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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 4, 2011

Date published:
November 04, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Zahner to return to amateur ranks from BMC

    Simon Zahner (BMC) ready for the start of Paris-Roubaix.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 14:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider returns to roots after two years

    Simon Zahner is to leave BMC Racing Team, and has said he will subsequently drop all the way back down to the amateur ranks. He will return to his previous team EKZ Racing Team in his native Switzerland, according to radsport-news.com.

    Zahner, 28, rode for third-tier ranked Swiss team Saeco-Romer's-Wetzikon in 2003 and 2004 before going into the amateurs. Riding for EKZ in 2009, he won the overall title in both the Fleche du Sud and the Tour Alsace, leading to his contract with BMC.

    He was unable to repeat his success at BMC, where he rode as a domestique. Zahner rode the Giro d'Italia this year, his only Grand Tour.

  • Pujol searching for a new team

    Óscar Pujol (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is ready for the chilly start.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 15:07 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    No place for him in 2012 with Omega Pharma or Lotto

    Oscar Pujol has joined the long list of riders who is finding it “very difficult” to find a team for the coming season. The Spaniard's contract with Omega Pharma-Lotto expires the end of this year.

    He fears now that his only possibility is “to knock on all the doors”, he told Marca.com. He said he knew he was not in a position to ask much, but wants only a small racing calendar to let himself be seen, as he thinks he can show a good form.

    "I'm going into the preseason with uncertainty. As of December 31 there is time, but it is difficult to prepare without knowing where I might ride,” he said.

    Pujol admitted that ne never felt comfortable at Omega Pharma-Lotto, for a variety of reasons.  "From the start, being with the group of Belgians and partly because of the language, I felt apart, which makes you discouraged.

    He did not ride the Dauphine as well as hoped, and was not nominated for the Vuelta a Espana.  “That was hard because I supposed to ride it and it was my season highlight.”

    "It's been a bad year,” he concluded. Still, he had one consolation.  “I am the champion of training."

     

  • BMC retain WorldTour licence

    George Hincapie leads BMC in the team time trial.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 15:39 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    US team looking for repeat success in 2012

    Having caught numerous headlines in their debut season as a ProTeam, including guiding Cadel Evans to victory in the Tour de France and finishing fifth in the UCI WorldTour rankings, BMC Racing Team's president/general manager Jim Ochowicz confirmed that the team have had their WorldTour licence renewed for next season. BMC, which will start 2012 at the Tour Down Under in mid-January passed all of the relevant checks and met all of the criteria necessary to earn the renewal.

    "Cadel's victory at the Tour de France and the team's consistent performance throughout the year, both on and off the race course, is the true confirmation for this selection," Ochowicz said. "We look forward to the 2012 season with renewed enthusiasm and pride in our team of riders and staff."

  • Coach crash overshadows build up to Vuelta a Bolivia

    Bolivia will provide a tough test for the riders
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 16:12 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two riders injured in incident and may miss race

    The build up to the forthcoming Vuelta a Bolivia, which begins tomorrow, has been overshadowed by a coach crash that resulted in injuries to two riders.

    Race organisers stated that the coach overturned after picking up competitors from Santa Cruz airport 540km east of the capital city La Paz. Argentine rider Augustin Ledezma is definitely out of the race after sustaining injuries to his ribs, while Mexico's Alberto Donizetti Vasquez faces a race against time to be cleared fit after injuring his neck.

    The 10-stage race covers 1,619km and runs from tomorrow through to the climax on 13 November.

     

     

  • Diadora Pasta Zara unaffected by Geox woes

    Two: Bronzini reminds everyone she is a double world champion
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 17:48 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Women's team complete for 2012

    Despite being part of the same overall organisation in 2011 as the Geox-TMC men's team, the Diadora Pasta Zara women's professional squad is not suffering from the same uncertainties surrounding the men after the exit of Geox from its sponsorship obligations.

    Team manager Diana Zilute confirmed to Cyclingnews that the women's squad is independent from the men, and its complete roster headed by world champion Giorgia Bronzini is ready to take on a full calendar for the upcoming season.

    "We share the big disappointment with the men that Geox left the world of cycling. We're disappointed for the cycling movement, for the riders - it will perhaps be too late for some to find another team - the staff who worked on the team and especially for names like Geox and TMC which will no longer play their important part in the cycling world.

    "Our team, Diadora Pasta Zara, is not affected in any way by Geox TMC. We have our own independent structure in all aspects from them and we are going forward, as we have for 17 years.

    "We have already organized a new team with the world champion Giorgia Bronzini. We are calm and look forward with great goals and incentives. We hope that the 2012 season brings lots of satisfaction and results of a high level."

