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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Date published:
December 04, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI Independent Commission calls for evidence

    The UCI
    Article published:
    December 03, 2012, 18:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    End of year deadline set for submissions

    The UCI Independent commission set up to investigate issues and allegations arising out of the Reasoned Decision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has called for anyone with any evidence to make a submission before December 31.

    The UCI announced the creation of the Commission in October when Pat McQuaid confirmed that Lance Armstrong would be stripped of his seven Tour de France victories. Last week the UCI said that former British Court of Appeal judge Sir Philip Otton will chair the commission. He will be assisted by House of Lords Peer and Paralympic Champion, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, and Australian lawyer Malcolm Holmes QC.

    A special website (www.uciic.org) has been created, hosting details of the three member of the panel and the terms of reference of the investigation.

    The site lists an email address and a London postal address with for those wishing to submit evidence.

    "The Commission invites all persons in possession of information that may assist the Commission in relation to the Terms of Reference to contact the Commission, with a written summary of their evidence and documents," a message on the sites reads.

    The Commission can be contacted through the following means:

    Email: evidence@macfarlanes.com

    Postal address:
    For the attention of the Independent Commission
    Macfarlanes LLP
    20 Cursitor Street
    London
    EC4A 1LT.

    The Commission will hold a hearing in London between 9-26 April 2013. It then aims to submit its report to the UCI by 1 June 2013, or shortly after. The costs will be covered by the UCI.

    The terms of reference call on the commission to determine whether the allegations against the UCI set out in the [USADA] Reasoned Decision are well founded, if the UCI's anti-doping...

  • Change Cycling Now calls for LeMond to replace McQuaid

    The Change Cycling Now organisation called a press conference in London on Monday.
    Article published:
    December 03, 2012, 19:55 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Can CCN really change cycling?

    The Change Cycling Now (CCN) movement, at a press conference in London on Monday, has called for Pat McQuaid to resign from his post as the president of the UCI. The CCN organisation has also advocated that former cyclist Greg LeMond - an existing member of the CCN panel - should stand as an interim president while the UCI conducts its investigation into allegations of corruption and bribery during the Lance Armstrong era.

    The CCN came into existence in the aftermath of the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. Jaimie Fuller, the CEO of a global sportswear brand, created the organisation, and has assembled an impressive list of names with LeMond, Michael Ashenden, Paul Kimmage, Jonathan Vaughters, Christophe Bassons and David Walsh all joining forces to lobby the UCI for reform within the sport. Fuller is financing the enterprise himself and does not believe his ties to his sportswear brand and his declaration for change are a conflict of interest. However, he would not confirm the amount of capital he is willing to invest in CCN but was clear that the root of his aims are based around cleaning up the sport and not publicity.

    "The UCI's Independent Commission will sit in April and report in June," Fuller said. "During that time the president and the honorary president who are both under investigation in that process will be allowed to remain in office. In order for the commission's task to remain credible they must stand down and they must stand down immediately. There must be no possibility of conflict of interest from the commission and interim leadership is necessary.

    "Today we're launching the charter of the willing and I'd like to ask the national federations and the IOC and challenge them on why they...

  • Cannondale, Astana and Lampre gather for training camps

    The Liquigas team move Basso to the front
    Article published:
    December 03, 2012, 22:19 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Riders hoping to avoid cold European weather

    December traditionally marks the start of serious training for most professional riders and several teams will begun to get in the miles this week with training camps in Italy.

    Liquigas-Cannondale will become Team Cannondale in 2013. Vincenzo Nibali has moved to Astana and US national champion Timmy Duggan has joined Saxo-Tinkoff but Peter Sagan and Ivan Basso remain as team leaders and are joined by nine international riders, including Lucas Sebastian Haedo and Canadian's David Boily and Guillaume Boivin from Spidertech.

    Cannondale will stay in the Tuscan coastal town of Riotorto from Tuesday until Friday December 14. Southern Tuscany usually avoids the worst of the European winter, with the area offering flat and hilly roads for training rides. Cold temperatures are forecast for this week with a chance of rain but that is far better than Switzerland and northern Europe that is currently struggling with freezing temperatures and snow.

    The Astana team has also begun training on the road, opting for Arzachena in northern Sardinia for a 10-day camp between today and Thursday January 13.

