Thursday Shorts

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.

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Rasmussen “terminated” by HTC-Highroad

Here’s the press release issued by the HTC-Highroad team. I don’t normally copy n’paste press releases but many were asking what is happening via twitter and so here’s the press release and some thoughts from myself tacked on below.

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The Copenhagen circuit, for sprinters?

That’s a video of the World Championship circuit in Rudersal near Copenhagen. Note the on-screen altitude profile so if you are pressed for time, fast forward to the hills.

Yes, the hills. When you see the rises en route they are certainly not big. But the Worlds is all about repetition and attrition. They’ll do 17 laps and by the last three laps I suspect the bunch will be thinned down. As much as everyone says this is a course for sprinters, it is clearly hillier than Zolder, perhaps the last true Worlds finish for sprinters in 2002. The course could suit the likes of Philippe Gilbert and Robert Gesink.

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Who’s going to the Worlds?

Denmark World Champs

Each year the qualification criteria for riding the World Championships varies but the idea is that countries with a higher ranking have the right to send larger teams to the race. For example Spain tops the UCI’s World Tour ranking and it can start nine riders to the men’s elite road race. This is true for all of the top-10 ranked countries, so long as each country has nine riders with World Tour ranking points. The top-10 are picked at the end of the week but today they stand as Spain, Italy, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Britain, Netherlands, USA and France.

But another clause says that teams have to have nine riders with ranking points and both Britain and Luxembourg fall foul here. Britain has eight riders with World Tour points, meaning it can have eight riders in Denmark; Luxembourg has only two with the Schleck brothers but another sub-clause says Luxembourg must start six riders.

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Rasmussen’s problems are only beginning

Rasmussen and Hembo team up First there was the cryptic press release yesterday. We got news that Michael Rasmussen’s biggest fan Christina Hembo has bought an entire Continental team for him. Hembo runs a watch company and is a long-time backer of Rasmussen, now she’s increased her sponsorship from one man to an entire team … Read more

Rasmussen rejected

It’s Monday morning and time to review Michael Rasmussen’s weekend dancing in the Danish TV Show “Wild With Dance”. Only this will be the last update on The Chicken’s dance moves. Things ended in familiar style with Rasmussen being thrown out of the competition, only without Prudhomme, Cassani and De Rooy on the jury this … Read more

Saxo Sale

Saxo Bank HQ: yours for only €500 million Danish company Saxo Bank isn’t really a bank, it’s an online currency trading platform. And it’s up for sale, according to the Copenhagen Post. It has three principal shareholders, Kim Fournais, Lars Seier Christensen and private equity General Atlantic have appointed investment banks to handle the sale. … Read more

Rasmussen accused, threatens to quit TV show

Danish TV ran with some powerful allegations last night. TV2’s “Lige På og Sport” claimed to have seen a document resulting from disgraced Austrian sports manager Stefan Matschiner. Matschiner’s been linked to Bernhard Kohl but rumours put him with Michael Rasmussen. And last night Denmark’s TV2 accused Rasmussen of a further blood doping offence, storing … Read more

The Funky Chicken

I’d seen this before on a Danish website but couldn’t embed the video to share, finally a copy is available on Youtube. Now the world can watch disgraced Dane Michael Rasmussen stepping out in a celebrity dance show in Denmark, Vild Med Dans or Wild With Dance.RatingThe opening crotch-shake is scary but amusing at the … Read more