- Article published:
- November 8, 2012, 13:36
- Cycling News
Suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain
Shane Sutton has been taken to hospital after an incident while out riding near Levenshulme in Manchester. After being diagnosed it was confirmed that the head of the GB Cycling Team has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain. The news comes less than 24 hours after Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins was rushed to hospital after being hit by a vehicle in Lancashire.
“British Cycling has confirmed that Shane Sutton, Head Coach for the GB Cycling Team, was involved in an incident this morning on the A6 near Levenshulme in Manchester. Shane was taken into hospital where it was identified he has suffered bruising and bleeding on the brain. Shane was wearing a helmet. He is set to undergo more tests, and is likely to stay in hospital for the next few days."
"It is extremely rare that our riders and coaches are hurt while out cycling on the road, even rarer that two incidents should occur in a short space of time, and we wish Shane and Bradley a speedy recovery.
"Cycling is not an intrinsically dangerous activity but there is much more to be done to improve conditions for cyclists on the roads. British Cycling is calling on the government to put cycling at the heart of transport policy to ensure that cycle safety is built into the design of all new roads, junctions and transport projects, rather than being an afterthought."
- Article published:
- November 8, 2012, 15:33
- Daniel Benson
The Independent Commission’s mandate will be key
Former World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) president Dick Pound voiced his concern over the UCI's decision to request that John Coates recommends personnel for their Independent Commission. While Pound believes that Coates is capable of making recommendations, he believes that the fact both Coates and Hein Verbruggen, the honorary President of the UCI, are both members of the IOC (International Olympic Committee) could be conceived as a conflict of interest. However Pound adds that the mandate of the Commission will be the proof over whether the panel is truly independent.
Coates is also the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) and the Commission will look at the serious allegations and behaviour of the UCI during the Lance Armstrong era. The UCI faced several allegations which included covering up a positive test and bribery after accepting several donations from Armstrong.
However Pound also told Cyclingnews that WADA should have been the UCI's first port of call but that the frosty relationship may have led cycling's governing body to turn to CAS.
"The obvious thing for the UCI would have been to approach WADA, but they don't like WADA. They think WADA have been picking on them over the years so they went to CAS as arguably an organisation with no skin in the game at all," Pound told Cyclingnews.
Asked if Coates and Verbruggen's positions on the IOC were an issue, Pound said:
"Well, it's troubling. What you hope is that everyone stands back. It would be more troubling if another IOC member was sitting on the commission. Then people would say it was the gang working for each other. I think you're likely to see a judge or lawyer preside over the commission, and then a forensic accountant and there are no forensic accountants at the IOC. The real proof in the pudding will be how the Commission define their mandate because I really think cycling has to take a look at more than just Lance Armstrong. It's a problem that's endemic in the sport and they're teetering on the edge of a total lack of credibility. So they have to make sure that the commission has full power to investigation and obtain evidence that would go into and thorough and full report."
Another area of interest could be Coates' past. As well as his positions at the IOC and ICAS, he is also Australian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Australian Olympic Foundation. He also led the successful Sydney Olympic Games bid but in 1999, it came to light that he had made two donations of $70,000 to two IOC delegates in order to obtain their voting support. At around the same time, Pound led an investigation into the Salk Lake city winter Olympic bid. The Sydney bid beat Beijing to the 2000 Games by two votes. Coates denied that his actions amounted to bribery.
"He acknowledged that he made some payments to a couple of the African members of the IOC. There was not particular fallout from the report other than the Kenyan resigned. The other, he was able to establish that the money went into a foundation that supported sport in Uganda."
"I think he's a very bright guy and he's done well by Australian sport. He was asked by the UCI, wearing his hat as the president of the Court of Arbitration for Sport if he might suggest some people to them, who could be asked to undertake the investigation they promised they would launch. He's not involved more than that."
Since the fallout from the Armstrong investigation calls for the UCI president Pat McQuaid and Verbruggen to resign have increased. Greg LeMond, a three-time winner of the Tour de France, and journalist Paul Kimmage have been the most prominent and vocal in their demands for new leadership in Aigle.
The UCI's decision to set up an Independent Commission and a separate consultation project with cycling stakeholders are attempts to address the body's credibility. Pound, who was sued by the UCI the last time they set up an independent commission, wrestled with the question over Verbruggen and McQuaid's leadership.
"I've always hesitated not to say that [they should resign - ed.] and I've turned it around. Generally speaking within any particular sport, the people that know most about the sport and who should be able to get at the problem are people already in that sport. This is a cycling problem and the cycling world, the Canadian federation, the French the British and so on, they are going to have to say 'we're in the shit, we've got to do something to get out of it, are you the right people to do it? If you are, get on with it, if not then maybe we should be looking for someone else.'
