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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 2, 2012

Date published:
January 02, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • 14 teams to compete for Giro d'Italia wildcards

    The iconic golden trophy was lifted last year by Alberto Contador
    Article published:
    January 01, 2012, 18:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    All RCS Sport races to draw from same pool

    RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro d'Italia, Milan-San Remo, Tirreno-Adriatico and Il Lombardia, has named the 14 teams which will comprise the pool of wildcard candidates for all of its events.

    Italian squads Acqua & Sapone, Androni Giocattoli, Colnago-CSF Inox and Farnese Vini, Landbouwkrediet, Project 1t4i, Team Europcar, Saur Sojasun and Team Netapp made the list for the four places available for May's Giro d'Italia.

    Only two spots are free for Tirreno-Adriatico, while the one-day events will include seven wildcard teams in addition to the 18 WorldTour teams.

    Also in the list are new Pro Continental squads: the Chinese-registered Champion System team, Irish-registered but mainly Italian Utensilnord Named, and Russian outfit Rusvelo and the reinforced Colombia-Coldeportes squad.

    The American squad Team Type 1-Sanofi made the cut, but its counterparts, UnitedHealthcare and Canadians Spidertech-C10 either did not apply or did not make the December 31 deadline and will not be eligible for those events.

    Out of the running are Cofidis, Bretagne Schuller, Caja Rural, Andalucia, and Belgian squads Accent.Jobs-Willems Verandas and Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator.

    The remaining teams will be considered at a January 10 meeting of the RCS Sport wildcard commission.

    RCS Sport wildcard candidates for 2012:

    Acqua & Sapone
    Androni Giocattoli
    Champion System Pro Cycling Team
    Colnago - CSF Inox
    Colombia - Coldeportes
    Farnese Vini
    Project 1t4i
    Saur - Sojasun
    Team Europcar
    Team Netapp
    Team Type 1 - Sanofi
    Utensilnord Named


  • Hosking takes swipe at Pat McQuaid

    Chloe Hosking in the leaders jersey.
    Article published:
    January 01, 2012, 19:31 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian comments on women's racing

    Chloe Hosking used her thrilling win in the Jayco Bay Classic in Geelong as a platform to call for more equality between men’s and women’s cycling. However Hosking also used her post-race interview to insult UCI President Pat McQuaid.

    Hosking (Total Rush - Hyster) pounced on her opposition to claim her maiden victory at the traditional Australian season opener, after six years of racing. The 21-year-old who has signed for Specialized - lululemon for 2012 after a solid season with HTC-Highroad, chased down an attack off the front of the bunch by GreenEdge-AIS rival Tiffany Cromwell with three laps remaining to eventually cruise over the finish line, saluting the crowd. The race had been neutralised with five laps to race following a crash, therefore bringing the field back together.

    Hosking said that she was never going to win the race any other way.

    "I love racing like that, I don't like really like sitting in and then sprinting," she explained. "I don't think it's great for Australian racing.

    "For me, it was really exciting to go out there and show what women's racing can be like."

    Asked how she felt about comments made by McQuaid regarding the push for a minimum wage within women's cycling, Hosking was frank.

    "What can you say, Pat McQuaid is a d**k," she said.

    "To say at the biggest sporting event for women's cycling that we haven't progressed enough to have a minimum salary - how do we progress if we all have to still work and we can't support ourselves."

    Hosking said that it was unfair to judge women's cycling on the basis of one race, that being the road race at September's UCI World Championships, won by Giorgia Bronzini for the second successive year, and hit out at criticism within the media surrounding it.

    "There's just been some really negative things said in the press lately...

  • London 2012 Games to fight betting syndicates

    London Olympic VeloPark
    Article published:
    January 01, 2012, 20:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Betting has overtaken doping threat, says Minister

    The London 2012 Olympics will have a new targeted intelligence unit specifically tasked with fighting betting syndicates. It comes after the UK government’s Olympic Minister, Hugh Robertson, told the Sunday Times that fixing had overtaken doping as the Olympic Games’ biggest threat.

