TOP STORY: The Armstrong Apologies
It looks like Lance Armstrong is on an apology trip saying how sorry he is to some of the people that he treated less than well in the past. First it was his ex-soigneur Emma O’Reilly and then last Friday he spoke to Christophe Bassons, he was the French rider who rode clean and was intimidated by Armstrong during the 1999 Tour de France, left the race and retired from cycling two years later.
A couple of comments stand out in the meeting between the American and the Frenchman, as reported by L’Équipe. When talking of the reports (at the time) that Armstrong had done Bassons harm and thrown him out of cycling, he said it didn’t happen quite like that, but “I maybe felt like that.” Armstrong’s answer was: “If you felt it like that, I’m sorry.” When asked by Bassons of his feelings on his doping and lying, Armstrong commented on his 2009 comeback “was the worst idea I could possibly have had, do I have regrets? I honestly don’t know if I would change my mind if this choice was given to me today.”
Those statements don’t sound much like apologies or any kind of contrition for Armstrong’s actions. Is this all some kind of publicity tour to curry favour with the general public or WADA or any other legal entity that may be considering his case in the future? Maybe it’s cynicism, but it all looks a bit false to me.
What about Filippo Simeoni:
Soudal Scheldscross Antwerpen 2013
On the sandy course on the banks of the Scheldt River on Saturday, Niels Albert (BCP-Powerplus) came out on top. World champion Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL) looked to be the top man as he had a good start and stayed near the front in the opening laps, always around third place, although a clumsy fall did lose him a little time that he soon made up. Albert came to the front on the second lap and split the field with only Nys able to stay with him; behind the race was in one long line. Belgian champion Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Napoleon Games) crossed to the leaders as the race closed together with German champ; Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) also moving up. On the sand, Nys was the fastest and split the race again with Walsleben, but the German fell at the top of the run up and the effort was wasted. Young rider Mathieu van der Poel (Enerthem-BKCP) was also up front showing he is the rider of the future. By half way point there were only 10 riders with any chance of the win. Nys, van der Poel and Vantornout were the main men at the front with Albert holding back until the sandy section with just over 2 laps to go where he rode away for a solo victory. Van der Poel chased on his own for second and Walselben just behind him for third. Nys faded to finished 9th.
Soudal Scheldscross Antwerpen Men’s Result:
1. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus in 1:02:38
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Ned) Enertherm-BKCP at 0:05
3. Philipp Walsleben (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:13
4. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:15
5. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
6. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:28
7. Wout Van Aert (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 0:31
8. Jim Aernouts (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:42
9. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan-KDL
10. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus.
Katie Compton (Trek) showed again that she is the rider to beat in women’s cyclo-cross at the moment. Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) was the early leader with Ellen Van Loy (DNCS), but British champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) didn’t let her get out of sight. Harris and Compton slowly worked their way up to Cant and Van Loy. Then Compton put the pressure on, taking Cant away from Harris and Van Loy. On a fast grass section Compton attacked to get away from a tiring Cant as Harris dropped Van Loy for third place.
Soudal Scheldscross Antwerpen Women’s Result:
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective in 39:45
2. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP at 0:35
3. Nikki Harris (GB) Telenet-Fidea at 1:19
4. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team at 1:44
5. Loes Sels (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team at 2:40
6. Githa Michiels (Bel) Toka Print MTB Team at 2:58
7. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea at 3:12
8. Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Up Cycling Team at 3:21
9. Laura Verdonschot (Bel) VZW Lotto-Ladiescycling at 3:32
10. Monique Van De Ree (Ned) Cyclelive Plus-Zannata at 3:44.
All the race action from Soudal by VIER TV:
Vlaamse Druivencross 2013
Sven Nys (Crelan-KDL) had a much better day on Sunday in Overijse, the end of the race game down to four riders out front: Nys, Lars van der Haar (Rabobank) and Kevin Pauwels & Klaas Vantornout (both Sunweb-Napoleon). Nys rode a perfect last lap before taking a gap that the others couldn’t close. The Dutch champion van der Haar won the sprint for second and Pauwels took third. The usual fast start put Pauwels at the front with German champ Philipp Walsleben (BKCP-Powerplus) as Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) took his time and in the end finished 8th. Pauwels led the race up to the halfway mark, but it all came together with 12 riders splitting off the front. Nys was out for the win and kept the pressure on until they were down to four before he put in his winning move.
