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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Date published:
November 14, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI to set up a doping hotline for riders

    UCI president Pat McQuaid answers a question during a press conference held during the UCI road world championships in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 11:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    McQuaid reaches out to riders

    The UCI will set up a confidential hotline for riders to contact it about doping issues. The world federation is reaching out to riders in the aftermath of the Lance Armstrong investigation, making itself more accessible and responsive to the peloton. UCI President Pat McQuaid announced this and other plans in an email sent to all riders earlier this month.

    The UCI wants to be “as accessible as possible, and in particular to you the riders, should you wish to discuss issues or concerns relating to doping. That is why, during the coming weeks, also after a small time frame to set up the logistical side, the UCI will be looking into establishing a new open line – a confidential ‘hotline'”, he wrote.

    “I know that it will take some time to build trust and confidence in this new line of communication, but I am confident that, with the best intentions from both sides, we can build that trust. And by doing so, we will accelerate the change in culture that we need in our sport.”

    He also addressed concerns that information shared with the UCI has not always been followed up on. “I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the UCI did act on information provided in the past and it will always do so in the future, within the bounds of what is legally feasible.”

    Specifically, McQuaid noted that a general amnesty is not allowed, “but the current review of the World Anti- Doping Code may provide different possibilities in the future. The rules do currently allow reduced penalties. We are aware, and doing the utmost to address your proposals/needs in the effort to do the best by our sport.”

    The Independent Commission...

  • Andy Schleck to open 2013 campaign at Tour Down Under

    Frank and Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 13:16 GMT
    Cycling News

    Earliest season start ever for RadioShack-Nissan rider

    Andy Schleck will start the 2013 season as early as possible, tackling the Tour Down Under for the first time. The RadioShack-Nissan rider hopes to ride a full and successful season after his disastrous year in 2012.

    L'Equipe reported that the younger Schleck brother will be at the start of the Tour Down Under in Adelaide on January 20. In the past he has not started his season until mid-February at the earliest.

    Schleck's 2012 campaign started out modestly, as he rode but did not shine in the Ardennes Classics while working towards his season goal, the Tour de France. However, all his hopes were dashed when he crashed in the time trial of the Criterium du Dauphine in early June. He was later found to have fractured his pelvis in the crash.

    The injury forced him to miss the Tour de France and London Olympics, and in fact he was unable to come back to racing until the Tour of Beijing in October.

    Schleck ended the year with only 28 racing days. He had no wins, with his best result being 22nd overall in the Circuit de la Sarthe. Of the six stage races he rode, he finished only two, the Tour of Oman and Sarthe.

  • Zomegnan becomes advisor to Lampre-Merida

    Angelo Zomegnan, Giro d'Italia race director
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 14:47 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Giro chief to help team with marketing and communications

    Angelo Zomegnan, former head of the Giro d'Italia, has joined team Lampre-Merida as a Senior Advisor to the Board. He will use his journalism and marketing background to help the team with marketing, communications and public relations.

    Zomegnan took over direction of the Giro in September 2004, and was released in July 2011. At the 2011 Giro, he came in for much criticism for certain safety and security issues.

    In a statement issued Tuesday, the team said that he would help with “placement of the worldwide company, supervision of national and global communication, marketing strategies” as well as serving as a liaison for sports at an institutional and governmental level.

    "It gives the whole team a great honor to have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and professional skills of a figure as esteemed as Angelo Zomegnan,” team manager Giuseppe Saronni said. “The objectives of the new season are many and of vital importance, but I am sure we choose the right person to help us in achieving them. "

    The team's statement also cited Zomegnan's background as a “journalist, editor, managing editor of La Gazzetta dello Sport, director of the Giro d'Italia and director of RCS Media Group, a member of the Foundation and Vice President of the World Anti-Doping Agency.”

  • Sutton out of hospital after being hit by car

    Clancy and Sutton are over the moon as Bobridge has to settle for team pursuit silver
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 14:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    GB coach hopes to attend weekend track event

    British Cycling head coach Shane Sutton has left hospital after being hit by a vehicle whilst cycling last week. He expects to attend the track World Cup meet in Glasgow this coming weekend.

    Sutton suffered bleeding on the brain after being hit in Levenshulme. He remained in hospital a few days for scans and tests. He is said to have been wearing a helmet, but fell heavily on his head. A police inquiry into the incident is underway.

    His accident happened less than 24 hours after British rider Bradley Wiggins was also struck by a vehicle. The Tour de France and Olympics Games winner suffered a fractured rib, bruised lung and dislocated finger.

    Sutton, 55, is Wiggins' coach at Sky and British Cycling. He led the national team to 12 gold medals at the 2012 London Olympics.

  • Andreu skeptical about UCI doping hotline

    Frankie Andreu brings years of experience to the team for another year of directing
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 16:47 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    UCI failed to follow up on doping evidence in the past

    The UCI's latest move to clean up their image has been met with derision from former professional cyclist Frankie Andreu. The sport's governing body announced on Tuesday plans to set up a hotline for riders to call if they had information regarding doping practices within the sport. It's a similar practice which USADA has carried out for a number of years, however, Andreu believes that the UCI's initiative is universally flawed due to their past actions in the war on doping.

    The American rode with Lance Armstrong at US Postal and confessed to doping in a New York Times article in 2006. His confession was met with a level of derision from the UCI, with President Pat McQuaid stating at the time: "If Andreu wishes to say that, that's up to him to say that. I don't know what he's trying to achieve because he cannot achieve anything by saying this."

