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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 10, 2013

Date published:
November 10, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • De Gendt to return to the Giro d’Italia in 2014

    Stage winner Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil - DCM)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 15:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    No Tour de France for new Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider

    Thomas De Gendt has revealed he will ride the Giro d’Italia in 2014, supporting expected team leader Rigoberto Uran. The Flemish rider confirmed he will miss the Tour de France, where the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team will be built around Mark Cavendish and Tony Martin.

    De Gendt was a late signing for Omega Pharma-Quick Step after a disastrous 2013 season. He finished third in the 2012 Giro d’Italia after an audacious attack on the Stelvio but flopped with Vacansoleil-DCM this year, winning just a stage at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya.

    “I know I can’t expect to be a team leader at Omega Pharma-Quick Step. I’ll be there to work for a leader and at the Giro d’Italia, that will probably be Rigoberto Uran. After the season I had, I can’t demand anything,” he told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

    “The Tour starts in Britain and so the team will be built around Mark Cavendish, he’ll have a lead out train, while riders like Tony Martin get to do their thing.

    “It’s not a problem for me to miss the Tour. I’m happy to go back to the Giro and rediscover the Gavia and the Stelvio. I’ve already studied the route and I like it.”

    De Gendt’s 2014 race programme will finalised at an Omega Pharma-Quick Step training camp in Calpe, Spain in December.

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere has hinted that Cavendish could miss the 2014 Giro d’Italia, despite winning five stages and the red points jersey this year, to ensure he is at his very best for the Tour de France.

    Cavendish will have Mark Renshaw and Alessandro Petacchi as lead out men in 2014,...

  • Nys set to use disk brakes in Sunday’s Superprestige race

    Sven Nys' new Colnago bike is about to be fitted with Shimano disc brakes
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 16:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Shimano prepare a new bike for the Belgian world champion

    World Cyclo-cross champion Sven Nys is set to use disc brakes in a major cyclo-cross race for the first time in his career after mechanics at Shimano fitted the brake system to a new Colnago Prestige frame.

    Nys confirmed the rumours by retweeting several messages about his new bike and disc brakes. He will compete in the third round of the Superprestige series in Hamme-Zogge on Sunday and then in the Jaarmarktcross race in Niel on Monday.

    The Belgian has apparently been testing disc brakes in training and has used them on a mountain bike. Dutch national champion Lars van der Haar won the opening round of this year’s cyclo-cross World Cup using disc brakes and professional riders are becoming more and more convinced the brakes offer an advantage over traditional cantilever brakes when conditions are especially muddy. Nys is already on form, winning his third race of the season in the sand at Zonhoven last Sunday.

    Nys's manager Jan Verstraeten reportedly travelled to the Shimano offices in the Netherlands on Thursday to collect Nys’ new bike.

    "My personal feeling is that disc brakes give an advantage in the mud," Verstraeten told Belgian newspaper Nieuwsblad.

    "Normal brakes are affected by the dirt but discs aren’t. The whole system weighs an extra pound. The braking tolerance factor isn’t a problem for Nys because he already has disc brakes on a mountain bike. Sven has also been testing them on a cyclo-cross bike.”

    Shimano has published a series of photographs on its Facebook page showing the build of the bike. The Japanese company recently launch its road disc brakes in Hawaii, following on from other component brands and frame manufacturers who have also developed disc brakes...

  • Hoste demands acquittal in bio passport case

    It's all in the eyes: Hoste steps into the ring
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 17:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian appears before disciplinary commission

    The long, drawn-out bio passport case of Leif Hoste is nearing its end point as the former rider appeared before the disciplinary commission of the Belgian federation this week, where he faces a nearly 300,000 euro fine in addition to the sporting suspension made somewhat moot by his retirement from the sport.

    Hoste was not renewed by Accent.Jobs-Wanty for 2013, and soon after announcing his retirement, he was placed under investigation by the UCI for irregular blood values.

    However, his attorneys Johnny Maeschalck and Kristof De Saedeleer insist that the analysis of his blood parameters was flawed.

    "Errors were made with the controls," Maeschalck said, according the "Thus they, like his blood passport, are invalid. This passport should not be used as direct evidence."

    Hoste's career peaked in the mid-2000s with a pair of second placed finishes in the Ronde van Vlaanderen, and the latter part of his career was hampered by back injuries. He bounced from Omega Pharma-Lotto to Katusha and then to Accent Jobs before finally retiring in December of 2012.

