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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, February 11, 2013

Date published:
February 11, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Report: Cipollini used 25 blood bags before 2003 Giro d'Italia

    Mario Cipollini polarised opinion, but his talent was never in doubt
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 9:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Gazzetta continues to detail alleged Fuentes doping programme

    Mario Cipollini was a regular client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes in the years leading up to his retirement, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. The Italian newspaper has listed the enormous quantities of EPO and blood transfusions the Italian sprinter is said to have used from 2001 through 2004.

    Gazzetta reported on Saturday that Cipollini was a Fuentes client, saying he was given blood transfusions, EPO and growth hormones, especially in 2002 when he won Milan-San Remo and the World road championship, both for the only time in his career.

    Cipollini has denied the charges through his lawyer, who is threatening a lawsuit against the newspaper, labeling the accusations “false and absurd”.

    On Sunday, Gazzetta reported more details of what it says was Fuentes' programme for Cipollini, who is said to have gone under the code name “Maria”.  The build-up to the 2001 Giro d'Italia included nine consecutive days of EPO, followed by a blood transfusion, growth hormone and more EPO – for a total of 13,000 units of the latter. Further, according to the notes, the sprinter received a transfusion on May 19, the first stage of the race.

    Things picked up in 2002, becoming “more complex and sophisticated,” according to Gazzetta.  As outlined in the previous article, Cipollini is said to have had 13 blood bags, amongst other preparations, on his way to his victories in Milan-San Remo and the Worlds in Zolder.

    But that was nothing compared to 2003, although the doping scheme for that season actually started in December 2002 when two units of blood were removed. January saw further blood removals and re-infusions, as well as 11 days of hormone treatment, with a similar pattern in...

  • Armstrong probably clean in comeback, Damsgaard claims

    The 2009 Tour de France presentation with Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and Andreas Klöden
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 11:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Denies USADA's claim of blood-doping in 2009 Tour de France

    According to Danish anti-doping expert Rasmus Damsgaard, Lance Armstrong probably did not dope in 2009. Damsgaard was responsible for Team Astana's internal anti-doping programme that year. The USADA's report on Armstrong said that he had continued to use doping products and methods even after his return to the peloton that year.

    Armstrong has claimed that he stopped using doping when he first retired in 2005.

    Michael Ashenden and Robin Parisotto had both claimed that testing done during the 2009 Tour for the biological passport indicated that Armstrong used blood doping in that Tour.

    Damsgaard told that he disagreed with their interpretation of the results.  “It is not impossible that there has been a blood transfusion,” he admitted, “but you have to know when the samples are taken and I think that I know a little more about that than Robin Parisotto does.”

    For example, he said, one of the blood tests was done after the finish of the penultimate stage atop the Mont Ventoux -- “15 minutes after suffering through 40° heat.  After six hours of racing. It is not a viable test."

    As in his interview from Saturday, Damsgaard praised the introduction of the biological passport, which he called “sensible and intelligent.” EPO-CERA was a big problem in 2008 ,but since then, he says, thanks to the UCI cycling “is the purest sport in the last five years. They have shown what they have done. No one else can say the same.”

  • Tankink in hospital after being hit by car

    Bram Tankink (Blanco) has been riding well since his season debut at Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 12:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fourth Dutch rider to be injured within a week

    Bram Tankink is the latest rider to be hit and injured by a car whilst training. The Team Blanco rider is now in hospital for examination after the accident which took place on Sunday morning. He is one of four Dutch riders to be injured in various incidents lately.

    “Just hit by a car. Something collarbone. Now hospital” he tweeted.

    The accident happened when a group of team riders was out training on Mallorca. “In the first hour they crossed a little town, when a car didn't stop for the riders. Bram Tankink hit the car and broke his left collarbone,” the team said in a statement.

    Tankink will return to the Netherlands for further examinations on Monday. “Tomorrow he will have another checkup with the Blanco medical staff, to see if an operation is necessary. He has a lot of pain but no further damage. Bram was already telling jokes on the way back to the hotel, always being positive.”

