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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Date published:
May 11, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Leopard Trek create donation account to help Weylandt’s family

    The Leopard Trek riders on the podium
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 11:27 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Zomegnan says safety is a priority as race continues

    Leopard Trek has announced the creation of a donation account to help Wouter Weylandt’s family following his tragic death at the Giro d'Italia.

    Anyone can make a donation and all the funds will go to the family to help Weylandt’s partner An-Sophie, who is due to give birth in September.

    “In these hard times we especially want to think of those who were closest to Wouter: his family,” a message reads on the Leopard Trek Facebook page.

    “We have created a donation account to support them financially as much as we can. Everyone of you can donate to this account. All donations will go directly to Wouter's family.

    Donations can be made via the Dexia Banque International a Luxembourg, 69, route d'Esch, L-2953 Luxembourg. The name of the account is Leopard SA ‘Wouter Weylandt’. The Bank IBAN code is LU93 0020 6100 0904 0500, BIC: BILLLULL.

    A Pay Pal has now been set up.

    Safety is a priority

    The Giro continued without the Leopard Trek riders on Wednesday for the fifth stage from Piombino to Oriveto.

    Race director Angelo Zomegnan praised the riders and has reiterated that safety will always be a priority.

    Some riders are worried about the difficult descent of the Crostis climb on stage 14 but Zomegnan confirmed that the technical race director Mauro Vegni will travel to the Friuli region and study the descent to consider extra safety measures.

    “The Giro will continue thanks to the responsibility shown by the riders. What has happened has changed them,” Zomegnan told...

  • Day eyes top 10 performance in California

    Ben Day (Kenda p/b Geargrinders) out of the saddle on the climb.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 17:09 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Aussie still chasing European dream

    There's an opportunity ahead for Kenda p/b Geargrinder's Australian general classification hope for the Amgen Tour of California, Ben Day.

    "I'm a little bit angry," he told Cyclingnews from his base in Boulder. "I have a real passion for cycling and want to have the opportunities that I believe I deserve. Creating them is not always cut and dried – I just hope I can make it happen."

    Day was one of the riders left stranded by the collapse of Pegasus late last year but as one of those genuinely positive people, he was only able to see the upside of the road ahead once he finally linked up with his US-based Continental team.

    Waiting on phone calls and emails; chasing rides – it's not the ideal way to start the new season. Day describes the time as a "huge disruption."

    "There was a period there when I didn't know what I was doing this year and it meant that I spent a lot more time sitting on the couch than I did going out training," he recalled. "Unfortunately that's the way my mentality works – I need to be focussed and driven to achieve my goals. All that uncertainty played badly upon that."

    It was a bad time for Day with the six months prior being dogged by a bacterial infection. He was able to start turning things around by the time the National Championships came around in January, coming fourth in the time trial behind Cameron Meyer, Jack Bobridge and Michael Mathews.

    "Coming back there, fourth honestly wasn't the result I was looking for – I was pretty disappointed with that – but in reality considering where I'd come from, I was just happy to be back and being competitive again. I'm somebody that's hard to please...

  • Jelly Belly p/b Kenda announces team for California

    The 2011 Jelly Belly p/b Kenda team.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 17:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Climbing the focus for "most vertical edition"

    Jelly Belly p/b Kenda will bring mix of climbers and all-around performers to the 2011 Amgen Tour of California. Announcing the squad's roster on Monday, Team director Danny Van Haute had a positive outlook for the race.

    “We’re just going to ride very aggressively and show the world we can race our bikes,” Van Haute said. “But I'm confident that our riders will be in the mix in every stage."

    Van Haute expects the 2011 edition to be the most difficult – and most vertical in the history of the race. With that in mind, the Jelly Belly roster is full of climbing talent. Riders like Hagman, Hernandez and Hamilton can lead in the climbs and those who do a little of everything – Will Dickeson, Jeremy Powers, Alastair Loutit and Bernard van Ulden to feature in the breaks.

    Ken Hanson is Jelly Belly’s only true sprinter coming to California. He has finished in the top 10 in previous Tours of California and is coming off a final stage victory at the Tour of Korea last month.

    “Ken will be the point man in stages 2 and 3, the only flat stages of the race,” Van Haute said.

    Powers, who is racing his third Tour of California, said he and his teammates are ready to “really stick our noses out there".

