Former Sky doc faces allegations, stage racing returns to Sicily: Daily News Digest

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

Former Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman is facing a host of misconduct allegations. Stage racing may return to Sicily. Questions are raised regarding the role of Cycling Australia and cyclist safety. Those stories and more in today’s Daily News Digest.

Story of the Day: Former Team Sky doc faces allegations of misconduct surrounding testosterone gel in 2011

Former British Cycling and Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman is facing a host of misconduct allegations from Britain’s Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service (MPTS) surrounding the bulk order, and administration, of testosterone gel dating back to 2011.

Freeman will face a tribunal on February 6 to respond to allegations that he ordered 30 sachets of Testogel for delivery from Fit4Sport Limited to the Manchester Velodrome on May 16, 2011. Testogel was (and remains) prohibited on the World Anti-Doping Agency List of Prohibited Substances and Methods. It is also alleged that on May 18, 2011, Freeman made untrue statements, denying that he’d made the order and suggesting that it had been made in error.

The tribunal will also look into the allegation that, in October 2011, Freeman contacted an individual at Fit4Sport Limited requesting written confirmation that the order had been sent in error, returned, and would be destroyed by Fit4Sport Limited, knowing that this had not taken place. It is also alleged that, during an interview with UK Anti-Doping in February 2017, Freeman made untrue statements, stating that the Testogel had been ordered for a non-athlete member of staff and had been returned to Fit4Sport Limited.

Instead, MPTS suggests that Freeman’s motive for placing the order was to obtain Testogel to administer to an athlete to improve their athletic performance, and that his motive for his untrue statements and communications with Fit4Sport Limited was to conceal the true reason he’d placed the order.

The tribunal will also look into the allegation that, while team doctor for athletes at British Cycling Federation and Team Sky, Freeman inappropriately provided medical treatment that did not constitute first aid to non-athlete members of staff. It is alleged that Freeman failed to inform three patients’ general practitioners of medication prescribed, and the reasons for prescribing.

For more, read the MPTS pre-hearing information.

Beauty of Cycling: “I did it!”

Cyclists often make goals for themselves, and for Theo Riddle, that goal was to successfully land a backflip. Riddle is eight years old; he set that goal for himself when he was six.

Lessons learned here? Kids are awesome. And tough. And their bones are still made of rubber.

Race Radio

Four-day Giro di Sicilia in the making

Cyclingnews reports that RCS Sport is organizing a four-day race on the island of Sicily, which may be held as early as April. That spot on the calendar obviously conflicts with the spring classics, but RCS is expecting to attract riders more focused on stage racing, such as Sicilian native Vicenzo Nibali.

“We’re working so that Sicily can return to host stages of the Giro d’Italia next year, with a bigger role in 2021,” Sicilian regional governor Nello Musumeci said to Italian news agency ANSA. “We think that major sporting events can represent a great way to show off Sicily.

Jani Brajkovic sanctioned for methlyhexanamine

Former U23 time trial world champion Jana Brajkovic revealed on his personal blog that he has been given a 10-month suspension after testing positive in April for methylhexanamine, a stimulant occasionally found in dietary supplements.

Brajkovic suggests the positive test is the result of cross-contamination, saying that he began using a “meal replacement powder” in January of 2018. Methylhexanamine isn’t a listed ingredient on that product, but the manufacturer supposedly uses it in a pre-workout product that is made in the same facility.

Nevertheless, Brajkovic also acknowledged that he has no way to definitively prove his cross-contamination case, and that he has accepted the sanction.

Racing results vs. advocacy: The role of Cycling Australia

“I have been hit several times. I can’t count the number of incidents I have been involved in, and when you go to the police, they just aren’t interested. It is astonishing how differently you are treated when you are on a bike. Cycling is not inherently unsafe, but drivers make it unsafe.”

Those were the words of Sydney cyclist Lauren O’Neill, in a recent article published by The Guardian that details what Cycling Australia is — and is not — doing in regards to cyclist safety. The organization is tasked with several facets of cycling in Australia, including “performance, participation, and advocacy,” but after a string of high-profile injuries and fatalities, questions are being asked on whether more should be done on the latter part of that mission statement.

Read the full story here.

