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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News, August 29, 2008

Edited by Laura Weislo

Milram to provide parachute for ex-Gerolsteiners

Markus Fothen could find a home at Milram.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Team Gerolsteiner will soon be history, and the riders and staff will face trying to find contracts with other squads in a tight job market. There may be hope, however, for some riders and staff members in the form of the other German ProTour team, Milram. Gerry van Gerwen, manager of Team Milram, said he would like to take on as many riders and personnel from the Gerolsteiner team as possible.

"I don't want them all to become unemployed," Van Gerwen told the dpa press agency. He emphasized that he is not happy to see his rival German team disappear. "I am not a hyena. This is not a day of joy for us."

In a situation similar to the French Crédit Agricole squad, Gerolsteiner team owner and manager Hans-Michael Holczer has been unable to find a new sponsor to take over for the bottled water company when the current contract expires the end of this year.

At least two riders already have concrete plans for the future. Oliver Zaugg was the first to announce his new team, Liquigas. Bernhard Kohl, third this year in the Tour de France, announced Thursday that he has signed for the coming year, with the name of the team to be announced September 8. "I think that where I signed will be a surprise," he said.

Those who might be taken over by Milram include Directeur Sportif Christian Henn and possibly such big name riders as Kohl, Fabian Wegmann and the brothers Markus and Thomas Fothen. Milram has stated that it wants to hire as many Germans as possible. "A package deal is in sight," Henn said.

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Henn had been mentioned in connection with a newly-formed Cervélo team, but the bike maker denied on Thursday that the German would be connected with the new Professional Continental Cervélo TestTeam. He has been with Gerolsteiner since 2001, and called the news of the team's end "simply sad". It was no surprise to him, and he is sorry to see the tightly-knit group ripped apart. "Especially in the last few weeks there has been a strong feeling of togetherness in the team. The riders had looked around for new teams, but took an unbelievable amount of time with their search. It is really too bad, that it is all over."

The 44 year-old said that he expected to announce the plans for his future in the next few weeks. (SW)

Vuelta to test for CERA, use passports

All 170 riders in the Vuelta a España have been tested by anti-doping authorities on Thursday, two days before the race starts in Granada. The organiser, Unipublic, also indicated that the race would be the first Grand Tour to make use of the UCI's 'biological passport.'

The Tour de France, which was not sanctioned by the International Cycling Union (UCI) and did not receive access to the passport data, used comparisons between values taken before the start of the race and those taken during the event to look for indications of doping. Riders with suspicious values were subjected to additional testing during that race. Those additional controls resulted in two of the four doping positives during the Tour.

The Vuelta, on the other hand, is being governed by the UCI and will require that all teams have their passport data up to date. "All riders will have to have their biological passports in order," stated Vuelta managing director Victor Cordero. "The laboratory in Madrid also has the capability to test for CERA." CERA, or its trade name Mircera, is a new type of EPO for which Riccardo Riccò tested positive for during the Tour de France.

Sørensen out of Deutschland Tour with injury

Sørensen will miss out on the Tour of Germany
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Danish hope Chris Anker Sørensen (CSC - Saxo Bank) will not be able to start the Deutschland Tour in Kitzbühel Friday due to an injury. His knee gave Sørensen trouble during the Tour of Denmark, and it got worse after the Olympic Games. "Chris has an inflammation in one knee and he hasn't been able to train effectively," said CSC director Kim Andersen to the Danish daily Politeken. "He has had to stay off his bike for some days and he now hopes that treatment at a specialist will help."

Sørensen's participation in the world Championships in Varese, September 28, are still in his plans, despite the injury. He is expected to ride Tour of Britain, September 7 to 14 or Tour of Poland, September 14 to 20, as preparation for the World Championships.

The team will not be able to substitute for Sørensen, and will start the German tour with seven riders. Last year's winner Jens Voigt will lead CSC - Saxo Bank in the Deutschland Tour with Olympic TT silver medallist Gustav Larsson, his compatriot Marcus Ljungqvist, the American Jason McCartney plus the Danish trio Nicki Sørensen, Lasse Bøchman and Kasper Klostergård.

