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Second Edition Cycling News, Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Date published:
May 04, 2011, 1:00 BST
  • Nuyens rides Dunkirk to pay back Saxo Bank for spring support

    Tour of Flanders: Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) was the toast of Flanders after his win.
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 9:47 BST
    Cycling News

    Tour de France also a possibility for Tour of Flanders winner

    Nick Nuyens' long spring of racing continues at the Four Days of Dunkirk, with the Tour of Flanders winner happy to ride the short stage race to payback his SaxoBank-SunGard team for their support this season.

    With his career back on track, Nuyens has indicated that he may also ride the Tour de France. The Belgian was expected to take a break until the Tour of California but will line-up in Dunkirk today.

    "My season is really long, but I have no problem with picking myself up again and racing ag," Nuyens told Het Laatste Nieuws. "For me, racing is about giving and taking, and the team worked hard for me in the spring."

    No final decision on Nuyens riding the Tour de France has been made but it is a possibility. “For now the Tour is not my program, but I have already talked about it with Riis, " Nuyens said. "Someone like Alberto Contador could need some strong helpers on the flat stages."

    Plus, he acknowledged that "Riding the Tour in the service of a potential winner would be a unique experience.”

    Nuyens, who turns 31 on Thursday, is also looking forward to this year's World Championships in Copenhagen. "We can certainly send a strong squad. With Tom Boonen and that kind of finale, the Belgians have an excellent chance."


  • Bruseghin defiant after being dropped from the Giro d’Italia

    Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 12:27 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Gazzetta dello Sport publish further revelations from Mantova investigation

    Italy’s Marzio Bruseghin has hit out at being dropped from the Movistar team for the Giro d’Italia, insisting he can hold his head high despite being involved in the Mantova investigation.

    Gazzetta dello Sport published extracts of phone calls involving Bruseghin and Mantova pharmacist Guido Nigrelli on Wednesday and vaunted that none of the riders caught up in the Mantova doping investigation will be at the start in Turin.

    Riders such as Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) and Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli), who are embroiled in the Padova investigation centred around Dr Michele Ferrari, will be allowed to ride the Giro but that is because that investigation has yet to be formally closed. Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank-SunGard) will also ride the Giro as he awaits his appeal hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport for his positive test at last year’s Tour de France.

    “Everyone has the right to invite whoever they want. But it doesn’t seem the way to guarantee a clean race. But whatever happens they won’t take away my serenity,” Bruseghin told the Tuttosport newspaper.

    “If I say I’m innocent, nobody will believe me. But I’ve got faith in cycling even if some people want to make you ashamed of your profession. But cycling is my job and allows me to pay my mortgage. I’ve always pedalled with pride and with my head held high. For this reason I think I deserve a little more respect. It doesn’t make sense that I’ve got to stay at home but Contador can ride. Even if I’m happy that the Spaniard is riding.”

    Gazzetta dello Sport published extracts of the phone calls carried out during the detailed investigation. Italian...

  • Contador: this year's Giro d'Italia to be his hardest Grand Tour

    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 12:30 BST
    Susan Westemeyer

    Saxo Bank-SunGard rider talks about his rivals

    Alberto Contador believes the 2011 Giro d'Italia will be the hardest Grand Tour that he has ever ridden. The Saxo Bank-SunGard team leader has won five Grand Tours, including the 2008 Giro but he describes this year's route as much harder.

    “In 2008, I was clueless about the Giro. I didn't know how it started or what the route was like or which riders were riding. I knew absolutely nothing,” he said on the Saxo Bank-SunGard website.

    “I think the route is much harder this year than the one I rode in 2008, although it's true what some riders say, that the 2008 route was really hard, too. But I still think the difficulty of this one is greater.”

    Contador is best known for his climbing ability, but can also win time trials. He knows the time trials in the Giro d'Italia will be decisive. ”Both the mountain TT and the Milan ITT are demanding. The mountain TT has some very tough stretches, and the last ITT is tough because everybody's legs will be shattered towards the end of the race, and that might tip the balance in the case of two riders being really close in the GC.”

    The three-time Tour de France winner refused to name his main rival for the Giro but suggested that Nibali, Scarponi and Menchov are the most motivated and under the most pressure to win.

    Contador is going into the race slightly handicapped due to recent cold and breathing problems. “I had to take it a bit easy at times. But on Saturday, when the race gets started, I'll be in good shape.”

    His last race was the Fleche Wallonne, two weeks ago. Since then he travelled to Italy to check out the mountain stages and also did a three-day camp in the Sierra de Madrid mountains.

    He noted that he approaches the Giro...

  • GP de Québec organiser creates innovative sprint competition

    Tirreno-Adriatico leader Tyler Farrar can't get the measure of JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank)
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 13:58 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Farrar and Freire skeptical about a television-friendly event the day before a big race

    A new type of professional racing will be held the day before the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in September, with sprinters taking part in an elimination competition called Sprint Challenge.

    According to the L’Equipe newspaper, the new format has been devised by Quebec race organiser Serge Arsenault, who has the backing of the UCI. 24 riders would compete in a qualification round and then sprint against each other to reach the final. The whole event would last an hour and Arsenault, whose Canal Evasion channel broadcasts the Tour de France in Canada, claims it would make cycling much more television friendly.

    “Television has a huge problem because it can’t control the length of the race. However, you can format the sprint. It’d last one hour maximum, twenty-four riders would be entered, with qualifications, quarters, semis and finals. There would be rounds every two minutes with the racing being in the final kilometre of the route.

    "Lets make it happen! And let them fight for it. It’ll be huge for the teams and huge for TV! We have a duty to innovate. If you don’t change the menu of cycling, the restaurant will be empty. Skiing was going to die but was rejuvenated with skicross.”

    The UCI has given the green light to the project, knowing it could attract higher crowds to the races and boost television coverage of cycling. Arsenault hopes to extend the concept around the world to other races.

    “We could establish a world ranking and create a distinctive leader’s jersey. The sprinters dream of a world championship for them every year but that will never happen. They can only go for stages at the Tour de France but with this challenge, they would have a permanent event," he said.

    Farrar and Freire remain skeptical

    The Sprint Challenge format was tested at last...

  • UCI initiates legal proceedings against Floyd Landis

    Floyd Landis in 2006 giving a press conference after testing positive in the Tour de France
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 15:51 BST
    Cycling News

    Swiss courts to hear case

    The International Cycling Union (UCI) announced today that it has opened legal proceedings against former professional Floyd Landis. The UCI had previously warned Landis that the organisation would take legal action against him regarding statements he'd made to the media impugning the UCI.

    Landis, stripped of his 2006 Tour de France title after a positive drug test, has publicly made doping allegations against former teammate Lance Armstrong and claimed that the UCI protects certain riders.

    "The International Cycling Union (UCI), its current President, Mr. Pat McQuaid, and one of its former Presidents, Mr. Hein Verbruggen, have lodged a case in the Swiss courts against Mr. Floyd Landis regarding repeated, serious attacks against their characters," the UCI said today.

    "By this step, made necessary by numerous unacceptable public statements by Mr Landis, the UCI is seeking to defend the integrity of the cycling movement as a whole against the accusations of a rider who, by breaching the Anti-doping Rules, caused cycling serious harm."

  • Advertorial: Team Sky Tech Channel set for launch

    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 16:30 BST
    Cycling News

    Exclusive articles, interviews and video, the Team Sky Tech Channel takes fans inside the World Tour’s most prepared team

    The channel will include blogs from Team Sky’s backroom staff, interviews with the riders and news and features on all the components, kit and technologies that enable Team Sky to compete with the world’s best in the sport’s toughest races. Produced by Team Sky and in collaboration with Team Sky’s partners, the Tech Channel will show how the team’s philosophy of “the aggregation marginal gains” relates to its work with partners when it comes to developing industry-leading products and will detail the latest innovations they’re collaborating on.

