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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 8, 2011

Date published:
October 08, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • UCI performed no blood tests during Amgen Tour of California

    Stage 7 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 20:57 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Agreement for independent testing axed by UCI

    A plan to implement a comprehensive and independent anti-doping scheme for the Amgen Tour of California was watered down when a deal to allow the US Anti-doping Agency (USADA) to perform all in-competition testing was scuttled by the sport's governing body. Cyclingnews has learned that no blood controls were performed during the race after the UCI took responsibility for the race-day testing.

    Three months prior to the 2011 Amgen Tour of California, the race organisation and USADA announced "the most comprehensive anti-doping program in the history of the race", in which USADA, an independent testing body, would perform all pre- and in-competition testing, while the UCI would manage the results of the controls.

    It was understood that, at the time of the announcement, the UCI had signed off on the plan, but just one day before the start of the race, it was reported that the deal fell through at the last minute. A source has confirmed to Cyclingnews that the deal had in fact been signed by all parties, but was terminated by the UCI.

    Race organisers and USADA together funded pre-competition testing, which included both blood and urine tests for a variety of substances including growth hormone and EPO on all riders scheduled to compete in the race.

    The plan was to continue the comprehensive testing during the race, but the UCI took over control before the event began. The UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews that while standard urine tests were executed, no blood tests were carried out during the entire eight-day race.

    According to a source close to the race, a backlash from the UCI was the cause of the last-minute change.

    The reason? Strong statements made at the February press conference by USADA CEO Travis...

  • Video: Roche over the moon with Beijing victory

    Nicholas Roche (Ag2r) beat compatriot Philip Deignan (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 21:52 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    First WorldTour win boosts AG2R's points

    Irishman Nicolas Roche turned around a frustrating year with his victory on stage 3 of the Tour of Beijing, and spoke with Cyclingnews about his first ever win at the WorldTour level.

    "It's a I've been waiting for two years now," Roche said. "Last year I had great results and great satisfaction, but the one thing that was missing was a win. This year I had little satisfaction and I finally get a win, so it balances out over the two years."

    Roche was part of a three-man group that broke away on the final climb with 15km to go, and managed to get the better of fellow Irishman Philip Deignan (Radioshack) and Chris Froome (Sky) as the peloton was charging to the line just behind.

    "Those last 15km went really quick. Once I got over the top it was a tailwind to the finish," he explained. "There were three of us, Philip seemed to be in great form because he attacked early on the climb and kept his pace, and Froome is on fantastic form. I knew once we were there we could ride, We tried to keep each other motivated."

    The didn't have time to come to an accord, other than to work together to hold off the hard-charging field. Roche said there wasn't time to think in the finale.

    "It's been such a great moment, just the split second when you put your arms in the air," he said. When asked about the significance of his win, he answered, "I think every ProTour [sic] race is significant enough, whatever country or place it is. The last time I came to China was the Olympics, I didn't quite enjoy the actual road race. This year I was happy enough with the prologue and I'm just over the moon with today."

    Watch the video to hear more about Roche's win and why it is so important for his AG2R-La Mondiale squad.

  • Video: King excited to be part of history at Tour of Beijing

    American road champion Ben King (RadioShack) at the front.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 22:33 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    RadioShack rider is best young rider in first WorldTour stage race

    22-year-old Ben King, currently taking part in the inaugural edition of the Tour of Beijing, had the honour of donning the best young rider's jersey after the third stage in Yong Ning Town.

    "It's fun to be part of a new race and I think it's something historic to be part of a new WorldTour race. Hopefully in 15 years I'll still be racing and we can talk about being at the first edition of the Tour of Beijing," King told Cyclingnews while signing autographs for the Chinese fans.

    King was part of a 50-ride peloton that came to the line fractions of a second behind the successful three-man breakaway on a stage won by Irishman Nicolas Roche.

