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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Date published:
September 25, 2012, 03:00
  • Brailsford vague on Leinders investigation

    Dave Brailsford keeps a watchful eye over Mark Cavendish (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 11:43
    Barry Ryan

    “I think we’re addressing the issue”

    Over two months on from claiming that Team Sky would conduct an internal investigation into Dr. Geert Leinders’ time as team doctor at Rabobank, team principal Dave Brailsford has yet to announce the results of his inquiry.

    Questioned by Cyclingnews on the matter in Maastricht on Sunday, Brailsford divulged no details on the nature of the investigations or his findings, simply saying that a conclusion would be reached “soon.”

    Leinders was the team doctor with the Rabobank team in 2007 when Michael Rasmussen was expelled from the Tour de France while in yellow for evading doping controls in the build-up to the race. Leinders left Rabobank in 2009.

    In May of this year, former Rabobank manager Theo De Roy told Volksrant that doping had been tolerated on the team up until at least 2007, saying that it was “a deliberate decision of the medical staff.”

    Leinders joined Sky in the winter of 2010 in a part-time capacity, working 80 days a year for the team. His appointment came less than a year after Team Sky had pledged that it would only employ doctors who had never before worked on professional cycling teams, supposedly in order to ensure that the sins of cycling’s past could have no place in this new team.

    Brailsford was at the world championships over the weekend in his capacity as British Cycling’s performance director, and before the start of the men’s road race start in Maastricht on Sunday morning, Cyclingnews asked Brailsford for details on the nature of the supposed investigation – namely, has that internal investigation begun, what does it consist of and when will it conclude?

    Brailsford paused before replying: “Well, I think we’re addressing the issue. We’re satisfied with what we’re doing and we’ll come to a conclusion soon.”

    A follow-up question was interrupted. “I don’t want to comment on it anymore,” Brailsford said, already edging towards his team bus, before adding: “We’re here to talk about the Worlds, aren’t we?”

    Speaking to The Times and Cycle Sport magazine during this year’s Tour de France,  Brailsford linked the decision to hire Leinders to concerns for his riders' health at the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, when a number of riders were struck by an unrelated illness in the days following the death of soigneur Txema Gonzalez from a bacterial infection.

    “This is not about doping. We’re pushing the guys to their limits, so we need to look after them. It’s about genuine medical practice,” Brailsford insisted in July, adding that the team would make inquiries about Leinders’ role at Rabobank.

    Leinders, who worked at Rabobank from 1996 to 2009, was not present at the Tour de France in July, where Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins and Chris Froome filled the first two spots on the podium.

    World championships
  • McCarthy to Saxo Bank as neo-pro

    Jay McCarthy (Jayco-AIS) was very happy for his first win of the season in Europe
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 13:31
    Cycling News

    Australian youngster signs for two years with Danish team

    Jay McCarthy will make his professional debut with Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank in the coming year. The 20-year-old Australian signed a two-year contract with the Danish WorldTour team.

    McCarthy, who has been with Jayco-AIS the last two years, has six wins this season. Most recently he won the prologue of the Tour de l'Avenir. He has also taken stage wins at the Tour de Bretagne - Trophee des Granitiers, Toscana - Coppa delle Nazioni and the New Zealand Cycle Classic, where he also won the overall title. He also won the one-day race Trofeo Piva Banca Popolare di Vicenza.

    "I have no doubts whatsoever that Jay is an enormous talent, and his future in cycling looks bright, if he can continue developing as a rider,” said team owner Bjarne Riis on the team website. “Therefore it is crucial for him and us to now focus on his progression rather than results. He is still very young and therefore he will get a protected race program.”

    McCarthy was happy with this next step in his career. “Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank offered me a plan for my progression, that I liked a lot, and at the same time I can be part of a team run by Bjarne Riis and learn from some of the best cyclists in the world,” he said.

    He acknowledged that “it is a big step for a young rider, but I know it will be tough at times and I'm ready to work hard to progress. I also know my race schedule will be looked after and manicured to fit my development. I will be pushed, but it is part of a bigger plan. So I'm really looking forward to next season.”

