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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 11, 2010

Date published:
November 11, 2010, 11:00
  • Roberge named as new director of Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12

    The first-year Peanut Butter & Co/Twenty 12 team after delivering teenager Coryn Rivera to yet another high-profile win.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 16:36
    Barry Ryan

    Former Saturn director arrives as Kristin Armstrong returns to racing

    Giana Roberge is to take over as director of the Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 Women’s Professional Cycling Team. General Manager Nicola Cranmer announced that Roberge will fill the position vacated by Kristin Armstrong, who last month announced that she would be returning to racing in 2011.

    "It is an honour to work with the roster of riders and sponsors that Nicola and Kristin have assembled," said Roberge. "I am very excited to return to the director’s role with such a talented, eager and promising group of women to work with, including 17-year-old rising star Ruth Winder and Durango-based talent Kristin McGrath."

    Roberge has an extensive pedigree as in team management and served as a director of PROMAN Hit Squad, the forerunner to Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12. General manager Cranmer was delighted to welcome Roberge back to the set-up.

    "I first worked with Giana five years ago. She constantly impressed me with her professionalism, knowledge and strong advocacy for women’s cycling," Cranmer said. "She was not only a great mentor for the riders, but for me as well. She was more than willing to share her experience from her time with the fabled Saturn program."

    Roberge had previously guided the Saturn women’s team to two consecutive victories in the women’s World Cup and her squad took the UCI team title in those years. She also enjoyed success at the Redlands Classic and the Tour de l’Aude, and served as a director of the Quark team

    "I learned so much in regard to programme presentation and management from my time working with her," Cranmer said.

    Roberge is enthusiastic about the challenge ahead and acknowledged that the work already done by Cranmer and Armstrong has the team in a healthy position ahead of the 2011 season.

    "Not only are the riders incredible, the team has an outstanding roster of supportive and enthusiastic sponsors including new partnerships with Felt Bicycles and Zipp," Roberge said. "This speaks directly of the excellent job both Nicola and Kristin have done to promote the Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 Team."

    Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong is a part owner of the team and returns to racing in 2011 after a one-year break from competition to give birth to her first child.

  • Now online: The 2010 Cyclingnews reader poll

    Enter your selections in the 2010 Cyclingnews reader poll for your chance to win a 2010 Felt F1 SL race bike used by David Millar (Garmin-Transitions) this season.
    Article published:
    December 25, 2010, 11:50
    Cycling News

    One lucky reader will win David Millar's Felt F1 SL race bike, equipped with Di2

    It's that time of year again...the 2010 Cyclingnews reader poll is now online.

    Each year, we give you the chance to select the riders, teams, races, moments, equipment and photos that have really stood out from the pack in the last 12 months. To keep things simple, we'll be asking you to vote from a fixed selection in each category, so the survey should take you less than five minutes to complete.

    As an incentive, we're giving away a remarkable prize to one lucky reader - a 2010 Felt F1 SL race bike used by David Millar* (Garmin-Transitions) this season - featuring a 58cm Felt F1 SL frame/fork, Shimano Dura Ace 7970 Di2 group (mechs, shifters, cranks, brakes, chain, cassette, bottom bracket, Di2 battery and charger), Garmin Edge 500, Mavic Cosmic Carbone SLR wheels, Vittoria tires, Fizik Arione saddle, Fizik bar tape plus 3T bar, stem and seatpost components. Pedals are not included.

    David Millar's Felt F1 SL bike is provided courtesy of the official online store of Team Garmin-Transitions, where team race equipment such as bikes, components, and wheelsets, along with other unique and exclusive team apparel, are available for purchase. Visit the site or email for more information.

    Entries for the 2010 Cyclingnews reader poll will close at midnight, December 31, 2010. Enter today!

    *The bike will be shipped without any structural issues to the frame, and will be fully rideable, but cannot be customized to suit the winner. Slipstream Sports must have a signed and returned used equipment liability waiver from the contest winner prior to shipping the bike.

