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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, December 9, 2010

Date published:
December 09, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Cyclingnews photographer captures best in women's cycling

    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 2:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    CJ Farquharson calendar showcases the highlights of season 2010

    One of Cyclingnews' stable of quality photographers, CJ Farquharson, has launched a 2011 calendar of images detailing the best in women's cycling from this season.

    A regular contributor to Cyclingnews, Farquharson's passion for women's cycling is evident and she has chosen her favourite highlights from 2010 that cover major events such as World Cup rounds, the women's Giro, Tour de l'Aude and the Route de France.

    For many years Farquharson has travelled around the world, capturing the action of the women's peloton and this is the first time she has composed a calendar showcasing the women's side of the sport. The likes of Ina Teutenberg, Marianne Vos and world champion Giorgia Bronzini are featured amongst its pages.

    Copies are in stock now and can be ordered online

  • McEwen could continue beyond 2011 season

    Stage winner Robbie McEwen (Katusha) shows off his trophy.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 4:06 GMT
    Les Clarke

    New lease of life at Pegasus Sports for Australian sprinter

    Robbie McEwen believes he could ride beyond the 2011 season and possibly finish his career with an appearance at the 2012 Santos Tour Down Under after becoming Pegasus Sports' marquee rider for next year.

    The experienced Australian told Cyclingnews he believes he can play a multi-faceted role at Pegasus, given his experience at the world's biggest races, which includes 12 stage wins at the Tour de France.

    "I still believe I'm capable of winning races and being a senior member of the riding side of the team I can play a captain/coach/mentor role on the road; being amongst the boys, passing on my experience and help guys develop and overcome some of those hurdles you come across in your career," said McEwen.

    "Knowing which races are which, which ones are coming up, how to look after yourself... and what to do in training when you're confronted with a big racing schedule, which they may have never done before."

    As for the prospect of him continuing beyond the 2011 season, McEwen recently told Australian sports TV network One HD: "I'm 38 going on 39 - you can't ride professionally forever and I think I've had a pretty good run until now, with its ups and downs of course. I just can't bring myself to say I'm going to retire at the end of 2011."

    "I've got this... well it won't be a secret if I tell you, but a dream scenario I guess would be to train through the 2011/12 pre-season and do my last race at the Tour Down Under in 2012. that'd be a great way to go out.

    "I do in any case in 2012 want to have some sort of role with the team and stay in contact and help the team develop in any way I can."

    McEwen's form in the last two seasons has been hampered by injury as a result of crashes - particularly complications surrounding his leg knee, which was damaged when he broke his leg at the Tour of Belgium, and two crashes at the Tour de France this year. He gave assurances that he was feeling good...

  • Lequatre and RadioShack to benefit from Grand Tour entry

    Geoffroy Lequatre at the RadioShack training camp in Calpe.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 9:25 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Frenchman aiming for Tour de France place

    Geoffroy Lequatre believes that RadioShack will benefit considerably from riding all three Grand Tours next season. The Frenchman is also hoping to land a place on his team’s nine-man Tour de France selection in 2011.

    “It’s easier to do a good end to the season if you’ve done a big tour, especially the Tour de France,” Lequatre told Cyclingnews at the RadioShack training camp in Calpe. “It’s a big, big part of a professional rider’s conditioning to have a high-level race like that in the legs and then you can be good for the rest of the season.”

    As RadioShack did not ride the Giro d’Italia or the Vuelta a España in 2010, Lequatre and the other riders who didn’t make the Tour team faced the latter part of the season without the benefits of a three-week race in their legs. In 2011, the 18 ProTeam licence holders, including RadioShack, seem set to ride all three Grand Tours.

    "It wasn’t easy for a lot of us at the end of the season, especially because we couldn’t do the Tour of Spain,” Lequatre explained. “Added to that, we hadn’t been able to do the Giro because the team was in California and we couldn’t split it.”

    Nonetheless, Lequatre himself was in fine form as the season drew to a close and he was quick to credit RadioShack team management with finding the right balance in his Autumn race programme.

    “In the end maybe it wasn’t as big a problem as it could have been,” he said. “I was still in good shape and I still managed to ride some good races at the end of the season. I think the team recognised that it wasn’t an easy situation and tried to give us all a good mix of races in the second half of the season.”

    Lequatre’s most eye-catching performance of the tail-end of 2010 came in a race close to his heart, as he came agonisingly close to snaring an...

  • Dutch coach says Copenhagen course is one for the sprinters

    Theo Bos returns to his Rabobank roots.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 9:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    Van Vliet looks to Bos for the win

    Dutch national coach Leo van Vliet has checked out the course of the world championships in Copenhagen, and decided the race will probably end in a mass sprint finish.

    “If we come to the finish with 30 men, I think this will be a world championship totally for sprinters,” he told

    The road course is “a little undulating, with a short climb just after the start of the lap, but that is nothing,” he said.  “A very different course than we are accustomed to in recent years.”

    He will be looking to Theo Bos for the sprint on the Dutch team, and has already talked to the Rabobank rider about it.  “I'm wondering how Theo will develop in 2011.”

  • Frei working on a clean comeback

    Thomas Frei
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 10:44 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Swiss rider determined to return after EPO positive

    Switzerland’s Thomas Frei is banned from competing until April 21, 2012 but the former BMC domestique has revealed to the Australian website 602nds that he is determined to make a clean comeback, find a professional team and realize his dream of riding down the Champs Elysees after completing the Tour de France.

