Lampre case resumes in Mantova
After a four-month hiatus, the next hearing of the doping investigation centred around the Lampre team takes place in Mantova on Friday. The hearing is the first of three over the next month, with dates also fixed for November 14 and 28.
At the last technical hearing in early July, Dr. Donata Favretto, professor of forensic toxicology at the University of Padua, told the court that phials seized from pharmacist Guido Nigrelli as part of the police investigation in 2009 did not contain doping products.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Favretto will again provide testimony at Friday’s hearing, along with the prosecution’s two experts – Dr. Roberta Pacifici, whose report stated that the phials contained testosterone, and Professor Sandro Donati, who compiled a detailed dossier analysing the evidence amassed.
Tuttobicireports that Favretto’s analysis of previously un-tested phials in late July showed that they also did not contain testosterone as originally thought. Two of the NAS police officers who carried out phone taps and searches during the inquiry will also provide testimony at the hearing on Friday.
The long-running inquiry is focused on Nigrelli’s relationship with the Lampre team in 2008 and 2009. 28 individuals are facing criminal trial, including then manager Giuseppe Saronni, past and present riders Mauro Santambrogio, Alessandro Ballan, Damiano Cunego and Marzio Bruseghin, and current Omega Pharma-QuickStep doctor José Ibarguen.
Nigrelli is one of three people to have already received a sporting sanction from the Italian Olympic Committee as a result of the inquiry. In January, CONI handed Nigrelli a life ban for his part in assisting doping on the Lampre team, while Dr. Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi was banned for four years and former world champion Alessandro Ballan was given a two-year ban for blood doping.
Volta a Catalunya will return to La Molina in 2015
The Volta a Catalunya will return to the ski station of La Molina for its toughest stage in 2015, according to Biciciclismo. The summit finish will come at the end of a 200km stage that is expected for feature one other special category climb.
Local favourite Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) put a significant down payment on his final overall victory when he triumphed atop La Molina on stage 3 this year to move into the race lead. He punched clear in the final 500 metres to beat Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Nairo Quintana (Movistar).
Santambrogio: I will show I can win clean
Mauro Santambrogio has vowed to demonstrate that he can win clean when he returns to racing next season with Italian Continental outfit Amore & Vita next season. He was banned when he returned a positive test for EPO at the 2013 Giro d’Italia, where he had beaten Vincenzo Nibali to stage victory in the summit finish at Bardonecchia.
“I made a mistake, I suffered a lot and I struggled to get on the right path, but in the end I found the courage to start again,” Santambrogio said, according to Gazzetta dello Sport. “Now a new life is starting for me. I’m starting off again from zero and I will show that I can win clean.”
Santambrogio was initially expected to receive a two-year ban but it was reduced to 18 months after he reportedly provided a confession to the UCI’s Cycling Independent Reform Commission in June. The 29-year-old’s ban expires on November 2.
“With us, Santambrogio won’t just be a rider. Given his history, he’ll also become a champion of the right against doping,” said Amore & Vita manager Ivano Fanini. “Whoever wears our colours knows very well what’s expected of him here and considering that Mauro was an exemplary ‘penitent,’ the first rider in the Cookson era to denounce the doping system to the UCI, it’s significant to have him among our ranks.”
Sastre recalls Riis team building exercises
As Bjarne Riis leads his Alberto Contador and the rest of the Tinkoff-Saxo squad on a climb of Kilimanjaro, former CSC rider Carlos Sastre has recalled his experiences of Riis’ team building exercises of years past. Over the years, Riis has brought his riders and staff to locations as diverse as Norway, Israel and South Africa for team building camps in pre-season.
“You have to work out how to handle these situations with office workers who aren’t fit or young riders who aren’t up to doing much because they get tired," Sastre told Marca, remembering the “six or seven hour climbs on ice in Norway in 2007” as one of the most dramatic, given that temperatures were 15 degrees below zero.
The team then went hunting in South Africa the following year and could only eat the food they caught. “We hunted a deer down, but to eat that was impossible, it was too tough,” Sastre said.
“Do you learn something from these training camps? It depends who you are. Some people think they’re completely pointless, but for me personally, it helped a great deal and the team learned a lot about us – although later it didn’t really get put to much practical use."
Riiis, Contador et al will spend five days hiking to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro. Team owner Oleg Tinkov has covered the €200,000 cost of the trip, and charitable donations are being shared between the Matonyok Parents Trust orphanage and the Arusha Cycling Club.
World champion victim of hit and run in Tasmania
Australian junior time trial world champion Macey Stewart avoided serious injury after being struck by a car while training in Tasmania this week. Stewart, 18, was hit from behind while riding in Devonport.
"The driver did a runner, after stopping to pick up his mirror that I had broken off while I scrambled to the side of the road to avoid being hit by the oncoming truck," she wrote on Instagram.
"Fortunately my bones are still intact and I just have some skin off and am very sore! Definitely not ideal when heading to Adelaide for a training camp tomorrow morning! Lucky I'm a tough cookie and plan to be back on the bike tomorrow!
"Be careful on the roads guys, there are some crazy people out there!"
Video: Campagnolo presents Mr Ghibli
Campagnolo claims that its most prized asset are the hands of its workers who make and assemble many of their components and wheels.
In this latest video, Campagnolo present 'Mr Ghibli' or Franco Rigolon, who has been building the Campagnolo Ghibli disc wheels by hand in the company's Vicenza factory for the last decade.
The video highlights Campagnolo's Italian heritage with the “La Donna e' nobile” opera from Giuseppe Verdi's Rigoletto. It is the perfect soundtrack as the video shows how the Ghibli wheels are painstakingly built by hand.
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