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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Date published:
November 05, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • USA Pro Challenge names 2014 host cities

    The USA Pro Challenge jersey holders are called up to the stage 6 start line in Golden.
    Article published:
    November 04, 2013, 14:48 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race asks fans for input on stages

    Colorado's USA Pro Challenge organisers announced eight host cities for the 2014 race, and are taking the unique step of polling the fans to help them choose between four options for the race's grande finale.

    The race, which will take place from August 18-24, 2014, will begin as it did this year in Aspen with a circuit race, and then head from there to Crested Butte. The race will have its first ever true mountain top finish on stage 3, where riders will start from Gunnison and end with the ascent of Monarch Mountain at a whopping 10,790 ft in altitude.

    "I have been lobbying for the USA Pro Challenge to add a mountain top finish to the race ever since the first edition, so I was thrilled to hear stage 3 of the 2014 race will finish on Monarch Mountain," Tom Danielson (Garmin-Sharp) said. "Colorado has some of the most beautiful mountains in the world and the USA Pro Challenge draws some of the best riders in the world, so it makes perfect sense to add in a challenging mountain top finish. I have ridden Monarch many times, so I’ll be ready when the race rolls around in August."

    Stage 4 will be another circuit race, this time in the home of USA Cycling, USADA and the Olympic training center, Colorado Springs. Stage 5 will run from Woodland Park to the high altitude of Breckenridge. Vail once again hosts a time trial on stage 6, but the plans for the final stage on August 24 are still up in the air.

    Fans can help shape the final stage by going to the USA Pro Challenge website and giving their opinion on four options for Stage 7: A Denver circuit race similar to the final stage of the 2013 edition; a race start in Golden (2012 Stage 6 start city) and finish in Denver; a start in Boulder and...

  • Former UCI President Verbruggen: My conscience is clean

    UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
    Article published:
    November 04, 2013, 16:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Open letter addresses Armstrong, doping and UCI finances during his tenure

    Former UCI President Hein Verbruggen has written an open letter about various aspects of his time as UCI President and responded to what he called a "harsh media campaign against" him. It was published on Sunday by In the letter, he addressed his own integrity, relations with Lance Armstrong, the fight against doping and the UCI's finances.

    Verbruggen, who claims to have completely stepped away from sports politics, said, "I have never acted inappropriately and that my conscience is absolutely clean. With the benefit of hindsight, however, I admit that I could have done some things differently, but I do not accept that my integrity is in doubt, with what has happened in recent months. As you all know, even if there is a President, decisions are made collegially, as much by the management committee and by the Congress."

    Verbruggen began his letter by highlighting some accomplishments from his tenure at the head of the UCI, pointing to his creation of the World Cup and re-organisation of the calendar, the merger of the FIAC, FICP and UCI, and the conversion of the UCI budget from a deficit to a surplus, as well as the construction of the World Cycling Centre. He also claimed that the UCI had made serious attempts to combat doping during his presidency.

    "I have never acted inappropriately and I have a clear conscience. No facts, no evidence contradict this truth," said Verbruggen. "I refuse to engage in a silly debate and stoop to the level of those who criticize me and believe that I have to prove my innocence: in fact they are the ones who can not prove that I have done something wrong."

    "I am exasperated and tired of this endless chain of journalists who delight to fuel conspiracy theories, disguising themselves as 'investigative journalists' to sell their latest book or inflate their egos or their...

  • Orica-GreenEdge asks Weening to confirm anti-doping statement

    Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge) on the podium
    Article published:
    November 04, 2013, 17:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Australian team reacts to allegations made by Rasmussen

    The Orica-GreenEdge team has asked its Dutch rider Pieter Weening to re-confirm the anti-doping statement he signed prior to joining the team in light of allegations made by his former teammate Michael Rasmussen, that all nine Rabobank riders, including Weening, doped prior to the 2007 Tour de France.

    "We have been made aware of certain allegations put forward regarding Pieter Weening," an Orica-GreenEdge statement read, according to the Courier Mail.

    "We have asked Pieter to fully re-confirm his legally binding written statement to the team regarding his career and these issues before and after joining the team, specifically with regards to the current allegations."

    Weening and the rest of the team were required to disclose any past doping activities to the team during an external review done by Nicki Vance.

