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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Date published:
November 25, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Future bleak for Contentpolis

    Team Contentpolis-Ampo
    Article published:
    November 24, 2009, 15:55 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Simms

    Manager admits doesn't have money for UCI filing

    Contentpolis-Ampo manager Jose Antonio Ortuño has admitted that the future of the team is not guaranteed, in contrast to his statements from earlier this month. He is still lacking money and has not made the necessary filings with the International Cycling Union (UCI) for a 2010 licence.

    Earlier this month the team said that it had missed the November 15 deadline for the UCI filings, but denied that it had financial problems.

    “I know that Ampo and the politicians are talking, but I know no more,” Ortuño told the Basque newspaper Gara. “The time is running out. I know that both sponsors want to continue, but it must be understood that the dates are pressing.”

    Ortuño also denied reports that the Murcia region government said that the city would contribute €100,000 and the regional government €300,000. “The ideal is to have a budget of 1.5 million, but the team's minimum budget is 1.2 million because the UCI does not let you go with less. If Ampo puts up 500,000, then it is clear the institutions have to put up the rest.”

    If he comes up with the money by the December 1 deadline, the team will feature as many Basque riders as possible. “Aitor Perez Arrieta would continue and some more from the area. I'm not naming names, but it would be some from this year,” Ortuño said. “I am willing to take five or six Basques at least.

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  • Skil-Shimano expect Beppu to stay

    Fumiyuki Beppu (Skil-Shimano) signs an autograph.
    Article published:
    November 24, 2009, 15:57 GMT
    By:
    Richard Tyler

    Dutch team surprised by Beppu's inclusion in RadioShack line-up

    Skil-Shimano has been surprised by news that Fumiyuki Beppu has signed with Team RadioShack, and say that they expect the Japanese rider to ride out the final year of his current contract with the Dutch squad in 2010.

    Beppu was named as part of the inaugural RadioShack roster on Monday evening, but had also been named as part of Skil-Shimano's 2010 line-up on November 11. Skil-Shimano's media officer Benny Ceulen told Cyclingnews on Tuesday that the first the team had heard of Beppu's apparent move to RadioShack came from media reports of the American team's announcement on Monday.

    "For our team it's a big surprise. He has a valid contract with Skil-Shimano for 2010," said Ceulen. "Our team manager Iwan Spekenbrink hasn't been able to get in contact with [RadioShack Team Manager] Johan Bruyneel or Beppu to find out what is going on.

    "In our opinion he will ride with us next season."

    RadioShack told Cyclingnews on Tuesday morning that Beppu had confirmed his contract with the team this month and that he had been an important signing for the team's bicycle sponsor, Trek. Equally, as the more recognisable of the two Japanese riders on the Skil-Shimano roster, he is of particular significance to the team's Japanese co-sponsor, Shimano.

    International Cycling Union (UCI) regulations state that a rider cannot sign with a new team while they are under a valid contract unless they have the express permission of the UCI. The regulations also state that a team signing a rider who is already under contract can face a fine of up to 30,000 Swiss Francs, with the rider himself subject to a fine of between 300 and 2000 Swiss Francs.

    According to the terms of Beppu's contract with Skil-Shimano the earliest he would be able to leave the team would be December 31, 2010.

    Skil-Shimano said they will inform the UCI of the apparent conflict, but stressed that the priority for them was to clarify the situation...

  • Astana ProTour fight continues, UCI seek extra guarantees

    The wait continues for Astana's riders.
    Article published:
    November 24, 2009, 16:23 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    UCI study documentation before decision tomorrow, Bruyneel rejects claim of sabotage

    Astana’s push to secure registration for the 2010 season continues to drag on, with the International Cycling Union (UCI) currently studying additional documentation requested of the team in advance of tomorrow's decision.

    According to Sport24.co.za, the Kazakh Cycling Federation deputy president Nikolai Proskurin said on Tuesday that the UCI had demanded a bank guarantee equivalent to Astana’s annual budget of US$22 million.

