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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Date published:
October 09, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Conflict continues over Kimmage defense fund

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    October 08, 2013, 20:24 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Kimmage supports donor group over Brown

    The conflict over the Paul Kimmage Defense Fund is continuing, with competing websites targeting the 3,000 individual donors to the fund. Around $64,000 remains of the total $96,169.90 collected from people around the world, according to Aaron Brown, who has now set up a web page promising to refund a portion of the donations.

    However, Kimmage himself is working with the creator of another page, started by Wisconsin Circuit Court Judge and fund donor Bill Hue, who has asked a Massachusetts Court to allow him to represent all of the donors. The purpose of page is to "keep donors informed of the status [of the fund], share legal filings with them and to invite their comments and questions".

    Hue writes on the site that he created it to "put the grassroots Defense Fund into the control of a neutral [party] so that Paul may use the funds in litigation or simply return them to donors as we (the donors) decide."

    Kimmage himself has informed Cyclingnews that he is collaborating with Hue. "It's hard for me to take a stance over something I had no hand in creating or ever had control of," Kimmage said. "My only wish is that every penny that was donated is accounted for and the balance is refunded."

    The Kimmage Defense Fund was created in 2012 by Lesli Cohen, who together with Brown ran the satirical website, and's Andy Shen, after Kimmage was subjected to a defamation lawsuit taken by now-former UCI presidents Pat McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen. The allegedly defamatory comments came from an interview which Kimmage made with Shen.

    There was a groundswell of support for Kimmage, and Cohen and Brown used the now-defunct Chip-In website to collect the nearly $100,000 of...

  • Belkin buy Luis Léon Sanchez out of his contract

    2012 San Sebastian champion Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 8:54 BST
    José Been

    Linked to too many doping stories, say team

    Luis Léon Sanchez and Team Belkin have parted ways after the Dutch team bought the rider out of the final two years of his existing contract. Sanchez had a deal with Belkin for the 2014 and 2015 but according to De Telegraaf the buy-out was made in May of this year.

    “His name is reported in too many cases,” a spokesman told the Dutch newspaper.

    The 29-year old rider signed with Rabobank in 2011 after four years with Caisse d’Epargne, one year with Astana and two years with Liberty Seguros. He has won four stages in the Tour de France. The victories in 2011 and 2012 saved Belkin - known as Rabobank at the time  - after otherwise bleak performances in the overall classifications.

    The 2012 Tour de France stage victory to Foix had prompted Rabobank’s then manager, Harold Knebel, to give Sanchez a new two-year contract. After winning the Clasíca San Sebastian in that same year, Knebel extended that to a three-year deal until 2015. The value of the contract is reportedly 2.4 million Euros.

    Knebel only informed the rest of the management after he signed the Spaniard. However, Richard Plugge, the current team manager, sidelined the Spaniard in February 2013 because of his involvement in several doping-related investigations.

    In the USADA report of 2012 the name of Luis Léon Sanchez was linked to Dr. Michele Ferrari. In 2007, when he was part of the Caisse d’Epargne team, Sanchez took part in a training camp Dr. Ferrari attended. Sanchez admitted he had worked with Ferrari but claimed no doping was involved.

    In 2011 Sanchez’ name...

  • Van de Walle retires after 15 year career

    Jurgen Van de Walle (Lotto-Belisol)
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 10:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Lotto-Belisol domestique to bow out on Friday

    Jurgen Van de Walle has announced his retirement after a 15 year professional career as a hard working domestique and stage race rider. Van de Walle was due to retire at his local race in Zwevezele, in west Flanders on Friday but a leg injury has complicated his goodbye.

    "The Giro di Lombardia will probably have been my last race. I have a problem with my left leg, the consequence of a crash in the Vuelta. My leg feels tired, that's why I didn't have power in Lombardia and abandoned. I'll be present in Zwevezele on Friday, but normally I won't get on the bike unless there's a spectacular improvement," he said via the Lotto-Belisol team.

    The tall and powerful Belgian won just three races during his career but played a valuable role as a domestique, particularly in hilly races. He twice won Halle-Ingooigem and was part of the Quick Step team that won the team time trial at the 2008 tour of Qatar. He rode nine Grand Tours during his career and finished eighth overall in the 2008 Tour of California.

