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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 12, 2012

Date published:
November 12, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Champion System prepared for unique challenge in 2013

    The break comes up Lemon Hill with Clinton Avery (Champion System) leading Andres Diaz (Team Exergy)
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 3:53 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Beamon takes lessons on board in first year at Professional Continental level

    While European professionals are looking to kick start their training for the 2013 season, the team from Champion System Pro Cycling is focussed on getting through the final race of the year in China after recently completing Tour of Taihu Lake. It's been an enduring season for the team that started their 2012 campaign at Tour of Qatar in February.

    General Manager Ed Beamon says the unique set-up of the team, formed to develop Asian cyclists into top professionals, poses some interesting challenges. One of the most significant aspects of the team is managing the various cultural differences within the team that races across Asia, Europe and the United States.

    "It's a part of the unique challenge," Beamon told Cyclingnews. "Going into next year we've already got 12 countries represented. It is an intriguing mix of people and adds to the complications but also to some of the rewards of being part of the programme. It's a great education for everybody."

    Beamon has learned a lot during the first year in the Professional Continental ranks and has made adjustments to the roster designed to not only gain results but also to properly integrate with the team's philosophy. Some of the 2013 signings have been announced with Bobby Traksel, Ryan Roth and Ryan Anderson however, Beamon says it's not just about obtaining riders with the best list of results - they have to truly believe in what the team is trying to achieve.

    "It's not necessarily about getting the guy with the best results or impressive CV but...

  • Ebsen climbs 3,275m to conquer Taiwan KOM Challenge

    John Ebsen (CCN) takes the victory at the Taiwan KOM Challenge
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 5:30 GMT
    Cycling News

    CCN rider beats Tour de France stars Roy and Charteau

    John Ebsen took one of the toughest wins in his career when he outpaced over 380 starters including FDJ-BigMat’s Jérémy Roy, Europcar’s Anthony Charteau and Francisco Mancebo to win the 100km Taiwan KOM Challenge. Ebsen finished in a time of 3:37:25 with France’s Peter Pouly and RTS team rider David McCann taking second and third respectively.

    The challenging event begun at sea level in Hualien before winding its way through the Taroko Gorge, ascending over 3,000m to reach the finish line at Mt Wuling. Ebsen, who rides for the Brunei-registered CCN Cycling Team has been a challenger in a number of the hillier races on the Asian Tour circuit.

    "It’s a fantastic feeling to achieve such a special victory at this altitude," said Ebsen after the finish. "It wasn’t an easy win as I sustained a flat tyre."

    The Danish rider had to get a spare wheel and chased back to the leaders before taking off on his own with around eight kilometres remaining.

    Ebsen won the KOM classification at this year’s Tour of Thailand and finished fifth overall after leading the race for one stage while also besting former Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Oscar Pujol (Azad University) to claim the Queen stage at the Tour de Singkarak.

    The gradient which reached over 20 percent toward the finish meant huge time gaps were created over the final stages of the race. Mancebo was eighth on the day and over 12 minutes down while Tour de France stage winner Roy was nearly 20 minutes behind. The 2010 Tour de France King of the Mountains winner Anthony Charteau was just inside the top-ten and finished over 30 minutes down on the race winner.

    "That was an absolutely grueling climb" said Ebsen. "My legs were burning because...

  • WADA denies charges of protecting Armstrong

    Lance Armstrong in the Discovery Channel days
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 8:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Says Armstrong and UCI used “bullying attempts” to try and shut WADA down

    The World Anti-Doping Agency has hit back at accusations they failed in the fight against doping and protected Lance Armstrong. The claims were made by WADA's medical director Alain Garnier, who told French radio sender Rfi  that WADA had protected Armstrong after 2005 by holding meetings about the American behind closed doors.

    "They made all of the directors leave the meetings and they continued as they say 'in camera', behind closed doors." He added that the only people left in the meetings were "the members of the executive committee, WADA's director general and WADA's president."

    WADA hit back on Sunday, stating that they were "disappointed to read the comments made by its former Medical Director Dr. Alain Garnier insofar as they relate to his suggestion that WADA was inactive in respect of Lance Armstrong."

    Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by USADA last month and the ruling was later ratified by the UCI. It was uncovered that Armstrong and his US Postal team ran a high sophisticated doping regime that spanned a number of years. Several former teammates testified against him, while his form team boss Johan Bruyneel denied all knowledge and will take his case to arbitration.

    Throughout the USADA investigation WADA were keen not to give publicly biased statements, often waiting for USADA to release information before commenting. It was at odds with the UCI's position with the sport's governing body even challenging USADA's jurisdiction in a US court.

    Relating to Garnier's claims, WADA added: "In 2005, when WADA became aware of the information relating to many positive samples from Lance Armstrong at the Paris laboratory, WADA suggested that the UCI conduct an inquiry into the truth of the...

  • Helminen banned two years for doping

    Matti Helminen (Finland)
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 9:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Finn positive at Tour of Luxembourg

    Matti Helminen of Landbouwkrediet-Euphony has been suspended two years for a positive doping control for too much Probenecid. The Finn has denied doping and appealed the decision.

    Probenecid is used as a medicine to treat gout. The allowed amount of Probenecid is 0.5ng while Helminen had 0.6ng in his sample.

    Helminen, 37, tested positive last May at the Tour de Luxembourg, according to the Finnish newspaper Ilta-Sanomat. He admitted that the control was positive but said, “I'm not guilty of any prohibited practice, and I'm going to do my best to clarify the matter.”

    His contract with the Belgian Professional Continental team was ended on August 31. His ban runs through August 2014.

