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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Date published:
November 30, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Cunego admits Giro standard has risen since 2004

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre - Farnese Vini) was in the dangerous late break
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 11:55 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Italian to focus on Classics in 2011

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) has admitted that the overall standard of the Giro d’Italia has risen since he took victory in the event as a 22-year-old in 2004. The Italian rider has also reiterated that he will focus on the Classics next season.

    High expectations have surrounded Cunego ever since his precocious Giro victory, but he refuted the idea that he has failed to develop as a Grand Tour contender. Instead, he confessed that the overall standard of the field at the Giro has risen considerably in the intervening period.

    “I’ve done other good Giri after 2004,” Cunego told L’Arena. “I have developed: now I’m twice as strong as in 2004, but cycling has changed since then.

    “I won a Giro in which there were, above all, Italian riders. Since then, there have always been a lot of foreigners, with strong and competitive teams, and the level has changed. However, I’m always there and it’s not easy always being there.”

    Since his 2004 breakthrough, Cunego’s best Giro finish was fourth in 2006 and after finishing 18th and 11th in the past two seasons, he is ready to commit to focusing on the Ardennes Classics next year.

    “With the classics coming so close to the Giro, you either train for one or the other,” Cunego explained. “Doing them both is difficult because the level is so high that it doesn’t allow you to be up there all the time. In 2011 I’ll focus on the classics. Although in any case, I will have to do a big tour. We’ll see after the classics.”

    Winner of Amstel Gold Race in 2008, Cunego believes that racing in the Ardennes is perfectly suited to his style. “Amstel, Flèche and Liège are hard races with a lot of climbs. I’ve won one and in the others I’ve finished on the podium,” he said. “Winning one would be enough; it would save the entire...

  • Kolobnev not impressed by Olympic bronze medal

    Russian champion Alexandre Kolobnev (Katusha).
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 13:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Should have gotten it earlier, Russian says

    Alexandr Kolobnev finished fourth in the men's road race at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, but due to the disqualification of Davide Rebellin for doping, he has been bumped up to third place. Plans are now afoot to award him with the bronze medal more than two years later. But the Russian, now riding for Team Katusha, isn't very impressed.

    "If it had been given to me ten days after the announcement of the positive control or after Rebellin' disqualification, then we could talk about emotions. But a year and a half later, this medal has lost its importance," he told

    He didn't even know whether he would attend the medal ceremony. "I'm already preparing for next season. On December 1 I'll start intensive training. I do not know if I'll find time to attend such an event."

    Kolobnev, 29, is not one to look to the past, preferring to look forward. "I'm more concerned about the future," he said. He will turn his attention to his speciality of the Spring Classics, and look to improve on his second place in this year's Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

    Rebellin, along with Gerolsteiner teammate Stefan Schumacher, tested positive for EPO-CERA at the Olympics. Both were disqualified from the Olympics.

  • CPA welcomes clarification on nighttime controls

    Gianni Bugno getting ready for a helicopter flight for Italian TV.
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 15:09 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Union to set up commission of riders

    The professional cyclists’ union (CPA) has welcomed WADA’s recent clarification of its stance on the nighttime doping controls that were suggested by its independent observers in their recent report on drug testing at the 2010 Tour de France.

    CPA president Gianni Bugno had already written a personal letter to UCI president Pat McQuaid outlining his organisation’s opposition to any such testing and the CPA supported this position in a meeting of its management committee, which was held in Milan.

    “It should be remembered that if this practice were actually introduced into UCI regulations, it would be in contravention of European privacy laws,” read a statement from the CPA, which highlighted that riders were already available for testing from 6am to 10pm. reports that the CPA is, however, taking steps to prevent riders who are serving a doping suspension from accessing the union’s solidarity fund for unemployed riders.

    The CPA has also agreed to set up an athletes’ commission, a body which the IOC has requested be established by all sporting federations. It is understood that each member nation of the CPA will have a rider on the commission and the riders’ union will forward its nominations to the UCI in the coming days.

    It is understood that the CPA is also set to ask the UCI to examine the practice of riders being given independent contracts, something which is illegal in many European Union countries. The union says that it leads to a gross disparity between riders’ tax and social insurance, according to the country in which they are resident.


  • Slipstream gives sneak preview of Garmin-Cervélo jersey

    A sneak peek at the 2011 Garmin-Cervélo jersey
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 16:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    2011 kit available for pre-order

    Slipstream Sports today released a preview of the new look for the 2011 Garmin-Cervélo team, and announced that the clothing is available to the public for pre-order on its website.

    The mainly black and white kit is a departure from the bright blue and orange argyle of years past. The subdued design is a combination of the classic look favoured by Cervélo co-owner Gerard Vroomen and Slipstream's Jonathan Vaughters.

    The argyle lives on only in bands around the sleeves.

    Cervélo joined the Garmin-Slipstream organization as a co-title sponsor after Vroomen decided that running a team in the absence of additional sponsorship was not feasible and disbanded his squad.

    World Champion Thor Hushovd and five other riders including Classics specialist Heinrich Haussler were brought into the Garmin-Cervélo team.

