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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Date published:
November 30, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • "At least" two more Tours de France for Evans

    Cadel Evans on the podium in Paris drapped in the Australian flag.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 3:22 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    2011 winner says remaining competitive is a priority

    2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans says he wants to ride the Grand Boucle at least two more times before considering retirement.

    The BMC Racing Team Australian was speaking in Darwin where it was announced that he would become a spokesman for the Northern Territory.

    "I have lived all around the world - I've lived many places around Australia, but of course I was born here in Katherine and it's just something that I feel for as a person, that I can contribute to," he said.

    In July, Evans became the oldest winner of the Tour de France at age 34 since Frenchman Henri Pélissier in 1923 – along with the first Australian to have stood on top of the podium on the Champs Elysees.

    Evans said remaining competitive enough to ride the Tour was a priority for both he and his team.

    "Two more tours, two more good tours at least," Evans told the press conference.

    "I keep improving and I am not showing signs of ageing in a physical way," he continued. "As long I can be in the Tour to win it and go for the win, I want to keep going."

    Last week it was announced that Evans will start his 2012 season on Mallorca. The XXI Iberostar Mallorca Cycling Challenge has confirmed that the reigning Tour de France champion will participate in the race series February 5 to 9.
     

  • Freire to debut with Katusha at Tour Down Under

    The Katusha team on the podium
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 5:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Compatriot Florencio gives team extra options

    Team Katusha will unveil their new star signing, Oscar Freire, at the Santos Tour Down Under in January, with the race organisation including the Spaniard in the team's list for the opening WorldTour event.

    It will be Freire's first participation in the six stage event, after previously coming to Australia for the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, and last year's World Championships in Geelong.

    "Freire has accomplished what only legends like Alfredo Binda, Eddy Merckx and Rik Van Steenbergen have been able to do: win three World Championships [1999, 2001, 2004]," said Tour Down Under organiser Mike Turtur.

    "He is one of the most impressive riders of the last decade and it will be really exciting for fans to see him take to the start line and for him to bring his competitive edge to the race."

    With Freire's abilities in the sprints and his penchant for thriving on the more selective days, the uphill finish on Old Willunga Hill on stage 5 could be right up the Spaniard's alley.

    The team is not without its options however, with Xavier Florencio, recently returned to the WorldTour after a year with Geox-TMC, and fast improving Latvian Gatis Smukulis (from HTC-Highroad) both in attendance.

    The race will also act as the first test for new team manager Hans-Michael Holczer, who has promised a new direction for the squad in 2012. Holczer has already instituted major staff and rider turnover.

    Katusha for the Tour Down Under: Maxim Belkov (Rus), Giampaolo Caruso (Ita), Xavier Florencio (Spa), Oscar Freire (Spa), Luca Paolini (Ita), Gatis Smukulis (Lat) and Eduard Vorganov (Rus)

  • Contador serious about bid for time trial gold in London after Tour

    Though short of his best, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) moved up to 5th overall.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 6:06 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Martin, Wiggins and Porte key rivals for Spaniard

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) has put his hat in the ring for next year's London Olympic Games individual time trial, explaining at the team presentation in Copenhagen that with the proximity of the event to next year's Tour de France, it would be foolish to not at least attempt the feat.

    "It's the kind of challenge that I say why not to?" Contador said. "To me it's an opportunity that I really want to pursue. If I'm still going well [after the Tour], I'll give it a really good shot."

    Contador finished fourth in the event in the Beijing games, 1:18 behind gold medalist Fabian Cancellara. The Swiss rider will again be a rival of Contador's in London, to say nothing of rising time trial stars Tony Martin and Richie Porte, and pursuit gold medalist Bradley Wiggins.

    Martin goes in to the event as the outright favourite after taking out the World Championships in Copenhagen in September, and both time trials of this year's Tour de France.

    The Tour meanwhile remains Contador's main goal for next season, with the Spaniard re-affirming his commitment to sacrificing a chance to defend his Giro crown in a bid to go for the Giro-Tour double.

