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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 25, 2013

Date published:
July 25, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Boasson Hagen eying the road world championships

    Stage 3 winner Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) on the podium
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 14:41 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider starting back with light training after Tour de France crash

    Edvald Boasson Hagen is back on the rollers training again for the first time since breaking his shoulder in a crash at the Tour de France. The Team Sky rider now has his sights firmly set on the world championships in Florence, Italy, the end of  September.

    The Norwegian had to leave the Tour de France during the 12th stage, when a crash left him with a broken shoulder blade. As of Monday, he was able to start light training again, although he does not yet know when he can train on the road again.

    He was very unhappy to have to leave the Tour as he did. “It is very bitter to crash. There are many crashes I could have been involved in, but managed to avoid. To crash and to abandon some races is natural, but it is bitter when crashing out of the Tour de France, the biggest race of the year.”

    “I figure I'll be ready for the world championships. There has been good progress,” he told  “It has only been one and a half weeks since I broke my shoulder and I'm back with a sling and it is almost normal.

    “In the beginning I could not move my arm. After that I started to get movement in the shoulder and train. I relaxed a bit and watched the Tour de France.”

    He now has his eye on the Worlds, and the difficult course in Florence.  “I have not looked so closely at it. It is a hard course. If I am in good shape, I can stay (with the leaders). This is a course  that sprinters will not keep up with.”

    Boasson Hagen won silver last year at the Worlds behind Philippe Gilbert...

  • Vaughters on Senate report: The findings are more important than the names

    Garmin-Sharp manager Jonathan Vaughters was present in Milan for the unveiling of the new leaders' jerseys for the 2013 Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 16:17 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Calls for standardization from WADA with stripping results

    Jonathan Vaughters has warned that focusing on the names of the positive and suspicious athletes listed in the French Senate’s report from the 1998 Tour de France detracts from the main essence and findings within the actual dossier.

    On Wednesday morning, the  French Senate delivered their report after having interviewed over 83 individuals including Pat McQuaid, Travis Tygart and Laurent Jalabert in a time frame going back to February. The report wasn’t a singular expose into systematic doping from that year’s race, instead the committee branched out into several sports, including cycling, and asked several key questions before making recommendations for the future.

    “I suppose that knowing that these tests can be done years later is a good deterrent and a good lesson for current riders. In 1998, they thought that EPO was never going to be detectable so it’s an interesting angle that your samples can be tested years later. That’s a good thing,” Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    “I find it a little disappointing that people are concerned with or looking for some definitive list because the reality is that if you look at the stats, probably less than one third of riders in the race were even tested for it. I don’t really think the list has any particular validity in terms of who was and who wasn’t.”

    The list of names including the 1998 Tour winner Marco Pantani and second placed rider Jan Ullrich, the latter who has already admitted to doping during his career. Third placed rider Bobby Julich was listed under suspicious but admitted to doping during the race in October last year. However the names listed are best described as a collection of...

  • O'Grady admits EPO use ahead of 1998 Tour de France

    Australian Stuart O'Grady pulled on the maillot jaune in the 2001 Tour after a breakaway
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 17:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian rider claims limited use of performance enhancing substance

    Stuart O'Grady (Orica GreenEdge) admitted to taking EPO before the 1998 Tour de France, telling The Herald Sun that "Leading into the Tour, I made a decision."

    O'Grady announced his retirement from competitive cycling on Monday, a day after completing this year's Tour de France. It had been expected that he would continue into the 2014 season, but his retirement came just days before a report by the French Senate revealed that he had returned a suspicious sample during the 1998 Tour.

    "I sourced it (EPO) myself. There was no one else involved. It didn't involve the team in any way," he told The Herald Sun.

    "I just had to drive over the border and buy it at any pharmacy. The hardest part of all this is I did it for two weeks before the Tour de France. I used extremely cautious amounts because I'd heard a lot of horror stories and did the absolute minimum of what I hoped would get me through. When the Festina Affair happened, I smashed it, got rid of it and that was the last I ever touched it."

    "That's the hardest thing to swallow out of all this - it was such a long time ago and one very bad judgement is going to taint a lot of things and people will have a lot of questions."

