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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, March 3, 2011

Date published:
March 03, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel and win a signed Hushovd jersey

    Don't mess with the best. Thor Hushovd (Cervelo) is ready to get down to business.
    Article published:
    March 02, 2011, 15:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Your chance to win a unique rainbow jersey

    Cyclingnews readers have a chance to win a special autographed rainbow jersey simply by signing up to out new YouTube channel.

    We have obtained one of the 60 limited edition rainbow jerseys that were made for the Cervelo TestTeam by Castelli after Thor Hushovd won the world road race title in Australia.

    Hushovd wore the same jersey when he rode the Giro di Piemonte and the Giro di Lombardia last year before moving to the Garmin-Cervelo team for 2011. We got Hushovd to autograph the jersey before Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne and now you can win it.

    To be in with a chance, all you have to do is subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here.

    We'll pick a winner in the next few days Good luck!

    Cyclingnews is the world's leading cycling website, bringing you the most up-to-date news, race results and live race coverage. You'll also find the latest tech reviews, exclusive interviews, a lively forum and a whole lot more.

  • Testa and BMC weigh in behind Biological Passport

    Dr Max Testa, BMC's team doctor.
    Article published:
    March 02, 2011, 16:28 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Power output could be used as future parameter

    BMC team doctor Max Testa has spoken in support of the UCI’s Biological Passport but warned that the programme is still in the process of being refined and perfected. The Italian also suggested that in the future, anomalous power output figures could be added to the list of parameters used to target riders for anti-doping controls.

    “The biological passport’s main value is that it tests riders out of competition so that you can look at the changes in biological parameters, because unfortunately there are products you cannot find in urine,” Testa told Cyclingnews recently.

    “I think that the shift in concept from looking for forbidden substances in the urine to the biological effect of these substances is the way to go.”

    The Biological Passport faces a stiff test this week as Franco Pellizotti and the UCI make their cases before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Italian rider was sidelined when he fell foul of the passport ahead of last year’s Giro d’Italia but he was then cleared by Italy’s Tribunale Nazionale Anti-doping in October on the grounds that his blood values could have been altered by factors other than doping.

    Testa acknowledged that the passport is still a work in progress, but he stressed that the important thing is to gather as much information as possible in order to create detailed biological profiles and tighten the net on doped riders. However, he admitted that the data gathered is still open to interpretation.

    “There are areas that can be improved but the more we use it, the more we can learn,” Testa said. “The main concern I have as a physician is that the variation [of blood values] can be huge. We don’t know what the variability is in this specific population [professional cyclists], as they train a lot and travel a lot,...

  • 5-hour Energy co-sponsors Kenda p/b Geargrinder

    Ben Day (c) is the team's newest recruit.
    Article published:
    March 02, 2011, 17:42 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Financial boost helps quadruple team budget

    Michigan-based vitamin supplement manufacturer 5-hour Energy inked a one year contract to co-title sponsor the UCI Continental team Kenda p/b Geargrinder, effectively renaming the outfit Kenda/5-hour Energy Pro Cycling p/b Geargrinder for the 2011 season. According to general manager Chad Thompson, the combined budget of all financial sponsors including 5-hour Energy has elevated the team budget to nearly four times more than it was last season.

    “This is huge for us because we have always been industry sponsored and now we have a major corporate backer,” Thompson told Cyclingnews. “With everything that we have done, such as Kenda and Geargrinder increasing their sponsorship, a couple of private funders and 5-hour Energy, we have quadrupled our budget.”

    Living Essentials are the producers of 5-hour Energy, a vitamin supplement sold in roughly two ounce bottles primarily in convenient stores and gas stations along with sales in Walmart, Target, Costco, Sam’s Club, Lowe’s, Ace Hardware, Walgreen's, CVS, Rite-Aid, 7-11, GNC and the Vitamin Shoppe, among other locations. Sale reach roughly 400 million bottles annually with a core demographic that includes working men between the ages of 18 and 49.

    President Scott Henderson, a cycling enthusiast, met the team’s Directeur Sportif Frankie Andreu at the Tour de France last year where they discuss the idea of sponsoring professional cycling along with the need to educate the public on the benefits of 5-hour Energy for healthy and active lifestyles.

    “I was over at the Tour de France last summer with family and we advertise on Versus so I got backstage passes through our contacts and ran into Frankie Andreu,” Henderson said. “The interesting thing...

  • London 2012 Olympics: construction begins on BMX course

    Shanaze Reade in action at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
    Article published:
    March 02, 2011, 21:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Track to be part of multi-discipline cycling hub

    Construction work is underway on the BMX Track for the London 2012 Olympic Games, the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) announced today.

    Hot on the heels of the recently-unveiled velodrome, the work marks the beginning of the next stage in the development of a world-class cycling legacy post-2012. The 400-metre track will include a series of jumps, bumps and tightly banked corners, covering an area slightly larger than a football pitch.

    Located next to the velodrome in the north of the Olympic Park, it will have a temporary seating area of 6,000 that will be removed after the Games. It is due for completion this summer in time for a test event in August.

    As part of the legacy, the track will be reconfigured and made suitable for riders of all ages and abilities. A mile-long road circuit and a 6km mountain bike course will be built to create the Lee Valley VeloPark, a multi-disciplined cycling "hub" for the capital. The VeloPark, which replaces the Eastway Cycle Circuit on the Olympic Park site, will cost around £1 million and is due to open to the public in May 2013.

    ODA Chairman John Armitt said, "The BMX Track will be a first-class venue for the world's best riders in 2012 and after the Games, the reconfigured course will be a great facility for people of all ages and abilities to try out this exciting and growing sport."

