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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 12, 2013

Date published:
September 12, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • David Veilleux announces his retirement

    David Veilleux (Europcar) was relaxed before the race
    Article published:
    September 11, 2013, 15:03 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Canadian ends his professional career at just 25

    David Veilleux has announced that he will retire from professonal cycling following the Grand Prix de Montréal at the weekend. The Team Europcar rider’s surprise decision comes at the end of a fine 2013 season that saw him win a stage of the Critérium du Dauphiné and become the first Quebecois to ride the Tour de France.

    Still only 25 years of age, Veilleux explained that he has fulfilled his ambitions as a rider and that he is now retiring in order to complete a diploma in mechanical engineering at the Université Laval in Quebec.

    “Today I am announcing that the Grand Prix races in Quebec and Montreal will be my last competitions as a professional cyclist,” Veilleux wrote in a letter published by tvasports.ca. “I’ve taken the decision to end my career with the aim of pursuing my studies full-time and getting my diploma in mechanical engineering at the Université Laval in two years’ time.”

    Veilleux joined Team Europcar in 2011 after spending three seasons with the Kelly Benefit Strategies squad in North America. He quickly adapted to life at WorldTour level and progressed to win the Tre Valli Varesine in 2012 and the opening stage of the Dauphiné this year.

    The Canadian went on to win the Boucles de la Mayenne and his good June form was rewarded with a place in Team Europcar’s Tour de France team. Veilleux reached Paris in 123rd place overall. However Veilleux has not raced since and will call time on his career in Canada this weekend.

    “I’ve participated in many of the monuments of cycling that made me dream in my youth, such as Milan-San Remo, Paris-Roubaix, the Tour of Flanders and the world championships. And to cap it all, I was able to achieve my wildest dream, to take part in and complete the Tour de...

  • US judge rules Lance Armstrong lies are protected speech

    It's still about the bike: Lance Armstrong back in the saddle
    Article published:
    September 11, 2013, 16:07 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Claims that readers were fooled by 'It’s Not About the Bike' rejected

    A federal judge in California has sided with Lance Armstrong and the publishers of his famous autobiographies by rejecting claims in a lawsuit that the lies in the books about not using performance-enhancing drugs amounted to fraud and false advertising.

    US District Judge Morrison England wrote in the ruling: "The Court concludes, despite plaintiffs' allegations that the Armstrong books contained false and misleading statements, that the content of the books is afforded full First Amendment protection", according to USA Today.

    Five readers of the 'It’s Not About the Bike' and 'Every Second Counts' had filed a suit in Sacramento federal court against the books publishers Random House, Armstrong, his manager Bill Stapleton and associate Thomas Weisel, asking for more than $5 million in damages, claiming they were fooled by the books and that they should have been described as fiction.

    At the time the books were considered as inspirational, especially for cancer sufferers, and true accounts of Armstrong career and comeback from testicular cancer. Their contents were shown not to be true after Armstrong was suspended by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), lost his seven-Tour de France victories and then confessed to doping.

    Armstrong's confession ran counter to the stories in the two tomes, in which credited his bout with cancer with changing his physiology and mental strength and allowing him to win his seven Tours de France.

    In hawking his books on a promotional tour, Armstrong denied doping, and the plaintiffs argued that these lies should be considered commercial speech, which would rule out First...

  • McQuaid proposes new team structures as part of election campaign

    UCI president Pat McQuaid answers a question during a press conference held during the UCI road world championships in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    September 11, 2013, 17:46 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Incumbent UCI president now open to teams sharing race organisers revenue

    Two weeks before he faces a difficult election for a third term as UCI President, Pat McQuaid has made proposals to introduce new team structures to create what he describes as 'an environment that continues to be conducive to the cultural change within cycling."

    Similar proposals have already been made and discussed by and with other stakeholders in the sport in recent months, following the UCI's stakeholder consultation, but any major changes to the structure of professional cycling expected to be introduced for the 2015 season.

    McQuaid acknowledged that the UCI must also introduce a sustainable and long lasting economic model to assist teams in implementing the initiatives that he is proposing. As a result he backed ideas for 'a more equitable share of the revenue generated by race organisers" to help fund the changes.

