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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, February 1, 2013

Date published:
February 01, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Michael Rasmussen confesses to 12 years of doping

    A defiant Michael Rasmussen wins at the Col d'Aubisque hours before Rabobank finally excluded him from the 2007 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    January 31, 2013, 13:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rider comes clean and lists doping products

    Michael Rasmussen has admitted to using performance enhancing drugs throughout the majority of his professional career. The former Rabobank and CSC rider called a press conference today, admitting that he doped from 1998 until 2010. He has been served with a two-year ban by Anti Doping Denmark after providing "substantial assistance" in the fight against doping.

    "I used EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, IGF-1, and cortisone and did blood transfusions," Rasumssen said reading a prepared statement, looking pale and emotional but in control. 

    "I've informed the anti-doping authorities of what I specifically used, when and how. My agreement with them is confidential, which means I can't disclose further details at this time. That time may come later."

    "When I stand up today, I will be a relieved man. I am glad that I no longer have to sit and lie to you today, as I have done for so many years. From today my cycling career is over. I want to cooperate with the Danish institutions. I know I cheated and I cheated other riders. I'll accept my punishment."

    Anti Doping Denmark report that Rasmussen, who was ejected from the 2007 Tour de France while wearing the mailot jaune, for lying about his whereabouts, has offered to cooperate fully with the investigation. Rasmussen has also confessed to using drugs during the 2007 race, in which he passed all anti-doping test.

    “In this context, interrogations of Michael Rasmussen have been conducted last week in Amsterdam and this week in Copenhagen,” a press release read.

    “The Doping Commission of the NOC of Denmark now opens a doping case against Rasmussen, and the case will be raised before the independent panel (the Doping Tribunal of the NOC) when all conditions are met. Within a few days, Michael Rasmussen will receive a temporary suspension.”

    Rasmussen’s confession and cooperation hasn’t just been...

  • Vayer defends reaching out to Lance Armstrong

    Antoine Vayer at the 1999 Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 31, 2013, 16:39 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Frenchman met with McQuaid, called UCI president "incompetent"

    Antoine Vayer has labelled Pat McQuaid incompetent, said that the UCI's Independent Commission was a waste of nearly 5 million Euros and that Lance Armstrong should be heard by a truth and reconciliation commission. The French physiologist, who trained the Festina team of the 1990s, is part of the Change Cycling Now movement and has become an advocate for clean sport in recent years.

    On Wednesday Lance Armstrong gave an exclusive interview to Cyclingnews in which he called for Truth and Reconciliation with the sport, with the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to chair the commission. At the same time Vayer reached out to Armstrong in an email, asking to meet with the former rider. The move angered members of the Change Cycling Now group, with Michael Ashenden immediately stepping down.

    "I'm a free man and I've contacted Lance, that's true. But it's Antoine Vayer who has contacted Lance Armstrong not Change Cycling Now. I contacted him for the same reason you've contacted me, to ask questions," Vayer told Cyclingnews.

    "I just asked Armstrong for a rendezvous. You can do that. He agreed. I will meet him soon. I proposed that he comes to Paris but it's more natural in the US."

    As for Ashenden's resignation from CCN, Vayer said: "My colleague is free, I'm free, he's free. I think we have the same goal. I think it's important to talk to Armstrong. I was the trainer of the Festina team and I remember before Armstrong went to Cofidis, we spoke about him joining the team.

    "At met some riders who were like sons to me and I worked really hard with. For example Pascal Herve. He had the same spirit of winning that Armstrong had. I have trained more than 400 riders, I still do. I think I can help, I really can help. It may be contrary to some people...

  • Olds makes debut for Team TIBCO-To the Top in Qatar

    Shelley Olds (TIBCO-To the Top) in action during stage 3 at the Ladies Tour of Qatar.
    Article published:
    January 31, 2013, 19:25 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    US Olympian has fond memories of London, puts road race misfortune behind her

    There were few crueller moments at the London 2012 Olympics than the misfortune that befell Shelley Olds in the women's road race. Having withstood the welter of attacking over the final ascent of Box Hill, the American was part of the four-woman winning break when her front wheel began to deflate, and with it, her hopes of an Olympic medal.

    Six months on, the trauma of that moment may have been digested, but the memory is one that can surely never fully subside. Even so, Olds was admirably stoic in her recollection of the incident when she spoke to Cyclingnews at the Ladies Tour of Qatar.

