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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Date published:
November 09, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Hushovd criticises Contador support

    Thor Hushovd
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 9:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard appointed honorary citizen despite doping investigation

    Thor Hushovd has spoken out against the support that Tour de France winner Alberto Contador is being given in Spain and especially in his home town of Pinto, near Madrid. Contador is currently under investigation for returning a positive doping probe at the Tour, but he is still receiving a lot of public support and was appointed first honorary citizen of Pinto last week.

    World champion Thor Hushovd has now reacted to Contador being honoured, finding the treatment "odd" and saying that this would probably never have occurred in Norway.

    "To do it while his doping investigation is still ongoing is odd. I think and I hope it would not have happened in Norway," Hushovd told Norwegian TV 2 Sport.

    The mayor of Pinto, Juan José Martín, meanwhile explained the award to news agency Europa Press, saying it represented "honesty, sacrifice, effort and hard work" and was aimed "against the injustice committed against Contador."

    Tour de France green jersey contender Hushovd said that this showed a different view of doping in Spain than in Northern European countries. "It tells of a different culture," he stated, before adding that the Spaniard should not benefit from any other treatment than other cyclists that were being investigated from doping offenses.

    "He must be treated like everyone else, and if they find out that he has cheated, he has to take the full punishment. And if it is two years, he must take it."

  • Rain in Ronse makes for classic 'cross

    Arms aloft for winner Sven Nys as he earns his eighth career Koppenbergcross victory.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 9:58 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Nys shows why he's still the man to beat with stunning win

    After last week's heroics on the Koppenberg cyclocross fans were focused on the European championships in Frankfurt am Main, Germany; while the number of 'sideshow' events were limited the same protagonists were at it in Belgium, however.

    Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) battled tempestuous weather conditions to win the GP Mario De Clercq in Ronse ahead of Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and birthday boy Tom Meeusen (Telenet-Fidea). Top riders Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor), Bart Wellens (Telenet-Fidea) and many others abandoned the race halfway - only nine riders finished the event.

    Meanwhile, in his home country of Switzerland, Christian Heule dealt best with the rain there during the only international event of the weekend in Frenkendorf. Heule grabbed his first international win of the season by finishing half a minute ahead of compatriot Pirmin Lang and Polish rider Mariusz Gil (Baboco).

    The race in Ronse was only a few kilometres away from the famous Koppenberg but qualified as neither an international or Superprestige event - UCI rules stipulate that it must be held nationally before being eligible as an international event. It was held under the Superprestige Series, although points weren't awarded.

    "The rules are the same for everybody, both nationally and internationally," said UCI cyclo-cross representative Peter Van den Abeele. Exceptions have been made in the past for the UCI's own event in Aigle, but also for a race in the French-speaking part of Belgium, in Dinant. The excuse for the exception at those races then was that those events would boost the promotion of the sport.

    Despite the absence of world champion Zdenek Stybar (Telenet-Fidea), American Jonathan Page (Planetbike) and British rider Ian Field all the top Belgians showed up at the start line in Ronse, probably making it the highly contested national event of the season. The only major Belgian absentees were Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea) and Bart Aernouts...

  • Pegasus still hoping for ProTeam status, Tour Down Under and more

    Robbie McEwen (Katusha) leads the sprint classification in the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 10:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian team heading for Europe and the Classics

    Pegasus Sport is still waiting to hear which status and licence it will receive from the International Cycling Union, and even if it doesn't have a new title sponsor to announce yet, the Australian-based team still hopes to ride the season-opening Tour Down Under. It also claims to have an invitation to Tirreno-Adriatico, as well as “most of the Northern Classics”.

    At the moment, it looks more likely that Pegasus will receive a Professional Continental licence than a ProTeam (formerly ProTour) licence. This presents a problem for the squad in their homeland race as the Tour Down Under is a ProTour event. So far, only two non-ProTour teams have been invited to race since 2008.

    Last year, Professional Continental-ranked BMC Racing Team was invited to race with world champion and Australian Cadel Evans. “BMC was a no-brainer, as they say: it guaranteed us participation of the world champion, Cadel Evans,” TDU director Mike Turtur told

    Will the same apply to Pegasus, the highest-ranked Australian team featuring Australian sprinter Robbie McEwen, who has won 12 TDU stages? “Possibly,” Turtur replied. ““They could also fall in that same category. Robbie McEwen obviously represents a lot of interest for us, because he’s won more stages of our race than any other rider. So that factor would come into play.”

