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EuroTrash Thursday!

Doping has all the headlines again; the UCI, WADA & USADA can’t agree, Operaciуn Puerto hits the courts and more Armstrong revelations. The racing is on in Europe with the Etoile de Bessиges and the teams have decided their rosters for the next races. There is good news for Boonen and not so good news for Bak and Liz Hatch makes her comeback. It’s the weekend soon, so start the wind-down with a big coffee and EuroTrash Thursday.

TOP STORY: UCI Stop Independent Commission
On Monday the UCI announced that it is to disband the Independent Commission into the allegations in the USADA report on Lance Armstrong and the U.S. Postal team and the possible involvement of the UCI in a cover-up. The decision was taken because the World Anti-Doping Agency and the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency could not agree on a Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The one thing they did agree on was the independence of the commission and the lack of an amnesty program.

Now the way forward, from the UCI’s point of view, is a Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which was also suggested by the Independent Commission. The UCI are now going to concentrate on forming the TRC, but is unsure who will be paying for it, it is expected that the TRC will be launched later this year with a report to be published at a later date.

John Fahey, the WADA president has said: “WADA is dismayed by the press release issued by UCI yesterday, both in terms of its content and its deceit. The Independent Commission established by UCI was intended to review the allegations of complicity of UCI in the Lance Armstrong doping conspiracy as raised by USADA in its thorough decision. Instead UCI has again chosen to ignore its responsibility to the sport of cycling in completing such an inquiry and has determined to apparently deflect responsibility for the doping problem in its sport to others.” He showed is anger with the whole scenario adding: “WADA has not and will not consider partaking in any venture with UCI while this unilateral and arrogant attitude continues,” said Fahey. “There has been no suggestion made by WADA that it will pay for or contribute to any collaborative effort with UCI into investigating UCI’s long-standing problems with doping in its sport and its alleged complicity.”

USADA CEO; Travis Tygart has also waded in on the subject; “As we previously said, the UCI blindfolded and handcuffed its Independent Commission and now hopes the world will look the other way while the UCI attempts to insert itself into the investigation into the role it played in allowing the doping culture to flourish. We have always fully supported a well-structured truth and reconciliation process in order to clean up the sport and protect the rights of athletes but it is clear that the UCI cannot be allowed to script its own self-interested outcome in this effort.” So USADA is no fan of the UCI then.

The UCI is claiming that WADA are being inconsistent, President Pat McQuaid said on the subject: “I am very saddened that it has come to this, but I cannot allow the latest blatant and aggressive misrepresentations contained in WADA’s most recent press release to go unchallenged. Mr Fahey is saying one thing in public and quite the opposite in correspondence with me, as the attached communications show.” In his defence McQuaid commented: “The UCI reached out to WADA in a spirit of partnership. This is about doing what is right for cycling. This is not the time for showmanship, or political point scoring. The UCI is perplexed that WADA has now chosen to rebuff and attack the UCI’s willingness to establish a TRC, having just demanded that the UCI establish exactly such a commission.”

If the “Independent Commission” was independent how is it that the UCI can disband it and what will now happen over the accusations of collusion between the UCI and Armstrong that were reported in the USADA report, or if the UCI carried out anti-doping properly.

Whoever you want to believe it’s the sport that is suffering, where is it all going?

Inside the UCI:

Etoile de Bessиges 2013
At the end of Stage 1 Michael Van Stayen (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) took the sprint from Frйdйrique Robert (Lotto Belisol) and Sunday’s GP La Marseillaise winner; Justin Jules (La Pomme Marseille). The 154 kilometre stage from Bellegarde to Beaucaire had a lot of action with a break forming after around 30 kilometres, the break included: Pierre Rolland (Europcar), Niels Wytinck (An Post-Chainreaction), Koen Barbe (Crelan-Euphony), Arthur Vanoverberghe (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) and Jason Bakke (La Pomme Marseille), they could only manage a lead of 2 minutes and were pulled back in the last 20 kilometres for the bunch sprint. There are 4 more days with a split stage 5 on Sunday.

