Siutsou positive; De Marchi solos to Vuelta win: Daily News Digest

by CyclingTips

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

The final grand tour of the year is well underway and the world championships are quickly approaching, but the sport of cycling has once again fallen under a dark cloud. Kanstantsin Siutsou produced a positive test and for EPO, the UCI announced today.

Story of the day: Siutsou tests positive for EPO

Bahrain-Merida pro rider Kanstantsin Siutsou has been handed a provisional suspension by the UCI after a positive A sample in a doping control that was taken out-of-competition. The control occurred on July 31.

The UCI statement said that the control was “planned and carried out by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF).” This plus the fact that Siutsou was not racing on the day in question suggests that it was a targeted control. It remains to be seen if such a targeting of the rider was due to information given by others, by anomalies in his biological passport, or other factors.

“This news is terribly disappointing,” stated Bahrain-Merida general manager Brent Copeland. “We are very severe with any wrongdoing with regards to our internal health code. This behaviour is not accepted by our team and further procedures will be taken against the rider.”

Kanstantsin Siutsou (Bahrain-Merida) took the overall title at the Tour of Croatia in April. Photo: Cor Vos

Siutosou, 36, has the right to request his B sample be tested, but regardless he has ridden his last race with his current team. “Siutsou’s contract expires on December 31st 2018 and Bahrain-Merida Pro Cycling Team had notified the rider during the month of June that his contract would not be renewed,” the team’s statement also said.

Click through to read more on Siutsou’s positive test.

Tweet of the day

With multiple North American continental and pro continental teams folding or searching for last minute sponsors, American cyclocross legend Tim Johnson offered his thoughts on what young cyclists should do — get an education and race as well.

Race Radio

De Marchi prevails solo on incredibly hard day in Spain

Alessandro De Marchi (BMC Racing) showed once again on Wednesday that he loves the Vuelta a Espana. He emphatically soloed to the stage victory on stage 11, attacking out of the day’s breakaway on the final climb. The victory is only the fourth of his nearly 10-year career, but three of his wins have come at La Vuelta.

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) was aggressive throughout the stage, the longest of this year’s Vuelta at 207 kilometres. He made it into the day’s breakaway and at one point was close to taking the red leader’s jersey. However, the Frenchman wasted maybe a bit too much energy throughout the stage as he suffered to follow the leaders in the end. He finished only 12 seconds ahead of the other GC favourites.

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) continues to lead the general classification by one second over Alejandro Valverde (Movistar). Nairo Quintana (Movistar), who tried an attack in the finale, sits third overall at 14 seconds.

Greipel leaving Lotto-Soudal on a high, wins in Britain

Set to leave Lotto-Soudal at the end of the year and join the French squad Fortuneo-Samsic, Andre Greipel is showing he still has a lot left in the tank. The 36-year-old claimed the fourth stage of the Tour Britain on Wednesday, his second win of the race. It is also his eighth win of the 2018 season, which is coincidentally how many years he has raced for the Lotto-Soudal program.

Sacha Modolo (EF Education First-Drapac) was second and race leader Patrick Bevin rounded out the stage podium.

Moscon claims he did nothing wrong in punching incident at the Tour

Gianni Moscon, who was kicked out of the Tour de France in July for throwing a punch at Eli Gesbert (Groupama-FDJ), has reiterated he did nothing wrong in an interview with Tuttosport. The UCI suspended the Italian for five weeks for the incident and the suspension is set to end on September 12.

Moscon has a history of behavioural problems in the peloton and despite his questionable character, Team Sky have kept him on the squad.

“I did not have much to think about [the incident] because I did not do anything,” Moscon said. “If I had really tried to throw a punch [at Gesbert] then why in the images he does not even retract to avoid this phantom blow?”

Moscon went on to say the team has always been on his side and did not fine him for the incident. The 24-year-old has been training near the Stelvio in preparation for the world road championships. He is set to race the Coppa Agostoni on September 15 and then the Bernocchi Cup before the world championships.

