Sergio Henao dropped from Team Sky race schedule

Sergio Henao has been taken off Team Sky’s racing schedule while the team investigates anomalous values recorded during out-of-competition tests.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reported on Wednesday that Henao had returned unusual readings during internal team testing, prompting Team Sky to issue a statement on its website.

Team Principal, Sir Dave Brailsford, said: “In our latest monthly review, our experts had questions about Sergio’s out-of-competition control tests at altitude – tests introduced this winter by the anti-doping authorities. We need to understand these readings better.

“We contacted the relevant authorities – the UCI and CADF – pointed to these readings and asked whether they could give us any insights. We’ve also taken Sergio out of our race programme whilst we get a better understanding of these profiles and his physiology.

“We want to do the right thing and we want to be fair. It’s important not to jump to conclusions.”

It is not known exactly what the anomalous values were but Sir Dave continued:

“We are commissioning independent scientific research to better understand the effects of prolonged periods at altitude after returning from sea level, specifically on altitude natives.”

While there is little detail to go on at this stage, The Inner Ring has tried to make sense of the news and offers some worthwhile analysis here.

It is expected that Henao won’t race for at least eight weeks.

Click here to read the full Team Sky press release. Click here to read the full Inrng article. And click here to read more at VeloNews.

Tom Boonen withdraws from Milan-San Remo

Omega Pharma-QuickStep has announced that Tom Boonen will not take part in Milan-San Remo this weekend due to a family tragedy.

Tom Boonen attacking very strong on 'his' Taaienberg

To quote from the press release:

With heavy hearts, team OPQS announces that Tom Boonen will not take part in Milano-Sanremo next Sunday. The Belgian champion won’t start because he and his partner, Lore, lost their baby few hours ago due to a miscarriage. In such a sensitive moment Tom prefers to stay by his partner’s side.

All the athletes, staff, and sponsors of the team want Lore and Tom to know that they support them at this difficult time, and they hope the couple will find the strength to get through this trying experience.

We kindly ask everyone to respect the privacy of Lore, Tom and the Boonen family.

We wish Tom, Lore and their families all the best at what is a truly terrible time.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Milan-San Remo route could change again

With rain expected for Sunday’s Milan-San Remo, there’s a chance the course could be altered … again.

What the 2014 Milan-San Remo profile was supposed to look like. We know that the Pompeiana is gone, but will the profile change again?

What the 2014 Milan-San Remo profile was supposed to look like. We know that the Pompeiana is gone, but will the profile change again?

Race organiser RCS Sport told VeloNews that it would have to wait until today to determine whether a recent landslide near Sportono (roughly 95km from the finish) will require the race to go inland.

The possible detour would introduce a short, gentle climb which shouldn’t affect the race overall, but is less than ideal for the riders’ preparation.

“You’ve got to know the course before you select [your teams],” Team Sky Principal David Brailsford said.”It’s one of the joys of this sport that every year the same race has a different [route], that’s a great side of it, but what would be nice is that the course details come out early enough to make strategies.”

Click here to read more at VeloNews.

New sports doping test “1,000 times more sensitive” than current tests

Researchers in the US claim they have developed a new method of detecting the presence of performance-enhancing drugs which, they say, is 1,000 times more sensitive than existing testing methods.

The new technique builds on existing mass spectrometry techniques — which involves firing a beam of electrons at a sample to produce charged particles — by using a chemical compound to bind with any performance-enhancing substances, making them more visible to the detector.

The new system has been able to detect steroids, stimulants, alcohol and depressants but the researchers say the method wouldn’t work for blood doping or substances such as human growth hormone.

It’s still early days with the method yet to be peer-reviewed.

Click here to read more at BBC News.

Plans for a UCI2.1 race in Perth next year

The Tour de Perth kicks off the 2014 Subaru National Road Series next Wednesday but already organisers are looking towards next year.

The Tour is part of a festival of cycling in Perth called Velofest, and director of the Tour de Perth Matt Poyner told Cycling News that he’s keen on seeing a UCI2.1 race launched as part of next year’s Velofest.

“We don’t have any interest in making the Tour de Perth a 2.1 category race but we do have a massive interest in having another race here in Perth that is a 2.1,” he said.

“I’ve quite literary mapped out a course that can be used as a stage race or as individual road races around 160-180km so we aren’t looking at dropping the Tour de Perth as a NRS event but we are looking to include a 2.1 race in 2015 as part of the Velofest weekend of racing.”

Tour de Perth organiser Craig Smith-Gander said:

“I’ve had some interest from government and one particular corporate about putting on a 2.1 or 2.2 category event during the same festival.

