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EuroTrash Thursday!

So we hit the last few days of the Giro d’Italia, does Vincenzo Nibali have the race in the bag? There is still some hard climbing to do before we know. Catch up with all the Giro news, plus the Tour of Belgium and the Bayern-Rundfahrt with reports, results, video and rider quotes. A touchy subject is out TOP STORY and there is a load of other news to get through in today’s EuroTrash Thursday. Enjoy…

TOP STORY: A Right Pain in the Arse!
In Monday’s EuroTrash I touched on the subject of weather and how things have changed over the years, the weather is the same, but the equipment and the riders attitude has changed. One thing that hasn’t changed came to light with the abandonment of the Giro d’Italia by Taylor Phinney due to saddle sores, now riders have always suffered from this and that’s something that will possibly never change. Maybe it’s a subject that isn’t talked about that much, but there have been many riders who have thrown in the towel during a big stage race due to the delicate area they sit on. Stories of riders putting raw steak in their shorts or cutting holes in their saddle to accommodate an egg size sore are rife.

The Case in particular that I’m thinking of is that of Sean Kelly in the 1987 Vuelta a España. Kelly was second in the 6.6 kilometre prologue TT in Benidorm, but he won stage 2 and was then in the overall lead, he lost it over the next few stages, but he was not too far off the pace. On stage 11, finishing on the horrendous climb to the Lagos de Covadonga he was third to the Colombian climbing ace; Luis Herrera and the Colombian took over the overall, but the Irishman was poised to pounce in the final stages. In the 24 kilometre time trial stage 18 round Valladolid; Kelly was second behind Jesús Blanco Villar and knocked Herrera off the top step of the overall by 42 seconds with only four fairly flat stage to go. What no one knew was that Kelly had a secret, he had been suffering with a saddle sore, and it was so bad he had it operated on, but the wound became inflamed. The next day to Avila was too much and after only 14 kilometres he had to call it a day. The excruciating pain in the saddle area had broken the tough Irishman and brought him to tears. His big chance of winning a Grand Tour had been taken away from him due to a sore. He did come back to Spain and La Vuelta the next year to win two stages and the overall.

Taylor Phinney is only young, but he joins a long list of sore arsed racing cyclists.

We generally don’t recommend doing anything that Danilo Di Luca does but this method of no saddle at all to complete the 5th stage in the 2011 Giro is one way around saddle sores…..

Giro d’Italia 2013
It might have been Mark Cavendish’s 28th birthday, but there were no presents for the Manxman on today’s Stage 16. On paper the stage looked like it could be for a long break or for attacks on the last climb, in the end it was both. Danny Pate (Sky), Wilco Kelderman (Blanco), Eros Capecchi & Jose Herrada (Movistar), Grega Bole (Vacansoleil-DCM), Tobias Ludvigsson (Argos-Shimano), Christian Meier & Pieter Weening (Orica-GreenEdge), Stefano Pirazzi & Edoardo Zardini (Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox), Matteo Rabottini & Danilo Di Luca (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia), Jackson Rodriguez & Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli), Jose Serpa (Lampre-Merida), Rory Sutherland (Saxo-Tinkoff), Gorka Verdugo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp), Francis De Greef (Lotto Belisol), Darwin Atapuma & Robinson Chalapud (Colombia) and Damiano Caruso (Cannondale) made up the long break.

The problem was Caruso, he was only at 9:57 in 18th place and also Katusha and RadioShack Leopard had missed the break, so the chase was on behind in the bunch and they were only allowed a maximum lead of 5 minutes. With 50 kilometres to go they only had around 3 minutes lead and started to attack each other. Then when they hit the climb; it was every man for himself, but in the end the escape was caught by a small Maglia Rosa group. Carlos Betancur (Ag2r-La Mondiale) attacked before the top and was joined by Samuel Sanchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi), this prompted Michele Scarponi (Lampre-Merida) into action, he was passed by the Pink jersey of Vincenzo Nibali (Astana), but Scarponi and Cadel Evans (BMC) got back with Nibali and then race was altogether again with 10 K’s to go, apart from Mauro Santambrogio (Vini Fantini-Selle Italia) who lost a lot of time dropping to 6th overall at 4:57.

