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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Date published:
September 02, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Martin rues time lost in Grand Tour debut

    Ireland's Daniel Martin (Garmin-Slipstream) rides in Vuelta a España stage four.
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 13:30 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Irishman hoping for change of luck in Vuelta

    Lying 149th overall, three minutes and 35 seconds back on the leader, is not where Dan Martin planned to be at this point in the Vuelta a España. The Garmin Slipstream rider has lost time on three out of four days and is hoping that the race’s move to Spain will see his fortunes improve.

    The former Irish road race champion crashed on wet roads in the prologue and then lost 18 seconds when the bunch split on day two. Yesterday’s fourth stage saw him almost go down in an early crash, then puncture approximately 11 kilometres from the finish. The latter caused him to concede time in a series of unfortunate circumstances.

    “I was kind of involved in the crash but didn't hit the floor,” he told Cyclingnews. “I managed to stop and put foot to floor while guys continued to pile into me from behind. Later on I punctured at what was absolutely the worst time possible. The group had just split and I got neutral service and no convoy to begin with.

    “I was just in the cars getting back when the last crash happened. I had to stop because the road was blocked.
    I would have only lost 45 seconds to a minute, but due to the crash it was two minutes and ten seconds.”

    The other riders who were delayed due to the mass pile-up close to the finish were given the same time, as per UCI rules. For example, Martin’s compatriot Philip Deignan (Cervélo Test Team) fell and lost four minutes and one second to stage winner Andre Greipel (Columbia HTC), but incurred no losses.

    As Martin wasn’t with this group when the crash happened, he could not benefit from the regulation. However the resulting chaos nevertheless added to his deficit and ensured he lost even more time than he otherwise would have.

    “It isn't fair and we are going to try and argue it,” he told Cyclingnews, clearly frustrated by how things unfolded. “I’ve had a pretty...

  • Hoste calls an end to 2009 season

    Leif Hoste (Silence Lotto) also made the break.
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 13:54 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Belgian turns his attention to 2010 after year plagued by Paris-Roubaix crash

    Belgian Leif Hoste announced that will stop racing for the season. The Silence-Lotto rider ended his season due to ongoing complications with an injury suffered in a crash at Paris-Roubaix.

    "A new exam showed that my thigh is still heavily bruised," Hoste told Belgian newspaper Het Laaste Nieuws. "It puts me out for six to eight weeks. It's the end of story for me, as far as 2009 is concerned."

    Injury marked Hoste's season. He crashed on the Carrefour de l'Arbre cobble sector of Paris-Roubaix in April, but recovered to finish fourth. Since then, however, he has taken part in just a handful of races.

    Hoste's decision to stop means his final race of the season was Belgium's Halle-Ingooigem one-day race, July 26. He finished 20th, his best result since Paris-Roubaix.

    Hoste, 32, spent much of the past five months with physicians to resolve the muscular imbalance that Roubaix's injury caused. "I tried [to race], but the power difference between my legs was too much. I was overloaded and unbalanced, it wrenched my back in the process," he said.

    He will now concentrate on making a full recovery before he commences 2010 preparations. "I love working in my physiotherapy sessions and carrying out exercises on my leg that are not too taxing. For now, intensive training, let alone racing, is not an option."

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  • Kiserlovski out of Vuelta, Viganò still in

    Robert Kiserlovski (Fuji-Servetto) and Branislau Samoilau (Quick Step).
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 13:56 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Fuji-Servetto loses young Croatian climber

    Fuji-Servetto had both good news and bad news to report on Wednesday, after two of its riders were injured in a massive crash towards the end of the fourth stage at the Vuelta a España.

    Youngster Robert Kiserlovski had to leave the race with a broken collarbone, but David Viganò will be able to continue racing. Both were involved in the massive pile-up that occurred just inside the 3 kilometre-to-go marker.

    Kiserlovski, 23, is expected to undergo surgery this evening. The young Croatian joined the Spanish-based team in June, from Professional Continental team Amica Chips-Knauf. He was making his Grand Tour debut and the team was counting on his climbing abilities later in the race.

