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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Date published:
May 09, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • International Olympic Committee may retest 2004 samples

    Tyler Hamilton (Phonak)
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 22:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Athens Olympic doping samples set to be destroyed in August 2012

    The International Olympic Committee (IOC) may perform a re-test of doping samples from the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens according to the Associated Press on Tuesday.

    The frozen samples are set for destruction this summer, but IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist indicated that some samples may be re-tested. More sophisticated tests exist now compared to eight years ago, and the agency may be able to catch dopers who used substances that were undetectable at the time. Such substances include insulin and growth hormone.

    WADA had requested the re-test of the 2004 Olympic samples using newer testing methods, and if it happens, it won't be the first time the IOC has re-tested samples belatedly. It did so for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. While no new positives were detected from the 2006 Olympics, five athletes tested positive for EPO CERA in the 2008 re-testing.

    "This is the very message that we wanted when we asked people to store (samples) for eight years," WADA director general David Howman told the AP on Tuesday. "If you cheated and you thought you got away with it, you might have to think again. Don’t look yourself in the mirror until the eight years are up."

    It is standard procedure for Olympic doping samples to be stored for eight years. The Athens storage period will expire on August 29, 2012.

    Six medallists, out of 26 positive doping cases, have already been caught from the 2004 Olympic Games out of a total of 3,600 tests that were performed during those Olympics.

    There has been no decision on how many or which samples will be re-tested or for exactly which substances they will be tested. Ljungqvist estimated that re-testing could range from 100 to several...

  • Phinney taking Giro d'Italia day-by-day

    Taylor Phinney is simultaneously attended to by medics and interviewed after his Giro d'Italia stage 3 crash
    Article published:
    May 08, 2012, 22:24 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American maglia rosa to defend lead in TTT

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) made the most of his Giro d’Italia rest day by recuperating after his stage 3 crash. The American maglia rosa hit the tarmac inside the finale and was swiftly taken to the hospital after the podium celebrations. Scans revealed no broken bones, but treatment required several stitches to his badly swollen ankle.

    His race lead stands at nine seconds and with Wednesday’s 32.2-kilometre team time trial on the horizon, Phinney has been taking no chances.

    “Today I’ve just been lounging around. Last night I couldn’t walk, but today I can walk on it slowly. I just rode for 15 minutes and started to warm up. It’s definitely not the most comfortable sensation, riding with a swollen ankle but I made some modifications to the shoes and I’ve just got to get as much rest as I can and we’ll see what tomorrow brings,” he said.

    Phinney and the rest of the peloton had to endure a 1,200-kilometre transfer from Denmark to Italy at the end of stage 3 and combined with two hospital visits, Phinney only reached his hotel in the small hours of Tuesday morning.

    “It was a bit of a hectic day with the flight and then going to one hospital and then having to wait a while, go to another hospital to be treated and then being stitched. I wasn’t home until pretty late but the team took really good care of me. I had a full dinner in my room when I got back and just tried to go to bed as soon as I could.”

    Despite his stage 3 travails, Phinney remained positive ahead of the team time...

  • Ferrari set to apologize to Cavendish after Giro d'Italia crash

    Roberto Ferrari (Androni-Venezuela) brought down Mark Cavendish.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 1:30 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Change of heart from Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela rider

    Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) will make a public apology to Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) at the start of stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia, after the Italian was blamed for causing a mass-pile up during the sprint to decide stage 3.

    Mark Cavendish and race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC) were among those that crashed after Ferrari deviated from his racing line.

    After the finish Ferrari appeared unapologetic, while Cavendish questioned whether the Italian should be removed from the race by the UCI commissaires.

    In a clear PR exercise to ease the tension and bury the hatchet, Ferrari will greet Cavendish - quite likely in full view of television cameras, and offer his apology.

    In a team statement, Androni announced: "After getting over the nervous tension of the race, Roberto Ferrari has declared he will publicly apologize to Mark Cavendish and to the other riders involved in the fall at the end of stage 3."


  • Porte happier and in his element at Team Sky

    Richie Porte (Sky) put in a good ride in the Tour de Romandie's final time trial, placing third.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 3:18 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Australian chasing Tour de France start alongside Wiggins

    Along his local training roads in Monaco, Richie Porte (Team Sky) hones his form. The 27-year-old, with his Sky team kit now a regular companion on his back, is home after another strong showing for the British team. This time he helped hoist Bradley Wiggins to the top step at the Tour of Romandie.

    The season has seen Porte cement himself as one of Sky's most dependable performers, and in the five months since signing a multi-year deal with the team he has positioned himself as one of Wiggins's most reliable teammates.

    "So far this season I've been consistent," Porte reflects on a season that has seen him win the Tour of Algarve as well as support Wiggins in wins at Romandie and Paris-Nice.

    It's in contrast to 2011, when Porte, although part of Alberto Contador's Giro team, almost appeared like a periphery figure on the Saxo Bank books.

    "That's been nice having moved to a new team, having a bit more motivation to get results and I've enjoyed riding with Brad in what's been Sky's GC team. I've enjoyed having the opportunity to ride for myself in races like Algarve as well."

    His transition has appeared seamless. Part of that may be due to renewed motivation but Sky were long-time admirers of the Australian, having watched him race to 7th in the 2010 Giro and wear the maglia rosa for several days in the process.

    "It's an English team and I wanted to come here and ride for them for a long time," Porte explained. "I knew I'd fit quite...

