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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Date published:
October 27, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Sanchez insists Spanish sports stars win due to hard work

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel - Euskadi) awaits the start.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 9:30 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Euskatel leader in Cancun for final race of the season

    Spain has a number of top world class athletes dominating various sports and it is all due to hard work, insists Olympic road race champion Samuel Sanchez. But the Euskaltel-Euskadi team leader knows that the country's run of good luck might not last for forever.

    "Right now Spain is on top with people like Fernando Alonso, Rafa Nadal, Alberto Contador, myself. But it's a cycle. Everything has its purpose, and it is a success achieved through effort," he said in Cancun, Mexico, where he will race the Cancun Cycling Challenge-2010 this weekend.

    The Spaniard is happy to be in Mexico for his last race of the 2010 season before taking a break and then beginning preparation for the Tour de France 2011. "The weather in Cancun is perfect for sports, the temperature is perfect and there are good roads,” he said, according to the EFE news agency. After Cancun, Sanchez will “devote myself entirely to France."

    Sanchez also added that he has “One hundred percent confident” in Alberto Contador and he hopes that the doping investigation against the Tour de France winner “is resolved as soon as possible.”

    The Cancun race also stars Giro d'Italia winner Ivan Basso, Andy and Fränk Schleck, Alexander Vinokourov and Romain Kreuziger.

  • Vaughters to preside over AIGCP teams organisation

    Garmin manager Jonathan Vaughters
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 11:08 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Two more years and a hunt for a managing director

    American Jonathan Vaughters has been elected to two more years as president of the professional teams organisation, the AIGCP (Association International des Groupes Cyclistes Professionels).

    After a successful first term in which all of the sport's top teams have been re-integrated into the previously fractured group, Vaughters and the board are looking to hire a managing director to further strengthen the ability of the AIGCP to push for the rights of teams.

    Vaugthers, who also heads the Garmin-Transitions team, plus Robert Amadio (Liquigas-Doimo), Jean-Rene Bernadeau (BBox Bouygues Telecom), Johan Bruyneel (Radioshack), Luuc Eisenga (Rabobank), Bjarne Riis (Saxo Bank) and Eusebio Unzue (Movistar) make up the board which will oversee the position of managing director, which has yet to be filled.

    "Teams are so big nowadays, that it takes all your time to run them, so we decided to hire a managing director who will be independent from any of the teams, and be able to express the opinion of the AIGCP objectively and without bias," Vaughters told Cyclingnews.

    "I'm happy to continue to serve and do my part to make sure that the rights of the teams aren't overlooked," he explained, adding that the decision to hire a director helped convince him to remain in the job.

    "This person will push forward on a lot of the work that needs to be done in an association that big. If you combine the top 20 teams, we're representing 2500 employees and 400 million dollars in revenue. It needs representation, and it needs someone who isn't having to focus on other things.

    In the past two years, the organisation has made slow progress in bringing all the teams to the table to discuss the most pressing issues in the sport. The first small accomplishment was to get a unified opinion on the UCI's proposed ban on two-way radios in races.

    "It was good to see that we were able to get together in our latest meeting and come up...

  • Norway hopes to host world championships

    World champion Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) lines up at the end of the peloton.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 11:09 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    UCI says 2016 at the earliest

    Norway has the new world road race champion Thor Hushovd; now it also wants to organise the world championships. The Norwegian Cycling Federation has said it will seek to organise the annual event in the next few years.

    "We are going to apply for cycling world championships in either 2014 or 2016. We've been informed that the championship are likely to be held outside Europe," said Harald Tiedemann Hansen, the Federation president.

    Norway will also apply for the European Championships on road in 2012. The Scandinavian country hosted the 1993 world championships when Lance Armstrong won the men's road race title in Oslo.

    “Hushovd's world championship gold gave us an extra boost,” Tiedemann Hansen told “There has long been interest in Norway in cycling, and at our annual meeting, we decided to apply for the 2012 European championships and world championships after that. We had a good application in 1993 too, but we are even stronger as a cycling nation now."

    Hushovd was pleased by the idea, even if he wasn't sure he would be around to compete. “It had been a big dream to race the world championships on home soil. But I was a little surprised when I heard about this, because I did not think they had plans to apply,” he said.

