TOP STORY: Alonso has Five Year Sponsor
According to the Spanish newspaper ABC, Formula 1 motor racing driver Fernando Alonso has a guaranteed sponsor for five years. Most rumours had centred on Alonso’s personal sponsor, one of the World’s biggest banks; Banco Santander, but it seems the sponsor is based in Dubai in the United Arab Emerates.
So it looks like the “Team Fernando Alonso” is going to be a reality from 2015 to 2019 inclusive with a zero tolerance policy on doping and is committed to a comprehensive medical centre. The “holistic medical centre” is “to control physical performance of the riders, their medical problems, their recovery and physiological monitoring,” this initiative will work with universities.
The team would also have a ‘zero tolerance’ stance on doping: “I do not want to hire any consultant, director, doctor or rider that at some point in their lives has been involved in a doping process.” This is following the example of the Sky team.
In the search for a sponsor, Alonso’s personal manager and right hand man; Luis García Abad has been using the Formula 1 calendar to conduct “interviews with investors in India, Singapore and Abu Dhabi. Using power point presentations and showing a possible future with the Fernando Alonso cycling brand to multinational companies. From Google to Fly Emirates, some of the leading companies in the world,” said ABC.
The paper also confirms that Alonso has taken part personally in meetings with organizer Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO), presenting his project to Jean-Etienne Amaury, President of ASO, and Christian Prudhomme, director general of the Tour de France, and Brian Cookson, President of the UCI last Thursday. In both cases the outcome was positive; he also reiterated that WorldTour status was not a priority.
As to which bikes the Alonso team would ride, they have “half completed a commitment to Specialized to debut in 2015. An American brand with a technical development plan with similar aims as the team.”
Then in AS on Tuesday the prospective Alonso team manager; Kiko Garcia said he had a shopping list of: Peter Sagan, Tony Martin and Samuel Sanchez for 2015. Not a bad start.
Alonso cycling in Dubai:
No More Orange for Samuel Sánchez
With only six days left of the life of the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, Samuel Sánchez is unwilling to end his career just yet. The ex-Olympic champion had signed a contract with the Basque company until 2015, to possibly end his career the way he started it; in orange, since 2000.
In February Samu turns 36, he was 22 when he debuted in the professional peloton with the Basques under Miguel Madariaga. Since then, there has been 28 wins, but on September 15 he rode his last race I an orange jersey where he took to the podium with his teammates and team winners. The Euskaltel-Euskadi team ends, but Samuel Sánchez resists. “I still have a lot to say,” he recently announced, but where can he go for 1 year before joining up with the Alonso Team for 2015. The option of dropping down from the WorldTour is not an option and would be quite happy to ride next to Alberto Contador at Tinkoff-Saxo. At the moment he is training at home in Oviedo after a week in Dubai. He doesn’t want it to end like this, saying: “The last thing I want to do is retire like this, stop racing because I’ve got no choice, and as a result of circumstances that had nothing to do with me.”
Samu training in Dubai last week:
Photo: Etxeondo clothing.
Froome Extends with Sky
Tour de France winner Chris Froome has extended his contract with Team Sky along with Peter Kennaugh, David López, Ian Stannard, Luke Rowe, Salvatore Puccio, Sergio Henao, Chris Sutton, Danny Pate, and Xabier Zandio. Rod Ellingworth, the teams Performance Manager said: “Everyone is excited to kick things off again in 2014 and we do so with what we believe is the most talented team in the world. We’ve consolidated what is an incredibly strong group of guys over the winter. The team’s core remains intact and that’s important going forward. Everyone is committed to keep improving and we always look to provide the best environment for riders to do that.” Froome commented: “It’s impossible to win races without the right team beside you so I’d like to thank everyone at the team for their continued support. It’s an honour to be a Team Sky rider and I hope to play a big part of its success for years to come.”
Chris Froome; his best bits from the Tour 2013:
Pellizotti Back with Androni
After Franco Pellizotti’s signing with Astana for 2014 all went wrong, he has been able to stay with his 2013 team; Androni-Giocatolli-Venezuela. Team manager Gianni Savio confirmed that “Pellizotti will be captain of the team together with Johnny Hoogerland.” He also stressed that he had a contract with the team for next year, but with the condition that he could only leave for a WorldTour team. Because the Astana team is a member of MPCC, it could not allow Pellizotti to race until after May the 2nd, which two years after his ban for biopassport irregularities. The rule does not apply to the Androni team as they were not members of MPCC at the time of signing Pellizotti, although they are now.
In an interview with Elleradio Pellizotti commented on the deal: “For me this is a big Christmas present. It all arose at the last minute.” As to the failure of the Astana deal: “The Astana management even asked me to ride with them from August 1 this year so that I could support Nibali at the Vuelta, but Gianni Savio rightly asked me to finish out the year with Androni because we had the chance of winning the Coppa Italia and thus being invited to the next Giro d’Italia. In the meantime, this problem with the MPCC emerged, Astana cooled a bit towards me and they officially signed Scarponi. In the end, thanks to Gianni and the sponsors, we managed to reach this agreement that allows me to stay with him. I had already signed a contract with Savio in June, in which we wrote that if I didn’t find a WorldTour team, I would stay on with them.”
“Savio then made his plans for 2014 without me, given that, on paper, the deal with Astana was all done. Clearly, I haven’t signed the same deal I would have done with Astana, but that’s normal. My happiness goes far beyond the purely financial side of things.”
As to not riding the Tour de France in the service of Vincenzo Nibali: “It would have been an honour to ride the Tour, and especially to do so with Vincenzo, a rider who can bring the yellow jersey home. For me, that would have been a point of pride at the end of a beautiful career. On the other hand, I’m delighted to be able to ride the Giro d’Italia, which I’ll approach with the aim of winning stages and looking to be a protagonist throughout the three weeks.”
