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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Date published:
November 10, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Norwegian cycling federation president says Spanish too soft on dopers

    Spanish flags were in abundance as Alberto Contador was presented in his home town of Pinto.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 14:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Doesn't believe they will give Contador an impartial hearing

    The president of the Norwegian Cycling Federation has said that he doesn't believe that the Spanish Cycling Federation is tough enough on doped riders. Harald Tiedemann Hansen also criticised the Spanish federation president's public support of Alberto Contador.

    During the second half of September, it was announced that four Spanish riders had tested positive for doping products: Oscar Sevilla, Alberto Contador, Ezequiel Mosquera and David Garcia Dapena. The latter three positive tests were announced in the week of the world championships.

    “I think that when four riders were caught for doping during the world championships, Spain should have packed up and gone home,” Tiedemann Hansen told “It is time that they clean up their ranks.”

    He said that he felt that the problem lay with the attitudes of the Spanish federation's leaders, who he feels have been too lenient on doping issues in the past.

    Spanish federation president Juan Carlos Castaño came in for direct criticism for his recent statement calling for “a solution that is Contador's advantage.”

    “They have serious challenges with their riders, and they should take this seriously. Such statements show that they still do not take it seriously enough," the Norwegian said.

    ”The Spanish federation has shown weakness in a number of doping cases. They have not repudiated it. Now it's time to clear up the responsibility and state their position clearly. They are ruining the rest of us.”

    Tiedemann Hansen does not believe that the Spanish federation will conduct its proceedings on the Contador case impartially, saying that they “have not shown willingness to clean up their own ranks. I do not have much confidence in their work."

  • Florencio criticizes Cervélo TestTeam

    Xavier Florencio (Cervelo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 18:11 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Spaniard says suspension from Tour team has affected his contract hopes

    Xavier Florencio has claimed that the decision of Cervélo TestTeam to withdraw him from its Tour de France line-up was not only a mistake but is now preventing him from securing a new contract for 2011.

    The 30-year-old Spaniard was pulled from Cervélo TestTeam’s Tour squad on the eve of the race after revealing to the team doctor that he had used a treatment for haemorrhoids that contained ephedrine, which may have led to him testing positive.

    “That decision is really affecting me,” he said in an interview with Biciciclismo. “Initially I took it well and I accepted it for the good of the team, but seeing now how they have acted I don’t accept what they did at the Tour. Nobody on the technical staff has helped me and I feel like I’ve been a little bit sidelined.”

    Florencio, who returned to action for Cervélo TestTeam at the Tour of Denmark in early August and then rode a busy end-of-season program including the Vuelta a España, believes the decision to withdraw him from the Tour was too hasty.

    Bad decision

    “I don’t think it was a good decision for me or for the team. Things were done very badly and very quickly. I had all of the certificates I needed, I just had to let the UCI and the doctor at the Tour de France have them and I could have raced without any problem,” he said.

    “The day after [they made the decision], when they saw the medical certificates they changed their minds because they could see what I was saying was right. But I had lost the opportunity to ride the Tour.”

    Florencio believes that other teams have been put off from signing him for 2011 because he was pulled from the Tour at the last moment.He won the Clasica San Sebastian in 2006 but that success has been overshadowed by his problems this summer.

    “That’s why many teams aren’t interested...

  • Gavazzi begins 2011 preparation at Mapei Centre

    A happy Francesco Gavazzi awaits the podium ceremony.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 19:43 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Lampre rider aiming to build on 2010 progress

    Promising Italian sprinter Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) is one of the first riders to kick of his winter training, starting things with a visit to the Mapei Centre in Castellanza, Italy. His Lampre team has signed an agreement to undergo testing at the facility in preparation for the 2011 season and Gavazzi wasted no time in availing himself of the opportunity.

    “I had an important and satisfying first experience at the Mapei Centre,” Gavazzi said. “I went to Castellanza in mid-October for fitness tests and then on Monday I had a very valuable consultation on the analysis of my bio-mechanics."

    “Thanks to the data that came from the evaluation of my position on the bike, some changes were made that will allow me to harness my physical strengths to the maximum.”

    The Lampre and Katusha teams use the Mapei Centre for testing, while a number of individual riders, including Ivan Basso and Cadel Evans are coached by Professor Aldo Sassi and use the centre. Riccardo Riccò has recently announced that he will also be trained by Sassi in 2011.

