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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 13, 2013

Date published:
December 13, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Tygart: Armstrong's "essentially shut the door" on USADA cooperation

    US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart
    Article published:
    December 11, 2013, 23:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Kjærgaard describes descent into doping

    US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) CEO Travis Tygart has all but given up on gaining the cooperation of Lance Armstrong in his agency's "still ongoing investigation" of doping during the US Postal Service team years.

    Tygart was speaking at an anti-doping conference in Oslo, Norway, one week ahead of the scheduled arbitration of Johan Bruyneel's lifetime ban for involvement in the US Postal doping conspiracy.

    He said that his agency "gave every athlete, even Lance Armstrong, a chance to be a part of the solution, unfortunately he refused to do that, he continues today to refuse to do that. He's essentially shut the door on that opportunity.

    "We've given him multiple opportunities over the last 18 months, including a couple over the last couple of weeks. My sense is that's not going to happen at least for now, and we're moving on with our investigation."

    Tygart used broad strokes to describe the systemic doping that existed in cycling in the 1990s and 2000s, stating, "Athletes from almost every country that we've seen, at different teams, participated in a corrupt culture that took over the sport of cycling for a period of time, and it's why we've been pushing so hard for an independent process to get to the bottom of that culture and finally set the sport on a new path, and to give athletes a genuine choice."

    USADA's arbitration hearing with Bruyneel and doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose "Pepe" Marti is scheduled to take place in London next week, but the investigation could still encompass dozens of riders and associated staff who were named but redacted in the various published testimonies gathered in 2012.

    Tygart emphasized that his agency was initially focused on making sure the 2012 Olympic team did not include dopers: Levi Leipheimer Christian Vande Velde, George Hincapie and David Zabriskie refused their...

  • Sinyard takes responsibility and apologises to Café Roubaix owner

    Roubaix is a line of bicycle in Specialized's line and the company has recently taken legal action to protect its trademark of the word "Roubaix"
    Article published:
    December 12, 2013, 0:21 GMT
    Daniel Benson & Zeb Woodpower

    Specialized back down on legal action

    Specialized founder and owner Mike Sinyard has apologised in person to the owner of the Café Roubaix bike shop in Cochrane, Alberta after resolving a trademark violation concerning the shop's name.

    Specialized withdrew its action against the war veteran after its provoked a PR disaster leading to Advanced Sports International, who own the Fuji bicycles brand, stepping in claiming it owns the worldwide copyright on Roubaix.

    Following the criticism of pursuing the case, Sinyard sought to calm the storm. "I met with Dan (Richter), the owner, and things are resolved," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I flew up there and I broke some bread with him. Things are now solved. I definitely feel sorry on how we acted, I guess I would say I feel ashamed of it. It's not what I like and I told him that, face to face. I think what's really important is the context and how this happened."

    As to why Specialized felt it was appropriate to approach Richter over his use of Roubaix, Sinyard sought to clarify the manufactures actions weren't personally motivated.

    "To explain just a little bit, we have a lot of trademarks all around the world and we have a law firm that watches them. One of the things in the last five years, and especially the last two years has been the number of fake products with Specialized on. It's astronomical. We have a number of people who just track down these fake products.

    "That's not what happened here but the law firm saw it and saw there was a guy selling wheels with Roubaix on there. I didn't know about this until Saturday morning when I got back from a ride and I tried to find out about it. I didn't do anything until the Monday and by then the thing had gone large. Again on context...

  • Team Sky reveals line-up for Tour Down Under

    Sky's Ian Stannard looked to have come in to contact with a chain ring, and had some abrasions on his right leg in a crash with 12km to go
    Article published:
    December 12, 2013, 11:57 GMT
    José Been

    Richie Porte and Geraint Thomas captains of British team

    Team Sky have revealed the line-up for the Tour Down Under. Richie Porte will be one of the two the team captains in the first World Tour race of the new season. "I want to go to Tour Down Under and perform," said Porte. "As an Aussie it’s the race to win." 

    Porte will be joined by fellow Australian Chris Sutton, Austria's Bernie Eisel and Great Britain's Ian Stannard, Geraint Thomas and Luke Rowe. Irishman Philip Deignan makes his Team Sky debut in the Tour Down Under. "Everyone is motivated: the Classics guys, Philip in his first race and also Richie. He's been out there in Adelaide and he knows the key stages. It's a strong group," sports director Kurt Asle Arvesen said.

