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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 19, 2012

Date published:
October 19, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • BikeNZ support Archbold and Gate with An Post - Sean Kelly signing

    Shane Archbold (BikeNZ) finished second at the 2011 UCI Track World Championships in the omnium
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 5:57 BST
    Alex Malone

    Famous 'mullet' to be cut off at upcoming Tour of Southland

    Two of New Zealand's talented track cyclists, Shane Archbold and Aaron Gate will join the An Post - Sean Kelly road team in 2013. The former world cup omnium winner Archbold spent part of the 2012 season racing with Marco Polo Cycling Donckers Koffie while Gate was in the bronze medal winning team pursuit squad at the London Olympic Games.

    The move to the Belgium-based team will allow Archbold and Gate to represent New Zealand at the 2013 UCI Track World Championships in Belarus during February and to debut with the An Post - Sean Kelly team in April.

    "It's a great opportunity for Shane and Aaron to join a team with such a strong programme," said BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliot.

    "I think it also demonstrates that riding successfully on the track and having opportunities on the road are not mutually exclusive."

    Before making the move to Belgium, Archbold is motivated to become the next world champion in the omnium and has also stated his desire to join Gate in the team pursuit. He knows it’s no easy task to make the final selection but with a number of riders stepping away from track, it presents an ideal time to give it a go.

    "I want to go back to riding the team pursuit," Archbold told Cyclingnews. "I'd like to think I have a pretty good chance. There are a few spots which have opened up so I should have a pretty good shot."

    "It’s going to work out really well next year. The team has allowed us to start our contracts from the start of April. I don’t have any other track commitments after the world championships so I’ll be able...

  • Rabobank to end its sponsorship of professional cycling teams

    The Rabobank team will be expected to make the podium on home soil
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 8:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Teams hope to continue in coming season

    Rabobank has ended its long association with cycling in wake of the USADA case into doping at US Postal. The Dutch bank cited the reason for announcing that it would end professional sponsorship of its professional men's and women's teams at the end of this season. The Dutch bank announced that sponsorship of both pro teams would end on December 31 2012, potentially leaving dozens of riders and staff without a team for next season.

    However Cyclingnews understands that the teams will attempt to continue but without Rabobank cooperation, using a similar model used by High Road after T-Mobile pulled out of the sport in 2007. Along with the USADA case that suggested doping within the team, on Thursday the UCI opened a biological passport case against Carlos Barredo.

    "The Rabobank cycling team regrets Rabobank’s decision to stop its sponsorship of the men’s professional cycling team. The team was informed about the reasons and understands the decision. We’ve been cycling for 17 years now with the name Rabobank proudly on our shirts and it hurts that going forward we’ll have to do without that name," the team said in a statement.

    "The cycling team is very grateful to Rabobank for the 17 years of loyal sponsorship. The sport of cycling should be grateful to Rabobank for all the efforts it has made in the past years to put Dutch cycling on the map successfully. Through Rabobank, many talents have had the chance to reach their potential.

    "We are confident that Rabobank will take good care of the cyclists and staff members of Rabobank Wielerploegen BV in the finalisation of this matter."

    Rabobank came into the sport in 1996, replacing Word Perfect as Jan Raas title sponsor.

    Full statement from...

  • Gesink shocked by Rabobank news

    Robert Gesink will be competing at home on Sunday
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 9:17 BST
    Daniel Benson

    "One of the worst things that could happen"

    Robert Gesink has said he is shocked after it was announced Rabobank were pulling out of sponsoring the men’s and women’s professional teams at the end of the season. The news comes in light of the damning USADA report into doping practices at the US Postal and Discovery teams in the late 1990s and 2000s.

    Gesink, the team’s general classification rider, was informed of Rabobank’s intent hours before the news officially broke but told Cyclingnews that he was a state of shock.

    “It feels like a smack in the face at this moment,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “Of course there were a lot of bad things going on in cycling, everyone saw and it’s never a good thing to have a sponsor's name on something like that. Now this generation gets shit from a different generation from before who did wrong things. Now we’re losing one of the biggest sponsors in cycling ever. I don’t have any words for it but it’s one of the worst things that could happen.”

