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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, December 18, 2009

Date published:
December 18, 2009, 0:00 GMT
  • Ullrich set to keep Olympic medals

    Germany's Jan Ullrich in 2006
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 10:59 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    IOC head says Olympics will continue to support cycling and the UCI

    Jan Ullrich is likely to keep his medals from the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, according to Jacques Rogge, head of the International Olympic Committee. The IOC is investigating stories of his use of doping, but so far has no conclusive evidence to take action against the German. Rogge also said that the IOC will continue to support cycling and the International Cycling Union (UCI).

    Ullrich won the gold medal in the road race and silver in the individual time trial at the 2000 Olympic Games.

    Interviewed in the German news magazine Die Welt, Rogge said that the IOC has studied not only the report from the Freiburg University Clinic Commission but has also received over 2000 pages of documents from the German Bundeskriminalamt (Federal Police). These latter documents must still be translated from German, so that the IOC's Disciplinary Committee can study them, which is expected to happen before the Winter Games in Vancouver, February 12-28.

    In the meantime, German-reading IOC employees have looked at the documents with the result that “we couldn't find any traces of really solid evidence. But we will stay on the matter. You need evidence to be able to convict someone.”

    Ullrich was suspended and later fired from T-Mobile in 2006 for his involvement with Operacion Puerto. He announced his retirement from the sport in February 2007, and that same year, DNA testing matched him to blood taken into custody during the Operacion Puerto.

    Rogge acknowledged that Ullrich had been linked with Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes, but said that “from the sport side we have no evidence that is strong enough – nothing that we could call a smoking gun.” The only positive test in Ullrich's career was for out-of-competition amphetamine use, for which he was suspended in 2002.

    “There are no reports of possession of drugs or doping preparations. There is much speculation but in the end, you can suspend...

  • Brice Feillu looks to shine at Vacansoleil

    Stage winner Brice Feillu (Agritubel) made France proud.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 11:05 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    If not the Tour, then "perhaps the Giro" for the 2009 Tour stage winner

    Brice Feillu, the younger of the Feillu brothers, has just completed his first training camp with his new team Vacansoleil in Benidorm, Spain. The young climber was happy to have met all of his new teammates and has indicated his early season goals, while hoping that his new team will be invited to the sport's biggest races.

    "I'm flying back to Nice today, and just said goodbye to all of my teammates," Feillu told Cyclingnews on Friday morning. "It was just a short week but it was nice. We all got along really well."

    After an administrative, three-day meet, the team began a more training-specific camp, working out on the bike as well as doing some swimming. Racing programmes were established and plans plotted for the coming season.

    "I'll start with the GP La Marseillaise, and then I'll do the Tour Méditerranéen before the Ruta del Sol. After that, we'll see. It depends on the wildcards our team gets - if we do Paris-Nice or not. We hope we do!"

    Being a Pro Continental team, Vacansoleil, isn’t guaranteed an invite to the "race to the sun", organised by Tour de France owner ASO. However, if the team - and notably the Feillu brothers - score good results early in the season, chances are the Dutch team will be at the start of the French stage race.

    "I think it's possible. We have to be good right from the start of the season, and I think we have the team to do that. Especially the French races: La Marseillaise, Bessèges, Tour Méd. We have to shine in these events to prove to ASO that we deserve to have our place in Paris-Nice, and later in the Tour de France."

    On the subject of the Tour de France, Feillu knows that it will not be easy for Vacansoleil to be granted an entry, with several high-profile squads also relying on a wildcard. "Certainly, with Cadel Evans signing for BMC, it has become even harder for us," he said. "Before that, BMC wasn't really a candidate for the Tour,...

  • Cavendish and Greipel to ride Vuelta together?

    Mark Cavendish before a ride.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 11:12 GMT
    Shane Stokes

    Worlds may prompt Columbia HTC's two sprinters to share spoils in Grand Tour

    With the thoughts of a rainbow jersey spurring him on, Mark Cavendish is likely to make his Vuelta a España debut in 2010, and could find himself working alongside Columbia HTC’s other big sprinter, Andre Greipel in the race.

