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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 1, 2012

Date published:
November 01, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Former San Sebastián winner Zaballa joins Christina Watches-Onfone

    Constantino Zaballa (Miche)
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 2:33 GMT
    Cycling News

    Co-owner Rasmussen to announce more foreign signings for 2013

    Co-owner and team captain of Christina Watches-Ofone, Michael Rasmussen has announced the arrival of three new riders for the coming year. Former Vuelta A España stage winner Constantino Zaballa joins the Danish team after a year riding alongside Stefan Schumacher at Miche-Guerciotti while Albanian Eugert Zhupa and Italian Daniel Aldegheri move from the amateur Trevigiani Dynamon Bottol squad.

    The 2005 Clásica San Sebastián winner Zaballa turned professional in 2001 with Kelme-Costa Blanca before spending two seasons with Saunier Duval - Prodir and the 2006-2007 seasons with Caisse d'Epargne. Zaballa has ridden for smaller teams for the past four seasons, most recently winning a stage at this year's Vuelta a Asturias. Zaballa won a stage on the way to the overall victory at Asturias in 2011. 

    "We have big ambitions for next season and Zaballa will help to meet those ambitions. Zaballa has a stage win in the Vuelta A España and the Clásica San Sebastián making it one great asset to the team. Being able to attract a rider of his caliber, attests to the extent that we want to strengthen the team," said team manager Claus Hembo to Biciclismo.

    22-year-olds Zhupa and Aldegheri are teammates at Trevigiani Dynamon Bottol and are also set to join the team co-owned by Rasmussen in 2013.

    Aldegheri has spent the final part of the year as a stagiare for Liquigas-Cannondale where he rode the GP Industria e Commercio Artigianato Carnaghese, assisting Daniel Oss to third place while also riding the World Ports Classic.

  • Armstrong ruling questioned by doping experts

    UCI president Hein Verbruggen with Lance Armstrong in 2002
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 3:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    "Double standards" being applied says Swiss lawyer

    The decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and all results dated from 1 August, 1998 does not respect the anti-doping rules regarding the statute of limitations, according to doping law professor Antonio Rigozzi from the University of Neuchatel in Switzerland.

    Rigozzi suggests that the rules are being applied based on politics, not precedence and says the UCI has lost credibility by deciding to uphold USADA's decision to strip Armstrong of his Tour titles.

    "The case is certainly unique in its scale but it's not a reason not to apply or even ignore the (anti-doping) rules, as we've seen," said Rigozzi to AFP.

    In addition the professor has said ratifying USADA's decision is "giving precedence to politics over law."

    The standard eight-year time limit for doping rule violations can be extended, as in Armstrong's case because the former Tour winner did not cooperate with authorities, CEO of USADA Travis Tygart said in late August.

    "[If Armstrong had of] come in and been truthful, then the evidence might have been that the statute [of limitations] should apply," said Tygart to USA Today.

    If Armstrong cooperated with USADA at the time he was charged he may have been lost just the 2004 and 2005 titles however the eight-year time frame can be extended when offences are covered-up. The evidence in USADA's Reasoned Decision and the findings of systematic doping at US Postal means the standard limits were not applied. These anti-doping rule...

  • Orica-GreenEdge dismisses Matt White

    Matt White (left) chats with Shayne Bannan in Melbourne.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 4:48 GMT
    Jane Aubrey

    Team begins external review led by former WADA director

    Orica-GreenEdge has announced the immediate dismissal of sports director Matt White, meantime an external review into the team and its practices will be led by experienced anti-doping expert, Nicki Vance.

    White was identified as Rider 9 in Floyd Landis' evidence in USADA's Reasoned Decision documentation to the UCI. On October 13, White stood down from his role with Orica-GreenEdge and confessed to his own involvement in "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen." Four days later he was sacked from his role with Cycling Australia where he was men's professional road co-ordinator.

    Orica-GreenEdge is yet to hear the results of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority investigation into White however it was deemed following conversations with the former US Postal rider that he would leave the team.

    "Cycling must take the opportunity now to make the right decisions for the future of the sport as a whole," said the team's general manager, Shayne Bannan. "We want to contribute to this process and we want to involve both the teams and the UCI. The teams will meet with the UCI in the beginning of December and we are fully committed to participate actively in real and long-term solutions for the sport. We're a new team in the sport and it's important to us to show initiative for something so fundamental for cycling."

    The team's owner, Gerry Ryan said that being a "clean team" was...

  • BigMat pulls out of FDJ sponsorship after one year

    Thibaut Pinot enjoys his stage victory in the Tour
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 9:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    Company to continue support of BigMat-Auber 93

    BigMat has decided not to renew its sponsorship deal with the FDJ team for next season. The French building materials distributor came on board as sub-sponsor at the beginning of 2012 after having initially entered into talks with the Garmin team.

    A Française des Jeux spokesman told L’Équipe that BigMat’s decision was not linked to the sport’s much-publicised doping problems but was due to the global economic crisis.

    “This contract was signed with BigMat International and not with BigMat France, and it wasn’t able to be renewed due to the current economic situation of its foreign subsidiaries,” said Frédéric Riou. “The recent scandals in cycling have nothing to do with this decision.”

    Française des Jeux, the French national lottery, agreed a new four-year deal with Marc Madiot’s team at the end of 2011, and Riou said that BigMat’s withdrawal would not affect the team’s future.

