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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Date published:
November 13, 2012, 11:00
  • WADA funding at critical point in doping war

    Director General of the WADA, David Howman
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 15:14
    Daniel Benson

    WADA keen to be a witness in UCI Commission

    A lack of government funding could harm the fight against doping, so says WADA's director-general David Howman, who added that changes to the agency's code in 2015 could stretch them beyond their capacity. Howman was speaking at the "International Conference: The Pharmaceutical Industry and the Fight Against Doping" in Paris. The event was hosted by the Ministry of Sports, Youth, Non-Formal Education and Voluntary Organizations of France, and co-organized with the Council of Europe, UNESCO and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    WADA currently receive between $28-30 million USD per-year with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) matching every dollar from national governments. However with a number of austerity measures being introduced since the global financial crisis, Howman is concerned that WADA's fight against doping could stagnate and stretch to breaking point. In the last few years, they have moved from focussing on their own WADA code and testing to also collaborating with government agencies and Interpol. The latest measure that was announced on Paris will have them collaborating with a number of pharmaceutical companies and produce a sharing of information that could weed out cheats and doping rings.

    "If you had said to me five years ago that we would be here talking to the industry and the bio people, I would have said it would have never happened because in those days they were more concerned that their image would be tainted from anti-doping. So I think there has been a significant shift in attitude from the industry. This morning indicated a level of commitment that has to be praised," Howman said in relation to the importance of today's conference.

    Asked it was simply a publicity exercise for the likes of GlaxoSmithKline and US Bio to capitalise on Howman said, "I don't see it that way. if think if you've got people willing to give up their time an energy to come along for something like this, that's pretty significant. you don't often get private enterprise mixing with public authorities. I don't think they'd do that just for a couple of headlines."

    Today's conference aside, WADA is under increasing pressure to take the fight to those that cheat but their limited financial clout worries Howman.

    "I think we are now stretching the dollar we've got to far beyond the stretching capacity of that dollar. And if you look at the list of things we're asked to do, it's huge. We've not been able to hire new people since 2004 and you've got to say at some stage, something has to give. We're stretching it to the give factor now," he told Cyclingnews.

    "It means you don't do everything as thoroughly as you could and instead of doing 10 things you do five. And if you do five that count, that's fine but if from the other five one proves to be something you should be doing you get caught out. I hope we don't get to that stage. It's right on the verge now. Next year all be a challenge but then 2015 will be even bigger because of the changes to the rules. You ask us to carry these things out but you don't give us the resources to do it. What's going to happen?"

    "The worst case scenario is that we'll have to reduce the number of people we've got working for us and we'll have to reduce the activities we're doing. That's not beneficial for the fight against doping."

    A future mandate

    While Howman is aware of the financial constraints WADA finds itself in, he would still like to see the agency have a greater mandate in the future.

    "We ought to have the power to enquiry ourselves. The second part of that is that if we have that ability then we can do something with the information. We'll have that process and the sanction process. It's a two-part system that we don't have now."

    One mandate they are not subject to control over is the UCI's Independent Commission into the Lance Armstrong case and the barrage of allegations the UCI were left facing. The sport's governing body chose to appoint John Coates from the ICAS to nominate suggestions for the panel. Howman agrees with former WADA head Dick Pound, who told Cyclingnews last week that the lack of cooperation between the UCI and WADA was worrying but Howman added that he preferred that WADA remained on the sidelines, able to provide witness testimony if called upon by the Independent Commission.

    "The only area we're looking at is what the UCI are going to do with their internal enquiry," Howman told Cyclingnews. Mr. Coates has been asked to nominate some names in his position as the president of the ICAS. I can understand that happening. We have to see what their positions are and their terms of reference."

    "I differ with Dick on that a little. I think it's interesting that we've not been consulted. We don't know anything about it. at all. That's interesting. I think what Dick Pound said is probably right, that it's interesting and a bit disappointing. They, the UCI, have taken that view, and so be it. We've got information that we can pass along if we're invited to do that we'll do that."

    "What worries me is that we still don't know who is on the authority and we still don't know their terms of reference. it's hard to comment until we see that."

