What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

The CPA, AIGCP, UCI and few other cycling acronym’s come under the microscope today, but we do have racing from the “Ghent 6 Days” and the Tour of Rwanda. Lots of team, rider and race news and a fair bit of retro with video action. We also have ride news from HotChillee, Haute Route and a training camp in Hawaii. Loads to get through in today’s EuroTrash Thursday, coffee time!

“Top Story”

Independent Anti-Doping Commission
The Association of Professional Riders’ (CPA) has agreed with the teams association (AIGCP) that there should be an independent commission to handle anti-doping controls. This comes on the heels of the Lance Armstrong/USADA case and the implications that the UCI were involved in alleged cover ups. In the words of the CPA “the loss of credibility and authority of the institutions who govern this sport, the riders cannot tolerate that there are doubts surrounding the correct application of sporting justice.” The statement carried on to say; “It’s the duty of the heads of a sport to guarantee that the system is equal for all and the UCI, after the facts that have emerged from the Armstrong case, can no longer act as guarantor of the application of sporting justice.”

The former head of the French Anti-Doping Agency; Pierre Bordry resigned his position in 2010 after the UCI took over the doping controls at the 2009 Tour de France, he said at the time that the UCI tests were “arranged so that the riders know in advance” and were “predictable and ineffective.” The French doping expert carried on to criticise the UCI’s methods as “there are not enough targeted controls, too little training for the testers and no unannounced inspections,” suggesting that anyone who wanted to dope could easily circumvent the system. Under AFLD testing in the 2008 Tour de France, four riders were found positive, were as in 2009, under the UCI system, there were none.

So who could look after doping controls? No one seems to have confidence in the UCI, and maybe each countries own doping agency is not the best body to be in charge of the controls in its own countries big events, as we have seen it has been claimed (by Pierre Bordry) that the French President of the time; Nicolas Sarkozy, was possibly protecting Armstrong. An independent agency would be idea. WADA is the first to come to mind, but they announced recently that they are suffering from a lack of government funding. WADA receive around $30 million a year, half of which comes from the IOC, but with the World economy as it is then that amount is likely to drop and WADA has a lot on its plate and more work every year.

What’s the answer? I think many people would like to know.

Ghent “6 Days” 2012
After the first night of the best 6 Days of the season, Kenny De Ketele & Gijs Van Hoecke took the lead from local rider; Iljo Keisse with his Australian partner Glenn O’Shea. Denmark’s Marc Hester and Lasse Hansen and the Dutch pair of Wim Stroetinga and Peter Schep are also on the same lap. Highlight of the evening was the 3 kilometre pursuit between World road champion Philippe Gilbert and Gianni Meersman, Gilbert (surprisingly) won.

Overall After the 1st Night:
1. Gijs Van Hoecke/Kenny De Ketele (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 78pts
2. Glenn O’Shea/Iljo Keisse (Aus/Bel) Omega Pharma 72pts
3. Marc Hester/Lasse Hansen (Den) VDK 53pts
4. Wim Stroetinga/Peter Schep (Ned) ADMB 39pts
5. Tristan Marguet/Franco Marvulli (Swi) Eurotyre Bandencentrales 66pts at 1 lap
6. Silvan Dillier / Robert Bartko (Swi/Ger) Mega Doe-Het-Zelf – John Saey 39pts
7. Leif Lampater/Tosh Van der Sande (Ger/Bel) Lotto 38pts
8. Tim Mertens/Jasper De Buyst (Bel) Caruur 27pts
9. Vivien Brisse/Morgan Kneisky (Fra) Callant-Decoranda 23pts
10. Moreno De Pauw/Nicky Cocquyt (Bel) Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen 18pts at 3 laps.

Philippe Gilbert in a pursuit race last year against Jurgen Roelandts at the Ghent 6:

European Cycling Union Approve MPCC Proposals
The European Cycling Union has agreed to accept the suggestions of the MPCC (Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crйdible) on some very important points. MPCC includes eleven WorldTour teams at present and is growing all the time.

Forty-eight European Federations are signed up to the UEC and have agreed to these main points:

Not to select riders for national teams who have been suspended for more than 6 months in the two years following the suspension.

