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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, October 31, 2008

Edited by Laura Weislo

Landis, ex-Health Net together under OUCH

By Mark Zalewski, North American Editor

Floyd Landis with Dr. Brent Kay after his surgery in 2006
Photo ©: Mitch Friedman
(Click for larger image)

After a lot of speculation, the replacement for Health Net as title sponsor of the four-time top NRC men's team is now official – OUCH Sports Medical Center, based in Temecula, California, will take over the sponsorship of the team run my Momentum Sports Group, to be officially named OUCH presented by Maxxis. As well, it is confirmed that Floyd Landis will join the team following the end of his suspension in January of 2009.

Dr. Brent W. Kay, MD, co-founder and executive director of OUCH Sports Medical Center, is the impetus behind the sponsorship. Dr. Kay is Landis' long-time personal physician, and testified at his USADA arbitration hearing. He is also the doctor who oversaw his hip resurfacing surgeries.

"We are very excited to showcase Floyd's Smith & Nephew hip, to play on the bionic man theme with his return," Dr. Kay told Cyclingnews. "We think it is going to set a precedent about what these joints can do."

As for how the sponsorship came about, as well as combining it with the plan for Landis' return, Dr. Kay said that the pieces just fell into place. "I knew that Health Net was not going to be sponsoring any more, and the opportunity just presented itself, so I jumped on it. I am really excited because I want to help Floyd return and also it is going to help get out message out. We are going to do some seminars next year about joint replacement, not just to the athlete community but also to the general public. "

Dr. Kay is himself an accomplished track cyclist, who attempted to break the world hour record for ages 40-44 in 2006. "I started cycling at age 40; I had done triathlons for twenty years before that, but because of severe arthritis in my shoulder I got into cycling. Shortly after that I met Floyd on a ride near my home."

OUCH is not new to cycling sponsorship, as it was the sponsor of American track star Sarah Hammer for her 2006-2007 season. It also supported the American Women's Track Cycling Fund. Dr. Kay said that currently the plans for a track team are still to be determined.

Gerdemann eager to help German cycling

By Susan Westemeyer in Dortmund, Germany

Linus Gerdemann
Photo ©: High Road Sports
(Click for larger image)

German cycling was given a glimmer of hope with Thursday's announcement that Linus Gerdemann will leave Team Columbia to sign with the German Milram squad. The sport in Germany has had its share of kicks in the teeth in recent years, from Jan Ullrich's alleged connection with Operación Puerto to the recent doping cases of Stefan Schumacher and Bernard Kohl, and Gerdemann felt it was his duty to help.

"Right now it's important to give something back to German cycling,which has given me so much. Right now is not the easiest time in Germany, but it is a challenge that Team Milram and I want to accept," he told Cyclingnews.

The 26-year-old said that it wasn't so important to him to leave Columbia as it was to join a German team. "Columbia is a very, very good team, but I think that I can accomplish some things in Germany. I think that is the wrong impression, that I wanted to leave Columbia, it is an outstanding team that has deserved its successes."

The transfer marked the second time that Gerdemann has gotten out of a contract early to go to a German team. The first time was when he left CSC for T-Mobile in 2005. He gave the same reason then – a desire to ride for a German team.

He denied any bias against non-German teams, saying, "foreign teams are also interesting but at that point in time, Germany is more interesting to me. You should never say never. I can imagine riding for a foreign team at some point."

Gerdemann looked relaxed and confident, his deep tan contrasting with the cold rain outside. "At least its better than the snow at home," he noted. That home, by the way, is not in Germany but in Switzerland.

One of his main priorities, he noted, was "to be open and do all I can to bring back the sport's credibility back. I have shown that I can win races clean. He said that not only is he ready for every control at any time, but also, "if they want to hold my samples and open them in 50 years I have no problem with that."

How does he feel about the return to the peloton of Lance Armstrong or of those who have served doping suspensions, such as Floyd Landis or Ivan Basso? "You really can't blame people for wanting to come back, but it is surely not always in the best interest of cycling for its credibility. We must simply wait and see who rides the Tour next summer."

