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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, April 10, 2014

Date published:
April 10, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Belgian Federation proposes introduction of red and yellow cards

    A crash during E3
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 6:30 BST
    Cycling News

    President's plan to improve safety in the peloton

    The President of the Belgian Cycling Federation Tom Van Damme has stated that he wants the UCI to introduce football style red and yellow cards in order to improve safety within the peloton.

    Following a crash marred Tour of Flanders, Van Damme suggested the adoption of the system used in football and rugby to punish players for comitting fouls could improve riders' discipline and lead to fewer crashes. At Flanders, Garmin Sharp's Johan Vansummeren collided with an elderly women who suffered life-threatening injuries from the impact.

    "The introduction of a system of red and yellow cards, like in football," Van Damme said.

    "Even though in cycling not everything is filmed and we can't see everything. But if riders were more disciplined, there would be fewer accidents."

    The UCI introduced a new rule in 2014 that banned cyclists from riding on bike paths or footpaths in order to improve safety which has been criticised for inconsistent rulings during the Classics this season.


  • Report: Armstrong names names under oath

    Johan Bruyneel and Lance Armstrong in the good old days
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 8:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Comments last November made public by Landis' Attorneys

    On November 12 of last year Lance Armstrong provided the names and roles of people who had knowledge of, or were involved in his doping practices having been compelled to respond to questions under oath in a lawsuit.

    Since his confessing to Oprah Winfrey in January 2013, Armstrong has not provided any further information on who knew about his doping practices although has stated he would partake in what was originally known as a 'Truth and Reconciliation' run by the UCI which is now known as the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC).

    USA Today report that they obtained Armstrong's answers which are now only being made public after being filed in a federal court by an attorney for former cycling teammate Floyd Landis as part of another lawsuit.

    Armstrong was asked to answer 16 questions including who had provided him with performance-enhancing drugs (PEDs) during his cycling career. Armstrong responded by stating that trainer Pepi Marti, Dr Pedro Celaya, Dr Luis Garcia del Moral and Dr Michele Ferrari, had all done so.

    When asked who delivered the drugs, Armstrong named further names including masseuse Emma O'Reilly, bike mechanic Julien de Vriese and the man previously known only as "Motoman," Philippe Maire.

    This is the first time that Armstrong has publicly mentioned people who have at various times denied involvement in, or knowledge of doping by Armstrong and his US Postal team.

    Team manager Johan Bruyneel has insisted his innocence and along with Celaya and Marti opted to take USADA case against them to an arbitration hearing. Armstrong, Ferrari and del Moral chose not to contest the charges.

    "Johan Bruyneel participated in or assisted with Armstrong's use of PEDs, and knew of that use through their conversations and acts," Armstrong said in the court document.

    Armstrong also...

  • Giant-Shimano sponsorship confirmed only to the end of 2014

    Amy Pieters (Team Giant-Shimano)
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 10:30 BST
    José Been

    Manager Spekenbrink confident that current negotiations will be fruitful

    Giant-Shimano's future is not as certain as the team presentation suggested in January. According to Algemeen Dagblad Giant has signed up as main sponsor of the team for one year only, and not the announced four years. Furthermore, it has been suggested that Shimano could also take a step back. Giant-Shimano manager Iwan Spekenbrink is confident that current negotiations between the Taiwanese bike brand and the Dutch team will be successful. 

    "Our meetings are going well. Its about whether they continue [sponsorship] and how competitive we want to be as a team and how high the budget will be," Spekenbrink said. "We vouched for this team for one year," Giant's marketing director Tom Davies confirms. "We, or mainly the big bosses in Taiwan, decide in the upcoming period if we continue as title sponsor."

    For the riders this news came as a surprise. "I was told that Giant was onboard for four years," Tom Veelers said. "I have a two-year contract and as far as I know I'll ride with Giant-Shimano next year." Tom Dumoulin acknowledged that it was news to him, too. "I don't recall what we were told exactly but I always thought Giant was in it for the coming years."

