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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 6, 2012

Date published:
December 06, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Rick Crawford: I helped Levi Leipheimer to dope

    Levi Leipheimer (US Postal) at the 2001 Vuelta a Espana
    Article published:
    December 05, 2012, 22:22 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Coach was a redacted name in USADA's reasoned decision documents

    Cycling coach Rick Crawford has come clean and stated that he doped Levi Leipheimer during the American rider's early career at US Postal between 2000 and 2001. Crawford confessed to USADA but due to the Statute of Limitations was not given a sanction.

    Crawford, who was a redacted name in the USADA's reasoned decision documentation that stripped Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles, worked with Leipheimer until the American moved to Rabobank.

    "I turned myself in for things that happened a long time ago," he told Cyclingnews.

    "If not now when so I walked into their offices and told them everything."

    Crawford admitted that he'd doped another rider but would not provide his name. However he did admit that it concerned a rider who had already received a life-time ban from the sport.

    Crawford has worked with several riders in the sport including Kirk O’Bee, who is serving a life-time ban, Todd Wells, Chris Wherry, Willow Koerber, Tom Danielson and Chann McRae. Danielson was given a six month suspension in the fallout from the USADA report for doping, while McRae has never been sanctioned. Both individuals are part of the Slipstream set-up, where Crawford was a part-time coach for Garmin two years ago. Cyclingnews understands that Crawford emailed all of his current and former athletes informing them that he was cooperating with USADA in October.

    "I'm sure the other rider's names will come up, but out of respect for him, I don't feel right naming him. He's been through hell already," Crawford told Cyclingnews.

  • University gives Crawford full support after confession

    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 0:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Temporary suspension took place

    Colorado Mesa University says it stands by its cycling coach Rick Crawford after he confessed to having assisted Levi Leipheimer to dope while he was riding with US Postal. Crawford confessed to USADA but due to the Statute of Limitations was not given a sanction.

    "Rick came to us before he approached USADA," said CMU President Tim Foster in a statement. "He was placed on temporary suspension while we conducted an internal investigation. No drug-related infractions were found. In fact, Rick has been educating our student-athletes on the importance of clean, drug-free competition."

    Cyclingnews understands that Crawford emailed all of his current and former athletes informing them that he was cooperating with USADA in October.

    "I told USADA everything, I mean everything and there was nothing to tell about [Tom] Danielson or [Chann] McRae," Crawford told Cyclingnews. "They were people I worked with and I worked with Chann since he was 14 years-old. I never had any influence on him in that way, or Tom Danielson."

    Crawford has since resumed his work with the university and will put in at least 500 hours of community service during the next five years in anti-doping education for the USADA or any sports or community organization or institution of higher education.

    The university also announced the appointment of Scott Mercier as director of it's cycling program.


  • Tour de Perth returns to open 2013 Australian National Road Series

    Anthony Giacoppo (Genesys Wealth Advisers) leans into a corner
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 0:49 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Rottnest Island to host opening two stages

    The 2013 Australian National Road Series will kick off in sensational style with the Tour de Perth in April, beginning with two stages on the spectacular and rugged Rottnest Island just off the coast of Western Australia.

    The event has previously been a part of the NRS, but in 2010 the event was cancelled due to a lack of funding. There should be no risk of a similar incident happening again with the Tour de Perth receiving backing from Eventscorp, the events division of Tourism WA and being run in conjunction with the UCI World Cycling Tour event which is on at the same time.

    CIC Events, the team which came close to getting a new UCI 2.1 event in Western Australia off the ground earlier this year, is the driving force behind the Tour de Perth, so the revival of what has been a largely local event will come as some consolation.

    The Tour de Perth will get underway with an 80km road race around Rottnest Island on April 11, with a 20km individual time trial taking place on the A-class reserve, home to the quokka.

    April 13 will see a tough double-header starting with a 120km road race around the Perth Hills, followed by a one-hour criterium in Kalamunda Town Centre. The Tour concludes on April 14 with a 112km road race in central Perth and Kings Park.

