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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Date published:
June 24, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Report: WADA angry with UCI over flawed TUE approval process

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) after a testing day
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 12:07 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Journal du Dimanche claims Froome's TUE case has sparked a review at the UCI

    A week after revealing that the UCI gave Chris Froome (Team Sky) a Theraputic Use Exemption (TUE) to use an oral corticoid containing the banned substance prednisolone during the Tour de Romandie, the French Sunday newspaper Journal du Dimanche has reported that he WADA is angry with the UCI, sparking an urgent review and changes in how the UCI decides on TUE and the use of medicines in competition.

    While the case has sparked a debate about medical ethics and if Froome should have quit the race instead of taking prednisolone, WADA is not accusing Froome and Team Sky of any wrong doing. Indeed, the JDD reports that WADA accepts that "the state of Froome's health needed that treatment." It seems WADA does not intend to retroactively overturn Froome's TUE and so his victory at the Tour of Romandie is not under threat.

    However, the JDD claims that WADA is angry with the UCI for allowing long-standing UCI medical supervisor Dr. Michele Zorzoli too much individual responsibility in deciding the approval of TUE. Little is known about how Zorzoli approves TUEs and how many TUEs are issued to riders per season.

    The JDD claims that David Howman, the general director of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) told them he is "worried about the process of obtaining this TUE" and has apparently demanded the UCI to rapidly remediate the insufficiencies noted in the dossier."

    Froome and Team Sky was given a TUE to treat a chest infection and cough after the opening stage of the Swiss stage race in late April, with Zorzoli fast-tracking the TUE application due to what he considered “exceptional...

  • Marin nets Sarajevo Grand Prix victory

    The Sarajevo Grand Prix in the streets of the Bosnian capital.
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 12:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Event commemorates the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand

    A late surge for the line netted Matej Marin (Gourmetfein Simplon Wels) the opening edition of the Sarajevo Grand Prix held in the Bosnian capital of Sarajevo on Sunday. He was the fastest of a group of 17 breakaway riders that made it to he finish line intact.

    On a fast, broad and slightly downhill finish, the 33-year-old Slovenian timed his move well through a sweeping right-hand bend at about 200 metres to claim the win in the 135.5km race. Second was Italian Cristian Delle Stelle (MG Kvis-Wilier).

    The race was held to commemorate the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, on June 28th 1914, which triggered the start of the First World War.

    Marin and around 16 others had broken away on the 11km Mount Igman climb mid-way through the race and after a fast descent into Sarajevo and five laps of a 10km finishing circuit, it was clear that the shattered remains of a chasing peloton would not be able to pull them back.

    “It was a fast finish, and tricky with a headwind,” Marin said, “So you had to be careful with the timing of your sprint and taking the right line through that last curve was very important. It was the shortest way to the finish.”

    “I had a teammate on the climb who helped me to get over it fine, and then in the last kilometre he made the pace for me.”

    He said that his favorite career win was at the Rhone-Alpes-Isere in 2006 but that this win was also special. 


  • No place for Bouhanni in Tour de France team

    Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ) happy in red
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 16:06 BST
    Cycling News

    Démare and Pinot lead the line for Madiot's squad

    Nacer Bouhanni has been left out of the team for the Tour de France, with the role of designated sprinter instead handed to Arnaud Démare. Thibaut Pinot will lead the French squad’s tilt at the general classification. confirmed eight of its nine-man roster in a statement on Monday afternoon and noted that the final berth on the team will be filled by either Cédric Pineau or Francis Mourey. Team manager Marc Madiot will announce the final line-up after next Sunday's French championship road race in Futuroscope.

    In spite of landing three stage victories and the points classification at the recent Giro d’Italia, there is no place for Bouhanni, however, who had already missed out to Démare when made its selection for Milan-San Remo in March.

    "That’s the way it is," Bouhanni told L'Équipe on Monday afternoon. "The FDJ management have made their choice and I respect their decision even if I'm disappointed because this year the Tour was going through the Vosges [his home region – ed.] But I'm not going to cry because I wasn't picked for the Tour. I'm going to concentrate on the French championships and take advantage of my current form to try to put together a fine performance."