    O'Grady won a stage and wore yellow in the 1998 Tour.

    He rode with the French team Gan that year and later went onto forge a career as one of the most consistent one day riders of his generation, culminating in a Paris-Roubaix title. He joined Orica GreenEdge in their 2012 debut season.

    "After my first Tour (in 1997) when I was dropped after 5km on a mountain day and you're questioning what the hell I am doing in this sport, you're not anywhere near competitive at something you're supposed to be pretty good at."

    "It wasn't systematic doping, I wasn't trying to deceive people, I was basically...

  • UCI responds to French Senate doping report

    The Tour de France peloton on another lap of the Champs-Élysées
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 20:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Governing organization says cycling has cleaned itself up

    Following the French Senate's report, which listed positive and suspicious doping rider test results EPO at the 1998 Tour de France, the UCI issued the following statement:

    "In recent years, cycling has been totally transformed. It is now possible to race and win clean and there is a new culture within the peloton where riders support and believe in clean cycling. Cycling now has the most sophisticated and effective anti-doping infrastructure in world sport. Today, cycling leads the way in the fight against doping in sport," said the UCI.

    "In view of the revelations that were made over the past year it has become clear that in the late 1990s and early 2000s, many riders made bad choices during a very bad period for cycling.

    "It is apparently in this context that the report, part of a French Senate inquiry on how effective the fight against doping has been in France, refers to the retesting of samples taken during the 1998 Tour de France.

    "The UCI as well as other anti-doping organizations have all been aware of the fact that samples from the 1998 Tour de France were retested in 2004 for the purpose of a research programme. Since 2005, it has also been known that according to these research results a number of samples contained EPO.

    "The retroactive testing of the 1998 Tour riders’ samples was carried out by the French laboratory as scientific research and not according to technical standards for anti-doping analyses. In addition, the principles of anonymity and prior consent from the riders for scientific analyses were not respected. The results therefore could not be accepted as valid proof in an anti-doping context - and the UCI could not open retrospective disciplinary proceedings.

    "As it was not possible to prove that the riders concerned had doped and no B-analysis was available as a defense,...

  • Cycling reacts to 1998 EPO positives report

    Christophe Bassons signs autographs during the 1999 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 21:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Bassons, NetApp-Endura, Cookson and others comment

    The cycling world has started to react to the news of the positive EPO doping controls from the 1998 and 1999 Tours de France, especially as the names of the riders began to leak out. Cyclingnews has gathered a variety of comments on the affair.

    Christophe Bassons rode the 1998 and 1999 Tours de France, and was outspokenly anti-doping. So outspoken, in fact, that a virtual “shunning”, led by Lance Armstrong, whom he had publicly criticized, caused him to abandon the 1999 Tour midway through. “This list does not surprise me at all,” he told RTL. “The new generation will not do the same crap, but it requires that  those people who have lived a lie for so long not be at the heads of teams or are TV consultants, coaches or others ... (...) I think it is necessary to clean it."

    He added, “For me, some riders were doped in the Tour in 2013. I am convinced of that.”

    Jan Ullrich has confessed to being a client of Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes for blood doping, but has never admitted to any other doping. He was found to have tested positive twice for EPO during the 1998 Tour. “He has no comment at this time,” his manager Falk Nier told Cyclingnews.

    Jens Heppner, named as having tested positive at the 1998 Tour, is currently a sports director at Team NetApp-Endura.  He did not have a comment, but his team did. “The subsequent tests on samples from 1998 have nothing to do with the successful work that Jens Heppner has provided our team since 2010,” said team manager Ralph Denk. “I know that the results have nothing in common with the way in which we have been successfully promoting a new...

  • Orica GreenEdge expresses support for O'Grady

    Shayne Bannan (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 23:03 BST
    Cycling News

    General Manager Shayne Bannan comments on his former rider

    Prior to his retirement earlier this week after this year's Tour de France, Stuart O'Grady was racing for the Orica GreenEdge team. On Wednesday, O'Grady was one of the riders named by the French Senate committee as having tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour de France. Afterward, O'Grady admitted his guilt.