    But the invitation also depends on a number of other factors. “There’s still a bit of a timeframe to work through. Once we get to that process, we have budget considerations to make, and other logistical issues that need to be dealt with before we even consider a wildcard for anyone,” he said.

    Pegasus CEO Chris White said that it would be logical for his team to participate. “I mean, we are Australia’s best team. It is Australia’s best cycling event – Australia’s best sporting event....

  • Melero joins Team Type 1

    Ivan Melero on the climb.
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 11:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard strengthens team's European base

    Team Type 1 has added another European to it squad. Ivan Melero is the next to join the US-based team, which will move up to Professional Continental status in 2011.

    Melero, 27, rode this year for Burgos 2016 – Castilla y Leon. He turned pro in 2005 and has spent his whole career with Spanish Continental teams. He comes from a cycling family. His father, Carlos, won a stage in the 1977 Vuelta a Espana and his older brother Oscar rode professionally for two seasons.

    "Ivan is a good all-rounder for stage races and understands the pace of European races,” said team director Vassili Davidenko. “He's going to help us in the multi-day events and we hope will find himself with a free hand to bring in some podiums for the team next year."

    This year Melero finished third in the Vuelta Ciclista a la Communidad de Madrid, and he won a stage of the Circuito Montanes in 2007. He as also Spanish national junior champion in 2001.

    The team has signed a number of European riders for the coming year, including Rubens Bertogliati, Laszlo Bodrogi and Alexander Efimkin. With its higher status, the team will have bases in both Italy, and Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

    Of the 21 riders, six are insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetics, and the other 15 are non-diabetics.

    Team Type 1 for 2011:

    Laszlo Bodrogi - FRA
    Daniele Callegarin - ITA
    Alessandro Bazzana - ITA
    Alexander Efimkin - RUS
    Jure Kocjan - SLO
    Andrea Grendene- ITA
    Rubens Bertogliati - SUI
    Olaf Kerkhof - NED-T1*
    Aldo Ino Ilesic - SLO
    Alexey Schmidt - RUS
    Martijn Verschoor - NED-T1*
    Scott Stewart - USA
    Valeriy Kobzarenko - UKR
    Javier Megias Leal - ESP-T1*
    Will Dugan - USA
    Fabio Calabria - AUS
    Joe Eldridge - USA-T1*
    Kiel Reijnen - USA
    Ben King - AUS
    Alex Bowden - USA-T1*

    * = Type 1 diabetic

  • FDJ baffled at UCI licence ranking

    Marc Madiot has won this race as a rider and a team boss
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 13:17 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Madiot wants classification details as UCI excludes team from ProTour

    Following the announcement by the International Cycling Union (UCI) last week regarding the attribution of ProTour licences based on a sporting criterion ranking, French team Francaise des Jeux has reacted "with surprise and incomprehension".

    The squad directed by Marc Madiot found itself in 21st position on the newly-established classification, which calculates the points scored by the 15 best riders of each 2011 squad during the last two years. It is thus effectively out of contention in the running for a ProTour licence, as only the first 20 teams are being considered eligible (for 18 available licences) based on the new UCI regulations.

    "It is with surprise and incomprehension that we have learned the UCI's decision not to grant a ProTour licence to the FDJ cycling team," Madiot said.

    "We are now trying to understand our classification that is based exclusively on the sporting criterion. Our 2009 results left us in 16th position and after a mixed 2010 season, our 2011 recruits made us confident as to the attribution of the licence. During the next few days, we expect some clarifications from the UCI as regards the calculation method of the classification."

    Even though the team will see the departure of Christophe Le Mével (to Garmin-Transitions) and Jussi Veikkanen (to Omega Pharma) next year, it has signed a regular winner in Pierrick Fedrigo (from Bbox) as well as such pronmising riders as Mickael Delage (from Omega Pharma Lotto) and Rémi Pauriol (from Cofidis). Frédéric Grappe, the outfit's trainer, was also puzzled as to the exact way of determining the value of a team roster.

    "We haven't understood how the calculations are being done. Some rules seem unclear and it's a pity not to know the basic rules that have led to the calculation of points," he told Cyclism'Actu. "We didn't think that the new rules and the quality recruitment we've made for 2011 would leave us in 21st...

