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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 8, 2013

Date published:
August 08, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Boeckmans and De Bie to join Lotto Belisol

    Kris Boeckmans (Vacansoleil) won the sprint for second
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 10:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian team continues to strengthen its roster for 2014

    Lotto Belisol continues to strengthen its squad for the 2014 season, signing talented Belgians Kris Boeckmans and Sean De Bie. Both riders have signed two-year contracts. The Belgian team has already secured the services of Andre Greipel and his lead out train for the next two years and signed Tony Gallopin for the Classics.

    Boeckmans, 26, joins from Vacansoleil-DCM, but rode for the Lotto U23 team in 2009. While he has no wins on his palmares, Lotto Belisol noted that what they describe as had a “remarkable” Tour de France in 2012, finishing in top tens on three stages, including a fifth place on the final stage on the Champs Elysees.

    “This year he was less in the picture, partly because of the very heavy programme that was imposed on him,” said Lotto Belisol team manager Marc Sergeant. “I think we can make an even better rider of him, also because of an optimal support through Energy Lab, a good programme and a Belgian team where he definitely will feel at home."

    Boeckmans said he was “very satisfied” with the deal. “This will certainly give a boost to my career. There is trust on both sides. The Belgian atmosphere is motivating, “ he said. “I have fast legs and I want to further develop that asset within Lotto Belisol. This is the right choice to do that. To begin the classic season will be important next year, I look forward to riding Milan-Sanremo."

    A future star

    De Bie, 21, will be make his WorldTour debut with Lotto Belisol in 2014. Currently riding with the Leopard-Trek Continental team, he is the U23 European road race champion, having won the sprint of an eight-man group in the Czech Republic last month. In 2012...

  • Quintana to ride Tour of Britain

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 11:19 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Colombian confirms he will stay at Movistar

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) has revealed that he will ride the Tour of Britain (September 15-22) as his final preparation for the world championships in Tuscany.

    The Colombian climber also confirmed that he will stay with Movistar, despite interest from Astana and admitting that his life has changed since his success at the Tour de France.

    Quintana was the revelation of the Tour, finishing second overall behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) and winning the best young rider's white jersey and the climber's polka-dot jersey. All in his first ever Tour de France.

    He is currently riding the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain after being feted for his success at several post-Tour criteriums. He will head to Colombia on Sunday for a few weeks training on home roads. Quintana will face 2012 Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) at the Tour of Britain.

    "I've rested up a bit (after the Tour) and I feel good. I'll head home after this race. I want to spend some time with family even if I won’t have a lot of time because I've got to prepare for the world championships," he told the Biciciclismo website.

    "I'll be back for the Tour of Britain, the Worlds and then I'll end my season at il Lombardia, that my outline race calendar."

    Quintana knows the hilly Florence circuit at the world championships suits aggressive climbers and seems perfect for the new generation of Colombia riders that also includes Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao.

    Colombia is ranked second in the UCI WorldTour thanks to their success this season but under new UCI rules decided in January, does not qualify to field a team of nine riders because there are not six Colombian riders in the WorldTour rankings. Under the new rules, six Colombia riders can start the Elite men's...

  • Jaksche: A truthful Erik Zabel should keep his job

    Jorg Jaksche (Wurth) hammers to the top
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 12:18 BST
    Daniel Benson

    German calls for more riders to tell the truth about doping

    Jörg Jaksche believes that a truthful Erik Zabel should be allowed to keep his job within professional cycling.

    Zabel had originally confessed to taking EPO during the 1996 Tour de France in a tearful press conference back in 2007. However last month it was publicised that the German had also failed a test for the same substance during the 1998 Tour.

    It led to a fuller confession from the former Milan-San Remo winner in which he detailed a far more systematic doping culture that ran in parallel with this own palmares and the peloton of the day. He was subsequently suspended by Katusha manager Viatcheslav Ekimov.

    “He deserves to work,” Jaksche told Cyclingnews from his holidays in Australia.

