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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 21, 2010

Date published:
November 21, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Teutenberg renews with High Road for two years

    Ina Yoko Teutenberg (HTC - Columbia Women) celebrates victory ahead of Giorgia Bronzini (Gauss Rdz Ormu) and Kirsten Wild (Cervelo Test Team)
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 20:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    German seeks success in Spring Classics, world championships

    Ina-Yoko Teutenberg has extended her contract with HTC-Highroad for another two years, the team announced.

    "I still have fun and I'm doing well in lots of bike races, so why would I want to stop?" Teutenberg said. "And I've got a great relationship with the team, so there was no reason to look elsewhere.

    "At the same time, it's very satisfying to be in a position to help out the team's younger riders, giving them advice and guidance and seeing them develop. Next year I'll be aiming to do well in the Spring Classics, and then re-boot later in the season so I can build up again for the world championships. I think the Danish course will suit me very well."

    "Ina is an extremely dedicated and experienced rider who is passionate about her sport, and she's a great example for our young riders," said HTC-Highroad Sports Director Ronny Lauke. "She's also continuing to develop in all sorts of ways, steadily improving her climbing while maintaining her sprinting and winning top Classics like the Tour of Flanders in 2009. The reason why she wants to keep going is simple: she likes riding her bike and once she is riding her bike she wants to beat the others."

    The 36-year-old German won 24 races in the 2010 season, including four stages of the Tour of Italy, three stages in France's Tour de l'Aude, one stage and the overall at the USA's Redlands Classic and the Tour of Chongming Island World Cup in China.

  • Visconti and Farnese-Vini assured of Giro d’Italia invitation

    Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (ISD) was one of the early attackers.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2010, 9:09 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian champion jersey to feature as race celebrates 150 years of Italian unification

    Italian champion Giovanni Visconti and his Farnese-Neri team have been assured that they will be invited to the 2011 Giro d’Italia. Race organiser Angelo Zomegnan made the announcement in Catania on Friday at a presentation of the Sicilian stage of next year’s Giro, from Messina to Etna.

    “Giovanni Visconti will be at the start of the 2011 Giro d’Italia, which celebrates the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy,” Zomegnan said. “We could not be without the tricolour jersey in this edition of the corsa rosa. It will be in Sicily on May 15 for a beautiful stage, and it is only right that Visconti be there, as together with [Vincenzo] Nibali and the other 15 professionals from the region, he is doing Italy’s largest island proud.”

    Farnese-Neri, known as ISD-Neri in 2010, failed to gain an invitation to this year’s Giro in spite of the best efforts of Visconti, whose year-long consistency saw him top the UCI Europe Tour rankings for the second successive season. The Sicilian rider considered moving to a ProTeam outfit for 2011 but ultimately opted to stay put in a bid to help Luca Scinto’s squad gain access to the biggest races.

    “I’m speechless: I’m bringing home the first victory of the year,” said Visconti, who was also present in Catania. “The Giro d’Italia is the most exciting race on the calendar and coming back to Sicily this year means that it will have an even more intense flavour.

    “With the tricolour jersey on my back, it will be the best. I have to thank Zomegnan for his faith. We’ll do our best to repay him, both as a team and as individuals, with the aim of winning at least one stage and featuring well in the others.”

    Given his Sicilian background, the stage to Etna is bound to be highlighted in Visconti’s road book, but he acknowledged that winning the Giro’s first major...

  • Lefevere in the dark over Quick Step's ProTeam status

    Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere and Tom Boonen.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2010, 10:17 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Decision on final licences pending

    Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere has said that he still does not know whether or not his team will obtain a ProTeam licence for the 2011 season.

    “I haven’t heard anything,” Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad. “Under normal circumstances, I would not be worried, but this is the UCI, so I’m cautious.”

    Quick Step was placed at 18th in the UCI’s ranking of applicants based on their sporting criteria. According to the UCI, the top 15 teams on that list are assured of first tier status, provided that they also meet the required financial, ethical and administrative criteria.

    This would leave the teams ranked 16th to 20th to battle it out for the three remaining ProTeam licences. Thus, Quick Step face opposition from Euskaltel-Euskadi, Geox-TMC, Cofidis and AG2R for the final three spots at cycling’s top table.

