TOP STORY: Ballan in Court
The doping case against Alessandro Ballan has been going on since 2008 and on the 16th of January 2014 he has to explain charges stemming from the Mantova investigation. He is accused of receiving blood transfusions in 2009 when with the Lampre team. The investigation centres round the Lampre teams’ links with Doctor Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi and pharmacist Guido Nigrelli and phone taps on calls between Ballan, Nigrelli and Bonazzi concerning blood transfusions. In his defence Ballan says he underwent ozone treatment to help his recovery from cytomegalovirus, although once you have been infected by CMV, the virus stays in your body for the rest of your life, but does not usually cause further problems.
The 2008 World champion has not had much luck since donning the Rainbow jersey, first there was the cytomegalovirus, then his BMC team suspended him in for a short time in 2010 and again in 2011, this was followed by a training accident in Spain that nearly finished his career and ruined his 2013 season. Now CONI are recommending a two year suspension for “use of a prohibited substance or method.” Ballan turned 34 earlier this month, if in January he is banned for two years that would probably end his professional cycling career.
Ballan has been a great rider, as well as his World road title he has a list of wins; Trofeo Laigueglia, 3 Days of De Panne, Tour of Flanders, Vattenfall Cyclassics, Tour of Pologne, Giro di Toscana and lots of top placings.
If the accusations are true then it’s another sad doping case, but if he is innocent, as he claims his biological passport shows, then it will be a sad end to a very good riders’ career.
Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent 2013
There was an upset as home town hero Ijlo Keisse did not win this year’s ‘6 Days’ of Gent in the mythical ‘t Kuipke velodrome in the Citadelpark. Jasper de Buyst and Leif Lampater held off Keisse and his Dutch partner Wim Stroetinga, they finished on the same lap, but De Buyst and Lampater had the better point’s position. Catch up with our man Ed Hood and his weekend in Gent Part 1 and Part 2.
Lotto Zesdaagse Vlaanderen-Gent Final Result:
1. Jasper De Buyst (Bel) / Leif Lampater (Ger) Topsport Vlaanderen 447pts.
2. Ijlo Keisse (Bel) / Wim Stroetinga (Ned) Renson-OPQS 392pts.
3. Kenny De Ketele / Gijs Van Hoecke (Bel) Baloise 378pts.
4. (-4 laps) Morgan Kneisky / Vivien Brisse (Fra) Callant 233pts.
5. (-7 laps) Silvan Dillier / Tristan Marguet (Swi) Caruur 214pts.
6. (-8 laps) Robert Bartko / Marcel Kalz (Ger) Lotto 244pts.
7. Christian Grasmann (Ger) / Andreas Graf (Aut) Provincie OOst-Vlaanderen 120pts.
8. (-11 laps) Andreas Müller (Aut) / Yoeri Havik (Ned) AA Drink 134pts.
9. (- 12 laps) Albert Torres / David Muntaner (Spa) John Saey – Mega Doe-het-zelf Deschacht 101pts.
10. (-28 laps) Franco Marvulli (Swi) / Marc Hester (Den) ADMB 69pts.
Last years Gent 6 by FFWDWheelsUSA:
Levarlet Charged after Coyot Death
After the death of ex-rider Arnaud Coyot in a car crash last Sunday morning, the driver Guillaume Levarlet, who rides for Cofidis, has been charged with involuntary manslaughter. Levarlet and Coyot had been to a night club with Sebastien Minard of Ag2r-La Mondiale and were on the way home in the early hours when the Citroën left the road. Levarlet and Minard were uninjured, but Coyot was taken to hospital with head injuries and subsequently died. The French press suggest that a blood sample taken from Levarlet shows that he had been drinking, if found guilty Levarlet could face a jail sentence and large fine.
Van Garderen to Lead BMC in the Tour
Tejay Van Garderen will be the team leader of the BMC Racing Team for the 2014 Tour de France, as Cadel Evans will concentrate on the Giro d’Italia. The young American’s build up will not include the Tour of California which he won last year, he will be riding Paris-Nice, the Tour of Romandie and the Criterium du Dauphine
This year, Van Garderen won the Tour of California and USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado was second in the Tour de San Luis, third in the Criterium International, fourth in Paris-Nice and seventh in the Tour of Switzerland but failed in its main objective of the Tour.
