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Third Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Date published:
December 02, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Liquigas' Kreuziger to aim higher at the Tour de France

    Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas) enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere in Cancun.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:15 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Czech to stay at Italian squad, despite rumours of move to Omega Pharma-Lotto

    Liquigas' Roman Kreuziger says he wants a higher finish than the ninth place he achieved at this year's Tour de France after his team announced on Monday in Moena, Italy, that he would be one of its three captains for the 2010 Tour. The Czech rider has also confirmed that he will remain at Liquigas until the end of 2010, despite rumours of a move to Belgian team Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    "I am not yet ready to win the Tour, but I want to do better than this year," he said. "I know I have the capacity to do it."

    Kreuziger finished 14:16 behind Tour winner Alberto Contador this year.

    The 23-year-old will join Ivan Basso and Vincenzo Nibali as Liquigas co-captains at the Tour. Franco Pellizotti will also form part of the team, but his objective will be to win a stage to add to his mountains classification win from this year.

    "Ivan Basso's presence will help. He will carry the majority of the pressure for the team. This will allow Nibali and me to concentrate on our performances and learn."

    Kreuziger confirmed that he will enter the 2010 Tour with Liquigas. Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad today reported that Kreuziger had reached an oral agreement with Omega Pharma-Lotto to join the latter team for the coming season; a move would have seen Kreuziger break his contract with Liquigas.

    Omega Pharma-Lotto manager Marc Sergeant later admitted to Het Nieuwsblad that he had held brief discussions with Kreuziger in the past, but dismissed reports of an imminent transfer. Kreuziger himself has not ruled out the possibility of a future move away from Liquigas, but said he will see out his existing contract with the Italian team.

    "All of our contracts are up for renewal at the end of [2010]. I might just end up staying with Liquigas and the other [riders on my team] could leave," he said. "But we have to first make sure Liquigas remains as a sponsor."

    Kreuziger spent time at the Liquigas team...

  • Proposed UCI radio ban could include US elite events

    Tim Johnson (left, Ouch p/b Maxxis) says he supports the proposed radio ban.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:27 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Continental teams prepare as USAC seeks clarification

    United States of America-based Continental teams are preparing for the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) proposed radio ban to cross over to American shores in 2010. The radio ban is thought to extend to Elite men and women in all Elite Class 2 events of the UCI’s international calendar, events on the national calendar,  as well as the UCI World Road Championships to be held in Melbourne, Australia.

    The UCI informed national federations this week that the removal of radios in national calendar events has started. USA Cycling could not confirm whether or not radios would banned in all national races in the USA when approached by Cyclingnews.

    US-based teams are already thinking about the possible change, preparing new tactical strategies should the UCI ban radios across the country.

    Jamis-Sutter Home presented by Colavita directeur sportif Sebastian Alexandre has extensive experience using radios himself, first as a professional road racer followed by a three-year term directing the US-based professional men’s team. Alexandre shared his thoughts on the possible ban when asked if he agreed with or opposed such a change to regulations.

    “I think smart riders will take advantage of this ban at some point and I really like this part. This is probably the most exciting element of this, in my opinion,” he said. “The role of captain will be more important, that’s for sure. When it is critical to make decisions on the bike, there is always someone who needs to make that quick call, and it’s not always possibility to come to the car to talk.”

    Criteriums are the most typical form of racing in the USA. Alexandre considers radio use far less important during criteriums than during lengthy stage races like the Redlands Bicycle Classic, Cascade Classic and Tour of Utah.

    “I don’t think it would change anything during the crits,” said Alexandre....

  • Astana will not change name

    Alberto Contador will remain with Astana in 2010.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:30 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Kazakh federation deny reports of name change, team kit to remain largely unchanged

    The vice-president of the Kazakh cycling federation, Nikolai Proskurin, has denied widespread reports that Astana’s name will change to Samruk-Kazyna next season to reflect its new main sponsor. In a message on the website, Proskurin also added that the team’s team colours and kit will remain largely unchanged from this year’s.

    According to Proskurin, confusion arose when Kazakh state holding company Samruk stepped in as the team’s primary sponsor. “There will be no change in the name, it will remain as Astana,” Proskurin confirmed. “Astana is the brand [we’re promoting] and Samruk is the sponsor.”

    Astana’s familiar sky blue, yellow and white colours will be retained in 2010. The Astana name will take pride of place on the front and back of the team jersey and side panels of the shorts, while the Samruk-Kazyna logo will appear on the sleeves and sides of the jersey and the rear of the shorts.

