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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 10, 2012

Date published:
November 10, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Young Australians sign with Christina Watches-Onfone

    Jordan Kerby (Jayco - Honey Shotz) gets the Stage 7 win at the Tour of Gippsland
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 1:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Kerby and Lovelock-Fay move to Danish team

    Team Christina Watches-Onfone has signed two young Australians, both junior World track champions. Jordan Kerby and Mitchell Lovelock-Fay have signed with the Danish Continental team for the 2013 season.

    Kerby and Lovelock-Fay, both 20, won the 2010 junior team pursuit World title and Kerby won the points title that same year.

    Both rode for Team Jayco-AIS in 2011, and were Elite 2 riders this year. Kerby won the time trial at the Tour of Thailand and finished tenth overall in the recent Tour of Hainan. Lovelock-Faye won the overall title at the Tour of Thailand by winning the third stage.

    “We had the pleasure of competing against them when we raced in China this autumn, and they struck us as a couple of incredibly strong riders,” team captain Michael Rasmussen told

    “They both have immense talent, and they are still unpolished. They can be even better when they lose a few kilograms. Moreover, it is only now that they are about to find out that they really are good.”

    Kerby told the Danish website: “I'm really looking forward to getting started. I am very happy to get the chance to come to Europe to run for such a strong team."

    “It is a team with very experienced riders like Rasmussen and Stefan Schumacher, so Mitch and I can learn a lot.”

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep team owners propose major reform for cycling

    Czech businessman Zdenek Bakala is a majority stakeholder in the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 9:02 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    “Champions League” plan with preliminary weaknesses

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep owner Zdenek Bakala and his business partner Bessel Kok have announced plans to completely reform the professional sport of cycling.

    According to the pair they have the backing of the UCI and a share of the current WorldTour teams to set up a company charged with the professionalisation of the sport, with a new race series, a more transparent anti-doping campaign, television revenue sharing, and a new ranking and points system all featuring. Bakala will be the company's first major investor, with between 10 - 20 million Euros provided for the company's inception and according to Bakala, who Forbes rate has a personal fortune of $1.9 billion, cycling's new leadership will be formed with the teams, the UCI and its investors at the centre of power.

    At a press conference in Brussels on Friday, Bakala and Kok put forward the scope of the plans but admitted that they had made no contact as yet with the sport's biggest race organisers, ASO, and RCS Sport, who organise the Tour de France and Giro d'Italia.

    Just under a year ago in Antwerp, Bakala first made overtures in relation to cycling's future. He was careful not to pick a favourite when quizzed about the merits and pitfalls of the two leading breakaway leagues at the time but publicly stated a desire to revolutionise the sport with varying degrees of cooperation and leadership from the UCI. Instead Bakala moderated a middle line, advocating a policy of inclusion.

    In Brussels on Friday that sentiment remained and appeared the cornerstone of his 'champions league' of cycling. The inclusion of the UCI, the teams and his own private capital, set to start at between 10 and 20 million Euro are early foundations. The fact that major race organisers ASO and RCS have yet to be approached is telling though. In the doomed venture of the UCI ProTour the governing body alienated the...

  • Wiggins diagnosed with fractured rib after crash

    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 10:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner apologises for offensive gesture

    Team Sky has confirmed that Bradley Wiggins fractured a rib when he was hit by a car near his home on Wednesday afternoon.

    Wiggins spent the night in hospital after the accident but returned home on Thursday. There was some confusion about the Tour de France winner's injuries immediately following the accident but Team Sky has confirmed that the Briton also suffered a bruised lung and dislocated finger. The team is confident Wiggins will make a rapid recovery.

    “Bradley has already recovered from a mild head injury which required overnight observation in hospital on Wednesday. The swelling in his dislocated finger has also reduced and will not require surgery, and he will undergo further X-rays on his fractured rib on Monday."

    “He’s convalescing at home with his family and is expected to make a full recovery in a short period of time.”

