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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 26, 2012

Date published:
November 26, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Anti-doping testing to increase at top-tier USA Cycling events in 2013

    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 22:48 GMT
    Pat Malach

    USAC, promoters and teams to fund USADA-based program

    US Race promoters and teams will combine with USA Cycling (USAC) next season to fund a US Anti-Doping Agency-based program to expand anti-doping testing at all top-tier USAC events throughout all disciplines.

    Organizers of UCI cyclo-cross races in the US received an email last week informing them they will pay an extra fee per event day next season to help fund expanded anti-doping tests as part of the new program being put together by USAC and USADA.

    "Details will be coming soon," wrote USAC Vice President of National Events Micah Rice in an email dated Nov. 20. "But the way it impacts you is that we will be asking for $800 from each UCI event day to put toward a fund that will pay for anti-doping at a large number of cyclo-cross events in 2013-2014. USA Cycling will be matching the entire amount we get from the events, and we are hoping that we will be able to test between 30% and 50% of all UCI events next season."

    The issue was discussed earlier this fall during the USAC's recent promoter and team summits and was well received, Rice told Cyclingnews Saturday. He confirmed that road and mountain bike promoters would be participating in the program as well.

    "All of the pro road teams that were represented agreed that they would contribute to the fund. That was a unanimous decision by the teams," Rice said. "The majority of the race directors thought that was really good idea as well, and anyone who is part of that top-tier calendar is going to be part of that. And yes, there will be matching funds from USA Cycling."

    Rice informed promoters in the Nov. 20 email that some of the money would be used to cover the A and B UCI anti-doping lists, so that individual promoters did not face the possibility of paying as much as $6,000 if their event was to be randomly selected for anti-doping tests. Rice told Cyclingnews...

  • Mixed results for young US riders at Koksijde World Cup

    The Plzen World Cup junior men's podium: Quinten Hermans, Mathieu van der Poel and Logan Owen
    Article published:
    November 24, 2012, 23:35 GMT
    Brecht Decaluwé

    McDonald, Owen and White fight for 'cross Worlds grid positions

    During the third round of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Cup in Koksijde, Belgium there were three young American riders who flew over from the States to chase down glory and UCI points in the dunes close to the North Sea. Logan Owen and Curtis White took part in the junior men's competition while Zach McDonald contested the U23 men's category. Owen successfully defended his third place in the World Cup standings, White captured his first top-10 result in a World Cup round while McDonald had an off-day.

    After claiming a great fourth place in Tabór and a thirteenth place in Plzen there was a front-row start position to defend for Zach McDonald in Koksijde. He didn't want to settle for moderate results against the best European riders. "Once isn't good enough," McDonald stated. Still, he returns to the USA with only nine UCI-points in his bag for his 21st place on Saturday morning. Additionally, the top 16 start grid positions at the world championships for U23 men and junior men are solely determined by overall World Cup standings, where McDonald now holds 8th overall.

    "The sand wasn't a problem. I had bad legs," said McDonald. "I knew – with the training that I did – that my legs would either be very good or very bad. I missed my start and tried to come back. I played, bluffed, went all in but I couldn't hold it and blew up.

    "It's time for a break. I've had about 15 race days and flew so many miles. I like the travel, though, but it's a bit too much. Hopefully I maintain my front row position. Now I go home, recharge and come back in January."

    An hour earlier Owen and White raced well in the junior men's category. Both riders started well and...

  • Argos-Shimano manager calls for longer doping suspension

    Team Argos - Shimano
    Article published:
    November 25, 2012, 10:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Iwan Spekenbrink wants automatic lifetime bans

    Iwan Spekenbrink says that dopers have no place in the professional peloton. If it was up to the general manager of the Argos-Shimano team, those convicted of doping would be automatically given a lifetime worldwide ban. And Spekenbrink believes many of those involved in Dutch cycling agree with him.

    His team does not hire riders who have been banned for doping, he told  "We don't want to see those people back in a team in the sport. Not in our team and not in other teams.”

