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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 17, 2010

Date published:
June 17, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Péraud training again

    France's Jean-Christophe Peraud begins his 48.5km time trial.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 10:17 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    French time trial champion still up for Tour participation

    Jean-Christophe Péraud is recovering well from the injuries and illnesses he contracted in the Critérium du Dauphiné last week. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider crashed twice in the event and moreover suffered from a stomach bug, for which he was hospitalised after abandoning after stage three.

    On Wednesday, Péraud was released from the Lyon clinic as his intestinal infection and crash wounds were healed. The 2009 French time trial champion will now resume training in view of the Tour de France. "The illness was strong but well-contained. All my values are back to normal," Péraud told L'Equipe. "Of course, I will not force things during the first days of training, as the most important thing now is to save my place for the Tour. The start is only in two and a half weeks and I really hope to be there."

    It would be the Frenchman's first participation in his home Grand Tour. The 33-year-old nevertheless will not defend his title at the national time trial championships on June 24 in Chantonnay. Péraud, a former mountainbiker, switched to the road with Omega Pharma-Lotto this year.
     

  • UCI changes ProTour licensing criteria

    UCI president Pat McQuaid speaks at the ProTour dinner
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 11:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Biological passport programme now mandatory for all Professional Continental teams

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has changed its procedures for licensing Pro Tour teams, changing the criteria for sporting values. In addition, participation in the biological passport programme is now mandatory for all ProTour and Professional Continental teams.

    At the ProTour Council meeting Wednesday in Birmingham, UK, the world governign body unified its procedures for registering and licensing the ProTour teams . There can be no more than 18 teams in this division, and teams must first be registered before they can receive a licence.

    In issuing a licence, the UCI looks at sporting, ethical, financial and administrative criteria. The sporting criteria have been changed, and will be based on the values of riders signed for the coming year. These values will come from each rider's results over the previous two seasons. The UCI's statement said, “The values will be calculated on the basis of the UCI World Ranking, Continental Rankings, U23 Ranking, podium places in Grand Tours and victories in the most important events (World Calendar, HC Class, Classes 1 and 2, Continental Championships, National Championships and World Championships). “

    The UCI will announce on November 20 of each year the teams which have received ProTour and Professional Continental licences. If any licences are delayed, they will be announced December 10.

    In addition, “Participation in the biological passport programme is now mandatory for all first and second division teams. As a result, wild card status will no longer exist.”

    As of January 1, 2012, the UCI will also regulate the function of riders' agents, and “aims to establish a list of certified agents in which riders can trust.“

    The UCI also plans to increase its supervision in the Junior ranks. There will be a Juniors Conference held in conjunction with the UCI Juniors World Championships this year. Attendance for the 400 juniors will...

  • Bernaudeau closing in on new sponsorship deal

    The Bbox Bouygues Telecom squad
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 13:53 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Bbox boss says he’s aiming to name new backer on August 1

    Bbox Bouygues Telecom boss Jean-René Bernaudeau has revealed that he is close to sealing a deal with a new backer. Speaking to the Sud-Ouest newspaper, Bernaudeau would not disclose the name of the company he is talking to, but admitted, “they are foreign.We’re talking about a budgetary deal that would enable us to become one of the world’s top 10 teams.”

    Bernaudeau has been on the look-out for a new backer for some time having been given an early warning by Bouygues Telecom that they are planning to end their six-year-long link with his team at the end of this season. He admitted earlier this year that several companies were interested in backing his squad, and confessed that he still has more than one company interested in doing so.

    Asked about the potential deal he is negotiating with his most likely backer, Bernaudeau commented: “It would be about a million euros more than we have this season (7 million euros.- Ed). I am confident that the deal will be done, but nothing has been signed as yet.”

    He added that the new agreement would be based around a long-term project rather than focusing on specific riders. “The people I’m meeting with aren’t talking about the composition of the team at all,” he revealed. Asked whether the issue of doping had been mentioned during negotiations, Bernaudeau said: “They believe that doping is widespread and is globally unfavourable to cycling. But they love the Tour de France and they recognize the history of our team.

    “They know that we are a serious team, which is no bad thing when there are four or five others who are also looking for sponsors.”

    Asked whether he expected to be able to hang on to coveted riders such as Pierrick Fédrigo, Pierre Rolland and Cyril Gautier, Bernaudeau responded: “The riders will make their own choices. If some of them do leave that will free up budget...

  • Cavendish out of Tour de Suisse

    Mark Cavendish looking in shock after his high-speed get off.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 14:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Crash injuries take their toll on HTC-Columbia sprinter

    HTC-Columbia's sprinter Mark Cavendish was not at at the start of the sixth stage of the Tour de Suisse, Thursday. The team said that he was still in too much pain from injuries resulting from his crash in the fourth stage.

    Cavendish was involved in a crash in the finale of that stage when he ran into Cervelo's Heinrich Haussler. The HTC-Columbia rider is said to have spat on Haussler after the crash, which led to a protest against him at the start of Wednesday's stage.

    The Manx rider suffered extensive scraping and bruising, especially to his back. He finished 11 minutes down in the fifth stage.

