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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 4, 2010

Date published:
January 04, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Bani to Amore & Vita

    Italy's Ivano Fanini (l) strikes at those behind the doping cases of Riccardo Riccò and Emanuele Sella
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 14:05 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Suspended Junior becomes youngest pro cyclist in the world

    Eugenio Bani, the 18-year-old Junior rider who recently made headlines because of a positive doping control for pregnancy hormone HcG (Human chorionic gonadotrophin), will become a professional with the Amore & Vita squad in 2010.

    Despite being suspended by the Italian national anti-doping tribunal for 21 months, Amore & Vita team boss Ivano Fanini has decided to sign the rider in an effort to raise public awareness of the case. Bani, whose suspension is only applicable on Italian soil, thereby becomes the youngest pro cyclist in the world. He will be racing exclusively outside of Italy until his suspension ends.

    In a press release, Fanini explained his move. "The athlete is the subject of great unjustice, due to the corrupt system that holds cycling today, especially in Italy. The federation rules do not foresee controls in the younger categories, thereby leaving the field open to meddlers able to freely dope young riders, undisturbed. That is what happened to this athlete, who cannot have doped on his own initiative.

    "It is unthinkable that an 18-year-old would be able to find a substance like Human chorionic gonadotrophin without the help of persons close to him. The boy is only a puppet in the hands of people that are more experienced in cycling."

    Fanini decided to sign Bani "to help him understand his error but above all to help him take the right path again. It will be the opportunity to put some light on the real responsibilities of the staff surrounding him and to push the FCI to create rules to protect these young riders."

  • Brown loses Bay Classics lead, fined for intimidating official

    Graeme Brown (Urban) leans into a corner during round three of the series in Geelong
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 14:50 GMT
    By:
    Greg Johnson

    Fury fuelled rider aims to get title back

    Graeme Brown was fined $250 after intentionally swerving towards a Cycling Australia commissaire as the official waved a red flag to signal his bunch was being pulled from the third Jayco Bay Cycling Classic stage.

    The main peloton – which included riders like Robbie McEwen – was removed from the race after being lapped by the race leaders, as there was already a nine-man break further down the road chasing the leading trio.

    "Graeme Brown was a part of the peloton as it was caught and he was withdrawn," said official Doug Armstrong. "The manner in which Graeme took the withdrawal was unacceptable, and for that he has been fined $250 dollars for intimidating an official in the execution of his duties. He rode at me deliberately.

    "There was a definite break between Graeme Brown's group, the group of nine and the three leaders," he added. "Graeme was part of the peloton that had been caught, there's no question of that in my mind."

    Armstrong admitted he had the power to charge Brown as much as $1000 and suspend him for three months after the incident. Instead he handed Brown the minimum penalty, saying he felt it was "sufficient".

    Brown circled the course multiple times at a reduced pace before dismounting from his bike, giving him time to cool off after a fiery 45 minutes. On top of the incident for which Brown was fined, he had quite obvious and vocal run-ins with rivals Baden Cooke and friend Chris Sutton during the race.

    "I wasn't in agreeance with the decision of the commissaire," said Brown. "In every other Bay Classic I've ever done, almost every time there's been a lap taken on this circuit and the bunch has never been pulled out. Never. So I don't understand why they'd pull the bunch out one year and not other years."

    While Brown did discuss the matter with Armstrong after the event, he admitted there was little point in challenging the decision. Brown lost the series lead after being...

  • Coppi remembered 50 years on from his death

    Images of Fausto and Serse Coppi
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 15:24 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    A tribute to one of the greatest cyclists

    Saturday marked the 50th anniversary of the death of “Il Campionissimo”, Fausto Coppi. Five-time winner of the Giro d’Italia, twice a victor of the Tour de France and the hour record holder, Coppi succumbed to malaria contracted during a racing/hunting trip to what was then Upper Volta and is now Burkina Faso.

    Hospitalised in Tortona in his home region of Piedmont in north-west Italy, Coppi asked his long-time domestique Ettore Milano who was at his bedside to “give me air”. Milano changed Coppi’s oxygen bottle, but the fever was too far advanced for Coppi to be saved. He was just 40 years old.

