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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Date published:
April 16, 2013, 20:00
  • Costa Rican team accepts three positives but asks for B sample

    The doping control van isn't hard to miss.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 08:59
    By:
    Luis A. Rueda Fonseca

    BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade squad "thanked" local media for "respecting the due process"

    Even though the names of the four Costa Rican cyclists, whose anti-doping tests from the last edition of the Vuelta a Costa Rica returned positives with "GW-501516", haven't been officially revealed by the Costa Rican Cycling Federation (FECOCI), one of the five major road teams of the country, the BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade, released an statement on Monday in which they accept there are three of their riders involved in the situation.

    "I would like to inform you that some of our riders received a notification from the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) regarding Adverse Analytical Founds in some of their urine samples from the last Vuelta a Costa Rica" says the press release, which is signed by the team's Directeur Sportif Albin Brenes, who is one of the most successful Costa Rican coaches and is also manager of the national mountain bike team. "As for now, we will keep their names in reserve as we respect their privacy until the process is finished. We would also want to thank you for respecting this due process".

    Brenes confirmed that his team instructed their men to request the B sample analysis and to apply for their right to have a representative when the containers are opened.

    "Our cyclists attended other anti-doping controls during the Vuelta itself and in several races before and after, but only one of their samples returned adverse," Brenes said in the team's statement. "I would like to remind that - over the past 30 years - our team has produced great cyclists that have represented the country and gained prestige at a national, Central American, Pan American, Olympic and World level. This is the first time we face a situation like this but we believe that with the help of God, our history and all cycling fans, we will go on from it."

    Local website names the four

    Local website crciclismo.com has published the entire communication from the BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade team, along with a list of names that it says are the four riders whose results returned positive. Paulo Vargas, 33-year-old current National Mountain Bike Champion, who finished 9th overall in the Vuelta and won stages two and eleven; Pablo Mudarra, 21, 8th overall and current U23/Elite National Road Champion; Allan Morales, 24, who finished 4th in the 2012 Vuelta and achieved several top ten stage positions. All these three racers are part of the BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade organization.

    The fourth rider is listed as Steven Villalobos, a 26-year-old who raced for the Coronado team and finished 6th overall. He also won stage 12 which is considered the "queen stage".

    While the three BCR-Pizza Hut's would be investigated for anti-doping offenses for the first time in their careers, Villalobos already served a two-year sanction following a positive test for Clomifen in the 2009 Vuelta a Costa Rica. He would face a lifetime ban if he accepts the A sample result or if the B sample confirms the initial positive.

    Neither Villalobos nor the Coronado team have publically accepted or denied the suspicions. However, on Sunday he told to a local journalist that he was considering retiring from cycling due to "personal motivations".

    According to an official statement issued by the BCR-Pizza Hut-Powerade team, it is possible that the process to open the B samples, and a hearing with the cyclists involved, take place between April 30 and May 1, as that's what they have been told by the UCI.

    Individual and shared responsibility

    Doctor Christian Moraga, a Costa Rican physician and member of the Pan American Cycling Confederation (COPACI) and UCI's anti-doping commission, told local Channel 7 that these adverse findings might result not only in a sanction for each of the riders but in a collective sanction for the team also.

    "In past situations the National Anti-Doping Commission (in charge of determining the penalties) has taken into account the number of cases to determine if a team should be sanctioned. It depends on the mutual responsibilities that can be proved during the investigation process and if the evidence points towards an organized doping structure," said Moraga in an interview. "We are very concerned not only because of the fact that there were four AAFs in the same event, but for the substance that was found. It is a lethal drug and the riders should know it."

     

    Tags:
    doping
    UCI
  • Kwiatkowski aiming to gain experience in Ardennes Classics

    Mark Cavendish and Michal Kwiatkowski
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 09:55
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Polish rider shows form with 4th place at Amstel Gold Race

    Omega Pharma-QuickStep’s Michal Kwiatkowski says he will not be racing under any pressure in the upcoming Ardennes weekend races – Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège – despite taking an excellent fourth place in Amstel Gold Race, ahead of World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC).

