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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, March 18, 2011

Date published:
March 18, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Tour of California selects 19 teams for 2011 edition

    The Amgen Tour of California peloton takes in stunning scenery along the coast.
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 14:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Movistar added to team roster

    The Amgen Tour of California will include 19 teams in its race on May 15 through May 22. Organizer AEG selected a mix of international and domestic teams for its sixth annual race.

    HTC-Highroad, Garmin-Cervélo, Sky, Rabobank, Liquigas-Cannondale, Saxo Bank Sungard, Leopard Trek, RadioShack and BMC are the nine UCI ProTeams who will participate.

    UCI Professional Continental Teams NetApp, Team Type 1-sanofi aventis, Spidertech Powered By C10 and UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling as well as UCI Continental Teams Movistar Team, Jamis-Sutter Home, Kelly Benefit Strategies - OptumHealth, Bissell Pro Cycling, Jelly Belly p/b Kenda and Kenda/5-Hour Energy Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder also received invitations.

    HTC-Highroad, a team based in California, is likely to field riders such as sprint sensation Matt Goss and promising young American Tejay Van Garderen. Team Garmin-Cervélo could bring Americans David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde while three-time race winner Levi Leipheimer will lead his RadioShack team in search of a fourth win.

    Sky ProCycling will bring last year's winner Michael Rogers along and Saxo Bank's prolific sprinter Juan Jose Haedo will be looking to add to his five previous stage wins. Finally, Rabobank's Australian Under 23 world champion Michael Matthews and BMC Racing's veteran George Hincapie will be other men to watch.

    "The caliber of teams participating in the Amgen Tour of California seems to grow with each passing year, which is a great testament to the status of our race on the...

  • Phinney to use Catalunya as Classics prep

    Taylor Phinney shows off his US time trial champion's skinsuit
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 16:43 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American hopes to build form for Flanders, Roubaix

    Taylor Phinney will line-up for next week's Tour of Catalunya confident of making BMC's Classics team for the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    The American neo-pro has endured a difficult start to his season, suffering from a knee injury at the start of the year and then mild concussion caused by a crash in training.

    However, now cleared to race by doctor Max Testa, Phinney has been busy training in Lucca, Italy.

    "I've been training a lot, more than I usually train to be honest. It's the perfect situation here for me in Lucca with so many guys based here," Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    "It's not been a great start to the season with injuries and crashes but that's just how life is. I was pretty upset about a month ago about not being able to start in the Tour of Qatar and feeling that I was losing a lot of time, but I'm realizing more and more that the season is long and I've just got to take care of myself in order to have a longer career. Results will come and as long as my mind is in the right place it will all be alright."

    Catalunya will provide Phinney with precious racing miles ahead of his spring objectives. A two-time winner of the under 23 version of Paris-Roubaix, he will use the Spanish stage race as a test for both his knee and form.

    "I'm really excited about it. It will be a great jumping off point for the Classics and my fitness will be enough to compete in the races that I want to compete in."

    "We wont make any decisions until after Catalunya but I'm hoping that I come back from there with a good amount of...

  • McQuaid calls Beijing boycott threat over radio ban "blackmail"

    Pat McQuaid faced a barrage of questions.
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 19:24 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Pro Cycling Council looking for increased doping penalties

    The International Cycling Union's president Pat McQuaid met with the Professional Cycling Council (PCC) in Milan today, but the meeting went forth without Jonathan Vaughters of the teams' association (AIGCP) and Gianni Bugno of the international rider's association (CPA).  The council discussed extending bans for doping, but it did not cover the ongoing controversial radio ban topic.

    The meeting was scheduled to hold talks regarding the highly contentious ban, but after the AIGCP and CPA banded together to threaten the UCI with a boycott of the Tour of Beijing if the organisation does not rescind its rule by May 1, McQuaid told the AIGCP to decide between the boycott and the talks, and the answer was clear.

