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by Matt de Neef
December 16, 2014
In this morning’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily news digest: Vinokourov makes claims of Italian and European bias against Astana; Kittel returning to Santos Tour Down Under; Jakob Fuglsang considered leaving Astana; Androni-Venezuela team riders undertake to pay large fine in case of doping positive; Katy Perry’s custom-painted Avanti; Dutch Headwind Championships; Bikes through the ages; Vanhawks Valour – the bike of the future?
by Shane Stokes
Alexandre Vinokourov has suggested that a bias against Astana on the part of Italian media might be behind the recent negative press about the team.
Vinokourov is angry about the claims made last week by La Gazzetta dello Sport that Ferrari was seen at an Astana team training camp in November 2013.
“The goal is to destroy Astana,” Vinokourov claimed to the Kazakh publication Time. “They are jealous of us, especially the Italians. Two of the best Italian riders wear the colours of the Kazakh team and their compatriots really don’t like it.
“For example, Nibali raced the Tour of Almaty and couldn’t ride Lombardy. Or they wanted to see him in the Giro but disputed the Tour because the team’s interests go above everything.”
Vinokourov appears to believe that much of the criticism directed at the team is due to his claims of jealousy.
“We have 70 employees of which 20 are Italian. We were looking for the best specialists and they choose Astana. It is clear that many people do not like this. I don’t understand this reaction: an Italian wins the biggest race of the year and they throw mud at your team. Where is the logic?”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Seeking to replicate or even improve upon a successful 2014 season, Marcel Kittel has confirmed his intention to once again ride the Santos Tour Down Under.
The German will lead the Giant-Alpecin squad in the race, and said that he would chase personal success where possible and also help others on the team to do well.
“It’s a nice way for me to start the season and to find my legs again after the winter training,” he said. “Adelaide is a beautiful place.
“Even if there aren’t too many opportunities for sprinters, the race is still part of my build up to the season and, in combination with the ideal race conditions, it is an ideal start to the year.
“I will go for any opportunities I have but I’ll also be supporting the strong team that we have here and our other goals. It will be nice to race with our new sponsor Alpecin on the jersey.”
In 2014 Kittel won the People’s Choice Classic, the non-UCI-classified criterium before the Tour Down Under. That race will be held on January 18, 2015 with the Santos Tour Down Under to be held from January 20 – 25.
Recent controversy surrounding the Astana team prompted Danish rider Jakob Fuglsang to consider leaving the squad, despite being contracted until the end of 2015.
“Of course it is something that crossed my mind, but I quickly decided to forget it,” Fugslang told Danish broadcaster TV2. “In the end it was important to wait to find out about the licence. With the case coming so late it would have been difficult to find a new team, maybe even impossible, if it had to be a team of the same level.”
Fugslang told TV2 that, despite recent revelations about doping at Astana, he doesn’t believe doping is a problem at the team any longer.
“I think that if there has been organised doping, then it is a closed chapter in our history”, Fugslang said. “I hope that the new riders who have come forward in the media, who are on the team now, have not had anything to do with doping, and that you can trust them.”
Click here to read more at TV2.
The Androni-Venezuela team has announced that it has required its riders to sign a substantial anti-doping pledge, under which anyone testing positive would have to pay a large fine and also cover the cost of damages incurred by the team.
The Professional Continental team announced that the agreement has been drawn up by the notary Marco Marvaso, the team’s lawyer Giuseppe Napoleone and the team manager Gianni Savio, and has been signed by all of the riders and also the team’s technical staff.
“The rules specify that the transgressors [in the case of a doping positive – ed.] will have to pay a fine of €100,000, plus compensation for additional damages which the team would incur,” it said in a statement.
“Therefore, together with the strict and effective rules already in force, the Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela team introduces and promotes a new one [regulation] which confirms the way the team intends to work in the next seasons.”
Here’s something a little different. To celebrate Katy Perry’s ticket sales record at Allphones Arena in Sydney, the arena teamed up with Gold Coast-based custom bike painters Paint My Bike to deck out an Avanti Inc 2 flat bar road bike for the pop star.
Gary McDonald from Paint My Bike told BikeRadar: “Katy is an avid cyclist, and they came up with the idea of getting a bike and having it custom painted for her. She rides to venues in the US when on tour, giving out free tickets along the way.”
A post on the Paint My Bike Facebook page reads: “As soon as Katy received it she jumped on and rode off, I guess a true sign she loved it.”
Check out more photos of the bike here.
We know that riding in windy conditions is a big part of Dutch cycling but this is just getting silly. We love the guy at roughly 0:55 doing his best Laurens Ten Dam impersonation and the whimper he lets out.
This is a cute little animation showing the way bike design has changed in recent decades.
The team behind the Vanhaws Valour describe it as “the first connected bike featuring performance tracking, security sensors & interactive feedback to radically change the way you ride.”
It’s the result of a successful Kickstarter campaign that finished up in the middle of this year and as you can see from the video below, the bike has some pretty impressive features.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips: