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Second Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Date published:
May 03, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Was Davis shunned by Astana managment in Turkey?

    Australian Allan Davis is aiming for Milano-San Remo
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 1:18 BST
    Cycling News

    Aussie claims exclusion was due to GreenEdge interest

    Davis has essentially slammed Astana management, over two articles published in the Sydney Morning Herald this week in which the Australian claims he was left to fend for himself at the Tour of Turkey.

    "My team mates are fine they r doing what they r told," said Davis via his Twitter feed.

    The articles cite the situation Davis faced on the final two stages of the Tour of Turkey where he did not have the support of his Astana teammates as he had expected. On Saturday and Sunday he finished 10th and 6th respectively. Davis finished in 74th place overall.

    Going into Saturday's penultimate stage, he indicated that he was planning to go for the win in the expected sprint finish. But apparently the team didn't want him to.

    At the dinner table the night before, he told the team “I was going for it," he told the Sydney Morning Herald on Monday. "And they just said then that the director had a meeting with the Kazakhis this morning, and said something different... So ... that's Astana. That's all I can say."

    While not naming names, Tuesday's article also suggests that other riders are currently facing similar situations either being left out of team meetings or discovering too late that alternative tactics have been put in place without their knowledge.

    "It's a fact," he said referring to his belief that he and other Australians were now on the outer with their current teams. "There definitely [are such riders]. I can tell you firsthand. It's...

  • Quick-Step announces team for Dunkerque

    Zdenek Stybar in his new Quick Step kit
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 2:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Cyclo-cross champion Stybar to make much awaited debut

    Quick-Step Cycling Team have announced the squad that will take part in the 4 Jours de Dunkerque. The brief French stage race will mark Zdenek Stybar's debut in professional road racing.

    “These last few weeks I've been working out a lot to try to be ready for this first big day on the road,” says Stybar.

    Stybar, current world champion in Cyclo-cross, has only been focused on road riding since February and the Czech rider was eager to finally begin his new career at Dunkerque.

    “It'll be exciting to race in the Quick-Step Cycling Team jersey for the first time and soak up the atmosphere on the team. My aim is to learn how to move well in the group and to try and help out my team mates. It'll definitely be a really special moment when I put on my number."

    Dunkerque will also see a return to competition for Niki Terpstra, who has recuperated from the fracture to his left collarbone sustained in the time trial at the Drie Daagse Van De Panne, just a few days before the Ronde Van Vlaanderen.

    The 4 Jours de Dunkerque runs from the 4th to the 8th of May.

    Quickstep’s Full Roster for the race:

    Marco Bandiera (Ita), Andy Cappelle (Bel), Kevin De Weert (Bel), Fréderique Robert (Bel), Zdenek Stybar (Cze), Niki Terpstra (Ned), Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel), Julien Vermote (Bel).

  • Gazzetta dello Sport publishes evidence from Mantova doping investigation

    Alessandro Ballan (BMC)
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 10:50 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Phone taps reveal talks of HGH, EPO and transfusions

    Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has revealed details of the Mantova doping investigation that has engulfed the Lampre team and led to the BMC team pulling former world champion Alessandro Ballan and Mauro Santambrogio from their Giro d’Italia squad.

    Former Lampre riders Mauro Da Dalto (Liquigas-Cannondale) and Marco Bandiera (Quick Step) have also been pulled from their current teams for the Giro d’Italia, while the Spanish Movistar team is under pressure to decide if Marzio Bruseghin should be part of their squad for the race.

    Ballan and Santambrogio were first pulled from competition last spring as news of the investigation emerged. The BMC team management allowed them to return to racing later in the year after holding their own internal investigation. Now Gazzetta dello Sport has published damning evidence and details of police phone taps that link Ballan and other former Lampre riders to the Mantova pharmacist Guido Nigrelli at the centre of the case.