    He took the best young rider's classification lead from his friend and former Trek-Livestrong teammate Alex Dowsett (Sky), who finished eight minutes behind.

    "It's really cool, [it's] a testament to the success of that program," King said. He's won the young rider's classification in several domestic events, but was thrilled to step into the role in his first ever WorldTour stage race.

    "To have the white jersey in a ProTour [sic] race is a real improvement, it's encouraging to me. It's really exciting."

    One one of the race's more challenging stages, King was pleased to be part of his team's success. His RadioShack teammate Philip Deignan took second on the stage, but King said it was a hard day in the saddle.

    "For me it was very hard. a lot of guys were suffering. It was still a large group at the finish, but everyone was suffering.

    "The speed was pretty high, the climbs weren't so steep, so the wind played a factor. Sometimes it was a headwind, but when it was a crosswind it got strung out and guys were attacking."

  • Rabobank women's team taking shape

    Newly crowned National Criterium Champion, Lauren Kitchen (Jayco-AIS) on the start line
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 23:41 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Knetemann, Kitchen join Vos, Van Vleuten

    The Rabobank women's professional team has added two riders to its 2012 roster, naming two more riders to join UCI number one Marianne Vos: Roxanne Knetemann and Australian Lauren Kitchen.

    At this year's UCI road world championships, the Dutch bank announced it would take over sponsorship of Vos's Nederland Bloeit team, keeping manager Jeroen Blijlevens as well as World Cup winner Annamiek Van Vleuten and Sarah Düster and adding promising young Dutch talent Thalita De Jong.

    24-year-old Knetemann raced with the non-UCI registered Skil-Koga elite team this season, she is the daughter of former world champion Gerrie Knetemann and a former Dutch points race champion.

    Kitchen, 20, is the Australian criterium champion and under-23 time trial champion.
     

  • Chris Horner confirms he will be staying with RadioShack-Nissan-Trek in 2012

    blank
    Article published:
    October 08, 2011, 0:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American eager to link up with former Leopard team members

    Chris Horner (RadioShack) has ended speculation about his riding future and confirmed that he will be staying on with the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek squad next year. The 39-year-old has spent the last two seasons with RadioShack and seemed excited to be continuing with the team next year.

    "It's official - I'm all signed up and ready to go for two more years on the new [Team Radioshack]," Horner said on his twitter page. "Looking forward to it!"

    Though many had presumed Horner would be a probable part of the new merged-team roster, Horner himself denied receiving any official communication from the team on what his role would be or whether the contract he signed in August with RadioShack was going to be honoured.

    "Did I make the merger?" he questioned Cyclingnews at Interbike in September . "Of course I know that the merger is coming together but you’re telling me [that I've made the squad] and it’s the first I’ve heard of it."

    Horner had one of his most successful seasons to date in 2011, winning the Amgen Tour of California, and finishing high up in the overall standings in Pais Vasco, and Catalunya. He was one of four 'leaders' selected by Johan Bruyneel for this year's Tour de France, but a bad crash on stage 7, that saw him finish the day with a serious concussion, forced the American to abandon. He called time on his season in August.

  • PureBlack, Budget Forklifts, and Drapac announce teams for Jayco Herald Sun Tour

    Adam Phelan (Drapac) scorches to victory in the Tour de Taiwan prologue.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2011, 4:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian and New Zealand teams hope to punch above their weight in 5-day race

    Australia and New Zealand's top continental teams, PureBlack Racing, Budget Forklifts, and Drapac have announced their line-ups for the upcoming Jayco Herald Sun Tour, with all three sending full-strength squads to the 2.1 rated race.

    PureBlack Racing Team Director Carl Williams explained that performing well at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour was a big objective for the team.

    "It’s a real privilege to be representing New Zealand and our sponsors at the highest level in a top Australian event," said Williams. "We had a really successful year in the US in our inaugural season and we’re looking to continue our aggressive style of racing in Melbourne next week."

