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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 20, 2012

Date published:
September 20, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Txurruka released by Euskaltel

    Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in the day's break
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 4:49 BST
    Peter Cossins

    New era at Basque team starts with the departure of popular domestique

    Five seasons after becoming the first rider from the Euskaltel-Euskadi team to finish on the Tour de France podium when he claimed the prize as the 2007 edition's most aggressive rider, Amets Txurruka has been told that he is surplus to requirements by the Basque squad. According to a story in Basque daily Deia, the 29-year-old domestique received the news in a phone call from returning team manager Igor González de Galdeano.

    Deia reports that the primary reason for the termination of Txurruka's six-year link with the team is his lack of WorldTour points. Having been reappointed to the position he left at the end of 2011 by the recently established management company that will run the team from next season, González de Galdeano's main priority initially is to ensure Euskaltel's continued presence in the WorldTour. This is certain to depend on the signing of non-Basque riders who have WorldTour points. Consequently, some established names are being released to accommodate the as yet unidentified new arrivals.

    As Deia points out in a vigorous defence of Txurruka's position and status within the Euskaltel team, the WorldTour points system penalises domestiques, those riders who do the essential legwork for bigger names. It points out that Txurruka rode all three grand tours this season in support of Euskaltel's leaders. He finished 42nd at the Giro, where he supported Mikel Nieve, crashed out of the Tour in the first week when he broke his collar-bone for the fourth time in three years, then returned at the Vuelta, where he finished 30th as one of the key aides to

  • Neo-pro Bardet extends with Ag2r La Mondiale till 2014

    Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) on the attack.
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 6:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Talented Frenchman impresses in first year at senior ranks

    Romain Bardet is already confirmed to ride for Ag2r La Mondiale next year after signing a standard two-year deal as a neo-professional however, his performances this season have been so impressive that his team confirmed an extension of his contract on, keeping him on the French-based outfit until 2014.

    "It is with great pleasure that we have extended our contract with Romain. He is a talented rider who has a promising future. Moreover, he is a product of our training centre and it is a logical follow-up to continue this adventure with him. He will be given some opportunities in the future to demonstrate his qualities and to express his talent at the highest level within our group. Romain is a guy who has everything that is needed to make his mark at the Ag2r La Mondiale team," said team manager Vincent Lavenu.

    At just 21-years-old Romain Bardet is one of the many exciting young French riders to enter the professional ranks and immediately show their talents. It was at this year’s Amstel Gold that he really displayed his potential. Riding in his longest race at the time he entered the day’s breakaway and was the last rider to be caught after more than 200km off the front, just after the penultimate climb and inside the final 15km. He hung onto the group of favourites to finish a credible 25th.

    "I’m very pleased with the confidence I receive from Vincent Lavenu and the Ag2r La Mondiale team. Then, I can get an ideal setting for further progress and I’m glad to pursue the adventure with this team. I...

  • Armitstead withdraws from worlds with illness

    Lizzie Armitstead (Great Britain) has spoken out against inequality after winning silver in the 2012 Olympic road race
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 7:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Great Britain down to five riders

    The Great Britain women's team has been dealt a blow with the news that Olympic silver medalist Lizzie Armitstead will not be racing on Saturday.

    "Lizzie Armitstead has withdrawn from the UCI Road World Championships on Saturday due to illness. The team have decided not to call in a reserve rider at this stage," explained a short GB Cycling press release.

    The cause of Armiststead's illness is not known.

    Great Britain will now be reduced to just five riders - Katie Colclough, Nicole Cooke, Nikki Harris, Sharon Laws and Emma Pooley who is one of the contenders for the 129 kilometre race.

    The federation had been allocated the maximum seven riders however only selected six.


  • Liquigas-Cannondale becomes Cannondale Pro Cycling for 2013

    Green jersey Peter Sagan (Liquigas - Cannondale)
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 9:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Product development key to strong team relationship

    After announcing the recent acquisition of Liquigas Sport by Brixia, the team known as Liquigas-Cannondale will become Cannondale Pro Cycling Team in 2013. It will be the first time Cannondale has title-sponsored a ProTeam and seemed a fitting next step for the brand that has enjoyed a strong relationship with the squad managed by Roberto Amadio.

    "We are continuing our product development emphasis. We are true believers in developing products with world-class athletes. We have had a good relationship with the team management for six years. From technical partner to co-title sponsor, this is the next logical step," said Cannondale General Manager Bob Burbank.

    The significant increase in investment comes off the back of another successful year for the team which has achieved 36 professional victories so far this season. A major highlight being Peter Sagan’s three stage wins on his way to capturing the green jersey at this the Tour de France while his teammate Vincenzo Nibali was a finished on the podium in third-place overall.

    While Nibali will leave the team at the end of this season, the likes of Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani and the experienced Ivan Basso will continue to lead the team which is ranked in second place in the UCI’s team ranking. The team has already announced a number of new sigings for 2013 including the return of former Liquigas-Cannondale rider Cameron...

  • Madariaga: Cabedo’s death is a tremendous blow

    Victor Cabedo (Orbea Continental) on the podium
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 13:25 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Euskaltel-Euskadi riders send a message of farewell to their teammate

    Euskaltel-Euskadi manager Miguel Madariaga has said that hearing about the death of Víctor Cabedo on Wednesday afternoon was his worst moment during his long career in the sport. Madariaga received the news from Euskaltel team leader Samuel Sánchez, who was a close friend of Cabedo and rode with the 23-year-old at last week’s Tour of Britain.

