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First Edition Cycling News, Friday, March 8, 2013

Date published:
March 08, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Goss all smiles after first win of season at Tirreno

    Matthew Harley Goss (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    March 07, 2013, 18:50 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Orica-GreenEdge lead-out train works well in the rain

    Despite racing for close to six hours in the rain at Tirreno-Adriatico, Matt Goss's first victory of the season, ahead of many of his biggest sprint rivals, left him glowing with satisfaction.

    The tough Tasmanian is used to the rain and knows how to fight for position in a high-speed sprint. Thanks to a perfect lead-out, he was the fastest in the acceleration to the line, beating Manuel Belletti (Ag2r-La Mondiale) and Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka).

    Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) was further back in fifth place, with Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) seventh and Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling team) a well beaten ninth.

    Goss and Orica-GreenEdge have had quiet start to the season but had a perfect day, with Michael Albasini also winning the stage at Paris-Nice.

    "I heard right after finish that Albasini won at Paris-Nice. It's a great day for the team," Goss said in the post-race press conference in Indicatore.

    "We wanted to do a better [team] time trial yesterday but some days it just doesn’t work out. The guys wanted it today and so it's nice to come away with the win. This is my first road race in Europe this year, so I'm pretty happy how things are going. I'm looking forward to the next few days."

    Goss had not won a sprint or a race since stage three of last year's Giro d'Italia to Horsens, the day Roberto Ferrari took out Mark Cavendish at high speed. He finished second eight times last year and was second and fourth in two stages of the Tour Down Under this year.

    "It's always nice to win; it doesn’t matter who is second...

  • Phinney praises Talansky for his Paris-Nice success

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) in action during stage 2 at Tirreno-Adriatico
    Article published:
    March 07, 2013, 21:24 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    BMC rider proud to be part of a new generation of US riders

    Taylor Phinney took time from competing at Tirreno-Adriatico to praise the success of fellow American Andrew Talansky at Paris-Nice.

    The Garmin-Sharp rider retained the race leader's yellow jersey, flying the flag for a new generation of US rider after Lance Armstrong and several of his own teammates confessed to doping.

    "I think we're all motivated after what happened this winter in US cycling. We've got a lot to prove. We want to prove that we love this sport and that we're committed to bringing it out of the ashes of the past," Phinney told Cyclingnews.

    "It's a really important year for American cycling and already with Brent Bookwalter wining in Qatar, a couple of us there in GC and now Andrew Talansky and Tejay [van Garderen] performing really well in Paris-Nice, it's great. The time to strike and rebuild the image of cycling is now."

    Armstrong often bullied his fellow US riders, putting pressure on them to work with Dr. Ferrari and follow his lead when it came to taking EPO and blood doping.

    Phinney indicated that the current generation of US riders is much more united as a group.

    "With the riders we have, we encompass every aspect of the sport, whether it's climbing with Tejay and Andrew, or time trials with me or sprinting with Tyler Farrar. It's a testament to US cycling and our motivation as a group to build on the foundations that have been left in shambles," he said.

    "I'm really happy with what's going on and that we're a unified group despite riding for different teams. It's good we're doing a kick-ass job."

    Phinney is part of a powerful

  • Michael Rasmussen: Leinders stored doping products in team bus

    Michael Rasmussen (Rabobank) is here to build form before the Tour de France. He may try something this week.
    Article published:
    March 07, 2013, 23:08 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dane gives details of team’s involvement in doping at Rabobank

    Michael Rasmussen has followed up his January confession to doping by giving a video interview to NOS.nl in which he details Dr. Geert Leinders’s participation in his doping regime.

    Leinders' contract was not renewed with Team Sky this season after his name was raised in suspicion of past doping involvement. Sky denied the non-renewal was due to its zero-tolerance policy on doping.

    Rasmussen, who is currently litigating for wrongful termination from the Rabobank team after it sacked him in 2007 over whereabouts violations, is hinging his 5.6 million euro case on proving that the team knew he was purposefully eluding the anti-doping authorities in order to dope as preparation for the Tour de France.

    He stated that the team management and medical staff, including Dr. Leinders, Dr. Dion van Bommel and Dr. Jean-Paul van Mantgem all knew about the doping programme. Van Bommel, who is currently with Team Blanco, was "not directly involved, just in the sense that he was informed about it by van Mantgem and Dr. Leinders, he didn’t actually take part."

