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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 5, 2009

Date published:
November 05, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Bauer’s season continues to strengthen in Southland

    Jack Bauer of Share the Road wins stage two to Bluff
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 3:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Youngster signs European contract

    A successful season for New Zealand’s Jack Bauer only got better at the Tour of Southland today, with the rider holding on to his overall lead at the Crown Range hilltop finish. Not known for his climbing prowess, maintaining a 25 second lead over Bissell Pro Cycling duo Peter Latham and Jeremy Vennell left Bauer elated.

    It wasn’t the only good news for Bauer either, with the rider confirming he has just secured his first professional contract in Europe – although he’s sketchy about the details at this point. Bauer will join British-registered squad Endura, managed by Mark Young.

    “I have signed with Endura continental team based in England,” confirmed Bauer. “Apparently they have a good roster. As I said I’ve only just signed so I know very little about them apart from how much they are paying me and when I start. That’s all I need to know.”

    The 24 year-old rider has enjoyed a successful block of racing on home shores after returning from a stint in Belgium earlier this year. He finished second at New Zealand’s club championships last month and has already one a stage of the Tour of Southland.

    Bauer has one success on the Belgium kermesse circuit this year when he won in Knesselare. He has also enjoyed a host of top five finishes in Oedelem, Hooglede, Deerlijk-Belgiek and Heist-Goor.

    Vennell sits 27 seconds behind Bauer with three stages remaining in New Zealand’s biggest tour. Heath Blackgrove (Zookeepers - Cycle Surgery) is 57 seconds behind while Olympian Marc Ryan (Colourplus) dropped to 1:14 minutes after today’s stage.

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  • Schumacher expects CAS decision next month

    Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner)
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 8:42 GMT
    Cycling News

    Attorney cautiously optimistic after Wednesday's hearing

    Stefan Schumacher expects to hear a decision on his fate from both the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) sometime next month. The German rider had his hearing on Wednesday before the CAS on charges that he doped during the 2008 Tour de France.

    Schumacher tested positive twice for third generation EPO CERA during the Tour, using retroactive testing. The French anti-doping agency AFLD, which conducted the testing, suspended him for two years, and the International Cycling Union (UCI) adopted the suspension and made it applicable world-wide.

    The German appealed the ban on the grounds that the analysis method used was not officially registered in France at the time. According to Schumacher's attorney Michael Lehner, “If the rules were not followed, then legally he did not dope.”

    Lehner further told the dpa press agency that he was “cautiously optimistic” about the case's outcome. Schumacher indicated that he was happy “to finally be heard after eight months.”

    Schumacher also tested positive for CERA at the Beijing Olympic games in August 2008. “There was a hearing on July 23 before the IOC,” Lehner noted. “So far there hasn't been any decision. I assume that the IOC will wait until the CAS ruling.” The IOC is expected to rule at its next meeting in December.

    Schumacher has consistently denied ever using any sort of doping product or method.

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  • Evans’ BMC gets Tour Down Under wildcard

    Victory today rounds off what has been one of the most tumultuous seasons in Cadel Evans' career.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 9:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    World Champion to start 2010 on home soil

    The Tour Down Under organiser has offered BMC Racing Team a wildcard to contest January’s opening round of the ProTour, in a move that will see International Cycling Union (UCI) road world champion Cadel Evans race on home soil in the rainbow jersey. Evans had been rumoured to start the race with his former ProTour team Silence-Lotto following his worlds victory, but since last weekend’s announcement of his move to the Professional Continental squad Evans has remained mum on the topic.

    That changed with today's announcement, which is sure to please local fans. “It’s a privilege to be able to present my new jersey and my new BMC Racing Team to the Australian public and the rest of the world at the Santos Tour Down Under in January,” said Evans in a release from the South Australian Premier’s office.

    The offer of a wild card entry to BMC Racing Team, which has been verbally agreed on, is a first for the Tour Down Under. Since becoming a round of the UCI’s ProTour, race organiser Events South Australia has only invited the UniSA-Australian National Team to join a full complement of ProTour squads.

    South Australian Premier Mike Rann was clearly enthused by the idea of having the current rainbow jersey riding alongside Tour de France legend Lance Armstrong. Rann explained having an Australian rainbow jersey at TDU would be a first for the event; a given as Evans is the nation’s first road world champion.

