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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Date published:
August 28, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Evans may end 2012 season early

    Defending champions Cadel Evans looks relaxed at the 2012 Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 27, 2012, 19:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Suspected low-grade infection to be addressed in Milan

    BMC's Cadel Evans may be forced to call an early end to his season after dropping out of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado. The team announced that Evans is thought to have an off-and-on low grade infection and he is set to return to Europe for testing in Milan, Italy.

    "Despite his usual full commitment and attention to training, Cadel has been experiencing unusual up and downs on his performance," said team doctor Max Testa. "Getting him back to full health and to his physiological standard of performance is a priority for the BMC Racing Team. If the testing goes as expected, Evans may return for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on Sept. 9 in Canada."

    The 2011 Tour de France champion has had a turbulent season: he came into Tirreno-Adriatico lacking the form of the previous year, and although he recovered and went on to win the Critérium International later that month, he fell ill again during the Ardennes Classics and was forced to sit out the Flèche Wallonne and Liège - Bastogne - Liège.

    He found some good form for the Critérium du Dauphiné in June, placing third overall, but he lacked the same fitness for the Tour de France and could not defend his title, despite the favourable parcours. He finished seventh overall.

    Evans then took his place on Australia's team for the Olympic Games, but withdrew from the time trial.

    His frustration at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge became apparent after he dropped out following the Golden to Boulder...

  • EPM-Une yet again tantalizingly close to KOM title in Colorado

    Francisco Colorado (EPM - Une) gets a kiss from the podium girls after winning the most aggressive rider jersey
    Article published:
    August 27, 2012, 20:45 BST
    Peter Hymas

    Colombian squad animated race, hopes to return in 2013

    For the second straight year at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge the Colombian Continental squad EPM-Une made its mark at what is becoming the premier stage race in the United States, amidst the rarified air of Colorado. Only one rider returned from the previous year's roster, Rafael Infantino, who had placed sixth overall and third on the mountains classification, but the squad yet again found itself at home in the high mountains while competing against strong ProTeam and Pro Continental teams.

    Always on the attack, putting at least one rider into each of the road stages' deciding breaks, EPM-Une also cracked the top-10 on each road stage and scored points in all but one KOM. The team, which won the 2011 UCI America Tour, was one of just four that had all of its starters finish the USA Pro Challenge, the others were all ProTeams: Garmin-Sharp, RadioShack-Nissan and Astana.

    While the final time trial in Denver was not kind to the team, their top GC rider Ramiro Rincon dropped from 5th to 15th, the most compelling result for the Colombian squad was how tantalizingly close yet again they came to claiming the USA Pro Challenge's climber's jersey. In 2011 EPM-Une's Walter Pedraza wore the jersey into the final stage from Golden to Denver, but lost the classification lead by one point to compatriot Rafael Montiel (Gobernacion De Antioquia - Indeportes Antioquia) on the stage's only KOM, the final one of the race.

    This year Francisco Colorado rode into the virtual KOM lead during Saturday's final road stage from Golden to Boulder, and its Flagstaff Mountain finish, after scoring points on each of the day's first two KOMs, but nobody figured what would happen on the day's third and final KOM, which doubled as the finish...

  • Pound calls for 'truth and reconciliation' for cycling

    Former head of the World Anti-Doping Agency Dick Pound
    Article published:
    August 28, 2012, 0:32 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Former WADA president calls Armstrong's tactics 'desperate'

    The former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency Dick Pound today said USADA's lifetime ban of Lance Armstrong "is not a witch hunt, it's a duty", and called for the sport's governing body, the UCI, to engage in a "truth and reconciliation exercise" in order to rid the sport of doping and move forward.

    USADA moved ahead last week with the lifetime ban and the disqualification of Armstrong's results dating back to August 1, 1998, a move which will strip him of all seven Tour de France titles, after a late appeal by Armstrong's legal team to block USADA's procedure was dismissed by a district court in Texas.

    Pound, an attorney, former vice president of the International Olympic Committee and current IOC member for Canada, has been keeping a close eye on USADA's case against Armstrong and his attempts to block it from moving forward to arbitration where all the evidence would be heard in public.

