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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 7, 2011

Date published:
November 07, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Craven to direct new BMC-Hincapie Sportswear development team

    George Hincapie (BMC) on the podium.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2011, 23:13 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Former 7-Eleven pro looks forward to mentoring young talent

    Thomas Craven makes his return to professional cycling as the sports director of the new UCI Continental BMC-Hincapie Sportswear Team, a US-based development squad for the ProTour BMC Racing Team.

    Craven, who raced professionally from the late 1980s through the mid-1990s highlighted by a season with 7-Eleven, looks forward to his new position.

    "It's something that I've actually been working towards for a while," Craven told Cyclingnews. "I was disappointed after my cycling career ended that I wasn't able to do anything, there wasn't really the opportunity.

    "A couple of years ago I went down to USPRO nationals with Bobby Julich and drove the car for the BMC guys and last year I worked for Frankie [Andreu] down there for the Kenda team. With the championships in Greenville [South Carolina] I made the re-connection with Rich [Hincapie] and George [Hincapie]. I was able to see Och (Jim Ochowicz) a couple of times with our 7-Eleven reunion so I just had my name out there a lot."

    The team will meet for the first time at a training camp in the Bahamas, the home of team sponsor Mark Holowesko, in mid-December followed by a 10-day camp at its home base in Greenville in January. George Hincapie, who Craven calls "the driving force" of the team, will join the development squad at both camps.

    "He has the lineage and the mentorship to really bring these kids along," said Craven. "It's how I started racing. You race with your friends, you have a good time, you're serious about it, and you build that source of camaraderie and mentorship.

    "That's what I think alot of guys are missing and that's what George recognizes. You've got teams, you've got riders and you've got stuff but who are the guys out there who are going to teach them to be bike racers, and not just rely on power meters, top speed and aerodynamics. There's alot more that comes into it than...

  • Chtioui to Europcar in 2012

    Rafa Chtioui (Acqua & Sapone) is looking to deliver on his considerable potential.
    Article published:
    November 06, 2011, 9:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tunisian was at Acqua & Sapone for two years

    Rafaa Chtioui has signed with Team Europcar for the coming season. Team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau called the Tunisian, who has ridden for Acqua & Sapone the last two years, “a rider of the future.”

    Chtioui, 25, placed second behind Roman Kreuziger in the Worlds junior road race in 2004, and won a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir in 2007. He has won stages at the Tour of Egypt and the Tour des Pays de Savoie.  In 2010 he was Tunisian national road champion.

    He likes the Belgian Classic races and last year finished Paris-Roubaix, finishing 54th.

    "This is a rider for the future. I've known him a long time,” Bernaudeau said on the team's website.  “He gave us sore legs in the Tour of Gabon.  He shone in the 4 Days of Dunkirk last year.”

    He concluded, “We are pleased to have signed him.  He will not be our last recruit.”


  • Andersen hopes to be in team car at Tour de France

    Kim Andersen has come over from Saxo Bank
    Article published:
    November 06, 2011, 11:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan-Trek DS unsure which race teams he will oversee

    Kim Andersen knows that he is not the one who will decide how to help Andy Schleck win the Tour de France next year.  “Of course now it's Johan (Bruyneel),” he said.  “It's up to him to make the plans for Andy.  That's how it will be.”

    Bruyneel will be the leading sports director at the new RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team, and Andersen, after having had that lead role at Leopard Trek, will just be one of six assistants.

    Andersen will continue his personal work with Andy and Fränk Schleck and Jakob Fuglsang.  “I will still do the same thing about the daily training and daily contact with Andy, Fränk and Jakob,” he told

    But whether he will sit in the team car at the Tour is not yet know.  “I still don't know which races I will do.  There is no set sports director for each race yet.  But I think I will help with the Tour.  At least I would like to.”

    Nor has it yet been decided whether he will be at the Giro d'Italia, where Fuglsang will be the team captain.  “I really don't know if I will race the Giro with Jakob.  There are six sporting directors, all of whom must have some races, and in principle I have no specific experience with the race.”

    Andersen was, however, excited about the prospects for the coming year.  “It's a fantastic collection of riders.  It cost nothing to form the merger, but when I look at the riders gathered at the new team, I have no doubt that it can be really good.”

