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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Date published:
January 08, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Indurain predicts “big battle” on San Miguel de Aralar

    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 12:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spain’s five-time Tour winner tackles new summit finish in Navarra

    Miguel Indurain has described, the Vuelta a España’s new climb, the San Miguel de Aralar as “very tough” and likely to favour pure climbers such as Alberto Contador and Joaquim Rodríguez.

    The five-time Tour de France winner, who lives in Pamplona, which will host the start of stage 11 to the new ascent, said before starting up the Aralar that hehoped he could climb it in the saddle as he would have done in his racing pomp. However, Indurain was soon forced to stand on the pedals on early ramps of the cement-surfaced ascent.

    “It is a very tough climb, especially in the opening kilometres. After that, it stays above 10% until the final section, when it ramps up again,” he told AS. “I know it from having climbed it in a cyclosportive. I think its difficulty stems from the consistently steep gradient. It is also pretty long at 11 kilometres.”

    The stage is set to feature two passes before reaching the final ascent, but Indurain believes the Lezáun and Lizarraga climbs aren’t all that testing, although they are quite lengthy. However, he foresees another complication.

    “It is being reported that the stage will take place after a time trial, which would mean that this stage could cause more damage because of the accumulated effort,” Indurain explained. He added that the cement surface could also be a touch bit heavier than a normal tarmac surface.

    As for favourites for the stage, he was quick to pick out “pure climbers and explosive riders. It’s still a little bit too early to talk about favourites when the season hasn’t even started, but this climb will suit people like Purito [Rodríguez] and Contador phenomenally well.”

    Indurain said that he couldn’t...

  • Gavazzi rescinds his contract with the Androni-Venezuela team

    Mattia Gavazzi (Androni Giocattoli) crashed out of the sprint
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 13:33 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian sprinter quits for personal reasons

    Mattia Gavazzi's troubled career as a professional rider appears to have come to an end after the Italian sprinter and the Androni–Venezuela team consensually agreed to rescind their contract for the 2014 season.

    Gavazzi has battled with problems with cocaine since he was a junior but seemed to have made a full recovery in recent years and was given a second chance Androni team manager Gianni Savio. He beat Peter Sagan to win the final stage of the Tour de San Luis last year and also rode part of the Giro d'Italia with the Androni team before being disqualified for holding onto vehicles on a climb in the finale of stage 16.

    Gavazzi had been set to ride with Androni-Venezuela in 2014, alongside new signings Johnny Hoogerland, Kenny Van Hummel and team leader Franco Pellizotti but the team announced that he had decided to rescind his contract "for personal reasons and technical differences with the team."

    The team thanked Gavazzi for his success while riding with them but offered no details or reasons for Gavazzi's decision. Savio refused to give further details when contacted by Cyclingnews.


  • UCI mandatory wheel sticker programme delayed

    The UCI was planning to add stickers to approved race wheels this month
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 14:50 GMT
    Sam Dansie

    Federation streamlining approval process before implementation

    This article originally published on BikeRadar

    The UCI's mandatory wheel sticker regulation programme has been postponed until later in 2014.

    The international governing body announced plans last year that all non-standard wheels used in elite competition would need to carry a sticker confirming they had passed a rupture test assessment.

    According to a document on the UCI website, almost 400 wheels from brands such as Shimano, Bontrager, Campagnolo and Zipp have already passed the test.

    However the UCI's technical co-ordinator Matthieu Mottet told BikeRadar the sticker programme – due to be implemented in January this year – has been postponed while they streamline the testing and approval process.

    He said: "The new approval process is postponed to a later date. This will allow us more time to develop the best approval process possible working in close collaboration with the different parties."

    Brian Roddy, president of Rolf Prima Wheel Systems, which has nine sets approved for UCI competition, said a regulatory process was a welcome development to weed out shoddily built wheels. He agreed, however, that the process needed to be streamlined and voiced his hope the UCI would adopt an international standard – such as an EN safety test – so that all manufacturers could target the same test.

