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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, August 10, 2013

Date published:
August 10, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Craddock to join Haga at Argos-Shimano?

    Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) reacts to an attack
    Article published:
    August 09, 2013, 13:40 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Bontrager's climbing specialist linked with Dutch team for 2014

    One day after US rider Chad Haga told Cyclingnews that he had signed with a WorldTour team for 2014 but would not reveal which team it was, Spanish website Biciciclismo reported that both Haga (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Bontrager's Lawson Craddock had signed with Dutch WorldTour team Argos-Shimano.

    Craddock, 21, would not confirm the news to Cyclingnews on Thursday, but he did say he was "really excited about next year."

    "I've had great opportunities with the USA Cycling development program and the Bontrager pro cycling team," Craddock said. "So it's allowed me to create some opportunities for next year, and so it's been pretty surreal."

    Craddock had a breakout season this year, finishing as the Best Young Rider at the Tour of California in May after ascending with some of the best climbers in the world to the summit finish atop Mt. Diablo at the end of stage 7. He finished eighth overall at that UCI 2.HC race won by BMC's Tejay van Garderen.

    Craddock also won the 103km second stage of Belgium's le Triptyque des Monts et Chateaux in March and was fourth during the individual time trial at Silver City's Tour of the Gila, a UCI 2.1 race in April. He also finished fourth at the US Pro time trial championship in June. In 2012, Craddock won the Tour of the Gila's difficult Gila Monster stage.

    Both Haga and Craddock are from Texas, and Craddock said he'd love the opportunity to ride professionally with his fellow Texan.

    "With Chad Haga coming from Texas and me coming from Texas it would be really cool if we get the chance to ride on the same team next year," he said. "It would be pretty cool for us to be...

  • 2013 Giro del Piemonte cancelled

    Luca Paolini, Rigoberto Uran and Gorka Verdugo on the podium
    Article published:
    August 09, 2013, 15:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Organiser RCS Sport cites economic hardship

    Race organiser RCS Sport announced today that it had cancelled this year's edition of the Giro del Piemonte, scheduled to take place on Friday, October 4. The venerable one-day Italian classic, first contested in 1906, fell victim to financial issues affecting much of Europe.

    "The international economic situation and, in particular the Italian one, has put many sporting events, including the Gran Piemonte, in serious difficulty," read a statement from RCS Sport. "Added in the UCI Europe Tour calendar, the Gran Piemonte, which in 2012 saw the victory of the Colombian Rigoberto Uran, suffered economic hardship that has led the organisers to the decision to cancel the event."

    Coupled with the Milano-Torino one-day race, held two days earlier and also organised by RCS Sport, the Giro del Piemonte served as an invaluable tune-up to the season's final Monument, Il Lombardia, this year contested two days later on Sunday, October 6. Part of the UCI European Tour since 2005, the 1.HC-rated event had previously been cancelled due to financial difficulties in 2007, but had been successfully contested from 2008 through 2012 afterwards.

    Since the world championship shifted to a fall date in the mid-1990s, the Giro del Piemonte was typically contested only a handful of days after the elite men's road race world championship, providing the newly crowned world champion an opportunity to show off the rainbow-striped jersey in competition.

    Rigoberto Uran (Sky) won the 2012 edition in a solo break, six seconds up on Luca Paolini (Katusha) and seven seconds ahead of Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

  • Sanchez tries to stay optimistic despite Euskaltel's woes

    Sammy Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    August 09, 2013, 17:19 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard hints he could join Contador at Saxo Bank

    Samuel Sanchez is trying to focus on his training and final build-up for the Vuelta a Espana, rather than the doubts about his future with the troubled Euskaltel-Euskadi team, but has hinted he'd be happy to team up with Alberto Contador, perhaps as a key support role at the Saxo Bank team in 2014.

    The 35 year-old from Oviedo reportedly has a two-year contract with the Basque team but knows he could be forced to look for a new team if Euskaltel fails to find the funding to continue.

    "You have to try and not think about it, otherwise you get distracted but sometimes you can't help thinking about the future and the uncertainty of it all," he told the Biciciclismo website.

