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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, January 30, 2012

Date published:
January 30, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Lucas Euser completes comeback

    At the stage 3 start in Auburn Lucas Euser (Spidertech) prepares for a wet and windy day.
    Article published:
    January 28, 2012, 20:44 GMT
    By:
    Neil Browne

    A first injury free off-season since career threatening accident

    Two and a half years ago, SpiderTech's Lucas Euser was struck by a car while out training on his bike, shattering his knee. This past November, he made a goal to regain his strength lost due to the injury. To accomplish this Euser spent some time in the gym.

    “I really worked hard on building that strength and maybe I compromised and didn't spend long hours on the bike, but there is a full season for that,” said Euser.

    “I spent three months focused on the gym and regained the strength I've been lacking the last two seasons. I'm looking to test out the new Lucas, which is similar to the old Lucas before his injury.”

    “This has been my best winter since the winter of 2008 – which was before my injury. I haven't had a 100% healthy off-season until this season.”

    Before his injury, Euser was a strong climber, had represented the US in the world championships and had won the Universt Grand Prix in torrential conditions. However, the return from injury would require a long road to recovery.

    “It's taken two and a half years years to finally feel normal. It took six months for the bone to heal and the rehab has been intensive. However, I have learned a lot about myself and how it reacts to certain things. I've just had to take baby steps with this injury – you can't push it.”

    While he still suffers with some discomfort associated with his knee injury, Euser has been selected for the Tour Méditerranéen, a race that was on the brink of elimination from 2012 European Tour race calendar. Last month the race organizers came to an agreement with the French Cycling League (FCL) regarding financial obligations that had put the event's license in jeopardy.

    ...
  • Rebellin to Christina Watches-Onfone?

    Davide Rebellin (Miche - Guerciotti) was fourth
    Article published:
    January 29, 2012, 12:16 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Danish media says Italian interested in joining Rasmussen's team

    Will Davide Rebellin be the next fallen star to sign with Team Christinas Watches-Onfone? The Danish media reports that there might be interest on both sides for having the Italian join the Continental-ranked team.

    According to Ekstrabladet.dk, Rebellin's agent has approached the team. The 40-year-old Rebellin does not have a contract for the 2012 season, despite having finished third in the Europe Tour last year whilst riding for Miche-Guericotti.

    The Danish team currently has 14 riders, and could take on two more, finances permitting.

    One of his teammates at the Italian team was Stefan Schumacher, who is with Christina Watches-Onfone this year.  Schumacher finished third in the time trial at the Tour of San Luis and is in fourth place overall going into Sunday's final stage.

    Rebellin, like Schumacher, tested positive for EPO-CERA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  He had to return the silver medal he had won in the road race and was given a two-year suspension.

  • Video: Van Garderen to lead BMC at Tour of California and Paris-Nice

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) after his hard ride today.
    Article published:
    January 29, 2012, 14:06 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    American happy to work for Evans at the Tour de France

    Tejay Van Garderen (Team BMC) is already fitting in well with his new teammates after signing from HTC-Highroad at the end of 2011.

    The American all-rounder penned a three-year deal with the Swiss owned team and told Cyclingnews that the length of the contract was a key reason for choosing BMC over a number of other interested parties that had offered only two-year sanctuary.

    That aside, Van Garderen has set his sights high, continually stating his ambitions to develop into a top three-week stage racer. For the short term at least those ambitions will have to be curtailed as he devotes his energies towards working for Cadel Evans at this year’s Tour de France.

    But Van Garderen will still have his own opportunities at the Tour of California and Paris-Nice this spring. Both races will be important stepping stones and markers in his career if those ambitions of three-week heroics are to be fulfilled.

  • McQuaid and Verbruggen seek damages from Kimmage

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    January 29, 2012, 16:42 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI file for damages against Rough Ride author

    UCI President Pat McQuaid has filed a claim for damages against journalist and former professional rider Paul Kimmage. McQuaid is seeking 8000 Swiss francs. The Irish Independent also reported that former UCI President, Hein Verbruggen, and the governing body itself are also seeking 8000 Swiss francs each.

    According to the newspaper McQuaid and the other claimants are accusing Kimmage of "annoyance" and that Kimmage has harmed their reputation. They have pointed to Kimmage’s work in the Sunday Times newspaper but the timing of the action is strange. Kimmage was released from his role at the newspaper last year, and the claimants appear to have solely asked for damages from Kimmage, and not The Sunday Times.

    In an extraordinary move, they have also demanded that Kimmage “not repeat the material they have complained of, and that at his own expense, he take out advertisements in the international media publicising the court's final order. Kimmage also faces the prospect of a fine if they are not happy that he has followed the court order.”

    Paul Kimmage wrote Rough Ride in 1990. It has since become one of the defining books within sport, detailing the widespread doping which he encountered during his career.

    Cyclingnews attempted to contact both Kimmage and the UCI. A spokesperson for the UCI told Cyclingnews, "Mr McQuaid can not allow for him or the UCI to be called corrupt."

  • ARD link Kittel to German blood doping investigation

    Marcel Kittel (Project 1T4i)
    Article published:
    January 29, 2012, 18:44 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    German television show says Team 1t4i sprinter suspected of transfusion

    German sprinter Marcel Kittel (Team 1t4i) is said to be amongst those athletes who are suspected of black light treated blood transfusions. A young rider from the Continental ranked Thüringer Energie Team is also said to be involved.

