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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Date published:
November 29, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Canadian Cycling confirms Agreda EPO positive

    Fans wonder if riders are on EPO or not.
    Article published:
    November 28, 2011, 22:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    CCA promises vigilance in doping fight

    The Canadian Cycling Association (CCA) confirmed today that Miguel Agreda, who already confessed to taking the banned blood booster EPO, tested positive for the substance at the Québec Provincial Road Race Championships. He was given a two-year ban and is cut off from any future funding by Sport Canada.

    Agreda confessed to using the drug shortly after his teammate Arnaud Papillon tested positive and made his own admission, although Agreda insisted his doping was independent of Papillon's. However, the CCA wasn't able to make a formal announcement at the time because it "had to await the formal resolution of the matter before commenting on the matter".

    The CCA President John Tolkamp emphasised the seriousness of the incidents. "This recent second case of doping highlights the need for continued vigilance. We must be vigilant, not only in exposing those who cheat, but also in continuing to build a culture where short cuts in performance are not even contemplated," Tolkamp said. "Mr. Agreda's behavior is appalling and no confession lessens the travesty he committed against fair play, fellow competitors and his team."

  • Mollema, Vos top Dutch cycling awards

    Bouke Mollema (Rabobank).
    Article published:
    November 28, 2011, 23:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Joop Zoetemelk given career honor

    The annual gala honoring the best cyclists in the Netherlands took place today in 's-Hertogenbosch (Den Bosch), with Bauke Mollema and Marianne Vos going home with the best male and female prizes, respectively.

    Riders are awarded the honors through voting of the readers of Wielerland Magazine and their colleagues in the sport.

    It was a first time win for Mollema, who ousted three-time winner Robert Gesink for the men's prize. Mollema won the points classification and came fourth overall in the Vuelta a España after spending one day in the race leader's jersey. That result followed his strongest season to date, with a second place finish in Pinerolo in the Tour de France's 17th stage, fifth overall in the Tour de Suisse and ninth in Paris-Nice.

    Vos has dominated the women's scene in 2011, winning countless races from the Ronde Van Drenthe, Flèche Wallonne and Valladolid World Cups to stage races such as the Giro d'Italia Femminile, Profile Ladies Tour and Iurreta-Emakumeen Bira in addition to both road race and time trial national titles. Only the world championship eluded her, as she claimed second to Giorgia Bronzini in the bunch sprint.

    Dutch cycling legend Joop Zoetemelk was recognized with the Peter Post Career Award. The former Tour winner was given the prize by Post's widow, Marion Post, for his achievements and contributions to Dutch cycling.

    Lars van der Haar, the U23 cyclo-cross world champion, was given the prize for the best espoir rider.

  • Mattis joins Vanderkitten-Focus

    Katheryn Curi Mattis (United States Of America) won her last race in Geelong with a solo move so thought she'd try it once more in the elite women's race. She lasted about five laps alone but the peloton eventually brought her back.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 2:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former World Cup winner to mentor young riders

    2008 Geelong World Cup winner Katheryn Curi-Mattis will join the Vanderkitten-Focus squad for the 2012 season, the team announced today.

    While Mattis has retired from professional racing, she will act as a co-director with Jono Coulter and a training and racing mentor for the team, occasionally jumping into a national-level event to provide hands-on tactical coaching and boost the team's strength with her still well-maintained cycling form.

    "Jono, Vanderkitten and all the sponsors did a great job of building a strong team in 2011 and I wanted to be part of the program in 2012," Mattis told Cyclingnews. "The opportunity presented it after the development team I was working with this year - the Alto Velo Bridge Team -  folded and I still wanted to be involved in working with development riders.

    "I do hope to do some on-the-bike mentoring as a way to really provide the gals with instant feedback. especially now with no radios, it makes communication between director and rider hard," Mattis said. "For younger riders, having that instant feedback will be invaluable."

