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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Date published:
October 23, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Andy Schleck determined to continue

    Andy Schleck making friends in China at the Tour of Beijing
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 10:56 BST
    Cycling News

    Luxembourger says UCI was obliged to sanction Armstrong

    Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) has downplayed his father’s advice that he and his brother Fränk should quit cycling. Johnny Schleck’s suggestion came as Fränk waits to hear if he will be sanctioned for a positive test for the diuretic Xipamide at the Tour de France.

    “My father is very emotional when talks about cycling,” Andy Schleck told RTL. “What we’ve lived with Fränk is hard. We know that he didn’t take anything, that he didn’t do anything wrong. My parents are suffering and I am too. It’s hard for my family but I’m going to continue.”

    Andy Schleck himself endured a wretched 2012 campaign and missed the Tour de France after fracturing his pelvis in a crash during the Critérium du Dauphiné. He returned to action just before the end of the season and completed four stages of the Tour of Beijing. He is set to spend much of the winter training in Spain.

    “I’m not yet 100% but I’m going to work hard this winter. I’m motivated and I want to show to the public that I am stronger than all of that,” Schleck said.

    On Monday, the UCI confirmed that it would not contest USADA’s decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles and ban him for life. While Schleck was reluctant to pass judgment on Armstrong, he acknowledged that the UCI had been left with no other choice but to accept USADA’s findings.

    “Personally, I don’t think it’s going to help the sport to look back at what happened eight, nine, ten years ago,” he said. “I think that we have to look to the future of cycling instead. But there...

  • Contador: I fear Froome the most

    Alberto Contador cooks up a storm at the Giro presentation in Milan
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 12:16 BST
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Spaniard predicts Froome will be toughest to beat in 2013 Tour

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank) says he expects that Chris Froome, the 2012 Tour de France runner-up, could well be his most difficult challenger in next year’s Tour de France – but that he does not underestimate how hard it will be to beat the reigning champion Bradley Wiggins, either, saying the Londoner’s performance this July was “outstanding.”

    The race route of the Tour de France will be unveiled on Tuesday in Paris, with the course widely expected to have fewer kilometers of time trialling and more mountainous stages. Contador has raced against Wiggins as an overall contender in one Grand Tour, in the 2009 Tour de France, where the Londoner equalled Britain’s then best-ever finish of fourth, while Contador won. Contador went head-to-head with Froome in this year’s Vuelta, which the Spaniard also won, with Froome in fourth. But when it comes to rivals for next year’s race, Contador knows which one he’s more worried about for now.

    “Froome,” Contador told Cyclingnews. “His potential for attacking in the mountains is far, far higher [than in the 2012 Tour]. Even though it’s your form that really ends up making a difference on a climb, the attacks themselves can be important and that’s why I see him as being the most dangerous for next year.

    “He’s very tough. I admire him greatly, what he did in the Vuelta was impressive, I take off my hat to him. He’d ridden the Dauphine, the Tour and the Olympics all out and he did a really good season all round.”

    Contador said he had been very impressed, too, by the way in which Bradley Wiggins had won the Tour: “I wasn’t in the slightest bit...

  • Kjaergaard confesses to doping while at Chicky World and US Postal

    The US Postal boys patrol the front of the peloton.
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 12:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Norwegian says he does not know what teammates did

    Retired Norwegian rider Steffen Kjærgaard, who rode for US Postal from 2000 to 2003, has confessed to using EPO, starting in 1998. He had no knowledge of any other rider using doping products, he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

    “For nearly 15 years I have kept a lie. What has emerged in recent weeks from the USADA revelations has forced to pull out my dark lies of the past,” Kjærgaard said, according to

    He turned pro with TVM-Farm Frites in 1996, and joined Team Chicky World in 1998, before moving to US Postal. He rode the Tour de France in support of Lance Armstrong in 2000 and 2001.

    He started doping in 1998, buying EPO on his own initiative, but relied on the help and guidance of Belgian doctor Georges Mouton. “I wanted help with my health and to avoid being caught. Good results paved the way for an offer from the U.S. Postal.”

