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First Edition Cycling News, Sunday, May 4, 2014

Date published:
May 04, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Van Garderen hits the reset button after a tough spring

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
    Article published:
    May 03, 2014, 13:31 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    BMC Tour de France leader quits the Tour de Romandie

    Tejay van Garderen announced the end of his spring racing campaign with a simple but sincere tweet that also confirmed he had retired from the Tour de Romandie.

    "It's been a rough spring. Time to hit the reset button," he wrote on his personal Twitter account on Friday afternoon.

    The talented American is expected to now take a break before building up for the Tour de France, where he will the sole leader for BMC.

    Van Garderen has battled through a roller coaster spring campaign. He started the season with an impressive second place at the Tour of Oman behind Chris Froome (Team Sky) but was forced to quit Paris-Nice on stage one due to illness. He bounced back to finish third overall at the Volta a Catalunya and win the decisive mountain stage to Vallter 2000-Setcases. He was sixth overall at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco and was targeting success at the Tour de Romandie but crashed hard in the prologue time trial.

    He continued in the race despite racing in pain but opted to retire during Friday's mountain stage to avoid worsening his injuries.

    "I had a pretty nasty crash in the prologue where I hit my hip pretty good. I had x-rays and there were no broken bones but it was pretty painful," van Garderen said in an interview published on the BMC team website.

    "I was optimistic it was getting better each day and that I could finish the race up strong. But when we hit the steep climbs today (Friday), it really started aggravating and flaring up. I just thought it wasn't worth risking doing further damage by staying in the race. It is better to rest it and kind of turn the page on the spring and focus on the Tour de France, which is what is most important."


  • Armstrong moves to block SCA legal battle

    Stefano Garzelli, Lance Armstrong and Ivan Basso on the 2005 stage to Ax-3 Domaines
    Article published:
    May 03, 2014, 19:38 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Disgraced Texan appeals to the Supreme Court

    Lance Armstrong has asked the Texas Supreme Court to stop the re-opening of his legal arbitration case with insurance company SCA in a late attempt to avoid paying back an estimated $12 million dollars.

    The disgraced Texan has been in dispute with SCA since 2005, when the company first investigated claims of doping and refused to pay out bonus award for Armstrong's Tour de France victories. The two parties eventually settled and the case was closed, but Armstrong gave sworn testimony that he did not dope. That proved not to be true when he admitted doping last year, was suspended for life and lost his seven Tour de France victories.

    SCA Promotions began legal action to re-open the case and regain $12 million last year but Armstrong's legal team believes Texan law does not allow parties to revisit voluntary settlements. Lower courts have refused to stop the case, now Armstrong has appealing to the state's highest civil court.

    Armstrong has faced several lawsuits since admitting doping and has already settled with the Sunday Times newspaper and Acceptance Insurance, which paid him $3 million in bonuses in a similar way to SCA. Armstrong reached a deal with Acceptance just before he was scheduled to be questioned under oath about his doping.

    Armstrong also faces a federal whistleblower lawsuit as the US government attempts to recover more than $30 million the U.S. Postal Service paid to Armstrong and the US Postal Service team. Under the Whistleblower law, penalties in the case could reach up to $100 million, with former teammate turned testimony Floyd Landis in line to receive part of any payment.

  • Teams irked at Tour of Gila time trial after UCI rule change

    Clement Chevrier (Bissell) goes into the weekend in the top ten on GC after todays stage.
    Article published:
    May 03, 2014, 22:00 BST
    Pat Malach

    Some riders end up time trialing on their road bikes

    Recent changes to the UCI rules regarding the configuration of time trial bikes left several teams in the lurch for Friday's race of truth at the Tour of the Gila in New Mexico, forcing multiple riders to compete in the 26km stage 3 individual time trial on their standard road bikes.

    Configurations that were legal last month at the National Race Calendar Redlands Bicycle Classic and Joe Martin Stage Race didn't pass muster this week at the UCI 2.2 race in New Mexico.

    The changes focused on the 80cm limit from the center of the bottom bracket to the end of the shifters on handlebar extensions. The measurement was previously taken with the shifters inline with the bend of the bars. The new rule added measurements with the shifters in their horizontal and vertical positions.

