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Third Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Date published:
November 22, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Chris Froome delighted at 2011 breakthrough

    Stage winner Chris Froome (Sky) holds his trophy aloft.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 15:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Confidence was a huge factor in his success last season

    After a breakthrough year in which he finished second in the Vuelta a Espana - just 13 seconds behind the winner and a place in front of his more fancied teammate Bradley Wiggins - Team Sky rider Chris Froome is looking ahead to 2012 and to continuing his progress towards the front of the peloton.

    Kenyan-born Froome was also part of the Great Britain team that helped Mark Cavendish to gold in the 2011 World Road Race Championships in Copenhagen and finished the season in style with another high profile podium finish at the inaugural Tour of Beijing. And with his confidence growing all the time, the 26-year-old is hopeful of more big things next season.

    "I think it's been a steady learning curve over the course of the year that's seen my results improve," he told Team Sky's official website. "I've been putting in the same hours on the bike and I think my improved results are a culmination of a few other things. My awareness during races, for instance, is much better now than it ever has been before and confidence has had a lot to do with that as well - to a massive extent in fact. I've learned to believe that I belong in those select groups once the peloton splits on the climbs, and I know what I am capable of physically now from my experiences at the Vuelta.

    "I think it's a little early to be thinking about goals [for next season] right now but I'd definitely like to concentrate on the grand tours next year. In a perfect world getting rides in the Tour de France and the Vuelta would be an ideal situation for me but obviously we'll have to see. With the signings we have made, there have will be a lot of talented riders...

  • Rabobank Women's team signs miracle athlete Monique van der Vorst

    Monique van der Vorst
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 16:09 GMT
    Cycling News

    Former wheelchair athlete to start road cycling career against the odds

    One of the most amazing stories in the world of cycling has taken another remarkable turn this week as the Rabobank Women's Cycling team has announced the signing of Monique van der Vorst, a former handcycling athlete who was competing in a wheelchair until 2010. Van der Vorst had been disabled since she was 13 years old, and after a very successful career in handcycling, which saw her take the world championship title three times, she recovered the use of her legs and will now start a career in the pro peloton.

    The Dutchwoman was on track in her preparation towards the 2012 Paralympic Games when she was hit by a bicycle while training in her wheelchair in the spring of last year. This third roadside accident of her career saw the now 27-year-old enter a lenghty rehab period, during which she gradually recovered the use of her legs. On November 20, 2010, she started walking again.

    "Monique still has a lot to learn, but I'm sure that the rest of the girls will also learn a lot from Monique," said Rabobank Women Team director Jeroen Blijlevens. "She has the right mentality and willpower, she has proved that during her sports career. She would like to race on the road and we will support her to do it."

    Van der Vorst herself was also happy to have signed with the Rabobank squad. "I am very honoured to be able to develop into a road rider with Rabobank. This team provides the best surroundings with a lot of experience and expertise. On top of that, I will be able to learn a lot from Marianne Vos," she said.

  • Jeannie Longo's doping charges dismissed

    Jeannie Longo and her husband Patrice Ciprelli
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 17:03 GMT
    Cycling News

    AFLD didn't notify Frenchwoman she was still eligible for testing

    Jeannie Longo was cleared today of any doping violations regarding three missed out-of-competition anti-doping tests. The disciplinary committee of the French Cycling Federation (FFC) ruled that the 53-year-old Longo, the 1996 Olympic road race gold medalist and 13-time world champion, was no longer on the list of athletes subject to testing by the French anti-doping agency (AFLD), therefore she was not responsible for missing any out-of-competition tests.

    An athlete is subject to a two-year ban after missing three anti-doping tests in an 18-month period. Longo had three violations within the time parameter having missed tests on May 5, 2010, October 25, 2010 and June 20, 2011. However, the FCC disciplinary committee noted that Longo had not been notified by the AFLD that beyond April 2010 she was still part of the organisation's testing group.

    At odds are the rules of the cycling federations and anti-doping agencies versus the laws of France. Under sporting regulations, Longo would have an open-ended inclusion for out-of-competition testing once an athlete has registered for the testing pool. Unless otherwise notified that an athlete has opted out of testing, then their eligibility would remain indefinitely.

