William Fotheringham

Author's details

Name: William Fotheringham
Date registered: October 13, 2014
URL: http://www.theguardian.com/sport/cycling

Latest posts

  1. Tom Dumoulin faces ultimate trial as Giro d’Italia heads for thrilling finale — May 27, 2017
  2. Tom Dumoulin’s climb to win Stage 14 evokes memories of Giro’s tragic heroes — May 20, 2017
  3. Giro d’Italia 2017: positive tests and botched awards spark fresh controversy — May 4, 2017
  4. Tour of Britain bypasses past London but takes in Edinburgh and Cardiff — April 25, 2017
  5. Andy Tennant backs Shane Sutton and culture of British Cycling before review — April 3, 2017

Author's posts listings

May 27

Tom Dumoulin faces ultimate trial as Giro d’Italia heads for thrilling finale

• Thibaut Pinot of France wins penultimate stage of three-week race
• Quintana leads but Dumoulin, Pinot and Nibali all within a minute

With six riders grouped inside 90 seconds at the top of the standings going into Sunday’s final time trial, the 100th Giro d’Italia is set to provide what could be the tightest ever finish to one of cycling’s three great Tours. The Colombian Nairo Quintana wears the pink leader’s jersey after the last mountain stage, but breathing down his neck are three men: the defending champion Vincenzo Nibali, France’s Thibaut Pinot and the Dutchman Tom Dumoulin.

Related: Nairo Quintana takes pink jersey off Tom Dumoulin after dramatic stage 19

Related: Nairo Quintana takes pink jersey off Tom Dumoulin after dramatic stage 19

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/27/tom-dumoulin-thibaut-pinot-giro-ditalia

May 20

Tom Dumoulin’s climb to win Stage 14 evokes memories of Giro’s tragic heroes

• Dutchman extends lead over Nairo Quintana to 2min 47sec
• Stage devoted to memory of Italian heroes Pantani and Coppi

The 14th stage of the 100th Giro d’Italia was devoted to the memory of the two great tragic heroes of Italian cycling, with a stage start in Castellania, birth and burial place of the campionissimo Fausto Coppi, and the finish at the Oropa sanctuary, location for one of the final wins in the career of Marco Pantani, who died of a cocaine overdose on Valentine’s Day 2004.

Related: Fernando Gaviria continues Giro d’Italia sprint domination with fourth stage win

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/20/giro-ditalia-tom-doumoulin-stage-14-victory

May 04

Giro d’Italia 2017: positive tests and botched awards spark fresh controversy

When the race’s 100th edition gets under way on Friday on some of cycling’s most spectacular stages, Nairo Quintana is expected to thrive, but the buildup has been as chaotic and colourful as ever

This week, the buildup to the 100th Giro d’Italia was dominated by controversy over a putative prize for the fastest descender. The award based on timed sections off the toughest climbs was announced on Monday, drawing a welter of adverse comment – it came days after the death of an American rider, Chad Young, in a high-speed downhill crash in the Tour of the Gila. The award was withdrawn on Wednesday.

Put into the context of the previous 99 races, the controversy did not surprise. While the Tour de France is the more conservative elder brother, the Giro has always flirted with the bounds of the possible: starting on the other side of Europe – not just Belfast in 2014, but Belgium in 1973 – or running a time trial through Venice with ramps taking the riders over the canals, let alone using Alpine passes that are barely surfaced at a time when the weather at altitude is still uncertain. On occasion the innovations are a huge success, as in the case of the inclusion of the dirt roads of Tuscany in 2010.

Related: Paralympian Sarah Storey relishes new role as cycling persuader

Related: Team Sky suspend Gianni Moscon for six weeks over racial abuse

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/may/04/nairo-quintana-expected-to-thrive-amid-giro-d-italia-spectacular-challenges-cycling

Apr 25

Tour of Britain bypasses past London but takes in Edinburgh and Cardiff

• Scottish capital to host start of eight-stage tour on 3 September
• Key day likely to be 10-mile time trial in Essex on stage five

Recent Tours of Britain have been hilly and have finished in London but this year’s race is different. It will miss London for only the second time since its relaunch in 2004 but the Scottish and Welsh capitals benefit with Edinburgh hosting the start of the eight-day race on 3 September, and Cardiff is the finish venue.

