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Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, May 23, 2011

Date published:
May 23, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Matt Wilson's day in hell at Giro d'Italia

    Matt Wilson (Garmin-Cervelo) heads to the sign on
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 0:02 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Room-mate Brett Lancaster forced to pull out with virus

    The maglia nera (black jersey) that virtually designates the rider who is dead last on GC at the Giro d'Italia had a black day on the longest mountain stage in the Dolomites. Australia's Matt Wilson was a sick rider trying to make the time cut while his room-mate and compatriot Brett Lancaster was forced to pull out with 75 kilometres to go.

    "They have both been affected by a virus but they didn't know anything about it when they started the stage," Garmin-Cervélo directeur sportif Lionel Marie told Cyclingnews in Pozza di Fassa. At the start in Conegliano, Wilson even thought his most difficult time at the Giro was behind him.

    "But I've got some sort of stomach virus, according to our doctor," he explained in the evening. Lancaster has the same thing. We could barely eat or drink all day." The 2004 Olympic champion for team pursuit was reported to be vomiting on his bike and again once he had pulled out of the race.

    "We didn't need that to happen on the most difficult stage I've ever done in my life," Wilson said after ten years of racing as a professional.

    "Matt has been terribly unlucky during the Giro," Marie added. "He crashed during stage 8 and couldn't hold his handlebar with his injured hand. I've seen him crying on the bike. After that, he got ganglions [a cyst that appears on the hand], and once he's done with these problems, he gets the virus. But he's still there in the race. Fortunately, he has always been part of a group of about 25 riders during that crazy stage today. He remains in the Giro only because he's got...

  • Hamilton alleges Armstrong EPO positive cover-up on 60 Minutes

    Super domestique Lance Armstrong prior to the start.
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 2:05 BST
    Daniel Simms

    Hamilton states UCI is complicit in cover-up at 2001 Tour de Suisse

    Tyler Hamilton, a US Postal Service teammate of Lance Armstrong, spoke on Sunday evening's "60 Minutes" news show regarding a cover-up of a positive EPO test by the seven-time Tour de France winner at the 2001 Tour de Suisse.

    During the interview, Hamilton also said he witnessed Armstrong receiving a blood transfusion during the 2000 Tour and inject EPO during the 1999 Tour and before the 2000 and 2001 Tours

    "I saw him inject it more than one time like we all did, like I did many, many times," Hamilton said. "He was the leader of the team. He doped himself like everybody else, being part of the culture of the sport."

    When asked by "60 Minutes" reporter Scott Pelley about Armstrong's repeated statement that he'd never tested positive, Hamilton stated, "I know he's had a positive test before...for EPO [at the] Tour of Switzerland, 2001."

    Asked how he knew of the incident, Hamilton said "He [Lance Armstrong] told me. He was so relaxed about it and he kind of said if off the cuff and laughed it off."

    Hamilton then discussed the quashing of the positive test.

    "People took care of it," Hamilton told "60 Minutes". "I don't know all the exact details but I know that Lance's people and the people from the other side, the governing body of the sport (UCI), figured out a way to make it go away.
    "I was told Lance."

    The incident involving the alleged doping test cover-up has garnered the attention of United States federal prosecutors as well as the United States Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).

    "60 Minutes" obtained a letter from USADA in which the Swiss lab which tested Armstrong at the 2001 Tour de Suisse considered Armstrong's sample "suspicious" and "consistent with EPO use". The CBS news program learned that the director of the Swiss lab had met with both Lance Armstrong and team director Johan Bruyneel concerning the test from the Tour de Suisse.

    The Swiss lab director has since given a...

  • How the Amgen Tour of California jerseys were won

    The overall jersey winners: Pat McCarty, Peter Sagan, Chris Horner, Tejay Van Garderen and Jan Barta
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 5:41 BST
    Jen See

    Seven stages of tightly-fought battles

    The Amgen Tour of California awarded the Herbalife Sprint Jersey, the California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains Jersey, and the Rabobank Best Young Rider Jersey on Sunday in Thousand Oaks. Peter Sagan of Liquigas-Cannondale won the sprint classification, Pat McCarty of SpiderTech-C10 won the mountains prize, and Tejay van Garderen of HTC-Highroad won the white jersey for Best Young Rider. Jan Bartá won the final Breakaway From Cancer Most Courageous award of this year's race.

    The sprint jersey rewards the most consistent sprinter. Peter Sagan won the stage in Paso Robles, placed second in Sacramento, placed fourth in Modesto, and second in Thousand Oaks. Though Team Sky dominated the opening two stages with Ben Swift and Greg Henderson, neither of the team's sprinters could match Sagan's consistency. "I'm very happy to have been able to come to the Tour of California," said Sagan after Sunday's stage. "With a stage win and the points jersey, I'm very satisfied."

    In the mountains classification, Pat McCarty began his campaign for the California Travel & Tourism King of the Mountains Jersey by winning the hors catègorie Mount Hamilton climb. The following day, he joined the early breakaway on the road from Seaside to Paso Robles. His teammate Svein Tuft helped...

  • Gadret moves up to fourth overall at Giro d’Italia

    John Gadret (AG2R) was strong
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 7:48 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    French cyclo-cross man realistic about the superiority of the top three

    As he finished fifth on stage 15 of the Giro d’Italia, John Gadret (Ag2r-La Mondiale) showed his consistency in all three gruelling stages in the mountains prior to the second rest day. It helped him move up to fourth overall.

    “My stage win [stage 11 in Castelfidardo, ed.] has boosted my confidence for these three mountain stages,” Gadret told Cyclingnews in Pozza di Fassa. “Today was a day to just hold on as much as I could. I have a character of not giving up. That helped me in a stage like today’s. I’ve given everything I had.”

