Truth and reconciliation commission to be up and running early next year
International cycling’s “truth and reconciliation commission” after the Lance Armstrong doping scandal should be up and running early next year, the world cycling boss told AFP Wednesday.
“I’m hoping to make an announcement in a couple of weeks and I’m hoping that the whole thing will be up and running early in the new year,” said Brian Cookson, the new president of the UCI.
Cookson spoke on the sidelines of the World Conference on Doping in Sports, where he hoped to iron out final arrangements with the global doping policing body WADA about the commission of inquiry.
“We are very anxious that we agree those terms and conditions with WADA. We’re pretty close to agreement now,” he said.
“But I’m very anxious that we do all of this sooner rather than later.”
The UCI stripped Armstrong of his seven Tour de France titles — won between 1999 and 2005 — in August last year. Armstrong, 42, has said he would cooperate to discover the extent of doping in the sport so long as he’s treated the same as his fellow drug cheats.
Punishment for other cyclists has been less severe after they admitted to doping.
But Cookson echoed WADA outgoing president John Fahey’s words from Tuesday that any reconsideration of Armstrong’s sanctions should come from American anti-doping agency USADA.
“He’s been sanctioned by the United States anti-doping agencies and the penalties he got from that have been accepted by the UCI and by the wider sporting world,” said Cookson.
“And really it’s in the hands of the United States Anti-Doping Agency whether they would look at any reduction in that for any further information that he might volunteer.”
Cookson was frank about the past “culture of doping in professional road cycling in particular” and his commitment to clean it up.
Athletes should be able to “go all of the way to the top of the sport without having to take risks, without having to cheat, without having to lie and without having to spend the rest of their lives looking over their shoulders,” he said.
“I think it’s cleaner now than it’s been for many many years,” he added.
WADA president Fahey welcomed stronger relations with the UCI under Cookson after “some rocky moments in the past”.
The two leaders had “productive, constructive, progressive” discussions at the anti-doping conference, Fahey told media.
“I can assure you that WADA’s support will be given to the UCI,” he said, stressing that the planned commission would be “UCI’s inquiry”.
Text via AFP.
Interview with Richie Porte
In this great interview with Richie Porte, Alex Hinds of Cycling Central asks Porte about Team Sky’s memorable stage 9 blowout at this year’s Tour de France, what role Porte had in getting fellow Tasmanian Nathan Earle over to Sky, how much of a loss Rigoberto Uran will be to the team and much more.
Check the interview out here.
Text via AFP.
Sammy Sanchez to head to Dubai?
Samuel Sanchez is one of many riders to be left without a team for the 2014 season after the closure of Euskaltel-Euskadi this year and so far the Spaniard has remained tight-lipped about his plans for next year.
However the 2008 Olympic road champion has said that he’s interested in an advisory role for the United Arab Emirates Cycling Federation after having spent time with the federation’s president Osama al Shafar.
“It’s a spectacular country, like another world,” Sánchez told Marca.com after his return to Spain from the UAE. “From the very first moment, I had fantastic reception. Part of the reason for going was to see how cycling is faring there and, to be honest, I was very surprised by the resources and infrastructure they have. They told me about a 90km circuit they have built, the idea being to promote growth.”
“What they need are experienced people who can guide the riders they’ve got coming through,” the Spaniard explained. Sánchez admitted that he is interested in offering them the benefit of his experience, saying: “The plan does attract me.”
Al Shafar heads the Emirati Sky Dive cycling team which apparently has its sights set on the WorldTour in 2015 or 2016.
Click here to read more at Cycling News.
Tracey Gaudry on the development of women’s cycling
In an interview on the UCI website newly-elected Vice President Tracey Gaudry talks about her vision to improve the standing of women’s road cycling.
When asked what the priorities of the Women’s Commission (to be set up by the end of the year) will be, she replied:
“In order to develop women’s cycling it needs, among other things, better visibility. But I want to specify that we will have a transversal approach: we will work with all the commissions because the rise of women’s cycling must involve everybody. It is not something that concerns just one department.
For the first time, there will be a woman in each commission, which is another clear sign from the UCI. We will take on board the proposals that the other commissions make to us and we will make propositions.
Click here to read the interview.
At least five WorldTour teams to start the 2014 Tour de Langkawi
The organisers of the Tour de Langkawi have confirmed that at least five WorldTour teams will take part in next year’s race, after five were present at this year’s edition: Astana, Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Garmin-Sharp, Blanco Pro Cycling and Orica-GreenEdge.
The UCI 2.HC race begins on February 27 and will once again feature the climb to Genting Highlands, ranked as one of the toughest climbs in the sport.
“We are expecting exciting competition with all leaders’ jerseys possibly changing hands every day,” said the Minister of Youth and Sports, YB Khairy Jamaluddin. “It will be an open race until the very end, which will definitely keep the fans excited.”
The race will feature 10 stages and will cover a total of 1507km.
Click here to read more at VeloNation.
Toll Group joins Amy Gillett Foundation for A Metre Matters
The Amy Gillett Foundation has recruited Australia’s biggest transport company, Toll Group, to its A Metre Matters campaign which will see Toll delivery trucks sporting the A Metre Matters symbol and slogan in Australian cities.
An initial fleet of 14 trucks will bear the branding and that number will grow as further vehicles come off the production line.
Toll managing director Brian Kruger said the trucking industry has a vested interest in being involved in the campaign.
“Do [Toll staff] want to live with the aftermath of a tragedy they have been involved in?” Mr Kruger said. “Because, let’s be frank, if there is going to be a collision between a bike rider and a large vehicle, we know who is going to be worse off, and too many people’s lives suffer as a result, not just the person who is the victim.”
Toll recently began training new drivers (and those who had crashed while working at Toll) in a vehicle simulator that includes interactions with cyclists.
Click here to read more at The Age.
Tax breaks for cyclists?
In this article for Bicycle Network’s Ride On magazine (and website), Simon Vincett looks at the case for providing tax breaks for Australians who ride to and from work and how such schemes work elsewhere around the world.
It’s not a new idea — the Ride On article references an article from CyclingTips back in 2010 — but with a keen cyclist now Prime Minister, it’s probably an issue worth revisiting.
What do you think: does subsidising bike travel and/or providing tax breaks for those who to ride to work a good idea? What sort of system would you like to see in place?
Highlights from the Victorian Open Road Championships
Held in and around Bendigo last week, the Victorian Open Road Championships featured a criterium, ITT and road race for men and women, with the Bendigo Grand Prix going to the most consistent performer across all three disciplines.
This video from TheTribeCycling features highlights from all events in the carnival including interviews with many of the top riders.
Cliiiimb gives real-time Strava segment feedback
A few weeks back we published a story about wearable devices and how they’re likely to affect cycling in the years to come. In that piece we speculated about the possibility of using products like the Recon Jet or Google Glass to give you real-time feedback on how you’re going on a Strava segment. It would seem that future has got here quicker than we first thought.
A company called 4iiii has developed a piece of hardware called the Cliiiimb which attaches to the arms of a pair of sunglasses and gives you real-time feedback (in video and/or audio) on how your current effort on a Strava segment compares to that of other riders.
Here’s a promo video:
This looks like really cool technology and at only US$200 for the audio/visual model, the price is very appealing as well. We’ll try to get our hands on a unit to review.
Click here to read more at BikeRadar.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed: