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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Date published:
November 18, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Vorarlberg-Corratec announces first seven riders for 2010

    Vorarlberg's Silvere Ackermann
    Article published:
    November 17, 2009, 16:29 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Italian Camussa joins Austrian Professional Continental team

    Team Vorarlberg-Corratec has announced its first seven riders for the 2010 season, including newcomer Piergiorgio Camussa. The Austrian Professional Continental team has satisfied its initial requirements for a licence for the coming year, according to the International Cycling Union.

    Six of the team 's riders are returning from last season: Austrians Christoph Sokoll and Josef Benetseder, Swiss riders Silvere Ackermann and Reto Hollenstein, Slovenian Matic Strgar and Italian Andrea Capelli.

    The two Austrian riders are looking to help the team to a more successful season in 2010. Sokoll hopes to bring in top results in international races like the Österreich Rundfahrt, while Benetseder wants to avoid a repeat of this year's injuries.

    As to the other five riders, “They have all proven that they can continue to help the team,” according to team manager Thomas Kofler. “Reto and Silvere made good impressions not only with the attacks at the Tour de Suisse, and helped bring in some good results.

    Camussa “fits in with our team personally as well as professionally,” Kofler noted. “He is a very active and offensive rider, who likes to look for success out of an escape group.” The 28-year-old rode for the Italian continental Team Piemonte last year, called his new team “a highly-professional team with a good racing programme.”

    The team said that it would announce further signings in the next few weeks. It will hold its first team get-together next month at an outdoor, four-day team building camp.

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  • David Zabriskie's Yield to Life seeks safer roads for cyclists

    Dave Zabriskie (Garmin-Slipstream) does a quick interview after crossing the finish line.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2009, 18:53 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Non-profit educates drivers, cyclists on how to co-exist

    On a beautiful autumn Sunday, nearly six hundred cyclists gathered for a ride in High Point, North Carolina, most eager to enjoy the seasonable weather after a week of cold, driving rain. But the mood was somber as the ride to honor David Sherman, an avid cyclist who was the victim of a fatal hit-and-run incident, got underway. It was a sobering reminder of the risks we all take while out on the road.

    Friends organized the ride with proceeds going to benefit Yield to Life, an non-profit started by Garmin-Slipstream's David Zabriskie. The US time trial champion had his own run-in with a careless driver in 2003 which nearly ended his career. Since then, he's worked to try to teach drivers to be more sensitive to cyclists.

    "The idea for Yield to Life came to me while I was recovering from my last and most serious bicycle/car accident. I was reflecting on the incident and I realized that the woman who turned directly into me did not think of me as LIFE. I was just an obstacle in the road - this thing in her way," Zabriskie told Cyclingnews.

    "I became more aware of the complete lack of civility on the road and felt a new approach was needed to tackle the issue. I wanted to sensitize motorists to the life at stake and often in motorists' hands."

    Yield to Life also provides education for cyclists to encourage them to follow the rules of the road and ride responsibly. Zabriskie and his organization hope that through education and awareness campaigns, they can "change attitudes, perceptions, and behavior and create mutual respect for all life on the road."

    The number of cyclists on the roads has increased greatly over the past few years: USA Cycling has registered the largest number of racers in its history this year, but the increase is not just in the racing community. The number of riders commuting to work has also increased - the League of American Bicyclists reports a steady increase in bicycle commuting over the past...

  • Davide Rebellin to lose Olympic medal

    Davide Rebellin
    Article published:
    November 17, 2009, 19:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian's silver medal to be stripped after positive doping test

    Italian Davide Rebellin will been stripped of his Olympic silver medal after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) received a request to do so from the International Olympic Committee (IOC). The IOC stated that Rebellin has been disqualified for doping. The CONI announced it would comply with the request, and has scheduled a meeting for tomorrow with its attorneys.

    Rebellin took second place in the road race in Beijing last summer to Spaniard Samuel Sanchez. Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland was third, and Alexander Kolobnev of Russia was fourth.

    Rebellin was one of five athletes to test positive for the blood boosting drug CERA in re-testing of the Olympic doping controls done by the IOC earlier this year. The test for CERA was not in use at the time of the Olympic Games in 2008.

