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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 19, 2012

Date published:
October 19, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Michaelsen joins Saxo Bank as sport director

    Lars Michaelsen did a great job in support for Fabian Cancellara
    Article published:
    October 18, 2012, 16:05 BST
    Cycling News

    McGee leaves pro cycling to return to Australia

    Lars Michaelsen is returning to Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank as a sport director. He will replace Bradley McGee, who is quitting European pro cycling and going back to his native Australia. McGee is will take up a position with the New South Wales Institute of Sport.

    Michaelsen, 43, rode professionally from 1994 until 2007, having joined what is now Saxo Bank in 2003. After retiring, he became a directeur sportif for the team, leaving to to serve in the same function at Leopard-Trek/RadioShack-Nissan the past two years.

    "Over the last couple of years I have gained valuable experience working as a sport director for RadioShack-Nissan-Trek, and I'm thankful for that,” Michaelsen said on the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank website. “But when Bjarne contacted me and offered me a position on his team, I felt the time was right to move on with my career. I'm really looking forward to becoming part of the development of Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank and to once again work for Bjarne and his team.”

    McGee raced professionally from 1998 to 2008, riding for FDJ all of his career except for the last year, when he joined CSC-Saxo Bank, as it was then known. After his racing career, he worked for four years at Saxo Bank as a directeur sportif.

    “McGee has been encouraged to apply for a coaching role at the New South Wales Institute of Sport, a role that will be focusing on the development of rising Australian talents,” the team said.

    "Leaving Riis Cycling has been incredibly difficult for me personally and I have given the decision much deliberation over the past months. I feel proud of my work done, and it is my wish to remain a friend and supporter of this great team,” McGee said in the same statement.

    “It's been a huge life experience for me to be a sport director in such a professional outfit. I thank Bjarne for the opportunity...

  • RadioShack-Nissan choose Guercilena to replace Bruyneel

    Leopard Trek's Luca Guercilena talks to the press
    Article published:
    October 18, 2012, 17:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian steps up from directeur sportif role

    Leopard SA, the management company behind the Radioshack-Nissan team, has appointed Luca Guercilena as team manager after parting company with Johan Bruyneel.

    The Italian will step up from the role of directeur sportif and has been made responsible for sports and technical operations at the Luxembourg-registered team.

    Guercilena worked as a coach at the Mapei Sports Center with the late Professor Aldo Sassi and coached the Mapei development team that included Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato and Michael Rogers.

    He moved to Quick Step in 2003, working closely with Paolo Bettini and then joined Leopard Trek in 2011 and stayed with the team this year when it became RadioShack-Nissan. He was the national coach for Switzerland at both the London 2012 Olympics and the UCI world road race championships in Valkenburg.

    "I have this project very much at heart, being part of it since the beginning. We have amazing human resources in this team, both on the riders and the staff roster, and I believe we have the moral duty to capitalize on this potential,” Guercilena said in a press release from the team.

    "This team has gone through some rough weather, but even the hardest stages come to an end. I have talked at length with the team owner and with the title sponsors, and all parties are convinced of the new direction for the team. We want to be a solid and stable team that gets noticed for its results."

    Guercilena will have to help rebuild the team after the problems of 2012 and the loss of Bruyneel following the USADA doping investigation. Andy Schleck missed the Tour de France after a crash at the Criterium du Dauphine, while his brother...

  • Cavendish thrilled to join Omega Pharma - Quick-Step

    Stage 3 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) at the post-race press conference.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2012, 19:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Signing of British star broadens team's international profile

    Mark Cavendish is thrilled with his move to Omega Pharma - QuickStep for the next three years. The 27-year-old British sprint star signed a contract which will run from 2013 to 2015.

    "After a year of being part of the successes at Team Sky, I've decided to leave to join Omega Pharma - QuickStep Cycling Team to pursue different goals," said Cavendish.

    "It's been an incredibly fun year riding with friends I've grown up with but I'm super excited about riding with old friends and teammates in one of the most successful and established teams in cycling. I believe in the team's project and I’m thrilled to be a part of it."

