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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Date published:
September 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Zubeldia will give all for Freire at Worlds

    Prologue winner Haimar Zubeldia (Team RadioShack) started stage one in the leader's yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 8:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish veteran back in national squad after eight years

    Haimar Zubeldia is back in the Spanish team for the world championships and says he'll give everything to help teammate and three-time world champion Oscar Freire take a fourth title in Australia.

    "I hope to repay all the confidence the coach has placed in me by helping Oscar to do what no cyclist has done so far, winning four world titles," Zubeldia told Europa Press before heading to Australia for the Worlds.

    The RadioShack rider will ride his third world championships, the first being in Ouest-France in 2000, the last one Zolder, Belgium, in 2002.

    After his Tour de l'Ain win and strong performances in the Grand Prix de Québec and Montréal, where he finished 11th and fourth respectively, Zubeldia was included in the Spanish selection announced recently, although mid-season the prospect of that happening didn't look so good.

    A broken radial bone suffered during the Dauphiné Libéré kept him out of the Tour de France and he explained that it was a tough period that required some fundamental thinking and motivation.

    "They were difficult times which allowed me to reflect and re-establish myself on the bike and train with the same enthusiasm as ever, but with an inner strength which is very difficult to explain," he said.

    The focus on Freire as Spain's candidate for the win comes after the withdrawal of Katusha rider Joaquin Rodriguez, who took a stage and led the overall standings for some time at the recent Vuelta a España, citing fatigue after a successful year as the reason he wouldn't be traveling to Australia.

    Regardless, Zubeldia believes that "the Spanish team is of a high level, with experience in the worlds, which is very important so as to not be nervous on that one day and have clear ideas," adding that the teams to look out for will be "the Italians, which are always strong, the Australians, who are at home and Belgian riders like [Philippe]...

  • O'Grady disputes tax office claim

    Stuart O'Grady heads out for a ride after arriving from Australia.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 10:24 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Lawyer says O'Grady had already paid taxes in France

    Stuart O’Grady is disputing claims by the Australian Taxation Office that he owes tax for four financial years dating back to 2004-2006, when he lived in France, according to Adelaide Now. The Saxo Bank rider is now a resident in Monaco.

    O’Grady’s lawyer John Tucker appeared at the Federal Court in Adelaide to contest the claim, stating that it was “primarily a dispute of residency.” Tucker said that O’Grady had already paid tax on his earnings in France in the period in question.

    Tucker also cited the Income Tax Assessment Act, which says contractors who work outside of Australia for six consecutive months are not liable to pay Australian tax and noted that O’Grady spends only one month each year in the country.

    "It's enough to warrant argument but as I said to the judge it's not enough for everyone to be here," Tucker told Adelaide Now. "If he was taxable on his contract earnings as a cyclist in any way, having already been taxed in France, our next point would be that they'd be exempt."

    O'Grady's lawyers will next week meet with representatives of the Deputy Tax Commissioner with a view to resolving the matter out of court. If such mediation is unsuccessful, the matter will return to court on October 21. Adelaide Now also reports that if a trial does take place, a judge would need to be brought in from outside the state of South Australia, as O’Grady’s father Brian is a driver for the Australian government and judiciary in the area.

    O'Grady has been selected as part of the Australian team for the world road race championships in Australia on October 3. 

  • Cancellara confirms worlds participation

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 10:46 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Swiss rider puts off announcing his 2011 team

    Fabian Cancellara has confirmed that he will take part in the road race world championships in Melbourne but has put off any announcement about his team for 2011 until after he returns from Australia.

    Cancellara pulled out of the Vuelta last Friday, just a day before Bjarne Riis agreed to let him end his contract with the Saxo Bank team. He claimed that he was tired and needed time with his family and said he would decide about competing at the world championships after a training ride on Tuesday.

    He confirmed he would take part in the world championships in a press conference in Zurich just a few hours before getting on a plane for Australia. He will target a fourth world time trial title on September 30 and then the road race on October 3. However he admitted that his form was not as good as when he dominated the time trial in Mendrisio in 2009.

    'If I take the world championships in Mendrisio in 2009 as a comparison, when the situation was similar, I'm confident. The legs are on the right path. Now it must only make the click in my head," he said on his personal website.