  • French sports minister calls for UCI to uphold Armstrong sanction

    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 14:00
    Hedwig Kröner

    National Anti-Doping Agencies must remain independent, says Fourneyron

    The French Minister for Sport, Valérie Fourneyron, has welcomed the recent developments in the case against Lance Armstrong, making a firm call for the International Cycling Union (UCI) to uphold the sanctions imposed by USADA when it will receive the dossier from the American Anti-Doping Agency.

    "I would not understand it if the UCI doesn't strip Lance Armstrong from his seven Tour de France titles. The UCI has to take its responsibilities regarding USADA's conclusions. It's the last necessary step in this procedure," Fourneyron told Le Monde on Monday.

    The minister also underlined her support of the collaboration between the French Anti-Doping Agency AFLD and its American counterpart. In an exclusive interview with L'Equipe also published on Monday, Travis Tygart, head of USADA, indicated that both agencies had worked together very well, and that the AFLD had provided a part of the evidence gathered against Armstrong: the documents relating to six samples taken in 1999 that came back positive for EPO when re-tested in 2005.

    "The AFLD and its former president, Pierre Bordry, played a crucial part in the Armstrong affair. They resisted various pressures. Personally, I will be very vigilant that there is no political intervention in the fight against doping. The independence of AFLD has to be respected," continued the member of the social democratic party, who succeeded to a conservative predecessor in May 2012.

    By making these statements, Fourneyron alluded to Armstrong's good relations with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy. In an interview with Le Monde from August 27, 2012, AFLD's scientific counsellor Michel Rieu said that political pressure had made the head of the AFLD Pierre Bordry resign from his job in September 2010. It was during Bordry's time that the AFLD and its anti-doping laboratory Chatenay-Malabry had performed the re-testing of Armstrong's 1999 samples.

    "In October 2009, Armstrong was invited to lunch at the Elysée," Rieu recalled. "It was known that he wanted to obtain the departure of the AFLD president, Pierre Bordry, who resigned one year later. In March 2010, Armstrong presented Sarkozy with a bike. And a few months later, Sarkozy praised Lance Armstrong as a role model during a stage of the Tour de France. It was abusive."

    In that same interview, Rieu also stated that Armstrong was regularly notified of anti-doping controls during his career, and that he was often given some time alone before submitting the requested samples. "The persons collecting the samples had some trouble carrying out unannounced controls without Armstrong benefiting from a 20-minute delay. He was warned about the controls every time. In 20 minutes, a lot of manipulation is possible," continued Rieu, also implicating the UCI and alleging the world governing body of cycling contributed to the scheme that made Armstrong's treachery possible. Armstrong has always denied allegations of doping and called the USADA case a witch hunt.

    "In 2009, we drew up a report on how Armstrong's team was advantaged by a favouring treatment from the UCI inspectors. At the time, we were at odds with the UCI. Our role was marginal but we were aware of the difficulties the controllers had with the American cyclist," the Frenchman added.

    Now, Fourneyron was adamant that the fight against doping was on the right track. But she also warned that those responsible for any cover-ups would be held responsible. "The Armstrong case shows that there are interests that can hold down the fight against doping. If there hadn't been a very strong will on the part of the independent authorities like USADA or AFLD, the case would not have moved forward.

    "This procedure, when it will be concluded, will certainly shed some light on the moments where there have been flaws - and there is no doubt that there have been flaws."

  • Gallopin ends season with hand fracture

    Tony Gallopin (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 16:06
    Cycling News

    Crash at Worlds alters RadioShack line-ups

    Team RadioShack-Nissan has confirmed that Tony Gallopin will put an end to his 2012 season after suffering a broken bone in his hand as a result of a crash in the UCI Road World Championships road race on Sunday.

    Gallopin was due to compete in the upcoming Gran Piemonte, Paris-Bourges and Paris-Tours, but will not be on the start line. The French rider sustained his injury in a massive pile-up with 50km left to race in the Valkenburg circuit.

