TOP STORY: Rasmussen Changes his Mind!
After throwing the muck at all the Rabobank riders in the 2007 Tour de France, Michael Rasmussen has gone back on his claim; partially. On Sunday Rasmussen was interviewed on Danish TV and one question was “How many riders do you think were doped during the 2007 Tour de France?” His answer was: “Within the Rabobank team: 100%. Not everyone took the same products, but they were all in some way in doping provided by the team.”
The Rabobank Tour team that year included the two Spanish riders: Oscar Freire and Juan Antonio Flecha, with Denis Menchov, Michael Boogerd, Bram de Groot, Thomas Dekker, Grischa Niermann, Pieter Weening and Rasmussen himself.
Oscar Freire, who never has been immersed in any case of doping and has frequently spoken out against positive cases of cyclists, was very angry when he read Rasmussen’s words and called him to ask for explanations. Then the triple world champion also telephoned several media outlets to clarify the mess: “I called to see what was going on with Rasmussen and the news. He responded that I never said my name, but I’ve asked for a public apology and correction, because otherwise I would have to report him. If he has doped or others have done, saying who, but you can’t implicate everyone, because it’s not true,” Freire told Spanish sports paper AS.
After the threat of legal action from Freire, Rasmussen made a U turn and stated: “I’ve never seen Freire doping, neither Flecha. It was a mistake to say that all of the Rabobank riders were taking doping substances. My book does not quote the names of any of them.” Rasmussen said to the EFE press agency. Shortly thereafter he issued a statement to various media, including AS, where he reiterated the denial, adding: “I deeply regret undue speculation and accusations that this statement resulted in the Spanish media.” Freire summed up the actions of Rasmussen to the other Spanish sports paper Marca: “Probably what Rasmussen wants to do is sell many books, but this cannot happen. These things do much damage to cycling and all of those who have been a part of it.”
Pieter Weening was also named in that team and his present team; Orica-GreenEdge have asked the Dutchman to clarify the situation as he signed an anti-doping declaration when he joined the team. At present Weening is in Curaçao and said, “desperate needs lead to desperate deeds; it’s obvious he is frustrated because he lost the case against Rabobank.” This refers to the €665,000 that was originally awarded to him in damages for sending him home from the Tour when in the Yellow jersey and then lost it again in the appeal.
Whether or not Michael Rasmussen has money problems or not, we don’t know, but the need to sell book at any cost is not a good thing for truth or cycling. Yes the end of ‘Omerta’ is a good thing, but telling the truth is more important. Let us not forget that Rasmussen has admitted to showing three young mountain bikers how to take drugs, if this was in ‘normal’ life and it was heroin and not EPO, what would you think?
Oscar Freire was 2nd in the Under 23 World road championships in 1997, but when he won the professional championships in Verona two years later; that was the start of the big time and two more Rainbow jerseys for Oscar. Here is the 1999 race finale:
European Cyclo-cross Championships 2013
Helen Wyman (Kona) held on to her European title beating her county-woman Nikki Harris (Telenet-Fidea) by over one minute with French girl Lucie Chainel-Lefevre taking the bronze medal in Mladá Boleslav in the Czech Republic on Sunday. Wyman attacked on the opening lap and held the others off to the line. Britain had a very successful day with Gabriella Durrin in seventh place on the muddy course.
European Cyclo-cross Women’s Championships Result:
1. Helen Wyman (Great Britain) in 39:22
2. Nikki Harris (Great Britain) at 1:11
3. Lucie Chainel-Lefevre (France) at 1:24
4. Sophie De Boer (Netherlands) at 1:36
5. Ellen Van Loy (Belgium) at 1:41
6. Sanne Cant (Belgium) at 1:45
7. Gabriella Durrin (Great Britain) at 3:32
8. Pavla Havlikova (Czech Republic) at 6:10
9. Karla Stepanova (Czech Republic) at 7:33
10. Lisa Heckmann (Germany) at 8:39.
Helen Wyman (Kona) European champion.
The next generation of the Belgian Vanthourenhout family; Michael, managed to drop the Dutch multi-World champion Mathieu van der Poel for the Under 23 title. Gianni Vermeersch was third putting all eight of the Belgian team in the top eleven riders. The future for Belgian cross looks solid.
European Cyclo-cross Men U23 Championships Result:
1. Michael Vanthourenhout (Belgium) in 50:58
2. Mathieu van der Poel (Netherlands) at 0:23
3. Gianni Vermeersch (Belgium) at 0:28
4. Wout Van Aert (Belgium) at 1:09
5. Laurens Sweeck (Belgium) at 1:11
6. Jens Vandekinderen (Belgium) at 1:35
7. Tim Merlier (Belgium) at 1:55
8. Fabien Doubey (France) at 1:58
9. Jens Adams (Belgium) at 2:11
10. David Menut (France) at 2:27.
Amstel Curaçao Race 2013
There is one invite to a race I would never turn down and it would be the Amstel Race in Curaçao, but I have a feeling it will never come. This year the Dutch champion Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) won the men’s race on the Dutch Caribbean Island and Ellen Van Dijk (Lululemon-Specialized) took the woman’s event. Hoogerland finished on his own ahead of Jan Bakelants (RadioShack-Leopard) and the home star; Mark de Maar (UnitedHealthcare). In the woman’s race Van Dijk got the better of her four break away companions in the sprint for the victory.
The Curacao podium.
Tour winners Bernhard Hinault, Joop Zoetemelk and Pedro Delgado (plus Jan Janssen not in the photo) were also in Curaçao to show off their Yellow jerseys, turn the pedals and take in the sun and sea.
UCI Registered Teams for 2014
The UCI have announced the first team to receive WorldTour and ProTour licences for 2014. Nine of the eventual eighteen teams have received the green light: Ag2r-La Mondiale (Fra), Belkin Pro Cycling (Ned), BMC Racing Team (USA), Cannondale (Ita), FDJ.fr (Fra), Garmin-Sharp (USA), Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Racing Team (Bel), Team Katusha (Rus) and Team Saxo Bank (Den). Of the others; Astana (Kaz), Lampre-Merida (Ita), Movistar (Spa), Orica GreenEdge (Aus), Team Sky (GB) and Team Europcar (Fra) have to appear before the UCI licence commission before they can renew. RadioShack-Leopard is to become Trek and is in the process of buying the licence, Argos-Shimano is changing their main sponsor and Lotto Belisol has some administrative formalities. Europcar is not expected to have any problems making the top step of professional cycling.
The ProConti teams registered are:
Androni Giocattoli (Ita)
Bardiani – Csf (Ita)
Caja Rural – Seguros Rga (Spa)
Ccc Polsat Polkowice (Pol)
Cofidis, Solutions Crédits (Fra)
Drapac Professional Cycling (Aus)
Iam Cycling (Sui)
MTN – Qhubeka (RSA)
Team Netapp – Endura (Ger)
Team Novo Nordisk (USA)
Topsport Vlaanderen – Baloise (Bel)
Unitedhealthcare Professional Cycling Team (USA)
Wanty – Groupe Gobert (Bel)
Yellow Fluo (Ita).
2014 Tour of California Route Announced
Amgen Tour of California organisers, AEG, has released next year’s race route details. The will start on May the 11th in Sacramento and finish’s in Thousand Oaks on the 18th. Stage 2 is a time trial in Folsom, followed by a summit finish in Mount Diablo State Park on stage 3. The next two stages at the coast and are for the sprinters with stage finishes in Cambria and Santa Barbara. Stage 6 has another summit finish in Mountain High; stage 7 goes from Santa Clarita to Pasadena before the final circuit stage in Thousand Oaks.
The 2014 Amgen Tour of California:
Stage 1: Sunday, May 11 – Sacramento
Stage 2: Monday, May 12 – Folsom (Individual Time Trial)
Stage 3: Tuesday, May 13 – San Jose to Mount Diablo State Park
Stage 4: Wednesday, May 14 – Monterey to Cambria
Stage 5: Thursday, May 15 – Pismo Beach to Santa Barbara
Stage 6: Friday, May 16 – Santa Clarita to Mountain High
Stage 7: Saturday, May 17 – Santa Clarita to Pasadena
Stage 8: Sunday, May 18 – Thousand Oaks.
