TechPowered By

More tech

Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Date published:
October 12, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Martin and Millar confirmed for Chrono des Nations

    Tony Martin (HTC-Highroad) in action
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 11:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Vinokourov and Thomas Dekker in 30-man field

    World time trial champion Tony Martin and defending champion David Millar (Garmin-Cervélo) will top the bill at the Chrono des Nations, which takes place at Les Herbiers on Sunday. The 30-rider line-up for the season-ending time trial was announced on Tuesday evening, with Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) confirmed among their number.

    The Chrono des Nations will be Martin’s last race as an HTC-Highroad rider and his final chance to showcase his rainbow jersey before ending his season. The German enjoyed a hugely successful first outing as world champion at the Tour of Beijing, where first place in the opening time trial paved the way for his final overall victory.

    Millar was second in the Beijing time trial but he knows that he will have his work cut out against the on-form Martin to repeat his dominant Chrono des Nations success of twelve months ago. On that occasion, Millar was the only rider to complete the 48.5km course in less than an hour.

    While Martin and Millar will be expected to shine, there are a number of other in-form time triallists in the 30-strong field. British champion Alex Dowsett (Sky) won the under 23 version of the Chrono des Nations last year and can offer a further confirmation of his recent progress with a solid showing on Sunday, while former elite winners Stef Clement (Rabobank) and Laszlo Bodrogi (Team Type 1) are always reliable performers.

    The race will also see Alexandre Vinokourov make his return to competitive action after suffering a broken femur at the Tour de France. The Kazakh had previously planned to make a comeback at the Tour of Lombardy, but has instead opted for the French time trial.

    Another rider with a doping past in the field is Thomas Dekker (Garmin-Chipotle). The Dutchman has delivered some solid time trialling performances since his return to the sport this summer following a...

  • CONI requests 12-year ban for Riccò

    Riccardo Riccò (Meridiana-Kamen)
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 12:31 BST
    Cycling News

    Case referred to body's anti-doping tribunal

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has requested a twelve-year ban for Riccardo Riccò after examining the report of an investigation by public prosecutors in Modena. Riccò's case has been formally referred to CONI's anti-doping tribunal.

    Riccò was hospitalised with kidney problems in February of this year, allegedly as a result of transfusing incorrectly-stored blood. ANSA yesterday reported that Riccò had confessed to undergoing a blood transfusion in a written statement to prosecutors in Modena, although his lawyer Fiorenzo Alessi subsequently stated that the rider had admitted to transfusing an iron solution rather than his own blood.

    In a statement on Wednesday morning, CONI announced that it had referred Riccò’s case to its anti-doping tribunal for a “violation of article 2.2 of the WADA code on the basis of the report forwarded by the Modena Procura.” CONI has also requested “a suspension of twelve years, given that it is the second violation of anti-doping rules.”

    Riccò’s first doping sanction came after he tested positive for CERA at the 2008 Tour de France. On that occasion, he was handed a two-year suspension but ironically that ban was reduced to 20 months after Riccò collaborated with CONI’s inquiry, and he returned to competitive action in March 2010.

    Although Riccò enjoyed considerable success in the second half of last season, he has not raced since his kidney ailment in early February, and he was fired by his Vacansoleil-DCM team shortly after being discharged from hospital later that month.

    Riccò’s attempts to return to action in June in the colours of Croatian outfit Meridiana-Kamen were thwarted by temporary suspensions imposed by both...

  • Pre-race knee niggle no concern for Bobridge

    Jack Bobridge (Garmin - Cervelo) was relentless on Stage 1 of the 2011 Jayco Herald Sun Tour
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 14:56 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Targets GC victory in Sun Tour

    Jack Bobridge (Garmin-Cervelo) started the Jayco Herald Sun Tour not quite knowing if the recent knee injury which flared up at last week's Tour of Beijing was going to force him into taking a back seat on any general classification ambitions.

    The Garmin-Cervelo rider was a non-starter in the Chinese capital for the final stage on Sunday, choosing instead to use the time as recovery heading into the Australian five-stage race, his final outing of the season. It is also his final race with Garmin-Cervelo, as he will move to GreenEdge for 2012.