    The greatest star of the post-war era, and still claimed by some as the greatest rider of all time, Coppi won 144 of the 666 races he started. Almost every success was a lone victory, most taken with little celebration such was the effort he demanded from his fragile frame.

    Blessed with long legs and tremendous physical capacity, Coppi lost a good deal of his early career to the Second World War. Winner at the age of 20 of the 1940 Giro, he was captured by the British in North Africa and spent time in a prisoner of war camp working as a barber. On his return to Italy, he picked up on the road where he had left off, finishing runner-up to his great rival Gino Bartali in the 1946 Giro, then beating Bartali into second place the following year.

    As well as victories in the major tours, Coppi also claimed the world title in 1953 and won most of the Classics, including three successes in Milan-San Remo, a Paris-Roubaix victory in 1950 and five wins in the Tour of Lombardy, four of them in successive seasons.

    As his successes piled up, Coppi became a huge star in Italy and beyond. His notoriety was increased still further when he started a relationship with his doctor’s wife, Giulia Occhini, the so-called “Dama Bianca”. Married himself, Coppi was condemned by the pope for...

  • Gallery: Team Milram prepares for 2010

    2010 Team Photo: Team Milram
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 15:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Photos from a weeklong training camp in Majorca

    Germany's Team Milram spent a week training in Majorca in mid-December. Away from the cold of the rest of Europe, the team's 24 riders and staff spent time preparing for the 2010 season.

    "Our riders trained up to six hours each day, either everyone together or divided up into special groups, to prepare for their different races, such as the season start in Australia or for the Classics," Team Manager Gerry van Gerwen said.

    The team set up its bikes and modelled the new kit for 2010. Check out the photos Roberto Bettini took for Cyclingnews in the associated gallery.

  • Team Sky launched in London

    Kurt Alse Arvesen comes out in the Norwegian Champion's kit
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 15:26 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Riders the focus, Tour de France major goal

    Amid fanfare unlikely to be matched at any other team presentation this season, Team Sky was officially launched in London on Monday, with all but four members of its international 26-man roster taking to the stage. Team captain Bradley Wiggins explained that the Tour de France will be one of the team's major goals in 2010.

    Despite an extravagant presentation, the launch's focus followed the theme of the 'thin line' between winning and losing that the team will face in its debut season. After months of polemics over the final make-up of the squad, manager Dave Brailsford emphasised the efforts the British outfit's management had made to maximise its continuity.

    "It's not for me to judge [us against] other teams, it's how we work that will make the difference," said Brailford. "The key thing for us is to make sure that everything's right [for the best performance] and that we give ownership to the riders; that they have control over what they do. We treat them with great dignity and respect, and give them the opportunity to be the best they can be."

    With Greg Henderson, Chris Sutton and Mat Hayman racing the Jayco Bay Classic in Australia, and John-Lee Augustyn continuing his preparation for the new season at home in South Africa, the remaining 22 riders were presented close to the centre of the British capital.

    The team's marquee signing, Wiggins, was the last rider to make his way onto the stage and said that despite the air of expectation that surrounded Sky, the riders themselves would take a measured approach to the season, and what is likely to be the major focus of the team's efforts throughout the year, the Tour de France.

    "It's no secret that [the Tour de France] is going to be the main goal of this team, and for us [the objective] will be to do as well as we can," he said. "I don't want to sound like I'm dodging the question, but without putting a number on it we'll go there with the best form of our lives, with...

  • Boom to defend Dutch 'cross title despite lack of racing

    Lars Boom (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 18:03 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider concentrating on road instead of 'cross

    Lars Boom will look to defend his national title in the Dutch cyclo-cross championships this coming weekend despite having very little 'cross racing under his belt.

    The defending champion, who concentrated on road riding this year, has ridden only one 'cross race this season, the GP Groenendaal on Sunday in Sint Michelsgestel, Netherlands. He finished 22nd, over three minutes down.

    “I wanted some 'cross riding,” he told the Belgian site Sporza. “This was my first race of the season, you can't expect me to be good immediately.”

    Despite the lack of racing, he still looks to do well next Sunday in Heerlen. “I will not just give away my title. I will try to defend it.” He will hope for a good day and go as far as he can.

    However, the 2008 World Champion does not see himself at all as a favourite for the World title race January 30 in Tabor, Czech Republic. “That is definitely a 'cross with snow and ice. And that's not for me.”

