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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, December 13, 2010

Date published:
December 13, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • McQuaid says there will be no Contador verdict until 2011

    UCI president Pat McQuaid speaks at the Giro d'Italia
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 10:44 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    UCI President speaks of reduced sentences for "lighter" substances

    Pat McQuaid has said that a verdict in the Alberto Contador case will not be reached before the end of the year. The UCI president also moved to defend his organisation’s secretive handling of the affair in the weeks before Contador publicly revealed that he had returned an adverse analytical finding for Clenbuterol during the Tour de France.

    “The UCI has been criticised because it hasn’t communicated on this matter, but it’s not a classic case of doping,” McQuaid told L’Équipe. “At the end of August, along with WADA, we gave Contador the chance to explain himself. Twenty-four hours later, he told us this story of the contaminated meat. We asked some experts to conduct a study to see if his version is credible. There won’t be a decision before the end of the year.”

    McQuaid also claimed that while his personal preference was for life bans for doping offences, such measures would be legally difficult to introduce. The UCI will instead seek the introduction of four-year suspensions for EPO positives.

    “I’m in favour of increasing the length of the suspension,” he said. “There should be a four-year ban for those who take EPO. We’re going to propose that soon to the national federations and they will need to be on the same page as us because if we had to keep asking for CAS arbitration, it wouldn’t go ahead.”

    However, McQuaid favours more lenient penalties for certain other substances and thus appeared to open the door to a potentially reduced sentence for Contador, should he ultimately be sanctioned in the Clenbuterol affair.

    “Light and heavy products should be differentiated,” McQuaid explained. “EPO is serious, that should be a four-year ban. Ventoline, for example, that could be six or nine months.”

    McQuaid also told L’Équipe that he is happy to welcome back...

  • Basso remembers Aldo Sassi

    Aldo Sassi and Ivan Basso
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 13:20 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian to leave Liquigas camp to attend funeral

    Ivan Basso went training with his Liquigas teammates on Monday morning but admitted it was a difficult day in the saddle after hearing the news that his coach Aldo Sassi had passed away during the night.

    Basso knew Sassi was not well said he will leave the Liquigas training camp in Sardinia to attend Sassi's funeral.

    The two have been close ever since Sassi agreed to coach Basso as he made a comeback from his two-year suspension. The two spent long hours together simulating races near Varese and developed a special affinity when Sassi was diagnosed with cancer. Basso lost his mother to cancer in 2005.

    "It's very sad news and it's difficult for me to express how I feel," Basso told Cyclingnews.

    "I'll always remember the close relationship I had with Aldo. I did a test at the Mapei centre last Tuesday and that was his last day there.

    "I had a special relationship with Aldo because of what I've been through and for what he was going through. He was a very understanding and affectionate person. He was one of the few people who really understood me. We had some special moments together during my comeback and then on the podium in Verona at the end of the Giro.

    "It's been a difficult time for him since he was diagnosed with cancer but he was an example to us all how he fought hard and carried on."

     

  • Fuentes indicted in Spain but out of jail

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 14:19 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Allegedly threatened Spain's world and European football titles

    Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes and five others have been charged in the most recent Spanish doping case, Operation Greyhound, but have been released from custody. Fuentes immediately flew to the Canary Islands.

    The six, including former mountain biker Alberto Leon, were arrested on Thursday. They were indicted on Sunday for crimes against the public health after testifying before a judge in Madrid. All were allowed to leave without bail.

    Fuentes' lawyer, Julian Perez Termplado claimed that his client was innocent of any involvement. “He has nothing to do with any of this, he is only dedicated to his work as a physician on the Canary Islands,” he said, according to as.com.

    The current investigation appears to be mainly focused on track and field. Most of the names released in the previous Operacion Puerto probe were of cyclists, but it was also rumoured at the time that footballers were also involved.

    Fuentes himself has apparently now further encouraged those rumours, as he is said to have told fellow cellmates over the weekend, “If I told them what I know, then goodbye to the World Cup and European championship.”

    The Spanish national team are the reigning European and world champions, having won the titles in 2008 and 2010 respectively.