    The team announced its line-up for the coming races. Sprinter Daniele Bennati will head up the team for his home Italian races, Milano-Torino and Gran Piemonte.

    RadioShack for Milano-Torino: Jan Bakelants, Daniele Bennati, George Bennett, Ben Hermans, Chris Horner, Yaroslav Popovych, Oliver Zaugg and Haimar Zubeldia.

    Gran Piemonte: Jan Bakelants, Daniele Bennati, Ben Hermans, Chris Horner, Yaroslav Popovych, Thomas Rohregger, Oliver Zaugg & Haimar Zubeldia.

    Circuit Franco Belge: Matthew Busche, Laurent Didier, Jakob Fuglsang, Giacomo Nizzolo, Joost Posthuma, Gregory Rast, Jesse Sergent, Robert Wagner

    Il Lombardia: Jan Bakelants, George Bennett, Ben Hermans, Chris Horner, Yaroslav Popovych, Thomas Rohregger, Oliver Zaugg & Haimar Zubeldia.

  • Txurruka critical of new Euskaltel philosophy

    Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in the day's break
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 16:55
    Peter Cossins

    Basque team will be "just like any other" if it takes on foreign riders

    Amets Txurruka responded to Euskaltel-Euskadi's decision not to offer him a new contract with a highly critical appraisal of the Basque team's new philosophy. Txurruka said of the changes about to be introduced, which are likely to include the arrival of foreign riders. "I will now see the team as just any other. It won't be special any more."

    Formed in 1994 and supported since then by a foundation headed by Miguel Madariaga, the Euskaltel team has only ever fielded riders born in the Basque Country or schooled within the cycling set-up in that region. However, the management company set to take over the squad at the end of the season, which is headed by former team manager Igor González de Galdeano, has made it clear that it will sign foreign riders with UCI points in order to ensure the team's continued presence in the World Tour.

    Speaking to Basque newspaper Deia, Txurruka, who has been on the roster for six seasons and has been a member of the foundation since its inception, said he would prefer to see the team drop down to Pro Continental and maintain its existing philosophy.

    "I joined because I felt that this team was different, that it was a team for the Basque Country, a bit like Athletic [Bilbao]. It's always been like that, but it seems to me that this is ending," he said.

    Txurruka confirmed that he supported the letter written by seven former Euskaltel riders (Fernández de Larrea, Haimar Zubeldia, Markel Irizar, Beñat Intxausti, Jonathan Castroviejo, David López and Iker Camaño), who criticised this new philosophy, as well as the decision not to retain Txurruka and Iván Velasco on the roster. "It is going to be difficult to accept the fact that a lot of good riders from the Basque Country who have been part of this project will be sidelined from it while the team is filled up with foreigners," said Txurruka.

    The 29-year-old Basque also criticised the timing of the call he got last week from González de Galdeano. Although recognising the returning team manager was totally within his rights to select whomever he wanted for the squad, Txurruka said he had received indications throughout the year that he would remain on the roster, and did not know any different until González de Galdeano called him last week.

    He fears that it may now be too late for him to find a place on another team for next season. He added that seven other riders currently on the team may find themselves in the same position. "It's a question of human respect," he said.

    Txurruka explained that González de Galdeano had told him that the reason he is not getting a new contract is because he does not have any WorldTour points. "He also told that he thinks that I haven't progressed as I should have and that the Amets of 2007 hasn't steadily improved. For that reason, he thinks a change of environment would do me good," he said.

    Txurruka confessed he agreed with González de Galdeano's assessment to an extent, but suggested that injuries had played a major part in his failure to build on his biggest success, which was his selection as the most aggressive rider at the 2007 Tour de France.

    He acknowledged that this isn't a great way to end his career with the team. "I am sad to be leaving. I felt I was valued, I rode the best races and the fans supported me. I've been part of a team that was a very tightly knit group. Part of my sadness stems from the fact I can see this is ending, that the atmosphere is changing because of the issue of points and due to the path that the team is going down. It's not going to be the same now. It runs the risk of being a team where everyone looks out for themselves without being bothered about what happens to the guy next to them," said Txurruka, who added that he still hopes he can find a new team for next season.

