What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

It’s Thursday morning so it must be EuroTrash time! Lots of people in the news this week: Bobby J has a new job at Sky, Stybar is still winning all the cyclo-cross races and there is movement in the Contador case. The Tour of Beijing hits the big time and Shane meets the Queen! Yip! Another mixed bag of Trash!

Race Results:
Cyclo-Cross Round-Up
Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea) has won every race, well seven in a row, until he raced at home in a Czech race at the end of October. This didn’t last long, as soon as he returned to Belgium he won the Super prestige in Zonhoven which keeps him well at the top of the riders rankings. Normally Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Niels Albert (BKCP) would be nearer the head of things, but they are sitting in 6th and 7th place.

Cyclo-Cross Elite Men’s Ranking
1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Telenet-Fidea 780 pts.
2. Francis Mourey (Fra) FDJ 472 pts.
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Telenet-Fidea 470 pts.
4. Jeremy Powers (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 464 pts.
5. Timothy Johnson (USA) Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com 460 pts.
6. Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet 450 pts.
7. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus 442 pts.
8. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Revor 337 pts.
9. Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant Off Road 336 pts.
10. Ryan Trebon (USA) Kona 310 pts.

Transfer News:
Kvist off Quick-Step
Danish rider Thomas Vedel Kvist is leaving the Quick-Step team to ride for the more modest home team; Glud & Marstrand. He had been a very promising young rider, performing well in Belgium, but he hasn’t improved due to a bad crash. The Dane is still young so he has time to come back to the top level in the future.

Liberty for Liberty Seguros Riders!
Portuguese cycling has taken a knock as Liberty Seguros have decided not to sponsor a Pro team next season, after being involved with different teams as main and sub-sponsors for many years. This leaves ten riders without a contract at a tricky time of year as many teams have filled their rosters. Team manager; Manuel Correia said he would try to find a replacement sponsor, but was not hopeful.

New Job for Bobby
Bobby Julich is joining Team Sky as a coach for next season. The experienced American will be helping the riders with training, specialising in the time trial. The 38 year old was a professional for 16 years and finished 3rd in the Tour de France in 1998 and had many top results before retiring and coaching with Saxo Bank.

Guldhammer back to Denmark
A similar story to Thomas Vedel Kvist, Rasmus Guldhammer is leaving HTC-Columbia after one year, which team he will ride for is unknown at the moment, but he too is young enough for a second start at the big time.

Dope News:
Proceedings Start Against Contador
The UCI have requested that the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) must start proceedings on the Alberto Contador drug case and it has to be completed within a month. It has been four months since the sample was taken, during the Tour de France, which contained small traces of Clenbuterol. The RFEC have to decide if there is a case against Contador and if there is then suspend him. If the rider or the UCI and/or WADA don’t like the outcome they can take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Two or more months for the decision
In the Wednesday edition of Spanish sports paper AS the RFEC have stated that the decision will not be known “before two months,” and adds that “under Spanish anti-doping rules, which is what will be followed; the authorised period is three months.” So don’t hold your breath!

Support from Andy
Andy Schleck has voiced his support for Alberto Contador in the Dutch newspaper; De Telegraaf. He hopes for a quick decision and has said; “for me, Contador will always remain the winner of the 2010 Tour.”

More support from Spanish Federation President
RFEC President Juan Carlos Castaсo has stated “personally, I hope this case will turn in favour of the rider for numerous reasons.” In an interview in the Spanish sports paper Marca “Anything can happen, including the closure of the file, if it turns out that there is no reason to punish the rider. The outcome can therefore range from an amnesty, pure and simple, to a two year suspension.” As to when we might know the outcome, he said “It could be settled much faster, that depends on the behavior of the different parties.” Much of course depends on how the UCI and WADA view the outcome of the RFEC’s decision. The Contador case is slightly less complicated than the Valverde case, but could take a long time to come to its final outcome.

French Against Night Testing
The French Pro Riders Union is against the proposed night time testing during races. Observers from WADA have recommended that the night tests would be an improvement. “While reaffirming our agreement with anti-doping policy, we also ask you to leave us in peace a little, if only to sleep at night.” Said the president of the French Pro Riders Union; Pascal Chanteur.

