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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 27, 2012

Date published:
September 27, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Exclusive: New Australian UCI 2.1 event on hold

    UCI Oceania Tour
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Oceania calendar changes premature

    The UCI announced the allocation of a date for a potential new event for the Oceania Tour in 2013 last week, the title 'Tour WA' was mysteriously slated for April. Cyclingnews can reveal that the new race, proposed by CIC Events, was at proposal stage only, never confirmed and will not go ahead, at least not in 2013.

    Western Australia, a state rich in mining resources and therefore investment, appeared to be the perfect host for a new cycling event on the Oceania calendar, which has been devoid of a 2.1-ranked event since the Herald Sun Tour in 2009.

    Tour WA had received strong expressions of interest from a range of ProTour teams particularly those with an Australian focus with the event a viable alternative for riders not competing at the classics, due to its west coast location which is roughly 11 hours flying time from Dubai.

    In terms of the process for the race to even appear on the provisional Oceania calendar for 2013, CIC Events made their submission to Cycling Australia in May and consultations with stakeholders have been ongoing since this time. As with most events, the process of determining the event’s feasibility or otherwise is complex and time consuming and it was necessary for this process to be run in parallel with the process required to secure the potential event dates.

    "Unfortunately, the two processes have not aligned and time was against us for an event this year," CIC Events boss Craig Smith-Gander told Cyclingnews when asked about the planning for the event.

    Using the lone Australian UCI WorldTour event, the Tour Down Under as a model, Tour WA would always take a few years to gain credibility off the back of a tourism-driven race.

    "You've got to spend a reasonable amount of money on travel and accommodation if you want to have the right...

  • Spain fights to keep Ponferrada as 2014 worlds host

    And then there was a final Spanish flag coming down to celebrate the Tour of Spain. The 2008 Vuelta is now officially over.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 2:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    City given until mid-October to raise funds

    The UCI awarded the 2014 road world championships to Ponferrada, Spain two years ago, but the economic crisis there has put a question mark over the city's status as host. The UCI has given the organisers until mid-October to show that it has fully funded the event or it will move the championships elsewhere.

    According to a report by EFE, the Ponferrada city council needs to come up with €5 million guarantee to the UCI by the middle of October. The Huffington Post reported that the UCI is seeking assurances that the total budget of $19.4 million is still being allotted by the Spanish government.

    Meanwhile, the city council of Cacabelos, outside Ponferrada, which was slated to hold one of the races, has today approved a motion proposing that each resident of the region chip in one euro to ensure the race will take place there.

    Earlier this year a similar grassroots effort was launched to save two Basque races, the Tour of the Basque Country and San Sebastián Classic after a lack of funding nearly cost them WorldTour status or cancellation. A regional bank finally stepped in and saved the races for the time being.

    The funds from the Kontuz 1 Euro effort were eventually donated to local cycling federations.

  • New finish point for Amstel Gold Race?

    Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) attacked on the final ascent of the Cauberg and soloed to a world championship title.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 4:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    2013 could mirror world championship finale

    Amstel Gold Race has finished at the Cauberg since 2003 but that may change for the next edition.

    Race director, Leo van Vliet, the current finish at the top of the Cauberg means that only a few select members of the peloton can win.

    "With the finish line a little further, there are more potential winners and that's attractive, " he said to the NIS.

    Unsurprisingly, with the finish line of the 2012 UCI Road World Championships at Berg en Terblijt, resulting in both bunch finishes and a more selective group coming to the line, this looms as a potential new location. It's roughly 1800 metres from the top of the Cauberg.

    Van Vliet went onto explain that Berg en Terblijt is also a more suitable area for hospitality.

    "On the Cauberg it is always a very tight fit, so we are looking at this very seriously."

     

  • Poels back to training after Tour de France crash

    Wout Poels (Vacansoleil-DCM) is taken to hospital after crashing out of stage 6.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 7:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil-DCM eyes early 2013 return

    Wout Poels has finally got back on his bike following horrific injuries suffered at the Tour de France.

    The Vacansoleil-DCM rider was the most seriously injured in mass pile up on the sixth stage to Metz. Poels, 24, suffered a ruptured kidney and spleen, a bruised lung and three broken ribs. He was in intensive care in hospitals in both France and the Netherlands.

    Earlier this week, Poels underwent minor surgery to have a tube linking his left kidney and bladder.

    "Today I am made wireless!" he joked on Twitter.

    On Wednesday, he was once again able to train following a long recovery.

    "I have long looked forward", Poels told De Telegraaf. "This is very nice." The Dutchman recognised however, that he has a long way to go.

    "I am again very bottom of the ladder," he continued. "Step by step, my doctors say I can get back to my old level."

    He hopes to be back racing early next season.

    "The Tour de France is in my mind. It would be nice to be able to participate at L'Alpe d'Huez."

     

  • Lövkvist looking to Tours of Romandie and Suisse at Team IAM

    Thomas Lövkvist (Sky)
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 8:56 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swede wants to win one-week stage races

    After three unsuccessful years with Team Sky, Thomas Lövkivst hopes to turn things around at the newly formed Swiss Team IAM in 2013.

    Lövkivst was once hailed as the next great hope in grand tours and wore the maglia rosa in 2009 but his last win came at the Sachsen Tour in late July 2009.

    "I feel it is time for a change. They presented a project for me, and it sounded very interesting. I'm glad to get there, and I think it will be a good team, " he told feltet.dk.

