- Article published:
- January 13, 2013, 18:34
- Cycling News
Gerrans, Goss and Durbridge feature
Defending champions Orica-GreenEdge have announced their line-up for the 2013 Santos Tour Down Under with last year’s winner Simon Gerrans leading a squad that includes double national champion Luke Durbridge and Matt Goss.
“We’re bringing a strong team, and we’re hoping to pick up a stage win,” said sport director Matt Wilson.
“Gerrans has free reign to have a crack at the overall. Last year, winning the Tour Down Under felt essential. This year, we’re taking a different approach. Wins at the Tour Down Under are now one of many goals for our second season.”
While Gerrans concentrates on the overall title, Matthew Goss will take on Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Andre Greipel (Lotto) in the sprints, with Daryl Impey and Jens Mouris forming the sprinter’s core leadout.
“On the days where it’s a sprinter’s race, Gossy will be there,” said Wilson. “He’s a past stage winner at the Tour Down Under and has finished high up on the overall classification in previous years. He’s our man for the sprints.”
The race also marks Wilson’s first steps as a director. The team fired Matt White last year for his involvement in USADA’s investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. White had directed the previous two winners of the race, navigating Gerrans to a narrow win last year, and also Cam Meyer to another title at Garmin in 2011.
“This is really exciting for me,” Wislon said. “I’ve done this race 12 times as a rider. I know the stages inside out. To come here as a director will be a completely different experience, and I’m looking forward to the new challenge.”
In his first WorldTour directing role, Wilson is eager to set realistic expectations.
“There’s obviously a lot of attention around the team at the Tour Down Under,” said Wilson. “It’s to be expected. There aren’t that many chances during the year for the Australian fans to see us, talk to riders and cheer for us roadside. Everyone likes a hometown win. It’s up to us to do what we will with that pressure.”
Orica-GreenEdge for Tour Down Under
- Article published:
- January 13, 2013, 22:41
- Cycling News
New squad unveiled in Los Angeles
The choice of location for the show – the Paramount lot in West Hollywood – was clearly no accident with the sometimes lavish, always tongue-in-cheek evening backed up Cannondale General Manager Bob Burbank’s insistence that the emphasis of the team was to have fun.
While the majority of the squad were away preparing for races, this being Hollywood the big name talent was all on hand to showcase the new-look squad.
Peter Sagan, Moreno Moser and Elia Viviani are the fabric of the culture that Burbank is trying to instil on the squad – one of youthful promise and exuberance.
At 35, Ivan Basso, also in attendance, falls at the other end of the spectrum, but one can only he hope he can use his experiences – the good, the bad and the ugly – to guide his young team-mates.
Cannondale’s three-year deal as sponsor of the team sees them replace Liquigas, who ended their 14-year association with professional cycling last season.
The American company inherit a squad largely made up of Italians and while that might not always necessarily be the case further down the line, they’re not going to skew American just because of its roots in the US.
“I think it’s less about what country a rider is from and more about how their DNA fits into our culture,” Burbank told Cyclingnews. “I believe we have an opportunity together to help change cycling. It needs youth and a change in direction and these guys bring that.”
In true Hollywood fashion, the team, which included home favourite Ted King, Damiano Caruso and neo-pro Guillame Boiwin, entered the fray from a hummer limo, making their way to the auditorium via a black carpet.
The biggest cheers were typically saved for Sagan, who posed and preened his way down the carpet in a manner suggesting he’s revelling in his status as the team’s star attraction.
And whether Basso likes it or not, Sagan is now the star. Once the riders had all ridden to the stage, the Slovakian was the last rider to be called by MC (former American pro turned pundit Bob Roll, incidentally) to speak and he clearly had the biggest budget when it came to introductory highlights.
Basso, the elder statesman of the team by a stretch, credited Sagan – and Moser, Viviani and Caruso for that matter – for helping him feel young again.
When asked whether he felt Sagan had it in him to win the Tour de France, Basso said he could do anything he wanted. “I’ve never seen a rider like him – he’s an absolute animal”, he enthused.
Sagan himself says he’s again got his eyes on the Tour but has other targets before then, chiefly Milan-San Remo and then, more importantly, the Tour of Flanders.
Seeing first hand just how at ease he seems with his status, you wouldn’t want to bet against him winning either.
- Article published:
- January 14, 2013, 00:05
- Jane Aubrey
Sixteen wide-ranging recommendations made to Federal Goverment
The Australian Federal Government-backed review into Cycling Australia, with a focus on its anti-doping governance, has concluded that the national body should introduce a doping declaration policy, and establish an anti-doping Integrity Unit as part of "16 wide-ranging recommendations" for the sport following the explosive United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates.
