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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, October 6, 2011

Date published:
October 06, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • In-form Cooke finally gets a shot at Paris-Tours

    Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank-Sungard) before the start of stage one.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 1:51 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Saxo Bank Aussie set for mad dash home for Jayco Herald Sun Tour

    Baden Cooke is ready for the onslaught of jet lag he will face once he arrives back in Melbourne next Tuesday, but the opportunity to ride Sunday's 230 kilometre Paris-Tours was too good an opportunity to miss.

    The 2003 Tour de France green jersey winner will be at the start line in Voves for his penultimate appearance for Saxo Bank-SunGard, before a dash back to Australia that evening for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, where he will begin racing in Whittlesea, 24 hours after hitting the tarmac.

    "I'll be pretty jet-lagged I imagine," Cooke, who won the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in 2002, told Cyclingnews of his impending travel schedule.

    "It's tough but in the past I've always hated the fact that I couldn't do Paris-Tours and the Sun Tour so I'm not complaining too much because it's good that I can do both."

    Cooke has been enjoying a hot run of form in the lead up to the UCI Road World Championships last month, and then off the back of the race in Copenhagen. On Tuesday, the 32-year-old gutsed it out to finish second "by five centimetres" to Leopard-Trek's Rüdiger Selig at the Binche-Tournai-Binche.

    "I made the worlds a bit of a target and my form came up in time for that. I was pretty happy with how we went in the road race, we almost got there – you can't really complain about being beaten by [Mark] Cavendish," Cooke said of the Australian campaign which resulted in a silver medal for Matt Goss.

    With a hot field set to line-up for Paris-Tours on Sunday, Cooke will again have his work cut out for him with the Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), a resurgent Robbie...

  • International field cut from Australian Road Championships

    They're away, more than 160 riders leave Buninyong on the 163.2 kilometre 2011 Mars Australian Mens' Open Road Race Championship.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 3:13 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    'Quality of Australian talent' forces change

    Having long been a bone of contention among riders and fans alike, the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships will be run with entries no longer open to international riders.

    Race organisers have come under fire in recent years for allowing non-Australians to enter the race and then aid their trade teammates at the event held annually at Ballarat in Victoria. The historical city has been home to the titles since 2007 and will continue to be until at least 2015 after a six-year deal was signed for the 2010 event.

    "With the quality of Australian talent vying for the green and gold jersey, international cyclists are not considered integral to upholding the prestige of the Nationals and from 2012 the event has moved to an Australian only field," race organisers said in a statement today, announcing that the 2012 event will be held from Thursday, 5 to Tuesday, 10 January.

    In recent years there has only been one winner from the international contingent to have crossed the line ahead of the Australians at the championships with Great Britain's Jeremy Hunt pipping Jamie Drew in 2000.

    Two-time national champion Robbie McEwen has been one vocal opponent of the non-Australians entries, saying earlier this year that, "International riders have no business in another country's national championships and I would never ride someone else's national championships."

    McEwen, and several of his sprinting compatriots including Graeme Brown and Mark Renshaw have also been critical of the fixed 10.2 kilometre circuit that comprises the 163.2 kilometre road race.

    There was no indication in today's release that this too could change for the 2012 event. Road race, time trial and criterium titles are all contested for men and women in both elite and under 23 catergories.


  • Cheatley suffers career-threatening crash in Taranaki

    Cath Cheatley (Colavita-Forno d'Asolo) spent most of the race in one break or another.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 6:00 BST
    Cycling News

    New Zealand road champion facing long recovery

    Olympian Cath Cheatley is facing a long period of recovery and rehabilitation after her second major crash in the same number of years. Cheatley was competing in an event in Taranaki, New Zealand, when after tangling with another rider she crashed, and was seriously injured.

    28-year-old Cheatley spent this year racing with the Colavita Forno d'Asolo team and is coming off a succesful 2010 where she won the individual women's NRC.

    According to a release from BikeNZ Cheatley suffered multiple fractures of her hip and after initial surgery in Taranaki Base Hospital she was today airlifted to Auckland where she will face further operations.

