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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 28, 2013

Date published:
September 28, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Reactions to Brian Cookson's UCI election victory

    UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 15:24 BST
    Cycling News

    International cycling federations and others welcome new president

    The cycling world has reacted to the election of Brian Cookson as the new president of the UCI with congratulations, optimism and hope for the future.

    Russian cycling federation president Igor Makarov: "I'm happy that cycling is going to the right future. We will leave all that stuff in the past century."

    USADA CEO Travis T. Tygart: "USADA welcomes cycling’s vote for a new and clean future.  The outcome of the UCI election sends a powerful message that sport leaders who fail to fully protect the rights of clean athletes and the integrity of their sport will be held accountable.  The UCI tried to obstruct our investigation into doping in cycling at every turn, and then after the release of our reasoned decision the previous leadership failed to take necessary and decisive action to fully clean up the sport. The election of a new UCI President who is committed to transparency and a new direction, is a monumental moment for the sport and demonstrates that when clean athletes stand up for their rights they will be heard.

    We are confident that as President, Mr. Cookson will take the decisive action needed, so that cycling can truly unshackle itself from the past and pursue a clean culture for future generations of cyclists."

    British Minister for Sport, Hugh Robertson: "I congratulate Brian Cookson on becoming the President of the UCI. Cycling in Britain has never been in a better place as it is right now, on both participation and elite fronts, and Brian deserves a lot of credit for that. I am sure he will do a fantastic job taking the sport forward globally.”

    Steve Johnson, President and CEO, USA Cycling: "It's been such an unusual process - it started with confusion over 'the federation of the candidate' and culminated today in what was probably...

  • McQuaid sportingly accepts defeat in UCI election

    Pat McQuaid fronts a French Senate hearing into anti-doping
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 16:55 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    "I'll stay in cycling, I've been in it all my life"

    Pat McQuaid made a swift exit from the Palazzo Vecchio in the centre of Florence, congratulating Brian Cookson on being elected as the new president of the UCI but insisting he would stay in cycling.

    There was no mention of an appeal or fighting back. Indeed, McQuaid sportingly accepted defeat.

    As he closed the Congress and prepared to begin life without an influential political role in cycling, he showed his first sign of emotion after losing the vote to Cookson as he talked about his family.

    "My wife will have me back as her husband and our children will have their father back," he said, his voice cracking with emotion.

    Many of the McQuaid family, who have enjoyed different roles in the sport while Pat McQuaid was in power, gave him a round of applause.

    "Now I'm looking forward to a good holiday, which I badly need," McQuaid said as he left the meeting room decorated with Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo alfrescos, that had hosted his defeat.

    "Of course I'm disappointed to lose but that's life, that's how it goes. They've decided, they've elected a new president, so good luck to the new president and the new management committee," he said as he tired to push his way through the media.

    McQuaid was a race organisers before becoming a senior UCI politician. He will now have to resign his membership of the IOC but he insisted he will stay in the sport, with some kind of new role.

    "I'll stay in cycling, I've been in it all my life. I'll find something to do," he said before walking out of the room, ending his role as the head of cycling.

  • Report: Champion System team stops at end of season

    The Champion System Team
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 18:22 BST
    Cycling News

    ProConti team had been formed to help develop Asian riders

    Champion System Pro Cycling Team is folding after two years in the professional peloton. The China-based Professional Continental team was formed with the objective of giving emerging Asian riders to opportunity to ride at the highest level. There was no reason given for its discontinuance, as the Spanish website Biciciclismo has reported.

    Champion was started in 2010 at the Continental level and moved up to Professional Continental in 2012, under the leadership of Ed Beamon, who had been involved in the failed Pegasus project. The original plan was to move up to WorldTour status and ride the Grand Tours, hopefully within five years.

    The team rode a full calendar in Asia, Europe and the US this season, from Qatar to the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to the Tour of California. It received WorldTour wild card invitations only to the Tour of Beijing and the one-day races in Montreal and Quebec.

    The team has featured non-Asian riders such as Jaan Kirsipuu, Cameron Wurf, and Craig Lewis, with Bobbie Treksel and Matt Brammeier joining the team this year.

