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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 10, 2012

Date published:
August 10, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Contador tests Cauberg during Eneco Tour

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) returned to competition at the Eneco Tour after serving a doping ban.
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 11:04 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard has one eye on Valkenburg Worlds

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) may be riding the Eneco Tour as preparation for the Vuelta a España, but the Spaniard was able to avail of the opportunity to reconnoitre part of the Valkenburg world championships route on stage 3 on Wednesday.

    The Eneco Tour is Contador’s first race back in the professional peloton following the end of his suspension for a positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

    Contador finished safely in the peloton on the road to Genk on stage 3, which saw the peloton take on the Bemelerberg and Cauberg, the two climbs that feature on the finishing circuit of the world championships road race on September 23.

    The finish line of the Worlds comes just 1.7km from the summit of the Cauberg (1.5km with an average gradient of 12%). While the Amstel Gold Race finishes atop the Cauberg every year, Contador has ridden the Dutch event just once in his career, in 2003.

    “That’s a long time ago and I didn’t finish the race,” Contador told L’Équipe. Though pleased to test the Bemelerberg (900m at 7%) and the Cauberg midway through Wednesday’s stage, Contador noted that it was difficult to form a true impression of the Worlds course.

    “They are two nice climbs. They’re not very big but there are some gradients that suit me. The problem is that you can’t really get a feel for the difficulty of the course when you only go over the climbs once. At the Worlds, it will be different because you have to go up them repeatedly.”

    With the Vuelta a España getting underway on August 18, Contador will not have a chance to reconnoitre the Worlds circuit in full until he returns to Limburg in the week...

  • Pozzato: I never hid anything

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    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 12:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian on Ferrari link

    Filippo Pozzato has spoken of his disappointment at missing out on the London 2012 Olympic Games after he admitted to having being trained by the controversial Dr. Michele Ferrari between 2005 and 2009.

    Farnese Vini-Selle Italia faces a hearing before the Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping tribunal on September 11, when he will discover if he will receive a one-year suspension for his links to Ferrari.

    Pozzato has spent the past two weeks in Kenya carrying out voluntary work at the invitation of Italian priest Don Marco Pozza. “I voluntarily suspended myself,” he told the ANSA news agency. “I wanted to leave Italy to get away from it all, I was so disappointed and angry. They denied me my dream. I’m 30 years old, it was the prime age for the Olympics. Everybody says to me ‘you’ll be back in Rio,’ but it’s not the same.”

    Ferrari has returned to the headlines in Italy in recent days after it emerged that Italian race walker Alex Schwazer – who tested positive for EPO ahead of the London 2012 Olympic Games – was among his clients. Schwazer has claimed that he acted alone in procuring and using EPO.

    “I’m sorry for Alex, but my case has nothing to do with his,” Pozzato said. “His positive test for EPO is a defeat for sport. These are ugly stories, stains on sport that destroy myths. We’re examples for young people.”

    Speaking of his own rapport with Ferrari, Pozzato stressed that he had never gone to any lengths to hide their collaboration. “Others dressed in black when they went to him so they wouldn’t be seen, but I didn’t. I never hid anything,” he...

  • Winter will be a challenge for Wiggins, says Brailsford

    Bradley Wiggins came out to watch a day of track racing, which he used to do
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 16:03 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour winner must maintain focus to retain title

    Sky team principal Dave Brailsford has said that Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins’ next major challenge will be dealing with the attention his achievements have garnered in his home country.

    Wiggins was asked to ring the bell that started the London 2012 Olympic Games opening ceremony the week after his Tour triumph and he followed that up by taking gold in the time trial, the seventh Olympic medal of his career.

    “Most people, when they win something that they’ve really wanted, a big major, career defining victory, the period after that is difficult,” Brailsford told The Associated Press.

    Wiggins has been tipped to be feted with everything from a knighthood to the title of Britain’s Sports Personality of the Year in the coming months, and Brailsford acknowledged that Wiggins’ increasing profile means that he will be a man in demand during the off-season.

    “Bradley will get pulled this winter from award ceremonies to media things to all the things that normally aren’t there in life,” he said. “He will inevitably get asked to do a lot of that this winter. And the challenge with a lot of guys who hit a peak, they go through all of that and while everyone else is training really, really hard, they’re not. Not because they don’t want to, it’s just difficult to fit it all in.”

