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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Date published:
October 13, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Jouffroy to get rainbow jersey after Szczepaniak's disqualification

    Arnaud Jouffroy takes the win in Namur
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 17:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman U23 cyclo-cross world champion after doping positives

    Arnaud Jouffroy will be officially presented with the jersey of the 2010 Under 23 cyclo-cross world champion after the disqualification of Pawel and Kacper Szczepaniak for doping. The rainbow jersey will be given to the Frenchman in a ceremony on Sunday at the UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland, prior to the first UCI World Cup round.

    The two Poles, who placed first and second at this year's championships in Tabor, were later found positive for EPO and their results were nullified. Jouffroy placed third in the race and was promoted to world champion, while Tom Meeusen (Belgium) and Marek Konwa (Poland) moved into second and third, respectively.

    Jouffroy was already provided a rainbow banded uniform by his BKCP-Powerplus team, and put it to good use while winning the first U23 race of the season at the GvA Trophy in Namur earlier this month. He will participate in the elite men's race on Sunday as there is no U23 or junior men's World Cup round this week.

  • Offredo champions classics over 'boring' Tour de France

    Yoann Offredo (FdJ) was sporting some pretty extreme bedhead.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 17:56 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman already looking to 2011 spring campaign

    Yoann Offredo (FDJ) has admitted that unlike many of his compatriots, he finds the classics far more entertaining than the Tour de France. The Frenchman finished a solid seventh at Sunday’s Paris-Tours and is already thinking ahead to next spring.

    “When you’re young and you first discover cycling, of course you watch the Tour de France and not the GP Harelbeke or even Paris-Tours,” Offredo told L’Équipe. “But watching the Tour, apart from a few stages, is a little boring. You might even joke with a friend while your grandfather falls asleep in front of the television, but I don’t think that you could fall asleep watching a Tour of Flanders or a Paris-Roubaix.”

    Offredo was one of France’s strongest performers at the world championships and was the sole French representative at the front end of the race when the peloton split in the closing laps. Ultimately the bunch came back together, but the highest-placed Frenchman was 10th-placed Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil), who, like Offredo, did not ride the Tour de France.

    “The problem in France is that we have long prepared riders for the Tour, but the hardest thing to do in sport is to target an objective on a specific day,” Offredo said. “I need some stress in the build-up to an event and that’s what gets me through it, to reach the moment where I free myself from this pressure.”

    Offredo’s most impressive display of the spring came at Milan-San Remo, where for the second year in succession, he was at the head of affairs at the foot of the Poggio, something which he maintains is not by chance.

    “I’m impulsive and a winner, and it’s maybe Milan-San Remo that suits me best,” Offredo said. “I like long and tiring races. I often feel very average during the first five hours [of a race], and then it’s only in the last two that I’m released....

  • Vande Velde has swagger back for 2011

    Christian Vande Velde (Garmin - Slipstream)
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 18:03 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin rider glad he returned to ride Vuelta

    Despite a season marked by crashes and injuries, Garmin-Transitions’ Christian Vande Velde believes he has regained his ‘swagger’ ahead of his winter break and build up to the 2011 season.

    The American had a difficult season. He crashed out of the Giro d’Italia, and despite making it to the start of this year’s Tour, he fell heavily on stage two, crashing on the descent of the Stockeu and fracturing several ribs, as well as suffering a cut above his left eye. He abandoned the race before the start of stage 3 and flew home. He told Cyclingnews last month that he even thought about quitting the sport.

    However, he returned to Europe, and with the Vuelta in his legs and some rest and relaxation scheduled with his family in Chicago, Vande Velde is ready to return to the level of 2008, when he finished fourth in the Tour de France.

    “My time off since the Vuelta has been great,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “It’s the first time in a while where I’ve had an off-season and where I raced through to the end of the season. I don’t have that pressure to get back on the bike and can relax and have a good time. My family and I are enjoying it a lot.”

    His relaxed demeanour is a contrast to the Vande Velde that returned home during the Tour.

    “I was very apprehensive about going the Vuelta,” he continued.

