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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 20, 2012

Date published:
December 20, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Two hour anti-doping hearing for Fränk Schleck

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) in Liege for the start of stage 1 at the Tour de France.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 5:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    No comment from Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency

    Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) spent several hours in front of the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency (ALAD) on Wednesday night.

    Schleck tested postiive for the diuretic Xipamide at the Tour de France in July. Schleck voluntarily withdrew from the Tour and did not race again the rest of the season. He recently attended the RadioShack-Nissan team building session and has always denied knowingly taking the drug.

    Schleck first has appeared before the Disciplinary Committee of the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency ALAD on August 29. Another hearing then took place on October 15. A month later, Dr. Anik Sax of the ALAD Board of Directors said that the organisation was waiting for a decision from the disciplinary committee.

    "I explained myself again that I was not at fault," Schleck told AFP following the two hour hearing on Wednesday evening. "The investigation is continuing but it's not over."

    No statement was given after the hearing by the ALAD.


  • 2012 Reader Poll: 99th edition of Tour de France voted Best Stage Race

    Bradley Wiggins leads Sky
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 6:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sky-dominated race tops the tally ahead of Giro and Vuelta

    This year's Tour de France has been voted the Best Stage Race of 2012 in the Cyclingnews Reader Poll. It's the tenth time the French grand tour has been awarded the top spot. In second place was the Giro d'Italia, won by the Canadian Ryder Hesjedal while the dramatic win by Alberto Contador at the Vuelta a España earned the third-best race of the year.

    In what was a historic moment for Great Britain and the Sky Professional team, Bradley Wiggins rolled into Paris in the Maillot Jaune and celebrated his victory by guiding his loyal Sky teammate Mark Cavendish to his fourth win on the Champs-Élysées.

    Wiggins became the first Briton to win the overall classification at La Grande Boucle while his Sky team captured second spot on the podium via Chris Froome and six stage wins courtesy of Wiggins (two), Cavendish (three) and Froome (one). Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) finished in third place and appeared to be the sole rider capable of rattling the Sky team.

    "I've got to get used to going into the history books now, but I'm just trying to take everything in today first. It's very surreal at the moment because this type of things [usually] happens to other people. You never imagine it happening to yourself," said Wiggins.

    "It's an incredible achievement for the team. Four years ago we said we were setting out to win the Tour, but we haven't just done that, we've got second place as well and a handful of stages. Seven stages have been won by...

  • Rodriguez angered by Katusha's ethical problems

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 10:00 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard awaits CAS verdict before any decision on changing teams

    Joaquim Rodriguez was hailed as the team leader at the Katusha presentation in Brescia, as the Russian squad tried to put on a brave face and positive spin on their 2013 season despite the UCI refusing to give them WorldTour licence for ethical reasons.

    Rodriguez is one of the smartest riders in the peloton and also tried to stay optimistic about his 2013 season when speaking to Cyclingnews. Yet his anger at the UCI and the Katusha team management was evident.

    "We as riders aren't directly involved, it's a problem between the team and the UCI but we've had a lot to think about this week because Katusha has been left out of the WorldTour. They've told us the reasons why now but now were waiting for a more serious explanation from the team," Rodriguez told Cyclingnews.

    "We're not worried because Katusha is a good team and we all focused on having a great season (in 2013). But at the same we're all a bit lost because we don't know what's going to happen."

    Rodriguez told Gazzetta dello Sport that is agent Angel Edo has had several offers from other teams. But he insisted he will stay loyal to Katusha, at least until the Court for Arbitration for Sport overturns the UCI Licence Commission's decision and rules that the team deserves a WorldTour place.

    "We're all free (to change teams) until the CAS decides something. I hope things don’t get drawn out too long. I'm 33 years old and I want to ride the best races in the world. I hope that Katusha can guarantee me those races. I feel part of this team, it's my team too in lots of ways," Rodriguez told Cyclingnews.

    Rodriguez won Fleche-Wallonne, Il Lombardia and went close to victory in the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta España in 2012. He will begin the 2013 season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina but...