    With Alexandre Vinokourov now team manager, Astana will have a different focus in 2013, with Nibali targeting the Giro d'Italia. New riders include Italian sprinter Andrea Guardini, who joins from Farnese Vini and Denmark's Jakob Fuglsang who is likely to target the Tour de France.

    The USA's Evan Huffman is one of the young riders who has joined the team thanks to bike sponsor Specialized. Talented Italian Fabio Aru is also a name to watch. He joined Astana as a stagiaire in August after winning the Giro della Valle d'Aosta and finishing second in the GiroBio.

    The Lampre team also begins its build-up for the 2013 season with a four-day get together in Darfo Boario...

  • Reports: Lucas Sebastian Haedo and Luke Roberts leave Saxo-Tinkoff

    Lucas Sebastian Haedo
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 0:47 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team Cannondale the new home for Argentinean

    The late season transfers continue with multiple news outlets reporting Lucas Sebastian Haedo is leaving Saxo-Tinkoff and making the moving to Team Cannondale. Meantime, Luke Roberts will also leave the Danish outfit, for German UCI Continental squad, Raiko Stölting.

    Twenty-nine-year-old Haedo moves to Team Cannondale after three seasons under Bjarne Riis. His contract was due to expire at the end of the current season, after he was granted a contract extension at the end of 2011 having spent two months away from racing having been hit by a motorbike at Paris-Nice.

    Late last month, blog reports of Haedo's move were hosed down by Team Cannondale management. Haedo's brother, Juan José is yet to make an announcement regarding his team for 2013 with his contract also expiring at the end of the current year.

    News of Roberts' departure follows that of other Australian personnel David Tanner, Nick Gates and Bradley McGee from Saxo-Tinkoff. Roberts has enjoyed two stints with the squad from 2005 and 2007 before re-joining it last year.

    Roberts, 35, joins former Milram teammate Björn Schröder at Raiko Stölting with the Australian excited to be taking on a leadership role.

    "I look forward to the start of the coming season with a quality group of young riders on this team," he said on the team website.

     

  • Pujol must win volcano stage in Ijen tour

    Oscar Pujol Munoz (Azad University Cross Team) escaped from km 70 on Stage 3.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 3:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard heads to Indonesia to ride for local Polygon team

    Former WorldTour rider Óscar Pujol is running out of time to secure a professional contract for 2013 but that hasn't dampened the drive of the 29-year-old. The Spaniard has spent the 2012 season with the Iranian Azad Univesity team but has had limited race days to show himself. In an attempt to gain some late season results Pujol will travel halfway across the world to compete in the three-day UCI 2.2 Banyuwangi Tour de Ijen, Indonesia just hours after finishing a local cyclo-cross race.

    The race which runs from 7-9 December may suit the talented climber who most recently won the seven-stage Tour de Singkarak. Stage 2 in Ijen will be the decisive day with the near 2,000m high volcano-top finish set to decide the order of the general classification. The peloton will have to tackle a 21km volcano climb with an average of over 6% before reaching the finish at Ijen crater.

    "I have seen that one stage ends on a 30kms [21km] hill on a volcano. If everything goes well I have big chances to win the stage and/or the leader jersey," said Pujol who was invited to race just a week before flying out.

    "It is not easy when you are contacted under a short delay during the Spanish winter time. Apart of that I have not had the possibility to train on the hills as they are snowed, I am not 100% at all," he said."

    Pujol believes he may be lacking some fitness but says he hasn't been able to afford to take anytime off the bike. If he wants to secure a contract with a professional team for next season, he must win the tour outright. He'll be supported by the local Polygon team, which has numerous wins in UCI tours throughout Indonesia. When the climb to Ijen crater begins however, Pujol will need to prove he still has what it...

  • Gerrans motivated for third Jayco Herald Sun Tour title

    Simon Gerrans (Orica-GreenEdge) wins Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 5:33 GMT
    By:
    Alex Malone

    Orica-GreenEdge rider headlines national team

    Two-time winner of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Orica-GreenEdge's Simon Gerrans will lead the Australian national team when the four-day race begins on 3 January 2013. The race will begin with a prologue in the afternoon following the completion of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic.

