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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Date published:
September 18, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Martin and Nerz lead Germany in World Championships

    Stage winner Tony Martin (Omega Pharma Quick Step)
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 8:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Degenkolb as joker for road race

    World time trial champion Tony Martin will look to retain his title for the third consecutive year, while Dominik Nerz wil lead Germany in the road race in the UCI road world championships in Florence. John Degenkolb is the team's “joker” if the road race comes down to a sprint finish.

    Nerz is riding for BMC this year after two years at Liquigas-Cannondale. He finished 14th overall at the Vuelta a Espana.

    The decision wasn't easy, admitted Udo Sprenger, vice-president of the German federation. “In the end we decided for a mixture of Classics and stage race riders.” Nerz will be team captain, supported by Classics specialists Fabian Wegmann, Paul Martens and Simon Geschke. “In addition we are sending his teammate Marcus Burghardt, who has already ridden a number of good World championships.”

    In case the race comes ends with a sprint, Germany will have John Degenkolb, “as a joker, so to say a mountain sprinter,” Sprenger said. He finished fourth in last year's World's road race.

    With Martin as defending champion, Germany have the right to send three riders to the time trial. The other two places will be taken by Patrick Gretsch and 2008 world time time trial champion Bert Grabsch.

  • Cookson hints at clemency for Armstrong

    UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 10:21 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    UCI Presidential candidate offers an incentive for further confession

    Brian Cookson has hinted that Lance Armstrong's life ban could be reduced if he made a full confession and helped expose other people who might have been involved in his doping during a truth and reconciliation process.

    The UCI presidential candidate suggested that other athletes involved in the USADA investigation into doping in Armstrong's US Postal Service team had been "treated more generously" than Armstrong and said he would like to see a more level playing field.

    Cookson is going head to head with incumbent UCI president McQuaid for the cycling's most influential role. Both accept that some form of truth and reconciliation process is needed to move forward after years of doping scandals but differ slightly on how the process should be carried out and on how people should be rewarded for confessing to doping.

    The two are locked in a tense election battle, with the final vote due on Friday September 27 at the UCI Congress during the world road race championships in Tuscany.

    Armstrong was offered a chance to confess to USADA and accept a shorter ban but refused to collaborate and was given a life ban and lost all of his seven Tour de France victories. He then made a partial confession on television as he tried to limit the legal and financial damage of the USADA investigation.

    Cookson told the media during a conference call on Tuesday that there was "no room" for Armstrong in the sport but offered him an incentive to confess further.

    “I’m not very comfortable with offering Lance Armstrong much hope for the future but I guess that wouldn’t be in my hands anyway – that would be in the hands of the World Anti-Doping Agency," the Telegraph reports Cookson as saying.

    “Let me try to choose my words carefully: I think others have been treated...

  • Chavanel explains Worlds road race absence

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma QuickStep)
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 11:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman to focus on time trial in Tuscany

    Eyebrows may have been raised at Sylvain Chavanel’s exclusion from the French team for the world championships road race in Florence, but the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider has explained that it was his decision to forgo the event and concentrate on Wednesday’s individual time trial.

    “I’m a very clear guy, and I know what I’m capable of at a given moment. Right now, I don’t feel myself capable of being in the shake-up on a finale like the one in Florence next week, and I don’t want to feel useless,” Chavanel told L’Équipe.

    A conversation with Cadel Evans during last weekend’s WorldTour races in Quebec helped Chavanel make up his mind. The demanding haul up to Fiesole and the sharp climb of Via Salviati make the Florence Worlds course among the toughest of recent years, and he felt that it would be difficult to perform without having raced the Vuelta a España.

    “I didn’t change my mind, I just wanted to wait for those two races to judge myself. I understood there that I wouldn’t be competitive in a 280km race like the Worlds,” said Chavanel. “Cadel Evans described the circuit and the climb in Florence and that convinced me that it wasn’t for me.”

    In Chavanel’s absence, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) will lead a French team that also includes the young and in-form Warren Barguil (Argos-Shimano), who won two stages at the Vuelta a España, and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ), who finished 7th overall at the Vuelta.

