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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News, October 22, 2008

Edited by Bjorn Haake

Sunderland departs Cervélo on mutual agreement

Scott Sunderland is leaving the Cervélo test team
Photo ©: Bjorn Haake
(Click for larger image)

The new Professional Continental Cervélo Test team and Scott Sunderland have mutually agreed to part ways before the 2009 season is underway. Sunderland was the directeur sportif of Team CSC Saxo Bank for the past four years and was going to take on a similar role with the new Switzerland-based team.

In a press release, Cervélo stated it was critical to the team's success that all the key players in the organisation align, both in philosophy and approach. "We have always admired his [Sunderland's] talents and capabilities and we will continue to admire Mr. Sunderland as a great sports director." Both Sunderland and the team agreed that the combination of people to lead the squad into the first season as a professional cycling team wasn't optimal.

Cyclingnews tried to contact Scott Sunderland, but he was unavailable due to the Tour de France presentation. His wife, Sabine Sunderland, gave some more details to Cyclingnews. "Scott has indeed reached an agreement with team owner Gerard Vroomen to stop his further involvement with the Cervélo Test Team. There were considerable differences in vision and approach concerning the management of a professional male cycling between Scott and Cycling United Racing's Thomas Campana. It was in both parties' best interest to part ways in an amicable atmosphere at this stage."

Sabine Sunderland added that her husband sees a bright future for the team. "Scott is very pleased with the great group of riders brought together to form the new Cervélo Test Team, they should be a very successful team next year. We certainly wish our friend Carlos Sastre and all the riders in the Cervélo Test Team all the best for the coming season."

It will also give an opportunity for Sunderland to pursue something different. "Scott himself will be moving on to another exciting project. More news on that will be released in the coming weeks."

For now, the Sunderlands will be happy to enjoy the off-season more than they could the past years. "It's been a very busy year and firstly Scott is looking forward to a family holiday which starts next weekend in Scotland with the Braveheart fundraising ride and dinner."

The team is currently still looking for a sponsor, which isn't easy, due to both the economic situation in general and the doping scandals in particular. Cervélo has a very successful women's team, which will continue to exist alongside the men's team. Thomas Campana will be the general manager for both the men's and women's side of affairs.

Under Sunderland's guidance, CSC won Paris-Roubaix twice (with Stuart O'Grady and Fabian Cancellara), Milano-Sanremo (also with Cancellara). Besides stage wins at the Giro d'Italia and the Tour de France, Sunderland was also at hand when Carlos Sastre finished on the podium of this year's Vuelta a España.

The Braveheart fund supports the ambition of young Scottish cyclists to pursue their dreams. Patron is Olympic champion Chris Hoy. Scott Sunderland, Sean Kelly, Marc Cavendish, David Millar and Thor Hushovd will be present in Kilmarnock next Saturday. More info available on

Garmin: Work is a four-letter word

Garmin works hard for team victories
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Garmin-Chipotle's very existence relies on hard work. Its bosses, directors and riders epitomise an ethos focusing on grafting their place in a peloton fighting for credibility. Thanks to great performances in 2008, the team has become a model for a more credible sport where the words 'clean' and 'win' are mixed more easily, as Cyclingnews' Les Clarke discovers.

Jon Vaughters isn't a big guy, although punching above his weight is something that comes naturally. He rode for Roger Legeay's now-defunct Crédit Agricole outfit at a time when Americans were still quite a novelty in the European peloton. The Boulder, Colorado, native has become a pioneer in what some people are calling 'the way forward.'

Since retiring from riding in 2003, Vaughters has taken the TIAA-CREF development programme and transformed it into a squad capable of vying for overall honours at the Tour de France, as evidenced by Christian Vande Velde's fifth overall at this year's Tour. That was the culmination of a journey Vaughters embarked upon five years ago.

However, it was so much more than just a fantastic display throughout La Grande Boucle that made 2008 an incredible year for this former professional. There was the joy of an unexpected top-five in Paris-Roubaix, the synchronisation of the Giro d'Italia team time trial and consequent race lead, the dominance at the Tour of California and Tour de Georgia plus Vande Velde's win in the Tour of Missouri.

Read the full feature here.

