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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 14, 2011

Date published:
November 14, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Contador doping verdict expected in January

    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 11:50 GMT
    Cycling News

    CAS to take up to 8 weeks over decision

    Alberto Contador’s fate should be announced in January, according to AP, who reported Monday that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) would reach a verdict in the first month of 2012.

    The Spaniard’s case will be heard next week and is scheduled to last four days.

    According to AP, CAS secretary general Matthieu Reeb says the three-man appeal panel likely needs “six to eight weeks” to publish its ruling.

    Reeb says the wait is “normal for a case of this complexity.”

    Earlier this month Contador told the press that he was confident of victory, having already been cleared by the Spanish federation for testing positive at the 2010 Tour de France.

    The UCI and WADA lodged separate appeals against the decision.

    “When you haven’t done anything wrong, you have nothing to fear,” he insisted. “I’m fighting as a matter of pride, and it’s unthinkable to accept any kind of sanction,” Contador said.

    WADA has said it would seek a full two-year ban on the rider for his clenbuterol positive, while the UCI will look to have him stripped of his Tour title, but Contador is already planning his 2012 season in anticipation of the appeals being overturned.

    Contador was found positive for a minute quantity of the drug, which is thought to increase aerobic capacity as well aid in fat loss. However, the lab which found the clenbuterol in his sample was using ultra-sensitive machines able to sniff out levels of the drug which would normally go undetected.

    The inconsistency of the testing from lab to lab has led to speculation that WADA would impose a lower limit for declaring a sample positive.


  • Antón may skip Giro d'Italia in 2012

    Igor Anton Hernandez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) climbs out of the saddle
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 12:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Euskaltel-Euskadi climber possibly focussing solely on Vuelta a España

    The Vuelta a España will again be Igor Antón's main goal next season. The Spanish climber has told Meta2Mil that he intended to go for his home race's overall victory again in 2012 and that he might skip the Giro d'Italia in the Spring to race only one Grand Tour next year.

    Despite his triumphal victory in the Giro's stage 14 at Monte Zoncolan, Antón admitted that he preferred to set up a race programme similar to the one he had in 2010, when he won two stages at the Vuelta and wore the red jersey of overall leader for five days.

    "There are two options: do the Giro and the Vuelta as I did this year or only the Vuelta as I did it in 2010. If I race only the Vuelta, there are many other objectives that would suit me well and in which I would try to do my utmost, from the Classics to the Tour de Romandie," said the 28-year-old.

    "I'd like to do only the Vuelta. Before pursuing other challenges I'd like to prepare for it thoroughly and go for the overall classification. I know it's a risky business to try for everything at the Vuelta but it's a bet I'd like to take and fight for the final victory. There will be time for other challenges but for 2012 this is what motivated me the most," Antón continued. "Still, we need to wait to see the Vuelta route which will be very important to take the final decision."

    The Euskaltel-Euskadi leader finished eighth overall in the 2007 Vuelta, but had to abandon the race after two stage wins and while leading the GC in 2010. This year, he won stage 19 but finished only 33rd overall after having competed at the Giro, where he finished 18th.

    Antón has never been a contender at the Tour de France, despite his two...

  • Ride with Roche this weekend

    Nicolas Roche (Ag2r-La Mondiale) on the podium.
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 13:36 GMT
    John Stevenson

    Ireland's top rider to sign new book, lead ride

    Top Irish rider Nicolas Roche is paying a rare visit to the North of England this weekend. Roche will be in Sheffield on November 19 and 20 to sign copies of copies of his new book 'Inside the Peloton' and lead a 100km ride in the rolling hills of South Yorkshire.

    Bike maker Planet X is hosting the event, which is open to everyone and includes the launch of the company's 2012 range of bikes. Roche will be signing copies of 'Inside the Peloton' on Saturday afternoon at Planet X's showroom and the ride heads out early Sunday morning before returning for refreshments in the early afternoon.

    If you're wondering what's the link between a Sheffield bike company and Ireland's top rider, the answer is legendary Irish cycling figure 'Big Frank' Campbell. Roche's mentor and the former Irish national team manager is now the principal road bike designer at Planet X. 'Inside the Peloton' is dedicated to Campbell.

    In the last couple of years, as team leader of AG2R-La Mondiale, Nicolas Roche has stepped out of the shadow of his famous father Stephen (who gives his thoughts on Nicolas's career in 'Inside the Peloton'). His 2011 season was troubled by injury but he bounced back to finish 26th in the Tour de France, 16th in the Vuelta a España and to take a stage win in the Tour of Beijing.

    In the meantime, Roche's race diaries in the Irish Independent have cemented his popularity at home, and he is almost certain of a place at the 2012 Olympics after Ireland's national ranking secured the country four spots in the road race, with only three riders – Roche, Daniel Martin and Philip Deignan – having the necessary UCI points to take part.

    "It's great to get three riders in," Roche recently told the Irish Independent. "It shows that we are improving every year. I think we will have a good team in London and hopefully I'll be...

