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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 28, 2012

Date published:
September 28, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Saxo Bank withdraw Miyazawa from Tour of Beijing

    Takashi Miyazawa (Saxo Bank) on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 14:48 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Rider's safety is “absolutely vital”, team says

    Takashi Miyazawa will not ride the Tour of Beijing for Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. The Japanese rider has been withdrawn from the line-up in light of political difficulties between China and Japan.

    "I can confirm, that our Japanese rider Takashi Miyazawa will not participate in the coming Tour of Beijing as originally planned,” team spokesman Anders Damgaard told Cyclingnews. “Our rider's safety always come first, it's absolutely vital for us, and after discussing the situation with the race organizer, the team has now taken the final decision not to race him in China."

    There is currently political tension between China and Japan concerning sovereignty of the East China Sea islands. China had already asked Japanese citizens to leave the country, with Japanese riders, staff, journalists and photographers expelled during the recent Tour of China.

    Earlier this week Team Argos-Shimano announced that it would not ride the Tour of Beijing. The Dutch team, which had received a wild-card invitation to the WorldTour race, has a Japanese sponsor, Shimano.

  • UCI questions USADA on Armstrong file delay

    UCI president Pat McQuaid answers a question during a press conference held during the UCI road world championships in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 17:23 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Source says evidence is still coming in

    As tensions ahead of the release of the US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) file of evidence on the Lance Armstrong and US Postal Service Team doping conspiracy has grown to a peak, the UCI has issued a public statement from president Pat McQuaid questioning why the dossier of information has yet to land on his desk.

    The USADA stated earlier this week that the file, which had been expected to be sent to the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency by the end of September, would now be provided no later than October 15.

    McQuaid made his impatience known today, stating, "It is over a month since USADA sanctioned Lance Armstrong. We thought that USADA were better prepared before initiating these proceedings."

    A source close to the case told Cyclingnews Wednesday that "information kept coming in, hence, the delay in getting the dossier to the UCI." USADA would not comment when asked if they were still gathering evidence.

    The UCI reiterated this information in the press release, stating, "Reports state that its decision has been delayed because it is continuing to gather evidence and that it has yet to complete its case file."

    McQuaid expressed his anxiety over the lack of finality. "The UCI had no reason to assume that a full case file did not exist but USADA's continued failure to produce the decision is now a cause for concern.

    "It is at very least unusual that USADA would still be gathering evidence against a person after it has found that person guilty."

    The president then suggested, "It seems that it would have been more useful for USADA to have used the time of the Tour de France, the Olympic Games and the Road...

  • Transfer news: Argos-Shimano drops Kluge

    Roger Kluge (Project 1T4i)
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 22:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Lander joins BMC, De la Cruz to NetApp

    The Argos-Shimano team announced today that it has decided not to renew the contracts of four riders: Dominic Klemme, Roger Kluge, Ronan van Zandbeek and Thomas Bonnin.

    Kluge, a silver medalist in the points race in the 2008 Olympic Games, was just outside the medals in the 2012 Olympic Games omnium. However, on the road he has not been able to score any victories since joining the team. He has, however, been a key lead-out man for the team's other sprinters, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb.

    Klemme has been signed by the new Swiss cycling project, IAM Cycling. Earlier this year the team refused to re-sign Alexandre Geniez, who was then picked up by the FDJ-BigMat team.

    "The team management has decided to not renew the contracts of these four riders because they not fully fit in the sportive image and the vision for 2013, as the team has in mind," the team stated on its website.

    The BMC Racing Team announced the signing of Danish road champion Sebastian Lander, 21 from the Glud & Marstrand-LRØ team.

    Lander has posted strong results this season, winning his national championships by besting the more experienced Nicki Sørensen, and taking a stage of the Coupe des Nations Ville de Saguenay.

    "He's a good finisher and a puncheur, but also good in selective races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège Under 23 (a race in which he finished third in 2010)," said BMC directeur sportif John Lelangue. "We're not going to ask him to immediately make results. He'll be there to learn from our world champion and a past Tour de France winner and from our big classic guys. Those guys are...

  • Vaughters defends Kimmage ahead of UCI case

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    September 28, 2012, 10:54 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Defense fund stands at $40,000 but fear holds back peloton's public support

    Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters has defended Paul Kimmage’s integrity in light of the Irishman’s legal case with the UCI.

    Vaughters, who allowed Kimmage to be embedded in his team during the 2008 Tour de France, has also said that a cloak of fear may have discouraged a greater number of riders and team managers from defending Kimmage.

    “I feel like it’s unnecessary and that Paul is being unfairly singled out,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews when describing the UCI’s defamation case.

    The sport’s international governing body began legal proceedings against Kimmage earlier this year and the action stemmed from a body of work for The Sunday Times newspaper, which includes an extensive interview with Floyd Landis published in January 2011, and in response to criticism of the UCI that Kimmage expressed in an interview with L'Équipe. The UCI chose not to pursue legal action against Tyler Hamilton after the former US Postal rider leveled severe allegations at the feet of the UCI in his book "The Secret Race". The UCI are also in the midst of a legal case with Floyd Landis but former UCI President Hein Verbruggen told  Cyclingnews last week that, "The problem is we can't find Landis."

    Kimmage received a subpoena on September 20 from the Est Vaudois district court, which is based in Vevey, near UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland. The case is to be heard on December 12. An online fund to help Kimmage with legal costs was set up by websites and within hours and donations currently stand at over $40,000.

