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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, January 13, 2013

Date published:
January 13, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: Argos Shimano hit the gym ahead of team presentation

    Marcel Kittel and Albert Timmer (Argos Shimano)
    Article published:
    January 12, 2013, 17:35 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch WorldTour team strives for credible cycling

    Argos Shimano presented their men’s and women’s team at Altea Hills, Spain, on Friday and celebrated their new four-year WorldTour licence in the process. The team narrowly missed out on the status for 2012, but after a stellar season they were granted a place with cycling’s elite team.

    At the team presentation, general manager, Iwan Spekenbrink said that the team would strive for success in 2013 but not abandon the core values that had underpinned their philosophy so far. "A core part of Team Argos Shimano’s policy is to work from a modern and credible top-class sports environment based on the 1t4i guidelines (team spirit – inspiration – integrity – improvement – innovation)."

    “Innovation at every possible level is central both to the intensive and comprehensive coaching of the individual cyclists, male and female, and to developing the team into a strong collective.”

    Spekenbrink added that the team would strive to added credibility to a sport that was rocked by drug confessions and stories after USADA’s reasoned decision relating to Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team.

    2013 Argos Shimano Team line-ups


    Men: Warren Barguil, Thomas Damuseau, Yann Huguet, Thierry Hupond, Matthieu Sprick (Fra), Nikias Arndt, John Degenkolb, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Patrick Gretsch, Marcel Kittel (Ger), Roy Curvers, Tom Dumoulin, Koen de Kort, Ramon Sinkeldam, Tom Stamsnijder, Albert Timmer, Tom Veelers (Ned), Tobias Ludvigsson, Jonas Ahlstrand (Swe), Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA), Luka Mezgec (Slo), Tom Peterson (USA), Cheng Ji (Chn), François Parisien (Can), Bert de Backer (Bel), Georg Preidler (Aut), Will Clarke (Aus).


    Women: Charlotte Becker, Elke Gebhardt, Marlen Jöhrend (Ger), Janneke Busser, Willeke Knol, Kelly Markus, Amy Pieters, Esra Tromp, Kirsten...

  • Liège-Bastogne-Liège still the focus for world champion Gilbert

    Philippe Gilbert at the 2013 BMC team presentation.
    Article published:
    January 12, 2013, 18:49 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian builds season around Ardennes Classics

    Philippe Gilbert may have conquered the world in 2012, but the BMC rider’s thoughts turn once again to local battles as he faces into the new campaign. Born and raised in Remouchamps, a stone’s throw from the route of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the Ardennes Classics have always been the centrepiece of his year and his raison d’être through the winter months, a fact that not even the rainbow jersey on his back can change.

    “It’s always the same week for me, always the Ardennes, always the third week of April,” Gilbert said when asked about his objectives for 2013 at the BMC team presentation in Nazareth, Belgium on Friday.

    Such was the alarming facility with which Gilbert reeled off wins at Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège in April 2011, many began to speculate that the Belgian could land victory in all five monument classics before the end of his career. While Gilbert will again line up among the favourites at Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders, however, he was adamant that his principal focus would be on regaining command of his fiefdom in the Ardennes.

    “I will start Milan-San Remo with ambition but we will be maybe 15 potential winners at the start, so it’s harder to win this race,” Gilbert said, explaining that raw power usually wins out on the stiff slopes of the Ardennes, whereas chance plays a greater role on the Riviera. “At Liège, if you’re on the top level, it’s maybe two or three guys who can win, but at San Remo, it’s a lot of guys.

    “To win San Remo, you need good timing and a bit of luck also; a good feeling but also the right reaction from the other riders behind, like we saw with Simon Gerrans when he won. It was perfect.”

    Gilbert’s eagerness to return to repeat his 2011 Liège triumph is perhaps underpinned by two motivating factors. Firstly, a...

  • 10 questions Walsh would ask Lance Armstrong

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    Article published:
    January 12, 2013, 20:44 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sunday Times' open letter to Oprah Winfrey

    The Sunday Times has taken the bold move of placing an open letter in the Chicago Tribune in which they pose 10 questions Oprah Winfrey should ask Lance Armstrong. The former pro rider is set to record an interview with Winfrey on Tuesday, due to be aired on the Thursday evening. It will be Armstrong's first interview since he was stripped of his seven Tour wins by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    It's unclear whether Armstrong will confess to doping and accept USADA's reasoned decision. Sources have said that the American will offer a partial confession, while American's lawyers have denied the suggestions. 

    Armstrong was not the only rider to be sanctioned by USADA. A number of ex-teammates testified against Armstrong, some of whom were offered six-month bans in comparison to Armstrong's life time sanction. USADA argued that Armstrong and his US Postal team ran "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen".

