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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 28, 2010

Date published:
May 28, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Ouch: Landis parts ways with Bahati

    Floyd Landis (Bahati Foundation) had a strong ride today.
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 7:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Team loses title sponsor

    The Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team has commended Floyd Landis on his courage, while announcing a parting of ways with the rider. In the same announcement Bahati confirmed that OUCH Medical Center has withdrawn its sponsorship of the squad.

    “Due to the media intensive environment, the team and Floyd Landis have decided to amicably part ways,” read the statement. “We support his courage to come forward in an effort to facilitate a drug free and fair sport.

    “The team is working to update sponsorship and continue supporting the mission of the Bahati Foundation,” it continued. “The Foundation supports youth in inner-city through the sport of cycling and GIVEBACK programs.”

    OUCH counts amongst its staff long-time Landis supporter Dr. Brent Kay, who has maintained his support of Landis since the rider’s e-mail confessing to doping were leaked last week. As a title sponsor OUCH followed Landis from the now UnitedHealthcare-Maxxis squad to Bahati’s team this year.

    “The Bahati Foundation Pro Cycling Team will be moving forward without the continued support of OUCH Medical Center due to the recent turbulent media environment,” said the statement. “We are extremely thankful to Dr. Brent Kay for his generous support and respect his decision to minimize involvement in the cycling world at this time.”

    Landis’ claims of doping within the peloton over a period from 2002-2006 has sent shockwaves through the sport. It has led to investigations being launched in five countries against the accused riders and team staff, while the International Cycling Union (UCI) has faced increased pressure after it admitted to accepting a $100,000 donation from Lance Armstrong while he was competing, prior to his first retirement from the sport.

    Both Landis and Kay were present at the OUCH Medical Center corporate tent at the Amgen Tour of California last...

  • Top teams prepare for Philly championship

    The peloton at the Philadelphia International Championship
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 9:13 BST
    Cycling News

    US race still a favourite and attracts quality field

    Dubbed 'the nation's biggest one-day race' and now in its 26th year, the TD Bank Philadelphia International Championship is back in 2010, with some of the world's best teams slated to ride the event on June 6.

    Two ProTour squads will send several of the world's best riders to Philly for the event, with HTC-Columbia taking recent Giro d'Italia stage winner Matt Goss and local lad Craig Lewis to cover the team's bases on the testing parcours. The squad is the defending champion, having taken first and second with André Greipel and Greg Henderson in 2009.

    After a successful Amgen Tour of California with Francesco Chicchi and Peter Sagan that included three stage wins, Liquigas-Doimo will send this duo to headline the Italian squad's effort. Sagan in particular is a good chance of prevailing on the tough course that includes the Manayunk Wall, given his success at this year's Paris-Nice and his victory on the Big Bear stage of this month's race in California.

    Reigning US criterium national champion John Murphy, Chad Beyer and Jackson Stewart will headline BMC Racing's attack at the event, with an enhanced organisation in 2010 that has seen the team massively increase operations around the world. Nevertheless, the team will be aiming to maintain its record on US soil and grab what is arguably the most prestigious one-day crown in America.

    Hot on the heels of the ProTour and Pro Continental teams is a host of US-based Continental squads that include Kelly Benefits Strategies (Andy Bajadali and Scott Zwizanski), United Healthcare-Maxxis (Rory Sutherland and Karl Menzies), Fly V Australia (Jonathan Cantwell and Charles Dionne), Bissell (Andy Jacques-Maynes and Kyle Wamsley), Jamis-Sutter Home-Colavita (Ivan Dominguez and Tyler Wren) and Jelly Belly-Kenda (Mike Friedman) plus Canada's own Spidertech-Planet Energy outfit.

  • Misery for Missouri as race likely cancelled

    St Louis will host a circuit race this year
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 9:35 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Medalist Sports parts ways as Governor fails to release funds

    The Tour of Missouri stage race will likely be cancelled this year due the lack of a $1 million USD in funding from State Governor Jay Nixon and the Missouri Tourism Commission. Event organiser Medalist Sports have chosen to withdraw from the race, slated to take place from August 31 to September 6.

