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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 16, 2012

Date published:
January 16, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Video: White talks GreenEdge tactics ahead of WordTour debut

    Matt White (left) chats with Shayne Bannan in Melbourne.
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 7:24 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Sports director chasing back-to-back wins

    In 2011, Matt White guided Cameron Meyer to overall victory at the Tour Down Under, Garmin-Cervelo's plan-b given Tyler Farrar's misfortune. In 2012, White is the man in the hot seat for GreenEdge and in this video he talks Cyclingnews through the way sees the race unfolding.

    White said that he's expecting competition to be fierce from the very first sprint which takes place around the 75 kilometre mark at Kapunda en route to Claire on Stage 1.

    "I think the format of the race this year has changed a lot of things and last year Cameron's break was the only successful break since this race has been WorldTour but I think we're going to see a competitive race from the first time bonus because seconds will win this Tour."

    See more of White's thoughts on the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under by clicking on the video link below.

  • Triathlete Bockel joins Leopard Trek

    Dirk Bockel
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 9:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Top Ironman contender happy to receive team support

    Luxembourg Continental cycling team Leopard Trek has signed top triathlete Dirk Bockel. The 35-year-old Luxembourger, fourth place finisher at the 2011 Hawaii Ironman, was happy to join the team directed by Adriano Baffi and receive support throughout the upcoming triathlon season.

    "It's a dream come true. In triathlon, you're alone to manage your preparation and it's unbelievable to make ties with such a strong structure and to receive the support of Trek, the best bike manufacturer in the world. I will be able to concentrate even more on my work and that will certainly translate into even better performances," Bockel told AFP.

    The new recruit will continue to focus on triathlon within the team, preparing for the Worlds in Kona, Hawaii, on October 13. "Kona is my Tour de France," he continued. "Having finished fourth last year, I know I can win it. Abu Dhabi (on March 3) is my first objective."

    RadioShack-Nissan team manager Johan Bruyneel was excited about the new deal. "The bridge between cycling and triathlon will be fascinating for all parties," the Belgian commented. "For the two cycling teams that we direct, for Dirk as a triathlete and, last but not least, for our partner Trek. The common factor here is technology. Triathlon has become an important showroom for bike manufacturers. Trek has seen the number of its bikes used at the 2011 Worlds in Hawaii increase by 70 percent."

    Bockel is the fifth Luxembourger to join the Continental team, whose leader Bob Jungels will be heading the outfit at cycling races. For Flavio Becca, owner of the Leopard Trek team, the deal is "a unique chance to promote Luxembourg sport. This was an opportunity that we could not miss."

  • Tour of Flanders wildcards announced

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) again failed to deliver
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 10:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pozzato and Farnese Vini-Selle Italia get the nod

    The first six wildcard places for the 2012 Tour of Flanders have been announced, with organising body Flanders Classics handing invitations to Farnese Vini-Selle Italia, Project 1t4i, Europcar, Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator, Accent Jobs-Willems Verandas and Landbouwkrediet.

    One further wildcard spot will be allocated based on performances during the early part of the season, while the 18 WorldTour squads are automatically invited to the race.

    Monday’s announcement means that Filippo Pozzato will again be among the contenders at the De Ronde. The Italian took something of a calculated gamble in stepping down from WorldTour level to join Farnese Vini-Selle Italia in the off-season, but his new team has already secured invitations to the Giro d’Italia and Milan-San Remo.

    The 2012 Tour of Flanders takes place on April 1, and will feature significant changes to the route. The race finish has been moved from Meerbeke to Oudenaarde, while the Muur van Geraardsbergen and Boserg will no longer be the final two climbs. Instead, the peloton will tackle the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg three times in the finale.

  • Olympic time trial the priority for Tony Martin in 2012

    World time trial champion Tony Martin
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 11:47 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    German will not fight for GC at Tour de France

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) has insisted that he will not mount a general classification challenge at the 2012 Tour de France and will instead focus on fine-tuning his preparation for the Olympic time trial in London.

    With almost 100km of time trialling on the route, this year’s Tour appears to offer Martin a fine opportunity to test his credentials as a stage racer, but the German admitted that he was loathe to compromise his Olympic chances. While he is targeting victory in each of the Tour’s long time trials, as well as the Liège prologue, he will not begin the race with any aspirations of a high overall placing.

    “If it comes, it comes by itself, but I won’t be disappointed if I get dropped in the mountains when I can fight for two stages, maybe try and wear yellow and then have a successful Olympics,” Martin told reporters at the Omega Pharma-Quick Step presentation in Vilvoorde. “It will be hard to fight for the podium and the Olympics in the same year. I will focus on the time trials, on the prologue and on wearing the yellow jersey, but I won’t go for the GC.”

