Tools and tricks of the pro mechanics
A close-up look at the Australian's purpose-built ride
Australian's 2015 Tinkoff-Saxo team bike
Winner of the 2015 Tour Down Under
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Tour winner loses 1:21 on stage one after late crash
Speaking immediately after the finish, Wiggins claimed he got stopped by the crash and believed that he would not lose time because the crash happened inside the last three kilometres. However, race officials saw things differently. They applied the rule to four other riders, who finished the stage behind Wiggins, giving them the same time as stage winner Marcel Kittel, but Wiggins was not given back the time he lost. He is shown as 142nd in the overall classification of the race, 1:31 down on Kittel.
Before knowing he had lost time, Wiggins had already played down his chances of success at the Tour of Oman, confirming the British team will ride for Chris Froome on the decisive mountain stage to Jabal Al Akhdhar (Green Mountain) on Thursday. Speaking to Cyclingnews later in the evening, Wiggins seemed unfazed by the time loss.
Wiggins arrived in Oman late on Saturday night and has been training and racing hard in Mallorca recently. In 2012 he trained intensively, often at altitude, and then raced to win. But with the Giro d'Italia his first big goal of the 2013 season before then focusing on the Tour de France, now is the time for him to stack up an important base of fitness rather than think about early-season success.
"I feel a bit lethargic and perhaps jet-lagged. I think I just need a day or two to get into it," he explained after stage one.
"The last six weeks have been pretty constantly hard. This is the...
Futuristic styling and high-end componentry
This article originally published on BikeRadar
The Dream Machine combines conceptual design with modern high end componentry to create a very real, and apparently rideable, machine. It will be on display at the Taipei International Cycle Show in March and has already won first prize in the Bicycle section of the Taipei Cycle D&I awards 2013.
The bike is the product of Italian agency Jonny Mole Design, who set out to create a machine that according to lead designer Jonny Moletta was "perhaps futuristic, but feasible and useful. Even the name we have chosen plays on these contrasts: 'The Dream Machine' counters the usefulness and solidity of a machine with the abstract idea of the liberty of a dream."
The frame uses a single tube running from the headset/stem all the way to the rear wheel, which is aimed at increasing stiffness and improving aerodynamics. Ditto for the all-in-one bladed fork, headtube and stem. The downtube features an integrated water bottle plus a battery holder for electronic shifting if required. There's another recessed area in the cockpit to hold a computer and keep it out of the way of the wind. The handlebars feature a pair of horizontal extensions similar to Scott Drop-In bars (remember those?) so you can tuck in low on descents.
The Dream Machine is specced with Vision, FSA, Selle Italia and Vittoria components, who were named as technical partners in the project. Interestingly, SRAM wasn't named, even though it's clear that the bike uses SRAM Red levers and what might be SRAM's new hydraulic disc brakes.
Reports of EPO, transfusions and growth hormone prompt action
Mario Cipollini's ties to Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes as reported by Gazzetta dello Sport have prompted the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) to open investigations against the retired rider. The newspaper has alleged Cipollini used large quantities of banned substances during 2001 through until 2004.
"The Office of the Prosecutor doping, following press reports appeared about to cyclist Mario Cipollini, announces that it has opened the dossier as "related acts," read a CONI release.
It was 2002 when the Italian sprinter who amassed nearly 200 professional wins during career, took his first and only Milan-San Remo victory and world road race championship title. That same year Cipollini won six stages at the Giro d'Italia and took out his third Points Classification jersey.
Cipollini is alleged to have used large quantities of EPO and growth hormone during under the guidance and instruction of Fuentes and is said to have undertaken 13 blood transfusions in the lead-up to his Milan-San Remo victory and World's win in Zolder.
The former ‘king' of the sprints was quick to squash the reports by Gazzetta that suggested Cipollini was in fact the rider who used the code name "Maria" during his time alongside Fuentes.
"In the name of and on behalf of Mr. Mario Cipollini and regarding the news that appeared today on the Gazzetta.it website, in the related newspaper and picked-up by several other parts of the media, this statement categorically denies the false and absurd accusations made against my client," wrote Cipollini's lawyer Giuseppe Napoleone.
Athletes forbidden to compete within eight days following injection
Any athlete receiving an injection of glucocorticosteroids will now be forbidden from competition for eight days following treatment, according to the revised No Needle Policy regulations put forth by the UCI. The former 48-hour period has been extended after UCI president Pat McQuaid requested an amendment to the rule.
The No Needle Policy was enacted shortly before the 2011 Giro d'Italia and prohibits any injection that is not "medically justified based on latest recognized scientific knowledge and evidence based medicine". The ruling has meant riders and teams have not been able to utilise this method to reduce recovery times or improve performance. This includes the injection of vitamins, sugars, enzymes, amino acids and antioxidants.
