- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 02:19
- Cycling News
New Mexico stage race steps up to 2.2 category
The SRAM Tour of the Gila will join the UCI America Tour calendar in 2012, confirming its status as a premier lead-up to the Amgen Tour of California.
The five-stage event has been confirmed by cycling's governing body as a 2.2 category race and is slated for May 2-6, 2012. It was a move originally planned for the 2011 season, but race organisers were forced to put their plans on hold due to a lack of funding.
"The SRAM Tour of the Gila is one of the most challenging and iconic stage races in the U.S. so we are very pleased it will be a part of the UCI America Tour in 2012," said USA Cycling Chief Operating Officer Sean Petty. "We appreciate the hard work Jack Brennan, Michelle Geels, Nicole Robbins and all the committed people in Silver City, N.M. did to make this possible. It should be an even greater race in 2012 with full UCI Pro Continental teams now being allowed to compete."
"We are extremely excited to bring international bicycle racing to New Mexico. The organizers wish to express a special thanks to the Town of Silver City. It is important for us to recognize the people who helped us reach this level: the folks in our community, Grant County and the State of New Mexico.
In a further boost, SRAM will return as a title sponsor. Three years ago the race was nearly cancelled but was revived through public donations and valuable sponsorship dollars. Heading into its 26th year, the Tour of the Gila is also part of USA Cycling's National Racing Calendar (NRC).
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 03:16
- James Huang
Exclusive details, plus what we'd like to see
This article first appeared on Bikeradar.
Talk about the P5 in the Cyclingnews forum.
Cervélo is set to debut their new - and very highly anticipated - P5 tri/TT aero flagship at this January's European Brainbike event, and while the company has released a few teaser bits of information, BikeRadar has now uncovered more unofficial details into what will likely be on tap for Cervélo’s launch.
What we know
Specialized upped the aero bike ante this year by splitting its Shiv aero bike into both UCI-legal and non-compliant versions in order to simultaneously satisfy the technical guidelines of ProTour racing and the comparatively unrestricted arms race of triathlon. Cervélo generally aren't perceived as having those kinds of resources, however, and according to BikeRadar's exclusive industry sources, the new P5 will cater more to its highly loyal multisport clientele with a shape that's speedier and easier to fit but while still keeping the needs of its road teams under consideration.
Our sources have told BikeRadar that while the P5's overall shape will be highly evolutionary and easily identified as Cervélo. The new bike will be more aerodynamic with a taller down tube, a more aggressive seat tube profile around the rear wheel cutout, and a conventional single-crown fork-however, with and additional bolt-on nosecone to increase the effective aspect ratio.
The seat stays are set further apart than on the P4 to facilitate airflow through the area, and we’re told they're more upright and attached higher up than before, too-not unlike the blurred-out profile featured in Cervélo's own teaser document, in fact, which also depicts a rather elongated 'tail'.
The new P5 is said to boast a greater level of integration, including a BBright asymmetrical bottom bracket, fully hidden internal Shimano Di2 and Campagnolo EPS-compatible routing, and a sleek new braking system developed with a different manufacturer, when compared to the P4. Details on the new brakes are scant but our industry insiders have suggested it isn't a variant of the TT/tri-specific linear-pull system TRP developed last year but rather something unique to Cervélo and distinctly different from what's already out there.
It also sounds likely that Cervélo will not include a totally integrated front brake à la Trek and Specialized, but a profiled linear-pull setup is still a possible candidate.
Cervélo tout new Shimano Dura-Ace and Dura-Ace Di2 complete bikes, however, we don’t expect the P5 to use Shimano's new 'direct mount' brake standard or SRAM's rumored drop-in hydraulic aero setup, which we're now told is still about a year out from OEM availability.
The former design isn't particularly aero from what we've been told by inside sources, and Shimano only released details on that setup to OEM customers at this year's Interbike show, which makes it likely too late to incorporate into a frame that was presumably already months into development.
Regardless, we expect the new brake to not only be at least as aero as the one on the current P4 but also easier to set up and maintain and more compatible with today's crop of wider wheels. The existing P4's 80's-inspired, rocker-actuated cantilever setup was clever, but never worked all that well, and was widely bemoaned by owners. We’d say it's a safe bet that brake won't make a second appearance.
