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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Date published:
November 19, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Landis invokes wartime law in Armstrong whistleblower suit

    Lance Armstrong and Floyd Landis on the US Postal team
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 12:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Attorneys to seek application of Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act

    Attorneys for Floyd Landis have invoked a wartime law in a bid to extend the statute of limitations of his qui tam suit against Lance Armstrong, which accuses him of defrauding the United States Postal Service, according to a report in USA Today.

    At a hearing in Washington on Monday, US District Judge Robert L. Wilkins will hear arguments from Landis’ attorneys to avail of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act, while Armstrong’s legal team has requested that the case be dropped altogether.

    Landis initiated the whistleblower suit in 2010 under the False Claims Act, which allows citizens to sue on behalf of the U.S. government if they believe that it has been defrauded.

    The suit was joined by the United States Justice Department earlier this year and is aimed at recouping the sponsorship funds provided by the US Postal Service to Armstrong’s squad between 1996 and 2004, when a systematic doping programme was in operation on the team. If successful, Landis could claim up to 25 percent of the damages claimed by the government.

    USA Today reports that Landis’ lawyers will argue that the Wartime Suspension of Limitations act applies to the qui tam suit as the alleged federal fraud – the doping programme at US Postal – occurred in part while the United States was at war with Afghanistan.

    The newspaper quotes Tony Anikeeff, an attorney with the Williams Mullen, who explained the background of the Wartime Suspension of Limitations Act. “It is a highly controversial provision of the False...

  • Verbruggen could be called before doping inquiry

    Former UCI president Hein Verbruggen is at the Tour of Oman.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 15:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Armstrong allegations may lead to questioning

    Brian Cookson and his Independent Commission of Inquiry could invite former UCI head Hein Verbruggen to answer questions after Lance Armstrong alleged that the Dutchman had encouraged a doping cover up in 1999.

    Armstrong returned a positive sample for corticosteroids during that year’s Tour de France – his first of seven victories – and provided a back-dated medical certificate in order to cover up doping.

    The former rider told the Daily Mail that "the real problem was, the sport was on life support. And Hein just said, 'This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport, the year after Festina, so we've got to come up with something'. So we backdated the prescription."

    Verbruggen has always strenuously denied that he facilitated or covered up doping within the sport but he went further and in 2011 claimed that Armstrong ‘never, never, never”  took performance enhancing drugs. In 2012 Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles and in January of this year he admitted to using drugs for much of his career. He was served with a lifetime ban by USADA.

    The Dutchman has continued to serve as an honorary president of the UCI since 2008, but despite attempting to step away from the sport Armstrong’s allegations could lead Cookson to call his predecessor to an independent – but not legally binding – commission.

    "The UCI's Independent Commission of Inquiry is in the process of being set up and we are in advanced discussions with stakeholders on its terms of reference to allow full investigation of any allegations relating to doping and wrongdoing at the UCI," a UCI...

  • Tiffany Cromwell signs for Specialized-lululemon

    Tiffany Cromwell with her trophy
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 16:55 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Australian leaves Orica AIS

    Tiffany Cromwell has signed a contract with Specialized Lululemon, bringing the curtain down on her time at Orica AIS. The Australian has signed a multiple year deal with the world time trial team champions as she builds towards the Olympics in 2016.

    “Orica had offered me another year but I just didn’t to just say yes straight away. I wanted to also see what else was out there. It’s a time when my next major goal is the Olympics so if you’re going to change teams now is the time to do it. So then I contacted Specialized Lululemon to see if they were interested in me and what their programme was like. The opportunities were better with this team than they were if I’d stayed with Orica. Hopefully it’s going to work out well for me,” Cromwell told Cyclingnews.

    Specialized Lululemon have looked to bolster their team for 2014 after Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Katie Colclough announced their respective retirements at the end of the season.

    “I’ve always liked the team, from way back when they were the old HTC team. I think what Kristy Scrymgeour has done with the team has been really great. Not only do they really try and make it a professional outfit, they test so much and really look at development. She utilizes the team to try and promote the sport too, which I think is really important seeing how the sport is building at the moment. Being part of that was a major factor. If I was leaving Orica it was going to be for something equally good, if not better. I wasn’t going to downgrade.”