    Johnny Hoogerland of Vacansoleil-DCM was also hit by a car whilst training and suffered more serious injuries, including broken ribs and vertebrae and a bruised liver. On Monday he will undergo a further test to see when he can be transported to a hospital in his homeland.

    “A new CT scan to see if everything is okay to be transported to the Netherlands. Very nervous," he tweeted.

    Two further Dutch riders were injured during the Tour of Qatar. Koen de Kort (Argos Shimano) suffered a broken collarbone. Karsten Kroon of Saxo-Tinkoff suffered a deep wound on his leg.

  • Duggan aims at Tour of California return

    Timmy Duggan (Saxo-Tinkoff) in his new U.S champion colours
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 13:48 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    American champion recovering from two broken bones

    Timmy Duggan is targeting the Tour of California as his comeback race as he recovers from a serious crash at the Tour Down Under which left him with a fractured tibia and broken collar bone. The American road champion hit the tarmac on stage 3 of the Australian race and underwent surgery in Adelaide. Now back in the US, he has begun his rehabilitation and hopes to be training on the roads by March.

    The tibia break is by far the most serious injury he sustained but Duggan has already made progress, with some light work on the home trainer forming part of his recovery.

    “I’m just recovering, doing rehab and getting a little bit better each day,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “I had surgery on both of those the very next day in Adelaide. They put two screws in the tibia and a plate on the collar bone. I’ll piece back together.”

    Duggan moved to Saxo Bank after Spidertech – the team he had originally signed to for the 2013 season - folded. The Tour Down Under marked his first race for the team and he admits that the pain of crashing was nothing compared to the racing days he’s been forced to concede.

    “The broken bone was literally 10 per cent of the pain that I felt in disappointment in knowing that my whole season and everything I’ve worked for are just gone. That the next few months are gone and I have to start over from scratch. That’s what really hurts. Fortunately it’s nothing I’ve not been through before and I know how to come back stronger.”

    “All I remember is that I slipped out at a roundabout at 80kph. I don’t know if there’s any rhyme or reason to it. I was talking to Nathan Haas from Garmin who was just a couple of wheels behind me and he was saying that...

  • Garmin set up training camp after bike theft

    Garmin Sharp present the team for the 2013 edition of Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 17:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    American team forced out of Med

    After the theft of 17 bikes and the team's abandonment at the Tour Méditerranéen, Garmin-Sharp has announced that their squad have organised a training camp to ensure their riders make up for the lost racing.

    The theft occurred on the night before stage 4 to Mont Faron and despite offers of bikes and equipment from numerous other teams the American team took the decision to quit the race. The French race had been an early season goal for the squad.

    “Our team's truck was broken into during the night at the Tour of Méditerranéen, with thieves stealing 17 bikes, several sets of wheels and other equipment. Local police are investigating,” said Jonathan Vaughters.

    "This is a big loss for the team, not just from an equipment standpoint, but because the Tour of Med was a huge goal for us and the team was in great shape for it. Due to the theft, we were forced to withdraw.”

    “We're in the process of planning a camp for the team that was not able to continue at the race. We're very grateful to our dedicated riders, staff and sponsors for pulling together in this difficult time. We're also grateful for the support we have received from local authorities and other teams, some of whom offered to help us continue the race by loaning us equipment - although that ultimately proved to be too difficult, the offers were deeply appreciated.

    "In every difficult situation you have to look for the good and we are proud of how everyone on our team, including our sponsors, have come through – this experience gives us even more motivation in our next races."

    Garmin has yet to win a race this year...

  • Sagan heads to Tour of Oman with one eye on the Classics

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) sets the pace in the gruppetto.
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 18:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Viviani co-leads Cannondale

    Peter Sagan heads to the Tour of Oman in search of his first win of the season but has stressed that his main objectives lie further ahead.

    The Slovak rider has made no secret of his desire to win a Spring Classic this season, having used his opening race at the Tour de San Luis as a first step.

    "Again, my first goal is to improve my conditioning," said Sagan."I had a positive debut in Argentina; it¹s a shame that I was only close to winning."

