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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 19, 2010

Date published:
November 19, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Pozzato helps Italian flood victims

    Filippo Pozzato shows the special pouch made by Scicon to help Italian flood victims
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 9:50 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Katusha rider raising funds with Scicon bag company

    Filippo Pozzato has teamed up with bike bag company Scicon to raise funds to help recent flood victims near his home town in the Veneto region of northern Italy.
    .
    Pozzato has donated 10,000 Euro, which matches that of a charity organised in collaboration with Scicon.

    The company has created a special 'Pozzato pouch' that be bought on line at the company’s website (Sciconbags.com). The bag can be used to hold and protect a helmet, cycling shoes or clothing and can be used as a laundry bag. It costs just 10 Euro, with a special autographed edition available for 20 Euro. The proceeds will go to the victims of the floods.

    "Seeing the roads of my home flooded, the same roads where I learned to ride a bike, made me really sad," Pozzato said.

    "I live in Monaco but my heart remains in my homeland. I'm not used to publicising what I do but I want to raise public awareness about a disaster which no one should ignore. This is why I’m asking people to buy a pouch to help the families who have lost everything.”
     

  • 2012 Tour de France: From Belgium to ...?

    Sunflowers are an integral part of thh Tour de France and rumour has it they are planted just for the race.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 10:25 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Route possibilities abound from Liège start to Alps

    After the official presentation of the 2012 Tour de France Grand Départ in Liège, Belgium, and the annoucement of the first two stages, speculation is rife about the continuation of the parcours. Given that the start of stage two will be in Visé in the Belgian Ardennes region, one could imagine an early return into the Grand Tour's homeland of France, as well as a visit to the neighouring countries of Luxembourg or Germany on the way to the Alps, the race's first rendez-vous with the high mountains.

    Jean-François Pescheux, the Tour's route director, keeps the secret well. "From Visé, we could go in any direction. Several towns have applied to host the finish of that second stage," he told La Dernière Heure, nevertheless giving away some hints.

    "These candidacies include Tournai, Tervuren, Ypres, Roulers, Anvers as well as some towns in Luxembourg and Germany. But nothing is set in stone just yet. Everything will depend on the general direction of the 2012 Tour that will have to be directed to the Alps."

    By drawing an imaginary line from the south of Belgium to the Alps, this could mean a return to the medium-mountain range of the Vosges, which was last visited by the Tour in 2009. But not necessarily so. "Should we, depending on the chosen route, foresee a long transfer of the caravan and the riders? In any case, we have to be careful to come to every province of France every 3-4 years... Those are some of the elements we are taking into consideration. We'll see it more clearly in May 2011," added Pescheux.

    Meanwhile, the Belgian town of Tournai could be a favourite for a stage two finish, as it had had issued a combined candidacy for Tournai and Orchies to receive the 2010 Tour de France - which did not happen. If it is granted for 2012, one could think of a possible start from the Paris-Roubaix cobblestone sectors in Orchies for stage three, then heading south.

  • Samuel Sanchez targets 2011 Tour de France podium

    Stage winner Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) on the podium.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 10:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    2010 Tour fourth placing only regret for Euskaltel rider

    Samuel Sanchez is enjoying the last few days of his vacation before joining Euskaltel-Euskadi's first team get-together this coming Monday, and starting the training which he hopes will put him on the podium of the Tour de France.

    This season was not a bad one for the Olympic champion, although according to Sanchez he missed his biggest goal.  “I can't complain,” he told the Spanish website Marca.  “I've been improving year after year, and in 2010 the only thing I regret is not having reached the podium in Paris.

    Sanchez had been in third place overall in the Tour de France going into the penultimate stage's time trial, but then lost a full two minutes to Denis Menchov who took over the final podium spot for him.

    Other than that, it was a successful year for him, even if he just missed out on the podiums at the Volta ao Algarve, Paris-Nice, and Criterium International.  His luck changed at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco, where he won a stage and took the points jersey.  From there, Sanchez went on to win the Klasika Primavera. 

    His fourth placing in the Tour was followed by a ninth in the Clasica San Sebastian, with his breakthrough coming in the Vuelta a Burgos, where he took two stages on his way to the overall title.  The Olympic champion closed out his season with sixth place finishes in Montreal and the Giro di Lombardia.

    Next year, the Tour will once again be his primary goal  “If I was able to be fourth this year after the bad luck I had (a crash on the Tourmalet - ed.), then I can be optimistic that in 2011 I will be back in the fight for the podium.”