    In a letter to the AIGCP, of which Cyclingnews obtained a copy, McQuaid argued that the UCI has the final say in creating the rule, which progressively phases out radios in all races except the World Tour.

    "(The) UCI has no requirement to consider itself bound by input from a particular stakeholder in deciding on the governance of the sport of cycling but out of consideration and good governance, UCI welcomes and considers any input. ...

    "Simply put: the system does not have to adequately represent the interest of the teams and their employees (interests which, by the way, conflict among these two at many times) - or of any other particular stakeholder, it has to represent the best interests of the sport which is primordial."

    McQuaid called the AIGCP's position an issue of "blackmail" because the teams did not get what they wanted and have no power to veto the decisions.

    He also accused the AIGCP and Vaughters of "satisfying the desires of some of your members to create...

  • Milan-San Remo peloton to aid Japan relief efforts

    The jersey of Japanese champion Takashi Miyazawa will be auctioned to fund relief efforts
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 20:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Peanut Butter & Co./Twenty12 team calls for donation of San Dimas prize money

    The riders of the 102nd Milan-San Remo will be giving up their jerseys in a bid to raise money to help survivors of the recent earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    The jersey of Japanese champion Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) will be auctioned alongside those of Thor Hushovd and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervélo), Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) Vincenzo Nibali and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale), Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), Michele Scarponi and Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD), Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky) and Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) as well as many others who are not competing in the Italian Monument.

    The auction will benefit a charity chosen by Miyazawa and can be found at

    In the USA, the Peanut Butter & Co./Twenty12 team is committing any prize money won by the team at the upcoming San Dimas Stage Race in California to relief efforts.

    The team is calling for all of the participating men's and women's squads to come together and donate the prize purse as well. The total prize list for the race is $10,000.

    "If both pelotons agree to go all in, there could be as much as $10,000 sent to one of the charities spearheading recovery efforts in Japan," said Twenty12 racer Kristin McGrath. "We feel very blessed to be able to race our bikes and then go home to warm beds and hot food. As individuals, it is hard to make a big difference, but as a group, we have the opportunity to make a bigger difference."

    The team will also set up a Red Cross page for any additional donations.

  • Cavendish to debut Specialized Venge in Milan-San Remo

    The Specialized McLaren Venge
    Article published:
    March 17, 2011, 21:55 GMT
    John Whitney, Procycling

    Formula One-inspired machine launched at McLaren HQ

    Specialized today unveiled the jewel in their road bike crown - the Venge.

    The bike is the result of a nine month collaboration with the Formula One racing giants McLaren. It will be used in competition for the first time at Milan-San Remo this weekend by a select group of riders from Specialized-sponsored teams, including Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia).

    BikeRadar were invited along to the top secret launch at the imposing McLaren Headquarters in Woking, UK to catch a first glimpse of the impressive machine.

    The bike will be available in two models; the S-Works Venge will be available to buy in the UK from the end of April, but the model we were shown today - the McLaren Venge - is being held back until September. Prices will be decribed in more detail later on, but the McLaren Venge will cost £5,000 for the frameset and forks.

    Over four and a half years in the making, the Venge is the brainchild of Specialized's Head of Research and Development Chris D'Aluisio. He was testing a modified Transition with drop bars in 2006 and was 'blown away' by the speed it offered. It was then he realised the potential in creating a road bike with all the properties of an aero bike. So they got to work on creating an aerodynamic frame, resulting in the S-Works Venge.

    McLaren had approached Specialized in March 2009 about a possible linking up between the companies, and it was in July last year that they took the prototype of the Venge to the carbon fibre experts of McLaren. Through their filter, the collaboration produced the model unveiled today, the McLaren Venge.

    Key specifications

    The specifications for both models of the Venge are certainly interesting, subject to further verification. Claimed weight for the frame only is 950g, with the complete module (frame, fork, seatpost, crankset) tipping the scales at 2.07kg for the McLaren and 2.18kg for the S-Works Venge.

    Aero savings are...

