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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 28, 2011

Date published:
July 28, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Contador says Giro-Tour double is possible with a stronger team

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) went out fighting
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 9:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Spaniard doesn't plan to ride the World Championships

    Alberto Contador believes it is possible to win both the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France in the same season, but has suggested he would need “a more powerful team” than he had around him this year. The Saxo Bank-SunGard team leader made his comments after being welcomed home to Pinto in Spain on Wednesday evening.

    He claimed that the route of this year's Tour de France did not suit him and admitted things got off to a bad start, as he lost time due a crash on the first stage, and in the stage two team time trial.

    "You need to have stages that suit you, either a prologue, a mountain time trial or two time trials. But not a team time trial if you don't have a strong team. With attention to detail like this and good preparation, you can win both the Giro and the Tour in the same season," he said according to

    Contador dominated the Giro d'Italia in May but struggled in the Tour de France, finishing fifth, 3:57 behind Cadel Evans (BMC).

    "I did what I could after that bad day, and was aware that it wasn't my best year in terms of preparation,” he said.

    The three-time Tour winner wasn't dissatisfied though, saying: “The truth is that I'm very happy.”

    Contador's race plans for the immediate future are unclear, partially because his hearing before the Court of Arbitration for Sport has again been postponed and is now set for November.

    “It's unfortunate and sad that it's still going on a year later. It needs to be clarified and it is not normal to be so late, but I hope that it ends...

  • Mosquera's Hydroxyethyl case drags on

    Nibali flanked by Mosquera and Velits
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 11:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Substance only illegal if injected

    The Spanish Anti-doping Agency (AEA) has said that  it is not possible to prove how Hydroxyethyl entered Ezequiel Mosquera's system, opening up the possibility that doping charges against him could be dismissed.

    Mosquera tested positive for Hydroxyethyl at last year's Vuelta a Espana, which he finished as second overall. Hydroxyethyl starch is a blood plasma volume expander that can serve to dilute the blood without decreasing the amount of red blood cells present. It may be used as a masking agent for EPO, for which he did not test positive.

    However, the product is prohibited only if administered intravenously. It can also be taken orally. According to the Spanish website Biciciclismo, the AEA has submitted information to the ongoing hearing that it is not possible to say which method was used.

    According to the AEA, while the tests showed the product in Mosquera's urine sample, it is scientifically impossible to differentiate the method of use. “The methods of laboratory analysis detected selectively acidic decomposition products of the substance itself, there is no chance of defining the route of administration from the results.”

    The judge hearing the case is said to have asked the AEA, the International Cycling Union and the anti-doping labs in Cologne and Madrid to answer three questions: Is it possible to differentiate between intravenous and oral applications? Does this substance served to enhance performance? Is this substance found in food?

    For the second question, the AEA acknowledged that it can be used to mask illegal products, although none were found in Mosquera's sample, and that is was possible for the product to have been ingested in food.

    The 35-year-old has consistently denied having used any doping substance. ...

  • Chavanel gears up for Clasica San Sebastian

    Sylvain Chavanel flew the colours of the French champion in the breakaway
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 11:50 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    French champion fully recovered from Tour de France injury

    After a disappointing Tour de France in which he suffered from a shoulder injury due to a crash in the first week of racing, Sylvain Chavanel of Quick Step is focusing on the upcoming Clasica San Sebastian, and the Vuelta a España later in August.

    The French champion finished the Tour despite a painful shoulder luxation which made him get dropped many times, but still managed to show himself in front in the final days in the Alps, notably in stage 17 to Pinerolo, Italy.

    "I spent a lot of energy just to continue the Tour after my crash, but it paid off. I really had a hard time during the second week, getting over the Pyrenees. But in the last week, I was able to race up front again," Chavanel told Cyclingnews after the last time trial on the Grenoble.

    The 32-year-old said that he was looking forward to make amends for his bad luck at the three-week race. "I feel good now, still fresh. I'm a bit tired but it's not the fatigue I've known in previous years, I think I will be able to recover quickly from this, and I'm eager to turn the page on my frustration at the Tour," he added.

