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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Date published:
January 04, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Monfort hopes for 2012 Vuelta leadership

    Maxime Monfort (Leopard-Trek)
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 11:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Concedes "internal rivalry" at RadioShack-Nissan

    Having finished sixth overall at the last Vuelta a Espana, Maxime Monfort has high ambitions for the upcoming season. The Belgian, who came to RadioShack-Nissan via the merger with Leopard Trek, nevertheless knows that it will be difficult for him as a new Grand Tour contender to establish himself.

    "I want to do even better at the next Vuelta and I truly believe that I'm capable of it," he told La Dernière Heure at the team's training camp in Calpe, Spain. "Without a doubt, I will have to skip the Olympics to give myself a longer period of rest after the Tour. My good placing in 2011 has boosted my confidence and I think I have gained experience in a three-week race where - for the first time - I assumed the number one status within the team. This training will be precious in view of the new season in which I'm well-decided to take my responsibilities!"

    Still, the merger with RadioShack has added even more three-week specialists to the team such as Andreas Klöden and Chris Horner. The new super team, managed by Johan Bruyneel, will have a luxury problem in roster selection for the Grand Tours and needs to elaborate a schedule that will offer individual chances to all of its riders - something Monfort is well aware of.

    "The only negative point of this new outfit - and I don't know if you can actually call it that - is the extreme internal rivalry that we may experience," Monfort warned. "The core of the team is very, very solid and you will have to prove your worth to establish yourself within the hierarchy. I've received some appeasing feedback concerning my selection for the Tour de France, but if you put down the names that can apply for a place in the Tour line-up, your head starts spinning..."

  • Lotto-Belisol releases more 2012 kit pictures

    Andre Greipel
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 13:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Blue, white and red for Greipel, Van den Broeck & co.

    Belgian team Lotto-Belisol has released more pictures of its riders wearing the 2012 official team kit. The World Tour team will be racing in dark blue and white colours with the name of its main sponsor Lotto painted red.

    André Greipel, Jurgen Roelandts, Jurgen Van den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert are posing wearing the new apparel, descibed as "a coherent and sober style, dynamic, exuding class and expertise."

    The new outfit was already made public in November last year when neo-pro Tosh Van der Sande was given the honours of providing a preview.

    Lotto-Belisol is the second Belgian World Tour team after Omega Pharma and Lotto split at the end of last season, Omega Pharma now having merged with Quick Step. The team will make its first race appearance at the Tour Down Under from January 15-22, where top man Greipel is likely to chase sprint victory.

  • Gallery: Saxo Bank show off 2012 team kit

    Jonathan Cantwell
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 14:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Contador and teammates turn their hand to modelling

    Team Saxo Bank is the latest squad to unveil their 2012 team colours, with cycling photographer Tim de Waele on hand at their December training camp to shoot the re-vamped jersey.

    The 2012 team recently enjoyed a stint of training and PR work in Israel but will head to the Canaries later this month for a more intense and important training camp.

    Team boss Bjarne Riis has already challenged the team to improve on their 2011 tally of 11 victories. Once again the majority of that burden will fall on Alberto Contador's shoulders but it wont  be until later this month that he will know the verdict from his CAS case.

  • Seven South Americans provisionally suspended for doping

    And they're off!
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 19:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Riders from Brazil, Chile, Peru and Bolivia test positive

    The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced today that seven South American riders have been provisionally suspended for doping violations taking place in the 2011 season.

    Brazilians Tiago Damasceno, Flavio Reblin and Wagner Alves plus Chilean rider Manuel Villalobos have been provisionally suspended "in response to reports from the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) accredited laboratory in Montreal indicating Adverse Analytical Findings of Stanozolol metabolites in urine samples these riders provided at tests during the Tour of Rio and Volta Ciclistica Do Sao Paulo on 28 and 29 July and on 17 and 20 October 2011 respectively," according to a UCI statement.

    At the Volta Ciclistica do Sao Paulo on October 23, 2011, Brazil's Elton Silva tested positive for mephentermine and its metabolite as well as phentermine based on analysis from the WADA accredited laboratory in Montreal.

    Additionally, Peru's Ronald Luza and Bolivia's Fernando Espindola have been provisionally suspended for the presence of cocaine metabolites and presence of 19-norandrosterone as well as Boldenone PC and metabolite in urine samples tested by the WADA accredited laboratory in Bogota. The positive tests occurred on November 10 and November 12, 2011 at the Vuelta a Bolivia.

    According to UCI regulations, the riders have the right to request and attend the analysis of their B sample.

    The provisional suspensions of the riders remain in effect until a hearing panel convened by their respective national federations determines whether they have committed an anti-doping rule violation under Article 21 of the UCI Anti-Doping Rules.

  • Stronger Vacansoleil ready for second year in WorldTour

    The 2012 Vacansoleil team
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 19:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Photo gallery from team presentation in Maastricht

    Vacansoleil-DCM is ready for its second year in the top ranks, having strengthened its core with 11 new riders. With two-year commitments from new bike sponsor Bianchi and title sponsors Vacansoleil and DCM to go along with its two-year WorldTour licence, the Dutch team is ready to take on the future.

    The team presented its 2012 squad Tuesday in Maastricht, Netherlands – not at all far from this year's World Championship course, which many of the riders already have their eye on.

    “We have invested in the core of the team,” general manager Daan Luijkx said. “The last few years the team showed it has a lot of riders who can get results and every year young talents break through. We will focus on developing our core and our young riders, while we stay accessible and attractive.”

    The team's best known rider from last year's Tour de France is Johnny Hoogerland. He is eager to put the barbed wire episode behind him, saying that his time in the King of the Mountain's dotted jersey at that race was his season highlight.

