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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, October 28, 2012

Date published:
October 28, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Sutton on Sky's anti-doping policy

    Chris Sutton takes some questions from the media after his win in the Gong.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 3:34 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Australian saddened by Julich's departure

    The New South Wales Grand Prix Series was launched in Sydney on Friday with headline rider Chris Sutton (Sky) finding himself in the midst of the fallout from his team's anti-doping policy. Sutton will line up in December to defend the title he has won the last two years with the 28-year-old saying he will "give it a crack" after much of his season was disrupted by a back injury.

    The move by Sky came off the back of the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates, with Michael Barry among those to offer doping confessions having been implicated. Before returning to Australia, Sutton was part of the meetings that took place last week and signed his anti-doping oath. Sutton is happy to sign the documents, but if he's honest, it's a position he doesn't want to be in at all. He doesn't believe that riders of his generation and younger should be outspoken about current anti-doping efforts.

    "We're not from that era," Sutton said. "We're doing it [racing] clean.

    "When I signed with Sky at the end of 2009 - my contract was from the beginning of 2010 - we had a zero tolerance policy. It was made clear. If you get caught you're gone faster than what you signed the contract. I'm just worried about me and my own backyard. I'm doing everything the right way."

    Sutton said that he too went through the interview process but admitted that it was over pretty quick.

    "For a young guy that's come in pretty late, I haven't seen anything," he explained.

    Sutton was saddened by the news of race coach Bobby Julich's doping confession on Friday. The American was a great personal support to Sutton...

  • Rebellin joins CCC Polsat-Polkowice in 2013

    Veteran Italian rider Davide Rebellin
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 5:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Polish team returning to Pro-Continental status

    Davide Rebellin will ride for CCC Polsat-Polkowice in 2013 after spending the 2012 season with the Meridiana - Kamen Team reports Biciclismo. The 41-year-old Italian has continued to perform, albeit at lower-ranked races, since returning from his positive test for CERA at the 2008 Olympics.

    Rebellin is one of only two riders in history to win the 'Ardennes tripple', taking out Amstel Gold, La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in the same year.

    Rebellin enjoyed the victorious 'triple win' week in 2004 while Philippe Gilbert repeated the Italian record in 2011. Rebellin had won a silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics before informed of his positive control in early 2009 and was subsequently stripped of his medal and result.

    After serving a two-year suspension he returned with Miche-Guerciotti and rode alongside Stefan Schumacher. Rebeillin enjoyed wins at Tre Valli Varesine and Trofeo Melinda before the team scaled back to just seven registered riders in 2012.

    After a relatively light season riding for the Meridiana - Kamen squad Rebellin will no doubt look to enter some bigger races in 2013 with CCC Polsat. His new Polish team is reportedly applying for a Professional Continental license for next season after a year at the Continental ranks.

  • European media launch a manifesto for credible cycling

    The Tour of Beijing peloton makes its way past the Bird's Nest Olympic Stadium during the opening stage.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 10:15 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    L’Equipe, Gazzetta, Het Nieuwsblad and Le Soir take a stand against doping

    Several leading European newspapers have joined forces to call for major reforms in cycling in light of the USADA doping investigation and the damage caused by the consequences of blood doping in the last 20 years.

    Called a ‘Manifesto for credible cycling’, L’Equipe, The Times, Gazzetta dello Sport, Het Nieuwsblad, Le Soir, with support from others news titles, are demanding major reform of the sport, especially in the powers and responsibility of the UCI.

    The eight-point manifesto calls for several specific changes, including an independent investigation by WADA into what happened in cycling in the last 20 years, that WADA and national anti-doping agencies carry out anti-doping controls at major races, longer bans for doping, and a reform of the UCI WorldTour and more direct responsibility for the title sponsors of the teams.

    The newspapers also call for a summit before the start of the 2013 season to define the news organisation and the new rules.

    The Manifesto reads:

    We are a group of newspapers in five newspapers from four different countries (Belgium, Great Britain, Italy and France). We’ve been part of the history of cycling for over a hundred years. We passionately love this sport and strongly believe in its future.

    However we are very concerned about the current situation. The long list of doping scandals that have clouded the horizon of cycling in recent years now includes the Armstrong case, the confessions of several of his former teammates, the report of the American Anti-Doping Agency (USADA): that as points its finger at the malfunction or even complicity of the International Cycling Union (UCI).There are also disturbing reports filtering from the Padua investigation and the Operacion Puerto trial begins in Madrid in January.

    This recent revelations show clearly that there was sick ‘cycling system’ and we can no longer put our faith in the UCI or...

  • Acquarone praises Phinney for stance against doping

    Michele Acquarone.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 13:09 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Giro d'Italia organiser designs 'rider friendly' route

    Michele Acquarone, the director of the Giro d'Italia, has praised the Taylor Phinney and other young riders for their stance against doping in the aftermath of the revelation about the Lance Armstrong generation of riders discovered by the USADA investigation.

    Phinney and fellow American Pete Stetina revealed that they refuse to use caffeine and pain killers while racing, and were publicly supported on Twitter by several riders, including Marco Pinotti, Greg Henderson, David Miller, Marianne Vos and Marcel Kittel. Acquarone also praised Phinney via tweeted.

    "I was hugely impressed by the position that Taylor Phinney and some other young riders have taken against doping," Acquarone explained to Cyclingnews.

    "He said he was happy to finish fourth in the Olympics, knowing that he competed clean. That's a great thing to say and perfectly represents the true spirit of sport."

    Acquarone and his race organising team at RCS Sport pushed hard to ensure Phinney rode this year's Giro d'Italia. The young American confirmed his talent by winning the opening time trial stage in Denmark and wearing the pink jersey for three days. Phinney finished the Giro in 155th place, more than five hours behind winner Ryder Hesjedal.

