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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 31, 2012

Date published:
August 31, 2012, 11:00
  • Swiss federal court awards Geox-TMC owners 6.3 million euros

    Geox-TMC general manager Mauro Gianetti
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 21:21
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team's management company to receive unpaid sponsorship money

    Grupo Deportivo Bike Like, the management company which operated the Pro Continental Geox-TMC team, announced today that a Swiss court has ruled in their favour regarding unpaid sponsorship money which precipitated the team's demise at the end of the 2011 season.

    The Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland, the country's highest judicial body, ordered that TMC Italia SpA pay €6.3 million to Bike Like, upholding a previous verdict of the Court of Arbitration of Lugano, issued July 25, 2011.

    The Spanish-based Geox-TMC team, despite having just won their country's Grand Tour with Juan José Cobo, crumbled in the latter part of 2011 when Geox suddenly withdrew sponsorship, leading to the team's demise and the riders scrambling for contracts elsewhere. Bike Like claimed that TMC Italia SpA had signed a sponsoring agreement with Geox-TMC for three seasons but never paid, prompting Geox to part ways with the team.

    The squad's general manager Mauro Gianetti and team manager Joxean Fernandez Matxin tried to secure sponsorship elsewhere, including the Venezuelan tourism programme, but failed to find a backer prior to the November 20, 2011 deadline to submit paperwork to the UCI for team registration.

    "TMC Italia SpA, whose name went around the whole world written all over the jersey of Juan José Cobo, winner of 2011 Vuelta a España, took advantage of the driving force of the prestigious trademark Geox and its wide distribution network," said Bike Like. "Despite this, it hasn’t deposited a single euro.

    "This unscrupulous behaviour, clearly pointed out in the arbitration award, provoked Geox to pull out of cycling and the ceasing of the cycling team for the present season. Now, Grupo Deportivo Bike Live is going to collect from TMC Italia SpA the amount set by the court, and may take further actions related to the damages caused by its actions."

  • Ben Jacques-Maynes joins Jamis-Sutter Home for 2013

    Ben Jacques-Maynes (Bissell) during the TT.
    Article published:
    August 30, 2012, 23:01
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Veteran will try to "reformulate" himself as a team leader

    Bissell Pro Cycling veteran Ben Jacques-Maynes will jump ship to Jamis-Sutter Home for the 2013 season, joining Colombian climber Janier Acevedo as the US-based UCI Continental team's major off-season acquisitions so far.

    "Adding Ben to the roster is a big opportunity to contest all the stage races we will go to," said team director Sebastian Alexandre, who is currently in Brazil at the Tour do Rio. "I have really been enjoying watching Luis [Amaran] and Ben, who have been some of the best riders over the last few years in the US calendar. So now that both will race as teammates is something that increases the motivation to all the young guys and the team and to everyone around it. I also know both of them are excited about it. I cannot wait to see them in action."

    Jacques-Maynes, 34, raced with the Kodak Gallery-Sierra Nevada team from 2002-2006. He joined the Priority Health team in 2007 and had been with the Bissell squad since it took over the title sponsorship in 2008. Jacques-Maynes had a rough season in 2011, when he developed an infection after a broken collarbone at the Amgen Tour of California in May. He missed the remainder of the season but rebounded strongly in 2012, winning the most aggressive rider jersey for stage 1 at the Tour of California and going second overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June.

    He went on to win the mountains classification at the Tour of Utah in August after taking the jersey on stage 1, losing it to USPro road race champion Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale) on stage 3 and then taking it back for good on the penultimate stage. Jacques-Maynes said he enjoyed his time with Bissell but is looking forward to more challenges and greater responsibility with Jamis next season.

    "It's a good opportunity to really try and reformulate myself as a team leader," Jacques-Maynes told Cyclingnews Thursday. "I know I bring a lot in terms of time trialing and GC. I feel like I show up prepared for every race I do, and I haven't been able to show that at a lot of races because Bissell has a very deep team. So I'm going to have a lot of opportunity to race for myself, be the go-to guy and have that pressure again. I'm really looking forward to it."