    He hinted it could be his last ever race as a professional. “We'll see. I'll 38 in 2016. Maybe I will ride on that day, but not the day after. It'd be a crazy big event in little Norway. However, Norway is not a small bike nation any more, when you look at recruitment and the number of licenses. We can arrange something.”

    The next three world championships are scheduled for Copenhagen, Denmark (2011), Limburg, Netherlands (2012), and Florence, Italy (2013). Chihuahua, Mexico, the Vendee region of France and Hooglede-Gits, Belgium, have expressed interest in organising the 2014 world championships.

    UCI says no chance...

  • Cancellara set to join Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project

    Awesome foursome: Cancellara seals his fourth world title
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 11:41 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Sky and BMC rule out a deal

    Speculation is growing that Fabian Cancellara has reached a deal to ride with the new Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project in 2011.

    Belgian newspaper Gazet van Antwerpen claims that BMC, Team Sky and the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project all wanted to sign the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix winner. They were all were willing to cover the three million Euro fee Cancellara apparently agreed to pay Bjarne Riis to get out of his contract at Saxo Bank but he has opted to ride alongside many of his former teammates at the new Luxembourg-based team.

    Cancellara is currently on holiday and Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project team manager Brian Nygaard refused to comment on the report. However Gazet van Antwerpen claims that Team Sky has confirmed Cancellara will not ride with them in 2011. The paper also suggests the deal can now go ahead because Riis has been paid and so released Cancellara from his contract.

    Cyclingnews understands that BMC owner Andy Rihs offered to create a line of special Cancellara BMC bikes to convince him to join the Swiss-based team. But Cancellara seems to have preferred the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project.

    Cancellara recently told the French Vélo Magazine that he would prefer to ride in a team where he knows his teammates.

    "The most important thing is to be with the people I feel comfortable with. I need my mechanic and my soigneur. I need to be in a perfect environment. In joining an environment that I don't know yet, I could lose one year. I thought a lot about it at the Worlds and this played into my performance,” he said.

    BMC’s Andy Rihs admitted that he had failed to sign Cancellara despite making a substantial offer. "He did not reply to our proposal. As I don't have any news from him, I expect him to go with the Schlecks. And as we made him a very good offer, I suppose that there is more money elsewhere," Rihs told L'Equipe at the...

  • Taiwan Cup set to be bigger and better in 2011

    Basque rider Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) in Taiwan.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 12:25 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Giant bikes chairman King Liu promises to develop the race

    King Liu, the founder and chairman of Giant bicycles has promised to make the Taiwan Cup race bigger and better in 2011, with November 5 already earmarked on the calendar.

    The first edition was due to take place last Sunday but was cancelled because of Typhoon Megi and replaced with a hill climb won by Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi). Oscar Freire, Robert Hunter, Tadej Valjavec, Darren Lill and David Tanner also competed in the event that is part of the Taiwan Cycling Festival.

    “Unfortunately Typhoon Megi brought a weather system that forced the organisers to cancel the race for safety reasons but we achieved our main goal because we wanted to use the first edition as a warm-up and everything has gone well from an organisation point of view,” King Liu told Cyclingnews.

    “But I had lunch with the riders at Sunmoon Lake and they said they will come back next year. We’ll run the event on a bigger scale on November 5, 2011. The government of Taiwan and the cycling industry here are very supportive. We want to make Taiwan a cycling paradise.”

    Liu is 76 but rides almost every day and is a key figure in the global cycling industry. In 2011, Taiwan will celebrate its hundredth anniversary. The Taiwan Cup will be part of the festivities.


  • Is the UCI's Biological Passport flawed?

    Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo)
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 13:24 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Dutch expert Klaas Faber questions its science and legality

    According to a scientist in the Netherlands, the UCI Biological Passport is flawed from both a legal and scientific stand point.

    Klaas Faber, who has worked in analysing scientific data since the 1980s and worked for the Dutch Forensic Institute during the 1990s, believes that the UCI could face a string of contentious borderline cases like that of Franco Pellizotti, who was recently cleared of doping by the Italian Olympic Committee.

    “The information they use in prosecution is incomplete,” Faber told Cyclingnews.

    “They find one or two abnormal values and on the basis of what they see, they hypothesise and then confirm guilt based off the same data. If you base a suspicion on the same data that you use to prove the guilt, it’s an abuse of the data. You need independent data to confirm the hypothesis.”

