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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 21, 2012

Date published:
December 21, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Fränk Schleck verdict due on January 30

    Press officer Philippe Maertens guides Frank Schleck through the wilderness.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 13:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Nissan reported to withdraw as co-sponsor of RadioShack team

    The Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency will not deliver its verdict on Fränk Schleck’s positive test for Xipamide during the Tour de France until January 30, according to a report in Le Quotidien.

    Schleck made his third appearance before the ALAD in Luxembourg on Wednesday night, accompanied by his legal team of Albert Rodesch and Antonio Rigozzi. The RadioShack-Nissan rider had previously been heard by the ALAD on August 29 and October 15.

    Prior to Wednesday’s two-hour hearing, Schleck’s defence had presented a 20-page memorandum in response to similar documents from the UCI and ALAD.

    Schleck has not raced since abandoning the Tour de France on learning of his positive test. The Luxembourger has denied knowingly using the diuretic Xipamide and claimed in July that he would open legal proceedings to demonstrate that he had been spiked.

    Emerging from Wednesday evening’s hearing, Schleck looked to strike an optimistic note. “I’m happy to have explained myself once again before the relevant authorities. I’m confident because I haven’t done anything wrong,” he told reporters. “The case is ongoing. That’s all I can say.”

    Meanwhile, Le Quotidien also reports that Nissan is set to withdraw as one of the RadioShack-Nissan team’s title sponsors at the end of this year. It is understood that while the car manufacturer will honour its financial commitment to the end of 2013, its name will no longer appear on the team’s clothing and equipment next season.

    The team already lost Enovos as a sub-sponsor in the aftermath of Schleck’s positive test in July, although unlike Nissan, Enovos withdrew its financial support...

  • Gallery: Van Den Broeck leads Lotto into 2013

    From right to left: Andre Greipel, Jurgen Van Den Broeck, Jurgen Roelandts, Jelle Vanendert
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 16:43 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    New kit for Belgian team

    After finishing in fourth place for the second time at this year’s Tour de France Lotto-Belisol’s Jurgen Van Den Broeck believes that 2013 might be his year.

    The Belgian rider has been edging closer to the podium for some time now. “Every year I hope to be good and do a bit better and I hope that I can do it once. I could do it once then it would be a dream for me. I will keep on training and working for it every day,” said Van Den Broeck.

    Traditionally the Belgian has ridden the Classics season, favoured by his team, in preparation. He has decided to alter his programme a little, in comparison to previous years. “I just wanted to change a bit and try Romandie instead of the classics and then we will see,” he said. “Sometimes a change can be good.”

    In the past the 29-year-old has used the Spanish stage races and the Ardennes classics, before heading to the Dauphiné as preparation for the Tour. Van Den Broeck is one of the few riders who haven’t been swayed by the Giro, “Maybe one day we will switch the programme. At the moment the team still want me to be good at the Tour, because the Tour is the biggest race of the season, with all of the publicity.”

    It is unclear who Van Den Broeck will be up against just yet. Defending champion Bradley Wiggins looks like he may return to challenge the Grand Boucle title, after also riding the Giro. Team-mate Chris Froome is also putting his hat in the ring, but the inter-team friction could cause problems. Last year’s third place finisher, Vincenzo Nibali, is looking to win his home grand tour for the first time, with his new Astana team. Alberto Contador has yet to signal where his intentions lie, but is likely to line up...

  • Nissan to pull back from RadioShack team

    The RadioShack Nissan team on a training ride along the Spanish coast
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 18:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Auto maker may follow Rabobank's example

    Auto maker Nissan is reportedly pulling its name from the RadioShack squad for 2013, according to reports from the Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien.

    Nissan renewed its co-title sponsorship with the team of Flavio Becca in 2011 through the 2013 season, and presumably it will follow the example of Rabobank in fulfilling those contractual obligations whilst distancing itself from its association with the team.

    While no reason was given in the report, the RadioShack team has been at the center of the doping controversies that have embroiled the sport this year. First its now-former manager Johan Bruyneel faced a public battle against the US Anti-Doping Agency over allegations of a team-wide doping conspiracy dating back to his US Postal Service years. Then, in July, Frank Schleck tested positive for a banned substance during the Tour de France in a case that is still under arbitration, causing sponsor Enovos to pull out.

    Becca merged his Leopard-Trek operation with Armstrong and Bruyneel's RadioShack-Nissan team in 2011 prior to the USADA's charges against the pair after bank-rolling the first year of the Luxembourg team.

  • Two year ban for Galimzyanov

    Stage 1 victor Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha)
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 19:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Russian sprinter finally banned after admitting EPO use

    Russian sprinter Denis Galimzyanov has received a two-year ban after testing positive for EPO and admitting to doping. The former Katusha rider tested positive in an out-of-competition control on March 22.

    Galimzyanov's ban was dated from April 13, 2012 when he was provisionally suspended by the UCI.

    The 25-year-old winner of the 2011 Paris - Bruxelles and the Tour of Beijing points classification admitted to doping shortly after his positive test was announced, taking care to absolve his team of any responsibility. 

    “I would like to draw A PARTICULAR ATTENTION for that fact that Katusha Team has nothing to do with what happened,” he wrote in April. “No team member knew and could know about what I did. It was my personal decision and my responsibility.”

    Katusha was recently denied its WorldTour license despite being the number two-ranked team in the 2012 UCI WorldTour standings.