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  • Footon-Servetto put their faith in young riders

    Arkaitz Durán (Fuji-Servetto)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 14:36 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    New rider roster leads shift in philosophy for Spanish squad

    After two years of doping-related trauma and exile from major races under the Saunier Duval and then Fuji-Servetto names, the management at what is set to be the Footon-Servetto team is hoping that a change of focus to younger riders will bring about a change of fortune and image. Last week, the Swiss-backed, Spanish-registered team was registered at ProTour level and is now intends to rebuild its credibility on the road.

    Only four of last season’s 24 riders have been retained by the squad managed by Mauro Gianetti and Joxean Fernández Matxin, who admits that they are working with a substantially reduced budget. "There was a lot of skepticism about the team… But cycling is like life. There are good moments when you are up and offers when you are down. The 2009 season was difficult, complicated, but we’re still here," Matxin told El Diario Vasco.

    Speaking about Riccardo Riccò’s positive test for CERA when riding for Saunier Duval at the 2008 Tour, Matxin said: "The lack of consideration, the ambition of one rider set us on a downward spiral that almost finished us off, but we’ve survived."

    Survival has meant the release recognised riders such as Vuelta stage winner Juan José Cobo and David De La Fuente and the recruitment of a host of new names. Many of the new riders are untested at the top level, including Briton Tom Faiers.

    "If you don’t have a lot of money you don’t have a lot of choice. You either go for young riders or veterans who are coming back. Mauro Gianetti and I prefer to return to our roots and go for young riders. If some of them manage to step forwards then it brings huge satisfaction," Matxin continued.

    Asked for the riders he expects to put the team on the competitive map this season, Matxin nominated Italian Eros Capecchi, Spain’s Arkaitz Durán, Austrian Markus Eibegger and Dane Martin Pedersen, winner of the 2006 Tour...

  • UCI approves 19 Professional Continental teams for 2010

    Swiss cycling team Cervelo races the time time trial.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 16:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    Androni Giocattoli, Xacobeo Galicia not on the list

    The International Cycling Union released a list of 19 teams which have been approved for Professional Continental status for 2010 on Wednesday.

    Four previously third tier Continental teams will move into the sport's second tier: Carmiooro-NGC, CCC Polsat Polkowice, Saur - Sojasun and the Brazilian team Scott - Marcondes César Sao José dos Campo. Two new squads, Colnago CSF Inox and De Rosa-Stac Plastic, also made the list.

    Two ProTour teams downgraded to Pro Continental status: Cofidis and Bbox Bouygues Telecom, while four teams previously in the second tier have vanished: Agritubel, Amica Chips-Knauf, Barloworld and Elk Haus.

    Dropping down to the third tier from Pro Conti status is the PSK Whirlpool squad.

    The Contentpolis-AMPO team, currently fighting to gain support for its continued existence, was not approved for the Pro Continental status.

    Androni Giocattoli (formerly Serramenti Diquigiovanni) team, one of the top ranked Professional Continental teams in 2009, and the Xacobeo Galicia squad were also not listed as approved for the status.

    The UCI will allow teams whose applications were refused to appeal by December 4. Last year the LPR Brakes team was refused Professional Continental status but won it back on appeal.

    2010 Professional Continental Teams

    Acqua & Sapone
    Andalucia Cajasur
    Bbox Bouygues Telecom
    BMC Racing Team
    Carmiooro - NGC
    CCC Polsat Polkowice
    Ceramica Flaminia
    Cervélo Test Team
    Colnago - CSF Inox
    ISD - Neri
    De Rosa - Stac Plastic
    Saur - Sojasun
    Scott - Marcondes César Sao José dos Campos
    Skil - Shimano
    Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator
    Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team
    Voralberg - Corratec

  • Fukushima to captain new Korean pro team

    Shinichi and Koji Fukushima
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 19:58 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Geumsan Ginseng Asia Continental Cycling Team will race in Europe

    With his EQA-Meitan-Hompo team is taking a year off due to a lack of sponsorship, former Japanese champion Shinichi Fukushima will captain the newly UCI-registered Korean Geumsan Ginseng Asia Continental Cycling Team in 2010. The EQA-Meitan-Hompo team is aiming to return in 2011 as a Pro Continental team.

    At the age of 38, the 2007 Tour de Langkawi stage seven winner Fukushima is considering "riding for one or two more years" before jumping over to the management side of cycling full time. However, getting involved in organizing teams won't be new to Fukushima. A few years ago, he set up a development squad called Daihatsu Bonne Chance [good luck in French - ed.] to give his young fellow countrymen a chance to race as amateurs in France.