    “Obviously I’m not happy with the new rankings as we are suddenly in 18th place,” Lefevere said. “But teams are subject to the UCI’s rules. Until we can form a united front, it will remain so.”

    Quick Step’s UCI points haul suffered in 2010 as a result of Tom Boonen’s injury-compromised season. Similarly, the loss of riders such as Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil) and Carlos Barredo (Rabobank) has had a significant impact on the team’s ranking.

    A final decision on the list of UCI ProTeams is expected soon. Omega Pharma-Lotto, Garmin-Cervélo, Rabobank and Sky are already guaranteed their berths, having met all the requisite sporting, financial, ethical and administrative criteria.


  • Schleck brothers up for Luxembourg male athlete of the year

    Andy Schleck and brother Frank watch as the 2011 Tour route is unveiled
    Article published:
    November 20, 2010, 11:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Honourary awards for Jungels and Tour of Luxembourg organizer

    It will be brother against brother in the vote for Luxembourg's male athlete of the year, as both Andy and Fränk Schleck have been nominated. They will face eight others, with the sports ranging from swimming to gymnastics.

    Cyclists have dominated the vote in recent years, winning every year since 2003.  Kim Kirchen has won the title five times, with Fränk Schleck winning in 2006 and Andy Schleck last year.  The title, as well as that for female athlete and team of the year, will be awarded December 9 at the Casino 2000 in Bad Mondorf.

    Cycling will take home at least two awards that evening.  Two young athletes are traditionally honoured, and this year one of them is Bob Jungels, an 18-year-old who won the Junior world time trial championship in Italy this past August.

    In addition, an honourary award will be made to the AOTdL, the organizers of the Tour of Luxembourg, as one of the “Luxembourg organiszers, who offer Luxembourgers sport in Luxembourg on the highest level by Luxembourgers.”

    The Schleck brothers rode for Team Saxo Bank this year and will ride for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project as of 2011.  Andy Schleck, 25, finished second overall in the Tour de France after winning two stages and wearing the leader's jersey for six stages.  Fränk Schleck, 30, won the Tour de Suisse and finished second in the Tour of Luxembourg and fifth in the Vuelta a Espana.

  • US Postal investigation at an advanced stage after European meetings

    Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis on the US Postal team
    Article published:
    November 20, 2010, 11:51 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Armstrong spokesman decries “money-wasting” trip to Europe

    The American investigation into accusations of systematic doping in the U.S. Postal Service team is at an advanced stage, according to European participants in talks involving the U.S. delegation at Interpol headquarters in Lyon, France, during the week.

    Special agent Jeff Novitzky of the FDA is leading the American investigation and sources have intimated to AP that his delegation was not in Europe looking to gather new evidence, but rather was seeking to obtain specific information to support what it had already uncovered in the United States.

    “He [Novitzky] is going through all of Europe’s trash cans. And sometimes you find things in a trash can,” one police officer told AP. “They need supplemental proof to back up everything they have gathered. As we say in our jargon, they have some marbles to play with.”

    Another participant underlined the seriousness of the American delegation. “This is no joke,” he said. “This is serious, this is hard-nose. It was not a sightseeing trip.”

    At least six American officials were present in Lyon this week, including Novitzky, U.S. federal prosecutor Doug Miller, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart and FBI special agent Olivier Faraole.

    The U.S. party is understood to have met with officials from Italy, France and Belgium. Novitzky and his colleagues were in Lyon for two days and are believed to have met with each European delegation separately. Similar meetings had been held in late July.

    Public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti led the four-man Italian delegation, and he confirmed that he met with the Americans to discuss the coordination of their investigations into doping.

    “We realized that we have reciprocal interest in this fight, and hopefully time will confirm that,” Roberti told AP. “We need to exchange information, because this phenomenon can’t be beaten...

  • Murro cleared of doping

    Cristian Murro (Lampre) struggles on the cobbles.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2010, 16:25 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian rider said Furosemide positive caused by herbal tea

    Christian Murro has been cleared of doping by a court in Pordenone, Italy. The former Lampre rider returned a positive test for the diuretic Furosemide during an out-of-competition control carried out by the UCI on January 15, 2008. After being handed a two-year suspension, he retired from cycling.

