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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 20, 2012

Date published:
October 20, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Rabo women assured through 2013, says Moerenhout

    Marianne Vos has won more 'cross races than we can count.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 21:50 BST
    Pat Malach

    New director planning schedule, which could include trip to USA

    Rabobank women's team director Koos Moerenhout confirmed Friday that all rider contracts would be honored through at least the 2013 season and his squad will be racing a full schedule next year, despite the bank's decision to pull out of the sport.

    "At this point there are a lot of uncertainties, of course, but we have the guarantee that there will be the women's team as it is right now," Moerenhout told Cyclingnews. "So all the contracts will be respected and the team will be on the road for 2013."

    The Dutch banking institution announced Thursday that it would end its 17-year cycling sponsorship in the wake of USADA's findings in the Lance Armstrong case. The decision will affect both the men's team and the women's team, which formed just last season. But Rabobank also said it would continue its financial support for the teams through 2013, although both teams will race without the bank's logos and will not figure in any marketing campaigns.

    Moerenhout said the riders, staff and others involved with the team were disappointed upon hearing about the sponsor's decision but were thankful for the years of support, and they were buoyed by the fact that Rabobank was not going to "let the team fall apart."

    "We are very hopeful," Moerenhout said. "Luckily things don't look as bad as it first looked. We are very motivated to make it a good year for next year again."

    Plans for 2013

    During its first year in the peloton last season, the Rabobank women's team earned the UCI number one ranking and featured world and Olympic champion Marianne...

  • USA Cycling strips Lance Armstrong's name from race series

    Three of the USA Cycling National Development Team riders get in some training.
    Article published:
    October 19, 2012, 23:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Junior series renamed in wake of USADA case

    USA Cycling has removed the name of Lance Armstrong from its premiere junior race series in the wake of the release of the extensive US Anti-Doping Agency dossier documenting the doping activities he engaged in during his career.

    Previously named the Lance Armstrong Junior Race Series (LAJRS), the series will now be known as the USA Cycling Road Development Race Series.

    "The name change is intended to maintain the focus on the great work of the race directors who make the effort to put on quality juniors races across the U.S. that provide a development pathway to USA Cycling's juniors and under-23 riders," a press release stated.

    USA Cycling's development program was founded at the turn of the 21st century after Armstrong returned from cancer and attracted the attention of a group of wealthy backers, including US Postal Service team owner Thom Weisel.

    Weisel, in addition to hiring Armstrong to his professional racing team, brought in more rich backers to prop up the financially floundering federation.

    They established the USA Cycling Foundation, a non-profit aimed at developing new talent, which operates alongside USA Cycling. Weisel still serves as chairman of the USA Cycling Development Foundation board.

    The LAJRS series celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, and will continue under its new name. It evolved from a small series to include more than 120 events nationally this year.

  • Mixed emotions for Renshaw as Rabobank backs out

    A battered Mark Renshaw (Rabobank) makes a beeline for Rouen
    Article published:
    October 20, 2012, 9:40 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian frustrated by the sins of another era

    When Mark Renshaw was forced to look for a team following the collapse of HTC-Highroad at the end of 2011, Rabobank appeared to be a safe choice but given the evidence uncovered by the USADA report, it seems nothing is certain.

    Renshaw, a new dad and back home in Australia, was shocked by Friday’s news that Rabobank was backing away from its position as a stalwart sponsor in cycling. It was a move that he didn’t see coming.

    Renshaw was clearly struggling to take in the news concerned for his immediate future.

    “I’m angry but.... I don’t know what I am,” he admitted to Cyclingnews, grappling with the events that were taking place back in Europe. “I’m probably not angry; I’m frustrated that it’s got to this point when it probably should have been cleared up a long time ago. Everything that’s going on is from the past which I had no part of.”

    Back during Renshaw’s first seasons as a professional from 2004, he admits he felt the change in the peloton’s speed. At first he wasn’t quite sure what he was experiencing and while he didn’t race a Tour de France until 2008, he knew something was off.