    “Never before has an Australian competed on Australian soil wearing the rainbow jersey, so it’s a great coup for South Australia that Cadel will do so at the 2010 Santos Tour Down Under,” said Rann. “Evans’ decision to race in the Santos Tour Down Under is another boost to the event which showcases South Australia to the world.

    “No doubt cycling fans will not miss the opportunity to see both Cadel Evans and his BMC Racing Team compete in the...

  • Sweden gets first women's pro team

    Riding the women's La Fleche Wallonne
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 9:49 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner steps up and becomes Alriksson GoGreen

    Sweden's first professional women's team has been announced this week. Former amateur squad has applied for an international team license with the International Cycling Union (UCI). The professional squad will race under the name of Alriksson GoGreen.

    Team manager Martin Alriksson will present the team's riders and programme soon, but the amateur team's current riders including Jennie Stenerhag and Jessica Kihlbom are expected to remain in the outfit. This year, Stenerhag won the Swedish road race Championships, ahead of big name Swedish riders including Susanne Ljungskog and Emma Johansson. Kihlbom represented Sweden at the Montreal World Cup. has been a leading team among the Swedish Elite teams and almost reached its goal of becoming a professional cycling team last year, failing only because of financial problems.

    "The team is very experienced, and we have some very good cyclists," said team manager Alriksson, who also underlined the environment-friendly policy of the squad, reflected in the team's name. "Our sponsors and everybody in the team thinks this is a very important issue."

    Women's cycling in Sweden has had huge successes over the last ten years. Susanne Ljungskog won the World Championships twice, Emma Johansson won a Silver medal in the Bejing Olympics last year, and Emilia Fahlin and Monica Holler have won a number of medals at the European Championships.

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  • 2010: The Classics for Gilbert

    Philippe Gilbert cannot contain his excitement over winning the Giro di Lombardia.
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 10:36 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Silence-Lotto's Belgian leader continues focus on one-day races

    Confirming to Cyclingnews that next year's Tour de France will not be an option for him, Philippe Gilbert said that he will continue to focus on the Classics and one-day races at Silence-Lotto in 2010. The Belgian, who had an enormously successful end-of-season with wins at Paris-Tours and the Giro di Lombardia, will target the Spring and Autumn Classics in 2010, as well as the World Championships in Geelong, Australia.

    Even though a detailed race programme has not yet been elaborated, Gilbert already knows that he will not participate in the Tour, but instead race the Vuelta a España as preparation for the end of the season. "The Vuelta is planned, yes," he told Cyclingnews on Thursday. The World Championships, as well as the Coppa Sabatini, Paris-Tours, the Giro del Piemonte and the Giro di Lombardia will then be marked red on his calendar to round out a season he hopes will have already brought success.

    Gilbert also wished teammate Cadel Evans farewell, as the Australian heads to BMC next season. "For me, his departure is a pity because we got on well and worked well together. I wish him a lot of success and that everything unfolds the way he wants," the Belgian said, not revealing whether Silence-Lotto was planning to recruit another Grand Tour rider for next year.

    Gilbert also denied a rumour that he also wanted to leave the squad. "I don't know anything about that, no," he replied when asked if it was true. Gilbert may thus be Silence-Lotto's greatest asset next year in an outfit that will focus on winning one-day events as opposed to stage races - if the team does not come up with a surprise signing, as speculated by Belgian media.

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  • Pereiro undergoes dope control in restaurant corridor

    Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 11:29 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Surprise for diners as Tour de France winner receives visit from UCI testers

    While the need for random dope testing is unquestionable, the randomness of it can lead to extremely awkward and even embarrassing situations, as was the case recently with Oscar Pereiro. The 2006 Tour de France winner had met up with friends in a bar in Santiago de Compostela when his mobile phone rang. On the other end were two of the International Cycling Union's (UCI) "vampires", who were outside Pereiro’s home in the nearby city of Vigo wanting him to undertake blood and urine tests.

    Pereiro told them he didn’t plan to be home for hours, the testers wanted to get their job done, so the Caisse d’Epargne rider told them to come to him in Santiago. An hour later they arrived. They asked Pereiro to come with them to a local hotel to do the tests, but he didn’t want to.

