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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, June 29, 2013

Date published:
June 29, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Van Herck handed two-year ban for ozone-therapy

    Landbouwkrediet - Euphony riders sign in for stage 1.
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 8:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Crelan-Euphony rider received treatment in 2011

    Pieter Van Herck, teammate to cyclo-cross star Sven Nys, has reportedly been given a two-year suspension after being found guilty of ozone-therapy conducted in 2011. The finding comes following the anti-doping investigation being carried out on Belgian doctor Dr. Chris Mertens.

    The investigation surrounding Mertens is reported to include numerous professional and amateur athletes. Cyclo-cross rider Tom Meeusen had his camper searched and was questioned by federal investigators earlier in the year, however, is said not to be directly connected with the controversial treatment that involves extracting blood, mixing it with ozone before re-injecting into the body.

    Jurgen Van Den Broeck admitted to visiting the doctor for legitimate reasons in the past. "I was ill with a sinus problem and I had to take care of it, and my team doctor Jan Mathieu was unavailable because he was abroad at the time," he said earlier this year.

    Van Herck stood firm by the position that he used the doctor’s services in an attempt to remedy a health issue and not for performance enhancement.

    "But it did not cure that and [now] my career is ruined. Now I have to look for another job," the 21-year-old Van Herck said to

    The Belgian rider was is in his first year with Crelan-Euphony after moving up from the Continental ranks at the end of 2012.


  • Tour de France shorts: shopping for riders, fractures, and more

    Andre Greipel in his new German champion's kit
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 9:59 BST
    Cycling News

    Greipel, broken rib for Roelandts, De Gendt wants Alpe d'Huez victory

    Greipel proud to race in German national champion's jersey

    Andre Greipel (Lotto Belisol) will start the Tour de France and fight for victory and the first yellow jersey of this year's race wearing the German national champion's jersey.

    He won the distinctive white jersey last weekend, beating fellow sprinter Gerald Ciolek and John Degenkolb.

    "I've won a lot of races but it's going to be special racing in the German national champion's jersey," he told Cyclingnews.

    "It's possible for the sprinters to get the yellow jersey on Saturday. That's something extra but I'm sure we'll see some 'interesting' sprints during all the Tour de France."

    Greipel is confident that Lotto Belisol can control and lead out the sprints this year.

    "I think the teams will make the difference more than ever before and I think I've got the best lead out train in the race. The sprints will be super fast and if things work out as we've planned in the final kilometres, it'll be hard to overtake us," he said.

    Omega Pharma - QuickStep shopping for Tour GC rider

    While the squad assembled for the 2013 edition of the Tour de France has been devoted entirely to the sprint pursuits of Mark Cavendish, Patrick Lefevere has announced that the composition of his Omega Pharma - QuickStep squad may be different when the Tour starts its 101st edition in 2014.

    "I am in the market for a general classification rider. (RIgoberto) Uran is indeed one of the options but there are still others. The market is currently in a recession and in quite a few teams there is uncertainty about the future. That puts us in a...

  • Specialized S-Works Evade aero helmet launched

    Alberto Contador models the Specialized S-Works Evade helmet
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 11:30 BST
    Sam Dansie

    Official launch follows months of use by top pro riders

    Specialized’s new aero helmet, the S-Works Evade, has been formally released at the 2013 Tour de France after months of blacked-out versions appearing in various pelotons.

    The helmet – which complements the range-topping S-Works Prevail – has appeared in Saxo-Tinkoff, Astana and Omega Pharma-QuickStep colours, as the 2013 Tour de France gears up for the grand départ in Porto Vecchio, Corsica.

    In power terms, Specialized aerodynamicist Chris Yu said that the Evade saves 20 watts over the light, well ventilated Prevail at 50kmh, and about 10 watts at 40kmh. In a 200m sprint at 1,000 Watts – an output approaching that which the pros can achieve – Specialized claim it gives a 2.6m improvement.

    Compared to rivals such as the Giro Air Attack, Scott Vanish Aero and recently released Kask Infinity, the Evade looks more ventilated. Yu said the project wouldn’t have begun if adequate ventilation hadn’t been possible. About half the time in research was spent ensuring the helmet aired well.

