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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Date published:
October 25, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • CAS' Ullrich verdict delayed

    A satisfied Jan Ullrich speaks to the press after his Tour de Suisse win
    Article published:
    October 24, 2011, 13:33 BST
    Cycling News

    Sport's highest court to announce ruling by end of November

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has decided to postpone its final verdict on the Jan Ullrich case to November 30. The hearing of the case, in which the UCI accuses Swiss Olympic of having dropped its investigation against the former rider when he was allegedly implicated in Operacion Puerto, took place in August and was initially due to be ruled last week.

    "The verdict will be announced on November 30 at the latest," Ullrich's media manager Falk Nier told Cyclingnews upon our request for an interview. "Jan will respond to your questions following the CAS ruling."

    The 1997 Tour de France winner fell from grace when his T-Mobile team released the rider in the wake of the Spanish blood doping scandal surrounding Eufemiano Fuentes in 2006. One year later, Ullrich's DNA was used to reportedly match blood found at Fuentes' headquarters to him.

    As Ullrich retired from the sport and left the Swiss federation in 2006, Swiss authorities claim they have no jurisdiction to open an investigation any more. Having turned to CAS about the matter, the UCI hopes to set a precedent for retired riders not being immune to legal proceedings if caught up in doping cases.

  • Dekker to provide information to WADA

    Thomas Dekker (Chipotle) was back in action after his doping ban
    Article published:
    October 24, 2011, 16:17 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dutchman waiting on Garmin-Cervélo decision

    Thomas Dekker is to meet with WADA officials in the coming weeks. The Dutch rider, who came back from a two-year doping suspension in July, has offered to cooperate with the sport's anti-doping body.

    In a letter addressed to David Howan, Dekker states: "I am fully disposable and cooperative with regard to possible questions you might have in connection with my knowledge of doping in the world of professional cycling."

    The letter was dated April of this year, during Dekker's suspension, but Cyclingnews understands that the rider will travel to Lausanne, Switzerland in the coming weeks for what could be one of the most important discussions on doping in recent years. Dekker served a two year ban for EPO use but was also embroiled in the Human Plasma case.

    "I've chosen to be 100 per cent transparent and forthcoming to WADA about my past, not to rectify past wrongs, but to help them test more effectively and to prevent doping in the future," Dekker told Cyclingnews via email.

    "My 2 years have been served, in their entirety, so speaking to WADA isn't a ''deal'' to help them with some ongoing investigation, it’s simply my own desire to try and help out going forward. I can help them make sport better. Period.''

    The rider has yet to sign a contract for next season but has been committed to a future at Garmin-Cervélo. He rode for their development team in the second half of this season and won the Duo Normand two-man team time trial with Garmin-Cervélo's Johan Van Summeren. However, a crash has forced him off the bike in recent weeks.

    Despite that, Dekker has aimed at rehabilitating his career in the same fashion as David Millar – as a vocal rider in the fight against doping, who himself rides for Garmin.

    In August, Dekker told...

  • Pinot pleased to be part of French renaissance

    Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
    Article published:
    October 24, 2011, 18:24 BST
    Barry Ryan

    FDJ talent hopes to impress in Vosges in 2012

    French cycling has enjoyed something of a renaissance on the international stage in 2011 and young talent Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) believes that renewal has come about thanks largely to a change in the mindset of the nation’s riders.

    After concerted efforts were made to tighten anti-doping measures in France in the wake of the Festina Affair in 1998, there was long a sense that French riders were left behind in a peloton that often appeared to travel à deux vitesses. However, Pinot is hopeful that the situation has changed in recent years.

    “It’s a question of a new generation of riders, but above all, it’s also the case that we don’t have a complex against the best in the world anymore,” Pinot told Cyclingnews. “Before there was the question of doping, but now I hope that we don’t have any more excuses.”

    While Thomas Voeckler’s exploits in yellow at the Tour de France constituted the marquee performance of the French resurgence, the blossoming generation of riders still in development is perhaps the greatest cause for cheer. Pinot was one of a number of younger professionals to impress at a high-level in 2011, while France also took both the junior and espoirs rainbow jerseys at the word championships in Copenhagen.

    “It’s clear from the world championships that there is a renewal of French cycling taking place,” Pinot said. “Voeckler is the leader of French cycling at the moment, but there are young riders coming up behind him and as they have shown on some of the biggest races, they’re not...

