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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Date published:
August 17, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Fischer renews with Garmin-Transitions

    Murilo Fischer (Garmin-Transitions)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 3:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Van der Velde searching for new team

    Garmin-Transitions hasn’t been as big a feature in the rider transfer market this year as it was in 2009, but the team is quietly going about its business to secure its roster for 2011. The latest rider to re-sign with Jonathan Vaughters’ squad is Brazilian Murilo Fischer, who has reportedly penned a deal for the next two season.

    Speaking to Brazilian website UOL, Fischer said he’s pleased with his first season at the American squad having ridden for Liquigas for three years. “I’m very happy with what I found here,” he said. “If I could choose, I’d renew for another 10 years.”

    Fischer rode the Giro d’Italia in May before going on to win the Brazilian road championship in June. The 31-year-old joined a professional team for the first time in 2004, having first come onto the international scene at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in Australia.

    Meanwhile the squad hasn’t renewed the contract of 23-year-old Ricardo van der Velde. The Dutch rider announced on Twitter at the weekend that he’s hunting for a new squad. “Officially looking for a new team!,” he wrote.

  • 14 teams apply for 8 remaining ProTour places

    Competition for ProTour places is fierce
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 10:18 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Cervelo TestTeam opts to remain a Pro Continental team for 2011

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced the names of teams that have applied for a ProTour licence for 2011.

    With ten teams already in possession of valid licences for next season, there are eight remaining free berths at the sport’s highest level. Fourteen teams have put themselves forward for consideration.

    Of the fourteen, eight already have ProTour licences that expire at the end of this season. These include the Footon-Servetto team that will be sponsored by Geox, and Telefonica Movistar, who replaces Caisse d’Epargne as title sponsor of the Spanish-based team. The former Milram team has also applied for ProTour status under the name of its organising structure Velocity, although it still has to reveal if it has secured sponsorship for next season. Astana, Euskaltel-Euskadi, FDJ, Liquigas-Doimo and HTC-Columbia have also all applied to renew their expiring licences.

    A further six teams that are not part of the 2010 ProTour in 2010 have submitted applications for 2011. Jean-René Bernaudeau confirmed last week that his BBox-Bouygues Telecom outfit had applied for ProTour status and fellow French squad Cofidis has followed suit. The BMC Racing team has applied for consideration, while Dutch squad Vacansoleil, who missed out on selection for all three major Tours in 2010, hopes to secure ProTour status for 2011.

    Two new outfits have also submitted applications: the as-yet unnamed Luxembourg team, expected to feature the Schleck brothers, and Pegasus Sports, the organisation behind the Australian Fly V team. Regardless of the success of its application, Fly V's stated aim is to ride the 2011 Tour de France.

    Cervelo TestTeam has elected not to apply and will continue as a Pro Continental team in 2011. The team aims to finish among the top seventeen ranked teams in the world this season and so guarantee its place in the three grand Tours next year. The team will again rely on the strength of...

  • Cavendish back in action in Italy

    Mark Cavendish (HTC - Columbia) lets everyone know this is his fifth stage victory of the Tour.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 10:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    HTC-Columbia sprinter rides the Tre Valli Varesine

    Mark Cavendish is riding his first race since the Tour de France today as he begins his build-up to the Vuelta a España and the world road race championships in Australia.

    Cavendish is riding the Tre Valli Varesine race in northern Italy along with most of the HTC-Columbia riders who will also ride the Vuelta. These include Matt Goss, Bernard Eisel, Hayden Roulston and Martin Velits. It is Cavendish's first race in Italy since Milan-San Remo in March.

    The Tre Valli Varesine is the first race of the so-called 'Trittico Lombardo', a group of three one-day races held in northern Italy. The series continues with the Coppa Agostoni on Wednesday and the Coppa Bernocchi on Thursday. Cavendish will miss the Coppa Agostoni but will ride the flatter Coppa Bernocchi that often ends in a sprint.

    The Tre Valli Varesine is a testing hilly race and Cavendish is not expected to challenge for victory but will be looking to test his legs, three weeks after winning the last stage on the Champs Elysees in Paris on July 25.

