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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, December 8, 2013

Date published:
December 08, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Meares breaks 500 metre time trial world record in Mexico

    Heading towards the Olympics Anna Meares was looking strong at the Australian Track Championships in Adelaide.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2013, 16:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pervis sets new flying 200 metres mark at Track World Cup

    Anna Meares became the first woman to break the 33-second barrier in the 500 metre time trial when she set a new world record en route to victory in the event at the UCI Track World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico on Friday.

    The Australian scorched around the two laps of the track in a time of 32.836 seconds, which was enough to give her a comfortable victory in the event and saw her better her own record of 33.010, established at the world championships in Melbourne last year.

    “I just wanted it, I wanted it really badly,” said Meares, who has regularly set the benchmark for the discipline over the course of her career. In winning gold at the Athens Olympics in 2004, for instance, the then 20-year-old Meares became the first woman to ride a sub-34 second 500 metre time trial

    “It’s a huge milestone,” Meares said of her latest record, set at altitude in Mexico. “Not just for me, but for the sport. I knew that was going to be possible on this track because of the altitude, especially considering how close I got to that time at the Worlds in Melbourne in 2012.

    “But I still appreciated it was going to be a hell of an effort, and I just had to make sure I got all of my technique right and do everything I could.”

    Meares sat out last year’s World Cup after claiming gold in the individual sprint at the London 2012 Olympics, but the Australian was glad to be back in the winning habit in Mexico.

    “It was very nerve racking because I appreciate the quality of the other women,” Meares said. “Obviously world champion Wai Sze Lee was very capable of riding a sub 33 time but it was hard to estimate what sort of times the others would post.”

    In the event, it was Germany’s Miriam Welte who posted the second best time, 33.062, with Lee taking third place in...

  • Danish time trial champion Vandborg announces retirement

    Brian Vandborg (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    December 07, 2013, 18:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spent final season at Cannondale

    Brian Vandborg has announced his retirement from professional cycling after failing to secure a contract for the 2014 season. The 32-year-old raced for Cannondale this season, winning his second Danish time trial championship in June.

    “I would have liked to have ridden on for another year or two but the spark is not really there at the moment and eventually I felt like I’d had my time,” Vandborg told

    Vandborg turned professional with Team CSC in 2004 and remained for three years during his first stint at Bjarne Riis’ team. After taking 4th place in the time trial at the 2006 Worlds, Vandborg moved on to Discovery Channel, but he then had to step down a level following the disbandment of the American team at the end of 2007.

    Following a year with Team GLS, Vandborg made his way back to ProTour level in 2009 when he signed for Liquigas, where he stayed for two years before rejoining Riis at Saxo Bank for the 2011 campaign. After spending 2012 with SpiderTech-C10, Vandborg returned to the old Liquigas set-up, now known as Cannondale, at the start of this season.

    Vandborg helped teammate Peter Sagan claim a second successive green jersey at the Tour de France and then finished his year on a solid note as part of Cannondale's 7th place result in the team time trial at the world championships in Florence. However, Cannondale opted not to renew Vandborg’s contract and with a number of teams disbanding at the end of the 2013 season, places at WorldTour level were at a premium for next season.

    Vandborg has refused to rule out the possibility of lining up to...

  • Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes announces 2014 roster

    Kevin Mullervy (Champion System p/b Stan's NoTubes) won the 2013 Athens Twilight criterium and will return with the team for 2014 when it debuts in the professional ranks as a Continental squad.
    Article published:
    December 07, 2013, 20:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    New US Continental squad to focus on criteriums

    Champions System p/b Stan's NoTubes, one of four new Continental squads in the United States for 2014, has announced its full roster and aspirations for the upcoming season. The New York-based squad, founded two years ago as a development team, has specialized in criterium racing and will make the jump to the professional ranks with the intent to focus on the National Criterium Calendar (NCC) and USA Crits. Additionally, the team intends to contest several one-day races on the National Racing Calendar (NRC) as well as seek out international race opportunities.

    "We are very honored and excited at the opportunity to step up to the UCI level for 2014," said Igor Volshteyn, one of the team's owners. "Champion System and Stan's NoTubes are two of the most innovative companies in the cycling industry, so to have them as partners truly elevates our program."

    "We have carefully selected a roster for next year that we are confident will deliver the results our sponsors seek and establish us as one of the leading criterium teams in the US," added Mitchell Jacaruso, also one of the team's owners.

