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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for September 23, 2007

First Edition Cycling News for September 26, 2007

Edited by Greg Johnson & Paul Verkuylen

Victoria to host 2010 worlds

UCI President Pat McQuaid seals the deal by shaking Cycling Australia's President Mike Victor's hand
Photo ©: Rob Jones
(Click for larger image)

The Australian state of Victoria will host the 2010 UCI Road World Championships, cycling's international governing body announced overnight following a meeting of the UCI Management Committee in Stuttgart, Germany. Victoria's Minister for Tourism and Major Events, Tim Holding, said the Time Trial element of the 2010 UCI Road World Championships will take place in Melbourne, with the road race to be staged in the Geelong area.

"I'd like to thank the Victorian Major Events Company who have secured this event and been negotiating for the 2010 UCI Road World Cycling Championships as part of our long term events strategy," Holding said.

The Time Trial event will be held over two laps of a course starting and finishing at Melbourne's Formula One Grand Prix circuit in Albert Park, before heading down for an out and back run along the spectacular Port Phillip Bay. The road component will be held an hour away, also on the shores of Port Phillip Bay, in the suburb of Geelong, which currently plays host to the Women's World Cup's opening round.

Australia's Tour de France runner up Cadel Evans (Predictor-Lotto), who calls Barwon Heads home when he is in Australia, says he's excited the Championships will be in his home state of Victoria. "I look forward to competing at home with all my friends and family there to support me," Evans said. "It's always an honour and a pleasure to compete for my country and even more so with the world's best riders in my country for this truly international event."

The Time Trial course is set out around Melbourne's Albert Park
Photo ©: Cycling Australia
(Click for larger image)

Cycling Australia's President, Mike Victor OAM, was present in Stuttgart for the announcement by UCI President Pat McQuaid and said the decision acknowledges the sport's growth in the Pacific nation. "This recognises the extraordinary growth of the sport in Australia and is a fitting reward for our cyclists whose international performances have moved Australia into the top three ranked nations in the world," Victor said. "Cycling Australia is extremely grateful for the support of the Victorian Government in backing the bid and we look forward to working with them to deliver a great event."

The likelihood of a successful bid by Melbourne grew in recent weeks with speculation over the government support behind Bahrain's bid culminating in its withdrawal last Friday.

The 2010 road race circuit is based
Photo ©: Cycling Australia
(Click for larger image)

"This further cements Victoria's reputation around the world as the leading destination for staging major events and is a tribute to how important cycling is in Australia," Victorian Premier John Brumby said. "It is a huge vote of confidence to hold the Road Worlds in Victoria, which have never been held in the Southern Hemisphere."

Over 48 countries will attend the event with some 720 competitors expected to participate, with the winner of each category winning the right to the world champion's rainbow jersey for a year. The 2010 UCI Road World Championships are expected to take place in October 2010 with course details and routes to be announced at a later date.

The announcement is another major victory for Australian cycling, with the UCI having already granted the Australian Capital Territory a round of the Mountain Bike World Cup in 2008, with the discipline's World Championships to be held at the same venue the following year. The UCI Management Committee is also expected to announce over coming days whether South Australia's Tour Down Under road cycling event will be granted ProTour status as a part of suggested plans to expand the series outside the European Union.

McQuaid blasts world champion Bettini

Paolo Bettini is now even more determined to take victory this weekend
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

UCI president Pat McQuaid has hit out at World Champion Paolo Bettini and the Italian Cycling Federation, with the Italian to defend his rainbow World Champion jersey in Stuttgart, Germany this week despite not inking his name on the UCI's anti-doping charter, introduced in the lead-up to July's Tour de France. McQuaid says he's "angry and annoyed" over Bettini's ongoing refusal to sign the document, in which riders pledge to give a blood sample for cross referencing with evidence gathered in the the Operation Puerto doping investigation and to pay back one years salary if found guilty of doping.

"Bettini has not signed and I feel very angry and very annoyed," McQuaid told AFP. "To be honest with you I'm equally angry with the Italian Federation as with Bettini. The Italian Federation have said they won't ask riders to sign and the Spanish have done likewise."

Since introducing the new charter in late June the UCI has relied on the public pressure of making the list available online to get riders to sign the agreement, as it has no legal right to force riders to sign the document or prevent them from racing if they don't sign. Public pressure it seems isn't enough to sway Bettini's position on the matter and as one of Italy's highest profile riders the national federation isn't in a rush to force the Quick.Step-Innergetic rider, or any of its other members for the matter, to sign the document. "There are some people who still do not realise the state that cycling is in today," McQuaid said. "He has decided for whatever reason not to sign it willingly and to try and sign an altered version, which we won't accept. It is only a pledge. It is not a legal document. We cannot stop them racing. It was never meant to be [a legal document]."

