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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, January 2, 2009

Edited by Peter Hymas

Basso and Armstrong pass New Years away from home

By Gregor Brown

Team Liquigas' Ivan Basso and ex-professional Michele Bartoli ride in Liguria, Italy,
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Giro d'Italia contenders Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso spent New Years Eve away from home. USA's Armstrong is in Hawaii riding some of the island's climbs while Italy's Basso is visiting his friend and ex-professional Michele Bartoli in Pisa.

"Our wives are friends and both of us have kids around the same age. We will ride and the children can play together," Basso told Cyclingnews.

The winner of the 2006 Giro d'Italia will return home to Varese on New Years Day. He targets a second victory in his home stage race, May 9-31. It will be his first year back after serving a suspension for links to the Operación Puerto doping investigation.

Team Astana's Armstrong, seven time winner of the Tour de France, is preparing for his comeback to the sport and the Giro d'Italia after a three-year absence. He traveled to the Hawaiian island of Hawai'i with his family on December 28. Besides rides up the climbs of island, like Kaloko, he is playing golf.

Armstrong's season starts with the Tour Down Under, January 20 to 25, in Australia and Basso's will start in Argentina at the Tour de San Luis, January 19 to 25.

For more on Basso, read The Ivan Basso Diary.

Rebellin aims for more in 2009

Looking good in yellow
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Davide Rebellin starts 2009 with the goals of winning Milano-Sanremo, the World Championships and the Giro di Lombardia. The 37-year-old aims to add these races to an already rich palmarès by the end of next year, when he retires.

"Other than the Worlds, there are two races that I have never one in my career, Milano-Sanremo and Giro di Lombardia," Rebellin told Tuttosport. "Yeah, even Sanremo. It is not only adapted to the sprinters; I am also able to win it."

Rebellin won the French stage race Paris-Nice last year, but fell short in two key races. The one-day specialist finished runner-up in the Liège-Bastogne-Liège and the Olympic road race.

"Silver in Beijing was great; also because it came on the day I turned 37 years old."

Rebellin, a professional since 1992, won the Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2004 as part of an historic triple with Amstel Gold and Flèche Wallonne. He returned to win Flèche Wallonne in 2007.

His first win came in the 1996 Giro d'Italia stage seven in Monte Sirino, where he won a stage and spent six days in the race leader's maglia rosa.

"When I turned professional I was just 21 years old and I did not think to race this long. I still have the desire to win. I think of [Joop] Zoetemelk, who became World Champion at 39 years old. I could do it at the age of 38 in Mendrisio [Switzerland, 2009]."

Rebellin passed the New Year in Spain. He will return to Italy January 7 and meet his new team, Diquigiovanni, for a training camp in Terracina five days later.

He plans to start his 18th season as a professional at the Vuelta a Andalucía, in Spain, February 15 to 19, with 5000 kilometers of training already accomplished. His first race in Italy will be the Trofeo Laigueglia on February 21. (GB)

Katusha plans second training camp

Italy's Filippo Pozzato
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Team Katusha will meet for the first time in 2009, January 11 to 21, in Calpe, Spain. The team held its first camp in Marina di Bibbona (Livorno), Italy, in December and its presentation in Moscow on December 23.

The Russian team is the new home of Robbie McEwen, Filippo Pozzato, Danilo Napolitano, Gert Steegmans, Vladimir Karpets and Laszlo Bodrogi. It is one of the first chances for the new riders to appear in their new team's colors, since their 2008 contracts expired.

The first camp was focused on medical checks, the fitting of Santini clothing and Ridley bicycles. The new gathering will focus more on training. (GB)


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Roberto Bettini/

Vision 1 Racing adds Dani King

Cooke gains another teammate
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Following the signing of young Welsh rider Katie Curtis, Vision 1 Racing has announced the signing of another young British rider, Dani King, to its roster for 2009.

Dani, from Southampton, has had an outstanding year in 2008 and will be a first year elite rider in 2009. However, she has gained great experience and has been a winner of events in the UK and abroad for many years.

