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  1. Marangoni ends 11-year career with first professional victory

    Italy's Alan Marangoni enjoyed an emotional, fairy-tale ending to his 11-year professional career, winning for the first time in his last ever race. 

    The 34-year-old spent much of his career as a domestique with the Cannondale team, sacrificing his own chances to help teammates such as Peter Sagan, Vincenzo Nibali, Ivan Basso and Rigoberto Urán.

    He went close to victory in a stage of the 2015 Giro d’Italia near his home in Forli but seemed set - and content - to retire without ever winning a professional race.

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    Destiny stepped in at the final hour, at the one-day Tour de Okinawa in Japan, with Marangoni - now riding for Nippo-Vini Fantini - winning alone after a late attack from the breakaway.

    He beat Australia’s Freddy Ovett, who was riding for BMC as a stagiaire, and Chun Kai Feng (Bahrain-Merida), finishing alone with his arms in the air for the first time in his professional career.

    "It was the perfect day I’ve always looked for in my career and I found it today," Marangoni said emotionally after shedding a few tears immediately after crossing the line.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  2. Mauduit joins Groupama-FDJ as directeur sportif

    Philippe Mauduit will leave his position as a directeur sportif at UAE Team Emirates to take up the same role with Groupama-FDJ in 2019, his new team has announced.

    Mauduit, 50, has played the sports director role with a number of teams since his retirement as a professional after a year in the pro ranks with Besson Chaussures in 1999. The Frenchman has worked at Bouygues Telecom, the Cervélo TestTeam, Saxo Bank, Lampre-Merida and Bahrain Merida, and then for UAE Team Emirates this season.

    "I really like what the team stands for, and have spoken regularly with [team boss] Marc Madiot over the years, realising that everything he says tallies with my way of working. The offer was too good to refuse," said Mauduit of his new role with Groupama-FDJ, which is home to French sprint star Arnaud Démare and one of France's big Grand Tour hopes, and this year's Il Lombardia winner, Thibaut Pinot.

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    "I've worked for foreign teams for 10 years, and so it's nice to come back to a French squad. Now I need to get to know the team and learn how things work, as everyone needs to be on board to ensure that this team continues to head in the right direction," Mauduit said.

    Groupama-FDJ started life as La Française des Jeux in 1997, and have gone through a raft of subtle name changes, although Madiot's team always retained the French national lottery as its main sponsor, until the Groupama insurance company came on board as the title sponsor for the 2018 season 

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  3. Kennedy extends with Mitchelton-Scott

    Australian Lucy Kennedy has extended her contract with the Mitchelton-Scott team for another year, the team has announced.

    Kennedy joined the squad at the start of 2018, but, after an extremely promising start to the season, when she took second place at the national time trial championships and then ninth place in the road race, followed by fourth overall at the Santos Women's Tour and, over in Europe, fifth place at Strade Bianche at the start of March, her season was derailed by multiple crashes.

    Having taken ninth place at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda two weeks after Strade Bianche, Kennedy crashed out of the following month's Amstel Gold Race, fracturing her eye socket, shoulder and collar bone.

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    After having fought back from her injuries to be fit for the start of the Giro Rosa in July, Kennedy crashed there on stage 3, and again broke her collar bone.

    "It has been particularly frustrating because it was a race that I was really targeting, and it was such a motivation for me after that crash at Amstel Gold in April," Kennedy told Cyclingnews in September.

    "The Giro was three months away, but it was a reasonable time-frame to get back in form, and it was a race that really suited me. It was a huge drive in that recovery, so the disappointment of not being able to do the race was huge," she said of having to leave the 10-day race so early on.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  4. Arthurs Seat returns to Herald Sun Tour in 2019

    The classic climb of Arthurs Seat on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula makes a welcome return to the route of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour in 2019, having last featured in the race in 2016.

    New race director Scott McGrory, who takes over from long-time director John Trevorrow for 2019, is ensuring that the riders will know all about how tough the climb is by increasing the number of times the race will go up it in February.

    "This particular stage will include the riders travelling five times up Arthurs Seat," said McGrory in a press release. "On previous occasions, it's been three times, which has been tough enough, but five times... Well, the riders are going to be shocked when they hear that, and certainly more shocked when they're riding up it."

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    Spectators will have easy access to the top of Arthurs Seat thanks to the new Eagle gondola, which goes from the start of the climb in Dromana to the summit.

    "It'll be great for the public with the roads covered with spectators," added McGrory, "with plenty of activity on the hairpin corners and a real festival of cycling at Arthurs Seat to showcase the best riders in the world."

    The stage that finished on the three-kilometre-long climb in 2016 was won by Team Sky's Chris Froome, 17 seconds ahead of Damien Howson of Orica-Greenedge (now Mitchelton-Scott). The victory on what was the final stage of that year's race was enough for Froome to take the overall race victory, having taken the leader's jersey from teammate Peter Kennaugh.

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

  5. Freeman to face medical tribunal over testosterone patch delivery

    Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman is set to face a medical tribunal in connection with the 2011 delivery of testosterone patches to the national team's headquarters in Manchester.

    According to a report in The Sunday Telegraph, Freeman is likely to face the General Medical Council tribunal which could decide to punish him with a suspension or remove him from the medical register.

    In 2016, UK Anti-Doping launched an investigation into the delivery of a 'mystery package' from British Cycling headquarters to Team Sky during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine for Bradley Wiggins. During their examination of the records at the Manchester National Cycling Centre, investigators found evidence of a delivery of banned testosterone patches, as well as 60 - 70 vials of triamcinolone.

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    Freeman worked for both teams in 2011, and the medical equipment for the two programmes shared storage space at the National Cycling Centre.

    Steve Peters, Team Sky's former medical director, at the time said the testosterone delivery was made in error and the patches were returned to the supplier. Freeman also denied any wrongdoing, saying the patches were never intended for athletes. But the supplier, Fit 4 Sport, declined to cooperate with the UKAD inquiry and provide supporting documentation of the error.

    British Cycling is a co-complainant in the GMC inquiry, and a spokesman said they "referred concerns in relation to Dr Richard Freeman's fitness to practice" to the GMC and "continue to support its ongoing investigation".

    You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

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