    “Today’s riders should never be faced with having to make the same choices as previous generations,” said McQuaid in a press release issued by his personal public relations company.

    “Today’s teams and those of the future must be built upon a model where riders are placed at the centre of the organisation where their performance is monitored and underpinned through collaboration with a multi-disciplinary scientific team.”

    Skills certification and revenue sharing

    McQuaid proposed the introduction of a skills certification standard to ensure that those working within professional cycling as doctors, coaches and sports directors are suitably qualified and approved to do so. He called for new team structures to ensure that there is one doctor, one coach and one sports director, each with separate responsibilities, for every...

  • Mollema hits jackpot despite unfavourable terrain

    Bauke Mollema (Belkin) wins stage 17 of the Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    September 11, 2013, 18:45 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Dutchman outpaces speeding front group

    After two weeks in which they have rarely had a chance to shine and with their numbers down to just four, Holland’s Bauke Mollema gave Dutch squad Belkin a much-needed Vuelta a España stage win on Wednesday in what was unfavourable terrain.

    Showing a turn of speed that would have done credit to Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack), Mollema blasted off 700 metres from the line in Burgos at the end of stage 17 to fend off the mini-peloton of favourites and other riders in the leading echelon. A few seconds later, the Dutchman’s first Grand Tour stage win was in the bag, and at the same time Mollema proved conclusively he is well on track for the hilly world championships in Florence. If he can do so well on a tricky finish like Burgos, what will he be capable of doing in Italy in two and a half weeks’ time?

    “In the last kilometre, there was already only a small group at the front, and with one kilometre to go the speed dropped a little bit,” the 26-year-old said afterwards.

    “I thought of going then, but one guy from NetApp was already up attacking, so I went for it a bit later.

    “I was waiting for the right moment, I went for it full gas, and I didn’t look back until there were 50 metres left to race. I suffered a lot in those last 500 metres, but it was worth it.”

    Australian teammate David Tanner was in the front group, too, so Mollema said, “we had more than one card to play. If I was caught, he could have gone for it.”

    “There are only four Belkin riders in the Vuelta now, but with three in that front group [of around 35], that was pretty good. Morale in the team hotel is going to be very high tonight!”

    Mollema has...

  • Maaskant signs with UnitedHealthcare

    Garmin-Sharp's Martijn Maaskant and Tyler Farrar are joined by former teammate Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) to recon the Haaghoek pave sector.
    Article published:
    September 11, 2013, 20:47 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Six years with Garmin comes to a close

    UnitedHealthcare team manager Mike Tamayo has confirmed to Cyclingnews that Martijn Maaskant has signed with the team, as was reported by multiple Dutch and Flemish news agencies. The rumour mills have been working overtime recently with speculation about the future of the 30-year-old Dutchman, with many people believing he may even make the step down to UCI Continental level.

    Maaskant began his cycling career in earnest in 2004 with the UCI Continental ranked Van Vliet-EBH Advocaten team amongst current WorldTour riders Dirk Bellemakers (Lotto Belisol) and Sebastian Langeveld (Orica GreenEdge). In late 2005 he signed on for the Rabobank Continental team where he spent two years. An overall win in the Tour of Normandie in 2007, amongst other results, was enough to secure a contract with Jonathan Vaughters' Garmin team and Maaskant was WorldTour bound.

    Maaskant rose to prominence in 2008 in his neo-pro year with a stunning fourth place in Paris - Roubaix. The following year he confirmed this promise with a strong fourth place in the Tour of Flanders, but since then Maaskant has been consistent but struggled for breakthrough results.

  • Valverde stays in Vuelta overall contention on a day of echelons

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)
    Article published:
    September 11, 2013, 22:00 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    No repeat of Tour de France disaster for Spaniard

    Spain's Alejandro Valverde was lying second overall in the Tour de France this summer when he lost contact because of a broken back wheel. The timing was unfortunate - echelons were forming and his chances of a first-ever podium in a French Grand Tour were blown.

    This time, though, as echelons formed on stage 17 today in the Vuelta a Espana, Valverde stayed with the front group and came through with this third place overall unscathed.

