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Latest Cycling News, October 15, 2008

Date published:
October 15, 2008, 1:00 BST
  • Biological Passport suspensions possible in 2009

    UCI President Pat McQuaid: Biological Passport suspensions in 2009
    Article published:
    October 15, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    By Shane Stokes Although the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport is still...

    Suggests CERA riders were on watched list

    By Shane Stokes

    Although the International Cycling Union's (UCI) biological passport is still gathering data and is not yet running at full capacity, Pat McQuaid said that riders could face suspensions as early as 2009. The UCI president told Cyclingnews yesterday that in addition to blocking suspect riders from starting races, some could face tougher measures due to the longitudinal data gathered.

    "The development of the biological passport is an ongoing thing," he stated. "I am still very confident in the programme; I am very confident in the information I am hearing from it and I am very confident in the ability that it will give cycling in keeping the sport clean.

    "We will continue with it right through the winter and into the spring and summer of next year. It will be very well established... I reckon by the beginning of next season we will be able to use data within the biological passport for sanctioning purposes. I would be confident that we could arrive at that stage by the start of the season, both with regard to the no-start rule and for tougher measures."

    If this does occur, it will be a new departure in the battle against doping. Thus far, federations have sidelined riders for long periods of time only if they returned a positive test.

    The UCI launched the project earlier this year, but due to a number of factors, including the sheer scale of monitoring over 600 riders, it is behind the projected schedule. McQuaid confirmed that the recent peace deal negotiated with the Tour de France organisers ASO should move the project along.

    The delay in implementing the system has been criticised by some. ASO's decision to sanction its race meant that the UCI did not gather data for this year's Tour de France. The French anti-doping...

  • Bastianelli suspended for one year

    Article published:
    October 15, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    The Italian national anti-doping court has suspended Marta Bastianelli, 21, for one year based the...

    The Italian national anti-doping court has suspended Marta Bastianelli, 21, for one year based the positive control for appetite suppressant flenfluramine in July. The court will backdated her suspension to August 7 of this year.

    Bastianelli, the 2007 women's world road race champion, tested positive for the stimulant flenfluramine at the European under-23 championships in July. She said that she took the drug as part of an appetite suppressant, and did not attempt to enhance her performance.

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) anti-doping prosecutor requested a two-year suspension in September following its investigation.

  • Furious Rebellin forced out of home Classic

    Davide Rebellin to miss Giro di Lombardia
    Article published:
    October 15, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    Italy's Davide Rebellin will not race in his home Classic, the Giro di Lombardia, this Saturday due...

    Italy's Davide Rebellin will not race in his home Classic, the Giro di Lombardia, this Saturday due to recent doping cases in his team. This last week, the French anti-doping agency (AFLD) announced his Gerolsteiner teammates, Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl, tested positive during the Tour de France.

    "I am very sorry because Lombardia means a lot to me," said Rebellin, second at the Olympics, to La Gazzetta dello Sport. "It is a race that I like and that I have never been able to win. ... I can't do anything about it. I don't agree with it, but I am forced to respect it."

    Schumacher and Kohl tested positive for a third generation of EPO – CERA (Continuous Erythropoietin Receptor Activator) – based on controls taken at the Tour de France, July 5 to 27. The AFLD tested blood samples from the race in the last two weeks after urine samples were inconclusive during the race.

    Gerolsteiner suspended its racing for eight days based on its membership in the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC). MPCC's rules require a suspension of the whole team when there are two positive tests results within 12 months. Lombardia was due to be its last race and so its season ended with Paris-Tours last Sunday.

    "This decision was maybe taken in the heat of the moment," said Rebellin, 37, of Gerolsteiner's non-participation in Lombardia. "This morning [yesterday - ed.] I tried to call them and they did not respond. In the afternoon, I received a two-line email."

    Rebellin's highest placing in Lombardia came in 2002 when he finished second to Michele Bartoli. He finished fifth in 2007.

