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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Date published:
November 17, 2010, 0:00 GMT
  • WADA blow to Contador’s "tainted meat" defence

    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 10:53 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Anti-doping agency find no trace of clenbuterol in Basque Country butcher’s

    The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appears to have severely undermined Alberto Contador’s insistence that he ate meat contaminated with the clenbuterol that caused his positive test during the Tour de France. In a report presented to the UCI and then passed on to the Spanish cycling federation, WADA says that it has tested meat from the butcher’s shop in Irún in northern Spain where Contador’s steak was bought and found no traces of clenbuterol. Similar tests at the abattoir that supplies the Irún butcher’s also found no trace of clenbuterol use.

    The report, one of several passed on to the Spanish federation’s competitions’ committee that will pass judgment on Contador, has been seen by Spanish newspaper El País. The Madrid paper’s well-respected cycling correspondent, Carlos Arribas, describes the report as “the Tourmalet, the mountain, the biggest difficulty that Contador will ever have to overcome to prove his innocence” because it strikes so hard what is believed to be the fundamental part of his defence.

    According to the report, WADA found absolutely no trace of clenbuterol in the meat they tested in Irún, where Vuelta a Castilla y León organizer José Luis López Cerrón bought the steak that Contador and some of his team-mates ate in Pau on July 20 and 21.

    Clenbuterol, the use of which is prohibited in livestock, has been illegally employed by some breeders to increase muscle and reduce fat levels in cattle before they go for slaughter. The downside of this, says El País, is that the resulting meat tends to be tougher.

    WADA is also reported to have supplied a report from the European Union into the analysis of almost 300,000 meat samples that were tested during 2008. Only a single sample showed even the possibility of contamination with clenbuterol.

    They have also passed on a...

  • Doping investigators join forces with Interpol and AFLD following meeting in Lyon

    The AFLD reported that French police discovered "incongruous" products in teams' rubbish at the 2009 Tour de France
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 11:48 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    French police talking to Novitzky today

    The fight against doping in cycling has taken an international and unified approach with police and investigators from the USA, France, Spain and Italy meeting in Lyon to join forces and share information according to a report in Wednesday’s Gazzetta dello Sport.

    The Italian newspaper suggests police first met at Interpol headquarters in Lyon at the end of July.

    U.S. Food and Drug Administration Agent Jeff Novitzky, Federal prosecutor Doug Miller and U.S. Anti-Doping Agency CEO Travis Tygart are reported to be back in Lyon this week as they continue to investigate accusations.

    According to Equipe, they questioned staff from the Agence Française de Lutte Contre le Dopage (AFLD), including former president Pierre Bordry and the head of the Châtenay-Malabry Françoise Lasne.

    Equipe reports on its website that the US investigators are today talking to French police about their investigation into the Astana team during the 2009 Tour de France, when Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador rode together.

    Police discovered syringes of various dimensions, a blood perfusion kit and anti-hypertensives (drugs that reduce high blood pressure). However Equipe suggests the investigation maybe archived despite police questioning team manager Johan Bruyneel, directeur sportif Alain Gallopin and the team’s two doctors.

    Gazzetta claims that the US officials met with officers from the Spanish Guardia Civil, French police, and Italian police and customs officers, headed by public prosecutor Benedetto Roberti. He has led all the major doping investigation in Italy for the last two years.

    The American investigators are reported to have asked each of the police forces to supply information and evidence that can help their case against Lance Armstrong. The French have opened various investigations in the past and the AFLD is ready to provide details about...

  • Cervelo downplay significance of European patent dispute

    Many have drawn similarities between Canyon Bicycles' Ultimate CF frame shape and Cervélo's popular R3 but now some of those issues are being hashed out in court.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 13:08 GMT
    Cycling News

    Canyon claim Canadians copied some of their tube shapes

    An article recently posted on the Bike Europe web site has worried many Cervélo supporters, owners and dealers over an alleged patent violation but company principal Gerard Vroomen claims the article is "much ado about nothing" and suggests that Bike Europe "got most of the facts wrong."

    Bike Europe's article claims that the European Patent Office has ruled that Cervélo's pre-2011 RS, R3, and R3 SL frame designs violate German patents owned by Canyon Bicycles GmbH. It apparently pertains to some of the tube shapes commonly used by both brands. Complicating matters is Cervélo's relationship with former German distributor TriDynamic GmbH.

    Resulting from the earlier ruling in a German district court, TriDynamic had issued a letter to its former dealers announcing "The recall of all frames and wheels series Cervélo RS, R3 and R3 SL which were put on the market since January 9th 2008.” Further, TriDynamic had requested that dealers contact the former distributor to arrange for return shipment.