    Acquarone called on new riders in cycling to look at themselves in the mirror and do the right thing, saying he will always support them.

    "What's happened in the last few weeks has made me think about when I ran the New York marathon," he said.

    "I could have got in a taxi to miss out a long section of the race and then jump out just before the finish to win. I'd become known as the fattest ever winner but I wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror. I hope the new generation of riders are able to look at themselves in the mirror and be happy...

  • Movistar signs Argiro Ospina

    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 16:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Young Colombian joins Spanish WorldTour team

    The Movistar team has made a late addition to its roster for 2013, signing the talented young Colombian Argiro Ospina.

    The 21-year-old climber will join Nairo Quintana at the Spanish team, who recently won the Giro dell’Emilia race in Italy and took overall victory at the Route du Sud and Vuelta a Murcia stage races.

    Ospina was one of the revelations of the recent Clásico RCN stage race in Colombia where he won stage seven - one of the most demanding stages of the race. He rode for the Gobernación de Antioquia team this year and also won a stage of the Vuelta al Tolima.

    Colombia finished eleventh in the 2012 WorldTour nation ranking thanks to strong performances from Rigoberto Uran and Sergio Henao of Team Sky. The presence of the Colombia-Coldeportes has also boosted the results of Colombian riders in Europe.

    The Movistar team has also signed Sylvester Szmyd and Eros Capecchi from Liquigas-Cannondale, and Spanish Elite rider Eloy Teruel Rovira. Those leaving the team include Italian veteran Marzio Bruseghin, Vasil Kiryienka and David Lopez Garcia, who are joining Team Sky, Ignatas Konovalovas and Sergio Pardilla – going to MTN-Qhubeka and Branislau Samoilau, who has been linked to Astana.

  • Ghisallo museum unveils pink jersey collection

    RCS Sport managing director Michele Acquarone and Pietro Santini
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 17:35 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    50 maglia rosa on display near Como

    Two years of research and special donations have lead to the creation of the biggest ever collection of pink jerseys from the Giro d'Italia.

    The so-called 'Giro for Ghisallo' collection has now reached 50 and was unveiled at the Ghisallo Museum, overlooking Lake Como in Italy. The maglia rosa is iconic in professional cycling and is awarded to the leader of the Giro d'Italia.

    Thanks to support from race organiser RCS Sport, who promised a donation of 500 Euro for every maglia rosa collected, researchers Federico Meda and Davide Secchi were able to gather original pink jerseys worn in the race.

    The collection includes pink jerseys worn by Ivan Basso, Paolo Bettini, Francesco Moser, Gianni Motta, Eddy Merckx, Damiano Cunego, Roberto Visentini, Miguel Indurain, Ercole Baldini and Massimo Podenzana. This year's Giro d'Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) also donated one of the pink jerseys he wore.

    The success of the project is tinged with bitterness because of the recent death of Fiorenzo Magni - the former President of the museum and inspiration to the collection. Magni donated the first jersey and convinced fellow champions and friends to follow suit.

    Donations came not only from big-name riders and overall winners of the Giro d'Italia but also from riders who wore the maglia rosa for only a single day in their entire career. Even if this was their greatest achievement, they decided to give it away for a good cause.

    The first maglia rosa in Giro history was awarded in the 1931 edition of the race and worn by Learco Guerra. The jerseys donated to the Giro for Ghisallo project span every decade in which the maglia rosa was awarded. The hope is to find at least one jersey for each of the...

  • Gilbert honored as "Boar of Ardennes" in Aywaille

    Philippe Gilbert (BMC)
    Article published:
    October 27, 2012, 19:06 BST
    Cycling News

    World Champion joins supporters at wild animal park

    World Champion Philippe Gilbert was honored at the Le Monde Sauvage de Remouchamps wild animal park in Aywaille today, being dubbed the "Boar of the Ardennes" for his resistance to cold and his attacking nature, in a nod to the many species of creatures at the venue.

    It was a brisk day in the BMC rider's home town with temperatures nearing zero, but the wintery temperatures did not keep away the crowds, who lined up to join Gilbert on the 77km ride.

    The event was a fundraiser for the supporters club of Gilbert, which runs youth development programs in the region.

    Gilbert became the first Walloon world champion since Claude Criquielion in 1984 when he soloed to victory in Valkenburg in September.

  • Yates and De Jongh out of Team Sky

    The masterminds behind Team Sky: Sean Yates (l) and Dave Brailsford.
    Article published:
    October 28, 2012, 1:43 BST
    Bike Radar

    Telegraph reports that anti-doping policy claims two directeur sportif

    Two of Team Sky's sports directors Sean Yates and Steven de Jongh have been released from the team, according to a report in The Telegraph.

    It appears the pair have become the latest casualties of the team's reaffirmed zero tolerance anti-doping policy, which asked all staff and riders to sign a declaration confirming that they have no past or present involvement in doping. Anyone who did not sign the declaration would be dismissed, although it's understood they would be financially compensated. Anyone who did not sign but is subsequently found to have lied about past doping practices will be fired immediately. 

    The Telegraph report suggests that all the riders on the Team Sky roster for 2013 have signed the declaration and so none will be forced to immediately leave the team.

    It's unclear as to what involvement in doping the pair had. Yates rode with disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong on Motorola until he retired in 1996 and served as sports director for Armstrong's Discovery Channel team and for Astana between 2005-2009.

    De Jongh rode for TVM, who were raided by police in the 1998 Tour de France, Rabobank (2000-2005) and QuickStep (2006-2009).

    Yates and De Jongh follow coach Bobby Julich, who recently confessed to doping and was shown the door. The team also did not renew its  contract with Dr Geert Leinders, who has been linked to doping allegations in the Rabobank team.