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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 17, 2011

Date published:
November 17, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Mosquera to be given two-year ban

    Ezequiel Mosquera attended the presentation in hopes his doping case will be overturned
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 10:58 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Spanish federation set to hand down maximum penalty after detection of hydroxyethyl starch

    The Spanish federation is reported to be on the verge of announcing a maximum two-year ban for Ezequiel Mosquera after hydroxyethyl starch was detected in one of his samples during the 2010 Vuelta a España, where he finished as runner-up. According to the La Voz de Galicia newspaper in Mosquera’s home region, the federation will make an official announcement of the ban before this coming weekend.

    In deciding to apply the two-year sanction, the federation has followed the advice it was given in October by the judge overseeing the case. Mosquera’s legal team countered that advice by suggesting that the use of hydroxyethyl starch is only banned if it can be shown it has been administered intravenously and that there was no indication that Mosquera had used the product in this way.

    They also pointed out that the substance is found in many products on sale in any supermarket, and that it was most likely that Mosquera had ingested it orally. Mosquera’s lawyers also denied that hydroxyethyl starch, a blood plasma volume expander that can help to dilute blood without decreasing the amount of red blood cells present, could be used as a masking agent for EPO.

    However, it appears that neither the presiding judge nor the competitions committee of the Spanish federation have been convinced by the arguments put forward by Mosquera’s legal team.

    It remains to be seen what period the sanction will cover. Although Mosquera has not raced since the end of the 2010 Vuelta and signed with the Vacansoleil team for...

  • Saxo Bank looks to sponsorship one year at a time

    The Saxo Bank Sungard team was first off.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 12:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Riis says 2012 budget won't suffer from loss of SunGard

    Saxo Bank is looking at its sponsorship of Bjarne Riis' team on a year-to-year basis, a philosophy that Riis acknowledged he must accept, even if it makes long-term planning difficult. The Danish bank will be the sole name sponsor of the team in 2012, after SunGard cancelled the final year on its sponsorship contract earlier this week.

    The bank also agreed to increase its payment for 2012 to cover the loss of SunGard's contributions. “We will certainly not have less money available,” said Riis.

    The Ritzau news agency reported that when Riis and Saxo Bank director Lars Seier Christensen renegotiated their contract in light of the SunGard move, there was no talk of extending the contract beyond 2012.

    “We have a general approach where we only bind us to one year for such a major expense like this, Christensen said. “It's a business philosophy that we have.”

    Going year-by-year prevents Riis from planning too far in advance, but he has learned to live with it. “I might wish for a longer contract but must also respect the Saxo Bank's way of doing things,” he said.

    “It doesn't prevent us from thinking long term. I feel at least reasonably confident in relation to the future.”

  • Gesink: All I need is time

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is still in white but unsure of his form after his crash
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 13:08 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Back on the bike and looking to the Tour after broken leg

    Robert Gesink (Rabobank) is confident that he can return to his best after a speedy recover from a broken leg. The Dutch climber crashed in training in September and broke his right femur, but with just under two months of rehabilitation he’s already back on the bike and talking up his chances of a successful Tour de France in 2012.

    “I’ve been back on the bike for a month now. Everything has been fine so far. I’ve been on the rollers for a while but the weather has been nice so I’ve been out and getting some fresh air too,” he told Cyclingnews.

    Since a successful surgery in the days following his crash, Gesink has had time to reflect on what has been a turbulent last twelve months. Away from the bike he had to come to terms with the loss of his father who passed away after a cycling accident. The bond between the two was of course strong, with Gesink senior Robert’s biggest fan. Despite the tremendous loss the climber used his profession to focus during the most difficult moments.

    “The first year of losing a father is really tough and difficult,” he said.

    “Now I’m more at ease and I’m looking back at all the good times we had together and not how much I miss him. That’s a positive development. And when I see my mum I see that’s she’s doing better and better. She’s getting on with her life and that’s a good thing to see. Of course we all really miss him a lot but it’s never going to change.

    “My dad was my biggest supporter and a huge fan of cycling. He read every story in the press so the one thing I can do...

  • Ekimov to aid Russian Global Cycling Project

    Viatcheslav Ekimov celebrates after winning stage 15 of the Vuelta a Espa
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 14:04 GMT
    Cycling News

    Russian to be sports advisor to head of Russian Cycling Federation

    Viatcheslav Ekimov has been invited to become professional sports advisor to Igor Makarov, the founder and head of the Russian Global Cycling Project and president of the Russian Cycling Federation.

    Ekimov, 45, is currently serving as a direcetur sportif for RadioShack.  He rode professionally from 1990 to 2006, finishing his career with US Postal. His riding career included victories in one stage each in the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana, and he won two Olympic medals.

    The Russian Global Cycling Project (RGCP) includes Team Katusha, continental and youth teams Itera-Katusha, and also mens, womens and youth track teams.

    Marakov offered the position to Ekimov as a sign of “understanding the necessity of attracting the highest level specialists in the Project,” according to the press release.

