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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, September 24, 2010

Date published:
September 24, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Cozza to Team NetApp in 2011

    Steve Cozza (Garmin-Transitions) shows his 'tache
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 10:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    American one of many new signings for small German Team

    Steven Cozza will ride for Team NetApp in 2011. The signing is a signal of the small German team's desire to move up to Professional Continental status and participate in races in the United States.

    Cozza was one of several new signings for the team, which has the announced goal of moving up to the ProTour by 2012. U23 Swiss national champion Michael Baer and former German national junior champion David Hesselbarth will also join the team
    .
    "Steven Cozza was a preferred candidate. He is not just a great guy, but someone who will help us to realise new sporting achievements with his ProTour experience,” said team manager Ralph Denk. “The signings of Michael Baer and David Hesselbarth highlight the fact that we are keeping a close eye on young riders, with the aim of acquiring these for our team. The blend of such talented riders and experienced international professionals will define our team in the season ahead."

    Cozza, 25, has been with the American Garmin squad since 2007. He won the U23 national time trial title in 2005. His strengths are time trials, sprint preparation and attacks. While he so far been primarily a domestique, “the American will now move even further into the foreground,” the team said.

    Baer, 22, rode this year for Team Atlas Personal-BMC. He won this year's national U23 title, as well as a stage in the Thüringen Rundfahrt. He is captain of the Swiss U23 team at the Worlds in Melbourne.

    Hesselbarth, also 22, previously rode for Team Heizomat. He won the national junior title in 2006. his year he has brought in top 10 placings in the German championships, the Bochum Giro and the Tour Alsace. He will also be riding in the world championships.

    NetApp had also previously announced the signings of Belgian Dimitri Claeys, Italian Cesare Benedetti and German Timon Seubert, along with the contract extensions of seven riders. “It is fantastic that we can...

  • Unzue still supports Valverde

    Caisse d'Epargne general manager Eusebio Unzue believes steadiness is a key factor for success
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 10:32 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Caisse d'Epargne manager says cycling "cannot sacrifice" Valverde

    Caisse d’Epargne manager Eusebio Unzue has spoken out in defence of his erstwhile team leader Alejandro Valverde at a Foro Ferrandíz-AS conference entitled the “Regeneration of Cycling” in Alcobendas. After a long-running saga, the Spanish rider was finally banned for his part in Operacion Puerto in May of this year.

    “Alejandro Valverde is the man who has suffered most,” Unzue said. “This sport cannot sacrifice him; it hasn’t got the right to do so.

    “I’m positive about his situation however. I don’t have to say whether the sanction is just or not, it’s not up to me,” he said. “We’re working to see if we can get him back as soon as possible.”

    When the 2008 Tour de France entered Italy, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) took blood samples from Valverde, which it matched to evidence from the Operacion Puerto case. CONI subsequently handed Valverde a two-year ban from competing in Italy in May 2009, and the ban became worldwide in May of this year. As his suspension was backdated to January 1, Valverde can return to racing at the start of 2012.

    Unzue, who described himself as a “defender of cycling”, admitted that the sport had been ill-served by its own mistakes, albeit “in a manner disproportionate to what we deserved, and something that we don’t see in other sports.

    “Now we’re on an upwards trajectory and the arrival of Movistar is a sign of this,” he said. The telecommunications company stepped into the breach in August this year and took over sponsorship of Unzue’s team for 2011 after the withdrawal of Caisse d’Epargne.

    “We don’t have a big leader but we have a lot of very talented riders of a certain level and the structures in place for the arrival of a big leader. We also hope to see some of our existing riders progress and...

  • Transfer news: Katusha, Astana, Cofidis

    Leif Hoste (Omega Pharma-Lotto) will be hoping to hold form for Paris-Roubaix
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 10:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Russian team signs three, including Leif Hoste

    Belgian Leif Hoste will join the Katusha outfit as of next season, the Russian team has announced. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider has agreed to a two-year contract with the squad managed by Andrei Tchmil, and is taking with him his Spanish teammate Daniel Moreno, who also signed for the next two seasons.

    Katusha has also worked out a deal with another Spaniard, Alberto Losada from Caisse d'Epargne, which will raise the number of Spanish riders at Katusha to three. "Hoste will be supporting Pozzato at the Northern Classics while Losada and Moreno will be useful in the mountains during the Grand Tours, supporting Joaquin Rodriguez," the team stated.

