Monday 30 April 2012

Cycling Evening News 30.04.12

 More bad news for women's cycling as Giro del Trentino Femminile loses time - Injured shoulder for Bronzini - SaxoBank announce Giro squad - Ballan wins Toscana - Tour of Korea responds to UCI criticism - Thomas has mixed feelings over BOA decision - UCI will stand firm on returning riders rule - Pellizotti signs to Italian squad - Pendleton upset by Cav criticism, says The Sun - New sponsor for Liquigas - Cycling News launches iPad mag - Cycle lanes should be priority say majority of Londoners - Raleigh goes Dutch - Newswire


More bad news for women's cycling
Judith Arndt won Trentino in 2011
Yet another women's race is showing signs of financial ill-health - the Giro del Trentino Femminile, which starts on the 16th of June, has been cut from three to two days.

Several other races have had to make cutbacks recently while some others have vanished entirely. In the last few months alone, organisers of the Tour de Languedoc Roussillon and GP Ciudad de Valladolid were forced to cancel their events whereas their counterparts at the Holland Ladies Tour warned that the race might not go ahead unless new sponsors could be found. Even the greatest races in the sport are not safe - even the Grand Boucle Feminine, once billed as the women's version of the Tour de France, has fallen by the wayside; last held in 2009 it looks to be lost forever.

The UCI has been saying for some time now that it is fully behind women's cycling and wishes to see it develop - yet, despite the wealth of cycling in general, the international governing body appears to be unwilling to spend money on preserving the sport during a difficult economic period in which existing and potential backers have been forced to cut back their advertising and sponsorship budgets. Unless they become a bit more ready to flash the cash and show some more financial support, the sport is going to keep on suffering badly - and right now, nobody is certain what will be left of it when the world economy recovers.

Bronzini was initially feared to have broken her collarbone
Shoulder injury for Bronzini
Current World Champion Giorgia Bronzini dislocated her shoulder during a crash at the Festival Luxembourgeois Elsy Jacobs yesterday, not broke her collarbone as was originally thought. The Diadora-Pasta Zara-Manhattan is also said to have knocked out some teeth, and will have to rest for 15 days before returning to racing.

Saxo Giro squad
SaxoBank have announced their Giro line-up: Juan Jose Haedo, Lucas Sebastian Haedo, Anders Lund, Jonas Aaen, Mads Christensen, Luke Roberts, Manuele Boaro, MatteoTosatto and Volodymir Gustov are all looking forward to three weeks of Italian fun. David Tanner had hoped to ride for the first time this year but cannot as he's still suffering from a crash at the Circuit de la Sarthe.

Alessandro Ballan
Ballan wins Giro della Toscana
BMC's Alessanro Ballan made clever use of the terrain at the Giro della Toscana on Sunday to reduce a strong field down to just five contenders. "I was feeling good and we had a very strong team here today. When we went over the major climb of the day (with 55 km to go), I think we had seven guys in the lead group of 40," the 32-year-old said. 40 was then whittled down to five for the final sprint in the 199km with Ballan proving fastest. "I have a lot of motivation with this victory and it's good for our morale going into the Giro d'Italia," he said.

Tour of Korea responds to UCI criticism
The 6th Tour of Korea has come under attack after a series of problems, including several crashes caused by motorcycles in Stage 5. "After the event the UCI judges told us not to use Harley Davidsons in the future, and told us to choose something similar to the BMWs they use in other races," an un-named race official told  the Korea Herald. "We also plan to be more thorough in training the marshals for the next event."

Many have said that problems stemmed from the sheer size of Harley Davidsons when compared to smaller, more agile BMW machines. Others have questioned whether course marshals were qualified to perform in that capacity - "He was weaving in and out of riders on the climb, coming on the inside of us on corners, almost as if he were just having fun driving in a police-enclosed area," said Rapha-Condor-Sharp's Kristian House after being hit by one marshal. The accident caused the British rider to collide with Yuri Agarkov of Lampre-ISD, who crashed and sustained spinal injuries.

The race has also come under attack for poor provision of medical aid, with only two ambulances in attendance at some points. Following the accidents on Stage 5, further assistance had to be summoned from nearby hospitals. The big question, of course, is not so much whether the race oranisers were negligent, but why the UCI gave its approval to an event that was so obviously poorly organised.

Geraint Thomas has mixed feelings over BOA decision
Geraint Thomas unsure if BOA
decision was the right one
Team Sky and British Cycling star Geraint Thomas says that while he's happy David Millar can now take part in the Olympics - though it's far from certain if he will - following the Court for Arbitration in Sport's decision to support the World Anti-Doping Agency's appeal against the British Olympic Association (phew - so that's why we have acronyms), he "would have liked to have kept the ruling and kept that lifetime ban."

