In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Astana granted WorldTour license for 2016, licencing scrutiny ends; One Pro Cycling receives ProContinental license for 2016; Froome explains delay in release of physiological data; Damien Howson and Mitch Docker re-sign with Orica-GreenEdge; Seven things track and field can learn from cycling; An interview with Filippo Simeoni; A Vitamin D pill each day may improve exercise performance and reduce blood pressure; Japan’s Starlight Cross.
Astana granted WorldTour license for 2016, period of licencing scrutiny ends
by Shane Stokes
The UCI has confirmed that Astana will be given a WorldTour license for the 2016 season, ending months of monitoring after a number of doping positives spread across its WorldTour and Continental teams. The License Commission has completed its final assessment and found that Astana did everything that was required of it.
“With regards to Astana Pro Team, the Licence Commission has rendered its decision after the team’s four- month review period during which it was monitored by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL),” stated the UCI.
“After reading the conclusions of ISSUL’s report, the Commission has found that the team complied with the measures required of it.”
The news comes as part of a UCI announcement that 28 teams have been confirmed for WorldTour or ProContinental status in 2016, so far. The fate of a further six would-be ProContinental squads and that of MTN-Qhubeka/Dimension Data (which is seeking a promotion to the WorldTour) will be decided in the weeks to come.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
One Pro Cycling receives ProContinental license for 2016
One Pro Cycling has become the first British team to be awarded Pro Continental status with the UCI confirming on Monday that the squad is in the list of next year’s ProConti teams.
The team debuted as a Continental squad in 2015 and raced in the British domestic series. The upgrade to ProConti status takes the team one step closer to its lofty goal of one day racing the Tour de France.
“We’re an ambitious team and after a strong debut season racing in Britain we were in no doubt of where we wanted to be next season,” said team CEO and former England cricketer Matt Prior.
“We’ve spent the last few months carefully selecting new riders to join the squad preparing us for what will be a huge step up. We have a great balance of talented up and coming riders who are hugely motivated to fulfil their potential, as well as experienced riders who have already tasted success at the top level. This mix of experience and youthful exuberance will stand us in good stead.”
Among the team’s new recruits are Australians Matt Goss and Steele von Hoff.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Froome explains delay in release of physiological data
by Shane Stokes
Two days after saying that physiological data promised by him during the Tour de France would be published on December 3, Chris Froome has responded to questions about the delay on the release of the information.
“The data being published in Esquire UK magazine will also be submitted for publication in a scientific journal in the subsequent months,” he answered, explaining his position in a statement released on Monday.
“The scientists involved have gone to lengths to ensure that the correct methodology was used during both the collection of the data and its analysis. Both the discussion around the methodology and the analysis have therefore taken some time. It was important that the analysis released in both the general press and scientific press be consistent as this would otherwise create confusion and more questions.
“As a result the release of the initial findings had to wait until the scientists had completed their analysis and given approval that the results presented are accurate.”
It is not clear what data Froome will be releasing. VO2 max data is generally available very soon after physiological testing is carried out, but the scientists at the Glaxo Smith Kline Human Performance Lab in London may potentially be drawing up further data.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Damien Howson and Mitch Docker re-sign with Orica-GreenEdge
Orica-GreenEdge has announced that Australians Mitch Docker and Damien Howson have both extended their contracts with the team and will race on in 2016.
Docker has signed for 2016 and 2017 — his fifth and sixth season with the team — and is keen to continue establishing himself as a member of the team’s Classics squad and sprint train.
“Over the past four years Orica-GreenEdge has given me the confidence to develop myself as a key lead out man and to continue to explore and develop my Classics ambitions,” Docker said. “I hope the next two years will continue to see improvement in both of those roles as well as more time to learn from the experience of our team captains, like Matt Hayman, to take the next step.”
Howson, a former U23 world time trial champion, has extended his contract for one more season.
“The team has looked after me really well for the first two years of my professional career and it’s an honour to stay for another year and be able to see further progression,” Howson said. “I think I have coped with the step up (from under-23) quite well and I finished my first Grand Tour this year which was another little milestone that I have been able to complete.”
