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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, September 23, 2012

Date published:
September 23, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Stephen Farrand joins Cyclingnews

    Article published:
    September 22, 2012, 18:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Experienced journalist to be based in Italy

    Cyclingnews is pleased to announce that Stephen Farrand has joined the editorial team as European Editor.

    Farrand, who worked for Cyclingnews for two years until October 2011, will be based in Livorno, Italy and work alongside fellow European Editor Barry Ryan, Managing Editor Daniel Benson, and the global teams in the rest of Europe, Australia and the USA.

    “I’m really happy to be back as part of the Cyclingnews team. I’m more motivated than ever after a year away and hope I can help Cyclingnews grow and develop even more in the years to come thanks to my experience and ability,” Farrand said.

    Managing Editor Daniel Benson said: “Stephen brings a wealth of experience and knowledge. His skill as a journalist and a writer are respected within the world of cycling and I and the rest of the team are looking forward to working with him.”

    Cyclingnews was created in 1995 and has become the leading website in the world of cycling. In July more than 2.89 million readers enjoyed Cyclingnews content, with more than 66.4 million page views, according to ComScore.

  • Vos takes stunning solo win on home soil

    Marianne Vos (Netherlands) flies the Dutch flag as she wins the 2012 road world championship on home soil.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2012, 19:58 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Dutchwoman claims Worlds gold again after five silvers

    It may have been widely predicted, but Marianne Vos's victory was no less memorable for that as the Dutchwoman blazed ahead of the remnants of the leading break on the Cauberg to claim a superb solo win in the elite women's world championship road race.

    From the moment Vos had charged across to the seven rider move just 30 seconds ahead of her, it was clear she was the strongest of the race. Her ability to convert that into her latest gold medal triumph - in a year which has already netted her the World Cyclo-cross title, the Olympic gold, the women's Giro and the women's World Cup - was faultless in its execution and spellbinding to watch.

    "I have nearly forgotten what it feels how to have this jersey, but after five years of silver it's wonderful to have it again," Vos said.

    "This year has been amazing, it started off really well in the Worlds Cyclo-cross, then it was a little stressful in May" - with a broken collarbone when in a two-up move with Sharon Laws (AA in the Parkhotel Classic, ironically enough held near Valkenburg where she triumphed today.

    "But then there was the Olympics, I won the Giro d'Italia with a better build-up than I expected, I won the World Cup overall and this [the World Championships] was still coming.

    "I didn't want to ruin my chances so I've been in form and...

  • Spain ready to play various cards at world championships

    Alberto Contador rolls out in his Spanish colors
    Article published:
    September 22, 2012, 21:05 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Contador set for secondary role

    Spain is one of the big favourites for victory in the Elite men's road race in Limburg, and with Oscar Freire, Samuel Sanchez, Alberto Contador, Alejandro Valverde and Joaquim Rodriguez in their nine-man squad, it is not hard to see why. But how can a team with so many top riders decide on who works for who?

    One of the most important problems facing the Spanish selection is that they have so many riders that could win the world title, that they risk having a top-heavy structure. Certainly none of the five above would be out of place at all as sole leaders of other, weaker teams. But can so many cooks spoil the Spanish broth?

    “We’ve got a saying in Spain which is ‘better too much luxury than too little,’” responded Juan Antonio Flecha, whose role is expected to be one of the ‘team captains’ on the road with Pablo Lastras. This leaves just Dani Moreno and Jonathan Castroviejo as Spain’s only domestiques.

    “A Worlds that is always unpredictable, it’s better to keep your options open,” Flecha said.

    “If there’s a bunch of 50, then we’ve got Freire, Samuel is good for breakaways, Valverde if it’s a small group sprint. The only thing that’s certain in a Worlds is that nothing is certain, and nobody’s got a crystal ball.”

    One rider who looks set to have to accept a secondary role is Alberto Contador. He said he will probably be there “to make the circuit feel much tougher than it really is. Then on the last two laps it’s over to other riders. In terms of climbing, it’s 2500 metres of climbing over 267 kilometres. 267...

