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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 22, 2011

Date published:
October 22, 2011, 16:00
  • Video: Giro d’Italia 2012 route presentation

    Michele Acquarone, director of the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    October 21, 2011, 18:04
    By:
    Sarah Connolly

    Highlights from last week's show

    The official video introduction to the 2012 Giro d’Italia route takes a look at every stage in turn, from the first three stages in Denmark to the final individual time trial in Milan, highlighted with profiles and maps the days the race organisers think will be key to chances of success – with the penultimate stage, finishing on the Passo del Stelvio, seen as the jewel in the crown.

    The video starts with a tribute to Wouter Weylandt, who died in a crash in last year’s Giro, before turning to next year’s race. Interspersing details of the race with interviews with the three biggest Italian contenders – last year’s second-placed rider, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD),Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), who finished third last year, and Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) who won the Giro in 2006 and 2010 – the video also includes Pat McQuaid explaining why the Giro is so important to the UCI.

    After taking us through the race, the video finishes with a brief history of the role the Stelvio has played in previous Giro editions, and reminds us that Stage 20, which was designed in response to an online poll of fans, takes the riders over four climbs, including the Mortirolo, before they reach the mountain-top finish at the top of the legendary pass.


  • Miyazawa joins Saxo Bank-Sungard

    Japanese champion Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli)
    Article published:
    October 21, 2011, 19:50
    By:
    Cycling News

    Japanese rider moves on after season at Farnese-Neri

    Takashi Miyazawa has agreed to join Saxo Bank-Sungard for 2012 following a solid campaign in the colours of Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli. The Japanese rider has penned a one-year deal with Bjarne Riis’ team.

    National champion in 2010, Miyazawa memorably showcased his jersey as part of the early break at Milan-San Remo this year, little more than a week after Japan was struck by an earthquake and tsunami.

    After a strong end of season that him finish fifth at Paris-Brussels and win the Izegem Koerse, the 33-year-old Miyazawa is looking forward to making the step up to WorldTour level.

    “This is my first go at a WorldTour team, but I'm not a rookie after years of racing in Europe,” he said. “Of course my main goal for next season is to keep improving and do my very best to contribute to the team, but if I get the chance to win a race, I'll certainly go for it. I also believe I can learn a lot from working with Bjarne Riis and the sport directors.”

    It remains to be seen if Riis will respond to Alberto Contador’s request to add another climber to the Saxo Bank roster, but for now he is pleased to bring the punchy Miyazawa into the set-up. “He is an aggressive rider and has solid abilities as a puncheur, so I'm happy to welcome him onboard,” Riis said.

    Miyazawa lines up in Sunday's Japan Cup in the colours of the Japanese national team. 

  • Andy Jacques-Maynes to Kenda/5-hour Energy

    Andy jacques-Maynes (Bissell) hanging in the group on the hill.
    Article published:
    October 21, 2011, 22:26
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    American disappointed to be let go by Bissell

    Andy Jacques-Maynes will be one of team Kenda/5-hour Energy’s top overall contenders at select stage races during the 2012 season. The Morgan Hill, California native signed a contract with the UCI Continental team after being let go from Bissell Pro Cycling in August.

    "Bissell decided not to renew my contract," Jacques-Maynes told Cyclingnews. "I was pretty surprised considering I’ve had my best season to date. It was one of those business decisions and I tried not to take it personally, but I was left in the lurch and had to start search for something else after criterium nationals."

    Jacques-Maynes has consistently been one of the most aggressive domestic road racers over the past two seasons under the Bissell Pro Cycling outfit. Some of his career highlights include podium places at the Sea Otter Classic, Cascade Cycling Classic and Merco Cycling Classic, along with numerous top ten performances on the domestic circuit. This year, he was a valuable lead-out man at the USA Pro Criterium Championships for his winning teammate Eric Young.

    "They told me that they were not going to discuss next year until after criterium nationals," Jacques-Maynes said. "I had a good race there and was the first guy through the last corner, led out my teammate and he won, so I thought I did a good job there and then told me to go look somewhere else. I wish they could have told me that a couple of weeks beforehand."

    Jacques-Maynes noted that Bissell Pro Cycling experienced several cut backs that may have been the deciding factor with regard to his position on the team. He hoped to race alongside twin brother and teammate, Ben, but under strenuous economic circumstances across the domestic road scene the pair were forced to part ways.

    "I know that their budget got cut back," Jacques-Maynes said. "Ben was pretty bummed, for sure. It was up in the air whether he would be able to get back on Bissell either. We were trying to work it out so that we could get on the same team together. Bissell managed to put together an offer for him but they didn’t have the budget to include me as well. We were both bummed because we really enjoyed racing with each other."

    Jacques-Maynes found a position as an overall classification contender with Kenda/5-hour Energy. The team recently announced signing ProTeam BMC Racing’s John Murphy along with Nate English from Yahoo! Cycling and Paul Mach, also from Bissell Pro Cycling. Returning riders include Shawn Milne and Chad Hartley along with Luca Damiani, Phil Gaimon, Isaac Howe, Pat Lemieux, Jim Stemper, Bobby Sweeting, Roman Kilun

    "I talked to just about every team and Kenda really piqued my interest because the depth of the team has come up quite a bit," Jacques-Maynes said. "They had good success this year and it seemed liked it was a good place to keep growing. I’m happy to join that squad."

