TOP STORY: Armstrong Fingers Verbruggen!
Top Story or Non-Story? In an interview with the British newspaper the Daily Mail, Lance Armstrong said when asked about the cover up of his positive test in the 1999 Tour de France: “But the real problem was, the sport was on life support. And Hein just said, “This is a real problem for me, this is the knockout punch for our sport, the year after Festina, so we’ve got to come up with something.” So we backdated the prescription.”
Is this a new accusation? Not really, in the depositions from the other US Postal team riders to the USADA, they stated that Armstrong had boasted of his protection from the UCI and Hein Verbruggen and allegedly Armstrong made a direct phone call to the UCI President to sort a problem. So we have heard it all before.
For his part Hein Verbruggen has hit back with a text to Dutch TV station NOS attacking the American. “Since when does anyone believe Lance Armstrong? When with Oprah Winfrey he said he never settled something with the UCI? Or since he makes movies and interviews and hints that there are juicy stories to come?”
“His story is illogical because it was not a positive anti-doping offence, in the opinion of the competent authority. That authority was not the UCI, but the French Ministry. After allegations a year back of a large-scale complicity at the UCI over doping by Lance Armstrong and his team, we are now back to a cortisone-case from 1999 that wasn’t even from the UCI. Sincerely, Hein Verbruggen.”
Make a sentence form these words: pot, kettle, calling and black. Is this a “TOP STORY” or just more old regurgitated stuff we already know. It also sounds like Armstrong will say anything to be able to compete again, but then Verbruggen has to cover his back. When will it all end!
The interview by the Daily Mail:
Vacansoleil-DCM Employed Fake Doctor
The Vacansoleil-DCM team worked with a fake doctor for six months in 2011. The Dutch team recognized their error when they discovered that Doctor Daniël De Martelaere “lied” that he had license. The Attorneys Office of Ghent has opened an investigation into the matter.
The newspapers De Standaard and Het Nieuwsblad revealed that the Dutch team hired Daniël De Martelaere, “a guru in the region of Flanders”, and he worked for six months on the team before being fired. According to information from De Martelaere when he was interviewed by Vacansoleil manager, Daan Luyckx, he (De Martelaere) was a doctor who had studied in the United States and specialised in endurance sports and so was hired at the start of 2011.
The riders and staff realized that the man had no great knowledge of medicine and even seemed to ignore basic principles. In June, Vacansoleil realized the deception when the laboratory that analyzed blood samples from the Tour of Switzerland confirmed that were not certified by a real doctor. Vacansoleil then terminated his contract.
The Vacansoleil team has acknowledged the fact and confirm that they were deceived: “In 2011, the group of doctors in the team consisted of five people, all worked part-time so the tasks were divided, for that reason Mr. De Martelaere was to control and analyze blood levels as his main task. The man was in possession of a medical license from the Union of Belgian cycling. In late 2011 it was decided not to renew the contract. The team regrets that Mr. De Martelaere lied and awaits investigation by prosecutors of Ghent.”
Louis Meintjes moves into race lead in Rwanda
Louis Meintjes turned what started out as a gloomy day for Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung into a joyous one after he won stage 3 of the Tour of Rwanda. Africa’s first Professional Continental team started the day in the yellow jersey with Jay Thomson.
Unfortunately the South African national champion fell ill the night before the stage and abandoned shortly after racing got underway. Meintjes’ victory earned him the yellow jersey as he started the day second overall.
With the stage only covering a distance of 69.4 kilometres, it was always going to be a fast one. Team South Africa took it upon themselves to start the attacking as Meintjes explains.
“Paul van Zweel got away and he is a very strong rider and we saw him as a threat. The team did an amazing job keeping the attack under control. Johann van Zyl and Songezo Jim spent most of the day on the front,” Meintjes said.
Along with Adrien Niyonshuti, the team nullified all attacks with 9 kilometres to go as the reduced peloton hit the day’s final climb to the finish. “They brought Paul back at this stage and all I had to do was fight on the last climb. Luckily I could win the sprint,” a delighted Meintjes said. With Thomson’s exit, the team is left with four riders in the race. Meintjes says the racing will be handled on a “day to day basis”.
