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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 8, 2012

Date published:
December 08, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Rabobank, Lampre tentatively approved for MPCC membership

    The stand out pink and blue colours of Lampre - ISD
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 16:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six teams will be voted upon in February

    The Movement for Credible Cycling has provisionally approved six teams for membership, including WorldTour teams Lampre-Merida and Rabobank. The final decision will be made at the group's next general meeting in February.

    The other teams are Team Type 1 Sanofi (to be known as Novo Nordisk in the coming year),  Verandas Willems and Crelan-Euphony (formerly Landbouwkrediet), all Professional Continental, as well as the Norwegian Continental team Oster Hus-Ridler.

    Founded in 2007, the MPCC imposes stricter anti-doping measures on its members that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency Code, including additional testing to combat the use of corticosteroids.  The 14 current members include AG2R La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano, Bretagne-Schuller, Cofidis, Europcar, FDJ and Garmin-Sharp.

    The international race organisers' association, the AIOCC, last month agreed to give priority to MPCC member teams when distributing wildcard invitations to races.

    Astana has also expressed interest in membership, but has not yet made its final decision.

    Lampre is facing the possibility of 31 current and past staff members and riders facing doping charges for their links to pharmacist and coach Guido Nigrelli. The team has reorganised its management, with the team manager saying “We're all at the point of no return.”

    The Rabobank team expects to ride as a “white...

  • Lotto Belisol riders pass UCI medical tests

    The back of the Lotto Belisol bus
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 17:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team says all of its riders are fit

    Lotto Belisol is medically ready for the coming season, as the results of the obligatory UCI medical check-up have shown that “all our riders are fit,” the team said Friday. The tests focus on detecting cardiac problems.

    The UCI has required the tests for more than ten years, team doctor Jan Mathieu said. “It's logical to limit as much as possible fatal heart failures in sport. All riders have to take three tests. A normal cardiogram in rest, an exertion test in combination with an electrocardiogram and an ultrasound of the heart, to examine among other things the functioning of the cardiac muscle and the cardiac valves."

    The team doesn't stop there, though. They also measure the riders' oxygen level, “an accurate way to determine the VO2max (maximal oxygen consumption), possible abnormalities can be further examined by taking a scan. Apart from that we let all our riders take a Holter monitoring during our training camp. During the night and during the training they are monitored 24 hours, so we can see for example if their heart isn't beating extremely low when they are asleep. The UCI tests have showed that all our riders are fit."

    Jürgen Roelandts now knows that his broken collarbone is healed and that his heart is healthy as well.  “On the one hand it is of course very important to know if there are any problems. As a pro it would be a worst-case scenario if an abnormality is found, but that is the reason why these kind of tests are important,” he said.

    “On the other hand we already get to see how our shape is thanks to the maximal exertion test, which is always instructive. I am in the middle of the conditional built-up for next season. My broken...

  • Sagan targets Classics win in 2013

    Peter Sagan in the sand.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 19:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cannondale's young triumvirate takes aim at Milan-San Remo

    Cannondale will boast a youthful triumvirate of leaders at Milan-San Remo in 2013, with Peter Sagan, Elia Viviani and Moreno Moser heading up the team’s challenge following the departure of Vincenzo Nibali to Astana.

    Sagan won the bunch sprint for fourth place last year before going on to enjoy a consistent campaign in the northern classics. The Slovak will be hoping to improve on those showings in 2013 and add a first-ever Classics victory to his burgeoning palmares.

    “The objectives will be the same,” Sagan told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ll start off in Argentina [at the Tour de San Luis]. The first big objective will be Milan-San Remo, and then we’ll keep on going up to the northern Classics, with Wevelgem, Flanders and Amstel. They’re the first races I really want to do at 100%, and then we’ll see what the programme will be after that. I’d really like to win Flanders or Milan-San Remo.”

    Although the veteran Ivan Basso leads the squad in the Grand Tours, there is a distinctly precocious feel to Cannondale’s projected line-up for the Classics, something which Sagan believes helps foster team spirit: “I think we’re a very good team and we’re all friends, almost a family really. We’re all young and that helps to make it a real group,” said Sagan, who competed at the Boonen and Friends Cyclo-cross event last weekend.

    In Elia Viviani, Cannondale boasts another rapid finisher in its ranks, and after dividing his time between road and track in 2011 and 2012 in order to qualify for the...

  • UCI Independent Commission contacts potential witnesses

    Pat McQuaid answers questions
    Article published:
    December 07, 2012, 22:10 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Invitations to testify at April hearing sent out

    Potential witnesses have now been contacted on behalf of the UCI's Independent Commission which is set to examine whether the sport's governing body acted appropriately or not during the Lance Armstrong era. Witnesses have been called to submit any relevant evidence by December 31, 2012 and have been asked if they are willing to testify at the Commission's hearing which will take place in April of 2013. Cyclingnews understands that the potential witnesses extend to individuals the UCI has previously taken legal action against.

    The Commission was initiated in October with the UCI selecting the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), John Coates as the individual in charge of selecting the three-person panel.

    The Commission will be chaired by former Court of Appeal Judge, Sir Philip Otton, assisted by House of Lords Peer, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Australian lawyer, Malcolm Holmes QC.

    Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles through USADA's reasoned decision and while several other riders were handed six-month suspensions for their own doping illegalities, the UCI were alleged to have acted in a corrupt fashion by several of USADA's key witnesses. The UCI has always denied the allegations with both Pat McQuaid, the current president and Hein Verbruggen, McQuaid's predecessor, denying that the UCI covered up a test for Lance Armstrong. The UCI have already admitted that they accepted several donations from Armstrong though but have stated that the funds were used to fund their own anti-doping tests.