    Rabobank has been a top-level sponsor since 1996 and are the sport’s longest serving title sponsor. They’ve have ridden through a number of storms before, notably Michael Rasmussen’s expulsion from the Tour in 2006, the Humanplasma case and the recent revelations that Levi Leipheimer admitted to doping while on the team.

    However in recent years the team appeared to take a firmer line, cutting ties with riders associated to a murky past and positioning a themselves with a cleaner image. However on Thursday news broke that

  • Rabobank to become 'white label' team

    The Rabobank team will be expected to make the podium on home soil
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 10:54 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Dutch bank will honour contracts but not under its name

    The Rabobank professional cycling teams will continue to exist next year, but under a 'white label', the squad's management announced. Despite the Dutch bank's withdrawal from sponsorship, Rabobank confirmed in a separate press conference that it would "honour the contracts", ensuring the teams' immediate financial continuity.

    "The cycling team is pleased with the opportunity that Rabobank will give the cycling teams to continue in the cycling sport, despite the bad news," stated a communiqué of the Rabobank team. "The professionals and the women will be put as 'white label' under a new foundation yet to be established, while the continentals and the crossers will be accommodated by the Dutch Cycling Federation. The careers of a generation of riders will this way be secured."

    In a televised press conference on Friday morning, Rabobank financial director Bert Bruggink confirmed this, saying, "We will honour our contracts with the riders. The pro teams come in a separate foundation and hence contractual and financial obligations are unconditional. For the riders it is not possible now to move to another team."

    While the men's team "has instructions to continue on its own as soon as possible," the future of the women's team around world champion Marianne Vos has yet to be defined. "We want to completely support Marianne Vos' Olympic ambitions for 2016, but we have not yet worked out the details of that support. We are still looking for a solution," Bruggink added.

    The Bank's financial director also explained the reasons why it was decided to end the sponsorship as of the end of this year. Bruggink insisted that it were "the shocking revelations" of the USADA report of the US Postal doping scheme that made the sponsor decide to pull the plug.

  • Gazzetta reveal police taps of Dr. Ferrari and Michele Scarponi

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) after his second place finish in stage 10.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 11:34 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Menchov, Astana and Radioshack also named

    Gazzetta dello Sport has published more details of the Padua police investigation into Dr. Michele Ferrari, reporting alleged conversations between Michele Scarponi and Dr Ferrari and revealing how he secretly worked with dozens of riders.

    The Italian newspaper says the Italian police bugged the camper van Dr. Ferrari used when testing riders on the Monzuno climb near Bologna or at pre-arranged secret places, capturing a conversation on September 27, 2010 between the two about the Giro d'Italia.

    "(Scarponi) tells Ferrari that he could have won the Giro and Ferrari replies that if he'd had a bag, he could have had a chance," Gazzetta reports the police report as saying.

    Scarponi then talks through his training programme, criticising Dr. Ferrari for mistakes he made.

    "The asterisk you did was wrong," Scarponi indicates going to indicate "the period when I had the virus, the asterisk to indicate period at altitude, then when he left for the Canaries, then the asterisk put there near the end when I was already high…."

    "Scarponi also says that that his values are going higher and higher in April…. He asks is altitude works to stimulate and Ferrari says that he'd need three periods before the Giro, advising him Teide or Etna."

    Scarponi finished fourth in the 2010 Giro d'Italia, while riding for Gianni Savio's Androni Giocattoli team. He joined the team in 2008 after completing an 18-month ban for his involvement in Operacion Puerto.

    Scarponi has always denied doping but now risks a life-time ban for working with Dr Ferrari –who was banned from Italian sport in 2002. Scarponi also faces a detailed investigation by the Italian Olympic Committee.

    It seems Scarponi continued to work with Dr Ferrari even in 2011, when he finished second behind Alberto Contador in the Giro d'Italia and was later named as the winner of the race following the Spaniard's doping...

  • Fiorenzo Magni dies at the age of 91

    Fiorenzo Magni and Alfredo Martini locked in conversation at the Colnago presentation.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 11:51 BST
    Cycling News

    "Lion of Flanders" won Giro d'Italia three times

    Three-time Giro d’Italia winner Fiorenzo Magni has died at the age of 91 after suffering an aneurysm in the early hours of Friday morning. His funeral will take place in Monza on Saturday.

