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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 24, 2012

Date published:
November 24, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Legeay: Clean cycling starts with team managers

    Giuseppe Martinelli and Alexandre Vinokourov look for a nice spot for dinner
    Article published:
    November 23, 2012, 15:58 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    MPCC head on requirements to join ethical movement

    Roger Legeay, the president of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (Movement for Credible Cycling), has issued a warning to any prospective members of the ethical body, stating that team managers must shoulder the responsibility for clean cycling.

    The MPCC currently consists of 11 teams including Garmin, Argos Shimano and Europcar, with hoping to have membership approved shortly. The MPCC petitions for strong anti-doping legislation and enforces also strict anti-doping and ethical criteria that goes beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

    Legeay’s comments come in the wake of Astana’s publicised interest in joining the movement. Astana have had a number of doping positives during their existence with Alexander Vinokourov, Andrey Kashechkin and Alberto Contador’s clenbuterol case during the 2012 Tour de France the highest profile. Vinokourov is now the manager of the team and worked with Italian doctor Michele Ferrari, while Giuseppe Martinelli- who worked with Marco Pantani, is the senior director sportif.

    “They must write a letter to the MPCC (asking to join) and then it’s up to the teams already in the MPCC to vote,” Legeay told Cyclingnews.

    While Astana’s past is certainly intertwined with its present and its future, Legeay believes that the behaviour of the team management and their future conduct is the most important aspect of any potential MPCC membership bid. According to Legeay clean cycling starts with the team managers and then trickles down to the staff and riders of each team.

    “We’re thinking about the future and we want more and more team mangers to come to the MPCC and share our philosophy,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “It’s important that the team...

  • Come and comment on Cyclingnews stories

    New homepage
    Article published:
    November 23, 2012, 16:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    New feature allows you to comment on news stories

    Cyclingnews readers can now comment on articles on the website. This new feature allows more interaction between the website and its readers, bringing more insight, opinion and commentary onto the article pages.

    Registered forum users can use their existing username and password. If you don't have an account, you can easily sign up using Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn, or just sign up directly with us if you prefer. Simply click on the join button on the top right hand side of the homepage or scroll down to the comments section on any article page and click on the log in button.

    The comments section for each news story can be found at the bottom of all our articles.

    Readers can also continue to discuss all sorts of cycling-related matters in the Cyclingnews forum.

  • No charges expected in Team Europcar investigation

    Article published:
    November 23, 2012, 21:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    French police describe rider interviews as 'fruitless'

    The investigation of possible illegal corticoid and vitamin injections by members Team Europcar during the 2011 Tour de France is set to end without any formal charges being made, according to a report by French newspaper

    In August 2011, the Office centrale de lutte contre les atteintes à l'environnement et à la santé publique (OCLAESP) began investigating the team after Thomas Voeckler finished fourth overall and wore the Tour de France race leader's yellow jersey for ten days. News of the investigation emerged this year, just three days before the start of the Tour de France after Voeckler struggled with a knee injury. He went on to win two mountain stages and the climber's polka-dot jersey, while teammate Pierre Rolland won another mountain stage and finished eighth overall.

    According to Le Monde, French police have questioned riders from the team this week but have decided to wrap up the investigation due to a lack of proof that any anti-doping or health laws were violated. A source close to the investigators described the questioning of the riders as 'fruitless'.

    Team Europcar has yet to react to the news but the news will come as a relief. The French team is a member of the (Movement for Credible Cycling) MPCC which carefully monitors the use of corticoids, while injections of any kind have been banned by the UCI since the spring of 2011.

    "It's strange that we are being accused of using them when we have spent so much time fighting against the use of corticosteroids," team manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau said at the time the news of the investigation first emerged.


  • Mørkøv aiming for first road win in 2013

    Michael Morkov (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff) continues to lead the mountains classification.
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 5:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Saxo-Tinkoff rider proud of spell in Tour de France KOM jersey

    Wearing the King of the Mountains jersey for the first week of the 2012 Tour de France was the season highlight for Michael Mørkøv, and gave the Saxo-Tinkoff rider motivation to do even better in the coming year. The Dane will be looking for his elusive first pro road win in  2013.

    "I am very proud of my performance on the third stage of the Tour de France where I went out there and fought intensely for the mountain jersey. At this stage I secured the jersey for the rest of the first week until the real mountains were due,” he said on the team's website.

    That was “the ultimate experience,” he said, but “to be back on the Danish national track team at the Olympics after several years was also a personal highlight.

    “Furthermore, several times in the past season I have been frustratingly close of being able to take my first win for the team. However, it has been temporarily postponed but once again, I trust I'll be able to step up another level over the winter and become even stronger and able to snatch a victory in 2013.”

    For the coming year, Mørkøv expects to “be able to take another step up and start winning races. I'll be focusing on a spot and a chance of my own in the cobblestone classics and I'll work extremely hard to make myself worthy of a spot in the Tour de France line-up where I dream of helping Alberto (Contador) win overall.”

  • Fuglsang will lead Astana at Tour de France

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 10:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dane to return to grand tours in 2013

    After a year without riding a single grand tour Jakob Fuglsang looks set to lead Astana in the 100th edition of the Tour de France in 2013.

    “Jakob will ride the Tour as team captain,” confirmed Astana team manager Giuseppe Martinelli in an exclusive interview with Cycling News HD. “He will also do Paris-Nice, a few of the Classics and the Dauphiné as team leader too.”