    Looking for a new challenge

    After ending his contract with Saxo Bank, Cancellara has been linked to the new Luxembourg team, the Swiss-registered BMC squad, Team Sky, and the new Australia team that is hoping to secure a ProTour licence for 2011. He tried to play down speculation about his future by saying he will only announce his future after the world championships.

    Cancellara denied that his decision to quit Saxo Bank was about money or his relationship with Bjarne Riis.

    "There are a lot of changes going on in the team and it was time for me to seek a new challenge," he told during the press conference.

    Tweeting just before taking off for Australia, Cancellara insisted that he has not yet signed a contract with a team for next season: "About 2011 there is nothing official to say about my...

  • Paris-Tours line-up announced

    A typical Paris-Tours impression as the peloton rides on flat roads.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 11:47 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Strong French presence at sprinters' classic

    Paris-Tours organisers A.S.O. have announced the teams that will take part in the French classic on Sunday October 10. The line-up will be made up of 14 ProTour teams, 7 Pro Continental teams and 3 Continental teams. The race is no-longer part of the UCI World Calendar but is ranked a Hors Category race and part of the UCI Europe Tour. 

    French teams dominate the start list. The ProTour squads AG2R-La Mondiale and Francaise des Jeux are joined by BBox Bouygues Telecom, Cofidis and Saur-Sojasun, while three Continental teams are also from France: BigMat Auber, Bretagne-Schuller and Roubaix-Lille Métropole.

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto team of 2008 and 2009 winner Philippe Gilbert will again ride the season’s penultimate classic. Vacansoleil have also been granted a place on the race, along with RadioShack. The American squad had initially been omitted from the line-up for the following weekend’s Giro di Lombardia before a dispensation was given to race organisers to invite a 26th team, but they encountered no obstacle from ASO for Paris-Tours.

    The race takes place just a week after the world championships in Australia and Mark Cavendish has already confirmed that he will not take part in the sprinters’ classic, although his HTC-Columbia is among the selected teams.

    Contrary to reports circulating at last year's event, the organisers confirmed that the race will again finish on the 2.7km-long Avenue de Grammont in Tours, but the opportunists will have ample opportunity to follow in Gilbert’s wheel tracks and upset the sprinters in the run-in to the finish. After crossing the Loire at Amboise, the race tackles the Côte de Beau Soleil, Côte de l’Epan and Côte du Petit Pas d’Ane in the closing 11km. The final climb comes 4km from the finish and the finale in the streets of Tours should see a nail-biting pursuit between the sprinters’ teams and the escapees.

  • Frank Vandenbroucke to be remembered with memorial race

    Frank Vandenbroucke (Mitsubishi-Jartazi) looks on
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 12:02 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Binche-Tournai-Binche renamed in memory of late Belgian rider

    The Binche-Tournai-Binche race, one of the oldest races on the Belgian calendar, has been renamed the Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke. It will be held for the first time since 1996 on October 5 in remembrance of the former classics rider who died on October 12 last year during a holiday in Senegal.

    Frank Vandenbroucke won the last edition of the race when he was at the beginning of his troubled career and riding for the Mapei team. Vandenbroucke beat Jean-Pierre Heyndrickx and Tom Steels.

    The 200km race is being organised by Frank's uncle, Jean-Luc Vandenbroucke, and will start in the small village of Gille and cover a loop around the western area of Wallonie near Tournai.

    The race will be held just two days after the world road race championships in Australia but at least 23 teams are set to ride, according to a report in La Derniere Heure newspaper, including 12 ProTour teams. Quick Step, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Garmin-Transitions, RadioShack and AG2R have agreed to ride the 1.1 ranked event.

    The Memorial Frank Vandenbroucke comes just five days before Paris-Tours and so is a perfect warm-up race for the final classics of the season.

  • WADA to test for black market products

    Director General of the WADA, David Howman
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 13:53 BST
    Barry Ryan

    "Non-approved" substances added to banned list for 2011

    The World Anti-Doping Agency has revealed that it will begin testing for drugs that are sold on the black market before they are approved for medical use by the pharmaceutical industry. WADA’s executive committee met in Montreal last weekend and decided to add a section entitled “non-approved substances” to its existing list of banned substances. The extended list will come into effect from January 1 2011.

    “The intention is to look at things that are on the black market before they’ve been launched by the pharmaceutical industry,” WADA director general David Howman told the Associated Press news agency.

