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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 13, 2012

Date published:
April 13, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rodriguez, Freire, Valverde to Amstel Gold Race

    Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Katusha Team) on the podium
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 14:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Katusha and Movistar announce strong squads for Ardennes Classics opener

    Both Katusha and Movistar are sending their big guns to the Amstel Gold Race, the first major race of the Ardennes Classics. Joaquim Rodriguez, Oscar Freire, and Alejandro Valverde will all look to emulate last year's winner Philippe Gilbert.

    Rodriguez finished second to Gilbert in 2011. “This season, Rodriguez will try again to win this Classic, leading Katusha Team together with Oscar Freire,” the team said. Rodriguez has three wins this season, including two stages at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, where he finished second overall. Freire, most recently second in the Brabantse Pijl, has two wins on the year.

    Movistar made no secret of its hopes for the race, calling it “one of the longest-awaited moments of Movistar Team's 2012 season”. The team will be led by Valverde, “already winner of the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège”.  Giovanni Visconti and Jose Joaquin Rojas will play the joker's role at the Dutch race.

    Katusha squad for Amstel Gold Race: Xavier Florencio, Oscar Freire, Alberto Losada, Daniel Moreno, Luca Paolini, Joaquim Rodriguez, Alberto Vicioso, Eduard Vorganov

    Movistar squad for Amstel Gold Race:  Alejandro Valverde, Giovanni Visconti, Jose Joaquin Rojas,  Ángel Madrazo, Pablo Lastras, Imanol Erviti, Rui Costa and Vasil Kiryienka

  • Jerome Gilbert signs with Accent.Jobs-Willems Veranda's

    Jerome Gilbert signed a contract to ride for Accent.Jobs – Willems Veranda’s
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 16:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Philippe's younger brother joins the Professional Continental ranks

    Jerome Gilbert, younger brother of Philippe Gilbert, has signed with the Belgian Professional Continental team Accent.Jobs-Willems Veranda's for the rest of this year. He is expected to make his debut with the team at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

    In fact, the two Gilbert brothers did a recon ride on the Liege-Bastogne-Liege course on Thursday morning.

    Gilbert, 28, had originally signed to ride with the Belgian-Algerian Continental-ranked team Geofco-Ville d'Alger, but was not able to do so due to administrative problems. He then signed with the Continental-ranked Willems Veranda's-CC Chevigny.

    Team manager Thierry Eeckman said that they had wanted to sign Gilbert earlier in the year, but “we already had 18 riders and our budget was full,” he told the Belga news agency. “We now have more funding and are happy to sign Philippe's younger brother.  Jerome is obviously important for publicity purposes, but also strengthens us in sporting terms. 

    “It is intended that he will have the role of domestique and 'jack of all trades'.”

    The team hopes to have him at the start in Liege on Sunday, April 22. “We will file the necessary papers with the UCI today.  I hope that everything moves quickly enough in Switzerland so that Jerome can wear our jersey in action during La Doyenne.”

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep doctor summoned to Mantova hearing

    The Mantova doping investigations are gathering pace
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 17:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Jose Ibarguren Taus to appear in court in July

    According to reports in La Gazzetta Dello Sport, Dr Jose Ibarguren Taus, one of five physicians working this year's Omega Pharma-QuickStep team- has been summoned to an Italian hearing this July to answer questions over his alleged involvement in the Mantova doping scandal.

    Ibarguren has a long history in the sport, having worked in the past with Omega Pharma-Lotto, Fuji-Servetto/Saunier Duval and other professional teams dating back to Festina.

    The Spaniard from the Basque Country faces charges relating to his involvement with Italian pharmacist Guido Nigrelli, who is suspected of providing products used to dope Fuji-Servetto riders under Ibarguren Taus' care. The Italian newspaper has printed a transcript that is said to relate to a conversation between the two men, which suggests that Ibarguren Taus asked to be provided with substances to use on his riders.

    According to the newspaper, the court summons states that the two men "between them procured, administered or in any case favoured the use of substances not justified by pathological condition, towards the ends of altering the performances of athletes on the Fuji-Servetto professional cycling team, or otherwise to modify the ant-doping controls by the use of pharmaceuticals, and among these, substances containing testosterone: in Mariana Mantova and elsewhere up to the end of 30 April 2009."

    In total the far-reaching case has named some 32 suspects including big-name riders Alessandro Ballan and Damiano Cunego, who were both riding for Lampre-ISD at the time.

    Ibarguren Taus and Nigrelli are due to appear at the hearing on July 13.

  • Busche, Bausch featured on cereal box

    The back of the box gives training tips and has a photo of Dotsie Bausch
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 20:22 BST
    Cycling News

    USA Cycling creates first cycling box since Armstrong's Wheaties

    For the first time since Lance Armstrong appeared a Wheaties box in 1999, the Post brand breakfast cereal has a cycling-themed box, thanks to USA Cycling. Appearing on the front cover of upcoming Grape-Nuts boxes is a small image of US Pro champion Matthew Busche, and on the back is Dotsie Bausch of the women's team pursuit squad and the elite men's sprint finish of the 2011 UCI world championships.

    More than 7.5 million boxes will be produced and will appear on store shelves at the end of April ahead of the USA's National Bike Month in May.

    USA Cycling partnered with Post to create the design, which offers tips for the general public on getting started in cycling, training and how to find a club.

