Alexandre Vinokourov and Aleksander Kolobnev have been cleared of any wrong doing in the final of Liège 2010 – Top Story. Loads of other cycling news in today’s EUROTRASH: The Flandrien and Flandrienne awards, André Greipel to Israel Cycling Academy, Filippo Ganna takes individual pursuit record, Iljo Keisse not retiring but Stijn Devolder does, another year for Francisco Mancebo, World Cycling Centre director fired, Enric Mas and Jakob Fuglsang talk Movistar, Alessandro De Marchi returns, more contract news and Fabian Cancellara honoured at the Santos Tour Down Under. We finish with video of Taylor Phinney’s LA. Coffee anyone?
TOP STORY: Vinokourov and Kolobnev acquitted in bribery case
Former riders Alexandre Vinokourov and Aleksander Kolobnev have been acquitted by the Liège court of bribery in the final of Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2010. The judge acquitted the two completely due to a lack of evidence.
The Liège public prosecutor demanded a prison sentence of six months and a hefty fine for the two former riders who finished together in La Doyenne more than nine years ago. It was alledged that to secure the victory in the spring classic, Vinokourov bribed his Russian escape companion €150,000, but this was always denied by both parties.
The court investigated, among other things, the e-mail and banking traffic of the two suspects in Switzerland and Monaco, but the court ruled that there was insufficient ground to convict Kolobnev and Vinokourov.
Alexandre Vinokourov wrote on Instagram: “Я очень рад, что наконец точка в этом вопросе поставлена и суд вынес единственное справедливое решение. Смотрим только вперед в будущее! Мы провели самый успешный сезон в этом году, но впереди еще много работы и планов! Не расслабляемся!”
“I’m very happy that finally judges made the only fair decision and we can finish this story. Looking forward for further successes and victories! We did the best season this year, but we still have a lot of work and goals! Keep going!”
Aleksander Kolobnev commented: “A ten-year epic has come to an end. The judge was not lazy and wrote 25 pages explaining how absurd this attempt was to blame athletes on the basis of ‘journalistic ethics.’ Piles full of lies were written there. Oh, how angry I was. But in 30 years I can certainly smile about this story.”
Flandrien and Flandrienne 2019
Wout van Aert and Sofie De Vuyst are the big winners of the Flandrien 2019, organised by Het Nieuwsblad.
1. Wout van Aert – 506 points
2. Remco Evenepoel – 505
3. Philippe Gilbert – 481
4. Thomas De Gendt – 304
5. Victor Campenaerts – 289.
The names of the five nominees – elected by a professional jury – were submitted to the professional peloton. They could express their preference in a secret vote. 79% of the Belgian professional peloton participated in the vote.
Wout van Aert and Francesco Moser
1. Sofie De Vuyst – 97 points
2. Sanne Cant – 75
3. Lotte Kopecky – 65
4. Jolien D’hoore – 62
5. Julie Van De Velde – 61
Sofie De Vuyst received the Flandrienne Trophy from Yvonne Reynders, herself four times world champion. De Vuyst succeeds Sanne Cant.
Sofie De Vuyst
Het Nieuwsblad also introduced the new ‘Trofee Patrick Sercu’, awarded to the best rider on the track, in cyclo-cross, BMX, and mountain biking. With this, the newspaper wants to honour the Olympic champion and ‘6 days’ winner, Patrick Sercu who passed away this year. For his World hour record, the first edition of the ‘Trofee Patrick Sercu’ went to Victor Campenaerts, who set a new World hour record in April in Mexico. Campenaerts received the trophy from Christophe Sercu, son of Patrick and team manager of Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise.
This year’s Best Teammate Trophy was for Dries Devenyns. The Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider received his trophy from the new Flemish minister of Sport Ben Weyts. The Trophy of Internationale Flandrien was given to Juilian Alaphilippe by the cycling editorial staff of Het Nieuwsblad. He succeeds Tom Dumoulin.
The readers of Het Nieuwsblad could choose the most beautiful cycling moment of the year. They chose Thomas De Gendt’s victory in the Tour. Mathieu van der Poel’s sprint in the Amstel Gold Race and Van Aert’s sprint victory in the Tour.
Among the youth categories, the trophies were for Dries Verstappen with the newcomers, Julie De Wilde with the juniors and Ilan Van Wilder with the U23. For the first time the trophy in the youth series was open to both girls and boys.