"But that has to come from cycling itself. Maybe the commission would say there's no moral authority for you and it's time for you to move on but they could only make recommendations. They couldn't make it actually happen.
The UCI's decision to approach ICAS over WADA may stem from the UCI's perception that WADA have an agenda against them. In the summer McQuaid told Cyclingnews that "Historically over the last 10 to 15 years there has been a political campaign against cycling by senior people within WADA and I don't think that's acceptable."
However Pound refuted the claim and told Cyclingnews: "We have a concern with lots of organisation that are not doing as much as they should to deal with doping and cycling is certainly one of them. Cycling has resolutely adopted this injured innocence of 'they’re picking on us, and the reason they’re picking on us is that we have the best anti doping programme in the word and we catch people'. But what we’re saying is there is a doping problem in cycling and you should know that more than we do. There are lots of ways you can improve but you don't do it. We’ve written to them and spoken to them but we get no change."
- Article published:
- November 8, 2012, 17:43
- Alasdair Fotheringham
New Garmin-Sharp signing back on bike after hip operation in September
Yesterday (Wednesday) was the first time that Classics specialist Nick Nuyens got back on the bike in two months. The former Tour of Flanders and Het Nieuwsblad winner had an operation in September on his hip injury sustained in the 2012 Paris-Nice. The injury wrecked his Classics season, and he is now building towards hitting the ground running in 2013.
“I’ve not really started training yet, but yesterday was the first time on the bike in two months, just for one hour each time,” Nuyens told Cyclingnews on Thursday.
“But I’ve been doing exercises my osteopath has told me to do, and aqua-jogging, I have to make sure I keep exercising my hip, so I don’t lose too much power.”
With his 2012 Classics season wiped out by the injury after abandoning Paris-Nice, Nuyens came back to racing through the summer, but says “it was very frustrating. The wound healed but I could tell I wasn’t able to race at full power, I didn’t feel any pain but my back was a bit twisted.”
“Then we did a three-dimensional scan right after the races in Canada [GP Montreal and GP Quebec] and there was still a two-centimetre fracture, not exactly in the bone but close to it. So I had an operation straight away.”
“It was very good of Saxo Bank to let me have that surgery in September. I was supposed to continue racing for another month but this way I could recover earlier and be ready to go full gas for training for the Classics in two or three weeks time. That’s a little earlier than I usually do, but I want to be sure I’m ready.”
“But right now I’m still recovering, I can’t do running, for example, so this is why I’m doing the aqua-jogging and the exercises my osteopath tells me to do.”
Nuyens will head with his new team for 2013, Garmin, for a first training camp on December 14th for 10 days in Arizona, before heading to Spain post-Christmas for more training in warm weather. “It can be cold there, too, but it’s always nicer than in Belgium at that time of year.”
His first race of the season will almost certainly be the Tour of Mallorca, followed by the Tour of Algarve. “Qatar is another good option, each has advantages and disadvantages, but it’s also a very tough race, if it’s windy you can get dropped after two kilometres. In the Algarve the weather’s not always so good, but there’s less pressure.”
“I’ve very, very motivated, though for 2013. Last year was so frustrating, even when I got back into racing. So I’m making a big effort for next season."
- Article published:
- November 8, 2012, 19:15
- Cycling News
Sky rider to recover from minor injuries at home
Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins left the hospital on Thursday afternoon, one day after he suffered injuries in a collision with a vehicle during training.
The team confirmed Wiggins' release and noted that his injuries were minor, including a bruised hand and ribs. The Tour de France winner was kept at the Royal Preston Hospital overnight Wednesday as a precaution.
The British rider will continue his recuperation at home with family and expects no long term consequences for his injuries.
Team Sky's Dr Richard Freeman said, "Bradley has been discharged from hospital after suffering minor injuries, including bruises to his right hand and ribs, but is expected to make a full and speedy recovery. He is now going to spend the weekend at home convalescing with his family."
- Article published:
- November 8, 2012, 20:26
- Cycling News
Italian joins Commeyne in Belgian team line up
The Accent.Jobs-Wanty team today announced it has signed Italian sprinter Danilo Napolitano, 31, for the 2013 season.
Napolitano comes to the team after two seasons with the now-defunct Acqua e Sapone team.
A winner of three stages of this year's Tour de Wallonie, Napolitano counts among his palmares a stage of the Giro d'Italia in 2007 and a fifth place in Milano-Sanremo in 2005.
Also joining the Sicilian on the Belgian team is 32-year-old Davy Commeyne. Commeyne, who also races cyclo-cross, comes from the Landbouwkrediet team.
