First Edition Cycling News, November 2, 2008
Edited by Laura Weislo
Wiggins takes a break from pursuiting
By Ben Atkins in Manchester
Bradley Wiggins has been unbeatable in the individual pursuit for the past few years, but the triple Olympic champion and current world champion may scale back his track racing programme to focus more on the road, he told Cyclingnews this weekend.
After taking the gold in Beijing, a repeat performance of his Olympic gold medal in the discipline in Athens, the Belgian-born Brit doesn't see the need to keep on racing the pursuit at the World Cup. He skipped the event in favour of the scratch race on Friday.
"There's just no need to do it really. I just don't feel that I need to get up at this stage of the year really, I'm qualified for the worlds if I want to ride it, which I haven't decided yet, but I probably am not going to bother with the pursuit for at least a year."
After a hectic post-Olympics, Wiggins is just looking to take some of the pressure that he's been under off for now. "It's been really good, it just always is after the Olympics, its such a massive hysteria in the country, you know. It's been really nice that that stage has been done for another four years," he said.
Instead, Wiggins wants to try to get some strong results on the road for his new squad, Garmin-Chipotle, before ramping back up to take his third consecutive Olympic gold in the pursuit in London in 2012.
Wiggins is looking forward to going after his first Tour de France stage victory in this year's team time trial in Montpellier. "I can't wait really; just talking to them [Garmin-Chipotle], it feels right. I've had my programme through and I'm really excited about it. The Tour has been announced and there's a team time trial, you know, we should have a real good shot at it. "
He will have his fellow countryman David Millar on the same team for the first time, and is looking forward to it. "I've never really ridden in the same team as him, part of the reason for going there really is that I always hoped that one day we'd race together in the same team. It should be quite a good year."
After his strong track results, Wiggins was a big favourite for the prologue in London at the 2007 Tour de France, but he fell short of Fabian Cancellara's winning time. Since then, he hasn't had much luck winning Tour stages. "I didn't quite appreciate how much hard work it was going to take," he admitted.
Rebellin in talks with Diquigiovanni
By Gregor Brown
Ardennes specialist Davide Rebellin is close to an agreement with Team Diquigiovanni, according to team manager Gianni Savio, who expects a decision early next week. Savio is in competition with at least two other squads to sign the 37-year-old Italian.
"There are advanced negotiations with Davide Rebellin – nothing is signed. I met last Thursday with Rebellin and we will meet again Tuesday or Wednesday. Both of us – the team and him – have shown intentions to arrive at an agreement," said Savio to Cyclingnews.
Italy's Rebellin – winner of 2004 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and 2008 Paris-Nice – went on the job hunt when Team Gerolsteiner announced it was leaving the sport. Mauro Gianetti's (ex-Saunier Duval) new ProTour team managed by Alvaro Crespi also showed interest in the rider from Veneto.
Rebellin specialises in the Ardennes classics – Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège – and short stage races. Savio expects his Professional Continental team would have a good chance at receiving invites to Rebellin's key appointments.
"We are a wild card team and we will apply again next year. I think that we showed that we are a good team, with 27 wins, and were lot of times we were better than ProTour teams. With Rebellin in the team we should be able to race the Ardennes Classics. But, in cycling, nothing is secure."
The team gave its preliminary list of 16 rider to the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Friday, which will include Gilberto Simoni, Francesco Ginanni and new signee Elia Rigotto. Savio foresees two to four more riders added to his 2009 team before the final cut off date of November 31.
Pagliarini signs with H2O
By Kirsten Robbins
Brazil's Luciano Pagliarini, former Scott-American Beef sprinter and Italy's Paolo Bailetti, former LPR-Ballan all-rounder, signed one-year contracts with International team H2O according to team manger Francesco Frattini.
The Canadian-based team has confirmed signing fourteen riders including Ukrainian Ruslan Pidgornyy from LPR-Ballan, Switzerland's Rubens Bertogliati (Scott-American Beef), Spain's Sergio Pardilla and French riders Benoit Berges, Patrice Halgand and Aurélien Passeron.
