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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 18, 2010

Date published:
December 18, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Katusha closing out camp in Calpe

    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 20:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Photo gallery of team's training camp

    Team Katusha is in the final days of its nearly two-week long camp in Calpe, the coastal Spanish town, where the squad were fitted for their new Focus Izalco road bikes.

    The team were joined by new sprint adviser Mario Cipollini, who will be helping to hone the team's young sprinters.

    Newcomers to the team Leif Hoste, Yuri Trofimov, Aleksandr Kuschynski and Vladimir Isaychev were still sporting their 2010 team kits.

    The team's presentation is set to take place in Moscow in January but the team will be hoping on having another strong season in 2011 after Joaquin Rodriguez ended 2010 on a high after securing the top spot in the UCI World Ranking. Victory in a Grand Tour or a major classic may be more prestigious than the season-long ranking in cycling but Rodriguez racked up a total of 551 points, finishing ahead of Alberto Contador and Philippe Gilbert.

    Rodriguez won the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya in the spring as well as taking stages in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España. He also finished second in Fleche Wallonne, fourth overall in the Vuelta a España, fifth in the Clasica San Sebastian, seventh in Paris-Nice, eighth overall in the Tour de France and ninth in the Tour de Suisse.

  • US city to bid for UCI Road World Championships?

    Svein Tuft won the 2007 US Cycling Open, Richmond's last big race.
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 20:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Richmond, Virginia to make announcement Tuesday

    USA Cycling announced today that the city of Richmond, Virginia is preparing to bid for a "major cycling event" that has not been held in the US "for almost 25 years".

    The world's most important one-day race, the UCI road world championships, was last held in the US in 1986 when Colorado Springs held the race, leading to the obvious speculation, supported by the soon-to-be published website, that the announcement will be a bid for the 2015 worlds.

    The Mayor of Richmond, Dwight C. Jones and USA Cycling's CEO Steve Johnson will hold a press conference on Tuesday, December 21 at 10:30AM to make the announcement.

    When the championships were held in Colorado, the race was won by Moreno Argentin, while Jeannie Longo claimed the women's race. The UCI road world championships have not been held in North America since 2003 when they took place in Hamilton, Ontario in Canada.

    Richmond, Virginia last hosted a UCI-classified race in 2007, when the US Cycling Open was held. It also hosted stages of the Tour Dupont in the 1990s.

  • Kirchen unlikely to race again

    Article published:
    December 18, 2010, 9:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Contract with Katusha expires this weekend

    Kim Kirchen thinks it is highly unlikely that he will ride professionally in 2011, and indicated that he may never return to the peloton. The 32-year-old said that doctors are still searching for the reasons for his heart attack in June. The pace-maker implanted in his heart at that time may put an end to his active career.

    Kirchen suffered a heart attack in his hotel room during the Tour de Suisse, and was placed in an induce coma. He spent a total of three weeks in hospital.

    “I am still waiting for news from the doctors who are taking care of me and testing me,” he told “There is still no definite knowledge. It will probably last a few more weeks.”

    He admitted that “Right now I am not very positive” about continuing his career. “I have trained only lightly recently and the chances that I will ride races in 2011 or be active as a pro are bad. That probably won't be the case.”

    “I would love to still be a pro cyclist, but I won't take any unnecessary risk,” he continued. “If there is any doubt at all, then I must look for something else to do. The situation is serious. I cannot take lightly what happened in June."

    The presence of the pace-maker could also prevent him from obtaining a licence. “If they find the reason for my problem, then they could possibly solve it. Then I wouldn't need the pace-maker any more and could possibly ride again. But there is no point in speculating.”

    Should he return, it wouldn't be with Team Katusha. His contract with the team will expire on Sunday. A clause in the contract says that a rider who is not active for the team for six months is automatically removed from the team, and Sunday will be six months from his heart attack. “That doesn't matter. The contact between me and the team has been broken, since we have different opinions on certain points. But I don't...

  • Bruyneel goes to CAS after UCI suspension

    Team manager Johan Bruyneel has finalized Radioshack's 2010 roster.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2010, 9:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Appeals to CAS to change dates of ban

    Johan Bruyneel has appealed the timing of his suspension to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) asking for his ban to start on January 1 instead of February 1.

    At the end of October the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced the suspension, saying that Radioshack violated regulations by wearing an unauthorised jersey in the last stage of the Tour de France. Bruyneel, the directeurs sportif and the riders were also all ordered to pay a fine. Bruyneel was also cited for publicly insulting the UCI race commissaires, for which he apologised.

    “He is not appealing his suspension, but the time of his suspension,” RadioShack spokesman Philippe Maertens told Cyclingnews. “It is a bit strange and not logical that the Disciplinary Commission of the UCI on October 29th suspended Barredo and Bruyneel for two months, but these suspensions did not run in the same period (Barredo for January-February, and Bruyneel for February-March).”

    "I have asked the International Cycling Union to give me the same period. They didn't listen to me. There is no room for interpretation," Bruyneel told Therefore I will now go to the CAS. For me it is primarily a matter of principle now. "

    If Bruyneel is successful and his ban starts on January 1, he would miss Lance Armstrong's ride in the Tour Down Under, January 16 to 23. Armstrong has said it will be his last race outside the US.

