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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Date published:
April 29, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Nino Schurter ready for road and Orica-GreenEdge debut

    World champion Nino Schurter will no doubt be looking forward to having Worlds back in his home country of Switzerland in 2018.
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 3:40 BST
    Cycling News

    World champion mountain biker part of Tour de Romandie team

    For Orica-GreenEdge, the 2014 Tour de Romandie will be a special occasion as joining the team for the six day WorldTour race is current cross-country mountain bike champion Nino Schurter.

    The Australian team has sevearal objectives which include, chasing stage wins ahead of the Giro d'Italia as a final warm-up event for the Italian grand tour, impressing on the overall classification with Cameron Meyer and letting Schurter finds his road legs in the first of two races he will participate in with the team.

    The last three overall winners of the Tour de Romandie went on to win the Tour de France and once again, the race will prove to be crucial in preparing for La Grand Boucle although GreenEdge will be ensuring its prize recruit has a safe passage through the Swiss race.

    Schurter joins the Australian WorldTour team for Romandie and the Tour de Suisse as his team and GreenEdge are both sponsored by Scott bikes. The 27-year-old, a three time world champion and world cup winner, needed to receive the greenlight from both the UCI and Swiss Cycling in order to race.

    "To do the Tour de Suisse once in my life has always been my dream," said Schurter. "My heart is in mountain biking and will remain there. But if I ever wanted to ride a big stage race on the road, the 2014 season offers the perfect slot for it."

    For Sport Director Neil Stephens, Romandie is about finding the right balance as Tour hopefuls have a...

  • Ivan Basso to lead Cannondale at Tour de Romandie

    Ivan Basso on the front of the peloton with his Cannondale teammates
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 5:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Italian preparing to win a third maglia rosa

    For Cannondale Pro Cycling, the 68th Tour de Romandie is the final chance to prepare for the 2014 Giro d'Italia which the team will enter with the objective of claiming a third maglia rosa for Ivan Basso when the race concludes in Trieste on Sunday June 1.

    Basso will lead the team at the six day Swiss WorldTour event which begins with short prologue in Ascona and finishes with another race against the clock in Neuchâtel on May 4. Basso, Moreno Moser and Damiano Caruso will enter the race off the back of the Giro del Trentino. Oscar Gatto returns to racing after the cobbled Classics campaign after a brief period of rest, as does Paolo Longo Borghini.

    "My eyes are fixed on the Giro d'Italia" said Basso who finished 25th overall at Trentino. "Every race is a step in this direction. Even if the results from Trentino are not what I expected, I'm not discouraged but just motivated to push hard the Tour de Romandie".

    Neo-pro Matej Mohoric lines up at the Swiss race continuing his season which he started at the Tour Down Under in January. "Since my debut in Australia I'm just interested to do my best and to learn as much as possible" said Mohoric who incidentally is the youngest rider in the WorldTour at 19-years-of-age.

    "At Tour de Romandie, my aim is the same. The race is suited for my characteristics, especially for the climbs, and could be an important experience for the future. Anyway, my first goal now is to support my teammates - I'll be happy if my efforts will be useful for the team ambitions," Said Mohoric.

    "The second goal is the prologue and final time trial - I would like to perform...

  • Team Sky reiterates its position against Tramadol

    Michael Barry (Team Sky)
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 11:10 BST
    Cycling News

    British team responds to Michael Barry's comments on painkiller drug

    Team Sky has reiterated its stance on the painkiller Tramadol following reported claims from former rider Michael Barry that he used the drug while racing for the team.

    Barry told The Times newspaper that "Tramadol made me feel euphoric, but it’s also hard to focus. It kills the pain in your legs, and you can push really hard.”

    According to the Press Association, Barry said he used Tramadol to treat legitimate injury and pain but became concerned when studied the drug's side effects on the internet.

    "I had nagging injuries throughout my career and I used it when I was injured and racing injured, but I also realised the side-effects," he said. "It was a lot stronger than I thought and is potentially addictive."

