Monday, January 31, 2011

Good velonation interview with Lachlan Morton, U23 Aussie rider in Langkawi race

Being based in Boulder may work against being noticed back in Oz, but he should be...

Lachlan Morton interview: Youngest rider in Langkawi field shining against pro competitors
It’s notable that the Tour de Langkawi race leadership was held this week by a 42 year old, but what is even more impressive is the stunning ride by the Australian Lachlan Morton. He turned 19 years of age earlier this month and in his first race as an under 23 competitor, is underlining why he is regarded as one of the most promising young riders in cycling.

Lachlan Morton interview: Youngest rider in Langkawi field shining against pro competitors
“It went a bit better than my expectations,” he told VeloNation the day afterwards. “I always wanted to do well there – it is the sort of race that I believed would suit me. The team put faith in me and rode for me pretty much all day. When you get to the bottom of a climb like that and you haven’t really touched the pedals yet, I figured I’d better try and finish it off.”

Lachlan Morton interview: Youngest rider in Langkawi field shining against pro competitors
Competing against his own age group, Morton won the 2010 Tour de l’Abitibi. The UCI World Cup race is regarded as arguably the top junior stage race in the world and he took a road stage, the time trial and the overall general classification. In doing so he echoed the earlier victories of Taylor Phinney, Tyler Farrar, Taylor Phinney, Laurent Jalabert and Alex Steida in the event.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can't wait for the press conf. Only 1 year off for Bert? I guess Andy won Le Tour after all.

There's so much to think about here. Alberto can appeal, firstly. Or he can cop it sweet and have another rest year. Or he could just retire. It also opens up a spot for an unemployed rider or 2 in Bjarne's team. And it presumably moves Andy Schleck up a place into the winner's spot of the 2010 Tour. He'll really want to win this year to prove himself. And with no Contador it opens up the 2011 season once again. All very bizarre.

It's a tough enough sport anyway without this constant revisionism. Whilst a level playing field is ideal - as a rider myself the concept of "fairplay" makes a lot of sense - this is terrible price to pay for what I described earlier as a homeopathic dose of a drug that may in fact do very little. Sadly there also remains a chance that Contador took it unknowingly, as much as we may like to think we've just brought down another cheat. Either way, rules are rules.

SBS: Cycling Central : Contador one-year ban is offiicial
"Alberto Contador has received today a notification of one year ban proposal by the Competition Committee of the Spanish Federation," said the spokesperson.

"Therefore, together with Bjarne Riis (director of his team Saxo Bank), a Press Conference will be held next Friday, January 28, at 16:00 hours (2am AEDT, Saturday), at the Hotel Son Net in Palma de Mallorca, to express their opinion about this case."
Contador To Receive One-year Ban For Clenbuterol Positive |
Contador tested positive for a low level of the banned substance Clenbuterol during the 2010 Tour de France's second rest day in Pau. He claimed the adverse finding was the result of contaminated meat. He was provisionally suspended by the UCI in September after the announcement of the test results was made.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Media get braver as Lance gets closer to 2nd retirement. Crucifixion next?

The "old lies" may well be old but they are getting aired to a wider and deeper audience than ever before. Armstrong has always denied these claims, and he has been deified instead for his achievements as a cancer-survivor, fund-raiser and athlete. But as he nears his 2nd retirement he has become something of a big, slower-moving target. Just as he draws praise for his positive impact on the Tour Down Under, so he comes under fire by the "old liars". It's feeling a bit like open season at the moment, especially with fellow Tour-winner, former teammate and adversary Alberto Contador facing his own inquisition.

The truth is out there, but will it ever be known?  Or trusted?

Lance Armstrong faces tough ride - ex mechanic |
A Wellington bike shop owner whose testimony could help bring down Lance Armstrong believes the seven-times Tour de France champion is in danger of becoming a permanent "symbol for decades of corruption".

Matt White wins, gets sacked for 'referring' Trent Lowe to dodgy USPS team doctor?

Who knows. Was it really because of this 'referral' or was it at least partly because of his suggested 2012 'GreenEdge' connection? Vaughters has certainly played down any speculation about doping, or about a potential GreenEdge or Aussie national team conflict. It has to be said also that Matt White tested clean as a rider and whilst speculation has surrounded his past racing connections it has not amounted to anything more that. So his 'referral' of Trent Lowe (ex-Discovery as well as Garmin-Transitions) can be taken at face value - an arguably poor choice of doctor.

Whilst White's past employment with the US Postal team is well known, there's really nothing proven (in a negative way) about that outfit. The US Postal team has certainly copped flack (read speculation), especially since morphing into Discovery and latterly into Radio Shack - not for what it achieved as a pro cycling squad that successfully launched Lance Armstrong to successive Tour victories - but for what has happened to many of their riders since. The list is long, including Landis and most recently Contador. Sure, it's speculation, but like mud - it sticks. 

No suggestion of who will replace White but Henrik Redant (ex Pegasus) is probably available. I'm sure there are several aspirants polishing their CVs...

SBS: Cycling Central : Garmin-Cervelo sacks White
It has just come to the attention of Slipstream Sports Board of Directors that in April 2009, Matt White referred former rider, Trent Lowe, to the Sports Institute of Valencia to Dr. Luis Garcia del Moral.
Garmin-Cervelo Fires Team Director Matt White | This Just In
Del Moral is the former ONCE and US Postal team doctor who has recently been accused of participating in systematic team doping by Floyd Landis. Former Kelme rider Jesus Manzano also claimed that he collaborated with his Kelme doctor Walter Viru, so that his USPS riders knew when International Cycling Union (UCI) doctors would visit the team for random drug testing.

Del Moral denies the charges.
Garmin-Cervelo Fires Team Director Matt White | This Just In
Vaughters added that despite the Spanish doctors controversial reputation, he is convinced that White sent Lowe to see Del Moral for legitimate reasons. “Moral runs a government-funded lab in Valencia. Lowe lived in Valencia and clearly needed body composition and VO2 testing and this was the closest place for him to go. But it showed extremely poor judgment on White’s part and a slap on the wrist is not a solution in this day and age of cycling.”
Trent Lowe - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trent Lowe (born 8 October 1984 in Melbourne) is a professional road bicycle racer from Australia. He rode for Garmin-Transitions on the UCI ProTour from 2008 to 2010. Lowe was one of only two Australians on the Slipstream Squad, the other being Chris 'CJ' Sutton who came from Cofidis in 2007. The former full-time professional mountain biker had a breakthrough year on the road in 2005 riding for the US domestic team, Jittery Joe's, where he caught eye of Discovery Channel sports manager Johan Bruyneel. He was signed for Discovery Channel for his superior climbing abilities. In 2002 he won the UCI MTB World Junior XC Championship, then he won the under-23 Australian National Mountain Bike Championship in 2003 and 2004.

Following 2 seasons of injury and chronic fatigue, the young climber signed with the new Australian team, Pegasus, [1] before the announcement that they has failed to obtain an 2011 UCI World Tour license.
Matt White (cyclist) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
After 2 years with the Australian GIANT-AIS Cycling Team, White then went through Italian teams Amore e Vita (1998) and Vini Caldirola (1999) before finding himself on the US Postal Service team from 2001 through to 2003. In this period White was not selected to ride the Tour de France with Lance Armstrong but did ride the 2003 Vuelta a EspaƱa in support of Roberto Heras. [2] In 2004, Matthew moved to the French Cofidis team to join fellow Australian Stuart O'Grady.