    French law, however, as of April, 2010, states that sporting federations in France need to notify an athlete every year that they're included in an out of competition anti-doping testing pool. Longo's lawyers argued that since she wasn't notified last year that she was still in the targeted group then the three missed tests are a moot point, a perspective accepted by the FFC disciplinary committee today.

  • Riccò's fine, suspended sentence upheld in 2008 doping case

    Riccardo Riccò shows his attitude
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 18:40 GMT
    Cycling News

    Latest case still pending CONI decision

    A French appeals court upheld a two-month suspended prison sentence and a 3,000 Euro fine for Riccardo Riccò on Tuesday in a criminal case stemming from his 2008 Tour de France doping positive.

    The Italian was given the same verdict in June, 2010, but his attorneys appealed on the grounds he had already been sentenced in Italy on the same charges.

    Riccò was taken into custody prior to the stage 17 of the Tour de France in 2008 after anti-doping authorities announced he had tested positive for a banned EPO formulation called CERA. The drug was thought to be undetectable at the time, but authorities clandestinely rolled out a new test developed in conjunction with the manufacturer of the drug.

    Riccò was held in Mirepoix and subsequently indicted on charges of "use of poisonous substances" in a court in Foix before being allowed to join his Saunier Duval team in leaving France.

    After serving a reduced 20-month ban, Riccò returned to the sport with the Ceramica Flaminia team in 2010 only to be embroiled in another doping case a year later.

    In February, he wound up in an intensive care unit of a hospital, his sudden and severe condition allegedly caused by a botched blood transfusion.

    While he denied giving himself a blood transfusion, confessing only to an iron infusion, Riccò has thus far failed to...

  • Norway picks Bergen as possible host for 2016 Worlds

    Thor Hushovd had a memorable 2011 Tour with two individual stage wins plus a stint in the yellow jersey.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 19:15 GMT
    Cycling News

    Hushovd supports homeland World Championships

    If Norway chooses to bid on the 2016 UCI World Championships, Bergen will be the host city it will put forward. The plan to bring the worlds to the mountainous Scandinavian country has the full support of former world champion Thor Hushovd, who might extend his career to include the race.

    The Norwegian Cycling Federation picked Bergen ahead of Drammen and Stavanger. The final decision as to whether to apply for the worlds will be made in February.

    Bergen was seen as “the best opportunity to win as the host of an international competition and thus give Norway the greatest chance of being awarded the world championships in 2016. Bergen had the best concept based on the evaluation criteria as a whole and is considered the best,” the federation said on its website.

    Part of the reason for choosing Bergen was “because they had a strong character and is a bit exotic. The UCI is clear that they will have the world championships 'world wide'”, federation president Harald Hansen Tidemann told

    Norway's native son, Hushovd, enthusiastically supported the plan. “Bergen is a great city, and a good alternative. They have much to offer with beautiful scenery and opportunities to make a hard race. This can be a really tough race,” Hushovd told

    “It is true that the sport is expanding more and more. UCI wants to spread the sport around the world, and that can be an advantage for Norway, which is not of the countries that tend to organize these championships.”

    Would he be interested in riding the Worlds in Norway?  “It would be really great to ride the championships at home. But they are some years away and I'm not exactly young,” he said. Hushovd will be 38 years old in 2016.

  • "The knives were out for me" claims Mosquera

    Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera tested positive for an EPO masking agent.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 20:21 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Spaniard attacks Spanish federation, former employer

    After many months of keeping his counsel, Ezequiel Mosquera hit out in several directions as he confirmed that he will appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the two-year ban imposed on him after hydroxyethyl starch (HES) was detected in his sample at the 2010 Vuelta a España. Mosquera also indicated that he is likely to take action in Spain’s civil courts.

    Speaking at a lengthy and lively press conference in his home town of Teo in the north-western Spanish province of Galicia, Mosquera suggested that an example has been made of him for political reasons.

    He said that the fact that hydroxethyl starch may be used as a masking agent for EPO had clouded the judgement of those overseeing his case and claimed this had reached the extent where the arguments made by his defence team were simply ignored when the final ruling on his case was made last week in Madrid.

    "They had it in for me," he said. "It’s impossible for them to reach the point where they have sanctioned me without saying where this substance has come from. Hydroxethyl starch is not a masking agent, that’s an invention."