    “It wasn’t personal revenge on my part,” Murro told after the verdict on Thursday, although he expressed his frustration at the drawn-out nature of the process. “The test took place out of competition in January 2008 and I was only given the reasons for my suspension five months later.”

    As well as facilitating weight loss, Furosemide can also be used as a masking agent for artificial testosterone but Murro maintained that the substance entered his system as a result of drinking a herbal tea.

    “I’ve been completely cleared of the charge of having used doping products,” Murro said. “But now who can give me back that reduced relationship with competitive cycling and all that I have lost in this period?”

    Murro turned professional in 2005 and enjoyed his best season in the colours of Tenax in 2007, winning the Tre Valli Varesine and finishing 4th at the Italian championships. He signed for Lampre in 2008, the season of his positive test. On retiring, he moved into team management. In 2011 he will be sporting director at the Casati-Named amateur team.


  • Pagliarini announces his retirement

    Brazilian Luciano André Pagliarini Mendonca lost almost three minutes.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2010, 10:13 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Brazilian fails to reach agreement with Movistar

    Luciano Pagliarini has announced his retirement from cycling after failing to reach an agreement to ride for Movistar next year. The Brazilian was left without a team when his Scott-Marcondes Cesar-São José dos Campos team folded during the season and he will now take up a coaching position with the Brazilian track squad.

    “It’s time to hang up my wheels,” Pagliarini told Prologo. “I very much wanted to stay on but I lost focus for many reasons. It’s the right time. It’s a transitional phase in my career but I am calm.”

    After winning three stages at the Rutas de América at the start of the yea, Pagliarini skipped the Brazilian championships in June to highlight the fact that Scott-Marcondes Cesar had failed to pay its riders. The team was eventually suspended by the UCI in August.

    “It was a situation that caused me a lot of weariness and disappointment,” Pagliarini said. “I returned to Brazil with great form, and this was demonstrated at the start of the season. Unfortunately, things lost their way and nothing concrete materialised. It was a shame.”

    Pagliarini spent the best part of a decade racing in Europe with the Lampre, Liquigas and Saunier Duval teams, and his fast finish saw him clock up stage wins in the Tour of Murcia, Eneco Tour and the Tour of California. The 32-year-old was in talks to return to Europe with Movistar in 2011 but has instead opted to stay in Brazil.

    “Even before all the speculation, I received an invitation to return to Europe,” Pagiliarini said. “Fausto Pinarello came to me and said there was interest from Movistar. They wanted a rider with my characteristics but that didn’t work out.

    “I’m very calm and happy. I spent a lot of time in Europe, away from my wife, my daughter and my parents. It wasn’t easy.”

    Pagliarini has already begun...

  • UCI biological passport panel member calls for more transparency

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo)
    Article published:
    November 21, 2010, 11:50 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    D'Onofrio believes all nine experts should be consulted on all cases

    A member of the UCI’s biological passport panel has admitted that the system requires greater transparency. Dr. Giuseppe D’Onofrio was speaking at the 19th conference of Italian cycling doctors (AIMeC) in Ravenna on Saturday.

    “There has been a request for greater transparency and sharing put into the UCI on our behalf,” D’Onofrio said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. “We will talk about it in February at the plenary meeting.”

    The biological passport panel is made up of nine experts. When a rider is found to have returned suspect blood and urine values, the results are then sent to three of the nine experts for their evaluation. D’Onofrio believes that all nine experts should be consulted on all suspect blood profiles.

    “I don’t agree that it should be groups of only three experts evaluating the profiles,” he said. “All nine of used should be involved together in order to arrive at a broadly unanimous decision.”

    D’Onofrio delivered a talk at the conference with his fellow panel member Pierluigi Fiorella entitled “Reflections on the biological passport and its first three years.”

    D’Onofrio’s words were echoed by Milanese haematologist Giuseppe Banfi, who was one of the experts called on by Franco Pellizotti as part of his defence when anomalies were detected in his biological passport readings.

    “Frankly, I have to say that in regard to the biological passport, there is a closed attitude from a scientific point of view as the system is self-referential,” Banfi explained. “Involving all nine experts on the panel would mean the procedures were sounder and more stable.”

    Liquigas team doctor Roberto Corsetti was heavily involved in Pellizotti’s case and he too believed that some kinks in the biological passport system needed to be ironed out.