Katusha Miss Out on WorldTour Licence
On Monday the UCI announced the names of the teams that will be competing in the “Premier League.” The one big omission is the Russian registered Katusha team, which was the second placed team this year and includes the best all-round rider of 2012; Joaquim Rodriguez. A team spokesman said after the announcement; “team management, riders and staff are extremely surprised by the lack of justification for such a decision. At the present moment Katusha has no information regarding the reasons for the decision of the UCI.” The team added; “the UCI violates the canons of sports ethics and causes irreparable moral and psychological harm to the athletes before the start of the new season.”
The UCI said as part of their statement: “The request from the team Katusha for registration in first division has been rejected. In accordance with UCI regulations, this team’s application has been forwarded to the UCI administration, so that the latter may assess the possibility of registering this team as a UCI Professional Continental Team.”
So what does this mean to the Katusha team in 2013? It means that Joaquim Rodriguez will not automatically be on the start line in the Flèche-Wallonne and the Giro di Lombardia, both races he won this year, plus the Giro d’Italia in which he was second and la Vuelta a España where he was third.
It is very likely that the Katusha team would be invited to the Vuelta and fairly probable the team would get a “Wild Card” entry to the Giro d’Italia and Lombardy, but nothing is certain. Katusha has never been that interested in the Tour de France, so maybe no loss there. They have applied to be part of the Movement for Credible Cycling (MPCC) which would give them priority, but so have many ProConti teams.
Katusha do have the right to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but this could possibly be a waste of time and money, but they do seem set on taking legal action as they have stated: “Should the registration as UCI ProTeam for the seasons 2013-2015 be denied, KATUSHA will immediately file an appeal before the Court of Arbitration for Sports and/or any other forum it may deemed appropriate to defend its rights.” The Katusha team finish their letter to the UCI with: “My client hereby reserved all its rights to request damages should this situation not be corrected immediately,” so they are not taking it lying down.
I personally wonder why teams like Euskaltel-Euskadi, FDJ and Argos-Shimano are part of the WorldTour. Euskaltel-Euskadi is not the team they used to be and are struggling with money at the moment. FDJ have been fairly invisible in many races and Argos-Shimano is a two horse show.
Argos-Shimano Happy with WorldTour Place
The Argos-Shimano team has received a WorldTour license for the next three years to keep them on the top rung of the cycling ladder through to the end of 2016. As Iwan Spekenbrink, General Manager of Team Argos-Shimano said; “This WorldTour licence is a reward for the combination of a strong group of riders and innovative coaching staff, who have managed to get into the WorldTour through their own efforts.”
Saxo-Tinkoff Also Pleased
“The license is important because I think that the best riders must ride the best races, and with the lineup we have for the coming season, we have to have a place in the WorldTour,” Trey Greenwood told Ekstra Bladen. He added that “We’re not surprised that we got it, but we were wondering if it would happen. We did have a good feeling after the hearing [before the UCI License Commission], but of course there is some uncertainty until the end.”
Lotto Belisol’s Thoughts on getting a WorldTour License
Lotto Belisol has got a WorldTour license for next season. With some delay the UCI gave the team a license. Now Lotto Belisol is sure to be attending WorldTour races. At the moment the team is preparing for next season on a training camp in the Spanish Mojacar. The news was welcomed joyfully.
Sports manager Marc Sergeant: “Any other decision would have surprised us, we were very hopeful that we would get a license. It took a while before the UCI decided; we are now at about five weeks before the start of the season. As a team we were really looking forward to this good news, now we can fully work on next season.”
“That we can ride all WorldTour races is reassuring. For all riders, staff and sponsors this is excellent news. It is also good for Belgian cycling; it was almost unthinkable that Lotto Belisol wouldn’t have got a license.”
2013 WorldTour Teams:
Current licence holders:
Astana Pro Team,
BMC Racing Team,
Lampre – Merida,
Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team,
Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team,
Movistar Team (UCI decision of Nov. 16).
New licences issued:
AG2R La Mondiale (2013-2016),
Euskaltel Euskadi (2013-2016),
Former Rabobank (2013-2014),
Garmin Sharp (2013-2014),
Team Argos–Shimano (2013-2016),
Team Saxo – Tinkoff (2013-2014).