    Wiggins' crash was front page news in several British newspapers with photographers mobbing his car when he returned home from hospital. Wiggins responded angrily when his car was stopped. He apologised for an offensive gesture he made to photographers.

    “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their kind thoughts and messages over the last 48 hours, and of course all the staff at the Royal Preston Hospital who looked after me so well. Although I’m still a little bit sore I will now be spending time at home with my family and concentrating on making a full recovery," Wiggins said in the press release from Team Sky.

    “I would also like to apologise for the gesture that I made when I arrived home yesterday (Thursday) afternoon. I was tired, in a lot of pain, and just wanted to get inside, but I shouldn’t have reacted the way I did. I’m sorry for...

  • Joachim supports Armstrong, says no organized doping at US teams

    Carlo Westphal (Gerolsteiner) rides alongside Benoit Joachim (Astana)
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 11:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Luxembourger regrets not working with Dr. Ferrari

    Benoit Joachim, who rode with Lance Armstrong from 1999 to 2005, has decried the American's lifetime ban and loss of results, describing him as a “great champion.” The Luxembourger also said there was no organized team doping programme at the United States Postal Service and Discovery Channel teams, with the decision to dope left up to the individual riders. He also said he regretted not working with Dr. Michele Ferrari.

    “I think Armstrong was a great champion and will remain so,” Joaquim told the Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien in a long and often contradicting interview.

    “I assume that there must be a winner for each competition. In those years, it was Armstrong. It was decided to leave the winner's spot empty, but there are a second and a third. Why, because there is a big doubt on them, too. So for me, it is Armstrong who is the champion,” he is reported as saying.

    Joachim rode the Tour de France with Armstrong only twice. But pointed out: “I rode for nine years  under the command of Johan Bruyneel, and I have not even been questioned by USADA investigators USADA. On this basis then, I doubt the seriousness of this investigation.”

    He was also critical of the testimony provided by North American riders such as Levi Leipheimer, Tyler Hamilton and George Hincapie, calling their evidence “neither true nor false.” These were riders “who enjoyed cycling and didn't have a lot of money compared to Armstrong. They gained particular notoriety. They spoke when they were nearing retirement.” They should have spoken out earlier, he said.  “If they had something to say, why not have done it ten years ago?”

    Joachim rejected the charges that there was organized doping at the teams. “I still have to say that this is...

  • Freire to become Spanish national coach?

    Oscar Freire (Spain) was emotional before the race
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 14:13 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Triple world champion tipped for job if Antequera elected as president

    Former Spanish National Coach Paco Antequera has said that should he be elected the next president of the Spanish Cycling Federation, he will nominate Oscar Freire as his national road race coach.

    Freire retired from cycling in October after winning three world road-race titles during his career. Combined with his numerous triumphs in major Classics, such as three victories at Milan-San Remo, the Cantabrian is Spain’s most successful ever one-day rider.

    Elections for the Spanish Federation President will take place on December 1st - with Antequera one of four candidates. Spanish national coach, Jose Luis De Santos, recently resigned to take up a new position as trainer of the Alberto Contador Foundation junior team.

    “Freire is a great teammate, he knows from his own experience what it means to race and challenge for a world’s team,” Antequera said recently. “His techniques and tactics have enabled him to triumph many times as a pro and now I want him to pass on that experience and know-how to the riders of the Spanish team.”

    Freire showed his support for Antequera, without directly saying he wants to be national road coach.

    “It’s a great opportunity for me to participate in this project,” Freire said in a press release. “Paco has proposed to put cycling back to the level where it deserves to be, and I’m going to be by his side to achieve that.”

    For many Spanish fans, Antequera remains the most successful Spanish team coach in any sporting discipline, given the country obtained more medals at worlds level under his guidance than ever before. During his time as coach, from 1998 - 2008, Spain won four gold medals, two silver, and two bronze medals in...

