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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Date published:
November 27, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Fränk Schleck at RadioShack-Nissan team gathering

    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 9:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Luxembourg team still with no word on 2013 licence

    Team RadioShack-Nissan is holding its first team get-together for the 2013 season, with Fränk Schleck in attendance. Meanwhile, the team still does not have the final word on its licence for the coming year, as the UCI did not make any announcements on the matter Monday, as expected.

    The team is meeting from Monday evening through Thursday in Clerf, Luxembourg, for the riders to get to know one another and to grow together as a team, according to Americans Matthew Busche and Ben King, and New Zealanders George Bennett, Hayden Roulston and Jesse Sergeant, are not attending. They will, however, attend the team's training camp in Javea, Spain, next month.

    Fränk Schleck is at the meetings. He is currently awaiting a ruling from the Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency for his positive test for Xipamide from the Tour de France. The UCI did not suspend him for that positive test, although he voluntarily withdrew from the Tour and has not raced since.

    The team also still does not have the final word on its licence for the coming season, although team owner Leopard SA has a valid WorldTour licence through 2014.  In early November, the UCI said that RadioShack, as well as several other teams, must undergo further examination by the Licence Commission.

    An decision from the UCI regarding licence approvals was due to have been made on Monday, November 26 UCI while the final line-up for the WorldTour will be decided on December 10.

  • Nibali wins Giglio d'Oro award

    Vincenzo Nibali and Alfredo Martini
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 10:30 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian checks out Florence Worlds course during visit to Tuscany

    Vincenzo Nibali has been awarded the prestigious Giglio d'Oro award in Tuscany, in recognition of his successful 2012 season in which he won Tirreno-Adriatico, finished second at Liege-Bastogne-Liege and ended up third in the Tour de France.

    The 28-year-old from Sicily has emerged as the best Italian rider of his generation and confirmed he will target the Giro d'Italia in 2013 before possibly riding the Vuelta a Espana to prepare for the world championship in Florence. Victories in a Classic and at the Worlds are his major goals.

    "I'm honoured to win the Giglio d'Oro for a second time because I lived in Tuscany for 10 years and feel at home here," Nibali told Cyclingnews during the award ceremony.

    "I've won the Vuelta, and the Giro will be a big goal next year but I also hope to win a Classic. I was close last year at Milan-San Remo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. I'd love to win Liege next year or maybe the Amstel Gold Race or the Tour of Lombardy. 2013 will be important for me, and I'm already back on the bike to get ready for my debut with Astana at the Tour of San Luis in Argentina."

    Nibali attended the award ceremony but avoided the pasta and wild boar lunch to go training. He revealed that he used his return to Tuscany to study the Florence world championship course.

    "I knew most of the route, but went to ride it the other day. The main climb is tough, it's four kilometres long. The Worlds is a long race and there are a lot of laps to cover, so it's going to be a selective race," Nibali told Cyclingnews.

    "There's a also a fast descent and then a final one-kilometre climb that kicks up at 15 percent. There's no comparison to this year's course. It's a lot harder and the climb is a lot different to the...

  • Greipel looking to Milan-San Remo in 2013

    Andre Greipel is quite optimistic before the race
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 10:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour Down Under stage win “would be nice”, too

    André Greipel is training his sights on the Classics in the early part of 2013. The German sprinter, who enjoyed a fine 2012 season at Lotto-Belisol, is getting ready for the forthcoming campaign after a short break.

    “My first race of 2013 is probably the Tour Down Under," Greipel told "Then maybe the Tour of the Algarve and some Belgian races. A stage win in Australia would be nice, but my first major goals of 2013 are Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and Milan-San Remo."

    The 30-year-old opened his 2012 campaign, as he so often has before, at the Tour Down Under, where he won three stages. The highlight of his season was taking three stage wins at the Tour de France. In all he took 19 wins in 2012, more than anyone else, to compile the most successful season of his career to date.