    The New Zealand team are bringing along stalwarts Glen Chadwick and Tim Gudsell, who are both carrying strong form. Gudsell, recently off a domination of the NZ national circuit added that he was itching to race with the team for its debut at the race.

    "We’re really excited to be doing this race as it’s the highest profile race close to home this year and it’s the first time the PureBlack Racing Pro team has raced in Australia," Gudsell said.

    Budget Forklifts

    One of the big surprises was the return to the Australian domestic road scene of Chris Jongewaard. The multiple-time mountain bike national champion will be riding for the Budget Forklifts team and adds depth, and experience to the WA outfit. Jongewaard, who raced with the Jayco-2XU team earlier in the year to concentrate on his build up for the London Olympic Games, has returned to home for a chance to do well at one of his favourite hunting grounds.

    Jongewaard will be joined by sprinter Luke Davison, and all-rounders Michael Cupitt and Peter Herzig. Herzig could be a dark-horse for race success, with the 33-year-old earlier this week telling Cyclingnews that he was in some of the best form of his life.

    Drapac

    ...
  • Video: Van Den Broeck confident in Lotto's WorldTour chances

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) is back in action after suffering injury at the Tour de France.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2011, 7:11 BST
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Belgian pleased with late-season condition

    After seeing his Tour de France challenge cut short by a crash at the end of the opening week, Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) returned to put in a solid Vuelta a España performance and secure 8th overall.

    The Belgian is continuing his comeback from the injuries he sustained in July at the Tour of Beijing, and told Cyclingnews that he is pleased with his condition as the season draws to a close.

    “I recovered quickly and I was good again in the Vuelta, and I could finish my season with a pretty good condition,” he said. “I didn’t expect anything [before the Vuelta] because I didn’t know what to expect. I did good training but I didn’t know how my body would react after the big crash and the recovery.”

    Van Den Broeck will join the new Lotto-Ridley set-up next season under the guidance of his present manager Marc Sergeant. Sprinter André Greipel is also on board, and Van Den Broeck is confident that the team will be successful in its bid for WorldTour status.

    “I am confident otherwise I wouldn’t have signed for the team for four years,” he pointed out.

    Although his current stable-mate Philippe Gilbert is bound for pastures new at BMC in 2012, Van Den Broeck denied that his status in his new squad would be any different to the role he enjoyed at Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    “It doesn’t change anything for me. He was leader in his races and I was leader in my races so we didn’t have problems,” Van Den Broeck said, although he was rather more enigmatic when pressed on whether he would look to challenge Gilbert’s hegemony at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    “We will see next year,” he said...

  • Video: Viviani relishes his first WorldTour success

    Elia Viviani and Peter Sagan celebrate their one-two finish.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2011, 16:27 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    Liquigas's young sprinter won stage 4 at the Tour of Beijing

    Elia Viviani led home a Liquigas-Cannondale 1-2 finish in stage 4 of the Tour of Beijing, the 22-year-old Italian's ninth victory of the season and first in a WorldTour event.

    Viviani explained to Cyclingnews in a video interview: "Today was very, very fast on big roads. The team was fantastic to me. Peter Sagan [who finished second], [Davide] Cimolai, all the team rode for me."

    Concerning the Tour of Beijing's final stage on Sunday, on an all-flat course from Tian An Men Square to the Water Cube in the Olympic Village, he said: "Tomorrow I hope I can repeat it."

    Understandably the young Italian has rising ambitions for 2012: sprints at stage races like perhaps the Giro d'Italia, Classics ("I hope to be good at the Tour of Flanders and Milan-San Remo," he said) and the Olympic Games on the track, where he'll vie for a medal in the omnium.

    Last year Viviani won the omnium title at his national championships and followed that performance with a victory this year in the under 23 European Championship omnium event. The Italian won a silver medal in the 2011 elite track world championships in the scratch race and has previously notched junior and under 23 European Championship scratch, points and Madison titles.