Bettini has reacted to McQuaid's comments saying that any attempt to prevent him from racing will only make him more determined to leave Germany on Sunday afternoon the same way he entered the country - with the World Championship jersey on his shoulders. "If they are doing this to destabilise me they should know that I'll win the world championship in Stuttgart on purpose," said Bettini.

Kashechkin challenges UCI on privacy

Andrey Kashechkin (Astana)
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Andrey Kashechkin is not planning to just lay down and accept defeat after testing positive in August according to The Kazakh has summoned the UCI to court for violation of his privacy, filing the case on the same day that the UCI's trial against him went to court in Liege.

Kashechkin was found positive for homologous blood transfusion in an out of competition control taken while he was in Turkey. After the B sample was also found positive Kashechkin was fired by his Astana team on August 31.

Kashechkin has questioned the competence of the UCI in regard to releasing the information of the doping controls. His lawyers have claimed that the UCI has breached his right to privacy. The UCI now has the authority to take blood samples from the riders as well as keeping track of where the riders are at any particular time. However when the positive control took place, Kashechkin was on holiday and didn't wish to be disturbed.

His laywer, Luc Misson, has asked that the court prohibits the UCI from punishing his client or prohibit him from riding until the case has been decided. The case goes before the court on November 6.

Lissavetzky defends Spain's doping stance

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The President of the Spanish Sport Superior Council Jaime Lissavetzky has hit back at UCI president Pat McQuaid's accusations that Spain is the biggest source of the sport's doping problems, saying that he has a neutral approach to all doping cases brought forward. Lissavetzky's comments come after McQuaid slammed the nation for having a "reluctance to completely clean the problem out".

"I am not going to enter answering to the president of the UCI," said Lissavetzky. "Everything that designed to put pressure on a sport court, whom has to act independently, is not positive. I am not a person that likes to generate pressure and therefore I will keep my opinion until the opportune moment."

Lissavetzky's words to EFE follow comments in an AP interview with McQuaid, in which the Irishman hit out at Spain's selection of Alejandro Valverde, who reached the bronze medal in Salzburg, Austria last year, despite the governing body stating it didn't want Valverde to contest the event. "The biggest problem we have in doping and cycling comes from Spain," McQuaid said in the interview. "There seems to be a reluctance to completely clean the problem out in Spain."

Lissaetzky defended the Spanish government's stance against doping and its ongoing commitment to unearthing doping rights. "The government of Spain continues fighting against doping, and not only through the laws that they have approved, but also as important operations such as the Mammoth, Gamma or the Operacion Puerto."

Zabel to stay at Milram

Team Milram's Erik Zabel has recently been rumoured to be in negotiations with his former team T-Mobile for the 2008 season, but his current squad has formally dismissed the suggestions, adding that the German rider is under contract with them until December 31, 2008.

"In reference to the [comments on the] market in the press, it is specified that Erik Zabel has a contract until 31 December 2008 with the Ciclosport Srl, that manages the Milram Team," the Italian squad declared in a release. "For such reason, at this point, every news on [Zabel] - unless communicated officially the team - has to be considered lacking in every foundation."

On Sunday the Frankfurter Allgemeine published the rumour that Zabel was heading back to the German magenta squad.

Caisse d'Epargne signs Langkawi winner

Anthony Charteau (Credit Agricole)
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

Spanish ProTour squad Caisse d'Epargne will add some French flavour to the squad in 2008, following the announcement it has signed Anthony Charteau and Fabien Patanchon. The duo will leave their current French ProTour squads to join the Spanish outfit for 2008.

The 27 year-old Charteau heads to the team from Roger Legeay's Crédit Agricole. Charteau climbed his way to victory in February's Tour de Langkawi, capitalizing on his Stage 3 victory in the 2.HC event to hold the general classification lead through to the final stage in Kuala Lumpur. Charteau, who turned professional in 2001 with Bonjour, finished on the podium in April's Paris-Camembert, where he took second place, and at August's Tour du Limousin, where he finished third.

Patanchon joins the squad from Française des Jeux, where he has spent his whole professional career to date. The 24 year-old joined the French team in 2005 as a stagiaire and has spent the past two seasons with the outfit.

British Cycling rejects only British UCI ranked one-day race

By Gerry McManus

British Cycling has decided to remove the East Midlands International CiCle Classic race from its Premier Calendar series for 2008. The British Cycling Road Commission decided that it is inappropriate that the series should contain any races on the UCI international calendar, "principally because the regulations of each competition are incompatible".

CiCle Classic race director Colin Clews is disappointed with the decision to exclude one of Britain's most inventive one day races from the calendar. He claims there was no communication from British Cycling prior to notification of the decision. "The regulation differences are absolutely minimal," said Clews. "They relate to the convoy order, riders being grouped into teams and the numbers allowed to start from any one team. Regarding the latter, many would in fact argue that the unlimited team size able to currently contest Premier Calendar events is one of the biggest problems with the series."