  • Stewart already plotting success for Women's National Development program

    Team BMC's Jackson Stewart (left) leads a group part of the peloton into a tight curve.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2010, 10:53 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Former BMC pro looking to Worlds and Olympic glory

    His contract may not begun until the turn of the year but Jackson Stewart is already settling into the role as manager of the US’s Women's National Development programme. The former BMC professional has booked the team a spot in the Tour of Qatar and begun plotting Olympic and Worlds success.

    “This is the type of role I’ve always wanted to try and I’m excited to be giving it a shot,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I’ve been working behind the scenes a bit for the last month and taking on more and more. I got us registered into Qatar and that was a learning experience because I’d never done it. My contract officially starts on Jan 1 and then I’ll head to Colorado soon after that where I’ll meet with Jim Miller and some of he other coaches. But now I’m just getting a feel for the position.”

    Stewart’s first short term goal will be to study the lay of the land within women’s cycling. Coming off the back of two years racing for BMC at the highest level, he admits that his new field is not something he has the strongest of expertise in.  But with the help of Miller and advice from several of the riders, he’s hoping to hit the ground running once the season starts.

    “Short term I just need to get a feel for the position but it looks like it’s tough to get the girls from the trade teams to race for the program at certain races. Vice versa, there are riders who sometimes can’t make the squad. I’m going to have to balance that and try and find the best compromise for the riders and put their development first.”

    “I’ve been learning from people, both some of the superstars and some of the people a little lower down, in order to get a broad spectrum on what needs to be done. There are some hidden riders out there that we need to develop and I’m go to have to find them. It’s going to be...

  • Geox to place faith in Crespi

    The two Swiss riders of Footon-Servetto-Fuji, David Vitoria and Noé Gianetti (l-r), join Mauro Gianetti for a picture.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2010, 11:04 GMT
    Dan Harbles

    Team safe but no longer in Gianetti's sole control?

    Contrary to mounting speculation in recent days, the future of Geox-TMC has not been jeopardized by the team’s failure to obtain a UCI ProTeam licence – although that future may now look significantly different as a result of the UCI decision.

    On Friday rumours were rife that manager Mauro Gianetti had been eased out of the team in favour of former Mapei chief Alvaro Crespi. Calls to both Gianetti and Crespi on Friday went unanswered.

    Meanwhile, one of the team’s star riders, Italian wunderkind Fabio Felline, told Cyclingnews that he knew nothing of the mooted management reshuffle.

    Hours later, on Saturday, it emerged that Geox owner Mario Moretti Polegato had indeed reviewed and redefined Gianetti’s position – but that the Swiss would remain with the team alongside Crespi.

    Cyclingnews understands that Polegato first approached Crespi on the advice of the latter’s former employer, Mapei kingpin Giorgio Squinzi. Mystified by the team's failure to secure one of the UCI’s 18 ProTeam licences and with it automatic entry to the sport’s major races, Polegato now wants Crespi to mastermind a new, long-term plan.

    His commitment to professional cycling unshaken by the early setback, Polegato could even take full ownership of the team within two years.

    “Liquigas own their team and that’s the model Geox seem to want to follow, but they don’t know enough about how professional cycling works to be ready,” a source close to the team commented. “Crespi could well oversee a ‘handover period’ of a season or two, after which Gianetti would move aside and the Geox company itself would control everything.”

    In the meantime, Crespi and Gianetti will hammer out the terms of their working arrangement over the coming days and weeks, while also meeting with race organizers to seek guarantees about their 2011...

  • Riis hires two new coaches for 2011

    Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    December 18, 2010, 12:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Toni to analyze training, Østenkjær as mental coach

    Bjarne Riis has hired two new coaches for Team Saxo Bank-Sungard. Coach Giuseppe Toni will analyse the riders' daily training, while Danish psychologist Erik Østenkjær, “will help analyse the entire organisation.”

    According to, Riis has benefited financially from the loss of a large number of riders, plus the payment to buy out Fabian Cancellara's contract. This has given Riis the chance to go “on a shopping spree,” the site said.

    Toni, who is known as Pino, lives in Lucca, Italy, close to many riders. “ Each day the riders take their computer from the bike, and send their data to Pino, who analyses the results of the program,” Riis said. “We're not control freaks, and ultimately it is up to the riders themselves to train as they should, but now we can get a handle on what they do and can optimize their workout.”

    Østenkjær, “will help to analyze the entire organization; riders, managers, mechanics, office workers - everyone. So we are always at the forefront, " said Riis.

    “Erik can also help with mental training, and so we have created a system where riders can anonymously report back if they are satisfied or dissatisfied with the race, or if they have personal problems. There are some who do not dare say such things directly to the boss,” Riis noted.

  • Steegmans at Quick Step training camp

    Gert Steegmans (RadioShack) speaks about his collarbone injury at a press conference in Waregem, Belgium.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2010, 12:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    No official word on whether he will join team for 2011

    Gert Steegmans is not officially with Quick Step, but the deal could be wrapped up after he attended the team's training camp, according to

    Steegmans rode for the Belgian team in 2007 and 2008, before signing with Katusha for 2009. He left the team in the middle of the season after refusing to sign its anti-doping agreement.

    He signed with RadioShack for 2010, but had an unhappy and unsuccessful year with the US-based team. The team has confirmed that he may leave, if his new team is willing to buy out the remaining year on his contract.

    Steegmans and the Quick Step riders will be in the training camp in Calpe, Spain, through December 21. The camp includes team-building exercises, photo shoots and training for the upcoming season.