A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Fuentes, Labata, RFEC lodged paperwork in June
The Court of Justice of Madrid is set to hear nine appeals from the Operación Puerto trial where a verdict was finally handed down on April 30, seven years after the Spanish doping probe began.
Eufemiano Fuentes was given a one-year suspended prison sentence for damaging public health and banned from working as a doctor for four years. Ignacio Labarta was also given a four-month suspended sentence, while Yolanda Fuentes, Vicente Belda and former ONCE team manager Manolo Saiz were all acquitted by Judge Julia Patricia Santamaria.
Fuentes, the Spanish Cycling Federation (Real Federación Española de Ciclismo) and Labata submitted their application for an appeal on June 13 and 14 respectively. While earlier, the Madrid prosecutor, UCI, WADA, the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) and Jesus Manzano all launched appeals.
It is not known when the process will begin with some Spanish news agencies reporting any movement could be some months away.
On the road and behind the scenes with the Belgian outfit
From Sylvain Chavanel singing, Michal Kwiatkowski getting dunked in the water off Corsica, to Peter Velits struggling to stay awake, the video highlights some behind the scenes moments from the biggest three weeks of annual racing for the team. There is also the odd word of wisdom from directeur sportif Brian Holm and some acting skills from he and Wilfred Peeters we perhaps did not know about.
Muravyev, Bozic, Gavazzi and Tiralongo extend contracts with the Kazakhstan team
Astana is the first major team to kick off the cycling transfer season, announcing it has signed Lieuwe Westra and Franco Pellizotti for 2014, with several other riders also extending their current contracts.
Under UCI rules, teams can confirm new signing for the 2014 season from August 1.
Both new signings will boost the strength of the Astana team for stage races and no doubt play key roles in helping team leader Vincenzo Nibali target the 2014 Tour de France.
Westra is the Dutch national time trial champion, a consistent stage race rider and has been a team leader at the Vacansoleil-DCM team. He finished second to Bradley Wiggins at Paris-Nice in 2012, won the Tour of Denmark and was second in the Tour of Belgium. This year he won the opening stage of the Tour of California. He rode the Tour de France but was forced to retire from the race on the last stage to Paris due to illness.
Pellizotti is also an experienced rider who can target hilly stage races and Classics. He raced with Nibali at Liquigas but was suspended for two years after being caught by the UCI's biological passport. He made a comeback in May 2012 and immediately won the Italian national title while riding for the Androni Giocattoli team. He finished 11th overall in this year's Giro d'Italia and was second overall at the Route du Sud race in France in June.
"Franco is a veteran rider with more than 10 years of experience as a professional, and we are very happy to welcome him back among his friends and family. He rode at Liquigas-Cannondale with Vincenzo and they know each other well. He will be a valuable asset in our preparations for the Tour de France next year," team manager Alexandre Vinokurov said in a statement from the Astana team.
"Lieuwe is a very strong time trialist and...
Currently tied with two other rides for top ranking
Matti Breschel of Saxo-Tinkoff is looking to win a stage at this year's Tour of Denmark to take the title of all-time stage winner for his home national Tour. The Dane can currently boast of five stage wins, as can two other riders. But as neither of the others is still active, he has a chance to claim the title.
The 28-year-old won stages in 2010, 2009 and 2007, plus two stages in 2008. The other two riders with five victories are Jesper Skibby and Nicola Minali.
“My goal is to win a stage. So I see how it looks before the time trial,” he told the Ritzau news agency. The time trial is a half stage on Saturday afternoon.
“I look forward to the Vejle stage (on Friday). The stage in Odsherred Saturday morning must not be underestimated. It will be a really tough stage.”
Breschel has worn the leader's jersey in the race for a total of 10 days over the years, and finished third overall in 2007. Although he has often tried to win the race, it seems as if he will again not have the chance this year. The race is always so close, that the 21 seconds he lost on the first stage may well mean he is already out of contention.
He has struggled over the last few years to regain his earlier good form. After riding for CSC from 2005 to 2010, he joined Rabobank in 2011 for two years. However, knee problems prevented him from doing much of anything in 2011, and he won only a stage at the Tour of Burgos the following year. This year he returned to Saxo-Tinkoff but is still trying to find his best form.
Voeckler tipped for a place in team for Florence
Bernard Bourreau has begun his new role as French national road coach, promising to continue his work with the new generation of French riders he helped develop as Junior and then Under 23 national coach.
Bourreau is not a famous name of French cycling like his troubled predecessor Laurent Jalabert or his rival candidates Christophe Agnolutto, Dominique Arnaud, Éric Boyer, Cyrille Guimard and Jean-Cyril Robin. He was a solid domestique with Peugeot in the seventies and an excellent road captain and has held a backroom role in French cycling.
However the 62-year-old's track record is impressive. He has played a role in the development of Romain Sicard, Romain Bardet, Warren Barguil, Arnaud Démare, Jerome Pinot, Bryan Coquard, Tony Gallopin, Blel Kadri and Nacer Bouhanni. While Jalabert was linked to cycling's past, Bourreau is part of French cycling's present and future success.