    After arriving on the Champs Elysées in Paris, the French champion this week kept up his race rythm with two Criteriums before travelling to Northern Spain for Saturday's Clasica San Sebastian, an event he holds dear.

    "San Sebastian is a race the I've always liked, and I'll try to be good there," Chavanel said. "In the last few years, I've always raced in the front group there, and only lacked a little bit in the end to win. I'm going there with some ambition."

    He'll continue his race programme at the Vuelta, starting August 20.

  • Olympic 2012 chief against distinction between doping sanctions

    Seb Coe and Michael Day, Chief Executive of Historic Royal Palaces, at Hampton Court Palace, scene of the London 2012 Olympics time trials.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 11:55 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Lord Coe criticises UK Anti-Doping after request to reclassify recreational drugs

    Sebastian Coe has called for no exceptions when it comes to drug cheats at the 2012 London Olympics. Lord Coe, the chairman of the organising committee for the London 2012 Olympic Games and vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations, is a a strong advocate four-year bans.

    He made the statement after UK Anti-Doping had petitioned World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) to relax their laws governing certain recreational stimulants, such as cocaine and MDMA.

    In a statement, UK Anti-Doping said: "WADA annually reviews the Prohibited List and as part of this, UK Anti-Doping undertakes an annual domestic consultation process to seek expert opinion and make suitable suggestions. Consequently, among those recommendations we submitted this year, was for some stimulants, such as Cocaine, BZP and MDMA, to be reclassified as Specified, in recognition of the fact that the use of these substances is almost exclusively for recreational, and not performance-enhancing reasons."

    "These substances would and should remain prohibited. However, we want the Prohibited List to distinguish those substances used exclusively for performance-enhancement, and any sanctions should reflect this accordingly."

    However, Lord Coe has hit back, saying that young aspiring athletes should set a firm example and that any drug taking would run against the philosophy of clean sport.

    "Let's get real. What are the messages we are giving out here to young people? There is no ambiguity. If you want to be part of this project then don't take drugs. Full stop."

    Coe said that a distinction would blur public perception of the fight against doping, and hoped that more severe measures...

  • Plaster cast for Kreuziger after Tour de France crash

    Roman Kreuziger (Pro Team Astana)
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 14:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Microfracture of the wrist means six weeks break for Astana leader

    Three days after finishing the Tour de France in Paris, Roman Kreuziger (Astana) has found out that he sustained a double microfracture in his left wrist as a result of a crash during stage seven to Chateauroux. On Wednesday, the Czech rider announced that he will need to wear a plaster cast for six weeks in order to completely heal the injury.

    "There is double microfracture in the scaphoid bone," Kreuziger told the Sport newspaper after having undergone x-rays in his home country. "I have a plaster cast for six weeks."

    The 25-year-old, who finished sixth overall at this year's Giro d'Italia, had a hard time living up to his objectives in the Tour. "I didn't know that the injury was so serious. Above all, I wanted to get to Paris," admitted Kreuziger, who's had to cancel his appearance at the Clasica San Sebastian this Saturday.

    He now hopes to be back in competition at the Grand Prix of Québec and Montréal, September 9 and 11 in Canada. "I hope to be able to train as of next week, at least on a stationary bike."

  • Burghardt never doubted Evans' Tour de France victory

    Marcus Burghardt (BMC) worked hard for Evans.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 16:35 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    BMC teammate praised a perfect plan for the overall win

    One of Cadel Evans' domestiques at the 2011 Tour de France, Marcus Burghardt, was instrumental in the Australian's overall victory. The tall German Classics rider is a powerful rouleur and set the pace for the BMC Racing Team whenever it was needed, protecting the squad's sole leader throughout the three-week race.

    Having succeeded in the team's goal to win the Tour de France, Evans gave one of the plush lions that go with the yellow jersey to Burghardt as a present for his baby girl.

    This will be one of the 28-year-old's greatest accomplishments as a rider, even though he counts a 2008 Tour de France stage victory, as well as two stage wins in the 2010 Tour de Suisse and the 2007 Gent-Wevelgem title on his palmarès.

