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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Date published:
July 17, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Hushovd confirms he’ll miss London Olympics

    Thor Hushovd (BMC) was dropped from the breakaway.
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 1:50 BST
    Cycling News

    Virus continues to hamper former world champion

    It was in July last year when Thor Hushovd (BMC) was riding a high. He won the opening team time trial with his (2011) Garmin-Cervélo squad and won an additional two stages at the Tour de France. The team’s TTT win put Hushovd in the maillot jaune – something he’d continue to wear for the entire first week. The season wound down with the Tour of Britain, where he won a stage, before going onto the world championships where he supported his compatriot Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky) to an eight-place finish.

    He didn’t race after the world championships but he was kept busy in the off-season with the move to BMC. It looked like his team for 2012 would be the next classics ‘Super Squad’ but he failed to match his performances of 2011. Hushovd has struggled for most of 2012 with a virus and missed many days of racing. Results have been absent but he has been building slowly his form since the announcement he was healthy again . His abandonment at the Tour of Poland during the fifth stage was the final sign that he was in fact not ready to return to competition and would not be riding in the Olympic Games.

    "The Olympics has been a major goal of the season and with a course that would fit me very well. My focus is that Norway will provide the best possible team during the road race in London, and when the body is not functioning optimally, unfortunately, I have to withdraw. I wish the guys good luck in the Olympics," he said on the Norwegian Cycling...

  • Casar continues Sánchez duel at Tour de France

    Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat) finished in third place on stage 14 of the 2012 Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 3:08 BST
    Barry Ryan

    3-1 to Spaniard in recurring match-up

    From Anquetil and Poulidor to Hinault and LeMond, the richest chapters of Tour de France lore have been built around the race's great duels. There may be no such epoch-defining pairing in this year's Tour, but the latest installment of one of its lesser known running battles was played out on the road to Foix on Sunday.

    The meetings of Luis León Sánchez (Rabobank) and Sandy Casar (FDJ-BigMat) will only ever be a curious footnote to Tour history, a local row while great events were being decided elsewhere, but the sequence has been a fascinating one nonetheless.

    Sánchez's triumph on stage 14 was his fourth win in the past five Tours de France, and on three of those occasions, the Spaniard has won from a break that included Casar. In 2009, Sánchez proved too quick in the sprint in Saint-Girons, and then beat Casar into third on the uphill finish at Saint-Flour last year. In Foix on Sunday, the Frenchman was again relegated to third.

    Not that Sánchez has had it all his own way. In 2010, Casar took a fine stage win in the Alps over the Col de la Madeleine, pipping Sánchez in a gripping sprint in Saint-Jean-de-Mauriennes. The pair renewed hostilities in the Pyrenees on Sunday, infiltrating the break of the day 50 kilometres into the stage.

    "It was the same kind of stage in which we've often done battle before," Casar told Cyclingnews at the start of Monday's stage in Samatan. "We have the same temperament and the same style of riding."

    Both solid climbers with...

  • Six more abandons as Tour peloton reduced to 156

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) abandoned the Tour in stage 15.
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 4:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Chavanel, Lancaster, Bernaudeau, Gerome, Van Hummel, Hutarovich call it quits

    A brutal opening fortnight of the Tour de France continued to take its toll on the peloton with six riders abandoning the race with the final rest day ahead.

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), Brett Lancaster (Orica-GreenEdge), Giovanni Bernaudeau and Vincent Gerome (Europcar), Kenny Van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ-BigMat) all succumbed to injury or illness.

    While teammate Dries Devenyns fought his way into the Stage 15 breakaway, Chavanel gave in to the chest infection that had been causing him to struggle over the past week. He had lost his voice and was finding it hard to breathe.

    "Today I'm really sad," Chavanel said. "For a French rider it is really hard to leave the Tour. It's the first time in 12 participations, and now I'm really disappointed. Today I tried again to take the start. I had a fever, but I was waiting for the rest day, to recover a bit.

    "The rhythm of the race was immediately too high to me. I couldn't follow and I had to abandon. I'm taking antibiotics since last Thursday. There's no way to continue.

    "Now I will try to recover as fast as I can, and I will focus on the Olympics. I wish the guys here a good final week of the Tour. They deserve it. "

    Lancaster became the first Orica-GreenEdge rider to abandon the Tour after three crashes blighted the in-form Australian's race. The 32-year-old was struggling on the way to Pau and aware that he was outside the time cut, decided enough was enough.

    "I'm pretty gutted to be going home," Lancaster said on the

  • Moser takes a youthful win at Tour of Poland

    2012 Tour of Poland champion Moreno Moser (Liquigas-Cannondale), flanked by runner-up Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and third-placed Sergio Henao (Sky)
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 5:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian team boosted by success of young riders

    At a time when pundits of the Tour de France are asking what type of rider Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) will become, another youngster riding for the same team is ensuring not all the attention is focused around the French race. Moreno Moser is riding his first full year as a 21-year-old with the Italian team and after beginning his traineeship late last year, he’s already won four professional races – including two stages and the overall at the Tour of Poland.

    Moser took the race lead on stage six when he won ahead of Sergio Henao (Sky) and then, current leader Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep). The time bonus was enough to give him a five-second buffer heading into the final and seventh stage. His team ensured the day was controlled and with the likelihood of a bunch sprint, Moser’s lead would be safe. As it happened, another young rider John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) won the stage. It is the biggest win for Moser who is the nephew of the famous Francesco Moser.

    "This victory is a great satisfaction. On stage four when I lost the [leader's] jersey I thought I would not recover it, but today I was in the right mind to keep it. I am very happy for the trust and support the team gave me. Thank you very much. For the first time I learned the sense of responsibility in leading a stage race, like learning to hold out every day. The route of the Tour de Pologne [Poland] was suited to my characteristics my condition was always good. The best...

  • Video: Rod Ellingworth on Mark Cavendish's form

    Mark Cavendish (Sky) failed to make it over the climb after a week of hard work for the team
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 6:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky team managing Tour and Olympic goals

    The primary focus of the Sky team leading up to the start of the Tour de France was always to win the overall with Bradley Wiggins. There was plenty of talk regarding the ability of the team to achieve the general classification victory and also repeat Mark Cavendish’s green jersey win of 2011 however, after two weeks of racing it’s clear the current world champion will not achieve that goal. He's won a stage but he's put personal ambition aside to defend Wiggins' lead.

    The team has put Cavendish to work in the last few stages, getting bottles from the team car and riding tempo at the front of the bunch. Stage 15 could have been a chance for a second win for Cavendish but instead his team let the breakaway go while he contributed to the pace making. All of this is all part of Cavendish's preparation for his biggest target of the year - to win the Olympic road race in his home country.

    In this exclusive video, Sky’s race coach Rod Ellingworth talks to Cyclingnews about Cavendish, his form and how he wants to win in Paris whilst wearing the world champion’s jersey.

  • Report: Livestrong lobbyist questions fairness of USADA case with Congressman

    Lance Armstrong zips up his Livestrong jersey and is ready to go.
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 7:45 BST
    Jane Aubrey & Laura Weislo

    Foundation says meeting agenda reports are "inaccurate"

    A report in the Wall Street Journal claims that a registered lobbyist working for Lance Armstrong's Livestrong Foundation approached an influential member of Congress to discuss the actions of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    Armstrong has been accused by USADA of not only using performance enhancing drugs throughout his career but also engaging in a conspiracy together with his US Postal and Discovery Channel team manager Johan Bruyneel and doctors Pedro Celaya, Luis Garcia del Moral, Michele Ferrari and trainer Jose "Pepe" Martí.

    The latter three have already accepted bans for life from engaging in any sport which is a signatory to the WADA code.

    Bruyneel last week announced he will go to arbitration while Armstrong is weighing up his next move having been granted a 30-day extension following the original July 14 deadline. He is facing a lifetime ban and denies ever using performance enhancing drugs.

    Armstrong founded Livestrong in 1997 following his recovery from aggressive testicular cancer.

    According to a spokesperson for Congressman José Serrano, the lobbyist broached the "fairness" of the USADA case against the Livestrong Chairman, the Wall Street Journal reported. Congressman Serrano sits on the House Appropriations Committee whose role it is to set government funding. USADA currently receives $9 million of government funding as part of its $15 million annual budget.

    The lobbyist was not identified but the Foundation's website is currently prominently featuring a blog entry...

  • Schleck, Cancellara complained to UCI about non-payment, team owner confirms

    Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) enjoys what may be his last day in the maillot jaune
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 9:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Up to one quarter of sum owed not paid for fear of “money laundering”

    The Schleck brothers and Fabian Cancellara were the RadioShack-NIssan riders who complained to the UCI about non-payment of salaries, a spokesman for Leopard SA has said. The company confirmed that up to a quarter of their payments were being held back for fear of "money laundering."

    "Of course it has surprised us that the Schlecks and Fabian Cancellara complained to the UCI,” Leopard spokesman Carlo Rock told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “And Jakob Fuglsang has even sued us, the case is in court."

    The German newspaper estimated that the Schlecks are owed around 500,000 Euro, with 150,000 owed to Fuglsang. Leopard said over the weekend that the UCI had reviewed its financials and given the team its blessing.

    Rock laid the blame for the payment problems on the riders, especially Andy and Fränk Schleck. "Perhaps the two of them don't understand the complicated rules of the UCI.  And in Luxembourg there are courts, they can go there and then – like Fuglsang – they can sue us."

    The firm has held back approximately one-quarter of what is owed to the riders, the so-called "image rights." Rock said it was because the riders had asked the payment to be made "to accounts with non-transparent backgrounds. We must be sure that we do not support money laundering."

    Fränk Schleck has refused to comment on the issue, but Jens Voigt said that he had no such payment problems....

  • Re-tested 2004 Olympic samples reveal "adverse analytical findings"

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    July 17, 2012, 10:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Confirmation expected within days

    Up to five samples from the Athens 2004 Olympic Games have been found to be suspicious following retroactive testing by the International Olympic Committee (IOC).

    One hundred samples were re-tested in May following a request by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) using newer testing methods. It is not the first time the IOC has re-tested samples belatedly. It did so for the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics and the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics. While no new positives were detected from the 2006 Olympics, five athletes tested positive for EPO CERA in the 2008 re-testing.

    It is standard procedure for Olympic doping samples to be stored for eight years. The Athens storage period will expire on August 29, 2012.

    Six medallists, out of a record 26 positive doping cases, have already been caught from the 2004 Olympic Games out of a total of 3,600 tests that were performed during those Olympics.

    At present the test results are known to have "adverse analytical findings" and won't be declared as official positives until a decision is made to test B samples.

    IOC medical commission chairman Arne Ljungqvist declined to name either the sports or athletes from where the samples were provided for legal reasons.

    "It is a matter of less than five," he told the Associated Press. "They are potentially positive. It could be one or two, it could be none. It depends on confirmation and evaluation."

    Over the next few days, investigations will reveal whether the "adverse analytical findings" were due to medications that had been allowed under a therapeutic use exemption and also whether the samples had followed a correct chain of custody.

    "I had not expected it really, I must confess," Ljungqvist said. "The methods were good already and the analysis was good at the time but, of course, we are where we are. I don't know...