    Cavendish's sprint rival and recent winner of the Vattenfall Cyclassics race Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) is also riding the Tre Valli Varesine after a late change to his race programme.

    Also on the start list are Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo), 2009 winner Mauro Santambrogio (BMC), recent Tour of Poland winner Dan Martin (Garmin-Transitions), Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Farnese Vini) and Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri).

    The race starts in the Campione d'Italia enclave on Lake Lugano and finishes in Varese.

    There will be a full report and a photo gallery here on Cyclingnews later today.

  • McQuaid suggests US Postal investigation sparked by personal vendetta

    UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 11:14 BST
    Barry Ryan

    UCI President bemoans public nature of inquiry

    International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid has bemoaned the fact that the federal investigation into allegations of systematic doping in the US Postal Service team is taking place “in the public arena” and suggested that it has its genesis in a personal vendetta. He also said that the UCI has not been contacted by federal investigators in relation to the inquiry.

    “To some extent, when you look at the way the investigation has come about, you have to ask whether there is a genuine investigation or whether there are vendettas going on here,” McQuaid said in an interview with the Associated Press from the Youth Olympic Games in Singapore. “From that point of view, it’s unfortunate that people who could have approached this in a completely different way didn’t do so. They just went public.”

    The investigation was sparked by Floyd Landis’ allegations of doping practices in his former team, which were made in a series of e-mails leaked on the eve of the Tour of California. Landis has since reiterated his allegations in television and print interviews, as well as frankly admitting to his own history of doping. “It’s an investigation that has taken place in the public arena, which was unnecessary,” said McQuaid.

    In an interview with the Wall Street Journal in July, Landis also claimed that the UCI had covered up a positive test by Lance Armstrong at the Tour de Suisse in exchange for donations towards its anti-doping programme from the American.

    McQuaid was quick to deny such a positive test or any such collusion between the organising body and its most valuable commodity. “The fact is we were accused of possibly hiding a positive control because we received money. The fact is we didn’t hide a positive control. The fact is there was no positive control, and the fact is that Lance Armstrong has never been controlled...

  • Riccò signs with Vacansoleil

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 11:37 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Controversial Italian hopes to debut with Dutch team at Sunday’s GP Plouay

    The Vacansoleil team has announced the signing of Riccardo Riccò. The controversial Italian, who tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France, will ride for the Dutch-based team for two years and will make his debut in the blue and yellow Vacansoleil colours at the GP Plouay next Sunday if his licence is processed in time by the UCI.

    Riccò told Gazzetta dello Sport that he had signed for Quick Step last Friday but the deal fell through and Vacansoleil moved quickly to sign Riccò.

    "The last week it all developed really quickly while we were looking for a real climber in add to our team for 2011. After we consulted the main sponsor Vacansoleil we decided to meet Riccò. The meeting made us decide to go for it," team manager Daan Luijkx said in a statement.

    "We share the ambition and way of racing with him. If you look at the way he won the Tour of Austria, with blood all over his face after a crash but still made it to the finish, you know he is a special rider.”

    “In 2010 we must look at Riccò as a rider who paid his debt and look to the future. In the last few years several riders were able to contribute to clean cycling after being suspended, Riccardo has to be in that group. There are not many riders who can finish in the top 3 of a major Tour and Riccò is one of them.”

    “Our main sponsor and team believe that after being punished, Riccò, like everyone else, deserves a second chance. Riccò agreed, like all riders, on immediate termination of its contract and the payment of an astronomical amount in case of misbehaviour. Examples of misbehaviour can be found in actions which bring the team in discredit and/or the failure to comply with internal regulations. Let's await his UCI registration and see if he is able to make his debut at GP Plouay were we will immediately see his high level."

    Riccò underwent a medical...

  • Farrar looks forward to Vuelta and Worlds

    Race winner Tyler Farrar (Garmin - Transitions) makes his way to the podium.
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 11:59 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Vattenfall winner continues preparation at Tre Valli Varesine

    After his winning ride in the Vattenfall Cyclassics on Sunday, Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) will head to today’s Tre Valli Varesine in fine form as he prepares to tune his preparation for the Vuelta and world championships.

    The American sprinter won his second Vattenfall title in as many years, and it marked a winning return to racing after a difficult July.