    This amount was underwritten by the Samruk-Kazyna state holding company - the squad's new title sponsor - which last week transferred an initial sum of about US$3.7 million to the paying agency for team salaries.

    "It seems to me that they don't want an Asian team in the ProTour, and for it to beat European teams," Proskurin alleged.

    Cyclingnews has received confirmation that the UCI has indeed asked for additional guarantees. It follows on from several incidences of late payment of salaries during the 2009 season, with the latest delay happening in recent weeks.

    Proskurin indicated that it would be very difficult to satisfy the requirements before the Wednesday deadline, but Cyclingnews has learned that some documentation was sent to the UCI on Monday. It’s not certain if this satisfies the UCI’s demands in full.

    That documentation is currently being assessed by the UCI ProTour Council.

    A representative of the UCI told Cyclingnews that the governing body will issue its decision vis-à-vis an outcome on the team's registration, due tomorrow afternoon. If approved, the team will receive immediate confirmation that it will be able to race in the ProTour next season.

    Otherwise, there will be a further delay before the final outcome is known.

    “This is not about the licence, as some media reports suggest - this is about the registration,” explained the UCI's representative. “There is a bit...

  • Another Spanish doping ring uncovered by police raids

    Some forms of blood doping can only be detected through the passports.
    Article published:
    November 24, 2009, 22:23 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Former Kelme doctor arrested, along with many others

    Investigations are ongoing after Spanish police today arrested a Peruvian doctor Walter Viru on suspicion of running a doping ring.

    Viru is a former collaborator with the disgraced Eufemiano Fuentes, who was detained over three years ago as part of the Operacion Puerto affair. Like Fuentes, he formerly worked as a team doctor for the Kelme squad.

    A dozen people were also taken into custody in Barcelona, Valencia, Murcia and Granada. This group includes two pharmacists suspected of dispensing banned substances, as well as several doctors.

    The network reportedly distributed EPO, CERA and growth hormones.

    The homes of several cyclists were also raided, according to various Spanish media sources, as was that of a prominent Spanish race walker.

    The raids turned up banned substances in Viru’s clinic in Valencia, as well as documentation proving his involvement in the network.

    Investigations are continuing and further arrests are possible.

    The Operacion Puerto raids carried out in May 2006 uncovered a huge network of doping, involving some of the top competitors in world cycling as well as athletes from other sports. However the names of the latter were never disclosed, prompting accusations of a cover-up.

    Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso were two of the most famous of the cyclists, and were excluded from that year’s Tour de France as a result.

    Ullrich retired from pro cycling, while Basso served a lengthy suspension. 2009 Vuelta a España winner Alejandro Valverde was also implicated, and while he was not sanctioned, he faces two CAS hearings in the near future.

    The affair led to a change in Spanish law; as a result, those involved in the latest case could face criminal charges.

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  • Manzano had warned about Viru's doping activities

    Former Spanish professional Jesús Manzano in 2003
    Article published:
    November 25, 2009, 10:07 GMT
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Accused doctor of tipping off riders and teams

    Former Spanish professional-turned-whistleblower Jesús Manzano is well known for having spoken about doping practices within his-then Kelme team and in cycling in general. Yesterday’s news that Peruvian doctor Walter Viru was arrested in connection with a new Spanish doping ring comes over two years after Manzano warned of Viru’s role in cycling or, rather, his role in beating controls.

    “I want to give you an example, something I've never spoken about except to the police up until now,” he told L’Equipe’s Jean Issartel in June 2007. “It concerns one of the four Spanish Laboratories accredited by the UCI. This laboratory, which is in charge of sending the UCI vampires [doctors] to take the samples during the Vuelta and other races is the same lab that's in charge of the doctors’ visits to the cyclists. They follow the cyclists and give them the stamp of approval on their licenses.

    “The owner of this clinic, a renowned haematologist, called Walter Viru, who is one of the doctors for Kelme, [in order] to alert them the day before the UCI vampires were coming to take the samples from the cyclists. And he did the same thing with Del Moral, the doctor for the US Postal team and then Discovery, [who is] a good friend of his.

