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Third Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Date published:
September 15, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Sánchez back in contention for Worlds

    Euskaltel-Euskadi's Samuel Sanchez waves to the crowd.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 11:58 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Euskaltel team leader decides he would like to ride in Melbourne after all

    Olympic road race champion Samuel Sánchez is reported to have told Spanish national coach José Luis de Santos that he would like to be considered for selection for the upcoming world championships. The Euskaltel team leader had previously indicated that he would end his season with the two ProTour events in Canada.

    However, after finishing fourth in the Tour de France, then winning the Tour of Burgos in August and following that up with 12th place in the GP de Québec and 12th place in the GP de Montréal, Sánchez has decided that he’s got the form and motivation to have an impact at the Worlds.

    According to reports in Spain, Sánchez only wants to be considered for selection for the road race in Melbourne. He is also said to be considering extending his season, where he finished second to Philippe Gilbert last year.

  • Voeckler fears worst-case scenario for Bbox Bouygues Telecom

    Thomas Voeckler (BBox-Bouygues Telecom) on the podium
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 12:05 BST
    Barry Ryan

    French star hopeful Quebec win can help find sponsor for 2011

    Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) is hoping that his fine victory at the GP de Québec last week will help secure his team’s future for 2011, although he admitted that “the worst-case scenario” is possible. The French team are still without a confirmed sponsor for next season, although it is understood that manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has been in negotiations with potential partners in recent weeks.

    “Jean-René was meant to make an announcement two weeks ago,” Voeckler told L’Équipe. “The wait goes on. These past months he has given me the names of possible sponsors, but while he’s been meeting with these contacts changes have been taking place. What seems certain one day is no longer so the next, but then if it was easy then it would all have been signed already.”

    “We can’t rule out the worst-case scenario,” Voeckler continued. “But given that in the ten years that I’ve been with him, Jean-René has never told me lies, I believe in him. For me, it’s worth taking the risk.”

    Voeckler’s Canadian win was just the latest in a string of high-profile successes for the Frenchman and his teammates. After winning the French road race title in June, Voeckler went on to win a Tour de France stage. Pierrick Fedrigo also took a stage at the Tour, while Anthony Charteau was King of the Mountains. In spite of this, their squad’s status remains shrouded in uncertainty. In August, rumours of deal with the French postal service were hastily denied by La Poste.

    In 2004, Voeckler's lengthy spell in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France was instrumental in bringing Bouygues Telecom into the sport to replace Brioches Le Boulangere. A strong sense of loyalty and responsibility to the Vendée-based outfit means that it is now hard for him to contemplate leaving the team with which he spent his...

  • Danielson hopes for strong Vuelta time trial

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Transitions) at the start
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 12:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American targets best ever grand tour result

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Transitions) will look to cement his place in the top ten of the Vuelta with a strong performance in today’s 46km individual time trial in Peñafiel.

    The American currently sits seventh overall, 4:29 down on race leader Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) and with five stages remaining could beat his best ever finish in a grand tour – 8th overall in the 2005 Vuelta.

    Danielson is perhaps not one of the stronger riders against the clock in the top ten at the Vuelta but he is motivated and apparently fresher than many of his rivals.

    “We’ll see what happens. It’s the last few days of a difficult grand tour so it’s hard to say how things will play out. Of course on paper it might look one way but it’s up to an individual to put it all together. I won’t lie though, I’m excited about the time trial,” Danielson told Cyclingnews.

    “I’ll finish with nothing left and there won’t be any excuses. I’ll do the best I can do.”

    Danielson got off to a slow start at the Vuelta this year, losing time on the first testing stages but has come into form over the last week, posting a strong result on stage 16, where he attacked with Frank Schleck and Carlos Sastre. Despite fading on the last climb the performance was enough to see him rise up the standings to his current placing.

    “It’s really easy to make predictions on how the rest of the race will go but we can see that everyone is fighting for everything and it’s been a very demanding race. You never know what lies ahead and I’m going to take it day by day. The only thing that concerns me is the time trial. When we roll into Madrid, whatever position I’m in, I’ll be happy with it.”

    “So far I’ve done the best I could and every day I’m feeling better and I hope to get stronger as the race goes on and keep the good...

