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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Date published:
June 04, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Blanco interested in Stetina, second sponsor with Belkin

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    Article published:
    June 03, 2013, 19:17 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Stetina focused only on 2013 season

    The Blanco team is soon to become Belkin, after the American technology company reportedly signed on to sponsor the Dutch team for the Tour de France, but team manager Richard Plugge is still searching for a second sponsor to help fill out the budget, and will be looking to hire some American riders, according to AD.nl. One name that came up in particular was that of Peter Stetina.

    A resident of Santa Rosa, an hour north of Belkin headquarters in San Francisco, Stetina told Cyclingnews that he hasn't heard from the Blanco management, but was flattered by the reports. 

    "That's a question for my agents," Stetina said when asked about the news, "that's why I work with them, so I can just focus on being a faster bike rider."

    Having just finished the Giro d'Italia for the third straight year, Stetina said he is now only focused on doing his job for his current team, Garmin-Sharp, with an eye on performing well at the Tour of Utah and then either the USA Pro Cycling Challenge or the Vuelta a Espana.

    "Next year comes, well, next year and I am a 'step A before step B" kind of guy."

    The UCI rules restrict riders from signing contracts with different teams for the coming season to a period between August 1 and December 31 each year. Riders and teams are prohibited from even revealing contract negotiations outside of this transfer window.

    Stetina has been with Jonathan Vaughters' organisation since his junior years when he was a part of the TIAA-CREF development squad.

     

  • Peloton's reactions to dopers a rebellion, Acquarone says

    Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) placed second.
    Article published:
    June 03, 2013, 20:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Giro d'Italia directeur says decision on Vini Fantini for next races pending

    The official announcement that Vini Fantini's Mauro Santambrogio tested positive for EPO today followed weeks of rumors: ever since the former BMC domestique turned into a champion, winning his first Grand Tour stage at age 28 on stage 14 of the Giro d'Italia in Bardonecchia on May 18, the whispers turned to grumbles. Yet the race manager Michele Acquarone sees the peloton's response to the news as a positive change in the sport.

    "Of course I'm not happy, but I'm not even surprised," Acquarone told Tuttobiciweb.it. "We all knew."

    All during the Giro, riders pointed fingers at Di Luca and Santambrogio, and finally the Di Luca's EPO positive came public on May 24, almost a month after the sample was collected out of competition. Santabrogio's positive came from May 4, on the opening stage of the Giro, but was only announced today.

    "The nice thing is, the peloton is rebelling," Acquarone said. "The bunch longer accepts certain things, and will point a finger, denouncing that what they say seems anomalous. First there are the voices, then the analysis to nail the cheaters."

    Acquarone's statements are backed up by public denunciation of Santambrogio, and the team that hired him, by his fellow professionals on Twitter:

    "I hope cycling followers realise that s(t)upidity of the individual can't be banned. Damaging our credibil(i)ty anno 2013 deserves no 2nd chance." Stef Clement (Blanco)

    "I just don't get it!!! What are they thinking? What actually goes on in their mind? STOP CHEATING DICKHEADS." Greg Henderson (Lotto-Belisol)

    "The peloton knew Vini Fantini weren't trustworthy: was the talking...

  • Ballan lines-up at GP du canton d'Argovie after horrific crash

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC) signs on for stage 6.
    Article published:
    June 04, 2013, 1:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    No pressure for BMC Racing rider after having spleen removed

    Italian Alessandro Ballan will make his debut appearance for the 2013 season after crashing during a training camp last December. The BMC rider broke his femur and one of his ribs whilst also underwent surgery to have his spleen removed. The one-day race in Switzerland will see a large number of the WorldTour teams line-up for the 50th edition of the event.

    Ballan missed the entire spring season, where he boasts a number of high-finish results and one Tour of Flanders (2007) crown to his name. In 2012, Ballan was the team's most consistent rider throughout the cobbled races and completed an impressive run with fourth at Strade Bianche, eight at Milan-San Remo and third at both Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    This year Ballan attended a Flanders in support of his teammates and sported a scar on his left leg from his surgery to repair the femur with a 40-stitch scar down the centre of his chest a further reminder of the seriousness of his crash.