    Manzano was asked if he was certain about the statements he was making. He affirmed he was, elaborating further.

    “I experienced it in 2002 and 2003 during the Vuelta a España. I gave the police have all the details and the name of the clinic.

    “Even better, I remember one time Viru had acquired Russian EPO and wanted to know the purity of it before he used it. And so he gave a vial of it to this clinic and had them confirm it was good. An important detail, this laboratory is still accredited by the UCI. When I talk about the mafia, I don't use this word lightly.”

    Viru’s role is certain to be further...

  • Boasson Hagen and Lövkvist left Columbia because of top sprinters

    Swede Thomas Lövkvist in the leader's jersey at the 2009 Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    November 25, 2009, 10:38 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Team built around sprinters offered too little opportunity for Scandinavians

    Edvald Boasson Hagen and Thomas Lövkvist left Team Columbia-HTC because of the American team's emphasis on its two top sprinters. The two young riders, who are joining the new Team Sky, said that the team's support of Mark Cavendish and André Greipel didn't leave enough opportunities for them.

    “I was sitting at home during the Tour because I did not fit completely into the train to Mark Cavendish,” Sweden's Lövkvist told nettevisen.no. “The reason is that the team was entirely built up around him. Then I have to see me around where conditions are best for me.

    “I understand that Columbia chose to focus on the world's best sprints, but that does not mean there are no other solutions for me."

    Lövkvist, 25, did not regret his time with the team, though. “I think I speak for everyone when I say that we had a very good team in Columbia. At the same time we went as far there with our development as we could. For Edvald and me, it was not proper that we should work to help riders in a large part of the races.”

    Norway's Boasson Hagen, 22, confirmed Lövkvist's remarks and noted, “Besides, I like to try something else.” At Sky, he can “play a greater role in the team. It will be exciting, while increasing the pressure on me.”

    Lövkvist is happy that Boasson Hagen will also be at Sky. “If I were to put together a team, he would be on it, because of his youthful power and characteristics. He is very talented and has a good future ahead of him. I can well say that he is most talented rider I've ever seen.”

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  • Siedler renews contract with Vorarlberg-Corratec

    Sebastian Siedler showing the wear and tear after a tough day at the office
    Article published:
    November 25, 2009, 11:03 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German sprinter had both of team's wins in 2009

    Team Vorarlberg-Corratec has re-signed its top rider from 2009, German sprinter Sebastian Siedler. The 31-year old won stages in the Tour of Turkey and the Tour of Denmark this season.

    “I have felt very good at Vorarlberg-Corratec since the beginning. This team has a great potential,” he said. “I want to go directly from the six-day races in Bremen and Berlin into the new season at an already-high level. An early success will enormously motivate the whole team.”

    Siedler brought in the team's only two victories in 2009, and six of its eight podium places, but still wasn't satisfied with the season. Both he and the team had a lot of bad luck with injuries, which made his two wins “doubly good, because they came at times when the team really needed them.”

    Team manager Thomas Kofler called Siedler “one of the cornerstones of our team. Not just athletically, but also personally. He brings a lot of racing experience with him, which is very important especially for the development of our young riders.“

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  • Evans sells 'Don't stand on my dog' T-shirts

    Australia's Cadel Evans (Silence-Lotto) awaits the start of the Giro di Lombardia.
    Article published:
    November 25, 2009, 11:13 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    A reminder not to take life too seriously, World Champion says

    Cadel Evans' dog Molly became world-famous during the 2008 Tour de France when her master was being interviewed directly after losing the yellow jersey in stage 15. When someone got to close to the little dog, the Australian shouted, “Don't stand on my dog, or I cut your head off!”

    The World Champion is now selling t-shirts with a shortened version of this phrase on them: “DON'T STAND ON MY DOG!” They are available on his website “for everyone who likes, every now and then, not to take life too seriously!”

    Evans finished second in the 2008 Tour, less than a minute behind winner Carlos Sastre. This year he finished 30th overall in the Tour, and won the World Championship road race in Mendrisio, Switzerland, in September.

    The shirts can be seen and ordered at www.cadelevans.com.au

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