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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 10, 2013

Date published:
January 10, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Chain Reaction Cycles sponsors An Post-Sean Kelly team

    An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly team
    Article published:
    January 09, 2013, 20:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team to ride Vitus Bikes in 2013

    Chain Reaction Cycles has made its move into pro road team sponsorship, announcing that it will be a title sponsor of the An Post-Chain Reaction Cycles-Sean Kelly team in 2013. The Irish-sponsored, Belgian-registered team is a UCI Continental outfit and races all over the world.

    CRC's primary aim in getting on board is to promote Vitus Bikes - a brand which it revived three years ago. It's an obvious partnership as team co-sponsor Sean Kelly made Vitus famous in the 1980s and is now involved in their promotion.

    Chain Reaction isn't new to the world of pro sponsorship as it has sponsored the CRC/Nukeproof downhill mountain bike team for the past five years. "We began our professional downhill programme back in 2008, and ever since then we've had ambitions to continue our mountain bike success on the road," marketing manager Damien Duggan told BikeRadar. "Sean Kelly joined Vitus as brand ambassador shortly after we took on the brand, and with his input we've created a very popular range of entry-level and race ready bikes."

    The riders will race on the Vitus Vitesse road frame, as used in the Sean Kelly LTD Edition, and Chrono time trial machine with components supplied by FSA, Vision, Continental and Prologo. More details of the bikes will be available after the team launch in February.

    Team roster: Sam Bennett, Ronan McLaughlin, Sean Downey, Jack Wilson, Mark McNally, Kieran Frend, Glenn O'Shea, Aaron Gate, Shane Archbold, Niko Eeckhout, Wout Franssen, Pieter Ghyllebert, Niels Wytinck, Alphonse Vermote, Steven Van Vooren, Laurent Vanden Bak, Nicolas Vereecken.

  • Class of 2013: 10 Questions with Evan Huffman

    Evan Huffman (Astana)
    Article published:
    January 09, 2013, 22:14 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    American turns professional with Astana

    Cyclingnews will be introducing some of the fresh faces in the WorldTour peloton for 2013 in a series of articles over the next month. First up, Evan Huffman, 23, who joins Astana from the California Giant Berry-Specialized team. In 2010, Huffman decided to quit college and dedicate himself to his cycling career. By 2012, he was beating the top domestic professionals in time trials at the Merco Cycling Classic and Tour of the Gila. In June he won the U23 US time trial title. He signed with Astana later that year.

    Cyclingnews: How did you get the contract with Astana?
    Evan Huffman: It was mostly through Cal Giant and their relationship with Specialized. They [Specialized] wanted to see more Americans on the teams they sponsor. I’ve been in contact with them since last winter, and they’re the ones that helped me get that conversation started with Astana. They decided that I’m ready to move up, so it worked out for everyone.

    CN: Which races best demonstrated your abilities to the team?
    EH: I’m not sure, I did well at Tour of the Gila and Nationals, and I did some races in Europe with the national team – maybe the Giro Valle d’Aosta and Tour de l’Avenir. I didn’t have any big results, but I finished the races and I helped the team out a lot.

    CN: How did you pick up bike racing?
    EH: I did triathlons when I was really young, and a friend I knew from triathlon got me to do some bike races (in 2007) – just some local crits. It got me started, and after I did some more races I realized I liked that better, and I got into it more and more over time.

    CN: Did you have any sport heroes when you were growing up?
    EH: Not really, honestly. I never really looked up to any athletes in...

  • Gallery: Vacansoleil-DCM presents 2013 squad in Amsterdam

    The 29 members of Vacansoleil-DCM's 2013 roster
    Article published:
    January 09, 2013, 23:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch squad ready for third season in WorldTour

    Dutch WorldTour squad Vacansoleil-DCM presented its team for the 2013 cycling season today at EYE, a film museum and theatre in Amsterdam. As "confidence" was the theme during last year's presentation, this time the team choose "pure", "pride" and "passion" as keywords. Amidst images from 2012 of Marco Marcato's victory at Paris-Tours plus Thomas De Gendt's solo stage victory atop the Stelvio in the Giro d'Italia's penultimate stage, the 2013 team was introduced.