    On Monday, he and teammate Marcel Sieberg underwent fitness and cycling tests at the Energy Lab in Paal, Belgium. “Such a test is important to know where you stand. I know the results are not detailed yet, but I can already say that I feel better than this time last year.”

    Greipel ended his 2012 season last month at the Münsterland Giro. “"In October, the season ended for me. Actually, I never completely stopped, you should always try to maintain that condition."

    He has now joined his teammates for team building in Zeeland, Netherlands, to be followed by a later training camp in Mojocar, Spain.

  • Gasparre blames doping for causing tumour

    Graziano Gasparre called time on his professional career in 2009.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 11:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former European champion undergoes surgery

    Former European under-23 champion Graziano Gasparre, who underwent surgery to remove a tumour in Reggio Emilia last week, has blamed doping for causing the growth, according to Gazzetta dello Sport, ANSA and a number of other Italian sources.

    Gasparre, who raced for Mapei, De Nardi and Amore & Vita during a professional career that lasted from 2001 to 2009, had a tumour removed from his left buttock last Friday. The 34-year-old Italian is now awaiting the histology report.

    “The operation went as expected and I must thank my mother who has been so close to me in this difficult time, as well as Professor Ghinelli and his medical team,” Gasparre said.

    Gasparre is reported to have told his former manager at Amore & Vita, Ivano Fanini, that he believes the tumour was a consequence of doping during his racing career.

    “If today I’m stricken by this problem, it’s probably the fault of doping,” Gasparre told Fanini, according to Gazzetta. “For many years, to remain at a certain level, I had to adhere to the system, ruining my health and not just that.”

    Gasparre won the European championships in Kielce, Poland in 2000, capping a hugely successful final season as an amateur that also saw him win the Giro delle Regioni and Ronde de l’Isard stage races.

    As a neo-professional at Mapei, he won a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir and twice completed the Giro d’Italia during his spell at De Nardi. ANSA notes that Gasparre has provided information to anti-doping investigators in Florence in the past, and is due to publish a book on his experiences in cycling. Gasparre hung up his wheels in 2009.

  • Bronzini looks forward to 2013 with DTPC Honda

    Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora-Pasta Zara) moves up with her teammates.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 12:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Double world champion joins Wiggins-backed team

    Double world road champion Giorgia Bronzini is one of the star names confirmed for the new DTPC Honda team in 2013, a squad managed by Rochelle Gilmore and whose backers include Bradley Wiggins’ Wiggo Foundation.

    After taking back to back world titles in Geelong in 2010 and Copenhagen in 2011, Bronzini admitted that she was looking forward to riding without the weight of the rainbow jersey for the first time in two years.

    “I’m very enthusiastic about this new experience,” Bronzini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I feel ready for this step and I’m expecting a lot from next season. Without the rainbow jersey, I’ll have less pressure and more possibilities.”

    While the hilly nature of the Valkenburg world championships meant that a second title defence was always unlikely, Bronzini shone earlier in 2012, a season in which the London Olympics road race was the primary target.

    “The end of year report is good but not great,” she admitted. “I had five wins and 5th place in the Olympics but catching flu two days before the Worlds weighed on me.”

    The Piacenza native will begin her campaign at the Tour of Qatar on January 30 and she is looking forward to lining up in a team that features a number of riders who are aiming to transfer track success onto the road, notably Laura Trott, Dani King and Joanna Roswell, who captured the team pursuit for Britain at the London 2012 Olympics.

    “I know them well and I hope that they put the same work into the road that they did on the track,” said Bronzini, who applauded Bradley Wiggins’ decision to support a women’s team. “It’s a nice feeling, although...

  • German NADA asks CAS to review black light blood doping case

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 13:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Question of whether it was a doping violation before January 2011

    The German National Anti-Doping Agency will ask the Court of Arbitration for Sport to review whether the black light treatment of blood was a doping violation when it occurred before January 1, 2011. The German Sport Court (DIS) ruled that it was not a violation and dismissed charges against two unnamed cyclists, one of whom is believed to be Marcel Kittel of Argos-Shimano.

