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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 4, 2009

Date published:
December 04, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Petacchi confident in Lampre, resolution of ProTour licence

    Alessandro Petacchi at the 2010 Giro d'Italia presentation
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 10:02 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    Italian sprinter ready to battle Cavendish at Milano-Sanremo

    Italian sprinter Alessandro Petacchi is confident Lampre's manager Giuseppe Saronni will resolve the team's ProTour licence problem. Petacchi said last night at the team's presentation in Castenedolo, Italy, that he's calm and ready to win.

    "The ProTour licence is only an administration problem. Saronni is meeting with International Cycling Union (UCI) on Monday and will resolve it. Not having it could have an affect on a lot of races, but I am not thinking of that now," said Petacchi.

    The UCI ProTour Council (UPTC) confirmed the registration of 17 teams on November 25. Lampre was omitted from the list, with the  decision of cancelling its ProTour licence referred to the independent ProTour licence commission. The team's registration application lacks certain administrative and financial documents.

    Petacchi joined Lampre partly because of its ProTour or top division status. He spent the last two seasons with LPR Brakes, a second division team that had to rely on wild card invitations to some of cycling's top races.

    "I think that I have a hard time in the last two years. I haven't been able to have a complete year where I have done the races I prefer," Petacchi continued.

    With or without the ProTour licence, Petacchi will start his season at GP Etruschi on February 2. He's won the Italian one-day race five times in its 14-year history.

    His early season goal is to win Milano-Sanremo on March 20, five years after his first in 2005. He expects defending champion Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) to be strong, but is confident his fellow Lampre-newcomers can help deliver him to a second win.

    "Everyone talks only of Cavendish, but I think there are a lot of others to battle. Sanremo is always a particular race, just because he has won this year does not mean he can win next year. Only a few have won over many years, like Erik Zabel for example.

    "I've worked with Saronni to bring in...

  • Cofidis manager criticises ProTour points system

    Eric Boyer, the head of the AIGCP, voiced concerns over the new ProTour agreement.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 10:11 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Boyer says team will "ride less offensively" next season in hope of ProTour return

    After it finished 20th of the International Cycling Union's ProTour ranking this season, French squad Cofidis will next year race without ProTour status. While team manager Eric Boyer is upset about being relegated to the Professional Continental level, he has also criticised the governing body's points system, and said it did not represent the team's quality as a whole.

    "The system of attribution of the points does not completely reflect the value of the teams," Boyer told Cyclingnews on Friday morning, from the team's training camp in Gréoux-les-Bains, French Alps. The team manager explained that while it was good to have a system to determine the most appropriate teams to ride the top races, he feels that the current ProTour points system should take into account more factors than it does.

    At the moment, teams score points for the ProTour ranking when they win, or place top ten in one-day races or stage races (top-20 in the Grand Tours). Stage victories are also rewarded, but the mountains or points jerseys at stage races, including the Grand Tours, do not count for ProTour points.

    "The team classification, for example, counts for nothing," added Boyer. "We finished fifth in the teams classification in the Vuelta - that does imply that we belong to the elite of pro cycling, doesn't it? David Moncoutié finished best climber of the Dauphiné Libéré and the Vuelta a España, but this did not help us in the ProTour ranking, either."

    The former president of the professional teams association AIGCP explained further that while he did not like it, the team's strategy for next year will be to ride less offensively to score more points and hopefully make the cut for the 2011 ProTour.

    "This season, we did not take into a account this points system, standing at the start line of a race," he continued. "We are not there to score points, but to win races. That's not how I conceive pro...

  • Bettini accused of tax evasion

    World Champ Paolo Bettini (Quickstep-Innergetic) in a world of pain.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 10:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    Double World Champion to have evaded 11 million Euro

    According to the Gazzetta dello Sport, Paolo Bettini is currently under investigation by the Italian tax authorities. The double World champion and Olympic champion is accused of having evaded nearly 11 million Euro from Italian income tax officers.

    By fictionally moving his residence to the Principality of Monaco, known to be a tax haven, the former cyclist is suspected to having committed the fraud. Investigators believe Bettini continued to live in Italy and only transferred his residence to evade the income tax officiers.

    Bettini, a one-day classics specialist during his time, retired from pro cycling in 2008.

  • No Giro d'Italia for Euskaltel-Euskadi

    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 11:57 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Basque team skip Italian Grand Tour once again

    Euskaltel-Euskadi, although a ProTour team, will not be at the start of the 2010 Giro d'Italia. Team general manager Igor González de Galdeano confirmed to Spanish newspaper Deia that the Basque outfit will once again skip the Italian Grand Tour, as it did in 2009.

    "We will continue to do without the Giro," he said. "Our goals will be the same ones as this year: home races, the Tour [de France] and the Vuelta [a España]."

    Next season, Euskaltel's 24 riders will have a schedule of 200 racing days, as compared to 190 this season.

  • Cervélo sign Appollonio and Tondo

    Xavier Tondo (Andalucía-Cajasur)
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 13:54 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Italian neo-pro and Spanish veteran bolster Swiss Professional Continental team

    Cervélo TestTeam today announced that it has signed Italian Davide Appollonio and Spaniard Xavier Tondo Volpini to their roster for next season. Appollonio has been given a full contract after serving as a stagiaire with the Swiss team since August, while Tondo has transferred from Andalucia-Cajasur.

    Appollonio's apprenticeship with the Cervélo saw him take part in the Tours of Ireland and Britain. The Italian finished 22nd overall at the Irish Tour and fifth on the third stage of the Tour of Britain. Those results, as well as victories at the GP Pretola, Firenze-Empoli and the Coppa Lanciotto Ballarini, have impressed his employer enough for them to offer a two-year, neo-pro contract.

