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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Date published:
March 15, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • Van Avermaet to lead BMC in Milan - San Remo

    BMC maintains a strong Swiss presence.
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 2:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    McEwen and Hunter the main men for Team RadioShack

    Belgian sprinter Greg Van Avermaet will lead BMC Racing's charge at this weekend's Milan-San Remo, as another American squad, Team RadioShack, also announced its lineup for La Primavera.

    Alessandro Ballan, who has enjoyed solid form at Tirreno-Adriatico in support of overall leader Cadel Evans, will be another spearhead of BMC Racing's push in the 298km Classic, forming a two-pronged attack with the 25-year-old Belgian, who made the switch to Jim Ochowicz's team from the Omega Pharma-Lotto squad in the off-season.

    He has enjoyed a solid lead up to the first Monument of the season, with a top 10 finish in the Italian classic, Strade Bianche, on March 5 before taking sixth on the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

    One of his former teammates, Phillipe Gilbert, will go into Saturday's race as one of the favourites after picking up a stage win in Tirreno-Adriatico and featuring throughout the week. A crash in training for André Greipel means Gilbert will likely be the Belgian team's number one in the possible absence of its German sprinter.

    Meanwile, RadioShack will take two experienced sprinters in Robbie Hunter and Robbie McEwen to Milan-San Remo, with the latter having experienced a quiet preparation for one of his perennial season goals.

    Hunter has settled into life at RadioShack well after making a last-minute switch to the team following the collapse of Pegasus Sports earlier this year. Like BMC Racing's Van Avermaet and Ballan this race-proven pair will form a formidable attack in an event with which both riders are very familiar.

    BMC Racing for Milan-San Remo: Alessandro Ballan, Marcus Burghardt, George Hincapie, Karsten Kroon, Manuel Quinziato, Michael Schär, Greg Van Avermaet, Danilo Wyss

    Team RadioShack for Milan-San Remo: Manuel Cardoso, Robert Hunter, Geoffroy Lequatre, Robbie McEwen, Dmitriy Muravyev, Yaroslav Popovych, Grégory Rast,...

  • UCI release list of approved frames, forks and wheels

    UCI
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 9:40 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Eight frames and their respective forks have been approved

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) have published the lists showing which frames, forks and wheels have been authorised for road, track and cyclo-cross competition under their new approval protocol system.

    Eight frames and their respective forks have so far been approved, including the Felt DA time trial bike (as we revealed last week), Cannondale SuperSix Evo and Pinarello FCM777 road bikes, Corima VIF track bike and Richard Sachs Signature cyclo-crosser. Scott, BMC and Willier Triestina have also had models approved.

    The UCI has revealed it has so far received approval requests from 17 manufacturers for more than 40 models. All the approved models will carry a special label certifying they are UCI approved.

    The approval protocol also applies to clothing and 'non-standard' wheels which have rims higher than 2.5cm, fewer than 16 spokes or spoke thicknesses of over 2.4mm. ('Standard' wheels must also comply with UCI regulations but don't have to be submitted for the same strict testing.) A list of approved non-standard wheels can be viewed here.

    Despite initial scepticism and complaints about the cost of the approval process, the UCI is now claiming bike manufacturers are happy with the process.

    The UCI’s Technology Coordinator Julien Carron said in a UCI press release: “We appreciate that manufacturers on a whole have welcomed this new approval procedure. In January a meeting was organised at the UCI headquarters to enable manufacturers to actively contribute to the structure of the procedure. The UCI now continuously receives requests for approval from...

  • Paris-Nice time trial sparks back problems for Fränk Schleck

    Luxembourg champion Frank Schleck (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 10:19 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Pain forced Leopard Trek rider to quit on Saturday

    Fränk Schleck abandon Paris-Nice due to back pains on stage seven but sport director Kim Andersen insisted he was satisfied with his performance.

    Schleck finished 26th in the time trial, 2:11 behind winner Tony Martin, but he struggled with his position on the bike.

