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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Date published:
October 29, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Wheelmen book excerpt: What to do about Lance Armstrong (part 3)

    The cover of the Wheelmen book
    Article published:
    October 28, 2013, 20:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Landis feels the weight of the omerta

    "Wheelmen" by Reed Albergotti and Vanessa O’Connell - reveals new details of Lance Armstrong's secret past and eventual downfall thanks to a detailed interview with Floyd Landis and numerous other people who were close to him.

    Cyclingnews has obtained an excerpt from Wheelmen which will be published in two parts. The first part told the story of Floyd Landis’s decision to confess to doping and how Armstrong and those who supported the Texan tried to stop him. It reveals the secret influence Armstrong held over Landis and how he and others used it.

    This second part details the impetus behind Landis composing the fateful email providing the initial details about the doping program within the US Postal Service team, which was sent to USA Cycling and the UCI. Also included is the means by which Landis ultimately met and confessed to USADA's Travis Tygart.

    In this third part, Landis feels the weight of the omerta bearing down on him.

    Wheelmen can be purchased in bookshops and online by multiple retailers, including Amazon.

    Chapter 11: Adieu and Fuck You (excerpt 3)

    The answer was a red flag — a bombshell of an answer that almost counted as an admission. Fifteen minutes after the press conference, Landis's phone rang. It was Armstrong calling with some advice. "Look . . . when people ask you . . . did you ever use performance-enhancing drugs, you need to say abso-lutely not." Landis agreed. He would steadfastly deny doping from that point forward.

    Landis flew back to the United States and tried to figure...

  • Hondo, Nizzolo and Watson sign with Trek Factory Racing

    Danilo Hondo (RadioShack-Leopard)
    Article published:
    October 28, 2013, 22:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team completes its roster for 2014

    Trek Factory Racing today announced the completion of its 2014 team with the renewal of Danilo Hondo, Giacomo Nizzolo, and signing neo-pro Calvin Watson.

    Hondo, who previously acted as the main lead-out man for Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi before joining Radioshack, will continue to mentor the team's younger sprinters like Nizzolo and lend support to the Classics squad.

    "For me it was a logical decision to sign on with the new team," Hondo said. "I chose a year ago to leave my role with Lampre and start working for both Fabian Cancellara in the Classics and Giacomo Nizzolo in the sprint and it has worked well. I didn't see a reason to change again. I had a very good feeling with this team and I'm sure the new team will have a similar ambiance. I'd like to continue to share my experience with the Classics core and to the young sprinters in the team. I'm excited about the bigger focus on sprinting and I think it's going to be great!"

    Nizzolo made his professional debut in 2011 with Leopard Trek, and had his breakthrough a year later when he won the overall Tour de Wallonie with RadioShack-Nissan. This year he added two stage wins in the Tour of Luxembourg to his palmares, and he hopes to add more next season.

    "Personally I'm hoping for a couple more victories," said the 24-year-old. "For different reasons, I don't feel as though this year was as good for me as 2012, despite feeling physically stronger and more adapted to the races. I hope that I can have a bit more luck next year, although I'm the first to admit that misadventures like in the Vattenfall Cyclassics are part of sprinting. Next year I'd like to be competitive from the start until the end of the season. Luca [Guercilena] and I will work on my program and race calendar as I have come to realize that the spring months, with the cold and...

  • Sacramento to host Tour of California start?

    Sky's Ben Swift wins stage 2 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California in Sacramento.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 0:35 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Possible return after two year absence

    The Californian capital city of Sacramento is a "strong candidate" to return as a host city for the 2014 Amgen Tour of California, according to a report published Monday.

    The cycling website Tour de France Life reported that the Northern California city could host the start of the race when it takes place May 11-18 next year. Although the race followed a south-to-north route for the first time in 2013, a start in Sacramento could indicate the route will return to a north-south format as in the past. Sacramento has hosted the race five times out of the race's eight years but did not take part in 2012 and 2013.

    Race owner Anschutz Entertainment Group Vice President Michael Roth told Cyclingnews Monday that the race organization does not comment on speculation about host cities and will likely make the official announcement during the first two weeks of November, adding that the list of participating cities is still in the final stages.