  • Winless Australia tops world championship medal table

    Garner took her second junior women's road race rainbow jersey
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 18:00
    Cycling News

    Germany, Great Britain tied for most world titles

    Although it did not score any gold medals at the 2012 UCI Road World Championships, Australia showed that it is developing some of the best new talent in the world by scoring the most medals of any country at the event.

    The country excelled in the U23 men's category, netting two medals by Rohan Dennis (silver) and Damien Howson (bronze) in the time trial, while Caleb Ewan scooped up a silver in the junior men's road race. Rachel Neylan capped off the team's effort with a silver in the women's road race.

    Germany was next in the standings, thanks to its time trial prowess. The country scored both elite gold medals with Tony Martin and Judith Arndt, and a bronze medal in the junior men's category by Maximilian Schachmann. Norway also had three medals - a gold in the junior men's time trial by Oskar Svendsen and silvers from Edvald Boasson Hagen in the men's road race and Eline Gleditsch Brustad in the junior women's race.

    Great Britain scored two victories, both by the junior women: Lucy Garner became the first to take back to back rainbow jerseys in the road race, while Elinor Barker won the time trial.

    The host country, the Netherlands, managed only one gold medal, but it was a hugely popular and emotional victory by Marianne Vos in the women's road race, coupled with a bronze in the junior women's time trial by Demi de Jong.

    Medal standings

    # Country Gold    Silver    Bronze    Total
    1 Australia  0  3  1  4
    2 Germany  2  0  1  3
    3 Norway  1  2  0  3
    4 Great Britain  2  0  0  2
    5 Slovenia  1  1  0  2
    6 Belgium  1  0  1  2
    7 Netherlands  1  0  1  2
    8 United States  0  2  0  2
    8 Italy  0  0  2  2
    8 Kazakhstan  1  0  0  1
    8 Russia  1  0  0  1
    12 Denmark  0  1  0  1
    13 France  0  1  0  1
    14 Belarus  0  0  1  1
    15 Croatia  0  0  1  1
    16 New Zealand  0  0  1  1
    16 Spain  0  0  1  1

    All Medalists from the 2012 UCI Road World Championships

    Elite Women - Team Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Team Specialized - lululemon    
      Charlotte Becker (Ger)    
      Amber Neben (USA)    
      Evelyn Stevens (USA)    
      Ina Teutenberg (Ger)    
      Eleonora Van Dijk (Ned)    
      Trixi Worrack (Ger)    
    2 Orica - AIS    
      Judith Arndt (Ger)    
      Shara Gillow (Aus)    
      Loes Gunnewijk (Ned)    
      Melissa Hoskins (Aus)    
      Alexis Rhodes (Aus)    
      Linda Melanie Villumsen (NZl)    
    3 AA Drink - Cycling Team    
      Chantal Blaak (Ned)    
      Lucinda Brand (Ned)    
      Jessie Daams (Bel)    
      Sharon Laws (GBr)    
      Emma Pooley (GBr)    
      Kirsten Wild (Ned)    
    Men - Team Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Omega Pharma-Quickstep    
      Tom Boonen (Bel)    
      Sylvain Chavanel (Fra)    
      Tony Martin (Ger)    
      Niki Terpstra (Ned)    
      Kristof Vandewalle (Bel)    
      Peter Velits (Svk)    
    2 BMC Racing Team    
      Alessandro Ballan (Ita)    
      Philippe Gilbert (Bel)    
      Taylor Phinney (USA)    
      Marco Pinotti (Ita)    
      Manuel Quinziato (Ita)    
      Tejay Van Garderen (USA)    
    3 Orica GreenEdge    
      Sam Bewley (NZl)    
      Luke Durbridge (Aus)    
      Sebastian Langeveld (Ned)    
      Cameron Meyer (Aus)    
      Jens Mouris (Ned)    
      Svein Tuft (Can)    
    Junior Men - Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Oskar Svendsen (Norway)    
    2 Matej Mohoric (Slovenia)    
    3 Maximilian Schachmann (Germany)    
    U23 Men - Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Anton Vorobyev (Russian Federation)    
    2 Rohan Dennis (Australia)    
    3 Damien Howson (Australia)    
    Junior Women - Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Elinor Barker (Great Britain)    
    2 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark)    
    3 Demi De Jong (Netherlands)    
    Elite Women - Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Judith Arndt (Germany)    
    2 Evelyn Stevens (United States)    
    3 Linda Melanie Villumsen (New Zealand)    
    Elite Men - Time Trial
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Tony Martin (Germany)    
    2 Taylor Phinney (United States Of America)    
    3 Vasil Kiryienka (Belarus)    
    Junior Women - Road Race
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Lucy Garner (Great Britain)    
    2 Eline Gleditsch Brustad (Norway)    
    3 Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Italy)    
    U23 Men - Road Race
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Alexey Lutsenko (Kazakhstan)    
    2 Bryan Coquard (France)    
    3 Tom Van Asbroeck (Belgium)    
    Elite Women - Road Race
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Marianne Vos (Netherlands)    
    2 Rachel Neylan (Australia)    
    3 Elisa Longo Borghini (Italy)    
    Junior Men - Road Race
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Matej Mohoric (Slovenia)    
    2 Caleb Ewan (Australia)    
    3 Josip Rumac (Croatia)    
    Elite Men - Road Race
    # Rider Name (Country) Team Result
    1 Philippe Gilbert (Belgium)    
    2 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Norway)    
    3 Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spain)    
    World championships
  • Report: Ventoux and two ascents of L'Alpe d'Huez for 2013 Tour de France

