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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 10, 2011

Date published:
November 10, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • British cyclist caught for EPO in Bermuda

    The doping control van isn't hard to miss.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 9:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Sharp banned for two years

    British cyclist Damien Sharp has been suspended for two years after testing positive for EPO. The ban was handed down by the Bermuda cycling Federation, as Sharp had lived on the island for several years.

    The 36-year-old tested positive at an event in Bermuda on July 17. He admitted using EPO, waived his right to a hearing and returned to the UK. The ban runs through August 17, 2013.

    According to the Bermuda website, Sharp's “markedly improved performances are known to have raised a collective eyebrow in the local cycling community, with Sharpe becoming a regular top three finisher during the recent season.”

    The Bermuda Bicycle Association (BBA) said in a statement that “It is a shock to the BBA and a disservice to the sport of cycling that a recreational athlete should choose to resort to such illegal and immoral methods in order to gain advantage in local races.

    “Doping at any level of sport is cheating and this was a clear instance of an individual attempting to gain an competitive edge by cheating.”

    The investigation was a multi-national effort. Cathy Belvedere, head of the Bermuda Sports Anti doping Authority, said “We can confirm that the test was conducted in cooperation with UK Anti Doping and USADA, the US anti-doping agency. A clear demonstration that anti-doping organisations worldwide, can and do work together. Increasingly, globally, dopers have nowhere to hide.”

    “This case highlights the importance of cooperation between National Anti Doping Organisations and how information sharing can be used to successfully identify and ultimately bring sanctions to doping athletes.”

    UK Anti-Doping chief executive Andy Parkinson echoed those sentiments, saying “through the collaborative work of three national anti-doping organizations ... this suspension underlines that the fight against doping in sport is being fought on...

  • Rasmussen eager to face Contador in Tour of San Luis

    Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 10:06 GMT
    Cycling News

    Good preparation race for young Christina Watches team, Dane says

    Michael Rasmussen is eager to start the 2012 season at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina in January, and not only because he will be able to measure himself against top riders including Alberto Contador.

    “I look forward to a duel with Contador and other big names such as Vincenzo Nibali and Joaquim Rodriguez, but I would gladly ride the race even if none of them shows up,” he told

    Thinking not just of himself, he noted that it would be important for the many young riders on his Christina Watches-Ofone team.  “It is rather a great chance to secure our riders a head start in the season. For all riders in Europe it is a preparation race. It's early in the year, so right now it's very, very difficult to predict how it will go.

    “But it will undoubtedly be exciting and it becomes a great experience for our team to run such a large race with such big names on the start list.”

    It will be his first time up against Contador since the 2007 Tour de France.  Rasmussen was leading the race ahead of the Spaniard when his team withdrew him with only four stages to go. Contador went on to win the race for his first Tour title.

    “We feel incredibly privileged to have this chance, so for me it's not about getting revenge for the Tour in 2007,” Rasmussen said.

    The Dane previous rode the race in 2010 for Miche, finishing eighth overall.

  • Rihs and Binggeli join forces at ISH

    Andy Rihs speaks at BMC Racing Team's press conference at the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 11:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Swiss bike manufacturers boosted by new partnership

    Swiss company ISH Group (International Sport Holdings) have confirmed that two of the biggest names in the bike manufacturing industry are to team up to create “a Swiss bike manufacturer that brings together innovation, Swiss precision and the latest bike technology”.

    The award-winning duo Andy Rihs (BMC and Bergamont) and Thomas Binggeli (Stromer) will bring their respective brands across to the new company and will share their individual expertise and resources to give the Swiss bike manufacturing industry a real boost. They are sure to become leading players in the international market, too. Rihs was an integral part of BMC's success at the 2011 Tour de France.

    “Thomas Binggeli is only 37 years old and has already impressively proven that he is an innovative, inspiring entrepreneur with great staying power,” said Rihs, who is the chairman of the ISH board of directors. “I am expecting some decisive stimuli for the entire group through his personality and his ingenious E-Bike Stromer.”

    Binggeli founded the Thomus Veloshop and takes a share in ISH Holdings as part of his new role. “This is a fantastic step forward for me,” he said. “We now have a great chance of developing into an important Swiss bicycle manufacturer over the coming years. We are convinced that all of the ISH brands will profit from synergies in the fields of research and development, purchasing, production, sales and administration.”

  • Indurain sees globalisation as major change in cycling

    Five time-Tour winner Miguel Indurain was at the start of the Vuelta.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 12:12 GMT
    Cycling News

    RadioShack-Nissan could dominate the scene, he says

    The biggest difference between cycling today and in the past is in its globalisation, according to five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain.The new RadioShack-Nissan team is proof of this and could dominate races around the world, he said.

    “The biggest difference to earlier is in the globalisation of cycling. Today there are big races in Australia, America and even in Asia. As a consequence of that, the pros are specialising more and more,” he said in an interview with

    “Classics specialists ride mainly one-day races, stage race specialists prepare themselves in the winter exclusively for the grand tours. They ride few races in the spring, but are at the highest performance level at the Giro or Tour. Cadel Evans has done that for years. And Lance Armstrong was earlier mostly seen in Europe only when the Tour started.”

    The fusion of Leopard Trek and RadioShack is simply another part of this globalisation, the 47-year-old said. “With Cancellara, Klöden or the Schlecks, they have riders who can go for the win in almost every discipline. With this team, it will be possible to dominate races on several continents simultaneously.”

