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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, October 31, 2011

Date published:
October 31, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • English and Cuming sign for Rapha Condor-Sharp

    John Herety
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 11:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Young riders swell team to 14 ahead of 2012 season

    Rapha Condor-Sharp's 2012 line-up has been finalised following the announcement that Mike Cuming and Felix English are to join the team ahead of their assault on next season’s UCI Europe Tour.

    The appointment of the two young riders is further proof of the shift in policy for the team, which now considers the development of young British riders as one of its key missions. It also means that Rapha Condor-Sharp will now have 14 riders on their roster in 2012, one more than this season. The boost in numbers in intended to increase consistency throughout the year and also enable more effective recovery time.

    19-year-old English, who is from Ireland, shot to prominence last year when he defeated Sir Chris Hoy at the European Track Championships, in what was one of the biggest shocks of 2010. Cuming, from Stoke-on-Trent in England, signs from Twenty3-C Orbea and the 21-year-old is renowned as a strong climber, so both men will add balance to their new team.

    “These two riders will be great additions to the team,” said team manager John Herety. “Felix English has already had a brief moment in the spotlight when turned heads by beating Sir Chris Hoy in the European Track Championships last year. He was only 18 at the time and for a rider who doesn’t consider himself a pure sprinter it was an amazing scalp. He showed there that he has the right attitude, and enough craft to be able to make the most of any opportunities presented to him, that is the type of raw intrinsic talent that we can definitely develop.

    “Michael Cuming is another young rider we have identified as a talent. He was brought to our attention...

  • Schmidt joins Katusha as directeur sportif

    Torsten Schmidt (Wiesenhof Akud)
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 12:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Leopard DS reunited with Hans-Michael Holczer

    Torsten Schmidt has joined Katusha as a directeur sportif for 2012. The German spent the past year with Leopard Trek, which has merged with RadioShack ahead of next season.

    Schmidt was also appointed Swiss national team coach in August, but it is understood that he will leave that role in order to focus on his duties at Katusha.

    “Of course, you’re sorry to leave when you’ve been successful with great riders like Cancellara or the Schlecks,” Schmidt said. “I wish those riders and the entire team all the best.”

    Schmidt was appointed by recently-installed Katusha manager Hans-Michael Holczer. “Schmidt has proven that he is one of the best young directeur sportifs on the circuit, and I wanted the best people for my team,” Holczer said, according to

    Holczer managed Schmidt when he was a rider at Gerolsteiner between 2000 and 2005. Another former Gerolsteiner rider, Uwe Peschel, is also set to join Katusha’s management staff, while Christian Henn has already been confirmed as a directeur sportif.



  • Greipel believes he could have won more without Gilbert

    Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) before the start
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 13:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    German takes aim at Milan-San Remo in 2012

    André Greipel believes that he could have won more races in 2011 had he not been a teammate of the all-conquering Philippe Gilbert at Omega Pharma-Lotto.

    The German sprinter took eight wins this season, including a stage in his debut Tour de France, but his own ambitions often had to take second place to those of the rampant Gilbert. Although Greipel feels that he passed up a number of victories, he acknowledged that Gilbert’s form meant that the team was justified in working for him.

    “Without Gilbert I might have won 15 races,” Greipel told “But then he could win anywhere, so we had to ride in his service, and if he didn’t succeed, I could still try in the sprint.”

    With Gilbert moving to BMC next year, Greipel is confident that he will have more opportunities to chase his own wins as part of the new Lotto-Ridley set-up, with Milan-San Remo his major early-season objective.

    Greipel made a belated debut in La Primavera in 2011, but he sacrificed himself for Gilbert by leading the chase behind a dangerous four-man break between the Cipressa and the Poggio.

    “Next year I will set the bar even higher,” Greipel said. “Another win in a big stage race would be nice and I see Milan-San Remo as a big target. That race suits my characteristics.”

    Greipel’s campaign will get underway at the Tour Down Under, where he has twice tasted overall victory, in 2008 and 2010. “I will start 2012 at the Tour Down Under,...

  • Viganò joins Lampre-ISD for 2012

    Davide Vigano (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 13:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian arrives from Leopard Trek

    Davide Viganò has confirmed that he will ride for Lampre-ISD next season. The Italian spent 2011 in the colours of Leopard Trek, but was not among the riders joining the RadioShack following the merger of the two teams.

    “I’m happy with my choice and at the same time, I feel flattered to be able to join a great club like the one at Lampre,” Viganò told Tuttobici.

    The fast-finishing Viganò will join Danilo Hondo and Grega Bole in Alessandro Petacchi’s lead-out train, after fulfilling a similar role for Daniele Bennati at Leopard Trek.

    “Petacchi has a lot of time for me, and for my part I’ll do everything possible to repay his confidence,” Viganò said.

    A professional since 2005, Viganò rode for Quick Step and Fuji before joining Sky in 2010. After a season at the British team, he moved on to Leopard Trek, where his best result was second place on stage 5 of the Tour de Romandie. He was part of Leopard squad that won the Vuelta a España’s opening team time trial in Benidorm.


  • Di Luca in talks with Acqua & Sapone

    Danilo Di Luca (Katusha) finished off the pace
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 16:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Reda and Ginanni sign with Italian team

    Danilo Di Luca is in talks with Acqua & Sapone with a view to signing for the team ahead of next season. The 35-year-old Italian failed to make a significant impact with Katusha in 2011 after returning from suspension for CERA use.

