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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Date published:
January 19, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • TDU title bid over for defending champion Davis

    Brothers Scott and Allan Davis showed off their new team kit for the first time since announcing their move to Astana last week.
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 8:07 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    No radios means no general classification win for Astana

    Defending Tour Down Under champion Allan Davis thought he had a comparable team to the Quick Step lineup he won with last year, but it was the Astana’s equipment – or lack thereof – that has cost the Queenslander a shot at two titles. Davis was remarkably unconcerned after finishing the ProTour race’s first stage more than eight minutes behind the peloton.

    “It’s no problem, it’s just one of those things,” said Davis. “I was having a bad day as well. That’s bike racing.

    “It was just a bit of a miscommunication, we didn’t have radios,” Davis added. “I was just riding within myself up the climb and found myself 50 metres behind my teammates and they didn’t realise. They just started pulling and I didn’t realise I was on the back so it left me behind.”

    While radios are expected to be banned in some races throughout 2010, the equipment is allowed at Tour Down Under. Davis admitted he wasn’t sure how the situation come about. “They didn’t bring any over, I’m not sure why,” he said.

    Davis’ focus will now return to winning stages at his home ProTour race. The rider is focusing again on the Spring Classics and had admitted prior to the race defending his Tour Down Under title would be difficult.

    “That’s really what I came here for in the first place,” said Davis. “It’s a long season and we’ve got a pretty big race back here in Australia at the end of September. My goal was to go for stages, not to fight that hard for the overall.

    “I didn’t expect it today, but I’ll still hopefully try to get away for a stage win before the end of the week,” he said. “I know the work I’ve done and where I’m at, I’m not shattered at all. It’s a long season, we’ll see what happens.”

  • ISD to ride Cipollini bikes in 2010

    Giovanni Visconti and Cipollini pose with the new team bike
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 9:56 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Team presented in Italy, Visconti and Rujano lead Pro Continental squad

    Mario Cipollini unveiled his new brand of bikes at the ISD team presentation on Monday, claiming his bikes have an ego as big as he does.

    Cipollini has created two models: the Fastline an aerodynamic racing bike, and the Snuglife, a bike more suited for long rides.

    “The MCipollini bike is an egoistical bike because its been created for a rider like me, who demands the best and pays huge attention to detail,” Cipollini told Gazzetta dello Sport at the ISD presentation near Verona.

    “I’ve applied everything I learnt during my career to the design of the bike. There’s my experience, my search for perfection, my attention to detail and my attention to design.”

    The bikes have oversized carbon tubes, with the integrated seat tube curving around the back wheel. They are made in Italy win collaboration with Federico Zecchetto of the Giordana and DMT brands.

    Cipollini works as a consultant for the ISD team and has again designed the florescent yellow, white and black team clothing. The ISD bikes have the same standout colours.

    Italy’s Giovanni Visconti is again team leader at the Italian Professional Continental squad fore 2010, with former professional Luca Scinto in the team car as directuer sportif. A key new signing for 2010 is Venezuelan climber José Rujano, who will target the Giro d’Italia.

    The team is currnetly competing at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.

    The 2010 ISD-Neri team (Italian unless stated):

    Maxim Belkov (Rus)
    Diego Caccia
    Simon Clarke (Aus)
    Alessandro Colò
    Pierpaolo De Negri
    Oscar Gatto
    Bartosz Huzarski (Pol)
    Vitaly Kondrut (Ukr)
    Denys Kostyuk (Ukr)
    Dmytro Kritsov (Ukr)
    Oleksandr Kvachuk (Ukr)
    Paolo Longo Borghini
    Salvatore Mancuso
    Gianluca Merenda
    Ruslan Pidgornyy...

  • Vinokourov gives up hopes of Tour victory

    Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana)
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 11:38 GMT
    John Bradley

    Astana rider to target stage wins if invited to this year's race

    As he gets ready for the start of his first full racing season since serving a two-year ban for blood doping, Alexander Vinokourov admits he has given up on ever winning the Tour de France.

    "It was a dream for me before," the 36-year-old from Kazakhstan said at the Astana camp in Calpe, Spain, last week. "But now it's over."

    Alberto Contador will lead the Astana team at the 2010 Tour de France but Vinokourov thinks he can at least be a factor in the race despite being 36 and after two years out of the sport.

    "Of course I will ride 100 percent for Alberto in the Tour de France to help him win," Vinokourov explained. "He said part of the reason he stayed with this team is that I can help him."

    Vinokourov will start his season at the Tour Méditerranéan and then ride Tirreno-Adriatico before targeting the Giro d'Italia in May.