  • Team Raleigh announces its 2013 line-up

    Alexandre Blain winning the 2012 UCI 1.2 Rutland-Melton CiCLE Classic
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 18:27
    Cycling News

    Squad strengthened with nine new signings

    After a successful 2012, Team Raleigh has undergone a significant rebuild as part of its planned progression, bringing in a number of very strong and experienced riders to complete a formidable line up for 2013.

    Former British National Circuit Race Champion Graham Briggs, along with 2012 National Road Race Bronze medallist Russell Hampton and Scottish hard man and Commonwealth Games rider Evan Oliphant will return to the squad. Eighteen-year-old Matt Holmes, silver medal winner in the British National Under 23 Road Race Championship is also back.

    New riders include Frenchman Alexandre Blain, Australians Richard Lang, Lachlan Norris, Sam Witmitz and Mark O'Brien, Canadian Rob Britton, Tom Scully from New Zealand and two more British riders, Tom Moses and Mark Christian.

    Blain, 31, makes the move from the Endura racing team, and he brings a wealth of experience to the team and his impressive palmarès includes winning the Tour de Normandy in 2011. His 2012 victories include the UCI 1.2 Rutland Melton Classic and the Maldon-Dengie Tour. He also came 3rd overall in the Mi-Aout Bretonne.

    Witmitz, 27, from Victoria, Australia, is a lead-out and sprint specialist. He won three rounds of the 2012 Australian National Series races and recently won the sprint competition jersey overall in New Zealand's Tour Of Southland.

    Lang, 23, from Sydney, Australia, joins the Raleigh line up from Rapha. He is a strong sprinter a previous winner of Australia's classic Goldburn to Sydney race. In 2012, he won the Beverly Elite Crit and the Newcastle Leazes Crit.

    Norris, 25, from Victoria, Australia, recently won the 2012 Tour of Tasmania overall, including a stage win and the KOM competition. In 2011, he rode as a stagiere for HTC-Highroad and took fourth overall in the Tour of Taiwan and fifthin the Australian Road Championship.

    O'Brien, 25, also hails from Victoria, Australia and is a very strong climber, GC specialist and major signing for Raleigh. His palmarès includes second overall in Tour of Tasmania 2012, first in the GC Tour of Mersey Valley, first in the GC North Western Tour, first in the GC Tour of Toowoomba, first in the GC Tour of the South West and second in the Oceania Championship in New Zealand.

    Britton, 27, from Victoria in Canada, is an all-round strong man, proven climber and TT specialist. After coming 10th overall in the Tour de Beauce and 23rd in the Tour of California (World Tour), he will provide a big engine to drive the team along.

    Scully, 23, from New Zealand is a talented young rider rode for Chipotle-First Solar Development Team and more recently with Garmin-Sharp as a stagiere. He already has an enviable palmarès with third in the 2012 Paris- Roubaix under 23, winner of the sprints ace Jersey and fourth overall in Singapore Crit 2012, third in the Tour de Normandy Prologue 2012, five-time UCI World Cup track medallist (2010-2012) and five-time New Zealand Elite National Track Champion (2008-2012).

    Moses, 20, has spent the last two years with the GB Olympic Academy team. During this period he has been riding in UCI stage races in Europe, mostly in support of team members. With Team Raleigh, he should now have the opportunity to find his full potential. A very versatile rider, Tom was the British National Junior Cyclo-Cross Champion in 2009.

    Christian, 22, comes from Douglas on the Isle of Man. Mark joins Team Raleigh from Sean Kelly's An Post Team and is an accomplished road rider with good solid results in Europe during 2012. He is a very fast finisher both on the road and on the track. He came third in the Delhi Commonwealth Games Points race and has picked up medals in scratch, points, individual and team pursuit races at National and European Championships, World Cup races and Commonwealth Games and is current British National Madison Champion 2012.

    Team Manager Cherie Pridham said, "We are very pleased with the team line-up for 2013. Our aims are clear for the coming season - Tour Series, Premier Calendar and Elite Crit Series."

    "It is important for the Raleigh brand that we show our dominance in the UK, but I believe we have the strength and depth in the team to raise our game in Europe, too. With our new and experienced signings we are certainly looking forward to our European campaign and we will continue to race as far a field as Mexico, Canada and the US."