    Roddy said: "The EN-based standards are a pretty good start and cover more aspects of wheel safety and reliability, so we are hopeful that the UCI will go further down the route of adopting the EN-based standards and not creating more of their own."

    The UCI lab test is designed to investigate what happens to non-standard wheels – hoops with...

  • Report: Armstrong unlikely to benefit by testifying to UCI Commission

    Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 16:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Armstrong: "We've had no contact from any of their side"

    Lance Armstrong's chances of securing a reduction to his life-time ban for doping appear to have taken a blow as a consequence of the UCI announcing the creation of the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC) to investigate how doping became so prevalent in the so-called 'EPO-era'.

    Armstrong has tried to swing public opinion in a series of interviews in recent months, claiming he would be 'first through the door" at any investigation but he has demanded he is given a similar treatment to other riders who have confessed to doping. "My punishment is a thousand bigger than the ‘crime’ I committed," he told Gazzetta dello Sport when in Rome in December.

    However the UCI has moved away from creating a full blown 'Truth and Reconciliation Commission' and only said it was 'in the final stages of discussions with WADA to agree how best to incentivise people to co-operate with the Independent Commission."

    According to the Telegraph newspaper, the Commission will have the powers to give 'a free pass' to people who testify but not those who have already been convicted of doping offences.

    The British newspaper suggests Armstrong could eventually be contacted by the Commission and perhaps get his ban reduced to eight years but only with the approval of USADA, who has always questioned Armstrong's motives and conviction to fully revealing what he knows about doping in the sport.

    Armstrong told Cyclingnews via email that "We've had no contact from any of their side, so I have no idea what this is about."

    On Twitter he wrote: "my position remains unchanged. I plan on cooperating openly...

  • Gallery: Astana team presentation

    Astana teammates Michele Scarponi and Vincenzo Nibali at the squad's presentation in Italy
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 18:07 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Vino confirms that Nibali will not ride the Giro d'Italia

    The Astana team held its official presentation in Brescia, Italy on Wednesday, introducing the line-ups for its WorldTour squad led by Vincenzo Nibali, the new Vino4Ever men's Continental team and the Italian-based women's Be Pink Astana team.

    All three teams posed for their official photograph outside the stunning Villa Fenaroli before the event was broadcast live on Kazakhstan television.

    During the presentation, Nibali confirmed he will target the Tour de France and begin his 2014 season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. Team manager Alexandre Vinokourov ruled out that Nibali will also ride the Giro d'Italia.

    "Our objective for this year is to win the Tour, so Vincenzo has to forget about the pink jersey," he told Tuttobiciweb.

    "We want to win the yellow jersey, but we'll have a good team for the Giro d'Italia with Michele Scarponi and Fabio Aru, who can win the best young rider's white jersey and gain experience."

    "Last year we worked together to win the Giro d'Italia, and it wasn't easy," Vinokourov said in a press release. "But the effort, motivation and drive that we demonstrated found its reward on the final podium right here in Brescia, and it's a great privilege to be able to stand here today and say we are ready to assume our next challenge at the 2014 Tour de France.

    New signing Michele Scarponi will be the Astana leader for the Giro d'Italia and will also makes his debut in Argentina. Nibali will ride the Tour of Oman in February unless his wife gives birth to their baby daughter. He will be coached by Paolo Slongo who joins Astana from Cannondale.

    "Today is the presentation, but our season has already started with the long training camp in...

  • International power behind Independent Reform Commission

    The UCI
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 20:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Trio brings experience in war crimes to cycling investigation

    UCI president Brian Cookson's selections for the Cycling Independent Reform Commission, announced today, go far beyond the insular world of sport, bringing in three individuals with extensive experience in investigating international crimes.

    The trio will be tasked with digging into the UCI's past, and finding out if there is any substance to the allegations that the former administration was involved in covering up doping, allowing the era of rampant doping to go virtually unchecked.

    Heading up the CIRC is Dick Marty, a Swiss politician and former state prosecutor who holds a doctorate in law. During his time as prosecutor, Marty specialized in organized crime and drug legislation. As part of the Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, Marty took on the CIA over its alleged illegal detention centers in Romania and Poland that were part of the 'war on terror'. He also investigated illegal human organ trafficking in Kosovo.

