Friday, 9 December 2011

Daily Cycling Facts 09.12.11

Ryder Hesjedal
(image credit: Glawster CC BY-SA 2.0
Happy birthday to Ryder Hesjedal, currently with Garmin-Cervélo and a silver medalist in the 2001 Under-23 World Mountain Bike Championship. In 2007, he became Canadian Time Trial Champion and won his first Grand Tour stage (Stage 1) a year later at the Giro d'Italia, later adding stage wins at both the Vuelta a Espana and Tour de France. His best Grand Tour finish to date was 7th overall in the 2010 Tour de France. He was born in Victoria, British Columbia in 1980.

Ashleigh Moolman was born in South Africa on this day in 1985. After being awarded her degree in chemical engineering, Moolman began a career as a professional triathlete but soon discovered that as her times for the cycling section of each event were so good, she'd be better off as a cyclist

Valentyna Karpenko, born in Mykolaiv, USSR on this day in 1972, won the Eko Tour Dookola Polski in 2002, the Krasna Lipa Tour Féminine in 2003 and became Ukrainian Road Race Champion in 2005.

Arie Hassink had many victories as an amateur and was just about to turn professional when he was diagnosed with a lung disease. On the advice of doctors, he remained an amateur for his entire career. However, he continued getting good results right up to retirement in 1983, including 2nd overall in the 1970 Tour of Britain. His son and daughter are both cyclists.

Ondřej Sosenka
Ondřej Sosenka, who was born in Prague on this day in 1975, was a rider who didn't need to stand on the top step of the podium to be head and shoulders above his rivals - at 200cm (6'6"), he's taller than Magnus Bäckstedt and "Big" Piet Moeskops. His track bike was fitted with custom 190mm cranks.

That didn't stop him aiming for the podium, however. He won the Tour of Slovakia in 1999, 2003, 2005 and 2006; National Time Trial Championships in 2001 and 2002; the National Road Race Championship and the Tour of Poland in 2004 and, on the 19th of July 2005, set a new Hour Record at  49.700km.

Ondřej Sosenka - note that he isn't standing on a podium!
(image credit: Bartosz Senderek CC BY-SA 2.5)
In 2001, he was disqualified from the Peace Race after he failed a haematocrit test - a now-redundant anti-doping test that took account of an athlete's red blood cell population; a figure of 50% or greater being considered likely evidence the rider had been using EPO or had received a blood transfusion (also known a blood doping), either their own stored blood or someone else's - though he later swore to journalist Daniel Friebe that the postive result had been caused by dehydration. Then in 2008, a test at the National Championships revealed traces and metabolites of methamphetamine. His B-sample subsequently also tested positive for the banned stimulant and the rider was suspended, thus ending his professional career.

Italian Alberto Volpi, born in Saronno on this day in 1962, won the Young Rider Classification at the 1985 Giro d'Italia and formed part of the winning Team Time Trial at the 1995 Tour de France. He has been shown to have been a client of the notorious Dr. Francesco Conconi who used his expertise in developing new anti-doping tests to find performance-enhancing drugs that could not be detected.

Kateřina Hanušová - now Kateřina Nash - was born on this day in Prachatice, Czechoslovakia in 1977 and has enjoyed two successful athletic careers, in skiing from 1994 to 2003 (when she competed in two Winter Olympics) and since then in mountain biking and, primarily, cyclo cross. In 2010, she won a round of the UCI Cyclo Cross World Cup in Roubaix - beating Marianne Vos - and came 4th in the World Cyclo Cross Championship. She then improved to 3rd in the 2011 Championships where she was beaten by Katie Compton for the silver medal and Vos for the gold.

Trent Klasna was born on this day in 1962 in Lantana, Florida. During his ten-year career, he won two Sea Otter Classics (1998, 2001), the Redlands Bicycle Classic (2001) and the Nature Valley Grand Prix (2003). He was also National Time Trial Champion in 2001.

Happy to Tamilla Abassova, the winner of silver medals at the 2004 Olympics in Athens and the 2005 Track World Championships, in both cases for the Sprint. She was born in Moscow in 1982.

It's also the birthday of Chinese track cyclist Li Na, born in 1982, winner of the keirin event at the 2002 Track Worlds and the Sprint at the Asian Games in the same year.

Oscar Álvarez, 2009 National Road Race Champion of Columbia, was born on this day in 1977.

Erik Harry Stenqvist, born on the 25th of December in 1893, was a Swedish cyclist who represented his country at the 1920 Olympics and won a gold medal in the Individual Road Race and a silver in the Team Road Race. He died on this day in 1968.

Christian Pfannberger
Christian Pfannberger
(image credit:  Viribus unitis CC BY-SA 2.0)
Christian Pfannberger, born in Judenberg, Austria on this day in 1979, became Under-23 National Champion in 2001 and then Elite Champion in 2007. His career was punctuated by doping allegations - first in 2004 when a sample showed unusually high levels of testosterone, for which he received a two-year ban, and then again in 2009 when an out-of-season test revealed traces of EPO. The second test was originally declared non-negative, meaning the his B-sample had failed to confirm the positive result of his A-sample; which led to suspension from Team Katusha while the matter was investigated in May 2009.

In June, the B-sample was also shown to be positive and he was informed that a court hearing would be held within eight weeks and that, as a second offence, he would be likely to receive a ban from eight years to life - the Austrian National Anti-Doping Agency sought and won the stricter punishment. The rider appealed the ban but was unsuccessful, largely as a result of a new charge brought in April 2010 that he had sold doping products to other cyclists. He maintains that he has never used nor sold performance-enhancing drugs of any kind.

Other births: Jan Chtiej (Poland, 1937); Fabio Acevedo (Colombia, 1949); José Mazzini (Peru, 1909); Humberto Solano (Costa Rica, 1944); William Logan (USA, 1914); Héctor Acosta (Argentina, 1933); Christian Pfannberger (Austria, 1979); Max Wirth (Switzerland, 1930); Kurt Ott (Switzerland, 1912, died 2001).