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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 4, 2012

Date published:
October 04, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rujano signs for Vacansoleil-DCM

    José Rujano Guillen (Androni Giocattoli)
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 5:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Venezuelan back in the UCI World Tour

    José Rujano is reported to have finalised a deal that will see him ride with Vacansoleil-DCM for 2013. Spanish website BiciCiclismo says that an agreement has been reached after several days of speculation that an announcement was imminent.

    Rujano is also believed to have been fielding interest from Saxo Bank - Tinkoff Bank and Euskaltel - Euskadi. The Venezuelan had a very public falling out with Androni-Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio following his abandonment on the 19th stage of the Giro d'Italia, his last appearance in 2012.

    Rujano explained that he was suffering from mononucleosis however Savio told that his charge had been examined by medical staff at the race and there was nothing wrong with him.

    "Rujano did not have a condition that prevented him from continuing the Giro. The team doctor examined him and did not find anything particular," said Savio, who emphasized that Rujano "is far from the spirit of the team. I was disappointed."

    Savio continued saying that he was "glad" Rujano's contract was up at the end of the season and that there would be "no second chances" after he reinvigorated his career.

    Vacansoleil has already announced that Juan Antonio Flecha (Sky); Grega Bole (Vancansoleil-DCM) and William Wauters (neo) will be joining the team next season.

    Rujano rode for the Selle-Italia squad between 2003 and 2006 before moving to QuickStep mid-way through that year before stints with Unibet, and Caisse d'Epargne. He then disappeared off the scene for two years, making a return for ISD-Neri before beginning a 'renaissance' with Androni. The...

  • Martin motivated for Beijing defence despite the challenges

    Tony Martin secured the overall win for HTC-Highroad
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 7:59 BST
    Cycling News

    No time trial leaves doubts over ability to go back-to-back

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - QuickStep) is buoyed at the prospect of defending his Tour of Beijing title, but knows it won't be an easy task.

    "It will be really hard to defend my title because there is no time trial," the dual World Champion in the discipline said. "That was my advantage last year. This year it will be much harder, but I will of course keep that in mind. I did a really good preparation in the Vuelta which I think would give me a good advantage in the mountains. We will see.

    "I am really looking forward to the race. I am really motivated and I will have a good team with me. So we will do the best we can and I hope I can maybe repeat the win."

    Global Cycling Promotion director Alain Rumpf noted the importance of having the German return to the event following his win in the inaugural edition.

    "Already we have seen a significant lift in his profile in Asia thanks to last year's victory and it is important that the local people have a familiar champion to relate to. We are expecting to have some huge Tony Martin fans lining the streets this year."

    Martin will be well-supported by recent Vuelta a Espana stage-winner Dario Cataldo when the tour hits the mountains from the second stage. The Italian all-rounder will leave the Belgian outfit for Team Sky in 2013.

    "Even last year you could feel after my win that people started to recognize me in China," Martin continued. "It was really strange but it was nice. It's also a sign of the future in cycling. We have to get more international. Not just in Europe, also in the US and in Asia and places like that. I really am looking forward to Beijing!"

    2012 has been a rollercoaster for the 27-year-old after suffering a nagging early-season injury, being struck...

  • UCI's failure to silence LeMond

    Greg LeMond in attendance at the 2012 Tour of the Battenkill
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 9:39 BST
    Daniel Benson and Susan Westemeyer

    Three-time Tour winner speaks out

    Although a court in Switzerland has ruled that Floyd Landis is unable to call UCI officials corrupt, attempts by the UCI to silence Greg LeMond’s similar allegations have proven unsuccessful. In an email to Cyclingnews, LeMond cited emails he had received from UCI president Pat McQuaid in 2006 and in 2008 in which the sport’s governing body asked LeMond to retract allegations of corruption he levelled at them.

    In 2006 LeMond gave an interview to L'Equipe in which he questioned the validity of the Vrijman report which looked into Lance Armstrong’s 1999 Tour de France samples. The three-time Tour winner also told the French publication that Operacion Puerto “is another example, the entire system is corrupt, the UCI is corrupt."

    The interview was followed up by a letter from the UCI asking LeMond to retract his statements or face a legal case. LeMond’s response was a drafted letter through his US attorneys at the time, Robins, Kaplan Millar and Ciresi. Along with debating the definition of corruption, the letter also spelled out that a Swiss court had no jurisdiction over LeMond: a sentiment reiterated on Wednesday when lawyers representing Floyd Landis argued the same standpoint over a defamation case involving Landis and the UCI. The UCI are also involved with a defamation case involving the former Sunday Times writer Paul Kimmage.

    In LeMond’s letter, his legal team also point out the UCI have defamed L'Equipe  by stating that: “known to have questionable ethics.”

    The returning letter to the UCI also states:

    “In your July 26 letter, you accuse Mr. LeMond of committing criminal infringement and then demand that he either (1) corroborate his alleged...

  • Lotto cites administrative error in WorldTour application

    The back of the Lotto Belisol bus
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 11:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian team plans to continue at “highest level” in 2013

    Lotto Belisol was a surprise omission from the list of teams which had applied for a WorldTour licence for 2013, but the Belgian team called it a minor error which would quickly be rectified.

    On Tuesday, the UCI released the list of 13 teams which already have a valid licence for the coming season and six teams applying for a new licence. Lotto Belisol was not mentioned on either list.

    “Lotto Belisol has handed in the file at the UCI, but due to an administrative mistake one document wasn't part of the file,” the team said in a press release Tuesday evening. “The UCI knows this, the document will be provided this week, so next season Lotto Belisol can be active on the highest level.”

