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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 21, 2013

Date published:
January 21, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Ullrich will not follow Armstrong's example in confessing

    Jan Ullrich at the Gran Fondo Colnago Miami
    Article published:
    January 20, 2013, 18:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    German not planning to speak publicly

    Jan Ullrich has stated that he will not follow the example of his former Tour de France rival Lance Armstrong in making a public doping confession.

    Speaking to the German magazine Focus, Ullrich reacted to the interview of Armstrong conducted by Oprah Winfrey in which the banned-for-life rider admitted to doping during each of his seven Tour de France victories.

    Ullrich, who retired in 2007 after being implicated in the Operacion Puerto doping ring, is finally serving a two-year ban for the case. Last year he was stripped of his results from May 1, 2005 onward, losing only his third place in the 2005 Tour de France. He remains winner of the 1997 Tour.

    The 39-year-old said he is no longer interested in the past, stating "I live in the here and now - very happily", and promising "I will certainly not follow Armstrong's example and speak before an audience of millions, although some have asked me again and again, and perhaps expect it."

    Although Ullrich has been linked to some of the dozens of blood bags found in 2006 in the Madrid clinic of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes by DNA comparison in 2007, it was six years before his ban was finally issued by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Swiss Olympic Committee decided in 2009 that it had no jurisdiction over him.

    The UCI appealed the decision to CAS, which partially agreed to overturn the Swiss agency's dismissal. The CAS refused to issue the lifetime ban requested by the UCI on the grounds that Ullrich's previous doping offence for amphetamine use out of competition is no longer an anti-doping violation.


  • USA Cycling: Armstrong admission "an important step"

    Article published:
    January 20, 2013, 20:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Federation urges other cheaters to come forward

    USA Cycling today issued a statement urging any riders who have "knowingly and willfully cheated" to come forward with information, "no matter how abhorrent" with the anti-doping authorities.

    The federation's press release follows the public confession by Lance Armstrong, who admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey, that he doped to obtain each of his seven Tour de France victories. Armstrong, however, failed to name any other riders who were involved in doping or detail exactly how he eluded the anti-doping controls for so long.

    "From USA Cycling's perspective, the recent series of confessions by Lance Armstrong and others is an important step," a statement read.

    USA Cycling mentions the confessions which came as part USADA's investigations into doping at the US Postal Service team - Floyd Landis, Tyler Hamilton, George Hincapie, Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, David Zabriskie, Levi Leipheimer, Michael Barry and Jonathan Vaughters all gave detailed testimony about their past doping offenses - saying they "cast a much-needed spotlight on what was the darkest era in professional cycling".

    "These overdue admissions, and the resulting public scrutiny, are an essential step in ensuring the transgressions of the past are never again repeated. It is only through this process that professional cycling will completely heal."

    The statement urges "any rider who knowingly and willfully cheated has an obligation to come forward now and be entirely open and transparent about their actions, no matter how abhorrent, with the relevant anti-doping authorities."

    Currently the

  • Bobridge takes new road at Blanco

    Jack Bobridge riding in his new Blanco Pro Cycling team colours.
    Article published:
    January 20, 2013, 21:40 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian looks to make conversion from track to stage racing

    After devoting much of his opening three years as a professional to some unfinished business on the track, Jack Bobridge is finally set to focus completely on matters on the road as he begins life at Blanco Pro Cycling.

    By his own estimation, Bobridge raced more on the road as an amateur than he did in the past three seasons at Garmin and Orica-GreenEdge, as he threw his lot in with the Australian team pursuit squad’s Olympic challenge. Although he claimed the individual pursuit world record along the way for his troubles, he met with disappointment in London, when the Australian quartet had to settle for silver behind Britain.

    “I sacrificed a lot on the road but my big goal after Beijing [where the Australians finished 4th in the team pursuit] was to go all the way through to London and do it, so I don’t regret anything about it, even if it was disappointing not to win gold,” Bobridge told Cyclingnews.

    With the individual pursuit sadly no longer part of the Olympic programme – a particular pity, Bobridge notes, because “everyone likes it and everyone watching can understand what’s going on” – he has called time on a track career that saw him claim every garland outside of Olympic gold.

    “I’ve done everything possible on the track now, apart from the team pursuit world record and Olympic gold obviously,” he said. “But the next Olympics are another four years away and at this stage, I can’t sacrifice any more road to stick with the track.”

