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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Date published:
December 12, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI confirms continued discussions regarding road calendar reform

    The UCI
    Article published:
    December 11, 2012, 19:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Stakeholders to be involved in consultation in first quarter of 2013

    As details emerged on Monday regarding the World Series Cycling (WSC) project and its reforms to the current road racing calendar, the UCI re-iterated today that it has been in talks with the principals involved, but that nothing concrete has yet been decided upon. However, the UCI confirmed that it would retain "full control over the calendar, including sporting and technical elements".

    On Monday, Jonathan Price of the Gifted Group and business partner Thomas Kurth unveiled their WSC calendar, featuring 10 new four-day stage races to take place worldwide alongside all three Grand Tours plus six major one-day Classics. The Gifted Group has also partnered with Czech billionaire and Omega Pharma-QuickStep team owner Zdenek Bakala at the end of 2011 with the Czech acting as an intermediary between the WSC and cycling's governing body, the UCI.

    "The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirms that it has been in discussions with Omega Pharma-QuickStep owner Zdenek Bakala and his business partner Bessel Kok since late 2011 about the possible development of the professional road cycling calendar," said the UCI in a press release on Tuesday. "These discussions have included their potential financial investment in a new joint venture company with the UCI and other cycling stakeholders that would promote and organise elements of this new calendar. The UCI has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with them as the initial investors in the joint venture and will now enter into extensive dialogue with the teams and race organisers before any final agreement is concluded."

    The UCI outlined the next steps in the process regarding any reform to the professional road racing calendar.

    "The possible development of the professional road cycling calendar will be subject to comments from the wide-ranging consultation “A bright future for...

  • Suspended Danielson continues to be a spokesperson for cycling

    Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    December 11, 2012, 23:22 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Garmin-Sharp rider wants to be "transparent"

    Garmin-Sharp's Tom Danielson is one of four current professional cyclists, along with teammates Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie plus Omega Pharma-QuickStep's Levi Leipheimer, currently serving a six-month ban resulting from testimony provided to the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) as part of the organisation's investigation into doping activities carried out by Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team.

    Danielson confessed to using erythropoietin (EPO), human growth hormone (hGH), testosterone, cortisone plus the use of prohibited blood transfusions during the 2005 and 2006 seasons while a member of the Discovery Channel Cycling Team, and the 34-year-old Colorado resident is in the midst of a six-month ban initiated on September 1, 2012.

    While Danielson is prohibited from taking part in any activity or competition under the auspices of a signatory to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) Code during his ban, Danielson continues to act as an ambassador for the sport with a book due to be published in January, Tom Danielson's Core Advantage: Core Strength for Cycling's Winning Edge, plus involvement with actor and avid cyclist Patrick Dempsey in their Twenty Twenty (T20) Cycling project, featuring three week-long cycling-focused camps at a California fitness retreat, The Ranch at Live Oak in Malibu, with each camp open to 16 guests.

    The first of the camps will take place January 20-26, 2013, in the midst of Danielson's six-month ban, and during a media conference call which included Danielson and Dempsey, Cyclingnews asked Danielson about the effect that would have on his role at the camp and his authority as a professional cyclist.

    "This sport has been through alot and the riders...

  • Orica-GreenEdge owner unaware of Stephens' past admissions

    Stephens winning stage 17 of the 1997 Tour de France in Switzerland.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2012, 0:31 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Gerry Ryan not shocked by White's confession

    Owner of Orica-GreenEdge Gerry Ryan is pleased with the way his team is handling the fallout from the USADA investigation which resulted in the sacking of team sports director, Matt White, the announcement of which coincided with the launch of an independent external review.

    "I have a meeting next week with Nicki Vance and I'll hear her story and I'll give her mine - I'm very happy with the way it's going," Ryan told Cyclingnews.

    Vance, a former director of WADA, is currently looking into the anti-doping policies, procedures as well as riders and staff of Orica-GreenEdge. Meantime, the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority [ASADA] and the federal government are also carrying out separate reviews of Cycling Australia and its riders and staff.

    Ryan said he "wasn't shocked" by the revelations surrounding White who was identified as Rider 9 in Floyd Landis' evidence in USADA's Reasoned Decision documentation to the UCI. On October 13, White stood down from his role with Orica-GreenEdge and confessed to his own involvement in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." Four days later he was sacked from his role with Cycling...

  • Rabobank to be named Blanco-Giant in 2013?

    The 2012 Rabobank Men's WorldTour Team
    Article published:
    December 12, 2012, 1:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Orange colours of Dutch bank removed from jersey

    The Rabobank Cycling team is rumoured to have found two naming-rights sponsors for the coming season and will be known as Blanco-Giant in 2013, according to reports.

    A leaked image of a potential team jersey and bib shorts has a familiar look about it, seemingly taking on a design that incorporates more of Giant's blue branding.

    Blanco-Giant is reportedly the new name for the men's WorldTour squad that had a 17-year relationship with its Dutch bank sponsor - until they decided to withdraw support of the numerous cycling teams that fell under the Rabobank umbrella.

    The management of Rabobank Wielerploegen BV, the holding company behind the Dutch outfit, had already suggested a replacement sponsor would be found and that appears to be in the form of Blanco-Giant. Giant had already been dismissed as a major backer however, the new deal appears to be larger than initially expected.