    “To be honest, I didn’t know if the move was good or bad. It turned out to be great and I’m happy that I went. My form was getting better and I was able to help out my teammates. We had two stages wins, a bunch of near misses and Tom [Danielson] got top ten overall. It was a big success for me and the team.”

    Vande Velde found himself riding as a domestique deluxe for Garmin – a role he performed earlier in his career for Lance Armstrong and then Carlos Sastre. On the flat stages he helped...

  • Androni Giocattoli team wins the Italian championship

    The Androni Giocattoli celebrate success in the Italian Cup competition
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 19:34 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Gianni Savio's team secures a place in the 2011 Giro

    The Androni Giocattoli team has won the season-long Campionato Italiano competition and so secured an automatic invitation to the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

    The team scored a total of 838 points thanks to consistently taking results in the leading Italian races. The De Rosa-Stac Plastic team was second with 748 points, and Liquigas-Doimo was third with 633 points.

    Leading points scorers for the team included Michele Scarponi, who was fourth overall in the Giro d'Italia, Trofeo Laigueglia winner Francesco Ginanni, Sardinian sprinter Alberto Loddo and classics rider Leonardo Bertagnolli.

    "It's an important success that we'd like to dedicate to our fans and sponsors. As a team that is based and registered in Italy, we'll be proud to wear the red, white and green scudetto logo on our jersey, even when we're abroad," team manager Gianni Savio said.

    "We're building a competitive team for next season that includes well-placed riders in the international rankings. We're enthusiastic for the new season and intend to honour, as we've always done, all the races we ride."

    Savio's Androni Giocattoli team is the first team to secure a place in the 2011 Giro d'Italia. The full route of the race will be unveiled in Turin on October 23.

  • Nélson Oliveira signs for Team RadioShack

    Nélson Oliveira (Portugal) earned a silver medal at the 2009 U23 time trial world championship.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 20:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Portuguese TT talent steps up to ProTour in 2011

    Nélson Oliveira has signed an agreement to race for Team RadioShack next season, the team announced today.

    "Nélson has a lot of potential and just as important, fits in with our group of experienced riders," said Johan Bruyneel, RadioShack team director. "That Nélson has talent is obvious when you look at his results of the last years."

    Oliveira, a four-time Portuguese time trial champion, narrowly missed the podium in last month's U23 world championship time trial in Australia where he finished fourth, 3.95 seconds behind bronze medalist Marcel Kittel of Germany. In 2009, Oliveira earned a silver medal in the U23 time trial world championship won by Australia's Jack Bobridge.

    The 21-year-old Portuguese rider made his professional debut in 2010 for Spain's Xacobeo Galicia team. At this season's European U23 championships held in Turkey, Oliveira earned a silver medal in the road race and a bronze medal in the time trial. He also finished 16th overall at the Tour de l'Avenir and 24th at the Presidential Tour of Turkey.

    Oliveira is one of six new riders recently signed by the American ProTour squad, joining Ireland's Philip Deignan, Portugal's Manuel Antonio Cardoso, USA's Ben King, Poland's Michal Kwiatkowski and New Zealand's Jesse Sergent.

    "We continue to work on the future of Team RadioShack," said Bruyneel. "Ivan Rovny and Jason McCartney both re-signed for another year and we are still exploring the cycling market."

  • Ghent lab chief dismisses Contador’s calls for Clenbuterol cut-off

    Alberto Contador made an emotional plea of innocence during his press conference
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 22:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Peter Van Eenoo explains ‘long tail’ test for banned drug

    Peter Van Eenoo, the head of the Ghent anti-doping laboratory has dismissed Alberto Contador’s calls for a threshold limit for determining if an athlete is positive for the banned substance Clenbuterol.

    Contador was declared positive for a small quantity of the drug in a test carried out during the second rest day of this year’s Tour de France. The test was carried out by the laboratory in Cologne Germany, which detected just 50 picograms/millilitre (or 50 parts per trillion) - 40 time less than what the anti-doping laboratories accredited by WADA must be able to detect.

    While some banned drugs like the steroid nandrolone have limits above which an athlete's sample must test in order to bring about an "adverse analytical finding", any amount of Clenbuterol, no matter how minute, if found in a sample, can cause a rider to be suspended.