    Viganò, 25, was first feared to have broken his left elbow, but x-rays showed no fracture. Although he still is suffering from pain on his entire left side Viganò plans to be at the start of the Vuelta's fifth stage on Thursday.

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  • Sánchez keeps focus on Vuelta gold

    Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) keeps focus on Vuelta gold
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 15:47 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez remains focused on Vuelta overall victory as race enters Spain

    Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez is keeping his focus on the Vuelta a España overall title after four nervous days in The Netherlands and Belgium.

    "My heart says I can win," said Sánchez. "It's like the Tour (de France) last year. I thought I could and I did make the top ten, but it's another thing to do it. I feel the same with the Vuelta, I think I can I win, I am capable, but there are plenty of rivals."

    Spaniard Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is in 73rd place, 42 seconds back from overall leader Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) after four days of racing.

    Sánchez believes the overall classification will re-shape this weekend. The riders face difficult stages such as Saturday's time trial in Valencia, and mountain stages on Sunday and Monday.

    "The Valencia time trial is the first big test of the Vuelta, followed immediately by the mountaintop stages to Aitana and Xorret de Cati. We are going from a 30-kilometre time trial in a fixed position to a stage of eight mountains the next day. It is a remarkable change."

    Sánchez won the Vuelta's final time trial in 2007 and finished third overall. He has won a total of five stages: three in 2007, one in 2006 and 2005.

    The riders flew from Liège, Belgium, to Spain on Monday night The Vuelta resumes tomorrow with a 174-kilometre stage from Tarragona to Vinaros.

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  • Valverde's Vuelta off to solid start

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne), r, rides next to teammate Joaquím Rodríguez.
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 16:46 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Caisse d'Epargne captain says Basso is his biggest rival

    Like most, Alejandro Valverde crashed in the closing kilometres of yesterday's wet Vuelta a España stage four to Liège, Belgium. Despite a minor injury yesterday, he is pleased with the opening days and looks towards the overall battle.

    "I learned a lot from the mistakes I've made in the past and I know that to be absent-minded for only a few seconds can cost you a lot," said Valverde on Wednesday's rest day. "It is really important to be ahead in order to avoid crashes. I'm happy because I lost no time compared to my rivals."

    Spain's Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) was riding in the front half of the group when the crash occurred at 2.5 kilometres to race. He managed to avoid the initial crash, but then a rider hit him from behind.

    "I took a strong blow on my backside. It is bothering me a little bit but fortunately it is nothing serious."

    Valverde has so far defended his strong, ninth place prologue performance. He gained 18 seconds on main rivals Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) and Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) after he avoided a split in the group on the first road stage. Despite the early advantage, Valverde remains cautious.

    "Eighteen seconds can be important, but they will have no weight at the end of the race considering the hard stages still to come," he said. "But you never know, maybe they will play a role."

    Valverde is tenth overall, sandwiched between Ivan Basso (Liquigas) and Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto). Basso and Valverde are both 18 seconds behind race leader, Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank).

    He said today that Italy's Basso has emerged as a marked man. "He looks really slim, very careful and completely concentrated on the race."

    Valverde looks forward to the race re-starting in Spain tomorrow and this weekend's stages.

    "The first important stage will be the time trial in Valencia, but I believe we will have to wait for the next day. The finish at the...

  • Gasparotto hunts for Vuelta stage win

    Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC) attacks in the finale of Vuelta a España stage four to Liège, Belgium
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 17:34 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Enrico Gasparotto looks ahead after trying for win in Vuelta's classic stage to Liège

    Italy's Enrico Gasparotto (Lampre-NGC) is on the hunt for victory in the next two Vuelta a España stages. He missed the win after a solo escape in the finale of yesterday's wet stage to Liège, Belgium.

    "It was not necessarily my type of day, no one likes to race in the rain," Gasparotto told Cyclingnews. "The Classics-style stage became harder due to the rain. I thought, it is better to give it a try off the front, at least I knew I wouldn't crash."

