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First Edition Cycling News, Saturday, September 5, 2009

Date published:
September 05, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Hamilton doping appeal dropped by WADA

    Tyler Hamilton returned from retirement to join Rock Racing
    Article published:
    September 04, 2009, 20:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Eight-year ban stands

    On Friday, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) withrew its appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport for Tyler Hamilton. In June, Hamilton had accepted an eight-year suspension as punishment for what was his second doping positive offense.

    "Following receipt of the background information that was not available to WADA when the appeal was launched, WADA has determined that the eight-year sanction imposed by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) was appropriate in the particular circumstances of this case," read a statement on the organization's website.

    Hamilton tested positive, his second offense, for the banned steroid Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA). His ban began on March 17, the date of the provisional suspension.

    Following news of the positive test, Hamilton announced his retirement. He admitted to knowingly taking the substance which was an ingredient in a vitamin supplement he took in an attempt to alleviate depression.

    He previously served a doping offense lasting two year for blood doping after testing positive for a transfusion in the 2004 Vuelta a España.

    The second offense and subsequent ban effectively ended the career of the 38-year-old pro.

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  • Vuelta's Valencia stage start times

    Ivan Basso on course.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 11:23 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Vuelta a España start times for Valencia time trial: Ruiz to Greipel

    The Vuelta a España overall classification will change in today's 30-kilometre time trail in Valencia, Spain.

    Spaniard José Ruiz (Andalucía-Cajasur) will be the first of 192 riders to start the stage at 13:24. Race leader André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) will start his ride to defend the leader's gold jersey, at 17:04.

    Germany's Greipel will see his gold jersey pass to one of the contenders for the overall classification. Today's stage, and the next two in the mountains, will directly affect the final overall classification.

    The Vuelta started August 29 in Assen, Netherlands, and ends September 20 in Madrid.

    Riders will start today's time trial at one-minute intervals. The last 30 riders, starting with USA's Tom Danielson (Garmin-Slipstream), start at two-minute intervals.

    Swiss Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) won the opening 4.8-kilometre time trial in Assen. He led the race for four days.

    Start times:
    1 13:24 José Ruiz (Spa) Andalucía-Cajasur
    2 13:25 Damien Gaudin (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
    3 13:26 Martijn Maaskant (Ned) Garmin-Slipstream
    4 13:27 Alberto Fernández Sainz (Spa) Xacobeo Galicia
    5 13:28 Mikel Gaztañaga Echeverria (Spa) Contentpolis-Ampo
    6 13:29 Matthé Pronk (Ned) Vacansoleil
    7 13:30 Julián Sánchez (Spa) Contentpolis-Ampo
    8 13:31 Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Milram
    9 13:32 Frantisek Rabon (Cze) Columbia-HTC
    10 13:33 José Antonio López (Spa) Andalucía-Cajasur
    11 13:34 Giovanni Bernaudeau (Fra) Bbox Bouygues Telecom
    12 13:35 Marco Marzano (Ita) Lampre-NGC

    13 13:36 Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil
    14 13:37 Francesco Tomei (Ita) Lampre-NGC
    15 13:38 Jens Mouris (Ned) Vacansoleil
    16 13:39 Kurt-Asle Arvesen (Nor) Saxo Bank
    17 13:40 Vincent Jérôme (Fra) Bbox Bouygues...

  • Vuelta time trial: Konovalovas last Worlds' test

    Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 13:38 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Lithuania's Ignatas Konovalovas tests himself in Vuelta, one last time prior to Worlds time trial

    Lithuania's Ignatas Konovalovas will gauge himself in the Vuelta a España's time trial in Valencia, Spain, today. It is the last test prior to the World Championships for Konovalovas, winner of Giro d'Italia's time trial in Rome.

    "I want to finish with a good result and be happy with myself," Konovalovas (Cervélo TestTeam) told Cyclingnews.

    Konovalovas, 23, made himself known this year when he won ahead of riders like Lance Armstrong and Bradley Wiggins on the final day of the Giro d'Italia. Denis Menchov fought to defend his classification lead on wet roads around Rome's Colosseum, but Konovalovas posted an early unbeatable time that won the day and concluded his first Grand Tour.

    He won the national time trial title June 24 and finished seventh overall in the Tour of Denmark in August. He finished 18th place in the Vuelta's opening 4.8-kilometre time trial seven days ago, 22 seconds off of two-time World Champ Fabian Cancellara.

    "I don't think it is possible [to win Worlds] this year," said Konovalovas. "I am not thinking about the win, I just want to do it and come away satisfied with my job. I want to give 100 percent, if I do that then I will be happy. If I give 100 percent and I am the last five, then I won't be happy, of course. I think a top-10 would be a really good result for me."