  • Meares dominates Australian cycling awards

    Anna Meares shows off her Oppy Medal
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 17:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympic champion wins the Oppy Medal

    Anna Meares was the queen of the Jayco 2012 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards in Sydney, winning several trophies, including the prestigious Sir Hubert Opperman Medal for being named the 2012 Australian Cyclist of the Year.

    There were a trio of men's category champions: Elite Road Cyclist of the Year went to Simon Gerrans, Elite BMX Cyclist of the Year to Sam Willoughby and Elite Para-cyclist of the Year to Michael Gallagher. These three were also finalists for the Opperman Medal but Meares was a popular winner.

    The 29-year-old was crowned Olympic, World and Australian Champion. It's the second time Meares has claimed the Opperman Medal, the first time was in 2008. She also won the People's Choice trophy for the third time, polling ahead of finalists Simon Gerrans, Sam Willoughby, Cadel Evans and Rachel Neylan.

    Neylan was named the Elite Female Road Cyclist of the Year Award. Completing her sweep of accolades, Meares was also named the Elite Female Track Cyclist of the Year for the eighth time in nine years.

    The awards were presented at a black tie gala in Sydney and honoured the achievements of a host of Australian cycling stars on the track, road, mountain bike and BMX in categories ranging from juniors to masters aged over 60.

    “A few months ago I stood in a similar position being presented with a very special gold medal and that gold medal has a very long journey," said Meares, referring to her 2012 London Olympics Games sprint gold medal which she won over Great Britain's Victoria Pendleton.

    “I started back in the days where I grew up, with all the sacrifices of my family and my sister Kerrie. It also started back at the last Olympic Games in 2008 after working through the accident and coming through with a silver medal."

    “I was...

  • Movistar adds Garcia Acosta, Laguía as directors

    The hugely experienced José Vicente García Acosta (Movistar).
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 18:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    New hires for Spanish team

    The Movistar Team announced two new directeurs sportif for the 2013 season today: retired Movistar rider Jose Vicente Garcia Acosta will move into the team car for the coming year and is joined by José Luis Laguía.

    The pair will work with general manager Eusebio Unzué and the team's other directeurs José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Jaimerena, and technical director Alfonso Galilea.

    García Acosta, 40, spent his 17 seasons as professional cyclist with Unzue, first in the Banesto team, then with Illes Balears and Caisse d'Epargne and finally Movistar. He retired in 2011 and worked with Movistar in a technical capacity for the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España this season.

    Laguía, 53, had a long and successful professional career that included a record-setting five mountain classification victories in the Vuelta a España. He previously worked with the Movistar Continental team.

  • Fuglsang defends decision to join Astana

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    November 10, 2012, 20:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Finding teams without doping problems is difficult, says Dane

    Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang hit back at criticism of his new team, Astana, which came this week from German sprinter Marcel Kittel.

    Kittel has complained openly about riders continuing to support Lance Armstrong in the wake of the USADA doping case against him, and this week questioned the UCI's choice to award a ProTeam license to Astana. Kittel objected to the team being run by Alexandre Vinokourov, who served a two year suspension for blood doping.

    The Argos-Shimano sprinter said he would never sign with the team, telling Het Nieuwsblad, "I've heard rumours about what type of team Astana is. The Kazakhs, even the non-riders, simply have a different mentality."

    But Fuglsang, who started his professional career under Bjarne Riis before moving on to Leopard Trek and Radioshack, remembered Kittel's own controversy from earlier this year.

    "I think Marcel Kittel must put his own house in order," Fuglsang said to "It is not so long ago that he had his own problems in Germany, where he had used some methods that were not quite correct."

    Kittel admitted to using ultraviolet treatment of his blood under the orders of a national team coach when he was a junior. The treatments were later banned by WADA.

    Fuglsang said that he is happy to be going to Astana, which he views as a stable team. Finding a team that is free of doping history would be difficult, he said, and defended Vinokourov.

    "If you have to sign with a team where there is one that has a doping...