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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, September 6, 2012

Date published:
September 06, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Vaughters confirms past doping by Danielson, others at Garmin

    Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    September 05, 2012, 21:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Addresses why he didn't hire Jaksche

    Jonathan Vaughters of Garmin-Sharp has hired a number of ex-dopers to his team – and is one himself. He did not sign Jörg Jaksche when the German had served out his doping ban, but it had nothing to do with "omerta" or black-listing in the peloton – it was simply due to a personality conflict.

    Writing openly in the Cyclingnews forum, Vaughters further said that Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde and David Zabriskie had doped in the past, bluntly discussed personalities on the team and discussed his standards for hiring riders, all the while relating virtually all of it to doping.

    "CVV, Zabriskie, Danielson, while all clearly have a past, and from an ethical standpoint are no different from JJ, there is a very pragmatic difference," wrote Vaughters. "That difference is performance based. Basically, I knew from what my time at USPS, how "inside" or not those riders were. Based on this, I knew their transgressions, while ethically the same as JJ's, were much less in terms of enhancing performance. Therefore, I knew they could perform close to their enhanced level, clean."

    He was specific about Danielson, and how he looked to solve the rider's problem. "So, Tommy D... Here's a guy that has used o2 vector doping, and with some success [Oxygen vector doping refers to increasing oxygen delivery to the muscles via increased hemoglobin, ed.]. But when you test him, without o2 vector doping, you quickly see this guy has massive aerobic ability. O2 transport isn't the limiting factor with his body/mind. However, he is not a mentally strong athlete. He succumbs to nerves and pressure very...

  • Cataldo leaving Omega Pharma-QuickStep for Sky

    All smiles for Dario Cataldo after his hard-earned victory in the Vuelta's 16th stage.
    Article published:
    September 05, 2012, 22:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Vuelta Queen stage winner to British team

    Dario Cataldo will leave Omega Pharma-QuickStep and ride for Team Sky in the coming year, according to the Italian media. He won the 16th stage of the Vuelta a Espana on Monday, soloing in atop the Cuitu Negru after dropping his breakaway companion Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) on the finishing climb.

    Cataldo told, “I don't know what my role will be” at the British team.  I have yet to talk about that with management.  I've worked for three years to be competitive in the Grand Tours, but I'm willing to make myself available and do the the work that I will be given .... We'll see.”

    The 27-year-old Italian won the Baby Giro in 2006. He turned pro the next year with Liquigas, winning two stages of he Tour de l'Avenir in 2007. Cataldo then joined QuickStep in 2009. This year he won the Italian national time trial title, and finished twelfth overall in the Giro d'Italia.

    On Monday, he won the Queen stage of the Vuelta a Espana. He and Vacansoleil's Thomas de Gendt escaped from the field early and had up to a 15 minute advantage. Cataldo dropped the Belgian on the final two kilometers of the brutal final climb, claiming victory by seven seconds over de Gendt and two and a half minutes ahead of race leader Joaquim Rodriguez.

  • Weltz denies Hamilton's claims of being USPS EPO courier

    Former Phonak rider Tyler Hamilton en route to winning the eighth stage of the Vuelta a España. Two days later, on September 13, the American returned positive for homologous blood transfusion.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2012, 0:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Book accuses Dane of bringing Hincapie EPO in Girona apartment

    Team USPS directeur sportif Johnny Weltz brought EPO to team riders in Spain in 1997, Tyler Hamilton said in his book, which was published today. Weltz denied the charges, calling them "unbelievable" and "absurd".

    In the book “The Secret Race” Hamilton describes a scene from 1997 when Weltz visited the apartment in Girona, Spain, where the USPS riders lived. The thin walls of the apartment allowed Hamilton to eavesdrop on a conversation between Weltz and George Hincapie.

