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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 8, 2011

Date published:
December 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Gallery: Contador and Saxo Bank train in Israel

    Riis pushes his riders to the limit but clearly knows how to have fun
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 10:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Israeli President thanks team for help with Center for Peace

    The President of Israel, Shimon Peres, personally thanked Bjarne Riis, Alberto Contador and Team Saxo Bank for their help towards peace in the Middle East.  The Danish team has gathered for a training camp in Israel under the motto “Cycling for Peace.”

    Saxo Bank last week built and opened a cycling school in Acre for Jewish and Muslim children, in cooperation with the Shimon Peres Center for Peace.  In response, Peres met with the team on Tuesday to thank them.

    “The fact is, when their talk about sports, then the Israelis and Arabs can easily work and play together,” Peres told

    Riis was moved by the meeting with the 88-year-old Peres. “It is something unique we have helped to create here. And to meet with the Israeli president, it is big. Really big. It can not be compared with any sport. It must not, but this is something we will never forget. "

    Peres also helped celebrate Alberto Contador's 29th birthday, giving him a small present and leading a chorus of “Happy Birthday”.

    For a photo gallery of their camp, click here.

  • Movistar a possibility for Cobo?

    Juan Jose Cobo on the podium after winning the 2011 Vuelta.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 11:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Vuelta a Espana winner still looking for 2012 team

    Juan Jose Cobo would be welcome to return to Movistar – if the team can find the money for him. The Vuelta a Espana winner, like his teammates, must find a new team for 2012 after GEOX-TMC's management admitted earlier this week that it has not found a new sponsor for the coming year.

    "If Cobo can't find another team, obviously we would take him," said Eusebio Unzue, Movistar team manager, to the Spanish newspaper El Pais. “We have already covered the budget, we would have to ask Telefonica for an  increase."

    Unzue had already made Cobo an offer earlier this fall, but he chose to remain with the team, not knowing the sponsor would stop.

    Cobo rode for Unzue's team, then Caisse d'Epargne, in 2010. However, the Spaniard was suffering from a severe depression, trained very little and performed poorly.

    He is also said to have an offer from another unnamed team, believed not to have WorldTour ranking.

  • UCI to investigate Vinokourov and Liege-Bastogne-Liege charges

    Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) was foiled in his bold bid to take the yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 11:51 GMT
    Cycling News

    Swiss magazine claims Vinokourov bought the victory

    The International Cycling Union will investigate charges “concerning alleged misconduct at the 2010 Liege-Bastogne-Liege,” it announced Wednesday evening. After looking at the evidence, the UCI will decided whether any further action is necessary.

    The Swiss magazine L'Illustre claimed this week that Alexandre Vinokourov paid Alexandr Kolobnev 100,000 Euros to let him win the race, publishing excerpts of emails between the two which it claims proves its point.

    In a statement issued Wednesday, the UCI said that it “has asked that the magazine provide the UCI with any evidence which would allow the facts to be clearly established. Once the situation has been evaluated the UCI will decide, in accordance with the UCI Rules, whether any measures need to be taken.

    “Until the conclusion of this phase of the investigation, the UCI will make no further comments on this matter.”

    Vinokourov has denied the charges and said he will take legal action against the magazine.

  • Joly retiring after 12 years in pro peloton

    Most aggressive rider was Sebastien Joly (Crédit Agricole)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 13:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman came back from cancer

    Sebastien Joly has decided to end his career, having not found a new team for the coming season. The 32-year-old has ridden professionally for 12 years.

    Joly was diagnosed with testicular cancer on his 28th birthday, in June 2007. After surgery and radiation therapy, he returned to riding in the 2008 season.

    He won the Tour du Limousin in 2005, Paris-Camembert in 2007 and a stage at the Circuit de Lorraine in 2009.

    Joly turned pro in 2000 with Bonjour, and also rode with Jean Delatour, Credit Agricole and La Francaise des Jeux. He was with Saur-Sojasun since 2010.


  • Phinney: I’m gunning for that one US Olympic time trial spot

    Taylor Phinney (USA) finished outside the top 10
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 14:01 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    BMC American to battle with Leipheimer and Zabriskie

    Taylor Phinney (Team BMC) has pinpointed the London Olympic cycling time trial as a major objective for the coming season but the American flyer is well aware that he will face stiff competition to even qualify for the event.

    The US Olympic team only has one slot for the men’s individual time trial after a meek showing in this year’s world championships in Copenhagen. As a result, Phinney must compete with riders Levi Leipheimer, Dave Zabriskie, and Andrew Talansky for a coveted place in London.

