VN ticker: Richeze retires after Cavendish move, doctor defends López, Vårgårda WestSweden WWT races canceled
Here's what's making headlines on Thursday, January 26.
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Max Richeze retiring after Cavendish deal fell through
Argentine rider Max Richeze is retiring after the Vuelta a San Juan concludes this weekend after a deal to join Mark Cavendish as a leadout man fell through.
Richeze, 39, was in line to join Cavendish at Team B&B, but when the French team crumbled this fall, Richeze was left without a deal. Cavendish has since joined Astana-Qazaqstan, but there was no room left on the WorldTour team for Richeze.
“It’s a mix of emotions. This is my last race,” Richeze told AS. “I was ready in my legs and my head to race one more season. The idea was to continue with Cavendish, but the B&B situation fell through, and when he joined Astana, there wasn’t room for me.”
Maximiliano Richeze 🇦🇷, molesto con Mark Cavendish: “De un día para otro dejó de cogerme el teléfono”.https://t.co/1YpV8QugPN
— Ciclismo a Fondo (@Ciclismoafondo_) January 23, 2023
Richeze didn’t hold his tongue, saying he was disappointed to learn by reading in the media that Cavendish was set to join Astana.
“That he couldn’t bring me with him, these things can happen, but the fact that they couldn’t call me to tell is a lack a respect from him and from his agent,” Richeze said. “I found out in the media, but that’s not the problem, it’s that they didn’t tell me first. As a person, he disappointed me. As a rider, there’s nothing to say, he’s a big champion, and I only wish him the best.”
Vårgårda WestSweden Women’s WorldTour races canceled
The Women’s WorldTour will be two days shorter after organizers confirmed the cancelation of the Vårgårda WestSweden team time trial and road race.
The pair of Swedish races have been a longstanding feature on the women’s cycling calendar with the road race first held in 2006 and the team time trial introduced in 2008.
After a two-year break enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, the race returned in 2022. However, the race organizer said it no longer has the finances to keep the race going, particularly given the increased demands of holding a Women’s WorldTour race.
“After a two-year hiatus and the loss of Hans Jönsson in 2019, we summed up a fantastic event in 2022. But when we got to the last line, the association, quite frankly, didn’t have a single penny for all the non-profit hours put in. The economy is a big part of the decision, but also an increasing demand on our organization,” race chair Helen Henriksson said.
“In many ways, we have been involved in developing women’s cycling in the world. Hans fought for TV broadcasts and better conditions for the ladies ever since we started running the World Cup in Vårgårda in 2006.
“Women’s cycling is really on the right track, but we see no possibility of shouldering the increased demands that are being made, and on a non-profit basis running competitions on the absolute highest level. The cycling festival has been a standing event for a quarter of a century and put Vårgårda and Western Sweden on the world map. We are incredibly grateful and impressed by all these efforts and forces that have acted over the years.”
Doctor at center of investigation defends Miguel Ángel López
Marcos Maynar, the doctor at the center of an alleged doping ring, defended himself as well as Miguel Ángel López.
Speaking in a Spanish court, Maynar described López as a “victim of circumstances,” adding, “I would never put my hand in the fire for anyone, but I swear that López never used doping products.”
Maynar admitted that he suggested that some of his athletes that he worked with to use Actovegin, a product that is not on the WADA banned list and that Maynar he said does not constitute doping.
Maynar — who is part of an investigation dating back to 2022 that includes up to six people who were investigated by Spanish police — insisted that he never broke any rules or laws while working with athletes.
Johnny Hoogerland returns to pro racing
Johnny Hoogerland, the Dutch pro who retired in 2016, is back in the saddle for the Sharjah Tour (UCI-2.2), January 27-31.
Hoogerland, who runs a cycling hotel in Austria, said it’s just a one-off opportunity, not a full-time return to the peloton.
“It’s just this one race for now and then I’ll return to Carinthia,” he told PCS.com. “It’s amazing to be part of a team that is trying to boost cycling in the UAE, one that provides young talents from this region with a platform. They’re really ambitious with cycling here, which is great to see.”