    Cromwell, 25, enjoyed two full seasons at Orica and stepped up to win Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in 2013. It was her only win of the season but she was a consistent performer throughout the year...

  • Women's Cycling Association launches membership drive

    Robin Farina on the start line for 2011 Presbyterian Crit.
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 18:36 GMT
    Stephanie Gutowski

    American group hopes to raise status of female cyclists

    A group hoping to elevate the status of women in cycling, the Women's Cycling Association (WCA) kicked off its "Join The Ride" membership drive on Saturday, November 16, 2013 in Davis at the Bicycling Hall of Fame with a forum discussion entitled "Establishing Equity in Women's Professional Cycling."

    WCA President Robin Farina (NOW and Novartis for MS) and WCA board member Alison Tetrick (ExergyTWENTY16) presented the vision and mission of the WCA. The group hopes "to develop, maintain, and support a network of women cyclists and supporters of women cycling" and "to create opportunity for professional women cyclists."

    "There was a lot of buzz about women cycling this year," 2011 U.S. National Road Champion Farina said. "Back in May, for the US Pro Championships, it was the first time women raced on par as the men. It was the same venue, same day, and same prize purse. That was a huge milestone for women. Janel Holcomb (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) and I chatted about what we could do to help women cycling. We decided at the next race, Philly Cycling Classic, that we would hold a meeting and try to make things happen. We invited the women of the peloton. Fifteen women showed up to discuss the challenges and at that meeting the WCA was born.

    "About a month later at the Cascade Classic, we had over 30 riders show up. We also had people who wanted to participate through Skype. The momentum was building. People started to recognize that this could be a viable organization. That is how we want to market ourselves. We see ourselves as the unified voice of the women peloton."

    Panelists Taylor Wiles (Specialized lululemon), Olivia Dillon (NOW and Novartis for MS), and Emily Kachorek (Vanderkitten) shared how they began racing. They all agreed that having a unified women cycling voice will help them and the next generation of riders gain equity and exposure.

    The League of American Bicyclists released a report...

  • Pooley signs with Lotto Belisol

    Emma Pooley (Great Britain) was pleased with bronze in the time trial
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 19:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    British rider intends to compete until 2016 Rio Olympic Games

    Emma Pooley has signed for the Lotto Belisol Ladies' team in 2014. The 31-year-old British rider will bring her climbing and time trial skills to the Belgian squad. She is making the move from the Bigla team.

    "Next season, my focus will be on the Giro Rosa and the Flèche Wallonne, which will be the most important races for me," said Pooley according to her new team.

    "I'll see with the team what other races I will take part in, but those two are my main goals. It depends a bit on the course of the Giro, but if I participate in a race, I try to win it. That doesn't automatically mean I can win it, but that's what I'll aim for. You should always aim for your best and then you'll see where you end up. I'll probably be also happy with a podium place, but I have never won the Giro and, of course, I would like to be the best one day. And in the Flèche Wallonne, I'll try for a second victory."

    Pooley's palmares include several major victories such as the overall classification of La Grande Boucle Féminine in 2009. She has also won the Tour de l'Ardèche twice, and this year she was the best in the Tour Languedoc Roussillon. She has finished in the top five of the Giro four times, and in 2011 and 2012 she was second. Since her pro début in 2006, she has also won several one-day races like the Flèche Wallonne in 2010, the GP Ouest France - Plouay and the Trofeo Binda.

    In 2010, Pooley became world time trial champion in Geelong. In the same year, she was British champion on the road and in the time trial. In 2008, she won the silver medal at the Beijing Olympic time trial race, and in 2012, she was sixth at the Olympic time trial. She intends to compete until 2016, when Brazil will host the summer Olympics.

    "In the more distant future, I'd like to aim for Rio 2016, but that depends partly on the course as well. If it...

  • Verbruggen strikes back at Armstrong

    UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
    Article published:
    November 18, 2013, 20:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Since when does anyone believe Lance Armstrong?

