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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Date published:
December 11, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Pervis: I can go even faster

    Kilometre time trial world championship podium (L-R): Simon Van Velthooven (New Zealand), 2nd; Francois Pervis (France), 1st; Joachim Eilers (Germany), 3rd
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 16:07 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman talks about smashing the kilo world record

    François Pervis suggested that he can go even faster in the kilometre time trial on the track and perhaps break the 56-second barrier.

    The French sprinter smashed the previous record of compatriot Arnaud Tournant set in La Paz, Bolivia, while competing at the track World Cup in Aguascalientes, Mexico this weekend. Seven world records tumbled in different disciplines during the event, thanks to the speed and the 1,887m altitude of the velodrome.

    “I’m amazed by what I did. It’s difficult to believe that I was so quick. I thought I could beat Arnaud’s record but not with that time. 56.3 is not 56.9,” he told French newspaper L’Equipe.

    “I went two and a half seconds better, which is amazing, but we have to put this performance in context. You had to be in the right place at the right time. It happened to me. I was actually very surprised. I hesitated about using a bigger gear, going up a tooth and in the end I didn’t. I could have gone even faster. My leg speed was a lot faster than usual and so there was a margin of improvement. I think it’s possible to go below 56 seconds.”

    The magic of the Mexico track

    The powerful Frenchman confirmed that the perfect conditions of the Mexico track were a key factor and he combined them with a peak of strength and fitness.

    “It’s simply an outstanding track. It’s perfectly matured with age, the wood works as it should do and is very dry. Pedaling at an altitude of 1800m altitude also helps, then on Saturday it was very hot (27 degrees C) and dry (only 30% moisture). We’re talking about ideal conditions. The design of the track also helps against the clock. The straights are...

  • Lampre-Merida renewed for WorldTour

    The 2013 Lampre Merida team
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 16:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team insists no involvement of current team in Mantova case

    The Lampre-Merida team today announced it has been renewed for the UCI WorldTour for the next two years. The team will be the home of new world champion Rui Costa for 2014.

    "We would like to express utmost satisfaction for the renewal of the World Tour Licence, as confirmed by the Licensing commission and the International Cycling Union," the team stated today.

    The announcement comes as the prosecutors in the Italian doping investigation in Mantova set a date for the trail of January 24, 2014, involving several past Lampre riders as well as current member Damiano Cunego - who has continued to express his innocence on the matter - as well as manager Giuseppe Saronni and directeur sportif Fabrizio Bontempi.

    The team stated, "Aware of the technicalities and procedures pending before the prosecutor of Mantova and the realisation of the time needed to clarify the case," the team confirmed "no involvement of the team in this case, at the same time confirming full trust in the institution".

    The team stated that the two-year extension allowed it time to "manage and organise the necessary changes needed before the proposal of the UCI new World Tour project is put into practice", including planning sporting criteria and ethical principles, investing in youth development and a Continental feeder team in addition to its Pro Team, a shift to a reduced required average age of the Pro Team to 26 years of age, as well as "widespread and in-depth education of culture at every level and for every individual employee".

  • Anton signs for Movistar

    Igor Anton (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 16:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Basque finds team after Euskaltel-Euskadi demise

    Igor Anton has signed with Movistar for next season, the team announced on Tuesday. The Basque rider has spent his entire professional career with Euskaltel-Euskadi but was left without a contract when the team disbanded at the end of the 2013 season.

    Anton was reported to have been close to signing with Omega Pharma-QuickStep in August but pulled back from talks when it briefly appeared that Formula 1 driver Fernando Alonso was about to step in and save the Euskaltel-Euskadi squad.

    Alonso and Euskaltel’s negotiations stalled in late September, however, around the same time that Omega Pharma-QuickStep completed its 2014 roster by signing Thomas De Gendt and Jan Bakelants. In recent weeks, Anton revealed that the Colombia team had expressed interest, although manager Claudio Corti denied that he had offered him a contract.

    Instead, Anton will line up for Movistar next season after agreeing what Biciciclismo reports is a two-year deal with the team that finished top of the WorldTour standings in 2013.

    The 30-year-old has won four stages and twice finished in the top 10 overall at the Vuelta a España and also claimed victory atop the Zoncolan at the 2011 Giro d’Italia. Anton’s arrival will be a significant boost to a squad already laden with climbing talent, including Tour de France king of the mountains Nairo Quintana and Alejando Valverde.

