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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, August 11, 2011

Date published:
August 11, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Tour de France trivia challenge winners announced

    Grand Prize winner, George Gill
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 1:08 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Did you enter the Easton - Cyclingnews contest?

    Each day during our live coverage of the Tour de France, Cyclingnews and Easton tested your knowledge to give you the chance to upgrade your bike in a major way.

    Easton, of course, makes some of the most durable high-performance wheels and components in cycling. Just ask former road World Champion and 2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and multiple-time US National champion George Hincapie, who both ride for Easton-sponsored BMC Racing Team.

    We're pleased to announce that the Grand Prize winner is New Zealand's George Gill who is set to become the owner of complete BMC TimeMachine SLR01.

    Gill said he was "speechless" following the news that he would soon be riding the same rig which Cadel Evans steered to victory in Paris.

    "As a New Zealander, and therefore a "cousin" to our Australian neighbours I was supporting Cadel in his quest for victory," he said. "I think that was some of the smartest riding I have ever seen; both by Cadel and the team. The way that they remained completely calm even when Andy Schleck made his epic bid for victory was absolutely impressive."

    As someone who rides for his daily commute to work and as a weekend warrior, Gill says some longer rides might be on the cards following the TimeMchine's delivery.

    Meantime, the other contest winners have also been selected. The first runner up and winner of a set of Easton's SL carbon clincher wheels is Palmer Stoyanov of Bulgaria. The second runner up and winner of a combination of Easton SL stem, handlebar and seatpost is Andrew Briggs of South Africa.

    Congratulations to all!

     

  • Sevilla awaits doping verdict from Spanish Federation

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    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 1:51 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Spaniard competing for overall title at Tour of Utah

    Gobernacion de Antioquia's Oscar Sevilla is sitting in second place overall at the UCI 2.1 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah afterStage 1 and some have begun to wonder why he is permitted to compete after producing a positive A-sample at the Vuelta a Colombia in August last year. According to the Spaniard, he is still waiting for the Spanish Cycling Federation to come to a decision with regard to his case, which will likely happen in November of December.

    "My situation was similar to Ezequiel Mosquera, and for the moment, it is not finished, but I have no answers yet on the decision," Sevilla told Cyclingnews. "I am supposed to find out about the Spanish Federation's decision in November and December. But, I don't think anything will happen."

    On August 15 of last year, Sevilla produced a positive urine A-sample for hydroxyethyl starch during the final stage of the Vuelta a Colombia. The substance is thought to be used by athletes as a masking agent to limit the detection of other banned products.

    "I was at the Tour of Colombia and in yellow for 11 days where I had doping controls and no problems," Sevilla said. "I crashed the second to last stage and went to the hospital for lacerations. I had no doping control that day. I had the next doping control on Sunday, August 15 and that was positive. The hospitals in Colombia are different and about 20 years in the past. I don't know what happened."

    Although the substance is not on the banned list governed by the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA), it was reported that the International Cycling Union (UCI) handed Sevilla a provisional suspension. Hydroxyethyl starch is listed on WADA's prohibited list as a "specified substance," meaning that it does not carry...

  • Evans welcomed home in Melbourne

    Evans talks to the media on the tarmac at Melbourne Airport
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 3:10 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tour de France winner arrives for whirlwind celebrations

    Cadel Evans has arrived back home in Australia, following his Tour de France victory last month. The BMC rider touched down in Melbourne this morning ahead of a celebratory parade in his honour through the southern capital on Friday.

    Evans, and his wife Chiara Passerini was greeted by a throng of media and several VIPs including federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib, Victorian Premier Ted Baillieu and Qantas executive Ken Ryan.

    "It was a long trip, but I'm just happy to be here and happy that everyone is so appreciative to have me home, and I've been enjoying a good July and a great Tour de France but I'm glad to be able to come home and celebrate it with everyone that's supported me for all this time," the nation’s first Tour winner said.

    "When you're riding the Tour de France you're pretty concentrated on each day and each race and so sometimes your forget there's 20 million people at home cheering you on, there's just so much going on in the moment."

    On Friday, Evans will be back on the bike riding from the National Gallery of Victoria to Federation Square where he will be honoured by what is expected to be a large lunchtime crowd. The celebrations will be televised live nationally via SBS.

