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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 7, 2013

Date published:
January 07, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Hansen hoping grand tour legs deliver at Australian Road Championships

    Adam Hansen leads Marcel Sieberg and Andre Greipel during stage 6 at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 2:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Lotto Belisol rider wants to honour green and gold jersey in Europe

    Adam Hansen rode into the record books in 2012 when he became the second Australian to ride all three grand tours in a single year. The former Australian time trial champion is now hoping the huge foundation laid last year will help him to overcome his rivals at the Australian National Road Championships on January 13.

    Hansen did not race the recent Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic or Jayco Herald Sun Tour, like many of his competitors would have but the rider who lives in the Czech Republic during the season believes he could still be in contention for the Australian road title. With a number of top finishes over the years, it's a goal Hansen is unwilling to let go of easily.

    "I am feeling good, have been looking after myself and in the next few days I'll work on picking up the intensity to find some speed, to get ready for the Nationals," Hansen said after arriving back in Australia last week.

    "Although my form will be hard to judge, because I have done three grand tours, I think that it will be a positive thing."

    "For me, to wear the green and gold jersey in Europe has been one of the main goals I've ever had in my career," said Hansen.

    This will be Hansen's second year in the Lotto Belisol colours, having spent the 2011 season with the now separated OmegaPharma-Lotto squad. He's been a key man in André Greipel's lead-out squad and would love to have the Australian colours on his back before he gets his season started.

    "All the European riders always say the Australian jersey is definitely one of the nicest national...

  • Voigt and Kittel to ride Tour Down Under

    Jens Voigt (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 9:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Argos-Shimano name team for WorldTour debut

    Jens Voigt will begin his seventeenth season as a professional at the Tour Down Under in Australia, while fellow German Marcel Kittel will lead the Argos-Shimano team and target the many expected sprint finishes.

    41 year-old Voigt rode the Tour Down Under with Credit Agricole and is heading back to Adelaide alongside Radioshack Leopard Trek team leader Andy Schleck, George Bennett, Laurent Didier, Ben Hermans, Tiago Machado and Jesse Sergent.

    “Ten years ago, in my Credit Agricole days, I did my first Tour Down Under and I was immediately charmed by the race,” Voigt said in a press release from race organisers.

    “It is a nice race, well organised, hard and challenging, but not too hard and that is just what we need at this time of the year. On the other hand it is no sprinter’s race. It’s just perfect and well balanced, that’s why I like to come to Adelaide."

    Argos-Shimano WorldTour debut

    Marcel Kittel will target the sprint finishes at the Tour Down Under as Argos-Shimano makes it debut as a WorldTour team in 2013.

    Kittle won 13 races in 2012, including the one-day Scheldeprijs classic, two stages at the Eneco Tour, the Tours of Oman and the Circuit Franco-Belge. The 24 year-old German sprinter will have support from Australian teammate Will Clarke, Jonas Ahlstrand, Yann Huguet, Thierry Hupond, Koen de Kort and Albert Timmer. Clarke won stage two of the 2102 Tour Down Under with a solo breakaway.

    Argos-Shimano Team Manager, Iwan Spekenbrink confirmed that the team would ride for Kittel and look for breakaways.

    “A strong group of riders will represent our team in Australia and they can form a good sprint...

  • Cadel Evans to debut in Oman or Italy

    Defending Tour de Romandie champion Cadel Evans (BMC) rode in wet conditions and finished 20 seconds off the winning time.
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 11:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    2013 Tour de France key to Australians future

    Cadel Evans has revealed he will begin his 2013 season at either the Tour of Oman or in Italy as he looks to bounce back from his difficult 2012 season.

    Evans became the first Australia to win the Tour de France in 2011 but struggled with a virus last year. He missed the Ardennes classics, recovered to finish third in the Critérium du Dauphiné but was not at his best during the Tour de France and finished seventh. He was selected for the Olympic Games in London but did not ride the time trial and called an end to his season after the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.

    He began training early but revealed he is cautious about pushing his body too hard, describing his health as "much better".