All the winners:
André Greipel Surprises with Transfer to Israel Cycling Academy
André Greipel will ride for Israel Cycling Academy in 2020. The German sprinter has announced on social media. With this transfer, he returns to the WorldTour level, after racing for Arkéa-Samsic last season. Greipel’s contract with the French team was broken after one year.
Earlier it was revealed that Corendon-Circus and Wallonie-Bruxelles teams were interested in Greipel. The 37-year-old German has signed for one season with the Israel Cycling Academy, which will take over the WorldTour license from Katusha-Alpecin to be at the highest level next year. The UCI will make a final decision on that license application in December.
For Greipel it will be the fourth team in his professional career. In 2006 he turned professional with T-Mobile, which was turned into Columbia. He then switched to Omega Pharma-Lotto, the current Lotto Soudal, in 2011. In 2019 he took a step back to Arkéa-Samsic, but has now left after one season.
The “Gorilla” calls his transfer a challenge. “I’m looking forward to performing at my highest level again. It is a project for the future, with many motivated and talented riders,” said Greipel. “I have followed the team for a long time and have seen the rapid development in recent years. I want to be part of that, certainly because I can ride the WorldTour again.”
“We are honoured that he will join our team,” says team manager Kjell Carlström. “We are convinced that he can win again with us in 2020, but above all his experience in the classics and mass sprints will come in handy. Both for the other riders and for our management.”
André Greipel does a bit of running in the Tour:
Filippo Ganna Takes Individual Pursuit World Record
Filippo Ganna rewrote the cycling history books twice in one day. At the Minsk track World Cup, he crushed the individual pursuit World record in both the qualification ride and in the final. 4.02,647 is now the new World top time over 4,000 meters. The magical 4 minute barrier is in sight, but that is not the only thing the Italian wants to focus on. “The World hour record will be a goal.”
Victor Campenaerts rode 55 kilometres and 89 metres in Aguascalientes in Mexico this year, keeping the World hour record firmly in his hands for the time being. Ganna announced to La Gazzetta dello Sport that he would like to try to take the Belgian’s record in the future.
“Before I want to go for it, I first have to have the stamina and that is why I have to do a Grand Tour. I’d like that, but it’s up to the team, “ said Ganna. According to the pink sportspaper, two Tours are possible for next year: the Giro d’Italia seems the most likely option, and the Vuelta a España is a possible alternative. There will also be no record attempt at the Tokyo Olympic Games. Ganna wants to help the Italian team with a medal in the team pursuit.
And the other record, that of four kilometres within four minutes. Ganna would have already overcome this barrier if he had raced at high altitude instead of the low-lying velodrome of Minsk. “We knew he could do this,” said national coach Marco Villa. “His qualifying time of 4.07.456 was already faster than Adam Lambie (the previous record holder in the pursuit). If he went to a high altitude, he would ride under four minutes.”
Iljo Keisse Not Thinking of Stopping
Iljo Keisse doesn’t want to stop. That’s what the 36-year-old Belgian Deceuninck – Quick-Step rider told Sporza. “I am forced to think about it, because I get more and more questions. But I still like it and that’s the most important thing,” he said.
“I had a very bad season with a lot of bad luck and crashes. It was a year to forget quickly, but I like to keep going and I have no problems motivating myself for training,” said Keisse. “On the other hand, I don’t want to continue to a level that I would no longer be satisfied with. I will not stretch it unnecessarily, but I am still among the strongest team in the World in the job that I enjoy doing.”
Keisse will ride with Mark Cavendish next week in the ‘6 Days’ of Gent (12-17 November). It was the Brit’s wish to ride with his former teammate in ‘t Kuipke. “He himself asked to ride here and with me,” said Keisse. “In London he was already busy with Ghent, while London is his home six days. He comes here on Thursday evening, very early. He wants to train together for a few days and that indicates that he is motivated.”
Last year Keisse won the ‘6 Days’ with Elia Viviani, but this year he does not see himself as a top favourite. Keisse counts on competition from the De Ketele-Ghys and Kluge-Reinhardt pairings, the World champions are top favourites. “They should have the best condition on paper and they also have a lot of experience. They know each other through and through. But I also keep an eye on Van Schip and Havik.”
