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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 24, 2012

Date published:
August 24, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Uran thinks Sky is on the right track

    Sky teammates Rigberto Uran and Segio Henao
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 18:38 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Columbian moves into fourth overall in Vuelta

    Colombia’s Rigoberto Uran (Team Sky) was clearly delighted after he and Sky teammate Sergio Henao laid down the foundations for Chris Froome’s powerful charge in the final kilometre of the climb to the Fuerte de Rapitan fort in Jaca.

    “It was a complicated stage today but we’ve shown that we’ve got a very strong team, and Chris is keeping a cool head and is in good shape,” Uran, who finished sixth on the stage and moved up to fourth overall at 43 seconds, said afterwards.

    “I had some health issues earlier this week, but I’m feeling a lot better now and I think I showed that today.”

    He said he was not surprised that Contador lost time, “because he’s been such a long time away from racing, he’s going to take a while getting back. He fell back slightly today, but he’ll be up there in the rest of the Vuelta for sure.”

    Asked if he would take over from Froome should the Briton crack, the 2012 Giro’s Best Young Rider laughed and said “Let’s hope he doesn’t crack.” In fact, Uran is confident that the race will be between Froome, the current leader, Joaquim Rodriguez - whom Froome congratulated at the finish “for racing very intelligently” and Alberto Contador.

    A silver medallist in the Olympic road race, Urán denied that he felt bitter at how he lost the final duel to Kazakh Alexandre Vinokourov. “I was never angry, I never counted on getting an Olympic medal of any colour, so I couldn’t be unhappy with silver, either.”

  • Rodríguez uses his head to take Vuelta stage 6 win

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) on his way to a stage 6 win
    Article published:
    August 23, 2012, 20:27 BST
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Contador blames cramps and dehydration for off-day

    Whilst Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) blamed his off day on stage 6 at the Vuelta a Espana on dehydration and cramps, compatriot Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) soared past Briton Chris Froome (Sky) to claim the seventh stage win of 2012 and the fourth Vuelta stage victory of his career.

    Thanks to his late charge, the 33-year-old Rodriguez stretched what was a one-second margin over Froome to 10 seconds, whilst Contador dropped to being 35 seconds back.

    Congratulated by Froome after the stage for how he had raced, Rodríguez said, "He was much stronger, so I had to use my head, because that was the only way I was going to win here. It wasn't a lot, but we've seen in previous races" - like the Vuelta 2012 - "that even a handful of seconds can be important."

    "For a climb that supposedly didn't suit him, he did a very good job. It was a really tough stage, really hot, and with the speed we went through Jaca [at the foot of the climb], it seemed like we were going to end up doing a bunch sprint."

    "I stuck on Froome's wheel, I couldn't have done much more the pace they [Sky's Sergio Henao, Rigoberto Urán and Froome] were setting."

    "I didn't know what was going on behind, I thought that Alejandro [Valverde] would be the strongest. I have to thank my [Katusha] teammate Angel Vicioso" - who lives in nearby Zaragoza - "He came here and looked out the stage and he got it exactly right. It was very useful information and helped me a lot."

    "But I'm not surprised that Froome is going so well. He was arguably the strongest rider in the Tour de France, and he has clearly come here to win."

    Asked whether he was as strong as in...

  • Exergy boss hits back over non-payment of sponsorship

    The Exergy Tour press conference gets underway in downtown Boise.
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 0:48 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    $1million in expenses paid to date

    Exergy Development Group CEO James Carkulis has responded to recent media coverage surrounding unpaid sponsorship invoices for the Exergy Tour, the only UCI 2.1-ranked event for women in North America .

    In an editorial published in the Idaho Statesman, Carkulis explained that $1 million of expenses have been paid by the company with more to go.

    "It is also safe to say we shall pay the remaining balance and we are disappointed our commitments temporarily outran our ability to pay them," he said.

    Despite the reported cash flow issues, Carkulis explained that construction would begin on two major projects - a wind farm in Texas and two dairy digesters in Idaho.

