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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 4, 2012

Date published:
October 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Moser: Nibali is only a good rider, not a champion

    Three-time Paris-Roubaix winner Francesco Moser was at the start in Compiegne.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 14:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian critical of current generation

    Francesco Moser has cast a critical eye over Italian cycling at the end of a fourth successive season without a victory in a monument classic, declaring that Vincenzo Nibali is not a champion and bemoaning the scarcity of leaders in the peloton.

    In an interview with the Gazzettino newspaper, the triple Paris-Roubaix and 1984 Giro d'Italia winner said that he had been underwhelmed by Nibali’s performance at the Tour de France, where he finished third between the Sky pair of Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome.

    “He made a couple of little attacks and then he stopped… Not much for the strongest to be worried about,” Moser said of Nibali’s showing in July. “Nibali is only a good rider, not a champion. You need a lot more to merit that title. He tries and he tries, but he’s always lacking something.”

    Nibali will complete a lucrative switch from Liquigas-Cannondale to Astana during at the end of the season, but Moser maintained that the Sicilian’s status owed more to the paucity of the current peloton than his own talents.

    “Lucky for him. In my time, riders were stronger and earned less. People are getting excited about very little because they have very little to get excited about,” said Moser, who was prepared by controversial doctor Francesco Conconi to break the hour record in Mexico in 1984.

    Nibali was the leader of the Italian team at the world championships in Valkenburg, where for the second year in a row, the squadra azzurra’s best finisher came home in a lowly 13th place.

    “Unfortunately, we have too many so-so riders and no element of leadership, so our rivals dominate and win,” Moser said. “I...

  • Break might be best option for Pooley, says Sutton

    Emma Pooley (Great Britain).
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 15:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Pooley considering stepping back in 2013

    British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton has conceded that Emma Pooley might benefit from taking some time away from cycling in 2013. In the wake of the London 2012 Olympics, Pooley revealed that she was considering a break from the sport and reiterated that stance during the world championships in Valkenburg last month.

    Shortly after the Olympics, it had emerged that Pooley’s AA team was to disband at the end of the season, while the rider herself was critical of the UCI’s efforts to develop women’s cycling and questioned why Team Sky did not fund a women’s team.

    “Emma has made no bones about the fact that she is considering her future in the sport and I don’t think that is very surprising,” Sutton told The Norwich Evening News. “She has gone out public and Emma has been very critical of the women’s team and in turn she has not done it any favours.

    “To criticise everything that she has done and say it is run by gangsters, or whatever it was; if you listen to Emma’s interviews she seems quite bitter towards the sport at the minute. So maybe it is better that she takes some time away from the sport and reflects on why she got involved in the first place.”

    An Olympic silver medallist in the time trial in Beijing in 2008, Pooley was unable to match that showing on home roads in 2012, and during the Worlds confessed to being disappointed by her relative lack of progress this season. “I do feel like I haven't improved this year,” Pooley said after finishing fourth in the individual time...

  • Swiss court finds in UCI's favour in Landis defamation case

    Floyd Landis during his 2007 doping case.
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 15:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Landis ordered to pay McQuaid and Verbruggen CHF10,000 each

    The Est Vaud District Court has found in favour of the UCI in its defamation proceedings against Floyd Landis. The verdict was handed down on September 26 and the written judgement released by the UCI on Wednesday.

    The UCI, its current president Pat McQuaid and former president Hein Verbruggen launched the proceedings against Landis in April 2011, after he alleged that the governing body had colluding in covering up a positive test by Lance Armstrong at the 2001 Tour de Suisse. Landis did not present himself before the court.

    “The judgement upholds and protects the integrity of the UCI and its Presidents,” read the UCI statement. “False accusations are unacceptable and unlawful and the UCI will continue to defend itself against all such accusations.”

    The UCI, McQuaid and Verbruggen have launched a similar defamation case against the journalist and former rider Paul Kimmage. However, unlike Landis, Kimmage is determined to fight the case, which will be heard in Vevey, Switzerland on December 12.

    The Est Vaud District Court’s written judgement, by chair Catherine Piguet, “upholds in large part the petition of 29 April 2011 lodged by the Union Cycliste Internationale, Patrick McQuaid and Henricus Verbruggen against Floyd Landis.”