    Now the six-year veteran of a team with one of the longest-running sponsors in US cycling will try and build a foundation within an entirely new team structure.

    "I have 100 percent confidence in Sebastian Alexandre and the program that he's run," Jacques-Maynes said. "My experience has been fully positive with those guys racing on the road. Luis Amaran has been a class act, and I really wanted to jump at the opportunity to ride with him. It's kind of back to the basics of why I got into biking: you want to race hard and have fun with a good group of guys that I get along with and, hopefully, will get a lot of results for."

    Bissell has filled the vacant spot left by Jacques-Maynes' departure by signing Redlands Bicycle Classic overall winner Phil Gaimon from Kenda/5-Hour Energy.

    Acevedo, 27, rode with South American UCI Continental Gobernacion-Indeportes team in 2011 and 2012. He won a stage of the Tour of Utah in 2011 and finished fifth and seventh in stages at the inaugural USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado that same year. This season he had multiple top-10 finishes at both the Vuelta a Colombia and Vuelta a Mexico.

    "Janier is a very good climber," Alexandre said. "We know that as he has won Vuelta a Costa Rica in the past (one of the hardest races in America), and we saw him in Utah and Colorado last year around the top climbers. Tour of the Gila will be a race that will suit him well, but I expect to earn the invitation for the Tour of California early on the year so we can really show his class."

    Earning invitations to the big three UCI races in the US - Tour of California, Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado - will figure largely on Jamis-Sutter Home's radar for 2013. Race organizers left the team out of all three races last season, and Alexandre acknowledged that getting into them will be a top priority this year. Alexandre hopes signing Jacques-Maynes and Acevedo could help them reach that goal.

    "We will have a very strong team with Ben and Luis and their aggressive style of racing and Janier with his ability to climb with the best riders," Alexandre said. "We are putting a very competitive team together for any race we will go to, so I am confident that the race organizers will see it and give us the opportunity to show it. Like I said before, Luis and Ben are those guys who make you excited to see bike racing in the US."

    Jacques-Maynes has been racing in the US long enough to know that marquee names on the roster alone will not be enough to get the race organizers' attention. They'll have to live up to their reputations as well.

    "Having big names is one part of it, but having results with those names is the other part - racing hard, maybe even going for some really early season results," Jacques-Maynes said. "But those ultimate decisions are out of my hands, so I just do my job as well as I can, and over time I've been rewarded with participating in every edition of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge and every edition of the Amgen Tour of California. I think I've represented myself as a racer and the sponsors really well."

    The Jamis-Sutter Home team will field 11 riders for 2013, four less than are currently listed on the 2012 roster. Alexandre said that beyond a full US race calendar, the team could return to races in Spain and South America again next season.

    Jamis-Sutter Home will have more information about its 2013 roster sometime this week or next, according to Alexandre.

     

  • USADA responds to Liggett's claims of bribery in Armstrong case

    Phil Liggett is at the race this week for the Versus TV coverage.
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 01:24
    By:
    Cycling News

    Ashenden calls commenator's claims 'ignorant'

    USADA has issued a stinging response following veteran cycling commentator Phil Liggett's interview where the 69-year-old suggested that witnesses had been paid for giving evidence against Lance Armstrong in the agency's investigation into doping and conspiracy.

    Speaking with South Africa's Ballz Radio on August 27, Liggett questioned the merits of USADA's case.

    "Why is USADA doing this?" he repeatedly posed. "It's politically motivated. They have a reason for doing this and it's not what they say - it's not to clean up the sport of cycling. There is another reason behind this which they are clearly not saying."

    Last week, Armstrong announced that he would not fight USADA's charges of doping and conspiracy which resulted in the agency stripping him of all results, including his seven Tour de France titles, obtained on and subsequent to August 1, 1998 and then issuing a lifetime ban.

    Liggett continued: "I could get 10 people together and say, ‘I don't like you. And you take drugs.' But I have no proof. So the fact remains there is no evidence." According to the commentator, USADA is "a nefarious local drugs agency" before going on to claim that it was corrupt.