  • Cavendish finalist for BBC award

    A jubliant Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) after winning his first Tour de France stage of 2010
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 21:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    HTC-Columbia sprinter in line for Sports Personality of the Year

    HTC-Columbia sprinter Mark Cavendish has been chosen as one of 10 contenders for the BBC's Sports Personality of the Year award. The 25-year-old overcame a difficult start to the season to claim 12 wins, including five stages of the Tour de France and three individual stages at the team time trial at the Vuelta a España.

    In only his fourth professional season, Cavendish has now won stages of all three Grand Tours as well as the 2009 Milan-San Remo classic. He has a career 15 stages of the Tour de France, five in the Giro d'Italia and three in the Vuelta.

    It is the second year in a row that Cavendish has made the short list for the BBC's SPOTY award. The last cyclist to claim the honours was Chris Hoy after the 2008 Olympic Games.

  • Individual doping likely not the focus of FDA US Postal investigation, says source

    Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 22:09 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Novitzy's probe could be into supply of drugs

    As speculation continues as to the precise nature of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) investigation believed to be targeting Lance Armstrong and his former US Postal team, a one long-time FDA collaborator has tried to shed light on the agency's involvement.

    The source, who did not want to be named but who has worked alongside the FDA for the last 30 years in areas of counterfeiting and diversion of drugs, believes that the agency would not have come to Europe without hard evidence of a supply of drugs that are either not approved or are still under clinical trial.

    "I found it really interesting that they (FDA) got involved at all," the source told Cyclingnews.

    "To me it means there's something deeper there than an athlete or athletes using drugs because that's not their mandate. They have no authority or interest in drug use by an athlete. They're not going to get this far down the road unless they have hard evidence on something.

    "Their mandate is to approve trials for new drugs, monitor administration and the distribution of new drugs. They look at the import and export of drugs from the US."

    "It could be a case of distribution of a drug before it's approved. It could be clinical trial drugs that are being used without approval, distribution of drugs by someone without a license - but being the receiver of drugs they wouldn't be interested in."

    According to the source, the investigation, which is being led by Jeff Novitzky, the agent also responsible for leading the BALCO probe, will have little interest into the personal use of banned substances.

    "The use of drugs on a team is not of interest to the FDA. However, if someone was supplying a team with a non-approved drug or an experimental drug, well that would be something they'd be interested in. If a company had produced an untraceable new steroid like in the Balco case, they'd be interested.

    "If an individual athlete was involved...

  • Gesink, Vos earn Dutch rider of the year awards

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) wins the Giro dell'Emilia
    Article published:
    November 29, 2010, 22:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dumoulin given best young rider prize

    Rabobank's Robert Gesink has been awarded the Gerrit Schulte Trophy as best Dutch rider of the year while 2010 Cyclo-cross world champion Marianne Vos claimed the women's Oosten-Hage Trofee.

    Gesink, sixth in the Tour de France, closed out a successful season which included a victory in the GP de Montréal and a stage of the Tour de Suisse, with a win in the Giro dell'Emilia in October. He also spent three days in the overall lead of the Tour de Suisse.

    The 24-year-old beat out Koos Moerenhout and Bauke Mollema for the trophy, which is named after 1948 world pursuit champion Gerrit Schulte.

    Vos, the silver medalist at the UCI Road World Championships in Geelong, Australia, beat Annemiek van Vleuten and Kirsten Wild for the fifth consecutive year, while Tom Dumoulin claimed the prize for best young rider over Tom Jelte Slagter and Coen Vermeltfoort.

  • Brown and Clancy head to NSW Criterium Series

    Graeme Brown (Rabobank) won the final stage of the Tour of Austria.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 3:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympic champions to battle against strong teams

    Organisers of the NSW Grand Prix series have announced that dual Olympic champions Graeme Brown and Ed Clancy will be racing the series as solo riders against some of the toughest and most talented criterium teams in the world.

    Brown, an accomplished road sprinter who claimed two gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games and has become one of Rabobank's mainstays, will be pitted against teams such as Sky, Garmin-Transitions, the Russian and New Zealand national squads and Fly V Australia.

    Brown won the inaugural Cronulla Grand Prix in 2006 and finished third in last year's edition behind local exports Ben Kersten and Chris Sutton.

    Clancy, the 25-year-old from Barsnley in England, is a classy rider who will never be too far from the front and has plenty of criterium racing experience as part of the ever-popular Tour Series in the UK and being the British national criterium champion this year.

    An Olympic Games gold medallist in the teams pursuit at Beijing and multiple world champion, Clancy has made his mark in the past 12 months and is the current omnium world champion.

    After fulfilling his role competing for Great Britain in the Track World Cup in Melbourne on December 4 Clancy will fly to Sydney to be part of the five-race series.

    The NSW Grand Prix Series starts in Bathurst on December 8 with a twilight race, followed by Parramatta Park on December 9 before going under lights on December 10 in Gosford, with a course adjacent to Blue Tongue stadium.

    On December 11, riders will race at Coogee in Arden Street with Network Nine televising two hours of live action from 2pm to 4pm before wrapping up the series on December 12 in Cronulla, with the action televised by Network Nine from 12 noon to 2pm.

    80 cyclists are expected to take part in the series supported by Events NSW and the NSW Government with 20 internationals adding plenty of interest.

    The women's events will be staged just prior to the...