TOP STORY: Samu Sánchez to Race in Australia?
An Australian amateur team, Cellarbrations Racing Team (CRT), has formally asked Samuel Sánchez to be part of their set-up for 2014. Scott Sunderland, the ex-professional and former director of CSC and Sky, is the team coach and mentor of the team.
CRT sent a letter and video to the Asturian, who until last week was a Euskaltel-Euskadi rider, to invite Sánchez to race with them. The Team Manager Scott Suine admits it’s “a bold move that will certainly be a surprise” to many foreigners, but says his team is ready to accommodate the 2008 Olympic champion as their leader in the Australian National Road Series (NRS). In the “big surprise” letter to Samu its make clear that “we are very serious and you would be received with open arms and huge smiles.”
“Like all NRS teams we are currently finalizing our roster for 2014. We have some great new riders on board, which are soon to be announced, but there is still a gap,” says Suine. “Given all the information on the Euskaltel-Euskadi disappearance at the end of the last season and with so many good riders who remain without contracts for 2014 we thought why not ask the question? The worst thing he can say is ‘no’.”
The team explains that none of the current team riders receive a salary and so to have Sanchez he would be required to take “a significant; if not complete salary reduction.” “In fact, we would not be able to pay at all,” Suine said in the letter, he even acknowledges that the rider would have to take care of his accommodation in Sydney. But in his favour there is an “excellent lifestyle in Australia, along with participation in the Sunderland team, the undisputed team leader status and free participation in racing, transportation, team kit, many energy bars and vitamins and whatever else is necessary….”
“As things stand now, he has not said yes or no,” said Suine. “Of course it’s a long shot. But if you never ask the questions, you will never know. We are already hoping for a great season in 2014, but if Samuel comes on board, well, the sky is the limit,” he concluded.
Oleg Buys Riis Cycling in the End
Russian entrepreneur Oleg Tinkov has finalized a buyout of Riis Cycling A/S.
Oleg Tinkov now is therefore the sole owner of Riis Cycling, the company behind the professional cycling team, which name has been changed to Tinkoff Sport A/S.
Tinkoff Credit Systems, the only Russian bank specializing in credit cards, has agreed to be the main title sponsor of the team in the coming three years. Saxo Bank, the trading and investment specialist, has agreed to continue its sponsorship of the team in 2014 as a second name sponsor. So in 2014 the team name will be “Tinkoff-Saxo”. Tinkoff Sport’s CEO will be Stefano Feltrin, and Bjarne Riis has agreed on a three year deal to become the team manager.
Owner of Tinkoff Sport A/S, Oleg Tinkov, says: “After our recent negotiations, Bjarne and I have reached an agreement for a buyout of Riis Cycling with immediate effect, and we have the full support of Saxo Bank. With this agreement I believe Tinkoff Sport have secured the best possible foundation and setup to reach our goal of becoming the greatest cycling team in the world over the course of the coming three years. This is going to be a big investment for Tinkoff Sport, but I have no doubt it will be great value for money.”
Team manager Bjarne Riis says: “After careful consideration, I have decided to sell Riis Cycling as I believe this is the right thing to do for both the team and for me on a personal level. With this deal the long-term stability of the team is secured, and the team now has the funding and foundation to continue to be a major player on the World Tour and to further raise our ambitions. Secondly I can focus on running the team’s sporting department, giving much more attention to the actual racing itself and the training of our riders. I believe that today we have created a fantastic setup that enables us in the most optimal way to fulfil our ambitions in the future.”
The company’s office and service course will remain in Lyngby, Denmark.
So in the end the Gazzetta dello Sport was right when they reported this over a month ago. Maybe both parties where holding out for a better price, who knows, but this could be the start of the problems not the end!
Sojasun to Co-Sponsor Cannondale?
The French sports paper L’Equipe are reporting that the French soya food producer, Sojasun, will be co-sponsoring the Cannondale team next year. Apparently the deal involves Stéphane Heulot becoming a DS and the rider Jean-Marc Marino joining the team. The extra money would help the team top man Peter Sagan would stay with the team after the end of 2014.
