Cyclingnews - the world centre of cycling Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

Recent News

January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
December 2008

2007 & earlier

Recently on

Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News, November 12, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson

Rumpf relishing climate of trust

Alain Rumpf
Photo ©: JF Quenet
(Click for larger image)

ProTour manager Alain Rumpf is relishing the "climate of trust" which now exists after years of war between the International Cycling Union (UCI) and Tour de France operator Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO). Rumpf described the ProTour's fourth year in existence as one of "transition", in an interview with

"The most important thing is that relations between ASO and the UCI are restored and a climate of trust between all parties in cycling has been reinstalled," said Rumpf.

While details on the future direction of cycling's highest level are still being sorted, Rumpf spoke positively on the sport's future. Despite the positive outlook, he admitted the progress has come at a cost.

"The credibility of all parties in cycling has been affected by the conflict that has market the sport in recent years," he said. "We must now all work to restore the image of our sport, which requires a strong government."

Rumpf confirmed that there are currently nine teams registered to next year's UCI ProTour, with the remainder to be decided in due course. A working group is also in the process of mapping out details on next year's world calendar.

"To date nine teams are licensed for 2009: Ag2R, Astana, Caisse d'Epargne, Columbia, Garmin-Chipotle, Lampre, Liquigas, Milram and Scott-American Beef," he said. "In addition to Katyusha, most teams whose licenses expires in 2008 have filed a new application, which will be discussed soon by the commission for licenses. It also remains to be seen whether all teams will be registered by the deadline of November 20, especially if they can present a balanced budget and bank guarantee."

Gil looking for '09 gig

By Monika Prell

Koldo Gil
Photo ©: Sirotti
(Click for larger image)

Koldo Gil's hunt for a team to ride with in 2009 is continuing after Euskaltel-Euskadi told the rider it wasn't able to accommodate him next season. Gil approached Euskaltel-Euskadi after the outfit took on his former Liberty Seguros team-mate Pablo Urtasun.

"I talked to Igor González e Galdeano [Euskaltel-Euskadi technical secretary] to see if I could join the team; I know that it is difficult because they have already finished planning the 2009 squad," Gil said earlier this week. "Igor said that he will have a look, but that it is complicated. If this doesn't work, I will find myself in a precarious situation."

The rider has since announced on Onda Cero Deportiva de Vizcaya that he is now in that precarious situation. "Galdeano confirmed that there is no possibility for me to race in the team," he said. "This is a pity and a frustration for me.

"I already have been without a team at various times; I won't quit," he added. "I still have time to find a team."

Portugal was once the last refuge for Spanish riders who couldn't find a team in their home country, with riders like Francisco Mancebo, Rubén Plaza and Gil taking up this option on previous occasions. But now Benfica and LA Aluminios MSS will cease operation while other teams will reduce their squad's numbers, reducing the number of positions available for the abandoned Spaniards.

Gil confirmed that the situation in Portugal has impacted his prospects. "From the four good [Portuguese] teams, two will disappear and Liberty will have less money. Until now the Portuguese cycling stayed constant, there were no ups and downs, but this year has been difficult," the Navarran rider told Gara, referring to the doping case of LA Aluminios MSS.

A big obstacle in Gil's hunt for employment comes from his name's connection to Operación Puerto. "We talked to various teams of different countries, but it's correct that the shadow of the Operación Puerto still lingers," said Gil. "I am not an indispensable rider, but a competitive one and in recent years I have performed well, even if I didn't participate in many races."

Ullrich in court today

By Susan Westemeyer

Jan Ullrich
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Former rider Jan Ullrich is scheduled to appear in a Düsseldorf, Germany court Wednesday morning in his lawsuit against Günther Dahms, the former owner of Team Coast, for which Ullrich rode in 2003. Ullrich's manager, Wolfgang Strohband, confirmed to that Ullrich would be in court.

Ullrich rode for Team Coast for four months, before the team ran out of money and was taken over by Bianchi. Ullrich is suing Dahms to recover unpaid salary from those four months, which totals about half a million Euros including interest. Dahms has refused to pay, saying that he assumed that Ullrich had doped during that time period, which would have been a contract violation.

It is expected that Ullrich will take the stand and be asked whether or not he used illegal doping. It will be first time Ullrich has addressed this question under oath.

Pujol joins Sastre at Cervélo

By Monika Prell

Oscar Pujol Muñoz will join his compatriot Carlos Sastre in 2009 after the 25 year-old rider signed a contract with the Cervélo TestTeam. It will be the rider's second season as a professional, after riding the Vuelta a Castilla y León and Vuelta a Asturias in 2008 with Burgos Monumental.

