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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

Latest Cycling News, April 15, 2009

Edited by Gregor Brown

Di Luca disappointed over Ardennes snub

By Gregor Brown

Di Luca disappointed over Ardennes non-invite
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Danilo Di Luca is disappointed that the Ardennes Classics organisers have not invited him or his team for a second year running. Di Luca and his LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini team will instead race the Giro del Trentino next week, in preparation for the Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31.

"There does not seem to be a valid reason for it, we have a strong team and we are within all the rules. It is unjust," Di Luca told Cyclingnews.

Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), organiser of La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège, notified LPR Brakes at the end of last month that the team was not one of the 25 selected teams. The team already lacked an invitation to Amstel Gold.

Di Luca won the 2005 editions of Amstel Gold and La Flèche Wallonne, and the 2007 Liège-Bastogne-Liège. However he was involved in an investigation based on anti-doping controls taken after the Monte Zoncolan stage of the 2007 Giro d'Italia. This was the presumed reason for the non-invite last year, though the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) cleared him of any wrongdoing on April 16, before the Ardennes Classics.

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"On the other hand, [Alejandro] Valverde still has this case hanging over him and yet he races. The organisers do what they want based on what is best for them," said Di Luca.

Di Luca is currently training in a bid to win a second Giro d'Italia. He said that the high-quality field in the Ardennes Classics would have been good for his Giro preparations. He has ridden reconnaissance over almost all of the Giro stages.

"The time trial [stage 12] will be difficult, but at least it is not a flat time trial. The Giro will be won day by day though; there are some really hard stages to Blockhaus, Vesuvio, Alpe di Siusi and Monte Petrano."

Di Luca will race the GP Nobili, April 18, and the Giro del Trentino, April 22 to 25, as his final preparation races.

Rebellin on form for Ardennes

Davide Rebellin (Diquigiovanni-Androni) eyes Ardennes Classics
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Davide Rebellin will aim for another Classic win in Sunday's Dutch one-day race Amstel Gold. Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni - Androni Giocattoli's Italian won all three Ardennes Classics – Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège – in 2004.

"In one of the three I will try to get an important result," the 37-year-old told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Rebellin showed top form earlier this year with two stage wins in the Vuelta a Andalucía and a second place in the GP Lugano. His last race was at the Settimana Lombarda, March 31 to April 5, where he finished third overall. Yesterday he completed a period of training in Marbella, Spain, with teammate Luis Angel Maté.

"I am good, even if I have not raced since Settimana Lombarda. Maybe I will pay for it in Amstel, we will see. But I have good form."

The Italian team will also feature Michele Scarponi, winner of the Tirreno-Adriatico. He won the stage race over Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo) and Andreas Klöden (Astana).

For more on Rebellin read Ready for Ardennes and beyond.

Cervélo narrows down Sastre's Giro team

Cervélo selects Giro d'Italia support for Carlos Sastre
Photo ©: Susanne Goetze
(Click for larger image)

Carlos Sastre's Cervélo Test Team for the Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31, has been narrowed down to 12 riders, with the squad set to make the final selection of its eight support riders in the coming weeks.

The three-week stage race in Italy will consist of 20 teams of nine riders each. Thor Hushovd, Iñigo Cuesta, Simon Gerrans, Philip Deignan, Volodimir Gustov, Jeremy Hunt, Daniel Lloyd, Ignas Konovalovas, Edward King, Hayden Roulston and Serge Pauwels are the 11 who will vie for the final eight supporting spots.

Sastre won the Tour de France last July while riding for Team CSC. He announced in September he left the team to join Cervélo Test Team. He last raced the Giro d'Italia in 2006.

Saxo Bank satisfied with Roubaix outing

Saxo Bank's Fabian Cancellara in Paris-Roubaix Sunday
Photo ©: Nicolas Götz
(Click for larger image)

Team Saxo Bank ended Paris-Roubaix with a 10th place Sunday in northern France, thanks to the performance of the 24-year-old Dane, Matti Breschel.

"Although it would have been nice to have had a Saxo Bank rider on the podium, we can not be dissatisfied with the performances of the riders. They gave all they had," said Directeur Sportif Lars Michaelsen.

Saxo Bank placed Kasper Klostergård in the 11-man escape that went clear 42 kilometres into the 259-kilometre cobbled classic. Once a group of the favourites caught the escapees at kilometre 199, Klostergård remained up front to help teammates Fabian Cancellara and Matti Breschel.

The trio lacked a response to the attack of eventual winner Tom Boonen on the Mons-en-Pévèle sector (kilometre 210.5).

"We started the race with the ambition of taking the front and creating the race, and we succeeded. Unfortunately, we did not have the strength to respond when the decision was made."

Breschel finished 5:29 down on Boonen in the Manuel Quinziato-led group. Kurt-Asle Arvesen finished 16th, Marcus Ljungqvist 30th and Lars Bak 45th. Klostergård and Cancellara finished 48th and 49th at 6:45.

Juan José Haedo, Matthew Goss, Jonathan Bellis, Dominic Klemme, Klostergård, Anders Lund, Michael Morkov Christensen and Alex Rasmussen lead the Danish team today in Belgium's Scheldeprijs one-day race. A different set of riders will confront the Ardennes Classics next week.

