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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 12, 2011

Date published:
November 12, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Sicard detained by police after drunken prank

    Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 12:21 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Euskaltel team to investigate incident involving France’s ex-U23 world champion

    Police in Toulouse took Euskaltel-Euskadi rider Romain Sicard into custody in the early hours of Friday morning (November 11) after he was seen putting a traffic sign into the boot of his car. Challenged by police officers, who also found a traffic cone in the back of his car, the former world under-23 road race champion allegedly refused to reveal his identity and underwent a breath test. This showed he was over the limit and he was detained.

    A statement released by his Euskaltel team said that the rider had informed them that he had been detained by French police “after apparently testing positive in an alcohol control test”. The statement added that the team will meet with Sicard and study the case to assess whether its internal code has been infringed.

    Sicard, who comes from and still lives in the French Basque Country, stepped up to the Euskaltel team from its Orbea affiliate after winning the world U23 title and the Tour de l’Avenir in 2009. Rated one of the best French prospects to have emerged in years, Sicard has subsequently struggled to make an impact due to a still undiagnosed issue that has left him lacking power in one of his legs.

    Speaking about Sicard just last month, outgoing Euskaltel team director Igor González de Galdeano said: “We could see that he lacked strength in one of his legs, but we haven’t been able to work out exactly why. We’ve done a thousand tests and I can only hope that during the three months he will have off over the winter we will be able to get to the bottom of this. I am convinced of his quality and sooner or later he will get over these difficulties and we will all be able to enjoy one of the biggest promises in world cycling.”

    Galdeano said that Sicard had been finding it hard to deal with a problem that has meant that he has been unable to ride and train at his top level for some time.

  • Bike Opinions Panel now open for registration

    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 12:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Join our panel, leave your opinions on the bike industry and win vouchers

    Interested in giving your opinions on the bike industry? Like the idea of vouchers to spend on your favourite cycling accessories? Joining our Bike Opinions panel might be just the trick.

    Joining the panel gives readers in the UK and USA the opportunity to take part in surveys and enter prize draws, as well as contributing their views to bike industry research. Being a member will mostly involve taking part in three or four short online questionnaires per year, which you can opt out of ay any time. Each survey you complete will put you in the hat to win vouchers in our prize draws.

    To register for the panel, you need to fill in a profile questionnaire. If you live in the UK, register here; US readers can do so here. For further information on the panel, visit the FAQs here. You can also view the terms and conditions for our prize draws.

  • 50 sports directors take UCI course

    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 13:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Josée Larocque, first female to pass

    The UCI has confirmed that 50 sports director have taken the first step in their annual course at their World Cycling Centre in Switzerland. For the first time a female candidate sat the course. Josée Larocque will DS for SpiderTech in 2012.

    “Subjects covered during the course include the role of the Sports Director, leadership and communication, material and technology, equipment approval procedures and health & anti-doping. Each course finishes with an exam, the results of which the candidates receive at a later date,” the UCI said in a press release. Cyclingnews understands that the date will be January 15, 2012.

    The course was introduced in 2009 with former sports director, Scott Sunderland, involved in the design.

    WCC Director Mr Frédéric Magné said he was delighted to have welcomed so many Sports Directors in 2011: “This training course has given Sports Directors the opportunity to build on their expertise and share their wide experience in a constructive manner. Following the success of this UCI-WCC course, we have decided to organise four such courses in 2012.”

    See the associated two image files for a complete list of those who have passed the course.

  • Hushovd was never close to staying with Garmin

    Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) wins his second stage of the 2011 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 15:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Season plans “did not work out”, former World champ says

    Thor Hushovd doesn't seem to regret leaving Garmin-Cervelo. Despite a highly-successful Tour de France, the former World Champion wasn't entirely satisfied with his time at the team, and will ride for rival American team BMC Racing Team as of 2012.

    He only ended up there, he told, because of the merger of the Garmin and Cervelo teams. “I had my contract with Cervelo. They dragged me along in the package to Garmin.”

    Hushovd was unable to meet his major goal of the year, winning one of the Spring Classics. “It was arranged for me to win a Classic.  The conditions and luck were such that it did not work out.”

    He made up for the lack of success in the early part of the year at the Tour. He pulled on the leader's yellow jersey after his team won the second-stage team time trial, holding on to it for seven stages. The Norwegian then went on to win two individual stages.

    There have been rumours all season that Hushovd was not happy at the team or with team manager Jonathan Vaughters, although both publicly denied any problems. 

