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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Date published:
October 12, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Hushovd: "I have never seen drugs in cycling"

    Thor Hushovd (Norway) is the 2010 world champion.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 9:46 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Says it wouldn't help a sprinter anyway

    With great power comes great responsibility and new world champion Thor Hushovd is already facing more media attention, having recently been questioned on his stance on doping.

    In an interview with his national press the sprinter said he had never used drugs, in or out of the sport. However he acknowledged that the problem exists, but added that doping would have a limited effect on his racing ability.

    “I think overall that it has a greater effect on the riders who must be good every day for a long period of time, and who must consistently ride very fast. It's harder for them than it is, for example, for us sprinters,” he told the Norwegian website NRK Sport.

    “I have never seen drugs in the cycling scene, and never in the evenings in the urban environment, so to speak,”

    He did not deny the existence of doping with the sport or the society, though. “It's about what you want to achieve. If I wanted to dope in the cycling context, I would have found it, and if I wanted to dope to have more fun on the town - if it's possible - I would have certainly found the drugs there, too, of course," he said.

     

  • Gilbert criticises Pozzato's marking at Paris-Tours

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) would not get a third Paris-Tours win
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 10:12 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Pozzato says Gilbert didn't have the legs to go clear

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) failed to make his expected impact at Sunday’s Paris-Tours and he apportioned much of the blame to Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) on crossing the finish line. Pozzato last week drew the ire of the Belgian team for his conservative tactics in the finale of the world championships road race and he was again in the firing line after the French classic.

    Gilbert attempted to attack on the Côte de l’Epan on the run-in to Tours but said that he stopped once it became apparent that Pozzato was marking him tightly.

    “I relented as soon as I saw that Pozzato was staying on my wheel,” Gilbert told La Derniére Heure at the finish. “It needs to be said, that’s his way of riding. All he does is try to make the favourites lose. He did that for two years in the classics with Boonen and now I’m his target.”

    Pozzato was quick to pour cold water on Gilbert’s assertions and felt that the Belgian was merely looking for excuses after failing to take a third successive win at Paris-Tours in spite of his impressive recent form.

    “I respect his statement, but maybe he should be a bit more honest,” Pozzato said to Gazzetta dello Sport. “I think that he didn’t have the legs, like me.”

    Last week it was Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil) who criticised Pozzato’s failure to seize the initiative in Geelong and indeed last season, the Italian admitted that he is often too ponderous at the business end of races. “Opportunities kept passing me by because I’d be there turning it over 100 times in my head before reacting, and the chance would be gone,” Pozzato confessed to Procycling in 2009.

    For his part, Gilbert took some consolation from his Paris-Tours as it confirmed that he was recovering well from his journey back from Australia. “The effects of the time lag had some...

  • Philip Deignan signs for RadioShack

    Philip Deignan (Cervélo TestTeam) sips champagne.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 10:34 BST
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Pens one-year deal with Bruyneel's American team

    Philip Deignan has confirmed a one-year contract with RadioShack for 2011, according to sources close to the Irish rider. 

    Deignan had been left without a team for next year following the the sudden announcement in September that the men's Cervélo TestTeam will disband at the end of this season.

    A solid climber, he will likely bolster the US ProTour team's stage-race prospects. Deignan is yet to compete at the Tour de France, but has raced both the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a España. He claimed his first professional victory with victory on stage 18 at the 2009 Vuelta a España into Avila. He also finished ninth overall at the race, the first Irishman to make the top-ten of a Grand Tour since Stephen Roche’s ninth-place finish at the 1993 Giro d'Italia.

    Deignan has struggled to build on that performance this year, with illness affecting him through much of 2010 and forcing him to withdraw from this year's Vuelta a España on stage 11. He told Cyclingnews last month that he had been negotiating with several squads after getting word that Cervélo TestTeam would fold.

