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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 22, 2010

Date published:
October 22, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Saxo Bank add four directors to team staff

    My name is Riis – Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    October 21, 2010, 14:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Hoffmann, Guidi, Mauduit, Gates join Riis

    Saxo Bank has announced four new appointments to its team staff with Tristan Hoffmann, Fabrizio Guidi, Philippe Mauduit, and Nicholas Gates joining Bjarne Riis' squad. The new recruits will join existing directors, Bradley McGee and Dan Frost.

    The new appointments come after a number of Saxo Bank riders and staff left to join the Luxembourg Cycling Project.

    “Prior to the upcoming season, we have secured the Team a solid and interesting mix of new and experienced sports directors. Dan and Brad will pass on our philosophy and approach to the new members of the staff while Tristan is back in our line-up. He has been gaining experience and has matured as a sports director. With his thorough experience, he will be our strategist during the spring classics and I'm looking forward to welcoming him back to the Team,” said team owner Bjarne Riis.

    Hoffman and Guidi both rode for Riis before hanging up their wheels and while Hoffman has been working at HTC-Columbia this marks Guidi’s first move into team management.

    ”I have had some good years as sports director at T-Mobile and HTC-Columbia where I gained four years of solid experience. However, it was always my dream to come back to Riis Cycling and now I received the offer from Bjarne. Primarily, my expertise is related to the French-Belgian one-day races. Now, I'm looking forward to meeting old and new friends,” said Hoffman.

    Guidi ended his racing career in 2007, winning over 40 races including stages in the Giro and Vuelta.

    ”I'm honored and proud to become a part of one of the best cycling teams in the world where I get to develop and shape some of the biggest talents. To have this kind of influence is thrilling and I'll do my very best to contribute to the achievement of our goals,” says the Italian sports director.

    Mauduit retired from professional cycling in 1999 but has worked in Europe for Bbox Bouygues Telecom and...

  • Franco Pellizotti cleared to race

    Franco Pellizotti and Michele Scarponi relax before the ride.
    Article published:
    October 21, 2010, 14:47 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Italian to claim damages from the UCI

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) has been cleared of doping charges by the Italian national anti-doping court (TNA), “because there aren’t enough elements to prove the cyclist guilty of blood manipulation”, stated the release by the Italian justice.

    Pellizotti was suspended by the UCI on May 3rd after irregular values were detected in his biological passport. He missed the Giro d’Italia and was replaced in the Liquigas-Doimo line-up by Vincenzo Nibali, who then skipped the Tour de France but went on to win the Vuelta a Espana.

    “I’m very satisfied with this outcome and it couldn’t be any different than my name being cleared”, said the winner of the mountains classification in the 2009 Tour de France following the hearing by the TNA. “But it has ruined my whole season and I’ll ask the UCI to pay for the damages.”

    Pellizotti looked relieved but ready to fight as he was finally able to smile after months of legal battles.

    The prosecutor had asked for a two year ban, but the court president Francesco Plotino has declared Pellizotti cleared. During the Giro d’Italia, when they announced the signing of Ivan Basso and Nibali for two more years, the president of Liquigas sport Paolo Dal Lago and team manager Roberto Amadio said Pellizotti was welcome back in the team.

    They remained very sceptical about the doping accusations towards the curly-haired rider from Friuli who was also defended by team doctor Roberto Corsetti. Now they can sign him again as Pellizotti’s career will resume at the beginning of 2011.

  • Bruyneel expecting something from Brajkovic at Tour de France

    Janez Brajkovic (Radioshack)
    Article published:
    October 21, 2010, 16:00 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Says that the Dauphiné winner’s ambition should be a top five finish

    Johan Bruyneel has given the first indications about the shape of RadioShack’s line-up for next year’s Tour de France, describing his team as “underdogs” for the yellow jersey, but pointing up a special role for this year’s Critérium du Dauphiné winner Janez Brajkovic.

    Interviewed on RadioShack’s official site, the Belgian team boss said he will once again be counting on Levi Leipheimer and Andreas Klöden, stating: “Though getting older they still remain outsiders with a chance.” Bruyneel added that he is looking forward to seeing how the team’s younger riders perform, and particularly Brajkovic, who finished 43rd on his Tour debut this July.

