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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 3, 2012

Date published:
November 03, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • I was a back-up rider for Sky at Tour de France, says Cavendish

    Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) was on hand to help with the cooking
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 14:44 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Manxman disappointed at missing out on green jersey

    Although Sky claimed the top two steps of the Tour de France podium through Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish believes the team could have done more to help him in his bid to defend the green jersey.

    Cavendish won three stages at the Tour, but he told The Telegraph that he could have won at least two more had his Sky team been prepared to take greater responsibility for chasing down breakaways.

    The Manxman has recently confirmed that he will join Omega Pharma-QuickStep in 2013, leaving Sky just one season into a three-year contract.

    “The Sky company slogan says ‘Believe in better’ but in the end we didn’t really buy into that,” Cavendish told The Telegraph. “We could have been better this year. It wasn’t a failure, and I was very proud to be part of a British yellow-jersey winning team with Brad, but it wasn’t the ultimate either. We didn’t achieve what I thought we were setting out to achieve at the start of the season.”

    Cavendish claimed that he could have won as many as eight stages in the 2012 Tour had he been riding for a team devoted solely to him, but said that he agreed to target five stages with Sky so as not to compromise Wiggins’ overall challenge.

    “My calculation was that it was worth losing those three to win the yellow with Brad and take green,” he said. “I wanted to be part of a team that made history, I would have signed for another team if it was all about me winning the green jersey.”

    When the Tour de France team was selected in late June, however, Cavendish found...

  • Backcountry discontinues Continental team sponsorship

    Gord Fraser leads from the front as he heads into another year as director of the Competitive Cyclist team.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 16:00 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Bissell rumours put to rest

    Backcountry.com confirmed this week that it will step away from cycling sponsorship in 2013 after two years as title sponsor of a UCI Continental team through its RealCyclist and Competitive Cyclist brands.

    "While Backcountry.com has a long track record of sponsoring athletes and being involved at the highest level of the sports whose products we sell, we currently have no plans to sponsor a pro road racing team in 2013 or in the future, either domestically or in Europe," said Brendan Quirk, general manager of Backcountry'com's bike division, in an email to Cyclingnews.

    The RealCyclist and Competitive Cyclist teams, directed by Gord Fraser, won the USA Cycling National Race Calendar individual standings in 2011 and 2012 with former Spanish national champion and Grand Tour podium rider Francisco Mancebo.

    After the 2012 season, On the Rivet Management, the company that owns the team, announced a merger with Inferno Racing's Kenda/5-hour Energy Continental squad. The newly merged squad will retain 5-Hour Energy as a title sponsor, while Kenda will move to the presenting-sponsor role. On the Rivet Management will run the team in 2013. The final roster for the new 5-Hour Enery/Kenda team has not yet been announced.

    Inferno's former team had taken on several name changes since its inception in 2005 as the Honey Stinger-Spinergy team. It raced at the UCI Continental level since 2009. On the Rivet Management's team has been UCI Continental since 2011.

    Backcountry.com, an internet retailer, had also been rumored to be in talks with Bissell Pro Cycling about potential sponsorship for 2013. Quirk said in the email that although the...

  • WADA will not appeal USADA decision on Lance Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong waved goodbye to his 7 Tours de France
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 16:50 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Agency awaiting details of independent inquiry into UCI anti-doping practices

    The World Anti-Doping Agency announced on Friday that it will not exercise its right to appeal the decision of the US Anti-Doping Agency to ban Lance Armstrong and strip him of his competitive results from August 1, 1998.

    The WADA decision follows suit with the International Cycling Union, which announced last week that it also would let the USADA decision stand.

    Importantly, WADA said it had an external, independent review of the application of the statute of limitations, and said, "that opinion is clear and confirms that the interpretation given by USADA is proper and supported by case law".

    "WADA has no such concerns as to the complete process and the overwhelming weight of evidence," said WADA president John Fahey. "Rather it is of the opinion that the actions of USADA have highlighted the need in all cases for athletes to be able to come forward with evidence that will help rid sport of doping cheats."

    The agency is also awaiting an announcement of the details regarding the independent inquiry into the UCI's anti-doping practices that was recommended by the UCI's Management Committee.

