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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News, November 26, 2008

Edited by Greg Johnson & Les Clarke

Beltrán banned for two years

Manuel Beltrán (Liquigas)
Photo ©:
(Click for larger image)

Spaniard Manuel Beltrán has been banned from competing in France for two years after he failed a doping test at this year's Tour de France, according to AFP. The French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD), which oversaw all testing at this year's Tour, has made Beltrán's ban effective immediately.

The 37-year-old cyclist tested positive for EPO at this year's Tour, and will be ineligible for the next two editions of cycling's premiere race. The French agency oversaw all testing at this year's Tour, and caught six riders using two forms of EPO.

Beltrán's former team Liquigas is suing Beltrán for damages based on Tour positives, due to the breaking of a contract that had anti-doping wording.

"I heard from him [after the Tour] because there is a lawsuit pending," Liquigas Team Manager Roberto Amadio told Cyclingnews. "We opened it, it is in the lawyers hands and still ongoing. There is no longer a relation between us, it is only between our lawyers. Nothing else is left."

Pierre Bordry, AFLD director, said Beltrán and the International Cycling Union have been notified of the ban, and that he expects the sport's governing body to uphold it in its competitions by applying the World Anti-Doping Agency's code.

Kohl faces further legal problems, explains statements

By Susan Westemeyer

Bernhard Kohl (Gerolsteiner)
Photo ©: Roberto Bettini
(Click for larger image)

Bernhard Kohl has just received a two-year suspension from the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency, but his legal troubles aren't over. He faces further hearings in France and his former Team Gerolsteiner Team Manager Hans-Michael Holczer may sue him for damages. Meanwhile the Austrian has aired his complaints over his hearing and suspension.

Kohl tested positive for CERA twice at the Tour de France this summer, and he confessed to having used the illegal product. On Monday the NADA Austria handed down his two-year ban.

Because the violation occurred in France, Kohl now faces the possibility of criminal charges in that country. The APA press agency said Kohl will face a hearing before the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) in January or February.

Holczer noted that he still has a contract with Kohl, although he hasn't paid the rider since his positive controls were announced. The former team manager said that Kohl's confession wasn't sufficient for him to annul the contract and sign a dissolution contract with the rider. "He must do more," Holczer told the dpa agency. "It is difficult to figure out a demand for damages. My attorney is working on it."

Kohl protests

Kohl said that he had hoped for a reduced sentence not in order to "make my early return to cycling possible [but rather] in recognition of my confession." He questioned whether "other athletes will dare to confess to doping in similar situations."

He was particularly upset at claims that he did not fully confess, or name names. "In my testimony, I didn't protect anyone who could receive a sports sanction," he said in a press release issued Tuesday evening.

"Since yesterday the impression has been given that I did not tell the truth before the legal commission. That is by no means so," the 26-year-old said.

He also explained that it was "definitely wrong" that he had not named names of those who helped him. "I very definitely named names, I disclosed how I got the doping."

Aussies combo good for Garmin

By Les Clarke

Cameron Meyer hands the job over to Aussie teammate Chris Sutton
Photo ©: Shane Goss
(Click for larger image)

After only one training session together on the boards at Melbourne's Hisense Arena, 2009 Garmin-Chipotle riders Chris Sutton and Cameron Meyer took silver in the men's 40km Madison at the UCI Track World Cup last weekend. The significance of their achievement is that the Australian pair should combine well on the road next season when they both compete as part of Jonathan Vaughters' squad.

Sutton has enjoyed his first year riding for the American team in 2008 after making the move from French squad Cofidis, while Meyer will be joining Garmin-Chipotle next season. The respect the elder of the two riders has for the younger was obvious after the Madison event in Melbourne, with Sutton praising Meyer's explosive speed. Meyer's speed should be harnessed by Vaughters when he unleashes the 20-year-old West Australian on the European and United States of America road scenes.

Meyer told Cyclingnews that he'll be meeting with Garmin-Chipotle directeur sportif Matt White this week to make arrangements for his move to Girona and his programme for next season. "I'll be finding out a few things you need to know before heading into a pro team," said Meyer. "Things like residency, bank accounts... all those personal details that are important as you become an adult and you start to live in another country."

