Yates and Julich to join Tinkoff-Saxo
Alberto Contador’s renaissance in 2014 was credited in part to the influence of directeur sportif Steven de Jongh, who had lost his position at Sky after confessing to doping following the enactment of the team’s zero tolerance policy at the tail end of 2012.
L’Équipe reports that two more former members of Sky’s management will join Tinkoff-Saxo next season with Bobby Julich and Sean Yates - who have both already worked under manager Bjarne Riis - arriving in place of Philippe Mauduit and Fabrizio Guidi.
Julich was the only other man to confess to doping as part of Sky’s zero tolerance policy and he has worked with BMC since leaving the team. Yates’ departure from Sky was also announced in October 2012 although he insisted that it was not linked to the team’s zero tolerance policy.
Yates previously worked as a directeur sportif under Riis at CSC in 2003 and 2004 before joining Discovery Channel the following year. Julich raced for CSC for the final five years of his career from 2004 to 2008, and then joined the team’s coaching staff before switching to Sky ahead of the 2011 season.
Boogerd lawyers up
Roompot-Orange directeur sportif Michael Boogerd has entered into talks with the Belgian Cycling Federation after it was announced last week that they had launched an investigation into the former rider. “I didn’t want to go,” he told Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad. “Instead, I hired a lawyer.”
The investigation is looking into Boogerd’s admission in March of last year that he doped from 1997 until his retirement in 2007. In his confession on Dutch television station NOS, he admitted to using EPO, blood transfusions and cortisone during his career. While Boogerd is Dutch, he lived in Belgium and rode under a Belgian licence.
Boogerd could face a life suspension from the sport if found guilty, but remains defiant and says that he will not discuss others to get a shorter ban. ““The Belgian federation had the same proposal as the Dutch Doping Authority had. I will be suspended for a long period, or I will have to talk about other people. I refuse to do that. I rather be suspended for life,” he told the newspaper .
Boogerd also spot to Holland’s Radio 1 saying that, “I want the uncertainty off I just want to do my job and if that is not possible, I want to know,” before adding, “if I am suspended now for two years, then I will not work for two years. I would certainly appeal that decision.
"I still think that this does not help the sport. People who betray, do it just to better to themselves and not to help the sport move forward.”
The Dutch federation has confirmed that they could give Boogerd a temporary licence so that he could continue working with the Roompot-Orange team.
Cunego to combine racing and study in 2015
After a decade in the colours of Lampre, Damiano Cunego switches to Nippo-Vini Fantini for 2015 and he will also partake in a new venture off the bike, as he has enrolled to study sports science at the University of Verona.
“Compared to other faculties, it gives me more time to continue racing, at least for the next two years,” Cunego told Verona-based newspaper L’Arena. “And I like the idea of being a trainer one day, combining the degree with the experienced I’ve gained over twenty years in cycling.
“I don’t know when I’ll manage to finish university but I’ll give it everything. I also want it to send a message to those younger than me – you can study and race, you just need to have the desire.”
Cunego revealed that he had fielded offers from Luca Scinto’s Neri-Sottoli team and Bretagne-Seché but eventually he plumped for a two-year deal with the Nippo-Vini Fantini squad, which will step up to Pro Continental level in 2015. “The offer from Nippo-Fantini seemed the one best suited to me, the most considered,” he explained.
Lampre deny Sanchez move
Lampre-Merida has responded to the rumours that they had approached BMC rider Samuel Sanchez to ride for them in 2015. Sanchez only signed a one-year deal with the American outfit and will be out of contract at the end of the season but Lampre told Biciciclismo that Sanchez was not on their radar.
“These are rumours without foundations,” the team told the Spanish website. “Although he is an expert rider and his history is full of great results, Samuel Sanchez is not in the plans for Team Lampre-Merida in 2015. Each new rider and extension of contract will be officially announced on the team’s website or in a press release.”
Sanchez is currently riding at the Tour of Beijing, which began its final edition on Friday.