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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Date published:
August 20, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Dombrowski battles nosebleeds in opening stage of USA Pro Challenge

    Joe Dombrowski (Sky) suffered a dry air nosebleed part way through the day.
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 2:10 BST
    Pat Malach

    Team Sky's hope loses five seconds to GC rivals

    Team Sky's Joe Dombrowski battled through several bloody noses Monday during stage 1 of the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado to finish near the front of the race in 18th place, just five seconds down on stage winner and current overall leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale).

    The 97.6km stage ended with a bunch sprint among 17 riders who peeled off the front in the closing kilometer. Dombrowski, in a blood-stained jersey from his nosebleeds, led the next group across the line.

    "I'm feeling alright, it was nothing too major," he said after the stage. "I think the dry air combined with heavy breathing caused a couple of nose bleeds today. I went back to the doctor's car and they gave me some gauze to put in there. So it was nothing serious."

    As the first Team Sky rider to cross the line, Dombroswki lived up to his billing as leader for the Colorado race despite having Tour de France winner Chris Froome and rising star Richie Porte on the Sky roster. Froome finished stage 1 in 77th place, 4:59 down. Porte came in 103rd, more than six minutes off the lead pace.

    "It was a harder stage than what I think a lot of people thought it was going to be," Dombrowski said. "The climb around 10k to go was pretty hard, and over the top there was a group of GC guys who went. Sagan went, and I went with Tejay [van Garderen]. It was just a bit disorganized, you know, where you had GC guys up the road without any teammates, but eventually it regrouped. We pulled back the two guys on the hill at 2km to go here, and it was safe sprint, so all OK."

    The 22-year-old from Virginia, riding in his neo-pro season, now faces the pressure of leading what is widely considered the best team in the world in one of the biggest races in his home...

  • Australian Federal Court upholds ASADA appeal in XZTT case

    The riders' blood samples are taken
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 3:23 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Court of Arbitration for Sport the next stop for unnamed cyclist

    The Federal Court of Australia has handed down its judgement in the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority's (ASADA's) appeals case regarding the Australian cyclist who returned a positive test for low levels benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine in China in 2010.

    An appeal was launched by ASADA in May after the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia (AAT) found that the UCI was in "gross breach" of its own anti-doping regulations given the delays in notifying the rider of his test results. Meantime, "ASADA and the ADRVP [Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel] each misconceived their respective legal obligations under the ASADA Act and the NAD Scheme, in so far as they proceeded on the basis that it was sufficient for the ADRVP to reach conclusions based on a 'possible' finding."

    The Federal Court on Monday upheld the ADRVP's appeal and a decision in the case was set aside. The case will now likely go to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

    The rider cannot be identified by name and is known only as XZTT. He was riding for an Australian UCI Continental team when he supplied a urine sample following the Tour of Taihu on October 23, 2010. Cocaine and its metabolites are not prohibited by the UCI unless it has been used in-competition, however should either be present in an anti-doping sample, the rider and relevant authorities are notified.

    Had the UCI followed World Anti-Doping Agency procedures, the rider should have been notified of the findings seven days later, instead, he was not informed until 25 March 2011. In the meantime, according to a team statement to Cyclingnews late last year:

    "His contract was...

  • Omega Pharma-Quick-Step get ready for TTT World Championship defence

    Omega Pharma-Quick-Step in Zolder in preparation for their World Championship defence
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 5:37 BST
    Cycling News

    Aldag: You can win or lose it in two corners

    Defending World Team Time Trial Champions Omega Pharma-Quick-Step ran a testing day in Zolder with Specialized in preparation for the September 22 event in Florence.

    Sylvain Chavanel, Peter Velits, Michal Kwiatkowski, Julien Vermote, Kristof Vandewalle, and Niki Terpstra took part in the session with Tom Boonen also visiting. Individual Time Trial World Champion Tony Martin was not present as the German was preparing for the upcoming Vuelta a Espana.

    "The idea was to understand a little bit better some mechanisms that usually happen during the team time trial," said Simone Toccafondi, head of the Specialized Road Racing Division. "We collected information with our data acquisition systems that was positioned on each rider's bike. We believe we've collected interesting and important data that will be analyzed and discussed with the team. We want to see what we learned and what can be used in future references."

