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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Date published:
October 30, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Gilbert to target Ardennes classics over Tour of Flanders

    World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) signs autographs for his hometown fans
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 12:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian keen for better winter preparation than last year

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) has confirmed that he will target the spring classics in 2013, and he explained why he will again look to peak for the Ardennes classics rather than the Tour of Flanders.

    Gilbert has already won all of the Ardennes classics, completing the hat-trick of Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2011. Although he has yet to win the Tour of Flanders, however, he believes that focusing on the De Ronde constitutes more of a risk than taking aim at the latter part of April.

    “That’s where you need to be in great form, because at Amstel, Flèche and Liège, it’s decided by who has the legs, much more than at Milan-San Remo or even the Tour of Flanders,” Gilbert told La Dernière Heure. “The Ronde motivates me a lot, but you can be at the front for 200 kilometres and then lose everything by making a positioning error on a climb. Punctures can also play a bigger role there than at the Ardennes.”

    Gilbert also said that he will alter his preparation this winter in a bid to avoid making the same sluggish start to 2013 that he made to the season just past.

    After his high-profile switch to BMC last winter, Gilbert endured a sub-par classics campaign before ending his season on a high, with two stage wins at the Vuelta a España and victory at the Worlds in Valkenburg.

    “We’re going to work differently to last year,” Gilbert said. “We’ve going to work better on everybody’s programme so that we don’t make the same mistakes as last year. We’re here to progress and you progress by not repeating the same...

  • Lampre-ISD confirm Roberto Ferrari signing

    Stage 11 winner Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli)
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 13:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian sprinter leaves Androni-Venezuela

    Lampre-ISD have confirmed the signing of Roberto Ferrari from Androni-Venezuela for the 2013 season, as his current team manager Gianni Savio had already revealed to Cyclingnews earlier this month.

    Ferrari spent the past two campaigns at Savio’s Androni set-up, and he enjoyed his greatest success at this year’s Giro d’Italia, winning stage 11 with a smart uphill sprint in Montecatini Terme. That win came after a difficult opening to the race for the Italian sprinter, who was relegated after causing a crash in the finishing straight on stage 3 in Horsens.

    A native of nearby Gavardo, Ferrari will doubtless be motivated by prospect of the final stage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia, which finishes in Brescia, although at Lampre-ISD, he will have to dovetail his efforts with those of veteran sprinter Alessandro Petacchi. The pair already raced together at LPR Brakes earlier in 2008 and 2009.

    “I’m really very happy, I couldn’t find a better evolution for my career,” Ferrari said. “In recent years, I’ve drawn a lot of satisfaction from the qualities as a sprinter. Now I want to take on a new experience. Beyond that, it will be fascinating to ride on the same team as Petacchi, a rider of absolute class. With the sporting directors, we’ll decide on what race programme is best suited to me.”

    As well as picking up the 28-year-old Ferrari, whose palmares includes the Memorial Pantani (2009) and the Giro del Friuli (2010), Lampre-ISD has also signed Filippo Pozzato from Farnese Vini-Selle Italia in a bid to ensure it retains its WorldTour status for 2013.

    With a number of figures within the team – including...

  • Jaksche : The problem isn't Armstrong, it's the system

    Jorg Jaksche rode for Bjarne Riis at CSC.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 15:17 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Calls on team bosses and UCI to face greater scrutiny

    According to Jörg Jaksche, professional riders are bearing the brunt for cycling’s current problems surrounding doping and team bosses, if needed, should be held accountable for either facilitating or encouraging doping.

    “You have these guys, directors and they’re moving again for the credible cycling and it’s easy to do that to say we won't take cyclists who had problems before but that’s only the consequences – it’s not a real solution to the doping problem,” Jaksche told Cyclingnews.

    The German’s comments come in the wake of USADA’s successful case against Lance Armstrong and the American’s US Postal team. Jaksche gave evidence to USADA based on his experience as a rider and his dealings with the UCI. Before USADA’s verdict, Jaksche talked to Cyclingnews, highlighting the levels of hypocrisy running through the sport, and disclosing the level of Omerta within cycling.