“It’s definitely a loss not having Jay in the team. He is a very strong rider but I still think the team is very strong and it’s not impossible for us to win,” Meintjes concluded.
Team Principal, Douglas Ryder, commented on the success the team is enjoying in the Rwandan tour. “We came to the race as it’s a special occasion for Africa’s team to race on the African continent. We sent a strong team to support Adrien’s return in his home country and to spend time with our friends at MTN Rwanda. Today’s victory puts us joint second in terms of UCI wins for Pro Continental teams. We can only be delighted with the job the team is doing.”
Thanks to Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung
Nibali to Ride the 2014 Giro d’Italia?
2013 Giro d’Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali has said his main goal for next season would be the Tour de France, but in an interview with the Gazzetta dello Sport he has not ruled out also riding the Giro d’Italia in 2014. “The programme hasn’t been decided yet, the Giro is certainly quite tempting. It’s a nice Giro, well-designed, and maybe you could think about being there. But in any case, the centre piece remains the Tour. Now we’ll start to talk about it at Astana with the calendar in front of us and we’ll put together the programme,” the Sicilian said. He has a training camp in Spain in early December and starts to race in the Tour de San Luis from January 20th to the 26th.
The Giro d’Italia 2014:
Swedish Start for the Giro d’Italia?
Mauro Vegni, the Giro race organiser, has said that bike manufacturer Cycleurope approached him asking what would be needed for the Giro to start in Sweden, with the possibility of it happening sometime after 2017. The Giro d’Italia is well known for starting outside the Italian borders with Belgium, Holland, Greece, France, Denmark in the past and next year Ireland. Recently New York and Dubai have been suggested for the depart, so why not Sweden?
2014 Tour of Flanders Course Change
The organisers of the 98th Tour of Flanders (Ronde van Vlaanderen) have changed the finale of the 2014 edition to be held on the 6th of April. There will be a total of 17 climbs and 6 sections of pavé in the 259 kilometres between Bruges and the finish in Oudenaarde. The most significant is that the Koppenberg is 44 kilometres before the finish, last year it was at 64 kilometres out. The Oude-Kwaremont and Paterberg, that like last year, will be the last two at 16 and 13 kilometres from the finish. The Oude-Kwaremont will be ridden three times and the Paterberg twice to keep the corporate hospitality happy.
With the Koppenberg coming 45 kilometres out and the finish only 13 kilometres after the last climb, the Paterberg, there should be more attack and chase excitement then previous years. “Over the last 150km, there is a maximum of 12 km between the cobbled sections and the hills,” explained the race organisers.
For the third year the Muur/Kapelmuur is not included.
The 17 Climbs and the 6 Cobbled Sections:
1: Km 109 Old-Kwaremont (pavé)
2: Km. 119 Kortekeer
3: Km. 127 Eikenberg (pavé)
4: Km 130 Wolvenberg
(Km 130 Ruiterstraat 1st section of pavé)
(Km 133 Kerkgate 2nd section of pavé)
(Km 136 Holleweg 3rd section of pavé)
5: Km 142 Molenberg (pavé)
(km 147 Paddestraat 4th section of pavé)
(Km 160 Haaghoek 5th section of pavé)
6: Km 163 Leberg
7: Km 171 Valkenberg
8: Km 181 Kaperij
9: Km 189 Kanarieberg
10: Km 205 Old-Kwaremont (pavé)
11: Km 208 Paterberg (pavé)
12: Km 215 Koppenberg
(Km 219 Mariaborrestraat 6th section of pavé)
13: Km 220 Steenbeekdries 13 Km
14: Km 222 Taaienberg (pavé)
15: Km 233 Kruisberg (pavé)
16: Km 243 Old-Kwaremont (pavé)
17: 246 Km Paterberg (pavé).
Sean Kelly came so close in 1986:
Nairo Quintana Receives Tour Centenary Award
The French ambassador for Colombia; Jean Marc Laforet has received, at his residence, Nairo Quintana to present him with the Centenary Tour de France commemorative award.
The rider from Boyaca was accompanied by his parents, the national sports delegation headed by the director of COLDEPORTES, Andres Botero, the Colombian Olympic Committee President, Baltazar Medina and the president of the Colombian Cycling Federation, Ramiro Valencia.
The ambassador recalled the great feats of Nairo and the great significance of the triumph of the Boyaca rider in the centenary Tour. The Movistar Team rider thanked both the French government and Ambassador Laforet and special guests and the media that accompanied him. To thank the ambassador, he was presented with an autographed and dedicated poster. “This is recognition that shows how important we Colombians are for them in this great event. It’s very emotional and fills us with excitement and satisfaction,” he said.
Quintana is training in preparation awaiting the first gathering of his team in Spain. “We do gym, mountain biking and swimming to prepare for next year,” he said and confirmed that he might “possibly” start next season at the Tour de San Luis.
“Sometimes I feel old” said Fabian Cancellara
Fabian Cancellara’s professional career will continue at least until 2016 with the three-year contract he has signed with Trek. By then he will be 35 years old, this could be his limit because he doesn’t want to go past 40 like Chris Horner and Jens Voigt.
At the moment the Swiss rider is fully committed, as demonstrated last year with his double in the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix, but he cannot see beyond 2016 because the season is a long time without his family. “I’m 200 or 250 days a year away from home, sometimes with my wife and children, but it’s not the same as being at home. Every minute I can spend at home with my family is special.”
“I could go on after my 40’s as Horner and Voigt have, but that is not me. Now, I cannot stop, because there is a large fire burning within me, but in the middle of the season sometimes I realize that I’m getting older. Really I’m not old yet, but I have 14 years behind me,” he told Sporza while in Belgium for the first meeting of the Trek Factory Racing Team.
His fire also includes new ambitions. “The World Hour record is on my mind, but when exactly I do not know.” He added “an attack on the hour record is not something that can happen suddenly, there’s a lot of work in them. The track is also important; it should give you a good feeling. Mentally you must also be able to give your best. Maybe next season or in 2015. I want to try but it is far from certain. It’s on my list along with the World Cup and other races.”
Cancellara in 2013:
Van Hummel to Androni
Kenny van Hummel (Vacansoleil-DCM) has signed a contract with the Androni-Venezuela team, following in the footsteps of his team mate and compatriot Johnny Hoogerland. According to De Telegraaf, the Dutch sprinter has signed with the Italian ProContinental team. With Van Hummel and Hoogerland, Gianni Savio’s team will have more doors open to compete in Belgium and Holland.
In 2013 Van Hummel added a victory in the Norwegian Arctic Race in Norway, five second places for a total of 27 places in the top ten. The Dutch rider raced for Vacnasoleil-DCM for the last two seasons and Skil-Shimano before that. In 2009 he had five wins, in 2010 six, eight in 2011 and one the year after. “I am naturally very pleased to have this opportunity and hope the sporting opportunities that the team offers me. I have huge moral for this new challenge. After I signed with the team of Fernando Alonso and then received the news that it would not happen, I can say that was a disaster. Therefore I am delighted that in these difficult times I’ve managed to have a team. Androni gives me a good opportunity for the following year.”
For next year, Androni has confirmed 17 riders, new to the team are: Kenny van Hummel, Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM), Yonder Godoy (signed in July this year), Manuel Belletti (Ag2r-La Mondiale), Nicola Testi (amateur), Andrea Zordan (stagiare) and Gianfranco Zilioli winner of the GP Industria & Commercio di Pratoare. Staying with the team from 2013: Omar Bertazzo, Matteo Di Serafino, Patrick Facchini, Marco Frapporti, Mattia Gavazzi, Carlos Ochoa, Antonino Parrinello, Jackson Rodriguez, Diego Rosa and Emanuele Sella. Carlos Gimenez has already signed with the team for 2015.
First Race for Wanty-Groupe Gobert
The new Wanty-Groupe Gobert will start its season in the Tropicale Amissa Bongo (Gabon) from 13th to 19th January. The Wanty team joins Europcar, which has applied for a WorldTour license in 2014, and Pro Continental teams Cofidis, Caja Rural-RGA and MTN-Qhubeka, plus the Velo Club Continental Algeria Sovac and seven national selections, Gabon, Cameroon, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Morocco, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast and Rwanda.
