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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, October 27, 2012

Date published:
October 27, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Martinelli looks forward to Nibali-Wiggins battle at the Giro d'Italia

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) and Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas - Cannondale) congratulate each other.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 11:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Astana manager warns that Giro climbs are tougher than the Tour

    Astana manager Giuseppe Martinelli has welcomed the news that Bradley Wiggins (Sky) is keen to ride the 2013 Giro d’Italia, and believes that the Briton’s presence would serve as additional motivation for his new signing Vincenzo Nibali.

    Nibali joins Astana from Liquigas-Cannondale, where he won the 2010 Vuelta a España and finished on the podium of both the Giro and the Tour de France. After forgoing the Giro this season, the Sicilian is set to return in 2013, where Wiggins may well be his primary adversary.

    “I’m really happy with Wiggins’ decision to ride the Giro,” Martinelli told Gazzetta dello Sport. “He’s not an extra rival but rather he’s a great motivation for Nibali. Beating the Tour champion to win the Giro adds another dimension. Wiggins will have very strong teammates, but Nibali will have a super-team with Fuglsang, Brajkovic, Kessiakoff and Tiralongo.”

    Martinelli expressed his admiration for Wiggins’ apparent willingness to come to the Giro, but warned that the steep ascents of the Dolomites might prove less forgiving than the steadier passes of the Alps and Pyrenees.

    “The battle won’t be between him and Nibali, but between Wiggins and himself, because he’s showing that he is really looking for new experiences,” Martinelli said. “The Giro isn’t easy and he isn’t a climber. Certainly, Nibali is more of a climber and the Italian mountains aren’t the same as those at the Tour.”

    In particular, Martinelli points to the daunting pair of tapponi in the final week, stage 19 to Val Martello and stage 20 to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. “That’s where the Giro will be decided for...

  • Riders call for UCI to launch reforms

    UCI President Pat McQuaid stepped out of the shadows to face the media
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 12:29 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Demands for stronger anti-doping measures being voiced

    Ahead of the UCI's management committee meeting scheduled for Friday afternoon, and following the sport's greatest doping case around Lance Armstrong, calls within the peloton for the managing body of cycling to launch reforms and stronger anti-doping measures have been growing louder.

    On Thursday, the president of the Royal Dutch Cycling Federation (KNWU), Marcel J.G. Wintels, appealled to the UCI to let an "authoritative, independent, international truth and inquiry committee" examine the sport's anti-doping efforts. On the same day, former cyclist Greg LeMond went so far as to demand Pat McQuaid's resignation, alleging the head of the UCI knew "damn well what has been going on in cycling", and calling him "the epitome of the word corruption".

    The rider's association CPA has also sent out a letter to McQuaid and the media, targeting not the UCI, but demanding that the managers and team staff that have been involved in doping affairs be excluded from the sport. "The riders demand that the whole [Armstrong] dossier be investigated and that all those who are guilty be named. Too often, only the riders implicated in doping scandals have been punished. The time has come for all those who work in the cycling world who have faulted be prosecuted in the same way," stated Gianni Bugno, head of the association, pointing at certain managers and team doctors who continue to work in pro cycling despite their illicit past.

    In its Friday paper edition, L'Equipe has gathered several proposals on what consequences the UCI should draw from the affair. Many actors of the sport are hoping for a set of reforms that would give cycling back some credibility at a time when major sponsors such as...

  • French federation doctor wants tighter corticoid checks

    The Eiffel Tower is a welcome sight for the Tour de France peloton.
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 14:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Riders should not race with TUE, says Madiot

    French Cycling Federation doctor Armand Mégret has expressed his concern at the use of corticoids under therapeutic use exemption in the peloton, while FDJ-BigMat manager Marc Madiot has called on teams to rest any riders who require corticoid treatment rather than allowing them to race with a TUE.

    The World Anti-Doping Agency’s international standards for therapeutic use exemptions were implemented in 2005, a move which extended the previously permissible level of corticoids provided that an athlete had a prescription to show that they were being used therapeutically.

