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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Date published:
October 06, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Meares adds another milestone in India

    Anna Meares (Australia) earned gold in the 500m time trial.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 2:32 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian track team takes a trio of Commonwealth Games golds

    Anna Meares added another gold medal to her impressive collection when she won the women's 500m time trial in Delhi's Indira Gandhi sports complex at the Commonwealth Games.

    On the opening night of competition she was one of three Australians taking gold medals, with Scott Sunderland winning the men's 1000m time trial and Garmin-Transitions pro Jack Bobridge overcoming New Zealand's Jesse Sergent in the final of the individual pursuit.

    All eyes were on former world record holder and Athens Olympics champion Meares however, who at 27 is Australia's queen of the track, as she went for yet another milestone in her career.

    Trialling a bigger gear for the event, Meares set a time of 33.758 seconds, a Commonwealth Games record and over a second better than teammate and silver medallist Kaarle McCulooch.

    "I have improved a lot since Melbourne four years ago," Meares told reporters afterwards. "In four years, that's a significant time gain in this event, I'm very pleased with that.

    "It's a great feeling to be able to walk away with a Commonwealth Games gold medal. It's a result of a lot of hard work, not only from myself, but a team of people really that help gut us on the track."

    "In terms of London, I don't think I've reached my peak," she said. "I'm 27 - for a female track cyclist you're looking at your late 20s, early 30s to get your peak performance.

    "So with another two years under my belt, especially with rides like today I'm confident that those little improvements are going to still happen."

  • Rollin due to sign for new team soon

    Dominique Rollin (Cervelo Test Team)
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 4:42 BST
    Les Clarke

    Canadian rouleur remaining optimistic about 2011

    Dominique Rollin was one of the riders affected by Cervélo TestTeam's decision to end the squad at the conclusion of this season and merge with Garmin-Transitions. He says he's got options for a 2011 contract but it hasn't been easy.

    "Sure, it didn't make it easy - a lot of guys ended up in the same position," Rollin told Cyclingnews. "At the moment, with Xacobeo pulling out, it's like, 'Those guys are going to have a hard time finding something'. The market's already saturated.

    "It's never fun hearing that your team is folding, especially when they tell you for about two months that they're looking to go ProTour, they want you to wait and think about next year because they have plans... but at they were kind enough to give us some help and a heads up."

    The powerful Canadian rider competed in the elite men's road race at last weekend's UCI Road World Championships that was won by trade teammate Thor Hushovd. That race may not have ended positively for Rollin but he remains optimistic about his chances of finding a ride for next year, however.

    "I'm looking at the moment - I've got some options," he explained. "I won't be part of Garmin-Cervélo because it was a hard merger where Garmin already had more than 20 guys on the contract and at Cervélo half of the team was still under contract. Some guys thought they were clear have had to find something for next year. That was pretty shocking for them.

    "I've got something going on at the moment - it should be announced pretty soon."

    Brought into the Cervélo Test Team as a Classics domestique and potential contender thanks to his strong performances on the National Racing Calendar in the US, Rollin hopes to get more chances to demonstrate his ability in those type of races with the squad he'll be joining - given that...

  • Torri suggests doping is rife in cycling

    CONI prosecutor Ettore Torri delivers decision on Alejandro Valverde next week
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 10:51 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian anti-doping prosecutor calls on Contador to prove his innocence

    The Italian anti-doping prosecutor Ettore Torri has sparked controversy by claiming that doping is widespread in cycling and unlikely to ever be eradicated.

    In an interview with the Associated Press news agency, Torri also suggested doping should be legalised if it didn’t harm the health of athletes. He also said that Alberto Contador can’t just blame his Clenbuterol positive on a contaminated steak but needs to prove it.

    78-year-old Torri is the former head of the Rome public prosecutor’s office and has been in charge of investigating doping in sport since 2006. His investigations led to doping bans for Danilo Di Luca, Alessandro Petacchi, Riccardo Riccò and many others.

    “The longer I’m involved in this the more I marvel at how widespread doping is,” Torri said. “And I don’t think it will be eradicated. Because it just evolves continuously. There are new substances coming out that can’t be tested for,” Torri told AP.