    “We had a constructive meeting about the training methods I followed in my first four years as a professional,” Gavazzi explained. “Starting from this foundation, we’ll decide together on what would be the most suitable training programme.”

    Gavazzi enjoyed a solid 2010 in the distinctive pink and blue Lampre colours. His progression was acknowledged with a berth in the Italian team at the world championships in Geelong. He took three wins during the season, one stage each at the Tour of Sardinia and the Tour of the Basque Country, as well as the Coppa Agostoni. He is hoping to progress further in 2011.

    “This year I raced a lot and it's been very satisfying,” Gavazzi said. “I finished my season at the Tour of Lombardy and I was very tired. I’d never needed a winter break as much as I did...

  • Riis reveals he advised Contador over 'chaingate'

    Bjarne Riis busied himself with the press on the rest day in Pau.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 21:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    New book details negotiations during Tour de France

    In a new autobiography, Bjarne Riis details the delicate situation during the 2010 Tour de France in which he was directing one of the race's main contenders while simultaneously signing the other for the coming year.

    In the book, simply called Riis, which was published by People's Press today, Riis revealed that he was the one who advised Alberto Contador to apologize to Saxo Bank team leader Andy Schleck after the infamous 'chaingate' incident on stage 15 to Bagneres-de-Luchon.

    Riis had already put together a draft contract to sign the Spaniard when the incident occurred. On that stage, Schleck dropped his chain at a critical part on the climb of the Port de Bales, and was attacked by Contador, who rode into the maillot jaune and gained enough time on the stage to win the Tour de France.

    That night, Riis received a text message on his phone from Contador, who seemed worried that the controversial attack might hurt negotiations. "I'm sorry about the situation. I attacked and went. Hope you understand," the text read as reported by

    Riis replied to Contador, saying that he made a mistake, and in a phone call advised him to apologize, which Contador did.

    By the time the second rest day came around two days later, the contract with Contador had been finalized, and Riis told Contador that he felt that he could win all three Grand Tours in the same year.

    Schleck would announce later that he decided to leave Riis to join the new Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project with former Saxo Bank public relations manager Bryan Nygaard, taking with him many of the riders from the Saxo Bank team.

    Contador is contracted with the Saxo Bank-SunGard team, but is facing disciplinary hearings for a positive doping test for Clenbuterol and a possible two-year suspension. Riis has stated that he believes Contador is innocent.

  • Sutton honoured with OBE

    Queen Elizabeth II awards the MBE to GB cycling's Performance Manager Shane Sutton.
    Article published:
    November 09, 2010, 22:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    British coach receives title from the Queen

    British Cycling's long-time coach and now Performance Manager Shane Sutton was honoured today with the title of Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE), awarded by Her Majesty the Queen at Buckingham Palace.

    Sutton is Australian but has been with the Great Britain cycling team since 2002, helping them win 34 medals in the Beijing Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2008. He is now working on the team's preparations for the next Games in London in 2012.

    "It is a huge honour and privilege to be here today which I owe entirely to the brilliant work and commitment of the riders, the coaching team and the support staff around me. This accolade is not about personal achievement but that of the whole GB Cycling Team," said Sutton.

    One of Sutton's charges, Sprinter Chris Hoy, winner of four career Olympic gold medals and three in 2008, was given a MBE in 2005 and knighted in 2009 for his achievements in the sport.

    Before becoming a coach, Sutton enjoyed a successful career on the road and track, winning gold in the Team Pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in 1978 and the Milk Race in 1990.

    Brian Cookson OBE, British Cycling's President, said, "On behalf of everyone at British Cycling I'd like to congratulate Shane on this well-deserved honour. The contribution he has made over the past few years has been immense, and his knowledge and expertise will be invaluable with London 2012 looming ever larger on the horizon."

  • Farrar confirmed for Down Under start

    All smiles for Tyler Farrar in Hamburg.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 0:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    American sprinter makes his first trip to Australia in January

    Garmin-Cervelo sprinter Tyler Farrar will make his first appearance in Australia next January when he lines up for the Santos Tour Down Under. The 26-year-old winner of stages in both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España has been confirmed as starting for the Garmin team.

