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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Date published:
June 22, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Doping ring busted in Andorra

    Peter Janssen discusses the use of EPO in his book "Bloedvorm"
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 3:08 BST
    Cycling News

    42 cyclists among clientele

    A joint operation between the Mossos, the Civil Guard and police in Andorra has uncovered a doping ring which involves some 60 professional athletes. A new report on Cadena Sur states that 42 of the clients of an internet pharmacy in Encamp are or were professional cyclists.

    Police tracked 536 sales of performance enhancing products over the past year, but investigators say the pharmacy was operating for the past six years.

    Also listed amongst the clientele were professional multisport athletes, bodybuilders, a motorcycle racer and kayaker.

    The report named several professional cyclists as clients: Ángel Gómez Gómez (ex-Saunier Duval/Fuji Servetto), Footon Servetto rider Enrique Mata Cabello, Adolfo Garcia Quesada, a former professional with Kelme who was banned for two years for testing positive for human chorionic gonadotropin in 2006 and Vicente Ballester Martínez, also retired. Also named are under-23 riders Javier Sánchez Cidoncha, Narcís Sallent Sanglas and Kevin Kohlvelter, and ex-pro Isidro Cerrato López,

    Current riders include Spanish track cyclists Carlos Herrero Nadal and Alfredo Moreno Cano, Guillermo Lana Baquedano of Caja Rural and Frenchman Guillaume Pont (SP Tableware).

    Another 30 riders took the drugs to help boost their performances in amateur events such as gran fondos.

    Drugs sold include the blood booster Erythropoeitin (EPO), steroids and other banned substances, but named specifically was Solcoseryl, an extract of calf blood which is said to help increase oxygen consumption in hypoxic conditions as well as help heal damaged tissues.

    The chief investigator, Jordi Domènech, told Cadena Sur that they limited their surveillance of the transactions to those involving performance enhancing drugs, otherwise they would have uncovered a greater number of clients.

    Athletes would order drugs on a section of the website, and then...

  • Feillu extends contract with Vacansoleil-DCM

    Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil) gets the flowers.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 4:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Two more years at Dutch team for French sprinter

    Romain Feillu and his Vacansoleil-DCM team have extended their contract agreement for two more years, the squad announced on its website on Monday. The French sprinter has had a very successful first part of the 2011 season and is currently leading the French Cup standings. Vacansoleil, still a Professional Continental team in 2010, was this year granted a ProTeam license and will participate in the Tour de France.

    Feillu came to the Dutch team in 2009 together with his brother Brice, a talented climber. After not having been able to race the Tour, Brice decided to leave the team and was hired by the emerging Leopard Trek squad. Romain stayed on and is now very happy to have made that choice.

    "The first few months within the team I still had to get used to it, but since then my career has consistently improved. Everything is perfect here, so there's no reason to leave. Together with Vacansoleil-DCM, I hope to grow to an even higher level," Feillu said on the outfit's website.

    The team management was also very pleased to have secured the rider, who already netted eight victories this year. "He is a very consistent rider who brings in important results throughout the season. He knows he can rely on the support of the team, but he is also very good at putting himself in a winning position on his own," said general manager Daan Luijkx.

    Feillu also appears in the team's pre-selection for July's Tour de France and should get the final nod soon. Team management will meet to discuss Stijn Devolder's participation on Wednesday, with an announcement expected in the coming days.

  • Victorian Institute of Sport teams up with Apollo Bicycles

    HTC-Highroad will look to Leigh Howard to deliver the team's third straight win in Philadelphia.
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 5:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Positive feedback from riders

    The Victorian Institute of Sport and Apollo Bicycles have today announced a new partnership.

    Apollo Bikes will be the official sponsor of road bikes and time-trial bikes to the VIS Jayco Apollo Cycling Team. This partnership offers VIS cyclists the opportunity to ride top-of-the-range Apollo Elite model road bike with EA70 wheels, with the road team being supplied with the ARCTEC T in a deal worth nearly $140,000 per annum.

    Marty Aitken, Head of Performance at the VIS said that the new deal will allow his athletes to do what they do best.

    "Feedback from each of our riders of the new bikes has been very positive and we're already winning races and that's what it's all about," he said.