Our sources have suggested that the P5 will shy away from the P4's ultra-aggressive head tube in favor of a taller setup that is more conducive to triathlon. How much taller, you ask? Try 2.5cm on average, coupled with a 8mm reduction in reach.
In fact, we're told that the P5 will not only wear a similar front end height to the current P2 but it's also pegged as a sort of more evolved spirit of Cervélo's bread-and-butter multisport machine.
According to BikeRadar's exclusive sources, the P5 is a triathlon bike first, time trial bike second-and multisport athletes who found the P4 to be beyond their comfort or flexibility levels will apparently find much to like here in terms of fit and positioning.
Speaking of fit, much speculation has surrounded the hyper-integrated, submarine-like cockpit setup that Cervélo previewed on an engineering mule at the Ironman World Championship earlier this year but we've been told that it's "not real". While something like that probably tests well in the wind tunnel and looks great for marketing, the realities of trying to make something like that adjustable enough to suit Cervélo's real-world triathlete public are more conducive to a conventional setup.
As such, we're told that the P5 will forego a dramatically sleek proprietary cockpit for a standard setup that will be easier to fit and allow more choice in components, a move retailers and fitters will undoubtedly support.
Even better, retail pricing is rumored to be lower than that of the P4-we're guessing around US$4,000 for the frameset with brakes and seat post.
Finally, Cervélo's teaser document touts two P5 frameset models but contrary to common speculation at this point, BikeRadar's sources are confident that there won't be different shapes to address specific triathlon and UCI-legal time trial requirements-at least not yet. Instead, both frames will wear the same profile but will be built with different carbon fiber technology-similar to the 'good, better, best' hierarchy that Cervélo first introduced with the S5 aero road frame.
BikeRadar's sources tell us that Cervélo's Asian manufacturing partner previously only worked with 24- and 30-ton carbon fiber at the high end, but the lessons learned from the R5ca project have borne fruit in the form of more advanced composite technology for the company's mass-produced frames so expect a top-end P5 VWD ("Vroomen White Design") and likely a second-tier P5 Team.
What we don't know
Cervélo broke new ground on the P4 with its clever water bottle, which integrated seamlessly into the frame shape and supposedly actually improved aerodynamic performance. That fell afoul with UCI commissaires, however, but since the P5 apparently brazenly shirks UCI guidelines, it's possible we might see something similar here. We don't have specific details aside from an "evolved" version for the P5 but regardless, some sort of integrated hydration is a safe bet – maybe even one involving that bolt-on nosecone.
Nor do we have precise information on aero claims or frameset weights, though Cervélo's teaser documentation makes it plainly clear that the P5 is faster in the wind tunnel than anything else the company has made to date. As for the weight, the recent S5 intro suggests to us that the P5 may be slightly lighter than the P4, but probably not by much. Cervélo has made it plainly clear that the flagship aero models are aero above all else and weight and stiffness are secondary metrics.
One especially interesting question that remains is how Cervélo will deal with its Garmin-Cervélo team requirements. Assuming our information is correct, the industry seems to be moving toward a model whereby the multisport market is satisfied first and those designs are then later adapted or modified to satisfy UCI technical guidelines. After all, the bulk of consumer sales lean heavily towards the multisport crowd, but bicycle manufacturers pour far more marketing effort and money into how their time trial athletes and teams perform at the Tour de France.
If the new P5's native shape isn't UCI-legal as has been suggested, what will Cervélo do come July?
It's worth noting that Cervélo is being intentionally vague in its "two available frameset models" description so things could still go either way. We've heard the term, "bolt-on", from a few different sources now so one possibility is something similar to what Trek has done with its Speed Concept: the same basic frame shape but with different add-on bits in order to tune the end product towards triathlon or time trials.
In addition to that bolt-on nosecone lending better aerodynamics, it's possible that Cervélo has figured out a way to incorporate that into the previously mentioned 2.5cm increase in stack – sort of like Argon 18's modular head tube system but one that's more aerodynamic and built into the top of the steerer.