    “I don’t think that this French team needs me,” Chavanel said. “You have to know when to leave the keys to the new generation. We have some very talented young...

  • Cancellara leads Switzerland in Worlds

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) en route to victory in the Vuelta's stage 11 time trial
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 12:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Austria looks to Zoidl

    Fabian Cancellara will be at the head of the Swiss team at the road race of the UCI World Championships in Florence, as he looks for his first road title. he will lead a strong nine-man team in the 272 km long race on September 29.

    Swiss Cycling announced its nine-man squad on Wednesday morning. In addition to Cancellara, the squad includes Michael Albasini, who this year won the GP Kanton Argau and a stage at Paris-Nice, and Martin Elmiger, winner of the Tour du Limousin.

    Mathias Frank won two stages at the Tour of Austria an one at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, on his way to second overall at the latter. Gregory Rast won a stage at the Tour de Suisse and Michael Schär is national road champion. Danilo Wyss and Oliver Zaugg will also support Cancellara in the race. Youngster Sébastien Reichenbach won the Trofeo Matteoti.

    For the women, Patricia Schwager and Jutta Steinen will ride the time trial.

    It was earlier announced that Cancellara and Reto Hollenstein would ride the time trial, and that Joland Neff, Schwager and Doris Schwieizer the women's road race.

    Zoidl for Austria

    Austria is going to the World Championships with realistic goals, saying a top 15 ranking in the Elite men's road race “would be perfect”. The six-man team will be led by experienced road captain Bernhard Eisel, with Riccardo Zoidl and Stefan Denifl seen as having the best chances for a top result.

    For Zoidl, who won the Tour of Austria this year, “the length of the race is a factor for uncertainty, and Stefan brought in a super result last year with 22nd place on an equally difficult Worlds course,” said national...

  • Pinotti to fly the flag for Italy in time trial world championships

    Marco Pinotti (BMC) powers to his sixth career Italian TT title
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 14:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian hoping for a top five behind Martin, Wiggins, Cancellara and Phinney

    Marco Pinotti will again fly the flag for Italy in the time trial at the world championships in Tuscany, targeting a top five placing, with a the possibility of a medal not out of reach if the big four favourites of Tony Martin, Fabian Cancellara and Taylor Phinney under perform on the flat and fast 57km course.

    Pinotti is more suited to hilly courses because he cannot produce the power of the big four but he has the experience, mental strength and attention to detail that can make difference over such a long course.

    "I've been thinking about the Worlds since the Italian national championships. In the last two months, I've probably spent more time training on my time trial bike than on my road bike," Pinotti told Cyclingnews before heading to a BMC training camp in Tuscany as the US team prepares for Saturday's team time trial event.

    The 37-year-old Italian is not sure if he will make the final cut for the six places in the BMC line-up but as ever, he is unperturbed by decisions that are outside his control. He especially wants to ride well in the azzurra jersey of Italy in next Wednesday's elite men's individual time trial.

    Recovered from the Vuelta

    Despite pulling out of the Vuelta, Italian national coach Paolo Bettini was confident that Pinotti would be at his best for the Worlds and selected him alongside Adriano Malori of Lampre-Merida. Pinotti's rivals for a place in the top five include Sylvain Chavanel (France) and Richie Porte (Australia).

    "My preparations went really well until the Vuelta time trial," Pinotti said. "I was second in the Tour of Austria time trial and fourth in the Tour of Poland time trial. Unfortunately, I became ill two days before...

  • Bissell signs as title sponsor for Axel Merckx's new U23 team

    Race leader Phil Gaimon was well looked after by his BISSELL Pro Cycling Teammates.
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 18:20 BST
    Pat Malach

    US Conti team Bissell Pro Cycling will not continue past 2013

    After nine years on the US domestic circuit, Bissell Pro Cycling will not continue past this season and will instead sign on as the title sponsor with Axel Merckx's new U23 development team.

    "This is a fantastic opportunity to continue building on all the success we have had over the years," Merckx said in a statement Wednesday. "I'm extremely excited about next year, and I'm looking forward to helping to develop the next generation of pro cyclists."