    "I signed with Cervélo TestTeam because it is the best team in the sport for a young rider to join to develop himself. My goal for next season is to always give my best and help obtain results for the team," said 20-year-old Appollonio today.

    Cervélo sports director Jens Zemke said the team will look to develop Appollonio through a schedule of smaller races in his first full year as a professional.

    "During his stagiaire period with us in Britain and Ireland Davide showed us his strengths, especially in shorter climbs and sprints," said Zemke. "We will work with him and help him develop for the future by sending him to smaller races. However, he will also get the opportunity to ride with our big captains. He is a good team player and we will integrate him into a team that is ready to win races."

    In contrast to his neo-pro colleague, Xavier Tondo Volpini will enter his seventh season as a professional with Cervélo. The 31-year-old has experienced his most successful season this year with wins at Argentina's Tour de San Luiss and the prologue of the Ruta del Sol.

    "We're happy to have Xavier on our team for next season and are convinced that he will fit very well with the squad," said Cervélo...

  • Sicard leads Euskaltel debutants at Tour Down Under

    Romain Sicard (France)
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 14:24 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Under-23 World Champion joins four new members of Basque team in Adelaide

    Romain Sicard, the reigning Under-23 world road champion, will lead a host of Euskaltel-Euskadi riders due to make their ProTour debut with the team at the Tour Down Under, January 19-24.

    Biciclismo reports that the 21-year-old Frenchman will travel to South Australia with Jonathan Castroviejo, Daniel Sesma, Gorka Izagirre and Miguel Mínguez, who have all recently signed with the Basque squad.

    Three-year Euskaltel-Euskadi veteran Iban Velasco will be the longest-serving member of the team in Adelaide. Mikel Nieve will complete the list of seven riders to compete for Euskaltel-Euskadi at the opening race of the 2010 ProTour calendar.

    Sicard's first ProTour race will come some seven months after he agreed to ride with the Basque team. Sicard signed his contract for next season in July, three months before he won the overall title at the Tour de l'Avenir and the Under-23 road world title in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

    The six-stage Tour Down Under begins on January 19, although it will be proceeded two days earlier by the Cancer Council Helpline Classic circuit race.

  • Skyter backs out of plan to take over Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung

    Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nurnberger) wins Stage 8 of the Giro Donne
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 17:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    German team's future up in the air

    Skyter GmbH will not take over Equipe Nürnberger Versicherung in the coming season, due to financial considerations. The team management was not clear what would happen with the team built around Trixi Worrack and Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke.

    In a statement released Friday evening, the team said that Skyter informed them only a few days ago that other sponsors, whose identities the team does not know, were not fulfilling their obligations. “Obviously these have pulled out and Skyter alone is not in a position to fulfill its agreed-upon sponsoring obligations.

    “Skyter continues to produce new excuses as to why it must not pay the agreed-upon money,” the team charged.

    The team further noted that, in reliance on Skyter's sponsorship agreement, “numerous contracts with the athletes and suppliers of Equipe Nürnberger have already been signed. If Skyter should break its contract, the Equipe Nürnberger GmbH will force Skyter to meet its responsibilities and request payment of damages.”

    Skyter is a Luxembourg-based company that purchases, sells and charters yachts of 30 metres in length and up. It started time-sharing yachts for a specified number of weeks per year. Skyter GmbH is the firm's German branch, based in Fürth, near Nürnberg.

    Nürnberger Versicherung, which had sponsored the team for 10 years, announced over the summer that it was ending its sponsorship at the end of this year.

  • Kelly Benefit Strategies announces 2010 roster

    Scott Zwizanski in the leader's jersey at the 2009 Tour de Beauce.
    Article published:
    December 04, 2009, 18:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    US Continental team's line-up "strongest yet"

    Kelly Benefit Strategies Pro Cycling team, a US-based Continental squad, announced its 15-rider 2010 roster, which returns 10 core members from its 2009 line-up and sees five additions.

    Jesse Anthony joins Kelly Benefit Strategies (KBS) from Team Type 1 and is best known for his cyclo-cross skills. The 24-year-old is a seven-time national champion in the cyclo-cross discipline. Ian Macgregor, 26, also joins KBS from Team Type 1 and is a two-time Under-23 National Road Champion with strength in tackling climbing stages.

    Alex Boyd, 22, comes from Rock Racing and was the 2007 Collegiate National Road Race Champion. Guy East, 22, joins KBS from Trek-Livestrong. East's strengths lie in time trialing and track racing.

    Mark Hinnen was a member of KBS in 2007 and 2008 but had trouble with illness and injury. After a one-year hiatus, the 22-year-old Canadian returns to the team for a third season.

    Returning from the 2009 roster are Americans Andrew Bajadali, Dan Bowman, Alex Candelario, Cheyne Hoag, Reid Mumford, Neil Shirley and Scott Zwizanski and Canadians Ryan Anderson, Zach Bell and David Veilleux.

    "Our 2010 roster will be our strongest yet," said Jonas Carney, KBS performance director. "We have retained the majority of our team that delivered so many great results in 2009 and also added more power, experience and young talent.

    "Our philosophy has always been to build a team, not buy one superstar. Having said that, we could not be more pleased with our new additions. I am very familiar with each of these guys and their potential."

    Kelly Benefit Strategies ended the 2009 season as the highest ranked non-ProTour team on the USA Cycling Professional Tour (5th place) and the highest ranked North American Team on the UCI America Tour (3rd place). The team also won three international UCI stage races - Andrew Bajadali took overall honours at the Tour of Thailand while Scott Zwizanski won both the Vuelta Ciclista del...