    Stannard, Rowe, Thomas, Sutton and Eisel were part of Team Sky in this year's Tour Down Under. Edvald Boasson Hagen won't return to Australia while Mathew Hayman defends the colors of Orica-Greenedge next year. Porte is one of the two newcomers in Team Sky's line-up. The Tasmanian hasn't raced the Tour Down Under since 2011 but is ambitious for next year's edition.

    "t used to be a sprinter's race but now there are some good climbs in there like Corkscrew and Willunga. I've spent a bit of time in Adelaide so I know the climbs pretty well. I think if I'm in good form and we have a strong team there – if not me then through Geraint Thomas - we also have a really good chance. He was brilliant there last season so it should be an interesting race," Porte stated on the team's website.

    Geraint Thomas returns to the race where he won the second stage from Mount Barker to Rostrevor this year, thus laying the foundations for a third place in the overall classification and winning the points jersey. 

    Sports director Kurt Asle Arvesen sees opportunities for...

  • Tony Gallopin dreams about Tour of Flanders

    2013 Clasica San Sebastian champion Tony Gallopin (RadioShack Leopard)
    Article published:
    December 12, 2013, 14:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Frenchman ambitious for first season with Lotto-Belisol

    Tony Gallopin is one of the nine new riders signed by Lotto-Belisol for 2014 and his presence will be a welcome boost for the team's Classics roster. The French rider had attracted the Belgian WorldTour team's attention since the beginning of the season and he eventually signed a two-year contract in August. "In Belgium they live for cycling," Gallopin said. "I wouldn't mind if the Flemish crowds would adopt me as one of their own one day."

    The 25-year-old Frenchman had only one victory in 2013, but it was the biggest of his career at the Clasíca San Sebastián. Lotto-Belisol wasn't the only team who hoped to sign Gallopin, but after two seasons with Cofidis and two years with RadioShack, the Frenchman signed with the Belgian team.

    "I was sure pretty soon that I wanted to go to Lotto-Belisol," Gallopin told Het Nieuwsblad. "They give me certainty that I can ride all the big Classics with the team. I love the Belgian race culture, the courses and the atmosphere. Even though I might have more talent to win a race like Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Flanders is what I dreamed off since I was a young boy."

    Gallopin's love for Flanders started early. "I can't explain it but there just isn't a more beautiful race than the Tour of Flanders. Peter van Petegem [two-times winner] was my idol. When I was 13 I bought Leif Hoste's [three times second in Tour of Flanders] bike and rode with it for two years." 

    Gallopin has twice started the Tour of Flanders thus far in his career with his best result a 24th place finish in the 2012 edition.

    The love for Belgium does not only...

  • USA Cycling announces minor changes to 2014 calendars

    The women on the start line at the Sunny King Criterium
    Article published:
    December 12, 2013, 16:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Delray Beach Twilight off NCC calendar

    USA Cycling announced this week some minor changes to its 2014 national road calendars.

    The opening race of the National Criterium Calendar (NCC), the Delray Beach Twilight Festival, will not be a part of the series due to budget issues. The race will still take place in Florida on March 22, and is part of the USA CRITS series.

    The NCC will now begin with the Sunny King Criterium on April 5, in Anniston, Alabama.

    In another minor change, the Winston-Salem Classic Criterium (NCC), previously scheduled for Friday, April 18, will now be held on Saturday, April 19, while the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, previously scheduled for April 17, will now be held on April 18.

  • Kristoff ready for Tour de France green jersey challenge

    Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
    Article published:
    December 12, 2013, 20:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    Norwegian focusing on points jersey for Katusha

    When Team Katusha manager Viatcheslav Ekimov laid out his strategy for 2014, he indicated that his star Grand Tour contender Joaquim Rodriguez would focus on the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España and for the Tour de France, the team would go after stage wins and the green jersey, the latter with Norwegian sprinter Alexander Kristoff.