Gerdemann also criticized the German television for canceling its coverage of next year's Tour de France. The decision is "hard to understand," he admitted. "I think it is an unusual way to fight doping. I think it hits the wrong ones in the fight against doping."

Rumours of possible radio ban not true

By Shane Stokes

Reports on several media outlets that the UCI planned to ban race radios stirred up plenty of discussion on Thursday, but the news turned out to be false. Cyclingnews contacted the UCI's president Pat McQuaid, who was surprised by the rumour. He clarified the matter with his road commission head, Philippe Chevalier, who assured that no ban has been decided for 2009.

"It's not the case. What actually happened is that a working group met in June, with this group including representatives of riders and teams. They had a long discussion and decided that the advantages of radios outweighed the disadvantages, so there would be no change for the moment. The only exception is for juniors and under 23s. Their radios were already banned and they will stay that way," McQuaid said.

Milram presents 2009 squad

By Susan Westemeyer in Dortmund, Germany

Team Milram has continued the transformation which it started this season and is looking forward to a 2009 season as a largely German team with two new German captains, Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek. The team announced its 25-man roster at a press conference Thursday in Dortmund, Germany.

The major steps that the team took were in signing Gerdemann and Ciolek to two-year contracts. Signing Gerdemann turned out to be hard work, according to Milram team manager Gerry van Gerwen. The first talks took place during the Tour de France, and since the German had a contract with Team Columbia through the 2009 season, in the end four contracts were necessary to accomplish the transfer.

The process was slow but the ending "was somewhat faster than planned." It is assumed that van Gerwen had to buy out the contract from Columbia manager Bob Stapleton, but, as he told Cyclingnews, "Under the terms of the agreement, I am not allowed to talk about the details."

Gerdemann's duty will be to ride strong, van Gerwen said. "The whole team must and will support him with all that it has." The main goal will be the Tour de France. "He does not need to win it, but we expect a good result."

Gerdemann and Ciolek will share the captain's duties. "We want to make them the absolute top stars for Milram. There is also Fabian Wegmann, who wins his races and does his work – but these two, Linus Gerdemann and Gerald Ciolek, are the leaders."

He signed the two out of necessity, van Gerwen told Cyclingnews. After the team fired Alessandro Petacchi for doping, it was left without a leader, or, as the Dutchman said, "the team didn't have a head. So we said, let's build a complete new team, and at once."

He couldn't afford to wait and risk another year like 2008 "Our sponsor Milram looked at what it is getting for its investment. It wasn't bad, but it wasn't good, either. So we knew we had to make some immediate changes."

Milram will go with a 25 man roster in 2009, with the majority of the riders (17) being German. In contrast to the team's first year, when it still had an Italian license and 15 Italian riders, it will next year have only one, Luca Barla.

Team Milram for 2009: Italian Luca Barla, Germans Gerald Ciolek, Markus Eichler, Robert Förster, Markus Fothen, Thomas Fothen, Johannes Fröhlinger, Artur Gajek, Linus Gerdemann, Christian Knees, Christian Kux, Martin Müller, Dominik Roels, Matthias Russ, Ronny Scholz, Björn Schröder, Paul Voss and Fabian Wegmann, Dutchmen Servais Knaven, Wim Stroetinga and Niki Terpstra, Slovaks Martin and Peter Velits, and Austrians Thomas Rohregger and Peter Wrolich.

Dan Martin: The next big thing?

Daniel Martin (Garmin-Chipotle)
Photo ©: Graham Watson
(Click for larger image)

Daniel Martin had a superb debut season, taking a number of important results including overall victory in the Route du Sud. He spoke to Cyclingnews' Shane Stokes about his year and his hopes for the future.

For many first year professionals, the start of their paid career is a time of suffering, of teeth-clenching; a period spent making the difficult transition from the world of amateur racing to the altogether more difficult pro scene. A year – or two – of anonymity is often the norm, with the rider then finding their feet and starting to gather results.

It's been altogether different for Daniel Martin. Overall victory in the Route du Sud was the clear highlight of the year, but his showing in other races – a dominant win in the Irish road race championships, fourth in the Tour of Britain, fifth on the toughest stage of the Tour of Denmark, sixth in the Route Adelie, eighth in the GP Internacional CTT Correios de Portugal, tenth in the Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta (where he was also second in best young rider classification) plus various other high placings confirmed his ability.

