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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 13, 2013

Date published:
June 13, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Ullrich: Lance Armstrong case severely damaged cycling

    A satisfied Jan Ullrich speaks to the press after his Tour de Suisse win
    Article published:
    June 12, 2013, 12:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Again admits to making mistakes in own career, without details

    The Lance Armstrong affair has caused “enormous damage” to cycling, according to his former rival Jan Ullrich. The German, who is currently serving a two-year suspension for his involvement with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, refused to directly confess to doping during his career, but admitted that all the riders of the era did the same things.

    “I don't want anything bad to happen to anyone, not even to Lance. But I always said that Lance wouldn't get away with it” Ullrich told the SportBild magazine.

    He did not comment directly on Armstrong's doping, but focused on other aspects of the affair. “Lance made too many enemies. He always wanted to be the boss and at times was merciless to those working for him. That was extreme."

    “It is too bad that cycling received enormous damage from this Armstrong story, especially in Germany. My partner Alpecin was just about to start a project in pro cycling with German riders,” plans which were cancelled “after Armstrong”.

    As before, Ullrich would not directly address doping charges against himself,saying only “I made mistakes, but I'm not a bad person.” And when confronted with his earlier statement that he had never betrayed anyone since all the riders were doing the same thing, he answered “Exactly”.

    Ullrich was suspended by Team T-Mobile on the eve of the 2006 Tour de France in the aftermath of Operacion Puerto, and was subsequently fired by the team. He announced his retirement in February 2007. Shortly thereafter he was matched via DNA sampling to blood stored by Fuentes.

    Years of lawsuits and legal cases ensued, finally culminating in a Court of Arbitration for Sport decision in...

  • Torri replaced as CONI's anti-doping prosecutor

    CONI prosecutor Ettore Torri delivers decision on Alejandro Valverde next week
    Article published:
    June 12, 2013, 14:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Vini Fantini management and Monsalve to answer questions on Santambrogio case

    Ettore Torri has been replaced as the Italian Olympic Committee’s anti-doping prosecutor following a CONI assembly in Rome on Tuesday. Torri’s replacement is 55-year-old Tammaro Maiello, a prosecutor with the Court of Audit in Rome.

    The 80-year-old Torri had served in the role since 2006. Before joining CONI, Torri worked as an investigative magistrate in the Italian penal sector.

    Under Torri’s stewardship, CONI was to the forefront in suspending riders who were implicated in the Operacion Puerto blood doping investigation. Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi served suspensions after admitting their links to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes.

    Alejandro Valverde was also suspended when CONI matched his DNA to blood bags seized from Fuentes. Valverde was tested by CONI when the Tour de France visited Pratonevoso in 2008.

    Torri stoked controversy in 2010 when he asserted that doping was still widespread in cycling and would never be eradicated fully, although a little over a year later he acknowledged that some progress was being made.

    Changes were also made to the structure of CONI’s National Anti-Doping Tribunal in Tuesday’s meeting. Francesco Plotino has stepped down as president and the body has been broken into two sections – one to deal with amateur athletes, the other to deal with professionals.

    Vini Fantini management and Monsalve called to Rome

    Meanwhile, the Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has called members of Vini Fantini-Selle Italia’s management to Rome to discuss Mauro Santambrogio’s positive test for EPO during the Giro d’Italia.


  • Bianchi Oltre XR2 and XR2 Disc launched for 2014

    Bianchi Oltre XR2 Disc - a brand new disc brake road bike from Bianchi for 2014
    Article published:
    June 12, 2013, 15:45 BST
    Robin Wilmott

    Updates to road and mountain bike range

    Bianchi have launched two new road bikes for 2014, the Oltre XR2 and Oltre XR2 Disc. These two machines are the standouts in what looks to be a major overhaul to Bianchi's range for next season, with most of the road and mountain bikes being new.

