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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 17, 2014

Date published:
January 17, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Re-engineered SRAM hydraulic road brake system expected in April

    SRAM recalled all its road hydraulic brakes - both rim and disc - in December
    Article published:
    January 16, 2014, 17:15 GMT
    By:
    BikeRadar.com

    Company offering reimbursement or replacement

    In the latest bulletin on the SRAM HydroR recall, the Chicago-based component company also confirmed its plan to offer affected consumers a mechanical system in the interim, with an option to upgrade to the revised hydraulic system when products arrive in the market.

    A SRAM statement said: “In addition to a mechanical brake system, we are offering you the choice to upgrade to our new model year 15 hydraulic system, or if you want to keep the mechanical system, we will provide cash reimbursement of US$200 or €150.”

    Earlier this week, BikeRadar revealed the recall saga, triggered in mid-December when three separate faults with the mass-produced system were identified, had cost the Chicago company an estimated US$10 to 15 million.

    For further details of the replacement programme, visit the SRAM recall site.

  • Giro d'Italia has obligations to support Italian cycling, says Vegni

    Alfredo Martini, Michele Scarponi and Mauro Vegni at the launch of the 2012 Tirreno-Adriatico.
    Article published:
    January 16, 2014, 18:45 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    RCS Sport mirrors ASO by awarding wildcards to home teams

    Giro d’Italia technical director Mauro Vegni has explained that RCS Sport has awarded three of its four wildcard invitation to home-based teams in order to support Italian cycling, just as Tour de France organisers ASO have favoured French teams in years gone by.

    Androni-Venezuela were already guaranteed a Giro berth as winners of the 2013 Coppa Italia, a measure introduced by former race director Angelo Zomegnan to safeguard the interests of Italian teams. The three remaining wildcards were announced on Thursday, with Colombia joined by Italian squads YellowFluo-Neri Sottoli and Bardiani-CSF.

    “We have obligations to help and support the Italian cycling movement, a bit like ASO have done in the past by giving wildcards to French teams. The philosophy is the same,” Vegni told Cyclingnews on Thursday. “Italy is experiencing a very difficult moment. In the past, this was one of the leading nations of this sport. It still is, but with many more difficulties, so we felt that this step we’ve taken to support the teams could also help and support the whole of Italian cycling.”

    The decision to select YellowFluo-Neri Sottoli has met with some criticism given that the team – then called Vini Fantini-Selle Italia – had Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Di Luca test positive for EPO at last year’s Giro. Ultimately, however, RCS Sport was swayed by the YellowFluo pledge to publish its riders’ blood values online and, perhaps as tellingly, by fears that the team would not survive beyond 2014 without a ride at the Giro.

    “We can’t forget what’s gone before, but they are undergoing...

  • Oleg Tinkov: I'd love to sign Sagan, Froome, Cancellara for 2015

    Brothers in arms: Riis and Tinkov at the team's training camp
    Article published:
    January 16, 2014, 19:55 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    An exclusive, in-depth interview with the owner of the Tinkoff-Saxo team

    Oleg Tinkov joined up with the riders from his Tinkoff-Saxo team in Gran Canaria on Thursday, and immediately headed out for a bike ride in the team's yellow and blue new kit. He spent time on the front with Bjarne Riis and rode for three hours despite little training over the winter. He will stay in Gran Canaria for the rest of the training camp.

    After the ride he sat down for an hour-long exclusive interview with Cyclingnews.

    As ever, Tinkov is not scared to speak his mind. In this first part of the interview he talks about his hopes for the 2014 season, his relationship with Alberto Contador, his plans for the future and how he intends to overtake Team Sky and make his team the best in the world.

    In the second part of the interview that will be published on Friday, Tinkov talks about how he started in business and gives his views on the future of cycling.

    He is convinced cycling needs a new business model, with race organisers sharing their TV revenue with the teams. If they don’t Tinkov is ready to consider a boycott of the Tour de France by the best teams in the sport.

    Cyclingnews: You being here with the team seems to be a clear sign of your passion for cycling and for the team.

