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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 5, 2013

Date published:
December 05, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Kimberley Wells looks to defend Australian national criterium title

    Criterium National Champion, Kimberley Wells (Specialized - Securitor) lines up for the race
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 5:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Chasing another "dream year" in green and gold

    Kimberley Wells was victorious in January this year at the national criterium championships and has enjoyed the profile the national jersey has brought her. Wells won ahead of Loren Rowney (Specialized Lululemon) and eventual road race national champion Gracie Elvin (Orica-AIS).

    Wells has confirmed that she will be mounting a defence of the green and gold on her return to Ballarat. "My national title definitely put me on the map," said Wells. "Being able to represent my country in terms of wearing the green and gold overseas has been really special." The win proved a blessing for Wells who enjoyed success with American team Fearless Femme where she had five wins including stage three of the Tour of Elk Grove and the Anderson Baducci Twilight criterium.

    "I raced in America with some amazing people, we were on the podium so many times it's all a bit of a blur. We did a lot of criterium racing so every race the announcers would make a spectacle and yell out my name saying that I was a national criterium champion, it was so cool," said Wells.

    Wells knows she won't fly under the radar this time around when the elite women's criterium kicks off. "Winning a second criterium title will be a bit of a dream. I'm definitely going to be marked but hopefully I can back it up with a bit of fire-power to take the win," she said.

    2013 runner up Rowney also enjoyed overseas success this year winning stages at the Lotto Belisol Belgium Tour, Gracia Orlova, and the Tour Languedoc. The Gold Coast native will join Wells in her fight to defend her title with both committed to Specialized Securitor for the summer.
    "The team is very supportive," Wells said. "We have an even stronger team this summer with Specialized Securitor and we've all got...

  • Gallery: Revived LeMond brand inspired by Tour de France victories

    Old and new. Left is a road bike utilised by Greg LeMond in his 1986 Tour de France victory and right is a new LeMond bicycle, the TdF86, which pays tribute to his first Tour victory.
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 9:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    A look at Tour champion's past and future

    At September's Interbike trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada, Greg LeMond harkened his return to the bicycle business with the unveiling of a limited-edition line of carbon road bikes produced by Time.

    Each of the models in the new LeMond line feature identically-built framesets, but different graphics paying homage to the American's three Tour de France victories in 1986, 1989 and 1990.

    The Time-built framesets rekindle a relationship with Time Sport International's Jean Marc Gueugneaud, who built carbon fiber bikes in 1985 for LeMond and his La Vie Claire teammate Bernard Hinault. Gueugneaud then left Look to launch TVT, a custom carbon manufacturer, which built bikes for likes of LeMond, Pedro Delgado and Miguel Indurain.

    Click here to view the gallery of LeMond's newest carbon fiber bikes, each equipped with Campagnolo's 80th anniversary group, as well as a trip down memory lane to the latter years of LeMond's professional career and the carbon fiber bikes which inspired these thoroughly modern models.

  • Cavendish to skip Milan-San Remo in 2014

    Mark Cavendish testing in the wind tunnel
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 10:27 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Omega Pharma sprinter to target Tour and Giro

    Mark Cavendish has told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he will not ride Milan-San Remo in 2014, or ever again during his career, if the route of La Classicissima in includes the newly inserted Pompeiana climb close to the finish.

    "Milan-San Remo? I won't take part. And if the route stays the same, perhaps I'll never ride it again. My success in 2009 is destined to be unique," Cavendish is reported as saying in Gazzetta dello Sport while attending a presentation of Specialized's Racing technology at the McLaren Formula One headquarters along with Alberto Contador, Vincenzo Nibali and Zdenek Stybar.

    Cavendish won Milan-San Remo in 2009 at the very first attempt but the inclusion of the new five-kilometre climb between the Cipressa and the Poggio, only 20km from the finish, has dramatically changed Milan-San Remo.

    The first major one-day race of the season was known as the Sprinter's Classic. In 2014 it will be more suited to the Grand Tour climbers and Ardennes Classics riders such as Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC). Both have made Milan-San Remo their first goal of the new season, while Cavendish has been forced to change his big goal for the spring.

    Cavendish's biggest goal of the 2014 season will be the Tour de France in July. The first stage ends in Harrogate, close to his mother's home. The stage suits the sprinters and so Cavendish has an excellent chance of winning the stage and then wearing the first yellow jersey of the Tour de France on British roads.

    Cavendish won five stages and the points jersey at the 2013 Giro d'Italia and also hinted he will be chasing further success in Italy in 2014.

    "The Tour starts in Leeds, close to where I live. I can perhaps win six or seven stages. But I'd also like to ride the Giro d'Italia where there are just as...

  • Aussie continental team offers Sánchez berth for 2014

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi)
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 11:03 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Says Spaniard could lead Scott Sunderland-coached team in NRS

    Several teams have already expressed an interest in taking on Samuel Sánchez for the 2014 season, but none have come forward with an offer as intriguing as that put forward by Australian continental team Cellarbrations RT.

