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Latest Cycling News, September 23, 2008

Edited by Bjorn Haake

Emotional Sastre says good-bye to CSC

Carlos Sastre will be leaving CSC-Saxo Bank
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After finishing the Vuelta a España on the podium, Carlos Sastre ends his season and also his engagement at CSC-Saxo Bank. In the new season, Sastre will ride for the Cervélo squad.

The Spanish rider had a mixed home tour race. "There were great moments, emotional moments and tough moments." Grand Tours races have been a learning experience for Sastre. "Every three-week race I have done I learned something more about me and about my surroundings. It helped me to develop to progress and to acquire experience in my sports career, but also in my personal life."

Sastre reiterated that the Vuelta was sometimes hard for him, especially the moments when he couldn't follow Alberto Contador or Levi Leipheimer in his quest to repeat his win at the Tour de France. But he added there wasn't much else he could have done. "I was fighting and I made sacrifices. I am compensated by the fact that I am on the podium next to great cyclists like Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer."

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Sastre also recounted the emotional moments. "It is the last race that I can race with this team." The joyous feeling of being able to share the podium with his teammates was also mixed in with a bit of sadness. "I won't be able to share the same sentiments with the team again, after we have done that for seven years."

In the end Sastre could only thank everybody at the Danish team who accompanied him during those seven years. "The respect and the professionalism were special – from my teammates, the staff and everybody at the team." Sastre will always remember the respect that the team has shown. "I shared very important cycling as well as personal moments with them."

Coledan faces surgery following crash on Worlds parcours

By Gregor Brown in Varese

Italy's Marco Coledan faces surgery this weekend following a life-threatening crash yesterday on the World Championships course in Varese. Coledan, 20, hit a truck on a trial run of the parcours that the team assumed was closed to traffic, according to the team's doctor.

"We thought the course was closed to traffic," said Doctor Daniele to Cyclingnews. Coledan finished 47th in last year's Under-23 time trial and is one of the three starters listed for Team Italy's Under-23 time trial today. He will not start due to multiple lesions and two fractures of his left knee.

Coledan and the other members tested the parcours yesterday afternoon. Daniele was in the car behind the rider on his test run of the 33.55-kilometre course.

"He crashed on a descent, through a curve, when the truck was coming up," described Daniele. "It was during the time allotted by the organiser. We did two laps of the course. The first lap there was police and on the second, there was no one, and the incident happened. ... We were in a right-hand turn and he crashed on his right side, but his left leg went under the truck."

The team took Coledan to the hospital and then returned to the team's hotel with the rider. His left leg is immobilised and he faces surgery this weekend.

Moncoutié liberated

By Bjorn Haake in Madrid

David Moncoutié (Cofidis) won the mountains jersey
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David Moncoutié (Cofidis) has won the mountain jersey of the 63rd Vuelta a España. His stage win in Pla de Beret gave him some points to inch close to then-leader Alessandro Ballan. His consistent good performances netted him the red jersey in the end, along with an eighth place overall.

Moncoutié was marked after the final stage from the three-week effort as well as from the fast final stage. "Nothing could happen [to take the jersey] except a crash, so I had to pay attention, especially in the last laps."

Completing the final lap was something extraordinary for the Cofidis rider. "It's nice to cross the finish line of a Grand Tour." The Frenchman added that the feeling in his home Tour would be still a tad better. "Of course it is not the Champs Elysees, that would be a bit different."

But he definitely knew to celebrate the success and thought it among the best things he had accomplished as a professional. "To get a jersey in a Grand Tour, that is a great souvenir. I am content that I was able to carry this jersey all the way to Madrid."

Almost a month of hard work is now over. Moncoutié expressed it well. "We finished a three-week race. It's a liberation, voilà!"

Carrasco and Ruiz break collarbones

By Antonio J. Salmerón and Bjorn Haake in Madrid

José Ruiz (Andalucía-Cajasur) was stunned after the finish and had to be helped off the bike
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Two bad crashes in the final three kilometres of the Vuelta a España spoiled the day for Andalucía-Cajasur. José Ruiz and José Antonio Carrasco both broke their collarbones.