    "It's a serious injury for sure and Cath will face more surgery now in Auckland," said her husband Dayle Cheatley. "It's pretty gutting because Cath was returning to full fitness after injuries affected her badly last year in the United States, but from all reports this accident was unavoidable.

    "Right now it is much too early to speculate about her future in the sport but we are hopeful she will make a full recovery."

    The current New Zealand road champion had only recently returned to racing following a previous accident in June, when she broke two bones in her pelvis.

  • UCI process to determine 2012 WorldTour teams underway

    UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 7:47 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Final decisions will not come until end of November

    The initial phase of applications and registration for WorldTour and Pro Contintental licenses has been finalied but a number of teams will need to wait until November 20 before the UCI's Licence Commission confirm the complete status of all WorldTour applicants.

    According to the UCI's handbook there are number of key dates for first and second division team applications in the coming weeks which will determine their future status.

    The first is October 15, when auditors Ernst & Young releases its initial report on the full documentation that was submitted by October 1. This information will be release to the teams and the UCI.

    Teams then have a short period to submit further and final documentation to Ernst & Young.

    This third party will study the financial documents and budgets proposed by applicants. They are also tasked with making sure that rider contracts comply with the UCI's regulations and that the bank guarantee is sufficient. For first division teams the guarantee stands at CHF 975,000, while second tier teams must find CHF 300,000.

    The Licence Commission also plays a key role in the process. The UCI handbook states that the commission "grants or withdraws the licences of a first division team," but that "the commission has a limited leeway in reaching these decisions, which must be based on objective information".

    The key element of this is that the UCI carries out its own evaluation of teams and then submits its appraisal of teams to the Commission. Whether or not the Commission has ever overturned a decision from the UCI is unknown.

    Sports, ethics, finance and admin

    Teams applying for licences are judged on four criteria: sporting, ethical financial and administration.

    On the sporting side a ranking of the top 15 teams is drawn up. The teams ranked from 16th-20th are then "assessed by the Licence Commission as regards to sporting criterion". Those...

  • Haedo brothers renew with Saxo Bank-SunGard

    JJ Haedo enjoyed his first Vuelta victory.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 10:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Juan Jose Haedo first Argentinian to win grand tour stage

    Juan Jose and Lucas Sebastian Haedo have re-signed with Saxo Bank-SunGard. The Argentinian fastmen will now remain with the Danish team until the end of 2012.

    "We have every reason to believe that the Haedo brothers will add victories to our palmares next year. At the same time both J.J. and Lucas are great guys to work with and they fit well on the team," said team owner Bjarne Riis.

    Juan Jose, 30 year, became the first Argentinian to win a grand tour stage when he won the sixteenth stage of this year's Vuelta a Espana.  He also won stages at Tirreno-Adriatico and the Ster ZLM Toer.

    "J.J. has proved he is a strong sprinter numerous times and added two big wins to his total this year. I truly believe there is more to come from him," Riis said.

    "I have had five great years with this team, and I'm happy to stay here for another season and keep developing as a rider. Now I really look forward to the coming season to try to win some big races and help my teammates to do so,” the elder Haedo said. “That's the thing with this team, we have a really nice rider group, and being part of this team and at the same time being able to race with my brother just makes it even more special."

    Lucas Sebastian Haedo, had a difficult season after being hit by a motorbike in Paris-Nice.  He was out of racing for nearly two months. Riis took that into consideration and said that “I think he deserved another chance to prove his ability to win races himself and to be a lead out rider for his teammates.”


  • Freire confirms he wants to race in 2012

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) gets out of the saddle
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 11:38 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Manager says negotiations with Rabobank broke down due to “misunderstanding”

    The saga of Oscar Freire’s plans for 2012 has taken another turn with his brother and manager, Antonio, insisting that the three-time world champion is not about to retire and does want to compete for one more season. Antonio Freire told Biciciclismo that negotiations with Rabobank ended due to a “misunderstanding” on the part of the Dutch team, who revealed yesterday [Wednesday] that they had withdrawn their offer to the Spaniard as a result of Freire’s suggestion to them that he was set to retire with immediate effect.

