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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 4, 2009

Date published:
December 04, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Androni Giocattoli and Rock Racing react to UCI's licence decision

    The Rock Racing crew readies for action.
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 17:44 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Teams prepare to meet new UCI deadlines for Professional Continental status

    Androni Giocattoli and Rock Racing have both stated their intention to achieve Professional Continental status for next season, after they missed out on the International Cycling Union's (UCI) initial round of licence approvals yesterday.

    The exclusion of Italy's Androni Giocattoli (formerly Serramenti Diquigiovanni) from the list of 19 Pro Continental teams presented yesterday was a surprise given the team had finished higher than a number of ProTour rivals in the UCI's final 2009 rankings. The squad's principal Gianni Savio told Cyclingnews today that he was confident his team would be added to the list when the UCI makes a final decision later this month.

    "I am surprised that for the moment we are not registered [as Professional Continental], but I am sure that we will be registered," he said. "I was very, very surprised to miss out and don't understand why we haven't been registered first time around. I think there was some misunderstanding, I'm sure we'll have no problem [getting the licence]."

    Rock Racing issued a short statement on Wednesday that said the team - which is rumoured to become Mexican-registered for 2010 - would endeavour to secure their move from Continental to Professional Continental status for next season. "We're obviously very disappointed but are working diligently to satisfy every requirement that is being asked of us. We are committed to doing whatever it takes to ensure we can race next year," read the statement.

    Rock Racing's statement was the first concrete sign that the team had applied for the UCI's second-tier status. Androni Giocattoli had been part of the UCI's provisional list of teams vying for Professional Continental licences released last month.

    Neither team, nor the UCI, elaborated on why the initial applications had been rejected, but both outfits now face a race against time to satisfy the requirements of the UCI. The sport's governing body today confirmed to...

  • Team Magnus Maximus adds Aussie Jack Anderson

    Magnus Backstedt (l) with his Maximus Coffee team
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 21:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Under 23 Oceania time trial champ augments Swedish continental squad

    Australian Jack Anderson is the latest addition to the team Team Magnus Maximus run by former pro Magnus Backstedt. Hailing from Brisbane, Anderson has won the Oceania Under 23 time trial championship, and in 2009, he represented Australia at the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. By signing him, the team said it is investing in the future.

    "We have taken time to look at ultimately where we want to take this team," said team manager Marty McCrossan. "There has never been a Swedish team in the Tour de France. We are working hard to bring in sponsors to the right level to move to Professional Continental status for 2011, ride a grand tour by 2013 at the latest and look towards the Tour de France by 2015."

    "With riders such as Jack, nothing would give me a greater pleasure than standing on the start line of the Tour having worked with these young guys all the way through."

    "He is an incredibly talented, focused young rider and we are excited to have him in the team," said Backstedt. "I used to spend my winters in Australia; I think the rest of the guys are pretty jealous and would be more than happy to join Jack there for the winter."

    Anderson will join up with his new team at the end of January and will have plenty of races to show his talent with the Tour of Bretagne and FBD Ras already confirmed.

    "It's great news for me, and it's where I wanted to be," said Anderson. "I have been working hard for a ride in a team like this and with Magnus and Martin, I think I have found managers that will help me fulfill my potential."

  • Lampre expects to meet UCI ProTour licence demands

    Lampre team manager Giuseppe Saronni, left, with Damiano Cunego.
    Article published:
    December 03, 2009, 23:13 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Saronni: 'Failure to receive licence is not even an idea'

    Italy's Lampre-Farnese Vini team will meet the International Cycling Union's (UCI) demands to keep its ProTour licence, according to team manager Giuseppe Saronni.

    "Failure to receive the licence is not even an idea," he said.

    The UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) confirmed the registration of 17 teams on November 25, including Alberto Contador's Astana team. It left off Lampre and referred the decision of cancelling its ProTour licence to the licence commission.