    “There are many people who doped and who are still in the sport and have never confessed. My father, he said to me once, be a man, make a decision and if you confess, don’t lie. It’s a personal thing though. Maybe for financial reasons Zabel chose to lie but others they didn’t say anything. I think if Zabel is getting honest with people then he deserves to work in the sport. The way things work though, it’s all about protecting yourself, protecting your bank account and then protecting the sport.”

    Now an activist with the Change Cycling Now lobby group, Jaksche has already been through Zabel’s confession predicament. Retired from the sport, Jaksche was embroiled in the Operacion Puerto scandal that erupted in 2006. He, like Zabel, attempted to bury the truth, even offering a DNA test to prove his innocence. However, after a brief stay of execution at Tinkoff he was handed a year-long ban...

  • Sebastian Langeveld set to leave Orica GreenEdge

    Sebastian Langeveld (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 13:41 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dutch rider looking for greater support

    Sebastian Langeveld is set to call time on his Orica-GreenEdge career, two years after joining the Australian WorldTour outfit.

    The 28-year-old has not signed a contract for next year but his agent has confirmed that there are several interested teams.

    “Yes he is leaving GreenEdge,” Martijn Berkhout told Cyclingnews.

    “We asked for more support in the Classics and they honestly answered that they’ll go for a different approach.”

    “Then we made the decision it's better to make a move. Sebastian is 28, and these are his most crucial years so he needs a team which is 100 per cent focussed on Classics. In terms of material, teammates, staff etc.”

    Langeveld signed for GreenEdge after winning Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and finishing fifth in the Tour of Flanders in 2011. A heavy crash in 2012 disrupted his Classics campaign but he returned to the fore this season, finishing tenth in Flanders, seventh in Paris-Roubaix and fifth in E3 Harelbeke.

    Those results, and his age, have led to a number of teams enquiring about his services for 2014. Cyclingnews understand that one WorldTour in particular is leading the chase, although Berkhout would not confirm if that was Team Sky.

    “Yes there is a lot of interest, but we look for something specific. A move back to a Dutch team is not likely right now,” Berkhout added.

    “For now, it's important to go for a good result in Eneco Tour and show you are still there. Talks are in progress, some already for months and we will take a decision soon. But racing goes parallel to that.”

    “We’re looking...

  • Sky hopes that Boasson Hagen can return for the Vuelta a Espana

    An injured Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 14:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Norwegian back in full training after shoulder fracture

    Edvald Boasson Hagen is recovering from his broken shoulder so quickly that he may well ride the Vuelta a Espana. He is back full in training, and Team Sky has confirmed that he is under consideration for the third Grand Tour of the year.

    Boasson Hagen crashed in the 12th stage of the Tour de France and had to leave the race with a fractured shoulder blade. He was able to resume light training less than two weeks later, with an eye on the world championships the end of September.

    “He has come back much sooner than we thought,” Sky coach Kurt Asle Arvesen told “He has already trained on the bike for two weeks, and this weekend he got some good rides of up to five hours. Now he is back in full training.”

    If he continues to improve, he may be up for a spot for Sky's squad at the Vuelta. “Yes, he is considered for the team, but a final decision has not yet been made,” said Arvesen, who called the 26-year-old's chances “quite good.”

    “He has never ridden the Vuelta,” Arvesen said. “So if he is ready to go, it would be a nice consolation after he left the Tour early.”

  • Slagter signs with Garmin-Sharp

    Tom Jelte Slagter (Blanco) waves to the crowd at the teams presentation
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 16:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour Down Under winner moves to American team

    The surprise winner of the 2013 Tour Down Under, Tom-Jelte Slagter, signed with the Garmin-Sharp team, the American squad announced today.

    Slagter, 24, earned his first WorldTour victory in his third season with the Dutch team Blanco (now Belkin) on the third Tour Down Under stage to Stirling, then wrested the race leader's jersey from Sky's Geraint Thomas with a stellar ride on the finish at Old Willunga Hill. He held on to win the overall by 17 seconds ahead of Movistar's Javier Moreno.

    "I am very glad to become part of Team Garmin-Sharp. Together with my agency I have searched for the best possible team and I believe that Garmin-Sharp is the best fit for me," Slagter said. "I just turned 24 and I know I have a lot to learn. I would like to become more consistent on the WorldTour level and I think Garmin-Sharp is the right place to be able to continue to develop my career."