    Contador has denied deliberately taking Clenbuterol, which can be used to enhance muscle mass and help weight loss, claiming the positive was caused by eating contaminated meat, brought to the Tour de France by a friend.

    Speaking to the Reuters news agency, Van Eenoo, the head of the Ghent laboratory, said that unlike cocaine, Clenbuterol breaks down very slowly in the body and the effect is long term, hence the decision by the anti-doping authorities to look for tiny traces of the drug.

    “Cocaine is very different (to Clenbuterol), because while it has an enormous immediate effect, if you tested me in two days you probably wouldn’t detect it. That’s why cocaine is only banned in competition, and why we don’t even report it if it’s only there in small quantities. Clenbuterol, though, is always prohibited,” Van Eenoo said.

    “If I took a lot and you tested me an hour later, I might still have a lot in my system, but if you tested me in four or five days, it might be there in small quantities and you wouldn’t know what effect it...

  • Interbike back flips on Anaheim move

    Jens Voigt signing autographs at the 2010 Interbike show
    Article published:
    October 13, 2010, 1:45 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Show to remain in Las Vegas for 2011, 2012

    Organisers of cycling’s main North American trade show, Interbike, have announced the show will remain in Las Vegas, USA, for a further two years. The announcement follows an underwhelming response to its August announcement that the show would move forward to August and to Anaheim in California.

    In addition to remaining in Nevada the show will also retain its usual position in September, rather than the attempted August date which would have put it before Germany’s Eurobike.

    Interbike director Andy Tompkins said the back-flip came after a ‘very real response’ from the industry.

    “We are hearing loud and clear that, at this time, the industry prefers September dates and the convenience of Las Vegas," said Tompkins. "The announcement that we were moving the show dates and location elicited a very real response that surveys and discussions alone couldn't accomplish.

    "Due to the overwhelmingly positive response to this year's show and the countless conversations we've personally had with exhibitors and retailers regarding the future dates and location of Interbike, we are reversing our earlier decision to move the 2011 show to Anaheim in August,” he added.

    Next year’s OutDoor Demo will remain in Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, on September 12-13 while the indoor show will remain at Sands Convention Center on September 14-16. The dates for 2012 have also been confirmed, with the Outdoor Demo on September 17-18 and the indoor show on September 19-21, 2012.

    "Interbike has always been and will continue to be the industry's show," continued Tompkins. "We have heard the market's passion and commitment to this event and we want you to know that we are listening. We believe the new direction will best serve the current needs of the marketplace."

  • Skil-Shimano frees Houanard, reels in Sprick

    Matthieu Sprick (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)
    Article published:
    October 13, 2010, 3:33 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Frenchman added to increase Tour appeal

    Professional Continental team Skil-Shimano has confirmed it’s terminated Steve Houanard’s contract, allowing the rider to take up his position at AG2R La Mondiale. Houanard signed with the French squad in August but as he was already under contract for 2011 with the Dutch squad he required Skil-Shimano’s blessing in order to make the move.

    “Skil-Shimano earlier already stated that it was prepared to let Houanard go since it was able to contract a replacement,” said a release from the squad. “Houanard is now free to join his new team.”

    Houanard joined Skil-Shimano as a trainee in 2008 and has remained with the squad ever since. Two top 10 places in stages of the Tour of Luxembourg and Bayern Rundfahrt were his top results from this season.

    The squad has also announced a new signing this week in the form of Frenchman Matthieu Sprick. The 29-year-old joins Skil-Shimano from Bbox Bouygues Telecom, which had looked set to collapse until Europecar came onboard at the end of last month.

    Sprick has extensive experience as a general classification helper in the Grand Tours, which fits with Skil’s goal of bolstering its appeal to Grand Tour organisers. Sprick has contested the Tour de France on five occasions, reaching the finish on four of those editions, and has also contested the Vuelta a España on two occasions and the Giro d’Italia once.

    “It appeals to me that riders at Skil-Shimano are given the opportunity to take their own chances at certain times, which fits in well with my goal of continuing to develop and put in good performances,” said Sprick. “I also share Skil-Shimano’s ambition of building up the team to bring participation in the Tour de France within reach again. I will do my utmost to achieve that.”