    Bouhanni is out of contract at the end of this season and has attracted interest from a number of teams for 2015. His absence from the Tour suggests that he will not be at next season - earlier this month, he said that he had narrowed his options down to three teams, believed to be FDJ , Cofidis and an unnamed foreign team. "If I sign with FDJ, I...

  • Bouhanni likely to leave, admits Madiot

    A triumphant Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ)
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 18:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Sprinter left out of Tour de France team

    Marc Madiot has acknowledged that Nacer Bouhanni is likely to leave at the end of the season, explaining that his team does not currently have the finances to keep the sprinter on board.

    Madiot’s comments came in the wake of his decision to omit Bouhanni from the line-up for the Tour de France. As was the case at Milan-San Remo earlier this year, have instead selected Arnaud Démare as their sprinter for July.

    Bouhanni’s contract expires at the end of this season and he has attracted interest from a number of teams. While he refused to rule out the prospect of continuing with, his omission from the Tour roster suggests that he is increasingly likely to switch teams.

    “I’m not without hope of finding the budget to keep Nacer but I don’t have it today. There is more chance of him leaving than staying with the team,” Madiot said on Monday, according to L’Équipe.

    L’Équipe reports that Bouhanni’s asking price is €1.5 to €1.7 million per year for two seasons, and any prospective new team would also be expected to take part of his current FDJ lead-out train.

    Earlier this month, Bouhanni said that he had narrowed his options for 2015 to three teams, believed to be, Cofidis and an unnamed international team.

    Cannondale – who have a French sub-sponsor in Sojasun – are among the foreign teams to have expressed an interest in signing Bouhanni, although manager Roberto Amadrio said before the start of the Giro d’Italia that they could not meet his wage demands.

    Bouhanni did his market value no harm with a fine Giro, where he won three stages and reached Trieste in the red jersey of points classification winner. While his Giro campaign was testament to his form,...

  • Clock ticking on Tour de France selection for Schleck

    Andy Schleck at the Trek team car
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 19:05 BST
    Cycling News

    Last day breakaway in Tour de Suisse small victory for Luxembourger

    2010 Tour de France champion Andy Schleck put in a last ditch effort to earn his selection onto Trek Factory Racing's Tour team in the Tour de Suisse yesterday, going out on the breakaway on the final stage. But whether or not it will it be enough to warrant his inclusion in the team will begin to be decided by his team this week.

    Schleck was 6:48 down in the overall classification on the start of the final stage, and looking to reverse Trek's fortunes in the race, which saw Fabian Cancellara abandon ahead of the final stage. The team had already lost Stijn Devolder on stage 2, and Fränk Schleck drop out with a concussion on the third day.

    Schleck bridged across to a large move that formed early in the 156.7km stage, but lost contact with his companions on the final hors categorie ascent to Saas-Fee and finished 9:24 down after riding tempo to the finish..

    "It was a really hard day; from the start it was going super fast. A group went, maybe 12 guys, on the first category climb and me and [Steve] Morabito jumped to this group and closed the gap. This was a very hard effort and after this I was not feeling so well anymore," Schleck said.

    "Then the next climb when the three guys came from behind I had nothing left. I had ridden 120 kilometers at 180% and that was too much. I paid for it in the end. The last 15 kilometers I was done and I found my own rhythm just to get to the finish."

    Schleck has had two lean years after breaking his hip in a crash in the Critérium du Dauphiné in 2012. He DNF'd his way through the Ardennes Classics before finally

  • Cavendish gets ample support for Tour de France sprints

    Mark Cavendish shouts orders to his lead-out train
    Article published:
    June 23, 2014, 19:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Final selections made by Omega Pharma-Quickstep

    The Omega Pharma-Quickstep team today announced its final Tour de France squad via video release, naming the seven riders who will support sprinter Mark Cavendish and general classification hopeful Michal Kwiatkowski in the race, which begins July 5 in Yorkshire.

    Tour de Suisse double stage winner Tony Martin will be a versatile member of the team, capable of winning the sole individual time trial which takes place on the penultimate stage from Bergerac to Périgueux. He has also demonstrated the ability to be a useful lead-out man for sprints as well as controlling races for the general classification.

