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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, July 1, 2011

Date published:
July 01, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Movistar looks to the future and extends with three

    The Movistar team spent plenty of time at the front.
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 10:01 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Spanish team close to signing Valverde

    The Movistar Team has extended the contracts of Andrey Amador, Pablo Lastras, and Sergio Pardilla and is reported to be on the verge of agreeing a  three-year contract with Alejandro Valverde who is currently serving a two-year suspension for doping.

    The new contracts are the “reward for good performances throughout the 2011 season in the blue colours,” the team said. 

    Amador, 24, will be the first Costa Rican ever to start the Tour de France. He was the victim of an assault whilst training in January, suffering kidney and lung injuries. He came back to open his season in the Mallorca Challenge, and has ridden a full schedule of races before the Tour de France. His best results were fourth in the GP Llodio and the Vuelta a la Rioja.

    Pardilla, 27, rode the Giro d'Italia for Movistar. The climber already has 11 pro victories, although this is his first year with a ProTeam. His contract was extended for one year.

    Lastras has signed up for another two years. He turned pro in 1998 with Banesto, and all of his professional years have been spent with team manager Eusebio Unzue. The 35-year-old recently finished 38th in the Giro d'Italia.

    Valverde for 2012 and beyond

    The Movistar team is also said to be close to a three-year contract with Valverde, to run from 2012 to 2014, according to the Diario de Navarra. He will be eligible to ride again as of January 1,...

  • Spanish federation opens Mosquera proceedings

    Ezequiel Mosquera in his new Vacansoleil jersey
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 11:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Decision expected in the coming months

    The Spanish Cycling Federation has finally started its investigation into Ezequiel Mosquera's doping case from last year's Vuelta a Espana.

    The Spaniard, who finished second overall in the race, tested positive for Hydroxyethyl after stage 18. Hydroxyethyl starch is a blood plasma volume expander that can serve to dilute the blood without decreasing the amount of red blood cells present. Due to this property it may be used as a masking agent for EPO. No EPO was found in any of his doping controls and Mosquera has insisted he did not use any illegal products.

    There is no automatic suspension for a positive Hydroxyethyl control. However the Vacansoleil-DCM team, for signed Mosquera for the 2011 season, decided to stop him racing until the matter was resolved.

    The International Cycling Union only sent the Mosquera dossier on the case to the Spanish federation (RFEC) in April of this year, asking that the RFEC open disciplinary proceedings.

    According to, the RFEC has now asked for the medical documentation from the UCI, the World Anti-Doping Agency and the Spanish national anti-doping agency. Once it has gathered that information and heard the defence arguments, it will issue its decision “in the coming months”.

  • Tour de France news shorts

    Andy Schleck and Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 11:11 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Leopard Trek's bad flight, Quinziato's problems and Leukeman's Tour reading

    Leopard Trek riders fear for their lives

    Some of the Leopard Trek riders endured one of the most frightening moments of the season on their way to the Grand Depart of the Tour de France. Flying in a private jet from Luxembourg to Nantes on Tuesday evening, the small plane was shaken by deteriorating weather conditions. Fabian Cancellara said on Twitter: "We lost around 100 feet... It was first time I was not on my seat any more for a bit."

    Linus Gerdemann was reported to have stepped off the plane snow-white and needing to empty his upset stomach. Other team members, too, were very scared. "I feared the worst," said team director Thorsten Schmidt. "I really thought that this was my last flight ever."

    No more beef for Contador

    Following his positive test for Clenbuterol which he attributed to contaminated steak, Alberto Contador has changed his diet. In an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca, he admitted that he "hasn't touched veal meat" since the doping case started last autumn, though he apparently still eats other kinds of meat. "I know that the vast majority (of meat producers) do things right, but there can always be someone who breaks the law," he said.

