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MILAN, Italy (VN) — Saying he is in the dark and frustrated by a multimillion-euro fraud investigation, sidelined Giro d’Italia boss Michele Acquarone plans a press conference Wednesday to tell his side of the story.
On October 1, RCS Mediagroup began an investigation into allegations of financial irregularities at RCS Sport, its sporting subsidiary and organizer of the Italian grand tour. That Tuesday, after Acquarone returned from the UCI world road championships in Florence, RCS sent him a letter and asked him to stay home.
Two days later, the financial newspaper Milano Finanza reported that some 13 million euro had apparently gone missing, and that RCS had placed Acquarone, chief operating officer and Giro race director, on “precautionary” suspension. Administrative director Laura Bertinotti and chief executive officer Giacomo Catano both resigned, though Catano was subsequently reassigned to a new position within RCS.
The inquiry was soon assigned to an outside company, which began conducting an audit and “further research on the nature of certain banking transactions,” according to RCS MediaGroup.
In the meantime, the company has replaced chairman Flavio Biondi with Raimondo Zanaboni, unveiled the Giro’s 2014 route, and announced the long list for wild-card invitations to the race.
In late October, Acquarone told VeloNews that he had no idea “what the problem is in RCS.”
“Frankly, I don’t understand and I want to return to work,” he said.
Now, Acquarone wants to give his side of the story at a press conference on Wednesday. The time and location are expected to be announced on Monday.
“I know there are people that may think I have a hand in this incident, but I’ve always worked with transparency,” said Acquarone.
Whether he continues to work at all remains to be seen. On Sunday, the website Tutto Bici reported that RCS Mediagroup may have already selected a new director — Paolo Bellino — to take over the second biggest stage race behind the Tour de France.
Bellino is a former track and field athlete and currently serves as the Italian Athletics Federation’s secretary general.
If Bellino were to take over the Giro, he would be only the sixth race director in the race’s 104-year history — and Acquarone would be the director with the shortest tenure. He took over in 2011 from Angelo Zomegnan.
Contacted by VeloNews, RCS Sport declined to comment.
The post Suspended Giro boss Michele Acquarone plans presser appeared first on VeloNews.com.
- Kona Cowan Dirt Jump Bike
Bike is in excellent shape as I've hardly had the time to ride it between school and work. Super fun bike; aluminum frame with the ability to swap dropouts to switch from singlespeed to geared.
Frame: Kona Cowan
Brake: Shimano Hydraulic
Fork: Marzocchi DJ1
Pedals: Kona Jackshit
- 2011 Kona Major Jake CX Bike - 59cm
Bike is in great shape and has been covered with ISC Racer's tape from day one on all possible contact areas so frame is pristine. Currently has just been overhauled with a drivetrain refresh, new brakes, and new cables and housing. Bike currently has a 53t chainring, but will include a 46t one as well. Pedals not included.
Model: Kona Major Jake
Frame Material: Kona Carbon CX
Fork: Kona CX Carbon Race/Tapered Steerer
Crankarms: Specialized S-Works BB30
Chain: SRAM PC-1070
F/D: Shimano 105
R/D: SRAM Force
Shifters: SRAM Force
Brake Calipers: Avid Shorty 6
Handlebar: 3T Ergosum Carbon
Stem: FSA OS150
Seatpost: Bontrager XXX Carbon
Saddle: WTB Valcon Team
Wheelset: Velocity A23 Pro Build (1400 Grams)
Tires: Kenda Slant Six CX
BERLIN (AFP) — Germany’s only Tour de France winner, Jan Ullrich, turns 40 on Monday, insisting he has come to terms with his doping past.
Ullrich, who retired in 2007 having won the 1997 Tour, admitted earlier this year that he had resorted to blood doping during his career with the help of Spanish doctor Eufemiano Fuentes.
“Yes, I had access to treatment from Fuentes,” Ullrich told the German weekly Focus in June.
“At that time, nearly everyone was using doping substances and I used nothing that the others were not using.”
The German, who also won road-race gold and time-trial silver medals at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, said he was motivated by the desire to compete against his rivals on a level playing field.
In February 2012, Ullrich was found guilty of a doping offense by the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) and retrospectively banned from cycling from August 2011. He was also stripped of his results since May 2005.
Today, Ullrich lives with his wife, Sara, and three sons on the shores of Lake Constance in Switzerland.
He spends his days looking after his growing family and makes a living from professional engagements, such as taking part in cycle rides with fee-paying fans.
“Overall, I feel totally happy,” says Ullrich, who looks fit enough to race still. “The life I now lead would be a holiday for many people.”
But nearly seven years after retiring, Ullrich’s doping offenses have never been fully explained.
“I have finished with the subject,” Ullrich told German radio broadcaster NDR. “I have taken my punishment, I regret what I did and I stand behind my mistakes.”