    Following the whirlwind celebrations, Evans will then head to the United States where he will race at the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado.
     

  • Anthony basks in biggest career victory at Tour of Utah

    Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) salutes as he crosses the line in Ogden
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 4:09 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    New England native hopes to make the jump to Europe

    Jesse Anthony (Kelly Benefit Strategies-OptumHealth) secured the most prestigious win in his career at stage one of the UCI 2.1 Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah on Wednesday. The New England native is hoping that a series of strong performances and the right focus and training will lead to a future of full-time racing in Europe.

    Anthony previously won the overall at the Nature Valley Grand Prix in June, and before that scored the overall victory in the Danish Festningsrittet stage race in 2010, but this was his top throw-your-arms-up win since his 2004 cyclo-cross national championship.

    "I can't believe it," Anthony told Cyclingnews. "We've worked so hard for this all year and it was a full team effort again just like Nature Valley Grand Prix. I want to give all the glory to God because he gave me the strength and the wisdom. I took off with a lap and half to go thinking that it was the dumbest suicide move and I just wanted to go race my bike. You can try 100 times and 99 times it won't work, and one time it did. I thought it was stupid, but it worked."

    The 182.9 kilometer stage one circuit race was held on three laps of a grueling loop that included a steep ascent over North Ogden Pass. Anthony rode solo over the final climb and was caught by a small lead group on the descent down to the finish line. The riders who caught him were race leader Sergio Henao and Oscar Sevilla (Gobernacion de Antioquia) and Levi Leipheimer and Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack). The five riders made it to the finish line two and half minutes ahead of the next group. Anthony out-paced the...

  • Endura Racing preps for Tour of Britain in Utah's Wasatch Mountains

    The Endura racing team patrols the front.
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 6:44 BST
    By:
    Kirsten Frattini

    Jack Bauer sits in top ten overall at Tour of Utah

    Great Britain-registered UCI Continental team Endura Racing is using the high-altitude and mountainous terrain at this week's Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah as a platform for its season target at the Tour of Britain held from September 11-18. Jack Bauer is currently the team's highest placed rider, sitting in eighth overall, at the stateside event.

    "We just flew in a couple of days before the start of the race and this was a big shock to the system being at the high altitude situation that we are in," Bauer told Cyclingnews. "I nearly coughed up a lung at the top of the climb in the prologue."

    Endura Racing sent a team of eight to the Tour of Utah that also includes Paul Voss, Iker Camano, John Anderson, Rene Mandri, Robert Partridge, Scott Thwaites and Alexander Wetterhall.

    The team directeur sportif will select a six-man team for the Tour of Britain out of the eight riders participating in the Tour of Utah. "This is a good lead-up into the Tour of Britain, which is our home race at the end of September," Bauer said. "This whole week at altitude and riding against such high caliber teams is preparation for that event."

    According to Bauer, the team's best short at a strong overall placing is with Camano. However, he dropped his chain in the opening prologue and is sitting 24 seconds behind the top overall race leaders Sergio Henao (Gobernacion de Antioquia), Francisco Mancbeo (RealCyclist.com) and Oscar Sevilla (Gobernacion de Antioquia).

    Other top contenders include Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad), Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cervelo), Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack) and Christian Vande Velde (Garmin-Cervelo).

    "I don't think I can contest the classification here, I am not here for that," Bauer said. "This course and the whole...

  • Louder riding for a contract in Utah

    Jeff Louder (BMC) is a hometown favourite
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 8:11 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    American to leave BMC after four seasons

    Salt Lake City native Jeff Louder is looking to catch the eye of a new team while racing at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, as he is likely to not renew his contract with BMC, he told Cyclingnews today. The American will turn 34 in December, and has spent the past four seasons racing with BMC.

    "My contract is up this year, and I am currently looking at all the options," Louder said.

    "Things are always in flux... For me, family-wise, I'm at the point in my career that I'm interested in looking at what's out there and to do what's best for my family," he said.

    His young family grew by one this spring, and his four-year-old daughter is about to begin pre-kindergarden, so Louder said that being able to spend more time at home is important.