To establish a medical monitoring programme of the use of corticosteroids and to impose an eight-day rest period if corticosteroid injections have been used.

To call on the WorldTour, Pro Continental and Continental teams in each European Cycling Union country to join the MPCC and follow its rules.

Head man of MPCC is well known and experienced ex-team manager; Roger Legeay, while Igor Makarov of the Itera company (co-sponsor of the Katusha team) is the UEC representative on the UCI management committee and funds the UEC.

Time Bonus System returns to the 2013 Giro d’Italia
Time bonuses are to returning to next year’s Giro d’Italia for all the stages except the individual and team time trials. A bonus of 20, 12 and 8 seconds will be awarded to the first three places on all the stages, last year there were no bonuses on the five stages in the mountains, only on the flat stages. There will also be bonuses at the intermediate sprints of 5, 3 and 2 seconds and there will be two sprints per stage to keep the excitement alive. Last year Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) probably would have beaten Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) if there had been a time bonus on the mountain finishes. In 2008 Alberto Contador won without bonuses.

2013 Giro d’Italia official promo:

Team Saxo-Tinkoff 2013
For next season the Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank team of Alberto Contador will be knows more simply as; Team Saxo-Tinkoff. Making a return is the Riis Cycling eagle logo on the team crest. Personally I’m happy as it saves me writing Bank twice in the results.

Training with the Saxo-Tinkoff team at La Vuelta a Espaсa:

Ceramica Flaminia is Development team for Saxo-Tinkoff
The Italian UCI Continental Ceramica Flaminia team will be the development team for the UCI WorldTour team; Saxo-Tinkoff. The team will be based in Lucca in the Tuscan region of Italy were Saxo-Tinkoff manager, Bjarne Riis used to live, the team will have twelve riders and Roberto Marrone will be team manager and DS will be Riccardo Forconi. More details of riders and sponsors will be announced later.

And what does Ceramica Flaminia make?

Boels Dolmans team for 2013
The UCI Dutch registered women’s Dolmans Boels team of 2012 will be known as Boels Dolmans in 2013 as Boels have upped their sponsorship and extended it to 2016. New riders Lizzie Armitstead and Lucy Martin join the team from the AA Drink-Leontien.ni team which stops at the end of the year. The two British riders join Emma Trott who had been with the team in 2012.

The Dolmans Boels Cycling Team at the Energiewachttour 2012:

Neben for Pasta Zara-Cogeas
2008 World TT champion Amber Neben is leaving the World team time trial champion team; Specialized-lululemon for the Italian Diadora-Pasta Zara team, which will be known as Pasta Zara-Cogeas for next year. The team has also signed El Salvador rider Evelyn Garcia Marroquнn and the team’s main sponsor, Pasta Zara, will sponsor the Vuelta a El Salvador in 2013. Garcia has won the El Salvador Tour twice (2004 & 2007) and the Vuelta a Costa Rica (2009).

2013 Team Roster:
Amber Neben,
Evelyn Garcia,
Rossella Callovi,
Giada Borgato,
Inga Cilvinaite,
Edita Janeliunaite,
Agne Silinyte,
Amber Pierce.

Backstage fotoshoot with the Diadora-Pasta Zara team for 2012:

Jaksche Makes a Return!
Jцrg Jaksche was implicated in “Operation Puerto” and after admitting to doping under Dr. Fuentes he received a one year ban, which was in June 2007, since the ban finished no teams wanted to sign him. Jaksche was a Pro from 1997, racing for the teams; Polti (1997–1998), Team Telekom (1998–2000), ONCE (2001–2003), CSC (2004), Liberty Seguros-Wьrth/Astana (2005–2006) and Tinkoff Credit Systems in 2007. Since his ban Jaksche has been training and studying for a degree in economics and will be racing for the German AminoSport team as an amateur in 2013.

2001 Paris-Nice, stage 6 mountain TT up the Col d’Eze, Jaksche was with ONCE then:

No Contract for Thomas Frei?
Thomas Frei made his comeback, from his doping ban after an EPO positive, with the Christina Watches-Ofone last year, but during stage 4 of the Tour of China in August, he sustained a broken hip in a crash and had to abandon. It appears that he was offered a new contract from the Christina Watches team, but he was unhappy with the terms of the contract, so will probably be looking for an alternative for 2013. Frei showed his old form by finishing second in the Swiss time trial championships to Fabian Cancellara.

