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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Date published:
November 30, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • McQuaid fires back at Landis for cover-up comments

    UCI president Pat McQuaid denied Armstrong's donation was a bribe
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 8:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Calls American a liar, considers legal action

    Pat McQuaid has called Floyd Landis a “liar” and threatened to sue him for claiming the International Cycling Union (UCI) has protected riders over the years by covering up positive doping tests.

    On Sunday evening, on both German and French television, Landis claimed that “it is known in the peloton” that the UCI has “protected some people” over the years. He also accused the UCI of taking bribes, conducting cover ups and manipulating test results.

    "It's very easy for Floyd Landis to make statements like that with no proof.,” McQuaid told the Irish Independent newspaper.

    "Also, the journalist who interviewed him should have asked him for proof."

    "He has already proven to be a liar and continues to be a liar. There is no truth in it, absolutely no truth in it."

    The UCI president, who said he is considering legal action against Landis, said it would be “impossible to protect riders,” since the UCI is not the only agency to get the reports from the anti-doping tests. They are also sent to the World Anti-Doping Authority.

    "All you have to do is look at the amount of big names that have been found positive over the years to show that I don't protect anybody and the UCI doesn't protect anybody," said McQuaid .

    "Landis won the Tour and we went after him, Rasmussen was a Tour leader and we went after him, and now Contador. Landis talks about Clenbuterol being used. We've gone after Contador with only 50 pictograms of Clenbuterol in his system. This again proves that Landis' statement is complete fabrication."

  • Gesink looks back at mixed 2010 season

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 9:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    2010 good professionally, tough personally for Rabobank rider

    The 2010 season was the best on the bike for Robert Gesink of Rabobank, but a family tragedy ended his season early to overshadow his accomplishments. Now, some five weeks after his father's death, the 24-year-old is ready to return to cycling.

    On Monday night Gesink was given the award as Dutch male cyclist of the year. "At the sporting level, this was my best season, the toughest private,'' he said, according to the ANP news agency. “And it will still difficult for a while.”

    Gesink's father died at the end of October after a mountain bike crash. The young Dutchman flew home from the Tour of Lombardy, in which he was favoured to win, to be at his father's side after the accident.

    "It was a terrible experience. I had hoped for a happy ending. My father was my biggest fan."

    The season started out well for Gesink. He brought in a number of top ten finishes before his first win of the season, stage six of the Tour de Suisse. He attacked out of a group of favourites to overtake the remnants of the day's escape group and went on to a solo win on the mountain stage. It also put him into the leader's jersey, which he lost in the closing time trial, leaving him fifth overall.

    From there he headed to the Tour de France, and finished it for the first time. His sixth place overall was the highest finish by a Dutch rider in more than 10 years.

    Gesink's season then blossomed. He was seventh in the Clasica San Sebastian and third at the GP de Quebec, before moving back to the top of the podium. He won the GP de Montreal and the Giro dell'Emilia (for the second time), before having to rush home to his father's bedside.

    Following his father's death, Gesink concentrated on his family and home, working on the farm and making various repairs. “I think I'm fine now, “ he said. “It is good to be here.”

    His first public appearance was at the presentation of the...

  • Wiggins talks about his Tour de France failure

    Team Sky's marquee man Bradley Wiggins.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 11:05 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    The death of his grandfather ends self-pity

    Bradley Wiggins has revealed that the death of his grandfather a week after the Tour de France marked a turning point in his season and perhaps even his career, when he stopped wallowing in self-pity, threw off the air of pompousness he had been using as a protective shield since signing with Team Sky, and began accepting why he performed so poorly at the Tour.

    Speaking to the Guardian newspaper, Wiggins admitted it has taken him several months to get back to being his real self but is clearly happy to be back.

    "Something happened after the Tour that put it into perspective. All of a sudden I stopped wallowing in self-pity," he revealed to the Guardian.

    "I ended up in Hampstead for two weeks after the Tour, visiting a hospital every day, before my granddad died. But he was more than my granddad. He was like my father. He brought me up when Garry left," he said. "It made me realise there are many more important things than how I felt on the Tour – but it was also confusing. I'm not the most emotional person and I found it difficult to come to terms with his death. I find it hard to express grief. The way I tried to do it was by throwing myself into cycling – which meant [his wife] Cath didn't get me back for even longer."

    Wiggins’ acceptance of his failure began a few minutes after losing further time to the overall Tour contenders on stage 14 to Ax-3 Domaines.

    Before riding back down the mountain, Wiggins revealed his real emotions to the press for the first time. For most of the race he had tried to protect himself with a barrier, higher and more protective than the one Team Sky used to shield their riders as they warmed up for time trials. He threw in the towel on his Tour de France hopes that day but also lifted a huge weight of pressure and expectation from his own shoulders.

    "I just don't have the form. I'm not going to lie to you. I'm trying my hardest and just battling on,...

  • Cancellara confirmed with Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

    Fabian Cancellara
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 12:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    World time trial champion joins Schleck brothers in newly-formed team

    Fabian Cancellara has confirmed that he will ride for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project in 2011. He confirmed his signing to Sporza at a ceremony in Brussels, where he was given an award as cyclist of the year by the International Association of Cycling Journalists.

    The team later confirmed the contract will run for three-years and that the current world time trial champion is the last signing for the newly-formed team.

    "Signing a rider like Cancellara, we have added one of the most significant athletes and personalities in professional cycling,” said team manager Brian Nygaard. “He brings an amazing amount of depth and quality to the project and we’re extremely proud to have him on board.”

    "I had many interesting options, but in the end I knew that the project in Luxembourg would have all the ingredients I would need to continue improving myself without skipping a beat," Cancellara said. "It is a unique mix of familiar personalities with new surroundings which will ensure continuity while instilling a new motivation to make this project the most successful in cycling."

