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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 16, 2010

Date published:
April 16, 2010, 1:00 BST
  • Oliveira suspended for illegal supplement

    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 12:41 BST
    Cycling News

    US rider gets two-year ban for doping positive

    The US Anti-doping Agency (USADA) announced a two-year suspension for Flavia Oliveira, a California resident who tested positive for oxilofrine, an illegal stimulant, while racing with the Italian professional team SC Michela Fanini at the Giro del Trentino Donne in June, 2009.

    The positive test was found to be the result of a weight-loss supplement called Hyperdrive 3.0. While athletes who test positive due to tainted supplements can receive reduced suspsensions under WADA rules, arbitrators placed "significant fault" on Oliveira since the ingredient Mythelsynephrine, the chemical equivalent of oxilofrine, is listed as the supplement's first ingredient on the label.

    "Oliveira's two year period of ineligibility began July 19, 2009, the day her sample was collected. As a result of the doping violation, Oliveira has also been disqualified from all competitive results achieved at and subsequent to the Giro del Trentino Donne, including forfeiture of any medals, points, and prizes," the press release stated.

    Oliveira placed fourth overall in the Tour Féminin en Limousin and ninth in the La Route de France last year.

    USADA recently began an initiative called "Supplement Safety Now" in partnership with the US Olympic Committee and major professional sports organisations "as an effort to end the dangerous and unscrupulous practices of some manufacturers within the nutritional supplement industry."

    The effort is aimed at lobbying the US Congress regulate over-the-counter supplements to ensure they are safe and free of dangerous steroids and other drugs.

  • Hesjedal aiming high at the Ardennes

    Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Slipstream)
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 16:38 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Canadian ready to kick-off his Classics campaign at Amstel

    After strong performances in the Tours of Catalunya and the Basque Country, Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) heads into the Ardennes Classics in fine form and told Cyclingnews that he doesn’t fear anybody as he aims to win Garmin their first major Spring Classic.

    Hesjedal will lead Garmin-Transitions in Amstel Gold Race, Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège having ridden well in all three last year, including 11th in Liège. Since then, Hesjedal has improved significantly as a rider. He won a stage at the 2009 Vuelta a España and finished fifth in this year’s Strade Bianchi, all the while cementing his reputation as a solid domestique in both Grand Tours and week-long stage races.

    "Catalunya and the Basque Country were really good for my training. I was looking to make sure I had momentum after Catalunya and I was always close to the front and had a good overall. All in all, I got out of there feeling good. So for me to be at the front consistently throughout the races is the most encouraging. I came through two hard stage races in a positive way," Hesjedal told Cyclingnews before heading to the Netherlands for Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race.

    In 2009, Hesjedal went into the Ardennes as a relative unknown in one-day races but this time around his status as a protected rider illustrates the progress he has made on the road.

    "The guys that prove themselves get the opportunities and I’m happy to be a designated rider for races like this. Garmin is a top team in the ProTour, so if you can go to a race and be the guy there looking to do a good ride, that’s what I work for. I’m in a place right now where that gets me out there and it’s part of the equation when I go to work."

    Hesjedal began his career with road career with US Postal but moved to Garmin - via Healthnet - in 2008. With a previous career in mountain biking in his blood it...

  • Inside the Team Sky Service Course

    Each rider has a place on the rack for their race bikes
    Article published:
    April 15, 2010, 17:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Exclusive shots of the Team Sky base, truck and bus

    In an exclusive behind the scenes visit to Team Sky’s Service Course in Mechelen, Belgium, Cyclingnews was shown around the team’s northern European base.

    At 500 square metres, it’s one of the biggest European Service Course in the sport, in addition to being home to the team’s buses and mechanic's trucks. The huge space is dominated by lines of storage space for the multiple Pinarello bikes for each of the team’s 26 riders.

    “It’s very central within Belgium,” Ken Ilegems, the service course manager told Cyclingnews. “It’s close to the highway, the airport and central in northern Europe.”

    Ilegems previously worked with the Belgian national track team and T-Mobile, most recently working with Scott Sunderland to find the best possible location for the team to use.

    “We have about 100 bikes here right now and 80 pairs of wheels,” said Ilegems. “We hold them here for when the riders want to swap bikes. The riders email in and say what they need. What you’re seeing now is probably worth around two million Euros. At full capacity we can probably store up to four million Euros of bikes and equipment."

