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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Date published:
November 04, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Phinney plans his 2010 season

    Taylor Phinney (Trek/Livestrong) making up time on the downhill.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 15:21 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Under 23 racer recovering from tonsillectomy

    While recovering at home after having his tonsils removed, Taylor Phinney is busy putting together his 2010 racing schedule. With his focus set to balance both his track and road commitments, he's planning to race a similar programme to this year, with a strong emphasis on the Under 23 Classics and the World Track Championships in Copenhagen.

    "I had surgery last week and it went fine. I have some nice holes in my throat but the surgery will pay off in the future," he told Cyclingnews. Throughout my life I've been getting sick a lot. With my tonsils out I should get sick a lot less. When I think back to last year, I was getting sick after every big race that I did. Without that happening I should do a lot better next year."

    With Lance Armstrong's Team Radioshack set to be announced as a co-sponsor of the Trek-Livestrong team, Phinney will also take part in a number of training camps with the RadioShack squad, before starting his first race of the season, at the Tour of Qatar. "I don't know my exact programme, but I'll be doing the Qatar and the Track World Championships in Copenhagen. I want to go there and win the pursuit again and prove to the UCI that they're making a mistake by taking it out of the Olympic programme," Phinney said.

    At last week's track World Cup in Manchester, Great Britain's Geraint Thomas set the third fastest time in history for the pursuit. While Phinney believes that competition is good for the sport, he can go faster than the 4:15 that carried him to gold in Poland earlier in the year.

    "I heard about Thomas, and I think that's great. He's fast and has been for a long time. I don't know why the British didn't enter a pursuit rider at the Worlds. I'm sure they had someone who could have gone fast. It was also good to see that Dominique Cornu is going faster than last year, even after a big road season. Manchester is known as being as fast track so it's too bad that I missed it. If you're fast...

  • Keisse to return to Gent Six Day with Kluge

    Iljo Keisse during the 2008 Gent Six Day.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 16:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cleared of doping, Belgian can defend overall title

    Belgian track cyclist Iljo Keisse will return to the Zesdaagse van Gent (Gent Six day) at the end of November, not with the partner who rode with him for the past two years, Robert Bartko, but with another German, Roger Kluge.

    Keisse won the event last year with Bartko, but was subsequently declared positive for doping after a control showed two banned substances, cathine and HCT. He fought the charges, and was cleared of a doping offense after the Belgian federation decided his positive was the result of a contaminated nutritional supplement.

    Keisse has won the Gent Six Day three times - in 2005 with Matthew Gilmore, and in 2007 and 2008 with Bartko, but was in the lead with the German when the 2006 event was cancelled following the death of Isaac Galvez on night five.

    The 26-year-old was roundly criticized by Bartko following the positive doping control.

    Keisse's new partner, Kluge recently won the Six Days of Amsterdam with Bartko. The 23-year-old German was the silver medallist in the points race at the Beijing Olympic Games.

    Bartko will pair with Kenny De Ketele, the Belgian who rode with Keisse in Amsterdam. According to, De Ketele had hoped to stay with Keisse, but the organization chose to separate the pair.

    The 69th edition of the Gent Six Day takes place from November 24 to 29.

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  • Rasmussen signed contract, insists team CDC-Cavaliere

    Dane Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 16:36 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Danish cyclist's reaction angers Italian team

    Danish cyclist Michael Rasmussen has denied signing a contract with the Italian squad CDC-Cavaliere, but according to the team's lawyer he did and they want to hold him to it.

    Rasmussen, who is making a comeback to cycling after a two-year suspension, was linked to the team last week, but quickly denied to Friday that he signed a contract with them. "It is a mystery to me how this story has evolved," he said, adding that he is negotiating with a different team.

    But CDC-Cavaliere lawyer Mirco Piersanti said in a press release Wednesday that there is a valid agreement with Rasmussen.

    "We have a contract in which there doesn't exist any doubts," said Piersanti.  "It's a normal workers' contract, identical to that of the International Cycling Union, a signed original and in front of a witness."

    Rasmussen's agent Moreno Nicoletti said he was confused and thought he signed a pre-contract, but not a real contract, according to Piersanti.

    "It shows that he did sign something and is contradictory to what the Danish cyclist is saying," continued Piersanti.

