Compensation for Bassons; Bigla; Kwiatkowski and Liege: Daily News Digest

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Christophe Bassons sued the French Cycling Federation and won, Bigla has a new jersey, and USA Cycling has a new CEO. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Court orders compensation for Christophe Bassons

Vocal anti-doping advocate Christophe Bassons must be compensated by the Fédération Française de Cyclisme to the tune of €31,691, a court decided this week. The compensation stems from a suspension Bassons was handed in 2012 following a missed test at a mountain bike event.

At the 2012 French marathon mountain bike championships, Bassons dropped out early and left the race without returning to the finish. He had been selected for an anti-doping test and missed the post-race control. He was handed a one-year suspension, which the French federation said was a reduced sentence.

Bassons sued for damages following the suspension, stating that the federation damaged his reputation for integrity. He won his case in 2016, but the Federation appealed. This week, the appeal again fell in Bassons’ favour.

Bassons refused to dope while riding for the Festina team from 1996 to 1998. In 1999 he abandoned the Tour de France after Lance Armstrong and other riders made it clear he was not welcome following an anti-doping column in Le Monde.

Bassons work against cheated didn’t end there. The Frenchman was working for the French Anti-Doping Agency (AFLD) when he chased and apprehended an amateur racer using a motor in competition. The rider, called Cyril F. by French media, was handed a five-year suspension.

That incident happened following a race in Saint-Michel de Double, about 50km from Périgueux. Cyril F. competed in the third category event, but pulled out after a puncture. He returned to his car and drove off, but was chased by Bassons in his own car. Bassons later inspected the bike and found the motor in the downtube and a battery concealed in a water bottle.

Race Radio

Bigla show off new jersey
Bigla showed off a new jersey for the 2019 season, a marked departure from the blue and white that had marked the team for the last few seasons.

Izagirre brothers crash hard in cyclocross race
Gorka Izagirre escaped this high-speed crash into a rock wall with only a few stitches, and his brother, Ion, was unhurt.

The Izagirre brothers, in their new Astana colours, were racing cyclocross in Ormaiztegi, in the Basque region of Spain. They were sitting in second and third until the crash.

Michal Kwiatkowski aims at Liege-Bastogne-Liege
Former world champion Michal Kwiatkowski (Sky) will focus the first half of his season on the Ardennes, he said Monday, including a run at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where he has twice finished on the podium.

“There are some races which you chase for a very long time and want to win, like Liege-Bastogne-Liege, which I still want to win one day,” he said. “It was the same with Milan-San Remo until I won it in 2017 and it was the same situation with the Tour of Poland.”

The Pole will start his season a bit later than usual, opening at the UAE Tour, followed by Paris-Nice.

Governing Body News

Rob DeMartini named CEO of USA Cycling
The USA Cycling Board of Directors has named Rob DeMartini as president and chief executive officer of USA Cycling. DeMartini joins the national federation after 12 years spent as CEO of New Balance Athletics, driving the company from $1.5 billion annual revenue in 2007 to $4.4 billion in 2018. He previously spent 20 years at Procter & Gamble where he held management roles with The Gillette Company, North American Snacks, and Millstone Coffee. He will begin his new position in February.

“As I join USA Cycling, I look forward to working closely with Chuck Hodge (chief of racing and events) in support of our members, event directors and race official as well as Scott Schnitzspahn (VP of elite athletics) to prepare our riders for the Tokyo 2020 Games,” said DeMartini. “I am excited to join this capable team and very optimistic that we can better meet members’ needs, grow the leadership role USA Cycling plays in our industry and make all disciplines of cycling stronger.”

Happy Birthday too …

John Degenkolb (30) and Enric Mas (24).

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Feature Image: The Rotterdamn Six Day. Photo by Cor Vos.

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