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First Edition Cycling News, March 6, 2009

Date published:
March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • USA Cycling sends four to track worlds

    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    USA Cycling will send four riders to the upcoming 2009 UCI Track World Championships in Pruszkow,...

    USA Cycling will send four riders to the upcoming 2009 UCI Track World Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, March 25-29. Headlining the team will be Taylor Phinney, who broke two national records at the Copenhagen World Cup last month. He clocked in a 4:15.223 in the 4km pursuit and a 1:01.641 in the kilometre time trial. Both efforts earned him an automatic start at the world championships.

    The 18-year-old phenom will also compete in the omnium, a five-race event which consists of a 200-meter time trial, a 7.5-kilometre scratch race, a 15-kilometre points race, a 3,000-meter individual pursuit and a kilometre time trial.

    The men's mass-start endurance races will be contested Daniel Holloway and Colby Pearce. The two will team up for the Madison, while each will also contest an individual event – Holloway the scratch race and Pearce the points race.

    Shelley Olds is the lone women's selection. After winning a bronze medal in the points race at the World Cup finale last month, Olds earned a discretionary selection to compete in both the points and scratch race events.

  • Frigo given suspended sentence

    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    The Attorney General of the Chambéry Court of Appeal handed down a one year suspended prison...

    The Attorney General of the Chambéry Court of Appeal handed down a one year suspended prison sentence to former Italian rider Dario Frigo on Thursday. The winner of the 2001 Paris-Nice was arrested during the 2005 Tour de France after performance enhancing drugs were found in his wife's car.

    The ruling extends a sentence given to Susanna and Dario Frigo in September 2008, of a six-month suspended sentence with a joint fine of 8757 euro. The pair had appealed that decision.

    The judge also requested a token one euro in damages to the French Cycling Federation (FFC).

  • Kelly Benefit Strategies pro team launch

    Jonathan Sundt presents a signed team jersey
    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    By Peter Hymas The Kelly Benefit Strategies pro cycling team officially launched their 2009 season...

    By Peter Hymas

    The Kelly Benefit Strategies pro cycling team officially launched their 2009 season February 26 in San Antonio, Texas at Bike World, one of the nation's largest Trek dealers. The third-year UCI Professional squad had already spent nearly 14 days in San Antonio, putting in sun-drenched 30+ hour weeks on the bike prior to the Thursday evening team presentation.

    Todd Gogulski, race announcer and former professional cyclist, first spoke to the assembled media, VIPs and fans about the professional squad's origin in 2007, highlighted by its stunning victory in the US Professional Criterium Championships, the only time it's been won by a first-year team.

    Gogulski continued with the team's 2008 palmarès including victories at the Tour of Pennsylvania, the Tour of Elk Grove, the Kelly Cup, the team sponsor's own race in Baltimore, MD and the final stage of the Nature Valley Grand Prix, near the team's home base of Minneapolis, MN before calling the team, its managers and two of its key sponsors out onto the floor.

    The fifteen-rider squad, nearly all North American, returns seven members from last year's team while signing eight new riders for 2009. Both the returning riders and new additions are a mixture of seasoned veterans and upcoming, young talent, six of whom are 21 years of age or younger. Andrew Bajadali, Dan Bowman, Alex Candelario, Jake Keough, Reid Mumford, Jonathan Sundt and David Veilleux return from the 2008 lineup.

    New for 2009 are three Canadian riders from Symmetrics, Ryan Anderson, Zachary Bell and Jacob Erker, Neil Shirley from Jittery Joe's, Scott...

  • Gerlach giving new meaning to 'clean cycling'

    On the neutral roll-out, Gerlach mugs for the camera
    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    By Laura Weislo American Chad Gerlach is back in the pro peloton after a five and a half year...

    By Laura Weislo

    American Chad Gerlach is back in the pro peloton after a five and a half year absence, and his return is giving a new meaning to the term 'clean cycling'. While cycling and drugs have unfortunately become synonymous, Gerlach's poison wasn't EPO, steroids or any other performance enhancing drug, it was crack and booze. His amazing story is told in detail in our latest feature.

    A pro from 1995 until he succumbed to addiction in 2003, Gerlach spent most of the past six years drinking, using drugs and living on the streets in Sacramento, California. But with the help of his friends and family and a television show called "Intervention", he got into rehab and cleaned up his life.

    His former teammate, Roberto Gaggioli, a director for the Amore e Vita team, was eager to help the 35-year-old get back on the bike after seeing him o the program. The team's owner, Ivano Fanini and his manager, son Cristian, were more than willing to give Gerlach a chance.

    The Fanini family did the same for Valentino Fois, a former teammate of Marco Pantani who had also suffered from addiction problems. Sadly, Fois died in March of last year before he could complete his return to form.

