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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Date published:
November 17, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Team Sky name Hayman, Calzati and Portal

    Sylvain Calzati (Agritubel)
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 14:19 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Calzati and Portal become first French riders on Team Sky roster

    Team Sky today announced three more riders for their 2010 squad. Australian Mathew Hayman and Frenchmen Sylvain Calzati and Nicolas Portal have been confirmed as part of the British team's inaugural roster.

    Hayman will join compatriots already announced as part of the team, however, Calzati and Portal will become the first Frenchmen announced to the increasingly international line-up.

    "It’s a great pleasure for us to have Sylvain and Nicolas onboard as our first two French riders," said Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford. "They are both experienced pros with a lot of good results on their CVs and they are both really versatile, all-round riders. Mathew has made his mark at the Classics, is a great team player and a solid performer throughout the year."

    For Calzati, 30, the move will mark a return to the ProTour after one season with the now disbanded Agritubel squad. A winner of the 2006 Tour de France's stage eight into Lorient, 30-year-old Calzati rode for ProTour team AG2R Prévoyance from 2005 to 2008.

    Portal, 30, will move from Spanish squad Caisse d'Epargne after four season and will be reunited with former AG2R teammate Calzati at the new British squad. A stage winner at the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré, Portal has ridden six Tours de France and is likely to support the team at Grand Tours.

    Hayman's move to Sky will be the first team change in his professional career. He leaves Rabobank after nine seasons. A winner of the Commonwealth Games road race in 2006, the 31-year-old will join fellow Australians Simon Gerrans and Chris Sutton at Sky.

    "We want to be able to compete at the highest level from the beginning of the year and with these new signings we have added significantly to our ability to do that," said Brailsford. "These new signings underline our international profile and our striving ambition to put together an excellent high-performance group of athletes who will be able...

  • Vasseur resigns as CPA president

    Cédric Vasseur has resigned from the presidency of the CPA
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 15:01 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Frenchman leaves cyclist's association after two years in top job

    Frenchman Cédric Vasseur today announced his resignation from the presidency of the International Association of Cyclists (CPA).

    French daily L'Equipe reports that the 39-year-old had taken the decision in order to devote his time to other professional projects.

    "I thank all employees and all the riders who have placed their trust in me during these two years of presidency," said Vasseur. "It has been a rich period of learning for me, both in terms of the human aspects and the functioning of cycling at all levels."

    The CPA acts as an advocate for the rights of professional cyclists and represents the riders within the administrative levels of cycling. Vasseur was elected to the presidency of the organisation after his retirement from professional cycling in 2007.

    Vasseur had succeeded the organisation's inaugural president, Italian Francesco Moser, who had held the post since 1999. Portugual's Paulo Couto will assume the role of CPA acting-president, as well as Vasseur's seat on the UCI ProTour Council.

    During his own professional cycling career Vasseur rode for Gan (1998), US Postal Service (2000-2001), Cofidis (2002-2005) and Quick Step (2006-2007).

    He won stages of the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré (2003), Tour du Limousin (2003, 2004) and Paris – Corrèze, where he also won the overall classification in 2003. In his final year as a professional he won the Tour de France's stage ten into Marseille.

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  • Vastaranta returns to road with Greek team

    Jukka Vastaranta spent the 2005-2006 seasons on Rabobank's ProTour squad.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 15:29 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Finn back on track after overcoming health problems

    One-time Finnish cycling prodigy Jukka Vastaranta is set to return to road racing in 2010 with Greek Continental team SP Tableware-Gatsoulis Bikes. Vastaranta has spent the last couple of seasons focused mainly on mountain biking after quitting the pro road scene in the middle of 2007 due to health problems.

    The 25-year-old Finn looked set to become a an outstanding stage race performer when he emerged into the ProTour with Rabobank in 2005. Signed to the Dutch squad's Continental team in 2003 on the back of his silver medal in the World Junior Road Race Championship in 2002, the 2004 Finnish time trial champion rarely achieved the level of performance that was widely expected of him.

