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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Date published:
October 07, 2009, 1:00 BST
  • Rumpf clarifies lineup for 2010 races

    ProTour director Alain Rumpf with UCI head Pat McQuaid.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 5:54 BST
    Shane Stokes

    Explanation of qualification system for top events

    Following recent media reports about the team lineup in races from next year, ProTour manager Alain Rumpf has clarified how exactly it will be determined which teams take part in major events in 2010 and beyond. Following the Giro di Lombardia, the best teams in the International Cycling Union (UCI) World Ranking will have the green light for next year’s main races, although it will be a further year before the three-week events will follow this rule.

    “From next year, the top 17 teams in the world ranking get rights of participation in all Historic and ProTour races,” Rumpf told Cyclingnews. “The exception for 2010 is in relation to the Grand Tours – this rule does not [yet] apply to them as they are still governed by the agreement that was made between the teams and the organisers in June 2008.”

    At this point in time, 14 out of the top 17 teams are ProTour squads. In order of ranking, these are Astana, Caisse d’Epargne, Columbia – HTC, Saxo Bank, Liquigas, Quick Step, Silence-Lotto, Rabobank, Team Katusha, Garmin Slipstream, Euskaltel-Euskadi, Lampre-NGC, Française des Jeux and Ag2r La Mondiale.

    Professional Continental teams Cervélo TeatTeam, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli and Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo are sixth, 14th and 17th respectively, while ProTour squad Milram is a mere seven points behind Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo in 18th.

    That fight for the 17th slot is likely to be one of the most important battles in the Lombardia event, as whoever wins out will be guaranteed a place in almost all of the major events in 2010.

    While some media reports have already suggested the 17 teams have been decided, this is not actually the case. “The three teams that were mentioned recently [Cervélo, Serramenti PVC Diquigiovanni-Androni Giocattoli and Acqua & Sapone – Caffe Mokambo] are those that...

  • Simoni to join Cunego at Lampre?

    Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego, l-r, in the 2005 Giro
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 11:40 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Lampre's Saronni says idea of having Simoni in his final year is 'tantalizing'

    Gilberto Simoni and Damiano Cunego could join forces for the first time in five years. Lampre-NCG Team Manager Giuseppe Saronni had a meeting with Simoni's agents on Tuesday, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport, to discuss the idea of him riding the final year of his career alongside Cunego.

    "It's a tantalizing idea," Saronni said. "Gibo is no longer at the level to win the Giro d'Italia, but he remains a consistent cyclist. The idea is not only attractive, it also has the right and important technical elements. We will work on it."

    The two Italians rode together in the same team under Saronni from 2002 to 2005. Their relationship broke down when Cunego, riding in his second Giro d'Italia, won four stages and the overall title at age 22. Two-time Giro winner and defending champion Simoni shouted at Cunego: "you're a bastard", as the latter celebrated his fourth stage win at Bormio.

    Simoni, 38, and Cunego, 28, re-established their friendship last winter at a benefit dinner in Milan. Simoni, after two year's with Gianni Savio's Diquigiovanni, could be ready to race again with Cunego for the first time since the 2005 Giro di Lombardia.

    "I would have remained in that group for a lifetime," said Simoni. "The idea of returning there is interesting. It's all come about in the last 24-hours and perhaps it won't even materialise."

    Simoni's agents Alex and Johnny Carera met with the Lampre team owners and Saronni yesterday. The move could see him ride out the last of 17 years of road racing with Lampre.

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  • AFLD: No new cases of doping from 2008 Tour de France

    Pierre Bordry
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 12:03 BST
    Cycling News

    17 riders subject to retesting for EPO-CERA, all return negative result

    The French anti-doping Authority (AFLD) announced today that retesting of 17 samples from the 2008 Tour de France has revealed no new doping cases.

    The AFLD's Director Pierre Bordry made the announcement at a press conference in Paris and said that the samples of 17 riders had been retested for the presence of third generation Erythropoietin (EPO), CERA. Bordry said that all of the samples had returned negative results.

    “The 17 retested controls were negative. It was not our goal to find anything.” said Bordry, according to German press agency dpa.

    The AFLD did not release the names of the riders whose samples were tested.