    Cyclingnews spoke to Gerlach, who just participated in his first two professional races in six years, the Giro della Provincia di Grosseto and Giro di Sardegna. He enjoyed the experience of racing alongside the world champion, Alessandro Ballan.

    "I was getting photos taken with Ballan – and I was joking with the guys that I'm a tourist. The guys don't know what to make of me. They all know who I am. The Italian public is sort of in awe of my story – that I was on the street and now I'm racing with these guys. Nobody yells at me in the pack, they just kind of let me ride around. Like, 'be...

  • Valverde wants the evidence

    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Alejandro Valverde has asked the anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to...

    Alejandro Valverde has asked the anti-doping prosecutor of the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to send the evidence against him to the authorities in Spain, who his lawyers say are the only ones who have jurisdiction in this case, EFE reported Thursday.

    His attorney Federico Cecconi sent a 21-page document to CONI Thursday morning to counter allegations that Valverde was involved in the blood doping clinic of Eufemiano Fuentes which was the center of the Operación Puerto investigation. One day prior to Valverde's deadline to respond to CONI, March 6, they requested the evidence be sent to the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) and the court for sport.

    Valverde was called to appear before the CONI in February, where he was also put under a criminal investigation for alleged DNA links between blood samples taken by the Italians during the 2008 Tour de France and those they obtained from the evidence in the Operación Puerto case.

    The document argued that the CONI cannot prosecute its case because it has not specified "a time and place" where Valverde committed an offense, and cannot prove that he committed any crime on Italian soil. The lawyers also argued that he cannot be accused under the violation "of Article 2.2 of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) code and part 2.11 of the Italian anti-doping rules," since those standards did not exist during the time Fuentes' clinic operated.

    The CONI must now respond to the Spaniards' allegations and can either close the case or proceed with the charges and a sporting sanction, but there is no deadline set for an action.

  • UCI announce Schumacher decision on Friday

    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) will wait until a press conference on Friday to announce its...

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) will wait until a press conference on Friday to announce its decision regarding the possible suspension of German Stefan Schumacher. The winner of two stages of last year's Tour de France tested positive for the Erythropoietin (EPO) variant CERA in analyses done on blood samples last fall. The French anti-doping agency (AFLD) gave Schumacher a two-year suspension last month, but it is up to the UCI to enforce the ban outside of France.

    Schumacher has denied having used the drug, unlike his former teammate Bernhard Kohl, who confessed and was suspended. Schumacher's attorney argued that the blood samples had been opened before the post-Tour analysis and that because there was no 'B' sample, there is no way to prove the positive wasn't a result of contamination.

    According to the German news agency dpa, the UCI president Pat McQuaid and AFLP president Pierre Bordry will give a press conference in Paris prior to the start of Paris-Nice and make an announcement then.

  • Henderson tops on shortened stage in Murcia

    Greg Henderson
    Article published:
    March 06, 2009, 0:00 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Team Columbia's Greg Henderson grabbed the sprint victory and the overall lead in the Vuelta Murcia...

    Team Columbia's Greg Henderson grabbed the sprint victory and the overall lead in the Vuelta Murcia on a stage which was drastically shortened due to high winds on Thursday. The New Zealander bested Euskaltel-Euskadi's Ruben Perez and countryman Julian Dean (Garmin-Slipstream), taking the overall lead from the shoulders of Australian Graeme Brown of Rabobank.

    Normally, the 175-kilometre route would not have been the domain of the sprinters as it featured the Alto de San Juan, a category one climb which rises to 1,227m, but organisers were forced to skip the climb shorten the stage and due to wind gusts of up to 90km/h.

    At first, the race jury planned to cut out the climb, leaving about 100km of racing, but the strong, gusty winds, rain and even hail caused them to neutralise all but the final three kilometres of the stage.

    "We raced for about 50 kilometres but then it got very windy and guys were getting blown off the road, so the organisers decided to neutralise most of the stage," Henderson explained. "They then told us that the racing would start again just three kilometres from the line. When we reached that point of the course, everybody knew that was when racing would start so there'd been a lot of fighting for position beforehand. On top of that it had just started to rain and the road surfaces weren't brilliant, so it was all very tense."

    "I took one right-hand curve well," added Henderson, "and then was about fifth or sixth back coming into a second bend, a sharp left-hander, with about 350 metres to go. Me and Hoffie [sports director Tristan Hoffman] had looked at the route book during the stage to get an idea of the finish and he'd told me to take this corner full gas. It was only when I came into the corner in fifth or sixth place at full gas and noticed at the last moment that everybody else was braking that I got worried!"

    Henderson held on to take the stage comfortably and don the overall leader's jersey, but...