Cardoso handed four-year ban for EPO
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 11:08:00 +0000

André Cardoso has been handed a four-year ban EPO, more than 16 months after testing positive for the banned blood-booster.

The Portuguese rider, then under contract with Trek-Segafredo, returned the positive test in an out-of-competition control on June 18, 2017, 12 days before the start of the 2017 Tour de France.

After requesting analysis of his B-sample, the case dragged on, with little light shed on proceedings. On Wednesday, the UCI issued a statement announcing that they had reached a decision and that Cardoso would be banned for four years.


"The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered its decision in the case involving André Cardoso," read the statement.

"The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (use of Erythropoietin) and imposed 4-year period of ineligibility on the rider."

As well as being suspended by Trek-Segafredo, Cardoso was provisionally suspended by the UCI when the positive test was announced on June 27 of last year. As with similar cases in the past, the period of ineligibility already served is likely to be taken into account, meaning his four-year ban would be backdated to start from that date and thus run to July 2021.

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Drops to make decision on team future next week
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 10:30:00 +0000

Trek-Drops co-owner Bob Varney says that he and his son Tom will make a decision on the future of the team next week.

The women's team were left in the lurch almost three weeks ago after a potential sponsor for next season dropped out at the 11th hour.

They launched a crowdfunding campaign in the immediate aftermath of the news and have continued to speak with potential backers but, with the new season rapidly approaching, they need to make a call.


"We’ve got the crowdfunding finishing on Monday and British Cycling have various bank guarantees ready to go through to the UCI if everything comes together. I think we’ll be looking to make a decision next week on where we go," Varney told Cyclingnews.

"We’re not going to let people down. We’ve got a lot of people involved with the team and they’re worth fighting for, and we’ll fight to the last minute."

The team have been given an extended deadline of November 27 to get everything together.

Riders could race unsalaried in 2019

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Campenaerts targeting WorldTour-level time trial wins in 2019
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 04:44:00 +0000

Reigning Belgian and European time trial champion Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal) will continue to concentrate on time trial victories next season, but says that he also wants to try his hand at getting away in more breakaways.

Since taking the bronze medal in the elite men's time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck, Austria, in September – behind Australia's Rohan Dennis and Dutchman Tom Dumoulin – Campenaerts has also made clear his intention to try to break Bradley Wiggins' Hour Record of 54.526km, which was set in London in 2015.

Just three days after the Worlds TT, Campenaerts was at the velodrome in Grenchen, Switzerland, to make an all-out effort over half an hour – rather than the full hour – and recorded an average speed of 54.8kph, with the last four laps at 60 kph "to see what was left in the tank".


Clearly, riding that pace for half an hour is somewhat different to the extra effort required for a full-blown attempt on the record, which is why Campenaerts is dedicating the first two months of 2019 to a training camp that will, he hopes, get him up to speed.

He revealed last month that the camp was likely to be in Namibia – which Het Nieuwsblad reports is set to run from January 2-March 4 – ahead of an April attempt on the Hour Record at the high-altitude velodrome in Aguascalientes, in Mexico.

"I know from experience that training camps in Tenerife can be boring. You sit on a mountain for two months, and time can go by very slowly. Hence my choice to go to Namibia," he told in October. "You need a good and stable climate to train a lot, which Namibia is perfect for."

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Sarah Roy: I feel like a new person and athlete
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 02:54:00 +0000

Mitchelton-Scott's Sarah Roy has looked back on her 2018 season and dubbed it a "career standout". With victory at the one-day Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik and a stage win at the OVO Energy Women's Tour, 2019 could yet be even better as the Australian takes on more responsibility on the team.

Roy will become the team's main sprinter next season following the departure of Jolien d'Hoore to Boels-Dolmans for 2019. A change in mindset is on the cards as the 32-year-old transitions from being the last lead-out rider to the rider being led out for a potential win in almost every race, but Roy says that she's up for the challenge.