    Team Raleigh 2013 will be launched officially in January at Raleigh Headquarters in Eastwood, Nottingham. The team will then head out to its training camp in Mallorca, followed by the first race of 2013 in France in early February.

  • Szmyd reinvigorated by Movistar move

    Sylvester Szmyd (Liquigas) marked by Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 22:55
    Cycling News

    34-year-old says sport has changed since Armstrong years

    Twelve seasons riding for Italian teams was enough for Sylvester Szmyd to seek change. The experienced domestique announced his move to the Spanish Movistar team after five seasons at Liquigas and says a change of "scenery" was necessary to maintain motivation. He also added that his profession has changed a lot since the years of Lance Armstrong and believes the sport is now much cleaner.

    "I think it was the right time for a change of scenery," said Szmyd on Biciclismo. "I needed to find other stimuli so I can remain motivated after 12 years as a professional. That is the reason for the change, to see what it’s like in another environment."

    The experienced Szmyd is charged with supporting his new team captain Alejandro Valverde - who he beat atop Mont Ventoux at the 2009 Dauphiné Libéré - during the grand tours. The 34-year-old however, wants to be given the opportunity to lead the team at WorldTour events like the Tour of Poland.

    "I know I cannot win a big tour at Movistar. They have two great riders who won the Vuelta [Valverde and Juan José Cobo]. Valverde is a great rider, he has always shown himself in every race and he can win on any terrain. He is a complete rider," Szmyd said.

    "If I can be captain in races like the Tour of Poland that would make my career great, but I will have to prove this will be on the road."

    Szmyd signed a two-year deal with Movistar but was not willing to put a stop-date on his professional carreer - that began in 2001 with Tacconi Sport - Vini Caldirola. The Polish rider has been around for long enough to witness the sport adapt and believes that Armstrong was a "great champion" but the revelations uncovered by USADA on the former Tour winner and his US Postal team have been important for the sport to regain credibility.

    "Lance is a great athlete, I have no doubts. He won a world championship before being diagnosed with cancer and this is not something all achieve," noted Szmyd.

    "The USADA case will help the sport in the future because it has changed, riders have other objectives, there is a different mentality and I think the practices of the past are being removed. Remember that no one is subjected to as many controls as professional cyclists."

    The 25-rider Movistar team is using the following week to assemble for meetings and undertake product testing in Pamplona ahead of the 2013 which begins in January at the Tour Down Under. Szmyd added that he will likely begin his season, that will include two grand tours, at two races he is yet to attend: Tour de San Luis or Tour Down Under.


    Lance Armstrong
  • 'Cipo' a crowd favourite in Miami's Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia

    The man, the legend, Mario Cipollini
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 01:10
    Bruce Hildenbrand

    Pozzato and Di Luca attend final event for 2012

    Miami was the stage for the final Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia of 2012. A trio of iconic Italian cyclists led the 1,000-strong field along the roads of southern Florida on a beautiful November day. 2002 World Champion Mario Cipollini, 2007 Giro d'Italia winner Danilo Di Luca and 2006 Milan-San Remo victor Filippo Pozzato energized the crowd lined up on Coral Gables fabled Miracle Mile for the traditional mass start.

    'Cipo' admitted to the crowd that he had probably partied a bit too much in South Beach prior to the event, but he graciously lent his time for photos and words of encouragement. Di Luca told Cyclingnews that he had enjoyed the weather and the roads of the Miami region and that his primary goal in 2013 was to become a two-time winner of the Giro d'Italia.

    Pippo Pozzato acknowledged that his well-respected sprint was on a bit of hiatus in the month of November and that it was time to be getting in base mileage. Commenting on his second place to Tom Boonen in this year's Tour of Flanders, he remarked that being in the three-up breakaway at the finish was OK, but winning is all that matters.

    Also on the starting line was Formula 1 driver Jarno Trulli who is a neighbor of Di Luca's in Pescara and also has a residence in South Beach. He had intended to ride the 60-mile route, but missed the turn and ended up completing the 100-mile course and doing so in the lead group which finished in just over four hours.

    At Trulli's side was Bruno Junqueira, the former Indy Car driver from Brasil who is currently driving the American Le Mans series. Those race car drivers are fit!

