International cycling news round-up

Evans adopting year-old baby boy

Tour de France winner Cadel Evans and his wife Chiara Passerini are adopting a one-year-old Ethiopian boy, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. The newspaper confirmed the news after the couple posted leading messages on Twitter.

Passerini wrote, “We had the most special Christmas of our lives” and attached a photo of her holding a baby’s hand. Evans followed a day later, yesterday, with the message, “Being quieter on Twitter… busy baby sitting! ;o)”

>> Save up to 31% with a magazine subscription. Enjoy the luxury of home delivery and never miss an issue <<

The couple cut its visit to Evans’ home in Australia short to travel to Ethiopia. Passerini told the Sydney Morning Herald that they will bring their boy home in the “next few weeks” depending on the final paperwork.

Evans became the first Australian to win the Tour de France in July. He competed last at a stage race in Colorado, USA, in August. After a visit to his European home in Stabio, Switzerland, he and Passerini went to Australia in October. Locals were surprised when they left early, before Christmas, but assumed it was so Evans could escape media attention and train.

Evans will have time in Stabio with his new boy before making his season at Spain’s Mallorca Challenge in February.

Contador suspension excessive, says Delgado

Alberto Contador “should not have any ban” former Tour de France winner, Pedro Delgado told Spain’s EFE news agency. He said the Spaniard has “suffered enough” due to his failed doping test and subsequent court cases.

Spain’s three-time Tour winner will know if he will race or serve a suspension when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules on his case next month. He tested positive for clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France, but maintains his innocence and says the clenbuterol came from eating a contaminated steak.

Contador’s national federation acquitted him in February, but the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) and World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) appealed its decision to the CAS the following month.

Riis doubts Schleck’s will to win Tour

Bjarne Riis doubts Andy Schleck’s desire to win the Tour de France following three second places. The Danish team manager of Saxo Bank and Schleck’s former boss said, however, that time will allow for improvements.

“Andy has a great personality … Andy has what it takes, but a weakness of his is that he lacks the last bit of will to go all the way,” Riis told tabloid newspaper, Ekstra Bladet.

“Maybe because it comes too easy for him? He may never achieve his great goal of winning the Tour de France because he is not serious enough. But, he’s still young and will mature with age.”

Riis, the 1996 Tour winner, also said that the 26-year-old suffers because he races in the same period as Spain’s Alberto Contador. He guided Luxembourg’s Schleck for six years at CSC/Saxo Bank. Schleck rode this year for home team Leopard-Trek, which will race as RadioShack-Nissan next season.

Soler returns home and doubtful of racing return

Mauricio Soler doubts he will return to race after suffering a serious crash in June. He returned home to Colombia only last week, six months after he fell in the Tour of Switzerland on June 16.

“My future in cycling is uncertain now,” Soler said, according to EFE news agency. “I just want recovered and the rest will follow.”

Soler’s crash came after he won a stage in Switzerland four days earlier and after a few frustrating seasons since he won the 2007 Tour de France’s mountains competition. He passed the last months in different hospitals, including several days in a medically induced coma. After being transferred to his European base in Pamplona, Spain, he travelled to Bogotá on December 20.

Gilbert wants Olympic gold over Worlds title

Philippe Gilbert would rather win a gold medal at the London Olympics next summer over World Championships rainbow jersey.

“The Olympics is more important because all the other sports are there, the strongest from every discipline, and it’s talked about in every corner of the world,” he told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The gold medal “is more prestigious than a [rainbow] jersey. Though, the Worlds’ course in Holland seems more adapted to me than the one in London. Also, I’ll have my chance at the Florence Worlds in 2013.”

Gilbert skipped the Olympic test event in August. He finished 17th at the World Championships in Copenhagen in September behind Mark Cavendish.

Related links

Gilbert’s holiday wishes: San Remo, Flanders and Tour GC