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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Date published:
December 05, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • MacAnally the latest Australian to join Team Bibanese

    Ryan MacAnally is set to join Italian Under-23 squad Team Bibanese in 2013
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 4:42 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Twenty-year-old sprinter leaves Budget Forklifts

    Ryan MacAnally is the latest Australian to tread to well-worn path to Italian under-23 squad, Team Bibanese. The 20-year-old has spent just over a season with Australian Continental outfit Budget Forklifts, but when the offer came following the Tour of the Murray River, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

    MacAnally follows Australian WorldTour riders Simon Gerrans and Jonathan Cantwell, along with Adam Semple and Mitch Mulhern. While the input of Mulhern was crucial to the young sprinter landing the role, it was the sage advice of Robbie McEwen that convinced MacAnally that he was making the right move.

    "I'm trying to follow in the footsteps of Jonny Cantwell and Robbie McEwen - they're my idols," he told Cyclingnews. "I went to Robbie for some advice and he said just to go for the team."

    The Queenslander is in a hurry with the goal being to make it to the WorldTour by 2016, but next year is all about gaining the valuable experience that racing in Europe can only bring.

    This season, MacAnally scored nine podiums in the Australian National Road Series this season, playing a key role in the success of Budget Forklifts teammate Luke Davison who took the overall title off the back of 10 stage victories, the Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic and the Tour of the Murray River.

    "It was great to work with Luke, we both had a lot of success and it was good to be in the lead out train with him, Sam Witmitz was there too," explained MacAnally. "It was great to be a part of a team that had so much dominance."

    MacAnally also rode on the Australian National team at the Tour of Hainan, with a top-10 on Stage 9, before returning to his home state to claim third behind McEwen and Cantwell at the Noosa International Criterium...

  • Gilbert: A cyclist is not a Formula 1 driver

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC) waves to the crowd at the start of the race
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 6:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    World champion was left "dead" at first BMC training camp

    Recently-crowned UCI Road World Champion Philippe Gilbert has experienced disappointment and jubilation in his first year with the BMC Racing Team. Last year’s number one-ranked rider struggled for a large part of the season but says the lessons learned in 2012 will not be repeated in the coming season.

    This turbulent year is detailed in Gilbert’s second book "My Rainbow Season". The new release describes the ups and downs of 2012 following a sensational 2011 that saw the Belgian enter the history books with a sweep of the Ardennes Classics, a stage win at the Tour de France and two national titles among many others.

    Gilbert made some mistakes in late 2011 which he believes caused him to struggle in the early part of 2012. His first training camp with BMC left him "dead" while failing to stipulate the use of some of his preferred equipment in his contract also caused problems, according to the 30-year-old.

    "After that first team training in December 2011 I was dead," explained Gilbert to Het Nieuwsblad. "I respect the process of my bosses, but I've learned to talk.

    "I'm an old rider. I'm too old to change now. I'm not interested in numbers and values. A cyclist is not a Formula 1 driver who gives all numbers of the machine to engineers after testing and then there is a solution.

    "I made my switch to the BMC bike but made the error, for example of not including in my contract that I would ride my own saddle and pedals," said Gilbert at the launch of his new book.

    Gilbert was finally able to redeem his season by winning two stages at the Vuelta a España before capturing the biggest win of his career by winning the road race at the

  • Bugno calls on riders to take central role in shaping cycling's future

    Gianni Bugno getting ready for a helicopter flight for Italian TV.
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 10:32 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    CPA president talks about LeMond and the Change Cycling Now group

    Gianni Bugno, the head of the Cyclistes Professionels Associés (CPA), the International Cyclists' Association, has said the clash between the UCI and the Change Cycling Now group could be good for the sport if it leads to a new start and sows the seeds for the future.

    Bugno reportedly spoke to the UCI on Friday and was in London on Monday to speak to Greg LeMond and other members of the Change Cycling Now group. Bugno has been president of the CPA since 2009, combining the role with his job as a helicopter pilot.

    Riders have often failed to unite and take a stand against doping and other problems that impact them directly. However, Bugno hopes the riders can now understand that they have a central role to play in the future of cycling.

    Bugno raced against LeMond in the late eighties and early nineties. He won the 1990 Giro d'Italia, leading the race from start to finish and was world champion in 1991 and 1992.