That modular test mule previewed in October may also suggest that Cervélo will actually present two distinct frames but that seems unlikely for a variety of reasons. If Garmin-Cervélo ends up sticking to the P4, though, we're not sure how much of an objection there would be. Even competing manufacturers agree that that frame is still impressively fast and the fit already suits team riders pretty well so if Garmin-Cervélo has to make do for another season, we don't expect anyone will be too upset.
Time will tell and at least for now, Cervélo isn't talking. We’ll simply have to wait till January to know for sure."The information that's out there is the only information that Cervélo will be putting out there prior to the launch," said Mark Riedy, Cervélo's US PR agent.
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 10:12
- Cycling News
British Olympic Association appeals WADA's non-compliance declaration
While David Millar has already indicated that he's "written off" representing Great Britain at another Olympic Games, his lifetime ban may still be lifted.
The British Olympic Association on Tuesday formally submitted its application to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to challenge the World Anti-Doping Agency's declaration that the stance is "non-compliant".
Millar was banned from cycling for two years in 2004 for admitting to doping offences. Under current BOA rules, this qualifies him for a lifetime ban from Olympic competition. It is the only Olympic Committee in the world to hold such a stance.
Millar is one of three British athletes affected by the ban, along with sprinter Dwain Chambers and shot-putter and discus thrower Carl Myerscough.
With Olympic selection on the horizon for the London Olympic Games, both the BOA and WADA agree that the issue needs to be settled quickly – the CAS are now expected to issue a ruling in April 2012.
BOA chairman Lord Moynihan told the BBC that: "The reality is it's WADA that have come after us and said 'we deem you to be non-compliant' so we are the reactors in this case.
"It's regrettable we have got to take this step. To me it was completely wrong of WADA to mix up sanctions with our selection policy which has been in place longer than WADA has been in existence but that's their choice and we are defending our position."
Last month, Millar said that he did not wish to challenge the BOA's ruling.
"There are certain fights I don't want to fight and that was one of them.
"I just don't fancy being vilified any more. It's been a tough couple of years."
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 10:49
- Cycling News
Androni Giocattoli manager accused of procuring EPO by former rider
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has requested a four-year suspension for Androni Giocattoli manager Gianni Savio for violations of article 2.8 of the WADA code, namely the administration or attempted administration of prohibited substances.
In May, Savio was implicated in a Massa-based doping investigation and accused of dealing doping products by his former rider Luca De Angeli. After receiving the dossier of the investigation from prosecutors in Massa, CONI has decided to refer Savio to its anti-doping tribunal, and requested a four-year ban.
Parallel to the sporting case against Savio, a preliminary hearing will take place in Massa on Thursday to decide on whether to archive or refer the public prosecutor’s investigation.
According to La Repubblica, a passage in the Massa dossier states that Savio “procured on several occasions the substance known as EPO for the professional cyclist De Angeli Luca.” De Angeli had two spells with Savio’s team, then known as Colombia-Selle Italia, and tested positive for EPO in 2005.
In a statement issued to Tuttobici on Tuesday, Savio denied the allegations and said that he has already opened defamation proceedings against De Angeli. He also claimed that CONI is not yet in possession of all of the facts pertaining to the case.
“On December 15 the preliminary hearing of the case in question will take place before the Court in Massa, in which further elements of evidence will be evaluated, to which CONI did not have access at the time of the referral,” said Savio, whose Androni Giocattoli team is hoping to secure one of the wildcard invitations to the Giro d'Italia.
“I have been accused of a crime I didn’t commit or even come close to committing, and I am certain of being able to demonstrate that with established proof.”
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 12:20
- Sarah Connolly
UPDATE: Big changes for the women’s peloton
To keep up with all the women’s transfer news, Cyclingnews has put together a handy summary of the new signings, re-signings, retirements and exits to keep you from getting lost. We’ll be adding updates as all the news comes in, so be sure to check back to get the latest updates.