    He was looking for new opportunities and better chances to ride for himself at Sky, even expecting to be the team's captain at the 2010 Tour de France. but that honour went to Bradley Wiggins – an omen of things to come – and instead of leading the team, he found himself riding for such riders as Wiggins, Froome, Boasson Hagen and Cavendish over the years. He was in fact not nominated to ride the Tour in 2011 or 2012.

    “I  will have a free role and I think it will be a good opportunity for me. I still have the ambition to win one-week races such as the Tour of Romandie or the Tour de Suisse. That is definitely one of my big goals.”

    Those two race are on his calendar for the coming year, and it seems a safe assumption that a Swiss Professional Continental team will be invited to the two major Swiss races. But the rest of his programme is more or less dependent on which races the team will be invited to.

    “It depends very much on the results early in the season. But it will be built up slowly, management is sensitive and does not make a lot of noise. The whole team's foundation is built with discretion, as they say."

  • Preview: Gran Piemonte

    Learn the secrets of the Gran Piemonte race in this week's Cyclingnews HD
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 9:16 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    The Cyclingnews HD team analyse the Italian race route

    The Gran Piemonte, like Il Lombardia, has been moved to just a few days after the World Championship road race, making it a revenge match and form guide for the last major classic of the season. With previous winners ranging from Philippe Gilbert to Daniele Bennati, it is a fight between the classics riders and the sprinters. This year features two climbs in the last 25km, which could ruin the chances for a few of the sprinters.

    The race route starts on a slight downhill slope, making an early break slightly more difficult. The first opportunity for that comes after around 20km where a few lumps and bumps begin to feature. The terrain does flatten out once more, before the climb towards the town of Albugnano. The jostling here, for the right position in the peloton before the climb, could cause an accident. The road up to Albugnano isn’t much larger than a country track, and as the riders reach the top, the drop at the side of the road becomes much steeper. With the peloton likely to still be together here, the riders will have to be careful, although a brave rider might use this point to go it alone.

    If there is already a break up the road they’re likely to make time on the peloton; finding it easier to attack the tight roads in smaller numbers. It won’t last long, as there is a large stretch of reasonably flat road to the next climb. If the break is quite small, they’ll find it difficult to keep the peloton at bay. Unless one of the favourites has made it into the escape, the bunch will be looking to have it all together before the penultimate climb.

    Finishing circuit

    The final two climbs to Favaro are likely to be the key, with the second ascent featuring in the final 10km. While...

  • Fuglsang would like double climb of Alpe d'Huez in 2013 Tour de France

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 10:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane expects to be Astana captain for French grand tour

    Jakob Fuglsang is looking forward to the rumoured double climb of Alpe d'Huez in the 2013 Tour de France. The Dane expects to be captain for his new Team Astana in next year's race.

    It was reported earlier this week that a stage of the 2013 Tour de France would start in Gap, climb Alpe d'Huez, descent the Route du Col de Serenne   (on still-to-be-asphalted roads), and then climb L'Alpe d'Huez for the finish.

    "It will certainly be a spectacular and hard stage," Fuglsang told sporten.tv2.dk.

    He has ridden the legendary Alpine climb during in the 2011 Tour, where he rode in support of Leopard-Trek captain Andy Schleck,who took the leader's yellow jersey on the stage. Fuglsang finished 33rd, 5.49 down.

    “Last time we finished on Alpe d'Huez, we went over the Galibier before, and I would almost say that the Galibier is at least as hard as Alpe d'Huez, but Alpe d'Huez may seem more daunting because of the history it has. Physically, it is certainly possible to climb it twice. "

    The 2013 Tour de France route is to be presented the end of October, but Fuglsang already knows what his perfect course would be.

    "I would like to have 'the real mountains' and then some time trial kilometres, which are not pancake-flat, but would have little hills and technical sections. I think that could be an advantage for me compared to some of the other riders such as Bradley Wiggins."

    Fuglsang would not want too many mountaintop finishes, saying he finds it better when the finish line comes “after we've been over the mountains. This way you can deter the strongest climbers from attacking, and if they attack and get a gap, I think that I have a chance to...

  • Aldag: Cavendish has to leave Team Sky

    Stage 3 winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) at the post-race press conference.
    Article published:
    September 27, 2012, 13:15 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    German manager could work with sprinter at Omega Pharma

    Mark Cavendish's former team manager Rolf Aldag believes the British sprinter has to leave Team Sky and has hinted that the two could soon be work together at Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

    Cavendish has made it clear he wants to leave Team Sky but negotiations with team manager Dave Brialsford have stalled, with reports that Team Sky is insisting for a payment of a million pounds before rescinding Cavendish's contract.

    Aldag moved away from professional cycling at the end of 2011 when the HTC-Highroad team folded, becoming the managing director of the World Triathlon Corporation in Germany. He is to leave that role this week and has already worked as a technical advisor with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, helping the Belgian squad win the world team time trial title and Tony Martin win the individual time trial world title.

    Aldag knows Cavendish well and suggests he has no alternative but to leave Team Sky after both Dave Brailsford and Bradley Wiggins confirmed Team Sky will target the grand tours after wining this year's Tour de France.

    "It's clear that Cavendish has to leave Team Sky," Aldag told Cyclingnews.

    "In theory he has a contract for 2013 and 2014 but I can't see how he can stay because it was Brailsford and Wiggins who both said he should look for another team. Sky wants to go for a second Tour de France win and so it's possible that Cav's programme would only include the Giro and the Vuelta; he would angry about that."

    "I don’t think Cav would even have to pay a fee to leave. He didn’t ask to leave, it was the team that suggested it first. Of course under UCI rules, it's up to Cavendish to resolve his contract with Sky before he can sign with anyone...