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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 7, 2012

Date published:
December 07, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Selander, Young join men's Optum team for 2013

    Ken Hanson (Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) makes it two from two
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 0:15 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Women's Optum squad becomes UCI-registered for upcoming season

    The Minneapolis-based Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies organisation unveiled the 2013 rosters for the men's UCI Continental squad plus the newly UCI-registered women's team, featuring key re-signings and eight new additions.

    "Both the men's and women's teams had a lot of success in 2012 and we didn't want to change the formula too much. We worked hard to keep the core together and make a couple of strategic additions," said Performance Director Jonas Carney.

    The women's squad won the 2012 National Racing Calendar (NRC) team title and returns such stalwarts as Jade Wilcoxson, third overall in this season's individual NRC standings, 2011 NRC champion Janel Holcomb and the Canadian duo of Joelle Numainville and Denise Ramsden. Both riders rode for Team Canada in the 2012 London Olympic Games, and Ramsden claimed her country's national championship in the road race discipline earlier this summer.

    Four new riders will join the team in 2013 to round out Performance Director Rachel Heal's 11-woman roster, highlighted by Lauren Hall from TIBCO-To The Top, a multi-talented rider who won two US national championships on the track in 2012 (scratch race and individual pursuit) plus earned silver medals at road nationals in both the elite women's criterium and road race.

    Also new to the team are Grace Alexander, a 2012 junior national champion in the mountain bike discipline in the cross country event. Alexander had four additional podium finishes in junior national championships in 2012 including silver in the short track cross country, plus three medals on the road in the road race (silver), criterium (bronze) and time trial (silver). Joining Alexander are Amber Gaffney, 2012 bronze medalist in the elite women's team pursuit national championship, plus Brianna...

  • Australian National Road Series calendar announced for 2013

    Cycling Australia
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 1:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fourteen events for men, nine for women

    Cycling Australia has announced the schedule for the 2013 Subaru National Road Series with some new events while some of the mainstays no longer feature.

    The 2013 NRS will see six combined men's and women's events with three stand-alone women's and eight stand-alone men's events, with new events in South Australia and Western Australia.

    In total the women will contest nine events - up from six in 2012 - totalling 27 days of racing while the men will race 14 events - up from 12 this year - equalling 50 days of racing.

    As previously reported on Cyclingnews, the Tour de Perth and the Adelaide Tour will be added to the calendar. Two Tasmanian events, The Mersey Valley Tour and iconic Launceston to New Norfolk one-day classic do not feature on the men's schedule this time around with the latter plagued by unpredictable and often dangerous weather conditions. Instead, Cycling Australia has extended the Tour of Tasmania to eight days.

    The Tours of Toowoomba, North West, Gippsland, Murray, South Coast, and the Goulburn to Sydney, Shipwreck Coast and Melbourne to Warrnambool Classics, will all return with the historic Grafton to Inverell again concluding the Series in October.

    The women's NRS also sees widespread changes including new additions the Sam Miranda Tour of the King Valley (Victoria) in August, the Adelaide Tour (South Australia) in May and a shortened version of the Murray River Tour (New South Wales / Victoria) in September.

    "Now the 2013 Subaru NRS includes races in every state and the ACT, delivering for the first time a true national footprint," explained Sean Muir, Cycling Australia's National Manager - Sport.

    "When pulling the series together we are always focused on delivering increased safety...

  • Villumsen leaves Orica-AIS to base herself in New Zealand

    Linda Villumsen (Greenedge-AIS) en route to victory in the time trial stage at Emakumeen Euskal Bira.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 3:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Home training campaign in lead up to Commonwealth and Olympic Games

    Suggestions that Danish-born Kiwi Linda Villumsen has retired at 27 were premature with the four-time world championship medalist revealing she has merely withdrawn from Orica-AIS for next season to base herself more permanently in New Zealand.

    Villumsen is targeting the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and the Olympic Games two years later in Rio de Janiero and will use a New Zealand base to do it.

    "I am still very passionate about cycling and the Orica-AIS team has been excellent," Villumsen said. "But the show must go on, and with or without me in the team they will be great. I will follow how everyone gets on in Europe while I will stay focused on reaching my own goals.

    "I took on the nick name 'Gypsy' through the last season, simply because I have belongings spread around the world and right now I feel it is time to stay settled for a while. Given that 2013 is not a massive season, I believe it is time to experiment with an alternative kind of season."