    “We noticed at last year’s Tour that a lot of the guys were hot in the first couple of stages, and a lot of guys decided not to wear the aero helmets they had available,” said Yu. “We talked to our riders and they said, 'We can’t actually wear these things if they can’t ventilate properly.'”

    According to Yu, the blacked-out version that first started appearing at Milan-San Remo in March differs little from the fully branded versions that have now been released. He said foam density might have been moderated, but that the aerodynamic shape has stayed fixed.


  • Rider delegation requests that 1998 doping report be released after Tour

    A Tour de France fan states his case for cessation of doping in the professional peloton
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 13:14 BST
    Cycling News

    Not “riders of our generation,” Roy says

    A delegation of riders has asked French sports minister Valerie Fourneyron and Senate Committee not to release its report concerning doping at the 1998 Tour de France until after this year's Tour. It was earlier announced that the report would be released on July 18, the 18th stage of the race, when the peloton will climb the Alpe d'Huez twice.

    Earlier this week it was disclosed that Laurent Jalabert was positive for EPO in retroactive testing done in 2004. Many other samples from the 1998 race were said to also be positive.

    Jens Voigt, Jérémy Roy, Samuel Dumoulin, Jerome Pineau, and Luis Angel Mate met with Fourneyron for half an hour Saturday morning before the stage.  These affairs from 15 years ago are from riders '”not of our generation,” Dumoulin said afterwards to L'Equipe. “We wanted to say were are tired of being singled out. Today it is a sport like any other. There are no more positive cases than elsewhere.”

    Fourneyron agreed that “Cycling has been the victim of a media lynching. The Tour is not doping.”

    Roy pointed his objection to the timing of the proposed report. “We do not see much use in publishing this list at that time,'” he said. “This is still the Tour and cycling that will be soiled.”

    Fourneyron said that while the sport and the Tour were conducting an effective fight against doping, more must be done. “On this issue, there is the independence of the AFLD compared to the UCI, with the use of the biological passport, whereabouts, pre-departure checks. There is also a coordination of those who fight against the traffic: the Ministries of Interior, Justice, Customs and our ministry. "

  • Tinkoff Bank to take over as sole sponsor for Saxo-Tinkoff?

    Tinkoff team owner Oleg Tinkov at the race.
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 14:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Oleg Tinkov denies reports he will buy team

    Oleg Tinkov apparently plans to become more involved in pro cycling again and is considering becoming the sole sponsor of the current Saxo-Tinkoff team. He denied a French media report that he would buy out the team from Bjarne Riis.

    L'Equipe this morning reported that Tinkov would buy the team and its licence, but the Russian told, “No, why would I do that.  It is cycling. There is no income.  I'm a businessman. so I cannot see why I should do it.”

    Sponsorship, however, was a different matter. “I am considering getting sole sponsorship of the team,” he said and confirmed that he was talking to Riis about it.

    “There will be no definitive statements now. I have to wait until Paris. There will be two reports on the Champs Elysees. That [Alberto] Contador has won and who shall sponsor the team,” Tinkov predicted.

    Tinkoff Bank became the name co-sponsor of the team last summer. Oleg Tinkov started his involvement in cycling with the Tinkoff Credit Systems team in 2007, before moving onto creating the Katusha squad in 2009. Tinkov left the team that year after a conflict with the other team head, Andre Tchmil.

    Saxo Bank's sponsorship for the team expires the end of this year, but indicated that they are willing to renew their contract, while denying knowledge of Tinkov's plans. “It's news to us,” Saxo Bank spokesman Kasper Elbjørn told the Danish newspaper Ekstra Bladet.

    “But we can understand Tinkoff Bank speculating for a full sponsorship because just as they are, we are also pleased with our sponsorship. Therefore we have started negotiations to extend our sponsorship, but negotiations are still ongoing, and as long as they are, we will not...

  • Van Impe predicts nerves will slow Froome in Tour de France

    Chris Froome (Sky) is introduced
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 17:00 BST
    Brecht Decaluwé

    Legendary climber expects Contador to win

    While Sky's Christopher Froome is the top favourite for the overall win in the 2013 Tour de France for most followers, Lucien Van Impe believes that nerves will ruin Froome's quest for glory. The legendary climber also questioned the absence of Bradley Wiggins while predicting Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) as eventual winner this year.

    Van Impe is the last Belgian rider to win la Grand Boucle. He said that if he had been part of the right team, he could have one five total Tours instead of the one he won in 1976.

