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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Date published:
October 30, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Wiggins awarded 2012 Vélo d'Or

    Bradley Wiggins (Sky) decked out in yellow during the final stage of the 2012 Tour de France.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 6:04 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Voeckler voted best Frenchman for third year in a row

    Sky's Bradley Wiggins' stellar season has landed him the prestigious Vélo d'Or for 2012.

    Wiggins won Paris-Nice, the Tour de Romandie, Criterium du Dauphiné and the Tour de France, finishing ahead of Omega Pharma - QuickStep's Tom Boonen in the votes for the world's best cyclist. Boonen was the rider of the classics in 2012, taking out Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders.

    Wiggins followed his Tour de France victory by winning the individual time trial at the London Olympic Games.

    UCI WorldTour winner, Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) finished third off the back of his victories at La Flèche Wallonne and Il Lombardia, as well as podiums at the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a España. 2011 Vélo d'Or winner Philippe Gilbert was fourth.

    The Velo d'Or Français, the award for the best French rider, was taken out by Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) for the third successive season. The 33-year-old won two stages along with the mountains classification att the Tour de France....

  • Contador to star in television series

    Alberto Contador partakes of a strawberry milkshake at the Giro.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 9:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard set for appearance in "Fenómenos"

    Alberto Contador is keeping busy during the off-season, having recently completed filming his role in the television series "Fenómenos", shown on Antena 3. The Spanish comedy series is based around a radio station that reports on paranormal activity.

    Contador's brief appearance is part of an upcoming new series in which the Vuelta A España winner plays himself. While the former Tour de France and Giro d'Italia champion enjoyed his time on set, it is not expected that he will take on a permanent character on the show.

    "Alberto really liked the idea of starring as an 'actor' and participating in one of the chapters in this comedy, in which some cases can be counted as a bit crazy," wrote a release on his website.

    "The series, which will begin airing soon, will not only Alberto's cameo, but with those of other well-known athletes such as former tennis player Carlos Moya and former basketball player Jorge Garbajosa."

    Contador re-started his season with Riis' Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank squad at Eneco Tour in August and finished fourth overall after serving a ban following a positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. The 29-year-old's next race was the Vuelta A España where he won stage 17 on the way to taking the overall title. He ended his season with another victory at Milano-Torino with a final appearance at Giro Di Lombardia, where he finished ninth.

     

  • De Jongh reveals his doping past

    Steven De Jongh (Quick Step) is happy still but that may be due to the fact he hasn't started yet.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 10:21 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Former Sky director hopes to remain in the sport

    Following the news that Team Sky had released Steven de Jongh from his role as directeur sportif, the former professional has now disclosed the details of his past doping. A statement was released by Team Sky announcing his dismissal from the team and now de Jongh has told his side of the story.

    De Jongh retired in 2009 after a career that spanned 12 seasons. The Dutchman turned professional in 1998 with TVM – Farm Frites before spending six season, from 2000-2005 with Rabobank. The final four years of his career were spent with QuickStep.

    The now 38-year-old’s biggest achievements was winning the 2003 edition of E3 Prijs Vlaanderen and capturing two editions of Kuurne–Brussels–Kuurne in 2004 and 2008. In his open letter, De Jongh insists his brief and sporadic use of EPO was undertaken without the encouragement or assistance of others.

    "This is a hard thing to talk about, but I'd like to tell the truth about my experience of doping," de Jongh writes on his personal website.

    "I've been shocked by the stories and rumours of organised doping programmes because I've simply never seen anything like that."

    "My experience was very different. My doping was done by me, and nobody ever forced me. Of course, I always knew it was wrong and was scared of the risks I was taking. And I will always regret what I did."

    De Jongh claims his use of EPO occurred in the early years of his career from 1998, when he turned professional with TVM before deciding to stop in 2000 when he joined Rabobank. He won stage 7 at Tirreno-Adriatico and a stage of Vuelta a Castilla y Leon in 1999 while coming close to taking a win at the 2000 edition at the Giro d’Italia, settling for second place behind Guidi Fabrizio in a bunch sprint on stage 16.

