A good weekend of cyclo-cross, with Zdenek Stybar getting his first win of the season in Belgium and if you missed either of the races we have the links here. I get some doping thoughts off my chest in today’s “Top Story”. There are still riders signing contracts for next year and some team news, plus news from California, Le Mans and Sufferfest! Settle back for some great video, a coffee and…where are those biscuits?
Is There Any Justice?
My Personal Ramblings: There have been three drug cases recently that have all caught my eye, they are not connected, except by the possible injustice in them and also the (known) deaths in two of the cases. Fabio Carlino, Conrad Murray and Joe Papp; all three are drug dealers, all three have been convicted for supplying drugs, one has been in prison, but has been released; one might go to prison and the other won’t.
Doctor Conrad Murray was recently convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of singer super-star; Michael Jackson, he might go to jail for up to four years, depending on the judge’s decision. Judge Pastor said of the crime and the defendant: “This is not a crime involving a mistake of judgment; this is a crime where the end result was the death of a human being. That factor demonstrates rather dramatically that the public should be protected.”
Fabio Carlino was found guilty of supplying the drugs that killed Marco Pantani and was sentenced to a four and a half years prison sentence back in 2008. Last week he was released due to the Italian Supreme Court clearing him on the ground that the original judgment was based on the media reaction at the time placing too much importance on the role of the drug supplier; Fabio Carlino. Marco’s father commented on the release of Carlino; “It is evident that there is something unclear in this tragedy. Some things should not happen. Everyone knows the facts as they happened, everyone knows who is responsible for the death of our son, but we cannot get justice.” The drugs not only killed Marco, but has ruined the lives of his family and affected many others, similarly to the death of Michael Jackson (for Marco fans).
Joe Papp, as you probably know, was a pro rider from 1994 until he was found positive in 2006. Papp was also supplying others with drugs through the Shandong Kexing Bioproducts Corp. with over 180 international clients; it was reckoned that $80,000 passed through his hands from September 2006 to September 2007. With so many clients there must be many sad stories of medical and psychological problems arising from the use of the drugs, cases we will probably never hear of. Papp pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to distribute performance enhancing drugs, specifically HGH and Erythropoietin (EPO), but due to a secret plea agreement he was sentenced to three years probation.
Personally I don’t see the difference between a doctor who is paid well by a famous person to administer his drugs, a night club owner who is a drug dealer selling cocaine to anyone who can pay the price and would also deliver the goods if you happen to be a famous cyclist and an ex-cyclist who “enables” athletes to acquire their performance enhancing drugs via the internet. Are they not all drug dealers, just like the guy on the corner doing his wraps of badly cut junk to kids coming out of school?
Superprestige Hamme-Zogge 2011
World cyclo-cross champion; Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step) took his first win of the season on Sunday in the Superprestige cyclo-cross in Hamme-Zogge. He attacked on lap 6 to ride 5 laps on his own for the win. Behind him Kevin Pauwels (Sunweb-Revor), Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) and Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) couldn’t catch the flying Czech. Pauwels beat Nys in the sprint for second and Alberts lost a little ground for fourth.
After the finish Stybar spoke of his win to the Quick-Step web-site; “When I attacked I thought someone would be coming with me, instead I wound up alone. At that point I went all out, taking advantage of that instant of uncertainty that usually occurs in the chasing group when a rider attacks. For a few minutes nobody took the initiative and my advantage grew to about 30’’. Thanks to this success Stybar has moved up to third place in the Superprestige rankings with 37 points, just 5 points from the current leader Niels Albert.
Superprestige Hamme-Zogge Result:
1. Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step
2. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb-Revor
3. Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet
4. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus
5. Radomir Simunek (Cze) BKCP-Powerplus
6. Bart Aernouts (Bel) Rabobank-Giant
7. Bart Wellens (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
8, Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco
9. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea
10. Dieter Vanthourenhout (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus.
Here is the link: https://superprestige.vt4.be
Jaarmarktcross, Belgium 2011
Sven Nys (Landbouwkrediet) won the Jaamarktcross on Friday after a solo attack. He was chased by Niels Albert (BKCP-Powerplus) and Kevin Pauwels (Telenet-Fidea), but Belgian champion Albert dropped Pauwels for second place. French amateur; Mathieu Boulo (Club Roubaix-Lille Metropolle) proved to be hard for Pauwels to shake off and clung on till nearly the finish coming in fourth ahead of many top Pro’s.
1. Sven Nys (Bel) Landbouwkrediet in 58:08
2. Niels Albert (Bel) BKCP-Powerplus at 0:22
3. Kevin Pauwels (Bel) Sunweb Revor at 0:38
4. Mathieu Boulo (Fra) at 0:49
5. Tom Meeusen (Bel) Telenet-Fidea at 1:05
6. Mariusz Gil (Pol) Baboco-Revor
7. Aurйlien Duval (Fra)
8. Sven Vanthourenhout (Bel) Landbouwkrediet at 1:12
9. Marcel Meisen (Ger) BKCP-Powerplus at 1:25
10. Tom Van den Bosch (Bel).
The race is here on Sporza.