"There is no doubt that Jens Voigt really would be at his best on home turf. But he has had a long season with Giro d'Italia as well as Tour de France. And last Monday's Grand Prix Ouest-France indicated that he is tired. So I have serious doubts abut his level of form. But I expect that we can show ourselves strongly in the race. I'm very excited to see what Gustav Larsson can do. And I also have expectations for Lasse Bøchman who put on a good show in Grand Prix Ouest-France," said Andersen. He said the first stage from Kitzbühel to Hochflügen will be decisive with a fine tuning of the general classification in the final time trial in Bremen. (TN)

Kohl finds new team

By Susan Westemeyer

Bernhard Kohl had a breakout performance in the Tour.
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Bernhard Kohl has found a new team for the coming season, but won't announce it until after the Deutschland Tour. His Gerolsteiner team will be dissolved at the end of this year, team manager Hans Michael Holczer announced Thursday.

When asked where the Austrian might be riding in 2009, his agent, Siegfried Fröhlich told Cyclingnews cryptically, "Bernhard speaks in addition to German both English and Flemish. In order to make the integration into a new team, it would make sense to transfer to a team where Bernhard wouldn't have any language barrier."

That doesn't really narrow the field down much, as the teams with which he had mostly been mentioned were Quick Step, Silence-Lotto, Columbia and Milram. The latter is however, seemingly out out of contention, Fröhlich told The betting is on one of the two Belgian teams.

The 26 year-old would have best liked to stay with his current team. "Of course it's too bad that he can't stay with Gerolsteiner," Fröhlich told Cyclingnews.

Euskaltel will fight for stage wins

Euskaltel - Euskadi will send a strong team to the Vuelta a España: even if the Olympic winner Samuel Sánchez and Haimar Zubeldia won't participate, Jon Odriozola, the sport director, is confident of the potential of his team. "It is a very competitive team. Riders like Mikel Astarloza, Egoi Martínez, Rubén and Alan Pérez, [Iñigo] Landaluze, [Iván] Velasco and Koldo Fernández de Larrea form a strong group that can play an important role. They are riders who know to be present in breakaway groups, they know how to move in a race. They are experienced cyclists who know to do their work. For me, the team is great."

Odriozola named the objectives for the Vuelta: "We will try to win a stage, but we will also focus on the general classification." The leader of the team will be 25-year-old Igor Antón. "He will reach his maturity in the sport, now in this race or later, but it will come. He is a rider who is able to win, but he still has to define some things." The young Basque finished this year's Tour de Suisse in third overall with one stage victory.

Odriozola wants the entire team to be competitive, even if he told to Diario Vasco that "there are three teams, Astana, CSC and Caisse d'Epargne that are very superior to the others. We will have to see if Astana will dominate the race as they did in the Vuelta al País Vasco." He reiterated, "We will have to fight. We have a great team with able and prepared riders."

The team arrived yesterday in Gránada and had its first day of training in the area on Thursday. Friday will be the official team presentation, where Igor Antón, Mikel Astarloza, Koldo Fernández de Larrea, Iñigo Landaluze, Egoi Martínez, Rubén Pérez, Alan Pérez, Amets Txurruka and Iván Velasco will be presented to the public. (MP)

Milram fielding young team in Vuelta

The German Milram has sent a young squad to the Vuelta a España in search of stage victories. Led by Erik Zabel, who may be retiring at the season's end, the rest of the team is so new that even with its 38-year-old captain, the average age of the nine-man squad is just 25. The team includes Artur Gajek (23), Christian Kux (23) and Sebastian Schwager (24), Martin Velits (23) and Matej Jurco (22), Andrey Grivko (25) and Volodymyr Diudia (25) and Fabio Sabatini (23).

Diudia, the winner of the UCI World Cup classification in the individual pursuit was fourth overall in that event at the Olympic Games, and will add firepower for the opening team time trial, as will four-time Slovakian time trial champion Jurco. Grivko, a former Ukrainian champion, had two narrow misses at stage wins in the South African Worlds View challenge in February, and could have a chance from a breakaway.

Zabel will be hoping to pad out his career Grand Tour stage total in the flat stages in this year's race. "In light of the competition there, that surely won't be as easy as at the Tour de France, but maybe at the Vuelta I will be luck enough to catch a perfect sprint," he said. Zabel was out-classed by the young speedster Mark Cavendish in both the Giro and the Tour de France, but will not have to face any of the Team Columbia sprinters as that team is not participating in the Vuelta.