Ins: Chantal Blaak, Lucinda Brand, Marijn de Vries & Kirsten Wild (all re-signed)
Shelley Olds (Diadora Pasta Zara), Madeleine Olsson & Isabelle Söderberg (Alriksson Go:Green), Marieke van Wanroij (Nederland Bloeit)
Outs: Irene van den Broek (Dolmans-Boels), Monique van de Ree (Skil-1T4i), Eline de Roover (Sengers Ladies Team), Linda Villumsen (Specialized-lululemon), Anne De Wildt (Skil 1t4I), Trixi Worrack (GreenEDGE AIS), Marlen Johrend, Heleen van Vliet & Josien van Windgeren (all unknown)
BePink (new for 2012)
Ins: Noemi Cantele (Garmin-Cervélo), Simona Frapporti, Gloria Presti & Silvia Valsecchi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Elke Gebhardt (Rothaus-Vita Classica), Oxana Kozonchuk & Eleonora Patuzzo (Diadora - Pasta Zara), Julia Martisova (Gauss), Petra Zrimsek (Loborika-Favorit Team), Alice Algisi, Alena Amielyusik, Chiara Favaron Bissoli, Evelyn Garcia Marroquin & Dalia Muccioli
Diadora Pasta Zara
Ins: Alona Andruk, Inga Cilvinaite, Giulia Donato, Amber Pierce & Francesca Stefani (all re-signed)
Polona Batgelj (Bizkaia-Durango), Giada Borgato, Giorgia Bronzini, Alessandra d’Etorre & Edita Janeliunaite (Colavita Forno d’Asolo), Rossella Callovi (MCipollini-Giambenini), Agna Silinyte
Outs: Claudia Häusler (GreenEDGE-AIS), Oxana Kozonchuk & Eleonora Patuzzo (BePink), Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Olga Zabelinskaya (RusVelo), Mara Abbott, Sinead Miller, Rachel Neylan & Jessica Uebelhart (all unknown)
Ins: Danielle Bekkering, Martine Bras, Karen Elsing, Janneke Ensing, Alie Gercama, Laura van der Kamp, Nina Kessler, Marissa Otten, Mascha Pijnenborg & Winanda Spoor (all re-signed)
Irene van den Broek (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Lieselot Decroix (TopSport Vlaanderen) Anouska Koster (WV Otto Ebbens), Pauliena Rooijakkers (TWC de Kempen), Emma Trott (Nederland Bloeit)
Outs: Petra Dijkman (Kleo Ladies Team) Birgit Lavrijssen & Geerike Schreurs (Sengers Ladies Team), Shanne Braspennincx & Marieke van Nek (unknown)
Exergy TWENTY12 (Peanut Butter & Co. TWENTY12 in 2011)
Ins: Kaitlin Antonneau, Kristin Armstrong, Cari Higgins, Kristine McGrath, Greta Neimanas, Coryn Rivera, Alison Tetrick Starnes, Lauren Tamayo, Tayler Wiles (all re-signed)
Teresa Cliff-Ryan, Andrea Dvorak & Heather Logan-Sprenger (Colvita Forno d'Asolo), Pascale Schnider (Bike-Import.ch), Jacquelyn Crowell, Jessica Phillips, Rhae-Christie Shaw
Outs: Ruth Winder (Vanderkitten-Focus)
Forno d’Asolo (Colavita Forno d'Asolo in 2011)
Ins: Flavia Oliveira (Vaiano-Solaristech), Stella Riverditi
Outs: Kelly Benjamin (retiring), Giada Borgato, Giorgia Bronzini, Alessandra d’Etorre & Edita Janeliunaite (Diadora-Pasta Zara), Elena Cechini (MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss), Teresa Cliff-Ryan, Andrea Dvorak & Heather Logan-Sprenger (Exergy TWENTY12), Barbara Guarischi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Lauren Hall (Tibco-To The Top), Modesta Vzesniauskaite (retiring)
Outs: Noemi Cantele (BePink), Iris Slappendel (Rabobank), Lizzie Armitstead, Jessie Daams, Lucy Martin, Emma Pooley, Alexis Rhodes, Carla Ryan & Trine Schmidt (unknown)
Outs: Tatiana Antoshina (Rabobank), Alessandra Borchi & Susanna Zorzi (MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss) Christel Ferrier-Bruneau & Sylwia Kapusta (Hitec Products UCK), Lorena Foresi & Valentina Scandolara (SC Michela Fanini Rox), Julia Martisova (Bepink), Luisa Tamanini (Honda), Elena Kuchinskaya, Eleonora Suelotto, Aurore Verhoeven & Ambra Zago (all unknown)
GreenEDGE-AIS (new for 2012)
