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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 4, 2010

Date published:
November 04, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Specialized adds second women’s team in Tibco

    Defending champ Meredith Miller on the line.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 3:27 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    Peanut Butter Co. expands SRAM alliance

    Two major North American women’s teams will ride Specialized bicycles in 2011, after the manufacturer announced a new partnership with Tibco-To the Top. Specialized will supply Linda Jackson’s team with shoes, helmets and saddles in addition to bikes for the coming two seasons.

    The announcement comes weeks after Specialized announced a new partnership with Bob Stapleton’s HTC-Highroad – which covers both the outfit’s men’s and women’s teams. Like the HTC-Highroad women’s team, Tibco will use the Amira road bike and the company’s Shiv time trial bike.

    Specialized women’s product and marketing manager Rachael Lambert said the alliance will help the company further the innovation of its women’s lines. “Specialized is proud of our continuing support for women’s racing,” Lambert said. “We believe that performance drives innovation. The aim of our women's line has always been to deliver a full, uncompromising range of products designed for women.

    “We create bikes and equipment that are focused and driven by real needs of female athletes, whether it's frame tubing that is tuned specifically for each size of bike, lighter frame weights or tuned suspension,” she said. “Our products are 100-percent inspired and built for the women we are, and the women we meet every day.”

    The announcement comes on the same day that fellow USA women’s team Peanut Butter Co./2012 revealed it would expand its relationship with SRAM. The team’s riders will continue to use SRAM’s Red and Force groupsets in 2011 but will also ride the company’s Zipp wheels and componentry.

    After riding Edge wheels this season the team will use Zipp’s 404 FirecrestTM and 808 Firecrest, as well as the company’s Service Course SL aluminum drop bars, stems, seatposts, Tangente tires and Vuka aero bars.

  • Yates praises classy Roulston after motorbike collision

    Jeremy Yates of Share the Road looking resplendent in yellow.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 5:24 GMT
    Greg Johnson

    New Zealand gets its own version of ‘chaingate’

    Jeremy Yates has praised Hayden Roulston for stopping to wait after the Tour of Southland leader was knocked off his bike by an official motorbike in the closing kilometres of today’s sixth stage. Yates admitted to being disappointed with George Bennett (Team SVS) for attacking after the incident, but sought his own revenge by chasing the rider down and winning the day’s stage.

    Unlike Roulston, Bennett was no threat to Yates’ race lead and was instead searching for a stage victory against his big-named rivals in the break.

    “I was midway through the attack, I moved out to the right-hand side and the commissaries motorbike came past and tipped me off,” said Yates. “Fortunately Hayden Roulston, who was on the front at the time, waited for me which was one of the unwritten rules of bike racing – it was a classy decision by him.

    “There’s no written rule to say you have to but I was really disappointed to see George Bennett making the most of it and attacking before the finish,” he added. “Luckily I had a shitload of adrenalin and I was able to peg him back and take the win.”

    Bennett was unremorseful for his move inside the final kilometre of the day’s stage. The topic of waiting for a race leader came under the spotlight at this year’s Tour de France when eventual winner Alberto Contador seemingly launched an attack as then race leader Andy Schleck dropped his chain.

    “No regrets … bike racing’s bike racing,” he said. “I’m not in the hunt for the yellow jersey … I’m here to win stages. Sure, you wait for the yellow jersey if you’re a general classification contender, but if you’re 15 minutes down it’s your own race.”

    Roulston, who crossed in third just five seconds behind Yates, believed inexperience played a role. “You just don’t do stuff like that...

  • Pegasus and Saxo Bank announce new communications managers

    Geert Broekhuizen
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 8:11 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Teams hire staff ready for 2011 season

    The Pegasus Sports and Saxo Bank teams have announced they will have communications managers for the 2011 season.
    The Australian team has hired Geert Broekhuizen, who worked for the Cervelo TestTeam, while Saxo Bank has hired journalist Anders Damsgaard.

    Broekhuizen will be based out of the team’s new service course in the Netherlands and will focus on managing all aspects of Pegasus Sports’ communications, public relations, and media engagement. The team failed to secure UCI ProTeam status for 2011 but will compete as a Professional Continental squad. Riders on the team’s roster include experienced sprinters Robbie McEwen and Robert Hunter and Canadian time trialist Svein Tuft. Experienced Belgian Henrik Redant will be the team’s senior directeur sportif.