    The 33-year-old is racing this Thursday without pressure to perform and has already outlined his objective is simply to finish the race.

    "I feel good and have been living and training at altitude for 12 days, so my sensations are good. But I don't know how I will do in the races because of the changes of pace. My goal is simply to finish. I also want to thank all the people who have been close to me in this period, particularly my family, my friends and the team," said Ballan in a team statement.

    BMC team director Max Sciandri expressed his joy with having the seasoned classics campaigner back on the road and pin-pointed Greg Van Avermaet to most likely lead the squad against the likes of Vancansoleil-DCM, Orica GreenEdge, RadioShack Leopard, Astana and Kastusha.

    "It will be great to have him there and we have a...

  • Vanendert's Tour de France in doubt after Dauphiné withdrawal

    Jelle Vanendert and Jurgen Van de Walle have a quick chat
    Article published:
    June 04, 2013, 3:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lotto Belisol rider searching for answers after health troubles

    Coming in 14 minutes behind the day's winner David Veilleux (Europcar) at the Critérium du Dauphiné spelled serious concern for Jelle Vanendert and the Lotto Belisol camp after the Belgian struggled with stomach issues during the opening stage. Their concerns were justified when Vanendert stepped off his bike and into the car early the next day.

    Much was expected of the older Vanendert - who rides alongside brother Dennis at Lotto Belisol - this year after stepping up to support the team's number-one GC rider Jurgen Van Der Broeck. Vanendert shot into the spotlight in 2011 when he won a mountain-top stage at the Tour but has so far missed the mark at a number of key 2013 targets. With the Dauphiné being used as the final test ahead of the Tour de France it would appear his participation, that comes off the back of 29th overall in 2012 is in now in real jeopardy.

    "In the first stage I wasn't good and today [Stage 2] didn't go well at all," said Vanendert on his team site.

    "On the first hill I had to let the group go and then I knew I could not go on like that. I don't know what's wrong, but I don't have any strength and uphill I don't move one meter. The past months haven't given what I had hoped for and that's of course frustrating.

    "In the Vuelta al País Vasco I had to quit, then it turned out I had an inflammation of my oesophagus, the Ardennes classics weren't good enough and in the Tour of Belgium I had to throw up after one of the stages."

    Narrowly missing the podium at Amstel Gold in 2012 Vanendert was looked upon to

  • Santambrogio in disbelief over EPO positive

    Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) cracked on stage 16 and conceded several minutes to his GC rivals
    Article published:
    June 04, 2013, 6:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian to request B-sample analysis of Giro d'Italia sample

    Provisionally suspended rider Mauro Santambrogio will reportedly request for a B-sample analysis to be undertaken after returning a positive control for Erythropoietin (EPO) on the opening day at the Giro d'Italia. The Vini Fantini rider won a snowy Stage 14 ahead of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and finished ninth-overall after dropping down the standings in the final week.

    "I can only say that I am in disbelief about what has happened and will request the counter analysis as soon as possible," Santambrogio told Ansa.it.

    Santambrogio had made what appeared a dramatic improvement this season after spending the past three seasons as a domestic with BMC Racing. He begun his 2013 campaign with a string of strong results including third at the Trofeo Laigueglia, fifth at GP Citta di Camaiore, victory in the one-day GP Industria & Artigianato before heading for his Giro warm-up at the Giro del Trentino - where he finished second-overall.

    The 28-year-old has been provisionally suspended by the UCI and been fired by his Vini Fantini team. His positive test comes after Danilo Di Luca's failed out-of-competition test was announced shortly after the completion of the three-week race.

    In light of the two doping positives the future of the 'fluro' squad appears to be on the brink of collapse, with Vini Fantini manager expressing his absolute frustration.

    "Everything’s finished, the whole project is finished", he told Tuttobiciweb.it.

    Vini Fantini's status for upcoming RCS Sport...

