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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 12, 2012

Date published:
November 12, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI will maintain control of any calendar reform

    Pat McQuaid answers questions
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 22:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stakeholder study will incorporate Bakala suggestions

    The UCI has clarified today that it will maintain control over any reforms to the professional cycling calendar. The statement comes after news reports on the plans of Omega Pharma-Quickstep owner Zdenek Bakala to reform cycling into a "Champions League".

    Bakala and his business partner Bressel Kok put forth their plans on Friday, stating that they had the support of the UCI to finance reforms that include a new race series, ranking and points schemes, television revenue sharing and a more transparent anti-doping campaign.

    The plans were separate but not altogether different from previous "breakaway league" schemes, which were not given consideration by the UCI.

    The UCI today confirmed that it has been in discussions with Bakala and Kok since late 2011, but stated that any changes would take place under the UCI's domain.

    "These discussions have included their potential financial investment in a new joint venture company with the UCI and other cycling stakeholders that would promote and organise elements of this new calendar," the UCI stated. "The UCI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them as the initial investors in the joint venture and will now enter into extensive dialogue with the teams and race organisers before any final agreement is concluded."

    The governing body this week launched a new study group which will bring together the sport's stakeholders to discuss the future of cycling. It stated today that this "consultation will have a considerable bearing on this proposed joint venture and the future road cycling calendar".

    The UCI clarified that no agreement has been reached on any reforms, and...

  • Boonen aiming for the Classics again in 2013

    Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was a pre-race favorite at the Grand Prix de Wallonie.
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 10:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider ready to start training after vacation

    Tom Boonen is ready to get begin training for the 2013 season. The Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider said he “filled his batteries” with a vacation in Mauritius and is now preparing for his assault on the 2013 Classics but probably not the Tour de France.

    “I need a few weeks without the bike. That also makes you hungrier,” he told “The batteries are properly filled now, the hunger is there. The other day I caught myself thinking that I was ready to start training again.”

    Boonen has yet to finalise his race calendar, but knows that he will race in January, either the Tour de San Luis in Argentina or the Tour Down Under In Australia.

    “I'm at a point where I must have a lot of  racing in my legs for the Classics. That worked this year,” he said.

    Boonen bounced back after a number of disappointing seasons, winning 13 races in 2012 , including the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    “It was a special year with the new Tour of Flanders and my fourth win in Roubaix," he said.

    He will continue to concentrate on the spring Classics in 2013. He is looking to win his “fifth cobblestone trophy at Roubaix. I will be very happy if I can win another top Classic in my career,' he said.

    However Boonen does not expect to ride the Tour de France alongside new teammate Mark Cavendish.

    “I have seen the route of the Tour next year and I honestly do not like it,” Boonen said.


  • Ceramica Flaminia to create Continental development team in 2013

    Ceramica Flaminia riders push the pace.
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 12:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian company set to announce WorldTour partnership

    Italian tile manufacturer Ceramica Flaminia has announced it will sponsor a Continental team in 2013 that will act as a development squad for a major WorldTour team.

    Flaminia has sponsored several teams between 2005 and 2010 and won the Italian national title thanks to Filippo Simeoni. Riccardo Riccò also rode for the team after his ban for CERA ended in 2010 before moving to Vacansoleil.

    The new Ceramica Flaminia team will have a roster of 12 young riders and will be based in Tuscany, with riders living at the team's headquarters. Roberto Marrone returns as team manager.

    "We'll make a set-up that is a global development squad so that young riders can show their ability all over Europe," Marrone said in a press release announcing the team.

    "We're really happy to be back in the peloton with Ceramica Flaminia after the support they've given cycling in the past. It's an excellent company that will allow us to create a new form of professional cycling. Links to a WorldTour team will offer a unique opportunity. In the next few days we'll finalise agreements for team equipment and the team staff."

  • NetApp-Endura looking for more success after merger

    The 2013 NetApp-Endura team jersey
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 13:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    German team developing sprint and stage race squads

    Team NetApp is preparing for next year after an excellent 2012 season. The German-based team, which has merged with Team Endura Racing for next year, has already secured its 2013 UCI Professional Continental licence, and is looking to achieving bigger and better things.

    Team NetApp did not win a race in its first year as a Professional Continental team in 2010, but the drought ended in March this year. The team won the opening team time trial at the Settimana Coppi e Bartali and dominated the Italian stage race, with Jan Barta taking the overall title. The team went on to take 11 wins on the season, four of them with Barta.

    That race “was a huge surprise for me,” said team manager and former pro Jens Heppner on the team's website.

    "Because we work almost daily with the riders, and drawing from our experience, we know how much we can expect from the younger members of the team. It’s great when they then surprise us with immense motivation and a perfect team performance. This shows us that our work over the last few years has been worthwhile.”

    The season was a huge step forward for Barta, not only for his victories and his seventh place in the World time trial championships, but also his second place on the the first mountain stage of the Giro d'Italia to Cervinia.