Ins: Judith Arndt (HTC-Highroad), Tiffany Cromwell (Hitec Products UCK), Loes Gunnewijk (Nederland Bloeit), Claudia Häusler (Diadora-Pasta Zara), Rowena Fry, Shara Gillow, Melissa Hoskins, Jessie Maclean & Amanda Spratt (Jayco AIS), Linda Villumsen (AA Drink-Leontien.nl)
Hitec Products UCK
Ins: Joanne Bergseth, Tone Hatteland, Cecile Johansen, Emma Johansson, Emilie Moberg, Lise Nøstvold Sara Mustonen, Marie Voreland & Frøydis Wærsted (all re-signed)
Christel Ferrier-Bruneau & Sylwia Kapusta (Gauss), Elisa Longo Borghini (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Thea Thorsen (staigiare with Hitec 2011)
Out: Lisa Brennauer (Specialized-lululemon),Tiffany Cromwell & Krstine Saasted (unknown)
Outs: Charlotte Becker, Katie Colclough, Ellen van Dijk, Emilia Fahlin, Chloe Hosking, Amber Neben, Evelyn Stevens, Ally Stacher & Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (all Specialized-lululemon), Judith Arndt (GreenEDGE-AIS), Amanda Miller (TIBCO - To The Top), Adrie Visser (Skil-1t4i)
Honda (new for 2012)
Ins: Yulia Blindyuk, Nicole Cooke, Jennifer Hohl & Fabiana Luperini (MCipollini-Giambenini), Miffy Galloway (For Viored), Rochelle Gilmore (Lotto Honda), Chiara Nadalutti (Kleo Ladies Team), Luisa Tamanini (Gauss), Giorgia Baraldo, Maria Giulia Confalonieri & Giuseppina Grassi
Kleo Ladies Team
Ins: Martina Corazza, Annalisa Cucunotta (re-signed)
Anne Arnouts (Dura Vermeer), Evelyn Arys (Sengers Ladies Team), Petra Dijkman (Dolmans-Boels), Annelies van Doorslaer & Grace Verbeke (Topsport Vlaanderen), Nathalie Lamborelle & Marie Lindberg (Abus Nutrixxion)
Outs: Chiara Nadalutti (Honda), Elena Valentini (MCipollini-Giambenini), Andrea Graus (Vienne Futuroscope), Giada Balzan, Tania Belvederesi, Chiara Bortolus, Angela McClure, Giulia Sonetti & Francesca Tognali (all unknown)
Lotto Belisol (Lotto Honda in 2011)
Ins: Robyn de Groot, Joline Goossens, Ludivine Henrion, Ashleigh Moolman, Kim Schoonbaert, Cherise Taylor, Joanna Van de Winkel, Sofie de Vuyst, (all re-signed)
Ann Sophie Duyck & Katrien van Looy (Wielerclub Steeds Vooraan), Kaat Hannes (Topsport Vlaanderen), Nathalie Nijns (Sengers Ladies Team), Lisa Olivier & An-Li Pretorious (MTN - Qhubeka) Bo Carless (new)
Outs: Rochelle Gilmore (Honda), Liz Hatch & Vicki Whitelaw (retiring), Veronia Andréasson, Catherine Delfosse, Lizanne Naude, Marissa Van Der Merwe & Laure Werner (unknown)
MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss (MCiplloni-Giambenini in 2011)
Ins: Monia Baccaille, Marta Bastianelli, Elisa Frisoni, Tatiana Guderzo & Marta Tagliaferro (all re-signed)
Alessandra Borchi (Gauss), Valentina Carretta (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Elena Cecchini (Forno D'Asolo), Malgorzata Jasinska (Michela Fanini Rox), Elena Valentini (Kleo Ladies Team), Jessica Paganelli, Giulia Pironato & Alessandra Tomasini
Outs: Yulia Blindyuk (Honda), Rossella Callovi (Diadora-Pasta Zara), Nicole Cooke, Jennifer Hohl & Fabiana Luperini (Honda), Samantha Galassi (retiring)
Rabobank (Nederland Bloeit in 2011)
Ins: Sarah Düster, Annemiek van Vleuten & Marianne Vos (all re-signed)
Thalita de Jong (Dura Vermeer), Lauren Kitchen (Rabo Lady Force), Roxane Knetemann (Skil-Koga), Iris Slappendel (Garmin-Cervélo), Rebecca Talen (RSC de Zuidwesthoek), Liesbet de Vocht (TopSport Vlaanderen), Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, Monique van der Vorst
Outs: Loes Gunnewijk (GreenEDGE-AIS), Janneke Kanis (Skil-1t41), Emma Trott (Dolmans-Boels), Marieke van Wanroij (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Emilie Aubry & patricia Schwager (GSD Gestion-Cyril Immobilier) Noortje Tabak (unknown)
RusVelo (new for 2012)