    For more information on the Games, and to register your interest for tickets for all cycling events, visit

  • Women's Prestige Cycling Series accepting team registrations

    Elite women's bronze medalist Mara Abbott (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12).
    Article published:
    March 02, 2011, 22:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four-race series in USA produced by women for women

    The Women's Prestige Cycling Series, the only national-level competition produced by women for women, is accepting entry registrations. The series consists of four races around the US from March through mid-July.

    "We set out to create a focused series that women's teams could build their seasons around," said Women's Prestige Cycling Series co-founder Giana Roberge, Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 sports director. "The National Racing Calendar just had too many events and had became a competition about who had the biggest travel budget. We wanted a series all women's teams could equally take ownership of while levelling the playing field."

    The four races are Redlands Bicycle Classic in California (March 30-April 3), the SRAM Tour of the Gila in New Mexico (April 27-May 1), the Nature Valley Grand Prix in Minnesota (June 15-19) and the Bend Memorial Clinic Cascade Cycling Classic (July 19-24) in Oregon. All four races are part of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC).

    "Having a women's-only series does a great deal to enhance the sport, and get it out a bit from the shadow of the men's side of the sport," said TIBCO-To The Top manager and DS Lisa Hunt. "I think you can see that effect in the improvement in quality of the racing here in the U.S. Just look at the recent success of U.S. women on the road in some of the biggest races internationally and you can see how the WPCS has contributed to that growth in talent, and in the talent pool."

    The Series offers four separate competitions: top overall individual, best young rider, best sprinter and top team. Special jerseys, provided by Champion System, will identify the leaders in the first three classifications.

    Defending champions are Mara Abbott (top individual and best young rider) and Peanut...

  • Could Vacansoleil miss out on a place at the Giro d'Italia?

    The 2011 Giro d'Italia presentation in Turin
    Article published:
    March 02, 2011, 23:59 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    RCS Sport to announce the 22 teams on Monday

    The director of the Giro d'Italia, Angelo Zomegnan has hinted there will be several surprises when he names the teams invited to this year's event but has refused to give further details before the formal announcement.

    The 22 teams will be named on Monday, March 7, exactly two months before the race begins in Turin with a 21.5km team time trial.

    Under a bilateral agreement between major organisers and the UCI, the 18 ProTeams registered for 2011 have been invited to ride all the races on the World Tour Calendar, with the race organisers allowed to award up to four other wild card invitations.

    That should mean Ag2r-La Mondiale, Katusha, Lampre-ISD, Quick Step, Saxo Bank-SunGard, RadioShack, Garmin-Cervélo, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Rabobank, Team Sky, BMC, HTC-Highroad, Liquigas-Cannondale, Leopard Trek, Movistar, Astana, Vacansoleil-DCM and Euskaltel-Euskadi all receive invitations to the Giro d'Italia.

    However, Cyclingnews understands that Vacansoleil's place could be at risk. The Dutch team has sacked Riccardo Riccò' and has opted not to race Ezequiel Mosquera until his positive for hydroxyethyl starch is resolved but its ProTeam status could be at risk.

    Zomegnan could also decide to take a strong stance against Vacansoleil, despite the agreement with the UCI. Last year he refused to give Riccò's Ceramica Flaminia team an invitation to the Giro and is not afraid of confrontation.

    Wild card invitations

    If Vacansoleil misses out on an invitation to the Giro d'Italia, it would also ease the problem of deciding who is given the wild card invitation.

    Zomegnan has confirmed that the Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli team will have one of the wild card...

  • Contador to fight any appeal with "even more determination"

    Alberto Contador awaits the start of the Volta ao Algarve.
    Article published:
    March 03, 2011, 3:22 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Spaniard argues his country is at the forefront of anti-doping

    Alberto Contador says that while the "worst is over", he has been left scarred by his doping case while vowing to fight any appeal brought against him by the Word Anti-Doping Authority or the UCI.

    Speaking with Spanish daily ABC, the Saxo Bank Sungard rider explained that when The Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) overturned their recommendation to ban Contador for Clenbuterol use during his third Tour de France victory last July, it was a "huge weight" off his shoulders.

    "I thought there is some justice in this world," he said.

    The personal cost to Contador in fighting his case may have also extended to his hip pocket with the Spaniard hinting in the interview that he was prepared to do whatever was necessary in order to clear his name.

    "I don't know and I don't care [how much was spent],"he said. I told my brother [his manager, Fran] to do whatever was necessary. The issue went beyond to keep racing. It was a matter of honour."

    Following his acquittal last month, Contador rode in the Volta ao Algarve after being cleared by the RFEC to compete the day prior to the start. The 28-year-old was looking for his third straight win in the Portugese event but finished fourth, 41 seconds behind winner Tony Martin of HTC-Highroad.

    Contador's lawyer, Andy Ramos recently revealed that his defence strategy hinged on proving that the Spaniard had inadvertently ingested Clenbuterol through no fault or negligence on their part.

    "It was an...

  • UCI and AFLD to collaborate at Paris-Nice

    The names are floating around, but the tests are yet to be complete
    Article published:
    March 03, 2011, 9:50 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    World governing body and national agency reach agreement on testing

    The dispute between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and the French Anti-doping Agency (AFLD) seem to have been resolved in time for this year's Paris-Nice race.

    According to French sources, a new contract of collaboration between the two parties will be signed on Saturday, one day before the start of Paris-Nice. The agreement foresees that anti-doping agents from the UCI and AFLD will again work together, with AFLD testers expected to take approximatively 60 blood and urine samples at the French stage race.

    The process of reconciliation began in January 2010, after several years of tension and criticism of the testing done at the 2009 Tour de France. In September last year, former AFLD president Pierre Bordry resigned and has since been replaced by Bruno Genevois.

    Paris-Nice, which is owned by Tour de France organiser ASO, will be the first step in the rebuilding of the relationship between the UCI and the AFLD.