    As his autobiography Boy Racer outlines, the two have had a tense relationship in the past, although it is believed that they are now on better terms than before. They have not shared the billing in a major race recently, though, and the Vuelta – or perhaps the Tour before that – could see the team try to juggle the two sprinters and work out a way for both to shine.

    “Cavendish and Greipel both want to come to the Vuelta – they want to do it as the worlds are after that,” revealed Columbia HTC’s Allan Peiper at Wednesday’s route launch in Seville.

    “I’d say that any sprinter who wants to be world champion has to be in the Vuelta. I won’t say they have to go to Madrid, but it would be ideal; you have still got two weeks, as the worlds is on a week later next year. You can fly the Tuesday after the Vuelta finishes, giving you 12 days in Australia to get over the jetlag, see the course, freshen up. It would be actually perfect.”

    The road race in Geelong is regarded as the first real sprinter’s course since Zolder in 2002. Cavendish is one of several sprinters who have indicated that the race is a major target and, if recent history is to be relied upon, the winner in Australia will almost certainly have competed in the Spanish Tour beforehand.

    In order to give both riders an equal chance – and thus double the team’s potential to have its first world road race champion - Columbia HTC could be fielding two big sprinters in the Vuelta. Cavendish won six stages at this year’s Tour de France, while Greipel landed four stages plus the points jersey in Spain. Both would clearly want to add to their Grand Tour...

  • Italy suspends Junior rider for 21 months

    Eddy Mazzoleni (T-Mobile) with the Italian flag before the start of stage 4
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 11:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    18-year-old Bani found to have used pregnancy hormone

    The Italian national anti-doping tribunal has suspended Junior rider Eugenio Bani for 21 months. The 18-year old tested positive for HcG.

    HcG (Human chorionic gonadotrophin) is a pregnancy-produced hormone, which also affects natural testosterone production. It is reportedly used with various anabolic steroids.

    Bani tested positive on June 24 at the Settimana Tricolore Juniores. The positive results were announced at the end of July.

    Bani rode for the Ambra Cavallini Vangi team. He had three victories in 2009, including a stage at the Giro della Tuscana.

  • Decision time for Horrillo

    Pedro Horrillo (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 12:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider to continue cycling career or retire?

    Pedro Horrillo has recovered from injuries suffered in a horrific crash in the Giro d'Italia and now must decide what to do with his future: continue being a professional bike rider or retire.

    “I can say I am a normal person,” the 35-year-old said on Onda Cero Bilbao radio, confirming that he has completely overcome the severe injuries resulting from the crash. “Now I have to make a decision about my future. I do not know what to do.”

    The Spaniard said that he was able to ride his bike, but that he did not know whether his body could return to top level fitness again. “I don't know whether I can achieve the high level that I want to have on the bike,” Horrillo said.

    The decision is entirely in his hands, with no pressure from his Rabobank team. “Rabobank has treated me wonderfully since day one and has told me to do what I want.

    “Now I will get out on my bike and do some kilometres, but certainly not at the pace you need to do well in competition. But I'll have time to analyse it, think about it and make a decision,” he concluded.

    Horrillo plunged over a cliff in the eighth stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, falling 80 metres and sustaining multiple fractures.

  • Yahoo! Cycling Team to launch in 2010

    Kevin Klein will be managing the Yahoo! Cycling Team.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 14:03 GMT
    Daniel Carruthers

    Long-term goals include Pro Continental status in 2011

    An online survey targeted at Silicon Valley Professionals revealed that an astonishing 50 percent are cycling enthusiasts and follow the local scene. The results were presented to the Yahoo! Management, the internet services company which operates the third most-visited website in the world, and prompted it to come onboard as the main partner to launch America's newest team in 2010: Yahoo! Cycling Team.

    The man behind the new squad is Kevin Klein, a former pro focused on creating a successful business model that will keep the new team pedaling on the long-term. The team will be operating at grass-roots level and will be primarily based out of California for the 2010 race season.

