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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Date published:
December 05, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Gilbert locked in legal battle for 2011 bonuses

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) waves to the crowd at the start of the race
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 15:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma persue counter claim for a severance fee

    World champion Philippe Gilbert spent a reported seven hours in a legal hearing in Geneva on Monday as his lawyers tried to reach an agreement with his former Omega Pharma-Lotto team about bonuses and the termination of his contract.

    Gilbert joined the BMC Racing Team in 2012 after Omega Pharma and Lotto split to form two different teams. Omega Pharma teamed up with Patrick Lefevere, while Lotto joined forces with Belisol and team manager Marc Sergeant.

    Gilbert dominated the Classics in 2011 winning the Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Clasica San Sebastian and Il Lombardia. He also ended the year as a leader in the UCI World Tour ranking.

    Gilbert claims the Omega Pharma-Lotto management company Belgian Cycling Company owes him bonuses of close to one million Euro. The team claims that Gilbert had a contract with the team for 2012 and so deserves a severance payment.

    "We demand more from him than he demanded of us," Walter Van Steenbrugge, the lawyer defending the interests of Omega Pharma told the Belgian De Standard newspaper. There was no reaction from Gilbert, who stayed on Switzerland to attend the UCI stakeholders meeting.

    It is not clear when a final verdict in the dispute will reached.

  • Photo Gallery: RadioShack-Nissan hold team building camp in Luxembourg

    Road map to success? Andy Schleck weighs up his options in the woods of the Luxembourg Ardennes.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 17:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Schleck brothers, Cancellara et al present at first team gathering

    RadioShack-Nissan began a new era under the stewardship of Luca Guercilena last week with a team building camp in the Luxembourg Ardennes.

    After a turbulent 2012 season that started with the merger of Leopard and RadioShack, and ended with the departure of Johan Bruyneel following the release of USADA’s report on the Lance Armstrong affair, the team is hopeful for a fresh beginning under Guercilena’s management next year.

    Andy Schleck, who was forced to miss this year’s Tour de France due to a fractured pelvis, was among the riders at the camp, and the Luxembourger forsook his winter training in order to start the new campaign on the right foot.

    His brother Fränk’s situation is rather less straightforward, however. The elder of the Schleck brothers tested positive for the diuretic Xipamide during the Tour, but must wait until December 19 to learn if he will face suspension. Nonetheless, Fränk Schleck was on hand at the camp in Luxembourg, along with Fabian Cancellara, Jens Voigt, Chris Horner and Yaroslav Popovych.

    The team’s first formal training camp on the road will take place in Javea, Spain next week, but ahead of that, Cancellara and company took to the great outdoors in Luxembourg for a number of activities, and you can see a gallery here.

  • Roy calls for WorldTour clarity

    Jérémy Roy (FDJ-Big Mat)
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 18:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    FDJ rider unhappy with lateness of decision

    Although teams have already begun their preparation, planning and training camps for the 2013 season, the final composition of the UCI WorldTour will not be announced until December 10.

    Jérémy Roy’s FDJ team is among the applicants still waiting to learn of its status for next season and the Frenchman decried the situation in a blog for the L’Équipe website on Tuesday.

    “We’ve reached December 5 and FDJ still doesn’t know in which division it will be next season,” Roy wrote. “It’s risible and very restrictive.”

    Roy illustrated his point by describing how FDJ’s kit manufacturer is still waiting to produce the 2013 jerseys as it remains to be seen whether they will bear WorldTour or Europe Tour insignia. More pressingly, Roy highlighted how the lack of certainty regarding FDJ’s situation makes planning next year’s racing programme all but impossible. Two years ago, FDJ was denied entry to the WorldTour at a similarly late juncture.

    “How can we prepare a race programme when we don’t know if we’re participating in the Tour Down Under next month? The licence commission met on November 26 and we still might have to wait until the end of the week to know who will be left in the WorldTour: Argos, Lotto, Saxo-Tinkoff or FDJ?”