Przemyslaw Niemiec (Lampre-Merida), Tanel Kangert (Astana) and Beñat Intxausti (Movistar) broke clear coming into the last 3 kilometres and after some foxing the Spaniard Intxausti came out on top for Movistar’s third Giro stage win of this year. All the top men came home safely in the front group except Santambrogio.

During the stage Taylor Phinney had to abandon the Giro due to saddle sores, Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), Nathan Haas (Garmin-Sharp), Dmitry Kozontchuk (Katusha), Anthony Roux (FDJ) and Maarten Wynants (Blanco) also gave up the race.

Beñat Intxausti: “Today I can really say I enjoyed it; I didn’t believe myself when I took pink the other day. It seemed like the least appropriate day for me, because the break had huge chances to make it to the finish, and that makes it even more beautiful and special. There was a big selection into the final climb and the main favourites looked to each other into the downhill – that’s where I took advantage to escape. I knew Kangert was the most dangerous rider because he was always following our wheels. I kept my mind cold in the final kilometre and left all responsibility to Niemiec, so the Astana rider could get on his wheel. I saw them glancing for a bit with 250m to go and didn’t wait, jumped from the left side… and it all went well.

“As soon as I crossed the line, I screamed of fury and emotion… I really enjoyed it. The win was obviously dedicated to Xavi and my grandpa, but also lots of other people: all the team, because three quarters of this victory and theirs; my family, my friends, the people that is always there supporting me. We’re making an amazing Giro. We always said that the key of this group is the bond between all of us, the atmosphere into it. If you look at the roster’s depth, with riders able to shine in all terrains and how well we understand each other into the race, results are bound to come. Stages after a rest day are usually strange, and you could see how the likes of Santambrogio went through a bad day and lost time.

“As I stated before, making it to the front of the GC will be a matter of survival. I have personally felt well all day and that makes me even more confident for the lots of big mountains still to come. I hope to stay in my current place or improve it to close an outstanding Giro for me and the squad. After all, the goal here was raising my arms in victory, and I got it today. Last year, a flu avoided me finishing within the best ten, and I hope that health stays well for me to end up as high as possible.”

Evans said the finish was equally as hard as the start. “It was a long and hard day with a very hard start, quite hard in the middle and a quite hard final,” he said. “Sometimes after the rest day, it’s hard to judge how your body will react immediately,” he said. “I think a few people had difficulty in the start. Fortunately, my teammates Daniel Oss and Danilo Wyss were there to make up for my shortcomings in the start. Then in the final, I was OK to take care of all the challenges and attacks.” After his eighth top 10 finish of the three-week race, Evans remains 1:26 off the lead. BMC Racing Team’s Steve Morabito crashed early in the race. “I went to grab something from my pocket and my rain jacket went into my back wheel,” Morabito said. “I was thinking I had broken my wrist.” Morabito did finish the stage and was not diagnosed with any breakage, Dr. Giovanni Ruffini said. Teammate Taylor Phinney was unable to finish during the stage. “Taylor had a little fever and had started on some antibiotic therapies,” Dr. Ruffini said. “But it grew a little and now we have bacteria infection. So we will continue that treatment for a week and I expect a full recovery.”

“Rest day did not stop the improvement of good feelings that I noticed on Col du Galibier,” Lampre-Merida’s Michele Scarponi explained. “So, today I tried to attack to test the replies by the opponents, showing I’m still willing to battle for my targets. I did not know Santambrogio was behind on the climb, but of course I’m happy Niemiec and me could improve our position in the overall classification. Nibali still rules, I focus my attention of podium as goal. The team is strong and Niemiec and me are a very competitive duo.”

