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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, June 17, 2012

Date published:
June 17, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Armstrong reportedly made $465,000 payment to Ferrari in 2006

    Article published:
    June 16, 2012, 14:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Details of Padova inquiry in Gazzetta dello Sport

    Gazzetta dello Sport reports that investigators in Italy have uncovered a payment of $465,000 made by Lance Armstrong to Dr. Michele Ferrari in 2006. The news comes after the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) formally charged Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, Michele Ferrari and three other trainers with links to the US Postal Team with doping on Wednesday.

    The alleged payment was discovered as part of a doping investigation opened by Padova-based magistrate Benedetto Roberti in 2010, which is centred on the activities of Ferrari. The controversial doctor is serving a life ban from the Italian Cycling Federation and any rider shown to have worked with Ferrari faces suspension.

    Roberti’s team of investigators in Padova are understood to have worked closely with an inquiry in the United States led by Jeff Novitzky, which examined allegations of systematic doping and fraud at the US Postal team.

    Federal prosecutors dropped that case in February of this year, however, and Gazzetta reports that the evidence from Padova related to Armstrong’s alleged $465,000 payment to Ferrari “was not ready” at that time.

    Nonetheless, USADA CEO Travis Tygart had insisted that his body would look to obtain all evidence developed during the federal investigation in order to continue its own inquiry into doping in cycling.

    Armstrong’s use of Ferrari as his trainer was a source of considerable controversy and intrigue during his run of seven consecutive Tour de France victories, and the American claimed in 2004 that he had ended their working relationship.

    In September of last year, however, the Corriere della Sera newspaper...

  • Hincapie, Leipheimer, Vande Velde, Zabriskie opted out of Olympics

    BMC's George Hincapie at race sign in.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 0:50 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    USA Cycling refuses to speculate on reasoning

    USA Cycling has revealed that George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie all requested that they not be considered by the eight-man selection committee for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. All four riders are former teammates of Lance Armstrong.

    "USA Cycling will not speculate on the reasoning behind their requests and will not have further comment on this topic; any questions related to their decision should be directed to the individual athletes," it released via a statement.

    Yesterday, USA Cycling named a five-man road team for London: Timmy Duggan, Tyler Farrar, Chris Horner, Taylor Phinney and Tejay van Garderen.

    Leipheimer, 38, may have been a consideration for the one time trial position on the US team, having won a bronze medal in the event at the 2008 Games in Beijing. However after being hit by a car while training in April, Leipheimer admitted he was an unlikely starter.

    Hincapie, also 38, has represented his country for the last five Olympic Games – from Barcelona in 1992 through to Beijing in 2008. Just last week, the three-time national road champion announced his retirement at the end of the season. He talked to Cyclingnews last year about the prospect of a sixth Olympics.

    "It would be nice; I've done five of them. To do a sixth Olympics would be pretty cool. It's pretty crazy actually to think of that," admitting at the time that ending his career at the Games had not...

  • Route announced for 2013 Tour de Suisse

    The Tour de Suisse peloton makes its way from Brig-Glis to Grindelwald during stage three.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 2:36 BST
    Cycling News

    New presenting sponsor secured for the next two years

    Details have been announced for the 2013 Tour de Suisse, the race's 77th edition, beginning June 8.

    Race organisers have also revealed that German-based construction and chemical company Würth will step back as presenting sponsor, with Vaudoise Assurances signing on for the next two years.

    The race will begin in the Levantine village of Quinto with an individual time trial and end with a mountain time trial from Bad Ragaz to Flumserberg.

    Stage two features a mountain-top finish to Crans-Montana, at an altitude of 1500 metres.

    Other peaks are included on Stage 3 from Montreux to Meiringen, Stage 4 from Meiringen / Brienz to Buochs, Stage 7 from Miles to La Punt and on the penultimate stage from Zernez to Bad Ragaz.

    Full details of the 2013 will be released at a later date.

