Attorneys ask for simultaneous deposition to multiple suits
The US Federal Government rejected on Monday a motion to dismiss Floyd Landis's whistleblower lawsuit against Lance Armstrong, Johan Bruyneel and former US Postal Service team owners Tailwind Sports Corp. The lawsuit alleges that Armstrong and the team management defrauded the government by doping in order to win, and if successful could cost Armstrong $120 million, three times the entire amount of US Postal Service's sponsorship, which was $40 million.
Armstrong's attorneys had argued that the sponsor should have known of the riders' doping, because a French investigation in 2000 looked into such allegations, but the US attorneys rejected that argument.
"The Postal Service, like millions of others, cannot be faulted for having been deceived by Armstrong," they wrote in a filing issued Monday.
Armstrong's attorneys claimed that "the government wanted a winner and all the publicity, exposure and acclaim that goes along with being his sponsor", and that it "got exactly what it bargained for."
"But the Government did not get a 'winner'," the US attorneys wrote. "On the contrary, it got a fraud, and all of the publicity and exposure that goes along with having sponsored a fraud. That is decidedly not what the Government bargained for.
"The United States should have an opportunity to recover damages for the money that it paid in reliance on Armstrong's many lies, and we therefore respectfully request that the Court deny Armstrong's motion to dismiss the Government's complaint."
Armstrong's attorneys on Monday asked that the courts consider allowing Armstrong to give his testimony for multiple lawsuits at the same time. In...
"They're the favourites considering that the course is flat and with long straight roads," Cancellara told the Italian news agency ANSA during a press conference.
"I'm relaxed but focused because I know I've worked well."
"The course seems hard, I know I'll have to push hard and pedal a lot. My rivals perhaps have got an advantage on me but I'm not racing against them but against the clock. And that's what I'm good at."
Cancellara admitted that his Italian roots - his parents are from Potenza in southern Italy - will give extra motivation but not put any extra pressure on his shoulders.
"If I win I suppose the Italian press will be happy but I'm proud to be Swiss. But I can't deny that racing in Switzerland will give me a bit more motivation," he said.
Cancellara carefully avoided question about Sunday's road race, where is also a major favourite after showing impressive form on the climbs at the Vuelta a Espana. He's taking the world championships one event at a time.
However he was disappointed that Radioshack-Leopard was only fifth in the team time trial event, despite his efforts to drag the team to a better result.
"Let's see how Wednesday's time trial goes first, then we'll evaluate things for Sunday," he said.
"We wanted to win the team time trial but we lost a lot of time. That result...
"At the Giro, I had the form but not the commitment"
Bradley Wiggins has described missing the Tour de France as the turning point in his season and believes that he is in the best possible form ahead of Wednesday’s individual time trial at the world championships in Florence.
The Sky rider was unable to defend his Tour title due to a nagging knee injury but he arrives at the Worlds on something of a high after winning the Tour of Britain at the weekend.
In an interview published in L’Équipe on Tuesday, Wiggins revisited his abortive bid to win the Giro d’Italia, a race he abandoned due to illness having already repeatedly lost ground on descents in the opening ten days of the race.
“At the Giro, I had the form but not the commitment,” Wiggins said. “Mentally, it wasn’t going right, I was behind on the descents and I didn’t want to risk everything. I was asking myself what I was doing there. And a lot of other things going on behind the scenes didn’t help.”
That Giro campaign had begun with confirmation from manager Dave Brailsford that Chris Froome would lead Team Sky at the Tour de France, and Wiggins admitted that the speculation over his status in the team had taken its toll psychologically.
“At the time, I was fed up with all the debate around the leadership for the Tour de France. The turning point was not doing the Tour, it’s the best thing that could have happened to me,” he said.
Wiggins’ own declarations in the early part of the season did little to dampen speculation surrounding the leadership of Team Sky at the Tour, of course. After he told the British media in May that he was hoping to win both the Giro and Tour, Froome and then Sky were moved responded with press releases...
Azzurri's rooming arrangements and ice cream choices examined
Racing on home roads after disappointing outings in Copenhagen and Valkenburg, expectations are high for the Italian team in the elite men’s road race at the world championships in Florence this weekend.
Paolo Bettini’s team is based in Montecatini Terme in the build-up to the big day, where a sizeable home media presence is poring over every detail of the squadra azzurra’s preparations for the big day, not least the identity of the nine starters on Sunday.
Giovanni Visconti (Movistar) was forced to abandon the Tour of Britain due to an early crash, but the reports emanating from the camp suggest that the Sicilian has done enough to convince Bettini of his fitness to start on Sunday.
The Italian team will be led by Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), while the experienced Luca Paolini (Katusha) looks set to fulfil his familiar role of regista, or road captain. A bronze medallist in Verona in 2004 (and a silver medallist in the under-23 race in the same city five years previously) Paolini is set to line up in his tenth Worlds road race.
“I think our prospects are good,” Paolini told Gazzetta dello Sport. “We don’t just have one string to our bow. Nibali has some fast men in the team with him, and they’re necessary because you go up to Fiesole at 30-35kph and it’s not guaranteed that the climb will make the difference.”
