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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Date published:
November 02, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • Arvesen says he tried to persuade Cancellara to sign for Sky

    Kurt Asle Arvesen (Sky)
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 10:18 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Swiss rider destined to sign for Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

    Kurt Asle Arvesen has said that he tried to persuade Fabian Cancellara to sign for Team Sky but admitted that the world time trial champion seems destined to sign for the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.

    “We were definitely in the fight for Fabian Cancellara,” Arvesen told “Sky would go to great lengths to get hold of him.”

    Arvesen spent four years riding alongside Cancellara at CSC and Saxo Bank before joining Sky ahead of the 2010 season. When Cancellara recently freed himself from his contract at Saxo Bank, Arvesen himself played a part in seeking to tempt him to switch to the British squad.

    “I even talked to Fabian about a possible move here, but I understood early on that he was not very interested,” Arvesen explained. “I think Fabian was more interested in riding for the Luxembourg team. All of his closest friends in cycling will be there next season.”

    The Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project will feature a number of former Saxo Bank riders, including Andy and Fränk Schleck, Stuart O’Grady and Jens Voigt, and it is widely anticipated that Cancellara will also join the team.

    Even though Cancellara looks set to ignore Team Sky’s overtures, Arvesen believes that the team has conducted a very solid transfer campaign to date. The Norwegian is convinced that new arrivals of the calibre of Michael Rogers will ensure that the squad will be significantly stronger in its second season of existence.

    “We should be good enough to be competing to be one of the best eight teams in the ProTour, but of course we will need more points,” Arvesen said. “I think that Michael Rogers is an exciting rider for us, for example. He has had an incredible career, and he is a rider who can be there at Paris-Nice and in other such stage races. It will give us important ProTour points.”

    As well as Rogers, Sky has snapped up a...

  • McQuaid says a decision on Contador is fast approaching

    UCI president Pat McQuaid has been nominated for membership to the International Olympic Committee.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 10:32 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    UCI President reiterates call for four-year bans

    International Cycling Union president Pat McQuaid has revealed that a decision on whether Alberto Contador should be investigated for doping is fast approaching but depends on a special report from the World Anti-Doping Agency.

    “We’re waiting for WADA to come back to us with a report. As soon as we get that, we’ll take decisions within hours,” McQuaid told the Associated Press news agency during the Global Sports Industry Conference in London. “I think the point might be fast approaching.”

    “We’re working with WADA. Our scientific people and their scientific people are working together to try to determine how the Clenbuterol got in the system.”

    Traces of the banned drug were found in a urine sample Contador gave on the second rest day of the Tour de France on July 21. The UCI informed Contador that he had tested positive on August 24 but the news was only made public on September 30.

    The Spaniard claimed that the traces of Clenbuterol were caused by contaminated meat he ate during the Tour de France. He also denied reports that traces of plasticisers reportedly found in a blood sample indicated he may have blood doped during the Tour. McQuaid insisted that he did not know if the WADA investigation was looking for plastic residues in Contador’s samples.

    Four year ban

    If found guilty of doping, Contador would face a two-year ban and lose his Tour de France victory. However McQuaid reiterated his calls for four-year bans for doping after several riders had their bans cut for providing information to police and investigators.

    Italy’s Danilo Di Luca tested positive for the banned blood booster CERA while winning the 2009 Giro d’Italia. He was initially given a two-year ban but that was recently cut to 15 months on appeal in Italy.

    “I’m increasingly going for four years because two years is very...

  • Hoy cautious before European Track Championships

    Chris Hoy (Great Britain) won the gold medal in the men's Keirin.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 11:24 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Scot begins London 2012 build-up in Poland

    Sir Chris Hoy kicks off his build-up to the 2012 Olympic Games at next weekend’s European Track Championships in Pruszkow, Poland, but is taking a cautious approach to the first qualification event for London 2012. The Scot’s primary objective is the world championships next March and so he is mindful of not digging too far into his reserves this early in his season.

    “It wouldn’t be sensible to come into a long track season with all guns blazing,” Hoy told Reuters. “"Last year I made that mistake when I was too enthusiastic at the start and paid the price by the end. I've taken deliberate steps to make sure that doesn't happen again.”