    The Acqua & Sapone squad is based in Di Luca’s home region of Abruzzo and team manager Palmiro Masciarelli explained that there was considerable expectation from local fans that the two parties could come to an agreement. Di Luca began his career with Cantina Tollo, a forerunner to the current Acqua&Sapone set-up.

    “I can’t deny that we’ve had a lot of pressure from Abruzzese fans to seal these negotiations with Danilo,” Acqua & Sapone manager Palmiro Masciarelli told

    After his non-descript 2011 campaign, Masciarelli is hopeful that Di Luca can rediscover something approaching his form of old next season. Ahead of this season’s Giro d’Italia, Di Luca stated that he was at "80 percent" of his capabilities of 2009, the year of his positive test for CERA.

    “There are various situations to be put together, and there’s also the fact that he needs to find himself, and that he needs to make a leap in quality with us in respect to 2011,” he said. “In the meantime, we’re weighing up various options, with sponsors, organisers and teammates, given that Danilo’s arrival would change some of the balance of the team.”

    Di Luca’s father-in-law Stefano Giuliani, currently a directeur sportif with Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli, is set to work at Acqua & Sapone next year, and Masciarelli...

  • UCI releases Olympic road race allocations

    The bunch comes around the final corner in front of Buckingham Palace
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 18:00 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Luxembourg, Norway, Ireland hit for lack of depth

    The UCI today announced the number of elite men's road cycling spaces each National Olympic Committee has been offered for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Host country Great Britain earned the maximum number of places to support world champion Mark Cavendish in his goal of taking home the Olympic gold.

    Each country can earn a maximum of five spots in the road race and two in the time trial, but only six countries claimed the maximum in both events. World silver medalist Matt Goss helped earn the top spots for Australia, while defending Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez helped Spain to five spots. Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland also took the maximum allocation.

    Places in the men's road race and time trial were based upon each country's ranking in the UCI WorldTour, Continental Tours, Continental Championships and rider rankings in the UCI tours.

    Belgium, Italy and the USA earned five spots in the road race and one in the time trial, while Denmark and Kazakhstan were awarded the maximum number of places for the time trial.

    While the top 10 of the WorldTour nations rankings earned five places and the 11th-15th placed countries earned four, each country could only qualify as many spots as it had riders in the 2011 WorldTour individual rankings. Therefore, Luxembourg, which was ninth in the WorldTour but only scored points with Fränk and Andy Schleck, was awarded just two places in the road race and one in the time trial.

    Similarly, Norway (Edvald Boasson Hagen, Thor Hushovd and Alexander Kristoff) and Ireland (Daniel Martin, Philip Deignan and Nicolas Roche) were each awarded three places, despite taking 12th and 13th, respectively....

  • Tour du Languedoc Roussillon boosts women's calendar

    The bunch had the honour of five finishing laps in the capital of Aude - Carcassone, passing below the ancient city five times.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 20:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six-day stage race to visit Aude

    Two years since the disappearance of the Tour de l'Aude left a gaping hole in the women's UCI calendar, the province will once again host the sport's top females with the newly minted UCI 2.2 Tour du Languedoc-Roussillon Féminin, announced this week. The race will take place from May 18-23, 2012.

    Three of the departments in the region are expected to host the race: Hérault, Pyrénées-Orientales and Aude, and in later years it could expand to Gard and Lozère.

    According to, the race is being organised by the regional club Villemoustaussou Trapel Vélo and some of the volunteers involved in the Tour de l'Aude, and is expected to have six road stages and no individual time trial. One stage may take in the Col du Portel, which will also be used in the Tour de France, and a summit finish at the ski station in Camurac in Aude.

    The 2012 UCI Women's calendar holds only 10 UCI 2.1 stage races, the longest of which are the 10-day Giro Donne (Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile) and nine-day Route de France. While only ranked 2.2, the Tour de Languedoc-Roussillon is one of only seven races, included the aforementioned tours, to exceed five days in length.

  • Eddy Merckx Cycles parts ways with Quick Step

    The Eddy Merckx bikes await the Quick Step riders.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2011, 21:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian bike company to focus on developing talent in Pro Continental and Continental ranks

    After two years of collaboration, the Quick Step Cycling Team and Eddy Merckx Cycles will part ways in 2012, the Belgian bicycle company announced today.

    "We look back with great pleasure and pride at our past cooperation," said Kurt Moons, CEO of Eddy Merckx Cycles. "We worked together for two fantastic years and put our brand on the global map. What's more, we have proven that the Eddy Merckx Cycles products are amongst the most high-tech and well balanced bicycles in the peloton today, which for us is an important confirmation for the future expansion of the company. That's why we are certainly not ruling out sponsoring at the ProTour level."

    "Riding Eddy Merckx bikes the team has achieved some fine results, including two stages in the Giro d'Italia, two stages and two days in yellow in the 2010 Tour de France, the Tour of Belgium, the Belgian and French national championships and the 2011 Gent-Wevelgem," said Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere.

    Although it hasn't officially been announced, riders have pointed to Specialized as the new bicycle sponsor for the Omega Pharma-Quick Step team in 2012, leaving Eddy Merckx Cycles with no presence in the ProTour peloton next season. However, the Belgian bike manufacturer will still have a place in the pro ranks as it focuses on developing talent with Belgium's Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator and Wallonie-Bruxelles-Crédit Agricole teams plus Germany's Eddy Merckx-Indeland squad.