Thomas Frei in the 2010 Giro del Trentino:

Leukemans is Innocent
Bjorn Leukemans was found positive in a doping test with a high testosterone level back in September 2007 and given a two year ban. He has always claimed his innocence, although further tests in Ghent and Barcelona showed that the testosterone was artificial. Leukemans was riding for the Silence-Lotto team at that time and the team doctor, Sam Vermeire, was sacked for prescribing Prasteron which contains the hormone DHEA, but this was thought to have nothing to do with the failed drug test. The Flemish Community has cleared Leukemans, who now rides for Vacansoleil-DMC, although there may be an appeal.

Here Leukemans crashes in Paris-Roubaix 2011:

Eight New Riders for UnitedHealthcare
The US ProConti UnitedHealthcare team has announced eigh new members for 2013, they are: Lucas Euser, Kiel Reijnen (Team Type 1-Sanofi), Danny Summerhill, Luke Keough (Smart Stop/Mtn. Khakis) and John Murphy (Kenda/5 Hour Energy) all from the US, Alessandro Bazzana, from Italy and Slovenian Aldo Ilesic (both Team Type 1-Sanofi) and Martin Irvine (RTS) of Ireland. Staying with the team from 2012 are: Americans Jake Keough, Jeff Louder, Brad White, Chris Jones and Adrian Hegyvary, from Australia; Hilton Clarke, Ben Day, Jonny Clarke and Karl Menzies, then Davide Frattini from Italy, Philip Deignan of Ireland, German Robert Fцrster and from the Island of Curacao, Marc de Maar, making up the full 2013 team roster.

Great bit of film here of the UnitedHealthcare team:

Ban’s for Scarponi & Visconti?
Due to Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) working with the disgraced Dr. Michele Ferrari, the Italian Olympic Committee are asking for three month suspensions for both riders. Ferrari was banned by CONI many years ago and they passed a ruling that any rider working with Ferrari could be suspended for up to 6 months. Filippo Pozzato was banned for 3 months this year for the same offence. Scarponi was first suspended for his work with Dr. Fuentes.

Scarponi in the 2012 Giro d’Italia:

Marco Pantani’s Bikes Sold
At an auction in Italy two of Marco Pantani’s Tour de France bikes were sold for well over the asking price of Ђ5,000. A Wilier Trestina bike that he used in the 1997 Tour, winning the stage to the summit of the Alpe d’Huez went for Ђ8,000. His Tour winning Bianchi of 1998 sold for Ђ13,000. Both bikes were bought by private Italian collectors and were being sold because the restaurant that Pantani had given them too had closed due to bankruptcy.

Pantani in the 1998 the Tour de France stage over the Galibier and Les deux Alpes:

Second victory for UCI Africa Continental Centre in Rwanda
Eritrean Amanuel Meron today won stage two of the Tour of Rwanda while riding as part of the UCI Africa Continental Centre. It’s the second victory in as many days for the team, which acts as a feeder team to MTN-Qhubeka, after Merhawi Kudus won stage 1 yesterday.
“The investment from MTN-Qhubeka-WCC-Africa feeder team into our riders are paying off already. Exciting times are ahead,” said team director Jean-Pierre van Zyl.

“With this world class support Africa’s riders will continue to prosper. We are proud to be part of Africa’s first Professional team,” referring to Team MTN-Qhubeka which will be registered as a professional continental team in 2013.

The stage contained two category 2 climbs and one category 3 climb. There were many attacks from the start and the peloton thinned out after 10km at the foot of the first climb. On the descent Kudus punctured and two of hi teammates waited for him. He lost a fair bit of time and they worked hard to bring him back to the front group. As Kudus made contact, South Africa’s Darren Lill attacked the group taking Meron with him along with four others.

