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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 6, 2011

Date published:
October 06, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • British Cycling boosted by £1m Sport England grant

    Sir Chris Hoy, Chris Boardman MBE, Doug Dailey MBE and British Cycling President, Brian Cookson OBE are interviewed by Sky's Dermot Murnaghan (L-R).
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 15:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Investment to help encourage another 12,000 onto bikes

    Fresh from success at the highest level, with Team GB topping the medal table at the road world championships in Denmark, British Cycling today received a huge boost at grassroots level in the form of a £1 million Sport England grant.

    The money will be used to help get a further 12,000 people using their bikes on a weekly basis, through the expansion of programmes such as Sky Ride, Breeze and Go-Ride. Sky Ride Local, a series of community rides held across the country, was regularly oversubscribed this year and could be a focus for some of the investment.

    Sport England chief executive Jennie Price said the money was given to British Cycling in recognition of their success in encouraging community sport. In total, they'll receive an additional £1,058,000 to what has already been earmarked. It's part of a £3.5m pot split between a number of Olympic sports and aimed at driving participation beyond next summer.

  • UCI publishes list of 2012 WorldTour applicants

    UCI President Pat McQuaid was at the presentation
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 15:47 BST
    Cycling News

    GreenEdge, FDJ, Lotto and 1T4I all in the hat. Garmin not listed.

    The UCI has published the list of teams applying for WorldTour licences in 2012, with GreenEdge, Lotto-Ridley, Omega Pharma-Quick Step and 1T4I (currently Skil-Shimano) all among those vying for entry to cycling’s top flight.

    The communiqué named 18 teams as having applied for the 18 WorldTour places on offer in 2012, but Garmin-Cervélo are not on the list. Cyclingnews understands that this was due to a problem with their paperwork, but that the team will be applying for an extension to its license.

    Current ProTeam Movistar and Pro Continental squad Geox-TMC are also not listed as having yet applied for licences for 2012.

    Teams were requested to submit a registration file to the UCI before October 1, including details of their budget and sponsorship contracts, as well as the contracts of at least ten riders signed by both parties. New teams were asked to submit a description of their structure as well as a copy of the deed of incorporation of the paying agent.

    French teams FDJ and Europcar have both applied for licences after missing out on WorldTour status in 2011, but Cofidis have opted to remain as a Pro Continental outfit next season. Eric Boyer’s team was unsuccessful in its application to be part of the top flight last year.

    The team formed by the merger of RadioShack and Leopard Trek is in possession of a WorldTour licence for 2012 and is named as RadioShack-Nissan.

    The breakdown

    Ten squads are listed as already being in possession of a WorldTour...

  • Video: Bobridge looking ahead to "massive" 2012

    Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo) was fancied after his track exploits.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 19:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian on London, GreenEdge, road and track

    Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervélo) may be putting the finishing touches to his road season, but he is already looking forward to 2012, as he chases gold on the track at the London Olympics.

    Cyclingnews caught up with the Australian after the opening stage of the Tour of Beijing, his penultimate race in Garmin-Cervélo colours. Bobridge will bring the curtain down on his campaign at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, before moving to GreenEdge for 2012.

    Australian champion on the road and world record holder in the individual pursuit, Bobridge has seen his racing days somewhat limited this season, and he will take only a short break from training before beginning his preparations for London.

    “It’s always better having more racing, but I’ve still got to have a bit of break after Herald Sun Tour because I’ve got a big year next year,” Bobridge told Cyclingnews in Beijing. “Next year is going to be a massive year for me. I have a few weeks off and then I’ll start the big year.”

    With the individual pursuit no longer part of the Olympics programme, Bobridge will focus on the team pursuit, where Australia is expected to go head-to-head with the British quartet. While Bobridge will prioritise his track exploits in the early part of next year, he said that he is likely to devote his energies solely to the road in 2013.

    “I obviously have to do something that suits me for the Olympics and the track,” he said of his 2012 schedule. “It’s decision time after London, but for the minute, I think I’ll concentrate on some of the early Classics from 2013.”

  • Rujano abandon angers team at Clásico RCN

    Jose Rujano (Androni)
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 20:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Venezuelan withdraws after attack is reeled in

    José Rujano has provoked the ire of Colombian squad Formesan-IDRD-Bogotà following his sudden withdrawal from the Clásico RCN during stage 3 on Monday.

    Rujano, who is contracted to Androni Giocattoli, was one of four Venezuelan riders competing with the team as guest riders in the 51st edition of the race, Colombia’s second most prestigious event after the Vuelta a Colombia. He lost almost half an hour on stage 2, citing hunger knock, and also complained of a quadriceps injury after being forced to change bikes.

    The next day, however, Rujano went on the attack as the road veered upwards at Tierranegra, but then promptly climbed off as soon as he was reeled back in by the peloton just 38km into the stage. His fellow Venezuelan members of the Formesan combination have also since left the race.

    “I’m very sad about what happened,” Rujano told after the stage. “I had a muscle injury yesterday to one of my legs and that stopped me from feeling good for today. I’ll rest for a month or six weeks and then begin to prepare myself for next Giro d’Italia, which is my biggest objective.”

    Rujano’s decision to leave the race was met with stern criticism from Formesan president Gustavo Serrano Rodriguez, however, who said that his young team had been “counting a lot” on its Venezuelan guest star, who won a stage at this year's Giro d'Italia and will again ride for Androni Giocattoli next season.

    “In an irresponsible, scarcely professional and completely unexpected manner, he and his fellow countrymen abandoned us, they decimated us, they...

  • Garmin-Cervélo confident of WorldTour license

    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 21:46 BST
    Daniel Benson

    "Technical issues" to blame for team being left off UCI list

    Garmin-Cervélo has responded to the news that it has missed the initial cut for WorldTour team licences, stating that the team has a valid licence for the coming season and that its absence from the UCI's draft is down to a technicality over the team's name.