IJsboerke Returns with Lotto Belisol
The Lotto Belisol team has announced that will be partnered by Belgian ice cream manufacturer IJsboerke in 2014. The re-entering of IJsboerke brings back a lot of nostalgia, as from 1972 until 1980 the brand was very involved in cycling, first as co-sponsor of Goldor, then as main sponsor with different partners, among it Gios and Colnago. More than 30 years later IJsboerke and Lotto Belisol want to reinforce each other with a structural cooperation. The logo of IJsboerke will be visible on the chest of the new Lotto Belisol jersey. The partnership is due to IJsboerke new owner; Glacio.
Peter Janssen, CEO IJsboerke: “IJsboerke is strongly rooted in Belgium. Our ice cream is made with the best Belgian ingredients and the best skills. To give this Belgian roots an extra dimension we will support the Belgian talent platform Lotto Belisol. With the cycling sponsoring we bring IJsboerke even more prominently in the picture during the spring and summer months.”
Walter Godefroot and Didi Thurau were amongst the great riders who rode in the yellow and blue jerseys of IJsboerke in the 70’s. Jan Raas of Raleigh won the 1978 Amstel Gold Race, but you can’t miss the amount of IJsboerke riders at the front.
And here is the new jersey:
Jelly Belly for 2014
The US Continental team; Jelly Belly has announced their roster for 2014 and the teams’ 15th season in the peloton. Six riders have re-signed form this year, including Freddie Rodriguez and Serghei Tvetcov. Five new riders are joining the team with ex-Garmin-Sharp rider Jacob Rathe being the most experienced.
Jelly Belly presented by Maxxis 2014 Roster:
Kirk Carlsen (Bissell),
Devon Dunn (CashCall),
Steve Fisher (Hagens Berman),
Johnathan Freter (Fire Fighters Cycling),
Jacob Rathe (Garmin-Sharp).
An Evening Finish for the 2014 Tour de France
Just like last year’s 100th edition of the French Grand Tour the final stage will be held in the evening and will circle the Arc de Triomphe at the top of the Champs-Élysées. The stage will finish around 8:30pm in the centre of Paris on Sunday the 27th of July. Originally it was thought the course would revert to the old route of turning short at the top of the Champs-Élysées, but as Tour de France assistant director Pierre-Yves Thouault said to AFP: “The police commissioner has given his agreement for a route identical to that of 2013. The success of the 2013 Tour convinced us to include the same route which allows us to best promote the race as well as the monuments.” The route will also cross the Seine on the Alexandre III Bridge instead of the Pont du Caroussel.
The 2013 finish:
Ag2r-La Mondiale Team for the Tour Down Under
It’s not long now till the 2014 season starts, the Tour Down Under kick off on the 21st of January, finishing on the 26th. The French teams’ Directeur Sportif in Australia will be Laurent Biondi, who said: “The pro cycling team Ag2r-La Mondiale will be led by Maxime Bouet, who will aim to finish in the top ten overall. We will also focus on stage wins. Maxime Daniel and Sebastien Turgot will be our trump cards in sprint finishes. We should also have good opportunities in more hilly stages where the overall classification will be played out.”
The Ag2r-La Mondiale TDU Team:
Julien Berard (FRA),
Guillaume Bonnafond (FRA),
Maxime Bouet (FRA),
Maxime Daniel (FRA),
Axel Domont (FRA),
Damien Gaudin (FRA),
Sébastien Turgot (FRA).
BMC Tour Down Under Team
Cadel Evans will lead the BMC team at the Tour Down Under, this will be his first time at his home race since 2010. Rick Zabel and Ben Hermans will be making their first outings in the red and black jerseys. DS Fabio Baldato said: “The Tour Down Under is a pretty difficult race to start the season with. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are hard so it’s important to start well. It’s important to have a strong rider who is prepared for the race. In Cadel, we have the best rider to make a result.”
The BMC TDU Team:
Cadel Evans (Aus),
Brent Bookwalter (US),
Amaël Moinard (Fra),
Rick Zabel (Ger),
Ben Hermans (Bel),
Steve Morabito (Swi),
Danilo Wyss (Swi).
Movistar on Canyon for 2014
Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana will be astride Canyon bikes next year, replacing Pinarello as the team’s steed. Movistar are staying with Campagnolo, using the Super Record EPS groupset and Campagnolo wheels. The different teams of manager Eusebio Unzué have used Pinarello through the successes of Perico Delgado, Miguel Indurain, Valverde and this year in the Tour de France with Quintana. Spain’s other top rider Joaquim Rodriguez already rides a Canyon with the Katusha team.