    “We play the underdog role well,” Powers said. “Everybody gets excited. Who doesn’t love to be the young up-and-comer?” That would include Nic Hamilton, who got his first taste of major stage racing in Korea and is eager to take the line at the Amgen Tour of California.

    “I’m thrilled as a first year pro to be given the opportunity to compete at this level,” he said. “I’m really motivated to contribute to the team’s success in California.”

    The race starts Sunday in Lake Tahoe and winds up in Thousand Oaks on May 22.

  • Millar suffers on the road to Orvieto in Giro d'Italia

    Despite a crash, Millar continued to fight in defense of the pink jersey.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 18:42 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Le Mevel misses out on the maglia rosa

    David Millar had a painful day on the dirt roads of the Giro d’Italia. He crashed, chased and then cracked on the final climb, losing the pink jersey he would have liked to pass on to his teammate Christophe Le Mével. The Frenchman finished fourth, just missing out on the time bonus, and as a consequence the pink jersey, in Orvieto, just as he had in Rapallo on Monday.

    “It’s been a hard day”, Millar said after the stage. “It was a stupid crash. I’m also always hit by allergies in this part of Italy, that’s why I wasn’t feeling good today.”

    Looking like a wounded warrior because of his injuries sustained in a crash before the intermediate sprint, Millar lost contact with the front group on the steepest part of the dirt roads with 30km to go. Courageously, he chased and got back on but the final climb up to Orvieto was just too much for him as the GC contenders accelerated for the stage win or at least the time bonuses, eventually taken by Colombians Fabio Duarte and José Serpa, Millar cracked and rode in, losing 2:50 to Pieter Weening (Rabobank) who won the stage and pulled on the maglia rosa.

    Five seconds from the pink jersey

    Le Mével finished fourth and so missed out on the 20, 12 and 8 second time bonuses. Even eight seconds would have given the Frenchman the overall race lead and kept the pink jersey at Garmin-Cervelo. Le Mevel is now five seconds down on Weening.

    “I’m disappointed to miss the pink jersey”, Le Mével told Cyclingnews. “In a cyclist’s career, there aren’t many opportunities to get it. But I’ve done the maximum I could do. I sprinted flat out, I was well positioned, and...

  • Serpa seeks top-ten overall at Giro d'Italia

    Jose Serpa (Androni Giocattoli) looks pleased with his 3rd place finish in Orvieto.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 20:00 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Colombian renews for one year with Androni Giocattoli-C.I.P.I

    José Serpa (Androni Giocattoli-C.I.P.I) finished third today at the end of an arduous stage 3 into Orvieto and moved into 10th overall at the Giro d'Italia. The 32-year-old Colombian hopes to finish the Giro d'Italia in the top-10 overall to better the 11th place he earned in 2009, his best showing in the Italian Grand Tour.

    "It's been a hard stage today with a lot of crashes on the dirt roads, but I'm quite happy with my third place here," Serpa told Cyclingnews as he was cooling down after the stage.

    "This wasn't exactly a stage for Colombian riders," Serpa said. "Maybe it was because of the uphill finish but the dirt roads aren't exactly for us. We couldn't catch Pieter Weening at the front, but Fabio Duarte and I were pretty strong at the end. This might be a good indication for the coming stages when we'll have bigger climbs.

    "My initial goal as I came to the Giro was to get a good overall ranking," the winner of the 2009 Le Tour de Langkawi said. "We'll see how it goes. If for some reason the GC falls apart for me, I'll try and win a mountain stage. There are many of them this year, so it makes it very motivating for a rider like me."

    A winner at this year's Giro del Friuli and stage 2 of Tour de San Luis, Serpa, nicknamed "El Leon de Bucaramanga", renewed his contract with the Androni Giocattoli-C.I.P.I. team on Monday evening for one more season. 2012 will be his seventh year with the team directed by Gianni Savio.

  • Video: Double joy for Weening in Orvieto

    Pieter Weening (Rabobank) pulls on the pink jersey
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 21:16 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Dutchman takes stage and jersey in Umbria

    It was a double celebration for Pieter Weening (Rabobank) in Orvieto, as the amiable Dutchman took both the Giro d'Italia stage 5 and the pink jersey after mastering the dirt roads of Umbria.