    The unit will be made up from the IOC, police forces and the Gambling Commission in order to stop athletes from being bribed ahead of events.

    The BBC reports that, “The specialist team will monitor suspicious betting patterns and share intelligence on those who attempt to bribe athletes into fixing events.”

    Robertson stressed the importance of the group in the fight against illegal activity.

    "You cannot underestimate the threat this poses because the moment that spectators start to feel that what they are seeing is not a true contest, that is when spectators stop turning up and the whole thing turns to pieces," he said.

    "At some stage over the next two or three years, we will have some other sort of betting scandal in some sport. I just hope it's not at the Olympics."

  • Video: White analyses GreenEdge debut race

    Robbie McEwen limbers up.
    Article published:
    January 01, 2012, 20:47 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    New team looking for first win

    As racing got underway for the new year at the Jayco Bay Classic in Geelong, all eyes were on the peloton’s new comers, GreenEdge in its first event since being awarded a WorldTour licence.

    With a total of nine riders in action, split across two separate teams (GreenEdge and Mitchelton Wines – Lowe Farms), it was the fast men of the team with Australian DNA who were the ones that came under the most scrutiny at the four-race criteirum series.

    Speaking with Cyclingnews, GreenEdge directeur sportif explained that the racing this week gave his riders the opportunity to compete in “world class sprints before the Tour Down Under”, the team’s first WorldTour event later this month in Adelaide.

    With the only tried-and-tested combination for GreenEdge coming via Matt Goss and Leigh Howard, having been recruited from HTC-Highroad, White is keen to work on his team’s sprinting options before the season kicks into a higher gear.

    GreenEdge would walk away from its first race with a podium via Allan Davis who claimed third behind winner Greg Henderson (Degani Bakery Cafe) and Chris Sutton (Urban Hotels). Defending champion Matt Goss’ hopes of retaining his overall title were somewhat dashed as all but 15 riders were eliminated from the race however, White later told Cyclingnews that he was not overly disappointed with stage wins and not the overall being the main goal over the four days.

    “We didn’t come here for GC,” he said. “The guys are here to have a hit-out - we'd like to win something during the week.”

  • Sutton on form and chasing second Bay Classic overall victory

    Tour leader Greg Henderson chats with Chris Sutton on the podium.
    Article published:
    January 01, 2012, 23:04 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Vuelta stage winner admits it's GreenEdge against the rest

    Second place behind Greg Henderson (Degani Bakery Cafe) suggests that Chris Sutton (Urban Hotels) might just be headed for his second overall victory at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, having previously won the event in 2010.

    Sutton, who his heading into his third season with Sky, showed just a hint of his off-season form last month by winning the NSW Grand Prix Series and admitted he was a definite chance come Wednesday when the ‘Bay Crits' wrap up in Williamstown.

    "I've done three solid weeks back-to-back training," Sutton told Cyclingnews following the bunch sprint on Stage 1 on Ritchie Boulevard. "My rides have been a lot more than what they've been in previous years. We've moved the training on a lot, doing these new efforts and they're working out good.

    "I hit a PB in the sprint there," he continued. "Power's going good. I'll just rest up now, do a two to three hour ride in the morning and race an hour each afternoon and go from there. Hopefully by the time I get to Nationals I'll be feeling good."

    Sutton sat safely in the main bunch for most of the race, before the bulk of the field was eliminated by a brazen attack. With Urban teammate Bernie Sulzberger one of the key conspirators in breaking the field, Sutton suggested it was the "perfect" scenario.

    "Bernie was up the road in the break and I just sat there and did nothing and I thought well, if it comes back it comes back – I really wanted to have a sprint," he explained. "I got a bit of a free ride, tried a few moves and it wasn't to be. But I'm happy with that."

    Sutton, Henderson, and even Heinrich Haussler (BikeBug) have been able to fly under the radar heading into the season opener, with much of the pre-race focus falling on GreenEdge who are essentially running two teams, in their debut appearance. Sutton, 27, admitted there was a mentality of GreenEdge versus the rest of the field among the peloton.

    "It's so hard,...

