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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 14, 2012

Date published:
December 14, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: "Kazakhstan's Dream Team" presented in Astana

    The Astana team in kit and their bikes for the 2013 season
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 8:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Politicians, traditional dancers, boxers join Nibali and Vinokourov

    The Saryarka Velodrome in the Kazakhstan capital was host to the 2013 Astana Team presentation with new team manager Alexandre Vinokourov revealing some lofty goals of the back of the recruitment of Vincenzo Nibali.

    "Goal number one this year is to win the Giro d'Italia," said Vinokourov. "With Vincenzo Nibali leading a squad of strong, motivated riders in May, we know we have the pieces in place and a plan in motion to get us there."

    The 2013 Astana roster includes 29 riders from 10 countries was labelled by Kazakhstan's Deputy Prime Minister Kairat Kelimbetov, who is president of the national cycling federation, as "Kazakhstan's Dream Team".

    "Not only is it an international dream team, but it's also a chance for Kazakhstan's own riders to be a part of a great squad and prepare for other events over a longer time horizon, including the Olympic Games, where Vinokourov became our first gold medalist this year in London, and at the World Championships, where Alexey Lutsenko won the rainbow jersey this year in the Under 23 race in Limburg," Kelimbetov said.

    The celebrations for Alexandre Vinkourov continued, following his Olympic gold medal from the road race in London with fellow gold medallist, welter weight Serik Sapiyev, presenting the now-retired rider with a special pair of boxing gloves.

    "I know how hard cyclists train, how much their lives are dedicated to the sport, how much they fight to race at the front. Watching Vino in the last seven kilometers in London was more exciting and more inspiring for Kazakhstan than anyone ever hoped for, and on behalf of our country we want to support him and the entire team as he takes over a new challenge in the role of General Manager. When Vino fights, he fights to win, and when Astana lines up at a race next year, we know that spirit will carry on," Sapiyev said.


  • Orica-GreenEdge developing sprint options for 2013

    Mitch Docker (Orica-GreenEdge) was working hard for his teammates
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 8:57 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Docker part of lead-out for Howard and Matthews

    Two months following his final race of the year at the Tour of Beijing, Mitchell Docker is steadily building up for the coming season. The 26-year-old Australian was part of the Orica-GreenEdge squad that raced the NSW Grand Prix rounds at Cronulla and Wollongong and while he was just getting back into the swing of things, he says there was a noticeable difference to the way his legs felt since riding his first grand tour this year.

    Docker was given his chance to ride this year's Vuelta a España and while he was somewhat disappointed with some of his own performances, despite assisting Allan Davis to multiple podium finishes throughout the race, he learned a lot. One of the biggest changes has been the flow-on effect from his first three-week race.

    "I think I'm still getting some benefit from the Vuelta [a España]," said Docker to Cyclingnews. "You're still hurting like hell but not going backwards. It's a weird feeling," he said in regard to the NSW GP series.

    Unfortunately for Docker his inaugural season with Australia's first ProTeam was brought to a halt before it began. A crash that occurred during a team training camp in January meant he officially started his season in May at the Tour of Norway. He missed his chance to reach his early season goals at the spring classics and that has made him more motivated for next year.

    "I'm really looking forward to these early season goals. The [spring] classics are going to be my main focus. I'll...

  • Yorkshire to host Tour de France 2014 start

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) seals victory in the Tour de France with a commanding ride in the final time trial
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 10:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour returns to United Kingdom for first time since 2007

    The 2014 Tour de France will start in Yorkshire, England, race organizers ASO announced on Friday.

    It will be the first time that the Tour has started in the United Kingdom since 2007, and its first visit to Yorkshire.

    Other cities in the running to host the Grand Depart were Edinburgh, Scotland, and Florence, Italy.

    Yorkshire will host the first two days racing on the 5th and 6th July before the Tour heads south for a third stage in southern England, with a finish in London. Leeds will be the host city of the Grand Depart and will hold a festival of cycling and the arts to coincide with the arrival of the Tour. Full details of the stages will be revealed at a joint news conference in Leeds and Paris on 17 January.