    Carkulis also explained that the company’s sponsorship of men's Team Exergy UCI Continental Team and the Exergy-Twenty12 women's team, which featured 2012 Olympic time trial Gold medalist Kristin Armstrong and Olympic track bronze medalist Lauren Tamayo would continue. Cyclingnews previously reported that both teams denied any issue with payment.

    "I in no way seek to trivialize our lateness paying our Exergy Tour bills; we are communicating and working with these folks," he continued. "We know that suspending work on our Idaho wind farms represents lost investment and diminished opportunities for rural towns. Anyone who has run a business knows the experience of being behind and having to suspend projects. In our case, these projects were years and millions of dollars in the making."

    The US Government has subsidised sustainable energy projects in recent years, and will expire in the next two years. Exergy has lobbied the government to continue its support.

     

  • Landis to repay Fairness Fund donations to avoid jail time

    Floyd Landis during his 2007 doping case.
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 2:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Former pro wants to live "an honest life"

    Floyd Landis will be arraigned in a U.S. District Court in San Diego on Friday morning where a deferred prosecution agreement will be put in place following a federal investigation into his Floyd Fairness Fund.

    The Floyd Fairness Fund was launched in 2007 to raise money to pay for Landis' legal defense against the doping charges that ultimately lost him his 2006 Tour de France victory.

    Landis vigorously denied he had used synthetic testosterone during the event, and challenged the accuracy of the lab tests that showed he did. But years later he admitted he had doped during his career, up to and including the 2006 Tour.

    According to ESPN.com, Landis will avoid a conviction for wire fraud, jail and a $250,000 fine if he can repay 1,500 donors whose contributions totaled $478,354 in the next three years. Waivers will be required from the donors who do not wish to be repaid.

    "I'm glad to have a concrete procedure for repayment in place," Landis told ESPN.com. "For me, taking the step of making restitution to the donors who were misled back then is one more step in righting the wrong choices I made and allows me to turn the page and to focus on what's next in life for me.

    "I can never undo what happened, but to the extent that there are ways such as this that I can try to rectify things, I'll be more able to focus on the future and living an honest life after having done them."

     

  • Van Garderen backs Sayers after controversial comments

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) chases Tom Danielson on the descent.
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 2:50 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Assistant team director got "caught up in the moment"

    BMC Racing Team's Tejay Van Garderen Thursday addressed a controversial comment made by assistant team director Mike Sayers after the stage 3 finish in Aspen on Wednesday.

    Sayers ignited a social media firestorm when he implied a derogatory comment about women's racing to illustrate a point while talking with Cyclingnews after the race. Speaking about rival ProTour team RadioShack-Nissan's relatively passive style of racing throughout the first three stages, Sayers said, "I think they forgot that the women's race is later in the week." He was referring to the women's criterium that actually ran in downtown Aspen Wednesday before the men raced into town for their finish. The Blue Ribbon Alpine Challenge was promoted by van Garderen's wife, Jessica, a two-time national champion.

    Sayers turned to Twitter Thursday to apologize for the remark, writing: "I would like apologize for using women and women's racing as a reference to make a point about men's racing. My comments were not indicative of my beliefs. I take full responsibility and make no excuses. I truly regret my statement."

    Van Garderen backed his team director during the press conference following the stage 4 finish in Beaver Creek.

    "Mike apologized about that," van Garderen said. "I think with his emotions of the day he just kind of got caught up in the moment and he didn't mean it. But you know, at the same time, I'm obviously a big supporter of women's cycling, and my wife just put on a women's race that was a huge success.

    "I mean, anyone who saw the women's Olympic race, that was one of the most exciting races I've seen all year with [Marianne] Vos and the close time gap," van Garderen continued. "Mike has a lot of...

  • Lance Armstrong won't fight USADA charges

    Lance Armstrong isn't impressed with one fan at the Tour of California in 2009
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 2:55 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Maintains UCI is only agency with power to ban him

    Lance Armstrong has opted not to fight the charges of doping and conspiracy leveled against him by the United States Anti-Doping Agency.

    "There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, 'Enough is enough.' For me, that time is now," Armstrong said in a statement. "I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today - finished with this nonsense."

    Click here to read the full statement.