The multiple junior world champion explained how the offer to ride for Garmin-Chipotle came about. "I went to Spain for five days before the Tour de France and after the Tour of Japan, just to ride with some of the boys and meet Jonathan Vaughters," he said. "It was good hanging with him and he seems like a good guy.

"Jonathan e-mailed me directly and was very interested in my achievements during the season," added Meyer. "After talking to him my results kept coming. There was the Tour of Japan win, then my bronze at the world championships really nailed it. Dealing directly with Jonathan was a big factor – I didn't have to go out and look for it [a ride]."

There's a reason Meyer had team directors contacting him directly – he's one of Australia's best future road prospects. The rise has been meteoric for Meyer, going from institute rider to professional in the space of some two years. Despite this huge leap, he's understandably excited at the prospect of riding some of the season's big races.

"I've been given a few races that I might be doing; things like Philly week plus the new ProTour race in Russia," he explained. "There could be a big one like Romandie in there, which would be a major one for my first season. It's exciting times, and I'm looking forward to seeing what my actual programme is."

Bouygues Telecom signs former Japanese Champion

Yukiya Arashiro
Photo ©: Makoto Ayano
(Click for larger image)

Japan's Yukira Arashiro will join the French Bouygues Telecom team for the 2009 season. The 24-year-old Arashiro was the Japanese National Champion in 2007, and this season, he won Stage 2 and finished third overall in the Tour du Limousin.

"By opening our door to a promising Japanese racer, we recognise the progress of cycling," said Bouygues Telecom manager Jean-Rene Bernaudeau to AFP. Bernaudeau indicated he'd like to test Arashiro in a Grand Tour next year.

Arashiro is scheduled to attend a team training camp with his new mates in early December.

Hoy to kick off track season at Revolution 22

By BikeRadar

Treble Olympic gold medallist Chris Hoy will make his 2008/9 track debut at Revolution 22 in Manchester.

Not only will 6 December be the first chance to see Chris competing at home since his incredible success in Beijing, it'll also be his first outing in his new Sky+ HD kit.

After starting off the season with a sprint victory at the Milan 6 at the beginning of November, Chris is on good form. He said: "I'm really looking forward to getting back racing. Revolution is one of the highlights of the season for all the riders so I'm pleased it'll be my first race back."

The Scot has been a star attraction at the Revolution Series for the past six years. He said, "The racing is really hard and fast, and the event brings some of the best riders in the world to compete. This quality and the entertainment element creates an amazing atmosphere that is unique in track racing."

Chris, who won the sprint, keirin and team sprint in Beijing, is already looking ahead to next year. He said: "[My] focus will be the World Championships and hopefully I'll be contending all three sprint disciplines."

Competing alongside Chris and already confirmed are Team GB Olympic medallists Jamie Staff, Jason Kenny and Ross Edgar as well as top European sprinters Tuen Mulder, Itmar Esteban and Roberto Chiappa. The event is sold out. Tickets for the remaining Revolution events on 10 January and 21 February are available at

Garmin launch: Winning is the word

By Mark Zalewski

Team Garmin 2009 on a training ride in Boulder, Colorado
Photo ©: Slipstream Sports
(Click for larger image)

To boil down the Garmin-Slipstream team into one word, it would have to be 'culture.' From both within the team and to outsiders looking in, the most highlighted aspect is that the foundation of how management runs this team is different from any other. Last year this camp was a newer concept within the sport, being so early before the season and comprised of so many off-the-bike aspects designed to create a coherent team. Having a pre-camp allows the staff and riders to get a lot of the necessary, but time-consuming, aspects of beginning a new season out of the way, so that when the actual training camp rolls around in January the riders can focus on riding without distractions.

The time spent before getting down to the actual training and racing seemed to pay off last year, with a team of riders that enjoyed actually being together. The team took this idea to new levels beyond the camp, including housing most of the riders together in a European base in Girona, Spain. As a result the 2008 season was a big success, and the team continues with these plans heading into 2009.

There were differences at this year's camp and launch and, if you had to choose one word to describe those, it would have to be 'win!' "Last year we raced with dignity, passion and honour," said Team Manager Jonathan Vaughters as he introduced the team to the public. "But we were so happy to be with the best in the world, riding on the front and in the mix... so happy were we to perform clean and with ethics, that we forgot one last little step – we forgot to go ahead and win. We could win a hell of a lot more than we did this year!

