In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Ferrari back in the headlines again and facing trial in Italy; Anti-doping coming to US masters and amateur racing; Simon Clarke keen to take “the next step”; WADA finds Russia and five others non-compliant with anti-doping code; Alberto Contador’s brush with death; Paul Sherwen – African cycling needs more support; USA Cycling to lose $1 million in 2015; Finish line crash as two bunches sprint into one another; Geraint Thomas disqualified in Revolution Longest Lap; Behind the scenes of Kaleidoscope.
Ferrari back in the headlines again and facing trial in Italy
by Shane Stokes
Lance Armstrong’s doping doctor Michele Ferrari continues to protest his innocence but has become embroiled in yet another drug case.
Ferarri was ordered to stand trial by a judge on Bolzano, Italy, in connection to charges that he helped Italian biathlete Daniel Taschler to dope. His father Gottlieb, who was a vice president of the international federation, is accused of contacting Ferrari and encouraging his son to dope under the doctor’s guidance. All three of the accused claim they are innocent.
In 2002 Dr Ferrari was handed a lifetime ban by the Italian Cycling Federation, but is trying to overturn that in a regional court. Separate to that, he was given a lifetime ban by the US Anti Doping Agency (USADA) in 2012 in connection to the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service investigation.
While Ferrari was cleared on appeal in 2006 in a criminal case involving accusations he had given banned products to athletes, he has continued to find himself in hot water.
Last year it was alleged that Ferrari had been working with the Astana team in the past, but this was denied by the squad. No further details supporting this have emerged.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Anti-doping coming to US masters and amateur racing
A proposal sent from USA Cycling to its stakeholders last week indicates the governing body will soon begin ramping up its anti-doping initiatives for amateur and masters racing.
Some $3 would be added to most amateur licenses for 2016, with up to $50 being added to professional licenses, all of which will be passed to USADA to pay for a reported three-fold increase in testing.
“This will absolutely bring testing into masters racing, Cat. 3 races, absolutely,” USA Cycling CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall told VeloNews. “It’ll go across the sport so that amateurs face a credible risk that they may be tested.”
So is amateur doping really a problem? A study referenced by Bouchard-Hall suggests so.
“The conclusion was that the highest incidence of reported doping wasn’t at the elite end, because they are tested a fair amount — there is a credible threat — or at the low end, the beginners, because they’re just getting into the sport,” Bouchard-Hall said. “The highest incidence was in Cat.2, Cat. 3, Cat. 4. They start to get really passionate about the sport and want to do well, but there was zero perceived threat of being tested.”
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Simon Clarke keen to take “the next step”
Cannondale-Garmin recruit Simon Clarke has told AAP that a desire to turn his good cycling career into a great one was behind his decision to leave Orica-GreenEdge.
“It was a very hard decision to make, to leave what is a good team,” he said.”When I first went to GreenEdge, I thought I’d signed up for life. But when you’re trying to be the best you can be and the best in the world, you need to make tough decisions for the best interests of your own career.”
Clarke will target the Ardennes Classics in 2016 — Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallonne and Liege-Bastogne-Liege. He told AAP that his mate Richie Porte has proved to be an inspiration of sorts.
“When you have quality rides like he (Porte) had, it makes you think – okay, if I was the actual captain, what would I be able to achieve?” he said.
“Our careers are so short that you’d be silly not to ask yourself that question.”
Click here to read more via AAP.
WADA finds Russia and five others non-compliant with anti-doping code
The World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) has announced that the anti-doping bodies of six countries are not compliant with the WADA code.
Russia is the highest-profile country on the list, finding itself there as a result of a key recommendation from an independent commission into widespread doping in the nation’s athletics foundation. Argentina, Bolivia and Ukraine were found to be using non-accredited laboratories for testing, and Andorra and Israel were found to not have the rules of the WADA code in place.
“The message from today’s seminal WADA Foundation Board Meeting is clear,” said WADA President, Sir Craig Reedie, “there will now be greater focus on strengthening compliance work so that all anti-doping organisations worldwide are held accountable to deliver robust anti-doping programs.
“As we have seen from WADA’s immediate response to the Independent Commission’s Report, action is now well under way to right wrongs that exist in anti-doping. Our priority is now on ensuring all our partners are fully compliant and have watertight anti-doping systems that protect clean athletes and reassure sports fans worldwide.
“Make no mistake, we will not rush this process of compliance, we will do it right – the integrity of sport is under threat.”
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Alberto Contador’s brush with death
It’s a story that’s not so often told; the story of how a young Alberto Contador suffered from a cerebral cavernoma and needed emergency surgery that may well have saved his life.
