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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 1, 2009

Date published:
November 01, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Cornu wants to prove his skill on the road

    Dominique Cornu (Belgium) during the men's 4000m individual pursuit final.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 10:45 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Looking forward to the Classics, but will ride track Worlds

    After finishing second in the men's 4000m individual pursuit in Manchester Friday, Dominique Cornu will turn his attention to the road scene in 2010. The 24-year-old Belgian parted from Quick Step at the end of the year and will ride for Dutch team Skil-Shimano next year in a bid to earn more responsibility on the road. Cornu, who won bronze in the pursuit at the Worlds in March, will however return to the track for one more race in 2010 when he competes at the next World championships in Copenhagen.

    “The pursuit here was very tough,” Cornu told Cyclingnews after losing to Geraint Thomas in the final. “I did it just to qualify for the Worlds in Copenhagen next year and to give me a bit more experience. Next year it’s about the road, with a small matter of the track Worlds, too.”

    Cornu joined Predictor-Lotto in 2007, winning several titles on the track as an U23 rider and finishing his first Grand Tour at the Vuelta in 2008. However, a move to Quick Step in 2009 limited his options. “I signed for Skil-Shimano so that I could get a chance to ride for myself. At Quick Step there were some chances, but there were several very good riders who were better than me. I’m still young and need to grow, so I’m going to grab my chance with Skil while I still can. Maybe in a few years I’ll be leading a big team,” Cornu said.

    As for his targets in 2010 Cornu clearly sees his future as an all-rounder, able to compete on the track, in the Classics and major stage races. “Of course the road is my priority for next year. I’m going to try and do the Classics and especially Amstel Gold Race and Liege as I think they’re both suited to me. After that I want to prepare to get into the Tour team with Skil.”

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  • Lefevere awarded €500,000 by Belgian court

    Quick.Step manager Lefévère at the 2006 Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 11:13 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Court rules in favour of Quick Step manager over journalists' allegations of doping programme

    Quick Step's Patrick Lefevere has been awarded damages of 500,000 euros after a court in Brussels ruled this week that allegations made by three Belgian journalists of a long-term doping programme within the team manager's squads were based upon unreliable sources.

    The court has ordered the three journalists, whose report entitled "Patrick Lefevere, 30 years of dope" was published in Belgian daily Het Laatste Nieuws in January 2007, to pay Lefevere the sum, plus court costs. The three were also ordered by the court to pay Quick Step team doctor Yvan Van Mol 100,000 euros and a symbolic 1 euro fine to the ProTour team's management company, Esperanza.

    "The unfounded manner of the story goes against all elementary rules of journalism," said the court, according to Het Nieuwsblad. "The honour and good name of Lefevere, Van Mol and the racers have been offended. By bringing this article to the front page news they [Het Laatste Nieuws] have given even more publicity to an already unlawful publication."

    Het Laatste Nieuws's parent company NV Persgroep Publishing had issued a retraction two weeks after the original story was published and escaped penalty. It leaves the two authors of the report and their editor to bear responsibility for the damages awarded by the court.

    The report had accused Lefevere of overseeing a programme of acquisition and application of drugs within his teams he has managed throughout his career. Lefevere had vigorously disputed the allegations contained within the article and initially asked for damages of 20.5 million euros after his team lost a new contract as a result of the report.

    Although disappointed that the newspaper had escaped sanction, Lefevere told Cyclingnews on Saturday that he was pleased with the outcome of the case.

    "Unfortunately, it is only the journalists that have to pay and not the newspaper. Of course, they may appeal, but the...

  • McQuaid: UCI doesn't need French anti-doping agency

    UCI President Pat McQuaid in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 13:54 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    UCI head rules out further cooperation with AFLD after war of words

    Pat McQuaid has all but ruled out the possibility that the International Cycling Union (UCI) will work with French anti-doping agency (AFLD) to conduct anti-doping controls at 2010 Tour de France.

    The UCI president told Cyclingnews that a report sent by the UCI to the AFLD this week, a rebuke to the French agency's claims of lax UCI anti-doping procedures at this year's Tour, would be the final statement the war of words that had erupted between the two organisations in the past month.

