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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, November 2, 2012

Date published:
November 02, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Kimmage counter-attacks Verbruggen, McQuaid

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 18:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Irish journalist files Swiss defamation case

    Irish journalist Paul Kimmage has filed a legal action against UCI president Pat McQuaid and former UCI president Hein Verbruggen, accusing the pair of slander/defamation, denigration and "strong suspicions of fraud".

    The criminal complaint was filed in Vevey, Switzerland today by Kimmage's attorneys on behalf of both Kimmage and his fellow "whistle-blowers Stephen Swart, Frankie Andreu, Floyd Landis, Christophe Bassons, Nicolas Aubier, Gilles Delion, Graham Obree and the many others - who were brave enough to speak but were dismissed as 'liars', 'cowards', or 'scumbags' by Hein Verbruggen and/or Pat McQuaid."

    The action is a counter-suit to a defamation case brought against Kimmage by McQuaid and Verbruggen, who objected to comments made by Kimmage in an interview. McQuaid specified that the complaint referred to statements accusing the UCI of being corrupt.

    “This is about a journalist who accused me and my predecessor and the UCI of being corrupt, and it’s a straightforward defamation case," McQuaid said last month.

    A legal defense fund was created after the suit against Kimmage became public, and to date has raised over $85,000.

    At a recent meeting of the UCI management committee, however, it was announced that the defamation case against Kimmage has been suspended.

    The press release sent by attorney Cédric Aguet states that Kimmage was "dragged through the mud, that he was called a liar in public and accused in public of committing offences against the honour after he had obtained the publication of an interview with...

  • Orica-GreenEdge's 'Vance Review' to hopefully conclude July 2013

    Orica-GreenEdge's Stuart O'Grady (left) and sports director Matt White before the start of the Down Under Classic in Adelaide.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 21:20 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Vance not certain if team will follow Sky's zero tolerance policy

    Nicki Vance, chosen to lead the Orica-GreenEdge external review into the team's policies, procedures as well as riders and staff, believes that it will take between six and eight months to reach a conclusion.

    Vance, who has been at the forefront of the anti-doping fight since working with the Australian Sports Drug Agency (now the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority) in the late 1980s and who now works as a consultant in the field, finalised her agreement with the team on Tuesday when she arrived in Europe from her native Australia.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews from Germany following Orica-GreenEdge's announcement of the review, Vance said she was excited to be playing a pro-active role in positive change for the sport.

    "I've been involved in this game now for 23 years and cycling was the original sport we focussed on back in the early '90s," Vance said. "So I've had a lot to do with cycling over the years – both collecting samples myself and lobbying for change with the UCI.

    "The last few months I've been following it quite closely, just through my own interest and reading Tyler Hamilton's book and all sorts of things. I'm quite excited about the opportunity to work with them because it's been a long time coming. The Lance Armstrong case has blown it all open.

    "I think GreenEdge has now got the opportunity to lead the way and I'm delighted to be part of it."

    While the recent revelations that have been uncovered throughout the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates have not come as a shock to Vance, she did admit to being astounded by the sophistication of the doping programs and also the fact that it was able to continue for so long.

    "It's difficult to imagine that the UCI for a start hasn't done more,"...

  • Livermore pulls funding for Amgen Tour of California bid

    The race passes through Livermore once before returning later in the afternoon for the finish.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 23:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bakersfield uncertain after AEG delays route decisions

    The route of the 2013 Amgen Tour of California is set to be unveiled this month, but the funding for the bids from two cities, Bakersfield and Livermore, are up in the air due to the poor economy and controversies surrounding the sport.

    According to the Mercury News, the city council of Livermore voted unanimously to withdraw its $100,000 of support for hosting the race, if it is selected by organisers AEG for the route.

    The city is in such dire financial straights that it is struggling to maintain its police force and school crossing guards. It even had to rely on its own citizens to raise funds in order for the July 4th fireworks display.

    "The council wants a partnership for all its events, much like the partnership we had for the Fourth of July event," assistant city manager Troy Brown told the Mercury News. "Livermore is coming through one of the most financially difficult times in recent history.

    "Unless Amgen can come up with a solution that significantly reduces the expenses to the city, then the city will not host Amgen next year."

