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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Date published:
October 30, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Damiani and Heal to UnitedHealthcare

    Carmen Small (Optum) and team director Rachel Heal before the start.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 12:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    Join Tamayo and Rendant as directors at US team

    Former Optum Pro Cycling director Rachel Heal will move to UnitedHealthcare for the 2014 season, the team announced today. Heal will join team manager Mike Tamayo, Hendrik Redant and Roberto Damiani as one of four directors for the men's Pro Continental squad and the inaugural UnitedHealthcare women's UCI team.

    "There is a lot of attention on women's cycling, and it is a great time for a team like UnitedHealthcare to step up and create a new team that is given the same professional treatment as the men's team," Heal said. "I'm very happy to be a part of it. The team has an amazing wealth of experience among the directors, and I look forward to being able to learn from and work with them along with contributing to both the men's and women's teams' success."

    Heal had been at the helm of the Optum women's team since its inception in 2012 and led the team to the top of the National Race Calendar in its first year. She'll now help lead an inaugural UnitedHealthcare women's squad that includes Mara Abbott, Alison Powers and Lauren Tamayo among its announced roster so far.

    Abbott is a two-time women's Giro winner, Powers is the current US professional criterium champion, and Tamayo earned a silver medal in the London Olympics on the track. That experienced trio will join an under-25 youth brigade that includes multiple junior US national champion Coryn Rivera, former New Zealand road champion Ruschlee Buchanan, reigning U23 criterium champion Alexis Ryan and Parx Casino Philly Cycling Classic best young rider Ruth Winder. The rest of the 12-rider women's team will be announced later...

  • Team Sky calls for Tramadol ban in peloton

    The Team Sky riders trained in Mallorca
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 13:04 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    "We've prescribed it minimally" says team doctor

    Team Sky has given its backing to the MPCC’s (Movement for Credible Cycling) call for the pain killer Tramadol to be added to WADA’s list of prohibited substances.

    Earlier this month Garmin-Sharp’s chief medical officer Prentice Steffen told Cyclingnews that the substance was being abused within the peloton.

    The potentially addictive opioid remains on WADA’s Monitoring List, meaning that it could be banned in the future, while the anti-doping agency confirmed in a private letter to the MPCC earlier this year that “the number of samples containing Tramadol is significant and the very large majority of them originate from cyclists.”

    Team Sky, who are not a member of the MPCC, has backed a call for the substance to be regulated through the TUE system but added that as a team it has prescribed Tramadol throughout the season, but only in what it calls "appropriate scenarios".

    Allan Farrell, a full-time doctor with Team Sky since 2012, told Cyclingnews that Tramadol is, “an effective pain killer when it’s used in the clinically appropriate scenario. Certainly in our team we would have used it in the past but only when justified.”

    “We would have prescribed it, very minimally but sometimes if someone had an injury that justified pain killing medication.”

    Farrell pointed to the side-effects as one of the major issues with the drug. He also called for WADA to add Tramadol to their prohibited list in order to safeguard against potential abuse.

    “There are side effects with the medication that are under reported. For me it’s not just about it being banned as a performance...

  • Rohregger returns to studies and leaves cycling

    Thomas Rohregger (RadioShack) in the mountains jersey
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 14:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    RadioShack rider announces retirement

    Thomas Rohregger has called time on his professional career after confirming that he will return to full time education at university.

    The 30-year-old Austrian had spent the last three seasons at the Leopard set up – known as RadioShack Leopard in 2013 – but was not been retained by the Trek team for 2014.

    Rohregger posted a message on his personal Facebook page, stating that, “I want to let you know that I will stop at this point my professional cycling career and that I will focus on finishing my university studies and developing myself in 'normal' life. A big thank you to all of you for your great support during the last years. A very nice period of my life ends here and another one just begins. Lots of love and
    see you out there, Tommy.”

    Rohregger joined the top echelons of the sport with Milram in 2009 after promising results in his native Austria. He started three Giros, one Tour de France and one Vuelta a Espana, wining one stage in the Spanish Grand Tour through a team time trial in 2011.

  • Schumacher acquitted of fraud charges

    Stefan Schumacher (Christina Watches)
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 14:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    German federation says doping is still a fraud

    Stefan Schumacher has been acquitted on charges of defrauding his former Gerolsteiner team manager Hans-Michael Holczer by a German court today.

    The Stuttgart state court ruled in favor of Schumacher, who tested positive for the erythropoeitin drug Mircera (CERA) in tests done on his samples taken in the 2008 Tour de France, in which he won both time trials. The prosecutors sought a fine of three months' wages (150,000 euro) plus a fine of 16,800 euro, according to the dpa news agency.

    The judge, Martin Friedrich, ruled that the statements of Holczer were not sufficient to establish guilt of the criminal charges of fraud.

    The president of the German Cycling Federation (BDR), Rudolf Scharping said the ruling "doesn't change the fact that doping is a fraud on the fairness of the competition, and to the spectators, and it endangers the health of dopign athletes."

    In March, Schumacher confessed to doping with corticosteroids, EPO and growth hormone, and claimed that the team doctors were involved, and Holczer was well aware of what was going on. "“Anybody could just take most of the things right from the medicine box. It was totally crazy," he told Der Spiegel.

  • UCI announces anti-doping audit and reveals Cookson’s pay cut

    New UCI president Brian Cookson with Thor Hushovd after stage 1 of the Tour of Beijing.
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 16:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Management committee discusses past wrongdoing and women's cycling

    The UCI Management Committee has held its first full meeting since the election of Brian Cookson as new president, announcing afterwards that it discussed and agreed “a number of important measures aimed at restoring trust in the UCI and laying the foundations for renewed growth in cycling worldwide”.

