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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Date published:
January 08, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • 2014 Giro d'Italia leader's jersey revealed

    The 2014 Giro d'Italia pink jersey
    Article published:
    January 07, 2014, 16:29 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    RCS Sport adds a shamrock to the maglia rosa

    The 2014 Giro d'Italia leader's jersey will have an Irish touch to celebrate this year's Corsa Rosa starting on the island of Ireland, with a shamrock on the side panel and an Irish pattern on the sleeve of the race leader's maglia rosa, the red points jersey, the blue climber's jersey and white jersey awarded to the best young rider.

    The sleeve of the jersey will also be decorated with a 'Giro fights for Oxfam' logo, confirming the ties between international charity and the race. The jerseys will again be made in Italy by Santini. For each Giro d'Italia jersey sold, Santini will donate a Euro to Oxfam.  

    The four new jerseys were unveiled at the Pitti Uomo Fashion event in Florence in the presence of the new President of RCS Sport Raimondo Zanaboni, the editor of the Gazzetta dello Sport Andrea Monti, and 2013 King of the Mountains Stefano Pirazzi.

    The 2014 Giro d'Italia will start in Belfast on May 9 and ends in Trieste on June 1.

  • Augustyn excited about return to racing

    John-Lee Augustyn will make his return with MTN-Qhubeka
    Article published:
    January 07, 2014, 19:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    South African believes that hip troubles are behind him

    John-Lee Augustyn (MTN-Qhubeka) will make his return to racing next Monday, after being sidelined since 2012.

    Augustyn will race the La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in Gabon and, despite a small setback, he is confident that he will be fully prepared for the race.

    “My training has been going really well, I’ve been feeling good on the bike as well,” said Augustyn. “I just have a bit of bad luck now with a cold that’s going around, so for the last few days I’ve been cutting the training load to try and get healthy again but I will definitely be ready for the race.”

    The South African has been in and out of racing action since he damaged the head of his femur in an accident at the Tour of Portugal, in 2007. He had corrective surgery in 2011, but left his contract with Utensilnord-Named the following season, after only one race, on medical advice.

    He now believes that the hip troubles are behind him and, last October, the MTN-Qhubeka team announced they had signed the 27-year-old. His experience may come in handy, as the Pro Continental team look to ride their first Grand Tour.

    Augustyn has done some racing at the Crater Cruise and Cape Pioneer Trek international mountain bike events last year, but says the first few months are all about settling into racing life once again. “"My early season goals are to get back and feel comfortable in the peloton again,” he said.

    “I will then take it from there on, maybe I feel good and surprise myself. We will also know in these couple of days if we get into the Giro d’Italia. Right now there's nothing with...

  • Rodriguez makes prison visit to discuss sporting values with inmates

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    January 07, 2014, 21:44 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    UCI WorldTour number one believes sports values can be applied across life

    Joaquim Rodriguez will be in prison tomorrow, discussing with inmates how sporting values and ethics can be applied successfully to ‘real life' as well.

    The Katusha pro and UCI WorldTour number one will visit Cornella prison in the town of La Vella in Andorra - the country where he has lived for several years - on Wednesday afternoon.

    "I aim to show them [the prisoners] how values that crop up in cycling can, in my experience, be applied to everyday life," Rodriguez said on Tuesday, "values like making an effort, perseverance and dedication.

    "These values can be applied to their lives to overcome their current situation and help them to face the future."

  • Gesink headlines Belkin squad for Tour Down Under

    Robert Gesink will be hoping to ride off the front at the Tour de France this year
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 1:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cannondale finalize team

    Dutch team Belkin will bring a strong Australian contingent when they line up at the 2014 Santos Tour Down Under with Robert Gesink a hopeful for the overall ochre jersey. Aussie cyclists Jack Bobridge, Graeme Brown and David Tanner will all ride in of support of Gesink. This year’s edition of the race will be Brown's 12th appearance at the Tour Down Under.

    Santos Tour Down Under Race Director Mike Turtur says there will be plenty of support for the Belkin Pro Cycling team from Australian crowds. "Graeme Brown is one of the most experienced Australian cyclists in the peloton and it is fantastic to see Adelaide boy Jack Bobridge going from strength to strength on the UCI WorldTour circuit," Turtur said.

    "Robert Gesink had a solid season and capped it off with a win at the UCI WorldTour Grand Prix Cycliste de Quebec where he stormed home to beat the likes of Rui Costa and Tom-Jelte Slagter.

    "Cycling fans can expect lots of attacking from Belkin Pro Cycling and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the team represented on a couple of podiums throughout the race."

    Jack Bobridge proved to be a strong contender in the hills at the 2013 Tour Down Under, finishing second in the Škoda King of the Mountain classification.

    Gesink and the Australian contingent will be joined by Dutch cyclists Stef Clement, Rick Flens and Bram Tankink.

    Belkin will be led by manager Erik Dekker and includes the following riders: Robert Gesink, Jack Bobridge, Stef Clement, Graeme Brown, Rick Flens, David Tanner and Bram Tankink.

    Viviani and Bennet headline Cannondale team
    New Zealander George Bennett will headline Cannondale’s tilt at the overall in his debut race with his new team while Elia...

  • Simon Gerrans: All bets are off at Road Nationals

    Simon Gerrans and Simon Clarke in the new kit
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 4:24 GMT
    Aaron S. Lee

    Orica-GreenEdge feels pressure of a stacked field at 2014 Australian road championships

    With more than 150 riders scheduled to make the start on Sunday's 183km men's road race at the 2014 Cycling Australia Road National Championships, including big names like Cadel Evans, Richie Porte, Rohan Dennis and Matthew Lloyd, 2012 national champion Simon Gerrans says "all bets are off" with "no guarantees" of a three-peat performance from his Orica-GreenEdge squad that has made it two in a row in Ballarat after teammate Luke Durbridge took the green and gold stripes in 2013.