Etoile de Bessиges Stage 1 Result:
1. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 3:24:23
2. Frйdйrique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol
3. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
4. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
7. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8. Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano
9. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
10. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Etoile de Bessиges Overall After Stage 1:
1. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise in 3:24:13
2. Frйdйrique Robert (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:04
3. Justin Jules (Fra) La Pomme Marseille at 0:06
4. Kris Boeckmans (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:10
5. Benjamin Giraud (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
6. Bryan Coquard (Fra) Europcar
7. Yannick Martinez (Fra) La Pomme Marseille
8. Bert De Backer (Bel) Argos-Shimano
9. Stefan Van Dijk (Ned) Accent Jobs-Wanty
10. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM.

Bessиges Stage 1:

Sunday’s Grand Prix la Marseillaise, won by Justin Jules (La Pomme Marseille):

Operaciуn Puerto Trial
The start to the legal proceedings in Madrid on Monday were delayed mostly due to the unexpected attention of the World’s media, as Eufemiano Fuentes arrived at the court he was mobbed, one journalist was heard to ask “what footballers and tennis players did you dope?” the question was ignored.

On Tuesday the judge, Julia Patricia Santamarнa, laid down the guidelines for the questioning; evidence could be given by Tyler Hamilton and Jesus Manzano, but WADA and CONI would not be allowed access to Fuentes computer. Fuentes took to the stand to give evidence in his defence and painted himself as a healing doctor who tested athletes and if it was found that “an athlete had very viscous blood, we used to extract it to reduce the danger to them. And then we used to freeze it. If the athlete then came back with low haematocrit or with anaemia, we used to put the blood back into them for health reasons.” So what he is saying is that what he did was for the health of the athlete and not for blood-doping reasons.

Fuentes did confirm working with Roberto Heras, Santiago Botero and Unai Osa; he had given them training plans and/or medical assessments. He also admitted working with footballers, athletes and boxers. As to the drugs found in his house; they were for his families use, he said “there was only one box of EPO and that was for my daughter, who had cancer. He denied working with Jesus Manzano and refused to answer any of the questions from the WADA lawyer relating to Manzano’s confession from 2004. Fueltes did suggest that Manzano was taking cocaine.

Operaciуn Puerto on Spanish Antena 3 TV News:

Anti-Doping Controller was Doping Doctor for Armstrong
According to the Belgian newspaper De Morgan, the Belgian sports doctor Dag Van Elslande, who worked for several teams of the ex-cyclist Lance Armstrong was controller of anti-doping for the region of Flanders.

Cyclists; Floyd Landis, Levi Leipheimer and David Zabriskie linked him to doping in the online edition of the newspaper. The Flemish sports doctor, originally from Waregem, a municipality of the province of West Flanders, worked for Armstrong for years while he was with the U.S. Postal team, the Discovery Channel, Astana and RadioShack. Floyd Landis, former teammate of Armstrong in the U.S. Postal team that from 2002 to 2004, links Van Eslande “explicitly to blood transfusions”, in the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) report.

In the report, Landis recounts his travels in 2004 to Belgium, where he underwent a blood test, the newspaper also notes that USADA decided to leave the name of the person responsible for this process anonymous; labelling him “Other-5”. Leipheimer and Zabriskie also mentioned “Other-5” in their respective statements.

Landis told the Belgian newspaper that in court papers of the District Court of Columbia, USA, the name was not deleted. The text states that “in 2004 the people of the U.S. Postal team conducted two separate blood draws and two transfusions on Landis directed by Johan Bruyneel,” former sports director Armstrong during his Tour de France reign. “In May 2004, Landis flew to Belgium. Upon arrival was collected and led by Dr. Dag Van Elsland to a stranger’s apartment, where blood was drawn,” continues the document obtained by the newspaper. It also refers to “around June 2004, Landis flew back to Belgium for that blood drawn, again by Dr. Dag Van Elsland, following the same procedure as the first time.”

The documentation on this case, available online, is part of a parallel investigation that U.S. authorities made on the public financing of U.S. Postal, in which Landis also provided testimony.

As doping inspector for the region of Flanders, Van Elslande had to carry out checks to athletes and cyclists in numerous sporting events in Belgium. The medical coordinator of doping controls in the Flemish Community, Hans Cooman, told Belgian newspaper that Van Elslande began working as an inspector in the 90’s but when he started working for a cycling team he “ended the collaboration.”

An interview with The Associated Press; former professional cyclist Tyler Hamilton talks about his drug use while competing:

1 Year Ban for Frдnk Schleck
The Luxembourg Anti-Doping Agency has given Frдnk Schleck a one year ban for his positive for the diuretic Xipamide at the Tour de France, as he has not races since the test on the 14th of July 2012 he will be able to race after the 14th July this year. He will miss the Ardennes Classics and the Tour de France. The Agency could have given him a two year ban, but due to the small amount they reduced it to one.

