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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 22, 2013

Date published:
November 22, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Nibali keen on new Milan-San Remo route

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 10:13 GMT
    Cycling News

    Unlikely to return to Giro d'Italia in 2014

    While the Tour de France will be the centrepiece of Vincenzo Nibali’s 2014 season, the Astana rider looks set to make Milan-San Remo the focus of the early months of the campaign.

    The insertion of the new climb of the Pompeiana between the Cipressa and the Poggio should tilt the balance of the race away from the sprinters and favour attackers. Nibali, who finished 3rd on the old parcours in 2012, has yet to reconnoitre the new finale, but believes that it could be to his liking.

    “I have to go and see the new climb, the Pompeiana, which could be the ideal springboard,” Nibali told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Winning Milan-San Remo would be a real boost for the whole team, but I wouldn’t be satisfied just with that. Look at the Worlds: I was coming from a great since, but I still had the desire and the hunger to win.”

    Nibali is currently at Astana’s first gathering ahead of the new season, in Montecatini Terme in Tuscany. While his full racing programme for 2014 is yet to be announced, Nibali effectively ruled out the prospect of returning to the Giro d’Italia to defend his crown.

    “No, they’re too close – the gap between the Giro and Tour is too tight. Maybe you could do it by skipping the classics, but it would be too risky an experiment. We’ll see.”

    Instead, Nibali is likely to spend an extended period at altitude and ride the Critérium du Dauphiné as preparation for the Tour, as was the case when finished 3rd overall last year. “We’re also looking at the possibility of doing two altitude training camps – one before the Dauphiné and one after,” he said.

    While Michele Scarponi and Franco Pellizotti were the two...

  • Euskaltel deliver redundancy notice to Sánchez

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 11:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Basque team also plans to lay off six other riders with contracts for 2014

    Although there is still no word on where Samuel Sánchez might be riding next season, the Euskaltel leader and six of his team-mates have received a redundancy notice from the Basque squad, indicating that their contracts in 2014 and beyond will not be paid up in full.

    According to Marca, the Basque Cycling Pro Team company that administers the Euskaltel-Euskadi team sent every member of the roster an initial notice of redundancy (known in Spain as an ERE) on Wednesday. Among those who received it were the seven riders who are still looking for a new berth for next season: Sánchez, Igor Antón, Egoi Martínez, Gorka Verdugo, Jon Aberasturi, Rubén Pérez and Miguel Mínguez.

    These seven riders – and, presumably, any of the backroom staff similarly affected – now have two weeks in which to decide on “an ad hoc representative commission to negotiate in their interest during the course of the indicated proceedings,” said Marca, quoting from the letter the riders received.

    All seven riders have contracts with BCPT for the 2014 season, while Sánchez’s deal with the team runs to the end of 2015.

  • Langeveld looks to step up in 2014 Classics

    Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 11:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Confirms he negotiated with Sky and Cannondale before joining Garmin

    After two seasons at Orica GreenEDGE in which he failed to win an individual race Sebastian Langeveld is looking forward to kick starting his career with Garmin-Sharp in 2014. The former Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner has targeted the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix as his major objectives for the coming season but emphasised that strength in numbers could be Garmin’s best bet for success as they take on Fabian Cancellara, Tom Boonen and Peter Sagan.

    Langeveld signed for Rabobank in 2007 and quickly forged a career as a one-day specialist. He finished second in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne in just his second season with the team but his breakthrough came after defeating Juan Antonio Flecha to win a rain-soaked edition of Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2011.

    He came away with a 5th place finish in Flanders that same year before signing with GreenEdge on a two year deal.

    “In general it was a really good time,” he said of his time with the Australian squad.

    “Before that I was at Rabobank for five years and that was a really long time. Shayne Bannan came along with a contract offer and I was really happy with Orica, and I enjoyed taking my chance on a team outside of Holland.”

    Earmarked as the team’s main threat for the Classics, Langeveld had a campaign to forget in 2012, crashing out of the Tour of Flanders in horrendous fashion. This year he bounced back with top ten placings in E3 Harelbeke, Flanders and Roubaix. Although he failed to win an individual race during his time with Orica, he showed a level of progress that he believes he can build on.

    “I did want to win a couple of races, of course, but in 2012 when I crashed in Flanders I was ready for a top result in that race and in Roubaix. This...

  • Later start to season for Contador in 2014

    Alberto Contador poses for a photograph in front of Corcovado mountain in Brazil
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 12:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mid-February debut as he builds towards Tour and Vuelta

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff) looks set to ride both the Tour de France and Vuelta a España in 2014 after confirming that he will alter his preparation by starting his season later than he has done in recent years.

    Contador began both his suspension-interrupted 2012 season and the 2013 campaign at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January, but this time around, he will not start racing again until at least mid-February.

    “There will be two major changes from the past two years. I’ve started training earlier than I did before, but I'll start competing a little bit later, not until the second or third week of February,” Contador told ESPN Deportes. “This year, we’ll delay until February so that I can have a good base and grow little by little as I build towards the big objective, which is the Tour de France.”

    While the Spaniard did not set a specific date for his 2014 debut, nor did he outline his early-season programme, he has already confirmed that he will return to the Vuelta. Contador opted to forgo the defence of his Vuelta crown in 2013, preferring to ride one-day races as build-up to the world championships in Florence.

    “Yes, the goal is the Tour, but it’s not just the Tour, it’s the whole season,” Contador said. “I want to do a complete season, from the first race of the year. There are important races like Paris-Nice, Tirreno-Adriatico, the Volta a Catalunya and the Tour of the Basque Country.

    “I still have to decide [my race programme] exactly, but I want to do some good races, rest a...