    If Weening failed to disclose doping in 2007, he would not be the first Orica member to do so. Stuart O'Grady retired and admitted to using EPO when a French Senate report naming riders from the 1998 Tour de France who had positive or suspicious samples was released. Following his admission, Vance stated that she had no knowledge of O'Grady's prior doping.

    The team added that Weening has "made himself fully available to any formal inquiry by the Dutch Federation and will follow up when these have been concluded, should there be a relevant reason to."

    Weening raced for Rabobank for eight seasons from 2004-2011 before joining Orica-GreenEdge in 2012. A stage win in the 2005 Tour de France was his only major...

  • Rebellin tax evasion trial adjourned until April 2014

    Davide Rebellin (CCC Polsat).
    Article published:
    November 04, 2013, 17:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Prosecution says rider owes €2.5 million

    Davide Rebellin’s trial for tax evasion, which began in Padua last week, has been adjourned until next year. Il Giornale di Vicenza reports that the prosecution witnesses will be heard in April, while the defence will present its case on July 10, 2014.

    Rebellin was charged with tax evasion in June 2011, shortly after his return to cycling from a two-year suspension following a positive test for CERA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

    The prosecution maintains that Rebellin – who at 42 years of age remains in the professional peloton with CCC Polsat – owes the Italian state up to €2.5 million in unpaid taxes dating from 2002 to 2007.

    While Rebellin was officially resident in Monaco during that period, the prosecution believes that he in fact spent the majority of his time in Galliera Veneta, in the province of Padova in Italy, where he lived in a house registered in the names of his parents-in-law.

    As was reported by Il Sole 24 Ore in 2011, police from Italy’s Guardia di Finanza tracked Rebellin’s movements as part of an investigation called “Operation Zero Taxes,” which began in December 2008.

    They found that only 2% of Rebellin’s flights landed in Nice, the airport for Monaco, and only 7% of his car journeys took him across the French border. He was also alleged to have a gym membership in Cittadella and was regularly seen training on the roads near Marostica.

    Il Giornale di Vicenza notes that Siro Scapin, a Galliera-based fruit vendor, has admitted...

  • Freire seeks retraction from Rasmussen regarding doping at 2007 Tour

    Oscar Freire (Rabobank) in action during stage 1 of the 2007 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 04, 2013, 19:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard ready to take legal action

    Oscar Freire has called former Rabobank teammate Michael Rasmussen and demanded a retraction regarding the Dane's claims, published in his forthcoming autobiography "Yellow Fever", that the entire Rabobank team doped during the 2007 Tour de France. Freire denied he had taken part in doping activities.

    "I have demanded an apology, and to do so publicly," Freire told "He answered that he never expressly said my name." Freire said he'd take action against Rasmussen if the Dane does not clear his name.

    Rabobank's roster for the 2007 Tour de France included Rasmussen and Freire plus Dennis Menchov, Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Grischa Niermann and Pieter Weening with Rasmussen claiming each rider was given performance enhancing drugs by the team.

    "I do not understand," Freire told "He can speak for himself or who he has seen taking substances but not the whole team, I cannot allow that."

    Freire believed Rasmussen is motivated by financial gain regarding the publication of his book.

    "Probably what Rasmussen wants to do is sell many books, but that cannot be," Freire told "These things do much damage to cycling and all of those who have been a part of it."

    Freire, a three-time world champion, withdrew from the 2007 Tour de France after six stages due to saddle sores. He did not win any stages in that year's Tour, but came close in three consecutive field sprints on stages four through six. Freire placed third behind Thor Hushovd and Robbie Hunter on stage 4 to Joigny, followed by a pair of second place finishes to Filippo Pozzato and Tom Boonen on stages 5 and 6 respectively.

  • Keough in, Mancebo out of 2014 5-Hour Energy/Kenda team

    Frankie Andreu talks to Cyclingnews on the Alpe d'Huez
    Article published:
    November 04, 2013, 22:20 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Full roster for American team released

    UCI Continental team 5-hour Energy-Kenda will return next season with its main financial backers intact, but without the team's most dominant rider. Three-time National Race Calendar individual winner Francisco Mancebo has reportedly signed with Sky Dive Dubai, a new Continental team based in the Middle East.

