In this morning’s edition of the Rocacorba Daily news digest: IAM Cycling gets WorldTour licence, Astana and Europcar must wait for decision; Vincenzo Nibali, Rui Costa, Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara confirmed for Tour of Oman; Péraud almost quit cycling at 20 following doping accusations; Lance Armstrong at impasse with feds over evidence; GoPro tries to enter pro cycling TV market via on-bike cameras?; What happened to the 14 predictions for 2014?; ‘MAMIL’ added to the Oxford Dictionaries; Performance enhancing placebos?; Eastlakes crash driver pleads guilty to dangerous driving; On-board footage from Katie Compton at the Milton Keyes CX World Cup; Up Up Up; La Marqueta Chase, An Illegal Bike Race Through New York City Traffic.
IAM Cycling gets WorldTour licence, Astana and Europcar must wait for decision
by Shane Stokes
The UCI has confirmed the identities of 16 teams which will have WorldTour licences in 2015, stating that IAM Cycling has satisfied the requirements to move up from the Pro Continental level and that two current WT teams, Astana and Europcar, must await the outcome of an ongoing review by the Licence Commission.
The UCI’s Licence Commission is deciding whether or not Astana should retain its WorldTour licence following recent doping revelations. It is also looking into the Europcar team, which admitted in recent days that it had a budget shortfall and might have to accept racing at Pro Continental level in 2015.
Aside from the new addition IAM Cycling, seven teams were confirmed on Thursday as having their WorldTour licences renewed. These are the BMC Racing Team, Etixx-QuickStep, FDJ, Cannondale-Garmin, Team Lotto NL-Jumbo, Tinkoff Saxo and Trek Factory racing.
They join eight other teams who already had ongoing WorldTour licences and simply needed a green light to continue in that division, namely Ag2r La Mondiale, Lampre-Merida, Lotto Soudal, Movistar, Orica GreenEdge, Giant-Alpecin, Katusha and Sky.
A final decision in relation to Astana and Europcar is due by December 10th at the latest. Ditto for a pending decision by the Licence Commission about two would-be Pro Continental teams, namely Cult Energy Pro Cycling and Yellow Fluo (racing as Neri Sottoli).
The first recently announced that an expected co-sponsor deal would not happen, putting it under financial pressure, while the second had two positive tests for EPO in 2013 and one this year.
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Vincenzo Nibali, Rui Costa, Tom Boonen and Fabian Cancellara confirmed for Tour of Oman
by Shane Stokes
It remains to be seen whether his Astana team will be given a WorldTour licence for 2015 and, with it, invites to WT events. However Tour de France organiser ASO has confirmed that Vincenzo Nibali will compete in next season’s Tour of Oman, heading there as the headline rider.
“The Tour of Oman holds a special place in Nibali’s cycling memories,” ASO said in a statement. “He ended a 17-month drought following his first overall victory in a Grand Tour [the 2010 Vuelta a España] when he claimed stage 5 to Jabal Al Akhdhar/Green Mountain and carried on to his successful campaigns of the past three years at the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France.”
Nibali finished second overall in that race and subsequently returned in 2013 and 2014. He was seventh and 12th respectively, but built on those performances to win the Giro in 2013 and the Tour this year.
Also confirmed for the race is Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez, who is a past winner on the same Green Mountain climb. Giro d’Italia runner up Rigoberto Uran (Etixx-QuickStep) will be there, as will the young climbers Thibaut Pinot (FDJ) and Nibali’s team-mate Fabio Aru.
Other big names have also been announced: Philippe Gilbert, Tejay van Garderen (both BMC), Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida), Tom Boonen (Etixx-QuickStep), Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing), Peter Sagan (Tinkoff Saxo), Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN Qhubeka), Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) and world hour record holder Matthias Brandle (IAM Cycling).
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Péraud almost quit cycling at 20 following doping accusations
He finished second in this year’s Tour de France but 37-year-old Jean-Christophe Péraud (Ag2r-La Mondiale) has now revealed that he nearly quit cycling at 20 years old after doping accusations.
Back in 1997 Peraud returned a haematocrit reading of more than 50% in a blood test conducted at the French national MTB championships, an issue the Frenchman reflects on in a new book “Nouveau cycle, confidences de trois coureurs modernes” (in English: “New Cycle – secrets of three modern riders”).
Peraud wasn’t suspended for the test but still had to sit out the nationals after a federation official reportedly told him: “You cheated, you definitely cheated.”
“I was regularly between 48 and 50% [haematocrit] at rest,” Peraud said. “Since my body has adapted to training and competing on the road [ed. Péraud switched disciplines in 2010] I’ve come down to around 45 or 47 percent.”
That moment — being accused of doping as a 20 year old — was a defining moment in Peraud’s career:
“It was the trigger for my career. I said to myself: ‘You think that I’m cheating? Well look at what I’m doing without cheating!’ I went from eight hours of training a week to 12 hours and I lost three kilos. That season, I finished in the top 10 of the Roc d’Azur for the first time.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
Lance Armstrong at impasse with feds over evidence
Proceedings in the US government’s $100 million lawsuit against Lance Armstrong have slowed to a crawl with both sides accusing the other of withholding key evidence.
