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by Shane Stokes
February 26, 2015
In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: Dekker unsuccessful in hour record bid; Dennis continues status as quickest rider; UCI protest leads to E3 Harelbeke dropping sexist poster; Synergy Baku team suspends Alexandr Pliuschin after positive test; Rojas Cubero provisionally suspended after positive A sample for clostebol; Martyn Ashton interview: Despite paralysis, goal is to be back on the bike this year; Wildcard teams named for 2015 Paris-Roubaix; Cult Energy getting back after 300,000 euro theft, will ride Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday; Vroomen and Wiertz acquire complete stake in 3T; Cyclist collides with a lorry in London; My First Bike; A look back at Het Nieuwsblad one year ago
Starting quickly but losing pace as the effort continued, Thomas Dekker today failed in his bid to break Rohan Dennis’ world hour record.
The Dutchman said beforehand that he hoped that riding at altitude in Mexico would give him the edge but came up short with a distance of 52.221.29 kilometres, approximately 251 metres behind the 52.491 kilometres set by Rohan Dennis on February 8.
Dekker’s pace was quicker than the 51.115 kilometres clocked up by Jens Voigt in Switzerland last September and also better than the 51.850 set by Matthias Brandle on October 30 in the UCI’s World Cycling Centre in Aigle.
However Dennis’ speed was too much to match and the Australian thus retains his position as current record holder.
“Sorry. I’m not that far off,” Dekker said immediately afterwards, according to Wielerland.
“Beforehand I knew it was going to be tricky. Rohan Dennis is such a good rider. He is one of the big stars in cycling at present. I think I’ve done a good attempt. Unfortunately, it is just not enough the record, but if I’m honest I could not be better.”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Responding to widespread criticism about a controversial poster released by the organisers of this weekend’s E3 Harelbeke semi-Classic, the UCI has forced those organisers to drop their usage of the image in question.
Earlier this week the organisers released the image, which showed the rear view of a young woman with a skirt blowing upwards and exposing underwear with the race’s logo on them.
To the left of the woman, a rider’s arm is visible, reaching to grasp her exposed behind.
The caption read Wie ‘knijpt’ ze in Harelbeke’, translating as ‘who squeezes them in Harelbeke?’
The photo and caption appeared to be a reference to Peter Sagan’s decision to pinch a podium girl during the podium presentation at the 2013 Tour of Flanders.
He later apologised for his actions and presented the woman in question with flowers in order to make amends.
Following the cacophony of complaints, the UCI has now issued a statement making its opposition clear and reporting that the image in question will no longer be used.
“The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) was extremely unhappy with the promotional poster of the 2015 E3 Harelbeke,” it said.
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Announcing that Alexandr Pliuschin had posted a non-negative test for salbutamol in November 2014 while part of the Skydive Dubai Cycling team, the Synergy Baku Cycling project has suspended the rider.
The test took place at the the Sharjah Tour in Dubai and, according to the squad, Pliuschin has admitted making an error.
“The team makes no exception for any rider with an adverse finding. It is our policy and we cannot deviate from it,” stated team manager David McQuaid in a press release. “In Alexandr’s case it happened during an end of season race last year for another team. But the ultimate onus is on the rider himself and Alex is not disputing that it was his and only his mistake.”
The team stated that he would remain sidelined until the case is resolved.
“Alex has been suspended from team duties pending due process,” said McQuaid. “We, as a member of the MPCC, are handling the situation within the rule framework as set down by the MPCC and remain continually committed to that.”
He said that the team had been told by the MPCC that as the rider was not part of the squad at the time of his positive test, that there would be no repercussions for Synergy Baku.
Pliuschin is a former silver medallist in the UCI world junior time trial championships, and is a four time national road race champion.
Last season he won the Melaka Governor Cup and the Sharjah Cycling Tour, although he looks set to lose the latter result.
The bronze medallist from the 2014 Central American and Caribbean Games, Adriana Rojas Cubero, has been sidelined after testing positive for the substance clostebol.
Rojas’ national federation, the Costa Rican Cycling Federation, has announced the news and said that the test in question was taken on October 12 at the Copa Maya in Guatemala.
Her bronze medal in the Central American and Caribbean Games followed one month later and looks likely to be stripped, although her B sample still needs to be analysed.
If she opts to have that tested and it is deemed negative, then she will retain her medal. However the B test almost always confirms the results of the initial analysis.
According to the statement from the Costa Rican Cycling Federation, her sample was analysed in the WADA-accredited laboratory in Montreal, Canada.
The former national champion is provisionally suspended.
By Shane Stokes
For a rider who was left paralysed in an accident seventeen months ago, Martyn Ashton comes across as having a remarkable spirit. Spend even a few minutes talking to him and it is obvious that he has retained a very positive approach. Humorous, maintaining hope and ambition and speaking with a zest for life that would motivate many, the 40 year old is determined to keep moving forward.
Ashton is frank about the challenges that his injury has caused. It’s clear that his life has been transformed by his crash at Silverstone’s Moto GP on September 1 2013, where he fell off a three metre high bar and fractured his spine.