    ''I [may] start at the Tour of Oman (February 12-17) or some of the smaller one-day races in Italy. Because of the health issues I had last year, I have to see how my body responds to heavy training and racing before I can be sure,'' Evans told Fairfax Media in Australia.

    The Tour of Oman includes several climbs and would see Evans take on Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali. However Evans dismissed any early-season rivalry.

    ''If Alberto and I both start in Oman, I think we will both be riding our own races in accordance with our preparation for the season,'' he said.

    Evans became a father in 2012 after he and his wife Chiara adopted Ethiopian-born Robel. He said that fatherhood has changed their lives for the better. It could also influence how longer he races as a professional. He will be 36 on February 14 and his contract with the BMC Racing team ends in 2014.

    ''Becoming a father is probably one of the biggest experiences we have in our lives,'' Evans said. ''As a family,...

  • Gallery: Movistar unveils 2013 roster and jersey

    Alex Dowsett
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 13:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dowsett, Szymd and Capecchi join Spanish team for 2013

    The Movistar team has unveiled its complete roster and jersey for 2013 ahead of the team's official presentation on Friday.

    The team jersey remains a dark blue with the modern green Movistar logo and name dominating the front. Pinarello remains as bike sponsor and its logo is on the chest of the jersey, alongside that of technical sponsor Nalini and the UCI WorldTour logo.

    Alejandro Valverde will again lead the Spanish team but Movistar will have a more international roster thanks to the arrival of Italy's Eros Capecchi, experienced Polish grand tour domestique Sylvester Szymd and British time trialist Alex Dowsett.

    Other key riders include Portugal Rui Alberto Costa – who won the 2012 Tour de Suisse, 2011 Vuelta winner Joan Jose Cobo, time trialist Jose Ivan Gutierrez, Colombian climber Nairo Quintana and sprinter Jose Joaquin Rojas. Former Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti is also part of the team again in 2013 after his three-month ban for working with Dr. Michele Ferrari ended today.

    Movistar will make their season debut in both the Tour Down Under in Australia and the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.


  • Brajkovic to support Nibali in Giro d'Italia

    Janez Brajkovic (Slovenia)
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 14:35 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Astana rider on Armstrong, Bruyneel and riding the Vuelta

    After finally cracking the top 10 at a Grand Tour Janez Brajkovic is ready to repeat the feat in 2013, however he has hinted at possible Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana double, forfeiting the Tour de France.

    The 28-year-old finished ninth in last year’s Tour de France and led the line for Astana with a consistent performance in the mountains. It was a important ride for the Slovenian who has often flattered to deceive in Grand Tours and despite early promise in his career, has never managed to perform regularly over three weeks.

    With Vinenzo Nibali and Jacob Fulgsang joining the team, and Roman Krueziger heading in the opposite direction to Saxo Bank, Astana have spent the off-season juggling their Grand Tour cards. As it stands, Nibali will compete in his home Tour in an attempt to halt Sky’s Grand Tour ambitions. Fuglsang has made regular overtunes about the Tour, while Brajkovic has appeared more accommodating.

    “In general I would say 2012 was a good season,” he told Cyclingnews.

    I was ninth in the Tour and even though I had a lot of bad luck at the race, I was stronger than the final results. I know it could have been worse but I could have maybe competed for sixth place. It was achievable but my condition wasn’t really good enough to get me any higher.”

    “I worked to hard at the start of the season. I wouldn’t say I’d trained too much but I was racing Paris Nice, Catalunya and some other races in between and I wasn’t able to recover. I was burning out all the time. The key point was my crash at the Basque country when I went home with a head concussion. From that moment on though I was getting stronger and stronger all the way to the Tour.”

    This year...

  • Bettini calls on Armstrong to confess

    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 15:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian national coach: "Lance, speak out. Spit it out"

    Italian national coach and former world and Olympic champion Paolo Bettini has called on Lance Armstrong to confess to his doping past so that professional cycling can start afresh.