  • Morton enjoys opportunistic day in Grafton to Inverell

    Australian Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development Team) finished sixth overall for his best result and is a rider to watch in future tours.
    Article published:
    October 24, 2011, 23:07 BST
    Alex Hinds

    19-year-old wins sprint and mountains prizes despite interrupted preparation

    Lachlan Morton (Chipotle Development) put in a memorable performance in last weekend’s Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic, featuring in the day’s decisive break on the way to picking up both the Sprint and Mountains classifications. The result was particularly impressive considering that the 19-year-old’s participation at the event was only confirmed three days prior.

    A nagging knee injury had meant the Port Macquarie local had been unable to train for over a month leading into the race, following a big season in the United States and Europe.

    Despite the time off the bike, Morton decided to participate at the event anyway- and in the end - was not far off winning it.

    "I was uncertain as to how well I could go today, I really had no idea where my form was, just with the knee troubles and the time off the bike," Morton told Cyclingnews. "But on Wednesday I just decided, that yeah I was going to do it, and it’s turned out really well."

    On the crucial climb up the Gibraltar range, an opportunistic Morton made what would be a race defining move with eventual winner Mark Jamieson (Jayco-2XU), with the youngster shredding the chasing field on the 18 kilometre climb.

    "I felt really good on [Gibraltar]," said Morton. "I had some pretty good legs at that point so I just went. Even when we got caught [by the eight others after the summit] I felt alright. But going into the final 30 kilometres, the early effort, and the lack of miles in the legs caught up with me."

    Despite looking the strongest climber in the break, Morton was unable to follow the late move of TDU rider Mark O’Brien on Gibson’s Hill, and eventually finished in sixth, in the second group on the road.

    A fatigued Morton did however pick up the King of the Mountain and Sprint prizes with both coming as just reward for his...

  • Notorious "cheese grater" corner cut from 2012 Jayco Bay Cycling Classic

    Stage two was held in the bayside township of Portarlinton
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 1:52 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    GreenEdge to form part of another best-ever line up

    There will be a slight but significant change to the annual Jayco Bay Cycling Classic, slated for January 1 in the new year with the infamous "cheese grater" corner nullified by a new Portarlington circuit which is traditionally one of the toughest in the four-race criterium series. The 23rd edition of the Classic will also mark the debut appearance for the GreenEdge outfit.

    The 2012 Classic, which is often referred to as the fastest of its kind in the world, begins with the traditional hot dog circuit around Ritchie Boulevard at Geelong's Eastern Beach and continues the following day with the tough two kilometre burn through the botanic gardens.

    The Portarlington circuit has caused many riders to come to grief over the years with the road surface on the flat out final corner being memorably likened to a "cheese grater" by Olympic gold medallist Scott McGrory when he was managing the A and I Helicopters team in 2008 and one of his riders, Darren Lapthorne, crashed heavily. This season, a crash involving several members of the peloton in the women's event resulted in Belinda Goss suffering a broken collarbone.

    "I had to really look at what we were going to do," Jayco Bay Cycling Classic director John Trevorrow told Cyclingnews. "I don't like it [the new circuit] as much as a visual because it's a bit bigger and you don't see it all.

    The revised Portarlington circuit is slightly longer at 1.3 kilometres with the start finish area reversed from previous years.

    "It's still going to be a great finale because it's going to be a very tight corner, one you have to brake for so they get around that and there's a little dog leg up to the finish so it will be an exciting finish," Trevorrow explained. "It's still a tough circuit but it will still be a case of only the strongest survive."

    The series will then continue to Williamstown for the...

  • Landis faces 18-month suspended sentence

    Floyd Landis in 2006 giving a press conference after testing positive in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 4:19 BST
    Cycling News

    French court winds up hacking investigation

    The prosecutor investigating claims that Floyd Landis attempted to hack the computer of the French anti-doping agency in an apparent quest to change the data in his 2006 Tour de France doping case, has recommended the American be given an 18-month suspended sentence.

    An identical penalty has been recommended for Landis' coach Arnie Baker, who is also named in the case.
    The Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre issued an arrest warrant on January 28 which was valid only for France.

    Landis tested positive for testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France. His doping controls were handled by the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory. In November 2006, the lab reported that its computer systems had been infected with a "Trojan Horse" virus, which was used by someone to access the lab's confidential documents. The lab said that data had been removed or changed, allegedly in an attempt to discredit the work of the organisation.

