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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Date published:
December 22, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Euskaltel-Euskadi names Tour de France shortlist

    An Euskaltel rider gets ready at the Tour de France start ramp.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2009, 16:46 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Basque team announces 13 rider selection, U23 World Champion Sicard a reserve

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has joined fellow ProTour squad Saxo Bank in announcing a long range short list for their 2010 Tour de France Team.

    According to the Spanish site, team captain Samuel Sánchez will be supported by Egoi Martinez, Rubén Pérez, Gorka Verdugo and Amets Txurruka in July next year.

    The quartet all rode alongside Sánchez at his previous Tour appearance in 2008, where he finished 7th overall, 6:25 behind the winner Carlos Sastre.

    Iñaki Isasi, Juanjo Oroz, Alan Pérez, Aitor Hernandez and Iban Velasco were named as the riders who will compete for the final four spots on the nine-man team. Isasi and Oroz were also part of Euskaltel's 2008 Tour team, while Pérez made his debut at this year's race.

    Under-23 World Champion and ProTour debutant Romain Sicard was listed as a reserve for the line-up, along with Koldo Fernandez de Larrea and former Fuji-Servetto rider Benat Intxausti.

    The team announced this month they would not be racing the Giro d'Italia, the second year in a row they will have skipped the Italian race.

    Olympic Champion Sánchez has named the Tour de France as one of his main objectives for next season. This year he finished second overall in his home Grand Tour, the Vuelta a España.

  • 2010 Tour de San Luis roster announced

    Michael Rasmussen (Tecos Trek)
    Article published:
    December 21, 2009, 18:06 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Rasmussen listed to race with Miche

    Organizers of the fifth annual Tour de San Luis have announced a roster of 22 teams to participate in the six-day stage race set to take place in San Luis, Argentina on January 18-24. The list includes Dane Michael Rasmussen who will be competing with the Italian-based Miche Pro Cycling Team.

    Rasmussen completed a two-year suspension for violating the UCI’s whereabouts rules. He was expelled from his former Rabobank team while wearing the yellow jersey at the 2007 Tour de France. This year, he returned to under the Tecos-Trek banner and won the Puebla La Vuelta Ciclista San Marcos held in Mexico in early September.

    Liquigas-Doimo will return to Argentina with a seven-rider roster led by Vincenzo Nibali and Brian Vanborg along with sprinter Francesco Chicchi. Italian Ivan Basso will not return to participate in the Tour de San Luis in January with the team. He kicked off his 2009 season at the South American stage race, but will start the upcoming season at the Volta a Catalunya on March 22-28.

    Team Katusha is expected to send a strong team that includes Filippo Pozzato and Danilo Napolitano. Footon-Servetto will return with climber Gianpaolo Cheula.

    Professional Continental teams heading to Argentina include ISD and Andalucia Cajasur. Also confirmed to participate are the Xacobeo-Galicia, Androni-Diquigiovani, Sparkasse and the German National Team.

    Surprisingly missing from the registered list is ProTour team Saxo Bank that showcases two Argentinean sprinters Juan Jose and Lucas Sebastian Haedo.

    In 2009, several US-based teams traveled south to the warmer climate and used the Tour of San Luis as a leg opener for the Tour of California that was held in February last year. The date change of the marquee US stage race to May has deterred US-Based teams from preparing its riders too soon.

    Without the urgency to gain fitness early, the only US-based team that will be participating in the Tour of...

  • Bahati foundation nets Cannondale as sponsor

    He's number one again - Rahsaan Bahati of Rock Racing takes the win in Manhattan Beach.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2009, 19:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Television series about the team in the works

    Rahsaan Bahati's newly formed Bahati Foundation pro cycling team is hitting the ground running ahead of the 2010 season, announcing Cannondale as its official bike sponsor, and the creation of a television series with partner Endure Media Group, to air next fall.

    The team will kick off the season at the Redlands Classic in California on March 25 after a two-week training camp in Los Angeles.

    Bahati created the foundation with the purpose of showing children in underprivileged communities that they can avoid a life of  "crime, gangs and drugs", much in the same way Bahati himself did with his cycling career.

