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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 1, 2012

Date published:
September 01, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Riis: “I do not know Fuentes”

    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 12:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank boss denies Hamilton's charges

    Bjarne Riis has denied introducing Tyler Hamilton to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, as the American has described in his soon-to-be-published book. Riis said that he does not know the Spanish doctor.

    “I can absolutely deny that this is the case. It is simply not true,” Riis told the Ritzau news agency.  “I do not know Fuentes. I have never met him.”

    He had no further comment. “I will not say more about this case. Nor do I think I need to comment on anything. And do not intend to do so.”

    Hamilton's book, 'The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs', co-written by Daniel Coyle, to be released next week. In it, he claimed that Riis introduced him to Fuentes when he left US Postal for Riis' Team CSC in 2002.

    Extensive records said to be related to Hamilton were found during Operacion Puerto, including a calendar of doping treatments. A positive doping sample at the 2004 Olympics was negated by a mishandled B sample, but he subsequently admitted to the doping and his medal was removed. Hamilton then tested positive for blood doping at the Vuelta a Espana 2004 and was given a two-year ban. After returning to cycling, he tested positive for a steroid in 2009 and was given an eight-year ban.

    Hamilton's comments were not the first connection between Riis' team and Fuentes. In 2008, Fränk Schleck admitted to having paid Fuentes nearly 7,000 Euro in 2006 for “training advice.”  Schleck also claimed never to have met the Spanish doctor. At the time, Riis said “We were very disappointed to hear that Fränk has been in contact with people who have done...

  • Tour de l'Avenir stage shortened due to snow on Col de la Madeleine

    Warren Barguil (Bretagne)
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 13:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Les Saisies stage reduced to just 44km

    Snowfall on the Col de la Madeleine has forced race organisers to reduce Friday’s fifth stage of the Tour de l’Avenir to just 44 kilometres. The shortened stage is set to get underway at 3pm local time.

    The penultimate stage was initially slated to be 130 kilometres in distance, bringing the peloton from Valloire over the crest of the Col du Télégraphe and over the Col de la Madeleine before a summit finish at Les Saisies.

    The changes mean that the peloton will cover only the final 44 kilometres of the original parcours, skipping the Madeleine. The stage will instead begin from Rognaix and feature a short run-in ahead of the haul to the finish atop the first category climb of Les Saisies.

    The Col de la Madeleine has not featured on the route of the Tour de l’Avenir since 1998, when Texma Del Olmo led over the summit on the final stage to Courchevel, which was eventually won by overall winner Christophe Rinero.

    France’s Warren Barguil leads the race overall after he took stage victory over the Col du Télégraphe on Thursday. With two stages still to race, he has a lead of just one second over Juan Ernest Chamorro (Colombia) and only 25 seconds separate the top 10 riders on general classification.





  • Talented Talansky continues upwards and onwards

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 16:01 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Second year pro lies 8th overall at 5:17

    The USA’s promising new young stage racer Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) continues to impress in the second Grand Tour of his career, lying comfortably in the top ten overall of the Vuelta a España after nearly two weeks of racing. And this despite the roughest of beginnings when Garmin finished 21st in the opening team time trial after four of their riders went down on a single corner.

    Talansky rode and completed his first major tour in the Vuelta last year, taking 79th place in Madrid. Talking to Cyclingnews at the start of stage 13, Talansky said that the race could not be more different for him this time round.

    “The whole season’s been different, I’m becoming more and more consistent, getting more success” - like a win in the Tour de L’Ain - “and more racing at this level.”

    “Last year, I came to the Vuelta just to get a Grand Tour in my legs and finish. Here, I’m coming to get the mental and physical experience of trying to stay switched on for three weeks. There’s a purpose in everything.

    “Last year the Vuelta was far harder as a race, it was much more difficult than the Giro and we did perhaps seven or eight thousand more metres worth of climbing than this year.

    “But when you look at the race, it’s so weighted [in terms of climbs] to the next three days. Dan Martin said that was one reason why he didn’t come.

    “For guys who are riding through the race, it’s actually very doable, not so hard to finish [which is perhaps why the abandon rate is far lower this year compared to 2011 – ed.] But for a guy who’s riding GC, there have been so many days when you’ve had to be switched on. There have...

  • Cummings puts injuries behind him for biggest career win

    Steve Cummings (BMC) won in Ferrol with a clever attack.
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 18:41 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Briton takes first Grand Tour stage win with well-timed late attack

    After breaking his pelvis in the Tour of the Algarve in February, his left wrist in the Tour of the Basque Country and having heavy crashes both in the Tour of California and in the Tour de France, it was definitely time that something went right for British pro Steve Cummings (BMC) - and on stage 13 of the Vuelta a España’s, a day that many thought would end up as a bunch sprint, the stars finally lined up for the 31-year-old from the Wirral.

    Cummings made one big charge up the road with around four kilometres to go, and the former GB team pursuiter made it count, powering into the headwind with a vengeance for a victory that was a tribute to his tenacity throughout the season. He also managed to beat two riders from the same team, Vuelta first week stage winner Simon Clarke and Cameron Meyer (both Orica-GreenEdge) as well as Sky’s experienced one-day racer Juan Antonio Flecha.

    “They were bigger names than me, so I knew that people would watch them,” said Cummings, whose last win was a stage in the Tour of the Algarve last year.

    “It’d been a hard day, and GreenEdge had two riders, and then Flecha attacked into a headwind and I tried to stay on his wheel.”

    “I had one attack in me, to win I had to make it at the right moment, and that was the perfect moment to go.”