  • All surviving Tour de France finishers to be invited to final stage in 2013

    Abdou's win on the Champs Elysées in 1995
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 10:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    ASO marks 100th edition by feting the "Giants of the Tour"

    As part of celebrations to mark the 100th edition of the Tour de France, race organisers ASO are set to invite every rider who has ever finished the Tour to the final stage on the Champs-Élysées in 2013.

    2,060 of the 8,339 riders to have finished the Tour are still living, and L’Équipe reports that it is hoped that at least a quarter of them will be able to make the journey to Paris next July, where they will be feted in a ceremony as the “Giants of the Tour.”

    The riders will be seated in a special tribune on the Place de la Concorde during the final stage of the Tour on July 21, which takes place in the evening, with the floodlit finish on the Champs-Élysées expected at 9.45pm.

    The “giants” will also be presented to the public in the Tuileries Garden on the eve of the Tour’s entry into Paris, and ASO is expected to announce full details of the project in February.

    France has the most surviving Tour finishers, with 491, followed by Italy (358), Spain (301) and Belgium (256), while a further 37 nations have had at least one Tour finisher.

    The oldest surviving Tour finisher is 98-year-old Pierre Cogan. The Frenchman rode his first Tour in 1935, when he was just 21.






  • RCS Sport to delay 2013 Giro d'Italia wildcard decision

    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 11:17 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Acquarone in talks with Katusha at team presentation

    Michele Acquarone has told Cyclingnews that the WorldTour licence dispute between the Katusha team and the UCI has forced RCS Sport to delay announcing which teams will be awarded wild card invitations to the Giro d'Italia and its other races in 2013.

    To help the teams plan their race calendar, RCS Sport had promised to award the wild cards on January 8. But with the status of the Katusha team up in the air, Giro race director Acquarone feels it would be unfair to reveal who gets to ride the Giro d'Italia, Strade Bianche, Giro del Lazio, Tirreno-Adriatico, Milano-Sanremo and il Lombardia.

    22 teams of nine riders can start the Giro d'Italia. 18 teams have been given WorldTour status for 2013 by the UCI and so have automatic invitations to all the WorldTour races. The Androni Giocattoli Professional Continental team is guaranteed a place after topping the Italian Cup team classification for 2012 and that leaves just three other places open to all the Italian and international Professional Continental teams hoping to ride the Giro d'Italia.

    Acquarone and technical director Mauro Vegni both attended the Katusha team presentation in Brescia and spent time talking to the team's management in a side room before the event. Katusha would likely be given a wild card place but that would leave just two other places available at the Giro d'Italia, with numerous teams hoping for an invitation. Katusha's Joaquim Rodriguez wore the pink jersey until the final day of the 2012 Giro, finishing second overall behind Ryder Hesjedal in Milan.

    "We came to the Katusha team presentation because I wanted to see Rodriguez and thank him for what he did at the Giro this year. He's an exceptional rider and we wanted to offer him our support in this confusing...

  • Exclusive CNHD interview with Giuseppe Martinelli

    Director spotif Stefano Zanini ensures Vincenzo Nibali is stocked up for the day's training
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 12:11 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Astana Manager talks Nibali and winning the Giro

    Astana went on a signing spree this winter and their biggest scoop was Vincenzo Nibali. The team hope that he can revive their fortunes in grand tours, which took a nose-dive when Alberto Contador left the team. Team manager Giuseppe Martinelli spoke to Cycling News HD about what the team hope to achieve in 2013…

    CNHD: You have signed Vincenzo Nibali for 2013. What does that mean to the team?

    GM: “Signing Vincenzo Nibali means we now have a top-class leader for the season’s most important stage races.”

    CNHD: Did he approach the team or you approach him?

    GM: “I had long seen him as a rider well-suited to our team. The Pro Team Astana management and Alexandre Vinokurov made great personal efforts to approach Nibali and convince him to ride for us.”

    CNHD: Does Astana have a strong enough team to support Nibali in the Grand Tours?

    GM: “Absolutely. At the Giro d’Italia he will be backed up by Brajkovic, Kessiakoff and Tiralongo, plus his trusted domestiques Agnoli and Canotti.”