    Villumsen will return to the European racing scene in 2014 to get some UCI points for qualifying for the world championships and Olympics.

    "But I think I can be a stronger, better and happier cyclist if I can live in New Zealand," she said. "I still love this sport, and I am very grateful to Orica-AIS who have said they will welcome me back if this does not work out."

    BikeNZ high performance director Mark Elliott said he supports Villumsen's plans.

    "We completely understand Linda’s position. Equally we have talked through all the ramifications with her of being based in New Zealand," Elliott said.

    "Linda has an incredible work ethic and if any cyclist in the world can make this work, it will be her. She has our complete support and confidence. One upside is that cyclists in this country will be able to see more of her out on the roads training and in competition."

  • Gerdemann still looking for a team for 2013

    Linus Gerdemann (Radioshack-Nissan) on the attack
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 4:32 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    German "surprised" not to have RadioShack-Nissan deal renewed

    Former Tour de France yellow jersey-wearer Linus Gerdemann was not offered a contract with RadioShack-Nissan for 2013 and is now uncertain of his racing future.

    The German survived the merger between Leopard-Trek and RadioShack at the end of 2011 but this time around he did not make the cut of 28 riders with three new additions to the squad - Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil-DCM), Danilo Hondo (Lampre-ISD), and Robert Kiserlovski (Astana).

    At age 30, Gerdemann has a lot of racing left in him and the RadioShack-Nissan decision has left him stunned.

    "The last two years I have dedicated myself completely for my captains at Leopard," he told Cyclingnews. "Nonetheless I could also prove that I can win myself at the Tour of Luxembourg [in 2011 - ed.], our home-race. Having this in mind I was a bit surprised when I didn't get offered a spot on the roster for 2013. I found out very late, only a couple of weeks ago."

    Gerdemann's 2012 season was light on with just 63 race days, the least amount of racing he has done since his crash at Tirreno-Adriatico in 2008 which put a stop to his plans to race the Tour de France and the Beijing Olympic Games. His best result this year came at the Tour of Poland where he earned fifth place on general classification. His last race was the Vuelta a España where he earned two top-10 stage finishes before abandoning with an injury to his left shoulder as well as dizziness on stage 18.

    "Now I have to check out my options, although it is pretty late," Gerdemann said. "In this short timespan I haven't found a team that I can identify with. If the program is right and the philosophy of the team suits me, I don't care if I help others win...

  • Tour of Britain organisation put out to open tender

    Big Ben looms over the final Tour of Britain stage.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 10:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    British Cycling's decision disappointments SweetSpot Group

    British Cycling has announced that it will put the organisation of the Tour of Britain out to an open tender, to the chagrin of current organiser SweetSpot Group. "The running of key road cycling event, the Tour of Britain, is to be put out to an open tender to decide who will take it forward from 2014 onwards,” read a statement released on Friday.

    Brian Cookson OBE, the president of British Cycling, said that after the recent successes including Bradley Wiggins' victory at the Tour de France and the 16 gold medals from the 2012 London Olympics, “it’s important that we take a fresh look at how the Tour of Britain can deliver continued growth and profile for the sport.

    "We look forward to further developing an event that reflects the current status of our sport in this country."

    Sport marketing and events company SweetSpot Group has organized the race since its beginning in 2004, “but the time is now right to assess all options,” Cookson said. “Most crucially, we want to assure our current and future members and all cycling fans that we will have their interests at heart throughout this process and we look forward to further developing an event that reflects the current status of our sport in this country.”

    SweetSpot responded with “surprise and disappointment at the decision by British Cycling to seek expressions of interest to tender for the right to organise The Tour of Britain from 2014 onwards.” The group will apply to continue its participation.

    SweetSpot pointed to its initiation of the revival of the The Tour of Britain in 2004 after a five-year absence, and said that its plans and actions over the last ten years have “been vindicated by the consistent growth and increased profile of the event, despite having to endure one of the worst recessions in living memory.”


  • Froome: I never rode against Wiggins

    Bradley Wiggins and Christopher Froome at the
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 10:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Briton will begin 2013 season at Volta ao Algarve

    Chris Froome has again denied that he deliberately looked to distance Bradley Wiggins on La Toussuire at the Tour de France and expressed his regret that his Sky teammate supposedly considered leaving the race that evening.