    Like Ivan Basso, Frei has begun to work with the Mapei centre in Italy and plans to replicate a near-full racing season during his ban.  Frei openly admitted to taking micro-doses of EPO after he was caught but suggested he tested positive because he failed to drink a litre of water after taking the blood-boosting drug. Frei was Swiss Under 23 road race champion in 2002 and rode with the Astana team in 2007 and 2008, before joining BMC in 2009. He claimed he only recently began to dope but insisted it was his own decision.

    Asked why he made the decision to take EPO, he told Tara Creevey: “I have asked that question to myself a few times in the last few months. I think it is a process, I always worked really hard, I tried to be really professional, then you have some people they say to you, “hey it’s easy to dope and no risk”.”

    “You then start thinking about what they say over a period of time, and in the end you think, ok I can improve my level without any risk, so I can dope also. But what I say in my case I don’t have any idea if or how the micro dosing improved my levels, sometimes I rode really good races and sometimes I rode really bad ones. Same thing happened before I started micro dosing.”

    “I didn’t really think “I have to do this”, but some people, like what I said earlier, give you the feeling you have to do that. I did a lot of good races without EPO micro dosing, but I wanted to improve faster, definitely I made the wrong decision, now I have to wait… and I have lost two years of my cycling career.”

  • Breschel turned down interest from Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 10:55 GMT
    Cycling News

    Raises questions as to why so many riders left Saxo Bank

    Matti Breschel is one of the few big names to have left Team Saxo Bank and who has not signed with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.  The Dane, who will ride for Rabobank next season, said he didn't want to take his chances with a new team.

    “I am convinced it will be big, but I didn't want to be a part of it because it takes time to establish yourselves in the sport,” he told the DIF Sporting Life magazine.  “I don't have the patience to lose more races because of problems I can't do anything about.”

    He had the opportunity to go to the team.  “We chatted briefly.  I have a good relationship with  Kim Andersen and am good friends with Andy Schleck, so it was natural that they would like me on team.”

    Eleven riders left Saxo Bank at the end of this season, with eight of them going to the new Luxembourg team. Breschel said that the team should ask itself questions as to why such a mass exodus took place.

    “I feel sorry for Bjarne [Riis], but we must also reverse the situation and ask why they left the team. Is it coincidence that so many are going, or has there been a bad mood?”

    “There have been times where you have felt that there were behind the scenes problems with  planning and communication, and I do not think Bjarne has taken care enough of it. And it is obviously also a question of economics.”

  • Dr Fuentes caught up in another Spanish doping investigation

    Monies recieved by Fuentes and his co-workers, plus some of the costs incurred by the doping network. The bottom of the page lists the extra prices payable by clients who achieve success in the three Grand Tours and the world championships.
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 13:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Operation Puerto doctor arrested in Operation Greyhound

    The Spanish Guardia Civil has reportedly carried out a major investigation into doping in athletics, with Dr Eufemiano Fuentes one of those arrested.

    Fuentes was involved in Operación Puerto in 2006, the major investigation that exposed a blood doping ring in cycling. According to reports in Spanish newspaper El Pais, he is also implicated in Operación Galgo or ‘Operation Greyhound’.

    Also named in El Pais' report are steeplechase runner Marta Domínguez Palencia and coaches César Pérez and Manuel Pascua Piqueras. Domínguez, was world champion in the 3000 steeplechase in 2009 and won silver at the 2010 European athletic championships in Barcelona. She recently announced that she was pregnant but promised to compete in the London 2012 Olympics.

    Fuentes is from the Canary Islands but bags of blood were discovered in his offices in Madrid. Riders implicated in Operacion Puerto included Jan Ulrich, Ivan Basso, Alejandro Valverde and many others who were never identified.

    Fuentes always denied breaking medical laws and there was no anti-doping law in place in Spain at the time. However a law came into effect soon afterwards and he could now face prosecution for doping.

  • Cancellara says Saxo Bank and Riis were no longer right for him

    Fabian Cancellara smiles on the podium
    Article published:
    December 09, 2010, 13:46 GMT
    Hedwig Kröner

    Swiss rider says he has a closer relationship with Andersen

    Fabian Cancellara has revealed that Bjarne Riis' dominant character was one of the reasons why the Swiss rider decided to leave Saxo Bank. The four-time world time trial champion spoke to the Berner Zeitung about his decision to leave Saxo Bank for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.

    “Bjarne has a very clear idea about how it works. Whoever doesn't fit has to go,” the Swiss rider said.  “For certain people this opened the opportunity to go their own way, to develop themselves. With him, everyone does what he says.”

    It was not so much that Riis was too powerful, more that, “for some people things just weren't right any more. For example, there is the knowledge that you just weren't yourself when he was there.”

    Since signing the agreement to leave Saxo Bank, Cancellara hasn't had any contact with his former boss, but said that it will come with time.

    “It is surely not easy for him.  But he is the boss and I am the rider who has to make sure that things are right for me – and that wasn't the case any more.”

    With the departure of so many other riders and the arrival of Contador, “I realized, I would be alone.  Bjarne was my boss, and I surely profited from him – but he profited from me, too.”

    Cancellara also added that Riis has changed over the last few years, starting with Ivan Basso being pulled from the Tour de France squad in 2006 because of Operacion Puerto.  “He has had some tough years behind him. Things went one after the other:  the Basso case, the Schleck case, his doping admission, the problems with the sponsors – one left, and one went bankrupt.

    “Things have gone downhill since 2008. Looking back, a lot of things are clearer to me.”

    Close relationship to Andersen

    Looking to his new team, Cancellara said that Kim Andersen is, “very...