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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Date published:
July 31, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • From Gippsland to Glasgow, Edmondson taking NRS in his stride

    Alexander Edmondson (Team SASI Cycling) leans into a bend on stage three.
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 1:36 BST
    By:
    Jono Lovelock

    Euride Racing hungry for another win

    It’s been a long time between drinks at the Subaru National Road Series (NRS) for Alex Edmondson. Fresh off the London Olympics, Edmondson stepped from track to road at last year’s Tour of Tasmania and has been waiting to get back on Australian roads ever since.

    Between NRS tours Edmondson has been racking up world championship titles on the track in Poland and gaining vital experience on the road in Europe and Asia. Having returned to Australia only last Thursday, Edmondson believes it’s jet lag that he has to worry about first and foremost.

    "Well I’m not sure how I’m going at the moment to be honest," he told Cyclingnews. "I've been on the track, and I've only just got back from overseas and I'm still struggling to sleep at night with the jet lag."

    The team pursuit World Champion is hoping that if his track legs don’t perform as he should hope, he is more than ready to work for one of his Euride Racing (Euride) teammates.

    "I'm going there either for myself or to help the team," Edmondson said. "It’s going to be one of those ones where we will go in with some objectives and hopefully we can come out with some stages here or there or someone up high on the GC."

    In terms of competition, Edmondson is wary of the usual suspects, but believes that the field assembled deserves a lot of respect:

    "As we’ve seen in the last few rounds, Huon-Genesys are going very strong and Drapac aren’t coming so that’s one less team," he stated. "But it’s one of those...

  • Renshaw close to first victory for Team Belkin in Poland

    Mark Renshaw (Belkin) was a close second in Rzeszow
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 2:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian still looking for redemption after Turkey crash

    Mark Renshaw (Belkin) earned his fourth podium of the year in the third stage of the Tour of Poland, and came agonisingly close to his team's first victory since the American-based consumer electronics company took sponsorship of the former Blanco outfit for the Tour de France.

    Norwegian champion Thor Hushovd (BMC) took stage honours in a narrow victory over the Australian after Renshaw led out the sprint in the final few hundred metres.

    Garmin Sharp sprinter, Steele Von Hoff was third.

    "At 300 to 400 metres from the line, I was already in second position and had to start my sprint very early," Renshaw explained. "Normally, I like it that way but with the head wind and Thor Hushovd behind me, I couldn't hold on."

    Renshaw has a win at the Clasica de Almeria, plus two podium finishes at the Tour Down Under to his name in 2013, which is tipped to be his final season with Belkin. It's understood that Renshaw will reunite with Mark Cavendish at Omega Pharma-QuickStep next season. Not selected for Belkin's GC-focused line-up for the Tour de France, Poland marks the 30-year-old's first race since the Tour de Suisse in June.

    A heavy crash at the Tour of Turkey left Renshaw with a fractured collarbone, concussion and a broken tooth. He said following the narrow defeat in Poland that a win on Tuesday would have been the best way to signal that he had returned to his best.

    "I've had some bad luck this year and with a stage win, I could've closed that chapter," Renshaw said.

     

  • Rebellin and CCC Polsat excluded from Tour of Portugal

    Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat Polkowice) finished in the lead group on the Tour of Poland's first stage
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 4:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Organisers claim documentation incomplete

    The upcoming Tour of Portugal will be one team short after the last minute exclusion of the CCC Polsat team. The team has been removed from the event website and the CCC Polsat team has similarly removed any mention of the Tour of Portugal from its website.

    The even organisers claim the team failed to submit the required documentation and thus their registration was invalid. This event comes as a bizarre twist to the trail of the team that includes multiple Flèche Wallonne winner Davide Rebellin.

    Rebellin tested positive for EPO-CERA during the 2008 Olympic Road Race where he won the silver medal. CCC Polsat is the 3rd team Rebellin has ridden for in as many years following his suspension.

    The 41-year-old has provided CCC Polsat with four victories so far this year. He claimed two stages at the Szlakiem Grodòw Piastowskich tour in May. He followed this by winning the opening stage and the overall classification at the Sibiu Tour in Romania.