    The Michigan-based company is North America's largest manufacturer of floor-care products like vacuums and other clean-up items. It was founded in 1883 by Melville Bissell and is run today by company president Mark Bissell.

    The UCI Continental cycling team, which is run by Glen Mitchell of New Zealand, started in 2005 as Advantage Benefits-Endeavor and then competed as Priority Health in 2006 and 2007. Bissell came on board as a presenting sponsor in 2007 and then moved into the title-sponsor role in 2008 when it took over ownership of the team. Bissell Pro Cycling raced in different versions of its familiar red-and-black kits for six years through the end of this season.

    WorldTour riders Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Ted King (Cannondale) and Ian Boswell (Sky) formerly rode for the team, along with current national time trial champion Tom Zirbel, Crusher in the Tushar promoter Burke Swindlehurst, Scott Zwizanski, Karl Menzies and the Jacques-Maynes brothers, Ben and Andy. Team riders earned two national championships, including Eric Young's criterium title in 2011 and Bookwalter's 2006 U23 time trial championship.

    This year's roster included 13 riders, three of whom won KOM jerseys at UCI races: Carter Jones in May's Tour of California, Pat McCarty at Tour de Beauce in June and...

  • Vos extends with Rabobank-Liv/Giant for two years

    Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) during the podium ceremony
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 20:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Contract extensions and new riders for women's team

    Marianne Vos and seven of her teammates at Rabobank Liv/Giant have extended their contacts for up to two years. One new signing was announced and four riders, including Belgian national time trial champion Liesbet de Vocht are leaving the team.

    Bos, Lucinda Brand and Pauline Ferrand-Prevot extended their contracts for two more years, it was announced Wednesday on the team website. Annemiek van Vleuten, Iris Slappendel, Roxane Knetemann, Thalita de Jong and Sabrine Stultiens extended for one more year. Megan Guarner, Rebeca Talen and de Vocht are leaving the team. Cyclo-cross rider Sanne van Paassen will leave the team at the end of the 'cross season, March 1.

    One new signing was announced, Anna van der Breggen. Team manager Koos Moerenhout said that there would also be two or three more new riders. “We are talking to a few candidates, riders who in my opinion fill well in our team. We always look to the collective."

    “The backbone of our team for 2014 is now set. With a good mix of toppers, experienced riders and young talent. The new riders are young and talented and a good addition to the team.”

    There is also a second sport director at the team, as Eric van de Boom will return and join Jeroen Bleijlevens. He had left the team this season to work in the sportswear field. "Everyone welcomes Eric's return,” Moerenhout said. “I am happy with him. He has a good vision for cycling and also know our team and how it works. He will fit in perfectly.”

  • Rodriguez withdraws from US Worlds team, replaced by Busche

    2013 US pro road race championship podium (L-R): Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) and Kiel Reijnen (UnitedHealthcare)
    Article published:
    September 18, 2013, 21:48 BST
    Pat Malach

    US champion believed US team needed another climber

    US national road race champion Freddie Rodriguez (Jelly Belly p/b Kenda) told Cyclingnews today that he surrendered his spot on the USA Cycling team for the world championships to RadioShack Leopard's Matthew Busche.

    Rodriguez earned an automatic selection to the US team when he won his fourth national championship road race last June in Chattanooga, but he said Wednesday that the Worlds course in Florence, Italy, does not suit his skills, so he gave up the spot.

    "After analyzing the course a little bit more and looking at the roster, I feel that another climber would be better suited for this job," Rodriguez said. "I want to go and represent the US. Especially at 40, it would have been really cool, but at the same time it really doesn't suit the skills that I would bring to the team."

    The race would have marked Rodriguez's eighth appearance at the world championships. The 272.5km worlds course features more than 3,000 meters of climbing, as much as in a mountain stage at the Giro d'Italia or the Tour de France. The total distance during the 11 circuits around Florence in the Elite men's race adds up to 58.65km of climbing, or 30 percent of the distance covered on the circuit. It simply doesn't suit Rodriguez's sprinting skills.

    "You know when it's not your race," Rodriguez said. "I was going to go because I was 40 and I wanted to help the team and I have a lot of experience. But at the same time there are other riders who can do the job a little bit better than I can.

    "I definitely could be there for...