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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 27, 2011

Date published:
January 27, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Impey signs with MTN Qhubeka

    Daryly Impey (Barloworld) will race alongside Lance Armstrong in 2010.
    Article published:
    January 26, 2011, 11:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Pegasus victim to South African Continental team

    Daryl Impey is returning to his roots in 2011, and has signed with the South African Continental-ranked MTN Qhubeka team. Impey, who rode for Team RadioShack in 2010, had signed with the ill-fated Pegasus project for this season.

    "I am really appreciative about the opportunity that MTN Qhubeka has given me,” the 26-year-old said on his new team's website. “I originally signed a two year contract with Pegasus. Unfortunately our financial backer dropped us at the last moment (mid December) leaving my new teammates and I jobless."

    Being left without a team so late in the year was a difficult situation. “So when Douglas Ryder, team owner of MTN Qhubeka offered me a place on the team, I did not think twice about accepting it.”

    He already has his eyes on a higher goal, saying, “I share Douglas’ dream of getting a South African team to qualify for the Tour de France. It is going to be tough but it is doable challenge.”

    Impey's first goals are local. “My first big goal is to get good results at the South African Road Championship in Port Elizabeth. I will be going flat out to try and win the road race as well as the individual time trial.”

    His new team will also ride some European races in May and June. “We will be competing in some of the UCI 2.2-events. Getting the chance to win international races is going to be a good confidence booster. I want to get my name back up in international cycling where it belongs

  • Schleck gutted and disappointed after losing Tour de France

    All eyes will be on Andy Schleck in 2011.
    Article published:
    January 26, 2011, 13:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Says Contador knows what he thinks of him

    Andy Schleck needed solitude and time to get over losing the Tour de France by 39 seconds. “I was not physically tired, but gutted mentally, exhausted and very disappointed,” he told the French newspaper L'Equipe.

     “Just at the foot of the podium in Paris, when I saw Contador in the yellow jersey, was when I realised that I had lost the Tour and it fell upon me like a boulder,” he said. “I needed to isolate myself, to put some distance between myself and others.”

    Schleck, who in 2010 rode for Saxo Bank, acknowledged that the turning point of the Tour was when he dropped his chain on stage 15. While the Luxembourger struggled with his equipment, Alberto Contador attacked and went on to take the leader's jersey, which he held until the end.

    “Without this incident, he wouldn't have gotten away,” Schleck said. “I have regrets.”

    The 25-year-old, who now rides for Leopard Trek, also said that their “hug” on the Tourmalet, several stages later, was not any kind of show of friendship, but a staged act by the Spaniard.

    “I have my arm on his shoulder, but I am not doing anything. It was his way of saying, look, we are friends (….) But he knows what I think of him, and he knows that if we find ourselves in the Tour, I won't wait for mechanical trouble.”

  • No decision yet on Geox-TMC invitation to the Vuelta

    The 2011 Vuelta a Espana route
    Article published:
    January 26, 2011, 16:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race director would welcome Contador

    Organisers of the Vuelta a España remain undecided regarding Geox-TMC's participation in the event this year. The Spanish team has already been excluded from the Tour de France although race director Julian Guillen stated separately that Alberto Contador would be welcome at the race.

    Geox-TMC's two captains have both done well in the Vuelta in the past; Denis Menchov won the race in 2005 and 2007 while Carlos Sastre has finished on the podium three times.

    As a Professional Continental team, Geox-TMC would need a wildcard invitation to the Vuelta. The wildcards are “unrestricted,” Guillen told Europa Press. The Tour de France “is entitled to issue its invitations as it sees fit. I respect that. We also have freedom for our criteria in the selection of teams.”

    He put the blame on the team, however. “Perhaps the question would be not why Geox is not one of the four wildcards, but why the team has not satisfied the qualification criteria which required it to be among the 16 or 18 which are automatically invited.”

    Guillen said that the invitations would be issued “after the Giro d'Italia”. He added that “I do not deny that Sastre and Menchov are highly qualified riders. A decision has not yet been made, but they are also not excluded.”