    “I’m not the only one saying it.”

    Torri suggested legalising doping as a possible solution to the problem if that didn’t harm the health of cyclists. He made the suggestion because only a small number of athletes are ever caught.

    “It’s not fair when we single out one rider in a 100,” he said. “If the other 99 have doped too but are not prosecuted, it’s not fair.”

    “As long as doping is a viable economic option it’s always going to exist. It needs to be made so that it’s no longer worth it economically.”

    “Anti-doping is always behind the dopers. For example, anyone who used AICAR (a new performance boosting drug) until yesterday got off,” he said. “Every time we develop a test we’ve already lost 50 percent of those who have doped with a substance.”

    “There are always ways to use...

  • Contador's brother refutes transfusion claims

    Alberto Contador leads the Astana squad to be presented.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 11:36 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Press officer denies meat was purchased in Pau

    Alberto Contador’s entourage has continued to refute claims that he underwent performance enhancing blood transfusions during July’s Tour de France. Fran Contador, the rider’s brother and agent, has denied allegations to that effect printed in the New York Times.

    “What the New York Times wrote has no sense, they’re causing irreparable damage,” Fran Contador told La Sexta/Deportes. “Alberto is very tired and worn down from this affair. The only sensible thing to do is to await the outcome.

    “The only certainty is that Alberto has not committed any irregularity. Everything that I’ve heard said about the control of July 21 [when Contador’s sample showed traces of clenbuterol] is just gossip. As for the test on July 20, the UCI has informed us and assured us of the fact that the test in question was negative.”

    The July 20 test was taken the day before the Tour’s final rest day and according to the New York Times, the urine sample revealed the presence of plasticizers at levels that could indicate that Contador had undergone a blood transfusion. “A test performed on at least one of Contador’s urine samples from the Tour revealed levels of that chemical eight times higher than the minimum amount that signifies doping, according to a person with knowledge of the test results,” the New York Times wrote.

    In spite of the force of the accusations, Fran Contador was resolute in his rebuttal. “We can only give our version of events, as we have already done. We’re now awaiting the decision and we hope that justice is done and the truth comes out,” he said. “You can’t send an innocent man to the electric chair.”

    Meanwhile, Alberto Contador’s press officer Jacinto Vidarte has denied reports that the meat Contador ate on July 20 came from a market in Pau and not from Spain,...

  • Evans reflects on world championships

    An exhausted Cadel Evans (Australia) at the finish.
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 12:17 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Former world champion to end his season at the Tour of Lombardy

    Cadel Evans has praised new world champion Thor Hushovd for his successful ride in Geelong and claims that the Australian team rode the best race he had seen in a professional world championships.

    Evans finished seventeenth as he relinquished his rainbow jersey a year after his victory in Mendrisio. He rode very aggressively but admitted he was hit by cramps in the final kilometre and finished the race “pretty spent”.

    “What a race! My result aside, an incredible day in cycling and in world sport,” Evans said in his latest blog on his website.

    “Now having had some time to reflect on the race objectively; I am still convinced that the Aussies rode the best that I had seen in a Pro Worlds. And Allan 'Alby' Davis finished off the good team work well behind deserving winner Hushovd.”

    “I made the most of nearly every opportunity in the latter part of the race, with maybe one or two six and half hours, being human and all this happens... but most importantly, in the interests of the Aussie team - we were firing on all nine cylinders.”

    “I was not so surprised that it arrived in a group finish, but it did surprise me how aggressive some of the early moves were, hence why I worked to be in each of the dangerous moves after Simon and Stuey had done their work.”

    “Judging by the impressive cramps I got in the last kilometre, I don't know if a bit more luck my way would have made a big difference, I finished that one pretty spent.”

    Evans praised his teammate Matt Hayman and the Australian Under men's team that won the world title with Michael Matthews.

    "Special mentions for: the great weather, the great crowd, Matt Hayman for being the consumate professional he is, and looking after me until it 'got nasty' (very selective), and to the Australian U/23's. Just keep doing as you are boys, it's obviously working well," he...

