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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, June 8, 2012

Date published:
June 08, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • UCI may appeal FFC's Turgot decision on whereabouts violations

    Sebastien Turgot (Team Europcar) finished second
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 20:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Conflicting arguments for dismissing missed test?

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) is considering an appeal of the French Cycling Federation's (FFC) decision not to take disciplinary action against Team Europcar's Sebastien Turgot for his whereabouts violations.

    Turgot was the surprise runner-up in Paris-Roubaix after out-sprinting his chase companions behind race winner Tom Boonen, but came afoul of the anti-doping authorities earlier this month.

    The Frenchman was charged with two failed whereabouts filings - one in the second quarter of 2011 and one in the first quarter of 2012, plus one missed test on May 25, 2011.

    The FFC declared Turgot negligent in his whereabouts filings for entering his information late and incomplete in 2011, despite his protestations that the whereabouts computer system ADAMS was at fault for his 2012 violation.

    It dismissed, however, the May 25, 2011 missed test, and therefore did not impose a suspension, which could have been maxed out at two years and would have wiped out his Paris-Roubaix result. Turgot was not available during the one-hour window provided in his whereabouts declarations on this date, however, the FFC stated that anti-doping controllers located him by telephone and performed the control.

    The UCI may appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport due to conflicting information within the decision regarding the missed test.

    Turgot is the fourth French rider to run into problems over whereabouts filings: track sprinter Grégory Baugé lost his 2011 world titles in the individual and team sprints over violations, while Yoann Offredo was given...

  • Video: Degenkolb has run of bad luck at Dauphiné

    After winning a pair of stages at the Four Days of Dunkirk, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) continued his hot streak with victory in stage 1 at the Tour de Picardie.
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 21:45 BST
    By:
    Jean-François Quénet

    German eager for Tour de France debut

    Like many at the Critérium du Dauphiné, John Degenkolb (Argos-Shimano) is looking for strong results in the build-up to the Tour de France to confirm form and get a boost of confidence.

    The 23-year-old German, however, has twice been denied the chance to add to his season's tally of four victories due to inopportune flats, most recently in Wednesday's stage 3 won by Edvald Boasson Hagen when he flatted inside the final three kilometres.

    Degenkolb is confident in his form, though, and is looking forward to his upcoming Tour de France debut where his Argos-Shimano team will be a wild-card entrant. In this exclusive video with Cyclingnews, Degenkolb talks about his abilities as a sprinter, his pairing with fellow German and fast man Marcel Kittel for the Tour, plus the opportunity for his team to prove itself at the world's premier stage race.

  • Air Force Cycling Classic gets off the ground Saturday

    The women get underway at Arlington's Air Force Cycling Classic.
    Article published:
    June 07, 2012, 23:06 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Two-days of racing brings top talent to Arlington

    The nation's top criterium teams will head to the Washington, DC area this weekend for two classic races: the Clarendon Cup and Crystal City Cup, both part of the weekend's Air Force Cycling Classic.

    Set in downtown Arlington, Virginia, Saturday's Clarendon Cup is in its 15th year and will feature the same one kilometer long, five-corner high-speed course as usual. The professional men will compete over 100 laps, while elite women will do 50.

    The international men's field will include Professional Continental teams Champion System and UnitedHealthcare, Continental UCI teams Jamis/Sutter Home, Team Exergy and Team Mountain Khakis/SmartStop as well as elite squads Team Type 1 Developmental, Danish National Team, X/O Communications p/b Cisco, 160Over90 CCN Sport, Kelly Benefit/LSV, Don Byer/Kia DC Velo and National Capital Velo Club/UnitedHealthcare.

    Defending champion Hilton Clarke will try for three in a row in the Clarendon Cup, while his teammate Jake Keough will look to repeat his success in Sunday's Crystal City Cup.

    In its fifth year, the Crystal City race will feature both pro men's and women's fields on the 2km course, as well as a recreational event, the Annual Air Force Cycling Challenge Crystal Ride, a 15km course around the Air Force Memorial, the Pentagon and through Crystal City. Participants in the event will be raising money for The Air Force Association’s Wounded Airman Project.