  • Sevilla to ride for Colombia?

    Article published:
    November 06, 2011, 13:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard currently serving suspension for HES positive

    Oscar Sevilla is considering representing Colombia at the world championships when he returns from suspension next season. Sevilla, who returned a positive test for Hydroxyethyl Starch at the Vuelta a Colombia in 2010, has lived and raced in the South American country for the past number of years.

    “I have residency in Colombia and they have offered to me citizenship to ride the Worlds for Colombia, so I’m going to think about it,” Sevilla told La Verdad. “However, I’m not forgetting that Spain is my country, and I carry Albacete and Castilla-La Mancha inside of me.”

    Sevilla is currently serving a six-month suspension for his 2010 positive test for Hydroxyethyl Starch. After lengthy deliberations, the Spanish Cycling Federation finally handed sanctioned Sevilla in September of this year, and the Gobernacion De Antioquia-Indeportes Antiquia rider’s ban expires on March 12, 2012.

    Hydroxyethyl Starch is a blood plasma volume expander that can be used as a masking agent for EPO. The specified substance is illegal only if used intravenously, and Sevilla has attempted to blame his positive test on the treatment he received in a Colombian hospital following a crash.

    “Only the method is prohibited and it was involuntary, because I went to hospital and the carried out first aid,” Sevilla claimed. “The rules say that it is my responsibility. That’s not something I agree with because it’s unjust.”

    Sevilla has not raced for a top-level...

  • Video: Getting lost, stung and injured during final La Ruta stage

    Imagine trying to walk across one of these - from one railroad tie to the next - while getting attacked by bees.
    Article published:
    November 06, 2011, 16:02 GMT
    Sue George, Mountain Bike Editor

    Bike-jacking also adds to the excitement

    Anything can happen at La Ruta de los Conquistadores mountain bike stage race, as racers are often reminded by promoter Roman Urbina. The events of Saturday's final stage proved that yet again with some riders facing swarms of bees, getting lost and even threats of bike-jacking.

    All four of the top women faced more adversity than usual on stage 4. Winner Adriana Rojas (Specialized) was stung by bees in the final 20km and had to receive medical treatment immediately upon finishing. The Specialized rider was crossing one of the infamous railroad trestle bridges, which are challenging enough on their own, when she encountered a swarm of angry stinging insects. Racers must step from railroad tie to railroad tie high above raging rivers, without slipping and falling. Bees only added to the challenge.

    Rojas was not too phased by the bites. "I encountered a wasp's nest on one of the railroad crossings but it's part of the adventure," she said.

    Runner-up on the stage Jane Rynbrandt (Carmichael Training Systems) was in a good mood, but not doing quite as well at the finish. She, too, had encountered the bees.

    "A group of us got attacked by bees on one of the bridges. A few of us jumped off into the water," she said. "Some little boy helped me run across, and he went back and got my bike for me. I probably got stung 20 times."

    To make matters worse, when Ryndbrandt slipped and fell on the bridge, she injured her thumb. Holding up a swollen hand, she said, "I do think that I broke my thumb."

    When Ryndbrandt crossed the line in second, everyone was left wondering on the whereabouts of Rebecca Rusch and Louise Kobin, who had been in second and third place earlier in the race. An hour passed and there was still no sign of the two experienced La Ruta...

  • McEwen completely comfortable with decision to finish career next season

    Still got it. Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) sprints to win stage one of the Tour de Wallonie Picarde.
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 0:00 GMT
    Alex Hinds

    Australian looking forward to tactical advisor role with GreenEdge

    Robbie McEwen says he is happy with the timing of his retirement, feted for some time in May next year, and is looking forward to the next chapter in his career as a tactical advisor with the burgeoning GreenEdge squad. Speaking at the launch of his auto-biography One Way Road in Sydney bike store Velosophy, the three time Maillot Vert winner explained to Cyclingnews that his late season success in Europe at no time made him re-think his decision to hang up the bike.

    "I'd already pretty much decided everything and the way I wanted things to go a little before Franco-Belge," said McEwen. "I know I'm still riding well, and I know I'm still one of the quickest, but I'm no longer one of the youngest any more.

