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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, March 1, 2012

Date published:
March 01, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • UCI names Danish Olympic Committee in Rasmussen whereabouts case

    Denmark's Alex Rasmussen looks pretty pleased with the evening's progress
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 10:24 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Olympic Committee says not involved in decision to acquit rider

    The UCI has asked the Court of Arbitration for Sport to name the Danish Olympic Committee (DIF) as a defendant in connection with the Alex Rasmussen case. The DIF's doping tribunal had dismissed the charges against the cyclist.

    Rasmussen was charged with three violations of the whereabouts requirements. The DIF doping tribunal dismissed the charges in November, saying that for the third violation, the UCI violated its own rules by taking too long to notify Rasmussen.

    The UCI announced in December that it would appeal that decision to the CAS, with a hearing expected sometime this spring.

    The DIF did not know why it had been named in the action, noting that it did not issue the decision. The action was taken by the doping tribunal, which is independent of the DIF.

    However, “it's not the doping committee which is the defendant, but the DIF as an organisation,” Jesper Frigast of the DIF,told “It seems strange that we are named as a defendant. It could well be that we had chosen to support the athlete anyway but did not want to stand as a direct party to the proceedings. Our body, in this case the doping board has issued an order, but why are we a party to the proceedings?”

    UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani called the action “purely procedural.”  He told Cyclingnews, “our appeal was made against Mr. Rasmussen and the National Olympic Committee and Sports Confederation  of Denmark (Dansk Idraetsforbund).”

    The UCI must name “the competent body which pronounced the contested decision,” he...

  • Cancellara to ride E3 Prijs and Gent-Wevelgem

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 10:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Change in date allows Swiss rider to combine races

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) will ride Gent-Wevelgem this year for the first time since it moved to its current slot on the calendar, one week before the Tour of Flanders. In the past two seasons, Cancellara has opted to ride the preceding day’s E3 Prijs Vlaanderen-Harelbeke and forgo Gent-Wevelgem as he fine-tuned his preparation for the Ronde.

    Following the elevation of the E3 Prijs to WorldTour level for 2012, however, the race has been brought forward to the Friday before Gent-Wevelgem, making the idea of lining up in both races more palatable. The E3 Prijs takes place on March 23, with Gent-Wevelgem following two days later.

    “In the past, Fabian has preferred E3,” RadioShack-Nissan directeur sportif Dirk Demol told Sporza. “But now that race has been moved to the Friday, he can ride both of them.”

    Cancellara took his second consecutive victory at Harelbeke with a lengthy solo break last year, although a number of his key Flanders rivals, including Tom Boonen, had opted to skip the race in order to focus their energies on the following day’s Gent-Wevelgem.

    The change to Harelbeke’s status and its new position on the calendar should thus ensure that all of the main contenders for the Tour of Flanders rub shoulders with one another the week before the big event, although the fall in the Three Days of De Panne’s stock as a final tune-up continues unabated.

    “Dwars Door Vlaanderen and the Three Days of De Panne aren’t on his programme,” Demol said. “That would be too much of a good thing.”

  • German broadcaster may not call UV treatment blood doping

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 11:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Court forbids such claims against former Olympic training facility doctor

    The German television station WDR may not claim that Dr. Andreas Franke conducted “forbidden blood treatments,” a German court has ruled. The broadcaster faces a fine and possible imprisonment of its director if it continues to make such claims.

    In January, the Sportschau reported that Franke, working at an Olympic training facility in Erfurt, had removed blood from athletes and treated it with UV light before returning the blood to the athletes.

    Several cyclists have said that they underwent such treatments, including Marcel Kittel of Project 1t4i.

    Public prosecutors have been investigating Franke since last spring for these treatments. The World Anti-Doping Agency forbids blood treatments, but Franke claims that the UV light treatment has only been forbidden since January of this year.

    Franke  claims that the treatment was for infections and “could not be represented as a doping violation.”  The WADA challenges that statement.

  • Rolland ruled out of Paris-Nice

    Pierre Rolland (Europcar)
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 12:02 GMT
    Cycling News

    Knee problems continue for Frenchman

    Pierre Rolland (Europcar) has confirmed that he will sit out Paris-Nice due to a nagging knee injury. The Frenchman sustained a lesion to cartilage in his patella when he banged his right knee against his stem during the Tour du Haut Var and his recovery has proved more complicated than first anticipated.

    “I’m very disappointed not to be able to take part in Paris-Nice it was an important objective for my season,” Rolland told his team’s website.

    A training ride on Wednesday confirmed what Rolland had already suspected, and he was forced to pull out of Paris-Nice. “I went for a ride and it hurt,” he explained succinctly.

    While the extent of Rolland’s injury appears quite minor, he admitted that he was perplexed by the lack of improvement in the condition of his knee. “It seemed bizarre to me that there’s been no progress after ten days,” he said.

    After attempting to coax his way back into action over the past week, Rolland will now rest completely in a bid to hasten the healing process. “Every day that I ride is a day lost in my rehabilitation,” Rolland pointed out.

    After beginning his season on a high with a stage victory at Étoile de Bèsseges, Rolland must now spend a frustrating spell on the sidelines. “These things always happen when you feel good and never when you want a rest,” he said.

    It remains to be seen when Rolland will return to competitive action, but after taking the white jersey and the stage to l’Alpe d’Huez last year, the Tour de France will again be the...