"I've seen lots of the current pro riders step up, from the junior, from Espoirs. I think that's what made the difference," he told l'Equipe after his new role was announced on Wednesday.
The hilly Florence course
Bourreau has promised to spend August at the French races, talking to riders and teams before he selects the nine riders for the French team.
"I saw the course in Florence in April when I went to check the team hotel. The climb is 4.5km long and is tough," he said. "It's not for pure climbers but for puncheurs that can climb," he suggested.
"I never lost contact with the pro ambient. I've followed the results and the progress of lots of riders who turned professional and I worked with Jalabert in the Pro squad for France."
"The first thing I'm going to do is make contact...
Kazakh team left with dilemma for 2014
The Astana team has acknowledged there could be a problem with its membership in the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPCC) after announcing the signing of Franco Pellizotti for 2014.
The Italian rider was banned for two years for a UCI Biological Passport violation and made his comeback with the Androni Giocattoli team in May 2012. Astana announced it had signed the Italian for 2014 on the first day of the official transfer window.
However Astana is a member of the MPCC and its internal rules clearly say that MPCC member teams undertake not to sign riders who have been involved in doping and were punished for more than six months.
The MPCC is a voluntary organisation that has pushed for stricter anti-doping rules in light of the long series of doping scandals in professional cycling. Its members agree to abide by ethical criteria that go beyond the World Anti-Doping Agency code.
More than 35 teams are member of the MPCC, including a majority of the WorldTour teams plus many race organisers and sponsors. However several of the sports biggest teams, including Team Sky, Cannondale and BMC, have so far opted not to join. Astana joined in 2013.
When contacted by Cyclingnews, Astana directeur sportif Giuseppe Martinelli admitted there was a problem concerning the MPCC rules and Pellizotti joining the team but said the team is trying to find a solution.
"We recognise it's a legitimate issue," Martinelli said.
"I'll take this up with team manager Alexandre Vinokourov and come up with a solution to this real issue in the next few days."
According to the MPCC rules, Pellizotti can only legally be a part of the Astana team as of May 2, 2014 (two years after his ban) and not January 2014.
However Cyclingnews understands that Pellizotti has already signed his contract with Astana,...
Australian re-unites with sprinter Cavendish
Uran “is one of the best climbers of his generation,” the team's press release claimed. This year he finished second overall in the Giro d'Italia after winning the tenth stage from Cordenons to Altopiano del Montasio. In 2012 he won the silver medal at the 2012 London Olympics road race.That same year he was the best young rider in the Giro and finished seventh overall. He gives the team a much-needed GC candidate.
"I am very pleased that I can race on a team as important as Omega Pharma - QuickStep," said Urán. "And that I can contribute to the growth of the team. The first time I came to Europe I was very close to signing with the team but then everything went up in smoke. After a few years our paths have crossed again.”
"Rigoberto's arrival reinforces our team as far as the major Tours are concerned," said team manager Patrick Lefevere. "Urán is a top rider and his talent on climbs goes without saying. On our team he will find an atmosphere and a group of riders who are ready to support him."
Renshaw will lead out sprints once again for Cavendish. The two previously rode together from 2009 to 2011. The Australian has been with Team Rabobank/Belkin the last two years, where he tried to establish himself as a sprinter in his own right. He had many top ten finishes, but only one win, at this year's Clasica de Almeria.
"Mark is one of the most appreciated riders in his work as a lead-out man," says Patrick Lefevere. "His arrival is...
No deficit of experience for the Queensland squad
There is a common theme emerging amongst the Subaru National Road Series (NRS) of riders returning from European escapades to extensive domestic success. Pat Shaw (Huon-Genesys) returned from a long slog in the amateur ranks of Italy to win the NRS with the Virgin Blue - RBS Morgans team in 2010 and has since made a profession out of helping develop riders. Polygon Australia's Ben Grenda recently indicated similar intentions.
Jack Anderson (Budget Forklifts) is yet another rider who fits that process. After the completion of the third state at Gippsland Cyclingnews caught up with the Queenslander to talk about the Australian racing scene and what to expect from Budget Forklifts in the coming races.
Australia, to Italy, Sweden, Britain and now back to Australia is the path that Anderson has followed. Passport stamps and kilometres raced are two things that Anderson has an abundance of. Having raced against the best Europe has to offer and under the tutelage of former Paris Roubaix winner Magnus Backstedt, it's fair to say Anderson is a beacon of experience for his younger teammates. And it's this experience he wants to share.
"The racing is a completely different style [in Europe] but the experience overseas does help a lot. And that's something I want to help pass on to the other guys at Budget," said Anderson.
"My goal's not to go back overseas again, my dreams and goals have changed. I've done that now and if I can help the younger guys a bit then it's good because it's [overseas racing] such invaluable experience."
Now back in Brisbane, Anderson is working full time and his racing focus is very much for pleasure. He still sneaks out for 10-15 hours of training each...