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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 27, 2012

Date published:
December 27, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Luis Leon Sanchez looking to “be close” in Ardennes Classics

    2012 San Sebastian champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    December 25, 2012, 20:21 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard comfortable going into third year with Dutch team

    Luis Leon Sanchez will see what he can do in the Ardennes Classics and enjoy his freedom to ride for himself in the latter part of the coming season. It will be his third year with the team to be known as the Blanco Pro Cycling Team.

    “I want to be competitive from the outset and start the year well,” he told biciciclismo.com.  “I like to start fast. On the one hand, we have to win the famous points but my priority will be WorldTour races, starting with Tirreno.”

    He has the Ardennes Classics on his racing calendar, where he “will have more freedom, because (Robert) Gesink is concentrating on the Giro (d'Italia) and won't ride them. They are races which I like but they are difficult to win. The finale in Fleche (Wallonne) is to explosive, but I can be close in Amstel (Gold Race) and Liege(-Bastogne-Liege).”

    Sanchez has a full schedule up to the Tour de France, and afterwards he hopes to ride the Clasica San Sebastian and defend the title he won there this year.

    That was only one of seven victories he had this year, including a stage at the Tour de France. It was a marked change from his first year with Dutch team Rabobank, where he confessed the transition to a non-Spanish team was more difficult that expected.

    In 2012, “Psychologically, I was stronger. I've been more focused and knew my situation. And I want to follow that line. I've always loved to train right and race a lot, and that's what I did in 2012, unlike last year where everything went wrong. I like going to the races ever with some ambition and I hope to do so next...

  • Gillow chasing a record-equalling third Australian TT title

    Australian national champion Shara Gillow (Greenedge_AIS)
    Article published:
    December 25, 2012, 22:39 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Watt's trifecta up for grabs

    Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) will be chasing the record of Kathy Watt when the 25-year-old lines up at the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships in Ballarat next month.

    Gillow has won the last two national time trial championships, while Watt claimed a three-peat between 1992 and 1994.

    "I think that it would be really special because Kathy was a great cyclist and that would be a real honour for me," Gillow said.

    Gillow, also reigning Oceania Champion, took out the 2012 title by over a minute from Taryn Heather and Bridie O'Donnell.

    The Queenslander then followed that up by finishing second overall at the Women's Tour of New Zealand.

    Mid-year, Gillow represented Australia in both the road race and the individual time trial at the London Olympic Games finishing 39th and 13th respectively. At the UCI Road World Championships, Gillow was a part of the silver medal-winning Orica-AIS outfit in the team time trial.

    "2012 was pretty amazing, competing for my country at the London Games was a real honour and experience," said Gillow.

    "Although I was not happy with my performance in the individual time trial, I was for the road race as it was a hard race, with such a quality field of riders.

    "And the road worlds were a lot of fun and a great result for our team Orica-AIS," she added.

    Gillow has a full program at the 2013 Australian Championships, beginning on January 9 with the individual time trial and continuing the next day with the criterium. The women's road race will be held on Saturday January 12.

    For the first time in the Championship's history, the time trials will be held on a fully...

  • Hong Kong star soon to be courted by Pro Teams

    Choi Ki Ho at the Tour of Vietnam
    Article published:
    December 26, 2012, 1:11 GMT
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Choi Ki Ho wins everything on the Asia Tour

    Multiple Asian champion Wang Kam Po might have recently retired but Hong Kong will not be left without a cycling star as Choi Ki Ho is coming of age sooner than he expected himself. The 21-year-old is the current super star of the Asia Tour as he just added stage 1 the Tour of Vietnam from Ho Chi Minh City to Can Tho to his already remarkable collection of performances since the beginning of November: 3rd overall at the Tour of Taihu Lakes in China, overall winner (plus one stage) of the Tour of Fuzhou, also in China, overall winner (plus a mountain stage) of the Tour de Ijen in Indonesia earlier this month.