    The famed Mont Ventoux hosts 2009 Etape
    Article published:
    September 24, 2012, 23:55
    Cycling News

    100th edition hits "XXL mode"

    The official presentation of the 2013 Tour de France may still be a month away but there is already speculation that the mighty Mount Ventoux will return to La Grande Boucle next season.

    It will be a big year for the Tour in 2013 as it celebrates its 100th edition and French news outlet Le Dauphine Libere is reporting that apart from the 'Giant of Provence' appearing for just the third time in a decade, the classic peak of the Tour, L'Alpe d'Huez will be conquered not once but twice.

    As already reported, the 2013 Grand Départ will take place on the island of Corsica. The Mediterranean island host three stages in what will be the Tour's first visit to Corsica, after having visited all the departments of mainland France, since its inception in 1903. The race will then move to Nice for a team time trial.

    According to Monday's report, Ventoux will be climbed at the beginning of the third week. In its last appearance in 2009, Ventoux proved decisive for Alberto Contador (Astana) en route to general classification victory, while Juan Manuel Garate (Rabobank) triumphed on the demanding stage.

    On July 18, the Tour hits "XXL mode" according to the report, with two ascents of L'Alpe d'Huez. Starting in Gap, the peloton will head up the infamous 21 switchbacks before travelling back down via the Col de Sarenne on soon to be asphalted roads. The stage will the reach a crescendo with another ascent of L'Alpe d'Huez.

    Also the penultimate stage is believed to be an uphill time trial to Semnoz.

    The presentation for the centenary Tour de France takes place in Paris on October 24.


    Tour de France
  • Merida on board with Lampre from 2013

    The Lampre-Merida team will race on the Scultura SL for the 2013 season.
    Article published:
    September 25, 2012, 01:55
    Cycling News

    Association with Wilier comes to an end

    Lampre-ISD will become Team Lampre-Merida from next season until the end of 2015 with the Taiwanese manufacturer moving to road as its next logical step from mountain biking.

    Given the company's association with the Multivan Merida team which its held since 2004, according to a press release, "entering the UCI World Tour has been long-awaited and the next logical step to get the best showcase possible for the brand's premium road products."

    Lampre-Merida will race on the Scultura SL while team bikes will be "tailor made" for the rigours of the spring classics and their demanding parcours along with "particularly aerodynamic models for long escapes and building a lead-out train for a sprinter are going to be presented throughout the next year," it says.

    Meantime Merida will unveil a time trial rig that has been "developed from scratch".