    "It was natural that Johnny would visit George. George was, after all, one of the team's best riders (...) What was not natural was that Johnny sometimes showed up with a white paper bag. You could hear the paper rustle. And when they talked privately, they would either whisper or speak Spanish. George and Johnny both spoke fluent Spanish, but it did not make sense to me. We were all on the same team. Why not speak English? (...) We saw George put a little tin foil package behind cola at the back of the refrigerator. One day shortly thereafter, when George was out, we could not resist. We opened the refrigerator and opened the foil package. We saw syringes and ampoules labeled EPO."

    Weltz totally denied the charges to "It is unbelievable. What should I say? It is absurd," he said, adding that he “certainly did not” bring Hincapie little white bags containing EPO.

    The Dane is currently a directeur sportif with Garmin-Sharp. He rode professionally from 1987 to 1995. He worked as a DS at USPS until Armstrong joined the team, being apparently pushed out by the American, who is said to have disliked him. Weltz subsequently worked for Bjarne Riis' team.

    He has said he was uncomfortable with the people “that Bjarne was...

  • Valverde gains a spot with late attack at Vuelta

    Alejandro Valverde leads Sergio Henao and Gorka Verdugo to the finish line.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2012, 2:29 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Movistar rider up to second overall behind Contador

    Although Alberto Contador received most of the media attention after Wednesday’s spectacular attack en route to Fuente Dé, Alejandro Valverde performed no less well, charging away from the crumbling Joaquim Rodríguez group to move up to second overall at the Vuelta a España.

    The Movistar rider had settled for third in Madrid prior to Wednesday, but his tenacious counter-attack saw him come within six seconds of catching Contador on the stage and move up one place overall. It also re-confirmed Movistar’s domination of the teams classification.

    "I’ve done a good job and I’m pleased," Valverde - who only came to the Vuelta as a last-minute replacement as leader for Juan Jose Cobo, who had fallen ill - said afterwards.

    "Contador caught us all napping and it was impossible to catch him. But getting two and a half minutes on 'Purito', plus the time bonus - that’s good."

    Valverde said that Contador attacked on the second category Collado de la Hoz, "and we were always 10 to 15 seconds down on him, but where the gap really started to open up was on the descent."

    "My race was different to theirs, because I was going fine because I could drop [Chris] Froome." - on paper, his challenger for the third spot overall.

    After dropping Rodríguez "I never thought I could catch Contador, but on the first hard section of climb, I went for it anyway, thinking about the overall more than anything else. I’m sorry for 'Purito', but racing is like that."

    Overall, as Valverde said, "it’s almost impossible to improve on such a good result for us. We had Rodríguez...

  • Schleck out of GP Fourmies

    Johan Bruyneel will attempt to work the oracle with Andy Schleck in 2012.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2012, 5:40 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan rider still hopes to ride this season

    Andy Schleck has had to once again postpone his return to racing and it is not clear whether he will be able to race again this season. The RadioShack-Nissan rider has had to cancel his appearance at Sunday's GP Fourmies due to continued pain from the fracture pelvis he suffered in June.

    "The shooting pain when I go on longer rides can still not be denied. It starts from the hip and it moves down to the leg. It makes no sense to appear at races where I might not be able to even reach the finish line,” Schleck said on the team's website.

    "I'm very disappointed that I couldn't show anything so far this year. This has been a dreadful season for me and I desperately want to put it behind me. I still hope to return to racing before the season ends."

    He had hoped to return to riding at the Vuelta a Espana, having missed the Tour de France and Olympics, but the continuing pain has put a stop to all his plans. Schleck has not raced since June 9.

  • Barry to close out career at Tour of Beijing

    Canada's Michael Barry (Sky) in action during the 2012 Tour de Suisse.
    Article published:
    September 06, 2012, 7:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider retiring after 14 professional seasons

    Sky’s Michael Barry will ride his final race at this year’s Tour of Beijing. The 36-year-old has spent the last three seasons riding for the British Sky Team however this year has been one he would happily forget. After breaking his elbow and recovering after a crash in Tour of Qatar, he fell on the same arm again at Tour de Wallonie.