Kohl details his doping practice

A crash in the Dauphiné time trial started the downfall for Bernhard Kohl
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Austrian Bernhard Kohl, who returned a non-negative A-sample for EPO, gave details about his doping consumption. He started using it at the Dauphiné Libéré until one week before the Tour de France. He used it twice in three weeks and also said that he did all on his own.

Kohl said he used EPO for the first time. "A lot of things had come together. At the Dauphiné I was in good form. At the time trial I had the fourth-best time, but then crashed. I couldn't train for a week and I was running out of time," Kohl told Austrian paper Kurier. The former Gerolsteiner rider knew already there was a chance that Gerolsteiner would not continue and was also fighting to find a team. "I didn't have a result yet."

Kohl explained that he injected EPO himself, "Into the stomach, just like an insulin shot." He added that neither the team nor a doctor was involved. In fact, he praised Holczer for his anti-doping stance. "He did all he could. He talked to us and lived the clean sport for us – but he can't look over me for 24 hours. He definitely had no clue. Had he known he would have thrown me out of the team."

Kohl wasn't aware of organised doping in any of the teams he had been riding for. Kohl was at Elk Haus, Rabobank and T-Mobile before Gerolsteiner. "Maybe it was like that earlier. I have read the interviews with Jörg Jaksche. In comparison what he says, a lot has improved. It's probably thanks to the blood passport of the UCI. They see exactly when something is wrong. I never had as many controls as this year."

Despite the blood passport, Kohl decided to take the risk. "I was told CERA was undetectable." He started to have a bad feeling at the world championships, when rumours started that something would come out. Kohl realised he could get problems, but was holding out hope. "Maybe they won't find anything, maybe I took it long enough in advance. At the time I had no idea how long it would be detectable."

Kohl is choosing a different approach than his teammate Stefan Schumacher, who was also caught for CERA usage. "He says he is innocent. I can only say, I am going my way," Kohl stated. Kohl went on to explain that the crown witness rule to reduce his sentence would not be for him. "I deserve the ban and I will accept it. A bit of distance will be good, too. In sports you make a lot of sacrifices."

Merckx does not believe in Armstrong Tour start

Five-time Tour de France winner Eddy Merckx thinks that seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong is not going for number eight in 2009. Merckx spoke to Armstrong during Interbike in Las Vegas.

Merckx stated several reasons to Belgian paper Le Soir for Armstrong to miss the 2009 Tour. "Mainly there is the difficult relationship between Lance and France as well as the French press. There is also the morale [issues] with regards to Alberto Contador. And the third reason is a sportive one. To participate at the Giro aged 37 after having stopped for three years is already huge."

Armstrong chose to not participate at the Tour de France presentation today. But this is not unusual, as he has not attended all the presentation in the past, either.

Armstrong announced coming out of retirement on September 24. His programme will include the Tour down Under, the Tour of California and the Giro d'Italia.

Rojas anxiously awaits 2009 season

José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) with a mixed season in 2008
Photo ©: Antonio J. Salmerón
(Click for larger image)

José Joaquín Rojas of Spanish team Caisse d'Epargne didn't have too many wins in 2008, but was happy with the consistency that earned him an eighth place in the ProTour ranking. Rojas is now impatiently awaiting next season, where he wants to start out the same way he did this year, but then keep going.

The 23-year-old was happy with his accomplishments, but admitted that he had a lack of victories. "Things didn't go like I wanted, especially at the end of the season, but I have more than 30 top ten finishes, which is very positive. Thanks to the consistency I was able to get in the top ten in the ProTour ranking."

The season started out very well for Rojas, who finished third in the Tour down Under, then won the Trofeo Pollença, part of the Mallorca Challenge. He later crashed in another race of the race series on the Spanish island. "The crash in Mallorca interrupted my season and also not making the Vuelta team affected me a lot. At one moment, I lost the confidence in myself, although in the end I recovered and managed to battle for the lead in the Tour de Pologne."

Rojas will use the off-season to practice some other sports. "Especially less cycling," he smiled. "In the ten days I am stopping I will play tennis, pelota [a Basque racket game resembling squash - ed.], football, mountain biking, swimming, horseback riding... The latest was yesterday, when I ran for 35 minutes with my cousin [José] Cayetano [ex professional at Kelme and Iles Baleares - ed.] It had been more than four years since I last ran and I was tremendously stiff afterwards."

