In today’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Belgian comes forward to say bike involved in cross worlds scandal was his; Wilier to take legal action against Van den Driessche?; UCI announces Kocjan positive EPO test dating back to 2012; UCI awards 2018 Road World Championships to Innsbruck; Michael Rogers returns to racing after heart scare; A turning point in Peter Kennaugh’s career?; Ladies Tour of Qatar preview; How bike shoes are made; Drapac to the rescue; Recapping CX Worlds.
Belgian comes forward to say bike involved in cross worlds scandal was his
by Shane Stokes
A day after Femke Van den Driessche denied that the bike found to have a motor in it at the world cyclocross championships was hers, another Belgian has stated that he owns the machine in question.
Family friend Nico Van Muylder has been named as the individual in question, according to Het Nieuwsblad. “All I can say is that it’s my bike…” he said, declining to speak further.
According to Van den Driessche’s version of events, she used to own the bike but no longer does so.
“That bike belongs to a friend of mine. He bought it from me after last season, it’s exactly the same bike as I use. That friend explored the course with my brother and had the bike against the truck. One of my mechanics must have thought that it was my bike and had it cleaned and taken [to the pits].
“That boy will sometimes train with me or with my brothers, but I never knew that there was a motor in the bike. He never told me. It’s all a mistake and I’m really badly scared. I feel very bad.”
Wilier to take legal action against Van den Driessche?
Italian bike maker Wilier Triestina is threatening to take legal action against Femke Van den Driessche after one of its bikes was involved in the motorised doping scandal at the Cyclocross World Championships over the weekend.
The company’s CEO, Andrea Gastaldello, published a statement on the Wilier Triestina website:
“We work every day to bring worldwide the quality of our products and when we know that a Wilier Triestina bike is meanly tampered with, we’re very sad.
“Our company will take legal action against the athlete and against anyone responsible for this very serious matter, in order to safeguard the good name and image of the company, marked by professionalism and seriousness in 110 years of history.
“We are literally shocked,” the statement continues. “As the main technical partner, we want to distance ourselves from this act, which is absolutely contrary to the basic values of our company, and to the principles of sporting competition. [It is] really unacceptable that the photos of our bike are making the rounds on international media outlets due to this unpleasant fact.”
Click through to read more at the Willier website.
UCI announces Kocjan positive EPO test dating back to 2012
by Shane Stokes
The 2014 Philadelphia International Championship runner-up Jure Kocjan has tested positive for EPO in a retroactive test carried out, according to the UCI.
The governing body announced the news Monday in its online list of suspended riders, although details were minimal. It named the substance and also listed the date of the test, which was carried out on March 8, 2012. That was one day before Kocjan competed in the 1.1-ranked Dwars door Drenthe.
The Slovenian was competing for Team Type 1 at the time. Kocjan’s best results that season were two stage wins in the Tour du Limousin in August.
It is not clear why the UCI has revisted the old sample. While Kocjan secured a contract with the WorldTour Euskaltel Euskadi team the year after the test in question, the Slovenian has been with Continental squads since. Team SmartStop (his setup in 2014 and 2015) and his current Lupus Racing Team are not part of the biological passport system.
In addition to his Limousin stage wins, Kocjan also won the GP Pino Cerami in 2010 and 2011, the GP Cycliste de Saguenay in 2014 and stage two in last year’s Tour of Utah. If his B sample confirms the A sample result, he faces a lengthy suspension from the sport.
Click through to read more at CyclingTips.
UCI awards 2018 Road World Championships to Innsbruck
Following a meeting at the Cyclocross World Championships in Zolder over the weekend, the sport’s governing body has announced that the 2018 Road World Championships will be held in the Austrian city of Innsbruck.
The 2018 Road Worlds will mark the competition’s third visit to Austria after the 1987 event in Villach and the 2006 Worlds in Salzburg.
“I have no doubt that Innsbruck will provide a stunning and challenging route for riders to compete on, as well as a wonderful, unique backdrop that can only add to the spectator and viewer experience”, said UCI President Brian Cookson.
Click through to read more at the UCI website.
Michael Rogers returns to racing after heart scare
Michael Rogers (Tinkoff) is set to begin what is likely to be his last season as a professional cyclist after missing the Australian summer of racing with a heart scare.
Rogers will join his Tinkoff teammates at the Dubai Tour, which starts tomorrow, after getting the all clear from medical staff.
“After several meticulous heart examinations throughout December and January, I’m relieved to have the green light to start the Dubai Tour,” Rogers said in a team statement. “I greatly benefited from the recent team training camp in Gran Canaria, where I was able to take the first steps to regaining full fitness.”
Rogers was diagnosed in 2001 with a congenital bicuspid aortic valve, a condition in which the valve does not close properly. A routine echocardiogram late last year appeared to show a “possible progression” in the condition.
Click through to read more via AAP/Cycling Central.
A turning point in Peter Kennaugh’s career?
by Shane Stokes
After his impressive solo win in the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race on Sunday, Peter Kennaugh (Sky) is gunning to step up a level this season and sees the Classics as a logical goal.
Kennaugh has spent much of his career working for others, including Tour de France winner Chris Froome and former teammate Richie Porte. But the Manxman is increasingly motivated by the idea of riding for himself.
“It is amazing. Just the feeling of being able to race properly for myself,” he said. “That is why I do it. Domestique work is great and rewarding, but sometimes you can get a bit lost in the sport and why you were doing it in the first place.
“When you think back to when you were juniors and under 23s and when you used to go to every race, it wasn’t so business-like. It wasn’t, ‘you have to be here at this point of the race, you have to be there at that point of the race.’ You just jumped on your bike, cracked on…if you are at the front you are at the front. Then you just race.
“That is what I am best at…when I am just left to my own devices. I can just get on with it. I think coming to these kind of races, you have to make the most of the opportunities so when you go to the bigger races then can you have a bit more of a free role.”
Click through to read more at CyclingTips.
Ladies Tour of Qatar preview
The Ladies Tour of Qatar is regarded as a key early-season race in the elite women’s peloton and this year’s edition of the desert race starts tonight (Melbourne time).
Ella CyclingTips’ race reporter Jeanine Laudy has put together a preview of the four-stage race. Here’s an excerpt:
“Having won four out of the seven previous editions, Hitec’s Kirsten Wild will be the woman to beat. Although her primary focus in 2016 is to qualify for Rio on the track and not the road, she is in super form after taking the omnium track World Cup 2015-2016.
After missing the Ladies Tour of Qatar in 2015, Wild is back to test out her legs in the flat desert area, which might become the stage for her return to the Road World Champhionships in October.
The other past winner is fellow Dutchwoman Ellen van Dijk, representing the Boels-Dolmans team. Last year, Boels-Dolmans dominated the tour, winning three of the four stages and putting two riders on the general classification podium with Lizzie Armitstead in first and Van Dijk in third. Armitstead has decided to skip Qatar this year but Van Dijk will have the support of a strong team behind her.
Click through to read more at Ella CyclingTips.
How bike shoes are made
Parts of this video might be a little simplistic for keen cyclists, but it’s still interesting to see how bike shoes come together.
Drapac to the rescue
On a ride out near the team’s service course in Melbourne’s northern suburbs yesterday, a handful of riders from Drapac Pro Cycling lent a hand to a motorist in need.
— Adam Phelan (@adamphelan) February 1, 2016
Recapping CX Worlds
This is a great little recap video from the Cyclocross World Championships.