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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 22, 2011

Date published:
December 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Soler: My future in cycling is uncertain

    Soler's injuries could have killed him but he is flying home at last today
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 15:04 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Colombian says he will be focusing on his recovery after returning to his homeland

    Juan Mauricio Soler has said that his future in the sport remains uncertain following his life-threatening crash at the Tour of Switzerland in June. Speaking to journalists at Bogotá airport on his return to Colombia, Soler admitted that “the only thing that interests me is my recovery and only then will we see what will come after that.”

    The Movistar rider thanked all those who had prayed for him and sent him good wishes over the past six months. He also admitted to feeling extremely emotional on his return to his homeland. “It’s a really wonderful moment for me to be back in my country. Although I was born again in Spain, this has been a moment that I’ve long awaited,” he said.

    Having flown in from Madrid after spending six months recovering from his injuries in Pamplona, where he and his Movistar team are based, Soler explained: “Yesterday I had to say goodbye to the people I came into contact with in Spain and who, in the middle of all this adversity, have been at my side in order to help me to achieve my dream of returning home.”

    Soler paid particular tribute to his wife, Patricia. “She has been with me through all this and when I was in the hospital she was there, sleeping on a sofa next to my bed. I think she has had to bear the heaviest burden,” he said.

    King of the Mountains at the 2007 Tour de France, Soler will continue his recuperation in Bogotá until May 2012, when he is due to return to Pamplona for further assessment of the progress he has made both physically and mentally.

  • Video: Lefevere on Omega Pharma-Quick Step ambitions

    General manager Patrick Lefevere at the Omega Pharma-Quick Step Cycling Team press conference
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 16:30 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Team aims to be world number 1

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step is aiming to be cycling’s number one ranked team in the future but Patrick Lefevere is aware that such lofty ambitions will take time if the squad is going to rely on their existing talent and not just the cheque book of its major backer, Zdenek Bakala.

    In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, Lefevere talks about the team and its goals. Having signed Tony Martin from HTC-Highroad and Levi Leipheimer from RadioShack, the new team has a new face, as it aims to combine both its heritage as a Classics squad, with ambitions in stage races and Grand Tours.

  • Top teams and riders expected at Volta ao Algarve

    Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins is set for the Algarve in February
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 17:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Contador and Wiggins amongst top names

    Alberto Contador is planning to take on the Volta ao Algarve and will face other top riders including Bradley Wiggins, Christopher Froome and Edvald Boasson Hagen from Team Sky. The Portuguese race this week announced the teams which will ride in its 38th edition from February 15 to 19.

    Ten WorldTour teams will participate: AG2R, BMC, Garmin-Cervelo, Lotto-Belisol, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Rabobank, RadioShack-Nissan, Saxo Bank, Sky and Vacansoleil. Professional Continental teams Topsport-Vlaanderen and UnitedHealthcare will be there, as will the Portuguese  Continental teams.

    Riders pre-registered for the race include Wiggins, Froome, and Boasson Hagen of Sky; Contador from Saxo Bank; Andreas Klöden, Nelson Oliveira and Tiago Machado from RadioShack-Nissan; and Nicolas Roche of AG2R.

    “The conditions are so that we have not only a great sporting spectacle, but also an important socio-economic event,” said race director, Rogerio Teixeira, according to

  • Forum Hot Topic: A look at the most prolific Forum posters

    BMC and Cadel Evans at the head of the peloton.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 20:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    International cycling discussion community in CN forum

    The Cyclingnews forum is not quite three years old, and already can boast of some impressive user numbers. Two users – neither of whom has been around since the start – have even already hit the 10,000 mark in postings.

    The forum was opened in early March 2009 and since then 22,379 users have signed up, with more applying for membership daily. The 12,607 threads have a total of 721,650 postings.

    The top poster in the Forum is auscyclefan94, with 15,164 postings. He joined on June 16, 2009, and averages 16.51 postings a day. As might be read from his name, he is Australian and also a big fan of former World Champion and Tour de France winner Cadel Evans.

    Second most prolific poster is The Hitch. He joined the forum almost exactly one year after his forerunner, on June 14, 2010, but has just recently made his 10,047th posting. He has average 18.10 per day. The Hitch gives his address as London and took his name from the late journalist Christopher Hitchens

    Rounding out the top five users by postings are Dekker_Tifosi, a Thomas Dekker fan and student in Roermond, Netherlands, with 9,387 posts; Ferminal, a forum administrator who lives in Australia and has 9,106 postings; and Thoughtforfood, of the USA with 8,665 postings.

    Where do the forum users come from? All over the world, from Canada to South Africa to Australia. Of the top 20 users, five are from the US, four from Australia, and three from the UK, two from the Netherlands and one each from Belgium, Mexico and Spain. Three did not give their locations in their public profiles.

    Want to participate in the forum?  Join the fun here.

    Top 20 Forum posters (statistics as of December 19)

    1.auscyclefan94, 15,131
    2.The Hitch, 10,003
    3.Dekke_Tifosi, 9,387
    4.Ferminal, 9,077
    5.Thoughtforfood, 8,665

  • Twelve months on, Pegasus finally goes up in smoke

    Chris White.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2011, 21:04 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    V Australia's withdrawal forces controversial team to shut down

    Chris White's Pegasus project, reduced to running in the form of a UCI Continental team V Australia in 2011, has ridden its last race with management resigned to not continuing beyond the current season.