    "But I can't do anything, I have to focus on my training, to get ready and try to do well at the Vuelta. I have to try and leave the problems at my door or at the hotel when I go riding.

    "I'm looking for a team but we all know it’s a difficult moment and a delicate moment for the sport. There are fewer teams and less places for riders and staff. It's also the end of the season and so it's difficult to get sorted out."

    Several of Sanchez's Euskaltel teammates have been linked to other major teams and could play supporting roles in the mountains. Sanchez made it clear he would be happy to ride for Contador.

    "Why not?" he said.

    "With Alberto I have very good relationship, with him I lived unforgettable events in my career and who does not like to be with one of the greatest cyclists of all time."

    Focusing on the Vuelta

    Sanchez opted to ride the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta this year instead of the Tour de France. He was second overall in the 2009 Vuelta and third in 2007. He will lead the Euskaltel-Euskadi team but is unsure if he...

  • Zabel to work with German NADA on anti-doping

    Erik Zabel won an incredible six consecutive green jerseys at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 09, 2013, 18:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ullrich declines to meet with NADA

    Erik Zabel has met with the German National Anti-Doping Agency and announced his interest in furthering the fight against doping. The NADA hailed his co-operation, while also noting that Jan Ullrich has refused to meet with them.

    Zabel met with the NADA for two and a half hours, repeating his confession of having doped from 1996 to 2003, and explaining his reasons for having doped, according to a statement released by his attorney. He also said that he wanted to become active in bringing better doping prevention to cycling, working together with the NADA and using his “personal experience and knowledge.”

    This co-operation “is the signal of his readiness to actively join the fight against doping, in order to regain the credibility that not only he but also all of cycling has lost.”

    In its press release, the NADA said that it had contact Zabel after his published confession. “With Zabel and his legal advisors, we have have the first constructive discussions. Further discussions are planned soon.”

    The NADA also contacted Jan Ullrich, after his admission to a news magazine in June that he had been a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes. The NADA made contact through Ullrich's management, but “Ullrich himself declined to have a discussion with the NADA. We regret this, but are ready for a discussion at any time, if he should decide to do so.”

  • King makes return to racing at Tour of Utah

    Ted King (Cannondale) talks about his experience at this year's Tour de France.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2013, 18:58 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Nearly fully recovered from Tour crash, looking for Worlds start

    Cannondale Pro Cycling rider Ted King is back on the bike this week at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah following his disappointing removal from his first appearance in the Tour de France in July. King failed to make the time cut during the Tour's stage four team time trial as he struggled with a separated shoulder suffered in a crash in the confusing finale of stage 1.

    King told Cyclingnews this week that the Utah race will be a good test of his form and fitness before he ramps up the end of his season at the USA Pro Challenge, the Tour of Alberta, the one-day WorldTour races in Quebec and then, hopefully, the world championships in Italy.

    "The injury is doing very well," King said after stage 1 in Utah on Tuesday. "I'm plateauing a little bit. The first few weeks coming back through training were productive and with incremental improvements over time. But when you have a broken bone it's going to take months to be fully healed. So I'm basically 90 to 98 percent back but not quite 100.

    "It's fun to catch up with the guys and to be pedaling with a little bit more vigor than I do when training," he said of his return to the peloton.

    After 10 years of plying his trade and moving through the cycling ranks, King earned the ultimate prize for a domestique with a start in the Tour de France to support team leader Peter Sagan's quest to win his second green jersey. But when the Orica-GreenEdge bus wedged itself under the stage 1 finish line banner and organizers moved the finale – then moved it back to the original spot once the bus was freed...

  • Chavanel leads Omega Pharma-Quick Step at the Eneco Tour

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) drives the pace as the Belgian team split the peloton in strong crosswinds
    Article published:
    August 09, 2013, 22:10 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Petacchi makes his comeback in the WorldTour stage race

    The Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team has named its squad for next week's Eneco Tour, with Sylvain Chavanel the nominated team leader in the absence of Tom Boonen.

    Boonen was expected to ride the weeklong stage race in Belgium and the Netherlands but was forced to miss the race due to a saddle sore. It is now unsure when he will return to action.