    Geumsan County has supported a local cycling team for the past 10 years. For the first time, it'll promote its ginseng products via an international squad, which will be Korea's second team after the well established Seoul Cycling.

    "Geumsan Ginseng is a long term project for all of Asia, not only Korea," said the company's business manager Danny Feng who is a Chinese-born American based in Malaysia. In fact, it will be a multinational team with Fukushima and two other Japanese riders Takeshi Igarashi and Nara Motoi. Singapore's promising prospect Ji Wen Low is transferring from LeTua, and Thailand's Phuchong Saiudomsil will also be on the team. He finished second overall and won the KOM at the 2009 Tour of Thailand.

    The Korean riders selected by team manager Choi Hee Dong are Hwng In Hyuk, Kim Yung Uk, Kim Jong Kwag, Kweon Jun Oh, Choi Hyung Min and Yu Gi Hong, who won stage 9 in the 2009 Tour of Korea. Most have a track background in pursuit events.

    "I can see an even bigger potential for cycling talent in Korea than in Japan", said Fukushima, whose famous showman brother Koji retired from cycling one year ago. Beside the UCI Asia Tour, Geumsan Ginseng plans to race in Europe from...

  • Xacobeo Galicia confident of regaining Pro Continental status

    Spanish team Xacobeo Galicia
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 21:07 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Team will appeal after delayed bank guarantee

    The UCI did not include the Xacobeo Galicia team on its list of 19 Professional Continental teams for 2010 which was released on Wednesday. The team said it had been expecting the omission due to a delayed bank guarantee, but would appeal the decision within days.

    Xacobeo Galicia issued a statement after the UCI's announcement of teams saying that it had been maintaining regular contact with the UCI and its auditors in order to comply with all required formalities. One of its required solvency guarantees did not arrive on time, and therefore the lack of the bank guarantee meant the team did not meet the requirements for Professional Continental status. However, the team proimsed the appropriate documentation would be complete within two days.

    It has until noon on Friday, December 4 to formally appeal the exclusion, and the next step will be to present arguments on December 10. There is a final chance for appeal before the management committee on December 16.

    "The foundation is fully confident that it can satisfactorily resolve this process. In fact, the aim is that the team will again ride at a high level in 2010 in some of the most important events on the international calendar."

  • Seven ProTour teams confirmed for Tour Down Under

    Robbie McEwen during stage two of this year's Tour Down Under, already suffering the effects of an accident the previous day.
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 22:00 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Columbia-HTC, Katusha, Milram, Rabobank join RadioShack, FDJ and AG2R

    Organisers of the Tour Down Under have confirmed the line-ups for six of ProTour teams that will compete in the 2010 edition of the race, from January 19-24.

    The Tour Down Under website has listed the seven-man rosters for Columbia-HTC, Katusha, Milram and Rabobank. French teams Française des Jeux and AG2R La Mondiale were also listed by organisers, though both had confirmed their squads for the six-stage, ProTour event.

    In addition, the release of the RadioShack startlist on Tuesday completes seven of the 17 ProTour teams that will participate in the race.
    As expected Australian ProTour riders feature prominently on the team sheets. Robbie McEwen will lead Katusha at the after an injury plagued 2009 season. The Tour Down Under was one of the few races McEwen competed in this year. The event's curtain raiser, the Down Under Classic criterium, was also one of only three wins for the 37-year-old sprinter before his season-ending crash at the Tour of Belgium in May.

    Columbia-HTC will enter the race with the US-based squad's full compliment of local talent. Michael Rogers and Mark Renshaw will join newcomers to the squad, Matthew Goss and New Zealander Hayden Roulston, in Adelaide. Winner of the 2007 Tour Down Under, German Andre Greipel will also return a year after he crashed out of the 2008 edition on stage three.

    South Australian Luke Roberts will mark his return to ProTour racing with new squad Milram, while New South Welshman Graeme Brown (Rabobank) and Tasmanian Wes Sulzberger (Française des Jeux) will get an early start to the season at home, too.

    The ten ProTour teams yet to confirm their squads for the event are: Astana, Caisse d’Epargne, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Footon-Servetto, Garmin-Slipstream, Liquigas-Doimo, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Quick Step, Saxo Bank and Team Sky. They will be joined by a composite Australian national team and Professional Continental squad BMC Racing Team.

    BMC were...