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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 9, 2011

Date published:
June 09, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Aerts announces he will retire at the end of the season

    Mario Aerts (Omega Pharma - Lotto)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 8:25 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Belgian says heart problems, team division were key factors

    Mario Aerts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) has decided to retire from the sport at the end of the season, citing his heart arrhythmia as a major factor in his decision. The 36 year-old has a contract until the end of 2012 but feels that it is the right time to hang up the bike.

    "The division of Omega Pharma-Lotto," he told Het Nieuwsblad, "and the heart problems [I’ve faced] made me decide that enough is enough."

    Aerts had stopped riding in April when his cardiac problem got worse. It has improved enough that he plans to ride the Belgian championships the end of this month.

    The Belgian has been a domestique for most of his career, and his career highlight came in 2002 with a victory in La Fleche Wallone. That win was also the last time the Belgium has stepped on top of the podium.

    In recent years, Aerts has been a key lieutenant to Cadel Evans [now at BMC], and Philippe Gilbert, however 15 years in the professional peloton have finally taken their toll. Fittingly, the modest Belgian wants no fanfare to send him off, he will simply ride his last race, and that will be it.

    "I will not party; I don’t want a special criterium. I will ride my last race and maybe have a glass of champagne," said Aerts.
     

  • Sinkewitz to sue UCI over doping suspension

    Patrik Sinkewitz (ISD - Neri) after winning the Giro della Romagna.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 10:06 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German to challenge HGH claims at CAS

    Patrik Sinkewitz is going to court over his most recent positive doping control and suspension.He cited the lack of information from the World Anti-Doping Agency and differences in the values of the A and B samples.

    “Legal action will be taken against the International Cycling Union in the Court of Arbitration for Sport,” his attorney Rainer Cherkeh told Cyclingnews.  He will ask that his suspension be overturned.

    Sinkewitz tested positive for Human Growth Hormone at the GP di Lugano in April. He was the first cyclist to be suspended for a positive doping control for HGH. He denied having used that or any other product, and later claimed that the UCI falsely told him that “a substance” had been found, when in fact they were actually investigating a blood value.

    In a press release issued Wednesday, Cherkeh said that the values for one portion of the control varied 28.97% from the A sample to the B sample. He also said that the same values varied up to 35% between two separate analyses of the B sample, performed using different testing kits. His experts who have analysed the results call this “an excessive difference”.

    He also challenged the validity of the tests, and noted that his client has not yet received the lab documents and details which would validate the test methods.

    “The scientist and HGH expert working for us showed clearly and in detail that there is not scientifically sure validation data."

    In addition, Cherkeh said, the firm which...

  • Van Den Broeck satisfied with Dauphiné time trial

    Jurgen Van den Broeck kept the mountains jersey.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 10:18 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lotto leader looks forward to high mountains and Tour

    Predictably, Belgian climber Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto) lost some ground on the best time triallists in the Critérium du Dauphiné's race against the clock in Grenoble on Wednesday. Still, he was satisfied with his performance and now looks forward to putting his fitness to the test in the high mountain passes in view of the Tour de France.

    "No, I'm not disappointed", Van Den Broeck told Belgian news agency Belga after the race. "I finished 17th, and I'm now in seventh place on GC, 2:28 down on overall leader Bradley Wiggins."

    In fact, VDB lost exactly that amount of time, 2:28 minutes, on the British time trial specialist during the 42.5km test. "Last year, I would still have lost three minutes in this discipline," the climber explained to Sportwereld. "So I've actually improved myself a bit. It was a very difficult time trial and another problem was that the road was slippery and dangerous in the descent, so I didn't want to take any risks. And after a hesitant start I finished it off rather well and that gives me confidence for the Tour."

    The winner of the Dauphiné's stage one still retained his polka dot jersey of best climber, which he intends to defend in the coming days. "I'm looking forward to the real passes now!" added Van Den Broucke, preparing to take on his rivals in both the Dauphiné and in the Tour one month from now. And he knows that the yesterday's time trial in Grenoble will differ very much from the final race against the clock...

