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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Date published:
November 15, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Fit again Gutierrez looking to bounce back in 2012

    Jose' Ivan Gutierrez (Movistar)
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 21:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Medical tests reveal Spaniard has been suffering from digestive disease

    After confessing that 2011 was the worst year of his career, Spain’s Ivan Gutierrez is looking ahead to a fresh start in 2012. He has finally gotten to the bottom of an illness that took a huge toll on his season. Gutierrez, who will be 33 at the end of the month, will be continuing with Movistar Team and is looking to bounce back in style.

    “2011 was, for sure, my worst season,” he said. “I was feeling bad both physically and mentally during the biggest parts of the season and this didn’t allow me to obtain the results I wanted.

    “The medical tests that I had in September have explained what was happening to my body, and I now have a solution to feel well again. I am suffering from coeliac disease, which means that I’ll now have to follow a gluten-free diet. Now that I have eliminated oats and wheat, I feel perfectly well again.

    “To know why I was not able to get good results in 2011 is very important. Now that I have a solution, I feel very motivated when considering next season. I want to win a stage race as soon as possible, to come back to my best level in time trials, help my team in the Tour and enter the national team for the London Olympic Games.”

  • Gallery: A year through the lens of Mark Gunter

    Mark Cavendish had a rough start to 2011.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 0:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Highlights from the Tour Down Under to the Sun Tour

    As part of a series of photographers showcasing their 2011 work for Cyclingnews, we present the first, Australian Mark Gunter.

    Gunter has worked in cycling for many years, and is a regular at the Tour of California, Tour Down Under, and of course the Tour de France.

    He has won the Cycling Australia Photograph of the Year for four of the past eight years and has had photos regularly appear throughout international press.

    Remember a bloodied Cavendish crossing the line after a mass pile-up at the Tour Down Under, or Chris Horner's domination of the Tour of California?

    A highlights gallery of Gunter's best 2011 pictures are available here. You can also see more of Gunter's work with his photo blog on facebook. Enjoy!

  • Russians to return to Australia for NSW GP after Tasman adventure

    Evgeniya Romanyuta (Russia)
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 1:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Romanyuta back after horrific crash last year in Gosford

    The Russian endurance track program will return to the Australian racing scene for the upcoming NSW Grand Prix series after a brief trip in October for the Launceston - New Norfolk Classic, and the Tour of Tasmania.

    The Russian team, directed by coach Heiko Salzwedel, dominated the Kazakstan round of the Track World Cup a week ago winning the Teams Pursuit with a smashing 3 minutes 56 seconds, to take the title ahead of an experimental Australian team.

    According to Salzwedel, the warmer weather in Australia at this time of year is more favourable for his riders to maintain their condition.

    The men will be headed by Russian star Alexey Markov, who along with his Russian teammates is using the series as a test ahead of the next few Track World Cup events. Markov will be joined by Alexander Serov, Ivan Kovalev and Eugeny Kovalev, and Alexander Khatuntsev.

    The women will make their 2011 debut in Australia, and for Evgenya Romanyuta it's the first time back in Australia after suffering horrific injuries in last year's Grand Prix in Gosford. Now fully recovered and off an omnium win in Astana, she'll be hoping to avoid the same fate in this year's event. Romanyuta is joined by Venera Absalyamova, Victoria Kondel, and Irena Molicheva.

    The Wollongong event is on November 26, with the Cronulla round taking place the next day. Chris Sutton, Ben Kersten, Scott Law, Tom Palmer, Jeremy Hunt and Rochelle Gilmore have all already confirmed their participation at the events.

  • Howman: Reform needed in anti-doping fight

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 5:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    WADA chief concerned by scale of PED markets

    David Howman, the director general of the WADA, says that there needs to be a re-think in the way his organisation and others go about the fight against doping. According to the AFP, despite more than 250,000 tests being carried out in the last year, only 36 came back as positive for EPO, which Howman describes as the "drug of choice for [endurance athletes]".

    "Do you think that we have the science to track those who dope in a sophisticated manner? Personally, I don't think we do," Howman said to a conference in Paris. "We are catching the dopey dopers, but not the sophisticated ones."

    "It is pathetic. We must increase quality and efficiency if we want to continue the fight."

    Howman also pointed to the institutional involvment of those creating the avenues for people to dope as just as important in tackling the problem.

    "How many doctors or lawyers have been struck off because of involvement in doping?"

    He also added that it was concerning to see the growth in PED markets, and not seeing the same increase in positive tests.

    "We have to show concern," said Howman of the worrying trend. "The traffic of steroids is more lucrative than the traffic of heroin. [People need to realise] this is a public health issue, as well as a sporting issue."

    Howman's comments come a week after the decision by WADA to scrap research funding for the "plasticizer" test on the basis that there was difficulty definitively proving the chemical originated from transfusion equipment and not food packaging.

  • Rasmussen: 2007 whereabouts lies were marital-related

    Michael Rasmussen, Christina Watches
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 9:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Didn't want wife to know he was not living in their Italian home

    Michael Rasmussen has finally admitted why he lied about his whereabouts in the build-up to the Tour de France 2007. He did it so that his wife would not know where he was, insinuating – but not saying directly – that he was with another woman.