    Pegasus Racing's contract with V Australia was renewed in May this year but in September the airline informed White that financial sponsorship would not continue for 2012. A financial settlement between the two parties is currently being negotiated.
    Cyclingnews has been aware that there has been a question mark over the team's future for some months however with the UCI and Cycling Australia due to announce the list of Continental squads for the coming season within the next week, Pegasus will be notable in its omission.

    Sources close to the team told Cyclingnews that riders were told prior to the final stage of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour on October 16 – a criterium where Jonathan Cantwell was a pre-race favourite – that they should start looking for a ride for 2012 and that remaining payments would need be accessed via the team's bank guarantee through Cycling Australia.

    According to UCI regulations:
    If the continental team raises an objection to the payment of the money to the creditor, the national federation shall pay the sum at issue into a special account and shall subsequently distribute it in accordance with any agreement reached between the parties or according to an enforceable legal decision.

    If the debt submitted exceeds a sum equal to 15 percent of the annual contractual benefits, only a total amount corresponding to 15 percent of the annual contractual benefits shall be paid out in the first instance. The acknowledged balance of the debt may be paid from the global guarantee on condition that the latter would not be exhausted at the end of its period of validity. In the event that...

  • Video: A typical race morning in the life of Alex Bowden

    Alex Bowden (Team Type 1) fights to return to the pack after an unfortunately timed flat at the bottom of the climb.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 0:11 GMT
    Pierre Carrey

    Diabetic pro shows how he controls his sugar level before breakfast

    Team Type 1-Sanofi's original cause, a fight againt diabetes, has become more widespread since the US squad jumped to the Pro Continental level in 2010 and started racing more in Europe. Cyclingnews went behind the scenes to understand the daily life of an elite rider affected by this diabetes.

    Alew Bowden, a 22-year-old neo-pro, gave a video interview at 6:00 am, before his breakfast at the Tour of Rwanda at the end of November.

    "Every morning, I get up and I need to check my sugar and five myself an injection," said Bowden, who joined in the Team Type 1 development squad in 2010. He started racing in 2004, three years after he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

    The Illinois rider said that he controls his sugar levels 10 to 15 times a day, notably four times between 6:00 am and 8:00am and then on his bike during races.

    Bowden said cycling is a "great way to control diabetes because the exercise is good for helping his blood sugar numbers".

  • Vogels keen for a fresh start after rollercoaster three years with Pegasus

    Henk Vogels makes a live call in to Australian TV coverage of the Amgen Tour of California.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 1:17 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Directeur Sportif laments sad end to Australian Continental team

    Former Pegasus Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels has told Cyclingnews that he is glad to be moving on to another chapter in his career following the demise of the V Australia team he has watched over for the past three years.

    Vogels, who joined the Australian continental outfit in 2009 following a 14-year professional career, was told by Pegasus owner and CEO Chris White that his services would not be required for the 2012 season on September 30. Earlier today, Cyclingnews revealed V Australia would be withdrawing its financial backing of the team, forcing its immediate cessation.

    "I put my heart and soul into that team for the last three years," Vogels explained. "I'm so excited to be working with a world class team again and move on with my coaching business which is starting to take off."

    The "world class team" Vogels speaks of is RusVelo where he will take on the role of assistant DS working with the outfit at training camps and several races in Asia in the lead up to the London Olympic Games alongside head coach Heiko Salzwedel and trainer Victor Popov. His eponymous coaching business is also keeping the 38-year-old busy with ATS-2XU's Joe Lewis, the Tineli Racing Team along with up-and-coming youngster Cameron Bayly on the books. Add to this, Vogels' role with Bike Sports in Brisbane and you realise that this is a man eager for a fresh start.

    The highs and lows of a team with big ambitions

    White himself called Pegasus a "game changer" in the sport of professional cycling, with an all-encompassing set up that would include a ProTour, Continental, under-23 and women's teams in 2011 that would compete in Europe, North America and Australia.

    After months of speculation...

  • Gallery: Colnago-CSF Bardiani unveil 2012 look

    The Colnago - CSF - Bardiani 2012 squad
    Article published:
    December 22, 2011, 2:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Season to kick off in India and Argentina

    Irish-registered, Italian-based continental outfit Colnago-CSF Bardiani has revealed its new strip for the upcoming season in Italy.
    The team will begin the 2012 season in India and Argentina in January, with the aim of quickly landing a victory to confirm the quality of the Italian team.

    Six riders will travel to Asia for the Tour de India, for races in Pune, Nasik and Mumbai on January 22, 26 and 29. Riders selected for the race by directeur sportif Roberto Reverberi are Andrea Pasqualon, Paolo Locatelli, Marco Canola,Omar Lombardi, Andrea Piechele and Sonny Colbrelli.

    New directeur sportif Mirko Rossato will lead the second team of six riders at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina between January 23-29. The riders selected for the trip to Argentina are: Christian Delle Stelle, Andrea Di Corrado, Filippo Savini, Angelo Pagani, Alberto Contoli and Marco Coledan.

    Canola, Colbrelli. Delle Stelle, Di Corrado and Coledan will all be making their professional debuts with Colnago-CSF Bardiani in the January races but Reverberi is convinced they can do well.

    "We're ready for a new adventure. We've got some young riders who we expect a lot from. We'll make season debut in India and Argentina with a mix of enthusiasm and curiosity," Reverberi said.

    "Even if they're the first races of the 2012 season, we won't hold back if we get a chance to win. Every race is important for us and we want to start the season off well."

    All the 18 riders in the 2012 Colnago-CSF Bardiani team recently underwent their pre-season medical tests and have already begun training for the new season.

    To view the full gallery of the team's presentation to the media click here.