    Damsgaard was named “Sportswriter of the Year” in Denmark in 2008 and has worked for the Danish news agency Ritzaus Bureau and the Berlingske Tidende newspaper. He will begin working with the new-look Saxo Bank team starting on January 1st.

    Riis is rebuilding his team after losing many of his leading riders and key staff to the new Luxembourg Cycling Project team. He signed Tour de France winner Alberto Contador for 2011 but the Spaniard is trying to clear his name after testing positive for Clenbuterol during the Tour de France.

  • Popovych denies witnessing doping

    Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack) lost most of his team to illness, but kept the mountains jersey.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 10:08 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Armstrong’s teammate quizzed for 90 minutes in Los Angeles

    Yaroslav Popovych was questioned in front of a grand jury for 90 minutes on Wednesday but denied having witnessed doping during his years as a teammate of Lance Armstrong, his lawyer Ken Miller, told the New York Daily News.

    Popovych rode with Armstrong in 2005 at the Discovery Channel team, at Astana in 2009 and at RadioShack this year. He is not believed to be a target of the investigation.

    "He doesn't know anything about what the focus of the investigation is," Miller said. "He did testify and he's happy to have it behind him."

    Popovych was served a subpoena on October 22 while attending the Livestrong Challenge charity ride in Armstrong’s home town of Austin. He had planned to return home to Italy but stayed in the USA before testifying.

    "How he was served struck me as a little peculiar," Miller told the Los Angeles Times. "It was effected on a guy at a charity ride who was going to leave Texas for a vacation with his girlfriend. A guy from Ukraine who doesn't speak great English and didn't really understand what was going on.

    "I don't believe he knows anything about what the grand jury is investigating," he added.

    The U.S. Attorney handling the case refused to comment on Popovych’s testimony. FDA agent Jeff Novitzky is expected to travel to Europe to question other people linked to the investigation. However he refused to confirm his plans or make a comment to Cyclingnews.

  • Boyer still hopeful of ProTeam status

    Team manager Eric Boyer has to convince Cofidis to continue their sponsorship
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 10:15 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    French teams face fight for major race invitations

    Eric Boyer, manager of the Cofidis team, still hopes to return to the first divison of professional cycling for next season. The French squad was relegated to the Professional Continental level this year but is 19th in the new UCI sports criterion ranking that will be a key factor in determining who secures a place amongst next season's group of ProTeams.

    "Until Tuesday this week, I had very little hope to make it back into the ProTour next year, but now that the UCI has revealed that it recalculated the riders' points for the last two years, I have hope again," Boyer told Cyclingnews on Thursday as he travelled to the official celebration of the Coupe de France series won by his rider Leonardo Duque.

    "I now await the UCI's decision on November 20 feeling that we still have a chance. Cofidis is the best (ranked) French team, so I conclude that our work during the last two years hasn't been so bad. The team is in contention for a licence against teams like Euskaltel-Euskadi, Geox and Quick Step (ranked in 16th to 18th position respectively), but it could also secure a place if one of the top 15 teams in the UCI's sporting criterion ranking does not fulfill the financial, administrative and ethical criteria.

    "The sports ranking is important, but so is the evaluation of the teams in the light of ethics. And if one of the other teams does not comply with the other license criteria, its slot will become available," Boyer said. "Until now, only four teams have been given the green light for their 2011 ProTour spot: Garmin, Omega Pharma-Lotto, Rabobank and Sky."

    French teams face a fight for race invitations

    Boyer admits that the low ranking of French teams in the UCI's ProTour sporting criterion could mean the teams will have to fight for wild card invitations to major races in 2011. Cofidis is ranked 19th, AG2R is ranked 20th, FDJ is 21st, Saur-Sojasun is 22nd and Europcar (that replaces...

  • Valverde loses final appeal

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) adjusts his collar after winning the 2010 Tour of Romandie
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 11:45 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Spaniard to serve two-year ban

    Alejandro Valverde has lost an appeal in the Swiss Federal Supreme Court against his two-year doping ban and so will remain suspended until December 31, 2011.

    Valverde never tested positive but was banned in Italy after DNA tests on blood samples linked him to the Operacion Puerto doping scandal. The Spanish Cycling Federation refused to rule on his case but the ban was extended world wide from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2011 after UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    The Swiss court also ordered Valverde to pay 4,000 Swiss francs ($4,100) court costs plus 5,000 Swiss francs ($5,150) toward the legal costs of the UCI, WADA and the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).