    Gerrans will not be attending the Mitchelton criterium series and instead will use the time for additional training. The Sun Tour means a lot to Gerrans who won the title in 2005 and 2006 during his tenure with Ag2r Prévoyance. It's a return that this year's Tour Down Under champion believes will put him in the best condition ahead of his title defence at the Australian Road National Championships.

    "That would be an ideal way to start the 2013 season," he told Cyclingnews. "The Jayco Herald Sun Tour is a race I hold pretty close to my heart. It's a race I grew up watching and I won it in my last two attempts.

    "I'm pretty motivated to go back there next year and start my season well and get another win."

    Gerrans has said he will split his time between Melbourne and Mansfield ahead of the Sun Tour before focussing on his defence of his national title. He added that the increased distance of the Australian National Road Championships will help him secure a second successive win.

    "I think it [the nationals course] suits me quite well, especially now that I'll have the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in my legs a week before it. It should put me in really good condition before the national championships and Tour Down Under."

    Gerrans will start the road championships in Ballarat as the number-one favourite after he took out the title...

  • Tinkov claims cycling's doping problems are "exaggerated"

    Oleg Tinkov at the race village.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 12:22 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Saxo-Tinkoff backer dismisses Argos-Shimano's WorldTour claims

    Saxo-Tinkoff backer Oleg Tinkov has called for changes to the UCI WorldTour licensing system and claimed that cycling’s doping problem has been “exaggerated.”

    Tinkov’s team is still waiting to hear if it has secured UCI WorldTour status for 2013, and it is understood that the team is vying with Argos-Shimano for the final berth. A decision is expected on December 10.

    Saxo-Tinkoff’s application has been complicated by the fact that it is unable to count any UCI points from its leader and Vuelta Espana winner Alberto Contador towards it final tally, given that he returned from suspension for doping in August of this year and his points cannot be counted for two years.

    "Alberto Contador is a superstar, the best racer in the world, and I can't even remember the names of whoever Argos-Shimano have in their squad," Tinkov said in a press conference with the Spaniard in Moscow on Monday, according to RIA Novosti.

    "It's absolutely, obviously, a crazy situation. Personally, it's difficult for me to imagine a situation where we don't receive a licence."

    As well as Contador’s suspension, Saxo-Tinkoff’s reputation has suffered from allegations levelled against manager Bjarne Riis in Tyler Hamilton’s recently published autobiography. Riis, who previously confessed to doping as a rider, has been accused of facilitating Hamilton’s blood doping programme with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes when he rode for the then-CSC squad in 2002 and 2003.

    “This problem is exaggerated,” Tinkov said of the wider issue of doping in cycling. “As far as I understand it, the topic of doping exists everywhere, in...

  • UCI calls for input "to build a bright future for cycling"

    UCI president Pat McQuaid answers a question during a press conference held during the UCI road world championships in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 12:59 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    December 10 deadline leaves stakeholders little time to submit proposals

    The UCI has sent letters to key stakeholders of the sport calling for their input on how to 'build a bright future for cycling and tackle issues of concern in the sport."

    The UCI said in a press release that letters have been sent to riders, teams, race organisers, national federations, administrators, sponsors, industry representatives, anti-doping organisations and sports bodies, asking for their comments on four main pillars of discussion: globalisation, anti-doping, riders and sports calendar.

    There appears to be no way for fans of the sport to participate or be represented in the consultation process.

    The stakeholders have just six days to submit their ideas, with the UCI setting a deadline of Monday December 10 to reply.

    “We will work together to tackle issues of concern and build a bright future for cycling. We will look at how we can continue the process of globalising cycling, encourage wider participation and make the sport even more interesting for spectators,” UCI President Pat McQuaid said in the press release.

    The UCI pointed out that the consultation, which will take place in the first quarter of 2013, is separate from the external Independent Commission, which has been asked to investigate the issues and allegations contained in the USADA decision relating to the Armstrong affair.

    Team managers and rider representatives are attending a meeting in Switzerland today as part of a general consultation process initiated by the UCI. On Monday key race organisers attended a similar meeting.

    At the same time in London, the Change Cycling Now group launched their own 'Charter of the Willing', describing it as a 'road map for the future direction of competitive...