    Among the many launch highlights are Mat Hayman’s impressions of Pinarello’s KOBH 60.1, which he raced for the first time this season in early April at Scheldeprijs before putting it to the ultimate test in Paris-Roubaix. The experienced Aussie pro details how the KOBH differs from Pinarello’s Dogma and explains why those differences can provide Team Sky’s riders with an advantage in a race as tough on equipment as “The Hell of the North”.

    Staying with the Classics, the Team Sky Tech Channel also investigates the range of Shimano wheels available to Team Sky riders, with a particular focus on the wheel choices that contributed to Simon Gerrans’ outstanding third place finish at the Amstel Gold Race. There’s also an in-depth look at the development of Shimano’s Di2 electronic shifting system.

    The Classics provided an opportunity to see how Team Sky takes advantage of the technology provided by SRM and TrainingPeaks to analyse the performance of their riders and ensure that it remains at optimum levels. Utilising data taken from Ian Stannard’s SRM PowerMeter during Paris-Roubaix, the Tech Channel reveals how TrainingPeaks software not only shows what would otherwise be the untold story of...

  • UCI approves no needle policy

    It's all about blood - performance-enhancing methods abound in pro cycling
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 17:03 BST
    Stephen Farrand

    Injection ban imposed in time for the Giro d’Italia

    The UCI Management Committee has approved an amendment to the UCI Regulations to prohibit and sanction the use of injections of medicines or any other substances without a clear medical need.

    The UCI presented the proposal of the ‘No Needle Policy’ to professional team doctors on 4 March and has moved quickly to introduce the ban before the Giro d'Italia which starts in Turin on Saturday.

    The UCI Regulations now prohibit injections that have the aim of artificially improving performance or helping recovery. It means riders can no longer inject vitamins, sugars, enzymes, amino acids or antioxidants to aid recovery. It is hoped the ban will contribute to the eradication of doping by greatly reducing the use of injections in cycling.

    The UCI Regulations only allow injections when they are “medically justified based on latest recognized scientific knowledge and evidence based medicine.” And when there is no alternative treatment available.

    Except when received during hospital treatment or clinical examination the injection must be reported immediately and in writing to the UCI doctor by the team doctor. In case of a local injection of glucocorticosteroids, which are subject to the Anti-Doping Rules and on the Prohibited List, the rider must rest and is prevented from competing for 48 hours.

    A first offence of the new rule can result in a suspension from eight days to six months and/or a fine. A second offence within two years could lead to a suspension of at least six months or lifetime suspension and a fine of up to $200,000. If a violation occurs at a race, the whole team of the licence holder involved may be excluded from the race. Just the possession of objects used or fit for an injection is presumed to constitute evidence of a violation of the regulations....

  • Christina Watches will not suspend Michael Rasmussen over Mantova

    Michael Blaudzun, Christina Hembo and Michael Rasmussen
    Article published:
    May 04, 2011, 22:43 BST
    Cycling News

    Team says no further word from Italy on Dane's possible involvement

    Michael Rasmussen has been mentioned in connection with the Mantova, Italy doping investigation. However, Christina Watches-Onfone boss Claus Hembo says there has been no further communication concerning the matter and there is therefore no reason to suspend his star rider.

    “We have not heard anything,” Hembo told the Ritzau news agency. “I think it is positive that, while others have heard something, we do not hear anything. That strengthens us further in that Michael did things right. No news is good news.”

    The investigation centers on a a pharmacy in Mantova, which Rasmussen said he used as his family pharmacy.

    "We have full confidence in Michael Rasmussen, and it is no secret that the pharmacy is Michael's family pharmacy, located just around the corner” from his house, Hembo said.

    “It is clear that when such a story comes up, we read it. We are interested in everything going on in cycling.”

    Other riders named in the investigation have been removed from racing, including former world champion Alessandro Ballan of BMC Racing Team.