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Third Edition Cycling News, Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Date published:
May 14, 2013, 1:00 BST
  • Giro d'Italia: It's time to climb

    Giro d'Italia stage 10 profile
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 9:35 BST
    By:
    Stephen Farrand

    Stage 10 heads into the Friuli mountains

    After a first week of skirmishes, crashes and surprises, the Giro d'Italia heads into the mountains today for the first real showdown between the overall contenders.

    The Alps and Dolomites come later in this year's race. First up are the far lesser known but potentially just as testing, Carnic and Julian Alps in the very north of the Friuli region close to Austria, with a stage to Altopiano del Montasio today and then stage 11 from Tarvisio to Vajont on Wednesday.

    The Friuli region is home to the Zoncolan and the Crostis - the climb that the riders and teams refused to tackle in 2011 due to the dangers of the narrow twisting descent.

    The Zoncolan is considered one of the toughest climbs in Europe but charismatic local organiser Enzo Cainero is saving a finish there for 2014. However the climb up to the Altopiano del Montasio is almost as tough, while the descent of the earlier Passo Cason di Lanza is apparently as testing as that of the Crostis.

    Fortunately for Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) and any other riders doubtful about their descending ability, the weather forecast promises dry roads and the sun was out for the start in Cordenons. However coming after the rest day, the first mountain finish always provides a surprise.

    The stage is only 167km long but include the 1,555m high Passo Cason di Lanza, the long, twisting and often technical descent and then the 10km climb up the finish, all packed into the last 50km.

    The climb up to the Altopiano del Montasio begins in the village of Pian della Sega. The road has been resurfaced but climbs constantly at 7.8% for 6.5km riding up through the Val Raccolana.

    Things get nasty at Sella Nevea after a series of tight hairpins. The gradient kicks up to an average of 12%...

  • Video: Inside the Garmin-Sharp bus at the Giro d'Italia

    The 2013 Garmin-Sharp jersey
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 10:54 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Guided tour of the team's luxury transportation

    The Garmin-Sharp team bus at the Giro d'Italia is – not surprisingly – filled with Garmin navigation devices and Sharp appliances. The team bus driver gave Cyclingnews a tour of the luxury team bus, showing off all of its gadgets and tools.

    The kitchen section include a microwave, from Sharp, of course, a coffee machine and a refrigerator filled with water. There is also Sharp music system, which can be used as is, or the riders can hookup their iPads or other devices.

    In addition, there are three televisions in the sitting area, as well as storage space for the riders to store their gear.

    Along with being a technological hotbed the team bus offers the riders sanctuary at the starts and finishes of major races. Join us on a tour of the bus.

     

  • Giro d'Italia gallery: Rest day activities from Astana camp

    Nibali picked out a standard Astana kit for his rest day roll
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 12:16 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Training, eating and massage for race leader Nibali

    The first rest day at the Giro d'Italia is generally a fairly relaxed affair for the riders but for someone like Vincenzo Nibali, who is the current race leader, the day can include a packed schedule of activities.

    Nibali took the race lead after an impressive fourth-place ride in the 54.8km time trial from Gabicce Mare to Saltara and relinquished the former wearer of the maglia rosa Benat Intxausti (Movistar) from leadership duties.

    The Astana squad duly protected their leader's position at the top of the standings on a difficult Stage 9 but the end result gave perhaps a small hint of concern. The select group that contained nearly all the overall contenders contained just one Astana rider Tanel Kangert at the end of the 170km stage and with plenty of racing still to come his remaining teammates will need to remain on task and at the head of affairs if they are to keep the Italian from being isolated.

    The following gallery is a collection of images of the Astana team and its team leader Nibali from the rest day in Italy. From breakfast time, light training, massage and a press conference, Nibali was no doubt happy when the official activities for the day were finally over.

     

  • WADA moving towards four-year bans for doping offenders

    WADA president John Fahey gives an address at a symposium in Lausanne, Switzerland.
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 14:30 BST
    By:
    Cycling News

    Agency reviewing thousands of comments for proposed Code amendments

    First-time doping offenders who are “real cheats” could face up to a four-year ban for a first doping offense, under the proposed amended Anti-Doping Code of the World Anti-Doping Agency.  WADA has reviewed more than 4,000 comments from stakeholders on its proposed amendments.

    “Real cheats” would be those who used  anabolic steroids, human growth hormone, masking agents and the trafficking of prohibited methods and substances.  Current regulation call for only a two-year ban for a first-time offence. On the other hand, the new Code would also bring more flexibility in determining sanctions “in other specific circumstances,” which were not made known.

    Not only athletes would be subject to investigation and sanctioning under the new code.  It would also cover “Athlete Support Personnel who are also involved in doping”.

    The amended code will be put to vote at the World Conference on Doping in Sport to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa, from November 12 to 15 this year. The new code would take effect in 2015.

    The amendments also would take into consideration “the principles of proportionality and human rights”, and assist in anti-doping investigations, as well as emphasize “the concepts of smart test distribution planning, smart menus for Sample analysis, and smart sample storage.”

    "It says to cheats: 'We're going to get you and deal with you even more effectively than we have in the past'," said Fahey, according to insidethegames.biz. "We're in business to protect the overwhelming majority of clean athletes around the world.

