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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, August 6, 2010

Date published:
August 6, 2010, 11:00
  • US Postal investigation gathers pace

    The US Postal boys patrol the front of the peloton.
    Article published:
    August 5, 2010, 12:55
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Unnamed former team rider details doping programme

    A former US Postal Service team rider has spoken to federal investigators regarding doping practices in the squad, according to the New York Times. The unnamed rider admitted his own performance-enhancing drug use and alleged that systematic doping had taken place in the American squad when questioned by Jeff Novitzky’s investigative team.

    Novitzky, a special agent for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is leading an investigation to determine if Lance Armstrong and other members and management of the US Postal Service team were involved in a doping programme.

    The rider who spoke with the New York Times asked that his name not be revealed as investigators had advised him not to speak publicly on the matter. He never delivered a positive test during his career and he has not been called before the grand jury in Los Angeles that is investigating the case.

    The New York Times also reports that Tyler Hamilton has already appeared before the grand jury. His lawyer Chris Manderson had previously announced that Hamilton had received a subpoena but did not confirm when his client would provide his testimony. Hamilton has effectively ended his career as he is currently serving an eight-year ban after testing positive for DHEA last year. He was previously suspended for blood doping in 2004.

    Hamilton’s former US Postal Service teammate George Hincapie is also expected to speak with investigators, although his lawyer Zia F. Modabber has not confirmed when the meeting will take place.

    Meanwhile, Lance Armstrong’s defence attorney Bryan D. Daly has sought to dismiss the allegations of doping at the US Postal Service team as an attempt to persecute his client.

    “They just want to incriminate Lance Armstrong and that’s my concern,” Daly said. “If Lance Armstrong came in second in those Tour de France races, there’s no way that Lance Armstrong would be involved in these cases. I think that the concern is that they are caught up in the pursuit of a celebrity to catch him in a lie.”

  • An Post-Sean Kelly, Endura and Rapha-Condor-Sharp name Tour of Britain line-ups

    The An Post Sean Kelly team plans its strategy.
    Article published:
    August 5, 2010, 16:29
    By:
    Cycling News

    O'Loughlin and Brammeier lead An Post challenge

    An Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team, Endura Racing and Rapha-Condor-Sharp have announced their provisional line-ups for next month’s Tour of Britain, September 11-18.

    An Post return to the race after a year-long absence, and bring with them four Irish riders including David O’Loughlin, who won the Halfords Tour Series Belfast race in June. Irish Champion Matt Brammeier, young Briton Mark McNally and former mountain biker Conor McConvey join O’Loughlin in the squad. The team’s experienced veteran, Niko Eeckhout, is named as a reserve.

    Endura will line up with Iker Camaño in their team. The Spaniard, who has competed in the Tour de France, had previously ridden for Phonak, Euskaltel, Saunier Duval and Fuji. Frenchman Alexandre Blain, also has ProTour experience will be hoping to impress in the race too. The team also boasts New Zealand national champion Jack Bauer.

    Like last year, Rapha will head to the race with a strong team. Kristian House will be looking to improve upon his top ten finish in last year’s Tour. House has been in good form recently, taking victory in the Richmond GP Premier Calendar last weekend, to add to wins in the Tour of Japan and Halfords Tour Series earlier this season. House will be supported by former African Champion Dan Craven and Australian duo Darren Lapthorne and Zak Dempster, as well as by Jonathan Tiernan-Locke and Ben Greenwood.

    Provisional An Post Sean Kelly Cycling Team Tour of Britain line-up:
    Matt Brammeier; Pieter Ghyllebert; Philip Lavery; Conor McConvey; Mark McNally; David O’Loughlin
    Reserves: Kim Borry; Mark Cassidy; Niko Eeckhout; Kenny Lisabeth; Paidi O’Brien

    Provisional Endura Racing Tour of Britain line-up:
    Jack Bauer; Alexandre Blain; Iker Camaño; Rob Partridge; Scott Thwaites; Ian Wilkinson
    Reserves: Ross Creber; Rob Hayles; James McCallum; Evan Oliphant; Callum Wilkinson

    Provisional Rapha – Condor – Sharp Tour of Britain line-up:
    Dan Craven; Zak Dempster; Ben Greenwood; Kristian House; Darren Lapthorne; Jonathan Tiernan-Locke
    Reserves: Graham Briggs; Chris Newton; Tom Southam

  • HTC-Columbia re-sign Eisel for two years

    Bernard Eisel (HTC-Columbia)
    Article published:
    August 5, 2010, 18:05
    By:
    Cycling News

    Stapleton secures the services of one of Cavendish's key men

    HTC-Columbia has announced the re-signing of Bernhard Eisel for the next two seasons. The Austrian is a key element of Mark Cavendish’s lead out train and helped the team to five stages in this year’s Tour de France. Eisel is also a top individual talent in his own right. He won Gent-Wevelgem earlier this year and has a number of top-ten placings in the Spring Classics to his name.

