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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Date published:
November 21, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Neben joins Diadora-Pasta Zara

    Amber Neben (Specialized-Lululemon) takes a corner.
    Article published:
    November 20, 2012, 22:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former world champion moves to Italian team

    Former time trial world champion Amber Neben will join the Diadora-Pasta Zara team for 2013, the Italian squad announced today.

    Neben, 37, who won her individual world title in 2008, was part of the world championship winning Specialized-lululemon team time trial squad this season. She also took home victories in the US national championship, Chrono des Nations, Pan American Championship and Exergy Tour time trials. In addition, she won two stages and led the Vuelta El Salvador for three days before a crash scuttled her chance of overall victory.

    Pasta Zara has shown a keen interest in South America. The company will also sponsor the Vuelta El Salvador for 2013, and the team has recruited the race's third place finisher and Salvadoran Evelyn Garcia for the coming season.

    "We are focused on examining the situation in Central America, as we believe that there are particularly interesting athletes to be developed," said team president Maurizio Fabretto.

    Fabretto confirmed six other riders for the coming season, Rossella Callovi, Giada Borgato, Inga Cilvinaite, Edita Janeliunaite, Agne Silinyte and Amber Pierce, with new manager Ruben Contreras.

  • Video: Haussler looks ahead to 2013 at IAM Cycling

    Heinrich Haussler from Garmin-Sharp
    Article published:
    November 20, 2012, 23:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian hopes for repeat of Cervélo experience

    Heinrich Haussler will be the marquee name at IAM Cycling next year and the Australian is hoping that he will discover the same kind of esprit de corps on the squad that he found at Cervélo Test Team during its maiden season in 2009.

    After competing in the WorldTour with Garmin-Sharp in recent years following its merger with Cervélo at the end of 2010, Haussler has no qualms about moving to a Pro Continental team next season, pointing out that he found himself in the same boat when he joined Cervélo, even if the presence of reigning Tour de France champion Carlos Sastre acted as something of an insurance policy when it came to wildcard invitations to the biggest races.

    "I don’t think it’s necessarily a big step; I made the same step four years ago with Cervélo Test Team," Haussler told Cyclingnews. "Maybe the team doesn’t have big names like Carlos Sastre and Thor Hushovd but it’s still a great team. There’s a good bunch of guys who have been brought together. The team has a lot of potential. We might have to depend on invites for some of the big races but if we perform well and start winning, we'll get some good starts."

    So often relegated to a supporting role in the classics at Garmin, Haussler is enthusiastic about the challenge of acting as outright leader next spring. "That's something really important to me, to go into a team where I'm a captain," he said, admitting: "The last two years I've got to that level but I haven't performed well and got the big results. Now I want to try something different and I'm ready to open up a new chapter of my career and get back to that level."

    Cervélo's successful debut campaign in 2009 was marked by a strong...

  • Meersman departure from Lotto Belisol not a concern, says Sergeant

    Marc Sergeant calls the shots on the Lotto team
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 1:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Remaining riders satisfied despite ProTeam license delay

    Lotto Belisol team manager Marc Sergeant says the loss of Gianni Meersman, who recently signed with Omega Pharma-QuickStep, is a disappointment but gives no reason for further concern. Meersman announced his departure after the team was not awarded a place in top-15 teams for 2012 and thus not assured of receiving a ProTeam license for 2013.

    The remaining riders on the Lotto Belisol roster have stated their intentions to remain with the team according to Sergeant, while he deals with the ProTeam license issue.

    "Our riders have all stated that they are satisfied, so there is no cause for concern," Sergeant told Het Nieuwsblad.

    While Lotto Belisol's continuation in the WorldTour is not guaranteed, Sergeant believes the delay was based on an "administrative error" and added "this is annoying," according to radsport-news. Sergeant explained that the loss of Meersman would cause the team to drop further down the standings in regard to UCI points however, by falling outside the top-15 teams they will be judged on criteria falling under the ethical, financial and administrative banners.

    "Without Gianni we fall in the rankings from No.17 back to 18. This is not a disaster, but of course we lose a good rider. It's always the same story with a team that has limited resources," said Sergeant.

    "I think of Greg Van Avermaet, Philippe Gilbert and now [Meersman]."

    The team's future appears to be secured having received an additional sponsor in the form of Belgium's biggest...

  • Visconti on Ferrari relationship: "I have done nothing wrong"

    Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 4:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian responds to CONI's call for three-month suspension

    Giovanni Visconti has responded to the call by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to hand the current Movistar rider a three-month ban for his alleged relationship with banned Dr. Michele Ferrari. The Italian rider is accused of training under the guidance of the controversial doctor.

    Visconti released a statement posted on his personal website, that acknowledged the request from CONI while asserting he had "done nothing wrong." The Italian Cycling Federation had previously announced they would hand up to six-month bans to any Italian athletes found to have engaged the services of Ferrari.

    "I would like here to reiterate that we are talking about conversations with a trainer and emphasising that the only evidence of such contacts were my spontaneous declarations, the result of good faith and conviction of having done nothing wrong," wrote Visconti on his

    Fellow countryman Michele Scarponi, who is currently suspended by his Lampre-ISD team has also been named in the investigation and looks to receive a short ban from competition for his involvement with Ferrari.

    The proposed three-month suspension would not be the first handed down to an Italian for dealing with Ferrari. Earlier in the year Filippo Pozzato was given a three-month ban after he confessed to using the doctor between 2005 and 2009. Pozzato will join Scarponi at Lampre next season after spending the 2012 season in the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia colours.

