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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Date published:
December 21, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Contador denies link to Madrid doping suspect

    Alberto Contador is about to get wet
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 18:36 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Tour winner says he’s had “no professional relationship” with coach under investigation

    Alberto Contador has denied having any kind of professional link with Madrid Cycling Federation president Javier Fernández Alba, who is currently under investigation as part of a doping inquiry.

    According to Spanish tabloid magazine Interviú, Fernández Alba has been accused of a crime against sporting law by a court in the northern Spanish province of Asturias. The case stems from a positive test for nandrolone by world veteran cycling champion Francisco José Prieto. Fernández Alba is reported to be under investigation for supplying Prieto with doping products.

    Interviú describes Fernández Alba, who works at the SPE “clinical gym” in Majadahonda, north of Madrid, as Contador’s “manager, discoverer and coach”. However, it appears that the pair’s only connection is via the Madrid regional cycling team for which Contador was selected to ride the Spanish national championships. Fernández Alba was part of the management staff on this regional team.

    In a statement, Contador’s press officer, Jacinto Vidarte, has said: “Alberto Contador categorically denies the information published in Interviú magazine in which it is stated that the current president of the Madrid’s Cycling Federation was his discoverer and manager, as well as being a client of his at the centre where he is a technical director in the town of Majadahonda.”

    The statement added that although Contador and Fernández Alba were both part of Madrid’s VC Portillo cycling club, their periods of involvement did not overlap. It also described Contador’s relationship with Fernández Alba as “virtually nil beyond his participation in the Madrid cycling team of which Fernández Alba was the technical director”.

    In the statement, Contador denied that Fernández Alba had ever acted...

  • Road or 'cross a hard decision for Jesse Anthony

    Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefits) spent a lot of time off the front by himself today.
    Article published:
    December 20, 2010, 22:27 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Seven-time US cyclo-cross champion finding focus for 2011

    Massachusetts native Jesse Anthony, a seven-time US cyclo-cross champion, has a clear passion for the discipline but like many of his compatriots who must balance a full road season with 'cross, the time may soon come when he will have to choose one or the other.

    Anthony dominated the 'cross scene as a junior and espoir, but after making a successful transition to the road, the full season of racing began to wear on him when it came to 'cross. The results which his earlier seasons portended never materialised in the elite ranks of 'cross, and failing to strike the right balance, Anthony says he may face a tough decision to choose one sport or the other in the near future.

    "I can see that decision coming into play soon. Or, at least sacrificing a significant part of either one of those seasons. As it is now I don't go to Europe, I haven't done ['cross] worlds for a few years, so in that regard I've sacrificed a little 'cross racing to race road," Anthony told Cyclingnews after clocking up one of his best results of the season, a fourth place at the Portland Cup earlier this month.

    But while encouraging, his result in Portland followed a string of disappointments as he tried to squeeze some more life out of his road-weary legs.

    "When it came time for the cyclo-cross season I was hanging by a thread and just coming off a stint of hard road races followed by a three-week sinus infection. After a round of antibiotics I went straight from the USPro road race national championship in Greenville to 'Cross Vegas in Las Vegas three days later.

    "I was coming off some good form, but my gas tank contained only fumes. I survived 'Cross Vegas, finishing in the top 15, but another three days later I completely cracked at the first round of the USGP in Madison, Wisconsin."

    A bit more rest and some very specific training helped Anthony take wins in the two Granogue 'cross races in October, but the wind went out of his sails...

  • White refuses to give up on Pegasus despite missing ProConti licence

    Miss World Australian entrant Ashleigh Francis meets the Fly V Australia team after stage one in Sanya.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2010, 3:09 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Another hammer blow for Australian team as riders ready to leave

    Despite missing out on a ProContinental licence for 2011, Chris White and his Pegasus Sports team have vowed to carry on.

    White was speaking just hours after the UCI Licence Commission had made its final ruling and although the governing body will not release the details as to why no licence was granted, White is adamant that he will explore all avenues in order to keep the team going.

    White had already been knocked back for a ProTeam licence and in recent weeks his major sponsor reportedly pulled out. In the scramble to find a new backer, White appeared to call on the support of existing partners and lower his sights on a Pro Continental status. This would have still given the team invites to major races and placed them among the wildcard candidates for major tours.

    White told Cyclingnews last week that the final submission for ProContinental status had been submitted on time – the UCI later backed this up – and stated that all financial documents and assurances had been met.

    “We thought that we’d done enough I suppose but we’re looking for what other alternatives are out there for us and what the program can look like in 2011,” White told Cyclingnews this morning.

