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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 22, 2012

Date published:
November 22, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Ceramica Flaminia confirmed as development team for Team Saxo-Tinkoff

    The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff team with 10 new riders for 2013
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 14:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian Continental team to create permanent base in Tuscany

    Team Saxo-Tinkoff has confirmed that the Italian-based Ceramica Flaminia Continental team will act as its development squad in 2013.

    Ceramica Flaminia announced it was returning to professional cycling on November 12 and named five of its 12-rider roster, including Robert Squire of the USA and Australia's Patrick Lane.

    The team will be based in Lucca, Tuscany, where Team Saxo-Tinkoff owner Bjarne Riis lived for many years. Roberto Marrone will be team manager, with Riccardo Forconi as directeur sportif.

    Team Saxo-Tinkoff team trainer Giuseppe Toni – who also lives in Lucca, will be involved in the coaching, testing and training of the riders. As part of the agreement the Ceramica Flaminia brand will appear on the Team Saxo-Tinkoff jersey.

    "For quite some years I have wanted to create a professional development team based in Lucca, where our team has a strong foundation being the home city of many of our riders and our team trainer. Ceramica Flaminia offered us both the financial support needed and a setup that hopefully will allow us to develop coming star riders of Team Saxo-Tinkoff. So I'm really looking forward to seeing the team progress from here," Riis said in a statement announcing the agreement.

    Ceramica Flaminia will announce its full rider roster and technical sponsors in the next few weeks.

  • Team Sky's anti-doping process continues

    Team Sky was the last team to take on the Valkenberg course
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 15:44 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    All 2013 riders and staff sign declaration

    Over a month has passed since Team Sky asked their staff to reaffirm an anti-doping policy and sign a declaration confirming that they have no past or present involvement in doping, and according to a team spokesperson, the process is still ongoing.

    The British-registered team took the decision to reinforce its anti-doping policy in the wake of USADA’s Lance Armstrong case. It led to director sportif Steven De Jongh and road coach Bobby Julich confessing to doping during their professional careers and leaving the team. Fellow director sportif, Sean Yates, who denied doping despite several links to Armstrong, retired for health reasons.

    Michael Barry had ridden for Team Sky since the team’s inception in 2010 and was a key witness in the Armstrong case, providing evidence of doping at the US Postal team. Barry also confessed to doping. He was dismissed by Team Sky and retired from the sport at the same time that USADA handed him a six-month reduced suspension.

    Team Sky confirmed that all of the riders and staff who will form the squad for 2013 had signed their declarations but would not comment on any possible changes to their line up. However Cyclingnews understands that changes may still be made to the rider roster before the start of next season.

    "I don't think the process will ever conclude," a team spokesperson told Cyclingnews.

    "It's an ongoing process that the team will continue to implement throughout its development. Everyone within the team has been interviewed and the relevant declarations have been signed where appropriate. Any relevant news will be released in due course."


  • Murphy released from Kenda contract for UnitedHealthcare deal

    John Murphy is feeling better after his hand breaking crash at the Valley of the Sun stage race.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 17:27 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Amicable departure for US sprinter

    After one of the most successful seasons of his career, 27-year-old John Murphy will leave the Continental team Kenda/5 Hour Energy, having been released from a two-year contract, and move back to his roots with UnitedHealthcare in 2013.

    UnitedHealthcare announced its full roster this week, adding eight new riders: Lucas Euser, Alessandro Bazzana, Luke Keough, Aldo Ilesic, Kiel Reijnen, Martin Irvine, Danny Summerhill and Murphy, and 11 returning: Jake Keough, Hilton Clarke, Robert Förster, Marc de Maar, Jeff Louder, Ben Day, Jonny Clarke, Brad White, Chris Jones, Philip Deignan, Karl Menzies, Davide Frattini and Adrian Hegyvary.

    Murphy began his professional career with the Momentum Sports Group and the HealthNet team in 2007, and remained with the organisation until his move to the WorldTour with BMC in 2010.

    "I'm really excited to be coming back with UnitedHealthcare. I spent the first two years of my career with Momentum Sports as HealthNet and Ouch - so, it's kind of a homecoming for me," Murphy said to Cyclingnews.

    Murphy explained that the split from Kenda was amicable, and came after an opportunity with UnitedHealthcare arose during the summer.

    "I had a two-year contract with Kenda, but that was hinging on them finding another sponsor. They've been on a sponsor hunt to make the team bigger and better. Around mid-summer we didn't have a lot of answers, and when I...

  • European Cycling Union agrees to MPCC anti-doping proposals

    The European Cycling Union logo
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 19:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    48 European Federations will not select banned riders for national teams

    The management committee of the European Cycling Union (UEC) has approved a proposal from the MPCC to introduce several new measures to help in the fight against doping.

    The association of European national cycling federations held a meeting in Zurich over the weekend and agreed to the support the strict anti-doping association headed by former Credit Agricole team manager Roger Legeay.

    The MPCC (Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible) currently includes 11 major professional teams including Garmin-Sharp, Cofidis, Ag2r-La Mondiale, Team Europcar, FDJ and Lotto-Belisol. Several other teams have recently asked to join.

    The UEC has agreed to three key points:

    - Not to select a rider for national teams who has been suspended for more than 6 months in the two years following the suspension.

    - To establish a medical monitoring programme of the use of corticosteroids and to impose an eight-day rest period if corticosteroid injections are used.

    - To call on the WorldTour, Pro Continental and Continental teams in each (UEC) country to join the MPCC and follow its rules.