Seven things track and field can learn from cycling
A 325-page independent report has this week accused Russian athletics of “state-sponsored doping” and a “deeply rooted culture of cheating”. In the wake of this and other revelations about the state of athletics, VeloNews’ Caley Fretz has written a piece that looks at what might be next for track and field, drawing on the experience road cycling has had with doping in the past.
Here’s an excerpt:
1. It’s worse than it seems
The first sport-rocking scandal is always the hardest. So come here, have a hug from cycling, and then take a seat. We have something important to tell you. This is tip of the iceberg.
WADA alleges that high-ranking officials … were paid vast sums to cover doping violations. Perhaps the allegations against Dollé, the IAAF’s head of anti-doping, are even worse. WADA also alleges that Russia’s anti-doping agency was tasked with protecting doped athletes, not outing them, and that its coaches were “out of control.”
If individuals in the highest stratospheres of the sport are proven to be corruptible, then systematic cheating certainly does not end with the names released Monday, and likely does not end with the Russians. According to WADA, the Russian system was state-sponsored and state-protected, the doping levels extreme, and yet Russian athletes were good — not dominant. You do the math.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
What lessons can UCI President Brian Cookson share with Athletics?
Speaking about the corruption and doping allegations currently hitting the world athletics body IAAF, UCI president Brian Cookson said that it is important for all sports to take such issues seriously and to grasp the nettle as cycling has done.
Cookson spoke on the issue in a sit-down interview with CyclingTips last week. He was commenting on the news then that former IAAF president Lamine Diack had been placed under investigation following allegations that Russian athletes were protected after failing drugs tests.
“Schadenfreude isn’t a very healthy emotion,” he said when asked about the controversy surrounding Diack and athletics in general….
“We are happy to cooperate and collaborate with other sports, with WADA, with other international agencies like the IOC and so on to help others if we can,” he stated.
“That doesn’t mean that we claim to be perfect, far from it. But I think we have learned a few lessons in our sport and we can share those lessons, I am sure.”
Read the full article on CyclingTips
An interview with Filippo Simeoni
Repubblica.it has published an interesting interview with former Italian professional Filippo Simeoni, the man who famously incurred the wrath of Lance Armstrong for speaking out about the dubious practices of Dr Michele Ferrari.
Here’s an excerpt:
““I could have raced til I was 40, but I was psychologically devastated. From time to time, someone asks me if I regret to have testified in the trial. If I didn’t want pain in the ass, it was better to zip my mouth. Anyway, I felt obliged to do it to send a message. I didn’t testify against any rider, only doctors.
I’m not happy for what happened to Armstrong. In this story, there is no winner, we all lost. I don’t resent him, rather who was in charge in cycling and let him do what he did. Now I go to schools showing a DVD on my career insisting on the four important things for youth and sport: sacrifice, commitment, training and study. If they ask me if cycling is cleaner now than when I was racing, I say yes. But that’s easy. Very clean? I don’t know, I just watch it on TV.
If I would go back to the world of pro cycling I’d do with my head held high. But I don’t want to.”
Click here to read a full English translation of the interview at Reddit.
A Vitamin D pill each day may improve exercise performance and reduce blood pressure
A preliminary study in Scotland suggests that taking vitamin D supplements might improve exercise performance and lower the risk of heart disease.
In the study, researchers from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University gave 13 healthy adults either a placebo of a Vitamin D pill to take each day for two weeks. A fitness test among those taking the Vitamin D showed the subjects could cycle 6.5km in 20 minutes, compared to 5km at the start of the experiment. In addition to a 30% increase in distance, the vitamin D group reportedly showed lower signs of physical exertion.
“Our pilot study suggests that taking vitamin D supplements can improve fitness levels and lower cardiovascular risk factors such as blood pressure”, said Dr Raquel Revuelta Iniesta, co-author of the study. “Our next step is to perform a larger clinical trial for a longer period of time in both healthy individuals and large groups of athletes such as cyclists or long-distance runners”.
Japan’s Starlight Cross
Here’s a short clip from the Starlight Cross CX race in Japan; a race which features some embankments that seem too steep and slippery for most people to walk up, let alone ride up.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- How much do pro cyclists make from endorsements?
- Ella Picks: Women’s cycling content we loved this week
- Daily News Digest: Monday November 9