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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 16, 2012

Date published:
November 16, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Milan-San Remo route unchanged for 2013

    Simon Gerrans (GreenEdge) celebrates winning
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 11:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Giro del Lazio set for new March date

    The 2013 Milan-San Remo will again follow the traditional 298km route and end with the climbs of the Cipressa and Poggio but race organisers RCS Sport are considering adding extra climbs for the future to give more riders a chance of victory in the first major Classic of the season.

    "Next year's route won't change. Because if we did make changes, we'd want to announce well in advance. However we are looking how we can open up the race and increase the number of potential winners," Mauro Vegni –the technical manager for all of RCS Sport races said in a recent interview on Radio Manà Manà Sport.

    Australia's Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) won this year's race after breaking away with Fabian Cancellara and Vincenzo Nibali on the Poggio. The current route often sees the sprinters fight for victory but Vegni would like to give other riders a far better chance of success.

    "By studying changes, we're not saying that the winners of the last year years aren't great riders but simply because when riders try to attack on the Poggio their efforts are often in vain because of the distance between the summit of the climb and the finish. We're trying to understand how we can change the route to give the riders who attack on the Cipressa and the Poggio a better chance of victory," Vegni said.

    The race has traditionally finished in the centre of San Remo, on the Via Roma. In recent years the finish has been on the seafront, three kilometres from the end of the twisting descent. In the eighties and early nineties the race ended on Corso Cavallotti, less than a kilometre from the Poggio, helping breakaway attempts hold off the sprinters. RCS Sport could decide to move the finish of the race...

  • UCI confirms 2014 Worlds for Ponferrada

    The powerhouse Spanish team has plenty of options for the world championship road race.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 12:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    30 day extention allows Spanish bid to secure position

    After month of uncertainty, the UCI has confirmed that the 2014 Road World Championships will take place in Ponferrada, Spain.

    The news brings to an end concern that the bid was close to collapse due to the financial and economic problems in Spain. At the World Championships in September, the UCI granted the Spanish bid a 30 day period in order to meet certain contractual commitments. Last month the the regional council stepped in to guarantee funding by the mid-October deadline imposed by cycling's governing body.

    The UCI had threatened to withdraw its support for the Spanish bid unless contractual agreements were met, however the Castilla y León local government has added its endorsement and by October 31 will have paid one million euros and guaranteed the remaining four million.

    “I am delighted to confirm that the Ponferrada organisers have responded quickly and efficiently to our request, providing us with the financial and organisational guarantees that we required,” UCI President Mr Pat McQuaid said in a press release on Thursday.

    “We can now look forward with confidence to the 2014 UCI Road World Championships in one of our traditional cycling nations.”

    However the UCI made clear in the press release that "this confirmation is on the condition that remaining guarantees are forthcoming."

    The 2014 UCI Road World Championships will be held from September 20th to 28th. The 2013 championship will be held in Florence, Italy from September 22nd to 29th.

  • Sagan ready to lead Cannondale into 2013 Classics

    Peter Sagan and the Liquigas-Cannondale team sign autographs for Japanese fans.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 15:24 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Slovak “won’t make the same mistakes again”

    Following a breakthrough season in 2012, Peter Sagan says he is ready to assume leadership of the newly titled Cannondale Pro Cycling team next year. And after a string of near misses last spring, the Slovakian is determined to make his mark on the Classics in 2013.

    Asked if he felt extra pressure going into next season, following several high profile departures from this season’s Liquigas squad, the 22-year-old sounded bullish. ”I'm not scared of responsibility,” he told Cycling News HD.

    “I'm still learning but I think I've earned my position. I'm not worried about being a team leader or being under pressure to get results. They're the easy part of cycling. The hard part is actually winning, no?

    ”It's a pity that Vincenzo left,” he continued, referring to Vincenzo Nibali’s transfer to Astana, “because we get on really well, but I respect his decision and we've still got a strong team. I'm sure we'll be good in 2013. Ivan Basso is a role model for us all and then Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and Fabio Sabatini are pretty good in sprints. We can all get results.”

    Despite talk after his dominant green jersey display at the Tour de France of Sagan slimming down to become a GC contender in the future, the rider insisted that for now he has unfinished business with the spring Classics, races where he already has the attributes to be successful.

    "I was fourth in Milan-Sanremo, second in Gent-Wevelgem, fifth at the Tour of Flanders and third at Amstel Gold," he recalled.

    "It's true I didn’t win but they're not bad results for my second full spring campaign. The classics are more complicated than other races, experience counts a lot and I'm happy to admit I made mistakes. I also learnt a lot. Now...

  • Luca Scinto critical of the Bakala's cycling revolution

    Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli manager Luca Scinto with Giro della Romagna winner Oscar Gatto.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 17:30 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Farnese Vini directeur sportif defends current structure

    Farnese Vini-Selle Italia directeur sportif Luca Scinto has stood up for the many Professional Continental teams that have been ignored by Zdenek Bakala and his project to revolutionise the structure of the sport by creating cycling equivalent of a Champion's League.

    Scinto and his equally blunt-talking team manager Angelo Citracca told Cyclingnews that any form of closed team system would go against the history of cycling and limit the chances of smaller teams to take part in the biggest races.

    "It's easy to talk about changing and even improving things but it'll be very difficult to make anything happen, especially in the current economic climate." Scinto warned.

    "Cycling is built on its traditions but Bakala wants to change everything and create a closed system. That's very dangerous for everyone else. It'd mean a lot of other teams would disappear, minor races would disappear and the sport would lose many of its traditions and heritage. And for what? Nobody really knows. There's talk about sharing television rights but will the organisers ever hand over their TV rights? I doubt it."

