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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 1, 2011

Date published:
January 01, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Bruyneel questions logic of his suspension

    Team manager Johan Bruyneel has finalized Radioshack's 2010 roster.
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 9:56 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    RadioShack manager comments on CAS ruling

    Johan Bruyneel says he still does not understand why his two-month suspension starts on February 1 and not January 1, saying the decision by both the International Cycling Union and Court of Arbitration for Sport “really makes no sense at all.”

    Bruyneel was give the suspension after the Team RadioShack riders started the final stage of this year's Tour de France in an unapproved kit. At the end of October the UCI announced that Bruyneel would be suspended for two months, starting February 1, 2011. The same day it announced that QuickStep's Carlos Barredo would also be suspended for two months for totally unrelated actions, but starting on January 1, 2011.

    “I was unclear why a professional sports governing body would assign two different suspension start dates, especially when the 2011 cycling season starts prior to February 1, 2011 (first World Tour event, the Tour Down Under, starts January 16),” Bruyneel wrote on his personal website.

    “Only out of principle, I questioned the UCI on the reason my suspension started February 1 and not January 1 like Barredo's. When I didn't receive an answer, I filed an appeal with the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). I was not appealing the suspension, but rather asking the ban to start on January 1 - the same start date as Barredo.”

    The CAS issued its ruling on Thursday, denying his appeal and upholding the UCI decision to start the ban on February 1. It did not provide any explanation for its decision at that time, saying “the award with reasons will be published in a few weeks.”

    “To this day, I am still left wondering the reason the UCI has not acted in a uniformed and consistent manner using common sense. I will start the season as a sports director on January 16th in Australia at the Santos Tour Down Under, and after this event I will serve a 2 month suspension in February and March.

    “My...

  • Hushovd named Norwegian athlete of the year for 2010

    Thor Hushovd resplendent in his world champion kit
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 10:33 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    World champion also claimed two Grand Tour stage victories

    Thor Hushovd has been named as Norway's athlete of the year. The nation's sports journalists voted to give the world champion their top honour for his world road race title.

    The 32-year-old won only four races in the 2010 season while riding for the the Cervelo TestTeam, but they were all top major races, starting with the Norwegian national road championship in June.

    He then went on to win one of the most dramatic stages of this year's Tour, the third stage from Wanze to Arenberg Port du Hainaut over the Belgian cobblestones. He was fortunately enough to escape the many crashes during the stage and outsprinted a group of six, which included Cadel Evans, Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara.

    His second Grand Tour stage win of the season came in stage six of the Vuelta a Espana, in early September. He made it over a category two-ranked climb near the finish and then won the sprint contested by a reduced peloton to secure the third Vuelta victory of his career.

    The crowning glory of his year came in early October in Geelong, when he dominated the sprint to win the world road race title and pull on the rainbow jersey.

    “It’s hard to understand that I’ve won the Worlds. It’s a dream. I’m speechless,” he said at the time.

    The Norwegian athlete of the year title has been awarded annually since 1948. The only previous cyclist to have won was Knut Knutsen in 1972 and 1973. The all-time winner is marathon runner Grete Waitz, who won four times, with skiers usually dominating the vote.

    Hushovd dominated the competition with 122.2 points ahead of cross-country skiier Marit Bjørgen (53 points), who won three gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the winter Olympics in Vancouver. No other athlete received more than 11 points.

  • Florence wants 2014 Tour de France depart

    The 2011 Tour de France map
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 11:04 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Tuscany city hopes to celebrate birth of Bartali

    The Tuscany city of Florence is working on a bid to host the grand depart of the 2014 Tour de France to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Gino Bartali and recall other great Tuscan riders including Gastone Nencini, who won the Tour de France in 1960 and Franco Ballerini who died in February last year.

    Bartali won the Tour de France twice, in 1938 and then again after the second world war in 1948. This second win has become legendary because it reportedly distracted the Italians from supporting a civil war. Bartali was born in Ponte a Ema, near Florence and was a huge figure in the sport until his death in 2000.

