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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 23, 2010

Date published:
April 23, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Former cyclist charged in Austria with dealing in doping products

    Article published:
    April 22, 2010, 15:04 BST
    Cycling News

    First case under 2008 national anti-doping law

    Public prosecutors in Vienna, Austria, have filed charges against a former professional cyclist, identified only as Christof K., for dealing in forbidden substances. It is the first case to be filed under the country's new anti-doping law, which took effect in 2008.

    The case is not related to the HumanPlasma blood-doping investigation.

    The cyclist in question is charged with distributing forbidden products, including EPO, to other athletes as of the middle of 2008, spokesman Gerhard Jarosch told the Austrian news agency APA.

    The 33-year-old was arrested in March 2009, and immediately suspended by the National Anti-Doping Agency.

    According to the APA, K. admitted to the “Soko Doping” (special doping investigators) that since 2004 he had regularly received EPO, testosterone and other doping substances from a pharmacist in Vienna. For two and a half years, up until the end of 2006, he is said to have called the pharmacist weekly and then received the products. The trial against the pharmacist opened in Vienna on Thursday.

    As of 2007, K. is said to have used a new pharmacist, also in Vienna, and also is said to have supplied at least five colleagues, whose names were not released. These actions continued after the new national anti-doping law went into effect in August 2008.

    K. faces up to six months in prison or a fine, if he is found guilty.

    Under Austrian law, the full names of persons arrested and undergoing trials are not publicly released. When he was arrested last fall, K. was identified in the media as a moderately successful rider on the national level.

  • Dedecker must pay Quick Step boss for defamation

    Quick Step manager Patrick Lefevere and Tom Boonen.
    Article published:
    April 22, 2010, 18:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Token damages relate to 2006 accusations of doping

    Belgian politician Jean-Marie Dedecker must pay Quick Step team manager Patrick Lefevere and rider Tom Boonen a token 1 euro in damages for defamation, a Belgian appeals court in Ghent ruled today. The ruling upheld a 2007 verdict.

    Dedecker made allegations on television in 2006 that he knew of three top Belgian riders who had received illegal doping products in Italy, but did not give names. The Quick Step team was quick to react, stating that the public would look to the team and Boonen with suspicion over the comment since most of the country's top riders were on the team.

    Lefevere's management company, Esperanza bvba, the IPCT (International Professional Cycling Teams) and Celio Sport & Image (Tom Boonen's management company) filed suit against Dedecker for damages of 25,000 euros each. But a judge ruled that there was insufficient proof that the team or Boonen had suffered damage, although he acknowledged that Dedecker's comments were imprudent and handed down a token award of 1 euro each.

    "I’m very pleased with the courts’ decision, this is an important confirmation," Lefevere said in a statement. "The symbolic payment of one euro represents much deeper values. It means that every one of us is responsible with regard to others for our own actions and statements, without exception."

    Lefevere also sued the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, its reporters and editor who went one step further with the story, alleging that Lefevere had participated in doping his riders for 30 years. He was awarded 500,000 euros in damages last November.

    Dedecker's claims were taken seriously by investigators, however, after Dedecker handed over a dossier of information containing names of 20 people allegedly involved in doping Belgian...

  • Radioshack suspends Li after doping positive

    Li Fuyu (RadioShack) in action at Amstel Gold.
    Article published:
    April 22, 2010, 19:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Chinese rider's A-sample positive for Clenbuterol

    Team RadioShack rider Li Fuyu has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union and by his team after he returned a positive doping control in March, the UCI announced Thursday.

    Li's sample, taken at the Dwaars Door Vlaanderen on March 23, was found to contain the asthma medication Clenbuterol.

    "Li Fuyu has been immediately suspended pending the outcome of his B-sample test in the next few weeks. If that test is positive the rider will be removed from the team," the team stated.

    "Team RadioShack and its management take this incident very seriously. We will respect the rights of our rider but will enforce our zero tolerance policy should his B-sample test positive."

    The drug Clenbuterol (Clenbuterol hydrochloride) is mainly used in veterinary applications and in some countries as an asthma medication, but is on the World Anti-Doping Agency's list of prohibited substances.

    Clenbuterol is banned in and out of competition due to its off-label uses as a weight-loss drug and anabolic agent.

    Li will now face the Chinese Cycling Federation to determine if he will be found in violation of the UCI's anti-doping rules, and has the right to an analysis of his B-sample.

  • Clif Bar adds two new snack bar lines and new flavors

    Clif Bar has added Blueberry Crisp, Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch, and Oatmeal Raisin Walnut to its range of Clif Minis.
    Article published:
    April 23, 2010, 1:00 BST
    James Huang

    Bars aimed at health-conscious individuals

    Energy food icon Clif Bar has added two new snack bar lines to its range aimed not specifically at cyclists in particular, but rather health-conscious individuals looking to satiate their hunger without resorting to typical junk food.

    The 70-percent organic Clif C bar is lightly baked with just nine ingredients (all of which you can actually pronounce), and essentially consists of a crushed nut base with a pureed fruit top, all of which is then sprinkled with bits of sea salt and more nuts to provide a little more 'pop'.

    Clif Bar communications manager Dean Mayer and Clif Shot brand manager Chris Randall admit that the Clif C bar's softer texture and slightly sticky exterior may not lend itself to use on the bike but as a pre- or post-ride option, it definitely tastes more like real food to us.

    The new Clif C is currently available in Apple, Blueberry, Cherry Pomegranate and Raspberry varieties.

    Also new is the Clif Crunch granola bar – again, not exactly a cycling-specific item but a worthwhile option if you've already tired of typical energy food options. Clif makes the 70-percent organic Crunch with a slightly moister texture than usual and also includes whole chips (chocolate, peanut butter, etc.) in the mix as well.