    His deal with RadioShack marks a return to the ProTour for the 27-year-old. He commenced his professional career in 2005 with French outfit AG2R Prévoyance, who joined the ProTour in 2006. He left that team at the end of 2008 for Cervélo, with whom he had signed a two-year contract. With RadioShack's sponsorship only assured until the end of 2011, Deignan was only able to secure a one-year deal with the squad.

    Deignan joins Portugal's Manuel Cardoso, the US's Ben King, Pole Michal Kwiatkowski and New Zealand's Jesse Sergent as the riders so far confirmed to join RadioShack for 2011.

  • Boonen satisfied with comeback results

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) returned to racing at Circuit Franco-Belge.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 10:49 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Gaining form and confidence for coming season

    Tom Boonen is going into his last race of the season on Tuesday satisfied with his return to racing after major knee surgery. Knee problems kept the Quick Step rider out of racing for over three months, and he is pleased simply to be back racing.

    His first race back after surgery in July was the Circuit Franco-Belge. He did not participate in any of the sprint finishes and was in 99th place overall when he abandoned on the last stage.

    In Sunday's Paris-Tours he was 136th, finishing more than seven minutes behind winner Oscar Freire of Rabobank. But the former world champion was not upset with that result.

    "The result is of secondary importance,” he told the Belgian website Sportwereld. “This was much better than I had expected after Franco-Belge. I can take that into the winter.” Boonen added that realizing that he can ride again after the surgery “is good for my body in looking forward to 2011.”

    Boonen did well for much of the race. “'Up to ten kilometres from the finish I was still there. I was even at the head of the pack when Geoffroy Lequatre took off.” But that was it. “The battery was flat. It wasn't surprising after a very long rehabilitation. Races at this level do not lie, even if your name is Tom Boonen. There are no miracles."

    "I'm very pleased with my day," he concluded. "At the end my left knee began to pull a little bit. But that seems normal."

    His last race of the season will be the Sluitingsprijs Putte-Kapellen in Belgium on Tuesday.

  • Gesink out of Tour of Lombardy

    Robert Gesink holds up his trophy for winning the Giro dell'Emila
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 11:07 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider returns home to hospitalised father

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank), one of the favourites for Tour of Lombardy victory this coming weekend, has had to withdraw from the race. His team announced on Monday that Gesink was returning to the Netherlands as his father is in hospital after a riding accident.

    On Saturday, Gesink won the GP Emilia for the second year in a row, marking him out as a serious contender to win the season's final classic on Saturday. However, his father crashed seriously in the Bart Brentjens Classic mountain bike race in the Netherlands on Sunday, and is in hospital in Maastricht. “After Gesink had been informed of the incident, he decided to return to the Netherlands directly from Italy,” a Rabobank statement said.

    On Monday morning Gesink decided to remain in the Netherlands and not to return to Italy for the race next weekend.

    It was not known how the crash happened. Gesink's father was found in a field by a friend, and was taken by helicopter to hospital. Rabobank directeur sportif Frans Maassen told the Dagblad de Limburger that the senior Gesink's condition was “very serious.”

  • Shawn Milne named 2007 US pro men's criterium champion

    Shawn Milne (Team Type 1) in the 2009 Vuelta Mexico Telmex.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 15:21 BST
    By:
    Peter Hymas

    Kirk O'Bee's ban gives 2007 national title to silver medalist

    Shawn Milne was named 2007 professional men's criterium champion by USA Cycling as a result of Kirk O'Bee's recent lifetime ban from competition by the United States Anti-doping Agency (USADA). All of O'Bee's results from October 3, 2005, to July 29, 2009, have been nullified, including his 2007 professional criterium championship.

    Canada's Martin Gilbert was the first rider across the finish line at the 2007 USPRO criterium championship in Downer's Grove, Illinois, while Health Net p/b Maxxis teammates O'Bee and Milne finished second and third. As first American across the finish line, O'Bee was awarded the US national championship and Milne claimed the silver medal.