    This time around, Hoy has placed greater emphasis on fine-tuning his base training than on beginning his season on top form. While the European Championships constitute an important qualifying event for the London Olympics, Hoy recognises that he will need to be competitive all the way through to March and has cut his cloth accordingly.

    “I've been doing long workouts in the gym till much later in my usual build-up schedule. If it was a really big event, I'd have backed off much earlier,” he said. “This time round, I'm going to be slightly cagey.”

    Stiff test in Poland

    That is not to say that Hoy is taking the racing in Poland lightly. He opted to forgo competing in the Commonwealth Games for Scotland so as to focus on the European Championships and a crucial winter season as Olympic Games loom large on the horizon. He anticipates a stiff test in Poland.

    “It's basically going to be like a world championships without the Australians," Hoy explained. "It's very important to start off for the Olympics on the right foot, and the Europeans are our first step towards qualification for London 2012.”

    The British team’s aim for the European Championships is to clock up as many...

  • Holm says today's riders have a different view on doping

    Brian Holm and Erik Zabel
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 11:45 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    Danish directeur sportif contrasts the peloton's attitude to his career

    Brian Holm has admitted that doping was a widely accepted, everyday activity back in the late 1980s and early 1990s when he was riding as a pro cyclist but insisted that riders' attitudes have changed greatly, with doping now being the exception, rather than the rule.

    He knew nothing about doping when he turned pro in 1986. “But then you heard more about it and eventually it became so commonplace that we thought that it wasn't banned any more,” Danish website reported him as saying.

    “Many of my generation will still have to say that they never doped, and I even argued that for a long time because no one thought it really true. I actually think that I could have gone through a lie detector test when I stopped because I was convinced I was clean. It was not until some years later that I came to the realization that it was probably not that way. It was such a big part of your everyday life."

    Holm rode professionally for 12 years, spending his final five years at Team Deutsche Telekom. He has since confessed to having used EPO at the 1995 Tour de France. Since 2003 he has worked as a directeur sportif with Telekom/T-Mobile and then later at Team Columbia and HTC-Columbia.

    The Dane now sees more self-discipline amongst riders today than when he was a rider. "During my time as a rider there were rumors about those who had never used anything, but I never got to meet any of them. Today it is just the opposite. Now one hears rumors about those who do (use doping)."

    “The new generation of riders look down on those who use drugs as if they were a bunch of criminals. They simply do not like them."

  • Sevilla hit by bus while training in Colombia

    Oscar Sevilla brings back the Rock Racing salute...
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 12:43 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Spanish rider sustains light injuries and returns to Spain

    Oscar Sevilla was struck by a bus and suffered only minor injuries while training in Colombia on Monday. Revista Mundo Ciclista reports that he sustained a wound to his right elbow as well as a number of cuts and bruises.

    Sevilla was training on the road between Bogota and Alto Patios when the accident took place and it is understood that the driver fled the scene. The 34 year-old Spaniard  was able to continue his training ride, although he subsequently underwent a hospital check-up before being given the all clear to return to Spain with his wife Yvonne on Monday evening.

    The controversial Spaniard returned an adverse analytical finding for Hydroxyethyl starch at the Vuelta a Colombia in August. Sevilla’s positive test for the blood plasma volume expander was announced in September although the results of an analysis of his B sample have yet to be revealed.

    While the UCI initially imposed a provisional suspension pending the outcome of the matter, the Spanish Cycling Federation has stated that Sevilla may continue to race until his case is resolved.

    Sevilla was fired by T-Mobile in 2006 due to his implication in the Operacion Puerto doping investigation and he has spent much of the intervening period racing outside of Europe. He is expected to return to Colombia in February.

  • Cancellara says Contador signing prompted Saxo Bank departure

    Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) reminds us that this is number four in a row.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 12:58 GMT
    Cycling News

    World champion looks to Liege-Bastogne-Liege in 2011

    The signing of Alberto Contador was the main reason behind Fabian Cancellara's decision to leave Team Saxo Bank, as he felt that the focus of the team would shift away from him. The Swiss rider has yet to announce where he will ride in 2011, but it is assumed that he will join the Schleck brothers at the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project, where he will concentrate on different spring classics.

