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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Date published:
November 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Contador CAS hearing gets underway in Lausanne

    Alberto Contador at day 1 of his CAS hearing
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 11:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    WADA and UCI to focus on biological passport data

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing into Alberto Contador’s positive test for Clenbuterol gets under way in Lausanne on Monday, all of fourteen months after the Spaniard returned an adverse analytical finding for the substance at the 2010 Tour de France.

    Contador was cleared of wrongdoing by his national federation (RFEC) in February, but both the UCI and WADA subsequently appealed to CAS against that decision. The case was first due to be heard in June, before the Tour de France, but the hearings were postponed, first until August and then until November.

    The four parties involved in the hearing, the UCI, WADA, RFEC and Contador, will each be granted thirty minutes on Monday morning to present their principal arguments and formally list their witnesses.

    According to CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb, 23 witnesses will be called to give evidence, including 13 nominated by Contador’s legal team, while Contador will also be heard. “The hearings will begin this Monday afternoon and will continue over the following two days,” Reeb told L’Équipe.

    The morning of Thursday, November 24 will see the four parties present their closing statements, before the arbitration panel retires to deliberate, with a verdict not anticipated until early January.

    Efraim Barak of Israel will preside over the arbitration panel, and he will be joined by Quentin Byrne-Sutton (nominated by the UCI and WADA) and Ulrich Haas (nominated by Contador and the RFEC).

    Contador will be represented by British lawyer Mike Morgan and Gorka Villar, while Luis Sanz will represent the RFEC. Philippe...

  • Cavendish maps out 2012 plans

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    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 12:13 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    British star also excited at being favourite for BBC Sports Personality Of The Year

    Fresh from success at his return to the track at Revolution in Manchester over the weekend, British world road race champion and Tour de France green jersey winner Mark Cavendish has been digesting the news that he is the current favourite with bookmakers for the BBC Sports Personality Of The Year Award and has also revealed his plans for next season.

    Cavendish is generally available at odds of 6/5 to win the coveted end-of-year BBC award, which is decided by a public vote - shorter in the market than the likes of Open Champion Darren Clarke and 5,000m world champion Mo Farah. He stated that his position as favourite shows just how much the sport of cycling has entered the national consciousness in recent years.

    “Who'd have thought that cycling would be mainstream a few years ago?” Cavendish told the Telegraph. “That a cyclist who hadn't won the Olympics would be in the running for Sports Personality? Even just talking about it just shows how big cycling is now. I’ve had brilliant years but this one especially so I think. I’m quite excited about it [Sports Personality] and am hopeful of making the podium.”

    He will aim to follow in the footsteps of Tom Simpson, who won the award in 1965 following his world championships victory in San Sebastian. The only other cyclist to be named Sports Personality of the Year was Chris Hoy, who triumphed in 2008, the...

  • Moncassin responds to Noah's call for legalised doping

    Moncassin says Thor Hushovd is his favorite to win the points classification at this year's Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 13:03 GMT
    By:
    Hedwig Kröner

    Former tennis champion's comments "inadmissible and irresponsible"

    There has been great public indignation in France since the publication on Saturday of former tennis champion Yannick Noah's column in newpsaper Le Monde. Noah, a well-known French tennis player in the 80s, now turned Reggae singer, wrote on doping in sports and levelled accusations of cheating against Spanish athletes.

    "How can one nation dominate the sport to this extent? [...] Today, sport is a bit like Asterix at the Olympic Games: if you don't have the magic potion, it's hard to win. And there, we get the impression that they - just like Obelix - fell into the magic potion. Lucky them," Noah wrote.

    "In Spain, the Fuentes affair just fizzled out. Most of the good doctor's clients were spared. [...] But why do we roll out the red carpet for Contador to come back to the Tour after he returned a doping positive (due to a bad piece of meat, of course...)? Let's stop being hypocrites. [...] The best attitude to have is to accept doping. And then everybody would have the magic potion," he added, calling for a legalisation of doping that has attracted plenty of criticism in his home country and abroad.