    Giro d'Italia race director, Michele Acquarone, was on hand to encourage the riders. He spoke to Cyclingnews about the possibility of a breakaway cycling league in Europe.

    The Gran Fondo Giro d'Italia series is planning five events for 2013, the Sea Otter Classic in April, New York in May, Pasadena in June, Beverly Hills in October and Miami in November.


  • Bendigo Grand Prix announced for January 2013

    The late season Herald Sun Tour races through the Victorian country side.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 03:05
    Alex Malone

    Event to coincide with delayed Victorian Open Road Championships

    The 2012 Victorian Open Road Championships, previously postponed due to problems surrounding police availability for rolling road closures, will now be held in early 2013.

    The three-day event, running from 18-20 January will form part of the Bendigo Gran Prix. The top-10 placegetters from the time trial, road race and criterium championships will accumulate points towards the overall Bendigo GP men’s and women’s title.

    The shift in dates from November 2012 to January 2012 is expected to draw in a more competitive field with the busy month including the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, the return of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and the Australian National Road Championships. The first race will begin on January 18, just one week following the Road Championships in Ballarat. Route changes are expected for the road course at the National Championships with an announcement coming later this week.

    The dates coincide closely to the opening of next year’s Tour Down Under however, avid racers will still have time to finish the Bendigo GP and travel to Adelaide for the tour’s first stage on Tuesday 22 January.

    Race Programme
    Friday 18 January - Women’s time trial, Emu Creek (24.6km)
    Friday 18 January - Men’s time trial, Emu Creek (30km)
    Saturday 19 January - Women’s road race, Spring Gully (79km)
    Saturday 19 January - Men’s road race, Spring Gully (142.2km)
    Sunday 20 January - Women’s criterium, Bendigo CBD (25.5km, 30 laps)
    Sunday 20 January - Men’s criterium, Bendigo CBD (34km, 40 laps)


  • Irizar celebrates 10 years clear from cancer

    RadioShack-Nissan teammates Markel Irizar and Maxime Monfort
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 05:06
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider entering 10th year as professional

    Markel Irizar has been clear of cancer for 10 years, announced the 32-year-old via his Twitter account. The Spaniard underwent treatment for testicular cancer in 2002 whilst he was an amateur before turning professional with Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2004.

    "After 10 years, last visit to oncology! Everything was ok, so now I am cancer free!! BÍG DAY!!!," Irizar wrote on Twitter.

    The current RadioShack-Nissan rider had written a letter as a junior to Lance Armstrong when the American was diagnosed with cancer. Armstrong returned the favour years later when the Spaniard was having treatment. The two spent the 2010 season riding for Team RadioShack before the former Tour de France winner Armstrong retired at the end of 2010.

    Irizar has been named in the 2013 line-up for RadioShack-Nissan which includes 27 riders and three new confirmed signings. Stijn Devolder (Vacansoleil), Bob Jungels (Leopard-Trek) and Robert Kiserlovski (Astana) will join the team at the beginning of next year while Danilo Hondo has been heavily linked to the squad after announcing he would depart Lampre-ISD at the end of 2012.

    The 2011 winner at Ruta del Sol, Irizar, will enter his fourth season with the team after joining RadioShack in 2010. Irizar has only ridden for one other professional team, riding for Euskaltel-Euskadi from 2004-2009.


  • Wilson Racing's GPM-Data#3 team readying for 2013

    Josh Taylor (GPM-Wilson Racing) goes on the attack in the closing lap with Miles Scotson (SASI) for company
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 06:42
    Alex Malone

    Team director Wilson aiming to avoid repeat of National's "bloodbath"

    Entering its fifth year registered in the National Road Series, the team managed by former professional Trent Wilson announced that the GPM-Wilson Racing team will become GPM-Data#3 in 2013. The NSW-based team announced a 16-rider roster that, according to team director Wilson, will be better prepared when racing begins on January 1.

    The team experienced an up and down 2012 after recording breakout performances in 2011 with stage wins at Tour of Gippsland, Murray River and Tasmania, with Wilson admitting changes needed to be made to ensure they can compete with the bigger budget Australian Continental teams.

