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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Date published:
February 25, 2014, 0:00 GMT
  • Brailsford busy building Team Sky for 2015

    Dave Brailsford talks tactics
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 9:38 GMT
    Stephen Farrand

    No track world championships for British manager

    Sir Dave Brailsford has confirmed that he will not travel to Cali, Colombia for this week's UCI track world championships, preferring to stay in Britain as he works on the foundations of Team Sky for 2015.

    Eleven Team Sky riders' contracts end this year and Brailsford knows he has to strengthen the roster, especially for the Classics, if it is to remain as one of the best teams in the sport.

    Brailsford was busy building relationships in the peloton during a visit to the Tour of Oman and also spent time with team leader Chris Froome, who no doubt has input on who joins the team to help continue his domination of stage races.

    Brailsford has recently hinted that he would review his role as the head of the Great Britain national team so that he can focus on Team Sky.

    Speaking to Cyclingnews, he clarified that he will not quit his role but he is likely to give the rest of the current Great Britain management team far more responsibility.

    "I'm not saying I'm walking away for one minute. People shouldn't misinterpret what I'm saying. It's a chance to review and make sure we've got the right structures in place going forward to Rio 2016," Brailsford told Cyclingnews.

    "It's always good to sit down and review, and we'll do that after the track Worlds. I've got no drastic plan or preconceived ideas. It's just a good opportunity to make sure we've got an optimal management structure."

    Brailsford has been the mastermind behind the success of the Great Britain cycling team for the last decade and created Team Sky in 2010.

    "People perhaps credit me with a lot more than perhaps they should," he said modestly. "We've got a fantastic team of people in the Great Britain set-up. We've got Shane...

  • Breyne's B-sample confirms positive test for clenbuterol

    Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) claimed his first pro win in Tour of Taihu
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 10:18 GMT
    Cycling News

    Belgian blames contaminated meat

    Jonathan Breyne's positive test for clenbuterol at last year’s Tour of Taihu Lake has been confirmed by the analysis of his B-sample, the rider revealed on Tuesday.

    Breyne, who raced for the now-defunct Creylon-Euphony team, returned the positive test at the Chinese event on November 5, and it was announced publicly by the UCI on December 18. The Belgian had been waiting over two months for the B-sample to be analysed and received the result by courier on Monday.

    "There is 0.000000005 of a gram of clenbuterol per millilitre of urine in the sample," Breyne told Het Nieuwsblad. "On one hand, I'm unhappy, but on the other hand, I'm relieved that I finally know the results of the counter-analysis. Things are clear now and my lawyer Johnny Maeschalk can start working in earnest on the dossier."

    It is expected that the UCI will soon request the Belgian cycling federation to formally open proceedings against Breyne. He faces a two-year ban if found guilty of a doping infraction.

    In December, reported that Breyne had attempted suicide after learning of the initial positive test. "I was completely broken when I read the comments below the articles on the internet. I read the most negative comments and was shattered," Breyne said later.

    Breyne maintains that the clenbuterol in his urine came from eating contaminated meat while racing in China, although the World Anti-Doping Agency has warned riders on the risks of eating meat while in the country.

    "In the race road-book, it said that the food at the hotel was guaranteed to be without clenbuterol. We received meal trays after the stage, and I did not know that it was in the...

  • FDJ want more from Geniez after Algarve

    Alexandre Geniez ( on the podium
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 12:16 GMT
    Peter Cossins

    Team thinks rider can become a stage racing great

    A fourth place finish in the Volta ao Algarve behind Michal Kwiatkowski, Alberto Contador and Rui Costa signalled Alexandre Geniez's continuing rise. Winner of the Vuelta a España stage to Peyragudes last September, the 25-year-old Frenchman impressed throughout the five-day race in Portugal.

    However, he still left FDJ's management believing that he could have pushed the top three harder if he had shown more belief in his ability. "It's a pity because he's got enormous potential," FDJ directeur sportif Franck Pineau has told L'Équipe. "When the road goes up he's unbelievable. But he has to realise the full extent of his ability."

    Geniez recognises that having a mental block when it comes to comparing his own talent with that of the big names around him in the mountains. "I was really motivated for the whole week, I had super form and super legs. I was really happy to be up alongside riders like Contador and Rui Costa. It's good for my morale, because I need confidence," Geniez confessed to L'Équipe, adding that his Vuelta win has "unblocked my head".