Keisse and Viviani in 2018:
Francisco Mancebo – Pro for Another Season
Francisco Mancebo still doesn’t know when to stop. The Spaniard, who turns 44 in March, announced via Twitter that he will be riding for the continental Matrix-Powertag next season. Mancebo, who was in the top ten, ten times in the Grand Tours, can still hold his own among the pros. In the spring he was 19th in the Vuelta a Castilla y Leon and 4th in the Tour of Japan, and recently he was 4th in the Japan Cup won by Bauke Mollema.
The Spaniard Tweeted:
Quiero anunciar que en 2020 seguiré con @MATRIX_POWERTAG en lo que será mi 23ª temporada. Gracias a todos los que me siguen 😊
(I want to announce that in 2020 I will continue with @MATRIX_POWERTAG in what will be my 23rd season. Thanks to all who follow me)
World Cycling Centre Director Fired After Allegations of Abuse of Power
Frédéric Magné was fired by the UCI as director of the World Cycling Centre. AFP news agency reports a breach of confidence after the keirin triple World champion was accused of abuse of power.
“Based on the information we have received, the UCI no longer has faith in Magné,” said a spokesperson for the International cycling association. Magné, who was removed from his position two weeks ago, was the head of the World Cycling Centre for ten years and, according to AFP, he misbehaved. According to a witness, the 50-year-old Frenchman used some form of terror to put pressure on employees. In addition, aggressive and manipulative behaviour, systematic bullying behaviour and threats were discussed.
It is also reported that he sent African athletes home after a rider from Eritrea had left the World Cycling Centre. He also did take Muslim eating habits into account. Magné is said to have forced riders who were under his care to clean his bicycles and car, mow the grass and take his children to school. Mathieu Blanc, Magné’s lawyer, denies the allegations. He calls the accusations an attempt to damage his client’s reputation.
Fuglsang was Close to Transfer: “Movistar was an Interesting Option”
Jakob Fuglsang was one of the riders about whom there were a lot of rumours last season. The Danish rider decided to resign with Astana for a further period of two years. He revealed to the Spanish sportspaper Marca that conversations had indeed been held with the team boss of Movistar.
“It is true that there were contacts with Movistar and Eusebio Unzué for a possible commitment. It was an interesting option, but in the end I chose to renew with Astana and I am very happy with that”, announced the youngest winner of Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
“Movistar would have been a great team for me, but I think I have more options here,” Fuglsang explained his final choice to stay in the Vinokourov camp. “I will be able to lead the team in various important races. 2019 was a great year for Astana in which we all achieved a great level. It was by far my best season ever and I hope to be able to continue this line in the coming year.”
In addition to winning the spring monument, he took the overall victory in the Tour of Murcia, the Ruta del Sol and the Critérium du Dauphiné. He also managed to ride to his first stage victory in a Grand Tour la Vuelta a España.
Jakob Fuglsang wins Vuelta stage 16:
Enric Mas on Movistar: “Here I have great teammates in the mountains”
Enric Mas is happy with his move from Deceuninck – Quick-Step to Movistar. The Spanish climber told Marca that the main reason he left was that he will have “great teammates at Movistar to support me in the mountains.”
After the departure of Nairo Quintana and Mikel Landa from Movistar, Mas was signed by the Spanish WorldTour team. Now he is one of the leaders, along with Alejandro Valverde and Marc Soler. “I’m not afraid of responsibility,” said Mas. “I have always said that I want to take on major challenges. Here I will get that chance. We haven’t talked about planning yet, but it is clear that I am going to ride an attractive program.”
Mas knows that the team is going to work with him in the Grand Tours. “I want a teammate who is just as strong as I am to compete against the opposition,” says the Spaniard. “The competition is fierce, with Jumbo-Visma and Team Ineos, but at Movistar we will try to do our best to compete.”
The transfer of Mas to Movistar had been in the air for a while. “It is not something that has recently been worked out. It had been clear for months. I really enjoyed the past season, but I still had to learn many things,” he explains. Mas left Deceuninck – Quick-Step with the final victory in the Tour of Guangxi as a farewell gift.
Stage 4 win in the Tour of Guangxi for Mas:
Stijn Devolder Retires at Forty
Stijn Devolder has decided to stop cycling, according to Het Nieuwsblad. The 40-year-old Belgian was the right-hand-man of Mathieu van der Poel at Corendon-Circus last season. The double Tour of Flanders winner also rode with Wout van Aert.