    "We have a current and valid 2012 WorldTour license and are registering the team for the 2012 season," said a Garmin-Cervélo spokesperson.

    "However, in that registration process we encountered some technical issues regarding the 2012 team name. Those technical issues have been resolved and the process is being completed."

    The UCI today released a list of all prospective teams that have met the set criteria as well as those already guaranteed licences for 2012.

    Garmin, who held a WorldTour licence this year, has not been named on the list of either guaranteed license holders or prospective applicants. Along with current WorldTour team Movistar and Vuelta a Espana winners Geox-TMC, they have not fulfilled the requirements of articles 2.15.096bis and 2.16.014bis of the UCI rules.

    Garmin now has until October 21 to submit their final bid for a licence but appear confident that they will be named among the sport's elite division of teams.

    A final ruling on the 18 WorldTour spots will be made at the beginning of November.

  • Olympic flame still burning within Sanchez

    Sammy Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) at the team introductions.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 22:45 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Spanish Olympic champion is happy to be back in Beijing despite illness

    Samuel Sanchez could have started his Tour of Beijing under better auspices. Euskaltel-Euskadi's leader finished the stage 1 time trial in 133rd position, 1:57 down on Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad). “It was a disaster, I’ve been sick since I arrived," he told Cyclingnews. In fact, four riders and the team doctors have been affected by fever and digestive troubles since their flight to China: Sanchez, Igor Anton, Igor Astarloza and Mikel Nieve.

    Understandably, Sanchez didn’t train on Sunday or Monday, and rode only for an hour and a half on Tuesday. At dinner after the time trial, he forced himself to eat a dish of spaghetti and meatballs.

    “Cycling is strange, perhaps I will be much better tomorrow,” he said.

    Despite his illness, Spaniard looked tranquillo and gave some of his time to the local media who made him the mascot of the race and reminded him every minute that he became an Olympic champion in the same city. “I have a lot of good memories and I'm really happy to be here."

    There is nothing tired or flat in Sanchez's voice when he is asked to recall August 9, 2008. While some other riders are not entirely happy to have travelled to Beijing, he seems to be enjoying his time here, a burst of good cheer in the bunch.

    The Chinese branch of bike factory Orbea, Euskaltel's supplier, travelled from Shanghai to Beijing in order to follow the team almost the whole week, take pictures and launch PR events. “Cycling China” magazine also did an interview and photo shoot with Sanchez on Wednesday night.

    Sanchez said he “wanted to come here to remember some very big personal moments and also to see this big country again.”

  • USA Pro Cycling Challenge, Elk Grove get UCI upgrades in 2012

    Bike racing fans are all over the Elk Grove course.
    Article published:
    October 05, 2011, 23:45 BST
    Laura Weislo

    North America heavy on high-level events

    The UCI published its 2012 Americas Tour calendar, with upgrades to Colorado's USA Pro Cycling Challenge to 2.HC and the Tour of Elk Grove in Chicago, Illinois to 2.1. Both races are coming into their second year as UCI classified events, and together they form part of a six-race professional calendar in the US that makes up with quality what it lacks in quantity.

    In its first year, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge attracted the entire podium from the Tour de France this year, and it was a resounding success with spectators. The increase in rank for Colorado will mean only small changes to the already high-quality field, but Elk Grove organiser Steven Hansen hopes that the upgrade to 2.1 and a place on the calendar just ahead of 2.1-ranked Tour of Utah will attract the WorldTour teams to his race.

    "We applied last year for 2.1 status in our first year as a UCI race, but we started as 2.2," Hansen told Cyclingnews. "We worked hard to do a good job for the UCI knowing we'd apply for 2.1 in 2012.

    "We're hoping that, with Utah the week after our race, the WorldTour teams will stop in Chicago and use our race as a warm-up."

    Part of the audition for 2.1 status involved bringing the Geox-TMC squad over for this year's race, and Hansen said the team's presence got his organisation ready for working with the European teams. He is now working with the Tour of Utah to recruit the big name teams.

    "We are working together so that both of our races can benefit from the highest level of teams."

    Supported by the Village of Elk Grove and the Alexian Brothers Medical Center, situated in the village, Hansen said there is no plan to change the three-day format which takes place entirely in the tiny community. The stages will be

  • UCI denies threatening teams in lead up to Tour of Beijing

    Pat McQuaid on the podium with Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 0:55 BST
    Daniel Benson

    WorldTour applications and status reportedly used as pressure point

    The UCI has denied any wrong doing over suspicions that the sport's governing body threatened a number of WorldTour teams in the build up the Tour of Beijing.

    Cyclingnews understands that a number of teams' sponsors were sent letters by the UCI threatening their applications and status among the WorldTour if they carried through with their plan to boycott the race in China.

    The boycott stemmed from the argument over race radios. The boycott was eventually scrapped after the UCI and teams found a compromise to uphold the current status on race radios for 2012 while a independent commission was set up to determine the future over the heated issue.

    The Tour of Beijing is a race that the UCI has developed and initiated through GCP – its own subsidiary body charged with globalising the sport through new events. The event is a source of income for the UCI and the possibility of high profile teams deciding to shun the event could have seriously jeopardised its future. The event itself got off to a successful start this week, with world time trial champion Tony Martin winning the opening time trial. It is understood that the UCI saw the boycott as a direct threat to its governance and the expansion of cycling.

    Cyclingnews has obtained letters that show that the UCI attempted to pressure team sponsors.

    In a letter to one team the UCI said: "The UCI World Tour is a very important part of the UCI calendar, your team is a member of that World Tour, and in recent years the UCI have been working on a strategy to globalise the UCI World Tour. This is for obvious...