The race is one of the newest in the United Kingdom and is currently Britain's only UCI ranked one day race. CiCle Classic is styled on the Paris-Roubaix classic and the route includes some rough and unmade roads. The event is challenging for the riders and has become increasingly popular with spectators. There are many vantage points to see the action unlike some of the other Premier Calendar events in previous years.

"Had the Lincoln and Archer still been full international events, I wonder if the same decision would have been reached?" questioned Clews. "I am particularly saddened by this decision because of the message it sends out to other organisers. This appears to be as long as you promote at a level which does not embarrass any of us that have been 'muddling along' for so many years, you can stay in the Premier Calendar, but if you have any ambitions or imagination for your race, you will be excluded. This decision seems to endorse mediocrity in domestic race promotion."

CiCle Classic has been oversubscribed with rider entries since its creation three years ago. The race will no longer have the support from British Cycling that it had enjoyed as part the race series which included crowd barriers. Clews estimates that it will cost the organiser an additional £7,500 to replace the lost resources.

The organisers of the Grand Prix of Wales are also seeking UCI ranking as an international event next year and will also be excluded from the series.

"We are moving towards developing (expanding and enhancing) our road calendar and a key part of that is promoting international events like Rutland and the GP of Wales to stand above the Premier Calendar - we sanction them as International events and support them as such," a British Cycling spokesman commented. "It enables us to bring on and develop more new events in the Premier Calendar and ultimately we hope that some of them will also become internationals and move out of the series. It's a pretty exciting situation and one which reflects the healthy status of this level of events in the UK."

Bissell gets priority title

Bissell will increase its National Racing Calendar involvement in 2008 following the announcement it will take over the title sponsorship of the American Continental squad formerly known as Priority Health presented by Bissell. The announcement secures the future of the squad, following a recent shakeup in sponsorship within the American scene which has seen Navigators Insurance left without a title sponsor and its future in doubt.

"Our brand is innovative and performance-based," says Bissell’s President and CEO Mark Bissell, who is also a director on the USA Cycling Development Foundation's board. "This sponsorship exemplifies how Bissell is extending its commitment to promoting healthy living through athletic competition. We are proud to increase our sponsorship and commitment to this winning team."

The squad's 2008 line up will be led by Ben Jacques-Maynes, a seven-time NRC race winner in 2007 and second overall in NRC individual points. In addition to Jacques-Maynes and eight strong returning riders, four new riders have been signed by the Bissell Pro Cycling Team.

Among those new riders is T-Mobile's Aaron Olson, who joins the team after two seasons racing in the UCI ProTour. In addition to American Olson, the team will add climber Burke Swindlehurst, climber and Time Trial specialist Jeremy Vennell and Steven Howard, the brother of Graham, as one of the team's sprinters.

"All four new riders have already demonstrated their abilities over the previous years, but I believe the environment we have on the Bissell Pro Cycling Team will enable us all to have our best season so far," said team director Glen Mitchell. "It's going to be an exciting year as we strive to make an impact on the American racing scene."

Bissel Pro Cycling's 2008 roster: Ben Jacques-Maynes, Richard England, Graham Howard, Omer Kem, Edward King, Garrett Peltonen, Morgan Schmitt, Tom Zirbel, Scott Zwizanski, Aaron Olson, Burke Swindlehurst, Jeremy Vennell and Steven Howard.

Tassie carnivals get UCI Sprint Series

The UCI has sanctioned a series of category 3 cycling events to be held at the Latrobe, Launceston and Devonport Christmas Carnivals. The sanctioned series is the result of months of negotiations between the Sports Carnivals Association of Tasmania and the UCI, with the support of both Cycling Australia and the Australian Institute of Sports Cycling Unit.

"Whilst the Association is delighted with the approval it had applied to conduct category 2 events but has been advised by the UCI that it is policy in the first year to only approve category 3 or 4 events," read a release from SCAT. "An application for category 2 events may be made in following years depending on an assessment of how this year's event is conducted."

The events to be held this year will include men's sprint, keirin and teams sprint and possibly a women's points race. All events will carry qualifying points for the Beijing Olympics and organisers hope to attract up to 30 international cyclists for this year's events.

Australian Institute of Sport Cycling Head Coach Martin Barrass confirmed on Monday that the AIS would send a team of five sprint cyclists to the event, all of which are members of the Australian Track Sprint Squad. Organisers believe the cyclists will be Shane Perkins, Shane Kelly, Scott Sunderland, Daniel Ellis and Ben Kersten.

SCAT will need to attract squads from another three countries to compete in the event, with four competing nations required to satisfy the category three status the event has been granted. "Due to the lateness in receiving our approval this will be difficult but the Association is confident it can be achieved," read the release. "Assistance is being provided by the AIS with the Association forwarding offers to compete to a number of countries."

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