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February 9, 2010

Armstrong to Ride Milano-Sanremo
America's seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong will race in the cycling's first one-day classic of the season the Milan-Sanremo on March 20 announced the race organizers on Tuesday.
Armstrong - whose main aim this year is to win an eighth Tour de France thereby preventing bitter rival Alberto Contador of back to back successes - finished 125th in last year's edition, the first time he had competed in the Italian race since 2002.
His RadioShack team, however, will not take part in the stage race the Tirreno-Adriatico.

Gerdemann gets his first win of the year
(Photo: Roberto Bettini)

Gerdemann Gets Mallorca Win
German Linus Gerdemann (Milram) snatched glory in the Inca Trophy, the third race in the Challenge de Mallorca. The early pace was fast, covering the first hour of the race at nearly 50 km/h. The continuing attempts to escape were futile with the speed of the peloton absorbing one after another.

It wasn’t until the ascent up the Coll de Soller that a five-man group went clear. The group contained Milram’s Gerdemann, Johannes Fröhlinger and Thomas Rohregger. The break, which also contained Rafael Valls (Footon-Servetto-Fuji) and Manuel Vázquez (Andalucia-CajaSur), quickly got away from the field and crossed the Col de Soller, a second-category climb, with a 1:30 lead.

On the climb of the category-one Puig Major, Valls attacked hard and built up a 30-second lead on the descent. Behind him, Fröhlinger led Gerdemann and Rohregger to the top. Gerdemann then took over and began closing the gap to Valls with Vázquez in tow. Gerdemann and Vázquez joined Valls with less than 3-kilometers to the finish. In the final run for the line, Gerdemann outkicked Valls with Vázquez coming through third.

The fourth race of the Challenge de Mallorca starts in the village of Deia, and features a route of 143-kilometers that is punctuated with four climbs, the last coming only 6-kilometers from the finish.

Ciolek is the latest collarbone victim in Qatar
(Photo: Yuzuru Sunada)

Tour of Qatar Claims Four Collarbones
In just three days the Tour of Qatar has seen three riders break their collarbones and first year professional Kirk Carlsen (Garmin-Transitions) his right scapula. Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Sky) broke his collarbone just one kilometer into stage 2, then Steven Cozza (Garmin-Transitions) did the same later in the stage. In Tuesday’s third stage, German sprinter Gerald Ciolek (Milram) became the latest to crash and break his collarbone.

Ciolek is already on his way back to Germany to consult with doctors to see if surgery is required, while Cozza flew to Belgium for surgery.

Leipheimer will be back looking for another TOC title
(Photo: Ken Conley)

Tour of California Releases Stage Details
The race organizers of the Tour of California have released details for the first two stages of the 2010 edition.

Stage 1: Nevada City to Sacramento
The 2010 Amgen Tour of California will begin with the first-ever visit to the picturesque town of Nevada City, Calif., which will also be celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Nevada City Classic, in which many notable riders got their start. From there the race will head south en route to Sacramento, and will travel through Grass Valley and Old Town in Auburn. Heading out of Auburn, the cyclists will cross over the Auburn-Foresthill Bridge – the tallest bridge in California and the third highest in the U.S. A mostly downhill stage, which will certainly favor the sprinters, will be abruptly interrupted by a grueling climb from the American River to the town of Cool. Sacramento streets will once again see the teams finish with three blistering fast circuits around the State's Capitol building.

Stage 2: Davis to Santa Rosa
The route from Davis to Santa Rosa will provide plenty of scenic settings for both the cyclists and spectators. Beginning in the city of Davis,  the route includes evenly spaced climbs throughout the stage and spectacular views. After 20 miles of flat roads, the riders will meet their first climb up a short, but steep section leading up to the Monticello Dam. This short climb is followed quickly by the difficult “Cardiac Hill”. Another long, flat section along Lake Berryessa will take the riders to their third climb up Howell Mountain Rd., followed by a fast descent into Napa Valley. The race will pass some of the most well known vineyards in Napa Valley along the famous Silverado Trail. After one final climb up the Oakville Grade and a steep descent down Trinity Grade, the cyclists will finish the race in the hometown of “Charlie Brown” and the rest of the beloved “Peanuts” characters – Santa Rosa. In previous years, Santa Rosa fans have set the mark for one of the largest and most enthusiastic crowds of the entire race.

Will there be a Rock Racing team in 2010?
(Photo: Mitchell Clinton)

Sevilla Skeptical of Rock Racing
Whether Oscar Sevilla of Spain and Victor Hugo Pena of Colombia remain with the Rock Racing team for the 2010 season will depend on the U.S. squad receiving a Continental license from the International Cycling Union (UCI).

Both Sevilla and Peña have acknowledged that their contracts with Rock Racing include a clause that would cancel their commitments if the team fails to enter the continental level, the newspaper El Tiempo reported.

"This does not mean we are not signing with Rock Racing. If the team gets the Continental license we will stay otherwise, we agreed that we are allowed to seek other options," said Sevilla.

Despite rumors that a solution is at hand with the fusion of Rock Racing and another team, Sevilla is not optimistic. "I am a little skeptical of everything that has happened. I train every day waiting for news. There is talk of something in Mexico and Murcia, but we have nothing confirmed," he said.
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