    The main character in the trial is Alain Quiros, who worked for a company named Kargus Consultants. He is accused of having hacked computer systems and illegally retrieved thousands of confidential documents for a multitude of clients, including Landis.

    Further investigations however revealed more hackings, involving big industrial clients such as French energy firm EDF, who allegedly asked Quiros to spy on Greenpeace.

    Quiros is reported to be held accountable also for breaking into the systems of Luxembourg firms Eurolux and Heine, who allegedly intervened in doubtful commission payments for the sale of submarines to Pakistan in 1994. This information led to a bigger investigation for presumed corruption, which currently involves several persons close to French president Nicolas Sarkozy.

    Landis, however, has

  • Record field set to race Melbourne to Warrnambool

    Tom Peterson (Garmin-Slipstream) and Leigh Howard (Jayco/AIS) during their breakaway attempt on stage three from Warrnambool to Apollo Bay.
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 5:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Victorian State Government also pledges future financial support

    A record field will contest this weekend’s Melbourne to Warrnambool Cycling Classic, with more than 200 elite men registered to take part in the 262 kilometre event.

    Melbourne to Warrnambool is the penultimate race on the Australian National Road Series calendar, where Genesys rider Nathan Haas is currently leading the standings.

    Race director John Craven described the entry numbers as amazing.

    "The response is a tribute to the bold decisions and enterprising hard work done by the Warrnambool Citizens’ Road Race Committee during the past 16 years," he said. "It’s not just the size of the fields – the quality is pretty special."

    Along with Haas; teammates Steele Von Hoff and Pat Shaw, Matthew Lloyd (Fenton Green P/B Spencers Race), Chris Jongewaard (Budget Forklifts) and Chris Jory (Bikebug.Com) will all be racing.

    The Victorian State Government has also announced that it will fulfill an election commitment to pledge $200,000 of funding toward the event, released over the next four years. The boost, announced by Minister for Sport and Recreation, Hugh Delahunty, will help to financially secure the event until at least 2014.

    "Today’s announcement will ensure Australia’s oldest one-day road cycling event continues to thrive and provide a launch pad for the next generation of road cycling heroes," Delahunty said.

    The funding was welcomed by Warrnambool Citizens’ Road Race Committee president Brendan Gleeson who congratulated the Government on its support for one of Australia’s greatest and best-known regional sports events.

    "It’s a tremendous morale-booster for our hard-working committee and all associated with the classic," Gleeson said. "The Melbourne to Warrnambool Classic is an Australian sports institution. It’s great that the State Government also recognizes...

  • Veilleux and Garneau come out in defence of Canadian cycling

    Canada's David Veilleux (Team Europcar)
    Article published:
    October 25, 2011, 7:57 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Garneau looking to work with FQSC, CCA and CCES to 'eliminate' doping

    In the wake of the news late last week that riders Arnaud Papillon and Miguel Agreda Rojas had independently sought out and used the banned performance-enhancing drug EPO, David Veilleux (Europcar) and with Louis Garneau have decided to publicly come out in defence of clean cycling.

    In a prepared statement, Veilleux fired back at critics of the sport, and rejected the idea that doping is the only path to success in cycling.

    "Today, I take part in high level competitions that I used to watch on video as a kid," said Veilleux. "I have gotten to this level with hard work, self-discipline and lots of determination.

    "It has been possible for me, like others, to reach the professional level without risking my health, my life and that of people around me. I sincerely wish that the young people around me who want to become cycling racers do not let themselves be lured by a few individuals’ wrongdoing.

    "To race cleanly and win is possible."

    Garneau echoed the sentiments of Veilleux in a similarly impassioned statement.

    "When the news about Agreda came out last Friday night, I was surprised and angry, but [for David and I] the Papillon and Agreda cases are exceptions."

    "I want to ask parents and coaches to be ever vigilant with children and young adults. An athlete on drugs often isn’t very obvious. We must make people aware of the problem again and talk about it as much as needed. Most of all, we all have to work hand in hand to win this fight against the worldwide performance enhancing drugs problem."

    A clear approach for the future

    Garneau also coupled his words with a strategy to stamp out and discourage future doping practices within his organisation. Among the key steps to be...