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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Date published:
May 01, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Wurf takes a new approach into second Giro d'Italia start

    Cameron Wurf (Cannondale) at the Tour Down Under team presentation
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 3:29 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Cannondale domestique toughens up for 2013

    A year racing at ProContinental level has steeled Cameron Wurf with the Australian finally returning to a grand tour level after two seasons of bad luck and disappointment. The 29-year-old is back riding with Cannondale and with the announcement that he'll be riding the Giro d'Italia, Wurf said he is "chomping at the bit" to get started.

    There has been a significant change for Wurf since 2010 when he last raced the Italian Grand Tour.

    "I'm not scared," he told Cyclingnews. "I've certainly been scared in the past so hopefully that's a good sign."

    The turning point for Wurf came earlier this season at the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya where he finished 18th overall among impressive climbing company.

    "In Catalunya I turned up thinking the way things have gone in the sport, I know what's going to happen," he explained. "I knew what Sky had done and I knew how the races had been. Sure enough I could be looking at my power meter and could basically predict what was going to happen. For me, having such a controlled environment in a race is perfect.

    "I still certainly struggle with the fast accelerations or the quicker, out of control conditions that you get in a one day race or a shorter stage... but once everyone gets tired, and that's what I learned at Catalunya. The longer harder days, particularly the ones going uphill are what I tend to prefer."

    Riding for Champion System in 2012, Wurf trained harder than ever before and in the off-season back in his native Tasmania, was leaving nothing to chance - all with the aim of hitting the ground running at the first grand tour of the season. The result has been a far more resilient Wurf than in the past but with a...

  • No free pass for Bennett in Giro d'Italia debut

    George Bennett (RadioShack Leopard) opens his season at the Santos Tour Down Under
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 5:04 BST
    Alex Malone

    Young Kiwi to support Kiserlovski in high mountains

    Second-year RadioShack Leopard professional George Bennett admitted the freezing conditions on the final mountain stage at Tour de Romandie were a little too much for his dimunitive build to handle but don't let the results sheet fool you. Bennett was riding at the front until the final climb in what eventuated as the tour's most decisive day. His job was to look after Robert Kiserlovski for as long as he could. A large number of riders pulled out that day but it was never an option for the climber from New Zealand. He was there to do a job and that's exactly what he'll be doing in his debut grand tour at the Giro d'Italia.

    The recently-turned 23-year-old was empty at the bottom of the final ascent on Stage 4 where the race's yellow jersey Chris Froome (Sky) attacked with Simon Spilak (Katusha) who eventually won the stage and says that while he wasn't overly impressed with his condition in the pre-Giro WorldTour race, he should bounce back for the start of the three-week race this weekend.

    "It was pissing with rain and really cold before we started climbing and then we went up to 1,700m," Bennett told Cyclingnews. "There was snow and ice on the roads and I'm sure it was bad for everyone but I seem to be particularly bad when it's that cold.

    "When I hit the last climb I was just empty from trying to stay warm. I ended up sitting up and riding to the top. There were plenty of guys worse than me who didn't finish but I never really thought of giving up because I was still right at the front of the race until the final climb. I was still helping out Robert."

    Coming into Romandie with a heavy block of altitude training that finished just a few days before the race...

  • ASADA appeals XZTT case in Australian Federal Court

    The riders' blood samples are taken
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 7:03 BST
    Jane Aubrey

    Tribunal exposed failings in UCI notification system

    A hearing began in the Australian Federal Court in Melbourne this morning into the appeal by the Anti-Doping Rule Violation Panel over the Administrative Appeals Tribunal of Australia’s decision regarding the unnamed cyclist who returned a positive test for low levels benzoylecgonine, the main metabolite of cocaine in China in 2010.

    The rider can only be identified as XZTT and 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.

    The ADRVP which acts for Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASDADA) has challenged the AAT’s findings whereby 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 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 ATT advised that "a conclusion adverse to XZTT must still be reached" and the ADRVP has been directed to record the presence of benzoylecgonine on the register.


