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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Date published:
November 18, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Haussler to ride Worlds only for Australia

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam), 25, wants to represent Australia at the World Championships
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 10:40 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    German-Australian cyclist will skip World Championships rather than ride for Germany

    Heinrich Haussler would rather skip the World Championships in Australia next year than ride for team Germany.

    "I am not going to do the Worlds Championships for Germany just to be World Champion. If I want to ride the Worlds to become World Champion then [it will be] definitely in Australian colours," Haussler told Australia's SBS.

    He is a dual citizen, with an Australian mother and German father, but has raced his professional career with a German licence and living in Germany. He raced the first four years of his career with German team Gerolsteiner and this year with Switzerland's Cervélo TestTeam. With Cervélo, he had his best season yet, winning a stage at the Tour de France and five other races.

    But the World Championships requires national teams and Haussler's licence has required him to represent Germany. He's skipped the Worlds as a professional every year to give himself the chance to eventually race for Australia. Next year's Worlds course suits Haussler and he is ready to make the switch.

    The Worlds are "my main goal, especially next year in Australia. The course suits me 100 percent. I know if I have top form, or like I had this year in the Classics, I think I can win there," Haussler continued.

    The 2010 Worlds starts in Melbourne and travels to Geelong, 85 kilometres. Once in Geelong, the professional men will ride 11 15.9-kilometre circuits, each covering The Ridge climb (120m), for a total of 259.9 kilometres.

    Haussler is currently on vacation in Australia, visiting his parents.

  • AMPO still up in the air on which team to sponsor

    The Contentpolis-Murcia team
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 11:25 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Contentpolis not assured of continued support

    The Basque company AMPO Sociedad Cooperativa has not yet decide whether it will continue to sponsor Team Contentpolis in the coming season. The company plans to remain active in cycling sponsorship but is considering various options.

    Contentpolis has not yet received its licence for the coming year, and has apparently has had difficulties with its licence application to the International Cycling Union. Sponsor Contentpolis will most likely be replaced by the region and community of Murcia for 2010.

    AMPO indicated that it would like to hear the Murcia proposal, and held open its options of looking for other sponsorship possibilities.

    It is currently looking at two other projects. Josean Fernández Matxin of Footon-Servetto has acknowledged approaching AMPO for sponsorship. The other alternative would be a newly-formed Spanish team, which already has two sponsors.

    The co-operative has indicated that its priority is the Basque community and its representation in whatever team it sponsors.

  • Lhotellerie to Roubaix, Peraud to Omega Pharma-Lotto

    Clément Lhôtellerie (Skil-Shimano) leads Carlström up the final climb.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 12:04 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Two French riders find new teams for 2010

    Two French riders have found new teams for the coming season. Clement Lhotellerie will ride for the French Continental team Roubaix Lille Métropole, while mountain biker Jean-Christophe Peraud has signed with Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    Lhotellerie, 23, rode for the Dutch Professional Continental Team Vacansoleil this season. He tested positive for Methylhexanamine in April, which he claimed was caused by some bad oil of geraniums. Originally suspended for two years, his ban was reduced to five months and he was eligible to ride again as of the beginning of this month.

    “He has earned a second chance,” Roubaix's Cyril Guimard told L'Equipe. “He has the abilities and the experience at a high level, and can bring help with us with such hard races s the Four Days of Dunkirk and the Trophee des Grimpeurs.”

    Lhotellerie has returned to racing with cyclo-cross races. He finished one lap down in the Superprestige race at Asper-Gavere last weekend, and will wear his new team colours for the first time at the French national 'cross championships on January 10.

    Peraud, 32, holds titles on both the road and in mountain biking. He was 2004 European cross country champion, and a member of the 2008 World Champion cross country team event. He also won the French national time trial title this year and a silver medal at the Beijing Olympics in 2008.

    Riding as an elite without contract on the road this year, he was also second in the Chrono des Nations - Les Herbiers and 12th in the World Championships time trial.

  • BMC gets wild-card invitations to Tours of Qatar and Oman

    The BMC team riders before the start.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 14:53 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    US-based Pro Continental Team adds Middle East to its calendar

    BMC Racing Team is filling up its racing calendar for the first part of the season, as it has received wild card invitations to the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman. The US-based team featuring new captain and World Champion Cadel Evans will open its season with the Tour Down Under in January, followed by the two Middle Eastern races in February.

    Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said the team was “extremely happy” to be invited to the two races. The Tour of Qatar runs February 7 to 12, and is immediately followed by the Tour of Oman, February 14 to 19. “These are the two perfect stage races with which to begin our assault on the new season,” he said.

    Both races are organised by the Tour de France organiser ASO in conjunction with Eddy Merckx.

    “The team for Qatar will most likely be led by riders Alessandro Ballan and Marcus Burghardt. And with John Murphy, we will have an excellent sprinter present,” Lelangue said. It will be the team's third consecutive appearance at the race.

    For the premiere Tour of Oman, the team will probably look to Brent Bookwalter, who will celebrate his 25th birthday during the race. The American is a time trial specialist who this year won the prologue of the Tour of Utah.

    “The Oman parcours is substantially more selective than Qatar, and the final time trial is particularly suited for Brent,” according to Lelangue.

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  • FMC throws its support behind Tecos Trek

    Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 15:14 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    FMC to help save team, explore possibility of Rasmussen racing for Mexico

    Tecos Trek has been thrown a lifeline by the Mexican Cycling Federation (FMC), who has announced that they will take steps to ensure the future of the team. The FMC has also renewed the possibility that foreign riders, including Michael Rasmussen, could take Mexican citizenship and race for the nation.

