Euskadi could continue as a Continental team in 2014

The Euskadi cycling squad may continue next year as a Continental team after manager Miguel Madariaga managed to secure two more sponsors.

stage-21 of the Vuelta a España 2013

Marariaga — a member of the original Basque squad that started in 1994 — split with the Euskaltel-Euskadi WorldTour team at the start of the year and set up the Euskadi squad as a separate entity to the WorldTour squad.

With the WorldTour team set to fold at the end of this year, the Continental squad could continue, acting as a showcase for cycling in Basque country.

Speaking to Basque newspaper El Correo, Madariaga said, “We can’t say for sure we will be racing again next season but a lot of things would have to go wrong for that not to happen.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

UCI and WADA agree on broad terms for doping inquiry

UCI president Brian Cookson and WADA head John Fahey have agreed on the “broad terms” for an inquiry into the “historical doping problems in cycling”.

Speaking to Reuters yesterday, Cookson said: “Let’s get all of the allegations out, find out more of the history, let’s find out who was involved, what were the procedures, how did people manage to avoid tests for so long and yet be still using such serious substances and procedures.”

Cookson has said that he hopes Lance Armstrong will be involved in the inquiry adding: “I think one of things that really interests me is allegations he seems to have made that apparently there has been collusion in the past with the UCI. If that is true, those are very serious allegations and I’d like to see some evidence of that.”

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Fahey to step down as WADA head

Meanwhile, WADA head John Fahey has announced that he’ll step down from his position with Great Britain’s Craig Reedie to take over.

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“Doping in sports remains an issue as we have seen in the Lance Armstrong case,” Fahey told Le Monde at a WADA conference in South Africa this week. “But we have made great strides in our ability to catch the cheaters. Still, we are convinced that there are many more athletes using doping than there are caught.”

Fahey has spend six years in the job and it is not yet publicly known why he is stepping down.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Prosecutors demand two-year ban for Ballan

Prosecutors for the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) on Thursday demanded a two-year ban for former world road race champion Alessandro Ballan, of team BMC.

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Ballan, who was crowned world champion in 2008, is accused of breaching the World Anti-Doping Agency code relating to the use or attempted use of a prohibited substance or a prohibited method.

Ballan had previously been suspended by BMC due to allegations of doping but after being cleared by the Swiss-American team the Italian, a former winner of the Tour of Flanders, resumed racing again in May 2010.

CONI prosecutors requested the ban on the basis of evidence supplied by the Mantua public prosecutor. Two doctors, Guido Nigrelli and Fiorenzo Aegean Bonazzi, are also implicated in this latest affair and are facing heavy sanctions.

Update: Team BMC sent out the following statement after the Rocacorba was initially published:

The BMC Racing Team is aware of, and will continue to monitor, CONI’s legal proceedings involving Alessandro Ballan.

Prior to a decision by the relevant authorities, the team will rely upon internal policies to determine the status of Ballan. At this time, no decision to remove him from active status has been made.

As has been previously stated, the charges stem from a time period prior to Ballan’s involvement with the BMC Racing Team. Out of respect for the athlete and for due process, the BMC Racing Team will not make specific comments about the case in the absence of new facts or significant announcements by the court.

The BMC Racing Team is committed to a strict anti-doping philosophy and clean sport.

Text via AFP and BMC media release.

Second round of women’s World Cup to clash with Gent-Wevelgem

Organisers of the second round of the women’s World Cup, the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, have expressed disappointment at the newly UCI classified women’s Gent-Wevelgem being held on the same date as their event.

Kirsten Wild wins the 2013 Women's Gent-Wevelgem.

Kirsten Wild wins the 2013 Women’s Gent-Wevelgem.

“We are very disappointed,” Minervino said after attending a UCI seminar for race organisers. “The International Cycling Union is not protecting World Cup races as in the past. We are not afraid of competition, we just want to protect the event.”

The World Cup gives women the chance to score more UCI points than Gent-Wevelgem (which is ranked UCI 1.2), but with Gent-Wevelgem held on the same day as the men’s event it gives the women’s teams and sponsors greater chance at international exposure.

Click here to read more at CyclingNews.

SRAM developing a 1×11 cyclocross groupset?

SRAM launched a new 1×11 mountain bike groupset a couple years back (see image below) and now it would seem that the technology is being adapted for the cyclocross market.

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A photo of US cyclocross racer Ryan Trebon, published here at road.cc, seems to show the new single-chainring setup in action.

There hasn’t yet been any official announcement from SRAM about this groupset.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

MORGAW – Innovative Bicycle Saddles

Based on the idea that “the structure of standard saddles is very limited and does not allow other specific adaptations” the folks at Slovakian-based company MORGAW had developed and are now seeking crowdfunding for a range of saddles fitted with shock absorbers.

Click here to read more.

Cycle Atlas rides the Acheron Way

Over the past few months we’ve been watching the guys at Cycle Atlas develop their site and their ride guides and we reckon they’re doing some good work. We’re particularly impressed with their videos, like this one about an Acheron Way ride, which was released yesterday .

Click here to see more about the ride at Cycle Atlas.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image is from the 2013 Tour de Langkawi.