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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 26, 2013

Date published:
December 26, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: RadioShack team camp

    New signing Fumiyuki Beppu from Orica GreenEdge
    Article published:
    December 25, 2013, 12:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    WorldTour team lays plans for 2014

    They’ll race under the title of Trek Factory Racing in 2014 but until then the riders from RadioShack continue to train and ride in their respected kit from this season.

    At their last training camp on the outskirts of Benidorm, Spain, the 2014 roster gathered for a one final time before their team presentation in January. Both Andy and Frank Schleck were in attendance, along with the team's other main star and Classics specialist, Fabian Cancellara.

    A number of riders have departed for new teams or retired with Andreas Kloden, Ben Hermans and Maxime Monfort among them. However the team have looked off set a number of departures by strengthening in certain areas. Fumiyuki Beppu rejoins after two years with GreenEdge, the Van Poppel brothers, Danny and Boy, have also joined, while Australia’s Calvin Watson has signed as a neo-pro and will make his debut at the Tour Down Under next month.

    Click here for the gallery.

  • Luis Léon Sánchez signs with Caja Rural

     Luis Leon Sanchez (Blanco)
    Article published:
    December 25, 2013, 13:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard signs one-year contract with Pro Continental team

    Luis Léon Sanchez has signed with Caja Rural-Seguros RGA. The 30-year-old Spaniard and the Pro Continental team agreed upon a contract for one year. Sanchez is the 20th and last rider for the Spanish team. According to the deal was signed on Tuesday. The official presentation will be held on Monday.

    Sánchez turned pro in 2004 with Liberty Seguros. After one year with Astana he moved to Caisse d'Epargne before signing with Rabobank in 2011. After winning Tour de France stages for the Dutch team in 2011 and 2012 and the Clasíca San Sebastian in 2012, he was offered a contract for three years. Sanchez was however bought out of this contract for 2014 and 2015 because of links to several doping-related news stories in the past.

    The Murcian rider has won four Tour de France stages, the Clasíca San Sebastián on two occasions and the overall classifications of the Tour Down Under (2005) and Paris-Nice (2009) among others. 

    Next to Sánchez the team from Navarra signed Angél Madrazo from Movistar, Pello Bilboa from Euskaltel, Davide Vigáno from Lampre-Merida, Colombian Heiner Parra and the Spaniards Luís Mas, Fernando Grijalba, Antonio Molina and Ruben Martinez.

    The team netted seven victories in 2013. Winners Amets Txurruk, Francesco Lasca and Rubén Fernandez stay with the team as do David Arroyo, Javier Aramendía, Antonio Piedra, Marcos García, Omar Fraile, Ramón Domene, Fabricio Ferrari, Karol Domagalski and Ivan Velasco.


  • Hivert moves up to Belkin and hopes for strong start

    Jonathan Hivert (Sojasun), the final rider to cross the finish line on the Mont Ventoux summit, talks to the media
    Article published:
    December 25, 2013, 15:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman finds place in WorldTour team

    Jonathan Hivert's first task at his new team is to find his place amongst Belkin’s vast talent pool. The Frenchman, who signed a one-year deal following the disbandment of Sojasun, recently met up with his new teammates at their training camp in Calpe, Spain and told Cyclingnews that he is more than happy to miss the Tour de France in 2014, a race he has started and finished three times.

    “I’m just happy to find such a great team,” he said.

    “In August it was really hard to find a good team. There weren’t many spaces left and it was becoming hard. I knew one of the trainers here at Belkin having worked with him at Skil Shimano earlier in my career and just like that, he asked me. He knew Sojasun was stopping and I was thinking about stopping and it went from there.”

    The 28-year-old may have had limited options ahead of him, Bretagne - Seche Environnement apparently showed interest but the lure of riding at WorldTour was too much to turn down.

    “I had a little solution with a smaller French team who said that if I had nothing then they would catch me but it was a little team and if I had no choice then maybe I could have gone there. But I preferred Belkin.”

    Hivert’s race programme has yet to be finalised and made public, but he’s certain that the Tour de France will not be on his to-do list. Belkin are a stronger unit than Sojasun and Hivert is well aware that he must impress early on if he’s to extend his stay with his new team.

    “It’s one year only but I’ll do my best and everything is possible. First I want to find my place in the team. There are a lot of really good riders here so I can help them. Also, if I’m really good in the start of the year at races like Pais Basque and...

  • 2013 Report Card: Garmin-Sharp

    Dan Martin and Steele von Hoff celebrate the team's win at the Japan Cup.
    Article published:
    December 25, 2013, 16:17 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Ghost of doping past haunts clean team

    WorldTour Ranking: 8/18
    Win Count: 17
    Top Riders: Dan Martin (6th), Andrew Talansky (31st), Ryder Hesjedal (68th), Tom Danielson (74th)
    Grade: C 

    Garmin-Sharp, the champions of clean cycling, started off the year with three riders under suspension for their part in revealing what was one of the biggest doping scandals in sports history, thanks to USADA and Lance Armstrong. That meant the season could really only go uphill from there - or did it?

    In terms of 2013 cycling performance, Garmin had the fewest number of victories in a season since it joined the WorldTour in 2009: only 17 wins. But what it lacked in quantity, it made up in quality. Rather than rely upon its veterans - four of whom would be haunted by the ghost of doping past - it was the new crop of riders who came to the fore.

    Andrew Talansky scored Garmin's first win of 2013 on stage 3 of Paris-Nice in Brioude, taking the leader's jersey, but his aspirations of an overall victory were dashed by Sky's Richie Porte.

    Daniel Martin made up for that disappointment two weeks later by soloing away to victory on the queen stage of the Volta a Catalunya to Port Ainé-Rialp, with enough margin to net him the overall victory over Joaquim Rodriguez and Michele Scarponi.