    Pineau, though, feels Geniez still has much more to give. "He was more surprised than we were that he was up at the top of the classification. Personally, I find it a bit frustrating. He needs to stop following the action. He still lacks a bit of confidence. I kept on saying to him: ‘Ride your own race, look ahead and don't give a monkey's about what the others are doing behind you.'"

    Pineau continued: "If he only knew how strong he is when the road starts to climb then he would become a really strong performer in the mountains."

    The FDJ DS said his biggest frustration was the fourth stage summit finish on the Malhao. Speaking to Geniez after Contador had won the stage, he asked his rider if he had had the means to follow the Spaniard. "He replied to me as if it was the most normal thing in the world: ‘Yes, I could have.' It's a real shame,...

  • Stephen Roche predicts strong Giro rides for son Nicolas and Dan Martin

    Robert Millar has claimed the Giro's mountains jersey while Stephen Roche has won the general classification at the 1987 edition.
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 14:28 GMT
    Alasdair Fotheringham

    Irish Giro winner receives Hall of Fame award from organisers in Northern Ireland

    In the year that the Giro d'Italia will start for the first time in Northern Ireland, 1987 Giro winner Stephen Roche has predicted that both his son Nicolas, riding with Tinkoff-Saxo, and nephew Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) will be important factors in the Italian Grand Tour come this May.

    “Dan is a good outside bet for the overall, although [Nairo] Quintana [Movistar] will probably start the race as favourite,” Roche told reporters.

    “But when it gets to the Alps and Dolomites we’ll see what Dan can do. He can definitely can a stage win, maybe do the top five.”

    “As well, the weather is very variable in the Giro, as we saw last year, and I don’t know if Quintana will be as good in that bad weather in the Dolomites.”
    “Either way, Dan will be looking at the bigger picture rather than targetting the first two or three days.”

    As for his son Nicolas, Roche said following his top five result, stage win and spell in the lead in the Vuelta a España last September, Nicolas will be leading the Tinkoff-Saxo team in the Giro d’Italia this May.

    “ [Team-mates] Roman Kreuziger and Alberto Contador are doing the Tour and the Vuelta, and he’s never ridden the Giro before as a leader so it’s a big moment for him,” Roche said, “and a big change.”

    “Nicolas has always ridden well in the Vuelta, and you wonder if that’s because he needs some hard racing before to be in top form. But he’s never had an opportunity to experiment.”

    “Now he’s got that, and if he needs a good hammering in the races then he should go well in the Giro and in the Tour.”

    “This year’s he’s got the chance and the race starting here is very important for him, and...

  • Rain threatens to disrupt Cali track world championships

    The men's omnium on day 3 of the 2013 track world championships in Minsk
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 15:45 GMT
    Cycling News

    Colombian velodrome flooded during Monday practice session

    Weather conditions in Cali, Colombia are threatening to disrupt the schedule of the UCI Track World championships, which get underway on Wednesday. A heavy, 20-minute rain shower on Monday was enough to put the track briefly out of service and curtail an open practice session for participants.

    The Alcides Nieto Patino velodrome is covered by a roof, but has open sides, meaning that the track is not completely protected from the elements. While the complex is said to be unaffected by mild rain, the heavy shower on Monday was sufficient to soak the track and cause flooding in some of the velodrome’s tunnels and passageways.

    Although the velodrome was quickly returned to a usable state that allowed athletes to complete their training, it was an ominous precedent considering that more rain is forecast in Cali later this week, specifically on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening during sessions of the track Worlds. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, a decision on whether to alter the schedule will be taken on Tuesday evening.

    Ever since 1996, when the road and track Worlds began to be held separately, the UCI ruled that only indoor tracks should be used for major championships. The roof over the Cali velodrome means that it meets the criteria, but its exposed sides mean that it is still liable to be affected by the weather.

    Indeed, even before Monday’s rainfall, Worlds participants were acclimatising to another peculiarity of the Cali velodrome – the wind that gusts through the sides and across the track.

    “The wind changes its mind every five minutes, which makes it fun choosing wheels. But at the end of the day, everyone has to put up with it," Australian sprinter Shane...