    "In a sporting environment, everybody's paycheck is reliant on that rider's performance. Everybody involved is biased and the rider's health is secondary to their performance."

    "Athletes are very much commodities. It's not something unique to cycling; it's something you see in American football, hockey, gymnastics."

    Barry rode for Team Sky until September 2012. He admitted doping between 2002 and 2006 while riding for Lance Armstrong's US Postal Service team. He testified about his doping as part of the USADA investigation and was banned for six months.

    Team Sky doctor Allan Farrell, a full-time doctor with Team Sky since 2012, admitted to Cyclingnews last October that the British team had used Tramadol in the past. However the team's latest statement indicates a change in policy.

    "Certainly in our team we would have used it in the past but only when justified.” Farrell told Cyclingnews in October. “We would have prescribed it, very minimally but sometimes if someone had an...

  • Riis: This is the best Contador since he joined the team

    Alberto Contador on the podium
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 13:02 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Danish team boss names Froome as the Tour favourite

    Bjarne Riis has claimed that Alberto Contador is in the best form he’s seen since signing the Spaniard in 2011 and although Riis has marked Chris Froome as the favourite for this year’s Tour de France, he believes that Contador will be among the Team Sky rider’s main challengers.

    Contador finished a distant fourth in last year’s Tour de France and came away from the season with just one competitive win: a stage in the Tour de San Luis in January. However this season the 31-year-old appears to be back to the level when he was the best stage race rider in the peloton.

    Contador tested positive for a tiny amount of Clenbuterol after the 2010 Tour de France. He continued to race during the disciplinary process but was eventually retrospectively banned for two years in January 2012. He lost his 2010 Tour de France victory and his victory at the 2011 Giro d'Italia. His ban ended in August 2012 he went on to win the Vuelta a Espana. 

    “I think he’s reached a good level. There’s been a lot of hard work and it’s been nice to follow. There’s a lot of determination and I’m happy to see him back to that level. I think this is the best I’ve seen him since he came to the team. It’s hard to compare but he’s definitely strong,” Riis told Cyclingnews.

    When asked what he put Contador’s recent success down to or whether Contador simply needed a poor 2013 in order to regain his form, Riis replied: “Some years are good, and some years are less good. He had some tough years but he’s had a good winter and has a good programme. For us it’s just important that he’s at a good level and that he’s up there where we want to see him.”

    Contador began his 2014 season with a stage win and second overall in the Vuelta ao Algarve and backed that up with two stage wins and the overall in Tirreno-Adriatico. Second overall...

  • Simon Yates crashes out of the Tour of Turkey

    Tour of Britain stage 6 winner Simon Yates (Great Britain)
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 13:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Orica-GreenEdge rider taken to hospital for treatment

    Orica-GreenEdge rider Simon Yates has crashed out during the queen stage of the Presidential Tour of Turkey and has been taken to hospital with a suspected broken collarbone.

    The young British rider was as a possible contender on the tough climb to the finish at Elmali today and for overall victory in the weeklong stage race. The crash occurred 65km into the stage as the peloton chased a break away of four riders.

    The 21-year-old Yates is a first year professional after impressing as an under 23 rider in 2013 by winning two stages at the Tour de l'Avenir and a stage at the Tour of Britain. He has quickly impressed in the professional ranks, finishing 12th at the Vuelta al Pais Vasco early this month.

    His twin brother Adam is also in action in the Tour of Turkey. The Orica-GreenEdge team confirmed that Simon Yates had been taken to hospital for treatment and x-rays on his shoulder.

  • Video: Phinney targets stage win at his Tour de France debut

    Taylor Phinney (BMC)
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 17:38 BST
    Cycling News

    Young American eyes the penultimate time trial

    BMC Racing’s Taylor Phinney has big goals for his debut at the 2014 Tour de France scheduled to begin on July 5 in Yorkshire and end on July 27 along the Champs-Élysée in Paris. The young American pro goes into the race with the crucial role of aiding his fellow countryman Tejay Van Garderen in his bid for the yellow jersey, however, he also has his sights set on winning the penultimate stage, a 54km time trial from Bergerac to Périgueux.

