TechPowered By

More tech

First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 19, 2009

Date published:
November 19, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Samuel Sánchez looks on the bright side of 2009

    Olympic champion Samuel Sanchez climbs past the iconic Madonna del Ghisallo chapel.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 16:36 GMT
    Hernan Alvarez

    Sánchez pleased with season of consistency

    Samuel Sánchez has drawn on the positives of what has been a season of near misses for the Euskaltel-Euskadi captain in 2009. Despite only taking one victory - at the GP Llodio in March - the 31-year-old told Cyclingnews that has been pleased with his performances throughout the year.

    "It was a very good year for me, especially the consistency that I showed during a big part of the season," said Sanchez. "I would have liked to get more wins; I’ve got a very big collection of second places, but I think one should look at the positive side of everything.

    "I was able to fight for the win at the Vuelta a España, the World Championships, the Giro di Lombardia and the Vuelta al Pais Vasco. Those are the things that will remain with me from this year."

    The Olympic road race champion pointed to his second place finish at the Vuelta a España in September as his personal highlight of the 2009 season. A favourite for victory in the Grand Tour, Sánchez finished 55 seconds behind compatriot Alejandro Valverde.

    "The best thing was to be up there in the Vuelta a España, fighting it out with Alejandro Valverde, Cadel Evans and Ivan Basso. I think it was a beautiful race and we were all there battling it out until the end."

    Third overall at the Vuelta in 2007 and second this year, Sánchez said Valverde was a deserved winner of his first Grand Tour title. For Sánchez it was the closest he has come to his own maiden victory in a three-week race.

    "This year I was 55 seconds behind Alejandro. It's a short distance, but I didn’t perform well enough to be able to step at...

  • Armstrong a bigger Tour threat next year, says Evans

    World Champ Cadel Evans looks ahead to seeing Lance Armstrong in Australia
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 17:29 GMT
    Gregor Brown

    World Champion Evans looks forward to 2010 battles with Lance Armstrong in Australia, France

    Lance Armstrong will be even more of a threat at the 2010 Tour de France, according to World Champion Cadel Evans

    "He's going to be bigger and more dangerous than in 2009. I think we'll see Armstrong at another level in 2010," Evans told Australian news agency AAP.

    Armstrong returned to cycling this year following a three-year retirement. The seven-time Tour de France winner finished third in this year's edition of the Tour, after a battle for victory with his Astana teammate and eventual winner Alberto Contador.

    In contrast, Evans had a poor Tour de France and was unable to top second place finishes in 2007 and 2008. He finished in 30th, 45 minutes back from Contador, but bounced back to form in time to record victory at the World Championship road race in September.

    He will face Armstrong for the first time since the 2009 Tour de France at next year's Tour Down Under, January 17 to 24.

    "It's fun racing against someone when you're [both in bad shape], actually," Evans continued. "So we'll probably be able to enjoy it more than at the Tour."

    Evans' new team BMC Racing became one of the first teams to receive a wild card invitation to the Tour Down Under. The first Australian to win the World Championship road race, Evans will now have the opportunity to display his rainbow jersey on home soil.

    As a Professional Continental squad Evans' team must also rely on a wild card invitation to next year's Tour de France. Although there is a possibility that BMC could miss out on an invitation, Evans said he expects to do battle with Armstrong at the Tour de France once more.

    "Maybe I will miss out on the Tour, but I think we have all the capabilities to prove we deserve a place."

    Follow Cyclingnews...

  • Now online: The 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll

    Enter your selections in the 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll for your chance to win an Argon18 Krypton bike.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 17:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    One lucky reader will win an Argon18 Krypton bike

    It's that time of year again...the 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll is now online.

    Each year, we give you the chance to select the riders, teams, races, moments, equipment and photos that have really stood out from the pack in the last 12 months. To keep things simple, we'll be asking you to vote from a fixed selection in each category, so the survey should take you less than five minutes to complete.

    As an incentive, we'll be giving away an Argon18 Krypton bike - courtesy of those lovely people at FRF Sports - to one lucky entrant. Valued at USD5,500 (AUD6,000/GBP3,300) the carbon frame comes with SRAM Red, Fast Forward F4R Clinchers, RavX bar, stem and seatpost, Speedplay Zero Cro-moly pedals and carbon bottle cages, so hurry up and vote!