    Each rider on the team has his own pit station where up to five bikes can be stored. At present Bradley Wiggins’s station is totally bare, with all of his bikes on location at races, while Juan Antonia Flecha has a number of race bikes stored, along with his and the rest of the team’s wheels from Paris-Roubaix. The team will keep all of the wheels onsite for next year’s race.

    The pit stops aren’t just for bikes though. The riders also have their own storage box in which all their new clothing is dished out before being taken to events or sent to the riders directly.

    The back wall of the warehouse is dominated by race energy products and food. Along with typical crates of gels, drinks and...

  • Roux back in business

    Anthony Roux (Francaise des Jeux) in the fair play jersey.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2010, 10:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Francaise des Jeux rider eager for Amstel

    Anthony Roux, who had been forced to stop racing in March in order to resolve pains in his feet, will be at the start of the Amstel Gold Race in the Netherlands this Sunday. After coming fourth in the Circuit de la Sarthe and Paris-Camembert on Tuesday this week, the Frenchman has shown good form for the upcoming Ardennes Classics.

    "Finally, this time-out did me well," he told Le Républicain Lorrain newspaper. "[My top placings] brought my confidence back. I hope to score soon."

    In the upcoming hilly spring races, Roux will be joining his teammates Sandy Casar and Jussi Veikkanen and is hoping to be in the mix, "as much as possible. Compared to other riders, I will be a bit fresher. But they still are very hard races, it's another world. You have to fight all the time, be patient, and every pedal stroke counts."


  • Rabobank, Astana, Katusha and Milram announce Amstel teams

    Scenery along the 43rd Amstel Gold Race – Holland's 257.4-kilometre Classic running Sunday, April 20
    Article published:
    April 16, 2010, 10:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Strong Rabobank squad, Astana with Davis brothers

    Rabobank, Astana, Katusha and Milram have all announced their line-ups for this Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race.

    Rabobank, racing on home soil, has a strong contingent with 2010 Milan-San Remo winner Oscar Freire and Robert Gesink as its leaders, and Lars Boom and Nick Nuyens co-captaining.

    Even though Freire has not won Amstel, the Spaniard will be hard to beat if he remains in the mix in the tough finale.

    Rounding out the Rabobank roster are, Laurens Ten Dam, Sebastian Langeveld, Paul Martens and Bram Tankink, with Maarten Tjallingii as reserve.

    Astana will be relying on the Davis brothers Allan and Scott, as well as Dimitri Fofonov, Enrico Gasparotto, Andriy Grivko, Maxim Iglinskiy and Mirko Selvaggi.

    The Russian Katusha team is sending Filippo Pozzato as well as Serguei Ivanov to the start in Limburg, with the Italian leader hoping to make amends for an unsuccessful spring so far. Viktor Klimov, Alexandre Kolobnev, Luca Mazzanti, Joaquim Rodriguez, Eduard Vorganov and Maxime Vantomme will also start.

    Germany's Milram outfit will count on Fabian Wegmann, Johannes Fröhlinger and Dutchman Niki Terpstra to show off the team's colours in the curcuit around Valkenburg. Christian Knees, Dominik Roels, Roy Sentjens, Paul Voss and Peter Wrolich round out the roster.


  • Van Garderen shows his potential

    Tejay van Garderen at the 2009 U23 world championship time trial in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2010, 10:37 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Young HTC-Columbia rider breaks through in Turkey, eager for California

    Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Columbia) heads into the final three stages of the Tour of Turkey lying second overall, 16 seconds behind Giovanni Visconti (ISD-Neri). The American finished second in the opening prologue as well as in Wednesday's tough uphill finish. Although dislodging Visconti will be a hard achievement with three relatively flat stages to come, Van Garderen has continued his excellent start to his first year in the pro ranks.

    "I'm always realistic about what I can and can't do," Van Garderen told Cyclingnews from his post-race ice bath after stage five.

    "I'm certainly happy with how things are going this season but I wouldn't say I'm surprised. I think I've always known that this is what I'm capable of, it was just a matter of things falling into place and having a bit of luck at the right time. I have a lot of confidence in my coach and my training. I'm certainly over the moon with how the season has been going but I'm not overly surprised because I've shown before that I was capable."