Valverde to Movistar
BIG surprise of the year has to be the signing of Alejandro Valverde to Movistar! OK I’m joking! It was probably never in doubt; he has been training with the team at camps, rides a Pinarello, wears Nalini clothing and was seen recently in the full Movistar kit. If you are in Madrid tomorrow (Tuesday) and can get to the Telefonica Flagship store, Gran Vнa, 28 at 12.00 CET, you can see the Alejandro Valverde official presentation as new Movistar Team rider, wearing the jersey the team will be wearing during the 2012 season. Valverde was first banned by the Italian CONI after they used blood samples to connect him to blood bags found during Operation Puerto. At the time there were ethical and legal questions on how the blood got into the hands of the Italians, but after an appeal by the UCI and WADA to CAS the ban became worldwide. He will have served a 2 year ban on the 1st of January 2012 and a little longer in Italy even though he has never failed a drug test.
And here is some Valverde action:
Evans Australian Cyclist of the Year
After winning the 2011 Tour de France it doesn’t come as a surprise that Cadel Evans has been presented with the Sir Hubert Opperman medal as Australian cyclist of the year at the Jayco Awards ceremony in Sydney. This is not the first time Evans has collected the award as he also won it in 2006, 2007 and 2009.
Some retro Cadel with dodgy music:
Gilbert to Belgian-Algerian Team
No not Philippe Gilbert, but his brother; Jerome! GEOFCO-Ville d’Alger will be a Continental team next year after Geoffrey Coupe stepped in to sponsor the team, replacing previous sponsor; Ain Benian. Most of the riders will be Algerian with some Belgians with Belgian Director Sportifs; Nico Mattan and Sebastien Fontaine along with Jerome Gilbert as one of the riders.
No film of Jerome, but here is his big brother dominating the Ardennes in 2011:
Possoni to Lampre
Italian Morris Possoni is returning to his first professional team, Lampre-ISD after a break of four years, first with Colombia that became HTC, and then to Sky. He turned Pro for Lampre back in 2005 and stayed with the team till 2008.
Rohregger to RadioShack
Austrian, Thomas Rohregger will be riding for the RadioShack-Nissan-Trek team for the next two years after riding for Leopard-Trek last year and Milram for the two previous years. The high point of his career would his win in his home Tour of Austria in 2008.
Ardila to Coldeportes-Colombia
Another Colombian rider: Mauricio Ardila has signed for the new Coldeportes-Colombia team for next year. The climber has ridden for quite a few teams over the years; Rabobank, Chocolade Jacques, Marlux, Davitamon-Lotto and more recently Geox-TMC. It has been reported that he will be riding for the Continental section of the team and not the ProContinental team which is hoping to ride as many big events as it can get invites for.
This is Ardila finishing 3rd on stage 13 of the 2005 Vuelta a Espaсa, in Madrid he was 8th on GC.
Vacansoleil-DCM gets WorldTour Licence
After the first batch of WorldTour licences was announced there were some worried management personal at the Vacansoleil team as they were not amongst them. All that is now behind them as they met all the requirements of the UCI, but there were ethical questions about the signing of Riccardo Riccт. In the end there was no problem and team manager Daan Luijkx confirmed to Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf that he had received a letter from the UCI confirming the WorldTour place.
Sicard gets Drunk!
Ex-U23 World champion Romain Sicard, who rides for the Euskaltel-Euskadi team, was detained by the Toulouse police after an incident in the early hours of Friday the 11th of November. It appears that the young French-Basque was collecting road signs in his car as a bit of a prank, he was breathalysed which showed he was over the alcohol limit to drive and he refused to reveal his identity, so was taken to the police station. The case is being looked at by his employers, the Euskatel team, to see if he has damaged the team in any way. After his release, Sicard apologized for his behaviour and described himself as “immature and irresponsible” on the Euskatel-Euskadi web-site. He added: “I want to apologize to all who trust in me and who have shown their support during this time: my family, fans, in addition to the young fans for the bad example that I gave them. Finally, I apologize especially to my team, sponsors, the staff and my colleagues for the damage I’ve done to our image, so bad and so far from the principles advocated by the Euskadi Euskaltel team.” Sicard has been going through a bad time since turning Pro, with a weakness in one leg causing muscle and knee problems.
Happier times for Romain here; the day he won the Worlds:
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator Line-Up for 2012
The Belgian ProConti team; Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator have finalized their team roster for next year, including some new young faces and some older riders returning for a second chance with the team. Pieter Vanspeybroeck, Preben Van Hecke and Dominique Cornu have all returned after trying their luck elsewhere.
Topsport Vlaanderen-Mercator 2012 Team:
Kevin De Jonghe,
Kenny De Ketele,
Laurens De Vreese,
Tom Van Asbroeck,
Preben Van Hecke,
Gijs Van Hoecke,
Michael Van Staeyen,
Steven Van Vooren,
2012 Le Mans 24 Hours Cycling Race: The 4th edition will take place in August the 25th and 26th 2012. Registrations opened 11/11/11!