    Kjærgaard did not have to dope alone whilst at the US team, but was taken into the programme. “I was part of the now well-known U.S. Postal regime to prepare riders to the limit. I was on the carousel for  nearly three seasons.”

    However, he did not know what his teammates were doing, doping-wise, he claimed. “I did not have direct knowledge of this. It was a closed system, and I chose to keep it closed.”

    The confession comes the day after the UCI announced that it would accept the lifetime ban for Lance Armstrong, based on USADA's anti-doping investigation.

    “I have not been able to carry the lie anymore, so I am sitting here today. Hopefully something good out of it in time, but right now I am very hurt,” Kjærgaard said.

    “I hope no other Norwegian cyclists are taking or have taken the choice I...

  • McQuaid has no place in cycling, says Hamilton

    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 13:16 BST
    Cycling News

    UCI president compares Riis to Jonathan Vaughters

    Tyler Hamilton has responded to Pat McQuaid’s assertion that he and Floyd Landis were “scumbags” by saying that the current holder of the UCI presidency has no place in cycling.

    McQuaid made his comment following a press conference in Aigle on Monday in which he announced that the UCI had accepted USADA’s decision to strip Lance Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles.

    Hamilton and Landis were among the 26 individuals who testified to USADA about the systematic doping programme in place at the US Postal Service team, but McQuaid said that the pair should not be hailed as heroes given that they had contested positive tests during their own careers.

    “Pat McQuaid's comments expose the hypocrisy of his leadership and demonstrate why he is incapable of any meaningful change," Hamilton said in a statement released on Tuesday.

    “Instead of siezing an opportunity to instil hope for the next generation of cyclists, he continues to point fingers, shift blame and attack those who speak out, tactics that are no longer effective. Pat McQuaid has no place in cycling."

    Speaking to reporters after the conclusion of his main press conference, McQuaid had also queried Hamilton’s motivation for writing his book The Secret Race, in which he details the doping programme in place at US Postal Service.

    “I do want people coming clean but in the way that he’s done it, he’s on a personal mission to make money for himself. And it’s not objective,” McQuaid said on Monday.

    As well as an account of his doping at US Postal, Hamilton’s book also includes serious accusations about the role Bjarne Riis played in facilitating blood doping as manager of CSC.

    Speaking to...

  • Indurain thinks Armstrong will appeal

    Miguel Indurain was on hand
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 17:04 BST
    Cycling News

    Five times Tour winner convinced Armstrong will take case to CAS

    Following the UCI’s confirmation of the USADA’s reasoned decision on Lance Armstrong, Miguel Indurain is now once again the only rider in the history of cycling to have taken five straight Tour de France wins. But the Spaniard remains convinced that Armstrong will, in fact, appeal to CAS over the decision to strip the Texan of his seven Tour titles and other victories since 1998.

    Speaking in his regular column with sports daily MARCA, Indurain called Armstrong “a tireless fighter, he’s got that in his DNA. And that’s why even if the damage to his image is irreparable, I imagine he’ll appeal to CAS.”

    “I would be surprised if he didn’t do [an appeal], because although I understand perfectly that he’s tired of this story, things can’t stay like this. It’s in his hands.”

    Indurain told MARCA that he believed an appeal by Armstrong to CAS could explain why he had not attempted to defend himself from the USADA charges, “because he’s saving himself for the final sprint. That’s the only explanation I can find.”

    The five-time Tour winner said that he had not followed the Armstrong saga closely and that “I don’t know a lot about it.”

    “But as far as I do know, it’s been his own teammates, and in some cases close friends who are pointing the finger at him... can he [Armstrong] be sanctioned like this? Only him?”

    “Because apparently those who admitted they did the same – his accusers – are going around like heroes. I don’t know what the current legal situation is, it’s changing a lot, but common sense tells me that something isn’t right.”

  • Report: Armstrong's influence extends beyond sport

    Senator John Kerry and Lance Armstrong at the 2005 Tour de France
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 17:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Disgraced cyclist threatened Democrats with Livestrong army

    The cycling world has been shocked by the contents of the US Anti-Doping Agency's dossier against Lance Armstrong, which detailed not only organised doping within his US Postal Service team, but threats, intimidation and coercion employed to manipulate those who questioned him. A new report by notable sports journalist Selena Roberts demonstrates that Armstrong attempted not only to influence sport but to take on politics at the highest level.