    Former UCI President Hein Verbruggen has hit back at Lance Armstrong after the American alleged that Verbruggen helped to cover up a positive test corticosteroids during the 1999 Tour de France.

    Armstrong made the claim during an interview with the Daily Mail. He stated that "the real problem was, the sport was on life support. And Hein just said, 'This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport, the year after Festina, so we've got to come up with something'. So we backdated the prescription."

    Vergbruggen was the head of the sport’s governing body throughout Armstrong’s seven year winning stretch at the Tour de France and frequently battled with the media over how doping ought to be covered. In 1999, with the Festina affair fresh in the memories of the media, fans and sponsors, Verbruggen is alleged to have helped Armstrong create a post-dated medical document that upheld Armstrong lie that the cortisone for which he had tested positive was being used for a saddle sore. Armstrong went on to win the Tour of renewal as it was subsequently dubbed.

    After Armstrong’s allegations at the weekend, a timely reminder of how much he knew of cycling’s past, Verbruggen hit back. His phone was off when Cyclingnews attempted to contact him, but he the Dutchman, who in 2011 claimed that Armstrong ‘never, never, never’ took drugs, sent a text message to NOS, a Dutch television station.

    “Since when does anyone believe Lance Armstrong? When with Oprah Winfrey he said he never settled something with the UCI? Or since he makes movies and interviews and hints that there are juicy stories to come?

    “His story is illogical because it was not a positive anti-doping offence, in the opinion of the competent authority. That authority was not the UCI, but the French Ministry. After...

  • Belkin backs bus driver who allegedly hid EPO in underpants

    Belkin Pro Cycling Team jersey
    Article published:
    November 19, 2013, 1:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Bommel and de Vos cooperating

    The Belkin Pro Cycling team today announced that it will not take action against its team doctor Dion van Bommel or bus driver Piet de Vos over allegations made by Michael Rasmussen in his autobiography "Yellow Fever".

    Rasmussen alleged that de Vos helped to hide the riders' drugs. “One day in 2007 the gendarmerie came to check our bus. We had drugs hidden in the bus, but our bus driver Piet hid the EPO in his underpants,” Rasmussen said.

    He also stated that van Bommel wrote him a prescription for cortisone for an injury he did not have.

    The team stated, "The management of the Belkin Pro Cycling Team checked external sources and talked at detail with team doctor, Dion van Bommel and bus driver, Piet de Vos in response to Michael Rasmussen's recent statements. Both employees fully cooperated. The team has no reason to investigate further or to take action against them. The management of Belkin Pro Cycling supports both employees and closes the case."

  • Specialized-lululemon finalise squad for 2014

    The Specialized-lululemon team
    Article published:
    November 19, 2013, 2:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Four new riders for women's TTT world champion team

    Team Specialized-lululemon will continue for a third year in the women's professional peloton having retained seven riders and added four new faces. The team took home 30 UCI victories in 2013 and finished the season ranked third overall in the UCI World Cup.

    The line up will include returning riders Lisa Brennauer, Loren Rowney, Carmen Small, Ally Stacher, Evelyn Stevens, Tayler Wiles and Trixi Worrack. Joining the team are French National Champion Elise Delzenne, Dutch rider Chantal Blaak, Canadian Karol-Ann Canuel and Australian Tiffany Cromwell.

    Despite having lost Ellen van Dijk, the team remains positive about its chances for success in 2014 with its new recruits and continuing goal to get more women riding. "We're looking forward to our third season with exciting things happening in women's cycling and some talented new riders joining our roster" said team owner Kristy Scrymgeour.

    Cromwell is one of the new riders looking forward to increased opportunities having penned a multi-year deal. Cromwell's long term goal is for success at the 2016 Olympics and believes that a new team and new environment will result in more victories.

    The new signings for the team will fill the void left by the retirements of Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Katie Colclough while there remain several riders more than capable of winning both one-day and stage races.

    The team's success on the road in 2013 has helped to continue the growth of women's cycling which was further incentive for the title sponsors to commit for another year. Specialized and lululemon are both looking forward to continuing their successful partnership in sponsoring the...