    According to Antonio Freire, his brother has taken “a firm decision” to continue racing next season with a view to taking part in the Olympics and having a final shot at the Worlds. Antonio Freire confirmed that there is no longer an offer on the table from Rabobank, with whom Oscar Freire has raced since 2003.

    Before the world championships last month, it was rumoured that Freire would only continue racing in 2012 if he was to win the rainbow jersey. On the eve of the race in Copenhagen, however, he told Cyclingnews that he would continue his career next season regardless of the result. The Spaniard went on to finish ninth in the Worlds behind Mark Cavendish having misjudged the final sprint.

    Antonio Freire said that he is hoping to talk to Rabobank team manager Erik Breukink in the coming days to assess whether there is still any interest on the part of the Dutch team in re-signing Freire. He added that if there is no interest from Rabobank, he will then approach other teams that had previously expressed an interest in signing the veteran sprinter.

    Movistar and Geox-TMC are likely to be top of that list given that both outfits have...

  • Sanctioned dopers can participate in Olympics, CAS rules

    A tired David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) couldn't repeat his Giro d'Italia triumph.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 11:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Ban is “invalid and unenforceable”

    Athletes who have served a suspension for doping will be allowed to participate in the Olympic games.  The Court of Arbitration for Sport today ruled that an International Olympic Committee regulation banning such athletes was “invalid and unenforceable.” 

    The ruling could mean that David Millar would be eligible to qualify for the British Olympic team for the 2012 London Olympics, for example. Currently, a British Olympic Association bylaw prevents athletes who have been found guilty of a doping offence from competing in the Olympics.

    In June 2008, the IOC's Executive Board adopted the so-called “Osaka Rule”,a regulation “prohibiting athletes who have been suspended for more than six months for an anti-doping rule violation from participating in the next Olympic Games following the expiration of their suspension.” This has now been overruled.

    The CAS panel “came to the conclusion that the 'Osaka Rule' was more properly characterized as a disciplinary sanction, rather than a pure condition of eligibility to compete in the Olympic Games.” Such a sanction does not comply with the World Anti-Doping Code, the panel ruled, “because it adds further ineligibility to the WADC anti-doping sanction after that sanction has been served.” In addition, “the 'Osaka Rule' is in fact a violation of the IOC’s own Statute and is therefore invalid and unenforceable.”

    If the IOC wants to exclude athletes who have been sanctioned for doping, it should propose an amendment to the World Anti-Doping Code, the CS noted. 

  • Sivtsov to Team Sky

    Kanstantsin Sivtsov (HTC-Highroad) is second on GC
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 13:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Belarusian allrounder from HTC-Highroad to British team

    Kanstantsin Sivtsov will ride for Team Sky in 2012. The British team announced the signing of the Belarusian rider from HTC-Highroad Thursday morning.

    He won the Worlds under 23 mens road race in 2004, and rode for one year with Fassa Bartolo, Acqua Sapone, and Barloworld before joining the then-Team Columbia in 2008.

    Sivtsov, 29, won the overall title at the Tour of Georgia that year, and in 2009 won the eighth stage of the 2009 Giro d'Italia in Bergamo after a 15km solo effort. This year he finished tenth overall in the Giro d'Italia, and won his national time trial title.

    “I am very happy to be joining Team Sky and look forward to riding with my new team-mates. The team is a strong one and I know a lot of the guys here already,” he said. “I have ridden in the past with Thomas Löfkvist, Michael Barry, Edvald Boasson Hagen, Michael Rogers and Morris Possoni, and they have all told me how good it is here in terms of the organisation and the way they look after you.

    “If I get the chance to show what I can do in the week-long stage races and one of the Grand Tours next year I will be very happy. It was great to finish in the top 10 of the Giro this year, and even though my legs weren’t all that good, I was also able to finish eighth at the Critérium du Dauphiné a few weeks later. Hopefully I will be able to ride even better next year if I have more team-mates there to support me in these types of races.”

    Team Sky is looking forward to “a versatile and strong rider who will be a fantastic addition to our team. He showed with his top-10 finish in arguably the hardest ever Giro d’Italia last May what an exciting talent he is,” said team...