    In an open letter to the Euskaltel leader and 2008 Olympic champion, Cellarbrations team direction Scott Suine has offered Sánchez the final place on the team's 2014 roster, saying, "We can virtually guarantee that with your glittering palmarès you would be CRT's team leader whenever you wished to be. In 2014 we will always ride for you, Señor Sánchez."

    Suine admits that restrictions on his team's finances mean that he cannot offer Sánchez a salary, but he outlines an attractive package of other incentives. "We would certainly be able to provide you with free race entry and transportation, free team kit, as many energy bars and vitamins as you could ever need, and coaching by ex-Saxo and Sky directeur sportif, Mr Scott Sunderland, who also coached CRT in 2013," says Suine. A Sydney restaurant has also offered to provide "tapas-themed dishes" to accommodate the Spaniard.

    Suine points out that his team can provide Sánchez "with a season spent living the superb Australian lifestyle based in one of the world's most beautiful cities, Sydney." He adds that the Spaniard would need to find his own accommodation, but there is the chance of bedding down on an inflatable mattress in team direction Russell Menzies' house. "He is yet to confirm whether he has raised it with his wife, however as you are a supremely fit and undoubtedly good looking Latin man, we think she will approve," says Suine.

    A mixture of under-19, masters and elite riders, CRT participated in Australia’s National Road Series this past season and is looking...

  • Acquarone vents his anger after being fired by RCS Sport

    Michele Acquarone called a press conference to protest being fired by RCS Sport
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 12:32 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    "I've never taken one Euro more than my salary"

    Michele Acquarone has reacted angrily after being fired from his role of director of the Giro d'Italia at RCS Sport, insisting he is in no way involved with the alleged misappropriation of several million Euro from the Italian company's accounts.

    Italian magistrates in Milan have opened an investigation into an alleged misappropriation of close to 10 million Euro and RCS Sport dismissed Acquarone and RCS Sport CEO Giacomo Catano earlier this week after a lengthy internal investigation.

    Speaking for the first time, Acquarone specified that he was not under investigation, had never stolen a single Euro from RCS Sport and vowed to clear his name and rebuild his career.

    "I'm here because I need to get rid of the mud that has been thrown at me. I've not been able to speak because I was an employee of RCS. Today I need to say what I feel, to shout that I'm totally extraneous to what has happened," Acquarone said after reading a statement.

    "I'm not under investigation but I can't see a single reason why I should be."

    "I've never taken one Euro more than my salary. That'll be the most difficult thing to convince people. I was in the headlines, on the BBC and in the Washington Post. I hope I'll have the same headlines when I'm cleared. I want to prove my dignity to be 100% restored."

    Acquarone was flanked by his lawyer, who carefully controlled his answers and stopped him talking about what happened at RCS sport and other people involved in the case. However he confirmed he will take legal action against RCS. He claimed he did not know anything about possible misappropriation of finds until this autumn.

    "I was suspended and to be honest initially I wasn't worried. Everything seemed perfect when I came back from my holidays in September...

  • Di Luca banned for life by CONI

    Danilo Di Luca was a late addition to the Vini Fantini team
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 16:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    EPO positive ends Italian's career

    The anti-doping tribunal of the Italian Olympic Committee has given Danilo Di Luca a lifetime ban from the sport following his positive doping test for EPO ahead of this year's Giro d'Italia, CONI announced today.

    Di Luca was also fined €35,000 and must pay €850 for the costs of the proceedings, as well as the costs of the lab analysis, which is 3,150 CHF.

    The 37-year-old Italian was brought into the Vini Fantini squad in February of this year. He tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control taken on April 29, but the news of the result did not break until the third week of the Giro d'Italia. His teammate Mauro Santambrogio also tested positive for EPO in a sample taken on stage 1 the race.

    The positive was Di Luca's third doping offence: he served a three-month ban in the 'Oil for Drugs' investigation in 2007, and then tested positive for EPO CERA at the 2009 Giro d'Italia. He was given a reduced ban of 15 months for cooperating with the authorities.

  • Alexandr Pliuschin signs for Sky Dive Dubai

    Moldovan champion Alexandr Pliuschin (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    December 05, 2013, 18:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Molodovan to new UAE team after disappointing season with IAM

    Moldovan Alexandr Pliuschin had a disappointing season with new team IAM Cycling in 2013, but is hoping to turn it around when he moves on to new UAE team Sky Dive Dubai. The United Arab Emirates continental outfit is yet to finalise its squad for next season but has targeted the inaugural Tour of Dubai in February as a likely season goal.

    In an interview with Café Roubaix, Pliuschin stated that he had moved on from IAM after rumours had linked him to the new squad. For Pliuschin, 2014’s objectives are simple. "Objectives? To realize what I didn’t in 2013: winning races, that’s what cycling is about," Pliuschin said.

    Pliuschin previously raced with AG2R La Mondiale and Katusha, and spent a year with the Leopard Trek Continental team in 2012 before joining IAM for 2013. Having been victorious at the 2007 U23 Tour of Flanders, Pliuschin has yet to taste a win at a professional level besides the national road championships which he has won four times.

    It is expected that Sky Dive Dubai team will comprise predominately of local riders with only six foreign riders rumoured to be joining.