Having alerted the Olympic Development Program of British Cycling to her talents, Dani was selected for the European Championships in 2007 as a first year junior. She finished 9th in the Sprint and 12th in the Keirin. In her final year as a Junior, Dani went on to win a stage of the prestigious Junior Tour of Borsele in Holland. This result, together with her ambition and character, made Dani a perfect addition to Vision 1 Racing.

When asked what joining Vision 1 Racing for will mean for Dani, she replied, "Being alongside Nicole Cooke gives me a fantastic opportunity to learn from the very best in order to reach the top in women's cycling. I am really excited to meet the rest of the team and progress in cycling over the coming years. I believe that being part of Vision 1 will ultimately help me to fulfill my ambition to be a World and Olympic Champion myself one day.

"I am very keen to learn all aspects of cycling and joining Vision 1 Racing gives me the chance to develop personally whilst working with Nicole and the rest of the team," continued King. "Hopefully I will be able to add to the overall team spirit, one day making Vision 1 Racing the strongest team in women's cycling."

Team Manager Stefan Wyman commented, "Dani is a serious, talented young rider, with the right attitude to achieve great things in the sport. We are sure we can help her gain experience and take steps forward in her cycling career. We are happy to give her the same opportunities and staff that Nicole has had around her in 2008 and work with the same system."

Vision 1 Racing also confirmed that they'll be starting their season in March in Italy before the first World Cup of the 2009 season. "We'll be holding several training camps throughout February and March and we'll be looking to build well through the early season classics," said Wyman.

"We've still got a few spot on the team to fill and we're considering applications at the moment," continued Wyman. "Once we know the complete line-up of the team, we'll make some choices on our final calendar. It's certainly not too late for riders to apply to us and they should contact me directly on"

Vision 1 Racing also still has opportunities for sponsors who wish to join the team for 2009. Anyone interested should contact the team manager directly at

For more information, visit

Craft works to build NSW carnivals

The first NSW Christmas carnival since the mid-late 1980s will take place from January 1 to 3, 2009 in various Sydney suburbs, according to Sydney-based cycling promoter Paul Craft.

"Clearly, the plan is to expand the series into a much bigger event and within two years I intend to have a full 6-day carnival," said Craft. "If the Sydney series is going to compete against the already established Christmas Carnivals of Victoria and Tasmania it will need to be of a different nature and style to the events down south.

"I plan to run the Sydney carnivals as a series rather than individual events, with significant prize money for the overall classification in a similar fashion to the very popular European Six Days. I intend to explore the possibility of running the A grade on the same format as a 6-day with teams, points, laps and similar events.

"The concept of a Sydney Christmas carnival also has some significant advantages, mostly to do with location," continued Craft. "It should be possible for traveling competitors to stay at one central location with each velodrome less than a 30 minute drive away. The other significant advantage is the guarantee of racing! If the weather turns nasty we simply move that night's event to the Dunc Gray Velodrome. This is a major advantage as most competitive track cyclists are deterred by long distance travel when they can't be guaranteed a full program of competition."

This year, being the inaugural year of the event, will showcase the potential of the Sydney Christmas Carnival with a strong domestic field expected. "Since this is the first year, I requested only three sponsors, one for each carnival, and was stunned when I had the positions filled within 24 hours of the request. The Tempe carnival on January 1 is sponsored by Peter Bundy Cycles, the Lidcombe carnival on January 2 is supported by Avico Electronics and the Dunc Gray Velodrome carnival on January 3 has the backing of Australian track shoe manufacture Bont.

Racing at all carnivals starts at 6pm.

Cyclingnews reader poll: Best team bike & product

More than 11,000 of you voted for the year's best equipment. Today, we announce the Best Team Bike and Best Product of 2008.

Thank you to all who voted, and look for the winner of the 2009 Zipp 808 wheel set with the new 88/188 hub to be announced on January 5.

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