    Regardless, the Sunday Times are in the process of trying to regain $1.5m in damages lost to Armstrong in a case dating back to 2006, when Armstrong successfully sued them.

    In the open letter paid for by The Sunday Times, David Walsh lays out 10 questions which he suggests Winfrey should ask.

    1. Did you tell doctors at the Indiana University Hospital on October 27, 1996 that you had taken EPO, human growth hormone, cortisone, steroids and testosterone?

    2. After returning from cancer, how did you justify putting banned drugs in your body?

    3. Did you have any sympathy for those rivals determined to race clean?

    4. Do you regret how you treated Betsy Andreu, your former masseuse Emma O'Reilly and Greg LeMond?

    5. Do you...

  • Former US pro Swindlehurst to direct domestic team

    Burke Swindlehurst climbs to Snowbird in stage four of the 2009 Tour of Utah.
    Article published:
    January 12, 2013, 21:55 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Worked at Champion System in 2012

    Former US pro rider Burke Swindlehurst will direct the Hagens Berman domestic elite amateur team for the 2013 season, the Pacific Northwest-based squad announced this week.

    The latest job is one of several ways the former Continental pro, who retired from Bissell Pro Cycling after the 2009 season, is staying connected with cycling and the pro peloton. Swindlehurst also promotes the Crusher in the Tushar, a 70-mile trek over the dirt and gravel roads of Utah's Tushar Mountain Range. That non-sanctioned race has drawn top road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross pros – along with a hardy share of amateur and recreational riders – while growing steadily since Swindlehurst dreamed up the event in 2010.

    Swindlehurst has worked as a course consultant for races and as a part-time director with the Champion System UCI Pro Continental team when the Chinese-registered squad races in the United States.

    “Once you retire from professional cycling, people definitely come to you and say, 'Hey, would you be interested in doing this or that?' And I was certainly presented with a lot of unique and interesting opportunities,” Swindlehurst said. “But you kind of have to sit down and decide which one is going to resonate best and be the right fit for you. And for me, working with cycling teams is a pretty natural fit in terms of having the knowledge base and the experience.”

    After leaving Bissell in 2009, Swindlehurst rode the 2010 season solo with his own collection of sponsors, but by 2011 he was out of racing completely and was beginning to forge his post-racing career. Aside from organizing his Utah race, he helped out with the Jamis-Sutter Home team early last year and picked up another gig helping Ed Beamon and Chris Wherry with the Champion System team at the big UCI stage races in Utah and Colorado.

    When Hagens Berman called up in September looking to replace previous director Joe Holmes, the job seemed...

  • Champion System Pro Cycling Team launches 2013 squad

    China's Gang Xu is one of five national champions on the 2013 roster for the Champion System Pro Cycling Team.
    Article published:
    January 13, 2013, 3:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team features five national champions from five different countries

    The Champion System Pro Cycling Team got its 2013 season underway Friday with a team launch that featured a number of dignitaries from the Los Angeles Asian community, other invited guests and a host of media at the Home Depot Center in Carson, California.

    The professional continental team recently announced it had been invited to race against the WorldTour squads at the Tours of Oman and Qatar in February.

    A 22-rider roster was revealed, featuring five current national champions from Canada, China, Ireland, Japan and South Korea. In all, the second-year squad has riders from 14 different countries, making it one of the most international-flavored teams in professional cycling.

    "In our inaugural season last year, we accomplished our goal of making the dream of having the first Asian-based pro cycling team a reality," Champion System General Manager Ed Beamon said. "Our 2013 team is more mature and we have raised the bar in terms of our expectations of the riders and our goals. Each rider has been hand-picked not only for his ability to perform on the bike, but also for his ability to adapt to our multi-cultural roster."

    The national champions on the team are Ryan Roth (Canada, road); Chan Jae Jang (South Korea, road); Ryota Nishizono (Japan, time trial); Matt Brammeier (Ireland, road); and Gang Xu (China, road).

    Scott Kaylin, one of the founders of Champion System, said the Chinese-registered team will certainly build on a successful inaugural season that saw it win five races as it competed on several continents.

    "Our passion for cycling is what started Champion System and that same passion led to the creation of the Champion System Pro Cycling Team,"...

  • Van Garderen looks forward to free role at Tour de France

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    January 13, 2013, 9:26 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    American to begin season at Tour de San Luis

    Tejay van Garderen is set to reprise his role as second in command to Cadel Evans on the BMC team at the 2013 Tour de France but the American does not believe that riding in support of the Australian will necessarily prove detrimental to his own ambitions in July.

