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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 30, 2012

Date published:
August 30, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • RadioShack consider legal action against Vanmarcke

    Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 10:26 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Vanmarcke could replace Breschel at Rabobank

    Omloop Het Nieuwsblad winner Sep Vanmarcke (Garmin-Sharp) is reportedly set to be the subject of legal action after he began speaking with other teams having already reached an agreement with RadioShack-Nissan.

    Het Belang van Limburg reports that Vanmarcke verbally committed to RadioShack-Nissan at the end of the spring classics following an impressive campaign for Garmin-Sharp and later put the agreement in writing. The article then explains that Vanmarcke then entered negotiations with other teams, leaving an unhappy RadioShack-Nissan management to consider their legal options.

    Earlier this week, Vanmarcke's Dutch agent Martijn Berkhout told Cyclingnews: "I can't say where he's going yet because that's up to his team to release it at the right time" indicating that a deal had been struck. Berkhout also said that Vanmarcke would not be joining a Belgian team, ruling out Lotto-Belisol or Omega Pharma – Quickstep.

    Another publication, nieuwsblad.be, is reporting that the Belgian is on the verge of signing with Rabobank but Cyclingnews understands that the deal has already been signed. Cyclingnews has contacted RadioShack-Nissan for clarification.

    A move to Rabobank has led to speculation that Matti Breschel could leave Rabobank with a move back to Saxo Bank a strong possibility.
    Breschel is currently riding the Vuelta but told Cyclingnews that he has yet to decide his future.

    “I’ve not signed anything and nothing is official. It’s all rumours at the moment and I still don’t know what I’m going to do next year. Right now I’m at the Vuelta and I’m concentrating on that. As for next year I don’t know. If Vanmarcke...

  • Scinto: managing Italian national team has always been my dream

    Farnese Vini - Neri Sottoli manager Luca Scinto with Giro della Romagna winner Oscar Gatto.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 11:14 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Farnese-Selle Italia boss would like to be considered

    Farnese Vini-Selle Italia manager Luca Scinto has said that he would like to be considered for the role of Italian national coach whenever his former MG Technogym, Asics and Mapei teammate Paolo Bettini steps down from the position. Bettini was appointed in 2010, following the tragic death of Franco Ballerini.

    “Becoming commissario tecnico [national team coach] has always been my dream,” Scinto told Tuttobici. “I don’t want to pull the rug out from under my friend Bettini, who I really respect, but if and when he wants to step down, I would like to be taken into consideration for his job.

    “Without doubt, there’ll be people reading this interview who will say that I’m getting a big head or that I’m full of myself, but I’m simply being honest. A lot of people would like that job. I have the courage to say it and propose myself to [Italian federation president Renato] Di Rocco.”

    Scinto was part of Ballerini’s first world championship-winning team at Zolder in 2002, and said that his fellow Tuscan had inspired him to dream big when he began to manage amateur squads on his retirement at the end of that season.

    “Years ago, for a joke, my friend Franco Ballerini said, ‘You’re growing well, should I be worried that you’ll take my job one day?’ I was a directeur sportif with the amateurs and we were joking, but it was always an honour for me to wear the blue jersey and a big ambition to manage the national team.

    “I’m not lacking in desire and I think lots of riders would be happy with me as a candidate. It would be wonderful, because of the ties that bind me to Franco, to follow in his footsteps and follow through on that joke which...

  • Boogerd claims Camenzind owes him for 1998 Lombardia win

    Michael Boogerd would always target the race
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 12:05 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutchman says 40,000 Swiss francs is in dispute

    Former Rabobank stalwart Michael Boogerd claims he is owed 40,000 Swiss francs after Oscar Camenzind (Mapei-Bricobi) took a six second victory over the Dutchman at the 1998 Giro di Lombardia.

    In an interview in Wielerland Magazine, Boogerd explained that it was common knowledge between the two teams that a deal was struck between the two riders.

    "We agreed: who wins pays," Boogerd said. "That happens sometimes in racing, though I was not a fan of because it relies on the winner paying up. We agreed on an amount of 40,000 Swiss Francs..."