    Now, though, Hushovd says, “I was not very close to staying. They came to me very late to say they wanted me. So I moved my focus, and a change was something I wanted.

    “There were several offers throughout the season. I reckoned up all the pluses and minuses. BMC ended up with many pluses, so I chose to go with them.”

    There is no enmity between Hushovd and Vaughters, though. “We are on speaking terms,” the Norwegian said.

  • Evans named Australia's Cyclist of the Year

    Evans holds his trophy for cyclist of the year
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 17:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sir Hubert Opperman medal for Tour de France winner

    BMC's Cadel Evans rounded off an historic 2011 by winning the Sir Hubert Opperman medal for cyclist of the the year at the Jayco 2011 Australian Cyclist of the Year Awards in Sydney.

    Evans, who also won the award in 2006, 2007 and 2009, became the first Australian winner of the Tour de France back in July and the oldest rider to win the GC since the Second World War.. He beat stiff competition for the honour, which is named after the Australian cycling legend from the 1920s, from the likes of triple world champion Anna Meares and double world champion Jack Bobridge. His victory in cycling's most prestigious race has raised the profile of cycling still further in Australia and he will be looking to build on this success next season.

  • Van Goidsenhoven suspended for four years

    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 19:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian Elite without contract caught with doping products at home

    Kurt Van Goidsenhoven has been suspended by the Vlaamse Gemeenschap (Flemish Community) for four years for violating doping regulations. It is expected to be the end of his career, as the ban runs until November 3, 2015.

    Van Goidsenhoven, 35, is the Flemish-Brabant champion for elite riders without contracts. This year he rode for the Van Geoteham-Prorace team. He has been one of the most successful riders in regional races for elites without contracts over the last 10 years. He had 10 victories this season, including the Tour of Flemish-Brabant.

    He received a longer ban as it was not his first run-in with doping. In June 2010, the police searched his house “because they had solid evidence that he would have drugs in his possession,” according to the Belga news agency.

    The house search was repeated again this summer on July 28, when he arrived home from the second stage of the Tour of Flemish-Brabant to find the police waiting for him.  It was not announced what substances were found.

  • Belgian-Algerian Continental team for 2012 presented

    Coupe, Fezouine and Jerome Gilbert with the team bike and jersey
    Article published:
    November 11, 2011, 21:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gilbert's brother to ride for first Euro-African team

    GEOFCO-Ville d'Alger will race in both Africa and Europe in 2012 as the first Euro-African team.  The Algerian-based Continental team will feature mostly Algerian riders, but will also have several Belgians on board, including Jerome Gilbert, the younger brother of Philippe Gilbert.

    The team is sponsored and managed by Belgian Geoffrey Coupe, who spent his pro career with such Belgian teams as Marlux, Flanders and Jartazi before retiring in 2007.  Last summer, he met with Rachid Fezouin, the president of the Algerian Cycling Federation, and took over the existing Continental ranked team  Aïn Benian-Ville d’Alger.

    When the team competes in Europe, mainly in Belgium, it will look to Gent-Wevelgem winner Nico Mattan as sport director, along with Sebastien Fontaine.  The team will be supported in Europe by Multisport, an Elites without contract team.

    Most of the riders will be Algerian, having come over with Aïn Benian-Ville d’Alger. To help them adjust to the European peloton, several Belgians have also been signed, including the younger Gilbert.

    The team's first season highlight will be the Tour of Algerian in March.

  • Valverde confirmed at Movistar in 2012

    Alejandro Valverde prepares for the start.
    Article published:
    November 12, 2011, 9:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Suspended Spaniard to make comeback with former team

    Movistar Team has confirmed that Alejandro Valverde will ride for the team in the 2012 season. The Spaniard is still serving a doping-related suspension which expires December 31, 2011.

    The team announced that it will hold its 2012 presentation next week, featuring “Alejandro Valverde's official presentation as a new Movistar Team rider, wearing the jersey the team will wear during the 2012 season.”

    Valverde never tested positive but was banned in Italy after DNA tests on blood samples linked him to the Operacion Puerto doping scandal. The Spanish Cycling Federation refused to rule on his case but the ban was extended world-wide from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2011 after the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    Having previously ridden for the squad now known as Movistar - formerly Caisse d'Epargne - Valverde's return to Eusebio Unzue's team had long been expected. He trained with the team last February and in March team manager Unzue said the team was counting on his return. And in late October Valverde acknowledged that his negotiations with the team were “very advanced”.