    2013 Tour de Suisse:
    June 8 - Stage 1 (Individual Time Trial) - Quinto
    June 9 - Stage 2 - Quinto - Crans-Montana
    June 10 - Stage 3 - Montreux - Meiringen
    June 11 - Stage 4 - Meiringen / Brienz - Buochs
    June 12 - Stage 5 - Buochs - Leuggern
    June 13 - Stage 6 - Leuggern - Miles
    June 14 - Stage 7 - Miles - La Punt
    June 15 - Stage 8 - Zernez - Bad Ragaz
    June 16 - Stage 9 (Individual Tie Trial) - Bad Ragaz - Flumserberg


  • Fränk Schleck confident he can snatch Tour de Suisse title

    Frank Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) finishes fourth
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 7:01 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider feeling stronger after shoulder injury

    With one stage remaining at the Tour de Suisse, RadioShack – Nissan's Fränk Schleck says that he has to confidence to make up the 14 seconds required on race leader Rui Costa (Movistar) and claim overall victory.

    The Tour de Suisse concludes today with a 215.8km stage from Näfels-Lintharena to Sörenberg.

    "You must seize every opportunity," Schleck told "I am very motivated here in Switzerland. In last Sunday's stage to Verbier I launched my attack a little too early, but now I waited for the right moment. I felt good and the team is strong. Everything is still possible in the final stage. I believe in the victory. "

    Schleck made a solid attempt on Costa's lead on Saturday with an attack four kilometres from the finish, with Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) and Levi Leipheimer (Omega Pharam-QuickStep) tagging along and darting forward at the last minute to get the better of the bonus seconds available on the line. Schleck however, moved from fifth overall to second with Costa's teammates aiding the Portugese rider to the finish and limiting the damage.

    RadioShack – Nissan team director Kim Anderson said his charge would be in for a tough battle on Sunday.

    "The big climbs are much harder than today but in the middle of the stage; then the final climb which is not as hard," he told the team website. "But it's a hard race and anything can still happen."

    Schleck, who withdrew from the Giro d'Italia with a shoulder injury said that having ridden both the Tour of Luxembourg and now the Tour de Suisse he is feeling more and more confident ahead of the Tour de France which he'll race without brother Andy.

    "I feel...

  • Pozzato not under investigation, says lawyer

    Filippo Pozzato (Farnese Vini - Selle Italia)
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 10:28 BST
    Cycling News

    La Repubblica alleges Ferrari link

    Filippo Pozzato’s lawyer has denied that the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia rider is under investigation as part of the Padova-based inquiry into the activities of Dr. Michele Ferrari, following a report published in Italy this weekend.

    On Saturday, La Repubblica printed an article which suggested that Pozzato was a client of the controversial Ferrari, who this week has been formally charged with doping by the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA), alongside Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel.

    The article quotes extracts from a telephone conversation intercepted in the summer of 2009, in which Pozzato allegedly speaks of working with Ferrari, something which the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) outlawed in 2002. According to La Repubblica, Pozzato can be heard speaking in Vicenza dialect in the recording, saying “Listen: I went to Ferrari because I asked him myself.”

    Pozzato also allegedly discusses the Emanuele Sella doping case in the recording, and expresses his distaste at the manner in which the rider had negotiated a reduction on his ban after collaborating with the Italian Olympic Committee’s (CONI) panel.

    “If you go to see him in his own house, then you’re responsible,” Pozzato is alleged to have said. “You don’t have a gun pointed to your head. I wanted to go to Ferrari. We’re grown-ups aren’t we?”

    La Repubblica’s report notes that the recorded conversation also reveals that it cost €40,000-50,000 per year to be “followed” by Ferrari. The doctor has been banned for life by the FCI, and in February 2002, the body issued a decree barring riders from consulting with...

  • Voeckler's Tour de France participation in doubt?

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) out of the saddle
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 11:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchman abandons Route du Sud

    Thomas Voeckler’s Tour de France participation could be in doubt after the Europcar rider was forced to abandon the Route du Sud on the slopes of the Col du Soulor on Saturday, citing an inflammation of his right knee.

    The same injury had already seen Voeckler withdrew from the Critérium du Dauphiné on its final stage the previous weekend, and with just two weeks to go to the Tour de France, the Frenchman faces a race against time to prove his fitness to compete.