    At 26 years of age, Martin believes that he has ample time ahead of him to explore his possibilities as a stage racer and pointed out that he will have fewer opportunities to capture Olympic gold. After wresting the world time trial title from Fabian Cancellara in Copenhagen last September, Martin is clearly keen to make the most of his current pre-eminence in the discipline.

    “The Olympics are only every four years. Maybe I can take part in the next three Olympic Games, but it’s not so many times,” Martin said. “I really want to keep a chance and I want to be 100% fit there and I...

  • Ullrich: CAS ruling expected this week

    Jan Ullrich is once again looking to the future
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 12:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former rider's planned statement to "respond to yet unanswered questions"

    The Court of Abritration for Sport (CAS) is expected to release a verdict in the case concerning the International Cycling Union (UCI) and Jan Ullrich this week.

    The UCI appealed the Swiss Olympic Committee's decision to close the file on evidence linking Ullrich to the Operacion Puerto doping case. Ullrich retired after being implicated in the 2006 investigation, and was later linked to blood evidence by DNA testing.

    However, whatever the final ruling, Ullrich is not expected to explain himself to a large public by TV show appearances. "There will be no interviews or guest appearances in talk shows," Ullrich's manager Falk Nier announced. The 38-year-old former rider suffered from burnout syndrome in 2010 and plans to remain as private as possible in the coming weeks.

    "The repeated postponements of the CAS rulings in the last months were troubling and difficult to handle emotionally. Once the verdict is announced, I will need some time to come to terms with it - regardless of what it will be," Ullrich told German Focus magazine.

    Nevertheless, the 1997 Tour de France winner is expected to issue a statement following the court ruling. This has been in the works since November last year, and Ullrich's manager Nier has not denied that it could be a doping confession. According to Nier, the expected statement will "respond to the yet unanswered questions regarding the CAS ruling and the doping issue."

  • Rosseler breaks collarbone in training accident

    Stage 3b winner Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack)
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 14:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Barracuda rider to sit out one week

    Sebastien Rosseler's career at Garmin-Barracuda has had something of an inauspicious start. The unfortunate Belgian crashed in training this week and broke his collarbone, after coming off a season shortened by knee problems.

    "A new hitch that comes along just when he was no longer feeling any pain in the knee...” was the glum assessment on his personal website.

    Rosseler was forced to end his 2011 campaign in June due to knee problems. His contract with RadioShack was not extended, and he has signed for Garmin-Barracuda for this year.

    He had “counted on” using this week's training camp “to show his team managers that he would be ready for the Classics,” but instead will be forced to stay off the bike for a week.

  • Contador ruling expected end of January

    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 15:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Media questions on Israeli arbiter sparked delay

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport announced today that a delay has pushed to the end of January the final decision in the case of Alberto Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) versus the World Anti-Doping Agency and the International Cycling Union.

    In a press release, the CAS stated that questions raised in the media surrounding the composition of the arbitration panel caused a delay in the decision process.

    Last week, RadioShack-Nissan owner Flavio Becca insinuated that because Saxo Bank trained in Israel last month, there was a bias from Israeli judge Ephraim Barak towards Contador, who will keep or lose his 2010 Tour de France title based upon the panel's decision on whether or not the RFEC correctly decided to clear him on doping charges.

    The CAS was forced to publicly deny that any prejudice for Contador exists, and the UCI and WADA both stated that neither party challenged the independence of the panel.

    "The CAS has requested the parties to clarify whether, at this stage, any of them wanted to challenge the composition of the arbitral panel. As all answers were negative, the Panel will now be able to resume its mission. Unfortunately, this regrettable incident has slightly delayed the work of the Panel."

    The CAS expects a final decision on whether or not Contador should be punished for the positive test for Clenbuterol by January 31.

    In a separate story, the Associated Press reported that WADA lawyers came close to walking out of the proceedings when the panel blocked testimony by one of its scientific experts, Michael Ashenden.

  • Gallery: NetApp hits the roads in Mallorca

    NetApp, all lined up
    Article published:
    January 16, 2012, 17:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    German team with eye on its first grand tour

    Team NetApp escaped wet northern Europe and sought the sun of Mallorca as it plans its first assault on a Grand Tour. The German Professional Continental team held its first training camp of 2012 on the Spanish island.

    The team was given a wild card invitation to the Giro d'Italia this year, and young Czech rider Leo König is expected to lead the team in Italy.  He was amongst those riders hitting the mountains in preparation for a climber's Giro.

    Nearly half of the team is new this year, eight of the 17 riders. The camp was also a chance for the newcomers to get to know their new teammates and start the process of becoming a team that works well together.