    "I thought frankly it was rather desperate," Pound said of the district court filing. "Any well informed lawyer would have been able to tell him it was not going to prevail."

    Armstrong decided not to seek arbitration, he instead refused to acknowledge USADA's right to punish him for doping offenses and stepped away from the spotlight.

    "It's not an untypical tactic. [Armstrong] was very careful about what he said. The fact of the matter is he fought tooth and nail to keep this from going to arbitration, and the court said 'no, sorry that's the route you have to go'. He [effectively] said, 'well, in that case I'm not going to fight anymore'. All of a sudden he turns from the world's toughest fighter to not even contesting it? Decide what you like."

    Pound says that the process is not over, that the evidence, or at least some of it, will come out.

  • Cycling Australia names long lists for 2012 UCI Road World Championships

    Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    August 28, 2012, 1:46 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Hayman and O'Grady ruled out following surgery

    Cycling Australia has announced the long teams for the 2012 UCI Road World Championships to be held in Limburg next month. Selections will be finalised by September 10, with the championships beginning six days later.

    Australia has been allocated the following places in each category:
    Elite Men - nine riders in the road race and two in the time trial.
    Elite Women - six riders in the road race and two in the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
    U23 Men - five for the road race and two for the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
    Junior Men - three for the road race and two for the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.
    Junior Women - four for the road race and two for the time trial plus Oceania Champion in each event if selected.

    Cycling Australia National Performance Director, Kevin Tabotta, says that the Limburg parcours has played a major role in long list selections.

    "It's a solid world championship course," said Tabotta. "The 16.5km road circuit contains two climbs each lap including the famed 1200 metre long Cauberg that boasts a six percent gradient.

    "The elite men's event also covers a hilly 100km loop prior to reaching the finishing circuits around Valkenberg so a tough day in the saddle is expected.

    "We have athletes listed in the long teams for men, women and U23 men who have shown form in recent selective races and we believe we can compete with the best nations for results in both road and time trial events."

    Winner of Stage 4 of the Vuelta a España, Simon Clarke could find himself more-closely watched as a result of his recent performance. The classics...

  • Brixia Sport takes over reins at Liquigas for 2013

    Article published:
    August 28, 2012, 2:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Basso, Sagan and Moser renew with Italian team

    Brixia Sport will be the new holding company behind the Liquigas-Cannondale team in 2013. The team managed by Roberto Amadio will announce the its new sponsors and technical partners within the coming weeks. The Italian squad has a ProTeam license valid till 2014 and with the new sponsor Brixia, will no doubt meet the criteria necessary to remain in the WorldTour next year.

    Brixia Sport, with Paolo Zani as president and Paolo Papetti and Amadio as managing directors, has acquired the structure from Liquigas Sport, which has managed the team since its foundation in 2004.

    "This sports project was created with passion and produces excellent results so it couldn’t end here," said Zani. "Therefore I decided to take over the company to ensure this invaluable experience is put to good use."

    A number of key contract renewals have been announced including Ivan Basso, Peter Sagan, Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and Damiano Caruso. Existing riders Stefano Agostini, Maciej Bodnar, Federico Canuti, Mauro Da Dalto, Ted King, Kristijan Koren, Paolo Longo Borghini, Alan Marangoni, Maciej Paterski, Daniele Ratto, Fabio Sabatini, Juraj Sagan, Cristiano Salerno and Josè Cayetano Sarmiento will also remain on the team.

    "We need to use what we have created up till now as our new starting point. We plan to pursue the project with maximum attention to detail in every aspect of competitive riding that ensures athletes have the right framework, facilities and professionals at their disposal," said Amadio.

    "The most intriguing challenge will be to renew our...

  • RadioShack-Nissan extend with Nizzolo and Popovych

    Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack-Nissan) rides away from the group
    Article published:
    August 28, 2012, 4:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Popovych: "This team feels like a second family"

    Giacomo Nizzolo and Yaroslav Popovych have extended their contracts with RadioShack-Nissan. The team managed by Johan Bruyneel was pleased to announce the developing sprinter Nizzolo and trusted domestique Popovych would be staying with the team for the coming season.