Licences issued for 2013 only:
Joaquim Rodriguez wins La Fléch-Wallonne 2012:
Alberto Contador to Pay €37,500
Due to Alberto Contador losing his case against the UCI and WADA, he must contribute €37,500 towards the cost of the case that was brought before the Court of Arbitration for Sport. This represents a part of the €308,000 for WADA and €147,000 for UCI expenses on the case. The UCI also fined Contador €2.4 million and he has had legal costs of his own totalling nearly €1 million. That was a very expensive steak!
Contador at the Vuelta a España 2012:
100th Ronde van Vlaanderen Course
On March the 31st the Centenary edition of the Tour of Flanders will start in Brugge and work its way through the important towns and villages of Belgian cycling until it hits the final circuits before the finish in Oudenaarde. From the first climb of the Tiegemberg the race heads east and down towards the finish town of Oudenaarde, crossing the Taaienberg, Eikenberg, Molenberg, Rekelberg, Berendries and Valkenberg climbs. Just like last year the race will use the same finishing circuit taking in the Oude Kwaremont, Paterberg, Koppenberg, Steenbeekdries and Kruisberg/Hotond with the last lap only climbing the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg before the finish.
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Flanders recon:
Angliru for Vuelta a España 2013
The Alto de L’Angliru climb will return for the 2013 Vuelta a España on the penultimate stage in the Spanish Tour. The stiff climb could be the decider in the event, but will, as always, be a crowd pleaser. The Angliru climbs 1265 metres with steep sections of over 23%, if it rains the riders have problems with rear wheel traction which adds to the excitement. The Vuelta a España course presentation is on January the 12th.
Vuelta a España 2002 on the Alto de L’Angliru:
Orange Team Buses for Sale?
According to the Basque newspaper Euskadi Irratia, the Euskaltel-Euskadi outgoing management team of Miguel Madariaga has not got enough money to meet the wage bill for the team personnel for the last two months of the year. Madariaga said “I have no other solution. Buses are my salvation; we must sell them because if we don’t, Fundación Euskadi is in great danger.” The wage bill of nearly €1 million could be covered by the sale of the team buses. Madariaga added that “Euskaltel also wants to solve the problem. Keep in mind that almost all riders will continue with them and it will not be a good start to the new season. But before we get to that point we all have the opportunity to talk to everyone and fix this issue. I have hope that everything will be resolved before year end.”
Euskaltel-Euskadi team at work:
The rumour mill has been quite busy over the fate of the ex-Rabobank team and how it will look next season if a new main sponsor isn’t found before then. The latest is that the team will be called: Blanco-Giant and will be riding a half black, half blue race kit with a white line down the middle. Very different from the very Dutch orange of Rabobank and not that nice either. A web-site has also been registered in the name of Blanco-Giant.nl, maybe there is something to it?
Still on Giant:
No Armstrong wins since end July 1998; its Official!
The UCI have officially announced that all race results by Lance Armstrong, including seven Tour de France wins, no longer exist. The American rider has three weeks to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, if he doesn’t choose to do this then the Olympic Committee with also strip him of his Bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Armstrong has said he would not fight anymore court cases.
Did this happen?
Team Sky sign Vasil Kiryienka
Press Release: Team Sky have continued to strengthen for the 2013 season by signing Movistar rider Vasil Kiryienka on a three-year contract.
Since turning pro in 2007, Kiryienka has earned himself a reputation as one of the hardest-working riders in the peloton and his versatility will be of huge benefit to the squad.
Not only is the 31-year-old Belarusian a talented climber, he also packs a mean punch as a time trialler, and has claimed numerous stage wins from small breakaway groups.
The highest profile of those came in the 2008 and 2011 editions of the Giro d’Italia, where Kiryienka dropped his rivals on both occasions before soloing to victory with more than four minutes to spare.
The three-time national time trial champion has also tasted success at high-profile races such as Ster Elektrotoer, Vuelta a Burgos and País Vasco, and in 2011 wrapped up the overall title at the Route du Sud.