    The new partnership comes at a critical time for the VIS Jayco Apollo cycling team as they prepare for selection to compete at the London Olympic Games next year.

    Apollo Bikes Managing Director, Simon Burke is excited to be involved with the VIS saying, "the VIS is renowned for producing world-class cyclists such as Cadel Evans and Leigh Howard who are currently holding their own in European competitions, so we know we have chosen the right partner. To be able to support elite cyclists on their pathway to achieving an Olympic medal or a world title is a great opportunity for Apollo Bikes and we look forward to a mutually successful partnership."

  • Mapei extends sponsorship of UCI road world championships

    2011 world champion Thor Hushovd of Norway
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 6:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian company to contribute to new UCI Forum

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) has announced a new sponsoring contract with the Italian company Mapei for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 road world championships.

    The construction materials will have a higher profile during the championships and has also agreed to a partnership between the Mapei Sport Research Centre and the World Cycling Centre (the UCI’s training centre). Mapei will also participate in the UCI “reCycling” programme and make a scientific contribution to the UCI Forum which will be organised for the first time in November 2012.

    Mapei sponsored the world 2008, 2009 and 2010 road world championships and other UCI events. Between 1993 and 2002 the Mapei sponsored a major professional men’s team, achieving huge success, especially in the spring Classics. After ending its team sponsorship, Mapei created its own medical and physiological testing centre near Varese under the guidance of the late Professor Aldo Sassi.

    UCI president Pat McQuaid welcomed this new backing from Mapei.

    “I would like to thank Mapei. Its commitment to cycling over the last twenty years has contributed to the growth of our sport, of which it is one of the most faithful sponsors,” he said in a press release.

    “Under its President and Director, Mr Giorgio Squinzi, who is a true cycling lover, Mapei has multiplied its initiatives for our sport, often demonstrating great inventiveness, not only in Italy but on an international scale.”

    Dr. Giorgio Squinzi said, the president of Mapei said: “Mapei is proud to participate this year and the following years as main sponsor of the road world championships. This strengthens our long relationship with cycling, which comes from the sharing of the same values: hard work, will and...

  • Saxo Bank-SunGard names Tour de France squad

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) rides the Alps
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 10:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Team built around Contador, no place for Cooke or Haedo

    The Saxo Bank-SunGard team has named its nine-rider squad for the Tour de France, with the team dedicated to protecting Alberto Contador.

    Contador will have special support from his Spanish teammates Jesus Hernandez, Dani Navarro and Benjamin Noval. Chris Anker Sørensen and Richie Porte will offer key support in the mountains, while the experienced trio of Nicki Sørensen, Matteo Tosatto and Brian Vandborg will play a vital role on the flat stages and in the team time trial.

    Sprinters Baden Cooke and Juan Jose Haedo have not been selected as the team focuses almost entirely on winning the yellow jersey with Contador.

    "We've obviously tried to pick the team that fits the best to our overall strategy. It is no secret that we are in the race to win it, so our job has been to identify the rider group that will be able to give Alberto the best possible support through the three weeks," Bjarne Riis said in a statement issued by the team.

    "We have come up with a team that can both protect and be aggressive and defend, and we are strong both on the flat roads and in the mountains. I think it's an exceptionally strong team."

    The Saxo Bank-SunGard Tour de France squad:

    Alberto Contador
    Jesus Hernandez
    Dani Navarro
    Benjamin Noval
    Richie Porte
    Chris Anker Sørensen
    Nicki Sørensen
    Matteo Tosatto
    Brian Vandborg

  • Nygaard: Andy Schleck on course to peak for Tour de France

    Andy Schleck (Leopard - Trek) finishes up
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 12:10 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Dane insists Schlecks will ride Luxembourg road race championships

    Leopard Trek manager Brian Nygaard is confident Andy Schleck will be at his best in time for the mountain stages at the Tour de France, in spite of his sporadic performances at the Tour de Suisse.

    “I’m very, very pleased,” Nygaard told Cyclingnews of Schleck’s display in Switzerland. “The numbers I saw for Andy were good.”