  • Aru ready for debut Giro d'Italia

    Fabio Aru and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana)
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 11:02 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Astana pro to support Nibali's overall challenge

    What he may lack in experience, Fabio Aru makes up for in raw unadulterated talent and this weekend the 22-year-old from Sardinia will make his Grand Tour debut at the Giro d’Italia.

    The first year professional, who shone brightly in the U23 ranks before being snapped up by Astana, has enjoyed a smooth transition into the pro ranks and will line-up as one of Vincenzo Nibali’s most valued support riders.

    “At the beginning of the season the directors gave me a schedule of races that were all worked up to point at the Giro, but after that I had to go out and earn my spot. All my placings at these races were all part of earning this Giro spot, and I feel really confident that I have done just that,” Aru told Cyclingnews from his home in Sardinia before heading to Naples for the start of he Giro.

    Aru started well this year with a notable performance on one of the hardest stages at the Tour de San Luis in Argentina, pacing Nibali during stage 6, before pushing ahead and leaving his leader once he’d been given the nod to ride his own race.

    From there Aru built on his promising start before netting fourth and the white jersey in the Giro del Trentino, a race Nibali won.

    “Trentino was really important, because after racing at Tirreno-Adriatico and our training camp at Tenerife, it was a chance to test my condition in the same peloton that is headed for the Giro. In the end I was really happy with that race, because the team was so good around me, we really held it together, and because everything went well.”

    With those results under his belt and a growing sense of confidence, Aru has turned his attention to the biggest challenge yet.

    “This is really significant, because...

  • Petacchi disappointed after the UCI block his move to Omega Pharma-Quick Step

    Still Italy's best sprinter? Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre - ISD)
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 11:57 BST
    Cycling News

    Veteran still keen to make a comeback

    Alessandro Petacchi has accepted that he will not be able to ride the Giro d'Italia as leadout man for Mark Cavendish at Omega Pharma-Quick Step after the UCI refused to allow him to join the Belgian team outside of the official rider transfer window.

    Omega Pharma-Quick Step named its team for the Giro d'Italia on Tuesday night, with Gert Steegmans and Iljo Keisse expected to help Cavendish in the sprints.

    Petacchi terminated his contract with Lampre-Merida after riding Paris-Roubaix, claiming he was tired of the pressures of being a designated team sprinter expected to win races. He hoped to find a lesser role and Omega Pharma-Quick Step team was keen to sign him to boost their lead out train and appease Cavendish. However the UCI refused to allow the move, despite a lack of clarity in their own rules.

    The 39-year-old Italian may still be able to join a new team before the transfer window opens on August 1 but it is unclear if Omega Pharma-Quick Step want and need the veteran Italian for the Tour de France.

    The UCI has still to explain why it refused to allow Petacchi to join Omega Pharma-Quick Step.

    "I have to accept the decision of the international federation not to allow me to make a comeback in time to ride the Giro d'Italia. The UCI interpreted the rules in a very strict way which has stopped me returning to the peloton with a different role which is more suited actual dimension as a rider," Petacchi lamented in a note sent to the Italian Tuttobici website.

    "At 39 I could have helped younger riders gain experience but now I can't even do my job. I'm disappointed but I soon hope to have a meeting with the management of the UCI to resolve the bureaucratic...

  • Evans and Phinney lead BMC at the Giro d'Italia

    2011 Tour de France champion Cadel Evans (BMC) signs an autograph after a pre-Tour training ride in Liege.
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 13:09 BST
    Cycling News

    Official team line-up includes Blythe, Cummings and Santaromita

    The BMC team has confirmed its line-up for the Giro d'Italia, with Cadel Evans and Taylor Phinney leading the balanced squad for the first Grand Tour of the 2013 season.

    Evans changed his race programme to include the Giro d'Italia as he recovers from the virus that affected his 2012 season. He last rode the Giro d'Italia in 2010 when he won the rain-soaked stage to Montalcino on the dirt roads of Tuscany. He also wore the pink jersey for a day, won the points jersey and was fifth overall behind winner Ivan Basso.