    In recent years, the French federation has organised additional blood tests in conjunction with the MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling) in a bid to detect corticoid use. Under MPCC rules, any rider from a member team using corticoids for medial reasons is expected to stay out of competition for two weeks.

    Mégret said that, at all levels in 2012, the French federation has handed out forty counter-indications to athletes, temporarily preventing them from riding until their corticoid treatment had been completed.

    “This season, we have made more than forty counter-indication certificates as opposed to around ten in 2011, and this is before the 2012 campaign has even finished,” FFC doctor Armand Mégret told Ouest France on Friday. “And what’s more, this number is under-estimated.”

    Following a round of such testing at the Four Days of Dunkirk this year, MPCC member Europcar removed Anthony Charteau from the race after his sample showed an elevated level of cortisol. The Frenchman had a TUE to use corticoids to treat a knee injury. Prior to...

  • Kittel "sick" of Armstrong supporters

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano)
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 15:38 BST
    Cycling News

    German sprinter speaks out against doping

    Argos-Shimano rider Marcel Kittel has made known his opinions regarding the Lance Armstrong doping case. Using social media network Twitter, the German sprinter spoke out against those who have been supportive of Armstrong despite the dossier published by the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) and the subsequent lifetime ban issued on the American by the UCI.

    "I feel SICK when I read that Contador, Sanchez & Indurain still support Armstrong. How does someone want to be credible by saying that?!" Kittel tweeted, following recent pro-Armstrong comments made by the three Spaniards in the press.

    "I mean, it makes it all worse. They should play their false game somewhere else. Or do they ride for money instead of joy?!" he continued to ask.

    Unequivocal about his anti-doping stance, Kittel even answered a critical Tweet from another user, who suggested, "Don't you think it's better to shut your mouth. Cycling history always turns back 2 people like you." The German responded: "Not anymore! I'll risk it!"

  • UCI management committee will not reallocate Armstrong's Tours

    UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 15:59 BST
    Cycling News

    External commission to examine UCI's role in Armstrong affair; Kimmage case suspended

    The management committee of the UCI has decided not to award Lance Armstrong's stripped Tour de France titles to any rider following a special meeting in Geneva, Switzerland on Friday. The committee has also agreed to establish an external commission to examine the allegations made about the UCI's handling of the Armstrong case, and the UCI will suspend its legal action against Paul Kimmage, pending the commission's findings.

    The special meeting was called after the UCI accepted USADA's reasoned decision on the Lance Armstrong doping case, banning the American for life and stripping him of all results from August 1, 1998. In a statement released on Friday afternoon, the UCI management committee acknowledged that "decisive action was needed in response to the report".

    The management committee decided not to reallocate Armstrong's Tour victories or any of his other results in the period between 1998 to 2005, and said that it had extended that ruling "from now on to any competitive sporting results disqualified due to doping for the period from 1998 to 2005, without prejudice to the statute of limitation."

    "The UCI Management Committee acknowledged that a cloud of suspicion would remain hanging over this dark period - but that while this might appear harsh for those who rode clean, they would understand there was little honour to be gained in reallocating places," the statement continued. Armstrong and all affected riders have been called upon to return their prize money.

    Independent commission

    The management committee has also requested that an external commission be established to examine "various allegations made about UCI relating to the Armstrong affair".

    In particular,

  • Tour de France organizers confirm UCI decision on Armstrong's victories

    Lance Armstrong will wave goodbye to his 7 Tour titles
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 19:15 BST
    Cycling News

    ASO agrees with plan to declare no Tour winners from 1998 to 2005

    The organizers of the Tour de France acknowledged and approved of the decision of the UCI on Friday regarding results of its race from 1999 to 2005.  No winners will be declared for those editions of the French Grand Tour.