    "I have nothing but fond memories of the Olympics," said Olds, pointing in particular to her build-up to the Games, which included a Giro Donne stage win and victory at the Tour of Chongming Island.

    "I was there in the move on the right moment and I was strong, but bad luck is just part of bike racing. I just happened to have it that day and the wrong moment, but what can you do? I can't do anything about that. I did my best to come back into the race and fight it out in the sprint, but hey, that's bike racing."

    Olds ultimately finished in 7th place on the Mall in London, but faced with Marianne Vos, Lizzie Armitstead and Olga Zabelinskaya, she would have fancied her chances of at least a podium spot in an eventual four-up sprint. "I believe I had a sure good chance of medalling or maybe even gold," she said ruefully. "I don't know but I believe I had a medal."

    Olds' Olympic story was all the more remarkable because she had begun the four-year cycle aiming to compete on the track in London. When, in 2009, the UCI announced that the points race would no longer be on the Olympic...

  • New Philadelphia pro race announced for 2013

    It was a beautiful day in always sunny Philadelphia as the color guard marched out Old Glory for the start of this year's championship.
    Article published:
    January 31, 2013, 20:20 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Philly Cycling Classic to take over June date of International Cycling Championship

    With a little help from Congress, Philadelphia may just have a professional bicycle race this year after all. US Rep. Robert Brady announced today the formation of a community-based non-profit group to organize and host the 2013 Philly Cycling Classic, a new world-class professional race in June.

    Earlier this month organizers of the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship and its NRC women's race, the Liberty Classic, announced the events would not return this season. According to a report on, the relationship between promoter Dave Chauner and the city soured recently, with Chauner still owing the city $300,000 from last year's race.

    The day after Chauner announced the International Championship wouldn't return, promoters of the Keystone Open announced that the first-year event scheduled for Philadelphia in July would also not take place. Although Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter said he would make sure the city had a race in 2014, failing to put on an event this season would have marked the first time in 28 years that Philadelphia wouldn't host a top-tier event, and that didn't sit well with Brady and city leaders.

    "The mayor has called for a premier cycling event, and the team we have pulled together intends to deliver nothing less for the City of Philadelphia in 2013," Brady said in a statement. "As long as there is a Wall in Manayunk there will be a world class cycling event in Philadelphia."

    The new race organization is a mix of sports event professionals with a proven track record of hosting world class events in Philadelphia, according to the statement Brady released Thursday. The group also includes cycling advocates along with local business and community leaders.

    The new group includes Alan Morrison,...

  • Floyd Landis announces Gran Fondo

    Floyd Landis took part in this year's Etape
    Article published:
    January 31, 2013, 22:40 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Two-day event to take place in Windham, NY

    Former professional rider Floyd Landis is back and has announced that he will co-organise a cycling tour event on June 1-2, 2013 in Windham, NY in the Catskill Mountains, just north of New York City.

    "It's near where I got my start in mountain biking way back. I raced there in the Catskills again in 2010 and it was fun and had some crushing climbs," Landis told Cyclingnews.

    The capacity for the event has yet to be confirmed but Landis and joint event manager Dieter Drake and Anthem Sports are hoping for a positive response.

    "Cycling needs a diversion right now. We're hoping this will be one way to get people out riding bicycles for fun and to forget about all the drama that they're reading and watching right now," Landis added.

    Participants will compete individually over two days; the Devil's Kitchen Hill Climb is featured on Saturday, while the Gran Fondo Catskills will be held on Sunday. In addition to the individual hill climb competition, participants will be timed on various challenging segments of the course for the Sunday gran fondo event. Overall champions in various age-group categories will be crowned and awarded prizes at the end of the event.

    Landis and Anthem Sports - organizers of the popular Tour of the Battenkill in Cambridge, NY - hope to bring attention to the local tourism industry with a major cycling event.

    Landis has had a turbulent few years. Having been stripped of the Tour de France in 2006 he spent years on the sidelines before returning to the sport in 2009. In 2010 he came clean, admitting to a past of doping and has since been an advocate for clean sport.

    "I'm finished with professional racing but I enjoy riding my bike and I want to be a part of something like this now. Dieter and Anthem Sports are helping to make it happen. He has many years experience at promoting the biggest one-day race in the US and will create a very professional event."

