Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Team: Fabian Cancellara's bike clean
PARIS -- The Leopard Trek team is denouncing reports that Swiss cyclist Fabian Cancellara is using a revolutionary system on his bike that gives him a substantial advantage over his rivals.
Following a report in La Derniere Heure newspaper, team manager Brian Nygaard told Cyclingnews.com on Wednesday that the technology known as Gold Race is not used by his team but added the time-trial world champion might have used it when racing with the Saxo Bank team.
"There's a bit of confusion here," Nygaard said. "I think they might have been attached when he was still working with [bike manufacturer] Specialized, but I can guarantee you 100 percent that we are not working with these people at all."
La Derniere Heure's story suggested Cancellara might have used the system of ball bearings offering gains of up to 2.5 seconds per kilometer since 2007.
According to the newspaper, the technology developed by Italian engineer Giovanni Cecchini reduces friction by more than 95 percent.
A video posted on La Derniere Heure's website shows the system contributes to make the chain turn longer with a little push on the pedal.
"If you look at the video, you can see that the stuff they are fiddling with is not the product that we are using. It looks like old material," Nygaard said. "But I can guarantee you, I spoke to the mechanics and everything, and we are not working with these people at all."
Cancellara, who denied he won Paris-Roubaix and the Tour of Flanders last year with the help of a motorized bike, joined the new team at the end of last season when he left Saxo Bank.
Accusations against Cancellara prompted cycling's governing body to perform tests on last year's Tour de France to ensure that racers were not cheating by using motors hidden in their bicycle frames.
Leopard is Nygaard's holding company, and Trek is a U.S.-based bike manufacturer and longtime sponsor of Lance Armstrong and his team RadioShack.