    Other newly-announced signings include Mirco Lorenzetto, who will change from Lampre to Astana. The Italian won a stage at this year's Tour of Poland, where he also wore the leader's jersey for one day.

    French team Cofidis will also strengthen its roster next year by welcoming Aleksejs Saramotins from HTC-Columbia. The 28-year-old rider from Latvia, who won the GP d'Isbergues last Sunday, has agreed to a two-year contract with the squad managed by Eric Boyer.
     

  • McQuaid has no objection to Landis conference appearance

    UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 11:54 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    UCI President says he has not been contacted by US federal investigators

    International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid has claimed that he has no objection to Floyd Landis’s appearance at a conference on doping in cycling at Deakin University in Geelong in the week of the world championships.

    The world championships organising committee last week withdrew its support of the New Pathways for Professional Cycling conference on learning of Landis’s presence, but McQuaid said that he had “no problem” with the American’s participation. The conference takes place on September 27 and 28.

    “My only problem is with [Landis's] modus operandi,” McQuaid told the Associated Press. “I am aware that there are other very high profile athletes who have also been sanctioned for major doping offences that are assisting authorities in the fight against doping. However, they choose to do it, to my mind, in the correct way, by working quietly without any hullabaloo.”

    McQuaid also stated that the UCI has not been contacted by investigators from the U.S. federal inquiry into alleged doping in American cycling. He also said that the sport’s governing body has no plans to discuss the matter at its annual congress ahead of the world championships in Melbourne next week.

    “They haven’t approached us at all,” McQuaid said. “It’s an investigation that is taking place in America. We’re awaiting the outcome of the investigation.”

    McQuaid said that he was not privy to any information on how the investigation was progressing. “I think that is within their own guidelines which wouldn’t allow them to inform others what is going on,” he said.

    Meanwhile, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has been assisting the investigation led by Food and Drug Administration (FDA) special agent Jeff Novitzky, while the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) has stated that it is prepared to hand over samples...

  • Bettini rejects Cipollini's Worlds criticism

    Italian team director Paolo Bettini has a word with Italian champ Giovanni Visconti
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 12:39 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Italian manager defends selection policy

    Paolo Bettini has responded to Mario Cipollini’s criticism of the Italian team that he has selected for his first world championships as national coach. Cipollini told Cyclingnews on Wednesday that it was an error not to include a sprinter such as Daniele Bennati (Liquigas-Doimo) but Bettini refuted the claim.

    “I’d advise Mario to come and see the course,” Bettini told Gazzetta dello Sport after his team’s first training ride on the finishing circuit. “I didn’t make any gifts to anybody. Everyone who is here has shown form.”

    Bettini felt that both the nature of the route and Bennati’s current form weighed against him. The sprinter had accompanied Bettini, Filippo Pozzato (Katusha), Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri) and Luca Paolini (Acqua & Sapone) on a reconnaissance trip to Geelong in July.

    “Bennati came here to do that test at his own expense, because he really wanted to go to the Worlds,” Bettini explained. “But at the Vuelta he wasn’t in super form. I could have brought him to cover my back but then I would have had to have tried to make the race neither too hard nor too easy.”

    Cipollini also drew comparisons between Bettini’s team and the aging squad sent by Marcello Lippi to defend Italy’s World Cup in South Africa in June and perhaps unwittingly, Bettini echoed one of his football counterpart’s oft-repeated defences of his selection. “I don’t see any riders left at home in Italy who are superior to these,” he said. “I don’t deny that I have picked some riders that I am friendly with, but nobody was certain of his place.

    “It’s better to risk losing by believing in a project, as Ballerini taught me,” Bettini said. He took over from the late Franco Ballerini as...

  • 23 cities apply to host Quiznos Pro Challenge

    George Hincapie (BMC) all smiles before the race.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 13:33 BST
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Event to be staged one week after Utah

    The Quiznos Pro Challenge has received 23 applications from would-be host cities for the all-new race for 2011, modelled on the Coors Classic in Colorado, USA. Race organizers confirmed the number of applications received by last week’s deadline at the Interbike trade show, adding that some weeks will be spent evaluating the applications before a route is formally announced.