    Helminen is six-time Finnish national time trial champion, and is the reigning champion.

  • Kittel aiming at 2013 Tour de France

    Once again it's Marcel Kittel who won in Munster
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 10:42 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Sees no conflict with Argos-Shimano teammate Degenkolb

    Marcel Kittel (Argos-Shimano) has signalled the 2013 Tour de France as his biggest objective for the coming season. The German sprinter made his Tour debut in 2012 but was forced to abandon during the opening week after being struck with illness. It was bitter blow for the Scheldeprijs winner who came into the Tour as arguably one of the most in-form sprinters.

    "The big goal will be the Tour again because I think there are number of chances for the sprinters. I'll have a similar build up to the Tour as I did this year too," Kittel told Cyclingnews.

    "At the moment the Tour is a long way off but when I think about it, it will probably feel like doing my first Tour. This year I was racing like a zombie and just wasn't myself. Hopefully it will be totally different next year."

    "It was a hard experience missing out but there's nothing I can change about that now, so all I can do is focus on next year."

    Kittel watched during the Vuelta as his teammate John Degenkolb  won five sprint stages and in doing so staked a serious claim for a Tour de France spot in 2013. Kittel believes that the pair can work together in the Tour next year, and will be able to devise a plan that will maximise the team's chances of winning.

    "We've shown that we can work for each other and there's not a problem. For the Tour it would be the same. We'll have a clear plan on which stages suit him and me and we'll start with that plan. That's our strength to win as a team and I totally trust that."

    The rest of Kittel's season has yet to be determined. He has ruled out competing in the Giro, citing the belief that he's not ready to complete two grand tours in a single season but marks the...

  • Armstrong resigns from Livestrong board of directors

    Expect to see Lance Armstrong in suit and tie this fall if his case goes to arbitration
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 11:20 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hopes to protect charity from “negative effects” of his ban

    Lance Armstrong has now totally separated himself from Livestrong, the cancer charity he founded in 1997. He is said to have done so to protect the organization from the fall-out from his lifetime ban for doping.

    After the USADA released its “reasoned decision” outlining why it had issued a lifetime ban against Armstrong and stripped him of his seven Tour de France titles, he resigned as chairman of the group, but remained on the board of directors. He has now given up that position as well.

    “Lance decided to resign from the board of the foundation to spare it any negative effects as a result of controversy surrounding his cycling career,” Livestrong spokeswoman Katherine McLane told the Bloomberg news agency.  His resignation was effective November 4.

    The doping case against Armstrong is said to have affected the charity, which claims to “find new ways to raise awareness, increase outreach and facilitate collaboration in an effort to improve the cancer experience.” It is no longer listed in the top 400 charities in the Chronicle of Philanthropy’s list.

  • Freire: I never had suspicions about Armstrong

    Oscar Freire Gomez (Katusha)
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 12:30 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Says it’s right to take action if American is guilty, but affair has put cycling “on its knees”

    Three-time world champion Oscar Freire has admitted that he never had any suspicions that Lance Armstrong might be doping. “Among fellow cyclists he didn’t seem to be a suspect [for doping]. We all passed the controls, just as he did, and he was the one who was winning,” said Freire in an interview on Spanish state radio.

    The Spaniard, who retired at the end of the 2012 season, went on to say that “if he has doped then he’s guilty”, but condemned the timing of the action against Armstrong. “It’s something that shouldn’t have happened at this time. It’s clear that if there is real certainty about what happened then it should have been sorted out first. Coming back after five years to speak about something that happened in the past isn’t the best scenario for cycling,” he said, adding that, in terms of media coverage, the sport is currently “on its knees”.

    According to Freire, a case like Armstrong’s could not happen at the moment because the situation is cycling is “better” because there are more controls and they are more effective than before.

    Linked last week with a future role as Spanish national coach, Freire said that he hasn’t yet decided what the future holds for him and that he needs “a bit of a rest” before thinking more closely about his future. Although he still lives in Switzerland, Freire revealed he could see the impact the current economic crisis is having on his homeland during his regular trips back to Spain.

    Asked if he had considered any kind of future for himself in politics, he responded: “I’ve known plenty of politicians. But to be...

  • Hamilton: UCI must accept responsibility for cycling's past

    Tyler Hamilton in 2004
    Article published:
    November 12, 2012, 13:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Calls for new leadership from outside the sport

    The UCI must accept ”the responsibility for the past,” Tyler Hamilton has said. He called for a “new start with new leadership” for the sport. The 41-year-old also said he “assumed” that Jan Ullrich also doped during his career.

    Talking to the German news magazine FOCUS, Hamilton reflected on the Lance Armstrong case and the future of pro cycling. “Lance always had the UCI on his side,” he said. “To have a new start, the UCI and President Pat McQuaid must accept the responsibility for the past. A new start functions only with a new leadership, which preferably doesn't come from cycling.”

    He also said that former UCI President Hein Verbruggen should step down as a member of the International Olympic Committee. “He shouldn't be allowed to do the job.”

    Hamilton's testimony played an important role in the USADA's decision to give Armstrong a lifetime ban.

    As to Ullrich, Hamilton admitted that while he “never personally saw him doping, I assume he did.” The two never rode on the same team, but “a conservative guess is that 80 percent” of the Tour de France riders doped, and while Ullrich always finished so high, he could believe it.

    In addition, both Hamilton and Ullrich were clients of Eufemiano Fuentes. “That was certainly not a training doctor, that was a doping doctor,” Hamilton said.

    After Ullrich was given a two-year ban earlier this year, he acknowledged contact with Fuentes, but has never directly addressed the doping charges.