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First Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 23, 2014

Date published:
June 23, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Bruyneel appealed case to CAS before WADA

    Lance Armstrong and Johan Bruyneel at their first official RadioShack press conference.
    Article published:
    June 20, 2014, 21:11 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Belgian looks to fight USADA

    Cyclingnews can confirm that Johan Bruyneel has appealed the decision to ban him for ten years from sport. The news comes just days after World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) announced that they would appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) for an extension of the Belgian’s sentence.

    However Cyclingnews understands that Bruyneel lodged his appeal with CAS before WADA’s motion. When contacted by Cyclingnews, CAS stated only that “this [email] is to confirm that Mr Bruyneel has filed an appeal.”

    Bruyneel was handed a ten year ban from the sport in April for his part in the doping practices that occurred at US Postal and Discovery, teams which the Belgian managed. The case was brought by the US Anti-Doping Agency in 2012 and also saw Lance Armstrong handed a life-time ban.

    Unlike Armstrong, Bruyneel chose to fight the charges. After a relatively length case, with a hearing taking place in London in December of last year, Bruyneel was sanctioned. Doctor Pedro Celaya and trainer Jose 'Pepe" Marti, who worked under Bruyneel were also handed eight-year sanctions.

    Bruyneel had a 21 day window in which he could lodge an appeal. Cyclingnews understands that he did so at the last possible moment, challenging the case and ruling over national jurisdiction. Bruyneel argued in the lead up to the case that USADA had no right to sanction him.

    Bruyneel was not available for comment when contacted by Cyclingnews but Cyclingnews understands that WADA had the right to appeal the decision up to 21 days after Bruyneel...

  • Boonen out of Tour de Suisse

    Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2014, 21:49 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian nursing hip injury

    The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team lost one weapon in its arsenal to defend Tony Martin's lead in the Tour de Suisse when Tom Boonen failed to take the start of the individual time trial on Friday.

    The Belgian crashed prior to the start of the race on June 9 while training in the Ardennes, and had injuries to the right side of his body, including a hematoma on his hip.

    Over the course of the race, he was not able to keep a good position on the bike and developed pain in his knee. After abandoning the race, he returned to Belgium where he underwent testing at a Herentals clinic, and had fluid drained from his hip. He now will take several days rest before resuming his training schedule.

    "It's a shame, especially because I am sad I can't be there to help Tony Martin defend his leader's jersey at Tour de Suisse," Boonen said. "He has been a real fighter and has also helped his teammates when they've had opportunities. I wish I could help return the favor in the last days. But, I think it's a wise decision to stop now and recover. I couldn't continue like this, the pain was becoming more intense day-by-day. I wish to the team, and Tony, all the best for the end of Tour de Suisse."

    Boonen's next goal is the Belgian championships on June 29, where he will seek to regain the title from last year's winner Stijn Devolder.

  • Nuyens not at full strength after heart procedure

    Nick Nuyens (Garmin-Sharp)
    Article published:
    June 20, 2014, 23:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian drops out of Ster ZLM Toer

    Garmin-Sharp rider Nick Nuyens started the Ster ZLM Toer with the hopes of slowly working his way back into competition following a minor surgery to correct a cardiac arrhythmia, but the third stage proved to intense for the Belgian, and he had to abandon.

    "Today was a hellish stage, where the speed was particularly high," Nuyens said to Het Nieuwsblad. He expected that he might have to drop out at some point because he is yet to get back to full strength following the June 10 procedure. "I still on medication after that surgery, and the drugs put a clear brake on my performance. That in itself is no surprise, because that doctors had warned me. "

    "Maybe I wanted to see results too quickly," he said. "Today I had hoped for a quiet start. However, it was completely different, with war from kilometer zero."

    Nuyens will try again in the Halle-Ingooigem, and compete in the Belgian Championships, but acknowledged that any chance of being on Garmin's team for the Tour de France is gone.

    "I'll be watching the Tour de France on TV. I would definitely like to make something of the autumn."