    The UCI also confirmed that Cookson will earn an annual salary of 340,000 Swiss Francs ($378,000, £235,000), 110,000 CHF less than previous president Pat McQuaid. Martin Gibbs has been named UCI Director General after being Cookson’s Policy and Legal Affairs Director at British Cycling.

    Following on from Cookson’s many manifesto promises, the UCI outlined several reviews and changes to how the UCI operates. These included a full audit of current UCI anti-doping operations, the broad principles of the expected Independent Commission which will look into allegations of past wrongdoing at the UCI and the extent and roots of doping in cycling, the establishment of an International Development Commission and support for the new Women’s Cycling Commission headed by new vice-president Tracey Gaudry.

    A UCI press release said the measures discussed agreed included:

    - A full audit of the systems and controls currently employed by the UCI’s anti-doping operations to ensure that they are working efficiently. The audit will be used as a basis to create a clear road map for setting up an independent UCI anti-doping operation in 2014.

    - The broad principles under which it intends to move forward with the implementation of an Independent Commission which will look into allegations of past wrongdoing at the...

  • MPCC approves Pellizotti’s move to Astana

    Italian champion Franco Pellizotti (Androni Giocattoli) finished sixth on the stage
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 18:05 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Legeay claims the spirit of the MPCC rules has been respected

    Roger Legeay, the president of the Mouvement pour un Cyclisme Crédible, has told Cyclingnews that the Astana team has not broken any of the MPCC internal rules by signing Franco Pellizotti for the 2014 season.

    The Astana team recently became a full member of the MPCC and accepted that under MPCC rules the Italian rider cannot race until May 2 –until two years after his ban for a UCI biological passport violation. However Pellizotti has signed his contract with Astana for 2014 after riding with Androni Giocattoli this season. He intends to train in Astana kit from January 1 and will attend Astana training camps before May 2.

    This appears to go against the MPCC rules but Legeay insists the spirit of the law has been respected because Pellizotti will not race for Astana until May 2. 

    “Our rules have been respected,” he told Cyclingnews via email.

    “Article 3 refers to the immediate withdrawal from competition and Article 4 has the same requirement. The decision concerning Franco Pellizotti was validated by our last Board of Directors meeting.”

    “The idea of our rules, based on a voluntary basis, is that in all cases, a rider’s job is to race and so is stopped from competing:

    - From the moment of knowing of the positive control
    - During the (disciplinary) procedure
    - For the period following a disciplinary sanction."

    Legeay added that the MPCC is not involved in the drawing up riders’ contracts.

    Confusion about Pellizotti’s position and if any rider can join a team but not race while awaiting the end of the MPCC’s extra two-year period is caused by the poor wording of the MPCC’s internal rules.


  • Armstrong may take part in Cookson doping inquiry?

    UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
    Article published:
    October 29, 2013, 19:10 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI president making strides with independent commission

    Lance Armstrong may take part in new UCI president Brian Cookson's Independent Commission into alleged wrongdoings by his predecessors and the sport's doping past, according to the BBC.

    The UCI announced today that it is in discussions with the World Anti-Doping Agency to finalize the framework of the Independent Commission.

    According to the BBC report, Armstrong's representatives have been approached to see if he would be willing to speak to the investigators. However, when contacted by Cyclingnews, Armstrong stated that his representatives have yet to be approached by the UCI.

    US Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart stated earlier this year that he believes Armstrong has proof that the UCI was complicit in his doping.

    Cookson has made immediate strides toward fulfilling his campaign manifesto, having launched into a widespread audit of the UCI's anti-doping systems, which will be used to set up an independent anti-doping organisation to police the sport.

    He has also made no delays to beginning an inquiry into serious allegations of misconduct by previous president Pat McQuaid and his predecessor Hein Verbruggen. Armstrong could be a key witness in the case, which stems from the US Anti-Doping Agency's investigation into doping in the US Postal Service Team.

    Both Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton have alleged that the UCI under McQuaid and Verbruggen failed to take adequate action to combat the rampant use of EPO in cycling during the late 1990s and early 2000s.

    Landis testified that he heard Armstrong say that the UCI helped him brush an EPO positive from the Tour de Suisse under the rug. McQuaid went on the offensive, insisting that the

  • Hofland reveals his ambitions for the Classics

    Moreno Hofland pleased with his overall victory in Tour of Hainan
    Article published:
    October 30, 2013, 3:54 GMT
    Jean-François Quénet

    Neo-pro caps debut season with Tour of Hainan victory

    Ten years after Damiano Cunego opened his record book as a professional cyclist by winning the second edition of the Tour of Qinghai in China, the eighth Tour of Hainan has crowned a champion in the making with neo-pro Moreno Hofland (Belkin Pro Cycling). The 22-year-old Dutchman claimed three stages and the overall classification in a race he led from the opening day throughto  the stage 9 finale. His team dominated affairs at the 2.HC-rated stage race, winning all of the stages, the general classification, the points classification as well as the team classification.

    "It's good to go to my winter break with such a good feeling," said Hofland, a resident of Roosendaal, after the last stage in Chengmai Old Town. "In the first couple of days at the Tour of Hainan I started thinking that it would be nice to win this race. I chased time bonuses and my gap to the second [place] rider on GC [Belgium's Frédéric Amorison] kept growing, so I made it! I'm very happy. The Tour of Hainan will always be special for me because it'll remain my first pro win forever.

    "I'm on the right way to being a good rider, I hope," Hofland added. Not only has Hofland impressed at the Tour of Hainan but he also collected top 3 finishes in stages at the Presidential Tour of Turkey, the Tour of Denmark, the Tour of Alberta and the Tour of Beijing during his debut pro season.

    He also revealed why he's got an Italian first name: "I'm...