    “I just thought I was a fresh-legged track rider,” Renshaw said. “In the couple of years after that the sport has improved a lot and I think we need to look at that a bit more. The last few years have been some great racing and some clean racing I believe. It’s been a great sport but the demons of the past are coming back now.”

    “I’ve never been offered it [performance-enhancing drugs]...

  • Armstrong: It's been a difficult couple of weeks

    Article published:
    October 20, 2012, 10:30 BST
    Cycling News

    American speaks in Austin, Texas

    In his first public appearance since the release of the USADA report detailing a career of systematic doping, Lance Armstrong described the past couple of weeks as “difficult.”

    Speaking at a Livestrong fundraising dinner in Austin, Texas on Friday night, Armstrong opened his speech with an allusion to last week’s release of the USADA reasoned decision.

    “It’s been an interesting couple of weeks,” Armstrong said. “It’s been a difficult couple of weeks, for me, my family, for this foundation.”

    USADA’s 1,000-page dossier includes testimony from 26 individuals as well as a slew of documentary evidence that details a systematic doping programme at Armstrong’s former US Postal team. Armstrong is set to lose all results from August 1998 – including his seven Tour de France titles – as a result of the USADA investigation.

    Armstrong stepped down as chairman of the Livestrong foundation during the week in the wake of the release of USADA’s report. A number of Armstrong’s sponsors, including Nike, Trek and Anheuser-Busch have also announced that they have ended their deals with the Texan.

    “People say, man how are you doing? And I say this every time – and I mean it – I say, I’ve been better but I’ve also been worse,” Armstrong said on Friday evening.

    1,500 people attended the Livestrong gala dinner, which marked the foundations 15th anniversary. Among the guests at the $1,000-a-head event were actors Sean Penn, Robin Williams and Matthew McConaughey.

    After his brief nod to the ongoing controversy, Armstrong focused on his Livestrong foundation in the remainder of his speech. “This mission is bigger than me. It's...

  • Vaughters questions Sky's new anti-doping policy

    Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    October 20, 2012, 12:10 BST
    Cycling News

    “You cannot change history but you can change the direction forward"

    Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters has questioned Sky’s latest anti-doping policy, in which all riders and staff must sign a declaration confirming that they have no past or present involvement in doping in order to remain at the team.

    “It’s just not the correct course for them to try and change history. They would be better served by realising that people of that generation [who doped] do have a lot to commit and contribute,” Vaughters told The Telegraph.

    Sky manager Dave Brailsford announced the new measure on Wednesday evening in the wake of former rider Michael Barry’s recent admission of doping during his time at US Postal and his own belated decision to dispense with the services of former Rabobank doctor Geert Leinders. While Vaughters could understand the theory behind Sky’s move, he wondered if it might prove to be counter-productive and push riders towards further dishonesty.

    “It’s just so difficult to ever figure out if a person signing the paper is telling the truth or not and it runs the risk of forcing people into a situation where they have to lie,” Vaughters said. “You are given a piece of paper and told to sign and if we find out you were lying, then you are sacked. But if you don’t sign it you are sacked as well. You are pushing people towards dishonesty. I appreciate the idealism but it just feels like it is twisting a little bit more towards forcing people to be dishonest.”

    Vaughters recently confessed to doping during his own racing career and provided evidence to USADA in its investigation into Lance Armstrong and...

  • Bassons handed one-year suspension

    Christophe Bassons signs autographs during the 1999 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    October 20, 2012, 13:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman missed control at marathon MTB championships

    Christophe Bassons has been handed a one-year suspension by the French Cycling Federation after he missed a post-race doping control at the marathon mountain bike event at the French championships in Langon on September 1.

    A noted anti-doping advocate following his experiences at Festina, where he refused to partake in the team’s systematic doping programme, Bassons explained that he missed the control in error.

    “I abandoned the race 20km from the finish. When I stopped, someone from the organisation asked for my name, noted the number on my dossard and then informed the race commissaire,” Bassons told L’Équipe. “I recognise that it was an error not to wait until the end of the race to see if my name appeared on the list of riders who were to be controlled.

