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First Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Date published:
April 20, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Sánchez relishing Ardennes tests

    Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) counts up his wins.
    Article published:
    April 19, 2011, 20:37 BST
    Peter Cossins

    Euskaltel leader believes he and Antón can have an impact

    Euskaltel-Euskadi team leader Samuel Sánchez says that he will go into this week’s Ardennes Classics with high hopes for his team’s chances. Although slightly off the pace at Amstel Gold last weekend, Sánchez believes he and co-leader Igor Antón can have an impact in Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews, Sánchez described his form as "pretty good" going into his Classics campaign. "I came out of the Tour of the Basque Country well. I was a bit disappointed with the final time trial because I didn’t have a good day, but I’ll be going to Belgium with a lot of desire and expectation," he said.

    "I’ve been second at Flèche, fourth in Liège. I love races like those and Amstel because racing there is pure cycling. There’s no great strategy involved, it’s just you against the rest, and them against you. In addition, they really appreciate their cycling in Belgium," said Sánchez.

    Sánchez finished fourth in Flèche Wallonne two years ago and runner-up in 2006. He believes his team has a good chance of bettering those performances this year as they have two strong cards to play with Igor Antón also lining up. Last year Antón finished fourth at Flèche and sixth in Liège.

    "It’s a big plus to have Igor in the team for any race as he’s come on a huge amount,"...

  • Porte the face of the Launceston Pro-Ex

    Richie Porte (Saxo Bank-SunGard) lines up for stage 1 of Paris-Nice.
    Article published:
    April 20, 2011, 1:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Registrations now open for week-long event

    Saxo Bank-Sungard's Richie Porte has been announced as an ambassador for the Launceston Pro-Ex cycling week, a new and unique event offering amateur cyclists from across the globe a chance to immerse themselves in a professional cycling experience.

    Running from November 20 to 27, the Pro-Ex will be the first training camp of the Australian season.

    "I am thrilled with the opportunity to share my passion for cycling with participants at the Launceston Pro-Ex," Porte said. "Being part of the Launceston Pro-Ex allows me to give something back to my hometown, where the scenic terrain helped shape my interest in cycling and inspired my career."

    Registrations are now open for the week-long event which will provide an exclusive opportunity for more than 200 recreational cyclists to join some of Australia's top professionals, including Porte, on a training camp and participate in the 160-kilometre Opperman Gran Fondo mass participation ride in and around the cycling mecca of Launceston, Tasmania.

    Keen cyclists will pursue their passion at a new level with the experience of living, training, eating and riding like a professional as they develop their knowledge of the intricacies of the sport in one of the world's cycling hot spots.

    Launceston has been home to several current professionals including Matt Goss, along with Wes and Bernard Sulzberger.

    The Launceston Criterium will fall within the Pro-Ex schedule, which traditionally attracts some of the country's best cyclists.

    The event also...

  • Zwizanski pleased with Trentino time trial result

    Scott Zwizanski (UnitedHealthcare) tuned his time trial bike in the wind tunnel before the race, and it paid off with a third place on the stage.
    Article published:
    April 20, 2011, 2:23 BST
    Cycling News

    Another top 10 finish for UnitedHealthcare

    Scott Zwizanski (UnitedHealthcare) finished 7th in the Giro del Trentino's opening time trial and was extremely satisfied with his performance. It was the fastest performance by an American on the stage, 21 seconds down on the winning time of Andreas Klöden (RadioShack).

    "I felt pretty good," Zwizanski said. To pull a top 10 against a field like this really helps build confidence. This team has tremendous potential we're going to keep pushing for the podium. Even in an individual effort like a time trial, it takes a team to pull it off, and with the staff and sponsor support we have with the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team, results are just part of the motivation for us to do well."

    Klöden took out the stage from Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) by one second over the 13.4km course on the shores of Lake Garda. Tiago Machado (RadioShack) was third.

    "Scott did an excellent job today," said team director, Eric Greene. "He has been fighting a pretty bad flu for the past two weeks and it was good to see him power through the opening time trial." Zwizanski's top 10 finish was the UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling Team's 21st of the season and his second overall, including his third place finish in Argentina's Tour de San Luis.

    Of the 18 teams competing, the California-based squad is 6th in the team...

  • Adriano Malori shattered to miss out in Trentino opener

    Adriano Malori (Lampre-ISD) took second in the time trial
    Article published:
    April 20, 2011, 4:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Director understands disappointment but only sees positives

    The Giro del Trentino marks a return to Italian racing for Lampre - ISD and it was very nearly a happy homecoming for the team, with young-gun Adriano Malori narrowly beaten in the day’s opening time trial.

    Malori, 23, is a former under 23 world champion in the time trial, and has just come off an impressive performance in the Coppi e Bartali, where the Italian won a stage and finished 5th overall.

    The Lampre - ISD rider was clearly disappointed that he had come so close and not taken the win.

    "What a pity," Malori reacted. "The only thing that makes me happy is that Kloden is a top rider in the time trial."

    He was however positive about his prospects in the future, and is treating every race as a learning experience.

    "I did my best and that is most important. Every time trial will help me to get closer to the level of the top riders".