    Armstrong has been welcomed into the White House by presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, who recognised him not only for his now-disqualified sporting achievements, but for his message of hope in the fight against cancer - a message that hits close to the heart of millions of Americans affected by the disease, and one that he used as a shield against anyone who dared to question his sporting ethics.

    In the online publication, "The Influence Peddler", Roberts writes that avid cyclist and former presidential candidate John Kerry found himself on the receiving end of the strong-arm tactics Armstrong used to get his way.

    In the summer of 2008, Barack Obama was emerging as the prime presidential candidate, channeling his motto of hope and change to the top of the polls. Kerry, who had helped promote bike events to raise funds for cancer causes, was friendly with Armstrong. But Armstrong wanted Obama to join Republican candidate John McCain in speaking at a July 25 Livestrong event, and was not going to take "no" for an answer, despite the fact that Obama would be in Europe on that date.

    Roberts recounts a story of Kerry reading a furious email from Armstrong, which included the...

  • Independent anti-doping commission needed for cycling, says AIGCP

    Jonathan Vaughters (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 18:24 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Vaughters advocates for objective analysis of efforts

    The AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels) has called for an independent commission to investigate and analyse the anti-doping measures across the sport of cycling. President of the organisation, Jonathan Vaugthers, announced the news in Paris on Tuesday and called for the UCI to support the measure. The news comes a day after the UCI ratified USADA's lifetime ban for the disgraced former rider Lance Armstrong.

    "The AIGCP unanimously agreed to call for an independent commission to examine all the anti-doping practises that are being performed in cycling right now. The commission should look at the execution, the theory, and pragmatically how well the measures are working," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    The AIGCP meet several times a year, and typically do so a day before the Tour de France presentation. However, the announcement over the route will be overshadowed by the Armstrong case.

    "We are willing to support our share of the cost and we are hopeful that the other stakeholders in cycling are willing to help us financially for that to occur," Vaughters added.

    "As opposed to myself or another manager coming forward and saying that everything is great at this point in time, at this juncture, for what we’ve learned over the last 20 years it’s probably best if we take it outside of the sport and have people come and look objectively as to how effective the controls have been, whether they’re effective now and most important, now to avoid the mistake of the last 20 years. That’s our common objective."

    At this early stage Vaughters and the AIGCP believe that WADA should be part of the initial plans and...

  • Kimmage case is not personal, says McQuaid

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    October 23, 2012, 20:15 BST
    Barry Ryan

    UCI president continues with defamation proceedings

    On announcing that the UCI would accept USADA’s decision to ban Lance Armstrong for life and strip him of his seven Tour de France titles, Pat McQuaid told the assembled media that it was “the biggest crisis cycling has ever faced.”

    Smiling as he rolled out a pre-prepared line hewn from John F. Kennedy, McQuaid proceeded to say: "When written in Chinese, the word ‘crisis’ is composed of two characters. One is danger and the other opportunity. Our sport is in danger but everyone needs to work together to move forward."

    And yet in the midst of this global crisis in the sport, a not insignificant portion of the UCI president’s attention seems to be deflected towards a decidedly more local row, namely defamation proceedings against his fellow countryman, the journalist and former rider, Paul Kimmage.

    Asked about the Kimmage case during Monday’s press conference, McQuaid played a straight bat, insisting, “This is about a journalist who accused me and my predecessor and the UCI of being corrupt, and it’s a straightforward defamation case.”

    McQuaid later sat down before a group of English-speaking journalists, and he was again pressed on his decision to continue with his pursuit of Kimmage through the courts, particularly at a time when his energies should surely be devoted largely to cycling’s wider problems.

    While McQuaid initially lauded Kimmage “as a consistent anti-doping advocate,” he added a pointed rider, alluding to his fellow Dubliner’s admitted use of amphetamine at three criteriums in August 1987, a...