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Second Edition Cycling News, Friday, May 13, 2011

Date published:
May 13, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • UCI's suspicious list leaked from 2010 Tour de France

    The Tour de France peloton is about to roll out of Cambrai
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 8:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    UPDATED: L'Equipe publishes confidential UCI ranking document

    The French newspaper L'Equipe on Friday published a list of all the riders participating in last year's Tour de France and their individual scores of suspicion for doping from a confidential International Cycling Union document.

    The riders were ranked with numbers from zero to ten, with zero being no suspicion, and ten being the maximum. The large majority of riders received scores of four or less. The ratings were based on the riders' individual biological passport values up to the event, and included the readings of the first blood test performed on July 1, 2010, just prior to the Grand Départ.

    Scores of zero went to, amongst others, Fabian Cancellara, David Zabriskie, Edvald Boasson Hagen and Lars Boom. Lance Armstrong was given a four, as were Cadel Evans and Levi Leipheimer.

    Race winner Alberto Contador (who later tested positive for Clenbuterol during the race), was given a five, second-placed Andy Schleck a three, and third-placed Denis Menchov received a nine.

    As explained by the newspaper, only the scores of zero and one meant that the riders had a very clean record. Ratings from two to four were based on stable passports which nevertheless showed a rare abnormality at a precise time. From five upwards, the comments associated to the rider files started to become much more precise, "even affirmative" according to L'Equipe.

    From six to ten, the circumstantial evidence of possible doping was "overwhelming". According to the paper, some of the riders located to the top of list have already been singled out by the biological passport and evaluated by the panel of nine experts, even if no procedure was opened. "Still, some of the files' commentaries are damning. Recurrent abnormal profiles, enormous fluctuations, identification of the used doping product and means of administration..." wrote...

  • Weylandt's funeral scheduled for Wednesday

    Wouter Weylandt smiles for the cameras
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 10:09 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Peloton continues to remember and honour fallen rider

    Wouter Weylandt will be buried on Wednesday, May 18, Team Leopard Trek has announced. The funeral will be held at 11 am at the Sint-Pieterskerk in his hometown of Gent, Belgium.

    Weylandt died on Monday as the result of a crash in the third stage of the Giro d'Italia. The peloton saluted him with a tribute stage the next day. His team has opened a fund to accept donations for his family.

    Weylandt's former teammate Stijn Devolder, now with Vacansoleil-DCM, is riding the Tour of Picardy starting today, but said that “I would rather have stayed home." He told Het Laatste Nieuws, “My head is not into racing. I am with Wouter in my thoughts.

    Devolder is racing in France because he is committed to doing so for his team. “Actually I'd rather have stayed home. The day after his death I couldn't ride at all. I was just completely out of it.”

    The two were teammates at Quick Step from 2008 to 2010 and often roomed together on the road. “Now I am still with Wouter and I think of him when I go to sleep. Talking does help, including training on Wednesday with teammate Gorik Gardeyn.”

    Had he been in the Giro, he may not have ridden in the tribute stage, Devolder admitted. “It strikes me very hard now to pin on a racing number. I would never have been able to ride the tribute held to him in the Giro the day after his death.”

    In a further tribute to the fallen rider, new Giro leader

  • L’Equipe calculates index of suspicion for teams and nations

    The Tour de France peloton races on the streets of Paris..
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 12:32 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Cofidis top the list of least suspicious, Astana and RadioShack at the bottom

    As well as publishing an individual ‘index of suspicion’ for each of the 198 riders who rode the 2010 Tour de France, L’Equipe has used the data to calculate an index for the teams and rider nations.

    The French newspaper points out that Cofidis tops the list of teams with the lowest total index, with a score of just four points from its nine riders. The four French teams in the 2010 Tour de France fill the top four places of the least suspicious list. Garmin is fifth and Cervelo sixth.

    RadioShack is ranked 22nd and bottom of the table with 40 points. Astana is 21st with 39, while HTC-Columbia, BMC and Caisse d’Epargne are all ranked equal 18th with 32 points.

    France tops the nations ranking, with an average score of 1.23 per rider based on the total of 35 French riders who rode the 2010 Tour de France.