    “Delighted” to have Contador

    Guillen also said that he would be “delighted” to have Alberto Contador ride the Vuelta this year. Contador is scheduled to hear this week whether he will be suspended for a positive doping control from the Tour de France.

    If Contador is found guilty and given a...

  • Dueñas sentenced for 2008 Tour de France doping case

    Moises Dueñas Nevado (now ex-Barloworld)
    Article published:
    January 26, 2011, 18:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Criminal court in Tarbes gives Spaniard suspended sentence

    More than two years after testing positive for EPO at the 2008 Tour de France, former Barloworld rider Moises Dueñas Nevado has been sentenced in criminal court in Tarbes, France.

    Dueñas received a four-month suspended sentence and a fine of €3,000 - 2,000 of which was suspended, according to LaDépê

    The now-retired Spaniard was one of several riders to test positive at the 2008 Tour, and after his failed doping control, police searched his hotel room in Tarbes and found a number of banned substances and medical equipment. He was convicted of possession of poisonous substances. Along with blood bags, syringes and saline used to adjust the rider's blood values, policed seized Viagra and a masking agent from Dueñas's hotel room.

    Prior to the conclusion of his criminal case, Dueñas received a reduced, one-year suspension from the Spanish federation. He said at the end of 2009 that he was seeking a professional team for the 2010 season, and there were rumours he would join the Xacobeo-Galicia team, but the contract never materialized.

    According to the report, Dueñas ended his professional career, but still races as an amateur (with the Supermercados Froiz team in 2010) and works as a ski instructor.

  • Contador to receive one-year ban for Clenbuterol positive

    Alberto Contador in the Saxo Bank colours
    Article published:
    January 26, 2011, 18:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spanish federation decision final on February 9

    The Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC) has decided to impose a one-year ban on 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador for his Clenbuterol positive, El Pais reported today.

    Contador confirmed this afternoon that the RFEC proposed the one-year ban, and will hold a press conference on Friday, January 28, at 16:00, at the Hotel Son Net in Palma de Mallorca along with his new Saxo Bank team manager Bjarne Riis.

    Contador has 10 days to appeal the decision before the final opinion is issued on February 9.

    Contador tested positive for a low level of the banned substance Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France's second rest day in Pau. He claimed the adverse finding was the result of contaminated meat. He was provisionally suspended by the UCI in September after the announcement of the test results was made.

    Contador signed with the Saxo Bank team before the doping controversy erupted, and has been preparing for the season with the team at a training camp in Mallorca this week.

    Contador stands to be stripped of his title in the Tour, his third victory in the race and fifth Grand Tour win.

    More on the story as it unfolds.

  • Tour of Battenkill gains support from New York State bike club

    The peloton passing a secluded country home on Mountain Road
    Article published:
    January 26, 2011, 23:57 GMT
    Kirsten Frattini

    USA Cycling maintains its position on UCI rules

    Albany-based Capital Bicycle Racing Club President Constantine Kontogiannis has written a letter to USA Cycling asking it to grant Tour of Battenkill organizer Dieter Drake's request to be a National Racing Calendar (NRC) 1.HC event held on April 10 in Cambridge, New York.

    In the letter, Kontogiannis also threatened to contact New York State Attorney General and US Senators should USA Cycling not allow ProTeam and ProContinental teams participate in the single-day classic.

    "I fully expect the USAC to adopt this position immediately and to start advocating (in earnest) for single-day road classics like the Tour of the Battenkill, instead of continuing its current unfair and arbitrary practices of selective favoritism for certain lower category events," Kontogiannis wrote in a letter to USA Cycling Chief Operating Officer, Sean Petty.

    "If you choose to ignore this request, I will be contacting the NYS Attorney General, both New York-based U.S. Senators, and every newspaper from New York City to Buffalo. And I will be meeting with the other clubs in early February to discuss our relationship with the USAC going forward."

