In today’s edition of the Daily News Digest: UCI Licence Commission states withdrawal of Astana licence would not have been proportionate; US government wants to question Armstrong’s girlfriend over his lying; Martin reveals extent of Liège-Bastogne-Liege injuries; Contador says making history is crucial for him, sees Giro/Tour double as way to do that; Brailsford gives vote of confidence to Wiggins’ hour record chances; Eyewitness: Marcel Kittel abandons the Tour de Yorkshire; Rough riders: Sitting shotgun in the Mavic neutral service car at Roubaix; Etixx-QuickStep unveils squad for 2015 Giro d’Italia; David Millar on life since retirement; Argos-Shimano’s 2013 Tour de France – Clean Spirit documentary released; Phony journalist scams companies out of ‘review’ bikes
UCI Licence Commission states withdrawal of Astana licence would not have been proportionate
Almost two weeks after the UCI stated that its Licence Commission had turned down an earlier request to withdraw the Astana team’s WorldTour licence, the governing body has issued the partial reasoning behind the decision.
While the full reasoned decision is yet to be released in English, being only available in French at this point in time, it said that the commission examined the situation and decided that ejecting the team from the WorldTour was unwarranted at this point in time.
It said that the team had undertaken some changes and committed to more and, as a result, that removing its licence was not called for.
“At this stage, in view of the modifications that have already taken place, those that are announced, the commitment to adhere to the conditions laid down by the ISSUL [the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne – ed.] with the approval of and under the supervision of the Commission, and the absence of further incidents since autumn 2014, it is found that the sanction of a withdrawal, motivated mainly by facts of the past, would not, as of today, respect the principle of proportionality.”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
US government wants to question Armstrong’s girlfriend over his lying
Clarifying their position as the long running court case between Lance Armstrong and the US government continues, the latter has explained why it believes the former rider’s girlfriend could be an important witness.
“Until his confession, Armstrong told only those closest to him the truth about his drug-fuelled success as a cyclist,” government attorneys stated in court documents filed on Monday, according to USA Today. “The United States is entitled to learn what Armstrong told those confidants, including Anna Hansen, about his use of performance enhancing drugs, his acts of concealment, and other matters relating to this litigation.”
Armstrong is being sued by former team-mate Floyd Landis and the US government as part of a joint Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuit originally initiated by Landis. He claims that lying by Armstrong and others connected to the former US Postal Service team constitutes fraud, not least because the sponsorship contract in place specified that banned substances could not be used.
Armstrong insisted for many years that he was racing clean, but now he and his lawyers say the suit is unreasonable as the US Postal Service must have known the team was doping.
The US Postal Service is a government agency. The US government’s lawyers recently subpoenaed Hansen to testify in a deposition this month. The rider’s attorneys are trying to block this, asking a judge to stop it from proceeding.
Click here to read more on CyclingTips.
Martin reveals extent of Liège-Bastogne-Liege injuries
Finishing an anonymous 104th overall and finishing inside the top 100 on a stage just once during the recent Tour de Romandie, Dan Martin has clarified just why he was so far off his usual form in the race.
The 2013 Liège-Bastogne-Liège winner crashed hard during last month’s Fèche Wallonne and then fell again four days later in Liège. He was a non-finisher in both races, but went on to compete in the Tour de Romandie.
He did so to help his team but was a long way off his usual condition.
The Irishman clarified via his Twitter account just why he had suffered so much in Switzerland.
Turns out I rode Romandie with 2 broken ribs from my LBL crash. I thought it was painful #alessoninsuffering
— Dan Martin (@DanMartin86) May 5, 2015
It is not yet clear when he will return to racing.
Contador says making history is crucial for him, sees Giro/Tour double as way to do that
Speaking in advance of the Giro d’Italia, Alberto Contador has explained the reason why he is prepared to risk starting the Tour de France less fresh than would otherwise be the case if he were not to ride the Italian race first.
“At the end of my career, I want to be remembered as someone who did something truly special. Who made history,” Contador stated to La Gazzetta dello Sport from Tinkoff’s training camp in Sicily.
“At this point, the possibility for me is to win the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France in the same year is not only difficult, it’s risky.”
Contador has clocked up six Grand Tour wins thus far, with two in the Tour de France, three in the Vuelta a España plus the 2008 Giro title.
He also won the race in 2011 but later lost that plus a win in the 2010 Tour de France due to his positive test for Clenbuterol in the latter.
The last rider to take the rare Giro/Tour double was Marco Pantani in 1998. Only seven riders in history have achieved that distinction.
Click here to read more at Cycling Weekly.
Brailsford gives vote of confidence to Wiggins’ hour record chances
With Bradley Wiggins needing to go quicker than Alex Dowsett’s new UCI world hour record of 52.937 kilometres in order to put his own name on top of the list, his former Team Sky principal Dave Brailsford has said he believes that the British rider will be successful.
“Bradley is going well,” Brailsford told Sky Sports News. “He has been training on the pace that he hopes to hold for an hour.