- Article published:
- November 8, 2012, 21:45
- Cycling News
Canadian suspicious of recent doping admissions
Canadian rider Will Routley this week published a scathing editorial, denouncing riders such as his compatriot Michael Barry, who recently admitting to having doped and claimed to have "quietly stopped cheating on their own accord".
"To say I am frustrated would be an understatement. Cyclists are coming out of the woodwork at the moment – big name athletes admitting to doping. I use the term ‘admitting’ loosely, as in reality they have been caught and forced to come clean. Canadian legend Michael Barry is on the list, many American superstars are on the list; it is saddening to say the least," Routley wrote.
As part of the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team's doping practices, and the era of prevalent EPO use that surrounded them, a number of North Americans have confessed. Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, Tom Danielson, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, and Barry were all given six-month bans for their admissions.
Later, Bobby Julich confessed after facing Team Sky's zero-tolerance policy.
One common theme in the confessions was that each rider spontaneously decided to stop doping, and that is something Routley finds odd.
"I find it very hard to believe that every doper out there suddenly decides to quit on his own accord, and I also object to the idea that even if this were true, the rider is now "clean"," Routley wrote. "This person has taken his body way farther than what is naturally possible, and has lifelong adaptations to this, so even if he were no longer on drugs, he would in all likelihood still hold an unfair advantage."
"The thing is, along with doping, these guys also enjoyed the success that goes with it: podium finishes in monumental events such as the Tour de France, fame, success, and money. The pay range would be from $300,000 to $3 million a year (a lot more if you are Lance).
"These guys go on to say they quietly stopped cheating on their own accord, and continued racing "clean." Then in the years of "clean" racing that followed they all seem to incredibly achieve similar success to that seen in the years in which they were doping."
Routley said that he was writing the opinion piece in order to give the viewof a real, clean athlete.
"Yes they do exist. Initially we heard that there are two choices: dope, or quit the sport. But there is a glaringly obvious third choice, and that is to not dope, and just continue racing clean. Seems simple enough to me, it's the choice I made along with many of my colleagues.
"'I had no choice, I had to 'cross the line' or end my dream'." This is just a taste of the utter garbage that has filled my ears as of late."
Routley called doping "toxic" and dopers criminal. "I don't believe these guys set out to be criminals, but at some point they choose to be. To me, if you dope you defeat the purpose of competition altogether.
"I compete to see how good I am, and test the limits of my capabilities. If I dope, then I am really cheating myself. I am happy to remind anyone that will listen that you can indeed be a professional athlete without drugs. You can even win."
Routley's path to professional success was slow and rocky. He details a difficult entry into the world ranks, being dropped in the world championships at 18 and roughing it on no salary for years, enduring a "rough window" where he very nearly gave up the sport.
"...it seemed like an insurmountable gap for me to jump to the elite ranks, but I was lucky and had tremendous support from family, friends and fellow teammates. We all committed to each other that we'd stay clean, and kept convincing one another that it is indeed possible to win clean. This mantra went against the popular sentiment, but we held to it."
The persistence paid off in 2010 with the Canadian national road title, and since moving to the Spidertech team he was second in the UCI 1.1-ranked Tro-Bro Léon in 2011, third in a stage of the Ruta del Sol and ninth overall in the Presidential Tour of Turkey.
"In short, I am a successful professional athlete, and I made the third choice, not to dope, not to quit, but to persevere."
Routley also goes on to support a zero-tolerance policy toward dopers. "It is so common that a former doper becomes the authority on how to be a clean rider, but in my estimation this is totally backwards. A cheater cannot tell a young kid how to race clean, because he has never done so," he wrote.
"The cheaters all justify their decisions as saying, 'it was normal at the time, it was institutionalized'. If they can't own their personal mistakes then get rid of them. Why is a lifelong ban from the sport so bad? There are many other jobs out there, get a job somewhere else. I want to work with drug-free riders, and set an example for the next generation."
Finally, he encourages his fellow clean athletes to keep to their chosen path.
"I see young kids coming up with the goal to stay 100 per cent true and clean. This goal needs to be fostered by all of us. What I want to see is clean riders working with coaches, becoming mentors, managing teams, and helping to develop the future of the sport."
- Article published:
- November 9, 2012, 00:27
- Alex Malone
Team director Christie-Johnston confident in continued success
Replicating the impressive victory haul of 2011 was always going to be difficult for the Genesys Wealth Advisers team this year. Team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston admits that such dominant success will likely never be seen again. With the Australian calendar wrapped up, Christie-Johnston is charged with forming a squad that can remain the country’s number one cycling team - after winning the NRS team title for the third consecutive year.
