White recommended for reinstatement, no penalty for Stephens
The findings of Nicki Vance's external review of the policies, procedures as well as riders and staff at Orica GreenEdge has concluded with the Australian ProTeam releasing a summary of the findings. An official team statement in regard to the findings is expected with the coming days.
The main objectives of the 'Vance Review' were to confirm the team's standing in the fight against doping in professional cycling along with an assessment of the protocols and recruitment practices of the sole Australian WorldTour squad. Following the report is a list of recommendations with Vance charged with overseeing the implementation of any such changes.
Vance outlined a clear series of guidelines for riders and staff who come forth to admit or have admitted to doping in the past. Following the interviews of the men's and women's teams, excluding Daniel Teklehaimanot who "was unavailable during the interview time" and the 21 staff members, were no further admissions to use of doping substances in the past. Vance noted that one particular limitation of the interview process was the swift and apparent 'zero-tolerance' stance taken with Matt White, who stepped down from his role after admitting to doping and subsequently could have led to some riders holding back from admissions to making the wrong choices in the past.
"This is not to say that anyone necessarily had something to hide, however, if they had doped or assisted others to dope in the past they would most likely have remained silent," wrote Vance in her Anti-Doping Review Report.
One of the most publicly discussed suggestions is for
Popular veteran unstoppable in finale to Avila Beach
RadioShack Leopard's Jens Voigt proved he still has plenty of "go power" in his 41-year-old legs Thursday during Stage 5 of the Tour of California. The popular veteran rider jumped away from a select group 5km from the finish in Avila Beach and soloed to the second California stage win of his career.
Heavy crosswinds in the closing kilometers blew the field apart, and Voigt joined 17 other riders in a large lead group that included general classification favorites and a handful of sprinters. The savvy German waited for the right moment and then pounced while his breakaway companions were taking stock of each other.
"They know what my plan is, they know I can't win a sprint so I have to be alone," a jubilant Voigt said after the race. "You have to catch them by surprise. You gotta make sure they're busy watching each other - Sagan looks for Hushovd, Hushovd watches Tyler Farrar, and they just say, 'It's just old Jensie, we'll catch him back, he's going to die out there.'
"It played in my favor," Voigt continued. "Every now and then I still have a little go power, maybe not every day like five or 10 years ago, but once I'm out there and I can see and smell this victory, it's hard to get me away from it."
Try as they might, the chasers could never get back on terms with Voigt, who crossed the line six-seconds ahead of stage 4 winner Farrar (Garmin Sharp), Hushovd (BMC) and Sagan (Cannondale), respectively.
"That's just my talent," Voigt said. "I have a big engine and can handle a big workload. I'm not a top sprinter, not a top TT rider, not a top climber, just a big engine willing to work hard. I think I have this instinct for this, it's a talent I suppose.
Speaking after the stage, BMC directeur sportif Fabio Baldato acknowledged that Wiggins's unexpected loss had greatly improved Evans' chances of finishing on the podium in Brescia and he paid tribute to the coterie of strongmen in the BMC squad who ensured the Australian was well-positioned when the bunch split on the final climb of Montello.
"It was in my area today so I knew the roads very well today," Baldato said. "I knew that there were going to be narrow roads and wind on the stage, so I knew it was important to be on the front all the time. The objective was to keep Cadel on the front from the beginning, even if it meant spending more energy. Taylor Phinney, Danilo Wyss and Steve Cummings did a good job. Maybe we're weak in the climbs but these guys were the right guys to have Cadel at the front and safe on a day like today."
BMC's red and black jerseys were visibly massed near the head of the race as Wiggins struggled to hold the wheels of his own teammates in a group that had been tailed off from the main peloton, but Baldato said that they were not riding to distance the Englishman.
"They knew that he was behind but they also knew from this morning that this was the most dangerous 10k in the stage because of...
The Garmin-Sharp team has announced that Ryder Hesjedal will not start stage 13 of the Giro d'Italia after his physical condition worsened during the rain-soaked twelfth stage.
The 2012 Giro d'Italia winner will now head home to try to fully understand and resolve the problems that have hampered him ever since last Saturday's time trial stage. He had slipped to 38th overall in the general classification, 32:55 behind race leader Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).
"It's heartbreaking," Hesjedal said in a statement from the team.
"I want to be here for my team and for all the people who have supported me to get me here to this point. I built my entire season around the Giro and I came here feeling great, but I have been suffering since the TT. We're working on it, but we're not sure what's wrong."
"There's a virus that's been going around, so it could be that, or severe allergies, or going too deep on the TT combined with both – whatever it is, I'm only getting worse. Yesterday's stage was just too much for me, I fought to get through it and I know everyone suffered but after seeing the medical staff last night, I also know that its time for me to go home, get some tests done and get healthy again."