    "It was nice to see him after 20 years, with grey hair, something I haven't got," Bugno told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "LeMond's group is the most radical. There's nothing grey, it's black against white, they're totally challenging the UCI. LeMond was aggressive too but I liked how he presented things. His group has some good ideas. But now it's up to the riders to decide things."

    The UCI has yet to respond to the Change Cycling Now group's call for Pat McQuaid to resign as president and their 'Charter of the Willing' preferring to organise their own consultancy project with riders, teams, race organisers, national federations, administrators, sponsors, industry representatives, anti-doping organisations and sports bodies. The UCI has held talks with race organisers, rider and team representatives in recent...

  • Valverde believes ban could extend career

    Alejandro Valverde of spain
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 11:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard takes aim at 2013 Tour de France

    Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) believes that the 18-month suspension he belatedly served for blood doping under the supervision of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes will ultimately help to extend his career.

    The 32-year-old returned to competitive action in January of this year and in spite of his lay-off, he succeeded in taking seven victories and finishing on the podium of both the Vuelta a España and world championships.

    “I think that year and a half of a stop will extend my career, as I was mentally disconnected [from cycling]. I had no objectives and no pressure,” Valverde told Diario de Navarra.

    Indeed, Valverde – who has denied wrongdoing – claimed that he had returned from suspension in better condition than before, and that he was stronger at this year’s Vuelta than he was when he claimed overall victory in 2009.

    “I won a medal at the Worlds in 2003 and in 2012, I was still up there,” he said. “And in this Vuelta, I was better than when I won it. I suffered less and I came through it better. I have three children and it’s hard to leave them, but I like this life. I would like to keep going until I’m 37 or 38.”

    Valverde admitted that he had not expected to be quite as successful in his first season back in the peloton. “The most surprising thing was that I was able to win from January until the Worlds, where I went like a motorbike,” he said.

    After his startling showing at the Vuelta, Valverde has decided to make the general classification of the Tour de France his primary objective in 2013. The Murcia native’s previous best in 6th in 2007.

    “I have the Tour de France in mind....

  • Ciolek ready to lead MTN-Qhubeka to next level

    Gerald Ciolek put a lot of thought into a well-considered design scheme
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 13:15 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    German will head up team for Classics

    Much has been said about the decline of Gerald Ciolek, the German sprinter who, just a few days after his 20th birthday, won the U23 road race at the world championships in Salzburg. After a string of promising early career results, including a Vuelta a España stage victory with Milram in 2009, he went winless for nearly two years until finally stepping back onto the top of the podium on stage 4 of the Volta ao Algarve this year with Omega Pharma-Quickstep.

    Now, at 26, Ciolek joins the newest Pro Continental squad, MTN-Qhubeka presented by Samsung, and as one of the senior members he has accepted the responsibility of leading the squad as European captain.

    Some may think it is a step down for Ciolek, a decision that takes away the certainty of the WorldTour race calendar and puts his schedule at the mercy of race organizers, but he says the move to the first truly African professional team is a good choice.

    "It looks like a big step [down], but if you look at the team it's on a really high level," Ciolek told Cyclingnews at the team presentation near Johannesburg. "At first I didn't know what to expect, but I spoke to many guys and they said it's a good, professional, really organized project. I know [directeur sportif] Jens Zemke, and I trust in the team."

    Ciolek valued his two seasons at Omega Pharma-QuickStep, where he often rode in the service of Tom Boonen, but he's ready to move on and help to guide his new teammates and carry the expectation of getting results. "QuickStep was a great team, and it was nice to ride for, especially this year, the most successful team in the world. The team was a good experience," he said.

    "There were opportunities in Quickstep, it wasn't like I...

  • New Spanish cycling federation president calls for independent anti-doping agency

    The powerhouse Spanish team has plenty of options for the world championship road race.
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 15:04 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    López Cerron says Spanish cycling has big gap to fill between professionals and juniors

    Newly-elected Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) president José Luis Lopez Cerron has a lot on his plate: major cuts in Spanish sport across the board, a federation with a huge debt, a big drop in the level of private and local government sponsorship of teams and races in the midst of Spain’s worst recession within living memory, the upcoming Operacion Puerto trial in January and – of course – the question of how best to tackle doping in cycling.