No Places for Frost & Hoffman at Saxo Bank
The two ex-riders turned directeurs sportif; Dan Frost and Tristan Hoffman will not be behind the steering wheel of a Saxo Bank team car in 2014. It seems money (or lack of it) is the reason for the team to go from six DS’s to four. Both are looking for jobs but it being so late in the season all the teams have filled their places.
Daryl Impey Re-Signs With ORICA-GreenEDGE
ORICA-GreenEDGE is thrilled to announce that Daryl Impey has rejoined the team on a three year contract. The first South African to wear the yellow jersey has flourished during his two year tenure with the Australian outfit. In 2012, Impey earned his first WorldTour win, made his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia and solidified his position as one of the world’s best lead-out riders. His strength in the sprint train inspired his selection to the team’s 2012 Tour de France squad.
Impey’s breakthrough season was followed by a second hugely successful year that included stage victories at Bayern-Rundfahrt and Vuelta al Pais Vasco and a starring role in the team’s stunning performances during the first week of the Tour. Impey led out Simon Gerrans for the win on stage three of the Tour de France and played a crucial role in the team’s time trial win in Nice that put Gerrans in yellow, Most memorably, Impey benefited from a touching display of “matesmanship” when Gerrans slipped back in the bunch to pass along the yellow jersey to his teammate, roommate and friend.
“To make the Tour team during the first year was really special,” said Impey. “This year with the yellow jersey and the stage wins and everything that came along with it was even more special. When Simon and I realised that we could both wear the yellow jersey, that we could share it – and that we actually pulled it off – that was the biggest highlight of my career.”
“Everything about these past two years has been incredible,” Impey continued. “The riders, the staff and the management are all so supportive. The way we lift each other up to lift the whole level of the team has made this team what it is today. We started from scratch with the attitude that this team isn’t just about one or two individuals. One rider is just as important as the next. We’ve stayed true to that idea, and look at what we’ve accomplished.”
While Impey has clearly made huge strides over the last two years, Sport Director Matt White is convinced that the best is yet to come from their protégé. Much has been made of Impey’s ability to help his teammates secure major victories, White looks forward to giving Impey more opportunities for personal success.
“Daryl is an invaluable member of our team,” said White. “He has gone to another level since he joined us two years ago. He has proven that he’s a super teammate and that he is critical to the team’s overall success. We’ve seen that repeatedly over the past two years. He’s been a part of most of our biggest wins – Gossy’s win at the Giro, Gerro’s win at the Tour, the team time trial win at the Tour and second place at Worlds. He’s a very versatile rider that we can use in a lot of different ways.”
“I think we’re going to see him improve a lot more over the next three years,” White added. “We’ve seen him win some great races over the last two years, but we know he’s capable of even bigger wins. We’re certainly going to give him more opportunity to show that over the next thee years.”
Despite the team’s confidence in him and the promise of bigger things on the horizon, Impey remains amazingly grounded. Answering questions about his objectives for next year he talks about “if he makes the Tour team.” His humility goes hand-in-hand with his hard work.
“You don’t become a race winner or race leader without doing the dirty work,” said Impey. “I’ve learned how to look after the big riders and shoulder responsibility to my teammates and myself. This team gives everyone a chance, but they also keep me on my toes. Nothing is guaranteed.
“Think about it this way – I took someone else’s spot when I was put in the Tour team two years ago,” Impey added. “If I took someone’s spot, one of the new guys or younger guys could take mine.”
Impey expects a similar programme to the past two years. He hopes to peak in the spring and return to top form again in July.
“My progamme will mostly stay the same as it was last year,” said Impey. “I’ll fly out to Australia next month. After that, it’s Oman and Tirreno. The biggest goals in the first half of the season are Milan San Remo and Amstel Gold.
“I’m most looking forward to the Tour de France,” said Impey. “It’s the biggest race of the season for the team. I’m really hoping to make selection and go back to the race to repeat some of the success we had this year. It’s hard to do, but it’s always nice to have a big challenge. I think we’re all looking forward to reaching for the stars again.”
Impey has repeatedly extended his gratitude to the team for the lifeline they threw him two years ago. His recruitment to GreenEDGE came at a pivotal point in his career. Until joining Australia’s first WorldTour team, Impey was an under-rated all-rounder known more for his horrific crash at the Tour of Turkey and troubled seasons with teams tainted by financial woe than his raw strength, unflappable nature and limitless potential.
