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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News, August 27, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen

Teams converge on Spain for final Grand Tour of 2008

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) wants more Grand Tour stage wins
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

The world's top professional cycling outfits are converging on Spain to ready for the season's final Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España, which commences on Saturday. Belgian squad Quick Step, Italian outfit Lampre and Basque team Euskaltel-Euskadi have all announced their rosters for this weekends race, with the three teams currently making their way to Spain.

After a disappointing Tour de France campaign, where it was missing sprint star Tom Boonen, Quick Step is hoping to redeem itself at the Vuelta. Boonen will be supported by reigning world champion Paolo Bettini at the outfit, which is hunting for a new sponsor for next season.

The Belgian squad will be challenged in the sprint stages by Lampre's line-up. The Italian team is also mounting a general classification bid with Damiano Cunego.

"I always like to take part in Vuelta, so I'm happy to go to Spain this year too," said Cunego. "The stages are interesting and the opponents too, so it will be exciting trying to battle for the victory in some stages. Last year my final part of the season was fantastic after I had took part in Vuelta, so I hope this could happen again."

Lampre's team management is hopeful of repeating their success of three stage victories in last year's Vuelta. "In the team there will be our best riders because we'd like to obtained this year too the satisfactions we had last year," said team manager Giuseppe Saronni. "Ballan, Cunego, Bruseghin and Napolitano are quality guarantee and they will be well supported by Marzano, Mori and Tiralongo, while Santambrogio and Bindi will try to use their battling attitude."

Quick Step roster: Carlos Barredo, Paolo Bettini, Tom Boonen, Juan Manuel Garate, Andrea Tonti, Matteo Tosatto, Kevin Van Impe, Davide Viganò and Wouter Weylandt.

Lampre roster: Alessandro Ballan, Emanuele Bindi, Marzio Bruseghin, Damiano Cunego, Marco Marzano, Massimiliano Mori, Danilo Napolitano, Mauro Santambrogio and Paolo Tiralongo.

Euskaltel-Euskadi roster: Igor Anton, Mikel Astarloza, Koldo Fernandez de Larrea, Iñigo Landaluze, Egoi Martinez, Rubén Pérez, Alan Perez, Amets Txurruka and Ivan Velasco.

Popovych can exact revenge at the Vuelta

Yaroslav Popovych
Photo ©: Gregor Brown
(Click for larger image)

Silence-Lotto is hoping that Yaroslav Popovych can put a poor performance at the Tour de France behind him and exact revenge by riding a good Vuelta a España. The Ukrainian is expected to ride for a strong overall classification finish as part of a team dominated by Belgians.

Team director Hendrik Redant is also expecting some good results from the rest of the team, particularly the six Belgians in the squad.

Initially Tour de France bridesmaid Cadel Evans was set to lead the team in Spain, but a knee injury sustained at a Tour after-party has caused him to skip the race along with the rest of the season.

"That is a shame," Redant told Sporza. "But we still have a team that we can rely on [for good results].

"There are a number of young lions in the squad who want to prove themselves and a few riding for the general classification," he added. "Among them is Popovych, who can exact revenge for his less than perfect Tour de France. We expected more from Popovych in France. Maybe the Vuelta suits him better, without all the pressure."

Redant is also expecting some good results from Greg Van Avermaet. "He is our joker," he said. "He is a real attacking rider and will definitely be giving it a go for a stage win."

Evans' compatriot Matt Lloyd, the current Australian national champion, has replaces him in the Silence-Lotto line up.

Silence Lotto roster: Bart Dockx, Pieter Jacobs, Matthew Lloyd, Dominique Cornu, Olivier Kaisen, Greg Van Avermaet, Roy Sentjens and Maarten Tjallingii.

Netherlands positive after Tour inspection

Organisers of the Tour de France visited the Dutch city of Utrect last week to carry out an inspection of the course which is proposed as the prologue route for the 2010 Tour de France. Jean-Louis Pagès, the Directeur des Sites for the Tour de France, carried out the technical inspection of the course in a surprise visit.