    "We want to at least equal the highest peaks," said general manager Daan Luijkx.

    Seven newcomers are part of Vacansoleil-DCM's 29-man roster, including marquee signing Juan Antonio Flecha, plus Aart Vierhouten joins the team as a new sports director. "I started work on December 1," Vierhouten said. "That meant talking a lot straight away, in order to coordinate our visions. Long-term planning is at the heart of my strategy. If I look at the individual qualities within Vacansoleil-DCM, I can see it has the potential to be a top team.

    "Last season, the forward momentum of the team halted somewhat. It has to be rediscovered in 2013. It is my job to increase the return. Road cycling is an individual team sport. At the moment that matters, you have to function as a team. Sometimes something doesn't matter to an individual, but he'll be the piece of the puzzle that will lead the team to victory. I want to see this kind of well-oiled machine."

    Additionally Luijkx told the international cycling press about his personal worries and emotions for the upcoming season. "The sport is being damaged", Luijkx said. "There only is attention for the bad things and hardly for the performances. This season, in our fifth year as a professional team and our third year in the WorldTour, we'll be more professionally organized than ever before....

  • Surgery for Omega Pharma-Quickstep's Maes

    Nikolas Maes
    Article published:
    January 10, 2013, 1:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian recovering from broken collarbone

    Omega Pharma - Quick-Step Cycling Team's Nikolas Maes underwent surgery on his left shoulder following a crash. He had fractured his collarbone while training in Calpe, Spain on Tuesday.

    Speaking after the incident, the Belgian said, "It all happened in a fraction of a second. I was pedaling in the group with [Tom] Boonen and [Mark] Cavendish when suddenly my chain jumped the rails, and I ended up on the ground. Right away I could tell something was wrong with my left shoulder."

    "Unfortunately this kind of thing happens in our line of work. However, I'm going to try and think positively and I hope to get back in the saddle as soon as possible."

    The operation was performed on Wednesday at the Herentals Clinic in Belgium by staff Doctor Claes. Maes will rest for a period as he recovers from the initial trauma and subsequent surgery and before he resumes training.

  • Tabotta defends evolution of Australian women's road development programs

    Annette Edmondson (Australia) about to start the omnium 500m time trial
    Article published:
    January 10, 2013, 4:18 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    "Objectives, support and commitment" just the same

    Despite the changes to the Australian Institute of Sport women's road program previously reported on Cyclingnews, National High Performance Director Kevin Tabotta argues that if anything, the governing body's support has been extended.

    On Wednesday, it was revealed that the traditional AIS development program, which has stood since 1998, has reached the end of the line having completed the transition into a more nationally-focused outfit, with more opportunities for athletes to step into the team and compete on the world stage.

    Women's Head Coach Martin Barras explained that the move while to some degree was also down to costs, was designed to eradicate what he called the "sense of entitlement" that came with having the support of the AIS.

    "There's a level of accountability that we want to bring to the way that we're running things," he said. "The concept of race-proofing [riders] so we do offer selections but we do race-proof them before we take them to Europe to make sure that they're up to scratch.

    "I don't want to overstate how much of a problem it was but it's trying to rationalise how we use our resources and make sure that we use them more effectively."

    One need not look back too far into the past to see how the changes to the program have gradually evolved into what will occur from 2013 onwards. In 2008, the AIS women's road program supported only six women per year, plus two women in track endurance. Compare that to this year where there are 15 women already on AIS women's endurance scholarship for 2013 across three levels of the elite women's endurance pathway - Cycling Australia/AIS endurance development, CA/AIS women's track and Orica-AIS Women's Pro Team and it's clear to see that more athletes are being supported...

  • CAS turns down Katusha's emergency bid for WorldTour licence

    Joaquim Rodriguez and Alexandr Kolobnev will lead Katusha in the classics.
    Article published:
    January 10, 2013, 9:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Further hearing and decision “as quickly as possible,” Court says

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport has denied Katusha's request to be given a provisional WorldTour licence for the 2013 season, without giving any reasons. A further hearing will be held to rule on the issue.