    Roy echoed the concerns of a number of his colleagues regarding the UCI points system, namely that “the general classification of stage races is overvalued in comparison to stage wins – something which dampens the racing – and the importance of domestiques is completely forgotten.”

    The Frenchman noted that within the peloton,...

  • Giancarlo Ferretti remembers Simpson's death on Mont Ventoux

    Some last words of advice from Giancarlo Ferretti for his Ariostea riders in Recanati in 1987.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 20:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Italian directeur sportif convinced he could have been saved

    The former Italian team manager and directeur sportif Giancarlo Ferretti has talked about the moment he handed the late Tommy Simpson a bottle containing alcohol just before the British rider collapsed and died near the summit of Mont Ventoux during the 1967 Tour de France.

    Ferretti is now 71 and has not worked as a team manager since the demise of the Fassa Bortolo team seven years ago. He raced as a professional between 1963 and 1970 before going on to direct and manage the Bianchi-Campagnolo, Ariostea, MG-Technogym and Fassa Bortolo teams.

    He has recently written his memoirs and recalled the tragic moment with Simpson in an interview with

    Simpson collapsed and died near the summit of Mont Ventoux. The post mortem examination found that he had taken amphetamines and alcohol while riding, which proved fatal when combined with the extreme heat and fatigue.

    Ferretti recalls passing Simpson shouting to him for a bidon containing alcohol.

    "It's only my theory but I remember that terribly hot day," Ferretti said.

    "I can remember that there was a man who was running alongside the road with a military style drink bottle, covered in green material and with a cork top tied with a chain. I took it off him because I was dying of thirst but I smelt it first and realised it was alcohol. I looked back angrily and Simpson shouted at me: 'Don't throw it away, give it to me.' I did."

    "Then later on, three kilometres from the finish, I saw the doctors treating a rider on the right hand side of the road. The gendarmes were telling everyone to keep going."

    Ferretti believes Simpson could be alive today if teams had been able to hand out drinks during the stage.

    "I noticed that even though it wasn't allowed to get water from the team cars, the judges and race organisers were handing out bottles of water," he said.

    "That evening, when we heard about Tommy's death, I spoke to...

  • Team Novo Nordisk names all-diabetic line-up for 2013

    Martijn Verschoor (Novo Nordisk).
    Article published:
    December 04, 2012, 23:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    New sponsor for Team Type 1-Sanofi

    Team Type 1-Sanofi will become Team Novo Nordisk in 2013 and the squad will be composed solely of diabetic riders. The new sponsor is a Danish pharmaceutical company with a particular focus on diabetes care equipment and medication.

    Team founder Phil Southerland remains on board with the revamped squad, whose new policy sees a radical overhaul of the roster. In 2012, just six of Team Type 1's 23 riders were diabetic, whereas next season the 17-man squad will contain only diabetic riders.

    In August, it was reported that Team Type 1's non-diabetic riders had been encouraged to find new squads, with Jure Kocjan and Remi Cusin among those to leave, joining Euskaltel-Euskadi and IAM Cycling respectively.

    Martijn Verschoor, Fabio Calabria, David Lozano, Joe Eldridge and Javier Megias remain from last season, and they are joined by twelve newcomers, including Ireland’s Stephen Clancy, New Zealander Aaron Perry, Australia's Justin Morris and Branden Russell of the USA.

    "As Team Novo Nordisk we want to show the world what is possible with great diabetes control," Southerland said. "Between us, Team Novo Nordisk has over 1,000 diagnosed years of diabetes with no complications and we stand for what life with diabetes can be like."

    The squad was recently granted a Pro Continental licence for 2013 and lists the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, the Tour of Britain and Paris-Tours among its programme for the coming season. As was the case under the auspices of Team Type 1, participation in the Tour de France is a long-term objective.

    The overriding goal, Southerland explains, is to continue to provide "hope and inspiration" for people affected by diabetes.

