Andreas Kloeden retires

Veteran German Andreas Kloeden retired from cycling on Thursday at the age of 38, bringing to an end a career that started in 1998.

Andreas Klˆden

Twice a runner-up in the Tour de France, in 2004 and 2006, for a long time Kloeden rode alongside compatriot Jan Ullrich on the German team Telekom, that later became T-Mobile (see feature image), at a time when the sport was marred by doping.

Suspected of doping on the 2006 Tour, Kloeden never admitted to using banned substances and no case was ever brought against him.

Later an Astana teammate of Lance Armstrong following the American’s return from retirement in 2009, Kloeden’s successes included winning Paris-Nice in 2000 and two Tours of the Basque Country.

He finished his career with the Luxembourg-registered team RadioShack.

Text via AFP.

Alonso’s team registered as FACT with UCI

Preparations to launch the WorldTour team backed by F1 star Fernando Alonso are well underway with the team being registered with the UCI earlier this week under the name FACT – Fernando Alonso Cycling Team.

Fernando Alonso (right) with David Arroyo during the 2010 Giro d'Italia.

Fernando Alonso (right) with David Arroyo during the 2010 Giro d’Italia.

According to Spanish newspapers El Mundo and AS, the team will eventually be known by the names of the title sponsors. It is believed that Alonso already has some sponsorships lined up.

The team is expected to launch in 2015 and is expected to sign some big names. Both Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador are both out of contract at the end of 2014 and have been linked with Alonso.

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

McQuaid’s laptop was seized in investigation of UCI computers

Yesterday we brought you the news that Brian Cookson had ordered corporate investigators to seize UCI computers mere minutes after he took the UCI presidency last month. It has now emerged that Pat McQuaid’s laptop was taken in that operation.

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McQuaid and previous president Hein Verbruggen have been accussed of shielding Lance Armstrong from proper investigation by anti-doping agencies but both have denied such allegations.

It would appear that in the upcoming investigation into the UCI’s past, McQuaid’s documents belonging to McQuaid and others will be carefully scrutinised.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Cookson set to announce independent investigation into the UCI

And speaking of the independent investigation into the UCI, Brian Cookson is expected to announce the details of that investigation in the coming days.

Brian Cookson has been very busy since he took on the UCI presidency.

Brian Cookson has been very busy since he took on the UCI presidency.

In his first four weeks in the top job Cookson has been speaking with organisations such as WADA to help set up the independent commission. Cookson has been happy with the progress so far.

“I have to say it’s going very well, all of the challenges have been quite clear, but what’s really struck me since the election has been the positive reaction I’ve got from all around the world,” he said.

“It’s not just from the cycling world but from the Olympic movement as well, from the anti-doping organisations. There has been an overwhelmingly positive reaction.

“I find that very encouraging because what that means is my job will be so much easier because I’m not fighting those people any more,” a reference to the often-confrontational approach taken by McQuaid while in the top job.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Date set for Johan Bruyneel’s USADA hearing

According to roadcycling.com long-time Lance Armstrong supporter Johan Bruyneel is finally set to face a USADA arbitration hearing, a year after Lance Armstrong was banned for life for doping.

Tour de France - 20e etappe

Bruyneel has been charged with the possession, trafficking and administration of banned substances, among other offences, while working at the US Postal Service team headlined by Armstrong (and other teams).

In their charging letter, USADA said: “Numerous riders will testify that Mr. Bruyneel gave to them and/or encouraged them to use doping products and/or prohibited methods, including EPO, blood transfusions, testosterone, HGH and cortisone during the period from 1999 through 2007.”

The hearing is believed to be scheduled for December 16-20th of this year.

Click here to read more at roadcycling.com and here to read more at CyclingNews.

Herzig sets sights on Grafton-Inverell defence this weekend

Defending champion Peter Herzig (Budget Forklifts) is hoping a season away from the Subaru National Road Series (NRS) won’t hamper his chances of becoming only the second person in history to win two Grafton to Inverell Cycling Classics.

To be held this Saturday, the 228km Classic is the final race on the men’s 2013 Subaru NRS calendar. Herzig is aiming for a repeat of his spectacular 2012 victory which saw him and team mate Michael Cupitt conquer the final 130km together to seal the quinella (see highlights video below).

“It’s a fantastic feeling to have won the Grafton, and to be able to do it with a teammate was fantastic,” said Herzig, 35, who knows what it takes to claim victory having ridden the gruelling one day event eight times. “It’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.”

The 2013 edition begins in the northern NSW town of Grafton, climbs the Gibraltar Range at the 87km mark before taking riders to the inland town of Inverell.