    Even though his race results prior to his ban starting on January 1, 2010, were upheld, Valverde continued to race right up to the Court of Arbitration ruling, winning races such as the Tour de Romandie. However, the UCI has since annulled these results.

    The Swiss Supreme Court also turned down an appeal by German ice-skating athlete Claudia Pechstein, who fought a ban based on questionable blood values detected through a monitoring system similar to the UCI's biological passport.

  • Farrar fired up about 2011 Classics, Tour de France

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) wins the final stage of the Vuelta in Madrid.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 15:50 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin-Cervélo's first training camp upcoming in the Caymans

    Tyler Farrar is expecting Garmin-Cervélo to be one of the strongest teams next season after the American squad bolstered its ranks with a number of ex-Cervélo TestTeam riders. Farrar will head into the 2011 season with the likes of Thor Hushovd, Heinrich Haussler and Andreas Klier providing the team with one of the most powerful Classics line-ups of the peloton.

    Farrar is currently in the US, resting up after a long season and enjoying some down time. In a few weeks he will he depart for the Cayman Islands for his first training camp of the season before jetting off to Australia for the Tour Down Under. However, with a limited amount of training miles on offer, Farrar and his teammates will spend most of their time getting to know each other.

    "It's a team get together. I know we're riding a bit but I don't think it's serious training, more of a chance to get to know all the guys on the team and catch up. There are so many new guys coming in so it will be good to get everyone together and have a good time."

    During the Cayman camp Farrar may well share a room with Hushovd in order to help develop their relationship. Currently the pair know each other well as rivals.

    "I know him a bit but not as a teammate. We've always gotten along well and have been friendly as competitors. Obviously it will be a little different now but it'll be good. How will things work between us has been one of the hottest questions I've faced in the last few months but honestly we'll sit down face-to-face and look at the race schedule and make some plans," Farrar said.

    Roger Hammond, Brett Lancaster, Dan Lloyd and Gabriel Rasch have also moved from Cervélo TestTeam to Garmin-Cervélo suggesting that although none of the team's 2011 roster has ever won a Monument, they will be one of the most competitive around.

    "On paper we are one of, if not the strongest, teams in the World," said Farrar. "When you look to the...

  • Host cities revealed for Quiznos Pro Challenge

    Riders might be able to take in this view from the prologue in Colorado Springs
    Article published:
    November 04, 2010, 17:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour to start in Colorado Springs, end in Denver

    The organizers of the new Quiznos Pro Challenge announced today the 11 cities which will host the seven stages of the 2011 event from August 22-28 in Colorado.

    The tour will visit many of the state's popular ski destinations such as Vail, Aspen and Breckenridge as well as tackle a stage from Gunnison to Crested Butte, finishing atop Mount Crested Butte.

    The tour will begin with a prologue in Colorado Springs, the home of USA Cycling, and also visit Avon, Salida, Golden and Steamboat Springs before wrapping up in the state capital, Denver.

    23 cities submitted bids to host stages of the event, and the organizers had to make difficult choices. “We had so much interest from incredible cities across Colorado that we could hold an event of twice the duration," said Ellen Kramer, Quiznos Chief Communications Officer.

    “We worked diligently throughout the selection process to incorporate cities that provide terrain that is unique to Colorado and delivers one of the most exciting cycling events in the world. The selected cities will make excellent partners and provide a demanding course for the world’s top cyclists.”

    The event was created to "reinvigorate the legacy of the Colorado-based Coors International Bicycle Classic which took place from 1979 until 1988", and to that end, the 2011 edition will duplicate the Vail time trial from the Coors Classic on stage four.

    2011 Quiznos Pro Challenge stages

    August 22 – Stage 1, Prologue time trial, Colorado Springs
    August 23 – Stage 2, Salida to Crested Butte, mountain-top finish
    August 24 – Stage 3, Gunnison to Aspen, mountain stage
    August 25 – Stage 4, Vail, time trail, former Coors Classic stage
    August 26 – Stage 5, Avon to Steamboat Springs
    August 27 – Stage 6, Steamboat Springs to Breckenridge
    August 28 – Stage 7, Golden to Denver