The RadioShack team made this statement in a Press Release: The Management of Leopard S.A. has taken note of the verdict of the CDD (Conseil de Discipline contre le Dopage) in the case of Frдnk Schleck’s positive test for xipamide during the 2012 Tour de France.

Leopard S.A. is content that the anti-doping authorities have now reached a verdict, but will not make any further declarations about the case until it has studied the argumentation of the CDD more closely.

Frдnk Schleck will be searching for his bike for a year (well, 6 months):

Katusha CAS Hearing for 8th February
The Court of Arbitration for Sport will hear the Katusha teams’ appeal against the UCI decision to refuse them a WorldTour licence for 2013. If the appeal goes to Katusha then another team will have to leave the WorldTour, if it goes against them, then their star rider; World no.1 Joaquim Rodriguez will leave to go to join a so far un-named team. He told Bicicilismo: “The team I am most close to signing with hasn’t been mentioned by anyone. But if I were to go for the financial aspect of it, I should stay with Katusha.” The Catalan added “Others offers won’t be comparable. The team needs me now they aren’t in the WorldTour. But I am at an age now that I want to ride good races. This new contract will be a long-term one and probably the last one I will sign.”

Katusha training on Liege-Bastogne-Liege’s cote Saint Nicolas in 2011, will they be there in 2013?

OPQS to Tour of Qatar
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the riders that will participate in the Tour of Qatar, from Sunday, Feb. 3rd until Friday, Feb. 8th.

Tour of Qatar features 18 different teams, and will cover a very flat 732.5km in six stages. OPQS rider Tom Boonen, who is not able to participate due to recovering from an operation after a septic infection to his left elbow bursa, won the GC four times, and a total of 20 stages. Sprinter Mark Cavendish could perhaps continue the success of OPQS at Tour of Qatar, as he won four stages in his career.

Zdenek Stybar will take the place of Boonen for Tour of Qatar.

“This year Tom Boonen won’t be at the start,” Sports Director Wilfried Peeters said. “Tom was the specialist of the race. He won at least one stage every year, and was the record man of victories at Tour of Qatar. This year he can’t attend, so we will focus our attention on other riders, and of course Mark Cavendish. We are happy to have a rider like Mark with us, who has already won stages. He knows the parcour and the conditions we will find in Qatar. We will work for him, to give him the best situation for the sprint. But we also have other riders who can do well in Qatar. We have a strong team there. We will try to win at least one stage, and put at least one rider in the high part of the GC.”

“OPQS specializes in these kinds of races in the desert, with a lot of wind,” Peeters continued. “Mark can benefit from the experience of the team on this kind of parcour.”

Mark Cavendish (GB),
Iljo Keisse (BEL),
Zdenek Stybar (CZE),
Niki Terpstra (NED),
Matteo Trentin (ITA),
Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (BEL),
Stijn Vandenbergh (BEL),
Martin Velits (SVK).
Sports Director: Brian Holm (DEN) & Wilfried Peeters (BEL).

GreenEDGE Backstage Pass – Tour of Qatar 2012 Stage 4:

Tom Boonen Gets Better
Tornado Tom to Participate in Tour of Oman

Tom Boonen is improving after the operation at Herentals Clinic in Belgium last week, due to a septic infection to his left elbow bursa. The infection was the result of a mountain bike crash. Boonen took several days of required full rest before testing his condition on his bike.

The Belgian Champion, who started training again on Saturday, the 26th of January, will join the Team camp in Mallorca tomorrow for training.

“Fortunately things are going well,” said Boonen. “I went out for a short ride on Saturday, and on Sunday and yesterday I was able to put together three hours of training. Today I did two hours on the home trainer because of the bad weather here in Belgium. I feel every day a little bit better, which is a good sign. That’s why, together with the team, I decided to join some of my teammates busy with the training camp in Mallorca. I’m really happy to join the group — it’s also important for my morale.”

Tom Boonen will participate in the Tour of Oman.

“If everything will be ok as it is now, I will participate in the race,” Boonen said. “The Tour of Oman will be an important step to build up my condition prior to the Classics.”

Tour of Oman:

OPQS to Trofeo Mallorca
Press Release: Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team has announced the selection that will participate in Trofeo Mallorca, from Sunday, Feb. 3rd until Wednesday, February 6th. Trofeo Mallorca — not considered a multiple day stage race, which allows riders to not participate on certain days of the races — was a successful one for OPQS in 2012. OPQS has been training in Mallorca in preparation for similar results.

“We have been here since the 24th,” Sports Director Tom Steels said. “We will do a few good training rides before the race in the next days. We already did reconnaissance for one of the stages. In the next days we will do other stage parcour training. Mallorca is the first race in Europe, and the riders really want to race. Now it is time to ride. Last year we came here with Andy Fenn and he won two stages. This year we don’t have a sprinter, so we will have a good chance in the 3rd and 4th stages, the up and down days, with Meersman, Martin, Golas, and other riders who have the possibility to do well. We will try our best to get a good result for the team.”

Gianluca Brambilla (ITA),
Kevin De Weert (BEL),
Dries Devenyns (BEL),
Michal Golas (POL),
Tony Martin (GER),
Gianni Meersman (BEL),
Pieter Serry (BEL),
Kristof Vandewalle (BEL),
Julien Vermote (BEL),
Carlos Verona (ESP).
Sports Director: Jan Schaffrath (GER) & Tom Steels (BEL).

Trofeo Palma 2012 – Highlights:

Sky Team for Next Races
The Sky team have announced its riders for the upcoming races in February. Bradley Wiggins will start his season in Mallorca before moving on to the Tour of Oman. The riders from the Tour Down Under will go to the Tour of Qatar, then to Europe for Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Kuurne and Le Samyn.

Sky team squad for Mallorca Challenge:
Ian Boswell,
Josh Edmondson,
David Lopez,
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke,
Bradley Wiggins,
Sergio Henao,
Danny Pate,
Kanstantsin Siutsou,
Ben Swift,
Rigoberto Urбn,
Xabier Zandio.

Sky team for the Tour of Oman:
Bradley Wiggins,
Chris Froome,
Peter Kennaugh,
Joe Dombrowski,
Vasil Kiryienka,
Christian Knees,
Richie Porte.

Sky team for the Volta ao Algarve:
Ian Boswell,
Josh Edmondson, David Lopez,
Jonathan Tiernan-Locke,
Sergio Henao,
David Lуpez,
Danny Pate,
Kanstantsin Siutsou,
Rigoberto Urбn.

Sky team for the Tour of Qatar:
Edvald Boasson Hagen,
Bernhard Eisel,
Mathew Hayman,
Luke Rowe,
Ian Stannard,
Chris Sutton,
Geraint Thomas,
Gabriel Rasch.
Salvatore Puccio will also ride Het Nieuwsblad, and then Luke Rowe and Chris Sutton will replace Salvatore Puccio and Gabriel Rasch in Kuurne.

Chris Sutton wins Kuurne 2011:

BMC for the Tour of Qatar
Press Release: A 14-kilometer team time trial and several expected sprint finishes in often windy conditions provide the BMC Racing Team with a number of opportunities to gauge early-season fitness when the six-day Tour of Qatar begins Sunday.

Making The Selections
BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Jackson Stewart said two weeks of training camp in Spain in windy conditions helped simulate some of the same conditions of the often wind-swept race through the desert. “I think we have a very strong team for a number of scenarios, especially making the selections created by the wind,” Stewart said. “I will be looking for riders like Marcus Burghardt, Michael Schдr and Greg Van Avermaet to make those smaller selections when they appear.” Taylor Phinney, who will be starting the race for the third time, said it is a perfect one to begin his season. “Personally, I love the Tour of Qatar,” he said. “The hotel where we stay is the best of the year and the organization of the race is fantastic. I am especially looking forward to it this time around because for the first time in my career I am coming off of a problem-free winter. I am very strong and confident after last season and can’t wait to be in sunny and windy Qatar mixing it up with my BMC Racing Team boys and our competitors.”

Download the official BMC Racing Team race sheet (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/XI6Oxc.

BMC Racing Team Tour of Qatar Roster (Feb. 3-8):
Adam Blythe (GBR),
Brent Bookwalter (USA),
Marcus Burghardt (GER),
Yannick Eijssen (BEL),
Taylor Phinney (USA),
Michael Schдr (SUI),
Greg Van Avermaet (BEL),
Larry Warbasse (USA).
Sport Director: Jackson Stewart (USA).

GreenEDGE guys wrap the 2012 Tour of Qatar:

Lotto Belisol to Next Races
Press Release: Lotto Belisol has announced the selections for the Trofeo Mallorca, the Tour Mйditerranйen and the Ruta del Sol followed by the Clбsica de Almerнa.

Trofeo Mallorca (3rd to 6th of February, four successive one day races in which each time at least six riders have to start): Gaetan Bille, Sander Cordeel, Kenny Dehaes, Bart De Clercq, Vicente Reynes, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Joost Van Leijen, Dennis Vanendert, Jelle Vanendert.
Sports director: Bart Leysen.

Tour Mйditerranйen (6th to 10th of February): Brian Bulgac, Jens Debusschere, Gert Dockx, Andrй Greipel, Olivier Kaisen, Jьrgen Roelandts, Marcel Sieberg, Frederik Willems.
Sports directors: Herman Frison and Jean-Pierre Heynderickx.

Ruta del Sol (17th tot 20th of February) and the Clбsica de Almeria (24th of February): Bart De Clercq, Francis De Greef, Jurgen Van de Walle, Jurgen Van den Broeck, Joost Van Leijen, Dennis Vanendert (only Almeria), Jelle Vanendert, Frederik Willems.
Sports directors: Mario Aerts and Marc Wauters.

Ruta del Sol from 1990:

Lars Bak Undergoes Surgery of the Scaphoid
Press Release: In the final of the GP la Marseillaise on Sunday, Lars Bak crashed heavily, which resulted in an injury of his wrist. Yesterday evening he went to hospital together with sports director Marc Wauters and a fracture in the scaphoid* was identified. The scans were checked by doctor Toon Claes and after consultation with team doctor Jan Mathieu it was decided that a small operation will have to take place tomorrow morning by doctor De Schrijver in the hospital of Herentals.

Because it isn’t a displaced fracture, a small screw will be placed in the bone, that should make sure that the bones are pressed together. The alternative – six weeks in plaster – would take him a much longer recovery. After the surgery Lars has to leave the bike aside for one week, after that the training can cautiously be resumed. The Belgian opening weekend will probably come too soon, but the rest of the classics can be feasible.

*The scaphoid is one of the eight carpal bones (see sketch) that is often injured when you land hard on the ground with your stretched hand. Considering the difficult blood circulation in the joint there is more and more chosen for an operation to fixate the fracture and an early movement is made possible.

Jonas Van Genechten will replace Lars Bak in the Etoile de Bessиges which starts on Wednesday.

After a new rx and scan of the hand of Lars Bak the doctor in Belgium decided that surgery wasn’t necessary. His hand will be in plaster for the next 14 days and afterwards he’ll get a brace. Even with the plaster he can keep on training. He’ll probably start racing again in Paris-Nice.

Lars Bak in the Giro d’Italia 2012 – Stage 12 – Final kilometers:

Lotto Belisol: Review Tour Down Under & Tour de San Luis
Tour Down Under:
The Australian campaign of Lotto Belisol can’t be called anything but ‘successful’. The victory in the People’s Choice Classic (criterium) and three stages in the Tour Down Under showed that the team around sprinter Andrй Greipel has laid a good foundation to build further up to the classics.

Sports director Herman Frison: “We couldn’t do much more than this. Only our goal to place one of our riders in the top ten didn’t succeed; Adam Hansen finished sixteenth. But the way we rode here, showed Lotto Belisol and dominated the sprints, was impressive. A lot of people that were present here were enthusiastic about our performances. We didn’t lay the foundation of our successes in a few weeks time. We are working on this project for more than two years and since last year our train is on the rails. But each time we try to do better, refine every detail, we repeat a lot on training.”

“Apart from the sprint successes we have tried to get someone in the top ten. Tim Wellens had one off-day, but he’s only 21 years old. In the second stage he became fifth, but one day later – in a temperature of 45°C – he had to pass. Adam Hansen also had a top ten within his reach, and in the fifth stage Tim has sacrificed his chances for the team, but the final climb of Old Willunga Hill was a bit too steep for Adam to be able to claim a place in the top ten.”

“These three weeks in Australia are each time something special. It’ s the first WorldTour race of the season, the people here are on leave, it’s nice weather to race, the atmosphere is different from Europe. Some teams come to Australia only a few days before the start, but I choose to come as early as possible. That way there can be trained properly, we can adjust ourselves to the circumstances and that makes it an ideal teambuilding. The atmosphere is a bit looser than in Europe; we work when work has to be done, in the race we do our job for 100 percent, but apart from that it is pretty relaxed. It’s a matter of give and take, and of professionalism.”

“Each rider has his personal share in this success. But, don’t let us blow up this result. This was only the beginning, and that was successful; today we can definitely enjoy this, but from tomorrow on the focus is again on the next races, because the Belgian opening weekend will be there soon. Last year it went okay for a while here, but we lost Jьrgen Roelandts, a bit later Lars Bak crashed and then the result in Australia was soon forgotten.”

Santos Tour Down Under 2013 – People’s Choice Classic highlights won by Andrй Greipel:

Tour de San Luis:
Whilst on the one side of the world Greipel and his mates began the competition, with a time difference of 13,5 hours Van den Broeck and co were riding their first kilometers in Argentina. With a fifth (VDB) and ninth (De Clercq) place in the GC that stage race, with big names at the start, can also be called successful.

Sports director Mario Aerts: “Generally I find we rode well, certainly as a team. I’d had loved to go home with a stage win, but the fact that a lot of strong riders were present and the good performances of the South-Americans didn’t make it easy. And we didn’t have a sprinter with us here (laughs). In each of the flat stages someone of us finished in the top ten.”

“It would have been very nice to win a stage here with Jurgen, he’s riding well but of course we aren’t in July yet. With also Bart De Clercq in the top ten I am satisfied. Bart could maintain himself well, he could assist Jurgen in different stages and showed he’s still evolving. Without the bad luck in the fifth stage – puncture and crash – there might have been more possible. Also Frederik Willems did a lot of useful work for the team. In the last stage Kenny Dehaes rode in the breakaway the whole day. Joost Van Leijen had to give up.”

“I can say that this Tour de San Luis was appreciated by everyone. I have the impression that all the riders want to come back. You stay in the same hotel for ten days and the climate is good to race, there are three stages, then a time trial which is a halve rest day for most and then three more stages. With three flat stages and three tough stages everyone gets what he wants, although I find it more a race for climbers.”
Thanks to the Lotto Belisol team for the review.

Tour de San Luis 2013, How Hot Does it Get in Argentina?

Inside the Line with Team Sky
Press Release: At Team Sky we pride ourselves on having one of – if not the best – social media presences in the sport and are looking to go from strength to strength in 2013.

As well as growing our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest pages, one of our key goals for this season is creating engaging, entertaining and high-quality content for our official YouTube channel which can be found at: www.youtube.com/TeamSkyOfficial.

As such, we provided Digital Manager Nick Howes with five Contour +2 cameras which he rigged up to capture Team Sky’s first post-Tour Down Under training ride on Monday 28 January.

Cameras were fitted to the front and rear of the team car, rider Luke Rowe’s handlebars, carer Andy Naylor’s helmet, as well as Nick shooting directly from the passenger seat.

The three-hour ride took the team out of Adelaide, up into the hills around Blackwood and Belair, before dropping down for a stunning seafront finish near Glenelg. Along the way, the riders included a 15-minute threshold effort as they look to hone their condition before flying out to the Tour of Qatar on Thursday 31 January.

Team Sky Digital Manager Nick Howes said: “It’s the first time we’ve used the Contour cameras and we’ve been really happy with the results. We wanted to put the fans right in the thick of the action, and hopefully we’ve achieved that.

“We’ve got plenty more content ideas planned for the weeks and months to come and it’s going to be a really exciting process watching our video library grow.”

Subscribe to the Team Sky YouTube channel at: www.youtube.com/TeamSkyOfficial.

New MTN-Qhubeka Team Website
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung has unveiled its new website. The site is dynamic and features rider profile videos, rider specific race calendars, photos and a blog update. The website reinforces the professionalism the team displays as it continues to cement a place for African cycling on the world stage. Take a look: www.teammtnqhubeka.com.

Come Ride with Liz Hatch
Liz Hatch is making her cycling comeback with the Belgium based Cycleliveplus-Zannata Team (https://www.cycleliveplus-zannata.be), so Cyclefilm decided to release the 2009 DVD production “Liz Hatch – Come Ride with Me” as a “free-view” on YouTube.

DVDs & digital downloads available from the online shop and digital store:

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