3rd on the stage Niemiec: “I knew Intxausti was the faster in a sprint, so I tried to anticipate him, but it was not enough. Despite I missed a good chance to obtain an outstanding victory, I’m satisfied, also because I’m 6th in the overall classification. I know I’ll need to fight hard in the next stages to retain this position, I’m ready to do it.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Rafal Majka finished the stage with the other favourites in 8th position: “Our goal today was to be represented in that big break we had a feeling would go and perhaps even last to the finish line. At the same time, we were to focus on keeping Rafa out of trouble and make sure he was in a good position on the final climb before entering the finish town and I’m happy to see the plan perfectly executed. Actually, Rafa said during the stage that he was feeling weak. If he can ride the way he did on a bad day, I’m looking forward to what he can achieve on a good day. Tomorrow’ stage is a course for the sprinters who have a rare chance of being put into play and if a big break of 8 riders or more goes away, we have to be there,” said Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Dan Frost after the stage.

Lotto Belisol’s Francis De Greef has climbed two places in GC and is now 21st: “It was a hectic start, after a long battle I could take off. The understanding in the front group wasn’t great; according to me the group was too big. Some wanted to spare themselves and others didn’t want to go through with those riders, so there wasn’t any cooperation. When Katusha and RadioShack started to control the chase they rode à bloc and we didn’t stand a chance. At sixty kilometers from the end there were already some attacks and then the cooperation was completely over. You can’t react on all attacks and eventually four riders were gone, we were caught about five kilometers from the last climb.”

“Then I had to recover for a moment, after 180 kilometers in the escape. Afterwards I could control the damage. It was a gamble to join the escape, but it’s possible you stay away and you take five minutes. If I hadn’t joined it I would have been less tired in the final and I would have finished two minutes earlier. But I made the best out of it. We have to wait what will happen with the mountain stages; depending on the weather the course might be changed. I hope not, I prefer a tough race with climbing from start to finish.”

Blanco rider; Robert Gesink lost time in the finale due to a mechanical problem and was judged to be 9 seconds behind the race leaders and dropped out of the top 10. The team appealed the decision which was upheld by the race jury and he moved back into 10th place overall above Domenico Pozzovivo (Ag2r-La Mondiale).

Giro d’Italia Stage 16 Result:
1. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar in 5:52:48
2. Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana
3. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida
4. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at 0:14
5. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC
6. Franco Pellizotti (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
7. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff
9. José Herrada Lopez (Spa) Movistar
10. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 16:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 67:55:36
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 1:26
3. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 2:46
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 3:53
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 4:13
6. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 4:57
7. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 5:15
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5:20
9. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 5:47
10. Robert Gesink (Ned) Blanco at 7:24
11. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 7:34.

Stage 16:

Another Giro stage win for Movistar and Giovanni Visconti in Stage 17. The Italian riding for the Spanish team made his move on the last climb of the day with 16 kilometres to go and soloed to the finish in Vicenza after 214 kilometres.

Four riders, Maxim Belkov (Katusha), Miguel Rubiano (Androni Giocattoli),Gert Dockx (Lotto Beilsol), and Luke Durbridge (Orica-GreenEdge) formed the long-lasting breakaway while Omega Pharma – Quick-Step took control of the pace in the chasing field where the battle for the right position was intensified towards the foot of the 5 kilometre long climb of Crosara (Cat 4). Argos-Shimano, Movistar and Cannondale all threw their weight behind the chase with the thought of a bunch sprint.

Entering the slope, Vini Fantini-Selle Italia launched an attack with Danilo di Luca as the main character while compatriot, Michele Scarponi let his Lampre-Merida squad chase him down.

Halfway up the climb, Di Luca bridged the gap to the final escapee, Miguel Rubiano, but the duo was joined and passed by Giavanni Visconti (Movistar) who rocketed away and over the top of the climb soloing his way down the climb to enter the final ten flat kilometres to the finish line. Behind him the chase was on, but Mark Cavendish could not hold the line.