Former New South Wales Supreme Court chief judge James Wood's report, which runs to 95 pages, was not designed to expose whether any Australian rider had been involved in any anti-doping violations, with a separate review currently underway by the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority. The Australian UCI WorldTour team, Orica GreenEdge is conducting its own separate review into anti-doping procedures headed by former WADA director, Nicki Vance.
Among those consulted for the Wood review, were Anna Meares, Cadel Evans, Brad McGee, Martin Vinnicombe, Stephen Hodge, Matt White, Henk Vogels, Shane Bannan, Anne Gripper and Mike Turtur.
Wood said in his report that measures need to be "adopted that can ensure that the practices that were employed, particularly between 1990 and 2006, remain in the past, and that cycling in Australia remains a clean sport."
Among Wood's recommendations -
- Upgrading governance structures;
- Building anti-doping accountability and networks;
- Establishing an ethics and integrity panel;
- Improving anti-doping education;
- Extending the reach of testing; and
- Developing stronger sanction regimes.
The review was led by Wood and was commissioned in the wake of the USADA report. The release of USADA's 'Reasoned Decision' documentation, claimed the scalp of Australian Matt White, and his role with Cycling Australia as men's professional road co-ordinator. He was also later dismissed by Orica GreenEdge. The process of White's sacking led to retired rider Stephen Hodge, resigning from the position as Cycling Australia's vice president.
White said that he was "part of a team where doping formed part of the team's strategy, and I too was involved in that strategy. My involvement is something I am not proud of and I sincerely apologise to my fans, media, family and friends who trusted me and also to other athletes in my era that consciously chose not to dope."
His admission followed the re-release of Floyd Landis' email to USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson on April 30, 2010.
Hodge admitted to using EPO, cortisone and other substances from 1989 until his retirement in 1996 - something he deemed necessary in order to be able to compete at the Tour de France and the Olympic Games.
The report into possible anti-doping violations at the Australian Insitute of Sport in 2003 by members of the track sprint program also played a role in the Government's decision to open the enquiry.
Crucially for Oceania, Wood said as part of his recommendations that Cycling Australia needed to work with the UCI to "ensure that the cost of delivering doping control does not cause promoters to withdraw races from the sanctioned list of events." It was the exact issue which recently saw the cancellation of the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Women's Tour for 2013.
In 2012, Cycling Australia received $7.3 million in Federal funding, adding to the high stakes-nature of the review.
Wood concluded that "there can be no guarantee that doping in cycling will not reâemerge."
- Article published:
- January 14, 2013, 05:34
- Cycling News
Report reveals plans are part of confession strategy
Anonymous sources have revealed to the USA Today that Lance Armstrong will attempt to mend his relationship with former U.S. Postal teammate Floyd Landis as part of his plans to confess his doping past which includes an interview with Oprah Winfrey, scheduled to air later this week.
The publication says that the sources did not wish to be named as they were not at liberty to be discussing Armstrong's plans to reconcile with Landis publicly.
At present, Landis' whistle-blower suit against Armstrong whereby the former alleges that the U.S. Postal Service, an independent agency within the federal government, was defrauded is still in train, with the US Justice Department considering joining.
Neither Armstrong nor Landis responded to the USA Today regarding the report.
Landis exposed systematic doping practices within the U.S. Postal team when he confessed to his own violations on April 30, 2010 in an email to USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson. Landis said that he was introduced to testosterone by Johan Bruyneel while riding for U.S. Postal in June 2002. He claimed to have had lengthy conversations with Armstrong regarding the evolution of EPO testing that year, before traveling to Armstrong's house in 2003 to collect his first sample of EPO.
- Article published:
- January 14, 2013, 10:04
- Pat Malach
Neo-pro American joins Wiggins at Team Sky
Cyclingnews will be introducing some of the fresh faces in the WorldTour peloton for 2013 in a series of articles over the next month. American Joe Dombrowski joins Team Sky in 2013 after three successful years with the Bontrager-Livestrong development team. In 2012 Dombrowski won the Baby Giro after taking two stage wins, he finished fourth on the Mt. Baldy stage at the Tour of California, was fourth overall at the Tour of Utah and finished 10th at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado. He signed with Team Sky at the end of the season.
Cyclingnews: How did your contract with Team Sky come about?
Joe Dombrowski: I had a lot of offers, but ultimately I settled on Team Sky. I sat down and wrote out a list of things that were important to me in selecting a team. I considered things like whether the team was predominantly English-speaking, their plan for continuing my development, which teams had the most progressive training science, and which teams had the best riders to learn from. With Sky it seemed I could put a check in every box.