Apart from Olympic year in 2012, London has always hosted the start or finish of the British Tour but in June London will host the final stage of the five-day Women’s Tour.

Related: Steve Cummings claims Tour of Britain for biggest win of career

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/25/tour-of-britain-london-edinburgh-cardiff-cycling

Apr 03

Andy Tennant backs Shane Sutton and culture of British Cycling before review

• 30-year-old opposes view of former team-mate Wendy Houvenaghel
• Tennant says it is not about being ‘all cuddly and care bears’

The Great Britain team pursuiter Andy Tennant has defended the medal‑or‑nothing ethos of British Cycling as it awaits UK Sport’s review of its culture and history – which is expected to be highly critical – saying it is not all about being “all cuddly and care bears”.

Tennant was dropped at the last moment from the final team pursuit lineup for the London Olympics and then had to endure similar disappointment last year, when he was named as first reserve and did not travel to Rio. But he took issue with the view of his former team-mate Wendy Houvenaghel, a long-standing critic of the system who said she was treated “shabbily” after missing out in the women’s team pursuit lineup in 2012.

Related: Cyclist Lizzie Armitstead: ‘I could kick myself and kick myself’

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/apr/03/andy-tennant-backs-british-cycling-shane-sutton

Mar 21

Sky must join anti-doping group to silence doubters, says president

• MPCC head Roger Legeay urges Sky to join to improve team’s credibility
• ‘Our rules are very strict but that is a price you pay for having a good image’

Team Sky and British Cycling must join the sport’s voluntary anti-doping group to have any chance of restoring their credibility, according to the president of the Movement for Credible Cycling.

Almost two-thirds of teams in pro cycling’s top two divisions are members, which has strict rules on the use of cortisone and tramadol, the substances at the heart of controversy over governance within the two British bodies.

Related: British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing | William Fotheringham

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/21/team-sky-cyling-anti-doping-group-silence-doubters-credibility

Mar 14

Team Sky sourced Fluimucil in Switzerland before Wiggins delivery

• Dr Freeman’s prescription rights permitted the purchase
• Sky tell Commons they obtained drug abroad in April 2011

In a written answer to the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee, Team Sky have revealed their doctor bought the decongestant Fluimucil at a pharmacy in Switzerland, raising further questions about why the medicine would have needed to be flown from Manchester to be administered to Sir Bradley Wiggins after the 2011 Critérium du Dauphiné.

Sky stated their then doctor, Richard Freeman, had bought Fluimucil in April 2011 in the Swiss town of Yverdon, because he had prescription rights in Switzerland. The courier, Simon Cope, brought the padded bag that Sky have stated contained Fluimucil from Manchester, where he had collected it a couple of days earlier, to the final stage of the Dauphiné at La Toussuire on 12 June. The Alpine resort is within driving distance of Switzerland like other stage venues in that year’s Dauphiné.

Related: Bradley Wiggins doctor will not attend select committee hearing

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/team-sky-fluimucil-switzerland-bradley-wiggins-commons

Mar 14

Joanna Rowsell Shand’s retirement leaves void in GB medal factory

• Double Olympic cycling champion calls it a day aged 28
• Team pursuiter began in 2004 and became mainstay of squad

In normal times the retirement of Joanna Rowsell Shand, the mainstay of the Great Britain women’s team pursuit squad for nine seasons, would no more than raise an eyebrow. But in the middle of a crisis at British Cycling, and coming as it does after Laura Trott’s announcement she has taken a break in order to have a baby, Rowsell Shand’s departure simply heightens the sense the “medal factory” is in a state of flux far beyond what would be expected in most post-Olympic years.

Rowsell Shand was full in her praise for the Olympic cycling system in her retirement statement on Tuesday . “I want to thank the amazing team at British Cycling; from the world‑class team behind the team who work tirelessly to ensure we have the best preparation for events, to the very first youth coaches who talent‑spotted me back when I was 15. I couldn’t have done it without you.”