    In a statement released late Friday, Amaury Sport Organization said, "The organizers of the Tour de France have taken note of the decision of the International Cycling Union (UCI) not to award to any other riders the victories of Lance Armstrong, including those of the Tour de France from 1999 to 2005."

    "This decision fully coincides with the wishes expressed by the organizers of the race 10 days ago."

    On Friday afternoon, the UCI had decided not to award Lance Armstrong's stripped Tour de France titles to any rider(s) following a special committee meeting in Geneva.  The news followed on after a UCI press conference on Monday, earlier this week, when the international cycling union had upheld USADA's reasoned decision on the Lance Armstrong doping case, banning the American for life and stripping him of all results from August 1, 1998.

  • Unnamed Australian rider tests positive

    The riders' blood samples are taken
    Article published:
    October 26, 2012, 21:42 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Exposes failings in UCI notification system

    Details have emerged regarding an Australian cyclist racing at a UCI Continental level in 2010 testing positive for low levels benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine. The case has exposed failings in the UCI's notification of the cyclist concerned as well as highlighting the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's misconception of their own legal obligations.

    The Australasian Legal Information Institute contains a link to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia case of XZTT, as the rider is identified, and the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel in which a decision was handed down on October 23, 2012. The cyclist had appealed an earlier decision of the ADRVP for him to be named as part of the Register of Findings under the National Anti-Doping Scheme.

    The case is currently in the hands of the ADRVP for a final decision on whether the rider should face any punishment.

    On October 23, 2010, XZTT supplied a urine sample following the Tour of Taihu (UCI Asia Tour 1.2) in China and two days later the National Anti-Doping Laboratory in Beijing took possession of both the A and B sample. Testing on the October 26 and 27 registered the presence (42 ng/mL) of benzoylecgonine. Cocaine and its metabolites is not prohibited by the UCI unless it has been used in-competition, however should either be present in an anti-doping sample, the rider and relevant authorities are notified.

    The laboratory had formally reported and notified the UCI of its findings by November 4.

    Had the UCI followed World Anti-Doping Agency procedures, the rider should have been notified of the findings seven days later, instead, he was not informed until 25 March 2011. In the meantime, according to a team statement to Cyclingnews:

    "His contract was not renewed for 2011 as there were personal issues with him that led the team into taking this position."

  • Asia Tour winner dreaming of Tour de France

    Hossein Alizadeh with the yellow jersey
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 1:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Iranian hoping to convert UCI points into European contract

    Hossein Alizadeh was ecstatic on receiving the news he had been crowned the overall winner of the UCI Asia Tour. He gained enough of an advantage through his stage win and overall victory at the 2.HC Tour of Qinghai Lake to win the title. Stefan Schumacher made a strong attempt at the tours in China to overthrow the young Iranian's lead with the two separated by just two points at the completion of the final race counted for the 2012 season. Alizadeh is hoping his Tour title will see him riding for a bigger European team next year where he can show-off his climbing abilities.

    "I am proud of myself for such an honour and that I could keep the leadership of the Iranian riders for the seventh consecutive year. Now I proved myself. I wanted to open a new way and now I fulfilled it. I'm now looking for a way to go Europe," Alizadeh said in an interview with the UCI.

    Schumacher's stage win and overall victory at Tour of China I plus finishing second overall at Tour of China II were not enough to win the Asia title. The 31-year-old Christina Watches-Onfone rider has struggled to re-enter the WorldTour after testing positive for CERA (Continuous Erythropoiesis Receptor Activator) at the 2008 Tour de France and ended the year in second spot behind Alizadeh.

    The 24-year-old Alizadeh on the other hand, has many good years ahead of him and he hopes his feats at the notoriously difficult Qinghai Lake tour, where he led the race for 10 days, the Asia Tour title and accumulated UCI points will be enough to gain the attention of a bigger European team.

    It was "thanks to the exceptional work from my teammates. My hair stands on its end when I remember how they were working for me on the bike. So, the Tour of Qinghai Lake was miraculous. My good luck was back and this is where I took the lead in the UCI...