    One of the riders the team will look to in 2014 is Isaac Howe, who arrives at the team after spending 2013 with SmartStop-Mountain Khakis. "It was apparent on the team's inception that it had to potential to become a really strong force in the US cycling scene, not just because of the riders wearing the jerseys but also because of the people who are backing the team," said Howe, the 2010 USA Crits overall winner and fourth place finisher at the 2011 US pro criterium championship.

    During its first year in 2012, the team finished 3rd overall at USA Crits, achieved a podium at USA National Championships and had numerous regional wins. In 2013 the team took a large step forwards, achieving numerous UCI/NRC podiums (Redlands, Tour of the Gila and Tour de Beauce) and a win at

  • Specialized pressures Canadian bike shop to change name

    Roubaix is a line of bicycle in Specialized's line and the company has recently taken legal action to protect its trademark of the word "Roubaix"
    Article published:
    December 07, 2013, 22:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    US bicycle company pursues trademark violation of "Roubaix"

    A small bike shop in Cochrane, Alberta, Canada has recently been threatened with legal action by US bicycle manufacturer Specialized regarding a trademark violation concerning the shop's name. The Calgary Herald reported today that Dan Richter, owner of the Cafe Roubaix Bicycle Studio, received a letter from lawyers representing Specialized demanding he change his business's name because the bicycle company owns the trademark of the word "Roubaix", a model of bicycle in the company's line.

    Richter, a military veteran medically released from service in 2012 after developing PTSD during deployment in Kandahar, Afghanistan, opened his shop on March 1, 2013 and asserts the shop's name is an homage to Roubaix, France, the city which hosts the finish of the iconic Paris-Roubaix road race.

    "I had assumed I could not register Roubaix as a trademark as it is a geographical location well known in cycling, not to mention the wide-spread use of the term Roubaix throughout the industry," said Richter in a press release. "I thought I could freely use Roubaix. To be informed I cannot use the name is devastating. I invested my life savings, military severance pay, as well as all my Veteran's Affairs award for my illness into Café Roubaix."

    Specialized claims this is matter of defending a legally owned trademark. Larry Koury, managing director of Specialized Canada Inc. told the Calgary Herald that, "A simple trademark search would have prevented this. We are required to defend or lose our trademark registration." Koury cited Specialized's registration of the word "Roubaix" in Canada's federal government trademark database.

    Richter has sought legal assistance in determining whether Roubaix can be registered in Canada. However, he estimates it will take upwards of...

  • Alonso has no regrets about collapse of Euskaltel talks

    Formula 1 star Fernando Alonso was on hand at the start of the elite men's world championship race
    Article published:
    December 08, 2013, 11:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Formula 1's new team will arrive in 2015

    Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso has said that he has no regrets about the collapse of his negotiations to buy the Euskaltel-Euskadi team last September, explaining that he is happier to plan for the launch of a new team from scratch in 2015.

    “I don’t know if it’s more exciting to build a team than to buy one but one thing is sure – it’s certainly more work,” Alonso told L’Équipe. “When the negotiations with Euskaltel collapsed at the last moment, I was sad at the idea of not being in the peloton in 2014.

    “But on the other hand, if a deal had been done, we wouldn’t have been at a good level of competition next year. We were already at the end of September and it would have been too late to do what we’re trying to create now. So, right now, I’m rather happy.”

    Alonso’s objective is to put together a team that will enter the peloton at WorldTour level in 2015. Even before his recruitment drive begins in earnest, the Spaniard has already been linked with a number of high-profile riders, including Peter Sagan, Joaquim Rodriguez and Alberto Contador, although the latter two have existing contracts through to the end of 2015.

    “Alberto Contador still has at least two years on his contract: we have to look at the riders who will be free from the end of 2014. The list isn’t enormous, but we’re already speaking with some riders,” said Alonso. “What division will we be able to ride in next year as a 100 percent new team? It’s not clear yet but it doesn’t matter, we’ll adapt. The main thing is to be the best team.”

    Ever since news of the project first broke, Alonso has spoken repeatedly of his desire to marry aspects...

  • Betancur eyes Tour de France debut in 2014

    Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) is building towards the world championships.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2013, 12:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Colombian to start season at Tour de San Luis

    After impressing at this year's Giro d'Italia, Carlos Betancur is set to make his Tour de France debut in 2014. The punchy Colombian finished 5th overall and won the white jersey of best young rider at the Giro and is now keen to make his mark on the grandest stage of all.