  • Martijn Keizer signs for Belkin

    Marijn Keizer (Vacansoleil)
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 17:17 GMT
    Cycling News

    Dutchman steps back up to WorldTour level

    Belkin Pro Cycling has announced the signing of Martijn Keizer from the Varanclassic-Dolticini continental team. The Dutchman could make his debut with his new squad at the Classic Sud Ardèche this weekend.

    Keizer turned professional with Vacansoleil in 2011 but was left without a contract when the team disbanded at the end of last season. After initially contemplating retirement, the 25-year-old opted to continue for one more year at continental level, and signed for Veranclassic-Doltcini, who agreed that he could leave in the event that a WorldTour team wished to sign him.

    “This is a great opportunity and super cool,” Keizer said, according to the Belkin team website. “After Vacansoleil-DCM folded, I thought about retiring. In the end, I decided to become an amateur and give my all for one year in order to return to the pro ranks. I didn’t expect to make it back this quick. I look forward to helping the team this year.”

    Signing for Belkin marks a homecoming of sorts for Keizer, who spent four years of his amateur career racing for Rabobank Continental, its erstwhile development team. A solid rouleur, Keizer won Boucles de l’Aulne in 2011 and has completed four grand tours in his professional career to date – the Vuelta a España in 2011 and 2012, and the Giro d’Italia in 2012 and 2013.

    “He will be a good help for our team leaders on the smaller mountains and, moreover, he will add to the team in team time trials with his time trial skills,” Belkin directeur sportif Nico Verhoerven said. “We operate as a team and that really suits Martijn.”

    Verhoeven explained how the late...

  • Deignan back in training after broken collarbone

    Philip Deignan made his Sky debut at the Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 18:10 GMT
    Daniel Benson

    Irishman looks to make Sky's Giro d'Italia squad

    Philip Deignan remains focused on making the cut for Team Sky’s Giro d’Italia squad after recovering from a broken collarbone.

    The Irishman ploughed into the back of car while training in Monaco earlier this month and missed the following 10 days of training and racing. It was the second time in five months that Deignan had broken a collarbone - this time it was his right one – but he is now back on the bike.

    "I had a week off, but I've done a couple of days on the trainer and today was my first ride out on the road," he told Cyclingnews a few hours after his first ride.

    "It felt pretty good. The break was in a bad place in terms of where to operate, so we decided to just let it heal naturally. It feels okay and I can train with it. Could have been worse in terms of the break."

    The crash occurred at a roundabout with traffic ahead slowing down and leaving Deignan unable to stop in time.

    "There was a backlog of cars braking, and I didn't have time to stop and just went into the back of a car. Like a lot of cyclists, I was probably riding a bit too close to the car. It was slightly downhill, so it was at 50, 60kph."

    Despite the crash Deignan has settled in at Sky during the opening months of the season. Based in Monaco with a number of his teammates, he made his debut for the team at the Tour Down Under last month.

    "Everything is very professionally run, as you would expect, and it’s a great group of guys. They've all been friendly and there are some really good personalities on the team. I've fit in pretty well."

    His move to Sky almost happened in 2010 just ahead of Sky's inaugural season. The Irishman had finished in the top 10 in the Vuelta in 2009 and picked up a stage...

  • Video: Ben King previews 2015 road Worlds course

    Ben King (Garmin-Sharp) came from San Luis to Mallorca
    Article published:
    February 25, 2014, 22:08 GMT
    Peter Hymas

    Virginia native excited for venue so close to home

    There are likely few American professionals as excited at the prospect of the 2015 UCI Road World Championships taking place in Richmond, Virginia than Ben King (Garmin-Sharp). The 24-year-old American is a Virginia native who lives approximately one hour away from the venue of next year's Worlds.

    While the Worlds parcours has just been announced today, King has already seen the 16.5km circuit which will be utilised for the road racing events and earlier this year at Argentina's Tour de San Luis he described the route to Cyclingnews.

    "It's a really exciting course. It's extremely spectator-friendly and I think it's going to be really fun to watch on the cobbled climb there. It's got like three or four switchbacks and the cobbles are pretty rough," King told Cyclingnews.

    King also weighed in on which American riders would likely have the best chances for success, potential race-winning scenarios, and his hopes for representing his country so close to home.

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