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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, February 9, 2012

Date published:
February 09, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Ullrich welcomes impending CAS verdict

    Jan Ullrich at the Gran Fondo Colnago Miami
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 20:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    German implicated in Operacion Puerto in 2006

    Jan Ullrich has said that he welcomes the impending Court of Arbitration for Sport decision on his implication in Operacion Puerto. On Thursday, CAS is set to announce its verdict on the UCI and WADA’s appeal against the Swiss Olympic Committee’s decision to close an investigation on Ullrich’s links to the blood doping practices of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

    "Tomorrow is a happy day for me. I am happy to have the decision after waiting for almost six years," Ullrich told Reuters. "I had to suffer a lot and even suffered burn-out. I am happy to have the verdict. Then I can again comment on it and then it is over and done with."

    Ullrich was first implicated in Operacion Puerto on the eve of the 2006 Tour de France. His T-Mobile team pulled him from the race, and the German subsequently announced his retirement in February 2007. In April of that year, prosecutors in Germany said that they had matched Ullrich’s DNA to blood bags seized from Eufemiano Fuentes.

    As Ullrich competed under a Swiss licence in the latter part of his career, the Swiss Olympic Committee opened an inquiry into the matter in July 2009. The following year, however, they shelved their investigation on the basis that, as Ullrich had ceased to hold a Swiss licence in 2006, they no longer had jurisdiction over his case.

    Both the UCI and WADA appealed the Swiss Olympic Committee’s decision not to proceed with the investigation. Although Ullrich’s...

  • Barry breaks elbow in Qatari crash

    Canadian Michael Barry (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 23:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Canadian forced out on frustrating day for Sky

    Sky's Michael Barry has become the latest casualty of the often-perilous Tour of Qatar, breaking his elbow at the peloton hit the finishing circuits of the 147.5 kilometre, fourth stage on Wednesday.

    Barry had been a solid performer for Sky since the race began on Sunday and his forced abandonment will be a major blow to the outfit.

    "He was in the line and they were all in the gutter going flat out when someone in front of him hit one of the cat's eyes on the road and lost his front wheel and went straight down; Michael said he just didn't have any chance at all to react – they were doing about 70km/h at the time," said Sky race coach Rod Ellingworth.

    "He's also quite badly cut and grazed and has taken a lot of skin off his back which is going to be the worst thing as he's not going to sleep well at all."

    Barry now joins Coen Vermeltfoort (Rabobank) and Champion System pair Clinton Avery and Will Clarke on the non-starters list with two stages left to race.

    Tweeting following the confirmation of his injury, Barry said: "Thanks for the kind messages. Sadly I broke my elbow. Surgery required. Hopefully back on the bike before too long."

    Sky won Tuesday's third stage with World Champion recruit Mark Cavendish however the team was not entirely satisfied with the results garnered from Stage 4 with three riders making the top 10 placings – Juan Antonio Flecha (4th), Bernie Eisel (8th) and Ian Stannard (10th). Cavendish was adrift in 34th place, 54 seconds down on the time of stage winner, Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

    "Three riders in the top ten is good, but not enough," Eisel told Cyclingnews. "We had one card to play, and that was Cav. We did a good race but I have to be...

  • RCS Sport critical of time taken in Contador process

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) takes the spoils.
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 0:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Giro d'Italia organisers hope it "never has to face a similar situation"

    Following the decision earlier this week to hand Alberto Contador a two-year sanction for this 2010 Tour de France positive for clenbuterol, RCS Sport, organisers of the Giro d'Italia have expressed their dissatisfaction at the time taken for the Court of Arbitration for Sport to reach a verdict.

    Part of Contador's penalty was the wiping of the Spaniard's results from the date of the positive test on July 21, which included the Tour de France, and the 2011 Giro d'Italia.

    "RCS Sport, the organisers of the Giro d'Italia, acknowledge the decision of the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding Alberto Contador," it was announced in a statement. "However we feel it is important to highlight how the time taken to reach a final verdict has affected events like the Giro d'Italia, held so long after the start of the case.