  • Nibali polishes his Tour de France form in the Dolomites

    Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    June 21, 2014, 10:41 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Astana working on how to control Froome's attacks

    Vincenzo Nibali is preparing for the Tour de France in the Italian Dolomites, working intensely in the mountains in the hope he can find the power to respond to attacks by his big rivals Chris Froome and Alberto Contador.

    The Italian struggled to be competitive at the recent Criterium du Dauphine, finishing seventh overall behind winner Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) but his coach Paolo Slongo is convinced that he can close the gap on his rivals in time for the decisive stages of the Tour de France.

    "They're already at their best and can't improve anymore," Slongo suggested to Gazzetta dello Sport.

    "Nibali has to reach 100% during the first week of the Tour de France, there's still a month until the key mountain stages of the Tour. I would have been worried if Nibali had been at his best at the Dauphine."

    "Now's the time to do the high-intensity work, to give him what he needs. He's already recovered 10 watts at his threshold but he's still got some high-intensity work to do."

    Slongo followed Nibali and his Astana teammates during training rides on a scooter and uses wireless telemetry to see Nibali's SRM data. The workouts are done on the slopes of the Valparola, Pordoi and San Pellegrino climbs, with the riders staying at the Rifugio Flora Alpina near the summit of the Passo San Pellegrino, at an altitude of 1900m. Nibali will stay in the Dolomites until the Italian national championships and ride both the time trial and the road race events.

    According to Gazzetta dello Sport, the riders were woken at 6:15 in the morning for a surprise UCI Biological Passport blood test on Thursday, with the inspector apparently entering the riders' room to find the riders. The blood samples...

  • Mollema shows his form at the Tour de Suisse

    Bauke Mollema (Belkin) took to the kerb to attack
    Article published:
    June 22, 2014, 11:11 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Belkin leader moves up to fifth as the Tour de France looms

    Despite doubts about the future of the Belkin team, Bauke Mollema looks on track for the Tour de France with another strong performance at the Tour de Suisse.

    The Dutchman finished third on the mountain stage to Verbier on Saturday. He moved up from 11th to fifth overall, 1:41 down on leader Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) but is expected to go on the attack during Sunday's final mountain stage to Saas-Fee.

    Mollema finished sixth in the 2013 Tour de France after fighting for a place on the podium for much of the race.

    In the heat of the racing on the climb to Verbier, Mollema even took to the footpath to make an attack with Roman Kreuziger (Tinkoff-Saxo). Johan Esteban Chaves had already made his move but Mollema and Kreuziger went very close to catching him, finishing just three seconds behind.

    "Chaves attacked in the last kilometres," Mollema said. "I reacted but had Roman Kreuziger in my wheel. In the last kilometre, he refused to ride and waited for the sprint. He sprinted ahead for second place but anyway I think Chaves was the strongest."

    Mollema's Belkin team set up his strong finale, with Stef Clement, Steven Kruijswijk and Laurens ten Dam doing a lot of work on the climb to Verbier. They are expected to support him yet again at the Tour de France.

    "As planned we managed to set the pace on the final climb," Mollema explained. "Steven and Laurens worked hard to control the race. I'm happy with this third place. Tomorrow (Sunday) I have a chance again."

    Mollema hopes to climb on to the final Tour de Suisse podium after Sunday's stage. The 156.7km stage includes four climbs, including the final 20km Hors Category climb to the...

  • David Walsh questions Team Sky's ethics in Sunday Times

    A rare sight, Chris Froome in standard Team Sky kit
    Article published:
    June 22, 2014, 18:52 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Team defends in-competition request for TUE

    David Walsh has questioned Team Sky's ethics in The Sunday Times newspaper suggesting that the British team "talk the talk of high ethical standards but do not walk the walk."

    In reply to questions from Cyclingnews, Team Sky denied any failings regarding Chris Froome racing with a Theraputic Use Exemption (TUE) at the Tour de Romandie, insisting their riders "only race or train when it's right to do so – their safety and long-term health are essential."