    A former pro, López Cerron is now the organiser of one of Spain’s week-long stage races, the Vuelta a Castilla y Léon. But he is best known internationally for being the person who took Alberto Contador the infamous contaminated steak to the Astana team hotel in the Pyrenees during the 2010 Tour de France which the Spanish stage racing star says was indirectly responsible for his positive test for clenbuterol.

    López Cerron recognised after his unwitting role in the affair that “it is a label which is going to stick to me for the rest of my life. For me, it’s something purely anecdotal, albeit negative because nobody likes being remembered for something like that,” he told Spanish sports daily MARCA on Wednesday.

    The RFEC initially cleared Contador of any infraction, a decision which was later overturned by CAS who gave the Spaniard a two-year ban. However, as López Cerron told Cyclingnews, one of his key initiatives during his four-year mandate will be to try to hand over responsibility to a separate anti-doping body with no connection to the federation.

    “I think an independent organisation should carry out those [anti-doping] tests and judge them all too,” Lopez Cerron said.


  • I AM Cycling hopes for Giro d'Italia invitation

    IAM Cycling's Michel Thétaz
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 18:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    New Swiss team to targets the Classics with Haussler

    The new IAM Cycling Professional Continental team is busy preparing for the 2013, building its team structure from scratch in Switzerland, with the aim of being competitive in the Classics with Heinrich Haussler and perhaps even securing a wild card invitation to the Giro d'Italia.

    IAM Cycling is owned by Michel Thétaz, who is the founder and CEO of the IAM Independent Asset Management company based in Geneva. The team has signed 23 riders for 2013, with Thétaz hoping to one day secure the services of Switzerland's best known rider Fabian Cancellara.

    As well as Haussler and stage race leader Thomas Löfkvist, the team roster includes Gustav Larsson and Stefan Denifl, Aleksejs Saramotins, Kevin Ista, Dominic Klemme, Aleksandr Pliuschin, Rémi Cusin, Johann Tschopp, Martin Elminger, Kristoff Goddaert, Sébastien Hinault and Italians Marco Bandiera and Matteo Pelucchi.

    "The objective for 2013 is to create a team that reflects the identity of our company. I want the guys to ride as a team, helping each other and all pulling in the same direction," Thétaz told Italian magazine Tuttobici in an interview, revealing he rides 5,000km a year and will be at races to watch his riders in action.

    "Considering the different kind of riders that we'll field in races, I think we can do well in the Classics and stage races. Haussler can do well right from the start of the season, while Tschopp or Löfkvist can get some results at the Tour of Romandie and he Tour de Suisse. We'd also like to have the chance to ride a grand tour. For example I think my team could do well in the Giro d'Italia…"

    IAM Cycling will use Scott bikes in 2013 but...

  • Mullervy twins take destiny into their own hands after Team Exergy's collapse

    Conor Mullervy (Clif Bar) on a climb that many racers got off their bikes on.
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 20:45 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Fundraising campaign launched to continue their racing careers

    Former Team Exergy riders Conor and Kevin Mullervy, identical twin brothers who live in Boulder, Colorado, are turning to the internet to find support for the 2013 season after the UCI Continental team abruptly pulled the plug last week.

    The Mullervy brothers have started a "RallyMe" fundraising campaign in hopes of collecting $15,000 to pay travel and living expenses while they chase the pro dream on an amateur team next season. Run by a company in Salt Lake City, Utah, the relatively new RallyMe site provides an online fundraising platform for athletes, teams and organizations hoping to harness the power of the internet and social media to fund their goals. It's a modern twist to a very old tale.

    "Someone mentioned it to us, and I thought it was a great idea," Kevin Mullervy told Cyclingnews on Monday. "We've been talking with some amateur teams, but no one wants to pay us any money, and we don't want to just hang up the bikes. We are training up to 30 to 40 hours a week, so it's hard to get even a part-time job if we want to be successful next year and catch on with another pro team."

    Like many of their former teammates, the 24-year-old brothers found out that their 2013 career plans had gone up in smoke either online or from friends after Exergy Development Group CEO James Carkulis released a late-night statement on November 27 announcing the bad news. Conor Mullervy vented his frustration through his Twitter account, @cmullervy, writing, "Well I just found out via @Cyclingnewsfeed that I don't have a job for next season. ... #unreal #pissed."

    "We kind of knew something was coming," Kevin Mullervy said Monday. "The management said keep tight, and then we found out that night....