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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Date published:
June 01, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Official Tour de France Guide 2011 on sale 3 June

    Official Tour de France Guide 2011
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 10:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Grab a copy of the official guide, on sale 3 June and available for pre-order

    Those of you disappointed that the Giro d’Italia drew to a close last weekend may be consoled by the fact that the build-up to the 2011 Tour de France has now begun.

    And there’s surely no better way to prepare for the biggest event in professional cycling than to grab a copy of the official guide, on sale 3 June and available for pre-order here.

    The 228-page Official Tour de France Guide 2011 (available in the UK) includes exclusive interviews with the key players, official maps, stage profiles and dramatic book extracts from riders of the past. Priced £9.99, you’ll also get a DVD of highlights from last year’s race. To buy a copy of the guide, click here.

  • Riccò to sign for Meridian-Kamen

    Riccardo Riccò (Vacansoleil) smirks on the podium.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 11:39 BST
    By:
    Barry Ryan

    Controversial Italian to make comeback at Tour of Serbia

    Riccardo Riccò has reportedly signed a contract with Meridiana-Kamen and is set to return to competitive action with the Continental outfit at the Tour of Serbia on June 13.

    “Riccardo has been working with us for the last ten days,” Meridiana-Kamen manager Antonio Giallorenzo told Tuttobiciweb.it. “He’s tranquillo, he has signed the contract and is preparing himself with great intensity.

    “Today we will confirm the agreement and there will be the first photos of Riccò in the Meridiana jersey. Our intention is to have him make his debut at the Tour of Serbia, which takes place between June 13 and 16.”

    The controversial Riccò had been linked with a return to action in the colours of Amore e Vita in recent days, but Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Wednesday that he has been training with the Croatian-registered Meridiana squad in Polla, southern Italy in the past week.

    Riccò has not raced since February, when he was rushed to hospital suffering from kidney problems. He allegedly informed medical staff at the time that he had performed an autologous transfusion with blood that he had stored for 25 days in a domestic fridge.

    The Italian was fired by his Vacansoleil-DCM team shortly afterwards, but after initially distancing himself from the sport, he voiced his desire to return to action in April.

    Riccò was questioned by CONI on the matter in Rome in April, while police in...

  • Disappointed Cuesta contemplates retirement

    Iñigo Cuesta (Caja Rural) made a solo attack.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 13:13 BST
    By:
    Peter Cossins

    Caja Rural veteran had been hoping to ride 18th consecutive Vuelta

    Iñigo Cuesta has indicated that he is likely to retire from racing in the wake of the decision not to award his Caja Rural team with a wild card place at this year’s Vuelta a España. Cuesta, who will be 42 this coming Friday, has described himself as “sad, knocked back” by the news, which will prevent him from continuing his record-breaking run of appearances at the Vuelta, which currently stands at 17.

    Speaking to El Diario de Burgos, Cuesta said: “The Vuelta a España means a lot to me and I wasn’t expecting Caja Rural to be left out of it. I understand that Unipublic decided not to invite us for sporting reasons, but I don’t think that we are worse than some of the teams that have been invited. Perhaps the fact that this is our first year of existence has worked against us.”

    The Spaniard has ridden his national tour every year since turning pro with Euskadi in 1994. His best finish was 13th in 2001 when he was with Cofidis. Last year, at the age of 41, he finished an impressive 26th for Cervélo TestTeam, before moving to Caja Rural when they stepped up to Pro Continental status. The team recently claimed the overall title at the Tour of Asturias thanks to Javi Moreno, who also finished second on GC in May’s Tour of Madrid.

    “After this blow I’ve got little desire to carry on riding,” said Cuesta. “But I am still going to keep training and I will line up in all of the races that are on my programme.” The first of those will be the Route du Sud in mid-June.

    Cuesta added that he is now likely to retire at the conclusion of the Tour of Burgos, which takes place in his home region. “If in the end I can’t take part in...

  • Andy Schleck: I will be in top condition at the Tour de France

    Luxembourg time trial champion Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek)
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 15:32 BST
    By:
    Daniel Benson

    Luxembourger pleased with mountain reconnaissance

    Fresh from riding Tour de France reconnaissance, Andy Schleck (Leopard Trek) has reiterated that he is focused on one thing and one thing only this season – victory in the Tour.

    The Luxembourg climber rode several stages in the mountains in the company of his brother and several other teammates who could form the crux of his squad in July’s race.

    “I looked at stages 16, 17, 18 and 19, with Frank, Jakob Fuglsang, Maxime Monfort and Linus Gerdemann,” Schleck told Cyclingnews.

    Schleck, who will skip this week’s Tour of Luxembourg, has again opted to peak twice in a season, first at this year’s Classics and then at the Tour. Having already had a post-Classics break, he has begun his build-up to the Tour with a block of racing at the Tour of California, where despite a poor showing in the time trial, he was a constant threat in the mountains.

    “California was good. My form is coming along and it was better than expected. I had a break after the Classics with about five days off the bike. I started up again and did some good work but I was surprised with how well I went in California. Last year I wasn’t this strong in California.

    “I was a little bit sceptical when I came into the race because I didn’t know where I stood. I don’t think you can ever be ahead of where you need to be in terms of training, but I’m happy.”

    However Schleck’s performance in California was understandably overshadowed by events in Europe. On stage 3 of this year’s Giro d’Italia, Schleck’s friend and teammate Wouter Weylandt died in a crash. The race was neutralised...

  • Italian Championships ban only affects riders suspended after 1 August 2008

    Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Cannondale) is hoping for a good day on Sunday after a difficult few weeks with illness
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 16:39 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Basso, Scarponi and Garzelli free to ride

    The Italian Cycling Federation (FCI) has clarified that only riders who were handed doping suspensions after 1 August 2008 will be prevented from taking part in the national championships.