Pujol started as an amateur in 2006, when he was able to win a stage of the Vuelta a Cantabria and finished second in the overall classification and two stages of the Vuelta a Salamanca. In 2007 he was able to win the Aitzondo Klasikoa and stages at the Vuelta a Navarra and the Bizkaiko Bira.

The Valladolid rider is a good climber and was able to be amongst the best at the Vuelta a Asturias in 2006, where he showed his strength with a strong performance.

Cervélo TestTeam's 2009 roster includes: Iñigo Cuesta, Philippe Deignan, Dan Fleeman, Xavier Florencio, Simon Gerrans, Roger Hammond, Heinrich Haussler, Jeremy Hunt, Thor Hushovd, Wolodymyr Gustow, Andreas Klier, Ignatas Konovalovas, Brett Lancaster, Daniel Lloyd, Joaquín Novoa, Serge Pauwels, Oscar Pujol, Gabriel Rasch, Martin Reimer, Dominique Rollin, Hayden Roulston, Carlos Sastre and Marcel Wyss

Ramírez Abeja to return in '09

By Monika Prell

After one season out of the sport Javier Ramírez Abeja will return to the professional peloton in 2009. The 30 year-old rider from Carmona, Spain has signed a one-year contract with Andalucía Cajasur, becoming the team's 13th rider for next season, according to

Ramírez, who turned professional in 2004, spent three years with Liberty Seguros before riding for Fuerteventura Canarias in 2007. The rider was unable to find a professional team in 2008, so spent the year with his former amateur team Avila Rojas.

A strong season with Avila Rojas put Ramírez back on the radar of professional team bosses for next season. In addition to more than 10 top 10 classifications in 2008, Ramírez won some 11 races.

While Andalucía Cajasur's full roster for 2009 is yet to be completed, the team won't renew Francisco José Ventoso- or José Antonio Redondo's contract after poor performances in 2008.

Andalucía Cajasur's 2009 squad includes: Javier Ramírez, Javier Moreno, Francisco José Martínez, José Ruiz, Antonio Piedra, Jesús Rosendo, José Antonio Carrasco, José Antonio López, Xavier Tondo Ángel Vicioso, Manuel Calvente, Esteban Plaza and José Luis Roldán.

Team Type 1 signs two

Valeriy Kobzarenko (Team Type 1
Photo ©: Mark Zalewski
(Click for larger image)

American squad Team Type 1 has announced two signings for 2009, including the re-signing of Ukrainian Valeriy Kobzarenko. The former Ukrainian champion played a crucial role in the squad throughout 2008, helping the team's leaders setup several victories in addition to several podium finishes of his own.

"I honestly believe we would not have had the success that we enjoyed in 2008 without his undying, consistent, and selfless work and commitment," TT1 sport director Ed Beamon said. "In every situation that I can remember this year where our leader may have been under fire, Kobza was always there to put out the flame. Valeriy can win when in the situation, but his experience and competitiveness make him one of the hardest workers on the team."

The outfit has also signed 23 year-old Ino Ilesic, a Slovenian rider who finished the 2008 season in strong form. Ilesic won the Dylan Mitchell Memorial Criterium and Vista Grand Prix races and finished third at the USA Crits Finals.

"He has extensive European experience coming from one of the top programs in central Europe," Beamon said. "This was another move to improve our strength in the sprints and at the finish, especially in the harder internationally competitive finishes."

Beamon believes IIlesic's finishing speed will be showcased in hard, one-day events and stages, as well as criteriums.

Australia gets festive over bicycles

Australia is getting ready for a cycling fix, with the Bicycle Film Festival's leg Down Under ready to kick off. The festival commences in Sydney on November 13 and runs through to November 16 before moving on to Melbourne from November 19-23. The Melbourne leg of coincides with the city's UCI Track World Cup round which will also be held next weekend.

On offer for two wheeled enthusiasts is a number of films including The Six Day bicycle races, The way Bobby Sees it, and Road to Roubaix. There will also be a series of swap meets and parties held in conjunction with the shows.

For specific details on venues, viewing times and parties, see

Coach heads home after charges dropped

West Australian track cycling coach Rick Lee is returning to Australia after United States of America authorities dropped charges against the 51 year-old and released him from protective custody. Lee was being held on charges of raping a 15 year-old girl in July while in USA with a team of junior Australian cyclists.

Lee was to face charges of statutory rape, aggravated indecent assault, burglary and trespass after the girl claimed to have been attacked by Lee. While the girl claimed to not know and had never had contact with Lee in an affidavit, Lee admitted to contacting the girl and attending her home after she posed as a 19-year-old.

"She was posing as a person of legal age and it was on a website," Lee told Fairfax Radio Network. "The evidence clearly backed up my story."

Lee thanked the Northampton County Prison staff for "doing a very good job" and said he holds no grudge against the girl but hopes she seeks help.

Previous News   Next News

(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)