Joining VeloClub not only supports the work we do, there are some fantastic benefits:
by Matt de Neef
December 4, 2014
In this morning’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily news digest: Boost for anti-doping fight after agreement signed between WADA and Pfizer; MPCC suspends Neri Sottoli’s membership; Russia facing allegations of systematic doping; Cycling Australia’s Italian road base hit by thieves; Macey Stewart and Alexandra Manly join Orica-AIS; Merckx’s development team will return as Axeon in 2015; 5-hour Energy team folds after five seasons; Shara Gillow on her move to Rabo-Liv; Shimano adds computer control to Dura Ace Di2 levers; The Edge gives Bono update; Artistic Cycling with eight-time world champion David Schnabel; On-board with Sven Nys at Milton Keynes CX World Cup; Merckx Ickx The Race.
by Shane Stokes
The current lag between the use of some doping substances and the development of tests for their detection could be shortened or even eliminated thanks to the signing of a long-term global agreement between the pharmaceutical company Pfizer and the World Anti Doping Agency.
WADA today announced details of the agreement, which will see Pfizer and WADA exchange information. The agency will inform the company about substances that are being abused by athletes, enabling the latter to work with its own scientists and determine which new pipeline products may have similar effects.
“Any new medicines in Pfizer’s pipeline found to have performance-enhancing characteristics will be voluntarily highlighted by Pfizer to WADA under this agreement, and confidential scientific data relating to them may be transferred by Pfizer on a case-by-case basis so that work by WADA can begin on detection methods in sports,” said the agency in the announcement.
WADA Director General David Howman said that the agreement was a big step forward. “A central aspect of WADA’s strategy is to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies so that medicinal substances of interest to dopers can be identified,” he said.
“In turn, this will allow us to develop detection methods at a much faster rate. Striking this partnership with Pfizer is a win-win for both parties, and comes at a crucial time with the introduction of the revised World Anti-Doping Code just weeks away.”
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Following a number of positive tests involving the Neri Sottoli team, the MPCC anti-doping movement has announced that the squad’s membership has been suspended until at least next October.
“At the last MPCC general meeting, all of the team members have required further explanations from Neri Sottoli’s manager Angelo Citracca in order to confirm, or not, the membership of the team,” it said in a statement issued today.
“At the end of the interview with the Neri Sottoli team’s sporting director Serge Parsani, who was representing Anglo Citracca, the board of directors agreed unanimously to suspend the Neri Sottoli team with immediate effect until the General Assembly of October 2015.”
Under the title of the previous sponsors Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, the team had two positive tests for EPO in 2013. These involved the riders Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo di Luca. The team teetered on the brink of collapse but was able to continue with the backing of Neri Sottoli.
It pledged to up internal anti-doping measures and somehow secured an invite to the Giro d’Italia. However those claims of good intentions were called into question when the team’s leader in that race, Matteo Rabottini, tested positive for EPO in an out of competition test carried out on August 8.
Russia is facing explosive allegations of systematic doping and corruption following the airing of a documentary on German TV station ARD.
Among the claims made by the programme are that three-time Chicago Marathon winner, Liliya Shobukhova, paid the Russian athletics federation 450,000 euros to cover up a positive doping test.
The ARD report also claims doping links between Russian officials and athletes in other sports, including cycling. The main organisations alleged to be involved are the Russian athletics federation, the Russian Anti-Doping Agency (RUSADA) and the national doping test laboratory — all of which are reportedly funded and overseen by the Russian government.
In a statement published after the broadcast, WADA said it “will ensure that all matters raised are fully investigated.”
Click here to read more at US News via AP and click here for a live-tweet stream of the documentary.
Cycling Australia’s service course in Varese, Italy is the latest to be hit by thieves, with the federation losing significant amounts of equipment.
“They broke in and stole a vehicle, plus they had their own vehicle, and took quite a significant amount of frames, complete bikes and componentry”, National Performance Director Kevin Tabotta told Cyclingnews. “Particularly 2015 componentry.”
“Half of the stolen goods have been retrieved but we are still short of quite a significant amount of stolen goods which at this stage haven’t been retrieved.”
The federation is receiving assistance from Orica-GreenEdge and from sponsors.
“We have some great people around us. Shayne Bannan from Orica-GreenEdge has been tremendous help and he is working for us over there to help us get started”, Tabotta said. “Also the people from Shimano and Scott have been great asking ‘what can we do to help?’ so we’ll work our way through it and be ready for February.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Orica-AIS has announced the signing of two part-time riders for the 2015 season: triple junior world champion Macey Stewart and two-time junior world champion Alexandra Manly.
Both riders will split their season between Orica-AIS and the national track program.
“It was felt, as young developing riders with the national track program, that both Alex and Macey would benefit greatly from a measured exposure to road racing”, sport director Gene Bates said. “Orica-AIS provides the ideal environment to learn the ropes of road racing.”
