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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 5, 2013

Date published:
December 05, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Jeannie Longo seeking €1.1 million in damages from AFLD

    Patrice Ciprelli and Jeannie Longo in Grenoble
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 12:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchwoman contests inclusion in testing pool for 2012 and 2013

    Jeannie Longo is suing the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) for over €1.1 million. The 55-year-old, whose case was presented before the Conseil d’État in Paris on Monday, has contested her inclusion on the AFLD’s list of targeted athletes in 2012 and 2013, and is also seeking damages relating to the 2011 revelation that she had recorded three whereabouts violations.

    Longo served no ban for missing tests as it was later shown that she had not been formally notified by the AFLD of her inclusion in the out-of-competition testing pool for 2010 and 2011. She was formally added to the testing pool in both 2012 and 2013.

    In September 2011, L’Équipe also reported that Longo’s husband Patrice Ciprelli had purchased EPO. Ciprelli was later indicted for importing EPO, and the charges were confirmed by a court of appeal on November 7 of this year.

    “Madame Longo has a difficult, indeed conflictual, relationships with the French Anti-Doping Agency,” investigating judge Xavier Domino noted at the beginning of Monday’s hearing, according to Midi Libre.

    Domino recommended that the financial aspect of the case should be decided by the administrative court in Grenoble, and he rejected Longo’s claim that her inclusion in the AFLD’s testing pool for 2012 and 2013 constituted an attack on her private life.

    The AFLD’s measures were “necessary and proportionate,” Domino said, adding that Longo’s “practice of a sport affected by doping and her pursuit of a...

  • Five WorldTour teams to ride 2014 Tour of Langkawi

    Julián Arredondo (Team Nippo – De Rosa) celebrates after his victory in the Tour de Langkawi
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 13:46 GMT
    José Been

    Organization announces list of 22 teams but keeps spots open for more World Tour teams

    Le Tour de Langkawi has announced 22 teams for its 2014 edition, including five WorldTour teams. Team Belkin, Orica-Greenedge and Astana will return to Malaysia, while Tinkoff-Saxo and Katusha make their debut in the ten-day 2.HC event. Four Pro Continental teams, eight Continental teams and three national teams will also line up for the 19th edition of the race

    The organization is keeping two further places open for WorldTour teams. “We have two more spots available for ProTeams,” COO Emir Abdul Jalal revealed. "We’re trying hard to get two more of the world’s best teams. Compared to last year, we’ve lost the participation of Garmin-Sharp and Omega Pharma-Quick Step. They’ve told us they were happy with their experience and they like our race very much but this time around, it could simply not fit into their schedule."

    The most likely candidate for one of these spots is Argos-Shimano. The team has just signed Sea Keong Loh, the first Malaysian rider in the World Tour. The 27-year old rider won Jelajah Malaysia, the other big Malaysian stage race, this year and will doubtless be eager to show his new colors to his home crowd. 

    "Le Tour de Langkawi is not confirmed yet," an Argos-Shmano team representative told Cyclingnews. "Our sports directors are now compiling the optimal race programmes for next year. This race is optional but not confirmed yet."

    Androni-Giocattoli, UnitedHealthcare, MTN-Qubeka and Colombia are the four Pro Continental teams invited to come to Malaysia. “We could get more European teams as many of them are willing to come to Malaysia,” Abdul Jalal said. “But we also feel that it is our duty as Asian organizers to give...

  • Cunego confident ahead of Mantova trial

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) has had a disappointing 2013 campaign.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 16:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian insists he is still a team leader

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Merida) says he is confident he will be cleared of wrongdoing when the Mantova-based doping inquiry goes to trial, beginning on December 10. The investigation focused primarily on the links between the Lampre team and the pharmacist Guido Nigrelli in 2008 and 2009, and Cunego is one of 28 people who have been called to trial.

    The anti-doping expert Dr. Sandro Donati is understood to have compiled a report for prosecutors with Dr. Roberta Pacifici in which they analyse the evidence amassed by the Mantova investigators. In July, Gazzetta dello Sport reported that the 167-page document included the allegation that Cunego had used EPO and other prohibited substances.

    “I don’t know the authors of this analysis, it’s nonsense,” Cunego told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve been waiting years for this story to clear up. Honestly, I’m tired of it, I feel like I’m being taken for a ride. But I’m also confident, because in the end, right is with those who are honest. And I am.”

    Cunego was speaking on the eve of Lampre-Merida’s first training camp of the winter and in spite of a lacklustre 2013 campaign that saw him pick up just one victory, the 32-year-old is adamant that he still has what it takes to be a team leader.

    “My physical preparation started going badly straightaway, between the bad weather and missed races,” Cunego said. “So I was always chasing my condition and it never...