    The 26-year-old Olympic bronze medalist has made great strides since joining the Russian team in 2012: in his second Giro appearance, he was in the top 10 on six different sprint stages, coming second to Mark Cavendish on stage 13. He beat Peter Sagan in a sprint to win stage 5 of this year's Tour de Suisse, and had a strong year in the Classics, finishing fourth in the Tour of Flanders, fifth in the Scheldeprijs and ninth in Paris-Roubaix.

    In his first Tour de France this year, he was in the top 10 six times, narrowly missing the stage in on the chaotic opening stage to Marcel Kittel in Bastia.

    Kristoff welcomed the opportunity to fight for the green jersey in next year's race. "It is really a vote of confidence when they say they will focus so hard on me in the biggest race during the season," Kristoff said to "I hope I manage to meet it. I was close to stage victories this year, and it will be my main goal next year."

    Although Kristoff only ended up fifth overall in the points classification, with jersey winner Peter Sagan racking up twice the number of points as him, he still has confidence he can challenge for the title, especially since most of the riders on this year's Tour team were geared toward helping Rodriguez in the overall classification.

    "If the team hopes that I'll take the green jersey, it must also build a team towards that...

  • Armstrong claims Thomas Weisel knew about USPS doping

    Lance Armstrong (US Postal) protected by his body guard at the 2004 Tour de France
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 2:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Allegation emerges from court documents

    In response to questions stemming from a lawsuit, Lance Armstrong has written that Thomas Weisel, the man who bankrolled the US Postal Team, knew about the team doping practices and also in the sport as a whole.

    Since admitting to doping throughout his career in an interview with Oprah in January, Armstrong has not named those with knowledge of what was occurring. The court documents relate to a lawsuit filed in November and read, "Mr. Weisel was aware of doping by the USPS Team and in professional cycling in general."

    Weisel has denied the allegations and told Cyclingnews, that "I have not read the article. I have no idea what you are talking about." Cyclingnews asked if he knew Lance Armstrong to which he replied, "I know Lance Armstrong. Yes." Cyclingnews then asked 'were you aware of any doping at the US Postal Team?' He then hung up.

    In a long interview with Joe Lindsey, Armstrong gave details on the mounting legal battles that he is facing and the financial impact it has had on his life. Having once owned his own private jet, Armstrong said he now flies commercial with his life "drastically different" from a year ago.

    "I was working full time on the [Livestrong] foundation, working full time competing in Ironmans and the training, the travel, sponsor obligations, etc. That took up a lot of time, and now, seemingly, almost overnight that vanished," Armstrong told ESPN The Magazine.

    Armstrong stated that his "priority No. 1" is settling lawsuits and hopes to end them with a global settlement as he doesn't "have $100 million."

    The court documents relate to the case led by Acceptance Insurance Company who had sought to recover $3 million...

  • Rochelle Gilmore on Wiggle Honda's debut season

    Women's podium, Emily Collins, Lauren Kitchen and Charlotte Becker
    Article published:
    December 13, 2013, 4:32 GMT
    Zeb Woodpower

    An "exceptional year"

    Wiggle-Honda have been around for just over a year and in its short existence have provided a template for success in women's cycling. Rochelle Gilmore had delved into ownership with the Australian domestic Dream Team but in 2012 took the step of creating a top-tier women’s team. Gilmore balanced the roles of both owner and team rider which was a new experience but one which renewed her love of the sport.

    Having set a goal of three victories, Gilmore's team exceeded expectations. "I honestly didn't expect the results that we got. When I proposed to our sponsors this time last year, what we would achieve in our first year, I said three race wins would be fantastic and five race wins would be an exceptional year," Gilmore told Cyclingnews.

    While there were wins aplenty, Gilmore pointed to three results in particular as the most significant of 2013. "The first was the win that Giorgia Bronzini got at Padova (Classica Citta di Padova). That was really special to me as it was the first international win. I felt so relieved that we had that one win under our belt because I've been a part of teams before that haven't won until July/August which is so stressful. So once we got the first win, I was thinking 'at least we've won a race in our first season' and we went on to win 22 races."

    One of the younger riders on the team, Emily Collins, delivered the second highlight and confirmed the decision by Gilmore to sign the Kiwi. "The win by Emily at a UCI race (Omloop van het Hageland) was significant due to me having identified her in Europe last year when perhaps no one else did. I didn't know her but I saw a talent at a few races and her win proved that...