    2013 is a year of changes, then, for the 23-year-old, starting with a new team. Bobridge joined the GreenEdge set-up for its inaugural season, attracted by the team’s close links to the Australian federation and the opportunity to think only of preparing for the...

  • Philadelphia International, Liberty Classic races cancelled

    It was a beautiful day in always sunny Philadelphia as the color guard marched out Old Glory for the start of this year's championship.
    Article published:
    January 21, 2013, 0:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Organizers vow to bring race back in 2014

    The US calendar lost one of its oldest one-day events when organizers today announced the cancellation of the 2013 Philadelphia International Cycling Championship.

    The iconic event was one of the few remaining cycling road races to take place in a major city in the United States. The course started along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, went along the Schuylkill River, up the Manayunk Wall and over Lemon Hill for a demanding 256km race.

    During its 28-year history the event served as the US Pro Championships from 1985 until the move to Greenville, South Carolina in 2006.

    It was also one of the only UCI events in the country to feature both men's and women's races at the same time, on the same course. The Liberty Classic was held from 1994-2012.

    A press release from the race organization states their intention to bring back the Philadelphia International Cycling Championship in 2014, but makes no mention of the Liberty Classic.

    "We are disappointed that we must remove the race from the calendar in 2013, but we feel that we will be able to reorganize with new partners and make this the preeminent event the region deserves in 2014 and beyond," said organizer David Chauner. "The race is more than just about cycling; it reflects the spirit and passion of our region through all that have been involved and we are very excited that this adjustment in the calendar will make it even bigger than ever before and sustainable for years to come."

    The Philadelphia race was part of the historic "Philly Week" - a series of one-day road races that attracted top domestic and international talent to the region. Races were held in Freehold, Trenton (New Jersey), Lancaster, Reading and Allentown over the years, but all of them vanished one by one.

    The events relied largely on sponsorship by banks, first by CoreStates which was acquired by First Union and then Wachovia. Finally...

  • Sulzberger aiming for aggressive start at Tour Down Under

    Bernard Sulzberger (Drapac Professional Cycling) leads the break
    Article published:
    January 21, 2013, 2:03 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Drapac to provide Australian with improved 2013 race program

    Bernard Sulzberger is no stranger to the Tour Down Under. The Tasmanian first raced the event as an 18-year-old and returns for the second consecutive year with the UniSA National Team after again proving himself worthy at the Australian Championships is Ballarat last week. With the prelude to the official start, the People's Choice Classic already done and dusted, Sulzberger set his eyes on showing himself throughout the week-long tour. 

    It was Sulzberger's gutsy ride that at the Australian elite men's road race that earned him a spot with the Australian National Team. Sulzberger was part of the group that attacked early around the famous Buninyong circuit and only succumbed as the unstoppable Luke Durbridge powered away to become national champion in the closing stages of the race.

    If Sulzberger had managed to stay with the young Orica GreenEdge rider on the final ascent of Buninyong he would have likely contested for the win. Cleverly, Durbridge sensed the danger and the 29-year-old was unhitched with a little more than a lap to go. Sulzberger still managed to finish 10th, coming in to the finish with the small group who sprinted for the minor placings.

    "I was happy to still run top-10," said Sulzberger who rode nearly the entire 195.6km race off the front. "It was also a good enough ride [to get a spot] for Tour Down Under."

    Sulzberger forms part of an exciting UniSA team for Down Under and believes the exposure generated from the WorldTour race could be highly beneficial for his career.

    "I rode it the first time when I was 18, with the national team. This will be my fifth...

  • Class of 2013: 10 Questions with Lachlan Morton

    Lachlan Morton (Garmin Sharp) will ride his first race of the season at Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    January 21, 2013, 5:30 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Talented Australian opens season at Tour Down Under

    Cyclingnews will be introducing some of the fresh faces in the WorldTour peloton for 2013 in a series of articles over the next month. Next up is Lachlan Morton who joins Garmin Sharp after three-years with Jonathan Vaughters' development team. Morton stepped into the ProTeam at the end of 2012 and is now looking ahead to his first full season in the WorldTour. The 20-year-old makes his 2013 debut in Australia at the Tour Down Under before aiming toward his next race, Le Tour de Langkawi.