    "The whole idea behind the Yahoo! Cycling Team is the recruitment of high tech professionals in the Silicon Valley and to provide a platform for partners to achieve more involvement at the community level," Klein said. "If you do it right, everyone should win and grow their business."

    Klein has assembled an impressive 15-rider roster with a unique blend of experienced professionals, young natural talent, and seasoned leaders for 2010 - including two current professional road riders, members of the Under 23 National Team, and a two-time Olympian. But Klein did not want to reveal any names at this time - not until the launch of the website in January.

    Klein himself will be riding with the team and is included on the racing roster. He has had some good 2009 results including a third place at the Davis Criterium race on July 4, won by Rahsaan Bahati. "There are veterans, young guys, and professionals on the team which make for a nice mix and spread out," he added.

    Klein's plan for the first year is to ride and manage the team on the local US racing scene before applying for UCI Continental Status in 2011. Should they be successful, he would like to bring in Mariano Friedick, who is currently living in Argentina, as another key person on the management...

  • New venue for Critérium International

    Jens Voigt wins his fifth Critérium International
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 14:56 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race moves to Corsica, details yet to be announced

    The Critérium International, a two-day, three-stagerace organised by Tour de France owner Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), will next year take place on the island of Corsica. ASO announced on Friday that the event scheduled for March 27 and 28, 2010, would not get underway in its traditional location of Charleville-Mézières in the North of France, but move to the Meditarrenean island in 2010.

    The race, to which Saxo Bank's Jens Voigt is particularly attached since he has won it five times, will be located in and around the town of Porto-Vecchio in the South of Corsica. Details of the cycling triptych (flat stage, mountain stage, time trial) will be announced by the organiser the beginning of February.

    This new venue for the Critérium International, which took place in the Ardennes region of France for nine years, may be another indication that ASO is looking to include Corsica in its list of possible race locations. The company is currently evaluating the island's bid to host the start of the 2013 Tour de France.

  • Twenty Pro Continental teams apply for Wild Card status

    Skil-Shimano is one of 20 Pro Continental teams hoping to receive Wild Card status for the 2010 season.
    Article published:
    December 18, 2009, 19:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Three teams yet to receive 2010 Pro Continental status among applicants

    Twenty Professional Continental teams have applied for Wild Card status, the International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today. Teams granted Wild Card status for the 2010 season have the right to be invited to races on the UCI ProTour calendar.

    The UCI approved 19 teams for Pro Continental status earlier in December and all but two, Poland's CCC Polsat Polkowice and Brazil's Scott - Marcondes César Sao José dos Campos, applied for Wild Card status. Three teams denied Pro Continental status by the UCI but currently undergoing an appeals process through the UCI Management Committee also applied for a Wild Card designation, including Venezuela's Androni Giocattoli, USA's Rock Racing and Spain's Xacobeo Galicia.

    Teams will only be granted Wild Card status if they meet strict quality criteria, such as the quality of riders and race results, legal criteria, financial criteria and ethical considerations, particularly an anti-doping stance.

    Wild Card teams will be required to participate in the UCI's biological passport programme, including making a financial contribution to the biological passport programme and providing documentation of their riders' whereabouts for random testing.

    Professional Continental teams applying for Wild Card status:

    Acqua & Sapone (Ita)
    Andalucia Cajasur (Spa)
    Androni Giocattoli* (Ven)
    Bbox Bouygues Telecom (Fra)
    BMC Racing Team (USA)
    Carmiooro - NGC (GBr)
    Ceramica Flaminia (Irl)
    Cervélo TestTeam (Swi)
    Cofidis, le crédit en ligne (Fra)
    Colnago - CSF Inox (Irl)
    De Rosa - Stac Plastic (Irl)
    ISD - Neri (Ita)
    Landbouwkrediet (Bel)
    Rock Racing* (USA)
    Saur - Sojasun (Fra)
    Skil - Shimano (Ned)
    Topsport Vlaanderen - Mercator (Bel)
    Vacansoleil Pro Cycling Team (Ned)
    Voralberg - Corratec (Aut)
    Xacobeo Galicia Team* (Spa)

    * Denotes a team which has yet to...