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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, October 8, 2010

Date published:
October 08, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Seven Spaniards suspected of doping, says Soler

    Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera tested positive for an EPO masking agent.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 18:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Contador not among those with abnormal blood values

    Spain's general director of Sports, Albert Soler, announced today that two Spanish cyclists are about to receive a penalty and five others are under suspicion of doping after showing irregular blood values, according to Marca. Soler clarified that Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, whose positive doping control for Clenbuterol was announced last week, was not one of the seven.

    Speaking at the Forum Ferrándiz at a conference on the Spanish anti-doping policy, Soler said, "Contador has nothing to do with this," refusing to name the seven riders. He added that the Spanish Federation is taking action in the blood profile cases.

    The news comes after several high-profile doping positives by Spanish cyclists. Aside from Contador's case, Oscar Sevilla, Xacobeo Galicia's Ezequiel Mosquera and David Garcia Dapena were all declared positive for hydroxyethyl starch (HES), which is suspected as an EPO masking agent. Garcia went on to be declared positive for EPO.

    Mountain biker Marga Fullana last week admitted to doping after being found positive for EPO.

    Despite the recent news, Soler said that Spain is not above average in terms of doping positives. "The figures say that Spain is about average in positive doping cases in the world. According to the anti-doping laboratory in Madrid, in 2009 the percentage was 1.2 Spanish adverse findings, while WADA's worldwide average was 1.11, so we are just 0.09 are above this, " he said.

    UCI president Pat McQuaid recently criticized the Spanish government for not doing enough to fight doping, but Soler defended his country's actions.

    "During 2008, 2009 and 2010 in Spain, there were 11 sanctions by the UCI, and Italy in the same period there were 10. It is unpleasant to say, but we will not say that by being average we will be doing nothing, " he said.

  • Hushovd to debut rainbow jersey in Italy

    Thor Hushovd (Norway) shows off his new bit of gold.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2010, 22:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Lombardia will be Cervélo TestTeam's final race

    New world champion Thor Hushovd will make his triumphant return to Europe to display the rainbow jersey in Italy. The 32-year-old Norwegian will take part in the Giro del Piemonte on October 14 and the Giro di Lombardia on October 16 before calling an end to his successful 2010 campaign.

    It will also be the last race for the Cervélo TestTeam, which will disband after Lombardia.

    "I am really honored to show my world champion's jersey," said Hushovd. "Lombardia will be the last race in the history of Cervélo TestTeam, and it is a privilege to line up together with my teammates with the jersey on my shoulders."

    In order to take part in the races, Hushovd postponed a scheduled operation to take out the plates that were placed in his collarbone after his crash in May.

    The Cervélo TestTeam will not take part in this weekend's classic Paris-Tours.

  • 2011 British championships set for Newcastle

    British national champion Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 9:38 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Northeast will host races as part of Northern Rock Cyclone cycling festival

    The 2011 British national road race championships will take place in Newcastle. The men’s and women’s races will take place on June 26 over a challenging course that will take in the Northumberland countryside outside the city.

    “The National Road Championships is the biggest single day road event here in the UK and we look forward to seeing its continued development when we visit the north east in 2011,” said British Cycling cycle sport and membership director Johnny Clay.

    Geraint Thomas (Sky) and newly-crowned world time trial champion Emma Pooley (Cervélo) took the honours at the 2010 British championships and strong fields are also anticipated in the men’s and women’s events in 2011, with both Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) and Nicole Cooke expected to be at the start.

    “The quality of the field that the National Championships is able to generate now is testament to the growth of our sport in the UK and we look forward to seeing those riders do battle over a great course that will see a worthy national champion decided,” Clay explained.

    On the Friday before the road race, the Leazes Criterium races will take place in Leazes Park, Newcastle. Topping the evening’s bill is the elite race, which will see both British and international riders compete.

