Saturday, January 28, 2012

Valverde's points won't help Movistar

Despite Alejandro Valverde’s success at debut race, after a two-year doping ban, his team will need to find success elsewhere, if they hope to secure WorldTour status next year.

Last year the UCI decided that any rider coming back from a doping ban could not contribute towards the team’s ranking points. A quirk in the rule allows riders to accumulate points and Valverde’s second place, in Australia, puts him 19 points behind Simon Gerrans. When deciding on whether a team should have WorldTour status, the UCI look at a number or different things including their ethical merits.

Valverde was handed his ban after a long drawn out case, which came as a result of the 2006 Operacion Puerto. Italy took the first step and banned him in May 2009 and a year later he was given a backdated two-year ban, from all competition. Despite his time out, it looks like El Bala could be Movistar’s best chance of a big victory this year. It won’t just be this year’s points that won’t count; the points ban will carry on throughout 2013.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Judith Arndt: Success is her middle name

Judith Arndt finally won the career double in 2011, as she finally added the World Time-Trial championship to her 2004 Road Race title.

Arndt had a slightly lacklustre year, by her standards, but was part of the German dominance in Copenhagen. Nearly ten years older than her male counterpart, Tony Martin, Arndt has a palmarès that even Philippe Gilbert would be jealous of.

Early Beginnings
Born in Königs Wusterhausen, Germany on July 23rd 1976, Arndt enjoyed success from an early age. Despite recent recognition on the road, she found her early success on the track, with a few junior titles. At 17 she won her first junior title, in the individual pursuit, which would become a prerequisite to her time-trialling prowess. She started as she meant to go on and retained the title the following year, at the German championships. Arndt also managed a silver medal, in the individual pursuit, at the junio world championship.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

10 Women's Bikes for 2012

Trek Lexa SL T Women’s Road Bike 2012
The Trek Lexa is a perfect starter bike, for someone who wants to get a quick head start. With a combination of an aluminium frame coupled with a carbon seatpost and forks, makes the Lexa lightweight but strong. Perfect for a commuter bike or possibly as a beginner race bike. Although it is a higher price for an aluminium bike it still seems like good value for money. If you want to use as a race bike, it is advisable to change the pedals beforehand, to your desired cleat type.
Price: £719.99

10 Bikes Over £1000 for 2012

Fuji Gran Fondo 3.0 2012 Road Bike
The Gran Fondo 3.0 is the middle pricing bike of the new Gran Fondo range, so you can get the quality for less of the price. The carbon frame is suited to a regular racer, which should get you through most races. It is a nice looking bike and you will avoid the Geox decals, which Fuji optimistically put on several of their bikes. The chainset holds a 34/50 chain ring, which should be plenty to get you up those hills.
Price: £1,439.99