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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 13, 2011

Date published:
January 13, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI to appeal against Pellizotti verdict

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo)
    Article published:
    January 12, 2011, 17:36 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    CAS to rule on delicate Biological Passport case

    The International Cycling Union has confirmed to Cyclingnews that it will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the decision of the Italian Olympic Committee to clear Franco Pellizotti of a violation of his Biological Passport.

    “It's true. The line was to announce it tomorrow but I can tell you that we’ve made the appeal against the decision to acquit Pellizotti to CAS,” UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews.

    Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Pellizotti has already been told of the UCI’s decision and his lawyer Rocco Taminelli intends to request a fast track procedure. Both parties would have to agree but this could result in a rapid conclusion to the case, perhaps in just a few weeks. A normal procedure would take several months.

    Pellizotti was stopped from racing by the Liquigas-Doimo team just before the Giro d’Italia last year after the UCI identified him as one of three riders who had been snared by the blood value screen system. He finished third in the 2009 Giro d’Italia and won the polka-dot climber’s jersey at the 2009 Tour de France.

    Pellizotti’s defence team and an independent expert asked to pronounce on the case said that his blood variations were not significant enough to prove he had blood doped during a hearing at the Italian Anti-doping Tribunal.

    The Tribunal cleared Pellizotti in October and he has apparently reached a deal to ride for the Spanish Movistar team. However before racing again, the whole case will now be examined by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

  • Cozza ready for new start at Team NetApp

    Steven Cozza, clean-shaven
    Article published:
    January 12, 2011, 18:35 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    American looking forward to Amgen Tour of California

    Steven Cozza is looking forward to racing at Team NetApp, where he hopes to have more opportunities to race for himself. However the American emphasized that it is an “equal opportunity” team which will ride for whoever is strongest in any given race. “Everybody on this team is going to get their chance. There is no one leader,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Cozza is coming off a four-year stint at Garmin and is glad to be racing in Europe. “Since I was 16 I've been coming over to Europe to race and it's always been my dream to live and race in Europe. I've been living my dream and this allows me to continue doing that, so I look forward to going with NetApp,” he told Cyclingnews Tuesday at the NetApp team presentation in Amsterdam.

    The biggest goal of the season will be the Amgen Tour of California, with the invitation arriving only this week. “I'm really happy, it's good for the whole team. It's definitely a step in the right direction for Team NetApp. I'm very excited. It will be a huge goal for the team and thereafter we will be accepted into more races because of it.”

    A stage win at that race is a goal of the native of Petaluma, California, but he admitted that he has not yet picked one particular stage to aim for. “Actually I haven't even looked over most of the race. I know some of the first few stages.

    “I think it will be important for NetApp to be very animated in that race. We're not going to be hiding, we're going to be very aggressive and in the breaks, and we will try to get a stage win, that would be awesome. It's very possible for us.”

    When he left Garmin at the end of 2010, Cozza had a number of reasons for joining Germany's only Professional Continental team. For one, it gave him something to aim for with the team gunning for a ProTeam licence and the Tour de France in the next few years.

    He also liked the fact that sponsor...

  • Zabel to be sport director for Vattenfall Cyclassics

    Erik Zabel on the startline
    Article published:
    January 12, 2011, 18:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    German to be eventual director of Hamburg race

    Erik Zabel has been named sport director of the Vattenfall Cyclassics, Germany's only WorldTour race. The announcement was made Wednesday afternoon.

    He will become the assistant to long-time race director Roland Höfer, and is expected to be his successor in due time.

    “I am looking forward to being allowed to grow into this new assignment,” Zabel told the SID news agency.

    This year's race is scheduled to be held August 21 in the Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The 2010 race, like that in 2009, was won by Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Transitions.

    Zabel won the race only once, in 2001. The now 40-year-old rode for Deutsche Telekom from 1993 to 2005 before ending his career with Team Milram in 2008. He had over 200 wins in his career, including six green jerseys and 12 stages of the Tour de France. The German also won Milan-San Remo four times.

    Most recently he has been a coach at Team HTC-Highroad, working with sprinter Mark Cavendish.

