A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Cooke and Gilmore to join forces for weekend's Noosa GP
The Honda Women's Dream Team has returned for the 2011/12 summer with the additional strength of the current Olympic Champion, Nicole Cooke adding to the team's depth. Cooke will join the team starting at this weekend's Noosa Grand Prix as part of a guest stint for the team during the European off-season.
Dream Team co-ordinator Rochelle Gilmore said she was excited to be back in Australia for another summer with the Dream Team.
"It¹s the first race of the Australian summer season so we don¹t know the form or level of our competitors but we¹re all excited about our new team and very motivated to start racing again in Noosa," said Gilmore.
Gilmore and Cooke will be joined by Peta Mullens and Myfanway Galloway, with the final place still to be decided. Lauren Kitchen had initially been confirmed as the fifth rider for the Dream team but was forced to withdraw due to commitments with her new team, Rabobank.
The Dream Team are scheduled to race the Noosa GP, NSW Crit Series, Jayco Bay Classic, National Criterium & the Tour Down Under criteriums.
Dream Team for the Noosa GP
Nicole Cooke (GBr), Rochelle Gilmore (Aus), Peta Mullens (Aus), Myfanwy Galloway (Aus)
Investigation dragging on from 2010 Vuelta a España
A two-year ban has been proposed for Ezequiel Mosquera for his 2010 Vuelta a España doping case. The prosecutor in the case has made her recommendation to the Spanish Cycling Federation, according to the Spanish media.
Mosquera tested positive for Hydroxyethyl starch at last year's Vuelta, which he finished as second overall. Hydroxyethyl starch is a blood plasma volume expander that can serve to dilute the blood without decreasing the amount of red blood cells present. It may be used as a masking agent for EPO, for which he did not test positive.
Hydroxyethyl starch is only illegal if used intravenously. According to farodevigo.es, the prosecutor asked the Spanish anti-doping agency if it could be proved that the substance was used intravenously, with the agency replying that this was impossible to determine, and that Hydroxyethyl starch did not in any event improve an athlete's performance.
The prosecutor has nevertheless decided to ask for a two-year ban.
The case has been marked by long delays. The International Cycling Union did not send the case to Spain until April of this year, and the federation only opened its investigation in July. After the 2010 Vuelta and before his positive test was revealed, Mosquera signed with Vacansoleil-DCM, but the team has held him out of racing all year, pending the results of the case.
After an equally drawn-out investigation, the Spanish federation recently suspended Oscar Sevilla for six months for Hydroxyethyl starch.
Belgian takes aim at Milan-San Remo in 2012
Philippe Gilbert has won the prestigious Vélo d’Or award for 2011, after a season that saw him dominate the Ardennes Classics and pick up no fewer than 18 wins.
The Belgian beat Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and world champion Mark Cavendish into second and third in the annual poll of international journalists organised by the French Vélo Magazine. Fabian Cancellara captured the prize in 2010.
“I think I’ve had an exceptional season and I know that you have to go a long way back to find a season of this calibre,” Gilbert told Vélo. “But I think it’s too early to assess it, I really need a few years of distance.”
Gilbert, who moves to BMC in 2012, has earmarked Milan-San Remo as the next monument classic that he would like to inscribe on his palmares. While the Tour of Flanders finale is set to alter dramatically next season, the romantic in Gilbert appreciates that La Classicissima remains more or less unchanged.
“Milan-San Remo is a very historic race, with a route that is practically always the same,” he said. “Eddy Merckx won it seven times, and I have the chance to ride the same route as he did thirty years ago. It’s good to be able to identify with the exploits of other generations, to superimpose the images. That’s what’s beautiful.”
Although Gilbert took the overall classification at the Tour of Belgium and Ster ZLM Toer in 2011, he has no immediate ambitions to try his luck in more demanding and longer stage races.
“I’ve never tried to win stage races, it’s something to be explored,” Gilbert said. “But for now, I’m dreaming of one-day races....
Young Luxembourger to ride for new team
Team RadioShack-Nissan will sponsor a Continental team in the coming season. The news was confirmed by Luxembourg rider Bob Jungels, who will be a part of the project.
The 19-year-old will sign with the team, he told Wort.lu. “I will ride in the coming season for the Continental team.”
He could not say who else would be on the team, but since it will have a Luxembourg licence, the majority of the eight to 16 riders must come from that country.
Jungels won the junior Worlds time trial title in 2010. This year he won gold at the Games of the Small States of Europe in both the road race and time trial. Riding for UC Dippach, he also won the Amay Haut and GP Francois Faber this year, and was best young rider at the Fleche du Sud.
He has big plans for the coming year. “After finishing third overall in the Fleche du Sud this year, I want to win it next year. We will surely also take part in many other races which are equally difficult as the Fleche du Sud.”
Jungels didn't know whether he would be able to take part in any training with the “big boys” on the WorldTour team, which is currently meeting in Belgium.