    The racing forms part of Newcastle’s Northern Rock Cyclone cycling festival, which takes place on the weekend of June 24-26. Amateur cyclists will have the opportunity to take part in a sportive ride on part of the national championships course the day before the race, as the Northern Rock Cyclone challenge ride takes place in the area. Participants have the option of choosing one of three distances to ride: 33, 63 or 104 miles.

  • Gilbert rides for Worlds revenge at Paris-Tours

    Philippe Gilbert (Belgium) thought he had got a winning gap on the climb.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 9:48 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Aims at third year-to-year victory despite jetlag

    Philippe Gilbert flew back from Australia to Europe on Tuesday after missing out on a medal at the Worlds in Melbourne, but he is now looking forward to racing in Sunday's Paris-Tours. The Omega Pharma-Lotto rider could land a third consecutive win in the prestigious French one-day race, and according to Gilbert, his great form from the Vuelta a Espana has far from faded.

    "Of course, I still feel the consequences of the long journey and the jetlag, but I felt really good when I went out training on Wednesday. I climbed up the Col d'Eze and it went great. That gave me a lot of confidence for Paris-Tours," the Belgian told Sporza.

    Even though he faded in the finale of the Worlds road race after an impressive attack on the last lap, Gilbert has retained his good form from the Vuelta where he won two stages. "I worked hard for months, and I didn't lose anything on the way as I won twice at the Vuelta. The disappointment after the Worlds was enormous, but I will do everything I can to finish the season in style and win another Classic," added the 28-year-old, who last season scored Paris-Tours, Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia all within one week.

    "The preparation for Paris-Tours is not easy because of the long flight back from Australia and the jetlag. But I should be fine for Lombardia," he added.

  • Danish betting firm pays out for Schleck winning 2010 Tour

    Alberto Contador (Astana) accepts the congratulations of the gallant Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 9:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Rasmussen supports Contador's claims of innocence

    Alberto Contador is still officially the winner of this year's Tour de France, but a Danish betting firm isn't taking any chances in light of the Spaniard's positive doping control during the race. Betsson is paying out to those who had picked runner-up Andy Schleck, of the Danish Team Saxo Bank, to win.

    “We are of course not judging Contador, but in case of uncertainty about who will ultimately be declared the winner of a contest, we have to accept all doubts,” said Jesper Mortensen, the national manager for Bettson in Denmark, to “We have therefore decided to pay to those who wagered on Andy Schleck as the overall winner of the Tour de France.”

    In addition, they will also pay out to those who had picked Schleck, Denis Menchov and Samuel Sanchez to make the podium. Menchov finished third and Sanchez fourth. Both would move up if Contador were to be disqualified.

    The firm did not indicate how much money might be involved. However, it is now accepting bets as to whether Contador will ride next year's Tour.

    Meanwhile, Contador received support from a different Danish source. Michael Rasmussen, who served a two-year doping-related suspension, called Contador's claim of contaminated meat, “the only plausible explanation, he told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

    “You have to judge what is performance enhancing. What they found Contador positive for has no performance enhancing effect. Their system leaves no room for common sense.”

  • Bodrogi, Callegarin join Team Type 1

    Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Katusha) buckles up before the start.
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 10:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Full European racing schedule as Professional Continental team

    Team Type 1 has further strengthened its 2011 squad with two additional European signings. Laszlo Bodrogi and Daniele Callegarin will join the team, which has applied for Professional Continental status in the coming year.

    Bodrogi, 33, has ridden for Katusha since 2009. He turned pro with Mapei-Quick Step in 2000. He was ten-time Hungarian national time trial champion, before assuming French citizenship in 2009. He finished second in the Worlds time trial in 2007, and has won stages at Paris-Nice, Three Days of De Panne and the Tour of Denmark.

    "Bodrogi brings great world-class time trial experience to Team Type 1 and his presence is a remarkable addition to the squad," said Team Type 1 Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko.

