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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 8, 2012

Date published:
October 08, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Acqua e Sapone competes for the last time in Italy

    Andrdea and Simone Masciarelli honour the end of the Acqua e Sapone team
    Article published:
    October 07, 2012, 19:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lack of Giro d’Italia invitation blamed for Team’s demise

    The end of the Italian season also marked the end of the road for the Acqua e Sapone team, after the main sponsor decided not to back the team in 2013.

    Claudio Corioni was the best Acqua e Sapone rider at the GP Beghelli, finishing sixteenth and ending the eight-year sponsorship on a quiet note. The team stood out in the peloton for its bright red clothing, switching to an all-white kit for 2012.

    The future of the team was first placed in doubt when the RCS Sport decided not to give Acqua e Sapone a wild card invitation to the Giro d’Italia. Rider turned directeur sportif Stefano Masciarelli – the son of team manager Palmiro Masciarelli, blamed that decision for the demise of the team.

    “All the success from over the years has been replaced by huge regret. We’re a special team but also a special family,” he told the French Velochrono.fr website.

    "We’ve never had any explanation (from RCS Sport). It was an absurd decision because our team is better than some of those that were selected. We also always honored the Giro. We were left at home in favor of unknown riders. What interest do you get by inviting teams and riders that finish three hours down overall?”

    Most of the riders are still looking for new teams. Carlos Alberto Betancur will ride for AG2R-La Mondiale and Francesco Reda will join Androni Giocattoli. However Danilo Di Luca, sprinter Danilo Napolitano and veteran Stefano Garzelli have yet to find teams for 2013.

  • Alpe d'Huez to replace Champs-Elysees as Tour de France 2013 finale?

    Corner nine on Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2012, 21:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian newspaper says double Alpe climb could be final stage

    Will the Tour de France 2013 end atop L'Alpe d'Huez instead of on the Champs Elysees in the heart of Paris? The rumoured stage with two trips up the legendary climb is now speculated to be the closing stage of the Tour next year, according to Belgian media. It would be the first time that the race would not finish in or near Paris.

    Het Laatste Nieuws said on Sunday that numerous anonymous sources in the Amaury Sport Organisation, which organizes the Tour, had indicated that finishing the race at L'Alpe was under consideration.

    Such an end to the Tour seems unlikely, for logistical reasons if nothing else. However, while the Champs Elysees is now considered a traditional finish, it has hosted the final stage of the Tour only since 1975. However, the race has always ended in or near Paris.

    The official course of the 100th running of the Tour de France is scheduled for October 24 in Paris. It has already been announced that the race will start in Corsica, where three stages will be held, followed by a team time trial in Nice.

    Last month, speculation was reported that the race would cover the Mount Ventoux, for the first time since 2009. It was also said that one stage might start in Gap, go up L'Alpe de Huez' famous 21 switchbacks, descend via the Col de Sarenne on roads which must still be asphalted, and then re-tackle the dreaded switchbacks for the stage – and now possibly race – finish.

  • Marriage makes Marcato a winner

    Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) celebrates with his arms in the air
    Article published:
    October 07, 2012, 22:02 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Italian said he learned from Paris-Tours defeat last year

    While Italian cycling keeps praying for a new specialist of one-day races, Marco Marcato of Vacansoleil-DCM raised some hopes by winning Paris-Tours. The result follows Enrico Gasparotto's victory at the Amstel Gold Race in April this year. Marcato, 28, is no stranger to the French classic of the falling leaves as he finished second to Greg Van Avermaet one year ago.

    Marcato gave a first explanation for his newly found capacities of winning. "This year, I have taken more confidence in my potential," he said in Tours. "That's clearly evident since I got married to Elisa on September 1st. I'm more serene and quiet because of having a special person on my side. I've done a lot of sacrifices to improve my cycling. At the world championship, I've done a great race at the service of the Italian national team. All the sacrifices I've done have paid off today."

    The experience in the race one year ago, which he lost in a two-man sprint, played its role too. "Last year, I kind of thought ‘well, better second than nothing', but this time I've preferred to take the risk of losing everything," he admitted.

    "With three kilometers to go, I remembered and I told myself to not make the same mistake again because occasions like that to win a classic don't often occur. So I've looked at calculating everything. I knew I could win. I've learned and I've implemented the lesson. More than the sprint himself, I've learned from the previous kilometers how to save myself for the finale."

    Marcato is a rider with many valuable places on his palmares, but only one victory since he joined Cycle Collstrop, the predecessor of Vacansoleil-DCM, after riding for LPR in 2007: the 2011 Tour de Vendée, where he'll defend his title on...

  • USADA report contains "the same, old, worn-out stuff": Armstrong spokesman

    A pensive Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 1:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Agency's report due to be handed down in the next week

    The US Anti-Doping Agency's (USADA) report into the lifetime ban handed to Lance Armstrong is set to be delivered over the next week to the UCI and WADA but according to the former cyclist's spokesman, he is unconcerned by what it might contain.

    On September 26, two more weeks were added to the report's delivery date.

    "USADA is in the process of finalizing the written reasoned decision in its U.S. Postal Services pro cycling doping case. We will provide the reasoned decision addressing the lifetime bans and disqualifications imposed to the UCI and WADA as provided for under the world rules. We expect it to be sent no later than October 15."

    On Sunday, Armstrong's spokesman Mark Fabiani told the New York Times that the release of the report was a non-issue.

    "This is all the same, old, worn-out stuff that Usada and others have been peddling for years and that almost everyone has already made up their minds about," Fabiani said via email.