    Orica GreenEdge's Team General Manager Shayne Bannan offered comments in support of his former rider O'Grady.

    "Orica GreenEdge supports Stuart O'Grady's decision to step forward and place the findings of the French Senate Report of today into perspective regarding his own past," said Bannan.

    "The team would also like to express its support in Stuart as a person and as an advocate for a clean sport. Like the majority of the riders in his generation, he was also exposed to the issues and wrongdoings of the sport and made some wrong choices in that environment.

    "We would like to underline that in all of our interactions with Stuart, he has always been extremely clear about the right path for the sport and we believe that certain mistakes in the past shouldn’t be allowed to tarnish his entire career and his integrity as a person.

    "Orica GreenEdge is proud to work in a sport that is at the forefront of the fight against doping and that we compete and win as a 100% clean team. The sport has undergone a revolution in setting up the right future for cycling and we consider ourselves one of the strongest advocates for this."

  • Lance Armstrong reacts to French report into 1998 Tour positives

    Stefano Garzelli, Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso on the 2005 stage to Ax-3 Domaines
    Article published:
    July 24, 2013, 23:38 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Banned American calls for a line to be drawn

    Lance Armstrong has reiterated a call for cycling to address its doping past in a collective and cooperative manner, telling Cyclingnews that "If we don't come together, have the conversation and draw a line in the sand and then move on, we're all screwed."

    Armstrong was stripped of seven Tour titles, which he won from 1999 to 2005 after USADA's investigation in doping at US Postal.

    In 1998 Armstrong was still recovering from cancer and missed that year's Tour before returning at the end of the season to finish fourth at the Vuelta and the Worlds. His first Tour was widely accepted at the time as the 'Tour of renewal' as cycling looked to turn a corner after the Festina affair. However this week the 1998 has returned to the front pages with the French Senate releasing a list of riders who tested positive for EPO during the race.

    Contacted by Cyclingnews, he was asked for a reaction to the news that the French Senate released the names of riders who tested positive for EPO during the 1998 Tour. The list included several of Armstrong's rivals from the era, along with his one-time teammate Kevin Livingston.

    "My initial reaction is that I am not surprised. As I have said, it was an unfortunate era for all of us and virtually all of us broke the rules, and lied about it," he told Cyclingnews.

    The French Senate were quick to stress that they could not sanction riders, with the B samples not tested and the results analysed in 2004. The race results also remain intact with the late Marco Pantani, Jan Ullrich and Bobby Julich keeping their podium places. It's a contrast to Armstrong's situation, after the American was...

  • Women's Cycling Association takes proactive approach to advancement

    Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis) shows off her stylishly matching nail polish.
    Article published:
    July 25, 2013, 1:59 BST
    Pat Malach

    US-based lobby group hope for global representation

    Long before Amaury Sport Organization chairman Jean-Etienne Amaury announced this week that his group would be open to a return of the women's Tour de France, Robin Farina had already seen the writing on the wall.

    The 2011 USA road race champion said last week that there was no way the organization that owns the Tour de France could simply ignore a petition from current world champion Marianne Vos and former world champion Emma Pooley calling for a return of the women's race in 2014.

    Christian Prudhomme, director of the Tour de France, had previously dismissed the petition by swatting the air with the back of his hand and telling reporters the ASO had nothing to say. But the riders' petition, in operation since July 12, has already attracted the support of nearly 70,000 people. Amaury, like many others, has realized women's cycling will not be ignored.

    "Obviously there's a lot of momentum," said Farina, who has ridden with the Now & Novartis for MS team for the past three seasons. "The director of the Tour is going to have to take it seriously and at least answer the questions, if not make plans to have one."

    In the US, Farina is part of a new group of female riders who are determined to raise the profile – and financial viability – of their sport. The fledgling Women's Cycling Association is the brainchild of Farina and Janel Holcomb, the Optum-Kelly Benefits Strategy rider who topped the National Race Calendar individual standings in 2011.

    The group met for the first time after the 2013 Philly Cycling Classic, just one week after the women's US Pro Road championships in Chattanooga, Tennessee, marked the first time the women's races were held at the same time and place as the men's. The 2013 US pro championships were also the first to