    Grape-Nuts is a sponsor of USA Cycling for 2012, and had a presence at the national championship events in the past year. The box was another aspect of the marketing, according to USA Cycling President and CEO Steve Johnson. "This will add to the ever increasing high profile of cycling in the US and sends a message of health and wellness that is associated with both Grape-Nuts and cycling."

    Busche said he was happy to be a part of the campaign. "I hope that together we can promote USA Cycling and increase interest in the sport of cycling throughout the U.S. and the world," he said.

  • Vanmarcke out of Amstel Gold Race

    Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 22:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Howes to replace Belgian after knee injury

    Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Sep Vanmarcke will miss out on his first participation in the Amtsel Gold Race after a crash in GP de Denain left him with an injured knee.

    Alex Howes will replace Vanmarcke in the team's roster, Garmin-Barracuda's Allan Peiper confirmed to Cyclingnews.

    "Sep crashed in Denain in the second last lap and landed on his knee. He made it back to the peloton but he will need some days off to recover and we want him to focus on that," Peiper said.

    "We have added Alex Howes to the roster, who finished a fine 6th in the Brabantse Pijl yesterday. We still have a strong team for Amstel with Dan Martin and Ryder Hesjedal along with Johan Vansummeren coming off a strong ride in Paris-Roubaix, Fabian Wegmann and the Dutch riders Thomas Dekker and the Kreder brothers."

    Vanmarcke has been Garmin-Barracuda's revelation this spring. The 23-year-old Belgian confirmed his promise to the world when he out-sprinted Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) to win the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad.

    Vanmarcke previously placed second in Gent-Wevelgem in 2010, and last year narrowly missed the podium in the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - Harelbeke, placing fourth. He was fifth in this year's edition.

  • Gerrans doubts he'll be a marked man for Amstel Gold

    Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) on the podium
    Article published:
    April 12, 2012, 23:45 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    GreenEdge leader chasing his next targets, the Ardennes Classics

    Simon Gerrans heads into Sunday's Amstel Gold Race as one of the favourites, but the GreenEdge rider is unconcerned about being marked out of the 256.5 kilometre Dutch classic.

    Gerrans has already won two WorldTour events in 2012, kicking off the season by taking victory in the Santos Tour Down Under for the second time, and then outkicking Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) at Milan-San Remo.

    Having recorded a seventh (2009) and then third place last season, it's no surprise that the 31-year-old has made his ambitions clear about Amstel Gold Race as he bids to become only the second Australian to win the event, following his mentor, Phil Anderson (1983). Gerrans will then sit out Flèche Wallone in order to be fresh for Liège-Bastogne-Liège where he's finished 12th the last two years after finishing sixth in 2009.

    "We have a really competitive team at the Ardennes but we're by no means the favourites," Gerrans told Cyclingnews. "There's a couple of teams there that are really powerhouse teams that have several leaders."

    The Milan-San Remo winner will lead GreenEdge on Sunday, racing alongside compatriots Matt Wilson, Wes Sulzberger, Simon Clarke, Vuelta Ciclista a Pais Vasco stage winner Daryl Impey, Volta Ciclista a Catalunya winner Michael Albasini and Jens Mouris – but Gerrans doesn't believe the team will be viewed as a major threat.

    "We can sort of go away, do our race quietly and at the end of the day I think we'll be right up there and amongst the results," he mused. "I...

  • More details emerge from Tony Martin's accident

    German time trial champion Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) finished 9 seconds off the pace in 35th place.
    Article published:
    April 13, 2012, 8:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Accident occurred close from home

    Tony Martin was only three kilometres away from home at the end of his training ride when he was hit by a car earlier this week. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider doesn't know exactly what happened, but he ended up in hospital with “the left half of my face totally smashed.”

    He has so far been diagnosed with a fractured cheekbone, jaw and eye socket. “My left eye is bloodshot and swollen completely shut,” he wrote on his personal website. “My left arm hurts and a few ribs are involved, too.”

    As is so often the case, he doesn't remember the crash itself, noting that he was unconscious “for about 15 minutes. All I know is that I was going about 35 to 40 km/h on a slightly descending bike path when probably a woman in a car crossed the path. Then the lights went out.”

    He was taken to the local hospital, where he stayed overnight before being transferred to the University Clinic in Zürich. “Here are the necessary specialists, who can put me back together again.”

    He would still rather be at home, though. “Actually I am doing quite well. My girlfriend is taking care of me here. My mother and brother have arrived from Frankfurt. I am being taken care of in the best way.”

    Martin summed up by adding that he was only three kilometres away from home. “Actually I had the day as good as finished.  Bothersome, but it can happen any time and anywhere.”

  • Dekker to ride Giro d'Italia

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    April 13, 2012, 10:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Hopes for slot in Garmin-Barracuda's Tour de France squad

    Thomas Dekker will return to the Giro d'Italia this year, seven years since he first rode it. The Garmin-Barracuda rider hope to use it to qualify for a place on the Tour de France squad.

    The 2005 Giro is one of only two grand tours to date for Dekker, and he finished 75th. He also rode the Tour de France in 2007. Dekker was to ride the Tour de France for Silence-Lotto in 2009, but was removed from the squad only days before the race started when it was announced that he had tested positive for EPO in December 2007.

    “One of my goals this year is to ride the Tour,” he told “To properly prepare for that, I need the Giro.  It is good that I can start.”

    Dekker rode for the Continental-ranked Chipotle Development Team as of August 1, 2011, after his two-year ban ended. He then moved up to the WorldTour team this year.

    He took his first individual win since 2007 last week when he won the final stage of the Circuit de la Sarthe. The 27-year-old will ride the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.