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Third Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 7, 2010

Date published:
May 07, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • CrossVegas founder wants ‘cross nationals in Boulder

    Ryan Trebon (Kona) won in Vegas last year
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 13:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Grealish leaves Vegas to focus on Colorado

    CrossVegas promoter Chris Grealish has parted ways with the Nevada race to pursue a bid to bring the United States of America Cyclo-cross National Championships to Boulder, Colorado. Grealish hopes to secure the national titles for 2012, with the Valmont Bike Park slated as a potential host venue.

    "It was a great race," said Grealish of CrossVegas. "I'm going to focus my energies on winning the bid for national cyclo-cross championships for the 2011 and '12 seasons. We're hoping to use the Valmont Bike Park, in Boulder, Colorado, for the race."

    Grealish was instrumental in getting the funds and political will mobilized to build the Bike Park in Boulder. The 40-acre facility will be developed in phases, with a International Cycling Union (UCI) caliber cycling loop available by the time Grealish hopes to host nationals.

    "We have a great tradition in Boulder,” he said. “The Boulder Cup at Harlow-Platts is the second or third-biggest race in the country. We attract hundreds of athletes and several thousand spectators. It's one of the great Boulder events these days."

    If it were to get the national championships Boulder would host it for two consecutive seasons, which is how USA Cycling awards the title location. "Boulder's the perfect venue for a national championships,” he said. “We consistently host the world's best cyclists and we could do a world-class 'cross event, with thousands of riders and even more spectators. It would be epic."

  • Amsterdam turns pink for the Giro d'Italia

    Not long now.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 13:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Photo gallery: Dutch capital readies for Grand Tour start

    The Dutch capital of Amsterdam has been draped in pink as it prepares to host the start of the 2010 Giro d'Italia. The 93rd edition of the race will commence on Saturday with an 8.4 kilometre individual time trial from the city's museum square (Museumplein) to the stadium square, outside the 1928 Olympic Stadium.

    Milram's Matthius Russ is scheduled to kick-off the time trial at 13:55 CET on Saturday, however, the German will be preceded by 19 year-old Jasper Ockeloen of the Rabobank Continental squad. The Dutch youngster has been given the honour of being the first to cut through what is bound to be a corridor of noise. André Greipel (HTC-Columbia) will be the last man to roll of the start ramp, at 17:34 CET.

    At just 2 metres above sea level, the pan-flat stagal e 1 time triwill cater to the powerful time trial specialists in the peloton. The sprinters will also be hoping to challenge for victory as they look to secure a few days in the maglia rosa during the opening days of the race.

    Cyclingnews will present live coverage of the prologue, as well as a full report, results, images and interviews after the race.

  • Pinotti ready to fill Italian void at Giro

    Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 15:45 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    HTC-Columbia rider plays down chances of opening stage success

    After winning the prologue of the Tour of Romandie, Marco Pinotti (HTC-Columbia) is a natural favourite for the opening time trial at the Giro d’Italia in Amsterdam on Saturday, but the affable Italian has played down his chances after rating his opposition as being at a higher level for the corsa rosa.

    Should Pinotti shine during the coming three weeks, he’d fill a void left by a number of Italian riders, including Danilo Di Luca, Riccardo Riccò, Emanuele Sella, Franco Pellizotti, Luca Paolini and Alessandro Ballan, who have all been sidelined for various doping-related reasons.

    "When I hear riders complaining about the transfers, or whatever, being uncomfortable at the Giro d’Italia, I’ll remind them of the people who are really pissed off because they're at home and not here," Pinotti told Cyclingnews in the Netherlands. "Some supporters will miss them, but I won’t miss them! In their absence, there is certainly some space available in the results and the media, but that’s the space they stole from us previously, so it’s fair if we occupy it now. There are still Italian riders like [Michele] Scarponi and [Stefano] Garzelli, who have more chances than me to get results."

    Pinotti's first opportunity for a result of his own will come in the Giro's 8.4 kilometre individual time trial on Saturday. Despite his proven time trial ability, the Italian is cautious about his chances of success in the race opener.

    "Every time I’ve done well in time trials, it’s been without any pressure, so I don’t feel like embracing the role of the hot favourite," Pinotti said. "It’s a pretty technical circuit in town, like in Romandie, but I haven’t seen it yet since it’s in the middle of the traffic and the railways until Saturday. The level of the contenders for the win is a little bit higher here. I believe David Millar and Alexandre Vinokourov are...

  • 22 teams gather indoors for Giro d'Italia presentation

    Michele Scarponi and the jersey he hopes to wear.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 18:58 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Rain dampens fans' access to festivities

    The 198 riders on the Giro d'Italia start list completed the last act of the build-up to the race on Friday afternoon, gathering at the Beurs Van Berlage theatre for the official team presentation.

    Team presentations are usually held outside but the race organisers must have kept a close eye on the wet and cold weather in Amsterdam and moved the ceremony inside the Beurs van Berlage. Without open access to the public, the spacious conference facility was not filled to capacity. So far the bad weather has put a dampener on the Giro start in the Dutch capital but the forecast is for better weather on Saturday and Sunday.

    However that did not stop the riders looking worryingly at the sky as they entered the theatre, aware that rain on the twisting, technical time trial course, on the slick city centre roads of Amsterdam, could be treacherous.

    The teams were presented by Dutch model Yolanthe Cabau and Italian race speaker Barbara Pedrotti, with a model wearing each of the team's jersey as they went on stage. Each team captain showed off the bike the riders would be using during the Giro and said a few words. Naturally the Rabobank team got the biggest cheer, even without 2009 Giro winner Denis Menchov or star sprinter Oscar Freire in their line-up.