    "Now I can tell you one thing," Liggett said. "And I could prove it in SA [South Africa] but I ... I met a chap who worked with Armstrong on Saturday in Boulder Colorado. And he told me that he had a visit, two years ago, to tell, and the question was, they were agents from a particular agency and they said: ‘Will you tell us that Lance Armstrong took EPO? And we could assure that you will never want for money again'. That was his quote on Thursday and he told them in words I can't put on radio what to do with that and they said "I think we're talking to the wrong man" and they walked away.

    "I believe that these 10 witnesses who have all admitted apparently to seeing Lance take drugs, or selling drugs or passing them on and they themselves taking drugs - the reason they're witnesses is they've either been paid or they've been given a deal that they'll never be touched as far as suspensions go."

    In response to the claims, USADA issued the following:

    "It is blatantly false information from someone who has never had the courtesy to contact USADA for truthful and accurate information," said USADA media relations manager, Annie Skinner.

    Meantime, former independent UCI biological passport panel member Dr. Michael Ashenden has written an open letter to Liggett calling his claims ‘ignorant'.

    Published on nyvelocity.com, Ashenden says:

    "But to answer your question, USADA is not doing this just because of Lance Armstrong. Instead, its about a conspiracy. You can find that word often in USADA's charging letter. A conspiracy that has infested cycling for over a decade. A conspiracy whose filthy tentacles still strangle sport today. A conspiracy that needs to be excised like a cancerous growth."
     

    Tags:
    doping
    legal case
    Lance Armstrong
  • New Zealand long list announced for UCI Road World Championships

    Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) with the silver medal
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 04:16
    By:
    Cycling News

    Villumsen,Sergent, Bewley, Bauer headline

    BikeNZ has announced its long list of riders for the UCI Road World Championships to be held in Limburg, September 16-23.

    The women's line-up is headed by Olympian Linda Villumsen, who finished just 1.8 seconds off the podium in the time trial in London and keen to add to her bag of world championship medals comprising bronze medals in 2010 and 2011 and silver in Copenhagen last year.

    Villumsen, who has been in outstanding form for the Orica-AIS team this year, will also ride the road race with a trio of talented young Auckland riders, Emily Collins, Emma Crum and Kate Chilcott.

    Crum, 23, has been riding with success for the French-based UCI team ASPTT Dijon-BCF, building on her stage win in the Tour of New Zealand in the summer.

    Collins and Chilcott, both 21, have both raced in the USA this year for the Vanderkitten-Focus pro team where they notched up a number of podium performances with Collins also enjoying success in Europe this month, winning best young rider and finishing fifth overall in the Lotto Decca tour in Belgium.

    Jesse Sergent (Radioshack-Nissan) and Sam Bewley (Orica-GreenEdge), who were bronze medallists in the team pursuit in London, will show their pursuiting talents in the team time trial at the Netherlands.

    Sergent is joined by fellow Olympian Jack Bauer (Garmin-Sharp), Julian Dean (Orica-GreenEdge) and the RadioShack-Nissan pair of Hayden Roulston and George Bennett who will all be considered for the three spots New Zealand has qualified in the road race. Greg Henderson withdrew with injury.

    "Form is a key factor at the end of a long season so we need to check with our key riders on their fitness including those who will come off the Vuelta a Espana," said Bike NZ's Andy Reid.

    "Jack has had a long season and we will check out how Julian and Hayden rebound after the Vuelta," he continued.

    "This is also a demanding course and we need to select a combination to best cover our options here."

    Meanwhile Tom David, Josh Atkins and Tom Scully have been named for the under-23 road race, while Jason Christie will be joined by either Michael Vink or James Oram in the time trial.

    David won Belgium's biggest amateur race this year, Atkins won the Tour of Southland on his way to a season with the Bontrager-Livestrong  outfit while Scully, bouncing back from a major crash three years ago, is currently riding as a stagiaire for Garmin-Sharp.

