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Cycling News and Opinion
July 3, 2014

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories

With the Tour de France starting in two days, it's been a busy day in the cycling world:

TDF Anti-Drug Fight

The UCI sent out this press release outlining its plan to fight doping during the Tour:

PRESS RELEASE: Anti-doping controls during the Tour de France 2014
03.07.2014

The Agence Française de Lutte contre le Dopage (AFLD) and the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF), the independent body mandated by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) to define and carry out the fight against doping in cycling, today confirmed that they will be collaborating closely on anti-doping controls during the Tour De France 2014 which begins on 5 July.

The agreement covering the Tour de France, is part of a cooperation agreement signed between the UCI on the one hand, represented by the CADF, and the AFLD on the other, which aims to ensure efficient anti-doping controls at all the major cycling competitions in France (Paris-Nice, Paris-Roubaix, Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de France).

This partnership takes place while the UCI and the CADF continue sharing information and data on the athlete biological passport with National Anti-Doping Organizations (NADOs). This type of agreement, already in existence with UKAD (United Kingdom), CCES (Canada), ADN (Norway), NADOF (Flanders) and ADS (Switzerland), has been now signed with AFLD.

Regarding anti-doping controls for the Tour de France 2014, several measures have been put in place in order to ensure the maximum efficiency of the control system:

• Since last May, thanks to the location data provided by the CADF, the AFLD has carried out controls on a number of cyclists who will most likely participate in the “Grande Boucle”, supported if necessary by other national anti-doping agencies from neighboring countries;
• Shortly before the start of the race, blood checks will be carried out on all participants;
• During the stages in the United Kingdom, AFLD, CADF and UKAD will collaborate in terms of logistic and intelligence information sharing;
• During the stages in France, the decision regarding which cyclists to test will be jointly decided by the CADF and the AFLD, on the basis of shared information, in order to have a well-targeted approach towards the riders;
• It was agreed that some samples will be kept, possibly for several years, in order to allow subsequent analyses with the benefit of technical progress concerning detection methods.

Reacting to the announcement, UCI President, Brian Cookson, stated: “I am particularly delighted by this agreement between the UCI and the CADF and AFLD on the Tour de France. This partnership demonstrates that all anti-doping organisations can join forces to ensure the reputation of cycling during one of the major events of its calendar and even of the international sporting one.”

Francesca Rossi, Director of the CADF, said: “The anti-doping programme put in place by this joint agreement, and covering this year’s Tour de France, has all the elements necessary to meet anti-doping objectives, both in terms of protecting the cyclists’ health and ensuring the sport’s ethics.”

Bruno Genevois, President of the AFLD, welcomed the agreement “reached in order to guarantee the integrity of a major cycling event.”

New Tinkoff-Saxo kit & sponsor

Saxo-Tinkoff has a new kit fluorescent yellow panels With Tinkoff in Cyrillic.

New Saxo-Tinkoff- kit

New Tinkoff-Sax kit.

Tinkoff-Saxo also took on B & O Play (Bang & Olufsen mobile audio products) as a new sponsor.

“We are very pleased to partner up with B&O PLAY for the Tour and onwards. The radio communication between the sport directors and the riders are simply essential in a race. We have wanted to upgrade the sound quality and connection during the races for a while and a partnership with B&O PLAY is a perfect fit”, says team manager of Tinkoff-Saxo Bjarne Riis.

"The customized Earset 3i that will be worn by Tinkoff-Saxo for this year’s Tour de France is the result of a close and extensive collaboration between the riders and technical staff of Tinkoff-Saxo and the sound engineers and product designers from B&O PLAY, where the partnership has fostered an equal amount of excitement."

Brian Holm acquitted

Brian Holm, winner of 1991 Paris-Camembert and 1991 Paris-Brussels and lately a director-sportif for Omega Pharma-Quick Step, has been acquitted of charges of sexually assaulting a seven-year old girl. Holm denied the allegations, though he did admit to being drunk during the evening of the allegation.

The Danish court in Frederiksburg said that "although the girl was terrified, there was insufficient evidence to support her claims".

Garmin-Sharp re-signs Andrew Talansky

Garmin-Sharp is not only bringing Dauphiné winner Andrew Talansky to the Tour as its GC leader, team boss Jonathan Vaughters has extended Talansky's contract for another two years.

Andrew Talansky

Andrew Talansky on the Dauphiné podium. Photo ©Sirotti