Points from Tour of Turkey might be crucial in transfer window
After celebrating victory at the 2012 Tour of Turkey, Ivaïlo Gabrovski declared himself available to join a ProTeam next year at the age of 35. Ten years ago, he spent the only season of his long career in a team at the highest international level when French outfit Jean Delatour was a Trade Team 1 in 2002.
“If I get a chance to join a ProTeam, of course I’ll go for it," Gabrovski told Cyclingnews in Istanbul. “I’m looking for the best contract. I’m open to any proposal. Right now, nobody came and talked to me about it. This is a great victory for [Turkish continental team] Konya Torku Seker Spor. I’m proud that my arrival into this team helped to grow it.
"This is my second win at the Tour of Turkey," Gabrovski said, referring to his previous appearance at the Presidential race in 2007. It was the last edition before the event moved up to the big league of cycling, with stars like Alessandro Petacchi and Andreas Klöden paving the way in 2008 for ProTeams to make the trip to Turkey. Nine of them lined up this year, but the overall winner is from the Continental level.
“My victory is not a surprise," Gabrovski said. “It’s the result of hard work. I’ve been a cyclist since I was eight years old. I’ve been a pro for 15 years. I don’t have a normal life like other guys or girls. Now I smile to the public because I share my victory with all Turkish people but I have a difficult life. I’m a serious guy. This is one of the biggest exploits of my cycling career.”
The victory might well be a turning point for the Bulgarian. Races ranked .HC by the UCI award crucial points for the sporting evaluation of the teams fighting for WorldTour status. To remain one of...
Zdenek Stybar (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) will begin his road season this week at the Four Days of Dunkirk, the French 2.HC-ranked stage race which takes place May 4-8. The 26-year-old Czech cyclo-cross star underwent a period of recuperation after his winter 'cross campaign and is eager to begin his road season in earnest.
"After the 'cross season I really unplugged for a few weeks," said Stybar. "I was on vacation but I always tried to stay active with some sessions at the gym and in the pool. Afterwards I started training.
"Since the beginning of April I've been in Mallorca, where I've managed to train with the right consistency and intensity thanks to the favorable weather conditions. Now it's time to get back to racing."
Stybar's first road race of the season in 2011 was also the Four Days of Dunkirk and the 'cross star hopes to duplicate his fine result achieved last year.
"At Dunkirk last year I took home a good third place. This year we'll see. The race will be important to understand where I stand in terms of preparedness. After Dunkirk I'll be at the starting line for the Tour of Belgium."
Joining Stybar on the Omega Pharma-QuickStep roster for the Four Days of Dunkirk are Matthew Brammeier (Irl), Andrew Fenn (GBr), Iljo Keisse (Bel), Jerome Pineau (Fra), Gert Steegmans (Bel), Niki Terpstra (Ned) and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel).
British Olympic Association's by-law set to be overturned
Media reports suggest that David Millar will be among the benefactors of a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling which overturns the British Olympic Association's (BOA) by-law that bans convicted British drugs cheats from taking part in the Games under a lifetime sanction.
The CAS is due to hand down its decision on Monday afternoon (GMT).
The BBC was just one of several media outlets to pre-empt the announcement while the BOA released a statement saying:
"The British Olympic Association can confirm that it has received from the Court of Arbitration for Sport the written decision in the arbitration between the BOA and the World Anti-Doping Association (WADA).
"As the decision is to be announced first by CAS, and out of respect for CAS and the Arbitration Panel, the BOA will be offering no comment today."
WADA has ruled that the BOA's policy of giving lifetime Olympic bans to athletes who have served doping suspensions is in violation of the World Anti-doping Agency's code which already provides guidelines for doping punishments.
Australian David Tanner's much-hoped-for start in this year's Giro d'Italia will not come to fruition with news that the Saxo Bank rider has not recovered from injury in time to be in Herning on May 5 when the Grand Tour gets underway with an 8.7km individual time trial.
The 27-year-old told Cyclingnewslate in 2011 that the Giro was on his hit list for this season.
"I think personally to develop I need a Grand Tour in my legs and the Giro would be a great place to start," he said, following a rollercoaster first year with a ProTour team.
Tanner had been competing at the Tour of Romandie before he was a non-starter for the fourth and stage last week.
"David bruised his ribs in a crash in Circuit de la Sarthe earlier this month, and unfortunately he is still affected by this and doesn't feel he is back to his best, as we had all hoped. This is of course a huge disappointment for David, but considering the Giro d'Italia would have been his first ever Grand Tour, he, our doctor and the team's sport directors agree that his current conditions are not compatible with starting the Giro," Saxo Bank sport director Brad McGee said in a team media release.
Tanner's injury means that 35-year-old Ukrainian domestique Volodymir Gustov comes into the line-up.
Saxo Bank team for the Giro d'Italia: Juan Jose Haedo, Lucas Sebastian Haedo, Anders Lund, Jonas Aaen, Mads Christensen, Luke Roberts, Manuele Boaro, MatteoTosatto and Volodymir Gustov.