    “Jani will start the Tour for the first time with an objective to perform well,” said Bruyneel. “He will have an experienced team around him without having the pressure to be the leader of the team or a Tour favourite. But I will be expecting something from him.”

    Bruyneel was full of praise for the 26-year-old Slovene’s Dauphiné success. Brajkovic outclassed the rest of the field including Alberto Contador in the long mid-race time trial, then resisted Contador’s attacks on the climb to Alpe d’Huez to ensure the biggest victory of his pro career. “His victory in the Dauphiné provided confirmation of his talent. He won that hard race against Contador and he can make a
    step forward now,” said Bruyneel.

    The RadioShack boss may have said he isn’t going to apply too much pressure on Brajkovic, but added that “the top five must be his ambition”.

    Bruyneel described the 2011 Tour route as good for RadioShack, who carried off the team prize at this year’s race. “There will be a lot of occasions for breakaways and stage wins, just as Sergio Paulinho did in 2010. We will go to the Tour without a Tour favourite. We will...

  • UCI could appeal Pellizotti case

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas - Doimo)
    Article published:
    October 21, 2010, 20:15 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Awaiting full documentation from Italy before taking action

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has not ruled out taking the Pellizotti case to the court of arbitration for sport (CAS) once they have the full documentation from the Italian court that dropped the doping charges against him.

    The Italian was cleared on Thursday by the Italian national anti-doping court (TNA), “because there aren't enough elements to prove the cyclist guilty of blood manipulation.”

    However the UCI’s spokesperson, Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews that the UCI would only act on the decision once the TNA handed over all the documentation linked to their recent ruling.

    “We received today the short decision from the Italian court on the Pellizotti case. We’ve asked the court to supply the full file and documentation because we have to know in detail the reason why they took this decision,” Carpani told Cyclingnews.

    “They have thirty days from today to provide that document. Once we have that in our hands we'll study it in detail. Then we'll decide to either accept the court or go to CAS for an appeal. That’s all we can say.”

    The UCI and the Italian Olympic Committee's Anti-doping prosecutor (CONI) had officially recommended a two-year suspension for Franco Pellizotti for violation of the WADA Anti-doping code.

    The 32-year-old was provisionally suspended by his Liquigas-Doimo team in May after the UCI announced that it had detected abnormal values in the profile of Pellizotti's blood passport but today’s ruling means that he is clear to race.

    The irregularities dated back to a sample taken after he placed second in the 2009 Giro d'Italia and before the 2009 Tour de France, where Pellizotti won the mountains classification and was voted most aggressive rider.

    Pellizotti has always claimed he was innocent and has threatened legal action against the UCI for lost earning and damages. The Italian was forced to...

  • Clif Bar releases its annual holiday flavors

    Clif Shot gel has a new maltodextrin and cane juice-based formula that
    Article published:
    October 21, 2010, 22:09 BST
    James Huang

    'Tis the season!

    With Halloween just around the corner, Thanksgiving not much further off, and fall weather fast approaching, Clif Bar has seen fit to release its latest round of seasonal flavors.

    This year's batch will include Cranberry Orange Nut Bread, Iced Gingerbread, and Spiced Pumpkin Pie, all with Clif Bar's usual blend of mostly organic ingredients and useful mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber. Clif Bar will also donate one percent of net sales to the Winter Wildlands Alliance, a US national non-profit organization dedicated to, "promoting and preserving winter wildlands and a quality human-powered snowsports experience on public lands."

    Clif Bar has also revamped its gel range with a new maltodextrin and cane juice-based formula for a less intensely sweet taste, longer-lasting energy delivery, and a thinner consistency that's easier to swallow. The new packaging is a bit slimmer and has more rounded corners than before while still retaining the clever 'Litter Leash' design to cut down on trailside trash.

    For an even bigger kick, Clif Bar has added a 'turbo' version of its popular gel, too, with a whopping 100mg of caffeine.

  • Stapleton expects a strong HTC women's team for 2011

    HTC-Highroad owner Bob Stapleton is looking forward to Mark Cavendish taking on his former teammate next year.
    Article published:
    October 21, 2010, 23:35 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Encouraged by more professional teams adding women's squads

    HTC-Highroad team owner Bob Stapleton is looking forward to seeing more impressive results from his women's squad in 2011, with the addition of former world time trial champion Amber Neben and her fellow American Amanda Miller to his already winning line-up.