    In our latest video, Phinney discusses his parents - decorated cyclists Davis Phinney and Connie Carpenter - and his future in professional bike racing. He has aspired to become a strong time trials and Spring Classics rider like Fabian Cancellara but the former Giro d’Italia leader is now turning his attention to the Tour de France.

    “A 50-plus-kilometer time trial by itself is already pretty terrible but a 50-plus-kilometer time trial at the end of the Tour de France is going to be absolutely brutal,” Phinney said. “I think there will be a lot of time trial training under fatigue for me in the next couple of months because, for sure, that is a big opportunity on the penultimate day of the Tour de France.”

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  • Giro d’Italia 2014: 10 Day Countdown starts here

    The 2014 Giro d'Italia route
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 18:37 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Follow all the action from Italy on Cyclingnews

    There are 10 days until the start of the 2014 Giro d'Italia, the first Grand Tour of the season. This year's race starts on Friday May 9 with a team time trial in Belfast, Northern Ireland and ends three weeks later in Trieste, Italy on June 1.

    Over the next 10 days Cyclingnews will countdown to the 2014 Giro d’Italia with up to the minute news, special race and stage previews, exclusive interviews, special photo galleries, pre-race analysis and press conference coverage.

    During the race Cyclingnews will provide live coverage of every stage as well as expert opinions. There will be complete coverage with race reports, stunning photography, video interviews and news from our European editors Stephen Farrand, Barry Ryan and Alasdair Fotheringham, who will be at every stage.

    The route of the Corsa Rosa

    This year's Grand Partenza in Northern Ireland will add an extra twist to the race route before the riders fly to Italy for a more traditional route north via the Italian Alps, the Dolomites and the terribly steep Monte Zoncolan.

    The race begins with a 21.7km team time trial, with the stage starting in the Titanic shipyard. Whoever brings home the fastest team, will pull on the first leader's pink jersey.

    The early road stages suit the sprinters but Belfast and Dublin could both be shaped by the weather and especially strong winds, while the change in temperatures after the transfer to Bari, in the south of Italy, could prove a shock to the system.

    The sprinters will be able to show their speed on several early stages in the south but stage five to Viggiano and stage six to Montecassino end with steep climbs to the line.

    The real mountains begin on stage eight with the Cippo di Carpegna climb covered in honour of the late Marco Pantani, who used to...

  • Van Garderen crashes during Tour of Romandie prologue

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) with his torn kit after crashing
    Article published:
    April 29, 2014, 21:39 BST
    Cycling News

    American down more than three minutes in the overall classification

    BMC Racing’s Tejay van Garderen crashed almost immediately after the start of his prologue at the Tour of Romandie on Tuesday in Ascona, Switzerland. The American has suffered from superficial abrasions and a contusion to his right hip; however, he plans on continuing the six-day stage race.

    "Obviously, GC (general classification) is not an option any more," said van Garderen, who went into the WorldTour race as the team’s go-to overall contender. "But we still have some good guys here who are motivated for the GC. So maybe if the legs come around, I can try something in one of the harder stages."

    The American crashed in the first corner of the prologue and finished the time trial more than three minutes behind stage winner Michal Kwiatkowski from Omega Pharma-QuickStep. 

    "The bike got away from me in the first corner," he said. "I was coming in a little too hot. I didn't think I was taking big risks, but I guess the corner was a little off-camber and I washed out."

    Kwiatkowski won the 5.57km race in six minutes and 23 seconds, beating runner-up Rohan Dennis (Garmin-Sharp) and third placed Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) by four seconds. Van Garderen finished 3:21 minutes behind, and in last place.

    BMC Racing’s team doctor, Max Testa, noted that van Garderen had a lot of superficial abrasions to his ankle, hip, shoulder and elbow but the primary concern was the contusion to his right hip. "Now we are checking and making sure there is nothing broken," Testa said.

    Van Garderen is preparing to be BMC Racing’s team leader at the Tour de France, which starts on...