- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 10:33
- Cycling News
Italian sprinter responds to Manxman's tweet
Italian sprinter Roberto Ferrari has responded to a tweet by Mark Cavendish, saying he is looking forward to beating the Manxman again in 2013 while riding for Lampre-Merida team on the UCI WorldTour circuit.
Cavendish has never forgiven Ferrari for sparking the high-speed crash during stage three of the Giro d'Italia in Denmark. The Italian cut across the road in the final kilometre, bringing down Cavendish, race leader Taylor Phinney and several other riders. Cavendish called for Ferrari to be disqualified from the Giro d'Italia but race officials let him stay and he went on to win stage 11 in Montecatini Terme.
Ferrari's apparent lack of genuine contrition has always irked Cavendish. Last week Cavendish tweet: "When I thought I could put this year's festival of sprint crashes behind me, I see Roberto Ferrari has signed for a WorldTour team next year."
Ferrari was asked about the tweet during an interview with Italian radio programme Ultimo Kilometro on Radio Manà Manà Sport.
"That's Cavendish's character. I'm not like that. As I've already said, I thought everything had been forgotten after the Giro d'Italia. At this point I can only hope to beat him again next year," Ferrari is quoted as saying by the Itasportpress.it website.
"I apologised to Cavendish back then and I thought it was all over with. I don't know if he as just being ironic or if he's serious. But you'd hope a rider has other things to think about during the off season rather than comment on another rider changing teams."
Ferrari rode for Androni Giocattoli this year but has signed with Lampre-Merida in 2013 and so will compete on the WorldTour circuit, alongside Alessandro Petacchi. He does not see the veteran Italian as a rival in the 2013 sprints and is happy to finally compete at the highest level of the sport.
"I'm not as good a sprinter as Alessandro [Petacchi] but if I have a good position, I can do something. I'm happy to lead out [Petacchi] in the sprints because I'm a team player. I don’t think they'll be problems between us because we raced for a year together (at LPR Brakes-Ballan) and so we know each other," Ferrari said.
"I hope to payback the Lampre team for the faith they've shown in me. I've finally managed to show what I can do after not racing very much and an important team made me a good offer. The team's first get together is in December and that's when we'll get to known each other and agree our race programmes."
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 11:34
- Daniel Benson
John Coates to recommend members of panel
The International Cycling Union (UCI) has begun the process by which it hopes will address the serious allegations that surfaced during USADA's investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team.
The sport's governing body has invited the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS) to recommend the three panelists that will make up the Independent Commission. The Commission will look at the serious allegations and behaviour of the UCI during the Lance Armstrong era. The UCI faced several allegations which included covering up a positive test and bribery after accepting several donations from Armstrong.
John Coates will recommend three individuals to sit on the panel. The first, and its chair, will be a respected senior lawyer; the second will be a forensic accountant, who will be recommended by the chair; and, the third will be an experienced sports administrator. All three members will be independent of cycling.
In a press release issued on Wednesday the UCI stated: “The UCI has drawn up draft terms of reference which addresses the main issues raised by the USADA report into Lance Armstrong.
“The purpose of this independent commission is to look into the findings of the USADA report and ultimately to make conclusions and recommendations that will enable the UCI to restore confidence in the sport of cycling and in the UCI as its governing body.”
UCI President Pat McQuaid continued: “Cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, both for participants and spectators and it has a bright future.
"Those who will define that future can be found among the current generation of riders who have chosen to prove that you can compete and win clean.”
Coates has already recommended a number of legal figures for the commission and the UCI has already begun contacting several of Coates choices. The UCI reiterated that the commission will produce their findings no later that June 1, 2013.
UCI President, Pat McQuaid, said: “We would like thank John Coates for his recommendations, which we will follow to the letter.”
The UCI announced their plans to form a commission last week after confirming they would not appeal USADA's decision to strip Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles. They also announced the suspension of the legal suit against journalist Paul Kimmage.
Who is John Coates?
As well as being a lawyer and long term administrator in sport, Coates is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and is the current president of the Australian Olympic Committee and chairman of the Australian Olympic Foundation.
Earlier this month ABC News reported that Coates wanted athletes to sign a statutory declaration saying they have no doping history if they wished to compete at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016. Such a measure would be in line with Sky's and ORICA GreenEdge's 'zero tolerance' stance to doping and throws into question the possibility of a 'truth and reconciliation' process within cycling.
"If they don't sign, they don't go to the Games, they won't be selected," Coates said.
"What I don't want is for the AOC to have egg on its face like cycling has.In my opinion we simply cannot allow the name of the AOC to be damaged, like that of the International Cycling Union, for not having taken every reasonable step possible to ensure that no person in authority on our Olympic Team has a doping history," Coates said.