    Anton is the fourth former Euskaltel rider to sign for Movistar this winter, after Juan Lobato and Ion and Gorka Igazguirre. Other new arrivals at the team include John Gadret, Adriano Malori and Dayer Quintana, younger brother of Nairo.


  • Pellizotti set to stay with Androni in 2014 after Astana debacle

    Franco Pellizotti with Androni Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 17:36 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian team working to secure extra budget from sponsors

    Franco Pellizotti is set to stay with the Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team if manager Gianni Savio can convince his pool of sponsors to provide the extra funding needed to cover the Italian rider’s salary.

    Cyclingnews understands the deal is near completion with a formal announcement possible in the next few days.

    Astana decided to renege on their agreement to sign Pellizotti after hitting problems with the rules of the Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC). The team has recently became a full member of the MPCC and has agreed to follow its strict code of conduct, which stops teams from selecting riders for races for a further two years after a serious ban for doping. Pellizotti was suspended for two years in 2010, following a biological passport violation while riding for the Liquigas team, and so could not race for Astana until May 2, 2014.

    Pellizotti will be 36 in January and is ready to take a cut in salary and give up the chance of returning to the Tour de France so that he can race from the start of the season. Androni became a member of the MPCC in February this year but that was after Pellizotti was already part of the team.

    Savio recently announced he will no longer sign former dopers after having Pellizotti, Davide Rebellin, and Emanuele Sella on his books. However he is willing to find a place for Pellizotti in his 2014 squad because it will be an extension of the Italian's contract, rather than a new signing.

    "I've gone back to my pool of sponsors and asked them if they're willing to make an extra effort to sign Franco. I'm still waiting for some replies but I expect to know in a few days time," Savio...

  • Europcar among 18 WorldTour teams confirmed for 2014

    Europcar will make the jump from Pro Continental to WorldTour team for the 2014 season
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 18:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bretagne-Seche Environment rounds out 17 Pro Continental squads

    The UCI announced today that the eight ProTeams and one Professional Continental team which were not initially granted their 2014 licences in the first round of approvals in November have all been granted their licences for the 2014 season.

    After meeting on the 18th and 22nd of November, the UCI Licence Commission awarded multi-year WorldTour licences to Astana Pro Team, Lampre-Merida, Movistar Team, Orica GreenEdge, Sky Procycling and Team Europcar. Additionally, Team Argos-Shimano, cited by the UCI for irregularities with its initial application, and Trek Factory Racing, transferring a licence from RadioShack Leopard, were granted registration for the 2014 season.

    As a result, the 2014 WorldTour will have 18 teams.

    Regarding the second division teams, the French Bretagne-Seche Environment squad was granted registration for 2014 which brings the Pro Continental ranks to 17 teams.

    WorldTour licences granted November 5:
    Ag2R La Mondiale (Fra)
    Belkin – Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
    BMC Racing Team (USA)
    Cannondale (Ita) (Fra)
    Garmin Sharp (USA)
    Omega Pharma – Quick Step Racing Team (Bel)
    Team Katusha (Rus)
    Team Tinkoff Saxo (Den)
    Lotto Belisol (Bel) (UCI decision of November 25)

    WorldTour licences granted December 10:
    Astana Pro Team (Kaz): 2014-2016
    Lampre – Merida (Ita): 2014-2015
    Movistar Team (Spa): 2014-2016
    Orica GreenEdge (Aus): 2014-2016
    Sky Procycling (GBr): 2014-2016
    Team Europcar (Fra): 2014-2015
    Team Argos – Shimano (Ned)
    Trek Factory Racing (USA) [licence transfer approved]

    Pro Continental licences granted November 5:
    Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
    Bardiani – CSF (Ita)
    Caja Rural – Seguros RGA (Spa)
    CCC Polsat Polkowice (Pol)

  • Dan Frost joins Sky as directeur sportif

    DS Tristan Hoffman and DS Dan Frost got hammered out training
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 20:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Marcus Ljungqvist leaves team's staff

    Dan Frost has joined Team Sky as a directeur sportif after eight seasons in a similar role at Saxo-Tinkoff. The Dane’s arrival is offset by the departure of Marcus Ljungqvist, which Sky also announced on Tuesday.

    Winner of the points race at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul and the 1986 world championships in Colorado Springs, Frost joined the then-CSC’s team staff ahead of the 2006 season with a special responsibility for the development of young riders.