    Having watched the fallout from the Armstrong case, the subsequent confessions, suspensions and allegations laid before the UCI, Jaksche is concerned that the focus shouldn’t be fixed just on Armstrong.

    “This isn’t a solution. It’s like trimming the weeds but leaving the roots untouched. If you individualise one problem and just point the finger at Lance that won't solve the issue. Lance Armstrong isn’t the problem of cycling. The problem is the system that allowed for a Lance Armstrong and that’s a huge difference.”

    Having admitted to doping throughout his career, Jaksche has pointed to a number of team bosses who he has ridden for as facilitators to his cheating. From Polti to Astana, by way of Telekom, CSC and ONCE, Jaksche rode for several teams embroiled in...

  • Rominger denies Ferrari money laundering links

    Tony Rominger wins the rain soaked time trial to Assisi in 1995
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 16:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rider-turned-agent says he has not spoken to investigators

    Tony Rominger has denied that his management company has been implicated in a system of money laundering and fraud linked to an alleged doping ring involving his former trainer Dr. Michele Ferrari.

    Gazzetta dello Sport printed details from the Padova-based doping investigation into Ferrari’s activities earlier this month, outlining how public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti discovered a series of contracts and secret payments totalling €30 million. It is alleged that riders avoided tax by recycling money via Gibraltar, Monte Carlo, Switzerland and South America.

    The Swiss newspaper SonntagsBlick published allegations that money from Ferrari’s activities passed through Rominger’s management company, but in a statement on Monday, Rominger denied the accusation.

    “Tony Rominger formally contests these accusations of tax evasion and money laundering being reported in the media,” read the statement, according to AFP. The statement added that Rominger had “never been called upon to provide information to the penal, civil or administrative judicial system — either Swiss or Italian.”

    “There were never any sums of money transferred from an account of the sports management agency Tony Rominger Management Limited, founded by Tony Rominger, to a Swiss bank account that was related to Michele Ferrari’s business.”

    Rominger was coached by Ferrari during a career that saw him win the Vuelta a España three times (1992-94), the Giro d’Italia (1995) and break the world hour record (1994). Rominger claimed that he has not been in contact with Ferrari “for very many years.”

  • Sky release de Jongh after doping confession

    Steven De Jongh was chilled before the start.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 17:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Joins Julich and Yates in leaving the team

    Team Sky has confirmed that Steven de Jongh has left the team with immediate effect. The director sportif had served at Sky since the team’s inception in 2010 but found his position untenable after the team asked all riders and staff to re-affirm their anti-doping stance.

    Subsequently de Jongh admitted to taking a banned substance during his racing career, and in line with Sky's policy, could no longer serve on the team. The Dutchman turned professional in 1995 for TVM and was part of their Tour squad in 1998. He rode for Rabobank and QuickStep before retiring at the end of the 2009.

    In a statement released to the press Sky’s Dave Brailsford said, “There’s no doubt about Steven’s work with us or his approach. He’s been a highly-valued Sports Director and colleague over three seasons. Steven deserves our respect for the courage he’s shown in being honest about the past and it’s right that we do our best to support him. He has our best wishes for the next step in his career.”

    De Jongh joins Sean Yates and Bobby Julich and is the third director from team to leave in the last week. Julich confessed to doping until 1998, but Yates said he resigned for health reasons.

  • UCI announces top 15 teams for 2013 WorldTour

    Team Euskaltel wating for the start.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 18:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    AG2R La Mondiale and Euskaltel-Euskadi make the cut

    The UCI today announced the top 15 teams according to their assessment of the sporting criteria, and if they meet the UCI's other licencing criteria, they will automatically earn ProTeam status for the 2013 season and inclusion in the WorldTour. The sporting criteria takes into account each team's top 12 riders who've signed contracts by October 20, 2012 in addition to results obtained in 2011 and 2012 by riders which are included in the 2013 rosters.

    Today's press release from the UCI listed in alphabetical order the top 15 teams, as well as a second list of teams ranked 16th through 20th. The teams on the latter list are vying for the final three WorldTour licences for the 2013 season.

