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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, March 3, 2013

Date published:
March 03, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Van Garderen seeks first stage race win at Paris-Nice

    Tejay van Garderen was the best young rider in the Tour de France in 2012
    Article published:
    March 02, 2013, 20:55 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    American on Tour build-up, Evans and Sky

    Tejay van Garderen’s season is designed with Paris in mind and he makes an early visit to the City of Light this weekend for the start of Paris-Nice, one of his key intermediate steps en route to the Tour de France. 5th overall in Paris-Nice last year, van Garderen carries the mantle of pre-race favourite this time around, but the American bears the burden lightly and insisted that he was just one of a number of riders with serious designs on final victory.

    “I don’t see it that way, that I’m the main favourite,” van Garderen told Cyclingnews at BMC’s hotel in the sleepy Parisian suburb of Montesson, ten miles from the Champs-Élysées and an even greater remove from the hubbub of the Tour in July. “There are five or six guys off the top of my head who are favourites for this race: I think we’re all on the same level and I wouldn’t put one over the other.”

    Among the names van Garderen cites are fellow countryman Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp), Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM), Richie Porte (Sky) and Robert Gesink (Blanco), although he is acutely aware that the list of contenders could look very different after the opening road stage.

    “Every day was a selection last year; we had echelons on the first day,” van Garderen recalled. “Twenty guys went away and if you weren’t in that group, you were out of the race already. This year we’ve got the Montagne de Lure as well and the Col d’Éze time trial again, but there are some pretty hard, hilly stages in between all of that too. There isn’t a single stage where you can sit back and relax.

    “Obviously the Col d’Éze might be my best opportunity to win the race but if...

  • ASADA investigation into Australian cycling still pending

    Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority
    Article published:
    March 02, 2013, 22:00 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Hodge and White stand alone

    Despite participants of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation into cycling being told that a report was due for release at the end of January, the government body cannot commit to a date for its findings.

    ASADA's investigation was launched in October 2012 in response to the fallout from that of its United States counterpart, saying: "The 'Reasoned Decision' released by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) paints a disturbing picture of a highly sophisticated doping program in the sport of professional cycling."

    ASADA has been encouraging athletes to come forward and provide information for the investigation, offering 'substantial assistance' in-line with the World Anti-Doping Agency code.

    Asked by Cyclingnews how the report was progressing, ASADA offered the following response.

    "ASADA's cycling investigation is progressing," said a spokesperson. "ASADA is unable to discuss the ongoing investigation or operational matters associated with the investigation until such time as its legislation permits."

    The USADA report claimed the scalp of Australian Matt White, and his was dismissed from his role with Cycling Australia as men's professional road co-ordinator. He was also later dismissed by Orica-GreenEdge. The process of White's sacking led to retired rider Stephen Hodge resigning from the position as Cycling Australia's vice president.

  • Dennis enjoys his pro debut at Strade Bianche

    Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) enjoyed his time on the strade bianche
    Article published:
    March 02, 2013, 23:38 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Talented Australian gets a taste of the dirt roads

    Australia's Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) finished the Strade Bianche race with his legs hurting and his face covered in white dust but was happy to have finished his first race as a professional in Europe and his first race with Garmin-Sharp.

    The 22-year-old track pursuit and time trail specialist was forced to miss the Tour Down Under with a viral infection. He was scheduled to ride Paris-Nice but was switched to Garmin-Sharp's Italian race programme to boost the team's hopes of success in the opening team time trial at Tirreno-Adriatico.

    Strade Bianche was the antipasto of Dennis' professional career, the dirt roads an amuse-bouche of the pain he will get to taste during the rest of his career. Despite having little off-road skills, Dennis enjoyed his first mouthful of pro racing. He finished 48th in the official results, 6:51 behind winner Moreno Moser (Cannondale Pro Cycling Team).

    "It was a good experience and definitely different to racing with the amateurs," he told Cyclingnews at the hectic finish in the centre of Siena.

    "It was a tough race. Unfortunately after the long dirt section before the feed zone, there was a crash and I got caught behind it. That forced me to make a time trail kind of effort and it shattered me a bit. After that I was trying to help the team."

    Dennis admitted he had felt a little nervous before his professional debut. He is a former team pursuit world champion, was the best young rider at the 2012 Tour Down Under and won the International Thüringen Tour but any rider's professional debut is a special moment.

    "There were a few nerves but nothing too serious," he said. "I was not given an objective to be up there in the finish and was just told to go out and enjoy...

  • Weening takes aim at return to Giro d'Italia

     Pieter Weening (Orica- GreenEDGE) leads the race on the final climb
    Article published:
    March 03, 2013, 9:59 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Second overall in Langkawi ahead of spring campaign

    Returning to Europe with second-overall at Le Tour de Langkawi has reassured Pieter Weening of his early season form and left him confident ahead of a targeted return to the Giro d'Italia. Weening has fond memories of the Giro, most recently donning the maglia rosa in 2011 after a solo escape to Orvieto along the roads of the strade bianche. It may be too early to call but his sortie in Langkawi suggests he may be on track for another successful grand tour experience.

    Orica GreenEdge failed to win a stage in Langkawi, in what was the team's debut appearance however, Weening was pleased with his physical condition and proved to be one of the strongest climbers in the race. He attacked in the final kilometres of Genting Highlands with eventual race winner Julián Arredondo (Team Nippo) the only rider to be able to follow the Dutchman.

    While unable to get off the mark in Malaysia the entire team demonstrated its intentions to animate the race with Travis Meyer's relentless breakaways, Aidis Kruopis numerous podium places in the bunch sprints with Allan Davis even stepping onto the podium on the penultimate stage - after he received a late call-up to the 10-day race and Kruopis was forced out due to injury. In all, the team can be pleased with its showing with Weening now eyeing a full assault on the first grand tour of the year.