    Christian Prudhomme, Tour de France Director visited Yorkshire several times and has seen how cycling has grown since the Tour started in London.

    “Since the resounding success of the Grand Départ in London in 2007, we were very keen to return to the United Kingdom. Bradley Wiggins’ historical victory last July and the enormous crowds that followed the cycling events in the streets of London during the Olympic Games encouraged us to go back earlier than we had initially planned," he said in a statement issued by the Yorkshire organisers.

    "Yorkshire is a region of outstanding beauty, with breathtaking landscapes whose terrains offer both sprinters and attackers the opportunity to express themselves. We have encountered a phenomenal desire from the Yorkshire team to welcome the Tour de France and have no doubt that passion and support will be particularly evident for the Grand Départ of the Tour de France 2014.”

    Yorkshire fought hard to secure the Tour de France Grand Depart, publicizing their bid in Britain and France during this...

  • Van de Wouwer to be sport director for Lotto Belisol

    The Lotto Belisol Ladies team.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 11:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian will work for both WorldTour and U23 teams

    Kurt Van de Wouwer will serve as a sport director for the Lotto Belisol WorldTour team in 2013, as well as continuing his work in the same capacity for the U23 team. The team made the announcement Wednesday from its training camp in Spain.

    Van de Wouwer, 41, rode professionally from 1993 to 2006. He finished in the top twenty of the Tour de France three times, with his best finish being 11th in 1999.

    "Of course this chance pleases me,” he said in the team press release. “When you are already working for a few years with the U23 and you see different guys moving on to the pros, then you hope that one day you can take the step yourself. At the U23 it's about developing new talent each year, with the pros you also get the chance to build something up."

    He saw the move as approval of his work with the younger riders, and doesn't anticipate any problems with moving up. “A lot of the staff I still know from when I was pro, a lot of riders I have had in the U23 team; my integration definitely won't be any problem and this training camp is ideal to get to know the people I don't know yet.

    “Next season my programme will be relatively limited  because I will combine both functions, but I'll pass on my experience in the stage races with pleasure."

  • Visconti banned for three months for Dr. Ferrari links

    Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 14:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian banned until Jan 7, fined 10,000 Euro

    Former Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) has been banned for three months and fined 10,000 Euro for working with Dr. Michele Ferrari.

    The Anti-doping Tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) announced the ban after a brief hearing on Friday morning in Rome. Visconti's ban runs from October 8 to January 7, meaning he will not miss a race. He has also been fined 10,000 Euro and ordered to pay 1,000 Euro for the costs of the disciplinary procedure.

    Fellow Italian Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) was given a similar ban on December 12 for also working with Dr. Ferrari, while Filippo Pozzato missed the London Olympic Games and was banned for three months during the summer for confessing to working with Dr. Ferrari.

    Visconti admitted working with Dr. Ferrari but insisted he had done nothing wrong, claiming he had only talked about training advice.

    "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 when the investigators first recommended a three month ban.

    Dr. Ferrari was banned for life from working as a sports doctor and coach in Italy but Italian Olympic Committee anti-doping investigators have struggled to secure bans for athletes after confusion about if Dr. Ferrari's ban was ever formalized and publicily announced.

    Dr. Ferrari has always denied doping riders but was heavily implicated in the USADA report that revealed the details of the US Postal Service team doping programme and lead to

  • Swift targets 2014 Yorkshire Tour de France stages

    Ben Swift (Sky) happy with his first place finish as well as taking the leader jersey.
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 16:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Scarborough and Sheffield could host stage finishes

    Team Sky's Ben Swift hopes to have a shot at a stage victory when the Tour de France spends two days near his home in Yorkshire in 2014. Swift hails from Rotherham, in central South Yorkshire, which could feature on the second stage, before a transfer south and a stage 3 finish on the Mall, in central London.

    Tour de France organisers ASO announced that Yorkshire would host the Grand Depart of the 2014 Tour de France, with Leeds hosting the start of the opening stage. A report on suggests that the road stage will end on the coast in Scarborough after a 200km loop. Stage 2 could start in York and end in Sheffield after crossing the Yorkshire Dales.

