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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Date published:
December 02, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Columbia-HTC riders visit Right to Play programmes in Peru

    Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (Team Columbia-HTC), winner of the prologue in 2008 was third in 2009.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 11:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Teutenberg, Lewis and Stevens travel to South America

    Three riders from Columbia-HTC have visited Peru to see the effect of the charity supported by the team, Right to Play, and to help raise awareness for its programmes. Ina-Yoko Teutenberg, Craig Lewis and Evelyn Stevens, along with team doctor Helge Riepenhof, visited Lima and a number of remote areas of the South American country.

    The three pro riders not only toured the area and inspected the facilities, but also played with the children and joined in the sports activities.

    Sixty-five percent of Peru's populations lives in extreme poverty, including 2.7 million children. Only seventy percent of the children in rural areas complete their primary schooling, and the country's literacy rate is one of the world's lowest.

    "It was great to have Team Columbia-HTC team member’s travel to Peru to visit the children in our programs,” commented Martin Barnard, Right To Play’s Manager of Global Sports Partnerships.  “The riders shared smiles, laughter, and learning with hundreds of children in remote villages, and saw how sport and play can make a huge impact on their daily lives."

    "The trip was an amazing experience,” said Teutenberg. “We had such warm welcomes wherever we went. Thousands of people came out to greet us in the towns and villages. Going into these remote villages and seeing the sparks in the kids’ and teachers’ eyes when we arrived was overwhelming.”

    The programme was introduced to Peru a year ago, and now works with 26 schools and has reached 33,000 children. It helps to develop physical education programmes in primary and secondary schools.

    “Team Columbia-HTC has been working with Right To Play for the past two years, but I was still a little unsure of how important Right To Play is to the communities it supports,” said Lewis. “It is one of those things you have to see to believe. Being in Peru was certainly life-changing for...

  • Belgium to renew bid for UCI World road Championships

    Plenty of Flandrian flags
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 11:50 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Hooglede-Gits organisers to pitch West Flanders for 2013 or 2014 Worlds

    Representatives of the Belgian town of Hooglede-Gits have restated their intention to host the International Cycling Union (UCI) World road Championships, and will aim to secure rights to the event in 2013 or 2014.

    Hooglede-Gits and the Italian city of Genova missed out on the right to host the 2012 World Championships, which were awarded to the Dutch region of Limberg at the UCI's annual conference in September. Organisers of the renewed Hooglede-Gits bid today told Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws that they would adapt their pitch to encompass a broader area of Belgium.

    "We invested too much to let this fall by the wayside," said organiser Rik Debeaussaert. "But unlike our first bid, we are not going just focus on the towns of Oostende and Hooglede, but as the entire Province of West Flanders; much like the approach taken by Limburg for 2012."

    The broader, provincial approach will better suit the expansion of the World Championships from a five-day to a nine-day format that will be rolled out from 2012 onwards. The UCI's announcement of Limburg as host city for the 2012 World Championships was accompanied by plans to re-introduce a team time trial and incorporate the junior road Worlds into the same event.

    Debeaussart said the organising committee had learnt from the failure of their earlier submission and would be better prepared for their new presentation. He is also confident of securing high level support for the new bid.

    "We're hoping some lobbying work by [Belgian] Prime Minister Yves Leterme, European Union President Herman Van Rompuy and International Olympic Committee (IOC) President Jacques Rogge," he said. "We already have the support of the Belgian cycling federation. All help we can get will be welcome, because Italy and Spain are also candidates."

    Genova have also stated their intention to re-bid for the 2013 Worlds, while fellow Italian city Florence announced plans to pitch for the...

  • Nibali to lead Liquigas at the Tour of California

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 13:05 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    US stage race to fill important gap between Classics, Tour de France

    Vincenzo Nibali will lead team Liquigas at the Tour of California, May 16-23. The 25 year-old Italian says he will be in perfect form for the race after the Ardennes Classics and will use the American event to build for the 2010 Tour de France.

    "It's an important race for our bike sponsor, Cannondale," said Nibali. "I will aim to win a stage and if there is chance I will try to win the overall. It will be hard with rivals like Lance Armstrong, Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie."

    California became part of Nibali's plans after the team met at a camp in Moena, Italy. Liquigas asked that he skip the Giro d'Italia to focus on the Classics, race California and continue to develop at the Tour de France.

    Nibali finished 18th overall in his debut Tour de France last year. This season, he rode steadily to claim a seventh place, 7:35 behind winner Alberto Contador.

