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First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, May 29, 2014

Date published:
May 29, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Pirazzi finally enjoys his big day out at the Giro d'Italia

    Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani CSF) celebrates his Giro d'Italia stage win
    Article published:
    May 28, 2014, 20:08 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Bardiani-CSF rider takes his first career Giro win in Vittorio Vento

    Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) was in tears as he rode to the podium area after winning stage 17 of the Giro d'Italia in Vittorio Veneto. He has gone on the attack dozens of times at the Giro d'Italia during his five year career but had never managed to win a stage until today.

    He finally got his big day out with a late solo attack in the streets of the elegant Veneto town after being in the break of the day during the 208km stage. He got a gap on Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol), Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo), Matteo Montaguti (AG2R-La Mondiale) and Thomas De Gendt (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) in the finale and accelerated away to win alone.

    Unfortunately Pirazzi spoiled his moment in the spotlight by making an offensive gesture after crossing the line. He was fined 200 Swiss Francs and was forced to quickly apologise.

    "Winning had become and obsession that had lasted five years. I regret the gesture and I ask to be forgiven," he said in the stage winner's press conference.

    "It got to the point that if Pirazzi attacked, everyone chase him down but if anyone else attacked it was OK. People kept saying 'Pirazzi gets it wrong again,' 'Pirazzi attacks for nothing'. I’ve always tried to put on a show and so I always knew a win would come eventually."

    "Fortunately this time I chose the right moment. Of the four riders left up front, I was the slowest so I attacked from far out. We did a fast final two hours and so in the end they lacked the strength to chase me. I attacked, got a gap and stayed away."

    Pirazzi hails from the Lazio region, near Rome and his family and friends are often seen at races, and especially at the Giro d'Italia, with 'Tutti pazzi per Pirazzi –...

  • AIGCP request for nullification of Stelvio time differences denied

    Eusebio Unzue denies doing anything wrong
    Article published:
    May 28, 2014, 20:52 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Managers’ proposal rejected by UCI at Giro d'Italia

    There was a silenzio stampa from the team managers on the Giro d’Italia following their sometimes heated meeting before the start of stage 17 in Sarnonico on Wednesday, when they discussed what action ought to be taken following the confused events on the descent of the Stelvio the previous afternoon.

    As the managers and directeurs sportifs gathered in a front yard on the fringe of town, reporters stood just 30 metres away, watching the debate but unable to listen. Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue could be seen animatedly defending his rider Nairo Quintana’s attack on the way down the Stelvio, a move that paved the way for him to take stage victory and move into the maglia rosa, with Valerio Piva (BMC), Luca Guercilena (Trek) and Matt White (Orica-GreenEdge) also among those to speak at length.

    When the impromptu meeting broke up, however, the waiting reporters were curtly informed that the team managers would not make any declarations to the press until the association of teams, the AIGCP, released an official communiqué on the matter.

    That statement eventually arrived during the final hour of racing on Wednesday afternoon, and in the apparent absence of an AIGCP website, it was published on the group’s Facebook page, currently followed by 194 people.

    The AICGP explained that it had sent a delegation to meet with RCS Sport and the UCI commissaires, and added that "on behalf of ALL teams, the AIGCP has specifically demanded a neutralisation of the time differences at the bottom of the descent of the Stelvio of yesterday’s stage." The request, however, was denied by the UCI and the overall standings remain unchanged.

  • Chris Froome calls for more anti-doping tests in Tenerife

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) won the Green Mountain stage in the Tour of Oman
    Article published:
    May 28, 2014, 22:07 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Team Sky rider concerned lack of testing harms image ahead of Tour de France

    Tour de France champion Chris Froome has called on cycling's anti-doping bodies to raise the number of drug tests athletes go through after claiming that he and several other riders were not tested during a recent training camp on Mount Teide in Tenerife.

    Froome has just finished a block of training that lasted almost a fortnight in Tenerife and also stated that he had enquired as to whether several riders from other teams, on Teide at the same time, were tested. He found that no recent tests had been carried out.

    Froome initially took to Twitter, stating, "Three major TDF contenders staying on Mt Teide and no out of competition tests for the past 2 weeks. Very disappointing."

    The riders he was referring to were Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo) and himself. All three riders have singled out the Tour de France as their major ambition for the season and will race the Critérium du Dauphiné next month as their final event before the Grand Depart in Leeds.

    Cyclingnews contacted Froome, who is currently on his way from Tenerife to the United Kingdom as he looks to ride reconnaissance over the Tour de France stages that will be held in England.

    "I've asked around with other teams just out of interest, because we've been up here before and not been tested, so I just wanted to see if it was the same case for everyone but none of them, from what I could gather, had been tested either," Froome told Cyclingnews.

    "Alberto, Vincenzo, we're all up here with our respective teams and at the end of the day we're the ones that have to stand in front of the television cameras in July and justify performances. All three of us are GC contenders and the probability is that whoever is in the...

  • McCarthy goes close to victory in Giro d'Italia breakaway

    Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 0:30 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian gets his nose out front on his Grand Tour debut

    Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff-Saxo) was disappointed to miss out on the stage victory in Vittorio Veneto but took solace from enjoying his time in the break of the day in his first ever Grand Tour.

    The 21-year-old Australia finished third behind late attacker and stage winner Stefano Pirazzi (Bardiani-CSF) and was edged in the sprint by Belgium's Tim Wellens (Lotto Belisol).

    "I never dreamed that I could be going for my own stage victory in a race like the Giro d'Italia, so this is a great moment," he said.

    "I can't be too disappointed, but when you go that close, you always wish you're on that top step.

    "I was waiting for the sprint because I thought I had a good chance but then when Pirazzi got away, I waited for someone else to chase and perhaps feed off that. It was just a little bit too late."

    On a stage like this one, where all of the general classification contenders are looking for a peaceful day before three crucial stages, just getting into the breakaway is a victory in itself. McCarthy made it in with 25 others, and there was never a chance of the peloton chasing them down.

    "It was a really hard start to the stage and when the big group took off, nearly every team was in there, so I was one of the last guys to get across with Gasparotto of Astana."

    "You get a bit excited at times in situations like that but I had Bjarne [Riis] in my ear via the radio, telling to me take it easy and eat and drink. Evgeni Petrov, my teammate was to attack on the last climb, while I was to feed...

  • inCycle video: Giro d'Italia and Michael Matthews' stay in pink

    Michael Matthews on the podium
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 2:00 BST
    Cycling News

    The post-race protocols and responsibilities for the maglia rosa

    Michael Matthews' debut Giro d'Italia was a race to remember for the Australian 23-year-old with a team time trial victory in Belfast, six days in the maglia rosa and victory on stage 6. While the Orica-GreenEdge rider withdrew from the race after placing second on stage 10 with a fractured talebone and several abrasions after crashing on stage 9, it was a highly successful first corsa rosa.

    This inCycle video takes you behind the scenes once the stage has finished to find out the protocols of the podium presentations for the stage winner and jersey wearers that Matthews went through after stage 7 to Foligno.

    Along with his stint in pink, Matthews also enjoyed podium presentations for the young riders' maglia bianco and the climbers maglia azzurra. Along with the podium presentations for the race leader is the post-race conference in the mix zone with TV and print journalists. 

    After the podium and mix zone, Matthews' next port of call is the anti-doping mobile which is his last responsibility.

    Only then can he make his way to the team bus — one hour after the race has finished.

    Don't forget to subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel.

  • Cummings breaks elbow on opening stage of Baloise Belgium Tour

    Stephen Cummings (BMC Racing Team)
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 3:00 BST
    Cycling News

    BMC rider lost control discarding a bidon

    In the closing kilometres of the the opening stage of the Baloise Belgium Tour, BMC's Philippe Gilbert was animating the race by bridging across to a three-man breakaway but back in the chasing peloton,  it was bad news for the team and Stephen Cummings.

    With 20km left in the 173km race, Cummings was at the back of the peloton discarding a bidon when he lost control of his bike and fell to the ground breaking his left elbow which was later confirmed by post-race x-ray's.

