Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 10, 2014

Date published:
January 10, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Chris Horner appoints Baden Cooke as his new representative

    Chris Horner drops Vincenzo Nibali on the Alto de l'Angliru
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 11:35 GMT
    Jeff Quénet

    Former sprinter still hopeful for a WorldTour ticket for Vuelta winner

    Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner is yet to find a new team but he has a new agent in the form of recently retired sprinter Baden Cooke who has started the new year with the task of calling teams for his former team-mate after he received a phone call from him on December 31st.

    "His past agent [Michael Rutherford] was not able to find something", Cooke told Cyclingnews ahead of the Australian road championship in Ballarat, Victoria. "Normally, everything is done in terms of riders' contracts a long time before this time of the year, but when Chris called me, I said I would do it because since we've been team-mates in my very first professional team, Mercury [in 2000 and 2001], I've always known how good he is as a bike rider. He's been underrated until he won the Vuelta but he's been one of the most consistent champions of the past ten years."

    "I was a big fan when he raced the Vuelta for the win", Cooke continued. "I was surprised he didn't get a contract. Now I hope I can save the day for him. I've contacted many teams and I got a lot of negative answers, either because their roster is already full or because they want younger riders only, but there are still some possibilities in the air in the World Tour. Ideally, he'd race in support of a Tour de France contender and defend his title at the Vuelta. He's in the best form of his entire career and he's the cheapest Grand Tour winner of the past decade."

    Cooke, 35, retired from cycling after riding his fourteenth season as a professional. He's not a UCI certified agent yet. "Until I pass the exam in September, I'm working for free and on a verbal basis with the riders", the green jersey winner of the 2003 Tour de France said. "It's coming faster than I expected. Many cyclists have contacted me. But although I represent the oldest rider, my big emphasis is on young guys. I want to take young...

  • Hamilton sorry for contributing to Riis' depression

    Bjarne Riis with Inigo Cuesta
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 12:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    American stands by what he said in his book

    Tyler Hamilton has said that he is sorry that the revelations in his book sent Bjarne Riis into a depression, but he still stands by what he says.

    “It makes me extremely sad to hear. But the truth is hard sometimes, and I had to tell,” Hamilton told Danish broadcaster DR. “It's sad that I had to say this about really good people like Bjarne Riis, but as soon as I started to tell the truth, it felt so good.”

    In a documentary shown by the TV channel last night (Thursday), Riis revealed that the doping scandals that have plagued him, amongst other factors, sent him into a depression last year. In Hamilton’s book ‘The Secret Race’, the American claimed that his former team boss had helped him dope and was aware of doping within the CSC team.

    In 2007 Riis admitted to using EPO to take his 1996 Tour de France victory, but has always denied the allegations made in the book and in Michael Rasmussen’s recent autobiography. He continued to refuse to shed any light on them during the documentary saying, “I don't think it's relevant. You may think so, but I don't. Even if I could say a lot about other people, why would I do that?”

    Hamilton himself is no stranger to doping scandals. For a long time he denied doping, despite testing positive due to a blood transfusion, in 2004. He was banned again in 2009. It wasn’t until 2011 that admitted to his doping past and then went into further detail in his book.

    The American, who rode for Riis’ Team CSC from 2002 to 2003, says that he can empathise with what the Dane is going...

  • Gallery: Trek Factory Racing reveal new kit design

    Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 14:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team go for predominantly black design

    Trek Factory Racing have revealed their new kit at the team’s launch today in Roubaix.

    The new Bontrager-made kit is predominantly black, with white accents on the right shoulder and left leg. Breaking up the black design are the pin stripes, which go down the jersey and the shorts.

    The front of the jersey is dominated by the Trek Factory Racing logo across the chest with the sponsors Bontrager and Shimano sitting above it on either side of the zip.

    Trek Factory Racing have formed from the now defunct RadioShack-Leopard team, who disbanded at the end of last year.

  • Trek Factory Racing would have existed without me, says Cancellara

    Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing)
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 17:30 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Swiss rider keen to stress that he is just a rider as revamped squad launches

    By holding its presentation in Roubaix’s covered Vélodrome Jean Stablinski, a stone’s throw from the outdoor track that hosts the finale of Paris-Roubaix, Trek Factory Racing signalled not just a change in ownership, but a definitive shift in the dynamic of the team.

    When Leopard Trek, the squad that begat Trek Factory Racing, saw the light three years ago, the ceremony was conducted with considerable pomp at Luxembourg’s d'Coque arena, underlining emphatically that this was to be Fränk and Andy Schleck’s band. In that light, the revamped team’s decision to hold its 2014 launch in Fabian Cancellara’s cobbled fiefdom was tantamount to his investiture as outright leader.

    Not that the man himself saw it as such. Press officer Tim Vanderjeugd gently chided the media for directing the majority of their questions at Cancellara during Friday afternoon’s press conference, and the Swiss was keen to stress that while he is the leading player, he is by no means in sole creative control.

    "I don’t know how much you want to think I was involved in this whole case," Cancellara said of the transition that saw Trek purchase the Leopard WorldTour licence from erstwhile backer, Flavio Becca.

    "First, Trek made its own decision and said on its own, ‘we’re going to go on with something new.’ It’s not taking over the whole thing because this is a brand new team and a new adventure. I talked with [manager] Luca [Guercilena] and I said that’s the direction I want to go in, but on the end I really left it to them to make the team.

    "What really counts is this is not my team. The team...

  • Martin aiming for fourth straight Worlds title

    Tony Martin shows off his rainbow stripes
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 18:30 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    German star says hour record attempt could be down the line

    After Copenhagen in 2011, the Netherlands in 2012 and Italy in 2013, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has his eyes set on a fourth straight time trial world champion’s jersey in 2014, which he describes, categorically, as “my big objective for the season”.

