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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 24, 2013

Date published:
November 24, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Cycling Australia extends partnership with Santini until 2016

    Cycling Australia
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 23:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian clothing manufacturer to provide racing attire for two more years

    Cycling Australia announced this week that it has extended its relationship with clothing maker Santini. The Italian company has provided Cycling Australia (CA) with elite competition performance apparel since 2000 and from January 2014 will also supply casual clothing to Cycling Australia's High Performance Unit. Santini is also a partner and supplier of the Giro d'Italia, the Tour Down Under and the UCI.

    Orica-GreenEdge recently announced a new clothing deal with Craft and following Gerry Ryan's appointment as president of CA there was speculation Santini's association with Australian cycling was coming to an end.

    Elite national road, mountain bike, BMX, para-cycling and track teams will all wear Santini clothing on and off the track, while its competition clothing will also be worn during the Subaru Cycling Australia National Road Series, the Subaru Australian Mountain Bike Season and the Real Insurance Cross Country Marathon Series.

    "Working with the Australian national team has always been a pleasure for us," said Santini's Managing Director Monica Santini.

    "Throughout the years we have managed to build an incredible relationship with all the riders that is fundamental for us in order to provide them with the best products for their needs."

    Cycling Australia has welcomed the continuation of Santini. "We are delighted to be extending our partnership until the end of 2016," said Cycling Australia's National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta.

    "Santini continue to be tremendous supporters of Cycling Australia's athletes - providing technologically advanced racing garments of high quality. We also look forward to evolving our partnership with...

  • Nibali to ride Paris-Nice instead of Tirreno-Adriatico

    Vincenzo Nibali celebrates on the podium with Agnoli and Kessiakoff
    Article published:
    November 23, 2013, 10:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    "Year of sacrifices" ahead for Fuglsang

    Vincenzo Nibali will not seek a third successive Tirreno-Adriatico title in 2014, preferring instead to ride Paris-Nice as preparation for Milan-San Remo. Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli explained that the new parcours of La Classicissima means that it will be Nibali's primary early-season goal.

    "The French race gives you an extra day of rest ahead of Milan-San Remo, which, with the addition of the Pompeiana, has become a major objective," Martinelli told Gazzetta dello Sport, adding that Nice's proximity to the finale of Milan-San Remo was another benefit. "If you stay in the same area, you can prepare better."

    "There’s another factor, which isn’t secondary," Martinelli added. "Nibali is a champion in Italy, but now he needs to have a more international dimension."

    To that end, Nibali’s provisional race programme has just one appearance pencilled in for Italy in the opening half of a season that should see him prepare for the Tour de France by riding the Tour de San Luis, Tour of Oman, Paris-Nice, Milan-San Remo, Critérium International, the Ardennes classics, Tour de Romandie and Critérium du Dauphiné.

    Martinelli refused to rule out the prospect of Nibali adding the Tour of Flanders to his programme as preparation for the Tour de France’s stage over the cobbles to Arenberg next July. "The idea of bringing him to the Tour of Flanders is growing stronger," he said. "He’ll do Amstel and Liège, although I don’t know if we’ll see the same extraordinary Nibali of last season."

    Astana's Giro d'Italia line-up will be led by new signing Michele Scarponi and the young Sardinian Fabio Aru, who...

  • Lagutin signs for Rusvelo and changes nationality

    Uzbekistan road champion Sergey Lagutin (Vacansoleil-DCM)
    Article published:
    November 23, 2013, 11:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Seven-time Uzbek champion targets Russian title in 2014

    As well as signing for the Rusvelo team for the 2014 season, Sergey Lagutin has revealed that he will now ride under a Russian licence instead of an Uzbek one. Lagutin is a seven-time Uzbekistan national champion and won the under-23 world championships road race in Uzbek colours in Hamilton in 2003.

    Lagutin was left without a team following the disbandment of the Vacansoleil-DCM team at the end of last season. The 32-year-old initially hoped to find a place on Katusha for 2014, but with their roster filled, he was pointed in the direction of their associated Pro Continental team, Rusvelo.

    “I was in contact with two teams and both of them asked me to wait until September but I wasn’t happy with that kind of situation,” Lagutin told R-Sport. “But I also spoke with Viatcheslav Ekimov, who told me that there wasn’t any space at that time at Katusha, and advised me to contact Renat Khamidulin at Rusvelo.”

