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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 22, 2013

Date published:
August 22, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Groundhog day for Van Avermaet at USA Pro Challenge

    Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) salutes as he takes the opening stage of the 2013 Tour of Utah
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 6:22 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider left rueing another near miss

    In what appears to be groundhog day for cycling fans in America, Peter Sagan has taken another sprint victory at a UCI stage race, this time racking up his second stage out of three so far this week at the USA Pro Challenge.

    For BMC’s Greg Van Avermaet, it’s also a case of déjà-vu. Near misses have been common for the 28-year-old Belgian in the last couple of weeks. He finished second three times in a row at the Tour of Utah a fortnight ago and now he has a second and a fourth to his name thus far in Colorado.

    For BMC’s lead sprinter, however, it’s nothing to be too concerned about. It’s just a matter of getting the timing right and the rest will come.

    "I couldn't wait any longer and went too early – with 250 (metres) to go – so then it's normal that some guys come over you," he said. "I'm a little bit disappointed. I will have to wait a little bit longer, then I'll maybe get closer. But it was good to be up there again.

    "We tried to be there in the end," added Van Avermaet. "It was good that we tried. It wasn't perfect, but it's getting better and better. "

    BMC assistant director Jackson Stewart was pleased with the way the race unfolded, claiming that the small five man break was just what they were looking for. The small group allowed them to sit back and conserve whilst the yellow jersey team of Garmin Sharp defended Lachlan Morton's lead.

    "I think some teams were hoping that we would defend a little bit, but we didn't have anything concrete to defend yet," he said. "It was a perfect day. That small group went and the other teams controlled it and we just had to stay out of trouble."

  • IAM Cycling signs Chavanel, Frank, Pineau, Reynes and Kluge

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) was a critical part of the team's strategy
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 10:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss team beef up roster for 2014

    The IAM Cycling team has announced the signings of Sylvain Chavanel, Mathias Frank, Roger Kluge, Jérôme Pineau and Vicente Reynes.

    Marquee signing Chavanel was reported to have signed for the team earlier this week, and the transfers bring to an end to his time at Omega Pharma-QuickStep. He leaves the Belgian team with teammate and friend Jérôme Pineau.

    Reynes has moved over from Lotto Belisol, while Kluge joins from Netapp-Endura and Frank joins from  BMC. The team also confirmed that it would remain at the Pro Continental level for 2014.

    "In 2014, we will be even stronger and more efficient with our forces. I can admit that I was quite surprised by the level of interest we had from riders making requests to join the team. So naturally, we have taken great care in choosing among the requests from riders, many of whom are very well known," said the team's founder Michel Thétaz.

    The team had been linked to a number of riders for 2014, including Fabian Cancellara. However the Swiss rider opted to sign for the Trek team for 2014, leaving the IAM Cycling team to pursue other targets.

    "Both Michel Thétaz and I agreed that it seemed natural to set out to boost the roster for 2014. Thanks to the prevailing atmosphere among our current riders as well as how seriously we take our work, we did manage to interest a number of excellent riders in our program. Arrivals such as Sylvain Chavanel and Mathias Frank are perfect examples. We have every reason to be satisfied with our progress and look forward to continuing in the same direction that we have taken ever since the team was founded in April 2012," said team...

  • Phinney extends with BMC Racing Team

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) celebrates his victory in Tour of Poland
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 11:52 BST
    Cycling News

    American youngster to stay with team through 2016

    Taylor Phinney has extended his contract with BMC Racing Team through 2016, the team announced Thursday. The 23-year-old has his eye on both the road and time trial races at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

    This season Phinney won a stage at the Tour of Poland and was third overall and best young rider at the Tour of Qatar. In 2013 he finished second in the World time trial championships and won time trials at the USA Pro Challenge and the Giro d'Italia, giving himself the leader's jersey for three stages.

    "It is always exciting when a young athlete puts their faith in you as Taylor has done with the BMC Racing Team," said team manager Jim Ochowicz. "He continues to develop his skills and gain valuable experience with each season. His future looks bright and his goals run parallel with ours."

