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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Date published:
November 10, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Basso gets back in the saddle

    2010 Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo)
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 10:39 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Giro winner starts his winter training early

    Ivan Basso traditionally starts his winter training after his birthday on November 26 but the Giro d’Italia winner was back in the saddle on Tuesday as he begins to prepare for the 2011 season and his early season debut at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina on January 17.

    Despite the rain, the 32-year-old covered 70km during his ride from Cassano Magnago to Lake Arona, west of Milan. It was his first ride for 20 days after a week’s holiday in an Italian spa resort and only the odd glass of wine.

    “I’ve been excited about this day like my son Santiago is excited about Christmas,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I didn’t feel great. It hurts but that’s normal. This is the start of a fundamental eight-week block of training. It’s important to build a base to handle the intense work that comes later. At my age I need more time to get into form and so I’ve started a little earlier than in the past.”

    Basso changed his race programme to include the Tour de Romandie this year after realising he hadn’t raced enough before the Giro d’Italia. In 2011 he plans to race earlier and more often.

    “I’m going to start my 2011season earlier because I took a big risk. I wasn’t very sharp and so had to add Romandie to get up to speed. I’m going to start my season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina (January 17-23) and my first race in Italy will probably be the Giro di Sardegna (February 22-26).”

    Basso will work on his base fitness in the first few weeks, mixing blocks of rides with rest days.

    “I won’t do any specific work early but gradually increase the quantity. Each week I’ll do three days of riding and then have a rest day, then two days of riding and another rest day. When I’ve got a good base lid down, I’ll also include some rides on a fixed gear.”

    Still with...

  • French riders' union opposed to night time testing

    The peloton at the GP Ouest France in Plouay
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 10:57 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    UNCP head Chanteur says cyclists are men, not guinea pigs

    The French professional cyclists’ union (UNCP) has voiced its opposition to the introduction of night time anti-doping testing during races and called for an end to riders being treated as “guinea pigs.”

    A recently released report by independent observers from the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) on drug testing at the 2010 Tour de France recommended night time controls as a possible improvement to current testing procedures. The UNCP has announced that it is firmly opposed to such a measure.

    “While reaffirming our agreement with anti-doping policy, we also ask you to leave us in peace a little, if only to sleep at night,” UNCP president Pascal Chanteur said. “If WADA were to persevere in its intention to have random tests at night, it would meet the resistance of riders. There is a limit to everything, especially to indecency.”

    Former professional Chanteur explained that his organisation felt that night time testing would be a step too far, given that riders already “voluntarily submit themselves to strict medical monitoring, a biological passport and unannounced tests which mean they must be available at any times.”

    “The riders are fed up of being considered as highwaymen who are presumed guilty,” he continued. “They are above all men and not just guinea pigs.”

    The touted night time tests have met opposition from a number of professional riders, including Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck, who labelled the idea as “ridiculous.” However, Mark Cavendish last week said that he was willing to undergo such testing. “We have to do anything we can to eliminate doping in cycling, so I'm ok with it,” he explained.


  • Vaughters critical of UCI ProTeams rankings

    Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 12:05 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Secret system not conducive to sponsor searches, says Garmin boss

    Ever since the UCI announced last week that it had formulated a new system of sporting criteria to help it determine which teams should be awarded entry into cycling's top tier, there has been confusion and objections from several teams. Garmin-Transitions boss Jonathan Vaughters, also president of the teams association, the AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels) is one of the few people to have seen the details of how the rankings were calculated, and is not happy with how secretive the UCI has been about it.

    The UCI will use the 'sporting criteria' formula, a mix of points for a team's 2011 roster which tallies its riders 2009 and 2010 results while adding some weight to the team's previous stage race team classifications, to determine which teams will gain ProTeam licenses. It guarantees the top 15 teams entry to the top tier, provided they meet the ethical, financial and administrative criteria, while the three remaining spots will be awarded to other teams within the top 20. The exact formula has been a mystery to many.

    "I think that not lending visibility to this is extremely destructive to sponsorship searches," Vaughters told Cyclingnews from New York, where he is currently searching for funding for Slipstream's U23 team. "Sponsors want to know if the team will be in the top events. To keep something semi-secret means you cannot give an official explanation to a sponsor." This makes securing a team's future more difficult.