The team must submit its dossier for the founding of the Continental team by October 31 to the Luxembourg cycling federation, which will pass it along to the UCI.
Italian claims he underwent iron infusion
Riccardo Riccò met with the Modena Procura on Wednesday and reiterated his claim that he infused an iron solution before being hospitalised with kidney problems in February. At the time, the Italian was alleged to have told medical staff that he had undergone a blood transfusion.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Riccò and his lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi presented investigators with documentation to show that the rider had reported very low iron levels in blood tests taken in Rimini in January. They also forwarded a prescription recommending that he use three drips of the iron solution Ferlixit per week.
Riccò claimed that he carried out the infusion alone, and is quoted in Gazzetta as saying, “I know how to do infusions, whether it’s endovenous or intramuscular.”
After performing an infusion on the evening of Friday, February 4, Riccò fell ill the following day. “I fell to the ground and I woke up in Baggiovara hospital,” he said. “I don’t remember speaking to anyone.”
Modena prosecutors have also interviewed staff at the hospital, however, and no fewer than eight witnesses are reported to have heard Riccò tell doctors on admittance that he had undertaken an autologous blood transfusion using blood stored in a domestic refrigerator.
Riccò denied making that confession at an Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) hearing last month. CONI has since recommended that Riccò be handed a 12-year ban.
Non-Belgians Greipel and Sohrabi needed for their points
Lotto-Ridley's management is very much a Belgian team, despite the presence of a number of foreign riders. “Our project will remain Belgian,” sports director Marc Sergeant said. “But if you want to count in the World Tour, you also need foreigners. It's that simple at the top of the game.”
Lotto split with Omega Pharma earlier this year with the stated purpose of establishing a Belgian team, especially hoping to encourage young Belgian riders. “That's still the case,” new administrative manager Bill Olivier told Sportswereld. “With Tosh Van der Sande, Gaetan Bille, Jonas Vangenechten, Sander Cordeel and Dennis Vanendert there are five Belgian neo-pros on the team. It's not that we are ignoring the youth. On the contrary, young riders remain key for Lotto- Ridley.”
Andre Greipel is the team's most prominent non-Belgian.The German this year had eight victories, including a stage at the Tour de France, more than anyone on the team other than Philippe Gilbert, who is leaving. The team's most recent signing was Iranian Mehdi Sohrabi,who won the 2011 Asia Tour title.
A one-hundred percent Belgian team “is impossible in the current international cycling scene,” Sergeant said. For some of the necessities, “you have to go abroad. The man with the most points was Andre Greipel and he was crucial to the future of the team, like the points of Sohrabi.”
One-third of the riders in the 27 man squad for 2012 are non-Belgian. Not all of the foreigners were fired for their points “But if we want to bring our Belgian riders to the top, you must also add a few foreigners who can help you realize the sporting...
Canadian’s impressive debut season rewarded
Former elite triathlete Rhae Shaw made the move to full-time professional cycling last season and the potential she showed in her first year of competition has been recognized by Exergy Twenty12, which has added her to its full-time roster for next season.
Shaw, who resides in Seattle, Washington, took third in the Canadian time trial championship before embarking for Europe with the national team. There, she took her first European win in the time trial of the Tour de Bretagne Féminin, and soloed to victory for another win the following stage. She finished the race third overall.
Shaw won another time trial in the Tour Féminin en Limousin and led the race for one stage, but fractured her hand in a crash on that first trip across the pond. She was chosen to represent her country at the UCI road world championships and placed seventh in the time trial and held the fastest time for two hours.
The move to Exergy Twenty12 will see Shaw join forces with Kristin Armstrong, who won gold in the women’s time trial at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and returned to action last season after taking a break to have a child, and Shaw told Cyclingnews she is excited to team up with such a talented group of experienced riders.
"My goal for 2012 is to continue to improve and Exergy will be phenomenal for that. We'll be at top notch races, and I will get to learn from Armstrong, which is huge for me. She's the best in the business."
Like Armstrong, Shaw hopes to represent her country at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, but knows that getting chosen for one of two spots for Canada's team in the time trial will be a tall order.
"Racing in the Olympics and representing Canada would be a dream come true for me and I am incredibly excited to be in a position where I have the potential to represent my country at the highest levels. There are so many talented Canadian women cyclists riding really well that selection...
2010 Women's Tour of Flanders winner hit by vehicle
Grace Verbeke (Topsport Vlaanderen-Ridley 2012) was hit by a vehicle in Gistel, Belgium while on a training ride this morning and suffered serious injuries, according to Sporza.
Verbeke's team stated on Facebook that the 26-year-old Belgian initially lost consciousness and has been diagnosed with a fractured eye socket, cuts to the face, upper leg and pelvis, plus heavy bruising. She's being treated at a hospital in Ostend for her injuries.
In 2010 Verbeke became the first Belgian to win the women's Tour of Flanders and later that year she added a national time trial championship to her palmares. Verbeke capped off her 2010 season with a sixth place finish in the world road race championships.