“Grafton is all about conserving energy. A lot of people think that the Gibraltar Range is the hardest part, and you definitely have to get over it in a decent position, but after the climb is where the race really starts,” Herzig explained.

After claiming the 2012 crown, Herzig contemplated retirement to focus on completing his master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition. However the Queenslander has kept one foot in the door admitting the lure of success and love for the sport has made it difficult to completely walk away.

“We discussed [my retirement] a fair bit last year, but it’s such a great sport and such a great team to ride for that I had to give it another year, even though it’s been a step back for me.

“The Tour of Tasmania was my first NRS event for the year and it was a great help with my preparation. I was happy with the form there so I’m feeling pretty confident,” Herzig remarked.

Herzig will be joined in the strong Budget Forklifts outfit by Cupitt, Kristian Juel, Josh Prete and Michael Vink, as well as Sam Horgan and Jack Anderson who went one-two in the recent Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic.

“It would be fantastic to add another victory to the successful year the team have had,” said Herzig. “It might not be me, as the other guys have been riding really well, but we’ll just make sure one of us crosses the line first.”

Victoria’s Jack Haig (Huon-Genesys) is poised to take out the Subaru NRS individual crown while his Tasmanian based outfit have sealed the overall teams rankings for the fourth year in a row.

Click here for more information about the Grafton to Inverell. Text via Cycling Australia press release. Stay posted for a history of this great race by CyclingTips’ resident historian Craig Fry, coming later today.

Kent returns for Tour of the Goldfields

2010 team pursuit world champion Sarah Kent will contest her first elite cycling event in almost 18 months when she lines up in Ballarat this weekend at the Subaru National Road Series’ concluding event, the Tour of the Goldfields.

Kent, 23, will make her NRS debut when she teams with fellow West Australian riders Cassia Higgs, Jessica Huston and Rebecca Mackey in the Ballarat Regional Tourism team for the three-day, four-stage Tour which begins today.

“This weekend will be a bit of a test to see where I’m at being my first race back in 16 months,” said Kent. “Given I’ve only been back training for six weeks, it’s about getting back out there and getting a feel for it again.

“But I’ll also be playing a bit of a team captain role this weekend and if we can get an opportunity then we’ll take it,” she added.

Following the disappointment of narrowly missing selection for the track endurance team for the 2012 London Olympic Games, Kent temporarily shelved her competitive cycling goals, instead sharing her passion for cycling throughout the world.

In 2013, Kent became an ambassador for the World Bicycling Relief charity organisation, a role that saw her cover over 1500 kilometres across Africa in pursuit of her goal to raise money to purchase bikes for children in disadvantaged communities.

“I still feel the disappointment of missing the Games and I do still have those (Olympic) goals, but for now I’m enjoying being back and riding with my friends,” said Kent. “But (Africa) gave me something else to focus on after I took a shift away from competitive cycling and it gave me a chance to give back. It was the best trip I’ve ever done and I’ll definitely be going back.”

And while Kent’s immediate focus is squarely on road despite an impending track season, she admits the team pursuit remains a burning passion and won’t rule out a return to the boards in the future.

“Every time I think of the team pursuit, I miss it, and it will always be a huge part of me, but there is so much talent now, so I’d be getting a bit ahead of myself to think I’d be able to get back to the track for this season,” said Kent, who claimed both senior and junior world titles.

“But I’ll weigh up my options to see when might be a good time to get back on the track, and to work with Gary Sutton again, would be a dream come true.

The Tour of the Goldfields is a three day, four staged event including a criterium, team time trial, and two road races.

The invidivual NRS crown will be on the line with just three points separating leader Katrin Garfoot (Jayco/Apollo/VIS) and former teammate Ruth Corset (Pensar Hawk).

Click here for more information about the Tour of the Goldfields. Text via Cycling Australia press release.

#SVENNESS 2.3: more lessons on how to be a better ‘cross rider

Last week we shared with you the latest video in the #SVENNESS series, a bunch of videos that use real-life examples from pro cross races to show you how to improve your cross skills. Here’s another video in the series, featuring footage from the recent GP Mario De Clercq.

Check out more videos in the #SVENNESS series here, thanks to the guys at In the Crosshairs.

Inside the Team Sky service course

This video is a couple weeks old but it’s still worth a look, if you haven’t seen it already. It’s a quick guided tour of the Team Sky service course, including some interesting stats about just how much gear they go through and keep in stock.

If you’d like to learn more about the Team Sky service course, check out this article from last year. And click here for a behind-the-scenes look at the Orica-GreenEDGE service course.

How to be a mountain biker

As you might have guessed from the title, this video’s all about how to be a mountain biker, but we think you’ll agree there are more than a few similarities here with road riders.

Anyone want to make one specifically about road cyclists?

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:


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