Ins: Natalie Boyarskaya, Svetlana Bubnenkova & Irina Molicheva (Team PCW-Project Cycling Women), Laura Fouquet & Romy Kasper (Kuota Speed Kueens), Hanka Kupfernagel (Horizon Fitness-Prendas Ciclismo), Olga Zabelinskaya (Diadora-Pasta Zara), Venera Absalyamova, Tatiana Averina, Alexandra Goncharova, Viktorya Kondel, Elena Lichmanova, Lydia Malachova & Evgenya Romanyuta
S.C. Michela Fanini Rox
Ins: Karin Aune, Chiara Ciuffini, Sara Grifi, Veronica Leál Balderas, Ella Michal, Vanessa Elettra Ricci, Martina Ruzikova, Grete Treier (all re-signed)
Alexandra Burchenkova (PCW-Project Cycling Women), Lorena Foresi & Valentina Scandolara (Gauss)
Outs: Malgorzata Jasinska (MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss)
Skil-1t4i (Skil-Koga in 2011)
Ins: Regina Bruins, Suzanne de Goede, Kelly Markus, Amy Pieters, Linda van Rijen, Esra Tromp & Anne de Wildt (all re-signed)
Janneke Kanis (Rabobank), Monique van de Ree (AA Drink-Leontien.nl), Esra Tromp (Batavus Ladies Team), Adrie Visser (HTC-Highroad)
Outs: Roxane Knetemann (Nederland Bloeit), Christina Becker, Alison Testroete & Hannah Welter (all unknown)
Specialized-lululemon (new for 2012)
Ins: Charlotte Becker, Katie Colclough, Ellen van Dijk, Emilia Fahlin, Chloe Hosking, Amber Neben, Evelyn Stevens, Ally Stacher & Ina-Yoko Teutenberg (all HTC-Highroad), Lisa Brennauer (Hitec Products UCK), Clara Hughes (Canadian National Team), Trixi Worrack (AA Drink-Leontien.nl)
TIBCO – To The Top
Ins: Megan Guarnier, Joanne Kiesanowski, Meredith Miller, Kendall Ryan, Samantha Schneider, Jennifer Wheeler, Erinne Willock
Lauren Hall (Colavita Forno d'Asolo), Amanda Miller (HTC-Highroad), Veronique Fortin, Jennifer Purcell
Outs: Emma Mackie (Abus Nutrixxion), Carlee Taylor (Vienne Futuroscope)
Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
Ins: Elena Berlato, Jennifer Fiori, Giulia Ronchi (re-signed)
Barbara Guarischi (Colavita Forno d'Asolo), Irene Bitto, Francesca Cauz, Erica Cecchel, Viviana Gatto, Sorayo Paladin, Doris Scheweizer
Outs: Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products UCK), Valentina Carretta (MCipollini-Giambenini-Gauss), Simona Frapporti, Gloria Presti & Silvia Valsecchi (BePink), Bridie O'Donnell (unknown)
TopSport Vlaanderen 2012-Ridley
Outs: Lieselot Decroix (Dolmans Landscaping), Annelies van Doorslaer & Grace Verbeke (Kleo Ladies Team), Kaat Hannes (Lotto Belisol) Liesbet de Vocht (Rabobank),
Ins: Francesca Anichini, Valentina Bastianelli, Urte Juodvalkyte, Rasa Leleivyte, Alessia Martini, Sylvia Moroni, Katarzyna Sosna & Eleonora Spaliviero (all re-signed)
Aleksandra Sosenko (Lithuanian National Team) & Anna Trevisi
Outs: Irene Falorni, Simona Martini & Chiara Vanni (all unknown)
Ins: Julie Beveridge, Karol-Ann Canuel, Audrey Cordon, Fiona Dutriaux, Pascale Jeuland, Jennifer Letue, Emmanuelle Merlot, Edwige Pitel, Marion Rousse & Gabriela Slamova (all re-signed)
Andrea Graus (Kleo Ladies Team), Carlee Taylor (TIBCO – To The Top), Sandrine Bideau, Andrea Halbswachs, Amélie Rivat, Manon Souyris
Outs: Chiara Vanni (Giusfredi-Verinlegno), Sophie Creux & Florence Girardet (retiring)
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 13:33
- Cycling News
British world champion frustrated by doping slurs
Cycling's efforts to clean itself up and banish its reputation as a sport where doping is rife is working according to Mark Cavendish. The current holder of the rainbow jersey and the winner of the 2011 green jersey at the Tour de France has seen his public profile rise substantially in the last few months and he has used his increasing fame to launch a defence of his sport and his colleagues.