    Chavanel tops the Omega Pharma-Quick-Step roster for the Eneco Tour. The mid-race 13.2km time trial makes and hilly stages in the Ardennes make him an overall contender. However Omega Pharma-Quick-Step played down their overall hopes. Also in the line-up are Alessandro Petacchi, who is making his return to serious racing in the Eneco Tour, former cyclo-cross star Zdenek Stybar, Niki Terpstra and fast finishers Gert Steegmans and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.

    Before the race, Chavanel will also meet with Omega Pharma-Quick-Step team manager Patrick Lefevere to discuss his future with the Belgian team. He has a serious offer from Ag2r-La Mondiale but the Belgian team is keen to keep him for ability in the cobbled Classics, the Tour de France and short stage races.

    "As per tradition, the race features a first part -the first 4 stages- that are more suited to sprinters. On the other hand, the weekend will be hard, with a time trial on Friday and the two reigning stages on Saturday and Sunday with the arrival on the Geraardsbergen. Compared to last year, Saturday's stage will be more challenging, so there could be some surprises," directeur sportif Wilfried Peeters said in an announcement from the team.

    "For the sprint finishes in the first four days we will be able to count on fast riders like Gert Steegmans, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck and

  • Kruijswijk to miss Vuelta a Espana due to upcoming surgery

    Steven Kruijswijk will ride the Giro d'Italia with Gesink and Kelderman.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2013, 1:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    De Kort also out of Spanish race

    Steven Kruijswijk will not ride the Vuelta a Espana this year. The Belkin rider must undergo surgery in late September on his femoral artery and it would not be possible for him to put in the good performance he would like, he said.

    Another Dutch rider who will miss the Vuelta is Koen de Kort of Argos-Shimano.

    Kruijswijk had surgery on this same artery five years ago, but has now again developed a kink in the artery and narrowing of the veins. "It's not nice, but I was relieved when the research recently showed that this problem is the reason for the disappointing results," he told De Telegraaf.

    “Two years ago I could stay with the best ten climbers at the Giro. This year, no more. I want the again have the chance to bring that last ten or fifteen percent to be among the best. With his problem that won't happen. That made the decision easier.”

    He will keep on racing, though. “Instead of the Vuelta, I will be at the start of the races in Canada: the Tour of Alberta, Quebec GC and Montreal GC. Here I will close my season as well as possible and try to the maximum out,” he wrote on his website.

    De Kort rode both the Giro di Italia and the Tour de France this year, as an important part of the sprint train for John Degenkolb, who won a stage at the Giro, and Marcel Kittel, who won four stages at the Tour.

    Although he was named on Argos-Shimano's long list for the Vuelta, the team has already decided not to take him. “They would rather that I concentrate on the important one-day races,” he told De Telegraaf.

  • Peter Velits signs for BMC

    Peter Velits (Omega Pharma QuickStep)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2013, 10:07 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Slovakian rider joins from Omega Pharma QuickStep

    Peter Velits has signed a contract to ride with BMC for next season. The Slovakian time trial champion and former winner of the Tour of Oman has been signed in order to beef up the American squad’s grand tour roster.

    Velits, 28, was third in the 2010 Vuelta a España while riding for HTC but has struggled to improve on that result after two seasons with Omega Pharma QuickStep.

    "Everyone knows that the BMC Racing Team is one of the best teams – not only with the riders, but also the staff and the equipment," he said in a press release.

    "So I am really happy that I can join the team for next season. I just want to get better," he said. "I want to grow as a rider and, with this team, it's going to be possible because I can learn new methods of training and working with new equipment.

    “I don't have any specific goal that I want to win this race or that race. I just want to really grow as a rider."

    A solid climber as well as a time trialist, Velits played an important role in Omega Pharma Quick Step’s Tour de France this year, pacing teammate Michal Kwiatkowski through the mountains, as well as working for Mark Cavendish in the sprints.

    BMC Racing Team President Jim Ochowicz said "Peter has a deep background in the sport at multiple levels. In particular, he will add power to the team as a skilled time trialist and climbing expert.”

    BMC would not disclose the length of Velit’s contract or whether Peter’s twin brother. Martin, would also be joining him from Omega Pharma.