    Bettini raced between 1997 and 2008, when EPO use was rampant in the peloton. He won numerous classics, two world titles in 2006 and 2007 and gold in the road race at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. He took over from the late Franco Ballerini as Italian national coach in 2010 and hopes to become the manager of the Italian nation teams after next week's Italian Cycling Federation elections, while Max Scanidri would become national professional coach and team selector. 

    Bettini called on Armstrong to confess after a report in the New York Times suggested that the Texan may have talked to associates and anti-doping officials about publicly admitting that he used banned performance-enhancing drugs and blood transfusions during his cycling career.

    "It's true, the show must go on, as they, but it (cycling) has got to be credible and an eventual confession by the American could be the chance to cancel everything that happened in the past and start all over again," Bettini is reported as saying in the Italian La Repubblica newspaper.

    "Armstrong's got to do it. All the evidence points in one direction: against him. He didn’t defend himself against the accusations thinking he'd left the world of cycling. But I can tell him as an ex-rider, this is his world and you can never just leave like that."

    Bettini also confirmed that he is favour of some kind of amnesty or truth and reconciliation commission, without indicating if he had anything to confess about his professional career.

    "The really serious thing is that what happened has revealed that the whole...

  • Garmin-Sharp unveils 2013 team kit

    The 2013 Garmin-Sharp jersey
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 18:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Castelli kit incorporates a bit more argyle

    The Garmin-Sharp team unveiled its look for 2013 today, releasing the new design of its Castelli-made clothing which will be on the riders for the upcoming Tour Down Under in Australia.

    The team's look will be very similar to the one rolled out for the 2012 Tour de France, when Sharp stepped in as the second sponsor over Barracuda.

    The lower torso of the jersey sports the team's distinctive argyle in medium blue on light blue, a design that continues on the back, unlike the 2012 design which had a white panel. Sharp gets its own design element in the form of a red strip across the chest and on the right arm band. Plain black shorts with a blue leg band provide a classic look.

    The team will also be kitted out in Castelli's SanRemo Speedsuit and Gabba rain jacket, and, according to the press release, "there are some surprises in development that fans will see as the season progresses".

    Castelli's brand manager Steve Smith said that the interactions between the clothing manufacturer and the WorldTour squad has led to design improvements in eight models and the addition of five more models to cover every weather condition.

    “We're happy that our partnership with Team Garmin-Sharp leads to real innovation for the pros that we can then bring into our Castelli collection and our Servizio Corse custom team products," Smith said. "Based on our partnership with the team, every cyclist can benefit from the feedback we get from the pros."

  • RCS Sport under pressure to select Giro d'Italia wild cards

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) back in the pink jersey after stage 15
    Article published:
    January 07, 2013, 19:10 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Katusha's ethics problems complicates race invitation process

    RCS Sport, the organisers of the Giro d'Italia, have confirmed to Cyclingnews that their wild card commission will meet on Tuesday to consider applicants for this year's race. However any decision about which teams get to ride the Giro d'Italia in May, and RCS Sport's other spring races (Strade Bianche, Giro del Lazio, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo) could be delayed until doubts about the Katusha team's WorldTour place are clarified.

    Competition for places is fierce, with ten teams, including Katusha, fighting for just three places at the Giro d'Italia. RCS Sport is keen to boost the international profile of the Giro d'Italia by increasing the number of foreign teams but is under pressure to help and protect Italian teams, riders and sponsors. Last year Acqua & Sapone did not obtain a wild card for the Giro d'Italia and folded at the end of the season.

    RCS Sport wants to make an early decision to allow teams and riders plan their 2013 season, but the legal battle between the UCI and Katusha makes any decision difficult.

    The UCI refused to give the Russian team a WorldTour place for 2013 because of doubts about the team's ethics and its past record on doping. The team appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but with the UCI refusing to budge and the 2013 season about to start, Katusha could be forced to fight for wild card invitations to all of this year's major races.

    With the 18 WorldTour teams assured automatic entry to the Giro d'Italia and Androni Giocattoli securing a wild card place after winning the Coppa Italia series in 2012, only three wild cards up for grabs for the corsa rosa.

    At the moment Katusha does not have any kind of licence and so RCS Sport...