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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 14, 2013

Date published:
June 14, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Hoste bio passport hearing today

    Leif Hoste (Silence-Lotto) rode up with his Belgian champ jersey that he earned in a somewhat flatter time trial last year in Belgium.
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 6:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Retired Belgian facing 300,000 Euro fine and two-year ban

    The anti-doping hearing of Leif Hoste takes place today, after the UCI announced in January that the now-retired rider was under investigation for allegedly violating the Biological Passport program.

    If found guilty by the Belgian National Cycling Federation (RLVB), Hoste faces a fine of up 300,000 Euros and a two-year suspension. The 35-year-old would also lose all his results from July 2008 to December 2010, which would include fourth and sixth-place finishes in Paris-Roubaix.

    Hoste announced his retirement on December 1, 2012 citing back problems.

    According to nieuwsblad.be, the case hinges on three samples – from 2008 following the Tour de France, and two in 2010.

    Hoste is a three-time Belgian national time trial champion and a strong Classics contender. He finished second in the Tour of Flanders on three occasions, losing out to Steffen Wesemann in 2004, Tom Boonen in 2006 and Alessandro Ballan in 2007.

  • Andy Schleck happy with form at Tour de Suisse

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) is continuing his build up for the Tour de France in Switzerland
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 9:38 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack Leopard rider looking ahead to the mountains

    As the mountains loom, Andy Schleck (RadioShack Leopard) is hoping to animate the stages at the Tour de Suisse.

    Schleck acknowledges that it is unusual for him to perform well at the event in the lead up to the Tour de France however, the 28-year-old was optimistic following Wednesday's fifth stage that he can show some spark. With four stages remaining, Schleck is over 21 minutes down on the general classification lead of Mathias Frank (BMC).

    "I had to chase back for a few kilometers but was able to come back and just sit in the wheels," Schleck said following the conclusion of the fifth stage where he finished safely in the lead bunch. "I had a moment where I thought maybe the uphill sprint could be for me, but that wasn't the case. It's still a sprint even when it's uphill for only 200 meters and I'm not a sprinter.

    Heading into the Tour de Suisse, Schleck had already completed more race days than that of in 2012 when his season was halted through a pelvic fracture. Now, he is hoping to put those days on the bike and the lengthy training block her endured before Suisse together prior to starting the Tour de France on June 29.

    "But I am feeling better and better every day," he admitted. "We will try something in the upcoming stages in the mountains."

    Thursday's 181.6km Stage 6 will see the peloton tackle two Cat. 3 climbs en route to Meilen while the following day is in the high mountains and the type of stage that Schleck will be looking for.

  • Gesink tired of the criticism

    Robert Gesink (Blanco)
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 11:15 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Team Blanco rider defends his record

    Robert Gesink is tired of the criticism that he can't win big races, and that he drops out of the grand tours.

    "Just look at the results! I started in eight grand tours and I've finished four times in the top ten. Go through this hotel once again and find a rider who has also done so. You won't find one,  you know ... "

    "I'm fucking 27 years old," Gesink (Team Blanco) told AD.nl. "Of course there is something wrong once, but it's not like we have keep a magnifying glass on Robert Gesink.”

    He admitted that he has not won a lot, “but I have shown some wonderful things. But that step to win a grand tour is not so easy. And besides that it is very easy to forget that I broke my leg and I lost my dad. Okay, this season the level is a bit disappointing. But I really do not see why I cannot go back to my old level."

    "It is not easy for a Dutch rider at the moment," he said, after all of the recent doping revelations. “In the Netherlands we are now all very critical. (....) I have made the choice to do it in a good way and then you get criticised when you don't win 20 races a year."

  • Could Pat McQuaid face a vote of no confidence at UCI Management Committee?

    UCI President Pat McQuaid takes the oath before speaking at the French Senate hearing into anti-doping
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 12:43 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Dossier concerning UCI and Armstrong said to be presented today

    Cyclingnews has learnt that UCI Management committee member Mike Plant will present UCI president Pat McQuaid with a dossier of evidence against the President at today's Management Committee meeting in Bergen, Norway.