Devolder had hoped to ride the Belgian Championship in Anzegem in 2020, but now that he didn’t get a new contract with Corendon-Circus, he has decided to stop. “It’s time to say goodbye and start something else. I can’t go on forever. The decision to stop is now easier for me than a few years ago. Then I would have been left with the feeling of ‘could I go a few years more…”
“I always knew what I was going to do after my career. I have always had a passion for agricultural machinery. I now want to make it my profession. I see it as a new challenge. So I become a contract worker,” said Devolder. “There were different contacts. First I thought about it a little. A combination with a job or position within the cycling World didn’t look good right away. Not in the first few years. I want to ride a bike myself. Purely as relaxation.”
The career of Devolder has lasted eighteen years. In 2001 he was a stagieire at Mapei – Quick-Step, after which he made his debut in the professional peloton at Vlaanderen-T-interim (now Sport Vlaanderen-Baloise). From 2004 he rode four seasons with US Postal and Discovery, after which he signed with Quick-Step. Via Vacansoleil-DCM he ended up at RadioShack, which became Trek-Segafredo.
In 2017 he took a step back to the ProContinental Véranda’s Willems-Crélan. Devolder chose Corendon-Circus for his last professional season. In 2008 and 2009, Devolder caused a furore with victories in the Tour of Flanders. In addition, the classic specialist was three times Belgian champion on the road and also twice national time trial champion.
Stijn Devolder training with Mathieu van der Poel:
De Marchi Can Train Again Soon
Alessandro De Marchi is ready to work towards his return to the peloton after crashing heavily in the Tour de France four months ago. He suffered a lung bruise and fractures of the collarbone and rib. A long and difficult recovery process followed, but now that the end is in sight, the Italian wants to return better and stronger.
In Tour stage 9 it all went wrong for attacker De Marchi. With 160 kilometres to go, the CCC Italian crashed and had to be taken to the hospital. “We knew immediately that the crash was serious and realised that it would be a long recovery process. In the beginning, however, we thought it would go more smoothly than it actually did.”
After a few weeks it became clear that the plate in his broken collarbone would cause problems when cycling. Because the rider and his team did not want to take any risks, the focus soon shifted to 2020. At the end of last month, De Marchi went under the knife again to have the plate removed and in the meantime he quietly resumed training. “Now I should be able to work back to the normal training load.”
“You could say that this has been the most difficult moment of my career. What I learned from this is that this is part of our job and something that we unfortunately cannot avoid. Maybe I have been lucky so far, but I will not soon forget this crash. The older you get, the more power you can find to overcome such a thing and I think I understand its seriousness. If you are younger, you may take more risks.”
“But I hope to return to the level I had the day before the crash, and maybe even better and stronger. I am curious how I will react when I start racing again, I am a bit anxious about that. It will take a few months to get back to my race condition. I am really focused to start the season in good shape and then look ahead to my goals, the classics and then perhaps the Tour and Tokyo.”
Alessandro De Marchi in Liège:
Bigla Signs Marlen Reusser
We are pleased to announce that the talented Swiss rider Marlen Reusser has signed with Bigla. Reusser’s cycling career highlights include winning the 2017 Swiss ITT championship, as well as this year’s European Games ITT and the Swiss Road and ITT championship and placing sixth at the World Championships ITT in Yorkshire.
She commented about joining the team: “Bigla is based in Switzerland, my home country, with several experienced and strong riders in its ranks. I believe that Bigla has the know-how to guide athletes on their way to the top of the sport, and I’m looking forward to becoming part of this professional and well-structured working environment. I am still developing as a rider and determining where my strengths lie. I like time trials with climbs and windy conditions, and I hope that I can improve on that discipline with the support of Bigla. Of course, I still have a lot to learn in road cycling and that is also a goal for me next year, but I’m confident that Bigla will provide a solid basis for achieving this.”
Team Manager Thomas Campana remarked about the signing: “We are very pleased that Marlen has chosen to join our team in order to continue her journey towards becoming a world-class time triallist. We hope and are confident that we can provide her with the platform to transform her into a medal winner at the Olympic Games as well as the World Championships. This is a goal that is shared by everyone in the team, and which will be taken on with great motivation from us all.”