    CNHD: Can Nibali win a grand tour next year?

    GM: “Both the team and Vincenzo have got their eyes on the Giro. We will line up in Naples knowing we are among the favourites for overall victory, and we will do everything we can to make that happen up to the finish in Brescia.”

    CNHD: Out of the two races to have their routes announced, which one suits Nibali better?

    GM: “The Giro, without a doubt. Compared to Wiggins, Nibali is less adept at the individual time trial, but even there he knows how to defend himself. We can make gains in the team time trial and above all in the many climbs included in the...

  • Gallery: Rodriguez, Menchov and Kolobnev in new kit

    A relaxed Denis Menchov (Katusha) in Brescia.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 13:27 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Katusha battle on

    The Katusha team tried to shrug off the doubts about its future in professional cycling and questions about its ethics with a glamorous and upbeat team presentation in Brescia, Italy on Thursday night.

    The presentation was held in the spectacular Palazzo della Loggia in the centre of Brescia, where the 2013 Giro d'Italia will end in May.
    Team leader Joaquim Rodriguez finished second in this year's Giro d'Italia behind Ryder Hesjedal but the UCI's decision to refuse Katusha a WorldTour licence for ethical reasons means the team does not know if it will ride next year's Giro d'Italia or any other WorldTour race in 2013.

    The UCI's unexpected decision has rocked the team and angered team owner Igor Makarov. He had been expected to attend the presentation but opted to stay in Moscow and so avoided questions about the Katusha team's ethics and the riders linked to Dr Michele Ferrari and the Padova police investigation.

    New team manager Viacheslav Ekimov was forced to front the presentation and reminded everyone that the Katusha team is just part of the Russian Global Cycling Project designed to promote cycling in Russia thanks to massive funding from Makarov and leading Russian companies such as Gazprom, Itera, Rosneft and Russian Technologies. Canyon is again bike sponsor.

    Two of Russian's most popular female sports presenters introduced the riders in Russian, starting with the shy Russian neo-pros and ending with team leaders Denis Menchov and Joaquim Rodriguez. Rock music accompanied each rider as they walked on stage wearing the slightly redesigned Katusha race kit that has more red white and blue colours to represent the Russian flag.

    The team's roster is largely unchanged. Oscar Freire has retired, while new names include Under 23 world time trial champion Anton Vorobyev..

    The backbone of the team includes experienced Russian and European...

  • No place for Andy Jacques-Maynes at 5-Hour Energy/Kenda

    Overall race leader Andy Jacques-Maynes (Kenda-5 Hour Energy) shows his fatigue following the 70-mile road race.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2012, 15:16 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Rough week for rider involved in hit-and-run

    Andy Jacques-Maynes has had the kind of week that sometimes only cycling can deliver. On Sunday, the 34-year-old from Watsonville, California, was injured in a hit-and-run collision while training near his home, breaking his shoulder blade and possibly a collarbone. Then on Wednesday the internet delivered another devastating blow.

    "They did their announcement on Cyclingnews and I saw that I'm not on the roster," said Jacques-Maynes, who rode last year for Kenda/5-hour Energy and said team management had assured him he'd be back next season.

    But the team, owned by Inferno Racing, merged after the 2012 season with the Competitive Cyclist squad owned by On The Rivet Management, which has taken over both programs. The newly branded 5-hour Energy/Kenda team announced its official 10-rider 2013 roster Wednesday, much to the surprise of one of Inferno's previous team leaders.

    "I guess that means they've finalized their roster and they're not going to offer me a contract," Jacques-Maynes said Wednesday night. "Since August I had been promised a spot. They told me not to look anyplace else because they would take care of me."

    Reached by telephone Wednesday evening, On The Rivet Management co-owner Jason Kriel declined to comment and instead referred questions to current partner Chad Thompson, Inferno Racing's former owner. Thompson could not be reached by telephone, but Kriel later sent an email to Cyclingnews after speaking with Thompson and offered the following statement on behalf of On The Rivet: "It is unfortunate that we were not able to hire everybody, but beyond that we can not respond to rider contract negotiations."

    Former Kenda riders Shawn Milne, Bobby...