The key tactic for Italy, Paolini believes, will be to place fast finishers in the early breakaways so as to force other teams to lead the chase behind.
“If we place some fast men in there, maybe for once, we won’t have the weight of the race,” Paolini said. “The break won’t easy to bring back, either. On this course, you’d use up three or four riders bringing it back. The team would be used up, so we have to avoid that.”
The American team, riding with Daniel Martin and Jack Bauer as their overall contenders were aggressive throughout the race with Martin constantly attacking on the hillier stages and Bauer sealing a well earned fifth place overall in London.
With a demanding parcours and wet conditions for much of the race, the Garmin team were able to return to their newly kitted out team bus.
The most unique aspect of the state of the art vehicle is undoubtedly the solar panels, provided by Sharp, that power the team’s electronic gizmos: from the coffee machine, to the television and power sockets.
In this exclusive, behind the scenes video, Cyclingnews were granted access and given a tour of the bus by the team.
You can subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, right here.
Until she won the Chrono Gatineau and US national time trial championship in Chattanooga this May, Small's best time trial finish was a win in the Nature Valley Grand Prix in 2012, the year she won the overall National Racing Calendar individual standings, but a switch from a purely domestic programme to an international one was key to her success.
Small moved from the Optum team to the Specialized-lululemon squad this year, and already claimed a world title in the team time trial with her trade team on Sunday.
"I made some big jumps this year, and the team has helped so much. My training didn't necessarily change that much, but I did do all European racing which is a big switch from doing all the US racing. It puts you at a higher level because the races are so different."
She had her first international stage win at the Internationale Thüringen Rundfahrt der Frauen this year, but a trip to the podium at the world championships was not what the former volleyball player and Nordic skier expected. "I'm so shocked and surprised, it's really good."
The bronze medal was a little bit bittersweet, however, because her own national- and trade-teammate Evelyn Stevens came in fourth place, a mere four hundredths of a second slower over the 22km course.
"It is really hard," Small said of pushing Stevens off the podium. "Obviously she wanted to podium as well, and she's my teammate, she's my friend and my countryman,...
All season long it was clear that Ellen van Dijk was going to be the strongest time trialist in the world and she confirmed all predictions today with a powerful performance in the UCI road world championships, beating perennial podium finisher Linda Villumsen and the surprising American Carmen Small for the rainbow jersey.
Van Dijk filled the void left behind by the retirement of Germany's Judith Arndt, who won the title over the past two years.
The 26-year-old Dutch rider has gone nearly undefeated in the discipline this year, helped her Specialized-lululemon team to numerous team time trial victories (including Sunday's world title), and came into the race the undeniable favourite, especially after she won the Chrono Champenois last week.
"It was a different course to last week," van Dijk said. "It was 33km and so this is shorter at 22km. This was pancake flat. It was a completely different time trial, this was way more technical."
Van Dijk chalked up her success to an early morning practice session in August when she rode the course twice at 5:00am, at the crack of dawn, in order to avoid the traffic in the city center of Florence.
"It was really hard to practice in the city with the traffic, so we did it early the morning. We also made a video of it and I watched that video 10 million times until I was dreaming it."
Formerly more of a sprinter, van Dijk won the 2011 Ladies Tour of Qatar, but then decided to put more focus into her time trialing.
"I've made a transformation from a sprinter to become a time trialist, but I was always good at time trials too," she said.
"It cost me a bit of my sprint to focus on time...
2014 Giro to start on a Friday, include three rest days
The Professional Cycling Council (PCC), meeting in Florence, Italy, during the UCI Road Cycling World Championships, has agreed to submit working group proposals for major reforms of professional cycling to the UCI Management Committee.
"The working group proposals follow on from consultations via the ‘common ground’ of 2011 and 2012, as well as the Deloitte UCI Stakeholder Consultation, A Bright Future for Cycling, carried out earlier this year," read a statement from the UCI. "The project also takes into account the recommendations of an ongoing study carried out by the Institute of Sports Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL), in cooperation with the UCI and professional teams, which analysed the organisation and culture in pro cycling teams."
Regarding the 2014 season, the PCC has approved changes to the Giro d'Italia. Based on a request from the International Association of Professional Cycling Teams (AIGCP), the Giro d'Italia will add a third rest day, placed immediately after the transfer from Ireland (where the first three Giro stages will be contested) to Italy. The Giro will also start on a Friday, May 9, instead of the originally planned Saturday, May 10 start.
The PCC has also approved the 2014 WorldTour calendar with the only information released thus far stating that the final race of the WorldTour next year will be the Tour of Beijing, taking place October 10-14.
Further reforms, pending approval by the UCI Management Committee, were proposed by the PCC which will begin to take effect in 2015 and be completed by 2020 in a progressive implementation plan.
Among the reforms proposed were "a First and Second Division, with fewer riders in each team and fewer racing days each year for the riders," said the UCI. "Further the current annual sporting assessment would be replaced by an automatic promotion/relegation mechanism...