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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, February 1, 2013

Date published:
February 01, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Cancellara and Devolder open season at Tour of Qatar

    Fabian Cancellara sports the new, 2013 RadioShack Leopard kit at the team presentation.
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 4:21 GMT
    Cycling News

    RadioShack Leopard prepare cobbled classics squad in wind-swept desert

    RadioShack Leopard has compiled a likely cobbled-classics squad to contest the upcoming Tour of Qatar. The six day race, running from 3-8 February will mark the first official outing for the eight-man team including Stijn Devolder - making a return of sorts to the team formerly managed by Johan Bruyneel. Fabian Cancellara also opens his season in the Qatari desert and will use the tour to build his condition ahead of another spring classics campaign.

    Cancellara finished seventh overall at the 2.HC race in 2012 and proved to be one of the strongest on a number of critical stages. The Swiss national time trial champion will have a more than capable squad for the 732.2km tour with most of them appropriate teammates for the two biggest cobbled classics; Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.

    The former winner at Flanders and Roubaix appears to be a strong contender for the overall victory at Qatar with a 14km time trial set to place. Cancellara should be in a strong position to eye the Qatar title however he will be given stiff competition from the in-form Sky Procycling's Geraint Thomas with Taylor Phinney (BMC) and a solid Omega Pharma - Quick-Step team also looking to upset his chances.

    The RadioShack Leopard squad for Tour of Qatar: Fabian Cancellara (Swi), Stijn Devolder (Bel), Tony Gallopin (Fra), Markel Irizar (Spa), Nelson Oliveira (Por), Yaroslav Popovych (Ukr),

  • Rasmussen details doping at CSC, Rabobank to authorities

    Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) gets some encouragement
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 6:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Nowhere have I spoken half truths, says Dane

    More details have been revealed regarding Michael Rasmussen's confession to doping and his admissions to Danish authorities, (NOC and Sports Confederation of Denmark), Doping Autoriteit in Holland, the United States Anti-Doping Agency and the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    Yesterday, Rasmussen who rode with Rabobank and CSC admitted to using performance enhancing drugs throughout the majority of his professional career from 1998 until 2010.

    "I used EPO, growth hormone, testosterone, DHEA, insulin, IGF-1, and cortisone and did blood transfusions," he said in a prepared statement.

    The now 38-year-old has been in lengthy discussions with various anti-doping agencies and told De Telegraaf that: "Everywhere I have made a full disclosure of the facts. Nowhere have I spoken half truths."

    His discussions ranged from the HumanPlasma case where blood transfusions were given to riders between 2003 and 2006, and the evidence outlined in the USADA investigation into Lance Armstrong and his associates. Rasmussen has previously denied that he was 'Rider-14' as part of Levi Leipheimer's affidavit. The Dane has reportedly also explained doping use on the CSC team which he was a part of between 2001 and 2002.

    "I also spoke about other riders, coaches who helped and where the products came from," he told De Telegraaf. "I indicated that I would fully cooperate and I have kept that promise."


  • Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia reduced to just one day in 2013

    Race leader Nairo Quintana (Movistar Team)
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 8:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Race gets UCI approval for February 23 date

    The Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia has been reduced once again, this time the event will take place over just one day, with a route of over 240 kilometres to be raced on February 23.

    The event has seen a reduction in stages take place in recent years, going from five stages in 2010, down to three in 2011 and last year, just two - a time trial and road race. The race, like much of Spain, has been hit with financial concerns.

    "This morning the International Cycling Union confirmed the organisation’s proposal for the race to be held a week earlier and be held on Saturday February 23," said a statement on the event website.

    Five UCI WorldTour teams have also been confirmed, with three-time overall winner Alejandro Valverde heading up the Movistar squad. His teammate Nairo Quintana took out the 2012 edition of the race, with a six second victory over Jonathan Tiernan-Locke.


  • Coquard shows his class with first professional win

    Stage 2 winner Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) on the podium.
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 10:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Europcar neo-pro uses his track skills to win at Bessèges

    Bryan Coquard (Team Europcar) confirmed he sprinting ability and professional potential by winning the second stage of the Etoile des Bessèges race in the south of France.

    Coquard is just 20 but won in his second professional race after finishing sixth on his debut. He was second in the Under 23 World Championships last year and won a silver medal on the track in the Omnium event at the London Olympics.

    Much like Mark Cavendish, Coquard has combined his sprinting speed with track-honed sprinting skills.

    "The track made me the sprinter that I am. My best quality is my jump," he told Equipe after his victory.

    "It's a great feeling to win, I'm really super happy," he explained to "The team worked very well! It feels a little odd to win like that, so soon. Yesterday (Wednesday) I was very disappointed with my sixth place, I took it badly. I had the legs but not the luck. I went off the road with a kilometre to go. I wanted revenge and everything went perfectly."

    Coquard is following in the footsteps of fellow Frenchman Arnaud Démare. He won the 2011 Under 23 world road race title and made a successful debut with FDJ in 2012, winning the Vattenfall Cyclassics, Le Samyn and stage at the Tour of Qatar.

    Démare finished behind Andre Greipel on the first stage of the Tour Down Under and both young Frenchman are expected to develop into world class sprinters in the future and perhaps challenge Cavendish in the high-speed sprints at the Tour de France.

    "I am still very young, so it is important to take things one step at a time," Coquard said. "This stage was perfect for me. I did not know the final but I was pleasantly surprised...