    “I’m going to be gunning for the Olympics next year and we’ll see how realistic my chances are there as the year progresses,” Phinney told Cyclingnews from his home in Colorado.

    “We only get one spot so that will be an interesting selection process. We’ll see how that pans out. Obviously there are the more experienced guys like Dave Zabriskie and Levi Leipheimer but I want to come out next season and have a really good start to the season and prove to the selectors that I’m the man for the job.”

    London 2012 will be the last realistic chance for the likes of Leiphiemer and Zabriskie to compete in an Olympic event and with both riders the wrong side of 30, it will be a tough selection for the US committee to make – give one last hurrah to one of their elder statesman or provide an opportunity to the new generation?

    “It’s an interesting balance as to whether you want to give the younger guys more experience or the older guys what is potentially their last shot.”


  • Gesink's daughter arrives early

    Robert Gesink at the Rabobank team presentation
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 14:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Second Rabobank baby within two days

    Robert Gesink has passed his speedy genes on to a next generation. His daughter Anne was born on Wednesday, nine days before Gesink's partner Daisy's due date.

    "Good girl, 54cm and 3750gram. Everything went fine!" the proud father tweeted.

    Although the girl was born before her due date, her early arrival was not totally unexpected. “I have my phone in my hand,” Gesink said at the Rabobank team presentation earlier this week, awaiting the call from Daisy.

    She is the second Rabobank baby born this week. Maarten Wynants missed the presentation due to the birth of his second son the same day.

  • Video: Kreder brothers hope to win a race together

    Raymond Kreder (Chipotle Development Team)
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 16:00 GMT
    Pierre Carrey

    Dutchmen will be teammates at Garmin-Cervélo

    Garmin-Cervélo is launching two new siblings into the 2012 WorldTour: the Kreders.

    A 22-year-old neo-professional, Raymond, who won Junior Paris-Roubaix in 2006, will join his older brother Michel, 24, a revelation of 2010 season and stage winner at this year's Circuit de la Sarthe.

    "I spent three years in the development team [Chipotle Development Team, Ed.]," Raymond told Cyclingnews in a video interview. "Each year I was better and then I got the opportunity to race for the big team."

    As well as Raymond, Michel decided to race with a US squad although he raced for Rabobank Continental, on his home soil, in 2008 and 2009. He explained: "We just liked the adventure to go to an American team. It's really open".

    The Kreders have now a dream: "To win together".

    Raymond describes what a breakaway with the two brothers would be like: "For sure, [Michel] will win or I will win, because we know each other so well then if he is going into an attack I will stop riding and if I attack he will stop riding..."

    The Kreder duo might succeed in their first race next year, the Tour of Med. "It's gonna be fun," Michel said. "It's five days, there are short stages, so I think we can do something together in the sprints, try to lead each other out."

  • Arctic Tour of Norway planned for 2013

    The French and Norwegian flags didn't do much today; Danish and Spanish were the colours of choice
    Article published:
    December 08, 2011, 16:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    ASO in on post-Tour de France race

    Plans are underway for an Arctic Tour of Norway, to be held annually in August and housing the riders on a cruise ship. Organizers have already contacted the Amaury Sport Organisation, who run the Tour de France, which has shown interest in co-operating on the project.

    Knut-Erik Dybal and Ole Skardal are the brains behind the project.They have already put on cycling races in northern Norway, and are now ready to take the next step, according to

    The pair first presented the idea of a five-day stage race to Norwegian TV 2 a year ago.“The race has everything needed to succeed in competition with other concepts: It has nature, potential, and is different from stage races that already exist today,” TV 2  sports chief Bjorn Taalesen said.

    Taalesen set up the meeting with the ASO in April, and the Norwegian presentation leaving the ASO “ecstatic”, according to  The end of July, ASO representatives flew to northern Norway.

    “We were visited by them here in Harstad,” organisers said. “We showed off the Lofoten Islands, and they melted completely. They told us that of all the new concepts for bicycle they had looked at in recent years, this was the one with the greatest potential.”

    The race would be planned to take advantage of northern Norway's qualities, in addition to its distinctive natural beauties. For one thing, it is planned to use cruise ships to house the athletes. Instead of the riders moving from hotel to hotel, as in other races, “the hotel would move with the riders.” They would also be encouraged to bring their families.

    In addition, one ore more evening stages would be planned, to take full advantage of the long summer nights, which would benefit worldwide television viewers.

    “Our idea of ​​using the Arctic light and the ability to arrange stages in...