    The 36-year-old called the accusations "absurd", and said the UCI hadn't followed its own rules. "They can't just start accusing someone at random. Nothing else is possible except for my acquittal."

    A decision is expected in the case by the end of the year.

  • Howden named president of British Cycling

    Chris Hoy (Great Britain) with the British flag
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 20:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Acting chair takes on Cookson's role

    British Cycling announced today that Bob Howden has been elected as the organisation's president. Howden has been the acting chair since the previous president, Brian Cookson, was elected to govern the UCI in September.

    “I am delighted to have been elected as British Cycling’s President with a mandate to push on with ensuring that British Cycling is achieving its objectives," Howden said. "We will remain true to what has become our tradition: to succeed on the world stage and to inspire people to enjoy riding their bikes more often, be it for sport, recreation or transport.

    “Brian Cookson is a tough act to follow – especially when you look at the amazing roll call of successes that British Cycling has enjoyed under his leadership. We are certainly riding high and it’s now my job to ensure that we build on this. I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”

    Howden has a long history with British Cycling, having been a member for 43 years, and a board member for the past 13.

    “Bob Howden has a long history of working for the sport at all levels – from working as a volunteer and a Commissaire, to leading a Regional Board and sitting on various Commissions – he truly knows cycling inside out," British Cycling’s Chief Executive, Ian Drake, said. "There is no better person to build on the foundations Brian Cookson has laid for cycling in Great Britain.”

    Howden is intimately familiar with the racing scene, having raced for 24 years, and organised events including the Yorkshire Festival of Cycling, the National Men’s and Women’s Elite Road Race Championships in 2005, 2008 and 2012 in addition to the annual Ryedale Grand Prix Premier Calendar Road Race between 2005 and 2012. He is a national level road commissaire and has seved as chairs of the Regional Commission, the Commissaire and Referees Commission, and the Anti-Doping Commission,...

  • Drapac to ride Tour Down Under in 2014

    Adam Phelan (Drapac) has his game-face on
    Article published:
    November 09, 2013, 22:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    ProConti team make the cut

    Drapac Professional Cycling will compete in their first edition of the Tour Down Under in 2014. The Australian team received a Pro Continental licence earlier this month from the UCI, a decision that made them eligible for Australia’s single WorldTour event. The 2014 edition of the race takes place between January 19-26 and mixes teams form both the WorldTour and Pro Continental level.

    Team manager Jonathan Breekveldt said in a press statement: “It is fantastic to receive formal confirmation from the UCI that we will be granted a Professional Continental licence. This is only the beginning of the journey but it is the final step in enabling eligibility for a wildcard invitation to the Santos Tour Down Under.

    “We are grateful for the opportunity to compete in not only the biggest race on the Australian calendar but also the first, and our first, WorldTour event of the year.”

    Drapac have been busy in the off-season securing riders in the transfer market. Travis Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge), Will Clarke (Argos-Shimano) and Adam Phelan (Drapac/Jayco-WTA) were announced in late October with ack Anderson (Budget Forklifts), Jonathan Cantwell (Saxo-Tinkoff), Jai Crawford (Huon-Genesys), Ben Johnson, Jordan Kerby (Christina Watches-Onfone), Lachlan Norris (Raleigh) and Wouter Wippert (Team 3M) all joining.

    Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur congratulated the team on their UCI status.

    “A wildcard entry at the race has been discussed for many years and when Drapac made it clear to us they were aiming for Pro Continental status we decided that it was time for us to offer an invitation if that was achieved,” he said.

    “Drapac is a group of aspiring young cyclists who get a great opportunity to race against the best teams in the world on Australian soil, which in anyone’s book us just a fantastic opportunity.”


  • Q&A with Alex Gibney, 'The Armstrong Lie' director

    1993 Worlds: Lance Armstrong (USA) soloed to a world championship in Oslo, Norway
    Article published:
    November 10, 2013, 10:59 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Deconstructing the Lance Armstrong story

    As Cyclingnews headed towards Austin airport after interviewing Lance Armstrong, we received a text message. ‘Alex Gibney is at the airport, you should talk to him'.

    The Academy Award-winning film director had been in town to promote his new film ‘The Armstrong Lie’, a documentary deconstruction of Lance Armstrong's comeback to cycling in 2009 and his subsequent fall from grace.