    Full details of the stages are expected to be unveiled at a joint press conference in Leeds and Paris on January 17.

    Swift rode the 2011 Tour de France with Team Sky when he was just 23 and hopes to secure a place in the team in 2014 so he can race on home roads.

    “I’m over the moon that the world’s biggest bike race is coming to Yorkshire. Until the "Back le Bid" initiative was launched, I never dreamed the Tour would ever start in my home county. It’s going to be amazing for the region, a massive honour, and I’m sure everyone in Britain is going to embrace this now," Swift said on the Team Sky website.

    “You only have to see the crowds that turned out in London in 2007 when the Tour started there, and cycling has boomed in the country since then. The crowds at the Olympics road races were absolutely phenomenal and I'm sure that will be the case again in 2014."

    Swift won a stage at the 2011 Tour of California and two stages at the 2012 Tour of...

  • Gallery: Androni Giocattoli assemble for winter retreat

    Pellizotti keeps warm while standing in front of the Pantani memorial
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 17:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bike fitting, testing and training for Savio’s men

    The Androni Giocattoli team led by current Italian road champion Franco Pellizotti spent a few days together in the town of Cesenatico for pre-season bike fitting and general training. Team general manager Gianni Savio attended the get-together while the riders visited a number of iconic spots, including the birthplace of Marco Pantani.

    Pellizotti was paying close attention to the work of his team mechanics as they went about building his new Bianchi Sempre. A number of riders had their current Bianchi Oltre’s at the camp, fitted with older generation SRAM Red; however, the team will use Campagnolo 11-speed in 2013.

    At this point it looks like the entire team will be fitted with the Super Record mechanical groupset from the Italian manufacturer with FSA remaining on-board as the crank, handlebars, stem and seatpost supplier. Fuclrum re-ups as the wheel partner with riders having the choice from an extensive range of options, including the popular Racing Speed - carbon tubular wheelset.

    The team also took a quick visit to the Marco Pantani memorial, where Pellizotti posed with his bike in front of the statue dedicated to arguably one of the best climbers of all-time. The Spazio Pantani, "Pantani Space" is one of the attractions inside the small town of Cesenatico in which the former Tour de France winner was born. However, the team didn’t have the opportunity to visit the museum of the Italian professional who passed away on February 14, 2004.

  • Video: Gesink takes aim at 2013 Giro d'Italia

    Robert Gesink (Blanco Pro Cycling)
    Article published:
    December 14, 2012, 20:45 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Dutchman hopes to attract sponsors for Blanco Pro Cycling

    Robert Gesink has confirmed that he will make his Giro d'Italia debut in 2013, and the Dutchman will line up in Naples flanked by a youthful Blanco squad, with his thoughts trained on final overall victory.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews in Fuerteventura during Blanco Pro Cycling's first training camp, Gesink explained that he will go to the Giro partly in a bid to entice a new backers to the team, which was left without a title sponsor when Rabobank withdrew in October.

    "Right now, we're team Blanco: that means we have no sponsor for our team and we have to work hard to find one," Gesink said. "The Giro is the first big tour and I think it's a good thing to be at the first big tour to show ourselves and show what we're made of and what we stand for."

    Not that Gesink's sojourn south of the Alps will solely be a marketing exercise. While the 26-year-old is also pencilled in to co-lead the squad with Bauke Mollema at July's Tour de France, he is going to Italy with the maglia rosa in mind, inspired in part by Ryder Hesjedal's victory in 2012.

    "A podium would be great," he said. "I look at last year and saw Ryder doing so good and I think if he can do so, maybe I can do so as well, hopefully. That's the ambition."

    While Astana and Sky are expected to bring strong teams to the Giro in support of Vincenzo Nibali and Bradley Wiggins, respectively, Blanco Pro Cycling could yet have considerable strength in numbers in the lead group on the climbs.

    Gesink is the central prong of a youthful trident that also includes 21-year-old Wilco Kelderman and 25-year-old Steven Kruijswijk, and all three are products of the Rabobank Continental team. "Everything is set up to go with a really strong...