"I have tried my best to honor the number one bib number, the race, my team and fans and it's devastating to leave this way. Going home now is heartbreaking. I'm very proud of the team – Ramunas' win proves that we all came here to race. These guys gave everything to help me. I couldn't ask for better teammates and I know that they'll continue to do great things here at the Giro for Garmin–Sharp. Now, I'll go home, focus on recovering and take things day by day, and I'll be cheering on the team from there."
Like Ryder Hesjedal, Bradley Wiggins has also abandoned the Giro d'Italia and will not start stage 13, Team Sky has confirmed to Cyclingnews.
The Team Sky captain had been one of the top favourites to win the race, but a combination of crashes, bad weather and illness have forced him to throw in the towel.
Team Sky manager Dave Brailsford confirmed the news in a statement on the team's website.
“We monitored Bradley overnight and this morning we’ve withdrawn him from the Giro after consulting the team doctor. His chest infection has been getting worse and our primary concern is always the health of our riders," he said.
“Bradley will return to the UK today for treatment and to rest and we hope to have him back on the road as soon as possible. As a passionate racer he wanted to continue but he is simply unable to do so on medical grounds.”
Wiggins admitted on Wednesday that he was suffering from a respiratory infection and a cold. The cooler temperatures and heavy rainfall during Thursday's stage to Treviso proved too much for him. Wiggins dropped back on the final descent of the day, was unable to stay with the peloton on the flat and eventually crossed the finish line 3:17 behind winner Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Team Sky will now look to Rigoberto Uran to lead the British squad at the Giro d'Italia. The Colombian is in third place overall, 2:04 down on Nibali.
Friday's thirteenth stage is a almost totally flat 254km ride across northern Italy from Busseto to Cherasco.
The path is now clear for Orica GreenEDGE to reinstate Matt White after Nicki Vance's external review recommended that the former team director be brought back to the WorldTour team.
White was forced to stand down from the team last fall after he admitted to doping during his career.
White subsequently served a six month suspension at the hands of ASADA but has made no secret of his desire to return to the team. He came forward in light of the USADA report into doping at US Postal. As a former rider of the team his name was listed in the report.
“I have been in touch with Shayne Bannan,” White told Cyclingnews from his home in Valencia, Spain, this morning.
“Everything that’s happened in the last seven months, I’ve kept him aware of. We talk every now and then but any decisions made after the recommendations are in the hands of the team and the management.”
“I’m ready to go though. I’ve completed my suspension and I’m ready to go back to work. Any decisions needs to be made by the team but if they rang me now and asked me to come back next week, then I’m more than ready. I’m certainly willing to get back behind the wheel of the team car and do what I love doing.”
The office of Madrid prosecutor Eduardo Esteban has confirmed he will be lodging an appeal in the Provincial Court of Madrid against the verdict delivered in the Puerto trial at the end of April. According to El País, the prosecutor’s appeal will be made jointly with Spain’s Sports’ Council (the CSD), the World Anti-Doping Agency and the UCI.
When the trial concluded, presiding judge Julia Patricia Santamaria handed down a one-year suspended prison sentence to Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the Puerto blood doping ring, for a crime against public health and banned him from practising sports medicine for four years. Fuentes’ fellow defendant Ignacio Labarta was given a four-month suspended sentence, while Yolanda Fuentes, Vicente Belda and former ONCE team manager Manolo Saiz were all acquitted.
At the same time, the judge rejected requests from anti-doping authorities and international sports federations for permission to analyse 211 blood bags that were seized during the investigation in order to identify the athletes involved. The judge ruled the seizure of the blood bags had violated the fundamental rights of those accused in the Puerto case.
The prosecutor will be requesting that the sentence imposed on Fuentes be extended to two years and that Saiz also be handed the same sentence based on the fact that the crime involved was not an isolated incident but was ongoing. In addition, the prosecutor will claim that the concept of sports medicine does not exist in Spanish law and therefore the four-year ban imposed on Fuentes should be extended to all medical practice and not solely sports medicine, as laid down in the sentence. He will also request that Labarta’s sentence be increased as he was a “necessary accomplice” in blood doping.
With regard to the blood bags, the prosecutor’s office declared: “If you destroy the blood bags, it would set a...
The Manxman personally designed the bike with Specialized. It has a metallic paint finish with subtle 'Cavendish' green graphics. Cavendish's autograph is on the bottom bracket area, while thin green stripes on the top tube recall some of biggest career victories.
The bike is equipped with SRAM components and chunky carbon fibre ZIpp stem and bars. For the flat stages Cavendish is using special Zipp 808 deep section wheels.
Cavendish showed his bike to fellow Britons David Millar and Adam Blythe before lining-up at the start of the 254km stage to Cherasco.