Pellizotti; Giro d’Italia 2009:
Zubeldia will Captain the Trek Factory Racing Team in San Luis
Veteran rider Haimar Zubeldia will be heading the American formation on the roads of the Tour de San Luis. The Spanish climber was born in 1977. He has participated in the Tour de France ten times, coming in fifth in both 2003 and 2007, while in 2012 he placed sixth.
Haimar Zubeldia: “This will be my first time at the Tour de San Luis. I personally asked the sports directors if I could participate in this race because last year I pulled out from racing early into the season and also because I think that I’ll like Argentina, seeing as they speak my language there. It will be hard in terms of the altitude changes and because the race is seven days long, but it will be a good working foundation for the rest of the season. We’re going in with a young squad and it’s going to be my job to bring some experience to the group, along with Danilo Hondo.”
Trek Factory Racing roster:
Eugenio Alafaci (ITA), Julian Arredondo (COL), Fabio Silvestre (ITA), Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), Danilo Hondo (GER), Haimar Zubeldia (SPA). Sport Director: Alain Gallopin (FRA).
Stage 1 of the 2013 Tour de San Luis:
Mountain TT for La Vuelta a España
The stage before the penultimate stage (3rd from last) of next year’s Spanish Grand Tour (August 23rd to September 14th) will finish on the new climb of the Monte Castrove.
According to El Diario de Arosa, the Monte Castrove was used as a time trial in the 2012 edition, won by Kessiakoff ahead of Contador and Froome. On that occasion they climbed the easier side, the proposed side is a 7.2 kilometre climb with an average gradient of 6.6% and ramps of 14% and 15%. It was announced by the President of the Provincial Council, Rafael Louzán: “There is the possibility of the end of a stage of the Tour of Spain next to the golf course. Three technicians are working to realize the final details and do something that is unique,” El Mirador de Lobeira, the summit where Chris Horner won this year , would be another attractive finalé in the Vuelta.
The final stage is an evening time trial in Santiago de Compostela.
The Vuelta a España will be officially launched on January 11th and will begin in Jerez de la Frontera.
Vuelta a Andalucía 2014
The Vuelta a Andalucía (19th to the 23rd February) will start in Almería with a time trial and finish in Fuengirola after five stages. In its 60th edition, the race will have five days of competition after being only four this year.
Deporinter, organizer of the Ruta del Sol (2.1), has released some stage details which have opportunities for all types of riders. The first day will be a TT of one lap of about 7 to 8 km in Almería. The Sanctuary of the Virgen de la Sierra (Cabra, Córdoba) is the location for the summit finish of the third day. And Sanlúcar la Mayor (Sevilla) will host the start of the fourth stage.
The route will pass through these towns: Almería, Vélez Málaga, Jaén, La Guardia de Jaén, Cabra, Sanlúcar La Mayor, Seville, Ubrique and Fuengirola.
Participation will be between 16 or 18 teams and the race can be seen live two hours a day, televised by Eurosport. It will be more than ever an Andalusian race as it visits all eight provinces: Huelva, Seville, Cádiz, Málaga, Córdoba, Granada, Jaén and Almería. Alejandro Valverde has won the last two editions.
Vuelta a Andalucia – Ruta del Sol – 2013 (Stage 1 Highlights):
4 Year Ban for Serebryakov
Russian Alexander Serebryakov tested positive twice for EPO, first on February the 21st and then April the 18th 2013. The Russian Federation took both cases into consideration and banned him from April the 5th 2013 to April 2017. He turned Pro with Team Type 1 and due to his good results was offered a contract with the Basque WorldTour team Eiskaltel-Euskadi for 2013.
Luis León Sánchez Signs with Caja Rural-RGA
After mutual termination of the contract between the Belkin team and Luis León Sanchez, which would have run until the end of 2015, it was looking like the man from Murcia would not have a team for next year. As had been rumoured for a while he has signed a deal with Spain’s only UCI ProContinental team; Caja Rural-RGA Seguros. The contract is for 1 year and the team hope to send Sánchez to La Tropicale Amissa Bongo in the Gabon, if the paper work can be finished in time for the race start on January the 13th.
The Caja Rural-RGA Seguros Team from 2014:
Four WorldTour riders join: Luis León Sánchez (Belkin), Angel Madrazo (Movistar), Davide Vigano (Lampre-Merida) and Pello Bilbao (Euskaltel-Euskadi), plus Heiner Parra (Colombia 4-72) Lluis Mas (Burgos-BH) and amateurs; Fernando Grijalva and Antonio Molina. Re-signed from 2013: Amets Txurruka, David Arroyo, Francesco flake, Javier Aramendía, Antonio Piedra, Fabrizio Ferrari, Karol Domagalski, Iván Velasco, Omar Fraile, Marcos García, Rubén Fernández and Ramón Domene.
Luis León Sánchez wins 2012 Tour de Francia stage 14: Limoux – Foix
An African Bicycle Dream Episode 3
An African Bicycle Dream – Episode 3 is finally here. Shot at this years Tour of Rwanda, the episode highlights the talent that exists on the continent and the length passionate people are going to to discover and nurture it. The race also marked the return of Olympian Adrien Niyonshuti who was sidelined all season due to injury.
Tour de France 2013
Here is a compilation of shots from this year’s Tour de France by Euro Sport. Some funny and some not, personally I don’t watch the crashes:
The Life of a Cyclo-Cross Rider
Really it’s what his wife has to put up with:
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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