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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Date published:
October 12, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Roux fractures two vertebrae

    Grand Prix de la Somme champion Anthony Roux (F DJ)
    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 10:20 BST
    Cycling News

    FDJ rider out for six months

    Anthony Roux suffered a serious injury last Sunday when he crashed at the Boulzicourt cyclo-cross race in the French Ardennes region. The FDJ rider was rushed to Charleville-Mézières hospital, where he was diagnosed with two fractured vertebrae. The Frenchman was then transferred to a bigger hospital in Reims, where he is currently being treated.

    According to L'Equipe, Roux should be out of competition for six months following an operation due today. Fortunately, there seems to be no risk of paralysis as his team manager Marc Madiot caught up with the 24-year-old on Monday. "I had him on the phone and asked him if he could feel his feet. He replied that he did. I couldn't talk much longer to him, though," Madiot said.

    No more information on the vertebrae fractures was made available. In his career, Roux most notably took a stage in the 2009 Vuelta a Espana and overall victories in French stage races Circuit de la Sarthe and Circuit de Lorraine. Most recently, he was part of Laurent Jalabert's line-up for the World Championships in Copenhagen.

  • Tour de l'Avenir winner Chaves signs with Coldeportes

    Johan Esteban Chaves signs a polka dot jersey
    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 11:38 BST
    Cycling News

    New Colombian team to complete application for Professional Continental status

    Esteban Chaves, the recent winner of the Tour de l'Avenir, has been reported to have signed with the new Colombian team Coldeportes managed by Claudio Corti. According to El Tiempo, Chaves has committed to the new squad which is expected to complete its application for Professional Continental status with the UCI before the November 1 deadline.

    The young Colombian took the overall victory of the French Espoir race with his current team Colombia es Pasion, but the outfit has announced that it will return to Continental level for 2012. Coldeportes, managed by former Barloworld and Saeco team manager Corti, is reported to include one Professional Continental outfit, one Continental team for America and a cycling school in its native Colombia.

    "The big objective for 2012 is to participate in the great races in Europe," said Corti on the website of the country's public sports initiatives,

    The squad is expected to be officially presented on November 12, but 13 riders have already been named in addition to Chaves: Juan Pablo Suárez, Rafael Infantino, Edward Beltrán, Robinson Chalapud, Dalivier Ospina, Juan Pablo Forero, Jarlinson Pantano, Felipe Laverde, Víctor Hugo Peña, Carlos Julio Quintero, Wilson Marentes, Edwin Parra and Frank Osorio.


  • Lequatre to Bretagne-Schuller

    Geoffroy Lequatre (RadioShack) is aiming to make strides in the Classics this season.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 12:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Deal with French Professional Continental team almost sealed

    Geoffroy Lequatre, currently racing for American outfit RadioShack, will be wearing the colours of Professional Continental team Bretagne-Schuller next year. According to Sportbreizh, the French squad managed by Joël Blévin is finalising the deal with the Frenchman who finished seventh in Paris-Tours after a long breakaway.

    At Bretagne-Schuller, Lequatre will come back to his former directeur sportif at Agritubel, Manu Hubert, and join former French champion Dimitri Champion. "We have agreed in principle and will now finalise the details," said the team's manager Joël Blévin.

    "With Dimitri Champion and Geoffroy Lequatre, we will be able to count on two talented and experienced riders. It will be ideal to continue the build-up of our young Bretons. And if these riders put their confidence in us after having known the highest level of cycling, it's because we have a most serious image."

    Lequatre, 30 years old, won the 2008 Tour of Britain with Agritubel. His good showings at this year's Paris-Tours and Paris-Bourges were preceded by a third place at the French time trial championships in June. His contract with RadioShack runs out at the end of the season.

  • Cardoso to lead bigger budget Caja Rural

    Manuel Cardoso (RadioShack) on the podium.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 13:35 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Sponsorship for Spanish Pro Continental team confirmed until 2014

    Already boosted by a significant increase in its budget for 2012, the Spanish Professional Continental-ranked Caja Rural team has significantly strengthened its roster with the signing of Manuel Cardoso from RadioShack. The 28-year-old Portuguese sprinter, winner of a stage at the Volta a Catalunya in March, is set to lead the Spanish team next year, when their principal goal will be securing an invitation to the Vuelta a España.

    “While it’s true that all riders want to race at the top level, in the ProTour, Caja Rural showed more interest in me than any other team and since my first contact with them I felt very comfortable about the situation. That’s why I’m happy to be part of the team of 2012,” said Cardoso, who spent the 2010 season in the ProTour with Footon-Servetto before moving to RadioShack.

    “Caja Rural will have a good calendar and I think they will have many more opportunities than they had this year, and I hope to be able to add something important to the set-up,” said Cardoso, who has won 36 races as a pro and ridden all three grand tours.

    New team manager Mikel Azparren has also confirmed that Caja Rural have committed themselves to backing the team until the end of 2014. Speaking to Spanish paper Meta2Mil, Azparren revealed that the team’s budget is set to rise to two million euros next season, allowing him to boost both the riding talent on the team as well as the logistical support.

    Azparren made clear that the team’s principal goal in the coming year would be to do enough to secure a wild card invite to the Vuelta a España. Race director Javier Guillén received a good deal of criticism earlier this year when he decided not to...