  • Willems out for up to two months with knee problems

    Frederic Willems holds it for the camera
    Article published:
    March 18, 2011, 0:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto rider to undergo surgery this week

    Frederik Willems of Omega Pharma-Lotto must undergo knee surgery which will keep him out of racing for up to two months. The 31-year-old will have the operation on Friday, the team announced.

    Willems abandoned the fourth stage of the Tirreno-Adriatico last week with knee pain.

    According to the team, the Belgian suffers from a “pre-patellar friction syndrome,” or problem with the bursa on the kneecap. When riding, there is a friction will causes an irritation and inflammation, and therefore pain.

    He will not be allowed to ride for three weeks after the surgery, and it is hoped that he can start racing again within two months.


  • Strong support for Team Jayco-2XU

    The Team Jayco-2XU kit.
    Article published:
    March 18, 2011, 3:09 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Unrivalled corportate backing for new Australian domestic team

    Australia's newest men's professional cycling outfit, Team Jayco-2XU today announced its sponsors. The team is set to compete in 2011 in the Australian National Road Series. The level of support achieved is unrivalled in Australian domestic cycling and highlights the team's professional approach.

    In addition to support from joint title sponsors, Jayco and 2XU, the team enjoys strong corporate support from leading Australian and international blue-chip companies including Ausenco, RBS Morgans, Bluescope Steel, Shell, Brisbane BMW, Corpnet, Art Equity and Luescher Teknik. This strong list of corporate support will underwrite the team's success and confirms the strong profile cycling enjoys in the overall sporting landscape.

    Complementing the corporate support is a strong portfolio of equipment sponsors including Felt, Shimano, Zipp, Bont, Kask, Rudy Project, Continental, Garmin, SIS and Aussie Butt Cream. The team will ride Felt's leading AR0 bicycles equipped with Shimano Di2 groupsets, a Zipp wheel, bar and stem package, and Continental tyres. This innovative and highly aerodynamic package will ensure that the team's riders receive a strong technological advantage from their equipment which will benefit them in their drive for success. The riders will wear the latest high performance clothing from 2XU, helmets from Kask, shoes from Bont, and Rudy Project sunglasses. Rounding out this overall performance package will be GPS computers from Garmin, nutrition from SIS (Science In Sport) and chamois cream from Aussie Butt Cream.

    The team is also delighted to announce that Raoul Luescher will join the team as Technical Director. Raoul will work closely with Team Manager Pat Jonker to ensure riders' technical needs are met and that all aspects of rider performance are optimised and maximised.

    Team Jayco-2XU's roster, announced just last week, is an exciting mix which combines proven experience with youth and potential. Headlining...

  • Reports suggest Fuentes and Saiz will serve time in jail

    Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes
    Article published:
    March 18, 2011, 4:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Operación Puerto accused facing two-year sentences

    Controversial former ONCE team doctor Eufemiano Fuentes and former ONCE and Liberty Seguros team boss Manolo Saiz are staring down the barrel of two-year jail sentences following Operación Puerto.

    Spanish agency EFE reports that Fuentes, his sister Yolanda, Saiz, another doctor named José Luis Merino Batres, along with former Comunidad Valenciana manager José Ignacio Labarta are all accused of crimes against public health.

    EFE says that the penalties are only likely at this stage with the Spanish judicial investigation has not officially closed meantime; it is unclear when the actual trial will take place.

    Earlier this week, Saiz claimed that he and everyone else involved in the Operación Puerto inquiry will be declared "innocent".

    Speaking to Europa Press and Spanish national radio (RNE), Saiz said that he got involved in the Puerto case because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time when the Guardia Civil made their initial arrests on 23 May 2006. He says he went to a hotel cafeteria that day to speak with doctors Fuentes and Batres to talk about the health and prospects of a blind girl.

    Saiz also defended the reputation of Fuentes, who was also implicated in the more recent Galgo investigation. "I have said and I will always do so that he is a great psychologist," he said.