    "I’m hired to be one of the GC guys," he said. "With the [National Racing Calendar] crit season and stage race season splitting, there will be a good crit squad with sprinters and then I will be a go-to guy for time trials and stage race overall classifications. I am happy to step into a GC role for Kenda."

     

  • Diadora - Pasta Zara signs former junior world champ Callovi

    Rossella Callovi (MCipollini-Giordana) comes in ahead of Elena Berlato (Fasso Bortolo)
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 07:19
    By:
    Cycling News

    Three new signings bode well for Geox's women's team

    Although Geox has pulled its sponsorship from the Geox-TMC squad, the future of the women's team sponsored by Geox company Diadora seems brighter. The Diadora-Pasta Zara-Manhattan team looks as though it may be able to continue, as it announced the signing of three new riders today.

    Earlier in the week, the team, which under the UCI Continental Team rules had been registered in the USA for 2011, announced that it was returning to its Italian roots, with the signing of Giorgia Bronzini, who this year added a second road world champion's jersey to her 2010 road and 2009 points race titles.

    Alessandra d'Ettorre and Giada Borgato will be joining Bronzini from her old team Colavita Forno d'Asolo, and will be providing her with sprint support. D'Ettorre has worked as lead-out woman for Bronzini both on Colavita and in the Italian National Team - and Borgato, who is just 22, has ridden alongside Bronzini on her previous two teams.

    The third signing announced today, Rossella Callovi, is likely to play a different role in the team. The 2009 junior road world champion rode for Mcipollini-Giambenini this year, coming second in the GP Valladolid round of the road World Cup before she was forced to pull out the second stage of the Giro Donne. Callovi's signing represents the team's renewed commitment to supporting the development of young Italian talent.

    "Rossella Callovi is one of the biggest talents that Italian women's cycling has produced in recent years and was able to compete alongside the world's top athletes from the start," said the team's owner, Maurizio Fabretto. "It was disappointing when she had to drop out of this year's Giro Donne, and she had a difficult remainder of the season. But in stage and tough day races, she is there."

    Callovi is looking forward to riding in her new team, and continuing to develop as a rider.
    "I still have a lot to learn, both from the girls who have more experience than me, and from the team staff," she said.

    "I hope to have better luck than this year and especially to solve the health problems that caused me to end my season early. As to my objectives for next season, I understand my limits in stage races and would like to have some strong results in the shorter races that suit me."

    These new signings bring the Diadora riders confirmed for 2012 to 10 - Alona Andruk, Giada Borgato, Giorgia Bronzini, Rossella Callovi, Inga Cilvinaite, Alessandra d'Ettorre, Giulia Donato, Amber Pierce and Francesca Stefani. 1998 Road World Champion Diana Ziliute will stay on as Directeur Sportif, but there is still no news about where her co-DS Manel Lacambra, or the nine riders whose contracts have not been renewed - including climbers Claudia Häusler and Mara Abbott and American sprinter Shelley Olds - will end up for 2012.

  • Riis: No money for Cobo or Menchov

    Bjarne Riis has his say at a meeting of team bosses
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 08:38
    By:
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank-Sungard owner says 2012 team “virtually” complete

    Alberto Contador has asked Saxo Bank-Sungard to get more riders to help him in the mountains in the coming year. Team Geox-TCM is folding, leaving noted climbers 2011 Vuelta a Espana winner Juan Jose Cobo and Giro d'Italia and two-time Vuelta a Espana winner Denis Menchov available for 2012. The perfect solution to the Danish team's problem? No, because Riis' real problem is that he has no more money.

    “There is something called economic constraints. I have a budget for 2012, which I must respect and be consistent. So there is a reason why we have the riders we have,” he told sporten.dk.

    “I've tried to get someone and I did not succeed, but now it is about over. And that means there is not just 500,000, a million or even two million euros in profit, so I could go out and do something now where the market is closed.”

    As for signing Cobo or Menchov, “It's not going to happen.”

    That means that the team is now “virtually” complete. “We are in place, I think. And in my eyes we are just as strong as we were in 2011. I am very satisfied with the material we have to work with.”

    Riis defended his signing of the relatively unknown 33-year-old Japanese rider Takashi Miyazawa, saying, “I wanted very much to try something new. And don't be mistaken – he may ride very well.”

    The truth of the matter may lay elsewhere, though, coming down again to money. “But it's also that we have long wanted to enter the Japanese market. There is great interest in cycling in Japan, we have lots of fans, and there may be a market to get a sponsor. It's not a coincidence that Real Madrid and Manchester United have training tournaments in Asia. It's a huge market.”

    Most of Riis' new signings for the coming year have been younger or lesser-known riders, or domestiques. He knows that he is limited in what he can offer up.

