Fernando Alonso promises F1-style cycling team

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Spanish Formula One driver, Fernando Alonso promised to bring his experience over to his new cycling team. He plans to debut his team in the 2015 season.

"Teams have about 40 employees, and I want to be able to count on them to do their job without me having to call every day, because my job is to race Formula One. I will hire people I know from my racing cars, someone from Benetton, others from Renault, someone from Ferrari," Alonso told L'Equipe newspaper.

His planned approach appears similar to Sky's marginal gains philosophy.

"Like other sports, cycling has evolved to a high level. It's more difficult to create differences. All the cyclists are very professional, and all the techniques of recuperation, preparation, materials, and things like wind tunnel testing, they are already very advanced. We need to concentrate on the smaller details. We need the best technologies that exist."

Armstrong lost cooperation chance, says US anti-doping boss

Lance Armstrong lost his chance to cooperate and reduce his lifetime doping ban, according to US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) boss, Travis Tygart.

"We have had discussions and exchanges in recent weeks but just before Thanksgiving [November 28] he told us that he is not interested in coming to us. It's OK," Tygart said at a conference in Norway, according to VG Nett.

"Ideally, we would've liked him to come to us in June 2012. Since that time, most of the information we think that he's sitting on has come out. It has been used for the good of cycling, but it would've been more efficient, and better for us, if we had it already in 2012."

The agency worked through 2012 and showed Armstrong doped throughout his career. Armstrong received a lifetime ban and lost most of his results, including his seven Tour de France wins.

UCI confirms 18 WorldTour teams for 2014

The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) confirmed the 18 WorldTour, first division teams for the 2014 season on Tuesday. French team Europcar ascends from the second division to join 17 others.

This season (2013), 19 teams instead of the normal 18 raced in the first division. Two teams, Euskaltel and Vacansoleil folded, and left one vacant spot.

Teams include: AG2R La Mondiale (Fra), Argos-Shimano (Ned), Astana (Kaz), BMC Racing (USA), Belkin (Ned), Cannondale (Ita), Europcar (Fra), FDJ.fr (Fra), Garmin-Sharp (USA), Katusha (Rus), Lampre-Merida (Ita), Lotto-Belisol (Bel), Movistar (Spa), Omega Pharma-Quick Step (Bel), Orica-GreenEDGE (Aus), Saxo Bank (Den), Sky (GBr) and Trek Factory Racing (USA).

Sky: Frost in, Ljungqvist out

Team Sky announced on Tuesday that Dane Dan Frost will join and Swede Marcus Ljungqvist will leave. Frost will become one of Sky's sports directors, a role previously performed over eight years at team CSC/Saxo Bank.

"We welcome his insight and everything he's learned over the last eight years," Performance Manager Rod Ellingworth said in a press release. "He was a phenomenal track rider back in his day and that means he's also close to the methodology from British Cycling."

Frost won the points race at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Ljungqvist joined Sky in its debut year, in 2010, after a 12-year road career. He said that he wants to spend more time at home and he told EuroSport Sweden that he would consider directing the national team.

Antón finds team, others waiting

Basque climber, Igor Antón found a new home after team Euskaltel's closure. He and Spain's Movistar team announced yesterday that they signed a two-year deal, through 2015.

"I wanted to continue in the WorldTour, and I've managed," Antón told EITB television. "I'll try to find my place and repay the confidence the team has given me."

Antón won four stages in the Vuelta a España and in 2011, the Giro d'Italia's Monte Zoncolan stage. His deal gets him out of the unemployment line but leaves others standing, including Vuelta a España winner Chris Horner (RadioShack-Leopard), 2008 Olympic Champion Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel) and four-time Tour stage winner, Luis León Sánchez (Belkin).

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.