    "I had great fun to work for Cadel, even though it was painful and hard! In the end, it was worth it, because he took the yellow jersey to Paris - there can't be a better reward," 'Burgie' told Cyclingnews on the Champs Elysées on Sunday.

    The German recalled a great race and said he never doubted that Evans would be able to win, even though he took the yellow jersey only on the penultimate day. "We weren't nervous," he said. "We had a plan, we stuck to it and put about 99 percent of it into practice. There wasn't really a reason to get nervous."

    The final time trial in Grenoble saw Evans take the overall lead about mid-way through the parcours when intermediate times indicated he was a lot faster than overnight leader Andy Schleck (Leopard).

    "We were watching the time trial in the bus, and the moment he was in yellow was just exhilarating. It was also a great relief, an undescribable moment," Burghardt said, before getting ready to party on Sunday night.

    "To get to Paris is...

  • Rock Racing: Here to stay

    Rock Racing owner Michael Ball and Mario Cipollini
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 17:02 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Exclusive: Controversial brand to relaunch bike and clothing business

    The Rock Racing professional team may have folded in dramatic style early in 2010 but the brand is set to return to the peloton after the creation of a joint-venture with an Italian fashion company.

    Cyclingnews understands that Italian businessman Roberto Tronconi is set to relaunch the brand in Europe after long negotiations with Rock Racing founder Michael Ball. He was forced to sell his clothing brand Rock & Republic to avoid bankruptcy but kept control of the Rock Racing brand.

    The team hit the headlines in 2008 when Santiago Botero, Tyler Hamilton and Oscar Sevilla were not allowed to start the Amgen Tour of California because the races' policy against riders caught for using performance enhancing drugs. Mario Cipollini joined the team that spring and rode in California but fell out with Ball after he backed out of plans to create a European-based Rock Racing team. 

    Rock Racing bikes and clothing will soon go on sale in Europe and the USA and Tronconi hopes to sponsor regional teams in California and New York, and an amateur team in Italy.

    “Michael Ball is not dead and has not run away to Mexico,” Tronconi told Cyclingnews.

    “I know he angered a lot of people during his time in the sport but I also think he was a visionary who was perhaps ahead of his time. Unfortunately his team faltered but we’re very excited about the brand living on as a joint-venture between my fashion company and Michael Ball.

    “I’ve spoken to Michael on a regular basis and I’ve been to the US to meet him. He has helped us reproduce the amazing clothing designs that were created for the team. He’s given us two special machines for the...

  • Tour de France stars to race in Utah

    Third place Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo) after a champagne shower.
    Article published:
    July 28, 2011, 18:33 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Danielson, Hincapie, Leipheimer confirm

    In its first year of UCI 2.1 classification, the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah has already attracted the sport's top domestic talent. Garmin-Cervélo's Tom Danielson, who placed ninth in the Tour de France, has been confirmed for the race, along with BMC's George Hincapie, who, after helping Cadel Evans to the overall victory, has been a part of nine winning Tour teams.

    Also on the start list will be Team RadioShack's Levi Leipheimer, the defending champion of the Tour of Utah and winner of this year's Tour de Suisse, as well as US time trial champion David Zabriskie and Christian Vande Velde of the Garmin-Cervélo team.

    120 riders from 16 teams will compete in the Tour of Utah, which begins on August 9 with a prologue in Park City and ends six days and 409 miles later at the Snowbird Ski Resort.

    One of the race's main contenders has to be Spaniard Francisco Mancebo (, who is the current leader of the USA Cycling National Racing Calendar series and winner of four domestic stage races this year: the Redlands Classic, Sea Otter Classic, Tour of the Gila and Cascade Cycling Classic. He will face strong competition from his fellow countryman Oscar Sevilla, who will headline the Colombian Gobernacion de Antioquia - Indeportes Antioquia team.

    Other contenders include Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) and Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare). Absent from the start list is RadioShack's Chris Horner, winner of the Amgen Tour of California, who suffered a head injury in the Tour de France.

    For the flatter stages, top sprinters include Robert Förster (UnitedHealthcare), winner of five races this season, and Elia Viviani (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Iker...