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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 11, 2011

Date published:
June 11, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • CONI suspends Riccò

    Riccardo Riccò (Meridiana-Kamen)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 16:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian banned from worldwide competition

    The Italian Olympic Committee's Anti-doping Tribunal has suspended Riccardo Riccò, the CONI announced today, a move which will prevent the Italian from returning to global competition with his new team, Meridiana-Kamen.

    Riccò sought to compete in the Tour of Serbia starting June 13, but the CONI's anti-doping prosecutor followed upon action from the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) to ban him from competition based upon an alleged anti-doping violation.

    Riccò was admitted to an intensive care unit in February, and it was widely reported that his medical crisis was the result of a botched blood transfusion, although the rider himself adamantly denies this.

    His Vacansoleil-DCM team sacked him over the news, and Riccò was suspended by the FCI last week until he could prove that he was healthy enough to compete.

    The move from the CONI goes one step further, finally taking disciplinary action against Riccò for "use or attempted use of prohibited methods".


  • Zajicek given life ban for doping

    Phil Zajicek (Fly V Australia) from the USA awaits the start to stage three in Burnie.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 17:23 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American admitted purchasing, using EPO and more

    Phillip Zajicek has been handed down a lifetime ban by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA). Zajicek admitted to purchasing, possessing and using EPO and human growth hormone from the Shandong Kexing Bioproducts company.

    He also admitted to another doping offence of providing a false testimony at the American Arbitration Panel hearing, as well as encouraging other witnesses to provide false testimony. Zajicek’s first offense was the result of an adverse analytical finding for the stimulant cathine in 2004.

    The 32-year-old will serve a lifetime ban of ineligibility dating from June 2011 and he will also pay $5000 for the expenses associated to his conduct. Zajicek is also disqualified from all competitive results obtained on and subsequent to April 24, 2007, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.

    “When he was caught he basically attempted to cover up his violations, and under the WADA code there is article 2.8 that basically says a cover up can be a separate offence. That allowed us to add a third offence that brings us to the lifetime ban of ineligibility,” USADA CEO Travis T. Tygaart told Cyclingnews.

    Zajicek had a first hearing in September 2, 2010 for the possession of EPO and growth hormone. He then had a AAA hearing on September 14 where the panel sided with the rider, issuing a statement on November 1, 2010 saying that USADA had not met a level required for the burden of truth. Cyclingnews reported in January that USADA were in the process of appealing the case.

    In fact USADA had appealed on November 22, 2010 and through the course of that process built up additional evidence that Zajicek lied and had encouraged others to do...

  • Chavanel back in action in Tour de Suisse

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 20:28 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Looking for results after three-week mountain training camp

    After one and a half months away from racing, Sylvain Chavanel will be back in action in the upcoming Tour de Suisse starting on Saturday. The Quick Step rider, who disappeared from public life since his extremely strong but also very disappointing showing in the Spring Classics, prepared the second part of the season in a three-week training camp in the French Pyrenees and hopes that it will bear fruit.

    "I haven't raced since April 24, so I'm happy to be back and eager to race again. That's a good sign," Chavanel told Cyclingnews as he was heading to Lugano to the start of the Tour de Suisse. "It's been a long break, but very beneficial."

    The Frenchman explained that he had last week returned from a three-week training camp at 1800m altitude, in Font-Romeu in the French Pyrenees. "I've done almost 40,000 vertical metres in those three weeks. It was hard training but perfect to build up a strong base. Last year, I noticed that the break that I had done before the Tour had been beneficial, but I still needed that to be longer to not finish the Tour too tired."

    Together with three other Quick Step riders, Chavanel thus decided to get some serious climbing into his legs to prepare his participation in the Tour de France, where he hopes to win a stage again. "Perhaps I can go on a raid in the high mountains now, who knows? Last year, I won in the medium mountain station of Les Rousses [stage seven]. Maybe I could even win a more difficult stage," he ventured, without losing a realistic approach. "It's always easy to talk - we'll see what effect this training camp will have. In any case, I feel good and I now have a broader base for the upcoming races."

    Chavanel admitted he also had to work on his morale after the...

  • Video: Chris Jones's favourite ride

    UnitedHealthcare's Chris Jones is always ready with a smile.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 21:07 BST
    Cycling News

    UnitedHealthcare pro show us his favourite route training ride in California

    Chris Jones  of UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling and formerly of Team Type 1 took director Chris Leavell out on his favourite ride at the tail end of the 2010 season. The northern California native took Leavell and several pro companions on a loop the Forest Hill Loop around Auburn, California, providing stunning scenery and backdrops, as well as several dirt road sections.

  • Injury report: Capelle, Kadri, Vermeltfoort out

    Blel Kadri (AG2R La Mondiale) during his lengthy solo break.
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 21:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider breaks both wrists

    Friday was an unlucky day for professional riders, with three men out of the week's races with injuries: Andy Capelle (Quick Step), Coen Vermeltfoort (Rabobank) and Blel Kadri (AG2R-La Mondiale).

    Vermeltfoort suffered a freak accident on the start ramp of the Delta Tour Zeeland prologue. The Rabobank rider fell from the ramp and broke both of his wrists. He will undergo surgery on his right wrist next week in a hospital in Amersfoort, while the left one was set and put in a cast, reported.

    Quick Step's Andy Cappelle was the victim of a crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné, where he fell on the high-speed approach to the final climb, 15km from the finish of stage 5 at Les Gets.