    Camenzind and Boogerd moved away from the peloton on the descent of the the Forcella di Burra into Bergamo and soon built a gap of over a minute. The pair worked together until Bergamo and then Camenzind dropped Boogerd who appeared to be just holding onto the Mapei rider's wheel.

    Six days earlier, Camenzind won the world championships in Valkenburg and so Boogerd knew that the Swiss rider was in good form. Boogerd claims that he is still to receive payment.

    Camenzind, clearly unimpressed with Boogerd's claims has rubbished the report.

    "In 2000 at the Tour of Valencia he came to me with that story," he explained. "Why was he suddenly asking me for money two years later?

    "I want to tell you how it is. I was super that day. Just before Bergamo he offered me a sum of money if I would let him win. I told him that I wanted to win. Moreover, the amount was so low that I could not take him seriously... Why should I have to give a weaker rider money?"
     

  • Rabobank keep three in top-ten at Vuelta

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) gives his all during the time trial
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 13:51 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Mollema suffers misfortune and crashes in stage 11 TT

    Stage 11 at the Vuelta a España did little to change the positions of the top general classification contenders however, Rabobank's Bauke Mollema can be thankful he didn’t drop further down the ranks after a poor day in the time trial.

    "It didn’t really start right, because I almost missed a turn in the beginning, said Mollema on Rabosport. "I recovered well but my chain came off on the climb and I had to switch bikes. I nevertheless regained my focus afterwards, but in the descent I missed a turn and crashed - fortunately nothing serious. After that, I didn’t really feel comfortable on the bike anymore and it was a question of damage control."

    Mollema held the lead for a single day in last year’s Vuelta. However, it was his time trial ability that saw him lose the lead following his performance during the flat, 47km TT in Salamanca.

    He wasn’t however, expected to lose so much time in this year’s race when he began the 39.4km race from Cambados to Pontevdra. His 38th-place and 2:59 deficit to stage winner Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana) was just enough to keep him in the top-ten, albeit with a 5:10 gap to Joaquim Rodríguez.

    Teammates Robert Gesink and Laurens ten Dam enjoyed a better day, especially ten Dam, who rode to a top-20 in the stage. Gesink began well, crossing the first intermediate point, at 13.5km, in fourth place and only 8 seconds down but by the top of the climb he had lost more than a minute. He eventually finished the stage in 12th, 1:42 behind Kessiakoff.

    "I gave...

  • Martin still on course for Worlds time trial

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) must improve to retain his world time trial title.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 17:14 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    German optimistic in spite of low-key Vuelta showing

    World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) could only manage 11th place in Wednesday’s stage 11 time trial at the Vuelta a España but the German is confident that he is still on track to defend his rainbow jersey in Valkenburg next month.

    Martin was among the early starters on the technical course from Cambados to Pontevedra but after a solid if unspectacular opening, he struggled on the climb of the Alto Monte Castrove and finished the stage 1:39 down on winner Fredrik Kessiakoff (Astana).

    “Even though I didn’t get the placing I had hoped for in the time trial, I am quite satisfied,” Martin said on his personal website. “As I feared beforehand, the climb made me grit my teeth. I have to admit that I still have some improvement to make uphill. You can’t afford weakness on a climb against guys like Contador, Rodriguez and Froome, who are much lighter than me.”

    Martin is the reigning world champion in the time trial after winning the title in Copenhagen last year. The two men who stood alongside him on the podium in Denmark will not compete this year – Bradley Wiggins (Sky) will ride the road race only, while Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) has already ended his season. Martin took silver in the time trial at the London 2012 Olympics behind Wiggins.

    “I’m still on course for the Worlds,” Martin said. “My feelings during the time trial were good. Even during the technical start I did well, so there’s no need to worry.”

    Martin currently lies 85th overall at the Vuelta.


     

  • Rodríguez drops Contador on Vuelta stage 12

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) with a trademark acceleration atop the Mirador de Ézaro on stage 12
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 17:49 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Race leader claims sixth Vuelta stage of career and eighth win of season

    With his second stage win of the 2012 Vuelta, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) has re-opened, at least partly, his overall advantage and remains in the lead for a ninth straight day.