    The results of the retroactive testing were released in April, 2009. Rebellin was immediately suspended by his Diquigiovanni team, although he rode for Gerolsteiner at the time of the Olympic Games.

    He requested a counter-analysis of the sample, the results of which were to be announced in December. However, the CONI announced Tuesday, "The IOC Disciplinary Commission has disqualified Italian athlete Davide Rebellin from the men's road cycling race at the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, where he finished second."

  • Floyd Landis leaves OUCH Pro Cycling

    USA's Floyd Landis (OUCH)
    Article published:
    November 17, 2009, 20:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mutual agreement with owner Momentum Sports Group sees Landis' exit

    Floyd Landis came to an agreement with his OUCH Pro Cycling team to terminate his contract for the 2010 season, the Momentum Sports Group announced Tuesday.

    Landis returned to the sport with the team after being disqualified from the 2006 Tour de France for doping and serving a two-year suspension.

    The team said that Landis wished to ride "the longer, tougher stage races offered in Europe and internationally that better suit his strengths." The team will focus primarily on the US domestic circuit in 2010, so both sides "agreed that it would be best for both parties to part ways at this time and allow Landis to seek a position with a team that could better accommodate his desires."

    Landis has been heavily rumoured to be in negotiations with the Rock Racing team for 2010.

    "I wish to thank all of the sponsors for their support this year. I would also like to thank everyone at Momentum Sports Group," Landis said. "While I'm excited to pursue other opportunities, I will miss all of my teammates and everyone on staff."

  • Semple gets Bibanese birthday present

    Ashley Baines (left) of Cycle City and Jayco/AIS's Adam Semple in the peloton during the thirty laps of an 850 metre circuit criterium.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 8:08 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    West Australian leaves national squad, follows Gerrans’ footsteps

    West Australia’s Adam Semple will bid farewell to the Australian Institute of Sport program for the bulk of 2010 as he joins an Italian amateur team. Semple, who turns 20 today, will join Brisot Cardin Bibanese, the squad on which compatriot Simon Gerrans made his European debut.

    “The Australian team has hooked me up because it was my time to move on from the Australian Institute of Sport. I’ve had a fair stint there now and there’s only so much you can do there,” said Semple. “I was ready to move on, so we came to an agreement and they’re going to still support me next year.”

    Semple is expecting to reunite with the Australian Institute of Sport program at various points throughout 2010, including at the Baby Giro d’Italia. The arrangement is similar to that which Ritchie Porte enjoyed this year, riding races like the Tour de Langkawi with the national team, but spending the majority of his season with Andrea Tafi's Bedogni-Grassi-Natalini-Gr.Praga squad. A strong ride by Porte at the Baby Giro helped the Tasmanian secure a professional contract with Saxo Bank for 2010, an accomplishment Semple is hoping to replicate.

    The AIS assisted with opening the door to Bibanese for Semple, with the rider then left to choose his own path for next season. “If I’m still going well then I’ll hopefully be doing a few races with them [AIS], like the baby Giro and that sort of thing,” said Semple. “The AIS spoke to the team’s managers and directors to suggest me and then it was sort of up to me as to whether I went with that or different other options I had in Italian teams. Bibanese turned out to be the best option because the Australian squad will still support me, so it’s going to be good.”

    Having contested his home tour over the weekend, the Tour de Perth, Semple is now taking four weeks away from competition. A recent medical examination...

  • MSG’s president surprised by Landis exit

    Floyd Landis (OUCH) responds to an early attack.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 8:28 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    OUCH funds replaced with new title sponsor

    Floyd Landis and Momentum Sports Group (MSG) announced today the early termination of their rider-contract agreement, releasing Landis from OUCH-Maxxis Professional Cycling team before the end of the 2009 season. While slightly surprised by Landis’ departure, MSG President Thierry Attias wished Landis well in his future endeavors when speaking to Cyclingnews.

    “There was no big climax,” Attias said. “He communicated his desire and game plan to move forward and we told him what our game plan was and it was in the best interest of both to allow him to meet his goals in the future.”