    The BikeNZ teams are:
    Elite men, road race (3 to be selected from): Jack Bauer, Julian Dean, Hayden Roulston, Jesse Sergent, George Bennett.
    Time trial: Sergent, Sam Bewley.
    Elite women road race: Linda Villumsen, Emily Collins, Emma Crum, Kate Chilcott.
    Time trial: Villumsen.
    Under-23 road race: Tom David, Josh Atkins, Tom Scully.
    Time trial: Jason Christie plus one more from Michael Vink, James Oram
     

  • Hamilton says Armstrong gave him EPO before 1999 Tour de France

    Armstrong leads Hamilton in the 2003 Tour de France
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 04:37
    By:
    Cycling News

    Updated: Autobiography reveals meetings with Fuentes and threats by Armstrong

    Tyler Hamilton's autobiography will detail drug use between him and that of US Postal teammate Lance Armstrong. The former rider also claims that he was introduced to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes by Bjarne Riis when he left US Postal for Team CSC in 2002.

    Titled 'The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs', the expose is co-written by Daniel Coyle who authored 'Lance Armstrong's War'. The news agency paid for an advanced copy of the book, scheduled for September 5 release.

    According to AP, Hamilton's book goes over what the former cyclist revealed in his interview with the 60 Minutes program last May, and also his evidence provided to the federal criminal investigation into Armstrong and the US Postal team which came to a conclusion in February without charges being laid. Hamilton is said to be one of the key witnesses in the USADA investigation which charged Armstrong with doping and conspiracy.

    A report in the New York Daily News, which has also obtained a copy of the book, details the unexpected meeting between Hamilton and Armstrong in an Aspen restaurant, shortly after the airing of the 60 Minutes segment. Hamilton writes:

    "When you're on the witness stand, we are going to f---ing tear you apart," Armstrong is alleged to have said. "You are going to look like an f---ing idiot."

    Hamilton also claims that once he began cooperating with the federal investigation, he believes his phones and emails were hacked.

    Hamilton explains that his own drug use began before Armstrong joined the team in 1998 but that Armstrong provided him with EPO shortly before the 1999 Tour de France. Hamilton was with Armstrong at the latter's home in Nice, France at the time. He also details the doping plan for the team during the race, which he alleges took place with Armstrong's knowledge, which included a motorcyclist travelling behind the convoy with a thermos of EPO that would be given to the riders following the stage. Hamilton also says that team management encouraged and supervised the use of PEDs and that they were distributed in white lunch bags.

    Before the 2000 Tour de France, Armstrong, Hamilton and another teammate Kevin Livingston went to Spain to have their blood drawn by Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral and Jose "Pepe" Martí. The blood bags were later returned to the rider's hotel rooms, taped to a wall above their beds where the contents were to be re-injected.

    Last week, Armstrong announced he would not fight USADA's charges of doping and conspiracy which led to the agency stripping the American of his seven Tour de France titles which were included in the any and all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to August 1, 1998. Armstrong was also banned for life.

     

    Tags:
    doping
    EPO
    legal case
    Lance Armstrong
  • Keisse renews contract with Omega Pharma-QuickStep

    "It's the end of a bad part of my life" said Iljo Keisse after his victory
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 06:11
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian hopes for classics starts

    Iljo Keisse has extended his contract with Omega Pharma-QuickStep which will see him ride for the team until the end of 2014.

    The 29-year-old Belgian scored the biggest win of his road career earlier this season, claiming stage 7 of the Tour of Turkey having spent the day in an early breakaway and then launching a solo attack with 7km left to race.

    "Iljo is improving year by year on the road races," Patrick Lefevere said. "This year he won also an unforgettable stage in Turkey with a thrilling final. We believe he can improve even more and become a good team player. Iljo is also a great track rider. With him we have the possibility to guarantee visibility to our sponsors even in the winter, during the track season."