    HTC-Columbia team owner Bob Stapleton, commenting on the ranking prior to the UCI's announcement, echoed Vaughters' concern. "The UCI had the intention of making it unpredictable - it was a stated goal," Stapleton said. "That is not an attractive proposition for sponsors. They want to know that their franchise would have certain rights - you have to earn those rights for sure - but this kind of mystery contest that isn't announced until October? That's not right."

  • Gilbert to target the Tour of Flanders in 2011

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) would not get a third Paris-Tours win
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 12:15 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Belgian hopes for peak form on the cobbles

    Philippe Gilbert will again target the Spring Classics in 2011 but has named the Tour of Flanders as his biggest goal of the season.

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto team leader is one of the most talented Classics rider of his generation and won the Amstel Gold Race and the Tour of Lombardy this year. His climbing ability, fast finish and sharp tactical mind, means he can win any of the major monuments on the calendar.

    He has set a career goal of winning Milan-San Remo, Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, Paris-Tours and Tour of Lombardy. He has already won the last two on the list and will build his 2011 spring around the Tour of Flanders, knowing he could win Milan-San Remo along the way.

    "Winning six classics is a dream but I'll take them one-by-one. Next year I'm aiming at the Tour of Flanders,” he announced in an interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws.

    “I also dream of Liege-Bastogne-Liege of course. But like the ‘Ronde’ (Tour of Flanders), if you're on top form, you never finish outside the top five. "

    "You can ride Milan-Sanremo at one hundred percent of your form down and yet only finish twentieth. That never happens at the Tour of Flanders.”

    Gilbert usually rides Paris-Nice as his final preparation for the Spring Classics but will join many of his rivals and ride Tirreno-Adriatico in 2011 to avoid the bad weather and hillier route at Paris-Nice.

    "It has really become a stage race for climbers. It’s too tough for me at that time of year," he said.

    Gilbert is expected to start his 2011 season at the Tour of Qatar in February.

  • Spanish verdict on Contador case could take over three months

    Alberto Contador Velasco (Astana) leads Janez Brajkovic (Team Radioshack) with just over six and a half kilometres to Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 12:23 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Contador hires Pellizotti's defence lawyer

    Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) president Juan Carlos Castaño has said that a verdict n the Alberto Contador case will not be reached within two months, while RFEC legal counsel Luis Sanz has warned that the process could take over three months.

    Castaño said that the sheer volume of documentation on the matter that the RFEC’s competition committee has received from the UCI (International Cycling Union) means that the time frame of the case is likely to be extended. He explained that the file sent by the UCI is “very large, much larger than any other.”

    “There are many reports from various official bodies and even some private reports,” Castaño told AS. “Most of them are in English, so it is very likely that the competition committee will request an official translation.”

    Castaño was quoted on Monday as saying that he hoped that Contador would be cleared, but the case is now in the hands of the RFEC’s four-man competition committee, led by Carmen Victoria Lopez. The competition committee was due to hold its first meeting to review the case on Wednesday.

    Spanish federation legal counsel Sanz explained that “the case could extend beyond three months” and that “the time it takes for the athlete to present and confirm his evidence cannot be restricted.” 

    However, such a lengthy process appears to be in contravention of UCI anti-doping regulations, even though AS says that under Spanish anti-doping law the permitted period is three months.

    Article 280 of the UCI regulations states that “proceedings before the hearing panel of the License-Holder’s National Federation must be completed within 1 (one) month from the time limit set for the dispatch of the summons.” For each week’s delay thereafter, the Spanish federation could incur a fine of CHF 5000.

    The UCI...

  • Lloyd aiming for place in Garmin-Cervélo Classics squad

    Daniel Lloyd (Cervelo TestTeam) was another local favourite.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 12:59 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Englishman back in the saddle ahead of Cayman Islands training camp

    Daniel Lloyd has already begun his training ahead of the 2011 season and hopes that his early preparation will earn him a place in the new Garmin-Cervélo Classics line-up.

    Lloyd, who has ridden for Cervélo TestTeam for the past two years, moved to the newly formed Garmin-Cervélo team with Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Andreas Klier, Brett Lancaster, Thor Hushovd and Gabriel Rasch. On paper, at least, the team look to be one of the strongest Classics outfits in the peloton, with the likes of Tyler Farrar, Martijn Maaskant, Johan Van Summeren already on the team’s books.

    The squad will all meet up for the first time at a training camp in the Cayman Islands at the end of November.

    “We’ve not been sent many details yet but I can’t imagine we’ll do a huge amount of riding. Most of the time we’ll just be getting to know everyone, doing a few activities and sitting down with the race directors to get our programmes,” Lloyd told Cyclingnews.