“He has been working back at the Manchester velodrome, so he is in very good hands. It is building up to a big event on June 7, there is going to be a capacity crowd, it is live on TV and I think everybody is expecting him to set the bar.
“When you expect to see a fantastic performance it’s often difficult to deliver and execute that performance to that level but Bradley is one of the few people who time and time again can do that. It’s going to be exciting.”
Click here to read the full article on Sky Sports.
Eyewitness: Marcel Kittel abandons the Tour de Yorkshire
Having been out of racing for a long period due to a virus, eight-time Tour de France stage winner Marcel Kittel returned to competition in the recent Tour de Yorkshire. However things didn’t go to plan for the German sprinter; he was dropped on stage one and, being a long way back from the bunch, abandoned the race.
Rouleur’s Andy McGrath was in the Giant-Alpecin team car at the time and wrote about the stage plus Kittel’s decision to climb into the same vehicle.
“Marcel Kittel is struggling and Marcel Kittel has been dropped,” the race radio crackles. The Côte de Rosedale Abbey is claiming a famous victim.
In truth, this is not a big surprise. His Giant-Alpecin directeur sportif Marc Reef knows about Kittel’s troubles with a virus and has already seen him struggle on the Tour de Yorkshire opener’s first climb over Dalby Forest.
The team’s plan was clear on the morning of the Tour de Yorkshire’s opening stage: while four men tried to make the breakaway, Ramon Sinkeldam would be the designated sprinter and Marcel Kittel would serve as support – if he could.
His main goal was simple: finish the stage, his first professional bike race since the Tour of Qatar in mid-February.
Click here to read the full story at Rouleur.
Rough riders: Sitting shotgun in the Mavic neutral service car at Roubaix
VeloNews’ Caley Fretz writes about his experiences in arguably the toughest one day event in cycling, Paris-Roubaix. He provides words and photos from this year’s race, which was won by John Degenkolb in a sprint finish.
“Paris-Roubaix stands isolated, singular even among those races that purport to be part of its cobbled family. It is loved and feared in equal measure, impossible to start without talent, impossible to finish without luck, impossible to win without both.
The race has just begun, rolling slowly out of Compiègne. I’m in a bright, yellow, Mavic-branded Skoda, topped with racks of yellow Canyon bikes with toe clips — bikes of last resort — and at least a dozen Mavic wheels. In the driver’s seat is Maxime Ruphy, a full-time Service Course staffer. He’s relaxed through the early kilometers, rolling behind a long line of team cars. He won’t be relaxed for long.
The first sectors see just a few flats, all of which are easily handled by team cars. Despite rain on Saturday, the dust is heavy in spots, and the wind is still light, so it hangs over the road for minutes after the peloton and cars pass through.”
Click here to read the full story at Velonews.
Etixx-QuickStep unveils squad for 2015 Giro d’Italia
A very slick video clip announcing the riders who will form part of Etixx-QuickStep’s team in the upcoming Giro d’Italia.
David Millar on life since retirement
David Millar retired from pro cycling at end of last year but he hasn’t taken a back seat in the sport. In this video he talks new book, commentating, his clothing line and how he misses racing.
Argos-Shimano’s 2013 Tour de France – Clean Spirit documentary released
A trailer for the new film about the Argos-Shimano team’s 2013 Tour de France, entitled Clean Spirit, has been released and looks very impressive indeed.
Here’s how the filmmakers described it.
“A unique and compelling inside story of cycling team, Argos-Shimano, keen on showing that winning is possible without any use of doping. We follow the team during the 100th edition of the Tour de France. Knowing that they cannot beat their opponents in the mountains, they have specialized in the sprint.
We see the young team inside their hotel rooms, at breakfast and at team meetings. We hear German sprint talent Marcel Kittel promising his teammates a Rolex if they let him win the first stage.
In the excitement of the race we are witnessing Mark Cavendish causing Argos-Shimano sprinter Tom Veelers to crash and ultimately forcing him to leave the Tour. While Cavendish tries to intimidate his opponent, Kittel takes his revenge in the ultimate etappe in Paris, letting the clean team spirit have its victory.”
Phony journalist scams companies out of ‘review’ bikes
Bicycling magazine editors and two high-end road bike manufacturers in the United States are warning the industry about someone posing as a magazine editor and requesting bikes for review.
Independent Fabrication and Firefly Bicycles fell for the scam and shipped two of their bikes to a California address after corresponding with someone pretending to be from Bicycling and needed specific bike models for an urgent magazine photo shoot.
After not hearing anything for weeks, company officials followed up with Bicycling magazine’s real editors, who knew nothing of the request.
After learning that the shipment was a scam and notifying Boston and California law enforcement, it was discovered that the San Clemente address is that of a private house. The photo studio named in the address is a real studio, but at a different address. The Orange County Sheriff’s Department so far has not made any arrests in the case.
Read the full article on Bicycle Retailer.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips in the past few days:
- The rise of Morgan Blue
- Chloe Hosking on AIS Selection Camp and alternate pathways to Europe
- Your training questions answered with Dig Deep Coaching: part seven
- Daily News Digest for Tuesday May 5