What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

While the Tour presentation is hardly even packed up, it’s the official announcement of the Giro route this weekend. We’ve got the latest rumours here in The Trash as well as transfers, sponsorship changes and renewals and a whole host of other important (almost) offseason offerings.

Countdown To Giro Presentation
Last year we had to wait until December to get our official route details of the Centenary Giro, but with the Route for next year’s being presented this Saturday in Milan, we will have that little bit longer to plan the 101st birthday party for La Corsa Rosa.

With the “ink” hardly dry on Ed Hood’s final Paris report and The Pez Team Guide to Tour de France 2010 – Week One still sitting up top on the home page, it almost seems crazy to be shifting our attention to another Grand Tour already. But, here we go!

Of course the big news, which isn’t really new news (ok so that doesn’t really make sense, but stay with me) is the race start in the Netherlands. With so much forward planning and expense going into an “Outside Italy” start, the details of that particular part of the route have been know for quite some time.

Slightly different to the Vuelta’s recent Holland Hi-Jinks (and before you write, I’m aware that Holland and The Netherlands are not the same thing), the Giro is up north for a little bit less time, meaning a rest day and transfer is not really practical at that early point of the race. Based on various sources, (including TuttoSport, which is the main opposition here in Italy to the RCS owned Gazzetta dello Sport), the teams will finish the stage in Middelburg on Monday May 3 and then be back in Italy for the TTT the next day in Cuneo.

Thanks to Pascal Orsini and his Cyclingmodel Blog , the current thinking on the unofficial route is reproduced below. While some stage starts/finishes are unclear at this time, there are a few things that are (maybe?) certain that will put a different face on the 2010 edition of Giro.

Pez’s trueItalian man Ale Federico (whose blood, it is rumoured, runs pink), has been keeping an eye on the local press and tells us that Milan looks set to miss out on not just the finish next year, but a visit from the race altogether.

“Probably the Giro really won’t pass through Milan. True. There’s disagreement between RCS and Milan city council about this fact and it might even see Milan Sanremo change name to “La Sanremo” and start from Pavia (or Voghera) next year.”

“The Mortirolo comes back and looks like we will have also Gavia (from Bormio) and Tonale (finish at top). We should have Terminillo and again Plan de Corones ITT. The Zoncolan will be in again (but after a long, difficult race).” Looking at the predicted course outline below, much of that climbing action is packed into the final half of the race (and also travels from Ale’s doorstep across to mine!).

One of the interesting highlights (ha, Tour de France. Keep your Paris –Roubaix stones) is the inclusion of the gravel roads made famous by L’Eroica. These will come on the seventh stage leading to Sienna.

Because we can’t say for sure exactly what the route will be, PEZ are sending another member of our Sqaudra Azzura, Corey Sar Fox along to Milan this weekend.

Keep it dialed to Pez for all of the official news of the course, but until then, check out what we think will be a very close approximation of what we will all be up to in May next year.

Unofficial Route Giro 2010
Saturday 8 May, Stage, Stage 1, Amsterdam to Amsterdam ITT
Sunday 9 May, Stage 2 Amsterdam Utrecht
Monday 10 May, Stage 3 Amsterdam Middelburg
Tuesday 11 May, Stage 4 Cuneo to Cuneo TTT
Wednesday 12 May, Stage 5 Fossano to Novi Ligure
Thursday 13 May, Stage 6 Fidenza to Marina di Carrara
Friday 14 May, Stage 7 Carrara to Chiancano ou Siena
Saturday 15 May, Stage 8 Chiancano to Terminillo Monte Terminillo
Sunday 16 May, Stage 9 Rieti to Cava de Tirreni ??
Monday 17 May, Rest Day
Tuesday 18 May, Stage 10 Avellino to Bitonto
Wednesday 19 May, Stage 11 Campomarino to L’Aquila
Thursday 20 May, Stage 12 L’Aquila to Porto Recanati
Friday 21 May, Stage 13 Porto Recanati to Cesenatico Cittto di Pantani
Saturday 22 May, Stage 14 Ferrara to Asolo Monte Grappa
Sunday 23 May, Stage 15 Mestre to Monte Zocolan
Monday 24 May, Rest Day
Tuesday 25 May, Stage 16 San Vigilio di Marebbe to Plan de corones ITT
Wednesday 26 May, Stage 17 Brunico to Pejo
Thursday 27 May, Stage 18 Levico Terme to Brescia
Friday 28 May, Stage 19 Brescia to Aprica Passo del Mortirolo
Saturday 29 May, Stage 20 Bormio to Passo Tonale Passo del Gavia, Tonale
Sunday 30 May, Stage 21 Soave to Verona ITT