Legal troubles still hang over Ullrich, who has been taken to court by former Team Coast sponsor Gunther Dahms, who demands repayment of three months of salary (about $402,000).
The case will be heard next February in Essen, Germany.
And Ullrich refuses to comment on a report from the French senate, released in July, which named him as one of the cyclists who retroactively tested positive for the banned blood booster EPO during the 1998 Tour.
“I have to live with the bad and good,” said, Ullrich, adding that he likes to live “in the present” and prefers not to look back.
“I can live with it comfortably as I have my life back on track.”
While Lance Armstrong’s doping admission rocked the cycling world in January, there has never been — and there is unlikely to ever be — a similar confession from his German rival.
Ullrich says he draws strength from his family and meeting with enthusiastic fans.
“This is a good thing for me and it’s motivating. It kind of shows that people still like me,” he said.
“That makes me feel good.”
The post Jan Ullrich, turning 40, at peace and remains silent on doping appeared first on VeloNews.com.
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The pros have got it pretty good. They arrive at the race and their bikes are prepped and ready, waiting for them to hop on. Pros don’t clean, they don’t tune; all of that stuff is handled.
It’s harder for the rest of us. When we race cyclocross we often have no support and no one in the pit, and somehow we need to make one bike last the whole race. Sure, we might have a second bike, but it’s a bailout, a last resort, not a fresh-bike-every-lap option.
When I started thinking about doing a story on how to prep for races and what equipment to bring along I canvassed a bunch of my friends and asked them about their systems. Turns out everyone is different: Some have buckets; some have a pile of random stuff in the back of their car; some hit up their friends every weekend to make sure they have pit help.
Me? I have The Box.
The Box is a living thing, ever evolving, but one aspect remains constant: It always has everything I need to race tucked away inside. It’s nothing fancy, just an old plastic file box from the office store. It has an attached flip-top lid and some cracks and dings, but it’s what’s inside that counts. Over time, some things, unused and taking up room, have been removed, while other items have been added as they assert their usefulness.
The Box gets checked and reloaded at the beginning of every season. It only has to be done once, and after it’s ready to roll all I need to remember is to replace any used or depleted items. If a spray or lube gets used a lot, I like to carry two in case one runs out.
During the season The Box goes in the back of my pickup on Friday night and comes out on Monday morning. Clean, simple, and self-contained. I don’t have to look for anything or check lists of things I need — it’s all in The Box.
Here’s how to put together one of your own.
Inside The Box
A small but concise tool kit is essential. Tools should be kept in a tool roll, small toolbox, or even something as simple as a pencil case or old toiletries bag (compartments are a nice touch).
Tools to include:
• Set of Allen wrenches
• Cogset removal tools
• Disc rotor truing tool
• Pressure gauge
• Torx wrenches
• Chain tool
• Small crescent wrench
• Scissors/razor knife
• Box wrenches for cantilever brakes and other specialized uses.
• Tire levers for clinchers
• Floor pump (it might not fit in The Box, but you need it)
Lubes and sprays:
• WD-40. General lube/water displacer and solvent. Can be used to keep drivetrain running in wet/frozen conditions.
• Silicone spray. To keep pedals running smooth in dry conditions. Once applied it doesn’t attract dirt/dust.
• Chain lube. A selection of lubes for different conditions.
• De-icer. For frozen and icy conditions, great for pedals and drivetrains in the instance of water splashing up and freezing on contact. Deicer can be harsh on plastics and decals but is OK on metal.
• Pam non-stick spray. Not everyone goes for it but I have used it with decent results to help stop mud from sticking to frame tubes and metal parts.
• Brake pads (disc and/or cantilever)
• Disc brake rotors
• Derailleur hangers (I carry two; don’t ask)
• Spare buckles or fasteners for shoes
• Tire sealant and everything needed to get it in a tire.
• Rags and towels
• Toe spikes for shoes
• Roll of electrical tape or silicone rescue tape
• First aid kit
Ideally The Box should contain whatever might be needed on race day without a bunch of excess stuff that won’t be useful. You still need to clean and dial your bikes completely before the race; the items in The Box are for contingencies and emergencies only.
If possible the tools should be duplicates of tools that are in the garage or at least dedicated to The Box so they don’t get left behind on race day.
If you have doubts about an item, throw it in and see if it gets used. After racing in different conditions over the course of a season it will be obvious what should stay and what should go. Building up a race-day kit and getting the contents right can take a bit of time, so get started now and have it dialed for next season.
For bigger races or races with conditions that will require bike changes, you are still going to need to rope in a friend for pit help. Thinking ahead and making sure you have what you need will ensure that on race day, whether it’s the local series or nationals, you will have the best ride possible.
The post The Box: How to assemble your ideal race-day ‘cross kit appeared first on VeloNews.com.