Handed two-year ban after positive test for EPO, amphetamine and steroid
Sixty-two-year-old amateur rider David LeDuc has been handed a two-year ban by the US-Anti Doping Agency after he tested positive for EPO, amphetamine and an unnamed steroid. The American returned the positive test at the US Master Road National Championships in Bend, Oregon on September 6.
LeDuc, of Willow Springs, North Carolina, had finished in seventh place in the men’s 60-64 road race. LeDuc was masters world champion in the 50-53 category in 2001, and has won multiple US masters road and criterium national championships over the past decade.
“LeDuc’s period of ineligibility began on December 24, 2013, the date he accepted the sanction,” read a statement released by USADA on Monday. “As a result of the violation, LeDuc has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved on and subsequent to September 6, 2013, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes.”
LeDuc’s positive test is the second at the US Master Road Championships in successive years. 51-year-old Richard Meeker was banned for two years after testing positive for the prohibited steroid 19-norandrostenediol at the 2012 championships.
New president says £6 million fund opens up opportunities
Riders have long been used to giving blood and urine samples when the testers come to visit, but they may soon have to donate some hair, too.
Sir Craig Reedie, the new president of the World Anti-Doping Agency [WADA], believes that a £6 million International Olympic Committee (IOC) fund will allow the agency to look at new ways of catching dopers, including the use of hair samples.
"We test in the main blood and urine, but now we will look at different approaches, such as can we use a lock of hair?” said Reedie. "This new fund from the IOC will create tremendous opportunities for advances in anti-doping and allow our scientists to look at alternative approaches to sample testing for banned substances.”
Some drugs can be detected in hair longer than they can in blood and urine, and if this method of testing is to be introduced, it could catch more drug cheats. While excited about the possible development, Reedie says it would be “naïve” to think that the issue of doping would disappear.
WADA have recently introduced a number of new initiatives, such as the steriod passport - in addition to the blood passport - and four-year bans for first-time doping offences.
Reedie spoke of the Lance Armstrong scandal and said that cycling should leave the story behind. “It has been a sensational story, but I think we should move on. There is much more to be done, and many more battles to be fought. Most of it happened more than 10 years ago, and the UCI is now in a much better place.”
Drapac Professional Cycling recently received a Professional Continental license for 2014 and will make its WorldTour debut at the Tour Down Under. The move to Pro Conti comes with several new sponsors and the associated challenges with moving riders onto the new equipment.
Drapac gave BikeRadar access to the team's initial bike fitting session, a long but important process in order to prevent injury and get the best from the riders come race day. The move to Swift Cycling frames, Bont Shoes, Fi'zi:k saddles and Speedplay pedals is a significant change for all, and for some riders it's the first major equipment change in nearly seven years.
Bike fitting expert and Clinical Myotherapist, Ken Ballhause, spoke about the processes each rider went through.
"These sessions were to establish a baseline for the riders, for the most part we were mimicking the riders' previous setups and ensuring they were comfortable. We took video analysis, with this we will be able to make future improvements and recommendations at the next training camp."
The sessions catered for a dizzying number of factors – with rider flexibility, core strength, structural fitness and previous injury all affecting the outcome. Ballhause spoke about strength and conditioning.
"I believe it's equally important as the bike fit itself, we test the riders to diagnose areas of weakness and from there I can provide strengthening exercises which has huge potential."
A change to new saddles, shoes and pedals represents challenges for many riders. As Ballhaue said: "For me the saddle represents the largest challenge, it has huge effect on the riders' baseline measurements, luckily many riders were coming from Fi'zi:k saddles. For the riders, it's always the shoes, they immediately notice the change in fit and feel."
The potential effects of a saddle change was seen with Wes Sulzberger who had crashed a few days prior to the fitting and was complaining of lower back pain. Ballhause attributed this to being a neurological issue from lumbar flexion and the perceived pain was effected by a change in pelvic tilt. A basic tweak in saddle angle or a different model would solve Wes' short-term acute pain immediately.
Click on through to the photo gallery for a glimpse of what happens when a team begins a season with new equipment, in this case, riders getting fitted to their 2014 training bikes.
Simon Gerrans heads a strong Orica-GreenEdge team for the Santos Tour Down Under, with the Australian WorldTour team looking for overall success and stage victories thanks to the presence of sprinters Matt Goss and Michael Matthews in the seven-man squad. New recruit Matt Hayman is also in the team after joining Orica-GreenEdge from Team Sky.
Daryl Impey, Simon Clarke and Luke Durbridge complete the Orica-GreenEdge line-up and will play a vial role of support for the sprinters and team leaders.
Gerrans won the Santos Tour Down Under in 2012 and the stage to Old Willunga Hill in 2013, ahead of overall winner Tom-Jelte Slagter.
“As an Australian team, this is an important race for us," Orica-GreenEdge directeur sportif Matt White said in the official announcement of the team.
“We always want to do well at the Tour Down Under. We have quite a strong team, and everyone is really motivated to bring home some good results in front of our Australian fans."
“We’re targeting stage wins and focused on the overall. We have a number of options to achieve our goals. We’re thrilled to have Mathew Hayman, a guy with so much experience in our team. He knows his way around the race and will be a big benefit for us.”
Orica-GreenEdge team for the Santos Tour Down Under: Simon Clarke, Simon Gerrans, Matthew Goss, Mathew Hayman, Daryl Impey, Michael Matthews and Luke Durbridge.
The racing begins on January 19 with the People's Choice Classic criterium. The Santos Tour Down Under begins on January 21.
Dutch squad plans to rotate co-sponsors throughout the year
Team Belkin will offer co-sponsors a place on their jersey per race or for a period of time, commercial manager Mark van de Camp told Wielerflits. "It will be possible to sponsor the team for one race only, or for a period of time. For example, if an Australian company wants to advertise during Tour Down Under only, this is possible."
UCI rule 1.3.035 states that 'each team may have only a single design for clothing (colours and layout) which may not be altered for the duration of the calendar year.' Teams may however change the design for one race per year, as for example Team Sky did for the 2011 Tour de France.
"We discussed this with the UCI," Van de Camp stated. "It's allowed to change logos throughout the season. We are now talking with several parties who are interested for the races in the USA, or the Tour de France for example. Belkin will remain on the jersey but another major sponsor will be added."
Belkin started sponsorship of the Dutch team just before the Tour de France in 2013. The team, formerly known as Rabobank, rode under the Blanco banner for the first half of the season before the American company stepped in.
"There won't be any spectacular changes to the team kit next year," Van de Camp revealed. "The design stays the same, we'll only add some logos. Our jersey was the best recognizable one in the peloton last year. Belkin also requested not to change it. This year we'll keep it like this. For 2015 we'll change the design."
Belkin has a new clothing sponsor for 2014 with Santini SMS. Bianchi supplies the new Bianchi Oltre XR2 bikes to the team.
The New Year marks the official start of the 2014 season in the professional peloton, with riders and teams finally able to show off their new team kit, bikes and sponsors.
Many riders took to Twitter to post images of their new colours during their first training ride of the year. Several teams twittered and published of their new signings in the 214 clothing.
Tour de France winner Chris Froome caused a huge reaction and numerous parodies when he posted a photo of him wearing what looks like a new Team Sky skinsuit made by Rapha. It uses an almost transparent mesh fabric with sections of lycra on just the front and rear sections of the shorts. Froome commented on Twitter: "This skin suit takes #marginalgains to the next level".
Mark Renshaw posed in his black Omega Pharma-Quick Step jersey outside his home in Australia; while the Astana team published photos of Michele Scarponi, Lieuwe Westra and the team's other new signings in the 2014 Astana jersey.
The BMC team revealed the official photos of new signings Darwin Atapuma, Ben Hermans, Peter Stetina, Peter Velits and Rick Zabel.
Bauke Mollema (Belkin) published several photos of his new Bianchi bike on Twitter, showing the combination of the green Belkin colours and Bianchi's iconic celeste blue. Italian national champion Ivan Santaromita showed off his new red, white and green Orica-GreenEdge jersey.
Kevin Seeldraeyers showed off the new blue and white jersey of the Wanty-Groupe Gobert Professional Continental team. Jonathan Cantwell posted two photos of the Swift bikes the Drapac team will use in 2014.
You can see all the photos in this gallery. We'll add more images as they published and released.
Sven Nys (Crelan AA Drinks) has presented the new Trek bike he will use in 2014, starting from his home race, today's GP Sven Nys in his home town of Baal.
The multiple Belgian champion and current world champion has used Colnago bikes for 15 years but will ride Trek until he ends his career in the spring of 2016. He recently announced he will ride for the Crelan AA Drinks team with close friend Sven Vanthourenhout.
Trek has created a new line of carbon fibre cyclo-cross bikes called Boone. Women's world Cup leader Katie Compton (Trek Cyclocross Collective) will also use the new bikes and starred at the presentation alongside Nys. She won the women's race at the GP Sven Nys on the new bike.
Trek said it is the US brand's first ever full line of carbon cyclo-cross bikes and uses the IsoSpeed seat post decoupler technology from the company's Domane road bikes. The Boone comes in three models with cantilever and disc brake options.
"My new bike is a totally different concept than the cross bikes that are already on the market," Nys told Belgian television channel Sporza.
"This system (IsoSpeed) has already proved its success, with Fabian Cancellara who won the Paris-Roubaix. But now it is built for a cross bike and so it's easier to ride. The wheels are 4mm wider for more comfort on the downhill and I can choose between normal or disc brakes."
Nys will helped Trek develop the bike in the future but admitted he was nervous about making his race debut on the green and white bike.
"I haven't trained even in the field with my new bike. My position is quite different and a race is always different than training, so I'll be careful," he said.
The Professional Continental team UnitedHealthcare debuted its 2014 jersey design at the dawn of the new year. The team's traditional "blue train" look is now split down the middle, with white and blue halves. The design is shared between the men's team and the new women's UCI squad.
The squad officially moved to Wilier on January 1, and debuted its custom painted Cento 1SR road and TwinBlade time trial bikes. “We are very excited to partner with a high quality bike brand with such an outstanding legacy of producing premium race bikes,” said team president Thierry Attias. “This is a brand that has produced an excellent product for more than a century and we are looking forward to the 2014 season and the start of a long-âterm relationship with Wilier.”
“Wilier is a perfect fit for this team as we continue to grow,” said General Manager Mike Tamayo. “When we met with Wilier at their headquarters in Italy, we expected to discuss specifics on the bike frame. Not only did we discuss specifics, Wilier showed us a beautifully crafted model that was even in the correct team paint scheme that they had already produced for us. That spoke volumes. We are excited and looking forward to a great partnership with Wilier.”
The team will put the bikes to good use starting at the Tour Femenino de San Luis (women) and Tour de San Luis (men) in mid-January.