    The year's biggest winner was Zachary Bell, who won stages at the Tour de Korea and the Tour de Taiwan, as well as the Canadian national road title. Brammeier won the Irish road title, and Chun Kei Feng won both the Taiwan road and time trial titles.

    At the team's presentation in 2012, its first ProConti, year, Beamon said, “Hopefully, we will take this team to the Tour de France and the WorldTour and we'll carry the hopes and dreams of a lot of Asian and Chinese kids along with it."

    Champion System, producer of custom sport clothing, will continue to be present in the WorldTour as...

  • Cookson invites Armstrong to contribute to Truth and Reconciliation process

    Outgoing UCI President Pat McQuaid shakes hands with incoming UCI President Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 20:21 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    New UCI president admits he was emotional after winning the vote

    New UCI president Brian Cookson said Lance Armstrong would be one of the first people invited to take part in any form of Truth and Reconciliation process as he tries to rebuild cycling's credibility after years of conflict and scandals.

    Armstrong has been the artifice of many of those scandals but during his first press conference as UCI president, Cookson appeared ready to treat Armstrong like any other former rider who doped during his career. Immediately after Cookson was declared the winner of the election, Armstrong took to Twitter, writing simply: "Hallelujah". It was his first tweet for almost two weeks.

    "I'm always pleased to hear that anyone is happy I've been elected, be it Lance Armstrong or any other cycling fan around the world," Cookson said with a hit of dry British humour.

    "We need to put a structure in place as quickly as possible. Lance Armstrong will be one of the first people invited to contribute to the process once we've established it. And I'll be seeking to do that as quickly as possible."

    Cookson insisted he is not naive about cycling's murky past.

    "Let's not beat about the bush. We know there's been problems in cycling and other in other sports," he said. "My record shows I don't shirk from responsibility and won't do [so] in the future. I'm confident cycling can heal the wounds it has inflicted on itself. I'm looking forward to that task."

    He also urged McQuaid to speak about his involvement in the past.

    "I'd urge Pat and anyone else to co-operate in any investigation and I'm sure he will want to do that. I want to thank Pat on his contribution to the sport. We may have fallen out in recent weeks but he's contributed a lot."

    Cookson insisted that the support he has had from Russian oligarch and president of the Russian Cycling Federation Igor Makarov will not sway his stance on any matter,...

  • Gadret signs deal with Movistar for 2014

    John Gadret covered head to toe in mud.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 21:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Leaves AG2R La Mondiale for Spain

    John Gadret signed a one-year contract with the Spanish Movistar team, bringing an end to his eight-year stint with the AG2R La Mondiale team.

    In press release from the Spanish team, Gadret’s new team stated that their news signing was “reinforcing the Blues' potential in the mountains, the terrain suiting him best and where he's offered his best performances.”

    Now 34, Gadret finished a surprise third overall in the 2011 Giro d’Italia, a race in which he also won a stage. He finished 11th a year later and claimed 22nd place in this year’s Tour de France.

    Gadret become Movistar’s fifth confirmed signing after Alex Marque, Jasha Sütterlin, Gorka Izagirre and Adriano Malori.

  • Vos feeling good ahead of world championship defense

    Marianne Vos (Rabo Women) during the podium ceremony
    Article published:
    September 27, 2013, 22:01 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Strong Dutch team to challenge in Italy

    In 2006, when Marianne Vos claimed her first elite women's world road race title, she was fresh out of the junior ranks, but after five consecutive second place finishes, the defending champion is neither ready nor willing to let the rainbow jersey slip from her grasp again.

    Vos and her powerhouse Dutch team will line up on Saturday at the road Worlds in Florence with the sole intent of bringing home the gold. "Even if I have already 10 world championship titles, I'm still excited about this one," Vos told Cyclingnews. "It's always great to do Worlds, and especially since it's in Florence. Even if I've done so many world championships before, I am still excited and a little nervous."

    Vos has had a different kind of season: after winning the gold medal at the London Olympic Games and taking her triumphant victory at the Worlds in her home country, she first turned her focus to the cyclo-cross Worlds, which she won for the sixth time, and then dabbled in mountain biking before dominating the World Cup for her fifth overall win.

