Yesterday the Goulburn to Sydney should have been run and should have been won. Owing to the last minute cancellation in the name of rider safety, however, there was no celebrating. The events leading up to the cancellation of the Goulburn to Sydney remain murky, with the timelines provided by key stakeholders involved in the running of the event not quite adding up.
According to a variety of sources, it was made abundantly clear to Cycling Australia (CA) that anything other than a rolling road closure and the teams would not race. Drapac Cycling director Agostino Giramondo told Cyclingnews that that was certainly his understanding of the events.
"I said to them [Cycling Australia] at the forum in January, 'I don't care if I've paid for flights, I don't care if I've got accommodation. I could be on the start line and paid for a meal the night before and breakfast that morning, if I get to the start-line and the race goes down the highway, we're pulling out and going home.'"
Cycling Australia National Manager Sean Muir confirmed this in January in an interview with Ride Cycling Review when he said that "the teams made it very clear that it's a rolling road closure, or a fully closed road, or nothing."
Cyclingnews put a number of questions to Cycling Australia over why they had planned for the race to go ahead without a rolling road closure as sought by teams and what communication had existed between parties over the status of the race. Muir responded by stating that CA had been doing their utmost to secure a rolling road closure but were essentially at a dead end.
"The aim of the race organisers, Cycling NSW and Cycling Australia was to ensure that a quality event was implemented, catering for the safety of riders and commercial needs of sponsors involved," said Muir. "Efforts have been...
Brian Cookson left the Union Européenne de Cyclisme (UEC) exceptional general assembly in Zurich assured of 14 key votes for the election of UCI president and the growing conviction that a vital majority of the 42 delegates will vote for him and not incumbent president Pat McQuaid in Florence on September 27.
The UEC members who gathered in Zurich voted 27-10 in favour of Cookson, a bigger majority than his team expected. McQuaid may be confident of securing many of the African and Asian confederation votes but the backing from the UEC gives Cookson 33% of the 42 votes that will be cast in Florence by the different confederation delegates.
It is likely that the Americas confederation votes will now be play a vital role in the battle to become UCI president. Cyclingnews understands that Cookson spent several days in Miami last week courting key voters from the Americas with support from Mike Plant of the USA. Plant is now firmly on Cookson's side after years of being aligned with Hein Verbruggen, McQuaid, Lance Armstrong and Tom Weisel.
Cookson also has the support of Russian oligarch Igor Makarov, the boss of the Itera gas company, president of the Russian Cycling Federation and the owner of the Katusha team.
Many people have cringed at Cookson's links to Plant and Makarov but he denied striking up a combine with the Russian to beat McQuaid.
"I've met many people and Igor Makarov is one of them," Cookson said when asked about his relationship with the olygarch.
"I think I've met him as many times as Pat McQuaid has met him. Igor is the owner of one of the biggest professional teams, he's the president of one of the major federations and he's on the management committee. Yes, of course, I need his support. But have I made any commitments to him? No I haven't. Have I received any funding from him or from any of his associates? No I haven't. As far as I'm concerned, he's an important member of the UCI family...
Robbie Hunter will be retiring from pro cycling after 16 years, revealing he does not have a team for the coming season. The 36-year-old, who was the first South African to ride the Tour de France, has ridden for Garmin-Sharp since 2012.
“Guess it's time to hang up the wheels,” he tweeted on Sunday. “16 years in Europe not a bad run..now new things to look forward to.”
“I'd happily race another year to do my 10th TDF and I know i got the legs but guess teams don't think so.”
Hunter turned pro in 1999 with Lampre-Daikin, and has also ridden for Mapei-Quick Step, Rabobank, Phonak, Barloworld, Garmin-Transitions, and Team RadioShack. he joined Garmin again in 2012.
He has started the Tour de France nine times, finishing three times. In 2001, with Lampre, he became the first South African to start in the race, and in 2007 won a stage in the race. Hunter has also ridden the Vuelta a Espana, winning two stages along the way, and rode the Giro d'Italia four times, including this year.
Thanks to his powerful sprint finish and aggression, Hunter won the Tour of Qatar in 2004, with two stage wins, and also took the overall titles in the Volta ao Distrito de Santarem and the Tour de Picardie, both in 2007. He has also won many individual stages. He was South African national road champion in 2012.
Spanish newspapers AS and Marca have reported that Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner (Radioshack-Leopard) has missed a surprise out of competition anti-doping test in Madrid after the testing officials were unable to locate him early on Monday morning. However the RadioShack-Leopard team has said the anti-doping testers went to the wrong hotel, after Horner changed his ADAMS whereabouts information on Sunday before the final stage of the Vuelta.
According to reports anti-doping inspectors from the Spanish Anti-doping Agency were asked to do the test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) but when they arrived at the Hotel Princesa in Madrid, where the rest of the team was staying, Horner was not there. They apparently visited a second hotel but were unable to find the American rider.