    Fuglsang was set to lead RadioShack-Nissan at this year’s Giro d’Italia until a knee injury forced him out. A falling out with his team manager, Johan Bruyneel, meant that he was refused a place in WorldTour races for the remainder of the season. Nonetheless, the 27-year-old managed to enjoy a good run of form mid-season with wins at the Tours of Austria and Luxembourg. Fuglsang signed his three-year deal with Astana back in August.

    Among the riders likely to be joining Fuglsang at the Tour for the first time is new teammate Enrico Gasparotto. The Amstel Gold Race winner will skip the Giro in the hopes of being in form for La Grand Boucle.

    “There is the possibility, for the first time in my life, to do the Tour de France. I will go to the Tour to help Jakob do well in the overall classification and maybe win stages,” Gasparotto said. “It will be my first time at the Tour so I will be like a child on the first day of school.”

    With Fuglsang set to take the lead at the Tour and Vincenzo Nibali targeting the Giro, Janez Brajkovic will be looking for alternative goals for 2013. Brajkovic was the team’s GC contender at the Tour de France this season and took a creditable ninth place.

    “Jani will definitely have an important role in 2013,” says Martinelli. “We are still...

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep to launch Continental team

    Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the sign in
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 11:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Elite team heads to Slovakia for team building

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep is to launch a feeder team at Continental level in 2013. The team will operate under the banner of Etixx, a sports supplements company owned by Omega Pharma.

    While the precise composition of the team is yet to be announced, it is reported that the line-up will include two Belgian riders, with Louis Verhelst and Dieter Bouvry linked to the squad. Marc Coucke, the head of main sponsor Omega Pharma, said that the WorldTour system made a development team something of a necessity.

    “We are looking to focus on youth,” Coucke told Het Laatste Nieuws. “All year our elite team is aiming to score WorldTour points so it’s not possible to give all the neo-professionals a chance. That’s why it’s important to establish a Continental team.”

    As well as developing talent for the WorldTour team, Coucke said that the existence of Etixx would also mean that Omega Pharma-QuickStep would have to spread itself as thinly due to the exigencies of an ever-expanding calendar.

    “Organizers of smaller races will be satisfied,” he said. “If our WorldTour team has to be present in Canada or China, we can bring our Continental team to the start.”

    Meanwhile, Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s elite team travels to Lest, Slovakia on Monday for a short, team-building training camp at a military base. It will be an early opportunity for former world champion Mark Cavendish to integrate with his new teammates following his move from Team Sky.

    "Our guys and our staff will spend two days working on a series of activities that have nothing to do with bicycles but which will surely help us to form a cohesive group before the start of next season and allow us to understand some of the team dynamics, which could turn out to be important to better get to know some of the skills of our new...

  • Guardini in line for Milan-San Remo debut

    Andrea Guardini after the finishing line
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 12:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour de France also possibility for Astana sprinter

    Andrea Guardini is hoping to make his Milan-San Remo debut in 2013 after swapping Farnese Vini-Selle Italia for Astana. Held back from La Classicissima during his first two professional seasons by erstwhile manager Luca Scinto, Guardini is already pencilled in for Astana’s line-up next March but insisted that he would go there primarily to learn the ropes.

    “I should be there and I hope that I am,” Guardini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “It would be my first race in Italy in the Astana jersey. I don’t know what I will be able to do there, but it’s right that I start knuckling down to it. It took Cipollini fourteen years to win it.”

    The 23-year-old Guardini insisted that he did not leave Scinto’s stable for financial reasons but rather for the higher-level racing programme offered by a WorldTour team. “If it was just for my money, I would have stayed at Farnese, but [Giuseppe] Martinelli convinced me to change and to test myself in other races.”

    In spite of his tender years, Guardini will have some leadership responsibilities from the beginning of the season at the Tour Down Under, while Jacopo Guarnieri looks set to be charged with serving as his dedicated lead-out man in the early part of the campaign.

    “I’ll have some space from the first races and I have to get around to understanding that they believe in me a lot,” Guardini said. “I have to win to show that I’m up there and to earn the support of my teammates.”

    A stage winner at Vedelago during the 2012 Giro d’Italia after being, by his own admission, “the weakest rider in the mountains,” Guardini may forgo the corsa rosa next season. With his...

  • Tiernan-Locke hoping to ride a Grand Tour in 2013

    Race leader Jonathan Tiernan Locke goes to sign in
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 17:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Weight loss key part of Sky preparation

    Soon to turn 28, Jonathan Tiernan-Locke is something of a late arrival at the WorldTour level, but the Briton is aiming to make up for lost time at Team Sky in 2013 and is hoping to make his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España.

    "There's a possibility I may ride the Vuelta later in the season, but nothing's decided yet," Tiernan-Locke told The Herald Express. "I want to get a Grand Tour in my legs, to see how I would respond to it. It changes you as a rider, and you learn a lot about yourself."

    Tiernan-Locke spent the 2012 campaign at Endura but caught Sky’s attention after the startling run of form in the early part of the season that propelled him to victory at the Tour Méditerranéen and Tour du Haut Var. He followed up by winning the Tour of Britain in September and then performed solidly at the world championships in Valkenburg.

    A striking feature of the Sky team that carried Bradley Wiggins to Tour de France victory in July was the noticeably gaunt appearance of a number of its riders, and Tiernan-Locke has been requested to follow suit.

    "No stone is unturned with an outfit like Sky – they look at every ounce," Tiernan-Locke said. "If they can identify any area where you can improve, you have to buy into it. I'll be working hard over Christmas – that's always a difficult time because everyone else is relaxing and tucking in – because we have a second training camp in Majorca in January, and I need to be ready for that."

    Tiernan-Locke’s arrival at Sky coincides with the announcement that all riders and staff would have to sign a declaration stating that they had never been involved in...