New Colorado sportive series, Roll Massif, launches with eight events

A new Colorado series, Roll Massif, launched Monday with the announcement of eight gravel, road, and mountain-bike events spanning from May through September.

Roll Massif builds on the legacy of existing road events like Copper Triangle, Elephant Rock, and Tour of the Moon with new sportives such as Wild Horse Gravel in De Beque and Crooked Gravel in Winter Park.

The series is led by Chandler Smith, former director at Haute Route Rockies and Ride the Rockies, and Scott Olmsted, who previously managed the Copper Triangle, Elephant Rock, and Tour of the Moon events. MapMyFitness co-founder and Helix CEO Robin Thurston serves as an investor and adviser.

Road and gravel sportives feature timed segments and varying options of distance and difficulty, so that riders can take advantage of ample feed zones and photo opportunities. Children aged 18 and under ride free in the six road and gravel sportives. The two 12-hour mountain bike races — Sunrise to Sunset Elephant Rock and Sunrise to Sunset Winter Park — can be raced solo, though some may prefer the team-relay format. Both races benefit the Colorado High School Cycling League.

Registration for all eight Roll Massif sportives is open now on

Tweet of the day

Fancy a homemade e-bike conversion? You might want to think twice, as 79-year-old Gary Ryan learned when the rear wheel of his Pinarello Dogma F8, which had been retrofitted with an electric hub motor, burst into flames on an ascent of Corkscrew Road, 20 kilometers from Adelaide.

From the social web

Now that’s a finish line salute!

Kate Courtney is an animal
Current UCI cross-country MTB world champion Kate Courtney is an absolute animal on the race course — no, really, she is an actual animal, at least according to this lighthearted Instagram account created in her honor.

Tech News

Specialized agrees to pay US$700k for Roubaix trademark

Bankruptcy proceedings are moving forward for ASE, the parent company of Fuji Bicycles and retail chain Performance Bike, and one company asset is proving rather valuable. ASE owns the trademark for “Roubaix”, and Specialized has been licensing it since 2003. In a new agreement, though, Specialized will purchase the trademark outright for US$700k. A judge will decide on January 22 if the purchase agreement will be accepted.

More details can be found at Bicycle Retailer.

Custom builder Carl Strong debuts new Pursuit Cycles LeadOut road bike

Carl Strong has crafted custom bicycle frames in steel and titanium for over two decades, and he now has a carbon fiber range called Pursuit Cycles, which was launched just last year together with founding partners Bill Cochran and Jared Nelson.

The new LeadOut is designed as a true stage racing model, prioritizing comfort and toughness with a low overall weight and intuitive handling for long days in the saddle, not to mention long-term reliability. Pursuit Cycles will only sell 35 LeadOuts in total, each fully custom-built in Bozeman, Montana.

More information can be found at Pursuit Cycles.

Wolf Tooth Components adds colorful thru-axles

Wolf Tooth’s new aluminum thru-axles feature interchangeable color-anodized aluminum caps that not only add a bit of flair, but also help protect the axle itself during a crash. Additional Trainer Caps can be added to make your disc-equipped road, gravel, cyclocross, or mountain bike easier to mount on indoor trainers, too.

More information can be at Wolf Tooth Components.

Happy Birthday to…

2004 Tour of Luxembourg and former Belgian national time trial champion Maxime Monfort (36), 2016 Vuelta a España stage winner Sergey Lagutin (38), and retired Dutch pro Gert-Jan Theunisse (56), who finished just off the podium in the 1989 Tour de France.

In case you missed it …

Full gallery of 2019 World Tour team bikes

The Santos Tour Down Under doesn’t just mark the official start to the road racing season; it’s also the first opportunity to check out all of the new team bikes, and CyclingTips tech writer Dave Rome gathered up every single one into a single gallery for your viewing pleasure. What is everyone riding? What do the new paint jobs look like? Feast your eyes here.

POC debuts new Ventral Air helmet

POC’s new Ventral Air pairs the narrow profile of the Ventral aero road model with the increased ventilation of its long-running Octal. Team EF Education First unveiled the Ventral Air at the Santos Tour Down Under, and we have all the details.

Feature Image:Team Sky trains on the island of Sicily. Photo by Gruber Images.

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