    "It's a stacked field," Gerrans told Cyclingnews. "There are 30 Australians riding in the World Tour in 2014 and the vast majority of them will be lining up on the start. This is very likely the best field ever produced at the Australian championships."

    While the 2013 Tour de France yellow jersey holder claims he is fully recovered from a broken hip suffered at the Vuelta de España in September, Gerrans, who also won the national road title in 2002 as an Under 23, feels that there is probably a bit of extra pressure on both himself and the team to continue its domestic dominance and start the new year on the right track.

    "This is shaping up to be a fantastic race and one of the more talked about national titles in quite some time and it really highlights the depth that we have in Australian cycling at the moment.

    "I'm pretty confident that Orica-GreenEdge will put on a good showing. But you see the strength of the other teams and the calibre of competition we are facing and it's only a matter of time before someone really knocks us off our pedestal. I just hope it doesn't come while I'm racing in the [Orica-GreenEdge] colours."

    Orica-GreenEdge general manager Shayne Bannan agrees with Gerrans and told Cyclingnews...

  • Report: Argos-Shimano to become GiantShimano

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) wins the Champs Elysees stage
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 7:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bike manufacturer saves the team after principal sponsor withdraws

    The Argos-Shimano team will become GiantShimano in 2014 according to a report in the Telegraaf newspaper in the Netherlands. 

    Giant, however, is not the big title sponsor that was announced in October and was due to take the title sponsorship for three years. It withdrew after the UCI registration deadline had passed, leaving team manager Iwan Spekenbrink without a title sponsor for 2014. The team's new bike supplier Giant has apparently agreed to step up and become a title sponsor of the Dutch outfit but for one year only, meaning Spekenbrink must hunt for a new sponsor for 2015.

    Contacted by Cyclingnews, a team representative would only say: "We will present our new team and sponsor next Monday."

    Argos, a chain of gas stations, said at the 2013 team presentation that it was willing to sponsor the successful men's and women's team that includes sprinters Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb for another year, with an option for 2015. However Argos began talks to be bought out by Russian investment fund Sistema and the cycling team sponsorship was put in doubt. In October Argos terminated the agreement for 2014.

    According to Telegraaf, an American charity institution then contacted Spekenbrink and within a week a three-year contract was signed. Important riders like Kittel, and the riders in his sprint train, signed new multiple years contracts with the team as the team's future seemed secure.

    “Very recently, a company expressed interest in taking over the main sponsorship. The new sponsor is a good fit with our ambitious team goals,” said...

  • Gallery: Cannondale's rock and roll team presentation

    The Cannondale team
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 10:36 GMT
    John Whitney, Procycling

    Sagan, Basso, Moser and King take centre stage in California

    The Cannondale team returned to California for its 2014 official team presentation on Tuesday night, with Peter Sagan, Moreno Moser, Ivan Basso, Damiano Caruso, Elia Viviani, Ted King and their teammates becoming rock stars for a night in a group named 'The Green Machine'.

    While the event didn't quite match the razzmatazz of last year's movie themed launch at Hollywood's Paramount Pictures, Cannondale's follow-up for 2014 was certainly no less low key. Sequels to Hollywood hits often go down the bigger, darker route, but the team's sophomore effort at the Canyon Club in nearby Westlake Village was a much smaller, more playful affair.

    The movie theme of 2013 pitched Peter Sagan as the leading man and this year's musical number again saw the Slovakian front and centre, this time as front man of his own band, flanked by his teammates. We only got to see the group in action on a pre-recorded video from the studio and so it was left to Moser to showcase his vocal talents in a cameo with the evening's real band, a 'super group' of established American musicians who also happen to be cycling aficionados.

    Last year's launch was very much a one-off show, a grand no-expense-spared party to mark Cannondale's debut as sole owner of their team.

    Viviani, for one, was happy they reined things in this time round. In 2013 the size of the launch meant he spent as much time off the bike as on it and given he begins his season shortly at the Tour Down Under, he was glad to get on the road and take advantage of the heat wave that's baked California this winter.

    “The Tour Down Under is a hard race, mainly because it's tough to race with Australians at this time of year with the form they build for the national...

  • UCI announces Cycling Independent Reform Commission

    UCI president Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 11:00 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Investigation into doping could last a year

    The UCI have announced the name of the independent commission into cycling’s doping era and the three people that will lead it.

    Formerly dubbed the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, UCI president Brian Cookson decided against the name, saying that it wasn’t “quite appropriate” due to is links to the abolition of apartheid in South Africa. It will now be known as the Cycling Independent Reform Commission.

    “This Commission will investigate the problems cycling has faced in recent years, especially the allegations that the UCI has been involved in wrongdoing in the past  –allegations which have done so much to hurt the credibility of the UCI and our sport” said Cookson in a UCI press release.

    “Their work will also be focused on understanding what went so wrong in our sport and they will make recommendations for change so that, as far as possible, those mistakes are not repeated.”

    Heading the commission will be Swiss politician and former state prosecutor, Dick Marty. He will be joined by anti-doping specialist, and CAS arbitrator, Ulrich Haas and former Australian military officer, Peter Nicholson. Assisting the trio is Aurélie Merle, who has experience in investigation and justice work for the UN. Haas is a highly respected CAS arbitrator and handled  Alberto Contador’s appeal after his positive test for Clenbuterol and Riccardo Ricco’s unsuccessful appeal against his twelve-year ban.

    The commission will look into doping practices during the 1990s and 2000s. No deadline has been given, but it is believed that it could be a year before we see the results.

    We have agreed a budget for the...