    With little training planned during their stay on the islands, the team will instead focus on getting to know each other and integrating what up to now have been two rival squads.

    “Not only are the management are going to make sure there’s not two separate groups of riders. I’m going to make a huge effort to make sure I don’t just sit down with my old teammates from last year. That would create an atmosphere,” Lloyd said.

    “I think everyone will integrate immediately and we’ve all got to work together. That’s the big idea for this camp really, to help integration and get everyone together.”

    This season Lloyd jam-packed two grand tours into his programme with the Giro and Tour, as well as the Dauphiné and the Classics. It was a huge step up for a rider racing at ProTour level for just his second season but he was a integral part of...

  • Moncoutié to target mountains title on return to Tour

    David Moncoutie (Cofidis) en route to victory in stage eight.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 14:00 GMT
    Daniel Friebe

    Cofidis boss Boyer backing "Eco-Warrior" for polka-dot glory

    Having skipped the race in 2010 and effectively called time on his stormy love affair with the Grande Boucle, Cofidis climber David Moncoutié will return to the Tour de France in 2011 to target the King of the Mountains title, says his team manager Eric Boyer.

    Boyer told Cyclingnews that Moncoutié’s third consecutive success in the Vuelta a España’s climbers competition in September had persuaded him to return to the Tour.

    A winner of hilly stages in the 2004 and 2005 Tours, the 35 year old has nonetheless failed to shine in the Alps and Pyrenees. He became disillusioned with the Tour after an opaque performance in 2009 which drew criticism from Boyer.

    “We’re thrilled that David has decided he wants to do the Tour again,” Boyer told Cyclingnews on Wednesday. “He’ll target a stage-win and the King of the Mountains title and I see absolutely no reason why he can’t fulfill both objectives. He’s very strong now, physically and mentally. If Anthony Charteau can win the polka-dot jersey in 2010, then David can win it in 2011.”

    Charteau’s victory, of course, was achieved under different rules from the ones riders will face next July. At the Tour’s route presentation in October, race chief Christian Prudhomme announced that in 2011 double points will be on offer at summit finishes, while only the first six riders will collect points atop hors catégorie climbs.

    While most pundits predict that the rule changes favour riders also in contention for the yellow jersey, in Moncoutié’s case, Boyer disagrees.

    “David has no interest in the general classification, but I don’t think the change to the points system hinders him,” Boyer argued. “As I said, he’s very confident in his own ability now. He no longer worries about what the other riders are or...

  • Tour of Beijing joins the UCI WorldTour

    Mr Li, Director of the Beijing Sports Bureau and UCI President Pat McQuaid sign an agreement for a new stage race to join the UCI WorldTour
    Article published:
    November 10, 2010, 16:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    New major international road stage race for Asia

    At a ceremony held Wednesday in Beijing, China, UCI President Pat McQuaid and representatives from the Beijing Sports Bureau signed an agreement on the organisation of a new stage race that will be part of the UCI WorldTour. The new event will be included in the WorldTour subject to the award of a licence by the Licence Commission. The first edition of the event, known as the Tour of Beijing, will be held in the region of the capital of the People's Republic of China from October 5-9, 2011.

    The agreement between the UCI and the Chinese authorities is initially valid for four years from 2011 to 2014.

    UCI President Pat McQuaid expressed satisfaction at this agreement which represents a further milestone in the UCI's strategy for the globalisation of cycling.

    "We are all aware that Asia has a huge pool of talent and immense passion for our sport, and I am convinced that the whole cycling movement will profit from the very considerable beneficial effects of an event of this size," said McQuaid.

    "Cycling in China, in particular, is currently experiencing very impressive development: after the 2008 Olympic Games, the popularity of road racing has just grown and grown. It is on the basis of this unique and extremely valuable platform that this new project has been launched."

    "The UCI welcomed, and followed with great interest, the initiative of the Beijing Sports Bureau - who I have to congratulate and thank for all its efforts; its hard work, which will be to the benefit of all cycling."

    McQuaid called the quality of the Beijing Sports Bureau proposal "superb" and predicted excellent prospects for the new event.

    "The concept of organising an event such as the Tour of Beijing would probably never have seen the light of day if this country and city had not had the immense privilege of hosting the Olympic Games," said Mr. Li, Director of the Beijing Sports Bureau.

    "It is the unique legacy of the Games that...