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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 3, 2013

Date published:
October 03, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Schleck out of Milano-Torino with sinus infection

    A relaxed Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) before the start.
    Article published:
    October 02, 2013, 11:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team explains participation in non-WorldTour race

    Andy Schleck was supposed to return to racing on Wednesday at Milano-Torino, but illness struck him down. The RadioShack-Leopard rider decided to sit out the race in anticipation of Sunday's Tour of Lombardy.

    The Luxembourger is suffering from sinusitis, team spokesman Tim Vanderjeugd told Cyclingnews in a text message. “He's on antibiotics for 5 days. Last minute decision not start, to not risk Lombardy.”

    It is another setback in a troubled year for the younger Schleck brother. He finished only 20th in the Tour de France, and did not finish the last three races he started: GP Ouest France – Plouay, GP de Quebec and GP de Montreal.

    The team's presence in the Italian race came as a surprise as it is ranked 1.HC, and it was announced at the end of August that it would only ride WorldTour races for the rest of the season. The team indicated that it was due to financial reasons, and that team owner Flavio Becca would only pay for the team to attend those races which were required by the WorldTour licence.

    Not so, team spokesman Philippe Maertens told wort.lu. “We never said that we would only ride WorldTour races. That came from our financier. We never confirmed it.”

  • IOC receives Lance Armstrong's 2000 Olympic bronze medal

    2000 Sydney Olympic time trial podium: Jan Ulrich, Viatcheslav Ekimov and Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    October 02, 2013, 12:46 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Olympic committee confirms medal is in storage

    The International Olympic Committee confirmed that is has finally received Lance Armstrong's bronze medal from the 2000 Olympic games. He was stripped of the medal in January of this year.

    The banned cyclist finally returned the medal to the U.S. Olympic Committee two weeks ago and it has now arrived at the IOC headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland, where it has been put into storage.

    "Yes, we have it," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told The Associated Press. "It is in the vaults." He called it “the end of a sad chapter for the sport."

    The third place in the time trial race will not be re-awarded. Armstrong had finished behind Vyacheslav Ekimov of Russia and German Jan Ullrich with Abraham Olano of Spain in fourth.

    Earlier, the IOC stripped Tyler Hamilton of his gold medal in the time trial in the 2004 Olympics, and awarded it to runner-up Ekimov.

  • Europcar applies for WorldTour licence

    Bryan Coquard (Europcar) after winning stage 9 of the Tour de Langkawi.
    Article published:
    October 02, 2013, 13:29 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French squad will add to roster if promoted

    Europcar has applied for a WorldTour licence for 2014, the first time the team has done so since the car hire company took over sponsorship from Bouygues Telecom ahead of the 2011 season.

    “We’ve received confirmation of receipt [of the application dossier] and we just have to wait for the decision,” Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau told Sudouest.fr. “Our sponsor would love to take part in all of the big races, and especially the Vuelta.”

    There had been concerns earlier in the year that Europcar would cease its sponsorship, but a two-year extension was announced on the second rest day of the Tour de France, with the company indicating that it wished for the team to have greater international visibility.

    Bernaudeau’s team was part of the then ProTour in its inaugural season in 2005, but has not featured in cycling’s top flight since 2009. As a Pro Continental outfit, it has always succeeded in landing a wildcard invitation to the Tour de France, although it has not participated in another Grand Tour since the 2010 Vuelta a España.

    Having beencomprised of 19 teams in 2013 following an appeal from Katusha to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the WorldTour is set to return to its original 18-squad format in 2014.

    That reduction in places is offset by the disbandment of Euskaltel-Euskadi and Vacansoleil-DCM, however, and to date, Europcar is the only Pro Continental team to announce that it has applied for a WorldTour licence for next year. IAM Cycling recently confirmed that they

  • Hoogerland said to be negotiating to join Cannondale

    Johnny Hoogerland enjoys his moment
    Article published:
    October 02, 2013, 17:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil-DCM rider said to have 90% chance of signing with Sagan's team

    Johnny Hoogerland apparently need not fear that he will be out of a job after the end of Vacansoleil-DCM. The Dutch rider is said to be on the verge of signing with Cannondale.

