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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Date published:
June 01, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Vuelta invitation is reward for hard work, Skil-Shimano says

    Skil-Shimano is presented.
    Article published:
    May 31, 2011, 15:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Riders already motivated for race

    Skil-Shimano is prepared for its Vuelta a Espana debut, calling its wildcard invitation “a reward for the hard work of all the riders and the entire staff.” Vuelta organiser Unipublic had announced earlier in the day that the Dutch Professional Continental team had been selected for the race, which takes place from August 20 to September 11.

    "We thank Vuelta director Javier Guillen and organiser Unipublic for the confidence they have displayed in both our riders and our organisation and policy. This prestigious invitation is a reward for the hard work of all the riders and the entire staff," said general manager Iwan Spekenbrink on the team's website.

    "And of course it is a nice reward for our loyal sponsors, who always stand 100% behind the team, the growth of the team and have enabled the clear vision of the team with us."

    "The Tour of Spain is a lovely, sporting challenge for our team and gives our riders great opportunities to show themselves. Our sports staff will prepare and guide them to do best," said Spekenbrink.

    Directeur sportif Rudi Kemna said that the invitation was a huge motivation to the team. "Everyone wants the sporting challenge. The riders are already looking forward to prove themselves in one of the top three races in the world. We will go for a stage victory. "

    It will be Skil-Shimano's second Grand Tour. It rode the Tour de France in 2009.

    The team has 11 victories so far this year, all but one of them from sprinters Marcel Kittel and Kenny Van Hummel.

  • Contador CAS hearing set for August

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) takes the spoils.
    Article published:
    May 31, 2011, 18:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Updated: UCI will seek disqualification of 2011 results

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport has set the dates for the hearing of the UCI and WADA v. Alberto Contador appeal for August 1-3. The dates are listed on the court's web site. The hearing was postponed from its original time frame, June 6-8, after Contador's lawyers requested an extension.

    The delay leaves the Tour de France without a decision on who the winner of last year's race will be before the grand depart of the 2011 edition on the Passage du Gois on July 2.

    It also throws into question whether or not Contador will get to keep his 2011 Giro d'Italia victory and the other results achieved since the doping case came to light.

    Contador tested positive for a small amount of a banned stimulant, Clenbuterol, during the 2010 Tour de France, but was able to convince the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) that the drug came from contaminated food and he faced no disciplinary action. The UCI and WADA separately appealed the decision to the CAS and if they are successful in reversing the verdict of the RFEC, Contador will face a sporting ban and the loss of his 2010 Tour title.

    The UCI confirmed to Cyclingnews today that it would also seek to nullify Contador's 2011 results should it win the appeal to CAS.

    "[The] UCI...

  • Messick steps down as president of AEG

    Andrew Messick is happy to have closer ties with ASO
    Article published:
    May 31, 2011, 19:00 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Tour of California chief to become CEO of World Triathlon Corporation

    Andrew Messick has stepped down from his role as President of AEG and will become the CEO of the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC). Messick has worked at AEG since 2008 and has helped build up the Amgen Tour of California into one of the biggest races in the calendar but will switch roles in July of this year.

    "I've given the role everything I could," Messick told Cyclingnews.

    "We've created a partnership with ASO and the Tour de France, we've moved the race to a better part of the calendar, we've been able to attract the best riders and the teams, we've had some really good stages, and we've been able to create an independent and strong anti-doping programme."

    Messick's shift will mean that a number of AEG's existing staff take on more responsibility, principally Kristin Bachochin. She is currently VP of Cycling at AEG and has been with the race since its inception and she, along with Medalist, currently oversees all of the operational aspects of the race.

    "I've recommended that Kristin Bachochin, who has been with the race since its inception, will assume a number of my responsibilities and the other members of our core team will step up. I have complete confidence in them that the race will carry on in the same trajectory and carry on its bright future," added Messick.