Rebuilding the team in 2012 after the departure of Steele Von Hoff - Garmin-Sharp’s latest recruit - and Nathan Haas, who will enter his second year riding for Vaughters' ProTeam, was a huge challenge for Christie-Johnston. The team didn’t deliver the same amount of wins but they did achieve its primary goal: to be Australia’s number one team.
"If people compare last year to this year, like we do ourselves, we could be disappointed with what we achieved," said Christie-Johnston to Cyclingnews. "We didn’t have anywhere near the same success but our ultimate goal has always been to be the number one team in Australia. To win that for a third time in a row is definitely ticking one of those boxes.
"The competition was a lot stronger and I think that was always going to happen on the basis of us being so dominant the year before. It made other teams step up. Personally, it’s great for cycling."
Prolific winners of stages and general classification titles, Steele Von Hoff and Nathan Haas provided the team with a heavy chance to win nearly every race they entered.
Pat Shaw, Anthony Giacoppo and Joel Pearson also took wins in 2011 at the Tour of the Murray River, Melbourne to Warrnambool and Shipwreck Coast but not to the same extent as Von Hoff and Haas - who both left the squad at the end of 2011.
"Everyone likes winning but for me, I’m in it for the development of cyclists and not just for our team. It’s nice to see riders take that next step no matter who they are."
In 2012, the team looked to Anthony Giacoppo, "who didn’t get noticed much last year" to try and do what Von Hoff and Haas achieved together - win stages and tours. And he made a serious attempt at doing so.
"Steele won a lot of stages but didn’t win a single tour but Nathan won many tours," added Christie-Johnston. "For Anthony to step up and do both was challenging. If you are trying to win a stage in the [NRS] tours you have to step back, especially in crits, relax and let your team do the work. But if you are trying to win a tour you have to go for all these intermediate sprints."
One of the most significant challenges for the riders this year was to lift their own performances, especially those who rode with Von Hoff and Haas in 2011. The result was a more rounded team that shared leadership on the road.
"We had Campbell Flakemore step up and win a few stages which was great, Nathan Earle as well. I think it was spread rather than just the two but I think it’s always going to be difficult for us and even our riders who were there the year before. To be so dominant, it is difficult to take and not get that same success."
Building for continued success
Just as Christie-Johnston re-built his team for 2012, he has been busy doing the same for the coming year. There will be riders moving on but for the moment the team manager was content to inform Cyclingnews that the NRS peloton would soon be introduced to the "strongest team yet."
One of the perks that come with managing Australia’s number one team is the amount of interest it received from riders wanting to sign-up. Christie-Johnston says he could have compiled a list of riders far bigger than his budget would allow however, he is satisfied the roster for 2013 will be more than capable.
"We have a full squad of 16 riders and there is five new guys coming into the team who, in my mind are good signings and capable of winning races," Christie-Johnston told Cyclingnews.
"Next year is going to be a cracker of a year. I know Drapac has a few key riders and they’ll be strong while Budget Forklifts will be out there actively. They’ve probably got the biggest challenge - a challenge like we had - losing some of their top riders. They’ll have to get out there and see who they can get.
"It’s going to be the strongest team yet. I could have made three really good squads so if I can do that, I’d imagine next year is going to be a ripper."
- Article published:
- November 9, 2012, 00:58
- Cycling News
Swedish champion fills in for Arndt
Swedish champion Emma Johansson has confirmed that she will be joining the Orica GreenEdge women's team in 2013.
The 29-year-old told Eurosport.se that she will be one of the leaders of the Australian team, stepping into the gap left by retired time trial world champion Judith Arndt.
"It will be really exciting," Johansson said of her move. "I'm very pleased to have the opportunity to drive for a big team. This is a dream I had and it was time for a change. A place opened up in the squad when Judith Arndt left after the season and they wanted someone with experience. I will be one of the leaders."
Johansson had a competing offer from the Dutch team Dolmans-Boels, which also signed Britons Lizzy Armitstead and Lucy Martin, but her instincts led her to opt for the Australian team.
"Green Edge has a solid foundation to stand on, with the men's team, and they work closely with the Cycling Australia. It's really professional."
A silver medalist in the 2008 Olympic Games, Johansson has challenged for the top of the women's standings of the UCI World Cup. She has only one round to her name, the 2009 Ronde van Drenthe, but has been second in both La Flèche Wallonne Féminine and the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in two separate years.
Her 2012 season started off poorly after she broke both collarbones in a training crash, but with an eye on qualifying Sweden for the Olympic Games, she quickly recovered and returned to racing before the first World Cup. She took third in the Ronde van Drenthe, and went on to win the South African Tour de Free State stage race, securing an additional spot for her country in London.
She claimed both her road and time trial national championships, won a stage of the Giro Donne and was third overall in the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen, a race she won in 2011.