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Third Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Date published:
January 17, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Chavanel takes aim at Paris-Nice

    French fancy: Sylvain Chavanel
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 15:41 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman pleased with rumoured parcours

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) may be joining the exodus of European talent to warmer climes when he lines up at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina next week, but the Frenchman admitted that his 2012 season begins in earnest at Paris-Nice in March.

    Speaking at the recent Omega Pharma-Quick Step team presentation, Chavanel explained that while his first races of the new campaign will be in Argentina and Oman, his focus throughout the season’s opening salvoes is on his preparation for Paris-Nice.

    “Like a lot of riders, my first objective is going to be Paris-Nice really,” Chavanel said. “It’s the race that really starts my season, and from there until the end of April is the first really important period of the year for me.”

    Chavanel’s best Paris-Nice performance to date came in 2009, when he captured a stage, wore the leader’s jersey and finished third overall, and the Châtellerault native is normally an aggressive presence at the race. After being forced to abandon due to illness last year, he is keen to make amends at the Race to the Sun this time around.

    “A good Paris-Nice for me would be if I finished high up on general classification and won a stage, which I’ve had the habit of doing for the past number of years,” Chavanel said, before promptly adding, “Except last year, which was exceptional because I was ill…”

    Although the route for 2012 has yet to be announced, some stages have been leaked by the local press in France, and the legendary Col d’Eze time trial is touted to make a return in its traditional slot on the final day. Whether those rumours come to fruition or not, Chavanel believes that the parcours will prove more exacting than last year, when Tony...

  • Gallery: Team Sky trains in Mallorca

    Ben Swift (Team Sky) cuts a solitary figure on the streets of Mallorca
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 18:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cavendish to debut in Qatar

    From its training camp in Mallorca, Spain (see our attached picture gallery), British outfit Team Sky has confirmed the race plans for its riders for the month of February.

    After much speculation and second-guessing in the media, current world champion and new Team Sky signing Mark Cavendish will make his debut for the squad at the Tour of Qatar from February 5-10. Cavendish will be joined in the Gulf state by Davide Appollonio, Michael Barry, Bernard Eisel, Juan Antonio Flecha, Jeremy Hunt, Christian Knees and Ian Stannard.

    Another Tour takes place in neighbouring Oman the following week (February 14-19), and the Team Sky contingent from Qatar will make the short flight across to take part, with the only exceptions being Knees and Flecha. Their places in Oman will be taken by Australian pair Mathew Hayman and Chris Sutton.

    Some of Sky’s riders will, however, see their first action of 2012 in Europe. Just a short drive away from the Team Sky training camp is the start line for the Mallorca Challenge, which is a series of five individual one-day races from the 5th to the 9th of the month. Sky will use that event to give the remainder of their new signings their first taste of racing action. Sergio Henao and Richie Porte will be joined by Team Sky stalwart Chris Froome, who memorably took second at last year’s Vuelta a Espana.

    Bradley Wiggins has been the figurehead for Team Sky since its debut season in 2010 and, as he told Cyclingnews last week, he feels like he is in the best shape of his career. His 2012 season will begin at the Volta ao Algarve from February 15-19. He will be joined in Portugal by Edvald Boasson Hagen, who is currently flying the flag for the team at the Santos Tour Down Under, and several...

  • Riis unconcerned by delayed Contador decision

    Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 18:47 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Saxo Bank team manager patiently awaiting CAS outcome

    Saxo Bank manager Bjarne Riis arrived in Australia for the Santos Tour Down Under hours before news broke that the Court of Arbitration for Sport had pushed back the final decision in Alberto Contador’s long-running clenbuterol case. CAS will not announce a verdict on the case of Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) versus the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI until the end of January.

    Speaking with Cyclingnews on the start line of Stage 1 in Prospect on the outskirts of Adelaide, Riis was measured in his comments regarding the latest development in the case which has now been running since the Spaniard learned of his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France in August of the same year.

    "Now we just wait for this final decision," Riis shrugged. "We hoped it would have happened by now but we will wait another couple of weeks.