    "I took EPO on a few occasions from 1998 to 2000. It was very easy...

  • Alex Dowsett joins Movistar

    Alex Dowsett (Sky).
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 11:25 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    British TT champion opts to leave Team Sky

    The Movistar team has confirmed that British time trial champion Alex Dowsett will ride for the Spanish squad in 2013.

    The 24-year-old joins Movistar after two seasons with Team Sky. He rode for Trek Livestrong in 2010, after being part of the Great Britain Under 23 Academy development programme based in Tuscany.

    Dowsett won the British time trial title in both 2011 and 2012. Despite fracturing his elbow in March, Dowsett also finished second behind fellow Great Britain Academy graduate Ian Stannard in the 2012 road race championship. He finished eighth in this year's world time trial championships won by Tony Martin of Germany. He won a stage of Tour du Poitou Charentes et de la Vienne in 2011 and a time trial stage of the Tour of Britain.

    Dowsett revealed that he could have stayed with Team Sky but opted to join Movistar.

    “This isn’t a decision I have taken lightly, Sky is a fantastic team and I was flattered that they wanted me to stay but I have a new opportunity and a new chapter of my career,” Dowsett said in a press release from Team Sky.

    “I would like to thank everybody at Team Sky who have supported me over the last couple of years. I now look forward to an exciting 2013 with ‘Movistar’.”

    Other new riders at Movistar for 2013 include Eros Capecchi and Sylvester Szymd from Liquigas-Cannondale and Colombia’s Alonso Espina from Gobernacion de Antioquia.

  • Rabobank boss Knebel: Cycling is not dead yet

    Axel Merckx and Rabobank General Manager Harold Knebel at the start of stage 4.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 12:59 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    General manager says he's had a lot of interest from potential investors

    General manager of the Rabobank cycling team Harold Knebel says that he has fielded a lot of interest from companies looking to invest in his team since the Dutch banking giant withdrew its support earlier this month.

    Knebel said he was optimistic for both the future of the team and the sport in general.

    "There have been a lot of parties on the phone that are from companies wealthy enough to sponsor a cycling team," Knebel told Nieuwsblad.be

    Knebel, who has been at the helm of the team since 2008, said it wasn't about taking the first offer that comes along rather, it was important that investors were fully aware of what they were buying in to.

    "It will take much effort for something to be completed by end of this year, but in the interest stage, there is no lack of interest," he continued. "Cycling is not dead yet. I hope our sport can make a new start with a new legal framework."

    The team's bike supplier, Giant, has recently been linked as a possible sponsor and may increase its current sponsorship in the future.

    With Rabobank guaranteed a World Tour licence for 2013, Knebel believes that the prospect of joining his team as a sponsor should be appealing unlike joining a project where licences were not in place.

    "Just ask Sky or GreenEdge how much effort it takes if you have to start from scratch," he said.

    Knebel also said that while the sport is still facing some ethical issues, he would be doing his best to make it clear that he believes any issues are in the past.

    "The attraction is apparently larger than the...

  • Voeckler rules out Tour de France podium

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) soloed to victory in stage 16 after a hard day of climbing in the Pyrnees.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 14:38 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman encouraged by 2012 classics showing

    Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has ruled out finishing on the podium of the Tour de France during his career unless a special set of circumstances present themselves during the race.

    The Frenchman wore the yellow jersey for ten days and finished fourth overall in 2011, but admitted that he is unlikely ever to finish in the top three Paris unless he manages to infiltrate a soft break.

    “I’ve ruled out finishing on the podium of the Tour,” Voeckler told L’Équipe. “It’s complicated to do à la pédale, unless the situation of the race allows it.”