Utrecht is one of the three candidate cities to host the 2010 prologue, along with Rotterdam, also in the Netherlands, and the German city of Düsseldorf.

Yesterday Pagès presented his findings at Utrecht's town hall. Local spokesperson Harm Janssen was positive after the meeting with the Frenchman. "Pagès inspected all the technical aspects surrounding our bid for the prologue," Janssen told "[Pagès inspected] the course and also the logistics of the start and the finish at the Galgenwaard stadium.

"We knew that he was going to do that, but not when," he added. "He had some questions but all in all I have the feeling that he was satisfied."

The decision on which city will host the 2010 prologue will be made by the end of this year.

"Naturally that decision will be made by the directors of the Tour, by Christian Prudhomme," he continued. "But if an experienced adviser like Pagès, who is the only real specialist, says that the Tour start in Utrech is feasible, that certainly has influence. This is definitely a boost and a step in the right direction."

Boasson Hagen makes amends

By Susan Westemeyer

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia)
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Columbia) made up for his error of the day before and won the sprint in the sixth stage of the Eneco Tour. Putting in a last minute burst of speed, he managed to get by a frustrated Jimmy Engoulvent (Credit Agricole), who pounded his handlebars in anger at being beaten, and Serguei Ivanov of Astana. Boasson Hagen's team-mate André Greipel held on to the leader's jersey.

Until Monday's stage, the 21 year-old Norwegian had been in second place overall only seconds behind his team-mate, but he dropped out of contention when he ended up on the wrong side of a split in the peloton on stage five and lost nearly 15 minutes.

"This is kind of revenge for what happened yesterday," Boasson Hagen said. "It was a real pity to lose so much time and so any chance of overall victory. I took the sprint and became leader on the road, but then I went a bit too far back in the peloton and they attacked at the front. I tried to chase but it was impossible and so I lost a lot of time."

Engoulvent was part of a nine-man escape group which got away about 30 km into the race, and very nearly made it to the end. The peloton didn't catch the group until within the final kilometres, and even then the French rider attacked again and had hopes of winning until the speedy Viking pulled past him to take the win.

To view the full stage coverage, click here.

Britons invited to beat Hoy

Think you can beat Chris Hoy?
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

Those inspired by Great Briton's track cycling success at the Beijing Olympic Games this month can test their pedal power against triple Olympic gold medalist Chris Hoy this weekend at the Salford Nocturne in Manchester. People are being invited to the event at Salford Quays, from 6 PM on Saturday night, to see how close they can get to a 500m time set by the Beijing champion.

The Nocturne will welcome home the British Olympic cycling team, who are based at Manchester Velodrome. Also taking place is an elite city centre circuit race with supporting events including a celebrity roller challenge and a folding bike race.

In the elite race Britain's leading teams will compete against Olympic gold medal winners Ed Clancy and Geraint Thomas as well as Bronze medalist Chris Newton.

As part of the celebrity roller race challenge, Hoy will take on ex-England footballer Geoff Thomas and other celebrities. The public will then be able to compete against this time in a similar time trial event on a genuine track racing bike on static rollers underneath a giant clock.

The fastest man and woman closest to Hoy's time will win a prize presented by the British medal winner.

Leipheimer to address Hall of Fame audience

Levi Leipheimer (USA)
Photo ©: Casey Gibson
(Click for larger image)

Astana's Levi Leipheimer will be the keynote speaker at the 2008 United States Bicycling Hall of Fame Induction Dinner and Ceremony on November 2 in the California city of Davis. The event will honour four legendary U.S. cyclists and sports contributors.

Leipheimer recently won a bronze medal in the time trial event at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China, his second Olympics appearance. The former Discovery Channel rider also finished third at last year's Tour de France behind team-mate Alberto Contador and Australian Cadel Evans.

"I am honoured as an athlete and a cyclist to have been asked to speak at such an important induction event, and the first in the western U.S," Leipheimer said. "The sport of cycling has provided me with so many great experiences and I am glad to be giving back to those who have been so influential in its growth in the United States."

The four Hall of Fame honorees are Cheri Elliott, off-road competitor; Mike Plant as contributor; Jeanne Golay, modern competitor; and the late Jimmy Walthour, veteran competitor in six-day races.

