The story of Fatima Yvelain has gone viral. She’s a French athlete who tested positive for EPO but came up with a great excuse. As it was athletics I didn’t put the story on here but thought it was still worth sharing via tumblr.
When asked to explain the positive test, she claimed heavy rainfall on the day of race had caused water to stream over hidden medical waste somewhere near the course. As she ran, the EPO-laced rainwater splashed onto her shorts, thus contaminating her urine when she later provided a sample at the doping control.
It’s no joke. The Fédération Française d’Athletisme didn’t see the funny side when it handed her a two year ban.
Fuglsang Joins Astana, Vanmarcke Leaving Garmin
Jakob Fuglsang has had a nightmare season and largely because of extra-sporting problems caused by his team. With his contract up he started shopping around for a new team and found himself blocked from racing. He was in talks with Omega Pharma – Quickstep but perhaps the Belgian squad is trying to round up every Euro possible to get Mark Cavendish? That we don’t know but it’s now known that Fuglsang has signed with Astana.
Meanwhile Sep Vanmarcke is dropped from Garmin-Sharp’s team for the Vuelta largely because he’s leaving the team at the end of the year. Once again his current team don’t want to give him the experience, performance, investment and possibly UCI points if he is going. Indeed Bjarne Riis is trying not to announce his signings in case they get dropped by their current team. We can all see the incentives at work that create these decisions but it still seems undesirable.
Michael Matthews to Orica-Greenedge
I won’t be listing every transfer but the signing of Michael Matthews by Australian team Orica-Greenedge looks like a good one as he’s a talented rider. But we can also ask how many sprinters and fast finishers the team needs? The answer is as many as possible because if the team have had a decent start, when I read Orica-Greenedge, I sometimes think “Orica-Your Name Here” as the team still wants a co-sponsor. Having more wins should attract more sponsors. Matthews is a real prospect for the classics and uphill finishes.
New Swiss Team
Sponsors seem rare these days though but there’s a new Swiss team being formed for 2013. Called IAM (short for Independent Asset Management) it is quietly signing Swiss and French riders and aims to ride at the Pro Continental level, namely the second tier of teams. They look to be taking several Swiss riders from BMC Racing, a team which is less and less Swiss these days.
AA Drink-Leontien.nl stops
Bad news as women’s team AA Drink-Leontien.nl is stopping at the end of the year according to Wielerland.nl. Some good results and even an Olympic silver medallist in Lizzie Armitstead don’t seem to have helped, the sponsor AA Drink won’t renew and the management have decided they can’t find a replacement. It many ways it was part of the demise of the Cervélo women’s team, once this stopped with Garmin several riders carried on with AA Drink-Leontien.nl but now this finally comes to an end. Say it ain’t so.
Adam Hansen Goes On
One thing that can’t be stopped is Lotto-Belisol’s Adam Hansen. The Australian finished the Giro and Tour and now starts the Vuelta on Saturday. It’s impressive as few riders do all three grand tours in one year. He’s already done 11,861km of racing this year as the table below shows:
|4||PARDILLA BELLON Sergio||MOV||12,198km|
Source: Cycling Quotient
Wiggins Out of Denmark
One rider who is taking a well-deserved rest after recent highs is Bradley Wiggins. He was down to ride the Tour of Denmark but won’t go now says the BBC. After winning the Tour it was announced he’d go on to the Olympics… and then Denmark but it was always hard to imagine him continuing to race for so long. Yes Chris Froome is doing the Vuelta but he has a point to prove whilst Wiggins has been winning races since March.