    In 2012, Omega Pharma-Quick-Step beat BMC into second place with Orica-GreenEdge finishing in third.

    Sport and Development Manager Rolf Aldag said that the results of the TTT at the Tour de France, where the team was runner-up to Orica GreenEdge,a was the perfect illustration as to why such an exercise was required with just three seconds separating the top-three placings.

    "The goal was to collect data and practice technique inside the team and really to learn for the future," he explained. "For example, what is the proper length for an individual lead, what is the right order for the team, and how do we really approach corners and accelerate out of them. That is like three massive things that make a difference in a TTT. They all will play an important role in the UCI World TTT Championship...

  • Huon-Genesys decision to ride worlds TTT rests with sponsors

    The team from Huon - Genesys during the Tour of Toowoomba TTT
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 6:34 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Top Oceania qualifiers weigh up racing options

    Australian UCI Continental outfit Huon Salmon–Genesys Wealth Advisers have a week to decide if they will take up their invitation to compete in the Team Time Trial event at the UCI Road World Championships next month.

    The team earned its spot as the Oceania Continental Champions ahead of Australia's other UCI Continental teams, Budget Forklifts and Drapac Cycling. The Tasmanian based outfit finished a whopping 128 points ahead of Budget, with Drapac a further two points adrift. With the team's eligibility known for some time now, the possibility of racing the worlds had already been on the radar, with team management keen to showcase Australian talent on one of the biggest stages in the sport.

    According to team manager Andrew Christie-Johnston, any decision essentially rests with sponsors with costs of the trip running to around $25,000 for the six riders plus staff to participate.

    "At this stage I'd suggest that we probably won't be taking it up for several reasons. One it conflicts with a couple of our existing races in Tour of Canberra [National Capital Tour] and also our preparation for [Tour of Tasmania] Tassie," he told Cyclingnews.

    "Why that might seem funny, obviously worlds is a big events and these are only national series events, it's more out of respect for the sponsors who are Australian brands and they get their commission from the races we do in Australia.

    "That said, we are talking to them about the possibility of doing worlds but it's too early to say."

    Huon-Genesys has some very capable athletes on its roster, with Jack Haig, Ben Dyball, Joe Cooper, Aaron Donnelly, and Campbell Flakemore all likely automatic starters.

    "Off the figures that we've done off TTT's before, we would definitely be competitive against some of the WorldTour teams but we certainly would not be against the world's...

  • Bewley and Hepburn re-sign with Orica GreenEdge

    Michael Hepburn (Orica - GreenEDGE)
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 8:48 BST
    Cycling News

    Bewley extends for one year, Hepburn for two

    Orica GreenEdge have recently announced that two of its young riders in Sam Bewley and Michael Hepburn have both re-signed with the team. Bewley has agreed to extend his contract for another year and Hepburn has decided he will call GreenEdge home until 2015.

    Bewley, who joined the team in 2012 prior to earning a team pursuit bronze medal at the London Olympics, has enjoyed his transition into the WorldTour peloton with GreenEdge.

    "I've enjoyed the last two years with this team," said Bewley. "They support every single rider, whatever their goals are. Being on a team from the Southern Hemisphere makes it that much more special."

    Having crashed earlier in the year at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Bewley is grateful that GreenEdge have allowed him to recover in his own time and still believe in him for the future.

    "I came off the track only last year and haven't done a lot with the team this year due to my injury," added Bewley. "The team still showed faith in me and supported me. They believe that I can continue to improve."

    Bewley will make his grand tour debut at the upcoming Vuelta a España and goes into the opening stage TTT as a key rider for GreenEdge.

    "Being on the team for the TTT has been a huge goal of mine," said Bewley. "Specifically, doing well is a big goal for Orica GreenEdge. It's a good course for us this year, and we have a lot of riders who are suited for it. For me, I want to help the team better our third place from last year."

    Hepburn joined the Australian...

  • Vuelta a España victory would transform palmares, says Rodriguez

    Joaquim 'purito' Rodriguez lights a cigar during the roll-out from Versailles
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 10:11 BST
    Cycling News

    Katusha rider still looking for maiden Grand Tour victory

    Joaquim Rodriguez lines up among the favourites for the Vuelta a España and he has acknowledged that a Grand Tour victory would mark the difference between a good palmares and a “magnificent” one.