    This year's Vuelta ao Algarve was a breakthrough race for Van Garderen. He finished in the top ten overall and climbed with Levi Leipheimer during the toughest mountain stage. However, Van Garderen's biggest aim for season remains the Amgen Tour of California.

    His role for the race is open to interpretation. With Michael Rogers going for the overall and Mark Cavendish aiming for the sprints Van Garderen could be domestique, but while he's willing to work for others, he believes he could place well in the overall too.

    "My role for that race? It's kind of open. We're bringing Michael and he'll be our best bet for GC. Then, Cavendish is there so I'll probably need to work in the sprints, but if there are breaks going I can jump in them. And if I'm helping out Rogers on the climbs I can maybe climb pretty high on GC myself. I wouldn't say I'd be a total domestique but I'm prepared to work for the team and to get the results as they...

  • Gilberto Simoni signs with Lampre to ride the Giro

    Gilberto Simoni (Lampre Cafitta)
    Article published:
    April 16, 2010, 11:06 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian veteran to end his career on home roads

    Gilberto Simoni has signed a short-term contract with the Lampre-Farnese Vini team to ride the Giro del Trentino on his home roads next week and then end his long career at the Giro d'Italia in May.

    Simoni will be 39 in August and has mixed road racing with marathon mountain biking racing in recent years. He will finally retire this summer but wants to ride the Giro one last time and end his professional career with Lampre, with whom he raced when he won his first Giro d'Italia in 2001.

    "Mario and Emanuele Galbusera (the owners of the Lampre company) made it happen. They knew that I wanted to end my career in their jersey and they wanted it too. There was a kind of two-way promise between us," Simoni told Gazzetta dello Sport on Friday.

    Simoni hopes to win one last mountain stage in the Dolomites near his home in Palù di Giovo, above Trento.

    In 2002 he was forced to quit the Giro after failing an anti-doping test for cocaine at the Giro del Trentino He claimed the cocaine was present in some South American homeopathic lozenges his aunt had given him to combat a sore throat. The police and Italian Cycling Federation believed him and he avoided a suspension. Simoni returned to win a second Giro d'Italia in 2003.

    "I'm doing it to ride the Giro for one last time. I consider the Giro 'my' race," he said. "I've kept training because I was convinced I can ride it. I might suffer early on but the best bit is at the end. I've already undergone two surprise anti-doping tests. I'm ready."

    Rumours that Simoni was going to send his career with Lampre-Farnese Vini have been circulating for several months and he has made himself available for out of competition doping tests.

    He reportedly had an offer from Michael Ball's Rock Racing team before the US team's registration problems. Then the Lampre deal was delayed due to Lampre's ProTour registration and more recently the Mantova doping investigation. He...

  • Dauphiné Libéré to include Alpe d'Huez

    Corner nine on Alpe d'Huez.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2010, 12:15 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Pre-Tour stage race route announced by ASO

    Even if the Tour de France skips the epic ascent to Alpe d'Huez this year, fans of the mythical mountain will still be able to watch the best riders of the world climb the 21 hairpins after organisers of the Dauphiné Libéré announced the race's route this week.

    The 62nd Dauphiné, now also firmly in the hands of Tour organiser ASO, will take place from June 6 to 13 and include eight stages for a total distance of approximately 1,080 kilometres.

    After the prologue in Evian-les-Bains on the shores of Lake Geneva, the race will head southwest through the Rhone valley into Provence, where a 49 kilometre individual time trial from Sorgues to Monteux on June 9 will provide a first order of importance on general classification.

    After that, the race leads northeast back into the Alps, where the ascent up the slopes of Alpe d'Huez will almost certainly decide the overall winner. Often used as final preparation race for the Tour de France, the Dauphiné is certain to attract the peloton's top performers once again this year.

    While not all of the stages' distances are available yet, the 2010 Dauphiné route is as follows:

    June 6: Prologue Evian-les-Bains - Evian-les-Bains
    June 7: Evian-les-Bains - Saint-Laurent-du-Pont
    June 8: Annonay - Bourg-Saint-Andéol
    June 9: Monteux - Sorgues (49 km)
    June 10: Saint-Paul-Trois-Châteaux - Risoul (212 km)
    June 11: Serre-Chevalier - Grenoble
    June 12: Crolles - Alpe-d'Huez
    June 13: Allevard-les-Bains - Sallanches