Latest Cycling News, November 26, 2008
Edited by Bjorn Haake
Boot camp time for Saxo Bank professionals
The name has changed from CSC to Team Saxo Bank - IT Factory, but the new season started the same it has since 2001 – with a survival camp. Each year, the team headed by Bjarne Riis goes to a different location and gets to build character and team work ahead of the road season. This year's camp ran for ten days, with the actual survival part between three to five days.
Like in previous years, former paratrooper Bjarne S. Christiansen led the military style camp. Because the team is Danish and the two main sponsors are Danish, he decided to have the camp in Denmark, after visiting places like Norway, South Africa or Lanzarote in the past.
Like Lanzarote, this year's camp involved being near and in water, but the water temperatures were much colder. The weather at least was good for the recruits, with sunny skies making sure that not more misery was brought upon them.
After the tough part of getting their feet cold and wet, most riders enjoyed the relaxing practice of target shooting. Andy Schleck was fully concentrated on this task. The team expects to see this same level of concentration in next season's races..
Stay tuned for more coverage of the boot camp on Cyclingnews.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Roberto Bettini/www.bettiniphoto.net
Team Cinelli confirms Vandenbroucke
By Gregor Brown
Italy's Team Cinelli-OPD confirmed the signing of Franck Vandenbroucke yesterday. The talented Belgian, who Team Mitsubishi-Jartazi released midway through 2008, will make his debut February in South America.
"I have known him for many years, I raced alongside him. He is a great name and can help promote the team and the brand name Cinelli on an international level. ... We are more concerned with him as a person than as a cyclist; of course, any results will be welcome," said Cinelli-OPD General Manager, Simone Biasci, to Cyclingnews.
Vandenbroucke was one of Belgium's brightest stars after he debuted with team Lotto in 1994. His principle victories include Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Nice in 1998, Omloop Het Volk and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 1999. In recent years he faced drug-related problems and attempted suicide.
Team Cinelli is a Continental team, or third division, that races mostly in Italy. The races it will attend will not be as high-ranked as Team Mitsubishi-Jartazi, a Professional Continental team.
"After we were with him for about 10 days in Belgium, we saw that he has a great desire to return to racing. ... He will make his start in South America, maybe at the Vuelta a Cuba. At the end of February, I think he will be racing in Belgium, but we are still developing the programme."
Team Cinelli will announce another rider in the coming days; he could be Jörg Jaksche or Jimmy Casper. "We will have another big name to ride alongside Frank."
Vandenbroucke's past teams: Lotto (1994), Lotto / Mapei (1995), Mapei (1996-1998), Cofidis (1999-2000), Lampre-Daikin (2001), Domo-Farm Frites (2002), Quick Step-Davitamon (2003), Fassa Bortolo / MrBookmaker (2004), MrBookmaker-Sports Tech (2005), Unibet.com / Acqua & Sapone (2006), Acqua & Sapone-Caffè Mokambo (2007), Mitsubishi-Jartazi (2008)
Kohl didn't name CERA source
Bernhard Kohl did not give the name of the doctor who provided him with the CERA EPO, according to Austria's National Anti-Doping Agency. The agency gave Kohl a two-year suspension on Monday.
In a press release, the agency said that Kohl did not name or testify to "the doctor, from whom by his own admission he received the forbidden substance ..., either the name, the sex, the location of the doctor's office, or any other information as to the person or the place."
Because he did not give any information at all as to this point, the agency's Legal Commission considered Kohl not to be a "cooperating witness" who would be eligible for a reduced suspension. The Austrian has four weeks to appeal the decision.(SW)
Beijing doping tests after Christmas
The re-testing of thousands of doping samples from the Olympic Games in Beijing will start after Christmas, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) announced in Lausanne.
Patrick Schamasch, medical director of the IOC, said that results could be expected at the end of the first quarter, according to the German cycling federation's website, rad-net.de.
The re-testing will focus on EPO CERA, a blood booster, as well as insulin. CERA has become quite the talk in cycling, after several riders have been caught with it. Those riders include Riccardo Riccò, Bernhard Kohl and Stefan Schumacher. The latter denies the doping charges.