    Cyclingnews has learned that Cavendish, while not racing, is taking advantage of the opportunity to do some climbing. He is said to be riding some of the route today, followed by a team car.
     

  • Serrano suspended for two years on doping charges

    Ricardo Serrano Gonzalez (Fuji - Servetto) on the podium for winning stage one
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 16:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Biological passport programme claims Spaniard

    The Spanish Cycling Federation has suspended Ricardo Serrano Gonzalez for two years, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced on Thursday afternoon. Serrano was caught under the UCI's biological passport programme.

    He has also been ordered to pay a fine of 23,100 Euro.

    The UCI had requested that the Spanish Federation open disciplinary procedures against him in June 2009. Their request "was based on two elements of evidence collected within the biological passport programme: Mr Serrano’s abnormal haematological profile, and two laboratory reports indicating the detection of CERA in his blood samples collected on 07th May 2009 and on 13th June 2009".

    Serrano, 31, rode for Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2007 and 2008, and Fuji-Servetto in 2009. The team suspended him last year after the UCI's announcement.

  • Vuelta boss defends team selections

    2008 Vuelta champion Alberto Contador, 2009 Vuelta winner Alejandro Valverde and 2009 Vuelta runner-up Samuel Sánchez on stage at the 2010 Vuelta a España presentation.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 20:37 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Guillén says invites took into account "interests of the race and cycling"

    Vuelta a España director-general Javier Guillén has defended his organisation's final six selections for the third grand tour of the season, which saw the surprising omission of Team RadioShack. Speaking to Biciclismo.com, Guillén insisted that "the six invitations we handed out took into account the interest of the race and cycling".

    Asked specifically about the decision not to select RadioShack, Guillén said, "Leaving out three teams like RadioShack, Vacansoleil and Skil-Shimano is hard; those three teams could very well have made it into the Vuelta. I am not saying that those that we have selected are better or worse than those that were left out. If one of the 16 teams that were guaranteed places had dropped out, one of these three teams would have had a place. We made our selections based on certain criteria and of course we can make mistakes."

    Pressed on whether RadioShack boss Johan Bruyneel had given him assurances that the likes of Levi Leipheimer, Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner, Janez Brajkovic and Haimar Zubeldia would be in the team's Vuelta line-up, Guillén said, "I can't deny they were on the list. He sent me details of starters and reserves."

    Adding fire to suggestions that other issues may have come into play when selections were made, Guillén also said, "It was when we were analyzing the wider sporting implications of the selections that we settled on the six teams that were given invites. Whether some of the teams are better than others is a discussion that I'm not willing to get into."

    Guillén pointed out that his hand was limited by the 16 pre-selections required by an agreement signed in 2008. This system finishes at the end of this season and in 2011 will be replaced by one that will see the top 17 teams in the world rankings guaranteed places in major events.

    Guillén did offer a glimmer of hope to the teams that missed out on...

  • Melchers goes on maternity leave

    Mirjam Melchers-Van Poppel (Cervelo Test Team) finished in the main bunch.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 20:37 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cervelo rider expecting child end of the year

    Cervelo TestTeam rider Mirjam Melchers has called an early end to her season after announcing that she expects her first child the end of the year.

    Melchers, 34, is married to Cervelo Directeur Sportif Jean-Paul van Poppel.

    In her 11-year-career, she has taken 73 victories, including four World Cup races and five national titles.

    “We are very pleased about the news," said Joop Alberda, General Manager, Cervélo TestTeam. "To have a baby is certainly one of life's biggest steps. We wish Mirjam all the best and good health as she prepares for this new period of her life."

    She joined the team this year, having ridden for Team Flexpoint since 2005. According to the team she “has provided strong support both, in the development of the team's younger riders, as well as being one of the team's main forces in the important races.”

  • Cavendish exit from Tour de Suisse for family reasons

    Mark Cavendish looking in shock after his high-speed get off.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2010, 21:59 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    National championships his only race before the Tour de France

    The HTC-Columbia team have confirmed the reason why Mark Cavendish left the Tour de Suisse today, saying that the decision not to start was based on two factors. His grandmother passed away and he wants to be present at her funeral tomorrow, and he is also experiencing stiffness after his crash two days ago.

    The 25-year-old sprinter rolled out of La Punt approximately five minutes after the peloton today, tracing the race route in riding up the day’s first climb of the Sustenpass. He was accompanied by a team car, and was due to jump into it after his ride and be taken straight to the airport.

    According to a team official, he wanted to ride today’s stage but the time of the finish made it impossible for him to do that and make it to his flight on time. He is also feeling sore after the crash into Wettingen.

    He and Cervélo Test Team rider Heinrich Haussler collided 50 metres from the line on Tuesday's fourth stage and crashed, causing a massive pile-up. Cavendish was fined and given a time penalty by the race officials, who deemed him at fault, and was also subjected to a silent protest by his colleagues at the start of yesterday's stage.

    He had hoped to pick up a stage victory at the Tour de Suisse. He will do one more race before the start of the Tour de France, namely the British road race championship on June 27th.