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 14:08
- Alasdair Fotheringham
Armstrong’s 2000 bronze medal under investigation by International Olympic Committee
An executive board member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has told the insidethegames.biz website that Lance Armstrong’s credibility has disappeared regardless of the whatever final decision is reached in the investigation by the IOC into the Texan’s bronze medal from the time trial even in the 2000 Olympic Games.
International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) president René Fasel told the insidethegames site that “regardless of whether you take his medal, his credibility is lost.”
“This is almost administrative and the taste will remain bitter no whatever happens.”
“With this Armstrong issue....it is not a huge feeling of victory, but just very sad.”
"I only hope it will be a lesson to athletes that if they cheat, a day will eventually come where they will be caught.”
Fasel’s Federation has always taken the fight against doping very seriously. According to figures on its website, the International Ice-Hockey Federation carried out 6,065 out-of-competition anti-doping tests in 2009. According to a Reuters report on Tuesday, cycling carried out slightly more than half that number of out-of-competition blood tests - 3,314 - in 2011 whilst the international tennis federation, according to its website, carried out just 21.
“We should not need to [have a] witch hunt with athletes when it comes to doping, but rather educate them and their coaches and entourages about the importance of not doping,” Fasel added in the interview with insidethegames.biz.
Within the context of the anti-doping struggle, Fasel went on to criticise the 2013 Tour de France route, which tackles the Alpe D’Huez twice next year, saying “that is a huge question mark for me.”
“Maybe it is good for the fans, but if you put athletes in a situation where they have no choice but to take illegal substances just to compete, that is wrong.”
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 16:11
- Peter Cossins
Calls for UCI to hand over responsibility for dope controls and for WADA to act on “liberalised" corticoid use
FDJ’s Jérémy Roy has become the latest pro to offer his opinions on the ongoing debate about doping within the sport in the wake of the revelations about Lance Armstrong and the US Postal team. In an open letter on his website, the Frenchman thanked all those who have admitted doping in the past for their confessions, called for the UCI to hand over control of the testing process and for the World Anti-Doping Agency to act on the liberalised use of corticoids.
Having started off by admitting that “cycling is not currently in the best of worlds”, Roy affirmed that not all cyclists should be tarred with the same brush as those who have cheated. There are, he insisted, plenty of good guys out there who are well worthy of support. He said that, in common with almost everyone else, he had been shocked by the contents of the USADA dossier on Lance Armstrong and the US Postal, particularly by the systematic extent of the doping within that team.
“Thankfully not all teams work in that way,” he said, insisting that he, like many others, had not simply turned a blind eye to what was going on nor were they bound by the terms of some unwritten omerta. “Even if I do speak to other riders from time to time, do you think that those who are cheating are going to open up to me about their chemical prowess?
"The latest confessions have shown that not even their wives and families knew what was going on. It is too easy for them to ask for forgiveness now in order to cleanse their conscience, but I don’t excuse them for what they have done. They have stolen results, glory, money, contracts… But on the other hand I will nevertheless say thank you to them for having confessed if that contributes to stemming this terrible scourge by taking responsibility for what they have done and trying to find a solution.”
Roy said he supported UCI’s implementation of the ADAMS (whereabouts) system and the use of the biological passport. However, he added that the UCI needed to create a fully independent commission to oversee the implementation of doping controls, describing this as “a necessity if the UCI wants to regain its credibility. Only then would criticism of it being both the judge and lawmaker conclude.”
He also called for WADA to retrace its steps with the regard to the “liberalised use of corticoids. A suspension should be obligatory in cases where these products are seen to have been used in order to prevent any damage to the health of the rider.”
Roy also backed Taylor Phinney’s zero tolerance stance on caffeine pills and painkillers. “Some riders to take painkillers when they are racing. But if you’ve got a problem that needs to be treated with a painkiller I doubt that taking part in a bike race is going to help out!”
The Frenchman concluded his open letter saying that, in spite of the turmoil that has regularly engulfed the sport he loves since he turned pro at the end of 2003, he still feels immense passion for it. “I know of course that I will never win the Tour de France or the World Championship with my capacity, but I always continue to hope, to hope that I can progress, that I can give the best of myself and that I won’t have any regrets because I will have given all I have on the way. I have made so many sacrifices – and my family has as well as I spend up to 180 days a year away from them – that I can’t give up now. That would be another defeat that the cheats were responsible for.”
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 17:16
- Cycling News
Swiss star welcomes new supporters group in Flanders
Fabian Cancellara was in Oudenaarde today to welcome a new supporters club at the Centrum van de Ronde van Vlaanderen - a museum devoted to the Tour of Flanders.
The winner of the 2010 edition of the race took time out of the celebration to speak about the tumultuous time that the sport of cycling is going through in the wake of the doping case of Lance Armstrong.
"We are going through a difficult period," he told Sporza.be. "But cycling will never die, This sport is much too beautiful."