    Voeckler and Galland become pre-Tour fathers

    Just days before the Tour de France Grand Départ, French riders Thomas Voeckler and Jérémy Galland have become dads for the second time. Voeckler's wife Julie gave birth to a baby girl, Lila, on Tuesday night. Both mother and daughter, as well as her two-year-old brother Mahé are doing well.

    Saur-Sojasun rider Galland also welcomed his second baby girl on Monday evening. "Neïs is beautiful... All congratulations to her mother! She will give me additional motivation for the Tour...!" the Tour de France rookie wrote on his website.

    Quinziato loses suitcase

    BMC rider Manuel...

  • Lance Armstrong to visit the Tour de France

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) bid farewell to the international peloton.
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 12:13 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Seven-time winner to host a RadioShack party in Paris

    Lance Armstrong will return to the Tour de France as a spectator and plans to see the final time trial stage in Grenoble before hosting a RadioShack supporter’s party in Paris, according to an Associated Press report.

    The seven-time Tour winner retired after last year’s race and has since become embroiled in a major Federal investigation into his time at the US Postal Service team. Former friends and teammates Floyd Landis and Tyler Hamilton have both accused the Texan of doping, but he has steadfastly denied it and has always claimed he never failed a drugs test during his career.

    Armstrong’s spokesman Mark Higgins confirmed to the Associated Press that the Texan will travel to France. RadioShack team manager Johan Bruyneel announced on Thursday that RadioShack and other key sponsors had agreed to extend their backing of the team until the end of 2013.

    Just after his visit to the Tour de France, Armstrong is set to ride in the 39th annual RAGBRAI (Register’s Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa) event.

    The local Des Moines Register newspaper said that Armstrong is expected to ride for two days with a Livestrong team.

  • In-form Hesjedal looks to repeat 2010 success

    Ryder Hesjedal and Christian Vande Velde of Gamin-Cervelo
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 13:58 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Garmin rider confident in his abilities despite difficult spring

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo) heads into the 2011 Tour de France with far more expectations on his shoulders after finishing in seventh place last year. The Canadian all-rounder will line up as a joint GC leader with Christian Vande Velde - fourth in 2008 - as the American team looks to compete on a number of fronts in the Tour.

    While Hesjedal has replicated most of his Tour build-up races from last year, his results have been less impressive. In 2010 he finished second in Amstel Gold Race and won a stage at the Tour or California. This year, the Canadian has been riding almost below the radar in terms of results, but is confident that despite missing out in a few key races he is in better form than twelve months ago.

    "I made it through Suisse in better shape than last year and finished it stronger than when I started it. Since then I've been recovering and now the team has just spent the last few days on recon," he told Cyclingnews, nevertheless admitting the increased pressure.

    "There's more emphasis on the Tour this year, certainly mentally. Having been able to do the Tour I did last year - of course you have that in the back of your mind. I want to go back there and do something like that again. Or at least have a shot to try.

    "I've tried to replicate my season in a similar way to last year and I'm really looking forward to the next few weeks."

    Hesjedal's spring was affected first by illness and then by allergies. However, he used the Tours of California and Suisse as preparation for the Tour and was often at the front of the field, working for the likes of Tom Danielson.

    "That's professional bike racing. Just because things haven't gone to plan doesn't mean the form hasn't been there. I know my riding in Pais...

  • Samuel Dumoulin, an outsider for the first uphill finish

    Samuel Dumoulin (Cofidis) took his second stage win
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 14:46 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Cofidis' finisseur also says Cavendish-Goss is "a dangerous duo"

    Usually sharp in the uphill finishes, Cofidis' Samuel Dumoulin is targeting victory in the Tour de France's first stage. “Every day we will work for one rider and Saturday it'll be all for Sam,” team manager Eric Boyer told Cyclingnews. “He will be supported by the whole team, including David Moncoutié and Rein Taaramäe who are most expected for the hilly stages. We even added Mickaël Buffaz to our Tour's roster last Monday because we think he'll be a key man for such a finish.”

