Cavendish wins Tour of Croatia stage 2
Having narrowly missed out on stage 1 of the Tour of Croatia to Trek-Segafredo's Giacomo Nizzolo, revenge was swift for Mark Cavendish as the Data Dimension rider claimed his second road win of the season in Split.
"I'm really happy to take the win today. Yesterday the team rode on the front from beginning and I just messed up a bit in the final, I just didn't have it yesterday really," Cavendish said. "So I was really glad the team kept the faith in me for today. Once again Jay spent all day in front, working super hard. The guys were then also really prominent in final. The finishes here in Croatia are really technical and quite dangerous so it make it quite nervous. We had a good plan with Mark Renshaw to lead it out into the corners.
Cavendish won the opening stage of the Tour of Qatar in February and had finished second in four occasions before celebrating his victory. In-between though, Cavendish won a madison world title with Bradley Wiggins at the London Track Worlds and explained his win was a reward for a good day of teamwork
"Yesterday I over geared a bit but today I went in with a smaller gear and after coming through the corners it was more about the acceleration than the power. So I was super happy to take the win for the team because the guys were really fantastic," Cavendish added. "We have the leader’s jersey now which means it will be another long day on the front for Jay tomorrow but he has been so strong and is riding really well. The stage definitely isn't for me tomorrow but Reinie can be up there so as a team we will remain prominent in the race."
Stage 3 of the race takes the peloton from Makarska to Šibenik with another sprint finish expected.
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data) wins stage 2 at the Tour of Croatia (Bettini Photo)
MPCC statement on disc brakes
In the wake of the French television programme Stade 2 and Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera joint investigation into mechanical doping that claimed the technology had been used at Strade Bianchi and Coppi e Bartali, the MPCC (Movement for a credible cycling) has released a statement, stating it is "Deeply impacted and shocked" by the report.
The MPCC statement "Calls on the UCI to immediately open an internal investigation and to take the necessary action so that the fight against technological cheating will be strengthened. As such, the MPCC stresses that the contribution made by the European Cycling Union (UEC), which is member of MPCC, offers several proposals able to be established very quickly. For example, setting up in-race random testing areas with the help of thermal cameras, etc".
In the statement, the MPCC also " Strongly urges official agencies as well as national and international organisations representing riders to initiate the necessary procedures in order to uncover the truth and protect the rider profession - as MPCC does.
"Requests again to have all the bikes of the riders selected for doping controls systematically tested. The MPCC also requests to step up the sanctions against teams and riders found guilty for technological cheating".
The MPCC also stresses that mechanical doping is not a issue for just one rider, but one for the sport as a whole.
"Reminds that the maintenance of cycling's credibility requires strong and drastic measures against the cheaters but also their entourage. This king of cheating cannot be seen as the action of a single person."
Eddie Dubar breaks collarbone in training crash
Axeon Hagens Berman's U23 Irish national champion Eddie Dunbar broke his right collarbone during a training ride crash near his home in Banteer and has been ruled out of the Tour of California as a result. It is the second time in Dunbar's career that he has broken a collarbone having first done so at the 2015 Tour de Yorkshire.
"I went around the corner and the side of the road was not in the best condition," Dunbar said of the accident. "I managed to keep control of my bike, but I hit a metal guardrail and went flying over the handlebars.
"It happened so quickly. Kind of in the blink of an eye," he added. "I was very lucky. I was probably going 50 or 60 kilometers an hour. It could have been a lot worse, especially if there had been a car coming on the other side of the road."
Dunbar is in his first season with Axel Merckx's development team and was set to make his debut at the Tour of California next month but will adjust his goals accordingly.
"He should be able to start racing again about a month from now," Merckx said. "For sure it is a big loss. I know he was targeting the Amgen Tour of California in a big way. It's one of the reasons guys come to this team, to do those big races."
Giulio Ciccone impresses at Giro del Trentino
Bardiani-CSF neo-pro's Giulio Ciccone and Simone Andreetta both impressed on the second stage of the Giro del Trentino to Anras in Austria, finishing fourth and sixth behind Mikel Landa. Ciccone lead a seven-rider group over the line to move into the best young rider classification with Andreetta moving into second on the classification, one second in arrears.
Ciccone came into the race having finished sixth on GC at Coppi e Bartali and was then 36th at Amstel Gold Race two days before the Northern Italian race got underway.
"I knew I was feeling good but I did not expect to arrive like this," Ciccone told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "Now let's see what the next two stages bring, the plan is to help out two cards in Bongiorno and Pirazzi."
Having finished fifth on his Bardiani-CSF debut at the G.P. Costa degli Etruschi, Ciccone explained that is finding life in the professional peloton easier than his years as junior.
"It may seem strange, but I am more at ease among the pro's than among the amateurs," he reflected. "It's a way of racing that is better suited to my characteristics. The amateurs is often raced without logic, but here it's another story.Of course, the jump in class is noticeable."
Ciccone is likely to make his grand tour debut at the Giro d'Italia next month and explained he holds no fear in face of the challenge.
"The climbs of the Giro do not scare me," said Cicconne who was sixth at the 2015 Tour de l'Avenir. "If anything, it is more the three-week race, because so far the most I've done in a stage races in eight days. But it is not about fear ... it's like a leap of faith. Suffering, however, is not a problem. I do it every day, in competition and in training."
Giulio Ciccone (Bardiani CSF) leads the group across the line on Stage 2 of Trentino (Bettini Photo)