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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 15, 2011

Date published:
April 15, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Beyond The Peloton on Cyclingnews

    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 0:30 BST
    Cycling News

    First two episodes from Garmin-Cervelo

    Beyond The Peloton is Garmin-Cervelo's unique and insider series following the team throughout the season. The project started in 2009 when the team were Cevelo TestTeam and was a fundamental part of the team's willingness and desire to bring fans access to the riders and staff.

    For 2011 the series is back and better than ever. In episode one the team talk about the new alliance between Garmin and Cervelo and head into Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne.

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    In episode two the team head into the first Classics of the 2011 season, Milan-San Remo. The team are one of the favourites for the win and the episode talks you through the build up, team meeting and the race action.

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  • De Wilde plans to ride again after neck fracture

    Sjef De Wilde (Veranda's Willems - Accent) is assisted by medics after a crash
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 8:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Veranda's Willems rider expected to leave hospital next week

    Sjef De Wilde hopes to leave hospital next week, and is expected to spend six to eight weeks recovering from neck and spinal injuries suffered in a crash at the Scheldeprijs earlier this month. If all goes well, the Veranda's Willems-Accent rider may be able to race again in four months.

    The 29-year old suffered two cracked neck vertebrae and one in his back.

    "I remember nothing of the crash,” De Wilde said at a press conference Thursday from the hospital in Duffel, Belgium, according to the Belga news agency.

    "After half a day I woke up and then I started to realize that I was very lucky, because it could have been much worse.”

    He has, naturally, thought long and hard about his future. “"I've spent the past week wondering whether it would be better for me to stop, but I am an athlete and then you simply perform. So I hope to sign a new contract by the end of the year. Only if that is not the case will I stop cycling for good.”

  • Michele Scarponi searched by police at Etna training camp

    Michel Scarponi (Lampre - ISD) at the finish in San Remo.
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 9:39 BST
    Cycling News

    Lampre team claim nothing illegal was found

    The Lampre-ISD team has confirmed that the Italian Nucleo Antisofisticazioni (NAS) police also searched Michele Scarponi and his room during an altitude training camp at Mount Etna in Sicily.

    Other police seized the medical records of five Russian riders from the Katusha team headquarters near Brescia as part of what is believed to be a much wider investigation co-ordinated by the Padova magistrate Benedetto Roberti into the activities of infamous sports doctor Michele Ferrari.

    Roberti met with the US-based FDA investigator Jeff Novitzky last year to co-ordinate the European part of the on-going investigation into Dr Ferrari's former client Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team.

    The Lampre-ISD team confirmed that Scarponi was searched at the Hotel Corsaro di Nicolosi at altitude on the slopes of Etna. He and teammate Leonardo Bertagnolli were out training and were stopped by police when they arrived back at the hotel.

    The team claimed that the only thing found were the commonly used anti-inflammatory medicine Oki, powdered milk and Enervit energy bars.

    Scarponi is training at altitude for the Giro d'Italia which begins on May 7, where is expected to be Vincenzo Nibali's main rival for overall success. Scarponi was banned for 18 months in 2007 after being caught up in the Operacion Puerto doping investigation in Spain but made a successful return with the Androni Giocattoli team before joining Lampre.

    The Lampre team is at the centre of another police investigation in Mantova, with 32 past and present riders and staff facing...

  • Boonen and Gilbert to recce Worlds course

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) on the cobbled Kemmelberg climb
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 10:12 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgium's national coach takes team leaders to Copenhagen

    Belgium's two top cyclists, Tom Boonen and Philippe Gilbert, will be reconnoitering the course of the Worlds road race in Copenhagen, Denmark, in the week after the Ardennes Classics. National coach Carlo Bomans told La Dernière Heure that he will take both leaders to a scouting session together.

    "It's a tradition of sorts, even if last year we weren't able to do it because the Wolrds were taking place too far away," said Bomans, who hasn't seen the course in Denmark in person yet. "But I already know it thanks to video. Gilbert and Boonen are both very motived for the Worlds. We will go there on the Tuesday after Liège-Bastogne-Liège."

    To prepare for the Worlds, both Boonen and Gilbert will be racing the Vuelta, and Bomans hopes they will be racing the whole three weeks of it. "Contrary to last year, there will be two weeks between the Grand Tour and the Worlds, so there is plenty of time to recover. In my opinion, the Vuelta is necessary to be in shape for the event."

    Bomans is certain that both Classics specialists could take the rainbow jersey in Denmark this year, even if the course is said to be rather flat.

    "I think that stages of the Tour of Denmark finished in that location, and that they were sprints, but they were also races with a limited amount of kilometres. One shouldn't forget that a Worlds course in 260 kilometres. The finish line is located uphill and after that sort of a distance, this sort of bump could cause some damage. That's why it's important to go on location to see the difficulty of the circuit for yourself," Bomans said.

  • Frei confident of comeback after EPO suspension

    Thomas Frei (BMC Racing)
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 11:15 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Swiss rider working with Mapei sport centre

    Half-way through a two-year suspension for EPO micro-dosing, Thomas Frei is confident that he can make a comeback to the sport once his ban ends in April 2012.

    The Swiss rider has been working at Mapei Sport in Italy as he continues his comeback. He currently visits the centre once to twice a month and goes through a series of medical and health checks as well as undergoing surprise tests run by the centre at which Aldo Sassi worked before his death.

    "They do my testing and I also train there," Frei told Cyclingnews.

    "We do endurance tests and VO2 Max and we do the mass haemoglobin test that Ivan Basso and the others do. In the lab we do blood checks and sometimes they call me in for surprise tests. I live 286 kilometres from there so it's a long way to come in for a test like I did yesterday. It's a new way of training and a big challenge."

    Frei doesn't think that the level of credibility the centre once gave riders has been altered after Ricardo Ricco announced he would carry out part of his testing at the facility. At the time it looked like a simple PR stunt on the rider's part, but he was soon without a team after allegedly carrying out a blood transfusion at his home earlier this year. The centre is also home to a number of other professionals including Ivan Basso, Cadel Evans and Michael Rogers.

    "I can't answer for others but I can say Ricco had only just started to work there and they told me that it was very difficult to work with him. He was there for maybe a month, doing the first test and that's it."

    "The reason I'm there is because they told me I can do good things in...

  • Strong Leopard team for Amstel Gold Race

    The Schleck brothers
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 11:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Three leaders supported by superdomestiques expected to shine

    Sunday's Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands will continue the string of Spring Classics, now taking the cycling world to the Ardennes region. Luxembourg team Leopard Trek is expected to make a strong showing once again, with its top man Fabian Cancellara this time joining the two Schleck brothers, fresh from recent performances in Spain.

    "The races that we are facing right now have a different identity than the races we had so far," said sports director Kim Andersen, who guided the team in Spain and will now take them through the next set of Classics. "Gone are the races where cobbled climbs and farm tracks are the strategic points. The climbs are coming and so are our climbers."

    Both Fränk and Andy Schleck fine-tuned their conditon in the Vuelta al Pais Vasco last week, and their preparation went without any hiccups. "Fränk and I have prepared to peak in our top condition for the Ardennes Classics," said Andy Schleck on the team's website. "We showed at Pais Vasco that our condition is where it needs to be."

    With the Schlecks furthermore supported by Cancellara, on top of such superdomestiques as Anders Lund, Fabian Wegmann, Jakob Fuglsang, Jens Voigt and Maxime Monfort, the team can count on a high number of top performers and should therefore be in the mix for the victory. Wegmann finished on the podium of the GP Indurain earlier this month, and Fuglsang showed a...

  • Cycling Australia offer Lloyd help

    Australia's Matthew Lloyd (Omega Pharma-Lotto) soloed to victory in stage six.
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 13:00 BST
    Cycling News

    UPDATE: Lloyd vows to return

    Cycling Australia will look to help Matthew Lloyd, who was let go by Omega Pharma-Lotto on Thursday. The federation cannot help him find a new team, but offers support to those involved in the national programme, it said.

    Kevin Tabotta, the federation's national performance director, told that he would get in contact with Matt White, the professional men's road co-ordinator who is based in Spain, to see what, if anything, they can do.

    “The critical point here is we’re not 100 per cent sure of the circumstances around this as of today,” Tabotta said.

    “We need to establish where it is we can assist him. How we can help I’m unsure of yet because we need to really sit down and talk with him (Lloyd). Matthew White will do that, if he hasn’t already, and from there work out if there is anything that Cycling Australia can do.”

    Tabotta noted, however, that “Anything that’s broken down between (Lloyd) and his team is really a matter for him and his team. We’ll try and support him wherever we can but we’re not a professional organisation running a team in the men’s professional peloton – no national federation is.”

    Lloyd: I will be back

    Lloyd has vowed to return to the sport. "I will be back," he told the AAP news agency. “There's no way I could even think about leaving the sport - it's part of my life, it's what I do."

    "I'm eager to make sure the physical condition continues to develop in a really good way and make sure when...

  • Is Dr Ferrari at the centre of latest Italian doping investigation?

    Michel Scarponi (Lampre - ISD) at the finish in San Remo.
    Article published:
    April 15, 2011, 14:34 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Scarponi denies being a Ferrari client

    Italian police obtained the medical records of five Russian riders from the Katusha team and searched the homes of Michele Scarponi and Leonardo Bertagnolli on Thursday. The two developments appear to be just the tip of the iceberg of a much bigger investigation into Dr Michele Ferrari that is linked to the Federal investigation headed by Jeff Novtizky into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team.

    The Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper says the five Russian riders are Vladimir Karpets, Vladimir Gusev, Mikhail Igniatiev, Evgeni Petrov and Aleksander Kolobnev. Petrov now rides for the Astana team but rode for Katusha until this season. All five riders live in Spain.

    According to chief cycling correspondent at Gazzetta dello Sport Luca Gialanella, the seven riders are on a long list of names that are suspected of being clients of Dr Ferrari's. Armstrong was perhaps Ferrari's best know client but formally ended the relationship when Ferrari was found guilty of sporting fraud in 2004. Despite the ongoing investigation, Armstrong has always denied doping.

    Gazzetta describes Scarponi as the surprising new entry on the client list. However when contacted by Cyclingnews, Scarponi flatly denied working with Dr Ferrari.

    "Absolutely not. No way," he said before ending the conversation because he was about to board a plane.

    A detailed investigation

    The investigating magistrate Roberti has been investigating doping in cycling for three years but has refused to reveal any details and there have been few leaks to the media. He has already gathered precious...