    Earlier this month, the German NADA confirmed that it was investigating one cyclist for involvement in the scheme. The ARD Sportschau identified this cyclist as Jacob Steigmiller of the Thüringer Energie Team. 

    However, the TV show on Sunday evening said that 28 athletes may have undergone the treatments, including Kittel, speed skater Claudia Pechstein and track athlete Nils Schumann.

    Cyclingnews
    attempted to contact the management of Team 1t4i but several calls went unanswered. The team has based itself on strict anti-doping criteria since it's beginning, stating that ethics were central to their program.

    The treatments are said to have involved removing blood from the athletes, treating it with black light, and re-infusing it.

    The investigation centers on Dr. Andreas Franke, who worked at the Olympic training site in Erfurt.  He has denied the charges.

  • Spekenbrink confirms Kittel visisted Dr Franke

    Team manager Iwan Spekenbrink enjoys the sun with the riders.
    Article published:
    January 29, 2012, 21:44 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Team manager says no rules were broken

    Project 1t4i manager Iwan Spekenbrink has told Cyclingnews that Marcel Kittel visited Dr. Andreas Franke at the Olympic support site in Erfurt, Germany, in 2008. Spekenbrink stressed that he believed that Kittel had not broken any sporting rules and that the doctor was part of an Olympic support point that all of professional athletes visit when they are sick.

    Franke is currently under investigation by German anti-doping authorities for allegedly carrying out blood doping. He has denied the charges.

    “It’s not an investigation at all looking at Marcel,” Spekenbrink told Cyclingnews.

    “As a team we’ve not been notified by the UCI, the police or NADA, and that’s what I understand from Marcel, too.”

    “This appears to be an investigation into a doctor in Germany and a doctor paid for by public funds. So all the athletes from a certain level and from all sports go and see this doctor.”

    As well as confirming to Cyclingnews that Kittel was treated by Franke at the Olympic support point, Spekenbrink said that no payments were made between Kittel and the doctor.

    “Marcel has visited this doctor when he was sick or getting sick, like many athletes did. What he told me was that in 2008 he also had this UV treatment from this doctor. He was sick, he was sent there and this doctor gave him this treatment. For Marcel, it was a normal doctor helping him when he was sick. It seems that from what I understand, and I’m not an expert, that this method was not prohibited at this time,” he said.

    “It’s a treatment when people are sick, but I’m not an expert.”

    Spekenbrink has built a team on set ethical criteria and has appeared transparent with...

  • Dumoulin puts training doubts behind him

    Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis, Le Credit En Ligne)
    Article published:
    January 30, 2012, 10:32 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cofidis all-rounder wins GP La Marseillaise, now targets Bessèges

    By taking the first European pro race of the season, the GP La Marseillaise, Samuel Dumoulin has confirmed that he's done everything right over the winter. Prior to the event, the Cofidis rider had doubted his current form and feared he may be over-trained.

    "Until this week, I wasn't very sure of myself," he told Velochrono. "I had the feeling I lacked power. I questioned my preparation over the winter and I asked myself if I had made a mistake. In fact, I didn't take a proper break at all."

    However, his consistent work over the last months paid off: at the end of a challenging 148 km-race involving more than 2000 meters of climbing and carried out in the fierce Mistral wind, Dumoulin outsprinted a group of 15 riders, proving his endurance and top speed are at their best. What's more, Cofidis' team tactics worked out perfectly.

    "My role was to wait," he continued to explain. "We wanted someone in the break [Rein Taaramae - ed.]. I was well-protected and when the escape was caught, it was up to Yoann Bagot or Rémy di Grégorio to go up the road. I stayed focussed on a print with Jean-Eudes Demaret at my side." On the final climb with 20 kilometres to go, a selection of 15 riders was made.

    "I knew I had to really watch out on the last climb after such a demanding day with the bad weather conditions," added Dumoulin, who now has the first European stage race, the Etoile de Bessèges starting Wednesday February 1, on his mind.

    "I will try to win where I can. With my profile as an all-rounder, I will have some possibilities. A lot of races end in a sprint," concluded the Frenchman, whose biggest victories so far include one stage at the...

  • Contador verdict delayed by CAS

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    January 30, 2012, 11:23 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    CAS ruling announcement imminent

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has again postponed the announcement of its decision on the doping case involving Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank). The ruling was expected by January 31 but the CAS issued a comminqué in which it "intends to publish its decision in the arbitration procedure involving the International Cycling Union (UCI), the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), Alberto Contador and the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) on Monday 6 February 2012.

    "A confirmation as to the date and time of the publication of the decision will be given by the CAS at the end of this week."

    Recent questions surrounding the composition of the arbitration panel caused a delay in the decision process, which has now been pending for almost one year. In March 2011, the UCI and WADA appealed the Spanish cycling federation's decision to clear Contador of doping charges caused by his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France.

    The CAS decision will be the last chapter in the long story of whether or not the Tour de France winner should be banned for having returned a positive sample for clenbuterol. Contador has maintained his innocence, saying the finding was caused by his ingestion of tainted meat, whereas the UCI and WADA have raised doubts on his explanation and insist on the strict application of the world anti-doping code.

    The Saxo Bank rider has already started his 2012 racing programme at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, which he finished in second overall position behind Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).