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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, March 14, 2011

Date published:
March 14, 2011, 0:00 GMT
  • AIGCP and CPA to present united front on anti-doping

    Gianni Bugno getting ready for a helicopter flight for Italian TV.
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 10:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Bodies to call for four year suspensions and sanctions against teams at CCP meeting

    The teams and riders associations, the AIGCP and the CPA, are to present a united front on the fight against doping as well as on the contentious issue of the radio ban when the Pro Cycling Council (PCC) meets on Thursday. Among their proposals will be an increase of the maximum doping suspension to four years and the introduction of penalties for teams whose riders return positive tests.

    In association with the Italian association of cycling medics (AIMeC), the AIGCP and CPA have drawn up a list of six proposals which they feel are required “in order to bring a decisive contribution for an increased credibility of the cycling sport.” Cyclingnews understands that they will be discussed at the PCC’s meeting on Thursday.

    The PCC brings together representatives of teams, riders, race organisers and the UCI. The teams’ representatives at the PCC are Jonathan Vaughters and Roberto Amadio, while Gianni Bugno and Dario Cioni represent the riders. Charly Mottet and Christian Prudhomme represent the race organisers, while members of the PCC designated by the UCI include Stephen Roche, Roger Legeay and Erik Zabel. Vittorio Adorni presides over the council, which offers a forum for the discussion of cycling legislation but does not have the power to change it.

    The first proposal of the AIGCP, CPA and AIMeC is a call for the current maximum suspension of two years to be increased to four in the case of positive tests for certain products and practices. These include gene doping, androgenic steroids, EPO and related products, autologous and homologous blood transfusions, and all other products and methods aimed at...

  • Evans optimistic of holding Tirreno-Adriatico lead

    Overall race leader Cadel Evans (BMC) on the podium
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 11:32 GMT
    Susan Westemeyer

    BMC rider thanks team for support

    Cadel Evans leads Tirreno-Adriatico by only a handful of seconds, but hopes to carry that lead over the next few days. The closing time trial on Tuesday will be tricky one, he said, but he is confident that he can hold on the leader's blue jersey until the end.

    The BMC leader finished twelfth on Sunday, two seconds down, to move up one spot to the overall lead. Going into the stage, he had “vague hopes” of taking the lead. “I thought it was going to rely a bit more on luck actually, but the race ended up being a bit harder than I had anticipated,” he said in a team video. “It was an aggressive race, especially in the last 40 to 50 km, and the course in the end was really tough.”

    The former World Champion thanked his team for its support, calling the lead, “a pat on the back for all of us, for the whole team, for the work we did in the winter. I am riding a little bit better than I expected, but worked pretty hard this week for this race as I usually do, and the team's really riding really, really well.”

    Monday's stage six is, “going to be another hard day” with a difficult closing circuit.” It is not the same circuit as in the previous year. “It's going to be a harder final circuit that we do, but I think it's going to be a bit easier to control as a team, assuming all goes well, of course, and in some ways it might be a little bit better for me.”

    The main thing he will have to watch out for in the stage is the bonus seconds. The Australian leads by only two seconds over Ivan Basso (Liquigas), with Damiano Cunego (Lampre), Michele Scarponi (Lampre) and Robert Gesink (Rabobank)...

  • Team NetApp with wild card invitation to Tour de Suisse

    Then NetApp took over on the front
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 12:36 GMT
    Cycling News

    Third WorldTour ranked race for German team this season

    Team NetApp has been invited to another WorldTour race, getting a wild-card invitation to the Tour de Suisse (June 11-19). The highest-ranking German team, in its first Professional Continental year, will also ride Paris-Roubaix and the Vattenfalls Cyclassics.

    “I’d like to thank the organisers of the Tour de Suisse. For us, the race is a big task, but it also represents a great opportunity for our team. Traditionally, the tour involves outstanding talent," said team manager Ralph Denk. “With two time trials and three mountain finishes in nine days it will be an entirely new experience for our classification riders. It’s with just such tasks that we want to grow as a team.”