    Although suffering from a knee injury in the build-up to the 2012 Tour, Voeckler still managed to win two mountain stages – to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and Bagnères-de-Luchon – and carry off the polka dot jersey of best climber. Nonetheless, he does not believe such performances are proof that he can out-climb the best in July.

    “At the Tour, I never dropped the best climbers to win my stages,” he admitted.

    Instead, Voeckler hinted that he may be tempted to focus on the spring classics next season, after a string of solid performances in one-day races in 2012. Winner of Brabantse Pijl, Voeckler was hugely consistent in April, both on the cobbles and in the Ardennes, finishing 4th at Liège-Bastogne-Liège, 5th at Amstel Gold Race and 8th at the Tour of Flanders. For good measure, he was 7th at the Worlds in Valkenburg in September.

    “Before this season, I’d never prepared for the classics in that way,” Voeckler said. “I did it because I felt that right now, I have the level to play a real role there. It was the first time in my career that I was so...

  • Freire says impossible to claim that cycling is clean

    Oscar Freire (Spain) waves to the crowd in what would be his last ever race
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 17:10 GMT
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Former triple World Champion calls for radical renewal of anti-doping policies

    Recently retired Classics and world championship star Oscar Freire has said he believes that "It remains impossible to state that this is a clean sport, because it isn't."

    Referring to the level of doping in the peloton, Freire told Spanish newspaper ABC that "It's not like it was before...but there are some riders who respect the norms and others who do not. Just like in all professions."

    Oscar Freire has never been one to blow his own trumpet when it comes to cycling's fight against banned drugs, but the fact remains that the former triple World Champion and Milan-San Remo winner, who retired this year, has never been linked to a doping scandal For many fans, this reinforces the Spaniard's strongly held views on the subject.

    Freire believes that the sport has suffered what he calls "degradation" as a result of the doping scandals and that "People think cyclists all do the same and that's not the case. Testing is more exhaustive than it was, and things are much better."

    "[But] it's impossible to claim that cycling is a clean sport because it isn't."

    A professional from 1998 through to the end of the 2012 season, Freire believes - as do many others - that "It is possible to be a professional cyclist without doping, but everybody chooses their path. I followed mine without caring what others did. If other people had thought about things like me, cycling would be different."

    "The problem with cycling is that many people aren't made to be cyclists and it's better that they go elsewhere rather than fill it with dirt."

    Freire hinted that his racing at a consistent level showed that there was nothing suspicious about his performances, saying "I didn't win a mountain stage of the Tour and then crack on the first climb the following day. It...

  • British Cycling head questions UCI credibility

    UCI president Pat McQuaid answers a question during a press conference held during the UCI road world championships in Valkenburg.
    Article published:
    October 30, 2012, 17:53 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    UPDATED: Cookson's complete statement now available

    Brian Cookson, the president of British Cycling, has warned the International Cycling Union (UCI) that the independent commission it has pledged to set up to examine anti-doping efforts must be truly independent for the agency to prove it is credible in the wake of the USADA case against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and four others.

    "To be honest this is the UCI's last chance to re-establish itself as a credible organisation," Cookson told the Telegraph. "Unless we have a commission that the sporting community trusts to deliver verdicts on the big questions the UCI, to put it honestly, will be stuffed."

    The UCI's management committee last Friday approved the establishment of the commission, but did not announce how the members of the group would be selected. It will next week announce "which independent sports body will nominate the members of the Commission and, with the UCI Management Committee, agree appropriate terms of reference," according to a UCI press release.

    Suspicion that the UCI lacks the ability to elect a truly independent body to examine its own activities is based on allegations that the UCI accepted donations from Armstrong in exchange for glossing over suspicious doping controls. The UCI has maintained that the money was given to help anti-doping efforts.

    The UCI's last independent investigation into the 2006 work of L'Equipe reporter Damien Ressiot, who linked samples positive for EPO in an anti-doping research study to Armstrong's controls taken in the 1999 Tour de...