  • Sensations more important than result at Dauphiné, says Van Den Broeck

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck admitted to visiting the doctor at the centre of a Belgian doping investigation but insisted that his consultations were for purely medical reasons
    Article published:
    June 04, 2013, 9:52 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian builds towards Tour de France

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) is prioritising conditioning over the final result at the Critérium du Dauphiné this week as he builds towards the Tour de France. 4th overall in La Grande Boucle last season, the Belgian is aiming for a podium finish this time around and the Dauphiné is his final preparatory stage race.

    Van Den Broeck’s lone professional victory to date came at the Dauphiné two years ago, when he won the opening road stage. Although he would like to repeat the feat in 2013, he pointed out that he is already focusing on the main event in July.

    “The Dauphiné a final test to see where you stand,” Van Den Broeck said, according to Biciciclismo. “Every year at the Dauphiné, we get an idea of what we will do at the Tour. The sensations here at the Dauphiné are more important than the result but of course I’d like to win another stage because that’s always good for your confidence.”

    Van Den Broeck has been quietly consistent through the early months of the season, recording top 10 finishes at the Tour de San Luis, Ruta del Sol, Volta a Catalunya and Tour de Romandie. He has interspersed stage races with regular stints at altitude at his traditional training base of Sierra Nevada, although he has altered his preparation slightly in a bid to peak in the Tour’s final week.

    “We haven’t changed the preparation much compared to previous years,” said Van Den Broeck. ”After the Tour de Romandie, I took a week off and then I went to Sierra Nevada. In this way, we’re...

  • Cookson confirms candidacy for UCI presidency

    Doug Dailey MBE collects his Hall of Fame certificate from British Cycling President, Brian Cookson OBE.
    Article published:
    June 04, 2013, 10:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    British Cycling president makes formal announcement

    British Cycling president Brian Cookson has announced that he is running for the presidency of the UCI. The election will take place at the UCI annual congress at the world championships in Florence in September.

    Cookson’s candidacy had been rumoured on Monday afternoon and he confirmed the news in a statement released on Tuesday morning. He has been nominated by his home federation, British Cycling.

    “I am today announcing that I am standing as a candidate for the Presidency of the UCI. I have the full support and nomination of my home federation, British Cycling, and I respectfully ask for the support of the national cycling federations of the world and the whole international cycling family,” Cookson said. “I am not doing this lightly as I know how much needs to be done.”

    Cookson is set to run against the incumbent, Pat McQuaid, who has held the role since 2006 and is seeking a third term as president. McQuaid’s home federation, Cycling Ireland, called an Emergency General Meeting to debate his nomination and the Irishman has instead received the endorsement of the Swiss cycling federation.

    President of British Cycling since 1996, Cookson was elected to the UCI Management Committee in 2009 and has been president of the UCI Road Commission since 2011. He pointed to the transformation of British cycling during his tenure as proof of his credentials for the UCI presidency.

    “This transformation has been achieved, above all, by creating a well run, stable federation governed on the principles of honesty, transparency and clear divisions of responsibility,” Cookson said. “These principles are even more important for an international federation.”

    Cookson suggested that his decision to run for president was...

  • Martin continues in Dauphiné with intestinal problems

    Tour of Belgium leader Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep)
    Article published:
    June 04, 2013, 11:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    OPQS German says Sunday's attack was not planned

    Tony Martin paid the price for his long attack in the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphiné, saying the exertion apparently made him susceptible to an intestinal infection. The Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider suffered from it so much during Monday's second stage that he was unsure whether he would be at the start on Tuesday for stage three, but ultimately he opted to continue in the race..

    "The infection is making the rounds of the peloton at the race. I hope that it is just a harmless virus,” he wrote on his personal website. On Tuesday's stage, “I was very weak and couldn't support my team in the finale as I am used to doing.”

    “Now I must see how I come through the night. Early tomorrow (Tuesday, ed.) morning I will decide what to do.” The world time trial champion evidently felt better Wednesday, as he was at the start.

    Martin's attack on the opening stage was not planned, but happened rather accidentally. “I didn't want to attack. I simply went my tempo, then I had a gap of 100 meters on the field and kept on going. Then very quickly  I had three minutes and saw the lead group in front of me.”

    He hoped that it might end in a stage win, but the peloton caught him before the finish. “But it was a good test of form anyway.”