    Phinney won the opening time trial stage and wore the pink jersey for three days last year, quickly becoming a favourite with the Italian tifosi thanks to his excellent Italian and friendly nature. The young American will likely target the sprints and play a key role in the stage two team time trial.

    Evans and Phinney will be backed by Adam Blythe, Steve Cummings, Klaas Lodewyck, Steve Morabito, Daniel Oss, Ivan Santaromita and Danilo Wyss.

    Blythe could also challenge in the sprints, while Cummings and Oss could target stage victories.

    Fabio Baldato and Max Sciandri are the directeur sportif for the race. Both rode the Giro d'Italia several times during their own professional careers.

    The Giro d'Italia begins on Saturday with a 130km road stage in the centre of Naples.


  • WADA left reeling after Operacion Puerto verdict

    WADA President John Fajey (l) and Director General David Howman earlier this year.
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 15:01 BST
    Cycling News

    Agency may join appeal to keep blood bags

    The World Anti-Doping Agency has criticised the judge’s decision to destroy blood bags still stored from the Operacion Puerto case. Over 200 blood bags remain with only a small percentage of the athletes involved having already been brought to justice.

    "WADA has carefully considered the decision rendered by the Criminal Court in Madrid in relation with the Operation Puerto," the agency's director general, David Howman, said on WADA’s website.

    "The decision to order the destruction of all the blood bags is particularly disappointing and unsatisfactory for WADA, and the whole anti-doping community," he said.

    Although the judge has ordered that all material from the case be destroyed the Spanish Anti Doping Agency (AEA) has already said that they will appeal the decision on a separate case hearing. WADA have opened the possibility of joining the claim.

    On Tuesday the case, which centred around public health and not the doping of athletes, came to an end, bringing an end to an investigation that was sparked in 2006 and saw cycling rocked to his very core.

    Eufemiano Fuentes, the doctor at the centre of the storm was handed a one-year suspended sentence but was banned from practicing medicine for four years. In his opening statement during the trial he denied doping but stated that his clients included athletes from a variety of sports including boxing and soccer.

    "Access to this evidence motivated WADA's involvement in this case,” Howman said.

    "This would ensure appropriate sports sanction processes against the cheats who used Dr Fuentes's services."

    "WADA is currently fully reviewing the decision and any possible appeal or other action with its Spanish legal advisors, and...

  • Has the Paul Kimmage Defense Fund disappeared?

    Paul Kimmage
    Article published:
    May 01, 2013, 16:10 BST
    Daniel Benson

    Legal action taken to account for missing $64,000

    When legal action was taken against Paul Kimmage by the UCI in relation to defamatory comments in 2012, the online cycling community was quick to jump to the Irish journalist's defence. Without a job after being made redundant by the Sunday Times, Kimmage was set to face mounting legal bills in a precarious financial situation if he were to fight the UCI's charges.

    Within days the Kimmage Defense Fund had been set up, with a PayPal account used to house a kitty for Kimmage to dip into. Within months the goodwill for Kimmage and the angst for the UCI had seen the fund raise close to $100,000, $96,169.90 to be exact. However, several months on and the money has allegedly been withdrawn from the Fund with neither Kimmage nor Andy Shen and Lesli Cohen - the two individuals who spearheaded the movement - able to trace the money. Paul Kimmage, Shen and Cohen never had access to the funds.

    On Wednesday morning Kimmage contacted Cyclingnews and explained that only part of his legal fees had been paid and that attempts to retrieve or even detect the rest of the funds had been unsuccessful.

    The UCI suspended their case against Kimmage last fall in the wake of the USADA investigation against Lance Armstrong and the US Postal Service team. The end of the legal battle had been seen as a moral victory after the UCI had chosen to go after the journalist and not the publication his work had appeared in.

    But the warm glow from that victory has long since ebbed away and roughly $64,000 is still unaccounted for.

    When Cohen set up the fund she did so through a PayPal account that had been set up by Aaron Brown prior to the Fund's creation. You may know Brown...