  • Wonderful Pistachios to title sponsor Adageo Energy Pro Cycling

    The Adageo Energy Pro Cycling Team
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 17:58 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    Magnell to lead preliminary roster

    California-based Wonderful Pistachios stepped up as the title sponsor for the Adageo Energy Pro Cycling team in 2011. The newly named Wonderful Pistachios Pro Cycling will embark on its second consecutive season as a US-based UCI Continental team with a focus on the National Racing Calendar (NRC).

    "Due to the tough economy and financial trouble Adageo Energy was not able to renew the sponsorship," said team manager Josh Horowitz. "They helped us get from amateur to pro last year and we really appreciated that. Wonderful Pistachio was a sponsor this year and the relationship really developed. One of their messages is that pistachio nuts are high in fiber and one of the healthiest nuts out there and it made sense for them to continue to market in the cycling world."

    The squad recently signed on five new faces that include Sterling Magnell, Neil Coleman, Taylor Bertrand-Barrett, Menso de Jong, Victor Riquelme. Returning riders include Tim Farnham, Alexi Martinez and Eric Bennett for a total of eight riders. The team is committed to signing three additional riders.

    "I’m really excited about the addition of Riquelme because he has only been in the sport for two years and he is doing very well," Horowitz said. "As a Cat 1 at the NRC level he was racing well and I think he has a lot of potential. This time of the year is always crazy because riders are unsure of where they will be going. We have a few more riders to pick up and there are a lot of rider still out there. Unfortunately it is a buyers market right now."

    The team will start its second season with a professional license after a successful first-year campaign as Adageo Energy. It grew from Liquid Fitness, an amateur team founded in 2008 by Horowitz and Clay Womack. "Our first year was tough with all sorts of little obstacles that we had to jump over and things we had to learn on the go," Horowitz said. "I think it all helped for creating this team in 2011."

  • UCI requests disciplinary hearing for Contador

    Alberto Contador made an emotional plea of innocence during his press conference
    Article published:
    November 08, 2010, 19:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spanish federation asked to take next step

    The UCI announced today that it has asked the Spanish National Cycling Federation (RFEC) to open disciplinary hearings against Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.

    Contador tested positive for the banned stimulant Clenbuterol during the Tour's second rest day. B-sample analysis confirmed the presence of the drug at a low level.

    The rider blamed the positive test on contaminated meat and insisted he was innocent of doping.

    "At the end of a long and meticulous enquiry entrusted to highly qualified, WADA-accredited experts, and considering all the information currently in its possession, the UCI has concluded that disciplinary proceedings should be opened against Alberto Contador," the UCI announced.

    Contador could face a two-year ban and the loss of his third Tour de France title should the RFEC decide he is guilty of a doping offence.

    "The UCI has today sent its request to the Spanish Federation that has competence in this regard. It is now the responsibility of this Federation to determine whether Alberto Contador has breached the UCI Anti-Doping Rules."

  • Brändle brings youth to Geox-TMC

    Matthias Brändle (Footon Servetto)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 1:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Austrian takes lessons from rookie season

    Footon-Servetto-Fuji's youthful squad boasted several promising talents in 2010, one of which was Matthias Brändle, the Austrian proving he'll be a useful ally for the likes of Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov at Geox-TMC in 2011.

    While he may still only be 20 years old, Brändle knows that next season will be a step up in terms of the status of races he'll be riding and the responsibility on his shoulders with two grand tour winners in the squad.

    "It will be a new way of riding in every race I think. I have never been in the same team with such big riders like Menchov or Sastre, so I think it will be a matter of learning a new part of cycling," explained Brändle.

    "I'm proud to be part of it and hope to make a good job. We will see how many chances I have to ride for my personal goals, but, at the right moment, in good shape... I think a lot of good things can happen.

    "For me it is not important which or how many races I do: the way I race them is the only important thing. I don't know if it will be possible to race the Tour next year, but I'll work hard for my big dream," he said.

    The rookie began his season with eighth overall in the Tour de Langkawi in Malaysia before finishing the Giro d'Italia in May. While he may have missed out on selection for the Tour de France - Footon-Servetto-Fuji had the youngest team there - the Austrian was happy with his progression during the year.

    "For me, I think it was a good start into the professional world of cycling," said Brändle. "I learned a lot about racing and had some ups and downs. My personal biggest goal, which I achieved, was coming into the Giro and finishing it, as the youngest guy into the peloton.

    "A few years ago, I watched all these races on the television, and now I'm part of them. On the other hand, I think I have time to grow up, and also the team believes in me. That's very important in every partnership I think," he added.