  • Gallery: Behind the scenes with GreenEdge

    Prime movers? GreenEdge head out onto the highway
    Article published:
    January 02, 2012, 9:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Wide open roads, bloody noses and recording studios

    Members of the newest team on the UCI WorldTour gathered in Australia for a team camp in December ahead of GreenEdge's season debut in 2012.

    Part training camp, part bonding session GreenEdge began the fortnight by basing themselves at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for medical testing before taking on several long rides into the high country. It was there that team management received confirmation that they had indeed been successful in gaining a ProTour licence for 2012 and 2013, following an 18-month-long plan borne of a meeting between financier Gerry Ryan and Shayne Bannan on July 25, 2010.

    The second week was perhaps a little easier, including having the riders take part in a training session with Melbourne Storm rugby league team, go-karting, golf, an even recording the team's official theme song at the home of Australian music identity, Molly Meldrum.

    Cyclingnews takes a look behind the scenes.

  • Project 1t4i manager confident of Tour de France invite

    The jersey of the new team is a simple but modern black and white design, with the trend of green branding continuing with 1t4i.
    Article published:
    January 02, 2012, 10:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spekenbrink counts on Tour participation for 2012 race schedule

    The third Dutch professional cycling team, Project 1t4i (formerly Skil-Shimano) is confident that it will take part in the 2012 Tour de France. Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink has told the Telegraaf that he was counting on racing the French Grand Tour as he elaborated the outfit's race programme for the upcoming season.

    "As we make our season plans, we are starting on the premises that the chance is great that we will race the Tour," Spekenbrink said. "We were just four points short of a WorldTour licence, which would have assured us the participation in all the biggest competitions. On a sporting level, we are superior to teams like Cofidis and Saur."

    Last year, the Tour organisers raised the number of participating teams to 22, inviting four Professional Continental outfits on top of the 18 squads that were guaranteed entry for their UCI ProTeam licences. All four invited teams were French (FDJ, Europcar, Cofidis and Saur-Sojasun), but as FDJ has been given World Tour status in 2012, 'only' three French Pro Continental teams have to rely on an invitation, leaving at least one door open to a foreign team.

    Spekenbrink counts on his two German sprinters, Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb, to make the cut. Tour organiser ASO has already invited the Dutch squad to the Tours of Qatar and Oman, which is also a good sign in view of the biggest race on the calendar.

    "Kittel could be a challenger to Mark Cavendish next year. The Tour will certainly consider that," added the Dutchman.


  • NetApp happy to be in the running for Giro d'Italia wildcard

    Team NetApp spreads out on a climb.
    Article published:
    January 02, 2012, 10:44 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    German team's young riders eager to prove themselves

    Team NetApp “would be honoured” to ride in the Giro d'Italia, said team manager Ralph Denk. The German team was one of 14 Professional Continental teams to make the first cut for the pool of wildcard candidates for the Giro and other races organised by RCS Sports, announced Sunday.

    "We are happy that we qualified and that our dossier met all requirements,” Denk told Cyclingnews. “Like the other teams we now have to wait for the commission to decide on January 10th. We would be honoured to receive a wildcard for the Giro. For sure Team NetApp would be an enrichment for the race."

    An invitation to this year's Giro would suit the team perfectly for several reasons."When founding Team NetApp in 2009 our vision was to participate in a Grand Tour in our third season. That would be 2012,” Denk said.

    "As soon as we learned from Michele Acquarone about his plans to consider teams who add more than a sporting value to the races we didn’t wait a second to submit our application. As a new generation team we appreciate RCS’ decision breaking with the traditional way of selecting wildcards to the Giro.”

    In addition, “In 2002 our sport director Jens Heppner wore the maglia rosa for ten stages. First he took the peloton by surprise in earning the pink jersey and second by keeping it for ten days. Now ten years later he could return with a bunch of ambitious young riders desperate to prove their strengths,” Denk said.

    Those young riders have taken the first steps to make a name for themselves. “Last year we proved that we are able to finish such tours as the Tour of Turkey, Tour of Austria, Tour of Poland or Tour of Britain...