    The Oman parcours will offer Sagan a number of opportunities and having won a stage at the race in 2012 he will be eager to set down a similarly positive marker.

    “In Oman, I'll find stages suited for me and, most important, warm weather. The first important event of my season will arrive in one month: I want to face it with strong condition and high moral. This is why taking a win here is ideal."

    Sagan will be accompanied by a Cannondale squad full of experience, with Elia Viviani designated as a co-leader. Maciej Bodnar, Guillaume Boivin, Alessandro De Marchi, Kristijan Koren, Daniele Ratto and Fabio Sabatini make up the rest of the team.

    "Riders such as Sagan and Viviani allow us to aim for stage victories said team director Alberto Volpi. "The mixed routes of Tour of Oman are suited for their characteristics. Elia comes from a positive run in in Qatar, Peter is an important option for our strategy. Both of them are improving their condition and this is a positive sign. A stage win is the first goal; anything we can take in addition is a plus."


  • Gallery: Tour of Oman warm up for champions

    Alberto Contador enjoys the warm sunshine in OmanC
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 20:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Top names for Tour de France on start sheet

    The Tour of Oman provides yet another warm-weather tune-up for the European season, but the second stage race in the middle east is also shaping up to be an important race in its own right, and a further step in the globalization of the sport. World champion Philippe Gilbert will be joined on the start line by his BMC Racing teammate Cadel Evans, who is just getting started for the season. The pair are just two of a number of rainbow jersey holders to grace the Omani streets this year.

    "It's been cold in Monaco, which hasn't been ideal for training, but we'll see what I can do in Oman," said Evans, who is taking on his first race since August. "I'm looking forward to getting back to racing with my teammates and pinning a number on. I chose Oman to start for its favorable weather and I had heard a lot of good things about the it. So to start the race in good weather is something I'm looking forward to and to give me an indication of how my pre-season preparation has been."

    The race will host the debut of Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quickstep), whose season has been delayed first by an intestinal infection and then a septic wound on his arm. Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins was out training today with the Sky team, which will also include Chris Froome as designated leader and debutante Joe Dombrowski.

    The event is setting up to be a mini-Tour de France, with Evans and Wiggins competing against Joaquim Rodriguez, Vincenzo Nibali and Alberto Contador, but although he has already competed in the Tour de San Luis, Contador isn't sure where his form will be.

    "It's a great turnout, but we can not lose sight of the circumstances and the part of the season we are in at the...

  • Gallery: Vos headlines Rabobank Liv/Giant team

    Giant supply Vos with a special edition TCR Advanced to celebrate her golden season
    Article published:
    February 10, 2013, 23:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympic, road and ‘cross champion recharged for 2013 season

    After a stunning start to the 2013 season, the recently crowned UCI cyclo-cross world champion Marianne Vos will now turn her attention to leading the Rabobank Liv/Giant women’s team for another year. The 13-rider roster has retained the support of the Dutch bank Rabobank with Vos and her teammates all in attendance for the presentation in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands.

    The team will once again ride Giant's line of road and time trial bikes with the TCR Advanced and Trinity framesets being fitted to each of the riders. Team director Koos Moerenhout explained that emphasis would be placed on improving the team time trial this year with specific training to begin immediately.

    "We will also work hard on the team time trial, because last year we did not," said Moerenhout. "Along with trainer Wilma Franks, we propose a program to improve mainly technical aspects and there are some things to improve. The Giant time trial bikes will come along for part of the team's training camp in Spain this weekend.

    "We have a lot of young talent in the team, but I think there's an especially good mix of veterans and youth. Moreover, our experienced riders should benefit from fantastic young talents," said Moerenhout.

    Vos explained that her ‘cross season was entered with an air of uncertainty after such a busy back-end to 2012. Vos won finally captured her first Olympic road race title in 2012 before finishing the year with another road world championship crown and recently returned from a successful ‘cross world’s campaign.

    "After the Olympics and the World Cup of course I had to recharge," said Vos. "I did not know what to expect from the cross-season. But that has been fantastic and it motivates me a lot for this year. The way I became world champion last week has...