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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, January 4, 2013

Date published:
January 04, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Luttenberger denies blood centrifuge claims

    Peter Luttenberger training
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 11:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Austrian says he was “outsider“ at Rabobank

    Peter Luttenberger has denied claims from an anonymous source that he used a blood centrifuge to check his blood values. The Austrian said that he did not work with the team doctor Geert Leinders, who has been accused of helping riders with doping, and further, never had a roommate. recently published a report by a former Rabobank rider, who chose to remain anonymous, claiming that whilst sharing a hotel room with Luttenberger, he saw Luttenberger using a blood centrifuge.

    “I don't know who gave this interview, but those simply aren't the facts,” Luttenberger told De Telegraaf. “I was criticized by the leadership of the Rabobank team because I didn't want to work with Leinders. It was one of my conditions that I always slept alone in a hotel room. The team thought I was just too much of an outsider for them.”

    Luttenberger rode for the Dutch team in 1997 and 1998.

    The Dutch team, now known as Blanco Pro Cycling Team, has been hit by many doping allegations lately. The team is being sued by Michael Rasmussen for wrongful dismissal following his firing for whereabouts violations leading to his removal from the 2007 Tour de France. Levi Leipheimer, in his affidavit to the USADA in the Armstrong case, mentioned doping practices whilst at Rabobank.  Carlos Barredo, who just retired, is under investigation for violations of the blood-passport programme.

    The blood doping charges against former team members, including Michael Boogerd, have also come up again within the last few weeks, with various anonymous...

  • Torn hip flexor foils Haas' Sun Tour defence

    Second placed Nathan Hass (Garmin) with Ivan Basso (Liquigas) at the start
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 12:35 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Garmin-Sharp rider leads KOM classification

    Nathan Haas (Australian National Team) is happy to just try and defend his Jayco Herald Sun Tour title.

    On December 20, Haas tore his hip flexor which resulted in some time off the bike and derailing his race preparation.

    "I actually had eight days off the bike over Christmas," Haas told Cyclingnews when asked if he had a chance of threatening for the yellow jersey and repeat his performance of 2011, which landed him a contract with Garmin-Sharp.

    "I had a crash and tore my hip flexor. I was pretty happy to be even able to think about starting come New Year's Day. It was still hurting on the 31st [December]."

    Haas' actions during Stage 1 of this year's event didn't give too much away of the trouble he'd been having, getting himself in the early break before finished 11:32 in arrears of the stage winner, Aaron Donnelly (Huon-Genesys). While it effectively ended his chances of claiming overall, on this day the result wasn't that bad when you take into account that the last rider to finish was another 26 minutes back.

    "I saw a few big groups went," Haas said of the early attacks which animated the brutally hot stage with temperatures at the finish recorded at 46 degrees. "Our team was marked really heavily all day so I just thought that if I went in the break, it would just nullify and it would be all good... I sat on for most of it and just sort of rolled through when the group was not motivated."

    Haas eventually came back to one of the chase groups after taking maximum points on the highest of the two category climbs of the day on Mount Macedon, giving him the lead in the KOM classification.

    As the big name squad in the peloton, with Haas, Simon Gerrans, Simon Clarke, Matt Goss, Stuart O'Grady and Jay McCarthy, the Australian National Team came under a fair amount of...

  • Gallery: Team Sky unveils Rapha 2013 team kit

    Edvald Boasson Hagen shows off the new Team Sky kit
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 13:53 GMT

    Plus consumer ranges available from Evans Cycles

    This article first appeared on Bikeradar

    Prior to the Christmas break, Rapha invited BikeRadar to their London HQ for a sneak preview of Team Sky's 2013 kit.

    As you'd expect, the clothing brand have approached the task of creating the kit somewhat differently. Not only have they designed a new strip, they've added a host of accessories and off-the-bike wear to make Sky the best dressed team in the peloton.

    The range consists of more than 130 items, of which every rider will receive multiples – a staggering figure of 703 pieces per pro. Along with the expected bits of cycling kit for every weather condition, they'll also receive jeans, trousers, shirts, and even branded merino wool boxers.

    The back room staff haven't been left out of the equation either, with mechanics getting their own outfits and the soigneurs receiving hugely oversized, courier style bags with built-in cooling compartments for post-stage recovery drinks.

    Designed to work in conjunction with the soigneur's bag is a wet/washbag. This innovative, cube-shaped carrier has a myriad of zipped compartments to carry arm, leg and knee warmers, plus gilets, jackets and more, with a central compartment for wet kit. These bags are individually identified with riders' names, to help the Sky support car teams stay organised.