  • Spectators at Box Hill, Hampton Court to be charged to watch Olympic road races

    Plenty of spectators on hand to cheer on the peloton.
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 5:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Remainder still free of charge

    Spectators will be charged to attend the 2012 Olympic Games road cycling events in prime viewing areas with London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) citing that it's a move that will encourage more people to attend.

    Around 15,000 spectators can be facilitated for both the men's and women's road race within two areas on the 15.5km Box Hill circuit. 3,500 tickets are up for grabs at Hampton Court, the start – finish area for the time trials.

    "LOCOG has confirmed that new tickets will go on sale from 29 May 2012, which will help more people get to the Games," it was revealed in a press release.

    The majority of the rest of the race route is accessible to spectators free of charge.

    Last month president of British Cycling, Brian Cookson told The Telegraph that: "it would be better if it was free of charge" citing the sport's tradition of it being a free to view event.

    "I do appreciate the difficult environmental issues that have to be resolved in the sensitive environment of Box Hill, and you can't have an unrestricted free-for-all like the Tour de France," he said. "But while the numbers have to be managed, it would be absolutely better if it was free of charge."

    Box Hill is managed by the National Trust and at the 2011 Olympic test event, won by Mark Cavendish, just 3,400 spectators were allowed to view the race from Zig Zag Road.


  • Riis angry at UCI, grateful to fans for support

    Bjarne Riis interviewed at the Giro team presentation
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 10:15 BST
    Cycling News

    “Felt like a passenger on the Titanic,” Saxo Bank team principal says

    The last few months have been very hard for Bjarne Riis, first losing his top star Alberto Contador to a doping suspension and then facing the potential loss of Team Saxo Bank's WorldTour status. He has been let down by the UCI, he said.

    “It was hard enough having to deal with the scenario, but what was terrible for me was that I could do nothing about it. I have felt like a passenger on the Titanic ship, waiting on whether we struck the iceberg,” he wrote in a column in the Ekstra Bladet newspaper.

    "I've been missing support from UCI, and I had hoped for a helping hand from them in a difficult situation. We have, after all, shown over many years that we are a healthy and financially well-run organization, that we have been able to provide some fantastic sponsors to the sport and I also believe that we have contributed a lot of good initiatives.”

    The licensing board “luckily didn't follow the UCI's attitude,” he wrote. “We are back in a situation where we can act. Now we can look ahead, and the journey back towards the top actually began with the Giro start in Herning.”

    The fan support in Denmark during the Giro's three stages there meant a lot to him. “Both riders and I have received such great support and encouragement along the Danish roads in recent days that we are still completely overwhelmed. Thanks for that. I know that it means everything to us.”

  • Boasson Hagen leaves personal trainer to work with Team Sky staff

    A focused Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 10:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Arvesen and Kerrison to take over Norwegian rider

    Edvald Boasson Hagen has split with his long-time trainer, at the request of Team Sky. The Norwegian will now work with the team's coaches, most likely former rider Kurt Asle Arvesen and Tim Kerrison.

    “There is no drama in this,” Arvesen told “He has had some great years with Mohn, and Sky was happy with him. But the team has built up a good coaching group, and then it is natural that we want more control. Edvald is an important cog in the team and we will use our resources for him.”

    The Sky training staff includes Arvesen, Tim Kerrison, Bobby Julich and Rod Ellingworth, with the first two looking to take over Boasson Hagen.

    “It is probably mostly me and Tim Kerrison,” Arvesen said. “Tim is one of the best cycling coaches available in the world now.”

    Boasson Hagen, who turns 25 next week, has worked with Frederik Mohn for seven years. “I have no problem with this,” Mohn told “Sky is one of the top teams in the world who have the most resources to build a great coaching and support team.”

    The highlights for Mohn's time with Boasson Hagen were “the two victories in the Tour de France last year. It was like a dream.”

  • French federation tests for corticoids at 4 Jours de Dunkerque

    Anthony Charteau (Europcar)
    Article published:
    May 09, 2012, 11:35 BST
    Cycling News

    One rider did not start final stage as a result, says L’Équipe

    Twenty riders were tested for corticoids at the 4 Jours de Dunkerque on Monday in additional controls organised by the French Cycling Federation in conjunction with the Movement for Professional Cycling and France’s Ligue Nationale de Cyclisme.

    The riders, who were from French teams and MPCC member Argos-Shimano, underwent blood tests, which were analysed for elevated levels of cortisol. According to L’Équipe, one rider did not start Tuesday’s final stage as a result of the tests.

    FFC president David Lappartient told L’Équipe that the unannounced tests were carried out under the auspices of the federation, and that in the case of a sample showing elevated levels of cortisol, “a certificate preventing the practice of high level sport could be issued.”

    “There were twenty tests, and one rider did not start again,” Lappartient continued.

    In such a scenario, a rider is normally notified by registered mail that he is prevented from starting and must undergo further tests before returning to competition. L’Équipe notes that given the timeframe in Dunkerque, it would have been up to the team itself to withdraw the rider.

    The only non-starter on stage five of the 4 Jours de Dunkerque was former Tour de France king of the mountains Anthony Charteau (Europcar). Team manager Jean-René Bernaudeau said that his rider withdrew from the race due to a knee injury.

    “He had a pain in his knee, he was complaining about it last night [Monday – ed.],” Bernaudeau said. “The team doctor then took the decision to stop him. There was no point in going on, all the more so as it was cold and Anthony much prefers...