    The signing will be seen as many as key stepping stone in HTC-Columbia securing the long-term future of Mark Cavendish, who currently has one year left on his existing contract.

    "I'm really happy to be back again," said Eisel. "For me this team is the best because I get the freedom to ride for my own goals in the Classics and I enjoy riding for the best sprinter in the world at the Tour de France, which is my second goal each season."

    "We have a lot of fun on this team and together we get stronger and stronger each year so I'm happy with that," he added.

    Team manager Rolf Aldag added that Eisel in an integral part to the HTC-Columbia team. The Austrian is certainly one of the most experienced riders in the team and often shepherds Cavendish through the mountainous terrain at the Tour de France. The pair also train together when possible – Eisel went from the Classics to Italy, where he trained with Cavendish before the Tour of California this year.

    "Bernie is an integral part of the team and important for us in many ways," said Team Manager Rolf Aldag. "We have a long relationship with him and we rely on him as a road captain, where he does a great job of leading by example on and off the road, and as a leader for the classics."

    "A diverse rider like Bernie who has a multifunctional role in the team is essential and we are pleased to have him back for the next two years of racing," added Aldag.

     

  • Taylor Phinney soldiers on for Radioshack in Denmark

    Taylor Phinney (Radioshack)
    Article published:
    August 5, 2010, 20:26
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Crash on stage one but Phinney makes it through stage two

    Despite a less than ideal start to his Radioshack career, Taylor Phinney is adamant that he will do everything he can to finish his first race with the team. Currently competing at the Tour of Denmark, Phinney fell heavily on his left knee during stage one but soldiered on and completed stage two today.

    “This race suits me and I want to keep going. I’ve got that fighting spirit, as corny as that sounds. I’m hobbling along and it’s not too bad. ” Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    Phinney began the season with Trek-Livestrong but Denmark marked the start of the next phase of his career, signing as a trainee for Lance Armstrong’s Radioshack. Coming into the race the American was full of excitement.

    “I crashed pretty hard on my knee yesterday and was riding through the pain today, but my legs are feeling good otherwise I had really good preparation for the race. I’m hoping that my knee doesn’t become a big issue and that I can push on and try and get some results in this race.”

    Phinney has already had knee problems this season. In April he was forced to cut short his spring campaign after a bout of tendonitis in his right knee.

    “I’ve had my fair share of knee injures already this year so I know when things are too much and I know that if I have to quit the race it will be a really hard thing for me to do as it’s my first race with Radioshack but that’s how cycling works. I'm not out of it yet.”

    Yesterday’s crash saw Phinney come down along with Garmin-Transitions' Tyler Farrar. Phinney graciously took his share of the blame for the spill that took place within the final five kilometres.

    “I’m not sure if I caused it but I was certainly partly to blame. I came down and I ended up sliding on the ground and Tyler Farrar came down behind me. I was sliding around thinking oh no, I’ve just taken out Tyler Farrar so I didn’t pay too much attention to my own injuries.”

    “We spoke in the morning and it was cool. He’s one of the nice sprinters and isn’t always in your face. He was really encouraging.”

    The Tour of Denmark has four remaining stages, including a 19.4 kilometre time trial, which Phinney will surely be looking to test himself in. However, for now, Phinney is subscribing to the age old adage of taking things one day at a time, in the hope that his injury clears up. A dose of antibiotics that he’s been prescribed will help.

    “I’ll definitely ride tomorrow. It just depends on the pain and if it gets worse. It was red today and I had to get four stitches and it was hot to the touch, which isn’t a good sign. But like I said, I’ve got that fighting spirit so I won’t throw in the towel unless I have to.”

  • Henderson, Roulston lead NZ Commonwealth Games squad

    Gregory Henderson leads his Sky teammate Russell Downing to a stage 2 victory at Ster Elektrotoer
    Article published:
    August 6, 2010, 00:04
    By:
    Cycling News

    Villumsen, Cheatley lead women’s road bid

    New Zealand’s Olympic Committee has named all but one of its riders for October’s Commonwealth Games in Delhi, India. ProTour riders Hayden Roulston (HTC-Columbia) and Greg Henderson (Team Sky) will front its bid for the men’s road race, while the women’s effort will be led by Danish-born Linda Villumsen and Beijing Olympian Cath Cheatley.

