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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Date published:
April 26, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Australian cycling legend Hec Sutherland dies aged 81

    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 8:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Former Sun Tour winner remembered by friends

    Hec Sutherland, who collapsed last Thursday, passed away at Hastings Hospital surrounded by his family.

    He was a former Sun Tour winner and won the 1950 Auckland Empire Games road race.

    Sutherland competed against the greats of Australian cycling in the early 1950s including the Rowley brothers, Geelong's Russell Mockridge, Sid Patterson, Peter Panton and John Young.

    Geelong cycling promoter and former triple winner of the Sun Tour, John Trevorrow, remembered Sutherland well.

    "He was a great mate of my father, Joe. I saw a lot of him when I was growing up and he was a wonderful influence,'' Trevorrow said.

    "He was a natural coach, he always had some input when I was racing, imparting his little snippets of knowledge. He didn't say much but what he did say was always spot on."

    "He was one of the great all-rounders, brilliant on the road and track. He was just a sensational guy, one of the legends on and off the track."

    Sutherland won the 1954 Sun Tour and was twice runner up for the Australian road titles.

    He moved to the Mornington Peninsula in 1957 and lived at Balnarring with his family. He was actively involved in horse racing and the Hastings Football Club.

     

  • Andalucía deny deal with Rebellin

    Davide Rebellin in action during the 2008 Olympic road race.
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 9:44 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Spanish team admit they have held talks with veteran Italian

    Spanish professional continental team Andalucía-Caja Granada have denied reports that have appeared in the Spanish press stating that they have signed Davide Rebellin. The team’s management have admitted they have had talks with the veteran Italian, whose two-year ban for taking the banned blood booster CERA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics ends on April 27.

    A statement released by the team on Monday night said: “Andalucía-Caja Granada deny the news that has appeared in the press over the signing of the cyclist Davide Rebellin. It is true that the cyclist has held talks with the Andalucian team as he has done with other teams, but as things stand he has signed no contract that officially links him with the team of [Andalucía team director] Antonio Cabello.

    Stories in the Spanish press suggested that Cabello was keen to do a deal with Rebellin in time for the Italian to start the Vuelta a Asturias this coming Thursday. However, signing an Italian rider who turns 40 later this year appears to go against Cabello’s philosophy for his team, which has up to now been based around developing young Spanish riders, primarily from Andalucía.


     

  • Future uncertain for Omega Pharma-Lotto and Gilbert despite Liege win

    Flèche Wallone: Philippe Gilbert had ample time to savour his win.
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 10:46 BST
    By:
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Undecided future for sponsors and Gilbert

    After Philippe Gilbert’s impressive win in Liège-Bastogne-Liège the atmosphere in the Omega Pharma-Lotto team was one of celebration but it seems the long-term future of the Belgian team is in doubt, with the sponsors reportedly on brink of splitting up at the end of the season. Gilbert is also on the wish list of a number of rival managers.

    Omega Pharma and the Lotto have been in negotiations about the future of the team since the start of the season but still haven’t reached an agreement. L'Equipe has reported that Lotto may join forces with Francaise des Jeux in 2012, while Omega Pharma would prefer a more globally attractive team. With Gilbert near the end of his contract, the future seems uncertain just as the teams enjoys its best ever spring.

    When asked about the team's future at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Omega Pharma CEO Marc Coucke tried to deflect the question, preferring to celebrate Gilbert's trio of wins in the Ardennes. 

    “The biggest news is that is that we've won Liège-Bastogne-Liège. Let us enjoy this for a few days and then it (the team's future) will be back on the agenda,” he told Cyclingnews.

    “Liège is a Monument. It's the big one we've been dreaming about for so many years. For Gilbert it was the race he dreamed about since he was a kid. It's the icing on the cake. This win will make him much bigger.

    "He wasn't under pressure to get results but now his career is a success and we're all so happy for him. Last year we were already surprised of what he pulled off and now he's even stronger. You must be realistic: if a rider wins one Classic a year you should be happy. Last year he won two classics and this year...

  • Pozzato and Paolini dropped from Katusha Giro d’Italia squad

    Filippo Pozzato can win from a small group and on his own
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 11:39 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italians replaced by Russians in final starting nine

    Filippo Pozzato and fellow Italian Luca Paolini have been dropped from the Katusha line-up from the Giro d’Italia after the team opted to build the final starting line-up around leader and overall contender Joaquim Rodriguez instead of targeting stage victories.

    Pozzato had a poor spring classics campaign and was publicity critcised by Katusha team manager Andrei Tchmil. The Italian’s contract ends this year and he has already been linked with new Australian GreenEdge team and Lampre-ISD which is set to be rebuilt for 2012 after being embroiled in the Mantova doping investigation.

    Pozzato was given race number 81 in the provisional Giro d’Italia start list issued by race organiser RCS Sport last week but the Katusha team has replaced him and Paolini with Pavel Brutt and Eduard Vorganov. Brutt is known as a rouleur and won the Classica Sarda race this year. Vorganov is in his second year at Katusha after riding for Xacobeo-Galicia. He finished 65th at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.

    Announcing the line-up, the Katusha team said the team would not include "stage hunters, but riders with good team work and climbing attitudes for the final goal of the general classification that will be decided in the last, very tough week.”

    The full Katusha line-up for the Giro d’Italia: Joaquim Rodriguez, Daniel Moreno, Alberto Losada, Joan Horrach, Danilo Di Luca, Giampaolo Caruso, Aleksandr Kuchynski, Pavel Brutt, Eduard Vorganov.

     

  • Dr Ferrari offers to meet magistrate surrounding his links to Armstrong

    Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 16:20 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Sports doctors threatens legal action against the media

    Dr Michele Ferrari has announced that he is willing to meet with the Italian magistrate Benedetto Roberti who is investigating the doctor's links to numerous professional riders, as well  as his involvement with the US-based Federal investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team.