The RadioShack-Leopard team has reacted angrily to the reports in the Spanish media, saying that Horner updated his whereabouts information before the start of Sunday's final stage, specifying he would stay in a different hotel. It seems that Horner opted to stay in another hotel in central Madrid with his wife rather than stay in the hotel with the rest of the team. The team say Horner specified the name of hotel and even his room number when he updated his ADAMS information.
The team suggested the Spanish anti-doping inspectors failed to use latest ADAMS whereabouts information and went to the wrong hotel rather than Horner missing an out of competition test.
“There is no problem. The USADA went to the wrong hotel. They went to the team hotel but he is in another hotel. He had mentioned this in his ADAMS. They should do their administration more correctly than they did. They need to...
Australian race to follow on from the Tour Down Under and New Zealand Cycle Classic
The Herald Sun Tour will move to February and be ranked as a UCI 2.1 race, in a bid to attract a more international field. The Australian race will be held February 5-9 in 2014.
The new date allow riders to stay in the southern hemisphere for several weeks and ride up to three races. The WorldTour ranked Tour Down Under is January 19-26, followed by the UCI 2.2 New Zealand Cycle Classic (January 29-February 2).
The Sun Tour was first held in 1952. As of 2000, the race was held in October, and in 2005, received a UCI ranking for the first time. In 2009, organisers recommended that the 2010 race not be held, and that it resume in 2011 in February. The race returned in October 2011. It was held as a three-day National Event in January 2013, which excluded most professional teams.
Now the UCI "has agreed in principle to the date change and classification upgrade, with the UCI Road Commission likely to ratify the decision at a meeting later this month," according to SBS.com. The race dates will be confirmed by the UCI at the road race world championships in Tuscany.
"As an iconic event in Australian cycling we congratulate the UCI in sharing our ambitions to not only keep the Herald Sun Tour alive, but see it prosper," said race organising committee chairman Tom Salom.
"The return to UCI 2.1 level status will enable the participation of the international World Tour teams and international riders who will once again mix it with the best Australian domestic teams."
Race director John Trevorrow says that responses from the WorldTour teams and riders has been "overwhelmingly positive. Many are keen to extend their summer racing and training in Australia before they return to Europe for the spring Classics and they are already expressing a...
The RadioShack-Leopard team has criticised the Spanish anti-doping inspectors and intends to seek compensation after they apparently leaked information to the Spanish media, claiming that Vuelta a Espana winner Chris Horner had missed an early morning out of competition test requested by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).
The team claims that Horner did not miss the test but the problem occurred because the Spanish anti-doping inspectors had the wrong hotel address. They arrived at the team address, while Horner stayed a different hotel with his wife. It seems that by the time the correct hotel was located, the testing window had already been missed and Horner was on the way to the airport.
The team issued a screenshot copy of an apparent email exchange between Horner and USADA that shows Horner correctly updated his ADAMS whereabouts information on Sunday morning before the start of the final stage of the Vuelta, detailing the name, address and even room number of the hotel where he would stay.
It indicates that Horner wouldl travel home to Bend, Oregon in the USA, where he will be available for testing from September 17.
The statement said the communication between the Spanish Anti-doping Agency and the media violated Horner's privacy and said they will seek compensation for this matter with the responsible anti-doping agencies.
"The anti-doping inspectors from the Spanish Anti-doping Agency that were asked to do the test by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) showed up at the wrong hotel in Madrid, where the team was staying but Horner was obviously not to be found," the statement reads.
"The team believes the communication between the Spanish Anti-doping Agency and the media is a violation of the privacy of Chris Horner,...
Italy also named the other teams for the world championship, with Noemi Cantele, Giorgia Bronzini, Elisa Longo Borghini and Tatiana Guderzo leading the strong Elite women's team.
Bettini, twice a world road race champion during his own career, confirmed that Marco Pinotti and current Italian national time trial champion Adriano Malori will ride the Elite men's time trial on Wednesday September 25.
Bettini has named 11 riders in the Italian Squadra, with the final nine and two reserves to be decided closer to the road race.
The 11 are: Giampaolo Caruso and Luca Paolini (Katusha), Vincenzo Nibali, Simone Ponzi and Alessandro Vanotti (Astana), Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Filippo Pozzato, Michele Scarponi and Diego Ulissi (Lampre Merida), Ivan Santaromita (BMC) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar).
"I'm Tuscan and so this is a special world championships for me, for (fellow Tuscans and former national coaches) the late Franco Ballerini and Alfredo Martini, who wishes everyone good luck," Bettini said in the press conference reported by Tuttobiciweb.
"The road race route is hard but not super hard, it will all depend on how it raced. Nibali is without a doubt point of reference for us but we know he's not fast (in a sprint) and so there has to be an fast finisher with him who can win if a small group of riders reaches the finish."
Bettini hinted that Pozzato could be an alternative team leader after finishing fifth at the Gran Prix Cycliste de Montreal in...