    In 2008, four riders were found to have used EPO-CERA during that year's Tour de France. Riccardo Riccò was ejected from the event, while Stefan Schumacher and Bernhard Kohl were subsequently disqualified after test results confirmed that they had used the illegal blood booster. Italian Leonardo Piepoli, who had left the race along with Riccò and the rest of their Saunier Duval team, was also found to have doped with EPO-CERA.

    The AFLD had been solely responsible for testing throughout the 2008 Tour de France. In 2009, it worked in co-operation with the International Cycling Union (UCI) to conduct anti-doping controls during the race. 

    Prior to this year's Tour de France the AFLD informed a group of approximately 15 riders that their samples from the 2008 Tour would be subject to retesting.

    In a report published by Austrian newspaper Kurier on Sunday Bordry had said: “Before the start of this year's Tour in Monaco, we informed about 15 riders that they samples from 2008 would be re-analysed. We expect to be able to announce the results within one to two weeks.”

    The AFLD gave no indication as to whether the negative results announced today were from that group of riders.

    Stay tuned to...

  • LPR issues its suspension to Bosisio

    Gabriele Bosisio (LPR Brakes-Farnese Vini)
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 13:03 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Italian team suspend Bosisio pending counter-analysis

    LPR has today issued its own provisional suspension to Gabriele Bosisio after the Italian rider tested positive for Erythropoietin (EPO).

    Although Bosisio was issued a preliminary suspension by the International Cycling Union (UCI) on Tuesday, the team said it had taken the action to reinforce its firm stance against doping.

    "Consistent with our very strict policy against the use of drugs, we have taken measure of temporarily suspending Gabriele Bosisio, pending the results of a counter-analysis," said the team in a statement, according to Italian newspaper la Repubblica.

    The UCI announced on Tuesday that Bosisio had been suspended from racing after he tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test on September 2. It said the test had been conducted after blood samples taken as part of his biological passport had revealed irregularities.

    Earlier this year LPR dismissed Danilo Di Luca after he returned two positive tests for EPO-CERA during this year's Giro d'Italia. LPR today expressed their regret at the latest doping scandal to hit the team.

    "The team has been shocked [by Bosisio's positive result]. Bosisio says he is innocent and we hope that the counter-analysis will show this, because in six years of working together we have come to appreciate both the human and athletic talents of Gabriel."

    The suspension handed down to Bosisio by the UCI will remain in force until the Italian Cycling Federation makes a ruling on whether the rider has breached anti-doping rules.

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  • Giro d'Italia to celebrate Coppi in 2010

    Italy's Fausto Coppi
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 13:47 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Giro d'Italia director Zomegnan plans celebration of Italian great in series of 50-year anniversaries

    The 2010 Giro d'Italia will commemorate a number of 50-year anniversaries, including the passing of cycling great Fausto Coppi, said race director Angelo Zomegnan.

    "Every Giro is born with a particular DNA," Zomegnan told Gazzetta TV. "It is 50 years since Fausto Coppi passed away, and in 2010 there will [be that and a number of] different 50-year anniversaries to underscore."

    Italy's Coppi won 22 stages and five overall victories in the Giro d'Italia (1940, 1947, 1949, 1952, 1953). In addition to his Giro wins, he won two editions of the Tour de France, the World Championships, Milan-San Remo three times, Paris-Roubaix. He died January 2, 1960.

    Zomegnan and race organiser RCS Sport will present the entire route of the 93rd Giro d'Italia October 24 in Milan. RCS sport announced yesterday that it will present the route at East End Studios, recording set of Italian television show X-Factor.

    The race will run from May 8 to 30, 2010 and starts with three stages based around Amsterdam, Netherlands, before transferring to Italy. The Monte Zoncolan, featured in two previous editions (2003 and 2007), will return for 2010, according to Il Messaggero Veneto.

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  • Horner returns in Italy this weekend

    Chris Horner leads Astana.
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 14:51 BST
    Richard Tyler

    Astana rider to tune up for Lombardia at Giro dell’Emilia and GP Bruno Beghelli

    Chris Horner will return to competition in Italy this weekend, for the first time since breaking his wrist and pelvis at the Vuelta a España last month. Astana today announced Horner in its nine-man team for the Giro dell’Emilia on Saturday and the GP Bruno Beghelli on Sunday.