New sponsor for Karpin-Galicia in Vuelta lead-up

By Antonio J. Salmerón

Karpin-Galicia will be known as Xacobeo-Galicia in future, with the squad's current sponsors stopping its sponsorship. Former professional footballer Valery Karpin has dropped his sponsorship of the Professional Continental Spanish squad, leaving the team with sponsorship from the regional Government of Galicia, and new sponsor Xacobeo.

The Xacobeo-Galicia squad was presented by Fernando Blanco, from the Conselleiro de Industria of Galicia, yesterday. "The management company Xacobeo will sponsor the former cycling team Karpin-Galicia to promote the holy year in the country," he told Efe.

It is expected that contractual collaboration will continue until 2010. Xacobeo is a local touristic trademark, linked to a religious roman-catholic place: the Apostol Santiago cathedral which is a destination for thousands of pilgrims from around the world.

The team will contest the Vuelta a España with a nine rider team starting this Saturday in Granada.

David Garcia, Gustavo Cesar Veloso and Ezequiel Mosquera will be the team's leaders for the event. Also on the squad is Carlos Castaño, Galicians Serafín Martinez, Gustavo Dominguez, David Herrero and Iban Mayoz.

Former cyclist and current Xacobeo Galicia coach Alvaro Pino is confident about the team's chances. "The team has not disappointed this season," he said. "But the bar will be very high by recent results."

Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's track revolution

Heroes, Villains and Velodromes
Photo ©: HarperCollins
(Click for larger image)

Team Great Britain put the rest of the world to shame when they took seven of the ten gold medals on offer in the Beijing Olympic track cycling events. How did this nation, not traditionally a cycling powerhouse, get to this point? A new book by Richard Moore tracks the progress of the British programme. Cyclingnews offers an exclusive excerpt from "Heroes, Villains and Velodromes: Chris Hoy and Britain's Track Cycling Revolution".

Shane Sutton has been involved with cycling all his life. He has seen it all. He has certainly seen how badly teams can be run – he was part of a British team that started the 1987 Tour de France, whose owner vanished halfway through, and was never heard of again (with the riders going unpaid for their three weeks of toil around France). He is therefore in a good position to analyse what makes the British team successful, to define what it is that has led to such a spectacular transformation from laughing stock to superpower.

Does it come down solely to the investment of millions of Lottery funding? "Nah, the thing that makes us successful is good leadership," says Sutton, not pausing even to consider the question. "But it doesn't just come from the PD [performance director]. Leadership happens throughout the programme and it's the key to everything. Now we've got underpinning groups – young riders who are following the lead of the Chris Hoys, the Jason Queallys.

"These senior athletes are responsible for their own success but also for the success of the programme downstairs. So these athletes provide leadership in that way. If you're a young junior and you're training with Chris Hoy, he's an icon for them, and you need icons. These guys have been instrumental in the way this programme has moved forward."

Sutton continues: "Chris and Jason are ... okay, I'll say it, they're nice guys, but they both have that c**t element. You gotta have it. Need it. He believes in himself 100 per cent. Bottom line, he's selfish. He'll admit that. It's all about Chris. But he needs to be like that, and when you take him away from the performance, from this arena here, you wouldn't get a nicer guy.

"Chris loves training. Loves it. Very few are like that. Normally you're pushing athletes, saying, "Come on, you gotta get your arse in gear." But with Chris you're pulling him back, pulling him back, pulling him back. He's a trainaholic: he just loves getting up, going to work and leavin" everything on the track. That's it."

Much of what Sutton says chimes with what Peter Keen tells me. "The thing that stands out among hugely successful athletes and coaches is a fascination with the process," says Keen. "They are genuinely fascinated by the process, not just the end result. It's something Chris Hoy and Chris Boardman have in common. In fact, they have quite a lot in common: a total unwillingness to accept mediocrity around them; a willingness to challenge for better in quite a constructive way."

To read the full feature, click here. 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 e-mail to with "Cyclingnews online editing position - " in the subject line.

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer.)

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