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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, January 19, 2013

Date published:
January 19, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Armstrong: USADA report fallout cost $75million in future income

    Lance Armstrong on the podium of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 3:52 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Admission that he's in therapy, and the toll on his family

    Lance Armstrong has told Oprah Winfrey that the loss of his personal sponsors in the wake of the USADA report cost him $75 million in future income. In the second part of the interview, much of the theme was on the cost of his years of lies and denials, be it financial or otherwise.

    Long-time sponsors Nike, Oakley, Trek and Anheuser-Busch all jumped ship in October last year and finally, over two separate steps he lost his association with the cancer charity he founded in 1997, Livestrong.

    "I've certainly lost all future income," he admitted. "You could look at the day and a half where people left. I don't like thinking about it. But that was a... I don't know. That was a $75 million day."

    Armstrong said that he "assumed" that he would lose sponsors with the story "getting out of control". He stepped down as chairman of Livestrong first but remained on the board of directors. He later resigned from that position as well, effective November 4, 2012.

    "That was the most humbling moment. To get that call," Armstrong explained. "Two parts. Step down as chairman but stay on the board. Stay involved. That wasn't enough. That wasn't enough for the people, for our supporters. Then a couple of weeks later the next call came and we need you to step aside.

    "The foundation is like my sixth child. To make that decision to step aside," he continued. "That was big." Armstrong told Winfrey that while he wasn't...

  • USADA stands by Armstrong donation claim

    USADA chief Travis Tygart (R) shakes hands with Senator Arlen Specter at a 2009 hearing in Washington, DC about screening dietary supplements for illegal steroids.
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 10:44 GMT
    Cycling News

    Armstrong denied offering $250,000 in Winfrey interview

    The US Anti-Doping Agency has supported CEO Travis Tygart’s assertion that representatives of Lance Armstrong had attempted to make a donation of some $250,000 to the body in 2004.

    During the second part of his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey, which was screened on Friday evening, Armstrong denied that he had made any such offer to USADA. He claimed that if it had occurred, it would have been included in USADA’s Reasoned Decision, which provides rigorous detail on the case against Armstrong.

    “Why wasn’t that in there? Pretty big story. Oprah, it’s not true,” Armstrong told Winfrey on Friday evening.

    Tygart had spoken of the attempted donation in an interview with “60 Minutes Sports” aired last week, noting that USADA had instantly rejected the offer as a “clear conflict of interest.” The USADA stance contrasted with that of the UCI, which accepted a similar donation from Armstrong of $100,000 towards its anti-doping programme.

    In a brief statement on Friday night, USADA stood by Tygart’s account and all of the information provided in the Reasoned Decision. “We stand by the facts both in the Reasoned Decision and in the ‘60 Minutes’ interview,” read the USADA statement.

    Armstrong, who has been banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles, confessed to doping during each of those victories in the first part of the Winfrey interview, broadcast on Thursday evening.



  • Pressures of "American Dream" weighed on Armstrong, claims Savoldelli

    Lance Armstrong in the Discovery Channel days
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 12:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    "He was obliged to win"

    Paolo Savoldelli has speculated that being the “incarnation of the American Dream” had put enormous pressures on Lance Armstrong and contributed to his decision to dope his way to victory at seven consecutive Tours de France.

    Savoldelli, who won the Giro d’Italia while riding for Armstrong’s Discovery Channel team in 2005, insisted that doping alone had not been the sole reason behind Armstrong’s since rescinded successes.

    “I’m not at all convinced that he won seven Tours only by doping himself,” Savoldelli said, according to the Ansa news agency. “What ruined Lance was the fact that he was the incarnation of the American Dream.”

    Savoldelli raced alongside Armstrong in 2005, the Texan’s final season before his first retirement. He said he was struck by the magnitude and status of the entourage that had built up around Armstrong as he prepared for his seventh consecutive Tour win.

    “He had an enormous country like the United States behind him, he even participated in George W. Bush’s electoral campaign,” Savoldelli said. “He had a lot of sponsors behind him. He was the American idol and the fact that he had succeeded in beating even cancer had made him even more of a personality. He was obliged to win, and many times I asked myself how he was able to live with so much pressure on him.”

