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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Date published:
May 25, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Tondo's funeral to be held today

    Xavier Tondo (Movistar)
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 7:02 BST
    Cycling News

    Relatives and friends to say goodbye to fallen cyclist in Girona

    Services will be held today for Xavier Tondo, following his tragic death earlier this week.

    Tondo's Movistar team has announced that a funeral service will be held at Pabellón Municipal de los Deportes de Olot in Girona, Spain Wednesday May 25th at 13:00 CET, where relatives, friends and all of those close to the rider can pay their respects.

    His body will be cremated in the evening during a ceremony attended only the Tondo family in order to respect their intense grief.

    The Spaniard was killed on Monday when he became trapped between his car and a garage door at resort in Grenada, severing his carotid artery. Tondo had been about to leave for a training ride in the Sierra Nevada with teammate Benat Intxausti.


  • Gadret suffered because of the rest day

    John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) after stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 8:37 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Third Frenchman in top 5 of a Grand Tour in fifteen years?

    John Gadret didn't perform as well in the uphill time trial of the Giro d'Italia in Nevegal as he did last year when he came third at Plan de Corones, where the sterrato (gravelled roads) favoured his abilities as a cyclo-crossman. He clocked the 16th best time but maintained his fourth place overall.

    "It could have gone worse," Gadret told Cyclingnews at the finish. "I didn't feel great at the beginning of the time trial. I finished it well but I started badly. I'm keen to believe that things will go better tomorrow. The rest day has been counter-productive for me but I hope that climbing to here at a maximum of effort has helped my engine to re-start."

    The winner of stage 11 at Castelfidardo is getting more and more attention at the Giro d'Italia. "It has boosted my confidence, but I still think it's going to be difficult to win another stage," he said, although stage 20 to Sestrières, with more gravelled roads on the colle delle Finestre, could give him another chance to break away.

    "John will have to be careful towards the end of tomorrow's stage because it's a downhill finish to Tirano," Ag2r-La Mondiale's directeur sportif Laurent Biondi said. "We also have to take into account that Sunday's time trial isn't favourable to our climbers."

    Should he keep his position, Gadret would become the third French rider to make the top 5 of a Grand Tour in the past 15 years, after Richard Virenque who came third and second at the Tour de France (1996 and 1997) and Laurent Jalabert who finished fifth at the 1998 Vuelta a Espana and fourth at the 1999 Giro d'Italia.

    "I can feel that the other riders respect me more in the peloton now," he said during the rest day. "Even Contador...

  • Sports governing bodies to face greater scrutiny in Switzerland

    UCI headquarters in Aigle, Switzerland
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 9:39 BST
    Daniel Benson

    More accountability on corruption and taxes for UCI and others

    While allegations of corruption and covered-up dope tests cause seismic shifts through the cycling world, a much smaller tremor could in fact lead to far greater reform and revolution from within the sport.

    Swiss politicians are currently putting together a proposal that would see some of the world’s leading sports governing bodies, including the UCI, face far greater scrutiny in the eyes of international laws on corruption and accountability.

    Switzerland is currently the home of cycling’s UCI, however, it’s also the base for the majority of the globe’s leading federations: the IOC, FIFA and UEFA. All three of those bodies have been embroiled in recent cases of bribery, corruption and match-fixing, which has led to the Swiss parliament to consider new laws. Currently none of these sporting organisations are subject to international anti-corruption treaties and laws or taxes.

    “There are problems with accountability,” Roland Buechel tells Cyclingnews.

    Buechel is a member of the Swiss parliament and represents the Swiss People's Party (SVP) in the Nationalrat, the Swiss parliament. He cut his teeth working for the Swiss Ski Federation and is pushing through proposals for revised laws.

    His goals are focussed around cleaning up FIFA, UEFA and the IOC, however any such laws surrounding anti-corruption and taxes – something federations in Switzerland don’t pay - would have heavy implications on the UCI, who despite welcoming an FDA investigating into allegations of doping, corruption and fraud is not governed by any rulings or decisions from US courts.

