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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 21, 2009

Date published:
November 21, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Muravyev out of Astana, Stangelj in

    Saul Raisin (US) and Dmitriy Muravyev (Kazakhstan)
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 13:29 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Teams taking shape for 2010 season

    The comings and goings at Astana continue with the news that Kazakh rider Dmitriy Muravyev has decided to leave the team from his home country and take up an offer to follow Johan Bruyneel, Lance Armstrong, and many others to Radio Shack.

    The 30-year-old becomes the 11th rider to make the move from Astana to The Shack, with Spaniard Haimar Zubeldia still hoping to make it a round dozen by finding a way out of his contract with the Kazakh team.

    Astana have been filling the gaps left in their roster, with the likes of David De La Fuente, Enrico Gasparotto and Paolo Tiralongo. Slovene rider Gorazd Stangelj has now confirmed he will also be joining them. Speaking to the Astana fans website, the 36-year-old Liquigas rider revealed:"I signed a one-year commitment the day before the Giro di Lombardia. What forced me to do so was the behaviour of my team that again waited till the last moment to give me an option to extend the contract.

    "They offered me a contract, but only because they’d heard that I have a number of other offers. But I told them that this time I’m determined not to stay. Now everyone is offended, but that’s typical of this kind of deal. That’s how it is. I’m sorry that I have to leave, but I’m still happy that I have decided to join Astana."

  • Mayoz joins Footon-Servetto for 2010

    Iban Mayoz (Euskaltel-Euskadi) explains the team tactics.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 16:15 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Spaniard leaves Xacobeo Galicia to rejoin ProTour

    Spaniard Iban Mayoz Exteberria will ride for Spain's Footon-Servetto ProTour team next season, according to the Netherlands' Sportweek.

    Mayoz, 28, rode the last two seasons with Xacobeo Galicia. He placed eighth overall in the Vuelta a Andalucía stage race and won the sprint classification in the Bicicleta Vasca and País Vasco in 2008.

    He started his professional career in 2004 with Relax and raced with Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2006 and 2007.

    Mauro Gianetti's Footon team signed 14 riders in last three weeks after it welcomed Footon as a replacement sponsor for Fuji. This year the team raced as Fuji-Servetto.

  • Elmiger to lead AG2R at Tour Down Under

    Martin Elmiger (AG2R La Mondiale) to lead AG2R at 2010 Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 16:42 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    French ProTour team names seven-man squad

    Former winner Martin Elmiger will lead AG2R La Mondiale at the Tour Down Under stage race in Australia, January 17 to 24, according to AFP.

    AG2R is the only team to have competed in all 11 editions of the Tour Down Under.

    Elmiger won the 2007 edition, the fourth win by the French ProTour team. In the race's second year Gilles Maignan won. In 2003 Mikel Astarloza took overall honours and Simon Gerrans won the race in 2006.

    This year Elmiger finished thirty seconds behind Australian Allan Davis (Quick Step) in fourth place.

    Cyril Dessel, Blel Kadri, Yuriy Krivtsov, Rene Mandri, Anthony Ravard and Ludovic Turpin will support Elmiger.

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  • Quick Step to ride Merckx bikes in 2010

    Eddy Merckx's classic scandium-tubed alloy frame thankfully continues on into 2010.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 16:52 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian team and bike manufacturer sign three-year pact

    Tom Boonen, Stijn Devolder and all of team Quick Step will be riding on Eddy Merckx bikes in 2010 and beyond. The Belgian ProTour team announced today that it has reached a three-year deal with Eddy Merckx Cycles Company.

    “It's a matter of pride for us to have by our side such a prestigious brand and a cycling icon like Eddy,” said Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere. “We're sure that this relationship will be mutually beneficial, allowing both the team and the company to grow further and to reach some important common goals in the professional field.”

    Quick Step had ridden on Specialized bikes the last three years, but the two announced earlier Friday that they would not work together in 2010. The American bike manufacturer will provide bikes for Alberto Contador and presumably for Team Astana, as well as for Team Saxo Bank.

    Eddy Merckx Cycles sees the agreement as an important step in its growth in the international market. “The return of the bike in the ProTour is a logical next step,” said Pieter Vansynghel, the company's CEO. “The fact that a Belgian top team is riding Eddy Merckx bikes in the year of celebrations 2010 has a very special meaning to us.

    Merckx turns 65 in 2010, and the Tour de France will pass through his hometown of Meise. “More lustre will be obviously added to the event by the participating of a Belgian top team on his bikes,” according to Vansynghel.

    “Today we are ready again to ride at the front of the pack. In the past I have successfully worked together with Patrick Lefevere with the Domo Farm Frites Team. Therefore, I am very pleased that we are back in a partnership today”, said Merckx.

  • Davide Rebellin to face damage payments to CONI

    Italy's Davide Rebellin, l, faces damage payment's to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI)
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 17:37 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Italy's Olympic Committee wants compensation for damages in Olympic doping case

    Italy's Davide Rebellin faces possible damage payments to the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI). The CONI announced yesterday that it is seeking compensation for the damages caused by Rebellin's doping case at the 2008 Olympics.