    The 32 riders and staff from the 2009 Lampre team are accused of having taken “banned medicines and substances that are not justified by pathological conditions and can modify performance,” and of “having bought or obtained drugs from illegal sources.” Ballan is also accused of blood doping.

    Gazzetta dello Sport describes the police evidence as shocking and deeply distressing and publish several extracts.

    On April 1, 2009, Ballan talks to Nigrelli about growth hormone:

    Ballan: “Is that G?”
    Nigrelli: “Yes, of course.”
    Ballan: “But how do you take it?”
    Nigrelli: “By mouth.”
    Ballan: “Have...

  • Liquigas, Lotto, RadioShack, Vacansoleil-DMC annouce Giro d'Italia teams

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale)
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 11:45 BST
    Cycling News

    Nibali, Blythe and Machado all given key roles

    Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas) who finished third in the Giro d'Italia last year and won the Vuelta a Espana, will ride to win this year's Giro. His  Italian team called its line-up, “a captain with eight squires, nine riders with a single objective: the pink jersey.”

    "We have selected this line-up in the best possible way,” said directeur sportif Alberto Volpi. “We are motivated and aware of the challenge before us.”

    In the mountains, Nibali can look to support from Valerio Agnoli, Eros Capecchi, Cristiano Salemo, and Sylvester Szmyd. The remaining four teammates – Tiziano Dall'Antonia, Alan Marangoni, Fabio Sabatini and Alessandro Vanotti, “know their role perfectly and trust in their experience to help Vincenzo in every phase of the race. “

    Vacansoleil-DMC is sending riders from seven different countries to its first ever Giro d'Italia. Johnny Hoogerland is the only native rider for the Dutch team, and he will be joined by Borut Bozic (Slovenia), Matteo Carrara (Italy), Alberto Ongarato (Italy), Mirko Selvaggi (Italy), Michal Golas (Poland), Sergey Lagutin (Uzbekistan), Maxim Belkov (Russia), and Frederik Veuchelen (Belgium).

    The team will look to Bozic in the sprints in the first week, and Carrara is the team's man for the mountains and general classification. "I trained at altitude in Colombia and took it easy at Romandie. My ambition is a top-10 spot in the general classification,” he said in a team press release. “A three week race requires a lot of concentration...

  • Boonen looks to Tour de France and Vuelta a Espana

    Gent-Wevelgem: Tom Boonen (Quick Step) sprints to victory.
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 13:15 BST
    Cycling News

    Quick Step rider says he may not sprint anymore

    Tom Boonen (Quick Step) is hoping for a problem-free Tour de France, his first in several years. However, the former world champion may not contest mass sprints in July.

    Boonen won two stages in the 2007 Tour de France on his way to taking the green jersey. The next year he was held out of the race after a positive test for cocaine. Another cocaine positive almost kept him out of the 2009 race, but legal efforts allowed him to start, although he dropped out after 14 stages. Knee problems resulting in surgery kept him out of the 2010 Tour.

    “I want to ride the Tour, because I feel I need it after my knee injury last year,” he told “Because of that, I need an extra big stage race to get in better shape for the Vuelta, so that I can be in top shape for the Worlds. I think I'll go for a stage win if I get the chance.”

    That stage win may not be a mass sprint, though. “I don't know if I want to ride sprints again. I still have the chance. I rode some good sprints in recent weeks and months. But the power struggles scare me. It seems to me there are too many crashes.”

    At the end of August Boonen will take on the Vuelta a Espana, where he has won two stages in his career, riding it as preparation for September's world championships in Copenhagen. “It's because it is the best preparation. You get three weeks with the team, a massage every day, hard racing every day. So it's the best way.”

  • Contador, Scarponi and Sastre fear Giro d'Italia mountain finishes

    Contador takes a deep breath on the Zoncolan
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 13:45 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    A photo gallery of the riders studying the Dolomite stages

    Alberto Contador, Michele Scarponi and Carlos Sastre have all identified the trilogy of mountain finishes in the Dolomites as the decisive moments in the battle for overall victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia.

