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Hello again, CyclingTips readers, and Happy Thanksgiving to all of you reading this in the US!
To be totally frank, it’s a bit of a quiet news day today, but that’s not terribly unexpected at this time of year. We do still have a few bits and pieces for you though, not least the news that Aussie great Simon Gerrans is back involved in the racing scene. Read on for that and more.
Matt de Neef
| Shane Sutton accused of ‘lying’ about doping knowledge
According to an old teammate, former head coach of British Cycling and Team Sky, Shane Sutton, was “absolutely lying” when he said he had no knowledge of doping in cycling.
Czech rider Kvetoslav Palov, who was a teammate of Sutton’s at ANC-Halfords in 1987, told a medical tribunal earlier this week that Sutton was given £10,000-worth of performance-enhancing drugs that season, including to help him get through the Tour de France.
“Anyone claiming he was a professional cyclist and never saw anyone taking drugs is lying,” Palov said, according to The Guardian. “Anyone who has been in and around pro cycling for so long and isn’t aware of anyone taking drugs is absolutely lying.”
Palov was speaking at the medical tribunal investigation into former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman. Palov said he felt compelled to speak after Sutton told a doping in sport committee in 2016 that he had no experience of being around doping as a coach or rider.
| Dlamini and Barbero renew with Qhubeka Assos
South African team NTT, which will race as Qhubeka Assos in 2021, has renewed its contracts with another two riders. Twenty-five-year-old South African Nicholas Dlamini and 29-year-old Spaniard Carlos Barbero will continue on after joining the team in 2018 and 2020 respectively.
“2021 is a big year for me and the team, and I really want to showcase my talent and show the team colours prominently in races,” Dlamini said. “I really look forward to getting the season underway.”
“I’d like to extend my thanks to the incredible work [team principal] Doug [Ryder] has done to keep the team alive in 2021,” Barbero said. “As riders this provides us the platform to continue to educate the world that ‘bicycles change lives’ and so I cannot wait to ride next season as Team Qhubeka Assos.”
| Simon Gerrans is back involved in bike racing
Two years after calling time on his professional career, Simon Gerrans is back involved in bike racing.
The 40-year-old has joined Australian domestic team Inform TM Insight Make as ‘Pathways Coordinator’ in the hope of helping the outfit’s young riders step up to the WorldTour.
“I see so many talented young cyclists racing in Australia with huge potential, and who deserve the opportunity to take their racing to the next level,” Gerrans said in a press release. “My role is to help give the riders on our team the right opportunity in Europe. And then if they shine in that environment they’ll turn professional.
Follow the link to read more at CyclingTips.
| Arthur Vichot is retiring
Thirty-two-year-old French racer Arthur Vichot has announced his retirement from the sport after 11 seasons as a professional.
Vichot turned pro with Francaise des Jeux in 2010 and raced with the French squad until the end of 2018. He raced the final two seasons of his career with B&B Hotels – Vital Concept.
“After 11 years in the professional peloton, it’s finally time for me to turn the page,” Vichot said via social media. “It is with a light mind that I choose to store my bike; with memories, meetings and exceptional emotions that will remain forever.”
Vichot snagged 14 professional wins throughout his career, including three GC titles at the Tour du Haut Var, an overall win at the Tour de l’Ain, a stage each at the Criterium du Dauphine and Paris-Nice, and two French road titles.
| Mads Pedersen and Brian Holm help launch new Danish Continental team
Former world champion Mads Pedersen and former racer turned team manager Brian Holm have helped launch a new Danish Continental team with a clear goal: to help young Danish riders develop and make it to the WorldTour.
Team Restaurant Suri-Carl Ras will join the Continental ranks in 2021 with a roster of talented young Danish riders.
“There are currently too few Continental teams in Denmark – two – and it is historically low and a problem that Denmark will see the beginning consequences of in a few years,” writes the team in a press release. “Restaurant Suri Carl Ras will help to compensate for this disparity, so that the Danish talent development can remain at a high level.”
In case you missed it
| The dictator, the oligarch and the UCI president
Rather than trying to sum up Iain Treloar’s excellent investigative journalism work in only a single sentence or two, let’s just say that you should really check out his latest piece.
| Diego Maradona’s visit to Tirreno-Adriatico
The world of football (soccer) is reeling this week after the passing of one of the game’s greatest-ever players, Diego Maradona. Over at Cyclingnews, Barry Ryan has written a great piece looking back at Maradona’s appearance at the 1990 Tirreno-Adriatico at a time the Argentinian superstar was playing for Italian Serie A club Napoli. Well worth a read.
Today’s feature image comes from Cor Vos and shows Simon Gerrans taking his first Tour de France stage win, at Prato Nevoso. Pop quiz: which year was this?