Additional signings include Latvian Raivis Belohvosciks, Lubos Pelanek from Czech Republic and Mikaël Szkolnik. Neo pro riders making their debut on the professional squad are Micula Dematteis from Italy along with Spanish brothers Pedro and Jesus Merino.
Contract negotiations continue with the Italian national champion from Ceramica-Flaminia, Filippo Simeoni and Gerolsteiner rider Davide Rebellin.
Nys injured, but unstoppable
By Brecht Decaluwé in Oudenaarde, Belgium
Belgian champion Sven Nys once again dominated the Koppenbergcross, taking his fifth win in a row in Oudenaarde, but this time, he did it in extremely foul weather conditions and with injuries to his hand. He dislocated a finger, but X-rays showed that it is not broken, and Nys will start the Superprestige race on Sunday in Veghel-Eerde.
Nys took the win ahead of his former teammate and world champion Lars Boom on a course that was ankle-deep mud in places. Both riders crashed on the final lap, but could continue, and Nys put in his winning move on the final
Before talking to the press, Nys received medical treatment on a dislocated right forefinger. At 32, he is surprisingly resilient considering he crashed just two weeks ago and ended up with stitches, a black eye and other injuries. This latest bang-up was just more of the usual for this seasoned 'cross racer. "I must've hurt it in that last crash but I didn't feel the pain until the race was over," Nys said.
The cold, the mud and the hard course brought out the best in the Belgian, and he has the result to show for it in a season where he's been challenged more closely than ever before by his younger competitors. "This is real 'cross, once in a while it's fun to ride a race like this. Afterwards it's not as fun when you start to feel the pain and the coldness, but during the race you're just thinking about making it to the finish line," Nys said.
His crash and his injured finger nearly cost him the win, but that focus on the finish line saved him. "I felt something and could only steer with my four other fingers. After that crash I couldn't brake anymore. For a moment I feared that I would lose the race. After that crash I was only thinking about making it to the finish line."
Nys was unsure after the race if he would start in Veghel-Eerde, but later reported that he would indeed race.
US espoirs show promise in Oudenaarde
By Brecht Decaluwé in Melden, Belgium
German Philipp Walsleben may have easily captured the win in Oudenaarde ahead of his Belgian team-mate Sven Verboven and Kevin Cant, but early on in the race there was another rider who was able to match the German's speed around the Koppenberg: American Daniel Summerhill.
The former silver medallist at the junior world championships rode in the lead together with Walsleben for two laps before bad luck threw him out of the race.
Summerhill crashed in the warm-up and damaged the shifter on his spare bike, so when he got a slow leak in his rear tyre, the race was over for the man from Colorado. Walsleben had nothing but praise for his US competitor. "I was surprised by his performance, especially his running is great," Walsleben said.
Summerhill had a look of profound disappointment, but also a glimmer of fierce competitiveness when asked if he could have stayed with the German had he not been struck by misfortune. "Yeah, I wasn't planning to let him go," Summerhill said.
Summerhill's compatriot Bjorn Selander finished 11th, but said that a better choice of gear might have helped him attain a higher placing. "I wasn't getting anywhere," Selander said. "Once I had my other tyres I felt much better and I was moving up positions as well."
See Cyclingnews' full coverage of the Koppenbergcross.
Raisin running New York marathon
By Shane Stokes
Showing again that he is moving on from the 2006 crash which threatened his life, Saul Raisin will run the New York City Marathon on Sunday. The former Crédit Agricole rider has been in training for the event, and will use it to build towards the longer term goal of competing in the Hawaii Ironman next October.
"My goal is to run the whole thing, only stopping for water. I love the challenge, I love to test myself," he told Cyclingnews. "I want to show the world that you can overcome a brain injury, and to never give up hope. This will be my first step to the Ironman in Hawaii next year."