CN: Which races best showed your ability to ride at the WorldTour level?
JD: I think my biggest success to date has been my win at the GiroBio. However, we were given a unique opportunity with Bontrager-Livestrong to participate in the big American races – Tour of California, Tour of Utah, and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. For us it was an opportunity to show what we could do on a bigger stage than most other development teams ever have the chance to perform on. I had good rides in all the American races and was up there on some of the decisive days with some of the best guys. I think that was a taste of what it is like to race at the top level.
CN: How did you get started racing bikes?
JD: I got started in mountain biking through friends in high school. It started out as just riding. Eventually I did my first mountain bike race and was hooked. From there, I did more and more mountain bike racing and began racing cyclo-cross in the fall as well. In 2010 I started racing on the road and have focused on that since.
CN: Did you compete in any other sports before taking up cycling full time?
JD: When I was younger I was involved in swimming and I played lacrosse in high school. I was never particularly good at any sports before cycling though.
CN: Who was your sporting hero growing up?
JD: I can't say that I've ever really had a sporting hero. Even now, despite the fact that I am racing professionally, I am still a big fan of the sport. There are certainly guys that I have a lot of respect for because of their work ethic, or their relationship with the media or fans, but there isn't anyone that I idolize.
CN: Which WorldTour race do you most want to compete in?
JD: The Giro. I've always had a bit of an affinity for Italy. I think the racing there suits me well, I've done well there in the past, and I love the food and the culture.
CN: What was your reaction to the USADA/US Postal case - does it make you concerned for what you might find at the WorldTour, or does it give you hope?
JD: My reaction was mixed. Part of me was disheartened, disappointed, and turned off but part of me, in a way, was thankful for these older guys stepping forward and finally telling the truth. I won't pass judgment on whether they really did it for the good of the sport from this point forward, or if they only did it because they were cornered and it was a way to get a shortened ban and continue to make a lot of money with seemingly little penalty.
Either way, I think the information being out there is going to really help the sport continue to clean up its act. I go into the WorldTour without any concerns of pressure to get involved in any of that stuff. Perhaps I'm naive, but I also know enough about physiological data to tell you that the racing has gotten slower and it's not because equipment, training, or nutrition have gotten worse, it's because of a cleaner racing environment. I recognize that there are always going to be cheaters out there, but I honestly believe you can win the biggest races in the world now without doping.
CN: Have you spoken to other riders who've made the leap and have provided advice or other mentors?
JD: Yes, actually a lot of the other young Americans who have made the jump have proved to be good sounding boards for all the uncertainties you have about everything. They have recently been in the same position as you, so it is easy for them to relate.
CN: Where will you be based – who will you be living with there? Prepared for culture shock?
JD: I will be based in Nice. I have already been here for a while. So far, I have really enjoyed it. I hope to embrace the culture shock as an opportunity to learn and experience things that many people feel lucky to. For me, the only thing that I find a little draining is dealing with all the life changes that come along with the move. There are a lot of things I see as inconveniences because things are different from what I am used to. There are so many things you take for granted at home that you have to set up here and it definitely add stress, and can detract from your training routine.
CN: Do you have a special talent aside from cycling that people might not know about?
JD: I play the violin.
- Article published:
- January 14, 2013, 10:50
- Cycling News
Basso, Pellizotti and Scarponi available for Florence Worlds
The Italian Cycling Federation is set to amend its by-law which bans all riders who have previously served a doping suspension of six months or more from riding for the national team. FCI president Renato Di Rocco introduced the measure in 2011 but is set to remove its retrospective element following his re-election for a third term.
Riders who receive doping bans of six months or more in the future will continue to be barred from the national team, but riders with past transgressions, such as Ivan Basso, Alessandro Petacchi and Franco Pellizotti, are now once again available for selection. Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the amendment will be ratified by the FCI’s federal council in mid-February.
Ivan Basso, who served a two-year ban for working with blood doping doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, welcomed the FCI decision and said that he was aiming to earn selection for the world championships in Florence in September.
“I’m very happy and I think a place on the Italian team for Florence 2013 could become an objective,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “That ruling was made in a time of emergency, and that’s ok, but I think that cycling is now a more serene sport.”
When the measure was introduced in 2011, riders with past doping bans were also forbidden from taking part in the national championships. While a late legal challenge from Danilo Di Luca failed in 2011, track rider Annalisa Cucinotta, banned for two years in 2008 for a positive test for the anabolic steroid boldenone, succeeded in overturning that element of the bylaw last May.