    Stapleton has long been an advocate for women's cycling, having supported and managed the T-Mobile women's team before stepping up in 2007 to take control of the men's professional team.

    Cyclingnews spoke to Stapleton this week after the announcement of the team's newest sponsor, Specialized, and the announcement of the team's newest signings. Neber and Miller will join US time trial champion Evelyn Stevens, sprint legend Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and former world champion Judith Arndt on the 2011 team.

    "I'm really happy with the team," Stapleton said. "They're just stocked with talent. I'm optimistic about what they can do together.

    "You've seen how well Evelyn's done, and it's great to have Amber back. The first team I was ever involved with had Amber - for me that's a great connection.

    "The team is close to my heart, and they are structured along similar lines to the men."

    HTC was the first, and for years the only, top men's professional team to have a women's squad. For 2011 there will be no fewer than six, with HTC, Garmin-Cervèlo continuing the Cervèlo women's team, Geox (formerly Footon-Servetto) bringing in the Safi Pasta team, Skil-Shimano adding the Koga-Shimano women, and Continental teams Nutrixxion and Topsport Vlaanderen having womens' teams.

    "I'm very excited about that," said Stapleton. "I think that is the healthiest thing I see in the sport right now - a growing appreciation for the marketing value of a women's team, particularly when it's operated alongside a men's team.

    "More than 50 percent of new endurance sports participants - running, swimming, cyling - are women. Women control over 85 percent of...

  • 2011 Giro to include Mount Etna

    2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo)
    Article published:
    October 22, 2010, 10:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian volcano to be climbed twice as route details emerge

    Although the official presentation of the 2011 Giro d'Italia route will be taking place on Saturday, a few details have been leaked by the Gazzetta dello Sport prior to event. Having already made public that next year's Giro will return to the Zoncolan climb, the Italian newspaper owned by race organiser RCS Sport revealed the inclusion on Mount Etna on the route.

    As Europe's largest active volcano, Etna on the southern Italian island of Sicily, will be be climbed twice. Stage nine, scheduled for May 15, foresees a first climb of 17 kilometres up the northern side from Linguaglossa to Lenza at 1,631 metres, before a mountain top finish up the southern side, from Nicolesi to Rifugio Sapienza over 19 kilometres, will determine a winner. The total length of the stage starting in Sicily's largest city Messina will be 159 kilometres.

    The Giro paid its last visit to the Sicilian volcano in 1989, after only one other appearance in 1967.

    Next year's race will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy, starting on Saturday, May 7 in Turin with a team time trial and ending with an individual time trial to Milan on May 29.

  • Paris-Roubaix without Arenberg forest?

    The chase group powers through the Arenberg forest
    Article published:
    October 22, 2010, 10:22 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Race organiser ASO may plan a different route for 2011

    The mythical cobblestone sector of Wallers-Arenberg could again be omitted of the Paris-Roubaix race route. At the announcement of the Challenge Paris-Roubaix, a cyclosportive planned by race organiser ASO for next year, event director Joel Lainé released the information that should not become official until the announcement of the 2011 Paris-Roubaix route on December 15.

    "We're not going to ride the Arenberg forest because the pros won't be passing over this sector, either," Lainé told Belgian Het Nieuwsblad.

    Race director Jean-François Pescheux neither denied nor confirmed this. "We're able to do without Arenberg," he told La voix des Sports. "It would not have consequences on the competition. We can include other pavé sectors and skip Arenberg. But nothing will be decided before December 15."

    The famous Arenberg forest passage, 2.4km long, is a key cobblestone sector in the 'Hell of the North'. Coming with 90 kilometres to go before the Roubaix velodrome, it has been included in the race since 1968. It was omitted only three times since then: in 1976, 1983 and 2005, when it needed to be restored.

    Five years ago, Arenberg had been replaced by the Chemin des Postes between Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes and Famars (2.6kms long), and this is exactly what Pescheux could have in mind once again.

    "I've always said that the Paris-Roubaix route doesn't have to be set in stone, that we will do race editions without Wallers-Arenberg and maybe even with the Chemin des Postes. What we do have planned for 2011 is to take one or two sectors away after Vertain, in order to cut down kilometres and arrive more quickly in Aulnoy."