According to USA Today, Armstrong’s legal team claims the government “is withholding information that shows the U.S. Postal Service was not damaged by the fact that Armstrong used performance-enhancing drugs while he competed on the USPS cycling team.”
Meanwhile the US government’s legal team suggests “Armstrong has refused to turn over records related to his use of those drugs” and has also refused to present emails which show who knew of the Texan’s doping and who helped conceal it.
Judge Christopher Cooper will attempt to resolve this impasse in a conference call next week.
Click here to read more at USA Today.
GoPro tries to enter pro cycling TV market via on-bike cameras?
Sports camera manufacturer GoPro is in talks with pro road cycling teams to have its cameras installed on bikes next season, Bloomberg News reports.
GoPro spokeswoman Isabel Pakowski confirmed the talks to Bloomberg but wouldn’t reveal the terms of the discussions or which teams were involved.
GoPro will face stiff competition from Shimano whose Sports Camera has been the camera of choice in 2014.
What Happened to The 14 Predictions for 2014?
Making predictions about the year ahead is a fraught exercise, but one that The Inner Ring has tackled with aplomb. In a post published yesterday, The Inner Ring went back and looked at his predictions of the 2014 season, considering which ones came to fruition and which ones didn’t.
Here’s an excerpt:
“Prediction: Tom Boonen will be back to form for the classics
I was thinking of the alternate year hypothesis, the idea that Boonen has often had a great season then a dull or unlucky one. 2013 was a stinker so 2014 should be great. In retrospect he did win Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and was a big factor in Niki Terpstra’s Paris-Roubaix win as the Dutchman could go up the road knowing others would hesitate in the chase because they’d just tow Boonen to the line. But 2014 wasn’t vintage Tommeke. At least he was there rather than the sorry story of injuries and crashes from 2013. 2015 looks like a big year, can he command team leadership at OPQS?
Click here to read the full piece at The Inner Ring.
‘MAMIL’ added to the Oxford Dictionaries
Whether you love the word “MAMIL” or hate it, it looks like it’s here to stay with the Oxford Dictionaries giving it the official tick of approval this week. The Oxford Dictionaries website defines a MAMIL (which can also be styled as ‘Mamil’) as:
“A middle-aged man who is a very keen road cyclist, typically one who rides an expensive bike and wears the type of clothing associated with professional cyclists.
The website provides two examples of the word used in context: “he spends his weekend mornings cycling with other MAMILs” and “this is as close to a professional peloton as any MAMIL will ever get”.
Click here to read more at the Oxford Dictionaries website.
Performance enhancing placebos?
Researchers at the University of Glasgow have found that athlete performance can be improved simply by the belief that they are using performance-enhancing drugs.
The authors considered the effect of an injected placebo on endurance athletes, with 15 club-level runners given a fictional drug call OxyRBX which, they were told, acted in a similar way to EPO. The runners self-injected the ‘drug’ for a week with performances then assessed. On average, the runners demonstrated an improvement of 1.2% after a week of OxyRBX compared to a week-long control period.
“The change in performance was of clear sporting relevance”, Dr Jason Gill of the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences said. “The placebo may work by reducing perception of effort and increasing potential motivation in line with a psychological expectation of performance.”
Eastlakes crash driver pleads guilty to dangerous driving
The driver involved in a crash that injured seven cyclists in the Sydney suburb of Eastlakes in March has pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
The driver pleaded guilty to seven counts: four of “dangerous driving occasioning grievous bodily harm” and three of “causing bodily harm by misconduct”.
The driver will be sentenced later this month.
Click here to read more via AAP and the Sydney Morning Herald.
On-board footage from Katie Compton at the Milton Keyes CX World Cup
Earlier this week we featured an on-board video from Sven Nys at the recent Milton Keyes CX World Cup. Today we’ve got a similar video from the women’s race, from the bike of Katie Compton.
Up Up Up
Here’s how the makers of the following video describe it on Vimeo:
“Hill climbing is a niche within a niche. It was one of the original tests of a cyclist’s skill, the proving ground before time-trials and road races. Now somewhat forgotten, a hardcore band of thin-limbed riders spend their Autumn sacrificing beer and cake for a shot at amateur bike racing glory.
La Marqueta Chase, An Illegal Bike Race Through New York City Traffic
The video below was published with the following description:
“On an overcast 70-degree day in mid-October, four dozen thrill-seeking bike messengers and cyclists sped off on an illegal bike race known as the alleycat, zig-zagging through traffic, running through red lights, and evading NYPD to compete for a hefty first place prize of $1,000. None of the competitors — mostly men on road and fixed gear bikes — knew where the 34-mile course would take them until the start of the race.
To be clear: CyclingTips certainly doesn’t endorse or support illegal street racing or breaking the law in any fashion. If you want to race, pin on a number and head to your local club race. We did find this video interesting though, and we present it to you in that light.
The Rocacorba Recap
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:
- Director General David Howman: How WADA is continuing to battle doping in cycling
- Tiffany Cromwell: “Throughout my career I’ve struggled with finding balance”
- Rocacorba Daily: Thursday December 4