  • Contador confident after receiving UCI report

    An emotional Alberto Contador during his press conference in his home town of Pinto
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 18:21
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard hopes to be cleared before the start of the 2011 season

    Alberto Contador and his legal team insist that they remain confident about the outcome of his anti-doping violation investigation after receiving the report submitted to the Spanish Cycling Federation by the UCI.

    In a statement issued by his spokesman Jacinto Vidarte, Contador said: "I am pleased that the case has come before the Federation because means we can move forward.”

    Vidarte confirmed that Contador has hired Spanish law firm Bardají & Honrado and Swiss lawyer Rocco Taminelli, who defended Franco Pellizotti when he was accused of doping after being snared by the UCI’s Biological Passport programme. Surprisingly, Taminelli is also key member of the UCI’s Arbitration Board.

    The statement reiterates Contador’s defence that the traces of Clenbuterol found in a urine sample during this year’s Tour de France were caused by contaminated meat.

    “The dossier prepared by the UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) focuses on the hypothesis of food contamination, as expected by the rider’s defense,” the statement reads. “Thus, according to documents submitted by the UCI and WADA, food contamination remains the only reasonable explanation from a scientific point of view to justify the presence of the tiny amount of Clenbuterol in the body of the rider during the past Tour France.”

    “After studying the documentation received, the rider’s defence is finishing the preparation of scientific reports commissioned over the past few weeks to several international experts, as well as other research and consultation with government agencies that have been carried out in order to provide the National Committee for Sports Discipline Competition with as much evidence as possible so that the decision has the highest legal and scientific soundness.”

    Cleared before 2011?

    Despite suggestions within the Spanish Cycling Federation that the legal process could take more than three months, Contador hopes to be cleared before the start of the 2011 season. He has signed a contract to ride for Bjarne Riis's Saxo Bank-SunGard team.

    “Alberto Contador and his team of lawyers, composed of law firm Bardají & Honrado and Swiss lawyer Rocco Taminelli, put their trust in the discretion of the National Competition Committee for Sports Discipline because its objective can only be to establish without any doubt the definitive innocence of the rider. At the same time they are working with the hope of a verdict in the shortest possible time, with the objective that Alberto Contador can begin the next cycling season without any impediment.”

  • Bobby Julich joins Team Sky as race coach

    Behind the quiet demeanour
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 18:56
    Stephen Farrand

    American to develop coach role at British team

    Team Sky has announced that Bobby Julich is joining the team as a race coach for the 2011 season and will assist riders with training, time trial skills and development.

    The 38 year-old rode as a professional from 1992 to 2008 and finished third in the 1998 Tour de France behind Marco Pantani and Jan Ullrich. In 2005 he also won Paris-Nice, Critérium International and the Eneco Tour while riding for CSC. He then joined Bjarne Riis’ team as a coach, working closely with Andy Schleck to improve his time trialling skills but was not retained for 2011.

    Julich will work with Rod Ellingworth, who said in a statement from the team: "There's a line of communication and we really want to work on that area and Bobby will be part of that. That's my idea in terms of the coaching planning and Bobby is the first one to come in to help me deliver it.

    "Bobby hasn't ever worked in this style before so that's going to be his challenge but he's completely up for that and is really looking forward to it. He's come here and had a good look around and can see that it works.

    “We have a long-term view and a coaching structure that we are aiming to work towards. Bobby is the first new person to be taken on with that in mind. The role is very much to be a one-on-one coach with a few of our key riders.

    "Race coaching is everything to do with the athletes' lives. It involves so much; planning, supporting the riders whenever they need it - whether it's time trialling, positional and tactical work - basically whatever is needed to help them in every area. It could even be getting them back on track after an illness.

    "We obviously also want to make sure that he has his input. He's got some great experience - and we want to learn from that - so he'll be a good member of the team."

    Julich said: "I am extremely excited to be joining Team Sky. I have been in the same system for seven years and look forward to learning a new one and meeting new people.”

    "I think I will fit in perfectly with this team and hope that my experience will help this team progress and reach its goals for the future."

    Julich is expected to attend Team Sky's first get together of the winter later in November.