    In 2012, Cavendish won two stages of the Tour of Qatar, Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, two stages of Tirreno - Adriatico, three stages of the Giro d'Italia, the general classification in the Ster ZLM Tour, three stages of the Tour de France, one stage of the Tour of Denmark and three stages in the Tour of Britian.

    Omega Pharma - QuickStep team owner Mr. Zdenek Bakala said, "Mark is one of the most outstanding riders in cycling, a true star recognized internationally for his unique style and irrefutable athletic skills. His extraordinary sprint have become a cycling 'must-see' that can fire up crowds the world over."

    Delighted with his new rider, Team Manager Patrick Lefevere said, "Mark is the best sprinter in the world and one of the all time best sprinters ever. With his arrival, the team will be even more balanced and it will be enriched with another top rider, who will become the man to count on in the sprint, just as Tony Martin is the point man for the time trial and Tom Boonen the best rider for the Nnorthern Classics. Mark will also find a time-tested technical staff on the...

  • Guarnier joins Vos at Rabobank

    Megan Guarnier (TIBCO) leading the women's break.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2012, 20:20 BST
    Pat Malach

    Flanders, Fleche targetted by US champion

    US national road race champion Megan Guarnier said Wednesday that she has signed a one-year deal to ride next season with the Rabobank squad of world champion and Olympic gold medalist Marianne Vos.

    "It's the number one team in the world; everyone knows that," Guarnier told Cyclingnews. "I've always wanted to be full-time in Europe, and so when something like this comes across your plate it's the opportunity of a lifetime."

    Guarnier, 27, took the overall win at the NRC-opening Redlands Bicycle Classic this season while riding her third season on US UCI team Tibco-To the Top. She also raced overseas with the US national team for a significant part of the season, earning crucial UCI points that helped boost the number of US riders that got to compete in London. Back in the States, she won the challenging Stillwater Criterium stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix and then sprinted to a win at the US national road race championships.

    Her biggest international win remains the overall victory she took at the Giro della Toscana in 2011, and Guarnier, who was on the long team for the Olympic games but didn't make the final selection, wants to add more international results to her palmares.

    "I've always wanted to push myself and put myself in situations where I really have to raise my game," Guarnier said. "And, for sure, this is going to be one of those places where there will be a lot asked of me. I'm ready for it."

    Racing with Vos and the seemingly tight-knit Rabobank squad will provide opportunities to learn about bike racing and riding "as a real unit," Guarnier said. "She seems like a super positive person, and the team seems very...

  • Terpstra: Armstrong affair in media more than in peloton

    Niki Tepstra (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) off the front in the Dutch championship
    Article published:
    October 18, 2012, 21:50 BST
    Cycling News

    "Generation of today has nothing to do with past" says Dutchman

    Niki Terpstra, currently focussed on the 6-Daagse van Amsterdam, where he is partnered with his Omega Pharma - Quickstep teammate lljo Keisse, says the case against Lance Armstrong is concerned with actions that happened before his time.

    Terpstra says that those implicated in USADA’s Reasoned Decision are from an era that has little to do with the current crop of young cyclists. While he’s witnessed a number of doping scandals since turning professional with Team Milram in 2007 he hopes it’s a theme that, at least in this instance, will be short-lived.

    "It is simply a fact that such affairs are raised in cycling," said Terpstra to De Telegraaf.

    "I cannot say I've become immune to these scandals. Every year there is something coming up. But I hope that now that time is limited. We have ten years to say that in 2012 this or that was going on."

    The rider who extended his contract through to the end of 2013 with Omega Pharma - Quickstep admitted that while he’s aware of some of the general details regarding USADA’s findings on US Postal and Armstrong, it has done little to affect his position on the matter.

    "I'm not really in depth. I read all these publications, why not? At most I look at what's in the headlines. It's interesting, but ...

    "We as cyclists are under scrutiny, but the generation of today has nothing to do with the past. Everyone asks me for an opinion but I have...

  • Specialized honored to have Cavendish back

    Mark Cavendish has his eye on the prize: the green jersey in Paris.
    Article published:
    October 18, 2012, 23:01 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Sinyard regrets losing Leipheimer

    Behind every star rider is the manufacturer that produces the machine they ride to glory, and few bike company/rider relationships have been written about more than that between Mark Cavendish and Specialized.