    A legal team, acting on behalf of the Independent Commission has now reached out to potential...

  • Garner relishing new challenge at Argos-Shimano

    Lucy Garner (Great Britain) celebrates her world title victory
    Article published:
    December 08, 2012, 9:30 GMT
    Pete Cossins

    Britain's two-time junior world champion preparing to step up to elite level

    Having won just about all that she possibly could in the youth and junior ranks, Britain's Lucy Garner is now looking ahead to her first training camps with her new Argos-Shimano team. The first of the Dutch team's two camps takes place next week in the Spanish resort of Altea, and the 18-year-old who won back-to-back world titles as a junior has been training hard on her home roads in Leicestershire in order to be ready for the big step up to elite level.

    "I have been doing a lot more training out on the road during this off-season. When I was still at school I would just be on the turbo afterwards. But I want to hit it hard when I get to the training camps abroad, so I'm trying to get in as many hours as possible. I'm trying to get more groups together as it's pretty tough going out for four hours in this grim weather on your own," she told Cyclingnews.

    Garner explains that the reason she accepted the offer from Argos-Shimano was because the Dutch team have said they will bring her on slowly, working together with Paul Manning, her coach at British Cycling's academy. "It's important for me to be on a team that's focused on developing me and is not looking for results in the first year so much. This first year is about gaining as much experience as I can," she said.

    Although best known as a sprinter, Garner is hoping to become more of an all-rounder. "I want to improve my time trialling because I'm pretty rubbish at them at the moment. Stage races are generally won in the time trial, so I want to improve that aspect of my riding, although sprinting will remain my main asset. I do a lot of work on the track...

  • Rogers' departure not linked to anti-doping policy, Team Sky says

    Three-time former world time trial champion, Michael Rogers (Sky)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2012, 11:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian not “required to leave”

    Michael Rogers' departure from Team Sky had nothing to do with the Australian rider's former connections to Dr Michele Ferrari or the team's anti-doping policy, the team has said. It was announced Friday that Rogers would ride for Team Saxo-Tinkoff for the next two years.

    Team Sky has a strict zero-tolerance doping policy and required all of its staff and riders to sign an anti-doping charter this fall. Staff members Bobby Julich and Steven De Jongh left the team, and Michael Barry, who admitted to doping in his affidavit in the Lance Armstrong-USADA case, has retired and received a ban.

    "Michael [Rogers] was interviewed at the October training camp, like all riders, and there was no admission or disclosure that required him to leave,” the team statement said.

    "He made the decision to join a new team with a new challenge after two years with us, and during that time there have been no doubts about his approach or success with us.

    "We thank Michael for his work with Team Sky and wish him well for the next stage of his career."

    Rogers had previously admitted to having worked with Ferrari in 2005 and 2006, but only for training, with doping never being mentioned. 

    Most recently, however, Levi Leipheimer claimed in his affidavit attached to the USADA's “reasoned decision” in the Lance Armstrong case that Rogers was amongst those who attended multiple altitude training camps in 2005 with other Ferrari clients. Rogers has not addressed those claims.

  • Tour de France start in Edinburgh moves closer

    A road ride
    Article published:
    December 08, 2012, 13:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Report says UK has best chances for 2014

    Edinburgh is set to vote on a bid to hold the start of the Tour de France, with the race making its first start in Scotland possibly as soon as 2014, with its chances of getting the nod from race organisers said to be very good.The start in the Scottish capital would be followed by three days of racing throughout the UK.

    The City Council is scheduled to vote on the plan this coming Thursday. The team presentation would be held at Edinburgh Castle, with a show ride by the peloton throughout the city centre the day before the start, which would be held on the city outskirts.

    According to the council, holding the start could be worth £45-55 million to the local economy, the BBC reported.

    Councillor Steve Cardownie "I can think of no more dramatic backdrop than Edinburgh Castle and our historic Old Town and, of course, our residents are well used to laying on a fantastic welcome to the many millions of visitors that travel to the city each year.”

    The city is the home of another cycling champion. “Of course, Edinburgh is no stranger to cycling success, thanks to the incredible achievements of Sir Chris Hoy, and we are already seeing the impact this is having on participation, a trend that would surely continue following a successful Grand Depart,” Cardownie said.

    Great Britain is the most likely to host the 2014 start, Het Nieuwsblad said. Utrecht and Lille had also expressed interest, but are said to no longer be considered top candidates. The city of Ypres, France, hopes for a stage start in honour of the 100th anniversary of World War I.

  • 2013 Tour of Bavaria route announced

    The course for the 2013 Tour of Bavaria
    Article published:
    December 08, 2012, 15:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Two ranked climbs and a time trial to be featured

    The 2013 Tour of Bavaria will end in Nürnberg after 755 kilometers of racing. The 34th edition of the German race, to be held May 21-26, will open in Pfaffenhofen and feature a time trial as well as numerous climbs along the way.

    The race opens with a 193.1km run from Pfaffenhofen to Mühldorf, with the sprinters expected to fight it out for the win. The second stage is one for the climbers, though, 192.6km from Mühldorf to Viechtach. It features two ranked climbs, the category one climb at St. Englmar and the category two climb at Kollnburg.

    The third stage has no ranked climbs, but features a constant up-and-down on the  race's longest stage, 196.8km from Viechtach to Kelheim. It is followed the next day by a 31.2m time trial in Schierling, the longest time trial in the history of the race.

    From Schierling, the peloton will take off for the final stage, a total of 169.8 km ending in Nürnberg. It will feature ten laps of the course from the former Rund um den Nürnberger Altstadt.

    Michael Rogers (Team Sky) won the 2012 race, with two stage wins. The other three stages were won by Lampre's Alessandro Petacchi.