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Second Edition Cycling News, Thursday, June 6, 2013

Date published:
June 06, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Vini Fantini-Selle Italia manager: Our project will go on

    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 6:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian team under fire after two EPO positives

    In the wake of the doping positives of Mauro Santambrogio and Danilo Di Luca, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia has moved to dispel talk of the team's demise.

    Santambrogio became the second rider from Vini Fantini-Selle Italia to fail a test for EPO after the UCI announced during the Giro d'Italia that Danilo Di Luca had failed an out of competition test taken before the start of the race. Santambrogio won stage 14 of the Giro to Bardonecchia in the snow and finished ninth overall despite fading in the final week of the race.

    Directeur sportif Luca Scinto was quoted by Tuttobiciweb as saying "It's the end of our project," but according to the team, his comments were made in the heat of the moment.

    "First of all I want to reassure the many fans who have written to us and who have written directly to him, about Luca Scinto," said team manager Angelo Citracca. "Scinto will continue his important work and will continue to lead our team. His announcements made immediately after the communication of positivity of Santambrogio, have been caused by a moment of despair that has betrayed the typical optimism of Luca, but his willingness to go on with our project is in no way in doubt. His saying ‘I leave everything' was just a momentary weakness."

    US-based DeFeet announced this week that it was ending its sponsorship of the Professional Continental outfit. DeFeet chief executive said: "DeFeet will not support teams that do not provide a clear clean path 4 this new generation. I challenge other CEOs to stand up." However,...

  • Talansky's condition improving at Critérium du Dauphiné

    Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) heads to the sign-in stage
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 7:31 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Still on track to make Tour debut this year

    Despite a rocky start to the Critérium du Dauphiné due to illness Andrew Talansky (Garmin-Sharp) is slowly finding his feet in the race as he builds up for a likely ride in this year's Tour de France.

    Coming into the race Talansky had been billed as a possible contender for the GC after a strong showing in Paris-Nice earlier this year where he won a stage and placed second overall behind Richie Porte. However, a bout of stomach flu saw him fall down the overall standings in the opening two days, leaving him to reassess his objectives for the race.

    "My condition is getting better. I can eat properly now. Coming into this, once I had the stomach flu a few days before the race, I knew it was going to be difficult to be at the level that I wanted," Talansky told Cyclingnews after Wednesday's individual time trial.

    "The plan was always to use this race as part of the preparation for the Tour. I planned on being in top 10 or top 15, not getting dropped on the first stage. Once I knew that was the case, the whole point of this week was to get better and go hard."

    Having suffered with illness during the open few stages Talansky could have been forgiven for pulling out of the race and perhaps resurfacing at the Tour de Suisse which starts later this week. However, as he explained, the Dauphiné offered up a more appealing course and a number of other merits not possible in Switzerland.

    "The course here is good for what I need to get with the long climbs. Hilly time...

  • Henao: Sky has good plans for my future

    Sergio Henao (Sky) is the new leader of the Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco after his victory on stage 3.
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 11:29 BST
    Cycling News

    Colombian hopes to ride the Tour in 2014

    Sergio Henao has said he is 'very likely' to stay at Team Sky, with the goal of riding the Tour de France in 2014 and becoming one of the British team's Grand Tour leaders in the future.

    The 25 year-old Colombian is enjoying a break at home in Rionegro after helping teammate Rigoberto Uran finish second in the Giro d'Italia. He will be back in Europe in July to ride the Tour of Poland and the Vuelta a Burgos, before the Vuelta Espana, where he could be riding for Bradley Wiggins.

    With Colombia currently the number-one ranked nation in cycling, Henao and his compatriots are also targeting the hilly world championships in Florence in September.

    By then he will have probably signed his new contract with Team Sky.

    "We have spoken with the general manager and even if nothing is confirmed and nothing is signed, it's likely that I'll stay with Sky," Henao said in an interview with Spanish language site Biciclismo.

