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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News, August 28, 2008

Edited by Laura Weislo

Gutierrez sprints sans saddle to Eneco Tour win

Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d'Epargne)
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

Caisse d'Epargne's José Iván Gutierrez took his second consecutive overall victory in the Eneco Tour on the race's final time trial, but he had to do so without the comfort of his bicycle's saddle. The Spaniard's saddle bounced off of its rails on the rough cobblestones of the final kilometre, and Gutierrez was forced to pedal standing for the remainder of the course.

Gutierrez took second on the stage to Raivis Belohvosciks (Team Scott-American Beef), just eight seconds from the win. His time eclipsed that of the morning's overall leader, Team Columbia's André Greipel, by 25 seconds to move him up into the top spot in the standings.

"I started confidently in the closing time trial, because I knew that I could make the difference there," Gutierrez said. "It almost went all wrong in the last kilometer when I lost my saddle. Fortunately it happened near the end, because if happened in the beginning of the stage, I could forget about the overall win. But I was still sprinting full out on the pedals in the last mile, because it was really a matter of seconds."

Gutierrez was please to take the win on the final stage. "I said the very first day the final time trial would decide everything and it has been the case", he said. "In such a race, all flat and where the wind can be very important and make that you lose plenty of time, you have to be very attentive every day."

Sébastien Rosseler (Quick Step) and former world time trial champion Michael Rogers were within fractions of a second of Gutierrez on the stage, placing third and fourth respectively. Belgian time trial champion Stijn Devolder was fifth. The efforts of Rosseler, Rogers and fifth placed Stijn Devolder (Quick Step) were enough to move ahead of Greipel in the overall classification.

Continue to the full report, results and photos.

Cavendish back to winning in Ireland

By Shane Stokes

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Bouncing back from the disappointment he experienced in the Beijing Olympics, Mark Cavendish underlined his status as cycling's fastest sprinter when he won a 60 man bunch gallop on the opening day of the Tour of Ireland.

The Team Columbia rider hit the front inside the final 500 metres and easily held off Julian Dean (Garmin Chipotle), Alexander Kristoff (Joker Bianchi), Boy Van Poppel (Rabobank Continental) and the rest of the peloton. This earned him the first yellow jersey of the race and his fourteenth victory of the season.

Cavendish, who won four stages in this year's Tour de France, was very happy with the result. He was helped greatly by his Columbia team, firstly in controlling the gains of the breakaway and then also in helping him back to the bunch after he got dropped on the lumpy run-in to the finish.

"I was very pleased with the team performance today," he said after the finish. "My form is not so good after just traveling back from Beijing, so it just shows how you need such a strong team behind you. You saw how well they worked today, like always. I think we have shown all year how strong we are as a team, and to come to Ireland and do that is perfect. To come away with the yellow jersey after the first stage is even better.

"You can never get tired of winning. And the feeling is obviously a bit sweeter when you are tired, too."

Continue to the full report and results.

Quick Step targets the Vuelta

After the Quick Step team's somewhat disappointing Tour de France, the Belgian squad will be looking for a better run in the Vuelta a España, which begins Saturday. The team's Tour was hampered by the absence of sprinter Tom Boonen, who tested positive for cocaine in an out-of-competition control and was excluded from the race. Boonen, fresh from two wins in the Eneco Tour, will be ready to contend for the stage wins in Spain.

Boonen's lead-out train will include of Kevin Van Impe, who was not selected for the Tour de France, and 23-year-old Wouter Weylandt, who will be riding his first Grand Tour.

For the overall classification, the team will have Spaniards Carlos Barredo and Juan Manuel Garate. World Champion Paolo Bettini will be in the hunt for stage wins as well, and will be tuning up for the defence of his rainbow jersey in Varese at the end of September.

Quick Step for the Vuelta: Tom Boonen, Kevin Van Impe, Wouter Weylandt, Carlos Barredo, Juan Manuel Garate, Paolo Bettini, Andrea Tonti, Matteo Tosatto, David Vigano.

North American peloton in flux

The appearance of the North American peloton
Photo ©: Jon Devich
(Click for larger image)

The North American peloton* will be undergoing some major changes after the 2008 season. The potential loss of two big teams could produce a sea change of sorts, flooding the market with top talent. Cyclingnews' Mark Zalewski gives a 'State of the Peloton' report, including who is staying, who could be going and who might be growing because of it. In part one of this three-part feature, he delves into the players with the most to gain and lose. Check back for part two, the stayers, and part three the up and comers.

Unlike the European peloton, which recently saw teams sign new title sponsors like Columbia and Saxo Bank, the North American peloton is seeing the opposite occur. Some call it a change, others a market correction – but losing the teams sponsored by Toyota and Health Net, along with the already defunct Symmetrics team, would cause a tidal wave of talent to wash over the domestic peloton in a way not seen in recent years.

Notice the word 'teams' above and not 'sponsors' – both of the management companies that actually own the 'teams' are actively looking for replacement sponsors. However, with the US economy clinging onto the bottom of the toilet bowl the task is rather uphill.

