First Edition Cycling News for October 30, 2007
Edited by Greg Johnson and Paul Verkuylen
Serrano re-signs with Tinkoff
By Monika Prell
Ricardo Serrano (Tinkoff)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
Ricardo Serrano has re-signed with the Russian-owned Italian Professional
Continental squad Tinkoff Credit Systems. The Spaniard has confirmed to
Todociclismo that he renewed his contract for one more season.
The 29 year-old has finished his 2007 season as soon as possible after
enduring a difficult second half. "The balance I draw is regular, because
the second half of the season was not good at all," explained Serrano.
Serrano had a good lead in to the Giro d'Italia, but suffered problems
with allergies during the Italian race and also suffered from tendinitis
in the Achilles tendon. "This did not allow me to get a good competition
form after the Giro, so that I was not able to show a good performance
like in other years," added Serrano.
Things didn't get much better for Serrano, with the rider explaining
he suffered from fatigue after the Vuelta a Burgos. "I had one good day
and seven bad ones, as the body did not answer and as I accumulated a
lot of fatigue," explained Serrano.
The rider from Valladolid, who is currently on holidays, is happy that
Tinkoff renewed his contract despite his poor season. "They knew what
happened to me and they trusted in me, even if they expected something
more," he said. "I hope that I can be again the rider I was in the last
Serrano believes that he will easily outperform the results of this season
neat year. He began to train in the middle of October to get a perfect
form for next year, where he's "almost sure" to ride the Giro d'Italia
and perhaps the Vuelta a España.
Wiggins to kick off track season in Manchester
Great Britain's Bradley Wiggins
Photo ©: AFP
Olympic Pursuit Champion Bradley Wiggins will make his return to track
racing at the Manchester Velodrome on November 17 for the Revolution event.
The British track star has always been a firm favourite at the event and
is always guaranteed to provide plenty of action.
Revolution 18 will provide plenty of opportunity for Wiggins to test
his form with a programme focussed on some serious endurance racing against
some of the world top six day specialists. The event also comes a few
days before the start of the Ghent Six, which Wiggins will ride with T-Mobile
team-mate Mark Cavendish, allowing riders a final chance to hone their
track skills and be ready to challenge each other ahead of the action
One of the international riders already lined up to challenge Wiggins
is recent Amsterdam six day winner Iljo Keisse. Keisse first made an appearance
at Revolution back in 2004 riding with Matt Gilmore. Following his victory
in Amsterdam last weekend Keisse is now firmly established as one of the
top six day specialists and will be one of the favourites for the racing
New colours for Astana in 2008
Astana won't be feeling blue in
Photo ©: AFP
Team Astana will be starting from scratch in the coming season, with
the announcement the squad would add new jerseys to a list of changes
which includes new riders and management. After a disastrous 2007, which
saw the Kazakh-backed squad ejected from the Tour de France after Alexandre
Vinokourov's non-negative doping test, the squad has hired former Discovery
Channel director Johan Bruyneel and star rider Alberto Contator to front
a revived Astana in 2008.
"Even the team colours will change," Bruyneel told Sporza. "There
will still have to be a bit of blue, but we will try to minimize it."
The Belgian said that they are very busy with the UCI license. "We have
until November 20 to get everything in order, but it is all coming along,"
Bruyneel had originally intended to retire from cycling this year after
Discovery Channel announced it would close its doors. "With Armstrong
the last two years there was still the kick of winning the Tour, but the
rest did not matter much," he explained. "This year was that way, too.
Then, at a certain moment, you have to decide that it is enough."
"Now I have to build a team," added Bruyneel, excited by the prospect
of the task ahead. "The construction of the team depends on me and on
decisions which I did not take in former days."
Looking back, he added that signing Ivan Basso to Discovery Channel this
year "was probably a mistake".
AG2R signs Efimkin
Russia's Vladimir Efimkin has decided to leave the French-sponsored,
Spanish squad Caisse d'Epargne in 2008, opting instead to sign with French
ProTour team AG2r Prévoyance, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen.
The 25 year-old Efimkin has been labeled as one of his generation's greatest
talents. This year Efimkin won a stage of the Vuelta a España and spent
some time in the leader's jersey before going on to finish sixth overall.
Vladimir's twin brother Alexander signed a contract last month to rider
for Belgian squad Quick Step-Innergetic in 2008.
Aussies ready for Revolution debut, with Beijing in sights
Ryan Bayley and Shane Perkins
Photo ©: Gerard Knapp
A full compliment of Aussie track sprinters is set to light up the boards
at Revolution 1 on Saturday, November 24 at Melbourne's Vodafone Arena.
While there'll be a healthy representation of competitive internationals
- here for the following week's Track World Cup event in Sydney - the
Aussies toughest test may well be between themselves as they strive for
first blood in the selection battle for the limited Sprint and Keirin
positions for Beijing.