    Lagutin’s meeting with Khamidulin convinced him not only to sign for the Pro Continental outfit but also that he wanted to “represent Russia on the international arena.”

    “Renat invited me to visit the team’s base on Lake Garda and made a mini presentation for me. It was a very professional approach and I realised that I was not going to feel like a foreigner as I did on the Dutch teams, where priority was given to local riders.” Lagutin said. “At the Rusvelo team, I’ll be treated as an athlete with experience and I will have a chance to contribute to the project.”

    After the high of his 5th place finish at the 2012 Olympic Games road race, the 2013 season was by Lagutin’s own admission the worst of...

  • Bruyneel: I'm pretty much done with cycling

    Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong in the good old days
    Article published:
    November 23, 2013, 13:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian facing USADA arbitration hearing in London in December

    Former US Postal Service team manager Johan Bruyneel has acknowledged that he is unlikely to work in cycling again, saying that he is “pretty much done with cycling.”

    The announcement comes a month ahead of the arbitration hearing between Bruyneel and the US Anti-Doping Agency. Bruyneel has been charged with possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances, aiding, abetting and covering up anti-doping rule violations between 1998 and 2011.

    Unlike Lance Armstrong, who declined to contest USADA’s charges and was handed a life ban, Bruyneel, along with former team doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose “Pepe” Marti, has sought arbitration, which will take place in London from December 16 to 20.

    “Regardless of the outcome of the USADA investigation or any charges against me, I’ve made the decision that I’m pretty much done with cycling because I don’t see a change,” Bruyneel told Luxembourg television station RTL.

    The RadioShack-Leopard team dispensed with Bruyneel’s services in October 2012 following the publication of USADA’s Reasoned Decision on the US Postal Service case. While Armstrong has since confessed to doping, Bruyneel has refused to discuss the matter in detail but claimed that he and Armstrong had been turned into scapegoats.

    “I don’t see myself as the devil. People are trying to picture Lance and myself as the bad guys, but that’s wrong,” Bruyneel said. “When there’s a general problem, the easiest way to manage it is to find a culprit and blame it all on him, and I think that’s what’s happening.”


  • Malaysia’s Loh Sea Keong signs for Argos-Shimano

    Rider's agent Danny Feng, Eugene Koh (assistant director of Shimano-Singapore), Loh Sea Keong and Datuk Naim Mohamad (deputy president of the Malaysian National Cycling Federation).
    Article published:
    November 24, 2013, 10:47 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    First South East Asian rider to compete in the WorldTour

    Malaysia's Loh Sea Keong has inked a one year contract – plus an optional second year – with Argos-Shimano, as announced by the rider himself and Eugene Koh, the assistant director of Shimano-Singapore in a press conference in Kajang in the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on the occasion of the Shimano Highway Challenge on Sunday. The Lekas highway was closed for a 73-km fun ride that attracted 1300 cyclists, a first in Malaysia.

    "Shimano has been producing cycling components for ninety two years, but it's also our aim to nurture young cyclists," Koh said. "We help riders from this region [South East Asia] to reach the highest level. To select one of them for Argos-Shimano has given us a headache because there are many good riders developing in Malaysia. Loh's good attitude has attracted our attention. Hopefully he'll become a good ambassador and an icon for our industry. His presence in the WorldTour will motivate more people to cycle competitively over here."

    Loh, 27, won the Tour of Malaysia (Jelajah) this year as well as stages at the Tour of Thailand and the Tour of Singkarak while riding in the colours of Singapore team OCBC. Having raced for six years with Dutch-Chinese outfit Marco Polo, he's no stranger to racing in Europe. He has competed in Le Tour de Langkawi eight times and become a household name for his numerous , but he is likely to miss it next February as the Malaysian event that saw his future teammate Marcel Kittel win his first pro race in 2011 is not on the team's provisional calendar for 2014.

    "I don't have a race programme yet," said Loh who is not exactly having an off-season as he'll represent Malaysia in the SEA Games in Myanmar on December 18. "One day I’d like to ride a Grand Tour, like [China's] Ji Cheng did [at the 2012 Vuelta a España and the 2013 Giro...