  • Ballan speaks out after being overlooked for Italian Worlds team

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 16:04 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Former world champion laments Bettini's final selection

    2008 world champion Alessandro Ballan has openly criticized Italian national coach Paolo Bettini after he was not included in the Italian team for the Melbourne world championships.

    Ballan was bitterly disappointed to miss out on a place, claiming Bettini had told him he would be selected.

    "I'm disappointed because I'd spoken to Bettini and he told me the course suited me and I would have been in the team. He's made a decision and I respect that but I don’t agree with it," Ballan lamented to the Corriere della Sera newspaper.

    "I've always got on well with Bettini but perhaps my big mistake was not calling him up every day. I spoke to Cadel Evans about the course in Melbourne and he told me that if the weather is bad, it'll be just like the Tour of Flanders, a race I've won. Last November Ballerini called me after he saw the course and told me the same thing. Bettini said the same thing in August after he saw the course…."

    Ballan won the world title on home roads in Varese in 2008 and hoped to be part of the 11-rider squad named for this year's road race. However he was left out, with Bettini preferring Filippo Pozzato, Giovanni Visconti and Vincenzo Nibali as team leaders.

    Ballan has had a disappointing first season with BMC with his best results a second place on stage 15 of the Tour de France and third in the Italian national championships.

    He was implicated in the Mantua doping investigation in April and missed Paris-Roubaix after he was suspended from racing by the BMC team. However he was brought back into the squad after an internal investigation and rode the Tour of Switzerland and Tour de France.

    He finished sixth at the recent Gran Prix Cycliste de Quebec and tenth at the Gran Prix Cycliste de Montreal but Bettini claimed he had not shown enough form to secure a place in the Italian team. Also missing out on place in the team are Damiano Cunego, sprinter Daniele Bennati, Enrico...

  • Arrieta career ends on same mountain as Indurain

    Jose Luis Arrieta( AG2R)
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 18:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Tendonitis forces Spanish veteran into premature retirement

    Spanish veteran José Luis Arrieta has admitted that his 16-year professional career is almost certainly at an end after he was forced to quit the Vuelta a España due to tendonitis in his right knee. The 39-year-old Ag2r rider was planning to hang up his wheels at the end of this season, but has been advised that his knee has to be rested for at least 10 days, which effectively means his season is over.

    “I had already made clear that I was going to retire this year, but the way I was going to do so hadn’t been decided,” said Arrieta after he had undergone medical tests in Pamplona.

    By a quirk of fate, Arrieta’s career has ended in exactly the same place as his former Banesto team-mate, Miguel Indurain. Five-time Tour champion Indurain quit cycling when he abandoned on the Lagos de Covadonga stage of the 1996 Vuelta. Arrieta’s knee trouble forced him to quit at the foot of the same climb on stage 14 of this year’s race.

    Arrieta, who was in Banesto’s Tour de France team with Indurain when the great Spanish champion’s Tour-winning run came to an end in 1996, told Biciclismo that he was “sad to have to quit in such a way. You find yourself all alone, just as Indurain did then, and you think back over all the things that you have experienced in cycling.”

    Arrieta’s Vuelta abandon was only the second time he has failed to finish a grand tour in 23 starts and was the latest setback during an ill-starred season during which he’s broken his elbow on two occasions.

    He turned pro with Banesto in 1993 and stayed with the set-up until signing for Ag2r in 2006. An extremely dependable domestique, he has just two pro victories to his credit: a stage in the 2006 Vuelta a España and another in the 2002 Tour of Asturias.

  • Fédrigo signs for FDJ for 2011

    Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) claims the stage win in Pau.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 18:13 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman departs as Bbox Bouygues Telecom's future remains unclear

    Pierrick Fédrigo has signed for the Francaise des Jeux team for the 2011 season. His current Bbox Bouygues Telecom team is still without a confirmed sponsorship deal for next season despite a series of assurances from team boss Jean-Rene Bernadeau

    “He’s a key rider for any team,” FDJ manager Marc Madiot told L’Équipe. “He knows how to win races and he’s at his ease, even on difficult terrain.”

    In July, Fédrigo won the stage over the Tourmalet in Pau to take the third Tour de France victory of his career. The Frenchman has enjoyed a fine season, also winning the Criterium International earlier this year, and he will complement FDJ’s existing roster of aggressive French talent.