    The World Championship time trial is in Mendrisio, Switzerland in two and a half weeks, September 24. The elite men cover three 16.6-kilometre circuits, 49.8 kilometres. The 650-metre long Rancate climb is the main difficulty with sections of 10 percent.

    Konovalovas has seen the course on the internet, but he will preview the course after he leaves the Vuelta around stage 12. He prepared for the Worlds time trial course prior to the Vuelta with specific high-cadence training at his home in Marseille, France. He is using the Vuelta as his last preparation for the Worlds, he said.


  • Austrian blood doping case reveals more cyclists

    Austrian Bernhard Kohl
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 13:52 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Austrian report reveals details of centrifuge and rental apartment

    A report from the Austrian blood-doping investigation revealed more cyclists and details of a rental apartment, according to newspapers Oberösterreichische Nachrichten and De Telegraaf. Investigators received help from Bernhard Kohl, who tested positive for drugs after the 2008 Tour de France.

    Kohl finished third and won the mountains classification at the 2008 Tour de France. Further blood testing showed he used CERA, the third generation of blood booster Erythropoietin (EPO).

    The Austrian federal police, Bundeskriminalamt, used Kohl's confession and the evidence it gathered from a previous investigation into the HumanPlasma blood bank to reveal a suspected doping-ring.

    The 12-page report confirms Kohl's statement that he, Michael Rasmussen and Austrian cross-country skier Christian Hoffman paid for a blood centrifuge, said the newspapers. The three athletes also jointly paid the rent for a one-room apartment in Linz, Austria, Oberösterreichische (OÖN) quoted from the report.

    Stefan Matschiner, Kohl's former manager, helped organise the doping. The report says that the apartment was rented from August to November 2008, with the lease signed by Matschiner's wife, said the newspapers. Kohl claimed that he had a blood transfusion there in September.

    Matschiner claimed that he disposed of the centrifuge on August 2, and investigators suspect him of transporting it to Slovenia. Austria passed a new anti-doping law on August 1, 2008, that made doping a criminal offence.

    The report names also names Dutchmen Thomas Dekker, Michael Boogerd and Italian Pietro Caucchioli as under suspicion of having received transfusions, according to OÖN.

    One of Matschiner's employees in the spring of 2008 delivered two packages to an "unknown person" in Germany, according to OÖN. Dutch De Telegraaf said that this involved Kohl's former teammate...

  • Van Goolen heads to Silence-Lotto

    Jurgen Van Goolen (CSC-Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 17:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Two year deal for Belgian

    Belgian Jurgen Van Goolen will leave the Saxo Bank team at the end of the year and switch to the colours of his home country's Silence-Lotto squad, the team announced Saturday.

    Van Goolen has been with the formation of Bjarne Riis for two years, having gone over to the team after the dissolution of his Discovery Channel team in 2007.

    He expressed dissatisfaction with his current team after being left off the squad for the Vuelta a Espana.

    Van Goolen is an all-around rider and solid mountain domestique, having taken second in the mountains classification at the Vuelta in 2007.  He turned pro in 2002 with the Domo-Farm Frites team and spent three seasons with Quick Step before moving to Discovery.

  • Pozzato prepares for season's grand finale at Tour of Britain

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 18:07 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Italian Champ Filippo Pozzato starts Tour of Britain with eyes on Worlds, Paris-Tours, Lombardia

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) starts the Tour of Britain next week to build his form for the World Championships and the grand season finale. The Italian Champion hopes to co-captain the Italian team at the Worlds and take win number five for his country.

    "I've had a great season, but I lack the win that counts," Pozzato told Cyclingnews. "I hope I can first do something in Paris-Tours and then I will decide what I need to do at Giro di Lombardia. I want to take it one step at a time and do things right."

    Pozzato took the first step this season with a win in the Belgian one-day classic E3 Prijs on March 28. He also won a stage of Driedaagse De Panne and finished second in Paris-Roubaix.

    He won one of his dream races at the end of June, the Italian Championships, and last week's Giro del Veneto.

    "A 'successful' season requires a big win, the Italian championships went well. A great season would be if I win another one or two races, and clearly if I win Paris-Tours or Lombardia it would be the icing on the cake."

    Pozzato won a stage and finished third overall the last time he raced the Tour of Britain three years ago. He could be encouraged mid-race, September 14, when national team director Franco Ballerini makes the nine-man selection for the Worlds team.

    Defending Champion Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego, Ivan Basso, Stefano Garzelli, Luca Paolini and Pozzato should take six of the spots. Marzio Bruseghin, Matteo Tosatto, Michele Scarponi, Mauro Santambrogio and Giovanni Visconti are in the running for the other three spots.

    Worlds will be the next race for Pozzato after Britain. He has been training at altitude in Livigno, Italy, with Garzelli and Paolini. He returns home on Wednesday and then leaves for the start of stage one, in Scunthorpe.