  • Gallery: Jelly Belly team begins 13th season

    Menso De Jong heads the train for the Jelly Belly squad with two laps to go in an early season criterium in Ontario. DS Danny Van Haute used the race to test leadout training implemented earlier in camp.
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 12:46 GMT
    Wil Matthews

    American squad completes California training camp

    The Jelly Belly presented by Kenda cycling team passes a significant milestone as it enters the 2012 season. This is the team's thirteenth year with the same title sponsor, and with a new two-year commitment, the team is set to have the longest running contiguous sponsorship in the US pro peloton. This year it ties the now-defunct Navigators Cycling Team, which ran 13 seasons from 1995 to 2007.

    Yet this development team, with a service course guarded by a trio of hens and an elderly Labrador in the back yard of director Danny Van Haute's long-time San Marcos residence, routinely places riders in the breakaways of the biggest races it enters, right alongside riders from WorldTour teams. Focus, the team's bike sponsor, features an image in its catalog of a Jelly Belly rider setting tempo with the UCI World Road Champion and other marquee riders in a dramatic break from the 2011 Amgen Tour of California.

    Van Haute credits a sensible sponsorship model and a consistent, if modest, team mission that keeps his development team punching above its weight at the biggest races in the US.

    "My philosophy is (about) making these riders better," Van Haute says of his objective held since 2000. "That's what we are, a development team. We lose guys every two years. But losing guys to a Pro Continental or WorldTour team, that's a success for the Jelly Belly program. ... Losing a guy to another Continental team, I have a real problem with that." But it's a scenario which rarely occurs.

    The team will have plenty of work ahead this season: it is running lean with eleven riders, as just four riders were brought in to replace six outgoing. Van Haute says he does not planning any additions for the rest of the season.

    The new additions are Luis Davila from Mexico, power-house...

  • Martin to defend Paris-Nice title for Omega Pharma-Quick Step

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma - Quick Step)
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 13:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Leipheimer and Chavanel co-captains for Belgian team

    Tony Martin will look to defend his overall title in Paris-Nice, but if he falters, his Omega Pharma-Quick Step co-leaders Levi Leipheimer and Sylvain Chavanel are ready to take on the challenge.  The Belgian team announced its line-up for the “Race to the Sun” on Thursday.

    "The team has a very high level line up," said Sports Director Brian Holm. "There's a lot of talent on the squad. Our goal is to fight for final victory.”

    Martin won the time trial last year to move himself into the lead of the race, a position he held on to until the end. “The opening time trial and the closing time trial will be very important in the economy of the race, as will the 5th stage with an uphill arrival in Mende,” said Holm.

    “In general, as always it will be a hard fought Paris-Nice, we'll have to ride paying close attention to hidden hazards on the route. As far as we're concerned we're going to race to try to protect our leaders and set them up in the best conditions to play for final victory. The group is very strong and suited to any type of terrain.”

    The team's wild card will be sprinter Tom Boonen, who “will try to play his cards on the stages that favour him and will put his own experience to the service of the team when necessary."

    They will all be supported by Kevin De Weert and Dries Devenyns on the climbs, and Nikolas Maes and Stijn Vandenbergh on the flats.

    Paris-Nice starts on Sunday, March 4, with a 9.4km time trial from Dampierre-en-Yvelines to Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, which includes a Category three climb.  It ends one week later with another short time trial which finishes atop the Category...

  • RusVelo loses Amstel Gold Race invite

    The RusVelo men's and women's team in Mallorca
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 14:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Farnese Vini - Selle Italia takes Russian team's spot

    RusVelo will not compete at this year's Amstel Gold Race, and its place has instead been given to Farnese Vini - Selle Italia, race organisers announced on Thursday afternoon. The Russian Professional Continental team had received a wildcard invitation early last month.

    Amstel Gold Race takes place Sunday, April 15 and runs 256.5km in South Limburg, Netherlands.

    According to the race website, “By order of the UCI RusVelo may not participate in the only Dutch cycling classic.” No further explanation was given and the UCI has not yet responded to Cyclingnews' request for details.

    The place has been given to another Professional Continental team, Farnese Vini - Selle Italia, whose captain is Filippo Pozzato.

    Approximately two weeks ago the Russian Pro Continental squad had also relinquished its start at Strade Bianche, citing "logistical problems within the team", and their invite was instead given to Utensilnord Named by race organiser RCS Sport.

  • Friedman returns to racing at Merco Cycling Classic

    Mike Friedman awaits the start of a training ride at the Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies pre-season training camp.
    Article published:
    March 01, 2012, 14:51 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies rider on the rebound from iliac artery surgery

    The last time that Mike Friedman (Optum Pro Cycling p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies) pedalled a bicycle in anger was at the 2011 USA Cycling Professional Road Championship on May 30, a race in which he was dropped on the opening lap. Complications from what doctors would diagnose as a life-long kink in his iliac artery, a condition which significantly decreased blood flow to his left leg, had steadily progressed to such a degree that for the multi-time US champion and 2008 Olympian cycling had become an impossibility.

    Amazingly, just prior to the US pro championships, Friedman finished the Amgen Tour of California, where he already had a strong inkling that the suffering he endured was rooted in problems with his iliac artery.

    "I did ok there. I suffered badly in the mountains and I just couldn't hold wheels because of my leg, but I was able to get in a breakaway the last day there," Friedman told Cyclingnews.

    "I had been talking to some other athletes [about kinked iliac arteries]. In fact on the Mt. Baldy stage I had seen Chad Hartley on the side of the road and he had also had the same surgery. I was already dropped and I yelled at him, 'Dude, I think I need to have the surgery and what are the symptoms?' And he yelled back to me, but it was in the middle of the race on a climb."

    Fast forward to February 29, 2012 and an exceptionally vibrant Friedman is on the eve of his return to competitive cycling in Merced, California at the four-day Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic, March 1-4. After a positive diagnosis of his iliac artery kink following the US pro championships, corrective surgery in July, 2011 in Colorado...