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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News, August 26, 2008

Edited by Bjorn Haake

Cavendish leads Ireland charge

By Shane Stokes

Mark Cavendish (Team Columbia) will want to celebrate a lot in Ireland
Photo ©: AFP
(Click for larger image)

Returning to road competition after competing in the Madison event at the Olympic Games, Mark Cavendish will be one of the biggest spectator attractions at the Tour of Ireland, which begins in Dublin on Wednesday.

The Isle of Man competitor won a superb four stages in this year's Tour de France, following on from two victories in the Giro d'Italia. He is now the top sprinter in world cycling and will look to add to his season tally of 13 wins on Irish roads. He will be assisted in that goal by the relatively flat profiles of several of the stages, as well as a strong Columbia team selection.

Amongst the others on the squad are fellow sprinter Bernhard Eisel, Giro d'Italia and Italian national championship time trial victor Marco Pinotti and Michael Barry, who was a fine ninth in the Olympic Games road race.

While he's not as quick as Cavendish, Garmin Chipotle's Julian Dean should also be one of those in the thick of the bunch gallops. David Millar, Magnus Backstedt and Martijn Maaskant will help him out there and have also the ability to chase stage wins in solo moves or from breakaway groups.

The team is guaranteed additional media interest due to the inclusion of Irish national champion Daniel Martin on the squad. Although he's only 22 years of age and in his first year as a professional, Martin has already clocked up some impressive results. He won the Route du Sud and the Irish title in June, then finished fifth on the hilly third stage of the Tour of Denmark before highlighting his good form in the recent Tour of Portugal. Martin landed three top-10 placings there, finished 10th overall at the race conclusion on Sunday, and was second in the best young rider ranking.

While the parcours of the Tour of Ireland is a bit flatter than he'd like, he is likely to show his ability on at least one stage. The final leg to Cork city takes in four ascents of the feared St. Patrick's Hill, and this may well appeal to the young climber.

Tinkoff Credit Systems heads to Ireland for one of its final races before revealing which big-name riders will compete for the team in 2009. It will be renamed Katuscha then and will have a budget of over fifteen million euro, making it one of the biggest in the sport. Right now the goal for the seven riders in the Irish squad is to make their mark on the race; Alberto Loddo should be one of the fastest sprinters there.

Also likely to be motoring in the gallops is Ruben Bongiorno (CSF Group Navigare), a multiple stage winner in races such as the Tour of Denmark and Tour de Langkawi, plus his team-mate Matteo Priamo, who won the sixth stage of this year's Giro d'Italia. Sprinter Maximiliano Richeze is also in the squad after successfully appealing a positive test earlier this year.

The full preview of the Tour of Ireland is available here.

Team Type 1 ready to contest Irish Tour

Moises Aldape Chavez finished 17th last year in Ireland
Photo ©: Glen Chadwick
(Click for larger image)

Team Type 1 Sport Director Ed Beamon returns to the Tour of Ireland with a new squad this year, but the same attitude that earned his team a podium finish last year. On the final stage of the inaugural edition of the race David O'Loughlin scored third place behind Marco Marcato (Team L.P.R.) and Thomas Berkhout (Rabobank Continental). O'Loughlin now rides for the Ireland Pezula Racing squad.

Beamon's Team Type 1 squad includes two riders who competed in Ireland last year: Ukrainian Valeriy Kobzarenko and Mexican Moises Aldape. Kobzarenko finished eighth overall while riding for Beamon's Navigators Insurance squad. Aldape was 17th for the Italian Ceramica Panaria-Navigare squad.

"We are really excited to be back at Tour of Ireland this time with the new Team Type 1 squad," Beamon said. "Kobzarenko and Aldape both had strong showings in Ireland last year, and I think the new race format will favour guys like Glen Chadwick and Matt Wilson."

Chadwick, a former New Zealand time trial champion, is coming off a third place finish overall at the Tour of Utah, in addition to winning the King of the Mountains classification. Aldape will be racing with the team for the first time since competing along with Chadwick in the Olympics.

"The team is in good form right now, so we will be trying for a good GC spot and we are always in the hunt for stage victories," Beamon said.

In addition to Kobzarenko, Chadwick, Aldape and Wilson, Team Type 1's roster includes sprinter Emile Abraham and white jersey (best rider under 25) contender Fabio Calabria – one of four riders on the pro squad who has Type 1 diabetes.

Former Ukrainian junior road race champion Aleksandr Surutkovych was also signed to add strength to the team's roster for one of the best-organised events on the international race calendar.

"The Tour of Ireland is a top-shelf event offering some of the best in European cycling," Beamon said.

"It is also a big opportunity to put Fabio in another major international stage race and give him an opportunity to not only contribute to the team's winning efforts, but also tell his story about controlling diabetes and taking charge of your life to a whole new audience."

