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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Date published:
July 02, 2014, 1:00 BST
  • Zak Dempster readies for Tour de France debut

    Zak Dempster moves back into the leader's jersey
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 7:00 BST
    Aaron S. Lee

    Australian knows his role and ready to give it his all

    Australian track cyclist-turned-roadie Zak Dempster raced his first Grand Tour at the 2013 Vuelta a España last season with his new UCI Pro Continental squad NetApp-Endura, even cracking the top 10 on a stage.

    Dempster finished nine places behind winner Philippe Gilbert (BMC) on the 164.2km stage 12 from Maella to Tarragona before the young Australian eventually finished 74th in the points classification and 133rd overall.

    This year the 26-year-old Victorian, who stands at a towering 190cm, is just days away from having his first crack at the fabled Tour de France which departs from Leeds, Yorkshire on Saturday, July 5 before finishing 22 days later on Sunday, July 27 along the Champs-Élysée in Paris.

    "At the moment I'm excited to get the chance because it's not something everybody gets," Dempster told Cyclingnews of his pending start in Leeds. "I feel a lot more confident with the Vuelta in my legs to be able to step up, contribute and be a part of the race.

    "The Tour is obviously a whole new level and I have to keep my feet on the ground, focus day-to- day, stick to the team plan and if I'm in a position to take an opportunity, then you won't have to tell me twice."

    Dempster says he continues to draw on his eight years of road racing experience, which started in 2006 with Drapac-Porsche and included a stint as a stagiaire with HTC-Highroad in 2011, to help him continue his evolution as a pro cyclist, and the Tour will be no different.

    "I took more life skills from Drapac," said Dempster. "I'm really grateful to Michael Drapac for instilling in me a much more holistic view of life and my self esteem.

    "The stagiaire role [at HTC] gave me the chance to see that I was capable of making...

  • IAM Cycling out to prove worthy of Tour de France wildcard invitation

    Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling) attacks his rivals
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 8:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss Pro-Conti team to chase stage wins and impress on GC

    When IAM Cycling lines up in Leeds on Saturday for the first stage of the 2014 Tour de France, it will be the realisation of the primary objective that the Swiss Pro-Continental team outlined at its formation in January 2013.

    The team is looking to propel Matthias Frank into a high overall placing when the race concludes in Paris on July 27 although they will look for any opportunities to claim a stage win.

    The final preparation for the team occurred on the journey to Leeds with the team's reccy of all the sections of pavé that will feature on stage five where Sylvain Chavanel and Heinrich Haussler will look for the stage win.

    While the team's founder, Michel Thétaz, is satisfied with securing a wildcard invitation to La Grande Boucle, he expects the riders to demonstrate that are worthy of their selection in the race.

    "For me, the Tour de France has become an obsession, Thétaz said. " On Saturday when we start the first stage on the roads of Yorkshire, we will receive confirmation of the validity of our work the past 18 months in the peloton. This is a great reward that highlights the quality of our riders and staff.

    "An invitation to the Tour de France is not a fluke. We won and deserved our place through hard work at all times, and with plenty of victories and high placings that our riders earned while still perfectly representing the values I want to highlight.

    "We are not coming to the Tour de France...

  • Kittel concerned by narrow roads on Yorkshire stages of Tour de France

    Marcel Kittel (Giant - Shimano)
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 10:00 BST
    Cycling News

    Top German sprinter calls for broader debate on rider safety

    Stage one favourite Marcel Kittel (Giant-Shimano) has said that the Tour de France’s two opening days in Yorkshire could be dangerous for such a large peloton, saying “you take more risks by going on these roads.”

    “The organisers could use bigger roads, and if they did and then something happened, then it would be our [the riders] fault,” Kittel told Cyclingnews earlier this year.

    “It’s a fact we’ll be using some very narrow roads. I’m sure for riders’ safety it would be better if they were wider.

    “There will be lots of spectators, you can see that even when there’s a three-lane road, sometimes they turn it into a tunnel. Where can they [the spectators] go if there are stone walls? I’m curious as to what is going to happen.”

    Asked about whether neutralising a stage when it was excessively dangerous – as happened at a waterlogged stage in Bari for all but the last lap through the city in the recent Giro d’Italia – was the right option, Kittel responded by drawing a comparison.