Timmy Duggan Retires
At 31 years old the 2012 US National champion has announced his retirement from professional cycling. He broke a leg during the Tour Down Under and realised during his recovery what he was missing out on life. In He stated on his website that “the 2013 season was probably the most difficult of my career, dealing with a devastating broken leg throughout the year. In the ambulance to the hospital with my season-threatening injury, I began to question if this was worth it anymore. Despite plenty of support and being surrounded by incredible teammates and team staff at Saxo-Tinkoff, I hated nearly every day of the season, I was miserable and depressed. It is incredibly frustrating as an athlete to not be able to be at your best, and, even worse, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted it anymore.”
As to next year: “When I was thinking about the 2014 season, I couldn’t see myself being happy enough, regardless of the situation. The other things I want to do in my life excite me far more and make me happier. So I’ve made the decision to stop working on the 2014 season and start moving towards my next phase in my life. I am extremely satisfied with everything I’ve accomplished in this sport. In a career highlighted by a national championship title, a WorldTour stage podium, and an Olympic berth, there is not much I truly need to prove to myself anymore.”
Even though there was an offer from Cannondale he has decided to stop saying “cycling gave me goals and the opportunity to accomplish them, and the journey along that whole process has shaped me, and for that I am very proud. But cycling certainly doesn’t define me, and it’s not who I want to be anymore. Already I feel so incredibly alive as I move forward into my next ambitions.”
Timmy in action:
Vanendert Takes Wage Cut
Jelle Vanendert had a contract until the end of 2014 but has preferred to secure his immediate future and has reached an agreement with Lotto Belisol to renew until 2015 with a pay cut after a “horrible” 2013.
“I’m going to earn less but that does not bother me,” says Vanendert in Gazet van Antwerpten. “It’s much more important for me to have the security of knowing that I have a 2015 team because nothing is guaranteed at this time. Another awful season could have meant the end of my career.”
His best placing this year were 12th in the GP Wallonie and 13th in Amstel Gold Race. Since 2009 the Belgian team has kept their trust in him. “To offer this new contract, shows that the team still believes in me. They know why I did not have a good season. Lotto Belisol gives me the opportunity to do what I do. I like being with this team,” he said.
“2013 was not a good year for medical reasons,” confirms Marc Sergeant, manager of Belgian team. “The public expects much from Jelle. Were paid accordingly, but he is not a winning rider. Riders like Greipel can cope with the pressure, but Jelle drowns. I still have full confidence in him and know what he is capable of.”
Vanendert came of age in 2011 with a stage win in the Tour de France on Plateau de Beille, second in Luz Ardiden and leader of the mountains. He also helped Philippe Gilbert in his triple triumph. Last year he shone in the Ardennes, 2nd in Amstel, 4th in Flèche Wallonne and 10th in Liège, but this year; not much.
RCS Sport, the Giro d’Italia organisers, sacked Michele Acquarone, the suspended Chief Operating Officer on Tuesday. This follows the internal investigation in to the possible misappropriation of €13 million. Acquarone has always claimed his innocence is scheduled to have a press conference later today (Thursday). Acquarone has worked for RCS since 1999 and took over at the Giro d’Italia from Angelo Zomegnan in 2011, his work has improved the race in all ways possible for riders, teams the press and giving the fans their say on the stages.
No team for Cobo?
2011 Vuelta a España winner Juan José Cobo so far has no team for 2014 as his present team Movistar has not offered him a new contract. Cobo had been with the Geox-TMC team when he won his Vuelta and when it folded he received a two year contract with Movistar. He told El Diario “Last year I did the Tour in service of Valverde and didn’t do a good Vuelta. This year the Giro d’Italia was my goal. I prepared really well for that but a crash in the first stage ended that ambition. Next to the crisis in cycling and teams disappearing, in my case the lack of results was decisive. I understand why Movistar decided not to renew my contract. I have not been able to pay back the trust they put in me and therefore lost two valuable years of my career.” Cobo is not ready to retire at 32 and suggested that he could ride for a lesser team with the hope of moving up when things are better.