"I'm very excited to be stepping into the sprinter role for the team now," Roy said on Mitchelton-Scott's website. "I learned a lot from Jolien this year, and feel I've gained lots of experience that may have been missing in my earlier years.


"Being the sprinter for the team will change the way I'm utilised in some of the races, and will be a bit of a mental shift for me after being the final lead-out rider this season," she continued. 

"Now, in those races in which I'm sprinting, the actual team result comes down to me in the last few hundred metres, which in the past has felt like a lot of pressure mostly from myself. But a few years on, the team and I are ready for it."

D'Hoore's move to Boels-Dolmans for 2019 has opened the sprint door for Roy. The Belgian's four victories this season, including two stage wins at the Giro Rosa, may be missed, but if Roy is able to slip into D'Hoore's shoes, then the transition period could be lessened.

"Jolien was very generous with her knowledge and a really positive influence throughout the season," Roy said. "The work we put in as a team to dial down the lead-out train helped develop us as racers and was also really fun.

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Hagens Berman Axeon add Liam Holowesko to 2019 squad
Thu, 15 Nov 2018 00:16:00 +0000

Hagens Berman Axeon today announced signing William 'Liam' Holowesko for 2019, bringing a conclusion to the team's new signings for next year. The 18-year-old American comes to the team from the Hot Tubes junior programme, which also counts WorldTour riders Lawson CraddockIan Boswell, Nate Brown and Ben King among its alumni.

"Joining Hagens Berman Axeon has always been my goal since I first started racing," Holowesko said in a statement published on the team's website. "A lot of my former teammates, who have had a tremendous impact on my life, joined Axeon and I have always made it my goal to race with them again. Joining this team has nothing to do with proving anyone wrong, but instead proving those right who have always taken a chance on me and never given up on me."

Holowesko, a native of Nassau, Bahamas, is a two-time US junior time trial national champion and three-time Bahamas pro national champion – twice in the time trial and once on the road in 2018. He is looking to bounce back from a 2017 injury and make the most of his move to the Pro Continental level with the team run by Axel Merckx.


"I would really like to learn as much as I can from the team and hopefully improve my experience level and understanding of racing tactics," Holowesko said.

Holowesko is the sixth and final rider to join the 2019 Hagens Berman Axeon roster after the team signed Karel Vacek, Jakob Egholm, Sean Quinn, Kevin Vermaerke and André Carvalho. The team has seen five riders graduate to the WorldTour this year, with Sean Bennett going to EF Pro Cycling, Will Barta going to the new CCC Team, and the trio of Japser Philipsen, Ivo Oliveira and Rui Oliveira going to UAE Team Emirates.

Returning riders include US road race champion Jonny Brown, U23 time trial world champion Mikkel Bjerg, João Almeida, Cole Davis, Zeke Mostov, Thomas Revard, Maikel Zijlaard, Christopher Blevins, Ian Garrison and Edward Anderson.

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Restrepo, Jaramillo sign with Manzana Postobon – News shorts
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 23:51:00 +0000

Colombian Jhonatan Restrepo will move from Katusha-Alpecin to the Pro Continental squad Manzana Postobón next year. The 23-year-old has been with Katusha since joining as a trainee in 2015 out of the U23 ranks.

Restrepo was the best young rider in last year's Tour Down Under, and narrowly missed the podium in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race that year.

A solid one-day racer and sprinter, Restrepo says he hopes to gain back some confidence that he lost after three years in the WorldTour while racing on home soil. He does not consider the move to the second division as a step down, saying that sometimes it's necessary to progress.


"I hope to contribute my experience from these three years," Restrepo said. "I learned to take care of myself in Europe: the races, the roads, I know when to move, I know how to handle a cold day. I know I'm going to race a lot in Europe and I'm proud to represent my country. I hope we take the team to the top. This year they did very well, so we hope that we can go one better next season."