    The exclusion from the Tour of Portugal over a technicality presents a serious setback for Rebellin who was considered by many a strong contender for the overall title. The tour which runs from the 7th to the 18th of August will now be run with just 17 teams with organisers choosing not to replace the Polish team.

  • Malaysian motion may allow new candidates to enter presidential race

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 7:01 BST
    By:
    Feargal Mc Kay

    Could the courts rule on legitimacy of McQuaid's campaign?

    When the deadline for nominations in the UCI presidential election closed in June it looked like we were faced with a straight-up knock-down fight between two men: the title-holder, Pat McQuaid, and his challenger, Brian Cookson. But a controversial Constitutional amendment now being proposed by the Malaysian federation offers new candidates the chance the throw their hats into the ring.

    Under existing rules anyone can stand in the UCI's presidential election so long as a) they receive the nomination of their home federation; and b) they get their nomination papers in ninety days ahead of the election. The rule change being proposed by the Malaysian federation would allow any two national federations to nominate a presidential candidate. The controversial aspect of the motion is that, rather than only being applicable to future elections, the Malaysian motion includes transitional provisions which would apply it to the current process, reopening the nomination process, which would have a new closing date of August 30.

    McQuaid had originally been nominated by the Irish federation. As a condition of their support they called on the UCI to introduce a two-term limit for UCI presidents. Already a two-term president McQuaid said he would consider applying such a rule change to future elections. The Irish nomination though, was over-turned on procedural grounds and the matter put to the federation's member clubs, who in an extraordinary general meeting overwhelmingly rejected supporting McQuaid.

    McQuaid then fell back on a nomination from the Swiss federation which is now being challenged in the courts, with three Swiss cycling members – Kurt Buergi, Mathias Galli and Patrick Calcagni – claiming that the nomination is unconstitutional...

  • Vacansoleil-DCM name long list for Vuelta a España

    Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 8:41 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch team chasing results with future in doubt

    Vacansoleil-DCM may give two riders their grand tour debut at the upcoming Vuelta a España, with the Dutch-based outfit naming their long list.

    Neo pros Barry Markus – whose season got off to a great start at the Tour of Qatar with three podium finishes – and Wesley Kreder have both been named on the 13-man squad.

    With serious questions over the team's future beyond the end of the current season, Vacansoleil-DCM is aiming for a determined showing at the Spanish Grand Tour.

    "The group of riders is very motivated and all riders have a strong motivation to start in this race," sports director Aart Vierhouten explained. "With for example De Gendt still wanting to show something in 2013, Poels looking forward to follow-up on his Tour de France and Flecha eager to race to his hometown. For the team it is great to have Tomasz Marczynski [13th at 2012 Vuelta] back after a lot of injury [and] I believe we are ready for a great race."

    De Gendt has had a disappointing 2013 following the success of last year where at the Giro d'Italia where he claimed the Dutch team's first ever overall podium in a grand tour, finishing third. The Dutchman finished third in the first time trial of the Tour de France to Mont-Saint-Michael but the team struggled to make an impact on the GC.

    The Vuelta a España starts on August 24.

    Preselection: Johnny Hoogerland, Wesley Kreder, Barry Markus, Wout Poels, Lieuwe Westra, Thomas De Gendt, Willem Wauters, Frederik Veuchelen, Juan Antonio Flecha, Rafael Valls, Grega Bole, Tomasz Marczynski and Sergey Lagutin.
     

  • Petacchi to make Omega Pharma-QuickStep debut at Eneco Tour

    Stage 1 winner Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD)
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 10:07 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian comes out of short-lived retirement on August 1

    Alessandro Petacchi formally rejoins the professional peloton on Thursday and is set to ride his first official race for his new team Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the Eneco Tour, which gets underway on August 12, after riding a couple of criteriums in Belgium in the days beforehand.

    The 39-year-old Italian began the season at Lampre-Merida but announced his retirement in late April, saying it was time “to dedicate time for myself and to go in search of new interests.”