    L’Equipe suggested that this is because France is the most active in the fight against doping. The newspaper also drew up a list of the French riders, highlighting that Christophe Moreau had the highest index of suspicion (7.0) in his final Tour de France before retiring. 18 of the 35 French riders had an index of zero and only six were above the average of 2.4.

    The Netherlands (1.25) is second in the ranking, ahead of Switzerland (1.60) and Portugal (2.0). The United States is ranked sixth with an average score of 2.37, while Great Britain is further down in 12th place, with an average score of 3.37. This is based on the scores of the eight British riders who ride the 2010 Tour de France, while Spain’s ranking, which is also 12th, is based on an average of 32 riders.

    Italy is ranked 14th (3.70), Belarus is 15th (4.0), Russia is 16th (4.33), Kazakhstan and the Ukraine are equal 17th with a score of 5.33 based on the average of just three riders.

    The ranking...

  • Prudhomme calls leaked UCI list a useful tool in anti-doping fight

    Tour de France race director Christian Prudhomme at the Paris-Roubaix presentation.
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 13:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France boss defends biological passport

    Tour de France director Christian Prudhomme has downplayed the leak of the UCI's 'index of suspicion' for the 2010 Tour de France riders, describing the information as a tool in the fight against doping. 

    L'Equipe published the confidential document on Friday, revealing the names and scores of riders on the list created to help anti-doping officials decide which riders to test during the race.

    "There is no secret file. There's is a list made by one of the three international federations (the UCI), who have taken on board the biological passport. It's a tool and certainly a bonus in the fight against doping," said Prudhomme, according to the AFP news agency.

    "We mustn't turn things around and associate the word suspicion with a discipline which is fighting (doping), precisely because it is fighting. Only those [sports] that have a biological passport can have such a list."

    The list of suspicion ranks the riders based on their biological passport values and the results of their  blood tests done just before the 2010 Tour de France. The rankings range from zero (no suspicion) to ten (overwhelming suspicion).

    The UCI confirmed the existence of the list said that it “deplores” the release of the information will launch an investigation into the breach of confidentiality.

  • Video: Neo-pro Bart De Clercq takes Giro d'Italia by surprise

    De Clercq celebrates with one arm in the air
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 19:10 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Belgian rookie only started racing in 2009

    Bart De Clercq didn't expect to win a stage at his first Grand Tour when he got the call for the Giro d'Italia, but the surprises continued for the Omega Pharma-Lotto team that came to the Giro with no star rider. The Belgian ProTour team had already put in a good performance in the opening team time trial, finishing fourth.

    "If I make it to Milan, my Giro will be more than a success," De Clercq wrote on his blog from Turin on May 4. He suffered an Achilles injury at the Volta Catalunya and resumed racing at the Tour de Romandie prior to his first start in a Grand Tour.

    It wasn't the ideal preparation for the 24-year-old Belgian who signed for Omega Pharma-Lotto on August 22 last year during his second year of competitive cycling with the Davo team, directed by Kurt Van de Wouwer. He turned pro without a great pedigree in the amateur ranks. He has victories at the Tour de Moselle in France, a race in Deerlijk, Belgium and stage 1 of the 2009 Tour de Namur in his palmares but recruiters knew that he was a special rider.

    "In my teen years, I was doing athletics," he said in Mercogliano. "I was a runner, but I had to stop because of some injuries. Meanwhile I still did a lot of sport but no competitions during my studies in physical education at the University of Gent.

    "I also rode my bike, but as a tourist. Only when I stopped going to school I started racing, not for the purpose of becoming a pro rider, but it turned out quite differently."

    De Clercq wasn't exactly racing under a specific plan to win the first uphill finish stage of the 2011 Giro d'Italia. "Why did I attack...

  • Time bonus lifts Scarponi into top five overall

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) after the finish
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 19:23 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    Italian impatient for Sunday’s first real test on Mount Etna

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) missed out on the stage win at the Montevergine di Mercogliano finish of the Giro d'Italia but still gained something from the uphill finish in the Campania hills, inland from Naples.