Kreuziger and Vande Velde at Tour of Missouri

Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Chipotle) will be racing in Missouri
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Some big names will line up for the Tour of Missouri, running from September 8-14. Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie will lead Garmin Chipotle. From Europe, the Italian Liquigas team banks on the duo of Roman Kreuziger and Vincenzo Nibali.

Garmin is ready to put up a fight again. "We will be back to win," said Jonathan Vaughters, director of the Garmin-Chipotle team. "This is not an end-of-the-season fun race for us. This is a serious objective for our team. It's a major event now."

Vande Velde finished fifth in this year's Tour de France, while Zabriskie is slowly getting back to form after a severe crash in the Giro d'Italia left him sidelined for most of the season. The duo will be joined by William Frischkorn, who is last year's runner-up of the event. Frischkorn finished 1'38 behind George Hincapie (Columbia).

Kreuziger won the prestigious Tour de Suisse this year. Kreuziger and Nibali also finished second and third in the young rider classification of this year's Tour de France.

The entire Garmin line-up consists of Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, Danny Pate, William Frischkorn, Steven Cozza, Mike Friedman, Tyler Farrar and Jason Donald

HealthNet presented by MAXXIS will be led by Rory Sutherland, this year's top-ranked rider on the American professional circuit. Sprinters Karl Menzies, Frank Pipp and John Murphy, along with Tim Johnson, the current U.S. National Champion in cyclo-cross, Kyle Gritters, Kirk O'Bee and Phil Zijacek help round out the squad.

Canada's top team Symmetrics will be led by Svein Tuft, who recently competed at the Beijing Olympics. Other notables are sprinters Andrew Pinfold, second to Ivan Dominquez at Stage 1 in Kansas City, Canada's top young rider Cameron Evans and Eric Wohlberg.

Mexico's top club Tecos provided last year's Tour of Missouri with a lot of excitement and aggressive racing. The team will feature a combination of climbers and rouleurs, including Bernardo Colex, who won a stage and finished second in Canada's top stage race this summer.

Sparkasse, a top club team from Germany, features several very fast sprinters, including Eric Baumann and Sebastian Frey.

Leukemans eligible to ride again

Björn Leukemans is eligible to ride again
Photo ©: Brecht Decaluwé
(Click for larger image)

Björn Leukemans was given a six-month ban for testing positive for testosterone. The ban runs from November 21, 2007 until May 21, 2008, so effectively ended three months before it was handed down. The judicial decision Monday in the case was just another strange step in a strange case.

Leukemans tested positive for synthetic testosterone in an out-of-competition test in September 2007. The test results were shown to come from a product prescribed to him by a team doctor. Both Leukemans and the doctor were released by Team Predictor-Lotto.

The 31 year-old was originally suspended for two years, until February 2010, a decision which he appealed. After many hearings in many different venues, the disciplinary committee of the Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Flemish Community) announced the six-month ban on Monday.

In its 32-page decision, the Council said that although the medication came from a team source, Leukemans "had been negligent. The athlete himself must check whether a product prescribed by a team doctor is allowed or not."

Leukemans' attorney, Johnny Maeschalk, was only partially satisfied with the decision, telling, "It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. But the important thing is that he can ride again."

His client was of similar opinion, Maeschalk noted. "Björn also has mixed feelings. Of course he is glad that he can ride again, but only the acquittal counted for him." Looking to the future, Maeschalk added, "Now there are no more obstacles for teams interested in Leukemans."(SW)

Rohregger: staying or going?

Rohregger – should I stay or should I go?
Photo ©: Klaus Titzer
(Click for larger image)

Thomas Rohregger is still debating where he will ride in the coming season, with apparently the best chances being either his current Professional Continental Team Elk Haus or the German ProTour Team Milram. The Austrian rider expects to make up his mind this week.

The most important thing, the 25 year-old told, is the chance to ride in the Grand Tours. He wants to be able to start "in either the Giro or the Tour. I want to further develop myself and for that I need the Grand Tours."

There was a chance that Elk Haus could ride the Giro next year. Elk Haus manager Bernhard Rassinger confirmed that he was talking to the Giro organisers about a possible start there next year. The Giro runs through Austria in 2009, afact that which could help the team.

Money is also a factor. "Elk Haus is a possibility, of course," Rohregger said, " but they would need another sponsor. Then there is Milram. But there are also two other teams who have a lot of interest."

However, it looked as if Rohregger was leaning towards staying where he is. "I must really say that Elk Haus is not just a team to me. My team colleagues have become my friends. And Bernhard [Rassinger] is also a friend. We all get along super, and for me that is more important than money. So it is very possible that I will stay."

