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VN ticker: Haga to leave DSM, Ganna distraught at bike theft, British rider rode away from dope test before 2012 Olympics

Here's the news making headlines for Sunday, October 24.

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Chad Haga to leave Team DSM

Chad Haga has revealed he will be leaving Team DSM at the close of the season.

The Texan has been part of the squad since 2014, riding through the team’s various iterations as Giant-Alpecin, Sunweb and latterly DSM.

“Eight years ago, I joined Team DSM, a single bike racer unfamiliar with Europe and already old by today’s standards. The years since then have been an experience that I wouldn’t trade for anything!” Haga wrote on Instagram this weekend.

“I got to help my teammates win races like Milan-Sanremo, the Giro d’Italia, the GPs Québec and Montréal, and so many others, as well as snagging one myself – not to mention the countless team performances that didn’t result in victory but deserved to.

“Along the way, I got hit by a car, got married, lost my father to cancer, became a father, and became more familiar with Europe than I ever imagined. The whole time, I have prayed that when it was time to move on, God would make that clear and open the right doors at the right time just as He did at the beginning of my career.”

Haga, 33, scored the biggest win of his career while racing with Sunweb in 2019, taking victory at the penultimate stage TT of the Giro d’Italia. He has seen 12 grand tour appearances during his eight years with the team, and landed a top-10 stage result in all but two. Haga more recently took a role mentoring and captaining the increasingly young DSM team.

Haga will remain in the peloton, but has not yet confirmed where he will be racing in 2022.

“Now it’s time to walk through that door and challenge myself in new ways on a new team, and I’m excited to share that news soon,” he wrote. “For now, I just want to thank Team DSM for eight unforgettable years, and I’ll see you on the road!”

Filippo Ganna distraught at theft of custom track bike

Having a bike stolen hurts for Filippo Ganna just as much as it does for us amateurs.

The Italian track and time trial star has responded to the theft of a haul of Italian national team bikes while the squad was attending the track world championships in Roubaix, France.

20 bikes were stolen in total, including Ganna and his pursuit teammates’ custom Pinarellos, which were valued at up to €30,000.

“No it’s so much for the value of the vehicle itself, but what they took away from us. Material that, as far as it can be replaced, will never be the same, it will not be those bicycles that have won an Olympics and world championships,” Ganna on a Twitter post Saturday.

The theft occurred when a team vehicle was broken into while parked outside a hotel in Lille on Friday night.

Local officials are investigating the incident and Pinarello has lodged an appeal for further information on its social media.

Report: British rider rode away from dope test at 2012 Olympics

A top British cyclist rode away from drug testing officials at the 2012 Olympics, reports the Mail on Sunday.

The British news outlet states that the rider rode away from a doping control officer days before the start of the London Games after being asked to give an out-of-competition sample.

The rider agreed to stay in sight of the official, who was following by car, while they joined a team training ride. The report states that the riders were out of sight within minutes.

They then returned to complete the specimen around one hour later.

The incident was deemed to be “truly troubling” by a British anti-doping agency insider, who told the Mail on Sunday that the incident should have been logged as suspicious and subject to follow-up measures.

The UK Anti-Doping agency provided the following statement in response to the report.

“UKAD is unable to comment on any specific activity in its testing program, and as such would not confirm whether a particular test took place. Test paperwork from 2012 was subject to a retention period of 18 months.”

The news comes hot off the back of the “Operation Echo” report from WADA this week, which states that British Cycling conducted private doping controls in contravention to world anti-doping protocol during the lead-up to London 2012.