    Savoldelli has previously criticised both the federal investigation into doping at Armstrong’s US Postal Service team and the US Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour titles. Armstrong offered a belated confession to doping during an i

  • Hushovd heads to San Luis for comeback race

    Thor Hushovd at the BMC team presentation
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 13:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Garderen eyes time trial

    Thor Hushovd (Team BMC Racing) will make his long-awaited comeback to racing at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina. The seven-day stage race offers the European based teams an escape to warmer climates as well as a chance to test their early season form with a number of difficult stages.

    Hushovd has not raced since July and abandoned the Giro d'Italia in May 2012. He hasn't picked up a win since the Tour of Britain in 2011. A viral infection was blamed for his lack of form and fitness last season but according to his team he has now turned the corner and will use the Argentine stage as part of his Classics preparation.

    "First I would like to get back to race speed since I haven't been racing for half a year," Hushovd said.

    "Also, now I'm motivated and hungry to compete and having the start number on my back. So I would like to get a result if I have the form."

    Hushovd isn't alone in using the race as part of his training, with teammate Tejay van Garderen entering the race with a similar outlook. The American finished fifth in last year's Tour de France and picked up the white jersey - the first American to do so since Andy Hampsten in 1986.

    Despite the course suiting his characteristics as a rider, van Garderen refused to put any pressure on his shoulders, only admitting that the 19.2 kilometre time trial was a real objective, while the rest of the race would be used as solid training. However if the American has a strong ride in the time trial - as compatriot Levi Leipheimer did in 2012 - he could find himself in the mix for the win.

    "I'll definitely go full gas in the time trial," he said, "but really this is more to get some racing kilometres in the legs. I'll just stay relaxed and safe and get some good training out of it."

  • Doping was a way of life at Rabobank, says Thomas Dekker

    Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Barracuda)
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 14:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutchman admits to blood transfusions

    Thomas Dekker has shed further light on the doping culture that existed at Rabobank during his spell at the team from 2004 to 2008. The Dutchman, who previously served a two-year ban for testing positive for EPO, has now confessed to also undergoing blood transfusions during his time at Rabobank.

    “It was easy to be influenced, doping was widespread,” Dekker told NRC Handelsblad, saying that he began using EPO in 2006.

    In May of last year, former Rabobank manager Theo De Rooy already admitted that doping was tolerated on the team until 2007 and the Dutch bank withdrew from sponsorship at the end of the 2012 season. The team continues under the guise of Blanco Pro Cycling in 2013, albeit without a title sponsor and with alterations to its management structure.

    Dekker, who now rides for Garmin-Sharp after returning from suspension in late 2011, said that doping was simply an endemic part of the culture in the Rabobank set-up of the time.

    “They should have told me to be patient and to stay clear of doping, but that wasn’t the case,” he said. “There was no dissenting voice. Doping was a way of life and a way of riding for many teammates, colleagues and me, too. Doping was part of the job – it’s hard, you train hard and you do everything for the bike.”

    As well as using EPO, Dekker explained that a member of the team’s management had put him in contact with “a man who carried out blood transfusions,” and he said he received transfusions on three occasions.

    “I thought it was the way to success, all the big riders were doing...

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep ready to help Cavendish at Tour de San Luis

    Mark Cavendish, a former Madison world champion, returns to his roots on the velodrome during the Omega Pharma-Quick Step presentation
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 15:12 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Trentin to provide lead-out in Argentina

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep has pinpointed Matteo Trentin as the rider most likely to lead out Mark Cavendish at the Tour de San Luis, which starts on Monday. The event marks Cavendish's first race for the Belgian team since his move from Sky at the tail end of 2012.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews before a five-hour training ride in the hills around San Luis, Martin Velits confirmed that Trentin's speed and experience made him the best candidate, although he indicated that the team would work en masse to help Cavendish win.