    Walsh was embedded with Team Sky during the 2013 Tour de France and went on to write the book 'Inside Team Sky', where he said he publicly concluded that Froome won the race clean and that there was no trace of a doping culture within Team Sky.

    Walsh is famous for his pursuit of Lance Armstrong and his strong stance against doping.

    He openly questions Team Sky's ethical stance after it emerged that the British team requested a TUE so that Froome could be treated with a corticoid containing the banned substance prednisone during the Tour de Romandie in April. Froome went on to win the race.

    Walsh appears to have talked to Froome, Team Sky's lead doctor Alan Farrell and former team psychologist Steve Peeters. He suggests Team Sky, at one point, had medical ethics that were against requesting a TUE during competition and questions why this no longer appears to be the case.

    "What has happened to the team’s belief that TUEs should not be sought for riders in competition? Farrell says he was unaware this ethical...

  • Costa wins third consecutive Tour de Suisse title

    Chris Froome and Rui Costa shake hands
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 9:31 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    World champion heads to Tour de France with confidence

    World champion Rui Costa won his third consecutive title at the Tour de Suisse on Sunday, something that no other rider has done. The Lampre-Merida rider now heads into the Tour de France with the confidence needed to lead his team in the overall classification.

    Costa won the final stage and the overall classification at the nine-day Tour de Suisse – his first victories of the season.

    "What a wonderful day: stage and overall classification victories, I could not have asked for a better end,” Costa said. “No one had ever won Tour de Suisse three times in a row. I’m proud to be the first one to do it and I think it's even a bigger satisfaction having done it wearing the rainbow jersey."

    Costa’s win comes after a frustrating series of runner-up places at Paris-Nice and the Volta ao Algave. “These are also my first season’s successes after six second places, it's something very good for me and the team. Thanks to my teammates, to the team staff, to the sponsors and to all the Portuguese fans who supported me on Swiss roads.”

    Costa went into the final stage 1:05 down on overnight leader Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep). He attacked Martin and bridged up to a decisive breakaway that had formed earlier during the 157km stage from Martigny to Saas Fee, making the move with other overall contenders Matthias Frank (IAM Cycling) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin).

    The trio remained the strongest of the diminished breakaway on the final 20km climb to the finish line. Frank was the first to show his hand but Costa...

  • Sergio Henao out for the season after Tour de Suisse crash

    Sergio Henao (Sky) slipped down the overall
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 11:22 BST
    Cycling News

    Colombian to undergo knee surgery this week

    Sergio Henao (Team Sky) has said that he is unlikely to return to racing this season. The Colombian suffered a fractured knee cap in a crash during a reconnoitre of the Tour de Suisse time trial, last Friday.

    "It's pointless trying to hasten my recover and try to return. My priority is to be good physically, at 100 percent, and I don’t think I will be able to return to racing this season," Henao told Spanish website Biciciclismo from his European base in Pamplona, Spain.

    Henao is currently waiting to undergo surgery, as the team decide on where they will send him for the operation. If the team opt to send him to the University of Navarra, in Pamplona, he could go under the knife on Wednesday or Thursday of this week.

    The Tour de Suisse was Henao's first race since the Tour of Oman in February. His Sky team withdrew him from racing in the intervening period after anomalies were found in an out-of-competition doping control last winter. Following further testing, Henao was cleared by the team to return in Switzerland, and despite the lack of racing action, he found that he hadn’t lost much against the other GC riders.

    "I immediately realised that I was physically very strong and I believed that I could at least fight for the general classification. For me, it was a joy when I was third in the stage that Sagan won," he said.

    The 26-year-old was in 15th position (36 seconds down on race leader Tony Martin) in the general classification at the Tour de Suisse when he was hit by a car during a recon of the 24.5-kilometre time trial course in Worb. On-race doctor Steve Baynes arranged for Henao to be transported to the nearest hospital, where he was diagnosed him with a fractured...