    The team can send two Swiss riders to their homeland race: U23 national champion Michael Baer and veteran Andreas Dietziker. “The fifth and sixth stages will pass by my hometown of Aadorf,” Dietziker said. “One of them will even have a sprint classification right in front of my home. I'm sure that my mother, friends and club mates will be lined up along the street. I have big plans for that day.”

    The small German team has also been invited to four HC-ranked races through July: the Tour of Turkey, the Tour of California, the Tour of Bavaria and the Tour of Austria.

    “It’s a tight program for us, which we’ve been working towards very deliberately,” Denk said. “We’ve reinforced our team for this season with classification riders like the young Leopold Konig and the old hand Jesus del Nero. After the end of the classics season, this phase of the season...

  • Sanchez on track for Pais Vasco

    Samuel Sanchez (Eusktaltel-Euskadi)
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 13:34 GMT
    Cycling News

    Olympic champion hopeful after fifth overall placing in Paris-Nice

    It has been a good week for Samuel Sanchez. The Euskaltel-Euskadi leader made it through a difficult Paris-Nice escaping the crashes and illnesses of its particularly wet and cold finale in Southern France, eventually finishing fifth overall. Moreover, the Olympic champion secured two second placings, one on stage five and another one on the penultimate stage of the event, and still found the resources to battle it out against Jean-Christophe Péraud on the final stage around Nice for a place in the top five.

    "I'm coming home satisfied," Sanchez told the Diario Vasco, even though he missed out on a victory. "My performances were good and I conclude that my preparation is on the right track, starting to show significant results. We lacked only very little to snatch a stage, but others were simply a little bit better. Now, I want to continue working to get to the start of the Vuelta al País Vasco in the best possible condition."

    At the Spanish stage race scheduled April 4-9, the Basque rider hopes to repeat his 2010 stage win and his two overall podium placings. After that, his preparation for the Tour de France will take him through a selection of Spring Classics. Sanchez's major goal this year is again the overall classification of the Tour, where he finished fourth last year.

  • Taaramae believes in top 10 placing at Tour de France

    Rein Taaramae (Cofidis)
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 15:14 GMT
    Cycling News

    Estonian takes best result ever at Paris-Nice

    Cofidis rider Rein Taaramae has high hopes for the 2011 season after starting it with a fourth place in the overall classification of Paris-Nice, his "best result ever". Now, Taaramae is fully focused to continue on this streak, firmly believing in his overall chances at the Tour de France in July.

    The Estonian made the 'race to the sun' a target, but feared that the 27-kilometre time trial this year would be fatal to him. "Before the race, I was a little nervous, I hoped that I could finish in the top six but I was afraid of the time trial," he told French velochrono. "Usually, I finish between 20th and 30th in the time trials, but there I got eighth! And in the mountains, I felt really at ease. I'm very happy about my result."

    The positive development of his career is a consequence of a variety of factors - a changed diet over the winter, less distraction during races and a certain maturity the 23-year-old has only just started to acquire. "I have much more experience and calmness now," he explained. "This week, I didn't respond to phone calls, I stayed calm and concentrated on the race to rest as much as possible. This way, I already feel less tired. And this winter, dietitians discovered that I was allergic to the gluten contained in eggs or milk. We took all of this out of my menus and I felt an enormous difference. They're small things, but this year I feel really good. And I can still improve."

    Taaramae, who has already shown that he is able to play a major role in week-long stage races by finishing third in both the 2009 Tour de Romandie and 2010 Volta a Catalunya, hopes that this progression will lead him to becoming a...

  • Colom targets return after EPO ban

    Antonio Colom wins in Nice
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 17:48 GMT
    Pete Cossins

    “The positive test destroyed me but made me a better person,” says Spaniard

    Toni Colom has said that he hopes to return to pro racing when his two-year ban for EPO use ends in early June. He has also admitted that his positive test and subsequent ban turned his life upside down, but has, he believes, ended up making him a better person.