    "When I started as a professional cyclist I definitely would have signed up for this career," he said confirming his retirement.

    "I am a pure helper, I don't have the explosiveness to be a finisher. Soon I knew what qualities I had and built my career around it. When I rode in the bigger teams, I could become valuable as a helper. Winning yourself is always a great moment, you dream of it when you start cycling. I'm not the winning type, so the times I could, made me very happy."

    "Taking part in the Tour stays something special, I'll always remember entering the Champs Élysées. I love all uphill races. My classic will always be Liège-Bastogne-Liège. I always found that the most beautiful race. What I'll always recollect is when as a neo...

  • Argos Shimano creates an Under 23 squad for 2014

    Team Argos-Shimano drives the pace in stage 4.
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 11:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutch team continues to grow

    Dutch WorldTour set up Argos Shimano has announced the formation of an Under 23 squad for the 2014 season. The team will complete at the Continental level - subject to UCI licence approval - and act as a feeder squad for the WorldTour team. Argos-Shimano already has a women’s professional team.

    “The team will be composed of a mix of young riders moving up from the junior ranks and 22-year-old riders with some experience in the Europe Tour,” the team confirmed in a statement released on Wednesday.

    “The establishment of this team is a reflection of what Team Argos-Shimano stands for: development of young riders through our way of working," said general manager Iwan Spekenbrink.

    Spekenbrink has built Argos Shimano into one of the most admired WorldTour squads on the circuit. This year the team competed in the Tour de France for a third time, with sprinter Marcel Kittel winning four stages. The team also won stages in both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana this season.

    Spekenbrink has designated Jens Lang as the head coach of the Under 23 team. The German previously held a similar position with Thüringer Energie, where he worked with both Kittel and John Degenkolb.

    “I’m enjoying the new task,” said Lang. “It is a challenge to work in an international team. The new team will offer an optimal environment for preparing young riders for the WorldTour, which is something I am eager to be part of.”

    Last week the team announced that Kittel had extended his contract with the team and that several of the female riders would remain within the team too. The roster for the U23 programme will be announced at a later date.

  • Scarponi considering his options for 2014

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) was voted most combative
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 12:28 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian set to choose between Lampre-Merida, Astana, Cannondale and Europcar

    Michele Scarponi is expected decide his future after completing his season this weekend, with Lampre-Merida, Cannondale, Astana and Europcar all interested in signing the rider, according to his agent Raimondo Scimone.

    Scarponi is one of the last big-name riders still to sign a contract for 2014. He finished fourth overall in the Giro d'Italia and was 15th in the Vuelta a Espana. His three-year deal with Lampre-Merida ends this year and the Italian team has been locked in negotiations with the rider for several months. The team has signed new world champion Rui Costa as team leader for the Tour de France but lacks a leader for the Giro d'Italia after yet another poor season by Damiano Cunego. Also joining Lampre-Merida in 2014 are sprinter Sacha Modolo and Rafael Valls, while time trialist Adriano Malori will move to Movistar.

    Scarponi will ride the Coppa Sabatini in Tuscany on Thursday and then the Giro dell' Emilia on Saturday. He recently won the GP degli Etruschi race before the world championships and rode well for Italy in Florence, helping set up Vincenzo Nibali's last lap attack.

    "Michele is targeting the final Italian races of he season and then I hope he makes a careful decision on his future," Scimone told Cyclingnews.

    "It's an important decision. It's perhaps more of a natural choice to stay at Lampre-Merida but all the offers are interesting but carry different roles and responsibilities. He'd be the team leader for the Giro d'Italia in almost every team but if he joined Cannondale he'd be joint team leader with Ivan Basso. At Astana he'd probably lead the team at the Giro and then help Vincenzo Nibali. But they've been rivals for many years and so it'd be an interesting change in Michele's career."

    Scarponi was 34 in September and has been...

  • Video: The Armstrong Lie – official movie trailer

    Stefano Garzelli, Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso on the 2005 stage to Ax-3 Domaines
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 14:55 BST
    Josh Patterson/Future Publishing

    Film out in November

    In 2009 documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney set out make a film about Lance Armstrong's return to professional cycling. Gibney’s project was shelved in the wake of the doping scandal that erupted in the months and years that followed. But it's now been turned into The Armstrong Lie, a two hour film that will premiere in the USA on November 8.