    Phinney has been with the US-based team since 2011, and "From the riders, to the staff to the management, it's a team that is really growing into a great home for me," he said. "I have a lot of respect for a guy like (BMC Racing Team sponsor) Andy Rihs, who is keeping our team afloat and making sure we are all well taken care of."

    The next Olympics are important to him, and he points to his fourth-place finishes in both the road race and the time trial at the London Olympics last year. "I thought that was quite important," he said."The Olympics are a big focus of mine after what I did there last year."

  • Swiss Cycling president resigns over McQuaid affair

    Perhaps you've seen a certain Fabian Cancellara in one of these? Star Swiss riders pedaled Assos into the limelight in the ’70s, and the company remains committed to its country's riders today
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 12:26 BST
    Cycling News

    “Differences of opinions” cited in Chassot's resignation

    Richard Chassot has resigned as president of Swiss Cycling, as a result of the nomination of Pat McQuaid for president of the UCI. The resignation as president and head of the board of directors is effective immediately.

    Swiss Cycling nominated McQuaid for the UCI presidency, on the grounds that he was a member of the federation as he lived in Switzerland. Three members of the federation appealed that decision, and a hearing was to be held today on the mater. However, late yesterday Swiss Cycling said that it had withdrawn its nomination of McQuaid.

    The announcement of Chassot's resignation said that it is due to “differences of opinions within the board of directors in the case of McQuaid's nomination.”

    Vice president Franz Gallati will take over the post of president until the next elections can be held.

    Chassot rode professionally from 1994 to 1999, and afterwards worked as a television commentator. The 43-year-old was elected as Swiss Cycling president in March 2012.

  • Vayer: CCN asked Dick Pound to stand for UCI President

    Antoine Vayer at the 1999 Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 12:45 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Frenchman denies formal ties between CCN and Brit

    Antoine Vayer has revealed that the pressure group Change Cycling Now requested Dick Pound to stand for the UCI Presidency. The former WADA head declined the invitation but Vayer, a member of CCN, also reiterated his belief that change is needed within the sport’s governing body.

    “We asked many people. I can speak about what I’ve done,” Vayer said on the matter of trying to persuade Pound to stand for election.

    Pound wasn’t the only high profile figure Vayer talked to.

    “I tried to see if Daniel Baal was willing. I then tested the waters with David Lappartient. We even asked Dick Pound. Greg LeMond said he would be good so we asked. He said no though. We asked him in February," he told Cyclingnews.

    “We’ve tried to find a candidate we could have got behind but we couldn’t find anyone. Then Cookson came along.”

    Brian Cookson - head of British Cycling - announced his election bid in the spring of this year and is Pat McQuaid’s only challenger ahead of next month’s election in Florence.

    Vayer admitted that he personally supports Cookson, having labelled McQuaid as incompetent earlier this year, but the former Festina trainer denied that there were any formal ties between CCN, Cookson and British Cycling.

    “McQuaid is the first stone we need to remove. If a man like Cookson is elected he will bring the independent controls over doping and he’ll bring a real truth and reconciliation. Maybe by the end of the year all the targets of Change Cycling will have been made.”

    “Cookson has not talked to CCN though. There’s nothing between Cookson and Change Cycling Now, other than in spirit. Personally I would like him to be president. I think he’s a good man. I think he likes cycling more than money and he...

  • Van Garderen confident in Colorado

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) crushed after coming second on Alpe d'Huez
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 14:13 BST
    Pat Malach

    BMC rider believes he can win overall

    With the general classification battle about to begin in earnest at the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, BMC's Tejay van Garderen is sitting in prime position to lay claim to the yellow leader's jersey. The 25-year-old from Boulder is fourth overall after three stages, just 11 seconds behind Garmin-Sharp's Lachlan Morton. Thursday's stage 4 promises to be a throw-down amongst the overall contenders.

    "I'm feeling good," van Garderen told Cyclingnews after the stage 3 finish in Steamboat Springs. "I don't want to be too confident, but I definitely like where I'm sitting. I have an OK buffer on some of the GC guys, but the two big GC days are yet to come."