    Bissell Development Team and 5-hour Energy appeared to have taken the brunt of the changes, with many of each team's riders competing on their road bikes. Hincapie Sportswear, the BMW Development Team and Marc Pro-Stava also had riders affected by the rule change.

    Frankie Andreu, the 5-hour director, said the day proved to be a nightmare for his team.

    "I had seven guys at the start, and we probably had to adjust six bikes," Andreu said, adding that the team's top time trial prospect, Jon Hornbeck, had to compete on his standard road bike.

    "I've got several guys who are very meticulous and very anal about their bike setups," Andreu said. "And even their bikes were off. We had two guys miss their start times completely, one by two minutes and the other by a minute."

    James Oram, the Bissell rider who won a silver medal at the junior world time trial championships in 2011 and took the victory at the San Dimas Stage Race time trial earlier this year, was forced to compete on his road bike on...

  • inCycle video: 2014 Giro d'Italia Grande Partenza preview

    Giro d'Italia 2014
    Article published:
    May 03, 2014, 22:56 BST
    Cycling News

    A look ahead to next week's start in northern Ireland

    The Giro d'Italia will start this year in Ireland on on Friday, May 9. It will kick off with a route in Belfast, along the coast and in Dublin.

    With the Grande Partenza in Ireland, organizers are hoping to increase the visibility of the Giro around the world.

    Stages 1 and 2 will start and finish in Northern Ireland. Stage 1 is a TTT around Belfast city center. Stage 2 is one for the sprinters, a relatively flat 218km starting and finishing in Belfast. Stage 3 will start in Northern Ireland and finish 187km later in Dublin.

    Stephen Roche is the only Irish winner of Giro d'Italia - he took the maglia rosa in 1987.

    Check out the video below.

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  • Basso and Viviani to lead Cannondale at the Giro d'Italia

    Thumbs up for Cannondale after the win
    Article published:
    May 04, 2014, 10:15 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Viviani hoping to beat Kittel and wear the pink jersey

    The Cannondale team has revealed its nine rider for the Giro d'Italia with the Ivan Basso confirmed as the team leader for the overall classification, while Elia Viviani will target results in the sprints in the first half of the race, while the enigmatic Moreno Moser will also have the freedom to target stage victories.

    Also in the nine-rider roster are Vuelta a Espana winner Daniele Ratto, key domestiques Paolo Longo Borghini and Alan Marangoni, Germany's Michel Koch and talented neo-pro Davide Villella.

    "We aim to attend the Giro as one of the most combative teams," said team manager Roberto Amadio in a press release from the team. "We want to play an attacking role every time we have the chance. And the riders' selection follows this ambition. We're really confident in the entire team - the desire to show our potential will be the biggest push for this Giro."

    Basso turned 36 in November and missed last year's Giro d'Italia due to a nasty saddle sore. He was on form at the Vuelta a Espana but then quit the race after suffering in the cold and rain on stage 14. He has struggled so far this season and was off the pace in this week's Tour de Romandie but has refused to lose hope of s good overall result when the Giro d'Italia ends in Trieste on June 1.

    "Feeling strong is something you've got to build gradually. I'm not riding as well as I'd like and I've got to keep working. I can honestly say I'm worried but I'm not going to let it get to me for now," Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport.

    The Cannondale hope Basso can find his form in time for the decisive week of the Giro d'Italia, when the mountain stages will be decisive.

    Viviani dreams of taking the pink jersey

  • Wiggins eyes a fifth Olympic gold in 2016

    Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2014, 17:10 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Briton hoping to secure a Tour place via success at the Tour of California

    Bradley Wiggins revealed more details of his plans for beyond 2014, confirming he hopes to target a fifth gold medal at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games before hanging up his wheels and helping cycling at a grass roots level.

    Wiggins is currently in the USA before the start of the Tour of California and posed for photographs in the movie studios of sponsors 21st Century Fox with his teammates. He revealed his plans in a video interview with the BBC.

    “I want to go to the next Olympics and go for gold medal number five, that’s a big goal for me in two years time, and after that, stay in sport, because it’s been a big part of my life since I was kid,” Wiggins said.

    "I want to be involved at grassroots somewhere, because all this inspirational stuff, the kids are kind of the future of everything really, not just sport, but life.”