Cancellara is currently part of the RadioShack-Nissan team, having been absorbed by the merger between Leopard Trek and the team of Johan Bruyneel, who still faces his own arbitration in the US Anti-Doping Agency's case of doping conspiracy. Bruyneel was forced out of the organisation last month after the release of USADA's reasoned decision that detailed the coordinated doping of the US Postal Service team under the Belgian.
The Swiss rider hopes that people can finally close the chapter on the sport's doping past, "and get away from that negativity".
"We no longer have to go back to the time when doping was like drinking water," he said. "I will not go into details about what has happened in the past. I am not a judge."
Cancellara is already focused on the coming season, in which he hopes to return to the top of the podium in the Classics.
"I'm looking forward to 2013," he said. "I have been at a camp in the Alps at about 3500 meters. That was the symbolic start of my new season."
After a difficult 2012 which included a crash in the Tour of Flanders that left him with a shattered collarbone, a return to form for the Tour de France and Olympic Games but then another crash in the road race that left him out of contention for any medals, Cancellara said he is recovered on all levels.
"Mentally I am certainly ready, and everything is good on physical level. I want to be there at 100%; I also believe in the power of the RadioShack team."
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 18:00
- Cycling News
2013 squad nearly complete with 28 riders
The Cannondale Pro Cycling Team announced the signing of three more riders today, three of which come from the Spidertech team: Canadians David Boily and Guillaume Boivin join Brian Bach Vandborg from the defunct squad, while Italian Tiziano Dall'Antonia renewed his contract, bringing the 2013 headcount to 28.
Boily, 22, is a notable climber from Quebec who in 2011 placed second overall in the Tour de l'Avenir. Boivin, also from Quebec, is a sprinter who took the bronze medal in the 2010 U23 world championship road race. He also was second in the Ronde van Drenthe and third in Tro Bro Leon this season.
"With these four arrivals, the headcount for 2013 is starting to get full," said team manager Roberto Amadio. "So far we have set up the team as we wanted: competitive, and equipped with a strong international focus. In the coming weeks we will evaluate the possibility of new entries to make the formation even more complete. "
Other new arrivals to the team include Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Venezuela), Mathias Krizek (neo), Cameron Wurf (Champion System), Nariyuki Masuda (Utsunomiya-Blitzen) and Michel Koch (LKT).
Return riders are: Stefano Agostini, Ivan Basso, Maciej Bodnar, Damiano Caruso, Federico Canuti, Mauro Da Dalto, Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Ted King, Kristijan Koren, Paolo Longo Borghini, Alan Marangoni, Moreno Moser, Maciej Paterski, Daniele Ratto, Fabio Sabatini, Juraj Sagan, Peter Sagan, Cristiano Salero, Cayetano Sarmiento, Elia Viviani.
Leaving the team after 2012 are: Alessandro Vanotti (Astana), Valerio Agnoli (Astana), Daniel Oss (BMC), Dominik Nerz (BMC), Eros Capecchi (Movistar), Sylvester Szmyd (Movistar) and Timothy Duggan (unknown).
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 19:00
- Cycling News
Follows ICAS role in Independent Commission
Hot on the heels of their announcement that John Coates, the President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport (ICAS), will recommend members for their Independent Commission, the UCI has proposed a separate project to gather ideas for the future of cycling.
UCI President Pat McQuaid announced that the ‘wide ranging consultation would include all of the sport’s stakeholders. Although he did not specify as to who they were he said that the consultation would run separately to the Independent Commission. Any respected commission is likely to include representatives from the professional teams, sponsors, and anti-doping agencies.
The consultation will come into effect in the Spring of 2013 and according to a UCI press release will, "look to the future of the sport – and discuss how to bring in lasting improvements to tackle issues of concern within cycling and work together to build a bright future."
Pat McQuaid said: "All stakeholders will be invited to participate in this consultation exercise, which will also look at measures to continue the process of globalising the sport, encourage even wider participation and ways to make the sport even more interesting for spectators."
He continued: "We must all work together to recover from the damage which the Armstrong affair has undoubtedly done to our sport, the sport we all love and cherish."
"While it is absolutely right that the Independent Commission investigates the past and makes recommendations for the future around the issues of doping, our sport is about so much more than that."
"We saw this year in the Olympic Games in London that cycling is one of the world’s most popular sports, both for participants and spectators, and it has a bright future. This is what the consultation exercise will focus on."
- Article published:
- November 7, 2012, 20:00
- Pat Malach
Kiwi overcomes injury for second time
Although it's a reputation he'd probably rather not wear, Michael Torckler is proving himself to be the king of comebacks. The 24-year-old from New Zealand has overcome two major career setbacks – the latest a potentially fatal encounter with a wayward California automobile in June – to make his debut with Bissell Pro Cycling last week at the Tour of the Southland in his home country.