No Giro d’Italia for Cadel
“I’m not going to the Giro d’Italia so I can focus on being at my best for the Tour de France in July.” Cadel Evans told newspaper The Australian. He wants to concentrate on the Tour de France this year, the profile of the Giro looks hard to the Australian, so he will give it a miss this year. Last year he was 5th in Italy and felt that he had not recovered enough before the Tour. “My main focus for the year ahead will be the Tour de France. My whole season will be geared to that,” he added. Also to this end, he will start his season later missing his home race, the Tour Down Under and not start his season till March with the Tirreno-Adriatico.

UCI Calendar for 2011
The UCI have released the World Tour calendar for next season, thankfully it brings together the old Historical calendar so that the three Grand Tours are back in along with all the ASO events. Most of the season is the same, but the back end has changed slightly with La Vuelta a Espaсa being a week earlier. Good to see all the top races together on the calendar again. New event is the Tour of Beijing which slots in before the Tour of Lombardia and after the two Canadian races, but is very close to the World Champs and Paris-Tours.

The UCI World Tour 2011
18-23 January: Tour Down Under
6th-13th March: Paris-Nice.
9th-15th March: Tirreno-Adriatico.
19th March: Milano-Sanremo.
21st-27th March: Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.
27th March: Gent-Wevelgem.
3rd April: Ronde van Vlaanderen.
4th-09th April: Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco.
10th April: Paris-Roubaix .
17th April: Amstel Gold Race.
20th April: La Fleche Wallonne .
24th April: Liege-Bastogne-Liege .
26th April-1st May: Tour de Romandie.
7th-29th May: Giro d’Italia .
5th-12th June: Criterium du Dauphine Libere.
11th-19th June: Tour de Suisse.
2nd-24th July: Tour de France .
30th July: Clasica San Sebastian.
31st July-6th August: Tour de Pologne.
8th-14th August: Eneco Tour.
20th August-11th September: Vuelta a Espaсa.
21th August: Vattenfall Cyclassics.
28th August: GP Ouest France-Plouay.
9th September: GP Cycliste de Quebec.
11th September: GP Cycliste de Montreal.
5th-11th October: Tour of Beijing.
15th October: Giro di Lombardia.

Geraint Thomas leads Team Sky at next Revolution
Olympic Team Pursuit Champion Geraint Thomas will lead Team Sky at the next Revolution on 20th November. Thomas will be joined by Sky teammates Ben Swift and Pete Kennaugh creating a formidable endurance line up for the Championship leaders.

After an impressive debut season for Sky on the road, Thomas is now looking forward to racing for the team on the track.

“I’m looking forward to getting on the track and racing as Team Sky at Revolution,” he commented. “It’s great that the event has evolved and I think the team idea is good. It will change the way we approach the racing so we’ll all be focused on keeping Sky at the top of the table.”

Team Sky lead the Championship following an impressive sprint display by Chris Hoy at the first event on 23rd October. With the competition now shifting towards the endurance racing the arrival of Sky’s endurance stars will boost the team’s chances of consolidating their lead.

They will face tough competition as several of the other teams will be boosted by the inclusion of a six day star rider with Michael Morkov, Alex Rasmussen, Franco Marvulli, Leif Lampater, Christian Grassmann and Sebastian Donadio joining the competition. Thomas, however, is not intimidated.

“There are some great European guys coming over for the occasion,” conceded Thomas, “but I’m just going to enjoy it. Revolution will be a good way for me to get back in the track mindset against some top riders. I’m already thinking ahead to the World Cup in February and this will help me figure out where my form is now, and where it needs to be.”

Tickets for Revolution 30 on November 20th are available on: www.cyclingrevolution.com or by calling 0843 208 1840.

Brдndle Looks to jump a step further in 2011
Matthias Brдndle was one of the symbol riders in 2010’s FOOTON-SERVETTO-FUJI, a young, talented rider with a unique opportunity to take part in the most important races in the world aged just 20. The Austrian from Honehems, winner of the national GP Judendorf-Strassengel and 8th overall in the Tour de Langkawi, responds with illusion and willingness to get knowledge towards the big challenge of riding alongside top competitors in his new Geox-TMC outfit in 2011. ‘Mдtte’ also points to a likely Tour de France dйbut as the biggest dream for the upcoming season, which he has already started off to build up.