    The UCI denied Katusha a ProTour licence in December on “ethical grounds.” The Russian team had asked CAS to overturn that decision or at least grant it a provisional licence.

    The CAS said that it had “rejected a request for provisional measures filed by Katusha Management SA asking for the temporary registration of its professional team in the 2013 UCI ProTour.

    “The CAS will now consider the main appeal of Katusha Management SA which requests that the decision of the Licensing Commission of the UCI of 18 December 2012 concerning Katusha be annulled and that Katusha be admitted to the UCI ProTour for the entire 2013 season. A hearing will be scheduled shortly in order for a final decision to be issued as quickly as possible.”

    Katusha is also said to have applied to the UCI for a temporary Professional Continental licence, so that the team may ride in the Tour of San Luis in Argentina as of January 21. At the moment, the team has no licence at all and thus cannot participate in any races.

  • Acquarone defends Giro d'Italia wild card choices

    Michele Acquarone.
    Article published:
    January 10, 2013, 10:28 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian race organiser open to a fan vote for future wild cards

    Michele Acquarone, the general director of Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport has told Cyclingnews that the three teams awarded wild cards for this year received them on merit, but revealed he would like to have the power to award as many as seven wild cards, perhaps via a fan vote, criticizing the current WorldTour licence process for lacking transparency.

    On Tuesday RCS Sport awarded wild card invitations to Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, Team Colombia and Bardiani-CSF. The Androni Giocattoli team secured an automatic wild card place by winning the Coppa Italia race series in 2012 and the 18 WorldTour teams all receive automatic invitations to the race.

    The Katusha team, having failed to be approved for a WorldTour license, was overlooked, but did secure an invitation to Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and Il Lombardia.

    RCS Sport tweeted a photo of the paper listing the results of the simple voting system used to select the Giro d'Italia wild cards, insisting that the system is democratic.

    "It was difficult to decide. We had 14 candidates for our races and ten wanted to ride the Giro d'Italia but we only had three wild card places," Acquarone told Cyclingnews.

    "That makes for a big problem because they all had valid reasons to deserve a place and they all submitted excellent dossiers. We asked each team to explain why they deserved to be chosen. We wanted to explain how they'd create more interest and attention for the Giro d'Italia than the other teams. I'm talking about interest from the fans and so a better TV audience. It wasn't about the nationality, their age or experience. We believe that the importance of the riders in each team is fundamental because the better the riders in the race, the bigger the interest for the...

  • Lausanne laboratory gave Armstrong key to beating EPO test, says Tygart

    USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for illegal steroids.
    Article published:
    January 10, 2013, 11:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    USADA chief details discussion with Saugy

    USADA CEO Travis Tygart believes that the head of the WADA laboratory in Lausanne provided Lance Armstrong with the necessary information to avoid positive tests for EPO in the early part of the last decade.

    Martial Saugy has already admitted to meeting with Armstrong and US Postal manager Johan Bruyneel to explain how the EPO test worked in 2001, a year after Armstrong returned a ‘suspect sample’ at the Tour de Suisse, which had been tested in Lausanne.

    Speaking in an interview with Showtime’s 60 Minutes Sports programme on Wednesday evening, Tygart recalled meeting Saugy at a dinner in 2010 and discussing Armstrong’s sample from the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

    “He [Saugy] sat beside me and said there are samples from Lance Armstrong that indicated EPO use. He also told us that he had been instructed by the UCI to meet Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel to explain the EPO testing process,” Tygart said.

    “I asked him: ‘Did you give Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel the keys to beating the EPO test?’ And he nodded his head yes. He explained it to the two of them. As far as I know, it’s unprecedented. It’s totally inappropriate to bring in an athlete with a suspicious test and explain to them how the EPO test works.”

    Swiss Cycling president Richard Chassot, meanwhile, moved to defend the reputation of Saugy and the Lausanne laboratory. “In many cases, notably the Landis affair, they haven’t been afraid to put themselves in danger,” Chassot told “Martial Saugy is a good and serious guy, who has often taken a strong position against doping.

    “Regarding the samples tested, there are only numbers on a tube. At the laboratory in Lausanne, they couldn’t...