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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, February 10, 2012

Date published:
February 10, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Germans still waiting for Ullrich's comments on CAS decision

    Jan Ullrich is once again looking to the future
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 13:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    All glad to have the six-year ordeal over at last

    The reaction to the Court of Arbitration for Sport's decision to ban Jan Ullrich for two years on doping charges has been met with a sigh of relief that the long process has finally come to an end. However, many noted that the most important comments are still to come – from Ullrich himself.

    “The CAS decision itself wasn't so exciting,” former teammate Rolf Aldag told the dpa news agency.  "What will be much more interesting is what Jan will say. He knows what he can say. In any case, it is of course silly that such a finding is only issued six years after his last race.

    “Perhaps someone will now want to give back the prize money I got from Ullrich for the Tour de Suisse win in 2006. That would probably be about 1,000 euro.”

    The German Olympic Committee is glad “that we now have clarity. The CAS decision is clear-cut,” said Committee President and IOC Vice President Thomas Bach. 

    “It is too bad that Jan Ullrich didn't take his chance early to give us that clarity himself. We hope that for his own sake he will see that and explain things.”

    The Bund Deutscher Radfahrer, the German cycling federation, pronounced itself happy that the proceedings had finally ended. “We will now fully concentrate our strengths on the future of German cycling and the preparations for the Olympic Games, “ said BDR vice president Udo Sprenger.

  • Gallery: Colnago celebrates his 80th birthday with a limited edition bike

    Ballerini led a Mapei 1-2-3 in the 1998 Paris-Roubaix
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 14:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Marvelling at the Italian maestro's work

    Ernesto Colnago is 80 today and has celebrated his birthday with a special limited edition bike that is set to become a collector's item.

    The special bike is called the C59 Ottanta – which means eighty in Italian and has a gold finish. It was inspired by the iconic Colnago bikes of the past that were used so successfully by so many legendary professional riders and loved by thousands of cyclists around the world.

    The C59 Ottanta has Master-like arabesque lug decorations and Ernesto Colnago’s signature, yet is made from the best possible carbon fibre and fitted with Campagnolo Super Record EPS 11s electronic components.

    Colnago is known for its iconic ace of clubs logo but the C59 Ottanta has a special head badge: the original ‘Eagle and Arrow’ logo that was created in 1954 inspired by a headline in the local newspaper that described Colnago as fast as an arrow when he won a race.

    Just 80 examples of this very special limited edition bike will be made and 20 have already been snapped up by collectors around the world.

    Despite turning 80, Colnago was busy in his office in Cambiago, preferring to work than celebrate his birthday. He is still the first to arrive at the Colnago offices, just across the street from his home, and is always the last to leave. Most people are happily retired at 80 but Colnago does not intend to retire just yet.

    “My 80th birthday is an intermediate sprint, it’s the not the finish of my race. I still love to work and create new bikes. I don’t want a cake or a big party, the special bike is my way of sharing my birthday,” he said.




  • Zirbel at home with Optum Pro Cycling

    Tom Zirbel (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies)
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 15:40 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    American dreaming of Olympic time trial

    As American Tom Zirbel enters his first season with the Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies team, he is coming off a solid off-season of training and is more motivated than ever to return not just to his previous level of prowess in time trials, but aims to be "unbeatable" in 2012.

    In 2009, Zirbel was just coming off his best ever season. Having placed fourth in the time trial at the world championships, he was on the verge of joining the ProTour after signing a contract with the Garmin team. Everything went wrong when in November of 2009 he was informed he'd tested positive for DHEA during his silver medal performance at the US Pro time trial championships four months earlier. He lost that result, his worlds place, his job and his shot at the top of the sport when he was given a two-year ban.

    Zirbel was able to have his suspension reduced by cooperating with the anti-doping authorities, and raced half a season with the Jamis-Sutter Home team in 2011. Although he didn't have an optimum build-up to the season, he claimed second place in the US Pro time trial and other solid results, and had offers from several teams. He opted to choose the Optum Pro Cycling team for its family feel.

