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Stack of rotating SIM cards, wine from Rihs' vineyards and more
All the best bikes, gear and other tech from the Tour de France
The bike of the tallest man in the Tour de France
Mechanics equip riders with special bikes, tubulars and modifications
Tour of Rwanda winner brings his own "kitchen" to every race
The Tour of Rwanda's overall winner, US pro rider Kiel Reijnen (Team Type 1-Sanofi) has an unusual restaurant of choice: his hotel room. And an unusual chef: himself. Cyclingnews went to see him at dinner time Wednesday, in Huye (former Butare town), the day before he took back the yellow jersey from his team-mate Joey Rosskopf's shoulders.
"It means you can keep your diet steady throughout the race," said Reijnen to Cyclingnews. "It's the food I normally train with so it's better to be used to [it when I'm racing]."
Reijnen goes through his daily diet, and the cooking equipment he brings to races from Asia to Europe to Rwanda.
"You go to so many countries that it's nice to have things which are a constant in your food. In Rwanda there's actually a lot of nice food, but it's not always the case."
See the full video interview below.
Pat McQuaid confirims that analysis is underway
The UCI have confirmed that biological passport cases could be opened within the next few weeks after their President, Pat McQuaid, told Cyclingnews that the governing body were analysing several suspect passport readings.
There have been no new cases since mid-2010, while the passport was criticised in August for a lack of testing at several races. McQuaid strenuously denied that the UCI lacked funds to carry out a rigid testing programme.
“I don’t know exactly where we are with cases but having said that there was a discussion that did take place in this building about a number of athletes that are being studied because of their parameter data by the experts because we think that there should be cases opened against them,” McQuaid told Cyclingnews.
“We have to wait for the process to happen and I can’t tell when or if that will happen, the decision hasn’t been made yet. I can’t say if it’s one, two or three athletes. It’s all at a late process but I don’t know exactly where. It could be weeks or days.”
The UCI introduced its first set of cases in 2009, followed by another batch in 2010. The passport is widely regarded as a strong tool in the ongoing anti-doping battle.
Tour de France winner firms as favourite to take top national honour
The awards continue to come for Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, who picked up the Victorian Sportsperson of the Year this evening in a ceremony in Melbourne. It is the first time Evans has won the award, named for "Outstanding Contribution to Sport."
The 34 year-old was also named Victorian Male Athlete of the Year for the fifth time together with 2010 Commonwealth Games gymnastics gold medallist Ashleigh Brennan who took out Victorian Female Athlete of the Year - the pair stamping their name on the honour role alongside some of the nation's most renowned sportsmen and women including Cathy Freeman, Ron Barassi, Sharelle McMahon, Andrew Gaze, Steve Moneghetti and Shane Warne.
"Cadel not only performed extremely well to become the first ever Australian to win the Tour de France but the way he has conducted himself since has had a positive impact in the promotion of Victorian sport and cycling," said Vicsport CEO Mark McAllion.
Among the other awards on the night VIS Head Cycling Coach Dave Sanders was named 2011 Victorian Coach of the Year.
Evans is now a strong contender for the Australian of the Year, one of Australia's most prestigious national honours. That announcement will be made by the Prime Minister on January 26, 2012.
Rising French cycling star joins Dutch squad together with Antoshina
The Rabobank Women Team has conformed this week-end that French Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will be joining the squad in 2012. The French up-and-coming talent has signed a two-year deal with the Dutch outfit alongside Russian rider Tatiana Antoshina.
Ferrand-Prévot, who is widely recognised as the biggest all-round talent in French cycling, is only 19 years of age and has already won three World Championships in the Junior ranks: two on a mountain bike and one on the road. Successful in all three cycling disciplines, she is is currently racing cyclo-cross events to prepare for the French Championships. In 2012, Ferrand-Prévot wants to qualify for both the MTB and the road races at the London Olympics. She is set to combine the cycling disciplines at least for another two years.
Russian rider Antoshina, who has signed a one-year-contract, is a strong time triallist and stage racer. The 29-year-old is currently in eleventh place on the UCI rankings and this year finished second in the Women's Ronde van Vlaanderen, splitting her new teammates Annemiek van Vleuten (winner) and Marianne Vos (third-placed).
French climber continues with Cofidis in 2012
David Moncoutié is set to continue his career, aiming at another success in the Vuelta a España next season. Having already taken the last four mountain jerseys of the Spanish Grand Tour, the 36-year-old Cofidis rider will aim for a fifth title in 2012, thereby possibly equalling the feat of José Luis Laguía, the only rider ever to have won five mountain classifications at the Vuelta.
"There will be other important things [in 2012] but the Vuelta is my race of reference," Moncoutié told Velochrono after concluding his first team gathering with Cofidis this month. "It's a gamble that I've come to enjoy! Three jerseys, then four... why not five? It's one of my main objectives for the upcoming season, together with the Criterium du Dauphiné."