    Spekenbrink's team is currently fighting to get a WorldTour licence and is said to be neck-and-neck with Saxo-Tinkoff for the final spot in the top league. Saxo-Tinkoff is lead by Alberto Contador who returned from a doping ban this year and immediately won the Vuelta.

    The three pro Dutch teams – Argos-Shimano, Rabobank and Vacansoleil-DCM will next week sit down with the national cycling federation and the national anti-doping agency for discussions. Cycling federation president Marcel Wintels is said to “strongly agree” with Spekenbrink.

    Rabobank, which will likely compete as a “white label” team next year due to the loss of its title sponsor, is also looking for change.

    "We support the call by Iwan Spekenbrink,” said spokesman Richard Plugge. “We introduced that policy ourselves a long time ago."

    Rabobank said that it decided to end its 17-year sponsorship because of the revelations of the USADA investigation and the problems of doping in professional cycling.

  • Italian Pro League takes a stand against Bakala project

    The Giro d'Italia parcours brings the peloton through beautiful villages throughout the country.
    Article published:
    November 25, 2012, 14:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian cycling holds summit but fails to produce concrete proposals

    The Italian Pro League, the Italian Cycling Federation, race organisers and a multitude of Italians team and rider associations have called for a series of changes in the way cycling is managed and have taken a stand against allowing the sport to become part of a closed circuit as recently proposed by Omega Pharma-Quick Step owner Zdenek Bakala.

    200 representatives from Italian cycling gathered in Salsomaggiore, near Parma, for a summit after yet another difficult season for Italian cycling. The USADA investigation has revealed some details of the Padua police investigation but Italian cycling is braced for more doping scandals and is struggling to compete in the WorldTour due to a lack of major sponsors.

    The recently reformed Lega Pro has former Italian politician Vincenzo Scotti as president. The 79-year-old warned that the Lega Pro could take legal action in the European courts to block any attempts to create a closed Champions League system as proposed by Bakala.

    "We can't accept that any changes damage Italian cycling as was the case with the ProTour. We'll control what happens carefully and we're ready to fight any dominant positions and conflicts of interest by using European law," Scotti told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    In a vague and confusing statement the Lega Pro and those who attended the meeting in Salsomaggiore Terme also called for democratic change and further efforts to fight doping in cycling.

    "The history and role of Italian cycling in our country and the world, the presence and potential of our young riders, our technical and professionals skills and the brave and admirable decisions taken by our Federation in the last few years mean that we all have to...

  • Vacansoleil-DCM go team building in the snow

    Vacansoleil's "red team" looks a bit dubious and holds on tight
    Article published:
    November 25, 2012, 15:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    Overnight adventures for the Dutch team

    The riders of Vacansoleil-DCM 2013 held a three-day team building camp last week in the dark and snow. Winter hasn't arrived early in the Netherlands, instead the riders faced a surprise night time session at an indoor ski hall.

    It was “a complete surprise to those guys,” said team manager Daan Luijkx. They spent the day in the traditional way, having photo sessions and getting measured for kit and leisure clothes. But they may have become suspicious when they weren't allowed to have any wine with dinner.

    They were then taken by bus to Snow World in Landgraaf, where they faced “snow cannons in the dark, a staircase of 560 steps and a ten-metre high rope crossing,” Luijkx said. And it was hard work. "I was sweating my ass off in the winter," says Lieuwe Westra as he emerged at four the next morning.

    The riders were divided into three teams, depending on their main goals of the 2013 season. The red team included sprinters around Kenny Hummel and Romain Feillu, while the blue team included the stage race riders Thomas De Gendt and Wout Poels. That left the Classics riders in the yellow team, including Bjorn Leukemans and Pim Ligthart.

    “The goal of the team building event during the night was to kick-off a bigger program (which runs the whole season) to create a more efficient and consistent team of riders, staff and sport directors with great task awareness, leadership and using everyone’s qualities,” team spokesman Frank Kwanten told Cyclingnews.

    The team get-together also started out on an unusual note, as the whole team including the sport directors went mountain biking underground, in the caves below the Cauberg.