    "We hope that in future, the judicial process will ensure that the Giro d'Italia never has to face a similar situation out of respect for its fans and the riders who compete in its races."

    Contador won two stages and reached the podium on six other occasions en route to his second victory in the Italian grand tour. Along with the maglia rosa, he also claimed the points classification. Monday's CAS ruling has resulted in Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) being entered into the record books as the 2011 winner.

    "Together with my team, Lampre-ISD, I acknowledge the decision taken by CAS on the Contador case," Scarponi said in a statement released by his team on Monday. "From a human point of view, I'm very sorry for Alberto. From a...

  • Arndt, Villumsen to lead GreenEdge-AIS in NZ

    Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) with the silver medal
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 3:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Title defence bolstered by top team

    Judith Arndt and Linda Villumsen will lead a formidable-looking GreenEdge-AIS team at the Women's Tour of New Zealand later this month. Arndt recently took top honours at the Ladies' Tour of Qatar, after a successful start to her season in Australia.

    Villumsen, a naturalised Kiwi will be able to count on home support as she takes on the five-day Tour. It will be Villumsen's first race with the new GreenEdge-AIS squad, having opted to stay and train in New Zealand longer to prepare for later season goals.

    Australian and Oceania road champion Shara Gillow, a past junior world champion Jessie McLean, and Rowena Fry complete a stellar quintet.

    The team will be looking to continue its undefeated streak which has extended from its first official race at the Jayco Bay Classic series in Geelong to now.

    This is the ninth edition of the Women's Tour, the only international race of its kind in Oceania.

    GreenEdge-AIS for Women's Tour of New Zealand: Judith Arndt (Ger), Linda Villumsen (NZl), Shara Gillow (Aus), Rowena Fry (Aus) and Jessie Maclean.

  • Cancellara: Big question marks hang over Contador case

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-NIssan)
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 5:17 GMT
    Mark Robinson

    Swiss rider slams CAS and says fear factor has increased amongst the peloton

    Having had a couple of days to digest the two-year ban handed by CAS to Alberto Contador following his long drawn out, 18-month clenbuterol case, Swiss rider Fabian Cancellara has branded the process involved in ascertaining Contador’s culpability as “crazy”. 30-year-old Cancellara, who is at the 2012 Tour of Qatar in the colours of RadioShack-Nissan, told Cyclingnews that his faith in the decision makers, and that of some of his fellow riders, has been shaken. Contador, who may appeal against the decision, was sanctioned on Monday, stripped of the 2010 Tour de France title and could face a fine of 2.4m Euros.

    “I am here racing and all I’ve had time to do is read some papers, look at the internet and try to digest the facts and the rumours,” Cancellara told Cyclingnews. “They said there is 4000 pages about Alberto’s case. The Fuentes case was 8000 pages. 4000 pages for one person and 8000 for maybe 20 guys? Already, that is something crazy.

    “There are so many questions. The UCI and WADA agree together, then they disagree together then they think different things. Then you have the clenbuterol – it’s such a small amount. Is it from food? Now they are saying it’s from some sort of nutrition supplement contamination. All I can see is a big question mark.

    “To improve, CAS just has to work harder and faster – they should not be on holidays, and not be distracted by other things. In sport across the board so far, from the CAS...

  • Jan Ullrich given two-year ban from CAS

    Tour de Suisse winner Jan Ullrich is kissed on the podium
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 10:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Retired German Tour de France winner suspended

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport has issued a two-year ban for Jan Ullrich, to run from August 22, 2011. In addition, all his results from May 2005 until his retirement in February 2007 are annulled, including his third-place overall finish in the 2005 Tour de France.

    The CAS partially upheld the UCI's appeal of the Swiss Olympic decision to dismiss its doping investigation into Ullrich after his retirement, and ruled that he was guilty of a doping offence.

