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First Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Date published:
May 24, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Video: Deignan talks about his breakaway in the Dolomites

    Philip Deignan (Team RadioShack) on the front.
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 12:44 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    RadioShack rider back in grand tour action

    Ireland's Philip Deignan (RadioShack) proved he is on the way back to his best by getting in the early breakaway of stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia.

    Despite the 229km stage being the third consecutive day in the mountains, Deignan made sure he was part of the 18-rider attack and tried to stay with eventual stage winner Mikel Nieve (Euskaltel-Euskadi) for as long as possible.

    He eventually faded and was caught by Alberto Contador and the other overall contenders but finished an impressive 14th, only 6:40 behind Nieve.

  • Video: Tour of California stage 5, 6, 7 and 8 highlights

    The 2011 Amgen Tour of California GC podium was all-American: Levi Leipheimer (RadioShack), Chris Horner (RadioShack) and Tom Danielson (Garmin-Cerv
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 14:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Horner takes overall win

    Stage 5: Sagan sizzles for stage win in Paso Robles

    Liquigas-Cannondale's Peter Sagan has claimed his fifth win of the season, winning the Amgen Tour of California's fifth stage between Seaside and Paso Robles in a fast and furious dash to the line. The result didn't have a bearing on the top of the general classification, with Chris Horner again wearing the leader's jersey heading into tomorrow's stage six time trial.

    Stage 6: Zabriskie time trials to stage win ahead of Leipheimer

    David Zabriskie made up for his disastrous day on Sierra Road by crushing the Solvang time trial in a new course record. The Garmin-Cervélo man who was second overall in last year's race boosted his team's fortunes with the stage 6 victory, topping Levi Leipeimer (RadioShack) by 26 seconds and best young rider Tejay Van Garderen (HTC-Highroad) by 40.

    Stage 7: Leipheimer wins on Mt. Baldy

    Levi Leipheimer took the stage victory and his RadioShack teammate and race leader Chris Horner solidified his race lead in the queen stage of the 2011 Amgen Tour of California high above Los Angeles on Mount Baldy.

    The duo demoralized the competition with a ferocious tempo in the final kilometres, crossing the line together, hands-clasped, to stamp their authority on the race. It was the first win of the season for Leipheimer while Horner maintained his overall race lead with one stage remaining.

    Stage 8: Goss finally gets his win in Thousand Oaks

    HTC-Highroad's Matthew Goss claimed the team's first Amgen Tour of California stage, besting points leader Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) at the line with Greg Henderson (Sky) in...

  • Italian police search RadioShack vehicles on Giro d'Italia rest day

    A good ride from RadioShack was rewarded with second place on the stage
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 16:42 BST
    Daniel Benson & Stephen Farrand

    NAS officers stayed in hotel overnight

    Team RadioShack have been visited by the Italian police on the rest day at the Giro d’Italia. Cyclingnews understands that several plain clothed officers from the (Nucleo Antisofisticazioni Sanità) NAS slept in the hotel in Falcade overnight, with the team arriving yesterday and staying there today.

    The officers from Padova and Florence are being led by Benedetto Roberti who is currently investigating Dr Michele Ferrari. This morning the team doctor was questioned by the authorities and the team’s bus was searched.

    "Yes, they came, they searched the vehicles but they didn’t find anything. I’ve just signed the statement confirming that,” said Dr. Nino Daniele. “I don’t know why they came. I just saw them this morning.”

    Team boss Johan Bruyneel left the race last night and was unavailable for comment. Cyclingnews also understands that four officers are still in the team hotel.

  • UCI rejects Hamilton's accusations of 2001 Armstrong cover-up

    Tyler Hamilton got his Giro stage
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 18:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Allegation that American tested positive for EPO at Tour de Suisse

    The UCI issued a statement rejecting Tyler Hamilton’s allegation that it covered up a positive test from Lance Armstrong at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

    In an interviewed aired on CBS’ “60 Minutes” on Sunday evening, Hamilton corroborated Floyd Landis’ earlier claim that Armstrong had returned a positive test for EPO at the Swiss race.

    “The International Cycling Union categorically rejects the allegations made by Mr. Tyler Hamilton, who claims that Lance Armstrong tested positive for EPO during the 2001 Tour of Switzerland and had the results covered up after one of his representatives approached the Lausanne laboratory responsible for analysing test results from the event,” read a UCI statement issued on Monday.

    The sport’s governing body also declared itself to be “deeply shocked by the seriousness of the allegations”, although the accusations were already in the public domain since May of last year, when Landis confessed to doping as part of a systematic programme while riding for Armstrong’s US Postal team.

    The UCI also attempted to discredit Hamilton by describing him as “a cyclist who has not hesitated to abuse the trust of all followers of cycling on several occasions in the past”, a reference to his positive test for blood doping in 2004 and subsequent denial.

    Hamilton has since returned the Olympic time trial gold medal he won in 2004.

    The UCI also said that it “can only confirm that Lance Armstrong has never been notified of a positive test result by any anti-doping laboratory” and reiterated that “no manipulation or...

  • Movistar to continue in Giro in the wake of Tondo's death

    Xavier Tondo
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 21:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish squad remembers its teammate in Italy

    Movistar’s Giro d’Italia squad has unanimously decided to continue in the race in the wake of the tragic death of their teammate Xavier Tondo on Monday morning.

    Tondo, who was set to lead Movistar’s Tour de France challenge, was struck by a garage door in a freak accident in Granada, Spain, ahead of a planned training ride to Sierra Nevada.

    Movistar riders and staff at the Giro d'Italia held a meeting at the team hotel in Conegliano on Monday afternoon to discuss the possibility of withdrawing from the race. Team management had left the final decision to the riders themselves, and they opted to continue racing when the Giro resumes on Tuesday after its second rest day.