Wyss out of Scheldeprijs

Danilo Wyss will miss today's Belgian Classic Scheldeprijs due to a finger injury sustained in Sunday's Paris-Roubaix. The BMC rider expects to return for the Tour de Romandie, April 28 to May 3.

"The finger is very swollen, but fortunately nothing is broken and I can continue training," he said.

Wyss crashed on the first of 27 pavé sectors of the Paris-Roubaix: Troisvilles à Inchy. He hyper-extended a finger on his right hand. He continued racing until the pain forced him to abandon.

"I couldn't hold the handlebars properly and felt an insane amount of pain from the vibrations. My legs felt great, though, and that made me even more disappointed when I had to quit the race."

Wyss expects the finger to be pain-free in the coming days. His next goal will be the Tour de Romandie stage race, where he hopes to win some sprint stages and help his teammates on the mountain stages.

Brent Bookwalter, Antonio Cruz, Jackson Stewart, Martin Kohler, Jeff Louder, Ian McKissick and Marcus Zberg will lead the BMC team in the Scheldeprijs.

Cyclingnews weekly podcast: Episode 7

Paris-Roubaix run-down and Lance Armstrong's suspicions

Somehow, we've made it to week seven without being cancelled. Does this mean the Cyclingnews weekly podcast is, as they say, here to stay?

Just in case it isn't, make sure you pick up a rare unsigned copy of Episode 7 for your listening pleasure. This week's audio feast is nearly 25 minutes long and contains no naughty words. Instead, Cyclingnews' Daniel Benson and BikeRadar's Jeff Jones talk about the biggest and baddest one day race of them all, Paris-Roubaix. Who won, who fell off, who won and fell off, who got spat on, who punctured and failed, and most importantly, where was Heinrich Haussler.

We also discuss the upcoming classics, Amstel Gold Race, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and Lance Armstrong's run-in with the French anti-doping agency, which could result in him not racing the Tour de France. Did he have good reason to be suspicious?

You can subscribe to the podcasts via iTunes (or just go to iTunes and search for 'cyclingnews') or via this XML feed:

You can also download the podcasts directly by clicking on these links:

  • April 15: Paris-Roubaix - full analysis including Heinrich Haussler, Lance Armstrong vs the French anti-doping agency and crazy theories
  • April 9: Tour of Flanders, Heinrich Haussler's return to form, Ghent-Wevelgem, Bob Stapleton air time and Paris-Roubaix
  • April 1: E3 Prijs, Heinrich Haussler's form slump, track worlds and Lance's metal implants
  • March 26: Jens Voigt, Milan-San Remo, Mark Cavendish, Heinrich Haussler, David Millar, Lance Armstrong and the track worlds
  • March 19: Tour de France teams, Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo preview and Heinrich Haussler
  • March 12: Paris-Nice mid-race, Tirreno-Adriatico preview and Heinrich Haussler
  • March 5: Valverde summonsed, Belgian opening weekend and Heinrich Haussler

Flying lap from the Flying Scotsman at BikeRadar Live

By BikeRadar

Cycling legend Graeme Obree will set a benchmark time on the Donington Park motor racing circuit at BikeRadar Live.

The 'Flying Scotsman', who broke the world hour record using a self-designed bike and the 'Superman' riding position in the early 1990s, will ride a Procycling Hot Lap and set a time that visitors can try to beat.

Obree will also take part in a question and answer session in the BikeRadar Live big-top – giving you the chance to quiz him about his incredible life and career.

"I'm very excited about BikeRadar Live," says Graeme. "It's going to be fantastic to spend time with cycling fans and I'm also really looking forward to riding a flying lap around Donington Park – I'm a big superbikes fan so I know a lot about the circuit."

Graeme, whose autobiography The Flying Scotsman was made into a Hollywood movie, hopes ordinary riders will enjoy taking on his lap time. He says: "It'll be interesting to see just how fit I am and fun for cyclists at the show to gun for my time!" 

About BikeRadar Live

BikeRadar Live is the biggest ever mass-participation cycling event to hit the UK, and will take place on the weekend of 30–31 May 2009 at Donington Park in Leicestershire.

The weekend will be packed full of races and challenges, with something for everyone, whether you want to compete, watch your friends and family or just check out some of the world's best riders.

Entry into any of the events gives you full access to the festival's many attractions including spectacular all-weather stunt displays, invitational dirt jump and dual slalom comps, a cycling film festival, live big top entertainment and the Scott Sunset DJ Sessions. Test yourself against pro and celebrity riders in the Procycling Hot Laps, post a time in the Wattbike comp or take the kids along to the Islabikes Children's Skills School. A purpose-built bikes and accessories expo will give festival-goers the chance to ride the latest bikes from leading brands and grab show-only deals on bikes and accessories.

Events include the Cycling Plus Sportive in association with the Geoff Thomas Foundation (100km and 100 mile), Whyte Night night-time enduros (12hr and 4hr), MBUK Eliminator dual-slalom and the Devil Takes the Hindmost circuit race. Click here to sign up.

BikeRadar Live's world-class facilities include on-site camping with a kids and family area, secure bike lock-up, showers, bike wash, workshop, picnic area, medical centre, viewing stands and food and drink market.

BikeRadar Live is brought to you by Future, the makers of Mountain Biking UK, Cycling Plus,, What Mountain Bike, and Procycling. For more details, go to the BikeRadar Live website.

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