    "Yes, we have pulled out of the effort," confirmed Chris Aronhalt, Managing Partner of Medalist Sports. "Clearly the Governor is not supportive, which means the Tour will not be successful. In our opinion the Tour will be cancelled because you don’t expect a change of heart from the Governor. We are disappointed yet grateful for the opportunity and proud of our results.

    "The success of the Tour of Missouri the past three years has been a result of the public-private partnerships, thanks in part to the initiative of the State," he said. "The leadership and support unfortunately appears to no longer exist, which is an integral element of a successful event of this nature. Of course we are very disappointed but we are also proud of the Tour’s meteoric rise in the sports world, as well as grateful for the long lasting relationships made along the way."

    According to the board of directors of Tour of Missouri Inc., the race will be officially cancelled should earmarked funds not be released by Tourism and the Governor.

    Medalist Sports and Tour of Missouri Inc. have fought a seven month battle over the funding with Governor Nixon and the Missouri Tourism Commission, despite funds being specifically set aside for the Tour of Missouri in a bi-partisan state senate and house approval, all in favor of funding the race.

    "This may be a win for the Missouri Tourism Commission and the Governor, but a huge loss for the state of Missouri and its citizens," said Mike Weiss, chairman of the Tour of Missouri Inc. "It has been an insanely complicated battle for something so beneficial, and it has left all of us absolutely baffled."

  • Garmin-Transitions to co-operate with investigations

    Team Garmin-Transitions at a pre-TDU presscon.
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 9:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Team says it will support all who tell the truth, no matter what it is

    All of Garmin-Transitions staff are expected to co-operate with all authorities in any anti-doping investigations and are expected to tell the truth, “whatever that truth is.” In a statement issued Thursday night, the team pledged its support to all riders who are truthful.

    Floyd Landis named the team's David Zabriskie in his e-mails to US anti-doping and cycling authorities concerning doping in the peloton. The UCI has already asked the United States Anti-Doping Authority to open an investigation into Zabriskie and the other American licensees named.

    “We expect anyone in our organisation who is contacted by any cycling, anti-doping, or government authority will be open and honest with that authority.  In that context, we expect nothing short of 100 percent truthfulness – whatever that truth is - to the questions they are asked.”

    If something should come out concerning illegal activities in the past, those involved have nothing to fear, the team said. “As long as they express the truth about the past to the appropriate parties, they will continue to have a place in our organisation and we will support them for living up to the promise we gave the world when we founded Slipstream Sports.”

    The team was created to promote clean cycling, and “built on the core values of honesty, fairness and optimism,” the team said. “It is built on the belief in our ability to contribute to changing the sport's future through a persistent commitment to the present.

    It continued, “we find ourselves at a critical moment in cycling's evolution: confronting its past,” and noted that “Everyone who works for us came here knowing in advance what we stand for as well as the standards to which they will be held.

    “We cannot change what happened in the past. But we believe it is time for transparency.”

  • Colom suspended for two years

    Katusha, it's Russian for 'I beat you' is something along the lines of what Antonio Colom was saying on the podium.
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 10:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish federation upholds EPO doping charges

    Antonio Colom has been suspended for two years by the Spanish Cycling federation for anti-doping violations, the International Cycling Union has reported. He has also been ordered to pay a fine of 46,958 Euro.

    He tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control in April 2009, and had been targeted under the biological passport programme, according to the UCI.

    The fine is said to be the equivalent of six-month's salary.

    Colom, 32, denied ever having used EPO or any other doping products. He called the case against him “riddled with flaws” and “a disaster". He requested the Real Federacion Espanola de Ciclismo to acquit him and issue him a licence for the 2010 season.

  • Evans: Every Giro second counts

    Cadel Evans (BMC) displays his 'grinta'
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 10:16 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian hopes to avoid a repeat of the legendary 1988 Gavia stage

    Cadel Evans has taken everything that his rivals and three weeks of intense racing at the Giro d'Italia have thrown at him, yet he is still in the fight for the maglia rosa as the final decisive stages approach.