Rojas is now anxiously awaiting the next season. "I think I have learned from my mistakes of this year to demonstrate what I am really worth."

Working together at the Tour du Faso

Since 2001, the Amaury Sports Organisation (ASO), the organiser of the Tour du France, is involved in the development of the Tour du Faso, the major cycling competition of the African continent. The Tour du Faso will take place this year from October 24 to November 2. ASO's mission is to involve different sides (riders, journalists and others) and to respect the spirit of this competition. ASO is especially keen to share its knowledge and competence with the Burkina organisers.

French State Secretary for Cooperation and Francophonie, Alain Joyandet, will visit the Tour du Faso this year. Joyandet will be at the riders' presentation and the first stage between Kokologo and Boromo. Very sensitive to the initiatives led by both, the European and African structures, Joyandet will be able to see for himself the way the ASO teams work with the services of the Burkina Ministry for Sports and the Burkina Cycling Federation (FBC) to organise the biggest cycling event on the continent. A decent amateur, he will also have the opportunity to go from theory to practice by being among the pack on a part of stage one.

The European teams, mainly selected for their sporting profiles, are also encouraged to lead actions in favour of the development of Burkina Faso, whether it concerns school material supplies or the development of exchange programmes. This year the organisers have been approached by the different cycling schools that had benefited from a great deal of equipment during the "1000 vélos pour le Faso" (1000 bikes for Faso) operation in 2005. The educators witnessing problems to replace their material (tire tubes, chains, etc) have asked the European teams if they could come and collect material in order to function on a regular basis. Total material of over a ton and a half was shipped over and will be distributed via the FBC.

Herman Beysens, a former teammate of Eddy Merckx in the seventies, developed a new passion by becoming a team manager during the Tour du Faso. Since 1997, he has taken part in every edition of the event. He is a supervisor at the same time to humanitarian projects, such as drilling for drinking water supply in the villages. "I promise that until I die, I will come to make six drills every year in this country", he had declared in 2006. The "Burkina-Belgian” is still around for this 2008 Tour.

USWCDP mentor, Dotsie Bausch, joins forces with JETCycling

Dotsie Bausch joiuns forces with JETCycling
Photo ©: Steve Cohen
(Click for larger image)

US Women's Cycling Development Program (USWCDP) Mentor and Professional Cyclist, Dotsie Bausch, has joined forces with JETCycling to serve as the Vice President of Athletic Development. This is a key role were she will be looking at the overall strategy and development of juniors within the JETCycling program.

Jet Tanner, founder of JETCycling, was exited about the opportunity with Bausch. "She brings an enormous wealth of talent and know-how." This is due in part to the relationship JETCycling has with the USWCDP. "The USWCDP helps provides mentoring to JETCycling and this only enhances our value to our riders," commented Tanner, "Our partnership with the USWCDP is very important to us. They have a network of talented riders that can mentor and give back to the sport. Our juniors need role models, and we are excited to have Dotsie as part of our team from the USWCDP."

The USWCDP founder and director Michael Engleman welcomed the news. "Dotsie has been a great mentor to the young USWCDP riders and I know she will be prove to be just as valuable to the athletes at JETCycling. Jet Tanner has a great program for juniors, and Dotsie is a perfect fit. To be able to present her international experience at the junior level is exactly what is needed to help young cycling talent develop."

With this new position, Dotsie has her sights set high on helping juniors succeed in cycling. Her main focus is to see JETCycling become a premier program in the US. Bausch was excited about the opportunity. "JETCycling is a program I truly believe in with my heart and soul. It has been such an honour to work with these kids throughout the summer. It is inspirational to me to ride with them. They keep me fresh and on my toes. I really look forward to the future with these budding stars and the JETCycling program."

Throughout 2007, the JETCycling program has had some great success in Southern California. With the backing of the USWCDP, Specialized, and Rock-n-Road Cyclery in Orange County, it has become one of the strongest junior cycling clubs in the area. Its focus has been to build the foundation of junior competitive road cycling, working with juniors between the ages 10 to 18. Its programmes take hands-on approaches to coaching, backed with education and a pillar of ethics for our juniors.

USWCDP has a diary at Cyclingnews.

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