Cervelo's Xavier Florencio struggling to find a team for 2011
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Monday, November 08, 2010

Cervelo's Xavier Florencio struggling to find a team for 2011

by Jered Gruber at 2:20 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Catalan rider enduring the fallout from pre-Tour de France suspension by his team for using hemorrhoid cream which contained ephedrine

With the retirement of João Correia and the recent signing of Stefan Denifl to the Luxembourg pro cycling project, only three names remain unsigned at the moment heading into 2011: Inigo Cuesta, Joaquin Novoa, and Xavier Florencio. There has been no news from elder statesman, Cuesta, or Joaquin Novoa, but Xavier Florencio spoke with Biciciclismo today about his fate

Florencio, a solid domestique over the course of his eleven year professional career, ran into a major setback on the eve of the Tour de France when his Cervelo team suspended him from racing the biggest race in cycling.

"After the Tour de Suisse, when I was training in Andorra for the Tour, I developed hemorrhoids that became more and more painful." So like any rational human, he went to the pharmacy. "They gave me Hemoal, which is what everyone uses in this case."

Florencio says he did his homework, but when he notified the TestTeam medical staff, he found out that Hemoal contains ephedrine and would be in his system for a few more days.

"[They] informed the UCI, because the substance stays in the system for two or three days and there was a danger of returning a positive result in case of an anti-doping test. Logically, the next step was to remove me from the team."

At the time, Cervelo's actions looked strict and the setback for Florencio was a big disappointment, but it looked like the issue would end there. Unfortunately, the fallout from his non-start at the Tour de France looks like it might have reached all the way to his current teamless predicament.

"My agent, Angel Edo, is actively working to find a new team and allow me to continue my professional career, but it's difficult. It's pretty disappointing, but I do not lose hope. I try not to think about it," said the Catalan rider in an interview with Biciciclismo.

Looking back on the decision that he seemed to have accepted with great calm, the 2006 Clasica San Sebastian winner, feels increasingly embittered.

"At first I took it well, and I took it for the good of the team, but seeing now how they have acted, I do not accept what they did in the Tour de France. No technical staff helped me, nothing."

Looking back, Florencio's plight seems a non-issue, especially when seen through his eyes.

"I think the decision was bad, not only for myself, but also for the team. Things got really bad, and they were rushed. I had all the certificates, I only had to notify the doctors of the UCI and the Tour de France, and I could have raced without any problems. The next day, the medical certificate was corrected, because they realized the truth. I lost the opportunity to race the Tour though, and to do my best to help my leaders."

Working for his leaders had been Florencio's main job since signing with Cervelo in 2009. That wouldn't be that big of a problem, but with the doubts that now follow Florencio, results would likely wash away the stain of his pre-Tour error.

"I believe that cycling does not value the work of its gregarious. With Bouygues, I had more freedom, but with Cervelo, I already knew that I was going to have to work hard for Sastre and Hushovd and Haussler. That was the case, for example, at Milan-Sanremo. I felt great on the Poggio and could have finished in the top ten, but I helped Hushovd. Then, at the Tour of Spain, I was with Sastre. In the Classics - Fleche, Amstel, and Liege, yes, I was a bit of a leader, and although I wasn't entirely dissatisfied with my rides, allergies prevented me from having a better performance."

While there is a certain amount of forgiveness for returning star dopers, there seems to be little tolerance for a domestique that is any way implicated with a positive test. The native of Catalunya can vouch for that.

"Many teams will not consider me for employment. What hurts me the most is that I did not test positive, and I did not try to dope, and that's not even taking into account my sporting career. It's a little harder every time I think about it and how it has affected my family."

2011 Destinations For Cervelo TestTeam Roster
Dominique Rollin - Francaise des Jeux
Carlos Sastre - Geox-TMC
Marcel Wyss - Geox-TMC
Ted King - Liquigas-Cannondale
Oscar Pujol - Omega Pharma-Lotto
Theo Bos - Rabobank
Davide Appollonio - Team Sky
Jeremy Hunt - Team Sky
Heinrich Haussler - Garmin-Cervelo
Thor Hushovd - Garmin-Cervelo
Brett Lancaster - Garmin-Cervelo
Roger Hammond - Garmin-Cervelo
Andreas Klier - Garmin-Cervelo
Daniel Lloyd - Garmin-Cervelo
Gabriel Rasch - Garmin-Cervelo
Philip Deignan - RadioShack
Volodymir Gustov - SaxoBank
Xavier Tondo - Telefonica Movistar
Ignatas Konovalovas - Telefonica Movistar
Martin Reimer - Skil-Shimano
Stefan Denifl - Luxembourg
João Correia - retired
Xavier Florencio - unknown
Inigo Cuesta - unknown
Joaquin Novoa - unknown

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