    "My shape here was, the last nine days were very good," Weening told Cyclingnews. "I'm happy with that, it's only...

  • Incomprehensible that not all WorldTour teams are in MPCC, says Legeay

    French TV sports anchorman Gerard Holz, former professional rider Roger Legeay and Stephane Sarrazin.
    Article published:
    March 03, 2013, 11:06 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Managers have the power to end doping

    MPCC president Roger Legeay has lauded the expansion of the Movement for Credible Cycling in recent months and said that it was “almost incomprehensible” that all WorldTour teams have not yet signed up as members.

    Membership of the MPCC has risen dramatically since last season, aided in no small part by Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme’s championing of the movement during his speech at the Tour presentation in October, when he announced that MPCC members would be given priority for wildcard invitations.

    The MPCC was made up of seven teams last year (as it was on its foundation in 2007), but now counts some 38 members, including eleven WorldTour teams. However, there are still eight high-profile absentees from its ranks – Saxo-Tinkoff, BMC, Sky, RadioShack-Leopard, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Movistar, Cannondale and Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

    Speaking at a press conference in Houilles on the eve of Paris-Nice, Legeay said that all WorldTour team managers had agreed in principle with the MPCC’s mission statement during a meeting in October and agreed to consider their position in the weeks that followed.

    “At the AIGCP meeting in October last year, all the managers agreed that the philosophy of the MPCC was good and that they would reflect on it for the winter. We have 38 teams now and it’s not up to me to ask why the others aren’t here,” said Legeay, who later appeared to allude to Team Sky’s absence from the movement: “I’m not going to cross the Channel and get down on my knees to convince them.”

    “Some of them said they would reflect on it but there is no news beyond that,” he continued. “Personally, I think it’s almost incomprehensible that everybody isn’t in the same movement. It’s nothing to do with the past, it’s about starting from today and we would be much stronger if everybody was here.”

  • Lappartient beats Tchmil to European Cycling Union Presidency

    David Lappartient is one of the three candidates
    Article published:
    March 03, 2013, 11:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman wins vote 34 to 12

    David Lappartient is the new President of the European Cycling Union (EUC) after he beat Andre Tchmil, president of the Moldavian Cycling Federation, in an election held today as part of the 2013 European Cycling Union's Congress. Lappartient, president of the French Cycling Federation, beat Tchmil by 34 votes to 12 in an election that took place in the National Olympic Centre of French Sport (CNOSF).

    Votes comprised of the 46 National Federations who were all in attendance in Paris. The UEC, a continental confederation that represents 48 different countries and organises the European championships,

    Lappartient was elected to the presidency of the French cycling federation in 2009.

  • Nocentini continues his run of results at Strade Bianche

    Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2R La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    March 03, 2013, 13:17 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian takes another third place for Ag2r-La Mondiale

    Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) continued his run of excellent early season results but yet again was forced to play the role of bridesmaid at the Strade Bianche race, taking third place behind the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team duo of Moreno Moser and Peter Sagan.

    The Tuscan rider was in the thick of the action at the Tour of Oman and finished third in the GP di Camaiore behind Sagan. His consistency has given the Ag2r-La Mondiale team an unusually solid start to the 2013 season. Nocentini wore the yellow jersey for eight days at the 2009 Tour de France but then missed most of 2010 season after fracturing his leg in a crash at the GP dell'Insubria in Italy.

    "It's a good moment for me. My form's good at the moment and this is my second third place in just three days. Unfortunately these young guns keep getting in my way…" he told Cyclingnews.

    "My career was almost over two years ago but I feel that it has helped me stay fresh and hungry even though I'm 36 now. I hope I've got several years left in my legs and that I can continue to pick up some good results and even win sometimes."

    Nocentini admitted there was little he could do against the combined tactics of Moser and Sagan but he promised he will return to next year's Strade Bianche race. He lives just 40km away, near Arezzo, but this year was his first taste of racing on the dirt roads

    "When Moser got away Sagan showed he's one of the strongest in the peloton by the way he controlled the attacks and then jumped away to get second. There wasn't much I or anyone else could do," he said.

    "It's the first time I've ridden Strade Bianche but it won't be the last. It's not an easy race but when you've got the form, it's great to be able to race on the dirt roads. I'll be back to have another crack at it next...

  • Rider killed in collision with car in British race

    Rapha Condor's Elliot Porter calls for the race to be stopped after a fatal collision
    Article published:
    March 03, 2013, 16:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Updated: Identity of rider lost at Severn Bridge road race released

    A local road race in Britain ended tragically on Sunday, as a rider died following a head-on crash with a moving vehicle.

    Officials have released the name of the rider: Junior Heffernan, 23, who rode for the Herbalife-Leisure Lakes.

    The Severn Bridge Road Race for E/123 riders, in South Gloucestershire, was to have been ten laps of a circuit course. However, after two laps the accident occurred. The rider had been at the front of the race. The details of the incident have yet to be officially announced, but witnesses stated the rider was passing the peloton and collided with the vehicle at high speed. It is not known if the vehicle was moving or stationary, or if passing was allowed on that section of the course.

    Elliot Porter and a Rapha Condor rider, who witnessed the race, called for the race to be stopped.

    The Severn Bridge Road Race is known as a well-organised event with solid support from police and paramedics.

    Cyclingnews will have more on this story as it unfolds.

    Cyclingnews extends its sympathy to the rider's family, friends, teammates and colleagues.