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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Date published:
July 31, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Ullrich may be sued for perjury

    Germany's Jan Ullrich during the
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 10:37 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German may have lied to court about not doping in early 2003, attorney claims

    Jan Ullrich may be the next to make a fuller doping confession, according to the German media. It is being reported that his management and the German National Anti-Doping Agency plan to meet early in August for discussions. More ominously for the only German Tour de France winner, however, was the news that he may be tried for perjury, dating back to when he testified that he did not dope during his time with Team Coast in 2003.

    Neither the NADA nor Ullrich's management had a comment on the proposed meeting, the SID news agency reported. The possibility of an extended confession comes after Ullrich's name appeared as “positive” for EPO at the 1998 Tour de France. His teammate Erik Zabel earlier this week admitted to having used doping products for years.

    Ullrich retired in 2007 after his name arose in association with Operacion Puerto and Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes in 2006. While he never admitted to doping earlier, he finally admitted recently that he had been a patient of Fuentes.

    Ullrich joined Team Coast in January 2003, bringing with him sport director Rudy Pevenage. The team had financial problems and was twice suspended by the UCI for failing to pay its riders. In late May of 2003, Bianchi took over sponsorship of the team.

    The perjury charges stem from a 2008 case in which former Team Coast owner Günther Dahms sued Ullrich for contract violations. Dahms wanted damages plus interest on the grounds that Ullrich doped while with the team, which violated the contract, while Ullrich countersued for unpaid wages. The court ruled in Ullrich's favour.

    At court in Düsseldorf, Germany,

  • Nibali: There's still a lot of time before the Vuelta

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 12:28 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Sicilian unconcerned by early travails at Tour of Poland

    Vincenzo Nibali’s travails on the Tour of Poland’s opening weekend in the Dolomites may have provoked some concerned headlines in the Italian sporting press, but the Astana rider is confident that he is on track for his late-season objectives of the Vuelta a España and world championships.

    Certainly, Nibali could hardly have chosen less amenable terrain for his first competitive outing since his Giro d’Italia victory in May, and the forbidding summit finishes at Madonna di Campiglio and the Passo Pordoi doled out their inevitable verdict. After two months away from racing, Nibali was not surprised to cough up over half an hour across the two stages.

    “I knew it would be very difficult because I was away from racing for quite a bit, and I only had one big block of training in the mountains for two weeks before coming back here in Poland,” Nibali told Cyclingnews after arriving in a sweltering Krakow on the Tour of Poland’s rest day.

    “Already, day by day, I’m starting to feel better. On Sunday I tried to go in the break so I could get into the rhythm of racing again and I think now is the right time to make these big efforts and to work hard. There’s still a lot of time before the Vuelta and I’m sure I’ll get there in good condition.”

    Dazzled by the spotlight in the weeks immediately following his Giro win, it was understandable that the Vuelta and Worlds scarcely registered on Nibali's horizon. Coupled with the usual demands made on a new maglia rosa in Italy, he was also summoned to be feted on two separate occasions in Astana by his Kazakh employers.

    “It’s normal but I didn’t touch the bike for around a...

  • Heppner and NetApp-Endura part ways

    Sport Director Jens Heppner looks ready to race again
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 13:00 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team wants riders to focus on season and not the past

    Team NetApp-Endura and sport director Jens Heppner have mutually agreed to terminate their professional relationship. The German was among those who tested positive for EPO at the 1998 Tour de France, according to a report issued by the French Senate last week.

    “I would like to thank Jens Heppner for the energy that he brought to our team from the very first day. Thanks to his work, we were able to establish a successful team in only three years,” said team manager Ralph Denk in a statement issued Tuesday midday.

    “In light of the current situation in the sport of cycling, both sides agree that our new generation of riders should be able to focus on the season highlights uninfluenced by other circumstances. I wish Jens Heppner all the best for the future.”

    Heppner, 48, rode professionally from 1991 to 2005. From 1992 to 2002, he was with Team Telekom. He later worked in team management for Team Wiesenhof before joining NetApp in 2009, when the team was founded.

     

  • Proposed UCI election changes "smack of attempted dictatorship," says Cookson

    UCI Presidential candidate Brian Cookson
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 13:41 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UCI presidential candidate critical of possible alterations to constitution

    UCI presidential candidate Brian Cookson has criticised a proposed amendment to the electoral process, decrying it as undemocratic, unconstitutional and “smacking of attempted dictatorship.”

    The Malaysian Cycling Federation and the Asian Cycling Confederation have proposed altering article 51 of the UCI Constitution, which states that candidates for the UCI presidency must be nominated by their own federations.

    Their proposal is that a candidate should receive the backing of any two federations rather than his/her home federation, a move that would essentially ensure that current incumbent Pat McQuaid is able to run for election in September even though Cycling Ireland refused to endorse his nomination.

    “The efforts to change the nomination and electoral process announced last night on behalf of the UCI Director General are a clear sign of desperation from the incumbent President, Pat McQuaid,” Brian Cookson said in a statement released on Tuesday.

    "This latest twist appears to be nothing more than a fraught attempt to undemocratically and unconstitutionally impact on the process while it is underway. It is no wonder that many in the cycling family as well as fans and sponsors have lost faith in the UCI to govern ethically when the man at the top of the organisation is prepared to embarrass an entire sport in an attempt to try and cling onto power."

    After Cycling Ireland voted against backing McQuaid’s re-election bid, the Irishman instead received his nomination from the federation in Switzerland, where he resides, although that endorsement has been formally challenged by three members and a ruling will be made on August 22.

    If the Malaysian motion is passed by the UCI Congress in...