Europcar, Cofidis are MTN are regular starters at the Tropicale Amissa Bongo, in previous years WorldTour teams; Lampre, Quick Step and AG2R have also been in Gabon.
Stage 1: Bitam – Ebolowa (Camerún), 149 kms
Stage 2: Awoua – Oyem, 120 kms
Stage 3: Ndjolé – Lambaréné, 133 kms
Stage 4: Lambaréne – Mouila, 190 kms
Stage 5: Bifoun – Ntoum, 126 kms
Stage 6: Port-Gentil (circuit), 126 kms
Stage 7: Owendo – Libreville.
Previous winners were: Jussi Veikkanen (2006), Frederic Guesdon (2007), Lilial Jegou (2008), Matthieu Ladagnous (2009), Anthony Charteau (2010-2012) and Yohann Gene (2013).
The 20 riders are confirmed, for now, with the Wanty-Groupe Gobert: Jempy Drucker, Grégory Habeaux, James Vanlandschoot, Thomas Degand, Jérôme Gilbert, Tim De Troyer, Roy Jans and Kevin Van Melsen continue from Accent Jobs-Wanty. Kevin Seeldreayers (Astana), Michel Kreder (Garmin-Sharp), Frederique Robert (Lotto-Belisol), Nico Sijmens and Jan Ghyselinck (Cofidis), Jérôme Baugnies (ToWin), Marco Minnard (Rabobank Development), Laurens de Vreese (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise). Björn Leukemans, Mirko Selvaggi, Frederik Veuchelen and Wesley Kreder all come from Vacansoleil-DCM.
The start of the season by ThePassionCyclisme:
Bobby Traksel Team: Nearly There!
The Bobbie Traksel Cycling Team lacks only €75,000 to complete a budget of €600,000 to compete in 2014. So modest is the team that the riders will take no more than €750 a month in wages. Bobbie Traksel has made his final effort through Facebook to make his project a reality, taking 12 riders who are currently without a team.
Reinier Honig is one rider who is confident that Traksel, VVBW (association of Dutch riders) President, can push forward his initiative to create a team with the purpose of helping riders who have no professional team for next year. “The team will consist of 12 riders who do not earn more than €750 per month,” Honig confirmed. “Of course, €750 is nothing, but I can go on cycling and that’s what I want. And maybe next year I can go to a larger team.” The team will be made up of mostly Dutch and some Belgian riders.
Traksel also announced that he has €525,000 of a €600,000 budget, but he needs to find €75,000 “in the next three days.” because Thursday is the deadline.
For this, the former professional with Rabobank, Landbouwkrediet, Vacansoleil-DCM and Champion System, launched a Facebook campaign to support his project and call organizations, businesses and individuals to join. “It’s our last chance!” He announced. “Friends of cycling, Bobbie is still looking for a major sponsor who can fund the initiative, is your company interested or know a company that has an interest?” Write and leave your contact details: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Euskadi Team: “I’m optimistic, but I have not got 100% of the budget”
The Basque Foundation President Miguel Madariaga works every day to advance his plans for a continental team in 2014, but he must hurry to gather the needed budget, although he did receive a “push” last week with support from “two solvent companies.”
This week the Spanish Federation audits the continental teams. “The situation is that today (Monday) we should have submitted to the RFEC (the Spanish Cycling Federation) the rider and directors contracts, but I have not submitted anything because I have no security that I will have 100% of the budget,” he told bicicilismo. Trusting that the project will move forward. “We will have to present the documents and we will have to prolong the time with the Federation,” he added.
Last week Madariaga closed a deal with “two good, solvent companies which will cover half the budget, €225,000 of €450,000, and there is another quite well placed.” As to the immediate future: “I’m not going to fail. It’s a push but the process is very slow. Right now I have 50% and yes I am optimistic.”
In principle the team will be of eight riders, but could be expanded to ten depending on the budget, Madariaga confirms that “we are studying the riders we want.”