A Rewarding Time Of Year
You really know the European road season is over when the awards ceremonies start up. Last week was a double header with Het Nieusbladt organising the Flandrienawards in Belgium and then the Gran Gala Ciclistico Internazionale recognising the world’s best at a ceremony in Italy.

While his end of season run made him the Belgian to stick in everybody’s mind when it came to voting, the big winner on the night, Philippe Gilbert, is from Wallonia and so isn’t technically a Flandrien.

With the 27 year old Silence Lotto rider having his best season to date (collecting Paris-Tours, Lombardia, a stage win in the Giro, the overall at the Ster Elektrotoer, the Coppa Sabatini and Piemonte) it was probably not a difficult decision for those voting to put him ahead of Tom Boonen and Stijn Devolder.

The ceremony also recognised the efforts of home-grown riders Kris Boeckmans (Under 23), Kevin De Jonghe (Juniors) and Martijn Degreve (sub-juniors), they was also an award for the best international rider of the season. With 25 wins for the year including Milan-Sanremo and 10 Grand Tour stage wins, it was no surprise that Mark Cavendish was the man to come out on top.

“It’s a tremendous honour to get this award,” Cavendish said afterwards, “something really important to me. You just look at the names of the people who’ve received this prize before, like Fabian Cancellara last year, and you can see how special it really is. As a kid I would watch Belgian bike races for hours on tv, and I love racing there now because the Belgians have a real appreciation for cycling and cyclists. But I could never have dreamed of getting an award like this one day, and it’s a real honour to receive it”.

Evans Calls For Reinforcements
A Vuelta performance that was far above what the actual result showed and a super win at the recent world championships, have allowed Cadel Evans to reassert his position as “Top Dog” in Omega Pharma Lotto’s Grand Tour team.

The Australian has been instrumental in the team’s signing of climber Daniel Moreno, from Caisse d’Epargne, with the Spaniard to take on the role of Evans’ right hand man in the high mountains.

Lotto team manager Marc Sergeant told Gazet van Antwerpen that Evans himself asked Moreno if he had a contract for 2010, and when he said ‘No’, put his name forward to the Omega Pharma management.

Sergeant also said in the interview that Moreno was not the final signing for the squad for next year, with the Belgian ProTour squad looking to strengthen their classics line up as well. Vacansoleil’s Gerben Lцwik and Johnny Hoogerland are two riders being linked to Sergeant’s team, however Hoogerland is still under contract with the Dutch outfit for 2010. He told NOS that he would probably stay with Vacansoleil, but after his fifth place in Lombardia, to follow on from his 12 place in the Vuelta, that there were a few teams interested. (Better get your cheque books out!)

Moving the other way is soon to be former Lotto rider Gorik Gardeyn. After two big crashes in 2009 and missing a lot of the road season, the Belgian will be in the blue and yellow of Vacansoleil next year.

Ljungqvist Joins Team Sky
Team Sky’s senior Sports Director, Scott Sunderland told PEZ back in August that finding the right sports directors for the team had been “one of the most strenuous tasks to date.” The Team was still looking at possibilities for their four full time directors who also needed to fit with Team Sky’s hiring policy of ‘no doping history’. It was announced earlier this month that retiring QuickStep rider Steven De Jongh was stepping off the bike and into a Sky car and then yesterday came the official appointment of Swede Marcus Ljungqvist to a similar position.