Here’s an excerpt from a piece over at Rouleur about the incident:
“At the two-day, three-stage Clásica de Alcobendas, a warm up for the Vuelta Asturias, a key part of his preparation for the Tour de France, Contador is forced to drop back from the climbers’ group to the team car. “I’m sick,” he tells his directeur, who advises him to climb in. History shines a light on the significance of his action: Contador will ride for 10km with a broken leg at the 2014 Tour, before conceding defeat (“Hard as nails,” the assessment of current directeur, Sean Yates).
The pain is so intense that he is unable to train in the following days, but the young man is determined: missing the Asturian race is inconceivable. He receives head massages, but events will prove such limited intervention to be woefully inadequate. Waiting for the stage to begin, he becomes colder and colder. Before 50km have been completed, he has collapsed.
“I think it was very lucky that it happened in a competition,” he reflects from a distance of 11 years. “If it happened outside of a competition, I don’t think I would be speaking now.” The speed of the medical response may have saved his life, but the road ahead is rocky.
The hospital medics insert a titanium plate in his skull and drain blood from the cerebral cavernoma identified by their scans. The young man returns to his parents’ home in the Madrid suburb of Pinto to recover, but suffers another attack.
Click here to read more at Rouleur.
Paul Sherwen: African cycling needs more support
Former professional racer and long-time cycling commentator Paul Sherwen has spoken about the need to further develop African cycling.
Speaking at the Tour of Rwanda, Sherwen told Cyclingnews that the countries of Africa’s Great Lakes region should be more involved in developing the sport.
“I am sad there’s no Ugandan national team at the start”, said Sherwen, who spends much of his time in Uganda. “On the same way as the Tour of Rwanda, we also can imagine a Tour of Uganda one day. There are beautiful roads outside Kampala, the country is wonderful and there’s no doubt a major cycling race could promote all its assets.”
“The Tour of Rwanda and Team Rwanda are successful thanks to the perfect collaboration between Jock Boyer and the national cycling federation. I am afraid some other federations don’t really support their own country, like the Kenyan one, where the president has been in place since about 30 years.”
“We need to see these countries as part of a big region, the Great Lakes Africa. There’s a strong potential in tourism and economics. A race from Rwanda to Tanzania, going through various countries of the area, that would definitely be great!”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
USA Cycling to lose $1 million in 2015
USA Cycling CEO Derek Bouchard-Hall has revealed to VeloNews the extent of his organisation’s financial predicament.
“On the one hand, I’ve been pretty open about where we are, because there’s a perception that we’re raking in all this money. That’s absolutely not the case,” Bouchard-Smith said. “On the other hand, I don’t want to make it sound more dire than it is.
“We’re operating at a $1 million run rate loss right now. If you take what it costs us to run the sport — staff here, the programs — versus projected revenues, it’s a $1 million gap [for 2015].
“We’re not going to solve it next year; we’re going to operate at a loss next year. To get to a place where our revenue matches our expenses, we’d have to really substantially cut, and we’re not going to do it.”
Bouchard-Smith believes that if major sponsor VW pulls out next year, Cycling USA could run a loss of nearly $2.5 million in 2016.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Finish line crash as two bunches sprint into one another
Finish-line crashes are common at all levels of bike racing but we’ve never seen anything like this incident at the Colourful Yunnan Gran Fondo in China. Local media suggest the leaders of the race somehow went of course and ended up charging into the finish from the wrong direction. The second group on the road was passing through the finish from the correct direction, leading to a dramatic crash.
Daniel Carruthers who had some insight to the crash told us, “Basically it happened due to inadequate marshalling of final corner. Front group went down wrong side of road and sprinted for wrong banner and then realised it and made the u turn and sprinted again in wrong direction to correct banner but into oncoming group of five riders also sprinting for the line.”
Click here to read more at Sticky Bottle.
Geraint Thomas disqualified in Revolution Longest Lap
Did somebody forget to tell Geraint Thomas that the ‘Longest Lap’ race involves a trackstand, not holding onto the track-side railing?
Behind the scenes of Kaleidoscope
Last week we shared a video from the team at Red Bull showing BMX star Kriss Kyle riding in a mesmerising and disorientating video called Kaleidoscope. Here’s a quick look at what’s involved in setting up a shoot like that:
Click here to see the full half-hour behind-the-scenes documentary.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- From Rwanda to the world championships: the promising future of Jeanne d’Arc Girubuntu
- Artistic cycling: a first-person perspective
- A weekend away with our Jaguar ‘Why I Ride’ competition winners
- Daily News Digest: Thursday November 19