    Before going on stage to be presented to the crowd, the riders gathered in a side room away from the spot light. It was a chance for a last hello to their friends in the peloton, final pre-race media interviews and some improvised team photographs. Each of the 22 teams will start the Giro with nine riders. Who knows how many will make it to the finish in Verona on May 30?

    Bradley Wiggins and his Team Sky teammates were one of the first to arrive. Wiggins was sporting a short haircut and looked lean but relaxed, despite being widely tipped as the favourite for Saturday's time trial.

    Andrei Greipel (HTC-Columbia) admitted he had suffered with some stomach problems during...

  • Five riders from UK hit by car while training

    A jacket for British rider Lucy Martin after the race.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 19:29 BST
    Cycling News

    British women's team injured in Belgium

    British Cycling confirmed today that five of its female riders were injured after being hit by a car while training in Belgium.

    Hannah Mayho, Lucy Martin, Katie Colclough, Emma Trott and Sarah Reynolds were riding between Brakel and Oudenaarde when the accident took place at about 10:30 Friday morning. All five were treated at a hospital in Oudenaarde.

    Mayho was the worst injured, having taken a direct hit by the car. She suffered fractures in both legs, her right arm and wrist and is undergoing surgery today.

    Colclough sustained a concussion and will be kept in hospital overnight. Martin has cracked a vertebra and has been advised to rest over the coming weeks, while Trott suffered a broken collarbone and a black eye. Reynolds hurt her hand and split her chin.

    "Simon Cope, the Olympic Academy Programme Coach, is with the five riders in Belgium," the British Cycling statement said. "All families have been informed and the priority now is to bring the athletes back to the UK as soon as possible."

  • Bissell names Amgen Tour of California roster

    Ben Jacques Maynes (Bissell) takes a tight turn.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 19:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Jacques-Maynes to lead US team

    The Bissell Pro Cycling Team has named Ben Jacques-Maynes as its leader for the upcoming Amgen Tour of California.

    The US team will also field Paul Mach, Rob Britton, and Jeremy Vennell to support Jacques-Maynes in the mountains. The three have posted strong starts to the season, with Mach taking two wins at Sea Otter, while Britton claimed second on the final stage of the Tour of the Gila monster. Vennell also claimed a victory in Sea Otter and was a key mountain domestique in Gila.

    The team will also have a group for the bunch sprints, with Kyle Wamsley being supported by Pete Latham, Andy Jacques-Maynes, and Daniel Holloway.

    Manager Glen Mitchell has been honing the team with the Amgen Tour as the biggest target of the early season. "With the current race form we have on the team, we are excited about both the hard climbing stages and the bunch sprints," says Mitchell. "It is an honor to race in the biggest tour in the US and the Bissell team is ready to race with some of the world's best teams and riders."

  • Rabobank racing Giro d'Italia without expectations for title defence

    Bauke Mollema (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 20:55 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Dutch team promotes rookie Bauke Mollema to captain

    Rabobank won the Giro d'Italia last year with Denis Menchov, but the Dutch team is starting the Italian Grand Tour on Saturday with no rider expected to contend for the pink jersey. Menchov is not returning to defend his title, and the team's hopes to shine on home soil in the race, which begins in Amsterdam, were dashed recently when sprinter Oscar Freire withdrew due to sinus trouble just two days ago.

    Rabobank is the only Dutch team selected for the Giro d'Italia. In Menchov's absence, the team's management is looking to two riders for chances of glory: Bauke Mollema and Rick Flens.

    "It's very special to be here with this enthusiastic atmosphere, I like it", said Mollema on the eve of stage one. As the winner of the 2007 Tour de l'Avenir, Mollema is expected to be the Netherlands' next Grand Tour rider after Robert Gesink, who has already made the top 10 in various stage races including the Vuelta a España.

    This Giro d'Italia will be Mollema's first attempt at a Grand Tour, but he is already designated as a protected rider at Rabobank in the absence of Menchov. "Menchov doubled the Giro and Tour last year but realised he wasn't at 100 percent of his capacities at the Tour, so we agreed that he'd focus only on the Tour de France this year," team spokesman Luuc Eisenga told Cyclingnews.

    Mollema's coming of age in the pro peloton was delayed by the Pfeiffer disease (also called mononucleosis - Ed.). As a result, he wasn't able to start the Vuelta a España, but he finished last season on a positive note at the Giro di Lombardia and aims to continue his Italian success at the Giro this year.

    Some already consider Mollema a talent. "I've climbed with the 15 best at the Tour of Romandie, and I hope to be a little bit better at the Giro as the race will go on," the young man from Groningen said prior to the riders' presentation in the theatre Beurs van Berlage. "The last week will be really hard. I'm...

  • Two-time world champion Ljungskog retires

    Susanne Ljunkskog won the Tour de l'Aude in 2007 and 2008.
    Article published:
    May 07, 2010, 21:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Blood condition hampers Swede's training

    Two-time world champion Susanne Ljungskog has decided to call an end to her cycling career after a blood condition made it difficult for her to return to her top form.

    The seven-time Swedish champion suffers from hemachromatosis, an excess of iron, which is treated by regular withdrawals of blood.

    Ljungskog underwent therapy to reduce her iron levels, but has found the treatment incompatible with training for top-level competition.

    "The iron levels rise way too fast and I get very fatigued, and if I take care of it by giving blood, I lose a month or two of training and therefore cannot achieve at the highest level. It's a catch-22, and if I cannot be up there I'd rather say good-bye," Ljunkgskog said on her website.

    Ljungskog, 34, is a four-time Olympian who won the world road race championship in 2002 and 2003. The winner of four career World Cup races, Ljungskog transformed herself into a formidable stage racer, netting two overall wins in the Giro della Toscana, the Holland Ladies Tour and the Tour de l'Aude.