Rocacorba Daily: Tuesday February 26

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In today’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily we take a look at the races that were held overnight, the races we can look forward to in the coming week, and other headline news from the world of cycling. We also ask the question: could beer be better for post-ride hydration than water or Gatorade?

Arredondo takes overall lead in Le Tour de Langkawi

Julian Arredondo Moreno (Nippo-De Rosa) won stage 5 of Le Tour de Langkawi 2013 yesterday, taking the lead in the general classification in the process.

The 25-year-old from Colombia was in second place overall prior to the 110.3km stage to the Genting Highlands where he finished 26 seconds ahead of Orica-GreenEdge’s Pieter Weening and 44 seconds in front of RTS Racing’s Victor Nino.

Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEDGE) leads Julian Arredondo Moreno (Team Nippo - De Rosa) during stage 5.

Today’s stage 6 is the longest stage of this year’s race, covering 217.8km from Mentakab to Kuantan with three intermediate sprints and three tough mountain climbs along the way.

Click here to see stage 5 results, the general classification and the full post-race report.

Daniel Navarro wins Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia

The single-day Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia was won overnight by Daniel Navarro (Cofidis) in a challenging uphill sprint ahead of Bauke Mollema (Blanco Cycling) and Alejandro Valverde (Movistar).

Despite being shortened from a multi-day stage race into a single-day affair in recent years, the Vuelta Ciclista a Murcia still attracts a strong field of riders early in the season.

Watch the video below for the final seconds of Navorro’s win or click here for highlights from the race (with Spanish commentary).


Start-list revealed for 2013 Paris-Nice

For many of us the cycling season truly begins as the riders head south for “the race to the sun”. Running from Sunday March 3 to 10, the 71st Paris-Nice will comprise eight stages and a prologue and will cover a total of 1,174km. The race starts this Sunday with a 2.9km prologue, but perhaps the most exciting part of the race will be stage 5 which finishes atop the Montagne de Lure (after a 13km-long climb at 6.6%).

Click here to see the full start-list for the 2013 Paris-Nice, click here for detailed stage maps on Cycling The Alps, and click here to visit the official Paris-Nice website.

Strade Bianche 2013 promo video

Can you believe that Strade Bianche starts in only five days? The race, which is named after the famous, white gravel roads in the Siena region of Tuscany, will be held on March 2 and will feature the likes of Fabian Cancellara, Philippe Gilbert, Peter Sagan, and Cadel Evans.

Click here to see the full start-list.


Fränk Schleck’s doping suspension confirmed

Luxembourg’s anti-doping agency (ALAD) confirmed yesterday that Fränk Schleck (RadioShack-Leopard) will serve a doping suspension through July 14. The agency said it would not appeal the one-year ban recommended by its disciplinary board last month.

The Luxembourger failed a test for a banned diuretic, Xipamide, in the Tour de France last year. He maintains his innocence and the right to appeal.

The commission could have banned Schleck for two years, but instead decided on a one-year ban, back-dated to when he left the Tour.

Behind the scenes at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

In this video, we see Team Omega Pharma – Quick-Step preparing for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and how the race unfolded, with Stijn Vandenbergh going on to take second place.

Rolland keeps France’s hopes alive for Le Tour

Pierre Rolland (Europcar) carries the weight of the host country on his shoulders when he returns to the Tour de France this season. After two top-tens, including a stage win on Alpe d’Huez in 2011, all eyes are on him to become France’s first winner since Bernard Hinault.

“It will be Thomas [Voeckler] and me [leading the team] … Thomas will be going for stages and the polka dot jersey, for example, and for me it will be for the general classification,” Rolland told VeloNation at the Tour of Langkawi.

“For me all of the mountain-top finishes are objectives, after my victory in Alpe d’Huez. It’s the mountain that’s the most well known. Everybody talks about Alpe d’Huez all the time, but I won on La Toussuire and they never talk about that!”

Click here to read more on VelonNation.

Team Italy’s Bettini follows Aussie and British footsteps

Paolo Bettini is following the example of Australia and Great Britain, building a national cycling programme based on the track. He visited the World Championships in Belarus last week, where a new Squadra Azzurra is taking shape.

Italian Cycling Federation president, Renato Di Rocco gave Bettini the OK to push ahead after the former won his re-election last month. Bettini will take on a managerial role and leave the sports director role to someone else, perhaps Max Sciandri.

Click here to read more on Cycling Weekly.

Sky takes neo-pro Boswell to Paris-Nice

Team Sky will race the Paris-Nice stage race next week with one of its new professionals, American Ian Boswell.

The 21-year-old from Oregon helped Sky’s other new recruit, Joe Dombrowski win the amateur Giro d’Italia last year. He placed in the amateur Liège-Bastogne-Liège, the best US result in the race’s history, and fifth in the prestigious Tour de L’Avenir.

Following Paris-Nice, Sky has Boswell down to race Critérium International, Vuelta al País Vasco, the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de Romandie. It’s an impressive schedule for any professional.

Click here to read more on VeloNews.

Offredo more serious than ever

According to his team-mate David Boucher, Yoann Offredo (FDJ) is more serious than ever following a doping-related ban.

“I could tell in the Tour of Qatar. From the sign-on to the race, he was very tense and alert,” the experienced hand Boucher told France’s Velochrono. “Day after day, he re-found himself. Yohann’s got a big engine, rode well this winter and returned with a stronger character. I think we will have a beautiful Classics campaign and ‘Yoyo’ will do something big.”

The 26-year-old Frenchman placed fourth in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and seventh in Milano-Sanremo in 2011. Three whereabouts violations, however, saw him sit out much of last year. Offredo missed the first two controls because he failed to update his location online. The third violation occurred when FDJ called him to race at the last minute and he again forgot to update his location.

Click here to read the full story on Velochrono and click here for a good background story on the Inner Ring about Offredo’s suspension.

Beer better for hydration than Gatorade?

Researchers at Granada University in Spain have found that beer can help the body rehydrate better after a workout than water or Gatorade. The Telegraph reports that Professor Manuel Garzon also claimed the carbonation in beer helps to quench the thirst and that its carbohydrate content can help replace lost calories.

The study involved a group of students who were asked to work out until their body temperature reached 104ºF (40ºC). Researchers then gave beer to half of the students and water to the other half.

Previous studies have shown most alcoholic drinks have a diuretic effect, meaning they increase the amount of liquid lost by the body through urination.

It’s an interesting headline, but we’re not convinced by this study. However, we’re willing to test the theory with post-ride beers (and chicken parmas) this month and let you know the results.

UPDATE: It turns out we were right to be sceptical of this. As one reader points out, the research behind the original news article in The Telegraph does not appear to have been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. That is, there’s every chance the science is dubious. Not only that, but the original article in The Telegraph misinterprets the findings of the study, suggesting that beer is better than water for rehydration. The original study suggested that beer was no worse than water.

Take the 2013 Ultimate Cyclist Survey and win

Bicycle Networks Australia is currently running a survey to find out where and how Australian riders buy bikes and cycling gear. Do people prefer to buy online? What can local bike shops offer that online shopping can’t, and vice versa?

There are a number of prizes available for those who complete the survey which takes 15-20 minutes to complete.

The 2010 version of the survey – The Ultimate Guide: Shopping for bicycles and cycling gear online – has been downloaded more than 10,000 times and can be found here.

Click here to complete the survey and click here for more information.

Today’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily was produced by Wade Wallace, Matt de Neef and Jono Lovelock. If you’ve got an interesting piece of news you think we should cover, send the details to