Tejay Van Garderen wins wins stage 2 of the USA Pro Challenge:
2014 Giro d’Italia ‘Wild Card’ Teams
The Giro d’Italia organisers have announced the eight teams who want wildcard invitations for the 2014 event: Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox, Caja Rural-RGA, Team Colombia, IAM Cycling, MTN-Qhubeka, Team NetApp-Endura, Team Novo Nordisk and UnitedHealtcare Pro Cycling Team.
Androni-Giocattoli are not amongst the list as they should secure a place due to their second place in the Coppa Italia behind Lampre-Merida. The Yellow Fluo team of Angelo Citracca and Luca Scinto is not listed due to the positive drug controls from Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo di Luca last year.
Bardiani and Colombia are two teams that were in the 2013 Giro, and teams such as IAM Cycling, Team MTN-Qhubeka and NetApp-Endura are very likely. Those five appear as top candidates to accompany Androni and therefore Caja Rural-RGA and Americans Novo Nordisk and UnitedHealthcare are in theory less likely to be in Belfast for the start.
Last year the four teams were: Colombia, Vini Fantini, Bardiani-CSF and Androni-Giocattoli.
Early Start for Boonen
After his disastrous 2013 season, Belgian super-star Tom Boonen has been hard at it in preparation for next year. He told Sporza the he “started training 11 weeks ago.” He explained that he had been working in the gym before he resumed on the bike training. Boonen will start racing in the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, pointing out that “the Tour de San Luis is the perfect way to start the season, also because of the climate. After that I’ll fly on to Oman and Qatar so that is one and a half months of good weather.” As to the start of his spring Classics campaign: “The race programme consists of Omloop het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, those races are a must for every Belgian rider. It’s more or less a habit and I am much looking forward to riding against Fabian Cancellara, Peter Sagan and the other strong riders.” As always his main aim will be the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. “I would love to win Paris-Roubaix again. Not only because it would make me the record holder, but just because I would like to win it one more time.” Boonen is equal with Roger de Vlaeminck with four wins in the cobbled French Classic.
Boonen & Friends Cyclo-Cross
The annual charity cyclo-cross race is again this Saturday with a star studded line-up of past and present riders. Last year Tom Boonen couldn’t start due to an intestinal infection and his team mate Zdenek Stybar took his place and won. This will be the fifth year of the special event in support of the “Move to Improve” charity that helps children with physical disabilities. The first event of the day in Zilvermeer in Mol is for the ex-champions and will feature: Johan Museeuw, Paul Herygers, Davide Bramati, Rolf Aldag, Marc Wauters, Joël Smets, actor Jef De Smedt, TV chef Jeroen Meus and the main attraction must be ex-British Road and Crit champion Tim Harris, who has trained twice on a cross bike this year in preparation. The main event follows with: Tom Boonen, Jan Bakelants, Jakob Fuglsang, Thomas De Gendt, Niki Terpstra, Wout Poels, Maarten Wynants, Gianni Meersman, Guillaume Van Keirsbulck, Kevin Hulsmans, Kurt Geysen, Stijn Vandenbergh, Frederique Robert, Nikolas Maes, Nick Wynants, Julien Vermote, James Vanlandschoot, Pieter Serry, Dennis Vanendert, Sean De Bie, Rob Ruijgh, Sven Vanthourenhout, Julien Alaphilippe and Zdenek Stybar hoping for a repeat win.
Last years Boonen & Friends Cyco-Cross:
Two New Russians in Saxo Bank
At the Saxo-Tinkoff training camp in Gran Canaria this week there were two new faces in the Bjarne Riis team, led by Alberto Contador. The two Russians; Ivan Rovny (Ceramica Flaminia) and Nikolai Trussov (Cyclingteam De Rijke) will be part of the Danish team next year stepping up to the WorldTour after a year in the continental category.
