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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion:
Saturday, October 31, 2015

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

Lloyd Mondory given 4-year suspension for dope

The UCI has probably ended the racing career of Frenchman Loyd Mondory. Mondory was positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test on February 17, 2015, and was handed a four-year suspension as punishment.

The 33-year old rider has spent his entire professional career with Ag2r, having turned professional in 2004. He won't be eligible to race until he's almost 37.

He's a pretty good rider, having won the 2008 GP Canton Aargau and stage wins in the Etoile de Bessèges and the Vuelta a Burgos.

Lloyd Mondory

Lloyd Mondory riding in the 2014 Tour of Switzerland

Shimano Sales and profits up sharply

Shimano is having a very good year with sales up 19 percent for the period ending September 30 with the company's bicycle-related sales up a whopping 21 percent. Operating income for the bike division was up 37 percent to 61,233 million Yen. Wow!

The company said, "Demand in both Europe and North America was little affected by the weather. In Europe, although sales volume has been running at a somewhat lower level than during the previous year when sales were brisk thanks to good weather, retail sales have been strong with brisk sales of high-end models centering on e-bike."

Meanwhile, USA bike shop visits continue to decline

This was noted in Bicycle Retailer and Industry News:

Gluskin-Townley, a bicycle industry consulting group, has been tracking bike shop visits for years and its latest report makes for gloomy reading to this writer who owned a bike shop for many years.

Gluskin-Townley says bike shop visits declined 17 percent between 2012 and 2104, a sharper decline than the findings of the group's 2012 report. And...consumers who visited a bike shop yet bought a bike from a mass merchant increased 117 percent.

UCI rejects Androni Giocattoli suspension appeal

The UCI announced that its Disciplinary Committee has rejected the request by the Androni Giocattoli team for a revocation of its August 2015 suspension, which has already been served. The team had two "adverse analytical findings" (dope positives) in a single year, triggering the suspension.

The UCI said, "Following notification of an Adverse Analytical Finding according to a member of Team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec beginning of 2015 and within a period of twelve months, the Disciplinary Committee has decided to suspend the team for a period of 30 days from 1 to 30 August 2015, pursuant to Article 7.12.1."

Gianni SAvio

Androni Giocatolli team boss Gianni Savio (in blue shirt and dark suit) with rider Francesco Cicchi earlier this year.

Jan Valach becomes Tinkoff Team sports director

Tinkoff-Saxo sent this update:

Slovak Ján Valach will be the newest addition to Tinkoff Team’s group of sports directors ahead of the 2016 season. As a former rider and sports director of, among others, the Slovakian national team, Valach brings with him valuable experience and high technical knowledge to bolster Tinkoff Team.

Following the team’s meeting in Croatia, where Ján Valach was introduced to the members and soon to be colleagues of Tinkoff Team, the 42-year old Slovak shares his thoughts on the move.

“I am very excited for this opportunity and my clear aim is to do whatever I can to help the team succeed next season. Since my retirement as a rider in 2010, I’ve been the manager and sports director of the Slovakian Dukla continental team, so for me to make the move to the World Tour and Tinkoff Team is a big step. I look forward to working closely with the riders, the group of sports directors and the entire team next season. During the last days at our Croatia team meeting in Poreč I’ve had the chance to meet the squad and the three riders that I’ll coach and follow in 2016”.

Ján Valach joined the team's first group meeting ahead of the 2016 season in Porec, Croatia.

Ján Valach rode professionally from 1999 to 2010, after which he immediately took up the role as sports director for Slovakia’s Dukla pro cycling team, where he equally held the position as team manager. Additionally, Valach has played a pivotal part in the Slovakian national team as sports director. In September 2015, he was part of Peter Sagan and the Slovakian team’s victory at the World Championship Road Race. Now, after a five-year spell on national and continental level, Valach will move to the World Tour and Tinkoff Team.

“For me it’s a matter of taking the experience that I have from managing various aspects on a smaller team with me into my new role as sports director on Tinkoff Team. The setup here is big and professional and I hope that I can contribute with the knowledge that I’ve gained since I started riding my bike in 1982”, adds Ján Valach, who worked with current Tinkoff Team riders Michael Kolar and Erik Baška during their time at team Dukla.

Head Sports Director Steven de Jongh elaborates on the reasons for bringing Valach to the team.

“Together with the rest of the sports directors, I’m glad to welcome Ján to Tinkoff Team. I believe that he has showed that he’s a very capable sports director, several of our riders have worked with him before and they all felt confident with him behind the wheel. Ján will bring his experience as a former rider and current sports director in technical, tactical and training related areas. Ján will be introduced to the World Tour level during the 2016 season by some of the more veteran sports directors, while he will get the responsibility for a group of three riders”, states Steven de Jongh.

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