    CIC Events Managing Director, Craig Smith-Gander is thrilled to deliver the event in Perth. "This is a brand new concept for Western Australia, and one we intend to grow and develop to elevate Perth as the cycling capital of Australia.

    "The event will provide an extraordinary experience for competitors, sponsors and spectators. Community events and mass participation rides will also be included in the event program, encouraging everyone to get involved," said Smith-Gander.

    Cycling WA chief executive Garry Chandler added, "April 2013 will be a festival of cycling in WA,...

  • Gallery: Lotto Belisol gather for abseiling and kite-flying

    Hang time for Frederik Willems
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 1:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Greipel, Van den Broeck, Vanendert attend pre-season camp

    The team of Lotto Belisol gathered in the western province of Zeeland, the Netherlands for some pre-season training ahead of another promising season. Some of the non-cycling activities included abseiling and climbing and learning the art of kite flying.

    There were 26 riders on-hand for the two days of team building while Australian Adam Hansen and Greg Henderson from New Zealand were absent. Hansen was struggling with a minor cold according to his team and Henderson skipped the trip to patiently await the birth of his son - Lachlan Storm Henderson.

    "Very proud Dad again. Lachlan Storm Henderson finally graced us with his presence. So proud. Mummy was awesome and is very well," Henderson said on Twitter.

    With a 2012 year that included 27 wins including three by André Greipel at the Tour de France and a number of other impressive WorldTour victories including Lars Bak’s win at the Giro d’Italia, 2013 looks set to be another great year. Despite a number of big victories Lotto Belisol failed to make the top-15 teams and were not automatically granted a renewal of its ProTeam license. They still await confirmation from the UCI.

    The loss of Paris-Nice stage winner Gianni Meersman meant a further loss in UCI WorldTour points and may also suggest a few less wins in 2013. It will however, offer opportunities for other members of the team to achieve their own personal success. The example of long-time domestic Bak achieving his Giro win demonstrates the talent within the Belgian squad.

  • Orica-AIS completes roster with signings of Edmondson and Elvin

    Annette Edmondson (Australia) about to start the omnium 500m time trial
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 2:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Johansson to guide less-experienced riders in 2013

    Orica-AIS has finalised its 2013 roster with the announcement that London Olympic Games bronze medallist Annette Edmondson and fellow Australian Gracie Elvin will join the program for its second season.

    The team will be losing the core of its experienced riders with Judith Arndt, Alex Rhodes, Claudia Häusler, Linda Villumsen and Rowena Fry all farewelling their road careers.

    Swedish champion Emma Johansson announced last month that she would be joining Orica-AIS in 2013 in the leadership role, having decided against a move to Dutch team Dolmans-Boels.

    "We sought out a rider with a lot of experience who could lead some of our younger Australians," said Orica-AIS sports director David McPartland. "Straightaway we identified Emma as a natural fit for this role."

    Edmondson, who rides as part of the Australian track endurance program, has been identified as a sprinter on the road but there is room for the South Australian to grow. The 20-year-old made her omnium debut for Australia at the London World Cup event in February after winning the Australian senior championship in the discipline for the second time. Her performance in the London Velodrome earlier in the year came somewhat as a surprise, as she took silver behind then world champion, Sarah Hammer (USA).

    "She's certainly an upcoming sprinter with a huge future ahead of her," said McPartland. "She's undeniably talented, and while her obvious strength is in the sprints, I suspect she may develop into more of an all-rounder. A few years ago, I watched her race in the Czech Republic over an undulating to moderately hilly course, and I was surprised at how good she was. She'll be an exciting one to watch develop this year."


  • IOC wait for UCI paperwork before moving to strip Armstrong of bronze medal

    Lance Armstrong (United States) on the podium for the time trial at the Sydney Olympics
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 3:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four more athletes to lose Athens medals after re-testing

    An International Olympic Committee board meeting has decided to hold fire on any decision to potentially strip Lance Armstrong of his bronze medal from the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.

    Armstrong's bronze medal in the Sydney time trial falls beyond the eight-year statute of limitations that the IOC currently observes. However, the American has already been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles, the first of which dated back to 1999. Tour organisers ASO and the UCI have agreed that Armstrong's results from 1998 to 2005 should not be reallocated.