    Wiggins has downplayed comparisons between Sky and the US Postal Service team of the controversial Lance Armstrong – who was recently charged with doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency – but Brailsford acknowledged that the American had succeeded in repeating his Tour triumphs.

    “That’s where the guys who had repeated...

  • IOC to strip Hamilton of 2004 Olympic gold medal

    The 2004 Olympic Games time trial podium (L-R): Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia), silver; Tyler Hamilton (USA), gold; Bobby Julich (USA), bronze
    Article published:
    August 09, 2012, 16:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ekimov will be awarded time trial gold

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) is set to formally strip Tyler Hamilton of the gold medal he earned in the 2004 Olympic time trial, the AP reported today.

    The IOC executive board will reportedly meet on Friday to reassign the medals from the Athens Games time trial, rewarding gold to Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia), silver to Bobby Julich (USA) and bronze to Michael Rogers (Australia). The action is prompted by the IOC's approaching eight-year statute of limitations deadline.

    The Olympic gold medal would be the third for Ekimov, who already earned gold on the track in the team pursuit in 1988 and on the road in the time trial during the 2000 Olympics.

    Hamilton tested positive for homologous blood doping at the 2004 Vuelta a España, which followed the Olympic Games. In fact, Hamilton's "A" sample from the Olympic Games time trial had also tested positive for a blood transfusion, but mishandling of the backup sample meant the result could not be confirmed with the "B" sample, and therefore, Hamilton had been allowed to keep his Olympic medal.

    A previous joint appeal by the Russian and Australian Olympic Committees to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), in 2006, was denied. The Russians and Australians had asked unsuccessfully for CAS to give Hamilton's medal to Ekimov.

    After Hamilton returned to competition following his initial ban, he later failed an out-of-competition doping control for the banned substance DHEA in a test before the Tour of California in February 2009. Hamilton was subsequently banned for eight years.

    Hamilton later confessed in a "60 Minutes" interview aired in 2011 that he repeatedly used performance-enhancing drugs. At the time it was reported that Hamilton returned his gold medal to USADA, but the IOC had not received it and the results were not amended.

    Hamilton...

  • Jordan Kerby fights second year under 23 syndrome

    Jordan Kerby (Jayco - Honey Shotz) gets the Stage 7 win at the Tour of Gippsland
    Article published:
    August 10, 2012, 0:02 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Tenacious Gippsland stage winner determined in 2012

    Taking out Stage 7 of the Tour of Gippsland wasn't just another stage win for Jordan Kerby (Jayco-Honey Shotz). There was more to it than that.

    Gippsland, first round of the Scody Cup and fourth stop on the Australian National Road Series (NRS) was another opportunity for the soon-to-be 20-year-old to prove himself on a road bike.

    Kerby riding as part of the Australian national team, won the Prologue at the Tour of Thailand in April before taking out the first stage at the Mersey Valley Tour in Tasmania, the first event on the NRS calendar, and then the Prologue of the North Western Tour - all wins against the clock with very little time trial-specific training.

    "I had a couple of wins earlier in the year but they were in time trials so I was pretty excited to win on a road bike," the Queenslander told Cyclingnews. "Especially to get over Darren Lapthorne because he is such a great rider; he was a national road champion at one point. I was mainly just excited and relieved to get a stage win."

    Speak to Kerby's inner circle and you get a picture of a very single-minded, focussed individual. He's been racing since he was 10 and if there's been a constant, it's that his opposition has been older, and more experienced. Kerby has had to develop his fight and works hard at it. He came to the attention of The Queensland Academy of Sport head coach James Victor at under-15 level and as a second-year under 17 was granted a full scholarship. In 2011, in his first year with an Australian Institute of Sport scholarship was blighted by poor health.

    ...
  • Hamilton requested removal of Olympic title

    Bobby Julich will not try to get the silver after Tyler Hamilton gave back his 2004 Olympic gold
    Article published:
    August 10, 2012, 8:43 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UPDATED: IOC Board announces his disqualification

    International Olympic Committee president Jacques Rogge has thanked Tyler Hamilton for requesting that he be stripped of the Olympic gold medal he won in 2004, and be removed from the records as winner of the individual time trial in Athens. Media reports on Thursday said that the IOC would act on Friday.