At the launch of Revolution in Melbourne last week, reigning Sprint and
Keirin Gold medallist, Ryan Bayley said he was "feeling stronger,
feeling faster and was improving all the time". Joining Bayley at
Revolution in the battle for a place on the Australian team will be Ben
Kersten, Shane Perkins, Scott Sunderland, Mark French and Jason Niblett;
with acceptances still likely from Shane Kelly and emerging star Daniel
On a recent four-event team trip to the US, Bayley showed strong form,
winning twice and finishing runner up twice. There were also outstanding
performances from French, Niblett, Ellis and even Kelly got in on the
action. The Aussies completely dominated the Sprint and Keirin racing
with only Italian flier Roberto Chiappa offering any real resistance.
Shane Perkins is one rider reported to be flying and keen to throw his
name back into the ring of potential candidates for selection. "I'm
pretty happy with the way I'm going," said Perkins. "I'm looking
forward to racing at the Revolution Series. It promises to be great racing
with many of the Australian team there. With the Olympics looming there
is going to be a lot of competitiveness in whatever events we ride together
and whoever performs well at Revolution will come away with a lot of confidence."
Australian Head Track Coach Martin Barras explained that Australia will
most likely qualify two riders for each of the Sprint and Keirin events
for Beijing, assuming the team rides up to its ranking in the World Cups
and World Championships.
"Once the line-up for Revolution is completed, people will realise
it's not only a very competitive Australian line-up, it will be a very
competitive international line-up and that adds not only to the prestige,
but to the importance of the event," said Barras. "In that sense
Revolution will be a very important confidence builder should any rider
come out of it with a good result."
But in a sport often decided by hundredths-of-a-second, it's not all
about times. "Times are one thing and times are important,"
added Barras. "Times essentially give you a look into selection,
but ultimately results under pressure is where it's at, because the Olympics
is all about pressure. And the World Championships will be about pressure
because the athletes will know they're riding for a place on the Olympic
Talking about handling pressure, Perkins admits that you need experience
at big events and the atmosphere that comes with them in order to learn
how to control emotions. "Experience is the biggest thing, but having
good people around you that make you relaxed and confident that you can
do what you've gone there to do is also vital," explained Perkins.
Barras isn't playing favourites, with selection to be based on form and
results in the lead-up to Beijing. After Revolution 1 there is the Sydney
World Cup event, closely followed by the Beijing World Cup; then Revolution
2 back in Australia just before Christmas. There are another two World
Cups in early 2008, then the World Championships in March.
"Selection will be heavily based on the results of the World Championships
in March 2008 in Manchester," noted Barras. "And will be based
solely on performance with the goal of fielding the very best team for
Sinkewitz: No doping in T-Mobile
Disgraced professional cyclist Patrik Sinkewitz has said there was no
talk within his former squad T-Mobile of doping during the past season,
despite his use of prohibited substances that lead to a non-negative test
and his dumping from the German outfit. Sinkewitz made the remarks at
a German cycling federation (BDR) hearing.
There was still talk of blood doping within the German team in 2006 according
to German anti-doping expert Werner Franke, the Süddeutsche Zeitung
newspaper has reported. "Sinkewitz confirmed that doping use within T-Mobile
belongs to the past," said Peter Barth, the chairman of the discipline
committee from BDR. "It is strange that Werner Franke speaks out about
this, because he wasn't at the hearing."
Flanders to choose between Koppenberg and Kortekeer
Tour of Flanders organisers are yet to choose whether the Kortekeer or
Koppenberg climb will be used in the 2008 edition, despite the 2008 route
having been announced without the latter. As in the 2007 edition, organisers
have chosen the Kortekeer climb, but this may change in the future as
its use is yet to be confirmed.
There is still a chance that the organisers of Vlaanderens Mooiste,
Flander most beautiful, will chose to include the Bult van Melden
in the race route.
"We have until January 5 next year to tie the knot definitely," said
Tour of Flanders' press officer and route planner Harry Van Den Bremt.
"The Koppenberg is, after the road works that have taken place, a lot
better than in the past. Only the descent is of concern to us. It needs
to again be maintained and here and there needs to be fixed."
Keisse and Barko claim Amsterdam six
Belgian Iljo Keisse along with German Robert Bartko won the Amsterdam
six day event which concluded over the weekend. The race came down to
the wire, with the last sprint of the night deciding the overall winners.
Keisse and Bartko were pushed all the way by the Dutch duo Robert Slippens
and Danny Stam, who were riding a six day together again after a long
break. Slippens, who has been recovering from injuries sustained in a
road accident last year, lead out the final sprint but was unable to match
Keisse and Bartko finished the event, which lasted until after midnight
on the final night, with 352 points. Slippens and Stam finished on the
same lap as the pair with 348 points, just four behind the winners. Third
place in the event went to the Dutch/German pairing of Peter Schep and
perennial cyclist Erik Zabel. The pair also finished on the same lap as
the winners but with 256 points.
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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2007)