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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, November 9, 2013

Date published:
November 09, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Yellow Fluo rises from the ashes of Vini Fantini

    Oscar Gatto (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) celebrates winning the sprint
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 11:09 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian team promises new internal rules after doping cases

    Italian team manager Angelo Citracca and directeur sportif Luca Scinto have promised to introduce new internal rules and better openness after managing to create a Professional Continental team for 2014 despite the loss of Vini Fantini as a title sponsor and the doping scandals involving Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Di Luca at the Giro d’Italia.

    The team has been registered as Yellow Fluo but could change names if negotiations with a potential title sponsor are successful.

    With Oscar Gatto moving to Cannondale, the team will have 2012 Giro d’Italia stage winner and climber’s jersey winner Matteo Rabottini as team leader. New signings include Simone Ponzi from Astana. Daniele Colli, Mauro Finetto and Rafael Andriato also stay on from the 2013 team, with other riders and neo-pros completing the roster.

    Santambrogio and Di Luca both tested positive for EPO during the Giro d’Italia. Santambrogio has yet to be sanctioned after doubts about his B sample. Italian anti-doping investigators have requested Di Luca receives a life ban when he finally faces a disciplinary hearing.

    The Yellow Fluo team will be sponsored by Cipollini bikes and the new clothing brand Alé, Usus wheels, Selle Italia and pickled food brand Neri Sottoli from Tuscany. The team colours are expected to again be fluorescent yellow, hence the team name of Yellow Fluo.

    The EPO positives of Santambrogio and Di Luca have rocked the credibility of the team and damaged the chances of Yellow Fluo securing a wild card invitation to the Giro d’Italia and other major races.

    In a press release, the team said it would honour any race that the team is invited to and promised never before...

  • Summit finishes mount up at 2014 Vuelta a España

    The final Vuelta podium for 2013
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 12:26 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Lagos de Covadonga and Ancares likely to be among the high points

    The 2014 edition of the Vuelta a España is shaping to be another climb-fest, according to reports in Spanish media. At least four high-summit tests are apparently being lined up for next year’s race, including Lagos de Covadonga, La Farrapona and the toughest side of the Ancares pass, which will come the day before the race finishes with a time trial in the Galician city of Santiago de Compostela.

    Running between August 23 and September 14, the Vuelta will start in the province of Cádiz with a time trial at the sherry-making centre of Jerez de la Frontera. Recent Vuelta history suggests this is likely to be a team time trial, although that won’t be officially confirmed until the presentation of the race on January 11 in Cádiz.

    Sports daily AS has reported that the Vuelta’s organisers are set to repeat the run of the three consecutive summit finishes leading into the second rest day that featured on this year’s race. The first of them, on September 6, is said to be La Camperona -a new climb for the Vuelta, that is known as “the Angliru of León”. It rises for 9.8km from the village of Sotillos de Sobera, with three of those kilometres pitched at between 17% and 22%, which some indicate could make a tougher test than the real Angliru.

    The Vuelta will move into Asturias on the following two days for finishes at the race’s favourite summit, Lagos de Covadonga, and at Lagos de Somiedo via the Farrapona climb, which first featured in the 2011 race. Rein Taaramae won on that occasion.

    Following the second rest day, the Vuelta will move west into Galicia, a region that has hosted the race a number of times in recent seasons. On the penultimate day, the riders will reportedly tackle the Pan do Zarco ascent of the stunning Ancares pass. Dubbed “the Spanish Mortirolo”, the climb averages 9.25% for 12km, including ramps of 20%.


  • Welcome2Yorkshire plan for three-day WorldTour race in 2015

    Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme, right, with chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire Gary Verity following a press conference in Leeds, England to announce the routes for the opening stages of the 2014 Tour De France.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 15:53 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Officials in talks with ASO about future races

    Welcome2Yorkshire chief executive Gary Verity has confirmed that he is in negotiations with Tour de France organisers ASO in a bid to bring a three-day race to Yorkshire in 2015.

    The English county will play host to the Tour de France’s Grand Depart in 2014 but Verity, who is keen to build on the legacy of the event, has aspirations of a Yorkshire based three-day race similar to the Criterium International, an ASO event that takes place in the spring of each year.