    Farrar has proven he's capable of beating two-time Tour Down Under André Greipel in some of the year's biggest races so his presence in the event is sure to heat up the competition for overall honours. The American's brace of wins in the Vattenfall Cyclassics also proves his pedigree - with a strong team behind him he should be a contender.

    "We are proud and excited to bring Tyler, one of the worlds best sprinters, along with a great team to the Santos Tour Down Under," said team directeur sportif Matt White.

    "As usual, we will look to animate the race and we're confident that with Tyler and the rest of our squad, we'll do just that."

    Greipel, meanwhile, will be riding for Omega Pharma-Lotto in 2011 and offers the Belgian team its best chance to win the early-season event since Robbie McEwen's departure at the end of 2008. Greipel departs HTC-Columbia, where he was one of the squad's most successful riders over the past two seasons.

  • Museeuw launches hybrid flax-carbon fiber MF-XX for 2011

    Museeuw's new flagship is the striking MF-XX.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 0:59 GMT
    James Huang

    Blending flax fiber technology with more component integration

    Museeuw Bikes' range of unique hybrid flax-carbon fiber road bikes will have a new flagship model for 2011 called the MF-XX.

    The frame's aggressive shaping reflects trends seen in other competitive models: there's a tapered head tube up front, a BB30-compatible bottom bracket down below, an enormous square-profile down tube and tapered asymmetrical seat tube, and finally a pair of giant chain stays matched to shockingly slender and flattened seat stays. Or course, Museeuw claims the MF-XX manages to be lighter than its predecessors, too, owing to more refined fiber lay-ups.

    Based on previous experience with bikes of similar design philosophy, it'd be reasonable to expect the MF-XX to deliver good drivetrain and torsional stiffness. However, as with the rest of the 'MF' range, Museeuw contends that the flax fibers integrated nearly throughout the frame (lesser models use it only in the fork and rear stays) makes it better able to absorb "micro shocks" for an even smoother and more comfortable ride than what carbon fiber alone can deliver.

    In addition to the more modern shaping, this latest version also boasts a greater level of component integration with internal cable routing throughout and non-standard brake placement with dedicated CNC-machined aluminum arms: the front caliper is tucked behind the giant fork crown while the rear is placed underneath the chain stays, just behind the bottom bracket.

    The caliper placement lends a somewhat cleaner look to the whole package – especially at the rear – but relocating the rear brake down to the chain stays may also provide improved stopping performance as that area is far more heavily reinforced. In addition, the seat stays can be made even slimmer to provide more tuned flex as they no longer have to deal with the structural requirements of anchoring a brake caliper.

    Museeuw will offer the MF-XX in six sizes, all with slightly sloping geometries.

    The MF-1...

  • Evans to skip Giro and focus on Tour de France in 2011

    World champion Cadel Evans en route to victory in stage 7 of the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 9:59 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian will also miss Tour Down Under

    Cadel Evans (BMC) has announced that he will forgo the Giro d’Italia in 2011 in order to focus his energies on the Tour de France. The Australian also said that he will skip the Tour Down Under and begin next season in March at Tirreno-Adriatico.

    “I’m not going to the Giro d’Italia so I can focus on being at my best for the Tour de France in July,” Evans told The Australian. “The Giro next year on paper looks really tough. It’s just too difficult on my body to come out of the Giro and back up well for the Tour.”

    While Evans’ 2010 Tour was ultimately compromised by the fractured elbow he sustained on stage 8 of the race, he also acknowledged that he had also paid a high price for his efforts at the Giro, where he finished 5th. His 2011 preparation will thus be pitched towards reaching July in top form.

    “My main focus for the year ahead will be the Tour de France. My whole season will be geared to that," Evans said. “In the past I’ve gotten to the Tour tired. I’ll spend January and February training and not start racing until the Tirreno-Adriatico in March.”

    Evans’ late start to the season means that he will not participate in the Tour Down Under and he confessed that he still harbours ambitions of winning the Tour de France. He finished second in both the 2007 and 2008 Tours, missing out on overall victory by less than a minute on each occasion.

    “Obviously I'd like to do better than my previous best, that remains a big objective of mine,” Evans explained.

    Evans also expressed his enthusiasm at some of the acquisitions that his BMC team has made in the transfer market and he was keen to herald the arrival of his fellow Australian, Tim Roe.

    “I think it’s going to be interesting and fun working together and from what I understand Tim Roe is focused and receptive to advice.”