    Oleg Tinkov: Of course. Cycling is my passion, my hobby, and my toy. I like to ride my bike. I'm going to try to stay for ten days but it depends on how I my knee feels. I crashed while skiing last year and I had surgery and it's painful. But I want to rebuild my leg muscles and work on my fitness, while also working. I'll ride in the morning and then make calls and work in the afternoon.

    CN: You arrived the day after Alberto Contador went home. Is there a reason that you didn’t ride together?

    OT: Journalists like to create stories about us but to be honest I hadn’t even...

  • Michael Drapac rewarded for a decade of diligence

    Australian pair Darren Lapthorne (left) and Adam Phelan both of Drapac Cycling finished third and second respectively on the opening stage.
    Article published:
    January 16, 2014, 22:00 GMT
    By:
    Aaron S. Lee

    Australian real estate mogul realises dream at Tour Down Under

    Make no mistake, the rise of Drapac Cycling is by no means an overnight success story. Just ask team owner and namesake Michael Drapac. While the Australian cycling media may have spent the past two months abuzz since Drapac's step up to a Pro Continental licence for 2014, few fans of the sport may be aware that this is actually Drapac's second stint at Pro Continental level, with the first run taking place nearly ten years ago.

    "Few people realise we have been around for so long," said Drapac, who initially started in 2001-2002 by supporting a mini-team of Daniel Thorsen, Mitch Docker and Bradley Norton before becoming an official team in 2004. "By July 2006, we were ranked number 19 in the world, and that included the ProTour teams, as we had won fifteen or so UCI races."

    Then called Drapac-Porsche, the squad featured an solid line-up with Docker, Rob McLachlan, Stuart Shaw, Dean Windsor, and eventual 2007 Australian men's National Road Race Champion and current team leader Darren Lapthorne.

    "They were an exceptional team," Drapac said. "I think we are perhaps half a grade better than that team and our profile may be a bit higher now, but I don't want to take anything away from that squad as they were outstanding and helped start it all."

    With Lapthorne and company fresh off a solid effort at the 2014 Australian Road Nationals in Ballarat on Sunday, which included a sixth-place finish for Lapthorne just behind a resurgent Jack Bobridge and the promising Cameron Meyer in a race won by Simon Gerrans, Drapac is eager to go one better by picking up some hardware at this year’s Tour Down Under in Adelaide.

    “When we were Pro Continental in 2007 it was because we wanted a spot in the Tour Down Under, which never eventuated,” said the 30-year-old Lapthorne, who returned to the squad in 2011. “The team has been waiting to start the TDU for ten years now. It is such a huge honour to be selected to ride and...

  • Ballan handed two-year ban by CONI

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
    Article published:
    January 17, 2014, 8:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    BMC rider suspended for 2009 blood doping

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC) has been suspended for two years by the Italian Olympic Committee’s national anti-doping tribunal, following a hearing in Rome on Thursday. The 34-year-old was found guilty of violating article 2.2 of the WADA code and is banned until 16 January, 2016.

    Ballan’s doping infraction dates from the spring of 2009, when police taps from the Mantova anti-doping inquiry revealed that he had undergone a blood transfusion during his time at the Lampre team.

    During the three-hour hearing on Thursday afternoon, Ballan’s lawyers claimed that he had undergone ozone therapy to treat cytomegalovirus, but not a performance-enhancing blood transfusion.

    “Technically, the accusation isn’t of a blood transfusion, but of an infusion of ozone,” Ballan’s lawyer Fabio Pavone had told Gazzetta dello Sport immediately after the hearing on Thursday. “We explained that he had used it during the period in which he had removed himself from activity because he was stricken by hepatitis. Ballan admitted it, and said that he didn’t think it was necessary to alert anybody. In good faith.”

    On Friday morning, however, CONI delivered its verdict, deciding to hand down a two-year ban to Ballan and a fine of €2,000. CONI also announced that pharmacist Guido Nigrelli has been handed a life ban for his part in assisting doping on the Lampre team, while Dr. Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi has been banned for four years.

    In addition to his two-year ban, Ballan also faces criminal proceedings resulting from the Mantova-based anti-doping investigation, along with 28 other riders, trainers, pharmacists and directeurs sportifs. The trial is centred primarily on the activities of Guido Nigrelli and his links to the Lampre team, and is set to resume on January 24.

    The background

    News of the Mantova doping inquiry first broke in the spring of 2010, after...