  • Contador says cycling needs to introduce "zero tolerance" for dope cheats

    Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank)
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 0:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard eagerly awaits UCI decision on ProTeam licence

    Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), previously banned for two years and stripped of two grand tour titles having recorded a positive test for Clenbuterol, has told French television that there is no place for dopers within the sport.

    Contador, speaking at the team's training camp on Gran Canaria to France 2's program Stage 2 on Sunday, said that the harshest of penalties needed to be handed down for those who contravene anti-doping regulations.

    "For cycling, it should be zero tolerance, I express myself less certain but it is clear that there is no place for cheaters," the Spaniard explained.

    Contador has consistently denied any wrong doing regarding his positive test from the 2010 Tour de France and stated that food contamination after eating a Spanish steak was the most likely cause for his positive control. In his latest interview, which has become a rare event, the 29-year-old reiterated that he has been wronged, having lost both his 2010 Tour de France and 2011 Giro d'Italia titles.

    "I worked according to the regulations and they said that the victory is not mine, it's an injustice," he said.

    The UCI has stated that riders returning from doping violation will not contribute to their respective team's points tally for two years. This has meant Saxo-Tinkoff drops significantly down the standings due to Contador accumulating the majority of the WorldTour results. The Danish team is now vying with Argos-Shimano for the final ProTeam licence. An announcement from the UCI regarding ProTeam licence approvals is set for the next day with the final list of WorldTour teams to be decided by mid December. The prospect of Contador being on the start line in Corsica for...

  • Seven WorldTour teams confirmed for Tour de San Luis

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma - Quick Step) wins the final stage in San Luis
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 1:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep to be without this year’s winner Leipheimer

    Seventeen teams have been confirmed for the 2013 edition of Tour de San Luis with three additional WorldTour teams still to be announced. The 2.1 category race will run from 21-27 January with seven stages totally 1,027.5km.

    Seven WorldTour squads have been named including this year’s overall winning team Omega Pharma-QuickStep. They will of course be without the 2012 victor Levi Leipheimer after the American was fired from the team in response to his admissions to doping throughout a significant part of his career.

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep won a total of four stages at the 2012 edition with Tom Boonen and Leipheimer both winning a stage each. The team will not be able to rely on the speed of two-time stage victor Francesco Chicchi as the Italian will be riding for a rival team at the race. Chicchi announced his move to Farnese Vini - Selle Italia, which will reportedly be called Vini Fantini in 2013.

    Movistar, Lampre-Merida, Astana, BMC, Katusha and the Cannondale Pro Cycling Team are set to compete along with Omega Pharma in one of the opening races of the 2013 season. A further three WorldTour teams are still to be finalised. Alberto Contador’s Saxo-Tinkoff team is yet to be confirmed but one would assume his team will be present after he won two stages at this year's race. Those stages were later stripped along with his Tour de France and Giro d'Italia titles following his 2010 positive test for Clenbuterol.

    Vincenzo Nibali, riding for his new Astana team,...

  • Gallery: Darren Lill captures Tour of Rwanda title

    Stage winner Darren Lill (South Africa National Team) at the end of stage 7
    Article published:
    November 26, 2012, 3:49 GMT
    Cycling News

    Double stage winner claims overall for South African national team

    Darren Lill took one of the biggest victories in his career when he won the overall title at this year's Tour of Rwanda. The 30-year-old who has spent the past two seasons riding for Team Bonitas took the week away from his trade team to ride for the South African national team. He used his two victories, on stages three and seven to help set-up the general classification win.

    Lill finished 1:47 over countryman and teammate Dylan Girdlestone with third-place Kenyan John Daniel Njoroge at 1:59.

    "This is a great victory for me because I had to fight to get the win. I keep a great souvenir," Lill said to Radio France Internationale.

    Lill also praised the organisers of the Tour and voiced his thoughts via Twitter. "What a great @TourofRwanda! The best UCI race on the continent of Africa. Well done for the Super organization," he tweeted.

    Bruno Langlois (Team Quebecor-Garneau) won the final stage in fine sole style however, it had no effect on the general classification. Lill came across the line in eighth place with Girdlestone and Njoroge just a few seconds ahead of the yellow jersey wearer.