  • Contador’s team-mates to testify at CAS

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Sungard) is not used to riding into Paris without the yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 14:35 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Noval, Hernández and Tiralongo among 13 set to testify for Contador at CAS hearing

    With less than a week to the start of Alberto Contador’s hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne, Spanish daily El País has revealed that 13 people will be appearing on the Spaniard’s behalf as his legal team attempts to convince a panel of three adjudicators that his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France was the result of inadvertent ingestion of the product, probably in tainted meat.

    Among those set to testify are Contador’s current Saxo Bank team-mates Benjamín Noval and Jesús Hernández, as well as Paolo Tiralongo, his former team-mate at Astana who is still with the Kazakh team. The three men, then all team-mates at Astana, ate the same meat as the Spaniard on the Tour’s second rest day in Pau. The meat had been bought in Spain and brought to the Tour by Contador’s friend, Vuelta a Castilla y León organizer José Luis López Cerrón.

    Contador will be represented by a four-strong legal team, including British lawyer Mike Morgan, who will present the Spaniard’s case to CAS tribunal. Also appearing for the defence will be Professor Vivian James, a member of the Anti-Doping Group for the 2012 Olympics and chairman of UK Sport’s experts committee, and Paul Scott, a Californian who has run out-of-competition testing for some of the sport’s top-ranked teams.

    However, Italian haematologist Giuseppe Banfi, who played a key role in the presentation made by Contador’s defence team to the Spanish federation before it cleared him of the clenbuterol doping charge, will not be appearing in Lausanne. Instead, Contador’s defence have drafted in a German...

  • Video: David Brailsford on London 2012, Team GB and Team Sky

    British Cycling performance director Dave Brailsford
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 15:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    Cyclingnews catches up with Team GB and Sky supremo at charity dinner in London

    David Brailsford, manager of both Team GB and Team Sky, was in relaxed and talkative mood when Cyclingnews spoke to him at the Champions of Cyclesport dinner in London last Thursday in aid of Action Medical Research.

    Brailsford talks about the challenge presented by juggling the two biggest management jobs in British cycling, his hopes for London 2012 and his satisfation at the business done by Team Sky in the offseason.

  • Dekker edging closer to Garmin-Cervelo deal

    Dutchman Thomas Dekker positive for EPO
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 16:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider heading to team's first training camp

    Thomas Dekker appears to be on the verge of a UCI World Tour comeback in 2012 with Garmin-Cervelo, according to Dutch website

    It is being reported that Dekker will be present when the team’s training camp begins in Boulder, USA, on Thursday.

    The 27-year-old was given a two-year ban in 2009 after testing positive for EPO in December 2007, but spent the latter half of this season riding with Garmin’s development team, Chipotle Sugarlabs. And with Garmin boss Jonathan Vaughters a long-term admirer of Dekker, speculation is rife that he will give the Dutchman a chance to restore his reputation and return to cycling’s biggest stage.

  • Adecco comes back to pro cycling

    Marc Sergeant and Van Den Broeck chat before the start of the press conference
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 17:31 GMT
    Cycling News

    Human resources company partners up with Lotto again

    Ten years after the Lotto team first collaborated with Adecco, the human resources company is making its come-back to the sport. In a press release, Adecco announced that it will become official partner of the Lotto Cycling Team in 2012 after having been co-sponsor from 2000 to 2002.

    Lotto, which has earned an automatic license for the 2012 World Tour thanks to its presence within the top 15 teams in the world, has been brought to life after the Belgian lottery decided to split from the Omega Pharma-Lotto squad and make up an outfit on its own.

    "We are very happy to have become a partner of this renewed cycling project. Adecco has a long tradition in supporting sports and athletes all over the world. In this way, we help dedicated people to reach their goals in work and life," said Mark De Smedt, Country Manager for Adecco Belgium and Luxembourg.

    The new team will officially be named Lotto-Belisol next season and include riders such as André Greipel, Jurgen Van Den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert. Bike manufacturer Ridley will provide the outfit with equipment.

  • UCI block Valverde press conference

    Alejandro Valverde winning the race in 2006 before Puerto
    Article published:
    November 14, 2011, 19:30 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Unable to sign with Movistar until suspension ends

    Movistar has been forced to cancel tomorrow’s unveiling of new signing Alejandro Valverde after the UCI stepped in and blocked a planned press conference in Madrid.

    The Spaniard, who is currently serving a doping related suspension, signed a new deal, which was announced last week. However the sport’s governing body told the team that while Valverde was serving a suspension he was unable to take part in any team functions.

    “He is suspended and when a rider is suspended he can’t take part in any official activities. He can’t sign a contract, train in the team kit, because you are suspended,” a UCI spokesperson told Cyclingnews.

    In press release Movistar said: “The International Cycling Union (UCI) has not permitted the presence by the rider in the event by virtue of an interpretation of the international rules which we show in strong disagreement with, but which we have to obey to avoid any disciplinary measures its breach would result in.”

    Valverde never tested positive but was banned in Italy after DNA tests on blood samples linked him to the Operacion Puerto doping scandal. The Spanish Cycling Federation refused to rule on his case but the ban was extended world-wide from January 1, 2010 until December 31, 2011 after the UCI and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.