    But Jim Birrell, managing partner of race technical director Medalist Sports, told Tour de France Life reporter James Raia back in August that Sacramento had been in contact with the race about being a host city for 2014.

    "I know AEG has presented a proposal to them," Birrell said. He also said that the state capital is an important market for the race and that "there's a good chance of going back to Sacramento next year."

    The Sacramento Bee newspaper estimated that approximately 50,000 fans attended the Sacramento stage finish in 2011, generating an estimated $3.7 million in hotel and restaurant business for the local economy.

    Sacramento previously hosted stages of the race in 2007 through 2011. The city has hosted one prologue time trial and four stage finishes. Fabian Cancellara, riding for Team Saxo Bank, won the prologue time trial in 2009. Mark Cavendish,...

  • Richeze extends with Lampre-Merida

    Maximiliano Richeze (Lampre - Merida)
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 2:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Two more years for Argentinean sprinter

    Argentinean Maximilano Richeze has renewed his contract with Lampre-Merida for another two years following a consistent season at WorldTour level. Richeze returned in 2011 from a two-year suspension following a positive test for stanozolol in 2008. After finishing on the podium 37 times –including 17 wins- with Team Nippo in 2011 and 2012 combined, he caught the eye of Lampre-Merida and signed for 2013. Now looking back over his first season at WorldTour level, Richeze remains content, but still wants more.

    "The balance was good," he told Ciclismo Internacional. "After several years without WorldTour racing, I think I had a good second half of the season. The beginning was not very good. I had a hard time getting used to the pace but from the middle of the season I had adapted."

    Richeze was no doubt consistent, with four podiums at the Vuelta, one at the Eneco tour, and five at the Tour of Qinghai Lake. As he explains, however, he believes the work he did improving his strength and endurance in order to cope with WorldTour racing is what cost him his top end sprint.

    "This year I did a little bit more resistance work in order to keep up with the pace of the WorldTour races which are very long," he explained. "As a consequence, I lost some power which I lacked in the races. With a year of competition in my legs I can see that I have the strength for next year and I will now focus more on my sprint and find that little bit extra that has been missing."

    "My weak point is explosive sprints," he continued. "The races that are short and flat cost me more. I prefer that the courses are a bit harder and that my rivals are a bit more tired in the sprint."

    For the coming season Richeze hopes to race the Tour de France, but with his race program not decided yet...

  • Who is Calvin Watson?

    Calvin Watson wins the 2013 Herald Sun Tour.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 5:03 GMT
    Jono Lovelock

    Exclusive interview with new Trek signee

    The recent signing of 20-year-old Calvin Watson to Trek Factory Racing has left many fans outside of Australia asking: just who is Calvin Watson? As a rider who readily admits to not having "a huge talent name", Watson presents the story of yet another successful Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) alumnus for whom the future is bright.

    Watson is also a bona fide graduate of the Dave Sanders school of motor pacing. Sanders, Victorian Institute of Sport (VIS) head cycling coach and Australian junior national team coach, has played a hand in the development of many Victorians with Cadel Evans, Simon Gerrans, Leigh Howard and Simon Clarke, amongst many others, making the list.

    From VIS camps at Bright in the Victorian Alps to weekly ergo sessions, Sanders has followed the progression of Watson since his early teens. Sanders even re-scheduled his sacred Tuesday and Thursday 9am motor pacing sessions to after school hours to allow Watson to study and train as he chased a berth at the World Junior Championships in 2011.

    "If there's one person, and I don't like to pinpoint names, it is Davo [Dave Sanders]," Watson told Cyclingnews. "He's been the one person behind me the whole way, from basically the first race I won as a junior he's been there and supported me and mentored me. I guess without him I wouldn't be the bike rider that I am today."

    Having secured a ride with the Australian Junior National Team in 2011, Watson translated the opportunity into a full scholarship with the AIS in 2012. The momentum drew to a halt, however, when Watson's AIS scholarship was not renewed for the following year. He soon rebounded to take victory at the Herald Sun Tour in January, a victory that prompted strong words from Sanders.

    "In every...

  • Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling signs Peta Mullens

    Peta Mullens
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 9:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian all-rounder to lead out Bronzini in 2014

    Australian Peta Mullens has signed a contract with women’s professional team Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling for 2014.

