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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 9, 2012

Date published:
August 09, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Mancebo leads men’s NRC with one event remaining

    Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist) drove the break hard to take over the yellow jersey
    Article published:
    August 08, 2012, 15:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Small wraps up the NRC with Elk Grove win

    Thompson Bucks County Classic set to decide men’s NRC rankings

    Francisco Mancebo (Competitive Cyclist Racing Team) is the current leader in the men’s NRC standing with just one event remaining. The Thompson Bucks County Classic is the final race of the NRC season, and will be held September 15-`6. Second place in the standings, Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare,) trails Mancebo by a significant margin and will be unlikely to topple the Spaniard.

    Mancebo’s Competitive Cyclist Team also leads the team’s standings over Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies and Bissell Cycling. The Thompson Bucks two-day race will be the deciding event before the individual and team classification winners are announced. Saturday will see the men tackle a difficult 157km race with the day’s winner having to defend their lead in Sunday’s criterium.

    Small and Optum take the women’s NRC title

    Carmen Small (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) has wrapped up the women’s NRC series after taking the overall victory at the Cascade Cycling Classic while her teammate Jade Wilcoxson helped clinch the women’s team classification by capturing two of the three stages at the recent Tour of Elk Grove.

    Small and Wilcoxson’s Optum team was finished with a commanding lead over second place Exergy Twenty12 who despite their place in the team’s classification, could only manage a sixth place in the individual ranking with the recent Olympic time trial champion Kristin...

  • Cavendish, Wiggins headline Team Sky at Tour of Denmark

    World champion Mark Cavendish on the wheel of Sky teammate and soon-to-be Tour champion Bradley Wiggins.
    Article published:
    August 08, 2012, 17:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Greipel and Boonen will also challenge for the sprints

    World champion Mark Cavendish and Olympic Champion Bradley Wiggins will lead Team Sky at the Tour of Denmark. “It's quite simply cycling's biggest stars who are coming to Denmark,” the race director said.

    It will be the first appearance of the reigning Tour de France champion in the race since 1996, and the first time ever that the world champion has appeared, according to the race website.

    "That we can present a world champion in the rainbow jersey and a Tour de France winner and Olympic champion speaks for itself. It's quite simple cycling's biggest stars who are coming to Denmark” said race director Jesper Worre. “It is without doubt the strongest field we've ever had, and I can only urge Danes to get out and experience these world stars.”

    Cavendish won his Worlds title in Copenhagen last fall and won a stage of the Giro d'Italia in Denmark this year.

    Other top stars scheduled to start the race include Cavendish's sprint rivals Andre Greipel of Lotto Belisol and Tom Boonen of Omega Pharma-QuickStep.  The Tour of Denmark starts on August 22 in Randers and ends on August 26 in Frederiksberg Allee.

  • Three extend with Euskaltel-Euskadi

    Jon Izagirre (Euskaltel-Euskadi) celebrates his victory in stage 16 of the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    August 08, 2012, 20:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Anton, Landa and Izagirre all back for two years

    Three major riders have extended their contracts with Euskaltel-Euskadi. Igor Anton, Mikel Land and Jon Izagirre have signed to stay with the Basque team through 2014, the team has announced.

    The three riders “are the present and future of Euskaltel-Euskadi,” the team said on its website. It called them “cyclists with a great quality who can look ahead with optimism and tackle challenges, such as keeping the Euskaltel-Euskadi team in the cycling elite.”

    Anton, 29, has won four stages in the Vuelta a Espana and one in the Giro d'Italia, a mountaintop finish on the Monte Zoncolan in 2011.He has been with the team his entire career, since 2005.

    If Anton is the “present” of the team, then the other two riders are the future. The 22-year-old Landa is in his second season with the team. Last year he won a stage and the mountain ranking at the Vuelta a Burgos.

    Izagirre, 23, showed his all around talent with his two wins this year. He won the individual time trial at the Vuelta a Asturias and then soloed in to win the 16th stage of the Giro d'Italia, a middle mountain stage ending in Falzes.

  • Nature Valley Grand Prix to air on CBS Sports Network

    Tom Zirbel (Optum) raises his arm after taking the overall race win.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 0:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Race puzzle to come together in broadcast

    The daily excitement and thrilling conclusion to this year's Nature Valley Grand Prix will be chronicled on United States' CBS Sports Network's "Sports Spectacular" program. The event will be televised on Thursday, August 9 at 8PM ET; Sunday, August 12 at 6PM ET; and Tuesday August 14 at 9PM ET.

    The Nature Valley Grand Prix men's race was an epic struggle between Tom Zirbel (Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefits Strategy) and John Murphy (Kenda/5hr Energy p/b Geargrinders). Zirbel, known for his time trialing, held the yellow jersey at this race in 2009 until the final stage, when it was snatched away from him by Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare). Murphy, an accomplished sprinter, planned to win the overall based on time bonuses offered throughout the stages.

    The women's race was dominated by Carmen Small (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefits Strategies), a true all rounder who used time trialing, sprinting and climbing to claim the yellow jersey. But there was plenty of drama during the individual stages, including a record three consecutive Freewheel Bike Most Aggressive Jersey wins by TIBCO/To the Top's Megan Guarnier.

    "Even for fans who attended the races in person or followed the live streams on the internet, this program is a chance to put all of the pieces together," Nature Valley Grand Prix Executive Director David LaPorte said.

    "For everyone else, this is an opportunity for them to see some of the best professional cycling in the United States showcased in an hour-long broadcast."


  • USADA responds on UCI jurisdiction, Landis evidence

    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 2:11 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Agency calls for single CAS hearing for resolution

    The United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has filed a reply brief to the United States District Court in Austin, Texas following Lance Armstrong's and Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) claims that he is not bound by the Agency and therefore cannot be charged with doping offences.