    “I got on the road home to Bordeaux and it was only two and a half hours after my abandon that I got a phone call from the race timekeeper to tell me that I had to do a control. It was too late to get back to the site of the race.”

    In 1999, Bassons abandoned his one and only Tour de France after a number of riders, including Lance Armstrong, made clear their dissatisfaction with his anti-doping sentiments in a column for Le Monde.

    The 38-year-old Frenchman retired from professional cycling in 2001 and currently works for the ministry of youth and sport in the Aquitaine region.

    Bassons is understood to be considering an appeal against the FFC sanction. “Why wasn’t I informed much earlier about the test? Why such a heavy sanction? I don’t understand,” he said.




  • Lobato signs for Euskaltel-Euskadi

    Stage 5 winner, Juan Jose Lobato after finishing line today
    Article published:
    October 20, 2012, 16:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Ag2r-La Mondiale confirm Bagdonas and Iglinskiy signings

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has signed Juan José Lobato from Andalucia for the next two seasons and his new team is expected to confirm no fewer than eight other arrivals in a press conference on Monday.

    A former national road race champion at junior level, Lobato turned professional with Andalucia last season. In the current campaign, he has scored stage victories at the Tour of Chile and the Tour of Qinghai Lake.

    Lobato had two years to run on his current deal with Andalucia, but although the team has financial concerns that may prevent it from competing at Pro Continental level in 2013, manager Antonio Cabello said that he allowed Lobato to leave without seeking compensation from Euskaltel.

    “We couldn’t close the door on Juan José going to a top level team like Euskaltel,” Cabello told the EFE news agency.

    Euskaltel-Euskadi’s own continuation at WorldTour level next season is yet to be decided, and the Basque outfit is understood to be competing with Lampre-ISD, Ag2r-La Mondiale and Argos-Shimano, among others, for the final slots in cycling’s elite division for 2013.

    Since its foundation in 1994, only Basque riders or riders who have raced for Basque teams as amateurs have been permitted to ride for Euskaltel-Euskadi, but that policy is to undergo a radical change ahead of the 2013 campaign as the team bids to remain competitive at the highest level.

    As well as Lobato, Biciciclismo reports that six foreign riders are set to be confirmed at Euskaltel-Euskadi on Monday. Slovenians Jure Kocjan (Team Type 1) and Robert Vrecer (Team Vorarlberg), Germans Steffen Radochla (Team NSP-Ghost) and André Schulze (Team NetApp), Russian Alexandr Serebryakov (Team Type 1) and Portuguese rider Ricardo Mestre...

  • Cannondale Pro Cycling announce Masuda signing

    Nariyuki Masuda has signed for Cannondale Pro Cycling for 2013.
    Article published:
    October 20, 2012, 18:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Basso and Sagan line up for Japan Cup

    Cannondale Pro Cycling has signed Nariyuki Masuda for the 2013 season. The team, whose current title sponsor Liquigas withdraws at the end of this year, announced the signing of the Japanese rider on the eve of Sunday’s Japan Cup in Utsunomiya.

    The 29-year-old Masuda has spent his entire career to date racing on the Asian Tour and he rode for the Utsunomiya-Blitzen squad in 2012. Masuda finished runner-up to Argos-Shimano’s Yukihiro Doi in the Japanese championship road race in April.

    Masuda is the fifth confirmed signing for Cannondale Pro Cycling following the acquisitions of Michel Koch, neo-professional Matthias Krizek and Alessandro De Marchi, as well as the re-signing of Cameron Wurf from Champion System. Wurf previously spent the 2011 season at Liquigas-Cannondale.

    Sunday’s Japan Cup is the team’s final race under the Liquigas banner, and a strong squad has been selected. Ivan Basso made his comeback from doping suspension in 2008 in the Japan Cup, and he leads the line-up alongside Tour de France green jersey Peter Sagan.

    Juraj Sagan and Damiano Caruso are also on hand, along with Daniel Oss, who makes his final appearance for the team. Oss has agreed to join the burgeoning colony of Italian riders at BMC for 2013.