    The two races will give Horner a taste of competition before an expected start in the final race on the International Cycling Union's (UCI) World Calendar, the Giro d'Lombardia, on October 17.

    Lombardia is also likely to be one of Horner's final races with Astana. He announced on Sunday that he will ride with Team RadioShack in 2010 and 2011.

    The Giro dell’Emilia will cover 198.2 kilometres and feature seven climbs, including the finish at the top of the San Luca. Sunday's GP Beghelli will feature eight ascents of the Zappolino on its 195.8 kilometre course.

    Astana's team for the Giro dell’ Emilia and Trofeo Bruno Beghelli will be: Chris Horner, Jani Brajkovic, Valeriy Dmitriyev, Alexsandre Diachenko, Maxim Iglinskiy, Roman Kireyev, Bolat Raimbekov and Alexander Vinokourov.

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  • Farrar aims for Sprinters' Classic double at Paris-Tours

    USA's Tyler Farrar, 25, wins Vattenfall
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 17:29 BST
    Gregor Brown

    Garmin sprinter confident for Paris-Tours after Vattenfall, Franco-Belge wins

    Tyler Farrar steadily proved himself throughout this year leading to wins in the Vattenfall one-day classic and a stage in the Vuelta a España. He's now ready for another big win, Sunday's Paris-Tours.

    "It is a really beautiful race, a one-day classic that suits a sprinter. But it is never easy to win a classic, you need great condition and a little bit of luck. It is difficult to win two classics in one year, and it would be something amazing," Farrar told Cyclingnews.

    USA's Farrar, 25, steadily progressed throughout this season. He won a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in March prior to racing his first of three Grand Tours. He finished second to established sprinters, Mark Cavendish and Alessandro Petacchi, twice each in the Giro d'Italia and twice second to Cavendish at the Tour de France.

    He came away from the Tour with good form, won Germany's one-day classic, Vattenfall, and the Caravaca de la Cruz stage of the Vuelta a España. Last week, he won two stages and the overall of the Franco-Belge stage race.

    "It is always good for the confidence to win some races, just to know my form is still there for the end of the season."

    He lost two sprints in Franco-Belge to likely Paris-Tours rivals, one to Belgian Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and one to Argentinean Juan José Haedo (Saxo Bank). He considers German André Greipel (Columbia-HTC) and Spaniard Oscar Freire (Rabobank) two of his other rivals.

    Farrar first raced Paris-Tours in 2006 with French team Cofidis and he placed 63rd. He returned last year and won the bunch...

  • AFLD President publicly criticises UCI's Tour tests

    Pierre Bordry
    Article published:
    October 07, 2009, 17:30 BST
    Daniel Benson and Richard Tyler

    Bordry says AFLD will not volunteer to work with UCI at 2010 Tour de France

    President of the French anti-doping Authority (AFLD) Pierre Bordry has publicly criticized the anti-doping methods of the International Cycling Union (UCI) at this year's Tour de France. Bordry's comments came at a press conference on Wednesday where he stated that the AFLD would not seek a repeat of the co-operative approach to testing that had occurred between it and the UCI at this year's Tour.

    "I won't be asking to work with the UCI doing the controls in 2010," said Bordry, according to AFP. "International [sporting] federations must understand that when it comes to anti-doping you have to be rigorous and transparent, otherwise doubts are raised which may not be founded, but which are justified by the absence of transparency."

    Bordry's criticism of the UCI centres on what he perceives to be inconsistent and inadequate protocols at doping controls carried out during the Tour. Reports published in French newspapers Le Monde and Le Figaro on Monday suggested that Astana riders, including Lance Armstrong and Alberto Contador, had been given up to 45 minutes before providing samples to UCI controllers during the Tour.

    "What is surprising is that the UCI does not organise the controls in a regular manner, which can create opportunities [for teams or riders]," said Bordry today. "I am astonished that there were no positive doping tests at this year's race."

    On Monday, the UCI responded to the reports with a press release in which it denied the AFLD's claims of preferential treatment, as well as suggestions that it mishandled samples taken. Today, it reaffirmed its position and refused to be drawn on the questions of whether or not it would co-operate with the AFLD in future.

    "We don’t want to...