    A star in the making, Malori is undoubtedly a rider with a lot of potential and one to watch. Roberto Damiani recently said that a new-look Lampre-ISD under his stewardship would be shaped heavily around the Parma native. Despite this, team sports-director Tebaldi Valerio is trying to keep the young Italian grounded and put his result in perspective.

    "I think that Adriano should not be angry for taking 2nd place considering he performed a very good time trial and only Kloden, a specialist, could do better", the sports director said.

    The Giro Del Trentino continues...

  • Win a Giro d'Italia Official 2011 Souvenir Pack

     Win a Giro d'Italia Official 2011 Souvenir Pack
    Article published:
    April 20, 2011, 9:35 BST
    Cycling News

    Five copies to give away

    The Giro d'Italia Official 2011 Souvenir Pack is on sale now and we've got five free copies to give away. Normally priced at £7.99, the guide includes a massive 172-page Official Giro d'Italia Programme filled with exclusive interviews and profiles, in-depth looks at each stage, classic moments from the history of the race, plus full team listings and expert analysis.

    The pack also contains a giant wallmap showing the route and details of each stage, four stunning retro art prints and Tales from the Giro d'Italia, a book featuring classic accounts of the world's toughest race by William Fotheringham, Paul Kimmage and Laurent Fignon.

    From the makers of Procycling magazine, the Giro d'Italia Official 2011 Souvenir Pack can be ordered online now for just £7.99 including free delivery, and is also available to buy in all good UK newsagents. However, we've got five copies to give away.

    You can enter the main competition here.

  • Managers requested biological passport data from UCI, says Amadio

    Roberto Amadio
    Article published:
    April 20, 2011, 10:04 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Teams were not threatened with public revelations by Pat McQuaid

    Liquigas-Cannondale manager Roberto Amadio has revealed that it was the team managers themselves who requested that information about riders with suspect biological passports be made more freely available during a fractious meeting with the UCI in Brussels on Monday.

    L’Équipe reported on Tuesday that UCI president Pat McQuaid had informed managers that he held precise information on each team’s riders thanks to the biological passport system. According to the article, McQuaid “brandished the spectre of public revelations that would cause damage.”

    However, Amadio refuted the idea that the team managers were threatened by the release of such information, and instead explained that he was among the managers who had requested that the UCI inform teams of which riders had suspect values.

    “The situation isn’t exactly the one reported in the article,” Amadio told “It’s not that McQuaid threatened to pull out the list of ‘targeted’ riders. It was first Bjarne Riis and then I – given that we had our backs to the wall – who asked to be informed, to know who are the target riders, who are the riders at risk and who are the athletes who do not fill out their whereabouts forms punctually.

    “We can no longer accept to be informed of things that are awry only after they have happened. If we are asked to intervene with greater force [in curbing doping – ed], it is right to give us the instruments to do that.”

    While Amadio recognised that there may be privacy issues involved in the release of sensitive biological...

  • Work continues on plasticizer test in Lausanne

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    April 20, 2011, 10:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Test would indicate autologous blood transfusions

    Lausanne-based researchers are continuing efforts to devise a validated test for plasticizers in urine samples in a bid to curb the practice of performance-enhancing blood transfusions.

    Norbert Baume, of Lausanne’s World Anti-Doping Agency laboratory, explained that he and his colleagues have been continuing work started by other WADA-accredited laboratories who have been researching a test for autologous blood transfusions.

    “We try to copy the results of Barcelona and Cologne, and it works,” Baume told The Associated Press. He described their progress as “encouraging.”

    As transfused blood is stored in plastic bags, an elevated level of plasticizer in a urine sample could be indicative of an autologous transfusion, but a test has yet to be formally validated. While a test for homologous transfusions has been in use since 2000, researchers have thus far been unable to control against the removal and re-injection of an athlete’s own blood.

    Baume explained to AP that clinical trials will be carried out later this year in order to establish a base level of plasticizer in urine against which to gauge a threshold that would suggest blood doping.

    “For us it is quite an early stage. We need to do a clinical study. Then, maybe, we can put forward a cut-off level of plasticizers that could indicate a transfusion,” he said.

    Baume also warned that the plasticizer test may not be sufficient in itself to definitively prove blood doping, but rather might be used as part of the biological passport system, with fluctuations over time being indicative of autologous transfusions.

    “It’s an additional tool you can use to argue that this athlete could have manipulated blood with a transfusion,” Baume said.

  • Gallery: A look back at La Flèche Wallonne

    Zulle, Pantani and Bartoli go head-to-head in 1997
    Article published:
    April 17, 2012, 15:34 BST
    Cycling News

    From Armstrong to Gilbert

    The 2012 edition of La Flèche Wallonne should be a cracker with no clear favourite for Wednesday's race. The infamous Mur de Huy will undoubtedly create carnage for some tired legs after the hilly parcours and whoever wins will have to time their move perfectly.

    The team at Cyclingnews has put together a gallery of some of the great images of the past 16 years. It gives some perspective to the history of the race - and to the legends who have made the race great in the past.

    There were animators like Michele Bartoli, who despite only winning the race once in 1999, could always be counted on to make the racing exciting.

    There's plenty more in there so have a look, and enjoy all of Cyclingnews coverage of La Flèche Wallonne by clicking here.