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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 3, 2014

Date published:
January 03, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Masters racer LeDuc admits to doping

    David LeDuc wears the bands of a former masters world champion
    Article published:
    January 01, 2014, 22:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Intends to return to racing after ban

    62-year-old racer David LeDuc has admitted to guilt after receiving a two-year suspension for doping. The North Carolina resident tested positive for three substances: EPO, exogenous steroids and amphetamines, after taking seventh place in the USA Cycling Masters National Championships in Bend, Oregon in September.

    LeDuc did not respond to interview requests from Cyclingnews, but told the Raleigh News and Observer that after he was notified the positive test by USADA, "I told them don't even waste your time testing the 'B' sample, I'm guilty. They said, 'Well, since you're not going to contest it, we'll give you the minimum penalty of two years.'"

    A long-time top competitor in the Southeastern racing scene, LeDuc has understandably slowed down since winning the masters' world championship more than a decade ago. He admitted that part of the drugs he tested positive for were to compensate for age, but that the amphetamine positive was the result of a drug prescribed to him to treat attention deficit disorder.

    His steroid positive came as a result of testosterone also prescribed by his doctor. Testosterone levels naturally decline with age, leading to decreased energy and slower recovery from exercise, both of which can negatively impact race performance. Testosterone supplementation by older men has risen dramatically in recent years in the general public.

    However, all USA Cycling licensed racers, like those from any national federation, are bound by the World Anti-Doping Agency code, and testosterone is prohibited both in-competition and out of competition.

    After racing for nearly 30 years, LeDuc downgraded a few years ago from the top elite category to category 3 as he became less...

  • Antón will ride Giro as super domestique for Quintana

    Igor Anton in his new Movistar jersey
    Article published:
    January 02, 2014, 8:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard returns to race after three-year absence

    Igor Antón [Movistar] will return to the Giro d'Italia in 2014 as a super domestique for Nairo Quintana, as the Colombian looks to secure the maglia rosa.

    Alongside Antón, the Colombian will be supported by, 2011 third place, John Gadret and Jonathan Castroviejo.

    Antón last rode the Giro d'Italia in 2011 where he took victory on the fearsome Monte Zoncolan, ahead of Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador. He looked to be en route to a podium position, but cracked the following day and finished 17th overall. The Giro will return to the Zoncolan in 2014 on the penultimate stage of the race.

    In addition to the Zoncolan, the riders will have to tackle eight other summit finishes. The 30-year-old has shown good grand tour talents in the past. In 2010 he seemed like he was on his way to winning the Vuelta a España when he crashed out while wearing the leader's jersey. His best result was 8th in the 2007 Vuelta.

    The Spaniard was long part of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, which folded at the end of this season. At one point it looked like he might have to drop to Pro Continental level to find a contract, but was apparently saved by the nullifying of Alejandro Marque's contract.

    Antón is one of four Euskaltel riders to have made the jump to the one remaining Spanish WorldTour team. He will be joined by brothers Gorka and Jon Izagirre, and Juan Jose Lobato from the Basque outfit. His early season will have a distictly Spanish feeling to it with the Challenge Mallorca, the Volta a Catalunya and the Vuelta a País Vasco, before looking to the Ardennes Classics.

  • Gallery: Rui Costa shows new jersey and bike

    Rui Costa gets ready to go out on track
    Article published:
    January 02, 2014, 10:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lampre-Merida also changes team kit

    Lampre-Merida has revealed the new team kit for 2014 and the world champion's jersey for its new signing Rui Costa. The Portuguese will wear an all-white kit, with prominent rainbow stripes on the chest and white bib shorts. His teammates also receive new jerseys designed by Champion System. 

    “Champion System is proud to be a part of the Lampre-Merida professional cycling team. We have increased our support this year as we believe that the team will continue to develop during an after races to help us develop our brand,” said Louis Shih, CEO of Champion System.

    The traditional combination of Lampre's fuchsia and Merida's green gets matched with a darker shade of blue on the new team wear. Lampre and Merida are the prominent name sponsors while smaller team sponsors also get a place.

    Merida also provided Rui Costa with the Reacto EVO Team, in custom made rainbow colors. 

    Lampre-Merida welcomes eight new riders to its team, with Rui Costa, Rafael Valls, Nelson Oliviera and Sascha Modolo the best known riders. The Italian squad also said goodbye to nine riders with Adriano Malori's transfer to Movistar and Michele Scarponi's move to Astana the biggest losses. 

  • Gallery: Omega Pharma-QuickStep 2014 roster

    British champion Mark Cavendish
    Article published:
    January 02, 2014, 13:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Uran, Renshaw and Bakelandts in new kit

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep have released the first images of their full squad in the 2014 kit, including new signings Rigoberto Urán and Mark Renshaw.

    Urán, who finished second at last year's Giro d'Italia, was one of the Belgian outfit's major signings over the winter. The Colombian joined from team Sky to boost the squad's chances in the general classification, while Renshaw was drafted in to sure up Mark Cavendish's sprint train. Renshaw will be reunited with Cavendish for the first time since the HTC-HighRoad team folded at the end of 2011.

    Other new signings include, Jan Bakelandts and Thomas de Gendt. The two Belgians were taken on at the last minute after both struggled to find new contracts. De Gendt had to take a serious pay decrease to ensure his position in the team. Julian Alaphilippe and Petr Vakoc have also been welcomed into the fold as neo-pros.