    Landis has been ordered to take out advertisements at his own expense publishing the verdict in the Wall Street Journal, L’Équipe, Le Temps, NYVelocity, Cyclingnews, Velonation, Velonews and De Volksrant. He has also been ordered to pay McQuaid and Verbruggen the sum of 10,000 Swiss Frances each, as well as their legal costs.

    Article two of the verdict goes into quite specific detail as to what Landis is not allowed to say about the UCI in the...

  • AG2R-La Mondiale chasing more than points with 2013 signings

    Ag2r-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 17:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Lavenu hoping for racing success with Pozzovivo, Betancur and Appollonio

    AG2R-La Mondiale team manager Vincent Lavenu has claimed he has strengthened his squad for 2013 thinking about potential results on the road, rather than the points the French team needs to stay in the UCI WorldTour.

    Last year Lavenu signed Iranian rider Amir Zargari, Russia's Boris Shpilevski and Slovenia's Grega Gazvoda to take advantage of their points scored in the Asia Continental circuit. Those precious points ensured the French secured a UCI WorldTour place and so automatic invitations to all the WorldTour races.

    In a major turnover of riders for 2013, leader Nicolas Roche will leave the team. New signing so far confirmed are Steve Chainel, Tauheni Hutarovich, Davide Appollonio, Samuel Dumoulin, Carlos Betancur, Domenico Pozzovivo and Julian Kern.

    Sébastien Hinault, Martin Elmiger, Kristoff Goddaert and Romain Lemarchand will also leave at the end of the year.

    "I had no choice but to call international riders to stay in the first division. It's the UCI rules that dictate our choices to some extent. But I don't want to repeat the experience," Lavenu told l’Equipe.

    "The season is not over and we're not sure of keeping our place in the first division. I think we're sixteenth or seventeenth-ranked, which doesn't guarantee anything. But one thing is clear now: I am no longer going to chase exotic (international) riders."

    "This time we were more careful and responsive before the market blocked up. We took opportunities when they arose. UCI points are important but I wanted to focus more on the results. I can't hide from the fact that we haven't had a great season. That that's why we...

  • UCI lists initial 2013 WorldTour applicants

    Argos Shimano are one of the wildcard invitees for the 2012 Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 18:21 BST
    Cycling News

    15 teams apply for Pro Continental status

    The UCI today named 18 teams which have either applied for a new WorldTour license or a renewal of an existing one, and the teams which have licences through the 2013 season.

    Of the 18 teams in the 2012 WorldTour, only Lotto-Belisol has not been included on the list issued by the UCI today, but that is not unusual. Last year it left Garmin off its initial announcement. The application process is not completed until November 1.

    A UCI spokesman confirmed to Cyclingnews that Lotto Belisol was missing documents in its application: "Based upon art. 2.15.069 bis (for ProTeams) and 2.16.014 (for Conti Pro) teams are requested to provide with some documents. If they are missing to do it, they are simply not on the list, and their rider are free to break their contracts."

    All of the other existing WorldTour teams are seeking to be in the sport's top division next season: AG2R, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Garmin-Sharp, Rabobank and Saxo Bank - Tinkoff are seeking renewal of licenses, while Argos-Shimano is trying once again to step up to the big league.

    All of the teams, including 15 squads who bid for Professional Continental licenses, must now face an evaluation of their budget, sponsorship contracts, rider contracts and the deposit of a bank guarantee before they can be guaranteed a 2013 license, regardless of whether they are renewing or in possession of a license for the coming season.

    Once teams pass this evaluation, they are still not guaranteed entry into the WorldTour: the UCI then sorts them in its own ranking, and automatically gives the top 15 teams a license.

    The remaining teams, if more than 18 have passed the evaluation process, are subjected to further evaluation to determine which teams fill the final three spots.

  • Pozzato calls early end to 2012 season

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) made his comeback after his short ban
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 20:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Knee problems exclude Italian from final races

    The Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team announced today that Filippo Pozzato will not line up at the GP Beghelli on Sunday, and will instead call an end to his dismal 2012 season due to inflammation of his patellar tendon in his right knee.