    Although her 2013 has featured less in the way of stage race wins, she's been nearly unbeatable in one-day events. Vos's preparation ahead of the Worlds included victories in the final two World Cups of the year in Sweden and France.

    "It's been really good, the last two World Cups of the season were good and then I had a little rest to be fresh here," she said. "I did [Premondiale Giro] Toscana and I felt good, but then there were some issues with the security." Several teams including hers left the race when road closures were not enforced to their satisfaction. Vos had been leading the race until her departure and said, "Until then I felt good. I had a good race, so it was good for the confidence."

    Vos has left nothing to chance in her bid for a repeat victory. They Dutch team...

  • Crelan-Euphony ending due to financial reasons

    Landbouwkrediet became Crelan on January 1
    Article published:
    September 28, 2013, 0:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Sponsors to continue for 'cross world champion Nys

    Crelan-Euphony will disappear from the profesional road peloton, as the team manager today announced the end of the team. However, Crelan-Euphony will continue as personal sponsor for cyclo-cross riders Sven Nys and Sven Vanthourenhout.

    “Due to a lack of financial guarantee, we will not go on in 2014, sad news for all of us,” the team tweeted this morning.

    “Yes it's true! Yes, it's sad! Yes, we did everything we could! Yes, this is the reality of sport business! No, the show can not always go on,” tweeted sports director Jonathan Bulens.

    After “long weeks” of work, “it is impossible to respect the administrative deadlines foreseen by the UCI regulations for a professional continental team,” team manager Gerard Bulens said on the team's website.

    "A number of administrative obligations could not be met for September 30 and therefore, the refusal of  registration would put both riders and staff in difficulty. Even if we would be able to meet these administrative obligations in a few weeks, I have had enough after 25 years managing a team of professional riders and not wanting to take any financial risk, I decided on no team for 2014.”

    While bemoaning the loss of the team,  Nys tweeted that he is not really affected. “Don't panic, people. Together with @svnvth (Vanthourenhout), we will form a team under the leadership of @janverst1978 (Jan Verstraeten).”

    The team started out as Saxon in 1992. In 1995, Tönnisteiner took over as main sponsor, to be replaced by Landbouwkrediet in 2001. It became Crelan-Euphony this year.

    The team had only three wins this season. Two came from Sebastien Delfosse at Rund un Köln and the Circuit de Wallonie.  It's biggest success over the years came in 2003, when...

  • Bakelants signs for Omega Pharma-QuickStep

    Jan Bakelants (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    September 28, 2013, 9:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian leaves RadioShack for one-year deal with Lefevere's team

    Jan Bakelants has announced that he will ride for Omega Pharma-QuickStep next season after spending the past two years at RadioShack. The Belgian had previously reached a verbal agreement to join the proposed new team backed by Fernando Alonso, but Bakelants was left without a contract for 2014 when the Formula 1 driver’s negotiations to take rescue Euskaltel-Euskadi failed last week.

    “I have a team for next year. From January 1, I will wear the jersey of Omega Pharma-QuickStep,” Bakelants wrote in a column in Gazet van Antwerpen. “It’s an enormous relief. I wanted to have my future sorted before the world championships.”

    Bakelants is part of Belgium’s seven-man team for the Worlds and he demonstrated his condition with victory at the GP de Wallonie last week. The 27-year-old has enjoyed the best form of his career in a recent purple patch that included stage victory and a spell in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France.

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere had made no secret of his desire to sign either Bakelants or Thomas De Gendt of the soon-to-be defunct Vacansoleil team to complete his roster for 2014, and he moved swiftly to conclude a deal this week. Bakelants has signed a one-year deal with Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

    “I really wanted to join Patrick Lefevere’s team and he really wanted me,” Bakelants said. “With a man of that calibre, negotiations didn’t take long and we quickly reached an agreement. I’ve signed for a year and I feel like I’ve come home.”

    Bakelants said that he had yet to discuss his precise role at Omega Pharma-QuickStep, but...