    Update:  On Friday afternoon, the IOC Executive Board officially told Hamilton that it had disqualified his results. "Hamilton will be asked to hand the medal back and there will be an exchange of medals with the other athletes," IOC spokesman Mark Adams told the AP.

    The gold medal will be awarded to Viatcheslav Ekimov (Russia), silver to Bobby Julich (USA) and bronze to Michael Rogers (Australia).

    Hamilton gave a positive A sample for blood doping after his Olympic victory, but the B sample was mishandled and could not be tested, so he was allowed to keep the medal. He has since confessed to having doped and claimed to have returned his gold medal to the USADA. In 2009 he  was given an eight-year ban after another positive doping test.

    In a letter published by the New York Daily News, Rogge wrote to Hamilton, “I acknowledge with thanks receipt of your letter dated 28 June 2012, in which you request the IOC to withdraw your name from the official record of Olympic champions and disclaim any interest in the Olympic gold medal from the Individual Time Trial cycling race at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

    “In particular, I very much appreciate that you have expressed regret for having used performance enhancing drugs and that you hope that, through your example and future efforts, this will discourage others from using performance enhancing drugs.”

  • Fuglsang fancies a return to mountain biking

    Jakob Fuglsang (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    August 10, 2012, 10:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane impatient to sign with a new team for 2013

    Jakob Fuglsang could imagine a return to the Olympic mountain bike race, and thinks he could have made an impact in this weekend's race. He is also waiting impatiently to sign a new contract for the coming season.

    The Dane rode the mountain bike race in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, finishing 25th. This year he competed on the road, coming in 12th in the road race and 15th in the time trial.

    There will be no Danes in this year's Olympics mountain bike races, as they did not qualify a man and the woman who was nominated, Annika Langvad, had to withdraw due to injury. But Fuglsang believes that he could have made an impact had he taken part."

    “I have a belief that I could. I've become a better rider since then (2008, ed), but whether I would be good enough, I don't know. It would probably also require that I practiced on a mountain bike some time before the race,” he told ekstrabladet.dk.

    One advantage Fuglsang saw in mountain biking is that he would have his own chances and not be dependent on team tactics. “You are master in your own house, and I have also considered it. The thought has crossed my mind to try to ride a World Cup race, to see how my level is now.”

    Combining that with road racing would be difficult, though. “If you have a break from racing, it might be possible. The problem is of course that I probably will not be popular with the team if I fall and break my arms and legs,” he said.

    He already has the gear. “I actually have a really nice Trek mountain bike hanging in the basement, but it has not really been aired yet.”

    Planning for 2013

    Fuglsang's contract with RadioShack-Nissan expires the end of this season and he has made no secret of the fact that

  • Boonen sizes up Eneco Tour

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) leads overall.
    Article published:
    August 10, 2012, 11:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian moves into overall lead

    It may not have been quite how he planned it beforehand, but Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) moved into the leader’s jersey at the end of stage 4 of the Eneco Tour in on Thursday.

    Boonen began the day determined to focus on stage victory rather than chasing bonus seconds in the two intermediate sprints. Instead, the Belgian champion picked up two seconds at the second sprint to leapfrog Jens Keukeleire at the top of the overall standings but could only manage 4th place in a stage won by Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano).

    “It wasn’t my intention to become leader through the intermediate sprints today but we were well placed and we took the opportunity, even if winning the stage was our main preoccupation,” Boonen told La Dernière Heure. “We were chasing down the breakaway a few kilometres before the sprint. We were in the front of the peloton and automatically I took the bonification.”

    In the chaos of the finishing sprint, however, Boonen found himself inadvertently impeded by a teammate. “On the last bend, I got shut in by Stijn Vandenbergh while Alessandro Petacchi was coming past,” Boonen said. “I had to go from too far back and I could only finish fourth. But Marcel Kittel is clearly too quick.”

    With three stages still to come, Boonen is in contention to become the first Belgian to win the Eneco Tour in its eight-year history. Before Sunday’s finale over the Muur van Geraardsbergen, however, he must tackle the 17.4km time trial at Ardooie.

    “With Sylvain Chavanel, Michal Kwiatkowski, Dries Devenyns, Niki...