    Fourth in the Tour last year, Voeckler enjoyed a solid classics campaign and was looking to use the Dauphiné and Route du Sud to fine-tune his climbing form ahead of July. Although he had spent much of Saturday’s mountain stage in the leading group, however, Voeckler had to give best to his injury three kilometres from the summit of the Soulor.

    “I wasn’t able to pedal anymore,” Voeckler told L’Équipe. “These aren’t the best moments of my career but there’s nothing to do, the pain is too much. I have to admit that I’m waiting to see what happens a bit. I’ve just spoken with the team doctor and we’re going to see what decisions are to be taken over the course of the next week.”

    Even if he does make it to the start in Liège on June 30, Voeckler hinted that his disrupted preparation would have a major impact on his performance.

    “It’s clear that with two weeks to go to the Tour, the state of my knee could be a worry,” he said. “I prefer to wait before taking a decision. If I have the fortune to be at the start, I’m afraid that...

  • A glorious Sunday for Movistar

    Overall Tour de Suisse winner Rui Costa (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 20:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Team doubles up on Suisse, Route de Sud victories

    Sunday was a good day for Team Movistar, which won both the Tour de Suisse and the Route du Sud overall classifications. The team now boasts 20 total victories for 2012, just one less than in 2011.

    Rui Costa earned the Tour de Suisse overall victory. He had taken the yellow jersey last Sunday atop Verbier and then faced the task of defending it all week.

    "I'm extremely happy to have been able to crown all the work done during the week," said Costa. "I went through a bad day yesterday due to the efforts from the TT on Friday, and I didn't know how I was going to feel today, but I usually recover well from such bad days. I already saw that I had good legs after the first climb today, and that made me confident."

    After yesterday's suffering in the mountains, Costa was facing the biggest test of his career in a marathon last stage, with two HC climbs to be tackled before the final ascent into Sörenberg (Cat. 2 climb).

    "I didn't become nervous either when (Frank) Schleck attacked, because I knew he was really strong uphill, and it'd have been crazy to go after him. I knew that the flat between the two climbs was good for us to reel him back, and that's what we did."

    The Portuguese rider stayed with the leaders' group throughout and was helped by teammate Alejandro Valverde, who took ninth overall. For the 25-year-old Costa, the Tour de Suisse was his second success of the season and his 12th in six years a a pro racer.

    "In the finale, Alejandro gave me some fundamental help because the race was becoming chaos, and he did impressive work. I owe this yellow jersey to him. He's a great champion, a great teammate and friend, and he showed those values today."

    The team controlled everything in the final 3km. "Together with my stage win in the Tour, this is my most...

  • Cavendish claims his first GC victory

    Overall race winner Mark Cavendish (Sky)
    Article published:
    June 17, 2012, 22:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider wins Ster ZLM Toer

    Team Sky's Mark Cavendish claimed the first general classification victory of his career by winning the Ster ZLM Toer on Sunday by eight seconds ahead of Lars Boom (Rabobank).

    "I've been second a couple of times in the past but this is my first GC win and I'm really, really happy with it," said Cavendish.

    Top three places on the opening two stages in Holland had put him joint top of the standings but the race-defining performance came in Saturday's queen stage as the world champion stayed in the mix throughout on the hilly route in the Ardennes.

    "The team rode so well yesterday, setting such a high tempo on the front that guys were going out the back all day," said Cavendish. "We were down to just 25 at the finish - it was incredible and I'm really proud of what we did."

    While some of his fellow sprinters lost upwards of 13 minutes, Cavendish was in contention right to the finish as he chased home stage winner Boom on the climb to the line.

    And he then closed out the overall win on the pan-flat final stage from Schijndel to Boxtel, with Team Sky and Rabobank dictating matters on the 163.5-kilometres route to make sure it ended with a bunch sprint.

    "In today's final stage there was a dangerous guy up the road in the break at just one minute back on the GC but we managed to bring it all back together.

    Looking ahead to the Tour de France and Olympic road race, Cavendish said, "I'm training really well. I wanted to be in my best form and definitely am so I'm looking forward to France now and hopefully Team Sky getting the green and yellow jerseys."

    "It's pretty much about relaxing now and really looking...