    An overall winner of the 2011 Tour of Korea, Choi was mostly known as a track rider, but the disappointment of his 16th place at the London Olympics in the omnium competition put an end to the first part of his career. "I've dedicated myself to track cycling exclusively for one and half year", Choi told Cyclingnews in Can Tho after outsprinting his breakaway companion Vladimir Tuychev from Uzbekistan. "I didn't expect to become successful so fast on the road but I'm obviously happy with how things go for me in cycling now. I thought it would take at least half a year after the London Olympics to deliver results."

    In a period of one and half month, Choi proved to be a versatile rider. In the presence of Pro Continental teams from Europe and the US at the Tour of Taihu Lake, he showed his ability to ride smartly in the echelons. That's how he secured a spot on the final podium alongside Czech veteran and former Lampre rider Milan Kadlec. At the Tour de Ijen, he outclassed former Lotto-Belisol climber Oscar Pujol in the 21km long ascent to the crater with gradients up to 20%. Stage 1 of the Tour of Vietnam was absolutely flat but he made the difference over the other breakaway riders, Tuychev excepted, just before the magnificent bridge over the Mekong River.

    "I'm a climber", Choi defined himself. "I've learned sprinting from...

  • Winner Anacona fractures ankle in training crash

    Winner Anacona beats Uran for 13th
    Article published:
    December 26, 2012, 10:34 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Colombian collides with dog in Cucaita

    Winner Anacona (Lampre-ISD) sustained a fractured ankle in a crash in training in Cucaita, Colombia on Christmas Eve. The Colombian rider was unable to avoid a dog that ran across the road and he suffered a fracture of the malleolus and a dislocated tallus.

    “I remember it was a hairpin bend and at the last moment, the dog ran out,” Anacona told El Tiempo. “I tried to manoeuvre so I could take my foot out of the pedal but then the whole weight of my body fell on it, and that was the problem.”

    Anacona was due to undergo surgery in Mediláser on Wednesday and the 24-year-old is expected to be sidelined for two to three months as he rehabilitates. “The physiotherapy will begin after four weeks and hopefully I will start to recover soon,” Anacona said.

    Anacona’s injury means that his season will have a delayed start for the second season in succession. The beginning of his debut WorldTour campaign in 2012 was delayed until June by visa problems. Although he hopes to be back in action considerably sooner in 2013, his principal objective is again the Vuelta a España, where he finished 19th last season.

    “Everything is delayed but luckily in 2013, my main goal is the Vuelta a España again. That’s a long way off and I have time to recover.”


     

  • Sergeant: World Series Cycling is the future

    Marc Sergeant calls the shots on the Lotto team
    Article published:
    December 26, 2012, 12:04 GMT
    By:
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Lotto manager says there is still work to be done

    Lotto-Belisol manager Marc Sergeant believes that the proposed World Series Cycling is “the future” for cycling.

    Earlier this month Jonathan Price, Gifted Group, announced the plan to form a series of 10 new 4-day stage races in addition to the grand tours and six major one-day races. The proposal was met generally by negative response from fans, but Sergeant believes that this is the direction cycling is heading in.

    “Maybe some organisers are having huge problems due to the economical problems,” Sergeant told Cyclingnews at the launch of Lotto's 2013 team in Hasselt. “Maybe it is the solution, but I think we all have to think in the same direction, because it is not easy to miss out some of the monuments and say we would rather go to Asia because it is important for the money.”

    If the WSC was to go ahead then that could spell the end for races like Paris-Nice and Clásica San Sebastián. They would be ‘replaced’ by the 10 races around the world, in an attempt to draw in high sponsorship revenue. Despite believing that this is what the future of cycling may look like, Sergeant also said there is a long way to go before it can be put into action. “You have fans in Europe, Australia and the US, not in the Middle East and not in Asia yet,” he said. “You have to do more work to be sure before you risk all of the historical things over here.”

    Currently there are eight teams who have signed up to the WSC. The teams include fellow Belgian outfit Omega Pharma – Quickstep, who are owned by one of the men spearheading the plan, Zdenek Bakala. Sergeant isn’t so sure about his team following suit just yet, “I don’t know, Lotto is pretty Belgian so it has to be very interesting.”