    "The way you protect clean athletes and support them is to deal properly and effectively with the cheats."

  • Video: Van Garderen in perfect position in Tour of California

    Tejay van Garderen (BMC) limited his losses during the extreme temperatures
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 15:03 BST
    By:
    Laura Weislo

    Palm Springs stage widens gaps

    American Tejay van Garderen (BMC) has been on the podium in numerous stage races, but has yet to stand atop the final podium in a major event since graduating to the WorldTour. His luck could be turning around, however, as the second Tour of California stage left him in what he called a perfect position for the overall classification.

    Van Garderen lost contact with stage winner Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman) on the steep final climb at the Palm Springs Tramway, losing 12 seconds over the course of the final 500 meters, but said he had to make a choice at that moment to follow and risk going to far into the red, or let Acevedo go and limit his losses.

    "The stage win would have been nice, and the [leader's] jersey would have been a nice gift, but what's important is to have the jersey in the end, and I feel very confident I can beat Acevedo in a time trial," van Garderen said.

    After taking consecutive, frustrating podium finishes in the USA Pro Challenge in Colorado, being on the podium of the Critérium du Dauphiné and Critérium International, and taking the best young rider classification in the Tour de France, van Garderen has been touted as the rider to beat in this year's Tour of California.

    Now with a 15-second lead on UnitedHealthcare's Philip Deignan, and a 33-second lead on the next well-known time trialist, Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff), more than a minute on Cameron Meyer (Orica GreenEdge) and Matthew Busche (RadioShack), and a host of lesser-known domestic riders in the midst, van Garderen is feeling confident of his chances.

    "It's nice to get a little bit of a buffer between them," he said. "You can never count them out, Mick [Rogers] was a three time world champion, and there are good time trialers out there, but it's certainly good to be the best...

  • More California breakaways on the menu for Jones

    Carter Jones (Bissell) leads the break.
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 15:38 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Bissell rider survives another day in KOM lead

    Carter Jones (Bissell Pro Cycling) hung onto his polka dot climber's jersey Monday at the Tour of California after a brutal stage contested in triple-digit heat.

    With temperatures topping 110 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the 200km stage, riders ascended two major climbs and more than 3,000 meters of elevation gain before arriving at the Tramway climb in the desert outside of Palm Springs. Jones finished 39th on the stage, 10:14 behind winner Janier Acevedo (Jamis-Hagens Berman), but he added two more points to his mountains classification lead over 5-hour Energy/Kenda's James Stemper on the Category 1 climb up to Mountain Center.

    Jones took a solid hold on the jersey during Sunday's opening stage, which featured three KOM spots on the climbs of Mesa Grand, Palomar and Cole Grade. He slipped away early in the race with Stemper, Zakkari Dempster (Net App) and Marsh Cooper (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) for an all-day adventure on another brutally hot day.

    "It was a super-hot stage, and they only let four of us go, so I knew it was going to be a long day and a lot of effort to put out there," Jones said. "Once I got in the break I decided that it was a good day to go for the KOM. And they gave us a big leash, so we were able to pick up all three of [the KOMs], which was nice."

    The breakaway's leash extended to more than 12 minutes during the stage, and Jones picked up ultimate points on the final two KOMs after Dempster took the first and then faded from the group on Palomar. Jones ended the day with a three-point lead over Stemper and seven over Cooper.

    "I wasn't surprised that they let it go out to 12 minutes, but I was surprised we had such a large gap over Palomar and then really over Cole Grade," Jones said. "We still had four or five minutes, and there were only...

  • Sprinters anticipate California's third stage

    Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) fights his way up the climb.
    Article published:
    May 14, 2013, 16:02 BST
    By:
    Pat Malach

    Tough day in the saddle still expected

    After two days of heat and climbing, the sprinters at the Amgen Tour of California are hoping for a respite from both the elements and from gravity during Tuesday's stage 3 route from Palmdale to Santa Clarita.

    The 177.7 km stage with 2,700 meters of climbing could be considered a mountain stage, but the climbing is broken up and includes only one long, sustained grade. The last KOM on Bouquet Canyon Road comes 30 kilometers from the finish and should allow the peloton to regroup before the finale. A field sprint looks likely, even after Monday's slog through 110 degree heat. Forecasts for the 11:20 am start in Palmdale call for temperatures in the mid-80s, which are also predicted for the afternoon finish in Santa Clarita.

    "Tomorrow is certainly not an easy day, but I still think it will be a sprint," Garmin Sharp fastman Tyler Farrar told Cyclingnews after the brutal stage 2 finish on the Tramway climb outside of Palm Springs. "It might be a tough day still, but it will be a sprint, and it's on the coast, so I think we're all hoping that it cools off a little bit."

    The opening stage almost went to the sprinters after a tough day of chasing down a four-rider breakaway that was caught by a select bunch just five kilometers from the finish, but Lieuwe Westra (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Francisco Mancebo (5-hour Energy/Kenda) escaped in the last few kilometers to take the top two spots. Farrar finished 67th on that stage, more than 10 minutes behind the winner, but his teammate Jacob Rathe finished sixth. Farrar expects another large group - but not the entire field - to come to the line again Tuesday.

    "I think it will still be a little selective," he said. "It's not flat. It's not going over 15-kilometer climbs like we...