    The Oltre XR2 is specced with Shimano Dura-Ace 9000 and Fulcrum Racing Speed XLR carbon tubulars, while the Oltre XR2 Disc comes with SRAM Red 22 hydraulic shifting with FSA and Vision components.

    Also on the road side there are updates to the Infinito CV, Sempre Pro, Intenso, Impulso, Via Nirone 7 and Dama Bianca range.

    Off road, the highlights are the 27.5" eLECT Ethanol and the all new Jab. We spotted an interesting new Magura electronic suspension lockout system, dubbed DLO.

  • Kristoff claims his fifth victory of the season in Switzerland

    Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) on the podium
    Article published:
    June 12, 2013, 20:15 BST
    Cycling News

    After stage victory, Norwegian looks forward to Tour de France

    Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) used his powerful sprint to earn the victory in the 176km stage 5 of the Tour de Suisse from Buochs to Leuggern on Wednesday.

    "I'm very happy with this victory," said Kristoff. "It's the fifth win of my 2013, I'm living a great season. I also know today it's the Independence Day in Russia: I'm happy I gave them another reason to celebrate."

    The Norwegian rider defeated top challengers Peter Sagan (Cannondale) and Arnaud Demare (FDJ).

    The sprinters' teams kept a four-man break under control during the relatively flat stage, and after they were caught with 23km to go, Katush began to set up its train for what would be a slightly uphill finishing straight.

    Kristoff said, "Once again I have to thank my teammates: they did a great job, and I was in the best position in order to win. This performance confirms that I'm a good way toward my top form."

    "Obviously, my goal is to take part in the Tour de France at my best, but I still want to put in some other good performance here in Switzerland."

    This year, Kristoff also won three stages of the Tour of Norway and a stage of the Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde.

  • Vayer casts doubt over performances of Indurain and Jalabert

    Spain's Miguel Indurain celebrates his fifth consecutive win in 1995
    Article published:
    June 12, 2013, 21:03 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Says Armstrong was some way behind in doping race

    Former Festina coach Antoine Vayer has cast doubt on performances produced by Miguel Indurain and Laurent Jalabert in Grand Tours during the 1990s, describing them as only being achievable by “mutants”. Working in collaboration with French daily Le Monde, Vayer has been calculating the power output of the sport’s top stage racers on major climbs since 1999 and has regularly suggested that many of them were beyond belief.

    Asked about the World Anti-Doping Agency’s description of disgraced Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong as benefiting from “the most effective doping program in history,” Vayer responded, “With his record average of 438 watts on the 2001 Tour, ‘The Boss’ only manages sixth place in our palmarès. He looks almost like a bit-part player next to ‘king’ Miguel Indurain, who has five Tours to his credit. The Spaniard seems unlikely to be dethroned thanks to his average of 455 watts in the 1995 edition… The fact that Armstrong’s reign began after the Festina affair in 1998 and the introduction of the EPO test forced him to pay more ‘attention’. He couldn’t take EPO in an unlimited way like his predecessors”.

    Speaking to Le Monde two days before the publication of his new book, "La Preuve par 21", which investigates the power output of Tour de France winners since 1983, Vayer also put together a list of the Tour winners who had produced the greatest power output over the course of the last 30 years, ranking Indurain (1995 version) at the top with 455 watts, ahead of Bjarne Riis (449) and Marco Pantani (446).

    According to Vayer’s rating scale, any figure over 450 falls into the “mutant” category, while those between 430 and 450 are described as “miraculous”. Three more Tour winners appear among the “miraculous” – Jan Ullrich (441), Alberto Contador in...

  • Swiss Cycling Federation backing of McQuaid called into question

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    June 12, 2013, 22:26 BST
    Cycling News

    Challenge to endorsement for UCI presidency

    Pat McQuaid was the recipient of more unfavourable news today as L'Equipe reported that the Swiss Cycling Federation's endorsement of McQuaid for election to a third term as UCI president has been challenged by members of the Federation.