He will be able to take one accomplishment out of the Vuelta, even if he does not succeed at winning a stage. "In this season I unexpectedly rode the Giro d'Italia, when we lost Alessandro Petacchi. Since the Tour and the Vuelta have long been part of my season planning, I can go ahead and live out my long-year plan of one time riding all three Grand Tours in one year."

State of the Peloton: North America

The Jittery Joe's team
Photo ©: John Pierce
(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 three, he delves into the up and comers and the women's peloton. Also see part one and part two.

Converse to what is happening on the top-end of the team budget spectrum, teams like Jelly Belly continue to pedal away with a secure, long-standing sponsor. Director Danny Van Haute also has been around the block a few times and knows how fortunate he is, especially just having re-upped for another three years. "I told our riders that we are ready to go for the next three years," he said. "Our negotiations are going very well, so well that I think all the major details are done and we just need to sign the contract."

Of course with this news he is quite a popular guy. "My e-mail is quite full... even the spam folder is full! It's unfortunate because we need teams to stay here in the US and get sponsorship. Jelly Belly is a big supporter of cycling, for eight years and now another three. We all need to recognize that these companies like Jelly Belly, Aramark and GT all love cycling."

But like other teams the influx of riders does not mean he has the money to hire additional spots or pay the salaries that some of the big names are earning with their current contracts. "Yeah there are going to be riders available but I don't have a budget like Health Net or Toyota, I have to stay within my budget."

"These riders that are coming available need to understand there are only a few choices," he said. "Every team has their weaknesses and we have ours – can we pick somebody up that will improve our squad next year? I think so. But they need to understand that they aren't likely to make these six figures that they are making now. I applaud them that they can do it but you have to be realistic now.

Continue to the full feature.

Pannone Sponsor Salford Nocturne Elite Criterium

Manchester based law firm Pannone has become the title sponsor to the Salford Nocturne Elite Criterium cycle race taking place in Salford Quays this Saturday (30th August). The Pannone Elite Criterium will feature Olympic Team Pursuit Champions Geraint Thomas and Ed Clancy and Olympic bronze medallist Chris Newton and will be the highlight of the race programme.

Pannone LLP has a dedicated Cycling Claims Team and the sponsorship reinforces their backing of cycling. Senior Partner Joy Kingsley commented, "We are delighted to be involved in sponsorship of the Salford Nocturne at a time when UK cycling is in the ascendancy thanks to the tremendous efforts of our cyclists in Beijing."

As part of the event, Pannone will also field a team in the corporate challenge. The race will be a four man relay over the challenging Salford Nocturne course with all proceeds going to the event charity partner the Geoff Thomas Foundation. The Foundation will have a celebrity team led by ex-England footballer Geoff Thomas. Other corporate teams entered include Molnlycke Health Care, based in Irlam, Added Value Solutions, Key Sports Management and a team from Salford City Council.

The event will be begin at 6pm and is free to attend. The Pannone Elite Criterium will start at 8.15pm. Full details can be found at

Join the Cyclingnews team! online production editor required - North 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 North 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. Deadline for applications is September 2, 2008.

Future Publishing Australia seeks Online Sales Manager

Future Publishing Australia is seeking a passionate and knowledgeable Online Sales Manager for its market leading sport website - Cyclingnews.

Future is an international special-interest media company creating over 180 publications, websites and events, with strong portfolios in the technology, games, music, automotive and sports sectors.

The company already enjoys a well established presence in the Australian market through its distribution of market leading titles, as well as an existing portfolio of locally published print mastheads including Xbox 360, T3, Windows Vista, and Guitarist, plus the regional homes for Bike Radar and Cyclingnews both of which sit within our market leading sports portfolio of magazines and websites.

A new and exciting opportunity exists for an Online Sales Manager, with a knowledge and passion for competitive cycling and sport generally, and a thorough understanding of the commercial online environment.

Already in a similar role, you will be looking for the next career move and ready for a new challenge and opportunity. Initially focused on the Australian market, this varied and exciting role focuses on maximising revenue opportunities and relationships.

Interested? Please e-mail for the attention of Karl Penn, include a brief cover letter, CV and salary expectations. All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence.

Applications to be received by 2nd September. (No agencies please. Thank you)

(Additional editorial assistance provided by Susan Westemeyer, Tomas Nilsson and Monika Prell.)

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