RCS Sport awards Giro wildcards; three go to Italian teams

Organisers of the Giro d’Italia, RCS Sport, have announced the four teams that will receive wildcards to ride the Giro in 2014.

Androni-Venezuela, Colombia, YellowFluo-Neri Sottoli (formerly Vini-Fanitini) and Bardiani-CSF all got the nod while other teams bidding for a spot, most notably MTN-Qhubeka, missed out.

“We have obligations to help and support the Italian cycling movement, a bit like ASO have done in the past by giving wildcards to French teams. The philosophy is the same,” the Giro’s technical director Mauro Vegni told Cycling News on Thursday.

The decision to invite YellowFluo-Neri Sottoli has received criticism, given the positive tests returned by two of the then-Vini-Fantini riders in last year’s race. But the organisers were apparently convinced by the team’s promise to publish riders’ blood details online.

“We can’t forget what’s gone before, but they are undergoing significant change, and have brought in some new people into the management, like [Stefano] Garzelli [who tested positive in the pink jersey at the 2002 Giro – ed.], and are presenting a new image of themselves,” Vegni said. “They also have sponsors who, if the team wasn’t at the Giro d’Italia, might move on to other sports instead.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Interview with Oleg Tinkov

He’s one of the most colourful characters in the world of cycling and now Oleg Tinkov has sat down with Cycling News to chat about his involvement in the sport, what 2014 holds for the rebranded Tinkoff-Saxo team, and what he’s looking forward to beyond this season.

Here’s a snippet:

CN: So for you, it’s zero-tolerance from now on, going forward?

OT: We’ll have zero tolerance going forward. I can’t investigate the past, what Bjarne used to do, what others used to do. If Sky is really doing that with their zero-tolerance for the past, it’s a bit strange. How can you make sure that their riders and sports directors have never been involved in doping?

CN: They make people sign an agreement saying they were never involved in doping.

OT: That’s bullshit. Katusha pushed their riders to sign such a letter and then they had two doping cases. Anyone can sign anything for money. For me there was 100 per cent of doping in cycling 15 years so how can zero-tolerance for in the past work? If Sky want real zero-tolerance they should sign riders who were juniors now and have sports directeurs who are 20 years old, otherwise it’s a joke.

CN: What about Michael Rogers’ Clenbuterol case?

OT: He’s saying it was food contamination. I hope he’s not lying, I hope for him. He called me and explained that he ate meat while in China. And I believe him. We’ll see. It’s a pity if he can’t prove because he’s good guy and big loss for us. I hope will be cleared and if he does he will be straight back in the team. If he’s not cleared he’ll never come back. Zero tolerance.

Click here to read the full interview.

Re-engineered SRAM hydraulic brakes expected in April

Late last year we reported that SRAM had recalled its new hydraulic braking system after three separate faults were discovered. Now the Chicago-based component giant has offered consumers a mechanical system in the interim, with the chance to upgrade once the re-engineered hydraulic system arrives in April.

A SRAM statement said: “In addition to a mechanical brake system, we are offering you the choice to upgrade to our new model year 15 hydraulic system, or if you want to keep the mechanical system, we will provide cash reimbursement of US$200 or €150.”

It is believed that the recall has cost SRAM between US$10-15 million.

Click here to read more at Cycling News and here to read more at the SRAM website.

What happens when you start investigating Colombia’s doping trade

This article on Cycling Inquisition is equal parts fascinating and terrifying. The author of the blog interviews a Colombian writer who had made the first steps towards investigating the doping culture in Colombia, trying to get his/her hands on some GW1516 (click here for more info).

Without providing too many spoilers, the writer’s attention wasn’t particularly welcomed.

Click here to read the full article at Cycling Inquisition.

Brazilian man drives 6km with dying cyclist in his windscreen

An allegedly drunk driver has been arrested after hitting a cyclist with his car and driving 6km with that cyclist embedded in his windscreen.

The driver gets bundled into the back of a police car.

The driver gets bundled into the back of a police car. (Image: Screen grab from the CCTV footage)

The driver was eventually stopped when other road users noticed the body in the windscreen and blocked the driver’s car in traffic.

The cyclist was pronounced dead on the scene by paramedics who freed his body from the windscreen.

An eyewitness who helped stop the driver’s car said: “People thought at first it was a doll on top of the car. When I realised it was a person I began shouting to other motorists to stop it.”

A police officer at the scene said: “The driver was quite clearly drunk and had trouble walking. We had to bundle him into the back of our patrol car quickly to save him being attacked by onlookers.”

CCTV footage of the incident shows onlookers milling around the car, taking photos of the dead cyclist with their smartphones.

Click here to read more at road.cc.

Effect on radiant heat exposure on pacing pattern during a 15km time trial

Researchers in The Netherlands and the USA have published a study looking at the effects of radiant heat on the performance and pacing pattern of athletes who undertake a 15km time trial.

They found that the performance of cyclists exposed to heat was less than the control and that while the heartrate in the control was highest, the perceived exertion was roughly the same between all trials.

Interestingly, the exposure to radiant heat didn’t appear to disrupt the cyclists’ pacing pattern, regardless of how long they were exposed to the additional heat.

Click here to read more.

Coming up at the Tour Down Under

The CyclingTips team heads over to Adelaide on Sunday morning to cover the Tour Down Under and we’ve got a bunch of exciting activities planned for you to join in with. Stay posted for more information later today.

The Norwood Cycling Club is also hosting a three-race series in Adelaide to correspond with the TDU, with the races open to locals and visitors from grades A to E.

The races will be held on Sunday (in Uraidla) on Monday (Victoria Park) and on Wednesday evening (Victoria Park as well).

Click here and here for more information.

Cadel Evans takes a V8 supercar for a spin

This video was made by Holden and features too much talking about Cadel driving, as opposed to vision of him actually driving, but it’s interesting to see the 2011 Tour de France winner try his hand at something different and to hear him speak about the differences (and similarities) between cycling and motorsport.

Bespoken: the bike as a musical instrument

We’re digging the work of Johnnyrandom who’s just published this short preview video of a track he’s recorded, using sounds exclusively from a bike. Sounds bizarre, but the result is pretty amazing.

Here’s a sample of the finished track:

Click here to buy the track on iTunes.

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed from a big week here at CyclingTips:

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Today’s feature image was taken by Cor Vos and shows the winner of last year’s Tour Down Under, Tom Jelte Slagter. The defending champion won’t be riding this year’s edition, instead opting to stay at home in the Netherlands for the birth of his child.