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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 1, 2011

Date published:
December 01, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Zaugg named Swiss male cyclist of the year

    Oliver Zaugg (Leopard Trek) wins the Giro di Lombardia
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 9:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Trial rider and mountain bikers claim other Swiss awards

    Oliver Zaugg has been named the Swiss male cyclist of the year, with nine-time trial world champion Karin Moor taking the women's award. The awards were presented Wednesday night at the opening of the Zürich Six Day race.

    Zaugg claimed the title by taking his first professional win, in the season-ending Giro di Lombardia.  It was the first and only classic win for the Leopard Trek team.  The 30-year-old launched a perfectly timed attack with 10 kilometers left and went on to win by 15 seconds.

    Moor ended her career after taking her ninth Worlds title this year, as well as winning the World Cup for the fifth consecutive season. Moor also has numerous European and Swiss titles to her credit.

    Thomas Litscher, 22, was named best U-23 rider.  The 22-year-old mountain biker won the Worlds U-23 cross-country title this year and is also Swiss champion.

    Litscher took another award as part of the best team.  He was a member of the relay team which won the silver medal at the UCI Mountain Bike world championships.  The other three team members are Nathalie Schneitter, Nico Schurter and Lars Forster.

  • Saxo Bank team members building a school in Israel

    The Saxo Bank Sungard team was first off.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 10:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cycling school to help integrate Jews and Muslims

    Bjarne Riis always has a surprise in store for his team-building sessions, and this year he continued that trend. Not only is Team Saxo Bank in Israel – believed to be the first time a top-ranked team has held its preparations there – but the riders will also build a school. A school for cyclists, of course.

    “Cycling for Peace” will be part of the Peres Center for Peace, and will integrate both Jewish and Muslim youngsters in its programme. It is located in Acre, in northern Israel.

    The riders started on things on Wednesday, and the entire team will be there on Thursday. “As truly authentic pioneers in the world of cycling, the team set out, armed with tools, to create the fundament of the school so the traditionally true team spirit of the team was actually transformed into something as tangible as building a school for cyclists,” the team said in a press release. .

    “It's an ambitious project with visions concerning making living easier in the relationship between Jews and Muslim children, and I believe that in the long run projects like these can turn prejudices to concern, and create a good foundation for at least a small group of kids here and now, but also for a big group of people in the long run by introducing them to sports and physical activities,” said Bjarne Riis. “It really doesn't matter if it's cycling or any other sport. We know that when you do sports you'll have a healthier and more versatile life.”

    This will be the first school of its kind in the country, said Tami Hay, director of the sports department of Peres Center for Peace.  “In Acre there are two communities - a Jewish and a Muslim and the city suffers from vast segregation in terms of different schools and separate leisure activities. But this Friday one class from each school will mix as one to...

  • Giro d'Italia to look abroad for wildcards?

    The Giro d'Italia presentation in Milan
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 12:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four invitations due to be issued before the end of the year

    RCS is set to announce the four wildcards for the 2012 Giro d’Italia before the turn of the year, and new race director Michele Acquarone has hinted that some home teams could miss out as the corsa rosa looks to widen its international appeal.

    After receiving dispensation to hand out five wildcards in 2011, RCS handed four berths to Italian teams (Androni Giocattoli, Acqua e Sapone, Colnago-CSF and Farnese Vini), with the fifth awarded to an Italian sponsor (Geox-TMC). However, Acquarone has suggested that the 2012 Giro will look to encompass a broader spread of nations.

    “For these four wild cards, I would like to favour foreign teams who might widen the sphere of interest in our race – for instance, a German or Chinese team that would otherwise be absent. But I know that we will have to find a compromise,” Acquarone told Bici Sport magazine.

    Lampre-ISD and Liquigas-Cannondale are the only Italian teams at WorldTour level, and the Giro has become increasingly reliant on its wildcard invitations to boost the size of the home contingent at the race in recent years.

    “I know how important it is for our tifosi to see their own favourites on the road, but the Giro also needs fans in the rest of the world. In that way, in the future we can guarantee ourselves more resources and more attention from teams and champions.”