    "I really enjoyed my time with Jamis last year, they're a cool bunch of people and it was a great opportunity for me to get to be on a pro team. I was fortunate to have some really good options at the end of last year as far as...

  • Pozzato breaks collarbone in Qatar crash

    Filippo Pozzato out on his new Cipollini bike in San Luis.
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 16:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian hopes to return for Tirreno-Adriatico

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) sustained a broken collarbone in a fall at the Tour of Qatar on Thursday, but his team remains hopeful that he will make a full recovery in time for the Spring Classics.

    Pozzato crashed 30 kilometres from the end of stage 5, and was brought straight to the hospital in Doha, where it was confirmed that he had suffered a fracture to his right clavicle. The Italian previously suffered a compound fracture of his left clavicle in a fall at the Tour of Belgium last year and was ruled out of action for two months on that occasion.

    “We’ve already been in touch with the doctor who operated on his clavicle last year,” Farnese Vini-Selle Italia manager Luca Scinto told Gazzetta dello Sport. “Pippo will probably be operated on again on Saturday. Provided the fracture isn’t a bad one, we’re optimistic that we’ll have him back in time for Tirreno-Adriatico.”

    The rider himself admitted that he is not yet sure of how soon he will be able to return to competitive action. “I don’t know how long it will take, but it’s certain that I will return to Italy for the operation (I think I’ll need one),” Pozzato said via Twitter.

    Pozzato dropped down from WorldTour level ahead of the 2012 season to join Farnese Vini-Selle Italia in a bid to kick start his career under the guidance of his former Mapei teammate Scinto. With Pozzato on board, the team has earned wildcard invitations to Milan-San Remo, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders, as well as May’s Giro d’Italia.

  • Longo's husband confesses to EPO purchase

    Patrice Ciprelli and Jeannie Longo in Grenoble
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 19:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Ciprelli contends it was for his own use

    Patrice Ciprelli, the trainer and husband of legendary French cyclist Jeannie Longo-Ciprelli, has reportedly confessed to purchasing the blood-boosting hormone Erythropoietin (EPO) in 2010 and 2011 on L'ÉquipeTV, but contended the drug "was for his own, personal use".

    Ciprelli was taken into custody yesterday after officials from OCLAESP (the French central office for public health and the prevention of environmental damage) searched the couple's residence in Grenoble.

    The Frenchman has been accused of purchasing the drug after police reportedly uncovered several transactions between Ciprelli and a foreign supplier. It was also alleged that money had been transferred from an account in Longo's name to cover the purchase.

    According to AFP, Ciprelli had earlier denied the charges, stating that his account and internet address had been pirated.

    The case further impacts the reputation of Longo, who has 13 world titles and 59 French championship victories to her name. She ran afoul of the anti-doping authorities late last year over whereabouts violations and a missed out-of-competition doping control. That case was dismissed.

    Prior to the AFLD decision, it was reported that American Joe Papp had facilitated the sale of EPO to a relative of Ciprelli and the French Cycling Federation was investigating.

  • Boonen bored of doping "soap operas" as he closes on Qatar win

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) remains in the leader's jersey with one stage to go in Qatar.
    Article published:
    February 10, 2012, 1:27 GMT
    Mark Robinson

    Race leader trying to put cycling in the headlines for the right reasons

    The 2012 Tour of Qatar reaches its conclusion in Doha this afternoon at the end of a headline-grabbing week for cycling, mainly for the wrong reasons. With the vast majority of recent column inches devoted to the doping investigations surrounding Lance Armstrong, Alberto Contador and Jan Ullrich, Tom Boonen's exploits here in the Gulf have taken a back seat.