  • UCI has nothing to apologise for, says McQuaid

    UCI president Pat McQuaid faces the media at a press conference during the road Worlds in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2012, 21:50 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Governing body still waiting for USADA's Armstrong file

    UCI president Pat McQuaid has said that the governing body has "nothing to apologise for" in relation to its management of the sport during the Lance Armstrong era. In a press conference in Valkenburg on Saturday, McQuaid also said that the UCI was still waiting to receive the file from USADA's case against Armstrong, but at this point he did not envisage that they would appeal the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

    "The UCI assumes that the reasoned decision and the file will justify USADA's position on all of the issues, but we still need to be able to go through those documents before giving our position," McQuaid said. "The UCI is ready to take its responsibility and unless USADA's decision gives us serious reason to do otherwise, we have no reason to go to CAS [to appeal their decision.]"

    In August, Armstrong decided not to contest USADA's charges of doping and conspiracy, and faces being stripped of all results from August 1998, but McQuaid refused to speculate on who, if anyone, would be declared the winner of the seven Tours de France that Armstrong won between 1999 and 2005.

    "At the moment that's a hypothetical question. We have to wait for the USADA file before deciding," McQuaid said.

    During an hour-long press conference in which McQuaid refused to comment in depth on his decision to proceed with a defamation suit against journalist and former rider Paul Kimmage, he defended the UCI's management of cycling during his tenure and that of his predecessor Hein Verbruggen. He refuted the allegation made by both Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton that the UCI...

  • Neylan and Longo Borghini join Vos on road Worlds podium

    Women's road race podium (L-R): Rachel Neylan (Australia), Marianne Vos (Netherlands) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)
    Article published:
    September 22, 2012, 22:50 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Vos is the best in the world and the strongest today, said bronze medalist

    Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy) was brutally honest in her assessment of her chances in the women's road race world championship, taken by Marianne Vos with such dominance it left almost no opportunity for anybody to do much more than fight for the honour of standing beside the Dutchwoman.

    "Marianne was the strongest today and she's the best in the world," Longo, who netted the bronze, said afterwards. "She showed that she deserved this win, but I'm not afraid of her, and I tried my best. Getting a result like this in any case, is wonderful for me, a big success."

    Luckily unaffected by the early mass crash that saw a large number of riders go down - although most were uninjured - Longo said, "Once the break formed, we knew that Marianne would try to get across at some point. Then when she attacked, I tried to follow her on the Cauberg, but she was too strong. Her pace was too much for me and I was really running out of energy."

    "It wasn't a big surprise that she bridged across," added silver medalist Rachel Neylan, "but with two Dutch and two Italians in the break it wasn't my job to do the work. I was there for [Australian team leader] Tiffany Cromwell, but with two laps to go I got the all clear to finish it off."

    2011 saw Neylan have two major accidents, breaking her pelvis twice in crashes. Then after what has been a tough 2012 season, too, ended with a slightly unexpected call-up to the Australian team for Neyland and a debut ride in a World's squad, she said she felt "surprised, proud and delighted to be here. Australia has a big talent pool so to be able to represent my country at this level is really something.

    "I did my job to the best of my abilities, I covered the breaks until the time came for me to focus on a result for myself."

    One of the squads that lost out badly in the race was Great...

  • Cavendish predicts sprint finish from small group at Worlds

    Stage 3 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) at the post-race press conference.
    Article published:
    September 22, 2012, 23:35 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Manxman states he can't win, will race as a matter of respect for number one dossard

    The eve of the world championships road race is perhaps hardly the time for an outgoing champion to make sweeping declarations about his future and Mark Cavendish was giving little away when he met the press in Maastricht on Saturday.

    Cavendish has already admitted that he may leave Sky this winter, just one year into his contract, and speculation has been rife in the Belgian newspapers this week that Omega Pharma-QuickStep is preparing to buy out the remainder of his deal.