  • Horner offered to other teams as well as Lampre, says Copeland

    Chris Horner drops Vincenzo Nibali on the Alto de l'Angliru
    Article published:
    January 17, 2014, 9:48 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vuelta winner still searching for a contract for 2014

    Lampre-Merida manager Brent Copeland has downplayed speculation linking his team with Chris Horner, explaining that the Vuelta a España winner’s agent, Baden Cooke, has offered his services to a number of teams in the past week.

    “Horner’s new agent, Baden Cooke, called me to propose the signing of his rider,” Copeland told Tuttobici. “We’re not the only ones who were contacted. Cooke has recently taken over as Chris’ representative and is going around the teams again, he’s opening up contacts.”

    Copeland explained that he has brought Cooke’s proposal before Giuseppe Saronni - who is now responsible for managing relationships with the team's sponsors - and the team owners, but that nothing concrete has been decided.

    “After Cooke’s phone call, I spoke with Saronni and our ownership, inviting them to reflect on this opportunity,” Copeland said. “Things are as I’ve told you: there was phone contact and we’re assessing it, but we’re certainly not the only team in this situation.”

    The 42-year-old Horner was a surprise winner of the 2013 Vuelta after missing most of the season through injury. Following the expiry of his contract with RadioShack at the end of last season, Horner was unable to agree terms with the revamped Trek Factory Racing team, with manager Luca Guercilena explaining that they were unable to meet his wage demands.

    Horner dispensed with the services of agent Michael Rutherford in the new year and is now represented by former professional Baden Cooke, who retired at the end of last season. Earlier this week, Horner was linked with a move to Caja Rural-SGA...

  • Gallery: Evans, Porte and Schleck endure the heat at Tour Down Under

    Mark Renshaw in his new Omega Pharma QuickStep kit
    Article published:
    January 17, 2014, 12:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour Down Under Countdown: 4 days to go

    Scorching temperatures and a stellar line-up are set to make next week's Santos Tour Down Under one of the most hotly-anticipated openers to the road cycling season in recent years.

    With Cadel Evans (Team BMC), Richie Porte (Team Sky) and an in-form Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) leading the home charge, and a re-instated Frank Schleck flying the flag for his new Trek Factory Racing, there will be a fierce battle for the overall title, while Marcel Kittel and Andre Greipel will go head-to-head in the sprints. The six-day WorldTour event kick starts on Tuesday with a 135km stage from Nuriootpa to Angaston.

    The People's Choice Classic once again raises the curtain for the event with a criterium in the centre of Adelaide. And ahead of the racing the professional peloton have been acclimatising to the 40-plus degree temperatures.

    Click here for our gallery.

     

  • "I'm Clean" unveiled as new MPCC slogan

    The new MPCC slogan
    Article published:
    January 17, 2014, 13:14 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Blue bracelets go on sale this month

    The MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling) has announced that their blue bracelets – an apparent indication as to whether an athlete is clean and supports drug-free sport – will be available for sale at the end of January.

    The bracelets, not too dissimilar to BikePure’s product in that they’re also blue and are ideally suited to be worn on a rider’s wrist, will also carry the MPCC’s new slogan, ‘I’m clean.’ Last year the organization’s slogan had been the awkwardly phrased "le dopage, ça suffit" or "doping, that's enough."

    Twelve months on from Lance Armstrong's confession to doping in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, and after USADA uncovered what they deemed to be the most sophisticated doping regime the sport had ever seen, the MPCC seem to firmly believe that the sport has cleaned up its act. The organization, made up of a collection of WorldTour and ProContinental teams, have taken a number of steps in the last year, including an agreement to ban the use of the controversial but not banned drug, tramadol, in competition.

    The blue bracelets were launched at the tail end of 2012, with its head Roger Legeay today stating that "cycling was in shock following the Armstrong case. Everyone wanted to respond with a strong message.”

    “This message was anger in response to the poisoned atmosphere that then knew our sport. A message of anger because despite these cases, cycling has changed. Today, the message of MPCC is: 'I'm clean!'"

    According to the MPCC to “wear this blue bracelet is claiming that cycling is a clean sport, regaining its credibility. MPCC expects from teams and riders that they invest proudly...