    "We are angry and hurt. We will do everything to uphold our end, trusting that the rider will use a little common sense, and recognise and fulfill the commitments."

    Rasmussen's former team Rabobank forced him out of the 2007 Tour de France while in the race leader's yellow jersey. There were problems with his whereabouts declarations to anti-doping authorities.

    He served a two-year ban for violating anti-doping rules that ended on July 25, 2009.

    Last month, he won the prologue and finished sixth overall at the Vuelta a Chihuahua in Mexico while racing with team Tecos-Trek.

    CDC-Cavaliere competed as Continental or third division team this year, called Centri della Calzatura. It hopes to make a jump up one division and have a Professional Continental license next season.

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  • Voigt reflects on 2009 season, eager for 2010

    Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) in action during the Tour of Missouri, the German's first race since crashing out of the Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 17:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Critérium International victory, return to Tour goals for next year

    As Jens Voigt (Team Saxo Bank) looks back on his 2009 season, the horrific crash during stage 16 of the Tour de France is still fresh in his mind. Despite being unable to finish the Tour and having to take six weeks off the bike for recovery, Voigt doesn't display any bitterness about his season.

    "The crash on the descent during the Tour was ugly in many ways and most active athletes know that the a six-week break in the mid-season can make you crazy and restless inside. But the incident had a more profound influence on me. With all the alternative impacts the crash could have provided in mind, I have been grateful for even being able to recognize my wife and children, to be able to walk and to live a life without permanent injuries.

    "That is the most important issue for me and my family. Everyday life functions again and I enjoy the off-season and being at home where my kids have made endless lists of activities for us to do before the races begin again".

    Voigt's 2009 season was highlighted by his record-tying fifth victory in France's Critérium International. The 38-year-old German also claimed a stage win, the points classification and the mountains classification while Saxo Bank won the team classification. Voigt is eager to compete once again next year at the event.

    "It was great winning the Critérium International for the fifth time. Only the French legend, Raymond Poulidor have done the same and I will certainly go for the sixth victory in the 2010 season. In addition, I am happy about the beautiful 2009 Tour de France with three stage wins and an overall second place for Team Saxo Bank. My definite goal is to be selected for the Tour de France line-up in 2010 where I hope and believe that I am back in peak shape. I do not want to...

  • Bahati names 15 rider roster

    He's number one again - Rahsaan Bahati
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 17:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bahati to race alongside Clarke and O'Neill

    The Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team has announced a 15-rider roster for their debut season in 2010.

    As part of the announcement, Team principal Rahsaan Bahati has confirmed that he will race as part of his newly formed team. Yesterday he had confirmed that he was still looking for a rider contract.

    "I'm blessed to have a talented group of individuals who can deliver the message for the Bahati Foundation while winning races at a professional level," said Bahati.

    "I’m truly excited to know my future is in the hands of people who are dedicated to the sport and want to give back to the communities that are lacking structure and resources."

    Australia's Hilton Clarke will return to the US racing scene with Bahati after a year with ProTour squad Fuji-Servetto. Clarke's compatriot Nathan O'Neill has also been named in the team and will mark his comeback to racing after he completed a suspension for a positive drugs test last November.

    The USA's Jason Donald will be the team's other former-ProTour recruit. He leaves Garmin-Slipstream after three seasons. Bahati's former-Rock Racing teammate Cesar Grajales has also been confirmed as part of the team's inaugural line up.

    The full 2010 Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team roster is:

    Rahsaan Bahati
    Nathan O’Neill
    Hilton Clarke
    Jason Donald
    Matt Rice
    Cesar Grajales
    Ryan Baumann
    Corey Collier
    Bobby Lea
    Alex Hagman
    Peter Carey
    Phillip Mann
    Evan Hyde
    Ian Burnett
    Lanell Rockmore

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  • O'Neill set to return with Bahati Foundation team

    Nathan O'Neill won the Tour of Elk Grove but was later disqualified following a doping positive for an appetite suppressant.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 18:23 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Australian eligible to race after two-year suspension

    Nathan O'Neill is set to make his return to competition with the new Bahati Foundation professional team in 2010. The 34-year-old Australian is excited to get back to racing his bike after serving a two-year suspension on a doping positive for an appetite suppressant.