    "I'm ready for the pressure at the Tour. I've already had to deal with it for many years here in Italy. To help me deal with it, I am working on the small details to better myself, like in the time trial. I've suffered in the time trials as I've become a better climber."

    Nibali will be one of Liquigas' three captains - with Ivan Basso and Roman Kreuziger - at the Tour, July 3 to 25.

    "The road will decide who the captain is," he continued. "But we won't be like Astana, with the infighting between Armstrong and Contador.

    "Kreuziger and I will give Basso more space. He's had more experience and demands respect because he's older."

    Basso finished second overall at the Tour de France in 2005 and third in 2004.

    Nibali will start his season in Argentina at the Tour San Luis, January 18 to 24. He decided to begin early since a crash and fractured collarbone forced him to end his season early and skip the Vuelta a España this year.

    The Vuelta will be Nibali's second Grand Tour of the year next season.

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi announce anti-doping programme

    The Spanish Euskaltel-Euskadi team.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 14:31 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Basque team introduce internal controls to protect squad's future

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has announced that they will conduct a programme of internal doping controls throughout the 2010 season. Spanish newspaper Marca reported that the Basque team would aim for greater transparency after two of its riders returned positive doping tests in 2009.

    Euskaltel riders Iñigo Landaluze and Mikel Astarloza both returned positive tests during the 2009 season. Landaluze tested positive for EPO-CERA during the Dauphiné-Libéré and Astarloza returned a positive result for EPO in a test carried out prior to the 2009 Tour de France, where he won stage 16 of the race.

    The squad's newly appointed team manager Igor González de Galdeano and his predecessor Miguel Madariaga explained that the extra measures had been designed to protect the future of the team.

    "We want to have real data of what may be happening on specific moments in order to make decisions - drastic decisions if necessary - before we reach the edge," said González de Galdeano.

    "We had two dark spots this season. Our riders were subject to 700 tests this season; this gives us an idea, but we cannot be certain of what the cyclists may be doing. So we've decided, together with our sponsors, to pursue a new project to give us control, though we feel it will also help the riders."

    Although the team did not release full details of the programme, the new anti-doping measures will begin on January 1 next year with "an independent laboratory to take responsibility for internal controls."

    José Antonio Ardanza, President of the team's sponsor Euskaltel, said the measures were necessary to ensure trust between the two organisations. However, he confirmed that the telecommunications company had no plans to withdraw their now 17-year support for the ProTour team. "We still have full confidence, we remain and...

  • Pellizotti ready to share Giro leadership with Basso

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas)
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 15:02 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Basso will ease the pressure, provide second option for Liquigas

    Franco Pellizotti is pleased to split the Liquigas team leadership at the Giro d'Italia with former winner Ivan Basso. The Italian explained at a Liquigas training camp yesterday in Moena, Italy, that Basso's presence will ease the pressure on both himself and the team.

    "For our team the Giro is very important, and all eyes will be on us without all the big names that we had this year," said Pellizotti.

    "It is better to go to the Giro with two captains because you never know what will happen. One of us could crash or have a flat on those tough days in The Netherlands or the gravel stage in Siena."

    The Giro d'Italia, May 8 to 30, will begin with three stages in The Netherlands, before it continues in Italy. It ends with mountain stages in the Dolomites and Alps. Organiser RCS Sport will take the riders up the Zoncolan, Plan de Corones, Mortirolo and Gavia climbs in the final week.

    "If Alberto Contador or Andy Schleck returned next year they would find a Giro designed for them," Pellizotti continued.

    Pellizotti finished third this year and won the mountain stage to Blockhaus. He will not have to face the 2008 Giro winner Contador nor 2007's best young rider, Schleck. US rider Lance Armstrong has already confirmed he will skip return to the Giro in order to race at the Tour of California.

    The lack of big stars will put more pressure on Pellizotti and team Liquigas. Pellizotti, 31, says he's glad to welcome back Basso to help share the load.

    "This year, all the champions raced and I was able to still finish on the podium. It will be different next year; all the teams will look to Liquigas to do the work. It will be even more important to have Ivan, with his experience, back alongside me.

    "With everyone looking at me it can give him a chance to ride free, or the other way around."

    A winner of the Giro in 2006, Basso finished fifth this year upon his return from a two-year...

  • 2010 Vuelta to open with evening team time trial

    Spain's Caisse d'Epargne will be team time trialling at night for the Vuelta's opening stage.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 17:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Seville hosts opener for Tour of Spain's 65th edition

    The 2010 Vuelta a España will open August 28 with an evening team time trial in Seville, Spain, making the first ever Vuelta stage to be held at night.