    After backing by his native Cycling Ireland came under fire from within the organisation in late April, McQuaid turned to Switzerland for support in his bid for re-election as UCI president (candidates need the endorsement of a national federation to run for office). McQuaid qualified for Swiss Cycling Federation backing having resided in Switzerland since 2005.

    The Swiss Federation endorsed McQuaid's nomination in mid-May, but now an appeal has been lodged regarding that decision.

    "We received a complaint Tuesday. It comes from three members of Swiss Cycling," said Selina Küpfer, Swiss Cycling Federation spokesperson. Küpfer indicated that a Swiss Cycling arbitration tribunal would decide on the matter, but no timetable has yet been announced.

    McQuaid has been under sustained pressure since USADA's Reasoned Decision was published in October, 2012, regarding the investigation of doping at the US Postal Service team.

    After initially believing he'd run unopposed for the UCI presidency, McQuaid received a challenge last week from British Cycling president Brian Cookson who announced his own candidacy for UCI president.

  • Visconti, Debusschere out of Tour de Suisse

    Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 1:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Separate crashes cause race-ending injuries

    Two crashes marred the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse with Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) forced to abandon while Lotto Belisol's Jens Debusschere fractured a bone in his wrist.

    Visconti had been placed fourth overall heading into Wednesday's stage before a crash early in the day ended his race. According to his team, the Italian crashed at high speed and suffered multiple abrasions. He was taken to hospital in Baden for further treatment with several stitches required in his left thigh while serious injury was ruled out.

    The 30-year-old will arrive back in Italy on Thursday to continue his recovery.

    Meantime, Debusschere's crash occurred with a little over 30km remaining in the stage. The 23-year-old was one of several riders that came down when a bus forced a narrowing of the road. Debusschere was able to complete the stage however it was revealed later in hospital that he had suffered a fractured ulna.

    "There is nothing to be done, crashes happen when you are a cyclist," the Belgian said. "I was riding in the middle of the peloton when a signal man indicated that we had to swerve. Some riders hit the brakes and then we came together. I could not move out.

    "I immediately felt that something wasn't right but I decided to ride on because the damage might not be that bad."

    Debusschere will rest for a few days before resuming training on the rollers.

  • Dauphiné performance earns Veilleux Tour start

    The latest issue of CN HD
    Article published:
    June 13, 2013, 4:05 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Europcar rider says he’s in the form of his career

    David Veilleux went into his first Critérium du Dauphine with the hope of a good performance, while supporting his team-mates. He came out with an impressive haul of one stage win, three days in yellow and a spot on Europcar’s Tour de France team.

    The Canadian rider became only the second from his country to wear the Dauphiné’s yellow jersey, after soloing to victory on stage one. “I had an opportunity and I had to seize the moment,” Veilleux explains to Cycling News HD.

    “We had 10 minutes in the breakaway and that doesn’t happen often in a stage. Plus the extra, taking the yellow jersey, it was very incredible. I talked with Thomas [Voeckler] a little bit after. He advised me on how to manage the media and the attention and how to focus it a little bit and just being stronger on the bike.”

    His brief jaunt in yellow only lasted until the time trial, on stage four, where he lost almost four minutes. Needless to say his performance impressed the Europcar management. Rumour spread quickly, among the Canadian press, that the 25-year-old would line-up in Corsica.

    It wasn’t, actually, until after he’d finish the gruelling Dauphiné, that he was told he’d made the cut. “They officially announced my place on the team on Monday,” says the Europcar rider. “It is fantastic. It’s been a dream since I started riding my bike. It was the first race that I watched on the TV, it was the only race that we had. For every cyclist it is a dream to ride the Tour de France.”

    Veilleux will be riding the Tour de France in support of team-mates Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland. The duo has given the French team a victory every year since the car rental company took over as sponsor. For now, Veilleux is just happy to start the race he’s been dreaming of for so long and keeping...