“I need to say a massive thank you to the team for the last two years,” said Impey. “It’s an easy decision to be part of a team that is so giving and so appreciative of what you do for the team. In the same vein, I’m really thankful to everyone involved with the team – the riders, the staff, the management and all our sponsors. To have a major backer like Gerry [Ryan], who puts in so much effort and time along with money, is huge. We’re really lucky to have Gerry and [General Manager] Shayne [Bannan] committed to building such a successful, professional and fun team.”
Thanks to the Orica-GreenEdge team.
UCI Rule Changes
The UCI have made some rule changes to start on the 1st of January 2014, they were approved by the UCI Management Committee at a meeting in Florence during the World road race championships. The rule changes include the amount of Pro teams that can be invited to HC events in America, Asia, Oceania and Africa, at the moment it is 50%, it will change to 65% next year. The second rule change concerns riders using bike tracks pavements and jumping over street furniture to cut a corner etc. As the rule states: “It is strictly prohibited to use sidewalks/pavements, paths or cycle paths alongside the roadway that do not form part of the course.” Race officials might be handing out fines or even disqualifications for bunny hoping corners next year.
No more of this:
Ghisallo Museum Closed for the Winter
The cycling museum at the Madonna del Ghisallo has said it will close until the end of March and possibly longer if it cannot find funding. The church was dedicated to the saint of cycling in 1949 and had many gift from professional cyclist, enough artefacts to open the museum in 2006. The Gazzetta dello Sport reports that the museum needs €100,000 a year to cover running expenses, but has only received around €12,000 this year. The regional government with the Italian Olympic Committee and others from the cycling World have pledged that the museum will re-open in the spring.
Here is a tour of the museum by Holiday Tv English:
Campagnolo 80th Anniversary Celebration
Press Release: It all began 80 years ago during a difficult race in freez¬ing conditions with less than ideal equipment. At the base of a climb, hands frozen and nearly numb from the bitter cold, Tullio Campagnolo struggled to remove his rear wheel, cutting his hand in the process. In this very moment, having lost a race due to mechanical in¬efficiencies, Campagnolo decided that he would take it upon himself to find a better solution. Upon returning home he set about to design the world’s very first quick release mechanism in the back of his father’s tool store. While it needed only to be functional, Campagnolo produced an elegant prototype, as beautiful as it was revolutionary. This all took place in 1933 but this very same process has been played out time and time again during the long 80 year history of the company.
1) Identify a need or an area to be improved
2) Continuously innovate to find unique and functional solutions.
3) Don’t settle for mere functionality, but make it elegant.
This process was established that very day in 1933 by Tullio Campagnolo but replicated hundreds and hun¬dreds of times through the years and has become the doctrine that the Campagnolo company follows to this day. Driven by the same passion for cycling that saw Tullio ride countless kilometers in grueling conditions, Campagnolo has always dedicated itself whole-heartedly into improving the cycling experience from past to present.
Passion for cycling pushed the company to work closely with the sports best athletes to not only improve their per¬formance but also to improve cycling for the amateur. Passion for the bicycle as a whole pushed the company to collaborate with the world’s best frame producers to find elegant and functional solutions as well. These collaborations stem back over 80 years and continue to this very day. As this year we celebrate 80 years of continuous innovation it is only fitting that all of those with whom we have shared and continue to share this most fantastic of journeys can take part in the festivities along with us. A celebration was held at the company head¬quarters during the Giro d’Italia’s arrival to Vicenza where a great deal of the Campagnolo “family” were present. Regrettably there isn’t a tent large enough to hold all of the cycling enthusiasts and amateurs who have also shared this long and fantastic history with us. However, we hope that anyone and everyone who has ridden or rides with Campagnolo will celebrate this important milestone with us. Although everyone couldn’t be with us physically to enjoy the celebration in person, we hope that you will all enjoy a brief video of the day’s events.
Enjoy the video and please share, post and tweet this video link to all who you feel will appreciate it.
Feel free to leave your comment, experience, foto or mark in the Campagnolo Virtual Museum after browsing around the company history at www.anniversary.campagnolo.com.
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be added there too.
Any comments drop me a line, email address: email@example.com or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Twitter and Facebook Fan Page.