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Second Edition Cycling News, Saturday, May 31, 2014

Date published:
May 31, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Court denies Armstrong request to stop SCA case

    Lance Armstrong liked to control the media
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 14:07 BST
    Cycling News

    Texas Supreme Court rules that Armstrong must testify under oath

    The Texas Supreme Court has denied Lance Armstrong's request to block a case against him by insurance company SCA. He will now be required to testify under oath on June 12, in a case in which he may have to pay back an estimated 12 million dollars.

    The insurance companies had paid him bonuses for winning the Tour de France, but eventually refused to do so because of claims of doping. He sued for the money, swearing under oath that he had not doped. The parties reached a voluntary settlement.

    In light of the USADA's reasoned decision and Armstrong's doping confession, SCA filed suit to regain the money it paid him. The Texan has repeatedly fought the action in court.

    "SCA is pleased that it will get an opportunity to hold Mr. Armstrong accountable for his outrageous conduct during our prior legal proceedings," Jeff Tillotson, SCA's attorney, told USA TODAY Sports. "Our position is simple. No one should be able to relentlessly perjure themselves and get away with it."

    Armstrong is now scheduled to be deposed on June 12, according to the Dallas News, by the same SCA attorney who deposed him earlier when he denied having doped.

  • Gallery: Froome leads Team Sky reconnaissance over Tour de France stages

    Chris Froome (Team Sky) before his training ride
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 14:36 BST
    Cycling News

    Team Sky in UK for training

    Chris Froome and teammate Richie Porte traded the altitude and warm weather of Mount Teide in Tenerife for the higher latitude and colder climates of Yorkshire this week. The two Team Sky riders paid a visit to the English country to reconnoitre the opening stages of the Tour de France.

    The pair arrived in the UK earlier this week and began their recon on Friday, with stage 1. This year’s Tour de France will spend three days in Yorkshire, beginning on July 5.

    The opening day will be a sprinter’s stage from Leeds to Harrogate. Stage 2 will be a big test for the general classification riders. It has been likened to the parcours of the Ardennes classics, with nine climbs for the riders to contend with, along with the rough and windy roads of Yorkshire.

    Froome is aiming to defend the Tour de France title that he took last year, with Porte once again taking up the role as his lieutenant. The team have won the last two Tours de France, but face some tough competition in Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana).

    The Tour de France begins on July 5th and finishes in Paris on July 27.

    Click here for the gallery of Froome and Porte’s visit to Yorkshire.

  • Video: Rigoberto Uran's new Specialized Tarmac

    Rigoberto Uran lost his maglia rosa on the road to Val Martello
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 15:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep Colombian's ride for the Giro d'Italia

    Take a look at Rigoberto Uran's new Specialized Tarmac, specifically built for the Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider for the Giro d'Italia.

    The bike is part of Specialized's new project for their Tarmac line. Each frame size is specifically engineered from the ground up for optimal stiffness and handling.

    Aside from the not-yet released frameset, the rest of the machine is available to the public, including the Zipp wheels, seat post, stem and handlebars, SRAM components and Look pedals.

    The gearing is, of course, set up for the climbing of the final week of the Giro.

    Don't forget to subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel.

  • Watch the NCC’s Glencoe Grand Prix live on Cyclingnews

    Today's podium: Second place-Coryn Rivera (United Healthcare Pro Cycling) First- Erica Allar (Colavita-Fine Cooking) Third- Hannah Barnes (UnitedHealthcare Pro Cycling) are congratulated by a proud Hall of Famer this Memorial Day.
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 17:22 BST
    Cycling News

    National Criterium Calendar events start at 12:35pm CDT on Saturday

    USA Cycling’s National Criterium Calendar (NCC) will continue with the at the Glencoe Grand Prix held on Saturday, May 31 in Chicago. Watch the Pro/1/2 women’s and the Pro/1 men’s criteriums live on Cyclingnews.