    “I’m going to be giving it everything I’ve got, and that Amstel result is very motivating,” the Polish rider told Cyclingnews, “but I didn’t finish any of the three Ardennes Classics last year, and Flèche Wallonne I climbed off about half way through.

    “So my big goal in each race I’m doing here and everywhere else is to gain experience, see what happens, work with the team as a unit, and hopefully a good result will come too.”

    Of the two Belgian Classics, Kwiatkowski says Liège “suits me better, the climbs are longer and steadier than the Mur de Huy. That last climb is so hard that maybe I can do a better result in Liège. But we have to see how the race goes.”

    So far this season has been a big step up for Kwiatkowski. The former junior world time trial champion has been leader and fourth overall in Tirreno-Adriatico, second in the Tour of the Algarve and twelfth in the Tour de San Luis. He also completed the Tour of Flanders after being a key part of the day’s big breakaway and E3 Harelbeke.

    “At Amstel I stayed in the main bunch, stayed near the front and tried not to get in any crashes. The team had decided to work for me after [team-mate] Gianni [Meersman] punctured and wasn’t feeling so great, and they did a great job of keeping me up there.

    “I missed out on that big crash [where Gilbert went down], I was right behind [Lars] Boom (Blanco) when he attacked. I was waiting for the last climb of the Cauberg. I was on Sagan’s wheel and Sagan was following Gilbert. I couldn’t stay with [Philippe] Gilbert when he attacked, and I paid for that a little bit at the top of the Cauberg.

    “I didn’t actually see Gilbert at the finish, I was following a couple of Astana guys, and I waited for the sprint - when there are ten or 15 guys in a sprint I can do ok.”

    “We can count on Kwiatkowski who is in good condition and did well on Sunday, but we will see,” Davide Bramati, Omega Pharma-Quick Step sports director added.

    “With him every race is like a discovery — discovering new courses and new race situations. For him it's an important test to learn again. If there is the possibility for him to be in the front, for sure we will help him out to be there and get a good result."
     

  • Bouet overjoyed with Giro del Trentino win

    Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) wins the three-man sprint.
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 12:22
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Frenchman to name his daughter Victoria after winning stage 1a in Lienz

    Maxime Bouet (Ag2r-La Mondiale) sucked on his thumb and shouted 'Oui! Oui! Ouii!!' after winning the opening stage of the Giro del Trentino. The Frenchman was celebrating both his first victory for more than two years and his impending fatherhood.

    The friendly Bouet beat Josef Cerny (CCC Polsat) and Michael Rodriguez Galindo (Colombia) in a three-rider sprint after being part of the eight-rider breakaway that dominated the 128.5km stage and finished a massive 6:51 ahead of the main peloton and the big name favourites.

    "It's incredible. I didn’t want to go in the break, I wanted a quiet day but then when we got a gap, I thought I could win," Bouet said, still beaming with happiness and proud to be wearing the race leader's fuchsia leader's jersey.

    "I sucked my thumb as sign for my wife. Our baby is due in August and so I'm really happy. We're going to call her Victoria.

    "My last win was two years ago. I go in a lot of breaks but rarely win. Today was my lucky day and I won. I'm fast in small group. In the finale, the other two with me were on my wheel and so it was a bit difficult but I was confident I'd get it."

    Overall contender?

    Thanks to time bonuses of six, four and two seconds, and with the peloton unwilling to actively chase the break during the stage, Bouet has a 6:57 lead on the overall contenders. He finished seventh overall in the recent Critérium International and so could be a real contender to win the Giro del Trentino.

    "I haven’t raced for three weeks due to an Achilles problem and so I think I'll suffer on the climbs but if I've still got four or five minutes after tomorrow's (Wednesday's) stage, I can perhaps think of the GC. However we've also got Pozzovivo for the GC. Fro now I'm just happy to have the leader's jersey."

    Before thinking about the mountain stages, Bouet and his Ag2r-La Mondiale teammates will have to defend is lead in the afternoon team time trial. Cerny is just two seconds down overall, with Rodriguez at four seconds.

