Cunego confident ahead of Mantova trial

Damian Cunego has told Gazzetta dello Sport that he’s confident of being cleared of any wrongdoing when the Mantova-based doping inquiry goes to trial next week.

Damiano & fans

Cunego is one of 28 people to be called to trial in an investigation that has focused on the connection between Lampre and pharmacist Guido Nigrelli.

In July Gazzetta dello Sport reported that a 167-page document had been prepared by the investigators, in which it is alleged Cunego used EPO and other banned substances.

“I don’t know the authors of this analysis, it’s nonsense,” Cunego told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’ve been waiting years for this story to clear up. Honestly, I’m tired of it, I feel like I’m being taken for a ride. But I’m also confident, because in the end, right is with those who are honest. And I am.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Miranda Griffiths signs with Team Vanderkitten for 2014

Australian climber Miranda Griffiths has signed a contract with the California-based Vanderkitten Racing team for the 2014 season.

The 32-year-old Melbournian raced for the Holden Women’s Cycling team in 2013, finishing fifth in the National Road Series.

“I am thrilled to be racing for Vanderkitten in 2014,” said Griffiths who won the recent Tour of Bright.

“The Vanderkitten name is an internationally renowned brand in women’s cycling and I’m proud to represent that brand and everything it stands for. I can’t wait to get out on the road with my new team-mates and start working towards a stellar season in 2014.”

Vanderkitten begins its 2014 season at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Australia. Griffiths is also targeting the Australian National road championships after missing the podium this year.

Click here to read more at Cycling Central.

2013 Report Card: Movistar

Over the past few weeks Cycling News has been publishing “report cards” for each of the teams in the WorldTour, commenting on how good a season they’ve had, what the higlights have been and what might be next.

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The most recent addition to the list is Team Movistar, the #1 ranked team in the WorldTour with three riders in the top 10 of the individual rankings: Alejandro Valverde (3rd), Nairo Quintana (8th) and Rui Costa (9th).

It’s clearly been an excellent year for the Movistar squad, with Nairo Quintana’s stellar performance at the Tour de France and his win at Pais Vasco, Valverde’s consistency across the year and Rui Costa’s two stage wins at the Tour de France and the road race world championships.

Movistar loses Costa (and the rainbow bands) to Lampre-Merida next year but they gain Nairo Quintana’s younger brother, Dayer. He’s one name you’ll be hearing a bit about when 2014 rolls around.

Click here to check out the Movistar report card at Cycling News.

Lotto-Belisol reveals new kit for 2014

It’s that time of the year when many of the teams are revealing their kits for the season ahead. Lotto Belisol is the latest to do so, revealing a retro, pared-back design for the 2014 season.

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A team press release reads:

“Lotto Belisol is busy preparing the 2014 season. With ten riders leaving and nine newcomers the team will be partly different in the upcoming cycling year. That’s why there was chosen for a restyling of the shirt and the team will have a new look!

Most important aim of the design was to refer to the 30 years of Lotto tradition in cycling with a basic retro look on one hand and to come forward together with Belisol as one close team on the other, and emphasizing with it the Belgian character of the team.”

What’s your take?

Canyon to sponsor Movistar in 2014

It appears Movistar will be riding Canyon bikes in 2014, making the German bike manufacturer only one of a handful of brands to be sponsoring more than one WorldTour team.

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Canyon also supplies bikes to team Katusha and has done so since 2012. Movistar was riding Pinarello this season. It is believed that Movistar will continue to use Campagnolo groupsets and wheels in the 2014 season.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Jeannie Longo sues French anti-doping agency for 1.1 million Euro

Former world and French national champion Jeannie Longo is sueing the AFLD, France’s national anti-doping agency, for more than 1.1 million euros in damages and interest.

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Longo claims that her reputation was harmed when it was publicly announced that the 55 year old had missed doping controls and committed three “whereabouts” violations. She is also claiming damages in a separate case involve the online purchase of EPO by her husband and trainer Patrice Ciprelli.

Ciprelli has insisted that the banned substance was for his personal use, not his wife’s.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Interview with Cannondale’s Ted King

Ted King is one of the most well-loved of the US’s WorldTour racers and his popularity only increased this year when he was controversially removed from the Tour de France after narrowly missing a time cut during the team time trial.

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In an interview with Cycling News Ted King has spoken about renewing his contract with Cannondale, his plans for next year, the “pressure” of riding with Peter Sagan and what he’s been up to in the off season.

Here’s a snippet:

“The off season was busy as always. It’s that entirely too brief chunk of time to catch up on all the fun shenanigans that are frowned upon the rest of the year. I started riding a bit in November, and now we have a training camp in Tuscany here in December.”

Click here to read the full interview.

British Cycling launches sportive ranking system

The governing body for cycling in the UK has launched a system that allows riders to compare cyclosportives against one another in order to work out whether a certain ride might be suitable for them or not.

Sportives are ranked from 1 (the easiest) through to 5 (the most difficult) depending the length of the event and the amount of climbing involved. A British Cycling Grading score is also generated, based on the difficulty of the ride.

Something like Amy’s Gran Fondo would rank as a 2 or 3 on the difficulty scale, Around the Bay in a Day (210km version) would be ranked as a 4 (because of its length) while the 3 Peaks Challenge would be off the chart, both on distance and on the amount of climbing involved.

Here’s a link to the grading chart and here’s a link to an article on the British Cycling website explaining the system.

The curious effect of Lycra-clad cyclists on otherwise rational people

This is an interesting read from Steven Herrick over at The Guardian in which he talks about the apparent rage Lycra-clad cyclists inspire in perfectly reasonable people.

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Why is it that this particular fabric creates so much outrage? Is it that non-cyclists think we’re trying to emulate our Tour de France heroes? Is it the fact that, for the most part, Lycra isn’t the most flattering of fabrics and people’s outrage is based purely on fashion sense? Or is there more at play?

You can check out Steven’s piece here.

Comparison of motorists’ and cyclists’ perceptions of bicycle safety

A team of researchers from the Queensland University of Technology has released a research paper about how cyclists and other road users perceive the safety of cycling on our roads.

The research is framed around the idea that increasing the number of cyclists on our roads is important and the safety of cycling is a deciding factor in that, not just in practice, but in how cyclists and other road users perceive that safety.

The researchers identified contributing factors to people’s perceptions of bicycle safety and those factors were compared across different road user groups.

What did the researcher’s find? Here’s a quote from the paper’s conclusion:

“Significant conflicts in safety perception have been demonstrated when motorists pass cyclists on roads without bicycle infrastructure, revealing that the majority of motorists believe they are providing sufficient space when passing, whilst most cyclists strongly disagree.”

Click here to read the full research paper.

OGERocks — 12 Days of Christmas

Here’s the latest music video from the gang at Orica-GreenEDGE, an OGE-themed 12 Days of Christmas. Click on the image below to get through to the video.

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The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s featrue image comes from Kristof Ramon and features Iljo Keisse at the recent Ghent Six-Day.