    Racers will compete on an undulating two-kilometer circuit that has 10-corners each lap. The women will race for 50km and the men for 85km. “I love the race course because it’s technical and challenging,” said Colavita-Fine Cooking’s Erica Allar, who is the defending champion in the women’s race. “I’m always impressed with the amount of spectators and the amount of stuff going on to keep people interested and excited about the race.”

    Allar is currently leading the NCC women’s standings ahead of Laura Van Gilder (Mellow Mushroom p/b Pink Siren) and Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare).

    Brad White (UnitedHealthcare) won last year’s men’s event. This year, his teammate Carlos Alzate (UnitedHealthcare) is leading the men’s NCC standings ahead of Isaac Howe (Champion Systems-Stan’s NoTubes) and Daniel Holloway (Athlete Octane).

    Cyclingnews will stream live the NCC’s Glencoe Grand Prix beginning with the Pro/1/2 women’s race at 12:35pm CDT followed by the Pro/1 men’s event at 6:00pm CDT

    To subscribe to the Cyclingnews YouTube channel, click here.

  • Giro d’Italia podium changes nothing, says Aru

    Fabio Aru (Astana) out of air atop the Monte Zoncolan
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 20:25 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Sardinian seals third overall on the Zoncolan

    Backstage at the Giro d’Italia team presentation in Belfast, Fabio Aru was so unfettered by media requests that he could sit absent-mindedly scanning his smart phone while his Astana teammate Michele Scarponi provided sound bites and quips for a procession of television crews and reporters.

    Three weeks on, however, Aru’s star has risen in ways that he could scarcely have imagined on that drizzly night by the Lagan. His stage victory at Montecampione last week catapulted him into the limelight, and its glare only intensified after he pushed Nairo Quintana (Movistar) closest in Friday’s Monte Grappa mountain time trial.

    Aru awoke on Saturday morning to find himself on the front page of Gazzetta dello Sport, under the banner headline "A Stell-aru Giro," while an Italian cycling magazine had even booked itself into the Astana hotel in Prata di Pordenone just to photograph the new star at breakfast as he prepared for the race’s penultimate stage to the Zoncolan.

    At the start village in Maniago, the cheers for Aru outstripped those for the maglia rosa Quintana, while at the summit of the fearsome Zoncolan, the so-called Kaiser of Friuli, Aru-mania had reached such heights that his mother and girlfriend were interviewed by the race speaker just as the pink jersey group hit the town of Ovaro in the valley below.

    The stage was set, then, for Aru’s assault on the second place of Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep), who began the day just 41 seconds clear of the young Sardinian, and who had shown further signs on flagging in Friday’s cronoscalata.

    Still suffering from his...

  • Quintana proud to be first Colombian winner of the Giro d'Italia

    Nairo Quintana (Movistar) confirmed himself as Giro d'Italia champion extraordinare
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 21:00 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Movistar rider says he is now ready to target the Tour de France in 2015

    Nairo Quintana is set to celebrate overall victory at the Giro d'Italia in Trieste on Sunday and become the first ever Colombian to win the Corsa Rosa, yet he seemed as calm, as quiet and as composed as ever after reaching the finish of stage 20 to Monte Zoncolan.

    Quintana always listens attentively to questions during his daily press conference as race leader. He responds calmly in Spanish, revealing his inner thoughts and emotions in every answer while also not being afraid to point out if he thinks a question is off the mark.

    He reached the finish at the summit of the Zoncolan in the same time as Rigoberto Uran (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) and so cemented his overall race lead on his compatriot at 3:07. Fabio Aru (Astana) lost 16 seconds and so is set to finish 4:04 behind Quintana should all go incident-free for the top three riders on the final stage.

    While most of the riders suffered on the double-digit gradient of the Zoncolan, Quintana again appeared sphinx-like, with his jersey zipped up and little emotion or pain showing on his face. He has worn the same poker face throughout the Giro d'Italia, clearly knowing he had a winning hand thanks to his superior climbing ability and strong team.