    "I don't really have too many comments on this to be honest. We have been waiting so long we can wait another two weeks. For now, he [Contador] is just focused on his season."

    When asked on his thoughts regarding Flavio Becca's claims that there was a bias from Israeli judge Ephraim Barak towards Contador given Saxo Bank held their training camp in Israel, Riis refused to comment.

    Riis, who is in Australia for the duration of the Tour Down Under, is hopeful that his team will perform well in the first WorldTour event of the 2012 season.

    "We have a strong, well-prepared team," he said. "I hope we have a couple of riders who can be up there in the GC and get some good results this week. That's our plan."

  • All change for Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2013?

    Team Euskaltel wating for the start.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 19:26 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Team may open its doors to non-Basque riders and welcome Galdeano back as manager

    There are increasing reports in Spain that the Euskaltel-Euskadi team is set to undergo a major overhaul in the coming months that is likely to result in non-Basque riders appearing in the team’s distinctive orange colours for the first time. The reports also suggest that former team manager Igor González de Galdeano could return to his former position after a year’s sabbatical.

    Ever since its foundation under the Euskadi banner in 1994, the team has been run by the Fundación Euskadi, a non-profit organisation established in 1993 to promote cycling within the Basque Country. The foundation receives both public and private finance to promote grassroots cycling for children, as well as having a more competitive aspect in the shape of the Euskaltel professional team and its affiliates, Orbea and Naturgas.

    However, reports suggest that the team will adopt a structure more in line with other WorldTour squads from the 2013 season, when control will be relinquished by the Fundación Euskadi and handed over to a management company linked to the team’s long-standing primary sponsor, Euskaltel. A new management team will be put in place overseeing a budget reported to be in the region of nine million euros a year for four seasons up to the end of 2016, which is well in excess of current levels of backing.

    Significantly, the team will also open up to non-Basque riders for the first time in its history. Up to now, all of the team’s riders have either been Basque-born or formed as cyclists in the region, as was the case with current team leader Samuel Sánchez, who comes from Asturias but spent much of his amateur career in the Basque Country. The exclusion of non-Basque riders has been a point of contention within the team in recent years, with former boss Galdeano and several key supporters within Euskaltel believing that the...

  • Did you win Tyler Farrar's Cervélo R3?

    Nora and Levi Leipheimer
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 20:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Reader poll winner announced

    Congratulations to Nora Radtke, 23, who won Tyler Farrar’s Cervélo R3 bike in the Cyclingnews reader poll. Hailing from Middleton, USA, but currently studying in London, Nora is a huge cycling fan. Levi Leipheimer is among favourite riders.

    “When I was 12 I watched my first stage of the Tour de France with my step-dad (he made me). It was Pantani and Armstrong on Ventoux, something that has become a bit legendary but at the time I didn't realize it. After watching the entire stage I was hooked, I've not missed a Tour de France stage since! Not long after I started to get interested in recreational riding myself. My hometown is a great place for riding and I've really come to love the sport. Of course I put it all down to Armstrong/Pantani but it also came from the bond I have with my step-dad! My love for the sport has grown beyond the Tour and I try to go to as many races as I can!”

    “How do I feel about wining the bike? At first I thought it was a joke!! I told my step-dad and he was floored, he couldn't believe a Cervelo was coming into the house!

    Studying in London will bring the Olympics to Nora's doorstep and she's looking forward to the road race, as well as the Tour de France.

    "I'm living in London for graduate school and it'll be exciting to see it in person. Of course it'll be an exciting race to, there should be a handful of favorites on the British team that will make it exciting. I'm also excited to see the Schlecks riding for Johan Bruyneel this year, maybe they can fix their time trailing?"


  • Video: Cervélo P5 aero bike

    The P5 has smooth lines
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 21:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sneak peak at Garmin-Barracuda's TT bike

    While full details of Cervélo's new P5 aero bike will be revealed on Wednesday, the Canadian company has released a teaser video of its eagerly anticipated new model.