There has been no official confirmation and Trussov and Rovny wore their old team jerseys. Both were teammates in Tinkoff (2008), Katusha (2009), Rusvelo (2012). Rovny had a good 2013 with Flaminia in the Italian classics, second in the Giro of Tuscany, third in the Giro Apeninos and in the GP Industria & Artigianato, fourth in the Tres Valles Varesinos, fifth in the Coppa Agostoni and sixth in the Trofeo Matteotti. His teams were: Tinkoff (2006-2008), Katusha (2009), RadioShack (2010-2011), Rusvelo (2012) and Flaminia (2013).
Trussov turned pro in 2004 with Lokomotiv, then Tinkoff (2006-2008), Katusha (2009-2011), Rusvelo (2012) and De Rijke (2013). His only win was in 2009, a stage of the Volta a Catalunya. So far the four confirmed the Saxo-Tinkoff signings are: Jesper Hansen, Michael Kolar, Pawel Poljanski and Michael Valgren.
Sagan at his 1st Training Camp
The Cannondale Pro Cycling team begins its preparation for the 2014 season with two training camps starting this month. On November the 26th, the team will meet in Moena, Val di Fassa in the Dolomites for three days of meetings and team activities. Along with the staff, all the riders will have the opportunity to meet for the first time and to learn about the coming season.
From Monday the second of December to Thursday the 5th the 27 cyclists will undergo medical examinations under the supervision of medical staff headed by Dr. Corsetti. On December the 6th the riders will attend the second training camp in Riotorto, Tuscany, for thirteen days were athletes will follow a training program to help them prepare for the first months of 2014.
The Cannondale 2014 team line-up:
Riders from 2013: Peter Sagan, Ivan Basso, Moreno Moser, Elia Viviani, Damiano Caruso, Ted King, Maciej Bodnar, Guillaume Boivin, Alessandro De Marchi, Michel Koch, Kristijan Koren, Matthias Krizek, Paolo Longo Borghini, Alan Marangoni, Daniele Ratto, Fabio Sabatini, Juraj Sagan, Cristiano Salerno, José Cayetano Sarmiento and Cameron Wurf.
New Riders: George Bennet (RadioShack), Oscar Gatto (Fantini Vini), Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil), U23 World champion Matej Mohoric, Davide Villella, Alberto Bettiol and Davide Formolo.
Peter Sagan: “I will concentrate the most on Milan-San Remo and Tour of Flanders”
The Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders are again in the cross-hairs of Peter Sagan in 2014, after being second in both Monuments in 2013. The Slovakian star at Cannondale will have a schedule very similar to this year.
Sagan expected to confirm his racing program in the coming days at the team’s first training camp in San Pellegrino, after his holiday in Japan, Australia, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia. It has been suggested that he will “probably” have the same calendar as 2013, starting in the Tour de San Luis and the Tour of Oman. “Everything will be defined in the coming days. The program is quite suited to me and I feel comfortable so I can repeat it,” he said in an interview with the Slovak Sport.sk .
Sagan will again have three peaks of form; the Spring Classics, Tour de France and World Championships. “I want to do the same as the last season just ended. Spring Classics did not go as I had imagined. I would like to improve. The green jersey in the Tour de France will be a target and I want to finish higher in Milan-Sanremo.” Gerald Ciolek and Fabian Cancellara were the victors in the two monuments ahead of Sagan last year. “Milan-Sanremo and Flanders are selected by me personally because they are the biggest classics in Italy and Belgium. I’d like to win them and I will concentrate on them the most of the next season.” Sagan won Ghent-Wevelgem and the Flèche Brabançon, was second in the Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Herelbeke, but failed in the Ardennes, 12th in Fleche Wallonne and 36th in the Amstel Gold Race.
The Slovakian finished the season as the most successful rider, with 22 wins, seven in the WorldTour, with wins from February at the Tour of Oman, to September in Canada. Besides the classics, he again won the Point’s jersey at the Tour, with one stage win in his pocket, four seconds and two thirds, and also won the Tour de Suisse and the Tour of California. The icing on the cake, after the Tour, was in Colorado and Alberta, and victory in the GP Montreal, plus sixth in the world championship.
