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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 4, 2013

Date published:
January 04, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Euskaltel’s Antón hopes for the Vuelta podium

    Igor Anton features in the latest issue of CNHD
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 12:42 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Basque tells CNHD team is still riding with home values

    Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Igor Antón came close to his best result in a Grand Tour at the 2012 Vuelta a España, but he tells CN HD there is more to come from him this season.

    “The top ten in the Vuelta and the other results [at the Ardennes Classics], I know that I can do better,” he told Cycling News HD. “I am confident that I can achieve it. The Vuelta this year was at a very high level, because of the contenders. I am convinced I can better it.”

    Anton finished ninth in the final Grand Tour of the season. His best result came in 2007 when he finished in eighth, while his team-mate Samuel Sánchez took third.

    Some of Antón’s best and worst moments have come at the hands of the Vuelta. In 2011 he won an emotional stage as the race returned to the Basque country for the first time in 33 years. The season before he was leading, eventual leader, Vincenzo Nibali by 45 seconds when he crashed out on a flat section of road. “I love the Vuelta it is a race that has given me a lot,” he said. “Without doubt a podium in the Vuelta a España is possible. I am aware that it is very difficult, but if I have good form then I can fight for it.”

    Team manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano has already confirmed that Sánchez will lead the Basque outfit at the Giro d’Italia. The remaining two Grand Tours are up for grabs, but Gonzalez de Galdeano has hinted Antón could be heading to the Tour. The team are awaiting the announcement of the Vuelta route on 12 January, before they make firm decisions on the calendar.

    All change

    Traditionally a 100% Basque team,...

  • Video: Cancellara's Classics focus for 2013

    Tour de France prologue winner Fabian Cancellara resplendent in yellow at the start of the first road stage.
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 13:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    To concentrate on Classics instead of time trials

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack) has hinted that he will concentrate on one-day races in the future, relinquishing any remaining dominance he held in time trials. In the last two season Cancellara has seen in time trial crown slip with Tony Martin winning the last two world time trial championships – albeit Cancellara missed the 2012 event through injury.

    Cancellara endured a mixed year of racing in 2012. He displayed fine form in the first few months of the season and looked on course to compete for wins in the Belgian Classics. However a crash in the Tour of Flanders left him on the sidelines with a broken collar bone.

    The Swiss rider returned to the fray in July, winning the Tour de France prologue and wearing the yellow jersey for a week. His 28 days in yellow make him the Tour rider to wear the leader's jersey longest without winning the race

    After leaving the Tour early to attend the birth of his daughter, Cancellara concentrated his efforts in the London 2012 Olympics. Just as in the Classics, the form and preparation were perfect but a crash saw him lose any chances of a medal in the road race, while he could only limp through the time trial. It was sorry end to the season.

    At last month’s RadioShack team camp, Cancellara sat down with Cyclingnews to talk about his 2012 season and his hopes for the 2013 campaign. With new management in place at the team, Cancellara said he was motivated to challenge for a number of one-day wins, starting with Milan-SanRemo.


  • Wilier to sponsor SmartStop/Mountain Khakis

    Team SmartStop-Mountain Khakis would deliver teammate Luke Keough to victory in Vail.
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 14:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team Exergy's demise is NC team's gain

    Italian bicycle maker Wilier Triestina will keep its planned presence in the United States by sponsoring the SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis UCI Continental men's team in 2013.

    Wilier had planned to support Team Exergy, but that team's title sponsor announced in late November that it would no longer fund the squad.

    "It was disappointing that the Exergy team dissolved late in 2012, as we had just come on as the bike sponsor," said Wilier USA President, Angelo Cilli. "However, this ended up being a blessing in disguise when the opportunity arose to work with the Smart Stop p/b Mountain Khakis team, as they are a consistently top--level US program."

    "There was no way we could pass up the chance to work with riders like two-time Olympian Bobby Lea, Jackie Simes, the inimitable Adam Myerson and Canadian Crit Champion, Ben Chaddock. We expect 2013 to be a great season, and are proud to support these riders and their teammates."

    The Mountain Khakis team rode Ridley bicycles in 2012.