    Tecos revealed on Monday that they would withdraw from cycling after a 54 year period within the sport. The team cited a sponsorship shortfall and a lack of support from the FMC for their departure. However, Mexican newspaper Ocho Columnas reported on Wednesday that the FMC will now step in to aid the rescue of the country's only professional team.

    "Tecos has a significant infrastructure, skills and the necessary contacts abroad to ensure riders can compete at high level; factors that are crucial [to the future of Mexican cycling]," FMC President Edgardo Hernandez told Ocho Columnas.

    Of major concern to the FMC is the role the key role the team would play in securing Mexican representation at the 2012 London Olympics. Nations' qualification is based up on results in the year preceding each Olympiad. Mexico only qualified one rider for each of the men's and women's road races in Beijing, and the demise of Tecos would have a significant impact on Mexico's hopes of increasing their representation in London.

    As part of an effort to increase Olympic representation, Hernandez said the FMC would continue to explore the opportunity for foreign riders to gain Mexican citizenship and compete for the country. Dane Michael Rasmussen, whose wife is Mexican and returned to competition with Tecos last month, has already indicated his interest in naturalisation in the Central American nation. Hernandez said he would discuss the topic of Rasmussen's potential emigration with the president of Mexico's National Commission of Physical Culture...

  • Rodríguez to race his first Tour de France

    Spaniard Joaquím Rodríguez enjoys his win at the Tirreno-Adriatico
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 15:15 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Spaniard decides on 2010 schedule with new team Katusha

    Spaniard Joaquím Rodríguez will have the opportunity to race the Tour de France for the first time in his career next season. He met with his new team, Katusha, last week to discuss his 2010 schedule.

    "It will be like a dream to be at the start," said Rodríguez in a press release. "I intend to approach it as I did the 2008 Giro: calmly and looking for a stage win."

    Rodríguez finished 17th overall at the 2008 Giro d'Italia and placed third on two stages.

    Last month, Tour organiser Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) presented the 2010 Tour de France route. It starts in Rotterdam, Netherlands, on July 3 and will end in Paris on July 25. Its first mountains come in the Alps, at Morzine and Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. Four Pyrenean mountain stages will feature in the race's final week, with a stage to the Col du Tourmalet only four days before the finish in Paris.

    Rodríguez also planned his first half of the season leading up to the Tour de France. He will start at the Volta a Mallorca in February and then race the Volta ao Algarve and Tirreno-Adriatico. At the Tirreno-Adriatico, he will target the stage he has won the last two years in a row, to Montelupone.

    He will then race Spain's Volta a Catalunya and País Vasco prior the Ardennes Classics in April.

    "Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège will be the season's highlights for me," Rodríguez continued.

    He finished second in Liège-Bastogne-Liège this year and has helped his former-Caisse d'Epargne teammate Alejandro Valverde win the event twice. Last season, he finished eighth in all three Ardennes Classics.

    After the Classics, he will race the Tour de Luxembourg and Tour de Suisse. He plans to lead Katusha on the mountain stages at the Tour de Suisse, his last preparation race...

  • Xacobeo sign Nelson Oliveira

    Nelson Oliveira (Portugal)
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 15:20 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    World Under-23 time trial runner-up to debut with Xacobeo in 2010

    While a possible deal with 2006 Tour de France winner Oscar Pereiro still remains to be nailed down, the Spanish pro continental Xacobeo team have announced the signing of World Under-23 time trial runner-up Nelson Oliveira. The 20-year-old Portuguese rider finished 18 seconds down on another 20-year-old in Mendrisio in September, Australia’s Jack Bobridge.

    Regarded as one of the best young rider to come out of Portugal for some years, Oliveira spent the 2009 season with the Cidade de Lugo-Artesanía de Galicia team, which is based in the same north-western region of Spain as Alvaro Pino’s Xacobeo squad.

    Viewed as a strong all-rounder but especially powerful in time trials, Oliveira claimed the Portuguese junior time trial crown in 2007 and the Under-23 version earlier this year.

    The signing takes Xacobeo’s roster to 15 riders. Oliveira is the second of these to have come from the Cidade de Lugo team, after the earlier signing of Gustavo Rodríguez. Surprisingly, given Xacobeo’s home region having such close links with Portugal, Oliveira is the first Portuguese rider to join Pino’s team in its three-year-history.

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  • Massimiliano Mori faces end of career

    Massimiliano Mori (Lampre-NGC) races the 2009 Paris-Roubaix
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 16:03 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Italian to retire if Lampre do not offer contract renewal

    Italy's Massimiliano Mori will retire and put an end to a 15-year professional career if Lampre fail to offer him a contract renewal for the new season.

    "I know that Alessandro Petacchi would like to have me at his side," Mori, 35, told Tuttobiciweb. "He knows how I work and my experience. I've already given my all on many occasions for [Mario] Cipollini. I am ready to do the same for Petacchi and continue my time at Lampre."

    Team Manager Giuseppe Saronni has had Mori in his team for the last three years. As one of the team's key domestiques Mori has assisted teammates Daniele Bennati, Danilo Napolitano, Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego to achieve a number of victories.

    Mori has also raced with Mercatone Uno, Saeco, Formaggi Pinzolo Fiavè, Domina Vacanze and Naturino-Sapore di Mare, and worked in the service of Italian greats Cipollini and Marco Pantani.

    "My work has always been appreciated," he continued. "Mario Cipollini taught me a lot. When you are a neo-pro and work for someone like Cipollini, you always want to give your best."

    Lampre signed Petacchi for two years in August. Mori will know within the next few weeks whether or not he will continue with the team, as Lampre decide which riders will complete their 2010 roster.

    "I will wait for news from Saronni," said Mori.

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