    Kittel has admitted that in 2008, when he was 18 years old, he had visited Dr. Andreas Franke at the Olympic support site in Erfurt, Germany, and underwent blood treatments. Franke treated a number of athletes in various disciplines by withdrawing blood, treating it with black light and then re-infusing it. Such a manipulation may be considered blood doping, but it is not known whether it would give any benefit.

    The DIS ruled earlier this month that these actions, when taken before January 1, 2011, were not a violation of anti-doping rules.  The NADA is now appealing that decision, to clarify the legal situation.

    The German sport court's decision sets a precedent, but that doesn't mean that we agree with it,” said the NADA's chief legal advisor, Dr. Lars Mortsiefer.  “We now want to have legal certainty on an international level for actions taken in the time period before 2011.”

  • Vos and Terpstra honoured at Dutch National Cycling Gala

    Marianne Vos (Rabobank) and Niki Terpstra (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 15:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rabobank receives lifetime achievement award

    Marianne Vos and Niki Terpstra were named best riders of the year at the Dutch Cycling Gala on Monday. There was little doubt Vos would take out the "Keetie van Oosten-Hage Trofee" for best female cyclist after a stellar season that included the Olympic road title and fine solo victory at the UCI Road World Championships. Current Dutch road champion Terpstra bested Robert Gesink and Bauke Mollema to win the "Gerrit Schulte Trofee" for top male cyclist.

    Rabobank was also honoured with a lifetime achievement award for the 17 years of support given to Dutch cycling through the various Rabobank-sponsored teams.

    "It has been a very difficult decision and we leave with a heavy heart," said Rabobank board member Piet Van Schijndel. "I've often been in the race, it was always exciting. I want to thank everyone who was involved with the team," he said to De Telegraaf.

    The 21-year-old Moreno Hofland was named "promise of the year". Hofland was the U23 Dutch national champion and took four additional victories throughout the season including a stage at the Tour de L’Avenir. He won the opening team time trial at Thüringen-Rundfahrt and finished second in stage 1.

    Arguably one of cycling’s most rounded athletes, Vos had a simple message after receiving her seventh trophy: "With passion and dedication, you can achieve a lot," she told De Telegraaf.

    Vos has won multiple Olympic and world titles for cyclo-cross, road and track. Five titles at the UCI...

  • Bellemakers to Lotto Belisol for one year

    Dirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet) won the sprint prize.
    Article published:
    November 27, 2012, 16:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider takes place left by Gianni Meersman

    Dirk Bellemakers has joined Lotto Belisol, filling the spot left vacant by the departure of Gianni Meersman. Bellemakers, who comes from Landbouwkrediet-Euphony, will look to strengthen the team's Classics squad.

    Sport manager Marc Sergeant said that Meersman's departure left the team short-handed. “Sometimes we ride a triple program and last season we saw that - keeping in mind possible injuries - a team of 28 riders isn't too much of a luxury."

    "With Dirk Bellemakers we take someone into the team of who we know that he is generous in his efforts for his teammates and who always has a positive mentality,” according to the team's press release. “He can go along in an early breakaway so his teammates are in a comfortable position, or he can be useful in the pursuit. Especially the Ardennes classics should suit him; and he's a training partner of Jelle Vanendert, so they already know each other very well."

    Bellemakers, 28, turned pro in 2003 with Van Vliet-EBH Advocaten, before signing with Landbouwkrediet in 2007. His contract with the Belgian Professional Continental team expires the end of this year, and he has now signed for one year with Lotto Belisol. He has two wins, the GP Stad Geraardsbergen in 2008, and the Sint-Elooisprijs Ruddervoorde in 2011.

    "Of course I am very happy with the opportunity that I am given. I have always kept on believing I would get a step higher and now it is up to me to grab that chance with both hands,” he said.

    “Going to a WorldTour team as a 28-year-old seems late, but because of finishing my studies in commercial economics I only have been putting everything on cycling since the last two years. That's why I think I can still make progression on many...