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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Date published:
October 26, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Merckx says Contador must be sanctioned if found guilty

    Eddy Merckx got a stage of the Tour de France for his 65th birthday
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 15:09 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Belgian cycling legend notes that different sports handle doping differently

    Those who use doping products must pay the price and be sanctioned, Belgian cycling legend Eddy Merckx has said, while noting that different sports have different levels of anti-doping controls and that not all athletes are treated equally.

    Specifically talking about the Alberto Contador case, the 65-year-old told Belgian tv RTBF: “If Contador is guilty, he should be punished heavily.“ However he added that there is not yet any ruling on the Spaniard's case.

    “The problem is that people are not treated equally when it comes to doping,” Merckx said. Nor are sports equal in their doping controls. “Cycling is the sport where there is more control anti-doping.”

    Earlier this month, Merckx told the Gazzetta dello Sport that he hoped he could trust Contador, who denies having used any doping method or product. “It would be very serious for cycling if Contador did not show himself worthy of this faith,” Gazzetta reported.

    Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol during the Tour de France but claimed the positive test was caused by contaminated meat. The Spanish Cycling Federation has yet to begin a formal investigation and disciplinary proceedings.

    Gilbert can win the Spring Classics

    During the interview with Belgian television, Merckx also praised fellow Belgian Philippe Gilbert, saying he thinks the Omega-Lotto Pharma rider can win any of the major Spring Classics. "He can win Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege," Merckx said.

    However he warned against Gilbert trying to overdo it. "But it's going to be difficult next year if he wants to focus his season on the Tour de France. But with a good program, it is possible to combine both objectives."
     

  • Millar honoured at the Braveheart Fund Dinner

    David Millar gives Charline Joiner her award
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 16:44 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Commonwealth Games medallist joins Cavendish in Scotland

    Commonwealth Games gold medallist David Millar was a surprise special guest at the 2010 Braveheart Cycling Fund Dinner that helped raise £35,000 to support the development of Scottish riders.

    Wearing a kilt to reaffirm his own Scottish roots, Millar joined British sprinters Mark Cavendish and Lizzie Armitstead on stage as images of his Commonwealth Games performance, where he represented Scotland, began to play accompanied by a soundtrack of Flower of Scotland. Millar won a bronze medal in the road race and gold in the time trial.

    Millar was invited to become the Braveheart Fund's second patron, joining track sprinter Sir Chris Hoy. "If you'll have me, then I would consider it an honour and a privilege," responded Millar.

    The eighth Braveheart dinner honoured the fund's cyclist of the year, with Charline Joiner, the silver medallist in the team sprint at the Commonwealth Games, receiving her award from Millar.

    "If I'd been told a year ago that I'd win a silver medal in the Commonwealth Games, and now this, I would never have believed it," said Joiner.

    Cavendish targets Merckx's Tour de France stage win record

    Mark Cavendish won over the audience with an interview in which he again paid tribute to his Isle of Man teammates at the recent Commonwealth Games in Delhi.

    Cavendish also backed the Braveheart Fund by getting involved in a bidding war during the auction with Millar for a Sean Kelly-signed World Cup leader's jersey. Cavendish eventually won, paying £1,500 for the special item. The auction raised a total of £35,000 with an authentic maglia rosa and race number, signed by 2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso, commanding the highest sum - £2,000.

    Cavendish revealed that his long-term Tour de France goal is to beat Eddy Merckx's record of 34 stage wins. "But that will be very difficult," he said. "To win one stage at the Tour is difficult and special, and...

  • Fuji continues with Gianetti in Geox-TMC

    Footon-Servetto's Fuji SSTs are hard to miss with their gleaming gold paint jobs.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2010, 21:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    US company to supply men's, women's teams

    Fuji Bicycles confirmed today that it will continue to sponsor Mauro Gianetti's professional squad, which becomes Geox-TMC in 2011. The company signed a "multi-year agreement" with the team after supporting Footon-Servetto in 2010 and as co-title sponsor with Servetto in 2009.

    Fuji will also supply the Geox-TMC organization's women's team, which will operate as Diadora-Pasta Zara, as well as a Belgian-American amateur squad (in 2010 the Fuji Test Team) which will serve as the ProTour team's satellite program.