The 34 year old Ljungqvist retired after riding Paris-Tours for Saxo Bank (where he had been since 2006) after racing as a professional for 12 years.

“I’m very excited about my new career move,” said Ljungqvist. “Just a couple of weeks ago I was still a rider and had some tough decisions to make about my future. Then this opportunity came along and I immediately thought ‘yes!’ This is a fantastic possibility for me and I can’t wait to be a part of one of the most exciting things ever to happen in professional cycling.”

We grabbed a quick word with Sunderland as he was heading out the door to make his way to Italy for a series of meetings ahead of Saturday’s Giro presentation. He told Pez that even before the two worked together (Sunderland as a director and Ljungqvist as a rider) at CSC, the two raced together at the Danish Fakta team back in 2001.

“Marcus and I have been friends ever since our Fakta days and following that I was one of his team directors during our years at Team CSC.” Sunderland said that when it came to putting together a team of Sports Directors, the Swede was one of the riders he had in mind right from the early days of the Team Sky concept.

“While we were looking for the right people to form our team of Sports Directors, [Team Principal] Dave Brailsford recognised Marcus’ skills and he decided to bring him on board as DS,” Sunderland said. “Just like Steven [De Jongh], Marcus knows the world of cycling from every angle and the experience of both these recently retired riders will definitely be of benefit to the riders and other members of staff who make up Team Sky.”

The British registered ProTour team have so far only named 16 of their 25 riders for next season.

Garmin Plots Course for 2013
The future of Team Garmin Slipstream is secure with the announcement this week that the satellite navigation company will continue to back the cycling team until the end of 2013.

“The success of the team spans the globe and surpassed our expectations for the first year and a half of our title sponsorship, bringing Garmin’s reputation for quality, commitment, performance and productivity into countless households in Europe, North America, Asia and Australia,” said Jon Cassat, Garmin’s vice president of communications.

“Garmin’s commitment to innovation and integrity mirrors our own, and knowing that we have their partnership for the next four years means that we can continue to develop the next generation of cycling champions,” Team director and CEO of Slipstream Sports, Jonathan Vaughters said of the contract extension. “ We can continue to make technological innovations that will give our riders a competitive advantage on the road. And off the road, we can continue to help better the sport.”

Milram Keeps On Signing
When it comes to getting guaranteed starts in races in 2010, Team MILRAMM may be atthe danger end of the world rankings, but the team is continuing to build their roster after what was eventually a strong finish to 2009.

“With his charisma and his potential he will be able to gain a lot of respect within the peloton, similar for example to Christian Knees. With his qualities as a cyclist he will be especially helpful for Gerald Ciolek in the sprint preparation between 800 and 500 meters,” said Team manager, Gerry van Gerwen.

Kluge joins the current German U23 champion Dominik Nerz, Luke Roberts (Aus) and Belgian pair Roy Sentjens and Wim De Vocht as the new faces on the squad. Meanwhile while Artur Gajek becomes the fifth rider from the team, who was out of contract at the end of 2009, to re-sign.

The two Belgian new recruits Wim De Vocht and especially Roy Sentjens will be supporting the German ProTour racing team at the appearances in spring. They are both very familiar with the classics through Belgium, the Netherlands, the North of France and above all going over cobblestone, and they will complete the group of MILRAM cyclists around Niki Terpstra, Servais Knaven, Markus Eichler and Gerald Ciolek.

As well as the spring season, another focus point of the team management of the only German ProTour racing team for new signings was the sprint preparation. Thanks to the new signings Luke Roberts and Roger Kluge, there will be further options to put captain Gerald Ciolek into the ideal position next season. In addition, the team was joined by the very talented all-rounder Dominik Nerz, who is the current German U23 champion and who can be expected to surprise now and again.