    Born near Prato in 1920, Magni was the “third man” of Italian cycling’s golden age - often overshadowed but rarely overawed by Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali during a career that spanned from 1940 to 1956, and saw him win the Giro d'Italia, Giro del Piemonte, Trofeo Baracchi and Italian championships on three occasions.

    In spite of those Italian successes, Magni is perhaps best remembered for the remarkable feat of winning three consecutive Tours of Flanders between 1949 and 1951. In a far less globalised era, the Tuscan became only the second non-Belgian to win De Ronde, earning the moniker of the “Lion of Flanders” in the process.

    On home roads, Magni struggled to compete with the popularity of Coppi and Bartali – in part due to his fascist sympathies during World War II – but still took three Giro d’Italia victories in the post-war period. His first win in 1948 came amid some controversy with Magni penalised two minutes for receiving pushes on the Pordoi, but he resisted the jeers of the tifosi to carry the pink jersey to Milan.

    After adding a second Giro in 1951, Magni went on to become the oldest winner of the race in dramatic circumstances in 1955. By then 35 years of age, the wily Magni attacked in the company of Coppi on the penultimate stage to San Pellegrino Terme, conceding the stage victory to Il Campionissimo in return for his help in dislodging a distraught Gastone Nencini from the maglia rosa.

    The most enduring image of Magni at the Giro would come from an edition he did not win, however. As defending champion in 1956, Magni broke his collarbone in a crash on stage 12 from Grosseto to...

  • UCI responds to Rabobank withdrawal

    The UCI
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 13:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Does not address its alleged complicity of doping in the sport

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has issued a communiqué following the announcement of Rabobank's withdrawal from professional cycling. The governing body said that it "acknowledged" the Dutch bank's decision, and evoked yesterday's opening of disciplinary proceedings against one of the team's riders, Carlos Barredo, as a possible reason for Friday's announcement.

    "In light of the difficult period, namely the high public interest in past doping issues and perhaps a more recent action taken by the UCI against a rider of the team, the UCI understands the context which has led to this decision being reached," it stated.

    Meanwhile, Rabobank's main reason for ending its sponsorship of the professional men's and women's teams were the allegations made in the USADA report about the UCI's complicity in US Postal's doping scheme. "The report shows that the international cycling world is flawed. Doping is supported even within the highest institutions of the cycling world. Our conclusion is thus that there is no way out of it, which is why we have decided to stop supporting the professional teams," said Rabobank financial director Bert Bruggink in a press conference on Friday morning.

    The UCI press office did not seek to defend itself against these allegations directly, stating instead, "Despite inevitable and sometimes painful consequences, the UCI reaffirms its commitment to the fight against doping and full transparency about potential anti-doping rule violations."

  • Vos waits for details as Rabobank pulls out

    After five straight years of second place finishes at road Worlds, Marianne Vos added a second world title to her palmares in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 15:10 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion understands decision

    Dutch world champion Marianne Vos has reacted to the announcement of Rabobank ending its sponsorship of professional cycling teams, including her Stichting Rabo Women Cycling Team, saying that she understands the decision. Nevertheless, the 25-year-old is awaiting more information as to the continuation of the team under a "white label".

    "Absurd day. The report that Rabobank stops its sponsorship hits me hard and raises a lot of questions. I, too, am waiting for news on further developments," she posted on her personal Twitter account on Friday. Rabobank decided to end its sponsorship at the end of this year, however honouring its contracts and providing the men's as well as the women's teams with the means to continue next year.

    Also, the Dutch bank's management insisted that Vos would not be left without support, but the details of this are yet to be defined. Rabobank cited the scope of the USADA report on the US Postal doping scheme as the reason for leaving the professional sport after 17 years of commitment.

    "In the light of current doping matters, it's an understandable decision of Rabobank. Unfortunately, it affects many innocent people in our sport," she added.

    Widely believed to be less infiltrated by doping than men's cycling, women's racing loses a major sponsor in Rabobank, as it features not as many teams. Vos hoped that the setback would only be temporary.

    "Of course, I hope that our women's team can build up even further after this successful year with Rabobank. Pure sport, out of passion, that is what we show," she commented.