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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 13, 2013

Date published:
December 13, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers becomes Avanti Racing Team

    The Avanti Racing Team 2014 kit
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 5:22 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    New name for Tasmanian team

    Having been previously gone by Huon Salmon Genesys Wealth Advisers, a change in title sponsors has bought a change in name with the Continetal outfit now known as the Avanti Racing Team. The team manager Steve Price said the team has had a strong partnership with Avanti during the 2013 season which precipitated the change. "This further investment by Avanti is testament to the world-class cycling development programme we have built over the past 13 years. Avanti equipment is superior technology and we look forward to getting it over the finish line first in 2014," Price said.

    Alumni of the team include several riders who have gone onto race at WorldTour level with Richie Porte, Will Clarke, Nathan Haas, Steele Von Hoff and Nathan Earle all having spent time with the Tasmanian squad. A rising star of Australian cycling, Jack Haig, who in winning the National Road Series (NRS) overall this year became the youngest rider to do so, remains with the team as he seeks to compete in mountain biking at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

    The managing director of Sheppard Industries, Bob Boniface said the ongoing sponsorship deal was great timing for Avanti as it continues to build a strong reputation in professional cycling

    "We are proud of our successful partnership with the Avanti Racing Team and we are delighted to be the new naming rights partner to this champion organisation. Avanti bikes provide a real advantage because the continuing evolution of bicycle design has included extensive research and consultation with the riders who race our bikes," Boniface said.

    The Avanti Racing Team will compete in the 2014 NRS Series with the latest range of racing bikes including the new Avanti Corsa SL, the Avanti Corsa DR and the Avanti Chrono Evo II time trial bike.

    A new addition to the team equipment is the launch of the new Avanti Bikes icon which...

  • Stefano Garzelli to become sports director at former Vini Fantini team

    Former Giro d'Italia champion Stefano Garzelli signs on for stage 4.
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 9:42 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Chris Horner offered to Scinto's team, now called Neri Sottoli

    Stefano Garzelli will remain in cycling next season as sports director of Neri Sottoli, the team formerly known as Vini Fantini-Selle Italia. The 40-year-old former Giro d'Italia winner was persuaded to take the role by team manager Luca Scinto.

    Garzelli ended his career with the fluorescent yellow team this year after racing the Giro d'Italia, a race he won in 2000, one final time. "It was my idea to ask him," Scinto told Gazzetta dello Sport. "It took me a bit of time to convince him, but in the end, Stefano accepted: I'm certain he has the qualities to do well. We are very different but we complement each other very well. His contribution will be crucial to the young riders."

    Gazzetta also reports that Chris Horner's agent Michael Rutherford has contacted the Neri Sottoli squad, offering the 42-year old Vuelta d'España winner's services for next season. Horner is still without a team for 2014, but it remains to be seen if Neri Sottoli's estimated €2.5 million budget could stretch to meet his wage demands. Horner was reportedly previously offered to Europcar's manager Jean René Bernaudeau for €750,000 a year.

    Scinto's team successfully applied for a Pro Continental licence for 2014 under the Yellow Fluo moniker, prior to Neri Sottoli's arrival as sponsor. The team currently has a roster of 17 riders for 2014, with with 14 Italians - Gianni Bellini, Giorgio Cecchinel, Francesco Chicchi, Daniele Colli, Samuele Conti, Andrea dal Col, Roberto de Parte, Andrea Fedi, Mauro Finetto, Luigi Miletta, Simone Ponzi, Mattia Pozzo, Matteo Rabottini and Mirko Tedeschi - Brazilian Rafael Andriato, Venezuela's...

  • Froome free of parasitic disease bilharzia

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) heads for the win in Japan
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 10:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner given all-clear in Kenya recently

    Chris Froome has revealed that he is now completely clear of the parasitic disease bilharzia, which had affected him intermittently since 2009. The Sky rider struggled in early 2011 and 2012 with the effects of the disease, but recovered sufficiently on each occasion to finish the season strongly.

    “At last I am free of the debilitating disease bilharzia," Froome told The Independent. "I had a test when I went back to Kenya recently and it is the first time it has come back negative since the diagnosis [in 2011 – ed.]. That is fantastic news for me. I'm not going to have to worry about that any more. That should be it gone now.”