    After one season on Pinarello and Team Sky, Cavendish will now return to the American company which produced his Tour de France stage winning chariots in 2010 and 2011 when he joins Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2013 for three full seasons.

    The company has had a history of shifting its alliance with teams in order to keep specific riders on its brand: after 2009, it dropped QuickStep in order to add Cavendish's HTC-Highroad team to its portfolio. At the time it already supported the Astana team of Alberto Contador as well as Saxo Bank and Andy Schleck.

    Each time when Cavendish was looking to leave his team: in 2011, Highroad, and earlier this year Sky, it was heavily rumoured that the company would either try to usurp Pinarello on Team Sky or buy out Cavendish to bring him to QuickStep.

    Specialized founder and CEO Mike Sinyard would not comment on the specifics but said that Specialized was involved in bringing Cavendish to the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, and said he and the company are "very honored to work with him again".

    "When we worked with him in the past he was really good, he gave great product feedback and challenged us in a good way. He's got a lot of energy and a lot of ideas, and personally we relate very much to Mark. It's a big honor to have Mark choose...

  • Component manufacturer SRAM break ties with Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) lost more time. Just when will be go in a break?
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 2:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Oakley continue athlete's contract until "proven guilty"

    Lance Armstrong’s sponsorship deals continue to disappear as component maker SRAM announced the termination of its contract with the former Tour de France winner. SRAM is the most recent company to distance itself in the wake of USADA’s insurmountable evidence against the American and doping practices at his former US Postal team. Long-time eyewear partner Oakley will continue to honour the athlete’s contract until the UCI reach a final decision on the case.

    "SRAM is officially terminating its product sponsorship agreement with Mr. Armstrong," said a company statement provided to ESPN. "SRAM is disappointed with the revelations that the USADA report has brought forth. Moving forward, SRAM will maintain its support of the Livestrong Foundation, as we believe in its purpose and value."

    Having ridden Shimano components throughout his Tour de France victories Armstrong invested significant funds into SRAM in 2008 shortly before his return to the sport with Astana in 2009. He later sold his share in the company in June 2011 according to The Guardian.

    Meanwhile, Oakley sent out a short message to their Twitter followers reaffirming their position with Armstrong stating they would not be making any decisions until the UCI has reached their final verdict.

    "As guilty as the...

  • Cycling Australia vice president Hodge steps down, admits doping

    Stephen Hodge was the host for Cycling Australia's night of nights.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 2:44 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Had no input into decision to sack White

    Cycling Australia's vice president, former O.N.C.E and Festina rider Stephen Hodge has resigned from his position, revealing his own doping past.

    Hodge informed Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks and president Klaus Mueller prior to the board meeting earlier this week that ended Matt White's current tenure with the federation following his own doping confession. Hodge said played no role in determining White's sacking and was "not proud" of his decision to dope.

    "I am sorry I did it. It was wrong. I apologise unreservedly to CA, my family, friends, colleagues and cycling fans," Hodge explained.

    "When I made Graham and Klaus aware of my situation I offered to resign. It was agreed that I would immediately stand aside from all CA Board duties in advance of submitting a formal resignation. At no point have I been involved in any CA Board meetings or discussions in relation to the termination of Matt White's contract."

    Hodge turned professional in 1987 with the Kas outfit where he raced for two seasons, before moving on to Caja Rural, O.N.C.E and then his final three years with Festina before retiring in 1996. That same year, he represented Australia at the Atlanta Olympic Games competing in the road race and individual time trial.

    He was elected to his position with Cycling Australia in 2007.

    "I would like to personally thank Stephen for his immense contribution to the sport in a volunteer capacity," said Mueller. "When his professional cycling career ended he became a tireless worker for the sport and for almost 15 years has freely given up his time as an advocate for the rights of athletes and to promote and develop the sport in Australia.

    "At all times while Stephen was on the Board with me he acted with high principle and great integrity and has been a staunch opponent of doping.