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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Date published:
April 05, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Ochowicz pleased with BMC's Tour of Flanders performance

    Jim Ochowicz of Team BMC
    Article published:
    April 04, 2011, 18:03 BST
    Barry Ryan

    American surprised by Garmin-Cervélo's failure to aid chase

    While BMC ultimately did not claim the honours at the Tour of Flanders, team president Jim Ochowicz could not hide his satisfaction at his squad’s performance on the road to Meerbeke.

    When Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) launched a seemingly winning move on the Leberg and bridged to Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step), it was BMC who took responsibility for the chase behind and altered the complexion of the race ahead of the finale.

    “We’re very happy,” Ochowicz told Cyclingnews after the finish. “We want to race our bikes and in order to do that you have to be on the front sometimes. We have to choose our moments, you can’t be there all day but we thought that was the right time to try and bring the race back together. When Cancellara was with Chavanel and they had a minute, we put our people on the front and we got them back.”

    If BMC’s red jerseys were a sizeable and forceful presence on the head of the chasing group, a number of other teams were notable by their absence, chief among them Garmin-Cervélo, a squad widely-expected to make a collective impact at De Ronde.

    “I was a little surprised Garmin didn’t come up, they still had Tyler Farrar, Hushovd and Haussler, but if you don’t make the race, you don’t have a chance to win the race,” Ochowicz said. “We don’t want to race for second or third. We don’t win that many races, but at least we try.”

    Although neither Alessandro Ballan nor George Hincapie was able to cap BMC’s stint of at the front by taking victory, Ochowicz was pleased that his charges had contributed so generously to the racing on Sunday.

  • Two more failed doping tests from the Vuelta Ciclista de Chile

    Lucero pulls into the wind
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 1:46 BST
    Cycling News

    Andrade and Lucero join winner Arriagada with stanozolol found in urine samples

    Chilean Jose Medina Andrade and Argentine Alfredo Lucero have returned positive doping tests from the Vuelta Ciclista de Chile, according to the International Cycling Union.

    The pair join Marco Arriagada as having tested positive for stanozolol metabolites during the event won by Arriagada, "based on reports from the WADA accredited laboratory in Los Angeles in the urine samples collected from them at in-competition tests," it was announced via statement.

    All three riders now "have the right to request and attend the analyses of their B samples."

    Stanozolol is an anabolic steroid, infamously used by Canadian sprinter Ben Johnson when he was stripped of his gold medal in the Seoul Olympic Games 100m final.

    News of Arriagada's positive first surfaced last month where he told "I deny it emphatically,"

    "I'm returning to Chile to perform all the tests to prove my innocence," he continued. "The Federation informed me and now we have to see with my lawyers."

    Arriagada has dominated the Latin American calendar since the turn of the year, with wins in Argentina, Chile and the Dominican Republic. His Tour de San Luis victory was particularly noteworthy, as the 35-year-old saw off a field including the likes of José Serpa, Xavier Tondo and Ivan Basso to take overall honours.


  • Clarke's debut at Flanders a good learning experience

    Simon Clarke (Astana)
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 2:42 BST
    Cycling News

    Australian philosophical about chances at Roubaix

    For a rider racing in Belgium for only the second time in his career, Simon Clarke's first crack at the Tour of Flanders showed some really promising signs. Clarke was able to anticipate the jockeying for position on the Oude Kwaremont and made a daring move before the peloton hit the climb.

    He was joined by Sylvain Chavanel (Quickstep) and quickly found himself in the lead group on the road.

    Speaking to SBS television the Astana rider was encouraged by his performance and felt he did all he could to hang on in the finale.

    "When I saw Chavanel come across the gap I thought 'this guy means business', because I knew that he was one of the key cards Quickstep had to play."

    "There are 18 climbs and I was just counting them down to one. The further I made it the better – once you start worrying about trying to arrive at 258km – that's when you have problems".

    Fatigue played it's role and Clarke ultimately finished in 70th place, 12:37 off Nuyens' time, but the young Australian is quickly finding his feet in the ProTour having moved over from Team ISD-Neri last year. He's already had a number of encouraging results earlier in the season and will be looking to keep his form going into the hillier spring races at the end of April.

    "I haven't done many of these big ProTour races because last year when I was with [ISD-Neri] I was racing a lot in Italy. I'm just enjoying every minute of being part of the big ProTour events."

    Looking forward to this Sunday's Paris-Roubaix, Clarke was in two...

  • Van Emden fails to recover from De Panne injuries

    Jos van Emden (Rabobank) on the attack
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 3:44 BST
    Cycling News

    Dutchman will miss both the Scheldeprijs and Paris-Roubaix

    Rabobank's Jos van Emden will be missing from both the Scheldeprijs on Wednesday and Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

    The 26-year-old was on the team's long list for the events however, is still struggling to recover from hip and hand injuries sustained when he crashed out of the opening stage of the Three Days of De Panne last week.

    2010 Dutch under 23 road champion Tom-Jelte Slagter will be van Emden's replacement for the Scheldeprijs with the men in orange fielding a fast team for event historically dominated by sprinters. Rabobank's last win at the Scheldeprijs came via Thorwald Veneberg in 2005.

    The full Rabobank team for the Scheldeprijs: Theo Bos, Graeme Brown, Tom-Jelte Slagter, Rick Flens, Tom Leezer, Michael Matthews, Coen Vermeltfoort and Dennis van Winden.


  • WADA head proposes eliminating B sample in doping probes

    Director General of the WADA, David Howman
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 9:21 BST
    Cycling News

    Agency asking for information on Clenbuterol issues

    The World Anti-Doping Agency wants to do away with the B samples in doping tests, calling them too expensive and generally not necessary. Others involved in anti-doping efforts have voiced their opposition to the idea.

    "People can go to jail on the basis of one bodily sample being collected, and sport really is on its own in collecting two samples,” WADA general director David Howman said, according to the Associated Press. Howman is currently in London for an international sports conference.

    "We spend half our time justifying costs," he said. "Here's a way in which you could save a lot of costs and not hurt any person's individual rights or opportunities. I don't know if there's a resistance or not but it would certainly make a lot of difference economically."

    Currently athletes give one urine sample which is divided into two containers, the A and B samples. If the first, or A sample, is positive, the B sample can be tested to confirm the results.

    Howman said that the B sample contradicts the A sample “almost zero” percent of the time, indicating that that may be due either a disintegration of the sample, or because of manipulation.

    “Some athletes are putting stuff into their urine to degrade the sample,” he said, for example drinking up to two litres of water before giving the sample. “Sample dilution is one of the best ways for athletes to manipulate a test.”

    Anti-doping scientist Don Catlin opposed the suggestion. "You're taking the right of appeal away from athletes, and I don't think that's good at all. It also handicaps (testing) labs a whole lot,” Catlin told the New York Daily News. “They're losing big time. It's cheaper,...

  • Basso undone by Alto de la Antigua

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas - Cannondale) bests Rigoberto Uran (Sky) and Xavier Tondo (Movistar) for 7th place.
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 11:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian remains confident in Basque Country

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) was unable to match the best on the climb of the Alto de la Antigua, but the Italian was still satisfied with his display on stage one of the Tour of the Basque Country. A select group featuring stage winner Joaquin Rodriguez (Katusha) went clear on its 20 percent slopes with 3km to go, while Basso came home 18 seconds later in 18th place.

    “It was a real wall, one of the hardest climbs I’ve ever done,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I started it in a good position, but to do any better than that on these slopes is impossible for me. I have nothing to be unhappy about, during the race I had good sensations.”

    While Basso’s stated aim for the season is the Tour de France, he has looked to obtain more results in the spring than has been the case in previous years, and he arrived in the Basque Country seeking to make an impression.

    “I want to pick up something here,” Basso said. “I have four objectives: stages, the GC, the time trial and preparing for Fleche Wallone and Liège, although I’m not here to train.”

    Basso picked out Thursday’s stage from Amurrio to Eibar as the toughest but maintains that there is no single decisive leg of the Tour of the Basque Country. “The winner will be the one who succeeds in staying at the front every day,” he said.

    With an eye on the Tour de France, Basso will be looking to assess his time trialling form in the concluding 24km race against the watch. “It’s a significant distance and I want to gauge my progress,” Basso explained. “But before that there are another four difficult stages...

  • Kroon hopes to return in Liege-Bastogne-Liege

    Karsten Kroon (BMC) after a frightening crash.
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 11:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Clean collarbone fracture and no surgery for BMC rider

    Karsten Kroon hopes to be back from his injuries in time for Liege-Bastogne-Liege at the end of April. The BMC Racing Team rider will not need surgery on his broken collarbone and can be back on the bike within a week.

    Kroon crashed with 87km to go in last Sunday's Tour of Flanders, ending up with a broken left collarbone, concussion and stitches above his eyebrow.

    "It's a clean break. I do not need an operation,” he told De Telegraaf. “After about two or three days I can get on the rollers and after a week off, I can cycle again carefully. There is a serious chance that I can still start Liege-Bastogne-Liege."

    If he does ride, however, he knows that he will not affect the outcome of the race. “The good form I have now will be gone. But I am aiming towards a comeback in Liege. "

    It was not Kroon's first disastrous fall in a Spring Classic. Last year he suffered various facial fractures after crashing out of Fleche Wallonne. “I've had bad luck, but in spite of that, this is still fun,” he said philosophically.

    Terpstra: could have helped in Flanders finale

    His Dutch countryman Niki Terpstra (Quick Step) is still recovering from a fractured collarbone suffered in the Three Days of de Panne. ...

  • Extra cobbles expected to shake up Paris-Roubaix

    Fabian Cancellara (Saxo Bank) leads the charge through the Arenberg forest at Paris-Roubaix
    Article published:
    April 05, 2011, 13:25 BST
    Cycling News

    A new section after the Forest of Arenberg could isolate team leaders

    Modifications to the route of this year’s Paris-Roubaix are expected to create a more intense race with the Forest of Arenberg section now closer to the finish. A new, never before used section of pave, inserted just after the Forest of Arenberg and two other sectors after 142km, should also add an extra twist to the race.

    “The racing will be more intense before the Arenberg,” race director Christian Prudhomme told La Derniere Heure newspaper after checking the course with technical director Jean-François Pescheux on Tuesday.

    Pescheux explained that two sections of pave, at Aulnoy-lez-Valenciennes and Famars, make a return to the route, with the new section of Millonfosse-Bousiginies coming just four kilometres after the Forest of Arenberg. ASO varies the course to make sure as many sections of pave are protected.

    "We can’t lock down the course. There are about 70km of pave in the north and the municipalities should be encouraged to save them all," Pescheux said.

    There is a total of 51.5km of cobbles in this year’s race route divided into 27 sectors. The new route means the Forest of Arenberg is now 86km from the finish, 12km less than in recent years. Last year Fabian Cancellara and Tom Boonen led the peloton through the Forest before Cancellara blasted away to win alone in the velodrome.

    Former rider Thierry Gouvenou predicted the addition of the Millonfosse section of pave immediately after the Forest of Arenberg will influence the finale of the race.

    “There used to be a long transition after Arenberg that allowed some riders to get back to the head of the race. Now some team leaders won’t...