    “We’re destroyed, but we have decided that the best thing is to honour Xavi on the bike,” Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue said. “We gave the freedom to each rider to do what he wanted, but all of them were in agreement that the best tribute was to continue in the Giro.

    “Since this morning, we’ve been in constant contact with his family. The rest of the team will be there at the funeral, but we’re convinced that Xavi would have liked us to have continued competing.”

    Tondo joined Movistar ahead of the 2011 season, and though a newcomer to the squad, Unzue explained that Tondo had fitted in from the beginning. “He hasn’t been with us long but it’s seemed like a decade,” he said.

    Giro d'Italia organizers announced that tomorrow in Belluno before the start of the stage, the entire caravan of the Giro will observe a minute’s silence in memory of Tondo.

  • 2012 Amgen Tour of California to start in Santa Rosa

    Race chief Andrew Messick pulled off a successful mountaintop finish in San Jose.
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 0:34 BST
    Laura Weislo

    Leipheimer's home town to host opening stage

    The 2011 Amgen Tour of California has only just wrapped up, and organiser Andrew Messick of AEG has already announced one detail for next year's race: it will commence in Santa Rosa, the home of three-time champion Levi Leipheimer.

    "The future starts 51 weeks from now in Santa Rosa, the start of the 2012 Amgen Tour of California," Messick said at the closing press conference in Thousand Oaks, California. "It's been an excellent home to the race as a venue, and for bringing the cycling community in North America together, there's no place better."

    Messick and the race director Jim Birrell of Medalist Sports looked back on this year's race, the high points - both literally and figuratively - being the two summit finishes on Sierra Road and Mount Baldy, and the lows of cancelling stage one at Lake Tahoe and moving the start of stage two from Squaw Valley.

    "If you look at the two summit finishes, you have to be impressed with the work of Jim's team. There was nothing on top of Sierra Road - it was a cow pasture. There was no power, no cell phone, no plumbing. Overnight they built a village. Same on Mount Baldy. It was really impressive," Messick said

    Birrell pointed to the huge crowds, especially on Sierra Road, as a reason to look at continuing the trend of including summit finishes in the race.

    "We saw some unbelievable dynamics unfold in the race, and our crowds on Sierra Road far exceceded those we've had in downtown San Jose in the past. It will be something to evaluate for the future."

    Messick said that...

  • Tour of Gippsland kicks of 2011 Scody Cup

    They're off: The start to the 2010 Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland in Wonthaggi.
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 3:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Tough, spectacular course over nine stages

    The 2011 Scody Cup, Australia's premier domestic road cycling series, will kick-off with the five-day Lakes Oil Tour of Gippsland, to be raced over a spectacularly-challenging course from July 27-31.

    The 520km tour, first held in 2005, will start in Bass Coast Shire at 11am on opening day, with a 33km criterium in Wonthaggi, scene of last year's first stage.

    The tour will be backed by five Gippsland municipal councils – Bass Coast, Baw Baw, Latrobe City, Wellington and East Gippsland.

    About 150 top-flight cyclists from all Australian states and territories, plus several overseas countries, will contest the tour, which is a widely acknowledged breeding ground for the future stars of Australian cycling.

    Australian open road champion Jack Bobridge, Tour Down Under winner Cameron Meyer, double world track champion Leigh Howard and Tour de France regular Wesley Sulzberger all enjoyed success in the Tour of Gippsland as their careers unfolded.

    Tour director John Craven said he had already received inquiries from New Caledonia, New Zealand and Malaysia about riders contesting the nine-stage tour.

    "The Tour of Gippsland's reputation as a high-class bike race continues to develop," Craven said. "It's a proven fact that if you're good enough to win in Gippsland, you can virtually win anywhere."

    Craven said it was satisfying and exciting that a Gippsland-founded company, Lakes Oil, was the tour's major sponsor for the fourth straight year.

    "Lakes Oil has made a tremendous contribution to the growth and stability of this event," Craven said. "It is a pleasure to work with this community-minded company."

    Craven said the course was specifically designed...

  • Dunn's horror 2011 continues with training accident in Dubbo

    Tiffany Cromwell (SA) and Megan Dunn (NSW) and Loren Rowney (QLD) on the under 23 podium
    Article published:
    May 24, 2011, 5:29 BST
    Alex Hinds

    Australian questioning cycling future

    Australian dual Commonwealth Games gold medalist Megan Dunn has been involved in a second road accident in the same number of months. Dunn hit a pothole at around 70km/h, flew through the air and was knocked unconscious. When she came to she had a truck barreling down at her. Fortunately she managed to get out of the way, but with her injuries sustained will miss a large chunk of training, further denting her preparation for the 2012 Olympic games in London.

    Dunn suffered a broken elbow and two fractured collarbones - however it’s not the physical injuries that faze Dunn, but rather the mental scarring. The accident comes just six weeks after another road incident in which the Australian was the victim of a hit and run on the outskirts of Dubbo. On that occasion Dunn was lucky to come away relatively uninjured, however the knock on effect is starting to play on the Australian’s mind.

    "I’m just having such a bad run at the moment, the last six months - and now this," she told Prime News.

    "Sometimes you feel like it would be easier to pack up and hang up the bike for a little bit, but I say that now only three days after the accident."

    Despite the setback, her coach Gus Dawson was hopeful that Dunn would stay focused and continue training.

    "She’s only 19 so hopefully she can brush herself off and continue on. She’s one of the most talented athletes to come out of this area in quite a while," said Dawson.

    Dunn suffered a broken nose and required stitches to her hand in April. She had an interrupted summer after a bout of glandular fever earlier this year, and had more misfortune in December when she fractured her wrist...