    Cyclingnews: How did your contract come about and what races bests showed your ability to be able to handle the WorldTour?
    Lachlan Morton: I'd been with the development team for three years so basically it was just a gradual progression. I did a stagiaire role last year which was the final test to see how I would go.

    They threw me in a little bit tired and I think they wanted to see how I would go when already a bit fatigued. I did the job I had to do at [Tour of] Colorado and [Tour of] Britain. I think that obviously proved to them that I was ready to make the step.

    CN: Why did you start riding bikes? What got you into it initially?
    LM: We were actually going to go into go-kart racing and we had family friends that were going to start at the same time. Their boys, Gus [my brother] and me are about the same age. Gus and I are similar age and they wanted to spread us out a bit because we are really competitive. They didn't want us to be in the same category together.

    The other family started go-kart racing the year before we did and in that year we picked up bikes and joined the local club. Gus started racing criteriums a week before me but I just wanted to do whatever he was doing. I was eight and we would just race once week after playing soccer on Saturday. I guess we slowly got more into it and started riding more than once a week when I was about...

  • Rodriguez and Nibali tip van Garderen for Tour de San Luis

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    January 21, 2013, 8:36 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Big names claim they lack early season form

    Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) have played down their own chances of overall success in the 2013 Tour de San Luis, indicating Tejay van Garderen as the pre-race favourite for the Argentine stage race.

    Nibali, who won the race in 2010, and Rodriguez agreed with Alberto Contador, selecting the American as the man to beat due to the 19.2 kilometre individual time trial on stage on stage 4.

    Van Garderen has yet to even comment on his own race ambitions but the Spanish and Italian axis is an early indication of their approach to the race and perhaps a test to see how van Garderen handles the mantle of race favourite in a race where controlling the peloton for seven days and with 6 teammates will be difficult work.

    "We start the season earlier and earlier. For me, I’m not used to racing in January but it’s good to be here because of the cold weather in Europe," Rodriguez said.

    "All I know is that I’m not in condition. I’m not here for the general classification. Also there’s the time trial so I’ll focus on the mountain stages and try and do something there. I’ll give everything in the time trial but it’s a huge test for me. The third stage is the first major one for the GC and we could have big gaps but the rider who wins the time trial has a very good chance of sealing the overall victory."

    Both Nibali and Rodriguez have made marked improvements against the clock in the last 12 months. The Spaniard put in a more than respectable ride against the clock in last year’s Vuelta, while Nibali lost a shade over a minute against van Garderen in last year’s Tour de France 41.5km test in Besançon. The Italian spent last weekend in Milan and on the track in Brescia with Specialized, developing a new time trial position.

    "It’s the first time I’ve been here and it’s good for preparing for the spring races. I’m here to...

  • Lotz confirms doping at Rabobank, Wauters denies it

    Marc Wauters (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    January 21, 2013, 11:05 GMT
    Cycling News

    Confidentiality clause stops Rasmussen discussing his past

    The disclosures of doping at the Rabobank team continue to emerge, with Marc Lotz confirming that he also used doping products whilst at the Dutch team. However Marc Wouters has insisted he did not dope, while Michael Rasmussen is prevented from discussing the subject, his current team manager says, but may well have something to contribute to the discussion.

    Over the weekend, Thomas Dekker told the NRC Handelsblad newspaper that “doping was a way of life” at the team, and that “doping was part of the job.” He rode for the Dutch team from 2005 to 2008. But there was also doping earlier at the team, according to Danny Nelissen, who was with the team for two years. He confirmed that he had was injected with EPO by team doctor Geert Leinders at the 1996 and 1997 Tours de France.

    Now Lotz has added his voice to the list of confessions. He was with the Rabobank team from 1997 to 2004, and said that in 2001, “I started using stimulants, steroids and EPO. I heard in the peloton around me what was happening. I did it to remain competitive, even as a helper,” he told the Limburg broadcaster L1.

    Lotz did it all his own, he claimed. “The team gave me nothing, a doctor helped me,” but he would not say whether Leinders was the doctor involved. He also denied ever having used growth hormones or blood transfusions.

    Wauters, now a sport director with Lotto Belisol, said he had no contact with doping in his years at Rabobank: 1998 to 2006. He won the second stage of the Tour de France in 2001, moving him into the yellow jersey for one stage.

    “If I'd used EPO, I wouldn't have lost the yellow jersey the day after my stage win,” he told the Gazet van Antwerpen.

    On that next day, “I...