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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 7, 2011

Date published:
October 07, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • David Millar reacts to CAS Olympic ruling

    David Millar gets ready to start
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 15:13 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Door open for British rider to return

    David Millar has released a statement following a CAS decision which decided that athletes who have served a suspension for doping will be allowed to participate in the Olympic games. The Court of Arbitration for Sport today ruled that an International Olympic Committee regulation banning such athletes was “invalid and unenforceable."

    As a former doper Millar had been banned from competing in the Olympics by the BOA (British Olympic Association). The new ruling paves the way for Millar to possibly make a return to the Olympics.

    In his statement Millar refrains from directly talking about his future as a possible Olympic cycling athlete. Instead the Commonwealth Games TT champion calls for parity, fairness and equality throughout sport.

    David Millar's statement:

    We no longer live in a sporting world where we are governed independently by regional or national bodies, sport is now competed on an international stage bigger than ever before and for that reason needs to be governed by international all-encompassing rules.
    We have a code that exists in world sport, it is called the WADA Code, it is constantly being revised in order to stay up to date with the latest anti-doping and judiciary developments. The WADA code sets the standard in sport and it is one that all national governing bodies should operate under.

    Whatever the sport may be, from playing with a ball on a pitch, running in lanes on a track, or even racing bicycles through our city streets, each competitor should be subject to the same rules. This is not to help the person who cheats or errs, it is there to protect the athletes who respect the rules. Each time those athletes step into competition they need to know that everybody they compete...

  • Madariaga plays down suggestion of Euskaltel exit

    The Spanish Euskaltel-Euskadi team.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 16:54 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Basque team boss insists Euskaltel will back the squad “for many years”

    Miguel Madariaga has played down concerns that Euskaltel may withdraw from sponsoring the Basque team when their current deal runs out at the end of 2012. Responding to the suggestion made earlier this week by Euskaltel president José Antonio Ardanza that he viewed the continuation of his company’s backing of the cycling team as “difficult”, Madariaga, the president of the Fundación Euskadi that administers the team, said he expected Euskaltel to widen its commitment with the squad from 2013

    Speaking at the Tour of Beijing, Madariaga commented: “I think that what Ardanza was referring to is that from 2013 onwards it will be the Euskaltel company itself that will take up the reins of this new project for many years to come. I think that that is more or less what they are trying to explain.”

    Madariaga said that Euskaltel have been delighted with what is likely to be the team’s best season ever on the road, which has included stage wins at all three grand tours.

    For his part, Ardanza admitted he was surprised by the fuss resulting from the comments he had made on Basque TV earlier this week and clarified Euskaltel’s position by affirming: “The team has a guaranteed sponsorship deal for two years, that is to say up to the end of 2012, but I don’t know what is going to happen in 2013. We still have to decide on that.”

    Looking ahead to 2013, he added that Euskaltel will have to see “what the plan for the team is”. Acknowledging the success that the team has had in recent years, he alluded to concerns with the management of the Basque team following the recent and surprise resignation of Igor González de Galdeano from his position as team manager. Widely respected, González de Galdeano has reinvigorated...

  • Video: Haussler on song at Tour of Beijing

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin Cervelo) on the podium
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 18:47 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Australian credits Vuelta for October form

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) scored his first win since the Tour of Qatar in February when he sprinted to victory on stage two of the Tour of Beijing. He had just enough in hand to pip Denis Galimzyanov (Katusha) at the line, but Haussler admitted afterwards that he thought he had been edged out by the Russian fastman.

    “The guy from Katusha came from behind and after the race I actually went straight to the car because I thought he’d won, so it was nice to get the win,” Haussler explained.

    In what he described as a “hectic, crazy” sprint, Haussler managed to pick his way to the front after being chaperoned through the bunch by teammates David Millar and Johan Van Summeren. When Davide Appollonio (Sky) launched his sprint early, Haussler gratefully took the wheel of the Italian youngster.

    “Appollonio from Sky went with maybe 300 metres to go, and that was heaps too early with a headwind like that, but I was like, ‘ok, just take me to the line,’” Haussler said.

    The Australian is enjoying a fine run of late season form, as he reaps the benefits of riding the Vuelta a España, his first grand tour in over two years.