    "Last week I started to feel a little discomfort, but I did not want to stop, so I went ahead, but it is now clear that I cannot continue," Pozzato said in a press release. "Already in Lombardy I feared I would not be able to recover, and the confirmation came clear today."

    Pozzato only returned from his three-month suspension at Milano-Torino last week, followed by the Gran Piemonte and Il Lombardia, which he failed to finish.

    The Italian was suspended by the Italian Olympic Committee's anti-doping tribunal for working with Michele Ferrari, the trainer who has been banned for life by the Italian Cycling Federation. Pozzato admitted to consulting with Ferrari "for training plans only" from 2005 to 2009, but said he stopped when he was told that it was forbidden. He called the ban "a farce".

    It has been a season to forget for the 31-year-old: in the Tour of Qatar in February, he broke his collarbone in a crash on stage 5, hampering his build up to the Classics.

    He rebounded in time for Tirreno-Adriatico, racing just four weeks after his fracture, and was back on form at Milano-Sanremo, where he placed sixth.

    The highlight of his season was a second place to Tom Boonen in the Tour of Flanders, but in Paris-Roubaix, he did not react in time to Boonen's attack and was...

  • Landis never contacted to defend against UCI defamation suit

    Floyd Landis in 2006 giving a press conference after testing positive in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 03, 2012, 20:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Attorney claims Swiss court ruling is "unenforcable"

    The UCI today declared that a ruling in its favour in a defamation suit against Floyd Landis "upholds and protects the integrity of the UCI and its Presidents", but the American's lawyer claims that Landis was never given a chance to defend himself.

    Landis's lawyer, Leo Cunningham of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, told today that the judgement by default issued by the Swiss civil court, which upheld the filing made by Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen, was "unenforceable".

    "Floyd was never served with the UCI's Swiss lawsuit, never appeared in Switzerland on the case, and therefore the Swiss Court had no opportunity to hear Floyd on the issues," Cunningham wrote to ESPN.

    "The order is un-American in every sense of that word. It is inconsistent with American law, it flies in the face of our First Amendment, and it would be unenforceable in American courts. It does not affect Floyd's status under American law in any way."

    The cease and desist order prohibits Landis from making allegations against the UCI that they "concealed cases of doping, received money for doing so, have accepted money from Lance Armstrong to conceal a doping case, have protected certain racing cyclists, concealed cases of doping, have engaged in manipulation, particularly of tests and races," and more.

    It also prohibits Landis from calling the UCI "full of shit", "clowns" and "liars", and orders him to pay damages of 10,000 Swiss francs each to McQuaid and Verbruggen, plus 4,600 each in court costs.

  • Fahlin and Hosking join Hitec Products for 2013

    An overjoyed Chloe Hosking (Specialized - lululemon) celebrates beating Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara) and Marianne Vos (Rabo Women)
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 1:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Specialized-lululemon pair to Norweigan outfit

    Hitec Products has announced the addition of Emilia Fahlin and Chloe Hosking (Specialized-lululemon) to their fast-expanding roster for 2013.

    Australian sprinter Hosking's impressive 2012 season included wins at Drentse-8, Halle-Buizingen and a stage at Route de France Féminine. The 22-year-old has made the most of her three years under the guidance of coach and teammate Ina Teutenberg.

    "I never thought I would be a world class sprinter," Hosking told Cyclingnews heading into the 2012 season. "I'm still not at that level yet, but I think some of the results I've had so far have shown that maybe if I work really hard I can get there and I can be the sort of rider that Ina is."

    Fahlin is a triple Swedish national time trial champion and although she didn't score any individual victories in 2012, her palmares includes wins at Tour de l'Ardèche, Tour of California Women's Criterium and the Redlands Bicycle Classic. In 2010 and 2011, Fahlin finished in the top 10 in the individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships.

    The latest announcement comes in a big week for Hitec Products, having also signed world championship silver medallist Rachel Neylan (ABUS Nutrizzion) and Italy's Rossella Ratto (Verinlegno-Fabiano) as the team re-builds following the departure of Swedish champion Emma Johansson.

    "A significant observation of Emilia and Chloe during 2012 (and common to all the new signings) is their additional ability to put own goals aside and sacrifice everything for the team when needed," said team boss Karl Lima. "It is an ability that is valued above all other skills in our team."