  • Riccò starts testing with Sassi

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) took another win in his first season back after a two-year suspension.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 22:35
    Cycling News

    Mapei Centre hosts controversial Italian rider

    Riccardo Riccò has begun testing at the Mapei Centre in Castellanza under the watchful eye of Aldo Sassi and Andrea Morelli as the previously-suspended Italian rider continues his comeback to professional cycling.

    Riccò announced last month that he would undergo testing at the Mapei Centre with Sassi, who is regarded as one of the world leaders in coaching some of the sport's best riders, including former world champion Cadel Evans and this year's Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso.

    La Gazzetta dello Sport explained that Riccò's morning session consisted of a constant load test, designed to determine the time of exhaustion of the athlete riding at a certain power, fixed according to the weight of the subject.

    His afternoon session saw him undergo a V02 Max test, used to determine his oxygen displacement and the necessary pace for subsequent training sessions. Tomorrow he'll get on the road and be tested with a small climb.

    Riccò was suspended for 20 months following a positive test for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. He initially denied using the substance but later confessed, telling Italian Olympic Committee prosecutor Ettore Torri: "After the [2008] Giro, I had no plans to go to the Tour, and that is why I have taken the substance. I made a mistake of youth."

    Now riding for Dutch Professional Continental squad Vacansoleil, he is continuing his comeback to professional cycling after his ban was lifted earlier this year; and while he has enjoyed success on the road, winning the overall title at the Tour of Austria and the Coppa Sabatini, his battle to regain credibility continues.

    His decision to train at the Mapei Centre is part of that process, much in the vein of Ivan Basso's return to pro cycling following a doping-related suspension imposed in 2007. He trained with Aldo Sassi and sealed his comeback with victory in this year's Giro d'Italia.

  • Kirchen to decide on his future next month

    Kim Kirchen (Katusha)
    Article published:
    November 11, 2010, 09:51
    Cycling News

    Denies he has already cut ties with Katusha

    Kim Kirchen has still not made a decision on whether or not he will continue his cycling career. He has once again denied rumours that he had ended his contract with Team Katusha.

    “Whatever is being written has nothing to do with me. I will not decide about my future until December,” he told the Luxembourg newspaper Wort.

    Kirchen, 32, suffered an apparent heart attack in his hotel room during the Tour de Suisse. After being reanimated, he was placed in an induced coma. He was later returned to hospital in his homeland of Luxembourg, being released just in time for the birth of his twin sons in July.

    Since then, there have been reports that he planned to resume riding, but he has consistently denied that he has yet made a decision. Katusha manager Andrei Tchmil has said that he would not consider letting Kirchen ride for his team again, as it would be too dangerous, but that he would offer him a management position.

    Kirchen turned pro in 2000 with De Nardi-Pasta Montegrappa. He rode for Fassa Bortolo, T-Mobile and Columbia-HTC before joining Katusha this year. His best year was 2008, when he won the national time trial title, two stages at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and one stage at the Tour de Suisse, as well as the Spring Classic Fleche Wallone. He finished seventh overall in the Tour de France that year, wearing the leader's yellow jersey for four stages.

  • Riis glad that Contador doping case is going forward

    Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    November 11, 2010, 10:16
    Cycling News

    No decision as to Spaniard's attendance at training camp

    Bjarne Riis has applauded the fact that the Alberto Contador doping case has taken the next step, saying it was going “entirely as expected.” He also said that it was not yet clear whether the Spaniard would attend Team Saxo Bank's first team meeting the end of this month.

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) this week forwarded the case to the Spanish national federation for it to conduct hearings on the test. “I didn't expect anything else,” Riis told the Danish newspaper BT. “It's good that the matter is now going forward.”

    He admitted he has not had a chance to talk with Contador lately. “I will have a talk with him, but I have not yet had time.” Riis has consistently said that he believes Contador's assertion that the positive doping test for Clenbuterol on the second rest day of the Tour de France was caused by the consumption of contaminated meat.

    Meanwhile, Riis is preparing for the upcoming year, although he said that he has not yet decided whether Contador should attend the team's training camp the end of this month on Fuerteventura. “It is not a survival camp, as was previously the case, but a gathering of a more traditional character, although it will probably offer up some surprises.”

  • Andy Schleck says Fränk’s crash cost him the Tour

    Big brother. Andy Schleck listens as Fränk speaks.
    Article published:
    November 11, 2010, 10:32
    Barry Ryan

    Defends his close relationship with Alberto Contador

    Andy Schleck has pinpointed his brother Fränk’s abandon on stage 3 as the moment that ultimately cost him Tour de France victory. The Luxembourg rider also said that he did not understand why his friendship with Alberto Contador draws so much criticism.

    “Everybody asks me when and where I lost the Tour,” Schleck told L’Équipe in Curaçao, where he participated in the Amstel race with his brother. “I know when: it was right when [Fränk] abandoned the Tour after four days.

    “From then on, I didn’t succeed in sparing myself, in preserving my freshness like I would have done with [him] at my side. It’s hard to think about it again, because I should have won that Tour!”

    Another crucial turning point in Andy Schleck’s Tour came on the Port de Bales, when he slipped his chain and was subsequently attacked by Alberto Contador. By that stage Fränk was at home in Luxembourg watching the race, and he said he couldn’t bear to watch his brother lose the yellow jersey in such circumstances.

    “I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, I switched it off straight after the top of the Port de Bales,” Fränk Schleck explained. However, he also noted that had he still been on the Tour, he would have cautioned Andy against attacking at that moment.

    “It wasn’t very wise to attack at that moment,” Fränk said. “If I had been at [Andy’s] side, [he] would never have acted like that.”

    For his part, Fränk Schleck claimed that Andy’s expulsion from the Vuelta a España was ultimately very costly to his own aspirations in the Spanish race. Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis sent Andy Schleck and Stuart O’Grady home for breeching the team’s rules on alcohol consumption during the rest day.

    “OK, [Riis] is responsible for the image of the team and we’ve always respected him for that,” Fränk said. “But his decision to exclude Andy and Stuart O’Grady wasn’t right in so much as it handicapped me afterwards. I was left without help.”

    Schleck and Contador: the special relationship

    Andy Schleck reiterated his support of Alberto Contador by underlining their friendship and stating that he would not feel like the winner of the Tour de France if the Spaniard is ultimately sanctioned for his adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol.

    “I don’t understand why our friendship with Alberto Contador has been criticised so much,” Andy said to L’Équipe. “It’s doesn’t change anything about our way of riding, I showed that on the Tour.

    “However, after the incident at Bagnères-de-Luchon, I was very taken aback. Alberto spoke to me afterwards but I will never forget that episode.”

    In 2009, Contador was in the Caribbean with the Schlecks for the Amstel Curaçao Race, but this time around he is in Spain awaiting a verdict on his Clenbuterol case. Nonetheless, the top two from the Tour de France have remained in close contact.

    “A few days ago, he sent us a message with a picture of an enormous fish that he caught near his house,” Andy said. “He challenged us to do better here in Curaçao.”

    The younger Schleck has drawn criticism for his statements on the Contador case in recent weeks, but the Luxembourg rider is unapologetic in his defence of the Spaniard.

    “I just want to make it known that whatever happens to him, whether he’s found guilty or not, Alberto will always be welcome in Luxembourg to go hunting with us,” Andy said. “And if he is ever declassified from the Tour, I could not in any way feel myself the winner. You win the Tour when you cross the finish line on the Champs-Élysées in yellow. Not in any other way.”

    Meanwhile, Fränk Schleck explained that one of the main criteria for signing for the brothers’ new Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project team is the ability to fit into the group.

    “It’s for this reason that we didn’t take a guy like [Riccardo] Riccò,” he explained. “His personality doesn’t fit with ours. It’s nothing to do with his past errors; it’s a question of mentality.”

    Fabian Cancellara has long been touted as a probable signing for the new team, both Schlecks were adamant that nothing has yet been confirmed.

    “It’s true, he’s a friend, but as of today he has not yet signed,” Andy said. “You won’t succeed in getting us to say anything to the contrary.”

    “For now…” added his older brother.