    “Especially the saddle caused me major problems on Friday,” he told wort.lu. “As a result, I couldn't sit pain-free during the stage on Saturday.” The Luxembourger abandoned Saturday's stage with 37km to go after racing in the rain for most of the stage.

    “Fränk didn't feel well the whole day, and then there were the extreme weather conditions as well. It was a miserable day for him,” said Andersen.

    The combination of the pain and the weather lead Schleck to quit Paris-Nice. “At times it was only three degrees Celsius. My hands were so cold that I could barely hold on to the handlebars properly,” he said.

    Andersen said the team will now work on resolving Schleck's back problems.

    “We must work on his position on the time trial bike. After the 27 km on Friday he had back pains,” Andersen said. “We will find the solution, there's still enough time.”

    Andersen was otherwise satisfied with Schleck's performance in France. “Everything is going according to plan. Fränk did a good race up until he left it.”

    “He has without doubt the form to rival the best. Looking towards the Ardennes Classics, we don't need to worry.”

    “Overall we put in a good performance with the team, even when we didn't get a win or a top placing. Many times there were only details missing which could...

  • Greipel and Gilbert to lead Omega Pharma-Lotto at Milan-San Remo

    Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) with his face taped up after crashing during the TTT warmup
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 10:21 GMT
    By:
    Susan Westemeyer

    German sprinter has recovered from Tirreno-Adriatico crash

    Philippe Gilbert and Andre Greipel will lead the Omega Pharma-Lotto team at Milan-San Remo on Saturday.

    Gilbert showed his form by winning Sunday's 244km stage at Tirreno-Adriatico with a late surge to the line, while the Greipel has recovered from the facial injuries he suffered while warming up for the opening team time trial in the Italian stage race.

    Gilbert has already won three races this season, having taken the opening stage of the Volta ao Algarve and the Montepaschi Strade Bianchi, before the fifth stage of Tirreno-Adriatico.

    Despite his pre-race crash, Greipel rode the team time trial stage with his face covered in bandages but the next day the team pulled him out of the race.

    “My injuries are healing well, and I've been able to train properly again in the last few days,” he wrote on his personal website.

    The German flew home from Italy for further examinations in Cologne, Germany, which showed that he had not suffered any facial fractures.

    He will ride the Nokere-Koerse one-day race in Belgium on Wednesday before leaving for Italy. He finished third in that race in 2008.

    This will be Greipel's first appearance at Milan-San Remo after being overlooked for a place for the race by his previous team HTC-Columbia, who preferred to select Mark Cavendish as the protected sprinter. Cavendish won Milan-San Remo at the first attempt in 2009.

    The Omega Pharma-Lotto line-up for Milan-San Remo: Philippe Gilbert, Andre Greipel, Adam Hansen, Sebastian Lang, Vicente Reynes,...

  • Spanish federation believe UCI will appeal Contador case

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Sungard) heads to the win in Murcia.
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 11:19 GMT
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    “We are sure that the UCI is going to challenge Contador’s absolution,” says federation lawyer

    The president of the Spanish federation and his senior legal adviser believe that the UCI will challenge the federation’s decision to overturn the ban imposed on Alberto Contador after the Tour de France champion had tested positive for clenbuterol. The federation’s legal adviser, Luis Sanz, told AS: “We are sure that the UCI is going to challenge Contador’s absolution.”

    If the UCI does indeed decide to challenge the decision made by the competitions committee of the Spanish federation to overturn the ban, the case will be heard by the Court of Arbitration for Sport. The case would pit the UCI and perhaps WADA on one side against Contador and the Spanish federation on the other. The CAS would not give its verdict on the case before September.

    Federation president Juan Carlos Castaño revealed that he had spoken to UCI president Pat McQuaid in the wake of the Contador decision. “He congratulated us on the work we’d done, but complained about political intervention,” said Castaño. This followed comments made by Spanish prime minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who posted a message on Twitter saying that there was no judicial reason why Contador could be found guilty of doping.

    Castaño said the intervention had not affected the decision of the competitions committee, but added: “That indirect interference did seem...

