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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, April 22, 2011

Date published:
April 22, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Bad luck for Irishmen Roche and Martin at Flèche Wallonne

    Nicolas Roche (AG2R La Mondiale) is gradually finding his form after an injury-hit spring
    Article published:
    April 21, 2011, 21:12 BST
    Pierre Carrey

    Crash leaves both uncertain for Liège-Bastogne-Liège

    While they both targeted Flèche Wallonne as a significant goal in their spring schedules, Nicolas Roche (AG2R-La Mondiale) and his first cousin Dan Martin (Garmin-Cervélo) had to abandon the race after a bad crash.

    The accident, due to a "mechanical issue" according to Roche, happened near kilometre 85, approximately 15 kilometres after the first passage of the Mur de Huy.

    "I was following my cousin, but his gears blocked," Martin told Cyclingnews. "He got out of the saddle and his gears just stopped. He went over the top of the handlebars. I tried to avoid him and someone else's bike hit me."

    Roche and Martin were brought to the Hospital of Huy for X-rays. Roche was feared to have broken his elbow and also suffered injuries to his hip and his groin. Martin, thought to have suffered a collarbone fracture, also had cuts to his hip and elbow.

    At the hospital Roche and Martin cheered each other up while they awaited the X-rays exams. "It was a nice opportunity to tend to the family business," Roche joked.

    "Our crash in the Flèche could have been worse," Martin said, as examinations confirmed there were no broken bones.

    Ironically both Irish riders have had very few accidents in their racing careers. The last time Martin crashed out of a race was at the 2010 Giro di Lombardia but many riders had similar issues that day because of terrible weather. Moreover, Flèche Wallonne has been a source bad luck, he said, because he crashed there two years ago. "And I had a bad premonition this morning, it's very strange," Martin said.

    Noting that he...

  • Trek embarks on ambitious carbon fiber recycling program

    Late model Trek Madone frames on a molding rack; these frames if and when warrantied will be recycled.
    Article published:
    April 21, 2011, 23:02 BST
    James Huang, technical editor

    Wisconsin-based company hopes others will follow suit

    Trek Bicycle today announced an ambitious carbon fiber recycling program designed to help stem the production of composite waste that was previously deemed very difficult to recycle or re-task for other uses aside from stuffing landfills. Trek says it has already completed a three-month trial program with South Carolina-based Materials Innovation Technologies and its subsidiary, MIT-RCF, and is now heading into the new initiative full-steam, recycling all carbon fiber scrap produces in its US facilities.

    Trek media relations man Eric Bjorling told Cyclingnews that Trek is already sending "between 3,500 and 4,500lb (1,590-2,040kg)" of scrap each month, including all warranty frames, frames and parts that have been tested or broken in testing, uncured trimmings, and out-of-spec molded parts. Bjorling says the actual figures vary depending on the number of warranty frames, number of non-compliant parts made and total production numbers but it's an impressive figure nonetheless.

    Projected over a full year and taking the high end of that range into account, Trek and MIT-RCF's collaborative project will keep 54,000lb (24,500kg) of scrap carbon fiber in some sort of useful circulation, as compared to the current alternative where the materials would otherwise languish, mostly unaffected by environmental factors for a veritable eternity.

    "It is still very difficult to recycle carbon fiber," said Bjorling. "Different fiber types, different resin types, varying part size, shape, and thickness, are just some of the challenges that complicate recycling efforts. Collection, sorting, transportation, reclamation, reuse and the costs associated with each of these also play into the complication of recycling this material."

    According to Trek's press release, the recycled materials will be, "used in reinforced thermoplastic applications while research and development is ongoing for use in automotive, aerospace, medical, and recreational...

  • Radio ban: Riders association seeks constructive dialogue with UCI

    Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek) wearing his illegal radio at the start of the Trofeo Palma de Mallorca
    Article published:
    April 21, 2011, 23:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Could a compromise be in the works?

    The International Association of Professional Riders (CPA) issued a press release today which seems to indicate that a compromise with the International Cycling Union (UCI) over the race radio ban could be in the works.

    The CPA's president Gianni Bugno met with UCI president Pat McQuaid on Tuesday, and while McQuaid reiterated that the UCI was not willing to step back from its ban on the race radio in all but the WorldTour events, he did indicate, according to the CPA, that another solution to the safety concerns the radio ban raises could be on the table.