    "I was with friends and I didn’t want to leave the meal. And I wasn’t obliged to do so," he told La Voz de Galicia. "I have to be available for any control for an hour a day in a pre-specified place. In this case it was at my house between seven and eight in the morning."

    The testers decided the best option was to do the testing in the restaurant’s toilets. The only problem was that there wasn’t enough room in the bathroom, so the tests had to be carried out in the corridor leading to the toilets, which was separated from the restaurant by a pair of saloon-style swing doors.

    With his head and legs clearly visible to the restaurant’s customers behind the doors, Pereiro had to remove his trousers and underpants down to his ankles as the regulations demand, then take off his shirt and wash his hands so that he couldn’t manipulate the samples. Then he had to deliver the sample. That done, the testers carried out the blood testing procedure and put the samples in a mobile fridge they had carried into the restaurant.

    According to one of Pereiro’s friends, the sight of the rider heading...

  • Reduced 2010 race schedule for Silence-Lotto?

    Philippe Gilbert (Silence-Lotto)
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 12:40 GMT
    Richard Tyler

    Sergeant indicates that early season races may be cut to ease racing load on riders

    Silence-Lotto Directeur Sportif Marc Sergeant has indicated that his team may cut several early season races from the team's 2010 programme in order to ease the racing load on some of its riders.

    Sergeant made the comments to Belgian daily Het Nieuwsblad, as the newspaper reported Silence-Lotto's Christophe Brandt and Olivier Kaisen had topped a list of rider's race-kilometre totals for the 2009 season. Over 102 days of racing, Brandt covered 16,641 kilometres, compared to Kaisen's 103 day and 16,348 kilometre totals. Their teammate, Philippe Gilbert, was fourth on the list with 15,987 kilometres, through 97 days of racing.

    "We [could] cut some smaller foreign competitions such as [February's Etoile de] Bessèges, [February's Giro della Provincia di] Grosseto, [March's] Coppi e Bartali... it would create space for some additional rest and training camps during the season," Sergeant told the newspaper.

    "It's a necessary step, because it is part of modern cycling. Look at [Edvald] Boasson Hagen: The first time I saw him race this year was at Gent-Wevelgem, but he won the race," he continued.

    The team director indicated that a traditional Belgian approach to racing accounted for his rider's representation high in the list. While he feels there is a need to re-evaluate this mentality, he was quick to point out that it was an approach that does work for some riders.

    "It's in our cycling culture; If a Belgian doesn't race for two weeks, he thinks, 'oh dear, what now?' I don't think that this is always the right response. Actually, I think we race too much," said Sergeant.

    "Although, we must keep in mind the men on these lists have not necessarily performed badly; Philippe Gilbert is an example. But for others, like [Greg] Van Avermaet [14,681 in 89 days of racing – ed], in 2009 it was a little too much."

    Second on the Het Nieuwsblad list, Oliver Kaisen said that despite a long season...

  • De La Puebla Ramos nabbed by passport program

    Alberto Fernandez De La Puebla Ramos won a stage of the Euskal Bizikleta in 2007
    Article published:
    November 05, 2009, 15:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard targeted by UCI, tests positive for EPO

    Spaniard Alberto Fernandez De La Puebla Ramos has been suspended by the International Cycling Union (UCI) after testing positive for the blood booster EPO. The Fuji-Servetto rider's positive came from an out-of-competition control taken on October 15, 2009.

    The rider had been targeted based upon data from his biological passport values, the UCI said. He was provisionally suspended pending a hearing by the Spanish cycling federation.

    Fernandez De La Puebla Ramos is the latest in a series of riders to be sanctioned as a result of the UCI's passport programme. His teammate Riccardo Serrano was one of five riders who were the first to be suspended for irregular blood values along with another former Saunier Duval rider, Ruben Lobato Elvira.

    Serrano also tested positive for EPO CERA in two separate samples taken as part of the passport programme this year - one in May and another in June.

    The biological passport programme began in 2008, with the UCI regularly collecting blood samples in order to detect fluctuations in a rider's values that might indicate doping. While few riders have been suspended for irregular values alone, the system has been effective in allowing the UCI to target riders for out-of-competition testing.

    Danilo Di Luca became the highest profile rider to fall as part of the scheme. He tested positive for CERA during this year's Giro d'Italia.

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