Cavendish given chance to show Rio worth

Mark Cavendish has been invited to train with the Great Britain track team before the end of this year as officials assess whether he’s a genuine contender for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

wereldkampioenschap op de baan 2008 dag 4

The 28-year-old Isle of Man rider has experienced plenty of cycling success outside the velodrome, having been crowned 2011 world road race champion and also winning 25 stages in the Tour de France.

But Olympic triumphs have proved elusive, with the renowned sprinter finishing 29th at the London 2012 road race.

After that event, Cavendish expressed an interest in returning to the track for Rio and last month competed in a Grand Prix event in Belgium in order to be eligible for the British team in Track World Cup events this season.

“He’s already done a bit (on the track) and he’s an exceptional bike rider, Mark. You could see that straight away when he came in,” British men’s endurance coach Paul Manning said Tuesday.

“How much (track time) he needs, I don’t know. He might need less than the next person.

“He’ll get in there, he’ll get stuck in, then you’ll decide.

“If we can get him in before the end of the year to do a bit of pedalling with the boys, that would be a great start, then move on from there.”

Text via AFP

Schumacher cleared of deception over doping

German cyclist Stefan Schumacher was Tuesday cleared by a court in Stuttgart of deceiving his ex-employers.

The 32-year-old was banned for two years, later reduced on appeal by several months, after testing positive for banned blood-booster CERA, a derivative of EPO, during the 2008 Tour de France and Beijing Olympics later that same year.

Tour de France 2008 16e etappe

The public prosecutor accused Schumacher of deceiving his then employers Gerolsteiner by doping and hit him with a 16,800-euro ($23,100) fine.

Gerolsteiner owner Hans_Michael Holczer has always insisted he knew nothing about doping at the team but Schumacher gave an interview to Der Speigel newspaper in March claiming that doping at the team had become as banal as “having a plate of pasta after training”.

And the court decided that Holczer must have been aware of the doping culture at the team and hence could not have been deceived.

Although he denied doping at the time he was caught, Schumacher, who returned to cycling when his ban ended in August 2010 and currently rides on the UCI Continental Circuit for Danish team Christina Watches-Onfone, admitted in March that he had used “EPO, growth hormone and corticosteroids” since his mid-20s.

Text via AFP

UCI to audit its own anti-doping operations and reveals Cookson’s salary

Brian COOKSON President UCI“Measures agreed at today’s UCI management committee include a full audit of the systems and controls currently employed by the UCI’s anti-doping operations to ensure they are working efficiently,” the organisation said in a press release today.

“The audit will also be used as a basis to create a clear road map for setting up an independent UCI anti-doping operation in 2014.”

In its first full meeting since the election of Brian Cookson as UCI President a month ago, the UCI Management Committee met today at an Extraordinary Meeting to discuss and agree a number of important measures aimed at restoring trust in the UCI and laying the foundations for renewed growth in cycling worldwide.

Cookson promised in his campaign that he would be transparent and would look into the UCI’s past.

Previous presidents McQuaid and Hein Verbruggen have faced allegations of corruption in relation to the Lance Armstrong doping scandal.

Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles last year after a U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report showed the American had cheated his way to glory.

The UCI said the management committee also agreed on “the broad principles under which it intends to move forward with the implementation of an independent commission which will look into allegations of past wrongdoing at the UCI and the extent and roots of doping in cycling”.

Cookson’s salary of 340,000 Swiss francs was also revealed by the UCI, 111,000 CHF down on McQuaid’s annual income.

1988 Tour de France – just for kicks

Can anyone name these two riders at both ends of the scales?

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:

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