    Speaking after the UCI's hotline initaitve was launched, Andreu said, "I think it's a shit idea. It's something they're putting out there but I don't know who thought of it. Who is going call up because unless you're talking about yourself then you're just raising suspicion on other people. It's not like the UCI have a police force that are going to investigate all these tips."

    "The main problem that I have with it is that when he says people brought information forward to the UCI that they followed up on it. Are they contacting those in the USADA investigations or are they sitting back and just letting the report sit and be what it is?"

    "When I came forward they criticised me."

    The UCI's reaction to a number of doping confessions tallies with Andreu's stories. Tyler Hamiltion and Floyd Landis both confessed with the...

  • UCI's Chief Medical Officer says sport previously lacked means to catch cheats

    George Hincapie (US Postal) leads team captain Lance Armstrong during the 2002 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 18:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Past anti-doping tools "not as efficient" according to Zorzoli

    The UCI's medical officer, Mario Zorzoli, believes that all anti-doping organisations, not just the UCI, had a far tougher time catching cheats in the past, but that the situation has improved radically in recent years, according to

    "If you look at the situation, all of the athletes who confessed to doping [in the USADA report on Lance Armstrong] were tested by a number of different organisations, not just by the UCI, and they were never caught," Zorzoli, who rarely speaks on the record, said during the Aspire4Sport Conference.

    "But despite what is happening, I'm optimistic going forward. We have new testing procedures that are far more advanced than [those of] five years ago."

    "There are now things like the biological passport that are more reliant on getting information so we can actually catch athletes without having to see a positive test from them." Zorzoli reportedly said they were also now using indirect evidence provided by the police to combat doping.

    "Essentially we are moving from the toxicology a more forensic science approach."

    Zorzoli said he was not entitled to comment on the Armstrong scandal in any specific form because there is an ongoing, independent investigation into the case. However, he did recognise that in the past it was harder to catch doping cheats because "anti-doping tools were not as efficient as they are now," with tests such as EPO not in place until 2001, other tests being far more recently introduced and a lower level of out-of-competition testing.

  • Summerhill confirms UnitedHealthcare contract for 2013 season

    Danny Summerhill (UnitedHealthcare) is a force to be reckoned with this season
    Article published:
    November 13, 2012, 19:32 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Colorado rider jumps to Pro Conti ranks after stint as trainee

    While racing this past weekend at the US Gran Prix of Cyclocross Derby City Cup in Louisville, Kentucky, Danny Summerhill announced that he had signed a contract with the US-based UnitedHealthcare Pro Continental squad for the 2013 season.

    While Summerhill previously had a stint in UnitedHealthcare kit earlier this season, with a last-second call-up as a trainee in August to race Colorado's USA Pro Challenge followed by the Thompson Bucks County Classic in Pennsylvania, he notably sported UnitedHealthcare kit yet again during Saturday's USGP race.

    The 23-year-old Colorado native took a four-rider sprint for third place to secure the final podium spot, and while he joined winner Jeremy Powers (Rapha-Focus) and runner-up Ryan Trebon (Cannondale p/b Cyclocrossworld) at the post-race press conference he took the opportunity announce his jump to the Pro Continental ranks for next season after spending 2011 and 2012 with the Continental Chipotle Development, the development squad for the Garmin-Sharp ProTeam.

    "My contract says as of January 1st that I'll be a UnitedHealthcare racer and athlete, but in all this winter downtime, the team didn't have any races so I'm just doing my part to try to get them some extra publicity," said Summerhill. "It was official awhile ago, but they've done so much for me, picking me up and taking me to my first Pro Continental team, that I want to do all I can to help the sponsor and help the team."

    The following day, however, Summerhill had to resume racing in the Chipotle-First Solar Development Team kit per current contractual obligations.

    While Summerhill is looking ahead to his growth as a professional road rider, he has a strong affinity within the...

  • David Walsh to release Armstrong book "Seven Deadly Sins"

    Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team
    Article published:
    November 14, 2012, 0:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Simon & Schuster UK to publish in time for Christmas

    David Walsh, the author of "From Lance to Landis" and "LA Confidential" will release a third book titled "Seven Deadly Sins" to be published on 13 December. Simon & Schuster won worldwide rights to produce the story of Walsh's "working life" that involved attempting to expose Lance Armstrong's alleged doping practices.

    Walsh has long been criticised, and even sued by Armstrong who was recently stripped of his seven Tour de France titles. The decision to remove Armstrong from the Tour's records was ratified by the UCI in response to the overwhelming amount of information contained in USADA's 1,000 page document that delved into the systematic doping at US Postal and Discovery Channel.

    "This has been the story of my working life," said Walsh to The Bookseller. "13 years of striving to show the sports world that what I believed to be true was true. Most of the time, I believed Armstrong would get away with it, but in the end the failings in his character that made him cheat and lie and bully caught up with him.

    "His seven stripped Tour de France titles are now recalled in the words of Travis Tygart, head of USADA, as ‘The greatest heist in the history of sport.'"

    Walsh commented shortly after the announcement Armstrong would not contest USADA's charges and told Cyclingnews the news was in line with what he believed for many years.

    "I've never felt vindicated because I've never needed vindication in my life. I was never sure of anything more in my life than that this guy and his team were doping and that was form the very first Tour in 1999," said Walsh.

    The title of the book, to be made available prior to Christmas was concocted through the social media platform Twitter.