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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Date published:
November 23, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Bayern Rundfahrt main sponsor in place through 2015

    One final white flag to start the 2011 Bayern Rundfahrt before the race packs up for next year.
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 12:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Volksbank Raffeisenbank has supported race since 1980

    The Bayern Rundfahrt is bucking the trend of races losing sponsors, and has announced that its main sponsor has signed-up again through 2015. The Volksbank Raffeisenbank has supported the race since its first running in 1980.

    Bank spokesman Rainer Eisgruber said: “Many of our customers and members are themselves active cyclists and can be at the race. Plus the Bayern Rundfahrt largely takes place in areas where our banks have a strong position. And the teamwork in cycling and in the organisation of the Bayern Rundfahrt match our values.”

    The bank's extension of its sponsorship until at least 2015 “keeps our back free for a further development of the event,” race director Ewald Strohmeier said. “We can plan long term and put into effect our plans to establish the Bayern Rundfahrt even better internationally.”

    The bank is also the sponsor of the leader's jersey. However, the mountain jersey is now in need of a new sponsor, as mineral water bottler Franken Brunnen is withdrawing its sponsorship.

    The 2012 course will be announced on December 5.

  • Locke tests positive at Tour of Hainan

    The man with four arms: Deon Locke (Champion Systems) steps onto the podium in Haikou after winning stage four of the 2011 Tour of Hainan.
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 13:07 GMT
    Cycling News

    Appetite suppressant found in Australian's system after stage win

    Deon Michael Locke of Champion Systems has been provisionally suspended by the International Cycling Union. According to the UCI, the Australian had a positive doping control for Phentermine during the Tour of Hainan.

    Locke, 24, rides for the Swiss-based Continental-ranked team Champion System. He won the fourth stage of the Tour of Hainan on October 23, when he also gave the positive urine sample.

    Phentermine is an appetite suppressant.

    "The provisional suspension of Mr. Locke remains in force until a hearing panel convened by the Australian Cycling Federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation,” the UCI said in a press statement.

    He has the right to request that his B-sample also be tested.

    Locke's contract with the team expires the end of this season, and he had been searching for a new team for the coming season.

  • Contador to appear before CAS hearing on Wednesday afternoon

    Alberto Contador at day 1 of his CAS hearing
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 14:15 GMT
    Barry Ryan

    Tiralongo provides evidence in Lausanne

    Alberto Contador was due to take the stand on Wednesday afternoon as the Court of Arbitration for Sport hearing into his positive test for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France continued in Lausanne.

    His erstwhile Astana teammate Paolo Tiralongo was among the witnesses who appeared before the hearing on Wednesday morning, which is taking place in the on the top floor of International Olympic Committee headquarters. Speaking downstairs, Tiralongo confirmed to Cyclingnews that he had addressed the hearing, but he declined to comment further on the nature of his evidence.

    Benjamin Noval, who followed Contador from Astana to Saxo Bank at the end of 2010, was also in Lausanne on Wednesday morning. Like Tiralongo, he was called as a witness by Contador’s legal team.

    While the experts and witnesses involved in the hearing have remained resolutely tight-lipped on the proceedings inside the Salle Pierre de Coubertin when approached by the small group of journalists waiting outside, some details of events have been pieced together.

    Gazzetta dello Sport reports that American psychologist Louis Rovner gave evidence before the hearing on behalf of Contador Tuesday. According to the Italian newspaper, Rovner carried out a polygraph test on Contador during a trip to the United States last spring, in which he denied having undergone a transfusion, and a video of the interrogation may even have been played before the hearing.

    Meanwhile, as L’Équipe noted on the eve of the hearing, WADA’s case against Contador is now believed to be centred on data from his biological passport as it explores the possibility that the traces of Clenbuterol in his system were explicable by the infusion of blood plasma on the...

  • Operación Puerto revived, Fuentes facing jail

    Manolo Saiz finds himself at the centre
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 16:41 GMT
    Cycling News

    Six accused of crimes against public health

    More than five years on from the police raids on a Madrid clinic that alerted the public to the Operación Puerto doping investigation, six people will be on trial facing charges for crimes against public health.

    The Court of Instruction #31 has wrapped up its investigation into the matter, and has issued an order to bring the case to court. Prosecutors called for two-year prison sentences for those involved: the doctor who ran the clinic in which police found hundreds of bags of stored blood, doping products and coded paperwork linking the blood to riders, Eufemiano Fuentes, will face judge Julián Camarillo, along with his sister Yolanda, doctors José Luis Merino and Alfredo Córdova as well as team managers Manolo Saiz, José Ignacio Labarta and Vicente Belda.

    In 2009, the case looked to be officially over with no prosecutions coming from the Spanish courts or sporting federation for the dozens of athletes linked to the clinic by the documents.

    Judge Arturo Beltran refused to continue with the case since at the time of the raid, doping was not illegal in Spain. The laws have since been made more strict, and Beltran ordered further examination of the case on the public health angle.The case was reviewed again in March of this year.