    Mattis was a true animator of races in her career, and won the Geelong World Cup in a dramatic two-up battle with breakaway companion Australian Emma Rickards. She hopes to pass along her go-for-broke attitude to new riders.

    "I think any of the young riders will benefit from having a mentor on and off the bike," she said. "i want to teach the riders to be smart on the bike and to not just follow wheels. part of bike racing is taking calculated risks and putting yourself out there."

    Mattis joins new recruits Ruth Winder, 18, and Kathleen Billington, the fourth place finisher at the 2011 USA Cycling elite road race championship.

  • Millar won't fight lifetime Olympic ban

    David Millar (Great Britain) was passed by Martin en route to seventh place.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 3:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Scot says current BOA stance leaves no room for rehabilitation

    David Millar says he won't fight a British Olympic Association ruling that excludes athletes which have previously served doping bans from competing at Olympic Games.

    Millar was banned from cycling for two years in 2004 for admitting to doping offences. Under current BOA rules, this qualifies him for a lifetime ban from Olympic competition. He has since rebuilt his career and reputation after returning from suspension. Millar is one of three British athletes affected by the ban, along with sprinter Dwain Chambers and shot-putter and discus thrower Carl Myerscough.

    The BOA's stance has been declared "non-compliant" by the World Anti-Doping Agency because the Games ban is viewed as an "additional sanction", something Millar agrees with.

    The Scot told the BBC: "In all honesty, I'd written off the Olympics a long time ago.

    "I just considered that the lifetime ban was in place and it wasn't something I wanted to challenge," he added.

    "There are certain fights I don't want to fight and that was one of them.

    "I just don't fancy being vilified any more. It's been a tough couple of years."

    Millar also believes that the lifetime ban leaves no room for athlete rehabilitation and that each case needs to be considered on its own merits.

    "Imagine you have a 16-year-old who's been given something by their coach and goes positive and receives a lifetime ban, that doesn't seem fair," he suggested.

    "But maybe, if you have a 34-year-old multi-millionaire who lives in Monte Carlo, with a team of medical staff, who goes positive, maybe they should get a lifetime ban for a first offence.

    "But those two cases are so different that they can't be judged the same."

    In October this...

  • Project 1t4i to return to Qatar next season

    The bunch on the wide roads at ASO's Tour of Qatar - the beginning of the professional elite season.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 4:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team to test sprint combinations

    Organisers of the Tour of Qatar, the ASO, has confirmed another team for next year's edition of the 2.1 race with the Project 1t4i team set to return to the early spring event.

    Roger Kluge is the only definitive starter for the team, with scheduling still being finalised for the possibility of star sprinter Marcel Kittel attending.

    The Tour of Qatar has become a regular fixture for riders building towards the cobbled classics in late February, March and April.

    This year's race was won by Australian Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad), with Kluge the best-placed rider from the then Skil-Shimano team in 17th overall.

    Project 1t4i boasts three of the best young German talents in Kittel, John Degenkolb and Patrick Gretsch and despite not earning top flight status the team is a strong chance of competing in the major WorldTour races next year through wildcard invites.

    Squad for 2012: Alexandre Geniez, Matthieu Sprick, Thierry Hupond, Thomas Damuseau, Yann Huguet, Thomas Bonnin, Simon Geschke, Marcel Kittel, Roger Kluge, John Degenkolb, Patrick Gretsch, Johannes Fröhlinger, Dominic Klemme, Ronan van Zandbeek, Tom Veelers, Roy Curvers, Koen de Kort, Albert Timmer, Tom Dumoulin, Ramon Sinkeldam, Tom Stamsnijder, Feng Han, Ji Cheng, Bert de Backer, Yukihiro Doi, Tobias Ludvigsson

    The Tour of Qatar starts on February 5.

  • Mouris hopeful of time trial resurgence with GreenEdge

    Jens Mouris (Vancansoleil) takes another big turn on the front of the bunch
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 5:48 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    The other big Jens speaks frankly about the classics and Ricco

    One of three Dutch riders on the GreenEdge roster, Jens Mouris will be making the most of his time in Australia before heading back to the northern hemisphere winter.

    Mouris landed in Sydney on Friday before riding in the NSW Grand Prix Series at Wollongong and Cronulla on the weekend where he animated both races without getting a result. The main reason for his journey from the Netherlands however is the GreenEdge training camp taking place in Canberra and Melbourne over the next two weeks, with the Australian-derived project set to get the okay from the UCI in regards to their licence application over the final few days. From there, Mouris and his 2012 teammates Sebastian Langeveld and Pieter Weening will then return to Sydney for a little over a week.

    "It's a new challenge and a new approach to things," Mouris, who sounds almost Australian having spent a fair bit of time Down Under in the past, told Cyclingnews in Cronulla. "I'm looking forward to it. I like the people here, so it’s great."

    Mouris, now 31, is no stranger to working with fledgling teams having ridden for Vacansoleil-DCM since its inaugural year in 2009. While 2011 was a turbulent year for the Dutch team, especially due to the alleged contaminated blood transfusion by Riccardo Ricco, with speculation management had to appear in front of the UCI's Licence...

  • Meersman signs with Lotto-Belisol

    Gianni Meersman won the sprint for second.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 10:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian opts for home team instead of RadioShack-Nissan

    Contrary to previous reports, FDJ rider Gianni Meersman will not ride for RadioShack-Nissan next year. The 25-year-old Belgian instead signed a two-year contract with Lotto-Belisol, according to Het Nieuwsblad.

    After four years at FDJ, Meersman had decided to step up to a World Tour team again and looked set to join RadioShack in 2012. Having turned professional with Johan Bruyneel's Discovery Channel squad in 2007 and his father Luc being RadioShack’s logistics manager, the move looked logical, but the merger with Leopard-Trek changed the stakes.

    Finally, Meersman will join Marc Sergeant's new Belgian team, where he will meet up again with former FDJ teammate Jelle Vanendert. Team management hasn't officially announced the new signing yet, but Meersman has been reported to have participated in a team building camp in the Ardennes region of Belgium last week and will be joining the team for a first training camp in Mojacar, Spain, on December 6.

    The young Belgian won the Circuit des Ardennes this year and added up several top three placings, indicating that a team and race programme change may be beneficial for his career development.

  • Cavendish on shortlist for BBC Sports Personality of the Year

    Post race interviews for Cavendish
    Article published:
    November 29, 2011, 11:21 GMT
    Mark Robinson

    British sprinter favourite for prestigious award

    British cycling star Mark Cavendish has been put on a shortlist of ten sportsmen for the 2011 BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award, which will be given out during a glitzy ceremony at BBC Sport's new home in Salford, Greater Manchester, on Thursday 22nd December.

    The Sports Review of the Year ceremony, which is now in its 58th year, will be broadcast live on BBC One. The shortlist of ten has been decided by members of the British local, national and magazine press, and, in a break from the norm, this year's final list contains no women, no footballers and no rugby players. The winner of the award - received last year by jockey Tony McCoy - is decided by a public vote during the broadcast, so if you think he deserves to win then vote for Cavendish and give British cycling a further boost ahead of what is sure to be a massive year next year. With cycling rapidly on the rise in the UK as both a spectator and participation sport, victory by a cyclist in a non-Olympic year would offer further evidence that it deserves its place in the mainstream.

    Cavendish is aiming to become the first British road cyclist to win the coveted gong since Tom Simpson in 1965, who, like Cavendish, won the World Road Championships. As well as lifting that title in Copenhagen in September, Cavendish also won the green jersey at this year's Tour de France, successes that catapulted him into the general public consciousness and raised both his own profile and that of British cycling at the same time. The only other cyclist to win it is Sir Chris Hoy, who took the honour in 2008 after his exploits on the track at the Beijing Olympics.

    Bookmakers have reported a steady stream of money for Cavendish to win the award in recent days and as a result they have