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Third Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 25, 2009

Date published:
September 25, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Bos to Cervelo through 2011

    Theo Bos (Rabobank Continental) wins the Ronde van Nord-Holland.
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 14:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch sprinter to hone his road skills with Swiss team

    Theo Bos will ride for Cervélo TestTeam through 2011, the Swiss Professional Continental team announced Friday. He is leaving the Rabobank development team after only one year.

    The 26-year-old made his name in track cycling, winning a silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics and with five World titles to his credit. He is the most successful Dutch track cyclist of all time, but this season has concentrated on road cycling.

    “Theo Bos is an interesting rider and an important person for our team,” said Cervélo team manager Thomas Campana. “We will help Theo take his award-winning track prowess and hone those skills for the road.

    “Our goal was to find another sprinter and in Theo we have found the right rider. As we’ve gotten to know Theo we’ve realised that the mentality of the team and Theo’s are very closely aligned. He likes the way we think and where we want to go.”

    The Dutch rider praised the team's “strong base” of such riders as Carlos Sastre, Thor Hushovd and Heinrich Haussler. “They have presented me with a plan where I can develop myself to the level I want to achieve. In the shadow of the big stars on this team they want to build a team around me for the sprints in the Grand Tours.”

    He continued, “It is great for me, that a team like Cervélo TestTeam has the faith in me and wants to invest in. And it is now up to me to make it happen and to improve myself, step by step.”

    Bos had a successful early season on the road in 2009, taking wins in the Ronde van Nord-Holland and the Omloop der Kempen. He won three stages and the prologue of the Olympia's Tour.

    However, he also made headlines during the final stage of the Tour of Turkey in April, when he caused race leader Daryl Impey of Barloworld to crash in the finale. Impey was seriously injured and only returned to racing this month. The...

  • Bellis undergoes successful surgery, remains in coma

    Jonathan Bellis (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 16:18 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Doctors remove blood clot from Jonathan Bellis' brain

    Manx cyclist Jonathan Bellis underwent successful surgery this morning to remove a blood clot in his brain. He remains in an induced coma and in critical but stable condition one week after a motor scooter crash near Quarrata, Italy.

    Doctors at a hospital in Careggi, north of Firenze, preformed the surgery. Medics took Bellis, 21, to the hospital early Saturday morning and induced a coma.

    Bellis suffered head injuries from the accident, which occurred near 3:30 in Quarrata. He was wearing a helmet and travelling along Via IV Novembre.

    The cause of the accident is still unknown and local police are investigating.

    National British Under-23 director Max Sciandri immediately joined Bellis at the hospital. Bellis' parents flew from the Isle of Man on Saturday.

    Bellis was training in Quarrata with other British riders, including fellow Manx Mark Cavendish. British Cycling had him listed as a possible member of its elite World Championships team. The race takes place on Sunday in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    Bellis finished third in the 2007 Under-23 World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. He turned professional with Team Saxo Bank this season after a trainee period last fall.

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  • Boasson Hagen empty ahead of Worlds road race

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 16:41 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Confidence lacking after disappointing time trial

    Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen ended yesterday's world championship time trial disappointed with his condition, a race in which he finished 27th. Boasson Hagen hopes the sensation in his legs which powered him to four stage wins and the overall title at last week's Tour of Britain returns for Sunday's world championship road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    "It is not a good sign [for the road race] when there is no power in the legs," he told Cyclingnews. "I hope to have a better day on Sunday."

    Sunday's circuit has two climbs, the Acqua Fresca and Novazzano. It's a short 13.8-kilometre circuit repeated 19 times, but features 4655 metres of climbing in 262.2 kilometres.

    "I haven't spent so much time on the time trial bike, so I hope it is better on the road bike," he said.

    Boasson Hagen, 22, won two time trials this year: a stage at the Eneco Tour and the Norwegian national championships. His road wins include a Giro d'Italia stage, Gent-Wevelgem and four stages and overall at the Tour of Britain.

