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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 17, 2010

Date published:
December 17, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • IAAF introduces Biological Passport

    Peter Janssen discusses the use of EPO in his book "Bloedvorm"
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 10:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Track and field athletes now also under biological parameter scrutiny

    The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) has started using a biological passport programme to help fight doping in track and field. As of December 2010, the "Athlete Biological Passport (ABP)" programme will join the UCI's Bilogical Passport programme under the new harmonized regulatory framework of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

    According to the IAAF, the ABP is composed of three modules: haematological, steroid profile and endocrine modules. "Along with large-scale blood testing programmes still conducted at IAAF and EA competitions, a limited number of international-level athletes competing in middle and long distance events are subject to regular blood tests and are closely monitored through the haematological module," the IAAF announced.

    Furthermore, "the ABP comprises an endocrine module which could prove to be even more promising in the fight against doping, with potentially key biomarkers. It is in this context that an ambitious and unprecedented blood testing programme will be conducted at the forthcoming IAAF World Championships in Daegu with the aim of establishing the participants' full ABP 'fingerprint'."

    This year, the IAAF conducted in 126 competitions of the IAAF World Calendar, representing a total of 1325 tests. Out of competition, a total of more than 1800 tests were carried out amongst a pool of 617 IAAF-registered athletes.

  • Argentin hits out at Contador and the UCI

    Moreno Argentin races in 1987 as World road Champion
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 11:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former world champion describes riders as spineless

    Former world champion and classics winner Moreno Argentin has blasted the UCI, modern day riders and especially Alberto Contador for their lack of character, describing them as spineless and soft. He blasts the UCI for running a fake form of democracy, suggesting they are only interested in turning the sport into a business.

    Argentin won the world title in Colorado Springs in 1986 and is still the most successful Italian rider in Belgium classics thanks to winning a Tour of Flanders, four editions of Liege-Bastogne-Liege and three editions of Fleche Wallonne.

    He raced for 14 years between 1981 and 1994, retiring after wearing the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia for two days.

    He was part of the dominant Gewiss team in that final year that also included Giro winner Evgeni Berzin and Milan-San Remo winner Giorgio Furlan. They completed the podium with Argentin at Fleche Wallonne in 1994 after breaking away from the peloton together.

    Argentin has never been afraid to speak about his close relationship with Dr Michele Ferrari in the final part of his career and has defended the Italian doctor’s methods and links to Lance Armstrong.

    “I have to thank my parents that I was born when I was. I was born hungry. Now the guys seem soft without any character,” Argentin told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    “A lot of people aren’t hungry for success and they’ve already earned a lot since they were a junior. I suppose things have changed and it’s a different generation that already has everything. That’s why when I watch races there seems to be a total lack of emotion. There aren’t any riders that get you excited these days.”

    “Contador is a carefully calculated racing machine, made in a laboratory for one race: the Tour. It doesn’t seem to matter if he’s got personality or not. He and Schleck are the same. You know how they’re going...

  • Vos joins national anti-doping campaign

    Stage winner Marianne Vos (Nederland Bloeit)
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 12:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    Triple World champion first cyclist to support 100% Dope Free

    Marianne Vos, one of the best female cyclists of the last few years, has joined the Dutch anti-doping campaign 100% Dope Free. The triple World champion is the tenth Dutch athlete to join the movement and the first cyclist to do so.

    Vos, who recently shot a promotion video for the campaign, is a firm anti-doping advocate who would like to see the number of out-of-competition tests increased. "I regularly undergo in-competition testing, almost at every race," said Vos.

    "This has to do with my results: If you finish amongst the best, you undergo testing right away. But I would like more out-of-competition tests to be carried out in order to clean up the sport, or in our case, to keep it clean."

    The 2008 Olympic champion has already been active in another anti-doping campaign especially dedicated to cycling, Bike Pure. "That's how they came up to me about it. I didn't have to think long before joining. I'm not the first cyclist to become an ambassador of Dope Free, and that makes me feel good for our sport."

    The campaign is an initiative of the NOC*NSF, the Dutch Olympic Committee and Sports Federation.

    Vos is also an advocate for Bike-Pure.

  • Milram leaves peloton on "sad and disappointed" note

    General Manager Gerry van Gerwen and Linus Gerdemann
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 13:35 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Van Gerwen continues sponsorship search and hopes for come-back

    It is with a sentiment of "sadness and disappointment" that Gerry Van Gerwen and the whole of the Team Milram management addressed a letter of goodbye to the cycling media. As the Nordmilch AG, the squad's sponsor, has pulled its support at the end of 2010, the management is looking back "on five years full of sports commitment, emotions and special moments.

    "Unfortunately it wasn't possible to find a new title sponsor for the team. All the parties concerned, who love the cycling sport, are left with a feeling of sadness and disappointment."

    But Van Gerwen also announced that he would continue an active search for sponsorship with a view to returning to the sport one day. "The Van Gerwen family will continue its commitment to international and especially German cycling. We will pursue the search for a new team sponsor and hope for a fast reunion in the peloton," the Dutchman noted.

    Team Milram was formed in 2006 as an Italian team under the leadership of Gianluigi Stanga, with Van Gerwen as business manager. He took over the team and ProTour licence in 2008 and gave it a German base.

    The team's biggest names over the years were Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel (2006-2008), Igor Astarloa (2007-2008) and Linus Gerdemann (2009-2010). All riders combined, the team achieved five wins at the Giro d'Italia and six at the Vuelta a Espana, as well as taking Paris-Tours in 2007 with Petacchi.