Vlaamse Druivencross Men’s Result:
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Crelan KDL in 1:00:42
2. Lars van der Haar (Ned) Rabobank Development Team at 0:01
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games
4. Klaas Vantornout (Bel) Sunweb-Napoleon Games at 0:10
5. Marcel Meisen (Ger) Kwadro-Stannah at 0:32
6. Bart Aernouts (Bel) AA Drink Cycling Team at 0:35
7.Thijs van Amerongen (Ned) AA Drink Cycling Teamat 0:36
8. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:11
9. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:30
10. Rob Peeters (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:44.
Katie Compton (Trek) repeated he win of Saturday, but it wasn’t as easily done due to the Belgian champion Sanne Cant (Enertherm-BKCP) pushing the finale to a sprint. Again British champion Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) was third. Harris was the early leader with Compton having to chase with Cant and Sophie De Boer (Telenet-Fidea) between. In the end Compton and Cant caught Harris and fought out the last laps, with Cant looking the stronger rider, but Compton held her off in the sprint.
Vlaamse Druivencross Women’s Result:
1. Katie Compton (USA) Trek Cyclocross Collective in 39:06
2. Sanne Cant (Bel) Enertherm-BKCP
3. Nikki Harris (GB) Telenet-Fidea at 0:05
4. Sophie de Boer (Ned) Telenet-Fidea at 1:34
5. Ellen Van Loy (Bel) DNCS-Pro 2012 Cycling Team at 2:03
6. Pavla Havlikova (Cze) Telenet-Fidea at 2:33
7. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Fra) Rabobank Liv/Giant at 3:12
8. Karen Verhestraeten (Bel) Up Cycling Team at 3:43
9. Jolien Verschueren (Bel) Cycling Team Drogenboom at 4:30
10. Katrien Thijs (Bel) Up Cycling Team at 4:59.
New 1 Kilo Record
Frenchman François Pervis set a new World record for the 1 Kilometre time trial at the World Cup track meeting in Aguascalientes, Mexico. The track is at just under 2,000 metres altitude which helped Pervis and five other riders beat the old record of Arnaud Tournant’s 12 year old record. Pervis recorded a time of 56.303 seconds which is an average speed of 63.939 kilometres per hour.
Women’s Records also Fall in Mexico
Kristina Vogel of Germany set a new 200 metres flying start World record during her qualifying ride for the woman’s sprint in 10.384 seconds. Australian Anna Mearns put up a new 500 metre record of 32.836 seconds and became the first woman to beat 33 seconds.
Denis Dmitriev sets a new Russian record
Day two of the UCI Track World Cup in Mexico turned into yet another festival of World and national records. Rusvelo rider Denis Dmitriev stopped the clock at 9.637 in the sprint qualifying session, breaking his own Russian record (9.716) set at the same velodrome less than a year ago. The very first match brought him up against a very strong opponent in the shape of the Olympic Champion Jason Kenny, who beat the Russian by a small margin.
Denis Dmitriev, European sprint champion: “My legs felt good coming into the qualifying, so I opted for a heavier gear, perhaps overestimating my condition was a mistake. Strictly speaking, I’m not yet in the sort of form which could give me a chance for a podium place here, the level of this World Cup is extremely high. In the 1/8 finals I slightly missed the decisive move of Jason Kenny and lost this close battle. Overall, let alone the record, I’m reasonably happy with my form, a flying 200m in around 9.6 is a good time for December, keeping in mind the Worlds as the top season goal.”
Valentin Savitsky, the other Rusvelo sprinter, didn’t make it through to the match round. Ivan Kovalev rode the scratch race and came in 11th.
Thanks to the Rusvelo team.
Alonso: “I want to create this team with people you trust 100%”
Fernando Alonso confirms he wants to “import F-1” to the work of his future cycling team and surround himself with “people who already know my driving experience” to “be the best.”
In an interview with L’Equipe on the occasion of the FIA award ceremony in Paris, the Spaniard commented on the preparations for 2015. “I’m happy with the direction in which the assembly of our team for 2015 is progressing. The ideas are good and I’m impatient. But there is still much work ahead on issues of organization, media and technology that we will bring in from F-1. Such as telemetry, for example, this opens many possibilities.”
“But like many other sports, cycling has evolved to a very high standard It is difficult to make a difference. Riders are all very professional, all recovery techniques, preparations, materials, bikes, work in the wind tunnel are highly developed. It requires focus on the smallest details. So we need have the best technology available.”
Alonso wants to delegate the management of the cycling team and surround himself with a group of maximum confidence. “In a cycling team there are forty people working and I need people who do not have to call every day because my work is F-1. They will be people who already know my automotive experience: some of Benetton, two or three of Renault, someone from Ferrari for telemetry… I want to create this team with people you can trust 100% and I will be very careful to have a good atmosphere. We want to be the best, but in an atmosphere of happiness and enjoy what we do, it will be essential to demonstrate on the road that we are the best.”
“Which division can a 100% new team start in? We are still unclear on this, anyway we will adapt.” As to the team rota, it will be quality, although we will need to wait see what riders “remain free at the end of 2014. The list is not very big but we’ve talked to some. Alberto Contador still has two-year contract with his team.”