    "He gave us a lot of results, for sure," returning 5-hour Energy team director Frankie Andreu told Cyclingnews. "Mancebo has been wanting to get back over to Europe and race over there, and this new team I think will give him that opportunity. And he'll be closer to his family, which is what he wanted. It's a choice that he has been wanting to pursue."

    To make up for the loss, Andreu said, he's put together a 2014 roster that can be competitive chasing the overall as well as winning individual stages. Andreu added climbing specialist and general classification threat Chad Beyer from the now-defunct Champion System Pro Continental team, and the addition of former UnitedHealthcare sprinter Jake Keough to the roster should help boost the team's chances in the bunch finishes. Keough won the overall at the Tour of Amercia's Dairyland in 2013, and he has three stage wins in UCI races over the past two years at the Pro Continental level.

    "I worked hard to get Jake," Andreu said. "As soon as I saw that he wasn't on that UnitedHealthcare team, I jumped on the phone. I jumped at the chance to be able to bring him with us. I look forward to it."

    The sixth-year US-based UCI Continental team will return four riders from the 10-man 2013 roster, including Christian Parrett, James Stemper, David Williams and Bobby Sweeting, who finished sixth overall last year at the Tour of Alberta.

  • Rasmussen retracts doping allegations against Freire, Flecha

    Mickael Rasmussen (Rabobank) had a better TT than last year
    Article published:
    November 05, 2013, 0:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Weening yet to comment

    The fallout from Michael Rasmussen's tell all auto-biography and his subsequent media appointments continues with the Dane backtracking in his allegations against Oscar Freire and Juan-Antonia Flecha. Rasmussen originally implied that both of his former teammates had doped, but he carefully re-worded his statement after Freire threatened legal action.

    "There was organized doping, but it did not include all the riders," he told EFE. "Not once in my life did I see Oscar Freire doping. Flecha as well, he also didn't know anything."

    Rasmussen aired many of his assertions on Danish broadcaster DR on Sunday night, following this he participated in an online chat on where one of the questions put to him related to the percentage of riders he thought to be doping during the 2007 Tour.

    "Within the Rabobank team: 100% [used doping products]. Not everyone took the same products, but all riders were on some form of doping provided by the team. I would not want to guess at, the proportion of the total field that was doped," Rasmussen answered.

    Such wording implied the entire Rabobank team of Dennis Menchov, Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Thomas Dekker, Juan Antonio Flecha, Oscar Freire, Grischa Niermann and Pieter Weening had all used banned substances, although Rasmussen did not specify names or whether he had witnessed their supposed doping.

    One of the riders cast under aspersion, Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), is yet to comment publicly regarding Rasmussen's allegations, although Orica-GreenEdge has released their own statement asking for Weening to confirm the anti-doping...

  • Visconti hospitalised with infection

    Giovanni Visconti (Movistar)
    Article published:
    November 05, 2013, 1:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Italian Champion still recovering from Lombardia fall

    Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) has shed light on how his off-season is going so far tweeting that the aftermath of a crash during Il Lombardia has left him with a haematoma and an escalating infection requiring the 30-year-old to be hospitalised. Visconti was one of many riders to come down on wet roads during the final classic of the season but still managed to finish in 32nd position. Despite the haematoma Visconti travelled to and completed the Tour of Beijing after Il Lombardia, but it appears the situation has worsened.

    "Hospitalised in Florence. Il Lombardia left me with a haematoma and infection that mean now I cannot even walk.. it's OK," he tweeted.

    Visconti, a professional since 2005, has signed on with Movistar through to 2015. Having started his season in January the past two years, at the Tour Down Under and the Tour de San Luis respectively, Visconti will now be under pressure to recover and begin his pre-season training following this setback. Visconti was strong in mid-2013 with two stage victories, two podiums and a third overall in the king of the mountains classification at the Giro d'Italia in May.

    With their sponsorship confirmed until 2016, Movistar have been busy recruiting announcing recently that they have signed Dayer Quintana -brother of Nairo-, John Gadret, Adriano Malori, Jasha Sütterlin, brothers Ion and Gorka Izagirre Insausti as well as Juan Jose Lobato.