    The US-based ProTour team Garmin-Barracuda will be aboard the UCI-legal version of the bike this coming season, while triathletes will have a separate model available for competition.

    As we await the full details of the P5, enjoy the following video:

  • UniSA's Dennis stars in Tour Down Under breakaway

    This will be good: Rohan Dennis gives the thumbs-up for Australia prior to racing in Geelong.
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 21:33 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    National under 23 champ has the ride of the day on stage 1

    Just over a week after his sensational ride at Buninyong to claim the Australian under 23 road championship, Rohan Dennis (UniSA) starred in the breakaway on the opening stage of the Tour Down Under. Dennis was one of four riders who stayed clear for 130 of the 149 kilometres of the route from Prospect to Clare on Tuesday.

    Dennis' form at the national titles was an indicator that the 21-year-old could be one to watch in the first WorldTour event of the year, and he had suggested he would be doing all he could, but even he admitted that he wasn't expecting events to unfold the way they did.

    "I was always knew I had good form with the under 23s," Dennis admitted. "It's a bit of a boost being able to do it with the pros a little bit as well.

    "I'm probably not quite there to obviously win in the pros yes, but it was good to see I was fit enough and strong enough to stay out there for 130km as well."

    The 133-man peloton knew they were in for a tough day in the searing heat and crosswinds which had long been forecast, but still Dennis was keen to make his mark, as he explained.

    "We were cruising along for a while and I was getting a little bit edgy, you could say. I thought why not, it's going to be a hard day," he recalled.

    "I was talking to Jens Voigt and he was [saying] 'aw, the first attack will probably go because we can't be bothered with all the wind'.

    "He's pretty experienced and I thought it was a great opportunity to get some exposure."

    Dennis was the first man to edge away from the main bunch, eventually joined by Marcello Pavarin (Vacansoleil-DCM), Martin Kohler (BMC) and Eduard Vorganov (Katusha) with the quartet...

  • 35 women's professional teams registered with UCI

    Under 23 Australian criterium Champion, Melissa Hoskins (GreenEDGE-AIS)
    Article published:
    January 17, 2012, 22:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Garmin-Cervélo riders find new homes

    The UCI has published the list of women's teams registered for the 2012 season, and the Olympic year has yielded a net gain of seven squads for the coming season.

    While the peloton lost three pro teams at the end of last year: Juvederm-Specialized, the Garmin-Cervélo women and Debabarrena-Gipuzkoa, it gained 10 as the women ramp up for the Summer Olympic Games in London.

    Amongst the newcomers are the Greenedge-AIS team, which has already demonstrated its power in Australia by winning stages of the Santos Women's Cup and Jayco Bay Crits series.

    Also stepping up from the amateur ranks are the Sengers Ladies Team (Belgium), Skil-1t4i (Netherlands), Bizhub-FCF (South Africa), Exergy-Twenty12 (USA), DPD - Pakketservice (Great Britain) in addition to newly formed teams Be Pink and Verinlegno - Fabiani (Italy), Axman Team Taiwan and RusVelo (Russia).

    The AA team has added a number of riders caught out by the disbanding of the Garmin-Cervélo team, including Britons Lizzy Armitstead, Sharon Laws, Emma Pooley and Lucy Martin, Australian Carla Ryan and Belgian Jessie Daams.

    The Stichting Rabo team which formed out of Nederland Bloeit picked up Iris Slappendel, Alexis Rhodes went to Greenedge-AIS, Noemi Cantele became the heart of Be Pink, leaving Trine Schmidt as the only rider from Garmin-Cervelo not yet listed on a UCI team for 2012.

    UCI women's teams for 2012

    AA Drink - Cycling Team (Ned)
    Abus Nutrixxion (Ger)
    Alriksson Go:Green (Swe)
    ASPTT Dijon - Bourgogne (Fra)
    Axman Team Taiwan (Tpe)
    Be Pink (Ita)
    Bizkaia - Durango (Spa)
    China Chongming - Giant Pro Cycling...