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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 25, 2013

Date published:
October 25, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Andreas Klöden retires from cycling

    Andreas Klöden leading Richard Virenque in the 2003 edition of Paris-Nice
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 14:02 BST
    By:
    José Been

    German calls time on controversial career

    Andreas Klöden has retired from professional cycling, bringing down the curtain on a career dating back to the 1990s. The 38-year-old German told Weser Kurier that he had failed to secure a contract for 2014 after serving out the last year with RadioShack Leopard. Klöden finished second in the Tour de France on two occasions.

    Klöden started his career in 1998 with Team Deutsche Telekom where he was reunited with his close friend Jan Ullrich. The two Germans met at the Berlin cycling club years earlier.

    He stayed with the German team, later T-Mobile, for nine seasons before moving to Astana in 2007.

    It was with T-Mobile that Klöden enjoyed his biggest successes in the Tour de France.

    He finished second in 2004 behind Lance Armstrong. In 2006 Klöden was on the podium in Paris again with Floyd Landis and Óscar Pereiro. After Landis was stripped of his title Klöden was promoted to second place.

    His most successful year was 2000 when he won both Paris-Nice and the Tour of the Basque Country. Klöden also finished third in the Sydney Olympic Games road race, behind Jan Ulrich and Alexandre Vinokourov. In 2007 he won Tirreno Adriatico for T-Mobile.

    Despite being second in the overall of the Tour de France twice, and finishing 5th in the 2009 Tour de France, Klöden never managed to win an individual stage in the race. His only stage victory came on the 4th stage in the 2009 Tour de France as part of Astana in the team time trial in Montpellier.

    After three seasons with Astana, Klöden moved to Radioshack where he spent the last four years of his career. His last victory came in 2011 when he won the first stage of the Giro del Trentino. His last overall victory was the Tour of the Basque Country that same year.

    Despite...

  • Report: Date set for Bruyneel USADA hearing

    Johan Bruyneel ties up a few loose ends before the start of stage one.
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 16:06 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Former team manager and team doctors face USADA arbitration

    More than a year after Lance Armstrong was banned for life for doping following the USADA investigation, Johan Bruyneel is set to move closer to knowing his own fate with an arbitration hearing scheduled in London in late December.

    According to a report on the roadcycling.com website, Bruyneel plus former team doctors Pedro Celaya, and Jose "Pepe" Marti will face arbitration with USADA in London between December 16-20.

    Armstrong and Dr. Michele Ferrari opted not to face arbitration and were banned for life last October. The Texan later confessed to doping throughout his career, while the Italian doctor has always denied any wrong doing.

    Bruyneel has been charged with possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances, aiding, abetting and covering up anti-doping rule violations, but reaching arbitration has been a long, drawn out process.

    In their charging letter, USADA said: “Numerous riders will testify that Mr. Bruyneel gave to them and/or encouraged them to use doping products and/or prohibited methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, HGH and cortisone during the period from 1999 through 2007.”

    It is unclear if the riders will be called to London for questioning.

    The USADA Reasoned Decision document, issued one year ago, includes a damning nine-page section titled: Johan Bruyneel's involvement in doping.

    One section alleges how Bruyneel learned how to "introduce young men to performance enhancing drugs, becoming adept at leading them down the path from newly minted professional rides to veteran drug user."

    Bruyneel now lives in London. He was dismissed as team manager of the Radioshack team last year following the USADA investigation and has kept a low...

  • Video: Voigt weighs in on 2014 Tour de France route

    Jens Voigt (Radioshack) goes on the attack.
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 17:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German expects great year from Schleck brothers

    It may be hard to fathom that Jens Voigt's trip to Paris on Wednesday was the first time in his lengthy career that he's attended the Tour de France route presentation, but better late than never for the ever-quotable German.

    Voigt, 42, has started the Tour 16 straight times since 1998 and he's hoping that as part of the new Trek Factory Racing team in 2014 he'll close out what's expected to be his final year in the professional peloton with another Tour de France participation.

    When interviewed by Cyclingnews following the unveiling of the 2014 route, Voigt was quick to comment about the challenges and pageantry of the Tour's opening stages in Great Britain.

