanders.

    The questions going into the race therefore, were: would Saxo Bank be able to control the race? Could Cancellara stay upright on the cobbles, and would his material also come through unscathed? But as it turned out, the only thing to consider was how much the world time trial champion would win by.

    A large escape group got away early, but the first cobblestone section started cutting into their four-minute lead. The 2400m-long cobble section in the Arenberg had it usual effect, and when the riders emerged from the forest, only nine riders had less than minute lead over the field led by Cancellara and Boonen.

    With only 68 km to go, the last of the break was caught by a chasing field of 30 riders, which contained all the big names. Boonen did his best to get away, but the others were...

  • Rous set to join Cofidis as directeur sportif

    Directeur sportif Didier Rous
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 10:01 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman left Europcar last week

    Didier Rous is expected to sign a contract to join Cofidis’ management team on Wednesday morning, according to reports in L’Équipe. The Frenchman resigned his position as directeur sportif with Jean-René Bernaudeau’s Europcar squad last week.

    “I hope that he [Bernaudeau] understood the reasons behind my resignation,” Rous told L’Équipe. “He knows why I’m leaving. I spent some good times with Jean-Rene but now other challenges await me.”

    It is understood that Rous is set to meet with Cofidis manager Éric Boyer and Thierry Vittu, the director of Cofidis Competition, to discuss the terms of his contract. The two-time French champion spent seven years as a rider with Bernaudeau's teams before becoming directeur sportif in 2008. He was believed to have grown disappointed at his lack of input into Europcar's recruitment policy. Rous is understood to have been frustrated by the departure of Pierrick Fedrigo and the non-renewal of Laurent Lefèvre's contract.

    On Tuesday it was announced that Stéphane Augé had opted not to continue as a rider with Cofidis in 2011, and he will instead serve as a directeur sportif. The French squad had previously parted company with former directeur sportif Francis Van Londersele.

  • Nibali lists Scarponi as biggest threat for 2011 Giro d'Italia victory

    Vicenzo Nibali (Liquigas) poses with his new bike for the season.
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 11:29 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Sicilian ready for Riccò's challenge

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) has said that Michele Scarponi (Lampre) will be his biggest rival for overall victory at the Giro d’Italia, but he acknowledged that Riccardo Riccò will also pose a significant threat.

    “For 2011, my rival at the Giro will be Scarponi,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “That’s not to undervalue Riccò, who will be returning to three-week races.”

    Nibali locked horns with Riccò on several occasions as an amateur and he is looking forward to renewing acquaintances with his erstwhile rival on one of cycling’s biggest stages.

    Riccò returned to racing last March after serving a suspension for CERA use but he failed to secure an invitation to last year’s Giro. His Vacansoleil team secured a ProTeam licence for 2011, however, and Riccò is set to feature at the Giro.

    “He’s a tough and unpredictable adversary, who’s capable of bluffing,” Nibali explained. “He’s a year older than me, so I came up against [Giovanni] Visconti more often.

    “However, I remember a duel at the amateur national championships, where Riccò won riding very strongly. Now he’s back after a long lay-off. He has to get back into the game, also in terms of credibility.”

    Riding the Giro without Basso

    Nibali finished 3rd at the 2010 Giro behind overall winner and teammate Ivan Basso. With the latter focusing his energies on the Tour de France this year, Nibali looks set to be handed the reins of Liquigas leadership at the Giro. He insists that his Giro challenge will not suffer from Basso’s anticipated absence.

    “I’m not worried, last year I gained experience by winning the Vuelta as a leader,” Nibali said. “It’s right that everybody concentrates on his own objective, in order to avoid conflicts. Ivan and I...

  • Contador verdict delayed till February?

    Alberto Contador strikes a pose for Procycling's Tour de France preview. A few months later he would win the Tour but test positive for Clenbuterol
    Article published:
    January 05, 2011, 11:38 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Complexity of the case could delay announcement on clenbuterol positive

    Just days after World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey complained in the Spanish press about “the slowness of Spanish justice”, it is being reported that the verdict in Alberto Contador’s clenbuterol case may be delayed until February.

    According to Spanish daily AS, the president and three members of the federation’s competitions committee are currently studying the dossiers that outline and contest Contador’s positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. Sources at the federation have told AS that the number and complexity of the documents involved could result in the committee going beyond the January date when their verdict on the case had been expected.

    This delay could have repercussions further into the upcoming racing season given that there is likely to be an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the verdict on Contador is delivered. Fahey indicated in an interview with El País earlier this week that WADA is likely to appeal if the Spanish federation finds in Contador’s favour. Likewise, Contador’s defence team is almost certain to appeal to the CAS if the three-time Tour winner is found guilty of doping.

    Given that the CAS takes up to six months to deliver a verdict on the cases it hears, this could mean that there will be no definitive verdict in the Contador case before the Spaniard starts the planned defence of his Tour title in July.