  • MTN-Qhubeka looks to round out successful season

    Andreas Stauff, Martin Reimer, Rwandan champion Adrien Niyonshuti, Gerald Ciolek and Jens Zemke (directeur)
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 14:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    African team looking to ride a Grand Tour in 2014

    Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung got its first Professional Continental season off to an successful start with Gerald Ciolek's win in Milan-San Remo, but sport director Jens Zemke knows that isn't enough for the year. With wildcard invitations to the Vattenfall Cyclassics and Il Lombardia, the team has two more WorldTour races coming up this year. The African-based team isn't stopping there though, as it hopes to become the first African team ever to ride a Grand Tour in 2014.

    Amongst the team's coming races are the Volta a Portugal (August 7-18), followed by the Cyclassics on August 25. Ciolek was second there last year “and that's a really big goal for him,” Zemke said.

    “We also have Giro di Lombardia and we will aim to do as well as possible there, but if we can get a wildcard for Paris-Tours then we’d have another big race where our expectations can be high. The World Championships close to our service course and headquarters in Italy is also a goal, especially after our result last year in the team time trial. We should try to improve; a top 15 would be amazing.”

    Zemke and the team are already looking to the next season with big plans: “in a year the team hopes it will make history as the first ever African team in a Grand Tour.”

    They have their eye on either the Giro d'Italia or the Vuelta a Espana next year, “and then the Tour de France in 2015. At the moment we are thinking about the riders and planning next season and we are definitely building and everything is in planning. It’s not enough to clap our hands and say we have an invitation to a Grand Tour, we have to be ready for it in terms of logistics, riders and planning races building up to it in advance.”

    Looking back at the first part...

  • McQuaid calls his nominations by Thailand, Morocco "valid"

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 16:28 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Irishman touts international relationships in re-election bid

    The current UCI president Pat McQuaid defended himself today against criticism from his only opponent in the September election for the post, Brian Cookson, after the British candidate called a proposed change to the nomination rules "undemocratic and unconstitutional".

    McQuaid said an amendment to election rules proposed by the Malaysian Cycling Federation, which would allow a candidate to be nominated by multiple federations rather than just his or her own national governing body, was not against the rules.

    "This proposal should not come as a surprise to anyone on the UCI Management Committee," McQuaid said through his publicist. "It has now been formally submitted in accordance with the rules and it is for Congress to decide whether it should be accepted or rejected."

    McQuaid's candidature has been in jeopardy ever since the members of the Irish federation overturned the nomination of McQuaid by its board. He was then nominated through the Swiss Cycling Federation, but even that action has been challenged by three members of that federation to an arbitration tribunal.

    Facing challenges from his two native federations, and losing support from a key member of the UCI management...

  • UCI to require race wheel certification for 2014

    The SLR01 was UCI certified before carrying Cadel Evans to 3rd in the Giro d'Italia and Tejay Van Garderen to the win in California
    Article published:
    July 30, 2013, 19:14 BST
    By:
    Ben Delaney

    UCI approved stickers to be mandatory

    This article first appeared on BikeRadar.

    Professional cycling's governing body is overhauling its wheel-testing program with new protocols and required stickers for all wheels that will be used in UCI races in 2014.

    In 2011 the UCI began a frame-approval program that requires all framesets used in elite competition to be approved by the Switzerland-based organization. Under the auspices of safety and fair play, the UCI charges each company a fee for each bike submitted for approval. Combined with a rule that specifies that these stickers be placed under the frame's clearcoat, the end result for everyday riders is that many of our bikes these days have UCI stickers on them. The same could soon apply to wheels.

    BikeRadar spoke with technical coordinator Matthieu Mottet and representatives from several wheel companies about what this still-developing new program could mean for the wheels ridden by professionals and those available for sale to enthusiasts.

    "The new procedure is for January 2014 and this homologation will be mandatory for all wheels used in race only," Mottet told BikeRadar, explaining that this new procedure is an update of a current test. "All approved wheels will receive a label to confirm that they are allowed in races. The control for the commissaires will be easier."

    And, to hear Reynolds Composites' Paul Lew tell it, the new protocol could actually have some merit, whereas the current test is not worth much, he says.

    Consisting of UCI officials and wheel company representatives, the UCI wheel committee recently met in Aigle, Switzerland, to discuss a new testing standard.

    "The UCI crash test that wheels are all required to pass now came about because of the old Spinergy," Lew said of the eight-spoke carbon wheels that could...

  • USA Cycling President concerned with UCI presidential process

    USA Cycling president Steve Johnson speaks at the press conference announcing the new European training base in the Limburg province of the Netherlands.
    Article published:
    July 31, 2013, 0:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Claims McQuaid is acting contrary to good governance

    USA Cycling president and CEO Steve Johnson has come out voicing concerns over proposed amendments to the UCI presidential process. In an effort to boost his re-election prospects, incumbent UCI President Pat McQuaid has put forward an amendment that would allow a candidate to be nominated by multiple federations.

    McQuaid has stood by his amendments claiming that his proposals should not come as a surprise to anyone given that they have "now been formally submitted in accordance with the rules", and that "No one has changed the rules. No one has broken the rules."

    McQuaid’s opponent Brian Cookson has already voiced his displeasure stating that the latest actions by McQuaid are "undemocratic and unconstitutional". He even went as far as to equate McQuaid to a dictator.

    Now Johnson has joined the chorus of discontent stating that procedural changes made mid-election are contrary to good governance practices.

    "At this critical time for our sport, we must all stand together and demand strict adherence to the principles of integrity, fair play, transparency, ethical conduct, and good governance," Johnson said. "A dramatic midstream change to the procedures governing the ongoing election is inconsistent with these principles and no more sensible than changing the rules of a bike race after the race has started."

    All eyes now turn to UCI Congress to see if they will allow McQuaid’s amendments to pass when they next meet on the 27th of September.