    "The main goal is to win the Tour de France," said Contador. "I know it's very hard. Everybody wants to win, but I will work hard for it. I do not know if I can win or not, but I'll try. I want to be as well organized as I can possibly be next year and arrive rested and relaxed for the Tour. [This year] I had a good preparation, but next year I want to make it perfect."

    It remains to be seen as to whether the three-time Tour de France...

  • Véranda Rideau-U becomes Continental as La Pomme Marseille renews

    The Velo-Club La Pomme Marseille team.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 9:57 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Healthy times for France with 10 teams registered by FFC in 2012

    The French League of Professional Cycling has registered two new teams for 2012 at Continental level, Team Véranda Rideau-U and La Pomme Marseille, according to French Federation's website, www.ffc.fr. The country will have 10 professional teams in total, including two in the WorldTour with AG2R-La Mondiale and FDJ-BigMat.

    Team Véranda Rideau-U is a new project coming from a first division amateur club launched in 2008. The roster will include 12 riders, most of them sprinters or rouleurs, with notable riders being 23-year-old Arnaud Molmy (BigMat-Auber 93), who was a revelation at Etoile de Béssèges' last year, and Freddy Bichot, aged 32, the current French amateur champion and former professional with Barloworld, FDJ, Agritubel and BBox Bouygues Télécom.

    Ex-pro Samuel Plouhinec, a prolific winner in the amateur ranks and co-founder of the team three years ago, has decided to leave.

    Team Véranda Rideau-U's manager will be Johnny Neveau while directeurs sportifs will be Mickaël Leveau and Laurent Genty. Previously based in the department of the Sarthe with a main sponsor from Vendée, the outfit is now linked to another amateur club, the USSA Pavilly Barentin, in Normandy.

    La Pomme Marseille will be a Continental squad for the second season in row, but they have left the Latvian federation and successfully applied for a French license. Their registration had been denied last winter as they didn't have the theoretical 1 Million Euro budget requested by the French League, which French Continental teams need to attain professional status in addition to all riders having full-time contracts - contrary to the policy of most national federations, which class Continental teams as amateurs.

    The Marseille team will lose its leader, Julien Antomarchi,...

  • Kvist retires at age 24 in favour of medical school

    The Glud & Marstrand - LRO Radgivning guys sign on.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 11:18 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane was with Quick Step for two years

    Thomas Vedel Kvist is the next rider to retire at the age of 24. The Dane rode for two seasons with Quick Step before a successful season at the Continental team Glud & Marstrand-LRO in 2011. He will now attend medical school

    Kvist joined Quick Step as a trainee in August 2008, and then rode for the top-ranked Belgian team for two years. This year he went to the smaller Danish team, where he had two victories, winning stages at the Tour de Normandie and the Rhone-Alpes Isere Tour.

    “I'm completely finished with the sport,” he told feltet.dk. He had his time at the top level, but “I really feel that I have had enough. The desire was not there anymore.”

    His time at Quick Step was marked by injury and illness. “I learned a lot because of hardship and trouble. If a professional is injured and doesn't have a lot of success, then it's a hard world to be part of.”

    He does not regret it, though. “I know what it means to be a professional, what kind of life it is you have there and it has given me some really cool experiences, so it's definitely not an experience tat I would exchange for anything.”

    Nor was it a sudden decision. "It has been a long time coming, so it's something I've known a long time. Even when I rode for Quick Step, I knew that it was not what I would do many years into the future think there are other things in life, so that is why I started medical school, which I am really happy."

    Former German national road champion Martin Reimer, also 24, recently announced his retirement from the sport after not finding a new team for...

  • TIBCO bolster squad for 2012

    Tara Whitten took the silver medal.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 12:03 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team committed to aiding Olympic goals of roster

    Team TIBCO has announced its 2012 roster, with the arrival of four new riders, Amanda Miller, Veronique Fortin, Lauren Hall, and Jen Purcell, adding to an already strong core.

    US stage racing sensation Miller had a breakout year in 2011 on the international scene, winning a stage of International Thuringen Rundfahrt, and posting consistently strong results in Europe, leading to a spot on the American World Championships team in Copenhagen.

    "We knew Amanda was a special rider when we brought her onto the team in 2010," said Team TIBCO founder and manager Linda Jackson. "This season, she continued to develop into a top-flight talent."