    The rest of his season schedule has not yet been determined.  “On Monday we will focus on team planning. The Tour is set because it is the best race in the world and very important, but I do not know what I will do before July.”

    It is also possible that Sanchez...

  • Bettini predicts sprint finish at 2011 Worlds

    Coach Paolo Bettini and Filippo Pozzato
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 11:53 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian coach dismisses Cavendish’s chances

    Italian national coach Paolo Bettini was in Copenhagen on Thursday to study the course of the 2011 world road race championships and predicted the race will end with a sprint finish, suggesting the course was made to measure for Alessandro Petacchi.

    Bettini dismissed Mark Cavendish’s chances, saying that the unity and strength of the national teams will be a decisive factor.

    “There’s only one rider in Italy who can win on a finish like that after 250km of racing: Alessandro Petacchi,” Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “The course could also be suited to Daniele Bennati but he’s never won races over 250km. I’d be happy to take a chance with Bennati but he’d have to go well from Hamburg Cyclassics onwards.

    “The course is easy but it’s not like Zolder in 2002. If anything, it’s like Madrid in 2005. The finish suits a strong rider, like Petacchi or Hushovd. Cavendish? I think it’ll be tough for him because he won’t have a team.”

    Petacchi will be 37 in January and is still caught up in a doping investigation by Italian police. He was Italian team leader in Madrid in 2005 but had a bad day and didn’t tell his teammates. Bettini eventually stepped in and tried to win with a late attack. However, the race came back together and Tom Boonen won the sprint ahead of Alejandro Valverde of Spain and Frenchman Anthony Geslin. Bettini eventually won his two world titles in Salzburg, Austria in 2006 and then in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007.

    Short climb each lap

    The Copenhagen course starts with a 30km ride from the centre of Copenhagen and then covers 18 laps of a 15km circuit near the northern suburb of Rudersdal.

    The only testing section is a climb that lasts 500 metres and climbs at 7percent. The rest of the course twists and turns through the suburbs with a right turn 900 metres before the slightly riding...

  • Hinault frustrated by delays in Contador case

    Cycling legend Bernard Hinault is always present at the ASO-races
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 12:21 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Frenchman believes Philippe Gilbert can play a bigger role at the Tour

    Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault has weighed into the controversy surrounding Alberto Contador's positive test for Clenbuterol by saying a decision in the case is taking too long. The Frenchman also called for consistent penalties for athletes who test positive, citing examples of prominent French athletes in other sports.

    Hinault's comments came after the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA) confirmed earlier this week that they had tested meat from the abattoir and butcher in Irun, northern Spain, which had supplied  meat to a representative of the Astana team. Contador has suggested that the meat had been the source of the Clenbuterol found in his  system, however WADA said they found no traces of the substance  at either site.

    "Why drag the Contador case on so long? It is quite simple: yes or no," Hinault told Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad. "What is the point of WADA buying a steak to see whether or not it contains  clenbuterol. The animal which was eaten by Contador has been dead much longer."

    If found guilty of doping, Contador faces a two-year ban from competition. Regardless of the outcome of the case, Hinault called for anti-doping authorities to institute consistent bans on athletes across all sports. He cited the example of tennis player Richard Gasquet and swimmer Frederick Bousquet. Last year Gasquet's two-year ban for cocaine was reduced to two months after authorities accepted  his defence that a kiss with a girl in Miami had caused his positive, while this year Bousquet was given a two-month ban after he tested positive for the banned stimulant Heptaminol.

    "I hope every athlete is treated equally by WADA," said Hinault. "Richard Gasquet, the French tennis player, tests positive and gets away with it because he kissed a girl. The French world class swimmer Frederick Bousquet is positive and comes away with two months. Come on."

    Gilbert a Tour...

  • Geox still hopeful of securing ProTeam licence

    The two Swiss riders of Footon-Servetto-Fuji, David Vitoria and Noé Gianetti (l-r), join Mauro Gianetti for a picture.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 13:30 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Team manager Gianetti expects ethics to be a factor

    Geox team manager Mauro Gianetti has told Cyclingnews he is still confident his team will secure a ProTeam licence for 2011 despite speculation the team has missed out.

    Gianetti was stunned to read a story on the Italian Tuttobiciweb.it site suggesting that the UCI president Pat McQuaid had called the Geox team president Maurizio D’Angelo to tell him the bad news.