    "Putting all the required documents in order every year is becoming a very complicated process," Saronni continued. "Also, Sky did not have its documents at first. Or Astana, who had the money, but the documents weren't in place. It bothers me, but it is not something that is unsolvable."

    The UPTC requires teams to submit a registration application on an annual basis. The application allows the UCI to check that a team meets regulations, particularly administrative and financial.

    Metal company Lampre has sponsored a top-level cycling team since 1991. Saronni questioned whether or not it is correct the licence commission treats his team so strictly.

    "I have to give a measured response. It is right that there are these rules in place and if we don't meet certain points, it is right we have to reach them."

    Saronni is personally working with UPTC officials to meet the deadline of December 20.

    Team Lampre includes Italian cyclists Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Petacchi. It presented its 2010 team in Castenedolo, Italy, tonight.

    Cunego won two stages of the Vuelta a España this season. Petacchi jointed from LPR Brakes for next year and he should bring Lampre many sprint wins.

    Italian Saronni, 52, is a former professional cyclist. He won the Giro d'Italia twice, the World Championships, Flèche Wallonne and Milano-Sanremo.

  • Lloyd part of Lotto's charge on local turf

    Silence-Lotto's Cadel Evans, Matthew Lloyd, Staf Scheirlinckx and Mickael Delage (L-R) are ready to ride.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 1:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Delage leads Belgian team in Tour Down Under

    Australian rider Matthew Lloyd will return to next year's Tour Down Under as part of Omega Pharma-Lotto's squad for the opening round of the ProTour, with experienced campaigner Mickael Delage leading the team.

    Lloyd has always performed solidly in his home tour, vying for the overall honours in 2007 and competing as national road race champion in the 2008 edition. This year he finished the week-long event 16th on general classification.

    "He [Lloyd] has performed consistently at the Santos Tour Down Under and I'd expect nothing less in 2010," said race director Mike Turtur.

    Delage will be the team's designated leader however, and given his all-round ability the Frenchman stands a good chance of finishing high in the general classification.

    He finished fourth overall in the 2008 edition of the Tour Down Under and this year took a podium spot in August's Clasica San Sebastian.

    Rounding out the Omega Pharma-Lotto roster are Belgian riders Olivier Kaisen, Jurgen Roelandts and Jurgen Van Goolen, plus Sweden's Jonas Ljungblad and Dutchman Gerben Lowik.

    Roelandts could be a surprise packet in the expected sprint finishes, the former Belgian national champion possessing a strong finishing kick which could be put to good use if he has the appropriate early-season form.

  • Cunego takes aims at another Ardennes title

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre) was unable to defend his Giro di Lombardia title today.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 5:02 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Liège the target for Italian star in 2010

    Former Giro d'Italia champion Damiano Cunego makes no secret of his desire to win next year's edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the 28-year-old Italian aiming to consolidate his status as one of the world's best Classics riders.

    Speaking at the Lampre team's presentation in Castenedolo, Italy, Cunego explained that he's taking aim at 'La Doyenne' ('the old lady') to add to his Amstel Gold victory in 2008.

    "Everyone wants to win it, it's hard," Cunego told Cyclingnews. "I was close, third, in 2006 when Alejandro Valverde won ahead of Paolo Bettini. Every year I hope. If I win, good, but I have to have patience," he added.

    Cunego won the 2004 Giro but in recent years has performed better in one-day races and taken stage victories of multi-week races. He won two stages at the Vuelta a España in September, mountainous days to Alto de Aitana and La Pandera, giving Lampre five of its 16 wins for the season.

    The Ardennes Classics - Amstel Gold, Flèche Wallonne and Liège - suit Cunego's ability to climb and manage technical courses and he took his only Ardennes title, the Amstel Gold, in 2008. He's finished in the top 10 in the oldest and longest of the three events, Liège-Bastogne-Liège, four times.

    Cunego finished in seventh in this year's edition, with 24-year-old Saxo Bank rider Andy Schleck claiming his first Ardennes victory.