Press Release: The 4th edition of the Le Mans 24 Hours Cycling Race will be held on the 25th and 26th of August 2012 on the French Le Mans Bugatti circuit. Registrations opened today and a special 9% discount is offered for every team registered before February the 29th 2012. Note that bib’s numbers depends of your registration’s date and determine your ranking on the starting line. As a tradition, the “Le Mans-style’s start” is maintained this year.
The event is opened to everyone by teams of 2, 4, 6 or 8 riders, but also to ultra cyclists as
soloists. 1748 riders attend to the 24 Hours race last August, among them 150 foreign riders
representing a dozen of countries. More than one hundred women were also present, competing in a special category created for them.
Reminder for people interested in the 2012 edition: the best lap record has been beaten last August by the Vulco Team. The overall ranking winners in 2010 and 2011 covered a lap on the 4185 meters of the Bugatti circuit in 5min14sec, so an average of 48 km/h (29,8 miles/h).
– Registrations and information www.24heuresvelo.fr.
– Rate of engagement per person: from 110Ђ in a team of 8 to 275Ђ for a soloist
– Special Rate: For all registrations before the 29th of February on www.24heuresvelo.fr.
– Bugatti Circuit: 4185m – Uphill : 600 meters from 3,5% until 7% – Descent : 1000 meters on 2%
– Matinale DECATHLON: This ballad of one hour on the Bugatti Circuit is opened to everyone!
This is what it looks like:
L’Etape du California Announced for 2012 AMGEN Tour of California
For the Second Year, Amateur Cyclists Given the Opportunity to Tackle One of the
Toughest Climbs in U.S. Cycling History
Press Release: Fresh on the heels of announcing the 13 official Host Cities for the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, AEG, presenter of the race, has announced the return of the popular amateur ride L’Etape du California. Produced in partnership with Pacific Sports, a leading sports and event management company, the 2012 edition of L’Etape du California will take place on Saturday, April 28.
Held for the first time this past May in conjunction with America’s premier cycling race, L’Etape du California gives amateur cyclists an experience like none other, challenging participants to ride what is arguably the toughest stage ever seen in American cycling, Stage 7 of the Amgen Tour of California. Earlier this year, Stage 7 played host to the world’s best cyclists and produced an amazing race as riders Andy Schleck, Chris Horner and Levi Leipheimer battled it out to the top.
Featuring an unrelenting, intense climb to the top of Mt. Baldy, a route legendary in California cycling lore, Stage 7 of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California will start in Ontario, a new city to the race, on Saturday, May 19. Specific details of Stage 7 will be announced early next year, along with details of the entire race route. The 2012 Amgen Tour of California will take place over eight days from May 13 – 20.
“Last year’s L’Etape du California was received with so much enthusiasm, we knew we had to do it again in 2012,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the Amgen Tour of California. “We have such passionate cycling fans in America, and here in California in particular, so it only makes sense to host this event in conjunction with our race. We were thrilled to see so many people tackle the Mt. Baldy climb this past May, and we look forward to an even more spectacular event next year.”
Drawing riders from around the country, the 2011 L’Etape du California was won by Californian Jonathan Hornbeck. Hornbeck battled through close to 10,000 vertical feet of climbing and rode nearly 100 miles to take first place honors. He was followed by Nate Whitman and Sean Donovan, who finished second and third, respectively.
Like last year, the field for the 2012 L’Etape du California will be limited to 2,500 riders.
“We are excited to be bringing this once-in-a-lifetime experience to amateur cyclists and applaud AEG for continuing this cycling tradition,” said Jack Caress, President and CEO of Pacific Sports, producer of L’Etape du California. “Stage 7 of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California was one of the most talked about stages, and it was watched by people from around the world, so we know interest for this year’s L’Etape du California will be even greater. We’re looking forward to a fantastic race.”
For more information, please visit www.letapeducalifornia.com/. For further information on the 2012 Amgen Tour of California, and to view the 2012 Amgen Tour of California Host Cities video, visit www.amgentourofcalifornia.com.
Join the Sufferlandrian National Team and Save 15% on Kit!
Press Release: All five items in the collection are now 15% off.
Jersey, Bibs, Windvest, National Flag and Stickers!
Just enter code THESUFFERING at the last stage of purchase.
Order NOW to receive by 20th December.
– The Book of Suffering: https://www.thesufferfest.com/uncategorized/the-book-of-suffering-now-available-and-free/
– T-shirts: https://www.thesufferfest.com/sfest-shirts/t-shirts/
World’s Smallest Velodrome!
The World’s smallest velodrome is the Red Bull Mini drome and was last seen in action in London. If you are lucky enough to go to the “6 Days” of Gent on the 19th of November there will be another chance to see the crazy mini action! Here is video of the London event:
Any comments drop me a line, email address: [email protected] or Twitter. And there is the PezCyclingNews Facebook Fan Page.