Cologne lab develops successful test for AICAR

German website deutschefunk.de is reporting that scientists at the Cologne Centre for Preventative Doping Research have developed a successful test for the banned substance AICAR.

anti-dopage

The substance was initially developed to combat obesity and has proven difficult to test for given the fact that it occurs naturally in the body, just like EPO and testosterone. But as with those substances, a natural threshold for AICAR can (and has) been established, allowing any outliers to be put through further analysis.

“We have a reference population of 1000 athletes has been studied from different regions, genders, age groups, etc, with whose results a kind of limit is created,” explained Professor Mario Thevis from the Cologne lab.

“That is, if values fall within this range or above, you can view this urine sample as suspect. If that is the case, then it is subjected to further investigation.”

The lab will now set about testing samples from the 2013 Tour de France for AICAR.

Click here to read more at VeloNation. And click here to learn more about AICAR and why it could be used as a performance-enhancing drug.

A heated discussion with Jens Voigt

It’s fair to say that Daniel Benson from Cycling News has ruffled a few feathers in recent months and he appears to have continued on the same tack, angering Jens Voigt during an interview about the German rider’s retirement, past doping offences and people he’s been associated with in the past.

Tour Down Under 2012

Here’s an excerpt:

CN: With all due respect if you had gone down the path of Bassons it would perhaps be fair to say that you wouldn’t have ridden for some of the team managers that you have ridden for.

JV: Be more precise with that.

CN: Okay so you may have ridden for Roger Legay but maybe not for Riis, maybe not for Johan Bruyneel.

JV: Well my friend now you’re making me mad and angry. You’re a journalist right?

CN: Yes.

JV: Do you know anyone called Murdoch? Was he your friend? Have you ever worked with him? Do you feel dirty working in the same business as Murdorch and all this illegal tapping of phone lines? How do you feel about that? Answer the question please.

CN: Well there’s difference.

JV: Is there?

CN: Yes.

JV: Well not for me. I’m asking you a straight and fair question. Answer the question. Are you a colleague of Murdoch? What do you think about that?

CN: No. I’m not a colleague of Murdoch or an employee of his or work for any publication associated with him.

JV: Okay. See it’s easy to throw out any accusations.

Click here to read the full interview at Cycling News.

UCI’s independent commission into doping due in early 2014

UCI president Brian Cookson has told VTM Nieuws that an independent commission into cycling’s era of doping is set to begin in early 2014 and won’t be referred to as a “truth and reconciliation” commission.

The commission will delve into the EPO-fuelled era of the 1990s and 2000s and investigate accusations that the UCI was negligent in stemming doping in the professional peloton.

Brian Cookson said:

“During my predecessor’s era a lot of good things were done, such as the biological passport. The problem still remains that the … damage the allegations made from the Lance Armstrong era that the UCI was in collusion and involved in cover-ups were not properly addressed, and these have to be addressed in this commission.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

IAM Cycling keen for two Grand Tour starts in 2014

Swiss-based team IAM Cycling made its debut in 2013 and while the ProConti squad was overlooked for starts in each of cycling’s three Grand Tours, the team has set the objective of racing two Grand Tours in 2014.

The addition of Sylvain Chavanel and other riders in 2014 will bolster IAM's chances of getting wildcard entries to big races.

The addition of Sylvain Chavanel and other riders in 2014 will bolster IAM’s chances of getting wildcard entries to big races.

The team has been in contact with the organisers of both the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia with team manager Serge Beucherie saying the team’s first season has laid a solid foundation.

“For a first season in the peloton, we have built a reputation. Even with the Pro Continental status, we found ourselves on the centre stage at the World Tour events to which we received invitations, no matter whether they were one day races or longer tours,” he said.

“We finished with twelve victories and won the team classification for stage races three times. We had sixteen second place finishes and fourteen third places. I can unreservedly claim 2013 to be a good vintage.”

The team has also strengthened its line-up for 2014 with the addition of Sylvain Chavanel, Matthias Frank and Jerome Pineau, theoretically improving their chances of getting a wildcard entry to the Tour and Giro.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Huon Salmon departure threatened future of Genesys team

On Friday the team that raced this year as Huon-Genesys announced a new title sponsor and a new name for the team: Avanti Pro Cycling.

While the managers of the team welcomed the new sponsorship, there was chaos behind the scenes as Huon Salmon retracted their sponsorship late in the piece after Genesys had flagged earlier in the season that they would be leaving the team as well.

Click here to read a great story by Cycling Central’s Alex Hinds about the last-minute intervention by Avanti Bikes that saved one of the most successful teams in Australia’s domestic racing scene.

Ruth Corset joins Holden Women’s Cycling Team in 2014

The 2010 Australian National Road champion and 2012 National Road Series champion Ruth Corset will lead Holden Women’s Cycling Team in 2014.

www.stephenlane.com.au

Corset will help bolster the team’s experience and climbing prowess as both Miranda Griffiths and Lucy Coldwell take the next step in their cycling careers, moving on to overseas-based teams in 2014.