    The injury is the one which has caused some issues for the 22-year-old over the past few seasons.

    "I've had a little bit of a problem since I first started but it will be alright," Bobridge told Cyclingnews. "I can feel it coming on now so I won't let it get too bad. The first 50 kilometres will get the body going again and get a bit of a sweat up," he predicted.

    Bobridge was clearly feeling no ill-effects and was rambunctious in the 15-man breakaway, pushing eventual stage winner Rhys Pollock (Drapac) right until the final three kilometres when the latter attacked. The Adelaide native went on to finish fourth in the sprint behind.

    Given that he was taking a ‘wait and see' approach to his general classification ambitions for the week due to the concerns over his knee, Bobridge, may need a little more time to see if there are any ramifications from his constant attacking. He currently sits fourth overall, 23 seconds behind Pollock heading into Thursday's second stage.

    "It's the last race of the season so if it's a little bit niggly I'll probably keep riding anyway heading into a break," he said.

    Though Garmin-Cervelo are a man down due to the broken hand...

  • Longo threatens to sue AFLD

    French cycling legend Jeannie Longo finished 15th on the uphill eight-mile course to Maroon Bells.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 15:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Frenchwoman has not denied missing test

    Jeannie Longo is set to sue the French anti-doping agency AFLD for “violation of professional confidentiality” in the wake of reports last month that the Frenchwoman had twice supplied insufficient whereabouts information and then missed a doping control earlier this year.

    An article in L’Équipe in early September stated that the AFLD was to send a dossier on the Longo case to the French Cycling Federation (FFC) in order to open disciplinary proceedings against the veteran rider. Longo’s lawyer Pierre Albert complained that his client only learned of the possibility of sanction via the press and accused the AFLD of leaking confidential information.

    “All of this leaves us to think that this violation came from the interior of the AFLD,” Albert said, according to RTL. He later told AFP that “a complaint is in the process of being sent to the Paris prosecution.”

    “The members of the agency are bound to confidentiality,” he said. “One can doubt the impartiality of the procedure from the moment that Jeannie Longo learns in the press that they are going to send a dossier to the FFC.”

    Longo has not denied failing to supply sufficient whereabouts information, nor has she refuted the allegation that she missed an out of competition test in the United States in July. Her current legal action is aimed at the manner in which the accusations entered the public domain rather than their substance.

    Longo’s husband and coach Patrice Ciprelli has since been accused of purchasing EPO via the internet, and Longo subsequently opted to

  • Visser reinforces upgraded Skil-1t4i women's team

    Adrie Visser (HTC Highroad Women) won the overall
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 16:43 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Former Skil-Koga squad grows with men's program

    Skil-Shimano’s management has confirmed that Project 1t4i will have a women’s team for the 2012 season. The team will race at UCI level, sharing resources and structure with the men’s squad. The 10-rider team will look to compete in the biggest races, while their male counterparts are also under consideration for a WorldTour license for 2012.

    As well as keeping Regina Bruins, Amy Pieters, Esra Tromp, Suzanne de Goede, Anne de Wildt and Linda van Rijen, the team will bolster its ranks with Adrie Visser (HTC-Highroad), Monique van de Ree (AA-Drink) and Janneke Kanis (Nederland Bloeit). The squad has also offered a full time contract to Kelly Markus, who finished ninth in the women’s junior road race at the World Championships in Copenhagen last month.

    "The Project 1t4i women’s team will proceed with the same supporting staff, vision and character as the men’s team. Sponsor Skil, who signed a two-year Olympic commitment with the women’s team last year, will remain connected to the team for another year," the team announced in a press release.

    Skil-1t4i is the public name for the new squad until the spring when the new lead sponsor, which has already signed a three-year deal, will be unveiled.

  • Bettini accused of abusing office by Padova doping inquiry

    A dapper Paolo Bettini was on hand in the start.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 19:20 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian federation moves to defend national team coach

    Italian national coach Paolo Bettini has been accused of abusing his office by a Padova-based anti-doping inquiry, according to reports from La Repubblica and the ANSA news agency.