    Diadora-Pasta Zara-Manhattan for 2012:

    Giorgia Bronzini, Rossella Callovi, Alessandra D'Ettorre, Giulia Donato, Giada Borgato, Francesca Stefani, Inga Cilvinaite,, Edita Janeliunaite, Agne Silinyte, Alona Andruk, Polona Batagelj and Amber Pierce.

  • Amstel Curaçao Race to continue until at least 2014

    The peloton in action during the Amstel Curaçao Race.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2011, 23:09 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Van Vliet says event has surpassed his own expectations

    The end of season 'sportif' style Amstel Curaçao Race will continue for at lease three more years, after key sponsors Amstel and the Curaçao Tourism board agreed to extend their current association with the event.

    Now in its' 10th year the event has grown signifcantly since its early days when it required UCI support to get off the ground. Over the past decade the event has seen a number of high profile winners including Michael Boogerd, Peter van Petegem, Oscar Freire, Tom Boonen, Alejandro Valverde, Alberto Contador, Andy Schleck and Frank Schleck.

    At the annual pre-race reception organizer Leo van Vliet noted that the enthusiasm among the local sponsors is still very strong, largely because of how well received the event has been over the yeas.

    "I had never thought we could accomplish what we have in the last ten editions," van Vliet said. "We are here however, and the momentum is still felt everywhere. I think that the Amstel Curaçao Race is still very much alive and growing. This event only ten years young.

    "It's great to see riders coming for a second or third time. If you see that Michael Boogerd has been here six times, and Frank and Andy Schleck now riding their sixth consecutive time, it shows that we must be doing something right."

    Last year's road race was cancelled due to flooding, however clear weather is currently forecast for the weekend event.

    Amstel Curaçao Race takes place November 5.

  • Video: Wells holds on to La Ruta lead despite minor misfortune

    Todd Wells (Specialized) before getting his leader's jersey
    Article published:
    November 04, 2011, 5:00 GMT
    By:
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Akerson makes up time after American flats

    Todd Wells (Specialized) showed plenty of experience on stage 2 of La Ruta de los Conquistadores, with the American expertly managing to defend his overall lead in spite of a flat tire late in the race.

    For two-thirds of the 63km stage, Wells was with Federico Ramirez (Grupo Orosi Siglo XXI/Specialized) and Rom Akerson (Specialized). The trio were racing for second place, before Akerson attacked and escaped. With the pressure on Wells flatted - a misfortune from which he was never able to fully recover.

    "We were together of the descent after the second big climb today and then I punctured. I changed it and then I changed the wheel in the next tech zone," said Wells to Cyclingnews. "I lost a few minutes and could never get it back. It's hard to push yourself when you're alone out there."

    "You want to do well, but it's the second day of a long race, you're tired, the climbs are steep and you don't know what's coming up. Having guys around in the beginning helped me motivated but riding the last third of the race was tough. It's stressful out there and I have no idea where I'm going."

    Wells, a World Cup cross country racer and two-time US Olympian, has never previously raced La Ruta or any other mountain bike stage race.

    Akerson moved up from third to second in the GC and Wells now leads by 7:11, not a huge margin in a rugged race like La Ruta, where anything can happen.

    Wells said he felt good throughout the stage, but struggled to maintain his focus once alone after his flat. "I didn't plan to lose all that time today to Rom," he said.

    Two more stages remain in the race to the Caribbean Sea.

    If you are having problems viewing the video, you can also access it in full here.

  • Coldeportes sacks Parra after positive dope test

    Edwin Parra (Boyaca Orgullo De America Loteria De Boyaca) on the attack.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2011, 9:28 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Colombian tested positive at Vuelta a Boyaca

    Edwin Parra will not be riding for Coldeportes next season, following his positive doping test this fall. The team, which recently received Professional Continental status for 2012, said that that Parra wold be “excluded from the payroll.”

    Parra tested positive for an unnamed substance at the Vuelta a Boyaca.  He rides for the amateur team Boyacá Orgullo de América.

    Coldeportes said in a statement that it “has received from the Colombian Cycling Federation a report which records the anti-doping rule violation by the rider Edwin Arnulfo Parra Bustamante Boyacá (...) after his participation in the Tour of Boyaca at the sampling for doping review on  September 16, 2011.”

    The team is committed to “meeting the international standards and following the guidelines of the World Anti-Doping Agency, to respect fair play and propriety as to the sport,” and therefore, ”according to its philosophy of ethical, moral and transparent processes in sport, Coldeportes does not tolerate these attitudes and is uncompromising in its decisions.”

    The Colombian Cycling Federation's disciplinary committee has opened an investigation into the postiive doping sample.