    The Farnese Vini team won two stages at the Giro d'Italia and the climber's competition this season, meriting their wild card invitation from race organiser RCS Sport. Scinto believes his team deserves a place in the highest echelon on the sport, even if it has a budget far smaller than other major teams.

    "A team is considered successful if it wins races and races well. Having the biggest budget in the peloton doesn't mean you're he best team in the peloton," he pointed out. "Look at BMC. If Gilbert hadn't won the world title this year, how would their season have looked. It's not about the money you have but how well you do in the races."

    "I think it's only...

  • Eight-man Grand Tour teams a hard sell for team directors

    Nine rider teams are currently the norm for Grand Tours, will that change to eight in the near future?
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 18:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Reactions to proposal for smaller teams

    At the presentation of the 2013 Tour de France route last month, race director Christian Prudhomme hinted that he would be open to a reduction in team size from nine to eight riders for Grand Tours, a proposal currently being considered by the UCI management committee.

    "We wouldn't complain about having one rider less on each team, mainly as a matter of security but also so that the race might be a little less deadlocked," said Prudhomme.

    Several team managers have since weighed in on that proposal, and while fewer riders in the peloton could potentially increase safety, having as many riders as possible at their disposal for their Grand Tour rosters was a luxury they were reluctant to rescind.

    "What is certain is that with one rider less, the race will be much harder to control, especially for teams that focus on general classification," Katusha directeur sportif Valerio Piva told "The race would be more dramatic and could be more interesting. I don't think it would hurt the spectacle, even if the race would also take longer to start because everyone wouldn't want to miss a breakaway.

    "But as directeur sportif of Joaquim Rodriguez, who's looking to win a Grand Tour, I hope it will not happen because he needs a full team behind him!"

    Herman Frison, assistant directeur sportif of Lotto-Belisol, voiced his concern regarding teams with both GC and sprint stage ambitions.

    "For us, it really would not be a good deal," Frison told "Our team in particular bets on several tables at the Tour de France with Jurgen Van Den Broeck for the overall and Andre Greipel for sprints.

    "Knowing that we need...

  • Houle signs with AG2R-La Mondiale

    Hugo Houle (Spidertech Powered by C10)
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 20:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spidertech rider latest to find a team for 2013

    AG2R-La Mondiale today announced the signing of Canadian Hugo Houle, 22. He is the latest rider from the Spidertech team to find a replacement team for the 2013 season after the Pro Continental squad announced it would not exist in the coming season.

    Houle has been the Canadian U23 time trial champion for three years in a row, and was fourth in the U23 road race world championship in Valkenburg in September.

    It will be a WorldTour debut for Houle, who was set to race with Spidertech for the third year of his professional career, until the team decided to stop when it failed to secure a co-title sponsor.

    Spidertech eased the transition of its riders by providing their full contracted salaries for 2013.

    So far, three of the riders have gone to the Cannondale team: Brian Vandborg, David Boily and Guillaume Bovin; Timmy Duggan has signed with Saxo Bank, Ryan Anderson and Ryan Roth with Champion System and François Parisien with Argos-Shimano.

  • Three more teams join MPCC

    The Colnago-CSF Inox team
    Article published:
    November 15, 2012, 21:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bardiani-CSF, La Pomme Marseille and BigMat-Auber commit to stricter anti-doping rules

    Three more teams have joined the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (Movement for Credible Cycling), an organisation that has pushed for stricter anti-doping rules, and whose members agree to abide by ethical criteria that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

    The Italian professional continental team Bardiani-CSF (formerly Colnago-CSF Inox) joins along with French teams La Pomme Marseille and BigMat-Auber.

    The MPCC members commit to not to signing riders who have been suspended for doping, to control the use of corticoid injections and immediately suspend riders from racing if they fail an anti-doping control.

    Current members include AG2R La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ, Garmin-Sharp, the Swiss IAM Cycling project, Lotto Belisol, NetApp and Saur Sojasun.

    In the past, the MPCC has pushed for additional deterrents to doping, including a proposal to prevent riders returning from suspension from accumulating points toward a team's ranking during the first two seasons after the rider returns. That rule was put into place by the UCI for the WorldTour rankings, and has hampered the Saxo Bank team's efforts to remain in the top tier, as Alberto Contador's victory in the Vuelta a Espana was not counted.


  • Telenet signs on with Lotto Belisol

    The back of the Lotto Belisol bus
    Article published:
    November 16, 2012, 5:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Telecom company supports Belgian team

    Lotto Belisol has bucked the trend of sponsors exiting the sport, signing a new corporate supporter in Telenet, Belgium's biggest telecommunications company.

    The cable TV and internet provider has signed on for one year with an option of two additional seasons with the WorldTour candidate. It already supports a cyclo-cross program.

    "With the sponsorship of the Lotto Belisol cycling team, we further extend our commitment in cycling," said Telenet marketing manager Inge Smidts

    "Cycling continues to be extremely popular in Flanders. Telenet already aligned with cycling some years ago. By joining Lotto Belisol we will strengthen our brand during the spring and summer months. Lotto Belisol is known as a strong, locally based challenger with healthy ambitions."

    Lotto Belisol's general manager Bill Olivier was pleased to announce the new agreement. "As a Belgian team, we can welcome a very strong Belgian brand, Telenet, as partners. Telenet has shown it attaches great importance to communication through the sport in general, and cycling in particular, with cyclo-cross. Cooperation with Telenet will give us the opportunity to share the values Lotto Belisol stands for and to further shape the path outlined for the future. Lotto Belisol will be an ideal platform for Telenet."

    Olivier said that the fact that Telenet has increased interest in cycling is a clear signal that companies still believe in the sport, and that the strict ethical policy of his team contributed that. He added that they still have room for one more sponsor.