    The Amgen Tour of California aims to join the UCI's WorldTour and Messick confirmed to Cyclingnews that talks with the sport's governing body would start within the coming weeks.

    "That's certainly something we want to talk to the UCI about, becoming a WorldTour race and it's it something that we value and want to embrace. There are a lot of things that we need to sort through but that's something that will start in the next few weeks."

    World Triathlon Corporation organises around...

  • Riccò may return to racing in June with Amore & Vita

    Riccardo Riccò with Amore e Vita patron Ivano Fanini
    Article published:
    May 31, 2011, 21:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Team owner Ivano Fanini stipulates five conditions

    Riccardo Riccò may return to racing for the Italian Continental Amore & Vita squad at the upcoming Giro delle Toscana, a 196km one-day race from Sesto Fiorentino to Arezzo on June 19, provided the embattled Italian rider adheres to several conditions from team owner Ivano Fanini.

    "If he will respect my requests we'll see again a number on his back at the next edition of Tour of Tuscany, on June 19," said Fanini. "I'm also sure he will be able to fight for victory. Our goal is to give him a second chance to get back and then find a spot on a WorldTour team in 2012."

    In a press release issued today, the Amore & Vita team outlined the five conditions upon which they would allow Riccò to join the squad.

    "1. At the next meeting with Fanini, Riccardo must have removed the two earrings, piercings and also the diamond embedded in a tooth. This is evidence of a totally new image.
    2. He must stop working with his agent and also with his trainer. These professionals, and even a his lawyer, will not follow or advise him any longer.
    3. He must update immediately the biological passport and never have a drug or a syringe with him, unless expressly authorized by the team.
    4. He must come to live with his wife and son in a villa on my property a few minutes from team headquarters so we can check him at any time.
    5. He must be available to speak with the competent authorities about his knowledge on the doping system."

    Riccò is still awaiting the outcome of the police investigation into exactly what happened when he was rushed to hospital on February 6. It was reported that he told the emergency room doctor that he'd undergone a botched blood transfusion but he denied this after leaving hospital.

  • ASO can not stop Contador racing Tour de France

    Alberto Contador enjoys another day on the podium
    Article published:
    May 31, 2011, 22:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Delay in CAS hearing confounds race organisation

    Due to delays in legal proceedings, Alberto Contador could race the 2011 Tour de France, if he so chooses, even with his 2010 Tour de France doping case still unresolved. The race director Christian Prudhomme confirmed today to AFP that there is nothing the Amaury Sport Organisation can do to block Contador from competing in this year's race.

    Contador tested positive for minute traces of Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour, but the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) cleared him of doping charges. The International Cycling Union (UCI) and World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) have filed separate appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reverse the verdict, but the hearing originally scheduled for June was delayed until August.

    "[Contador] has yet to make his decision regarding the Tour but no official body, the UCI or WADA has opposed him competing in races. He could well be at the starting line of the Tour," Prudhomme said to AFP.

    Prudhomme had expressed hope that the case would be resolved prior to the July 2 start of the 2011 Tour, but now faces the possibility that Contador could win the race again this year only to be stripped of both titles and his recent Giro d'Italia win should the appeals succeed during the August 1-3 hearings.

    "The procedures are under way, the appeal is not subject to him being suspended," said Prudhomme.

    In 2008, the ASO blocked the Astana team from racing in the Tour de France because of multiple doping positives in the team during the 2007 Tour.

    The action was highly controversial because the Astana team was supposed to be assured entry as part of its participation in the ProTour.


  • Tour Down Under's KOM's tackled in community ride

    The peleton climbs Menglers Hill.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 0:55 BST
    Cycling News

    Registrations now open for Challenge Tour 2012

    The official recreational ride of the Santos Tour Down Under, the Bupa Challenge Tour, has never been more popular with over 7500 participants in 2011 but as the event celebrates its 10th anniversary, there is an all-new attraction for the 2012 edition.