    The 25-year-old form Victoria, Australia has a strong track pedigree having won a national track title in 2006. She ventured into international road racing a year later, taking part in the Tour of Chongming and Tour de Bretagne. However for the last few years she has been a consistent presence in the domestic racing scene.

    In 2009 she became the national U23 road champion, while in 2013 her best results came in mountain biking she became the national champion. In all she has won five national titles and will be utilized as a leadout for Giorgia Bronzini next season.

    “I'm excited to be joining the Wiggle Honda team for the 2014 season,” Mullens said in a team statement.

    “To come on board with such a successful outfit in my first year is a privilege and I hope that I can bring some good legs and a new personality into an already amazing team. I have worked with [team manager Rochelle Gilmore] before and know that her professionalism and athlete support are unrivaled and I value that.”

    Mullens will continue to split her time between road and mountain biking, with the defence of her national off-road title a major ambition.
    “I'm really eager to meet the line-up of girls this year and will probably be a little star-struck at first,” Mullens added. “But I only see good things ahead for the team this season and I'm thrilled to be a part of their winning ways.

    “I am motivated and determined to embark on this journey and write another chapter of my life, and I thank Wiggle Honda for allowing me to juggle my dual ambitions.”

    Team manager and rider Rochele Gilmore added: “Peta is one of the fastest lead-outs in the World so I was super...

  • Tony Martin undergoes surgery on scaphoid

    2013 time trial world champion Tony Martin (Germany)
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 10:44 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    "Now my scaphoid is whole again"

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has undergone surgery in Hamburg, Germany to resolve a minor problem with his left wrist.

    The world time trial champion fractured his scaphoid in a crash during the first stage of the 2012 Tour de France but fought the pain and stayed in the race until stage 11. It left him with a ‘non-union’ fracture but he was able to continue to compete successfully in the second half of 2012 and in 2013. He won the world time trial championships in both Limburg and Tuscany and took 13 victories this year, including overall victory at the Volta ao Algarve and the Tour of Belgium.

    With the season finally over Martin travelled to Hamburg to undergo the minor surgery on Monday.

    Afterwards, Martin posted a photo of his wrist on his Facebook page and commented: “Hand operating well over. Now my scaphoid is whole again.”

    The Omega Pharma-Quick Step team said Martin will wear a special cast for six weeks while his fracture heals. It will not stop him from riding his bike.

    “Martin was always assisted by team medical staff, and the surgery went very well,” the statement said.

    “Martin will now wear a special, bike specific cast for the next six weeks. The special cast allows Martin to resume training earlier than the six weeks it must be worn, and he will be ready for the next season.”

  • Lampre-Merida appoints Brent Copeland as team manager

    Brent Copeland will tackle building the team's service course in Italy and take on the logistics of the European campaign
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 11:27 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    South African to continue the internalisation of the Italian squad

    The Lampre-Merida team has appointed Brent Copeland as its new team manager as it continues to rebuild and evolve into a more international team.

    Lampre-Merida has signed new world champion Rui Costa as team leader for the Tour de France and hilly Classics but lost stage race leader Michele Scarponi, who has signed with Astana. Filippo Pozzato remains as team leader for the cobbled classics, with Diego Ulissi confirming his talents for one-day races. New signings for 2014 include sprinter Sacha Modolo, China’s Gang Xu and Rafael Valls.

    The team has been heavily implicated in a doping investigation in Mantova that is set to finally go to trial on December 10. The case is centred around pharmacist Guido Nigrelli, who is one of one of 27 people set to go to trial after a drawn-out investigation by Italian police.

    These include Saronni, directeur sportif Maurizio Piovani and Fabrizio Bontempi and 15 current or former Lampre riders including Marzio Bruseghin, Damiano Cunego, Simone Ponzi and Mauro Santambrogio, who tested positive at the Giro d'Italia while riding for the Vini Fantini team. The Lampre-Merida team has always backed the staff and riders involved, insisting they will be cleared of the accusations when the trial begins.

    Bike sponsor Merida joined forces with Lampre for the 2013 season, sparking the process of internalisation of the traditionally Italian team.

    Lampre-Merida said Copeland will be “responsible for the management and organization of the team, both the staff and riders working in close contact with the sport directors for the sporting area, the medical staff and responsible for the training, logistics and race program.”

    Copeland was a...