    Pozzato first competed at the Madrid Worlds in 2005, and helped Italy win with Bettini in 2006 and 2007. He missed out on the selection for...

  • Lacombe to head Planet Energy squad for Missouri

    Keven Lacombe
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 18:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Canadian team steps up a level

    The Canadian team Planet Energy will step up its level of competition by going up against some of the world's top teams in the Tour of Missouri, which begins Monday.

    The team will be headed by sprinter Keven Lacombe, winner of the recent Christ Thater Memorial Criterium. He also placed sixth in the Philadelphia International Championship in the bunch sprint. He'll be looking to improve upon a third place finish on a stage of Missouri he obtained while riding for the Kelly Benefit Strategies team.

    Supporting Lacombe for the sprints will be Olympian Martin Gilbert and Canadian Champion and trainee Guillaume Boivin. The young Boivin will have a chance to show his talents before heading to the World Cycling Championships in Mendriso, Switzerland.

    François Parisien and Ryan Roth have raced consistently for the team all year and will be Planet Energy’s best GC riders. Andrew Randell, Bruno Langlois and Charly Vives round out the roster. Randell has raced the first two editions of the Tour of Missourit and finished 8th the first year. He will be able to provide experience and leadership for the group.

    Directing the team will be former pro cyclist and Olympian Steve Bauer. “In only two years we have come along well with this team. There is a lot of work to do as we evolve into the future, but we are confident in our abilities to become stronger and be competitive at the highest level. We are very excited about the opportunity to race at the Tour of Missouri against the best teams in the world.” said Bauer.

  • Mountains loom high in Vuelta's eighth stage

    Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 19:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Eight classified climbs to make for a tough Sunday

    The contenders for the overall classification of the Vuelta a España have so far kept quiet - choosing to avoid crashes and save their energies on the mainly flat stages and time trials of the first seven stages. But that will all change as the race heads into the high mountains for its first mountain top finish at the Alto de Aitana.

    This 21.7km long monster of a climb is one for the pure mountain men. While maillot oro Fabian Cancellara hung on with the diminutive mountain goats to win the Tour de Suisse, there is no doubt he will wave goodbye to that leader's jersey on this massive 204.7km stage.

    The route passes over no fewer than eight classified peaks, warming up with two category three climbs, the Alto de Beniarrés and Alto de Margarida before scaling the category two Alto de Tollos.

    The category three Castell de Castells, the Alto de Guadalest at category 2 and third category Alto de Confrides all provide ample opportunity for attack before the long, twisting descent to the base of the final obstacle.

    The second time trial of the Vuelta a España gave some indication of which general classification contenders are hot on form on Saturday, and it appears that Samuel Sanchez and Tom Danielson should be considered favourites for the first mountain top finish of the race.

    Danielson already displayed great climbing form in the Vuelta a Burgos last month, and could well continue Garmin-Slipstream's dark horse history begun in last year's Tour de France with Christian Vande Velde and continued this year with Bradley Wiggins. Can the American find his climbing legs for the tough above-category ascent of the Alto de Aitana?

    The reigning Olympic champion Sanchez hasn't done much yet this summer, but he proved that his home Tour is the focus of his season by putting in the best time trial performance of his career to take sixth on Saturday's rainy test.

    If the rainy weather...

  • Phinney may mark return in Univest GP

    Taylor Phinney (Trek/Livestrong) making up time on the downhill.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2009, 21:11 BST
    Cycling News

    American recovered from head injury from Cascade Classic crash

    American Taylor Phinney may return to competition at next weekend's Univest Grand Prix, the race organisation announced this week. The pursuit World Champion and winner of the U23 Paris-Roubaix was injured in a brutal crash at the Cascade Classic last month which left him with a severe concussion.

    His Trek-Livestrong team director, Axel Merckx, submitted Phinney's name as part of the team's start list, but the rider will have to get a final approval from his doctors before starting.

    The event expanded this year to a two-day UCI stage race after organisers added a team time trial to the weekend. Set for Friday, September 11, the 3.8 mile event will be hotly contested between the top teams, which include the Felt-Holowesko Partners-Garmin U23 Team, Planet Energy, Tecos-Trek as well as teams from Italy and Sweden.

    Italy's Amore & Vita is sponsored by Detweiler Hershey & Associates will be led by Ukraine's Yuri Metlushenko, winner of the 2008 Univest Criterium in Doylestown.

    Johan Lindgren leads Team Cykelcity of Sweden, sponsored by the law firm of Klehr Harrison. The powerful Swedes took the overall victory and and three out of the four special classifications in 2008.

    Top North American teams round out the roster, with Jet Fuel Coffee and Mazur Coaching/Bikyle of Canada and U.S. favorites Kelly Benefits Strategies, OUCH p/b Maxxis and Kenda Pro Cycling all providing additional horsepower to the event.