    “It was easily expected that one of the most titled Russian riders and cycling managers accepted the invitation from the head of the RGCP and Russian Cycling Federation, Igor Makarov,” the press release concluded.


  • BOA and WADA heading for court?

    Ah, I needed that: David Millar from Great Britain takes a well earned drink after his silver medal ride in Geelong.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 16:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Ruling on US 400m runner could lead to turnover of David Millar's ban

    Great Britain’s David Millar has been given further hope in his bid to compete at the London 2012 Olympics, after the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) declared that the British Olympic Association’s (BOA) lifetime bans for drug offences are “non-compliant” with its code. Millar issued a statement last month after the court of arbitration for sport (CAS) declared that athletes who have completed doping suspensions could now participate in future Olympics. WADA have now thrown their weight behind that declaration and have singled out the BOA for contrarily issuing lifetime bans to British athletes found guilty of doping.

    The BOA have responded by saying that the dispute needs to be taken back to CAS in Lausanne, Switzerland, which could now be the scene for a tense legal battle within the next three months. WADA’s stance has firmed following a successful appeal last month by reigning Olympic 400m champion LaShawn Merritt against the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) Rule 45 – which prevents any athlete with more than a six-month ban from competing at the following Olympic Games.

    “We decided that we should take prudent steps to deal with the question of whether the BOA was compliant with our code,” said WADA director general David Howman. “The CAS ruling on IOC’s rule 45 went the way it did, establishing that the Osaka Rule was a sanction, not an eligibility issue. When we read the CAS decision on the IOC rule it became reasonably obvious to those that have an ounce of sense that the IOC was struck down because it has an extra sanction rather than an eligibility issue. The BOA rule falls into the same category.”

    BOA chairman Lord...

  • Schlecks confirmed for Mallorca Challenge

    Beautiful day to go to the beach in Mallorca, or to have a bike race!
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 16:53 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six WorldTour teams lined up so far

    Andy and Fränk Schleck will be amongst those in the Mallorca Cycling Challenge in February. Race organisers have confirmed that RadioShack-Nissan will be one of at least six WorldTour tams at the race series.

    In addition to the Schlecks, who this year finished second and third in the Tour de France, the team is expected to bring Andreas Klöden, Chris Horner, Jens Voigt, Daniele Bennati, Maxime Monfort, Linus Gerdemann, Ben Hermans, Markel Irizar and Haimar Zubeldia.

    Katusha will also be there, as will Rabobank, Omega Pharma-Quick Step, Lotto-Belisol, and Team Sky, all from the WorldTour.

    So far two Profesional Continental teams have confirmed, Cofidis and NetApp.

    The Mallorca Challenge is a series of five one-day races. Each race is ranked separately, and there is only an unofficial overall winner.

  • Andy Schleck may receive one-month driving ban

    Luxembourg's Andy Schleck signs an autograph for a fan on a yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 17:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Tour de France runner-up cited for speeding and also fined

    2011 Tour de France runner-up Andy Schleck has had his 350 Euro fine for speeding in his car upheld, and may receive further punishment on top.

    The 26-year-old, who also finished runner-up at the Tour in 2009 and 2010, was clocked doing 101km/h in the south of his native Luxembourg. The news was confirmed on Thursday afternoon. The prosecution, however, has filed an appeal in which they state that Schleck should also receive a one-month driving ban.

    Schleck will be hoping to go one better at the Tour in 2012 and has been boosted by the news that Johan Bruyneel will be joining his RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team.

  • Alex Rasmussen not sanctioned for missed doping controls

    Alex Rasmussen (HTC Highroad)
    Article published:
    November 17, 2011, 18:57 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dane cleared due to procedural error

    The Danish Olympic Committee (DIF) doping tribunal today chose not to sanction Alex Rasmussen for missing three out of competition doping controls in an 18-month period. The tribunal cleared the 27-year-old Dane due to a procedural error committed by the Union Cycliste International (UCI) regarding the third missed doping control on April 28, 2011.

    The UCI took 10 weeks to notify Rasmussen of the violation in a letter dated August 18, 2011, but the organization's own rules stipulate that a rider must be informed within a 14-day window.

    "Alex Rasmussen is dismissed because his third violation of the whereabouts rules were notified too late and thus there is no longer any case," Torben Jessen, president of the DIF's doping tribunal, told "The UCI spent 10 weeks to report the infringement to an athlete, while the international standard dictates a deadline of 14 days."

    Rasmussen, 27, was suspended by the Danish Cycling Union and released by HTC-Highroad in September. It had previously been announced that he would ride for Garmin in 2012, but Jonathan Vaughters said that it had annulled his contract. Rasmussen later said that the team was still interested in him, depending on the outcome of the hearing.

    The case stems from three missed out-of-competition doping controls, and his problems in reporting his whereabouts as required. The first one was in February 2010, when he was still with Team SaxoBank. He claimed that he had the online form filled out but forgot to press the “send” button. When informed of the matter at the time, he explained the circumstances and mistakenly believed that the warning was cancelled.

    The second incident came eight months later when he submitted his whereabouts for the fourth quarter...