    According to the team time trial will be run from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and will follow an 18-kilometre route through the Andalucían capital starting at the Teatro Maestranza and ending next to the Torre del Oro.

    In their bid to capture the Vuelta's first leader's jersey, teams will take in Seville's Paseo de Colón, Puente de Triana, San Jacinto, Pagés del Corro, Puente del cachorro, Avenida de Torneo, Puenet de La Barqueta, Isla de la Cartuja, Torneo, Puente del Alamillo, Resolana and Parque de María Luisa along the circuit.

    The start in the Andalucían capital of Seville will be the fifth to take place in the region this decade. Seville was host to the start of stage 12 in the first edition of the Vuelta a España in 1935 and in recent year's Andalucía has played host to four Vuelta starts (2000, 2005, 2006 and 2008).

    The complete route of the Vuelta a España, August 28-September 19, will be announced in Seville on December 16.

  • De Fauw's family deny rider accused Quick Step of doping

    Dimitri De Fauw
    Article published:
    December 01, 2009, 17:33 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Mother says Belgian newspaper 'twisted' his words, simply wants son to rest in peace

    The mother of the late Dimitri De Fauw has accused Belgian journalists of 'twisting' her son's words in order to link Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere with doping in a 2007 newspaper report.

    De Fauw, a road professional with Quick Step from 2003-2005 and a well known six-day rider, took his own life last month.

    Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws published an article in January 2007 entitled '30 years of doping', which cited anonymous sources in its accusation of Lefevere and his team in alleged long-term doping practices. Lefevere vehemently denied the allegations and launched subsequent legal action. The newspaper issued a retraction, but a Belgian court last month ordered the three journalists responsible for the article to pay 500,000 Euros in damages to Lefevere and 100,000 Euros to Quick Step doctor Yvan Van Mol.

    It was revealed shortly after De Fauw's death that the Het Laatste Nieuws article was based on a recorded conversation between De Fauw, politician Jean-Marie Dedecker, whistleblower Jef d'Hont and HLN journalist Martin Michielsens.

    In an interview with Humo published today, De Fauw's mother and uncle refute suggestions that he provided any information about doping at Quick Step.

    "He was angry when he read the newspaper article," said De Fauw's mother, Claudine Verhoeven. "'I did not say that at all!' [he said], they had totally distorted his words.

    "He was impressed by [politician and anti-doping crusader Jean-Marie] Dedecker, I think. Some famous people who came to interview him and said they would do anything for him: that meant something to him."

    De Fauw's family claims that he was coaxed into an interview with the newspaper's reporters three months after the 2006 death of six-day rider Isaac Gálvez at the Gent Six-Day. De Fauw had collided with the Spaniard during the accident and had been deeply affected by his fellow competitor's...

  • Sanchez anticipating a 2010 Tour appearance

    Sammy Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    December 02, 2009, 1:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Euskaltel Euskadi placing its eggs in Olympic champion's basket

    Samuel Sanchez has joined the chorus of riders talking about next year's edition of the Tour de France, the Olympic road race champion saying the French grand tour will be his main goal for the 2010 season.

    With the likes of countryman and defending Tour champion Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong, Andy Schleck and Ivan Basso all vying for the title, Sanchez will need to be in stellar form. It's why he's already looking at his priorities next July. "It seems that I will do the Tour as a priority," Sanchez told Europa Press. "Last year it seemed as though I would go, but in the end we changed the schedule, so nothing is certain. There is much [preparation required] for the Tour," he added.

    This season, Sanchez focused on the Vuelta a España, finishing second overall behind countryman Alejandro Valverde, who has also stated that next year's Tour de France will be his number one goal. While Sanchez admitted that he would have preferred more wins in 2009, Euskaltel Euskadi team manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano remained positive about the season's outcomes.

    "We started the year strong, winning in the Algarve with Koldo [Fernandez de Larrea]. The first victory at home came in [GP]Llodio with Samuel, who then got on the podium at the Vuelta al País Vasco, behind Contador, who is number one in the world.

    "At the Tour [de France] we set out to win a stage and earn the team some respect, and got both. In the Vuelta a lot of people doubted the ability of Samuel to win, but we were to win and was second," said Gonzalez de Galdeano.

    As for Sanchez's plans next year, "Samuel is excited to ride the Tour," admitted Gonzalez de Galdeano. It's been noted that the race may be decided through the Pyrenean stages - days that Sanchez says he will anticipate thanks to the proximity to home territory and the fans who will undoubtedly turn out in full force to cheer on their local heroes.

    "There are four...