    He denied any call was made and Cyclingnews understands any announcement by the UCI about ProTeams will only be made next week.

    “There was no phone call, I don’t know where they got that from. It’s rubbish.” Gianetti told Cyclingnews. “We’re confident of securing a ProTeam place because we believe the arrival of a major new sponsor like Geox is hugely significant and important for cycling. We’ve built a strong team with two major grand tour leaders: Carlos Sastre and Denis Menchov and think we deserve a ProTeam place.”

    “It’s true we’re only ranked 17th in the UCI sporting criterion for 2011 but that’s because it’s based on results of 2009 and 2010. I don’t think it can be ignored that Sastre has won the Tour de France and Menchov won the Giro in 2009 and before that he twice won the Vuelta. We perhaps don’t have a lot of points but that’s because the team is built around them and the best domestiques work for their leaders and don’t focus on scoring points. We’ve also signed some really talent young riders who will emerge in the future. That shouldn’t be ignored.”

    Cyclingnews spoke to the UCI. They denied that Pat McQuaid or any other member of staff contacted Geox and that the final decisions regarding licences would be made by December 10. They also stressed that the licence commission would be responsible for choosing which teams would be awarded licences.

    Ethics a...

  • Italian police confirm focus on drug trafficking in US Postal investigation

    Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis on the US Postal team
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 15:12 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Benedetto Roberti confirms international cooperation

    Italian public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti has confirmed that he travelled to Interpol headquarters in Lyon this week to meet with US federal officers who are leading the investigation into alleged doping at the former US Postal Service team.

    Roberti told the Associated Press that the meeting was mostly “an exchange of information regarding the international traffic of banned substances,” but indicated that the Americans are focused on seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

    The Padua-based investigator has been behind most of the major doping investigations in Italian cycling in recent years. He ordered the search of Yaroslav Popovych’s home in Tuscany last week and revealed that the data on his personal laptop computer and blackberry is now being analysed.

    Popovych is a loyal teammate of Armstrong and was subpoenaed to testify in front of a grand jury in Los Angeles on November 11. Both Armstrong and Popovych have always denied doping but the investigation has become international following a reported meeting at Interpol headquarters in Lyon in late July. French, Italian and Spanish police were all reported to have met with the American investigators to combine their efforts.

    International co-operation

    AP reveals that Belgian police are also involved and that the Americans were represented by U.S. Food and Drug Administration agent Jeff Novitzky, U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart, U.S. federal prosecutor Doug Miller and FBI special agent Olivier Faraole.

    “We need to exchange information, because this phenomenon can’t be beaten alone,” Roberti said. “Everyone needs to contribute. This battle can’t be won in the media.”

    “Italy is one of the few countries doing anything. In Spain, look at Contador and how the sports authorities are defending him. France and Germany are also doing their part, and...

  • Wrolich retires after 12 year career

    Peter Wrolich traveled for 16 hours by train to make it in time to the start of the Amstel Gold Race
    Article published:
    November 19, 2010, 19:34 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ex-Gerolsteiner and Milram rider to stay active in cycling

    Peter Wrolich, 36, has put an end to his career after 12 years in the professional peloton. The Austrian rode for only two teams, both German, in his entire career.

    "Paco" Wrolich turned pro in 1999 with Team Gerolsteiner and stayed with that team until it ended in 2008. The last two years he rode for Team Milram.

    The Austrian said that he had alternatives, but decided it was time to stop. "It is satisfying to stop while at a high level. I didn't want to continue in cycling lower than the ProTour," he said Friday in announcing his retirement, according to the APA news agency.

    His career highlight, he said, was that he rode Milan-San Remo 11 times. He also rode the Tour de France five times. "That will always stay in my memories," said Wrolich, who was not only a sprinter, but also a valued domestique.

    Since last year, Wrolich has also served as president of the Kärnten cycling federation. He will stay in cycling by working for the Star Events agency. "I have lots of ideas. I am convinced that cycling can't be killed off."

    In addition, Wrolich and his family run a pension, taverna and vacation rentals in the Kärnten region of Austria.

    In his 12-year career, he won the overall title in the Herald Sun Tour in 2001, and stages in the Tour of Georgia, Sachsen Rundfahrt, Uniqa Classic and Tour de l'Avenir. He also won the one-day races Rund um Köln and Rund um die Hainleite. Wrolich represented his country in the road races at the 1996 and 2000 Olympic Games.