“For me, from that moment on, I was also ‘eligible’ for the national team, but I haven’t been back, and that’s by choice of Mr. Di Rocco,” Cucinotta said. “So long as I don’t get a call up, the rest is just hot air.”
Similarly nonplussed was Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Merida). The veteran sprinter, who served a ban for a positive test for salbutamol in 2007, examined the possibility of riding for another country in order to compete at the 2011 Worlds in Copenhagen.
“The decision was taken in the interests of Di Rocco and not of the riders,” Petacchi told Gazzetta. “Evidently, it was convenient again [to alter the rule], we’re talking about politics after all. What should I do now? Thank him when I see him?”
Di Rocco's re-election as president also opens the way for a restructuring of the national team's management set-up, with BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri touted to take up the post of national team coach, while Paolo Bettini would step into a more developmental role.
“It’s clear that we won’t be giving the blue jersey away, it will be earned through commitment and results,” Di Rocco said of the changes to the by-law. “Furthermore, our youth project is a reality and it will continue.”
- Article published:
- January 14, 2013, 11:42
- Cycling News
Voeckler targets Ardennes Classics, Rolland eyes top five at the Tour
Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland will again lead Team Europcar in 2013, targeting success in the Ardennes Classics before focusing yet again on the Tour de France.The French team is not part of the UCI WorldTour teams but is rightly confident of riding a good programme of races.
Voeckler is about to start his thirteenth season as a professional but looked young and keen at the team presentation in the team's home region of the Vendee, with close cut hair helping to hide a few extra kilos.
Voeckler won the polka-dot mountain's competition jersey at the Tour de France and two mountain stages despite struggling with a knee injury early in the race, while Rolland also won a tough stage and finished eighth overall.
The French cycling fans loved their shows of panache and for now at least, team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau has managed to control any internal rivalry. However Rolland and not Voeckler, is set to target the overall classification at the Tour de France despite his poor time trialling skills.
Other names to watch in the Team Europcar roster include cobbled classic contender Sébastien Turgot, who was second at Paris-Roubaix, Canada's David Veilleux, who won Tre Valli Varesine Italian Classic and the Mi-Août en Bretagne stage race last summer.
Talented neo-pro Bryan Coquard was second in the Under 23 road race world championships and won the silver medal in the Omnium event at the London Olympics. He will debut at the Tour de Bessèges and then ride the Tour de Langkawi, so is likely to land an early first professional career win.
The team will again ride Colnago bikes this season, and with the standout green jersey, little has changed on the this year.
Car-hire company Europcar saved the team at the last minute in 2011 but this is the third and final year of sponsorship. No doubt Bernaudeau will have his riders fired up and on edge as he looks to convince Europcar or a new sponsor to back the team in the future.
- Article published:
- January 14, 2013, 11:44
- Jeff Jones/BikeRadar.com
British sprinter back on Specialized for 2013
Mark Cavendish's change from Team Sky to Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2013 will see him back on the bike that brought him some of his biggest wins: the Specialized McLaren Venge. We've been given a sneak peek at Cavendish's new rig before he starts racing on it.
Launched at the start of 2011, the Venge is still the flagship aero machine in Specialized's road racing arsenal. The McLaren version is the cream of the crop, being developed with the UK-based high performance automotive manufacturer McLaren.
Cavendish's 2013 bike is different to the one he raced on in 2011 due to Omega Pharma having different component sponsors compared to his then team HTC. While the frame is the same, pretty much everything else is different. SRAM, Zipp and Quarq have taken over from Shimano, PRO and SRM.
Cavendish will now have to get used to mechanical shifting again as he's using SRAM Red instead of Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 7970 electronic. Similarly the brakes, chain, cassette and chainrings are all SRAM Red. His power meter has now changed from and SRM to a Quarq, and based on his QuickView computer mount he will be using a Garmin of some sort to record his power. Whether he goes with the smaller Garmin Edge 500 or the new Garmin Edge 510 (or possibly the Edge 810) remains to be seen.
The cockpit consists of a Zipp 145SL carbon stem with Zipp Service Course SL short and shallow 42cm bars. Cav's other contact points are on a Specialized Romin Team saddle and Look KeO Blade pedals.
Keeping things aero are the Zipp 808 Firecrest carbon tubular wheels fitted with low rolling resistance Specialized Turbo Tubular Team tyres. A pair of Tacx Tao bottle cages complete the package.
As for overall weight, when we last weighed Cavendish's bike it was surprisingly 'heavy' at 7.65kg. But this new model weighs in at 6.89kg (15.19lb) with Zipp 404 wheels and 7.13kg (15.72lb) as seen with the 808s.