Van Zyl said, “Meron was in this select group and the tactic for him was to follow any attacks early on. This worked out well, as he is also our sprinter and we knew he was on good form after winning the bunch kick for 6th yesterday. On the final climb of the day Lill kept attacking but Meron followed him every time. The two of them went clear with 10 seconds over the summit of the third climb. There was a 3km false flat to the finish. We were excited in the team vehicle, as we knew that if Meron was riding within himself on the climb, he could contest for victory. He sprinted clear and took the stage.”

After stage two, Meron is fourth on the general classification, 26 seconds down while Kudus is in sixth position, a further 31 seconds behind leader Rйmi Pelletier-Roy. Six stages remain in the Tour of Rwanda, including this afternoons third stage of 74 kilometres.
Race info from the MTN-Qhubeka Team.

Team Type 1-Sanofi gets ready for the Tour of Rwanda:

Gianni Meersman to join OPQS
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick Step Cycling Team is pleased to announce that we’ve reached an agreement with Gianni Meersman. The 27 year-old Belgian rider will race with the team for the next two seasons (2013-2014).

“Gianni’s arrival further improves the team’s technical capacity,” explained team manager Patrick Lefevere. “I’m expecting him to have a season as a major player in some Ardennes classics like the Brabantse Pijl or the Amstel Gold Race, as well as in some stages of important stage races or one day events. This year in races like the Paris Nice Gianni has proven to be competitive in close group arrivals and in arrivals on slight uphills. I’m sure that Gianni will be able to mature even more next year and garner some important results for himself as well as the team.”

“I’m very happy to become a part of this group and to ride side by side with great champions,” said Meersman. “Patrick Lefevere had already seeked me out in 2007. His faith in me is very important to me. My goal is to improve even more compared to last season and to try to increase the quantity and quality of my victories. When I have what it takes to make captain I’m going to play my cards and when necessary I’ll also put myself in the service of the team, as I’ve seen many champions from this squad do.”

Meersman’s arrival brings to 29 the number of athletes who will be defending the team colours next season.

Gianni Meersman in 2012 Tour of Romandia:

Team NetApp–Endura Strengthens it’s Management
Press Release: Team NetApp–Endura will start the new season with an expanded management team. Alex Sans Vega (Spain) and Brian Smith (UK) will be reinforcing the current management of Team NetApp.

The management staff on the top-class German team assembled around Team Manager Ralph Denk and Sport Directors Jens Heppner and Enrico Poitschke will take on an international face as of 2013. Alex Sans Vega and Brian Smith are being additionally appointed to the team management.

“Alex will bring a great deal to our team because, as a sport director for the Endura Racing Team, he already knows a large part of our new squad. In addition, we can count on the experience he has gained from 20 Grand Tours. In terms of our Iberian riders and the races in southern Europe, he’s a valuable addition to Jens Heppner and Enrico Poitschke,” explains Team Manager Ralph Denk.

“Brian Smith will support the team with organizational planning and, in particular, with scouting activities for talented and up-and-coming riders. It’s important for our development that we also become professional with regard to scouting. Brian not only has a wealth of experience and a very good network at his disposal. With Endura Racing, he’s also demonstrated a nose for talent,” adds Denk.

Team Management NetApp – Endura 2013:
General Manager: Ralph Denk,
Assistant General Manager: Brian Smith,
Head Sport Director: Jens Heppner,
Sport Director: Enrico Poitschke,
Sport Director: Alex Sans Vega.

Here are Teams NetApp and Endura in the Tour of Britain 2011, stage 6 finish into Taunton-Wells:

HotChillee enters team – including European Pros, the Downing brothers – to the Coronation Double Century Cycle Challenge in South Africa
Press Release: HotChillee, the global cycling events company, today announces its team riding the Coronation Double Century Cycle Challenge, a 202 km team race on 24th November. The 12-strong team has several professional guest riders, including winner of the Cape Argus Pick n Pay Cycle Tour 2005, Russ Downing from Nettapp Endura. It also includes former British National Champion Dean Downing who makes his move from Rapha Condor Sharp to the new Madison Genesis Team in 2013, headed up by Roger Hammond. Both will be riding in their current pro-team kit. The Downing brothers also completed the Momentum 94.7 as guest riders of Momentum in Johannesburg on 18th November 2012.