    "For me winning a couple more races might be nice but even I'll admit my best years are behind me. That's not just because of age, but also because of the injuries I've had over the years, like the broken leg in '09. If I can help guys [like Leigh Howard or Aidis Kruopis] win races, and the role I play to help them get there is significant, then I'm a happy man.

    "That doesn't mean I won't have an opportunity to do a sprint for myself, or go after my own results - I will - but I'll really be there to share the knowledge and share the experience that I've built up over the years. The main plan though is to help these younger guys get up to speed a little bit quicker."

    The 39-year-old will ride a classics focused season next year, before stepping into the team car as a tactical advisor, most likely after the Tour of California in May. The role, similar to that of Erik Zabel's at HTC will see the sprinting veteran do detailed course reconnisaince ahead of the race, as well as trying to teach the skills he's learnt over the years to the younger sprinters in the team.

    McEwen did however all but write-off any suggestion that he would become a sporting director in the future, citing his tactical...

  • Peter McDonald to revive career with Plan B

    Has anyone seen my leprechaun? Peter McDonald is captured post-stage
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 4:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Australian champion to add experience to fledgling outfit

    2009 Australian Open Road Race champion Peter McDonald, will join the Australian continental team Plan B Racing next season. The 33-year-old will restart his cycling career after a brief forced retirement in the wake of the Pegasus project's collapse late last year.

    Team manager Wayne Evans was pleased to add a rider of McDonald's quality to the team, citing his experience as crucial to helping the team's younger riders to develop.

    "I am very pleased to announce that Peter McDonald will be a member of the Plan B Racing Team for 2012," said Evans. "Peter brings with him a tremendous amount of experience after having been one of Australia’s leading riders and having ridden professionally and semi professionally for 6 years in Europe, Australia and Asia."

    McDonald was pleased to be given a chance to race again after nearly a year without elite level competition.

    "I'm returning for my own enjoyment," McDonald explained to Cyclingnews. "I'm based in WA and wanted to do a few races and so it was a pretty natual path to follow. I had contacted Drapac about the possibility of returning with them, but in the end it transpired that by the time I'd made a concrete decision they already had a full roster for next season.

    "I'm just really looking forward to returning to some racing."

    McDonald also watered down suggestions that he would be looking to return to the same level that saw him take out the national championships in 2009 against a number of seasoned professionals.

    "It takes a lot of work to be up there, like I was in '09. That year I had to really be full time on the bike up until the road race to get the result that I got. I just don't have the time anymore. I'm trying to return to teaching, so riding a few races, in Asia and within Australia is an ideal situation for me."

    McDonald has previously ridden for Drapac Professional cycling team and the FRF-NSWIS. He is a former winner of...

  • Kittel and Degenkolb to work well together at Project 1t4i

    Race winner Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano)
    Article published:
    November 07, 2011, 10:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch team to reveal new sponsor in March 2012

    Professional Continental squad Skil-Shimano is gearing up in view of next season. The Dutch team, whose name will change to Project 1t4i in 2012, has most promintenly recruited HTC-Highroad sprinter John Degenkolb to form a powerful duo with fellow German Marcel Kittel. The two fast men will head a team whose new sponsor, a European multinational company, is to reveal itself in March next spring.

    French directeur sportif Christian Guiberteau, who has been with the outfit for one year now, told Velochrono that both sprinters as well as the new financial backer will be valuable assets to the squad on its possible way to World Tour status in 2013. "We are very happy to have them both," he said of the two new emerging German stars.

    "They can work together very well, on the same races, it's an asset to have them both more than anything else. Of course, we will have to define race programmes according to the invitations we'll receive, and they do have two different profiles: slightly uphill finishes are more suited to Degenkolb."

    Guiberteau also revealed that the team will have an increased budget next year, providing greater stability and ease for everyone. "Next year, whatever happens, we'll have money," he assured. "A European multinational company will come with a more important budget, so this will of course change some things. We will be more comfortable with regards to the budget, even if I don't know the exact amount yet. But 2011 has been a prospect year for us, in terms of our results and the arrival of this new partner. They want to reveal their identity in March."

    Neo pro Kittel has been one of the revelations of the season, showing outstanding...