    Wiggins revealed to Cyclingnews in March that this year's Tour de France could be his last.

    "After the Tour de France, we're 18 months out from the Olympics and that's really when you've got to get back on the (track) programme. It could be that this is my last Tour. If it is, I'd better make it a good one," he told Cyclingnews.

    After riding well at the recent Giro del Trentino in Italy, Wiggins hopes to be competitive in California to convince the Team Sky management and team leader Chris Froome to give him a place in the Tour de France squad.

    "He's the current champion of the Tour and he's looking to win his second consecutive race, so we're going to have to put a strong team around him to do the job and there's plenty of guys to choose from and so it's going to be a...

  • Tour of Turkey win won't change Yates' approach

    Race leader Adam Yates in the blue jersey
    Article published:
    May 04, 2014, 20:15 BST
    Sam Dansie

    British rider taking it day by day

    Adam Yates capped a breakout week by pulling on the turquoise jersey of the winner of the Tour of Turkey in Istanbul today, yet he insists it won't make him set race targets this season.

    It has been a whirlwind eight days for the 21-year-old neo-pro. Early in the 184km stage 3 - the race's toughest day - his twin brother and designated Orica leader, Simon, crashed and broke his collarbone. Adam immediately assumed the mantle of team leader and as race approached the summit finish that day, he was the only rider capable of following Rein Taaramae's (Cofidis) powerful attack. Though the Estonian road champion gapped Yates at the line, it was only by six seconds.

    And on stage 6, it was Yates' turn to put the pressure on his rival. Showing impressive explosiveness, he attacked late on the final climb to the House of the Virgin Mary above Ephesus, and, despite a desperate chase from Taaramae, Yates claimed the seven seconds he needed to pull on the race's turquoise jersey.

    It's been a highly assured performance for one so young. Just last year, however he took three stage podiums at the U23 Tour de l'Avenir and finished second overall. Yet Yates is determined to keep a lid on his ambitions and expectations. No matter how good today's result is and what it may indicate for the future, he's going to take his neo-pro season "day by day."

    He's scheduled to start the Tour of California next week, but "I'm not sure who [from the team] is going," he admitted in the press conference after today's stage.

    "I might be working or going for a stage win. I'm young and not really going for any targets. I go into races looking for...

  • Watch the NCC's Dana Point Grand Prix live on Cyclingnews

    Current NCC and USA CRITS Series leaders, Carlos Alzate and Frank Travieso, pose before the race on Saturday.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2014, 22:45 BST
    Cycling News

    John Johnson Pro NCC Classic beginning at 4:00 pm PST (7:00 pm EST)

    USA Cycling's National Criterium Calendar (NCC) will continue with the fourth round at the Dana Point Grand Prix held on Sunday, May 4 in California. Watch the men's John Johnson Pro NCC Classic criterium live on Cyclingnews.

    The pro men will be competing for more than $17,000 in cash, primes and prizes. More importantly, they will be competing for point to put toward a higher ranking in the NCC series.

    UnitedHealthcare's Carlos Alzate is currently leading the overall series after the first three rounds; Sunny King Criterium, Charlotte-Belmont Omnium and Winston-Salem Classic Criterium. Isaac Howe (Champion System-Stan's NoTubes) is sitting in second place and Alzate's teammate, Hilton Clarke, is in third.

    UnitedHealthcare is also leading the overall team competition ahead of Team SmartStop, Hincapie Sportswear Development, Astellas Cycling and Champion System-Stan's NoTubes.

    The six-turn L-shaped criterium course will wind through neighborhoods overlooking the beautiful Dana Point Harbor and will finish at Town Center on PCH. The event's executive director, Russell Ames said, "The DPGP is American criterium racing at its finest because of the countless hours of dedicated community volunteers and organizations, the Dana Point City Staff and the support of great sponsors and participants. We'll have huge crowds, plenty of free kids activities, exciting racing action, and most importantly -- a chance to give-back to the community by contributing to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Capistrano Valley and the 5th Marine Regiment Support Group."

    Cyclingnews will stream live the John Johnson Pro NCC Classic beginning at 4:00 pm PST (7:00 pm EST).