The Team MILRAM line-up for season 2010:
Gerald Ciolek (GER), Wim De Vocht (BEL), Markus Eichler (GER), Robert Fцrster (GER), Markus Fothen (GER), Thomas Fothen (GER), Johannes Frцhlinger (GER), Artur Gajek (GER), Linus Gerdemann (GER), Roger Kluge (GER), Servais Knaven (NED), Christian Knees (GER), Dominik Nerz (GER), Luke Roberts (AUS), Dominik Roels (GER), Thomas Rohregger (AUT), Matthias RuЯ (GER), Bjцrn Schrцder (GER), Roy Sentjens (BEL), Wim Stroetinga (NED), Niki Terpstra (NED), Paul VoЯ (GER), Fabian Wegmann (GER), Peter Wrolich (AUT)

Fuji Off, Foot On, For Servetto
The Fuji-Servetto team have crossed the T’s and dotted the I’s on their paperwork for the UCI and will thanks to a new title sponsor for 2010 and beyond, will be able to remain in the ProTour for next season.

The squad announced yesterday that Swiss corporation FOOTON will take over from bike manufacturer Fuji as the team hits the road next year as FOOTON-SERVETTO. FOOTON are involved in the marketing of health care articles, in particular insoles for shoes to prevent and cure body posture defects.

The team will continue to ride Fuji bikes in 2010 and now that they have the sponsorship money to guarantee their future, they will be announcing their full roster in the coming days.

Moreni To Pay ‘Salary Fine
Italian cyclist Cristian Moreni, who was banned for two years following his positive dope test at the 2007 Tour de France, is set to become the first cyclist to hand over one year’s worth of salary to the UCI as a financial penalty for cheating.

In June of 2007 it was announced by the sport’s governing body that any rider who tested positive would have to pay a fine equivalent to one year of their pay and UCI President Pat McQuaid said that Moreni had approached them about getting the matter cleared up.

“Cristian Moreni came up to our headquarters last week to find an agreement with us to pay his one-year salary fine,” McQuaid said to Reuters.

McQuaid said that Moreni wanted to return to racing and to let his future team know that he had paid the fine. Other riders who were caught out at the same time, including Vinokourov, Rasmussen and Andrey Kashechkin, have appeals before the Court of Arbitration for Sport to try and get the fine overturned.

Race Across the Sky
Race Across the Sky, the documentary covering the 2009 Leadville Trail 100 makes its debut in movie theatres across the US, for one night only, tonight, October 22. Presented by NCM Fathom and Citizen Pictures, Race Across the Sky – Leadville Trail 100 features candid conversations with Lance Armstrong, Chris Carmichael, Dave Wiens, and other elite and amateur cyclists who overcame extreme challenges to compete in the gruelling event.

The documentary will screen in a total of 460 movie theatres tonight at 8:00pm ET, 7:00pm CT, 6:00pm MT and 8:00pm PT (on tape delay).

There will also be a panel discussion broadcast before and after the screening of the documentary, featuring Lance Armstrong, Dave Wiens (6x Leadville 100 winner), Ken Chlouber (Leadville Trail 100 Founder), Travis Brown (Olympian and professional mountain biker), and others.

For more details of the event, a list of theatres where you can catch the screening and also to purchase any remaining tickets, head to www.fathomevents.com .

There is also a trailer for Race Across the Sky, in HD at www.raceacrossthesky.com .

More Games in Spain
There’s some doping news this week out of Spain, and it seems that Moises Duenas has been spilling the beans in an attempt to get his own doping sentences reduced. Several Internet sites have carried the story that originated in Interviu (which was then reported by El Pais) that Duenas dealt with Spanish Doctor Jesus Losa for his doping products. There has been a police investigation underway since last year and a list of names of riders allegedly involved, gathered partly through SMS messages, has been reported.

It’s fifth hand info at best, so I won’t mention the names that were listed, but if it turns out to have any substance, things are going to get messy again in world cycling.

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