    “Bari was like on the [Giro stage over the] Stelvio,” - where some riders raced the descent while others, thinking the stage had been neutralised, did not - “because both times we needed clear rules and we did not have them.

    “You can’t really expect the riders to come up with a clear position: even if there’s a group decision to go slowly in dangerous conditions, there’ll always be someone who decides they want to race.

    “So you need someone from outside, a race jury who makes a clear decision. The rules are not clear enough and there has to be more respect for rider safety.”

  • Daryl Impey tests positive for Probenecid

    The first ever African to wear the yellow jersey, Daryl Impey (Orica-GreenEdge)
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 11:05 BST
    Cycling News

    A and B samples show drug, rider removed from roster

    Darly Impey has tested positive for Probenecid and has been removed from the Orica GreenEdge roster with immediate affect. The team broke the news on Wedneday morning, stating "Impey has returned an adverse analytical finding and has been notified by The South African Institute for a Drug-Free sport that he delivered a positive A and B sample for the substance Probenecid after the South African Championships on February 6, 2014."

    Impey became the first ever rider from Africa to wear the Tour de France's maillot jaune at last year's Tour de France but was not selected for this roster. He had signed a contract extension with the Australian WorldTour team in November of last year.

    "The team would like to underline that it respects Daryl Impey’s right to prove his full innocence and will not comment any further until the process has run its due course and final conclusion has been made," the Orica GreenEdge statement said.

    "As per the team’s code of conduct, Daryl Impey will not feature on the team’s roster until the case has been closed and he is fully eligible to ride."

    Impey released a statement on his personal website confirming that he had tested positive for the banned substance but adding that he would fight to clear his name.

    "Further to the announcement of the Tour de France team and in the interests of full disclosure, I confirm that on 23 June 2014, I was notified by William Newman, the President of Cycling South Africa, about an adverse analytical finding for Probenecid following an in-competition test at the national time trial championships on 6 February 2014," Impey said.

    "I had no knowledge of Probenecid nor have I ever taken the substance knowingly in any manner. I am committed to drug-free...

  • Porte: Winning the Tour de France will be harder than ever

    Richie Porte sets a fast pace up the final climb during stage 7
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 12:11 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Team Sky rider looks to help Froome

    Richie Porte (Team Sky) heads into this year's Tour de France well aware of the size of the challenge facing him and his teammates as they search for a third straight win. The Australian, who makes the trip from his home in Monaco to Leeds on Wednesday, has endured a mixed season on the road but has told Cyclingnews that he has finally found his form and that his team leader Chris Froome is ready to defend his Tour title.

    "Obviously we've won the last two and we're going with Chris in good form, so it's exciting. I know that it's not going to be easy, but then more personally for me I'm in good shape and I'm looking forward to getting to Yorkshire and starting the race" Porte told Cyclingnews.

    The Australian will look to match his Tour ride from twelve months ago when he shepherded Froome through the mountain stage and helped set the British rider up for overall victory. However it's been a mixed season for Porte. He started strongly with a podium in the Tour Down Under and despite a late switch in schedule, started Tirreno-Adriatico in decent form. However he was forced out of the race through illness and he missed the Giro d'Italia, which had been pencilled in as the main target for his season.

    Several training camps at altitude followed and he slowly found his feet at the Dauphiné last month. Despite not showing his best condition in recent months, Porte believes that he is heading to Yorkshire in form.

    "I'm going really well on the bike and my weight is down on twelve months ago. It wasn't great to have the Giro as my big goal and not race it, but I'm fresh and I'm going into the Tour in better shape than I was last year. It is what it is, and I would have preferred to do the Giro for myself, but it's still easy to get excited...

  • Lampre case: Expert says phials seized from Nigrelli did not contain doping products

    Alessandro Ballan in action
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 13:40 BST
    Cycling News

    Prosecution requests testing of all phials

    A technical hearing of the Mantova-based doping case has heard that the phials seized from pharmacist Guido Nigrelli as part of the police investigation in 2009 did not contain doping products.

    The long-running inquiry is centred on Nigrelli’s relationship with the Lampre team in 2008 and 2009, with 28 individuals facing a criminal trial that is due to begin in earnest later this year.

    Nigrelli is one of three people to have already received a sporting sanction from the Italian Olympic Committee as a result of the inquiry. In January, CONI handed Nigrelli a life ban for his part in assisting doping on the Lampre team, while Dr. Fiorenzo Egeo Bonazzi was banned for four years and former world champion Alessandro Ballan was given a two-year ban for blood doping.