“We are looking forward to have Ruth on-board for 2014. She is a tenacious competitor and a consummate professional who leads from the front. These qualities make Ruth a great mentor for our young developing riders aspiring to one day ride at the pro level”, said team manager Julien Knuppel.

Corset will sit out the Australian National Road Championships in January opting instead to spend time with her young family over the Christmas holiday period. She will then set her sights on the 2014 National Road Series along with a handful of mountain bike and triathlon races including the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Cairns in late April.

“I am excited to be a part of the Holden Women’s Cycling Team for the upcoming 2014 season. I’m particularly looking forward to helping to develop and work with a group of talented, young female cyclists on the road whilst adding a bit of variety to my own bike racing goals in 2014.”

The new look team for 2014 includes Ruth Corset (QLD), Jemma Brown (QLD), Jenelle Crooks (QLD), Ellen Skerritt (QLD), Joanne Tralaggan (NSW) and Shannon Malseed (VIC).

Corset raced for Pensar SPM in the 2013 season and finished second in the NRS individual aggregate after sharing many of the season’s big victories with former teammate Catrin Garfoot.

Text adapted from a Holden Women’s Cycling Team press release.

Race to honour Sydney cycling legend Robert Hodgson

A brand new grassroots Sydney cycle race will honour the memory of one of Sydney’s cycling legends and provide a showcase for Aussie cycling talent past, present and future.

RHMR_Poster_Proof_3

The inaugural Robert Hodgson Memorial Race, organised by the Northern Sydney Cycling Club (NSCC), will take place on 5 January at Beaumont Road, Mount Kuring-gai.

The event will feature an hour-long invitational criterium race featuring a mix of pro cyclists, stalwarts of the Sydney cycling community and tomorrow’s stars. Already confirmed to attend are: international pro racer and Northern Sydney boy Justin Morris of the Pro Continential Novo Nordisk team, GPM-Data#3 rider Tom Patton, current Australian Masters 3 national champion Simon Davies, NSCC rider Phil Chapman and up-and-coming junior Michael Potter.

The race is being held to honour the memory of Sydney cycling legend and longtime NSCC member Robert Hodgson, who died from a rare form of cancer earlier this year aged just 31.

Robert was known throughout Australia as a prodigious cycling talent, as well as being one of the most popular members of the Sydney peloton. His racing career spanned Europe and Australia, with highlights including gold at the 2002 and 2004 Australian University Games and bronze at the 2004 elite NSW time trial championships and road race.

The event will also feature a 35-minute open-entry Silver race, with a prize pool of $500. NSCC will also be collecting charity donations, with all proceeds going to the Patricia Ritchie Centre for Cancer Care & Research (via the Friends of the Mater Foundation).

Text via a Northern Sydney Cycling Club press release. For more information visit the club’s website.

Controversial bike lane speeds up traffic flow

Here’s an interesting little tidbit from the Canadian city of Calgary where a new bike lane was installed over the summer. Here’s what a reader told us about the development:

They put in a separated bike lane along 7th St. downtown this summer. Of course when motorists learned about the plan a while back they complained about how it would make traffic congestion even worse.

Turns out cars actually move faster along that stretch ! The city says that’s due to the “optimization of traffic lights to accommodate the new separated bike lane” but I also suspect it has to do with the fact there’s no more parking on that side of the street. Thus, cars don’t get backed up waiting for someone to line up a parallel park.

“We were pleasantly surprised to find that whether you were driving or biking, your trip took less time,” said city transportation engineer Blanka Bracic at Friday’s transit and transportation committee meeting.

It’s unclear whether the same concept would have similar results in Australian cities (or indeed elsewhere) but it’s an interesting and somewhat surprising little story nonetheless.

Click here to read more at the Calgary Herald.

A bike that purifies the air?

A group of designers at the Bangkok-based Lightfog Creative and Design have put together a design for an air-purifying bicycle that apparently scrubs particulates from the air while moving through traffic.

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While the idea hasn’t made it into a prototype just yet, we know that the plan is to install a filter between the handlebars to strip pollution out of the air.

The design recently won a Red Dot Design Award and while we aren’t likely to see these bikes on the road for a few years yet, we’ll certainly be watching this space with interest.

Click here to read more at Discovery.com.

Orica-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass: LSL St. Kilda Supercrit

Here’s the final Orica-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass video of the year in which Dan Jones and the gang pay tribute to Baden Cooke in his final race as a professional.

lsl

Click on the image above to watch the video.

’Boris bike’ vs Mont Ventoux

Climbing Mont Ventoux is hard enough on a light road bike with appropriate gearing. Attempting it on a 23kg city share bike with only a couple of gears is just madness.

ventoux

And yet that’s what Rob Holden and his mates Matt and Ian attempted to do, hiring a so-called ‘Boris bike’ — the name given to the bikes that make up London’s bike share scheme, named after mayor Boris Johnson — and attempting to get to, climb and return from Mont Ventoux in 24 hours.

Click on the image above to watch the video. You’ll want to watch it to the end.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image was taken by Kristof Ramon and shows, of course, the upper slopes of Mont Ventoux.