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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Date published:
February 08, 2012, 0:00 GMT
  • Ullrich verdict set to be handed down by CAS on Thursday

    Jan Ullrich (T-Mobile Team) does his best to shake Jorg Jaksche (Würth) off his wheel.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 0:42 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Long-running case due for conclusion

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced that it will hand down a decision on the case concerning the International Cycling Union (UCI), and Jan Ullrich on Thursday.

    The UCI appealed the Swiss Olympic Committee's decision to close the file on evidence linking Ullrich to the Operacion Puerto doping case. Ullrich retired after being implicated in the 2006 investigation, and was later linked to blood evidence by DNA testing.

    A finding was due to be announced mid last month however, the case was again delayed having been filed at the end of March 2010.

    Ullrich, 1997 Tour de France winner and five-time runner-up, retired in February 2007 having been implicated in Operacion Puerto the year prior. In July 2009, Swiss Olympic, which handles doping cases in the country, announced that it was officially opening an investigation. But again, it came to a standstill. Until February 10, 2010, when they announced that since Ullrich had quit his membership in the national federation in 2006, they had no jurisdiction over him, and the investigation was closed. However, both the International Cycling Union and the World Anti-Doping Agency appealed that decision to the Court of Arbitration for Sport and it’s this case which is now due to be resolved.

    Thursday's announcement will be the latest in the big week of legal cases with United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles close down a two-year investigation into allegations of fraud and doping that...

  • WorldTour rookie Kruopis nabs first international podium for GreenEdge

    Aidis Kruopis in GreenEdge colours.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 1:32 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lithuanian steps up after Davis misses the break

    Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis has claimed GreenEdge's first podium away from the team's Australian base, with his third placing on Stage 3 of the Tour of Qatar.

    Kruopis capitalised on the hard work of teammates Svein Tuft, who did his fair share of turns on the front as the peloton neared the finish line at Al Gharafa Stadium, and Baden Cooke who also finished in the front group with Kruopis. Cooke then delivered Kruopis to fifth wheel within the final two kilometres.

    The 25-year-old was glued to the wheel of eventual runner-up and general classification leader Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) with stage winner Mark Cavendish (Sky) on the Belgian's right-hand shoulder. Boonen appeared to run out of steam just before the line with Cavendish rolling over the finish line with just over a bike length in advantage.

    The plan at the start of the day had been for Allan Davis to be GreenEdge's protected rider however he missed the break.

    "This podium is important for the team," said GreenEdge Sports Director Laurenzo Lapage. "I didn't want to put too much stress on Aidis. This is his first WorldTour team. Our plan was to go for Allan [Davis]. Because of some mistakes, Allan missed the break. Aidis stepped up in the sprint. This must give him confidence for the future."

    ...
  • Did U.S. attorneys disagree on whether to close Armstrong, U.S. Postal case?

    It's still about the bike: Lance Armstrong back in the saddle
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 2:50 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Wall Street Journal report alleges case was "not open for discussion"

    The Wall Street Journal has alleged there was some debate within the US Attorney's Office as to whether the two-year investigation into allegations of fraud and doping that involved the U.S. Postal Service Team and Lance Armstrong should have been closed last week. Armstrong has denied ever taking performance enhancing and welcomed the decision to close the case. He may still face investigation from USADA.

    The report follows US radio station National Public Radio (NPR) revelations that sources in the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Postal Service were 'shocked, surprised and angered' and that federal authorities only had 30 minutes notice before the United States Attorney's Office issued a press release to the media on Friday afternoon.

    U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. is believed to have informed investigators from the FDA, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service Office of his decision, the timing of which has been brought into question by NPR. Meantime Justice Department officials in Washington were also aware of Birotte's decision, according to a source.

    In a statement to the Wall Street Journal, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney in Los Angeles, Thom Mrozek explained: "In this office in essentially every significant investigation, a prosecution memo is prepared prior to a charging decision to outline the legal theories, the evidence, and the strengths and weaknesses of a particular case. That in fact was done in this case," he said. Mrozek cadded that "the prosecution memo was provided to the U.S. attorney and his management team well in advance...

  • Guderzo confirms for Women's Tour of New Zealand

    Tatiana Guderzo (SC MCipollini Giordana) on the podium for being the top Italian rider.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 4:15 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Former world champion to lead Italian national team

    Former women’s world road champion Tatiana Guderzo heads a powerful Italian national team chosen to contest the NZCT Women’s Tour of New Zealand from February 22 to 26.

    The five Italian riders selected are all proven performers, none more so than the 27-year-old Guderzo. She secured the world title in 2009 in the Swiss city of Mendrisio after earning the bronze medal in the women’s road race at the Beijing Olympic Games the previous year.

    Guderzo will be joined by her trade teammate Monia Baccaille as well as promising young riders Rossella Callovi and Elena Cecchini.

    "Cycling in Italy is second only to religion," said race director Jorge Sandoval. "Having a team like this can only help to enhance the race's standing internationally."

    The Italians will arrive in Palmerston North a few days early to train and check out the stages, and given the status of cycling in their country they should be well prepared for the event's opening individual time time trial on February 22.