    It's been a time of mixed emotions for the 28-year-old Milne, who now finds himself a national champion more than three years after the fact. "A lot of people have been really excited for me and exuberant, but I don't think it changes much in my world now," Milne told Cyclingnews. "It's weird to think about because it's not like I get to celebrate. I personally think of it as kind of an asterisk but at the same time they're sending me a jersey and I'll now be known as a US champion and that's pretty cool to think about."

    While Milne will be recognized as the national champion in the record books, he's been denied the chance to feel the full benefit of the title, particularly wearing the stars-and-stripes jersey in competition.

    "That's always the biggest pull of winning a national championship in cycling is you get the attention for an entire year," said Milne. "People have talked to me and said that it's so unfortunate that it's worked out this way, but back at that race I did my job perfectly."

    Milne played the consummate team player role to perfection in the championship race in 2007 for his teammate O'Bee and Milne is pragmatic about contemplating an alternate scenario to the race.

    "For him to not be there doesn't mean I automatically...

  • Matschiner given suspended prison sentence for role in blood-doping

    Bernhard Kohl at his anti-doping hearing in 2009.
    Article published:
    October 11, 2010, 17:35 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Mastermind behind Austrian blood doping scheme, including Kohl

    Stefan Matschiner has been sentenced to fifteen months prison for violation of Austria's anti-doping laws. Fourteen months of the term are suspended, and his time already served covers the other month.

    Matschiner was Bernhard Kohl's manager and helped Kohl and others undergo blood doping. At first the doping was carried out through a Vienna blood bank, and later through equipment which Kohl and other athletes financed. Kohl is serving a life-time ban after having tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France.

    Judge Martina Spreitzer-Kropiunik found him guilty of attempted blood doping and the distribution of illegal doping products.

    The trial had come down to a question of whether Matschiner had participated in the doping scheme after August 2008, when Austria's anti-doping law went into effect. Kohl testified at the trial that he received a transfusion from Matschiner in September 2008, which the manager denied.

    Before the verdict was announced, Matschiner said he was happy to have the trial over, and that he would never be involved in the sports business again. “I will never come back, because it is so disgusting. Rather, I am happy that it has happened and that I can finish it off. This chapter is closed for me,” he said, according to ORF.at.

  • Meyer: Australia can get back on top at London Olympics

    Australia's Micheal Freiberg (2nd) and Cameron Meyer (1st) celebrate their country's clean sweep in the scratch race.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2010, 2:44 BST
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Commonwealth Games performance a sign of Australian track resurgence

    Cameron Meyer believes Australia's dominant performance at the Delhi Commonwealth Games is a signal that the nation will be able to challenge Britain's position as the top Olympic Games track cycling team at the London Olympics in 2012.

    Meyer himself claimed three of the 12 gold medals awarded to Australians on the track in Delhi and told Cyclingnews that the team's performance as a whole showed that they are on course for a strong showing in two years' time.

    "Obviously in Beijing the British team were the strong nation and they've really stamped their authority as the number one track cycling team. But over the last two years' world championships the Australian team has really come back into form," he said. "We've got a lot of young riders who've really shown maturity with the results that they're achieving.

    "I think when we get to London in two years' time it's going to be a closer contest between the Australian and British teams," he added. "I think we've shown we'll be one of the favourites and hopefully we can really take it up to the Brits."

    Meyer took gold in both the men's points and scratch races, and joined Jack Bobridge, Michael Hepburn and Dale Parker to win the men's 4000m team pursuit. The latter was achieved with a time of 3:55.421, a new Commonwealth record and the fastest time in history by an Australian quartet. He then completed a busy programme by joining the Australian men's team for the road race on Sunday, an event won by teammate Allan Davis.

    "I got more than what I expected out of the competition. My main aim going in was the points race and I achieved that, then to top it off with the fastest time by an Aussie team in the team pursuit was unbelievable, and the scratch race on top of that was an added bonus. I couldn't ask for much more," he said.

    Meyer said the decision by a number of Great Britain's top track riders to forgo the Commonwealth games hadn't disrupted...