    His second place behind Bart De Clercq (Omega Pharma-Lotto) gave him twelve bonus seconds and lifted him to fifth overall at 14 seconds. He is now the highest ranked of the favourites for overall victory in Milan. He precedes Vincenzo Nibali by ten seconds and Alberto Contador by sixteen seconds. Scarponi is now within range of the maglia rosa and could take it from Pieter Weening (Rabobank) if he wins the stage on Etna and the Dutchman fails to take any bonus seconds.

    “If the GC guys keep watching each others like today, it’s possible that I keep the pink jersey at the Etna,” Weening suggested.

    Contador lost contact in the final two hundred metres but wasn’t worried about that after he had crossed the line of the Montevergine.

    “Our group was riding fast because there were some breakaway riders to catch. There was no room for attacks but I expect the selection to be more important on the Etna on Sunday,” he said before riding down the climb.

    Giro d’Italia general director Angelo Zomegnan confirmed that Sunday’s stage ninth in Sicily will be held as planned despite the recent eruption of the Etna volcano. Catania airport has reopened and the riders will be able to fly to Pescara on Sunday evening as scheduled before the first rest day of the race.

    Scarponi was happy to pick up some bonus seconds but wanted to win the stage.

    “I thought I was going to win. The breakaway rider (Bart de Clercq) looked like finished but he made it by just,” Scarponi told...

  • RadioShack positive about leaked list

    Yaroslav Popovych (Team RadioShack)
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 20:49 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Riders tested extensively after being targeted

    The RadioShack team has responded to the list of riders leaked to L'Equipe today, reportedly showing how the UCI ranked the riders of the 2010 Tour de France for targeted testing.

    Riders on the list were ranked 1 to 10 with riders having higher numbers presumed to be suspected of doping. RadioShack's Yaroslav Popovych was ranked a 10, while Dmitriy Muravyev was given an 8.

    Team spokesman Philippe Maertens explained to Cyclingnews that the riders were indeed subjected to frequent targeted controls by the UCI during the 2010 Tour de France, but neither rider tested positive or has had disciplinary action taken against him.

    "The UCI made a list, and it's their right to do so. I think it's a good thing they have a biological passport. They make a list based on different criteria - we don't know what the criteria are," Maertens said. "Then they made extra controls during the Tour de France which is perfect. Our riders were check a lot of times. Based on that, it's a good system."

    He said there are many reasons why a rider could have been given a higher number. The team was never informed of any irregular blood values detected by the UCI for either Muravyev or Popovych, but other information could have factored into the UCI's ranking.

    "Muravyev is a good example. We don't know why he's on the list as 8, it could be either because he trains in Tenerife - all riders who train there are high on the list. The other thing is, Muravyev has a consistently low haematocrit. Riders with low haematocrit before the Tour de France were targeted because the UCI...

  • AIGCP responds to leaked list

    The peloton turns onto the finishing straight.
    Article published:
    May 13, 2011, 21:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Organisation believes release was counterproductive

    The AIGCP (International Association of Professional Cycling Groups) has responded to an article published by French newspaper L'Equipe revealing the a list of all riders participating in the 2010 Tour de France and their ranking by the UCI regarding suspicion of doping.

    While the AIGCP supports targeted testing as a means detect doping, the organisation considers the leaking of confidential medical information "extremely damaging". The organisation released a statement in which it detailed its reasons why the publication of the document is counterproductive:

    "1. The whole point of the biological passport, which we support, is to help put blood values in context. While it is correct to focus on athletes with unusual blood values, that focus can prove an athlete's guilt as well as confirm their innocence. The release of this information does not provide that context.

    2. Levels of targeting occur due to performances, not just blood values. The UCI informed the teams of this in Geneva. So, a rider may have a higher index simply because they are riding unusually well, and not because of any hematological parameter. So, being “targeted” is not necessarily indicative of doping.

    3. Blood values can fluctuate due to many different factors, for example- illness and bruising from a crash. The leak of this confidential medical information leaves the interpretation of those values open to the whole world, instead of in the hands of the experts.

    4. The release of this information not only damages the reputation of the innocent, but potentially provides the ability for others to avoid detection."

    Additionally, the AIGCP stated their dissatisfaction with the lack of security by anti-doping officials.

    "This breach in security should...