Froome V’s Cobo on stage 17 of la Vuelta a España 2011 on the Peña Cabarga:
CBRE CYCLE TO MAPIC
Press Release:On the 13th November, 21 riders rolled up to the Palais des Festivals, Cannes, flanked by support vehicles, mechanics, paramedics and sports therapists. This cohesive group were professionals, but not the usual professional cyclists you would expect to see pedaling around the area. The group comprised of property professionals who had swapped their suits for lycra to ride to the international retail property exhibition, MAPIC.
Three days earlier, these riders set out from Milan to cover 450km over three days in what was the 2013 CBRE CYCLE TO MAPIC. This event personifies the new breed of cyclists – the London corporate professionals who are now regularly seen partaking in corporate charity rides all over Europe and further afar to raise money for great causes at the same as networking and breaking down the barriers that exist between different individuals back in the office.
Cycling brings you out of your comfort zone and on an event like the CBRE CYCLE TO MAPIC every one is in the same boat, pushing pedals for a unified cause.
The ride to MAPIC took in the infamous roads of Milan – San Remo before moving over the border into south-east France where the riders covered the same tarmac used in the 2013 Tour de France. The equivalent of an amateur footballer kicking a ball around at Wembley – one of many reasons to love this sport.
Malcolm Dalgleish, Chairman of EMEA Retail at CBRE said: ‘It was a fantastic ride and although hard at times we all had a lot of fun on the way. We were lucky with the weather, the route was incredible and the support crew were very professional. I’d highly recommend it and we’ll be back next year.”
All 21 riders completed the ride and celebrated together in Cannes before getting back to work, in the knowledge that they had benefited others on their journey, their far-from ordinary commute.
The lead charity at the event was Coram, the UK’s first children’s charity. Event sponsors included Henderson Global Investors, Estates Gazette, Sign Brand, LancerScott, Hammerson, and Sager Management Ltd.
CYCLE TO MAPIC is the second event from CYCLE TO… who also organise March’s CYCLE TO MIPIM, where 90 riders tackle 1,500km from London to Cannes, raising over £200,000 in the process.
For more information, visit www.cycle2cannes.org or follow the CYCLE TO… community on Twitter (@cycle_to_events).
MP’s Should be Embarrassed of Select Committee Inquiry, says Boardman
Press Release: British Cycling’s Policy Adviser, Chris Boardman, today spoke of his frustration at the lack of knowledge on cycling displayed by the MPs that sit on the Transport Select Committee.
The Committee, which yesterday heard evidence from cycling campaign bodies, transport research, the Mayor of London’s office and the police, held a session looking into why six cyclists died on London’s streets last month in the space of just two weeks.
British Cycling’s Policy Adviser, Chris Boardman, said: “The MPs that sit on the transport select committee should be embarrassed by their performance yesterday in an inquiry that was meant to be about why six people died riding bicycles on London’s roads in the space of two weeks.
“In front of them sat experts from campaigning bodies, transport research and the police – all ready to get into a proper discussion – and yet the MPs demonstrated that they didn’t even know the most basic of facts. Evidence and statistics were bypassed in favour of opinions and anecdotes on sideline topics.
“Such a clear demonstration of lack of research and understanding at this level of seniority would, in any other business, be classed as negligent.
“This was an opportunity to discuss how we can make our roads fit for people to get around by bicycle, improving our nation’s health, the environment and cutting emissions. This will deliver benefits for everyone, not just cyclists, and to do it we need to transform infrastructure, tackle dangerous junctions and encourage people to use bikes to get around.
“I’d like to see a proper, fruitful evidence session, rather than opinion-based discussion, on how to protect and encourage cycling as a mode of transport. To that end I am going to write to the MPs on the committee asking them to meet with British Cycling representatives to get to work discussing the real issues that can lead to the transformation of not just cycling, but the environments that we live in.”
The Committee will sit for a second hearing tomorrow. The government’s new cycling minister, Robert Goodwill, will give evidence. Meanwhile, in Manchester, Chris Boardman will tomorrow meet officials from New York City’s transport authority to hear about the changes that are needed in Britain to emulate NYC’s success in doubling cycling and inspiring five million rides in five months through the city’s bike hire scheme.
Cancellara on De Laatste Show
You might have missed this interview with Fabian Cancellara a couple of years back on the Belgian TV programme De Laatste Show on the één channel. Most of it is in English, but the best bits are of Fab in action and the discussion of his bike motor. Enjoy:
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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