    The Katusha leader has already finished on the podium in each of the three Grand Tours – as well as triumphing in the Tour of Lombardy and Flèche Wallonne – but he has yet to win a three-week stage race.

    “I know that winning a Grand Tour is very complicated but I have shown that it is within my capabilities,” Rodriguez told AS. “I’m aiming for it at this Vuelta. That will be the biggest challenge that faces me before I retire. It would be the difference between going from a good palmares, which I have now, to a magnificent one.”

    Rodriguez has endured heartbreak in the major stage races in 2012, when he missed out on victory at both the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta, finishing second and third respectively. He led the Giro into the final time trial in Milan only to concede the maglia rosa to Ryder Hesjedal, while he lost the overall lead in the final week of the Vuelta after a dramatic day of racing to Fuente Dé.

    “I haven’t forgotten,” Rodriguez said. “In each race, I think I was the strongest rider, with the most powerful team. These are things that hurt, but they also make you a more mature rider when it comes to facing adversity. I’m 34 years old, and those were two chances I shouldn’t have missed out on.

    “By now, I could have two Grand Tour victories already and I could be aiming for a third, but the reality is that I’m looking for my...

  • Euskaltel-Euskadi confirms that it will disband at the end of the season

    Euskaltel-Euskadi missed the break
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 10:53 BST
    Cycling News

    Basque squad bids farewell after two decades in peloton

    Euskaltel-Euskadi has confirmed that it will not continue in 2014 due to its failure to secure a second sponsor. Riders and staff were informed of the news at a meeting on Monday and on Tuesday morning Basque Cycling Pro Team, the management company behind the squad, released a statement confirming that the team will cease operations at the end of the season.

    “The arrival of a second sponsor, essential to ensuring the sustainability of the cycling team, has not taken place, which makes the continuation of the team in 2014 unfeasible,” read the statement. “From this moment, Euskaltel will begin an orderly winding down of the project, including the immediate negotiation of the release papers of the team members.”

    The team has been in existence since 1994, when it was established as a project named Euskadi and funded purely by the subscriptions of local fans. Telecommunications company Euskaltel came on board in 1997, and the Basque squad has been a constant presence in the UCI WorldTour.

    “Today is a sad day for Euskaltel, for the team, for the current sponsors and for all of those who have supported the project. We regret that no company has opted to back this team, the doyen of the world cycling elite,” read the statement.

    The collapse of the team is linked in part to austerity cuts in the Basque Country. In January of this year, Euskaltel had promised to continue backing the team for a further four years but when the €3.5 million promised by Basque public institutions as part of the €9 million annual budget failed to materialise, Euskaltel had to meet the shortfall for 2013 by doubling its original annual investment.

    The telecommunications company made known earlier in the summer that such a situation was not...

  • Boasson Hagen says he is riding the Vuelta a España

    Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) was a pre-stage favourite
    Article published:
    August 20, 2013, 12:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Sky rider fully recovered from fractured shoulder blade

    It has not yet been officially announced, but Edvald Boasson Hagen has said that he will ride the Vuelta a España. It will be his debut in the Spanish Grand Tour, and his first race back after abandoning the Tour de France.

    “At least I have received a ticket for the flight, so I'll probably ride," the Team Sky rider told Norwegian broadcaster NRK.

    The 26-year-old has ridden the Tour de France four times and the Giro d'Italia once, but this will be his maiden Vuelta. “I've never ridden there, so it will be interesting to see how it is.”

    Boasson Hagen crashed in the 12th stage of the Tour de France and had to leave the race with a fractured shoulder blade. He resumed light training two weeks later and Sky coach Kurt Asle Arvesen confirmed earlier this month that the Norwegian was under consideration for the Vuelta squad.

    The injury is now fully healed and he is back in training, but doesn't think the fracture really had much of an effect. “I would anyway have a little more quiet period after the Tour de France, so I do not think the injury has changed so much for me,” he said.

    The Vuelta is not his only goal for the remainder of the season, as he has his eye on the World Championships in Florence the end of September. Norway may send only three riders, but he is considered a certainty for one of the spots.

    Still, he wants to test himself in Spain first. “It's often so that if you come out of the Vuelta good, then you are pretty much good as well in the World Championships....