    The 52-year-old Frost will formally join Sky from January, but he was already present at the team’s first training camp in Mallorca last week, where they discussed plans for the forthcoming season.

    “I’m excited to get started in January. Whether you are a Sports Director or a rider you always want to get going with the racing,” Frost told the team website.

    “The detail and preparation of the team is evident and everyone has been extremely welcoming. It is nice to be received with open arms and hopefully together we can achieve lots of success.”

    Sky performance manager Rod Ellingworth hailed the arrival of Frost and believes that his track background makes him a good fit for Team Sky given its links to the British track programme.

    “We welcome his insight and everything he’s learned over the last eight years as a Sports Director. He was a phenomenal track rider back in his day and that means he’s also close to the methodology from British Cycling,” Ellingworth said. “We’re all keen to get started.”

    The team also announced the departure of directeur sportif Marcus Ljungqvist, who had been with Sky since the team was established in 2010....

  • Duchesne signs with Europcar

    Antoine Duchesne (Bontrager) makes a late race attempt to get away.
    Article published:
    December 10, 2013, 21:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bontrager graduate joining the WorldTour in 2014

    Twenty-two-year-old Canadian Antoine Duchesne will join the WorldTour alongside three of his fellow Bontrager development team graduates in 2014 when he dons the green kit of Team Europcar.

    Duchesne's signing with the French team was made official today upon the confirmation from the UCI that the team would be awarded a two-year WorldTour license. Riders gather tomorrow in Spain for their first team training camp.

    Duchesne, the U23 Canadian champion, made himself known at the Tour of California this year by going on a gutsy solo escape on the final stage to Santa Rosa, and then again at on stage 4 of the Tour of Alberta, where he attacked and bridged to the breakaway, only to be out-gunned in the end by Cadel Evans, who won the stage. Duchesne earned the most aggressive rider's jersey.

    “I am truly happy to have been able to sign with Europcar, especially in a year like this one with so many teams leaving. It’s almost a dream to reach the top level like this; I’ve been working at this goal since forever," Duchesne said in a press release.

    The Quebec cyclist joins his current teammates Nathan Brown (Garmin-Sharp), Lawson Craddock (Argos-Shimano) and Jasper Stuyven (Trek Factory Team) in heading straight from the Continental ranks to the WorldTour.

    “We are happy to welcome Antoine to our team for 2014 and 2015. We had heard about him several times over the past two years and began more serious negotiations with him during our visit in Quebec last September for the Quebec and Montreal Grand Prix Cyclistes. Louis Garneau and Serge Arsenault had nothing but praise for this young Quebec cyclist, whom they qualify as one of the most promising Canadian cyclists of the year. Antoine is a versatile rider and will be an asset to the team,” said Europcar manager Jean-René Bernaudeau.

  • Froome: Spat with Wiggins over

    The 2012 Tour de France final podium (l-r): Chris Froome, Bradley Wiggins and Vincenzo Nibali
    Article published:
    December 11, 2013, 1:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour champion hoping to end questions of instability

    Having spent time with Bradley Wiggins on a training camp in Mallorca, 2013 Tour de France champion Chris Froome is keen to end speculation over the fractious relationship between the pair. On the eve of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year award this weekend, Froome told The Daily Mail that he wants the sport to move beyond an era of suspicious performances and positive drug tests to a brighter future with Wiggins on his side.

    The rivalry between the Tour winners began on the slopes of La Toussuire during stage 11 of the 2012 Tour when Froome attacked his team leader. Wiggins has said that he considered quitting the race in the aftermath of the event but was persuaded by team boss Dave Braisfold to continue to Paris. Froome explained that he wants to move beyond relentless questioning regarding the relationship between the two.

    "We're very different people," Froome said. "Brad would say the same. But, like I say, we're in a good place now."

    "The fact is Brad and I have just been on a training camp together in Mallorca and we've had a talk about things," said Froome.

    "It was very constructive and we are in a good place now. It was important we did that and it was important for the team, too. To be honest we should have done it a very long time ago, just to clear the air, but we are on good terms now."

    The interview by Froome is an attempt to clear the air with reports that Wiggins failed to pay Froome bonuses from the 2012 Tour until the world championships in September this year a sign that a level of animosity was enveloping the duo which was detrimental to...