    “In concrete terms, this won’t have any effect on the cycling team, which will continue next season under the sole name of FDJ, while remaining open to finding another co-sponsor for 2014,” Riou said.

    The BigMat name is not leaving cycling completely, however. The French branch of the company’s sponsorship of BigMat-Auber 93 will continue until the end of 2013.





  • Contador to launch team sponsored by Specialized in 2013

    Alberto Contador (Team Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) wins Milano-Torino
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 12:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former professional José Luis de Santos to direct squad

    The Alberto Contador Specialized Foundation launching in 2013 will give young cyclists the opportunity to race under the direction of retired professional and former Spanish national coach José Luis de Santos. De Santos rode for Banesto between 1991-1995 and led the national team at the 2009 UCI Road World Championships in Mendrisio where Joaquim Rodríguez and Samuel Sanchez finished third and fourth respectively.

    The team created by Contador will begin next season as a junior squad for 17-18-year-olds and will have a roster of approximately 15 riders according to a release on his personal website. Specialized will supply the bikes and other equipment while many of Contador's ProTeam sponsors from Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank will also support the team.

    "It's a very exciting project. Being close to Alberto and Fran Contador is a great opportunity and did not hesitate when they offered me the chance", said de Santos. "Going back to work with the cycling base is very nice and I think we can bring many things to the formation of the riders. In addition, the project will continue to grow and this foundation can be very important for the future of Spanish cycling."

    "We are thrilled with this project", said Contador. "Because we are working for the future of our sport, which is something we love. We want to support the young cyclist in a particularly difficult times in which many teams and many races are disappearing."

    The first season of the project headlined by Contador will be purely for the junior development side of the sport however, the Foundation is being designed as a long-term project. Contador's team...

  • Gallery: Stars relax ahead of Amstel Curaçao Race

    Ellen Van Dijk shares a joke with Marcel Kittel in Curacao.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 13:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Vos, Kittel and Rodriguez in the Caribbean

    The stars of the international peloton have gathered in the Caribbean for the annual Amstel Curaçao Race. Once again, the action gets underway on Thursday with the Jan Thiel Criterium, before the main event on Saturday.

    Marcel Kittel emerged victorious last year and the Argos-Shimano fast man is back in Curaçao again in 2012. Among the big names accompanying him are WorldTour winner Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha), Chris Froome (Sky) and Niki Tersptra (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).

    Marianne Vos is also on hand in Curacao at the end of a season that saw her cement her status as the greatest women’s rider of her generation by taking a stunning Olympic Games and world championships road race double.

    Before saddling up for the racing in the coming days, Vos, Kittel, Rodriguez et al took the time to enjoy the island of Curaçao. For a photo gallery, click here.


  • Drenthe pulls support of Vuelta bid over doping

    With only the final stage to Madrid remaining, Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) knows he's won the 2012 Vuelta a Espana.
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 14:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutch town no longer wants to host cycling

    The Dutch province of Drenthe no longer wishes to support a bid to host the Vuelta a España due to the wide ranging doping scandal centered on Lance Armstrong.

    "We regret that we now have to take this decision," said provincial deputy Ard van der Tuuk according to ANP. "We as a provincial government had wished to repeat the success seen in 2009. The conditions have changed in a short time."

    The provincial government had pledged €600,000 to host the event, which was confirmed as the second Dutch grand depart for the Vuelta after the 2009 opening stages which began in Assen. That year's event was a big success for the Netherlands and the Vuelta organisers, and the race was looking to hold five stages on Dutch soil.

    The first stage is planned to be a team time trial in Essen, and the fifth a road stage ending in Breda.

    The negative image of cycling caused by the Lance Armstrong case, which could still lead to more revelations of organised doping in the decade past, has already led Rabobank to withdraw its support of professional cycling.


  • IOC considers action on Armstrong's Olympic medal

    Lance Armstrong (United States) on the podium for the time trial at the Sydney Olympics
    Article published:
    November 01, 2012, 16:38 GMT
    Cycling News

    American finished third in Sydney 2000 time trial

    The International Olympic Committee is set to open an inquiry to decide whether Lance Armstrong should be stripped of his bronze medal from the Olympic Games time trial in Sydney in 2000.

    Last month, the UCI announced that it would not contest the US Anti-Doping Agency’s decision to strip Armstrong of all results from August 1, 1998 and ban him for life due to systematic doping offences.

    USADA’s decision came following a rigorous investigation into doping practices at Armstrong’s former US Postal Service team. Armstrong’s former manager Johan Bruyneel and trainer Dr. Michele Ferrari have also been charged by USADA for their part in the doping culture on Armstrong’s team.

    “The IOC is going to open an inquiry immediately regarding the implication of Armstrong, other riders and in particular their entourage in relation to the Olympic Games and their future participation in the Games,” an IOC spokesperson told Reuters on Thursday.

    Armstrong’s bronze medal in the Sydney time trial falls beyond the eight-year statue of limitations that the IOC currently observes. However, the American has already been stripped of all seven of his Tour de France titles, the first of which dated back to 1999. Tour organisers ASO and the UCI have agreed that Armstrong’s results from 1998 to 2005 should not be reallocated.

    Armstrong finished in third place in the Sydney time trial behind his then US Postal Service teammate Viacheslav Ekimov and Jan Ullrich. Abraham Olano finished in fourth place.