    The team's current stars, Linus Gerdemann and Fabian Wegmann, will be riding for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project next year. Gerald Ciolek and Niki Terpstra have found a new employer in Belgium with Quick Step. Johannes Fröhlinger and Robert Kluge have signed with Skil-Shimano.

  • Spanish Olympic chief wants maximum ban if Contador doped

    Alberto Contador during his press conference as he tries to explain how his urine sample became contaminated with clenbuterol
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 13:35 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    No preferential treatment for Tour winner

    The President of the Spanish Olympic Committee has said that Alberto Contador and the track athletes involved in the Operacion Galgo investigation should receive maximum bans if they are found guilty of doping.

    Alejandro Blanco has taken strong stance against doping after Spanish sports was rocked by Contador’s positive for Clenbuterol at the Tour de France and the arrest of track runner Marta Dominguez, coaches and sports doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who was also implicated in Operacion Puerto in 2006.

    "In the case of Contador and any other athletes - maximum sanction when we know" if they are guilty,” Blanco told Associated Press news agency. "When it's proven an athlete has doped, there is no debate - authorities need to act."

    The Spanish Cycling Federation is currently considering Contador’s defence, with a verdict expected in the New Year. Blanco insisted that Contador will not receive preferential treatment during his disciplinary hearing.

    "Until it is proven that an athlete had doped, you can't criticize the athlete," he said. "There is not a single doubt over the ability of our disciplinary committees in any Spanish federation. They respect the rules in that sense, so people can rest assured."

    "Nobody fights against doping more than Spain does," he added.

  • Hunt targets spring Classics in 2011

    Jeremy Hunt has joined Team Sky
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 14:23 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Briton ready to take on senior role at Team Sky

    Jeremy Hunt is looking forward to the new season with Team Sky, especially the spring Classics where he has produced some of the best rides during his long career. Now 36 and starting his 16th season as a pro, Hunt will fulfill a senior role at the British team and he is happy to share his experience with his younger teammates.

    Currently at his home in Girona, Spain, Hunt has been gradually stepping up his training regime since he formally met his new teammates at the November get together in Egham. He is happy to have found a new team after the Cervélo TestTeam folded, saying it is "a dream come true to finally be part of an elite British-based team."

    Hunt has joined a group of people with whom he's had long-term ties. "Shane Sutton [Team Sky's head coach] was the guy who helped me turn pro in the mid-90s and I actually competed against him in his last-ever race. He beat me that day and still brings it up now," Hunt recalled in an interview on the Team Sky website.

    "Sean Yates was another one it was nice to see as well. Both he and Shane really helped me and when I was starting out, offering me plenty of tips and advice. Hopefully I can pass on some of that wisdom to the next generation of riders who are coming through now."

    Hunt will make his debut with Team Sky in Qatar in February and then turn his attention towards the one-day Classics.

    "I definitely want to get my Team Sky career off to a strong start and my early season goal is to do well in the Classics," he explained "Whether I'm riding for myself or in support of Juan Antonio Flecha, I'll be giving it all I've got to do my best for the team and hopefully my form will peak around Paris-Roubaix."

    "The Classics are the hardest races in the world but weirdly the most enjoyable. When you ride them you almost enter a dream state and by the time you cross the finish line everything hurts. As soon as that pain dies away though, you can't wait to do them...

  • Arenberg maintained in 2011 Paris-Roubaix route

    The chase group powers through the Arenberg forest
    Article published:
    December 17, 2010, 16:15 GMT
    Pierre Carrey

    One of cycling's most iconic stretches of cobbles kept for Classic

    The Tranchée d'Arenberg, the most famous sector of cobbles in Paris-Roubaix, will remain in the route of the French Flanders Classic in 2011, despite hesitations from organisers, ASO.

    "In our mind there was no way of removing Arenberg in 2011", Jean-François Pescheux, Competitions Director at ASO, told La Voix du Nord, after a crucial recce last Wednesday.

    However the local newspaper reveals ASO planned a draft version of the 2011 course without the Arenberg. In October another ASO manager confirmed that information during the press conference of the new Paris-Roubaix cyclosportive event. Today Pescheux confirmed that the section isn't untouchable: "Even if we always say [that sector] is like the Alpe d'Huez in the Tour de France, there's no rule to go to there every year."

    The Tranchée de Wallers-Arenberg, a 2.400m long route through a forest, is positioned far away from the finish (at 95 kilometres according to the 2010 route), but remains the main symbol of Paris-Roubaix.

    Eddy Merckx, who captured Paris-Roubaix in 1968, the first time the Arenberg's track was added in the route, said: "That's not a place where you can win the race but you can lost it".

    Arenberg's dangers are well known since 1967 when the organisers decided to change the course and avoid another bunch sprint like that one Jan Janssen won that year. When he saw pictures of the trench, Tour de France Director Jacques Goddet said: "I asked you to find cobblestones, not a bog!" Arenberg's addition had been suggested by 1962 World Champion, Jean Stablinski, born in the area and worker in the mines of Wallers-Arenberg when he was 14.

    The organisers changed the direction in 1999 and 2000 after multiple Roubaix winner Johan Museeuw seriously crashed in 1998. Since then the riders have used the traditional descending direction which reaches the speed around 70kmph in the first meters.


  • Free Cyclingnews iTunes app available now

    Article published:
    April 26, 2011, 6:25 BST
    Cycling News

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