  • Gesink content with Grenoble time trial reconnaissance

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) had hoped to show his time trialing improved, but was 2:49 down on Martin.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 10:50 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch rider builds for Tour de France at Dauphine

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) may have lost almost three minutes during stage 3 of the Critérium du Dauphiné, but the young Dutch rider was confident that he could learn from the experience ahead of the Tour de France.

    Wednesday’s 42.5km time trial around Grenoble was a carbon copy of the Tour’s penultimate stage and Gesink feels that the rolling course is one that should see him limit his losses to the specialists in July.

    “The route suits me well, with an altitude gain of about 600 metres,” Gesink told Telegraaf.nl. “It’s better than the flat time trial last year in the Tour around the vineyards of Bordeaux.”

    Although he finished 2:49 behind stage winner Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) on Wednesday, Gesink believes that the experience will help him when it comes to his second attempt at the course in six weeks’ time. “I now know what gears I can go with,” he explained.

    Rabobank directeur sportif Adri van Houwelingen echoed his rider’s comments and stressed that the time trial’s importance was as a dress rehearsal for the Tour.

    “By the standards of today, it [Gesink’s performance] is clearly not very good, but we’re not unhappy with the difference between Robert and his likely Tour rivals,” van Houwelingen told Rabosport.nl. “Robert is not super, but that’s not a bad thing. He can get better and will be better the next time. We’re not worried and neither is Robert.”

    ...
  • Dietziker looking forward to homeland Tour de Suisse

    Swiss rider Andreas Dietziker of Team NetApp
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 12:52 BST
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    Course runs through NetApp rider's hometown

    Andreas Dietziker is eager to begin his homeland race, the Tour de Suisse, which starts on Sunday. It will be the Team NetApp rider's fourth ride in the race, and he will be looking for his own opportunities.

    This race is “for me the season's highlight. Of course it is a special motivation to ride through my homeland where I know the race course so well,” he told Cyclingnews. “And it's always thrilling when you ride along the streets where so many spectators cheer you on.”

    The 28-year-old joined NetApp last summer when his previous team Vorarlberg-Corratec was demoted from Professional Continental to Continental status. He is an all-rounder who is especially strong in time trials, with his preferences being for one-day and short stage races.

    After three tilts at the Tour de Suisse, Dietziker is still looking for a top result. “You always try to improve. My first goal will be to ride offensively and to be present in breakaway groups. It will be very hard to get a good result in the GC, but I'll try my best to reach a top placing on a stage. But of course to succeed, everything has to fit perfectly together and there's no harm in having a little luck.”

    The fifth stage is special to him, since it passes through his hometown of Aadorf. But that stage is expected to end in a mass sprint, which is not for him. “My chances are better in a small breakaway group, so we will see. But of course I'm going to go for my chances whenever there is an opportunity.”

    He will, however, be “super motivated” on the fifth stage, as he was when the race went through his hometown in...

  • 2012 Tour de Langkawi route announced

    Chann McRae of Garmin-Cervelo and Aidar Makhmetov of Astana were on hand to promote the race.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 15:02 BST
    By:
    Steve Thomas

    Astana and Garmin-Cervelo set to line-up in Malaysia

    It may only be partway through June 2011 but the 2012 Tour de Langkawi was launched on Thursday, and the full route and stage details have already been confirmed. The race has always had a high level of organization, and is seriously gearing up to try and gain World Tour status in the not too distant future, something it had been expected to be granted some 3-4 years ago, but which instead went to the Tour Down Under and more recently to the Tour of Beijing.

    Now heading into its 17th staging, the race has become a popular early season sortie for both mainstream World Tour and Pro Continental teams as well as providing a bigger stage for aspiring Asian teams and riders, many of whom have performed well enough there to earn slots on major European and Australian teams.