Related: Joanna Rowsell Shand: ‘At Rio Olympics we’ll be chasers, which is exciting but also scary’

Related: Joanna Rowsell: I don’t want alopecia to define me

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/14/joanna-rowsell-shand-retirement-cycling-gb-medal-factory

Mar 06

Team Sky back Dave Brailsford amid suggestions of growing rider unrest

• Team member says colleagues have begun wondering if principal should go
• Nicolas Portal, Sky’s directeur sportif, says: ‘I back Dave 100 per cent’

Team Sky closed ranks behind Sir Dave Brailsford on Monday night after reports that their riders had discussed the team principal’s position after months of revelations prompted by the Ukad inquiry into allegations of possible wrongdoing at Sky and its partner British Cycling. Both organisations have stated their faith in the probity of their personnel and that they have cooperated in full with the inquiry.

“There is a concern over the impact that this may have on the season and the distraction it is all causing for Dave Brailsford and the other management,” a Team Sky rider told the website cyclingnews.com. The source also told the website some riders had begun discussing whether Brailsford should remain in post. The rider spoke on a basis of anonymity, adding: “With a team that is so focused on details, things are starting to slip through the cracks because people’s attentions are elsewhere. No one in the team, currently, is involved in this controversy other than Dave. What’s it going to take for the team to get on with racing?”

Related: Team Sky doctor was allegedly sent banned testosterone patches

Related: Team Sky: Sir Dave Brailsford must face the music – and then resign

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/06/team-sky-dave-brailsford

Mar 05

Cycling drug inquiry will switch focus to painkiller tramadol

Questions for Team Sky and British Cycling as the substance, which can enhance performance, is likely to draw the attention of the MPs committee

While the focus last week was on the corticosteroid triamcinolone, the legal painkiller tramadol is likely to draw the attention of the group of MPs looking into doping in sport, the Guardian has learned. “There are a number of lines of inquiry that remain open and tramadol is one of them,” said Damian Collins, chairman of the House of Commons culture, media and sport committee. “Given the amount of evidence we had last week we want to take stock and see if there are further questions.”

Related: Team Sky: Sir Dave Brailsford must face the music – and then resign

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/05/cycling-drug-inquiry-will-switch-focus-to-painkiller-tramadol

Mar 05

Team Sky doctor was allegedly sent banned testosterone patches

Dr Richard Freeman, at the centre of UK anti-doping inquiry, told investigators substance was not intended for any riders

The drugs furore surrounding British Cycling and Team Sky has entered new territory with claims that UK anti-doping investigators uncovered evidence that testosterone patches were delivered in 2011 to Dr Richard Freeman, the doctor at the heart of Ukad’s inquiry into allegations of wrongdoing at the two organisations.

Using testosterone is banned at all times under the world anti-doping code. Freeman was contacted by the Guardian but did not comment.

Related: The Observer view on doping in cycling | Observer editorial

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/05/team-sky-doctor-richard-freeman-was-allegedly-sent-banned-testosterone-patches-doping

Mar 05

Team Sky: Sir Dave Brailsford must face the music – and then resign

Principal owes it to the riders and staff to deal with public questioning before he falls on his sword

Stay or go: the Clash standard, the Levi’s ad, one of the oldest dilemmas in life and sport. When does a situation become sufficiently untenable that to remain in post is counterproductive? When to leave and how to do it so that one’s departure does as little damage as possible?

I imagine – I would hope – that Sir Dave Brailsford is thinking along those lines at present, reflecting on his position in the wake of Wednesday’s horror show in a House of Commons committee room, pondering the background and trying to anticipate what the future might hold as UK Anti-Doping continues its inquiry into the putative contents of the most infamous Jiffy bag in British sport.

