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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 4, 2010

Date published:
November 04, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project starts out on top

    Andy and Frank Schleck looking sharp at the Tour presentation
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 10:06 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Finances secure for four years, Andersen says

    The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project team hasn't announced a title sponsor, the names of all of its riders, and has not even ridden its first race, but still the team tops the UCI's sporting hierarchy of teams for 2011, considered crucial to obtaining UCI ProTeam status

    The team has claimed that honour based on the results of its top 15 riders, which include Andy Schleck, second in the Tour de France, and his brother Fränk, Jens Voigt, Stuart O'Grady, Linus Gerdemann, Fabian Wegmann and Jakob Fuglsang. The team has yet to confirm that signing of Fabian Cancellara but his points appear to have lifted the team from an expected third place to first.

    First place in the 2011 sporting hierarchy brings “great pressure on the team,” team manager Kim Andersen told the Dutch telesport website. “It is therefore important to perform well at the Tour Down Under and make an immediate impression on the races. But the focus shouldn't be entirely on the first races. You must never lose sight of the fact that the Classics are much more important, while the Tour de France is the absolute objective.”

    While it has not yet been awarded its Pro Team licence, the team won't have to worry about being invited to the major races of the year. Nor it is concerned about its financial security, even if the main sponsor has still to be announced.

    “Everything has been financially covered for the next four years,” Andersen said. He did not indicate, however, when the name of the sponsor would be revealed.

    The team plans to start the 2011 season with 25 riders. “We are ready,” he said. “We have attracted good riders, so expectations are high. Nevertheless, I remain humble. We have yet to prove anything,” adding that such proof would come “on the bike.”

    Andersen, who worked with Team Saxo Bank's Bjarne Riis for more than six years, said he got the financial...

  • Popovych to testify in Armstrong probe

    Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack)
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 10:07 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Teammate subpoenaed to appear in Los Angeles today

    Lance Armstrong’s teammate Yaroslav Popovych has been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury in Los Angeles on Wednesday as part of the on-going investigation into doping in cycling.

    Popovych is a loyal, long-term teammate of Armstrong, riding with him at the Discovery Channel, Astana and RadioShack teams. His lawyer Ken Miller told the Associated Press of the grand jury appearance but declined to give further details.

    In recent weeks, the federal prosecutors have subpoenaed several of Armstrong's former teammates and associates including coach Allen Lim and Stephanie McIlvain, who was an Oakley representative who worked with Armstrong early in his career.

    Federal investigators have always refused to comment on the investigation, which is headed by Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky.

    He is expected to travel to Europe to possible question other people as part of the on-going investigation. Novitzky is famous for his tenacious role in the BALCO investigation into drug use in baseball and athletics.

  • Cavendish says night time doping controls are no problem

    Mark Cavendish celebrates on the podium in Salamanca.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 11:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Testing must apply equally to all riders, HTC-Columbia sprinter says

    There may be a groundswell of opinion against night-time doping controls within the peloton, but Mark Cavendish has always been one to go his own way. The HTC-Columbia sprinter has said that the overnight controls are acceptable, as long as they are applied equally.

    “We have to do anything we can to eliminate doping in cycling, so I'm ok with it,” he told TV2 Sporten, a Danish television show. “Of course it can disturb sleep and so affect your race performance. But as long as it is done equally for all, then it's ok.”

    The World Anti-Doping Agency had recommended that doping controls be conducted at “less acceptable hours” in order to catch substances or methods “with short detection windows.” Currently, testing is not conducted between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

    Most riders have spoken out against the night-time testing. “Not letting us sleep at night seems obsessive,” said Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti. Vuelta a Espana Vincenzo Nibali jokingly suggested that anti-doping inspectors “can sleep in our room.”

    Team Sky's Thomas Löfkvist said that the test might be necessary, but that further consideration was necessary, as the riders' sleep is very important.

  • Denifl, Clarke and Feillu join the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

    Stage winner Brice Feillu (Agritubel) made France proud.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 12:32 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Gustov returns to Saxo Bank

    The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project and Saxo Bank teams have announced further signings for 2011.