Restrepo is the all-Colombian team's final signing for 2019, and one of eight new riders including Daniel Jaramillo from the now-defunct UnitedHealthcare squad, Bryan Gómez (Hincapie-Citadel), Carlos Julián Quintero, Nicolás Sáenz, Diego Ochoa, Luis Carlos Chía and Omar Mendoza. Returning riders include Aldemar Reyes, Jhojan García, Wilmar Paredes, Juan Felipe Osorio, Bernardo Suaza, Jordan Parra, Juan José Amador and Yecid Sierra.

Three of the team's riders have moved up to the WorldTour: Hernando Bohórquez (Astana), Sebastián Molano (UAE Team Emirates) and Sergio Higuita to EF Pro Cycling. Jetse Bol and Ricardo Vilela moved laterally to Burgos BH, while the future teams of Juan Pablo Villegas, Fabio Duarte, Hernán Aguirre, and Fernando Orjuela are unknown.

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De Gendt already training for Grand Tour triple in 2019
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 18:56:00 +0000

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) wrapped up the 2018 season with a bike-packing trip home from Il Lombardia just one month ago, but is already back to training and preparing for a triple Grand Tour assault during 2019, Het Nieuwsblad reported on Wednesday.

De Gendt was exploring the cobbled climbs in Flanders and previewed the newly cobbled Berg ten Houte near Maarkedal. The one-kilometre climb was converted by the municipality to control erosion on the steep Tenhoutestraat, a €350,000 project, but could be included in the Tour of Flanders or perhaps even in the opening stage of the Tour de France.

The route for the Tour de France was announced last month, but the details of the exact route for the 192km Brussels stage have not yet been revealed other than the inclusion of the Kapelmuur in Geraardsbergen, but the Berg ten Houte is in the right region to be used on the stage.


"It is more difficult than it looks," De Gendt said. "A perfect opener for the finale of a big race. After this it is always narrow roads so you have to be in position."

After winning the overall mountains classification in the Vuelta a España, De Gendt was given the honorary title of 'kilometrevreter' (kilometer eater) for the hardest worker in the peloton at Het Nieuwsblad's Flandrien awards. Having raced the Tour de France and the Vuelta for the past four seasons, De Gendt is preparing to have his first crack at all three Grand Tours in 2019.

"I start at the Tour Down Under, then Paris-Nice, Catalunya, the Tour de Romandie, the Giro, the Tour and the Vuelta. I will recover between them. I still have to discuss it with the team, but I can more or less choose my own program."

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Conor Dunne signs with Israel Cycling Academy
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 17:52:00 +0000

Following a tumultuous end of the 2018 season when his team Aqua Blue Sport imploded, Irish national champion Conor Dunne has landed on his feet with a contract to race for the Israel Cycling Academy next year.

Dunne and fellow Aqua Blue teammate Larry Warbasse grabbed headlines earlier this year when they embarked on the so-called "No Go Tour" after Aqua Blue Sport withdrew from the Tour of Britain, which both riders had been scheduled to race. During their own tour, Dunne and Warbasse rode the same number of days as the Tour of Britain - and a similar distance - providing Dunne with training ahead of the UCI Road World Championships in Innsbruck.

Lacking a contract for 2019 at the time, Dunne used the Worlds road race as one last opportunity to show himself, jumping out of the peloton with five other riders about 20km into the day and joining a sextet of riders already up the road. The lead group of 11 built a gap of 19 minutes before the battle of attrition began to wear them down and they eventually were pulled back into the fold. The gambit appears to have gained enough traction for Dunne to land a job for next year.


"I suppose I have gained a bit of a reputation for riding in the early breakaways in many of the races I've participated in, and this is something I have really enjoyed," Dunne said in a statement released by Israel Cycling Academy. "I love being out front and racing aggressively. It is a way of expressing myself. However, at the same time, I feel I am a reliable team player and love participating in a victory in any small way and sharing that feeling with my teammates."