    The eight-time Australian time trial champion will join three former teammates, Rahsaan Bahati, whose foundation the team benefits, Hilton Clarke and Cesar Grajales, on the new squad thanks to the work of his coach Rick Crawford of Colorado Premier Training.

    "Rick was given the opportunity to work with the team, and that included recommending riders," O'Neill told Cyclingnews. "Knowing I didn't have anything on the table for next year, he put my name in.

    "I'm really happy with how the team is shaping up - I rode with Rahsaan on Saturn in 2003, and Hilton and Cesar were teammates of mine on the Navigators team in 2005... but I'm excited to get to know everybody - I believe Rick when he says he's put together a great roster."

    So far, O'Neill doesn't have plans to get together with his new squad before the team training camp in January. The Georgia resident hopes to have a chance to meet the other riders before the end of the year, but can already train with one teammate, Grajales, who lives in nearby Athens.

    O'Neill said he has a bit of work to do to get back to top speed after two full years out of competition. He tested positive for the appetite suppressant phenteramine at the Tour of Elk Grove in August, 2007. He quickly admitted to taking the drug, insisting that he took it legally outside of competition, but explained that a trace amount remained in his system by the time he won the prologue and overall title in the Chicago event.

    While the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA) found that O'Neill was at "no significant fault" for the doping positive and attempted to levy a 15-month reduced ban, which would have allowed him to...

  • Bourgain injured in Grenoble Six Day crash

    Mickael Bourgain in action at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 20:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympian to miss next two track World Cups

    French sprinter Mickaël Bourgain will miss the next two UCI Track World Cups after being injured in a crash at the Six Day event in Grenoble this week.

    Bourgain, the bronze medallist in the sprint in the Beijing Olympic Games, fell during a match sprint against compatriot Gregory Bauge at the Professional Sprint series on Monday. He suffered a type 3 shoulder separation, but will not need surgery to correct the injury, according to the French Cycling Federation.

    "I will be immobilised for two weeks in a sling and then we'll see how the bump has changed, but apparently this could be lengthy. It could be four to six weeks before I can pull on the handlebars," Bourgain said.

    "The World Cups in Cali and Melbourne are not worth thinking about. I hope to race the final in Beijing. We'll see if I am ready in time."

    Bourgain will have further examinations to determine if other muscles or ligaments were damaged in the crash tomorrow.

  • Clarke brings European experience back to America

    Hilton Clarke spent 2009 racing for the Spanish ProTour team Fuji-Servetto.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2009, 22:50 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Reunited with younger brother in US peloton

    Hilton Clarke will bring his ProTour experience back to the US in 2010 with the recently announced Bahati Foundation Professional Cycling Team. The Australian sprinter hopes that his well-known criterium expertise will bring success to the new squad in order to inspire and empower underprivileged youth to rise above their circumstances.

    "I did my year there and this opportunity came up," Clarke said. "It sounded like a cool thing that Rahsaan is putting together and I wanted to be a part of it. I definitely look forward to doing all the NRC [National Racing Calendar] races again. I'm thinking we will target those events but we haven't gone over that yet."

    Clarke raced for American teams Navigators Insurance Cycling in 2005 and 2006 followed by Toyota-United Pro Cycling in 2007 and 2008. After more than 60 career victories he was picked up by the Spanish-based ProTour team Fuji-Servetto in 2009 and upgraded to races like the Ronde Van Vlaanderen, Tour de Suisse and the Volta a Catalunya.

    "The experience was really good and I gained a lot of depth coming from Europe back to America," said Clarke, who struggled to get a podium placing this year. "It was a Catch-22 as to whether I wanted to have success in America at a lower level or be pack fill in Europe at the ProTour level.

    "I'm glad I haven't had to make that decision because the teams have made that decision for me," Clarke continued. "I felt I made it through a lot of races in the mountains that I might not have been able to before. But, the things I could do in America to seal the deal, I found difficult in Europe this year. It was a great experience but for me, because I did so well in America before, I was expected to do the same in Europe and I wasn't able to come through."

    USA Cycling announced a new set of rules this summer whereby the American UCI teams must have a majority of riders from the USA and under the age of 28. These two adjustments made it difficult...