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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Date published:
September 15, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Sastre takes setbacks in his stride

    Carlos Sastre (Cervelo) steps onto the podium
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 2:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish veteran slams Cervélo's Vuelta selection

    During the Vuelta a España's second rest day Carlos Sastre is showing the scars of competing in three grand tours in 2010 and has taken aim at the decisions made by the Cervélo TestTeam in choosing its Vuelta squad.

    The 2008 Tour de France champion says he is feeling increasingly fatigued as a result of his grand tour triple play this season and the particularly hectic nature of this year's Vuelta isn't helping matters.

    "The start of this year's Vuelta a España was not at all easy, and in fact for all the members of this team it hasn't changed as the race progresses. On top of that, a cold I caught when I was travelling from Alicante to Tarragona complicated things for me even more during this past week, while my strength is also waning after three big tours. That is why I said that my enthusiasm is outweighing my strength now," said Sastre.

    The 35-year-old has signed for Team Geox for the next two seasons and didn't hesitate in taking the opportunity to remind readers of the poor decision made by his current team, Cervélo TestTeam, in selecting a Vuelta squad that in his opinion has failed to adequately support him during the race.

    "As I said at the beginning of this Vuelta and throughout all the month of August, this was not the team that I would have liked and it isn't a balanced team in any sense. In fact, to date, three riders have already gone home and as the days goes by my opinion is simply reaffirmed," said Sastre.

    "I asked for riders who knew that they would be in the Vuelta a España until the end, not just for a part of it. Without being backed by the team that I really wanted, playing a tactical battle is really complicated for a number of reasons."

    Sastre currently lies in ninth overall, just 10 seconds behind teammate Xavier Tondo in eighth and 4:53 in arrears of overall leader Joaquin Rodriguez. The Spanish veteran is trying to maintain motivation for the coming...

  • Battle for Britain hits the queen stage

    The peloton lines up in Minehead.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 5:22 BST
    Cycling News

    A gallery from the galleys in Minehead

    The attention of the cycling world may be firmly focused on the battle for red at the Vuelta a España but the Tour of Britain is currently playing host to the likes of Tour de France and Olympic track star Bradley Wiggins, Classics wunderkind Heinrich Haussler and powerful sprinter André Greipel.

    Billed as the event's 'queen stage', yesterday's 171.3km journey from Minehead to Teignmouth saw Vacansoleil's Wout Poels and Borut Bozic go one-two on another soggy day through the English countryside.

    Cyclingnews journalist Stephen Farrand was on hand to capture some of the atmosphere as dedicated local fans braved the elements to grab a glimpse of 'their' boys Wiggins, Geraint Thomas and Russell Downing from Team Sky (pictured below).

    Here's a sample of what was laid out for riders and fans alike in Minehead as the Tour of Britain continued with stage four.

  • Head injuries claim Casarotto’s life

    Thomas Casarotto
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 5:39 BST
    Greg Johnson

    Team remembers loving, great guy

    Thomas Casarotto has passed away from serious head injuries sustained in a crash during the Giro del Friuli Venezia Giuli. The 20-year-old’s parents decided to turn Casarotto’s life support off after four days in intensive care and donate the youngster’s organs to other patients in need.

    Casarotto crashed into a car while descending the Sella Ciampigotto during the event. He was airlifted to a hospital in Udine where he spent four days in intensive care with a cranial hematoma.

    “This is a great loss which leaves us dismayed and speechless,” said Mauro Flora. “In this difficult moment I want to witness the closeness of the team to the Casarotto family affected by such tremendous grief. I ask everyone to support the mother, father and sister of Thomas in such a difficult moment.”

    Generali team manager Roberto Zoccarato described Casarotto as one of Italian cycling’s best hopes when announcing the rider’s passing. “Thomas was a really great guy,” said Zoccarato. “He could be loving to all and had qualities of true promise.”

    Generali withdrew its squad from the race following Casarotto’s accident.

    Cyclingnews would like to offer its sincere condolences to Casarotto’s family, friends and teammates.