    However relatively few riders from within the peloton...

  • Pinot to gain experience at Tour of Lombardy

    Third place finisher Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) on the podium.
    Article published:
    September 28, 2012, 12:21 BST
    Cycling News

    22-year-old climber hopes to target Italian Classic in future

    FDJ-BigMat rider Thibaut Pinot will line up at the Giro di Lombardia and close his season with the Italian Classic. The 22-year-old climber holds great promise for French cycling, and even though he's been feeling tired at the end of an intense season, Pinot wants to give it everything one last time in order to target the 'race of the falling leaves' in the near future.

    "The Giro di Lombardia attracts me a lot, I want to shine there one day," the Frenchman told L'Equipe. "To me, it's the most beautiful route in the world. I discovered the race last year, and I just loved it. [Contrary to the Ardennes Classics], Lombardia is much more for the climbers, with its ascents of seven or eight kilometers. My objective is to gain experience there and soak up every detail of the race so that I'll be ready to contend for the win once I'll be in a position to do it."

    Admitting that he doesn't have "the condition to hope for any result" at the Northern Italian Classic this year, Pinot was eager to change this as soon as next season. His racing schedule has been more or less the same for three years, with lots of competition in the spring and much less in autumn, which he now wants to modify.

    "If I want to do well in Lombardia, then I'll have to do the Vuelta or something equivalent. I've asked to do something different next year. I can't compensate for racing in training, especially not at the end of the season. It's a shame to be adding up races in March and April and then nothing more at the end of the season..." he added.

    Ending his 2012 calendar in Lombardia this Saturday, the FDJ rider is looking forward to some well-deserved rest, followed by a good build-up for the next season. "After...

  • Contador aims to be first Spanish Tour of Lombardy winner

    Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank)
    Article published:
    September 28, 2012, 13:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank leader checks out the Muro di Sormano

    Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) hopes to become the first Spanish rider to win the Tour of Lombardy on Saturday. The 2012 Vuelta a España winner has studied the new route and the steep Muro di Sormano climb on Thursday to ensure he is ready for the final major classic of the year and the last race of his shortened season.

    Contador won Milan-Turin on Wednesday with a solo attack one kilometre from the finish on top of the Superga climb near Turin. He skipped Thursday's Gran Piemonte race and instead headed to the Lombardy hills between Milan and Lake Como to study the new race route along with Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis.

    In the last few days, other key contenders have also studied the steep climb that has been re-introduced after a 50-year absence, including Vincenzo Nibali, Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha Team).

    Contador danced up the climb out of the saddle and then continued on the race route to the shore of Lake Como to tackle the climb to the Madonna del Ghisallo and the fast section to the final Villa Vergano climb, close to the finish in Lecco.

    "The Muro is very hard and descent is testing too. On Saturday a small group of 10-15 riders could go away and the race will be over for everyone else," Contador predicted to Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "We might use a 36 chain ring at the front and a 28 or even a 30 behind."

    Riis did not ride the Sormano but joined Contador on the bike for the final 70km of the race route. The moody Dane told Gazzetta that he thought the Sormano was too hard to be used in a...

  • Vanmarcke breaks collarbone at l'Eurometropole Tour

    The Omloop Het Nieuwsblad podium: Tom Boonen, Sep Vanmarcke and Juan Antonio Flecha
    Article published:
    September 28, 2012, 16:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian's 2012 season comes to an end

    Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Sharp) abandoned stage 2 of the l'Eurometropole Tour (Circuit Franco-Belge) today, reportedly due to a broken collarbone, bringing the 24-year-old Belgian's 2012 season to a close. Vanmarcke was part of the winning eight-man break on yesterday's opening stage and started the day eighth on general classification, 15 seconds down on race leader Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol Team).

    Vanmarcke's 2012 season highlight was his victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad where he out-sprinted his breakaway companions Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky) in the Belgian semi-Classic.

    During the summer Vanmarcke announced he would be leaving Garmin-Sharp at the end of the season, setting off speculation as to which team would land the talented Belgian for 2013. Vanmarcke's agent had stated he wouldn't be on a Belgian team next year, ruling out Lotto Belisol and Omega Pharma-Quickstep, and Het Belang van Limburg reported that Vanmarcke had made a commitment to RadioShack-Nissan, but then apparently backed out of the agreement, leaving the Luxembourg-based team management to consider legal options as recourse.

    The Belgian publication had linked Vanmarcke to Rabobank, and with Matti Breschel leaving the Dutch squad for Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank it is expected that Rabobank will announce the arrival...

  • Gallery: Iconic images from the Giro di Lombardia

    Casagrande leads Bartoli and Tafi
    Article published:
    October 05, 2013, 17:44 BST
    Cycling News

    A look back at the race of the falling leaves

    The Giro di Lombardia or Il Lombardia -as it is now officially known, is the last of the five major classics of the season and traditionally bring the curtain down on the racing season.

    The Italian one-day race has a new date and a new route for this year’s 107th edition but remains one of the most iconic races in cycling thanks to the spectacular route in the hills near Lake Como.

    This gallery includes images from the last 30 years of Lombardia, including Sean Kelly’s second victory on the track in 1985, Gibi Baronchelli’s lone victory in 1989 when Lombardia finished in the centre of Milan, and images of more recent winners such as Philippe Gilbert and Paolo Bettini.

    Tune in on Sunday for complete live coverage on Cyclingnews.