  • McQuaid writes to IOC members for support after spat with WADA

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 11:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    UCI President insists he is ready to work together on Truth and Reconciliation Commission

    UCI President Pat McQuaid has written to the 101 members of the International Olympic Committee calling for their support and understanding after the UCI's war of words with the World Anti-Doping Agency. The letter comes after plans for a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the culling of the Independent Commission that was supposed to investigate the UCI’s role in the Lance Armstrong and US Postal Service team doping affair.

    The contents of the letter were published by the Insidethegames website.

    On Wednesday WADA said it was "dismayed by the press release issued by UCI, both in terms of its content and its deceit," claiming that the UCI "has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others."

    The UCI hit back by revealing an email exchange between McQuaid and WADA president John Farey.

    "I am very saddened that it has come to this, but I cannot allow the latest blatant and aggressive misrepresentations contained in WADA’s most recent press release to go unchallenged," McQuaid said in a press release. "Mr. Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in correspondence with me, as the attached communications show."

    McQuaid is now courting support from the influential IOC members, many of whom are heads of other international sports federations.

    After explaining the spat with WADA, McQuaid claimed he is ready to sit down with WADA and establish the details of the Truth and Reconciliation process.

    "The UCI is committed to establishing a Truth and Reconciliation Commission to examine the culture of doping in cycling in the past, as well as the allegations contained in the...

  • Johnson enjoying the moment ahead of 'cross Worlds

    Tim Johnson (Cannondale) gave every ounce of effort that he had to reach the leaders
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 12:39 GMT
    Laura Weislo

    Team USA rider appreciates chance to race on home soil

    The number of Americans who have stood on the podium at a cyclo-cross world championship can be counted on one hand, and one of those riders is Tim Johnson, who claimed the bronze medal at the Under 23 title race in Poprad, Slovakia in 1999. 14 years later, now in the twilight of his career, Johnson is taking part in a dream: a world championship event on American soil.

    Although Johnson has abandoned his road career to focus solely on cyclo-cross for the past two seasons, the results have been mixed. To say he is a favourite for a podium in Louisville on Sunday might be a long shot, but Johnson himself isn't counting anything out.

    Although the race has been a goal for all the US 'crossers since the venue was awarded the race, Johnson's preparation for Worlds was far from perfect in recent weeks. He fell ill with the flu after the national championships and had a few days "horizontal", but said he's hoping to pull things together for Sunday's elite men's race. Come race day, his task will be to manage his expectations and enjoy the moment - the only time he will race a world 'cross championship at home.

    "[Jeremy Powers] and I were just talking about the difference between expectations and goals," Johnson told Cyclingnews from Louisville.

    "You can have a hope for a great race or a good result, but expectations can be a double-edged sword - they can be powerful, but they can be damaging. I've always had that internal struggle. At this point, I want to enjoy everything that goes along with the race, and not just the race itself. I want to realize what's going on because it took a lot of work by a lot...

  • WADA: We would welcome Armstrong talks

    Lance Armstrong poses with his Damien Hirst-painted Trek at the conclusion of the 2009 Tour de France
    Article published:
    February 01, 2013, 17:32 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Howman open to discussions with Armstrong

    David Howman, Director General of the World Anti-Doping Agency, has said his agency would welcome any approach from Lance Armstrong in relation to information he can share on his career and doping in cycling.

    Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by USADA in October of last year but told Cyclingnews that he was willing to cooperate with WADA under the umbrella of a truth and reconciliation amnesty. While WADA have welcomed the sentiment, they have told Cyclingnews that it’s far too early to discuss particular aspects but stressed that an independent commission could be set up.

    “I’m happy to talk to Mr Armstrong at any time,” Howman told Cyclingnews.

    “If Mr Armstrong is prepared to talk to me in that regard then the sooner the better. That’s my reaction to the interview on Cyclingnews.”

    Asked what he would expect Armstrong to share with him and WADA, Howman added: “I would have no expectations from talking to Mr Armstrong. You need to first have the meeting and then listen to what the person has to say. Nor have demands. You deal with it on the moment and see what happens. You shouldn’t confuse emotion with process. The first thing that has to happen is sitting down with Armstrong, then you see what comes. You don’t express expectations and you don’t show emotional attachment. You’ve got to do these things according to what comes from the other person’s mouth.”

    Armstrong told Cyclingnews that while he would be willing to talk to WADA, he was not looking for an immediate reduction in his life-time ban. USADA handed the ban to him after their Reasoned...

  • Apology to Trent Lowe

    Article published:
    February 02, 2013, 11:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Statement from Cyclingnews would like to apologise to Trent Lowe for various inaccurate statements that were published about him on our news site. acknowledges that Trent Lowe has in no way been involved in the doping scandals surrounding Floyd Landis and Ricardo Ricco and apologises for inferring in an article in February 2011 that he was involved in doping or cheating. also acknowledges that it was wrong to suggest in an article in January 2011 that Mr Lowe was fired from the Garmin Cycling Team due to doping involvement with Dr Del Moral, or that he intended to blackmail Garmin. acknowledges that Garmin has since confirmed Mr Lowe’s innocence regarding doping; and that Mr. Lowe was in fact fired for allegedly attending another team’s training camp. understands that Mr Lowe consulted Dr Moral after being referred for a health check, by the former directeur sportif of Team Garmin, to Dr Moral's clinic in Valencia where Mr Lowe was living at the time. It was determined Mr Lowe was suffering from chronic fatigue at the time. apologises unreservedly to Mr Lowe for any damage that may have been done to his reputation.