    "I estimate the probability that it happens at around 90 percent,” his manager told NOS.nl. “We hear definitely on Saturday."

    Hoogerland may be able to go for his own chances at the Italian team, but it is also likely that he would “ride in support of (Peter) Sagan.”

    At Cannondale he would likely meet his Vacansoleil teammate Marco Marcato, who is expected to sign with the team Wednesday or Thursday.

    Vacansoleil team manager Hilaire Van der Schueren, who is taking over the Wanty team in 2014, had wanted to sign Hoogerland. “He is dear to my heart,” Van der Scheren said, but apparently he was unable to afford the rider.

    Hoogerland, 30, has long been known for his aggressive riding style and long breakaways. However, he first came to the attention of many when he went through a barbed wire fence after an incident with a car in the ninth stage of the 2011 Tour de France, and accepted the King of the Mountains jersey with blood streaming down his legs and tears in his eyes.

    This year he was hit by a car whilst training in Spain in February, suffering rib and spinal fractures, as well as liver damage. He returned to racing in late April and won the Netherlands road title before riding the Tour de France.

  • Sagan and Rodriguez visit the Ferrari factory with Alonso

    Peter Sagan with Fernando Alonso
    Article published:
    October 02, 2013, 18:45 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Future team manager takes the riders for a spin

    Peter Sagan and Joaquim Rodriguez put the disappointment of the world championships behind them on Monday by spending a day at the Ferrari factory with Fernando Alonso.

    The Spanish Formula One pilot invited them to Maranello during the Elite men's road race as he began to lay the foundations for his professional team. Following the collapse of talks with the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, Alonso has said his team will begin racing in 2015. He described Sagan as 'the best rider in the world' when speaking to Cyclingnews before the start of the road race on Sunday.

    During the visit to the Ferrari factory, Sagan and Rodriguez saw where the Ferrari sports cars are built, visited the Formula 1 workshop, the Ferrari museum and even did several laps in a Ferrari F12 Berlinetta with Alonso.

    “It was a great day. To get to know Fernando and then to come here to Maranello in the space of two days: I could never even have dreamed of something like that,” Sagan told Ferrari.com.

    “He came to introduce himself and then he invited me to see where the Ferraris are built," said Sagan. "For someone like me, who is almost more of a fan of cars than bikes, it was incredible to be able to visit the factory and the museum!”

    Rodriguez was in tears after missing out of the world title in Florence on Sunday to Rui Costa, but seemed happier after a lap of the track in a Ferrari with Alonso.

    “I am from Barcelona and my house is just a few kilometres from Montmelò: you can hear the sound of the engines when they are on the track and, once, I went to the circuit for the Spanish Grand Prix. I had the chance to meet him there and...

  • AG2R with multiple options for Tour of Beijing

    Christophe Riblon is overcome with emotion after winning on Alpe d'Huez
    Article published:
    October 02, 2013, 20:00 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French team sending four climbers to fight for overall title

    AG2R is going to the Tour of Beijing with four riders capable of winning the race. A combination of climbers and all-rounders will keep the peloton guessing, the French team hopes.

    Christophe Riblon is the top name on the line-up. The Frenchman won the 18tn stage of the Tour de France, which featured not one but two climbs of the legendary Alpe d'Huez.  “His aggressive move to attack on one of the steepest climbs in the world is one of the lasting images of the centenary edition of the fabled race,” the team's press release said.

    Fellow Frenchmen Jean-Christophe Peraud and Romain Bardet also have good chances. Péraud was seventh overall in the race in 2011, whilst Bardet was 15th in this year's Tour de France, his first grand tour. He also won the Tour de l'Ain in August.