His 2012 campaign was also impressive, and saw him make his ninth Grand Tour appearance at the Tour de France before claiming the bronze medal at the World Time Trial Championships in Limburg.
Vasil Kiryienka said: “I am very happy to be joining Team Sky and I’m confident I will fit in without any difficulty as there are people I’ve known for a long time in the squad.
“Team Sky has enjoyed a fantastic season in 2012 and I’m looking forward to contributing towards even greater success over the next three years, whether that means working for myself, or for someone else.
“With the help of Team Sky I want to continue developing as a rider. Everyone has made me feel welcome and I am keen to getting started.”
Sports Director Nicolas Portal said: “Vasil has won some big races and put in some impressive performances at the very highest level. His stage win at the Giro d’Italia last season was phenomenal, and we were all impressed with the way he was able to battle on and take the victory.”
“He was third at the World Time Trial Championships and has a lot of other victories to his name. He’s such a strong rider and is going to be a great signing for the team.”
“He can perform very highly in his own right, or in a team capacity, and we know what he is capable of. It puts us in even better shape heading into the big tours of 2013.”
Giro d’Italia 2011 stage 20 won by Vasil Kiryienka:
Sky Team for Tour Down Under 2013
Edvald Boasson Hagen will be the Sky team leader at the Santos Tour Down Under starting in Adelaide on January the 22nd 2013. He will be backed up by Chris Sutton who won a stage in 2010.
Sky Team for Tour Down Under:
Edvald Boasson Hagen,
2012 Tour Down Under highlights:
Orica-GreenEdge for Tour de Langkawi 2013
The Orica-GreenEdge team will be led by Cameron Meyer at the Tour de Langkawi which starts in on February the 21st. The strong team includes Cameron’s brother Travis and fast man Luke Durbridge and Giro d’Italia stage winner Pieter Weening.
Orica-GreenEdge for Tour de Langkawi:
Le Tour de Langkawi 2013 Route Presentation:
Scarponi Banned for Three Months
Michele Scarponi has been banned for three months and fined €10,000 by the Italian Olympic Committee because he had worked with Dr. Michele Ferrari, who has been banned from working with athletes for the last 10 years. Scarponi has been banned from the 1st of October to the 31st of December, which won’t affect his racing. Scarponi told La Gazzetta dello Sport “I honestly believe I’ve done nothing wrong, however I accept the three-month verdict. The judgement was fair but I was hoping it would be something less or even nothing.” This is Scarponi’s second suspension in his professional career.
Brammeier for Champion System for 2013
Irish champion; Matt Brammeier has signed for the ProConti Champion System team for next year after the 2012 season with Omega Pharma – Quick-Step. Apart from his three Irish National titles he has not gained any WorldTour points since riding for bigger teams. His plan is to get back into his previous winning ways and move back to a WorldTour team in the future.
Matt Brammeier’s third Irish championship win:
Kurt Van de Wouwer: Sports Director
Press Release: Next season Kurt Van de Wouwer (41) will become sports director of Lotto Belisol. The past seasons Van de Wouwer was already working for the U23 formation – a function which he will continue to occupy – but in 2013 he can get a taste of the work with the pros. Van de Wouwer was a pro himself from 1994 till 2006, he raced eight seasons in an outfit of Lotto and became eleventh in the Tour of 1999.
Kurt Van de Wouwer:”Of course this chance pleases me. When you are already working for a few years with the U23 and you see different guys moving on to the pros, then you hope that one day you can take the step yourself. At the U23 it’s about developing new talent each year, with the pros you also get the chance to build something up.”
“I guess they are satisfied with my work at the U23 team and this is an agreeable consequence. A lot of the staff I still know from when I was pro, a lot of riders I have had in the U23 team; my integration definitely won’t be any problem and this training camp is ideal to get to know the people I don’t know yet. Next season my programme will be relative limited because I will combine both functions, but I’ll pass on my experience in the stage races with pleasure.”
Kurt Van de Wouwer in the 1998 Tour de France Stage 15 to Les Deux Alpes:
Righi & Marzano Retire
Two cyclists that had spent most of their careers in Team Lampre, decided to end their professional activity, even if their lives will still be blue-fuchsia.
