International cycling news round-up (February 20)
- IAM Cycling remembers Kristof Goddaert
- Ondrej Sosenka plans 10-year anniversary hour record
- Thomas Voeckler returns to racing
- Savoldelli in court over doping claims
- Tour of California announces extended women's race

IAM Cycling led the ceremony to remember Kristof Goddaert at the start of the Tour of Oman stage two yesterday. The Belgian died in a training crash Monday in Antwerp.

“For sure, the coming days will be complicated,” said team-mate Sébastien Hinault in a press release. “But Kristof was an energetic guy. Let us use that energy to enjoy this job that he loved so much.”

“I decided to force the pace in an attempt to forget everything… We do not intend to withdraw from the race. The best thing we can do is continue to do business as usual, just as Kristof would have liked.”

“I have unfortunately already experienced something like this in 2010 as a rider with Sky,” said sports director, Kjell Carlström. “An assistant [Txema Gonzalez] died during the Vuelta a España. Today, I reminded the guys how important our decision Tuesday evening to pay tribute to Kristof is. Though they were all affected, they all showed complete professionalism at all times… Everyone has been exemplary.”

Ondrej Sosenka plans 10-year anniversary hour record

With Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) planning to break his hour record, Ondrej Sosenka countered. The Czech cyclist, who holds the record at 49.700 kilometres, told L’Equipe newspaper that he would attempt it again on July 19, 2015, 10 years after setting the current mark.

Sosenka, now 38, beat Chris Boardman’s distance in Moscow. In 2008, he tested positive for banned stimulant methamphetamine, received a suspension and never returned to racing.

Voeckler returns to racing

After breaking his collarbone in a training crash at the Tour Down Under five weeks ago, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) returned to racing. The Frenchman completed France’s Tour Méditerranéen, finishing 124th overall, and the first stage of the Volta ao Algarve yesterday in Portugal.

Voeckler was due to race the Tour Down Under for the first time this year. After arriving, on January 15, he crashed into a car that braked suddenly and broke his collarbone. He will continue racing to build up for the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France, where he has worn the yellow jersey and won four stages.

Paolo Savoldelli, Giro d'Italia 2007

Paolo Savoldelli, Giro d’Italia 2007

Savoldelli in court over doping claims

Italian Paolo Savoldelli, 2002 and 2005 Giro d’Italia winner, meets today at noon with the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) in Rome. The anti-doping prosecutor called him in based on testimony in the Lance Armstrong investigation.

The 40-year-old retired in 2008 but in his career, according to the US investigation, he doped and helped others do so. La Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper listed three issues that CONI is questioning:

1) Former Discovery Channel team-mate Tom Danielson said that he could get EPO from Savoldelli at the 2006 Giro.
2) His relationship with banned doctor Michele Ferrari.
3) The e-mails between Armstrong and Ferrari’s son, Stefano on August 16 and 17, 2010, when Armstrong asked Stefano to contact Savoldelli and have him sign a declaration saying that neither Armstrong nor Ferrari organised a doping system.

Of the 22, Savoldelli is believed to be redacted Rider 1 in the 2012 US investigation.

Tour of California announces extended women’s race

Tour of California organiser announced that it will host two days of women’s racing this year, a circuit race and a time trial, May 11 and 12. The race coincides with the men’s stage race, May 11 to 18.

“Through the years, [organiser] AEG has been proud to provide a worldwide platform to the top women cyclists in the world,” said Kristin Bachochin, executive director of the race and senior vice president of AEG Sports.

“We’ve staged a women’s criterium from 2008 to 2010, and a time trial since 2011. This year, we’re thrilled to announce not one but two days of professional women’s racing.”