    Austria’s Stefan Denifl, Australian Will Clarke, and Frenchman Brice Feillu will further bolster the powerful line-up of the Luxembourg team, while veteran Ukrainian Volodimir Gustov rejoins Bjarne Riis’ team along with talented Italian neo-pro Manuele Boaro.

    Feillu won a stage in the 2009 Tour de France to Andorra Arcalis and rode for Vacansoleil this year.

    “I know several of the guys who have signed and they are fantastic colleagues which made it an easy choice to join them on this team,” Feillu said. “I’m not entirely sure about my personal objectives for the coming season, but I really want to be effective at putting myself in the service of the team.”

    23-year-old Denifl rode for the Cervelo TestTeam in 2010 and is looking to develop further in 2011.

    “I like the fact that it is a brand new team and I, as a young rider, can grow up along with the team in the next years,” he said. “I have started off well, but I still have to learn and improve. I want to do my job as a helper in the team as well as I can. There are so many good riders with a lot of experience, I only can profit and learn from them.”

    Will Clarke rode came highly recommended by fellow Australian Stuart O’Grady and rode as a stagiaire in the final part of the season.

    “I had been racing in Belgium and then stayed with a friend in Monaco where I met Stuart O’Grady,” Clarke said. “I think O’Grady really helped me and pushed for me to win a spot on the team. To work with people like him and the other guys in the squad will be a huge learning opportunity for me.”

    Riis rebuilds at Saxo Bank

    Saxo Bank has lost many of its best riders to the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project and team owner Bjarne Riis is trying to...

  • McQuaid dismisses track riders schedule protests

    Pat McQuaid told Cyclingnews that the 50 riders targeted by the UCI are not under suspicion
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 12:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Says athletes should be able to handle multiple events

    Pat McQuaid has dismissed criticism that it is not possible for riders who rode in the Commonwealth Games last month to also ride in the European track championships this coming weekend. The International Cycling Union president accused the protesting riders of “playing to the galleries.”

    The Commonwealth Games were held in Delhi, India, ending October 8. The European track cycling championships open this Friday in Pruskow, Poland. For the first time, they are open to over-23 riders and will count as qualification towards the London 2012 Olympics.

    A number of top British track cyclists had said that the two events were too close together and that they could not compete in both. Multiple Olympic gold-medal winner Sir Chris Hoy, said, “"It's a decision that's been forced on me by the nature of the qualification process for the London Olympics.

    While some of the endurance riders will do both events, no sprinters have done so, saying they cannot peak twice within such a short time period.

    McQuaid rejected that philosophy. "I do not necessarily agree with some of the statements that have been made by some athletes that they cannot compete at certain events because of the European Championships," McQuaid told the Sportsbeat press agency.

    "I believe that if an athlete cannot compete six, seven maybe ten times a year then they should not call themselves a top class athlete.

    "And so I think some of the statements made was a little bit of playing to the galleries."

  • Candelario returns to cross for a good cause

    Alex Candelario (Kelly Benefits) happy to take second spot on todays podium.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 15:38 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Road sprinter supports World Bicycle Relief

    Kelly Benefit Strategies' Alex Candelario is revisiting his cyclo-cross roots this fall after a decade away from the off-road side of the sport. The talented road sprinter recently placed fifth at the UCI C2 Colorado Cross Classic racing under the World Bicycle Relief banner and will support the non-profit organisation through to the USA Cycling Cyclo-cross National Championships held in December in Bend, Oregon.

    "I had the opportunity to help build this program with World Bicycle Relief and promote them," Candelario told Cyclingnews. "Coming back to race cyclo-cross has been in the back of my mind for a long time. I'm just having some fun and the road is still my priority.

    "I had no idea that I would be able to get top five last weekend and I'm stoked about that. If this spreads the message about World Bicycle Relief then that is amazing."

    The World Bicycle Relief was founded by SRAM Corporation and Trek Bicycles in 2005. It provides large-scale bicycle programs to poverty relief and disaster recovery initiatives. The organisation reached out to the Clinton Foundation HIV/AIDS initiative along with projects in Zambia, Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

    "Kelly Benefit Strategies, my team, has been partners with World Bicycle Relief for a few years now and we raised about $75,000 in the effort last year," said Candelario. "Four of us went to Zambia and got to see the whole program in effect and we went along every day to see how effective bicycles are in people's lives over there.