    Armstrong finished in third place in the Sydney time trial behind his then US Postal Service teammate Viacheslav Ekimov and Jan Ullrich. Abraham Olano finished in fourth place.

    The IOC will wait for the UCI to officially inform Armstrong of his sanctions before moving ahead.

    "The IOC today will not move because we need to have the situation whereby the UCI notifies officially Mr Armstrong of the fact that he will be disqualified and declared ineligible and that he should hand over his medal," IOC President Jacques Rogges said.

    "When he will be notified Mr Armstrong will have 21 days to launch an appeal. It is only after that period that the IOC can legally take action."

    Last month, IOC board member, International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) president René Fasel, that Lance Armstrong's credibility has disappeared regardless of the whatever final decision is reached in the investigation by the organisation.

    Athens dope count goes up, again...

    One hundred samples from the 2004 Athens Olympic Games were re-tested in May following a request by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) using newer...

  • Songezo Jim living his dream with MTN-Qhubeka

    Songeso Jim is from the Eastern Cape of South Africa and is a talented climber
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 5:18 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Orphaned rider learns to ride at 14, becomes pro at 22

    Some professional cyclists come to the sport later in life than most, and can go on to have successful careers, but most at least knew how to ride a bike when they were children. Songezo Jim personifies the aspirations, diverse backgrounds and unbridled enthusiasm of his MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung team: having never even touched a bike at 14, this South African will live his dream when he settles down in Lucca, Italy for his first European professional season in 2013.

    Jim was born in Umtata in the Eastern Cape of South Africa in 1990, but at the age of 12, his family suffered its first tragic loss with the death of his mother. Two years later, his father passed away as well, leaving the orphan with no choice but to travel 1000km to live with his aunt. Professional cycling, or cycling of any manner, was not on the radar for Jim.

    "In the Eastern Cape, we actually didn't have bikes there. I knew there was something called a bicycle, but I didn't know anything about them," Jim told Cyclingnews at the team's camp in Johannesburg. He had been a good soccer player back in the Eastern Cape, and later this innate physical talent would come in handy.

    His introduction to the bike and the sport came when the Cape Argus Cycle Tour, a huge timed race and recreational challenge that attracts tens of thousands to Cape Town, streamed past his aunt's house in a splash of color and motion.

    "When I saw the cycling, and I had never seen anything like it," Jim said. He instantly fell in love with the sport and wanted to jump right in and race. The problem was, he'd never ridden a bike.

    "I immediately wanted to compete. Even at the time when I wasn't able to ride a bike, I wanted to compete. I loved it."

    Very soon he joined a cycling club, which lent him a bike. A friend taught him step by step to ride on a BMX bike, and within a year's time...

  • David George given two years ban for EPO usage

    Former multiple national champion on the road, David George is gunning for his first ever national mountain bike title on Saturday.
    Article published:
    December 06, 2012, 10:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    South African loses Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike title

    David George has been given a two-year suspension by the South African Institute for Drug-Free Sport. The former US Postal rider tested positive for EPO this summer.

    George returned the positive doping control in an an out-of-competition test at the end of August. According to the AP news agency, he was targeted after his biological passport “showed suspicious activity.”

    The 36-year-old did not attend the hearing on Saturday, but claimed that he acted alone in using the drug. “George claims his EPO doping was isolated to himself and he could not provide us with information in terms of an infrastructure of doping,” SAIDS chief executive Khalid Galant said. “Hence he received the standard two-year ban as there were no grounds for a reduction in this sanction.”

    George agreed to help the agency with its test planning in an “attempt to atone for the doping offense to the cycling community.” He must forfeit all results and prize moneys earned after November 5, when the positive doping control was first announced.

    In addition, he will lose his win in this year's Cape Pioneer Trek mountain bike race.

    His team's sponsor, Nedbank, said that it was ending its sponsorship as a result of the doping affair. It will continue to sponsor youth development activities and various races and events.