    The team has recently finished their first training camp of...

  • D-day for Armstrong with Thursday the final day to appeal ban to CAS

    blank
    Article published:
    December 26, 2012, 23:08 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Hamilton fears "Lance will hit back"

    Thursday marks the final day in which Lance Armstrong can appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport after the UCI officially notified his lawyer of his disqualification of all results dating back to August 1, 1998 including his seven Tour de France titles.

    The notice came on December 6, with Armstrong and his legal team given 21 days to appeal. Should no action be taken by Armstrong, the International Olympic Committee will then move to recover the bronze medal won by the American at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney.

    At the same time, Tyler Hamilton says that he believes that the current silence from his former teammate is only temporary.

    "You hear very little from Lance, but I think this will not be a permanent state," Hamilton told German magazine, Stern. "I fear Lance will hit back."

    Hamilton was one of 11 former teammates to blow the whistle on the systematic doping within the U.S Postal team, spurred on firstly by the Jeff Novitzsky-led Federal investigation and then very publicly in his co-authored book, 'The Secret Race'.

    While Armstrong challenged the United States Anti-Doping Agency's jurisdiction over "most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen," he chose not to fight the case against him. That lead to USADA issuing a lifetime ban.

    "I think he is suffering terribly," continued Hamilton. "Lance is a very proud man, he believed, he was like an atlas and he could carry the world on his back and now everything is gone, the glory, the honor, it will be too much... Money, yes it personally cost him. It will tear Lance...

  • Equal prize money on offer at Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

    The fans have superb viewing points to watch the action from along Ritchie Boulevard in Geelong.
    Article published:
    December 27, 2012, 1:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Elite races in step with UCI

    The gender equality stakes will be given a boost from January 1 in the New Year with race organisers of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic announcing that for the first time, equal prize money will be on offer for both the elite men and women.

    The total prize pool will be worth $30,000 with cash on offer for the first 10 places in the men's field, and top five in the women's. Race organiser John Trevorrow explained that the reduction in applicable placings for the elite women came down to the smaller peloton of 52 compared to 70 for the men.

    Trevorrow told Cyclingnews that he was glad to be kicking off the New Year with such a move.

    "It's the way world cycling is going so we might as well do it," he said on Thursday.

    Last week the UCI announced that beginning with the cyclo-cross world championships in Louisville on February 2 and 3, all disciplines, with the exception of the road team time trial, will have parity in 2013.

    The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic kicks off on January 1, 2013.

     

  • Hesjedal wins Lionel Conacher award for best Canadian male athlete

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) in Milan having secured the Giro d'Italia, the first man from Canada to do so
    Article published:
    December 27, 2012, 3:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Giro d'Italia champion first cyclist to be given prestigious title

    Ryder Hesjedal has been honoured with a pre-season gift as best Canadian male athlete of the year. Hesjedal received the biggest number of votes from sports writers across the country to take out the annual Lionel Conacher Award - a poll that begun in 1932.

    Hesjedal's historic win at the first grand tour of the year, the Giro d'Italia, was the second most popular stage race in Cyclingnews' reader poll. The slim victory margin at the Italian race and nature in which the Canadian took the overall title was undoubtedly impressive.

    "I still think a lot of people don't really understand," Hesjedal told the Canadian Press. "You see stuff [like] 'He won it on the last day.' Like things just get decided that simply.

    "You're winning it every moment, over every kilometre for three weeks. It's just incredible. There's not really anything like it. Really, to be a Grand Tour winner, it's a very small club and it's a very elite club and I'm very grateful for that."

    After wearing the maglia rosa on-and-off throughout the race, it all came down to the final time trial. The Garmin-Sharp rider entered the final stage with a 31-second deficit to Joaquim Rodríguez and after putting in a top-ten performance in the time trial, came away with the Giro title and a slim 16-second gap to second-place Rodríguez.

    Hesjedal described the award as "an incredible honour" after he received 139 points and 32 first-place votes against the runner-up, Tennis player Milos Raonic who accumulated...