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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, November 22, 2012

Date published:
November 22, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Saxo-Tinkoff and Argos-Shimano fight for final position in WorldTour

    Pat McQuaid and Alberto Contador at the start of the men's road race
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 1:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    One UCI ProTeam licence remains for 2013 season

    There is one spot remaining in the WorldTour for 2013 with two teams vying for the final ProTeam licence. Saxo-Tinkoff and Argos-Shimano fell outside the top-15 for automatic qualification and are reportedly in the running for the last position. The next announcement from the UCI regarding ProTeam licence approvals is set for 26 November with the final list of WorldTour teams to be decided by mid December.

    According to De Telegraaf the ProTeam licence renewals of Lotto Belisol and AG2R La Mondiale have been approved which reportedly leaves one spot open for Saxo-Tinkoff or Argos-Shimano. The team run by Bjarne Riis found itself outside the top-15 teams due to the ineligibility of Alberto Contador’s points while Argos-Shimano looks to guarantee a place in the grand tours by moving up from its current Professional Continental status.

    "The last few days were Lotto-Belisol and AG2R who have already received a licence. Argos and Saxo are the two remaining parties for the last spot," reported De Telegraaf.

    The UCI has stated that riders returning from doping violation will not contribute to their respective team’s points tally for two years. This has meant Saxo-Tinkoff drops significantly down the standings due to Contador accumulating the majority of the WorldTour results.

    The complex points system used by the UCI to rank the teams is not fully...

  • Cycling Australia encourage Vinnicombe to cooperate with ASADA

    Martin Vinnicombe competing in the Masters 1 time trial in 2002
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 2:50 GMT
    Alex Malone

    Former Olympian claims senior member assisted injection

    Cycling Australia has released a statement encouraging Martin Vinnicombe to contact the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) in regard to the allegations made by the former track Olympic silver medallist on the ABC's 7.30 Report. Vinnicombe alleges a senior member of the Australian cycling community assisted him to inject a banned substance.

    "Following allegations made by former track cyclist, Martin Vinnicombe, on ABC television's Four Corners program last Monday evening, Cycling Australia officials immediately made contact with Vinnicombe," read a statement published on the Cycling Australia website.

    "Cycling Australia now encourages Vinnicombe to contact and cooperate with the Australian Sports Anti Doping Authority (ASADA) in the course of their current investigation into Australian cycling."

    The name of the alleged person was redacted from the televised interview however, a representative from Cycling Australia told Cyclingnews that any discussion that may or may not take place with ASADA would remain confidential and Cycling Australia would have no further involvement in the matter. Anyone with information regarding doping in sport should contact ASADA, the representative added.

    "Cycling Australia has made the statement a number of times encouraging anyone in the immediate cycling community to contact ASADA with any information regarding any doping in sport. That's what Cycling Australia hopes Martin Vinnicombe does but it is completely out of Cycling Australia's hands," the representative told Cyclingnews.

    "Cycling Australia does take it very seriously but in regard to where it moves forward...

  • Luis León Sánchez eyes Tour de France, Vuelta double

    After a perfectly timed attack late in the race, Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) has a moment to savor his San Sebastian victory.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 6:24 GMT
    Cycling News

    Spaniard at ease after withdrawal of Rabobank sponsorship

    It took a year for Luis León Sánchez to settle into his new surroundings at Rabobank however, the Spaniard has found his rhythm at the team he re-signed with until the end of 2014. Sánchez won his fourth Tour de France stage victory this year and says he may target the Tour and the Vuelta a España in 2013 while maintaining his traditional start in Australia at Tour Down Under.

    Sánchez won his national time trial championships and a stage at the Tour in his first year at the Dutch team in 2011 however, the rest of the season was far from satisfactory for a rider of his caliber.

    His team's headline sponsor withdrawing support of the team came as a shock to Sánchez, with the Spaniard explaining there were up to five interested parties willing to sponsor the team while he continued his preparation for the coming season.

    "That was where all my concentration lay," said Sánchez to in regard to Rabobank's decision to cease sponsorship of each of the Rabobank teams.