Torckler had originally signed with Bissell in June and planned to ride the Cascade Cycling Classic, the Tour of Utah and the USA Pro Cycling Challenge with the US-based UCI Continental team. But that plan took a frightening turn when he collided with an oncoming car while training with the team in Northern California. He was on a high-speed descent when the on-coming car cut into his lane while navigating a tight corner and struck him head on. The vehicle's operator, suspected of drunken driving, fled the scene but was arrested later.
Bissell director Omer Kem remembers getting a phone call the Sunday after the team wrapped up the Nature Valley Grand Prix and hearing team manager Glenn Mitchell on the other end of the line telling him Torckler had been struck by the car. And things weren't looking good.
"Glenn called me and said that he had gotten a call from someone in New Zealand, because the police found Mike's phone at the scene and called someone in New Zealand," Kem said. "They basically told Glenn to go to the hospital because we think he's going to die. It was the worst thing you could possibly imagine."
The 2012 Tour of Borneo winner had suffered a broken arm and more than 20 fractures to his skull. The initial injuries were horrific; Torckler's face took the brunt of the impact, while his helmet was largely unscathed. The hospital where he was taken initially listed him in critical condition.
But despite the frightening nature of the injuries, once the swelling subsided and CAT scans revealed he did not suffer any brain damage, his condition was downgraded. The long-term damage was much less severe than first believed, and he began a miraculously quick rehabilitation, an arena in which Torckler had previous experience.
A momentary slip and successful return
Torckler turned heads in 2010 when he won the Tour of Wellington, joining the likes of past winners Julian Dean and Hayden Roulston. He signed with the UCI Continental Pure Black Racing team for 2011, but a freak off-the-bike accident on a muddy stairway during a preseason training camp broke his kneecap in two. He missed the team's entire US campaign that season and didn't start racing again until September of that year at a local one-day event in New Zealand. Torckler's comeback from that injury took some time, but once he finally made it back into the peloton he picked right back up where he left off. He went on later that season to win the one-day K2 Cycle Classic and then the overall at the Taupo Cycle Challenge.
In 2012 he enjoyed an impressive early season of racing in Asia with Pure Black, leading the Tour of Borneo from start to finish on his way to the overall win. He also posted an eighth overall at Jelajah Malaysia. Torckler's last race before the late-June collision was the Tour de Beauce, where he finished 19th overall, 3:50 behind winner Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare). Then he headed for California and the informal Bissell team training camp before the upcoming block of stage racing.
"I was looking forward to those races because they would probably suit me pretty well and my style of riding. So there was some good stuff lined up," Torckler said this week from his home in New Zealand. But it obviously wasn't to be, and now Torckler is in the midst of his second comeback in just two seasons, which is why the ride at Southland meant so much to him. "It's been a couple of seasons that I've been out of action now pretty much. So I'm pretty keen to just get amongst it, for sure."
Back in the peloton ... again
Although he finished 61st place at the Southland tour, more than 35 minutes behind overall winner Mike Northey, Torckler showed brief glimpses of his previous form during the flat, windy eight-stage race that didn't necessarily favor his climbing skills. Kem said Torckler performed well despite limited training, even providing teammate Carter Jones with a final, devastating lead out on the way to Jones winning the stage up Crown's Range.
"The team took over leading into the climb with a couple kilometers to go," Kem said. "It was Jeremy (Vennell), Chris (Baldwin), Torckler, then Carter. For Torckler to do the last big turn and basically drop everybody, that was really fantastic to see and sets him up well for having a good winter – I guess summer there – of training coming into the season."
Torckler will likely return to the Santa Rosa area in late February to train with fellow Bissell Kiwis Vennell and Patrick Bevin before the team's official training camp in March. Although his 2013 race calendar has not yet been set and he hasn't picked out his targets for the year, the big races he missed out on in 2012 will definitely be on his radar, including the Tour of California in May.
"I would love to get a start in California, that would be pretty awesome," Torckler said. "I'll certainly be trying to have the form as good as possible for those races. It's pretty tough having to go through rehab again, so it's good to have those races in your sights to keep you excited."
And Kem has big plans for Torckler as well. The Bissell director says Torckler has shown himself to be a strong time trialist who can also climb really well, making him a potential winner for some of the shorter time trials in the US. Kem believes the US schedule will provide Torckler with some prime opportunities early in the year, and he hopes to eventually watch Torckler fulfil the long-term potential that has twice been put on hold.
"We see big things for him," Kem said. "But he's kind of off the radar for a lot of people, so we're going to be able to develop him in house, and with the calendar we have I think we can have a good balance of some races that he can be successful at and help him grow as a rider. I think he'll have a good season. He's young, he'll grow with us and get stronger. Our hope is to grow him into someone who can be winning bike races here in the next few years."