  • Lack of funding forces Gila off the UCI calendar

    Article published:
    January 12, 2011, 18:45 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    ProTeam riders not eligible to compete

    SRAM Tour of the Gila organizer Jack Brennan announced his decision to pull the five-stage race off the International Cycling Union (UCI) calendar due to a lack of funding. The event will maintain its original status on USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC) and is still scheduled to take place from April 27 to March 1 in Silver City, New Mexico.

    "When we applied to be on the UCI calendar last May we came up with a realistic budget and what we needed to do to raise the funds to cover what it requires to be a UCI 2.2 race," Brennan told Cyclingnews. "Our budget was solid and we needed to raise an additional amount."

    "It was a big financial step up and we needed to find those additional funds and we just didn't get there," he added. "We put a realistic drop date at the end of the year. We didn't get there and we can't pursue it any longer because we have to move on and continue working on the race for this year. We got to January 1, we didn't have the funds so it was a fairly simple decision."

    In its previous years as a national level event, the SRAM Tour of the Gila benefited from the attendance of Professional Continental and ProTeam level riders such seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and Chris Horner under the Mellow Johnny's banner. This year they returned with Jason McCartney along with Garmin-Transition riders Dave Zabriskie, Tom Danielson and Tom Peterson, who raced as DZ Nuts.

    However, UCI President Pat McQuaid made it clear that the sport governing body will strictly enforce code 2.1.009 this year. The code prohibits ProTeam and Professional Continental teams from competing in national level events where only UCI Continental teams of the country, regional and club teams, national teams and mixed teams may participate. Professional Continental and ProTeam squads are only eligible to compete in UCI-sanctioned events.

    "It could certainly affect our pro men's race by not being UCI,"...

  • 28 women's teams registered with UCI

    The 14 women and 9 men of the AA team
    Article published:
    January 12, 2011, 20:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six new squads join pro ranks for 2011

    The UCI announced today it has completed its registration of the world's professional women's teams for the 2011 season. There was a net gain of one team over 2010 with six new squads joining the ranks and five exiting after last year for a total of 28 registered teams.

    The USA gained two teams, with the HTC-Highroad women's team and Diadora-Pasta Zara being registered in the States as opposed to last year's Germany and Lithuania, respectively.

    New to the peloton are the Canadian Juvederm-Specialized, ASPTT Dijon - Bourgogne (France), Abus Nutrixxion (Germany), two Italian teams - the Kleo Ladies Team and MCipollini-Giordana - and the Dutch team Dolmans Landscaping.

    Not continuing were the South African MTN team, Germany's Noris Cycling, Redsun Cycling Team (Belgium), Fenixs-Petrogadgets (Russia) and Team Valdarno (Italy).

    In order to be registered with the UCI, women's teams must meet the same criteria as the UCI Continental men's teams, including depositing a bank guarantee. There are no minimum salaries for professional women's teams.

    2011 UCI Professional Women's Teams

    Kuota Speed Kueens (Aut)
    Lotto Honda Team (Bel)
    Topsport Vlaanderen 2012 - Ridley Team (Bel)
    Juvederm - Specialized (Can)
    Bizkaia-Durango (Spa)
    Debabarrena - Gipuzkoa (Spa)
    Lointek (Spa)
    ASPTT Dijon - Bourgogne (Fra)
    Team GSD Gestion (Fra)
    Vienne Futuroscope (Fra)
    Garmin - Cervelo (GBr)
    Abus Nutrixxion (Ger)
    China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling (HKg)
    Forno d'Asolo Colavita (Ita)
    Gauss (Ita)
    Kleo Ladies Team (Ita)
    S.C. Michela Fanini Rox (Ita)
    SC Mcipollini Giordana (Ita)
    Top Girls Fassa Bortolo (Ita)
    Vaiano Solaristech (Ita)
    AA Drink - Cycling Team (Ned)
    Dolmans Landscaping Team (Ned)
    Nederland Bloeit (Ned)
    Hitec Products - UCK (Nor)
    Alriksson Go:Green (Swe)
    Diadora - Pasta...

  • Tour of Battenkill's date, ranking uncertain

    Caleb Fairly (Holowesko Partners) wins the Tour of Battenkill.
    Article published:
    January 12, 2011, 21:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Budget issues may force organizers to remove UCI status

    The Tour of Battenkill one-day race may have to move its date and possibly hold the event without UCI sanctioning in order to meet its budget, race promoter Dieter Drake announced today.