    This new measure from WADA is essentially an effort to fight doping with substances that are still under clinical development. “While substances are in the research and development stage, sometimes they do get out there,” Howman said. “We just want to make sure that there is some way that they can be covered because we are alert to the fact that they're picked up."

    The creation of this “non-approved” substances list stems from the early use of CERA, the third-generation version of the blood-boosting drug EPO, which came to prominence after Riccardo Riccò, Stefan Schumacher, Bernhard Kohl and Leonardo Piepoli tested positive for the substance at the 2008 Tour de France. “It came on the market in May or June 2008, but then we found out that it was on the black market as far back as 2005," Howman said.

    WADA’s list also includes veterinary substances that have been used for medicinal purposes in humans in the past. "This is about looking to the future,” Howman explained. “There wasn't a loophole that has been exposed. This is more a hole without the loop."

  • Porte considering his options for 2011

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 15:26 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian reflects on successful debut season

    Bjarne Riis has told Cyclingnews that Richie Porte will stay with Saxo Bank in 2011 but the talented Australian neo-pro has insisted that he still has to decide if he will stay with the Danish team after being approached by several teams.

    Porte is reported to be a target for Team Sky and the Fly V Australia team that has already signed Robbie McEwen and is hoping to secure a ProTour licence for 201. Riis hopes to keep him at Saxo Bank as a second team leader behind Alberto Contador.

    "I've got a lot of interest after the year I've had. But it's still all to be decided," was all Porte would say to Cyclingnews about his future.

    However he was happy to talk about his first season as a professional. He made his professional debut with Saxo Bank this year after racing as an amateur in Italy. He won the time trial at the Tour de Romandie in April, wore the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia for three days and went on to finish seventh and win the best young rider's white jersey. It was an impressive grand tour debut by the 25 year-old, who just a year before was riding the GiroBio - the amateur version of the Giro d'Italia.

    "It's been a dream season for me. I wanted to win a race and I did so at the Tour of Romandie. It's been a big step up but I think I've taken it really well," Porte said.

    "It's pretty exciting for me to be going stronger at the end than I was at the start. Hopefully I can go strong the whole season in 2011."

    He was often in the thick of the action at the Tour of Britain and described it as the most enjoyable race he'd ridden so far this season. Coming from Tasmania, he admitted the green hills and wet weather made him feel at home.

    "It was just good fun to go on the attack and wear jerseys. It would have been nice to ride for GC but I'll come out of it with good form for the world championship," he said.

    Worlds time trial and then Lombardy

    Porte is riding the time...

  • Phinney signs for BMC

    Taylor Phinney (Trek Livestrong/U23) was clearly happy afterwards at the press conference
    Article published:
    September 22, 2010, 15:53 BST
    Barry Ryan

    American TT champion to combine road and track with new team

    Taylor Phinney will ride for BMC in 2011. The 20-year-old American has signed with the team despite riding as a stagiaire with RadioShack this summer.

    "When Jim Ochowicz first sold my family and me on the program, we were just blown away with the way he and the BMC Racing Team organization carried themselves," Phinney said. "They have a team with a lot of younger guys mixed with veteran riders and team leaders like Evans, Hincapie and Ballan. It seemed like the right fit for me.”

    Phinney captured the American national time trial title on Saturday and is also the reigning individual pursuit world champion on the track. His contract with BMC will allow him to continue to combine road and track racing. Phinney rode for the Trek-Livestrong U23 team in 2010.

    “BMC also makes fast bikes,” Phinney said. “I'm excited to see what they can make for me on the track."

    In spite of his lofty reputation and his huge success in 2010, Phinney expects to spend some time earning his stripes at his new team.

    “I'm looking forward to getting into pro racing, riding the front and doing my duties while seeing if I can win some races," he explained. "I don't want to be the high-maintenance neo-pro. That never works out well. If I get a good base and foundation and a lot of race days, the wins will come naturally."

    BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz expressed his delight at signing Phinney: “This is an extraordinary opportunity to work with one of the world's most celebrated and gifted cyclists," Ochowicz said.

    "Taylor will continue with his track racing goals and join the team on the road at events that will allow him to gain the necessary experience in selected professional events. He will be supported in these efforts by a highly successful group of teammates all of which are eager to reach out and share their experiences with him."

    The length and terms of Phinney’s contract...