    Giant-Shimano has a very successful start to the season with 17 victories already by the men's team including Gent-Wevelgem (John Degenkolb), Scheldeprijs (Marcel Kittel) and wins by young talents like Tobias Ludvigsson, Luka Mezgec, Jonas Ahlstrand and Tom Dumoulin. Giant-Shimano is the most successful women's team at the moment with eight victories including the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad for Amy Pieters and the Tour of Qatar for Kirsten Wild. 

    But in December of 2013 the team's future hung in the balance only a few days before the UCI deadline passed. An unknown American benefactor contacted Spekenbrink to take over title sponsorship from Argos. The oil company faced some internal financial and power struggles and wouldn't block this deal with the unknown...

  • inCycle: Hinault tips Cavendish and Gilbert for Yorkshire Tour de France stages

    Bernard Hinault shows off his yellow jersies during the rest day of the 1985 Tour de France
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 12:17 BST
    Cycling News

    Five time winner rides the Tour route

    With fewer than 90 days to go until the start of the Tour de France, five-time winner Bernard Hinault took time to visit this year’s grand depart location to reconnoitre the first two stages of the route.

    Accompanied by Yorkshire’s very own Dean and Russell Downing, Le Patron dropped into the English county to sample the roads and atmosphere the pro peloton will receive come July.

    This year’s Tour starts with a stage between Leeds and Harrogate, and many, including Hinault, have tipped Mark Cavendish to win and claim the first yellow jersey of his career. With no prologue and racing on roads he is well accustomed to, Cavendish may never have a better chance of pulling on the maillot jaune.

    Stage 2 is a far more complex affair, as the route between York and Sheffield scattered with climbs. According to Hinault the route reminds him of the Wallonne region, with its steep ascent and descents suited to the likes of Peter Sagan and former world champion Philippe Gilbert.

    In this exclusive video, brought to you by inCycle, Hinault takes a look at the route and gives his opinion on the favourites and why the GC contenders will have to be attentive on stage 2. The video also includes an interview with Gary Verity, the man responsible with bringing the Tour de France to Yorkshire.

    To subscribe to the Cyclingnews video channel, click here.


  • Vanmarcke confident ahead of Paris-Roubaix

    Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) collects his second podium finish in a Monument
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 13:52 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    Belgian looking to finally beat Cancellara

    Sep Vanmarcke (Belkin) has finished second and a third in the last two monuments he’s started. The Belgian rider is now looking to take the only spot on the podium that has eluded him thus far and win Paris-Roubaix this weekend. Vanmarcke says that he is no longer suffering any ill effects from the crash he suffered at the Tour of Flanders and believes that he can take the fight to the rest of the peloton.

    "I’m one the challengers, but there are many guys. For sure my condition is good and I like those races, so I think I have a chance," he told Cyclingnews at the start of Scheldeprijs. "I think I can race for the win."

    Vanmarcke has had an excellent start to the season, with five top five finishes in just over a month, including third at the Ronde van Vlaanderen. At Flanders, he made it into the leading group of four, but lost out when it came to the final sprint. It was another, close but no cigar, for the Belgian, who was left ruing not starting his sprint earlier.

    "There was a chance (to win). I won’t say that I would have won, but there was a chance," he explained. "I am happy that I got the podium, for me it was an important step to get the podium at the Tour of Flanders. But, of course, if you’re so close you want to win and you’re always a little disappointed."

    Despite only taking three victories since the beginning of 2012, the 25-year-old continues to look like one of the strongest riders in the bunch when it comes to the cobbles and has quickly moved up the team’s hierarchy. He signed for Belkin last year and, with his stock growing quickly, the team was keen to secure him for the foreseeable future. His contract was due to finish at the end of the season, but he penned a deal with Belkin that would keep him there until 2016.

    Vanmarcke finished second...

  • Vansummeren to ride Paris-Roubaix

    Johan Van Summeren (Garmin Sharp) was in the move
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 15:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Former champion recovered from Flanders crash

    The 2011 Paris-Roubaix winner Johan Vansummeren is planning to ride the Hell of the North again on Sunday, his wife Jasmien Vangrieken stated on Twitter today. Garmin-Sharp later confirmed the news to Cyclingnews.