    In its early days, the race was something of a novelty, being one of the very few races outside of Europe at that time of year, and the only one with the purse and guarantees required to attract major teams to start their season so early. However, the globalisation of cycling has lead to emergence numerous high-profile races during the early season, which has impacted somewhat on Langkawi, although with its UCI 2.HC ranking it still draws a mean crowd, and both Garmin-Cervélo and Astana have indicated that they will take part in the 2012 race.

    Without exception, the gruelling 25km ultra-steep climb to Genting Highlands has always been the deciding stage of the race, which explains why so many tiny climbers from South America have long since had a liking for the podium here. But in a determined effort...

  • HTC-Highroad aiming for sprints in Tour de Suisse

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad)
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 16:31 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Movistar, Katusha name rosters

    The HTC-Highroad team is sending its top sprinters to the Tour de Suisse, fielding both Mark Cavendish, winner of two stages of the Giro d'Italia and the Scheldeprijs, and Matt Goss, the Milan-San Remo champion.

    Switzerland will be a new experience for Goss, who is aiming to be chosen for his first ever Tour de France.

    "I'm going really well and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do in the Tour de Suisse, which is a race I've never done before," Goss said. "After the Tour of California, my last race, I've done a big block of training, my race weight is good, and I'm feeling fine."

    "Together with Mark [Cavendish], we'll be looking for at least one stage victory and coming away with some sort of success."

    The squad will look to Michael Albasini, fresh off a stage win and third overall in the Bayern Rundfahrt and a victory in the GP Kanton Aargau, for the overall classification in his home country, as well as Tejay Van Garderen and Peter Velits.

    "We've got three guys for the overall and some great all-arounders like Bert Grabsch, Bernie Eisel and Martin Velits for the teamwork," said director Allan Peiper.

    "Mark and Matt worked really well in last year's Tour of Spain sprints, so we've got that area wrapped up too. All in all, it's a very strong team."

    HTC-Highroad for Tour de Suisse: Michael Albasini, Mark Cavendish, Bernhard Eisel, Matt Goss, Bert Grabsch, Martin Velits, Peter Velits, Tejay Van Garderen.

    The Movistar team will also be vying for the sprint victories with José Joaquín Rojas and Francisco Ventoso. Katusha will not be fielding 2007 Tour de Suisse champion Vladimir Karpets.

    Movistar for Tour de...

  • Rebellin charged with tax evasion

    Davide Rebellin in action during the 2008 Olympic road race.
    Article published:
    June 09, 2011, 19:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian owes 6.5 million euro say investigators

    Davide Rebellin has been charged with tax evasion, with police in Italy estimating that he owes up to 6.5 million euro in unpaid taxes. The veteran recently returned to cycling in the colours of Miche-Guerciotti after serving a two-year suspension for CERA use.

    Rebellin was officially a resident in the tax-haven of Monaco for the best part of the past decade, the majority of which (2002-2008) was spent riding with the German Gerolsteiner squad. However, police from Italy’s Guardia di Finanza believe that Rebellin had in fact spent the majority of his time in Galliera Veneta, in the province of Padova in Italy, where he lived in a house registered under the names of his parents-in-law.

    Suspicions were raised when two cars with Monaco-registered number plates were spotted regularly in the area, and Rebellin’s movements were then tracked as part of an investigation called “Operation Zero Taxes,” which began in December 2008.

    Francesco Sodano, the head of the investigation, explained that Rebellin was regularly shadowed by police while in Galliera Veneta.

    “We examined electronic passes for motorway tolls and flights,” he told Il Sole 24 Ore. “Only 2% of Rebellin’s flights landed in Nice [the airport for Monaco – ed.] and in only 7% of his car journeys did he cross the French border.

    “We also heard from the painter and the plumber: they did work for the cyclist and his wife, but the invoices were addressed to relatives.”

    Even during the period in which he was supposedly resident in Monaco, Rebellin...