    The team's fourth ace is Colombian Carlos Betancur, who has had an impressive WorldTour debut this year. He won the white jersey as best young rider at the Giro d'Italia and finished fifth overall. He also made his mark in the Spring Classics, as he was third in Fleche Wallonne and fourth at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

    AG2R sport director Julien Jurdie wouldn't designate any one of them as the captain. "As usual we will line up at the start with the aim of obtaining a top five overall and obviously get a stage win. It's difficult to appoint a single leader for them overall classification because we have several trump cards.”

    He added, "This year, the course is innovative because there's no individual time-trial scheduled. It's also a selective course with three difficult stages and one of which is a summit finish after a long climb of 12kms.

    ...
  • Trek signs van Poppel brothers, Felline for 2014

    Brothers in arms. Danny and Boy Van Poppel of Vacansoleil-DCM.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2013, 3:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    WorldTour team adds more young talent

    The new Trek WorldTour team announced today the addition of three more riders to its 2014 roster: brothers Boy and Danny van Poppel (both from Vacansoleil-DCM) plus Fabio Felline (Androni Giocattoli).

    The van Poppel brothers, whose father Jean-Paul was a renowned sprinter and points classification winner at the 1987 Tour, both already have a year of WorldTour experience and will provide depth for races finishing in sprint finales. Boy, the elder brother, has seven years of experience at the professional level. The 25-year-old Dutchman spent four years with the Rabobank Continental Team (2007-2010), two years with the US-based Pro Continental UnitedHealthcare squad (2011-2012) followed by 2013 with Vacansoleil-DCM.

    "This feels like another step up for me," said Boy van Poppel. "Already last year was fantastic, with my selection for the Tour. I'm also happy I get to stay in the same team as my brother. Racing with your brother is always special and I'm proud to help him, because he's a natural. I know my place is to lead him out. It's more motivating to lead your brother out than another rider."

    Younger brother, Danny van Poppel, has quickly made a name for himself, having already worn the Tour de France's white jersey after finishing third in the first stage of this year's edition. At the age of 19, van Poppel competed as the youngest rider on a WorldTour roster in 2013 and became the youngest rider since World War II to compete in cycling' s premier event. 2014 will be his third year as a professional after spending 2012 with...

  • Drapac retain six current riders for 2014

    Australian outfit Drapac Cycling have returned for another assault on the tour here in Malaysia.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2013, 5:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    One spot left to fill for Australian team

    Drapac Professional Cycling today announced the re-signing of current riders Floris Goesinnen, Robbie Hucker, Darren Lapthorne, Tom Palmer, Malcolm Rudolph and Bernard Sulzberger. On Wednesday the team announced seven new signings, headlined by Saxo-Tinkoff sprinter Jonathan Cantwell, to help launch its return to UCI Pro Continental status. Today the team that will remain registered in Australia confirmed that six of their current roster would be retained for the 2014 season.

    Tom Palmer has been with the Drapac squad since 2007 as part of the team's old track development program and will serve as a vital lead out man to Cantwell, or as a sprinter in his own right.

    "From what I can tell it is rare if not unique in the whole sport for a rider to be able to progress from junior to professional without changing team," said the former triple junior world champion. "I have been fortunate that my progression has timed so well with the team. Drapac has offered me a stable and supportive environment to literally 'grow up' in as a bike rider and a person. I was blown away by [Team Principle] Michael [Drapac] and his staff's approach as a 16-year-old and now at 23, there's nowhere I'd rather be."

    Despite being struck down by illness at various times throughout the last few seasons, Palmer has still notched up some respectable wins. Most notably four stage victories in four years at the Tour of Okinawa in Japan and two stage wins at the  New Zealand Cycle Classic.

    Palmer rode well for Drapac as part of their European campaign in 2011 where he finished on the podium twice at the Flèche du Sud. He then stayed on to race the Tour de l’Avenir -where he claimed another podium- and the world championships with the Australian U23 National Team and caught the...