    Capelle was diagnosed with a fractured rib on the left side of his chest. It is the second fracture of the year for the Belgian, who broke his right clavicle during the second stage of the Driedaagse Van West-Vlaanderen in March.

    He will need 15 days of rest before he can start training again, his team said.

    Finally, Frenchman Kadri abandoned the Dauphiné overnight and was diagnosed with a tear to his left calf which will put him out of competition for two weeks. Kadri's participation in the Tour de France is now in doubt. The team said the final determination will be made by the team doctors after monitoring the progress of the injury.


  • Kern shows Europcar’s depth ahead of Tour de France

    Christophe Kern (Europcar) wins stage 5 in the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine
    Article published:
    June 10, 2011, 21:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman finally a winner at the age of 30

    Christophe Kern’s (Europcar) stage victory at the Dauphiné was the mark of a great talent that had so far failed to live up to the expectations he was placed under as a young rider. But he showed that at 30 it is not too late to become a winner, and in Les Gets he also proved that Europcar isn’t only about his good friend Thomas Voeckler.

    It’s actually because of Voeckler’s ambitions that Kern went on the offensive and passed lone escapee Oliver Zaugg (Leopard-Trek) with 3km to go on the final ascent to Les Gets. “I attacked knowing that even if I was going to get caught, Thomas [Voeckler] was one of the fastest sprinters for the stage win,” Kern said. “I wanted to go as far as I could.”

    But he wasn’t caught and enjoyed what is only his third win as a professional since the GP Rudy Dhaenens at the beginning of his first pro season in 2003 and a stage at the 2004 Tour de l’Avenir. “The first one in Belgium also had a particular flavour,” he said. “Six and half years without winning a race, it’s long.”

    “It’s super to win here today because the Dauphiné is a big race and this is a mountain stage”, he added. “I got close two years ago at the Tour de France in Arcalis. I tried again on stage 1 here on Monday but I got caught with 800 metres to go. [Europcar team manager] Jean-René [Bernaudeau] encouraged me loudly today.

    "I’m very happy for the whole Europcar team. We’ve done a great job today. The atmosphere in the team is fantastic. I had a knee injury at the beginning of the year and I came back nicely to my best level. Three weeks before the Tour de France, this is my...

  • Help wanted: Garmin-Cervélo waiting to fill White's spot

    Jonathan Vaughters and Matt White share a word
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 0:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Vaughters wants "the right person" for director

    It's been six months since Garmin-Cervélo dismissed its directeur sportif Matt White, and the team still has yet to fill his position. Instead, Slipstream Sports CEO Jonathan Vaughters has taken on the role on top of all of his other duties, but said he is happy to be stretched thin rather than hire someone less than perfect for the job.

    "Certainly it has made for fewer free hours in my day, but I'd rather be stretched thin than to hire someone who is less than ideal for the position," said Vaughters, who is also president of the teams association AIGCP and on the UCI's advisory board on top of running an organisation which supports three professional teams: Garmin-Cervélo men and women as well as the Chipotle Development Team.

    "I am looking for someone capable of doing the job who I can trust 100 per cent and respect 100 per cent. There aren't many people I would consider viable for the job who aren't in a commitment elsewhere, and I'm not going to try to pry people from their existing commitments."

    White was sacked in January when it was revealed that he had referred former rider Trent Lowe to the former U.S. Postal physician Luis Garcia del Moral - an action that was against the team's internal policy. He has since taken a position with Cycling Australia.

    The Australian's dismissal came in the wake of a pay dispute with Lowe, who left the team for the defunct Pegasus Sports project and was battling with Slipstream over withheld wages.

    Lowe attempted to use the connection with the controversial physician...

  • Young BikeNZ squad take on Europe's best

    Shane Archbold (NZL) flat out in the Omnium flying lap tt.
    Article published:
    June 11, 2011, 5:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Archbold leads team for Thuringen Rundfahrt

    New Zealand's brightest young cycling hopes join together for one of Europe's most prestigious age group road races starting on Monday.

    The group, part of BikeNZ's endurance track squad, compete in the seven stage Thuringen Rundfahrt in Germany, a UCI 2.2 category tour for the best under-23 riders in Europe. Started in 1976, the tour has produced many winners who have gone on to successful pro tour careers including Tony Martin, Uwe Ampler and Stephen Schreck. Last year's winner John Dengenkolb, now a HTC Highroad pro tour rider, has won two stages in this week's Criterium du Dauphine.

    The BikeNZ squad has been based in Belgium for three months using the training and racing as preparation for the track season and campaign for inclusion for the London Olympics.

    The Thuringen Rundfahrt will be their toughest test up against national teams from 10 countries comprising Germany, Australia, Netherlands, France, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Great Britain, Kazakhstan and Ukraine.

    The team is led by world track silver medallist Shane Archbold, fellow Commonwealth Games riders Myron Simpson and Aaron Gate, Jason Christie, Cameron Karwowski and Tom Scully.

    Archbold won the sprint jersey at the recent Ras Tour of Ireland, Gate was the leading Under-23 rider, Simpson enjoyed a solo stage win while Karwowski set up their success with some powerful performances.

    Christie, who did not compete in Ireland, has enjoyed some outstanding form on the criterium circuits in Belgium. He won three races in a row, producing some impressive numbers in the process, while the team is buoyed by the addition of Southland's Scully, on loan from his Garmin-Cervelo Development Team.

    Coach Stu McDonald said the challenge...