Related: British Cycling plots a more corporate, less maverick route out of trouble

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/05/team-sky-sir-dave-brailsford

Mar 03

Team Sky rival’s medic says TUE claims of Bradley Wiggins doctor are ‘flimsy’

• Dr Prentice Steffen queries triamcinolone ordered by Richard Freeman
• Second doctor says only four or five doses a year may have been required

An experienced team doctor has said the claims that British Cycling and the former Team Sky medic Richard Freeman needed a large supply of the corticosteroid triamcinolone to treat staff and riders are “flimsy”.

Dr Prentice Steffen of the rival Cannondale-Drapac squad, who has worked in cycling for a quarter of a century, said he could recall using the drug only three times in a 10-year period.

Related: British Cycling plots a more corporate, less maverick route out of trouble

Related: British Cycling will overhaul link with Team Sky after ‘shocking’ revelations

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/03/cycling-tue-bradley-wiggins-richard-freeman

Mar 02

British Cycling plots a more corporate, less maverick route out of trouble

British Cycling’s reboot was somewhat derailed by the latest revelations in Parliament but its 39-point plan should draw a line under the era between the Athens and Rio Olympics

The press briefing on Thursday morning by the British Cycling chairman, Jonathan Browning, and the UK Sport chief executive, Liz Nicholl, at British Cycling’s headquarters in Manchester should have been all about the governing body’s 39-point plan to revamp its culture and management. This appeared to have been planned as a pre-emptive strike against revelations in the much delayed Phelps report into the culture within the Olympic team prompted by the scandal last spring involving allegations of sexism made by the sprinter Jess Varnish.

The agenda was immediately transformed, however, by the dramatic revelations in parliament on Wednesday around the UK Anti-Doping inquiry into “Jiffy-bag-gate”, the vexed question of the most discussed package in recent cycling history. Browning and Nicholl had to divert from script most likely in the knowledge that any chance of news‑managing the Phelps report had been overtaken by “events”.

Related: British Cycling will overhaul link with Team Sky after ‘shocking’ revelations

Related: British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing | William Fotheringham

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/blog/2017/mar/02/british-cycling-corporate-route-out-of-trouble

Mar 02

British Cycling will overhaul link with Team Sky after ‘shocking’ revelations

• Investigation into the use of triamcinolone by Dr Richard Freeman launched
• Incomplete records and patient confidentiality will not make for simple task

British Cycling has promised to overhaul its relationship with Team Sky and launched an investigation into what happened with the triamcinolone which was ordered by its doctor, as revealed at Wednesday’s parliamentary hearing.

The revelations around Team Sky and British Cycling from the Ukad head, Nicole Sapstead, were described as “shocking” and “unacceptable” by the UK Sport chief executive Liz Nicholl at a press briefing in Manchester with the British Cycling chair Jonathan Browning on Thursday, and there may also be implications for British Cycling’s Lottery funding when settlements are made this month.

Related: Ukad chief’s scathing attack on British Cycling and Team Sky medical records

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/02/british-cycling-promises-overhaul-relationship-team-sky

Mar 02

British Cycling and Team Sky credibility in tatters after hearing

The record-keeping failure exposed in the saga of the Jiffy Bag delivered to Wiggins in 2011 undermines everything Brailsford and co have said about drugs

If 19 December 2016 was the day that Sir Dave Brailsford proved to be an emperor with no clothes, with his admission to the culture, media and sport committee that he had been over-enthusiastic in his explanation for Simon Cope’s trip to the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2011, on 1 March 2017 the committee stripped Team Sky and British Cycling of any remaining credibility.

The demolition agent was the lapidary Nicole Sapstead, head of UK Anti-Doping, who told the committee that it was impossible to back up Brailsford’s assertion in December that the package delivered by Cope did indeed contain the decongestant Fluimucil. This was because of a lack of records of what the then Team Sky doctor Richard Freeman had administered to his athletes, and the products that had gone through the British Cycling medicine store in Manchester.

Related: Ukad chief’s scathing attack on British Cycling and Team Sky medical records

Related: British Cycling in line for even more criticism amid accusations of cover-up | Sean Ingle

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2017/mar/02/british-cycling-team-sky-dave-brailsford-credibility-tatters

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