    Armstrong was accused by USADA in June of doping during his career, using EPO, blood transfusions, corticosteroids and growth hormones, as well as facilitating doping by his teammates and conspiring to cover up doping activities by USADA. Armstrong tried to fight the system itself in a Texas court, but Judge Sam Sparks ruled that the proper place for the charges to be addressed was in the sport arbitration process.

    Armstrong then declined to fight the charges through the...

  • Roe moves to BMC Development Team in 2013

    Timothy Roe (BMC) gave his all during his solo attack.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 4:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Aggravated nerve ends time in the World Tour for now

    Adelaide cyclist Tim Roe will step away from the World Tour in 2013, plagued by back and hip problems, moving from BMC Racing Team to one of the BMC Development Teams with two squads set to race.

    The 22-year-old underwent surgery five weeks ago, having been unable to race since July when he was a DNF at Tour de Wallonie. Roe had been getting by with cortisone injections but he told the Adelaide Advertiser that it was becoming "mentally and physically draining" fighting the chronic pain.

    "I wanted to go home and fix it once and for all," he said.

    "And when he (surgeon) did the operation he said the nerve looked very aggravated and worse than what the MRI had shown.

    "The last five weeks have been just lying down or going for some walks. I can sit down for 10 or 15 minutes at a time then I have to go for a walk and stretch my back."

    Roe will be taking his time with his recovery and has not put a deadline on his return, saying: "I've had a rough couple of years and I'm trying to look on the bright side, that once I get over this everything will get a bit easier."

     

  • Vinokourov to take up management position at Astana

    Vinokourov attacks during the 50-lap race
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 5:16 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Kazakh takes final win in farewell criterium in Monaco

    Riding in what is surely his final appearance as a rider, Alexandre Vinokourov took a solo win in the jubilee criterium held along the streets of Monaco. Vinokourov wasn’t sure of his plans post-retirement however, according to Eurosport the 39-year-old will take up a management role with the Astana team he has ridden for since 2006.

    Vinokourov was greeted in Monaco by the fans of his current home city and joined by a number of current professionals including world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) who he beat into second and third respectively. Eddy Merckx, Laurent Jalabert and Jan Ullrich were also in attendance for the habourside race.

    "Today was a perfect celebration of my career. To have my family, my teammates and my friends with me riding around this beautiful setting was something I’ll never forget. I would like to also thank all my fans for their amazing support throughout my professional career," said Vinokourov.

    Vinokourov has enjoyed a checkered career and while he had intended to retire at the end of the 2011 season, he continued into 2012 primarily to bolster his Astana team’s UCI points tally. The Kazakh rode a relatively light season which included the Critérium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France before taking his biggest win of his career by winning the London Olympic road race.

    The exact details of 'Vino's' role is yet to be announced however, many...

  • Durbridge extends with Orica-GreenEdge

    Luke Durbridge (Orica GreenEdge) rides to the win in the Dauphine prologue
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 6:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Neo-pro committed to two more years with team

    Former under world time trial world champion Luke Durbridge has extended his current two-year neo pro contract with Orica-GreenEdge by another year. The renewed deal will see the current Australian TT champion remain with the squad until the end of 2014.

    "I’ve really enjoyed the environment on the team and I appreciate the genuine interest in my development," said Durbridge. "GreenEdge offered the extension, and it made a lot of sense to sign. I get security and the ability to concentrate on more good years with the team."

    Durbridge has enjoyed a number of successes in his first year riding in the WorldTour, with seven victories including winning the opening prologue at Critérium du Dauphiné ahead of this year’s Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky).

    "Winning the Dauphiné prologue was a personal highlight for me. I was pretty happy with that win because of the caliber of riders that were there. Winning the national title at the beginning of the year was also very special. I took a lot of pride in wearing the green and the gold all year during my first professional season."

    The schedule of races given to Durbridge has allowed the young Australian to target specific events that cater to his speciality; time trialling. This focus has delivered result for both himself and his team.

    "The team gave me a good program," Durbridge said. "When I came over from track to road, they were more than happy to have me. They gave me to a good combination of races without loading me down with too heavy of a schedule. That made it possible for me to have some personal opportunities."

    He’s showcased his ability to handle...

  • Sørensen finishes season with GP Bruno Beghelli win

    THe top three in the GP Beghelli: Fabio Felline, Nicki Sorensen and Matteo Rabottini
    Article published:
    October 08, 2012, 10:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank veteran happy with solo victory in Beghelli

    Nicki Sørensen finished off the 2012 season in the best possible way – by taking his first and only win of the season. The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank veteran won Sunday's GP Bruno Beghelli in a late solo attack.

    "It is a really good end to the season, and it is a great motivation towards winter training," the 37-year-old told sporten.tv2.dk.

    His role is usually that of a domestique, and while he enjoys that role, it is not his ultimate goal. "It means a lot to me to be able to help, for example, Alberto Contador and Carlos Sastre to win the Tour, but the most important for me in cycling is winning. There is no doubt.”

    Sørensen found the perfect race to take his season win. “It is a medium-sized race that is well suited to all-round riders like me. Just before I attacked, other riders including (Saxo Bank's) Chris Anker Sørensen and Troels Vinther attacked, and it looked like they would get away. But then they were caught, and with about four kilometers to go, I went solo,” he said.

    It was only the eighth win of the season for the Danish WorldTour team, and it meant a lot to Sørensen.  “I'm really happy about it. I had not been completely happy with my season, so it was a great way to finish up,” he told ekstrabladet.dk.

    “For me it's gone from having been a so-so season to being a season with good success.”

    His next step is quite clear for the Dane, who started his season in February. "The next three weeks I will do anything other than cycling, and then begin preparations for next season.”