  • Anton considers Team Colombia approach

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    November 24, 2013, 12:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Basque rider still without a team for 2014

    Igor Anton has said that he has been approached by Team Colombia for the 2014 season. The Basque rider is one of many Euskaltel-Euskadi riders left without a team for next year after the squad disbanded at the end of this season.

    "I'm not expecting much more," Anton said in an interview with Radio Popular, and confirmed that he was considering the offer. "Yes, I would like it, it's a team that’s growing and has a good calendar. I would rate it very highly."

    Anton was heavily linked with a move to Omega Pharma-QuickStep when news of Euskaltel-Euskadi's demise first broke at the end of the summer but the 30-year-old was prepared to stay with the team when it briefly appeared that Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso was going to step in and save it.

    The Alonso rescue plans did not come to pass, however – he instead aims to launch a brand new team in 2015 – and Anton's agent was reported to have resumed talks with Omega Pharma-QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere in October, but the signings of Jan Bakelants and Thomas De Gendt filled the final two berths on the Omega Pharma-QuickStep roster for 2014.

    Biciciclismo reports that there was still the faint possibility of a spot for Anton if Kevin De Weert had been ruled out for 2014 by the injuries he sustained in a crash at the Vuelta a España. However, De Weert, who sustained a fractured tibia, a ruptured patellar tendon, a fractured collarbone and a cervical fracture at the Vuelta, began his rehabilitation work in earnest during the week.

  • Schleck brothers to follow same build-up to Tour de France in 2014

    Andy and Frank Schleck celebrate after the 2011 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 24, 2013, 15:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fränk Schleck to start season at Tour Down Under

    After racing separate programmes for much of the last season they rode together, in 2012, Andy and Fränk Schleck look set to follow a similar build-up to the Tour de France in the colours of Trek Factory Racing next season.

    According to Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien, the Schleck brothers will ride together at Paris-Nice, Critérium International, the Tour of the Basque Country, the Ardennes Classics, the Tour of Luxembourg and the Tour de Suisse as they prepare for the Tour.

    As was the case in years gone by, the week of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastoge-Liège will be the first target of the season, with the Tour de France the main objective. The Schleck brother last raced together at the Tour in 2011, when they finished second and third behind Cadel Evans.

    "Paris-Nice will be an important first test, but it’s clear the first big morsel of the season will be the Ardennes Classics," Fränk Schleck told Le Quotidien.

    Fränk Schleck will start his season at the Tour Down Under on January 21, his first race since he tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide at the 2012 Tour. Schleck’s one-year ban expired last July and he had hoped to race the Vuelta a España but but was unable to reach an agreement with outgoing RadioShack-Leopard backer Flavio Becca and sat out the remainder of the 2013 season, before rejoining the team in its new guise of Trek Factory Racing.

    Andy Schleck’s 2014 campaign is set to begin later than his elder brother, at the Tour of Oman (February 18-22), but the pair will be reunited the following month at Paris-Nice and race together for the first time since the 2012 Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

  • Coyot dies following car accident in northern France

    Arnaud Coyot (Saur-Sojasun)
    Article published:
    November 24, 2013, 18:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman retired in 2012

    The former professional rider Arnaud Coyot has died following a road traffic accident near Beauvais, in northern France in the early hours of Sunday morning. He was 33 years old.

    Le Courrier Picard reports that Coyot was a passenger in a car driven by Cofidis rider Guillaume Levarlet, which swerved off the road in Allonne at 6.30 am on Sunday and struck a metal barrier. Coyot was taken to hospital in Amiens, where he died from his injuries on Sunday afternoon.

    According to Le Courrier Picard, Levarlet was detained by police after the accident. Levarlet and the car’s other passenger, Ag2r-La Mondiale professional Sébastien Minard, both emerged uninjured from the accident.

    Arnaud Coyot was a professional from 2003 to 2012, riding for Cofidis,, Caisse d’Epargne and Saur-Sojasun during a career that saw him participate in four Tours de France, win a silver medal at the 2008 French championships and claim victory at the 2006 Classic Haribo. Coyot retired at the end of the 2012 season due to a persistent knee injury.

    Cyclingnews extends its deepest sympathies to Coyot’s family and friends.