    Team SmartStop p/b Mountain Khakis for 2013
    Thomas Brown
    Ben Chaddock (Canadian Criterium Champion)
    Jon Hamblen
    Isaac Howe (Winner 2012 USA Crits Old Pueblo Gran Prix, winner 2012 Sunny King Criterium)
    Shane Kline
    Travis Livermon ((2nd place 2012 Chris Thater Memorial Crit)
    Bobby Lea (two-time Olympian on the track)
    Chris Monteleone
    Clay Murfet
    Adam Myerson
    Daniel Patten ((winner 2012 Wambeek-Ternat in Belgium)
    Jackie Simes (winner 2012 Glencoe Grand Prix)
    Frank Travieso (winner 2012 Beaufort Memorial Classic)
    Chris Uberti
    Curtis Winsor

  • Sciandri confirms interest in Italian national coach’s job

    Max Sciandri (Motorola) leads TVM's Jesper Skibby at the 1992 Tour of Flanders.
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 16:57 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    BMC DS will take position if Di Rocco re-elected

    Tipped as Italy’s future road coach by Paolo Bettini, BMC sports director Max Sciandri says that he will take up the post should Italy’s cycling federation president, Renato Di Rocco be re-elected on January 12th.

    Sciandri would remain working with BMC, who approved the project when Sciandri told them he had received the proposal last autumn, but as he told Cyclingnews on Thursday “I’d spend a lot of my rest time working with the Italian federation.”

    “I got a phone call late last summer about it and it pretty much blew me away,” Sciandri said. “When [Franco] Ballerini [former Italian national coach] passed away, my name had already circulated, but I was very happy to hear it happening again.”

    “I’d just signed a three-year deal with BMC but I spoke to [BMC team manager] Jim [Ochowicz] about it. It all depends on the elections on January 12th. If Di Rocco wins, and he’s got to win with 55 percent of the vote, the plan is there.”

    During a 16-year career, the Anglo-Italian all-rounder won three stages in the Giro and one in the Tour de France as well as one-day Classics as prestigious as the Wincanton Classic, the Giro del Veneto and the Coppa Piacci. He retired in 2004. For three years a former teammate of Lance Armstrong’s in Motorola, Sciandri says he has no comment to make on the American’s downfall.

    Sciandri has worked with national federations in the past, training riders at the former British Cycling Academy at the town of Quarrata before switching to BMC. With strong Tuscan roots, next year’s world championships would run close to where he is based in Italy - “the course literally runs through the middle of Quarrata”, Sciandri says - and where he knows the roads like the back of his hand: both factors...

  • Boels Rentals steps up to sponsor Holland Ladies Tour

    World Cup leader, Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) before the start
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 19:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch company signs up for “several years”

    The Holland Ladies Tour will continue for several more years, as its financial future has been secured through a new sponsor. Boels Rentals will back the race, to be known as the Boels Holland Ladies Tour.

    “Thanks to Boels Rental, we continue to invest in the Dutch women's cycling,” which consisted of not only Olympic and Worlds road champion Marianne Vos, but also “many others at a very high level now,” said race chairman Marten de Lange. "We offer the teams the option to go against each other  at the highest international level of competition.”

    Vos has won the race the last four consecutive years. This year's edition, scheduled for September 3-8, will feature a team time trial and a queen stage n the Limburg province.

    Boels is becoming a big name in sponsoring Dutch cycling, as it was a sponsor at both the World Championships in Limburg and the national championships. It is particularly active in women's cycling, as sponsor of the Boels Dolmans team.  It will also sponsor the women's one-day race Boels Holland Hills Classics on May 24.

    In 2012 the race was sponsored by the hairstyling salon chain BrainWash.  De Lange said that while he was grateful for their support, without which the race may well have been cancelled, “it was for both parties clear that this would only be for one year.”

  • Searing temperatures force early start to Sun Tour Friday

    The late season Herald Sun Tour races through the Victorian country side.
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 19:45 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Stage could still be abandoned

    Dangerously hot conditions expected in Victoria on Friday have forced race organisers of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour to start Stage 1 two hours earlier in a bid to avoid potential threats to the peloton.