    "Giacomo is one of the most promising youngsters out there. He's been progressing a lot in these two years as a neo-pro and I'm really excited that he has chosen to stay with us, despite other interesting offers. It shows that confidence works both ways. I'm confident that Giacomo is going to claim his spot within the top tier of sprinters in the next years," Bruyneel said.

    Nizzolo has signed a two-year deal with the team after moving to RadioShack-Nissan from Leopard-Trek last year. The 23-year-old Italian will remain with the team until at least 2014. Nizzolo is a second-year professional who this year won stage 5 and the points classification at the Eneco Tour and most recently, took out stage 3 at Tour du Poitou Charentes.

    "I'm pleased to stay in the team where I have gotten the chance to grow as a pro bike rider," said Nizzolo. "My victories in the past weeks were reassuring for all parties. Some sprints were won with amazing support of the team, others were necessarily done with fighting my way to the finish line, but that's life for a sprinter. I'm hoping to step up now and return the faith the team has given me with some nice results," he said.

    Popvych has spent the majority of his...

  • Contador looking forward to Vuelta's second week

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) on the attack at the end of stage 8
    Article published:
    August 28, 2012, 6:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Time trial to decide tactics in high mountains

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank – Tinkoff) didn't have much to offer against the attack of red jersey Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on Stage 9 of the Vuelta a España but believes that the second week of racing will be better suited to his abilities.

    Contador is one minute down on Rodriguez with Sky's Chris Froome seven seconds ahead of the Saxo Bank rider. Speaking during the Vuelta's rest day, Contador is happy with his performance so far as he rides in his first grand tour since returning from his back-dated doping ban.

    "We have experienced a few days with fatigue and tiredness but now the Vuelta truly begins," the 29-year-old said. "I think the ITT and next the mountains will take its toll on the overall classification. On the coming stages the differences will be bigger than last week.

    "It's been a long period of time without competing for me and the parcours have so far been suitable for explosive riders,"
    Contador continued. "Now it will be suitable for me and the climbers. We're going into a terrain where I feel more comfortable."

    Wednesday's 40km individual time trial, with a climb of the cat 3 climb of Alto Monte Castrove and technical descent, is suited to Contador as well as Froome and Rodriguez.

    "It's seems to be a pretty good time trial for me but also for the other three in the top of the GC," he said. "There's one climb and one descent and that's better for a rider like Joaquim [Rodriguez] than if it were a purely flat time trial. I think the four of us will perform well and the outcome of that stage will decide the tactics in the big mountains."


  • Meyer looking ahead after a tough start to the Vuelta

    Cameron Meyer in the solo breakaway
    Article published:
    August 28, 2012, 7:45 BST
    Alex Malone

    "My body is still used to riding the track"

    Cam Meyer (Orica-GreenEdge) is looking forward to the remaining stages of the Vuelta a España after a difficult start in which he saw his ambitions for the general classification disappear in the opening days. Meyer came into the grand tour - the fourth of his career - with the hopes of riding GC but it things haven’t quite worked out for the 24-year-old Orica-GreenEdge rider.

    "I didn’t really know what to expect. All I did was train as hard as I could and I’d had a few good results earlier in the year with a 10th at Tirreno [Adriatico] and 11th at [Tour of] California so we thought ‘let’s test it in a grand tour for the general classification’. We didn’t know if I’d last 3 days, 1 day or if it would be three weeks - if I was going really well," Meyer told Cyclingnews.

    Meyer spent a number of months preparing specifically for the three-week race, completing a number of high altitude training camps and back-to-back days behind the scooter in the mountains of Spain but the Australian quickly realised he needs more time before being a true general classification contender.

    "In this instance we found out pretty quickly. I didn’t have the best start in the first four days and sort of lost the GC hopes. But I didn’t know what to expect - we found out pretty quickly that the level is really high for the general classification and it’s going to take a few more years of experience.

    Despite the extra effort in training and nutrition Meyer believes his years on the track have meant he will need a little longer to adapt to a full time road career.

    "I spent a lot of time doing the extra percentages in training, nutrition and different things like massages and plunge pools. I did everything right but my body is still getting used to coming...