    The UCI passport was created in the 2008 season, with the sport's governing body collecting data through both in-competition and out-of-competition blood testing. Funded partly by UCI registered teams, race organisers and riders, the creation of the Biological Passport was seen as a watershed moment in the fight against doping. However since the first five cases were brought against athletes in 2009, it has faced a number of hurdles.

    As well as the Pellizotti case, Slovenia’s Tadej Valjavec was also allowed to race again in August after his national federation cleared him of a doping violation. Italy’s Pietro Caucchioli has also appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against his two-year ban.

    According to Faber, issues with the passport stem back to the 1990s. In 2007 an internal memo from within the anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne questioned the validity of the passport procedures.

    “They’ll probably lose the Pellizotti case and as soon as people start recognising these things they see that the passport works to the disadvantage of the...

  • Team Sky signs Appollonio and Hunt

    21-year-old Davide Appollonio (Cervelo TestTeam) on the podium for his first professional victory.
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 17:47 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Young Italian and veteran Briton join from Cervélo TestTeam

    Team Sky has confirmed the signing of young Italian sprinter Davide Appollonio and British veteran Jeremy Hunt for 2011. Both riders will be joining the British team from the defunct Cervélo TestTeam.

    "Our two latest signings perfectly represent the mix of youth and experience which we are bringing to the team. Davide is a great talent and has already shown fantastic promise over the past two years with several race wins. Jeremy on the other hand, brings a wealth of experience with him which the younger riders will be able to benefit greatly from. His achievements speak for themselves and he is a well-respected rider within the peloton," Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford said in a statement.

    Davide Appollonio is just 21 but had a successful debut season as a professional, winning the final stage of the Tour du Limousin and finishing a close second to Roman Feillu in the GP de Fourmies. He was also second in the Tour de Vendée.

    Hunt is at the other end of the age spectrum at 37 and he will join Sky for his sixteenth season as a professional. He began his career working for five-time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain at Banesto and then rode for Big Mat, MBK, Cycle Collstrop and Crédit Agricole before the Cervélo TestTeam in 2009.

    He has often sacrificed his own chances to help teammates in the sprints and during stage races, but has won two British national road race titles in 1997 and 2001. He has a total of 14 race wins on his palmares.

    Team Sky has now announced the signing of five new riders for 2011 and the release three others. Brailsford has indicated that the team could include up to 30 riders, the limit for UCI ProTeams.

    In late September the team confirmed the arrival of Colombian climber Rigoberto Urán, Xabier Zandio and Under 23 rider Alex Dowsett. Others are expected to be announced shortly, including the experienced stage race rider Michael Rogers of...

  • Costa case reflected in 2011 WADA prohibited list

    Alberto Rui Costa (Caisse d'Epargne)
    Article published:
    October 27, 2010, 18:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Methylexaneamine change due to contaminated supplements

    The 2011 prohibited list published by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) contains several key changes, one of which may help to decide the fate of Rui Costa and his brother Mario who tested positive for methylexaneamine during the Tour of Portugal.

    Methylexaneamine positives have cropped up across the sporting world this year, hitting athletes from a number of countries. According to WADA, the banned stimulant has not been used in medical applications since the 1970s, but the substance had "reappeared in a number of nutritional supplements and was therefore subject to potential inadvertent use by athletes".

    The change to the rules didn't come quickly enough for the Costa brothers, or the dozen other athletes found positive for the drug during the Commonwealth Games.

    Because of the increased risk of unintentional use, the drug was re-classified for 2011 from the "non-specified" to "specified" stimulant class, meaning a positive could carry a punishment anywhere from a mere warning to a two-year ban next year. The Costa brothers were provisionally suspended following the positive test, and under 2010 rules could face a two-year ban.

    The new classification still requires athletes to prove that they did not intend to enhance performance "to the satisfaction of the results management authority" in order to receive a reduced sanction.

    Other changes to the prohibited list include the addition of a new category called "Non-Approved Substances" which are banned in and out of competition. These include any substances not already on the list which are not approved by any government regulatory agency for human use. That would capture drugs which are in clinical trials or which have been discontinued.

    Platelet-derived preparations, which have been used by some athletes to help aid healing of injuries, were prohibited when injected intra-muscularly this year, but have been removed from the banned list for 2011 "after...