    He knew the roads from racing for leader Damiano Cunego at the Liège-Bastogne-Liège one-day classic in April. After the Côte Saint Nicolas yesterday, Gasparotto attacked with 11 kilometres remaining. He stayed clear of the main group over the next several kilometres.

    The peloton caught Gasparotto with five kilometres to race. He was one of the few riders to avoid a huge crash 2.5 kilometres later.

    The riders travelled from Belgium to Spain last night, where today they had their first of two rest days. Gasparotto trained for 1.5 hours with his teammates and then returned to his room to study the coming stages.

    "I looked at the book, the next two days are good for me," he said. "My legs feel good, and I am happy with how I was going yesterday. I haven't looked beyond those days because it will all depend on how I come out of the hard mountain stages."

    Tomorrow's Vinaros stage covers 174 kilometres and features a small climb with 35 kilometres to race. Friday's stage starts and ends in Xàtiva, with a category three climb 24.3 kilometres to the finish.

    "My first priority is to win a stage at the Vuelta a España, selection for the Worlds would be a consequence of the win."

    Gasparotto thinks he will miss the World Championships on September 27. He said national team director Franco Ballerini will likely overlook him since he is without wins so far this year.

    Gasparotto's Lampre...

  • Haussler extends with Cervélo through 2012

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) at the Tour de France teams presentation.
    Article published:
    September 02, 2009, 19:53 BST
    Cycling News

    German champ Reimer adds another year

    The Cervélo TestTeam announced Wednesday that German-Australian Heinrich Haussler will remain with the team through 2012. Also extending his contract is German champion Martin Reimer, who will remain through 2011.

    The 25 year old Haussler had a break-out Spring Classics season in which he claimed second in Milan-Sanremo and Tour of Flanders and led the UCI's world rankings. He went on to get his biggest win of the season on stage 13 of the Tour de France in Colmar.

    "I am happy that the Cervélo TestTeam offered me a three-year contract. I feel really confident in the team. Everything is perfect and I very much enjoy being a part of it. I could not have it better", said Haussler.

    Team manager Thomas Campana was ecstatic that Haussler and Reimer would remain with the squad.

    Heinrich is exactly what we look for in a rider; he is a star himself, yet not afraid to sacrifice his own chances to help his teammates. He is interested in bicycle technology, really good with the fans and as people can see from the Beyond The Peloton documentary, he's a budding movie star as well. Together with Thor Hushovd who extended his contract earlier this year, Heinrich will make for a strong one-two punch in the classics."

    "Martin is a great talent, which he has already shown us in his first training camp and his first race. Since he beat all the favourites at the German pro championships as a 22 year-old, the rest of the world knows as well. On top of that, he did a very nice job at our retailer event at the start of the season; his fresh and spontaneous demeanour really resonates with people. He even explained to retailers why they should be very happy with some of Cervélo new frame features, so what more could we ask for?"

    Reimer became the surprise winner of the German championships after escaping with two other riders then sprinting to victory. "I have complete confidence in Cervélo TestTeam", said...

  • Vuelta a España Rider Galleries

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) leads Ivan Basso (Liquigas) across the finish.
    Article published:
    September 13, 2009, 14:05 BST
    Cycling News

    UPDATED - Epic images of Basso, Boonen, Cancellara, Evans, Farrar, Gesink, Sánchez, Valverde and Vinokourov

    Follow Cyclingnews' Vuelta a España rider galleries as the action unfolds in Spain's Grand Tour. Some may triumph, some may fall by the wayside. Whatever happens, the race will produce some incredible performances and some equally incredible images.

    Click on the links below to view the Vuelta a España gallery for each rider:

    Robert Gesink

    Fabian Cancellara

    Ivan Basso

    Tom Boonen

    Cadel Evans

    Tyler Farrar

    Samuel Sánchez

    Alejandro Valverde

    Alexandre Vinokourov

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