A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
New and old kicks and lids seen at WorldTour race
Italian says that UCI offered him no support
Filippo Simeoni said on Friday that his run-ins with Lance Armstrong would continue to haunt him, despite USADA’s pronouncement this week that Armstrong was a ‘serial cheat’ and a participant in ‘the most sophisticated doping programme ever’.
Simeoni, who testified in the USADA investigation, told Cyclingnews: "I can’t escape from what happened. It hurt me so much and will continue to haunt me." He added that USADA’s judgement brought him only a "strange, hollow feeling of justice having been done".
Simeoni said that he was contacted by USADA only "around a fortnight ago" to give evidence about his dealings with Michele Ferrari in the late 1990s and resulting dispute with Armstrong. In particular, he said, USADA asked for a full account of his infamous breakaway attempt during stage 18 of the 2004 Tour, and of Armstrong’s reaction.
Simeoni confirmed to USADA that Armstrong had threatened him – and also that, to his dismay, the International Cycling Union (UCI) offered him no support in the days, weeks and months that followed.
"That was an important moment and people didn’t take it seriously enough. If they had, maybe some of this wouldn’t be happening now," Simeoni said on Friday.
"Remember, I was the only one who’d been honest about a doctor who was doping riders and had doped me, Ferrari. I confessed to the magistrate and I got banned for it. A whole group of other riders weren’t honest and nothing happened to them. They just carried on as normal. And, as if that...
Canadian team "to focus on WorldTour status" for 2014
Canada's top professional cycling team, Spidertech, announced today that it will "postpone" racing for the 2013 season, choosing to focus on gathering enough corporate sponsorship for a WorldTour bid in 2014 with an aim at racing in the Tour de France.
"We're stepping away from continental competition in order to focus our efforts on gaining UCI WorldTour status," said owner Steve Bauer in a press release. "We have made the decision to focus our efforts entirely on making the jump to the WorldTour in 2014 and have determined that we need to acquire additional financial partnerships to reach this goal."
Cyclingnews has so far been unable to reach Bauer regarding how this impacts riders such as Timmy Duggan, who have signed contracts with the team, but the Team Spidertech Twitter account contains unattributed posts claiming, "We wouldn't have signed contracts if we'd been planning this all along. We've found spots for almost all of the guys so far."
Further posts address suspicions that the timing of this announcement, falling just after USADA's release of its reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong, was somehow related to the doping scandal.
"Nothing to do with the USADA investigation. It was a strategic decision to put the organization in the best position for 2014."
Two approaches made and open to RadioShack discussions
Bob Stapleton, the man behind Team Highroad and HTC-Highroad, has told Cyclingnews that he is open to a return to cycling. Stapleton took over control of the T-Mobile team in 2006, restructuring the squad before launching the highly successful Highroad team.
Despite continually leading the way in terms of number of wins and topping the UCI standings, the team folded at the end of 2011. Stapleton's HTC model helped form the blueprints for a number of teams, including Sky, who currently have 9 former HTC riders on their books.
However, with Friday’s announcement that Johan Bruyneel had been dismissed by RadioShack-Nissan due to his involvement in the US Postal doping scandal, rumours quickly surfaced with Stapleton pigeonholed as a possible successor.
The American confirmed that he had already been approached by two high profile teams for the 2013 season but that RadioShack had not contacted him.
“They know where I live but I’ve not heard from anybody there. I’ve been contacted by two other teams but not RadioShack,” Stapleton told Cyclingnews.
Stapleton's approach was based around complete control over team affairs but he also surrounded himself with dedicated staff such as Rolf Aldag, Allan Peiper, Brian Holm, and Valerio Piva. Stapleton's team's won over 500 races, 51 Grand Tour stages and the 2011 green jersey at the Tour de France through Mark Cavendish.
When asked if he would be open to an approach from RadioShack’s owner Flavio Becca, Stapleton added: “If the resources and motivation were there then it could make some sense."
Philadelphia honors Casale with race
Longtime US race promoter Jerry Casale lost his battle with cancer this year, but the city of Philadelphia which benefitted so much from his work will return the favour by hosting a new event called the Keystone Open on July 7, 2013.
Robin Morton of g4 productions confirmed that the event, co-organised by Casale's cousin Ralph and local organiser Ron Ruggiero, is named after the criterium run by Jerry Casale, but will be a road race aiming for UCI status.
"We all worked with Jerry for many years and thought it was a fitting name for the event," Morton said. "We have support from the City of Philadelphia. The Mayor's Office is leading the way on sustainability nationally and Mayor Nutter and his wife both ride."
The city already supports what will next year be known as the American Cycling Classic on June 2, 2013, but was formerly the TD Bank International. That race will be downgraded from 1.HC to a 1.2 UCI ranking in 2013. The UCI 1.1-ranked Liberty Classic, which was run in conjunction with the men's race, is no longer listed on the UCI's 2013 calendar, but the Keystone Open will hold a women's race.
"Philadelphia is a big sports town supporting teams in all major leagues plus several sanctioned running events so we feel it can support more than one UCI bike race."
Morton would not reveal the details about the course, but said it would be a technical circuit "with three nice climbs".
Lack of a corporate partner, not USADA revelations, led to suspension of 2013 season
In the midst of the doping revelations surrounding Lance Armstrong from USADA's massive dossier of evidence, it seemed as if the first chip had fallen with the announcement that the Canadian Spidertech-C10 team would "postpone" its racing activities for 2013.