  • Liquigas training in Sardinia

    Daniel Oss
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 15:00 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Photo gallery of the Italian team on the road

    The Liquigas-Cannondale team enjoyed another day in the sun during their training camp in northern Sardinia on Monday, swapping their road bikes for two hours training on their time trial bikes. The ride circled the port of Olbia, where the team is staying until December 22.

    The 29 riders have already done five days of training and the short spin near the coast doubled as a recovery day and a shakedown of the new Slice Cannondale bikes. SRAM replaces Campagnolo as drive train supplier in 2011, with FSA providing the bars and stems. The team will continue to use Mavic wheels and Speedplay pedals.

    The riders were divided into three groups for the ride with team leader's Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan in different groups.

    New riders such as American's Ted King, Timmy Duggan, Australia's Cameron Wurf and talented Italian Eros Capecchi rode in their old team kit but will pull on the new Liquigas-Cannondale colours at the team's official presentation on January 10 in Milan.

    After the morning rides, the days at the camp include work in the gym to improve core strength, meetings with sponsors, English lessons and progressive relaxation sessions with mind coach Marino Rosti.
     

  • Sanchez unsure on Ardennes classics participation

    Olympic road champion Samuel Sánchez (Eukaltel-Euskadi) waits for the start.
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 15:30 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Olympic champion to target Tour de France podium in 2011

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has said that he is unsure if he will take part in the Ardennes classics in 2011. The Spaniard has come close to victory in both Fléche Wallone and Liege-Bastogne-Liege in the past, although he skipped the classics in 2010 in order to focus on his Tour de France preparation.

    “This year I didn’t ride the Ardennes classics so as to arrive at the Tour as fresh as possible,” Sanchez told CyclismActu.net. “They are three classics that I love, however, and I think that they are historic and very prestigious so it’s always a great honour to participate. But I still don’t know if I’ll take part in 2011.”

    Sanchez also confirmed that he will not figure in Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Giro d’Italia line-up. “I’m leaving the Giro to Igor Anton and Mikel Nieve,” he said. “These riders have reached maturity and the Giro is a race for the great climbers that they are. They must continue to progress and take responsibility, like they did during the 2010 Vuelta.”

    Instead, Sanchez will again look to focus his energies on preparing for the Tour de France, where he believes he can finish on the podium in Paris.

    “The primary objective will be to fight for the podium at the Tour de France,” Sanchez. “Succeeding in winning a stage is also something that is close to my heart. I know these challenges are difficult but that motivates me every day and in every race that I do.”

    Sanchez was squeezed off the podium in 2010 in the final time trial by Denis Menchov, but he insists that he has no regrets about his Tour performance, even though he was disappointed to fall just shy of third place.

    “This Tour allowed me to strengthen myself mentally and gain experience,” Sanchez said. “I know now that I can fight for the podium and that confirms my expectations.

    “It...

  • UCI to introduce new approval procedure for frames and forks

    A load of Team Bissell's Pinarello Dogma's.
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 16:19 GMT
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Governing body to work more closely with manufacturers

    The UCI has announced that from 1 January 2011 it will enter into greater collaboration with bicycle manufacturers in a bid to ensure that new frames and forks conform to UCI regulations before they undergo production.

    A new procedure will see a label granted to new models of frames and forks to demonstrate that they comply with the UCI’s equipment regulations and a constantly updated list of these approved products is to be maintained on the UCI’s website. The full protocol for the approval of frames and forks will also be published on the website in due course.

    According to a UCI press release, one of the principal advantages of the new procedure is that “manufacturers will be assured of the conformity of their products before they go into production phase; they will therefore be able to take maximum advantage of the most recent technologies, notably concerning composite materials, without running the risk of investing resources in equipment that may then be declared non-conform with the regulations.”

    Through the new system, the UCI is also hoping to eliminate the possibility of riders at all levels turning up at races only to find that their equipment does not conform to regulations. The labelling of new frames and forks will thus mean that “riders – from the professional athlete to amateur sportsmen and sportswomen – will be assured that they have acquired a model that conforms to the UCI regulation in force at the time of purchase” and “the work of commissaires who inspect equipment at the start of events will be made much easier.”