  • Traksel forced to abandon plans for new Continental team

    Bobbie Traksel (Champion System)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 15:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team was to employ 12 riders left without contracts for 2014

    Bobbie Traksel’s plan to establish a new Continental team for Belgian and Dutch riders left without a contract for 2014 will not come to fruition as he was unable to find the budget necessary to set up the squad.

    President of the Dutch riders’ union, the VVBW, Traksel was one of many riders left without a team for 2014 following the disbandment of his Champion System squad at the end of the season. With Vacansoleil-DCM, Crelan-Euphony, Sojasun and Euskaltel-Euskadi also pulling out of the sport, Traksel devised the plan to put together a team that would employ 12 Dutch and Belgian riders for 2014.

    Traksel estimated that a budget of €600,000 was necessary in order to get the team off the ground and provided riders with what he termed a “dignified” wage. Although the team had attracted some backing, Traksel was unable to find additional sponsors and was forced to abandon the project.

    “I absolutely wanted to put the whole budget together before starting so that we would have the certainty of lasting the entire season,” Traksel said, according to La Dernière Heure. “I wanted to be honest with the riders. We tried everything but we didn’t have enough time. It’s a very difficult decision to take. If it had worked out, I’m certain we would have had a fine season.”

    Former Crelan-Euphony directeur sportif Gino Verhasselt was also set to be part of the new team, and he explained just how close they came to successfully launching it. “We’re only €75,000 short, it’s a real pity,” Verhasselt said.


  • Details revealed about 2014 Tour de France's third stage

    Stage 3 of the 2014 Tour de France will start in Cambridge and finish in London.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 17:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Route from Cambridge to London wraps up three days in Great Britain

    Details have been revealed regarding the 2014 Tour de France's third stage which will take the peloton 159km from Cambridge to London - the grand finale of the Grand Tour's opening three days in Great Britain.

    According to the Cambridge News, at 12 noon on July 7, the peloton will roll out of Gonville Place, next to Parker's Piece, and take in many of Cambridge's iconic sights.

    The route will then utilise Regent Street, Sidney Street and Trinity street - where the riders will pass St. John's and Trinity colleges. Next, the peloton will travel along King's Parade, what the Cambridge News considers "perhaps the city's most picturesque street", and will exit Cambridge along Trumpington Road.

    After navigating their way through Radwinter and Saffrong Walden the peloton will punctuate their stint in Great Britain with a finish in London in front of Buckingham Palace.

    Tim Bick, the Cambridge City Council's leader, is excited about the city hosting the start of stage 3 which is expected to attract 400,000 people.

    "We can be sure that Monday, July 7 will be a day like no other in Cambridge next year," Bick told Cambridge News. "It’s with real pride that the cycling capital of the UK will welcome the world’s elite sporting cyclists. An amazing and unforgettable spectacle is promised."

    "It is awe-inspiring to think of Cambridge being taken over by the greatest cycle race in the world with the spirit, glamour and sheer wonder it will bring," added Martin Curtis, the Cambridgeshire County Council's leader. "I don’t think anyone can fail to be inspired by seeing the likes of Sir Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome or Mark Cavendish ride and our challenge is to use this unique opportunity to encourage people onto their bikes."

    The 2014 Tour de France begins on Saturday, July 5, with a 191km stage from Leeds to Harrogate. The next day the...

  • Gallery: Astana go-kart racing in Montecatini Terme

    Valerio Agnoli leads the group out
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 19:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Off-season fun for Kazakhstani squad

    After a hard season of racing on two wheels, the Astana team took a break from riding but not from competition, as the riders and staff competed in go-kart racing at the team's gathering in Montecatini Terme.

    While some riders proved more adept than others behind the wheel in Astana's off-the-bike team building exercise, it's likely that current F1 drivers aren't too nervous about their jobs.

    The session brought new Italian recruit Michele Scarponi into the fold with fellow Grand Tour leader and compatriot Vincenzo Nibali under the management of Alexandre Vinokourov.

    Vincenzo Nibali and Michele Scarponi will split Astana's Grand Tour duties: Nibali lead Astana at the Tour de France while Scarponi will take the Giro d'Italia.

  • Jobless Vogondy opts to retire

    Nicolas Vogondy (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) is delighted with his stage win at the Critérium du Dauphiné
    Article published:
    November 22, 2013, 20:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman not renewed with Accent Jobs

    With a shrinking job market and no new contract with Accent Jobs-Wanty, Frenchman Nicolas Vogondy has decided to retire from professional cycling at the age of 36.

    "I had no news from them for some time," Vogondy said to about his team. "I left messages and they were unanswered, with time and experience, you know what that means. The answer fell last Friday."

    "It is already the end of November, it's late, and all the teams are almost complete," Vogondy said of his chances to find a new team. "I have had 17 years in the pros, I had a good time. I regret nothing. Now my phone is on, and if a team were to call me, I would look at what they have to offer, but I am under no illusions. I think the time has come to turn the page, to stop my career as a professional cyclist."

    Vogondy, a three-time French champion (twice in the road race, once in the time trial), intends to remain in cycling but doesn't have any specific plans as of yet.

    "I'm going to take some time to think about what I can and want to do, based on my past experience in the professional world," Vogondy said. He may try to get a coaching license, but has also contacted Tour de France organiser ASO to explore any opportunities there.

    Vogondy spent the majority of his 17-year career on French teams, bouncing from FDJ to Crédit Agricole, Bouygues Telecom and Cofidis before joining the Belgian Accent Jobs team this season. His biggest victory came in the 2010 Criterium du Dauphine where he won the mountain top finish in Risoul.