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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Date published:
November 27, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Florence still hopeful of hosting 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart

    The 2013 Tour de France route
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 20:05 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Tuscan capital offers more than just money

    Florence is still hopefully of hosting the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France but has warned it will not be drawn into a bidding war against rivals from Britain, claiming the Tuscan capital can offer far more than just cash.

    Dario Nardella – the deputy mayor of Florence, told Cyclingnews that the Tour de France organisers ASO are set to decide on who hosts the 2014 Grand Depart in the next few days.

    Yorkshire and Scotland have confirmed they made separate bids for the 2014 Grand Depart with the race then passing through Britain before returning to France. Nardella believes the Yorkshire bid is in pole position after making an offer of over four million Euro but he called on race organisers ASO to consider more than just the financial aspects of the bids.

    "The Yorkshire bid is very strong and they have a lot of money available. But I call on the French to remember that while sport is about money, it's also about dreams and giving an important message about values. We think we can offer something special," Nardella told Cyclingnews.

    "If they choose Britain, they've got to tell us why Leeds is better than Florence. I don't think I'm being pretentious by saying that Florence is great city that is known all over the world. And so I think linking the Tour de France to a city that is known and loved in Japan, America, South Africa and all over the world, is a winning ticket."

    Florence will host the 2013 UCI World road race championships in September and wants to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the birth of Gino Bartali in 2014 by hosting the Tour de France...

  • 2013 route of Amgen Tour of California to be unveiled Tuesday

    Frank Schleck won the 2009 Tour of California stage in Escondido
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 21:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Expect new south to north route, finale in Santa Rosa

    The details of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California will be announced on Tuesday, and it is expected that organizers will reveal the first south to north route of the race's eight-year history.

    Representatives of the Southern California towns of Escondido and Murrieta will be on hand for the press conference, which takes place at the Escondido City Council Chambers at 13:00 tomorrow.

    It was reported earlier this summer that Escondido bid for the race's start. The city last hosted the race in 2009, when the race's final stage started in Rancho Bernardo and included the dramatic Palomar Mountain climb before descending back to Escondido for the finish. Frank Schleck beat Vincenzo Nibali to the line from a two-man breakaway to win that stage.

    Santa Rosa, which hosted the start of the 2012 edition, put in a bid to host the grand finale next year.

    Stay tuned to Cyclingnews for the full route announcement.

  • Interbike to open its doors to consumers for 2013

    The Interbike OutDoor Demo
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 22:34 GMT
    By:
    James Huang/BikeRadar

    Limited number of entries to be allowed

    After previewing its plans for consumer access last week, Interbike has now released details on how cycling enthusiasts from outside the industry will be able to attend the 2013 show. While many have long called for a consumer element to North America's largest cycling trade show, we expect the news will more than a little bit contentious.

    Dubbed 'Interbike by Invitation', the new program will allow registered retailers to invite a limited number of its "most loyal enthusiast customers" to attend the show on Friday, September 20 only. That day's show hours will be extended to 6pm but invited customers will be free to take in the show when the doors open at 9am.

    "The mystique of Interbike from a consumer perspective has been, and still is, very strong," said Pat Hus, managing director for Interbike, via press release. "We believe we've found the proper way to include the consumer, by showcasing the industry through retailers who attend Interbike.

    "Interbike by Invitation is not designed to open the floodgates to consumers seeking stickers and swag – but rather as an opportunity for retailers to invite their best consumers with the goal of leaving the show with the invitee feeling closer to both the retailer and the brands they love. If we're successful with the model we've outlined we will have created a bonding exercise for retailers and suppliers like our industry has never seen before. Ultimately it will be measurable as demand for 2014 product is driven into the retailers."

    According to a press release by Interbike, invited attendees will, "be treated as special guests of that shop and will be afforded preferential treatment at the show." Certain exhibitors, such as SRAM, also plan on holding invited attendee-only events as a means of welcoming consumers into the Interbike doors as well as providing a forum for more direct communication with its retail base.