    Mosquera said that "they had knives out for me" and compared his treatment with that of Alberto Contador following his positive test at the 2010 Tour de France for clenbuterol. He pointed out that Contador had received the support of Spain’s outgoing prime minister, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, as well as his newly-elected successor, Mariano Rajoy. "I’d like to know whether Alberto Contador would have received the same support had he had the same problem."

  • Liquigas-Cannondale confirms Betancur for 2012 roster

    Carlos Betancur wins the Giro dell'Emilia
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 21:43 GMT
    Cycling News

    Duggan renews, team complete with 29

    Italian ProTour squad Liquigas-Cannondale has completed its 2012 roster, naming 29 riders, six of whom are new to the green and blue formation.

    The top acquisition is Colombian Carlos Alberto Betancur, 22, winner of the Giro dell'Emilia and the 2010 Girobio, who joins the team from Acqua & Sapone.

    Two more Girobio stage winners, neo-pros Stefano Agostini and Moreno Moser (nephew of Francesco), were given contracts after serving as trainees with the team this season.

    Also coming across are Italians Federico Canuti (Colnago-CSF) and Daniele Ratto (Geox-TMC) and Colombian Jose Sarmiento (Acqua & Sapone).

    Betancur, whose contract was only recently signed, will not attend the team's first training camp at Passo San Pellegrino and Sardinia.

    Two Americans will be among the team at the camp with captains Ivan Basso, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Sagan: Tim Duggan renewed with Liquigas, while Ted King is midway through a two-year contract.

    Liquigas-Cannondale for 2012:
    Valerio Agnoli, Stefano Agostini, Ivan Basso, Carlos Alberto Betancur, Maciej Bodnar, Paolo Longo Borghini, Federico Canuti, Eros Capecchi, Damiano Caruso, Mauro Da Dalto, Tiziano Dall’Antonia, Timmy Duggan, Ted King, Kristijan Koren, Alan Marangoni, Moreno Moser, Dominik Nerz, Vincenzo Nibali, Daniel Oss, Maciej Paterski, Daniele Ratto, Juraj Sagan, Peter Sagan, Jose Sarmiento, Fabio Sabatini, Cristiano Salerno, Sylwester Szmyd, Alessandro Vanotti and Elia Viviani

    Directors: Stefano Zanatta, Dario Mariuzzo, Mario Scirea, Alberto Volpi and Biagio Conte and trainer Paolo Slongo

  • Lotto-Belisol reveals 2012 kit

    Neo-pro Tosh Van der Sande models the kit for Lotto-Belisol's 2012 season.
    Article published:
    November 22, 2011, 22:52 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian ProTeam confirms 27 riders for upcoming season

    The new Lotto-Belisol team, formed from the Omega Pharma-Lotto squad, has revealed its kit for the 2012 season, described in a team press release as "a coherent and sober style, dynamic, exuding class and expertise."

    The design is a collaboration between Els De Dier and Ruben Andries from the National Lottery plus designers from team clothing sponsor Vermarc.

    The Belgian squad, recently granted a three-year WorldTour licence by the UCI, will be comprised of 27 riders, featuring 16 members of Omega Pharma-Lotto, including Andre Greipel, Jurgen Van den Broeck and Jelle Vanendert, new additions such as Lars Bak (HTC-Highroad), Greg Henderson (Sky), and Iran's Mehdi Sohrabi (Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team) plus six neo-pros including 2011 Omega Pharma-Lotto stagiaire Tosh Van der Sande.

    Lotto-Belisol full roster for 2012:
    Lars Bak (Den), Gaëtan Bille (Bel), Brian Bulgac (Ned), Sander Cordeel (Bel), Bart De Clercq (Bel), Francis De Greef (Bel), Jens Debusschere (Bel), Kenny Dehaes (Bel), Gert Dockx (Bel), André Greipel (Ger), Adam Hansen (Aus), Greg Henderson (NZl), Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Maarten Neyens (Bel), Vicente Reynes (Spa), Frederique Robert (Bel), Jürgen Roelandts (Bel), Marcel Sieberg (Ger), Mehdi Sohrabi (IRI), Jurgen Van de Walle (Bel), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Bel), Tosh Van der Sande (Bel), Joost van Leijen (Ned), Dennis Vanendert (Bel), Jelle Vanendert (Bel), Jonas Vangenechten (Bel), Frederik Willems (Bel)