    Van Garderen finished the 2012 Tour two places ahead of Evans in 5th, prompting speculation that there might be a generational shift in the BMC hierarchy for the coming season. At the BMC team presentation in Nazareth, Belgium, however, van Garderen calmly debunked talk of a leadership contest as he talked reporters through his status on BMC’s Tour squad.

    “He’s the leader for sure,” van Garderen said of Evans. “I think I’ll be given a bit of a free role to ride my own race. If Cadel’s the leader at the Tour, that doesn’t mean that I’m not allowed to get a result. If he’s the leader at the Tour, I can help him out, but that doesn’t mean that once the finish line comes, I have to hit my brakes and lose five minutes before I cross the line. If I’m going to be up there in the mountains, even if I’m helping him, I’m still going to be up there.”

    Asked if working for Evans at the Tour would prevent him from riding his own race, van Garderen looked to put his performance last July in perspective, pointing out that although he won the white jersey, he ultimately finished over 11 minutes down on winner Bradley Wiggins and was never in a position to do anything other than follow the wheels in the lead group.

    “Well, what is ‘my own...

  • Gallery: Nibali and Fuglsang time trial testing with Specialized

    Vincenzo Nibali poses in front of a Specialized S-Works bike
    Article published:
    January 13, 2013, 11:59 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Specialized Performance Program uses telemetry testing

    Vincenzo Nibali and Jakob Fuglsang spent Friday and Saturday working on their time trial bike positions with technicians from new bike sponsor Specialized, as they looks to save every possible second, and so limit their losses in races against the clock.

    Specialized has developed an in-house Performance Program team of experts to help riders from the Astana, Saxo-Tinkoff, Omega Pharma- Quick Step and women's Specialized-Lululemon teams.

    The US bike company spends millions sponsoring the likes of Alberto Contador, Mark Cavendish and Nibali but is also investing over a hundred thousand dollars to help improve their riders' performance.

    Specialized believes that as professional cyclist evolves and the relationship between a rider and their bike becomes more complex and important, the role of a bike sponsor is changing from that of a simple bike supplier to that of a performance supplier.

    Nibali and Fuglsang underwent Body Geometry fit sessions at the Italian Specialized headquarters in Milan on Friday, testing several variations of their time trial positions. On Saturday they validated the same positions using a specially fitted telemetry system developed with the help of former F1 pilot Jarno Trulli, F1 engineer Gianni Sala and Moto GP specialist Matteo Flamigni, who works with Valentino Rossi.
    and other Surprisingly it was the first time Nibali rode the Specialized Shiv time trial bike.

    On the advice of Body Geometry Fit manager Sean Madsen, who was flown in from the USA, both Nibali and Fuglsang raised their aero bars to give them the shoulder flexibility to be able to drop their heads lower. Nibali's aero bars were also shortened to move him back on the bike and help him use his powerful quadricep muscles more and his hamstring and calves less. However on the track, Nibali struggled to...

  • Ekimov: Rodríguez cannot leave Katusha until CAS decision

    Katusha manager Viatcheslav Ekimov with Joaquim Rodriguez.
    Article published:
    January 13, 2013, 13:18 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian will try to convince Purito to stay

    Viatcheslav Ekimov has said that Katusha’s top rider Joaquim Rodriguez cannot leave the team until CAS resolves the situation, and that the Russian squad will do their utmost to “convince Purito he should remain with the squad.”

    The former Russian pro told Cyclingnews that Rodríguez “cannot leave until CAS make a decision, because his contract clearly states he may only do that if we don’t have a licence. It looks like the [UCI] licence commission’s word is not the final word. So in this period he cannot leave.”

    “We try to do our best to convince Purito not to leave and we’re just waiting for the CAS decision.”

    Ekimov described their exclusion from the WorldTour “as a big blow for the team, that’s definitely true. I don’t know what the real purpose is, but it’s definitely not the points mentioned in the [published UCI commission] decision.”

    “We are not struggling, we’re doing well, we’re getting in contact with the race organisers and these things go well. We didn’t pull out the Giro wildcard, but we still have other RCS races” - Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan - San Remo and Il Lombardia - “and we appreciate those invitations. So whatever problems we face, we’re going to take things calmly.”

    “I read the same news that you guys are reading and I talk to Purito and he said, ‘yes I’m going to wait.’”

    Whilst describing the team as in a limbo situation regarding the top ranked UCI rider, Ekimov said “we’ll start the season and once the decision is made, it’s made. For now we’re just moving forward.”

    Rodríguez himself told reporters at the Vuelta a España presentation that he is simply “waiting for CAS to issue...