    "It is important that there now be genuine independence and a complete examination of the scenario, with a panel that has full powers of inquiry and access to all required evidence and information.

    "Only with the necessary independence and terms of reference will the inquiry be able to properly address the systemic culture of doping that was allowed to develop in cycling during this time."

    Fahey went on to praise USADA for its efforts in pursuing the doping charges against Armstrong.

    "This is not a situation in which just because the athlete did not return a positive test there was nothing more the governing body of cycling could do. It has taken a major effort and undertaking from a national anti-doping organization to gather the compelling evidence following allegations...

  • UCI announces first round of ProTeam, Pro Continental licenses

    The UCI
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 17:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack, Movistar, Katusha fail to make the cut

    The UCI announced the first eight teams which have passed muster for a UCI ProTeam license and 13 which met requirements for a Professional Continental license for 2013.

    Astana, BMC, Cannondale, Lampre, Omega Pharma-QuickStep, Orica-GreenEdge, Sky and Vacansoleil-DCM all passed the sporting, ethical, financial and administrative criteria for ProTeam status. These teams had valid licenses through 2013 but only needed to be reviewed.

    Teams that were seeking renewal of licenses: AG2R, Euskaltel-Euskaid, Garmin-Sharp, (the now former-) Rabobank and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff and new applicant Argos-Shimano must still be heard by the License Commission per the regulations before being granted a ProTeam license.

    The applications of RadioShack, Movistar and Katusha also warranted further examination by the License Commission, a situation which RadioShack found itself in last year.

    The UCI stated that FDJ and Lotto-Belisol would also be called before the License Commission.

    Argos-Shimano, Lotto-Belisol, FDJ, Europcar and Saxo Bank were the five teams that fell outside the top 15 in the UCI's "sporting value" rankings. The top 15 are automatically in the WorldTour provided they meet the licensing requirements, while only three of the bottom five teams will be allowed into the sport's top tier.

    The next announcement from the UCI regarding the licenses will come after November 26, with the final composition of the WorldTour decided on December 10.

    13 teams met the standards for Professional Continental licenses for 2013, with the new Swiss project IAM Cycling making the cut in addition to a dozen returning teams, including Europcar.

    Although the teams have qualified for licenses, the UCI added a statement to its press release emphasizing,...

  • Domestiques are an endangered species, warns Brammeier

    Irish national champion Matt Brammeier (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 19:23 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Irish champion on WorldTour points and leaving Omega Pharma-QuickStep

    Cycling can be a cruel business, as Matt Brammeier discovered in mid-September. Scanning the morning newspapers, the Irish champion came across an article outlining Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s plans for 2013, only to read that his services would not be retained for the new season.

    “Yeah, I actually found out by reading it in the newspaper,” Brammeier told Cyclingnews. “Nobody contacted me directly so that was a bit of a disappointment. I just read a piece saying that they probably wouldn’t be re-signing me next year.”

    Brammeier joined Omega Pharma in the wake of the demise of HTC-Highroad at the end of last year, part of a sizable enclave of his erstwhile teammates and sports directors who found a home at Patrick Lefevere’s outfit. Once the initial optimism died down, however, it soon became apparent that the philosophies of the two squads were somewhat different.

    “I didn’t have a super year there really. I didn’t really feel at home. It just didn’t seem like a team to me,” said Brammeier. “I wanted to stick with the guys from HTC because it was a little bit more familiar than going into a totally different team and starting again. I was pretty happy to be around Brian Holm and people like that.

    “But looking back on it, I don’t really feel like the team wanted me as an individual. It was more that I was taken along as part of a package. I think that was a mistake I made really. I had a few really good offers last year and I could have gone to another big team and worked on something there.”

    Already scheduled to undergo routine knee surgery at the end of the campaign,...

  • WADA will not appeal reduced sanctions in USADA case

    Christian Vande Velde (US Postal) during the last stage of the 1999 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 03, 2012, 9:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Six month suspensions for those that testified against Armstrong

    On the back of their announcement not to appeal USADA’s Reasoned Decision and banning of Lance Armstrong, WADA have also declared that they will not appeal the decision to sanction six of Armstrong’s former teammates.