"I've got no issue with Millar," he explained to Wales Online. "I rode the worlds alongside Dave last year and raced week-in, week-out with him. It's good for Mark Cavendish and the GB road team for sure. I've got no issue with him personally. He does a lot of good for the sport, but at the same time that ruling was great for Britain. It was a real hard stance on doping. It was a good thing. It's sad that that is lost now."

The CAS made an official announcement on Monday afternoon. Millar has said that he is unsure about taking part in the Games because he desn't wish to be portrayed as a "black sheep." He will, however, welcome the news as it means he will be able to take part in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

UCI stand firm on returning riders rule
Alberto Contador spoke last week about his hopes to return to SaxoBank when his suspension ends on the 5th of August, with manager Bjarne Riis indicated that he is talking to lawyers about contesting the UCI rule preventing returning riders' results counting towards a team's ranking - the main barrier to the Spanish rider's return.

As might be expected, the UCI have other ideas. Speaking to Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper, spokesperson Enrico Carpani said that the international governing body has no plans to change. "That is the rule, and it is to be respected," he said. "As we see it, the rule will hold and we won't look at it again now, simply because some Danish lawyers think that we should do it, or because someone else thinks that we'd lose the case before the CAS."

Riis, reticent at the best of time, has not confirmed whether or not any appeal will go ahead, saying only that SaxoBank's lawyers are looking into it.

Pellizotti's long, drawn-out doping
ban is finally at an end
Pellizotti signs with Italian team
Franco Pellizotti, returning to cycling in two days' time after a two-year ban due to "suspicious blood values" detected at the 2009 Tour de France, has signed to Italian-registered Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela. However, he will not ride in the Giro d'Italia despite the team receiving a wildcard invitation, waiting for the Circuit de Lorraine on the 16th of May for his first race.

"I received some offers and I chose the team where I'm certain to find the right environment in which to develop," he told Tuttobiciweb, adding: "I look forward to returning to racing."

Pendleton reduced to tears by Cav, says The Sun
Victoria Pendleton is training harder than ever after being upset by criticism from Mark Cavendish, according to Britain's not-exactly-reliable tabloid newspaper The Sun (the BBC, incidentally, say "she laughed it off.")

Cav is reported to have claimed, "Unlike Victoria Pendleton, I’m not in it to be the face of my sport" - which, the story (accompanied, as tends to be the way in The Sun, by a large picture of Victoria in her underwear) says, reduced Pendleton to tears.

New sponsor for Liquigas
Liquigas-Cannondale has secured new sponsorship from Ristora, the Italian beverage brand owned by Prontofoods. "It gives us great satisfaction to partner such an important and competitive team. We wish them great success and anticipate mutual benefits," says Prontofoods CEO Angelo Romano.

The team's new kit bearing Ristora's logo will be unveiled this Tuesday at the Rund um den Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt.

Other news
Cycling News is launching a new weekly iPad magazine this week. Further details will be released via their Twitter feed.

British Cycling has conducted a survey of London residents and found that while 52% believe that the provision of more cycle lanes should be a mayoral priority, only 2% feel that the Barclays Bike Hire Scheme - known popularly as Boris Bikes after current mayor Boris Johnson - are important. (More from British Cycling)

That's not good news for Boris - in the latest clash with his rivals, he stated that he would use his second term in office to expand the scheme ("You will be seeing those hire bikes colonise further territories of the city," he said). He was also accused of using "spurious figures" by when describing his plans to continue improving cyclists' safety by Green Party candidate Jenny Jones, with Labour's Ken Livingston and the Liberal Democrat's Brian Paddick joining in in an attempt to rubbish his claims to have cut injuries and deaths on the roads since taking office. Whether or not his figures, their figures or indeed any figures relating to the subject are in fact reliable is somewhat moot; being precisely the sort of figures that politicians of any persuasion like to fiddle. (More from the Evening Standard)

Raleigh purchased by Dutch Accell group (

Cycling champ Chris Hoy criticises Olympic organisers after his family miss out on tickets (The Scotsman)

'I am cycling for my life,' says Rwanda's Byukusenge (AFP)

"Cyclists drive home green message" (Times of India)

"Opening the door to youth cycling" (Press Citizen, Iowa)

"ISLAMABAD: As many as 40 male and female cyclists rode around the city on Sunday to motivate people to take up cycling" (Express Tribune)

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