    Indurain also said that Tony Martin, who will ride next year with Omega Pharma-Quick Step, has good chances to win the Tour de France. “Maybe not next year and not in 2013. But he has the talent and also the motor for it. However, he must change his strategy, in order to win the Tour.

    “He took the first step by transferring to Quick-Step. There he will be captain and won't have to set up sprints for Cavendish any more. Plus he must change his training and become more consistent in the mountains.”

  • Geox’s Blanco blasts team’s sponsor, backs Mosquera

    David Blanco (Geox TMC).
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 12:46 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    "Cycling started to die with the establishment of the ProTour"

    Spanish veteran David Blanco has branded the main backers of his Geox-TMC team as “lacking scruples and morals” following Italian shoemaker Geox’s recent and wholly unexpected announcement that it will be quitting the sport at the end of the season. The Italian company made its announcement more than a month on from Juan José Cobo’s victory for the team at September’s Vuelta a España, leaving riders with few alternative options of employment and team manager Mauro Gianetti with little time to locate a new backer.

    Speaking to Spanish website El Pedal de Frodo, Blanco said that he was not surprised that Geox had decided to quit given his experiences of his team’s sponsor during the season. “From the beginning the people at Geox acted in a way that wasn’t very professional. What we have seen is their true face and it doesn’t seem to matter to them in the slightest that a whole lot of people are going to end up out of a job. If they wanted to leave then they should have said so after the Vuelta and gone out in gentlemanly fashion, but doing it when they did shows that they really are people lacking in scruples and morals”.

    The 36-year-old Spanish rider said that he has confidence that Gianetti and team director Joxean ‘Matxin’ Fernández will find a new backer for 2012. “I’m pretty relaxed about it, I can’t do much to help resolve the situation and turning it all over in my head doesn’t really help at all. I’ve got confidence in Mauro and Matxin’s ability to turn this disaster around. I’m almost certain they will manage it,” he said.

    Blanco then turned his ire onto the current...

  • Landis convicted in hacking case

    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 13:54 GMT
    Cycling News

    American given 12 months suspended sentence

    Floyd Landis has been convicted in a French court on charges he obtained documents that had been hacked from the computers of a French laboratory and given a suspended jail sentence.

    The once 2006 Tour de France champion was charged with ordering the hacking into computers of  a WADA-accredited lab, but was found guilty only of receiving the hacked documents after prosecutors could establish no link between the cyclist and the confessed hackers. He could have been handed an 18 month sentence but was given 12 months.

    AFP reported that, “prosecutors say Landis and coach Arnie Baker masterminded a plot to hack into the lab’s computer system to obtain documents as they sought to defend the cyclist’s name.”

    Last year Landis was issued with an arrest warrant but remained in the US.

    Landis tested positive for testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France. His doping controls were handled by the Chatenay-Malabry laboratory. In November 2006, the lab reported that its computer systems had been infected with a "Trojan Horse" virus, which was used by someone to access the lab's confidential documents. The lab said that data had been removed or changed, allegedly in an attempt to discredit the work of the organisation.

    An email carrying the virus was alleged to have been sent from a computer with the same IP address as that of Landis' coach Arnie Baker. Both Landis and Baker denied any involvement in the hacking, but authorities maintain that the pair made use of pilfered documents in Landis' defense argument.

    The investigation by the French Interior Ministry in 2009 led to the arrest of a French national living in Morocco named Alain Quiros, who confessed to hacking into the lab, according to the New York Times. He said he'd been paid several thousand euros to hack into the AFLD computer as well as several...

  • Drug dealer cleared in Pantani death

    Marco Pantani in 1998.
    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 16:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Italian Supreme Court clears man convicted of contributiing to cyclists' death

    Fabio Carlino has been cleared of causing Marco Pantani's death.  The Italian Supreme Court on Thursday reversed his conviction of unintentionally causing Pantani's death as a consequence of drug dealing.

    According to the ANSA news agency, the Court cleared Carlino “because the facts did not constitute a crime.”

    Pantani died in February 2004 from accidental cocaine overdose. Carlini is said to have sold him the drug.

    According to the court's General Prosecutor, “the excessive attention given by the media to Pantani’s death pushed the judges to attribute to Carlino an excessive amount of responsibility.”

    Carlino had been convicted in January 2008 and sentenced to four and half years in prison. He was also ordered to pay a fine and damages to the Pantani family.

  • UCI to appeal Sevilla's six-month doping ban

    Article published:
    November 10, 2011, 17:15 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Says Spanish decision “not in accordance” with UCI regulations

    The International  Cycling Union will appeal Oscar Sevilla's doping ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The Spanish cycling federation suspended him for six months, until February 21, 2012.

    Sevilla tested positive for hydroxyethyl starch (HES) at the Vuelta a Colombia in August 2010.

    UCI spokesman Enrico Carpani told Cyclingnews, “I can confirm it, but will not make any statement: just be aware the Spanish federation decision was not in accordance with UCI regulations.”

    HES itself does not enhance performance but can act as a masking agent for other drugs. 

    The Spanish federation based its reduced ban for Sevilla on his claim that while in hospital for a crash which occurred in the race, he was treated with a serum containing the product.

    At the 2010 Vuelta a Espana, Ezequiel Mosquera also tested positive for HES.  A two-year ban has been recommended for him, on the basis that it was unclear how the substance entered his body.