Genesys Wealth Advisers make it two in a row as trans-Tasman rivalry heats up
BikeNZ PureBlack Racing is proving to be a dominant force in the Tour of Borneo. The team delivered the ultimate start to the tour with Michael Torckler, Roman van Uden and Louis Crosby taking all three podium spots in an unprecedented 'blackwash' in the opening 102.8km stage from Semporna to Tawau.
After making a break at 30km, Torkler guaranteed himself the yellow jersey with a powerful solo ride with 15km to go. Crosby and van Uden led the bunch in a sprint finish to secure 2nd and 3rd respectively to give the team the yellow and orange jerseys going into stage two.
Director Sportif of BikeNZ PureBlack Racing, John Harris, said the team rode perfectly on the first day of the tour giving the team the top result they have been searching for after two-and-a-half months racing in Asia.
"Everyone had their part to play and it was an outstanding ride by the whole team," he said.
After the grueling second stage, 146.6km from Tawau to Lahad Datu with large hill climbs, Torkler remains in the leader's yellow jersey after securing a third place finish.
Torkler said, "The past two days have been amazing. To finish with a one-two-three was just fantastic and it's certainly not happened in any of the teams I've been in before."
"On the first day I didn't expect the breakaway to stick but we managed to build a lead. When there was the opportunity to attack, and I got away solo, it was a great felling knowing that the two riders behind me were team mates. The second stage was really tough but another great day of racing. The team is really giving it everything and we're really focused on getting a good result."
Meantime, Anthony Giacoppo claimed Genesys Wealth Advisers’ second consecutive stage victory on stage three, following Nathan Earle’s win on stage two.
Defending Tour de France winner says "things are coming together"
Cadel Evans had been hopeful of a strong performance as defending champion at the Tour of Romandie, but had to settle for 29th overall, 2:07 back on the time of winner, Brad Wiggins (Sky).
The 35-year-old Australian has been in recovery mode following a sinus infection however, was looking to stamp his authority on the toughest stages in Switzerland.
"It's been an interesting course – hard yet not selective," he said following Sunday's final stage. "The hard climbs have been a little distance from the finish which allows groups to come back and were finishing in a not-so-small group every day and a lot of riders were on the same time."
Heading into the decisive final stage time trial, Evans had been just 30 seconds back on the lead of Luis Leon Sanchez (Rabobank) with Wiggins poised for victory in second place, nine seconds in arrears of the Spaniard.
Interestingly it was not Evans who finished best of the BMC squad on Sunday, but Johann Tschopp who was 1:29 back stage winner Wiggins, with Evans at 1:45 on the uphill time trial.
"With a time trial like this, I was just guessing after I rode the course this morning, we'd have time gaps something like you'd have on an l'Alpe d'Huez time trial," he continued. "So we had close racing all week and then we come to a selective time trial in the final [stage] which made for an interesting last day."
Evans dropped out of Amstel Gold Race earlier this month, and then did not participate in the remaining Ardennes Classics as planned in a bid to recover in time for Romandie with the Tour de France and then the Olympics his prime objectives for the season.
"I'm sorry I didn't have a bit more strength to put on the course and to put on the...
Wiggins shoots up to top five in individual rankings
Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) continues to lead the UCI WorldTour rankings, but Bradley Wiggins made an enormous leap up with the his win in the Tour de Romandie. Omega Pharma-QuickStep has a narrow one-point lead over Liquigas-Cannondale in the team rankings, and Spain continues to rule the nations rankings.
The top four of the riders' rankings remained unchanged, with Boonen leading over Vincenzo Nibali, Samuel Sanchez and Peter Sagan. Wiggins jumped from 14th to fifth, by winning two stages and the overall title in Romandie.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep saw its lead in the team ranking shrink to one point ahead of Liquigas-Cannondale. Sky moved up from sixth to third, based on its three stage wins and title in Romandie.
In the national rankings, Spain continues to lead Italy and Belgium. Australia and the Netherlands swapped places, with Australia moving up to fourth.
It will be Schleck's second appearance at the Giro, having ridden it previously in 2005.
Daniele Bennati will be the team's man on the sprint stages. The 31-year-old Italian is still looking for his first win this year, but last season won stage at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Tour of Austria, Tour de Wallonie and the Vuelta a Espana. In 2008 he won three stage and the point ranking at the Giro d'Italia.
In the mountains, the team will look to Oliver Zaugg and Thomas Rohregger. Zaugg won the Tour of Lombardy last year, while Rohregger won his homeland Tour of Austria in 2008.
RadioShack-Nissan for 2012 Giro d'Italia: Jan Bakelants, Daniele Bennati, Ben Hermans, Giacomo Nizzolo, Nelson Oliveira, Thomas Rohregger, Fränk Schleck, Jesse Sergent and Oliver Zaugg.