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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Date published:
October 22, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Pardilla enjoying altruistic environment at MTN-Qhubeka

    Sergio Pardilla (MTN - Qhubeka)
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 4:00 BST
    Cycling News

    "I had the feeling that I did something important"

    After his first season stepping down from the WorldTour with team Movistar to emerging Pro-Continental outfit MTN-Qhubeka, Sergio Pardilla could have been excused for feeling underwhelmed. For 29-year-old Spaniard, however, that couldn't be further from the truth. Aside from playing his part in results such that as that famous victory by Gerard Ciolek at Milan-San Remo, or his own victory in the fourth stage at the Volta a Portugal, Pardilla has also helped the team in its goal of developing cycling in Africa.

    "This first year with MTN-Qhubeka has been a wonderful experience," Pardilla told A&A Sport. "The team has a different philosophy than the other teams. They are not crazy about points and there is no pressure to get results.

    "Doing well in the races is of course important but they also value the message of Qhubeka and the improvement of young African talents so that the team can contest the Tour with riders from this continent in the future."

    As a part of their relationship with World Bicycle Relief, MTN-Qhubeka have played their part in a system whereby people can earn a bicycle through community work with the ultimate goals being improved economic and sporting conditions in Africa.

    "I had the feeling that I did something important," explained Pardilla. "You helped a lot of people thanks to the bikes which saved a lot of time for them. It was an experience we have tried to convey during the rest of the season."

    For Pardilla, the team ethos off the bike has crept its way into how the team functions on the bike, with improvement through knowledge transfer being key.

  • Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise completes 2014 roster

    Stijn Steels (Crelan-Euphony) leads the sprint classification
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 5:51 BST
    Cycling News

    25 riders for Belgian Pro Conti team

    The Belgian Professional Continental team Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise recently announced the completion of its 2014 roster.

    The 25-man team includes six new riders, including Stijn Steels, the nephew of former sprinter Tom Steels, from Crelan-Euphony, track riders Jonas Rickaert, Otto Vergaerde and Moreno De Pauw, and two other neo-pros Victor Campanaerts and Edward Theuns.

    Kenny De Ketele, Gijs Van Hoecke and Jasper De Buyst along with Rickaert, Vergaerde and De Pauw will also double up racing for Topsport and providing a base for the Belgian national track team ahead of the Rio Olympic Games.

    Only six riders left the team after the 2013 season: Sander Armée will join Lotto Belisol and Laurens De Vreese will go to Wanty-Groupe Robert. Teams have yet to be announced for Dominique Cornu, Tim Mertens, Stijn Neirynck and Sven Vandousselaere.

    Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise for 2014:

    Victor Campenaerts
    Moreno De Pauw
    Jonas Rickaert
    Stijn Steels
    Edward Theuns
    Otto Vergaerde

    Jasper De Buyst
    Kevin De Jonghe
    Kenny De Ketele
    Tim Declercq
    Sander Helven
    Pieter Jacobs
    Yves Lampaert
    Eliot Lietaer
    Jarl Salomein
    Thomas Sprengers
    Tom Van Asbroeck
    Preben Van Hecke
    Gijs Van Hoecke
    Michael Van Staeyen
    Kenneth Vanbilsen
    Arthur Vanoverberghe
    Pieter Vanspeybrouck
    Jelle Wallays
    Zico Waeytens


  • Tom Jelte Slagter felt "blackmailed" by Belkin

    Tom Jelte Slagter (Belkin)
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 9:56 BST
    José Been

    Dutchman on his move to Garmin-Sharp

    Tom Jelte Slagter signed a contract with Garmin-Sharp this summer, and the Dutchman has said that he left Team Belkin partly because he was not invited to ride the Tour de France.

    “There was a new two-year contract for me,” Slagter told RTV Noord. “They added that if I didn’t sign I would not ride the Tour de France. But I won’t be blackmailed.”

    The 24-year-old Slagter won his first professional race at the Tour Down Under earlier this year. Belkin – then operating as Team Blanco – was anxious to keep the former Dutch Under-23 champion and fourth-place finisher at the Tour de l’Avenir on board but Slagter felt blackmailed.

    “I had about a week to decide about a new two-year contract. That’s not a very long time to think about your imminent future. If I didn’t sign, I would not be on the Tour de France team. But if it turns out to become some sort of blackmail, then no Tour. I won’t be blackmailed.”