    In the cycling community, Team Type 1 sports director Frédéric Moncassin reacted to Noah's comments, calling them "inadmissible and irresponsible. He has a son that is in top level sports [NBA basketball player Joakim Noah - ed.]. In cycling, we have been fighting doping for a very long time. It's a battle. I am a 150 per cent against legalising doping."

    In an interview with 20minutes.fr, Moncassin argued that the prohibition of performance-enhancing substances was mainly done to protect athletes' health. "Doping is illegal because it's not good for athletes' health. To...

  • Hushvod wins AIJC award for 2011

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    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 17:02 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Norwegian beats Voeckler by one vote

    Thor Hushovd is the 2011 recipient of the Trophée AIJC, the annual prize awarded by the Association of International Cycling Journalists to a rider or cycling personality deemed to be particularly open to the press. He was presented with the award at a luncheon in Erps-Kwerps, Belgium on Monday.

    “Humanly speaking, this prize has a great value, I’m very proud of it,” Hushovd told dhnet.be.

    Hushovd wore the rainbow jersey with distinction throughout the season, especially at the Tour de France, where he took two stage victories and enjoyed a week-long spell as overall leader. After riding for Garmin-Cervelo in 2011, Hushovd will join Cadel Evans and Philippe Gilbert at BMC next year.

    The Norwegian secured 147 votes, just one more than second-placed Thomas Voeckler. The other nominees were Mark Cavendish, Alberto Contador, Tom Boonen, Bradley Wiggins and Fränk and Andy Schleck.

    “We’re honouring a champion who, in spite of an extremely busy schedule and numerous obligations, honours his profession by being particularly accessible to journalists,” AIJC president Gilles Le Roc’h said.

    The AIJC award was inaugurated in 2008, and a rider can only be honoured once during his career. Preceding Hushovd on the role of honour are Paolo Bettini (2008), Philippe Gilbert (2009) and Fabian Cancellara (2010).
     

  • WADA presents compliance report and reveals budget freeze

    WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 17:51 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Global economic crisis also affects Anti-Doping Agency

    World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) has published its Compliance Report, the conclusion of a three-year monitoring process where WADA assessed the anti-doping rules and regulations of signatories to its Code. Moreover, WADA announced that the organisation's budget for 2012 could not be increased due to the current economic crisis and would therefore remain the same as this year.

    The Compliance Report showed that many European National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADO's) were non-compliant with the World Anti-Doping Code: Albania, Andorra, Belgium (German Community), Belgium (City of Brussels), Greece, Malta, Monaco, Portugal and San Marino.

    On the two American continents, a total of 7 NADO's were also cited as not having achieved the criteria agreed by the WADA Executive Committee in September 2010. These were Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti and Uruguay.

    "WADA is all too aware that in this current economic climate it is sometimes difficult for the NADO's to implement changes at the speed within a normal timeframe," stated WADA President John Fahey. "We have had regular communication with all signatories listed as non-compliant, and we are encouraged by the fact there is a will to achieve compliance, even though the reality is proving much harder."

    On a more positive note, Fahey pointed towards the 100 percent compliance that was found for the 35 Olympic International Federations as well as for the 32 IOC Recognized International Sports Federations.

    However, WADA's need for a two percent budget increase was not approved by the Foundation Board. Instead, it was decided that in light of the current economic turbulence worldwide, the Agency would operate at the same level of funding.

    "Clearly it is not an ideal situation to have our budget frozen at a time when associated costs have risen and when the rate of inflation in Canada is running at 3 percent," said Fahey. "But economies across the...

  • FDJ, Euskaltel-Euskadi and AG2R confirmed for WorldTour

    UCI
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 19:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    RadioShack, GreenEdge still up in the air

    The UCI today confirmed that French teams AG2R-La Mondiale and FDJ and Spanish squad Euskaltel-Euskadi will be in the WorldTour in 2012.

    The three teams were outside the UCI's top 15 in sporting criteria and were up against Team Europcar and Geox-TMC for the final three spots. FDJ rejoins the sport's top tier after a one-year hiatus.

    Europcar's application was rejected, according to the UCI, while Geox withdrew its application. The team lost its title sponsor and is currently fighting for its existence, while its riders are free to seek contracts with other organisations.