Daniele Righi (10 seasons in Team Lampre) and Marco Marzano (7 years) won’t be cyclists anymore, but general manager Saronni offered them to join the staff of the team.
Righi will be an active intermediary between Sport Service (reference point for functional evaluation and counselling for training programs) and the team’s riders, supporting the sport directors and the medical staff in monitoring the activities that will be performed in Sport Service.
Marco Marzano will be an assistant of the technical staff and he’ll back the sport directors in organizing the logistics of the races, in collecting the data about the cyclists’ performances, in the evaluations of the courses and in the assistance during the races.
Cadel Evans might not miss Daniele Righi:
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team Training Camp
Press Release: The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team riders will be in Mallorca for the first training camp of the season. The riders will arrive at the campsite today, and as of tomorrow, they will be busy at work under close supervision by the team’s technical staff.
“We’ll be working in three groups,” Tom Steels said. “The first one will be made up of riders who will be going to Australia, who have to perform specific workouts that focus on rhythm more than the others. We will also be working on fine tuning our sprint trains to get back into the swing, and then we’ll be making the most of the situation to spend some time together and work on the time trial with our Specialized bikes. Anyway, overall, we still have basic work to do.”
Following tradition, the camp will also be an important forum for athletes to work out their schedules, undergo some evaluation tests and, last but not least, to pose for official 2013 season photos. All team members will be participating in the training camp.
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 2012:
New BMC Development Team will Focus on Learning
Press Release: Improving performance and preparing riders for the ProTour is the goal of the new BMC Development Team that will compete in Europe and the United States, Directeur Sportif and Team Manager Rik Verbrugghe announced Monday.
Verbrugghe, a 13-year professional who has been an assistant director for the BMC Racing Team the past two seasons, said he is excited to work with a mix of young and semi-experienced riders. “Our main goal is to work with the young guys and bring them to a higher level in the hopes that they will graduate to the ProTour level,” he said. “Of course we hope to achieve some good results along the way. But more important than results is teaching them the best way to ride, how to train, and to nurture them through our system.”
BMC Racing Team President/General Manager Jim Ochowicz said planning to create a development team was several years in the making. “Now that we’re finally making it happen, we are excited about the possibilities it creates,” he said. “We will be helping young athletes start their career off right and growing and developing them in a system where their progress will be closely followed.” Verbrugghe will be assisted by assistant director Jens Blatter, team doctor Scott Major and Scott Nydam, performance advisor and trainer.
The team’s 14-rider roster includes six from Switzerland (Valentin Baillifard, Tom Bohli, Silvan Dillier, Kilian Frankiny, Arnaud Grand and Stefan Küng), four Americans (Taylor Eisenhart, Paul Lynch, Alexey Vermeulen and Tyler Williams), Belgian Loic Vliegen, Italian Igniazio Moser and Jakub Novak of the Czech Republic. Australian Tim Roe rounds out the squad and is the most experienced, having spent two seasons with the BMC Racing Team. “It will be good to have Tim as a road captain as he recovers from the back troubles that affected his performances the past two years,” Verbrugghe said. Vliegen said he did not hesitate when he was offered a roster spot. “BMC is a big team with a good management,” he said. “I hope to show good things next year, especially in races like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, which is special for me as I come from the area.”
Road And Track Talent
Talent on the squad extends from the road to the track, where Bohli is the current junior world champion in the team pursuit – as well as the Swiss national junior road and time trial champion. Dillier won the Swiss Under 23 time trial title this year to go along with his Under 23 European championship in the 4,000-meter pursuit and the madison. Novak is the reigning Czech Republic Under 23 time trial champion while Küng earned the junior European championship in the madison in July. All of this bodes well, Verbrugghe said, especially with the April opening of the Velodrome Suisse, a 250-meter track in Central Switzerland spearheaded by BMC Racing Team sponsor Andy Rihs.
Verbrugghe said the team will conduct a January training camp in Spain before starting its season with one-day races in Europe in February. “Important early-season races for us will be the Tour de Normandie in March, Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April and the Giro Bio in June, plus all the Under 23 stage races and one-day races in between,” he said.