Rohregger has been with Elk Haus since 2006. This year he won the Tour of Austria, in which he finished second in 2007.(SW)

Another Russian win for William Tell

The 35th GP Tell ended on Sunday with the overall win of Timofey Kritskiy. The 21 year-old athlete of the Continental team Katyusha is the third Russian to take the stage race win since 2003. In that year, Vladimir Gusev won, while last year Anton Reshetnikov prevailed. The final stage led the riders criss-cross through the Swiss Canton of Lucerne. It was won by the Dutch rider Coen Vermeltfoort from the U23-squad of Rabobank in a bunch sprint. Volksbank's pro rider Elias Schmäh was the best Swiss rider in the overall.

It was already Vermeltfoort's seventh victory this season. His most important result this year was the win in the U23-race of Paris – Roubaix.

Kritskiy and his strong France-based squad Katyusha had the control over the peloton in the final stage. Despite the offensive racing of the peloton no group managed to get away. That left Kritskiy winning the overall uncontested, his most important victory to date.

Hero of the day was a rider out of the national team of France, Blel Kadri. Temporarily he was in the lead with over one minute over the pack but with 40 kilometres to go Kadri was caught.

Once more the foreign riders dominated the top Swiss U23 cycling event. Kritskiy won the first road stage in Brunnen to take the overall lead. He expanded his lead on the second and most difficult stage in Luthern.

In this stage the Russian did a masterpiece ride. He caught up with solo leader Arthur Vichot by reeling back more than one minute in only ten kilometres. On the two final stages Kritskiy never risked to lose his comfortable lead as his team was very solid. Both stages ended in bunch sprints.

The only trouble for the team was before the race, when they were held back at the French-Swiss border due to visa problems of one of their riders. But they managed to make the start just in time.

For the organisers of the GP Tell the future of the race is unclear. The unpleasant experiences of last year, where Anton Reshetnikov won the race, though he had been tested positively on carphedone in July, are still not forgotten. The UCI never took a stand on the case, which prompted the Swiss organisers to refuse to hold the event this year as a part of the UCI nation's cup.

Caisse for Deutschland Tour

Caisse d'Epargne has announced its roster for the Deutschland Tour, which runs from August 30 through September 6. The team is eyeing an overall classification via Vladimir Karpets. Additionally, they have riders for breaks, like Pablo Lastras. In case of a sprint finish, José Rujano is the man for the Spanish squad.

The entire team consists of Anthony Charteau, Vladimir Karpets, Pablo Lastras, David López, Marlon Pérez, Mathieu Perget, José Rujano and Rigoberto Uran. Directeur sportif is Neil Stephens.

Inaugural bike race in US capital

Crit racing at its finest will come to Washington, DC in September
Photo ©: Emory Ball
(Click for larger image)

Washington, DC, the capital of the United States, will host the inaugural running of a downtown professional cycling race on Sunday, September 21, 2008. The event, known as the ING Direct Capital Criterium powered by CycleLife, promises to bring top professionals from around the world, including riders that raced in this year's Tour de France and the Olympic Games. The finishing straight of the race is located along Pennsylvania Avenue, framed by the US Capitol in the background and District of Columbia City Hall in the foreground.

The race will feature events promoting topics such as kids' cycling safety and cycling as a means of transportation in and around the city. DC Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, who is an avid triathlete, has long been an advocate and leader in urban cycling. Most recently, the June issue of Bicycling magazine listed Washington, DC as the "Most Improved City in America for Cycling" (out of 23 cities). "Two of my passions are this great city and the sport of cycling and I'm absolutely thrilled to have both come together on such a grand scale," said Mayor Fenty.

"Cycling is one activity that helps promote a cleaner and greener D.C. and has the great benefit of promoting a healthier lifestyle to those who participate. These are things that all cities can get behind and I'm proud that our City is leading the way."

The event is organised and promoted by DC Velo, a local cycling race organisation. DC Velo has promoted many races over the years, including the Grand Prix of Silver Spring race for the past three years, which ran in the heart of the revitalised downtown area of Silver Spring.

In coming weeks, DC Velo will release further details regarding the race. The men's professional race is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. and terminate around 1:30 p.m. Prior to the professional racers category, there will be separate events promoting youth helmet and cycling safety. The free children's races begin at 10:15 a.m. and are categorised into four separate age groups. The two morning races include an age-graded race for category 1-4 racers 35+ and older beginning at 8:00 and an elite-amateur race beginning at 9:00.

The event also coincides with the fall grand opening of race sponsor CycleLife, an urban cycling club. The club offers cyclists, from casual commuters to elite racers, the best in cycling products and services. "It is a pleasure to partner with Mayor Fenty and ING DIRECT on this exciting race," offered Michael Sanchez, CEO of CycleLife. "We could not think of a better city to launch CycleLife. Thanks to the Mayor's leadership, Washington, D.C. has the best to offer when it comes down to commuter cycling and bike-friendly paths. Our plan is for CycleLife to assist with this effort." online production editor required - America

Work on the world's leading cycling web site

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

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 email to with "Cyclingnews online editing position - " in the subject line.

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)

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