18-year-old Stewart will debut for Orica-AIS at the Stan Siejka Launceston Cycling Classic in Launceston this weekend while Manly will begin racing next year.
The full Orica-AIS squad for 2015 is: Gracie Elvin, Katrin Garfoot, Loes Gunnewijk, Melissa Hoskins, Emma Johansson, Valentina Scandolara, Amanda Spratt, Chloe McConville, Sarah Roy, Lizzie Williams, Alex Manly (part-time) and Macey Stewart (part-time).
Text adapted from an Orica-AIS press release.
Axel Merckx announced yesterday that the U23 development team bearing his name will be rebranded as the Axeon Cycling Team (prononced “action”) in 2015.
The development setup has been in existence since 2009 when it began as Trek-Livestrong and this year raced as the Bissell Development Team.
“My goal is to create a team legacy and a program with a strong name that will endure,” Merckx said in a statement released with today’s announcement. “I believe we have the best riders in the world signed for 2015. With continued hard work and attention to doing things the right way, this team will be known as the team that young riders strive to join, the one of which pros will be proud to call themselves alumni.”
After spending six years on Trek bikes, the UCI Continental squad will ride Cipollini next year.
Meanwhile, another US-based Continental Squad, 5-Hour Energy, has announced it will fold at the end of this season after five years in the US domestic scene.
Team owner Jason Kriel pointed to the loss of the title sponsor as the cause of the team’s closure.
“We had some things that were cooking, but they kind of all fell through,” Kriel said. “It didn’t make any sense for us to try and force something. It’s hard enough when you barely have enough money to run a team, to try and do it without enough money, you can get yourself in trouble.”
The team began in 2009 as Kenda Pro Cycling and has been home to riders such as Phil Gaimon and Francisco Mancebo.
Australian Shara Gillow has spent the past three years riding for Orica-AIS but in 2015 the time trial specialist makes the move to Rabo-Liv. Speaking to Cyclingnews about the move, Gillow described how it all happened, almost by chance.
Gillow, centre, flanked by Olympic teammates Amanda Spratt (left) and Chloe Hosking (right).
“I first talked to Rabo-Liv at the Sweden World Cup [in August] when we were staying in the same hotel and it eventuated from there,” Gillow told Cyclingnews. “I signed the contract with them a month later and then came back to Europe with all the new bikes and kit they’ve given me and they have been really helpful so far and great to deal with.”
Gillow will be the only Australian on the Dutch-based team and will begin her 2015 season with an attempt at a fourth national time trial title.
Shimano’s Dura Ace Di2 shifters will soon be able to control cycling computers such as Garmin, Magellan and PRO units with the addition of Shimano’s D-Fly unit and firmware updates.
Dura Ace shifters have a button on the top of each brake hood which, until this point, didn’t do anything. But the addition of the D-Fly unit will enable a signal to travel from the shifters to compatible bike computers to, for example, flick between screens.
“Computers will include Garmin, Magellan and of course, PRO,” Shimano’s Nick Legan told VeloNews. “It is up to the computer manufacturers to produce firmware updates to make it compatible, but both Garmin and Magellan are on board. The functionality may also vary by manufacturer, that is, what occurs with each button click.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
In an interview with the KROQ radio station, U2 guitarist The Edge has given an update on the condition of his bandmate Bono, who suffered extensive injuries in a cycling crash last month.
“He managed to come out of it with what you can only describe as injuries from a car crash, literally multiple fractures of bones in his elbow and his back. But he’s doing OK”, The Edge said.
“He’s back in Dublin right now and he basically can’t move for the next couple of months.”
“The poor guy, basically his left elbow was shattered, so a lot of the work was reconstructing the joints and putting in wires and plates. He actually showed us some x-rays a couple days later, it looked like a miniature Eiffel Tower.”
The Edge told KROQ that doctors believe Bono will have recovered in time for the band’s next world tour which begins in May 2015.
Click here to read more at the KROQ website.
Artistic cycling is a form of competitive indoor cycling in which athletes perform tricks for points on specialized, fixed-gear bikes in a format similar to ballet or gymnastics. David Schnabel has won the artistic cycling world championships eight times. Here’s a video featuring some of his many amazing tricks.
Here’s some great on-board camera footage courtesy of Sven Nys at Saturday’s round of the CX World Cup at Milton Keynes.
First across the finish line 525 times, Eddy Merckx is the most successful cycle racer of all time. Jacky Ickx’s career is one of the richest and longest in the history of motorsport. His list of achievements is unrivalled in its variety. In 2015, Eddy Merckx and Jacky Ickx both celebrate their 70th birthday, as well as their long friendship. Thus the first major exhibition about this pair of Belgian sporting legends was born.
Click here for more.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips: