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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Date published:
January 23, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Video: Ever tried to hold Greipel's wheel?

    Steele von Hoff is riding for Houn Salmon / Genesys Wealth - his former domestic team
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 2:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Steele Von Hoff describes the Tour Down Under Stage 1 finale

    Garmin Sharp's new sprint recruit Steele Von Hoff showed that he was more than up for the challenge that the WorldTour can bring, finishing fifth in the first stage of the Tour Down Under on Tuesday.

    In this video, Von Hoff discusses all the frantic action in the run in to the finish in Lobethal as the 25-year-old Australian stuck to eventual stage winner Andre Greipel's wheel, in a battle with FDJ's Arnaud Demare.

  • Video: RadioShack Leopard with cards to play at Down Under

    Hayden Roulston edges teammate George Bennett to win the 2013 New Zealand road national championships in Christchurch
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 10:45 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Bennett makes impression on Corkscrew Hill

    George Bennett was the first rider to create a real gap on the short and steep Corkscrew Hill and it looked like the 22-year-old would be the first rider to reach the summit - until Geraint Thomas (Sky) came blasting past the RadioShack Leopard rider.

    Bennett crested the climb in third position and once joined by teammate Ben Hermans, he promptly took charge of the four-rider group and sacrificed his own position for the stage and general classification.

    With a chasing pack just behind, Bennett explained he received "some friendly encouragement" from Hermans. He may have lost time at the finish but said it was better to go "all in for one" than risk being caught.

    "It was all about [Ben] Hermans today, with me and Tiago," said Bennett at the finish.

    "It would have been very different [if it was a hilltop finish]. I went really, really deep, in the red zone and I had to hang on. Normally I'm really good on the downhill but I was terrible. I was just so tired and couldn't think straight and get down the hill.

    "I actually ended up getting drifted off by one of the other riders on a corner and it stuffed my rhythm up but once Hermans was on I just had to put my head down. He was yelling some abuse - giving me some friendly encouragement."

    In this video Bennett describes the climb, tricky run-in to the finish at Rostrevor and his dedication to helping teammate Hermans. RadioShack Leopard now have two riders in the top-ten: Hermans in third at 7 seconds and Machado in 10th at 14 seconds. Bennett sits just outside the top-ten, on the same time as Machado

    "We wanted the stage win but we also wanted to get seconds on the rest of the guys for Hermans for GC. Me leading out meant we lost my position on GC but I'm still only a...

  • Dekker will collaborate with Dutch Anti-Doping Agency

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 11:35 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider encourages former teammates to come forward

    Thomas Dekker has announced that he will collaborate with the Dutch Anti-Doping Agency by providing it with precise information on his doping past and on the people who facilitated it.

    Dekker, who currently rides for Garmin-Sharp, was suspended for two years in 2009 after a retrospective test on a sample from the previous December came up positive for EPO. At the time, Dekker claimed that the positive test was an isolated incident but in an interview with NRC Handelsblad last weekend, the Dutchman admitted that he had first used EPO in 2006 and that he had undergone three blood transfusions during his time at Rabobank.

    ''As member of Team Garmin-Sharp and their policy and values, as Dutch rider and member of the Dutch federation, as ex-doper who served a 2 years suspension and as supporter of clean cycling: I announce that I will testify and fully cooperate with the Dutch Anti-Doping Authority to help further clean the world of cycling. Therefore I choose to give the full extent of my knowledge, names, dates and details,” Dekker said in a statement released on Wednesday.

    Dekker said at the weekend that doping had been a “way of life” at Rabobank, with whom he raced from 2005 to 2008. He had previously ridden for Rabobank’s under-23 and junior teams.

    The Dutch bank withdrew from sponsorship at the end of the 2012 season due to the repeated revelations of the team’s doping past. In May of last year, former manager Theo De Rooy admitted that doping was tolerated on the team until the aftermath of the Michael Rasmussen affair in 2007, while at the weekend, NRC Handelsblad reported that the team had first initiated an organised doping programme during the 1996 Tour de France.

    “There are many details and people...

  • Video: Phil Anderson's analysis of Tour Down Under stage 2

    Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) wins stage 2 of the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 12:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Thomas wins the battle over Corkscrew and moves into overall lead

    Geraint Thomas (Sky) has rocketed into the position of favourite for overall victory later this week when he won stage 2 of the Tour Down Under.

    Pre-stage favourites Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge) and Philippe Gilbert (BMC) couldn't deliver on the Corkscrew decisive climb, and in doing so, said goodbye to any hope that they may have had to capture the ochre jersey.

    The race, now in its 15th year, is very different to what has been seen in the past and here Phil Anderson and Cyclingnews' Australian Editor Jane Aubrey talk through today's shake-up of GC and look ahead to Thursday's stage to Stirling.

    Click on the video below to see what they think!

    Experience the world's most iconic cycling events riding alongside one of cycling's true legends, Phil Anderson. Phil and his team lead a suite of cycling tours to the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, la Vuelta, and more. To find out more visit or email

  • Video: De Gendt describes Stage 2 crash at Tour Down Under

    Thomas de Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) arrives in Adelaide for the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 12:52 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Pre-race favourite to concentrate on stage wins

    Vacansoleil-DCM team manager Jean-Paul van Poppel was confident Thomas de Gendt could challenge for the general classification at this year's Tour Down Under - prior to the start of Stage 2. De Gendt had showed his eagerness the day before by contesting the intermediate sprints but at the end of the second day, it was a dejected rider who will now aim for a stage victory instead of the overall win.

    "We have to be alert for anything that moves," van Poppel told Cyclingnews prior to the stage start. "Like all the teams we have to get the guys for the general classification in the front for the last climb but don't lose too much time before. Yesterday we took 2 seconds with Thomas [de Gendt] but [Simon] Gerrans and [Philippe] Gilbert took 3 seconds.

    "It [Corkscrew] is only 2km and Thomas showed-off yesterday, it was an impressive sprint he did. He's very confident for today so let's go with that."

    Prior to stage 2 van Poppel had suggested de Gendt would be amongst the first riders to crest the difficult Corkscrew Road climb but the day didn't go to plan. De Gendt was already in trouble on the early slopes and then amongst the numerous riders who got caught up in a crash on the fast and tricky descent into the finish at Rostrevor.

    In this video de Gendt describes the day's events including the crash that occurred inside the final 10km of the race. With his GC ambitions all but gone he will now look to take the opportunity to hunt for a stage win.


  • Ex-pro arrested in dope ring sting in Spain

    Monies allegedly received by Fuentes and his co-workers, plus some of the costs incurred by the network.
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 13:30 GMT
    Pete Cossins

    Spanish police turn up large quantities of doping products after year-long operation

    Police in the Spanish city of Murcia have broken up a doping ring that had been both producing and distributing products including plasma, clenbuterol, testosterone and anabolic steroids. Among the four people arrested by police following a year-long investigation was former pro rider José Luis Martínez.

    The 33-year-old was a professional between 2001 and 2006, starting out with Jazztel before moving on to Paternina and Comunitat Valenciana. His career was effectively ended when the Comunitat Valenciana team was heavily implicated in Operation Puerto in 2006.

    According to reports on the La Sexta Noticias TV network and in El País, the arrests took place in an industrial unit in Murcia. As well as large quantities of doping products, Spanish police also found machinery to manipulate blood and other devices used in the manufacture of some of the medicines seized

    The investigation started when police were tipped off about Martínez’s activities at the Vuelta a España, where he worked as a dope control chaperone for the past two years. The role required him to accompany riders selected for drug testing from the moment they finished racing until they had presented themselves at the control point for drug testing. Witnesses informed police that Martínez had been acting suspiciously. Police initiated an investigation and were able to establish that the ring was distributing counterfeit doping products to gyms and weight-training centres.

    Back in 2006, Martínez put out a press release insisting that during his three years with Comunitat Valenciana he had had no relationship with Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Puerto investigation. El País points out, however, that his name features on a list found among Fuentes’ papers that laid out plans for...

  • New order at Tour Down Under just the start of things to come

    World champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) remounts gingerly after his crash at the Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 14:04 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Sky versus RadioShack Leopard for overall honours in 2013?

    The lead up to Wednesday's second stage of the Tour Down Under pointed to a showdown between world champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Simon Gerrans (Orica GreenEdge). What occurred was anything but, with the rainbow jersey caught up in a pile-up on the descent of the decisive Corkscrew climb and the Australian not having the legs to get over it as he'd expected.

    While it was always going to be the case that German sprinter André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) would be out of the ochre leader's jersey, the selection which occurred for the general classification was very much unlike anything seen at the race before, with a waiting game until Old Willunga Hill on Saturday the norm in recent years.

    "This week just got a whole lot harder," said Thomas' key support man, Mathew Hayman after the 116.5km stage. "Let's hope we're still in the same position tomorrow."

    What will play to Thomas' advantage is the placement of another pre-race favourite, teammate Edvald Boasson Hagen, who at 1:19 behind is right on the cusp of where the contenders trail off in 26th overall.

    Their greatest challenge will be in holding off three strong climbers from RadioShack Leopard - Ben Hermans (3rd at 7 seconds), Tiago Machado (10th at 14 seconds) and George Bennett (11th at 14 seconds).

    "We wanted the stage win of course but we also wanted 10 seconds on the rest of the GC field," said Bennett post-stage. "Hermans has been here before so he has the experience and knows what to expect."

    In most other races, 10 seconds is not a lot but at the Tour Down Under, it can make or break a GC campaign with large time deficits notoriously difficult to make up.

    Stage 3 on Thursday sees the peloton cover 139km from Unley to Stirling,...

  • Report: seven out of eight PDM riders doped at 1988 Tour de France

    Steven Rooks in the polka dot jersey at the 1988 Tour de France. Next to Rooks is Dutch PDM teammate Gert-Jan Theunisse and yellow jersey Pedro Delgado.
    Article published:
    January 23, 2013, 16:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Volksrant uncovers former soigneur's notebook

    A Dutch newspaper has alleged that seven of the eight riders on the PDM team at the 1988 Tour de France were using banned substances. Volksrant has published extracts from the notebook used by soigneur Bertus Fok during the race, in which he details the substances administered to the riders.

    According to Volksrant, Fok confirmed the authenticity of the ring-bound, team-branded notebook during an interview at his home recently. Fok, who began his career as a soigneur with Peter Post’s TI-Raleigh team, joined PDM in 1986.

    Volksrant alleges that Fok was “directly responsible for the medical policy – the doctors did not make their appearance until some years later in cycling.”

    Fok’s notebook, photographs of which are published on the Volksrant website, provides details of the substances he administered to his riders during the Tour. The substances and practices used by PDM riders on the race allegedly include testosterone, corticosteroids and blood transfusions. It remains unclear whether EPO was in use in the peloton as early as 1988, but Fok said that he did not administer it at PDM.

    “I never occupied myself with EPO. That was too much for me,” Fok said.

    PDM’s best finisher in the 1988 Tour was Steven Rooks, who came second overall behind Pedro Delgado, won on l’Alpe d’Huez and claimed the king of the mountains title. Rooks confessed to doping throughout his career in 1999.

    Gert-Jan Theunisse - who had finished second behind Rooks at l’Alpe...