    It was a welcome win for Keisse as he's undergone a trying period of time following a doping positive at the 2008 Six Days of Gent. The Belgian federation banned him for two years then lifted that ban at the end of 2009 and he resumed racing. The UCI appealed that decision, and the Court of Arbitration for sport overturned it, confirming that Keisse was to sit out his entire ban. He was allowed to ride in all areas other than Belgium as of August 2011, but was only allowed to ride in Belgium again as of January 27, 2012.

    "It's an honor to be a part of this team even in the future," Keisse said. "In the last years the team always supported me, even in the difficult moments. This year I participated also in Paris-Roubaix, my dream race. I hope to be able to compete in the great classics even in the next years and I will work for it. Now I will focus on the last part of the road season and then, during the winter I will ride also few Six Days, maybe not all of them. My first focus, in agreement with the team, is to prepare as best as possible for the 2013 road season."

    There will be many familiar faces at Omega Pharma-QuickStep next season with Gert Steegmans, Julien Vermote, Niki Terpstra, and Nikolas Maes all extending their contracts into 2013 and Matteo Trentin, Stijn Vandenbergh and Andy Fenn, renewing through 2014.

     

  • Boonen lines up at World Ports Classic

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 09:22
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian continues Worlds build-up

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) continues his build-up to the world championships by lining up at the inaugural World Ports Classics, a two-day race organised by ASO which takes place in the Netherlands and Belgium.

    Friday’s first stage brings the peloton from Rotterdam to Antwerp via a 201km-long route along the North Sea coast. Saturday’s return leg from Antwerp to Rotterdam follows a more inland parcours of 161.5km.

    Without any categorised climbs on the agenda, the race should favour the sprinters, and Boonen will do battle with the likes of André Greipel (Lotto Belisol), Oscar Freire (Katusha), Theo Bos (Rabobank) and Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM).

    “Everything will depend on the tactical choices of the different teams,” Boonen told L’Équipe. “We know the route, especially the first stage which passes through Middelburg. It will be very windy and so very exposed for any breakaways. It’s hard to say if this two-stage race will become an objective for me every year like the Tour of Flanders or Paris-Roubaix because we don’t know yet what its appearance will be in the years to come.”

    Boonen told La Dernière Heure that he was not the man to beat this weekend. “I’ll be one of the protagonists but not the favourite for the World Ports Classic. There are other riders who are also in great form and the race comes during the build-up to the Worlds, so you’ll need to be vigilant.”

    Boonen enjoyed a stunning run of success this spring, winning E3 Harelbeke, Gent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix across three consecutive weekends. His manager Patrick Lefevere is confident that Boonen can be successful in the closing weeks of the season even though he is without a win since the Belgian championships in June.

    “Tom isn’t the kind of guy to worry about that, but he always need to win to feel good,” Lefevere told L’Équipe. “It’s in his make-up because he’s a real competitor.”
     

  • Boasson Hagen: Sky stops riders from talking about Cavendish's future

    Norwegian champion Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 09:51
    By:
    Cycling News

    “We are not allowed to say much,” Norwegian says

    Team Sky has muzzled its riders from commenting on Mark Cavendish's future, Edvald Boasson Hagen has indicated.  “We are not allowed to say much,” he told a Norwegian website.

    Tour de France winner and Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins has suggested his teammate should leave to seek his own chances, although admitting he would like to have the sprinter remain on the team. It has been rumoured that Cavendish might sign with Omega Pharma-QuickStep,which would reunite him with Brian Holm, with whom he worked at Team Highroad.

    Boasson Hagen has “not followed the matter so much,” he told tv2.no.  “I have not talked much about this with anyone, and are not allowed to say much either.  So this is not a subject.”

    The Norwegian would be sorry to see Cavendish go, on a personal basis at any rate.. “We'll soon see what happens. But however it ends, I'm good mates with Mark - I'll help him if he is on the team. If, however, he leaves, we become competitors again. It has been so before, so it is not that much difference.”

    Cavendish's absence might open more opportunities for Boasson Hagen, as well. “I've got my opportunities in the classics anyway, so it would not be very large change in role. It would however mean I get more chances in sprint stages, so it may be an advantage there. But anyway I think it's fun to ride for Mark.”