    "We sent a response to the AFLD that was copied to the World anti-doping agency (WADA). It was, in essence, a response to the AFLD's report," said McQuaid, who was in Manchester for the first Track World Cup.

    "It's in the court of the French authorities now to see what they want to do, but we have shown quite clearly that what he [AFLD president Pierre Bordry] did two or three weeks ago was completely out of order."

    The UCI decided to respond to a report published by the AFLD on October 5 that accused the UCI of preferential treatment for teams at the Tour and mishandling of samples taken.

    In their report, the UCI countered those claims and although he was unable to confirm details of anti-doping arrangements for next year's Tour de France, McQuaid said its experience with the AFLD this year has spoiled chances of future cooperation.

    "There's quite a bit to go between now and next July, so we'll wait and see what develops," he said. "But, certainly, we're not going to work with somebody who we have lost complete confidence in. Somebody, who, from our point of view is out to damage cycling and indeed to damage the Tour de France by his actions."

    While UCI's patience with the AFLD had worn thin, it would be pleased to continue working with the French anti-doping laboratory at Châtenay-Malabry.


  • Klöden to pay fine in Freiburg clinic doping case

    Andreas Klöden before the 2007 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 15:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Payment will stop proceedings against German

    German Andreas Klöden has agreed to pay a fine to call an end to an investigation into his involvement in a 2006 blood doping scandal, the dpa reported Saturday.

    A spokesman for the public prosecutor in Bonn said that, in return for the payment, the district court will stop proceedings for sporting fraud against the 34-year-old. The payment, said to be 25,000 euros by the German magazine Focus, is not considered an admission of guilt  under German law.

    Klöden has always denied he took part in an alleged blood doping operation with the now defunct T-Mobile team at the Freiburg University Clinic.

    The scandal was uncovered after Klöden's former teammate Patrik Sinkewitz tested positive for testosterone prior to the 2007 Tour de France.

    During questioning by the German cycling federation, Sinkewitz was reported to have pointed the finger at Klöden and other T-Mobile teammates as having traveled to the Freiburg clinic during the 2006 Tour de France to receive blood transfusions.

    The transfusions were said to have taken place even after Jan Ullrich, Oscar Sevilla and director Rudy Pevenage were suspended from the team for involvement in the Spanish doping affair, Operación Puerto.

    Sinkewitz denied that he gave prosecutors any names.

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  • Meyer brothers reunited at Garmin for 2010

    Garmin-Slipstream's Cameron Meyer leads the chase.
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 18:14 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Travis Meyer signs on for neo-pro year with Garmin-Slipstream

    Garmin-Slipstream confirmed the signing of Travis Meyer for the 2010 season. The 20-year-old West Australian will join elder brother Cameron Meyer on the squad's roster for the 2010 season, a point team principal Jonathan Vaughters referred to as he announced his latest signing.

    "Travis is an incredible talent," said Vaughters. "Like his brother, he excels on the road and on the track. We always say our team feels like a family, and with these two on the road with us, it literally will be for them. Travis is an exciting addition to our roster."

    Travis Meyer was also quick to acknowledge his satisfaction with finding a place on the same team as his brother, who has just completed his first season with the team.

    "Garmin has the best reputation for helping young riders like me reach their full potential, so the opportunity to work with them was a natural progression for me," said Meyer. "Cameron and I are very close. Being able to race alongside him and learn from him and the other amazing riders on this team is really exciting."

    The younger Meyer brother will now be one of two Australian neo-pros on the Garmin books for next year. Under-23 time trial World Champion Jack Bobridge confirmed last month that he will also make his debut with the ProTour squad in 2010. The two will remain with the team until at least the end of 2011.

    Meyer and Bobridge have joined Garmin from the Team Jayco-AIS. These recent signings are an indication of the strong ongoing relationship that the Australian continental development squad have had with the American team.

    "We are working with the best young talent across the globe," said Garmin sports director Matt White, who also serves as coach to the Meyer brothers. "And we are able to give these riders the tools they need to excel, on the road and off."

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  • Evans to leave Silence-Lotto

    World champion Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    October 31, 2009, 21:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Mutual agreement with the team frees up World Champion

    World Champion Cadel Evans has decided to leave his Silence-Lotto squad to seek another team. The Australian negotiated his departure through a mutual agreement with his team.