“I’d like to see the race have the same sort of impact the Sun Tour has. I’m not going to create another Tour Down Under, that’s the premier stage race in Australia and should remain so. I’d like to be part of the Oceania Tour that Tracey Gaudry has spoken a lot about.”

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Obama visit could force route change for Dwars door Vlaanderen

A nearby visit by US President Barack Obama could force organisers of Dwars door Vlaanderen to make late changes to the route of next Wednesday’s race.

Oscar Gatto won last year's edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Oscar Gatto won last year’s edition of Dwars door Vlaanderen.

Obama will be visiting Brussels for meetings and plans to visit the Flanders Field American Cemetery in Waregem which the riders will pass by.

“The cemetery is now right on the track of our competition,” race director Guy Delesie told Het Nieuwsblad. “We wanted to include this area in order to give to the American victims of the First World War a tribute, but that now threatens to break down on us.”

President Obama’s visit has not been confirmed but race organisers need to plan for either eventuality.

“We have already mapped out an alternative course. If the US president is effective, we can draw a circle around the graveyard and around the race caravan,” says Delesie.

“It will probably be no easy task to accomplish. In Waregem and the finish area, the many team buses, vehicles of the teams, press cars and VIP cars will anyway be hampered by the ring around Waregem. I guess I will have to attend many meetings. We will definitely have to anticipate the timing of Barack Obama.”

A final route announcement will be made later this week.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Teams announced for women’s Fleche Wallonne

The ASO has announced the teams that will contest the 2014 edition of the women’s Fleche Wallonne, the fourth World Cup race of the season, to be held on April 23.

Marianne Vos stomps up the Mur on the way to winning her fifth Fleche Wallonne.

Marianne Vos stomps up the Mur on the way to winning her fifth Fleche Wallonne last year.

World champion Marianne Vos is scheduled to return to the race at the head of the Rabo-Liv team where she’ll attempt to win her sixth edition of the race. She has won the race five out of the last six times.

Twenty-four teams will take to the start: Jayco – AIS (Australia), Orica – AIS (Australia), Lotto Belisol Ladies (Belgium), Canadian Federal Team (Canada), French Federal Team (France), Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope 86 (France), Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team (Great-Britain), Alé Cipollini Galassia (Italy), Astana Bepink Women’s Team (Italy), Servetto Footon (Italy), Top Girls Fassa Bortolo (Italy), Estado de Mexico Faren (Mexico), Boels Dolmans Cycling Team (Netherlands), FUTURUMSHOP.NL – Zannata (Netherlands), Park Hotel Valkenburg Continental Team (Netherlands), Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team (Netherlands), Team Giant – Shimano (Netherlands), Hitec Products (Norway), Rusvelo (Russia), Biskaia – Durango (Spain), Lointek (Spain), Bigla Cycling Team (Switzerland), USA Federal Team (USA) and Specialized Lululemon (USA).

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Cyclists fined for urinating on World War 1 memorial

Five cyclists have been fined for urinating on the Menin Gate in Ypres, while racing in the GP Andre Noyelle yesterday.


The Gate is one of the best-known memorials to soldiers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth who lost their lives during World War I.

Race organiser Bart Vannieuwenhuyze said that the junior riders had been told before the race to respect their surroundings.

“We briefed the team leaders clearly that urinating on the Menin Gate would not be tolerated. This time we were given special permission to start our race at this symbolic spot as it is 100 years since the beginning of the Great War.

He added: “We can’t let this lie, as we would like to start the race at the Menin Gate again next year.”

Click here to

The Colnago Cup (in memory of Erik Mather)

The Colnago Cup is an annual race held in Sydney to commemorate the life of Erik Mather, a well-known A-grade club rider who died in 2011, aged 44, after succumbing to melanoma.

This year’s commemorative event will be held at Eastern Creek on Monday April 21 (Easter Monday). The race is an open event for Masters (30+) and Elite women. There is well over $4500 in prize money for Grades A-E with $750 1st prize for Grade A and $100 to the fastest woman in each grade. Trophies will be presented to the winner of each grade.

Entries can be made through Cycling NSW before April 12.

Click here for more informatiion at the Waratah Masters website.

Brisbane driver who hit a cyclist has been fined and suspended

You might remember this video we shared with you earlier in the week:

The 25-year-old driver of the car has been suspended from driving for three months and was given a $600 fine for driving without due care.

Click here to read more at the Brisbane Times.

The lucky unlucky cyclist

This is one of the strangest cycling-related videos we’ve seen. Check it out.

Click here to

The Rocacorba Recap

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:

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Today’s feature image was shot by Kristof Ramon during last year’s memorable edition of Milan-San Remo. The 2014 edition of the race happens this Sunday.