    The second member is Peter Nicholson, an Australian former military officer. Nicholson served as the chief investigator for the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission, investigating war crimes. He was involved in the inquiry into the 2005 assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

    Completing the three-man panel is Ulrich Haas, an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport and advisor to the Council of Europe Anti-Doping Convention.

    Haas is the most experienced of the three in sports law and doping. He chaired the German Anti-Doping Commission from 1999 to 2002, and was involved in the revision of the World Anti-Doping Code in 2006-2007. Haas was the chair of WADA's independent observer team at the 2004 Olympic Games.

    Haas is also the only one of the three directly familiar with doping in...

  • Evans confirms appearance for national road race

    Cadel Evans (BMC) takes the win on stage 4 of the Tour of Alberta
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 21:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hoping to be 'competitive' but facing an uphill task for the victory

    Cadel Evans has ended any speculation that would miss the national road championships on Sunday by officially announcing he will take place in the event. With this confirmation it is expected that a capacity crowd will be in attendance to watch the 2009 World Champion join a field of over 150 riders tackling the 183.6km race over 18 laps of the 10.2km for the first time since 2005.

    "My training has been very focused in the last few weeks and I feel that I’m at a level that should hopefully enable me to be competitive on Sunday," said Evans, who is beginning his season earlier than past years as targets the 2014 Giro D’Italia.

    "I know it's going to be hard work going up against the larger teams, but it will be interesting to see how the race unfolds and I'm looking forward to a good, solid hit out."

    Evans will be taking on the strongest line up of men's riders ever assembled for a national championship this Sunday including, Team Sky’s Richie Porte and Nathan Earle, ORICA-GreenEDGE’s Simon Gerrans, Luke Durbridge, Simon Clarke, Matthew Goss and Matthew Hayman as well as Garmin Sharpe riders Rohan Dennis, Steele von Hoff and Lachlan Morton.

    Jonathon Cantwell, Will Clarke and Jack Anderson will also headline a large contingent from pro-continental outfit Drapac who will be hungry for the win.

    The championships kicked off with the time trial events held in Burrumbeet yesterday with Michael Hepburn (elite men), Felicity Wardlaw (elite women) and Jordan Kerby (under 23 men) claiming the first of the national jerseys on offer in challenging conditions.

    Racing continues on Thursday in Ballarat’s city centre with the Sturt St criterium...

  • NetApp-Endura looking for Tour de France Wildcard

    Leopold Konig (Team NetApp-Endura) wins stage 8 of the Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    January 08, 2014, 21:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    German team aiming to build on past success

    After a year that saw them win their first Grand Tour stage, the NetApp-Endura team has put its hat in the ring for a Tour de France spot, in July.

    "The Tour de France is the target we have definitively set for ourselves," said team manager Ralph Denk. "With our successes at the Vuelta a España, we showed just what potential this team has. Year by year we have set ourselves ever higher targets and have always backed this up with results."

    The Pro Continental team applied for a wildcard last year, but lost out to the French teams of Europcar, Sojasun and Cofidis. With Europcar stepping up to WorldTour level and the demise Sojasun freeing up spaces, the likelihood of them claiming one of the four places seems much greater.

    If they are successful in their bid, they will be the first German team to ride the Tour since 2010, in Milram’s final season. NetApp were keen to keep hold of their German licence when they merged with the British Endura team, at the beginning of last year. They are currently the only German registered team to compete in the top two tiers of cycling.

    The team rode their first Grand Tour in 2011, at the Giro d'Italia without top rider Leopold König, who was missing due to illness, and struggled for a result. König made up for this and more with a stage win and ninth in the general classification. The Czech rider has been key to the team’s success over the last two years and is looking to build on that. His first big goal will be Tirreno-Adriatico in March, provided the team get a wildcard. "Tirreno–Adriatico is my kind of race," said König. "With this team behind me, I believe I...