"I am quite surprised [how well things went], but then again I have got an awesome team around me and it is easy to ride well in this team environment," he said. "I never really expected to be that competitive so early... obviously you train hard and you hope."

Continue to the full interview.

Sevilla re-ups with Rock Racing

Spaniard Oscar Sevilla will stay with the Rock Racing team for another two years, the Spanish daily Marca reported Wednesday. Sevilla, 32, was given a lifeline by the California team this year after he plunged into obscurity after being named in the Operación Puerto doping scandal in 2006.

Sevilla is rumoured by Marca to be joined on the team by Francesco "Paco" Mancebo and Jose Enrique Gutierrez, both of whom were also implicated in the same scandal.

In 2008, Sevilla scored two victories, one at the Commerce Bank Reading Classic in June, and a stage of the Vuelta a Colombia.

Tondo and Vicioso join Andalucía Cajasur

By Monika Prell

Xavier Tondo and Ángel Vicioso will ride for the team Andalucía Cajasur in 2009, the team announced Thursday. The two riders who competed for the Portuguese team LA MSS in 2008, are signings number two and three after the incorporation of Manuel Calvente.

Vicioso was the overall winner of the Vuelta a Asturias, where he also won one stage, and of one stage of the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Madrid. He made the change from a pure sprinter to a good all rounder.

Tondo, the former winner of the Volta a Portugal, won this year's Subida al Naranco. Andalucía Cajasur has not yet completed its 2009 roster. For now, it has eleven riders. Javi Moreno, Francisco José Martínez, José Ruiz, Antonio Piedra, Jesús Rosendo and José Antonio Carrasco already rode for the team in 2008, Tondo, Vicioso and Calvente are new additions They will also have two new professionals, José Luis Roldán and Esteban Plaza from the team's amateur feeder team.

Manchester welcomes conquering Olympians home

By Ben Atkins

Can Team Great Britain repeat its dominance?
Photo ©: John Pierce
(Click for larger image)

After the glamour and prestige of this summer's Olympic Games in Beijing the world's top track riders return to the day to day business of the World Cup. As well as the kudos of World Cup victories, the process now begins for qualification for next spring's World Championships, and many are looking beyond to the next Olympic Games in London in 2012.

It's hard to see the Great Britain team managing to enjoy the same kind of domination as it enjoyed in Beijing – or indeed the World Championships here in March – but the home crowd will be 100% behind the home riders and will expect to be rewarded.

The notable absentee from the home team will be three-time Beijing Olympic champion Chris Hoy. The rest of the Great Britain sprinters will be battling to fill the big Scot's shoes though, and Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar – silver medallists behind Hoy in the sprint and Keirin respectively – will be flying the flag in his absence.

Continue to the full preview.

Toshiba renews with Australian track

The Toshiba Information Systems Division (ISD) renewed its support of Australian track cyclists, Cycling Australia announced Thursday. The partnership will see a continuation of Team Toshiba, the Australian professional track cycling team launched in 2007, and sponsorship of 'The Cyclones' - the National Team. Toshiba's sponsorship provides the opportunity for more of Australia's talented track stars to compete in world class events.

The 2008-09 Team Toshiba will debut at the Melbourne round of the UCI World Cup Classics on November 20 to 22. More than 200 riders from around the world are expected to line up for this round of the Series. 'The Cyclones', as well as contesting the World Cup Classics, will also compete at the World Championships in March 2009 in Pruszkow, Poland.

The Team Toshiba lineup for the coming season includes current team members Anna Meares, Dan Ellis, Scott Sunderland and Zakkari Dempster who will be joined by Kaarle McCulloch, Jason Niblett, Leigh Howard, Glenn O'Shea and Belinda Goss.

"Toshiba has been a fantastic supporter of the team and of me personally over the past year and I am really excited they are staying on board with us," said Meares. "Some fresh new talent is joining the roster of experienced performers and I look forward to us posting some great performances during the season."

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