  • Ricco confesses to transfusion

    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 14:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Updated: confession states he infused an iron solution, not blood

    Riccardo Ricco has finally confessed to giving himself a transfusion, but claimed it was an iron solution “done only on medical prescription” and not a transfusion of his own, stored blood.

    The Italian news service Ansa initially reported that Ricco had confessed to an autologous blood transfusion in a written statement to the public prosecutor in Modena, who is wrapping up the investigation.

    Ricco's lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi was quick to declare the news "unfounded", according to, and Ansa changed its report to state that the rider admitted to transfusing an iron solution. 

    The 8-month saga of the controversial Italian ride, who served a suspension for doping with EPO-CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, began in February, when he was hospitalized for kidney failure. News reports surfaced stating that Ricco had confessed to the emergency room personnel that he performed a blood transfusion on himself, but he later denied making such statements.

    Subsequent examinations of his medical records during the course of the Italian Olympic Committee's (CONI) investigation showed hallmarks of an infection caused by the transfusion of improperly stored blood.

    However, as recently as last month, Ricco denied to the CONI that his medical problems were caused by an illegal blood transfusion.

    The case caused Vacansoleil-DCM to fire Ricco, but in June he signed with the Croatian Continental-ranked team Meridiana Kamen. He never rode for them, however, as first the Italian Cycling Federation suspended him shortly after the signing was announced, citing health concerns, and then

  • Cavendish, Eisel join Team Sky

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) debuted his world champion's kit at Paris-Tours.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 17:13 BST
    Cycling News

    World Champion confirmed with lead-out man

    After weeks of speculation and rumors, it's finally official - road race world champion Mark Cavendish will ride for Team Sky in 2012. The 26-year-old sprinter and his HTC-Highroad team captain Bernhard Eisel were confirmed with Team Sky on Tuesday, just two weeks after Cavendish clinched his first road race world championship in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    At the Tour de France in July, Cavendish confirmed his sprinting expertise again by powering to five stage victories and securing the green jersey as the race's points classification winner. However, following the race it was announced that HTC-Highroad would disband after an unsuccessful sponsor search.

    It was widely assumed that Cavendish would go across to the British team, and was seemingly confirmed by the team's own Bradley Wiggins, who referred to Cavendish as his future teammate in an interview last month.

    However, following his win in Copenhagen, rumours began circulating linking the 20-time Tour de France stage winner with the emerging super-team Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

    QuickStep manager Patrick Lefevere denied the news, stating that he had been in negotiations with Cavendish but the deal fell through before signing. Sky's manager David Brailsford confirmed a verbal agreement with the rider, but said the situation was "complicated".

    The signing finally went through, and Cavendish will bring his right-hand man Eisel with him to the British squad.

    "Mark is the greatest sprinter of...

  • No Canary Islands stages for 2012 Vuelta

    Idyllic conditions for a training camp in Tenerife.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2011, 19:55 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Plans to take the race to the archipelago are put back to 2013

    Tentative plans for the Vuelta a España to spend up to four days in the Canary Islands in 2012 have been postponed for a year. According to reports in the local press, the decision has been taken for two reasons: firstly, because Vuelta organisers Unipublic have to finalise the route of the 2012 edition in the coming weeks, and, secondly, because the regional government in the archipelago doesn’t yet have the budget in place to host the race.

    However, the indications are that Unipublic are still determined to take the Vuelta back to the Canary Islands, which hosted the race for the only time in 1988. That year, when the race was won by Ireland’s Sean Kelly, the first three stages took place on the archipelago.

    Negotiations between Unipublic and the regional government in the Canary Islands began in early August and progressed to the point where both sides have agreed on the islands hosting four stages – two on Gran Canaria and two on Tenerife. These stages would feature ascents of the two major climbs on these two islands: the Pico de las Nieves on Gran Canaria and Mount Teide on Tenerife, which is a favoured location among pro riders for high-altitude training camps.

    These stages are now likely to take place during the 2013 Vuelta, providing Unipublic with a spectacular new battleground during the final week of that race.

  • Video: Chris Froome on the Vuelta, death threats and the future

    Chris Froome (Sky)
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 8:52 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Briton on verge of signing contract with Sky

    Glory and death threats at the Vuelta a Espana, suspicions, anti-doping controls and his contract with Team Sky. There are a lot of hot topics to talk about with Chris Froome. His unexpected second place in Spain, five weeks ago, raised expectations and questions alike about a rider who was still totally unknown by the greater public just two months ago.

    Cyclingnews met him Sunday, two hours after the last stage of Tour of Beijing, for an frank and informative interview.

    Vuelta's most epic moments

    His most dramatic day was stage 17 in Pena Cabarga, where he won but missed the red jersey by 13 seconds.

    "Every climber dreams to win a stage like that", he says. And about the threats made by some of Juan José Cobo's most fanatical supporters, he explains:

    "I had a couple of people running next to me and saying, basically screaming: 'If you win, we kill you! If you win, we kill you!' But I wasn't bothered, to be honest."

    Froome added he has a "good sporting relationship" with his Spanish rival and praised his "clever race".

    More than the parcours itself he says he suffered because of his new status. "I didn't feel that tired physically after the Vuelta but from all the things which came with me on the podium - the interviews, the tensions, all that  was mentally quite draining for me."

    Inevitable Suspicions

    To explain his surprise result at the Vuelta, Froome explains things simply:  "My health has been good". For over a year he was affected by bilharzia (Schistosomiasis), a disease caused by parasitic worms.