    But Rasmussen insisted Leinders did take part in the doping programme, from knowledge of the Dane’s past history when signing with the team to sticking the needle in his arm to start a transfusion in 2004.

    "I used [transfusions] for the first time in 2004, and it was done by Dr. Leinders. The courier dropped the blood bag off, he picked it up and took it to my room and infused it," Rasmussen said.

    When Operacion Puerto broke in 2006, the team began to be more cautious about transfusions,...

  • Porte and Sky expecting big fight on Montagne de Lure

    Dave Brailsford and Richie Porte
    Article published:
    March 08, 2013, 0:49 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Paris - Nice GC battle set for Stage 5 showdown

    With an important fifth stage looming at Paris - Nice on Friday, Sky general classification hope Richie Porte maintained his position in the top-10 by finishing in the front group on Thursday. The Australian remains at seven seconds behind leader Andrew Talansky.

    Last week before Paris-Nice got underway, Porte told Cyclingnews that he didn't believe that Friday's Queen Stage mountain-top finish on the Montagne de Lure was "that hard" but noted that it was crucial not to give away valuable seconds on the flat stages. So far, Porte has been attentive to any potential threats and once again found himself at the front of the race on Stage 4, finishing on the same time as winner Michael Albasini (Orica GreenEdge).

    "Again the plan was to make sure we didn't lose time with Richie," said Sky sports director, Nicolas Portal on the team's website. "We knew full well that it had the potential to be a tricky finish. It was a shame that David [Lopez] got held up by the puncture. Kiri [Vasil Kiryienka] was nice to give him the wheel in the spur of the moment. Richie was comfortable up there and he is growing in confidence.

    "It was tricky start and the peloton went really hard up the first climb. Lots of riders were dropped straight away and lots of other riders wanted to go up in the break. When it's that hard it's only the really strong riders who can go so we needed to be careful who went up the road.

    "Danny [Pate], Xavi [Zandio Echaide] and Kiri did very well at the start today. Then when the break went the guys stayed towards the front with Kosta also there. Heading into the finish Xavi helped put Richie in a perfect position...

  • Albasini surprised by Paris - Nice win

    Michael Albasini (Orica-GreenEdge) wins stage 4 of Paris-Nice
    Article published:
    March 08, 2013, 2:00 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Swiss caps day of double delight for Orica GreenEdge

    Rewind 12 months and Michael Albasini was one of the strongest riders for the Orica GreenEdge team with two stage wins and the overall at the Volta a Catalunya. On Thursday, the Swiss added a stage of Paris - Nice to his impressive palmares on a lumpy day.

    Indeed it was a big day for the team with Matt Goss also claiming a stage win at Tirreno - Adriatico.

    Albasini was both excited and shocked by his win.

    "I actually wasn't sure of my condition when I came here," admitted Albasini. "I was feeling good, but we couldn't race Lugano and my last race before that was three weeks ago last Wednesday. Without racing, it's hard to understand what's going on with your body. I'm super happy to start the season with an early, important win. I'm a bit surprised, too."

    "It's even nicer to win on a day when we also won with [Matt] Goss in Tirreno," Albasini added. "It's really perfect. It's important to keep the wins going like we did last year."

    With seven climbs to be contended with on Stage 4, it was unsurprising that several splits formed in the peloton, but it was only on the final descent that Albasini made his move, with teammates Jens Keukeleire in tow - along with 28 other riders.

    "We don't need to put pressure on a guy like Alba [Albasini] in a stage like this," said sports director Lorenzo Lapage. "We can count on him to do well if he's there. Everyone knows when it comes to a small group in the finish, Albasini is one of the strongest. Alba spoke with Jens. He told Jens he had the legs for the win, and Jens was able to help him."

    Albasini first thought that he would work towards a result for his teammate however, as he was able...

  • Greipel left legless in Tirreno sprint

    The cold and rain during stage 2 at Tirreno-Adriatico were not to Andre Greipel's liking.
    Article published:
    March 08, 2013, 9:02 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Lotto Belisol leader struggles in the rain

    Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) accepted his first sprint defeat of 2013 with a shrug of his wide shoulders, revealing that the cold and rain during stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico left him legless in the mad dash to Indicatore.

    Greipel got an excellent lead-out from his Lotto Belisol teammates, who hit the front in the final two kilometres. However, the 30-year-old German was unable to unleash his usually powerful sprint, finishing seventh behind winner Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge).