    “I think that it’s a bit too early to say what the future will hold. In terms of our official release there’s not much else to say. We need to let the dust settle and see what it all looks like. We’re hurt and we’re confused right now but at the same time we’re trying to look forward. There’s not a lot of clarity right now but we need to find out what we can and can’t do.”

    While White may hope that the dust settles and the air clears he may not be granted another reprieve from his riders. He had already stated publicly and privately that they should begin the search for new teams. The UCI today confirmed to Cyclingnews that contractually...

  • Lloyd breaks shoulder, injures back in training accident

    Australia's Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) soloed to victory in stage six.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2010, 9:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Lotto Australian facing surgery this week

    Matthew Lloyd of Omega Pharma-Lotto has broken his shoulder and suffered spinal injuries in a crash last week in Melbourne, Australia. He is not expected to return to full training again until February.

    Lloyd will undergo shoulder surgery on Thursday and be home the next day. He will begin physiotherapy ten days later. He lost consciousness and only came to in the ambulance.

    "These things can always happen in the traffic or the most unlikely circumstances,’’ Lloyd said. “It was avoidable on anyone’s behalf,” he told

    “They need to screw it back on or else I’ll have that syndrome where the arm keeps (dislocating).

    "The procedure itself is a simple one from a bone structure perspective but you’ve just got to hope that all the ligaments and muscles are pretty much in tact so we’ll try and keep it that way.”

    It is his second back injury, following damage to his lower back in a crash at the Amstel Gold Race in 2009. “There’s damage to two or three parts of the upper part of the spine, which is okay for me because I think last year I broke seven of the lower ones so I’m trying to spread it out a bit,’’ Lloyd said.

    The X Rays show it’s (vertebrae) a bit buckled and twisted due to the swelling, but generally according to what (the doctors) said that can slowly repair itself and everything can come back together quite smoothly.

    The long training pause, “could be, in a way, some kind of blessing in disguise because a lot of guys don’t get a chance to have forced recovery at this time of year because they have to start their programs,” he said.

    Even with the delay in training, he expects to be fully fit again in May for the Giro d'Italia, where he hopes to repeat or top his successes of 2010. The Australian won the sixth stage in a solo effort, taking off from a breakaway...

  • Unzue looking for transition year at Movistar

    Team Movistar grew out of the former Caisse d'Epargne team
    Article published:
    December 21, 2010, 10:42 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Spaniard says team may have no big-name captain in 2011

    Eusebio Unzue has taken his team from Banesto to Caisse d'Epargne and is ready to continue it with Movistar in 2011. The coming year will be one of transition, he admitted, with possibly no big-name captain.

    The team lost its former captain, Alejandro Valverde, when he was given a worldwide two-year ban for doping, which runs through December 31, 2011.

    In an interview with, however, he indicated that Franco Pellizotti may be joining the team. “It depends on the UCI,” Unzue said. The Italian was temporarily suspended in May due to what the UCI claimed were suspicious blood values. The Italian anti-doping tribunal dismissed the charges this autumn, and while Pellizotti is free to find a new team, there is uncertainty as to whether the UCI will appeal the decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    The late arrival of Movistar as the new sponsor cost the team some riders, but he is still optimistic. “True, we have lost some riders because the arrival of Movistar was so late and some had already been committed elsewhere,” he noted. “It is clear that we have to wait a year for our great leader, Alejandro (Valverde), But our reinforcements, without big names, will give you much strength to the team because many of them have good records in the sporting aspect.

    2011 will be a transition year, “but we're not going to stop being ambitious in terms of objectives because the level of the group is truly good. “ New, safe equipment will help, but the turnover of such a large number of riders necessarily “means some questions.”

    Banesto was the title sponsor from 1990 to 2003, and co-sponsor until 2005. Another similar long-term sponsorship “is a dream, we must be more realistic. In sports sponsorship is all...

  • Reactions to Pegasus news: Anger and resignation

    Interviews get under way.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2010, 11:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Riders start the search for a new team

    Reactions from members of the Pegasus Sports team to the news that the team wouldn't receive a Professional Continental licence were mixed with a sense of both anger to resignation. The International Cycling Union announced Monday evening that it had denied the Australian team's application.

    Robbie McEwen was to be the team's biggest name, and his anger at the news came through on his Twitter account. “Well done UCI ... thanks a lot,” he tweeted. “So much work, effort, commitment, passion, sacrifice, been for nothing, devastating.”

    South African Daryl Impey Tweeted, “ Well there you go, no license for the team. Thanks for that, cycling is an unfair sport...”

