Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Wiggle Honda team bike of two-time World Champion
Italian city withdraws candidacy
A year after applying as a candidate to host the 2013 UCI Road World Championships, the city of Florence, Italy, gave up its bid.
"We give up with regret," said Gabriele Sola in a statement on behalf of the bidding committee. "We're conscious that we paved the way to a project in which we strongly believed and for which we worked with dedication and enthusiasm. After the proposal of the candidacy, there were a lot of contacts with UCI and local authorities but, in the mean time, the dynamics were strange to us... . We give the way to others."
The bid was initially presented by Eugenio Giani, the sport councillor of the town of Florence. Others on the supporting committee included Italian National Team Manager Alfredo Martini; ex-General Director of the "Varese 2008" campaign Gabriele Sola; cyclist Michele Bartoli; Battista Cailotto - a member of the organizing committee during the last three editions of cycling World Championships in Italy; business consultant Omar Bechini; and Florentine architect Daniele Del Cucina.
Another Italian city Genova has already stated its intention to re-bid for the 2013 worlds. In early December, the Belgian town of Hooglede-Gits reiterated its desire to host worlds in 2013 or 2014. Finally, Ponferrada, in northwestern Spain, received the endorsement of its national federation for its 2013 bid.
From 2012 onwards, the World road Championships will feature an expanded programme that will include a team time trial and the incorporation of the Junior World Championships.
The next UCI road World Championships, in 2010, will take place in Geelong, Australia, for the elites and in Offida, Italy for the juniors. 2011 takes elite racers to Copenhagen, Denmark, for worlds, and in 2012, racers will travel to Limberg in The Netherlands.
Road worlds were last held in Italy in Varese in 2008. In November, Bergamo, Italy, said it would bid to be the host city of the 2015 World...
‘Zero tolerance’ policy in existence at Garmin-Transitions
Garmin-Transitions general manager Jonathan Vaughters looked like his new signing was going to be a star performer on the Euro circuit when Tom Zirbel finished an excellent fourth in the world time trial championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland, in September, but less than two months later, the rider was off the planned 2010 roster. Zirbel learned of his positive test for Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) in mid-November and soon after that, he told his existing team Bissell Pro Cycling and his future squad Garmin-Transitions, about the adverse finding.
Zirbel publicly announced the news on Sunday, confirming rumours that had been circulating. He is currently awaiting the results of the B sample and if that backs up the initial finding, will have to appear before USADA to plead his case.
Zirbel will hope that the agency will not give him a full two year ban. It is believed – but not confirmed - that supplement contamination would be his line of defence. He has insisted that he never knowingly took a banned substance.
Whatever happens, his chance to ride with Garmin appears to be gone. "Tom has been upfront with me about this process from the beginning,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews. “However, our anti-doping policy is zero tolerance. Tom alerted us to the situation and as a result he will not be riding for us in 2010.”
Zirbel, 31, has been racing at the professional level since he lined out with the Priority Health cycling team in 2006. He looked poised to try his hand at European racing next season but, unless the B sample result differs from the initial finding – something which is extremely rare – he is going to be sidelined from the sport.
Vaughters is running a team with arguably the strongest anti-doping reputation in cycling and is clearly not taking sides. "I hope that USADA comes to the correct and fair solution in this, and every, anti-doping case," he stated.
Frenchman to miss start of season after training accident
Stéphane Augé crashed while training this week and is out with a broken finger.
Augé, 35, must wear a splint on his right hand for about three weeks, and will have to miss the first two weeks of the 2010 season.
The French rider turned pro with Festina in 2000, and also rode with Jean Delatour and Credit Agricole before joining Cofidis in 2005. He wore the King of the Mountains jersey for one stage in this year's Tour de France, winning it on the sixth stage from Girona to Barcelona.
Looking to repeat 2005 win in Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Alexander Vinokourov will ride the Tour Méditerranéen in February for the first time since 2001, in his build-up to his first ever Giro d'Italia.
The Team Astana rider last rode the race nine years earlier, as captain for the Deutsche Telekom team. He finished 44th overall, 4:46 behind winner Davide Rebellin.
From there, the Kazakh rider will go to Tirreno-Adriatico (March 10-16) and the Giro di Trentino (april 20-23).
Vinokourov will then ride Liege-Bastogne-Liege, and attempt to win “la Doyenne” for the second time. He won the race for T-Mobile Team in 2005.
From May 8 to 30, the 36-year-old will ride the Giro d'Italia for the first time in his 13-year career.