    While it’s been 16 years since the nation’s last road medal at the Commonwealth Games, the pan-flat course in India should suit New Zealand’s roster well. BikeNZ High Performance Director Mark Elliott is pleased with the potential of the squad.

    “Both road squads are very strong, one of the strongest overall that we have taken overseas to a Commonwealth Games,” said Elliott. “The road race course in Delhi is mostly flat and it will take a real team performance if we are to cover breaks and position our best riders with a chance if it is a sprint finish.”

    Gordon McCauley and Melissa Holt will represent the nation in the men’s and women’s time trial.

    New Zealand’s track team is based around the contingent that won four medals at this year’s UCI Track World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark.

    The men’s endurance track group features world pursuit silver medallist Jesse Sergent and his bronze winning men’s pursuit squad with Sam Bewley, Westley Gough, Marc Ryan and Peter Latham. Alison Shanks will lead the women with world points race silver medallist Lauren Ellis, former world junior medallist Gemma Dudley and Cambridge rider Jaime Nielsen.

    “We will look to further develop our track squad on the world stage. This is an important stepping stone for then and a real opportunity for this very young sprint group,” Elliott said. “Overall it’s a strong squad. The Commonwealth Games is a vital part of our development and we have a number of young riders having their first taste of a multi-sport event at this level, as well as some very experienced and proven professionals who remain passionate about representing their country.

    “The Commonwealth countries are exceptionally strong and this will be a world class event with the likes of Australia, Canada and Great Britain, who will be potentially stronger as they break down to the home countries for Delhi," he added. “While there are a handful of UK riders opting for the European Championships instead, have no doubt that this is a very, very strong competition.”

    Male
    Track:
    Shane Archbold, Sam Bewley, Eddie Dawkins, Westley Gough, Peter Latham, Ethan Mitchell, Marc Ryan, Jesse Sergent, Myron Simpson, Adam Stewart, Simon Van Velthooven and Sam Webster.
    Road: Jack Bauer, Greg Henderson, Gordon McCauley and Hayden Roulston. One to be added.

    Female
    Track:
    Kaytee Boyd, Rushlee Buchanan, Gemma Dudley, Lauren Ellis, Joanne Kiesanowski, Jaime Nielsen and Alison Shanks.
    Road: Catherine Cheatley, Melissa Holt and Linda Villumsen.

  • Parker primed for final junior worlds

    Dale Parker (SA) pumps his fist after winning the U19 men's individual pursuit
    Article published:
    August 6, 2010, 00:46
    By:
    Greg Johnson and Les Clarke

    Coveted gold medal on offer in Offida

    Australian youngster Dale Parker wants to go out on top at his final UCI Junior Road World Championships this week. Parker, the current U19 Australian time trial champion, will contest today's 28.5km time trial event in Offida, Italy, alongside Jay McCarthy, David Edwards and Calvin Watson.

    "I have been up in Ascoli for two days, riding the course and adjusting to the heat. I'm feeling strong," he told Cyclingnews on the eve of the time trial.

    "I had a hit-out this morning on the time trial course; it's a hard course with some solid climbs and fast sections that I am hoping my track preparation will help with - I am getting use to the heat," he said.

    "I'm a bit nervous and anxious to get on with the action," continued Parker. "I'm looking forward to tomorrow. It will be my last ever race on the road as an Under 19 so I want to enjoy every minute of it and not leave anything out there when I cross that finish line. I am ready."

    It's the crescendo of what has been a breakout season thus far for the 18-year-old South Australian, who earlier this year set a new junior world record in the individual pursuit - on his home track in Adelaide, Australia - before taking out the junior national time trial title on the road.

    Parker will also contest the UCI Junior Track World Championships, which take place in Montichiari, Italy from August 11. He finished sixth in the individual pursuit and second in the team pursuit at last year's track event, held in Moscow, Russia.

    Countryman Michael Hepburn won the individual pursuit at those titles and the Queenslander is role model for Parker. Having ridden to prominence in the junior ranks he's now making his way in the European Under 23 ranks with the Jayco-Skins outfit that showcases the best in young Australian cycling talent.