Final Credits – Forrest Gump Parody by Cannondale Bicycles:
Argos-Shimano 2014 Roster
The Argos-Shimano Team closed their roster with the signing of Malaysian Loh Sea Keong and Dutch side block remains so well has given the last two years with Marcel Kittel and John Degenkolb to the head and the addition of five runners.
The Dutch team, that soon will announce a new title sponsor, confirmed to BiciCiclismo their 29 riders. In alphabetical order: Jonas Ahlstrand, Nikias Arndt, Bert De Backer, Warren Barguil, Lawson Craddock, Roy Curvers, Damuseau Thomas, John Degenkolb, Dries Devenyns, Tom Dumoulin, Johannes Fröhlinger, Simon Geschke, Chad Haga, Thierry Hupond, Reinardt Janse van Rensburg, Ji Cheng, Marcel Kittel, Koen de Kort, Loh Sea Keong, Tobias Ludvigsson, Luka Mezgec, Daan Olivier, Tom Peterson, Georg Preidler, Ramon Sinkeldam, Matthieu Sprick, Tom Stamsnijder, Albert Timmer, Tom Veelers.
An international team from 11 countries: the Netherlands, Germany, USA, France, Belgium, Sweden, Austria, China, Malaysia, Slovenia and South Africa.
Five new signings are: Daan Olivier (Rabobank), Chad Haga (Optum), Lawson Craddock (Bontrager), Dries Devenyns (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) and Sea Keong Loh (OCBC Singapore Continental Cycling Team) who come to replace: William Clarke (Drapac), Patrick Gretsch (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Yann Huguet (retired), François Parisien (retired) and Yandong Xing.
Iwan Spekenbrink’s team will face its third season in the top flight, after a fantastic 2013 with 29 wins and a step up in quality, 11 in the WorldTour, including the three Grand Tours, Giro, Tour and Vuelta, plus Paris-Nice, Catalunya and Eneco Tour and classic’s such as Vattenfall Cyclassics, Scheldeprijs, Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours. In 2012, they achieved 30 wins, five in the Tour of Spain with Degenkolb.
The Women’s and Development team line-up’s:
Argos-Shimano Team Female: Lucy Garner, Claudia Hausler, Willeke Knol, Floortje Mackaij, Sara Mustonen, Amy Pieters, Maaike Polspoel, Julia Soek, Kyara Stijns, Marijn de Vries, Kirsten Wild.
Argos-Shimano Team Development Team: Christian Bertillson, Jenthe Biermans, Jan Brockhoff, Alex Frame, Lars van der Haar, Kristian Haugaard, Mathias Rask, Fredrik Ludvigsson, Robert Polder, Maximilian Schachmann.
Last year’s Argos-Shimano team launch in Atlea, Spain:
Kazakh Continental Team
Kazakhstan will have a new Continental team in 2014 to go with the Astana WorldTour and Continental teams. The team will be called Vino4ever, named after the Country’s Olympic road race gold medallist; Alexandre Vinokourov. The team will be run by Vinokourov’s coach Sergey Kruchina and will consist of many of the young riders from the Kazakh national team.
Baden Cooke Retires
Baden Cooke at 35 has announces his retirement after 14 years as a professional and as one of the most successful Australian cyclists with his win of the Tour de France green jersey in 2003.
Cooke is proud to have finished his career with the first WorldTour team from his country. “After 14 years of competing at the highest level, I’m moving on. Having the honour to finish my career with the first Australian WorldTour team itself has been a dream. Racing surrounded by my best friends has been a great experience. I am very proud of my career and I am ready for my next adventure. I feel blessed to have had the life and career you’ve always dreamed of having since I was a small child when I started with the Benalla BMX Cycling Club.”
“All I wanted in life was to compete professionally. I never thought I would be so successful and win the races I won. I retire from racing at the professional level, but I’ll keep training and do not be surprised to see me in a local race.”
The bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games in 2002 and rode in the 2004 Olympics. His farewell will be a criterium in his hometown of Melbourne on Sunday December 15, surrounded by his fellow-GreenEdge Orica riders; Matt Goss, Simon Gerrans, Michael Matthews, Brett Lancaster and Peter Weening and former colleagues and friends of the Australian community, Brad McGee, Matt White, Henk Vogels and Matthew Wilson.
