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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, December 19, 2009

Date published:
December 19, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Perry wins Cyclingnews Capo Clothing contest

    Steven Perry, Capo Clothing contest winner, races in the the Capital Square of the Willy Street Criterium in 2009.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 22:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    5Nines Data cycling team gets new custom kit

    Steven Perry takes home the grand prize in the Cyclingnews contest to win a full set of Capo Clothing for his 5Nines Data cycling team. The clothing set prize includes 25 custom printed short-sleeved jerseys and 25 bib shorts - all part of the new high-end Super Corsa Custom series.

    "Having CapoForma provide us 25 Super Corsa kits will ensure we are some of the best dressed racers in the lineup for years to come," said a happy Perry. "Each year it gets more challenging to source funds for racing and having top-drawer kit is always a primary goal."

    Perry is a 36-year-old purchasing agent with a "wonderful wife, two dogs and a six-year-old foster care child". He races Masters Cat. 3/4 in the WCA series.

    "I work for a luxury appliance manufacturer Sub-Zero refrigerators based in Madison, Wisconsin. On a whim I entered the contest at the advice of a local friend!" said Perry. "How strange I thought it when Cyclingnews contacted me. I thought I had violated some chat room rule or other online nefarious activity."

    His team, which includes Cat. 1 through Cat. 4 Masters racers, is sponsored by 5Nines Data Storage, GT/Cannondale, Saris/CycleOps and Williamson Bicycle Works. "We are proud to also have a world-ranked M30-34 triathlete in our roster," added Perry.

    The Grand Prize is a full set of team clothing featuring race-inspired short-sleeve jerseys and bib shorts with Capo’s next generation, EIT chamois inserts.

    Capo Clothing comes from Emeryville, California-based Upland Sports Group. Capo offers an inline range of race apparel as well as custom sublimated team clothing. The kit is worth US$5,500

    "Thank you so much for creating a contest that supports cycling not just as an individual recreation, but a sport founded in team-based camaraderie," concluded Perry.

  • Vuelta a Guatemala winner Velásquez tests positive

    The Guatemala National Team in action.
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 8:43 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Guatemalan's second positive in five years

    The winner of this year's Vuelta a Guatemala, Nery Velásquez, has been tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. According to Prensa Libre, Velásquez' A sample taken during the stage 11 of the event has showed the use of an anabolic steroid developed for veterinary use, Boldenone.

    The Guatamalan, who has denied taking anything prohibited and requested the analysis of the B sample, could face the end of his career if the result is confirmed. Velásquez already served a two-year suspension after a 2004 doping control found him positive for EPO.

    "To me, this result is strange, because I was tested every day since the start of the Vuelta," said Velásquez. "I was tested on ten occasions. I just hope that something strange happened."

    A teammate of Velásquez, Alfredo Ajpacajá, also returned a positive result during the race. Velásquez and Ajpacajá both ride for Café Quetzal.

    The president of the Guatemalan cycling federation, Alfredo Flores, has already indicated that if Velásquez' B sample confirms his doping, the overall honours of the Vuelta a Guatemala would go to the runner-up, Juan Carlos Rojas of the Costa Rican team.

    The news comes as another blow to Guatemalan cycling since a major doping affair occurred at the 2004 Vuelta a Guatemala, where nine riders tested positive.

  • Guldhammer the new climbing star for Columbia-HTC

    Best young rider Rasmus Guldhammer Poulsen (Team Capinordic).
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 10:18 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Young Dane also one for the Spring Classics

    Rasmus Guldhammer is looking forward to taking on the mountains with Columbia-HTC. The 20-year-old Dane is entering his first ProTour season with the US-based outfit.

    Coming from flat Denmark, the youngster didn't discover his climbing talent until he went on holiday with his family in Italy. “Once I found out I could do it, though, I quickly found out how nice it is to go hard up climbs with the rest of the field just clinging on behind," he said on his new team's website.

    Another Columbia newcomer, Tejay Van Gardaren, confirmed Guldhammer's abilities, saying "we've all got used to seeing Rasmus's back wheel on the climbs!"

