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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 1, 2012

Date published:
November 01, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Euskaltel - Euskadi boss defends decision to "globalize"

    Euskaltel-Euskadi's Miguel Madariaga, left, and Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano at the 2008 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 8:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Basque team breaks from tradition to secure future

    Euskaltel - Euskadi team manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano has defended the outfit's decision to break with tradition and hire foreign riders for the first time in its near-two decade existence.

    Gonzalez de Galdeano said that the team was simply following the "law of globalization" in an interview with El País.

    "Or we would prefer, see Samuel [Sánchez ] in the Tour of Portugal instead of the Tour de France?" he suggests rhetorically.

    Earlier this week, Euskaltel - Euskadi made the cut for the top 15 teams vying for UCI WorldTour status having found themselves on the wrong end of the sporting criteria scale in for the current season. The news that Euskaltel-Euskadi changed its hiring philosophy came last month when Amets Txurruka, one of the squad's domestiques, was let go because he had no WorldTour points. Txurruka was critical of this new stance, as Euskaltel had been a purely Basque team.

    "With only Basque cyclists, even if we had all the professionals of the field, we would not have enough points," explained Gonzalez de Galdeano. "In addition, the riders we have signed are not as bad as they say."

    There will be a squad of 29 riders for Euskaltel - Euskadi in 2013 with 20 Basques, an Andalucian and eight foreigners. Gonzalez de Galdeano argues that it's the Basque riders who hold the greatest responsibility in the team.

    He continued by saying that the experience of Geox was a warning that unless WorldTour status was secured, neither could invitations to the Grand Tours.

    "We had talked with the ASO, the organizers of the Tour," said Gonzalez de Galdeano. "And they gave us good words for if we did not reach the WorldTour, but did not guarantee anything."


  • Wilier Triestina wake up to Lampre split

    Wilier claims the round-to-square head tube and similarly squared-off fork crown shapes enhance steering precision on Lampre's Cento1 machines.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 9:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bike brand splits with team for 2013

    Despite an announcement in September that Lampre-ISD would rider Merida bikes in 2013, the team's current bike suppliers, Wilier Triestina, have declared that the partnership has ended at their request after Lampre broke their terms and conditions of the current deal.

    Lampre and Wilier originally had a deal set to carry through until the end of 2013 but Wilier has announced that "they have severed ties with Team Lampre-ISD a year early as the team has breached its contract, which was set to expire at the end of the 2013 season. Wilier Triestina will no longer be the technical sponsor of the team."

    In 2013 Lampre-ISD  will become Lampre-Merida and will race on the Scultura SL, while team bikes will be "tailor made" for the rigours of the spring classics and their demanding parcours along with "particularly aerodynamic models for long escapes and building a lead-out train for a sprinter are going to be presented throughout the next year."

    Meanwhile, the jilted Wilier Triestina will, "endeavour to create new professional sports projects to ensure and increase brand visibility both nationally and internationally."


  • Lefevere to build Tour de France team around Cavendish

    Mark Cavendish won his first ever Grand Tour stage during the 2008 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 10:41 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Persistence pays off as Belgian tracks rider's career

    Patrick Lefevere’s persistence finally paid off when he landed the signing of Mark Cavendish and according to the Omega Pharma-QuickStep boss he has been keeping close tabs on the sprinter’s future since his breakthrough year in 2008.

    “For a team it’s always important to have a sprinter. We wanted Mark on the team a long time ago,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews.

    During a visit to the 2008 Giro with several of his sponsors, Lefevere watched as Cavendish won two stages, but it was during the stage to Locarno, one that Cavendish didn’t win, that drew Lefevere’s attention.

    “I remember I went to the Giro in 2008 and he was very upset about an incident that occurred between him and Greipel. He let Greipel win and Greipel disagreed. Mark was very upset and I said to my sponsors, 'this is a guy with guts, we have to have him on the team'. He was contracted for a few years, though, and last year we wanted him but with the whole Sky story it was hard.”

    Cavendish’s possible departure from Sky surfaced towards the end of this year’s Tour. Dave Brailsford pointed to the door by suggesting the sprinter could be better off on a different team. Those words were then echoed by Bradley Wiggins, leaving Cavendish in a position to open discussions with other squads in August.

    QuickStep was quickly touted as the most likely destination. Heavily financed by a Czech backer and with a roster capable of providing a dedicated lead-out, the chance of working with Rolf Aldag and Brian Holm also added to the attraction.

    “At the Tour, even the blind could see that he wasn’t happy,” Lefevere told Cyclingnews. "Then...

  • Valverde: "My conscience is clear"

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) wins the stage
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 11:40 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Movistar leader feels mentally stronger after his ban

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) has admitted that he wasn’t expecting to perform as well as he did this past season following his return from a two-year ban from racing. The Spaniard said the final part of his season had been “excellent. I couldn’t have asked for more. It’s been a good year for me and for Movistar.”

    Valverde won a stage at the Tour, finished second at the Vuelta and took the bronze medal in the road race at the Worlds. “If I’m honest, I think I was expecting less. I began very well, I had a little drop-off in form at the end of March and into April, and then I started the Tour very well, apart from the falls I had,” he told Marca.

    The Spaniard said he believes he has benefited from the time he spent away from racing as a result of his ban. “I think I learned a good deal during that period and, quite honestly, I enjoyed it. I did things that I can’t do when I’m racing. I enjoyed being with my family, travelling… I honestly think that I can now stay competitive until I’m 36 or 37.”

    Valverde added that he felt his time away from racing has made him mentally stronger, and believes this will serve him well in achieving future objectives, which will primarily be the Grand Tours. Asked if Spain had lost potentially its best Classics rider of all time because of his focus on three-week races, Valverde responded: “In the Vuelta I’ve finished first, second twice, third, fourth and fifth… Those who say that I’m not a rider suited to three-week races don’t understand a lot about cycling.

    “In the Tour I have had bad moments,...

  • Contador: "If Lance is guilty, then it stands to reason he loses his Tours"

    Cool as a cucumber: Alberto Contador (Astana) speaks to Lance Armstrong (Astana) on the way up Mont Ventoux
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 12:31 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Spaniard believes he won 2010 Tour clean despite CAS ruling

    Alberto Contador has said he believes it is right that Lance Armstrong should be stripped of his Tour de France titles.

    Asked in a lengthy interview in sports daily MARCA if he thought it was right that Armstrong should lose his Tour wins, Contador replied “If he has been judged and the verdict was guilty, then I think it stands to reason that he should lose them.”

    As for the wisdom of leaving the Tour winnerless from 1999 to 2005, Contador said, “it’s complicated to give an answer, but given cycling’s current predicament, and it’s obvious that we are going through a bad moment, then perhaps there was no other solution.”

    When it was pointed out to him that many people did not understand the degree of support Contador gave to Armstrong during the 2013 Tour presentation, calling it a ‘lynching’, Contador said “what’s come out [about the Armstrong case] has been disappointing, because he was a rider who I looked up to when I started this [racing professionally].”

    Armstrong was also an example for Contador after the Spaniard suffered a stroke in May 2004, “because he had, had cancer. Now he’s been judged and banned in a way which sets an example [of what can happen] for all of this, but with this [Armstrong’s] suspension we don’t solve all of cycling’s problems.”

    Contador told MARCA he believed that the current generation of riders were paying for errors committed by those in the past, but that “thank goodness we are advancing fast in the fight against doping. In my opinion, we need an agreement...

  • Italian court reject Ferrari agent's appeal

    Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 16:59 GMT
    Cycling News

    Padua charges upheld

    Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation has upheld the offences of doping, money laundering and tax evasion listed by the Padua-based investigation into the activities of Dr. Michele Ferrari and the agent Raimondo Scimone.

    In a decree issued on October 9, the Supreme Court also rejected Scimone’s appeal to have his case moved from Italy to Switzerland on the basis that that most of the alleged offences had taken place there.