    Every year, French former pro riders like Bernard Hinault, Richard Virenque, Raymond Poulidor are commonly spotted at the Tour de France start of finish area. Poulidor is actually taking part in his 51st Tour de France, but the presence of Lucien Van Impe was a surprise for many.

    Van Impe was invited by the Sporza TV channel to feature in the panel of its evening show. The Belgian travelled to Porto Vecchio, Corsica together with Flanders Classics podium hostess Lien Crapoen, and Cyclingnews was also present. While awaiting a transfer flight in Marseille, the six-time winner of the mountains classification of the Tour de France predicted the outcome of this year's edition.

    According to Van Impe, top favorite Contador will struggle in the first two weeks, but then he'll hit peak form. "Nevertheless, I don't think he'll lose a lot of time in those first two weeks. In the first mountain stages, most riders will wait for the last climb. It's not easy to switch from the big to the small ring. Andy Schleck isn't afraid to try from far out. He's a great climber, too, and a rider I like. He can surprise this year," Van Impe told Cyclingnews.

    "Froome? Right now he's getting nervous. He'll struggle with...

  • Tour de France: crash and injury update after stage 1

    Andreas Klöden (RadioShack-Leopard) shows off his crash wound
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 17:08 BST
    Cycling News

    Tony Martin with suspected fractured collarbone

    Crashes, chaos and confusion were the key words to the finale in the first stage of the Tour de France. There had been few crashes up until the end, and then a mass crash took down a number of riders and blocked many others. World time trial champion Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) was the most prominent victim, with a suspected fractured collarbone.

     Peter Sagan (Cannondale) was also involved in the crash, hitting the ground.

    “First stage and first crash for Klodi, Tony and me. But we are all ok. Hoping that tomorrow we are more lucky!!,” tweeted Markel Irizar (RadioShack-Leopard), mentioning teammates Andreas Klöden and Tony Gallopin.

    Alberto Contador also made contact with the pavement.  “Alberto went to the ground and we still don't know about his precise condition,” said directeur sportif Fabrizio Guidi.

    Everything looks to be ok, Contador later tweeted, "we think I've nothing broken, now a lot of ice and rest. French asphalt is very hard!"

    Sky had at least two riders involved. Geraint Thomas had to be taken to hospital, and Ian Stannard was also involved.

    Johnny Hoogerland (Vacansoleil-DCM) had probably the  most unusual crash, taking out an advertising banner. It was later reported, that the team doctor stitched up his elbow and he had abrasions on his shoulder and legs, but did not need to go to hospital.

    Chris Froome was the earliest victim of the day,, as he apparently got too close to the curb in the neutralized section. After picking himself up again, he first got a new rear tyre and then soon a whole new bike.

  • Orica-GreenEdge bus problem “unfortunate”, team says

    The Orica GreenEDGE bus caused panic at the end of stage 1
    Article published:
    June 29, 2013, 18:27 BST
    Cycling News

    Goss crashed into barrier with 500 metres to go

    The joke on Corsica this evening was that the first Tour de France stage was actually won by the Orica-GreenEdge team bus. The bus became lodged under the finish banner, being just a bit too tall to pass under. The team professed itself perplexed by the events.

    “Obviously, this was a really unfortunate situation,” sport director Matt White said on the team website. “The bus was led under the finish gantry, and we took for granted that there was enough clearance. We’ve had this bus since we started the team, and it’s the same bus we took to the Tour last year."

    "Our bus driver was told to move forward and became lodged under the finish gantry. He followed all instructions in the process that followed thanks to the hard work by ASO that allowed him to remove the bus before the finish. It was the best possible outcome given the situation.”

    The team was able to come through the crash near the end safely, but its bad luck continued, as Matthew Goss was unable to compete for the win.

    “Gossy managed to escape the first crash, but he clipped the barriers and went down about 500m from the line. The bunch had spread quite wide, and he ran out of road. He lost a bit of skin, but he should be fine other than. Obviously he’s not happy about crashing on the first day of the Tour, but he wasn’t the only one.”

     White approved of the decision to award the same time to all riders. “Absolutely. It’s always a fair decision to make if something completely outside the riders’ control impacts the race the way it did today. It was a very good decision, and it’s the safest thing for the riders.”