    "For the harm that his behaviour has caused Italy, CONI and the entire national sports movement," said the CONI in a statement.

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) ordered Tuesday that Rebellin return the silver medal he won. It asked the CONI to retrieve the silver medal from Rebellin.

    The CONI met Wednesday at its headquarters in Rome to discuss Rebellin's case. It officially requested the medal, the €75,000 it awarded him for second place and announced it asked its lawyer Massimo Ranieri to open a case against Rebellin for damages.

    The CONI's anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri is still investigating the case and has yet to recommend a suspension. Rebellin faces a likely two-year suspension.

    He finished second in the cycling road race in Beijing August 9, but tests results released April 28 this year revealed he doped with blood booster EPO-CERA.

    Rebellin insists he is innocent. He said yesterday, "Even if I am not believed and I will be blamed, I will return to race."

  • Phinney fights to save Olympic track pursuit

    Taylor Phinney won the world title in the individual pursuit in 2009.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 19:02 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    World Champion in individual pursuit objects to proposed Olympic changes

    In a bid to save the individual pursuit from Olympic extinction, current world champion Taylor Phinney has pleaded for the UCI and IOC to consider keeping the discipline on the Olympic programme for 2012. If removed from the London Games in 2012, along with the men's Madison and Points Race, Phinney has threatened to turn his back on the velodrome and concentrate on a career in road racing.

    "The pursuit has helped me a lot in my career and brought me to where I am today. It would be a big blow to lose it from the Olympic programme." Phinney told Cyclingnews from his current training base in Austin, Texas.

    "But there are a lot of other things I want to do in my career. So if I have to move away from the track now and go straight to road then I will."

    Phinney was speaking on the back of UCI Pat Mcquaid's comments. The Irishman spoke to Cyclingnews earlier in the week: "There is only one reason the US are saying keep the pursuit, and this is Taylor Phinney. If this was four years ago, there wouldn't be a comment coming out of America on the individual pursuit as they didn't have an individual pursuiter."

    However Phinney, who was planning on riding the pursuit in London in 2012 disagreed and urged more riders and federations to step up and petition the sport's governing body before it was too late. He pointed to an online petition in which people could show their support.

    "I seem to be the only one who has stepped forward and tried to fight for this. I've not seen the Australian, New Zealand or British federations step forward. All of those federations have really strong riders like Jesse Sergent Jack Bobridge, Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas. The British have the fastest time in a standard position and that's faster than what I rode, so I don't understand why they're not trying to protect their event."

  • Tour of Oman moves forward for February

    Belgian legend Eddy Merckx will oversee the Tours of Qatar and Oman.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2009, 20:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Organisation to announce route in January

    The Tour of Oman, a new race scheduled to take place two days after the end of the Tour of Qatar, will be held from February 14 to 19. The Amaury Sport Organisation, which also runs the Tour de France, will announce the route in Paris in January.

    The AFP reported Friday that Eddy Merckx, also the promoter of the Tour of Qatar, has inked an agreement with the municipality of Musqat the capital of the Sultanate of Oman to host the race.

    Oman is located on the southeastern corner of the Arabian peninsula, bordering the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman. While the Tour of Qatar is flat and windy, the terrain in Oman will provide more climbing thanks to the proximity of the Al Hajar mountains to the coastal town of Musqat. 

    Team BMC has already committed to the 2.1-ranked race, as have ProTour outfit Milram.

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  • Haussler still hopes to ride for Australia one day

    Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    November 21, 2009, 10:13 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    UCI confirms Haussler would have to give up German citizenship

    Heinrich Haussler still hopes to one day ride in the Australian national kit, despite the complications of a switch from his current German racing licence. The International Cycling Union (UCI) says that in order to compete for his nation of birth, he will have to drop his German citizenship, a step which Haussler is not prepared to take at this time.

    Haussler, 25, was born in Australia to a German father and an Australian mother, giving him dual citizenship. He moved to Germany at the age of 14 to pursue a professional cycling career. Haussler rode for the German national Under-23 team, but has never ridden for the national team as a professional.

    The Cervélo TestTeam rider has repeatedly said that he would like to ride for Australia, however the German Cycling Federation (Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, BDR) has consistently insisted that he remain with them. Most recently, BDR vice-president Udo Sprenger said that he had spoken with Haussler and that “If Heinrich is in form, then he will start at the World Championships, but for Germany and not for Australia.”

    “My wish is to be at the start one time in the future for Australia, but we will have to see when that will be,” Haussler told Cyclingnews. He explained why it is so important to him: “I was just at home with my parents in Australia for a vacation and I simply have to say that it is home in my heart.”

    Haussler denied feeling pressured by either side to ride or not ride. Since he wants to ride for Australia, and has “naturally looked into the legal procedures” that would allow him to do so. However, dropping his German citizenship “is not open to debate at the moment.”

    The UCI explained the situation to Cyclingnews, noting that it has already discussed the matter with Haussler. UCI attorney Amina Lanaya noted that Haussler holds dual citizenship, and has previously represented...