    The UCI also envisages a closer collaboration and a freer exchange of information with manufacturers, and notes that “the label will provide added value to frames and forks which have obtained it, benefiting the concerned manufacturers.”

    According to the press release, manufacturers were informed of the new procedure in...

  • Fenn ready for An Post-Sean Kelly team camp

    Andrew Fenn (100% ME) on the way to winning the U23 championship.
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 20:42 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Former junior Paris-Roubaix winner looking to make impression in debut season

    Andy Fenn travels to Spain this week for his first professional training camp with the An Post-Sean Kelly team. The 20-year-old signed a one-year deal with the team after the Worlds in Australia, and will embark on a full season of European pro racing after spending the last two years with the British Cycling Academy in Italy.

    “I was looking for a team throughout the year and the next stepping stone. I’m obviously not ready for a team like Sky so I’m taking small steps. At the Worlds Shane Sutton said that Post had been on the phone and that they were interested so I just went for it,” Fenn told Cyclingnews.

    The former junior Paris-Roubaix winner and current British U23 road champion will finalise his racing programme at the team camp but expects a season of tough Belgian races.

    “I’ve got training camp next Tuesday in Spain, near Sean Kelly’s house so I might find out then. I think it depends a lot on which races we get invited to because obviously with Nico Eeckhout in the team you’d expect Belgian races. There’s a Belgian series, and we’re looking to do races like the semi-Classics and the Tour of Britain,” Fenn said.

    “There are some big races that we should get into. It’s a whole new team and lot of guys have left but some good ones have come in. It’s a young team but one where I can develop."

    Fenn, who last weekend competed at the Revolution 31 track event in Manchester will also take the plunge and move to Belgium – basing himself near other British professionals, Adam Blythe and Matt Brammeier.

    According to Fenn the move demonstrates the opportunities for British riders outside of Team Sky’s influence. Still tied to the British scene and with Sutton helping him move to An Post means that Fenn hasn’t closed the door on racing for the UK’s ProTeam squad in the future.

    “It was...

  • HTC's sprinters vie to fill Greipel's place

    Matthew Goss (HTC-Columbia) is the second Australian winner of the GP Ouest France in as many years
    Article published:
    December 13, 2010, 21:15 GMT
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Goss, Howard likely candidates for second string

    The loss of André Greipel to Omega Pharma-Lotto left a big hole in the HTC-Highroad team for 2011, but the squad has plenty of options to fill the spot of the German who was the peloton's most successful rider in 2010. Greipel took four riders with him to the Belgian team, including lead-out men Marcel Sieberg and Adam Hansen, but HTC has several riders who could step up and fill those voids.

    While the team's number one sprinter will remain Mark Cavendish, the team's sprint adviser Erik Zabel and directeur sportif Allan Peiper will be looking closely at the other fast men on the team when formulating Cavendish's lead-out train and creating a new second string sprint team.

    "Greipel has won the most races two years in a row and has been the backbone of our team," Peiper told Cyclingnews at the team's camp in California. "But then we get Leigh Howard coming on - he won Koolskamp in a Cavendish-like fashion and he beat the top sprinters in Oman this year. Now he's a year older and Greipel's spot is up for grabs.

    "Matt Goss would like to try and fit in there as well. We have a lot of possibilities to interchange that second team. We can go to the Tour of California with two sprinters and the Giro with two sprinters. In front of those trains we've got Alex Rasmussen and we still have Bernie Eisel."

    "At the same time we have the Tour of Bavaria, so there's another opportunity for our fifth sprinter, John Degenkolb," said Zabel.

    The exact formula is yet to be determined, although more will likely become clear as the team's camp goes along and riders' strengths shine through.

    "We're not drilled yet. We've got new guys coming in, guys taking different roles. How is Howard going to work with Goss and Renshaw - that's all untested ground," said Peiper.

    It seems clear, however, that the tried and tested formula of...