    “After they changed the time trial course in Ponferrada” - originally an uphill finish and now, after a change of plans and route, much more of a power rider’s course - “I will have a bigger chance, although I’m not sure what my real possibilities are there yet, the route book may not be clear,” Martin said during the Omega Pharma-Quick Step training camp in Calpe, Spain. Told by journalists who have seen the altered course that it was rolling rather than hilly, the German cracked a cautious smile.

    But 2014 has plenty of opportunities for Martin before September’s big challenge. “There are good time trial stages for me in races like the Vuelta al País Vasco, Tour of Romandie and Tirreno,” he said. In February, he will also return to the Tour of the Algarve, where he has twice won before and, riding against Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), he could see the sparks fly.

    Martin will also be looking at the Tour de France mid-race time trial, which he won last year and in 2011, though he is not pleased that “there is only one time trial in there. It’s a shame, I think the Tour de France winner has to prove himself as a time triallist as well as at everything else.”

    Not riding the Tour though and opting out altogether “is not something I think about, the Tour is too important for that".

    The main changes in the 28-year-old’s season compared to 2013, in fact, are a start in the Tour of...

  • Tour Down Under and Tour de San Luis not just training for Katusha

    Joaquim Rodriguez in the 2014 Katusha team kit
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 19:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Directeur sportif Azevedo says team has a responsibility to show their colours

    Katusha will be attacking the early season on two fronts this January.

    The Russian squad have sent teams to the Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis. While bigger ambitions lay further down the line, directeur sportif José Azevedo says that they won’t be using the season openers for training.

    “These are high-level competition races, so it means that results are important,” Azevedo said in a team press release. “It is our responsibility to show our colours. We cannot consider races as training. Of course some riders have goals later in the season, but be assured, in our first races Katusha is ambitious.”

    Joaquim Rodríguez will be leading the team’s ambitions in San Luis. The Argentinean race will form part of the build-up to his tilt at the Giro d’Italia in May. He will be supported by Daniel Moreno, who has enjoyed a lot of his own success in recent times, and Giro stage winner Luca Paolini.

    Moreno was the highest placed finisher for Katusha last season, in 21st, with Rodríguez finishing almost half an hour down on the winner Daniel Diaz. Purito has remained more cautious than his directeur about his goals for the race.

    “It’s a perfect route to build up a good work base. I definitely won’t be starting out to win,” the Spaniard said earlier this year. “The South Americans will be arriving in top form and highly motivated."

    The team for the Tour Down Under has a less focused feel to it than the one heading to San Luis. Katusha didn’t ride the first WorldTour race of the year in 2013, due to a dispute with the UCI, which saw them briefly demoted to Pro...

  • Rujano coming out of retirement

    Jose Rujano will be the team's general classification hope at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 21:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Venezuelan looking for fourth Vuelta a Táchira title

    José Rujano comes out of retirement tomorrow as he begins his bid for a fourth Vuelta a Táchira title.

    The Venezuelan has secured a new racing licence and will ride for the government backed Táchira state team. It was a close run thing for Rujano, who was still in the dark about whether or not he would be able to ride until yesterday.

    President of the Venezuelan Cycling Federation (FVC), Artemio Leonett was accused of delaying the signing of the relevant documents by Rujano’s legal team, but he denied their was any issue on their side.

    “We did not suspend him, it was he who decided to retire and therefore we had to issue him a new licence,” explained Leonett.

    It has been nine months since Rujano last raced at the 2013 Tour de Romandie. Last March, Rujano was named as part of an investigation, known as Operación Amateur, into the trafficking of banned substances in Italy.

    He denied any wrongdoing and yet to be officially charged or sanctioned, but was suspended from racing by his Vacansoleil-DCM team. By the end of June, Rujano had become frustrated by being sidelined and chose to retire, citing a lack of support, “nationally and internationally.”

    The final two years of Rujano's career were frought with issues. He left the 2012 Giro d'Italia claiming he was suffering from mononucleosis, but his Androni-Giacattoli disputed this and he didn't race for them again. He signed for Vacansoleil, but hardly turned a pedal for them either. The highlight of his 10-year career was the 2005 Giro d’Italia, where he took third place, the mountain’s classification and three stage...

  • Ambitious African Wildlife Safaris Cycling Team aiming high in 2014

    The team at the bay crits
    Article published:
    January 10, 2014, 21:04 GMT
    Zeb Woodpower

    National Road Series and Herald Sun season objectives

    Having announced its application for a UCI Continental licence in order to race the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and provide more opportunities for its expanded roster, Cyclingnews sat down with director sportif Joel Pearson along with team manager and co-founder Steven Waite to talk about the team and the 2014 season.

    Cyclingnews: When making the application for a Continental licence, did you have a five year plan or long terms goals in mind?

    Steven Waite: The original charter is to develop riders so they go off and sign professional contracts. The five year plan was to get to Continental level, so we’re certainly ahead of schedule, but our plan is to be a development team based out of Melbourne that rides that full National Road Series (NRS) calendar and supplements that with riding the Continental component further down the track. Whether we take that a step further with our five-to-ten year plan will probably be when we really look to accelerate the process.

    As a start up team, you have got five years of catch up, what have Drapac been at it for? 15 years, more? It takes a long time. We skipped ahead a long way with securing Joel Person’s services which was crucial to that. His experience added to what was a pretty green infrastructure at the start and I think we are now ahead of schedule.

    CN: With your emphasis on development, how holistic is your approach this year?

    Joel  Pearson: A few years ago Drapac made it compulsory to have studies alongside racing but they proved that couldn’t be done. These days you have to be occupied and have something to do and studies are spot on as it’s not as demanding as standing...