    The Colombian team is unlikely to be a threat in the 14.1km team time trial. However the CCC Polsat team includes some strong rouleurs and the experienced former doper Davide Rebellin, who is continuing his professional career at the age of 41.
     

  • Moran resigns after voting against McQuaid

    UCI President Pat McQuaid at the UCI headquarters in Aigle
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 13:36
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Only member of Cycling Ireland to vote against McQuaid steps down

    Anthony Moran, the only member of Cycling Ireland management board not to back Pat McQuaid’s presidential campaign at the UCI, has resigned from his post.

    Moran was the only member of a seven-body panel to turn down McQuaid’s request for support – a necessary step in McQuaid’s campaign stipulated that he needed the support of his national federation in order to seek a third term as the UCI President. The election of a president will take place in September and McQuaid is the only candidate currently in the running.

    Cycling Ireland voted 5-1 in favour of supporting McQuaid’s controversial bid, with one member of the panel abstaining from the vote, which took place on Friday evening.

    In statement released on the Cycling Ireland website, the federation said, “Cycling Ireland today has accepted the resignation of Anthony Moran from the Board of Cycling Ireland. Moran, who was Vice-President of the Board, has been an active Board member since his election in 2009, and Cycling Ireland would like to acknowledge his work, specifically in the area of High Performance and Development.”

  • New Cervélo P3 TT bike gets P5 tech trickle-down

    The new Cervélo P3 incorporates some aero designs from the P5. Note that it is not sold with these wheels
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 14:28
    By:
    Ben Delaney

    Sleek time trial/tri bike now available at $5,400

    This article first appeared on Bikeradar

    With the new P5, Cervélo commanded both attention of the time trial and triathlon world and a staggering price ($10,000/£6,500 for a Di2 bike). With the updated P3, Cervélo is putting many elements of the P5's aerodynamic engineering into a somewhat more reasonably priced machine with a Shimano Dura-Ace 9000-equipped machine running $5,400/£3,500.

    Available for orders as of today, the new P3 comes in a new 45cm size in a 650c frame, plus 48, 51, 54, 56, 58 and 61cm sizes in a standard 700c frame.

    In recent years, the P3 has enjoyed success in professional racing and remains an age-grouper Ironman favorite in triathlon. With the new frame, Cervélo keeps the rear-wheel-hugging design but in a wide-rim format and with a straight leading edge on the down tube. Cable routing takes cues from the P5, entering the top tube behind the steerer tube. Also, the down tube mimics the P5 design, hugging the front wheel and the fork beneath the crown.

    There are bosses for water bottles on the down tube, at the down tube/seat tube junction, and between the aerobar extensions. There are also dedicated attachment points for an electric battery on the bottom of the down tube and a bento box on the top tube.

    While Cervélo road bikes are criticized by some racers for their slightly taller than normal (race bike) head tubes, the P3 is built for aero speed. A 56cm frame, for example, has a 133mm head tube.

    The Cervélo aero seatpost has about 3cm of fore/aft adjustability for the clamp itself on the post, in addition to the fore/aft adjustment of the saddle on its rails like with any standard seatpost. The end result is a healthy amount of flexibility in fit.

    Built up with the new 11-speed Shimano Dura-Ace 9000, the P3 has a suggested retail price of $5,400.

  • Rodríguez confirmed for Flèche Wallonne

    Purito Rodríguez salutes the crowd
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 15:36
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Piva downplays expectations after crash

    Defending champion Joaquim Rodríguez (Katusha) will take part in the Flèche Wallonne on Wednesday, although his sports director Valerio Piva is preaching caution as regards any particular result.

    Rodriguez has finished second, second and first in Flèche but his crash in Amstel and the subsequent injuries have left the Katusha rider on the back foot.

    “He’s got a big bruise on the back of his left thigh and that’s not good, but we’ll have to see how he can race and how it all goes,” Valerio Piva told Cyclingnews. There are no other injuries.