  • Riis negotiated with Contador during Tour de France

    Bjarne Riis waited patiently outside as his riders were presented
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 9:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Contador more serious, Andy Schleck a free spirit, team boss says

    Bjarne Riis has revealed that he was negotiating with Alberto Contador during this year’s Tour de France, while the Spaniard was riding a neck-and-neck battle against Saxo Bank's Andy Schleck for the overall title. “It was strange,” Riis admitted in an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Pais.

     “I explained to everyone, Andy, Fränk, Alberto, look, at the Tour I'm one hundred percent with Andy,” Riis said. “I have a job and give it my all, and so I demand of my riders, even those who would change their teams next year, to give one hundred percent to the team until the end.”

    When the Schlecks told him they were leaving, he “wondered who would replace them, and immediately thought of Alberto, who is the best.” Riis spoke to Contador before the Tour and met with his brother/manager Fran to review the contract during the Tour.

    Riis compared the characters of Andy Schleck and Contador. “In cycling there is room for everyone and we cannot ask that all cyclists have the same mentality, the same lifestyle. We respect them all."

    “Andy is not Contador, Contador is not Andy. They are two different people and two fantastic people,” Riis said. “Maybe Alberto is a bit more serious and Andy a little younger, a little more of a free spirit, who still has a lot to learn.”

    Riis added: “This doesn't mean it is easier with Alberto. He has other characteristics. I have to know the person, to help them realise they need me to become better. It is always the same game, and a job I will start this winter with Alberto.”

    Finally, he commented on whether Fabian Cancellara would be around to help Contador in the Tour next year. “I don't know. I don't know. But there will be a good team around Alberto, it's not a problem.”

  • Renshaw aiming for Commonwealth Games

    Mark Renshaw (HTC-Columbia) takes the stage ahead of Matt Goss
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 9:45 BST
    Daniel Benson

    HTC-Columbia sprinter disappointed not to be at Worlds

    Despite missing out on a place in the Australian Worlds team, Mark Renshaw is looking forward to taking part in the Commonwealth Games in October, where a pan-flat course could suit his skills as a sprinter perfectly.

    Renshaw is currently competing in the Tour of Britain, where he and his HTC-Columbia teammates currently lead the overall standings and have picked up two stages.

    “I’ll hopefully come out of here with better form than when I came in with and that will be a stepping stone to the Commonwealth Games,” Renshaw told Cyclingnews.

    “I’ll head back to Australia for two weeks to prepare for them. They’re huge in Australia. For the ProTour teams it doesn’t mean much at all but it’s a good objective for me to finish the season on. After not getting selected for the Worlds it’s a good aim to have for the second part of the season. We’ve got a good team again and hopefully I’ll be a bit of a leader and try my hand.”

    “It’s a great opportunity to win. Not that I want to prove anything or throw mud in peoples’ faces but it will be good to come out and get the win.”

    Renshaw was one of several surprise Worlds omissions from what was a very strong Australian long-list. Along with Richie Porte and Robbie McEwen, he was one of the biggest names to miss out. While he accepts that the decision was tough for selectors, he still feels that he could have played a part in Geelong’s road race.

    “There’s a bit of disappointment in not being picked. I would have loved to have ridden in the Worlds but at the same time the selectors have picked their riders, although a lot of people don’t agree with it,” he said.

    “They believe the course is too difficult for sprinters but at the same time they’re taking Matt Goss and Allan Davis. I understand Goss because he’s had quite a good year but...

  • Landis to appear at anti-doping conference in Geelong

    Floyd Landis was helping out at the OUCH-Bahati Foundation VIP tent in California.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 10:06 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Deakin University conference to take place before Worlds

    Floyd Landis will appear at a conference on doping in professional cycling in Geelong in the week of the world championships. The New Pathways for Professional Cycling conference will be held on September 27 and 28 at Deakin University’s Waterfront Campus in Geelong and Landis will be present to discuss the future of the sport with legal experts, scientists and academics.