    "I saw a lot of little and winding country roads in Yorkshire so that's going to be pretty challenging and stressing for us but beautiful and spectacular images for the viewers," said Voigt.

    Another early challenge in the 2014 Tour de France will be the sectors of Paris-Roubaix pave present in stage 5. Voigt has a vivid recollection of the dangers that cobbles engender in the peloton as he witnessed his teammate Fränk Schleck crash and break his collarbone in the 2010 Tour during the Tour's last foray onto northern France pave.

    "I'm 50-50 [on including pave sectors again]," said Voigt. "I like it because it will produce spectacular images and it's going to be big drama, but it's pretty stressful and dangerous for us so that's why maybe I don't like it so much on a personal point of view."

    In this interview with Cyclingnews at the Tour presentation in Paris, Voigt weighs in on the 2014 route, the Trek Factory Team's expectations for next season as...

  • Fuglsang ready to help Nibali at 2014 Tour de France

    Jakob Fuglsang (Astana)
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 18:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Astana must follow MPCC rules on Pellizotti, says Dane

    After claiming seventh overall at this year's Tour de France, Jakob Fulgsang is ready to put his shoulder to the wheel to help Vincenzo Nibali's yellow jersey ambitions in 2014. With Nibali set to forgo the Giro d'Italia in order to focus exclusively on the Tour, Fuglsang had been provisionally pencilled in as one of Astana's leaders for the corsa rosa, although he acknowledged that he may yet be required to build his season around the Tour instead.

    "I think we'll decide at the end of next month when we have the first camp with the team, but I could imagine a programme that would be Giro for me to start with and then the Tour afterwards," Fuglsang told Cyclingnews at the route presentation at the Palais des Congrès in Paris on Wednesday. "We will see how they will manage it, or if we go all in for the Tour and if Nibali and myself have to be there at 100 percent.

    "Right now, it's not certain who is going to go where but we will be able to build a strong team for the Tour, that's for sure."

    Although Richie Porte is expected to lead Sky at the Giro, his manager Dave Brailsford hinted that the British squad might not spread its resources as evenly between the Giro and the Tour as it did this year, when Bradley Wiggins made an abortive bid to claim the maglia rosa. The thinking could well be similar at Astana, where, regardless of his participation in the Giro, Fuglsang seems likely to act as a deluxe domestique for Nibali in July.

    "For sure, I'd like to do the Giro, but I'm also aware that if we have to beat Froome and Sky in next year's edition of the Tour then we have to come with the strongest team possible. If the team wants me to be there, then I will be there and I'll be ready," Fuglsang said.

    As for...

  • Alonso's team registered as FACT with UCI

    Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso was on hand at the start of the elite men's world championship race
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 19:37 BST
    By:
    José Been

    Fernando Alonso Cycling Team confident of finding sponsors for 2015 World Tour debut

    Fernando Alonso's team has been given the working title of FACT - Fernando Alonso Cycling Team - as the Formula 1 pilot and his managers continue to plan and prepare for a debut in the WorldTour in 2015.

    According to Spanish newspapers El Mundo and AS, Alonso registered the team with the UCI on Monday, with FACT the name of the team's management company. The team will eventually be known by the name of any titles sponsors. The new team apparently already has some serious offers for sponsorship on the table thanks to Alonso's contacts in Formula 1.

    It seems Luis García Abad, Alonso’s manager, has traveled to Dubai to have several meetings with potential sponsors. Dubai shows great interest in cycling recently. It hosts its inaugural Dubai Tour next February and has indicated it could host the start of the Giro d’Italia in the future.

    Fernando Alonso announced on September 2 via his personal website there was an outline agreement to take over the Euskaltel cycling team. However the negotiations ended on September 23 after the parties failed to reach an agreement. Alonso confirmed that he would instead create his own team for the 2105 season.

    El Mundo claims that the team is likely to be based in Spain, in Alonso's home region of Asturias, but suggested that the team has several interesting offers to be based elsewhere, even Dubai, which could save the team considerable amounts due to lower levels of taxation.