Alonso also anticipates that he will meet with the heads of ASO, organizer of the Tour de France, “to advise me, because inevitably there will be mistakes that I want to avoid as a beginner. I love cycling; it will be very nice to share this passion.”
Finally, he lamented the failure in the negotiations to buy the Euskaltel-Euskadi license, but he began to think about building his own project. “When negotiations with Euskaltel fell apart at the last moment I was a little sad not to be able to start in 2014. But on the other hand, we would have started without a good competitive level. It was already late September and it was too late to make the team are trying to create. I’m happier and prefer to make my own team.”
Alonso and his Ferarri (bike):
Champion System Roster for 2014
The UCI Continental team Champion System presented by Stan’s No Tubes has announced full team for next year. The US team will specialise in criterium races with the National Criterium Calendar their main aim for the year. They will also ride the National Racing Calendar and possibly race abroad.
Champion System p/b Stan’s NoTubes Roster:
Andrés Alzate Escobar (Col), Michael Chauner (USA), Gavriel Epstein (Can), Isaac Howe (USA), Adam Leibovitz (USA), Ariel Mendez-Peñate (USA), Conor Mullervy (USA), Kevin Mullervy (USA), Allan Rego (USA).
Specialized have Trademark on “Roubaix”!
The owner of a bike shop in Canada has been threatened by Specialized Bikes with legal action for calling his business “Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio” due the US Company owning the trademark on the name “Roubaix”, which is the name of one of their bikes. As everyone in cycling knows; the Roubaix in question is the name of a French town on the outskirts of Lille and the finishing point for the cobbled Classic; Paris-Roubaix. The owner of the shop, Dan Richter, is a military veteran who was released in 2012 with PTSD after serving in Kandahar, Afghanistan and he put all his money into opening the Café Roubaix Bicycle Studio in Cochrane, Alberta. This move by Specialized has been “a huge hit for me personally.”
Many people are in support of Mr. Richter, with a campaign to raise money to fight the legal case against Specialized and also there is a Twitter campaign with many twitterers changing or adding Roubaix to their names. It has also been suggested that Specialized may owe the town of Roubaix and its inhabitants money for using the name.
Larry Koury, managing director of Specialized Canada Inc., said: “We are required to defend or lose our trademark registration.” The Roubaix name was originally trademarked in 1992 by Toshoku America Inc, then connected with Fuji bicycles.
Miguel Indurain Jr. joins Caja Rural
The son of five time Tour de France winner; Miguel Indurain, also called Miguel, has signed to race with the Caja Rural-RGA Development team. He was Navarran junior road and time trial champion this year and will be with the Spanish teams under 23 squad in 2014.
Indurain in the 1994 Tour de France time trial:
Cobo to Torku Knya Sekerspor
We reported last week that 2011 Vuelta a España winner; Juan José Cobo had no team for 2014 and would consider a step down from the UCI WorldTour. The latest news is that he will be riding for the Turkish Continental team Torku Konya Sekerspor along with David de la Fuentes.
Vandborg to Retire
Double Danish time trial champion; Brian Vandborg has announced his retirement at the age of 32 due to not receiving any offers from teams for 2014. The Dane turned professional in 2004 for CSC before moving to Discovery Chanel for the 2007 season. In 2008 he had to step down a level to Team GLS before going to Liquigas for two years. 2011 saw him back with Bjarne Riis at Saxo Bank-SunGard, a year with Spider Tech-C10 then this year with Cannondale. Vandborg said to veloropa.dk: “I would have liked to have ridden on for another year or two but the spark is not really there at the moment and eventually I felt like I’d had my time.”
Di Luca Banned for Life
The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has banned Danilo Di Luca for life, a fine of €35,000, legal costs of €850 and he has to pay €2,577 for lab analysis. Di Luca was found positive for EPO in an out of competition control taken in April 2013before the Giro d’Italia. This was his third doping offence; first a three months ban for his part in the ‘Oil for Drugs’ investigation in 2007. Then for EPO/CERA in the 2009 Giro d’Italia, on that occasion he was given a reduced ban for15 months because he co-operated with authorities, although what co-operation was never made public.
There are now five riders who have been suspended forever: Armstrong, Di Luca (EPO), Niklas Axxelsson (EPO / testosterone), Christian Pffanberger (EPO) and Felipe Neri Velasquez (boldenone).
In the case of the American the list of objections is long, “use, possession, trafficking, distribution, administration and prohibited methods and assisting, encouraging, aiding, abetting, covering up or any other type of complicity involving one or more violations of the rules on doping and / or attempted anti-doping rule violations.”