  • Europe gets ready for the muddy cyclo-cross World Cup

    Sven Nys is the dominant factor in cyclo-cross
    Article published:
    October 15, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    While most of the road cyclists are slowly getting tired both physically and mentally by the end of...

    While most of the road cyclists are slowly getting tired both physically and mentally by the end of the summer when there's only the Giro di Lombardia and foul weather left, some cyclists seem to be fresh and keen on riding some races. It's that time of the year again for cyclo-cross. Cyclingnews' Brecht Decaluwé will guide you through this rather unknown discipline.

    The World Cup – which is more of a European Cup – has ten events of which three are in Belgium, two each in The Netherlands and France, one in the Czech Republic and one in Italy. In Spain there's only a men's race. The last couple of years there has been a lot of talking about a World Cup in the USA and it seems like Cross Vegas has the biggest chance of gaining a spot on the World Cup calendar in 2009. For now the World Cup stays in Europe and the first stop is in Kalmthout, Belgium, on Sunday October 19, 2008.

    Peter Van den Abeele, a Belgian former professional rider who is the cyclo-cross coordinator for the UCI, is on a mission to internationalise the sport. Last year he managed to introduce a name sponsor, resulting in a changed name: the UCI World Cup presented by Safety Jogger. This year Van den Abeele managed to sell the TV-rights to more than twenty channels who will be showing a race report of 26 minutes in the United States, South Africa and countries in Asia. In Flanders, the northern part of Belgium, where veldrijden is unbelievably popular all World Cup events will be shown live on TV.

    Van den Abeele opted to stop the confusion that existed around the World Cup and the UCI-ranking during previous years. Until last year there was a blue jersey for the leader in the UCI-ranking, which included all UCI-races and not only the World Cup events. The World Cup on the other hand didn't have an overall ranking.

    This year the leader's jersey of the UCI-ranking has disappeared. The blue jersey has been swapped with a white jersey for...

  • Piemonte to decide Coppa Italia

    Will LPR Brakes' Danilo Di Luca keep the Coppa Italia lead?
    Article published:
    October 15, 2008, 0:00 BST
    By:
    Shane Stokes

    This year's Giro del Piemonte will decide the 2008 Coppa Italia series with only ten points...

    This year's Giro del Piemonte will decide the 2008 Coppa Italia series with only ten points separating the top two riders. Italy's Danilo Di Luca of Team LPR Brakes leads compatriot Stefano Garzelli of Team Acqua Sapone-Caffè Mokambo.

    "The other day, I saw that we were up in the classification," said LPR Brakes Team Manager Fabio Bordonali to Cyclingnews. "We've not thought about the overall all year, but we see that Danilo now leads by ten points. It's pleasing, even if I only found out this last week."

    The Italian cycling federation (FCI) only yesterday sent out the classification, giving Bordonali little time to plan for the overall win. Di Luca previously announced the end of his season with the Giro dell'Emilia and the team will fight for Giro del Piemonte victory with Alessandro Petacchi.

    Di Luca holds 324 points in the series that takes into account Italy's biggest races, excluding the Giro d'Italia, Milano-Sanremo and Giro di Lombardia. His advantage over Garzelli grew with the win in Saturday's Giro dell'Emilia. Italy's Enrico Gasparotto of Team Barloworld is in third at 266 points and he holds an 11-point advantage on Francesco Ginanni of Team Diquigiovanni.

    Ginanni and his team lead the young rider and teams' classifications. Ginanni, 23, holds a 43-point lead over Mauro Finetto of Team CSF Group Navigare and a 45-point lead over Francesco Masciarelli of Team Acqua Sapone.

    Diquigiovanni leads the teams' ranking with 853 points; it is a 33-point lead on Bordonali's LPR Brakes team. Acqua Sapone-Caffè Mokambo is in third with 767 points.

    "We won last year with Team Tenax," Bordonali continued. "It will be hard to make up the points to Diquigiovanni, but there are 40 points if we win."