    “Even at the Worlds, I was feeling really strong and did a good lead-out for Gossy [Matt Goss] and I think that gave me a good boost and I knew that I was in good form. I pretty much came here with good intentions to try and go for a stage win.”
     

  • Riders fight against pollution at the Tour of Beijing

    Scenic landscape at the Tour of Beijing
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 19:33 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    Saxo Bank and HTC minimize the controversy and say there are remedies

    Pollution in the Chinese capital is a recurring topic on the social networks when Tour of Beijing is mentioned. Garmin-Cervélo's Andrew Talansky was one of the first to complain about the air quality on Twitter even before the start of the race, but other teams say the pollution isn't a big concern.

    After a few hours on his bike, the American talent confirmed he has been affected by the bad air. "Pollution is clearly strong here", he told Cyclingnews. "I guess someone like David Millar who is born in Hong Kong doesn't have the same problems here. For my part I come from California but not from a big city. At home I struggled when I rode around Los Angeles but it is really worse in Beijing."

    Amaël Moinard also said at the start of stage 2 that "it was pretty hard to breathe during the time trial". However BMC's Frenchman doesn't want to take part to the controversy and says he "is really enjoying" his first experience in China.

    Beijing's pollution is hard to miss. Even on clear days, there is a haze that lingers, and it led the government to close dozen of factories around the city three weeks before the Olympic Games in 2008.

    On Wednesday, weather.com.cn recorded a "pretty bad" quality of air in Beijing and Men-To Go district where stage 2 has finished. In its last forecast, published at 6pm (11am in London), the Chinese website recommends "to reduce the outdoor sport activities".

    "With 18 million people and a huge amount of car traffic that the local authorities are trying to decrease, it's obvious Beijing doesn't have the same quality of air as the Swiss Alps," said Global Cycling Promotions Director Alain Rumpf, organiser of the Tour of Beijing, adding that spring and autumn are the best seasons for air quality.

    "Air quality changes every day...

  • Video: Muravyev pleased to be in first Tour of Beijing breakaway

    Dmitriy Muravyev (RadioShack) finished third on the opening stage.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2011, 22:30 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    RadioShack rider pushed Chinese baroudeur to capture the intermediate sprint

    The four escapees on stage 2 of the Tour of Beijing were pioneers of sorts, as the route between the national stadium in Beijing and Mentougou was the first road stage of the new race.

    “I didn't know how the roads were, so I tried to go in the breakaway,” RadioShack's Dmitry Muravyev said to Cyclingnews in a video interview after the finish.

    There were three riders in front with the Kazakh: Igor Anton (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team) and a complete unknown, Kun Jiang (Chinese National Team), who Muravyev praised.

    “I was very surprised by the Chinese guy, he was very strong,” he said. “I wanted him to do something and the others agreed with me. I think it's very good for China.”

    Jiang, aged 22, a former track rider who captured a stage at the Tour of China last year, crossed the line first at the opening intermediate sprint at kilometer 17.

    For his part, after his attempt, Muravyev concluded that China has “perfect roads and many people” to watch the race. “For me, if it’s possible, I’ll come back next year,” he added.

    In that case he would wear Astana's jersey, as he's coming back to his “national” team next year. About his leaving, he said that he wanted “to show something” at the Tour of Beijing “for the team and the sponsors” because he had “a good time with RadioShack.”

     

  • Hayman's Paris-Bourges win the first in five years

    Mathew Hayman got his first win since 2006
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 0:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Battle looms between Australians at Paris-Tours

    Sky's Mathew Hayman claimed his first win in five years in pipping compatriot Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank SunGard) on the line at the 190.4 kilometre Paris-Bourges on Thursday.

    Hayman prevailed on a gruelling day on the bike, with foul weather conditions greeting riders on the start line and throughout the race. The 33-year-old claimed his place in the early breakaway and maintained his position as the race came back together.

    "I was leading into the last 400 metres and managed a good sprint," he told teamsky.com. "I'd seen that the guys behind were lining up so I just went and Baden Cooke got alongside me but couldn't quite get over me and Greg [Henderson] was finishing very fast on the outside but the line came quicker.