  • Gilbert considering season start at Tour Down Under

    Philippe Gilbert rides the track in Gent, Belgium
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 5:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    World champion has options including Qatar and San Luis

    Current UCI road world champion Philippe Gilbert says he is taking a more gradual approach to his pre-season training for 2013 which may begin in Australia at Tour Down Under. The Belgian attended the opening night at Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent (Gent Six-Day) and listed Tour of Qatar and Tour de San Luis as other possible races to kick-off 2013.

    Gilbert was on-hand at the six-day event in Gent and while not officially competing, he challenged Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Gianni Meersman in an exhibition individual pursuit match which he won. The Belgian also said that training in the rainbow colours of a world champion has meant it’s difficult not to be recognised.

    I'm starting slowly just because I am now world champion," Gilbert told Nieuwsblad. "If I go out for training, people recognise me much quicker."

    "I do not know where I will go for my first race in 2013. I have the choice from Argentina [San Luis], Qatar and the Tour Down Under."

    Unsure whether he will ride the Tour de France in 2013, Gilbert again reiterated the importance of the Ardennes Classics and that his participation in the Tour was still undecided. Gilbert is one of only two riders - after Davide Rebellin did in 2004 - to win the 'Ardennes triple'. The 30-year-old Gilbert achieved the feat in 2011 when he won Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    "My participation in the Tour de France...

  • Riders' Association calls for establishment of independent anti-doping commission

    Former world champions Gianni Bugno and Paolo Bettini chew the fat.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 11:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI can no longer guarantee application of sporting justice, says CPA

    The professional riders’ association CPA has called for the establishment of an independent commission to carry out anti-doping controls in cycling and said that the UCI has lost credibility in the wake of the Lance Armstrong case.

    CPA president Gianni Bugno told the association’s annual general meeting in Milan on Monday that he will seek a meeting with UCI president Pat McQuaid in order to discuss the matter. Bugno will request that at least one member of any such independent anti-doping commission is nominated by the CPA.

    “The Armstrong affair is devastating not only because of the involvement of one of cycling’s biggest champions but also because of the loss of credibility and authority of the institutions who govern this sport,” he said in a statement from the CPA. “The riders cannot tolerate that there are doubts surrounding the correct application of sporting justice."

    “It’s the duty of the heads of a sport to guarantee that the system is equal for all and the UCI, after the facts that have emerged from the Armstrong case, can no longer act as guarantor of the application of sporting justice.”

    The CPA thus adds its voice to the teams’ association AIGCP, which already called for an independent anti-doping commission following its assembly in Paris in October. The UCI has also said it will create an independent commission to study issues and allegations contained in the USADA decision relating to the Armstrong affair.

    The CPA has also requested greater regulation of teams operating at Continental level, noting that “this category can no longer be tolerated without contracts, salaries, insurance and controls that safeguard the health and...

  • Giant decides against becoming title sponsor of the Rabobank team

    Giant's rear-mounted front brake was a novel idea when they were introduced but we expect the next generation to be better integrated.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 11:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bike brand to supply bikes and clothing in 2013

    Giant has reportedly decided not to become the title sponsor of the Rabobank team in 2013 but will continue as bike sponsor and be clothing sponsor in 2013 according to reports in the Dutch media.

    When the Dutch bank made the surprise announcement that it was ending its sponsorship of the team on October 19, Giant was touted as possible replacement as title sponsor.

    Team director Harold Knebel said he was in talks with several other potential backers, including Giant, but the team could also begin the 2013 season as a 'white label' team, racing without a title sponsor. Rabobank has promised to respect its financial obligations with the team but no longer wants to be linked to cycling as a consequence of the doping scandals that have rocked the sport.

    According to reports in the Dutch media report Giant's Europe marketing manager Tom Davies said that the bike manufacturer wants to be a technical sponsor of the team, but not the title sponsor.

    “That's not our objective. This has not only to do with financial considerations. It would also not fit with Giant’s marketing strategy”, Davies is reported as saying by

    Davies was not available for further comment.

    Giant announced it will be the official apparel sponsor for all the Rabobank squads, including the men's, women's and mountain bike team.

    Shimano has also confirmed it will continue as a key technical sponsor of the team.


  • Chavanel considering Giro d'Italia debut in 2013

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in his French champion's kit
    Article published:
    November 21, 2012, 13:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman hopes for better luck on the cobbles

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) is considering riding the Giro d’Italia instead of the Tour de France in 2013 in a bid to wear the leader’s jersey in all three of the grand tours.

    Chavanel led the Tour de France on two occasions in 2010 and has also worn the leader’s jersey at the Vuelta a España in 2008 and 2011, but has never ridden the Giro in 13 seasons as a professional.

    “I’d love to be there some day – it’s the only grand tour that I haven’t done and the only leader’s jersey that I’m missing,” Chavanel told La Nouvelle Republique. “I’m thinking about it. Why not next year? I’m going to talk about it with my team.”

    Chavanel has started every Tour de France since 2001 and he confessed that it would be particularly difficult to pass up on riding the 100th edition of the race in 2013. However, with his early season oriented firmly towards the cobbled classics, Chavanel all but ruled out riding both the Giro and the Tour.

    “The Tour is something else and at a certain age, maybe I won’t take part in it anymore. You need to be in perfect condition,” he said. “This year, the first two weeks are perfect for me. On the other hand, the last week is a bit too hard. It’s probably too much to do the classics, Giro and Tour, you’ll have to make a choice.”

    Cobbled Classics

    The cobbled classics remain Chavanel’s biggest objectives in 2013 and the Frenchman decried his ill fortune...