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by Shane Stokes
February 25, 2015
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: UCI still awaiting receipt of Independent Commission doping report, details to be released in March; Contador: Winning the Giro and Tour would mean my career would be remembered more; Tour de San Luis talents Gaviria and Contreras sign two year contracts with Etixx-QuickStep; Lotto-Soudal doctor calls for greater restrictions on tramadol use; Basso handed Tinkoff-Saxo team leadership for GP Lugano: “Our goal is to win”; Joaquim Rodriguez admits he’s behind on where he needs to be; Café Etiquette 101; The GCN Show Ep. 111: Froome Vs. Contador At The Vuelta A Andalucia + Tour Of Oman Stage Cancelled; The Col Collective rides Col de la Bonette (Jausiers); USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships
Although the Cycling Independent Reform Commission (CIRC)’s inquiry into the Lance Armstrong/US Postal Service affair, the UCI’s conduct around that time and doping in general is scheduled to be completed by the end of this month, the UCI has confirmed that the final outcome of that might not be disclosed for a couple more weeks yet.
The governing body indicated to CyclingTips Tuesday that it was still awaiting receipt of the CIRC report, and that its publication of the findings will come once it is able to conduct its own studies of the conclusions reached.
The precise timing will be influenced in part by how soon CIRC passes on its findings.
Speaking last week to the Guardian and Press Association, UCI president Brian Cookson warned that the report could make for uncomfortable reading.
“When you open a can of worms you find a lot of worms,” he told the Guardian at the world track cycling championships in Paris. “I think it’s going to be very interesting – there will be a lot of uncomfortable things there.
“I think there will be a lot of uncomfortable reading in it and we should all prepare ourselves for that. That was always going to be part of what was going to happen.”
He said that the UCI was committed to unveiling as much of the findings as possible. “We’ve committed to publishing the report that they give us,” he said. “We’re not going to get into a FIFA-type situation of arguing about the report. Give us something we can put into the public domain when you give it to us.”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Acknowledging that taking on the Giro/Tour double might makes his odds of winning the latter more difficult, Alberto Contador has said that he is nevertheless fully committed to aiming for what could be the biggest challenge of his career.
The Spaniard explained his motivation to Spanish daily AS, saying that he wanted to try to underline his career with a flourish, joining the very select group of riders to have taken both the Giro and the Tour in the same year.
“I ask myself that [about doing the Giro and Tour] and my face lights up,” he said, explaining his thoughts on the subject. “It gives me extra motivation, something completely different, a challenge.
“I know that winning the Tour is very difficult and I will probably will not win, whether I do the Giro or not. But if at one point I were to win the Tour, my career would not be remembered for winning one Tour more.
“However, if I get the Giro and the Tour in the same year would be something different: it would be remembered more. Then there’s another thing: I enjoy my job, but I also like people to enjoy when they see a race. And I will do everything possible to make it a nice race.”
Contador’s playing down of his prospects of winning another Tour should be taken with a pinch of salt; the rider is known for continuously understating his chances. While Chris Froome got the better of him in the recent Vuelta a Andalucia, he is fully committed to taking another Tour. The big question is whether he can also land a Giro in the same year.
Click here to read the full interview at AS.com
Securing attention with standout performances in the Tour de San Luis last month, the 20 year old Colombian riders Rodrigo Contreras and Fernando Gaviria have inked two year agreements with the Etixx-QuickStep team, starting in 2016.
Gaviria stunned the peloton when he outsprinted Mark Cavendish to take two stages in the Tour de San Luis, and last week won the men’s omnium at the UCI world track championships in Paris.
As for Contreras, he too highlighted his talent in San Luis when he finished fifth overall and was the best young rider.
Both riders entered into negotiations with the Etixx-QuickStep team and then underwent evaluations at the squad’s Bakala Academy in Belgium on Tuesday morning.
According to Etixx-QuickStep CEO Patrick Lefevere, that was enough to convince him and the team to sign them up.
“We are satisfied about this agreement because we were following both these riders for the past year,” he said. “It was nice to finally sit down with them and talk with them personally. I think they are good guys.
“They are motivated, but are also quality riders as you can see with the recent performance of Contreras at Tour de San Luis, and with Gaviria winning the omnium at Track Worlds.”
Gaviria, who was the under 23 Pan American road champion last year, said he was really looking forward to joining the team.
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Speaking out against the still-legal use of powerful painkillers in the pro peloton, Lotto-Soudal doctor Jan Mathieu has said that more needs to be done to try to stamp out the use of tramadol in the sport.
Mathieu’s team is part of the MPCC anti-doping organisation. It has regulations against the use of tramadol, with teams committing on a voluntary basis not to use the substance. While it is less than certain if all the teams do follow through on that commitment – WADA tests for it, but doesn’t currently ban it, and so ‘positives’ are not declared – the collective stance of the MPCC makes it more likely that the painkiller will eventually be blocked.
In October 2013 it made a formal request to the agency to bring about such a rule change.