McNulty extends with Rally, declines WorldTour offers

American Brandon McNulty, who recently finished second on a stage of the Tour de l’Avenir after celebrating prematurely, has re-signed with the Pro Continental Rally Cycling squad for the 2019 season. He opted to stay at the Pro Continental level for another year, despite having offers from WorldTour teams.

“Rally Cycling offers me a low-pressure environment to continue to grow and develop and lay the foundations of a lengthy career in the sport,” said McNulty. “It’s tough when you have some of the biggest teams offering you a spot, but for me, I think it’s best to have another year to develop and improve. After all, I’m still only 20-years-old, so there’s no rush to be at the highest level of the sport.”

The former junior world time trial champion turned heads earlier in the year at the Dubai Tour when he nearly held off the peloton on the stage to Hatta Dam, getting caught a mere 50 metres from the line. He also finished fourth on stage six of the Amgen Tour of California to South Lake Tahoe and ended the race seventh overall.

McNulty will race the pair of one-day WorldTour races in Canada this weekend before setting his sights on the world road championships in Innsbruck, Austria. He finished second in the under-23 individual time trial at last year’s world championships and won the junior world time trial title in 2016.

Petilli in stable condition after getting knocked unconscious from Vuelta crash

Simone Petili (UAE Team Emirates) only returned to racing in April after a horrific crash at Il Lombardia. He was knocked unconscious on Tuesday after a crash at La Vuelta. Photo: Cor Vos

Simone Petilli (UAE Team Emirates) is in “good and stable condition” according to a team release after he was knocked unconscious when he crashed on stage 10 at the Vuelta a España with 41 kilometres to go. The team also said CAT scans were negative, but the Italian did suffer a concussion along with a few broken teeth.

This isn’t the first horrible crash for Petilli, as he was hospitalized last fall after crashing out of Il Lombardia. He broke his shoulder and collarbone in the Il Lombardia crash, as well as suffered a fractured neck and vertebra. He did not return to racing until April at the Tour of the Alps.

Transfer News

Nicolas Roche and Robert Power are headed to Team Sunweb next season, the Dutch squad announced. Roche has signed a one-year contract, while Power will join the team on a two-year deal.

Roche and Power are at very different points in their respective careers. Both are climber-type general classification riders, but Roche, 34, is nearing the end of his time in the sport and Power, 23, is just starting to find his rhythm.

20-year-old Luis Villalobos will make his WorldTour debut in 2019 with EF Education First-Drapac. He recently captured the Best Young Rider classification and finished eighth overall at the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah.

In an odd contract agreement, the Mexican rider will continue to race for the Aevolo under-23 development team and not join the WorldTour squad until late in the year.

“Luis will continue his development with Aevolo for the first half of 2019. Then, if all goes well, he will join us on the WorldTour for the second half of 2019,” EF Education First-Drapac said in a statement.

Tech News

Shimano PD-ES600, an updated SPD for the road

Pitched as a road touring pedal, the ES600 is Shimano’s latest SPD pedal with a road twist. The new single-sided SPD pedal sits at an Ultegra level, but at AU$129, it’s priced closer to a 105 product. The ES600 looks to be a replacement for the A600 SPD road pedal, a product James Huang recently reviewed. At just 279 for the pair, the ES600 is said to be Shimano’s lightest pedal to date. It features a light action spring for easy clipping in and release.

Moving Pictures

Vuelta a Espana stage 11 highlights

The Beauty of Cycling

Alessandro de Marchi took the stage win at La Vuelta and broke down after crossing the line. The Italian’s raw emotion brought goosebumps to some of us here at CyclingTips, as his tears showed the true spirit of the sport of cycling.

Also, check out the fantastic gallery of the 2018 Antwerp Port Epic, which is where today’s feature image comes from.

Throughout the Vuelta, we’re giving away a Flare RT Rear Light for every stage. Sign up here and to find out more about Bontrager’s industry-leading commitment to visibility, visit here.

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