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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Date published:
February 08, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Schleck sees himself as favourite for Tour de France

    All eyes will be on Andy Schleck in 2011.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 10:29 GMT
    Cycling News

    Criticises Contador over chain-gate episode

    Andy Schleck, who has finished second in the Tour de France the last two years, sees himself as the man to beat in 2011. “If you look at the rankings in recent years, it is normal that I would be considered the favourite.”

    The Leopard Trek rider may or may not face multiple Tour winner Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) in France this year, as the Spaniard is facing a doping suspension. Schleck told the Spanish newspaper that “I don't know what will happen with Contador. But I won't change, whether he is there or not.

    “I'm going to concentrate on the Tour and not on other riders. That will happen on the road. If Contador is there, no doubt he will be a favourite.”

    Schleck criticised Contador for attacking in the 15th stage of the Tour last year, when the Luxembourger had a mechanical problem. “It was not the act of a gentleman. “

    In explaining his decision to leave Team Saxo Bank, for which he had ridden his entire pro career, for Leopard Trek this year, the younger Schleck brother said that, ”I had a great career at Saxo Bank, but situations change. The contract ended and I had the option to leave for a project that excites me. There are no other reasons.”

  • Contador submits appeal against Clenbuterol ban

    Alberto Contador held a press conference in which he stated he'd appeal his doping ban as well as reiterating his innocence.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 11:15 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Spaniard insists he was not responsible or negligent for Tour de France positive

    Alberto Contador has submitted a formal appeal against the one-year suspension issued by the Spanish Cycling Federation (RFEC), claiming that he was not responsible or negligent, and insisting his positives test were caused by contaminated meat.

    According to the La Vanguardia newspaper, traces of Clenbuterol were found in four of Contador’s urine samples during the final week of the Tour de France. However because of the close proximity of the samples, they are considered as one adverse analytical finding or positive test under UCI regulation clause 309.

    Contador’s appeal insists that he should be judged under clause 296, which allows for suspension to be eliminated even in the case of a positive test, and not under rule 297 that only allows a 50 per cent reduction. Contador claims that the meat he ate on the second rest day of the Tour de France is the only plausible reason for his positive test for Clenbuterol. He claims he was not negligent by eating meat that is supposed to be carefully controlled by the European Union.

    “With the documentation submitted and the two new items we've introduced there is hope that things will change,” Contador told Radio Nacional de España, according to the Marca newspaper.

    “The rule says there must be responsibility and negligence of the athlete to apply a sanction. An athlete (Italy’s Alessandro Colo’) tested positive for Mexico, where Clenbuterol is used on cattle, but in the European Union passed the meat is controlled and its illegal to raise livestock with this substance. I couldn’t know that this meat was contaminated."

    Article 296 of the UCI’s anti-doping...

  • UCI stand by race radio ban

    Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) wearing his illegal radio at the start of the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 12:51 GMT
    Sarah Connolly

    Governing body refuse to bend from AIGCP pressure

    Following the withdrawal of UCI commissaries at Sunday’s Trofeo Palma, after the participating teams refused to ride without race radios, the UCI has no plans to withdraw the ban on radios.

    “It’s a decision that has been taken after consulting all parts of cycling sport – organisers, riders, even the press, because don’t forget that there are a lot of people from the press, and especially television, who say that cycling with ear-pieces is not very spectacular any more”, the UCI Press Officer, Enrico Campani, told Cyclingnews.

    “At the last meeting of the UCI management board at St Wendel in Germany, the President of the UCI, Pat McQuaid, submitted the matter to the UCI management board once again, and the stance of the management board was very clear – that the decision has been taken in the best interest of the sport of cycling. That is crucial for us, the UCI always takes decisions in any different area of our influence – equipment, anti-doping, general rules, in the best interest of cycling.”

    “We want to remind everyone that the decision has been taken with the participation of all the parties involved in the cycling movement. So the decision remains.”

    The ban on radios providing contact between team cars and riders was brought in last year in 1.2 and 2.2 level races (including all u23 races and women’s stage races), and has been extended in 2011 to cover all races ranked 1.HC/2.HC and below, and will be rolled out to World Calendar races in 2012.

  • London 2012 Olympics road race route announced

     London 2012 Olympics road race route details emerge
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 14:38 GMT
    Bike Radar

    Course may be one for the sprinters

    Details have today emerged of the road race route for the 2012 London Olympics. The event looks set to end in spectacular style, with riders sprinting down The Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.

    Both the men's and women's races will also start at The Mall, with riders heading from there to the City of Westminster before crossing the River Thames at Putney. As expected, they'll then head to the undulating terrain of the Surrey Hills, southwest of the English capital.

    There, they'll follow a figure-of-eight course, with a diversion around Box Hill which could provide a launching pad for breakaway attempts. The peloton will then return to central London via Richmond Park, crossing back over Putney Bridge before a final race through the streets of the city centre towards The Mall. The men will cover 265km, while the women will race over 140km.

    A course for Cavendish?

    With a relatively flat final 15km, the race could offer Mark Cavendish a prime opportunity for an Olympic gold medal in front of a home crowd. It would be the first true sprinters' finish to an Olympic road race since 1996, when professional riders were allowed to compete for the first time. The past five Olympic road races have been decided by breakaways.

    Italy's Fabio Casartelli (Barcelona, 1992), Switzerland's Pascal Richard (Atlanta, 1996), Germany's Jan Ullrich (Sydney, 2000) and Spain's Samuel Sanchez (Beijing, 2008) all took victory from small groups, while Italy's Paolo Bettini claimed his gold medal with a successful solo attack in Athens in 2004.

    Similar results have been observed in the women's race, with Australia's Sara Carrigan matching Bettini's solo endeavour and Britain's Nicole Cooke winning from a small group in Beijing.


    London proved its...

  • Italian police investigate Riccò for blood doping

    Riccardo Ricco
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 15:34 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Vacansoleil rider reportedly admitted to transfusing his own blood

    Italian police have confirmed that Riccardo Riccò is embroiled in an investigation for doping after he was rushed to hospital on Sunday in critical condition.

    The Italian news agency ANSA has reported that police have already obtained Riccò’s medical records.

    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the doctor who treated Riccò told police that he was in a state of shock and said, “in the presence of his wife [ed. actually his fiancé Vania Rossi], that he had done a blood transfusion that he had kept in the fridge at home for 25 days.” He was apparently worried about “the poor conservation of the blood he put back in.”

    Riccò is still in hospital but could soon be questioned by police. Under Italian law he could face between three months and three years in jail for doping offences.

    On a sporting level a second guilty verdict could lead to him being banned for life. He served a 20 month ban after testing positive for EPO CERA during the 2008 Tour de France.

  • Video: Haussler happy about early success at the Tour of Qatar

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo)
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 17:13 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Australian ready to go for overall victory

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) arrived at the

  • Leopard Trek riders hit by car in Mallorca

    Fabian Wegmann has a pre-ride snack
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 18:46 GMT
    Cycling News

    Wegmann, Pires suffer minor injuries in training crash

    Leopard Trek's Fabian Wegmann and Bruno Pires suffered minor injuries after being struck by a car while training in Mallorca on Monday.

    According to, the two riders along with teammates Anders Lund and Jens Voigt were surprised when a car turned out from behind a fence into their path.

    "The car appeared suddenly from behind a fence," Wegmann said. "The driver didn't see us and we didn't see him - it just happened so quickly."

    Wegmann and Pires each suffered blows to the knee and did not start the Trofeo Inca today, while Lund and Voigt emerged unscathed and were able to race.

    Wegmann said while his knee is swollen, examinations showed there were no fractures and he will start in Wednesday's Trofeo Deià.


  • Vacansoleil investigating Riccò doping "rumours"

    Riccardo Riccò shows his attitude
    Article published:
    February 08, 2011, 19:32 GMT
    Cycling News

    Team reiterates zero-tolerance policy

    The Vacansoleil team has responded to reports that its rider, Riccardo Riccò, confessed to blood doping, calling the news a "rumour", but said it has started an investigation into the case.

    Riccò was admitted to a hospital in Pavullo, Italy this weekend, reportedly in critical condition, although his condition quickly stabilized. Reports surfaced today saying that Riccò allegedly admitted to the doctors while he was hospitalized that he had performed a blood transfusion in the presence of his partner Vania Rossi shortly before falling ill.

    The director of the hospital in Modena where Riccò is being treated issued an update on Tuesday afternoon after the rider’s parents had left the hospital.

    “His general condition is improving. The patient had a quiet night and is alert. The prognosis is reserved as an act of prudence,” Giorgio Lenzotti said.

    Italian police reportedly seized the medical records of the rider and have launched an investigation into possible doping by Riccò, an offense that could carry up to three years jail time.

    The Vacansoleil team said that it did not yet have sufficient information to make a judgement on the issue, but that its "zero-tolerance policy" on doping would result in any rider or staff found to be in violation of the UCI's anti-doping rules be immediately fired.