    He finished 21st in the 2008 Worlds road race last year in Varese, Italy. As an Under-23 rider, he finished sixth in 2007 and ninth in 2006.

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  • Nelyubin's murderer sentenced to 18 years

    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 16:43 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Azagoyev's brother receives three-year sentence

    A court in the Russian city of Saint Petersburg has handed down an 18-year sentence to Alim Azagoyev for the murder of Olympic track champion Dmitri Nelyubin on New Year’s Day, 2005. Azagoyev’s brother, Edik, received a three-year sentence for hooliganism during the same incident.

    Winner of the Olympic 4000m team pursuit title in 1988 in conjunction with Viatcheslav Ekimov, Arturas Kasputis and Gintautas Umaras when he was just 17, Nelyubin had gone out onto the streets of Saint Petersburg with friends to set off fireworks to celebrate the new year. According to the Azagoyev brothers, they mistook Nelyubin and his friends for a group of neo-nazis who had attacked one of their friends earlier that evening. During a confrontation between the two groups, Nelyubin was stabbed and died four hours later in hospital due to blood loss.

    As well as the 18-year sentence, Azagoyev will have to pay compensation of four million roubles (£80,000/$130,000) to Nelyubin’s family.

    Azagoyev’s defence team have announced that they will be appealing the sentence.

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  • Milram extends with Schröder, Müller retires

    Björn Schröder (Milram)
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 17:32 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    German ProTour team taking shape for 2010

    Björn Schröder has extended his contract with Team Milram for an additional year, the team announced Friday. Martin Müller announced his retirement from the German ProTour team.

    Schröder is one of only two riders, along with Christian Knees, to have been with the team since its inception in 2006. The 28-year-old said, "I am looking forward to another year with Team Milram and will pay back the trust they have shown in me with a good performance.“

    Schröder's 2009 season came to an abrupt end during the Vuelta a España. He went down in the mass crash in the finale of the fourth stage in Lüttich. He continued to ride with pain until he was forced out in the 13th stage. An MRI in his hometown of Berlin last week showed a cracked bone and torn rotator cuff, ending his season.

    The German has ridden the Tour de France twice with Milram, in 2006 and 2008. His biggest career win came last season when he won the Rothaus Regio-Tour.

    Milram has already announced the signing of Luke Roberts for the coming year, and contract extensions with Dominik Roels, Servais Knaven and Robert Förster.

    The team is losing four riders for the next season. Martin and Peter Velits are leaving for Columbia-HTC, and Ronny Scholz announced his retirement last week. Today, Martin Müller also announced his retirement.

    Müller, 35, has been with the team since 2006. He said that he had not been offered a contact extension, and will now look for work unrelated to cycling. “It is almost impossible to transfer at age 35, especially since I have the wrong nationality," he said.

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  • Kennaugh prepares for final bow as amateur

    Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain National Team) time trials in June's Baby Giro.
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 17:34 BST
    Richard Moore

    Manx rider emotional at making the move up

    Peter Kennaugh (Great Britain) will go into Saturday’s under-23 world championship road race as one of the medal favourites, a fact the Isle of Man rider acknowledges with a little reluctance and apprehension.

    In what will be his last race before turning pro with Team Sky, the highly rated Kennaugh is set to be the designated leader of a strong five-man British team. And he will be aiming to maintain the country’s recent good record in this event, thanks to Ben Swift’s fighting fourth place last year, and Jonathan Bellis’s bronze medal in 2007.

    “It’s quite emotional,” said Kennaugh on the eve of his final outing as an amateur. “All you think about when you’re younger is turning pro. I was nine or ten when I started reading cycling magazines and dreaming about it, but now it’s come round and it’s really hit me this week.”

    The 20-year old continued: “Am I scared? Am I nervous? Am I excited? Because I’m turning pro I feel I should be one of the guys making the racing [on Saturday] and up there. You look at some riders and think: how the heck do they turn pro, especially when you beat them. But now I’m that guy and so I feel there’s a bit of pressure to perform from that aspect. It’s also my last race as an amateur so I’d like to go out on a high. I’m pretty nervous.”