  • 2013 Report Card: Movistar Team

    Alejandro Valverde and Rui Costa on the podium
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 17:58 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    A stellar year from WorldTour's top squad

    Movistar Team 2013
    WorldTour Ranking: 1st/19
    Win Count: 32
    Top riders: Alejandro Valverde (3rd); Nairo Quintana (8th); Rui Costa (9th)
    Grade: A

    It’s very hard to fault Movistar’s 2013 season. This year has arguably been their best in a decade in terms of consistency and - even if it did not culminate in a Grand Tour victory outright like in 2006 (Pereiro in the Tour) or 2009 (Valverde in the Vuelta) - has concluded with 32 victories, podiums in the Tour and Vuelta, a repeat victory in the Tour de Suisse, gold and bronze for their riders Rui Costa and Valverde (albeit representing Portugal and Spain) in the men’s road race world championship and first place overall in the UCI WorldTour team ranking. Their only failure to make an impact, in fact, in road-racing in the 2013 season was in the one-day cobbled Classics and bunch sprints.

    In fact, Movistar have proved without a doubt that even without Alberto Contador, Spain’s top stage racer, Spain’s top squad can give any team a run for their money in multi-day events. Nairo Quintana’s hugely successful Tour debut - he is the first rider since a certain Eddy Merckx to clinch a top three finish, King of the Mountains jersey and Best Young Rider title in one fell swoop, not to mention a spectacular final Alpine stage win - is probably the most memorable of their achievements, but there were plenty more.


  • Stakeholders examine WorldTour at annual UCI seminar

    UCI president Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 19:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Television rights a large part of discussion, says Cookson

    The stakeholders of cycling's top division gathered in Chantilly, France today for the annual WorldTour seminar, and UCI president Brian Cookson opened the meetings emphasizing the importance of television coverage on the promotion of the sport.

    In his opening remarks at the start of the two-day summit, Cookson said, "Over the next two days, we will discuss concrete issues which concern all of us: our different roles, new technology, television, and the culture of professional cycling. Indeed, television coverage plays an important and growing role in the success and the promotion of our sport and a good part of tomorrow's session will be devoted to television production."

    Television rights have been a contentious issue, one which drove a sharp wedge between the UCI and Grand Tour organisers before they finally mended fences with the departure of Patrice Clerc as race director.

    Teams and the UCI have tried to gain a piece of the television rights pie from the race organisers like Tour de France owners ASO for years, beginning with the advent of the ProTour and, more recently, with a right-sharing proposal between Giro d'Italia owners RCS Sport and the teams.

    Former team co-owner Gerard Vroomen today cast doubt upon the importance of television rights in his new Cyclingnews blog entry.

    Aside from income from television rights, the UCI has struggled to build its WorldTour brand in the shadow of the Grand Tour's own marketing machinery. The

  • Rathe steps back from WorldTour to Jelly Belly

    Jacob Rathe wins the most agressive rider award
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 21:00 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Hopes success at Conti level paves return to Europe

    As a neo-pro with Garmin-Sharp for the past two seasons, Jacob Rathe has been immersed in cycling's top level, including multiple starts in legendary classics like Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders. His ascent through USA Cycling's development programs culminated with seamless rise into the WorldTour at 20 years old and the prospect of a long career there.

    “I pretty much sprouted up there in the most perfect way,” Rathe recently told Cyclingnews. “It was a perfect progression without any real setbacks and some big results. It seemed like it happened pretty easy.”

    But some admittedly poor decisions during contract negotiations in an especially tough market not only left Rathe without a 2014 WorldTour contract at the end of the season, he still had no team at all as November approached. He faced the very real possibility of falling out of the UCI ranks altogether until a call to friend and supporter Danny Van Haute, the longtime Jelly Belly manager and director, eventually landed him a ride with the Continental team next year during its 15th season in the US peloton.

    Now at just 22, Rathe is heading back to the team where he started his pro career at the age of 19 for a steady diet of domestic races he barely knows.

    “Cycling's a business, and poor business choices can have repercussions,” he said. “It's a setback, and I don't think it should have happened, but it's just an extra challenge now. The way I deal with it is to view it as a character test. It could be the best thing that ever happened, or it could be the worst.”

    Rathe signed his neo-pro contract with Garmin for the 2012 and 2013 seasons after riding with Slipstream's Chipotle Development Team in 2011...

  • Tech news: SRAM recalls 10-speed Red WiFli rear derailleurs

    Serial numbers are located on the reverse side of the inner pulley cage plate
    Article published:
    December 04, 2013, 21:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Affected product can jam, cause injury

    SRAM has announced another recall affecting its top-end Red group – this time for the older 10-speed, medium-cage WiFli rear derailleurs with serial numbers between 31T2000000 and 11T39999999, all of which were manufactured between September 2012 and March 2013.

    SRAM says the recalled rear derailleur parallelograms could potentially jam and "result in loss of bicycle control and possible injury." According to the official CPSC recall notice, there have been 43 reported incidents with one report of "scrapes and bruises."

    Consumers with 10-speed Red WiFli rear derailleurs are asked to immediately check their serial numbers and to return any recalled product to their local dealer for a replacement. There is also the option for consumers to return the defective rear derailleurs directly to SRAM.

    Dealers with new bikes equipped with the recalled derailleurs can instead contact their local SRAM Dealer Service Direct location, TechCenter, or distributor for a replacement. In this case, dealers will also be supplied with a new SRAM PC-1091R chain.

    More information and the official CPSC recall notice can be found here.