    “This is very hard to take,” Madariaga told El Correo. “There have been some other very difficult moments, but we have never had to deal with the death of a young man.”

    “This team is a family and this has been a tremendous blow. We don’t know exactly what happened. I have spoken with his brother and he told me that Víctor was in a head-on collision with a car and died instantly,” Madariaga explained.

    Cabedo, who hailed from Onda in south-east Spain, was just the third non-Basque rider to appear in Euskaltel’s ranks following Iñigo Cuesta and 2008 Olympic champion Sánchez. Like those two and many others from all around Spain, he started his career in the Basque Country, before signing with Euskaltel this season. “He had a big future ahead of him. He was aiming high. Even though he was only 23, he was already a great professional,” said Sánchez. “He paid attention to everything and learned a lot. He was serious and educated.”

    The whole Euskaltel team paid tribute to their fallen comrade in an open letter, which reads: “We have received the sad news of the death of our comrade Víctor. Without knowing very well what to say, as we have no words, your companions on the roads of the world would like to express our condolences to your family and friends. You are leaving us at the age of 23 with your sporting and...

  • Dowsett happy with time trial performance

    Alex Dowsett in action
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 13:49 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Briton follows power strategy instead of chasing speed

    Great Britain’s Alex Dowsett bettered his own expectations with eighth place in the elite men’s time trial at the world championships in Valkenburg.

    The Team Sky rider was the only competitor from Great Britain to take part after Chris Froome dropped out earlier in the week. Dowsett had talked about a top ten place before the 45.7-kilometre test...

  • Kimmage receives UCI subpoena

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 14:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Court date set for Rough Ride author

    Paul Kimmage has received a subpoena from the Swiss district court that will hear the defamation proceedings instigated against him by current UCI president Pat McQuaid, his predecessor Hein Verbruggen and the UCI itself.

    Kimmage confirmed to Cyclingnews that he received a subpoena on Wednesday from the Est Vaudois district court, which is based in Vevey, near UCI headquarters at Aigle. The case is to be heard on December 12.

    McQuaid and Verbruggen launched their action in January of this year, seeking damages of 8,000 Swiss Francs each from Kimmage. They have also demanded that Kimmage take out advertisements in the international media publicising the court’s final order.

    In January, a UCI spokesman told Cyclingnews that the action had been taken because “Mr. McQuaid cannot allow for him or the UCI to be called corrupt.”

    It is understood that the UCI’s action was triggered by Kimmage’s body of work for The Sunday Times newspaper, which includes an extensive interview with Floyd Landis published in January 2011, and in response to criticism of the UCI that Kimmage expressed in an interview with L’Équipe. However, the UCI has not requested damages from L’Équipe or The Sunday Times, but only from Kimmage. The Irishman left The Sunday Times at the end of 2011.

    The UCI has summoned the following witnesses: Swiss Cycling federation president Richard Chassot; Daniel Malbranque, president of the CPA (Cyclistes Professionels Associes); Alan Rushton, who ran the Nissan Classic with Pat McQuaid in the 1980s and whose work now includes a role in the organisation of the Tour of Beijing; former Liberty Seguros manager Pablo Anton; former Tour de Romandie organiser and UCI disciplinary committee member Claude Jacquat; former Milram manager Gerry Van Gerwen and former UCI director general Jean-Pierre Strebel.

    Kimmage’s former Sunday Times colleague...

  • Operacion Puerto trial to finally begin in January

    Dr Eufemiano Fuentes
    Article published:
    September 20, 2012, 16:08 BST
    Cycling News

    35 riders and police called as witnesses

    Almost seven years after police discovered hundreds of bags of blood in a Madrid clinic during the Operacion Puerto doping investigation, Dr Eufemiano Fuentes and five others will finally go on trial, starting January 28, 2013.

    According to a report in the Spanish El Pais newspaper, Eufemiano and Yolanda Fuentes, José Luis Merino Batres, trainer Ignacio Labarta, former ONCE team manager Manolo Saiz and former Kelme manager Vicente Belda risk a two-year prison sentence if found guilty. Doping was not a crime in Spain at the time of the raids and so the Puerto six have been accused of crimes against public health.

    The numerous high-profile athletes involved in Operacion Puerto will not go on trial. However 35 people –including Alberto Contador, Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi, Joseba Beloki, Angel Vicioso, Isidro Nozal, Unai Osa, Jorg Jacksche, Gianpaolo Caruso and Jesus Manzano –who denounced the huge doping scheme after risking his life following treatment, have all been called to give evidence under oath during the trial. The 13 Spanish police officers who carried out the raid will also give evidence. It is not clear if Tyler Hamilton will be called as a witness after recently confessing in his book to working with Fuentes during his time at Team CSC.

    The UCI, WADA, the Italian Olympic Committee, Manzano, the Spanish Cycling Federation and the AIGCP -the international association of professional cycling teams are all third party to the trial, along side the Spanish state.

    Operacion Puerto lifted the lid on the use of blood doping, revealing that that riders...