    According to the report, the 2011 edition where Livermore hosted a stage start brought in $3,500 in taxes and $500,000 of revenue for local businesses. The race organisation and the city are still interested in holding part of the race in Livermore, but would need to strike a deal for funding.

    "I believe there is a significant local and regional benefit for the Amgen Tour to come through," Mayor John Marchand said. "We're continuing to negotiate with Amgen. I believe that we can work with our community partners and sponsors to come to a solution."

    Meanwhile, the bid by the city of Bakersfield is up in the air. Bakersfield hosted this year's time trial and had bid to host the race again, but according to The Californian, the city staff decided to drop the bid for the 2013 race after consulting with the Bakersfield Sports Foundation.

    Part of the...

  • Cycling Australia, BikeNZ drop confederation support of Turtur

    Race director Mike Turtur.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 0:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Oceania vote split with Gaudry new nominee

    A battle is looming for the next Oceania President of the UCI Oceania Cycling Confederation with Cycling Australia and Bike NZ dropping their support for incumbent Mike Turtur. The position leads to a seat on the UCI's powerful Management Committee.

    Turtur was elected to the position in 2008 and is also the race director at the lone UCI WorldTour event in Oceania, the Tour Down Under. Just one event, apart from the confederation championships, the New Zealand Cycle Classic is slated for 2013.

    Challenging Turtur on the December ballot for the four-year post is Tracey Gaudry, best known in her post-racing career as the CEO of the Amy Gillett Foundation. Gaudry is also currently a member of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's Anti-doping Review Violation Panel.

    "Cycling Australia concluded that the time was right to support a new candidate to represent our interests and policy positions in relation to the challenges that face cycling," said Klaus Mueller, President of Cycling Australia in a press release.

    "In particular the opportunity for true reform within cycling, particularly in anti-doping policy, governance and equality, is now.

    "Tracey is an outstanding person, with an impeccable background who will make a significant contribution at UCI and Oceania level to the betterment of cycling.

    "The decision taken by the Board of Cycling Australia recognises the expectations of our membership that we continue to lead the development of the sport and maximise our opportunities to advocate for change and reform."

    Turtur has recently come under fire for failing to publicise the fact that ONCE-Eroski rider Giampaolo Caruso returned a positive dope test after winning the Willunga Hill stage at the Tour Down Under in 2003.

  • White caught in wrong team at wrong time, says Jonker

    2004 winner Pat Jonker gets the adulation of the crowd
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 4:22 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Ex-US Postal rider believes in second chances

    Former US Postal rider Patrick Jonker says that while Matt White is a great tactician and motivator, the sport is living in an "irrational world" and that perhaps a zero tolerance approach is required if the sport is to gain the trust of the fans, sponsors and general public. He does however believe that someone like White still has plenty to offer the sport in the future.

    White was officially dismissed from his role as sports director at Orica-GreenEdge following his involvement at US Postal and subsequent identification in USADA's Reasoned Decision document. White later confessed to being a part of "a team where doping formed part of the team's strategy."

    "It's really sad. I know him [White] as a great motivator and one of the reasons he was such a great rider was his ability to motivate a team. I think he's a massive asset to any team, he's a great tactician and coach but in today's current environment I think we need zero tolerance," Jonker told Cyclingnews.

    "White's case is a little bit different", says Jonker who added that he "strongly believes in second chances, especially in Matt's case."

    "Matt White was caught up in the wrong team at the wrong time. That shouldn't affect his whole future but unfortunately it is at the moment."

    Jonker, who spent the 2000 season with US Postal says that the sport is going through a tough time and that his own credibility has been questioned because of his time spent with the US squad. Jonker remains proud of his time with the team and firmly stands by his position that he never saw anything. He admits however, he was only there for one season and didn't ride a grand tour while at the team - which could have made difference he says.

    "You can hold a shotgun to my head and say 'you have to tell the truth, the whole...

  • Rodríguez calls for lifetime bans for dope cheats

    Joaquim Rodriguez cuts himself some slack in the tug-of-war.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 6:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    2012's top-ranked rider wants to "help make this sport better"

    The world's number one cyclist for the 2012 season, Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) has hit out after his achievements have been largely overshadowed by the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates.