    Guldhammer grew up Velje, Denmark, the site of one of the country's few climbs, regularly featured in the Tour of Denmark. “The climb itself is only 500 metres long, but the gradient's 21 per cent and it's so packed out with fans you could be standing on Alpe d'Huez." he said.

    His father was Danish amateur champion in 1989, and still gives his son training advice. "He told me not to overdo it, because if I turned professional I would have a tough enough time then. He was right - I've already noticed in my first training rides with Columbia-HTC in Spain that's it ten or fifteen per cent harder."

    Guldhammer is also a threat for the Spring Classics. This year he won the under-23 Liège-Bastogne-Liège and finished second in the under-23 Ronde van Vlaanderen.

    He rounded out his good results for former squad, Team Caprinordic, with two stage wins in the Grand Prix of Portugal and a fourth place overall in the Tour of Denmark, where he was also best young rider.

  • Boogerd, Dekker questioned in Austrian blood-doping investigation

    Dutchman Michael Boogerd in 2007
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 10:45 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Dekker still waiting for word on EPO suspension

    Michael Boogerd and Thomas Dekker were questioned in the Netherlands this week about their possible involvement with an Austrian doping ring.

    The Dutchmen are under investigation by Austrian authorities in connection with Stefan Matschiner and the blood-doping scandal disclosed by suspended rider Bernhard Kohl.

    Boogerd, who is retired, and Dekker, who is suspended for a separate doping offence, had refused to travel to Austria on the grounds they had nothing to say in the matter.

    The two rode for Rabobank at the time of the alleged doping. Their lawyer, Hans van Oijen, told the Dutch website, “Personally, if Rabobank is not worried [about this questioning], then I think things are all right.”

    Dekker still waiting

    Dekker, 25, is still awaiting final word from the Monaco Cycling Union on the length of his suspension for EPO. His positive result for the drug came from a sample taken in December 2007, however, the sample was only tested this summer. Dekker confessed to having used the drug when the B-sample was also positive.

    Dekker, who rode under a licence from Monaco, was told that the cycling federation would have a final decision in his case in mid-November. “But since then we have heard nothing,” Van Oijen said.

  • Rebellin's CONI hearing postponed

    Di Luca and Rebellin close by
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 11:25 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Rebellin awaits Olympic decision, Di Luca reacts to prospect of three-year ban

    Davide Rebellin's hearing before the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) scheduled for this past week has been postponed due to a scheduling conflict. No new date was announced.

    Rebellin had an appointment on the same day with the Monaco Cycling Federation.  Rebellin lives in Monaco and therefore rides under a license issued by that federation.  The Italian tested positive for the EPO derivative CERA at the Beijing Olympics last summer.

    CONI wants three-years for Di Luca

    Italian Danilo Di Luca has reacted to news that CONI is recommending a three-year ban for him after two positive tests for CERA at this year's Giro d'Italia. “I feel calm and remain confident of being able to demonstrate my innocence at the appropriate time and place.”

    Both riders have denied doping.

  • Allan Davis leaves Quick Step

    Australia's Allan Davis (Quick Step).
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 11:29 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Australian's departure attributed to sponsorship shortfall

    Allan Davis has parted ways with Quick Step after one and a half seasons with the Belgian ProTour team. Dutch website reported that Quick Step had not been able to offer the 29-year-old a new contract following the withdrawal of bicycle manufacturer Specialized as a team sponsor.

    Confirmation of Davis' departure from Quick Step came a day after the team's manager, Patrick Lefevere, had indicated his continued interest in signing Spaniard Alberto Contador for the 2011 season.

    "I held four spots open, one for Contador himself and for three of his close teammates. I won't fill them until the opportunity presents itself," Lefevere told Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen on Thursday.

    Last month, it was confirmed that American company Specialized had withdrawn its sponsorship of the team. The bicycle manufacturer has been replaced by Eddy Merckx bicycles as the team's equipment sponsor, however, Specialized's departure is also likely to have shrunk the team's operating budget for future seasons.

    Unfortunately for Davis, the lack of funds and a squeeze for places on the Belgian squad coincided with a season which would have likely justified a salary increase with the team. This year, Davis enjoyed one of the most successful seasons of his eight year career. With a focus on the first half of the year he claimed three stages and overall victory at the Tour Down Under, as well as fourth place in Milano-Sanremo and a series of top-five stage results at the Giro d'Italia.