    Pat Cunnane, President of Advanced Sports International, parent company of Fuji Bicycles, said in a statement, "The power racing in the ProTour has clearly been a major benefit to our brands (Fuji and Oval Concepts), as well as to our suppliers' brands.

    "We've shown our products can survive the rigors and punishment of the Tour de France, the Tour of Flanders and other major races under some of the best riders in the world and because of that we have gained immense credibility."

    The Geox-TMC pro squad and amateur team will be riding Fuji 's new ultralight road bike, the Altamira, while Diadora-Pasta Zara will be racing on Fuji 's new women's-specific carbon road model, the Supreme. All three teams will race on Fuji's D-6 time trial bike.

    Gianetti is chasing an extension of the team's ProTour license, and has signed 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre and 2005 & 2007 Vuelta a España and 2009 Giro d'Italia winner Denis Menchov toward that end. The team's status for 2011 will be decided in late November.

    The women's team, led by team president Maurizio Fabretti, signed Americans Mara Abbot, winner of the 2010 Giro d'Italia Femminile and Shelley Evans, U.S. National Criterium Champion. as well as Russian Olga Zabelinskaya and Italian Eleonora Patuzzo, the junior world champion in 2007.

    The international amateur squad will be directed by Bernard Moerman, and includes former USA-military...

  • Anderson joins Sports Australia Hall of Fame

    Phil Anderson sports three cultural icons: the 'sausage' helmet, Oakley Factory Pilots and a Panasonic jersey.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 0:46 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Cyclist one of nine new inductees

    Phil Anderson has been inducted into the Sports Australia Hall of Fame for his contribution to sport in Australia. The 52-year-old was one of Australia’s first high profile cyclists in Europe, having become the first non-European rider to wear the Tour de France’s yellow jersey in 1981.

    Australian Minister for Sport Mark Arbib praised Anderson and his eight fellow inductees on their contribution to developing sport within the country.

    “I want to congratulate all of the winners for their outstanding successes on and off the sporting field over so many years,” Senator Arbib said. “Australian athletes have always punched above their weight on the international stage and we are now regarded by the rest of the world as a leading sports nation.

    “We are a nation that revels in our sporting successes and celebrates its sporting heroes and the men and women honoured tonight epitomise that success,” he added. “The example set by these great Australians will inspire a generation of young aspiring sports people.”

    After his debut in the Tour’s yellow jersey Anderson held it for a further nine stages the following year, before going on to win the young rider classification. He claimed two Tour stage victories during his extensive career, including Stage 2 to Nancy in 1982 and Stage 10 to Quimper in 1991.

    Anderson’s other major career victories include Stage 17 of the 1989 Giro d’Italia from Sondrio to Meda, the 1983 Amstel Gold Race and 1985 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré overall classification. That list however is backed up by a swag of stage victories at events like the Tours of Britain, Ireland, Romandie, Suisse, Méditerranéen, Luxembourg, Paris-Nice, Coors Classic, Post Danmark Rundt, Tirreno-Adriatico and Tour Du Pont.

    Anderson spent between three and four years at each team he rode for throughout his 14 years as...

  • U23 world champion Matthews aiming for Noosa victory

    Celebration of the week went to U23 winner Michael Matthews and not just for his excited celebration on the bike. Later that night as celebrations continued Matthews busted out his best air guitar impression while on stage with a group called the Glitter Gang.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 1:19 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Bobridge, Hepburn on Queensland criterium start list

    With the Under 23 world championship title in the bag, Michael Matthews is now aiming to join a list of big name winners at this weekend’s Noosa Criterium in Queensland, Australia. Matthews wants to join the winner roll that includes Commonwealth Games road race champion Allan Davis and former Tour de France green jersey Robbie McEwen.

    “I’ve watched these guys on television since I started cycling,” said Matthews of his motivation to win Noosa. “It’s going to be a hard race as I had a little break after the Commonwealth Games so I’m not sure how I’ll be going.”

    The Rabobank-bound Matthews said another victory wearing Jayco-Skins colours will help reward the team’s sponsors for everything they’ve done for him. “It’s always very important to end the season on a high note because it gets you more motivated for next year and now that I have won the world championships I know 2011 is going to be a great year,” Matthews said.