    Armstrong's trainer Michele Ferrari and doctor Luis del Moral have already been given lifetime bans in the same case, but Armstrong and his attorneys maintain that USADA does not have the right to bring these charges, that the current anti-doping procedures put that duty in the hands of the sport's governing body, the UCI.

    "Mr. Armstrong is not requesting a AAA arbitration because - unlike USADA - he respects the rules applicable to him and not because of any belief that USADA’s charges have merit or any fear of what a fair proceeding would establish," his attorneys Tim Herman and Robert Luskin wrote.

    "Under all the applicable rules, USADA cannot proceed until it submits its evidence to UCI’s independent panel for review and adjudicates any disputes with that panel about jurisdiction, scope, the reliability of the evidence, and all related issues with UCI in CAS. At an absolute minimum, UCI and USADA should go to CAS to resolve the jurisdiction issue before any proceedings begin, a solution offered by UCI but rejected...

  • Lance Armstrong's full statement on USADA

    Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 3:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Armstrong does not recognize agency's right to ban him

    Statement by Lance Armstrong (lawyer's letter to USADA below)

    There comes a point in every man's life when he has to say, "Enough is enough." For me, that time is now. I have been dealing with claims that I cheated and had an unfair advantage in winning my seven Tours since 1999. Over the past three years, I have been subjected to a two-year federal criminal investigation followed by Travis Tygart's unconstitutional witch hunt. The toll this has taken on my family, and my work for our foundation and on me leads me to where I am today - finished with this nonsense. I had hoped that a federal court would stop USADA's charade. Although the court was sympathetic to my concerns and recognized the many improprieties and deficiencies in USADA's motives, its conduct, and its process, the court ultimately decided that it could not intervene.

    If I thought for one moment that by participating in USADA's process, I could confront these allegations in a fair setting and - once and for all - put these charges to rest, I would jump at the chance. But I refuse to participate in a process that is so one-sided and unfair. Regardless of what Travis Tygart says, there is zero physical evidence to support his outlandish and heinous claims. The only physical evidence here is the hundreds of controls I have passed with flying colors. I made myself available around the clock and around the world. In-competition. Out of competition. Blood. Urine. Whatever they asked for I provided. What is the point of all this testing if, in the end, USADA will not stand by it?

    From the beginning, however, this investigation has not been about learning the truth or cleaning up cycling, but about punishing me at all costs. I am a retired cyclist, yet USADA has lodged charges over 17 years old despite its own 8-year limitation. As respected organizations such as UCI and USA Cycling have made clear, USADA lacks jurisdiction even to bring these charges. The...

  • USADA calls Lance Armstrong decision "a sad day"

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    Article published:
    August 24, 2012, 5:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    No further comment on possible fight for jurisdiction

    Although Lance Armstrong has stated that he has had enough of USADA's pursuit of doping charges and will not fight any longer, is the case really over?

    If USADA's CEO Travis Tygart has his way, Armstrong's decision will mean that he will be given the lifetime ban that USADA sought, and all of his results dating back to and including his seven Tour de France victories will be expunged from the record.

    "It is a sad day for all of us who love sport and our athletic heroes," Tygart stated today following Armstrong's public pronouncement. "This is a heartbreaking example of how the win-at-all-costs culture of sport, if left unchecked, will overtake fair, safe and honest competition, but for clean athletes, it is a reassuring reminder that there is hope for future generations to compete on a level playing field without the use of performance-enhancing drugs."

    Armstrong himself preferred to live with the memories that he and his teammates forged together, stating, "I know who won those seven Tours, my teammates know who won those seven Tours, and everyone I competed against knows who won those seven Tours. We all raced together. For three weeks over the same roads, the same mountains, and against all the weather and elements that we had to confront. There were no shortcuts, there was no special treatment. The same courses, the same rules. The toughest event in the world where the strongest man wins. Nobody can ever change that. Especially not Travis Tygart."

    However, while Armstrong may have given up, it became clear in an accompanying letter from his attorneys that there could be more battles ahead.

    "USADA has no authority to proceed in this matter for all of the reasons we have set out in our previous pleadings, correspondence and my presentation in Federal Court. After Mr. Armstrong filed his federal court action, UCI, the international...