Mick Rogers returns positive test for Clenbuterol

The UCI announced overnight that it has provisionally suspended Australia’s three-time world time-trial champion Michael Rogers over alleged doping offences.

Tour de France 2013 - Stage 13 - 173KM - Tours to Saint Amand Montrond

In a statement, the UCI said that the banned substance clenbuterol was detected in a urine sample given by Saxo-Tinkoff rider Rogers at the Japan Cup Cycle Road Race on October 20.

“The provisional suspension of Mr. Michael Rogers remains in force until a hearing panel convened by his national federation determines whether he has committed an anti-doping rule violation,” the UCI said.

A Team Saxo-Tinkoff press statement reads:

The Australian explained to the team management that he never ingested the substance knowingly nor deliberately and fears that the adverse analytical finding origins from a contaminated food source.

Michael Rogers participated in Tour of Beijing the week before the Japan Cup and travelled directly from China to Japan.

The 33-year-old has the right to request and attend the analysis of his B sample of urine.

Rogers’ victory at the Japan Cup was his only win of the 2013 season which came after he attacked alone at the end of a rain-soaked day in Utsunomiya.

Click here to read more.

Cycling Australia announces license subsidies for female professional cyclists

Cycling Australia has announced the introduction of an international race licence subsidy for qualifying female professional cyclists in 2014. The Cycling Australia Athlete’s Commission has recognised the need to reduce the financial barriers female cyclist face when competing internationally.


The initiative is aimed at encouraging more of Cycling Australia’s elite female cyclists to take up opportunities to race with professional teams overseas where otherwise they would be discouraged by the high cost of an international racing licence.

“Many professional women’s teams provide little or no wage to their riders, and for many women the cost of an international race licence is prohibitive”, Chair of the Athlete’s Commission Lisa Jacobs said. “The Athletes Commission wants to ensure that Australia’s elite female cyclists have every opportunity to gain international racing experience.

“And by encouraging more of our elite women to step up to international level, we hope that this will have a flow-on effect to lifting the standard of domestic women’s racing,” added Jacobs.

The subsidy will operate for a 12-month trial period beginning in January 2014 and will provide a 50% subsidy of an international licence fee.

It will be available to elite women who satisfy all of the following criteria: (1) are racing in a professional team for a minimum period of one month in 2014; (2) receive a wage of less than $10,000 per annum; and (3) are personally responsible for bearing the cost of their international racing licence.

Text via Cycling Australia press release.

For love or money: Chris Horner must decide

Much has been made of Chris Horner’s plans (or lack thereof) for the 2014 season and now Matthew Beaudin from VeloNews has penned a piece suggesting that with time running out, Horner might have to take a significant cut on the salary he’s been asking for and ride for the love.

Tour of Utah stage five

Here’s a quote from Horner:

I literally think if you’re a grand tour winner, you’re worth 1.5 million [euros]. Clearly I’m not out there asking for that. I’ve got my agent out there looking for 750,000.

Clearly if he can find it with a team that does the program that we like, that’s great. And if we have to take less — at some point in time I’d imagine he’d have to email the teams and say, ‘well, he’s still on the market, make us an offer.’… That’s just the way it is.

Click here to read the full article at VeloNews.

Interview with Marianne Vos

Here’s a great interview feature on Marianne Vos over at Cycling Weekly. It opens with a discussion about what it’s like being at the very top of your sport and how that affects your motivation to improve.

After you win, it’s hard to find the motivation again. When you’re still trying and on the way to achieving something, it’s easy to be motivated.

When you cross the line to win, in that instant, it’s a fantastic feeling but the next day? Well, it’s just the next day and you’ve reached your goal, you have the medal or the jersey, but what does it bring you? What have you got? For sure, the moment of success is great, you have your medal, but three weeks after, the world hasn’t changed.

You can read the interview in full at Cycling Weekly, here.

Matt Goss and Orica-GreenEDGE to headline Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic

2011 Milan-San Remo champion Matthew Goss will lead a determined Orica-GreenEDGE line up at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic early next year.

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The four day, four criterium event kicks off in Geelong on Thursday, 2 January as the first race of the 2014 season.

Goss is looking to revert back to the 2011 training and racing program that delivered his most successful season to date, including a first up overall victory at the then ‘Jayco’ Bay Cycling Classic.

The 27-year-old will be joined by fellow fast-men Mitch Docker, who was announced at the launch last week, and Geelong’s Leigh Howard who returns to his local criterium series.

The formidable Orica-GreenEDGE line up will be completed by time trial specialists Michael Hepburn and Luke Durbridge who impressed at the 2013 event with a gutsy stage two solo victory on the tough Portarlington circuit.