    “Bjarne Riis has been very important for my career, but when Alberto Contador was signed, I knew that would mean significant changes for me,” Cancellara told Diario Vasco. “I can’t afford to have a season not at the top, losing my balance. I learned a lot from Riis, but I have to have a good environment at all levels. There is money in cycling and business deals, but that alone does not win races. At Saxo Bank we had a great time and I want to continue with that group of people.”

    Having won the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix this year, the latter for the second time, the 29-year-old is ready to change his focus. He told Vélo Magazine that his highlights in 2011 will be Liege-Bastogne-Liege, the Worlds road race, and the Tour of Lombardy.

    Winning La Doyenne would require a different season schedule. "I think that I can win Liege-Bastogne-Liege, but to do so would require very specific preparation. I would have to forget about Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders, and use the Tour of the Basque Country to achieve the best condition." He has never ridden the Basque race in his career before.

    It would also mean that he would have to keep his weight down to win all of those races. “The preparation is different for the Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana. In the Worlds at Mendrisio, where I finished fifth, I weighed 79 kilos, while in the Classics this April, I was 82 kilos. If you want to win Liege-Bastogne-Liege in April, you should be 79 kilos. "

  • Rujano returns to Androni Giocattoli

    Jose Rujano (Loteria de Boyaca) hustles on his way down a descent.
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 16:23 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Venezuelan climber to target 2011 Giro d’Italia

    Androni Giocattoli team manager Gianni Savio has confirmed that Josè Rujano will rejoin the Italian team in 2011 and target the mountain stages at the Giro d’Italia.

    Rujano was reported to be negotiating with the Spanish-based Movistar team but Savio secured his services and hopes to help the Venezuelan climber get his career back on track. Rujano has jumped from team to team since leaving Savio’s team but failed to re-find the success he had in the 2005 Giro d’Italia.

    “We discovered him in a pueblo in the Andes and we helped him become a professional in 2003. After two seasons where we helped him grow gradually, he finished on the podium of the Giro d’Italia, won the stage to Sestriere and the green climber’s jersey. Then he lost his way,” Savio said in a statement issued by the team.

    “Now we want to re-launch his career because we believe in his talent and believe that with our team spirit we can help him make a comeback and achieve some great results.”

    Rujano fell out with Savio and moved to Quick Step in 2006, before riding for Unibet, Caisse d’Epargne and then ISD. He won the Tour de Langkawi at the start of the 2010 season but then headed back to South America and rode for the Gobernación del Zulia team when ISD was not invited to the Giro d’Italia. He won stage nine of the Vuelta a Colombia and the overall classification of the Vuelta al Táchira.

    He vowed to only ride for a ProTour team but has signed a two-year contract with Androni Giocattoli.

  • Team Type 1 steps up to Professional Continental status for 2011

    The Team Type 1 riders await the start
    Article published:
    November 02, 2010, 16:37 GMT
    Cycling News

    Squad will operate out of Italy and Atlanta

    Team Type 1 will race as a UCI-registered Professional Continental team for the 2011 season. The team received an email from the UCI confirming its status for next season. The move is a step up for the squad, which was registered with the UCI as a Continental team in 2010.

    "We got the official email today, so it has been really exciting for us around the office all morning," said Director Sportif Vassili Davidenko.

    "The whole process was very challenging, and we're lucky to have such a great crew here in Atlanta. Without them there's no way we'd have been able to get through so many different levels of paperwork. They did everything they could to keep us on track and get us through this process," Davidenko said.

    The team did not make the first round list of teams listed as having applied for Professional Continental status on October 1 due to complications with paperwork, although its managers had expected to be added to the list within the month once paperwork details were sorted.

    Team Type 1 was founded in 2004 by Phil Southerland and Joe Eldridge, two cyclists with diabetes who went on to win the Race Across America with an eight-rider team of T1 athletes. They won the race four times and in the meantime expanded the program to include a men's and women's professional team, a triathlon team, a development team and Team Type 2.

    Team Type 1 rose up through the North American National Racing Calendar, taking wins, podiums and King of the Mountain jerseys at top stage races and then expanding to race around the globe as a UCI Continental squad. But the ambition of Southerland and the rest of the Team Type 1 organization was always to reach higher.

    "Now we can race the biggest races," said Southerland. "The Giro, the Vuelta, Paris-Roubaix, all of those are now within our reach, and even if the Tour de France is not a goal for us in the immediate future - let's face it, that's the biggest sporting event in the world...