    The 31-year-old Belgian's form has given him a big lead in the GC heading into today's sixth and final stage, and it would appear that only injury or a catastrophic crash can prevent him from winning a fourth Tour of Qatar title. He enters this afternoon with a healthy advantage of more than 30 seconds in the GC over Garmin-Barracuda's Tyler Farrar and Team Sky's Juan Antonio Flecha. Despite the feats of Mark Cavendish, who like Boonen has won two stages, it is the Omega Pharma-Quick Step rider who has bestrode the event more than anyone else due to his consistency throughout.

    Having completely refused to make any comment to the press about the cases of Armstrong and Contador earlier in the week, Boonen told Cyclingnews that he has largely ignored the furore surrounding the developments and was just focussed on winning here in Qatar.

    "I haven’t really paid too much attention to the soap operas surrounding Contador and Armstrong," he said. "It’s been going on for a while and nobody actually really cares about it anymore. Every time you open your mouth about...

  • Ullrich apologizes for Fuentes dealings

    Jan Ullrich is once again looking to the future
    Article published:
    February 10, 2012, 4:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    German makes statement following CAS decision

    Jan Ullrich has responded following the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling which saw him hit with a two-year ban and his results from May 2005 until his retirement in February 2007 annulled, including his third-place overall finish in the 2005 Tour de France.

    In a statement released on his personal website, Ullrich said that the lengthy legal wrangling over his case was "incomprehensible" while explaining that he would not appeal the CAS decision, "Not because I agree with all points in the court's opinion, but because I want to finish the issue definitively," he said.

    Ullrich was involved in the blood doping scheme of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes which was uncovered in Operacion Puerto in 2006. He was suspended by T-Mobile Team shortly before the start of the Tour de France that year and subsequently released. He announced his retirement in February 2007 and that same year it was announced that a DNA test matched his blood to samples taken into custody in Operacion Puerto.

    Swiss Olympic conducted an investigation but closed it in 2009, saying it had no jurisdiction over Ullrich, a German living in Switzerland and thus riding with a Swiss licence, since he had retired. The UCI appealed that decision to the CAS.

    The CAS partially upheld the UCI's appeal of the Swiss Olympic decision to dismiss its doping investigation into Ullrich after his retirement, and ruled that he was guilty of a doping offence.

    "Given the volume, consistency and probative value of the evidence presented by the UCI, and the failure of Jan Ullrich to raise any doubt about the veracity of reliability of such evidence, this Panel came to the conclusion that...

  • Team Sky: Stage four errors have cost Cavendish the lead in Qatar

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the podium for his first win of 2012.
    Article published:
    February 10, 2012, 6:11 GMT
    Mark Robinson

    Collective mismanagement to blame, but team progress pleasing

    An eventful week at the 2012 Tour of Qatar has seen far more positives than negatives for Team Sky according to sporting director Steven De Jongh, who rates his squad's performance as an "eight out of ten" with one stage to go in the Gulf state.

    Sky's preparations were thrown into turmoil on the eve of the race when their star new signing Mark Cavendish contracted a fever but Cavendish has recovered admirably to take two of the five stages in his competitive debut for the team. The British-based outfit also have two riders (Juan Antonio Flecha and Bernie Eisel) in the top five of the overall GC.

    "We’re pretty pleased with our performance so far, especially considering that when we arrived Mark was sick," De Jongh told Cyclingnews. "In the end he got through that stage ok but the wind was quite bad and we didn’t perform as well as a team as we might have done. We did well in the team time trial and finished third, and since then Mark has won two of the three stages. For us it was a big relief as it’s always hard to get the first stage win done. To follow it up with the win yesteday in stage five was pleasing for the whole team."

    Yet it hasn't all been plain sailing since the race began. De Jongh revealed that Sky's mismanagement of stage four, which resulted first in Cavendish becoming detached from the main pack and then in Eisel, Flecha and Ian Stannard not having enough left in the tank to cover the leaders in the finale. It was an afternoon to forget and one that left Cavendish angry according to De Jongh. With Eisel conveying his own disappointment to Cyclingnews in the immediate aftermath of the stage, had there been an inquest...