  • Garcia positive for EPO at Vuelta

    Stage 15 winner, David Garcia Dapena wanted to keep his high GC position intact, and he did
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 14:30 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Spaniard had already returned Adverse Analytical Finding for Hydroxethal starch

    The UCI has announced that David Garcia (Xacobeo-Galicia) returned a positive test for EPO at the Vuelta a España. The Spanish rider was already serving a provisional suspension after testing positive for blood volume expander Hydroxethal starch at the same event.

    Garcia’s positive test for EPO came on September 13, after stage 16 to the summit of the Alto de Cotobello. His sample was tested in the WADA-accredited laboratory in Madrid.

    Last week, it was announced that Garcia also tested positive for Hydroxethal starch after stage 18 to Salamanca. On that occasion, Garcia’s sample was tested in the WADA-accredited laboratory in Cologne, Germany. Garcia’s Xacobeo-Galicia teammate Ezequiel Mosquera also returned a positive test for Hydroxethal starch on the same day. The team announced its departure from the sport last week.

    Garcia’s second positive test bears out observations made last week by Dr. Conor McGrane, Medical Officer for Cycling Ireland. Dr. McGrane explained in detail to Cyclingnews how Hydroxethal starch is "basically a masking agent" for EPO.

    The UCI statement on Garcia’s Adverse Analytical Finding for EPO said that the rider will remain provisionally suspended until a panel convened by the Spanish Cycling Federation hears his case. Garcia retains the right to request the analysis of his B sample.

  • Riis believes in Contador, but fears consequences

    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 15:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Sees political games as a dangerous possibility

    Bjarne Riis believes that Alberto Contador is innocent of doping, but is starting to worry. He fears that political machinations may result in the case ending badly, and that he will be left without a star rider for Team Saxo Bank-SunGard for the coming season.

    “I've just met with Alberto Contador and I have no reason not to believe in him,” Riis told the Danish website DR.DK.

    But the Dane knows that isn't enough. “I am afraid that it will end up as a political game - and I hope it does not. It would be extremely unfortunate for all parties,"said Riis.

    Riis had signed the three-time Tour de France winner to ride for him the next two years. His previous captains, Andy and Fränk Schleck and Fabian Cancellara, are all leaving his team. If Contador is suspended, or otherwise not able to fulfill his contract, Riis will be in a difficult position.

    “I'm close to having made up my team,'” he said. “But it is still very open. It depends so much on who is coming.”

    Contador tested positive for Clenbuterol on the second rest day of this year's Tour, and also for plasticizers on the previous day, which are said to be a possible indicator of blood transfusions, which are not allowed. He has consistently proclaimed his innocence and indicated that he might retire if given any sort of suspension.

  • Segura says Contador plasticizer levels are indicative of transfusion

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    October 06, 2010, 18:02 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Developer of plasticizer test comments on Contador affair

    Until recently, Dr. Jordi Segura, the head of the IOC-accredited laboratory in Barcelona, was largely unknown outside scientific circles. However, thanks to a test that he has developed to detect plasticisers within the human body, Segura has unwittingly taken centre stage in the doping affair surrounding Tour de France winner Alberto Contador.

    His test is designed to detect evidence of autologous blood transfusions, and was reportedly used by the laboratory in Cologne, Germany on Contador's samples from the Tour de France.

    Questioned about claims made in the New York Times and L'Equipe that Contador's levels were eight to 10 times higher than normal, Segura said, "Those reported parameters are an unequivocal indication [that a blood transfusion took place]," Segura told AS. "However, we should look at all the data and see if there are any sudden changes in the levels in the samples taken before and afterwards."

    Segura said that he had no idea that his method for detecting plasticisers had been used by the laboratory in Cologne to test Contador's samples from the Tour. "Nobody has officially notified us that it has been used," Segura confirms. "I don't understand how it can be that they haven't been in contact with the people who developed the test, especially as it is being used in such high-profile case."

    Segura said that although the test for di-phthalate plasticizers has yet to be formally sanctioned by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), the method is valid.

    "It's totally good and robust, and it's one of the most important anti-doping advances in recent years because it's the only way of knowing if somebody has undergone an autologous blood transfusion," Segura explained, before outlining how the test works.

    "Plastic bags have components that we call plasticizers, which retain the properties of red blood cells during storage. As these residues are also found in common items, the...