    The 28-year-old didn't have any wins last season but is determined to change that this year, with his focus fixed first of all on the Spring Classics. “My role in this team is to be around in the finale of the races. This can lead to chances for myself or teammates. For myself I look to Amstel Gold and the Worlds, which are both only a stone's throw away from here.”

    Stijn Devolder's first season with the team last year didn't go at all as hoped, but, the Belgian said, “I start to know the Dutchies and I start liking it more and more. The fact that the sport directors and Daan Luijkx told me they keep confidence in me is a great motivation.”

  • Bay Classic final stage showdown looms in Williamstown

    Melissa Hoskins (GreenEDGE) was pleased to have beaten Hoskings and gained the overall lead
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 23:00 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Davis, Hoskins try to hold on to overall lead

    The ultra flat and fast Williamstown circuit is set to deliver a thrilling finish for the 2012 Jayco Bay Series Cycling Classic on Wednesday afternoon with the overall lead yet to be wrapped up after three days of racing.

    In the women's event, current yellow jersey holder, GreenEdge-AIS' Melissa Hoskins with 22 points has a slender one-point advantage over fellow speedster Chloe Hosking (Total Rush - Hyster). While Hoskings' teammate Loren Rowney has been consistent, Hoskins' advantage lies in the strength of her teammates with Amanda Spratt and Tiffany Cromwell, placed third and fourth respectively and also in top form.

    "We've done everything we've come here for," Hoskins said of the race so far. "Tomorrow will be another big day, we've got to hold onto it."

    Asked if she could hold on to her position, Hoskins was adamant. "For sure we've got the team to do it and we've proven it, we're the strongest team here by far."

    Hoskins made sure she finished in front of Hosking on stage 3, perhaps to gain the mental edge required for the task at hand. Her seventh placing was enough to put her on the podium for the first time at the event.

    "Even if I don't get an individual win, we've still got a team one and we're showing why we're a strong team," Hoskins said.

    In the men's event, Mitchelton Wineries - Lowe Farms' Allan Davis has been in yellow following his runner-up -performance to Caleb Ewan (NSWIS) on stage 2 and has a four-point buffer to Anthony Giacoppo (BikeBug), with Ewan on 16, Bernie Sulzberger (Urban Hotels) on 15 and Chris Sutton (Urban Hotels) a further point behind and perhaps...

  • Ryan excited to be on hand to witness GreenEdge's first win

    The man himself - Gerry Ryan was in Portarlington to see the first ever victory by a member of the GreenEDGE teams
    Article published:
    January 03, 2012, 23:34 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Team financier unconcerned by men's first week form

    The man bankrolling GreenEdge, Australian mogul Gerry Ryan, was yet to visit the race of his team's first outing, the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic until today, but his arrival could not have been times any better with Shara Gillow claiming Stage 3 in Portarlington.

    Ryan would have made it to the four race series earlier had he not been caught up with "family commitments" but admitted he had been constantly on the phone looking for updates on the progression of both the men's and women's outfits.

    "It was very exciting to see GreenEdge come across the line first," Ryan told Cyclingnews. In fact, he was excitedly waving the chequered flag as Gillow crossed the finish line after a tremendous solo effort. Her GreenEdge-AIS teammate Melissa Hoskins wrangled the overall lead off Chloe Hosking (Total Rush – Hyster) resulting in a double celebration for the team which has been a study in consistency all week.

    Ryan labelled Gillow’s win as "outstanding" before pointing out – "They handpicked the women’s team not only on ability but some of the character."

    Following the Santos Women’s Cup, which is run in the lead up to the Santos Tour Down Under, the GreenEdge-AIS team will remain in Adelaide for a training camp with international signings Judith Arndt, Linda Villumsen, Claudia Häusler and Loes Gunnewijk with Ryan suggesting "that will only strengthen the team."

    With mumblings of frustration given that the men were yet to do the same, despite the fact that Allan Davis, part of the GreenEdge composite team Mitchelton Wineries – Lowe Farms, would be wearing the leader's jersey heading into Wednesday's final stage in Williamstown, Ryan maintained that the team had bigger fish to fry over the next few months.

    "There's a long way to...

  • Sergent chasing unfinished business at New Zealand Road Nationals

    Jesse Sergent (RadioShack) won stage 4 of the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2012, 0:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan a strong contender for time trial title

    Jesse Sergent is quickly becoming one of New Zealand's most accomplished road and track cyclists, but his resume is still lacking one thing - a national title. The Olympic and world championship track medallist is hoping to rectify that when he lines up a this weekend's national championships being held in the south island city of Christchurch.

    Garmin-Cervelo neo-pro Jack Bauer is the pre-race favourite to claim his second road race honours on Sunday with Sergent among a group of challengers that also includes European professional Jeremy Yates, US-based pros Jeremy Vennell and Patrick Bevin from Team Bissell, in-form Southlander Tom Scully who is returning to the Garmin development team, and former PureBlack riders Tim Gudsell and Scott Lyttle.

    Sergent is preparing for a massive year ahead which will likely culminate in a berth at the London Olympics. His best chance for a national title will come in the individual time trial, an event that the chrono specialist has surprisingly been unable to capture.

    Sergent was second in the time trial at the nationals last year, finishing 28 seconds behind fellow Olympian Westley Gough, who will be racing in the Track World Cup in Beijing this weekend.

    Sergent's only other podium at the nationals was third in the under-23 time trial won by Michael Vink in 2010.

    The New Zealander won three individual time trials for Radioshack last year with prologue victories at the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen, the Eneco Tour and Tour du Poitiou Charentes. He went on to the overall stage honours in Belgium and French stage races to complete a remarkable debut year in the WorldTour.

    The New Zealand Road Championships are...