    A month later Martin would win the team's second Monument in a brilliantly-played finale of Liège - Bastogne - Liège (Johan Vansummeren won Paris-Roubaix in 2011 for the team's first Monument victory).

    More stage wins followed thanks to Ramunas Navardauskas (Tour of Romandie), Michel Kreder (4 Jours de Dunkerque), Tyler...

  • Serebryakov banned for 4 years in EPO case

    Race leader Alexander Serebryakov (Team Type 1)
    Article published:
    December 25, 2013, 17:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Russian tested positive twice

    The Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) announced earlier this month that Alexander Serebryakov has been banned for four years following his positive test for EPO.

    The 26-year-old tested positive in an out-of-competition control taken on March 18. The news was released as the Russian was preparing to start Paris-Roubaix with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team.

    Serebryakov was then put under further scrutiny, as a previous sample taken February 21 was tested using a new analytical method, and this test also showed evidence of EPO use.

    Serebryakov's suspension began upon his notification of the first positive on April 5, 2013, and will run through 2017.

  • Bos hungry for more after best season yet in 2013

    Theo Bos (Belkin) wins stage 7
    Article published:
    December 26, 2013, 9:05 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Dutch sprinter puts his Vuelta problems behind him

    Having won over a quarter of Belkin’s victories in 2013, Theo Bos has set himself the target of winning even more in 2014. The 30-year-old ended the season with 12 wins this year, with Belkin finishing the calendar year with 38 in total.

    “The team just want me to win a lot of races, as much as possible,” Bos told Cyclingnews at Belkin’s recent final training camp in Spain ahead of next season.

    Bos’s 2014 season will be carved into two halves. He will skip the Giro d’Italia and instead focus his attention on wining stages in the week-ling races that litter the opening months of the year. A Tour de France slot, he admits is a long-shot, meaning that a return to the Vuelta might be on the cards.

    “I think it’s better to just set some goals for the first half of the season. I have to make a big improvement to go to the Tour though. It’s a dream for every cyclist but I have to be realistic. I’ll not do the Giro though, it’s a hard race.”

    “I think in 2014 I need to do the same as what I did this year in terms of trying to win from the start of the season and win a big race,” he said.

    Back to the Vuelta

    A return to the Vuelta instantly brings back memories of this year’s race, when Bos was prevented from starting the race after routine pre-race controls showed a low level of cortisol in his system. Under UCI rules he could have lined up for the race but with Belkin a member of Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC), the rider was forced to remove himself from completion. Bos was eventually cleared to race and carved up six stage wins in the Tour of Hainan in...

  • Sagan ready to take on Cancellara in 2014

    Green jersey Peter Sagan (Cannondale)
    Article published:
    December 26, 2013, 12:10 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Cannondale rider talks about his cobbled Classics rivalry

    Peter Sagan is convinced he will continue to mature and improve in 2014 as he learns the secrets of winning the cobbled Classics and so how to defeat his biggest rival and often his biggest critic Fabian Cancellara.

    Sagan will be 24 on January 26, the last day of the Tour de San Luis, where he will begin his 2014 season. He is eight years younger than Cancellara but won Gent-Wevelgem and 21 other races in 2013, dominated the green points jersey competition for a second year at the Tour de France and finished second to Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) at Milan-San Remo and was second to Cancellara at the Tour of Flanders.

    "I think I've done better every season and 2013 was definitely a good season. There's always something you can improve, you can always do better, you can always win more, so you can never be satisfied. That's how I approach life and my racing," Sagan told Cyclingnews in an exclusive interview at the recent Cannondale training camp.

    "I make mistakes in races but you can always learn from your mistakes. I'm sorry I didn’t win Milan-San Remo. I'll remember losing the sprint to Ciolek for the rest of my life but now I've got over it, I've learn from it. I think I'm gaining more and more experience all the time. I'm becoming more automatic in how I do things, I feel I'm getting better and better."

    Natural born leader

    Sagan's development is almost visible to the human eye. Physically he is stronger and leaner, while mentally he seems able to handle the pressure and notoriety of being one of the biggest names in the professional peloton. He laughs and jokes during the interview and when with his teammates but quickly turns serious when necessary. He appears to be a natural leader; he is both inspiring and demanding with his...

  • 2013 Reader Poll: Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 9070 electronic group voted best new product

    Shimano has won the 2013 Cyclingnews Reader Poll's Best New Product category with the redesigned Dura-Ace 9070 electronic group
    Article published:
    December 26, 2013, 17:45 GMT
    James Huang

    Second straight win for a Shimano electronic groupset

    Shimano won last year's 'best new product' category with its shift-by-wire Ultegra Di2 electronic group and once again has taken the top spot – this time with the redesigned Dura-Ace 9070 electronic group.

    Shift performance remains as robotically precise and consistent as ever but the new package is now more customizable and offers more features than ever before. Missing on the previous version but included here is a new multi-shift function where users can not only get multiple shifts by holding down a button but they can also specify the maximum number of gears the derailleur will move and how quickly.

    Dura-Ace 9070 users can even specify individual button functions and the multitude of additional wiring ports mean you can place an army of additional shift buttons virtually anywhere. And to top it all off, the new group is a bit lighter than before, too, despite the additional functionality – all the makings of a winner.

    Garmin's new pedal-based Vector power meter was outlandishly late to market – by nearly four years. Even so, its multi-sided sensor array, compact size, low weight, and easy-to-transfer design have clearly captured the interest of Cyclingnews power meter users. While not quite entirely hiccup-free, our long-term testing has nonetheless shown it to be a reliable – and convenient – option in an increasingly crowded market.

    While the rollout has been rocky to say the least, SRAM nevertheless still secured third place with its groundbreaking