    Weening announced himself in the big time with stage victory at the 2005 Tour de France, when he edged out Andreas Klöden in a tense two-man sprint in Gerardmer. He has struggled to hit such heights since, and he modestly explained that as a jack of many trades, it can be difficult to find the opportunity to win.

    "For riders like me it's not easy to win races," he said. "I have to get it in stages like this. Once in a while, when you have good legs and the perfect parcours for you, then it's possible."

    Weening's attack came on the final section of dirt road, first in the company of John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale), and then by himself for the last 9km. He explained that the nature of the route dictated that it was necessary to stay at the front.

    "It was a really tough day," he said. "I knew already before that the best defence was attack. If you are a little bit at the back there is a lot of dust and you don't see the road perfectly."

    In spite of his smooth collaboration with Gadret, Weening opted to go it alone in over the last, paved kilometres ahead of the leg-stinging haul up to Orvieto. Then, with the leading group closing fast behind under impetus from Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD), he made a last, huge effort to ensure he stayed clear.

    "We worked very well together, but the final I chose to attack on my own. I was still not sure of the victory with the last steep climb," he said....

  • Nibali limits risks on the road to Orvieto

    Nibali (Liquigas) attacked on the dirt roads
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 22:15 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sicilian remains best placed of overall contenders

    After losing the pink jersey in a crash on the unmade roads of Tuscany 12 months ago, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) was always likely to be vigilant on the sterrato near Orvieto on stage 5 of the Giro d'Italia.

    Although he didn't gain any time on his rivals for the pink jersey, crossing the line in sixth place on the day, the Sicilian offered a statement of intent when he launched a daring but short-lived raid on the gravel-strewn descent of the Croce di Fighine.

    "I was trying to limit the risks given what happened last year," Nibali said after crossing the line in the splendid hilltop town of Orvieto. "The idea was to try to stay in the first positions at all times."

    Nibali explained that his acceleration was not so much an attack as an attempt to ensure that he stayed clear of trouble. A descender of some note, he was keen not to get caught up in a crash.

    "When it came to the descent, I preferred to go alone because at least that way, if I made a mistake it would have been my own and not somebody else's," he said. "I wanted to depend on myself."

    Last year's epic day over the strade bianche to Montalcino meant that Wednesday's stage had been earmarked by the overall contenders as an early test of their maglia rosa credentials. Nibali had taken the time to reconnoitre the stage in the company of his team beforehand, and he felt that their work had paid dividends.

    "I'd tried it with Capecchi and Agnoli, two of my best teammates," he said. "It was a difficult stage but I think we got over it well. We tried to avoid any dangers, so I'm pleased with the team."

    Nibali's brief rally off the front was not enough to...

  • Bakelants back in action on Italian roads

    Jan Bakelants (Omega Pharma-Lotto) in the white jersey for leading the best young rider classification.
    Article published:
    May 11, 2011, 22:50 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Second Giro attempt for Belgian hope

    Jan Bakelants is back at the Giro d'Italia one year after making his debut in a Grand Tour. The 24-year-old from Oudenaarde is tipped as Belgium's next big thing for the big stage races since he won the 2008 Tour de l'Avenir and also the U23 version of Liège-Bastogne-Liège that same year.

    The strong performance of his Omega Pharma-Lotto squad in the opening team time trial in Turin (4th) and his fifteenth place on stage 3 in Rapallo earned him the right to wear the white jersey of best young rider for two days, which is what he needed to boost his confidence after the crash that put a sad conclusion to his first season at the ProTour level last year.

    The day of the triumph of his teammate Philippe Gilbert in the Giro di Lombardia, Bakelants crashed heavily and sustained a triple fracture of a wrist, a broken elbow and a broken left kneecap.

    "This was a serious crash," Bakelants told Cyclingnews at the start of stage 5 in Piombino. His preparation for the 2011 season was evidently affected but the Giro is putting him back on track and he looked focused and motivated despite the terrible news of the death of his compatriot Wouter Weylandt.

    "I've enjoyed wearing this white jersey," he said. "But this is not really a goal. I'm not here for riding GC." In fact, he lost the leadership of the young rider classification to Dutchman Steven Kruijswijk as he arrived in Orvieto 3:03 behind stage winner Pieter Weening.

    "The end of the Giro is very hard and it would be...