    “In sport there are four major problems,” Buechel says. “One is hooliganism, one is...

  • Armstrong attorneys said to have suggested joint defence with Hamilton

    Tyler Hamilton was popular with fans at this year's Tour of California
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 10:19 BST
    Cycling News

    Hamilton's lawyer details history of grand jury and 60 Minutes

    Lance Armstrong's attorneys suggested that their client and Tyler Hamilton put up a joint defence in the federal investigation led by Jeff Novitzky, Hamilton's attorney said. He declined the offer, and said that recently Armstrong's advisers have done all they can “to drag Tyler through the mud.”

    Interviewed by the Am Law Daily, Chris Manderson said that the offer from Armstrong's camp came early on in the inquiry. “I have heard from Lance's lawyers from the very beginning. Before Tyler testified to the grand jury, Lance's lawyers...wanted to enter into a joint defence agreement. I told them, 'I don't think my guy is a defendant.'”

    Since Hamilton's appearance last weekend on “60 Minutes,” he has been under attack from Armstrong's defenders as a liar. Manderson called that “very consistent with team Lance's MO. They have done everything they can to drag Tyler through the mud for the past three days. But he's telling the truth now, and there is nothing they can do to shut him up.”

    Manderson encouraged Hamilton to do the “60 Minutes” interview. “We concluded that talking with [them] would give Tyler an opportunity to get out in front of this and tell his story. Tyler would get an opportunity to talk about the Faustian bargain he had to make to become an elite cyclist."

    He did have concerns about it, though. “I was worried both that the feds would be pissed and that 'Team Armstrong' would retaliate. The '60 Minutes' producers made it clear that this wasn't going to be Tyler ratting out Lance, but about the problems with doping in the cycling world. The piece...

  • Masciarelli forced to abandon Giro d'Italia

    Francesco Masciarelli (Astana) worked hard all day
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 11:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian hit by car door after Grossglockner stage

    Francesco Masciarelli (Astana) was forced to abandon the Giro d’Italia ahead of stage 17 as he is still suffering from injuries sustained in a crash following the summit finish at the Grossglockner on Friday.

    The Italian was struck by a car door as he made his way to the team bus after the end of the stage, suffering injuries to his left side.

    Masciarelli was prominent in the opening two weeks of the Giro in the service of his team leader Roman Kreuziger, and was lying in 15th place atop the Grossglockner. His injuries took their toll in the following days, however, and he had slipped to 36th overall by the conclusion of Tuesday’s mountain time trial.

    After consulting with the team’s medical staff overnight, Masciarelli opted not to start stage 17 from Feltre to Tirano.

    “At the end of the stage that finished at the Grossglockner, he was hit by a car door that was opened ahead of him when he was joining the bus team,” Astana team doctor Marco Pallini said in a statement. “He crashed and now suffers from the left side, especially in the leg and left shoulder blade. It is wiser he returns home to do an MRI and takes time to heal and rest because it is too painful, he can’t continue."

    Astana’s leader Kreuziger lies in 8th place following a solid display during Tuesday’s time trial.

  • Gilbert downplays expectation ahead of Tour of Belgium

    Liège-Bastogne-Liège: Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) completes his hat-trick.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 12:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian building form for Tour de France

    Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) was keen to downplay expectations as he returns to action at the Tour of Belgium on Wednesday for the first time since his domination of the Ardennes Classics.

    Although pleased with his condition, Gilbert explained that his primary aim at the Belgian race is to build form for his next major objective, the Tour de France.

    “In the minds of the people, it’s become normal that I win, but it’s not always possible!” Gilbert told La Dernière Heure. “Winning isn’t essential for me at the Tour of Belgium. The goal is to find the right sensations, to find rhythm, a higher cadence than in training, even if I have worked well in recent weeks.”

    With the first week of the Tour de France featuring hilltop finishes and some rugged terrain, Gilbet has decided to return to the French race for the first time since 2008, with an eye to taking the yellow jersey early on.

