Retired Norwegian pro Thor Hushovd's autobiography is due to be launched tomorrow, and in the eponymous tome called "Thor", he details a conversation he had with Lance Armstrong during which the American indirectly admitted to doping.
Hushovd recalls Armstrong saying, "all of us did it", in response to the topic of doping. According to the English-language Norwegian outlet TheLocal.no, he writes, “I didn't believe what I heard. He was sitting there, saying straight out that he used dope!"
“[Armstrong] confirmed what Tyler Hamilton and many others around him were to tell: That Lance Armstrong wasn't winning as a clean sportsman. The doping accusations came completely unexpectedly for me. But it seemed for [Armstrong] as if it wasn’t a big issue.”
“I wanted to tell him that he was wrong. That it wasn't at all correct that everyone doped themselves. That I didn't do it. I should have said that I myself was clean, that I never used dope and would never do it. Because I think Lance believed that I drugged myself too.”
Hushovd also expressed that he felt the system was corrupt, and thought it likely that the UCI itself covered up the doping.
“[Lance] was the great superstar and the golden calf of the sport. For UCI it would be a great loss if Armstrong was caught and revealed as a cheat. I believe that positive tests were hidden away in order to save Armstrong and to protect the sport of cycling.”
Jarc retires early
Slovenian Blaz Jarc has decided to retire from professional cycling at age 26. The NetApp-Endura rider competed in his last event in the October 3 Sparkassen Münsterland Giro.
Jarc was unmotivated to continue, and intends to devote his time to agriculture. "Lately my heart was no longer in cycling, and it made no sense to continue. You can not do well if you pedal without joy," he said to the Slovenian newspaper Dnevnik.
"For some this is a foolish decision, but saying goodbye to cycling for me is not a defeat."
Jarc counts his three starts in Paris-Roubaix amongst his best moments in the sport. "This was definitely the highlight of my adventures in cycling. As a child, I watched the race, which often coincides with the Easter holidays, on television. Now I have personally experienced how it is to ride at 60 kilometers per hour on that velodrome in Roubaix. Cycling brought only beautiful and good experiences. All of the most important things I have learned in my life, came from cycling."
Jarc racked up 11 victories in his professional career, including the GP Stad Zottegem in 2013, the Porec Trophy in 2011 and his national road race title in 2009.
Reza confirmed with FDJ
Kévin Reza has signed a two-year contract with the FDJ.fr team, the French squad confirmed today. The 26-year-old has spent the past three years with Team Europcar.
Reza has become an important support rider, and intends to help the team's sprinter Arnaud Demare, but has his own ambitions, too.
"I will have some freedom in week-long races, such as Catalonia or the Basque Country," Reza said to L'Equipe.
Marangoni says goodbye to Cannondale as it is now
After four years with the Italian Cannondale team of Robart Amadio, Alan Marangoni said goodbye to the team as it exists today, even though his 2015 team will keep the same name, although the team will now be part of the Slipstream organisation. Marangoni was part of the team when the American bike manufacturer stepped up as a co-title sponsor with Liquigas in 2011 at the same time that Peter Sagan's star was rising.
"Yesterday in Beijing what began in Adelaide three years ago for me has ended," he wrote on his Facebook page. "I travelled half the world with this team. I have seen all kinds of places, I've had thousands of experiences, I have had satisfaction, but I have also had my share of beatings.
"One thing is for sure: I will take with me the memory of all those who have accompanied me along this path during these last four years, because everyone in his small way, either good or bad, has taught me something. Thank you all, it was a pleasure."
CCC confirms Schumacher
The Polish team CCC Polsat Polkowice confirmed that it has signed Stefan Schumacher to a one-year contract. The German was heavily rumoured to be signing with the team after his current Christina Watches squad lost its title sponsor.
Van Avermaet wins Flandrien of the year
BMC's Greg Van Avermaet was voted Flandrien of the year by a poll of his peers. World champion Michał Kwiatkowski won the international award, while Belgian champion Jolien D'Hoore claimed the women's prize. BMC trainee Dylan Teuns took home the prize for top espoir, while Sven Nys won in the cyclo-cross category.