    Last year, the winner of the season-long Coppa Italia classification was granted one of the Giro’s wildcard berths, but Acquarone explained that the deal between his predecessor Angelo Zomegnan and the Italian cycling federation was never formalised.

    Androni Giocattoli qualified for the Giro by this route in 2011, but in spite of repeating their Coppa Italia triumph this season, Gianni Savio’s...

  • Van Avermaet wants to progress at BMC in spite of Gilbert's arrival

    Greg Van Avermaet was outnumbered in the finale
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 13:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian rivals reunited after year apart

    Greg Van Avermaet is hopeful that he will continue to have the opportunity to shine at the classics in 2012 in spite of the arrival of Philippe Gilbert and Thor Hushovd at BMC.

    The Belgian endured an uneasy coexistence with his fellow countryman Gilbert during his time at Omega Pharma-Lotto, and he left the team at the end of 2010. After a successful debut campaign at BMC, Van Avermaet acknowledged that his role will be slightly different next season.

    “His arrival changes things for me, that’s for sure,” Van Avermaet told “Philippe is the best rider in the world at the moment and there’s also Hushovd. That’s going to change things, we’ll have a lot of pressure, we’re going to have to work and take the race in hand. Naturally, I’ll ride for them, but I hope that in certain races I will still have my chances.”

    Speaking at the Vélo de Cristal awards ceremony recently, however, Gilbert was adamant that Van Avermaet would not be a leader at the spring classics, and cited the 2011 edition of Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where Van Avermaet was dropped from the winning move on the Côte de Saint-Nicholas with 5km to go

    “Greg has potential but he has to be realistic,” said Gilbert. “In the finale of Liège, he only took one turn at the front and then he was dropped and lost a minute. If he was really strong, he would have gone all the way to the finish. He showed his limits, and he who shows his limits can’t lay claim to being a leader at BMC.”

    Van Avermaet admitted that he was disappointed by Gilbert’s comments, but was determined that he they could work well together. “I...

  • Former BigMat-Auber 93 doctor indicted in France

    A French gendarme searches outside the window
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 15:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    L'Equipe reports that Bedoucha confessed to helping riders dope

    Philippe Bedoucha, the former team doctor of French outfit BigMat-Auber 93, has been indicted for “the transfer and acquisition of doping products” according to a report on on Thursday.

    Under French law, the crime is punishable by a custodial sentence of up to seven years. Bedoucha has also been indicted for the operation of an illegal pharmacy.

    Bedoucha was questioned by officers from the French Central Office against Environmental Damage and Public Health (OCLAESP), who have carried out a number of searches as part of an investigation which began in January 2010. The inquiry is focused on a period encompassing Bedoucha’s final three seasons at the team, from 2007 to 2010.

    L’Équipe’s Damien Ressiot reports that Bedoucha confessed to OCLAESP officers that he had helped several BigMat riders to dope and that he had provided them with EPO during his spell with the team. Bedoucha left BigMat-Auber 93 at the end of 2010.

    Public prosecutors in Créteil on the outskirts of Paris have requested that Bedoucha be placed on probation when he is released on bail. The Frenchman was taken into custody on Monday.

    It is also reported that former masters mountain bike champion Jean-Philippe Tellier and cyclo-cross rider Geoffrey Clochez will be indicted on Thursday as part of the same investigation.

    Ten riders, including seven professionals, have already been questioned as witnesses by investigators.

  • 2011 Reader Poll: Vos voted Female Road Rider of the Year

    Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit) celebrates her victory atop the Mur de Huy.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 19:11 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutchwoman dominates ahead of Pooley, Arndt

    Amassing 27 race wins in 2011, it was no surprise that Nederland Bloeit's Marianne Vos won the title of Female Road Rider of the Year in Cyclingnews' annual reader poll.