    “It means a lot to me every time I put on the Jayco Skins jersey because I would not be where I am now without all of the support not just from the sponsors but from the coaches, who are there every day just for us, our massage therapist and all the other support people making our lives so easy,” he added.

    Matthews will have the support of Jayco-Skins teammate Michael Hepburn at the race, which is held as a support event during the Noosa Triathlon weekend. Other riders confirmed for the criterium include Garmin-Transitions’ Jack Bobridge, Team Sky’s Chris Sutton and Fly V Australia’s Jonathan Cantwell, Aaron Kemps and Ben Kersten.

  • Petacchi unhappy with 2011 Giro route

    Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre) showers the press with bubbly in Orihuela.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 4:25 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian sprinter bemoans the lack of flat stages

    While the climbers and overall contenders were happy to see so many ascents and mountain finishes in the route of the 2011 Giro d'Italia, the sprinters were disappointed to see so few flat stages on the race profile.

    The official race book classifies seven stages as flat but of these, five include climbs in the final 30km that could make the sprinters suffer. Only stage eight to Trope and 12 to Ravenna are totally flat.

    Sacha Modolo of the Colnago-CSF Inox immediately made it clear he does not like the route and Alessandro Petacchi was also unhappy.

    "I think I've done the Giro 11 times and this one will be my 12th. They're always hard but things seem to be getting worse and worse," he told Cyclingnews.

    "It seems we've always got to go out and work to make sure a stage ends in a sprint. They say there are seven stages for the sprinters but there are probably only two really flat stages where the peloton will stay together and we're certain to end in a sprint."

    Petacchi tried to see the bright side of the many hilly finishes, explaining how can climb better than any of his rivals sprinters. He also raised concerns about general safety, however.

    "If I'm going well, the tough finishes can be an advantage because the pure sprinters might get dropped while I hang on and then still be up there in the sprint," said the points classification winner at this year's Tour de France.

    "Some of the climbs, like the one before the finish in Livorno, which I know, are not that difficult but what about the safety aspect? You could lose a Giro just because of a puncture on a dirt road or pave. Look at Armstrong, he lost time in the Tour de France because he punctured on the pave. Is that fair?"

    Petacchi won two stages and the Tour's green jersey but was embroiled in a doping investigation in Italy as the Tour was ending. He has yet to be formally charged of any wrongdoing and hopes to ride the Giro for...

  • Bayern Rundfahrt extends with sponsor through 2013

    Linus Gerdemann (Milram)
    Article published:
    October 26, 2010, 9:59 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Stage race bucks the trend of difficulties in German cycling

    The Bayern Rundfahrt is bucking the negative trend for cycling in Germany and will be held until at least 2013. Race organizers have announced that the race's main sponsor has signed up for another three years and that the International Cycling Union has confirmed its dates for 2010.

    The Bavarian Volksbank and Raffeisenbank chains have extended their agreement as main sponsor for the six-stage race held across south-eastern Germany. "The banks have been a trusted partner since the Bayern Rundfahrt was created in 1980,“ said race organizer Ewald Strohmeier. "This partnership has made the Bayern Rundfahrt what it is today and I am very happy that we now have the security to plan for several years and that we will jointly work on the further development of the race.“

    Hans Höglauer, director of the banks' marketing division, said that "For more than 30 years we have overcome the highs and lows together and I am proud that we have done our part to make the Bayern Rundfahrt one of the most important German cycling events.“

    The UCI has confirmed the race's dates as May 24 to 29 in 2011. Strohmeier expects a strong field. "The dates at the end of May have proved to be successful and we have already had many requests to ride next year.“ Details of the race route will be presented the beginning of December.

    HTC-Columbia's Maxime Monfort won the race this year, with Linus Gerdemann winning in 2009 and Christian Knees in 2008. Jens Voigt and Michael Rich have both won the race three times.

    The slow death of German cycling

    Over the last few years, many races have disappeared from the German scene including the Deutschland Tour, Sachsen Tour, Friedensfahrt, Rheinland-Pfalz Rundfahrt, Neidersachsen Rundfahrt and the Hessen Rundfarht.

    Of the major one-day races, only the Vattenfall Cyclassics in Hamburg has survived without difficulty. Other such prestigious races as Rund...