    Entries for the 2009 Cyclingnews reader poll will close at midnight, December 31, 2009.

    Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world -


  • Schumacher among five Beijing athletes sanctioned by IOC

    Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 19:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    German joins Rebellin in disqualification from 2008 Olympics

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced sanctions on Wednesday against five athletes, including two cyclists, who participated in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing for having committed anti-doping violations. All five tested positive for CERA, a third generation of the endurance-enhancing hormone, EPO. Stefan Schumacher joined Davide Rebellin on the list of cyclists receiving sanctions.

    Schumacher, riding for Germany, had finished 13th in the time trial. Rebellin had won a silver medal in the road race. The news comes after the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) said it would review a request from the IOC to strip Rebellin of his medal and a day after UCI President Pat McQuaid confirmed that the Italian would have to forfeit his result.

    Both riders are disqualified effective immediately and their Olympic Games results have been withdrawn. They are subject to further action from the UCI. Rebellin was ordered to return his medal and diploma via the Italian National Olympic Committee.

    The samples were collected and tested at Games-time and were subject to further analysis earlier this year when a fully validated test to detect CERA became available. Originally, six athletes showed adverse analytical findings in their A samples. However, one athlete was not sanctioned due to the presence of CERA not being detected in her B sample.

    All six athletes had the opportunity to be heard by an IOC Disciplinary Commission. In his hearing, Schumacher and his lawyers maintained that he had not taken EPO CERA.

    The other sanctioned athletes are Rashid Ramzi from Bahrain (gold medallist in the 1500m in athletics); Athanasia Tsoumeleka of Greece (ninth in the 20km walking event); and Vanja Perisic of Croatia (sixth in round 1, heat 3 of 800m in athletics).

    A case against Yudelquis Maridalin Contreras of the Dominican Republic (fifth in the 53kg weightlifting event) was also heard, but she was not sanctioned due to "the...

  • Leibovitz signs with RGF Sports

    Adam Leibovitz
    Article published:
    November 18, 2009, 20:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Young track, cross, road racer joins development team

    Young racer Adam Leibovitz signed with RGF Sports Elite team for the coming season after a solid season of racing. The 19-year-old Leibovitz has been a member of the US Junior National Team for the past three years (2007-2009) and also raced at the Junior World Championships in 2008. He recently helped his team to a win in the pursuit at the US Collegiate National Championships, and he's finished third at the US Collegiate Road Nationals, Division I road race.

    It will be Leibovitz's sixth year of racing. He's raced for the Mob Squad, Mesa Cycles and Nuvo Cycling teams, and he currently rides for the Under 23 US National Team, and Marian University where he is in his sophomore year.

    Earlier this season, Leibovitz won the prologue at the Ster van Zuid Limburg, a stage race in Belgium where he finished third overall.

    "The signing of Adam Leibovitz confirms RGF Sports' commitment to provide America's top young cyclist the resources needed to reach the highest level of the sport in the United States," said Team Owner Robert "Polo" Fernandez. "Adam is a polite young man...a real gentleman; it is amazing he's only 19."

    RGF will be directed by Jeff Braumberger. Leibovitz will join the team's returning riders Jeremy Grimm, Cameron Jackson, Dave Chernosky, Stefan Kadar, Bob Martin, and Brett Sudetic as well as new recruits Nathan Larson, Christopher "Cruise" Bogedin, Cory St. Clair, and Ryan Good.

    Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling world -

  • Aussie Morton gets Garmin U23 ride

    Lachlan Morton (NSWIS) in action around the back of the 1.2 kilometre course in Ouyen.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2009, 4:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Ambitions still lay at home for 2010

    Australian youngster Lachlan Morton will spend 2010 with Jonathan Vaughters’ Felt-Holowesko Partners Garmin Under 23 squad after signing to ride with the American team. At just 17-yeard-old the opportunity to ride with Vaughters’ squad represents a remarkable opportunity for Morton.

    “I can’t think of any team I would rather join, as they have a great reputation for supporting and developing young riders,” Morton told Port Macquarie News. “The 2010 racing calendar, which I just received, includes races in Italy, France and Canada, as well as the US.”