    The Agency also offers its preferred method of arbitration in the form of a single Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing and details its dealing with Floyd Landis.

    This latest round of paperwork comes ahead of Friday's hearing before Judge Sam Sparks.

    According to USADA lawyers, the "basic premise" of Armstrong's argument "is false", that:

    • USADA does not have the right to charge and sanction Armstrong and strip him of his titles;

    • USADA does not have the right to force Armstrong to arbitrate those charges without a valid, enforceable legal agreement to do so;

    • and Armstrong contends USADA's activity also violates his constitutional rights and tortiously interferes with his contract with Union Cycliste Internationale, the governing body with which he has an agreement.

    USADA also cites a Sporza interview whereby UCI President Pat McQuaid told the Belgian outlet that the governing body was steering clear of any involvement.

    "The position of UCI is that we're not involved in this, and it's a USADA investigation,'' McQuaid said. "They're doing all the process in the United States. It's nothing to do with UCI, and we'll wait and see what the eventual outcome is."

    The sentiment was reiterated in a Cyclingnews interview the same day.

    "I've read what they've said but as they're not licence holders so I don't know how they can ban them or what they can...

  • Neo-pro Aru signs with Astana

    New race leader Fabio Aru (Italy).
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 3:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian climber was second in Girobio this year

    Fabio Aru has signed with Astana for two years. The young Italian climber is currently a stagiare with the Kazakh team and will ride the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado as his first race in his new colours.

    The 22-year-old has ridden as an amateur since 2007 and will be making his pro debut with Astana and a two year contract.

    He has won the Giro della Valle d'Aosta for the last two years, and finished second overall in the Girobio this year.

    “This year has been really pleasing and now it has been topped off by officially joining Pro Team Astana,” Aru said in a team press release. “As well as cycling legends like Vinokourov, there are many successful riders here – now officially including Vincenzo Nibali. These are undisputed champions from whom I will try to learn as much as I can.

    “I have given it my all in recent years, but here I will do even better to try and make an increasing contribution to the team and repay them for the faith they have placed in me.”

    Team Manager Giuseppe Martinelli called his new signing “a young man with huge potential, and I believe and hope that he will live up to our expectations. If he really gives it everything, we might at long last see a good climber in action, the likes of which we have not seen for a few years.

    “Fabio could even play a key role next year alongside Nibali. I am sure that he will not only learn how to work from Vincenzo and our other experienced riders, but will also get to know a few essential tricks of the trade.”

  • Martí's lifetime ban suspended by USADA

    Astana's Benjamin Noval, David De la Fuente, Pepe Martí, and Daniel Navarro (l-r)
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 5:18 BST
    Cycling News

    United States Postal Service doctor opts for arbitration

    The lifetime ban of former trainer for the USPS and Discovery Channel teams Jose "Pepe" Martí, has been suspended and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) case against him will now go to arbitration.

    On July 10, as the result of anti-doping rule violations in the United States Postal Service (USPS) Cycling Team Doping Conspiracy, Martí was hit with a lifetime period of ineligibility. He was charged with delivering doping products "including EPO, testosterone, human growth hormone (hGH) and cortisone from Valencia, Spain to locations where the riders were living in Europe including Nice, France and Girona, Spain and at training camps and cycling races", and assisting with the administration of "EPO, saline infusions for avoiding detection by drug testing and in transfusing blood to riders".

    According to a USADA statement, Martí, through his lawyers, did not notify them of his wish to move the case to arbitration before the deadline to respond was imposed. Instead, he informed the Agency at a later date.

    "USADA believes that anyone charged with a doping violation should have the opportunity to have a full, fair, public hearing in accordance with the rules where all of the evidence will be presented and witness testimony will be given under oath in front of an independent group of arbitrators who ultimately decide the case.

    "In an effort to ensure Mr. Martí has the opportunity to fully exercise his rights under the rules; USADA has agreed to move forward with arbitration in Mr. Martí's case," the statement reads.

    Lance Armstrong's former team manager, Johan Bruyneel along with team doctor Dr Pedro Celaya both opted to take their case to arbitration.


  • Froome leads strong Sky team at Vuelta a España

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) finished second in GC
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 10:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Uran, Porte and Pate named in squad

    Chris Froome will lead a strong Team Sky line-up at the Vuelta a España as he bids to go one place better than he did in 2011, when he finished a surprise second behind Juan José Cobo.

    Froome has since gone on to buttress his credentials as a grand tour rider by finishing second at the Tour de France behind teammate Bradley Wiggins and will now have the opportunity to ride as the outright leader in Spain. The Vuelta gets underway in Pamplona on August 18.

    Froome will not be lacking in support in the high mountains, and Sky announced on Thursday that he will be flanked by the talented Colombian pairing of Rigoberto Uràn and Sergio Henao, as well as Richie Porte, who was one of Wiggins’ key helpers at the Tour de France.

    Strongmen Danny Pate and Ian Stannard are also included, along with home riders Juan Antonio Flecha and Xabier Zandio. Ben Swift will provide the team with a potent outlet in the sprints.

    “It’s always been my plan to ride the Vuelta,” said Froome. “I’ll be going into the race as team leader but that’s not to say we don’t have other guys who can be right up there on the GC. Rigoberto and Sergio both have huge potential, and Richie is another guy who could shine.”

    Froome began last year’s Vuelta in support of Wiggins but their roles were reversed in the final week as it became apparent that the erstwhile lieutenant was the better option to chase overall victory. In the high mountains at this year’s Tour de France, Froome appeared to climb more strongly than Wiggins but sacrificed his ambitions in favour of his teammate, who won both long time trials.

    “I’m going to do the best job I can and do whatever’s required...