    USADA handed down bans to George Hincapie, Michael Barry, David Zabriskie, Tom Danielson, Levi Leipheimer and Christian Vandevelde for their own confessions but the terms were reduced to six months after they all agreed to provide written testimony in the US Postal case.

    Their sanctions have already started and although Michael Barry and George Hincapie have both signalled their retirement the remaining riders will all be free to race as of next spring. Vande Velde, Zabriskie and Danielson all ride for Garmin-Sharp who have supported their riders since they were linked or accused of doping in 2010. Leipheimer, 38, has indicated his desire to race next season but Omega Pharma QuickStep fired him after news of his confession broke, leaving him without a team for 2013.

    “The fight against doping benefits from evidence given voluntarily by athletes where it leads to the dismantling of conspiracies and the discovery of intentional doping – the Code itself supports the concept of reduced sentences for athletes in this situation,” said WADA Director General David Howman.

    Howman added that the culture of Omerta within professional cycling could only be broken if athletes were encouraged to come forward and confess to their past doping. Currently Team Sky and GreenEdge have adopted zero tolerance polices, firing staff who have...

  • Von Hoff signs for Garmin-Sharp

    Nathan Haas and Steele Von Hoff chat on the start line.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2012, 10:58 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian moves up from Chipotle Development squad

    Steele Von Hoff has signed a two-year contract with Garmin-Sharp after riding the second of the season as a stagarie for the team. The 24-year-old rode for the team’s Chipotle development team in 2011 and the first half of 2012.

    “It has been my dream ever since I started riding to race at the top level in the sport and Garmin-Sharp is the perfect fit for my racing goals and moral beliefs,” said Von Hoff.

    “They are going to work with me to help me achieve the best results I can over a long-term period, and have my best interests in mind while trying to achieve those results. Their commitment to clean cycling is something very important to me. I have a lot of respect for the team and think I will learn a lot from the riders on board. I’m very excited to make it to the top level with the team I have always admired and respected.”

    Van Hoff rode the Tour of Britain in September, securing two top ten places before finishing a creditable 19th in Paris-Tours. He is expected to be joined by Lachlan Morton, another rider from the team’s development team who will move up to the Garmin-Sharp team.

    Jonathan Vaughters, CEO of Slipstream Sports, added: “We are thrilled to move Steele up to the pro-tour. He is an exceptional young talent and we will continue to help him grow, over time. We know that he will be an important addition for next season – he already showed what he can do at the Pro Tour level as a stagarie through the fall.”

    Murilo Fischer (FDJ-BigMat); Christophe Le Mével (Cofidis), Henrich Haussler (IAM Project) have all left the team.


     

  • Jens Zemke predicts return to success of Reimer

    Martin Reimer (Skil-Shimano)
    Article published:
    November 03, 2012, 14:50 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team MTN-Qhubeka Directeur Sportif on 2013 squad

    After a year out of the sport, former German national road champion Martin Reimer has returned, signing a contract with the MTN-Qhubeka squad. According to the team’s directeur sportif Jens Zemke, Reimer, 25, can return to the professional ranks.

    Reimer turned professional in 2009 with the Cervelo TestTeam. Along with wining the German title he also picked up top-ten places in the Tour of Britain and Paris-Tours. The following season was effected by a serious crash in the Classics and by the time he had returned to full fitness the Cervelo team were well on their way to ending.

    He found a solution with Skil-Shimano but the results dried up and the German found himself without a contract for 2012.

    “Martin was a promising young boy, winning the German U23 title and he also won the Pro title against all the favorites when there were a lot of strong guys in Germany,” Zemke said.

    “He was second in a stage of Critérium du Dauphiné and on the podium at the Tour of Britain. Unfortunately a bad year at Skil-Shimano followed and they told him very late that they would not extend his contract. After one year back in normal life he is hungry to come back and he wants to make the most of this opportunity. He is only 25 years old. We tested him and I am sure that he will bring the team forward with his professional attitude.”

    Zemke has worked at and joined the South African project at the end of 2011.

    “I was invited exactly one year ago and I got my first impression about the team and the infrastructure. I felt welcomed and I was surprised how professional the team was and that the sponsor support was so enthusiastic. We only have first class brands involved in our project and the story behind it is phenomenal. Through Qhubeka it is time to tell the stories of helping kids in their...