    "It really changed my life in how I view bikes and racing. We are so privileged over here and I felt like this was a good time to try and give back through cyclo-cross. It was last minute but everyone stepped up big time to make it all happen."

    Candelario’s list of road results include a recent second place at the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships. In the not too distant past, he captured a podium at the International Cycling...

  • Visconti considered move to ProTour team

    Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) at the start in Milan.
    Article published:
    November 03, 2010, 15:55 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian champion looks forward to 2011

    Current Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) has said that he considered joining a ProTour team for 2011 as he was frustrated at missing out on the biggest events on the international calendar. The Italian eventually opted to remain with his current ISD-Neri squad, which will become Farnese-Neri next season.

    “I was on the point of saying ‘enough, I’m leaving,’” Visconti told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I thought it was time to change team, to get back on the ProTour circuit and ride a calendar of more important races."

    “I went through days of doubts and uncertainties, and of questions without response, until I decided to stay with ISD for another year, counting on being able to ride the races organised by RCS Sport, from Tirreno-Adriatico to the Tour of Lombardy, and obviously the Giro d’Italia.”

    In 2010, Visconti and his ISD-Neri squad were overlooked for selection for the Giro and he was also forced to miss the majority of the ProTour calendar. In spite of his relative lack of top-level racing, the Italian enjoyed a fine season, taking seven victories and as many second place finishes.

    For the second consecutive year, Visconti also ended the season at the top of the UCI Europe Tour rankings, an achievement he looks on with a great deal of pride.

    “It’s the Europe Tour and I don’t consider it to be a Serie B (second division) title because there were big teams like BMC and Cervélo in it,” he explained.

    Season highlights

    The highlight of Visconti’s season came when he claimed his second Italian national title in June, having previously taken the tricolore jersey in 2007. “It was the end of a day when everything went perfectly,” he said. “I don’t want to seem presumptuous but I was so strong that day, I could have gone on and done another lap of the...

  • Jelly Belly signs Hanson, Hagman

    Californian and Team Type 1 sprinter Ken Hanson is having a good season in 2010.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 0:31 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Six new riders for 2011 named

    Ken Hanson and Alex Hagman are two of six new riders to join Jelly Belly-Kenda’s 12-man roster for the 2011 season. The United States of America-based Continental team will once again focus on several International Cycling Union (UCI)-sanctioned races in Asia, beginning with the Tour of Thailand.

    “I’ve known Danny Van Haute for a couple of years and we’ve talked about my joining the team,” Hanson told Cyclingnews. “This year it worked out and it is certainly something that I am really excited about because they race here in the US as well as some pretty big races in Asia. I know some of the guys on the team and the environment is good. It was a no brainer to sign on with them.”

    Hanson is a former Elite USA Criterium Champion who joins the team from Team Type 1. Hagman is a young all-rounder who placed eighth overall at the Tour of Utah while racing for On The Rivet.

    Other new signings include Nick Hamilton, Emerson Oronte, Cameron Cogburn, Alistair Loutit. Returning riders include Jeremy Powers, Brad Huff, Bernard Van Ulden, Will Dickeson, Sean Mazich and Sergio Hernandez.

    The team recently lost three of its notable riders Mike Friedman (to Kelly Benefit Strategies), Canadian Road Champion Will Routley (to SpiderTech-C10) and Kiel Reijnen (to Team Type 1).

    “We lost three of our big stars,” said directeur sportif Danny Van Haute. “Kiel came on with us a few years ago as an Under 23 rider and we had many discussions about getting to the bigger level and racing in Europe and that’s what he is going to do. Routley also wanted to get to the next level and SpiderTech is going to take him there so we are happy with where they went.

    “It was a surprise for us that Friedman left but he wants to do more racing in Europe and that is what Kelly Benefits will be doing,” he added. “He wants to try and win some races in Europe. It’s...