My name is Elin - A pro cycling lover's reflections

More than ever before

Category: Cycling

Jurgen Van den Broeck will remain with Silence-Lotto (Omega Pharma-Lotto) in 2010. He thinks he will be one of the team's leaders since the departure of Cadel Evans for BMC.

"I feel at home with the team," said Van den Broeck. "They give me the necessary freedom in my preparation. I didn't hesitate in accepting the new proposal put forward to me by the team."

During the 2009 Tour de France the cyclist from Belgium finished at 15th position in the overall classification. He finished way ahead of Cadel Evans, who had a dreadful Tour de France. He also took 7th place overall at the 2008 Giro d'Italia.

"I think my performance in the Tour has proven that I can handle the pressure, even when I was racing in Evans' shadow," he said. "It will require me to take more responsibility and entail more stress, but I'll be 27 soon; it's an appropriate age to take the leadership."

The team has also hired Daniel Moreno (from Caisse d'Epargne), who will most likely be some kind of a leader too.

But I'm not so sure

Category: Cycling

Alejandro Valverde will focus on the Tour de France in 2010 but has not yet decided on whether he will defend his victory in the Vuelta a España.

"Whenever I face a test, I do so with the maximum effort, and the Tour de France is a race with great international prestige. In principle I hope to challenge," he told Spanish news agency EFE.

He knows their is a risk that he won't race at all. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has still not made their decision if they should let him race or suspend him.

 

The Spaniard has been given a two-year suspension by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI), but so far he is only suspended in Italy. He seems to have connection to Operacion Puerto, but he has appealed to CAS and wants to continue his career. The International Cycling Union and the World Anti-doping Agency has also filed a separate case which asks that the ban will be extended worldwide. Two cases, it takes long time to take care of them, but it seems we will find out the final decision sometime in 2010.

 

I can't really say that I would be pleased if he raced the Tour de France and it would be even worse if he won the race (which he won't do). I wasn't happy when he won the 2009 Vuelta a España. He may not dope at this very moment, but he has doped during his career (I am 99,9% sure about it), and it makes me sad that he is still racing.

You should never take more than you give

Category: Cycling

Luke Roberts left Team CSC after the 2007 season. Now he will return to ProTour, racing with Team Milram. His first race will be the Tour Down Under in Adelaide, Australia. Roberts is born and raised in the city, and racing in your home city is often a nice experience. Especially as a professional athlete. All by a sudden people are so nice.

"While it's great to have the international cycling superstars racing in Adelaide, it is always nice to welcome home one of our own," said fellow South Australian and race organiser, Mike Turtur in a press release.

 

Milram will also bring German riders Robert Förster, Björn Schröder, Markus Fothen, Artur Gajek and Thomas Rohregger plus Dutch Wim Stroetinga to the first race of the year.

 

"Milram has selected a team with specialists in all areas," added Turtur. "[Robert] Förster has had stage wins in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España and will be one to watch vying for Jayco Sprint points," he said. "As a strong climber, Björn Schröder will also be riding hard here to secure Škoda King of the Mountain points."


Roberts has spent the past two seasons with German team Kuota Senges. But he has had some difficult years since he was plagued by injuries in 2006. He just hasn't found his old form again. In 2004 he won the gold medal in the team pursuit at the Athens Olympics, so he can be really good. Nobody wins a gold medal in the Olympics unless they are really good, or doped.


In 2008 and 2009 things have start to be slightly better for  the Australian cyclist. He has combined a track and road program and also raced some six-day events, he won the Grenoble Six Day in November 2009.