    Speaking to Meta2Mil, Majorcan rider Colom revealed that he has spent the last two years getting a number of business projects off the ground, and has also been working with young riders in the Balearic Islands, specifically to warn them about the dangers of doping. “My life has been very different, but I’ve never stopped training and doing so with great intensity because cycling is my passion,” said the 32-year-old Spaniard.

    As well as working on event organisation in Majorca, Colom has been involved in a business running weddings and also acting as an adviser to people undertaking a whole range of athletic challenges. Asked whether he is an ideal person to work with youngsters coming up through the sport, Colom replied: “I think I’m the best example they can have. I don’t hold back and can tell them exactly what it means to test positive. I can honestly say that I have suffered and I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy.”

    Colom tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition control undertaken in April 2009, soon after he had finished fifth overall at Paris-Nice having won the final stage. He had been targeted for additional controls based on information from his blood profile. He admitted he had spent a good deal trying to clear his name but is now committed to reaching an agreement with the UCI over the size of the fine that he has to pay to be able to compete again.

    “It’s incredible...

  • Spanish amateur Simón creates a stir

    Jordi Simon (Caja Rural)
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 19:48 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Spanish amateur tipped for big things after finishing 20th at Tour of Murcia

    In all the fuss surrounding Alberto Contador’s performance and victory at the Tour of Murcia earlier this month, it was easy to miss an outstanding ride by another Spanish rider who is earning fulsome praise from Spanish national coach José Luis De Santos and the Spanish press.

    Jordi Simón finished 20th after the three days of racing in Murcia, which is no mean effort given that it was his first appearance at that level and that he is only 20. Usually one of the leaders on Caja Rural’s amateur team, Simón rode Murcia in the colours of the Spanish national team and showed exceptional form all-round, finishing 19th in the tough Sierra Espuña mountain stage and 53rd in the final day time trial in Murcia to end the race just 3:38 down on Contador.

    The subject of glowing reports in the Spanish press, Simón started cycling in 2005 when he finished second in his local hill-climb in Catalonia riding on a borrowed bike for fun. His next step was to go out with his local bike club, again on a borrowed bike and wearing tennis shoes. Having been told to stop and call his parents for a lift when he felt tired, Simón rode 100km with the club, then rode everyone off his wheel on a climb. “What would he be like if he had proper shoes?” the other riders wondered.

    The short answer is very promising. He’s subsequently progressed steadily, showing good ability in time trials and on the climbs. “Last year I took him to several races and he really pleased me,” Spanish coach De Santos told...

  • Haussler uninjured and confident for Milan-San Remo

    Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) got another day in the green jersey at Paris-Nice
    Article published:
    March 14, 2011, 22:28 GMT
    Cycling News

    Happy with points jersey from Paris-Nice but wanted stage win as well

    Heinrich Haussler was not seriously injured in his many crashes in last week's Paris-Nice, and was happy to end up with the green jersey for best points rider which escaped him two years ago. The Garmin-Cervelo rider is looking forward to his "first season highlight", Milan-San Remo.

    Paris-Nice was "a crazy race," he wrote on his website. The good news was that he won the green jersey, for which he fought so hard two years ago, but "on the other hand, I did not get the stage win I was hoping for." He finished in the top five in the first four stages, but couldn't do better than second place, which, he said, "bothers me."

    His priority the beginning of this week is to take it easy and recover from his various aches and pains. "The whole left side of my body is sore after the crashes last week. But at least I did not have any serious injuries."

    Later in the week he will head to Italy for his biggest race of the early season, Milan-San Remo. He narrowly lost the race to Mark Cavendish in 2009, and was unable to ride it last year due to his knee problems. "I feel good, I have trained well and in the races noted that my form is right,“ he concluded.