Former champion details opposition to foreign entrants
Australian Open Road Championship organiser John Craven has pledged to raise Robbie McEwen’s objections to having foreign riders contest the title race at Cycling Australia’s next National Racing Calendar meeting. The star sprinter has called on other riders to voice their opposition to overseas riders competing at the Ballarat event, with January’s race expecting one of the largest foreign contingents to date.
“I would really like to start a movement among Australian riders to change it back to Australian championship,” he said. “It just isn’t right, the Australian Championship podium – a German, a Pom and a Kiwi…let’s please change it.
“I just find it so disappointing that our federation finds it necessary to include foreigners in our national championship who can and will change the course of the race, thus influencing [for better or worse] the result,” he added.
McEwen’s comments come after Columbia-HTC announced a solid six-man squad, including German champions Andre Greipel and Bert Grabsch, for next month’s race. Both Greipel and Grabsch are big-name riders on the international scene and will use the race to prepare for Tour Down Under, held in Adelaide one week later.
With Columbia-HTC losing last year’s title to Drapac-Porsche’s Peter McDonald, despite having two of its riders in the three man sprint, there are fears having riders like Gripel on hand could tip the balance against domestic riders. Drapac-Porsche has won two of the last three titles, with Silence-Lotto’s Matthew Lloyd splitting their wins with his 2008 victory.
The majority of nations run their national championships prior to the Tour de France, during the European season. The main exceptions are Australia and New Zealand, both held on the same weekend in January, and the USPro Criterium Championship which was ironically won by...
Dutch organisers look to avoid conflict with possible Dutch quarter-final game
The prologue of the 2010 Tour de France in Rotterdam is being scheduled around the fourth quarter-final game of the football World Cup tournament in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Netherlands may play in that game, and Netherlands race organisers wish to avoid a conflict.
The city of Rotterdam announced Monday that the prologue on Saturday, July 3, would start at 4:30 p.m., and run until approximately 8:00 p.m. The football game is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m., Dutch time.
The prologue will run 8km through Rotterdam, the second-largest city in the Netherlands. Stage one the next day runs 224 km from Rotterdam to Brussels, starting at 11:50 a.m., with the official start being 20 minutes later at the Erasmus Bridge.
Operación Grial heralds more arrests
The Operación Grial investigation into an alleged doping ring centred on the Spanish city of Valencia is reported to have turned up evidence of doping within the Kelme team in 2003 and 2004.
According to Tuesday’s edition of Spanish sports daily AS, among the papers found during a search of a Valencia clinic run by ex-Kelme doctor Walter Virú were records of doping plans and treatments. AS indicates that some of the plans could have been drawn up for riders who are still competing.
AS claims that these plans are exactly the same as those that former Kelme rider Jesús Manzano showed to the Spanish cycling federation and police investigators back in 2004 when Manzano alleged systematic doping had taken place within that team.
At that time Manzano alleged that a variety of what appeared to be code words within the plans referred to use of Russian EPO, human growth hormone and nandrolone.
Spanish police searched 15 premises and arrested 12 people as part of Operación Grial, including Virú, his wife and two of his sons.
New team for 2010, aims to race one year after collision with car
Lucas Euser, formerly of Garmin-Transitions, is aiming to return to the highest level of the sport after recovering from injuries sustained in a collision with a car in May. While training with teammate Dan Martin in Girona, Spain, Euser was hit by a car and sustained two broken ribs, a broken finger and a shattered patella. After months of rehabilitation the climber has signed with a UCI Continental team for 2010 and hopes to return to European racing in 2011.
It has been a long and difficult road for the 26-year-old Euser, who recently found out that he would not be kept on at Garmin, the team he'd raced with since 2006. Since the accident his main focus has always been on his recovery. "That's my life right now. My number one goal is to regain my fitness and get healthy," he told Cyclingnews from his Californian home. "It's not to be the best pro I can be; it's to be normal again. It was seven months ago, May 14, when I got hit by the car. It was just a case of wrong place, wrong time."
After the accident Euser spent months researching the injury his knee sustained and quickly realised that his 2009 season was over as far as racing was concerned. It was a hard blow to take mentally, having already had an injury-plagued 2008 and with his contract coming to an end this month.
"Cycling has been life ever since I was a six-year-old racing around the BMX track. I think about it a lot and I've told myself that I will race again. I've committed a full year to my rehab but by the middle of May I want to be racing. I'm not going to be 100 percent by then but I want to be racing. I want that feeling back."
As yet Euser can't announce his new team, only saying that they're Canadian-based and that they have plans to expand in the future. When it came to choosing a team Euser, with the help of his agent Andrew McQuaid, knew that he needed the right environment.
"It came down to the fact that I needed a home where they would...