    Vino admits that the decision on if he will be allowed to ride this year’s Tour is out of his hands because race organisers ASO have the final word. However if he is allowed back, he promises to ride aggressively and target stage wins.

    "I would like to win a stage, if not this year then next year," he says. "I'm very healthy and mentally more motivated than I was before. This is like having a second youth. I will do everything I can to be at the start of the Tour de France."

  • Euskaltel's Sicard gets career underway in Australia

    Under-23 World Champion Romain Sicard (Euskaltel-Euskadi) is making his ProTour debut at the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 11:40 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    U23 World Champ feels no responsibility towards French cycling

    Romain Sicard commenced his top-level professional career by going on the attack in stage one of the Santos Tour Down Under in Australia on Monday.

    "I tried to make the first break but three guys managed to do it just after my effort, so I couldn't go again," said the Frenchman, who was luckier than most of his team-mates who crashed during the first third of the stage and even in the neutral zone. "On Mengler's Hill, I was flat out but I was able to stay with the main bunch," added the 22 year old.

    Currently the U23 road race world champion, he's a curiosity not only due to being the second French Basque to have joined Euskaltel after Thierry Elissalde back in 1994 when the regional team was created, but also because he's seen as France's next climbing sensation.

    It remains a mystery as to why a French team never scouted the Bayonne-born cyclist who was the first Frenchman to win the Tour de l'Avenir since Sylvain Calzati in 2004 and the first ever French national to become the U23 world champion.

    Interestingly, even the French cycling federation neglected him after the two national selection calls he got as a junior, one being for Paris-Roubaix. Last August, it was Biel Kadri - a member of the Santos Tour Down Under stage one breakaway for Ag2r La Mondiale - who asked national coach Bernard Bourreau: "Why don't you try Sicard?"

    A winner of the UCI 1.1 Subida al Naranco 39 seconds ahead of Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez, he convinced Euskaltel to transfer him from their feeder continental team Orbea.

    "The Euskadi Foundation has scouted me because I'm a Basque, because of my results and because of the physiological tests they asked me to do," explained the rider who remained unnoticed in his country despite his title as elite French champion on the track for the scratch race in 2008. "No French directeur sportif ever approached me, not even for a chat, but it's understandable. My results weren't consistent...

  • Contador gets in the miles at Astana's training camp

    Contador takes a corner on his new time trial machine
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 12:18 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Tour winner tests new Specialized bikes in Spain

    Alberto Contador has been training hard and testing his new Specialized bikes at the Astana training camp in Calpe, Spain.

    The 2009 Tour de France winner rode for 210km in six and half hours on Monday with his teammates, tackling the well-known Finestrat climb.

    Allan Davis and Oscar Pereiro are leading the Astana team at the Tour Down Under but the rest of the team, including Alexandre Vinokourov, are all at the Calpe camp that runs until Sunday. Italian directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli was in the Astana team car.

    At the weekend Contador officially opened a bike path along the Alicante coast and then tested his new Specialized time trial bike and tweaked his position. The new blue, white and yellow Astana jersey stands out but does seem to be one of the better designed jerseys in the peloton. Contador likes it.

    “They’ve taken away some of the colors, like the navy blue, and the white and gold are more predominant. I think it’s a jersey that people are really going to like,” he said.

    Contador will hold a press conference in Calpe on Wednesday. He will begin his season at the Volta ao Algarve (Feb 17-21) before targeting Paris-Nice (March 7-14). He will also ride the Volta a Catalunya (March 22-28), where is he likely to race against Lance Armstrong for the first time since their bitter divorce at last year’s Tour de France.

    Contador won the Tour ao Algarve in 2009 but has played down his chances this year.

    “It’s true that last year I got the victory, but this year I don’t think that I’ll reach the same level as last year, but it’ll be a good warm-up for the rest of the races,” Contador said.

    “I’ve had to fit training in around some commitments, and well, the winter that we’re having this year in Europe and in my area in particular… I don’t remember anything this bad. It’s difficult to get out...

  • Cancellara says Tour yellow will remain a dream for now

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) gets ready for training in Fuerteventura
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 13:11 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Swiss admits one-day focus could shift to stage races in the future

    Fabian Cancellara still dreams of competing for the overall at the Tour de France but admitted that it would remain a dream, rather than a goal for the foreseeable future. The World and Olympic time trial champion was touted as a potential dark horse before the 2009 Tour de France after winning the Tour de Suisse, but crumbled in the mountains in July and reverted to the role of super-domestique for Andy and Fränk Schleck.

    Speaking at the Saxo Bank team camp in Fuerteventura, Cancellara said that while he didn’t buy into the media hype that surrounded him in the build up to last year’s Tour, he still dreams of one day competing for the yellow jersey in Paris.