    The UCI began progressively banning radio communications between team cars and riders after getting complaints from the French television producers that the racing was losing its excitement since the advent of radios.

    This year is the first season in which top-level UCI events were run under the ban, which previously only affected lower-ranked races. While radios are still in use in WorldTour events, any lower-ranked race such as this week's Giro del Trentino fall under the ban.

    Earlier this year teams staged protests at the Challenge Mallorca and Tour de San Luis and threatened to boycott the Tour of Beijing over the UCI's insistence on implementing the rule without adequately consulting with teams and riders. Teams objected to the rule due to safety issues - saying that riders need to be warned of dangerous obstacles ahead, and teams need to know when riders have a crash or mechanical incident.

  • Visconti, Caccia and Possoni caught up in Dr Ferrari investigation

    Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini)
    Article published:
    April 22, 2011, 9:58 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Farnese Vini plays down their riders involvement

    Gazzetta dello Sport has reported further details of the ongoing investigation into Dr Michele Ferrari, revealing that police officers visited Italian national champion Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), his teammate Diego Caccia and Morris Possoni (Team Sky) on Thursday.

    Police reportedly seized the medical records, contracts, computers and other personal records from the riders as they investigate suspected clients and people linked to Dr Ferrari. 100 people are reportedly involved in the investigation although Italian police are obliged to formally include anyone who is even marginally linked to a suspect.

    The investigation is being lead by Padova magistrate Benedetto Roberti, who is coordinating his efforts with the US investigator Jeff Novitzky from the Food and Drug Administration. Novitzky is leading the investigation into Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team.

    Visconti was announced as the team leader of the Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli team for the Giro d'Italia on Thursday and was given race number 150 because the Giro will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the unification of Italy. Diego Caccia was also named as part of the Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli team for the Giro.

    Possoni is also on the Team Sky's team for the Giro d'Italia and is named in the team to ride the Tour de Romandie in Switzerland that starts next Tuesday.

    Dr Ferrari was given a life-time ban by the Italian Olympic Committee in 2002 and so Italian licence holders risk a ban of between three and six months...

  • Prévot takes seventh in Flèche Wallonne

    Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Lapierre International) celebrates her 2nd place finish at the 2011 French Cyclo Cross Championships
    Article published:
    April 22, 2011, 10:30 BST
    Hedwig Kröner

    Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, 19, the new rising star of French women's cycling

    There may be a new champion in the making in French women's cycling, still dominated by the 52-year-old Jeannie Longo. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, just 19 years of age, took an impressive seventh in the Flèche Wallonne Féminine on Wednesday, with the victory going to Marianne Vos.

    Also a mountain biker, Ferrand-Prévot is in her debut year within the pro ranks on the road. The young French woman has already won three world championship titles: the 2009 and 2010 junior cross country title, as well as the 2010 Junior Road Worlds. But at her second World Cup event ever, and being the youngest rider in the field, Ferrand-Prévot immediately placed amongst the strongest.

    "The Flèche Wallonne, I was eager for it, it's made for me," she said on her personal website . "It's a mythical race, not only a World Cup event - it's more than that..."

    Racing on the road with the French national team, she already placed ninth at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in the end of March, but now did even better. "I'm happy with my race," Ferrand-Prévot continued. "I think I managed my efforts well, it's a great moment. I just have one small regret, I was with the first four riders and I cracked in the last 300 metres to the top [of the Mur de Huy ed.]. But I gave it everything, it hurt so bad."

    The young and rising star may be on the same path as Nicole Cooke, who is the only female cyclist ever also to have won the road and mountain bike Junior Worlds in the same year.

  • Basso to miss the Giro d'Italia, full start list published

    2010 Giro d'Italia champion: Ivan Basso
    Article published:
    April 22, 2011, 12:28 BST
    Cycling News

    Contador, Nibali and Menchov set to fight victory

    Ivan Basso has officially announced that he will not ride the 2011 Giro d'Italia, that starts May 7 in Torino. The defending champion of the 'maglia rosa' had previously indicated that he may have ridden in support of his Liquigas-Cannondale teammate Vincenzo Nibali - but he has now confirmed that he will focus entirely on preparing for the Tour de France.

    On his personal website, Basso said that "the objective at the beginning of the season was to ride the Giro before the Tour de France, in order to help Vincenzo Nibali in his quest of the pink jersey. But at the moment, I don't have the physical condition to fulfill my role as he would deserve it."