    The website domain for has already been registered however, the owners of the site have not been confirmed. However, it has been suggested Rabobank Wielerploegen BV is the company responsible for its purchase. The twitter account @BlancoGiant has also been registered.

    The exact details of the men’s ProTeam will be released on Thursday according to riders from the men’s squad and will likely coincide with a training camp that is taking place in the Canary Islands.

    Little information is know about the team for next season however, Giant has already been suggested as the team’s new apparel sponsor - across the road, mountain bike and cyclo-cross squads - with Shimano also confirmed as a technical partner.

  • Gallery: Mark Gunter's best shots of 2012

    Some Aussie country side.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2012, 2:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Through the lens of the Australian-based photographer

    Mark Gunter's season has seen him travel from Australia, to New Zealand, Holland and back again to cover cycling on the road and track.

    Here, he's produced a selection of his favourite images for Cyclingnews from the year capturing moments of triumph and pain.

    Gunter's gallery ranges from the steely concentration of Sir Chris Hoy at the UCI Track World Championships; the raw emotion of young sprinter Caleb Ewan crossing the finish line at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic; a triumphant Marianne Vos on the podium at the UCI Road World Championships to the rugged Australian coastline captured during the National Road Series.

    More of Gunter's images are available via his website.

    Click here for the full gallery.

  • 2012 Reader Poll: Vos voted best female road rider

    It's been six years since Marianne Vos last earned a gold medal at road Worlds.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2012, 9:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutchwoman doubles up in dominant season

    For the second year running, Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women) has taken out the title of Female Road Rider of the Year in Cyclingnews' annual reader poll. And what a season it was for the Dutchwoman who could easily be considered the best rider - male or female - in 2012, adding further ammunition to the claim that Vos is one of the greatest cyclists in history.

    Vos' season got off to a rocky start with a broken collarbone in May, but she was back in time for the Giro Donne where she was simply dominant, repeating her performance from 2011.

    Vos came out swinging on stage 1 with a sprint victory over American Shelley Olds (AA, and immediately followed this with a time trial win by five seconds over Clara Hughes (Specialized-lululemon).

    While she conceded half a minute and her maglia rosa to Evelyn Stevens on stage 3, Vos rebounded, using her superior descending skills and new found strength on the finishing climb to Montecatini Alto on the following day to reclaim a lead she would then never relinquish.

    After regaining the pink jersey, Vos went on to win two more stages and come second on the final stage to Swedish champion Emma Johansson to secure her victory by a stunning 3:27 margin over Emma Pooley with Stevens in third at 6:32.

    Vos would then claim her second Olympic gold medal - her first on the road having won the points race at the Beijing Games in 2008 - with an emotional victory on The Mall in London. The 140km event came down to a battle of three: Vos, Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) and Olga Zabelinskaya (Russia). Armitstead and Vos would contest the sprint with the former arguably faster...

  • Contador must pay 37,500 Euros in court costs

    Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) on the podium
    Article published:
    December 12, 2012, 10:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    CAS notified rider of payment for expenses

    Alberto Contador must pay 37,500 Euros towards the expenses of the lawsuit brought before the Court of Arbitation for Sport which saw him end up with a two-year suspension. The Court notified the Saxo-Tinkoff rider of this “contribution” last week, according to the Spanish media.

    This ruling is believed to only concern the costs, and apparently does not involve the 2.4 million Euro fine requested by the UCI.

    Under the CAS ruling from last February, Contador must pay the expenses of the UCI and World Anti-Doping Agency.  The Spanish newspaper El Pais said the agencies claimed expenses, respectively, of 147,00 Euros and 308,000 Euros, for a total of 455,000 Euros. The Spaniard must now pay only less than 10 percent of that total.

    The ruling does not include his own legal bills, which El Pais estimated to be around 700,000 Euros.

  • 2012 Reader Poll: Wiggins voted Male Road Rider of the Year

    2012 Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins celebrates on the Champs-Élysées with his son.
    Article published:
    December 12, 2012, 11:12 GMT
    Daniel Simms

    History-making season for Britain and Team Sky

    The number-one voted male rider of the year may not have achieved the top-ranking in the UCI's WorldTour standings - Joaquim Rodríguez is the official number one - however, Bradley Wiggins won nearly every stage race he entered. His historic Tour de France victory was not even the icing on the cake, that was reserved for his gold-medal ride in the time trial at the Olympics. A season of history-making results for Great Britain.

    Wiggins came close to the perfect start to a year. He contested a much lighter race schedule than previous years but with a specific focus on each race. The 32-year-old began his Tour lead-up in February's Volta ao Algarve and showed-off his early season form by winning the final stage five time trial while his teammate Richie Porte won the overall.

    "I think the way we rode together made us the dominant force," said Wiggins to British Cycling after his team won three stages, the white jersey and the overall classification.

    A month after his win in Portugal, Wiggins won Paris-Nice, a race in which he finished third in the previous year. He quickly returned to racing for the Volta a Catalunya, however the weather turned on the peloton and Wiggins pulled the pin, along with Tour contender Andy Schleck.

    Wiggins returned to his swimming coach-style training before coming back at Tour de Romandie in...