    The UCI confirmed that documents were missing from Lotto's application, and told Cyclingnews that if all supporting documents are not provided, “they are simply not on the list, and their rider are free to break their contracts."

    The application process ends on November 1.

  • Tiernan-Locke signs for Team Sky

    Race leader Jonathan Tiernan Locke goes to sign in
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 11:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Two-year deal for Tour of Britain winner

    Team Sky has announced the long-awaited signing of Jonathan Tiernan-Locke from Endura Racing. The 27-year-old climber put pen to paper on a two-year-deal.

    Tiernan-Locke has enjoyed a remarkably successful season, winning a stage and the overall title at the Tour de Mediterranean. He followed that up with the overall win in the Tour du Haut Var. Another overall title, and two stages, at the Tour Alsace followed before a winning performance in the Tour of Britain last month. The early form led to Tiernan-Locke stating that he would "be doing weekly, or bi-weekly blood tests. Like I said, whatever it takes," after unfounded rumours sprung up in relation to his strong form.

    “It’s an incredible opportunity for me to step up from the UCI Continental ranks, and although I’ve really enjoyed my time at Endura, I couldn’t pass up the chance to join the world’s best team,” Tiernan-Locke said in a press release.

    “When you look at the season Team Sky have had, to even be considered by them was a massive honour for me, so I’m over the moon to be riding for them in 2013.”

    Sky’s Dave Brailsford, who picked up interest in Tiernan-Locke during the Spring added: “At Team Sky we are determined that the best British talent have the opportunities to compete at the highest level of our sport. We have monitored Jonathan’s progress closely and are delighted to offer him this contract.

    "He has worked hard to get himself to where he is today and deserves his chance to compete against the very best cyclists in the world.

    “Next season will be a great opportunity for him. We...

  • Roelandts starts and finishes year with hospital and broken bones

    Jurgen Roelandts (Lotto Belisol Team) took the points classification
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 13:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Lotto rider suffered triple collarbone fracture

    Jürgen Roelandts has finished his season as he began it: in hospital with a fractured bone. The Lotto Belisol ride broke a cervical vertebra in his first race of the season, the Tour Down Under, and has now fractured collarbone at the Binche-Tournai-Binche. He now faces three weeks off the bike before a well-deserved vacation.

    Only two days after taking the overall title in Franco-Belge, Roelandts crashed in Binche-Tournai-Binche. “It was a Cancellara break,” said team doctor Jan Mathieu, as the right collarbone was broken in three places. “What a waste, that he again had such a stupid crash, but if it had to happen, better now than in the spring.”

    The Tour Down Under crash kept him out of racing for over four months, as complications occurred. A thrombosis which put him back in hospital “taught me perspective. I twice went through the eye of the needle,” Roelandts told Het Nieuwsblad.

    After a series of promising results after returning to racing, including winning a stage at the Tour of Luxembourg, the 27-year-old went on to win the first stage of Franco-Belge and held on to take the overall title. That made him a favourite to win the next race, but things went differently.

    "He knew instantly that his collarbone was broken," said sports director Bart Leysen. "'I heard the crack' he told me. Jürgen is normally in all circumstances a very quiet boy, but he was furious because immediately an enthusiastic fan was trying to help him. He had himself under control again very quickly. “

    Surgery was successful and Roelandts has returned home to recuperate. Leysen suggested that the rider be named “Unluckiest Belgian of the year”.

  • Phinney on the hunt for stage wins at Tour of Beijing

    Taylor Phinney (BMC).
    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 18:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Cummings, Frank options for general classification

    Recently crowned world time trial silver medallist Taylor Phinney (BMC) will be on the hunt for stage wins at the 2012 Tour of Beijing, October 9-13, while the US ProTeam will look to Vuelta a España stage winner Steve Cummings plus Mathias Frank for general classification options.

    For the first time since his narrow five-second loss to Tony Martin at the UCI time trial world championships in the Netherlands, Phinney will line-up against the Omega Pharma-QuickStep German who returns to China as the reigning Tour of Beijing champion.

    Last year's Tour of Beijing general classification was decided on the opening 11.3km time trial but this year's five-stage event, comprised solely of road stages, provides no such opportunity to parlay their prowess against the clock into a general classification advantage. Phinney, however, will draw from his strong Classics-style racing form to contend for stage wins.

    "We'll take things day-by-day when it comes to the stages, but always keep an eye on the overall," said BMC directeur sportif Max Sciandri. "The first day will be a flat day with a sprint. We have Phinney and [Klaas] Lodewyck for that. The next stage will be harder so that's when we will start to see what we can do on the overall classification. Unfortunately for us, there's no time trial this year."

    Cummings, winner of stage 13 at this year's Vuelta a España, finished fourth overall at last year's inaugural Tour of Beijing based on his performance in the opening stage time...

  • Koch joins Cannondale Pro Cycling for 2013

    Article published:
    October 04, 2012, 19:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Squad signs its 23rd rider for next season

    Cannondale Pro Cycling signed Michel Koch, a 21-year-old German rider from the LKT-Brandenburg continental team, for the 2013 season. In 2012, the team has been known as Liquigas-Cannondale.

    With two wins to his name in 2012 - the team pursuit at the national track championship and the Rund um den Bramscher Berg - plus third place at the German under 23 time trial championship, Koch will beef up the crew of rouleurs in 2013 team. Koch's palmares also includes victory at the junior national time trial championship in 2009.

    Following Koch's signing, the Cannondale Pro Cycling now has a squad of 23 riders for 2013: 19 have been confirmed from the current Liquigas-Cannondale team plus the latest arrivals - Alessandro De Marchi, Matthias Krizek and Cameron Wurf.