    Italian National Team for Women's Tour of New Zealand: Tatiana Guderzo, Rossella Callovi, Elena Cecchini, Monia Baccaille, Luisa Tamanini

  • Drapac get first test of 2012 Asian odyssey in Langkawi

    Stuart Shaw from the Australian Capital Territory follows through Drapac Professional Cycling teammate Victorian David Pell.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 5:02 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Lapthorne back in business as Australian aims for GC

    A resurgent Darren Lapthorne will lead the Drapac squad at the upcoming Tour de Langkawi, with the Australian threating to be back to the kind of form that saw him win the Australian national road championship in 2007.

    Coming off a strong result in the NZ Cycle Classic where he finished second overall behind Jay McCarthy, Lapthorne is eyeing a bid at the general classification with the race's key difficulty up Genting Highlands well-suited to the Australian's style. Lapthorne will be joined by Adam Semple who the team believe can also feature high up in the overall.

    "In 2010 we focussed on the general classification with Peter McDonald who finished fourth and won the king of the mountains classification, we are confident in achieving an equally impressive result this year with a two-pronged attack," said Sporting Director Agostino Giramondo.

    The team added that freedom will still be given to breakaway specialists Rhys Pollock and Floris Goesinnen who came close to stage wins on two occasions in last year's race. Adam Phelan will also be making his return to racing after an enforced break while he recovered from a head injury sustained at a team training camp in December.

    Drapac have previously voiced their ambitions to achieve more success in Asia with the Tour de Langkawi among the team's biggest objectives.

  • WADA president: "No choice but to appeal" Contador case following Zapatero comments

    Spanish Prime Minster Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero poses with Alberto Contador.
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 5:46 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Fahey concerned over national federations investigating their own athletes

    World Anti-Doping Agency president John Fahey says that the organisation was left with no choice but to pursue an appeals case against Alberto Contador following comments made by then-Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.

    On February 11, 2011 while waiting for the Royal Spanish Cycling Federation (RFCE) competitions committee to issue a final decision regarding Contador's positive doping control for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, Zapatero's Department of Communication posted that "there is no judicial reason to sanction Alberto Contador" on its Twitter page.

    Weeks earlier the disciplinary commission of the RFEC had recommended that Contador be suspended for one year but on February 15, it was announced that the Spaniard had been cleared.

    On Monday, the Court of Arbitration for Sport has handed Contador a two year sanction for his positive test for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. After a long-running saga, CAS announced that it had upheld the UCI and WADA’s joint appeal against the Spanish Cycling Federation’s (RFEC) decision not to suspend Contador. The ban was back-dated and Contador will be free to ride from August 6, 2012.

    "I can say with regard to the Contador decision, it was regrettable that, when the Spanish federation proposed a 12-month penalty, a senior politician made a statement to say that Contador was innocent," Fahey told Reuters.

    Fahey said that with that in mind, WADA had "no choice but to appeal" because "there was clearly a bias, certainly by the senior politician" he continued without ever specifically naming Zapatero in the interview.

    ...
  • Longo's husband held after Alpe d'Huez home raid

    Jeannie Longo with another gold medal in her national championships
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 10:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Longo questioned after further allegations of EPO purchases

    Patrice Ciprelli, the husband and coach of Jeannie Longo, has been taken into custody by French police following a raid on the apartment the couple own at Alpe d’Huez on Wednesday morning. A simultaneous search was also carried out at the couple's home in Saint-Martin-le-Vinoux, Isère.

    According to a report on lequipe.fr, ten officers from OCLAESP (the French central office for public health and the prevention of environmental damage) searched the residences as part of an investigation launched on September 14 last by prosecutors in Grenoble.

    That inquiry began after it emerged that Longo had missed three out-of-competition anti-doping tests within an 18-month period, although the French Cycling Federation later dismissed its charges on the basis that Longo was no longer on the list of athletes subject to testing by the French anti-doping agency, AFLD.

    In September, it was also alleged in L’Équipe that Ciprelli had purchased EPO from former American rider Joe Papp in April 2007. A series of email exchanges between the pair and a Chinese contact were published.

    According to a new report from lequipe.fr on Wednesday, police have uncovered five further transactions between Ciprelli and a foreign supplier in 2010 and 2011. The three transactions that took place in 2011 allegedly saw €500 transferred from an account in Jeannie Longo’s name for the purchase of Eprex, first generation EPO.

    It is understood that Longo was being questioned as a witness by police on Wednesday morning.
    ...

  • Final day of Challenge Mallorca cancelled due to snow

    The peloton was all bundled up for an unusually icy Mallorca Challenge
    Article published:
    February 08, 2012, 11:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Snowfall on Soller and Puig Major leads to cancellation of Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana

    The final day of racing at the Challenge Mallorca has been cancelled due to snowfall on the climbs of the Puerto de Soller and Puig Major. Wednesday’s Trofeo Serra de Tramuntana will not take place as organisers were unable to find an alternative route following the closure of the road over the Puerto de Soller.

    The race is the latest to be affected by the extreme weather conditions that have struck Europe in the past week. The routes of a number of stages of the Étoile de Bessèges were altered due to ice and snow in France, while Saturday’s GP Costa degli Etruschi in Italy was also shortened slightly due to the conditions.

    While snow has blocked the uplands of the Serra de Tramuntana, many in the peloton will train in the more temperate conditions along the coast of the island. “It does look cold up there,” Cadel Evans (BMC) said via Twitter. “We go training anyway...on a warmer part of the island.”

    Andy Fenn (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) sprinted to victory on the opening two races of the Challenge Mallorca, the Trofeo Palma and Trofeo Migjorn, while Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) won the hilly Trofeo Deià in wintry conditions on Tuesday.