  • UCI's Independent Commission wants Change Cycling Now input

    UCI Independent Commission
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 0:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fuller says invitation is being considered

    The UCI Independent Commission set up to investigate issues and allegations arising out of the Reasoned Decision of the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) has approached pressure group Change Cycling Now.

    According to a press release sent out by the group, the move from the Commission came following the weekend's summit in London which culminated in the development of a 'Charter of the Willing' as well as calling for UCI President Pat McQuaid to stand down with CCN member Greg LeMond to be installed as his interim replacement.

    "We were approached immediately after yesterday's press conference in London and today I met with legal representatives of the commission," said CCN's creator, Jaimie Fuller. "I shall discuss the approach with the other members of the Change Cycling Now panel and we will consider the appropriate action."

    The Commission will hold a hearing in London between 9-26 April 2013. It then aims to submit its report to the UCI by 1 June 2013, or shortly after. The costs will be covered by the UCI.


  • Howard wants wins at Tour de San Luis

    Leigh Howard (Orica-GreenEdge) wins stage 2 of the Tour of Britain
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 1:17 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Argentina ideal for young Orica-GreenEdge sprinter

    After a year that delivered a single personal victory, at the Tour of Britain where he bested Mark Cavendish on Stage 2, Leigh Howard will travel to Tour de San Luis in early 2013 in search of wins. Howard is entering his second year with the Australian Orica-GreenEdge team and isn't setting any particular goals except to try and win every race he enters.

    To prepare for his first international outing of the new season, Howard will ride the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic and the Australian Road National Championships before flying to South America. He's been named as a reserve in the Australian National team for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour but the big goal is getting a few confidence-boosting victories before heading to Europe.

    "I want to go there and win," Howard said at the launch of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic. "I have ridden the Bay Crits for a long time now and I'm itching to have a win so hopefully this will be the year.

    "It's [Bay Crits] certainly going to be a stepping stone towards the nationals and the European season," he told Cyclingnews.

    Howard says he will be given protected status on the flat stages of San Luis and feels ready to start the season strongly before his European campaign begins. Between now and late January, Howard is concentrating on building his condition for what will be another long and challenging year.

    "We've already had one small training camp on the Gold Coast a couple of weeks ago and there is another training camp in January for some of the guys who aren't going to

  • Geschke, Kittel unimpressed by Tinkov's comments over ProTeam licence

    Once again it's Marcel Kittel who won in Munster
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 2:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Russian claimed he couldn't name a rider from Argos-Shimano

    Two Argos-Shimano riders have hit out at comments made by Saxo-Tinkoff financier Oleg Tinkov regarding why his team should be the beneficiaries of the final ProTeam licence from the UCI, as opposed to the Dutch outfit.

    "Alberto Contador is a superstar, the best racer in the world, and I can't even remember the names of whoever Argos-Shimano have in their squad," Tinkov said in a press conference with the Spaniard in Moscow on Monday, according to RIA Novosti.

    "It's absolutely, obviously, a crazy situation. Personally, it's difficult for me to imagine a situation where we don't receive a licence."

    Marcel Kittel, who has been outspoken in regards to anti-doping, reacted to Tinkov's comments via his Twitter feed, saying: "Olé Oleg! Nice interview. You're right: why should cycling need credibility and rules?!" The German sprinter followed that up with emoticons of 'hear no evil; see no evil; speak no evil'.

    Kittel's teammate, Simon Geschke followed that up with "Well, i don't know Oleg Tinkoff either, seems to be no superstar..."

    Both Argos-Shimano and Saxo-Tinkoff fell outside the automatic top-15 teams for qualification late last month. The team run by Bjarne Riis found itself outside the threshold due to the ineligibility of Alberto Contador's points while Argos-Shimano looks to guarantee a place in the grand tours by moving up from its current Professional Continental status.

    The UCI has stated that riders returning from doping violation