  • Hosking remains in the hunt despite puncture at Ladies Tour of Qatar

    Another day in yellow for Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products UCK)
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 0:07 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian trails Wild by three seconds ahead of final stage

    Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products UCK) scarcely put a foot wrong during her spell as leader of the Ladies Tour of Qatar and yet she finds herself out of the golden jersey with three seconds to make up on Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) ahead of Friday's final stage.

    Hosking had already given an exhibition of her physical condition and presence of mind on the opening day: she made the decisive split, sniffed out the winning move and then coolly dispatched her breakaway companions in the sprint to take the stage and the golden jersey.

    In the crosswinds of stage two, Hosking again showed her tactical acumen by positioning herself in the first echelon and defending her overall lead, and she continued in the same manner on stage three. Mindful that Wild was by now the major threat to her golden jersey, she limited her losses the Dutchwoman to the minimum at the intermediate sprints, and was again perfectly positioned when that most Qatari of hazards, the crosswind, once again reared its head midway through the stage.

    As the lead group entered the closing three kilometres in Madinat Al Shamal, Hosking knew that a place in the top three on the stage would ensure she retained the golden jersey going into the final day, but 1.5km from the line, as she positioned herself alongside Kirsten Wild, she suffered the most inopportune of punctures.

    On wheeling to a halt beyond the finish line, Hosking was unsure of her status and although it was soon clarified that she would be awarded the same finishing time as the lead group, Wild's victory and ten-second time bonus meant that she had moved into gold ahead of Hosking. "That's bike racing, what can I say," said Hosking flatly. "I got a puncture."

  • Federal Government warns Cycling Australia: Adopt change, or funding will be cut

    Cycling Australia
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 1:31 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    National body given end of year deadline

    The Australian Government has released its official response to the report authored by former New South Wales Supreme Court chief judge James Wood, issuing an ultimatum to Cycling Australia.

    As part of 17 "wide-ranging recommendations" Wood concluded that the national body should introduce a doping declaration policy, and establish an anti-doping Integrity Unit for the sport following the explosive United States Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates. The release of USADA's 'Reasoned Decision' documentation, claimed the scalp of Australian Matt White, and his role with Cycling Australia as men's professional road co-ordinator. He was also later dismissed by Orica GreenEdge. The process of White's sacking led to retired rider Stephen Hodge, resigning from the position as Cycling Australia's vice president who then confessed to using EPO, cortisone and other substances from 1989 until his retirement in 1996 - something he deemed necessary in order to be able to compete at the Tour de France and the Olympic Games. So far, no other Australian rider has come forward publically, with Hodge and White becomming public scapegoats in the wider community.

    Minister for Sport Kate Lundy issued a statement saying that it was expected that Cycling Australia take up the recommendations by the end of 2013, or "ongoing funding from the Australian Government will be reviewed." The Australian Sports Commission, Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority and the National Integrity in Sport Unit will be assisting Cycling Australia to put in place the necessary reforms. In 2012, Cycling Australia received $7.3 million in Federal funding.

  • Gallery: Lampre-Merida showcase riders and equipment

    The Lampre-Merida squad for 2013
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 3:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Light-hearted photo shoot ahead of 2013 season

    The team of Lampre-Merida has kept in the spirit of its laid-back photo shoots to present its squad for the 2013 season. The riders took turns in posing for the camera at the Lampre factory, utilizing the manufacturer’s sheet steel rolls as props.

    The team gathered at Lampre’s Usmate Velate factory just north of Milan city for the day of light-hearted shots. Returning riders Damiano Cunego and Alessandro Petacchi were in attendance while 2013 signings Filippo Pozzato and Roberto Ferrari did their best to get amongst the action.

    Ferrari was part of the team that opened the season at the recent Tour Down Under. The six-day race served as the opening round of the WorldTour with Daniele Pietropolli finishing 8th overall. Ferrari also achieved a number of good placings on the flatter days with his best result coming on Stage 4 where he finished second behind the day's winner André Greipel (Lotto Belisol).

    The 2013 roster will consist of 25-riders this season including the absent Michele Scarponi who returned from his three-month suspension on January 1, 2013 after being found to have dealt with the banned Dr. Michele Ferrari.

    Riders will have the choice of two Merida frames this year: the Scultura SL or the 'aero' Reacto Evo - the current choice for Petacchi.