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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Date published:
May 26, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Clement to miss Tour de France

    Most aggressive for stage four was Stef Clement (Rabobank)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 8:34 BST
    Cycling News

    Rabobank rider takes a break to recover from injuries

    Rabobank's Stef Clement has scratched his plans to ride this year's Tour de France and will use a break from racing to recover from problems with his feet and back.

    The 27-year-old has not met expectations this season, and after consulting with team management and doctors, has decided it was time to concentrate on healing his physical problems. He is embarking on a rehabilitation programme, which will exclude racing for the time being.

    Clement will thus miss the Dutch national championships and the Tour de France.

    Rabobank technical director Erik Breukink said that, “Stef will return to competition again when he is healthy and worry-free.”

    "I am glad that the team is giving me the time and space to intensively work on my longstanding and nagging injuries," Clement said.

  • Boonen calls for Quick Step reinforcements

    Belgian champion Tom Boonen (Quick Step)
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 11:20 BST
    Cycling News

    New Spring Classics captain needed

    Tom Boonen says that Quick Step needs to make some changes for the coming year, with reinforcements needed. “It's time for a new wind in the team,” he told the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad.

    “Change is not the right word, rather reinforcement,” he said. “The base is good. But if Stijn Devolder and Sylvain Chavanel fail, there is not much left. Only lieutenants.”

    He said the team needs another captain for the Spring Classics. “Someone who you are sure that he will be in the finale of every Classic. Stijn is a good guy, but you cannot count on him for the entire spring.”

    Specifically, the team needs someone “like Steven de Jongh. Some who can also help well in the sprints.”

    The team had a tough Spring Classics season this year, with the best results being Boonen's second-place finishes in the Tour of Flanders, E3 Prijs Vlaanderen – Harelbeke and Milano San Remo. Overall it has only seven victories so far this season.

    “I think that (team manager) Patrick Lefevere chose to wait to look at the market this year. After all, there are still five teams with no new sponsor for 2011,” Boonen noted.

    The former World champion denied that he is thinking of looking for a new team. “No, I think it is important to strengthen your own team. And I have a contract for next year.”

  • HTC-Columbia and Garmin-Transitions toast California success

    Michael Rogers (HTC-Columbia) has every reason to smile, after moving one step closer to winning the Tour of California.
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 12:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Video of team directeur on Californian win

    HTC-Columbia and Garmin-Transitions came into the Amgen Tour of California with high hopes of success. Both teams carried overall aspirations with Michael Rogers and Dave Zabriskie, while HTC brought their talisman Mark Cavendish for the sprints.

     It was Michael Rogers who prevailed in the overall classification, beating Zabriskie by nine seconds. Garmin didn’t come away empty-handed though, taking two stages through Zabriskie and Ryder Hesjadal, as well as the team classification. HTC also collected two stages through Cavendish and Tony Martin.

    In these two videos HTC directeur sportif, Alan Peiper explains how the team came to California knowing they had to perform and that the pressure was on. The Australian also adds how important their pre-race training camp and strong teamwork helped set them up for the overall win.

    Garmin’s Jonathan Vaughters, while accepting that the strongest rider won the race, explains that his men rode an aggressive race, with Zabriskie attacking Rogers on the very last climb of the race.



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  • Scope of US doping inquiry may be widened

    Lance Armstrong responds to media questions about Floyd Landis
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 12:07 BST
    Peter Cossins

    SCA contract could be examined too

    US federal authorities are reported to be considering expanding their investigation into doping allegations laid against Lance Armstrong and other leading riders to include possible fraud and conspiracy charges. According to the New York Times, investigators looking into allegations of doping made by Floyd Landis during the recent Amgen Tour of California are attempting to establish whether Armstrong and the managers of his former teams conspired to defraud sponsors by doping to boost their performance.

    After speaking to two unnamed sources close to the investigation, the New York Times indicated that federal authorities are particularly interested in establishing whether sponsorship money provided by the US Postal Service between 1996 and 2004 was used to buy performance-enhancing products. The paper points out that sentences for those convicted on fraud changes can be longer than those given for drug distribution.

    The paper also said that investigators are also planning to examine the contract between Armstrong and SCA Promotions, which refused to pay out a $5 million bonus to the seven-time Tour winner following the 2004 publication of David Walsh and Pierre Ballester’s book L.A. Confidentiel, which alleged that Armstrong had doped. Armstrong successfully sued SCA, who were forced to pay out $7.5 million to cover the payment and damages.

    Speaking to the New York Times, Columbia University law professor and former federal prosecutor Daniel C. Richman said of potential fraud charges: “Federal fraud charges are fairly straightforward; they apply to any scheme to acquire money or property through deceit or misrepresentation. In this case, the authorities would have to prove that Armstrong was misrepresenting himself to sponsors by saying that he was clean but was actually using performance-enhancing drugs and profiting from it.”

    There are some...

