Hermans, BMC looking to repeat success at Tour de Yorkshire - News Shorts

Hermans, BMC looking to repeat success at Tour de Yorkshire

Ben Hermans is returning to the Tour de Yorkshire with BMC Racing this year hoping to repeat the success he found at the British race last year when he won the final stage.

"Having won a stage in 2015 it will be nice to have the opportunity to return to Tour de Yorkshire, especially with the strong team that we have," Hermans said. "My focus has been on the one-day Classics recently so it's a good chance to get back into stage racing.”

The second-year race opens April 29 with a 184km stage from Beverley to Settle. Stage 2 on April 30 takes riders 135.5km from Otley to Doncaster. The race ends May 1 with a 198km stage from Middlesbrough to Scarborough.

Hermans will be joined in the three-day race by Rohan Dennis, who returns to racing after illness and a training camp at altitude on Mt Etna, Floris Gerts, Joey Rosskopf, Michael Schär, Manuel Senni and Rick Zabel. Tour de Yorkshire will also be the first race back in competition for Michael Schär who has been recovering from injury.

"We have a diverse team of riders who can definitely go for both the general classification and stage wins," said team director Jackson Stewart.

BMC Racing for Tour de Yorkshire: Rohan Dennis, Floris Gerts, Ben Hermans, Joey Rosskopf, Michael Schär, Manuel Senni and Rick Zabel.

USADA announces anti-doping sanction for 46-year-old Colombian cyclist

USADA announced today that it has suspended 46-year-old Colombian Yamile Lugo after she tested positive for testosterone at the Gran Fondo New York in May of last year.

Lugo accepted a four-year sanction, which was then reduced to two years, according to USADA.

"Upon notification of her positive test, Lugo promptly accepted responsibility for her violation and explained that prior to receiving notice from USADA, she was unaware the product that caused her positive test contained a prohibited substance," USADA said in today's announcement.

"After a thorough review of the case, USADA accepted Lugo's explanation; however, because a cursory examination of the product that caused Lugo’s positive test would have resulted in the discovery that it was prohibited in sport, and because she manifestly disregarded the risks associated with her use of that product, USADA determined that Lugo was ineligible for a reduction of the standard four-year period of ineligibility. Nonetheless, based on her prompt admission of the anti-doping rule violation, both USADA and WADA recognized that a reduced sanction was appropriate in this case and in accordance with article 10.6.3 of the Code, decreased Lugo's period of ineligibility to two-years."

Lugo's period of ineligibility began on May 17, 2015, the date on which her sample was collected. In addition, Lugo has been disqualified from all competitive results achieved in competitions sanctioned by the UCI or any WADA Code signatory, including forfeiture of any medals, points and prizes. 

Bonifazio rues missed opportunity in Tour de Romandie sprint

Niccolo Bonifazio added an eighth top-ten finish to his results in 2016 with a narrow second place finish to Marcel Kittel (Etixx-Quick Step) on stage 1 of the Tour de Romandie. The Italian was third on his Trek-Segafredo debut at the Cadel Evans Great Ocean Road Race in January with top-ten results following at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne, Paris-Nice and Scheldeprijs.

The 22-year-old explained a moment of hesitation in the finale hindered his chances.

"I anticipated the sprint well," explained Bonifazio. "I was in the wheel of (Michael) Albasini; it was a good spot, and then I waited a bit because it was still far from the finish. When Kittel started his sprint on the right, I quickly jumped to his wheel but wasn’t able to pass him," he explained.

While disappointed to come close to the win, with another opportunity later in the race for the sprinters Bonifazio won't be losing sleep having lost to Kittel who now has eight wins in 2016.

I am happy; I would prefer to win, but I will have another chance this week with another sprint stage coming."

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