    The television six-part series,"Bahati: Out of Compton" is part of the team's media blitz, with the first episode planned to highlight Bahati's childhood in Compton, California, one of the toughest areas in Los Angeles. It will then follow his success in the world of professional cycling through to the creation of his pro team and his community activities.

    "This project captures the essence of the human condition," said Endure spokesperson Matthew Hall. "[Rahsaan] Bahati's story is one of hope, compassion and excellence. We use cycling as a backdrop to tell [Rahsaan's] story, and weave the excitement of the sport, the passion of the events and celebrity cache for tremendous impact on the community."

    "This will catapult the efforts of the Bahati Foundation to positively impact the lives of inner-city and underprivileged youth by bringing our message into the homes of millions of viewers," said Bahati.

    The Foundation is currently in negotiations for broadcast of the series, but hopes to see it air mid- to late-summer. "One of our key partners, Cannondale Bicycles, recognized the opportunity early on and is committed to providing significant resources to this project."

  • Hesjedal and Pendrel chosen as Canadian Cyclists of 2009

    Catherine Pendrel (Luna Women's MTB) takes third place
    Article published:
    December 21, 2009, 21:48 GMT
    Rob Jones

    Hesjedal wins rider of the decade accolade

    Ryder Hesjedal and Catharine Pendrel were selected by thousands of cycling enthusiasts as the top male and female Canadian Cyclists of 2009. Hesjedal was also voted as the Rider of the Decade, and his stage win at the Vuelta a Espana was picked as the top individual performance of 2009. Now in their 13th year, the Canadian Cyclist of the Year Awards came from votes tallied on

    This is the second consecutive Canadian Cyclist of the Year Award for professional mountain biker Pendrel, who followed up on her breakthrough year in 2008 by winning her first national title, winning the Mont Sainte Anne,Quebec, round of the World Cup and finishing third overall in the World Cup series in 2009. Pendrel took 35.5 percent of first place votes.

    Emily Batty, who finished second overall in the Under 23 Mountain Bike World Cup and won two Under 23 World Cup races, finished second with 24.9 percent of first place votes, with former winner Marie-Hélène Premont third with 11.2 percent of first place ballots.

    Ryder Hesjedal, who began the decade as a World Cup winning mountain bike professional made a switch to road racing after the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Hesjedal has steadily worked his way up through the pro ranks with the Garmin-Transitions ProTour team, riding his first Tour de France in 2008 and his second this year. Hesjedal also achieved first and second place finishes in stages of the Vuelta a Espana. Hesjedal's Grand Tour stage win was the first by a Canadian since Steve Bauer at the Tour de France in 1988. He ended the season ranked 69th in the world ProTour rankings and took 49.5 percent of first place votes.

    Hesjedal, who is currently preparing for next season in Maui, Hawaii, said, "It was great news to hear when I got up this morning. To receive an award like this from the public and Canadian Cyclist is very special, and made me reflect on the past year again. It was definitely a...

  • Millar's Commonwealth Games ban lifted

    David Millar (Garmin-Slipstream) pops the bubbly.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2009, 23:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Transitions pro eligible to race for Scotland in India

    David Millar has had his lifetime ban from Commonwealth Games competition lifted following a successful appeal against the sanction imposed on him for doping in 2004. He's now eligible for selection in Scotland's team at the Commonwealth Games in India next October.

    Following a confession of EPO use in 2004, Millar received a two-year ban from cycling and a lifetime sanction courtesy of Commonwealth Games Scotland (CGS). The Scottish authority adopted the same hardline approach as the British Olympic Association (BOA), which bans athletes from eligibility for Commonwealth and Olympic competition for life should they be found guilty of doping offences.

    British daily The Guardian revealed that Millar's appeal was initiated by Scottish Cycling and was successful due to the work he's done to rid his sport of doping following his indiscretion. He's on the athlete's panel of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and is an outspoken advocate of cleaning up the professional peloton.

    "I'm absolutely delighted with the decision. I've never competed in a major games, and I thought the chance had gone," said Millar. "I want to go and win the time trial. I'll be riding the Vuelta purely as preparation for the Games."

    CGS chief executive Jon Doig explained the reasons for Millar's successful appeal. "The CGS board felt that, since his return to cycling, David has become an active campaigner and educator about doping in sport. He has gone to great lengths to rehabilitate himself and share his experiences with others in an attempt to promote the anti-doping message."

