News shorts: Clarke wants to fulfill potential away from Orica-GreenEdge

Ale-Cipollini rider tests positive for EPO, Indoor velodrome for Ireland by 2020? Keisse and Mørkøv back on top at Gent Six Day

Clarke wants to fulfill potential away from Orica-GreenEdge

Simon Clarke has expanded upon his decision to leave Orica-GreenEdge, saying how it's a necessary move in being able to fulfill his potential. 

The Australian has been with the team since its inception in 2012 but this summer he stated his intentions to find a new home before signing a two-year deal with Cannonade-Garmin. He suggested that he would be held back if he was to stay at Orica.

"It was a very hard decision to make, to leave what is a good team," Clarke told AAP. "When I first went to GreenEdge, I thought I'd signed up for life. But when you're trying to be the best you can be and the best in the world, you need to make tough decisions for the best interests of your own career. I've proved myself with my stage wins at a Grand Tour level that I'm a good rider. I want to take that next step."

Clarke has won stages in all three Grand Tours but is eager to take his career to the next level, with the Ardennes Classics his primary focus. 

"Winning stages of Grand Tours doesn't make you a champion, but winning Milan-Sanremo and Liege does," he said, comparing himself to teammate Simon Gerrans, who has achieved all of the above. He also went on to compare his situation to that of Richie Porte, who has swapped Team Sky for BMC in the hope of realising his full potential. 

"When you have quality rides like he [Porte] had, it makes you think 'okay, if I was the actual captain, what would I be able to achieve?' Our careers are so short that you'd be silly not to ask yourself that question."

Simon Clarke (Orica-GreenEdge) on the attack
Simon Clarke on the attack for Orica-GreenEdge.

Brazilian Ale-Cipollini rider tests positive for EPO

Brazilian rider Uênia Fernandes da Souza (Ale-Cipollini) has tested positive for EPO, according to a report on CiclismoInternacional.com. The Brazilian Cycling Federation announced that the 31-year-old tested positive for EPO and will be provisionally suspended for 30 days while she decides whether to request her B sample also be tested.

Fernandes finsihed 13th in the Tour of San Luis women's race this year and was 11th in the Tour Cycliste Féminin International Ardèche. She recently won the World Military Games road race, representing the Brazilian Air Force, according to CiclismoInternacional.com. Fernandes won a stage of the Vuleta a El Salvador in 2013 and was second in the Brazilian national time trial championhips in 2012. She was also sixth in the Vuelta a El Salvador in 2014.

Uenia Fernandes Da Silva leads Emilie Aubry and Anouska Koster over the first QoM
Uenia Fernandes da Souza leads over the first QoM during stage 5 of the Aviva Women's Tour

Ireland could have indoor velodrome by 2020

Cycling Ireland continues to move forward with plans for an indoor velodrome, and the facility could be finished ahead of the 2020 Olympics, according to a report Friday in the Irish Times.

“That would be definite, we would see that as being a realistic option,” Geoff Liffey told the newspaper. “Sport Ireland are preparing the tender at this present moment; it is probably going out to tender in early 2016.”

Liffey, who met with the design team last week, said the project will be handled by two different contracts: one for the track and one of the building that houses the track.

“That is the most logical way to do it,” he told the Irish Times. “There are only three or four people in the world who can build the track, while there are others who can construct the building.”

The news came to light at the Irish governing body’s annual meeting, where Ciarán McKenna beat incumbent Denis Toomey in the election for president, according to the Irish Times.

A view of the Gent velodrome on the opening night
A view of the Gent velodrome on the opening night.

Keisse and Mørkøv back on top at Gent Six Day

Riding for Etixx-QuickStep, the duo of Iljo Keisse and Michael Mørkøv regained the lead at the Gent Six Day Friday evening heading into the final two days of competition.

Keisse and Mørkøv lapped the field in the scratch race, the final event of Friday night, to take a 10-point lead over Belgians Gijs Van Hoecke and Kenny De Ketele and an 11-point lead over Otto Vergaerde and Jasper de Buyst, also of Belgium. The duo started the evening with third place in the team elimination race, then followed it up with a win in the Madison, an event in which Keisse won gold at the 2011 European Championships. In all, the pair reached the podium eight times Friday night on their way to the top of the standings.

The Gent Six Day, which is celebrating its 75th year, continues tonight and Sunday.

Michael Morkov (Den) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)
Michael Morkov (Den) and Iljo Keisse (Bel)

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