    Morton will be the youngest member of the Felt-Holowesko Partners Garmin squad when he bases himself in Boulder, Colorado next year. Morton is well known as a youngster to watch for the future in his home state of New South Wales, having already bagged a swag of age division national titles.

    He won the United States of American Under 17 Road Championship race in 2008 while riding with the Real Aussie Kids program. He won that race ahead of Daniel Tisdell and Anders Newbury, but more importantly caught the attention of Vaughters which set the foundation of his signing to the former Discovery Channel rider’s U23 team.

    While Morton will spend much of 2010 racing in North America, the squad will allow Morton to return to Australia to qualify for the International Cycling Union (UCI) Junior Road World Championships. Making the U23 squad is one of Morton’s biggest aims for next season, according to the rider.

    “My main ambition for next year is still to represent Australia at the Junior Worlds if I can,” said Morton. “And, Garmin is very supportive of this.”

    Morton is the younger brother of 20-year-old Angus Morton, who currently rides for Australian Continental squad Drapac-Porsche.

    Follow Cyclingnews on Twitter for the very latest coverage of events taking place in the cycling...

  • Ballerini: 2010 Worlds not so simple

    Franco Ballerini (Italian national coach)
    Article published:
    November 19, 2009, 9:08 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Course open for attackers; Belgium favourite nation, says Italian

    Italian technical commissary Franco Ballerini paid a visit to Melbourne's velodrome after studying the course of the Road World Championship to be contested in Geelong, Australia, on October 3, 2010. While he had previously described the circuit as "one for sprinters", the Italian elaborated on his impressions and finally concluded that the course did have tricky parts nevertheless.

    "I heard from the comments of the Spanish coach that it was a very simple course but I don't see it this way," Ballerini told Cyclingnews this week. "It's like a classic in Belgium. I'd say it's similar to the finale of the Flèche Brabançonne."

    The national coach found the course's second hill "interesting" with 600 metres at nine to ten percent gradient and the finishing line with a gradient of four to five percent. "It's very technical indeed and it will be necessary to keep fresh legs until the finale," Ballerini added.

    External factors could also be decisive, the Italian said. "The wind will have a big role to play. The 250 metres of difference in altitude for each lap makes it a total of 2800 for the whole race which is not much compared to the 4000 or 4500 we've had in the previous world championships. But they are concentrated on the 11 laps. This excludes the 80 initial kilometres on line from Melbourne to Geelong. That can also make the race more complicated than people generally think.

    "This is definitely not a course like in Zolder", said Ballerini in reference to the first Worlds where he brought the rainbow jersey back to Italy thanks to a team that escorted Mario Cipollini to the finish. "Mark Cavendish remains virtually the hot favourite but much will depend on how Great Britain will be able to keep the bunch together and it's a very inspiring course for many attacks to happen. I'd say the favourite nation is...

  • Kohl's ex-manager Matschiner to write book about doping

    Bernhard Kohl in the mirror showing off his dots.
    Article published:
    November 19, 2009, 9:52 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Austrian says he warned Kohl against using CERA

    Stefan Matschiner is writing a book, and “maybe some people are nervous about it.” The Austrian is the former manager of Bernhard Kohl, and has been named as a major suspect in doping investigations.

    Both Kohl and triathlete Lisa Hütthaler have admitted to receiving doping products from Matschiner, 34. He is said to have provided not only the substances themselves but assisted with blood doping.

    He plans to publish the book “definitely not until after my trial. There could be some things in it which could incriminate me,” he said, according to the Austrian website

    Matschiner doesn't particularly bother to deny his involvement with doping, saying “I admit my guilt, but I don't regret anything!”

    However, he is particularly bothered by Kohl's case, because of the likelihood of the rider getting caught if he used CERA. “I told him,: 'Bernhard, stay away from CERA!' But he risked it, because he was maniacal in thinking that the whole peloton would ride with it.”

    Kohl tested positive for the EPO derivative CERA during the 2008 Tour de France, in which he had finished third and won the King of the Mountains jersey. He later admitted to having used doping practices since 2005, and said that Matschiner had provided him with EPO, growth hormones, insulin, testosterone and blood doping.

    Matschiner is also alleged to have help numerous other athletes from a variety of disciplines with doping products.