    Rodriguez was a leader of the Vuelta for two days back in 2003, when he won a mountainous stage to Pla de Beret ski station in the Pyrenees, and since then all of his victories - Peña Cabarga in 2010, Valdepeñas de Jaén and San Lorenzo de Escorial in 2011 and the Fuerte del Rapitan and Mirador del Ezaro in 2012 - have been in steep, short uphill finishes.

    Asked how far can he go as leader, with three big mountain stages just around the corner this weekend, he said: “Well, hopefully as far as Madrid but we’ll have to see. I’ve improved a lot in the high mountains, I could see that in the Giro, maybe not to win but to finish in the top three or four of each stage. If that's cracking in somebody's book, it's not in mine."

    As for those three summit finishes coming up, Rodriguez says they will clarify the race's hierarchy. “So far the four top riders been very equal, but with what’s coming up I think it’s practically impossible that we will continue to be in the same finely balanced situation by the time we reach the second rest day. [next Tuesday]. Somebody will have disappeared.”

    The big question is, who? Rodriguez refuses to rule out any of the top rivals, even if Chris Froome (Sky) appears to be fading slightly and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) is over a minute back.

    “You can’t discount anybody. Not yet. So far we’ve just had one big climb in most on the stages. From Saturday onwards it’s a different ball game, real...

  • French Cycling Federation praises USADA's actions in Armstrong case

    A pensive Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 18:58 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Recommends Tour titles not be reassigned

    The French Cycling Federation (FFC) released a statement today in which they "praised the perseverance of the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA)", in reference to USADA's decision last week to permanently ban Lance Armstrong and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles.

    USADA issued the ban, dating to August 1, 1998, after Armstrong decided last week not to contest the agency's charges related to doping practices from his time at the US Postal Service Cycling Team.

    "The refusal of Lance Armstrong to challenge the accusation of USADA sounds like an admission of his guilt in respect to the offences to anti-doping regulations brought against him since 1998," said the FFC. "This decision closes a 'black book' on a sombre period for international cycling. It also demonstrates that the greatest athletes are not protected."

    The FFC also made a recommendation of what should happen to Armstrong's seven Tour de France titles, as well as the prize money he received for those victories.

    "The FCC wants the vacant positions of Lance Armstrong not to be reassigned, leaving blank the palmares of the Tour de France for seven years and thus avoiding all polemics as to the credibility of eventual winners.

    "The FCC wants reimbursement of Lance Armstrong's prizes obtained during the Tour de France and other competitions for an amount assessed at 2.95 million Euros for the development of cycling among the youth and the prevention of doping."

  • Valverde: I'll settle for the podium in Madrid

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) was forced to chase Rodriguez and Contador on the final climb of stage 12
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 20:11 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Movistar rider keeps close to top three overall

    Third in the Mirador de Ezaro stage today and fourth overall at the Vuelta a España, not to mention still leading the King of the Mountains competition, Spain's Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) says that he would settle for a podium finish in Madrid.

    The 2009 Vuelta winner, second overall in 2006 and third way back in 2003, says that with 72 days of racing this season - compared to, up to today, 55 for Chris Froome, 63 for Joaquim Rodriguez and a mere 12 for Alberto Contador - and a season that stretches back to the Tour Down Under, "it's all going way better than I thought it would given the circumstances. But there's a lot of hard racing ahead."

    Asked about his rivals, Valverde says he is now convinced that "Purito (Rodriguez) can win. Alberto [Contador] is going very well, but Purito is in top form. [Chris] Froome seems to be fading a little, perhaps he's tired after racing the Tour, but he's still in the fight."

    As for the Mirador de Ezaro, Valverde said "I didn't lose too much time, it was close. Purito is unstoppable on these types of climbs, that are short, and really explosively steep.

    "I'd seen it on video, but not actually gone up it in person. It was a great climb for Purito and Alberto so when they went for it, I didn't even try to follow them. My tactics were just to go steady then give it everything in the last 200 metres.

    "Ancares and Lagos will decide a lot, but the final stage in Asturias (the third and final mountain top finish of Cuitu Negru) will decide even more."

    Valverde - who was brought in as a last-minute option by Movistar after last year's winner Juanjo Cobo fell ill - was certainly in a good mood at the summit of...