    Fuentes also faced charges in a separate inquiry last year, Operation Greyhound, which involved doping of track and field athletes.

    The Operación Puerto case proved that professional cyclists were not only participating in autologous blood doping, but through

  • Gallery: A year through the lens of Rob Jones

    Marco Aurelio Fontana takes the sprint for 3rd (Dalby World Cup, GBr)
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 18:00 GMT
    Cycling News

    Canadian photographer captures four cycling disciplines

    Canadian Rob Jones is one of the hardest working photographers in the sport. Circumnavigating the globe to bring us images of road, mountain biking, track and cyclo-cross, he's covered world championships, the Olympic Games, World Cups and national championships, but also smaller, local races and rides.

    The people's photographer, Rob has a keen eye for the critical moments in races, and focuses not only on the winners, but also the hard-working competitors who are chasing, sometimes from a fair distance behind.

    It is our pleasure to bring you the best of Rob's photography from a wide range of cycling moments from the 2011 season.

    You can view the full gallery here.

    Rob Jones also has an archive of his images on his website.

  • Video: Behind the scenes at Paris-Roubaix with Mavic neutral support

    The cobbles of Paris-Roubaix take an incredible toll on bike and rider.
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 19:01 GMT
    Cycling News

    Fast wheel changes help racers in cobbled Classic

    At a race like Paris-Roubaix with its infamous cobbled sections, neutral support plays an important role, especially when riders are far from their team cars when disaster strikes.

    This behind-the-scenes video from Mavic shows what it's like to be part of the 17-person neutral support team that includes mechanics on motos, in cars and out on the course of what may be the best known Spring Classic.

    "Beautiful but hard," is how one Mavic tech described his experience on the moto during the 2011 edition won by Johan Van Summeren (Garmin-Cervelo).

  • Arrate and Peña Cabarga for 2012 Vuelta?

    The flag of the Basque country.
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 19:33 GMT
    Pete Cossins

    Race set to return to one of Basque Country’s iconic climbs for first time since 1974

    Less than three months on from the Vuelta a Espana's highly successful return to the Basque Country after an absence of 33 years, race director Javier Guillén has confirmed that Spain’s national tour will return to the region next year. Speaking during a visit to the Basque Country, Guillén revealed that the third stage of next year’s race will finish on the iconic Arrate climb above the town of Eibar.

    After two opening days in Navarra, the 2012 Vuelta will move into the Basque Country with a stage between Oion and the Arrate. The fourth stage will also take part in the region. “This year we returned to the Urkiola and Vivero. And in 2012 we will be on another one of Basque cycling’s mythical climbs, the Arrate,” said Guillén. “I’m sure that this year’s success will be difficult to repeat, but I am also sure that this stage will also be a big hit with the fans.”

    A key component of the much-missed Bicicleta Vasca stage race and now a regular feature of the Tour of the Basque Country, the Arrate last appeared on the Vuelta route in 1974. Agustín Tamames won the stage that day, but it is better remembered for the epic battle that raged all day between Spanish greats Luis Ocaña and José Manuel Fuente. Ocaña spent the whole day attacking his rival, who crashed heavily during the stage and later required stitches in his wounds, but managed to hold on to the leader’s jersey.

    Featuring 8km of ascent and then a kilometre of descent into the finish, the Arrate offers a tough test. The route into the climb has yet to be decided, but Guillén indicated that the Vuelta may pass over it twice. He also revealed that funding for the stage will come from the local council in Eibar due to the cutbacks being made by the Basque...

  • Galician government rejects Mosquera’s accusations

    Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia)
    Article published:
    November 23, 2011, 20:27 GMT
    Pete Cossins

    Denies that it interfered in the judicial process leading to Mosquera’s two-year ban

    Galicia’s regional government has rejected suggestions made by Ezequiel Mosquera and his legal team that it interfered in the judicial process that led to the rider being handed a two-year ban after a positive test for hydroxethyl starch. In a press release, the Galician government described Mosquera’s accusations as “totally false” and defended the conduct of the region’s secretary-general for sport, José Ramón Lete Lasa.

    “The secretary-general affirms that he never interfered in the process that was opened against this athlete, neither in order to support him nor, it must be added, to prejudice the case against him, and neither did he encourage any media to speak out against Ezequiel Mosquera,” said the release.

    The statement was put out less than a day after Mosquera and his legal team had hit out with a series of accusations against the Spanish federation and the Galician regional government, which backed the Xacobeo-Galicia team that Mosquera was riding for when he tested positive during the 2010 Vuelta a España. Mosquera had claimed that Lete had “asked that a hard line be taken” against Mosquera because he had “caused a lot of damage in Galicia”.

    The statement added that, “The [Galician] sports ministry and its head always stayed outside the arguments being made, scrupulously respecting the proceedings and courts charged with implementing sporting justice.” It also said that Lete’s only comments on the case related to his insistence on “the absolute defence of the presumption of innocence of the rider until his responsibility could be shown...