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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, January 24, 2013

Date published:
January 24, 2013, 0:00 GMT
  • Kwiatkowski surprises with third-place mountaintop finish in San Luis

    Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quickstep)
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 11:50 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep rider heading for the podium?

    While a number of more experienced climbers faltered on the slopes to Mirador del Potrero on stage 3 of the Tour de San Luis, Michal Kwiatkowski (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) pulled out a hugely surprising ride to finish third.

    The 22-year-old is now into his second year with Patrick Lefevre's team and although he has always been earmarked as a promising time triallist, he has never shone in the mountains. However after a winter dedicated to improvements in his climbing he produced a performance that has thrown him squarely into the frame for the overall podium.

    "I've trained a lot to improve my shape on the climbs because I know that it's my weakest point. I've been getting better and thankfully it's worked. I've trained really hard at my climbing over the winter and it's paid off," he told Cyclingnews at the finish.

    Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank) and a host of grand tour specialists all faltered on the climb to Mirador del Potrero but when the lead group thinned out to less than a dozen riders Kwiatkowski was still in contention. He marked several moves and patiently followed wheels before kicking for the line.

    "I was just trying to stay at my tempo. I'm not a born climber so I stuck to my pace and then I waited for the final 300 meters before trying my arm in the sprint."

    Now third in GC and with a 19.2km time trial to come Kwiatkowski is in the frame for a high position overall. However, even if he produces another quality ride in the time trial he will have to prove that his performance to Mirador del Potrero was no fluke, with two more mountain stages in this year's race.

    "I'm good in the TT but it's too early to talk about the general classification. I've trained well over the winter but this is going to be...

  • Video: Phil Anderson's analysis of Tour Down Under stage 3

    Tom Jelte Slagter (Blanco) in Stirling at the Tour Down Under.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 12:55 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Thomas retains lead as Slagter shows his hand

    Geraint Thomas (Sky) retained the overall lead on stage 3 of the Tour Down Under as Tom Jelte Slagter (Blanco) showed his mettle by holding off the challenges of Matt Goss and Philippe Gilbert in the testing uphill sprint finish in Stirling.

    With soaring temperatures and rolling roads, the terrain was there for a breakaway to go clear and stay away, but instead, the race came back together and the favourites battled it out for bonus seconds in the finale, with Thomas holding on to his lead.

    With 14 riders within 23 seconds of the overall lead, the margins are tight at the business end of the general classification, and Old Willunga Hill should yet again prove to be decisive. Here Phil Anderson and Cyclingnews' Australian Editor Jane Aubrey talk through the day’s action, the tense battle for the ochre jersey, Orica GreenEdge’s race to date and look ahead to Friday's stage to Tanunda. Click on the video below to see what they think!

     

    Experience the world's most iconic cycling events riding alongside one of cycling's true legends, Phil Anderson. Phil and his team lead a suite of cycling tours to the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia, la Vuelta, and more. To find out more visit www.philandersoncyclingtours.com or email enquiries@philandersoncyclingtours.com

  • US champion Duggan crashes out of Tour Down Under

    Timmy Duggan (Saxo-Tinkoff) in his new U.S champion colours
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 13:47 GMT
    By:
    Alex Malone

    New Saxo-Tinkoff recruit suffers broken collarbone on Stage 3

    Timothy Duggan has gotten his season off to a difficult start after crashing out of the Santos Tour Down Under with a broken collarbone. The US road race champion, who was a late signing to the Saxo-Tinkoff squad, came down on a roundabout featured in the Stirling circuit of stage 3.

    Duggan was immediately taken to hospital, where directeur sportif Fabrizio Guidi was informed of the fracture. Surgery may be required, however, more will be known in the coming day as the rider was also suffering from knee pain.

    "We don't have the full diagnosis because we are still waiting on some results for his knee," Guidi explained to Cyclingnews. "He has a fracture on his collarbone, maybe he needs surgery but it's unsure. Tomorrow morning we will know the situation.

    "It was a bad crash. He arrived at a roundabout full-gas and was trying to pass some other guys and just lost control of the bike. He went down and the doctor was immediately there. He didn't lose consciousness.

    "He was forced to stop because he could not walk or stand up. They brought him straight to the hospital."