    "The other day the assistant mayor called me about an idea that we've had for five years and that now is finally coming to life," Andrea Bartali, Gino's son revealed to Tuttobiciweb.

    "I can reveal that the first steps have been made to make a request to the Tour director Prudhomme asking that Florence host the start of the Tour de France in 2014. It'd be a great way to remember Nencini, Ballerini and my father because 2014 is the 100th anniversary of his birth."

    The importance of winning the 1948 Tour de France

    Andrea Bartali recalled how his father went on to win the 1948 Tour de France after getting a call from the head of the Italian Parliament, asking him to win to ease the tension in post-war Italy. At the time workers had occupied factories and Palmiro Togliatti, the head of the communist party, had been shot outside parliament.

    "Dad got a call from De Gasperi asking him to win the Tour so that people would be distracted from supporting the protests. He promised to win the next day's tough stage and told his teammates 'We've got to win for Italy.' He went on to pull back the 21 minutes he'd lost in the Pyrenees and arrived in Paris in yellow with a lead of 26 minutes."

    Florence is the home to many famous Italian riders, including Mario Cipollini, Paolo Bettini,...

  • Porte cites self as proof of cleaner cycling

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank) was all smiles at the start line
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 11:05 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    “I have not f**king cheated”, Saxo Bank-SunGard Australian says

    Richie Porte has firmly rejected any doubts about his success in 2010, insisting that he won clean and that cycling is becoming cleaner. “I can only vouch for myself, but it can't be really bad in the sport. I was seventh in the Giro and I have not f**king cheated,” sporten.dk report him as saying.

    “There is always someone who cries and hope you have cheated and are caught after you have won the race."

    “I'm sure the riders I've ridden with before think that I have cheated. But fuck them. Look at us young riders, we are a new generation,” Porte said.

    He cited Saxo Bank-SunGard teammate Kasper Klostergaard, who he said, “is cool, he will not even take an aspirin when he has a headache because pills are unnatural.”

    Porte burst onto the scene in his first pro year of 2010, winning the time trial at the Tour de Romandie. At the Giro d'Italia, he wore the leader's pink jersey for three stages and finished seventh overall. Porte just missed the podium at the Worlds time trial in his native Australia, finishing fourth.

    The Tasmanian knew, though, that not everyone in the sport thinks the way he does. “There is stigma stuck to the guys, but with us in the new generation, there has been a big mental shift."

    “Look at the Danes, Australians and Englishmen, it is where young riders will come and take over. The Australians should not even get a Coke or caffeine-gel, it's pretty extreme. Sport is undoubtedly cleaner than ever.”

  • Raymond Impanis passes away

    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 12:24 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian won Flanders and Roubaix in 1954

    Belgian classics rider Raymond Impanis has died at the age of 85 after struggling with pneumonia, Belgian media have reported.

    Impanis was an all-round classics rider much like fellow Belgian Philippe Gilbert but also finished sixth in the 1957 Tour de France and tenth in 1958 after winning two stages.

    Born in the small town of Berg, Impanis was nicknamed the 'Bakkertje van Berg' because his family were bakers. He was a successful independent rider in 1946, winning three stages of the Tour of Belgium. He rode as a professional from 1947 to 1963 and rode Paris-Roubaix 16 times during his long career, a feat only equaled by Servais Knaven this year.

    He finished fourth in his first season aged just 22 and finally conquered the pave in 1954, when he also won the Tour of Flanders.

    Impanis finished second at Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 1947, 1948 and 1954 but never managed to win the Doyenne of the spring classics. However he finished third overall in the 1956 Vuelta and won Fleche-Wallonne in 1957 and Paris-Nice 1960. He retired in 1961.

    Impanis' son has confirmed to Het Laatste Nieuws that the GP Raymond Impanis race will be held again in 2011 after a 15-year absence. The race is reserved for Elite riders but was open to professional until 1982, with previous winners including Allan Pieper and Phil Anderson.

    The race will start in Haacht and end with several laps of Impanis' birthplace in Berg-Kampenhout.
     