"Though succeeding beyond anyone's wildest dreams in 2008, I feel that we owe you – the people that believed in us, the fans, our sponsors – we owe you the beauty and emotion of victory!"

To read the full story, click here.

Colavita/Sutter Home names '09 squad

Colavita/Sutter Home has re-signed its core squad for the 2009 season and added Aaron Olson, winner of the 2008 Tour de Nez. Olson joins the team from Bissell Pro Cycling Team where he rode in 2008.

Riders returning to the squad include Cuban powerhouse Luis Amaran, Argentinean speedsters Alejandro and Anibal Borrajo and Sebastian Haedo, climbing sensation Anthony Colby, Fitchburg Longsjo champion Kyle Wamsley, and all-arounders Luca Damiani, Davide Frattini, and Tyler Wren.

"Our results for 2008 were outstanding," said Director Sportif Sebastian Alexandre. "We finished the season with more NRC victories than any other squad and ranked among the top three teams in total stage wins, demonstrating that we have the depth of talent to prevail in the biggest contests in pro cycling. And Sebastian Haedo brought us a Pro Cycling Tour victory with his win at the US Air Force Cycling Classic."

Other new signings include Guido Palma from Team Rite Aid and former Saturn Development Team member Timmy Reinhart.

"Looking ahead, I am very excited about our prospects for 2009," Alexandre said. "The trust, communication, and strategy that the riders developed last year gives us the ability to reach for even greater successes."

Colavita/Sutter Home Men's Cycling Team 2009 roster: Luis Amaran, Alejandro Borrajo, Anibal Borrajo, Anthony Colby, Luca Damiani, Davide Frattini, Andy Guptill, Sebastian Haedo, Aaron Olson, Guido Palma, Timmy Reinhart, Dan Vaillancourt, Kyle Wamsley and Tyler Wren.

Stars return to Launceston's streets

Robbie McEwen (Silence Lotto)
Photo ©: Ben Mason
(Click for larger image)

Organisers of the fifth Launceston Cycling Classic have managed to assemble one of the classiest fields seen for a one-day race in Australia. Luring the cream of Australia's European-based talent to the hotbed of cycling in the Apple Isle has been a hallmark of this event since its inception, and this year's event looks to be the best ever.

The likes of Stuart O'Grady, Robbie McEwen, Simon Gerrans, Baden Cooke and Mark Renshaw will compete against Tasmania's best talent next month as a curtain raiser of sorts ahead of the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals. Race committee member Scott Chellis told The Examiner that the field for this year's race is, "the greatest line-up of cyclists Tasmania has ever seen."

Tasmanian Institute of Sport head cycling coach Matthew Gilmore explained to the local publication that, "It's just fantastic for our younger kids to be able to rub shoulders with riders that have not only competed in the Tour de France but worn leader's and sprinter's jerseys and won stages."

Bernard Sulzberger, one of Tasmania's current crop of talented riders, will ride the December 21 event before heading to the United States of America to race in 2009. "The first time I raced it was the year Robbie McEwen won and that was pretty big for me," said the 24-year-old. "It's great to have this race because it's so good for the young guys coming through to race against these names. It's a great learning curve. When I first did it I had never raced against anyone like that."

Sulzberger's younger brother Wes has also competed in the event in the past, although the Française des Jeux neo-professional will skip this year's edition to fulfil commitments to Marc Madiot's squad. Like Matt Goss before him, the younger Sulzberger used the Launceston event to launch his career against the best Australia has to offer.

"I've been waiting to try and get recognised by pro teams so it's good to finally join one," said the 22-year-old, who came second to Goss in Launceston last year. "I've been riding since I was 11 years old down at the Exeter bike track coached by Paul Manion and know what this race means. To have all the big names coming over here is only going to help our younger riders. It will inspire them to keep going and hopefully they can see that if they keep pushing through it can take them places."

The fifth Launceston Cycling Classic will take place on Sunday, December 21, from 7pm along St John, Cimitiere, George and York streets.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Future Publishing (Overseas) Limited 2008)