    "I always knew it was going to be a hard stage, and that it was very unlikely it would be decided in a bunch sprint," Valverde, 15th on the stage and protected by teammates Jose Herrada and Javi Moreno, said afterwards.

    "We knew there was a dangerous bend, everybody did, but then when the headwind changed direction, it made it even more likely that something would happen. But I had to be attentive, and when we knew that [Domenico] Pozzovivo (AG2R) and Thibaut Pinot (Fdj.Fr) had been dropped from the front group, it was always going to be very fast all the way to the finish and it was all about being well-positioned and staying out of trouble."

    Valverde talked about tomorrow's stage to Peña Cabarga, "It will be a very different kind of race. The really decisive stages are coming now."

    "I've never been up Peña Cabarga, and I hope it suits me. Although I know almost all the finales of this year's Vuelta, there were some that I didn't, and one was Peña Cabarga. After the Tour, I preferred to rest and train calmly. But if you're going well, not knowing a climb isn't a problem."

  • Cancellara withdraws from Vuelta

    Fabian Cancellara grinds up the Angliru in 2011.
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 1:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Focus shifted to World Championships in Florence

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack Leopard) has abandoned the Vuelta a España in order to focus on his preparation for the UCI Road World Championships. Cancellara came into the Spanish Grand Tour unsure as to whether he would aim to finish the race, or withdraw early, stating that as a mark of respect to the Vuelta he should focus all his energy into the three-week race. With continued respect he remarked that in regards to the Vuelta; "we'll meet again next year."

    Having racked up an impressive victory in the Vuelta’s stage 11 time trial, and performed strongly across many road stages, Cancellara decided it was time to change his attention to Florence. After his time trial victory, where he beat his main rival for the World Time Trial Title in Tony Martin, he remained elusive as to which of the three races at the world titles would target. Be it the road race, time trial or team time trial, Cancellara remains a strong candidate to take a rainbow jersey home at the end of the championships.

    After Cancellara finished an impressive fifth during his last stage, it was his team leader, Chris Horner, who provided a glowing performance appraisal for his 32-year-old Swiss teammate.

    "Cancellara was amazing. There were probably seven Saxo riders on the front and Fabian just took me past all of them, then pulled for another 2k or more," said Horner. "For me it was the difference today and I thank him for staying in the race as long as he did after winning the time trial. He was unbelievable in the beginning of the mountain stages...

  • Movistar sign 20-year-old German Jasha Sütterlin

    The Thüringer Energie Team (from left): Christian Bach, Florian Frohn, Daniel Schueler, Philip Patzer, Matthias Hahn, Sven Hippel, Sebastian Schwager (German U-23 champion), Tony Martin, Marcel Barth, Sascha Damrow, Nico Graf, Karsten Heß, Gert Seifert, Patrick Gretsch, Björn Gollhardt
    Article published:
    September 12, 2013, 4:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Joins Kittel, Degenkolb as successful Thuringer Energie Team graduate

    Movistar has signed 20-year-old German talent, Jasha Sütterlin, on a one-year contract for the 2014 season. Sütterlin, who has ridden for the UCI Continental Thuringer Energie Team for the last three years, makes his step up to the WorldTour on the back of impressive results over the last two seasons.

    The Thuringer Energie Team has previously helped cultivate the talents of John Degonkolb and Marcel Kittel, and with a fast finish part of his repertoire, Sütterlin will look to match these reputations. With two consecutive national U23 titles, an overall title at the Tour of Berlin in 2011, and prologue and sprint victories at the recent Giro della Valle d'Aosta, Sütterlin certainly has the potential.

    Sütterlin is understandably excited with his new team as he begins to prepare for the World U23 Time Trial Championships.

    "There were several offers, but Movistar has been reported as the first and it was my first choice," Sütterlin told radsport-news.com. "That to me is a very big deal. I'll probably only really realize it when I slip on my jersey for the first time."

    Once the World Championships conclude, Sütterlin will change his focus to learning Spanish, something that will serve him well at his new team.

    "I'm starting from scratch, but I have been cramming. I'll probably spend some time in Spain so that I can learn the language even better."