    For more information visit www.airforcecyclingclassic.com.

    Cyclingnews will be bringing full coverage of the races.

  • O'Brien looking to increase NRS lead in Toowoomba

    The race was still up for grabs between several riders nearing the final two laps.
    Article published:
    June 08, 2012, 0:09 BST
    By:
    Jane Aubrey

    Victorian chasing defining season with Budget Forklifts

    First round Australian National Road Series leader, Mark O'Brien (Budget Forklifts) is hoping to continue his strong run of early season form when the Tour of Toowoomba kicks off next Thursday June 14.

    O'Brien, who hails from Horsham in Victoria, heads into the second event of the men's 2012 calendar with his sights firmly set on an overall title in a bid to launch himself back into the European racing scene.

    "I looked at what Nathan [Haas] and Steele [von Hoff] did in the NRS last year and I thought it's better off taking one step back then trying to take two steps forward," the 24-year-old told Cyclingnews, using the Genesys exports as his preferred model. In 2010 and having spent three seasons coming through the ranks with Drapac, O'Brien had been set to race in Italy before the team folded. A stint racing in Asia with the Malaysian squad LeTua followed to resurrect his season and then after travelling and a brief appearance for Team TDU, O'Brien signed with on-the-rise Australian continental team Budget Forklifts for the current season. The former winner of the Tour of the Southern Grampians juggles training and racing with his job at Nalini, working in custom design, and has settled back into life back in Australia.

    "I've got great teammates around me and some of my best mates from growing up like Sam [Witmitz]," he explained. "It's really exciting and I'm just really happy at the moment with family and friends around me. "

    O'Brien's season began with his impressive 12th-place finish in the road race at the Australian Road National Championship at Buninyong and went a long way to giving him the confidence for the domestic calendar.

    "I've always performed well on that circuit and I tend to think that on a...

  • Chavanel close to his best at Dauphiné time trial

    Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-Quickstep) had a strong ride
    Article published:
    June 08, 2012, 9:23 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman happy with top five result

    Thursday's 53km-long time trial of the Critérium du Dauphiné was a major test for many top riders, and while some finished it feeling disappointed with their performances, others like winner Bradley Wiggins (Sky) or fifth-placed Sylvain Chavanel (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) were greatly satisfied with the outcome. Chavanel conceded 1'33" to Wiggins over the long and windy course, and achieved exactly his objective of making the top five of the stage.

    "This result is what I had hoped for. Basically, I wanted a top five. I've come closer to the very best riders, to those who really are the pure specialists like [second-placed] Tony Martin and Wiggins. I'm a tad below them but I'm getting better," a happy Chavanel told L'Equipe at the finish in Bourg-en-Bresse.

    "I chose to start out really fast. But then I lost a little bit of concentration, also because I lost my water bottle and with the heat, this unsettled me a bit. I was looking forward to get to the feed zone. At long time trials like this one, you have to try to remain fully concentrated throughout the whole course... Still, compared to guys like Tony and Wiggins, I limited my losses."

    It was a rewarding feeling for the Frenchman as he had announced his intention to work on his time trialling skills in the beginning of the season. Also, the back problems he had for several seasons seem to be definitely out of the way. "I've tried to concentrate to a maximum on this discipline, which I love since I started my career. This time trial confirms the work I've done and that the pain I had in my lower back is finally gone. I'm moving closer to the...

  • Team Sky to ride Specialized bikes in 2013?

    Mark Cavendish (Sky)
    Article published:
    June 08, 2012, 10:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Reports in French newspaper suggest deal could be done

    According to a report in L'Equipe this morning, Team Sky could possibly end their association with Italian bike manufacturers Pinarello and may sign an agreement with US giants Specialized. The paper goes as far as to claim that the agreement would be worth an estimated six million Euros per year to the British team.

    Sky and Pinarello have enjoyed a fruitful relationship that has seen them sweep up a host of big race wins over the last couple of seasons. In the off season the team acquired the services of road world champion Mark Cavendish, who swapped his Specialized Venge for a Pinarello Dogma 2 as part of the deal. Now it is being reported that Cavendish might be free to reacquaint himself with his former bike for the 2013 season.