    Whilst the sanction imposed by the BOA still stands, Millar says he's not going to challenge the British authorities in an attempt at eligibility for Olympic competition. "If someone else appeals and has it overturned, that's different. But I'm not going to initiate it," he said. "There's a good chance I'll be at the London Games," he added, "but as a WADA...

  • Dueñas back in the game

    Moises Dueñas Nevado (now ex-Barloworld)
    Article published:
    December 22, 2009, 1:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Banned Spanish rider returns after one-year ban

    After serving a one-year ban for EPO use at the 2008 Tour de France, Spanish rider Moisés Dueñas was yesterday notified by the UCI that he was permitted to return to professional cycling.

    Dueñas' sanction was reduced to one year by the Spanish Cycling Federation after initially receiving a two-year suspension. It came after he agreed to collaborate, under provisions in national anti-doping laws, with courts investigating possible manufacturers and suppliers of doping products.

    "Now I want to find a professional team," the 28-year-old told Spanish news agency EFE. "[But] we're at the end of the year and teams are practically closed."

    Dueñas turned professional with Relax Bodysol in 2004 before spending two seasons at French Pro Continental outfit Agritubel in 2006 and '07, where he won the Tour de l'Avenir and the Regio Tour International. In 2008 he rode for Barloworld until the fourth stage of that year's Tour de France, when it was announced he had tested positive for EPO.

  • Gómez Marchante excited at 2010 prospects

    Angel Gomez Marchante and Xavier Florencio help each other out during the stage.
    Article published:
    December 22, 2009, 3:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fresh start for new Andalucía-Cajasur recruit

    José Ángel Gómez Marchante says he is "excited" at the prospect of riding for Professional Continental squad Andalucía-Cajasur, the Spanish rider looking for a fresh start after several frustrating years in the ProTour ranks.

    Gómez Marchante showed plenty of promise during his stint with former ProTour outfit Sauner Duval-Prodir, the now-defunct team of disgraced former professional Leonardo Piepoli and the currently-suspended Italian rider Riccardo Riccó.

    The 29-year-old was a star on the rise three years ago, winning the 2006 Vuelta Ciclista al País Vasco before taking fifth overall in that year's Vuelta a España. Injury, team problems and a subsequent change of squad saw him experience two lean seasons.

    He spent this year at the fledgling Cervélo Test Team, the Swiss squad hiring him as a domestique for countryman Carlos Sastre. A crash in this year's Tour de France saw him abandon and return at the Vuelta a España, where he finished 22nd overall in Madrid.

    Gómez Marchante told Spanish sports daily Marca that he is "very comfortable" with his new team, outlining the "great atmosphere" during a recent training camp in the Cordoba province of Carlota, where the team rode two days of approximately 140km each day.

    "I am excited and motivated; [during] these two days I met my new teammates and I am looking forward to next season," he said. The 2010 season will begin for Gómez Marchante with the Tour de San Luis, January 18-24, in Argentina.

  • Di Luca's CERA hearing scheduled for February

    Danilo Di Luca (LPR Brakes) leads Denis Menchov (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    December 22, 2009, 10:21 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Italian could face ban, significant financial penalty

    Danilo Di Luca will face a hearing at the Italian anti-doping Tribunal (TNA) on Monday, February 1, 2010, for his positive test results for CERA during this year's Giro d'Italia.

    The Italian was provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on July 22, when it was confirmed that he had tested positive for the third-generation EPO after stages 11 and 18 of the Giro.

    Di Luca finished the race second overall, 41 seconds behind winner Denis Menchov (Rabobank).

    The Italian Olympic Authority (CONI) seeking a three year ban for Di Luca -- two years for the doping offence and a further year for under the 'aggravating circumstances' clauses of both the UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency regulations. The clauses allow an additional suspension to be imposed if an athlete cannot satisfy their hearing panel that they unknowingly committed the anti-doping offence.

    Di Luca, 33, has continued to maintain his innocence since the results of the tests were announced in July.

    He was subsequently dismissed by his team, Professional Continental squad LPR-Brakes, on August 12.

    If found guilty and handed at least the minimum two year ban, he will also be subject to the pay a fine equal to his net 2009 salary, as well as costs associated with the conduct of his case.