Ryder Hesjedal admits to doping

Garmin-Sharp’s Ryder Hesjedal, who won last year’s Giro d’Italia has admitted to doping after Danish rider Michael Rasmussen suggested in his autobiography that he had taught Hesjedal how to use EPO.

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Rasmussen’s book is being published this week, but extracts from the book made it to the Danish press prompting Hesjedal to respond.

“I have loved and lived this sport but more than a decade ago, I chose the wrong path”, the Canadian said. “And even though those mistakes happened more than 10 years ago, and they were short-lived, it does not change the fact that I made them and I have lived with that and been sorry for it ever since.”

Hesjedal and Garmin-Sharp have said that the the former Canadian MTB rider had revealed his past doping to USADA and the Canadian Centre for Ethics in Sports (CCES) long before Rasmussen’s book was released.

Hesjedal says he stopped using EPO long before he was at Slipstream Sports (Garmin-Sharp’s management company).

“I believe that being truthful will help the sport continue to move forward, and over a year ago when I was contacted by anti-doping authorities, I was open and honest about my past.”

Click here to read the original article in Danish. Click here for USADA’s statement about Hesjedal’s admission.

Mark Cavendish’s new book, At Speed, hits shops soon

In other book-related news, Mark Cavendish is set to release “At Speed: My life in the fast lane”, a publication that is being seen as part two of his autobiography.

Mark Cavendish at the start

In “Boy Racer”, Cavendish spoke of his rise to the top of the sport and “At Speed” continues the journey and talks through his road world championship win, winning the points jersey in all three Grand Tours, the London Olympics and much more.

The book was written with UK journalist Daniel Friebe and is out from November 7.

Click here to read a short review at Cycling Weekly.

Argos Shimano to get a new title sponsor in 2014

The Argos oil company was supposed to be backing Team IT4i (known in 2012 and 2013 as Argos-Shimano) for another season but yesterday it was announced that a new sponsor will take over the reins.

The new sponsor hasn’t yet been revealed but it’s expected to sign a three year deal.

“Very recently, a company expressed interest in taking over the main sponsorship. The new sponsor is a good fit with our ambitious team goals,” General manager Iwan Spekenbrink stated.

The team will soon announce its new sponsor, new jersey and its ambitions for next year. The team will be hoping to continue the great form it displayed in the 2013 season which featured 29 victories, including four by Marcel Kittel at the Tour de France.

Shimano will remain on board as a second sponsor in 2014.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

End of the road for Baden Cooke?

Aussie veteran Baden Cooke has accepted that his career is all but over after his Orica-GreenEDGE team told him his contract wouldn’t be renewed for 2014.

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“I think pretty much it’s over,” Cooke told The Advertiser. “It’s a really bad year for cycling with so many teams shutting down. There are hundreds of guys on the market with no job and I’m one of those guys.

Cooke is apparently talking with one WorldTeam but according to him: “There are probably 50 guys going for the one spot.”

Cooke has won more than 50 professional races in his career but his biggest triumph was winning a stage and the green jersey at the 2003 Tour de France.

Cooke has raced with limited personal success in recent years but has been a vital member of the Orica-GreenEDGE team, as a helper, mentor and road captain for the younger riders.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Domestic cycling coverage at risk by Cycling Australia/SBS fee dispute

A report in the Sydney Morning Herald today suggests that TV coverage of some of Australia’s main domestic races next year — including the national championships — could be at risk due to a fee dispute between Cycling Australia and SBS.

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According to the SMH article, SBS is owed $150,000 in contractual fees from their 2012-13 deal with Cycling Australia that expires at the end of this year. It is believed that SBS won’t commit to a new deal until the amount is paid.

Cycling Australia is hopeful of meeting the payments, however, with CA’s acting president Robert Bates telling the SMH:

“Our commercial strategy is underpinned by a solid model and we are committed to meeting all outstanding obligations. We look forward to finalising our arrangements with SBS in the near future and continuing to work closely with SBS to broadcast our events to cycling enthusiasts both locally and around the globe.”

Click here to read the full article at the Sydney Morning Herald website.

Effects of beetroot juice and caffeine on TT performance

CyclingTips contributor, A grade racer and RMIT PhD student Stephen Lane has just published a study looking at the single and combined effects of beetroot juice and caffeine on TT performance.

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His study found that beetroot juice on its own and combined with caffeine had no impact on performance but that:

“We conclude that caffeine … administered in the form a caffeinated gum increased cycling TT performance lasting ~50-60 min by ~3-4% in both males and females.”

We’ve contacted Stephen and asked him to write a piece that will explain this finding in more detail and put it into context for everyday cyclists.

In the meantime, you can check out the abstract from the research paper here.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:


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