    The Manxman was reticent when asked when he thought his team for the 2013 season would be confirmed. "It's out of my hands a little bit," Cavendish said. "I'm here to race the world championships and I'm out of the team environment right now, I'm with Great Britain."

    Although the world championships course did not prove as selective as anticipated in the junior women's and under-23 road races, Cavendish reiterated that the rolling hills of Limburg was no country for sprinters. "It'll probably be a group at the finish but it's not going to be a bunch with me in it, that's for sure," he said. "There's so much more diversity in pro racing, it's a lot more aggressive than under-23 and junior women. There's only going to be forty or fifty people in the peloton the last time it hits the Cauberg, so there's not going to be a big bunch sprint tomorrow."

    In spite of the parcours, Cavendish said that there was never any possibility that he might pass up on the opportunity to defend his title, citing his respect for the race and desire to...

  • Hamilton calls on Armstrong to tell the truth

    Tyler Hamilton in 2004
    Article published:
    September 23, 2012, 11:59 BST
    Cycling News

    American to sell cycling memorabilia to raise funds for anti-doping

    Tyler Hamilton has called on Lance Armstrong to tell the truth about his past, suggesting his life will improve even if any confession to doping could have huge financial implications.

    Speaking to David Walsh in a long interview in the Sunday Times newspaper, Hamilton reiterates many of the details he revealed in ‘Secret Race’ -the book he wrote with Dan Coyle.

    He recalls the moment when FDA agent Jeff Novitsky called him and he decided to confess every detail of his doping.

    “I was forced to reflect on everything and it was like I had all this stuff buried inside me and I realised, ‘What a f****d-up world we were part of,” Hamilton told Walsh.

    “For me what mattered was getting it out there. If we sold one or one million copies, it didn’t really matter. Writing the book was the hardest thing I’ve done in my life. I’m proud that I’ve done it but I’m not proud of what’s in there. It’s hard reading about yourself doing the things I did.”

    Armstrong has always strenuously denied doping during his career, calling the USADA investigation a witch hunt, but he then opted not to contest USADA’s charges. He was banned for life and lost his seven Tour de France victories.

    When asked by Walsh if Armstrong will ever tell the full truth of what happened during his career, Hamilton said: “From the bottom of my heart I hope he does. I really mean that. I wouldn’t wish the kind of suffering I’ve had holding these secrets, getting accused of all this stuff, and just...

  • Tiernan-Locke steps up to lead British team at Worlds

    Race leader Jonathan Tiernan Locke goes to sign in
    Article published:
    September 23, 2012, 12:33 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Endura Racing rider one of the surprises of 2012

    Twelve months ago Jonathan Tiernan-Locke was never even in consideration for the Great Britain team that piloted Mark Cavendish to victory at the world championships in Copenhagen, but one year on, the quietly-spoken Plymouth native leads his country at the Worlds in Valkenburg.

    Tiernan-Locke rocketed from relative obscurity in February of this year with a series of stunning early-season performances, including victory at the Tour Méditterranéen and the Tour du Haut Var. Even at that early stage, and even though he plies his trade at Continental level with Endura Racing, Tiernan-Locke was already being touted as a potential leader for the Valkenburg Worlds.

    “I wouldn’t have thought I’d have been here, even this year,” Tiernan-Locke on the eve of the race. “I’ve had some good results and this is another step up again. The team’s taken a leap of faith in me because I’m a bit unproven but I wouldn’t have said I’d have been here a year ago, no way.”

    After riding to overall victory at the Tour of Britain last week, the punchy climber rubber-stamped his selection for the national team and, it seems, guaranteed himself the role of leader. Bradley Wiggins – who may yet have Tiernan-Locke as a trade teammate at Sky next season – endorsed the 27-year-old’s status within the squad.

    “Everyone’s saying he can win the race, we all think he can win the race so we’re doing as much as possible to help him win the race,” Wiggins said, before joking: “So there’s no pressure on him at all.”

    The man...