    "Everything is as before, waiting for a substitute for Rabobank to enter," explained Sánchez.

    Sánchez added he may consider riding both the Tour and the Vuelta, having sat out his home grand tour after participating in the London Olympics Games earlier this year.

    "I don't want to change the [schedule] of the past years. It looks like I'll be in for Tour and, why not, in the Vuelta, in which I was absent from the last edition due to my participation in the Olympic...

  • Leukemans cleared of 2007 positive test

    Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM)
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 9:27 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian returned positive sample for synthetic testosterone

    Five years after testing positive for synthetic testosterone, Bjorn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) has been cleared by the Flemish Sports Council's disciplinary committee, according to the Gazet van Antwerpen newspaper.

    Leukemans returned the positive sample for Prasteron in an out-of-competition test on 26 September 2007, days before the world championships in Stuttgart. The Belgian was initially suspended for two years but ultimately succeeded in having the ban reduced to six months.

    Nonetheless, Leukemans was fired by his then Silence-Lotto team and spent the 2008 season on the sidelines before returning with Vacansoleil the following year.

    Leukemans possesses medical certification of a naturally high ratio of testosterone to epitestosterone dating back to 2001, but experts dismissed the condition as the trigger for his positive test.

    Leukemans subsequently claimed that he had been prescribed Prasteron, which contains the steroid DHEA (Dehydroepiandrosterone) by team doctor Sam Vermeire, but he was still handed a two-year ban, which was later reduced to six months.

    “All’s well that end’s well, it’s just a huge relief,” Leukemans told Gazet van Antwerpen after learning that he had been cleared last Friday. "It's been a lot of hassle for the past few years, but now I'm totally cleared."

    Last December, a Belgian labour court found in favour of Leukeman’s claim of unfair dismissal against the Belgian Cycling Company, the holding company behind the Predictor-Lotto team. BCC was ordered to pay out...

  • De Gendt aiming for top ten in 2013 Tour de France

    Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) solos to a win atop the Stelvio
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 10:26 GMT
    Cycling News

    Vacansoleil rider looks to repeat success from Giro d'Italia

    Thomas De Gendt's plan for the coming year is to do as well in the Tour de France as he did this year in the Giro d'Italia.  “I will be very happy with a place in the top ten,” the Vacansoleil-DCM rider said.

    The 25-year-old was in eighth place, 5:40 down, going into the 20th stage of this year's Giro. He jumped to fourth place with his win in that penultimate stage, winning on a solo attack on the brutal stage with five ranked climbs. He jumped on the final climb, the Stelvio, and won by nearly a minute over Damiano Cunego. A strong time trial on the closing stage moved him up to third place, giving Vacansoleil it's first ever grand tour podium spot.

    He missed the Tour this year, as his wedding was held on the day of the prologue. But he anticipates nothing will stand in his way in 2013.  “I managed to win a stage in the Giro and to bring in a good placing, which I would also like to do in the Tour,” he told Sporza.

    He has not studied the course yet, but knows that “Alpe d'Huez suits me,” a climb on which he finished sixth in 2011. “Next year it will be climbed twice in a short stage. And a short stage means that it will be more difficult. Such a stage should suit me.”

    He is not thrilled by the earlier long stage to Mont Ventoux, though.  “There are no climbs before the Ventoux.  That means there will be 200 riders together at the foot of the climb. That is difficult. I am sorry that they didn't make it a...

  • Morton turns professional with Garmin-Sharp

    Lachlan Morton (Chipotle) looking pretty satisfied with his second place finish today
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 11:28 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Moves up from Chipotle Development team

    Lachlan Morton is the latest Chipotle development rider to graduate to the Garmin-Sharp ranks, signing a two-year contract until 2014. The 20-year-old Australian has been part of the Slipstream development programme since 2010 when he finished 7th overall in a competitive Tour of Utah. The overall was won by Levi Leipheimer, and while Morton was restricted to racing in junior gear ratios, it marked him out as a highly talented rider.

    Since 2010 Morton has followed a steady progression at Slipstream with top ten overall placings at the 2011 Tour of Langkawi and Cascade Classic. This season he finished a creditable 6th at the Tour de la Guadeloupe before riding out the remainder of the season as a stagiaire for Garmin-Sharp.

    “Turning pro with the team has been in the works for a couple of years but I’m really looking forward to it,” Morton told Cyclingnews.

    Despite reports that Garmin’s development team has ridden its final season, Morton’s stint as a stagiaire was centred around gaining experience before a likely switch to the professional ranks.

    “It was a great experience riding as a stagiaire. It was all a little last minute and I was halfway through Guadeloupe when I got the call up to do the US Pro Challenge which started a week later. So there wasn’t much preparation but it was great to race with such a successful team and at the Tour of Britain we had a young team but still managed to get some good results. I had a lot of fun. And it went better than I was expecting it to.”

    “There’s never a degree of certainly in bike racing though so I still had things to prove as a stagiaire. I wanted to prove it to myself more than anything, that I was...

  • Howman expects more riders to be implicated in Padua investigation

    Director General of the WADA, David Howman
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 12:23 GMT
    Cycling News

    WADA director-general on UCI's external commission and 2001 Tour de Suisse

    WADA director-general David Howman has told L’Équipe that he expects “many other riders and doctors” to be implicated in the Padua-based anti-doping investigation, which is centred on the activities of Dr. Michele Ferrari.

    The US Anti-Doping Agency availed of information on Ferrari from the ongoing Padua investigation to form its case against Lance Armstrong and his former manager Johan Bruyneel. While Armstrong opted not to contest USADA’s charges and has been stripped of his Tour de France titles, Bruyneel has continued with his defence.

    Asked if Bruyneel’s appeal would ultimately do more damage to both his reputation and that of the UCI, Howman told L’Équipe: “I don’t know, but nothing surprises me anymore in this affair. But what I do know is that the Padua magistrates are going to close their inquiry soon and that many other riders and doctors will be implicated. WADA is a civil party in this case and we have access to the dossier.”

    The UCI’s management committee recently recommended the establishment of an external commission to examine allegations of impropriety made against the governing body during Lance Armstrong’s career. WADA has not been asked to play any role on the commission and Howman confirmed that the UCI has not approached the anti-doping body for advice.

    “No, nothing,” he said. “But that doesn’t bother me. We have a tonne of information concerning doping practices in cycling that are available to the UCI and the commission. In...

  • Freddie Rodriguez and Team Exergy return for 2013

    Fred Rodriguez on the descent.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2012, 13:15 GMT
    Pat Malach

    Continental status for US based team

    Team Exergy will return to the UCI Continental ranks next year with a new bike sponsor, a familiar roster and a renewed sense of purpose, team manager Remi McManus told Cyclingnews this week.

    Next season will mark the fourth consecutive year that management company Escalera Racing and title sponsor Exergy Development Group have partnered to field a North American team, starting with an elite amateur squad in 2010.

    McManus said Exergy will enter the season with a reduced roster compared to the previous season, when the team started things off with 16 riders, the Continental team maximum.

    “It took away the opportunity to add a few riders, or in particularly riders that we had our eye on,” he said of the full roster. “We didn't
    like that so much, so we're going to go into it a little smaller and add a few as we progress through the season. We lost a few riders, and
    actually, at this point, we've only added one, but we'll probably be entering the season with a couple more.”

    The team will release its official 2013 roster as the new season approaches, but McManus confirmed that three-time US road champion
    Freddie Rodriguez would return for another season.

    “Freddie will be back for the long term,” McManus said. “He's part of our long term success plan.”

    Canadian criterium champion Ben Chaddock will also be back, as will many of the same faces the team fielded in 2012. “We're sticking with a lot of the riders that we have, so that didn't allow us too much opportunity to look at lot of older riders,” McManus said. “We've got
    our eyes on a few young guy, and the guys that we have, most of them we've had for a number of years, so we've really invested a lot of
    time and development in them.”