    "It's a balance: it's attractive to me to be able to be home. At the same time, it's a matter of what team I can find where I can do the best for the family and still compete at a high level in cycling."

    When asked if he would pursue a domestic calendar for 2012, he said he hadn't decided yet.

    "I'm not really settling on one or the other yet - domestically I have a lot to offer. I'm demonstrated that I am good racing at the NRC, and that's attractive - I can get good results. At the same time I'm highly experienced and I think I have a spot in Europe. It's a matter of what we can work out."

    Louder said he has some pending negotiations, but that a good performance in Utah or in the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado would be important toward sealing a deal.

    "I'm definitely riding for a contract. Or working toward that at least. I don't think any one race ever defines a cyclist, but this is...

  • Guillén predicting a nail-biting Vuelta a España

    The final 2010 Vuelta a Espana podium: Ezequiel Mosquera, Vincenzo Nibali and Peter Velits.
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 9:24 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Race director says he's "proud" to take Grand Tour back to the Basque country

    Ten days out from the start of the Vuelta a España, the final grand tour of 2011, race director Javier Guillén says it is "impossible to predict" who will prevail once the race reaches its conclusion in Madrid on September 11.

    This year's Vuelta starts one week earlier than previous editions, with the race now coinciding with local school holidays, something Guillén explains will "to give the youth the opportunity to contribute to the success of the Vuelta," while also allowing more spectators to line the roadsides or tune in on television.

    Given the change to the calendar, the Vuelta is now even better preparation for the World Championships taking place in Denmark two weeks after the Vuelta ends.

    "I won't deny that the Vuelta is also a preparation race for the World's and I won't complain about it," said Guillén. "It's a chance for us to have great riders participating. I'm sure that everyone lining up in Benidorm [where the Vuelta departs on August 20] will be highly motivated. I also know that it's impossible to predict the winner."

    While the two most recent winner of Grand Tours, Cadel Evans (BMC) and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank SunGard) won't be in attendance, 2010 Vuelta winner Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), as well as Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Igor Anton (Euskaltel) who also have had the red jersey last year, will all be competiting as they did in 2010.

    Riders who were forced to withdraw from last month's Tour de France after crashes will have another shot at a grand tour victory. These include include Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky), Jurgen Van den Broeck (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Andreas Klöden and Janez Brajkovic (RadioShack). While talented young riders Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale), Taylor Phinney (RadioShack) and Marcel Kittel (Skil-Shimano) will make their grand tour debut in Spain.

    Vuelta organisers scored a major coup by securing Benidorm as the start...

  • Vroomen and Ashenden criticise lack of biological passport testing

    UCI president Pat McQuaid speaks at the ProTour dinner
    Article published:
    August 11, 2011, 13:07 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    UCI responds with stinging press release

    The strength of the UCI’s biological passport has been criticised after a former team manager Gerard Vroomen and Michael Ashenden - a member of the UCI’s passport panel, both raised issues about the programme's testing frequency and management.

    Vroomen oversaw the Cervelo TestTeam from 2009 to 2010 and was part of Garmin-Cervelo’s initial set up. He no longer works as part of the team but has first hand experience of how professional cycling works and understands its problems. On Wednesday he wrote a blog on his personal website in which he raised issue with the frequency of passport testing, saying that he had not heard of a rider receiving a biological passport test ‘between the end of the 2010 Tour and April 2011.’

    He suggested, without any categorical proof, that this may have been due to the high legal costs incurred because of the UCI’s disputes with cases against the likes of Franco Pellizotti. A case which the UCI eventually won at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

    The UCI told Cyclingnews on Wednesday that passport testing occurred at the Vuelta, Worlds and a Leopard Trek training camp.

    On Thursday the UCI also issued a stinging press release claiming that 1074 blood passport tests were done in 2010, with a further 1577 done so far this year. The UCI said this includes out-of-competition controls, pre-competition and in-competition controls on all major events during this period and team training camps.

    The UCI criticised Vroomen's assertions as "misleading, irresponsible, mischievous and clearly show a very weak understanding of this complex subject, an area which goes well beyond financial questions alone."

    However while Vroomen’s opinion can be questioned because he no longer works in an area that...