    The event is scheduled for two weekends in upstate New York, with amateurs taking to the undulating, partially unpaved 102km course on April 10 while professional men and women compete on April 16.

    Drake planned to hold the men's professional event as a UCI 1.2-ranked race, while both mens and women's events would fall under the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar.

    Without additional sponsorship, Drake said he is looking to combine all of the events onto one day, April 10, in order to save on costs such as police to secure the course and housing.

    "I have approached USA Cycling and the UCI about changing the date, and it is possible that it won't be UCI this year," Drake told Cyclingnews.

    Drake cited several factors which have made raising enough funds to hold the race to the planned standard difficult: a down economy means there are less sponsorship dollars available, while UCI rules make it so the sport's top riders are not allowed to compete, making selling the race to potential backers more challenging.

    "Last year's winner, Caleb Fairly, is racing for HTC-Highroad, and under the UCI rules ProTeams can't compete in 1.2 races," he said. The rules also preclude BMC, UnitedHealthcare and Spidertech, all of which have competed in past editions, from racing.

    Drake said he would expects to make a final announcement on the date and ranking by the end of January.

  • Vuelta al Táchira opening stage neutralized

    Jose Rujano (Loteria de Boyaca) wasn't jumping for joy after a hard day in the saddle, but was pleased with the victory.
    Article published:
    January 13, 2011, 0:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Riders protest poor road conditions

    The first stage of the Vuelta al Táchira en Bicicleta was neutralized today after a riders' protest, led by the defending champion José Rujano, who objected to the poor state of the roads on the course.

    The stage was scheduled to consist of 15 laps of the 7.9 kilometre circuit in San Fernando, Venezuela, but instead riders did a three-lap parade to satisfy the crowds before calling it a day after 45 minutes.

    "We can not risk our safety in the first stage of the year, a year with demanding objectives such as the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Colombia, and we made the best decision for the whole peloton," said Rujano, who is competing with the Gobierno del Zulia team in Venezuela before embarking on a European campaign with the Androni Giocattoli team.

    Race officials decided to neutralize the stage, postponing the official start of competition until tomorrow. The second stage will be held on Thursday between Achaguas and Mantecal with a flat 134.7 km route.


  • Durbridge and Hepburn excited ahead of first World Tour appearance

    2011 Mars Australian Mens Under 23 Time Trial Champion Luke Durbridge from Western Australia with his spoils on the podium in Learmonth.
    Article published:
    January 13, 2011, 8:31 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Australian prodigies in form before the Santos Tour Down Under

    Following their achievements in the time trial at the Australian Open Road Championships, Luke Durbridge and Michael Hepburn are set for their debut in the World Tour at the age of only 19. Two of the prodigies from the new generation of Australian track pursuiters will be part of the UniSA-Australia squad at the Santos Tour Down Under next week.

    Having captured the gold and silver medals in the U23 time trial on Tuesday, Durbridge and Hepburn will be aiming to do what the likes of Tim Roe and Jack Bobridge have done in the past and make their mark on Australia's premier stage race and catch the eye of prospective employers.

    "It's exciting," said Durbridge, who also claimed the silver medal at the world championship behind Taylor Phinney in Geelong last September. "We got to know about one month ago that we'd be in the team. We had an incline because there are usually one or two riders from the Jayco-AIS team at the Santos Tour Down Under. Last year it was Michael Matthews and Rohan Dennis, the year before it was Jack Bobridge and Travis Meyer."

    "It's good for us because as track riders, we can't afford to have an off-season," explained Hepburn, who is a world champion at the elite level in the team pursuit. "In January and February, we have to peak for the world championship in March. We feel better doing 1,000 kilometres of racing in 30°C in Adelaide than the same type of efforts on rollers in the cold in Beijing, where we were last year for the World Cup. This is part of the preparation we have to do for the track."

    Durbidge and Hepburn carry the hopes of Australia to strike again at the London Olympics, after a poor showing in Beijing in 2008 - four years after the gold medal was won in Athens by the team led by Bradley McGee. Beyond 2012, the duo also has a bright future on the road. The Santos Tour Down Under will give them a taste of what awaits them in a couple of years.

    "We're not even neo pros yet," Durbridge...