Samples will be examined in labs in Lausanne, Switzerland, and Cologne, Germany. Schamasch emphasised that there was no test available for either CERA or insulin, during the Olympics.
In Beijing, 5,000 doping tests were performed, of which 1,000 were blood controls. There were some problems with the lab in China during the Games, as despite an arrangement, no international observers were allowed. One positive test sample submitted was not recognised as a positive by the lab, according to rad-net.de.
Half of the national teams also did not participate in the whereabouts system, which made surprise doping controls extremely difficult. It was also reported that about 300 samples simply disappeared.
Evans confirmed for Scotty's Ride
Cyclo Sportif Victoria and the Scott Peoples Foundation announced that Cadel Evans will be taking part in the inaugural Scotty's Ride in Shepparton on Saturday 13th December.
Evans, the 2007 and 2008 Tour de France runner up, will join hundreds of recreational cyclists in the fully supported 125km recreational challenge ride on the quiet country roads around Shepparton.
The event is held in honour of Scott Peoples, one of Australia's brightest young stars, who was killed in December 2006.
This announcement comes after the confirmation that fellow Victorians, Athens Olympic gold medallist Brett Lancaster and Tour de France hero Phil Anderson will also take part.
Scotty's Ride kicks off the Scott Peoples Memorial Cycling Festival, with the weekend of cycling to also include Scotty's Track Night at the Shepparton velodrome and Scotty's Race which will see some of Australia's top cyclists in action.
WADA advances cooperation with Interpol, Athlete Passport development
The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) made significant advances in strengthening the global fight against doping in sport during the Agency's Executive Committee and Foundation Board meetings held last weekend in Montreal, Canada.
WADA announced that it had approved a Memorandum of Understanding formalising its cooperation with Interpol, the world's largest police organisation. This Memorandum of Understanding provides a framework for cooperation between the two organisations in tackling doping, in particular in the areas of evidence gathering and information sharing.
Representatives of the French government officially offered an officer to be based at Interpol Headquarters in Lyon, France. That officer would serve as the liaison between WADA and its stakeholders, and the various Interpol bureaus around the world.
WADA's President John Fahey was thankful for the help of the French government. "As demonstrated by recent high profile doping cases and investigations, government action and the sharing of information between law enforcement agencies and anti-doping organisations can be crucial in exposing anti-doping rule violations that would not have been detected through testing. Law enforcement and government agencies possess investigative powers to attack source and supply of illegal substances which sport does not have."
Advances were also made in the development of the Athlete Passport concept. The fundamental principle of the Athlete Passport is based on the monitoring of an athlete's biological parameters to detect abnormal variations that indirectly reveal the effects of doping, as opposed to the traditional direct detection of doping. The international cycling union adopted a passport programme at the beginning of this year.
Currently, various anti-doping organisations employ disparate approaches to biological monitoring. WADA is cooperating with international experts to harmonise practices, such as protocols for collection, transportation, storage and analysis of samples as well as results management.
WADA is developing an "Athlete Passport Operating Manual." This manual will provide an overview of the scientific principles behind the blood testing. A number of technical documents are being drafted to supplement the manual and will outline, in detail, requirements aimed at ensuring legal and scientific consistency. It is expected that this work will be completed in early 2009, and that the development of an endocrine test for the Athlete Passport will follow.
WADA's Director General, David Howman, said his organisation is constantly looking at innovative strategies to fight doping in sport. "We initiated this project in 2002 and we have since devoted significant attention to the programme. We are encouraged by the development of the Athlete Passport and we are looking forward to its implementation by anti-doping organisations on a broader scale in the coming months and years."
Van Vliet good candidate for Dutch road team
Leo van Vliet looks to be the most likely candidate to replace Egon van Kessel as the head coach of the Dutch men's cycling team. The Dutch cycling federation (KNWU) is looking for a personality in cycling, according to Dutch paper De Telegraaf.