Team sport director Matt Wilson expects a challenging four days of racing for what is known as the world’s fastest criterium series.

“We will be going in with the aim of winning at least a couple of stages out of the four,” Wilson said.

“They aren’t easy races to win though, as they are super competitive criteriums and most guys are coming into January and the early season with great form.”

Text via Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic press release. Click here for more information about the races.

Verbruggen slams Armstrong ‘cover up’ claims

Former head of the UCI Hein Verbruggen has angrily rejected claims from Lance Armstrong that he helped to cover up a positive drug test for the disgraced American cyclist.

Last month, Armstrong alleged that in 1999 Verbruggen, the former president of the UCI, encouraged him to hush up a positive test for a banned corticosteroid found in a cream for saddle sores.

It was the year that Armstrong won the first of his seven Tour de France titles — all of which have since been expunged — and the Texan claimed that Verbruggen was eager to avoid another doping scandal in the wake of the affair concerning the Festina team in 1998.

Armstrong told British newspaper the Daily Mail: “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.”

Verbruggen denied the claim at the time and in an interview with the Daily Telegraph published on Wednesday, he said: “It’s a bullshit story and nothing else. Never, ever would I have had a conversation saying, ‘We have to take care of this.’

The Dutchman added: “It may very well be that he or somebody else from the team has given me a call and my first reaction was, ‘Shit. We had this Festina problem, and now this.’ But that’s a very long way to concluding we have to do something about it.

“How can I take care of something that is known already by the laboratory, that is known already by the French Ministry (which conducted the test), that is known by the UCI, the anti-doping people at the UCI? It’s ridiculous.”

He added: “You will never, ever find any cover-up in the UCI while I was president, and I’m sure afterwards neither.”

Verbruggen, who left his position as UCI president in 2005, also accused Armstrong of having “his own agenda” and claimed that he was motivated by financial gain.

Armstrong was banned from cycling for life last year and stripped of his Tour de France titles after investigators uncovered evidence of a long campaign of doping.

Text via AFP.

Lookout Mountain the fans choice for USA Pro Challenge final stage

While many stages races finish with a processional stage that won’t be the case with next year’s USA Pro Challenge which will feature the tough climb to Lookout Mountain in its seventh and final stage.

USA Pro Challenge Stage 3

The stage finishes with a circuit in downtown Denver, Colorado, but the riders will first have to traverse the challenging climb, giving GC riders one last chance to make up some time.

The route for the final stage was decided by a fan ballot after organisers announced several options for the race.

“The 2014 USA Pro Challenge is going to be the most exciting year yet,” said the race owner Rick Schaden. “Boulder, Golden and Denver have been such great hosts over the history of the race, so we decided to work them all into the final day of competition. These three iconic Colorado cycling locations are going to create one grand finale!”

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Motorbike racer attempts to beat motorpaced cycling speed record

British motorbike racer, truck mechanic and TV personality Guy Martin has set himself the challenge of breaking the British motorpaced cycling speed record as part of a new series on Channel 4.

Image via Channel 4 and road.cc

Image via Channel 4 and road.cc

In the opening episode of the six-part series entitled Speed with Guy Martin, Martin attempts to get an adapted road bike to over 110mph thanks to a crossover gearing setup.

The episode airs on Channel 4 in the UK on December 29.

Click here to read more at Road.cc.

Endura Sports Nutrition hydration study

Researchers at Victoria University are looking for volunteers to take part in a study they’re doing in January about Endura Sports Nutrition’s rehydration formula.

If you take part in the study you’ll get a free VO2max test, free sweat analysis, you’ll learn about your core temperature response to exercise testing and you’ll get $200 for your time.

The study involves 3 x 40km simulated TTs in hot or humid conditions after a fatiguing 90-minute ride and four hours of recovery. You’ll be required to make four visits to the lab, one of which is for VO2max and other testing.

If you’re interested in taking part, contact Dr Rob Aughey for more information: robert dot aughey at vu dot edu dot au.

LSL Supercrit highlights video

You might have seen this great video from Sunday’s Supercrit already but if not, set aside a few minutes and check it out. We particularly love the aerial footage that filmmaker Tom Reynolds took using a drone, and the track that he set the video too.


Click on the image above to get to the video.

KUOTA — KOM 2014

This video is an ad for Kuota Bikes but that doesn’t mean it’s not beautifully shot. Well worth the two and a half minutes it runs for.

The Rocacorba Recap

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

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Today’s feature image was taken on stage 11 of this year’s Tour de France by AFP photographer Manuel Blondeau.