Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Cycling News from around the World 17.04.12

Contador back for Eneco - Galimzyanov accepts EPO repsonsibility - Colour change for Giro KOM

Contador will race Eneco, hopes for Worlds
Contador for Eneco
Alberto Contador, currently serving a back-dated two-year suspension, has confirmed that he plans to make his return at the Eneco Tour which begins this year on the 6th of August - one day after his ban expires. "I can also confirm that I will ride the Vuelta a España," the 29-year-old rider told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser. "I'm very motivated for every race I attend - also, to race your home Grand Tour is special, and I will be even more motivated than if I'd got eighty days of racing in my legs."

There had been much discussion among fans after the ban was announced on the subject of whether any teams would want him once he was free to race, UCI rules stating that a rider's results do not count towards a team's success for a period of two years after a ban. However, Contador says that no fewer than six squads have been after him. "Without a doubt, though, my priority is SaxoBank - they gave me their unconditional support through difficult times, which is something money can't buy," he adds, then goes on to say that he hopes to compete in the World Championships: "I have applied for the National team in both the road race and the time trial. How do I get there? I'm working hard, I've made sacrifices, I allowed myself only a few days off for Easter."

Galmizyanov: Doping "was my personal decision and responsibility"
press statement released by Katusha says that Denis Galimzyanov  "takes his full personal responsibility" after becoming subject to a provisional suspension after a failed test for EPO. Laura Meseguer, a journalist with Pedalier Pro magazine, used her Twitter account to publish a copy of a letter apparently from Galimzyanov to the team in which the rider declines his right for his B sample to be tested, a virtual admission of guilt, going on to say "Katusha Team has nothing to do with what happened. It was my personal decision and responsibility."

CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en
Denis Galimzyanov
The letter in full reads as follows:
I, the undersigned Denis Galimzyanov, a rider for the Katusha Team, wish to clarify the current matter of my positive doping tests. On the 22nd of March in 2012, whilst in Italy, I received an out-of-competition visit from anti-doping control officials. One month later, a urine sample taken during that visit indicated the presence of EPO.  
I recognise this is indication that I have used a banned substance. 
I fully realise what I have done. 
I deeply regret what happened, and I apologise to the entire team and my team mates along with my fans whom I have disappointed. 
I will accept an appropriate punishment. 
I wish to draw PARTICULAR ATTENTION to the fact that Katusha Team was not involved in what happened. No team member knew or could know about what I was doing. It was my decision and my responsibility alone. 
I decline my right to request analysis of my B sample.
(Thanks for the translation, Tabs Petrowa)

Galmizyanov's ban will raise awkward questions for Katusha, which has already faced attacks over its record on doping despite new manager Hans-Michael Holczer's much-vaunted zero-tolerance policy. Chief doctor, Andrei Mikhailov, received a suspended prison sentence for doping offences in 1998; while another team medic Massimo Besnati was prosecuted for illegal possession of steroids in the wake of the notorious Le Blitz du Giro in 2001 when police raided team hotels. The team was again raided by Italian police in 2011.

Giro King of the Mountains feelin' blue
The King of the Mountains jersey at the Giro d'Italia this year will be blue rather than green, says Tuttobiciweb. The competition has been a part of the Giro since 1933, when it and the General Classification were both won by Alfredo Binda; this will be the first major change to the jersey since 1974. (More from Tuttobiciweb)

Other News
Spanish journalist Sergi López-Egea says that Caja Rural are in line for a Vuelta a Espana wildcard entry this year. Teams will be officially announced on Monday.

Sergi López-Egea @sergi_lopezegea
Segunda noticia ciclista del día. ¡¡¡Enhorabuena a Caja Rural!! Debutará en la Vuelta 2012

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