  • Belgian federation to investigate Bruyneel

    Johan Bruyneel faces the media
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 14:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Bruyneel vows to cooperate

    The Belgian cycling federation (KBWB) is seeking information on Johan Bruyneel and his possible involvement in doping, as disclosed in recent allegations by Floyd Landis. The Federation and federal prosecutors would be prepared to open proceedings against any Belgian who might be involved. The RadioShack team manager promised to cooperate with the authorities.

    In a statement released Tuesday, the Koninklijke Belgische Wielrijdersbond said that it was working with federal prosecutor Jaak Fransen to closely follow the case and gather information. "Once the file is complete, it will be up to the Federal Attorney to possibly start a proceeding against Johan Bruyneel and any other Belgian licensees who were involved," the statement said.

    "We are pleased to say that the KBWB fully supports this request from the UCI, as expressed by President Pat McQuaid, and which has sent it on to the KBWB."

    "If the UCI takes the Landis case seriously it is logical that the national federations of USA, Australia, Canada, Belgium and France start an investigation," Bruyneel told Cyclingnews Wednesday afternoon. "When the Belgian federation needs some clarifications from me, I will of course cooperate."

    At Tuesday's Giro d'Italia stage, International Cycling Union (UCI) president Pat McQuaid said that he had asked the relevant cycling federations to open investigations of those named last week by Landis, including Bruyneel. Landis last week confessed to doping during specific times in his career, and specifically accused Bruyneel of being involved.

  • Armstrong to resume racing in Luxembourg

    Lance Armstrong (Team RadioShack) keeps his eyes on the prize.
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 15:35 BST
    Cycling News

    RadioShack captain back in business after California crash

    Team RadioShack announced today that Lance Armstrong will head up its team for the Tour of Luxembourg. Armstrong returns to competition for the race on June 2 after crashing out of the Amgen Tour of California on May 20.

    Armstrong was involved in a mass pile-up early in stage 5 of that race and feared he had broken his elbow. Later examinations revealed no fractures, but he received stitches to a gash in his face. He had been hoping to use the Amgen Tour of California to find his form ahead of the Tour de France, admitting before the start of the race that he had struggled to find the kind of fitness he wanted.

    The RadioShack team for Luxembourg will also include Sam Bewley, Daryl Impey, Andreas Klöden, Tiago Machado, Gregory Rast, Ivan Rovny and Bjørn Selander plus directors Johan Bruyneel and Dirk Demol.

    It will be the first race back for Armstrong and Bruyneel since Floyd Landis leveled accusations against the pair that they engaged in illegal doping practices while part of the US Postal Service team. Both Armstrong and Bruyneel vigorously denied the charges.

  • UCI requests investigations into Landis claims

    Lance Armstrong responds to media questions about Floyd Landis
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 17:18 BST
    Cycling News

    States requests do not imply allegations "have any basis"

    Following the statement by Johan Bruyneel that he would cooperate with an investigation opened by the Royal Belgian Cycling League, the UCI announced Wednesday the full list of requests made to national organizations in the wake Floyd Landis' allegations of widespread doping practices.

    In addition to the request made to the Royal Belgian Cycling League to investigate Bruyneel, the UCI announced that it has also asked for investigations from Cycling Australia (Matthew White), Canadian Cycling Association (Michael Barry) and the French Cycling Federation (John Lelangue).

    It has also asked the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) to address claims relating to Lance Armstrong, George Hincapie, Levi Leipheimer, Jim Ochowicz and David Zabriskie.

    All of the above men were named by Landis in several e-mail messages sent to USA Cycling and leaked to the media last week. Landis alleged that he and other riders used performances enhancing drugs and methods during his time at the US Postal Service and Phonak teams, and were assisted by Bruyneel and Ochowitz in the practice.

    A UCI statement stated that the requests are "aimed at establishing, in an objective manner, whether or not events potentially constituting a breach of the Anti-Doping Rules occurred. This does not in any way imply that the UCI considers the allegations made by Mr Landis to have any basis."

  • Menchov abandons Tour of Belgium

    Denis Menchov
    Article published:
    May 26, 2010, 18:13 BST
    Cycling News

    Russian rider still intends to race Dauphiné Libéré

    Denis Menchov (Rabobank) made an early exit from the Tour of Belgium on Wednesday. The Russian rider withdrew just 30km into stage 1 according to the team's website, He pulled out on a wet, windy first day of the race.

    Menchov was hoping to make his comeback to racing after suffering bronchitis. He was almost recovered, but apparently not enough to continue racing in the day's dreary conditions.

    "It was hectic in the peloton in the rain and the wind. There was lots of fighting for position and once Denis came off, it no longer made sense for him to keep going," said Directeur Sportif Jan Boven.

    Menchov also recently had to cancel a period of training in the Sierra Nevada mountains. He had decided not to race the Giro d'Italia this month in order to focus completely on the Tour de France.

    Team management still intends for the Russian to start the Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré on Sunday, June 6.