News shorts: UCI responds to Armstrong's attempt to ride Gran Fondo Hincapie

UCI responds to Armstrong's attempt to ride Gran Fondo Hincapie

The International Cycling Union (UCI) has stated that Lance Armstrong is not permitted to ride in the Gran Fondo Hincapie because of his life-time ban. Armstrong’s former US Postal Service teammate George Hincapie invited him to participate in the charity ride held on Saturday in Greenville, South Carolina.

"The terms of Lance Armstrong's current sanction are clear and covers prohibition from participating in any capacity in an event or activity authorized, recognized or organized by the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), a Continental Confederation, a National Federation or any other Signatory of the World Anti-Doping Code,” read a statement from the UCI.

The Gran Fondo Hincapie is an event authorized by USA Cycling, and the sport governing body also stated that Armstrong was not permitted to ride in the event.

Hincapie had invited Armstrong along with other former US Postal Service and Discovery Channel teammates including Tom Danielson, Christian Vande Velde, Michael Barry and Kevin Livingston. Many of them testified against Armstrong in the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation and a federal investigation.

Armstrong was banned for life and stripped of his seven Tour de France titles by USADA and the UCI in 2012, after the investigation pointed to him as being a part of a sophisticated doping program.

In an interview with WYFF News 4, Hincapie said, "By no means am I trying to make a statement. I just basically want my friends to come do this ride and come see Greenville.

"There was no message trying to be sent for Lance to come. He knew about my ride and just wanted to ride. We weren't trying to cause any drama and I hope it isn't looked at that way."

Froome undecided on 2015 Tour de France participation

Chris Froome is not sure if he will race the 2015 Tour de France but he said in an interview with De Telegraaf that he will decide on his official race schedule over the next couple of months when he sits down with Team Sky’s management to discuss next year’s targets.

“As we go into November and December it is our planning period where we are going to decide what we want to achieve in 2015 and what we are going to target for the year ahead.”

When asked if it was possible that he would not ride in the 2015 Tour de France, Froome said, “Anything is possible. I love the Tour and that hasn’t changed.”

Froome won the French Grand Tour in 2013 but did not finish this year’s edition after multiple crashes forced him to pull out of the race. When asked why he was doubtful about racing the Tour next year he only suggested that the Giro d’Italia parcours suited him better.

“It’s not that I’m doubting it, it’s only that the Giro represents a really good opportunity next year,” he said. “It is a route that suits me very well and it’s a very all-rounded route. I don’t know how many opportunities I’ll have like that, to do the Giro. That’s also something for me to consider.

“I haven’t decided anything at this point. At this point I’m just considering all of my opportunities and at the moment the route for the Giro looks a very all-round route and the Tour looks as if it’s a route very much in the mountains, for climbers. It’s different.”

Froome will be competing at the Saitama Criterium on Saturday

Viviani to Team Sky for 2015

Team Sky announced the signing of sprinter Elia Viviani for the 2015 season. The Italian spent the last five seasons with Cannondale.

Viviani has experience in all three Grand Tours and is also a proven stage winner, having won stages at the Critérium du Dauphiné, Tour of Beijing, USA Pro Challenge and Tour of Britain.

"This is the perfect move for me and the timing’s right to make this big step in my career,” Viviani said. “I know exactly how Team Sky works and the professionalism, rider development and work ethic is exactly what I'm looking for.

"I hope that with my new teammates and staff I’ll be able to reach all the goals I have and this will be the perfect environment for me to do that. As an Italian rider my dream is to win a stage at the Giro d'Italia, and that’s a big target for me next season.

"Joining Team Sky is a great opportunity for me and I’m determined to bring them success."

Team Sky has also signed newcomers Andrew Fenn, Leopold König, Lars Petter Nordhaug, Wout Poels and Nicolas Roche.

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