"In the last three years I've had over 60 dope tests a year and in 2008/09 I was the most tested athlete on the planet," he told Sky Sports.
"Because of what has happened in the past, cycling does not want that again. People say 'oh, look - there's been a positive test in cycling.' Well that's because they're doing things to catch them. When they do catch them they don't care about the image or the franchise of the sport - they care about making a cleaner and fairer sport, so they make an example of these people."
Cavendish, who will be moving to Team Sky for the 2012 season and who recently collected his MBE for services to British cycling from The Queen, said that much has changed since he turned professional and that people should focus on the positives and the progress cycling has made rather than dishing out old prejudices.
"I've raced with these guys every day and since I started racing pro in 2005 I've noticed a difference in the sport," he said. "There are bigger groups at the finish and everybody's on their hands and knees. Nobody's bouncing around fresh as a daisy after a stage anymore. It's such a hard sport. It's so frustrating because we work so hard. I ride 50,000km a year. I train, and less than half of that is racing so I have to do the rest training to make sure I'm good for those races. When I put in all that work and someone says 'cycling is just dope' that really winds me up. No it isn't."
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 14:58
- Barry Ryan
Reaction to Italian showing exaggerated says RadioShack-Nissan rider
Daniele Bennati feels that he has shouldered a disproportionate amount of the blame for his part in Italy’s disappointing world championships showing in Copenhagen in September. The Tuscan could only finish 14th after the Italian lead-out train derailed in a frenetic finale and faced stinging criticism in the aftermath.
If cyclo-cross is Belgium’s winter sport, the off-season pastime of choice in Italy is polemica, particularly in the long dark months that followed the country’s worst world championships finish since 1983. Bennati believes that such extreme reactions to the success or failure of the squadra azzurra are not justified.
“Sometimes I think it’s a bit exaggerated,” Bennati told Cyclingnews at RadioShack-Nissan’s recent training camp in Calpe. “When we talk about the Worlds, it always seems to be a question of life or death. Either I won the Worlds or I was going to be criticised, and people were going to be throwing stones at yours truly. And that’s something that I don’t think is right.
“I wasn’t even given the chance to reply to the critics, and this isn’t fair. People should listen to what the critics say, but also to the target of their criticism. This was never granted to me.”
The Italian challenge fell apart on the final roundabout of the Copenhagen course, when Bennati lost the wheel of his lead-out train. He was unable to make his way back to the front amid the tumult of the final kilometres.
“I take my responsibility because I was the leader, but the blame lies with everybody and not just me, because we all know my characteristics,” Bennati said. “To do well, or to win a big race like the Worlds, I need a train. At the Worlds there wasn’t one, so I really don’t think it’s right that the blame is all heaped on top of me.
“If I’d been in the ideal position and been able to do my sprint without problems, and then finished 13th or 14th, I could have accepted the criticism. But I didn’t have the chance to do my sprint. I was shut in by riders on my left and right and in the last two kilometres, I didn’t have a lead out.
“I don’t think I would have been able to win that Worlds because Cavendish and his team were really very strong, but I do think a podium place was certainly possible. Greipel made up a lot of ground to finish third, while Cancellara did very well on a course that didn't suit him thanks in part to Rast's lead-out."
Bennati insisted that his memories of the build-up to the Copenhagen Worlds had not been tempered by the bitter that followed. “It was a wonderful experience right up to the race itself. It was really fantastic to be part of that team in the days leading up to it, but the aftermath was ugly,” he said. “I was a little bit prepared for it beforehand, but I didn’t expect to finish 14th on a route like that with the excellent condition that I had.”
While Bennati insisted that the missed opportunity stung him more than the harsh words of some former world champions, he admitted that he was disappointed that many of his past achievements were forgotten in the welter of criticism that came his way in September.
“They’ve labelled me a loser even though I’ve won over 50 races in my career,” Bennati said. “I don’t think there are too many riders still active who have won stages in the Giro, Tour and the Vuelta so maybe some other riders who have won far less are praised far more. I think they appreciate me more abroad than they do in Italy, and that’s not nice.”
In future, Bennati believes that the Italian squad should go to the Worlds with its ambitions placed a little more in check. "Sometimes you need to re-dimension things a little bit. Instead of saying, ‘we’re going to the Worlds to win’, you should go there looking to get a great result, and then if the win follows, so much the better."
Italy’s disappointing Worlds also coincided with the first year of its federation’s new ruling which bars riders who have been sanctioned for doping from selection for the national team.
“I think it’s right in terms of sending out a strong message, to renew the good image that Italian cycling could have in the eyes of the public,” Bennati said. “But when a rider comes back after a suspension, he can ride with a big team, and has the possibility of riding the most important international races, so it seems a bit strange to me that he can’t take part in the Worlds.”
At one point in June, it looked as though Bennati himself would be unable to represent Italy again, due to his positive test for betamethasone in 2005. He was handed a warning after it was accepted that an undeclared anti-inflammatory cream had triggered the positive, but was sweating on his status until the Italian federation specified that only riders who had served bans of six months or more were to be excluded.
“I received this warning from the federation and I accepted it, but I didn’t serve an hour of suspension,” Bennati said. “It was something that even my parents didn’t know about – honestly, I didn’t want to worry my parents with things like that. Then six years on, I found myself in all the papers and magazines. I woke up that morning and I felt like shit. Something like that can’t happen. In that moment, my image was ruined, and for what?
“I was being associated with riders who had been disqualified for actual acts of doping, guys who had been banned for two years and more. Yet, in the eyes of the public, I was being included in that group, and it was ridiculous.”
The FCI ruling comes at a time when Italian cycling appears caught in lengthy transitional period, reflected by the fact that three years have now passed since the country's last classics victory. However, Bennati believes the reasons for the relative lack of success in recent seasons is due at least in part to rising levels elsewhere.
“Now there are talents being born all over the world and not just in the ‘traditional’ cycling nations,” he said. “It’s more international now. The level has risen accordingly, and the Italians are suffering.”
- Article published:
- December 14, 2011, 18:10
- Cycling News
At home with the Garmin-Cervelo climber
After a 2011 season he describes as "quite eventful and a quite successful", Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) takes Cyclingnews behind the scenes at his Spanish home and shows off the cups and trophies he has won this year.
The Irish climber says his Vuelta a Catalonya's cup for his third place behind Alberto Contador and Michele Scarponi is an emotional souvenir. "There is a little Catalan flag - that's my home region where I live and train now, so it meant a lot for me," he says.
At the Tour of Poland, where Martin came second and won the queen stage, he was given a more original trophy: a piece of salt from Krakow, were the race finished.
Ranked 9th in WordlTour, Martin particularly enjoys the cup from his stage win at the Vuelta a Espana: "This is my first stage in a grand tour".
Finally he shows us his plate for his second place at the Tour of Lombardy. "Even if it's not a spectacular trophy, it's something important", he says.
In 2012 Martin expects to capture new "souvenirs", notably from the Tour de France which he is hoping to race for the first time.