    The national champions' jerseys of Cavendish and Michal Kwiatowski have stayed much the same, as has Tony Martin's world time trial champion's kit.

    Click here for the full gallery

  • Tiernan-Locke removed from Sky website

    Jonathan Tiernan-Locke (Sky Procycling)
    Article published:
    January 02, 2014, 14:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Briton still unable to train with the team

    Team Sky have continued to distance themselves from Jonathan Tiernan-Locke, after he was removed from the team's website today.

    Cyclingnews spoke to the team who said that it is "in line with the policy" of removing him from all team activities, while he's suspended and that nothing further has happened in his case. The page was taken down as part of site development, which included updating the team roster.

    The 29-year-old was dropped from the racing programme in September when it was revealed that he had anomalies in his blood passport and he remains unable to train with the British squad. Tiernan-Locke has remained quiet on the subject and the UCI opened up a case against him in December stating that, “the analysis of the biological passport of Mr Jonathan Tiernan-Locke by the Experts Panel has demonstrated an anti-doping rule violation.” No date has been confirmed for the hearing.

  • TIBCO completes 2014 team with Dvorak, Schwager

    Andrea Dvorak (Exergy) takes charge on the last climb
    Article published:
    January 02, 2014, 19:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Women's team mixes youth and experience with eye on Rio

    Team TIBCO/To the Top finalized its 2014 roster with the addition of Andrea Dvorak, formerly of the Exergy-Twenty16 squad, and Swiss time trial champion Patricia Schwager.

    Dvorak has been a strong climber and domestique on professional teams for the past eight seasons, mixing her time with domestic racing and international competition with the US national team, including the world championships in 2012 and 2013. She scored her first overseas victory in La Route de France in 2012.

    "Andrea adds a lot of depth, particularly to our stage race squad," team manager Linda Jackson said. "She'll also bring more leadership to the team, both domestically and in Europe."

    The team also signed 20-year-old Canadians Alizee Brien, Anika Todd, 23, and 22-year-old Emma Grant of Great Britain, winner of the 2012 Air Force Cycling Classic.

    "Emma is another all-around talent who is still developing her ability," Jackson said. "We're looking forward to giving her some opportunities and seeing her further her development."

    Other additions for 2014 include neo-pro Sara Clafferty Headley and Scotti Wilborne, with returning riders Joanne Kiesanowski, Amanda Miller, Jasmin Glaesser, Samantha Schneider, Lauren Stephens and Kristabel Doebel-Hickok

    Team TIBCO/To the Top Roster for 2014

    Alizee Brien (Can)
    Sara Clafferty Headley (USA)
    Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA)
    Andrea Dvorak (USA)
    Jasmin Glaesser (Can
    Emma Grant (GBr)
    Joanne Kiesanowski (NZl)
    Amanda Miller (USA)
    Samantha Schneider (USA)
    Patricia Schwager (Swi)
    Lauren Stephens (USA)
    Anika Todd (CAN)
    Scotti Wilborne (USA)

  • Gallery: Belkin training on new Bianchi bikes

    Mollema and Kelderman set the pace on the front
    Article published:
    January 03, 2014, 10:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch WorldTour team ride new Bianchi's in Spain

    It was a far more settled and calm mood at this winter's Team Belkin training camp on the south coast of Spain. Twelve months on from the sponsorshop woes following Rabobank's speedy departure from the sport, the only Dutch WorldTour squad were in the position of looking back over a year of success - with over 35 wins - as they planned their assault on the coming year.

    The team gathered in Alicante, Spain, for a nearly two-weeks of training and planning in late December with one of the main emphasises on testing out their new bikes. Giant, who had supplied the team for a number of seasons were replaced with the Italy's legendary Bianchi brand taking over.

    Luckily for the team the weather held out for most of the camp, so the likes of Tour de France leaders Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema could enjoy some dry, warm weather training.

  • Contador: I'm going to the Tour de France to win

    Alberto Contador poses for a photograph in front of Corcovado mountain in Brazil
    Article published:
    January 03, 2014, 11:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    TInkoff-Saxo rider opens up new School of Cycling

    After the trials and tribulations of last season, Alberto Contador [Tinkoff-Saxo] is beginning the new year in a fighting spirit.

    “I am going to the Tour to win,” Contador told the press at the launch of his new School of Cycling. “I do not know who will be the leader in the pack. It is certain that [Chris] Froome dominated the 2013 season, but if he wants to win the Tour again he will have to beat the rest of the riders and teams who have prepared to the maximum.”

    Contador took only one victory in 2013 at his opening race of the year, the Tour de San Luis. Despite his aggressive riding style, he struggled to nail down another win and is looking to rectify that as soon as possible. “I am highly motivated ahead of this campaign. I've spoken to the media less, so that I can focus more on training and I am very happy with how it's going."

    The 31-year-old was very active in last year's Tour de France, but repeated attacks took their toll and he faded into fourth place in the final week. His inability to match Froome in the mountains caused, his team sponsor, Oleg Tinkov to take to twitter and criticise his motivation. The Spaniard dismissed the notion that this still causes friction between the two, stating that it is “old news” and that he has a good relationship with his new team owner.

    Contador spoke to the media at the presentation of his new School of Cycling, for boys and girls aged between 8 and 14. The school is in addition to the junior and under 23 teams that were announced late last year. “This is a great day for me, because I never had the chance to enjoy a cycling school,” said the Spaniard.

    “The goal isn't to make...