    The dispute between Drake and USA Cycling came to a boiling point this month when the national governing body announced that the International Cycling Union (UCI) would allow ProTeam and Professional Continental teams to participate in NRC level criteriums which would be added to the UCI Criterium Calendar, according to code 2.7.005.

    USAC said in a statement that the situation was all due to pre-existing rules, and hopes to resolve the issue through dialogue.

    The announcement came on the heels of the UCI's decision to strictly enforce rule 2.1.009 that prohibits such teams from competing in national level events on the road such as stage races and single-day events like the Tour of Battenkill.

    However, Drake felt that allowing ProTeams and Professional Continental teams to participate in NRC...

  • BMC ProTeam status to boost Evans' Tour chances

    Cadel Evans and Tim Roe at the BMC team presentation in Denia, Spain.
    Article published:
    January 27, 2011, 0:26 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Photo gallery from BMC team presentation

    Cadel Evans believes that BMC’s ProTeam licence will help him arrive at this year’s Tour de France in a fresher state than in 2010. Last season, the Australian began his season at the Tour Down Under and rode for the general classification at the Giro d’Italia as his team sought to earn an invitation to the Tour.

    “Last year’s Giro-Tour plan was partly because we were a Pro Continental team and we didn’t know whether we’d have the start in the Tour or not,” Evans told Cyclingnews at BMC’s training camp in Denia, Spain.

    BMC’s automatic Tour de France invitation means that Evans will start his campaign almost eight weeks later this season, at the Strade Bianche. The 2009 world champion estimates that he will reach July with around twenty days less racing in his legs than he did last time around.

    “One year in my life I have to really concentrate on the Tour and this year, with the period it is in my career and so on, was the year to do it,” he said.

    “I’ve always in the past years arrived at the Tour quite fatigued and quite tired and obviously it’s not good for a three-week race. Hopefully I’ll get there a little fresher and have a little bit less bad luck when I get there.”

    In the second half of the season, Evans will focus his energies on the Vuelta a España, where he finished 3rd in 2009.

    The importance of ProTeam status

    BMC directeur sportif John Lelangue explained that the Tour de France will be the team’s major objective of 2011. He also reiterated the importance of BMC’s ProTeam status, as it allows Evans and his teammates to plot out their programme further in advance than last season.

    “Of course the Tour with Cadel is very important,” he said at the team presentation in Denia on Wednesday. “We’re building a team around him and...

  • Vaughters baffled by Lowe situation

    Jonathan Vaughters has transformed Slipstream
    Article published:
    January 27, 2011, 3:38 GMT
    Les Clarke

    Garmin-Cervélo boss rues former rider's actions

    After yesterday's revelations that former Garmin-Transitions rider Trent Lowe threatened to release details about former US Postal team physician Dr Luis Garcia del Moral during a contract dispute, team boss Jonathan Vaughters says he's baffled why the Australian chose to take his current course of action.

    It followed the dismissal of former Garmin directeur sportif Matt White, who referred Lowe to del Moral's clinic in Valencia. Slipstream Sports fired White on the grounds that his actions contravened team policy concerning the use of physicians not approved by the squad's medical staff prior to any consultation.

    According to a press release issued by Slipstream Sports yesterday, Lowe "threatened to publicly expose certain information relating to Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral unless Slipstream acceded to their demands, which included a payment of $500,000".

    "That's a figure ($500,000) that was given to us by Martin Hardie; that's just a figure he came up with and the implication is that he would release information that showed [Slipstream Sports doctor] Prentice [Steffen] and myself overlooked del Moral's name on letterheads if we chose not to comply with the $500,000 demand," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    "I don't know what Trent's motivations are in all this; Trent's a nice guy, a respectful person and I've always liked him a lot. I don't know what kind of advice he's getting from the outside at this point in time."

    Lowe had been advised by Martin Hardie, a law lecturer at Deakin University in Geelong, Australia, and Vaughters says that the team has only had contact with the man who organised last year's anti-doping conference which featured presentations by the likes of Floyd...