    Quite apart from a victory like today's being a big personal goal, the 31-year-old said that for BMC his solo triumph fitted perfectly with the overall game plan: “The team came here to win stages, and when Phil [Gilbert] won that took the pressure off.

    “But I knew that Argos-Shimano wanted a sprint on this stage, so I had to go for it at the start. It was really hard, I had to put in a lot of...

  • Andy Schleck to return at GP de Fourmies

    Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 20:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Luxembourger suffered fracture pelvis in June

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) is set to return to competitive action at the GP de Fourmies on September 9, three months after he was forced to abandon the Critérium du Dauphiné with a fractured pelvis.

    Schleck crashed early on during the stage 4 time trial at the Dauphiné in June and although he struggled on for two days, he pulled out of the race on the penultimate stage. A fracture of the pelvis was subsequently diagnosed and Schleck was forced to miss the Tour de France.

    Initially bullish about his chances of returning in time for the Vuelta a España, Schleck was forced to revise his schedule due to the ongoing effects of his injury.

    “The pain came back after three hours of training,” RadioShack-Nissan directeur sportif Alain Gallopin told L’Équipe. “It hurts on the flat when he keeps his hands on the drops of the handlebars. But last week, he did some mountains in Switzerland and everything went well.”

    Schleck is also set to race in the GP de Wallonie on September 12 and the GP Impanis – Van Petegem on September 15.

    Meanwhile, Schleck’s brother Fränk remains on the sidelines following his positive test for the diuretic Xipamide during the Tour de France. He attended a preliminary hearing with the Luxembourg Anti-doping Agency on Wednesday evening. Another meeting is planned for October 8.

  • Phinney, Van Garderen headline USA team for world championships

    Tejay van Garderen (United States of America)
    Article published:
    August 31, 2012, 23:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Full composition of men, women, U23 and junior teams

    USA Cycling finalized its team for the upcoming 2012 UCI Road World Championships in Limburg, Netherlands, an event which will hold championship races for elite and under-23 men, elite women and juniors for the first time together, from September 16-23.

    The USA qualified the maximum number of riders for elite men and women.

    The elite men's team of nine for the road race will consist of US Pro champion Timmy Duggan (Liquigas-Cannondale), Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp), Chris Horner (RadioShack-Nissan), Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing), the automatic selections, as well as discretionary picks Brent Bookwalter (BMC), Matthew Busche (RadioShack-Nissan), Lucas Euser (Spidertech p/b C10) and Alex Howes (Garmin-Sharp).

    Farrar is the team's top sprinter, but with the daunting ascent of the Cauberg before the finish line, he told Cyclingnews' Pat Malach that he would likely be in a worker's role. "I think I can do a good job of protecting whoever we designate as the leader for the first four or five hours, but then it's to them to do the finale. I have enough experience, I can do that job, and I'm really motivated because we have a couple guys who I think could really do big things there."

    Phinney and van Garderen will also take part in the time trial.

    The elite women's road race will have seven Americans: Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien Cycling Team), Amber Neben and Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon), Megan Guarnier (Team TIBCO-To the Top), Kristin McGrath and Andrea Dvorak...

  • Sheryl Crow questioned in federal Armstrong investigation

    Waiting outside doping control is something Armstrong's partner Sheryl Crow had to get used to
    Article published:
    September 01, 2012, 9:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Former fiance said to have “provided information”

    Federal investigators questioned singer Sheryl Crow as part of  their investigation into Lance Armstrong and alleged doping at the US Postal team. Crow and Armstrong were a pair from 2003 to 2006, and were briefly engaged to be married.

    The New York Daily News claimed that Crow, “provided information” to the investigators. It is not known what she may have said, or whether the USADA has contacted her for its investigation. In Tyler Hamilton's upcoming expose book, a footnote cites a “source close the investigation” saying that Crow had been subpoenaed.

    Jeff Novitzky, who ran the government investigation, did not comment on the story, nor did attorneys for Crow or Armstrong. 

    The federal investigation was closed in February 2012, taking no action.

    Crow's relationship with Armstrong covered his last two Tour de France victories, and she traveled with him to the race. Dr. Michele Ferrari, to whom the USADA has issued a lifetime ban, is said to have been concerned that her presence would distract Armstrong.

    She lived with him at the apartment in Girona, Spain, which former teammates “have described as a distribution point for performance-enhancing drugs and a place to store bags of blood before re-infusing it at big races,” according to the newspaper. She also flew with him on his private jet, which former teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton “have alleged were critical to doping schemes.”

  • Saxo Bank continues to support Riis despite Hamilton's doping claims

    Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank manager Bjarne Riis ahead of stage 1 of the Eneco Tour.
    Article published:
    September 01, 2012, 10:58 BST
    Cycling News

    Sponsor has “full confidence” in team chief

    Saxo Bank supports Bjarne Riis and Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank, and Tyler Hamilton's tales of Riis helping him with doping will not change that. The bank again expressed its support of and confidence in the Danish team owner.

    In his book, The Secret Race due to be released next week, Hamilton says that Riis introduced him to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and helped him to refine his blood transfusion scheduled. Riis has denied knowing Fuentes and refused to comment further.

    “We say the same now, as we have said countless times before. We have one hundred percent confidence in Bjarne Riis,” bank spokesman Kasper Elbjørn told “This does not change anything with respect to our sponsorship of the cycling team.

    The bank's sponsoring contract was recently extended through the 2013 season.

    The claims made in Hamilton's book will not affect that, the spokesman said. “We cannot take a position on such a loose claim on something that may have happened so long before Saxo Bank came into the picture as a sponsor. Bjarne Riis has our full confidence.”