“Tramadol is on WADA’s monitoring list, therefore it is being closely followed,” said Mathieu in a MPCC video. “I know in Belgium it is a very monitored medication. We saw the riders using it out of competition and now they are used to taking the substance on a daily basis. This is not good at all.
“This year I went on Belgian TV in order to explain it but the non-MPCC teams disagree with us on that point. That medication is hazardous to the athlete’s concentration and to the brain’s functions. For example, you ride in the bunch, you want to go through a tiny gap and it increases the risk of a crash for everyone.”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips
He’s now 37 years of age and last season had a noticeably quieter year than before. However Ivan Basso’s move to the Tinkoff-Saxo team appears to have boosted his morale and performances, and he has now been named the team’s top protected rider for the GP Lugano on Sunday.
Announcing the lineup today, Tinkoff-Saxo said that he will take the start with seven others from the team and would have a special role. He added that others may also have a chance, depending on how the race plays out.
“We look forward to GP Lugano with expectations, as we want to play a dominant role in this race,” stated directeur sportif Bruno Cenghialta. “Ivan Basso is in good form and will be our team captain. However, it’s a race with different plausible outcomes for the finale, so we we’re fielding a versatile team in order to take into account that the race can be decided in a number of ways.”
Basso, a two-time Giro d’Italia champion who won the Swiss race in 2011, will be joined by Manuele Boaro, Jesús Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Evgeny Petrov, Oliver Zaugg and season debutants Jay McCarthy and Chris Anker Sørensen.
He said that his and the team’s expectations are high.
“My own philosophy, as well as that of the team, is that when we go to a race, our goal is to win. We will go to Lugano with the explicit aim of, firstly, being the main protagonist, and secondly to win the race.”
Joaquim Rodriguez has admitted he was surprised not to be in the hunt for victory at the Tour of Oman’s Green Mountain stage last week, saying he was disappointed to finish over five minutes behind the stage winner Rafael Valls (Lampre-Merida).
Rodriguez won the stage in 2013, beating Chris Froome (Sky) and others in doing so. Last year he was fourth on the stage and fourth overall.
In that context, finishing back in 49th place was completely unexpected for the rider and also his supporters.
“I won before on Green Mountain, that was a surprise, but it was also a surprise to not be able to stay with that front group of 20,” Rodríguez told VeloNews.
“The stage result was important because all of us worked this winter to be strong, and at this point, you should at least be able to give yourself a reference point. From what I saw, I need to work more.
“When it’s going well, you can skip some things, but now I know that I need to do everything correctly because I’m off my mark and I can’t afford to make a mistake.”
Rodriguez is a proven Classics rider, having won La Flèche Wallonne and Il Lombardia in the past. He has also finished second overall in the Giro d’Italia and third in both the Tour de France and the Vuelta a España.
Winning a Grand Tour is one of his top goals prior to the end of his career and while he admits it will be difficult at 35 years of age, he isn’t giving up hope. In fact, he likes the look of this year’s Tour de France.
“The last Tour that I did at full speed, in 2013, I placed third, and that one included more time trial kilometers and less mountain stages than this year’s,” he said. “I’ve always been there in the grand tours, so why not again?”
Click here to read the full story on VeloNews.
by Verita Stewart
Have you ever been enjoying a quiet breakfast with your family at a café and twenty cyclists show up and completely ransack the place? Moving tables, shouting loudly, bragging about how we all smashed each other on that climb, and treating the place like our own locker room. We’ve all been on both sides of the fence, and it’s easy to see how the outside world can view us when we forget our manners.
Aspiring pro cyclist Verita Stewart tells us about her first café faux pas and the rules she’s set for herself since she was reminded that helmets stay off the café table.
I cringe every time I think of this moment: my first, of many, lessons in cyclist related café etiquette.
This happened at the end of one of the first bunch rides I ever did. I was very new to cycling and had no idea about anything. I definitely had no idea that there was etiquette to follow at cafés. I was just coming to speed with bunch ride etiquette (that’s another story for another time…). In the end, cafe etiquette is just common sense and good manners – etiquette is a mere label.
Climbing its way through the Mercantour National Park, at 24km in length the Col de la Bonette in the French Alps is an ascent that needs absolute respect right from the start. Pacing, pacing, pacing should be circulating in your head like a broken record throughout, especially as the steepest gradients up to 15% come in the final kilometre. This monster rises up to 2,802 metres above sea level and claims to be the highest road pass in Europe.
Elevation gain: 1,589m
Average gradient: 6.6%
Max gradient: 15%
For more help and advice visit http://thecolcollective.com.
What is a Fat Bike and why is the genre growing so quickly? Check them out at the USA Cycling Fat Bike National Championships at Powder Mountain.
Bicyclist deaths in the United States are on the upward trend. This correlates with an increase in commuting to work by bicycle. Interestingly, however, an OECD report actually suggests that when a country has more cyclists, it tends to have fewer fatalities:
The “safety in numbers” phenomenon is rather simple to grasp – more cyclists means more awareness among motorists. But the OECD report also points out that the “safety in numbers” idea involves a degree of uncertainty. Both cyclists and drivers need time to adapt to each other’s presence.
Read more at Forbes.com
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days: