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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, March 7, 2013

Date published:
March 07, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Landis on Boogerd: Now who’s the jellyfish?

    Floyd Landis (Phonak) goes on the attack in 2006
    Article published:
    March 06, 2013, 17:53 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    American reacts to Boogerd's confession

    Floyd Landis has reacted to the news that Michael Boogerd has confessed to doping by telling Cyclingnews that the admission is "too little too late".

    Landis, who won the Tour de France in 2006 before being stripped of his title for a positive testosterone test, served a two year ban before coming clean and admitting to his doping past.

    In a tell all interview with Paul Kimmage in 2011 Landis told the story of how he and Boogerd had shared doping stories during the 2006 race.

    Landis told Kimmage that he had a blood transfusion done during the Tour, and it resulted in a bruise on his arm. “The next day I rode alongside Michael Boogerd and he pointed to my arm. Then he pointed to his arm and he made a gesture of: 'I have the exact same thing',” he told the former Sunday Times writer.

    At the time Boogerd laughed off the accusation stating that he had never taken performance enhancing drugs – despite links to organised doping during the late 90s and 2000s at Rabobank.

    After the Kimmage interview Boogerd told the Dutch press that, “He [Landis] did not say that I've used drugs, but he insinuates it. He knows what he did and therefore can only assume that I did the same."

    Boogerd, who retired after the 2007 season, said he did not know why Landis mentioned him. “Maybe it's because of our argument in the Tour in 2006. He showed no respect for the yellow jersey and I called him an arrogant jellyfish.” [ed. 'kwal' in Dutch means jellyfish, but in common usage equates more to 'jerk']

    On Monday night Boogerd...

  • Movistar impresses with second in the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial

    Alex Dowsett and Movistar in action at Tirreno-Adriatico.
    Article published:
    March 06, 2013, 19:23 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Dowsett says the wind was the biggest problem in the intense effort

    The Movistar team finished second behind Omega Pharma-QuickStep at the Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial, using their experience and strength as a team to beat the likes of BMC Racing Team and Cannondale Pro Cycling Team and 2012 winner Orica-GreenEdge.

    Movistar was 11 seconds slower than Omega Pharma-QuickStep but had posted the quickest time until the Belgian squad hit the line thanks to the solid work of team leader Giovanni Visconti, Eros Capecchi, Benat Intxausti, Nicolas Castroviejo, Jan Jose Cobo and Britain's Alex Dowsett.

    The riders rushed to pull on warm clothes after the finish before riding to their hotel for a hot shower.

    "I'd forgotten how hard team time trials are…" Dowsett admitted to Cyclingnews after going deep to finish in the leading five riders.

    "We had a rider order but it got mixed up and I ended up behind Castroviejo. He's so low on his bike that I wasn't getting any help, so it just felt like a fast individual time trial.

    "I don’t really have a lot of team time trial experience, I've only ever done two. I learnt a lot at the Great Britain Academy and Team Sky but these guys are very experienced and so if anything, I'm learning off them."

    Dowsett confirmed that the gusting wind was the biggest problem, forcing riders to look for every bit of shelter behind their teammates even if it increased the risk of high-speed crashes.

    "There were only really two corners where we took it careful. For the rest of it, the wind was more of an issue than the rain. There were a few sketchy moments when we were overlapping wheels, trying to get in the shelter, with everyone darting out of the way," he said.

    Dowsett joined Movistar this season after a year at Team...

  • Tour of Alberta announces inaugural route

    Riders who take part in both the USA Pro Challenge and the Canadian WorldTour races, such as the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, will have the six-day Tour of Alberta to fill the gap next year between the events.
    Article published:
    March 06, 2013, 21:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Start in Edmonton with prologue, finish in Calgary

    The Tour of Alberta has announced the host cities for the inaugural event, set to start in Edmonton on September 3 with a prologue and finishing in Calgary on September 8, 2013.

    The exact route has yet to be finalized, but is expected to be approximately 850km over six stages.

    After the prologue in Alberta's capital, stage 1 will kick off from the Sherwood Park area of Strathcona County, east of Edmonton and finish in Camrose, a sprint-friendly, flat area rich in farmland and lakes.

    The second point-to-point stage will start in Devon, to Edmonton's southwest, and travel due south to Red Deer through rolling cattle land.

    For stage 3, the peloton will transfer to Strathmore, just east of Calgary, and travel through the Canadian Badlands to the finish in Drumheller, known as the Dinosaur Capital of the World for its rich fossil history.

    The penultimate stage takes a peek into the Canadian Rockies, heading from Black Diamond at the base of the foothills to Canmore at 1480m.

    Another transfer brings the riders to Okotoks, due south of Calgary, for the final stage ending in the province's largest city.

    About 15 teams are expected to take part in the Tour of Alberta, which bridges the gap between the USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado and the WorldTour events in Montreal and Quebec.

    2013 Tour of Alberta stages:

    Prologue: Edmonton, Tuesday, September 3
    Stage 1: Strathcona County - Camrose, Wednesday, September 4
    Stage 2: Devon– Red Deer, Thursday, September 5
    Stage 3: Strathmore– Drumheller, Friday, September 6
    Stage 4: Black Diamond– Canmore, Saturday, September 7
    Stage 5: Okotoks - Calgary, Sunday, September 8
     

  • Horner back in action at Tirreno-Adriatico

    Chris Horner is questioned by the media
    Article published:
    March 06, 2013, 22:10 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    American hangs on as Radioshack struggle in the rain

    Chris Horner made his season debut at Tirreno-Adriatico, suffering in the wind and rain as his more powerful Radioshack-Leopard teammates set an infernal pace in the team time trial.

    Radioshack finished second to Orica-GreenEdge in 2012 but was disappointed to finish tenth this year, 36 seconds slower than Omega Pharma-Quick Step. Horner was happy to have hung onto the coat tails of Fabian Cancellara, Danilo Hondo, Giacomo Nizzolo and Yaroslav Popovych.

    "That was an intense start to the season…" he told Cyclingnews as he fought to pull on warm clothes immediately after finishing his ride.

    "We've got a lot of big guys in the team and so I did all I could to just sit back there and hold on. It's amazing what they can do. If I'd done one turn on the front, I'd have been blasted out the back."

    "They punched it so hard going out of the roundabouts and then quickly got back into the saddle and accelerate. I had to sprint just to get back on. I had to finish with them, so I just sat on. But it took a big effort."

    Enthusiastic as ever

    The veteran American turned 41 last October but seems as enthusiastic as ever. He finished second overall to Vincenzo Nibali last year, only losing the leader's jersey in the final time trial. He is hopeful of a similar result after spending the winter training quietly at home in USA.

    "For the team it was about going for the win, so we're a bit disappointed. For me it was finishing with the team and about not losing too much time to the other overall contenders," he explained.

    "Now I'll just be trying to survive until the mountain stages. I think I've got good form. Maybe about the same as last year. I hope so."

  • Puerto: Fuentes discusses 'marker pens' and 'hair loss' with Botero

    Former pro rider Santiago Botero was in London
    Article published:
    March 06, 2013, 22:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Former Colombian World TT Champion told to ask Fuentes’ sister Yolanda for un-named product

    Former world champion Santiago Botero’s possible relationship with Eufemiano Fuentes as a client came under scrutiny once more in Wednesday’s segment of the ongoing Operacion Puerto trial in Madrid, when tapes were played of phone taps dating from May 17, 2006 - just days before Fuentes was arrested.

    Botero, who won the world time trial championship in 2002 as well as stages of the Tour de France, Paris-Nice, Vuelta a España and Dauphiné Libéré, was cleared on any activity by his federation’s Disciplinary Commission, who argued that any potential evidence provided against him by Spain’s Civil Guard was not validated by the correct judicial authority.

    One of those potential pieces of evidence is a phone conversation between Botero and Fuentes concerning “marker pens,” a term associated with EPO.

    Making cryptic references to the Biblical character Samson (the codename with which Botero is possibly identified) and to “haircuts” - believed to be blood transfusions - Fuentes told Botero: “When you paint the countryside with marker pens it’s very difficult to go well in the mountains, you are making up for Samson’s hair loss, given he’s had five or six haircuts.”

    Botero had met Fuentes when racing for Kelme, where Fuentes had been a doctor. At the time of the conversations, the Colombian was racing in the Volta a Catalunya for Phonak, and he also received medical advice from Fuentes on when to take an unnamed product so it would produce the maximum effect.

    Botero also asked Eufemiano Fuentes if his sister Yolanda - also facing charges against public health offences after working as the Kelme team doctor from January 2004, and who has told...

  • Villumsen to ride for Wiggle Honda

    Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) with the silver medal
    Article published:
    March 07, 2013, 0:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Twenty-seven-year-old returns after a short break

    Linda Villumsen will return to the professional women's peloton later this year with Wiggle Honda.

    In December, the Danish-born New Zealander announced that she would be basing herself in her adopted home before returning to Europe in 2014 in a bid for UCI points towards the world championships and Olympic Games.

    "I had a very good 2012 season, but after the four-year Olympic cycle I just felt I needed to put my energies into a few other projects before returning to pro women's cycling," Villumsen, a silver and bronze medallist against the clock the last two years' running, explained in a Wiggle Honda press release.

    "In the meantime I have been keeping up with training, however," she continued. "Marco Pinotti [of WorldTour team BMC Racing], who coaches me, has done a great effort making an alternative race free training program and I just can't wait to join the Wiggle Honda team later on this year. Hopefully the transition back in the peloton will go smoothly but I am really confident in this team and that both riders and staff have built up a very good team environment for me to join soon."

    In January, Villumsen won the New Zealand Time Trial title, adding to those she won while a Dane in 2006, 2008 and 2009.

    "I feel like this time spent without racing has been good for me in many ways," Villumsen explained. "One being that I'm eager to get back to speed and back to racing again. I'm just really looking forward to racing again and I hope I can use this new energy and enthusiasm to convert into positive and good riding."

     

  • De Gendt crashes out of GC contention at Paris - Nice

    Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil - DCM)
    Article published:
    March 07, 2013, 1:22 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Westra carrying the hopes of Vacansoleil-DCM

    Any hopes that Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) had for a strong GC performance at Paris-Nice were dashed on Wednesday, crashing on the descent of the Côte de Mauvagnat towards the end of Stage 3.

    De Gendt, crossed the finish line 5:29 behind stage winner Andrew Talansky (Garmin Sharp) and is at 5:34 in the overall standings.

    "We pretty much had the most dangerous part of the descent behind us," he told Sporza, before explaining that when the rider in front of him crashed, he was unable to avoid him and collided.

    "I had a lot of pain in my shoulder and neck, but there is nothing broken," De Gendt continued. "I also got hit on my hip. It will be seen whether that will affect my legs or if I suffer on the bike tomorrow."

    With seven climbs ahead on Stage 4, De Gendt said that he will get a good indication early as to the ramification of the crash for the rest Paris-Nice.

    While the 26-year-old's setback has ruled him out of GC contention, he remains optimistic that he will be able to try his luck in a breakaway over the coming stages.

    "If a breakaway fails tomorrow, I can try again Friday or Saturday," he said. "And for the rest I want to help my teammate [Lieuwe] Westra."

    Westra suffered his own misfortune, with equipment failure in the dying kilometres of the 170.5km stage. He finished in the chase group, seven seconds behind the leaders, and remains just six seconds back on new race leader, Talansky.

    In other good news for the Dutch team, Martijn Keizer became the new leader in the King of the Mountains classification, from teammate Bert-Jan Lindeman. Keizer, who was in the day's early break with Sébastien Minard (Ag2r), Mads Christensen (Saxo Bank) and...

  • Tirreno-Adriatico TTT creates first time gaps amongst the overall contenders

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step power to victory.
    Article published:
    March 07, 2013, 2:39 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Nibali and Martin talk after losing vital seconds

    The Tirreno-Adriatico team time trial gave the first verdict on the chances of the many big-name overall contenders in this year's race.

    Tony Martin has gained precious seconds on his rivals thanks to Omega Pharma-Quick Step's victory in the team time trial, while his rivals will start the roads stages across the Apennines with a significant handicap of precious seconds.

    Time bonuses of ten, six and four seconds will spice up the racing in the days to come, especially on the mountain finish at Prati di Tivo on stage four and on the steep climb to Chieti on stage five, while the final 9.2km time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto will give the final verdict and decide this year's overall winner.

    In a virtual general classification of the overall contenders after the team time trial, the German leads Cadel Evans (BMC Racing Team) by 16 seconds, with Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) at 20 seconds.

    Chris Froome is a little further behind, at 25 seconds, after Team Sky's disappointing ride, while Alberto Contador (Team Saxo-Tinkoff) is 29 seconds down on Martin. Tom Slagter (Blanco Pro Cycling), Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) and Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) are even further back, at 37, 44 and 57 seconds respectively.

    Andy Schleck (Radioshack-Leopard) is also in action at 'La corsa dei due mari' but is not an overall contender this year as he struggles to find his form. Schleck lost contact with his teammates with two kilometres to go in the team time trial, finishing 1:27 down.

    2012 winner Nibali counted himself lucky to have avoided a high-speed...