    All three riders and their teammates have recently completed reconnaissance trips to the Dolomites to study the climbs of stage 13, 14 and 15 that end with mountain finishes on the Grossglockner, Monte Zoncolan and Gardeccia/Val id Fassa.

    The descent of the Crostis worried Contador more than the climb to the finish on the Zoncolan. He admitted he had never seen anything like the dirt road section at the top and the near vertical drop off at the side of the narrow road. “It scares me,” he told Gazzetta dello Sport who followed him during his ride.

    He was told that the race organisers will erect safety nets to catch any riders that may crash on the descent but said: “That doesn’t go close to the limit, it goes over it.”

    Contador tested a gear of 34x32 for the final 2.5km dirt road section of the Crostis before checking his tyre pressure and beginning the very technical descent. He joked: “The best thing could be to change bikes at the top and use a mountain bike. We have to hope it snows that day so that we can’t get up here. It’s a great place but to have a barbeque.”

    On the second day of his trip, Contador and Saxo Bank-SunGard teammates Dani Navarro and Jesus Hernandez studied much of stage 15 from Conegliano to Gardeccia/Val di Fassa.

    It includes the Passo Giau –the highest climb in this year’s race (2236m) and so offering the Cima Coppi prize, the Passo Fedaia (2057m) and then the 10 per cent climb to the finish at the Rifugio...

  • Pasquale Muto tests positive for EPO

    Pasquale Muto (Miche - Guerciotti) crossed the finish line in 5th place.
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 15:13 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Miche-Guerciotti rider caught at the Giro dell’Appennino

    The Italian Olympic Committee (CONI) has announced that Italian rider Pasquale Muto (Miche-Guerciotti) has tested positive for Erythropoietin in a test carried out after the Giro dell’Appennino on April 10.

    Muto finished fifth in the one-day race near Genova, won by Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD).

    Muto hails from Naples in the southern Campania region of Italy but spent most of his amateur career in Tuscany where he rode alongside the likes of Daniele Bennati, Yaroslav Popovych and Lorenzo Bernucci. He won nine races in 2003 and turned professional after spending the final months of the season as a stagiaire with the Panaria team.

    He has been a professional with the Miche team since 2004 and won a stage of the Tour of Bulgaria in 2007 and a stage at the Tour of Slovakia in 2009. He finished 19th overall at the Vuelta Asturias on Monday, where teammates Stefan Schumacher and Constantino Zaballa won three of the six stages.

    On his personal website ( he writes: “An athlete’s career is an archipelago of satisfaction, scattered in a sea of fatigue and sacrifice. You should never let the difficulties get you down and you should never celebrate the victories too much. Staying humble and motivated is and always will be my challenge in sport.”

  • Nys aiming for Olympic mountain bike qualification

    Nys could only manage fifth
    Article published:
    May 03, 2011, 17:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Riding Four Days of Dunkirk as first road race of the year

    Sven Nys is devoting his summer to qualifying for the mountain bike race at the London Olympics 2012. The cyclo-cross rider is looking for his first Olympic participation.

    "I would be very disappointed if I can not qualify. It's my only goal this summer. I put so much pressure on myself, but I'm ready," he said, according to Belga.

    Nys, 34, did not take much time off after this winter's 'cross season. “Every two or three days, I went biking or walking. You know, this is not the body of a 24-year-old. I do it as much for my general fitness as well as to avoid injuries," he told the Gazet van Antwerpen.

    He is opening his road season with the Four Days of Dunkirk for his Landbouwkrediet team this week. That will be followed by a mountain bike race in Stoumont on May 14 and the World Cup race in Dalby Forest, Britain.

    Nys will ride a total of three mountain bike World Cup races this summer on his way to the European Championships in Dohnanny, Slovakia on August 8. There he will have his first chance to qualify for the Olympics. "I have to finish in the top 12 and that is certainly possible, because I already took bronze in the 2009 European Championships."