    The winner of February's Tour Méditerranéen and runner-up at the Dubai Tour also suffered a contusion to his left hip, BMC's doctor Dario Spinelli said.

    The stage was decided in a bunch sprint with Tom Boonen (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) taking the win ahead of German national road champion André Greipel (Lotto Belisol) and Theo Bos (Belkin Pro Cycling Team) with Greg Van Avermaet the best placed BMC rider in 14th.

    Silvan Dillier also crashed in the frenetic finale as he was involved in a pile-up with 7km left to race but was not seriously hurt.

    As Gilbert explained post-race, the teams with ambitions for sprint finish ensured it was a fast finish to open the Belgium Tour.

    "It was a nervous and fast race and on the local lap it was dangerous," Gilbert said. "I...

  • NRS Shorts: A round up Of Australian domestic racing

    Joe Cooper (Avanti) was the fastest man on the 9.3km course
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 5:00 BST
    Zeb Woodpower & Aaron S. Lee

    A break in racing sees teams venture overseas

    With a break in the Australian racing calendar, several NRS teams are heading off to Asia, Europe and North America before the Subaru NRS series resumes for both the men and women in the last week of July with the Tour of the Murray River.

    These week's NRS news shorts wraps the latest from the Tour of Toowoomba and find out where you can next see Drapac, Avanti and BudgetForklifts in action plus the latest on Olympic triathlete training in NRS roads.

    NRS leader Joe Cooper fractures pelvis at Toowoomba but vows August return
    Subaru National Road Series leader Joseph Cooper (Avanti Racing Team) suffered a nasty spill on stage four resulting in a fractured pelvis while sitting in second overall in general classification at the Tour of Toowoomba over the weekend.

    The 28-year-old, 2013 New Zealand Time Trial National Champion has been on a hot streak after winning the Oceania Time Trial title in February, with previous overall NRS wins this season at the Tour de Perth in March and the Battle on Border earlier this month. But that all came to a screeching halt when Cooper hit the asphalt on Saturday in what he said was the worst crash of his career.

    In heroic fashion, Cooper remounted his Avanti road bike and limped in across the finish line a full 30km from the scene of the accident.

    "I suffered two fractures in my pubic bone," Cooper told Cyclingnews. "The doctor was amazed that I managed to even remount and carry on for the remaining 30km – and now I am hardly...

  • Weekly wrap: North American road races, teams and riders

    Mike Creed and Eric Marcotte have a talk before leaving on the ride.
    Article published:
    May 29, 2014, 6:00 BST
    Kirsten Frattini

    Powers makes history at USA Cycling Professional Road Championships

    North American bike racing continued with exciting performances at the USA Cycling Professional Time Trial and Road Championships on Memorial Day weekend. Check out a few of the other highlights from the peloton last week and a peek at what's to come including the Glencoe Grand Prix and the Philadelphia Cycling Classic.

    Powers makes stars-and-stripes history and donates championship prize to teammate
    UnitedHealthcare's Alison Powers won the road race title at the USA Cycling Professional Championships on Monday. Adding the road title to her time trial victory on Saturday and her criterium title won last summer, she became the first US cyclist to simultaneously hold all three titles in one year. She is set to defend her criterium title in August.

    Powers won the time trial ahead of Specialized-lululemon teammates Carmen Small and Evelyn Stevens. She went on to secure a solo win in the road race ahead of Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) and Stevens. Race organizers presented her with the keys to a brand new Volkswagen GTI, of which the car dealer would provide a one-year lease.

    Powers graciously and thoughtfully donated it her teammate Jackie Crowell, who was diagnosed with brain cancer earlier this year. "Today was amazing and really special," Powers said. "To make history and win a car for Jackie is a dream come true."

    SmartStop underdogs triumph at USA Cycling Professional Road Championship
    Team SmartStop's Eric Marcotte and Travis McCabe took first and second, and teammate Julian Kyer fifth, in the men's race at the USA Cycling Professional Road Championships. The results left cycling fans, up-and-coming riders and even members of the professional peloton inspired that a seemingly underdog team could pull off the prestigious win.

    "Obviously it gives our team that exposure that we want...