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Latest Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Date published:
June 17, 2009, 13:21
  • Kohl names CERA supplier

    Take me to your dealer: Kohl names CERA supplier
    Article published:
    June 17, 2009, 11:37
    By:
    Susan Wesetmeyer

    Former cyclist Hempel denies charges

    Bernhard Kohl has named former pro cyclist and current triathlere Hannes Hempel as his CERA supplier. Kohl tested positive for the drug during last year’s Tour de France and was suspsended for two years. He recently announced his retirement from the sport.

    Gerhard Jarosch, spokesman for the Viennese prosecutor's office, confirmed the naming to the Austrian newspaper kurier. "Bernhard Kohl acquired the EPO product CERA from Hannes Hempel on one occasion, before the Tour de France in 2008."

    The charge was denied by Hempel's attorney, Herwig Hasslacher, who is an Ironman triathlete. "Hannes Hempel has never had anything to do with doping – neither acquired it nor used it nor provided it," he said on Hempel's website. He also said there was a witch-hunt after his client, "It’s to try and weaken him. Obviously athletes convicted of doping are trying to gain an advantage for themselves by blaming honest athletes like Hempel and others."

  • Lefevere threatens Tour de France with legal action

    Patrick Lefevere (left) wants confirmation from Tour de France organisers on Boonen
    Article published:
    June 17, 2009, 11:36
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Quick Step team boss presses for Boonen's inclusion

    Patrick Lefevere of Quickstep has threatened to take the Tour de France organisers to court if they do not announce today that Tom Boonen will be allowed to ride in the race. The Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO) said that it would have no comment on the matter.

    After Boonen tested positive again for cocaine use out of competition, the ASO said that he would not be welcome in the race. The UCI has said that it thinks Boonen ought to be allowed to start. The ASO has said that it will abide by the decision of the UCI's disciplinary committee, which will hold a hearing on the Belgian sprinter, but not until after the Tour has started. The French group said that it did not know when it would announce its decision as to Boonen's appearance.

    "Words, nothing but words," Lefevere told the Gazet van Antwerpen. "I want to see it on paper, officially. Tom was not officially declared positive, so he can not be punished."

    Lefevere indicated that he would sue the ASO for damages if Boonen is not allowed to ride. "The sporting and economic damage to the team and the sponsors from Tom's absence in the biggest race of the year are incalculable."

  • Liquigas' Pellizotti keeping his Tour options open

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) a top a Grand Tour podium for the first time in his career.
    Article published:
    June 17, 2009, 09:38
    By:
    Gregor Brown

    Italian hopes for a French stage win

    Italian Franco Pellizotti hopes for a stage win at the Tour de France, July 4 to 27, just one month after he finished third overall in the Giro d'Italia. He insists there will be cooperation with his teammates and Liquigas’ "captains", Roman Kreuziger and Vincenzo Nibali.

    "I will see how I go in the three weeks. Like the Giro, everyone said [Ivan] Basso was the captain, but instead it worked the other way around. The team will work for Nibali and Kreuziger, for sure, but the road will decide the rest," he told Cyclingnews.

    Pellizotti started the Giro d'Italia, May 9 to 31, as co-captain with Basso. He moved up in the classification over the three weeks. In the final week, he won the mountain stage to Blockhaus, moving from fourth to third overall.

    He finished the Giro d'Italia third at 1:59 behind Denis Menchov. Basso finished fifth at 3:59.

    Pellizotti said he will be unable to win the Tour de France, in spite of his strong ride at the Giro. "There will be some really strong riders, even if I was able to beat some of them at the Giro. The Tour is another race, and it is very difficult. If I finish in the top five then that would be a success this year."

    Besides a top-five finish, Pellizotti will aim for a stage win. In the next days, from a training camp in Livigno, Italy, he will look at the profiles of Tour de Frances stages on the internet.

    "Any stage at the Tour de France is important. Mont Ventoux it is very particular, but I would have to wait until the end the Tour."

    The last time he attempted to ride the Tour de France in the same year as the Giro d'Italia was in 2003, his third professional year. He said that in the six years since then he has gained valuable experience.

    "We decided to do this programme, the Giro and the Tour, over the winter. With this in mind, I had a minimal race schedule at the beginning of the season. There is a month to recover and prepare, but a month is not a lot after the Giro, even if I did not race a lot at the beginning of the year."

    Pellizotti will remain in Livigno at 1816 metres with Nibali and Alessandro Vanotti for the next week. He will then take part in the Italian national championships on June 28, his only race prior to the Tour de France.

     

  • Sky launches Skyride today in London

    Victoria Pendleton and Elle Macpherson at the launch of Skyride
    Article published:
    June 17, 2009, 09:35
    By:
    Cyclingnews.com

    Targeting a million more on bikes by 2013

    British media group Sky announced the start of Skyride, a five-year program designed to encourage Britons to spend more time on their bikes, in Regents Park, London, today. The plan will begin this summer with Sky supporting a range of events across the United Kingdom.

    Those behind the Skyride program have set the ambitious goal of seeing the number of regular bicycle users increased by one million within five years. At the launch of Skyride, Sky’s Chief Executive outlined the objectives of the program.

    "We want to get as many people as possible to pick up their bikes again this summer; for fun, for fitness, with friends or with family. This is just the start of our five year campaign to get a million more people cycling by 2013," said Jeremy Darroch.

    Events scheduled throughout August and September include a series of mass participation events, on closed roads, in major city centres and up to 400 smaller local events. The mass participation rides will be attended by champion British cyclists including Sir Chris Hoy, Victoria Pendleton and Jamie Staff.

    At today's launch Pendleton encouraged the public to take the opportunity to get involved with Skyride.

    "My message is simple, get on your bike and join us at one of the fantastic free events Sky has planned," she said.

    The following events scheduled to take place:

    City events:

    Skyride Manchester on Sunday 2 August
    Skyride Glasgow on Sunday 23 August
    Skyride Leicester on Sunday 30 August
    The Mayor of London’s Skyride in London on Sunday 20 September.

    Skyride local events:

    Starting in July, British Cycling will be hosting around 400 rides in local communities.

    The announcement of the Skyride program underscores Sky’s ongoing commitment to British Cycling. Last summer the company announced plans to create a professional British road cycling team that aims to compete in the Tour de France by 2010.
     

  • Greipel's back with a bang after surgery

    Greipel is willing to work for Cavendish at the Tour
    Article published:
    June 17, 2009, 09:22
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German hopeful of making Tour team

    André Greipel of Team Columbia has come back from shoulder surgery to record six wins since May. The German attributes his success to his self-confidence and determination after the sprinter hit a police motorcycle during the third stage of the Tour Down Under in January. He suffered a dislocated shoulder, torn tendons and a chipped bone. It was the 15th time that he had dislocated the shoulder.

    Greipel still doesn't know whether he will ride the Tour de France this year, but if he does, he knows he will be only the number two sprinter. "I would very much like to be there, with Mark Cavendish. It worked out well last year in the Giro, so why shouldn't it work at the Tour. He is clearly the number one."

    "I told myself the whole time I was off injured that I would come back just as strong as before," he told Cyclingnews. "I was able to do that and the whole team supported me in a great way. That shows that they trust my abilities."

    His wins since his comeback include one stage in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque and three in the Bayern Rundfahrt, as well as the one-day races Neuseen Classics and Philadelphia International Championship.

    "The win in Dunkerque meant the most to me," Greipel said. "After being out of racing for 14 weeks that is pretty understandable, I think."

    The 26-year-old said that his victories are due not only to him, but also to his team. "The team is simply very strong. I only need to ride the last 200 metres."