    In his first ProTour season he finished third overall in the Tour of Luxembourg, won a stage at the Ster Elektrotoer and made his Grand Tour debut at the Vuelta a España. However, he was already being badly affected by back and sciatic nerve problems. After a disappointing 2006 season, he was released by Rabobank and spent half a season with the Belgian Jartazi team before quitting the road altogether.

    After extensive treatment on his back, Vastaranta made a road comeback in Finland last year, and went well enough to look for a deal for 2010. "I've lost two seasons but that's all part of my experience. Now I want to take advantage of the opportunity I have with SP Tableware and come back stronger than before," he said on the announcement of his new deal.

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  • Tecos Trek to leave cycling after 54 years

    The Tecos Trek outfit leads the peloton to protect Rasmussen's lead.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 16:03 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Tecos Trek attributes demise to financial factors and Mexican federation

    Mexico's Tecos Trek has announced that they are to leave cycling after a 54-year history in the sport. Biciclismo reports that the Continental team has been forced to withdraw from the sport due to a combination of financial factors and a lack of support from the Mexican Cycling Federation (FMC).

    The team was founded by students at the University of Guadalajara in 1955. Since 1996, it has been registered as a Continental squad on the International Cycling Union's (UCI) America Tour.

    "I will not go casting blame, everyone in the team knows the truth," said team president Juan Manuel Navarro Flores. "It hurts to leave this project, but an era is over. It hurts because we become a great team, capable of fighting against the best."

    The demise of the squad has been attributed, in part, to a lack of support from sponsors, but also mistakes made by the Mexican Cycling Federation. The team claims that the FMC failed to report the respective victories of Florencio Ramos and Ignacio Sarabia in the Mexican national road race and individual time trial championships to the UCI, an oversight that cost them a position as the number one ranked team in the America Tour.

    They pointed at the FMC for the team's second place to Venezuela's Serramenti Pvc Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli in the UCI's America Tour final team rankings.

    Tecos Trek also took victories in the Pan-America road race championships through Colombian rider Gregorio Ladino. He also claimed a stage win and the overall title at this month's Tour of Bolivia.

    The team had attracted a great deal of attention recently as former-Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Michael Rasmussen returned to competition with the squad in September. The Dane, who had served a two-year ban for lying to anti-doping authorities about his whereabouts in 2007, took part in a series of races with the team, including...

  • Enrico Franzoi new teammate with Niels Albert

    Enrico Franzoi (Liquigas) puts everything into the run up.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 17:20 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian cyclo-cross champion leaves Liquigas for BKCP-Powerplus

    Enrico Franzoi signed a contract for two years with the BKCP-Powerplus team on Monday, leaving the ProTour Liquigas squad for the team of World Champion Niels Albert. The 27-year-old Italian 'cross champion will now be able to focus more on his specialty.

    "Cyclo-cross is my priority," Franzoi told Sporza.be. "I chose BKCP because it is a strong team where I can quickly find my former level."

    Franzoi's road season was cut short this year when he fell ill due to a bacterial infection in May. After taking the summer off to recuperate, he got back to racing cyclo-cross in October and had his best finish, a third place, at the Grand Prix de la Région Wallonne on Saturday.

    The Italian champion will join the team for the first time on January 1, 2010.

    Team manager Christophe Roodhooft is hoping that the addition of Franzoi will allow the team to win when Albert cannot be present.

    "Last year when Albert was gone we had nobody who could contend for the podium. Now, with the addition of Franzoi, a former espoir world champion, we have that."

    Franzoi was U23 world champion in 2003, and his best elite result came with a bronze medal in the 2007 world championships. He has been Italian 'cross champion nine times between the elite and espoir classes.

    Albert was pleased to have another strong teammate. "I'm delighted with the arrival of Enrico. It may take some of the pressure off of my shoulders.

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  • BMC confirm Baldato and Savary as directors

    Fabio Baldato (Lampre) smiles
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 17:20 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Baldato and Savary to support European objectives, Sayers extends US and Under-23 role

    BMC Racing Team today confirmed Italian Fabio Baldato and Swiss René Savary as sports directors for 2010. The team also announced that American Mike Sayers has extended his contract with the squad and will continue to act as a director to the team's US and Under-23 riders.