    Two independent sources, close to the story, told Cyclingnews that the dossier would be presented during the meeting and that Plant hopes that McQuaid will address the information within it. However Cyclingnews understands that the meeting could end with a vote of no confidence for McQuaid, who is seeking a third term as President.

    Earlier this month Brian Cookson announced that he would be standing against McQuaid in the election, which takes place later this year.

    When contacted by Cyclingnews earlier this morning Plant would not confirm or deny whether a dossier would be presented. However a third source added that Plant would be “putting it all on the table today.” The meeting concludes later this afternoon.

    In addition to McQuaid, the Management Committee consists of UCI Vice Presidents Hee Wook Cho (Korea), Renato Di Rocco (Italy), and Artur Lopes (Portugal); Members Mohamed Wagih Azzam (Eypt), José Manuel Peleaz (Cuba), Tracey Gaudry (Australia), Sheikh Faisal Bin Humaid Al Qassimi  (United Arab Emirates, Brian Cookson (Great Britian), David Lapparient (France), Mohamed Jamel Louafi (Tunisia),  Igor Viktorovich Makarov (Russia), Peder Pedersen (Denmark) and Mike Plant (USA); Honorary President Hein Verbruggen (Netherlands); and Honorary Vice Presidents Ray Godkin (Australia), Vladimir Holecek (Czech Republic) and Agostino Omini (Italy).

    UCI Management Committee: A Procedural Primer

    Additional reporting by Feargal Mc Kay

    The UCI's constitution does not provide any direct guidance on the issue of a motion of...

  • Androni Giocattoli renews sponsorship of Pro Continental team

    Gianni Savio and his Androni team always put on a show at the Tour de Langkawi.
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 21:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Seventh straight year of title sponsorship for Italian squad

    Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela manager Gianni Savio announced today that the Italian toy manufacturer Androni Giocattoli has renewed its title sponsorship of the Italian Pro Continental squad for 2014.

    "Mario Androni is a gentleman of the old school who has an up-to-date outlook and I am really pleased to have him as the main sponsor of our team for the seventh year consecutively," said Savio. "Starting from 2008 up to the present, together, we have achieved important successes which have raised enthusiasm in lots of fans who have always supported us with great passion and we are going to organize a very competitive team also in 2014.

    "Besides the riders we already have under contract, among whom sprinter Mattia Gavazzi, climber Diego Rosa - a revelation at the Giro d'Italia - and two young talents, U23 Italian National Andrea Zordan and the 20-year-old Venezuelan Yonder Godoy, we are going to confirm and engage more athletes, after signing the contracts with the various sponsors, following our thirty-year management policy."

    The Pro Continental team has four victories thus far in the 2013 season: two by sprinter Mattia Gavazzi (Giro della Toscana and stage 7 at the Tour de San Luis) plus one each by Fabio Felline (Settimana Coppi e Bartali stage 1a) and Alessandro Malaguti (Route Adélie de Vitré).

    Additionally, Savio is looking ahead to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Brasil. "With the help of the President of the Venezuelan Cycling Federation, Mr. Artemio Leonett, I am pursuing a project with the Venezuelan Government concerning a three-year agreement in the perspective of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games," said Savio. "To our many supporters we assure great new emotions in next season too."

  • Haussler fractures pelvis in Tour de Suisse crash

    IAM cold: Heinrich Haussler at the start of Gent-Wevelgem
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 0:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian not expected back in the peloton for some months

    A crash which forced Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) to abandon the Tour de Suisse on Thursday has left the Australian with a fractured pelvis.

    The news will be a bitter blow for the rider who has been enjoying his best season in some time with the Swiss Professional Continental outfit.

    The crash occurred in the opening kilometres of the 186.1km sixth stage between Leuggern – Meilen.

    "The pace was very strong in the bunch,” said Haussler. "We made ten kilometers. On a long straight, there was a slowdown in the peloton and we fell on each other like dominoes."