    The Bureau of Meteorology is forecasting temperatures of 40 degrees Celcius and high winds, resulting in an extremely high fire danger. The conditions are reminiscent of those last seen during ‘Black Saturday' in February 2009 where 173 people were killed after bushfires swept through the state.

    Friday's stage between Sunbury, 40 kilometres northwest of Melbourne, and Bendigo was scheduled to depart at 11:30 meaning the race would take place right in the heat of the day.

    Instead, the 147.7km stage from Sunbury's Rupertswood Mansion to Tom Flood Sports Centre in Bendigo, will begin at 09:30 with the finish expected around 13:30.

    "Our biggest priority is the safety of the riders and we made a decision as an event to move the stage earlier to avoid the harsh heat of the afternoon," Trevorrow said.

    "Due to the forecasted weather, we have worked early to liaise with all the influential parties including the police, emergency services, the host towns of Sunbury and Bendigo and the chief commissaire of the race to make the change and benefit everyone.

    "If the weather goes above 41 degrees then the race could be stopped under the regulations so we want to do everything we can to avoid that risk. It's unlikely to get that hot early in the day, but we will have to wait and see given the forecast in Bendigo is for temperatures in the mid forties," he added.

  • Second witness comes forward on Rabobank doping

    Dutchman Michael Boogerd in 2007
    Article published:
    January 03, 2013, 21:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Boogerd, Luttenberger named

    Following last month's extensive report which included information from an anonymous former Rabobank rider about the team's past doping, Dutch website published a second anonymous rider's anecdotes, which referred to Michael Boogerd and Peter Luttenberger.

    Boogerd has refused to comment on the doping allegations, which claim that the former Dutch champion and several of his teammates visited an Austrian clinic for blood doping.

    The previous anonymous rider stated that the team made the decision to engage in doping in 1999, but the new information indicates that there were questionable activities going on earlier in the 90s.

    "We flew to Spain for the first training camp and there was a discussion between Boogerd and management team," the anonymous former-teammate stated. "Boogerd was panicked because his hematocrit was only 37."

    Riders were at the time allowed to have a maximum value of 50, and as has become clear through the US Anti-Doping Agency's reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong and other sources, many riders used blood doping to raise their hematocrit to the maximum allowed limit.

    "'My races are coming up, but I cannot race with a hematocrit of 37!'," the rider recounted Boogerd's comments."Dr. Geert Leinders had to use to reassure him that everything would be fine. Team boss Theo de Rooij was there and participated in the conversation."

    De Rooij, who is the subject of a wrongful dismissal suit by Michael Rasmussen, has denied direct knowledge of doping within the team. He said last year that before 2007, riders were responsible for determining themselves "how far he would go in...

  • Watson: Armstrong "did what he had to do"

    Lance Armstrong at the 2009 Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 9:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Photographer defends banned ex-pro

    Photographer Graham Watson has defended Lance Armstrong, saying “Outright angels do not win a Tour de France. That is the domain of the most talented, hard, driven, ruthless and selfish riders. Lance did what he had to do to win, and he clearly did it very well.” Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles in 2012 and was handed a life time ban.

    Watson, who has long been associated with Armstrong, admitted  on his blog that “I’m not likely to utter any bad words about a cyclist who helped so much to escalate my earnings way back then (....) Don’t go looking for criticism because it just won’t be there – if Lance did what he’s been accused of doing, then that’s his issue to deal with.

    “All I do know is he’s not the manipulative ‘bully’ certain members of the media have tried to portray him as in their tabloid stories. He was ambitious, ruthless, highly talented, tough, he knew how to lead his teammates and intimidate his rivals to make sure he won. But is he any different from a President, an army General, a corporate leader of industry, a career politician, or any other sporting great?”

    He continued, “If he cheated, he cheated the other cheats of that era, even if by doing so he also cheated an adoring public. He didn’t kill anyone along the way, and as a father of five, he’s no child molester either. For me, his punishment outweighs the alleged crimes, for a lifetime ban from all sports seems quite draconian in this day and age. I’m surprised USADA hasn’t also fixed an ankle-bracelet to Armstrong’s leg, just in case he tries to sneak into a triathlon or ultra-distance running event in disguise.”

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