  • Gianetti moves to allay fears about Team Geox

    The two Swiss riders of Footon-Servetto-Fuji, David Vitoria and Noé Gianetti (l-r), join Mauro Gianetti for a picture.
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 14:43 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Sastre and Menchov to attend training camp in Spain

    Mauro Gianetti has tried to allay any fears about the future of the Team Geox squad by confirming the dates of the team's first training camp of 2011.

    The riders, including team leaders Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov, will gather for a week of training in Tarragona, Spain between January 8-15. The riders are expected to collect their new bikes and see their new jerseys for the first time.

    The team was due to make its official debut at the Tour of San Luis in Argentina but will now make a more low-profile debut at the GP degli Etruschi race in Italy. The team has not been invited to the Tour Down Under.

    Gianetti has been under pressure to surrender control of the team after failing to secure a ProTeam licence for 2011 but he is determined to hold on to the team he built around the Footon-Servetto squad of 2010.

    Geox has been granted a Professional Continental licence for 2011 but this does not guarantee an invitation to the Tour de France and other major races despite the team having Sastre and Menchov in the squad.

    Geox provided a reported 2.5 million Euro to be the team's main sponsor but the Italian shoe manufacturer hoped to enter the sport at the highest level. A lack of funding meant the team was unable to secure other big name riders for 2011 and so missed out on ProTeam status.

    According to recent reports in Gazzetta dello Sport, Geox is trying to wrestle control of the team from Gianetti and recently appointed former Mapei manager Alvaro Crespi as a consultant. However the team is registered with Gianetti and he makes it clear the sponsors were aware of the risks of not securing a ProTeam licence.

    Gianetti and sport director Joxean Matxin feel that the training camp is an opportunity to continue building camaraderie and bolster the relationships and bonds formed at the team’s first training camp in December.

    “We have learned that good atmosphere and attitude is...

  • Longo awarded Légion d'honneur

    Jeannie Longo
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 17:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    French champion earns national award

    57-time French national champion Jeannie Longo was awarded the highest civilian award in her country, the Ordre national de la Légion d'honneur, (National Order of the Legion of Honor).

    Longo was given the award of Commandeur, the third highest of five levels in the Legion of Honor.

    Still an active racer, Longo remains at the top of her sport in France, having won her 57th national title last June in the time trial. Over the course of her 30-year career, she has also won 13 world championships between road and track and the Olympic gold in the road race in 1996.

    The Legion of Honor awards are presented three times each year, on January 1, Easter and July 14.

  • Nygaard breaking traditions with Luxembourg presentation

    The two sides of the Schlecks: Frank and Andy earlier in the year
    Article published:
    January 01, 2011, 17:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Discusses first meeting with backer Becca

    Brian Nygaard is willing to break with tradition in presenting information about his Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, as the team's sponsor and jersey will be made public at the team presentation January 6.

    “We wanted to try out a whole new strategy and break with tradition,” he told La Voix du Luxembourg.

    The team will be presented in front of 4,000 fans this coming Thursday in an “American style” spectacular. “It is unique in cycling,” he claimed.

    The stars of the show will be the three men Nygaard calls “legends of cycling” – Fabian Cancellara, Andy Schleck and Fränk Schleck.

    The team's top goal will be the Tour de France, but it is also looking to Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. “”We know that we won't win all the races. But we are confident and will keep our feet on the ground.”

    Andersen brought about contact to Becca

    The driving force behind the team is Flavio Becca, a successful Luxembourg businessman who has made his fortune in real estate, but is also a major sports fan and supporter. “Flavio Becca is the central figure. I was surprised at his cycling knowledge,” Nygaard admitted.

    Becca already had plans to establish a team when Sport Director Kim Andersen introduced him to Nygaard in May 2010. “I though he would ask me for advice and was surprised, when he offered me the position of manager,” Nygaard said.

    From that point the team had to hurry to get plans together in time to meet all the International Cycling Union deadlines. “The time was our biggest challenge. We couldn't make any mistakes.”