    The UCI's Licensing Commission is still awaiting for additional documents from the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek and GreenEdge teams before their applications for the WorldTour can be decided upon.

    In addition to its previous announcements upholding the existing licenses of eight teams, the UCI granted a three-year WorldTour bid for Katusha and Lotto-Belisol, a two-year license for FDJ and Omega Pharma-QuickStep and a one year extension for Saxo Bank.

    Vacansoleil-DCM's place in the WorldTour for 2012 was not among the confirmed teams in the UCI's November 2 list of renewals, but was officially added to that list in today's announcement, with the decision having been made on November 9.

    2012 WorldTour teams

    AG2R La Mondiale
    Astana Pro Team
    BMC Racing Team
    FDJ
    Euskaltel – Euskadi
    Garmin – Cervélo
    Katusha Team
    Lampre - ISD
    Liquigas – Cannondale
    Lotto Cycling Project
    Movistar Team
    Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team
    ...

  • GreenEdge unfazed by extra paperwork

    Shayne Bannan posses in front of the Greenedge Cycling van.
    Article published:
    November 21, 2011, 23:18 GMT
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Bannan still confident of Australian project's WorldTour place

    Despite the news that the UCI are still waiting on additional documents in order to secure its WorldTour status for 2012, the GreenEdge team remains confident of its place in cycling's top tier.

    GreenEdge General Manager Shayne Bannan told Cyclingnews that today's revelation from the UCI's Licensing Commission was "no surprise" and explained that this was just another step in the lengthy process of becoming Australia's first team in the WorldTour. Team management met with the Licensing Commission last week.

    "We've been through a fairly rigorous application process and being a new team they're [the UCI] within their right to make sure everything is thorough, as it should be," he explained. "Again we're confident of supplying the documents that are needed and as urgently as possible."

    While Bannan would not confirm just what was required by the UCI, Cyclingnews understands that the remaining requirements relate to minor detail and the additional paperwork would be provided to the governing body in coming days.

    With the Pegasus Sports saga still fresh in the memory of many, today's announcement by the UCI did set alarm bells ringing for the Australian cycling community. Bannan rejected any calls for concern while admitting that GreenEdge may have been placed under the microscope with previous projects in mind.

    "I think that could be a possibility but the UCI always had the intention to really step up that process with or without what happened to Pegasus, particularly with new teams and quite rightly so as well," he said. "I'd say that any new structure and team will come under more scrutiny than the teams that have been established.

    "We...

  • Atkins credits Southland win to stress-free atmosphere in NZ

    Josh Atkins (Kia Motors) is the new leader of the Tour as well as leading the U23 classification
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 0:35 GMT
    By:
    Alex Hinds

    Talented climber another to find Canberra perfect for training

    Joshua Atkins (Trek-Livestrong) overall victory at the Powernet Tour of Southland catapaulted him into the record books as the race's youngest-ever winner. After coming close to winning the Tour of Tasmania against a seemingly unstoppable Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) it was clear the New Zealander was on some sterling form.

    But even he surprised himself with his performance in Southland. Though Atkins was the benficiary of four-time-winner Hayden Roulston's withdrawal on stage 5, it wasn't like the win fell into the 19-year-old's lap. He won solo on the queen stage to Crown Range, and was strong enough to hold off the onslaught of the full Pure Black Racing team in the following days to show the maturity of a rider that have many pundits tipping him for a big future in the sport.

    "I didn’t do a whole lot of racing overseas during the season [because of the last minute non-invite to Utah and Colorado]," said Atkins. "Not as much as I would’ve liked. But after Tassie I made the decision to come home and ride Southland. I think it was a good way to finish the season, I really enjoyed being back home in the lead-up to the race, and the race itself was really enjoyable."

    "It is a race that holds a special place for every New Zealand rider. So to win was very special. I went in chasing a stage and the under 23 jersey. When Hayden pulled out, winning the under 23 also meant winning the Tour. I would've preferred to try and take the jersey off him on Crown Range, but that's racing. Guys abandon all the time, just look at this year's Tour de France."

    A fast improving "mountain goat" Atkins has already posted a number of good results this year when the road tilts up. Along with the win on Crown Range,