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by Matt de Neef
December 2, 2014
In this morning’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily news digest: Pantani murder claim dashed as new finding shows no evidence of any struggle before his death; Police who investigated Pantani death open legal proceedings over recent claims; Horner inks one year deal with growing Airgas-Safeway setup; Europcar’s WorldTour license under threat?; Steegmans inks deal with Trek Factory Racing, will back Classics and sprinting riders; Wiggins to ride the Giro?; Tinkoff-Saxo reveals “camo” training kit; The benefit of filming your commute; Spanish cyclist sets new turbo trainer Guinness World Record; Should you climb seated or standing?.
Recent theories that Marco Pantani could have been murdered have been debunked in a book written by Italian journalist Andrea Rossini.
Rossini’s book, entitled “Delitto Pantani Ultimo Kilometro (Segreti e bugie)”, or “The Pantani Crime The Last Kilometre (Secrets and Lies)” in English, responds to much of the speculation and innuendo that’s been present in the Italian media in the past year or so.
Rossini, a crime reporter, followed the recent investigation into Pantani’s death and came away from the process convinced that Pantani died from a self-inflicted overdose (rather than through any foul play).
“I wrote the book because I wanted the truth to be known and defend the honest work I did as a journalist,” Rossini told Cyclingnews.
“This is not a commercial book, written to tug at the heartstrings of Pantani’s fans. It’s an honest book that I also hope will honour Pantani’s life by telling the truth. Right or wrong, Pantani suffered a lot in the final years of his life and I think avoiding the truth and speculating about his demise and death does not help anyone. I hope the truth will somehow restore Pantani’s dignity as a person.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips and here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Meanwhile, members of the Rimini Serious Crime Squad have opened legal proceedings against “all parties who have published serious and damaging news stories bearing on the reputation and good name of the same, in connection with the investigation into the death of Marco Pantani”.
The action comes in response to what they describe as “a media lynching that has taken unacceptable proportions and seems to be fed by specious and dogmatic reconstructions, often accompanied by so-called facts that are manifestly false.”
The statement continues: “The detectives who conducted these inquiries have been subjected to a deluge of accusations taking every conceivable form.”
“The personnel of the Serious Crime Squad at the time (some of whom are no longer in active service) have maintained silence out of profound respect for the ongoing investigation. However, given the multiplication of accusations, voiced in sensationalist tones and diffused variously in print, broadcast, radio and new media, it no longer appears possible to remain silent.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
by Shane Stokes
After a long wait to secure a team Chris Horner has confirmed that he will compete with the Airgas-Safeway team in 2015, returning to a race programme based around the US circuit.
After negotiations with Lampre-Merida broke down, Horner considered other squads and eventually decided he would be based in the US next season. He will be a major part of the Airgas-Safeway team’s push to compete in some of the top American events.
Horner is a past winner of the Tour of California and the team will hope that his 2011 victory plus his 2013 Vuelta win will be enough to secure an invite to the race.
“I am very excited to be joining Airgas-Safeway for 2015,” said Horner in the team announcement. “I have achieved a huge amount of success in my career and I’m incredibly proud of that. For me, the next chapter isn’t just about what I can do as an individual, but what I can give back to cycling as a sport.
“I had a number of options for this year and what really struck me about Airgas-Safeway was their utter commitment to giving the next generation of young riders the opportunity for success.”
According to Europcar general manager Jean-René Bernaudeau, it’s not certain the French team will remain in the WorldTour in 2015, due to budget constraints.
Bernaudeau told SudOuest.fr that the team is still looking to cover the final 5% of its budget.
“The application [for a WorldTour license] has been made. But my file is not complete because [the budget target hasn’t been reached],” Bernadeau said. “I do not think we are the only team in this situation. Several teams are struggling to make ends meet.”
The UCI will announce next week which teams will be part of the WorldTour in 2015.
Click here to read more at SudOuest.fr.
Former Tour de France stage winner Gert Steegmans will add his sprinting speed and Classics strength to the Trek Factory racing lineup in 2015, with the 34-year-old Belgian confirmed as the 27th and final signing to the American team today.
Steegmans has been searching for a contract after not being retained by Omega Pharma-QuickStep and has found an 11th-hour slot with the WorldTour squad.
“I’m happy to have landed a team for 2015,” he said. “I’ve been training hard these last weeks and now I can focus on training without having to worry about contract negotiations.
“Trek Factory Racing is a great team and has excellent support staff. It’s a young team, but the management has a clear, long-term vision.”
“We’re stoked to have Gert in the team,” said the team’s general manager Luca Guercilena. “I know him personally from the times where we were both at QuickStep. He’s one of the biggest engines in the peloton and he’s very motivated to have a great season.”
The chatter about which Team Sky riders will do which Grand Tours in 2015 has started already, with Fausto Pinarello — of the bike company bearing his name — saying Wiggins could ride in the Giro.
Gazzetta dello Sport reports that at a dinner function over the weekend Pinarello said, “I would not exclude that Wiggins may ride the Giro. No need to hide it, the Treviso – Valdobbiane stage [ed. a 59.2km ITT] is our goal: we want to win it. And you can’t beat him on that course.”
Pinarello reportedly then added: “In June Wiggins will attempt the hour record. I know that the team is considering him for the Giro because it would be a perfect base preparation and the time trial is the best test.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Tinkoff-Saxo has revealed a new “camo training kit” at a team camp in Gran Canaria.
A team press release announced the kit as follows: “Although a first in cycling, this is a standard practice in most major sports where teams have two or even three kits, as is the case with football (home, away and third kit).”
The kit, like Tinkoff-Saxo’s racing kit, is made by Sportful and a limited run will be on sale from December 4. The 2015 racing kit is yet to be revealed, but will be done so on December 19.
Text adapted from a Tinkoff-Saxo press release.
Scottish cyclist Dave Brennan has used footage from helmet- and bike-mounted cameras to secure two convictions for dangerous drivers in the past seven years and, according to The Scotsman, has another five cases pending.
Here’s the video from the latest case, in which the driver was fined and given demerit points for careless driving. Warning: contains coarse language.
Chief Superintendent Iain Murray at Police Scotland told The Scotsman that while footage from helmet- and bike-mounted cameras would be considered as evidence, “it is important that riders do not put themselves or others at unnecessary risk in attempting to record or secure such footage.”
Click here to read more at The Scotsman.
If you’ve spent even an hour on a turbo trainer in the past you’ll know how excruciatingly boring it can be. Which makes this Guinness World Record from Spanish rider Julian Sanz even more impresive.
In five days Sanz rode a staggering 2,800km on a trainer at the BIBE 2014 trade show in Bilbao, pushing past the old record of 2,738km set last year. Chapeau sir.
When climbing, is it more efficient to ride out of the saddle or stay seated? The team at GCN went to the University of Bath to find out.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips: