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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, November 14, 2010

Date published:
November 14, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Euskaltel's Oroz injured in training crash

    Oroz is a rare Spanish classics hunter
    Article published:
    November 13, 2010, 9:59 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basque rider has fractured cheekbone

    Juanjo Oroz of Euskaltel-Euskadi suffered a fractured cheekbone in a training accident this week. The Basque rider crashed and was taken to hospital in Navarre, the team has announced.

    It was at first suspected that he had fractured his jaw but this was  alter ruled out. However he suffered “bruises all over his body” in addition to the facial injury.

    Oroz lost consciousness for a short time after the accident, but a scan showed no complications. He remained in hospital for observation but has since been released.

    The Euskaltel-Euskadi team said that he was out training with other pro riders when he crashed, and that medical help was called immediately.

    The 30-year-old turned pro in 2006 with Kaiku, and joined Euskaltel-Euskadi in 2007. He finished 51st in this year's Vuelta a Espana and completed the Tour de France in both 2008 and 2009.
     

  • Italian police search Popovych's home in Tuscany

    Yaroslav Popovych (Radioshack)
    Article published:
    November 13, 2010, 11:27 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Updated: RadioShack rider's computer and mobile phone seized

    Italian police and customs officers have searched Yaroslav Popovych's home in Tuscany as part of a doping investigation centred in the northern town of Padua.

    The search of the Team RadioShack rider's home was carried out at eight o'clock on Thursday evening but details only began to emerge on Saturday morning.

    According to a report in Gazzetta dello Sport, the search warrant was issued by public prosecutor Bendetto Roberti, who is leading several doping investigation in Italy, including one involving sprinter Alessandro Petacchi, who is accused of using the banned drug Pfc. Danilo Di Luca recently revealed details of his doping techniques to Roberti to obtain a reduction in his suspension.

    Gazzetta dello Sport report that some substances were taken away from Popovych's home and are currently being studied by police.

    The RadioShack team has told Cyclingnews that the police took Popovych's computers and mobile phones. The Ukrainian rider has told the team that the substances taken by police were not illegal. He is said to be unhappy about the search but confident of the outcome of the investigation. 

    No specific reasons have so far emerged for the police action. Gazzetta dello Sport suggest it could have been sparked by Popovych recently testifying in front of a grand jury in Los Angeles as part of the on-going investigation centred around Lance Armstrong. Popovych rode with Armstrong in 2005 at the Discovery Channel team, at Astana in 2009 and at RadioShack this year.

    Popovych was served a subpoena on October 22 while attending the Livestrong Challenge charity ride in Armstrong’s hometown of Austin, Texas. He then stayed in the USA and testified on November 3. His lawyer Ken Miller said he denied ever witnessing doping during his 90-minute testimony.
     

  • Phinney named male athlete of the month by US Olympic Committee

    Taylor Phinney (USA) tries his best superman pose on the podium.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2010, 11:53 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    American medaled in both the road race and time trial at the world championships

    Taylor Phinney has been named Male Athlete of the Month by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) after winning the Under 23 time trial title at the world championships in Australia and bronze in the road race.

    Phinney, who is still only 20, was the first American to win a medal in the Under 23 road race. He tied with Canadian Guillaume Boivin for third place only two days after winning gold in the time trial. It was the first time since 2004 that an Under 23 rider had won a medal in both events.

    Phinney was nominated by his sport's National Governing Body, and the nominees were then subject to public voting. He promoted his nomination on his twitter site, encouraging his fans to support him and on the last day of voting even saying that another athlete “is making a late surge! Let's shut it down!”

    Upon winning, he twitted, “Hey we did it! Saweet! Humbling.....”

    Phinney won the time trial in Geelong by a scant 1.9 seconds over local favourite Luke Durbridge, covering the 31.8 km in 42:50.29. It was not his first time trial world title, as he had won the Junior world title in 2007. In the Geelong road race, Phinney moved to the front for the sprint with 500 metres to go, only to be passed by both gold medal winner Michael Matthews (Australia) and Germany's John Degenkolb.

    In the battle for bronze, Canadian Boivin surged up to cross the line simultaneously with Phinney. Even a long study of the digital finish photo could not detect a time difference, and for the first time, there was a tie for a medal.

    Phinney will ride for the BMC Racing Team in 2011, alongside former world champion Cadel Evans. He is expected to make his professional debut at the Tour of Qatar in February.

  • Contador’s lawyer predicts slow legal process

    Alberto Contador (Astana) celebrates his third Tour win
    Article published:
    November 13, 2010, 20:30 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Rocco Taminelli reveals complexities of disciplinary hearings

    Alberto Contador’s lawyer Rocco Taminelli has predicted the Tour de France winner’s doping investigation in Spain will take more than the maximum of one month as required under UCI rules.

    Contador revealed that he had hired Taminelli on Wednesday but the Swiss lawyer has been working with the Tour de France winner for several weeks.

    The Swiss lawyer successfully defended Franco Pellizotti in Italy after he was accused of violating the UCI’s Biological Passport. Pellizotti was cleared of a doping violation but the UCI has yet to decide whether to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    “It’s still far too early to say anything because I’m still studying the documents of the case,” Taminelli told Tuttobiciweb.it

    “The only thing that I can say at the moment is that I think it’ll be difficult if the times schedule requested by the UCI is respected. The judicial process isn’t always as fast as people hope and the UCI knows all about that.”

    When asked what he meant, Taminelli said, “When the UCI want to, they’re the masters at prolonging the time.”

    The slow process at the Court of Arbitration for Sport

    Taminelli used the Franco Pellizotti and Pietro Caucchioli cases to highlight the slow pace of disciplinary hearings and appeals to CAS.

    Pellizotti was provisionally suspended in early May but was cleared by the Italian Anti-Doping Tribunal. The UCI has yet to decide if it will appeal to the CAS. Pietro Caucchioli was one of the first riders caught under the UCI Biological Passport programme. He was named by the UCI on June 17, 2009, and was eventually suspended for two years in June. He has appealed against a two-year ban to the CAS. His case is likely to be the first Biological Passport case to be heard by the Swiss-based arbitration court.

    The Contador case could move equally as...

  • Danish anti-doping chief critical of Riis' confessions

    blank
    Article published:
    November 14, 2010, 10:40 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Sorensen supports ex-teammate after autobiography

    The head of the Danish National Anti-Doping Agency Jes Evald has criticised Bjarne Riis' confessions of drug use in his newly-published autobiography, saying the former Tour de France winner could have been a big help in the fight against doping if he had disclosed a more details. however former Danish rider Rolf Sorensen defends the Saxo Bank team owner.

    Riis' statements concerning his doping use while a professional rider from 1986 to 1999 could have helped “if he had told how it happened and who was involved,” Evald told Danish newspaper Jyllands-Posten.

    “The way he disclosed it does not contribute any further knowledge about the environment and one could well imagine that some of the people from that time are still active in cycling. It is too easy to say that the mentality has changed dramatically for the better in recent years.”

    However Sorensen thinks that Riis acted properly, considering his current role as team owner. “It is like any other workplace. If you want to keep your job and be active in the environment, it is not sensible to name names,” he said.

    "Most people who are familiar with cycling probably have the view that Bjarne Riis has taken major steps for the sport in the right direction in terms of a clean sport. In addition, I do not think that there may be many left of those who distributed the substances at the time.”

    Danish cycling expert Henrik Elmgreen echoed Sorensen's thoughts. “The story Riis tells is part of history. It is guaranteed to be exciting and interesting reading and could be even more exciting if he also talked about other sinners or backers. But Riis ended his career in the late 1990s. I cannot exclude that there still are people from back then who still play a role in the doping game, but I find it hard to imagine that Riis's mention of others could be used in the fight against doping."

  • Tony Martin already thinking of the 2011 Tour de France

    A happy Tony Martin on the podium in Genk.
    Article published:
    November 14, 2010, 11:26 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Young German to plan his season around July

    Most riders considered the trip to the Caribbean for the Amstel Curacao Race as a holiday but Germany’s Tony Martin (HTC-Columbia) went out training every morning as he prepares for 2011, when he will target the overall classification at the Tour de France for the first time in his career.

    Now 25, Martin finished 137th this year after preferring to drop out of overall contention and target the time trials. It paid off because he was second in both time trials behind Fabian Cancellara. He also finished third behind Cancellara in the world time trial championships but won the time trial stage at the Amgen Tour of California and at the Tour de Suisse.

    He has already proved his stage race potential by winning the Eneco Tour and by taking sixth in a tough Tour de Suisse won by Fränk Schleck. Martin admits he was tired when he started the Tour de France this year but plans to peak in July next year.

    "I know now what I want and how to work for it so I can be at my best in July," he told L’Equipe.

    Martin will begin 2011 with a lighter racing programme, starting at the Challenge Mallorca (6-9 February), followed by the Tour of Algarve (16-20 February).

    Germany is still recovering from the doping scandals that have hit cycling but Martin is seen as the first potential great German stage race rider since the disgraced Jan Ullrich.

    Martin revealed that he now lives just five kilometres from Ullrich in Switzerland, close to the German border but admits he has never met him.

    “Our paths have never crossed,” he said, almost afraid to mention Ullrich’s name. “When I started my career, he had stopped. But everyone tells me he's a good guy…”

  • Belgacom and Jabra linked as sponsors of Luxembourg Cycling Project

    Tour de France runner up Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank).
    Article published:
    November 14, 2010, 16:15 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Luxembourg newspaper reveals possible backers

    Luxembourg newspaper Le Quotidien reported that telecommunications company Belgacom and Danish wireless communications equipment producer Jabra could be sponsors of the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.

    The team has already announced equipment sponsorships with Trek bikes and Mercedes for vehicles but has still to announce title sponsors for the team that includes Andy and Fränk Schleck and almost certainly Fabian Cancellara in its line-up in 2011.

    Le Quotidien reveals that Belgacom has interests in the Netherlands and Luxembourg as well as Belgium, meaning cycling would be an excellent way to promote its various brands of high-speed internet and communications. However the newspaper indicates that the deal has yet to be sealed although it is expected to go ahead.

    Jabra was named as a possible sponsor of Bjarne Riis’ team before Saxo Bank decided to remain onboard and sign Alberto Contador. The Danish brand could have decided to follow the Schleck brothers to the Luxembourg team.

    The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project has so far confirmed the arrival of 20 riders, with another five or six riders expected to join to complete the team’s line-up.The team was recently ranked number one in the UCI sporting criteria ranking for 2011 because of its powerful line-up but has yet to secure ProTeam status. 

    The 20 riders already confirmed for the team are Frank and Andy Schleck, Daniele Bennati, Will Clarke, Stefan Denifl, Brice Feillu, Jakob Fuglsang, Linus Gerdemann, Dominic Klemme, Maxime Monfort, Giacomo Nizzolo, Stuart O'Grady, Bruno Pires, Davide Viganò, Jens Voigt, Fabian Wegmann, Wouter Weylandt, Anders Lund, Tom Stamsnijder and Martin Mortensen. 

  • Kelly calls for UCI to introduce transfer fees in cycling

    Article published:
    November 14, 2010, 18:00 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Irish legend believes smaller teams should be rewarded for rider development

    Sean Kelly has called for the International Cycling Union (UCI) to implement a transfer fee system to compensate smaller squads when riders are drafted by larger teams. His comments come after Irish national champion Matt Brammier's signing to HTC from Kelly's own An Post-Sean Kelly squad.

    "Unfortunately there's no transfer fee, which is a disappointment," Kelly told Cyclingnews. "That's something the UCI has to take a look at because you look after a rider for two years and then a big ProTour team come along and take them from you. I feel there should be some form of compensation for a Continental team who look after a rider for a couple of years."

    Brammier confirmed a one-year contract for 2011 with HTC early last month after two seasons with An Post-Sean Kelly. He declared Irish nationality in 2009 and in June this year claimed the Irish national road race championship. Kelly said that although he was disappointed to lose the exposure the national title had already brought the Irish-Belgian Continental team, he was pleased that the 25-year-old would have his chance in cycling's top flight.

    "In one way it was our goal but in another way it's a disappointment because it would have been nice to be able to keep Brammier in the team. Especially for our sponsors, the vast majority of whom are Irish, it would have been good to have the national championship jersey.

    "But when a rider gets an offer from a team like [HTC] there's no way you can hold on to him because a guy can get that opportunity and he can move at any time. Uou can't blame him for that. Moving to that team, for Brammier, is a great situation."

    Brammier is the latest in a string of the team's top riders who over recent seasons have moved on to larger squads. The high turn-over rate makes it difficult for smaller teams to cultivate the depth that would feed their expansion and growth.

    "It isn't only Brammier, last year we moved Steven Van Vooren...