It’s also clear that he greatly misses being on his bike. That’s of little wonder, given a two-decade immersion in the sport since he switched over from motorbike trials riding in 1992, and also given the experiences he has had along the way.
It’s because of that passion for cycling that he remains involved in the sport, albeit in a very different way to before. The former world and British trials champion now works for Global Cycling Network, the You Tube Channel that published the sequels to his famous Road Bike Party video (see below).
However he’s clear that he wants to be involved in more than just making videos about the sport.
“I still dream about riding,” he told CyclingTips. “Literally. I wake up smiling about it.
“My ambition is that I will ride. Lots of people think, ‘wouldn’t it be great if you walk again?’ I am like, ‘yeah, it would be great, but I am going to ride again. That is what I am aiming for.’”
Click here to read the full feature on CyclingTips.
Race organiser ASO have announced the identities of the 25 teams that will compete in this year’s Paris-Roubaix, stating that the seventeen WorldTour teams will be joined by eight others in the event.
French trio Bretagne-Séché Environnement, Cofidis and Europcar have been confirmed as taking part, as have Belgian squads Topsport Vlaanderen Baloise and Wanty-Groupe Gobert, American outfit UnitedHealthcare, MTN-Qhubeka (South Africa) and Germany’s Bora-Argon 18.
The 113th edition of the race will take place on April 12.
MTN-Qhubeka riders Edvald Boasson Hagen and Theo Bos made clear that they will fight to play a big part in the results.
“I am happy we are in the race,” said the former. “The goal now is to do as well as possible and hopefully do better than I have done before. My goal generally, is to win Roubaix during my career so hopefully it comes this year.”
Bos said that he previously worked to help Thor Hushovd finish second in 2010, but was frustrated by his performance the following year.
“I am looking forward to redeeming myself a bit after that race,” he said. “I have good memories with the Cervélo and the equipment which works really well at Roubaix.
“Also, it will be another really strong Norwegian that we will ride in support of so I am glad that we are officially part of the race now.”
Forced to withdraw from the Tour du Haut Var on Sunday morning after discovering that approximately 300,000 euros of bikes and equipment had been stolen from the team truck overnight, the Cult Energy Pro Cycling’s team has confirmed that it will be able to take its place in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad semi-Classic on Sunday.
Referring to what it said was ‘an incredible amount of support and practical help from friends and sponsors,’ the team said that two riders in particular would be protected and would aim for a strong result.
“If you’re not targeting at least a top ten position, you’re not really in the race,” said directeur sportif Luke Roberts. “We have a few riders capable of finishing with the best. Russell Downing and Martin Mortensen have both trained hard over the winter and they know these races really well. I reckon they will have the best chances for a top position.”
They will be supported by Michael Carbel, Alex Kirsch, Michael Reihs, Mads Pedersen, Joel Zangerle and Troels Vinther.
Roberts said the others might find things a bit tougher, but were fully committed to riding as well as possible. “The rest of the group still lack the race kilometres and the experience on the cobbles but they’re motivated and we want to take part of the development of the race to show we’re in there,” he stated.
Cervélo co-founder Gerard Vroomen and 3T CEO Rene Wiertz have combined to acquire 100% of the shares in the 3T bicycle component company, expanding a relationship that began several years ago.
Vroomen, who was heavily involved in setting up the Cervélo Test Team, sold his stake in the Cervélo bicycle company three years ago.
He described the 3T company as ‘one of the true originals of the bike industry’.
“Its inventions and designs have shaped our sport for more than 50 years,” he said. “3T has always been on my – very short – list of favorite companies so I was thrilled when this opportunity arose.”
He said that he had known Wiertz since he rebuilt the 3T company in 2007. “I really like his professionalism and work ethic. He’s done an exceptional job, starting from zero and rebuilding 3T into one of the leading component brands globally.
“At Cervelo, we were his very first customer and he became one of our most reliable suppliers. That’s not easy in this industry and I know that with Rene at the helm, 3T will continue to excel in the years to come.”
Wiertz said that he took great pleasure in announcing that Vroomen was joining him as a partner. “We’ve grown into a very successful company in the last few years and Gerard will support us to continue on this path,” he said.
He said that the Dutchman would both help to develop additional high-end components and also to coach the young engineers.
Vroomen will continue his current work on the OPEN mountainbike company. He co-founded that with ex-BMC CEO Andy Kessler in 2012.
A lorry jumps the light and cyclists crashes into the side of the lorry. Fortunately, the cyclist did not go underneath and was not injured.
Find out how MTN-Qhubeka riders Steve Cummings, Theo Bos, Jacques Janse van Rensburg and Youcef Reguigui got onto two wheels.
This weekend marks the start of the Semi-Classics in the Flanders region of Belgium. Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne prepare the riders for the Monuments ahead and the weather is likely to be atrocious.
Here’s a look back at last years Het Nieusblad where Team Sky’s Ian Stannard fights to take a hard-earned win.
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days: