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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 23, 2011

Date published:
June 23, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • De Bonis loses doping ban appeal

    Francesco De Bonis (Diquigiovanni) rides in the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 16:31 BST
    Cycling News

    CAS upholds suspension based on biological passport

    Italy's Francisco De Bonis lost his appeal to overturn a two-year doping ban based on abnormal testing results as part of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport system.

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) dismissed De Bonis's appeal and stated that the biological passport "is a reliable means of proving an anti-doping violation", as reported by the AP.

    The UCI published the first results of the biological passport study on June 17, 2009, releasing the names of De Bonis, Pietro Caucchioli, Ricardo Serrano, Igor Astarloa and Rubén Lobato. De Bonis's suspension ran from June 18, 2009, to June 17, 2011.

    De Bonis became a professional with Gerolsteiner in 2008 and rode for Diquigiovanni in 2009.

  • Boonen to stay with Quick Step

    Gent-Wevelgem: Tom Boonen (Quick Step) sprints to victory.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 18:01 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian classics rider agrees to new contract

    The Quick-Step team has announced that Tom Boonen has renewed his contract with the team for a further two years, with an option for 2014.

    "We are very satisfied about the agreement we have reached," team manager Patrick Lefevere said in a statement issued by the Belgian team.

    "Our team's history is strictly connected to Tom's history. Our team grew thanks to Tom, too, just like his personal achievements and the trophies he got are a result of the effort our team made to help him. Tom has been with us ever since the team was founded in 2003, and it's a pleasure to be able to go on working together."

    Boonen has raced in the blue and grey Quick Step colours since 2003. He had been considering several offers but opted to stay after Lefevere secured the long-term future of the team by selling the management company to Czech billionaire Zdenek Bakala.

    "I always said this team was my first choice," Boonen said in the statement.

    "I feel great here, it's like a family. There's a good, professional environment which is exactly what I want. I had a long chat with Patrick about the sports goals, and not just those, that he and Mr Bakala have for the team in the near future, and I was fascinated by their ideas.”

    “I am proud Patrick asked me to be a part of it, it's a big sign of the team's trust and consideration for me. Reaching this agreement will be a further incentive to do my best in the next few races and to give the team new successes as soon as possible."

    Boonen will ride the Tour de France after missing last years race due to a knee injury.

  • Visconti tips Lampre-ISD as strongest team at Italian championships

    Giovanni Visconti was fired up after the sprint.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 18:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian champion in Sicily with Ulissi

    Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) will defend his Italian champion’s jersey in Aci Catena on Saturday, and the Sicilian has identified Lampre-ISD as the team to watch, citing the recent form of Diego Ulissi and Damiano Cunego.

    “Lampre will be the strongest team at the race,” Visconti told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Ulissi is going very well and so is Cunego, so all eyes will be on them. But it’s a one-day race, so there are a lot of factors that could have an impact on it.”

    Visconti took a break from racing after the Giro d’Italia, but returned to action at the Tour de Slovenie last week in order to get in some racing miles ahead of the Saturday’s race in Sicily, which is set to see riders who have previously served doping suspensions excluded from participating.

    “I wasn’t supposed to ride in Slovenia but then I decided to go because after the Giro I needed to get some race rhythm back,” he said. “It went well. I didn’t expect to be competitive on all of the stages, including the one with the difficult finish that Ulissi won.”

    Visconti shared a fractious finale to stage 17 of the Giro d’Italia with Ulissi in May. Although Visconti was first across the line in Tirano, he was relegated to third place after pushing the young Tuscan in the final sprint.

    The pair are currently at an Italian...

  • Corsica boosts 2013 Tour de France bid with Vendée visit

    The Criterium International is being raced on Corsican soil for the first time
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 21:16 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Island sending delegation to gain insight for Grand Depart bid

    After Vendée this summer and Liège next year, Corsica is still on the track as a main candidate to host the Grand Depart of the 100th Tour de France, in 2013. The Mediterranean island's delegation will be in Vendée from Thursday to Saturday next week in order to learn the infrastructure of the event and adapt its technical file if necessary. The delegation will include between five and ten representatives from the Corsican territorial assembly and departements, as well as from the cities which expect to host a race's start or finish.

    Cyclingnews understands that Corsica plans to host three stages and no prologue. Four cities are candidates: Bastia (in the North of the island), Calvi (in the North-West), Ajaccio (West) and Porto-Vecchio (South). For two years the latter has been the center of the new course for the Critérium International, another event organised by ASO. However, the Corsican application isn't supported by individual cities but a region, like Brittany did in 2008, so the organisers are free to decide the route.

    An ambassador of the project, former sports journalist Pierre Cangioni, denies ASO has already approved the Grand Depart in Corsica. "It's wrong to think so," he explained to Cyclingnews. "Bets are not down. There are still numerous technical points to study together."

    Marie-Hélène Djivas, the project's manager and the spokesperson of the Corsican territorial assembly, underlines that the insularity creates numerous logistical problems. She quotes famous Italian writer Antonio Gramsci: "I'm a pessimist because of intelligence, but an optimist because of will". In other words the local assembly is still working hard to seduce ASO. "To be honest and without betraying our secrets, we have just sorted out the last technical problems but it doesn't mean we will succeed," Djivas said. "We know 2013 is a fantastic opportunity and we will do our best not to miss it".

  • Tour de France news shorts

    The 2010 Tour de France podium
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 22:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky and Movistar finalising line-up, Omega TTT training and Tour presentation

    Team Sky to announce Tour de France team on Thursday

    As the days count down to the start of the Tour de France on July 2, more and more teams are announcing their final nine-rider line-ups for the race.

    Team Sky will confirm their squad in a media event in Kew Gardens in London on Thursday. Several British riders from the team will be present and the team is expected to unveil a special jersey and bike design for the Tour de France.

    The riders were spotted riding green and black Pinarello bikes at a recent training camp in the French Alps and the new jersey is expected to promote the Sky rainforest rescue programme that the team promoted during the 2010 Tour of Britain.

    Movistar reveal 11-rider long list for the Tour de France

    The Spanish Movistar team will wait until after this weekend’s many national championships before finalising its final nine-rider team for the Tour de France. On Wednesday the Spanish team issued an 11-rider long list of those under consideration.

    The 11 are: Andrey Amador, David Arroyo, Rui Costa, Imanol Erviti, Iván Gutiérrez, Beñat Intxausti, Vasil Kiryienka, Ángel Madrazo, José Joaquín Rojas, Branislau Samoilau and Fran Ventoso.

    Tour de France team presentation

    This year’s Tour de France begins with a 191.5km road race stage from the Passage du Gois to Mont des Alouettes on Saturday July 2. However the Grand Depart begins two days before that with the official team presentation on Thursday afternoon.

    This year the team presentation will be held at the Puy du Fou theme park near the Mont des Alouettes. According to the Tour de France organisers the presentation will be held in...

  • Memorial to Weylandt, De Fauw and Nolf dedicated in Ghent

    Wouter Weylandt will be fondly remembered by the entire peloton
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 23:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Monument will be displayed on popular training path

    The town of Ghent, Belgium remembered three of its fallen cyclists today: Wouter Weylandt, Dimitri De Fauw and Frederiek Nolf, each of whom died in the past two years.

    Hundreds of cyclists, friends and family of the riders gathered in Sint-Pietersplein today before riding 10 kilometres to the memorial for its unveiling on the Zonneputtragel in Zwijnaarde, reported. Attendees included An-Sophie De Graeve, the girlfriend of Weylandt as well as Belgian champion Stijn Devolder.

    The memorial sits aside the bike path that runs along the Schelde canal, near the sprint point of the weekly club ride where Weylandt often demonstrated his speed.

    Weylandt was the most recent tragic victim of the sport. The 26-year-old from the Leopard Trek team crashed in the Giro d'Italia and died instantly from head trauma.

    De Fauw, formerly of Quick Step and Chocolade Jacques, committed suicide at age 28 in November, 2009, having suffered depression since being involved in an accident at the Ghent Six Day in 2006 which claimed the life of Spaniard Isaac Galvez.

    Nolf, from Kortrijk, was just getting his professional career started with Topsport Vlaanderen when he died in his sleep at the Tour of Qatar on February 5, 2009 of an apparent heart attack. Nolf's parents refused an autopsy, so the exact cause of his death at age 21 was never determined.

  • Craddock aims for Under 23 time trial title

    Lawson Craddock racing with the US national team in Belgium
    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 2:01 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Trek-Livestrong rider will also contest criterium, road race in Augusta

    Trek-Livestrong's Lawson Craddock will be a strong favourite in the upcoming US U23 road championships held as part of the USA Cycling national road championships from June 22-26 in Augusta, Georgia. Last year's junior phenom will participate in the all three U23 championships - time trial, criterium and road race - but will place a strong emphasis on Thursday's individual time trial.

    "I plan on racing all three events with the time trial being my main focus," Craddock told Cyclingnews. "I've had a roller coaster year with time trials this year, but I hope to put that behind me and ride the best race that I can."

    Lawson turned heads last year when he won four Junior national titles in the road race, time trial, criterium and track pursuit. He also placed third at the Junior Paris-Roubaix in France and won a stage at the Ster van Zuid Limburg in Belgium, won two stages and placed third in the overall at the UCI 2.2 Pays de Vaud in Switzerland, and won Germany's Nations Cup Trofeo Karlsberg.

    He signed with Trek-Livestrong for the 2011 season as one of their newest Under 23 talents.

    "I'm only a first year U23, so I hope to get the most experience as possible out of this year," Craddock said.

    The USA Cycling Under 23 individual time trial will take place on Thursday, June 23 along an undulating 30km parcours. Craddock will be up against a handful of capable time trialists including his own teammates Joseph Dombrowski, Nathan Brown and Carter Jones.

    The 60km criterium will be held on Friday, June 24 followed by the 168km road race on Saturday, June 25. Other strong Under 23 contenders include Chipotle Development riders Rob Bush, Max Durtschi, Danny Summerhill, Anders Newbury and Rob Squire along with BMC Racing Development rider Lawrence Warbasse.

    "Trek-Livestrong has an extremely strong team this year," Craddock...

  • Cornish receives two-year ban for nandrolone

    Article published:
    June 23, 2011, 2:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Victorian tested positive during 2010 Goulburn-Citi

    Cycling Australia has imposed a two-year sanction on former Genesys rider, John Cornish.

    Cornish tested positive for the anabolic agent nandrolone during last year’s Goulburn-Citi Classic in September.

    The Victorian cyclist finished 24th in the prologue, and 50th in the road race.

    The two-year ban, which was backdated to the date of his provisional suspension, means he will be ineligible to participate as an athlete or support person in sport until 19 October 2012.