    "2012 will be my last racing season. The Tour of Beijing will be my final race. Cycling will forever be my passion but it is time to change direction to spend more time with my family. I’ve reached a period in my life where I want to grow in other directions and experience some of what I had put on hold while racing," he said on

    His best result of the season was an agonisingly-close second place at his Canadian national championships in June where he was beaten to the line by Ryan Roth of SprideTech.

    Barry’s most recent win was in 2009 at the Giro d’Italia when, along with his former Team Columbia-HTC squad, they won the opening team time trial.

    The Canadian has ridden for a number of teams over the years. He began his career with the Saturn Cycling Team before joining Johan Bruyneel at US Postal and the Discovery Channel Team. Barry then moved to Team Columbia for two seasons before leaving and signing for Sky from 2010 onwards. 

    "Through my 14 year professional career I’ve been fortunate to race with many of the top teams. From my first coaches and clubmates to Dave Brailsford and my Team Sky teammates I’ve had the opportunity to race and learn from many of the best. The last three...

  • GPM-Wilson Racing primed for Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic

    Josh Taylor (GPM-Wilson Racing) goes on the attack in the closing lap with Miles Scotson (SASI) for company
    Article published:
    September 06, 2012, 8:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Jory and Taylor headline powerful NRS team

    With the 110th Goulburn to Sydney Cycle Classic a little under two weeks away, GPM-Wilson Racing’s director sportif Trent Wilson says he’s looking forward to the return of the Classic’s traditional one-day format. The race had been held as a two-day Tour over the past couple of years.

    "The Goulburn is one of my favourite races and close to my heart. It’s a race that I grew up watching and then racing myself and despite placing in the great race I just missed out on a win in Camden. I would be ecstatic if one of my rider’s could win," said Wilson.

    Wilson will take a strong team to Goulburn with Chris Jory making a return to the NRS squad after a successful stint in Belgium. Jory ia a proven rider in the tough Australian races having finishing third in last year's Goulburn to Sydney and second at Grafton to Inverell in 2011.

    "I’ve been in contact with Jory during his time in Belgium and he’s really excited to be coming back for Goulburn. He loves the one-day classics. I think he’ll be there towards the end but it will just depend on the day. He won’t have any trouble getting over Razorback," Wilson told Cyclingnews.

    Jory finished third in last year’s edition and has also come close to the win before. In 2010 Jory entered the day-long break, survived the two ascents of Razorback before he and his two remaining breakaway riders were caught coming into the finish at Camden.

    The team lead by former professional Wilson is currently racing the 14-stage Tour of the Murray River where his standout rider, Josh Taylor currently leads the Sprint...

  • Release fee may be hindrance in Cavendish leaving Team Sky

    World champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) punches clear to take the win
    Article published:
    September 06, 2012, 9:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Buy-out said to cost up to one million pounds

    Mark Cavendish's departure from Team Sky may not be as free and easy as thought. The World Champion may have to pay a “release fee” to be able to break his contract in order to transfer to another team.

    "When a rider is under contract, it is common practice - and the industry norm - to pay a release fee," a Sky source told the BBC. The fee can be paid by either the new team or the rider himself.

    For example, the source told the BBC, Sky paid compensation to Garmin-Slipstream when Bradley Wiggins left the American team for Sky in 2010.

    The “release fee” is rumoured to be one million pounds. The BBC added that Cavendish and the team have had “no talks” in the past six weeks, leading to “varying degrees of frustration on both sides.”

    Team Katusha, which had been interested in signing him, confirmed the story, when directeur sportif Valerio Piva this week said that “Cavendish still has two years left on his contract, so there is a hefty buy-out clause. I’m not sure what team would be willing to pay.”

    It has long been expected that Cavendish will leave Sky despite his contract. The team has indicated that it wishes to concentrate on having Wiggins and Christopher Froome win grand tours, rather than helping a sprinter win individual stages.

    Cavendish, 27, is said to be paid more than two million pounds a year, according to the BBC. This would make finding a team difficult. Several teams have been mentioned in connection with signing him for the coming season, including Omega Pharma-QuickStep and BMC Racing Team.