    “Given the volume, consistency and probative value of the evidence presented by the UCI, and the failure of Jan Ullrich to raise any doubt about the veracity of reliability of such evidence, this Panel came to the conclusion that Jan Ullrich engaged at least in blood doping in violation of Article 15.2 of the UCI Anti-Doping rules,” the court said.

    Ullrich was involved in the blood doping scheme of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes which was uncovered in Operacion Puerto in 2006. He was suspended by T-Mobile Team shortly before the start of the Tour de France that year and subsequently released. He announced his retirement in February 2007 and that same year it was announced that a DNA test matched his blood to samples taken into custody in Operacion Puerto.

    Swiss Olympic conducted an investigation but closed it in 2009, saying it had no jurisdiction over Ullrich, a German living in Switzerland and thus riding with a Swiss licence, since he had retired.  The UCI appealed that decision to the CAS.

    The panel ruled “that it was possible, under the UCI rules, to initiate disciplinary proceedings against Jan Ullrich even if the athlete was no longer a licence-holder.”

    The panel noted the UCI's evidence that Fuentes provided doping services to athletes, and that Ullrich...

  • Renshaw targetting stage win as Tour of Qatar reaches endgame

    Mark Renshaw (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 11:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian rider too far back to defend GC

    The dominance of Tom Boonen at the 2012 Tour Of Qatar coupled with his own team’s struggles in the race so far has prompted Mark Renshaw to admit defeat in his pre-race goal of successfully defending the title that he won last year in the colours of HTC-Highroad.

    The Australian rider joined Rabobank in the winter following the disbandment of his former team, with the Dutch outfit offering him the opportunity to be their lead sprinter. With Renshaw and the team still finding their feet at the beginning of the 2012 season, things haven’t quite gone to plan so far in Qatar. Rabobank finished in ninth position at the team trial on Monday and currently lie in eighth place in the team standings after four stages. Renshaw (15th) is the only one of his team in the top 25 in the overall GC.

    Yesterday’s stage four was particularly difficult for Renshaw and Rabobank, who failed to manage the situation when the field split at a crucial stage and then suffered numerous punctures in the closing part of the race.

    “The GC is finished,” he told ““We didn’t have anyone in the front group [yesterday] so it’s pretty disappointing. I just missed it when it split and then we had four guys flat all at the same time at the crucial moment.

    “We didn’t really have a chance in stage three or stage four with the wind. The last day is more of a criterium so that’s a good chance to practice with the train. We need to do something in the next two days.”


  • Canadian amateur positive for testosterone

    Peloton rolls through scenic Quebec City
    Article published:
    February 09, 2012, 12:19 GMT
    Cycling News

    Martel to receive two year ban, follows Ageda and Papillon

    Canadian cyclist Benjamin Martel has been sanctioned for the presence of the banned substance testosterone in his system after testing  positive at the Quebec Provincial Championships in August of last year.

    He becomes the third rider to go positive after the recent EPO related bans of Miguel Agreda and Arnaud Papillon that were handed down in October and November.

    Martel chose to have a hearing in his case which extended the length of the proceedings. The final decision of the Sport Dispute Resolution Centre arbitrator was only provided on January 23 after a nearly 6 month process. He has been given a two year ban from the sport in line with the WADA code.

    John Tolkamp, President of the Canadian Cycling Association, reflected that cases like this would only strengthen the resolve to of the association to encourage and educate young cyclists to "race clean".

    "This case of doping further highlights the need for continued testing and education. We must continue to educate the young riders on the need to Race Clean and be proud of their accomplishments in that vain while being vigilant towards those that will take short cuts."

    In the wake of the positives of Agreda and Papillon, a number of high profile Canadian athletes and stakeholders came out in defence of the sport. Among others, David Veilleux (Europcar) was adamant that "to race cleanly and win is possible."

    The CCA has also renewed its own stance which it says "takes strong measures to monitor, test and educate athletes in the sport."