Hinault badgers Froome; Moscon case dropped: Daily News Digest

Bernard Hinault is not afraid to speak his mind. This time, he's calling on the Tour de France peloton to strike in protest of Chris Froome's participation.

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Welcome to your Daily News Digest. Here’s what’s happening today:

Bernard Hinault is not afraid to speak his mind. This time, he’s calling on the Tour de France peloton to strike in protest of Chris Froome’s participation. Yes, this is the same Hinault pictured taking a swing at protesters on the Paris-Nice route in ’84. Plus, Gianni Moscon was accused of intentionally crashing Sebastien Reichenbach, but that case has been dropped due to a lack of evidence, and Aussie legends pay tribute to coach and manager Nino Solari.

Story of the day: Hinault calls for Tour peloton to strike in protest of Froome’s participation

Five-time Tour de France winner Bernard Hinault repeated his calls that Chris Froome should not be at the Tour de France, saying that the peloton should refuse to ride if the Briton lines out at the start.

“For me, Christopher Froome must not be at the start of the Tour. Very simply because he has tested positive; for me it is not an abnormal control!” he told Ouest France.

“We condemned Contador for the same thing, he took a suspension, and he [Froome] would have nothing? At some point, it is necessary to stop … As always, people do not know how to make the decision when they have to be made. The people from the UCI should have said, ‘you have been caught, so you stay home.'”

Froome provided a urine sample at last year’s Vuelta a España which contained twice the permitted maximum level of Salbutamol. Because it is a controlled substance, he is under the rules allowed to keep racing until disciplinary proceedings have concluded. However, Hinault doesn’t agree, and wants the riders to act.

“The peloton has to dismount and go on strike saying, ‘if he is at the start, we do not leave.’ The peloton is too nice. We have condemned others, everyone was in agreement, and he, we will not condemn him because they say he has an abnormal control? No, it’s not [just] an abnormal control. Ventolin, it is perhaps not a huge thing, it is perhaps not that which made him win the Vuelta a Espana, we do not know. But [at this dose], it is forbidden. So that’s it. The rules are the same for everyone.”

Both the UCI and the organisers of the Tour de France previously said that the case needed to be concluded before the start of the race. However as the Tour draws closer and closer, their tone has changed and they appear increasingly resigned to there being no resolution prior to the beginning of the race. UCI president David Lappartient has said that the UCI is wading through 1,500 pages of scientific reports.

What do you think?

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Vuelta organiser wants Froome case resolved before by Vuelta start

Vuelta a Espana organiser Javier Guillen has said it “is absolutely necessary for the 2018 Vuelta is to start out knowing who has won the Vuelta of 2017,” according to Spanish daily Marca.

“I don’t know what we would do, but I do know that the Vuelta must know who won in 2017 before the 2018 edition begins,” Guillen said, referring to the prospect of Froome starting the Vuelta.

Quickstep-Floors wins Adriatica-Ionia TTT
Quickstep took a win in the opening TTT in Italy by 23 seconds over UAE Team Emirates, putting Elia Viviani into the first leader’s jersey of the race.

Adriatica-Ionia is in its inaugural year and is being used by Mark Cavendish as a tune-up for the Tour de France.

UCI drops case against Gianni Moscon

Eight and a half months after Gianni Moscon was accused of deliberately causing Groupama-FDJ rider Sébastien Reichenbach to crash in a race in Italy, a disciplinary case taken against Moscon by the UCI has been dropped due to lack of evidence.

Moscon’s Sky team has issued a statement claiming that he has been absolved. However CyclingTips understands that this is overstating the case, and that the UCI’s Disciplinary Commission was not able to determine innocence in the incident.

Click through to read more at CyclingTips.

Bardet’s backing named for Tour de France

AG2R La Mondiale has announced the team that will support current Great French Hope, Romain Bardet, at this year’s Tour.

Now 27 years of age, Bardet is coming into his prime. This year he won the Ardèche Classic, took second in the Strade Bianche, was third in the Critérium Dauphiné and also third in Liège-Bastogne-Liège. His form has been humming along nicely and he’ll aim to step things up in time for his big date in July.

“He is our leader who shines at the biggest races in the world, and will have real ambitions,” said Ag2r La Mondiale manager Vincent Lavenu. “He works hard and has reached a new level. The competition will be tough, but we can consider to be among the best with him.”

The team’s full lineup for the Tour was announced on Tuesday. It includes Paris-Roubaix runner-up Silvan Dillier, former Tour stage winner and yellow jersey wearer Tony Gallopin, GP La Marseillaise winner Alexandre Geniez, Volta a Catalunya podium finisher Pierre Latour, Alex Domont and Oliver Naesen, all backing Bardet.

Strade Bianche 2018

Evans and O’Grady amongst those paying tribute to Nino Solari

Former Tour de France champion Cadel Evans and past Paris-Roubaix winner Stuart O’Grady are amongst those who have paid tribute to Australian cycling mentor and coach Nino Solari. The Italian moved to Adelaide in 1955, was the state track champion over 100 miles five years later, and then worked in coaching and administration with Australian and Italian international cycling teams.

He passed away on Monday aged 80. “Very sorry to hear of Nino’s passing,” wrote O’Grady on the Facebook page of Solari’s son David. “All our thoughts are with the Solari family. He was my first team manager when we went to Italy in 1990. He taught us all many important things not only about cycling but about respect and hard work.

“He was such a great guy and my favourite pizza maker in the world. I used to ride to Victor Harbor because I knew he would welcome me like a family member and feed with me with enough carbs to get back home. He will be very sadly missed.”

David Solari said that the tributes have showed the role his father played. “He had fantastic relationships with super people in cycling like Charlie Walsh who told me “if it wasn’t for your dad the AIS wouldn’t be what it is today.”

The English advantage

Oops. Seems someone forgot to update the English Tour de France rulebook.


Moving pictures

Dimension Data put together this nifty flythrough of the Tour de France route:

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