In this morning’s edition of the CyclingTips Daily News Digest: Van Garderen convinced 2015 Tour de France podium is achievable: “On any given day I can beat the top guys”; Dutch police threaten to disrupt Tour de France over pay dispute; University of Sheffield says it is still working on Henao biological passport study, publication drawing closer; Vuelta holding out hope for Contador start; RCS Sport supports UCI reform, opposing ASO’s stance; Sastre denies Riis tried to persuade him to dope; UCI unveils a new logo; Promo Tour de France: Grand Depart Utrecht; Bora-Argon 18’s lineup for the Tour de France
Van Garderen convinced 2015 Tour de France podium is achievable: “On any given day I can beat the top guys”
By Shane Stokes
For many, last year’s Tour will always have an element of What If? about it. Defending champion Chris Froome and another former winner, Alberto Contador, both crashed out of the race; in addition to that, Nairo Quintana didn’t take part at all, aiming instead for a Giro d’Italia/Vuelta a España double programme.
In their absence, a different general classification unfolded than might have been the case. By the conclusion of the race in Paris, Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) finished ahead of Jean Christophe Péraud (Ag2r la Mondiale) and Thibaut Pinot (FDJ). American rider Tejay van Garderen placed fifth, finishing 11 minutes 24 seconds off yellow.
Whether or not you believe that some or all of those riders would have been shunted three places downwards if Froome, Contador and Quintana had completed the Tour, van Garderen has no such thoughts.
As far as he’s concerned, last year’s result was last year’s result and, twelve months on, he is clear when asked if he believes he can finish top three or higher this time around.
“Absolutely,” he insisted during a pre-Tour conference call on Wednesday. “Yes I do. I believe on any given day I can beat those guys [Froome, Contador, Quintana and Nibali – ed].
Click here to read more at CyclingTips.
Dutch police threaten to disrupt Tour de France over pay dispute
The Dutch police union has said that it is planning protests to coincide with the first two stages of the Tour de France following ongoing disputes about pay.
Dutch police will reportedly carry out a protest ride in Utrecht before the start of stage 1 of the Tour (an individual time trial) and are also planning to stop riders in the early parts of stage 2.
“Police unions will on Sunday, July 5 protest on the Erasmus bridge in Rotterdam for a decent new collective labor agreement,” the union said. “The checks will stop when it’s clear from live broadcasts in several European countries that the Tour de France cyclists have stopped because police are taking action for better working conditions.”
Dutch police are seeking a pay rise of 3.3% in addition to greater overtime pay and other bonuses.
Click here to read more via AFP.
University of Sheffield says it is still working on Henao biological passport study, publication drawing closer
By Shane Stokes
Over a year after Team Sky pledged that a research paper would be published in connection to Sergio Henao’s blood values, specifically the University of Sheffield’s conclusions that high altitude natives had different biological passport responses than other riders, the University has provided clarification on the situation.
CyclingTips has been in contact with Team Sky for several months seeking an update. In response to that Dr Eddie Hampton of Sheffield University has said that work is continuing and that the research paper is pending.
“The research around this case has been taken very seriously and we undertook a large amount of complex scientific analysis before giving our recommendation for Sergio to be allowed to return to racing,” he stated on Wednesday.
“It’s still our intention to publish the results in the scientific literature. There are many processes to take into account when you write and publish scientific papers and delays of over a year are not unusual in these cases. We hope it can be done as soon as possible.”
Click here to read the full story on CyclingTips.
Vuelta holding out hope for Contador start
It seems strange to be talking about the Vuelta a España when the Tour de France hasn’t even begun, but organisers of the Spanish Grand Tour are reportedly hoping out hope that Giro winner Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo) will be in attendance to defend his tile.
While Contador has made it clear he has no plans to race the Vuelta, race director Javier Guillén hasn’t given up hope.
“I would be very pleased if Contador can manage the Giro-Tour double,” Guillén told AS. “We already know that the Vuelta isn’t on his program, but he is a cyclist who takes on challenges, and it would be a good reason to convince him that he races the Vuelta in 2015.”
Guillén has reportedly confirmed that Katusha’s Joaquim Rodríguez, Movistar’s Alejandro Valverde and Nairo Quintana, as well as Giro d’Italia podium finisher Mikel Landa (Astana) will all be in attendance.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
RCS Sport supports UCI reform, opposing ASO’s stance
While ASO, the organiser of the Tour de France, has publicly criticised the UCI’s reforms for the sport — and threatened to remove its races from the WorldTour as a result — RCS Sport, the Giro d’Italia organiser has take a different tack.
“RCS Sport has never been opposed to the Reform Project and is ready to analyse and discuss all technical issues related to it with all relevant parties involved, first and foremost with the UCI,” RCS said in a statement.
VeloNews reports that RCS Sport isn’t the only organisation to support the UCI’s reform plans — organisers of the Tour de Suisse, InfrontRingier Sports and Entertainment, and Flanders Classics, the organisation responsible for the Ronde van Vlaanderen, Scheldeprijs, Dwars Door Vlaanderen, Gent-Wevelgem, and Brabantse Pijl, are apparently in aggrement with RCS and the UCI.
Click here to read more at VeloNews.
Sastre denies Riis tried to persuade him to dope
In the wake of the Anti-Doping Denmark (ADD) report suggesting that Bjarne Riis knew about doping at the CSC team, 2008 Tour de France winner Carlos Sastre — who rode for the team between 2002 and 2008 — has denied doping or being offered doping products.
“I was aware of what I did and what I do but I was not aware of what others were doing,” Sastre told Cyclingnews. “Honestly, I didn’t talk about anything like that with my teammates. Never. For me, my point of view about cycling was clear from the beginning and I’m happy with everything that I did and I’m happy with what I achieved.”
While Sastre was not explicitly implicated in the ADD report, it was suggested that Riis had tried to persuade Sastre to dope in 2008. Quoting an anonymous source the report reads suggests Riis told Sastre: “I guess you could still use small blood bags. The others are using it. We know for sure that Discovery are using it.”
Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.
UCI unveils a new logo
In a move designed to “help modernise the image of the organisation” the UCI has unveiled a new logo. It is just the second time in 115 years that the sport’s governing body has … updated its logo.
Developed with branding agency SomeOne, the new logo and the “rebrand”, the UCI hopes, will “strengthen the UCI’s relationships with its stakeholders, audiences and commercial partners.”
UCI President Brian Cookson said: “The refreshed brand identity symbolises the UCI’s commitment to modernise and innovate while staying true to the organisation’s heritage and tradition.
“With the aim of maximising brand exposure in line with the UCI’s development strategy, the new logo and the wider communications package will work more effectively in collaboration with events, partners and sponsors – helping to create a stronger, more recognisable UCI brand.”
Click here to read more at the UCI website.
Promo Tour de France: Grand Depart Utrecht
A cute promo for the Tour de France’s Utrecht Grand Depart.
Bora-Argon 18’s lineup for the Tour de France
A look at the team Bora-Argon 18 will field in its second Tour campaign.
What You Missed
And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed at CyclingTips:
- Thereabouts Reprise – Boulder to Moab
- First-look review: Specialized Venge ViAS
- Can the Specialized Venge VIAS really save 5 minutes over 40km?
- “Every day I think about Rio”: exclusive video with Lizzie Armitstead
- Daily News Digest: Wednesday June 24