53-year-old Van Vliet was with teams Raleigh, Kwantum Hallen and others after his active career. After that Van Vliet concentrated on organising races and events, including the Amstel Gold Race, the Ride for the Roses, Boogie's Extreme and the Amstel Curaçao Race.
De Telegraaf believes to be a good candidate because of his organisational as well as his motivating qualities. Other candidates include Maarten den Bakker, Leon van Bon and Michael Boogerd.
Steven de Jongh told De Telegraaf about the potential of Van Vliet's hiring. "He is supposed to resemble Gerrie Knetemann. He can also create a social atmosphere to lay the foundation for a good team work."
KNWU president Marcel Wintels emphasised that no decision has been made yet. "We first want to clear everything up with the leaving coach. Then we will look for a successor calmly."
Contentpolis Murcia to disappear?
Spanish Professional continental squad Contentpolis Murcia faces an uncertain future because the Council of Tourism and Sport of the Government of Murcia still hasn't signed the contracts for 2009. A November 15 deadline set by the International Cycling Union (UCI) has passed without the team sending the necessary documents to cycling's governing body.
The UCI has informed the team that as a consequence of not completing the necessary paperwork they may face the consequences of disappearing as a team. Urgent meetings are being held between highest authorities of the Murcian Government and the UCI. Part of the problem is that the government is still deciding on its 2009 budget.
The only sponsor that has signed on so far is AMPO, but its 530,000 euro commitment is not enough to act as a main sponsor. That leaves four Basque riders, Dionisio Galparsoro, Aitor Pérez, Mikel Gaztañaga and Gorka Izagirre, in limbo. They had expected contracts after Murcia announced AMPO as a co-sponsor a few days ago.
Sources close to the team told Cyclingnews that the team will need more than 1,2 million euro to pay for everything, including the biological passport programme. The team aspires to be in the Vuelta a España, which requires the implementation of a passport programme.
Manuel Vázquez, Aitor Pérez, Adrian Palomares and Julián Sánchez Pimienta are supposed to be the leaders for the Spanish squad. Currently, not a single rider has signed a contract for 2009.
Tim De Waele presents his best pictures of 2008
Widely regarded as the best photographer working in professional cycling, Procycling snapper Tim De Waele has selected his favourite images of the 2008 season in Procycling's Review of the Year issue (December), which is in the shops now. Featuring among the gallery of Tim's best of 2008 are spectacular shots from the Giro, Carlos Sastre's Tour-winning ride on Alpe d'Huez and more offbeat images, including Tom Boonen and his Quick Step team-mates refusing to let Tim take their pictures mid-training ride and Fabian Cancellara sticking his tongue out and clowning as Tim gets a shot of CSC doing some pace-setting at the front of the bunch.
All of Tim's top shots of 2008 can seen and bought at the recently opened Procycling picture gallery (www.bikeradarstore.com), which also offers a huge range of Tim's other pics from this and previous seasons. Find your own favourites within the galleries covering this year's Giro, Tour and Vuelta, the Classics and Beijing Olympics, Lance Armstrong's incredible career and the stunning freezeframe images that appear at the front of every issue of Procycling.
The Procycling gallery is easy to use and provides a host of buying options if you're looking for the perfect Christmas for yourself or another cycling fan, ranging from postcard-size prints right up to A1-sized framed prints that would any cycling fan would relish hanging on their wall. To view the range of pictures available to buy and see Tim De Waele's pick of 2008 go to www.bikeradarstore.com
SBS recognised for its cycling contribution
Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) received the award for "Best Contribution to the Coverage of Sport" at the Australian Sports Commission 2008 Media Awards in Sydney last night.
"This award is an important recognition of our credentials in sports media, as voted by our peers, and I am very proud that SBS has been acknowledged for its outstanding contribution to cycling in Australia," said SBS Head of Sport, Ken Shipp.
"Cycling is a truly global sport and SBS will expand its commitment to the sport across our multiple platforms in 2009. The coverage is only going to get better on SBS."
Excluding the Beijing Olympic Games, SBS broadcast almost 140 hours of live, highlights and documentary cycling programming across road, track, mountain and BMX disciplines locally and internationally in 2008.