    Images of Duggan with a neck brace were a precautionary measure according to Guidi. Duggan's knee appears to be the only other potential injury at this point.

    "This is the procedure [to use a neck brace]. They didn't know exactly so they did all the things they need to do in cases like this," said Guidi.

    "When I arrived at the hospital I saw him and he was capable of talking. I expected something worse. He has pain in his knee but they are not sure."

    Further details of Duggan's crash will be released as they come to light.

    Injury update

    It will be a while longer before Duggan can return home...

  • Rabobank decries doping at team it sponsored for 17 years

    The Rabobank team will be expected to make the podium on home soil
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 15:27 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Doping reports are “upsetting and shocking”

    Rabobank has said that recent confessions that doping occurred at the team during virtually its entire 17-year sponsorship are “upsetting and shocking.” The bank said that it was convinced that it was upholding a clean sport.

    “Some confessions go back to 1996, when Rabobank started cycling sponsorship. This is upsetting and shocking,” the bank said in a statement. “Rabobank stepped into cycling 17 years ago with conviction and a clear mission. Rabobank has always promoted a clean sport and has done everything from the start of its sponsorship activities to maintain a zero-tolerance policy.”

    The bank announced in October that it was ending its sponsorship at the end of the year. Levi Leipheimer described doping on the team in his affidavit as part of the USADA's 'Reasoned Decision”, and the team was and still is involved in a lawsuit with Michael Rasmussen.

    Since then, Thomas Dekker, Marc Lotz, Danny Nelissen and numerous anonymous riders have reported doping in their times at the Dutch team. Dekker, who called it “a way of life” at Rabobank, recently said that he will disclose all doping details to the Dutch Anti-Doping Agency.

    The bank said that it hoped to “continue to contribute to a clean cycling.” It applauded the joint approach proposed by the Dutch pro teams, the anti-doping agency and the national federation, as well as the independent  Dutch commission looking into a...

  • NetApp-Endura eying Tour de France wildcard?

    The 2013 NetApp-Endura team jersey
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 17:14 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    German team to ride Dauphine

    Team NetApp-Endura's wildcard invitation to the Criterium du Dauphine is not only its third WorldTour race for 2013 but also its third wildcard from the ASO.  That gives team manager Ralph Denk thoughts of a possible wildcard for this year's Tour de France.

    “We are aware that the invitation to the Dauphine means something. Traditionally wildcard teams who ride Paris-Nice or the Dauphine, can have hopes of the Tour,” he told Cyclingnews. “But it would be presumptuous to read more into this invitation. First of all, we will concentrate on a good and successful start in the season and the rest will fall into place.”

    The team has opened it season at the Tour de San Luis, and will next tackle the Tour of Qatar and the Tour of Oman, to both of which it received a wildcard invitation from Tour de France organizer ASO.  The other two WorldTour races on its calendar so far are Tirenno-Adriatico and Il Lombardia.

    NetApp rode the Giro d'Italia last year, but was passed by for an invitation in 2013. One of its goals is to ride another Grand Tour this season.

    “We are an established ProContinental team, which has a new generation of riders at the start. We want to ride a Grand Tour again this season with these young and clean riders,” Denk said.  “We have experience in the Grand Tours and have proved that we don't just ride along in a three-week race, but can also help shape it.

    “With Tirreno-Adriatico in the spring, the Dauphine in the summer and important stage races in between, we are optimally prepared for a participation in a Grand Tour this year.”

  • Ferrari: Armstrong could have reached the same level without doping

    Dr Michele Ferrari leaves a tribunal in Bologna, Italy in 2004.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 19:10 GMT
    By:
    Cycling News

    Altitude training could have had same effect, claims Italian doctor

    In the wake of Lance Armstrong’s confession that he had doped in order to win the Tour de France, his trainer, Dr. Michele Ferrari has made the improbable claim that the American would have reached the same levels of performance without resorting to doping.

    During his televised interview with Oprah Winfrey last week, Armstrong said that he did not believe it would have been possible to win the Tour without undergoing blood transfusions and using testosterone and EPO.

    “I think Lance is wrong,” Ferrari wrote in a blog entry on his website, in which he said that “athletes and the media tend to overestimate the effects [of illegal substances], with the result that they are considered indispensable to compete with opponents who may use the same methods/substances.”