    “He’s coming here to compete for one-day races and to win stages in the stage races,” Madiot explained. “He’s a winner and he doesn’t waste too many chances to win.”

    Fédrigo had been linked with a move away from Bbox Bouygues Telecom after the Tour de France but was said to be awaiting news of potential new sponsors before making a decision on his future.

    Bbox’s Thomas Voeckler this morning admitted that he could not rule out the “worse-case” scenario of Jean-René Bernaudeau’s team folding at the end of the season. It is unclear as to what impact Fédrigo’s departure will have on the team’s future, although Voeckler stated that he and Fédrigo “have carried the weight of responsibility” for the team over the past two seasons.

  • UCI to keep top teams out of national events

    UCI President Pat McQuaid
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 18:40 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    McQuaid confirms intent to clamp-down on rule 2.1.009

    The International Cycling Union could move to block the top professional teams from competing in national, non-UCI sanctioned events in 2011.

    UCI president Pat McQuaid told Cyclingnews that the Road Commission intends to strictly enforce code 2.1.009, the rule that prohibits ProTour and Professional Continental teams from competing in national level events.

    "I can't confirm that yet but the management committee will seriously discuss it this month," McQuaid told Cyclingnews. "I know that the UCI's Road Commission department do wish to clamp down on it because it was being abused."

    The rules of the governing body allow only UCI Continental teams registered in the country of a national event to join regional, club, national and mixed teams in national events. However, the rule had not been strictly enforced in the past, in particular in the USA where there are few UCI-sanctioned events and many of the top races are run as national events.

    Tour of the Gila sparked UCI attention

    The issue came to a head at the Tour of the Gila in April, 2009, when teams Lance Armstrong wanted to compete in the event along with then-Astana teammates Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner. The UCI moved to prohibit Astana and the BMC Racing from participating until an agreement was reached between USA Cycling and the UCI which allowed both teams to start three riders wearing nondescript clothing.

    The code was enforced in the US this year, however, teams RadioShack and Garmin-Transitions were again permitted to start three riders a piece at the Tour of the Gila. Levi Leipheimer competed in the Tour of Utah and went on to win the overall title. BMC Racing was permitted to start a full roster that included George Hincapie at the event based on an advance exemption worked out between USA Cycling and the UCI.

    "The ProTour teams and the ProTour riders were jumping into any races they wanted," McQuaid said....

  • Wiggins tries to headline at Glastonbury

    Brad Wiggins (Sky) waves to fans after finishing second.
    Article published:
    September 15, 2010, 20:09 BST
    Richard Moore

    Team Sky Briton sought to salvage his Tour of Britain

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) sought to salvage his Tour of Britain with an attacking performance on stage five to Glastonbury. The Englishman joined an early eight-man move on another tough stage, which began climbing up to Dartmoor from the start, and he was the first to attack as the finish approached.

    "I attacked with 12km to go," said Wiggins, "but they got me back and sat on me a bit. When Dan Martin and [stage winner Marco] Frapporti went, the others messed around a bit and I thought, 'sod it,' and put my head down and rode in the right hand gutter, because it was a super strong headwind."

    By then Frapporti had gone it alone, with Martin - also one of the main aggressors the previous day - drifting back to the group. Wiggins made a big effort in the closing stages in a late bid to bridge up to Frapporti.

    "Dan [Hunt, Sky's sports director] was coming on the radio telling me, 'You've got ten metres, twenty metres' [on the group], but I just couldn't reach him," said Wiggins. He eventually came in 13 seconds behind the Italian stage winner, with Lucas Sebastian Haedo (Saxo Bank) taking the sprint for third, a further 19 seconds back.

    Wiggins said that his bid for a stage win was an effort to turn around a disappointing home tour. He had been one of three Sky men in the 18-man break that claimed 10 minutes on Sunday's second stage, but he and Geraint Thomas both conceded more than a minute at the end, having set up the finish for stage winner Greg Henderson.

    That theoretically left Henderson, the new yellow jersey, as Sky's man for general classification. But such a prediction was based on previous Tours of Britain, which have been largely controlled affairs.

    When Michael Albasini (HTC-Columbia) went clear on Black Mountain on Monday's stage in Wales it was Wiggins, not Henderson, who was able to follow.

    While Albasini rode strongly to the stage win and yellow jersey, Wiggins dropped back to help Henderson...