BMC Development Team Roster:
Valentin Baillifard (SUI),
Tom Bohli (SUI)
Silvan Dillier (SUI),
Taylor Eisenhart (USA),
Kilian Frankiny (SUI),
Arnaud Grand (SUI),
Stefan Küng (SUI),
Paul Lynch (USA),
Igniazio Moser (ITA),
Jakub Novak (CZE),
Tim Roe (AUS),
Alexey Vermeulen (USA),
Loic Vliegen (BEL),
Tyler Williams (USA).
Directeur Sportif and Team Manager: Rik Verbrugghe (BEL)
Assistant Director: Jens Blatter (BEL)
Staff: Doctor: Scott Major (USA). Head Mechanic: Nick Mondelaers (BEL). Head Soigneur: Patrice Hemroulle (BEL). Trainer/Performance Advisor: Scott Nydam (USA).
BMC training in 2012:
On one day over the Alps
The ENDURA Alpine dream – the challenge for all cyclists
Press Release: What ambitious pedal knight hasn’t already thought about conquering the Alps in their entire amplitude on only one day. The ENDURA Alpine dream – the new event by RoadBIKE – makes it possible now: On 14th September 2013 the starting signal will be given in the German Sonthofen for the very first Alpine cross-run of this kind for all cyclists.
Until the finishing line in Sulden, South Tirol, not only 252 demanding kilometers and 6,000 energy-sapping meters difference in altitude await the participants of the ENDURA Alpine dream but also numerous scenic highlights. Some of the flashpoints are definitely the Hantenjoch, the Piller Pass, the Umbrail Pass and of course the Stelvio Pass. Who ever finds the entire track through all the three Alpine countries to be demanding can start the ENDURA Alpine dream in Landeck shortening the distance for about 110 kilometers and 2,500 meters difference in altitude.
The ENDURA Alpine dream is hosted and organized by the PLAN B event company and the RoadBIKE magazine. Both organizers can look back on a long experience in cycling and are happy to have found an ideal partner for the new cycling spectacle in the British clothing brand ENDURA Ltd. “The amateur cycling has the same value for ENDURA just like the professional procontinental team NetApp-ENDURA. That’s why we are thrilled to be able to realize the ENDURA Alpine dream together with the RoadBIKE and PLAN B. At this season’s highlight for lots of participants we’ll meet cyclists who are important for our company, namely, passionate cyclists”, Richard Thomas, ENDURA’s sales & marketing manager for German-speaking countries, explains.
Registration start on 20th December 2012
The three race towns Sonthofen, Landeck and Sulden are already excited to greet the cyclists who can look forward to a versatile frame program aside from the ENDURA Alpine dream. But also during the race a professional service on the tracks and outside of them is guaranteed. Starting from the signposting of the route over the luggage transport to the return transport of the participants and their bikes, everything is organized in best manner.
The registration for the ENDURA Alpine dream starts on 20th December 2012. All the participants who register until 31st May 2013 will not only get an early bird discount but also the strictly limited event Trikot, exclusively produced for this race by ENDURA.
The facts about the ENDURA Alpine dream:
Date: 14th September 2013.
Starting town: Sonthofen (GER) or Landeck (AUT).
Finishing town: Sulden (ITA).
Track data original route: 252 km, 6,078 meters difference in altitude.
Track data shortened version: 140 km, 3,500 meters difference in altitude.
Registration start: 20th December 2013
More information and registration at www.alpen-traum.com.
Route Recon and Cycling Guide for Indoor Training – Alpine Teaser from cyclefilmcyclefilm.
Giro D’italia: The Last Judgement: The Survey Results
With the impending end of the World due either yesterday or on the 21-12-2012, the Giro d’Italia organizers asked 10 question of 100 journalists last week (yes we were one of them), here are their findings:
Trieste, Coppi, Bartali, Hampsten, Gimondi, Magni, Pantani, Merckx and Clerici – these are among the most popular entries, each one a winner in a special classification of the “Universal Classification” of the best of 103 years of Giro d’Italia.