The French climber will thus continue in the same vein as in previous years, except for racing the Tour de France - as he admitted his participation this year had been a mistake. "There were several circumstancial issues. One week prior to the Tour, at the French Championships, I crashed... The next day, I couldn't walk. I spent the first ten days of the Tour a bit handicapped. Then there was the bad weather, which I don't like. I wasn't at my best, either," said Moncoutié who nevertheless counts his 2004 and 2005 Tour stage wins as "the best victories of my career."
Moncoutié's 2012 season will therefore be centered around the Tour Mediterranéen, the Tour de l'Ain (both of which he won in 2011), the Criterium du Dauphiné and the Vuelta a España. The Frenchman added that meticulous preparation was necessary in order to achieve his goals. "At the Vuelta, I looked closely at all...
Bernaudeau looks forward to 2012 and explains rider signings
French team Europcar has returned from a first preseason training camp held on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe. Combining a solid quantity of physical work-out and the joys of sandy beaches in a tropical climate, the get-together was a success.
"It went very well," team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau told Velochrono. "Every day, we started from the hotel for a ride to a beach, where we had lunch. It was a different beach every day - the most beautiful ones - as another goal was to make the riders discover Guadeloupe. After lunch, we played ball games on the beach and went swimming."
The team building event à la française was designed to integrate the new riders to the already existing core group. "The new guys are already happily integrated within the team," he added on the team's official website. "Pierre Rolland and Thomas Voeckler are already showing a huge desire to be back in the saddle. Björn Thurau is really sharp. You can already sense a real dynamic building within the team."
Europcar, who had applied for a WorldTour licence with the UCI, was recently told that it would remain in the Professional Continental ranks next year. Bernaudeau had been looking to recruit a high-profile Spring Classics rider such as Sylvain Chavanel, Thor Hushovd or Filippo Pozzato in the hope of being allocated a license, but now was happy to continue on a lower level.
"In the end, we've got the rider signings we wanted. You have to take into account that if we pay a rider one million Euros, it would create tension within the team, with respect to those...
Canadian remaining in cycling in rider development
Andrew Randell (Spidertech p/b C10) has announced that he has ridden his last race as a professional bike rider, with the 37-year-old calling it quits after more than two decades of involvement with the sport.
Randell's biggest wins came in 2002 when he picked up the national championships in Canada and a stage of the FBD Milk Ras [An Post Ras]. Although he has primarily raced in the United States and Canada, he has been competitive in Europe in his younger years.
Randell has three times suffered career threatening injuries, but each time recovered to continue on. It took time to come to terms with the decision to retire but the Canadian felt that mentally and physically he knew he'd had enough.
"Cycling allowed me to travel the world and provided me with an education that will help me in the coming stages of my life," said Randell. "It is a lifestyle that I would recommend to anyone who has the heart to pursue it - it demands a lot, but the returns are tremendous. For me cycling wasn't simply about winning, it was a journey of discovery and growth.
"[But] it's time to take a more relaxed approach to cycling. It took a while for me to come to grips with this reality, but now I'm comfortable with the idea. I had some help with the transition: getting married to my lovely wife Janet and spending three weeks on our honeymoon made things a lot easier.
"My days as a professional cyclist are over."
Randell will be staying in the sport in a management/rider development role with his former team Jet Fuel/La Bicicletta. Having turned pro with Jet Fuel and raced with the team for five seasons between 1999 and 2005, he now hopes to repay some of the faith that team owner John Englar showed in him early in his career.
"I always knew that this would be somewhere that I would come back to," said Randell. "Through all my years racing...
Austrian finds a home on German team
With time ticking out on the Geox-TMC squad's existence, Austrian Matthias Brändle has become the latest of the team's riders to secure another contract. The 21-year-old will join the German Professional Continental Team NetApp for 2012.
Geox suddenly pulled its support of the team last month and team manager Mauro Gianetti has been scrambling to find a replacement sponsor. He said last week he was in close negotiations with two organisations, but no further news has emerged about the team's future.
A former time trial and road race champion of Austria, Brändle has also taken high finishes in bunch sprints, as demonstrated by his winning the sprinter's jersey at this season's Tour de Romandie. He brings Grand Tour experience to the NetApp team, having been part of the winning squad at this year's Vuelta a España and taken part in the 2010 Giro d'Italia.
"Matthias is a perfect fit in terms of our concept. He's young but already brings with him skills that we will be able to make good use of in our tour team. He's a fast sprinter, a good time-trial rider, an active rider. He can both support the team and take advantage of his own opportunities at smaller tours," said Ralph Denk, Team NetApp's team manager.