    Reigning Canadian National Road Champion Fortin, an "exceptional climbing talent" as described by Jackson, is another solid signing. The 31-year-old is one of the rising stars of Canadian cycling, taking the title while working full-time as an anesthesiologist.

    The sprinting ranks have also been bolstered with the arrival of Lauren Hall and Jen Purcell, both capable of winning in bunch dashes.

    The new additions join the existing core of riders including Olympians Erinne Willock and Joanne Kiesanowski, Meredith Miller and Megan Guarnier, Samantha Schneider, young talent Kendall Ryan, and overall powerhouse Jennifer Wheeler.

    The team will be focused on the NCC and NRC race calendars, while also helping their athletes pursue their objectives of making the 2012 Olympics.

    "The U.S. needs to finish as one of the top five countries in the UCI rankings by May 30 in order to send a four-rider squad to the Olympic Games," Jackson said.

    "To support the goals of both our athletes and USA Cycling, we will be sending Team TIBCO to Europe for two solid blocks of racing in the spring. These races will prime our riders to come back to the U.S ready to kick off the NRC calendar with Redlands."

    The team also re-affirmed it's support for the Team TIBCO Juniors and Team...

  • Hoogerland prepared for long season

    Johnny Hoogerland
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 12:48 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider targetting 2012 Olympics and Worlds

    2011 was a year of highs and lows for Dutch rider Johnny Hoogerland. A breakthrough at the Tour de France, where he wore the mountain jersey for several stages, was overshadowed by a horror crash that could have killed him and ended his progress. And though he didn't grab any big victories he was pleased with his performances overall.

    "I felt very good and very strong going into the Tour," he told Cyclingnews. "My conditioning was good and I was happy. So the crash was a very bad moment for me. Not just because of the incident itself but because I'll never know what might have happened if I hadn't crashed that day. I also performed well in the Classics, particularly the Amstel Gold Race, but there was no big win for me and that was a pain. It's something I'm definitely looking at correcting next year."

    Turning to his plans for 2012, Hoogerland said that his training is only just taking shape and that he will be starting off later than usual because of his big targets towards the end of the season.

    "I've only just started to train properly and at the moment only for about three hours a day," the Vacansoleil-DCM rider said. "I'll be going off to train with the team in December for ten days and then more in January. I'll start my season at the Tour of Algarve, which is later than normal for me. It's going to be a long season with the Olympics and the Worlds and it'll hard to keep going into those final months. So I need to keep plenty in reserve.

    "The Classics, as usual, will be important. I'll hopefully be racing at La Flèche Wallonne, Amstel Gold and Liège-Bastogne-Liège. After that I'll have an easy May before...

  • Hoste looks to podium again in the Classics

    Leif Hoste (Katusha)
    Article published:
    November 30, 2011, 13:49 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Accent.Jobs-Verandas Willems rider is pain free again

    Leif Hoste is looking forward to a pain-free year where he can again shine in the Classics with Team Accent.jobs-Verandas Willems in 2012. The Belgian signed a one-year contract with the Dutch Professional team on Wednesday morning.

    Hoste, 34, turned pro in 1998, and most recently rode with Katusha. He was supposed to be the Russian team's leader in the Classics, but a serious crash in the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde put an end to those plans. He started two more races but had to end his season in early April.

    He fell on his head in that crash, and ended up with more serious injuries than first thought. “I had a tear in my brain, so I lost moisture,” he said, according to sporza.be. “At one point the bike became incidental.” He continued to suffer from headaches for much of the year, but “the pain is now behind me.”

    Although he still had a year on his contract with Katusha, it was apparently cancelled with agreement from both sides.

    Things moved quickly once he had contact with Accent.jobs-Verandas Willems. “Some weeks ago we had the first conversation and immediately I had a very good feeling," Hoste said Wednesday, according to the Belga news agency. “There shone a certain cozy warmth from the team management. After our conversation, I immediately called my manager stating that I had found my new home. I feel 100 percent at ease here.”

    "I hope I can live up to team leader status with my new team. I already have a very good eye. The spring races are my main aim and I will surely show myself. The ambition is to return to the podium of the Tour of...