    Invited attendees will also have to pay a US$50 entry...

  • Bates defends UCI after Ashenden barb

    Race organiser Phil Bates watches on as Commonwealth Games champion Rochelle Gilmore is interviewed at the new series' launch.
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 23:48 GMT
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian administrator says anti-doping process was limited by testing

    Phill Bates, a UCI Arbitration Panel member, has hit back at suggestions made by Dr. Michael Ashenden last month that he is partly to blame for the current doping-related tumult that is threatening to overshadow the sport of cycling in Australia.

    Ashenden, in an opinion piece written for the Sydney Morning Herald pointed at Bates, as well as Cycling Australia's President Klaus Mueller, CEO Graham Fredericks and UCI Oceania President and Tour Down Under race director Mike Turtur, as examples of facilitators of a system which ceased to be effective in the anti-doping fight.

    "Not surprisingly, Australian cycling is in turmoil following Matt White's admission that he doped. However, we are missing the point if we bring only the riders to account," Ashenden wrote.

    "Indeed, with obvious exceptions such as Armstrong, I consider them to be victims of a broken system, rather than evil-doers. It's time the organisations who oversee cycling are held accountable for what has transpired, and nowhere is that more evident than here in Australia."

    The earlier doping confession of White following the USADA report into former teammate Lance Armstrong and his associates set off a chain of events in Australia that included Cycling Australia Vice President Stephen Hodge's own doping admission and stepping down from his position, and a government-led inquiry into the sporting organisation that is still to reach a conclusion.

    Bates had earlier been critical of USADA's investigation...

  • Chipotle Development team releases riders

    Riders from the Chipotle Development Team apply the sunscreen before the stage start, although the heavens opened up for the majority of the stage.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 0:54 GMT
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Lack of sponsors could be end of the road for Slipstream's U23 team

    Slipstream Sports' UCI Continental development team, Chipotle, which served as a feeder program for the Garmin-Sharp ProTour team, has released all its riders from their 2013 contracts after failing to secure a title sponsor for next season, according to several people formerly connected with the program.

    Chipotle Mexican Grills previously confirmed that it would not be back as a title sponsor for the team, which rode last year as Chipotle-First Solar, saying it was dialing back its sponsorships for all sports. But the development program's fate had remained up in the air.

    Representatives from Slipstream could not be reached for comment, but the sources Cyclingnews spoke with indicated they had been told back in August that although Slipstream would try and find a replacement sponsor, riders who had signed on with the Continental team for 2013 were released from their commitments and advised to look elsewhere for next season.

    "I have a contract with Chipotle for next season, and I know that won't be fulfilled," said a 2012 team rider who asked not to be identified for this article. "First Solar and Chipotle are no longer going to sponsor the team, and from what I know that is truly the end of it."

    The rider said Slipstream sent an email to team members on the same day it found out Chipotle would not renew its sponsorship, and he provided Cyclingnews with the text of that message.

    "Unfortunately, Slipstream found out this morning that Chipotle is not going to re-up for 2013," the team stated in the email. "This is something that was not forecast and has taken us by surprise. We are pursuing new sponsors and are 100 percent committed to securing one. However, at this point...

  • Search2retain gains a new cash sponsor for 2013

    The all-new colourful kit for search2retain powered by health.com.au replaces the red, white and black scheme.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 2:19 GMT
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Continental status remains elusive despite health.com.au deal

    Search2retain, sixth for the second year running in the Australian National Road Series has announced that they will continue their steady growth with a new sponsor on board for 2013. The Melbourne-based outfit will be known as search2retain powered by health.com.au.

    The news could have been better for the team which was set to join the UCI Continental ranks for next season. However the doping-related turmoil currently enveloping Cycling Australia which runs the NRS, forced another sponsor to withdraw from their deal despite having a signed contract in place. With less funding, the team's plans came to an abrupt halt but for now, it's time to continue to build over the coming season.