    "Perhaps I didn't suffer because I'm better than the others, I think we saw that yesterday," he said with pride and without a blink of the eye in the press conference after the Zoncolan stage.

    "Obviously, as I've said all along, I’m not in perfect shape. During the stage, the [sinus] congestion made be feel ill, as did the effort too. I actually suffer as much as everyone else because I’m a human being like everyone else. My legs hurt, but I managed the pain well, and perhaps looked tranquil, but inside I felt...

  • Giro d'Italia: Rogers savours winning on one cycling's great climbs

    Michael Rogers counts up his Grand Tour stage wins
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 22:01 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Australian finds further redemption with solo victory on the Zoncolan

    Michael Rogers said his Giro d'Italia stage victory in Savona on stage 11 was like finding a rainbow at the end of a tunnel, following his long fight to clear his name after testing for Clenbuterol last October.

    His second stage victory alone at the summit of Monte Zoncolan was even more special, giving him further redemption and a stage victory on one of the legendary climbs in Grand Tour racing and fully restoring his love for cycling.

    "You always remember the beautiful moments in life, and today was one of them. I always believe there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and I continued to work hard and believe. I think I’ve shown that in this race," he said.

    "Through the period when I was under temporary suspension it was a life lesson for me. I learned that it’s what you create and what you give, not what you have physically that matters. I saw some great opportunities arise in this race, and I took advantage whereas before perhaps I wasn’t as hungry. I’m thankful for that lesson."

    "Every win is beautiful, but today with the climb of the Zoncolan, you enter the history of cycling and the Giro d'Italia. These are the climbs - the Stelvio, Gavia, Zoncolan, they're the famous ones. It’s a dream for all cyclists to winning on these climbs."

    Winning is still a thrill

    Despite Tinkoff-Saxo protecting Rafal Majka's sixth place overall, the team also targeted the stage victory on the Zoncolan. They refused to be satisfied with Rogers' stage win and Majka's overall consistency.

    "You always aim to be the best that you can, and winning for me is still a thrill," Rogers explained.

    "I enjoy also the working...

  • Gallery: Heartbreak on Giro d'Italia's Monte Zoncolan for Bongiorno

    A devastated Francesco Bongiorno rues being nearly pushed over by a spectator on the Monte Zoncolan
    Article published:
    May 31, 2014, 23:41 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Spectators interfere with the action on race's 'sacred' climb

    You can assess a mountain pass using many criteria. Demonstrable measurements such as altitude, length and gradient are the usual starting points, but sometimes in this realm it’s easier to rely on more instinctive parameters – the toughest mountains tend to have nicknames.

    Since its introduction to the Giro d’Italia in 2003, the mighty Zoncolan has amassed a number of sobriquets. Initially, it was the "Kaiser," a nod to the region’s past on the frontier of Habsburg influence. When the Giro came for a second visit in 2007, attacking it from the more difficult side that climbs out of Ovara, the natural amphitheatre of the mountain was likened to a football stadium, and the Zoncolan became the "Vertical Maracana."

    On Saturday morning, as the Giro arrived for its fifth grind up the Zoncolan, the mountain was lent an almost religious significance. For Saturday morning’s Gazzetta dello Sport, the Zoncolan was "not an ascent, but a sacred mountain" and was likened in turn to Mounts Olympus, Everest and Fuji.

    On the roadside at the foot of the climb, meanwhile, the banners evoked Dante. "This is the gate of Hell," one announced, and many hearts in the Giro gruppo must have abandoned all hope as the road reared up towards 20% before them.

    But as it turned out, the Zoncolan was both heaven and hell on stage 20 of this Giro. Michael Rogers (Tinkoff-Saxo) and Francesco Manuel Bongiorno (Bardiani-CSF) were the last two souls left out in front from the day’s early break when it fragmented on the climb, and were matching one another pedal stroke for pedal stroke on the Zoncolan’s stiffest gradients as they entered the final approach to the summit.

    By that point, the road was only revealing...