    “This Tour of Belgium, like the Ster Elektrotoer, should help me to be at 100 per cent for the Tour de France,” he said. “But if I can win, I won’t deny myself.”

    Although Gilbert has not raced since his Ardennes success, he explained that his break was taken with the Tour in mind, and not because he needed a rest. After reconnoitering the Worlds course in Copenhagen in April, Gilbert took a week off the bike before resuming training.

    “I didn’t really need that period of rest because I didn’t feel tired,” he said. “But if I want to have another peak of form for the Tour de France, it was necessary to take a break and rest. During that period, I stayed...

  • Ashenden’s view on Armstrong doping allegations

    Lance Armstrong (RadioShack) bid farewell to the international peloton.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 13:09 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Calls for investigation into alleged corruption involving UCI, lab and rider

    Dr. Michael Ashenden, an independent member of the UCI's panel of experts that reviews the blood passport data of professional cyclists, has welcomed possible investigations into alleged corruption within the sport’s governing body. These surround allegations in which the UCI is accused of covering up a positive EPO test from Lance Armstrong during the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

    The allegations were first made by Floyd Landis in 2010 but resurfaced last week when Tyler Hamilton, another ex-teammate of Armstrong, backed Landis' allegations. The UCI is currently taking legal proceedings against Landis and have called his allegations "scandalous and mischievous."

    However, last week Hamilton talked to "60 Minutes" reporter Scott Pelley and said, "I know he's [Armstrong] had a positive test before...for EPO [at the] Tour of Switzerland, 2001."

    Asked how he knew of the incident, Hamilton said "He [Lance Armstrong] told me. He was so relaxed about it and he kind of said it off the cuff and laughed it off."

    "People took care of it," Hamilton told "60 Minutes". "I don't know all the exact details but I know that Lance's people and the people from the other side, the governing body of the sport (UCI), figured out a way to make it go away.

    "I was told Lance.”

    Hamilton has testified in front of a grand jury in the US, and could face imprisonment if it’s found that he has lied about any of the information he has provided them with during his career.

    Armstrong has denied both using performance enhancing drugs and being involved in a covered up dope test at the Tour de Suisse. He has claimed that Landis and Hamilton are both discredited and have tarnished reputations having lied about...

  • Slagter cleared to train again after Giro crash

    Tom-Jelte Slagter (CT Rabobank) celebrates his title victory on the podium.
    Article published:
    May 25, 2011, 14:25 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider recovering from broken facial bones and concussion

    Tom-Jelte Slagter can start training again only two weeks after his terrifying crash near the end of the fifth stage of the Giro d'Italia. The first year Rabobank pro, who said that he doesn't remember anything about the accident, now hopes to be at the start of the Vuelta a España in August.

    Slagter, 21, suffered a fractured eye socket (orbit), concussion and facial wounds when he crashed trying to get a water bottle from an Euskaltel-Euskadi soigneur.

    “I hadn't had a bottle in a long time and suffered from a dry mouth,” he said on the Rabobank website. “Then I saw an attendant from Euskaltel standing there with bidons. I made a hand gesture that I wanted one. He then threw it to me.” That is the last he remembered before waking up in the ambulance with the team doctor beside him.

    He then spent three painful and “difficult days in the hospital. All alone. I was very tired and I slept a lot. He could not bear to watch the Giro on television at that time, but  now it's all right.”

    Slagter said that he watched the mountain stages “with interest” and “with pleasure I see Steve Kruijswijk shine. It sill hurts a bit because I would have liked to have tested myself at that level.”

    Now, however, he has received permission from the team's medical staff to get back on his bike. “I couldn't get better news. Sometimes I still have headaches. I told the doctors but they saw no obstacles to a return to cycling. I can't wait to jump back on the bike.”

    Looking to the future, he would like to ride the Vuelta. “I don't know what the team thinks about that, but I would love to be at the start. In my...