    The chance of a one-on-one interview with Gibney, whose work includes 'Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room' and 'We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks', is not one to pass up on. However, as we had to explain (sic apologise profusely), Cyclingnews had not seen the film yet due to the fact that no invite had been issued for a premiere nor had the documentary been released to the general public. Despite this, Gibney, rather graciously, sat down with us to talk about the subject of his latest project.

    Daniel Benson: What was Lance Armstrong like to ‘work with’ if that’s the correct term?

    Alex Gibney: It’s been a five year process. I had a lot of access. Some of it was great and some of it turned out to be not so truthful. So it was a mixed bag. On a day-to-day level I like him.

    DB: But the mixed bag still has a sense of truth in it?

    AG: Of course it does. As he himself admitted to me, he lied to me. He lied to me sometimes straight to my face.

    DB: Did you know he was lying to your face at the time?

    AG: Not always, no. There were times I knew he was lying to me though.

    DB: Did you confront him?

    AG: It depended. Sometimes, for example, on matters relating to doping the definitive answer to his lie was not met until 2011 or...

  • Jaksche: Cookson should talk to Armstrong and Landis

    Jorg Jaksche rode for Bjarne Riis at CSC.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2013, 14:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    "It's about solutions not sanctions' German says

    Jörg Jaksche has told Cyclingnews that any one with information into cycling’s doping culture, including Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis, should be welcomed into any form of amnesty or truth sharing process, no matter their degree of guilt or level of doping in the past.

    Jaksche rode as a professional in the late 1990s and 2000s – through an era of unchecked and widespread doping – for teams such as Telekom, Polti, CSC, ONCE and Tinkoff. He admitted to doping after being named in the Operacion Puerto scandal that rocked cycling in 2006.

    However, in the last few years the German, who is now studying economics, has become somewhat of an anti-doping advocate, linking up with the Change Cycling Now pressure group.

    “I think that truth and any reconciliation should not be about sanctions. It is about solutions,” he told Cyclingnews.

    And Jaksche would welcome two of the sport’s most high-profile ex-dopers to take part in any such process.

    “Lance Armstrong is not the roots of evil in sports. The sport allowed Lance to be as he was. I know Lance was a strange guy like we all were, racing down the Galibier at 110k an hour with rain and snow only dressed in lycra. But he is human and he will get more human with time, it is good for him and good for the sport.”

    “I think Lance is so struck in his legal battles that he can’t be 100 per cent honest and open about his past.”

    “However it would be wise for [Brian] Cookson to just offer him to talk to him when Lance can be 100 per cent honest."

    The second individual Jaksche who believes should be involved is Floyd Landis. The American won the Tour in 2006 but within days he was stripped of the title for a positive testosterone test. He spent years denying the truth before finally admitting to his past...

  • Ben King ready for responsibility at Garmin-Sharp

    Best young rider, Ben King (RadioShack), was all smiles before the stage start.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2013, 17:58 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American links up with Talansky

    Ben King will be looking to make his Grand Tour debut in 2014 after securing a move from RadioShack Leopard to Garmin-Sharp. The 24-year-old turned professional with RadioShack but found his options limited in stage races. However Garmin, having made a raft of changes, may provide King with more opportunities.

    “I think I’ll be on a similar race programme to Andrew Talansky. I’m looking forward to that and I’ve got a lot of friends on the team, guys I’ve known and grown up with racing with through the under 23 ranks. The big difference between Garmin and RadioShack for next season is the average age of the teams,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I was one of the youngest guys at Shack and that afforded me a lot of learning opportunities and gave me a lot of guys to look up to. The average age [on Garmin] next year is going to be around 25, and as a 24-year-old I’m right there. I think you have some experienced guys for sure but there’s going to be a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”

    Talansky’s 2014 programme has yet to be confirmed but the American finished 10th in the Tour de France on his debut. With teammate Dan Martin targeting the Giro at the very least, Talansky may well compete in the Tour once again.

    “We worked really well together in the past. His style of racing, I can really complement that. He’s an all rounder and I can ride on the front and try and control the race for him a bit more. We’re good at the same style of races but have different strengths,” King said.

    King was mainly used a domestique at RadioShack, competing in one-day races and stage races but his chance in Grand Tours never came.

    “That was unclear to me, why in the three years I had at RadioShack I never had the chance to...