    Rodríguez won La Flèche Wallonne and Il Lombardia, and took podiums at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España to finish 91 points ahead of his nearest challenger, Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in the UCI WorldTour rankings. It was the second time in three years that the Spaniard has taken the honour.

    The 33-year-old says that his results can be trusted.

    "I know the road I've travelled," he told "I do not think I ever had a problem with doping nor will I have. I want to help make this sport better."

    For this reason, the constant talk in recent months regarding Armstrong has made him "crazy" and he questions why the full extent of his misdeeds did not come out when the American was first linked to Dr. Michele Ferrari.

    "This sport has a past," Rodríguez admitted. "That is also the reason why there are now so many anti-doping rules... We, the riders of today, are the real losers. We lose sponsors, money, credibility and love of the people. Let us also look ahead. "

    Rodríguez, currently in the Caribbean for the Amstel Curaçao Race, believes that the way forward for the sport is life bans.

    "Throw doping sinners out for life," he said....

  • Consistent Albert tops Bpost Bank Trophy

    World champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 10:03 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    'Cross world champion profits from new time-based classification system

    Despite being only two rounds into the Bpost Bank Trophy, cyclo-cross series world champion Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) nearly has the overall win in the pocket. The former GVA-Trophy series turned their points-based general classification into a time-based system and that turns out to be a good thing for a consistent top performer like Albert.

    "There are three tough races in this series where you can lose a lot of time and that's in Ronse, this one and Baal," Albert said.

    The race on the Hotondberg - a stone's throw away from the Koppenberg - was won by Albert, with Pauwels finishing at short distance. Co-favourite Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) missed his start due to a not-called false start, didn't grab bonus seconds in the intermediate sprint and lost a total of 1:23 on Albert.

    During the second round on Thursday Nys bounced back in the demanding Koppenbergcross. The mud, the steep gradients in the ascent of the famous Flemish pimple and the slippery twisting descent created massive time gaps. Albert controlled damages and finished at short distance from Nys. Pauwels wasn't going well and finished more than two minutes down on the leaders thus paying a high price for his off-day.

    When glancing at the general classification with Cyclingnews after his ride in the Koppenbergcross, Albert quickly made his conclusion. "It's down to Sven and me for the general classification and that's after only two rounds."

    Nys trails Albert by 54 seconds in the general classification after two rounds while third-placed Pauwels is 2:17 down on the world champion.

    "When I got dropped I had to keep sprinting. You have to ride until the finish line. In the past I would've sit up," Albert explained. Albert took Klaas Vantornout (Sunweb-Revor) as example....

  • Hesjedal welcomes Giro challenge from Wiggins and Contador

    Defending champion Ryder Hesjedal and Alberto Contador
    Article published:
    November 02, 2012, 13:26 GMT
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Talks defending his Giro title against Contador and Wiggins

    Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to win a grand tour at the Giro d’Italia in May and several months on he doesn’t seem fazed by having to defend it against the reigning Tour and Vuelta champions, Bradley Wiggins and Alberto Contador.

    “The more the merrier,” Hesjedal said when asked about the potential battle.

    “You want to be able to beat everyone possible. I’m the defending champion and I’ll go there with the number one bib and do the best I can, to do that again. I know that I’ve got the 2012 Giro in my pocket.”

    When Hesjedal went into this year’s race he wasn’t even considered one of the favourites, but secured the win in the final time trial. The defending champion believes his 2012 win will help him beat Wiggins and Contador, “I have that luxury and confidence that I was able to get through a Giro like that this year and win. It does a lot, when you’re training and wrapping your head around the next challenge.”

    Next year’s route throws up seven mountain finishes, with no opening prologue. “I’m excited, it looks good,” Hesjedal said of the route. “I think it is a very balanced route and demanding right from the start. That is something I need, I need a very taxing race throughout.”

    Tour de France champion Wiggins has already shown interest in participating in the race. His last appearance at the Corsa Rosa was 2010, where he held the leader’s jersey for a stage. Contador is still on the fence about competing, with his sights also set on the 2013 Tour de France. Vincenzo Nibali has also thrown his hat into the ring of Giro contenders.

    No doubt the key battle will be in the time trial, with 88km of racing against the clock. Wiggins has showed he is king of the...