    "I am naturally very happy to have three such competent assistants," said BMC Directeur Sportif John Lelangue. "Mike will be focused on the American riders and our Under-23 project, Fabio will be our man for the Classics and Italian races, and René will be most involved in the development and recruitment of our young Swiss riders."

    Baldato, who retired from professional competition in 2008, has signed a one-year contract with BMC and is expected to support the team's ambitions in the Classics and Italian race schedule.

    "Fabio brings a wealth of experience to the team for both the Historic and the Classic races," said BMC's Principal Jim Ochowicz. "Additionally he will be a great asset during our racing campaign in Italy next season."

    Savary, too, has signed a one-year deal to act as a director with the squad. As a track rider, he rode for Switzerland at the 1972 Olympics in the team and individual pursuit. He has already assisted Lelangue during BMC's participations in the Dauphiné Libéré and the Tour de Romandie this season.

    "Rene has years of experience working with cyclists on the professional circuit and at the Olympic level. He will be a valuable asset to our group of directors," said Ochowicz.

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  • Sebastian Haedo departs Jamis-Sutter Home for ProTour contract

    Sebastian Haedo (Colavita-Sutter Home p/b Cooking Light) will race for a ProTour team in 2010.
    Article published:
    November 16, 2009, 20:21 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Argentinean sprinter achieves dream of racing at ProTour level

    Sebastian Haedo has been released from his contract with the American UCI Continental team Jamis-Sutter Home presented by Colavita to join a ProTour team, Carine Joannou, president of title sponsor Jamis Bicycles, announced today. The 26-year-old Argentinean sprinter spent the 2008-2009 seasons with the team.

    "Needless to say, we will miss Seba but recognize that racing in Europe is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Joannou. "We're pleased that Seba will follow other riders who have raced with our squad and gone on to distinguished careers with ProTour teams, including his brother Juan José Haedo, Will Frischkorn and Aaron Olson."

    Haedo finished the 2009 season ranked second on the US's National Race Calendar (NRC) series and his sprinting talents will be missed in 2010. "Releasing the squad's marquee rider is not easy for a team owner but Carine Joannou recognizes that racing at the ProTour level has been Seba's dream and she did not hesitate in her decision on his behalf," said Jamis/Sutter Home directeur sportif Sebastian Alexandre. "I'm proud that another rider from our team franchise has been selected to race with the best cyclists in the world."

    With the addition of Ivan Dominguez, who signed with the team earlier this week, Jamis/Sutter Home seeks to defend its number one team ranking in the NRC series for the 2010 season. "Ivan is strong, fast, and knows our squad," said Alexandre, referring to his own experience racing with Dominguez in 2004. "Seba will be missed but we've got a great team that works well together. We will keep winning."

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  • Austria to introduce doping prison term

    Austrian Bernhard Kohl at the 2008 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 17, 2009, 2:49 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    10 years behind bars for fraudsters

    Austrian athletes found guilty of doping could face a jail term of up to 10 years following new laws to be put before parliament. The nation’s sports and justice ministers announced on Monday that amendments to the national fraud act will make the use of performance enhancing drugs in competition a criminal offence for the first time.

    Like many nations, only possessing or selling banned substances is a criminal offence under current Austrian law. The increased attention to the matter has come following several high-profile doping cases involving the nation’s athletes, including that of cyclist Bernhard Kohl.

    Kohl tested positive to third-generation variant of erythropoietin (EPO) continuous erythropoitin receptor activator (CERA) during the 2008 Tour de France. Kohl later quit the sport after being handed a two year ban for the incident, which followed several high-profile CERA cases after the drug’s discovery.

    The changes still require ratification by Austria’s parliament however once passed are expected to be in effect from January 1, 2010.

    Austria’s introduction of criminal sentences for doping in sport are another step forward for cycling, whose fight against performance enhancing drugs has been boosted this year by the International Cycling Union’s (UCI) blood passport. While a conviction under the new laws will likely face jurisdictional challenges, the move sets a precedent for other nations to follow.

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