    Although Schleck ultimately won the green jersey of best climber thanks to his part in a lengthy breakaway on stage 7, he lost over 14 minutes on the summit finish at Triesenberg/Malbun. Nygaard was adamant that there was no cause for concern and insisted that Schleck had been perhaps the strongest climber in Switzerland.

    “He had a bad day, he didn’t eat properly and once he got dropped he lost a lot of time, but then in the rest of the race he was good,” Nygaard insisted. “He won the climbers’ jersey for a reason, because he was probably the strongest guy on the climbs.”

    Nygaard did acknowledge that both Andy and Fränk Schleck ended the Swiss race with sub-par showings in the concluding time trial. However, with the Tour’s sole individual time trial not featuring until the penultimate day in Grenoble, he believes his charges still have plenty of time to build on their form.

    “In the time trial, there’s definitely room for improvement,” he admitted. “But I think there is one major time trial in the Tour and there are still many, many weeks ahead.

    “From the way I saw Andy ride in the mountains, I feel he is perfectly timed for peaking...

  • Cunego quietly confident for the Tour de France

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) was the winner of the stage
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 13:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian ready to bounce back after Tour de Suisse defeat

    Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) has put defeat at the Tour de Suisse behind him and is quietly confident he can perform well at the Tour de France and perhaps return to being an overall contender.

    The little Italian rider has been torn between targeting stages and a good overall result in grand tours since winning the 2004 Giro d’Italia and the best young rider’s white jersey in the 2006 Tour de France.

    He finished tenth in the 2006 Tour de France, crashed out in 2009 and was 29th overall in 2010. He seemed to have lost his climbing ability but rode consistently well in the mountainous Tour de Suisse until losing the overall lead to Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) in the final time trial.

    Cunego is visibly leaner than in recent years after missing the Giro d’Italia to specifically prepare for the Tour de Suisse and the Tour de France. He seems to have benefited from sharing the pressure to get results at Lampre-ISD with Michele Scarponi and from the more direct, hands-on approach of new team manager Roberto Damiani, who replaced Giuseppe Saronni after the explosion of the Mantova doping investigation.

    “Damiani has let me get on with my racing and training and has dealt with everything else going on in the team. That’s how it should be in a well-organised team,” Cunego told Cyclingnews.

    “I’m 29 now and so I think I know what’s best for me. These days I prefer to just get on with things. Listening to what other people think just creates confusion.”

    Best stage race result since 2005

    Cunego wore the Tour de Suisse leader’s jersey for six days after riding well in the mountains but lost more than two minutes to Leipheimer in the final...

  • Cavendish: On best form for two years ahead of Tour de France

    Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad)
    Article published:
    June 22, 2011, 14:26 BST
    Daniel Friebe

    Manxman excited about Grande Boucle but silent on future

    Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) on Wednesday issued a warning to his rivals hoping to end his sprint hegemony at the Tour de France, calling his current form “the best I’ve had in the past two years.”

    Various media, and in particular French newspaper L’Équipe, speculated at the Tour of Switzerland last week that Cavendish's failure to win a stage was indicative of a lack of form ahead of the Grande Boucle.

    Speaking to journalists in Bar Italia in London’s Soho on Wednesday, Cavendish said that nothing could be further from the truth.

    “This is the best form I’ve had for two years, absolutely,” Cavendish said. “The difference compared to last year is that I’ve had no real problems, no crashes. OK, there were no bunch sprints for me to win at the Tour of Switzerland, but it was so mountainous that it’s bound to get you going for the Tour.

    “I’m also a lot more confident this year,” he added. “I was confident last year but this year I’ve no accidents along the way to upset my build-up.”

    Besides his form, the other subject of media conjecture in recent weeks has been Cavendish’s future with or without his current HTC-Highroad team. On Wednesday, the Manxman declined to comment on the matter but, speaking more generally, smiled when asked whether the public should expect more of the tears and tribulations which tend to accompany his Tours de France. “Oh, I’d bet on that. One hundred per cent,” he grinned.

    This answer was typical of Cavendish’s bullish, often mischievous mood – which in itself is often an ominous sign for his opponents. Quizzed about his ambitions in the green jersey competition, he challenged the journalist who raised the topic: “Name the last two winners of the green jersey in...