    Vos, 24, has dominated women's racing this year. Her wins include the Ronde van Drenthe, La Flèche Wallonne Féminine, GP Elsy Jacobs and the Giro d'Italia Femminale, a well as the Dutch and World cyclo-cross titles. On the track, she also holds the Worlds scratch race title.

    If there was a stumbling block, it was the UCI Road World Championships, where Vos was again left feeling disappointed, standing second on the podium for the fifth consecutive year after being pipped in the sprint in the elite women's road race by Italy's defending champion, Giorgia Bronzini. Given her dominance of the 2011, Vos was overwhelming favourite when it came to the race for the rainbow jersey in Copenhagen. Vos however, backed away from any talk that the pressure proved too much.

    "It's the world championships. There's always a lot of pressure in that race. That's what you do it for, you race for the big races and it's great to do the world championships for your country," Vos said. "Of course when everybody in the team does the work for you, you want to end it perfectly. That's a bit of pressure. But it's also great to have and after this season, I was sort of used to it."

    Showing her class, Vos praised the efforts of Bronzini - "Giorgia is a fantastic sprinter, she won in a great way. Of course you think back about whether you made a mistake in the sprint, but I didn't. She was the...

  • USA names women's Olympic long team for London

    Golden farewell: Kristin Armstrong finished off her Olympic Games career on top.
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 21:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Neben, Armstrong, Miller named

    USA Cycling today announced its long team for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London for the women's road events. The women listed will be eligible to represent the USA, but must earn their spots through finishes in UCI events from January 1 through May 31, 2012.

    13 riders were named, including US road champion Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS), Megan Guarnier (TIBCO to the Top), the winner of the UCI 2.1-ranked stage race Premondiale Giro Toscana, Amber Neben (Specialized-Lululemon), listed in the top 25 in the UCI rankings, and US time trial champion Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon), all of whom earned automatic nominations for these accomplishments.

    Defending Olympic time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (Exergy/2012) earned a discretionary nomination as did her teammate, sprinter Theresa Cliff-Ryan. Also named are Andrea Dvorak, Janel Holcomb, Kristin McGrath, Amanda Miller, Shelley Olds, Carmen Small and Lauren Tamayo.

    The men's Olympic selection will not be decided by the same long-team method, instead, USA Cycling stated, "the team that will represent the United States in London will be determined by competitive results at major international events throughout the 2011 and 2012 racing seasons. To date none has yet met the automatic nomination criteria."

    The number of riders which the USA will be allowed to enter into the Olympic road events will not be determined until May, 2012.

    Long teams for men's...

  • 2011 Reader Poll: Gilbert voted Male Road Rider of the Year

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) does the historic Ardennes Classic triple in Liège-Bastogne-Liège
    Article published:
    December 01, 2011, 22:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    King of the Classics finishes ahead of Evans, Cavendish

    When it came to the UCI WorldTour Ranking, it was Omega Pharma – Lotto's Philippe Gilbert who came out on top, 144 points ahead of BMC's Cadel Evans – and that's how you voted when it came to choosing the Male Road Rider of the Year in Cyclingnews' annual reader poll.

    Evans ticked some big race boxes, including of course the Tour de France having stood as runner-up on the podium on two previous occasions, but it was Gilbert whose devastating form spanned almost the entire season.

    In 2011, Gilbert posted 18 victories with the first coming in February on the first stage of the Volt ao Algarve, the last was the GP de Wallonie in mid-September. Speed merchants Marcel Kittel (17) and Peter Sagan (15) only managed to come close to the Belgian's phenomenal tally.

    Looking for highlights – with so many outstanding occasions - in such a dominant season makes picking a standout difficult. Gilbert was the undisputed king of the Classics. First there was the Brabantse Pijl, then he went back-to-back at Amstel Gold Race, before closing out Liège-Bastogne-Liège with a cat-and-mouse thriller against the Schleck brothers from the Côte de Roche aux Faucons to the finish line.

    On the run into the Tour de France, Gilbert was crowned Belgian road. The 29-year-old then earned his first yellow jersey by winning the first stage. Gilbert lost the maillot jaune the following stage but held onto the polka dot...