The Israel Cycling Academy has been making significant steps to bolster its roster heading into the team's third year on the Pro Continental level, so far adding Tom Van Asbroeck from EF Pro Cycling, Matthias Brandle from Trek-Segafredo, Davide Cimolai from Groupama-FDJ and Rudy Barbier from AG2R La Mondiale. Pro team manager Kjell Carlstrom said Dunne will be a valuable asset to the team's multi-faceted attack.

"We are lining up what we believe will be a much stronger team, especially in the sprints," Carlstrom said. "But with this huge transformation and the clear goal to be up there in the hunt in every single race, we need intelligent, smart and capable riders to support our sprinters and climbers.

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Salary cap still an option as part of 2020 WorldTour reforms
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 16:02:00 +0000

Further details of the reforms of men's professional cycling for 2020 have emerged, with salary caps or maximum team budgets still on the table, proposals for requirements for top-tier teams to fund development programmes to be discussed, and an emphasis on the new UCI Classics Series.

In a letter sent to teams, riders and race organisers last week, UCI President David Lappartient described the UCI Classics Series as the "pillar to build a new economic model for professional cycling." Lappartient is convinced a new economic model for the sport can be built "around the voluntary pooling of stakeholders' rights."

The UCI Classics Series will divide the WorldTour season into blocks of one-day races between January and April and August and October, with stages races and Grand Tours taking centre stage in the European summer. This could, in theory, change the balance of power in the sport and perhaps curtail the dominance of Tour de France organiser ASO.


Cyclingnews has seen the latest version of the 60-page presentation document sent out by the UCI that confirms the structure of the 2020 WorldTour. Several key details and new initiatives will be thrashed out at the annual UCI Men's Professional Cycling Seminar, which this year will be held in Montreux, Switzerland on December 4 and 5.

There will be 18 teams in the next three-year phase of the UCI WorldTour, with several new teams expected to challenge the current WorldTour teams for a place in the sport's highest echelon. Places will be decided on rankings from the last three years, favouring the current teams, with some kind of 'soft landing' compensation paid to the current WorldTour teams that lose their place. The 2020 WorldTour will include 38 races and 186 race days. The now one-day Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne race has been quietly added to the 2019 WorldTour calendar and could become part of the UCI Classics Series in 2020.

The Sky is not the limit

With the wide discrepancy between current team budgets and some in the sport looking to limit Team Sky's dominance, the idea of a rider salary cap or maximum team budget remains on the table for 2020 even if the UCI still has not provided any details of how a salary cap would work and be controlled.

WorldTour teams obliged to fund women's or development teams

UCI Classics Series

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Kennys, Archibald, Clancy lead Great Britain at Berlin Track World Cup
Wed, 14 Nov 2018 13:30:00 +0000

British Cycling have named their squad for the third round of the UCI Track World Cup in Berlin at the end of the month, with Laura and Jason Kenny both present along with Katie Archibald and Ed Clancy.

The British squad have had a strong start to the World Cup series, starting out in Paris, France with six medals before topping the table with nine in Milton, Canada.

The six-round World Cup series represents part of the build-up to the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, with qualifying points on offer along with a chance to start laying the foundations for the Games in elite competition.


Great Britain's squad for Berlin, which takes place from November 30 to December 2, and precedes their 'home' round in London in December, is similar to the one that tasted success in Canada.

Laura Kenny will be a key figure as she continues to move through the gears since returning from maternity leave at the World Championships in February. After winning two gold medals at the European Championships in the summer, she made her World Cup comeback in Canada and claimed a dominant victory in the Omnium as well as winning another gold with the team pursuit squad.

She will line up in the same events again, with fellow Olympic champion Katie Archibald also in the team pursuit squad. The other gold medal-winning pursuit riders from Canada, Elinor Barker and Ellie Dickinson, are absent in Berlin, with Emily Kay and Emily Nelson stepping into the endurance line-up, along with national road race champion Jess Roberts, who makes her World Cup debut.

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