    Ferrari has been banned for life by the US Anti-Doping Agency after six former US Postal Service riders provided evidence concerning his doping practices. Part of their testimony included details of a method taking oral testosterone which involved using micro-doses diluted in olive oil, something which Ferrari says “could not have more than a placebo effect.”

    “The amount absorbed with this mode of administration and dosage are negligible and certainly have no effect on performance or recovery,” Ferrari wrote. “In the case of Armstrong after the disease, it is possible that exogenous administration of testosterone may even worsen his aerobic performances.”

    Ferrari went on to claim that the increase in haemoglobin mass caused by using the methodology outlined by the riders who testified to USADA would have been possible through altitude training.

    “EPO...

  • Wiggins angry over damage Armstrong has done to cycling

    Bradley Wiggins made history as the first British winner of the Tour de France
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 20:07 GMT
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Video: Sky captain feels no sympathy

    Bradley Wiggins has revealed he watched Lance Armstrong's doping confession with his seven year old son, happy in the knowledge that he will never have to confess to lying to his children about his career.
       
    Wiggins spoke to the media at Team Sky's training camp in Mallorca. He seemed relaxed and happy during a long sit down session with journalists, even when facing questions about teammate Chris Froome.

    His mood changed when asked about Armstrong.

    "Part of me didn’t want to watch it. The fan in me didn’t want that perception of him as an amazing athlete to be broken. Then I watched it with my seven year-old son," Wiggins said with a slightly emotional voice.

    "Those initial six question, the yes-no answers, just watching him suddenly cave in after all these years of lying so convincingly, there was a lot of anger, a lot of sadness and I was slightly emotional as well, if I'm honest. It was difficult to watch. My wife couldn't watch it and walked out of the room."

    Wiggins was angry for the damage Armstrong's doping has done to cycling. Yet he explained that he also had a moment of pride, when he realised he will never have to go through the same terrible moment with his son.

    "It's heart breaking for the sport and then the anger kicks in. (I felt) What a fucking arsehole! I felt all the natural things that most people watching it felt," Wiggins said.

    "It was difficult. Then I had to explain it my son because he'd won the same race his dad had won. But by the end of the hour and a half, I had the best feeling in the world (slapping the palm of his hands together).  

    "When he started welling up about his 13 year-old son, and him asking what's all this about. I never...

  • Sagan: I don't want to think about not winning a Classic

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale Pro Cycling) poses with a fan.
    Article published:
    January 24, 2013, 21:26 GMT
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Slovak chases first big spring victory in 2013

    Peter Sagan (Cannondale) has only one objective before this year's Tour de France, to win a Spring Classic. Any one will do, although it doesn't take long before he pinpoints Milan-San Remo, the Tour of Flanders and Amstel Gold Race as the events most suited to his characteristics as a rider. Currently competing at the Tour de San Luis, journalists are queuing up to talk to the Cannondale rider and his mantra is crystal clear.

    "I'm not thinking about three or four years down the line or what I can achieve later in my career. Right now it's all about the Classics, and I don't want to think about not winning," Sagan told Cyclingnews.

    "This race is good preparation for me and my season. I'm getting in the kilometres and it's all about objectives for later in the season. I'm checking out who else is going well but I'll head to Oman and then Tirreno and San Remo. That's when I want to peak, for the Classics because they're the biggest objectives for me."

    Cannondale lost Vinenzo Nibali to Astana, but the move has created more room for Sagan to flourish. Last year, he was a major player in a number of the one-day spring races, but at times he lacked the poise and experience but with another year under his belt, and a team more focused on supporting his ambitions his focus is clear.

    "Last year I was always on the front in those races, and I was a contender but I just couldn't find that right mix to get a win," he said.

    “We have a good team at Cannondale, a strong team. Maybe last year the preparation was centred more around the Giro [d'Italia] and the Tour [de France], maybe. But we have Fabio Sabatini, Haedo, Bodnar, and I also think that Mauro Da Dalto is a good rider for the Classics as well."

    With more experience, Sagan is as close to the full-package as it comes when compared to the best one-day riders in the world. A punchy sprint, the spring...