Raisin will join several other former professionals in the famed long-distance race. 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche, former Tour stage victor Jeff Pierce, women's Tour stage winner Tanja Slater and former British Champion Brian Smith will run with cancer survivor Geoff Thomas in the 26.2 mile event, raising funds for the latter's foundation.
Raisin's participation in the race will also generate publicity for his own foundation, Raisin Hope.
Now 25, the Dalton, Georgia native got his professional career off to a strong start when he won the King of the Mountains jersey in the 2005 Tour de l'Avenir, as well as finishing 13th in the Tour of Austria and 37th in the Tour de Suisse.
The following spring he won a mountain stage of the Tour de Langkawi and finished eleventh overall in the Malaysian race. He was seventeenth in the Tour of California, but then suffered a catastrophic crash close to the end of the first stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe. That fall left him in a coma for several days. Raisin confounded his doctor's expectations by returning to cycling and competing in the 2007 US time trial national championships.
However, on medical advice, he and his Crédit Agricole team ultimately agreed that a return to the peloton would be too dangerous.
A change in direction has kept him focused since then. "I have been taking motivational speech classes, working a lot on the Raisin Hope Foundation, riding, swimming, and running a lot," he said. "The foundation is going well. My recent charity ride raised over 30,000 dollars for TBI [traumatic brain injury], even if we are still trying to get on our feet." Raisin said that he hasn't reconsidered his decision to walk away from professional cycling. "I always say that sports are part of our lives. Cycling will always be a part of my life," he stated. "But I am not going to risk my life racing. It is not worth risking another big hit to my head. It is time to move on.
"My goal as of now is to do the Ironman next year. Road racing might be out but you never know, you might see me in a few mountain bike races next season."
For more details of his foundation or to donate, go to www.raisinhope.org.
Danes shine in Dortmund
Danish pair Michael Mørkøv and Alex Rasmussen continued to make upward progress in the Six Day ranks, and took over the lead in the Dortmund Six Day on night two. The back-to-back winners of the Grenoble Six Day overturned the lead of Erik Zabel and Leif Lampater, who are now tied for second with fellow Germans Robert Bartko and Andreas Beikirch.
Bartko and Beikirch put themselves onto the lead lap with a strong performance in the first Madison, while Amsterdam Six Day winners Danny Stam and Robert Slippens gained points but remained a lap down on the lead three duos after their win in the night's second Madison.
The big losers of the night were former world champions Bruno Risi and Franco Marvulli who ended the evening five laps down. Marvulli fell ill, according to uiv.dk, and could not hold the pace.
Evans, Meares finalists for awards
Australia's cycling fans have made their nominations and the finalists in the Scody 2008 People's Choice Cyclist of the Year Award have been decided. The finalists are Cadel Evans, Simon Gerrans, Anna Meares and Stuart O'Grady, and fans have just give more days to cast their vote for the winner.
Voting is open to Australian residents only and all those who lodge a nomination will go in the draw for a Scody prize pack including tickets to the awards gala. Voting closes at midnight November 7th, and can be cast at the Cycling Australia web site.
The Scody People's Choice Cyclist of the Year will be presented at the Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards on November 23rd 2008 being staged at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne Hotel.
Awards will be presented in a range of categories and the night will celebrate the outstanding achievements of Australia's cyclists on the world stage in 2008. The final award of the night will be the presentation of the "Sir Hubert Opperman Medal" to the 2008 Australian Cyclist of the Year.
The Scody 2008 People's Choice Award gives Australian cycling fans the chance to have their say and to join the stars of Australian cycling at the Awards gala.
Everyone who votes goes in the running to win the Scody Prize Pack which includes return economy air travel for two adults to Melbourne, two tickets to attend the 2008 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards, overnight twin share accommodation in Melbourne, an autographed photo of the Scody 2008 People's Choice Cyclist of the Year and a Scody cycling jersey and shorts.
Tickets to the Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards are also available for purchase.
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