    However, Cervélo has since issued a statement claiming the hearing at the European Patent Office hasn't even occurred yet – it is currently scheduled for November 24 – and moreover, suggests the dispute has at least some roots in a soured business relationship between Cervélo and TriDynamic.

    "Cervélo discontinued doing business with Peter Seyberth and TriDynamic in August of 2009 as a result of what we believed were serious irregularities in his business practices," the statement reads. "Cervélo is taking legal action against TriDynamic and Peter Seyberth for funds which are believed to have been withheld while he was the Cervélo distributor. It may be appropriate to see some of TriDynamic's statements regarding Cervélo and its products in this light.”

    "Initially Cervélo included TriDynamic in the defence in the German...

  • Eight riders to step up from Fly V Australia to Pegasus Sports

    Jonathan Cantwell is racing the Tour Down Under for the UniSA composite team
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 13:49 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Day, Sulzberger. Kemps and Zajicek among riders heading to Europe

    Pegasus Sports has confirmed that eight riders from its 2010 Fly V Australia team will ride for its European-based squad next season. The Australian team recently sought to obtain ProTeam status for 2011 but is set to compete on the Pro Continental circuit after failing to satisfy the UCI's sporting criterion based on rider results.

    Ben Day, Bernard Sulzberger, Jonathan Cantwell, Aaron Kemps, Jai Crawford (all Australia), Darren Lill, Jay Thomson (both South Africa) and Phil Zajicek (USA) will all make the step up and compete in Europe next year.

    The experienced Day previously competed in Europe in the colours of among others and he is proud to return as part of an Australian team.

    “Personally I'm thrilled to be heading back to Europe to compete in the biggest races, with my mates, in an Australian team that provides an environment where it is easy to thrive,” Day said “To think that I may be part of an Australian team in the big races is unbelievably exciting.”

    Aaron Kemps is another rider familiar with racing at the highest level, having spent four seasons with Astana and its forerunner Liberty Seguros. Like Day, he believes that his second European experience will be all the more enjoyable as part of an Australian set-up.

    "In my first European adventure, I was too young to really appreciate what I had, and didn't make the most of my opportunities,” he explained. “This time it's going to be different, and I can't wait to be hitting the roads of Europe with my mates."

    Kemps’ and Day’s words were echoed by Phil Zajicek, who spoke of his excitement at racing in Europe as part of a “band of brothers.” For sprinter Jonathan Cantwell, meanwhile, the opportunity to ride with one of the icons of Australian cycling is a huge motivation.

    “I’m really looking forward to racing with and learning from my old sparring partner Robbie...

  • Contador’s legal team hit back at WADA report

    Alberto Contador during his press conference as he tries to explain how his urine sample became contaminated with clenbuterol
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 15:05 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    Tour de France winner ready to prove his innocence

    Alberto Contador’s legal team has denied claims made in the report drawn up by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) that his positive anti-doping test was not caused by meat contamination.

    Spanish newspaper El Pais revealed details of the report but Contador moved quickly to discredit the information.

    “The legal team of Alberto Contador categorically denies the information published today in some media about the contents of the report sent by the UCI to the Spanish Cycling Federation, which allegedly would undo the theory that the adverse result of Alberto Contador in the last Tour de France is due to the ingestion of meat contaminated with Clenbuterol,” the statement reads.

    “After careful study of the documentation sent by the UCI, which contains the report of a detective agency hired to trace the origins of the meat, it’s not possible to determine that the meat was not contaminated.”

    “In fact, all the work of the detective is limited to asking the butcher in question if there the meat is sold with all the necessary health requirements, receiving the expected response and saying who their suppliers are. This was taken on their word, without any kind of questioning. The same was done with several suppliers. In the documentation sent there is not evidence that WADA has made any kind of analysis at the butcher in question, much less at the slaughterhouses which are mentioned.”

    “Regarding the information on the controls in the European Union to animals intended for human consumption and especially beef, the report of the UCI is limited because it considers as good the final official information, according to which each member country must control only 0.4% of bovine animals slaughtered the previous year. According to the latest official report of the European Union for 2008,...

  • Unzue says Movistar's strength is in depth

    Xavier Tondo (Cervelo) is his team's best hope of overall glory now.
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 17:20 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Team boss aims for impact despite having no clear leader

    Eusebio Unzue, boss of the new Movistar outfit, has said that he expects his team to make a significant impact during the 2011 season despite its lack of an outstanding leader. With former standard-bearer Alejandro Valverde banned until 2012 and the possible signing of Franco Pellizotti still in doubt, Unzue is putting his faith in a roster of 24 riders that "doesn't have an outstanding figure, but does feature a lot of quality that will enable us to field a good team at the start of any race".