    Two teams which found themselves on the second list in 2011 regarding sporting criteria, AG2R La Mondiale and Euskaltel-Euskadi, have made the leap into the top 15 this season, while Lotto Belisol and Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff have dropped from automatic eligibility last season into the list of five teams still fighting for WorldTour status. After not making the top 20 list last year, Argos-Shimano remains in the hunt to jump from Pro Continental to WorldTour status for 2013, while current WorldTour team FDJ and Pro Continental squad Team Europcar find themselves in an identical situation as last year, in the bottom five but still eligible for WorldTour selection.

    Despite Rabobank withdrawing sponsorship of its ProTeam, the squad, referred to in the UCI press release as "Former Rabobank", made the top 15.

    The next step in the registration process for 2013 licences takes place following the November 1 deadline when the UCI will announce the registration of the UCI ProTeams with...

  • McEwen out of retirement for "fun" turn at Noosa

    Robbie McEwen prepares for one of his last races as a pro
    Article published:
    October 29, 2012, 23:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rowney looking to end season as it began in strong women's field

    Robbie McEwen may have formally retired at the Amgen Tour of California earlier this season but turning his back on racing is proving difficult with the three-time maillot vert winner lining up this weekend at the Subaru Cycling Grand Prix Noosa.

    It follows McEwen's third place at the Japan Cup criterium earlier this month.

    The 41-year-old will be joined by his Orica-GreenEdge teammates Simon Clarke, Allan Davis, and Michael Hepburn.

    "In my role with Orica-GreenEdge it's a real advantage to still be able to race with the guys and give them advice," said McEwen who is now a sprint coach for the WorldTour team.

    "If the race is as fast as it normally is at Noosa that advice might have to wait until after the race. I'll mainly be keeping an eye out for things to work on over the pre-season.

    "Just don't call it a comeback, this is purely for fun."

    Also lining up will be former Australian Criterium Champion, Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank's Jonathan Cantwell who won the event in 2009, while last year's runner-up Koen de Kort (Argos-Shimano), Jeremy Hunt (Sky) and Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp) are confirmed starters.

    The women's field is just as strong with Redlands Bicycle Classic stage winner Loren Rowney spearheading a Specialized Women SA team that will no doubt be in an arm-wrestle with the Subaru squad of Jessie Maclean, Shara Gillow and Gracie Elvin. Rowney has enjoyed a spectacular start to her pro career having won a stage of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic in Janauary, Stage...

  • Davison joins honour roll with National Road Series title

    Win number 11 for the season. Luke Davison (Budget Forklifts) wins the 2012 Goulburn to Sydney
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 0:29 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Former track world champion turns attention back to the boards

    While Luke Davison could not attend Grafton to Inverell he followed the race intently through social media, anxiously awaiting the results of the final National Road Series race of the year. Depending on how the classic one-day race played-out Davison may have lost the title. At the day's end however, his Budget Forklifts team took an emphatic 1-2 victory with Peter Herzig and Michael Cupitt while Davison won the individual NRS title.

    By taking the 2012 NRS title Davison joins the list of former winners that includes Garmin-Sharp's Nathan Haas and 2009 winner Will Clarke - who recently announced his move to Argos-Shimano for the 2013 season.

    For Davison, it was a fantastic end to a season that has seen the former junior track world champion make significant changes in order to achieve the kind of results he is capable of. Davison praised the help of his coach Tim Decker for providing him with the kind of critical feedback he needed to get back on top.

    "The biggest thing has been working closely with Tim Decker. He's the one who helped resurrect Glen O'Shea's career and seen him go to the Olympics [for the omnium]. That's evidence in itself that he knows what he's doing. Working with him this year and having a real plan from the get-go," Davison told Cyclingnews.

    "I knew I had to be a lot more professional, 2012 was definitely a big turning point. Listening to someone who had a different perspective and could see things from the outside, where I think a lot of athletes don't fully appreciate that. You always think you are doing the right thing."

    In addition to Decker, Davison says that without the support of his Budget Forklifts team he wouldn't have experienced a season that included a win at