    Wilson's team finished in second spot behind Genesys Wealth Advisers in the NRS team classification in 2011, however the team would finish in fifth this year after a slower start to the season. Wilson says it was difficult to watch his team not achieve the results they are capable of early in the season but insists changes are being implemented before the year is up so the team is ready when racing begins.

    "I think last year, the way the nationals was with GreenEdge, it was an absolute bloodbath for anyone that was underdone," Wilson told Cyclingnews. "Certainly we were shown to be underdone there and this is something I want to change. To make sure we are going into the biggest races of the year, at the start of the year, with the best possible preparation."

    Genesys Wealth Advisers, Team Budget Foklifts and Drapac Professional Cycling were the top-three teams in the NRS this year. Wilson believes he's put together a group capable of rivaling the best on the domestic circuit. To achieve his goal of "winning as many races, stages and tours as possible" the team has already begun preparing for the 2013 season.

    "I'm going to change things around a little bit. The team will do Tour of Bright, the Cronulla crits and a big training camp in December so we make sure we hit the ground running for Bay Crits [Mitchelton Bay Cycle Classic], Sun Tour, Nationals and Tour of Wellington [NZ Cycle Classic]," said Wilson.

    The former Jittery Joe's Pro Cycling and Colombia-Selle Italia rider admits the team suffered with the loss of sprinters Phil Grenfell, who moved to Competitive Cyclist for 2012 and Joe Lewis, who has returned for 2013, but it's something which he insists will not be the case with the revised NRS calendar, changes to the team roster and the way in which he prepares his team for the bigger Australian races.

    "This year we struggled to have a third or fourth rider there. We always had one or two at the front but every tour or every race we lacked that third strong rider. I've signed three or four strong riders who can, in my opinion, fill that middle part of the team.

    "With a more spread-out NRS series, there's almost a tour every couple of weeks. We did struggle early on [this year] to get results because we can't afford to do the one week overseas tours like the big three teams can. We are often going into NRS tour without race fitness. We will definitely fill any gaps in racing with more training camps for next year."

    Continental plans

    Registering as a Continental team was discussed with team management however, Wilson says he's not ready to take that next step and the NRS is still a top priority. A number of the team's top riders including Joe Lewis, Chris Jory, Scott Law and Josh Taylor intend on spending part of the season overseas and if GPM-Data#3 was Continental, they would be limited in their additional overseas campaigns. It's something he believes will be more likely in the coming years.

    "The management spoke about going Continental and if the Sun Tour wasn't NRS [and had the previous UCI 2.2 status] we probably would have applied for a Continental license. The benefit of Conti would have been to get better starts in Asia but that isn't a priority for the team. We would like to do one or two Asian tours in 2013 if they present themselves. Definitely the is the racing next year to remain in Australia."

    "Number one goal is the NRS, to win as many races, stages and tours as possible. If the NRS team classification comes out of that then all good but I just want to win as many races as possible."

    GPM-Data#3 roster for 2013
    Andrew Crawley, Jesse Ewart, Julian Hamill, James Hepburn, Chris Jory, Scott Law, Joseph Lewis, Alastair Loutit, Jake Magee, David Melville, Daniel O'Keefe, Sam Rutherford, Josh Taylor, Michael Troy, Edward White and Sam Wood.


  • Omloop Het Nieuwsblad 2013 course presented

    Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda) wins Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 09:33
    Cycling News

    12 “hellingen” and lots of cobblestones in spring opener

    The 2013 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad will have some changes but the finale will be the same. Course director Peter Van Petegem expects another finish like this year, when Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Sharp) fought for the win against Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma QuickStep) and Juan Antonio Flecha (Team Sky).

    The race, which is the traditional opener of the Belgian spring season, will be held on February 23, 2013.

    “The approach is different, but we have not touched the final,” Van Petegem told the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad, which sponsors the race.

    The race features 12 “hellingen”, including Valkenberg, and the Molenberg. The riders will also have to go over the cobblestones of the Haaghoek three times. 

    While the last 40 km of the race remain unchanged, the first circuit has been made more difficult. The 2013 edition also sees the return of the Berendries climb.

    “We do not really want to tinker with the course,” Van Petegem said, but he has to take road construction into consideration. “Therefore Wolvenberg road and the cobblestones of Mater are replace by the Varent.”