    "I have a lot of confidence in them and it's very important for me to know that all the team is counting on me too. The support of the management, my teammates and the support staff is important if you are to get good results. It's very likely that I'll continue with them because there are good plans for the future. I feel that I'll have the opportunity to continue to grow. I learned a lot in these two years but there's still much more left to learn. Someday I hope to be a team leader to fight for a podium or the in a Grand Tour."

    Henao showed his talent by winning a stage at the Volta ao Algarve, taking a stage at the Tour of the Basque Country and finishing third overall and was second at Fleche–Wallonne behind Daniel Moreno (Katusha). He finished...

  • Serebryakov fails second EPO test

    Stage 3 winner Alexander Serebryakov (Team Type 1-Sanofi) on the podium
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 12:08 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    UCI confirm the use of a new protocol for EPO detection

    The UCI has announced that Russia's Alexander Serebryakov has failed a second test for EPO after re-analysis of a sample taken more than a year ago.

    The Russian failed an out-of-competition test done on February 21 this year and was provisionally suspended by the UCI on April 5.

    The UCI has now announced that he also failed an out-of-competition control taken on 21 February 2012, after a further reanalysis "carried out in accordance with new WADA technical documents concerning the identification of EPO."

    It is likely the same testing procedure and the ability to spot EPO use for longer in urine samples lead to the positive test of both Vini Fantini riders Danilo Di Luca and Mauro Santambrogio.

    The UCI has not said if it is carrying out any other special re-analysis of samples from the past.

    Serebryakov turned professional for Team Type 1 last year and won 11 races in a highly successful debut season, including the Philadelphia International Championship. He was signed by the Euskaltel-Euskadi team for 2013 as they scrambled for UCI points to secure a place in the WorldTour. The Basque team immediately fired him after the first test and the rider claimed he had acted alone.

    Serebryakov has already been temporarily suspended after his first positive test and will now face further disciplinary action.

  • Nibali stays with Astana until 2016

    A thumbs up from Vincenzo Nibali as he awaits the start of the 2013 Giro in Naples
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 12:40 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Italian set to earn close to four million Euro a year

    The Astana team has announced that Giro d'Italia winner Vincenzo Nibali has signed a new contract with the Kazakhstani team that will ensure the Italian remains with the team until the end of 2016.

    Nibali signed his new contract during a trip to Kazakhstan with several teammates, where he is due to meet Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    Cyclingnews understands that Nibali will earn close to four million Euro per season, making him one of the best paid riders in the peloton.

    Astana team manager Alexander Vinokurov and Vice President of Kazakhstan's Cycling Federation Darkhan Amanovich Kaletaev announced Nibali's new contract at a press conference in Astana, confirming that Nibali will target the Vuelta a Espana and the world road race championships in Florence in the second half of the 2013 season and then target the Tour de France in 2014.

    "We are very pleased to prolong our contract with Vincenzo Nibali today in Astana, and look forward to supporting him at the Vuelta a Espana in August and at the World Championships in Firenze at the end of September," said Vinokurov in a press release from the team.

    "To have a great champion on Astana Pro Team ahead of Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan's capital will help to broadcast around the globe that our cycling federation has world-class talent to go with its world-class ambitions. Next year we will look to bring Vincenzo to the 2014 Tour de France."

    Nibali will not ride this year's Tour de France and is expected to return to racing at the Tour of Poland in late July.

  • Busche agonisingly close to Dauphiné stage win

    Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard) alone in the lead with 1km remaining
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 14:47 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Breakaway falls 200m short on mountain finish

    Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard) came within a whisper of winning his first race in over two years with a third place finish on stage 5 of the Critérium du Dauphiné. The 28-year-old slipped clear as part of a 15-man break early on in the 139-kilometre stage from Grésy-sur-Aix to Valmorel and was the last rider to survive as the break split on the final climb of Montée de Valmorel.

    The 2011 US road champion had just a handful of seconds as he went under the kilometre to go banner but with the battle for GC raging behind him he was unable to hold off the challenge from eventual stage winner Chris Froome (Team Sky) and Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Tinkoff).