    For the first time, cyclists will be able to tackle two Skoda King of the Mountain climbs when the ride takes place on Friday, 20 January 2012 hours before stage 4 of the Tour Down Under.

    By accepting the challenge of riding the entire 138 kilometres from Norwood to Tanunda, cyclists will climb both Smith Hill in Kersbrook and Menglers Hill in the Barossa Valley.

    There are four ride options available with the shortest being 33 kilometres starting and finishing in Tanunda.

    Tour Down Under Race Director, Mike Turtur, said he was excited for the ride to return to the Barossa.

    "The last time the Challenge Tour was in the Barossa was in 2009 when 7127 riders participated in the event and the support from the region was massive," he said. "Next year's ride will be one of the most challenging yet, with two Skoda King of the Mountain climbs for people riding the full route, so I am encouraging people to get on their bikes and start training now."

    The Australian WorldTour race's official charity partner, Cancer Council SA, is asking the thousands who register in the Bupa Challenge Tour to Ride for a reason and honour a loved one's battle against cancer.

    Registrations are now open with early bird prices available until 5pm Monday 1 August 2011.

    For more information, visit or contact +61 8 8463 4701.


  • Leopard-Trek aiming for top spot in Luxembourg

    Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) could do little when faced when the might of Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto).
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 7:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Home race key to build-up for Tour de France

    Fränk Schleck will lead a high-calibre Leopard-Trek line-up at the Tour of Luxembourg with the team looking to impress in their home race. Directeur Sportif Kim Andersen explained that the race had extra significance not only to Fränk, but to the squad as a whole.

    "This is where our team is living and working," he said from Luxembourg. "This makes the race special for all of us."

    Targeting the overall victory in Luxembourg is obviously a priority for the team; but the race will also provide riders with some much-needed racing in their legs before the Tour de France. Likely Tour participants, including Fabian Cancellara, Stuart O’Grady, and Maxime Monfort are all returning from a break in racing after busy spring seasons.

    "It’s a good mix. Each of these riders has good racing or training in their legs, and I expect them all to contribute," continued Andersen.

    Jens Voigt also returns to racing following an operation to repair his left scaphoid. The German broke the small bone in his left hand after his front tire blew out while riding the Amgen Tour of California. Although the injury usually has a longer rehabilitation time than Voigt has had, the team feels that the German needs the racing if he is to be ready for the Tour de France in July.

    "He’s confident that he’s okay and ready to go," Andersen said.

    One notable absence from the line-up is Andy Schleck. The Luxembourger...

  • Boonen and Quick Step open contract negotiations

    Milan-San Remo: Tom Boonen (Quick Step) was still suffering the effects of illness on the Poggio.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 10:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian also in talks with other teams

    Tom Boonen has opened contract negotiations with Quick Step and with talks likely to conclude before the end of June. Out of contract at the end of the year, Boonen’s agent has already floated the possibility of the Belgian leaving the team where he has enjoyed his greatest successes.

    “It was a good conversation,” Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere told Het Nieuwsblad of his meeting with Boonen. “He knows how things look, I know how he thinks.

    “Now let’s wait and see how things evolve, but I do want clarity relatively quickly. I’d like to have the matter handled by the Belgian Championships.”

    Het Nieuwsblad notes that Boonen will also speak with other teams in the coming days. The Belgian turned professional with US Postal in 2002, but switched to Quick Step the following year, where he has remained ever since.

    In April, Boonen’s agent Paul De Geyter had claimed that “several teams” were interested in securing his man’s services.

    Meanwhile, Boonen has defended his performance at the Tour of Belgium, explaining that his form had yet to stabilise after a recent spell at altitude. His next race is the Tour de Suisse, and he is confident that he will be competitive at the Belgian championships and Tour de France.

    “By the end of June I should be at the top of my condition, ready for the Belgian championships at Hooglede and, naturally, for the Tour, which starts on July 2,” he told La Dernière Heure.