    Boom called the 'cross season to date “a nice battle between two Belgians and one Czech”, that is, Niels Albert, Sven Nys and Zdenek Stybar. “There was also a Dutchman in the mix last year – himself – “but he has other ambitions.”

    The 24-year-old's ambitions focus mainly on the road season with Rabobank's ProTour squad. “I would like to ride the Spring Classics. Those are nice races, but new to me. If I would be selected for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, I would definitely put my best foot forward!"

    Boom had two victories in his first ProTour season of 2009, and both were significant ones. In September, he won the 15th stage of the Vuelta a Espana, from Jaén to Cordoba. The rookie, in his first Grand Tour, was in an escape group which formed early. He attacked out of the group on the final climb of the day, with 22 km to go, and soloed on to victory.

    His other...

  • Van Garderen ready for ProTour debut

    American Tejay Van Garderen before the 2009 World Championships
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 18:46 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Young American eager to take on big stage races for Columbia-HTC

    Tejay van Garderen is looking forward to his first season in the ProTour ranks with Columbia-HTC and believes he has a future in stage racing. Van Garderen rode for Rabobank’s continental team in 2009, finishing second overall in the Tour de l'Avenir. It was a highlight in a strong season and the American showed enough promise for Bob Stapleton to get his checkbook out and sign him.

    After meeting up with his new teammates at their first training camp of the year, van Garderen is looking forward to making his Columbia debut.

    “I went to the first camp in the Canary Islands. All the guys made me feel really welcome. There are lots of different personalities in the team and it was cool to find out where I fit in,” van Garderen told Cyclingnews.

    One marked difference in the team is that unlike at Rabobank, van Garderen isn’t the only American or English-speaking rider, something he’s happy about.

    “When I was at Rabobank I was lost for the first few months trying to learn Dutch and not understanding what was going on. I was the one American so everyone was really interested in me and asking me questions about what it’s like growing up in the States and if it’s like American Pie.

    "At the Columbia camp guys were just having more normal conversations and weren’t intrigued about me being American, plus they’re a lot older.”

    Van Garderen was also impressed with the scale of the team but pointed to their clean ethics and strict anti-doping stance as to why he signed with them. “It doesn’t matter who you are in the team, you all get treated the same. I think that’s why they’ve been so successful.”

    “I’ve always had a strong stance against doping and I’ve always been afraid of taking anything, be it an Ibuprofen, or a cold medicine. I’m always scared there could be contamination and I’d...

  • Ed Beamon joins Fly V Australia as technical director

    Ed Beamon will join Fly V Australia for 2010 as technical director
    Article published:
    January 04, 2010, 18:56 GMT
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Outlines US ambitions for Continental team

    Fly V Australia Cycling Team is heading into the new year poised to soar above last year's success of the United States of America's National Racing Calendar (NRC) series. The Australia-registered Continental squad hired on Ed Beamon as its new technical director.

    "I'll be helping Henk [Vogels] out with some of the DS responsibilities and do a lot of liaisons with industry sponsors," Beamon said. "I'll help get together the operational structure and logistics and organize the race calendar. Most of the calendar is going to be in the US this year."

    Beamon is recognized as one of the longest standing manager/directeur sportif in the US, running the former Navigators Insurance Cycling team for 14 consecutive seasons, between 1993 and 2007. He went on to direct the US-based Team Type 1 in 2008. Beamon's affiliation to the Australian squad seems like a natural fit given many of its riders and staff were once riders of his own, including the team's Directeur Sportif Henk Vogels.

    "I met with the manager Chris White at the Tour of California last year," Beamon said. "There were several guys I've worked with in the past. When the team was coming together in November of 2008, I was already talking to them and several guys had been on the Navigators program so that's how I first got involved with them as far as communicating."

    "I met with Chris a few times during the season and as it progressed and we got closer to the Las Vegas trade show, he was having good success building the program," he continued. "It looked like they were going to build a larger program and have more focus in building some drama around their presence in the US. The stars aligned and we came together."

    Team Manager, Chris White launched the team at the end of 2008 signing on high profile sponsor the Australian airline Virgin Blue's International-bound service V Australia. The team's primary objectives for the season are to become the leading professional team...