    "My goal of winning more monuments is still in the forefront of my mind. That would be a great accomplishment, and I wanted to come to a team that would provide the structure I would need to work meaningfully towards this.”

    "In addition to that, I’m happy that the team is perfectly placed to make its mark in the Grand Tours and most importantly find the top step on the Champs Elysées; to be a part of a Tour-winning team is one of the most beautiful accomplishments any pro cyclist can hope for."
    The riders and staff will gather for the first time in the Swiss ski resort of Crans Montana on December 6. Thanks to Cancellara’s results in 2009 and 2010, including his victories at the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, the team is ranked top of the UCI’s sporting criterion used to award ProTeam...

  • Riccò to ride Paris-Nice in 2011

    Thumbs up for Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 14:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian to publish blood values on line

    Riccardo Riccò’ has revealed he will begin his 2011 season in France and ride Paris-Nice as he continues trying to shake off the bad-boy image of the past.

    The Italian climber tested positive for CERA during the 2008 Tour de France and was banned from racing for 20 months but made a comeback with the Flaminia Ceramica team in the spring before joining the Vacansoleil team in the summer. He was given a two-month suspended prison sentence and fined 600 Euro in France for doping but has appealed against the sentence.

    Riccò raced mostly in Italy following his comeback this season but plans a more international calendar in 2011. He avoids saying he hopes to ride the Tour de France, while speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport, but Paris-Nice is also organised by ASO and he knows it could be an important step in securing him a place in Vacansoleil’s Tour squad.

    “Now we’ve got a ProTour licence and we’re twelfth in the new UCI ranking for next season, it should mean we’re in line to be invited to all the big races, even if nothing is certain,” he said.

    Riccò will make his season debut at the Tour du Mediterraneen (February 9-13) and then ride the Ruta del Sol in Spain (February 20-24), Paris-Nice (March 6-13) and Milan-San Remo (March 19). He will also ride the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya (March 21-27) before the Ardennes Classics and then the Giro d’Italia (May 7-29).

    With such an intense early season, he is already back in training, following a programme drawn up by new coach Professor Aldo Sassi.

    “I’ve been back on the bike for about 20 days, I’m just working steady,” Riccò said. “The work with Aldo Sassi is continuing and I’m happy with how things are going. I speak to him and his staff quite often. I’ve changed the way I train, adding more specific workouts but without turning things upside...

  • Acqua & Sapone riders meet up in Italy

    Stefano Garzelli (Acqua & Sapone) clowns around after being crowned King of Corones
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 15:51 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Napolitano amongst new arrivals for 2011

    The Italian Acqua & Sapone team has kicked off its preparation for the 2011 season with its first get together in Fondi, near Rome.

    The Italian team is ranked 25th in the UCI’s sporting criterion ranking for 2011, the best of the Italian Professional Continental teams, with Stefano Garzelli again set to be team leader.

    Classics rider Luca Paolini is set to ride for Astana alongside close friend Filippo Pozzato and Acqua & Sapone has also lost climber Francesco Masciarelli to the Kazakhstan squad. However new signings include Italian sprinter Danilo Napolitano,  Carlos Alberto Betancourt of Colombia and Fabio Taborre.

    Garzelli won the mountain time trial stage to Plan de Corones at the Giro d’Italia and also won Tirreno-Adriatico but Acqua & Sapone faces a battle to secure an invitation to the Giro d’Italia if all 18 ProTeams are automatically invited to the race.

    The riders will undergo physiology testing and health checks during the camp. Franco Gini and Bruno Cenghialta will again be the team’s directeur sportif and work on rider’s race programmes for 2011.

  • Hushovd and Gilbert to train together for Classics

    World champion Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) lines up at the end of the peloton.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 16:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    Norwegian says Belgian is best at medium climbs

    Thor Hushovd and Philippe Gilbert will compete against one another in the Spring Classics next year, but they will know one another well by then, with both riders - who live in  Monaco - set to train together.

    "I will train some with Gilbert,” said world champion Hushovd, who will ride for Garmin-Cervelo in 2011. “The hope is that he will give me the necessary challenge, and I thus get a little free workout.”

    "He is one of the field's strongest riders and he is the best at what I want to become better at, medium hills,” he said to the Ritzau news agency.

    Gilbert (Omega-Pharma Lotto) this year won the Amstel Gold Race and the Giro di Lombardia. He and Hushovd are expected to train together whenever possible.

    Hushovd's coach, Atli Kvålsvoll, wants to be sure the Norwegian is in form early in the year, as Paris-Roubaix is his first season goal.

    “There is a whole group of professional riders in Monaco, among them Tom Boonen, Mark Renshaw, Simon Gerrans and Jeremy Hunt, but Gilbert and Thor fit particularly well together,” Kvålsvoll said.

    Hushovd will open his season with the Tours of Qatar and Oman. After Paris-Roubaix, his other season goals will be the Tour de France and the world championships in Copenhagen.

  • ASO saves U23 Paris-Roubaix

    Taylor Phinney celebrates on the podium after taking a second Paris-Roubaix espoirs.
    Article published:
    November 30, 2010, 17:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Professional event organizer helps VC Roubaix

    The Paris-Roubaix event for riders under 23 years of age has been rescued from cancellation by the Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), the Velo Club Roubaix announced today.

    The organisation said last week that it would be forced to cancel the event because the cost of the police to secure the course had gone up from €2.40 an hour to €12 an hour.

    Today, the club announced that the ASO had agreed to step in to save the event.

    "ASO has decided to provide additional support to hold of one of the most important races on the calendar for amateurs," said club chairman Jean-Charles Canonne.

    American Taylor Phinney won the past two editions of the event, which is held in late spring, weeks after the professional event.