    The riding kit makes use of some innovative fabrics. Riders will receive three weights of jersey, including the Pro Team, which is medium weight and made from a proprietary fabric that has superior wicking properties (a dernier gradient structure) and incorporates coldblack technology, essential for ensuring that cyclists stay at the right temperature to conserve energy and...

  • Roche willing to support Contador in Tour de France

    Nicolas Roche continued to climb well
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 15:47 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Former AG2R leader will have chances in other races

    Nicholas Roche has accepted that he will ride for Alberto Contador at the Tour de France but is looking forward to learning from the multiple grand tour winner. Roche, 28, moved to Saxo Tinkoff after four seasons in France with AG2R, and while he was the sole leader throughout his time there, a shift to Saxo Bank will see him fulfil a number of other roles.

    Along with working for Contador at the Tour, Roche will be looking for opportunities to ride for himself, although he has not yet finalised his racing programme for the season.

    “I knew Contador was here before I came and I’m perfectly okay with that,” Roche told Cyclingnews.

    “This is a situation where I can learn a lot as well, hopefully the team will have me step it up and work on the missing details that are so important in stage racing. I’m not going to race every day or every race with Alberto so hopefully what I can learn from him I’ll be able to express on the road myself. This is an exciting challenge for me.”

    Roche has often targeted the GC in grand tours and has consistently competed inside the top 15 with a career high of 7th at the 2010 Vuelta in his palmares.

    “I needed a change,” he replied when asked why he left AG2R.

    “I’ve been doing the same thing over the last few years and that’s fine but I wanted a new structure and whole new way of racing. It was a great opportunity for me to change and I took it.

    “Hopefully I’ll have different roles at different times of the year at different races. Obviously when Alberto will be there I’ll be riding for him but when he’s not there hopefully I’ll have the chance to race for myself. That of course depends on how I’m going because there are a lot of strong...

  • Dubai to create new stage race for 2014

    Racers at a Tour Dubai press con
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 18:10 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Contador beats Nibali and Hesjedal in a desert sprint

    The Dubai Sports Council has announced that the gulf Emirate will host a stage race in the spring of 2014 as part of a long-term plan to help develop cycling in the United Arab Emirates.

    Dubai has watched its neighbours Qatar and Oman develop their own races in recent years and now want their own "bigger and better" event. The final date and the length of the race have still to be decided.

    "Dubai always does things in the best manner possible and I assure you that the Dubai Tour will be a force. It will be something greater than what's been seen anywhere else in the world," Rashid Al Awadhi, the head of marketing at the Dubai Sports Council told Cyclingnews and other media at the evening event.

    "This is to show that we're serious about cycling. Our objective is to create champions here in the UAE and we'd like to create the next Alberto Contador, Ryder Hesjedal or Vincenzo Nibali out of the UAE. That's our long term goal. We've got to create the environment for that to happen, so the races are important, academies and creating the want from children to get into cycling."

    The Dubai Tour was announced and a Versace-designed blue and yellow race jersey was unveiled during the official opening of the Dubai Cycling Course - a 68km bike circuit and facility in the desert so local riders and tourists can ride safely in Dubai. Giro d'Italia organiser RCS Sport helped organise the event and is expected to work on the organisation of the Dubai Tour.

    Alberto Contador, Ryder Hesjedal, Vincenzo Nibali and Tony Martin all attended the event after spending New Year in Dubai. Martin competed against a race horse at the opening of the Dubai Cycling Course but was well beaten in the one-kilometre race. Contador, Hesjedal and Nibali also raced over a kilometre, with Contador securing his first "win" of the 2013 season.

    "It was only one kilometre but hard and fast for the first week of January. It feels good to win but I...

  • UCI rules hamper South African race series

    The MTN-Qhubeka team kit will be quite distinctive.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 19:00 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    MTN-Qhubeka team not able to participate on home soil

    The cycling scene in South Africa was set to grow alongside its first Professional Continental team, MTN-Qhubeka, but UCI rules on sponsorship have prevented road races from being sanctioned by the sport's international governing body.

    The Tour de Richelieu, a series of one-day races culminating in the South African road championships in February, were planned to be ranked UCI 1.2 and broadcast on television. However, there was one snag: Richelieu is a brandy made by the event's sponsor Distell, and the UCI rule 1.2.030 prohibits sponsorships which promote cigarettes, pornography, beverages with an alcohol-by-volume percentage over 15, "or any other products that might damage the image of the UCI or the sport of cycling in general".