Toyota-United's boss Sean Tucker announced the other week that he was releasing his riders from their contracts early to seek other employment for 2009. The statement said the search for a new title sponsor would go on, but clearly not a good sign. Still, Tucker told Cyclingnews the search continues.

"We are working hard and trying to contact some new people as well. We have two very interested parties but there is nothing more we can do with them. They are just waiting to get their budget numbers and then have to decide their marketing budget from that. So we are sitting on our hands with those two folks. "

While he did release his riders from their contracts, he said many of them want to stick it out. Due to UCI deadlines, and likely due to budgets as well, the team will have to remain Continental instead of making the planned jump to Pro Continental, but even that deadline has moved up this year to make things more stressful.

"We have up until December 10, but we'll have to be a continental team at this point. And that date was moved up too. To go Pro Continental there are minimum salaries. Sure a lot of our guys were already there, but to have everyone at about $40,000 and then some are specialists and have to be contractors, so we have to pay extra to make it about $60,000."

As for his educated guess on the outcome, Tucker gives himself even odds. "In 2005, when I started the team, I called 535 companies that year. And I did that with a lot of research, not just opening up the phone book. We got one company to write a check. I would say today we have called 120 companies. But all we need is one, so I would say 50/50."

Continue to the full feature.

Evans stays with Silence-Lotto

Cadel Evans will stay with Lotto
Photo ©: Isabelle Duchesne
(Click for larger image)

The Belgium based ProTour team Silence-Lotto announced that two-time Tour de France runner up Cadel Evans has signed a contract with the squad through 2010. The team had come under heavy criticism, sometimes from Evans himself, for not providing him better support in his bid to win the Tour de France. Evans had been isolated in the high mountains against the three-pronged attack from the CSC-Saxo Bank team, while new hire Yaroslav Popovych did not live up to expectations as a mountain domestique.

The relatively week support had spawned rumours that Evans would leave the team in search of a more powerful squad, but these now appear to be unfounded.

Evans has had stage victories in the Ruta del Sol, Paris-Nice and the Coppi e Bartali this year.

Renshaw to become Cavendish's lead out man at Columbia

By Jean-François Quénet

Mark Renshaw has own his share of wins
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image)

Mark Renshaw of Crédit Agricole has signed for Team Columbia for the next two seasons, he told Cyclingnews from his home in south of France before heading to Germany for the Deutschland Tour starting on Friday.

"When Crédit Agricole announced there was no new sponsor for next year, I was disappointed because I enjoyed riding for them," said Renshaw, who rode his first Tour de France alongside top sprinter Thor Hushovd who won stage 2 with his precious help. "But I also saw it as an opportunity to go out of a French team and join a bigger team."

The Australian fast-man turned pro with Française des Jeux in 2004 and spent the last three years with Crédit Agricole. "Mark Cavendish has seen that I dropped Thor in the best position during some sprints of the Tour de France," Renshaw explained. "I see it's no problem at this stage of my career to lead him out. Team Columbia was pretty much the first offer I had but I didn't hesitate. It's pretty interesting to join such a successful team with some of the world's best sprinters like Cavendish and André Greipel."

Renshaw is also excited to be part of an English-speaking team with a few Australians on board. Michael Rogers has re-signed with Columbia and Adam Hansen will still be there as well.

Ciolek: Columbia or Milram?

German Gerald Ciolek is currently deciding between two teams for the upcoming season, according to an interview published Wednesday by "The question is certainly, Team Columbia or Team Milram? That has not been yet cleared up," Ciolek said. At Milram, he could move into the role of top sprinter, in the absence of Alessandro Petacchi, while at Columbia he is a second-string sprinter behind Mark Cavendish and André Greipel.

The 21 year-old made his Tour debut this year, finishing second in the closing stage. He then rode, but did not finish, the Beijing Olympics road race. Ciolek has brought in only two wins this season, with two stages of the Bayern Rundfahrt. He hopes for better luck in the Deutschland Tour, where he won three stages last year.

Ciolek burst into the scene in 2005, when he won the German national road championship as an 18 year-old. He followed that up with the U-23 World title in 2006 in Salzburg. He joined the ProTour with T-Mobile Team (now Columbia) in 2007, and had seven wins that year, plus the overall title in the Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt.

Equal prizes at Planet Bike Cup

One of the first US cyclo-cross races will feature equal prize money for women and men. The September 27-28 Jonathan Page Planet Bike Cup will take place in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, outside Madison."Women train as hard, spend as much money traveling to races, and race just as hard as the men," said Renee Callaway, race director. "There's no reason why they shouldn't race for the same prize payout."

The race is part of the Wisconsin Cycling Association (WCA) cyclo-cross series, which also offers equal prize pay-out's for male and female racers. This has helped develop a strong contingent of female racers including Team Planet Bike's National Champions Diane Ostenso (50-54) and Anna Young (17-18).

More information is available online at and registration is currently open on

Jonathan Page's Planet Bike Cup is hosted by the Capitol Velo Club, a women's road cycling club based in Madison, WI. Sponsors for the race weekend include Planet Bike, Williamson Bicycle & Fitness, Sheila Moon, Twin Six, Harlot Wear, Cyclo-cross Magazine, Becker Law Office, and Lawton & Cates, SC. 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.

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