    Armstrong’s doping confession in an interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year opened the doors for the project to move forward with a much different narrative, one that appears to focus as much on the power and cult of personality surrounding Armstrong as the doping itself.

    Sony Pictures has just released the first trailer for The Armstrong Lie. The film chronicles Armstrong’s rise to power and glory and examines the fallout from one of the greatest scandals in the history of sport.

    The Armstrong Lie opens in New York and Los Angeles November 8, with other cities to follow.

  • Dubai could host a future start of the Giro d'Italia

    The Dubai Tour jersey was on show at the presentation
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 15:39 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Dubai Tour staff visit il Lombardia before inaugural race in 2014

    Dubai could host the start of the Giro d'Italia in the next few years as the globalization of the sport continues and event organisers look for new sources of funding for major events.

    The middle eastern Emirate will host the Dubai Tour - its first international stage race, in February 2014 in partnership with RCS Sport. Key staff from Dubai visited the Giro d'Italia in May and were at Il Lombardia and the 2014 Giro d'Italia presentation in Milan on Monday to learn more about the technical and promotional aspects of professional cycling.

    Cyclingnews has discovered that the idea of hosting the Giro d'Italia Grand Partenza is already being considered.

    The Middle East has hosted early-season races in Qatar and Oman for several years and other sports have tapped into the wealth and the passion for sport in the area to boost their international profile.

    The Giro d'Italia, Vuelta a Espana and the Tour de France have started in various parts of Europe before, with riders and race staff flying from Denmark to Italy and from the Netherlands to Spain in recent years. Logistics and travel are becoming less and less of a problem. There is only a two-hour time difference between Italy and Dubai.

    RCS Sport obtained dispensation from the UCI for an extra rest day in the 2014 Giro d'Italia after three days of racing to allow teams to make the three-hour flight from Ireland to Italy. A similar schedule could open the door to a Grand Tour start in the Middle East or even on the East coast of the USA.

    "This is something were working on and were going to discuss as part of our strategy with the Giro organisers," Mohammed Merhab Al Sabagh, a board member of the UAE Cycling Federation and the head of the technical and sport division of the Dubai Tour told Cyclingnews...

  • Cannondale set to team up with Tinkoff in 2014

    The Cannondale team
    Article published:
    October 09, 2013, 18:46 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Basso to stay as Amadio works to extend Sagan's contract

    Cannondale and Tinkoff are set to join forces in 2014 as the Italian-managed team tries to build for the future and hold onto team leader Peter Sagan.

    The Slovakian sprinter's contract ends in 2014 but the estimated seven million Euro sponsorship from Tinkoff would allow team manager Roberto Amadio to cover Sagan's probably four million Euro salary and so fight off any rival bids for the Tour de France points jersey winner.

    Cannondale replaced Liquigas as title sponsor of the team in 2013 and now owns 90% of Brixia Sport, the management company that runs the team and has Sagan under contract. Despite Cannondale investing several million Euro each season, further sponsorship is needed if the team is to remain one of the best teams in the UCI WorldTour.

    Oleg Tinkov confirmed his acrimonious split from Bjarne Riis' team and that he had found a new team via Twitter. He wrote: "I have now my team. I have good partners. We will announce soon. Show must go on! All the best to Saxo-Tinkoff riders!!!"

    Last week Tinkov was in London to announce the stock market flotation of his Russian Credit Card company. He is the majority shareholder along with Goldman Sachs and hopes to raise $750 million from the flotation.

    Cannondale team manager Roberto Amadio refused to confirm the news of the arrival of Tinkoff as a major sponsor but Cyclingnews has heard that Tinkoff is on board from several sources.

    "We're still negotiating with probable sponsors but I can't say anything because they're not signed off yet. Tinkoff could be one of them. We'll see…." Amadio told Cyclingnews.

    "We've submitted all the documents that were needed with the UCI and the Cannondale team will be in the peloton in 2014."

    Convincing Sagan to stay

    Despite Cannondale being a...