    When Froome and Contador latched onto the RadioShack rider's rear wheel the writing was on the wall, and when Froome kicked for the line the chance of a win for Busche evaporated.

    "There's not much else to say other than I was close. I was within 200 meters of victory and that hurts," he told Cyclingnews at the finish.

    "I actually felt pretty bad at the start of the climb. Then I found my own rhythm and kept going at my own pace. I'm just really gutted because I thought I had a chance."

    "I could hear on the radio that they were coming but I just kept pushing. There's not much you can do when they start coming and you're already on your limit. To be so close to victory it's really hard."

    Busche finished a creditable sixth at the Tour of California last month but is not currently scheduled to ride the Tour de France for RadioShack. Instead, he plans on taking a short break from racing before building up to new objectives in the autumn....

  • Omega Pharma-QuickStep announces Tour de Suisse roster

    Peter Velits (Omega Pharma-QuickStep).
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 15:52 BST
    Cycling News

    Belgian squad looks to Peter Velits for GC

    The Omega Pharma-QuickStep team today announced its roster for the Tour de Suisse, with the nine-day stage race, June 8-16, the final WorldTour event prior to the Tour de France. The Belgian WorldTour squad will be led by general classification hopeful Peter Velits who's entering the race following a solid bloc of training. This will be the fourth Tour de Suisse start of the 28-year-old Slovakian's career with his best result a 12th place overall finish in 2009.

    "In the last four weeks I trained a lot to be ready for the upcoming races," said Velits, the reigning Slovakian time trial champion. "However, I didn't race since Finanzplatz Eschborn-Frankfurt, so I don't know my condition in comparison to my competitors.

    "I like the course of this Tour de Suisse and think it suits me if I have a good feeling. The stage on Sunday with the uphill final at Crans-Montana will be immediately important. Then, every day the race will be taxing, and in the last days of the race we will have again the high mountains. I know these mountains from a training camp I did in this area in the past, but my race rhythm will be decisive for my performance. I am ready to fight with a strong team around me, and we will see day-by-day."

    The 1,3014km stage race kicks off on Saturday, June 8, with an 8.1km prologue time trial with chances for the climbers coming on stage 2 (Quinto to Cras-Montana, 161.3km), stage 7 (Zernez to Bad Ragaz 180.5km) and the concluding 26.8km individual time trial on Sunday, June 16 featuring an ascent to the finish. There are also multiple medium mountain stages, and a sprint finale is most likely for stage 4 (Buochs to Leuggern, 176.4km).

    "The race will be hard from the beginning," said Sport Director Wilfried...

  • Froome confirms Tour favourite status at Dauphiné

    Chris Froome (Sky) took over the race lead in Valmorel
    Article published:
    June 06, 2013, 16:40 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Sky captain's confidence builds with stage win, GC lead

    The Dauphiné's stage finish to Montée de Valmorel may have been nothing more than a teaser for this year's Tour de France fanfare, but for Chris Froome it was a demonstration of his growing confidence and stature as a team leader.

    The British all-rounder had his Sky team set a fierce tempo on the lower slopes of the climb and although Movistar, and then Alberto Contador, briefly attempted to derail the procession, Froome had plenty to spare, taking the stage and the overall lead in the race.

    When Contador made his expected attack inside the final few kilometres, Froome didn't panic. Instead he allowed teammate Richie Porte to burn his last energies in holding the gap before Froome lifted the pace to make the juncture on his own.

    Contador may not be the in peak condition but it was still an impressive performance, especially when Froome turned the tables and made his own late attack to distance the Spaniard and breakaway survivor Matthew Busche (RadioShack Leopard).

    It led one veteran of the European press room to turn to his colleagues and say he had seen enough, and that barring illness, the Tour was already won.

    As expected there was no such talk from Froome during his post-stage press conference. The softly spoken rider is a work in progress when it comes to leadership, both on the bike and at times during his own press gatherings, but he has a canny understanding not to put a foot wrong when it comes to answering questions surrounding his status as a Tour de France favourite, constantly playing down that position while at pains to quell any final rumblings of leadership battles.

    "Today was a good...