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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Date published:
May 01, 2012, 1:00 BST
  • Wiggins wants to be a credible Tour de France winner

    2012 has been a good year so far for Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 11:37 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Tenerife training camp ahead of Critérium du Dauphiné

    Wins at Paris-Nice and the Tour de Romandie have marked Bradley Wiggins (Sky) out as one of the principal contenders for Tour de France victory, and the Englishman has expressed his desire to impact history of the sport “in a positive way” in July. Though fulsome in his praise of defending champion Cadel Evans (BMC), Wiggins decried the scarcity of credible Tour winners in the modern era in general.

    “It would be nice to be part of it in a positive way, because there aren’t a lot of Tour winners who you can believe in,” Wiggins told L’Équipe. “For the first time last year, you had a Tour winner who everyone could believe in [Evans – ed]. He is a fantastic ambassador for the sport, he works hard, he didn’t win by showing off, but with great determination. So to be able to follow on from somebody like him would be nice, rather than doing it after somebody had a positive test hanging over his head for a year or two.”

    Wiggins himself has undergone a remarkable metamorphosis in recent seasons, changing from a track and time trial specialist into a grand tour podium finisher. He had never finished higher than 123rd in a grand tour before 2009, when he emerged at 29 years of age to take fourth place at the Tour de France.

    Wiggins credited a switch in emphasis from the track to the road and the significant weight loss that resulted for his late arrival as a stage racer of some note, and he dismissed any suspicions about the nature of his transformation.

    “There probably are [suspicions] but there weren’t for Cadel. For a lot of people, there was no doubt,” he said. “I don’t even have to...

  • Pellizotti signs for Androni-Venezuela

    Franco Pellizotti has cut his blonde curls
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 12:33 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian will not ride Giro d'Italia

    Franco Pellizotti has marked the end of his suspension for anomalies in his biological passport by signing for Androni-Venezuela, although the Italian rider will not be on the start line of the Giro d’Italia on Saturday.

    Pellizotti had been linked with a number of Italian teams, including Lampre-ISD and Acqua & Sapone, but he eventually opted for Gianni Savio’s Androni-Venezuela squad. Given that his suspension expires on May 2, Pellizotti had spoken repeatedly of his desire to race the Giro in recent months, but will instead make his return to action at the Circuit Lorraine (May 16-20).

    “I received some offers and I chose the team where I am certain to find the ideal environment in which to be re-launched,” Pellizotti told Tuttobici. “I can’t wait to get back to racing.”

    Pellizotti fell foul of the UCI’s biological passport system in the lead-up to the 2010 Giro, after returning a series of irregular blood values dating back to 2009. Although he was initially cleared by the Italian national anti-doping court (TNA) in October 2010, the UCI successfully appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport the following March, and he was handed a two-year ban.

    Androni-Venezuela manager Gianni Savio compared his acquisition with his signing of Michele Scarponi in 2008. After being suspended for his implication in Operacion Puerto, Scarponi made his comeback with Savio’s squad.

    “[Pellizotti’s] was a particular case: he was suspended by CAS in Lausanne after he had been absolved by TNA in Rome, which is a court whose doping sentences are recognised by everybody...

  • Basso's fears allayed ahead of Giro d'Italia

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 13:27 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian fine-tunes form ahead of Herning

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) has declared himself pleased with the state of his condition during the Tour de Romandie and is confident that he can continue to improve in the days leading up to the Giro d’Italia.

    Basso had endured such a wretched beginning to the 2012 season that he had considered forgoing the Giro altogether, but after showing signs of life at the Giro del Trentino and at Romandie, he confirmed that he would return to the race for the first time since 2010.

    “This Romandie didn’t given me any personal satisfaction in terms of results, but a lot in terms of morale and condition,” Basso told Gazzetta dello Sport of his 33rd place finish in Switzerland. “I have to say that I rode well over these five days in a race that isn’t the hardest in terms of altitude, but one which has always had a high intensity.”

    After his disappointing start to 2012, Basso had a lengthy training camp at Mount Teide on Tenerife in late March and early April before re-emerging at the Giro del Trentino. He is said to have climbed over 66,000 metres during his 17 days on the island. “Yes, it’s true, and the block of work of Teide-Trentino-Romandie should bear fruit,” Basso said.

    Basso lost over two minutes to Bradley Wiggins in the Tour of Romandie’s concluding time trial, and he acknowledged that he still needed to fine-tune his form ahead of the Giro, which gets underway in Herning on Saturday.

    “If I can make the same jump in condition between Romandie and the Giro as I did between Trentino and Romandie, then I’ll be alright,” Basso said. “On Monday, I’ll ride for three...

  • Millar in line for London 2012 Olympics after CAS ruling

    Millar (nearest camera) in action for Great Britain at the 2011 Road World Championships
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 15:40 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    BOA bylaw found to be in violation of WADA code

    David Millar will be eligible to compete for Great Britain at the London 2012 Olympics after the Court of Arbitration for Sport ruled that the British Olympic Association bylaw barring athletes who had previously tested positive from competing at the Games is in contravention of the WADA code.

    In a statement released on Monday afternoon, CAS confirmed that it had agreed with WADA’s contention that the BOA stance was not compliant with the WADA code, and rejected BOA’s appeal.

    “The Bye-Law is a doping sanction and is therefore not in compliance with the WADA Code. The CAS confirms the view of the WADA Foundation Board as indicated in its Decision. Therefore, the appeal of BOA is rejected and the Decision of the WADA Foundation Board is confirmed.”

    The CAS Panel which ruled on the BOA case was the same one which in October of last year had found against the International Olympic Committee’s “Rule 45”, a bylaw which barred athletes who had served doping suspensions for at least one Olympic Games on top of their original ban.

    In each case, the CAS panel upheld the existing WADA code, which was signed in 2004: “The awards in both cases simply reflect the fact that the international anti-doping movement has recognized the crucial importance of a worldwide harmonized and consistent fight against doping in sport, and all signatories have agreed […] to comply with such a principle, without any substantial deviation in direction.”

    It is understood that the BOA will now look for a revised WADA code that will allow for bans exceeding two...

  • Bennati takes aim at Giro d'Italia prologue

    Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 18:20 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Italian sprinter has final time trial in mind

    Daniele Bennati (RadioShack-Nissan) is harbouring ambitions of putting himself within striking distance of the maglia rosa during the Giro d’Italia prologue on Saturday, although the Italian insisted that he is not among the main favourites for the short time trial in Herning.

    Nominally a sprinter, the Tuscan has produced some strong performances against the watch in recent seasons. In 2011, he won the time trial at Circuit de la Sarthe, while this season he was second only to his teammate Fabian Cancellara in the concluding time trial of Tirreno-Adriatico.

    “I’m certainly thinking about the prologue, even if I have to admit that I don’t think I’m among the top, top favourites,” Bennati told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I’m not just saying that out of superstition: I’m not a super specialist like Rasmussen or Phinney, who are the first two names that spring to mind. But I will say that I’ve been using my time trial bike quite a bit recently, and I’ve done some specific work on it in the last few days. The prologue is certainly in my plans; maybe not to win it, but I’ll certainly not want to lose too much time.”

    Bennati’s time trialling ambitions at the Giro will not necessarily be restricted to the 8.7km test in Denmark. Already the winner of the final stages of the Tour de France and Vuelta a España, Bennati is looking to complete the full set at the Giro, even though the race hasn’t finished with a road stage in Milan since 2007.

    “The Giro hasn’t ended with a sprint stage in a few years, so if I want to equal that record as it were, I’d have to do the time...

  • Women's Giro del Trentino shortened

    Stage 2 podium (l-r): Tatiana Guderzo, Judith Arndt and Emma Pooley
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 19:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Logistical and economic problems cut first stage

    The 19th edition of the women's Giro del Trentino, a UCI 2.1-ranked stage race, has been trimmed to two days, race organisers announced this weekend.

    Originally scheduled for three days, from June 15-17, the first stage was cut out "because of logistical and economic problems", according to a letter from the organising committee.