    Four separate seizures of products were carried out by Italian police during the inquiry, the most significant of which took place when Nigrelli was stopped in Rovato on 30 April 2009. According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Dr. Donata Favretto, professor of forensic toxicology at the University of Padua, told the technical hearing on Tuesday that the substances seized from Nigrelli were not doping products.

    However, the products seized from amateur cyclist Roberto Messina – who is accused of supplying Nigrelli – are reported by Gazzetta dello Sport to have included EPO, growth hormone and anabolic steroids, purchased from Romania and Mauritius.

    Dr. Favretto listed Tachipirina (an over-the-counter analgesic), non-steroidal anti-inflammatories Voltaren and Moment, laxatives, flumetasone (a corticoid for topical use) and Cardirene (used to prevent thrombosis) among the products seized from...

  • The £16,000 Specialized McLaren S-Works Tarmac revealed

    Just 250 McLaren S-Works Tarmacs will be made
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 15:54 BST
    Cycling News

    Only 250 cutting-edge carbon fibre bikes will be produced

    This article first appeared on Bikeradar.

    Specialized has revealed the latest fruit of its partnership with McLaren – this £16,000 / US$20,000 McLaren S-Works Tarmac. It’s extremely limited – just 250 will be available worldwide.

    This eye-wateringly expensive bike represents the pinnacle of carbon fibre bike design, and has been created as a result of the high-tech research methods employed by McLaren. These include a data cutting-edge simulator and data acquisition processes that allow them to design, drive and test before a piece of carbon has even been placed in a mould.

    The McLaren S-Works Tarmac is based on the latest S-Works Tarmac. As soon as that bike was finished, it was presented to McLaren’s Applied Technolgies Ltd unit, where Joe Marsh, composite design engineer at McLaren, took it further into the cutting edge of carbon fibre design.

    The frame’s carbon construction has been optimised using the software that McLaren developed its their F1, Super, and Hypercar designs, and that’s led to a weight reduction of between 9 and 11 percent depending on frame size.

    Joe said: “Our design benchmark, the new S-Works Tarmac, was already a very, very efficient structure to start with and in some ways this was a much tougher challenge than the Venge we worked on.

    “The McLaren uses 300 percent more high-modulus fibres in its construction, reducing material and therefore weight. We've also used more than 500 unique carbon-fibre ply shapes in the construction –that’s 300 more than the standard S-Works'.

    And it’s not just the frame that’s had the McLaren treatment – the Roval wheels used on the bike have been refined too. The tubular carbon rim has been reworked, to drop 30g from its overall weight, while the...

  • Ted King aiming for Tour de France redemption

    A disappointed Ted King (Cannondale) during the morning of stage 5 at the Tour de France
    Article published:
    July 02, 2014, 16:16 BST
    Laura Weislo

    American revels in domestique role for Sagan

    In 2013, the Tour de France ended abruptly for Cannondale's Ted King, when he was struggling with a shoulder injury from a stage 1 crash, and was dropped from the team time trial and missed the time cut. This year, King is being given his second shot in the Grand Boucle, and is fully committed to his role in supporting Peter Sagan's bid for a third points classification victory.

    The 30-year-old represents the unsung heroes that make up the vast majority of the peloton: the riders who spend their entire careers watching their teammates raise their arms in victory, be lauded on the podium, and grilled in post-race press conferences, while quietly celebrating their contribution to the result. Many never make the front page, but it was King's heart-wrenching exit from the Tour last year that stole headlines when he was disqualified from the race for missing the time cut by a mere seven seconds.

    It all began on the opening stage, when the Orica-GreenEdge bus got wedged under the finish line banner, and the race officials scrambled to first find an alternate finish with 3km to go, and then, when the bus was finally extracted, return the finale to its original location.

    "We were getting weird news on the radio, whether there was going to be a finish three kilometres shy of the actual finish or not," King recalled to Cyclingnews. "In the end it was unfolding to be a sprint stage and we were obviously there for Peter. It would have been awesome to put Peter in the yellow jersey.

    "I was moving up on the left side of the peloton. There was a sidewalk that segued to a metal barrier and a rider in front of me clipped that and in...