  • 2012 London Olympic tickets go on sale

    Jason Kenny and Chris Hoy (Great Britain)
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 11:45 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    The Cyclingnews guide to all the cycling events

    With 500 days to go to the start of the 2012 London Olympics, tickets are now on sale. An estimated 6.6 million tickets will be available across all the events via the official website.

    Road racing is on the opening day of competition on July 28, while the mountain bike cross country races end the cycling events on August 11 and 12.

    For comprehensive coverage of the build-up to London 2012, including interviews with some of the key riders, visit the Cyclingnews.com 2012 Olympic Games Cycling Coverage homepage.

    Here's a round-up of all the latest information about the Games, including the dates of each of the cycling events, how to buy tickets and how the road, track, mountain bike and BMX courses are shaping up.

    Tickets

    Tickets go on sale today. Instead of being issued on a first come, first served basis, anyone wanting to attend the London Olympics who lives in the UK or most other European countries (click here for a list of eligible countries) must create an online account and submit an application for tickets for the event(s) of their choice. They have until 11.59pm on 26 April to do this.

    Tickets will be issued after that date, with an automated ballot used to decide who gets to attend oversubscribed events. Only one application is allowed per email address and credit card, although this can include multiple events and multiple tickets per event. Applicants must be aged 16 or over.

    People living outside of Europe who want to buy tickets must apply via their National Olympic Committee (NOC).

    Road

    The road races and time trials will take place between Saturday 28 July and Wednesday 1...

  • Leopard Trek confirmed for Quiznos Pro Challenge

    Riders might be able to take in this view from the prologue in Colorado Springs
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 17:30 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Colorado race names five more teams

    The Quiznos Pro Challenge today announced five more teams for the inaugural edition of the Colorado stage race, adding the ProTeam Leopard Trek and Pro Continental teams UnitedHealthcare, Team Type 1-, Skil-Shimano and Spidertech-C10 to the list of invited teams.

    The UCI 2.1-classified race in Colorado is set to take place August 22-28. Previously announced teams include RadioShack, HTC-Highroad, Garmin-Cervélo, BMC and Liquigas-Cannondale.

    "We are excited to have secured commitments from such world-class teams in the competition's first year," said Shawn Hunter, co-chairman of the Quiznos Pro Challenge. "We've set high goals for this race and the addition of these teams shows great promise for our future and cycling in the United States."

    The organisers will invite six more squads, making a total of 16 teams of 8 riders each for the new event.

    The 7-stage race will cover nearly 600 miles in the Rocky Mountains, heading into high altitudes to towns such as Aspen, Vail, Avon, Steamboat Springs and Breckenridge.

  • Mosquera calls for doping inquiry to be closed

    Vuelta runner-up Ezequiel Mosquera tested positive for an EPO masking agent.
    Article published:
    March 15, 2011, 20:14 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spaniard wants an end to Vuelta a España case

    Spanish rider Ezequiel Mosquera today called for authorities to close the anti-doping inquiry which began almost six months ago after his sample from the 2010 Vuelta a España returned an adverse analytical finding for hydroxyethyl starch (HES).

    Mosquera claims in a press release that HES is not considered a doping substance, and says that he is not suspended from competition. The rider said a letter from the UCI received on February 18 confirms that he has not been provisionally suspended.

    His Vacansoleil team, however, has chosen not to allow Mosquera to race until the case is resolved.

    The World Anti-doping Agency's 2010 prohibited list included HES as a "specified substance", meaning that it comes with no provisional suspension under the UCI's anti-doping rules, but it is banned in competition for intravenous use.

    According to an anti-doping expert contacted by Cyclingnews, HES is prohibited as a masking agent which in itself is not performance enhancing, but can be used to alter irregular blood values caused by EPO use or blood transfusion which may raise flags in the UCI's biological passport programme.

    However, Mosquera said, "Unlike what is generally assumpted (sic), Hydroxyethyl starch doesn't hide doping substances. This was proven through other cases, where laboratories could detect hydroxyethyl starch together with EPO."

    "The...