Cooke is in the process of creating a sports representation company from his base in Monaco and is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead, given the wealth of Australian talent in the professional peloton.
His teams were: Mercury (2000-2001), FDJ (2002-2005), Unibet (2006-2007), Barloworld (2008), Vacansoleil (2009), Saxo Bank (2010-2011) and Orica-GreenEdge (2012-2013). His achievements highlights his triumph in Tour de France it as well as stages in the Tour Down Under, Tour of Switzerland as well as the GP Marseilles, Halle-Ingooigem, the Championships of Flanders, A Través de Flanders, Tro Bro León , and tours; Paris-Corrèze, Herald Sun Tour.
Bike Riders Can’t Cook – Sushi with Fumy Beppu and Baden Cooke from ORICA GreenEDGE:
Brammeier to Synergy Baku
Matthew Brammeier has joined the UCI Continental team Synergy Baku Cycling Project for the 2014 season. The five-time Irish national champion is the 17th rider to join the team roster.
Brammeier turned pro in 2006 with DFL-Cyclingnews-Litespeed, then the next two years in the Profel Ziegler Continental Team, followed by An Post-Sean Kelly in the 2009 and 2010. From there he went to the HTC-Highroad in 2011, and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 2012 and this year raced with Champion System. The Irishman has won the national road title in the last four years, and in 2011 also won the time trial.
The other 16 riders are: Azeris Elchin Asadov (26), Mahammed Alakbarov (28), Samir Jabrayilov (19), Aqshin Ismayilov (26) and Tural Isgandarov (21), Daniel Klemme (21) and brothers Michael (28) and Christoph Schweizer (27), Luke Davison (23), Pat Lane (22), Will Walker (27), Markus Eibegger (28), Jan Sokol (23), Maksym Averin ( 27), Alex Surutkovich (29) and Brammeier’s Irish countryman; Connor McConvey (25).
The Irish National Road Race Championships 2013 by Black Umbrella Productions:
Saxo-Tinkoff Riders Visited a Disabled Peoples Residence in Las Palmas
Five riders of the Saxo-Tinkoff Team; Alberto Contador, Roman Kreuziger, Nicolas Roche, Matteo Tosatto and Jesús Hernández, made a visit to the residence of San Juan de Dios in Las Palmas, dedicated to the care of the physically and intellectually disabled.
The cyclist’s visited the centre, which has been in operation over 40 years, to support the initiative of the Canary sponsor of the team, the Anfi Group, which provides financial support to the foundation led by Father Angel. Alberto Contador presented a jersey signed by the entire team which will be auctioned along with a T-shirt of the Spanish football team to assist in fundraising.
After the visit to San Juan de Dios, The Saxo-Tinkoff team met at the pier of Anfi del Mar for a trip on a ‘pirate ship’, from which they practiced water sports during the afternoon, in the traditional style of the Bjarne Riis Team ‘building camps’ at the start of each season.
Thanks to Jacinto Vidarte.
Lapthorne lays down the challenge for the 2014 Cycling Australia Road National Championships
Press RElease: It will be seven years between drinks for Darren Lapthorne at the Cycling Australia Road National Championships but the 30-year-old is not shying away from the task facing himself and the rest of the Drapac Professional Cycling team this January.
“If I didn’t think it was possible, I wouldn’t be riding,” he said in Melbourne at the launch of the event on Thursday.
Back in 2007, Lapthorne rode away in the final laps of the event, overpowering teammate Robert McLachlan who finished 15 seconds in arrears.
“It’s definitely a goal; I’d love to repeat it [the win]. I’m training as hard as ever. I’ve changed a few things. I’m approaching this year a lot differently than I have in the past.
“Also with the team taking the next step up [to Professional Continental level in 2014] there’s more responsibility on the riders as well.”
Drapac Professional Cycling provides a four-minute interview with the Bendigo local covering his hopes for the event, the contenders, course changes and the team’s build-up in Bright which can be found on SoundCloud.
Images from Thursday’s launch can be found via the team’s Instagram account.
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