    Wiggins made the allegation in his recently published autobiography (the second of his career to date) and admitted that he was “a bit confused” when Froome again went briefly on the offensive in the Pyrenees at Peyragudes. Wiggins and Froome finished the Tour in first and second place overall.

    “I’m sorry that he lived it like that,” Froome told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I never rode against him even if not many people realised that. If I attacked, it was to gain time on those who were just behind us – above all Nibali, who is a great rider and will be Wiggins’ main rival at the Giro 2013. I was always loyal, 100 percent.”

    Froome is likely to begin his 2013 campaign at the Volta ao Algarve in February and while Wiggins in pencilled in to lead Sky at the Giro d’Italia, Froome is aiming squarely at the Tour de France.

    “I’ll join up with the team in Majorca in January,” Froome said. “I’ll start in Algarve in February, I’ll probably do Tirreno-Adriatico in March and I’ll put everything on the Tour, which is harder than the last one. Last time, l’Alpe d’Huez wasn’t there and this time we’ll do it twice in the same stage.”

    Froome also expressed his hope that he has fully recovered from the Bilharzia virus, which he contracted two years ago and which again hindered his preparation in the spring of 2012....

  • Michael Rogers leaves Sky for Saxo-Tinkoff

    Michael Rogers (Australia)
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 12:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian signs for Riis

    Michael Rogers has signed with Team Saxo-Tinkoff for the 2013 season, the Danish team announced on Friday. The 32-year-old Australian has signed a two-year deal with Bjarne Riis's team. He had been with Team Sky since the beginning of 2011.

    Rogers was part of Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France winning team in 2012 and according to reports signed Sky's anti-doping charter in October, although Sky refused to comment on the matter.

    Rogers is a three-time world time trial champion, having won that title from 2003 to 2005. He has also won a number of smaller stage races, including the Bayern Rundfahrt in 2012, and the Tour of Andalucia and Amgen Tour of California in 2010.

    He has come under fire for his work with now-banned Dr. Michele Ferrari in 2005 and 2006. He has claimed that doping was never discussed, “just hard work and training.”

    Rogers was also named in Levi Leipheimer's affidavit in the Lance Armstrong USADA case as having attended multiple altitude training camps in 2005 with other Ferrari clients.

    His talents make him “a super domestique. This season, riding in the service of Team Sky, he proved this by playing a key role in Bradley Wiggins' Tour de France victory,” Saxo-Tinkoff said in its press release.

    "I think Michael's palmares pretty much speaks for itself. He is without a doubt a world class rider, a very strong time trialist, who is also capable of climbing, and on top of that he is a great guy,” said team owner Bjarne Riis.

    “Surely he will add strength to our team throughout the season, and I believe he will be a very important rider for us, both when it...

  • Wiggins named Sportsman of the Year by journalists' association

    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 13:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Briton beats Farah and Murray to top honour

    Bradley Wiggins has been named British Sportsman of the Year by the Sports Journalists’ Association. The Tour de France winner and Olympic time trial champion topped a poll of over 750 sports journalists, beating athlete Mo Farah into second place while US Open winner Andy Murray finished third.

    Wiggins is the fifth cyclist to win the award in its 64-year history, after Reg Harris (1950), Tommy Simpson (1965), Chris Hoy (2008) and Mark Cavendish (2011). The Sky rider will be hoping to match Simpson, Hoy and Cavendish by adding the BBC’s prestigious Sports Personality of the Year award to the SJA honour later this month.

    As well as winning the Tour and Olympic gold, Wiggins captured Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandie and the Critérium du Dauphiné, a haul that was enough to beat off the stiff competition of Farrah and Murray in a year that saw Britain enjoy an enormously successful Olympic Games on home soil.

    “It’s been probably the greatest year in the history of British sport, and certainly one of the busiest for our members,” SJA committee chairman Barry Newcombe said.

    Wiggins was not present at the SJA awards ceremony on Thursday but had recorded an acceptance message beforehand that was played at the event in London.

    There was further cycling success in the Paralympic Sport Woman of the Year category, with Sarah Storey claiming the top prize. The 35-year-old came away with four gold medals from the London 2012 Paralympic Games, winning the C4-5 road race, C5 time trial, C5 individual pursuit and C4-5 500m time trial.

    In the video below, Wiggins talks about the 2013 Tour de France route.