    "What the team has always lacked is a killer in the time trial, and now together with Bertogliati and Efimkin we now have the potential to show up at any event with a prologue and let Laszlo fly," said Team Type 1 CEO Phil Southerland.

    Callegarin, 28, turned pro in 2006. He has ridden for the Continental-ranked CDC-Cavaliere team since July 2008. He won the GP Industria in 2009.

    "Callegarin is really a terrific all-round rider, with a lot of deep talent. He can climb well and is just a really strong, complete rider," said Davidenko.

    "We're very happy to put Daniele to the test next year in Grand Tours and stage races. He's a young guy with lots of potential to be competitive," Southerland said.

    The two join other news signings Swiss time trial champion Rubens Bertogliati, Russian climber Alexander Efimkin, Slovene Jure Kocjan and Italian riders Alessandro Bazzana and Andrea Grendene. The team has established a service course in Italy and plans to race a full schedule of European events in 2011.

    The team has 17 riders signed for the coming season, and indicated that more signings will be announced soon.

    Team Type 1 2011 squad to date:

  • Sassi says he can guarantee his riders are clean

    Aldo Sassi greets his charge Ivan Basso at the start of the Tre Valli Varesine
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 11:51 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Basso and Evans' coach responds to Torri's remarks

    Aldo Sassi has claimed that he can guarantee that the seven riders he coaches are not doping. The Italian, who oversees the training of Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) and Cadel Evans (BMC), was speaking in response to comments made by CONI anti-doping investigator Ettore Torri on the pervasiveness of doping in cycling.

    “In the bible, the prophet Jonah speaks to God of the city of Nineveh, which is overrun with criminals. ‘How many just men are there?’ they ask. Maybe five. ‘Then I won’t destroy it,’ said God. In my cycling Nineveh, I can count on seven just men,” Sassi told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    Sassi’s magnificent seven are Evans, Basso, Dario Cioni (Sky), Cameron Wurf (Androni), Kjell Carlström (Sky), Charlie Wegelius (Omega Pharma-Lotto) and Eros Capecchi (Footon-Servetto). A mix, he says, of “champions, near-champions and domestiques.”

    Sassi is currently fighting cancer but he insisted that the idea of his riders being doped would be more troubling than his illness. “If they were doping, it would be an even stronger mortal blow than the tumour in my head,” Sassi said.

    “Torri maintains that nobody is clean, but I say that’s not true,” Sassi explained. “It’s for this reason that I continue to work in cycling. You can ride and win a Giro even without doping.”

    Sassi is head of the Mapei training centre in Castellanza, which was initially set up as the dominant Mapei squad’s training facility in 1996 and has been opened to all since the team disbanded in 2002. Currently, Katusha use the centre for testing, while Lampre will also avail of the set-up in 2011.

    “We create programmes to help the team doctors with their analysis of haemoglobin mass,” Sassi said. “By checking this data against the biological passport, you can see if someone is stepping out of line. It’s not...

  • Lequatre launches fashion brand

    Geoffroy Lequatre
    Article published:
    October 08, 2010, 13:27 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack rider creates sports and casual wear

    Geoffroy Lequatre has announced the launch of his own fashion line, G4. The RadioShack rider has is thus combining cycling to his second passion: fashion. The winner of the 2008 Tour of Britain has created "an affordable and well-designed collection that combines sport, comfort and a perfect look," according to the press release.

    "A pro always gives his best, so I could not imagine the clothes I created in any other way," said Lequatre about his line which comprises several different ranges. The windvest 'every ounce counts' of the 'Joker' range weighs only 71g and is designed to ventilate perfectly. Moreover it is composed of recycled material.

    The design process followed a variety of conditions: "To feel hot or cold depending on the season, not being hampered in your movements, be able to be seen in the dark, have a perspiration regulating power, a good quality fabric which can be washed often. Every item combines technology, fitted cuts requirements and a fashion spirit."

    G4 sports and fashion clothing can be ordered online through