"At its meeting in Louisville (USA) at the beginning of the month, the UCI Management Committee approved a change to the UCI No Needle Policy, forbidding an athlete to compete within eight days of receiving a local injection of glucocorticosteroids," read a statement on the UCI site.
"The UCI must be informed by the doctor applying such an injection. The No Needle Policy, introduced by the UCI to its Medical Regulations in 2011, originally stipulated that a rider must not compete for 48 hours after a local injection of glucocorticosteroids."
"A rider who raced at the weekend could receive an injection of glucocorticosteroids and be racing again in a mid-week competition," said McQuaid. "Glucocorticosteroids are used to treat inflammations, so a rider requiring this treatment should not be racing within eight days. He or she should be attending his/her condition and resting."
The Garmin Sharp team...
Spain leads the list with five incidents including two fatalities
Training on the road has always come with a risk for cyclists, but lately things have taken a turn for the worse. There have been at least nine incidents of riders being hit by cars whilst training since the middle of September, with three riders being killed.
The incidents have occurred around the world, from the United States to the United Kingdom, Italy, South Africa and Spain. The latter can claim five crashes, including the ones which led to the death of Euskaltel's Victor Cabedo and mountain biker Iñaki Lejarreta.
Injuries have ranged from Mark Cavendish' bruised arm to Johnny Hoogerland's fractured ribs and vertebrae.
The sad string of crashes started in September, when Cabedo died after being colliding with a vehicle and fell into a roadside ravine.
Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) was the first to be hit in the off-season, suffering a broken rib when hit by a car near his home in Lancashire. the beginning of November. Shortly thereafter his then-teammate Mark Cavendish ran into the back of a car which braked suddenly, leaving the former World Champion with a bruised arm.
The next month, Andy Jacques-Maynes was the victim of a hit-and-run accident in California, suffering a broken shoulder blade and a suspected broken collarbone. Only days insult was added to injury as he was told he would not receive a contract for the 2013 season.
Things unfortunately then took a deadly turn. Lejarreta, a former...
Talented American fitting in well at British WorldTour squad
Joe Dombrowski finished safely in the main peloton at the end of stage one of the Tour of Oman, ensuring his full professional debut at Team Sky went smoothly and uneventfully as any neo-pro could hope for.
Dombrowski rode the Tour of California and the US Pro Challenge in 2012, finishing 12th and 10th overall respectively. He also won the Under 27 GiroBio, the amateur Giro d'Italia. He has already rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names in the professional peloton and beaten them. Yet his first race in Team Sky's black and blue was a historic moment of what many believe could be a remarkable career.
"I wasn't too nervous. I was pretty mellow," Dombrowski told Cyclingnews after wiping off the sweat and washing down following the four hours in the saddle.
"It was good. It was a pretty relaxed day and so a relaxed start to it all. It's a nice place to start my first race."
Team Sky rode to protect Chris Froome's overall chances. Bradley Wiggins was hindered by a late crash and lost time but Team Sky will looking to set up Froome for overall success in Oman.
"I just want to keep the team's GC ambitions alive and help out there where I can," Dombrowski said of his role in the team's strategy for the stage and the race.
"There was nothing too specific today. Hopefully I can just keep on staying safe. The fourth stage looks pretty decisive and hopefully we can put something together there."
Dombrowski will be 22 on May 12. He will likely celebrate his birthday while riding the Giro d'Italia with team leader Bradley Wiggins after being tipped for a place in the Giro d'Italia...
Italian admits to blood extractions to pursue Tour "dream" in Puerto case
In a video conference from his team Cannondale training base in Tenerife Ivan Basso has admitted he agreed to pay Dr. Eufemiano Fuentes approximately US$94,000 (70,000 euro) in late 2005, in return for a complex doping system ahead of the following year's Tour de France. Basso was the next rider to be called to give evidence in the Operación Puerto trial in which Fuentes, former ONCE and Liberty Seguros manager Manolo Saiz and three others are charged with crimes against public health.
Basso had previously admitted to attempted doping and was handed a two-year suspension in 2007 for his links to the Puerto case - in relation to his three-year stint at Bjarne Riis' CSC squad. Basso is not on trial himself because his actions were not illegal in Spain at the time however, his most recent admission sheds further light on the case that led to the exclusion of some of the sport's biggest names prior to the 2006 Tour de France.
While Basso admitted to having blood removed three times in late 2005 with full intention to use them, he stands firm behind his previous statements that he did not transfuse the blood back into his system. The full fee was never transferred because Basso reportedly did not receive the agreed program - as he was expelled prior to the start of the 2006 Tour. He instead allegedly paid Fuentes $20,000 before authorities stepped in.
"I met Fuentes in 2001-02, during a stay in the Canary Islands for training, but as a patient I contacted the winter of 2005, when I was in the CSC team," said Basso.
"I contacted Dr. Fuentes because his system could give me an advantage in cycling. I acknowledge that on my account it was a weakness, a weakness so as to pursue a dream to win [the Tour].