Everybody feared the finale wet roads, but eventually the sun had come out over Madrid. It was meant to be a final party to the finish line for everyone. Instead, it turned disastrous for some.

Ruiz looked stunned after the finish and had to be helped off his bike. He was immediately taken to the hospital "12 de Octubre". Carrasco also managed to cross the line by himself, despite his injuries. He was transferred to the hospital "Gregorio Marañón".

At the hospital, Carrasco was diagnosed with a broken collarbone and a broken wrist. Ruiz also broke his collarbone. Both riders were released from hospital and will recover at home.

A third rider of the team, Manuel Ortega, suffered a hit on his knee.

Kaisen escapes with scare

Olivier Kaisen (Silence-Lotto) was lying down after the finish, but escaped without major injuries
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Silence Lotto rider Olivier Kaisen was involved in the crash in the final stage to Madrid at the Vuelta a España. Kaisen was initially feared of having a broken collarbone.

Kaisen recounted his memories of the crash to Belgian newspaper La Dernière Heure. "We were going 60km/h two kilometres from the finish when a rider crashed in front of me. There was nothing I could do to avoid the rider and crashed. I hit the barrier with my head."

Kaisen was stunned but able to ride to the finish, where he had to lie down near the podium. "I was on the ground for several minutes." Kaisen was happy he could make it to the finish line in Madrid. "It would have been a real bummer to not make it all the way in the Vuelta with only two kilometres remaining. That's why I tried to cross the line before being taken to hospital..."

The examinations didn't reveal any severe injuries and Kaisen was able to return to Belgium on Monday. He is still hoping to tackle the Franco-Belge race from October 2 to 5. He finished third in 2006, where he also finished the Vuelta. "The Vuelta was better for me than two years ago. I suffered less and I wasn't in the gruppetto as often."

The difference was that he had less chances of getting into breaks this year. "We often had to ride to defend Van Avermaet's points jersey." The work made him proud and taking a jersey was a great experience for Kaisen.

Speaking of jerseys, Kaisen still doesn't know which one he will wear in 2009. "I have had good contact with [directeur sportif] Marc Sergeant during the Vuelta. He told me that if the team can have more than 25 riders, I can stay."

Klöden proud of being in winning team

Andreas Klöden (Astana)
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Andreas Klöden formed part of the Astana team that helped guide Alberto Contador to victory in the overall classification in the Vuelta a España. The team was quite impressive, placing its two leaders, Alberto Contador and Levi Leipheimer, into the top two positions.

Klöden was happy with the result. "I am proud to be part of the team and to have contributed to the victory with my own work," he said in a press release.

He was confirmed in his decision to skip the Tour of the Germany for the Vuelta a España. "As one of the three Grand Tours, it is a highly prestigious race."

Klöden saw the race in Spain as another proof that Astana is the strongest stage race team. He emphasised the team factor and added that everybody, including "rides, mechanics, organisation and the directeurs sportifs worked perfectly together for this performance."

For the German rider the Vuelta was a mirror of his season, with a rocky start followed by improvement and being happy with his performances later in the season/Vuelta. His highlights came in May and June. "My win at the Tour de Romandie, a second place at the Tour de Suisse and good performances in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España satisfy me."

In the Giro and Vuelta, he was there to help Contador, a job that he really enjoyed. "Alberto Contador is a great rider and it is fun to ride with him in one team. I really haven't had that much in a while during a race, both on and off the course."

Ghyselinck is realistic

Jan Ghyselinck hopes for a top 20 finish in today's time trial of the U23 category in the World Championships in Italy. The only Belgian in the race is not expected to repeat a win by his compatriot Dominique Cornu, who win the race in 2006.

Ghyselinck was cautious with a too optimistic prediction. "I am only in the U23 category for the second year," he told Belgian paper La Dernière Heure. His coach Jean-Pierre Dubois was happy with his rider's statement. "It's that Jan stays level-headed."

Without major favourites as in the past years (with Lars Boom or Mikhail Ignatiev), the race is wide open.