    USA Cycling CEO Sean Petty praised the support the state of Colorado has thrown behind the new event. “There’s been a tremendous amount of buzz within the community in Colorado ever since we announced this event,” said Petty. “We’re very pleased to see the Coors Classic legacy is still alive and I think some of the stages will certainly recreate some of the excitement and drama of the Coors Classic.

    “It’s tremendous to see the activity there,” he added. “The cities have come forward with some wonderful bids and we’re sure it’s going to be a very challenging course and we look forward to the announcement of that course in the coming days.”

    Petty said USA Cycling and the Quiznos event organizers have been working in close consultation with Tour of Utah organizers to ensure that the events are scheduled together in a way that doesn’t harm either event. “They’ll be about a week apart,” he said. “So there'll be one on the Sunday and then the Quiznos Pro Challenge will start on the Monday a week apart.”

    Having an extensive history at the Coors Classic, Davis Phinney was on hand to launch the event’s new logo and website at Interbike. Phinney was excited about the return of top level cycling to the place where his career began and prospered all those years ago.

    “I couldn’t be happier, honestly, to see bike racing come back to the state of Colorado in a big way,” said Phinney. “Having a bike race there in the 70s is...

  • Evans says Australian leadership yet to be decided

    Cadel Evans (BMC) took third in one of his last races as world champion.
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 15:57 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    World champion tips Goss for strong Worlds showing

    World champion Cadel Evans (BMC) has said that the leader of the Australian team has not yet been decided for next week's world championship road race in Geelong, Australia. After his victory in Mendrisio, Switzerland last year, members of the Australian team vigorously denied reports in the Belgian media that Evans had lost a vote for the team leadership in a meeting on the eve of the race.

    "We haven't had that meeting yet," Evans told AAP. "I hope at least to get the role of a protected rider."

    Evans readily admitted that there is a great deal of uncertainty over the precise nature of the Geelong circuit, which will make it difficult for specific roles to be assigned. "It's a question of whether there's three guys left in front or whether there'll be 40 guys left in front," Evans said. "I don't know what's going to happen, but nobody does, so everyone's in the same boat."

    While Evans nominated his former teammate Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) as the favourite for the event, he also suggested that Australian sprinter Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia) would be in contention should the race come down to a bunch sprint.

    "It might be in our interests for Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) not to get to the finish," Evans said. "But if Mark can get there, it also means that Gossy can get there and I think of all the guys people have been speaking about, Gossy is the one who's showed he can really do something."

    Allan Davis (Astana) also believes that the 23-year-old Goss's speed in the finale could be telling, provided that he survives in the front group to the finish. "He's got the ability too, he's got the form," Davis said. "He's got everything and for Gossy it's a huge experience for him and this could really set up his career."

    Meanwhile, Stuart O'Grady (Saxo Bank) maintained that his form has not been affected too much by his recent expulsion from the Vuelta a España. O'Grady was sent home from the...

  • Bordry steps down as head of AFLD

    Pierre Bordry, President of the Châtenay-Malabry anti-doping laboratory (LNDD)
    Article published:
    September 24, 2010, 16:35 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Head of French anti-doping agency resigns

    Pierre Bordry has announced his resignation as the head of the French anti-doping agency (AFLD). Bordry’s term as president was due to end on July 1, 2011, but he will instead formally step down as soon as a successor is appointed early next month.

    Bordry told the Associated Press that he was leaving his post with “a very good record” in the fight against doping but he maintained that the agency’s work could be improved with “perennial resources.” Bordry was appointed as president in October 2006.

    According to L’Èquipe, Bordry had become increasingly frustrated by negotiations with the French Ministry of Health and Sport over the AFLD’s budget. The 71-year-old Bordry’s announcement comes as the AFLD is campaigning for an expensive modernisation of its Châtenay-Malabry laboratory and appealing for funding to maintain its current level of 9,000 tests per year.

    It is also understood that relations between the AFLD and cycling's governing body, the International Cycling Union (UCI), had been terse. It required the intervention of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to allow the AFLD to play a role in drug testing at this year's Tour de France. The AFLD had previously led testing at the 2008 Tour de France and the French agency's use of targeted controls saw a number of riders test positive for CERA.

    Last week, Bordry announced that the AFLD would cooperate fully with the federal investigation into alleged doping practices in cycling in the United States and he offered to hand over Lance Armstrong’s urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France to investigators.

    French Prime Minister François Fillon and Minister for Health and Sport Roselyne Bachelot have been informed of Bordry’s decision.