    There will be some major changes in the team for 2013, with eight riders from Endura Racing bolstering the ranks. The two NetApp sprinters, Daniel Schorn and Blaz Jarc will be joined by Russel Downing, Johnny McEvoy and Ralf Matzka.


  • Geraint Thomas ready to emulate Bradley Wiggins at the Tour de France

    Geraint Thomas (Sky)
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 14:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team Sky rider hopes to follow in the footsteps of Sky teammate

    Geraint Thomas has found his new role model in Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins, and intends to abandon the track with a possible long-term goal of becoming the next Briton to win the Tour. The Team Sky rider also supports plans to bring the Tour de France to his native Wales.

    Thomas, 26, rode the Tour in 2010 and 2011 but skipped it this year to concentrate on the London Olympics. He successfully defended his gold medal in the team pursuit, a discipline in which he is also World champion. However London 2012 will probably be his last Olympic appearance on the track.

    “I will never say never and it will depend on what happens on the road, but ideally my career will be on the road. My aim right now for Rio is to ride the time trial on the road and see how I develop.” Thomas said in an interview with

    He will now concentrate on the road, and perhaps follow the same career path as Wiggins.

    “I don’t see why I can’t follow what Bradley has done, but at the moment, it is hard to say how I will develop,” he said.

    “If you had sat Brad down when he was 26, there was no chance he would have said he would win the Tour de France. And if you compare what Brad had done at my age, you might say I am a little bit ahead.”

    “I can see now that it can be done, but just because Bradley has achieved it, does not mean I will because he is a phenomenal bike rider."

    Thomas will first focus on the cobbled Classics and then hopes to help Team Sky at the Tour de France and learn more about the sports biggest grand tour.

    “The Classics are a big aim for me and then it is about going onto the Tour, riding...

  • Acquarone ready to talk to Bakala about reforming cycling

    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 19:31 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Giro d'Italia director open to beneficial change

    Michele Acquarone – the director of the Giro d'Italia - has told Cyclingnews that he was surprised to hear about Zdenek Balaka's plans to radically shake up professional cycling, but revealed that Giro organiser RCS Sport would be willing to discuss a new structure for the sport if it benefits everyone involved.

    On Friday, Bakala, the majority stake holder of the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team, revealed his three-point plan to revolutionize professional cycling to a group of select media. He wants to share TV and sponsor revenue across the sport to offer stability to teams, allow an independent body to control anti-doping and create a closed 18-team structure. The UCI confirmed it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Bakala, but insisted it will retain control of cycling.

    Acquarone spoke to Cyclingnews about Bakala's proposal while in Miami after seeing over a 1000 people take part in the first edition of the Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia Miami.

    "We've spoken to people who want to try and change cycling last year and we made it clear that we're interested in any idea, in any proposal, that can help professional cycling grow and make it better for the fans and everyone involved," Acquarone told Cyclingnews.

    "We're not interested in being part of a total breakaway. We believe that professional cycling should stay under the control of the UCI and under the auspices of the International Olympic Committee."

    Bakala compared his project to the Champion's League football series held in Europe. The competition is run by UEFA –...

  • Belgian cycling federation planning new anti-doping initiative

    Fans line the streets in Belgium at the start of stage 2 of the 2012 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 11, 2012, 21:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Doping to be addressed at all levels

    The Belgian Cycling Federation (RVLB) announced this week that it intends to launch a new action plan to fight doping at all levels in the sport.

    The national federation plans to work together with the regional organisations in Flanders and Wallonia (Wielerbond Vlaanderen and Fédération Cycliste Wallonie Bruxelles, or WBV/FCWB) to educate teams, clubs, parents, coaches, riders and race organisers and to get them to commit to a doping-free sport.

    "Various preventive but also forceful measures will be developed, which depending on the powers by the federations will be activated," a statement said. "The project will therefore be submitted to the boards of directors of both RLVB as WBV and FCWB, then the actions will be explained."

    The move follows a similar action by the Dutch cycling federation, which launched an independent investigation into the effectiveness of its anti-doping measures, and seeks to make improvements.

  • Bradley Wiggins crash: Driver reports for summons

    Bradley Wiggins (Great Britain)
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 1:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    Investigation underway into Tour winner's accident

    Four days after the collision that put Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins in hospital, Lancashire Police confirmed that "a 44 year old woman from West Lancashire has been reported for summons for driving without due care and attention, however an investigation into the full circumstances of the incident is still underway."

    Wiggins suffered a fractured rib, bruised lung and dislocated finger after a collision with a car on Wednesday evening. He spent the night in hospital and was released on Thursday.

    Wiggins posted a statement on his Facebook page thanking everyone for their support and apologising for a rude gesture he made when leaving hospital.

    "Although I’m still a little bit sore I will now be spending time at home with my family and concentrating on making a full recovery.

    "I would also like to apologise for the gesture that I made when I arrived home yesterday afternoon. I was tired, in a lot of pain, and just wanted to get inside, but I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I’m sorry for that.

    "I’m looking forward to getting back on the bike soon and continuing my preparations for the 2013 season."