    Basso has been struggling with illness recently. He pulled out of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and has not raced for two weeks. bike. He is now recovering,as he told Cyclingnews before the Flèche Wallonne.

    "Until now, I have been trying to find the sensations on the bike that would give me my back my confidence. But it was in vain. Together with my team, we have thus taken this painful decision. To me, it's a great sacrifice not to race the Giro."

    Liquigas team manager Roberto Amadio also commented on the decision.

    "To have Ivan at the start would have given Vincenzo a great contribution of experience, but the conditions do not allow it. In order not to take any risks in view of his preparation for the Tour de France, this is the best decision. We will honour the Giro as we have always done, with Vincenzo and co. looking to equal Ivan's feat and give us a new, immense satisfaction," Amadio said in a press release.

    Basso will now...

  • Court of Arbitration confirms Valjavec suspension

    Tadej Valjavec (Ag2r-La Mondiale)
    Article published:
    April 22, 2011, 12:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Slovenian snared by the UCI Biological Passport

    The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in Switzerland has ruled in favour of the International Cycling Union (UCI), overturning the decision of the Slovenian Olympic Committee of Slovenia (OCS) to clear Tadej Valjavec of doping.

    The CAS ruled that Valjavec serves a two-year ban starting from January 2011 and has also cancelled all his results obtained between April 19 and September 30, 2009, when raced with the AG2R team. He has also been fined 52,500 Euro.

    Valjavec's 2009 Biological Passport results showed abnormalities that were consistent with blood doping but he was eventually cleared by the Slovenian Olympic Committee after he claimed the blood value variations were caused by training at altitude and illness.

    In march the CAS also confirmed the suspension of Italian riders Pietro Caucchioli and Franco Pellizotti, reinforcing the validity of the biological passport and the indirect method of detection based on the blood profile of athletes.

    After being cleared by his national Olympic Committee, Valjavec found a place with the tiny Manisaspor Cycling team from Turkey. He finished second overall in the recent Cinturon Ciclista a Mallorca in Spain and was named in the team for the Presidential Tour of Turkey which begins on Sunday.

    However after the CAS verdict he is banned from racing until January 2013.

  • Grabovskyy returns to racing at An Post Rás

    Dmytro Grabovskyy and the ISD-Neri team escorted race leader Giovanni Visconti for more than 200 kilometres in stage 5 of the Tour of Turkey.
    Article published:
    April 22, 2011, 17:03 BST
    Sarah Connolly

    Ukrainian ISD-Lampre rider hopes to put his troubles behind him

    At only 25, Dmytro Grabovskyy has had more than his share of troubles, and is hoping that in 2011 he can turn things around. Riding for the ISD-Lampre Continental team, the Ukrainian rider hopes to put his problems behind him and regain the form that helped him become World U23 Road Race Champion in 2005.

    His career started on the track, where he was part of the Junior and U23 European Championship-winning Team Pursuit squad, and where he became Junior and U23 European Champion in the Scratch. Turning to the road, his success continued, especially in time trialling, and he signed with QuickStep as a trainee in 2006, after winning a stage and coming second in the Baby Giro that year.

    But as he turned pro with QuickStep in 2007, he was never able to settle with the team or build on his results. In 2010, he revealed that at this time he had turned to alcohol, struggling with addiction and nearly dying of alcohol poisoning twice.

    After signing to ISD-Neri in 2009, and coming fifth on two stages of the Giro d'Italia, it seemed like 2010 would be his come-back season. Grabovskyy won the mountains classification in Tirreno-Adriatico, but his return was cut short after he suffered head injuries and a broken collarbone in a training accident in May. He returned to racing in August, but only achieved 62nd in the Volta a Portugal.

    Moving to the ISD-Lampre Continental team for 2011, the Ukrainian's first big goal will be the An Post Rás in May, where he's provisionally due to ride alongside Yuiy Agarkov, winner of the 2011 GP Donetsk, and Oleksandr Sheydyk, who has so far this year finished second in the GP Sochi and fourth in the GP Donetsk.

    An Post Rás, which runs from May 22-29 in Ireland, will cover 1247 kilometres over eight stages, including 29 categorised climbs, with three first category ascents.

    ISD-Lampre will join teams from all over...