    Rasmussen had claimed to be in Mexico, his wife's home country, preparing for the Tour, whilst he was actually in Italy. When the “false information'” as he called it came to light, he was removed from the Tour, which he was leading, and subsequently suspended for two years.

    “The thing is that my wife would like to think I was in Mexico. I was in Italy but I did not live at home,” he told Ekstra Bladet. He owns a home on Lake Garda.

    Rasmussen did not disclose any further details. “This is where the private must remain private,” he said, saying only, “Amazingly many cyclists get divorced when their career is over. I was very close to being a pawn in the statistics and I am happy that it worked out.

    “The Tour scandal and everything that followed was a very, very tough ordeal for our marriage. It was an extreme situation and an extreme time. If it were not for Milo (their son), I doubt that we would have managed to save our marriage. He was the glue that nevertheless kept us together.”

  • New Japanese Continental team created

    A Japanese rider looks at what's ahead.
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 10:22 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team Cannondale Space Zero Point to become development team for Liquigas

    Bike manufacturer Cannondale has announced the creation of a new Japanese Continental team, Cannondale Space Zero Point. The squad will predominantly include young and promising Japanese riders with a view to developing local talent. The plan is to be successful in Japanese races as of 2012 and, over time, make athletes take their talent to a higher level in Europe.

    "Our vision for the team in the future is to create a training program in Japan also for the Liquigas-Cannondale team," said Cannondale Japan CEO Mario Stein, who felt that the brand delevopment in Japan and riders' results made 2012 "the best time to commence professional training in Japan."

    Italian squad Liquigas-Cannondale does not contain any Asian riders at this point, but several Japanese athletes have made the leap to World Tour level in Europe before, such as Fumiyuki Beppu and Yukiya Arashiro.

    The team's general manager Shigehiko Satoh was happy to see the outfit finally come to life. "We will get the Continental team I have personally dreamed of for many years. Over time, we would like to develop world-class young riders but in the near future, we will always produce leading Japanese riders," he commented.

    Team Cannondale Space Zero Point plans to participate in the Tour of Japan and Japan Cup races from next spring.

  • BMC, RadioShack and Sky will dominate 2012, Holm says

    Brian Holm and Bob Stapleton at the Amgen Tour of California
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 11:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Form of the 'Super Teams'

    The 2012 season will be dominated by three “super teams”, according to Brian Holm. BMC Racing Team, RadioShack-Nissan and Sky will be the teams to look up to in the coming season.

    Holm, formerly sport director at HTC-Highroad, and with Omega Pharma-Quick Step as of 2012, told that, “There is not doubt that next year we are faced with three super teams, BMC, RadioShack-Nissan and Sky."

    “BMC went shopping as if money does not play the slightest role. Not only does the team now have the defending Tour de France winner Cadel Evans, but also Belgian Philippe Gilbert and Norwegian Thor Hushovd, both of whom are candidates for the points ranking in the Tour.”

    RadioShack-Nissan is, as I see it, very much addicted to success in the grand tours. Otherwise, it can quickly evolve into a bit of a downer, as was the case this year as (team financier) Becca, as far as I understand, has already voiced his discontent, when suddenly it appeared impossible to reach the very top of the Tour.”

    As to Sky, it has “secured a guarantee of victory in Mark Cavendish, and during the Tour de France that makes the team strong. It would surprise me greatly if Mark did not strike again with stage wins in the Tour and therefore ease the pressure, so Bradley Wiggins can concentrate on the GC.”

    While all three teams seem headed for sure success, the Dane knows that it probably won't happen. 

    “It looks very exciting for the three teams, but when reality sets in, it's almost obvious that not everyone...

  • Armstrong lawyers ready for Federal battle

    A pensive Lance Armstrong
    Article published:
    November 15, 2011, 12:27 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Lance’s legal team tell CN that they’re awaiting grand jury developments

    Despite little in the way of public developments in the Federal drugs investigation, Lance Armstrong, the seven-time Tour winner continues to surround himself with some of the best legal practitioners in the US. A grand jury has yet to make a decision on whether indictments will be served, but one legal expert has told Cyclingnews that such a delay can be typical of proceedings in the US. And Armstrong’s lawyers have told the website that they are unaware of the government’s future plans.

    “It’s been extremely quiet,” Mark Fabiani told Cyclingnews. Fabiani, one of Armstrong’s leading legal representatives from a team that now stands at six, and which includes John Keker and Elliot Peters heading affairs. Bob Luskin, Tim Herman, and Bryan Daly are also representing Armstrong.

    “The only thing that’s happened over the summer is that Armstrong’s lawyers filed a motion complaining about the leaks of information about the case from the government,” Fabiani said. “The judge took that motion under seal and has made a decision under seal so it hasn’t been released yet. That’s really the only thing that’s happened. As far as things go it’s been extremely quiet, and we’re not aware of any new witnesses going to the grand jury. We’re not aware of any grand jury activity whatsoever. It’s been silent.”

    Fabiani told Cyclingnews that he is unaware of how many individuals have been called before the jury to date, estimating at ten, but confirmed that reports that George Hincapie had testified were unfounded. It had been speculated that the former teammate of Armstrong had given a sworn testimony to...