    Slagter joins a team with a host of young talent which has stepped in the spotlight as the squad's veterans stars have faded. Irishman Dan Martin and American Andrew Talansky have had successful development paths with the team.

    "Dan Martin is one of my role models in the peloton, and it's fantastic to see the big races he won this year, so I am very excited to be able to race with him at some point in the future," Slagter said. "I look forward to learning from and helping the established riders on the team and being a part of this organization."

    Slipstream's CEO Jonathan Vaughters has a keen eye for talent, and is pleased to bring the Dutch promise onto the team. "We are always looking to help develop young talent and Tom is a perfect fit for our team. He is an explosive rider with a lot of potential, which we have already seen with his overall win at the Tour Down Under this year. We look forward to having him on...

  • Keukeleire extends with Orica-GreenEdge

    Jens Keukeleire (Orica-GreenEdge) celebrates his success
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 17:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian looks to the Classics in 2014

    Jens Keukeleire has signed up to stay with Orica-GreenEdge for another two years, celebrating the news with a timely victory on day two of the Vuelta a Burgos in Spain.

    The Belgian has been with the Australian WorldTour team since 2012 and has his eye on the one-day Classics in 2014 after developing consistently during the last two seasons. 

    “Once I got the offer to stay, it was an easy choice,” said Keukeleire. “I have been really happy these past two years. For me, the most important thing is to be able to grow and to ride the type of program I want, and the team has always given me those opportunities.”

    “This year I had a really nice program in the Classics and the Giro,” he said in the team's press release. “Strangely, my best memory from this year is the Giro, at least the first half anyway. The team we had there made it really fun to race – until the second half when the weather became so bad. I felt that I moved up a step when I look back to last year.”

    “Jens has certainly developed in the last two years,” said Sport Director Matt White. “He’s only four years in as a professional, and he can already handle a very big workload as we saw with racing the Classics and then going straight to the Giro.”

    “I love the one day races the most,” Keukeleire said. “Having many nice races in the beginning of the season so close to where I live makes them an obvious target.” This year he was seventh in Dwars door Vlaanderen, and in the other races supported Sebastian Langeveld, who is leaving the team.

    “We see a future for Jens as he grows into a leader for the one day races,...

  • Manolo Saiz: I could return to cycling

    Roberto Heras was stripped off his Vuelta title. Alberto Contador in the background also had to answer Puerto related questions.
    Article published:
    August 08, 2013, 18:31 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Former ONCE manager denies links with Oleg Tinkov

    Manolo Saiz, the former head of the ONCE team and one of the biggest figures in professional cycling of the nineties, has told Cyclingnews that he would be interested in returning to the sport but said he has not discussed creating a team with Oleg Tinkov.

    Saiz developed the ONCE team into one of the powerhouses of the peloton between 1989 and 2003, with the likes of Laurent Jalabert, Alex Zülle and Johan Bruyneel as team leaders. Liberty Seguros took over sponsorship in 2004, with Alberto Contador spending his formative years under Saiz's wing.

    Many of his leading riders have since been caught up in doping scandals and Saiz was himself arrested during Operacion Puerto. He was cleared of damaging public health but the investigation revealed details of Dr Fuentes elaborate and widespread doping programme.

    Saiz has managed a restaurant and wedding catering business in his home region of Cantabria in recent years but told Cyclingnews he is now ready to return to cycling despite the risk of an appeal against his Operacion Puerto verdict.

    "Two years ago I'd have said no, there was no way I was coming back into cycling but now I'd be interested in the idea," Saiz told Cyclingnews.

    "I wouldn't want to give a percentage on the chances of my return. It could be 1% or it could be 99%. I don't need to comeback to the sport. I'm not ambitious but I do think I can give something to the sport."

    "If I found a sponsor I could create a development team with young riders and then help it grow, or I could work as a consultant or adviser for an current team."

    Saiz has been linked to Oleg Tinkov after the Russian businessman