    Davis' 2009 season was also marked by a mid-season drama at the Tour de France. The Australian missed out on a start in the event after a French court overruled the Amaury Sports Organisation's decision to exclude Tom Boonen from the race. Despite the incident, Davis closed his season with a series of strong performances at the Tour of Poland, fourth place at Vattenfall Cyclassics and second at Paris - Bruxelles.


  • Carlos Sastre will race 2010 Giro d'Italia

    Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam)
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 12:32 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Spaniard selects Italian Grand Tour as first major goal of season

    Carlos Sastre has confirmed that he will race the Giro d'Italia next season. The Cervélo TestTeam captain announced today that he confirmed his race program up to the Italian Grand Tour.

    Winner of the 2008 Tour de France, Sastre had waited for the routes of all three Grand Tours to be announced before making a decision on which of the three-week races he would contest next season. Following the announcement of the route for the Vuelta a España on Wednesday, he has chosen the Giro as the first of his Grand Tour appearances for next year.

    "After analyzing the routes of the three Grand Tours and discussing them with the Cervélo TestTeam sports directors, I’ve decided to participate in the Giro d’Italia," said Sastre on Saturday.

    Sastre finished fourth at this year's Giro d'Italia, a result likely to become a third place finish after Danilo Di Luca's positive for CERA. Sastre also claimed two stage wins during the race at the summit finishes of Monte Petrano and Vesuvius.

    He indicated that an improvement on his overall result would be the goal at next year's race. "Last year I had a great time at the Giro and I want to go back. The fact that I haven’t won this race gives me special motivation, and the route is very attractive for a rider with my characteristics. It is a really important opportunity," he said.

    The Giro had formed part of Sastre's preparation for his Tour de France title defence last season. Despite his strong performance in Italy, he finished 17th overall at the French Grand Tour, 26:21 behind race winner Alberto Contador.

    Although he is yet to confirm whether or not he will return to the Tour de France next season, Sastre will commence his 2010 season at the Volta a Catalunya in March. He will then participate in the Spring Classics, Amstel Gold Race (April 18) and Liège-Bastogne-Liège (April 25), before the Giro starts on May 8.

    "For the...

  • Saxo Bank ends independent testing programme

    Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard
    Article published:
    December 19, 2009, 16:22 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Danish team express confidence in UCI's biological passport

    Saxo Bank has officially announced the end of its independent anti-doping programme with Danish company Clearidium and its head, Dr. Rasmus Damsgaard. The three-year cooperation has come to a close because of the potential conflict of interest posed by Clearidium's forthcoming involvement with the International Cycling Union's (UCI) blood passport programme.

    Clearidium has conducted internal controls for Saxo Bank since 2006. The team's riders have been subject to a 12 blood profiles, 4 steroid profiles and 4 EPO profiles per season. With Damsgaard and his company to partner with the UCI from next season, the programme can no longer act independently.

    The team will now rely on the UCI's biological passport to ensure its riders are competing clean, a system in which Saxo Bank team owner Bjarne Riis expressed his confidence.

    "We have been extremely glad for the partnership with Rasmus Damsgaard and we are very proud of the results we accomplished together" said Riis. "We started our work back in the autumn of 2006 and the result was an intelligent anti-doping programme, which today is the foundation of the UCI biological passport. We are therefore confident that the anti-doping programme implemented by the UCI will be of outstanding quality."

    The Saxo Bank announcement came a week after RadioShack's confirmation that it would not continue with Damsgaard's company, which had been employed by Astana during Johan Bruyneel's tenure as manager. In a boost for the UCI, RadioShack, too, acknowledged the biological passport programme as a being strong enough to negate the need for an internal anti-doping system.

    Damsgaard expressed his appreciation and pride in the three-year relationship with Saxo Bank. "Without Bjarne's vision and determination I'm not sure that the fight against doping would be as successful as it is today," he said.

    "Bjarne and I first talked together in August 2006 and we agreed to develop the most...