    The Tour de France was the most successful in years by the Dutch outfit, which was known as Rabobank until last season, with Bauke Mollema finishing sixth in the overall classification.

    “Of course it was not nice at that moment not to be part of that team,” Slagter said.

    Slagter had hoped for a good programme for the remainder of the year with a debut in the Vuelta a España.

    “I would have loved to do other WorldTour races like the Vuelta but the team decided to take the sprinter’s team around Theo Bos to Spain,” he said.

    Because of his Tour Down Under victory Slagter had several teams interest in securing his signature.

    “Even before the Tour de France I had...

  • Scarponi to join Astana in 2014

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) was voted most combative
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 10:49 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Veteran Italian boosts Nibali's Tour de France squad

    Michele Scarponi will ride for Astana in 2014, leading the team at the Giro d'Italia and then helping Vincenzo Nibali take on Chris Froome at the Tour de France.

    Scarponi has yet to sign his contract but Cyclingnews understand that the rider agreed terms and will probably sign a contract later this week. Astana will then make an official announcement. Scarponi rode for Lampre-Merida this season but the team showed scant interest in resigning him after securing the service of new world champion Rui Costa. 

    Scarponi's decision and the UCI deadline of October 21 for teams to registered their ten leading riders, means Ivan Basso will remain at Cannondale in 2014. He was considered as a possible alternative to Scarponi at Astana but his future is entwined with the future of the Italian team and the possible arrival of Tinkoff as partial team owner and title sponsor.

    Scarponi will strengthen the Astana team for Grand Tours and put the team on an equal footing to Team Sky. Scarponi is expected to be Nibali's last man in the mountains as Richie Porte is for Froome.

    Astana is ready to build its team around Nibali for the 2014 Tour de France. Paolo Tiralongo, Valerio Agnoli and Fabio Sabatini are all part of Nibali's inner circle, with Jakob Fuglsang, Tanel Kangert and Jani Brajkovic also expected to be part of the Tour de France squad.

    New arrivals include Mikel Landa and Franco Pellizotti. However it seems the Italian has yet to sign his contract and his role in the team could be affected by the rules of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible. The MPCC rules do not allow teams to sign riders who have served a doping ban during the last two...

  • LeMond: Armstrong was a top-30 Tour rider at best

    Three-time Tour winner Greg LeMond could do without the UCI
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 12:58 BST
    Cycling News

    American interviewed by CNN

    Greg LeMond believes that without doping and on a truly level playing field, Lance Armstrong would have been capable only of a top-30 finish at the Tour de France at best.

    In an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper aired on Monday night, LeMond denounced Armstrong as a bully and a thug, and said that Armstrong should face jail for doping and corruption, which he believes constitute criminal as well as sporting infractions. LeMond is officially the only American to have won the Tour de France after Armstrong's seven victories were erased from the record books.

    “I know his physical capabilities, he's a top-30 [Tour finisher] at best no matter what. If he's clean, everybody's clean, he's a top-30 at best. He's not capable of winning the Tour, he's not capable of the top five,” LeMond told CNN.

    LeMond dismissed Armstrong’s claim in a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey earlier this year, in which he said that he doped simply to level the playing field, and accused him of collusion. “He couldn't race on a level playing field. That's why he bribed the governing body,” LeMond said.

    Armstrong and his US Postal Service team were the subject of a federal investigation led by Jeff Novitzky that ended in February 2012, although much of the evidence amassed was later used by USADA in its sporting case against Armstrong and led to a life ban and the stripping of his seven Tour de France titles.

    After describing Armstrong’s activities as “criminal,” LeMond was asked if he believed the Texan should be jailed.

    “I do, yeah. There is a point where there are people who...

  • 2014 Tour France to remember Indurain with Bergerac time trial

    Miguel Indurain won his five Tours based largely on his ability to time trial efficiently.
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 13:25 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    50km time trial set to be decisive next year

    Twenty years after Miguel Indurain claimed his fourth consecutive Tour de France victory, the 2014 race is set to pay homage to Big Mig with a full-length time trial in Bergerac -where the Spaniard won a key race against the clock in the 1994 edition of the Tour de France.

    This time round the Bergerac time trial is widely expected to be the only individual race against the clock of the 2014 Tour de France and with its position on the second last day of the race, is likely to prove decisive in deciding who pulls on the final yellow jersey.

    The full route of the 2014 Tour de France will be unveiled by organiser ASO in Paris on Wednesday. 2013 winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) are the two big favourites for victory.