James Shaw to Riwal Readynez
The Danish ProContinental team, Riwal Readynez, has signed 23 year-old James Shaw for the 2020 season. Shaw comes from SwiftCarbon, a small British team. Before that, he rode for two seasons with Lotto Soudal. Shaw sees himself as a rider for the hilly races and smaller stage races.
“I am very happy to return to the professional level after a year at the continental level. I think it is a great opportunity for me and I am motivated. I also feel a lot of positivity about the future with Riwal Readynez,” said Shaw, who finished fifth in the Tour de Yorkshire in 2019. “I was young when I went to Lotto Soudal, but it didn’t go well. I have learned a lot there what I am now taking into account in my career.”
Cycling Legend Fabian Cancellara Honoured at the 2020 Santos Tour Down Under
The 2020 Santos Tour Down Under will welcome one of the greatest cyclists of this generation with retired Swiss professional, Fabian Cancellara, taking centre stage both on and off the track.
Cancellara is a four-time World Time Trial Champion, reigning Olympic Time Trial Gold Medallist, 11-time Grand Tour stage winner and winner of countless one day Classic races spanning his 17-year cycling career.
Hitaf Rasheed Executive Director, Events South Australia expects that the international popularity of Cancellara’s cycling career will attract passionate cycling enthusiasts from all over Australia to hear him speak at the Legends Night Dinner and for the chance to ride with him in the Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser.
“Fabian Cancellara is one of the most successful athletes in cycling history, so it is fitting that his career and his highlights are celebrated at 2020 Santos Tour Down Under, being 10 years after his last Time Trial World Championship win in Australia,” said Hitaf Rasheed. “Cancellara’s illustrious career saw great success at Olympic, World Championship and World Tour level. What a way to celebrate his professional cycling career and hear about his love of business and cycling at the Santos Tour Down Under Legends’ Night Dinner,” she said.
Fabian Cancellara continues to contribute to the sport of cycling with his own company. His stories of success and the changes to the cycling profession will provide an in depth and personal account of living life on the road and achieving success from the 1990s through to his retirement in 2016. The professional road cyclist, who last rode for UCI WorldTour team Trek-Segafredo, said he was looking forward to visiting South Australia for the Santos Tour Down Under.
“I am still very much involved and connected in the cycling and sporting world and I am looking forward to seeing the race and being a part of the Challenge Tour,” said Cancellara. “The excitement that the Santos Tour Down Under brings as the first race on the UCI calendar is something special and I can’t wait to visit Down Under again in 2020,” he said.
Mike Turtur, Race Director, Santos Tour Down Under said Cancellara’s career and success is a story of strength, initiative, and perseverance.
“Fabian was an instinctive rider and one of the most successful cyclists in our sport’s history,” said Turtur. “He was an athlete with incredible power and determination to win, he was a committed student in his psychological preparation as well as his physical training,” he said.
During his career, Cancellara was a part of an industry that rapidly grew in professionalism and popularity, with sponsors, bikes, teams and the growing crowds all riding the wave of change in the sport. Still very much connected to the sport that he has loved since he was a child, Cancellara now builds the business of sport and cycling, continuing his involvement with his Chasing Cancellara programs running throughout the world.
“Fabian will tell some great stories and has a long history with the sport – he will give great insight into his cycling career, before and after the wins,” said Turtur.
Secure your seat at the 2020 Legends’ Night Dinner to hear Fabian Cancellara. He will be joined by other guests at Legends’ Night Dinner (still be announced). Join Fabian Cancellara in the Challenge Tour presented by The Advertiser, the official mass-participation ride for cycling enthusiasts that will tackle Stage 4 just hours before the professionals on Friday 24 January 2020.
For tickets, registrations or more information visit www.tourdownunder.com.au @tourdownunder #tourdownunder.
Fabian Cancellara World TT champion:
Taylor Phinney’s LA
“It’s a place where you can find anything you want to find. Whether that’s a group of people that you click with, or a certain type of food, or a certain community. Whatever you are looking for, there’s something that’s going to connect with you in this town.”
Watch Taylor Phinney explore his home away from home, Los Angeles. As famous for its gridlock and sheer volume of cars as its Hollywood stars, there’s actually something for all of us in the City of Angeles, from the person off a plane in search of palm trees to an intrepid cyclist cruising town.
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Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it on the homepage, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.