Highlights for the year included live coverage of the Tour de France, Paris-Roubaix and men's and women's road cycling events at the Beijing Olympic Game as well as daily highlights of La Vuelta a España, Giro d'Italia, Tour Down Under and the National Road Team Series in Australia. The network also produced two cycling documentaries – "Cadel Evans - On Tour" and "Conquering Roubaix" – and hosted a comprehensive Tour de France website featuring all the latest news, live updates, stage and overall standings, video highlights, stage and rider profiles, photo galleries, expert blogs and archival material.
In December 2008, SBS will strengthen its coverage of cycling when it launches the dedicated online cycling portal Cycling Central.
String of accidents shake cycling communities
Several accidents, some with fatal outcome, shook cycling communities all over the world in the last couple of days.
In Arizona, a group of ten riders was hit during El Tour de Tucson, leaving two riders critically injured. The motorist initially fled the scene, but later turned himself in to police custody. The motorist was making a left turn in front of the cyclists.
Gary Stueber was transferred to a hospital in Phoenix. He underwent an initial surgery to remove swelling and damaged brain tissue, but he remains in a coma. Other surgeries are likely to follow.
A medical fund has been established at Bank of America under "Gary Stueber Medical Fund."
Contra Costa fatality
In California, a member of the Wells Fargo racing team/Contra Coast Cycling Club, was killed by an oncoming vehicle that apparently had crossed over the centre line. Mark Pendleton, 49, of Martinez was an avid cyclist who was returning home on the two-lane road from a training ride. Darkness had already fallen and Pendleton was not using lights or reflectors at the time of the accident. He died at the scene.
The motorist fled the scene. From debris found at the scene, officers said the car that hit Pendleton may have been dark in colour, and the crash apparently broke a headlight or turn signal. Anyone with information should call the CHP at +1 925 646-4980.
His friend John Elliott recalled Pendleton as a trim, athletic man who took his cycling seriously. He was always in training, and he ordered his morning bagel without butter or spreads and his club sandwiches without mayonnaise.
Pendleton took up cycling to spend time with his younger son, John Mark, whose doctor recommended bicycling following a knee injury. With his older son, Paul, the three would compete in local amateur races.
Earlier this year, he began riding with his wife, Denise. She took a liking to the sport after picking out a heavy yellow beach cruiser - the opposite of her husband's sleek road bikes. But, she recalled, he didn't care what kind of bike she rode, or how fast she rode it. "He'd pick out flat routes and stay right with me, the whole time," she said. "He'd never leave my side." Pendleton is survived by his wife and his sons. Funeral arrangements are pending.
Vuelta de Higuito fatality
Wilmar Henao, coach of the Colombian cycling team that is currently riding in Costa Rica's Vuelta de Higuito, was struck by a car and died of the injuries.
Henao went out for a ride in the morning before stage five, to get some exercise. The Colombian team was in the hotel Casa Conde and did suspect anything until they were informed by the police.
The race continued and Colombian John Darwin Atapuma won the stage and moved to second place overall. But it was not clear if the squad would continue to race.
Cyclingnews extends its sincere condolences to friends and families of the fatal accident victims.
Cyclists International mourns member
Cyclists International member Joe Ciavola passed away peacefully at on Wednesday at the Austin Hospital. Ciavola was battling against complications related to recent surgery and a liver transplant performed eight years ago.
A member of Cyclists International since shortly after its formation in 1973, Ciavola was a tireless worker for cycling after a distinguished career on the bike. He was Cyclists International's promoter and instrumental in bringing some of the world's top cyclists to the events.
Ciavola relinquished his role as vice-president when he was elected president of CycleSport Victoria in 1997, and it was largely his work in that new role that helped put Victorian Cycling back on its feet financially.
It was in recognition of that work that the new velodrome at the Darebin International Sports Complex was named in his honour. Ciavola was also inducted into the Victorian Cycling Hall of Fame in 2006.
Cyclingnews extends sincere condolences to Ciavola's wife Kerry and family.
(Additional editorial assistance by Susan Westemeyer and Monika Prell.)
(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)