    Conversely, it is easy to see why Specialized or other manufacturers might be drawn to the Team Sky brand, which has grown considerably on a global level over the last couple of years. If the deal goes through it will be fascinating to see if Specialized simply add the British team to its current ProTour stable, or if they choose to end agreements with either Astana, Saxo Bank or Omega Pharma-QuickStep.

    When asked about the proposed deal by Cyclingnews this morning, a Team Sky spokesperson denied that a deal with any other manufacturer was close and stated that the team was considering all options available to them: "All we are prepared to say is that we firmly remain a Pinarello team and that we are not prepared to comment on contractual speculation at this point. We are in discussion with a number of manufacturers and we are not close to make any sort...

  • Sagan heads Liquigas at Tour de Suisse

    Peter Sagan reflects on winning 63 percent of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California stages.
    Article published:
    June 08, 2012, 12:34 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Slovakian to fine tune form ahead of Tour de France

    Italian team Liquigas-Cannondale has announced its line-up for the upcoming Tour de Suisse this Saturday. The squad will be headed by Peter Sagan, joined by his teammates Elia Viviani, Moreno Moser, Daniel Oss, Timmy Duggan, Stefano Agostini, Tiziano Dall'Antonia and Ted King.

    Sagan who already has eight victories this season - of which five were scored at the Tour of California - is looking forward to the mountainous stage race in Switzerland to perfect his form ahead of the Tour de France. Moreover, he's just completed a mountain training camp in Passo San Pellegrino.

    "I feel good and the victories in the USA gave me great peace of mind," the Slovakian explained on his team website. "My goal is to work towards the Tour de France: the climbs will help test my stamina and improve my race rhythm, and the other stages may be a chance for another win to boost my morale even more. My training in the mountains focused specifically on improving my power and then my intensity: from Saturday I'll be trying to fine-tune my condition so I can go to France feeling as fit as possible."

    But the Tour de Suisse itself is of course also an objective according to Liquigas directeur sportif Alberto Volpi. "This is a consistent, quality team that we are confident will produce some stage wins. We've got riders who are used to winning, like Sagan and Viviani [back after two months away from racing following his accident at the Track World Championships - ed.], and others who have shown terrific skills, like Moser. Oss is a rider who can make his mark in the mixed stages, while Duggan is the fittest man on the team. Agostini, Dall'Antonia and King are invaluable as they can play a dual role taking action when necessary and providing support. So it seems...

  • Contador returns with Saxo Bank

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    Article published:
    June 08, 2012, 12:53 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Video: Riis on racing the Tour without Contador

    It's official: Four-time grand tour winner Alberto Contador will return to racing with his former team Saxo Bank in August. A three-year deal was announced on the team's website on Friday. Once Contador's suspension ends on August 6, the Spaniard will return to competition with the squad owned by Bjarne Riis.

    "A lot of speculation and rumour have surrounded Alberto Contador and his future in the past months, but both our sponsors, the team and Alberto have shared the same wish to continue and build on our relationship," Riis said. "All along throughout these last two tough years we have stood by Alberto, so to be able to announce his return to the team is something I have been really looking forward to. Now we can put an end to these speculations and start focusing on building the team for the coming years."

    Contador had been rumoured to sign with Astana or Omega Pharma-QuickStep recently. The latest speculation even had him changing teams with the Schleck brothers, in order for them to come back to Riis and for him to return to former team manager Johan Bruyneel. But the Spaniard himself had never raised any doubts on his team preference during the last months.

    "The decision to return to Team Saxo Bank has actually been pretty easy, and my first priority was always to rejoin the team and to continue working with Bjarne Riis and the rest of the team. The support I have experienced from them in a very difficult situation was extraordinary. I'm really looking forward to getting back on the bike, and my aim is to repay that support, hopefully with some great results," Contador commented.

    The 29-year-old is currently serving a doping suspension due to a positive result for Clenbuterol at the 2010 Tour de France. He...