    Parker will enter the ranks of that squad next season and is relishing the challenge of the upcoming track worlds plus his impending emergence on the espoirs scene in Europe.

    "Next year's going to be a big step up for me - having dominated the junior ranks, next year I want to prove to the world that I can take that next step and take on guys like Jack [Bobridge], Rohan [Dennis] and Heppy [Michael Hepburn]," said Parker.

    "I think Heppy's proven that [progression] well, with a rainbow jersey; I look up to him with his world records and I was a first year [under 19 rider] in the same team as him last year [in Moscow]. I was in the team pursuit with him and this year I wanted to break world records like him, which I've done."

    It's all part of a bigger plan for Parker, who holds the lofty ambition to one day ride the grand tours, much like fellow South Australians Stuart O'Grady, Jack Bobridge and Luke Roberts, all of whom have track backgrounds and have forged successful careers in Europe.

    "When I was 10 years old I set the goal of riding the Tour de France - watching Lance on TV and the like - then you slowly start to realise that it's possible. If you want to do something the sky's the limit, you're the only one holding yourself back," he explained.

    Click here to see a full schedule, maps and start list for the 2010 UCI Junior Road World Championships.

  • New ASO event in Argentina?

    Race director Christian Prudhomme smiles, knowing another successful Tour de France is in the bagRace director Christian Prudhomme smiles, knowing another successful Tour de France is in the bag
    Article published:
    August 6, 2010, 08:29
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Tour de France organiser and government negotiate new race in 2011

    The world of cycling may well gain a new race on the South American continent next year. According to Argentinean newspaper El Cronista, Tour de France organiser Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) - who also owns the Rallye event Paris-Dakar held in Argentina since 2008 - is currently negotiating with the Tourism ministry of the local government in view of setting up a new stage race as soon as next year.

    "This could be a four-day competition that would take place at the end of March or beginning of April next year," said Tourism minister Enrique Meyer.

    ASO already owns and/or organises several other stage races outside of its French home country, like the Tours of Qatar and Oman, on top of such Classic one-day races like the Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in Belgium. It also has a marketing collaboration contract with the Tour of California and last year bought 49 percent of the capital holding that organises the Vuelta a Espana.

    "It is necessary for cycling to become more international and global," Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme told Le Figaro earlier this year. "The objective of the next 10 or 15 years will be to make the link between the bike of the average man and pro racing. One way of promoting that is to go to different countries."

    The Argentinean government is also very happy about the collaboration and hopes a deal will be reached soon. "ASO will make the decision by mid-september," added Meyer.

    "The realisation of these events [Paris-Dakar and the new cycling race - ed.] shows that our country can host similar activities to a great Tour de France. This will be important not only for the wide media coverage it will generate in Europe, but also for ourselves, Argentinean and South American," he said.

    Moreover, the Argentinean Sports Ministry is also very close to being awarded the organisation of the Mountain Bike World Championships in Patagonia. "We are in the semi-finals to organise the Worlds; it would take place in La Angostura, San Martín de Los Andes or Bariloche," Meyer revealed.

  • Armstrong lawyer condemns "un-American" investigation

    Lance Armstrong (Radioshack) in his final Tour
    Article published:
    August 6, 2010, 09:00
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Daly maintains his client's innocence

    Lance Armstrong’s lawyer Brian D. Daly has condemned the federal investigation of his client and his former US Postal Service team as “un-American and a waste of taxpayers’ money". Further allegations of doping in the US Postal Service squad were published in the New York Times yesterday, citing an unnamed former team rider as a source.

    Daly, a Los Angeles-based criminal defence lawyer, went on the offensive in a statement issued in the wake of the New York Times piece, accusing the report of containing “inappropriate leaks designed to create a circus-like atmosphere.

    “To the extent that any riders are suggesting that Lance Armstrong violated cycling rules or doped, they are either mistaken or not telling the truth. Lance has ridden with hundreds of riders over the years who will support his position, and over all that time he has never failed even a single test,” Daly said.

    Daly also questioned the motivation of the riders who have spoken with investigators in the probe, before criticising the very nature of the investigation itself. The probe into alleged doping practices in the US Postal Service squad was sparked by allegations made by Floyd Landis in May, and is headed by Jeff Novitzky of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

    “We understand that riders may be being offered sweetheart deals to change testimony that they have given in the past, under oath,” Daly said. “The power of the federal government is being abused to pursue dated and discredited allegations, and that’s flat-out wrong, unethical, un-American, and a waste of taxpayer dollars.”