    He was transported to hospital outwardly showing extensive bruises and wounds, while x-rays revealed the 29-year-old former runner-up at Milan – San Remo had a small fracture to the left side of his pelvis.

    IAM Cycling team doctor Jacques Ménétrey explained the injuries.

    "Heinrich Haussler suffered bruises and multiple wounds on the left side of the body, a fractured pelvis and a small fracture of the left hip. The rider will remain hospitalized a day or two before returning to his home. His comeback is not envisaged before the fall."

    Late last month, Haussler claimed his first victory since 2011 by winning the final stage of Bayern Rundfahrt. This week at the Tour de Suisse prior to his race-ending injury he had delivered three top-10 performances including a third place in the Quinto time trial. In the spring, Haussler continually threatened to reach the podium, with fourth place in Gent-Wevelgem, followed by sixth at the Tour of Flanders and 11th at Paris-Roubaix.

  • UCI accepts Stakeholders Consultation recommendations

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 4:57 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    McQuaid says the body is listening

    The UCI Management Committee, currently meeting in Norway has accepted the 'crucial' and 'high-priority' recommendations made as part of the Stakeholders Consultation that took place earlier this year.

    Over 6,300 people responded to the UCI's request for feedback as part of its Stakeholders Consultation, A Bright Future for Cycling.

    The recommendations are:

    Crucial -
    • We must restore the credibility of cycling and the public perception of the sport;
    • A decision needs to be made quickly whether to hold an independent inquiry into the Armstrong affair and whether to offer riders an 'amnesty' or reduced sanctions for coming forward to that enquiry;
    • The UCI needs to develop a long-term strategic plan for cycling;
    • We should further strengthen the anti-doping culture that already exists in the UCI;
    • We need to improve our relationship with WADA; and
    • We need to restructure the pro-cycling calendar.

    High-priority -
    • To increase the independence of the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF);
    • To appoint an independent anti-doping body to sanction professional riders caught doping;
    • To review the existing points system for pro-teams;
    • To focus on developing women's cycling;
    • To improve our communication with professional road riders.

    It was also deemed that that UCI should continue down the path of establishing an independent review into the Armstrong era, and in doing so persist in talks with the World Anti-Doping Agency. In late January, the UCI disbanded its Independent Commission in favour of a "truth and reconciliation commission" (TRC) – something that both WADA and the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) had pushed for.

    Speaking with Cyclingnews in February, WADA President John Fahey told

  • Rast tastes victory in Tour de Suisse

    Gregory Rast (RadioShack - Leopard) on the podium
    Article published:
    June 14, 2013, 6:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss rider enjoys first win in four years

    Playing it patiently and smart with one kilometer to go in Thursday's stage 6 at the Tour de Suisse, Gregory Rast (RadioShack) attacked his three breakaway companions and sprinted to a memorable victory in his home tour.

    "It was hard out there today. There was no real sprinter in our group, just strong guys with motivation to win," said Rast. Team Director Luc Meersman gave me good advice, and it worked out well.

    "I've been in the Tour de Suisse so many times, but this is such a big win for me. This stage is close to my home, and I know these roads very well. I was prepared for this. I've tried 10 years to win a stage here, and today I finally made it. I'm really, really happy."

    The Swiss-born Rast made good on his promise to be familiar with Thursday's route, which is the closest to his home in nearby Cham. He checked the route, he rode the course and knew it meter by meter. All that was left was to get in the day's break on the 186km route from Leuggern to Meilen.

    Joining him were Mathew Hayman (Sky), Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) and Bert Grabsch (OmegaPharma-QuickStep). The four rode well together and established an advantage of more than 14 minutes. Coming under the red kite, Rast gave it everything he had and powered away from the others to take the win by 25 seconds to Hayman and Kolobnev.

    "I was overwhelmed when I saw I had a gap," he said, referring to the immediate hole he opened up under the red kite. "I felt fantastic! But that last kilometer was endless. When I saw the 500m to go mark I was surprised. I thought I was much closer to the finish."

    It was perfect weather for stage 6. The 33-year-old Rast described the...