Colombian team for Varese

Colombia's coach Franco Gini has announced the team for the World Championships, which start in Varese, Italy, today. Mauricio Soler, Félix Cárdenas and Leonardo Duque will build the small road team. Cárdenas and Duque will also race the time trial.

Third-year professional Mauricio Soler has had a great start to his pro-career and won the mountains classification in the 2007 Tour de France.

Cárdenas has won 22 races as a professional. He won the mountains classification in the Vuelta a España in both 2003 and 2004.

The third rider, Duque, will be available if a bigger group comes to the line. The fast finisher has five victories as a professional, including the 16th stage of the 2007 Vuelta a España.

Gini evaluated his team in course of the rolling terrain in Varese. "The Colombian athletes are distinct climbers. In Varese, the course is quite challenging, but not super-hard to possibly force a decision in the climb. We will play our best cards in breakaway attempts."

US and Euro pros to ride in Mexico

By Antonio J. Salmerón and Bjorn Haake

Mosquera will be racing in Mexico
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Garmin Chipotle - H30 will be riding south of its borders at the Vuelta a Chihuahua in Mexico. The race will take place from October 6 through the 12th. It is part of the UCI America tour.

Other Pro Continental squads at the start line are Scott-American Beef, Xacobeo Galicia and Contentpolis-Murcia from Spain. There also will be Italian BGC-Medical and Austrian Elk Haus-Simplon.

The Garmin team hasn't been announced yet, but one of the top riders will be Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia). The Spanish rider finished fourth at the Vuelta a España on Sunday. He told Cyclingnews that he was looking forward to the race after some rest. "I don't know the course yet, but it is always nice to see different countries and different people."

Mosquera's teammate David Garcia will also ride. Garcia won the 15th stage at the Vuelta a España.

Scott-American Beef's lineup include Juan José Cobo and José Angel Gómez Marchante. Contentpolis-Murcia will ride with Regio Tour podium finisher Manuel Vázquez and Manuel Calvente.

Team Fercase will also ride. While not well known, it does include last year's winner Francisco Mancebo, as well as Eladio Jiménez.

The route will be similar to last year, except for the exclusion of the initial circuit race in Ciudad Juárez. Instead, an 18.9-kilometre time trial from Pitoreal to Divisadero will be put in place.

The stages:

Stage 1: October 6 - Chihuahua-Camargo - 147.8km
Stage 2: October 7 - Parral-Guachochi - 188.7km
Stage 3: October 8 - Guachochi-Creel - 155.9km
Stage 4: October 9 - Pitoreal-Divisadero (ITT) - 18.9km
Stage 5: October 10 - Creel-Cuauhtémoc - 152.8km
Stage 6: October 11 - Cuauhtémoc-Chihuahua - 126.3km
Stage 7: October 12- Circuito en Chihuahua - 84.0

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Cyclingnews, the world's leading cycling web site, is expanding and is looking for a full time online production editor based in Sydney, Australia.

The position requires applicants to have a keen interest and thorough knowledge of competitive cycling, as well as editorial or writing experience with excellent English skills. The position will involve producing reports, results, photos and features from the world of cycling, so fluency in a second language is also an advantage, as is a familiarity with online production techniques, experience in journalism and attention to detail.

The applicants will need to be self-starters as the position involves regular liaison with production editors in all Cyclingnews offices. As Cyclingnews is a 24/7 daily news operation, the position will require regular weekend work. The weekend duties are handled on a rotating shift basis with other production editors, so the applicant must be flexible in their work schedule. However, the majority of work will be done during normal business hours on week-days.

The online editors will be required to have familiarity with online production applications (a good working knowledge of HTML and Photoshop are important skills) and could also be required to attend major cycling events in each region. However, the primary responsibility is the production of content for publication on the web site. Training in online production techniques can be provided to the right applicant, ability to handle the technical processes involved and an ability to communicate are required.

Please send your CV with a covering letter via e-mail to recruit@futurenet.com with "Cyclingnews online editing position - " in the subject line. Deadline for applications is October 2, 2008.

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