    The pressure is increased, he admitted, by the attacking performance of Swift last year, and Bellis’s medal the year before. “It would be a shame for no one to be up there on Saturday with what’s gone on in the last two years,” said Kennaugh. “Before that it was 40 years back to Tom Simpson [who won the world professional road race in 1965]. It shows the [British Cycling] Academy is working.”

    He singled out the Italian and French teams as the biggest threat in Saturday’s race. “For me they’re...

  • Wiggins' comments fuel Sky speculation

    Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain) awaits the start.
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 17:44 BST
    Richard Moore

    Wiggins: The Tour "changed everything"

    Bradley Wiggins has dropped the strongest hint yet that he wishes to move from Garmin-Slipstream to Team Sky. The British rider, who is under contract to Garmin-Slipstream for 2010, was speaking to the BBC the day after the men's time trial, when mechanical problems saw him fall out of contention for a medal.

    "The Tour de France changed everything," said Wiggins, who equalled the best ever performance by a British rider, finishing fourth in Paris, and admitted that next year he will be aiming to improve on that. "It's like trying to win the Champions League - you need to be at Manchester United but I'm playing at Wigan at the moment, so I have to make that step up."

    While speculation has been mounting over Wiggins' possible switch, the rider himself has been ambiguous. During the Tour he used his Twitter site to declare that he would not be joining Team Sky. But the rumours have not gone away, and they have only been fuelled by speculation linking Alberto Contador, the Tour winner, with Garmin-Slipstream.

    On the speculation, Wiggins said, "I'll leave it to the experts. It's unfortunate that. I've had a good time this year at Garmin but times have changed. I don't know, the Tour changed everything for me really so we'll see what happens.

    "No-one would have imagined I would finish fourth," said Wiggins of his Tour performance. "Going into this year I hoped for success in time trials. I never really imagined I'd be climbing with the best in the Tour. It has changed everything about the future and what I'm capable of achieving.

    "I believe I'm capable of getting on the podium - I was inches away from it this time. Next year I'll be stronger. I'll have a bit more self-belief and confidence. It will be very difficult to challenge Alberto Contador. He is an amazing rider but I'll go in the best possible condition and see what happens. I won't go in to finish third. I set off to win the race."

    Dave Brailsford, the Team Sky...

  • Under par Cooke happy to play team role

    Nicole Cooke wins her 10th British championships.
    Article published:
    September 25, 2009, 18:54 BST
    Richard Moore

    Defending world champion lacks last year's form

    Nicole Cooke, the defending women's world road champion, admits that she does not have the same form as twelve months ago, when she completed the unique double of world road title and Olympic road race gold. The Welshwoman also said she would be prepared to play a supporting role when she lines up in Mendrisio in a seven-strong British team which also includes Emma Pooley and Lizzie Armitstead.

    "I would say I am not at the level of last year," said Cooke. "That is the case, but in terms of my preparation, I've done everything I could have done over the past two months to be as good as I can be, and to be ready for the big day. I'm going to give it my best and hope that's enough to be up there fighting for the big prize."

    A virus in July interrupted her season, as did financial problems with the Vision 1 team she launched at the start of the year. After failing to land a major sponsor, the team was forced to cancel its racing programme, and Cooke confirmed that it has now been permanently disbanded. She added that she has a team for next season and will confirm her plans after the world championships.

    Asked whether her team's woes had affected her, she said, "It certainly added an extra distraction to getting out training and preparing for races. But I think it was the right thing to do, to try and get a solid base and secure foundation for me and other British riders to perform from. I still think this year was the time to start something and give it a go."

    The recession certainly didn't help her cause. "It was how it happened," she said. "You can't change anything."

    Looking ahead to her title defence, Cooke said that the course would ordinarily suit her. "I think if you're strong and in good condition, yes [it would suit me], but you have to be ready for it."

    The implication was that she might not be ready for it - in which case, one of her teammates could benefit from her help. Riding as part of what she says is...