    Two days later, however, Petacchi was linked with a switch to Omega Pharma-QuickStep, but he was unsuccessful in his attempts to sign for the team in time to serve as Mark Cavendish’s lead-out man for the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, as mid-season transfers are not permitted before August 1.

    “I trained like a animal to get ready. First I hoped to do the Giro, then the Tour. I was going really well,” Petacchi told Gazzetta dello Sport on Wednesday. “But there was nothing to be done. I appealed to the UCI and the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but nothing. They considered this move like a transfer, even though I had already stopped racing.”

    Cavendish had already approached Petacchi to be his lead-out man last summer but with the Manxman’s 2013 squad still uncertain at the time, Petacchi opted to remain put at Lampre for another season. He denied that he announced his retirement in April simply to free himself from his contract with Lampre, and said that he was only contacted by Omega Pharma-QuickStep after the news was made public.

    “Two days later, [Omega Pharma team doctor...

  • Bettini begins to select the Italian team for the world championships

    Italian manager Paolo Bettini before the start of the race
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 11:30 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Nibali tipped to lead the squadra, no room for Pozzato and Basso

    With less than two months to go to the world road race championships in Tuscany, Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has begun to whittle down the names of the riders that will fill the final nine places in the squadra azzurra.

    Italy has not won the Elite men's world title since 2008, when the world championships were last held in Italy, in Varese. On that occasion, Bettini announced his sudden and surprise retirement just before the race, and Alessandro Ballan surged away in the final kilometres to win the rainbow jersey, while Damiano Cunego won the sprint for second, with Davide Rebellin taking fourth. Bettini won back to back world titles in 2006 (Salzburg) and 2007 (Stuttgart).

    Since that tricolore hat trick, Italian cycling has lost much of its prestige and importance. The national squad has struggled to find a rider like Bettini, who was capable of leading the team and provide consistent results while wearing the distinctive Italian azzurra jersey.

    Can Nibali win the rainbow jersey?

    Bettini is hoping that Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali can lead the team this year and win the world title in Florence. The very hilly finishing circuit suits the aggressive Sicilian but he has only just returned to racing at the Tour of Poland and seems far from his best form.

    "I've only spoken to Nibali briefly on the phone but I know what he's been doing to get ready for his return to racing," Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport recently, trying to play down any speculation that Nibali won't be fit enough to lead Italy at the world championships.

    "His post-Giro obligations have caused him some problems but that's normal. He's had to respect come contractual obligations. When we spoke at the end of June he told me was...

  • Swift expected to lead Team Sky at the RideLondon – Surrey Classic

    Ben Swift (Team Sky) on the podium again
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 12:41 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    No place for Wiggins or Cavendish in new British race

    Team Sky has confirmed its six-rider squad for the RideLondon – Surrey Classic race in London that will cover much of the route used during last year's Olympic road race and time trial events.

    Ben Swift is likely to be the British team's protected rider for the race. He and fellow sprinter Chris Sutton will face Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Milan-San Remo winner Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) in the likely sprint finish on The Mall in central London.

    Also named in the Team Sky line-up are: Josh Edmondson, Mathew Hayman, Christian Knees and Gabriel Rasch.

    Swift is currently riding the Tour of Poland, which ends on Saturday in Krakow alongside Bradley Wiggins. The Tour of Poland ends with a 37km time trial on Saturday and so Swift faces a dash back to Britain for Sunday's race.

    Bradley Wiggins is also competing in Poland but is not named in the Team Sky line-up. He is expected to target the Tour of Britain in mid-September. Mark Cavendish will also miss the London event. He is competing in the Tour of Denmark this week and his Omega-Pharma-Quick Step team is not one of the eight WorldTour teams in the start list.

    Other names on the provisional start list include Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), David Millar (Garmin-Sharp), Sacha Modolo (Bardiani Valvole –CSF Inox), Tom Jelte Slagter (Belkin), Arnaud Demare (FDJ.fr) and Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM).

    The race will start in Olympic Park and pass through central London via Canary Wharf before a long loop in the Surrey lanes. The races returns to London on many of the roads used in the Olympic road race, passing Putney Bridge and the Embankment before the sprint up the Mall from Buckingham Palace.

    The RideLondon – Surrey Classic will...