    Froome was laid low with the disease in early 2011 but biltricide treatment allowed him to overcome the worst effects and ride to second place at that year’s Vuelta a España. The parasites remained in his system, however, and Froome was again stricken by illness in early 2012, but re-emerged to place second at that year’s Tour de France.

    When Froome was diagnosed with bilharzia in 2011, he was told that he had been afflicted by the parasites since 2009 and that they could remain in his system for up to six years.The disease is carried by fresh water parasites.

    “I have been going back every six months for the past two years and returning positive results. When I was first diagnosed they said it had been in my system for at least two years, but it could have been there even longer, five or six years possibly," Froome said.

    Froome has previously spoken of his desire to target the Tour de France for the next seven years, reiterated that at 28 years of age, he believes he still has many...

  • Nine Euskaltel-riders left without a team for 2014

    Samuel Sanchez inspects his cheese for being most aggressive rider
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 11:41 GMT
    By:
    José Been

    Samuel Sanchez linked to World Tour team

    After the demise of Euskaltel-Euskadi, nine of its riders are left without a team for 2014. Samuel Sánchez is one of the nine riders but according to sources cited by Spanish newspaper El País, the former Olympic champion has already signed a contract with a WorldTour team which will be announced in January.

    Sánchez is not ready to retire yet. He had a contract with Euskaltel for 2014 and 2015 and was set to ride for the team when Fernando Alonso took over. When that deal didn't go ahead, the Spanish veteran was left looking for a place again. He has been linked to several teams, including Pro Continental outfit Unitedhealthcare but the American squad confirmed to Cyclingnews that its roster is complete for 2014. Belgian pro continental team Wanty-Groupe Gobert are reported to be interested in signing the Beijing Olympic champion but are lacking funds. 

    Sanchez' Euskaltel teammate Igor Anton was left waiting for a contract until this week when Movistar signed the Spanish rider. "It was nonsense that a rider like Anton was left without a team," Movistar's team manager Eusebio Unzué told El Mundo. "He still has a lot to offer cycling. The deal was done very quickly." 

    Movistar is a lifeline for four of the former Euskaltel riders. Next to Anton, the brothers Gorka and Ion Izagirre and sprinter Juanjo Lobato found a place in Spain's only World Tour team. Three other riders have found places on WorldTour teams: Mikel Landa at Astana, Mikel Nieve at Team Sky and Romain Sicard with Europcar, while Pello Bilbao signed with pro continental team Caja Rural.

    ...
  • Heras sues for one million euros

    Roberto Heras was at the peak of his powers in 2000.
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 12:45 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Claims damages for lost earnings after his 2005 positive test over-turned

    A year on from the Spanish Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the doping ban imposed following a positive EPO test at the 2005 Vuelta a España, Roberto Heras has launched a legal suit against the Spanish cycling federation and the Spanish Sports Council (CSD) for loss of earnings. Heras, who has been reinstated as the victor of that 2005 race, is claiming €1 million.

    Spanish radio station Onda Cero reported this morning (Friday) that Heras’ legal team had lodged their claim the previous day. It is based on lost earnings and endorsements. Onda Cero also pointed out that such a claim could not be lodged again following the introduction of a new anti-doping law in Spain that prevents such action being taken.

    Former Kelme, US Postal and Liberty Seguros rider Heras has always insisted he is innocent of doping. After his record-breaking fourth Vuelta title had been stripped from him by the Spanish federation and handed to runner-up Denis Menchov, Heras took legal action, opting not to do so via the sporting judicial system but though Spain’s civil courts.

    In 2011, a legal tribunal in Valladolid ruled in favour of Heras, whose legal team had claimed the testing process on his sample had been flawed. According to their ruling, there were a number of irregularities, including the handover of the samples at room temperature almost 40 hours after they were taken by a person or company that was unknown.

    The Spanish federation, backed by government lawyers representing the CSD, challenged the verdict in Spain’s Supreme Court, which rejected the appeal and upheld the decision to clear Heras of the doping ban. This led to Heras’s reinstatement as the victor of the 2005 Vuelta.
     

  • Volta a Portugal winner Alex Marque tests positive

    Alejandro Marque (OFM-Quinta Da Lixa)
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 14:02 GMT
    By:
    José Been

    Alex Marque's contract with Movistar void

    Alex Marque tested positive for betamethasone in this year's Tour of Portugal in August. The 32-year-old Spaniard won the race and signed a contract with Team Movistar afterwards. However, the contract with the WorldTour team is now without any value and Marque faces a two-year ban from the sport.