    "We've Trentin, and he's pretty fast and had some good lead-outs last year. We've a couple of fast guys who can take over inside the final 3 kilometres," Velits told Cyclingnews.

    "We had two training camps when we practiced team lead-outs and time trialing," he added.

    "We've done a lot of drills and I think everyone is ready. I'm not the guy who will be there to help in the last kilometre. I'll be the guy who helps control the race in the begging and then maybe have a job in the last 5 kilometres."

    Legs permitting, Cavendish has a strong chance of picking up the first two stages of the race, should they end in bunch sprints. However Velits warned that controlling the race with six-man teams could be a major factor. While some of the national teams in the race have been allocated seven spots in the race, the WorldTour teams have been awarded just six.

    "It will be about controlling the race in the sprint stages. It will be difficult to control with six men, there are some teams with seven but there are more WorldTour teams here so hopefully that means that the race will be more controlled.

    "Hopefully from day one we can get some help from teams with sprinters or from...

  • Bruyneel ready to cooperate with Belgian investigators

    Johan Bruyneel plans for Tour Down Under with Lance Armstrong, r.
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 20:25 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former Armstrong director planning another book

    Former team manager for Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel, is reportedly ready to cooperate with investigators from the Royal Belgian Cycling Federation (RLVB), according to Het Laatste Nieuws.

    The RLVB has been looking into allegations that Bruyneel helped to facilitate an organized doping scheme in the US Postal Service team since Floyd Landis first went public with his accusations to that effect in 2010. The charges were forwarded on to the federal prosecutor last October.

    Following the confession of Armstrong to doping during all seven of his Tour de France victories, the RLVB is seeking to move forward its investigation to determine if Bruyneel violated its anti-doping regulations.

    "We invited Bruyneel to come in," said federal prosecutor Jaak Fransen on Friday. "He said he is formally prepared to cooperate in the investigation, but because he is often abroad the interrogation has not taken place.

    "We want to give him an opportunity to give his version of the facts. We planned a meeting for the near future, and we have to wait and see whether he actually will confess."

    Other reports in De Telegraaf state that Bruyneel is working on a book that will tell his side of the US Postal story, and that he is still planning to go forward with his arbitration with the US Anti-Doping Agency, which has proposed a lifetime ban from the sport for the Belgian.

    "I will continue as long as I feel that I will be given a fair hearing, without prejudice on the part of USADA," Bruyneel said on Wednesday.

    Bruyneel was dismissed from his role as general manager of the Radioshack-Nissan...

  • Renshaw continues conversion to sprint role

    Mark Renshaw and Jack Bobridge (Blanco Pro Cycling) head back to the Hilton after training
    Article published:
    January 19, 2013, 22:15 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian on the differences between leading out and sprinting

    Mark Renshaw (Blanco Pro Cycling) begins his season in earnest at the Tour Down Under and the Australian will be hoping that he can travel further along the road of conversion between lead-out man and sprinter than he did in 2012.

    After three years piloting Mark Cavendish at Highroad, Renshaw opted to explore his own possibilities as a sprinter by joining Rabobank (now Blanco) ahead of last season. The campaign yielded just one victory, a stage at the Tour of Turkey, and while sharing sprinting duties with Theo Bos was undoubtedly a mitigating factor, Renshaw admitted that he was disappointed with his return.

    “I’d hoped for a better season,” Renshaw told Cyclingnews. “I had some good form but results are what matters and I didn’t live up to my expectations during the year for a number of reasons.”

    Renshaw imagined beforehand that the psychological – as opposed to the physical – aspects of making the transition from lead-out to sprinter would prove the greatest obstacle. That concern was misplaced, while the technical nuts and bolts of putting together a lead-out train also entered the equation.

    “I thought the mental aspect would be quite big so I worked a lot on that side of things but it’s actually the physical aspects and teamwork that makes the difference,” he said. “Mentally I could handle it, but it was just that in some races I needed to be in better position and I needed more help. Ultimately it came down to what happened on the road and not so much the mental side of things.”

    As the season began, Renshaw became increasingly versed in the differences between being a lead-out man and sprinter, quickly realising that it was “like...