    Two bars are included in each package and flavor options include Chocolate Chip, White Chocolate Macadamia, Peanut Butter, and Honey Oat. Clif Bar will package the new Crunch in packs of five when they become available later this summer.

    Some familiar products will also get some new flavours. Last season's Cola-flavoured Clif Shot Bloks are replaced with Tropical Punch (with 25mg of caffeine instead of 50) and the popular Clif Minis gain Oatmeal Raisin Walnut, Blueberry Crisp, and Chocolate Chip Peanut Crunch varieties.

  • Dominican rider killed in collision with car

    Leondardo Grullon won stage 3 of the Vuelta Independencia.
    Article published:
    April 23, 2010, 1:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Four other team members hit while training

    Leonardo Grullon was killed on Thursday after he and four others were hit by a truck while training in their native Dominican Republic.Grullon, who rides for the Tele Cable Central-Bici Centro team, was training with members of the Dominican national team in preparation for the upcoming Pan American Championships when the accident occurred.

    The 24-year-old's group was riding in the mountains Northwest of Santo Domingo near Jarabacoa when the driver of a truck apparently fell asleep at the wheel and drove into the group.

    Also injured in the crash was Juan Carlos Polanco of the La Vega team. He is in critical condition, according to AP. No other riders have yet been named in the incident.

    Grullon won the third stage Vuelta Independencia in February and placed sixth overall.

  • BBox-Bouygues Telecom to chase Giro stage wins

    William Bonnet (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) earned his first victory of 2010 at Paris-Nice.
    Article published:
    April 23, 2010, 3:49 BST
    Greg Johnson

    French squad names final roster

    Professional Continental team BBox-Bouygues Telecom has announced its roster for next month’s Giro d’Italia. William Bonnet and Thomas Voeckler will share the squad’s leadership role as it seeks stage victories at the Italian Grand Tour.

    Team manager Didier Rous admitted the squad isn’t in contention for the Grand Tour’s overall victory, but it will still look to have an impact on the race. "It’s a tough team, a very strong group,” said Rous. “We go to Italy with big ambitions with this group, because many of our riders will make the tour.

    “This is the best team ever assembled by Bouygues Telecom Bbox for the Giro,” he added. “Our group is very comprehensive and can shine on any terrain. It will not target the general, but we fight for each stage win."

    The French outfit is the third to release its final Giro d’Italia roster, with Team Milram and Rabobank having already announced its riders for the Italian race. The Giro d’Italia runs May 8-30, starting with an 8.4 kilometre time trial in Amsterdam.

    BBox Bouygues Telecom Giro d’Italia roster: Yukiya Arashiro, William Bonnet, Anthony Charteau, Mathieu Claude, Guillaume Le Floch, Damien Gaudin, Joahnn Tschopp, Yuriy Trovimov and Thomas Voeckler.

  • Fränk Schleck sees a future at Flanders

    Andy and Frank Schleck roll out together
    Article published:
    April 23, 2010, 10:19 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Saxo Bank rider says Amstel success a sign he can do well on the cobbles

    Fränk Schleck has says he will one day put aside a career-long focus on the Ardennes Classics to target victory at the Tour of Flanders. Schleck, who will share captaincy of Saxo Bank with brother Andy at Liège–Bastogne–Liège on Sunday, said the cobbled Classic can form a legitimate objective for him in the future.

    "One day, I'll shove aside the Ardennes for a year to race Flanders and go there looking for the victory," he told the Belgian Sportmagazine. "I am a huge fan of the Tour of Flanders."

    Schleck, 30, is yet to make his debut at Flanders, having prioritized the Ardennes Classics in each of his seven seasons as a professional. He said his participation in the Flemish race would require a significant shift in his established season schedule.

    "Unfortunately you have to race the Tour of the Basque Country to be ready for the Ardennes and that stage-race begins the day after the Tour of Flanders, which can't be combined," he said.

    Schleck pointed to his 2006 victory at Amstel Gold Race as an indicator of his ability to reach the podium at Flanders. His theory given credence by Belgian great Johan Museeuw, who recorded victory at Amstel in 1994, two years prior to the first of his three Flanders titles.

    "Those who can win the Amstel Gold Race, I think can also have opportunities in the Tour of Flanders," said Schleck.

    Despite his desire to race Flanders, Schleck said the Ardennes Classics will remain his major spring objective for the immediate future. On Sunday, he will race Liège–Bastogne–Liège, where Saxo Bank will aim to defend the title won by Frank's brother Andy in 2009.

    "I can't do Flanders now," he said. "The Amstel Gold Race and Liège–Bastogne–Liège are important. I think the team management would murder me."

  • A Sagan sequel at Liquigas

    Peter Sagan (Liquigas - Doimo) kept the green jersey
    Article published:
    April 23, 2010, 11:03 BST
    Cycling News

    Juraj joins brother Peter at Italian squad

    Liquigas Slovakian sensation Peter Sagan will be joined by brother Juraj after recently extending his contract with the Italian team. He new agreement ends at the conclusion of the 2012 season.

    French website reports that the younger Sagan demanded he be joined by his older brother as part of contract negotiations.

    Juraj has ridden for Dukla Merida Trencin, a Slovak continental team, during the past three seasons, the squad for which Peter rode before making his ProTour debut at this year's Santos Tour Down Under.

    He impressed in stage five of that event and since then he won stages three and five plus the points classification at Paris-Nice in a performance that put the 20-year-old on the radar of many other ProTour teams.

    Meanwhile, for his part, Juraj won last year's GP Boka in Slovakia and took silver in the 2009 Slovakian U23 road race national championship.