    “He went to the hospital and confirmed there was nothing broken, so he was very pleased about that. But this bruise means damage of some kind and we won’t know what kind of condition he’s really in until he gets into the race.”

    “Yesterday [Monday] he simply rested, we did some work with the team kino’ and today he’s just done some light training, felt a bit better.”

    Piva said that if even Rodriguez finds the going too tough at Flèche then “he’ll rest up and make a full recovery for Liège, for sure. We won’t take any unnecessary risks. He will make a decision as things go along.”

    Asked if it would not be better to skip Flèche altogether, Piva replied “The thing is that these races are Joaquim’s big target for the spring and he’s not going to stop taking part in them just like that. Joaquim’s very determined and he knows what he wants.”

    The accident itself happened when Rodriguez was blocked by a crash on a straight section of road, stopped and then something or someone – “we don’t know what, a wheel or a brake” – slammed into the Katusha rider from behind. “He tried to continue racing, got as far as the top of a climb, did a kilometre but was in too much pain to continue and got in a car that was waiting at the feed.” At Flèche Wallonne, Katusha are hoping for a very different outcome.

     

  • Gallery: Teams test aero gear at Giro del Trentino

    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 17:26
    By:
    Cycling News

    Sky hone machines for Giro d'Italia team time trial

    The team time trial is one of the most technical events in the sport of cycling: everything from the pacing of each rider, the order in which they ride, to the finest details of their equipment can add up to a matter of seconds if not minutes. With the Giro d'Italia a main goal of Team Sky's Bradley Wiggins, and the 17.4km team test in the first week, it is no surprise to see him and his team at the Giro del Trentino dialing in the details.

    From the results, it seems as if the British squad is on track: they finished the 14.4km course a full 13 seconds quicker than Vincenzo Nibali's Astana team, and 16 seconds faster than the Lampre-Merida team of Michele Scarponi.

    Cyclingnews' exclusive gallery gives a peek at the team's equipment and the kinds of things we might expect to see in full form at the Giro d'Italia next month.

  • Bartoli: The Mur is the toughest climb in the Ardennes

    Michele Bartoli leads Maarten Den Bakker during Fleche Wallone 1999. The Italian won the race but paid for his efforts a few days later in Liege
    Article published:
    April 16, 2013, 18:17
    By:
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    1999 Flèche Wallonne winner on the mid-week Belgian Classic

    One of the great 1990s Classics riders, Michele Bartoli, has told Belgian newspaper Le Soir that he considers the Mur de Huy to be the hardest single climb in the Ardennes.

    A double Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner, Bartoli took a memorable victory in the Flèche Wallone in 1999, battling through snow and sleet storms on a day of truly appalling weather to neatly drop Maarten Den Bakker on the steepest part of the Mur itself and claim the victory - by 14 seconds, an impressive margin given Bartoli’s attack was so late. Reigning world champion Oskar Camenzind was also part of the leading break of three but had a tussle with his rain jacket when it got blocked in one of his wheels and was forced to drop back, ultimately finishing fourth.

    “For me, Flèche boils down to the Mur and nothing more,” Bartoli told Le Soir. “It’s the toughest climb there is, normally a mountain-top finish is hard but that one seems interminable. But it’s also the most beautiful finish of all the classics, too.”

    According to Bartoli, having to tackle the Mur three times does not alter anything. “It’s the final assault which counts, that’s when the riders’ faces change and they have to concentrate really hard.”

    On another tough day of bad weather, Kim Kirchen managed to take the win in 2008. “You can’t take too many risks if you want to win it, it’s impossible to follow every attack [on the Mur]. You have to choose,” he told Le Soir.

    “Then on the last of the climbs, really your rivals don’t matter too much. It’s what you are capable to doing on the hill itself, you’re alone on those 1,100 metres, eyeball to eyeball with the climb.”

    Unless the forecasters have got it very wrong, this year’s competitors will be relieved to hear that the weather this year at the very least will not be as bad as in 2008 and 1999. Current predictions are for a balmy 20 degrees mid-afternoon, although it will be overcast all day.