    Farrar went into this year’s Tour de France as the man most likely to challenge Mark Cavendish’s superiority in the sprints but a crash on stage 2 wrecked his chances, and despite bravely continuing to race for two weeks with a fractured wrist, he was forced to pull out of the race with a week to go.

    “My Tour was a bit of a disaster,” he told Cyclingnews. “So getting things back on track and getting a big win has helped me to feel solid and confident again going into the end of the season.”

    After missing the final week of the Tour, Farrar took time to recover before making a comeback at the Tour of Denmark earlier in the month. However with his eyes firmly fixed on the Vuelta and then the worlds in Australia, the American is relishing his next set of goals.

    “The two big remaining goals are the Vuelta and the Worlds and these one days races are final tuning before Spain starts, where I’ll be chasing some stages. Hopefully I can come out of there with good form,” he said.

    The World Championships course is still unknown to most of the European peloton. When the course was announced it was perceived that the route favoured the bunch sprinters but since then perceptions have changed, with the consensus being that the course is too hard for a sprint. For now though, Farrar is reserving judgement until he sees the course but should it suit him that the US team will be working for him.

    “I’ll finally get a look at the Worlds course instead of relying on second hand information...

  • Frattini returns to his climbing roots with UnitedHealthcare

    Davide Frattini (Team Type 1).
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 12:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian to participate in international stage races

    Davide Frattini is a recent addition to the UnitedHealthcare p/b Maxxis squad as it prepares to jump from its current Continental status to the Professional Continental ranks in 2011. The Italian hopes to capitalize off his former European stage racing experience to bring the squad success in its international endeavors.

    “It is a big motivation for me,” Frattini said. “I competed for a high-level team in Italy with Alessio before I started racing in the States. Having a second chance to race in Europe again more often is an extra motivation for me to do well.”

    Frattini joins the team after a five-year term with the former US-based Colavita-Sutter Home squad from 2005-09. This year he is racing under the Team Type 1 banner where he captured the King of the Mountains jersey at the NRC Redlands Bicycle Classic, a podium at the UCI Vuelta Mexico Telmex and consistent top ten performances at the UCI Qinghai Lake International Cycling Race.

    “I have to say thank you to Team Type 1 for having me be a part of their team this year,” Frattini said. “I think UnitedHealthcare is a great team and its management company [Momentum Sports Group] has done a great job with the other teams it has run in the past. They have always had a great program and strong riders so it was a nice opportunity for me to join that team for next year.”

    Frattini is remembered for his win at the Under 26 ‘Baby’ Giro d’Italia in 2001 and his two-year stint with the now disbanded Italian Division 1 team Alessio.

    “When I raced in Europe I was more of a stage race guy because we don’t have anything like criteriums in Italy,” Frattini said. “When I came to the US the teams here were more interested in criterium racing so I lost a lot of my climbing skills. In the last two years I have been working on my climbing skills again for stage races and have been less focused on the...

  • Da Ros gets suspension reduced to four years

    Italy's Gianni Da Ros, 23, receives 20-year ban
    Article published:
    August 17, 2010, 15:32 BST
    Laura Weislo

    20-year ban for trafficking cut by CAS

    Italian Gianni Da Ros will not have to serve a 20-year suspension for trafficking in banned substances, the Court of Arbitration for Sport decided.

    The court partially upheld the appeal by Da Ros, who asked to have the ban reduced to two years.

    Da Ros was arrested in March, 2009 as part of a large operation by the Italian police to stop the distribution of doping products in fitness clubs.

    In November, 2009, the Anti-Doping Tribunal of the National Olympic Committee of Italy (CONI) found him guilty of several WADA code violations, including the use, possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances and imposed a 20-year ban.

    The CAS said it "confirmed the existence of the infractions committed by the Athlete", which reportedly included the use and distribution of Human Growth Hormone.

    However, the court "considered that a twenty-year ban was not justified and has reduced it to a period of four years which corresponds to the standard suspension provided by Article 10.3.2 of the World Anti-Doping Code."

    Da Ros will be eligible to race again March 11, 2013, four years after he was first excluded from competition by his Liquigas team. He will be 26 years old when he returns.