    "There's no doubt that I want to try the Tour de France. I know what it's like to ride the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España, but I''m missing the Tour," Betancur told Revista Mundo Ciclistico. "I want to know how this race suits me, and God willing, I'll ride my first Tour next year."

    Speaking to Cyclingnews following the route presentation in October, Ag2r-La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu acknowledged that it was a good Tour parcours for Betancur, who is likely to lead the team there while Domenico Pozzovivo returns to the Giro. The Tour features a number of undulating stages before entering the mountains in earnest and, on the evidence of the 2013 Giro, such days could well see the explosive Betancur to the fore.

    "I've already spoken to the team and told them that I want to ride the Tour, that it's a motivation for me," Betancur said. "They've said yes, and next week at the training camp we'll define my programme for next year. But as it stands, I'll be going to the Tour in 2014."

    Betancur is likely to begin his season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January, and will look for a peak of form in April when he tackles the Tour of the Basque Country, the Ardennes Classics and Tour de Romandie.

    The 24-year-old Betancur is part of an...

  • 2013 report card: Astana Pro Team

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2013, 18:20 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Nibali leads the line as Fuglsang and Kangert impress

    Astana Pro Team
    WorldTour Ranking: 5th
    Win Count: 15
    Top riders: Vincenzo Nibali (5th); Jakob Fuglsang (30th); Tanel Kangert (44th)
    Grade: B+

    2013 was a very good year for Vincenzo Nibali, and as a consequence it was a good one for Astana, who built the team around him following his switch from Liquigas last winter. The Sicilian duly lived up to his marquee billing and papered over some weaknesses elsewhere on the team with a season headlined by Giro d’Italia victory and punctuated by consistently strong performances throughout the campaign.

    The early auguries were good for Nibali, as he repeated his 2012 victory at Tirreno-Adriatico, this time against arguably the strongest field in any stage race last season outside of the Tour de France. Undeterred by Chris Froome and Sky’s early dominance, Nibali turned the race on its head with a daring showing on a gripping day in the rain at Chieti.

    Nibali signalled his Giro intentions by beating Bradley Wiggins at the Giro del Trentino, and by making an aggressive start to the corsa rosa and then time trialling his way into pink. Once he had broken Wiggins in week two, Nibali’s victory became something of a formality, and he finished with a flourish, claiming stage wins at Polsa and Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

    After skipping the Tour, Nibali returned to duty at the Vuelta a España, and although well short of his Giro best, it took a most surprising display from 42-year-old Chris Horner to deny him the win. Nibali endured another near miss at the world championships on home roads in Florence, where Alejandro Valverde’s tight marking consigned him to a...

  • Trek Factory Racing announces Tour Down Under roster

    Jens Voigt (Radioshack) goes on the attack.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2013, 21:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Voigt kicks off final season with 11th appearance

    The new-look Trek Factory Racing team as announced their roster for the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under with crowd favourite Jens Voigt making his 11th appearance as he begins the final season of his lengthy professional career. Voigt's teammate Fränk Schleck will make his Tour Down Under debut while 20-year-old Australian Calvin Watson kicks off his first race at the WorldTour level on home soil at the event taking place January 19-26 in and around Adelaide, Australia.

    Race director Mike Turtur expects a strong performance from the team.

    "With Jens's wealth of experience and reputation for attacking and Fränk's climbing abilities, the crowds can expect some fantastic racing action," Turtur said. "After a decade of racing here in Adelaide Jens is an icon of the Santos Tour Down Under and is always a favourite with cycling fans.

    "His team won the team competition in 2012 and 2013 and they will be looking to defend their title next year."

    Voigt's contribution to the Santos Tour Down Under will be recognised when he is honoured at the Legends' Night Dinner on January 25 at the Adelaide Convention Centre alongside British cycling star Sir Chris Hoy.

    "(The) Tour Down Under has almost become like a ritual for me," said Voigt. "Adelaide was the starting point of every season in the recent past. As it looks like 2014 will be my last season, it's going to be extra special.

    "I'll start my ‘farewell tour' at the TDU. I'm really looking forward to racing there again and meeting with the fans in Australia, who are all very enthusiastic about cycling."

    Trek Factory Racing roster for 2014 Santos Tour Down Under:
    Laurent Didier (Lux), Fabio Felline (Ita), Fränk Schleck (Lux), Boy Van Poppel (Ned),...