    This season, Dumoulin has recorded two stage wins at the Vuelta of Catalunya, and one each at the Etoile de Bessèges and the Tour du Haut Var. Cofidis' ambitions for Saturday's stage were boosted after the Critérium du Dauphiné, when the team did a strong lead-out on a similar finish to Lyon. Dumoulin finished second behind John Degenkolb (HTC-Highroad).

    Wednesday he trained in Le Mont des Alouettes, the conclusion of the Tour's first stage. “The finish is not too bad for my little legs”, he wrote on Twitter, joking about his 1.59m height, which obviously doesn't affect his abilities in sprints and echelons.

    Dumoulin, 31 years old, has already succeeded once at the Tour, in 2008, wining the sprint of a breakaway. If he does the same on Saturday, he will also wear the first yellow jersey of the race. “That would be great but I avoid to think about that and I'll ride like if it's a one-day race,” he confided to Cyclingnews.

    Dumoulin was worried though about managing his power on the Mont des Alouettes ascent. “That's pretty hard to calculate your effort properly...

  • Vladimir Efimkin comes back with Team Type 1

    Vladimir Efimkin (AG2R La Mondiale) in Tour de France stage six to Barcelona
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 15:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian joins brother in Pro Continental squad

    Russian rider Vladimir Efimkin, who quit pro cycling in August last year, will make a comeback with American Team Type 1-sanofi. The 29-year-old had terminated his contract with AG2R La Mondiale in 2010 to spend more time with his family in Sacramento, California, where he now resides. His twin brother Aleksandr is already racing for Team Type 1, which announced the transfer this week.

    "Everything in my life is great now. My family is settled in California, we’re building a comfortable new home, I have healthy children, and life since I left cycling has been fantastic. But when the Tour of California came literally in front of my house on the stage from Auburn to Modesto, I looked at my brother and the rest of the guys on their bikes and I thought 'This is it. These are Superheroes. This is what I miss," the 2008 Tour de France stage winner said.

    The climber will be an important addition to the squad. "He brings huge experience to our team. He has been on the podium at the Tour de France, the Tour of Spain and the Tour de Suisse, and he won the Volta a Portugal in 2005. He is a climbing specialist who will provide powerful quality in stage races," said general manager Vassili Davidenko.

    As he returns mid-season, Efimkin's targets will be stage races in Utah, Colorado and China for the remainder of 2011.

  • Pate calls for stricter doping punishments

    HTC-Highroad rider Danny Pate says he taped up some of the vents on his helmet not so much to defend against the cold but rather to protect from sunburn.
    Article published:
    July 01, 2011, 17:03 BST
    Daniel Benson

    American ready to work for HTC at the Tour de France

    Danny Pate (HTC-Highroad) has called for stricter punishments for doping offences in cycling. The American rider has also called for a single governing body to deal with doping cases rather than individual national federations, who in his opinion, are inconsistent.

    Cycling has been rocked by several high profile cases in recent years, including 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador, while the likes of Danilo Di Luca and Emanuele Sella have served much shortened suspensions after providing police with doping information.

    “There’s an issue on the processing and the national federation when it comes to doping cases. Some federations don’t treat their riders appropriately. Everyone should be dealt with by the same court because some nations are more lenient than others. Look at the Italian federation against the Spanish one. There’s a big difference going on there,” Pate told Cyclingnews.

    Pate was speaking in general terms and told Cyclingnews that he applauded the Italian Federations recent steps in the fight against doping but drew on the inconsistencies surrounding lifetime bans.

    “Look at Phillip Zajicek in the US who got a life time ban. I don’t know all the details but he’s stolen around $50,000 a year but then there are guys in the sport stealing millions of dollars and are doing the same offences if not more if you look at blood transfusions. They’re getting two years and coming back on big contracts.”

    “Some of these things need to addressed with more life time bans. How has Riccò not got a life time ban? That’s just insane to me.”

    “It’s coming to a time where we need to think about longer bans....