    The FACT team intends to sign some of the biggest names in the peloton for 2015, with Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador both possible targets and both out of contract at the end of 2014.

  • Video: Cookson has hectic few first weeks as UCI President

    UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 20:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Change welcomed across the cycling community

    Brian Cookson is just a few weeks into his new job as UCI President. He said it is going well so far.

    "It's been very hectic, and my feet haven't really touched the ground," said Cookson to Cyclingnews. "It's been very productive. We've made a bunch of decisions already."

    Cookson has been enjoying support across the cycling community.

    "The nice thing about the change is that is has been welcomed by all people from all different communities, whether it's anti-doping agencies, national federations or the Olympic committee. We can use this change to make real progress."

    One of his efforts has been on the Truth and Reconciliation process, but Cookson isn't willing to spill any details yet.

    "We're going to make some announcements on that next week after the Management Committee [meeting]. I think you'll like what you see. I don't want to say too much more at this moment. We're sure we'll have the support of WADA. They will be on board with what we propose."

    Cookson also talks briefly about his top management team and the role of honorary vice presidents.

    To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.

  • Quintana and Unzué fear nervous first week of Tour de France

    Nairo Quintana at sign-in
    Article published:
    October 24, 2013, 21:48 BST
    By:
    José Been

    Team manager thinks Pyrenees and time trial will be decisive

    After yesterday’s presentation of the route for the 2014 Tour de France, the Movistar Team is fearing a nervous first week, with the cobbled sections on stage 5 adding an extra element of danger for riders unfamiliar with the terrain.

    “I witnessed first hand this year how nervous it can be,” Nairo Quintana said. “Next year the first week can become really nervous. The cobbles could make the race dangerous and difficult,” the number two and polka dot winner of this year’s event said.

    Movistar Team has two aces for the overall classification with Quintana and Alejandro Valverde. Team manager Eusebio Unzué is keeping all options open. "I really don’t know if this Tour de France suits us more or less. My first impression is that the parcours might suit both Nairo and Alejandro. It’s possible they both will be at the start but nothing’s defined yet.”

    Valverde finished third in this year’s Vuelta and ended on the podium of big races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Il Lombardia, Amstel Gold Race, Clasíca San Sebastian and the world championships road race in Florence. His only victories of the season date back to minor races in February on Mallorca and in the Ruta del Sol.

    The 33-year old Spaniard didn’t study the route for the 2014 Tour in depth because he was not present in Paris. He is in Japan for the ASO’s Saitama Criterium on Saturday. Valverde does think it might be a good parcours for him.

    “Good luck will be crucial on the cobbles. Punctures and crashes are bound to happen and any stage can turn into a decisive one,” he said.

    The Movistar captain knows because this year he lost his second...

  • Euskadi foundation to field Continental team

    The flag of the Basque country.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2013, 0:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basque project continues after demise of Euskaltel

    The Fundación Euskadi has aligned with the Amorebieta-based business organisation, "the ner group", to revive its cycling program with a single Continental-level development team, the ner group announced today.

    The partnership ensures that a Basque team will be present in the peloton in 2014, albeit not at the sport's top tier. The Basque project began 20 years ago with the creation of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, and has included a development team sponsored by Orbea in recent years, but the WorldTour team came to an end after government funds dried up and the team failed to find additional sponsors. A partnership with Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso to save the team also fell through, leaving riders and staff scrambling for new contracts.

    The partnership with the ner group ensures that the development program will continue.

    "One of the main objectives of ner group is to achieve human development, just and sustainable. Within these objectives precisely fits the philosophy of Euskadi Foundation," the press release stated. "This new venture and looking to the future, [to] support the promotion, development, dissemination and development of Basque sport of cycling, where thousands of young people have a place."

    The group will apply for a license with the Spanish federation, according to Biciciclismo.com, and has called for other Basque businesses to support the project.

    It has hired Jon Odriozola, a former Euskaltel-Euskadi and Orbea development team directeur sportif as the director of the team. It also thanked Miguel Madariaga, the Basque Federation and the people who have worked in Basque cycling to develop the sport over the years.