    Evans has only four BMC teammates to help him take on Ivan Basso and the break the dominance of his Liquigas-Doimo team. Yet he is up for the challenge and does not care if he upsets the tifosi and becomes the foreigner that stops Basso becoming the next Italian to win the Giro d'Italia.

    Evans is 42 seconds behind Basso in the overall classification. He still insists that current race leader David Arroyo Duran (Caisse d'Epargne) is a real threat to the Giro, but knows that he needs to focus on Basso and pull back time on him if he has any chance of snatching victory in the final 15km time trial stage around Verona.

    "It's always better if I can gain time. I lost the Tour de France by 23 seconds once and so I know that every second counts. 42 seconds is still a good margin for Basso and it’s a really short final time trial. Being closing would be better," he said a few hours before the two decisive mountain stages.

    "It's going to be close battle. I have to be very careful with how I spend my energy and make my efforts. I can’t leave much to chance. Liquigas has a really strong team and I'm here with just four teammates. I'm guessing that they will continue chipping away as they have done all race. It's been successful for them on the other selective stages. After that though, on the Mortirolo and the Gavia, it's going to be last man standing."

    Evans studied all the climbs of the mountain stages during an altitude training camp after the Ardennes Classics. He hopes the Gavia will be open and the stage will go over it, despite predictions of bad weather and even possible snow. However he does not want a repeat of the legendary Gavia stage in 1988 when Andy Hampsten survived in the snow and set-up...

  • Canadians agree to investigate Barry

    Here's looking at you: Michael Barry in his new Oakleys
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 10:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Cycling federation supports the Team Sky rider

    The Canadian Cycling Association said that it has received the International Cycling Union's request to investigate Michael Barry. The Team Sky rider was named in Floyd Landis' recent allegations of doping.

    Barry has denied any involvement in doping, and the Association made it clear that it believes him. “First of all, we’re very strong believers in Michael Barry,” said Greg Mathieu, the CCA's executive director, to the Toronto Star newspaper. “We’re all about racing clean and we want the world to race clean and make sure all athletes have the same opportunity to win.”

    Mathieu said that despite that, his organisation was forced to look into the situation. The investigation would probably be carried out by the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sport. That is an independent organisation which carries out the nation's anti-doping programme.

    In the recent emails, Landis claimed that Barry and another teammate shared testosterone and EPO with him while training for the 2003 Vuelta a Espana.

    “There’s no analytical basis for us to investigate in this instance where we can prove in any way, shape or form whether or not an athlete is guilty,” said Mathieu. “There’s two people involved and neither is corroborating what the other is saying. We’re going to have a problem following it as far as we can.”

  • Ballan back to racing

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    May 28, 2010, 11:03 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC closes its internal investigation

    Former world champion Alessandro Ballan is no longer withheld from competition by his BMC Racing Team. As the American outfit announced on Friday morning, it has concluded its internal investigation into the alleged doping past of his rider, and "could not find indications that Ballan was involved in any doping in connection with his former team, Lampre."

    BMC Racing Team president Jim Ochowicz indicated that Ballan "has fully cooperated with the Italian authority and has provided the investigation authority with all requested information and even more. Apart of that, no sporting authority has opened a proceeding against Alessandro Ballan so far. Given all these aspects, the BMC Team has no reason at all to not respect the presumption of innocence and will no longer withhold Alessandro Ballan from competition."

    The Italian rider had been pulled from competition by his team on April 9, a few days after it was made public that Ballan was part of the Mantova police investigation being conducted in Italy. The Tour of Flanders winner had ties to Guido Nigrelli, the pharmacist believed to have supplied the Lampre team with performance-enhancing drugs in 2008 and 2009.

    Both Ballan and Nigrelli haave confirmed their relationship, but maintained that no prohibited substances or methods were provided or used.