100 journalists, representing the World’s most important media, gave us their own “Judgement” to establish the best of the Corsa Rosa and exorcise the World’s end, as predicted by the Mayan Prophecy. Here are the results – the champions, stages, images and emotions:
1. Which are the most dramatic moments in the history of the Giro d’Italia?
On 30th June 1946, during the 12th stage of the Giro from Rovigo to Trieste, some anti-Italian activists who wanted Trieste to be part of the newly formed Yugoslavia stopped the Giro 2km east of the village of Pieris, blocking the road with cement blocks and throwing stones and nails at the riders. The Giro organization had already decided to declare the stage end in Pieris and neutralised the general classification for the day, but some of the riders, lead by the Trieste born Giordano Cottur insisted on riding to Trieste anyway.
2. Which are the three best Giro d’Italia’s of all time?
The Giro in 1949 won by Fausto Coppi, the Giro of 1988 won by Andy Hampsten after the epic stage on the snowy Gavia Pass in the storm, and the Giro d’Italia 1998 won by Marco Pantani.
3. Which are the three best stage victories of all time?
17th stage of Giro d’Italia 1949, from Cuneo to Pinerolo (254km) which had the fantastic solo ride by the Campionissimo. Coppi earned the Maglia Rosa after going on the attack for 192 km, climbing the Col de la Madeleine, the Col du Vars, the Izoard, the Monginevro and the Sestriere alone, finally arriving in Pinerolo with an 11’52″ advantage over Gino Bartali and almost 20’ on Alfredo Martini.
4. Which Champions have best represented the values of the Giro d’Italia?
Gino Bartali, Fausto Coppi and Felice Gimondi are the three Champions that have truly represented the values of the Corsa Rosa.
5. Which are the biggest sporting rivalries in the Giro d’Italia?
The greatest rivalry, and the most popular by far, was between Fausto Coppi and Gino Bartali.
6. What are the most iconic images (pictures) of the Giro d’Italia?
Fiorenzo Magni riding the Mountain Time Trial of Bologna-San Luca, 16th stage of the Giro 1956. He was unable to push hard on the pedals due to his broken collarbone, a fracture he had sustained on the previous day’s stage, so at the suggestion of his mechanic Faliero Masi he rode biting a tubular knotted to the handlebar to fight the pain.
7. What are the most poignant gestures of sportsmanship during the Giro d’Italia?
On May 10th 2011, during the 4th stage of the Giro 2011, the peloton along with hundreds of thousands of fans lining the route of the 216km stage, paid homage to Belgian rider Wouter Weylandt, who died the day before after a fatal crash.
8. What is the statement or quotation that best represent the spirit of the Giro?
The clear winner is the legendary phrase of the Rai radio commentator Mario Ferretti during the 17th stage of the Giro 1949, Cuneo – Pinerolo, who at the beginning of his program said: “There’s only one man in the lead: his jersey is celeste and white; his name is Fausto Coppi”.
9. What have been the biggest surprises of all time at the Giro d’Italia?
The Swiss rider Carlo Clerici, racing the Giro in 1954 as a domestique for Hugo Koblet, won the overall race after one of the most famous “fughe bidone” (Italian term meaning a fluke attack, invented by the Italian press after that specific occasion) in cycling history. Clerici attacked with other four riders during the 6th stage from Naples to L’Aquila, gaining more than half an hour on the peloton. No one was able to recover this entire margin over the remaining stages, despite the fact Clerici was not a great climber
10. Which are the most impressive sporting feats in more than 100 years of battles on the roads of the Giro?
The “podium” of the most impressive feats in the history of the Giro d’Italia has some of the greatest Champions of the sport on it: third is Fausto Coppi dominating Cuneo – Pinerolo in Giro 1949; second is Marco Pantani winning in Oropa, the 15th stage of Giro in 1999 after a glorious comeback from a mechanical problem at the base of the final climb; and in first place, the most impressive sporting feat in over 100 years, is Eddy Merckx – winning the 12th stage of the Giro in 1968 from Gorizia to Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
The 96th edition of the Giro d’Italia will start on May 4th in Naples and conclude on May 26th in Brescia.
Giro d’Italia 1951 – Il Giro di Magni:
A New Cyclist
English comedian and actor, Lee Evans, tries a bit of track cycling:
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