    Bettini is alleged to have forewarned one of his riders of a doping control in the run-up to the world championships in Geelong in September 2010. The Italian squad was staying at Hotel Le Robinie in Busto Arsizio, Italy at the time of the alleged incident, before flying together to Australia for the Worlds.

    Italian federation president Renato Di Rocco came to Bettini’s defence on Wednesday evening, however, and argued that the control in question was a routine internal health check of all selected riders, which was carried out under the auspices of the federation.

    “This is a contradiction in terms and the magistrate should inform himself better,” Di Rocco said, according to La Repubblica. “It was an internal control of the kind we regularly carry out. Bettini gave a reminder so that the athlete would stick to the schedule.”

    On Tuesday, it was announced that Bettini had paid out a tax settlement of two million euro to the Italian authorities. The Tuscan had been accused of evading €4.5 million of taxes between 2003 and the end of his racing career in 2008.

  • Video: New Giro d'Italia director promises to respect riders

    Lars Krarup, Micheleacquarone_jan_tr_jborg
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 21:12 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Start in USA a goal, but not a reality

    RCS Sport managing director Michele Acquarone, the new director of the Giro d'Italia, promised to pay more attention to taking care of the racers in future editions and listen more to the feedback of cycling fans.

    Acquarone took over as race director from Angelo Zomegnan, whose course designs made the Giro bigger, grander, and more difficult in recent years, but which also were the subject of criticism from riders because of long transfers and dangerous roads.

    The new director said he listened to the feedback of the race's fans, and promised better conditions for the 2012 edition.

    "We have to be closer with the riders, because we are just the organisers, they are the superstars - they are the champions and people want the stars, they don't care about us. We have to speak with them to do the best possible. We have to stick with the riders, and try to do the best as we can because they need to show their talent when they challenge in Italy."

    But Acquarone has to balance his company's goal of building new audiences across the globe with ensuring that riders won't face unreasonable transfers.

    He said that a start in the USA, which was proposed for 2012, is still a goal, but that it's not possible right now without sacrificing the riders' concerns.

    "I always say that this is a big target, this is our dream, nowadays it's not possible. I'm very worried about the jetlag. I can't say we will take care of riders and then we give them six hours of jetlag like...

  • Haas makes tilt for overall honours at Sun Tour

    Nathan Haas is taking it one step at a time in 2011.
    Article published:
    October 12, 2011, 22:23 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Genesys rookie not intimidated but "maybe star-struck"

    Fresh from his fifth Australian National Road Series win of the 2011 season, Nathan Haas (Genesys Wealth Advisers) showed he could go toe-to-toe with cycling's elite on the Jayco Herald Sun's opening stage from Whittlesea to Ballarat on Wednesday.

    Haas and teammate Pat Shaw found themselves in the opening day's break which began just 10 kilometres after leaving Whittlesea on Wednesday, a group of 15, where the domestic outfit gave themselves the best chance of posting a result against their ProTour and Pro Continental rivals. However, the pair weren't just along for the ride, with Haas going on to eventually place third for the stage and sit in second place on general classification, 15 seconds off the lead of Rhys Pollock (Drapac).

    The 22-year-old Canberra-based rider fought hard for his victory at the Tour of Tasmania which concluded on Sunday. Speaking to Cyclingnews post-race on Wednesday, Haas revealed the win had in fact taken a toll and he had some concerns about starting the first of the Sun Tour's five stages.

    "Yesterday, I felt absolutely horrible on Beach Road and I felt as though I should have sat down and called the car and I was even thinking about it," he said.

    Lining up at the start in Whittlesea, Haas was back and pumped about the opportunity to race, and never took a backward step all race.

    "On the Cat.3 climb [in Daylesford], [Jack] Bobridge was away with [Rhys] Pollock and I had to go with it," he said of the six points he claimed for third across the line. That together with the maximum points he collected on the day's two sprints, gave him the lead in the sprint classification, while he's second overall in...