    The 33-year-old Belgian suffered a horrific crash in the Tour of Flanders last weekend, colliding with a female spectator. De Standaard reports the 65-year-old woman has undergone two surgeries and is still in critical, but stable, condition with head trauma.

    Vansummeren was also briefly hospitalized after the incident, but returned to his team bus by the finish of the race on Sunday. He was reeling from the incident, telling reporters, "The fact that this lady got hurt bothers me much more than the crash. Crashes are part of cycling but it’s really sad for the family."

    In 2011, Vansummeren was intended to be a foil in Garmin's Paris-Roubaix tactics, working for Thor Hushovd, but instead found himself in the winning move. He attacked into the tailwind with 15km to go, and not even Fabian Cancellara was strong enough to chase him down before the velodrome. It was the biggest victory of his career.


  • Van Avermaet has confidence in sprint finish at Paris-Roubaix

    Greg van Avermaet (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 18:05 BST
    Barry Ryan

    Belgian trained on Ghent track during the winter

    In spite of losing sprints at the end of two classics already this spring, Greg Van Avermaet has no qualms about the prospect of a group finish on the velodrome at the end of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday.

    At Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in February, where he suffered in cold conditions, Van Avermaet was surprisingly defeated by Ian Stannard in a two-up sprint, while at the Tour of Flanders last weekend, Fabian Cancellara out-lasted him in the finishing straight in Oudenaarde after he had been on the offensive for the final 40 kilometres.

    It would be understandable if those setbacks dented Van Avermaet’s faith in his abilities as a fast finisher. A model of consistency at the business end of major races in recent seasons, the 28-year-old has nonetheless won less than his efforts have merited, perhaps, with the 2011 Paris-Tours his sole classic win.

    “I’m still confident in my sprint. I think I have a good sprint in the end of a hard race. I think this is one of my strongest points and always has been,” Van Avermaet told reporters in Kortrijk on Thursday. “Getting beaten by Fabian after a hard race like Sunday was a disappointment but also not a surprise. He’s pretty strong in the sprint.”

    Part of Van Avermaet’s winter training regimen included stints on the Kuipke velodrome in Ghent, and he is hopeful that some of the fundamentals of track sprinting will transfer over from those steep boards to the shallower concrete of the Roubaix velodrome, even if he acknowledged that the finale of the French classic is unique.

    “It’s a strange sprint in Roubaix but I trained a little bit in winter on the track in Ghent,” he said. “Although it’s a different feeling with 5 bar in the wheel on Sunday...

  • Phinney hoping to bring good form into Paris-Roubaix

    Taylor Phinney (BMC) was one of the last riders of the day's breakaway to be caught
    Article published:
    April 10, 2014, 18:57 BST
    Sadhbh O'Shea

    BMC rider looking to build on Tour of Flanders performance

    After a sterling debut at the Tour of Flanders last week, Taylor Phinney (BMC) turns to his more favoured terrain of Paris-Roubaix on Sunday. Phinney has had his eyes set on this date in the calendar for some time now. He arrives at it in good shape and hopes to use his performance at Flanders as a building block for success this weekend.

    "Paris-Roubaix is my favourite one-day race of the season and it’s been my biggest goal, thinking back to the winter and my training. So I am happy to be here healthy and with good fitness. I have big goals for this weekend as well as the team," Phinney told reporters at the team press conference at their Kortrijk hotel.

    "Sunday was definitely big for me. I was really happy with the effort that I put in and how my legs felt. I’ve been pretty low-key this week. It’s one thing to be in these races, but it’s something else to be in the break all day and pushing all day so I definitely took it easy this week and it was a great effort leading into this Sunday."

    Phinney played a team role at Flanders, helping teammate Greg van Avermaet to his second place by getting into the break. Phinney was one of the last men standing from the original group, but the move meant that he was left "surviving" for the remaining 45 kilometres and finished well down on his teammate. This weekend’s parcours is much better suited to the American and he will be looking to have a different ending to his day and finish at the pointy end of proceedings.

    "I want to be a key factor in those last 50km and be able to play along with my teammates. Hopefully Thor and Greg will be up there, and some of the other guys, and we can play our cards, have some fun and do our race from the front. I can never be sure that...