    According to El País, which quotes several official sources, Marque tested positive for betamethasone, a glucocorticosteroid with anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive properties. The WADA prohibited list states that all glucocorticosteroids are prohibited when administered by oral, intravenous, intramuscular or rectal routes. The UCI have sent the test results to the Spanish cycling federation. Marque could face a two-year ban.

    He will also lose his overall victory in the Tour of Portugal. Marque lay the foundations for his overall victory in the mountain stage to Alto da Torre and took the lead in the penultimate stage, a 35.3 kilometre time trial. If Marque's results are declared void his OFM-Quinta da Lixa teammate Gustavo Veloso will be winner of the event.

    Overall victory in the UCI 2.1 race is Marque's only stage race win in a career which spanned ten years with smaller Portuguese teams, and it earned him a contract with Team Movistar. The Spanish team announced him as a time trial specialist and a rouleur.

    However, El País quotes sources within the Movistar Team who stated that: "the rider's contract contained a clause stating that he should arrive to the team without any problems. If not, the contract would lose all its value."

    Marque was unable to join Movistar's first team training camp in Pamplona this week because his mother suffered a serious illness. He will therefore not feature on the...

  • Armstrong bought "Million Dollar" Triple Crown victory, claims Gaggioli

    Lance Armstrong in 1993
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 15:18 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Mercatone Uno and Coors Light riders received payments

    Former rider Roberto Gaggioli has alleged that Lance Armstrong paid him $100,000 to allow him to claim the third and final leg of the Thrift Drug Triple Crown of Cycling in June 1993. The series carried prize money of $1 million for any rider who succeeded in winning all three races – the Thrift Drug Classic, the K-Mart West Virginia Classic and the CoreStates USPRO Championship in Philadelphia.

    Speaking to Corriere della Sera and the Italian magazine Cycling Pro, Gaggioli revealed how Armstrong - by then world champion - arrived at his room in a hotel in Bergamo in October of that year and paid out the fee in cash. “It was a young American colleague [at the door]. He gave me a cake wrapped as a present, wished me ‘Happy Christmas' and then left,” Gaggioli said. “There was $100,000 dollars in small bills in the box. That colleague was Lance Armstrong.”

    The Italian Gaggioli raced for the majority of his career in the United States and was racing for the Coors Light team in Philadelphia, an event he had previously won in 1988, while Armstrong was riding for Motorola. Gaggioli's New Zealand teammate Stephen Swart - who later rode for Motorola with Armstrong - has previously testified that Armstrong paid out $50,000 to be distributed among the Coors Light team during the second race of the series in West Virginia. Swart made the claim in 2006 when he provided evidence during court action between SCA Promotions and Armstrong over unpaid bonuses following his sixth Tour de France win.

    “Lance approached me before the start [in Philadelphia]. He said that my team, Coors Light, was in agreement and spoke to me about...

  • Lotto-Belisol rules out Horner return

    Thumbs up: Chris Horner in red on the final day
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 16:25 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Sergeant says American not in budget, strategy

    Marc Sergeant has ruled out re-signing American rider Chris Horner: the 2013 Vuelta a España winner is still looking for contract for next season.

    Sergeant, who runs the Lotto-Belisol team, signed Horner on a two-year deal in 2006 when the squad raced under the Davitamon banner. Horner moved to Astana in 2008 and later RadioShack before wining the Vuelta in September at the grand age of 42.

    "We worked together for two years but now on that money, at his age, he can't fit in our team," Sergeant told Cyclingnews.

    Sergeant has already bolstered his team with a number of signings for 2014 including Maxime Monfort and Tony Gallopin.

    "We're looking at giving chances to young guys with potential and we live up to the goals of André Greipel, Gallopin, and Jurgen Van den Broek, so Horner wasn't suited to that."

    Horner failed to land a deal with RadioShack's new title sponsor Trek and saw another option disappear when it was confirmed that Fernando Alonso's project would be shelved for at least another 12 months.

    "I saw his agent Michael Rutherford several times at the Vuelta and he knew it was not easy. I said to him whatever offer you give me I'll say no because it's not in our strategy and we don't have too much money to pay him."

    "Another part of the issue is that no teams need the points. Before it was a problem to be in top 15 teams but now that problem has gone. It's not like it was two or three years ago."