    Martin helped Matteo Trentin to a stage victory last week while wearing the leader's jersey of the Tour de Suisse, and the young Italian will be included in the Tour de France squad, too.

    Cavendish gets another three riders for his sprint train, with veteran Alessandro Petacchi, Mark Renshaw, and Niki Terpstra, while Kwiatkowski can rely on Jan Bakelants and his compatriot Michal Golas on the climbs. The team looks to be geared less toward the general classification than it is toward sprints and stage wins. Bakelants last year won stage 2 in the Tour de France and wore the maillot jaune for two days. Trentin won a stage in last year's Tour de France as well, but is normally one of the last men leading out Cavendish. Terpstra, winner of Paris-Roubaix, will be a prime contender for victory on stage 5 to Arenberg.

    Kwiatkowski's form had a question mark over it after a substandard performance at the Critérium du Dauphiné. He was due to undergo testing to figure out why he...

  • Glass half full for Tony Martin at Tour de Suisse

    Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) crosses the finish line and knows that he has lost the Tour de Suisse to Rui Costa
    Article published:
    June 24, 2014, 0:40 BST
    Cycling News

    German drops off podium on final stage but pleased with performance

    After holding the yellow jersey since the opening day, Tony Martin slipped to fourth place overall on the final stage of the Tour de Suisse but the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider declared himself pleased with his showing over the course of the week.

    The result was perhaps Martin's placing at the Tour de Suisse since he finished second in 2009, and arguably his best showing in a stage race of such a level since the spring of 2011, when he won Paris-Nice and finished second overall at the Tour de Romandie.

    "I have to be satisfied with how my team fought, how I fought, and I need to think positive for the future. I am back at the condition I was a few years ago where there is a chance to fight for a leader jersey," Martin said afterwards, according to his team website. "If someone would say half a week ago I'd finish fourth, and win two stages here, I'd be happy. I think we can look at the results and, despite finishing 4th after all that work, be proud."

    Winner of the individual time trials on stages 1 and 7, Martin held a lead of 51 seconds over Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Shimano) and 1:05 over world champion Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) entering Sunday's mountainous final leg to Saas-Fee.

    Martin was unable to follow Rui Costa when he jumped away with Matthias Frank (IAM Cycling) and Bauke Mollema (Belkin) on the penultimate climb of the Eischoll. After initial work from his Omega Pharma-QuickStep teammates, Martin took up the pursuit in person on the final haul to Saas-Fee.

    Although he battled gamely to limit his losses on the 20-kilometre climb, Martin finished the stage in 15th place, 2:18 down on Rui Costa, and dropped to fourth place overall, 1:13 behind the rainbow jersey.

    "I was strong enough...

  • Contador top of WorldTour rankings ahead of Tour de France

    Alberto Contador (Tinkoff Saxo)
    Article published:
    June 24, 2014, 3:10 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step top team with Spain best ranked nation

    With the Critérium du Dauphiné and Tour de Suisse both raced and won, 17 WorldTour races have now been completed in 2014 and it is Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) who sits atop the individual rankings ahead of the 101st Tour de France.

    Contador conceded the lead in the individual ranking to Nairo Quintana (Movistar) after the Colombian’s Giro d'Italia victory but his second place overall at the Dauphiné behind Andrew Talanksy (Garmin-Sharp) saw Contador climb back onto the top step with 397 points.

    Quintana sits second on 345 points while after a record breaking third consecutive overall victory at the Tour de Suisse, World Champion Rui Costa's (Lampre-Merida) first win in the rainbow jersey saw him collect 100 WorldTour points to move up 12 places on the rankings to third place on 268 points.

    After claiming his debut win for Lampre-Merida, a relieved Costa was quick to thank his teammates and fans for their support.

    "This win pays back me and my teammates for all the work we've done this week, we're happy," he said after pulling on the winner's yellow jersey.

    "It's not easy to win in this [World Champion's] jersey. But I'm happy to race wearing this jersey and wanted to win wearing it. I'm not superstitious or anything and it's just great to win a third Tour de Suisse as World Champion....