Several more athletes have been punished more than the usual two years. Colombians Julian David Muñoz and Libardo Child Corridor, Bulgarian Vladimir Koev, Chilean José Alfredo Medina and Pole Pawel Szczpaniak received 8 years punishment. Mattia Gavazzi, 6, later reduced to 3 years and 3 months for collaboration and can return this year with Androni, Marco Arriagada, Volodymyr Bileka, Kasper Szczepaniak and Youcho Yovchev 4 years, and Pasquale Muto, 3.
Danilo Di Luca on the Zoncolan in the 2007 Giro d’Italia:
NetApp-Endura completes its team for the 2014 season
Team NetApp-Endura has signed 25-year-old Czech rider Frantisek Padour, thus completing the team for the upcoming season. Padour is leaving the third league Bauknecht-Author team to join the highest ranked German cycling team. Last year the former junior national champion (2006) topped the general classification of the Czech Cycling Tour, which was also the biggest achievement in his career to date.
“We’ve had a lucky hand with the Czech riders we’ve signed. With Jan Barta and Leopold König we have the current national champion and a Grand Tour stage winner riding for our team. We have seen both cyclists develop from the amateur level to riders who guarantee top results in the biggest races. We know Frantisek to be an experienced rider with qualities on any terrain. Above all, he is strong in the mountains, which we will use on tours for our classification riders. Of course he will also have the opportunity to ride for himself,” said Ralph Denk, Team Manager of Team NetApp-Endura.
Team NetApp-Endura is heading into the new season with 20 riders. After the first team meeting in December, the season will kick off with a two-week training camp in January on the Spanish island of Mallorca.
Thanks to the NetApp-Endura Team for the info.
The squad for the 2014 season (as of 6 December 2013):
Jan Barta (CZE/28), Cesare Benedetti (ITA/26), Sam Bennett (IRL/23), Iker Camaño (ESP/34), David de la Cruz (ESP/24), Zakkari Dempster (AUS/26), Bartosz Huzarski (POL/33), Blaz Jarc (SLO/25), Leopold König (CZE/26), Tiago Machado (POR/28), Ralf Matzka (GER/24), Jonathan McEvoy (GBR/24), Jose Mendes (POR/28), Frantisek Padour (CZE/25), Erick Rowsell (GBR/23), Andreas Schillinger (GER/30), Daniel Schorn (AUT/25), Michael Schwarzmann (GER/22), Scott Thwaites (GBR/23), Paul Voss (GER/27).
A day with NettApp-Endura at the 2013 Vuelta a España by Global Cycling Network:
2014 Bayern Rundfahrt: The Queen’s Stage will Finish on the Winklmoos-Alm
Press Release: Five stages – 784km from Vilshofen to Nuremberg. Mountain finish on Germany’s most popular Alpine pasture. Vilshofen, Freilassing, Reit im Winkl, Grassau, Neusäß, Wassertrüdingen am Hesselberg and Nuremberg are the stage cities of the 2014 Bayern Rundfahrt. The five stages that start on May 27th and end on June 1st 2014 will be 784km from Eastern Bavaria to the Chiemgau and to Mittelfranken.
The actual start of the race will take place in the city centre of Vilshofen. The stage will be 201,6km to Freilassing. As there are no major difficulties expected in the profile of the first stage, it’s likely to become a sprinter’s final.
Clearly the second stage is the queen’s stage: The part from Freilassing to Reit im Wink is no more than 165km, however the riders will face a total of some 3300 meters of altitude. After two mountain classifications in Ramsau/Hochschwarzeck and Siegsdorf/Scharam, the most important climb of the day will go up to Germany’s most popular Alpine pasture, the Winklmoos-Alm, home of Ski legend Rosi Mittermaier. The final climb with up to 19 degree will be a chance for the designated climbers: “We are really excited, how this stage’s profile will influence the overall classification of the entire race,” said Walter Oestreich, who is in charge of the route of the race.
The third stage on May 29th will start in Grassau. The finish of the 233km stage will be in Neusäß close to Augsburg. Topographically, the stage is comparatively easy even though it is the longest one of the stage race. Out of the Alps and into Swabia, the peloton will come close to the Bavarian capital during this 233km stage. Wassertüdingen am Hesselberg will be the start of the 25km Time Trail. It will be thrilling to see whether the Time Trail will again decide over the overall win as it has happened in the past.
World’s Oldest Bike Shop Closes
Howes of Cambridge in England will close its doors on the 31st of December 2013 after 173 years. John Howes & Sons originally opened as a coach-builder and wheel-wrights in 1840, but then one member of the family went to the Paris exposition in 1868 and saw his first bike and from there they started making and selling boneshakers and then the penny farthing. According to Howes family legend, John Howes & Sons sold a bicycle to Charles Darwin who died in 1882 before the invention of the safety bicycle.
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