    Earlier in the week, FCI president Renato Di Rocco announced plans to bar riders who had served bans from participating, but in a statement released on Wednesday the FCI stressed that only riders who had been suspended after 1 August 2008 would be affected by the new regulation.

    At a meeting of the FCI’s federal council in July 2008, it was decided that any riders who tested positive from that point onwards would be excluded from consideration for Italian national teams at all levels, and now the new regulation governing entry to the national championships will use the same cut-off point of August 1 of that year.

    “The presidential resolution, in a continuation of what was requested by the federal council in 2008 in regard to national teams, extends to national championships of all disciplines and categories the ban on the participation of riders who test positive from 1 August 2008,” read the FCI’s statement.

    Ivan Basso, Michele Scarponi and Stefano Garzelli are among the riders who will thus be able to participate in this month’s Italian road championships in Aci Catena, Sicily, as their doping-related suspensions were all handed down before 2008.

    Danilo Di Luca and Davide Rebellin are among those who will be prevented from lining up, as their positive tests for CERA came after August 2008.

    The status of Riccardo Riccò remains unclear, for although his positive test for CERA came in July 2008 at the Tour de France, he was only formally sanctioned after the August 1 cut-off point, when he received a 20-month suspension that October.

    The controversial Riccò returned...

  • Garmin-Cervélo, Liquigas-Cannondale, Geox-TMC to race Tour of Utah

    The peloton heads towards the mountains and the first KOM.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 19:01 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Full list of teams announced for August race

    Organisers of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah have announced the final list of teams for the August 9-14 event, naming Garmin-Cervélo, Liquigas-Cannondale and Spanish squad Geox-TMC for the 2011 edition.

    Also invited were six Continental squads, Bissell, Endura Racing, Jamis-Sutter Home, Kelly Benefit Strategies/OptumHealth, PureBlack Racing and RealCyclist.com.

    The final nine teams are in addition to ProTeams HTC-Highroad, RadioShack and BMC, Professional Continental squads Team Type 1-sanofi aventis, SpiderTech/C10 and UnitedHealthcare, and Continental U23 team Trek-Livestrong.

    It is the first year that the Tour of Utah has received UCI sanctioning, and the six-stage mountainous race, ranked 2.1, has already attracted the sport's top talent.

    "The elevation of the Tour of Utah to a 2.1-rated UCI stage race this year makes it possible to include the best teams in the world, and across North America, to compete on the challenging terrain of the Wasatch Front. All of our spectators, corporate partners and volunteers will be rewarded this year with the best field yet, a showcase for international cycling here in Utah," said Steve Miller, president of the Utah Cycling Partnership, which owns the Tour of Utah.

    Last year's winner Levi Leipheimer is expected to defend his title, and unlike last year when his team received special dispensation to compete in the then-national level event with only a team of three, he will bring a full squad of top talent to Utah.

    Now that the race falls one week before the nascent USA Pro Cycling Challenge in Colorado, making it the start of an attractive block of racing in the US.

    More information can be found by visiting www.tourofutah.com.

  • Armstrong attorneys demand apology from CBS

    Armstrong leads Hamilton in the 2003 Tour de France
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 20:22 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Updated: CBS exec stands by report

    Lance Armstrong's legal representatives have written to the US television network CBS asking for an apology for its "60 Minutes" report in which Tyler Hamilton alleges he witnessed Armstrong using EPO and told of a cover-up of a positive anti-doping control.

    San Francisco attorneys Elliot R. Peters and John W. Keker, newly added to Armstrong's legal team, wrote a letter to CBS News chairman Jeffrey Fager demanding an on-air apology to Armstrong for the "demonstrable falsehoods that [host Scott Pelley] recklessly presented, and then bolstered with other untrue assertions and facts taken out of context".

    Fager responded, saying that "60 Minutes", "stands by its story as truthful, accurate and fair".

    The letter from Armstrong's lawyers, sent to Cyclingnews, makes no mention of Hamilton witnessing Armstrong using drugs, but refutes several points made on the show and states that "further factual proof has come to light, demonstrating beyond doubt that the factual assertions at the heart of the 60 Minutes broadcast were false."

    In part two of the "60 Minutes" report, Tyler Hamilton states that he was told by Armstrong that, during the Tour de Suisse, Armstrong tested positive for the banned blood boosting hormone EPO, and that the test was covered up.

    "I don't know all the exact details. But I know that Lance's people and the people from the other side from -- I believe from the governing body of the sport figured out -- figured out a way for it to go away," Hamilton said, indicating that the UCI and Armstrong's team had...

  • Chavanel hopes altitude work pays off at Tour de France

    Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) at the start.
    Article published:
    June 01, 2011, 22:48 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Frenchman to ride Tour de Suisse

    After taking a break from racing in the aftermath of the Ardennes Classics, Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) has spent the past three weeks training at altitude as he builds up to the Tour de France.

    The Frenchman was based at Font-Romeu in the Pyrenees, and he took the opportunity to ease back into action before taking on a heavier training load towards the end of the camp.

    “Last week, I did 31 hours on the bike and 950 kilometres,” Chavanel told Nord Littoral. “It was quite a progressive return, with quite a relaxed first part and then another part with a large amount of work.”

    In 2010, Chavanel went on to win two stages and enjoy two spells in the yellow jersey at the Tour de France. Not surprisingly, Chavanel has opted to repeat last June’s racing programme again this time around, and he will forgo the Criterium du Dauphiné in favour of Tour de Suisse.

    “It will do me good, and help me find the rhythm of competition,” Chavanel said. “I’ve given myself the means to do a great Tour as was the case last year. I will be expected [to do well – ed]. I’ve made sacrifices for that.”