Cyclingnews spoke with team manager Steve Bauer who emphasized that the Armstrong news had "absolutely nothing to do with the decision, that's a certainty".
"It has more to do with the path to the WorldTour. We have not secured a sustainable corporate sponsor. Spidertech continues to look for that partner, they haven't left the game. It's not a bankruptcy, it's not us falling off the map and disappearing. They're still committed to the sport and they want to achieve success, but they were nervous about not having the corporate alignment to get to the WorldTour."
Bauer reiterated previous statements made by Cycle Sport Management on Twitter, that the team owners would work to place the riders they've signed for the coming season on other teams.
"It's no question a challenge," Bauer said. "Our goal is to treat them as best as we can, and ensure they keep racing and we provide them opportunity. I can't say how successful that will be because of the challenge of the late decision. Certainly we're doing 100% not only communication-wise but financially as well."
He confirmed that the team would honour its financial commitments to both riders who have signed contracts and those who reached verbal agreements with the team - a dozen or so riders, including US champion Timmy Duggan, who signed from Liquigas-Cannondale.
"This is not a 'leave the guys we've signed high and dry' and without any financial resources to going to other teams [scenario]. I think that's the most important point. That's usually not the story."
ASADA previously investigated Landis email allegations
Current Cycling Australia professional men's road coordinator Matt White, also Orica-GreenEdge sports director, is believed to have been identified as Rider 9 in Floyd Landis' evidence in USADA's Reasoned Decision documentation to the UCI.
White rode with U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team from U.S. Postal Service Pro Cycling Team from 2001 to 2003 and later linked again with the outfit when it was known as Discovery Channel in 2006 and 2007.
Landis' redacted affidavit swears that during training in the lead up to the 2003 Vuelta a España, "Bruyneel initiated a separate conversation over the phone with me on how to use Human Growth Hormone (HGH). At the direction of Mr. Bruyneel, I subsequently bought the HGH and Andriol from the team 'trainer' Jose Marti (aka Pepe), who lived in Valencia, Spain at the time along with the team doctor Dr. Luis Garcia Del Moral. I then spent substantial time training with fellow USPS team members Rider 9 and Michael Barry, and shared, and discussed the use of, HGH, testosterone and EPO with them while training."
The details mirror those in Landis' unredacted email to USA Cycling chief executive officer Steve Johnson on April 30, 2010 with White identified by name at the time. That email is listed as Exhibit B in Landis' affidavit.
In May 2010, Cycling Australia received correspondence from the UCI in relation to Landis' allegations. In response to this, Cycling Australia then referred the matter to the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) and on 27 May, Cycling Australia CEO Graham Fredericks publicly stated:
"Cycling Australia is aware of the allegations made by Floyd Landis both in the media...
Sky man maintains he was "misinterpreted"
At the start the previous day, Dowsett had commented somewhat carelessly on USADA's reasoned decision on the Lance Armstrong case, stating that the American "was still a legend of the sport" in spite of the overwhelming evidence presented in the 1,000-page dossier that he had doped to win all of his Tours de France.
That evening, Dowsett had moved to clarify his stance in an interview with BBC radio, saying that the "legend" comment had been in relation to Armstrong's cancer support work rather than his discredited cycling achievements. By that point, however, the damage had already been done, with Dowsett's initial statement taking up significant column inches in some British newspapers, who highlighted that he had ridden for the Trek-Livestrong team as an under-23.
Perhaps keen for a distraction from that developing maelstrom, Dowsett duly infiltrated the early break on stage 4 of the Tour of Beijing. The five-man move spent most of the day off the front before being swept up ahead of a bunch sprint in Changping, where Marco Haller (Katusha) emerged victorious.
"It was nice to get in the break today after my balls-up yesterday in the press," Dowsett said afterwards. "I said a few things about the Armstrong case that were misinterpreted. After that, it was nice to have a bit of a showing today to end the season on a bit of a high.
"Certainly if there was ever a day and a break that was going to stick it was going to be today, and there was nobody high on GC in the breakaway either. But the bunch still wanted a sprint. I actually sat on the...
Stable backing for Basque squad as it takes on foreign riders
Euskaltel-Euskadi's application for a UCI WorldTour licence is based on a solid financial backing and a change in the Basque squad's hiring philosophy. Euskaltel, a telephony company, has assured the team of their sponsorship throughout the next four years and a total of almost 40 million Euros, according to Biciciclismo. The team's immediate goal is to remain on WorldTour level and contract new riders - even from outside the Basque Country - to that effect.
The news that Euskaltel-Euskadi changed its hiring philosophy came a few weeks ago when Amets Txurruka, one of the squad's domestiques, was let go because he had no WorldTour points. Txurruka was critical of this new stance, as Euskaltel had been a purely Basque team for the last 19 years of its existence. Team manager Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano opened up the outfit to foreign riders in order to prevent the team from downgrading to Professional Continental status.
According to Gonzalez de Galdeano, if the team does not continue on the highest level, "it will disappear." The team manager does not want to rely on wildcard invitations to the world's greatest races, and insisted that "we will value Basque riders first and foremost, the team's leaders will be Basque. The foreign riders we will take on will serve to fill up the team's deficits."
Regarding the squad's 2013 WorldTour licence, Euskaltel would seem to be in direct rivalry with Ag2r-La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano and Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank. As it stands, the Basque team reportedly has 401 points on the UCI points ranking, against 440 for Saxo Bank, 619 for Argos and 644 for AG2R. These figures, however, are...