    “Floyd has asked us if he could take part in the panel discussion and we think his presence will enhance the discussion,” said conference organiser Martin Hardie of Deakin University’s Law School. “The issue we are interested in is how we can build a sustainable basis for cycling in the future – it is clear that the sport cannot continue on in the way it has this year.”

    The Australian event will mark one of Landis’ first public discussions of cycling’s doping problems since he appeared on ABC’s Nightline programme in July detailing his allegations of doping in the US Postal Service team. His allegations in May triggered an ongoing US federal investigation led by Jeff Notizky of the Food and Drug Administration.

    “Floyd Landis wants to talk about his ideas for the future and the solution – as he said back in May, he wants to be part of the solution, and we are happy to give him a space to open up a conversation about that,” said Hardie.

    As well as Landis, a number of other high-profile speakers will be present at the conference. Biological Passport panel member and anti-doping researcher Dr. Michael Ashenden will participate, along with Carlos Arribas, the Spanish journalist instrumental in breaking the story of Operacion Puerto.

    Professor Verner Moller, author of Sacrifice, On The Exit of Michael Rasmussen from the Tour de France, Australian cycling historian Keith Mansell and anti-doping expert Dr. Klaas Faber will also present at the conference, while...

  • Evans satisfied with form for Worlds

    Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 10:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Sees Gilbert as the man to beat

    Cadel Evans has the form and the motivation to do well again in the world championships, but considers his main rival to be Philippe Gilbert of Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    Evans does not expect the Worlds to end in a mass sprint. “There will be a small group riding up to the finish. Gilbert is the man to beat,” he said.

    The reigning world champion broke his arm at the Tour de France, although he finished the race. With the exception of a couple of criteriums, Evans had a six-week break after the Tour. Last weekend he returned to competitive racing for the first time since the Tour, riding one-day races in Belgium and France.

    "Because of my broken arm, I was out for a while after the Tour. If you're injured, your motivation grows. If you can cycle again, you are more eager," he told Lotto Cycling TV.

    "Obviously I would like to have a repeat of my performance of last year," he continued. "But that's easier said than done. I have a few weeks until then, but I am satisfied with my current condition."

    Normally the BMC Racing Team captain would prepare for the Worlds by riding the Vuelta, but not this year. The weekend races were helpful to him, he said.

    "These races are more like the course in Geelong. They are also hard courses, which I needed," said Evans.

  • Rodriguez and Nibali face off in Vuelta time trial

    Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) back in red at the Vuelta a España.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 10:39 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Start times for all the big names

    Joaquin Rodriguez will fight to defend his red leader's jersey at the Vuelta a Espana today but the Katusha rider needs to produce the ride of his life to stop Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) taking the lead and setting up overall victory.

    The Italian lost time on the climb to Cotobello on Monday but is much better in time trials than the little Spanish climber. He is confident he can gain at least a minute and perhaps even more on the windswept 46km course around Peñafiel, in the Castile and León region, north of Madrid, that includes long sections of straight roads.

    In the overall classification, Rodriguez leads Nibali by 33 seconds, with Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) third at 53 seconds and Fränk Schleck (Saxo Bank) much further back in fourth at 2:16.

    "I've seen the course and I like it," Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. "There are a lot of straight sections where you really need to push a gear. At worst I think I can gain a minute, but if it's windy and I'm at my very best, I think I could even gain three minutes."

    As race leader, Rodriguez starts last in the time trial, rolling down the start ramp at 4:45 local time in Spain. Nibali starts three minutes earlier at 4:42.

    Cancellara favourite for stage victory

    The battle for the red leader's jersey will be the tense finale to the stage but the fight for stage victory will begin early in the day.

    The 46km time trial around Peñafiel will be Fabian Cancellara's last test against the clock before the world time trial championships in Australia and the current world champion is the huge favourite to win the stage.

    Cancellara is well down in the general classification and so starts early in the afternoon at 1:54 local time.

    Valentin Iglinskiy (Astana) is the first rider off at 1:41, quickly followed by Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) at 1:48. Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions)...