    The Bergerac time trial is strongly rumoured to be around 50 kilometres long, rather than the 64 kilometre monster time trial of 1994, which came at the end of the first week of racing and prior to the Pyrenees. Back in 1994 the Tour de France visited Britain for two stages and came in the same year the Tour visited Lourdes Hautacam. The 2014 Tour de France starts in Yorkshire and Hautacam is also strongly rumoured to again be on the 2014 menu for a decisive mountain finish.

    In 1994, Indurain, averaging over 50km/h for the lumpy 64 kilometre course, effectively won the Tour in one fell swoop at Bergerac before putting the opposition to the sword once again at the race’s first summit finish of Lourdes-Hautacam.

    He finished two minutes ahead of Tony Rominger, whilst the rest of the field was vanquished to well beyond the four minute mark. Armand de las Cuevas, formerly a Banesto team-mate but by then with Castorama, finished at 4-22 in third place, French prologue...

  • Tour of Utah builds on tradition with extra day

    The peloton passes through one of the Red Canyon archways as it passes near Bryce Canyon
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 14:24 BST
    Pat Malach

    Miller still examining route options for 2014

    The Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah's expansion to seven days in 2014 is part of a natural and sustainable progression for the UCI 2.1 stage race, event president Steve Miller told Cyclingnews last week. Miller, president of Miller Sports Properties, which has owned the race since 2006 and which also owns the Utah Jazz NBA franchise and several other professional sports teams in the state, said the market has spoken, and it wants to see more racing and more of the state.

    "Biting off another day is a big thing," Miller said. "But it is something that we're excited about because it is indicative of the appetite that the fans have and the race has and the sponsors have, so we think it's a good sign."

    The Tour of Utah will remain a 2.1-rated stage race on the UCI Americas Tour. The 10th edition of the race will start on Monday, August 4, and finish on Sunday, August 10. Although the 2014 route has not yet been announced, the 2013 race made its first-ever swing through the national monuments and the red rock landscape of southern Utah, opening up myriad new opportunities for routes and host cities.

    "As big as the state of Utah is, in order for us to showcase the state properly we have to add another day so we can move around and not be pinched into racing ridiculous miles everyday," Miller said.

    The 2013 edition of the race marked the first time the Tour of Utah did not feature an individual or team time trial. Miller said whether the race will have a time trial in 2014 has still not been decided. The 2014 route is in the "white board" phase, he said, and any number of configurations are on the table.

    "Anything from a prologue plus six days of racing, to no prologue but a time trial with six days of racing, to a prologue and a time trial with five days of racing," Miller said. "It's really too early to say what the composition of stages will look like. You start with a clean slate and the sky is the limit."


  • Van den Broeck back to training for 2014

    Jurgen van den Broeck (Lotto Belisol) a little worse for wear after his crash on stage 5
    Article published:
    October 22, 2013, 16:25 BST
    José Been

    Belgian team confirms final roster

    Jurgen Van den Broeck has started his preparation for the 2014 season. The Lotto-Belisol rider crashed in the final of the fifth stage of the Tour de France which ended his season. Van den Broeck faced surgery and a long recovery period to repair the damage to his knee. "Today finally the green light to start training towards 2014," Van den Broeck said on his Twitter page.

    "After a short holiday, Jurgen has resumed training yesterday to prepare for the new season," Lotto-Belisol confirmed to Cyclingnews. It was not the first time the number 4 of the 2012 Tour de France was back on the bike. "He has been riding as part of his recovery schedule before, but training is now specifically meant to prepare for 2014."

    Van den Broeck crashed in the fifth stage and suffered damage to the knee on which he landed. Because the knee was very swollen, Van den Broeck couldn't bend the joint and abandoned the Tour de France before the start of stage 6. He was diagnosed later with a partial tear of the posterior cruciate ligament, a partial tear of the medial ligament, an injury of the cartilage, a bone bruise and a bruise of the patellar tendon, which required surgery.

    The Tour de France is likely to be a main objective of the Belgian rider again. "We will discuss his goals for next year in the coming weeks," the Lotto-Belisol press department added.

    Lotto-Belisol presents a 27-rider roster for 2014. Next to Jurgen Van den Broeck, Bart de Clerq and Jelle Vanendert for the stage races, the Belgian team extended the contracts of André Greipel's sprint train Greg Henderson, Adam Hansen, Marcel Sieberg and Jurgen Roelandts. The German sprinter was...