    "I tried to do my normal sprint but when I stood up, I had to sit down because my legs went 'boom'," he explained after taking a hot shower on the Lotto Belisol team bus.

    "I think we all felt the same after five and half hours in the rain. The conditions were pretty tough and I'm still shaking with the cold. Some riders can handle it better but I couldn't today."

    Positioning was vital before the sweeping left hand turn with a kilometre to go. Greipel's loyal lead-out men lined out the peloton for him but then he failed to finish off the job.

    "We did a good job as a team and everyone was there. I know I can always count on the guys.

    "I didn’t have the legs I usually have in a sprint. I'm just a human being and that's the way it is. Tomorrow is another chance and we'll give it another try. Hopefully it will work better."

  • Talansky can win on La Montagne de Lure, says Van Bondt

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) puts on the leader's yellow jersey at Paris-Nice.
    Article published:
    March 08, 2013, 10:09 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Overall victory the priority despite lack of climbing support

    Geert Van Bondt has said that overall victory in Paris-Nice is the main aim for Garmin and that a lack of climbing support for race leader Andrew Talansky can be overcome.

    Talansky pulled on the leader’s yellow jersey after winning stage 3 to Brioude. The American joined up with a late escape group and sprinted to victory to claim the biggest win of his young career. Clearly in form, the biggest question mark surrounds the strength of his team. With three of Garmin’s most experienced stage race riders on their way back from suspension and a sizeable chunk of the team's armoury at Tirreno-Adriatico, the Argyle squad has bolstered their Paris-Nice team with Classics riders.

    That trick worked a treat in the opening stages as the likes of David Millar, Fabian Wegmann, Jack Bauer and Johan Vansummeren kept Talansky out of trouble and out of the wind. Positioning before the final climb on stage 3 was also crucial in Talansky’s eventual stage win.

    However unlike many of his rivals Talansky lacks supports in the mountains. Last year's runner up, Lieuwe Westra, is just six seconds off the lead, with Jean-Christophe Peraud, Riche Porte, Tejay van Garderen and Andreas Klöden all within touching distance. Talansky was left isolated on the final two climbs of stage 4 but marked a number of key moves before the favourites re-grouped.

    “We’ve got more classics riders here like Millar and Klier, who can keep Andrew at the front when there’s a side wind and the road is flat. So far that part has worked really well and the team helped Andrew,” Van Bondt told Cyclingnews ahead of stage 5 and the crucial summit finish at La Montagne de Lure.

    “Andrew has been very good, very strong and we saw that when he...

  • Menchov, Boom, Dekker react to Boogerd's doping confession

    Boogerd has never been able to repeat his 1999 win
    Article published:
    March 08, 2013, 11:41 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Dutch ADA say proceedings will follow

    The Dutch Anti-Doping Authority says there will be proceedings against Michael Boogerd following his doping confession, but it is unclear who will conduct them. Meanwhile, former teammates and Dutch riders have expressed their opinions on Boogerd's statements, with Denis Menchov and Erik Dekker refusing to join in on the series of Rabobank doping confessions.

    Boogerd confessed on Dutch television Wednesday night to having doped throughout much of his 14-year career.

    “There will be a process, but we still see who will hold the disciplinary proceedings on his behalf. That is the normal practice in such cases," Dutch ADA director Herman Ram told nusport.nl.

    The UCI might take over the process as Boogerd was part of the UCI testing pool for the period in which he said he doped. "Athletes who are part of the UCI testing pool fall automatically under the jurisdiction of the International Cycling Union. The UCI must therefore determine whether they start the disciplinary case against Boogerd start or whether we should do."

    Reactions: Menchov and Erik Dekker with nothing to say

    Now that Boogerd, Michael Rasmussen and Thomas Dekker have all confessed to doping whilst at Rabobank, the pressure is on another big-name former Rabobank ride, Denis Menchov. The Russian,currently with Katusha, had little to say.

    Boogerd's confession “was his choice. I have nothing further to say. Cycling is much cleaner, hopefully we can continue that way,” he told De Telegraaf.

    He also denied being close to the Dutch rider. “I never talked about doping with Boogerd. We were not friends, but colleagues.”

    Another ex-rider who says he will not confess is Erik Dekker, who rode for Rabobank from 1992 to 2006, and...