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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Date published:
June 08, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Degenkolb adds to success in Dauphiné

    John Degenkolb is understandibly pleased with a hard-fought sprint win
    Article published:
    June 07, 2011, 19:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Hopes clean wins will woo German media back to cycling

    German John Degenkolb from HTC-Highroad collected his first success at World Tour level as he rode the finale to perfection to win the Critérium du Dauphiné stage 2 in Lyon. At the top of the côte de la Croix-Rousse, the WorldTour debutant outsprinted Thomas Voeckler and Samuel Dumoulin, the two Frenchmen tipped for the victory, and therefore confirmed the excellent beginning of his pro career.

    This is his fifth victory of the year after stage 2 of the Tour of Algarve, stage 1 of the Three Days of West Flanders, the GP Frankfurt and stage 2 of the Tour of Bayern. "I've had a super start and this is another super victory," Degenkolb said in Lyon. "I'm absolutely happy."

    The 22-year-old from Gera, the town of former cycling greats Olaf Ludwig and Jens Heppner, showed an amazing self-control when Voeckler and Dumoulin attacked in the final kilometer. "I knew they would do it," Degenkolb told Cyclingnews.

    "I'm a neo-pro but it was obvious these guys would be very strong in a finish like this. When I saw three riders from Cofidis going to the front at the bottom of the final climb, they were evidently preparing something for Dumoulin. I found the best position, in third place at the last corner, from where I was able to take the shortest way to the finishing line."

    The Frenchman who came second admitted the superiority of the newcomer. "I was just beaten by someone stronger than me,"...

  • Vacansoleil announces short list for Tour de France

    The 2011 Vacansoleil team
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 0:11 BST
    Cycling News

    13 riders up for nine spots in team's Tour debut

    Four Dutch riders and four Belgians top Vacansoleil-DCM's short list for the Tour de France. Also on the list is Romain Feillu, who has brought in eight of the team's 14 wins this season.

    Wout Poels, Rob Ruijgh, Lieuwe Westra and Johnny Hoogerland are the homeland nominees for the Dutch team, with Stijn Devolder, Björn Leukemans, Frederik Veuchelen and Thomas De Gendt representing Belgium.

    Others vying for a spot on the team's Tour de France debut are Borut Bozic (Slovenia), Matteo Carrara and Marco Marcato (Italy), Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan) and Feillu. The French rider wore the leader's yellow jersey for one stage in the 2008 Tour.

    In addition to Feillu, Carrara and Devolder have also previously ridden the Tour.

    Westra, Veuchelen and Ruijgh are currently riding the Criterium du Dauphine. De Gendt, Devolder, Bozic, Carrara, Lagutin, Marcato and Poels will ride the Tour de Suisse (June 11-19), while Leukemans, Feillu, Ruijgh and Hoogerland will ride the Ster ZLM Toer from June 15-19.

    The team will announce its final Tour line-up on June 23.

  • Tyler Hamilton to lose 2006 Mt Washington record

    Tyler Hamilton (Rock Racing)
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 4:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Organisers decide that admissions from cyclist discredit result

    Tyler Hamilton and Genevieve Jeanson have been stripped of their Mt Washington climbing records after race organisers ruled that their results no longer had legitimacy. Both cyclists have admitted to taking drugs during their careers and this prompted the annual bike race to re-write the race record books.

    According to AP, director Mary Power felt that the in the wake of Hamilton’s admissions on CBS the organisation needed to make a decision.

    "These races are held independent of any other governing body, and we have never conducted drug testing for them," Power said. "However, following the revelation by Tyler, as well as Genevieve's earlier confirmation that she used banned drugs from the age of 16 until her retirement 10 years later, we are respecting the rulings of national and international cycling federations, and we are no longer recognizing any of their times here as records."

    Hamilton’s record will be passed back to the previous record-holder (in the Masters category) Mike Engleman. Jeanson’s record meanwhile now belongs to cycling veteran Jeanie Longo of France, who posted the now quickest time in 2000.

  • Evans, Wiggins lucky to avoid being caught out on stage two

    Cadel Evans and Nicholas Roche battle up the final climb
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 8:01 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC and Sky work together to bring things back together after split

    A split in the final 500 metres of stage two of the Criterium du Dauphine saw Cadel Evans (BMC) lose six second to overnight leader Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana). However, that deficit could have been far worse had the Australian’s team not managed to pull him back from a lapse in concentration with 15 km to go.

    Evans, along with Team Sky leader, Bradley Wiggins were too far back when cross winds shattered the bunch into a number of smaller groups. Fortunately, the presence of another team captain meant BMC and Sky were more than happy to work together to bridge back to the front group.

    Team Sky director Sean Yates explained after the race exactly what happened in the closing kilometers.

    "There was an incident in a town about 25km out which caused a bit of commotion and someone let the wheel go. You don't need a second invite at the front to put the hammer down and that’s what happened so our lads had to produce some work along with the BMC riders who were riding for Cadel Evans," said Yates.

    Evans meanwhile bemoaned the extra work that was required from his team on a day that he would’ve preferred to pass without incident.

    "The (BMC) boys were great in correcting my errors there, a drill I would rather not have to put them through. Lucky for us Sky guys were napping at the same moment," Evans said on his blog.

    Wednesday’s stage sees the riders take on the same time trial...