    After five years with the team in which he scored two podium places in the Tour de France and the recent world title in Mendrisio, Evans has chosen to take advantage of his increased market value "to look for new challenges" his team announced Saturday.

    "Silence-Lotto is proud of the progress Cadel made in our team - from a rough time to the absolute world top in five years time, also thanks to the professional entourage and the good teamwork - and wishes him all the best for his further career."

    "It is part of the game, that once the summit is reached, the cyclists sometimes decide to explore other horizons. Though this is never pleasant for our team, it demonstrates the success of our project, and it opens perspectives for the many talented cyclists who are bursting with impatience, ready to discover their limits and to take over the torch."

    Evans had been critical of his team's support during his two failed attempts to attain the overall victory in the Tour de France, but after winning this year's world championships, he seemed to commit himself totally to the service of his teammate Philippe Gilbert, helping him to four victories in a row including the Giro di Lombardia.

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  • Brailsford on track with Team Sky

    British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford
    Article published:
    November 01, 2009, 9:09 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Says good support staff key to success in handling both road and track teams

    Dave Brailsford was at the opening of the World Cup track season this weekend to oversee the Great Britain team dominate the first two days of racing at the Manchester velodrome. However, the man who also guided Britain to track success at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 now has to split his attention between the road and track, with Team Sky gaining momentum as it spins into its maiden season.

    Despite his busy schedule, Brailsford believes that with the right support and a network of staff the high standards expected on the track will not dip.

    "It's all about having the best people around me. My senior management team and coaches are second to none. People say it's too much, but I'm not 'hands on' and doing everything so to speak. That's not what I'm going to do and it's not what I'm about. I'm not like that in any respect," he told Cyclingnews trackside.

    "It's all about having good people around you, then all you do is stand back and conduct the musicians and their instruments, so I don't play the instruments as it were. It's not my job to do that."

    There's still much for Team Sky to do and although Brailsford's ‘musicians’ are already tuning up behind the scenes, the team are yet to announce their full roster, with a handful of places still to be filled. "There are a few more to go but the final pieces are coming together. I would never say we're lacking anything from the team. We're very pleased with the riders we have and I think we'll be competitive. We'll end up with a squad of 25 to 26 riders and possible places are [still] up for grabs."

    Brailsford believes that the foundations laid so far will be a solid base from which the team can launch into professional road cycling landscape. The athlete recruitment driven by himself and Scott Sunderland has been crucial to that platform. "In order to be competitive you always look at yourself and competitors and try and find out best practices from there....

  • Evans to BMC, Contador to Lotto for 2010?

    Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2009, 9:44 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Surprise departure from Silence-Lotto sparks speculation

    Speculation has started as to Cadel Evans' team for the coming season, with claiming to have exclusive information that the World Champion will sign with the Professional Continental BMC Racing Team.

    Team Silence-Lotto announced Saturday night that the Australian was leaving the team one year before his contract expires. The team admitted to being surprised by Evans' action, and has started the search for a replacement.

    Evans has not yet commented on the move.

    BMC Racing Team, based in the US has signed numerous other big names for the coming season, including former World Champion Alessandro Ballan, US Champion George Hincapie, Marcus Burghardt and Karsten Kroon. According to Sportwereld, the team will announce Evans' signing on Sunday.

    As a Professional Continental, or second-tier team, BMC does not receive automatic invitations to major races, including the Tour de France. It would have to rely on receiving a wild-card invitation.

    Evans has twice finished second in the Tour de France, but this season dropped to 30th place. He went on to win the World road title in Mendrisio.

    Silence-Lotto teammate Philippe Gilbert twittered his surrpise at the announcement, calling it “great damage to the riders and a major catastrophe for the sponsors.”

    Team manager Marc Sergeant was as surprised as anyone at the news of Evans' departure. “I didn't see this coming,” he told Sportwereld.

    Definite plans for Evans' 2010 season were already in the works, he noted. "Just before the Giro di Lombardia, I talked to him about his programme for 2010. We had already gotten him help in the mountains, with Daniel Moreno."

    Sergeant wouldn't speculate on the 32-year-old's new team, preferring to concentrate on his own team. He will now have a lot of money available for a new hire. He even addressed the most obvious candidate. "Contador? I...