    Attias admitted he expected Landis would sign a contract with the team’s management company for the 2010 season. Landis had returned to cycling at the start of 2009 with OUCH-Maxxis after finishing a two-year suspension following a protracted legal battle over urine test results from the 2006 Tour de France.

    “We did expect him to ride in 2010,” Attias said. “We planned on having him on board. It was a little bit of a surprise but he is a big talent. When he is firing on all cylinders he is really strong and he thinks big. He is working his way back from that hip procedure. This was the first year back after two years and we saw glimmers of greatness in him.”

    Landis has a desire to compete in longer stage races in Europe that better suited his former reputation of being amongst the top general classification riders in the world, according to Attias. The American rider recently ruled out a return to the sport’s top stage race, the Tour de France.

    “He had more success in that area and he wanted to do more international races too,” Attias said. “Our team has a US focus. We wish him nothing but the best. He came on board and really helped us patch a hole, so to speak. We had a great season and we are sorry he won’t be with us next year.”


  • McQuaid: Kolobnev to get Beijing bronze medal

    Alexandr Kolobnev (Russia) finished in second place.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 8:34 GMT
    Shane Stokes

    Rebellin expulsion elevates Cancellara to silver, Russian to podium

    International Cycling Union (UCI) President Pat McQuaid has confirmed that Russian rider Alexandr Kolobnev will move up into the bronze medal position for last year's Beijing Olympic Games in China, following the announcement that Italy's Davide Rebellin is to be stripped of his Olympic silver medal.

    “I got an email on my phone an hour ago from the [International Olympic Committee] IOC confirming the [Rebellin] news,” he told Cyclingnews. “It is up to the Italian authorities now to deal with it. Today’s news is not a huge surprise – we were expecting this.

    “The medals will be rearranged now, with Kolobnev getting bronze,” added McQuaid.

    One day specialist Rebellin was the best-placed Italian rider in the 2008 event, going close to succeeding his Italian team-mate Paolo Bettini as Olympic champion. He was edged out by the Spaniard Samuel Sanchez in a six-man gallop to the line.

    Rebellin went on to place fourth in the UCI World Road Championship road race, and played a role in helping his team-mate Alessandro Ballan to take the title. He then moved from the Gerolsteiner team to the Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli squad, and had a strong early season.

    His top performances included wins on two stages of the Vuelta a Andalucia, a Classics victory in Flèche Wallonne and third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    In April it was announced that several Beijing entrants from various sports had tested positive for CERA; Rebellin was subsequently confirmed as one of those. The 38-year-old is facing a ban of between two and four years, and so his career is likely over.

    “That is it, it is another chapter is behind us,” said McQuaid. “I just hope we are moving forward and we are not going to have this again at such an important event as the Olympic Games.”

    The last time an Olympic cyclist was stripped of a...

  • Frank Vandenbroucke's family refuse further tests

    Frank Vandenbroucke in 2003 Photo: © Bert Geerts
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 9:24 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Mother says they are satisfied with Senegalese findings

    The family of the late Frank Vandenbroucke has decided not to carry out toxicological tests to determine whether or not the 34-year-old had drugs in his system at the time of his death.

    Vandenbroucke died on October 12 while on holiday in Senegal. An autopsy carried out by Senegalese doctors revealed that the Belgian's passing was the result of a pulmonary embolism. Vandenbroucke's mother, Chantal Vanruymbeke, told Het Nieuwsblad that the family felt there was no need to carry out further tests.

    "We can accept the results of the autopsy that was conducted in Senegal," said Vanruymbeke. "The prosecutor in Dakar briefed us personally. That is enough for us.

    "I don't know what effect such an investigation would have. We would have to bear the costs, to find out what? If he was injured, then we would have sold our house if necessary to get Frank back to health. Tests will not bring Frank back, so we won't carry them out."

    After the repatriation of his body to Belgium, Vandenbroucke was laid to rest in his home town of Ploegsteert, Belgium, on October 24 at a funeral attended by thousands of fans.

    His mother said the family had achieved a level of closure after his passing, "We want Frank to rest in peace."

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