    After a series of revelations in Gazzetta dello Sport, Dr Ferrari has also threatened to take legal action against the media or individuals to defend his reputation.

    In a note issued by his lawyer Dario Bolognesi, Dr Ferrari criticised the ruling of the Italian Olympic Committee in 2002 that banned him for life from working with licence holding athletes.

    “It’s anachronistic and unjust, because the trial held in Bologna showed a lack of proof on which the decision itself was based.”

    "It was based on a report by an expert consultant whose findings have been disproved by other experts during the trial.”

    Dr Ferrari went on trial in Bologna in 2005 for sporting fraud and illegally acting as a pharmacist in 2004. He was found guilty and given an 11-month suspended sentence but was later cleared of the illegal acting as a pharmacist on appeal. The accusations of sporting fraud were quashed due to the slow legal process in Italy and the statute of limitations.

    Lance Armstrong worked with Dr Ferrari for several years while dominating the Tour de France but announced he had cut his professional ties in 2004 when Dr Ferrari was found guilty. Last week the Texan’s spokesman Mark Fabiani confirmed that Armstrong is still a personal friend and last saw Dr. Ferrari about a year ago.
     

  • Italian Veneto region applies to host a Tour de France stage

    Christian Prudhomme reveals the 2011 Tour de France route
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 17:36 BST
    By:
    Pierre Carrey

    VeneTour company to make a presentation in Paris

    The Italian region of Veneto hopes to host a  Tour de France stage in the next few years and will make an official presentation of their offer to race organiser ASO in Paris on Wednesday.

    Christian Prudhomme, the Tour de France director, has confirmed that he had first received confirmation of the Italians' hopes in March. "It came in a very beautiful box containing two Venetian masks inside and two letters - one in French, one in Italian," he told Cyclingnews recently.

    The north-eastern Veneto region is on of the richest areas in Italy and includes the cities of Verona, Padova, Treviso and Venice, where the Giro d'Italia has started in 1997 and 2009.

    The specially created VeneTour company is headed by Eleonora Bottecchia, a descendant of Ottavio Bottecchia, the winner of Tour de France in 1924 and 1925. He was born in Veneto but found dead in mysterious circumstances in 1927.

    In a press release VeneTour talks of hosting a stage of the Tour de France but Prudhomme hinted that the region could also be a candidate to host the Grand Depart of the race.

    "It's fantastic to see that the Tour de France, which has never started from Italy, now has three candidatures," he told Cyclingnews.

    Prudhomme confirmed that Genoa would also like to host a Grand Depart, while Florence has also shown interest in hosting the 2014 Grand Depart to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the birth of two-time Tour de France winner Gino Bartali.

  • Keisse ban to end August 6

    Iljo Keisse has been at the centre of controversy all winter.
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 20:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian could be suspended inside his own country longer

    The UCI confirmed today that it will hold to the original terms of Belgian Iljo Keisse's ban for doping, which is set to expire on August 6 of this year.

    The news came as a Brussels appeals court continues to discuss the strange case of the 28-year-old Six Day star, whose doping case dates back to November, 2008.

    Keisse tested positive for two substances at his home Six Day in Gent, Belgium: the stimulant cathine, which he blamed on cold medicine, and a banned masking agent hydrochlorothiazide (HCT), which he attributed to a contaminated supplement.

    The Belgian cycling federation accepted Keisse's defense and refused to take disciplinary action, which allowed Keisse to resume racing after 11 months away from competition, just in time for the 2009 Gent Six Day.

    The UCI and World Anti-doping Agency appealed the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which in July, 2010, decided to ban Keisse for two-years, and, taking into account the 11 months he had already served, set his return date for August 6, 2011.

    Keisse fought the ban in the Belgian legal system, going so far as to question the authority of the CAS to prevent him from performing his contractual duties to work.

    The Belgian courts decided to debate the issue, ruling that Keisse would be allowed to continue racing until it had made its final decision this spring.

    Following the court's decision, Keisse participated in the Six Days in Zürich and Rotterdam until the UCI declared that the ruling applied only to races inside Belgium.

    He has continued to race this season on the road with the Quick Step team, taking part in the Driedaagse van West-Vlaanderen and De Panne, Nokere Koerse and Scheldeprijs on his home soil.

    The Belga press agency reported today that Keisse's participation in those races could mean his suspension inside his own country could last longer than August 6, should he lose his arguments in the...

  • Rick Zabel to follow in father Erik's footsteps?

    Erik Zabel, joined by son Rick, receives his fifth green jersey at the 2000 Tour de France. Rick is now taking after his father and is a successful Junior racer.
    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 22:44 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Younger Zabel shows promise with U19 Rund um Köln win

    A familiar name in the professional cycling world crossed the finish line first once again as Rick Zabel, son of former-professional Erik Zabel, won the U19 edition of the Rund um Köln on Monday in his native Germany.

    Rick, 17, has been successful on both the road and track in the Junior ranks much to the delight of his father.

    "My son has talent and is clearly on the right track," Erik Zabel told Sporza. "I'm very proud of him. He loves cycling, and that is most important in my eyes."

    For the time being the proud father doesn't want to speculate as to how far Rick's abilities on a bike may take him. "It is too early to say whether a professional career awaits him," said Erik.

    Erik Zabel, 40, had over 200 wins in his career from 1992 to 2008, including six consecutive green jerseys and 12 stages of the Tour de France. The German also won Milan-San Remo four times. Additionally, amongst Zabel's myriad victories are two wins in the professional version of the Rund um Köln.

    He currently works as a coach with the American ProTeam HTC-Highroad where he works with sprinter Mark Cavendish.