    Scimone is accused of having created falsified image rights contracts for riders to aid them in evading taxes. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the preliminary investigation judge in Padua ordered the seizure of almost €26,000 from Scimone, while other sums were seized from the riders Michele Scarponi, Vladimir Gusev, Denis Menchov and Vladimir Karpets. Gazzetta also notes that the taxes allegedly evaded by Scarponi in 2006 and by Gusev in 2009 amount to a total of €240,000.

    The Supreme Court declared the seizure of the funds to be legitimate and dismissed Scimone’s attempt to contest the charge on the basis that he never had material possession of the riders’ money. “Acting as an intermediary in the placement of money or other assets for a third party in a way that hides its illicit origin constitutes ‘formal’ possession of goods on the part of the launderer,” the court ruled, according to Gazzetta.

    The Padua-based investigation into Dr. Ferrari’s activities began in 2010 and is led by public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti. The doping and money laundering probe is reported to have uncovered a series of contracts and secret payments totalling €30 million.

    As well as facing criminal charges in Italy, Ferrari has also been charged with...

  • Cupitt prepared for leadership role at Budget Forklifts

    Peter Herzig and Michael Cupitt shared the work
    Article published:
    October 31, 2012, 22:35 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Aiming to convert podiums to wins in 2013 after Grafton performance

    Team director Cameron Watt had said he expected big things from Michael Cupitt in the days leading up to Grafton to Inverell, arguably Australia's toughest one-day race. Cupitt did little to disappoint his team director, riding a near perfect race by entering the early breakaway and then attacking with teammate Peter Herzig as the shattered bunch crested the Gibraltar Range. At the finish Herzig took the win ahead of Cupitt after the two had been on the attack for over 150km.

    "I've been coming to this race since '06. Both [Herzig] of us have dreamed of winning this race so to do it together, I couldn't think of anyone better to win the race with. We usually room together, we've been on Budget racing together for a couple of years and we're pretty good mates," Cupitt told Cyclingnews.

    "We put our heads down and got going. We thought we would just force the other teams to chase and Mark O'Brien could get an easy run. We heard we had three minutes and got excited," he added.

    "With 30km to go we decided to empty the tank. Herzig was strong. He did the turn up Wire Gully and the whole way up the last climb. It was only fair that he took it because he was stronger. If it wasn't for those turns it might have come back."

    Cupitt's result was further confirmation that he has what it takes to lead his Budget Forklifts squad for the coming year. Team director Watt had already signalled a number of riders will be moving on and Cupitt says that while he has enjoyed riding in a support role for Mark O'Brien this year, he's excited about taking on a more protected position in tours that suit his characteristics.

    "I've had lots of second-places this year. I really...

  • Savio supports manifesto for credible cycling

    Franco Pellizotti with Androni Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 0:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Says Pellizotti was punished perhaps more than what was fair

    Androni Giocattoli - Venezuela manager Gianni Savio believes that team hierarchies should also be punished when riders are sanctioned for anti-doping violations.

    Savio was speaking on the "Last Kilometer" program on Radio Mana Mana Sport and said he was behind the 'manifesto for credible cycling' published last week by leading European newspapers which demanded major reform within the sport.

    "We have reached a crossroads, it seems that this past does not want us to leave and then we need new rules, to move from words to deeds," Savio said. "There were too many ethical codes that have not been met, so you have to do something different, such as introducing tougher sanctions for riders, because today the situation can be monitored and sanctions should also be imposed on teams and team managers, not only to the riders."

    Earlier this season, Savio signed Franco Pellizotti following his two-year-ban for anomalies in his biological passport. The Court of Arbitration for Sport upheld the UCI's appeal after the Italian rider was cleared by the Italian Olympic Committee.

    As an extra penalty, CAS cancelled all of Pellizotti's results from May 17, 2009. He lost his second place at the Giro d'Italia (he finished third but Danilo Di Luca was subsequently disqualified for doping), his stage victory at the Tour de France and his polka-dot climber's jersey. He was also fined 115,000 Euro.

    Pellizotti always denied doping but several blood tests caught the eye of the Biological Passport experts.

    According to Savio, Pellizotti has received just punishment.

    "I think...