Good morning and welcome to the Rocacorba Daily. Today, we’ve got the latest news from the cycling world and a bunch of videos covering everything from the pro scene to homemade pollution-fighting bikes. Enjoy!
Fleche-Wallonne provisional start list
The second of the Ardennes Classics, Fleche-Wallone, is on tomorrow with the riders set to cover 205km from Binche to Huy in Belgium’s Wallonia region. The route heads up the tough Mur de Huy three times — a 1.3km-long climb that has an average gradient of 9.3% — with the race finishing at the end of the third ascent.
The reigning champion, Joaquim Rodriguez is in doubt for the race after a nasty crash at the Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.
Click here to see the provisional start list for the 2013 Fleche-Wallonne.
Fleche Wallonne recon using Google Street View
Course recon is essential for any big race, but you don’t need to actually be there to get a feel for what the roads are like — you can always just use Google Street View. Follow this link to check out the murderous Mur de Huy which riders will contest multiple times during Wednesday’s Fleche Wallonne (Pro tip, follow the ‘Huy’ paint on the road, you can’t get lost!)
Criterium du Dauphine route revealed, includes Alpe d’Huez
The route for the 2013 Criterium du Dauphine has been officially revealed and perhaps the biggest highlight of the race will be the climb to Alpe d’Huez on stage seven. The race will also start in Switzerland for the first time.
The Criterium du Dauphine is normally used as a final warm-up race by the Tour de France contenders with the shorter tour featuring some of the same roads as Le Tour later in June. This year’s Tour de France features a double ascent of Alpe d’Huez and many of the contenders for the Tour are likely to show up to the Dauphine to test their legs on the iconic climb before Le tour starts.
The Criterium du Dauphine kicks off on June 2 and finishes on June 9 after seven road stages and a stage 4 individual time trial.
Armstrong’s 2001 Tour de Swisse samples: not positive, just suspicious
For the past decade there have been rumours that Lance Armstrong tested positive to EPO during the 2001 Tour de Swisse and that perhaps that positive test was covered up. Now, nearly 12 years since the race, the official lab reports from Armstrong’s tests have seen the light of day, in a letter from Pat McQuaid to WADA director David Howman and leaked to the press.
The lab report reveals that two of Armstrong’s samples were, indeed, “highly suspicious.” But after extensive testing – all of which was done in the summer of 2001 – neither sample was conclusive enough to be formally declared positive.
The letter was sent by McQauid in an attempt to dispel, once and for all, any suggestions that the UCI helped cover up a positive test by Armstrong.
Click here to read more on 3wiresports.
Sir Chris Hoy set to announce retirement
Legendary British track cyclist Sir Chris Hoy will hold a press conference in Edinburgh tomorrow in which he’s expected to announce his retirement.
Hoy is the most successful Olympic cyclist of all time having won six gold medals, and one silver medal. He also has 11 world titles to his name, claimed in the 1km time trial, the team spring and keirin from 2002 to 2012.
Hoy hasn’t raced since the London Olympics last year and it was publicly known that he was considering retirement.
Click here to read more on The Guardian.
Richie Porte recces tough Worlds course in Tuscany
The 2013 Road Cycling World Championships will be held in Tuscany, Italy in late September and already we’re seeing riders heading out to preview the course. The latest cyclist to do so was Tasmanian Team Sky rider Richie Porte who gave this short interview afterwards.
Click here to read more about Porte’s recce.
The evolution of anti-doping testing in sport
In this interesting feature article on Cycling News Feargal McKay takes a look at the way drug testing regimes have evolved in the past 50 years, particularly when it comes to cycling. Click here to read the article.
Orica-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass: Amstel Gold Race
Here in the CyclingTips office we always look forward to the next instalment in the Orica-GreenEDGE Backstage Pass series and the latest offering, from the Amstel Gold Race, is now up. Check it out here.
Omega Pharma-QuickStep: food and clothing for a race
We don’t want you to think we only care about Orica-GreenEDGE so here’s an interesting behind-the-scenes video showing what food and clothing the Omega Pharma-QuickStep riders use during a race.
Cycling around Australia in 37 days for charity
You might have already heard of Reid Anderton — he’s the guy that’s been riding around Australia for the past month, putting in ridiculous kilometres on the bike to raise awareness and funds for the fight against poverty, particularly in South Africa.
As of today, Reid has completed his trip around Australia in what appears to be world record time: 37 days, 1 hour, 18 minutes. He’s ridden more than 14,000km around the Australian coastline averaging roughly 380km a day. For 37 days. In a row. Truly unfathomable.
What’s the longest you’ve ever spent on rollers?
Setting the bike up on a home trainer or rollers can be great when the weather’s miserable outside, but the fun normally wears off within, say, 5 minutes? Here’s a piece by Joe Parkin for Paved Mag about the day he spent 8 hours on the rollers.
What’s the longest you’ve ever done on rollers? Was it more than 8 hours?
Click here to read more at pavedmag.com.
British bloke builds Beijing “breathing bike”
And here’s a slightly strange video to finish with. A British bloke living in Beijing was worried about the health effects of cycling in such a polluted city, so he build a bike that has its own air filtration system.
Boston Marathon terrorist attack
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and families affected by the Boston Marathon bombing that took place just a few hours ago. Cycling doesn’t seem so important right now after hearing about this. Follow the coverage on CNN.com.