The squad will be racing against 200 other teams in the event dubbed as the ultra-marathon of cycling. Now in its 20th year, the race will take riders through some of the most challenging climbs in the area, including Tradouw Pass and Op de Tradouw.

Dean Downing says: “I’m really looking forward to riding in the international team. It’s a great privilege to be part of this challenging race. Cycling in South Africa is second to none; the terrain is tough, but the scenery is incredibly special.”

Sven Thiele, founder of HotChillee says: “We’re delighted to be sending a team to ride in the Coronation Double Century Cycle Challenge, including our two guest riders Dean and Russ. South Africa is incredibly important to HotChillee, with the launch of the Cape Rouleur this year, the newest addition to our Global Events Series. We’ve had fantastic support from key cycling figures in the region and from the Minister of Tourism and Economic Development, Alan Winde. It’s exciting to have a HotChillee team involved in a race with such heritage.”

Other riders on the team include Andy Davies, Craig Edwards, Jarryd Haley, Zayin Krige, Warren Robertson, Trevor Seinen, Hector Charles Ross, Lance Stephenson, Christian Vancoillie and Dane Walsh.

HotChillee’s 2010 London-Paris:

Hawaii Cycling Camp/Tours
Press Release: We are booking our 2013 Hawaii Camp/Tours right now. Our early bird registration ends in 12 days. Maui looks to be filling up quickly and Alex Stieda will be there with me this year! Maui runs from February 17-13 and the Big Island from Feb.24-March 2nd. (Arrival the day before). We hope you can join us this year!

Over 100 picures here on the Facebook page and more information here: www.RoadBikingMaui.com and www.RoadBikingHawaii.com.

Final phase of entries for the Haute Route 2013 will open on Monday 19th November
Press Release: The third and final phase of entries for the Haute Route Alps and Haute Route Pyrenees 2013 will open on Monday 19th November. This will be the last chance for cycling enthusiasts from across the globe to join the peloton for the highest and toughest cyclosportives in the world in 2013. Just 75 places remain on each event for this final entry ballot.

Earlier this month, the second phase of entries quickly sold out. In just 6 days, all allocated places for the main public ballot had been filled on each event, and the final entries to be released on Monday 19th November are also expected to be in high demand. Places will be made available via the Haute Route website consistent with previous ballot phases and full information is available here regarding the entry process and packages available. So far, 33 nationalities are represented in the peloton and a 90% male, 10% female split between the participants on both events. People from all walks of life, including doctors, lawyers, teachers, artists, top executives and housewives will be on the start lines next summer.

Both events in 2013 – the Haute Route Alps from 18th to 24th August, and the Haute Route Pyrenees taking place from 1st to 7th September – feature 800km of cycling, with 20 cols and over 20,000 meters of ascent in one week. Each event includes multiple stage formats, incorporating a ‘Marathon Stage’ and individual Time Trial, with riders conquering iconic mountain cols and discovering new lesser-known climbs amongst the most stunning scenery of each region. The ‘Iron Package’ combines the two events providing the ultimate challenge, and 30 intrepid and strong cyclists have signed up for so far.

Without doubt, for the amateur cyclists on the start lines, it will be an unforgettable adventure and for many the Haute Route marks a major lifetime event as they devote many months to a strict training routine. “This is a personal challenge for my 50th birthday year,” explained Alex Hawker, “I have been to the Alps and spent a week climbing to understand what this is all about. It’s a major milestone year for me and taking part in the Haute Route will make it very special.”

Cyclists who have already secured places have now turned their attention to the important business of training. Adequate preparation will be the key to success to conquer these events and achieve the coveted “Official Finisher” status. In his blog, Aaron West from the newly formed Team Vicious Cycle echoed the anticipation felt by many who have entered so far, “Most importantly, we recognize the ambition of what we’re trying to accomplish. Training is underway on all fronts. We’ll be ready.” 50% of cyclists have already signed up to participate together as a team, with others taking to the Haute Route Community to find teammates and training partners. Through the Community riders can also join the dedicated Strava club to post and compare information about their training rides.

More info here at the Haute Route web-site.

It’s Not About the Bike
More fun from Xtranormal by PollyBlueEyes.

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