Bradley Wiggins (Sky) has decided his race schedule ahead of the Giro d’Italia, according to Spanish website Bici Ciclismo. He will begin in the Tour of Algarve, February 13 to 17, and race Tirreno-Adriatico, Tour of Catalonia and the Giro del Trentino or Tour of Romandy. The Giro starts May 4 in Naples.

Sky’s new recruit, 21-year-old Joe Dombrowski said this week that he is tentatively scheduled to race the Giro alongside Wiggins. Dombrowski won the amateur Giro in June.

“I wasn’t even really expecting to do a Grand Tour,” Dombrowski told Cycling Weekly. “Some aspects are daunting, riding the Giro but also riding it for… You know, it sounds like Wiggins is going there to win.”

The Sunday Times sues Armstrong for £1m

The Sunday Times announced on Sunday that it sued Lance Armstrong for $1.5m (£1m) to recoup costs from a 2006 out-of-court settlement.

“It is clear that the proceedings were baseless and fraudulent. Your representations that you had never taken performance enhancing drugs were deliberately false,” the newspaper wrote in to Armstrong’s lawyers, according to the Guardian. “The Sunday Times is now demanding a return of the settlement payment plus interest, as well as its costs in defending the case.”

Armstrong sued the newspaper when for publishing extracts from LA Confidentiel, written by David Walsh and Pierre Ballester. The Sunday Times settled and paid Armstrong a reported £300,000. The USADA’s successful case against Armstrong this year, though, has potentially allowed the newspaper to recoup its costs.

Barredo retires amid suspect biological passport readings

Carlos Barredo announced his retirement this week amid a biological passport doping investigation, according to Spanish media.

The 31-year-old Spaniard rode for Liberty Seguros, Quick Step and Rabobank since 2011. He won the San Sebastián one-day classic in 2009 and a stage in the Vuelta a España in 2010. His last race was the Critérium du Dauphiné this year, first being sidelined by a training accident and then the UCI’s biological passport.

The UCI began the passport in 2008 to signal doping without a traditional positive test. Analysts plot blood and urine numbers over time, which enables them to spot irregularities.

Barredo appeared on the UCI’s radar as early as last year. In a leaked doping index, he scored 10 out of 10 with one other rider, Yaroslav Popovych. This year, it sent him letters asking for explanations. He replied in July, stating his innocence. Rabobank fired him, however, when the UCI on October 18 asked the Spanish federation to open a disciplinary hearing.

He told Spanish newspaper El País this week he will begin working in Madrid for a coffee importer.

Astana requests Movement for a Credible Cycling membership

Alexandre Vinokourov’s team Astana applied to join the Movement for a Credible Cycling (MPCC), according to a press release today. The movement maintains stricter anti-doping rules and holds the key to participation in some races.

“Damaging practices in the past have created problems for professional cycling’s future, placing the reputation, image and viability of the sport at serious risk. Neither the doping practices nor the environment that served to enable them can ever be allowed to happen again,” Vinokourov said in his letter to the MPCC. “We share the MPCC’s belief that managers and sponsors in professional cycling have the obligation and capacity to say no to doping.”

Vinokourov won the Olympic road race this summer, but has a shady past. In the 2007 Tour de France, he was caught transfusing blood and subsequently served a doping ban.

The MPCC gathered speed thanks to Vinokourov and other doping cases, in particular the Lance Armstrong scandal. Since this summer, the number of member teams has more than doubled. The Association of Race Organisers (AIOCC) helped by agreeing to give priority to the movement’s member teams when issuing invitations.

First division teams need invitations to all non-WorldTour races. Second division teams rely on them for WorldTour events, which include most major classics and the three Grand Tours.

MPCC’s standards of conduct

- Prohibit a rider from racing after the positive result of the first analysis or A sample.

- Don’t sign a rider who has had a ban of more than six months during the two years following his ban. An exception is given to whereabouts cases.

- If a rider needs corticosteroids (used for saddle sores and swelling) then pull him from competition for eight days.

- An internal control following a positive test within the team.

- If a team has more than one positive case from the past 12 months, withdraw it and assess the situation.

Members teams

1st division (ProTeams): AG2R La Mondiale, Argos-Shimano, Blanco, FDJ, Garmin-Sharp, Lampre, Lotto-Belisol

2nd division (Pro Continental): Androni Giocattoli, Bardiani-CSF, Bretagne-Schuller, Caja Rural, Cofidis, Colombia-Coldeportes, Europcar, IAM Cycling, Landbouwkrediet (Crelan-Euphony), MTN-Qhubeka, NetApp, Saur-Sojasun, Topsport Vlaanderen, Verands Willems, Team Type 1

3rd division (Continental): Auber 93, Color Code Biowanze, La Pomme Marseille, OCBC Singapore, Optum, Oster Hus-Ridley, Plussbank-BMC, Wallonie Bruxelles, 4-72 Colombian.

Applied: Accent Jobs, Astana, Jelly Belly Cycling, Roubaix Lille Metropole

  • Bikez

    “USADA’s successful case ” (against Lance Armstrong) I must have missed that one! I think the article means successful allegations which is light years away from a successful case.

  • dai bananas brother

    What hapeened in the Wobbley Wheelers Boxing Day ’10′? You used to cover that big time not so long ago. There was total carnage yesterday at the Duathlon up the Skipton Road at Kildwick. This bloke took an header of a fall running down the hill and must have aquaplaned 50yards down a mudslide, then somebody finished in bare feet having lost their shoes in the mud……….etc. And a Happy New Year when it arrives,, dictated by Dai’s Missus on a Xmas visit to her sister, already booking beds for Le Tour 2014

  • Pee Bee

    What are we supposed to conclude from the absence of Team Sky from the list of MPCC member teams?