    The UEC is an umbrella organisation for 48 national cycling federations. It has stepped up its political influence in the sport in recent times, with Russian businessman Igor Makarov – a key sponsor of the Katusha team - being voted to represent the UEC on the very influential UCI management committee. Makarov agreed to sponsor the UEC via his Itera company.

    Former rider and Katusha team manager Andrei Tchmil was recently nominated as a candidate for the role of President of the UEC. Elections take place next March and it has been suggested that Tchmil may then go on to challenge Pat McQuaid for the role of UCI President in September.

  • Gallery: Africans continue to shine in Tour of Rwanda

    Young girl cyclists have ridden on the same route of race
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 19:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lill in lead after stage 3

    Following the stage 1 victory of the young Eritrean Merhawi Kudus, the Africans have continue to have success in the Tour of Rwanda on stages 2 and 3.

    In the second road stage, another UCI Continental Center rider Amanuel Meron followed his teammate's exploit by taking out a rainy stage from Kigali. Meron won the sprint in the 44.1km morning stage to Muhanga.

    Race leader Shaun Davel (South Africa) gave up his yellow jersey to prologue winner Remi Pelletier Roy (Quebecor-Garneau) on that stage, but in the afternoon, Davel's teammate Darren Lill carried the torch, winning the 74.6km route from Muhange to Huye with enough margin to take over the race lead.

    Lill maintained his hold on the yellow jersey on today's fourth stage, which was won by Bruno Langlois (Team Quebecor Garneau).

    The Tour of Rwanda continues through November 25.

  • Vos sees bright future for cycling

    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 21:00 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Excerpt from exclusive Cycling News HD interview

    Marianne Vos dominated the women's cycling scene in 2012, yet she finds herself in a team desperate for sponsors.

    Rabobank, who was involved in cycling for 17 years, decided to leave the sport in the wake of the Lance Armstrong USADA case. The Dutch bank had decided to branch into women's cycling for 2012, but their departure meant their ProTeam and Continental teams were left without a main sponsor.

    Despite the troubles in the men's peloton spilling into the women's Vos remains pragmatic about the situation. "It doesn't annoy me because it is cycling in general. There are young riders in the male Rabobank team who are also paying for the past," she said in an exclusive interview with Cycling News HD.

    "For us it was great to have one year with Rabobank. It was our first year in a big team and we were really happy they could give us that. We were getting more professional and we got recognition for our sport and for our results."

    Vos became only the second rider to win Olympic and Worlds gold in the same year. To that she added the Giro Donne (the Women's Giro d'Italia), GP Plouay and the Holland Ladies tour. The 25-year-old knew Rabobank were on the edge of leaving the sport but had remained hopeful, "it took Rabobank two weeks to make the decision. I thought they could see that things were getting better and that they would continue."

    "After two weeks they said that we're too far in and it is hard to see a brighter future, for cycling. I have a different view." Vos still remains positive that the sport has seen the worst and can begin to rebuild. "I think it will survive, but we are at the low point. Once you get to the lowest point you can climb up...

  • Reus without a team after being left off UnitedHealthcare roster

    Kai Reus (Unitedhealthcare) excited for his victory
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 22:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider searching for a contract

    Dutch rider Kai Reus seemed to be a sure bet for a 2013 contract with UnitedHealthcare after he won a stage in the Tour of Portugal, but when the full 21-rider roster was released, his name was absent.

    The 27-year-old is now facing an uphill battle to find a team for the coming year.

    Reus has had a rocky time since his career was interrupted by a crash in training that resulted in severe head injuries in 2007. He returned to the ProTour with Rabobank two years later, but was again stopped by mononucleosis and briefly retired from the sport.

    He returned with the Continental Cycling Team De Rijke in 2011 and won a stage of the Mi-Août en Bretagne, and was picked up by the American Pro Continental team for 2012.

    His early season was affected by a training crash that kept him out of the Tour of California, but he rebounded in the late season with the stage win in Portugal.

    However, it was not enough to earn him a new contract. He and fellow Dutchman Boy van Poppel and American Jason McCartney are among those not renewed with the team.

    "They mainly went with Americans," Reus said to

    Heading into December without a contract, Reus is remaining optimistic that something will come through. "It's a difficult time with all the doping affairs. Also, just about everyone in cycling is currently on vacation. But there are some contacts. I have faith," he said.

    Meanwhile, he stays fit with his second sport, marathon skating, and riding on the velodrome.

  • Boonen wins his fourth Crystal Bike award

    Tom Boonen shows his Kristallen Fiets trophy
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 23:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    De Weert voted best domestique

    Tom Boonen won Belgium's Kristallen Fiets (Crystal Bike) award for rider of the year. The Omega Pharma-Quickstep rider won the voting of team directors and journalists surveyed by Het Laatste Nieuws by more than 100 ballots over world champion Philippe Gilbert. Thomas De Gendt came in third.

    It is the fourth time that Boonen has been given the award. He previously won it over three consecutive years in 2004-2006.

    Boonen had a spectacular first half of 2012, winning a stage of the Tour de San Luis and one stage and the overall at Tour of Qatar before heading back to Belgium for his Classics campaign.

    He kicked off the European season with a narrow second place in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad to Garmin's Sep Vanmarcke before moving on to Paris-Nice, where he took one stage win.

    Having no luck at Milan-Sanremo, Boonen got revenge by sweeping nearly all of the Belgian Classics: he won the E3 Prijs Vlaanderen - Harelbeke in a sprint over Oscar Freire and Bernhard Eisel, dispatched Filippo Pozzato and Alessandro Ballan to win the Tour of Flanders, and then capped off his spring with a commanding solo victory in Paris-Roubaix.

    After winning his national road title, Boonen chose to skip the Tour de France in order to focus on the Olympic Games and World Championships. While things did...