    Speaking to Marca, Unzue said that final logistical preparations for the new squad are being completed. Most of the equipment suppliers to Caisse d'Epargne will remain on board and just about the only key thing still to be resolved is the design of the new team jersey. "It's still not been decided, although it will feature the blue colours of [Movistar owners] Telefónica as the predominant colours," Unzue explained.

    He admitted that a rider or two could yet be added to the roster, but confirmed that no deal had yet been reached with Pellizotti. "It could happen, but there are other teams interested and the case has yet to be closed. We will have to see how things go with the UCI," said Unzue, referring to the possibility that the UCI could appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the Italian Olympic Committee's decision to clear Pellizotti of biological passport irregularities.

    "Our strength is the depth in the team," said Unzue. "Riders like Arroyo, Rubén Plaza, Rojas, Bruseghin, Tondo, Pardilla, Ventoso and, among others, Samoilau should enable us to be well represented in all of the big tours." Unzue said that the team will not be focusing on the podium at any of the grand tours, although he added, "We will have to see how far Tondo can go."

    Unzue confirmed that Movistar is in for the long haul and won't be looking for short-term success. "During the first year we will try to do the best we can, but...

  • Fuglsang unsure on Giro d'Italia

    Jakob Fuglsang on the move in the Giro dell'Emilia
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 18:05 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Dane will support Andy Schleck at 2011 Tour de France

    Jakob Fuglsang has said that he is still not certain if he will lead the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project team at next year’s Giro d’Italia. The Dane joins the squad from Saxo Bank for 2011.

    Sporting director Luca Guercilena told La Gazzetta dello Sport yesterday that Fuglsang would lead a team that may also feature Fränk Schleck at the Italian race, but Fuglsang insisted that nothing has been formally decided yet.

    “The initial idea was that I would be leader at the Giro but this is something we’ve only talked about,” Fuglsang explained to Ekstra Bladet. “I don’t know if it’s been finalised because we’ve also discussed how the Giro might be too hard if you’re also going to ride the Tour.”

    Fuglsang was a valued lieutenant of the Schleck brothers in his time at Saxo Bank and he expects to fulfill a similar role next July in his new colours, acknowledging that helping Andy Schleck to Tour de France victory is the squad’s priority.

    “I am riding for a new team, which makes the Tour de France even more important,” he said. “Andy has a good chance of winning, so it would be a shame if he does not get maximum support.”

    Nonetheless, the Fuglsang’s final season with Saxo Bank was marked by a string of impressive results, including third place at the Tour de Suisse and fourth at the Tour of Lombardy, and the 25 year-old admits that his ambitions are growing accordingly.

    “I don’t know what I’d rather do,” Fuglsang said. “Of course I want to be 100 per cent ready for the Tour de France and help Andy to win, but I would also like to test myself as a captain.”

  • Cobo signs for Geox-TMC

    Spaniard Juan José Cobo won the 2007 País Vasco
    Article published:
    November 17, 2010, 20:25 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    David Gutierrez continues with Mauro Gianetti's team

    Team Geox-TMC has announced the signing of Juan José Cobo from Caisse d'Epargne for the 2011 season. The move represents something of a homecoming for Cobo as he spent his first six seasons as a professional with the Saunier Duval team managed by Gianetti.

    After his largely unsuccessful parenthesis with Caisse d'Epargne in 2010, Juan José Cobo is pleased to be back in the fold and hopes the move will help him to regain his appetite for the sport.

    "It's been a tough season for me from a psychological point of view, and I'm a rider who needs to feel stable to be able to give my very best," Cobo said. "I'm returning to the directors who brought me to my top level. We each know one another's good and bad points and I'm sure this will help to bring me back to the performances of the three years before this past bad season."

    Highlights of Cobo's first spell under Gianetti's stewardship include overall victory at the 2007 Tour of the Basque Country and a stage win at the 2009 Vuelta a España.

    He was also credited with stage victory at Hautacam at the 2008 Tour de France after the disqualification of teammate Leonardo Piepoli, who tested positive for CERA. The Saunier Duval team withdrew from that Tour ahead of stage 8, following the announcement of Riccardo Riccò's positive test for CERA.

    "As all of us know the sporting quality Cobo has," team manager Mauro Gianetti said. "He has already shown he can ride with the best, in the mountains as well as in the time trials, and he will be a great helper for the team leaders."

    Geox-TMC has also confirmed that David Gutierrez will ride for the team next season. The Spaniard made his professional debut with Gianetti's Footon-Servetto in 2010 and he will continue with the squad in its revamped form next year.

    "David Gutierrez has earned his continuity with the team," Gianetti said. "He showed a professional, serious attitude all season, that's why...