Specialized-lululemon for 2014
The Specialized-lululemon team has finalised its roster for next year: Lisa Brennauer, Loren Rowney, Carmen Small, Ally Stacher, Evelyn Stevens, Tayler Wiles and Trixi Worrack have resigned form this year. French National Champion Elise Delzenne, Chantal Blaak (Holland), Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada) and the Australian Tiffany Cromwell all join the team for its third year. Cromwell commented on her move; “Orica had offered me another year but I just didn’t to just say yes straight away. I wanted to also see what else was out there. It’s a time when my next major goal is the Olympics so if you’re going to change teams now is the time to do it. So then I contacted Specialized Lululemon to see if they were interested in me and what their programme was like. The opportunities were better with this team than they were if I’d stayed with Orica. Hopefully it’s going to work out well for me.”
Specialized – lululemon The Dream Team (2013):
Anna Sanchis to Wiggle-Honda
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling announces the addition of Spanish Anna Sanchis for next season. “I am very happy to ride for the Honda Pro Cycling Wiggle next season,” said Sanchis, Spanish champion both in the time trial and on the road and a regular member of the Spanish national team. “I am thrilled to be joining one of the best teams in the world, which is very well organized and professional. I hope to compete with a very good group of cyclists who motivate me to work as hard as possible to help the team leaders to win many races.”
Her versatility, good climbing and time trialing, will let her play an important role in her new team. “My goals are stage races like the Giro or the Route de France, I do the best I can in these races.”
The Valencian leaves her place in the Bizkaia-Durando team. “After four years in the Bizkaia, the team has given me all they could offer and I’m very grateful that led me up to this level, I’m ready for a change and to step up to the highest level, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people from my old team, Bizkaia, and all the other wonderful people who have supported me so far,” she says. “On behalf of all the athletes of Bizkaia, I would like to thank Jon Elorriaga and Dennis Gonzalez who have stayed with us in good times and especially in bad times when they had to fight in person to offer its athletes all possible. I will always be grateful.”
Sanchis will be the first Spanish rider with Wiggle-Honda Pro Cycling, joining an international workforce from Britain, Italy, Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Japan and Sweden. “Wiggle welcomes Anna Sanchis to Wiggle-Honda Pro Cycling 2014,” said Adam Ryan, Head of Marketing of the brand. “Anna is obviously a very talented athlete that will strengthen our team with her climbing skills and her work in general. It is also a very special signature for the main sponsor Wiggle to support a Spanish professional female cyclist,” says Ryan. “Wiggle has enjoyed serving its growing Spanish customer base for many years and hope to keep with Anna and team performances all season.”
UnitedHealthcare on Willier Trestina in 2014
The Italian bike brand Wilier Triestina will be supplying the bikes to UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team next season. The U.S. ProContinental team will use the Cento1SR on the road and the TwinBlade for time trials.
UnitedHealthcare roster of 21 riders for 2014 are: Jeff Louder, Ben Day, Chris Jones, Alessandro Bazzana, Martyn Irvine, Luke Keough, Karl Menzies, Brad White, Davide Frattini, Jonny Clarke, Adrian Hegyvary, Danny Summerhill, John Murphy, Aldo Ino Ilešič , Ken Hanson (Optum), Martijn Maaskant (Garmin-Sharp), Isaac Bolivar (Colombia), Hilton Clarke, Robert Förster, Carlos Alzate, Marc de Maar, Kiel reijn y Lucas Euser.
Contador in the Wind Tunnel
Alberto Contador visited and trained last weekend in the wind tunnel in San Francisco (USA), “to test the different positions” on his Specialized bikes, as he explains in the video, in order to better understand their drag. The Spanish Saxo Bank rider explains that the wind tunnel “is made specifically for the bike” and that “we can make the most of all the equipment.” Before arriving in San Francisco; Contador took part in various events promoting Specialized in Brazil, particularly in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo and from today (Thursday) he will lead the Saxo Bank Team in its first gathering for 2014 in Gran Canaria (Spain).
Don’t let your babies grow up to be cyclists!
Nicolei Zuraw sent us this video by his mate Trevor Hill, but there are worse things to grow up as!
The PEZ NEWSWIRE!
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