    "Yes, but I won the Giro d'Italia right away, when I was 22," said Cunego. "Many say to me that I won too soon, but I disagree... it's better to have won such an important race than not at all."

    Cunego said the riders presented Thursday night near Lampre's headquarters are going to make his goal possible. He welcomed old Saeco teammate Alessandro Spezialetti and climber Daniele Pietropolli to the 2010 team, and the continuation of teammates Marco Marzano, Daniele Righi and Francesco Gavazzi within the squad.


  • WADA releases guidelines for Athlete Biological Passport program

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 5:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Passport, education and co-ordination the aims for 2010

    Following a recent meeting of its Executive Committee and Foundation Board in Stockholm, Sweden, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) approved and released operating guidelines for the Athlete Biological Passport aimed at improving the implementation of the program in addition to an announcement that the organisation would receive a minor funding boost in 2010.

    "WADA's Athlete Biological Passport Operating Guidelines provide an overview of the scientific principles behind the blood module of the Athlete Biological Passport and provides practical advice on the implementation of such a program," the organisation said via a press statement.

    "In addition, the document includes mandatory requirements for collection, transportation, analysis, and results management of blood samples, which anti-doping organisations wishing to adopt WADA's model will have to follow in order to ensure consistency of application and to comply with the World Anti-Doping Code (Code) and the related International Standards. These mandatory technical documents will be incorporated into WADA’s International Standard for Testing and International Standard for Laboratories.

    With the legality and scientific principles of the Athlete Biological Passport questioned in some quarters of the cycling community, WADA has moved to strengthen the credentials of the program through the release of these guidelines. According to the organisation, this "allows for a harmonisation in the results of monitored variables within the Athlete Biological Passport, ensuring both legal and scientific fortitude.

    "WADA's Athlete Biological Passport concept does not undermine the validity or efficacy of any existing longitudinal profiling program that an anti-doping organisation may currently operate. Rather, WADA's Athlete...

  • Drenthe eager to host Vuelta again

    The Drenthe region is gearing up for the arrival of La Vuelta and has the bulls to prove it.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 9:15 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dutch politicians keen to discuss return with Vuelta organisers

    Hosting the start of this year's Vuelta a España was a success for the Dutch province of Drenthe, both athletically and financially, and the region wants to repeat it. Local politicians have said they will ask for the Spanish race to visit again.

    Anneke Haarsma, Labour party deputy director, said that after the success of the Vuelta's August 29 opening in Assen, the province is eager to host the race again in 2013 or 2014.

    “The Spaniards were very enthusiastic and have seen seen what we can do,” she told the news agency ANP. “We want to sit down and talk with them. It depends on whether or not the Spanish can come.”

    This year's Vuelta opened with a time trial on Assen's Moto GP race track. It was followed by two stages contained completely within the Netherlands. Stage four ran from the Netherlands into Belgium, before the race returned to Spain after an early rest day.

  • Lefevere expects Keisse to sign with Quick Step next week

    Iljo Keisse on a flyer
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 10:42 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Track star has multiple offers to move to the road for 2010

    Quick Step principal Patrick Lefevere expects Belgian track star Iljo Keisse to next week accept an offer to join the team for the 2010 season. Lefevere met with Keisse and his agent for a “fruitful discussion” on Wednesday.

    Keisse has also received offers from Silence-Lotto, Vacansoleil, Landbouwkrediet, and several Continental teams.

    "I'd like Keisse to already be there for the first training camp next Tuesday in Spain, but he is riding the third round of the Track World Cup in Colombia (December 10-12). I expect a 'yes' on Tuesday,” Lefevere told

    Keisse, 26, is currently riding as an elite without contract for team Saey-Deschacht. He was recently cleared of doping charges stemming from the 2008 Gent Six Day race. He and partner Roger Kluge finished second at the 2009 Gent Six Day race last weekend, three points behind winners Alex Rasmussen and Michael Mørkøv of Denmark.