  • Emergency surgery for Ballan after high-speed crash

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 22:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Left femur fracture, broken rib and abdominal trauma

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC) was descending the Coll de Rates, north of Benidorm on Thursday when he crashed at high-speed leaving him with a broken leg, broken rib and an injured spleen.

    According to BMC Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Max Testa, the Italian will require two separate surgeries with the removal of Ballan's spleen the most urgent.

    Ballan was taken to hospital by team doctor Dario Spinelli where he was found to have suffered a mid-shaft, displaced fracture of his left femur, a fracture of his ninth rib and some abdominal trauma.

    "The broken rib actually made a small puncture in his lung," Dr. Testa said. "The first priority is the spleen injury - that is considered a medical emergency."

    The first surgery took place on Thursday night and a decision will be made on when and where Ballan's left leg can be operated on.

    Ballan had been scheduled to begin his season at next month's Tour Down Under in Adelaide as he often does, however it is not yet known when the former world champion will be back on his bike.

    "Of course his loss means a lot since Alessandro is one of our key riders for the classics," said BMC Directeur Sportif John Lelangue.

    "But most important right now is that he can recover and just get back to his normal process. We'll wait for all the medical information before even beginning to think about what could be his plan for coming back."


  • Olympians Buchanan and Glaesser join Team Tibco for 2013

    An ecstatic Rushlee Buchanan claims New Zealand's national road race title
    Article published:
    December 21, 2012, 0:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four new signings announced by UCI Women's outfit

    Two London Olympians will join Team Tibco for the coming season - Rushlee Buchanan and Jasmin Glaesser along with Anna Barensfeld and Nicole Justice.

    Former Omnium World Champion, Canadian Tara Whitten will be taking some time out from the team in 2013, instead choosing to finish her Ph.D. in Neuroscience.

    Buchanan had a two-year stint with the US-based team in 2008 and 2009 before riding with the Forno d'Asolo - Colavita squad for the past two seasons while building up to her London Olympic track campaign. The 24-year-old was the fourth member of the New Zealand team pursuit squad which finished fifth.

    "We're excited to have Rushlee back on the team for next year," team director Linda Jackson said. "She was a great teammate when we had her the first time around and we've watched her to continue to develop as a cyclist these past few years. Her trip to London is evidence of that strong growth. We expect that to continue in 2013.

    "As good as she's been, we think Rushlee still hasn't reached her potential."

    Glaesser won a bronze medal with the Canadian pursuit squad and 2013 will mark her first full season racing on the road.

    "Jasmin has only been racing bikes for a few years and she's progressed very quickly," Jackson said. "Though her focus has been on the track, we expect her to progress quickly on the road, too.

    Buchanan, Glaesser, Barensfeld and Justice join other new 2013 signings Claudia Hausler, Chantal Blaak and Shelley Olds. They will all team up with returning riders Meredith Miller, Amanda Miller, Joanne Kiesanowski, Samantha Schneider and Lindsay Myers.


  • O’Grady, McCarthy round out Australian team for Sun Tour

    Stuart O'Grady working hard up Old Willunga Hill.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2012, 1:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Veteran returns from fractured collarbone

    Stuart O'Grady (Orica GreenEdge) will make his return to racing at the 2013 Jayco Herald Sun Tour next month after his 2012 season ended prematurely in a crash at the Vattenfall Cyclassics in August. O'Grady, along with Saxo -Tinkoff neo pro Jay McCarthy complete the Australian National Team line-up for the four-stage event which begins on January 3.

    The inclusion of Nathan Haas, Simon Gerrans, Matt Goss and Simon Clarke has previously been announced.

    O'Grady, winner of the 2008 edition of the Sun Tour, broke his collarbone resulting in a 15cm plate and eight screws being inserted to stabilise the joint. The 39-year-old said that despite the early start to the season, it should lay a solid foundation for the rest of the season.

    "At the moment I'm spending every hour on the bike I can, which isn't easy at this time of the year when you've been away for 10 months and everyone wants to see you and you want to see them," he explained. "So it's a fine balance."

    "The head is saying one thing and the body the other. I've still got a funky feeling in my shoulder with the plate but you get used to it."

    Meantime, McCarthy who is the youngest member of the Australian team at age 20, said he is looking forward to riding in such esteemed company.

    "Once I saw the team I would be riding with it was a little bit nerve racking, but also exciting at the same time to be able to ride with some of the biggest Australian names we have," McCarthy said.

    "There is a lot of experience in the team and plenty of guys to look at, see how they read the race and get some good tips off."


  • Gallery: Jered and Ashley Gruber's best racing photos of 2012

    An Euskaltel rider in one of the tunnels on the upper part of the Alpe di Pampeago
    Article published:
    December 21, 2012, 8:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    A year of cycling snaps from the Classics and the Giro

    Having spent the vast majority of the year on the road  covering a race-packed calender, photographers Jered and Ashley Gruber have finally had time to compile their best race photos from 2012. The couple tend to follow an Italian-focused programme, from San Remo to the Giro, with breaks into Belgium for the Classics before a final set of race dates in Italy as the season winds down.

    With photos from the Paterberg at the Tour of Flanders to the epic scenery of the Corsa Rosa, this extended gallery of photos brings together a year of images and fantastic racing, with Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish, Fabian Cancellara and Ryder Hesjedal among the riders who feature.

    The Grubers have produced this calendar too, which is available to purchase online.