    “I don't have a team like BMC, where you have two almost equally strong teams for the Giro and Tour. That's it. I have a profile on the team of Alberto Contador, and I am happy. It's him that we build around and that's why we focus ruthlessly on the Tour de France,” Riis said.

    But again, there he has a problem. He won't know until the end of November whether Contador will ride in 2012 or not, as the Court of Arbitration for Sport is expected to then issue its ruling on Contador's doping case from the 2010 Tour de France.

    “It's a shit situation. No doubt about it,” Riis conceded. “I have no choice, and I think people forget. I have a contract with the world's best cyclist, but I'm locked. There is not a damn thing I can do differently.

    “It's not because I'm not open to suggestions, but I can not spend the money twice, so I must just wait and hope that it will end positively. That we believe and why we support Alberto Contador.”

  • Matxin appeals for new sponsors for Geox team

    DS Joxean Matxin assured he had found new backers for his team
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 09:22
    By:
    Cycling News

    Thanks riders and staff, takes sponsor to task

    Joxean Fernández Matxin, Sport Director for Geox-TCM was “in China, far away from home”, hen he got the shocking news that the team's sponsor was withdrawing.   He is not willing to give up his dream and has appealed for others to step up and take over the sponsorship.

    “I remain optimistic, I always was,” he said in a statement, according to biciciclismo.com, and said he was willing to “fight” to realize this dream.  “Therefore, I appeal to businesses, trademarks, sponsors, who are willing and want to be number one in profitability as we always have been, to join us and create, dream, illusion, passionate, enjoy. .. To commit to us as we're going to do with them, hopefully in the near future. We want to realize this dream, and work harder than ever to get it.”

    “It hurts to read this statement the same day UCI enrollment limit ends, no leeway,” he said.  “It hurts me to read it.”  He regretted the impact of the decision on “my people, especially after the emotional victory in the Vuelta.  They don't consider this group of people, who are excellent in all aspects of life who don't think of themselves and share dreams for a team and are then left by partner thinking of his trademark.”

    Matxin acknowledged the contributions of the “riders, mechanics, masseurs, staff in general, saying, “I think you are the best in the world.”

  • Karpets to Movistar, Bruseghin extends

    Vladimir Karpets (Katusha)
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 13:55
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian “returning home” to Unzue's team

    Vladimir Karpets has signed with Movistar Team for the next two years, returning to a team for which he previously was with for six years.   The Spanish team also announced that veteran Marzio Bruseghin has re-signed for another year.

    Karpets, 31, is the sixth new rider for the team next year. He has lived in Navarra, Spain, for the last ten years, and has ridden professionally since 2001. Karpets rode for the team under the names Banesto, Iles Baleares and Caisse d'Epargne from 2003 to 2008, before joining Team Katusha for three years.

    All seven of his career wins came while he was with the Spanish team, including stage wins at the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour de Suisse, both in 2007.  “Karpets returns this way to the place where he earned the most success throughout his career,” the team said.

    The 37-year-old Bruseghin was “one of the most remarkable riders from Movistar Team in the final rush of the season,” the team said.  At this year's Vuelta a Espana he  finished 14th overall, and was second on the 19th stage ending in Bilbao.

    The Italian turned pro in 1997, and has been with the Spanish team from 1999-2002 and since 2010.  He “hopes to keep bringing constancy and experience into a group combining youth and wisdom.”

  • Papp escapes jail sentence

    Yes I am!
    Article published:
    October 22, 2011, 14:42
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    American given probation after cooperating

    Former professional cyclist Joe Papp has been sentenced to three years probation, including six months of house arrest for distributing banned performance-enhancing drugs on behalf of a Chinese drug distributor via the internet. The news comes after Papp was handed an eight-year ban from USADA.

    Papp could have faced up to ten years in federal prison for his actions but was spared jail time due to a number of factors, including his cooperation with the government and USADA in providing information in doping and criminal activity.

    Papp testified in the 2007 Floyd Landis case and pleaded guilty in 2010 in a Pittsburgh federal court on two counts of conspiracy to distribute performance enhancing drugs. He could have received up to five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to sell human growth hormones (HGH) and Erythropoietin (EPO) on behalf of the Shandong Kexing Bioproducts company.

    Purchases of the illegal performance-enhancing drugs were made by up to 187 international athletes from a variety of sports, including cycling, from September 2006 to September 2007. The transactions took place with Papp as an intermediary between his sportsmen clients and the Chinese sellers of the Eposino-brand of EPO and Jintropin HGH.

    ESPN’s Bonnie Ford reported that U.S. District Chief Judge Gary L. Lancaster said Papp "has acted as a public advocate" in efforts to clamp down on performance-enhancing drug use, and cited his lack of previous criminal history, his graduate education, and various mental and physical health issues stemming from his past abuse of PEDs.”

    Ford also spoke to Ford directly after sentencing and told the ESPN reporter, "I obviously regret all of it, and I wish I could take it all back," added Papp, who said the case has wrecked him financially. He said he is unemployed and last worked in software sales; he lives with his mother and is subsisting on loans from family.”