    The 165.6km stage 4 route from Steamboat Springs to Beaver Creek is the race's queen stage, featuring the debut of the Bachelor Gulch climb, which tilts up to 18 percent in the finale. The peloton will then negotiate a technical descent before the final 2km kicker up to Beaver Creek Village.

    Friday's stage 5 time trial in Vail provides a gentle grade early on the 16.1km route before a steady ascent to more than 9,500 feet (2895.6 meters) in the finale. The stage was part of the inaugural race in 2011 and saw Levi Leipheimer beat Christian Vande Velde by just 58 hundredths of a second, while van Garderen finished sixth and lost his leader's jersey, leaving him with a score to settle.

    "Yeah, I want to take a little revenge there," he said.

    Van Gardern also wore yellow in 2012 but lost the lead to Vande Velde during the final-day time trial in Denver, finishing second overall. This year he's focused on climbing onto the podium's top step when the race concludes Sunday after the...

  • Craddock and Haga confirmed with Argos-Shimano

    Lawson Craddock (Bontrager-Livestrong) happy after his win.
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 15:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Americans move up to WorldTour

    Lawson Craddock and Chad Haga will join Team Argos-Shimano for two years as of the 2014 season. The two, who currently ride for Continental-ranked American teams, had earlier been linked to the Dutch WorldTour team.

    Craddock, 21, is currently fifth overall in the US Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, riding for Bontrager Cycling Team. He was eighth overall and best young rider in the 2013 Amgen Tour of California, and won a stage and was second overall in Le Tryptyque des Monts et Chateaux.

    “Development was the primary factor in my decision to join Team Argos-Shimano. For me to continue to progress as a rider, the immediate focus needs to be on my development, not necessarily on my results,” he said. “I am confident that Team Argos-Shimano has the plan, infrastructure and team philosophy to help me achieve my goals as a cyclist.”

    Haga, now with Team Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies, was tenth overall in this year's Tour of California. He won the prologue at the Tour of Elk Grove and was second overall at the Credito Agricola Costa Azul.

    He described himself as “a GC rider, as I can climb and time trial well. On Team Argos-Shimano I hope to develop myself as a GC rider and a domestique in mountainous races.

    “I chose Team Argos-Shimano because of their support structure. I really believe that they can help me become a better rider as they have done with many young riders, so that I can reach my full potential.”

    Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink was “delighted” with his new signings. “We are looking forward to working with them. To help them grow not only as riders but also as...

  • Makarov announces public support for Cookson and fires back at McQuaid

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    August 22, 2013, 16:20 BST
    Daniel Benson

    "It's like the Cold War" he says in relation to McQuaid's comments

    Russian cycling President Igor Makarov has announced his support for Brian Cookson’s UCI presidential bid and hit back at incumbent Pat McQuaid for comments the Irishman gave earlier in the week.

    At a UCI event in Switzerland on Wednesday, McQuaid was asked by Cyclingnews whether he thought Makarov had been working against him in the UCI election. Part of the response included the president of cycling’s governing body saying in front of a number of journalists, “We’re talking about a Russian here, don’t quote me on that.”

    In a statement sent exclusively to Cyclingnews by Makorov’s representatives, the Russian replied, “I am surprised that the President of the UCI allows himself to speak in such a manner about Russia and its involvement in international cycling. This reminds me of the Cold War. I represent Russia within the international community of cycling and I'm obviously proud of it, and, like the citizens of my country, I want Russian cycling to develop together with the global sports.

    “I believe that the development of international cycling in all parts of the world is a priority task of the UCI and national considerations could not take place. As an example, Russian team Katusha consists of riders from many different countries - Spain, Norway, Latvia, Italy, Russia etc. and all nationalities perform side by side in races, helping each other. The riders don’t think of the nationality differences, so then, why does the head of the International Cycling Federation make such statements?”

    Until now, Makarov, who Forbes estimates to have a fortune close to 1.9 billion USD, has remained on the fringes of the UCI presidential debate, publicly at least. McQuaid is...