  • Riccò suspended by Italian Cycling Federation

    Riccardo Ricco signs a souvenir
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 10:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Temporarily suspended from racing over health concerns

    The Italian Cycling Federation has announced that it has temporarily suspended Riccardo Riccò from competition, citing concerns over the rider’s health.

    A statement from the FCI on Wednesday morning said that the federation’s Health Commission, presided by Dr. Luigi Simonetto, had recommended “suspending the athlete Riccardo Riccò from competitive activity for reasons related to the health of the athlete himself.”

    Riccò was hospitalised with a serious kidney ailment in February of this year and was subsequently sacked by his Vacansoleil-DCM team. Last week, he signed for the Meridiana-Kamen Continental team and was planning to return to action at the Tour of Serbia on June 13.

    When contacted by Cyclingnews on Wednesday morning, Riccò said that he had not been informed of his suspension.

    Modena public prosecutor sends documentation to CONI

    Before the announcement of Riccò’s suspension, Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Wednesday morning that the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) had received documentation related to Riccò’s February illness from the public prosecutor in Modena.

    It is understood that CONI anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri forwarded the data to a haematologist on Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to establish whether Riccò’s condition had been caused by a blood transfusion. Torri was set to request an immediate precautionary suspension for Riccò if evidence of a transfusion was confirmed.

    At the time of his hospitalisation in February, Riccò allegedly confessed to a doctor in Pavullo that he had undergone a transfusion with blood that had been stored in his domestic refrigerator for 25 days. The Italian later denied making such a confession.

    However, according to Gazzetta’s Luigi Perna, the doctor in Pavullo confirmed his version of...

  • No more facts4lance

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack).
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 11:52 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Armstrong’s website removed after 60 Minutes clash

    Lance Armstrong’s website has been taken down from public view with immediate effect after his legal team told Cyclingnews that there was ‘no need’ for it to remain up.

    The website has been set up in a bid to discredit accusations made by Tyler Hamilton and Floyd Landis. The pair had each individually alleged that they had seen Armstrong take performance enhancing drugs during their stints with the US Postal team, while also accusing Armstrong, his former team boss Johan Bruyneel, and the sport’s governing body the UCI of covering up a positive EPO test from the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

    Landis’s accusations were made in the May 2010, while Hamilton’s hit the front pages roughly a year later in an exposé interview with US show "60 Minutes."

    “Now that the heart of the "60 Minutes" story has been completely debunked by subsequent revelations, there's no need for the CBS-focused site any longer,” said Armstrong's lawyer, Mark Fabiani.

    During the interview with "60 Minutes" Hamilton told the show that, "I saw him inject it [EPO] more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times. He was the leader of the team. He doped himself like everybody else, being part of the culture of the sport."

    When asked by "60 Minutes" reporter Scott Pelley about Armstrong's repeated statement that he'd never tested positive, Hamilton said, "I know he's had a positive test before...for EPO [at the] Tour of Switzerland, 2001."

    Armstrong’s legal team reacted by...

  • Mario Aerts back in action after heart scare

    Mario Aerts (Omega Pharma - Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 12:24 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian hopes to ride national championships

    Veteran Belgian rider Mario Aerts is back in serious training and may return to racing at the Belgian national championships on June 26.

    The 36 year-old Omega Pharma-Lotto rider was forced to stop racing in April after a long-standing cardiac arrhythmia problem worsened while making maximal efforts. He considered undergoing minor heart surgery to correct the problem but doctors decided the non-dangerous extrasystoles were too close to the heart to risk eliminating them.

    "The arrhythmia is still there, but I feel a slight improvement," he told Het Laatste Nieuws. "That makes sense because spontaneous healing is rare."

    "I'm not worried anymore. The doctors have assured me that the situation is not life threatening. As a result, the problem has eased."

    Aerts is not expected to regain full fitness in time for the Tour de France but may soon return to racing.

    "For now, I have only trained. We’ve yet to decide on when I’ll race again but it could be at the Belgian Championship in in Hooglede-Gits on June 26," he said.

  • Pozzato hopes to recover in time for world championships

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha)
    Article published:
    June 08, 2011, 13:55 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian in talks with four teams for 2012

    Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) still has his wrist in plaster and doctors have told not to touch his bike until mid-June but the Italian hopes to make a rapid comeback in the second half of the season so he can target the world road race championships on September 25.

    Pozzato fractured his left wrist and collarbone after hitting a roadside barrier ten kilometres from the end of the final stage of the Tour of Belgium. He subsequently underwent surgery in Italy, with doctors inserting a plate and six screws to secure the three fractures in his collarbone.

    “At the moment I can’t drive, I can’t dress myself and I can’t eat very easily. But hopefully the crash will mark the end of my bad luck this year. I think I’ve paid my dues,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Pozzato had already been told he would not be selected for the Katusha squad for the Tour de France before the crash. He now hopes to return to racing in early August and then ride the Vuelta a Espana, which begins on August 20.

    “The doctor told me to take a month off the bike so my fractures heal correctly but I’m trying to keep moving by doing some walking. I soon hope to do some weights in the gym and maybe ride a stationary bike as well. My goal is to ride the Vuelta and so find some form for the world championships. It’s going to be really tight for time but I think I can do it.”

    Italian national team

    Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has invited Pozzato to attend a national squad get together in Sicily in late June. He will be unable to train with his compatriots but knows it is important if he is to secure a leadership role for the world championships.

    “Bettini has kept in touch...