    "I was really happy with that - I think we got away after about 15 kilometres and I ended up kind of winning a sprint so there was a bit of disbelief afterwards!

    "My last victory was the Commonwealth Games in 2006 so it's been a while in between but it's nice to win a race in a Team Sky jersey."

    It's Hayman's second time on the podium this season, having finished third at Omloop Het Volk, but it was a result last week at Franco-Belge where he finished sixth overall behind winner Robbie McEwen (RadioShack) which gave Hayman the confidence that he was starting to come into a bit of form.

    "I knew [last week] at Franco-Belge that I was going pretty well and Steven [de Jongh, the team's Sports Director] in the car told me to make sure I was confident in my sprint and I guess that's what I did."

    Hayman will next take on

  • GP Sochi to feature in WorldTour in 2013

    Katusha's team manager Andrei Tchmil walked in the start village
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 1:36 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    Tchmil to play a role in organising Russian event

    Officially Andrei Tchmil is at the Tour of Beijing this week to manage his team, Katusha, of which he is the president until the end of the year, but he is also there in an unofficial role scouting for the GP Sochi, which is to be added to the WorldTour in 2013.

    As a strong man of cycling in Russia and an intermediary with the political power, Tchmil will be an essential part of the new race. "Yes, I will organize it and we are already working on this", Tchmil told Cyclingnews.

    The Russian GP Sochi ran from 2005 to 2008 at a 2.2 ranking, but was to be promoted to the then-ProTour in 2009. Before it made the jump, the race was postponed because of the economic crisis.

    The race has now been scheduled for 2013. Cyclingnews understand it will be an eight-day event, which would start the 20th of April and end on the 27th.

    Tchmil is in China to see how the newest WorldTour race is being run. "I can see the difficulties and the good points. I am trying to understand how to organize such a race in a country which has a little cycling culture. What I can see in Beijing is very interesting."

    Global Cycling Promotion, the commercial arm of the UCI which organizes the Tour of Beijing will also be behind the GP of Sochi, also confirmed to Cyclingnews that Tchmil "will play a key role" in the Russian event.

    This means Katusha's president may step down as the head of his squad at the end of the year, giving the power to ex-Gerolsteiner manager Hans Michael Holczer. He will still remain highly involved in Russian cycling. The Katusha team is part of the activities of "Russian global cycling project" which was launched in 2009 with the aim, among others, to support a big Russian cycling race.

    It seems Tchmil will have a strong position in...

  • USADA welcomes CAS Olympic ruling

    David Millar (Great Britain) was passed by Martin en route to seventh place.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2011, 4:40 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Tygart says it does not undermine the IOC's stance on anti-doping

    US Anti-Doping Agency has welcomed a CAS ruling allowing athletes who have served a suspension for doping to participate in the Olympic Games, on the basis that the rules now fall in line with the WADA code. The ruling contradicts the IOC's stance as well as that of the British Olympic Association (BOA), who previously banned all sanctioned athletes from ever competing in the Games.

    Travis Tygart, CEO of the US Anti-Doping Agency, spoke at a recent anti-doping symposium in London, organised by the Times. With the CAS ruling just days away he stated that the event would be a pivotal moment in the fight against doping, and one would stretch the robustness of the WADA anti-doping code.

    "I think this is the principled outcome for signatories to the WADA Code, so obviously we support it from that perspective," Tygart said after the CAS ruling.

    "The ruling does not undermine the IOC's strong stance on anti-doping and their commitment to protecting clean athletes. They took the courageous step in the late 90s to externalize and make independent their overall program, and this CAS ruling is further confirmation that having an independent program and implementing the WADA Code helps create harmonization across the world, and ensures that all athletes in all sports are treated fairly and equally."

    The CAS ruling now means that the IOC must lobby WADA in order to push towards a ban an outright ban of sanctioned athletes. The IOC had been pushing for a two-Olympiad ban, with no review hearing if athletes received a doping violation six months before the London Olympic Games.

    While Tygart would prefer an outright Olympic ban for the most serious doping violations, he stressed that unity between WADA and it's national federations was paramount.

    "In egregious doping cases, we support athletes and athlete support...