    "I didn’t buy into that talk in the media. The Tour is a dream and a dream is not a goal. Goals are one day races, time trials and the Worlds, but not the Tour. Dreaming is important, but come on, I dream of owning an island, of having a big house; sometimes dreams are never reality. Maybe one day the dream will be different and goals will change. But for now I want to reach my goals. Maybe once all my current goals are in my pocket maybe then I can convert that dream to a goal," he told Cyclingnews.

    The idea of Tour glory has obviously occupied the Swiss rider’s mind, though, and he knows exactly what he needs to do if he’s to compete against the likes of Alberto Contador and possibly even Saxo Bank teammate Andy Schleck.

    "It’s not just about losing weight, but that’s a big thing. I can do one day of climbing, the second is tough but the third is too much for me at the moment. Whether you can push 500 watts or 600 watts doesn’t matter. It’s down to watts per kilo. I’m not ready yet for that," he said.

    Cancellara came into the 2009 Tour with fantastic form, winning his home Tour in dominant fashion after a disastrous Classics campaign that was blighted by injury, sickness and bad luck. However,...

  • Bianchi celebrate 125th anniversary

    Marco Pantani's Tour de France winning Bianchi
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 15:25 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Italian firm look back at proud history of success

    Bianchi bikes are turning 125 years old in 2010, but as the firm points out, it is not just about a bike. “Bianchi is a way of life, a way to move, a way of racing,” stated the company, as they prepare to mark the significant milestone throughout this year.

    Edoardo Bianchi established his firm in the Via Nirone in Milan in 1885, and Bianchi still produce bikes at their factory in Treviglio. Over the years it has been associated with famous names including Fausto Coppi, Felice Gimondi, Moreno Argentin, Gianni Bugno and Marco Pantani.

    On the road, the firm can count 12 Giro d'Italia, three Tour de France and 19 Milano-Sanremo victories amongst a long list of results achieved aboard their products.

    Bianchi are best be known for the distinct “Celeste” shade of blue used on all their bikes, but they are also marked by a very high quality of material, technology and workmanship.

    The technical qualities are only one aspect, though. “Another area of Bianchi's strength is the passion of all of the people who have been associated with Bianchi over the past years and until today,” said Bianchi CEO Bob Ippolito. “Success begins with great people and we must recognise all of the people past and present who have made Bianchi a truly unique and powerful name in cycling."

    The firm was bought in 1997 by Cycleurope A.B. Group, the Swedish company of the Grimaldi group, owned by Italian-Swedish millionaire Salvatore Grimaldi. “Bianchi is one of the finest bicycle brands in the world with a fantastic history. 50 years have gone by since Coppi passed away in 1960. It is now 125 years since Edoardo Bianchi founded the F.I.V.E. Bianchi company. I have been the very proud owner of Bianchi for 13 years, and I will continue to invest in Bianchi for a bright future development,” Grimaldi said.

    The firm has sponsored or co-sponsored many teams over the years. It was the man...

  • WADA working all the angles in fight against doping

    WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    January 19, 2010, 16:24 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Bio-passport, cooperation with drug giants and Interpol to help stem doping

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) may not have won the fight against doping yet, but after 10 years in the business, it has made significant strides toward that goal, the organization's president said in a media symposium in Switzerland on Tuesday.

    WADA president John Fahey urged all parties involved in the fight to continue their efforts and not give in to complacency.

    "It would be easy for the two groups that compose and fund WADA – governments and the sport movement – to tell themselves that with WADA they have got the formula or the rules right, that they have got the structure and the resources right. The problem of doping has not disappeared with WADA," said Fahey. "To rest on our laurels at this time would be a huge mistake."

    While WADA is not involved in testing athletes for doping, it does coordinate the effort by certifying laboratories, setting policies and gaining the cooperation of governments and sporting bodies to enforce the rules laid out in the WADA code.

    The main problem has been that doping protocols have historically out-paced advances in detection, allowing the dopers to stay one step ahead of the testers.

    That changed somewhat with the biological passport protocols, first implemented by the International Cycling Union (UCI), being approved by WADA in 2009. The passport is aimed at detecting the physiological evidence of doping rather than drugs themselves.

    WADA has also fostered a cooperation with pharmaceutical companies to develop tests as new drugs are developed, and opened the possibility for anti-doping organizations to re-analyze samples as science advances also helps deter athletes from doping.

    In addition, WADA is placing an increased emphasis on preventing drugs from reaching athletes in the first place by encouraging anti-doping authorities to cooperate with law enforcement, including Interpol, to catch suppliers.

    Fahey cautioned that there are...