    As a starting point, search2retain powered by health.com.au has announced the signing of Jayco-VIS graduate Stuart Smith, along with 2011 Tour of Indonesia winner Eric Sheppard, who has spent most of this year racing in Italy with a top 10-placing at the Memorial Davide Fardelli.

    In 2012, the team reached an all-new level of recognition in the peloton via the performances of Neil Van Der Ploeg and Luke Fetch, two riders whose increased concentration on road cycling from mountain biking has paid dividends.

    Health.com.au, the first new health insurance company in Australia since the 1970s, was on board with search2retain for 2013 before the bid to become a Continental team was scrapped and according to the company's CEO Andy Sheats, pulling the pin was never an option.

    "It didn't really make that much of a difference to us because most of our, all of our core market is here in Australia," he told Cyclingnews. "So most of the benefit in the team being Continental was to attract better riders and to build the team....

  • Sun Tour first stop for Christina Watches-Onfone's Kerby

    Jordan Kerby will ride for Christina Watches-Onfone in 2013
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 5:30 GMT
    By:
    Alex Malone

    Australian likely to be "thrown in deep-end" for European debut

    It's not uncommon for Australians to follow in eachother's footsteps when it comes to signing for a new team but 20-year-old Jordan Kerby instead utilised his time racing in Asia to find himself an entry into the European peloton.

    It was at the tours in China that the young Australian first showed himself and eventually landed a professional contract with Christina Watches-Onfone, along with countryman Mitchell Lovelock-Fay.

    "It's definitely different. We [Lovelock-Fay] raced Tour of China I and II and Christina Watches was there," Kerby told Cyclingnews. "We got a few decent results and chatted to them after the off-season started to see if they were interested.”

    The team run by Michael Rasmussen has already announced a number of new signings for the coming year. Kerby will ride alongside former Vuelta a España stage and Clásica San Sebastián winner Constantino Zaballa with 22-year-olds Eugert Zhupa and Daniel Aldegheri also set to join in 2013

    "I think they also want some diversity in the team so it's worked out well for the both of us."

    Kerby admitted he and Lovelock-Fay will likely be thrown straight into the "deep-end" when he travels to Europe shortly after the Australian National Championships but said racing the Tour of Hainan was the best way to finish the year - considering what he'll be up against in 2013.

    "I think we are probably going to be thrown in the deep-end which is good because it's the best way to learn," said Kerby.

    "I think it's going to be a whole new level of...

  • Wiggins and Hoy nominated for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    A history-making day as Bradley Wiggins (Sky) becomes the first Briton to win the Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 6:23 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Paralympian Storey included, seized four gold medals in London

    This year’s Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins and six-time Olympic gold medal winner Sir Chris Hoy have been included in the 12-person list for the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year awards.

    The prestigious honour was won last year by Mark Cavendish after he took five stage wins at the Tour and won the green points jersey. However, the Manxman was not included on this year’s shortlist. This year's winner will be announced to an expected record crowd of 15,000 on 16 December at the ExCel centre in London.

    Wiggins won two stages at this year’s Tour on the way to the general classification victory before setting his sights on his home Olympic Games in London. The 32-year-old, who spends his trade season riding for Sky Procycling became Great Britain’s most successful ever Olympian after he blitzed the field in the time trial. With his TT win Wiggins took his fourth gold and seventh Olympic medal - one that equals Hoy’s seven Olympic medal total.

    Hoy won two Olympic gold medals at the London Games for the team sprint and the keirin. His six gold medals is the most ever won by a Briton however, the 36-year-old has already announced his intentions not to continue competing through till the Rio Games in 2016.

    The four gold medals taken by Paralympian cyclist Sarah Storey in London earned her a spot on the list of nominees that was raised from the usual 10 to 12. The selection panel decided to increase the number of finalists in response to the terrific year for British cycling. It was a sentiment echoed by the president...