    Fellow South African Robbie Hunter Tweeted, “Bad time for Pegasus, was really keen for it to work & I don't blame Chris White. Confident I'll get a ride soon! Hope others will be fine too.”

    Meanwhile, Hunter did what comes naturally to a pro cyclist. “One thing I am doing is training like I normally do.. Did 185kms today great prep for 2011.. Gotta start with a bang!!!!!

    Others expressed their shock but were already at work looking for a new team. Thomas Rohregger had been exploring his options for several weeks, but wasn't optimistic, telling, “I am hoping for a Christmas miracle.”

    The Austrian's Milram teammate, Christian Knees, is also looking around. His agent “is already holding talks with other teams, but at this point it is of course very difficult to find an alternative," he told

    The German national champion noted that “he had not figured” on the rejection. “I assumed everything was ok.”

    Sports director Hendrik Redant called the news “a real shock.” He told the Belga news agency, "It's hard, especially since we lost a sponsor and with little...

  • Tetrick-Starnes signs for Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 for 2011

    Article published:
    December 21, 2010, 12:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Aims for world championships and Olympic selection

    Alison Tetrick-Starnes has signed for the Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 team for 2011. Tetrick-Starnes competed as an elite amateur triathlete before she began competitive cycling. After attending the USA Cycling 2008 Talent ID camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, she moved into the pro ranks.

    "I am honored to be on Peanut Butter & Co.TWENTY12 and to race alongside national and world champions, world record holders, and Olympians. With this caliber of support and direction, I am confident I will be able to reach my full potential as a time trialist and road racer." said Tetrick-Starnes.

    In her first year of racing, she secured a professional contract as well as competed as a member of the 2009 US National Development Team, racing La Route de France where she earned a 'Most Combative Rider' jersey. In 2010, Tetrick-Starnes quickly became noted for her time trialing abilities winning the Nature Valley Grand Prix time trial, and wearing the leader's jersey for three stages. Other notable results were a podium in the time trial at Joe Martin Stage Race, Cascade Cycling Classic, Chroneau de Gatineau (UCI) and the USA Elite Nationals.

    In addition, she was a valuable team member at the Giro Donne, where the US National Team earned a historic win.

    "I am thrilled to have Alison onboard, she has a wonderful personality and has shown lots of talent. It's our goal to create a schedule and environment that will fit with her personal goals as well as the team goals," said team manager, Nicola Cranmer.

    "Alison displays a lot of heart both on and off the bike. I am looking forward to seeing her flourish in 2011."

    Tetrick-Starnes will focus on time trials with an eye on qualifying for world championships and ultimately the Olympics. Kristin Armstrong, arguably one of the most successful U.S time trial riders, coached Tetrick-Starnes this season and will continue to coach her, as well as join her...

  • Cancellara happy to be awarded Olympic silver medal

    Fabian Cancellara with another gold for his collection.
    Article published:
    December 21, 2010, 12:58 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Time trial world champion enthusiastic about new team

    Fabian Cancellara may have had to wait over two years for it, but according to the Swiss rider, any delay in being awarded the silver medal from the 2008 Olympic Games road race was worth it.

    The Classics and time trial specialist was awarded the medal at a ceremony in his home town last week. Switzerland's Olympic president Jörg Schild presented Cancellara with the same silver medal originally awarded to David Rebellin, which the Italian was forced to return after testing positive for CERA EPO.

    "There’s a lot of emotion but nothing has changed too much,” Cancellara told Cyclingnews.

    "I was still on the podium that day so it’s nothing compared to how Alexandr Kolobnev must feel.”

    The Russian moved from fourth to third but unlike Cancellara, missed out on the podium celebrations in Beijing.

    "He missed out on the podium that day and he has no pictures from it. But the road race was like a gold medal for me because I was so happy. In the end the truth has won and that’s maybe the most important thing. I have gold and a silver now and that’s great for me and for Switzerland.”

    Cancellara was the guest at a local event when the medal was awarded. The organisers built him a podium with a third and second place roster, allowing him to step onto the second step to receive the medal

    "It’s the original medal that was given to Rebellin. It has some marks on it so I can tell it was his. It’s not new so it’s the one he handed back. It’s better to have the old one than a new one, as a new one just wouldn’t have been the same because this was the exact medal from the ceremony.”

    Cancellara will now take the most of some time at home with his family before travelling to Luxembourg for his new team’s presentation. It marks the fourth squad in the 29-year-old's career, having ridden for Mapei, Fassa Bortolo and various...