    With one week to go, the Frenchman is obviously satisfied with where he stands. “Had I been told before the Giro that I’d be fourth on GC after two weeks, I would have signed for that,” he said. “Now anything positive that happens will only be a bonus. My goals are to be determined day by day. I’d love to stay where I am on GC. If there’s a way to move up to the top three, I won’t give it a miss, but people have to be realistic: [Alberto] Contador, [Michele] Scarponi and [Vincenzo] Nibali are superior.”

    Stage 15 winner Mikel Nieve is just behind him after being the pink jersey on the road during the race. “Maybe he dreamt that he could take the pink jersey, but Contador knew exactly what he was doing,” Gadret explained. “His team set the pace when it had to be done. Now there’s one week left, so nobody can say that the Giro is over. Many things can yet happen but the hardest part of the race is behind us.”

  • Scarponi gets better with cold weather

    Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) resolutely refused to throw in the towel.
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 9:07 BST
    Jean-François Quénet

    Garzelli targets the king of the mountains prize

    Some older Italian riders are still in the picture at the Giro d’Italia as Stefano Garzelli (Acqua&Sapone) spent the day away before being caught on the final hill of Gardeccia by eventual stage 15 winner Mikel Nieve, while Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) was active in the hunt for the runner-up position behind Alberto Contador.

    “Contador is definitely the strongest because he keeps gaining time on all of his rivals,” Scarponi commented afterwards. “Today’s stage lasted an eternity. Every climb we did looked harder than the previous one. In the past few stages, I was quite far behind Alberto, today I was almost with him at the finish. I’ll try to stay as close as I can from here until Milan.”

    The Lampre-ISD rider dismissed the idea that Contador was getting particularly tired. “He’s still in front of us,” Scarponi said. “For sure the Giro isn’t easy for him either. I’ve tried to put him in difficulty and I’ll try again. I’ve suffered the hot weather for the first part of the Giro, now I’m getting better with the cold in the mountains and I’m still determined to fight.”

    While Scarponi entered into action on the final climbs of the day, Garzelli moved to the front right from the beginning of the race, as the riders didn’t take it easy at all despite the toughness and the length of stage 15.

    “I wanted to be at the front badly,” Garzelli explained. “This was the most important stage of the Giro. I tried to attack from distance. Unfortunately, in the end, I found someone who was stronger than me. My main satisfaction comes from the green jersey (of king of the mountains) that I got today....

  • Video: Millar and Le Mevel suffer but enjoy the Giro mountains

    David Millar (Garmin - Cervelo)
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 10:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Briton compares himself to racing pioneer Octave Lapize

    David Millar (Garmin-Cervelo) described stage 15 of the Giro d'Italia as epic, admitting he felt like racing pioneer Octave Lapize, who won the 1909 Tour de France and accused the race organisers of being assassins while riding the Col de la Tourmalet.

    "It's cycling on an epic scale. It's classic Giro. I suppose we can't really complain because we kind of sign up for it but it is madness."

    Christophe Le Mevel suffered but was still smiling when he made it to the Garmin-Cervelo team bus. His suffering was less than many of his teammates after finishing 21st on the stage, 10:03 behind Contador.

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  • Video: Downing makes it through the mountains

    Russell Downing (Sky)
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 10:39 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Team Sky rider talks about surviving in the Giro

    Russell Downing (Team Sky) is riding his first grand tour and suffered on the first big mountain stage to Grossglockner on Friday after coming down with a cold. However he made it up the Zoncolan on Saturday and finished in the gruppetto on Sunday after climbing the five major climbs during the 22km stage.

    "I was yo-yoing off the back of the gruppetto on Friday and only just made it back on a couple of times but fortunately that was the worst moment," he told Cyclingnews.

    "I spun a low gear up the Zoncolan and fortunately today we had a big [time] limit to play with. I've made it and now I'm even looking forward to the last week of the race."

    Cyclingnews caught the moment Downing made it back to the Team Sky bus after the stage to Gardeccia. He was tired and a little unsteady on his legs after eight and half hours on the bike but was happy to have made it.

  • Xavier Tondo dies in domestic accident

    Xavier Tondo (Movistar)
    Article published:
    May 23, 2011, 11:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Spanish pro rider dies in freak accident at home

    Xavier Tondo died on Monday morning after suffering a freak accident at home in Granada. According to reports in the Spanish press, Tondo’s garage door fell on him as he was preparing to leave for a training ride in the company of teammate Beñat Intxausti.

    The news of Tondo's death was confirmed by Movistar manager Eusebio Unzue, who explained that he did not yet have the full details of how the accident took place. It is still unclear precisely how the accident took place, but it is understood that Tondo and Intxausti were planning to ride up Sierra Nevada as they continued their build-up to the Tour de France.

    The 32-year-old Tondo turned professional in 2003 with Paternina. He signed for Movistar at the beginning of this season, after an impressive 2010 campaign with Cervélo TestTeam, which included a 6th place finish at the Vuelta a España. In Movistar colours he captured the Vuelta a Castilla y León and was set to be a mainstay of the squad’s Tour de France plans.

    Tondo’s fellow countryman Alberto Contador led the tributes via Twitter. “Life is so unjust and difficult to understand at certain moments, it’s impossible to describe my feelings on the death of Xavi Tondo,” Contador wrote. “My most sincere condolences to his family. He was an incredible person who loved this sport like nobody else. You will be missed. Rest in peace.”

    The Giro d'Italia organisers have said that there will be a minute's silence before tomorrow's stage in Tondo's memory.