    Each year, the race attracts a quality field of contenders, and was last year won by Judith Arndt. Past winners include Emma Pooley, Nicole Cooke and six-time winner Fabiana Luperini.

    The two-day event this year will consist of three stages: the first on June 16 from Trento to Mezzolombardo will be 98km in length, and will be followed on June 17 by two half stages: a 63km circuit in Sarnonico and an afternoon 5-kilometer time trial from Romeno to Sarnonico.

     

  • Movistar names Giro d'Italia line-up

    Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar Team)
    Article published:
    April 30, 2012, 21:46 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Spanish squad seeking stage wins

    The Spanish Movistar team has revealed its final roster for the Giro d'Italia, which begins May 5 in Herning, Denmark. The team of Eusebio Unzué will be comprised of Spaniards José Herrada, Beñat Intxausti, Pablo Lastras, Sergio Pardilla and Francisco Ventoso; Costa Rican Andrey Amador, Belarusian Branislau Samoilau and Italians Marzio Bruseghin and Giovanni Visconti.

    José Luis Arrieta and José Luis Jaimerena will be the team's directeurs sportif for the Italian Grand Tour.

    "I think we are bringing a really competitive squad to this year's Giro," said Unzué. "It's true that we haven't got a clear leader, a man that plays the role of favourite for the overall podium, but we have talented riders in good form like Intxausti or Pardilla, who can be up front if they do well here. I think that the time has come for them and that they are well prepared to contest the overall. Beñat's victory in Asturias must be a boost for his morale and allows us to confirm he's in great shape."

    Unzué also looks to Ventoso and Visconti to contest the sprints in addition to Lastras and Bruseghin, both of whom have Giro d'Italia stage victories in their palmares. "I expect Herrada, Samoilau or Amador to be on the high level they have kept during this season, because they are riders than can bring us a good result in a good day and also win a stage, which is the initial objective for us. We notched up two last year, and even though it's going to be hard, we'll try to repeat that."

    After struggling to come to a final decision on the Giro roster, Unzué decided to leave young rider Nairo Quintana off the team. He will instead race the Vuelta Madrid, Tour de Picardie...

  • Second stage win for Earle in Borneo

    Nathan Earle (Genesys Wealth Advisers) takes stage 7 of the Tour of Borneo
    Article published:
    May 01, 2012, 0:11 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Torckler keeps Genesys man at bay to set up GC victory

    Genesys Wealth Advisers' Nathan Earle claimed his second stage victory of the Tour of Borneo on Monday, the event's longest day from Sepilok to Kundasang over 214.8 kilometres.

    Earle was not able however, to gain enough time on overall leader Michael Torckler (BikeNZ – PureBlack) with the pair jostling for victory after breaking free from a group of 13 breakaway riders that started the final climb of the gruelling stage together.

    From the start of the stage seven riders had escaped the bunch and as the group of 13 riders which included Torckler and Earle started the final 15 kilometres they caught the first of two remnants of that group, 7-Eleven by Road Bike Philippines' Mark John Lexer Galedo, and then Jonathan Lovelock (Genesys Wealth Advisers) with 14 kilometres to go.

    With three kilometres to go, it was Earle, Torckler and Polygon-Sweet Nice's Bambang Suryadi, who was dropped as the leading duo raced up the final two kilometres. At the finish, and realizing that he had retained the yellow jersey, Torckler just cruised over the finish line behind Earle, who added the red jersey for the king of the mountains classification to his stage win.

    "It was a tough, long stage, but I like the climbs so I'm happy to have won here. The plan was to go for the yellow jersey, but Michael was amazingly strong today. There was nothing we could do to break him," said Earle.

    Heading into the final stage today, Torckler holds a six seconds lead over Earle in the general classification and hopes everything goes well in the stage from Kundasang to Kota Kinabalu tomorrow.

    "I've not rode in such a long stage for a long time, so I'm happy that my body kept up with it. It's such a great feeling to be able to ride like this after being out of the sport for a year as I recovered from a broken knee...