UCI independent commission announcement to come within a week

The UCI will release details of its Independent Commission within a week, including the names of the three people on the panel and the process by which they’ll investigate pro cycling’s recent past.

The UCI set up an independent commission more than a year ago, with then-president Pat McQuaid promising the UCI would fully investigate how the governing body had handled anti-doping in the past. The commission was shut down in January 2013 with McQuaid claiming USADA and WADA weren’t cooperating.

When asked how long he thought the investigation would taken, UCI president Brian Cookson said:

“You can’t predict it [how long it could take], it is a process. The most important step is the formation of an independent commission to look into whatever happened in the last ten or fifteen years in our sport. I think it can reach a conclusion in a year. Restoring the reputation takes more time.”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Orica-GreenEDGE and Orica-AIS reveal new kit for 2014

Orica-GreenEDGE has revealed the new kit that its men’s and women’s teams will be wearing in 2014. Made by Craft, a new sponsor of the Aussie setup, the kit is decidedly more blue than last year’s outfit.

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What’s your take?

Matty Lloyd signs with Jelly Belly

The 2008 Australian national road race champion Matthew Lloyd will return to the pro ranks in 2014, riding for the US-based Jelly Belly p/b Maxxis team.


Team manager Danny Van Haute told Cycling News:

“He brings power to the team, giving us a general classification contender rather than just stage winners. If we can put a guy in the top 10 of a major stage race here, that’s big for us and our sponsors.”

Lloyd started his 2013 season with Lampre-Merida but spent most of the year away from racing, reportedly to recover from a back injury that has hampered him since being hit by a car in 2010.

Lloyd will make his debut in the new colours at the nationals road race on Sunday.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Durbridge shrugs off sore throat; will compete at nationals

Orica-GreenEDGE director sportif Matt Wilson told the Fairfax papers the other day that Luke Durbridge was in doubt for the nationals due to a sore throat but the rider himself has now confirmed that he will take part.

Durbo

“I’ll be there. I just had a bit of a sore throat and thought it was not really worth doing the [last race in the Bay Crits], so I decided to shut it down and have a day’s rest,” he told the Sydney Morning Herald.

Durbridge has told the SMH that he’s “in as good form, if not better” than this time last year, which is ominous for his rivals, given he won both the national TT and road race in 2013.

Click here to read more at the Sydney Morning Herald.

IOC and UCI to discuss adding cyclocross to Winter Olympics

Officials from the UCI and the IOC will meet up in the coming weeks to discussion the potential addition of cyclocross to the Winter Olympic Games.

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Cyclocross is currently not allowed at the Winter Olympics because Olympic rules require all Winter Games sports to take place on snow or ice. The same rule has seen sports like cross-country running excluded from the Games.

But a potential rule change could mean that sports played during winter are allowed in the Winter Olympics (not just those that take place on ice or snow).

The inclusion of cyclocross in the Winter Olympics was considered in 2009 but talks at the time didn’t result in any decisive action.

Click here to read more at the Gazet van Antwerpen (in Dutch) or here to read more at Cycling Weekly.

Robbie McEwen ends association with Orica-GreenEDGE

Since retiring from professional cycling in May 2012, Robbie McEwen has worked as a sprint coach at Orica-GreenEDGE. Now the three-time Tour de France green jersey winner has confirmed that his association with the WorldTour team has come to an end due to geographical constraints.

Presidential Cycling Tour of Turkey - Etappe 4

“With the bulk of the racing and the team obviously being [based] in Europe and me in Australia, it wasn’t really feasible for the team to renew the contract”, McEwen told VeloNation. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity that I was given by Gerry Ryan and Shayne Bannan.”

McEwen has no shortage of work, running his own gran fondo on the Gold Coast, running tours to the Giro d’Italia, managing a line of clothing and chamois cream and doing freelance commentary work, including at the upcoming Tour Down Under.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Graham Watson’s favourite photos from 2013

Graham Watson has been a cycling photographer for longer than almost anyone in the business and he’s known world wide for his great shots. In this post he’s pulled together some of his favourite images from the 2013 season for Cycling Weekly and explained why he likes them.

You can see the post here.

Oleg Tinkov vs a cyber-squatter

As you probably already know, team Saxo-Tinkoff has changed its name for the 2014 season, becoming team Tinkoff-Saxo after Oleg Tinkov increased his support for the team.

Of course changing a team’s name means changing everything from team websites, to signage on team vehicles, to team kit and so much more. There’s also the team’s Twitter account.

The only problem on the Twitter front is that someone already owns the @TinkoffSaxo username, almost certainly a pre-emptive move to get something out of Tinkov and co.

Here’s Tinkov’s tweet to that particular user:


The discussion that was generated by that tweet is quite fascinating to read and can be found here.

Vuelta course details leaked ahead of official announcement

The full route details for this year’s Vuelta a Espana will be released later this week but early details suggest that one stage will start in the city of Pamplona and will finish with the tough climb to San Miguel de Aralar — an 11km climb at 8% average gradient but with ramps of 16-17% in the final kilometre.

This year’s race will be only the second time in 20 years that the Vuelta has headed to the Navarra region of Spain, which includes Pamplona.

This year’s edition is expected to be easier than last year’s which featured a brutal 13 summit finishes. The race runs from August 23 to September 14.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Garmin Connect gets a revamp

Given how dominant Strava is in the online ride-tracking space it was only a matter of time before the ageing Garmin Connect got a bit of a refresh to try and make it more of an appealing prospect to the millions of Garmin users out there.

Image courtesy of Garmin/Bike Radar.

Image courtesy of Garmin/Bike Radar.

The reboot adds a bunch of new features, not least course segments, heat maps, training plans and user-configurable screens.

The refresh will take place in stages over the next three months.

Click here to read more at Bike Radar.

British architect unveils plans for “SkyCycle” bike routes in London

British architect Lord Norman Foster has revealed his plans for a network of elevated bike paths in London that would be suspended above the city’s railway lines.

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The network, which is backed by Network Rail and Transport for London, would feature 220km of car-free routes with more than 200 entrance points. The paths are supposed to be 15 metres wide and could accommodate 12,000 cyclists per hour.

Lord Foster, a keen cyclist himself, said:

“By using the corridors above the suburban railways,” he said, “we could create a world-class network of safe, car-free cycle routes that are ideally located for commuters.”

Click here to read more at The Guardian. Click here for a comprehensive round-up of the considerable media coverage the project has attracted, particularly in the UK.

Portrait of a framebuilder: Chris Dekerf

This is a beautifully-shot short film that shows the art of framebuilding and profiles a guy who’s been in the industry for 25 years now: Chris Dekerf. Check it out below:

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image was taken by Kristof Ramon at the 2013 UCI Cyclocross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium and shows Katie Compton in action.