    “We don’t want to do it in the autumn or winter time. We’d want to do it at a time when Yorkshire is at its best,” Verity told Cyclingnews.

    “We’ve said all the way along that we’re keen for Yorkshire to become the cycling capital of Europe and wrestle that away from the Belgians. Clearly having the Tour de France is not going to do that on its own so there needs to be a whole series of things. We’ve had some really good discussions with ASO about bringing other races to Yorkshire.”

    “It would be great if we could do a three-day race, similar to the Criterium International. Something like that would fit really well in Yorkshire. We know that we’ve got all kinds of stages we could put on and if we could do that on a regular basis, it would be a genuine legacy of the Tour de France coming to Yorkshire.”

    The 2014 Tour de France will kick off on July 5 with a 191km stage from Leeds to Harrogate. Stage 2 will travel from York to Sheffield before a third stage from Cambridge to London.

    “From out point of view, the legacy has kicked in already because we’ve seen this huge explosion of cycling, particularly around the routes but right the way through Yorkshire as people have become enthused with the Grand Depart.”


  • Chavanel using cyclo-cross to kick start his training

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma QuickStep)
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 18:55 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    French rider preparing for 2014 debut with IAM Cycling

    Sylvain Chavanel is using cyclo-cross racing to kick start his winter training as he prepares for his debut with the IAM Cycling team in 2014.

    The 34-year-old French rider has revealed he plans to ride 12 cyclo-cross races this winter and will combine his racing with family time, as his nine-year-old son also races cyclo-cross for the first time.

    Chavanel ended his season and rode for Omega Pharma-Quick Step at the Chrono des Nations on October 20 and has avoided a traditional long break from cycling by going off-road.

    “I used to take five or six weeks off the bike but with age I have to keep going. I now take micro-breaks and keep fit by playing tennis or going running,” he told his local French newspaper La Nouvelle Republique.

    “I did a lot cyclo-cross at the beginning of my career and got back into it last year. My body has become a diesel engine with age and takes time to power up. In cyclo-cross, you’re ‘à bloc’ from the start and that means you work at a high pace.”

    Chavanel finished eighth last weekend in Buxerolles in a race won by fellow road professional John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale). He will ride race in Vouneuil-sous-Biard this weekend, where the regional title is up for grabs.

    “I hope to ride a dozen races during the winter. My forms not great and I’ll be racing in Vouneuil to work on it. But I like to compete and so why not aim for the title? My son Baptiste, who is nine in December, is also making his racing debut.”

    Chavanel said he will begin serious training on the road later in November.

    “I’m going to start doing four hour rides from November...

  • MPCC doctors commit to no longer using tramadol in competition

    The peloton on stage 3
    Article published:
    November 08, 2013, 21:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Organisation wants WADA to add tramadol to Prohibited List

    The MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling) announced today that at their latest meeting on October 21, doctors from 17 teams who are members of the organisation committed to no longer using tramadol, a pain-killing opioid, in competition.

    "Gérard Guillaume, representing the MPCC teams' doctors, said that this drug was 'dangerous in competition' while [the UCI's] Mario Zorzoli drew attention to its 'side effects'," read the MPCC statement. "Tramadol causes drowsiness and conditions that could lead to falls in a race. Doctors of teams that are members of MPCC are committed to no longer use tramadol in competition."

    Tramadol is not on the World Anti-Doping Agency’s (WADA) list of banned substances, but has once again been added to the agency's Monitored List for 2014. The substance has been on the Monitored List since 2012 and recent reports have raised the issue of abuse of the substance within the professional peloton.

    Dr. Prentice Steffen, head physician for the Garmin-Sharp team, spoke to Cyclingnews previously about the pain-killer's performance enhancing abilities.

    "It’s not a big performance enhancer but it could make the difference of a fraction of a percent," said Steffen. "It’s like nothing compared to EPO or blood doping but it’s more on the side of cortico-steroids. If blood doping is a ten then it’s a two, maybe.

    "I can imagine it being used for training. Anything that makes an intense effort or suffering more tolerable is going to give you a training advantage."

    WADA's monitoring program is utilised to test for specific substance which aren't on the Prohibited List but which WADA wishes to keep tabs on in order to detect patterns of misuse. WADA has confirmed that a ‘significant’ number of tests have shown traces of the drug.

    The MPCC, however, hopes that...

  • Gallery: 25 years of Landbouwkrediet

    Many Lambouwkrediet riders tackled Oude Kwaremont in the team's 25 year history.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 4:45 GMT
    Jono Lovelock

    Cobbles, crosswinds and Colnagos

    The final stage of the Tour of Taihu on Sunday will mark the last hurrah for the Crelan-Euphany team. Former team member and multiple stage winner at this year's race in China, Yuriy Metlushenko, has already paid tribute to one of the pillars of Northern European racing over the last quarter century, and now it's our turn.

    The team was originally known as Saxon in 1992. Three years later, Tönnisteiner became the headline sponsor and were replaced by Landbouwkrediet in 2001. In its final season the team was known as Crelan-Euphony. Although not making WorldTour headlines year in year out, any riders who have done a racing apprenticeship in Belgium know that when Landbouwkrediet move towards the front in a pro-kermesse, things are about to get serious.

    As part of the team's long relationship with Colnago they have also become synonymous with Ernesto Colnago's famous three leaf clover as well some of his iconic framesets such as the carbon lugged C-50.

    Aside from delivering road riders like Yaroslav Popovych to a podium finish at the Giro in 2003, the Belgian team has remained ardent supporters of Cyclo-cross with multiple World Champion and World Cup winner Sven Nys flying the flag for the team since 2008.

    To pay tribute in our own way, we've scoured the Cyclingnews annals to bring back a few memories of one of the teams that professional cycling will miss.


  • Team Novo Nordisk celebrates securing Pro Continental licence for 2014

    Christopher Williams (Novo Nordisk)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 10:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    All-diabetes team planning for new season

    Team Novo Nordisk has secured a UCI Professional Continental team licence for 2014, giving the all-diabetes team the green light to compete globally and even secure wild card invitations to WorldTour races in 2014.

    The Atlanta-based team began as Team Type 1- Sanofi but changed its name to Team Novo Nordisk and decided that all the team roster would only include diabetes suffers for the 2103 season.

    That lead to several successful riders moving to other teams but the 2013 riders showed that it is possible for diabetes suffers to compete as professional athletes around the world. Sponsor Novo Nordisk is a Danish producer of diabetes care equipment and medications. The team also includes a women’s squad, triathletes and a development team.

    “The confirmation does not come as a surprise for us, but it feels good to fulfill all requirements in the first go already,” team manager Vassilli Davidenko said.

    “The organization of the 2014 season is in full swing. As we received the license, we have a certain planning security and can now take the next steps.”

    The team has yet to confirm its full roster for 2014.

  • White: Goss should be challenging Sagan

    Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 12:25 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Orica rider to skip Giro d'Italia in 2014

    Orica GreenEdge’s Matt White believes that Matthew Goss can return to his top form in 2014. The 27-year-old, one-day specialist won just two individual races during his first two seasons with Australia’s World Tour team - a stage in the Giro d'Italia in 2012, and another in Tirreno this year.

    A disappointing season in 2013 coincided with the likes of Peter Sagan, Marcel Kittel, Andre Greipel and Mark Cavendish dominating the sprints. While Goss is not a pure sprinter, team boss White believes that his rider should be challenging Sagan.

    “The plan for Goss is to hit the ground running in Australia in January,” White told Cyclingnews.

    “He won’t be doing the Giro next year, his preparation will be a little different. With Goss at his best he should be going head-to-head against Peter Sagan. He’s not the pure sprinter like Cavendish, Kittel and Greipel and nine times out of ten in a flat sprint he’s going to come up short against those guys. If Goss is on top form though he should be targeting the same stages as Sagan.”

    To Goss’s credit he has won races every year since turning professional in 2007 but he went through a purple patch in 2011 winning a memorable edition of Milan San Remo, as well as stages in Paris-Nice, the Tour of California, Tour of Oman and the Tour Down Under. He returned to form later that season to pick up a silver medal in the world championships in Copenhagen, narrowly missing out to his former teammate, Mark Cavendish.

    However 2013 did not go to plan. “There was a combination of things. He had some bad luck with illness and injury and things just did not click. I honestly can’t explain his form at the Tour de France. When you look at our train against the likes of Lotto, Omega and Argos...