“For me, I think it was a good start into the professional world of cycling,” said Brдndle when asked about his 2010 performance. “I learned a lot about racing and had some ups and downs. My personal biggest goal, which I achieved, was coming into the Giro and finish it, as the youngest guy into the peloton. A few years ago, I watched all these races on the television, and now I’m part of them. On the other hand, I think I have time to grow up, and also the team believes in me. That’s very important in every partnership I think,” commented on the team’s support.

As a great timetriallist and a solid climber, Brдndle has huge chances to start bringing out good results in all kinds of stage races as of next year. However, the tall FOOTON-SERVETTO-FUJI youngster proves to be conscious and calm: “For me, it is not important to shine right from now. I know that, with 20 years old -he’ll be turning 21 in December-, I cannot have such a high level and try to win or do well in big races. It is more important to learn how the races work in order to make it into the results in the future if you’re strong enough. For next year, my plan is to race one level higher, and maybe it is enough for taking one or some victories.”

The responsibility to wear the same jersey as some of the names that have made history in recent times in cycling is taken positively by Brдndle: “It will be a new way of riding in every race I think. I have never been in the same team with such big riders like Menchov or Sastre, so I think it will be a matter of learning a new part of cycling. I’m proud to be part of it and hope to make a good job. We will see how many chances I have to ride for my personal goals, but, at the right moment, in good shape… I think a lot of good things can happen. For me it is not important which or how many races I do: the way I race them is the only important thing. I don’t know if it will be possible to race the Tour next year, but I’ll work hard for my big dream”, the Austrian concluded.

Downing’s Out of the Saddle Evening is Huge Success for Charity
The Downing brothers hosted a fantastic evening of charity fundraising for the Danny Porter Foundation at Sitwell Park Golf Club in Rotherham on Saturday 6th November.

Team Sky’s Russell Downing and Rapha Condor Sharp’s Dean Downing joined host David Harmon in a night of story telling, raffles and charity auctions that entertained 180 guests. That morning, Russell and Dean also accompanied 50 others in a popular but chilly ride around the fantastic South Yorkshire roads.

Spirits were high as money rolled in during the evening for the Danny Porter Foundation, which raises money to support cancer and neuro care.

In total, the auction raised over Ј4000 for the charity. Items included a signed Alberto Contador yellow jersey, a Team Sky jersey signed by the team, Mark Cavendish’s HTC-Columbia kit, a limited edition signed Dean Downing Bike Pure print, Rapha Condor Sharp clothing as well as a host of hard-to-get items sourced by the Downing’s professional contacts.

The raffle also proved popular that night, with the top prize being a top of the range LCD TV, donated by Sharp.

“What a night! It was an absolutely fantastic evening out, everyone was really enjoying themselves,” said Dean Downing.

The Danny Porter Foundation will provide donations and grants to other charities providing research, support, care and equipment to people suffering from cancer and/or requiring neurological surgery.

Through this support they hope to be able to help with the journey that cancer patients have to undergo and also advance the quest to cure cancer and also to help keep up with the very latest advances in neurological care.

Dean Downing continued: “It’s a really important cause and we decided to support a local charity this year, the messages sent out were really touching and I think that reflected with people putting their hands in their pockets.”

UK Pros Kristian House, Malcolm Elliott, Adam Blythe, Lizzie Armitstead, Chris Walker, Graham Briggs and Tom Murray and Rapha Condor Sharp’s DS John Herety were present enjoying themselves in the off-season.

More information on the Danny Porter Foundation, as well as event information is available from: www.dannyporterfoundation.org.

Shane gets his OBE
Shane Sutton, one of the GB coaches who has helped the National squad to its great successes on the track and brought many British road riders to the fore, received his OBE (Order of the British Empire) from the Queen on Wednesday. The Australian had a successful career of his own riding in Australia and Britain and also started in the Tour de France for the ANC team. After he hung up his wheels he turned to coaching with many successes at all levels. A good guy with a strong character and a well deserved recipient of the honour.

Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter.

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