    Last month, Cycling SA issued a press release regarding the issue, stating, "At this point in time the original agreement has been suspended due to these global sponsorship rules pertaining to the UCI regulations surrounding alcohol advertising."

    Cycling SA's Mylene Loumeau confirmed to Cyclingnews that the events will still be held, each under its own existing title sponsor, but will not be under the Tour de Richlieu banner or as UCI-ranked events.

    "These events were existing, well-run and functioning races on our local calendar in which Cycling SA were attempting to add UCI 1.2 status to four of them, also giving these events a television broadcast package, under the 'Tour de Richelieu' umbrella," Loumeau said.

    In the earlier press release, Cycling SA stated its intent to continue to work with Distell. "It certainly is disappointing for us not to have been able to make this partnership work immediately. However, with Distell’s continued commitment to our sport we are hopeful that opportunities will present themselves in the not too distant future for them to be formally involved with Cycling South Africa. It is not often that one gets such a committed world class partner who...

  • Could 2013 Sun Tour be another Genesys success story?

    Aaron Donnelly on the podium.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 22:12 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Christie-Johnston optimistic for team to bag another upset victory

    Andrew Christie-Johnston's Genesys outfit have once again come to the Jayco Herald Sun Tour with the ability to out-race some of the team's more experienced and better-known rivals.

    In 2010, their success was through the overall win of Nathan Haas which sprung from a savvy move on Stage 1. Now in 2013 Aaron Donnelly, a new face to the team, has taken out a tough 147.7km Stage 1 at the Bendigo Velodrome, claiming the yellow jersey and earning a 2:45 lead over one of the pre-race favourites Simon Gerrans who is riding for the Australian National Team.

    "The win with 'Haasy' was a highlight since I've been with any team and that's always going to be hard to back up," a beaming Christie-Johnston told Cyclingnews following Donnelly's win. "Losing 'Haasy' and Steele [Von Hoff] last year, while it was fantastic to see them take that next step, it knocks our strength about.

    "We're definitely re-building but I'd say that this year we've probably got the best squad that we've ever had."

    It's a big call from the Huon Salmon - Genesys Wealth Advisers' boss but it comes with gravitas considering this is the man largely responsible for propelling the likes of Richie Porte, Will Clarke along with Haas and Von Hoff to the highest echelon of the sport.

    Donnelly is part of that re-building effort and the Genesys success rate was something that the 21-year-old took into account when he was on the lookout for a team for this season. "Genesys approached me just after my second place in the Warrnambool and it seemed like the right place for me," Donnelly explained on Friday. "They're a great team and they've developed a lot of guys for the next level which is where I want to go. So it's just made sense to come across."

    The Tasmanian-based outfit now has a 55 second lead over nearest rivals Jayco-VIS in the team classification, while Donnelly is 14 seconds...

  • Longer pre-season in Europe to bring Goss back on target

    Matthew Goss (Orica - GreenEdge) at the start.
    Article published:
    January 04, 2013, 22:40 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Orica GreenEdge sprinter takes a focussed approach into 2013

    For Matt Goss (Orica GreenEdge) arriving back in Australia for the start of the 2013 season was a case of going from the fridge into the fire as he lined up for his start in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour less than 48 hours after touching down at the airport.

    Not only was he without his bike until a few hours prior to leaving the start house for the prologue time trial, which kicked off the four-day tour, but temperatures on day two went into the 40s. Goss, riding for the Australian National Team, crossed the finish line on stage 1 in Bendigo on Friday a tad over 34 minutes behind the stage winner, Aaron Donnelly (Huon-Genesys).

    "That was horrible," Goss tweeted after the punishing stage from Sunbury to the Bendigo Velodrome. "45 degrees on the SRM and 5 hours! That's a 40 degree temp change from 5 day[s] ago when I left Europe. Body didn't rate it!"

    Speaking to Cyclingnews before he was given the not too subtle, gruelling reminder that he was back home in the peak of the southern hemisphere summer, Goss said that he was at the race to build his intensity having spent his pre-season doing a European-based training block.

    "I've definitely got the volume behind me so it's good to use this for Nationals and the Tour Down Under," he explained.

    Staying in Monaco rather than coming back to Tasmania is a different approach for Goss, and gives some indication that in his second year with Orica GreenEdge the stakes are a little bit higher. After 18 months of the best form and results of his career, while he was learning to work with his new teammates, Goss' progression stalled. Meantime, rivals like Peter Sagan...