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Evgeny Petrov and Rafal Majka launched several attacks from the chase group behind Visconti but the Movistar rider maintained the gap and took another great stage win. Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Sharp) got the better of Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) for second and the Pink jersey was safe on the shoulders of Vincenzo Nibali for another day.

Giovanni Visconti: “This is the proof that mental is everything. The support of the team, the strength of my mind, the willingness to show I was back to the level I once had… To be honest, the Galibier resurrected me. It served to find myself again, to find confidence I thought I had lost for all and be able to play my chances into the race. If someone had told me some days before I would be attacking on such a climb, I wouldn’t have believed them, but as I said, mental power changes everything. It was already a dream to win a stage in the Giro and I took two of them in just three days.

We knew it was a good stage for Ventoso or myself, but I found good legs into the climb and my heart screamed for giving it a shot. I saw Lampre not pushing with everything they had so Pozzato could stay into the bunch and I saw a chance for me. I waited until the last two kilometres, because I knew that the climb was less steep from that point, and went for Rubiano and Di Luca. If it went wrong, I still had time to help Fran into the ‘volata.’ But I was doing really, really strong into the flat, and with 5k remaining, I felt the win was mine. My face when crossing the finish line reflected how I feel. Today’s victory is dedicated to my cousin, Ciro, who was at the finish today and is going through a hard time at the moment. Also to my family and this team, a great group with whom I’m having a great Giro, in and out of the races.”

Team Saxo-Tinkoff DS, Dan Frost was happy about the stage outcome: “Our one and only focus today was Rafal Majka and bringing him safely past the climb in the finale and to the finish line in the first group and everything went smoothly. We were confident that the sprinter teams were eager to finally get a stage win so if we were going to join a break, it would have to be a big one. Tomorrow’s stage is a mountain time trial over 20.6 kilometre and we’re hoping that Rafa will be able to gain a spot in the GC but we’ll be happy to stay among the top 8 riders,” said the Danish sports director.

Giro d’Italia Stage 17 Result:
1. Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar in 5:15:34
2. Ramunas Navardauskas (Ltu) Garmin-Sharp at 0:19
3. Luka Mezgec (Slo) Argos-Shimano
4. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Lampre-Merida
5. Danilo Hondo (Ger) RadioShack Leopard
6. Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Sky
7. Sacha Modolo (Ita) Bardiani Valvole-CSF Inox
8. Fabio Felline (Ita) Androni Giocattoli
9. Francisco José Ventoso Alberdi (Spa) Movistar
10. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC.

Giro d’Italia Overall After Stage 17:
1. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana in 73:11:29
2. Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC at 1:26
3. Rigoberto Uran Uran (Col) Sky at 2:46
4. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 3:53
5. Przemyslaw Niemiec (Pol) Lampre-Merida at 4:13
6. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) Vini Fantini-Selle Italia at 4:57
7. Carlos Alberto Betancur Gomez (Col) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 5:15
8. Rafal Majka (Pol) Saxo-Tinkoff at 5:20
9. Beñat Intxausti Elorriaga (Spa) Movistar at 5:47
10. Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale at 7:24.

Stage 17:

Tour of Belgium/Ronde van België 2013
The Tour of Belgium started on Wednesday with a flat stage between Lochristi and Knokke-Heist. A small detour was made in the Netherlands. Soon four Belgian riders set up a breakaway: Olivier Chevalier, Laurens De Vreese, Dieter Uyttersprot and Alphonse Vermote. They got a lead of more than four minutes. In the peloton Lotto Belisol took command, in function of leader André Greipel. The team kept the gap under constant control. Chevalier and De Vreese stayed in front the longest, till 26 kilometers before the finish.

Jürgen Roelandts accelerated 14 kilometers from the end, just before the Synergie Supersprint. He picked up 24 points and three seconds, a good cause with the aim of a good classification. Jos Van Emden and Thijs Al took off in the final kilometers, but they couldn’t stay away. With two kilometers to go the Lotto Belisol train moved up to the front and led André Greipel to the victory. He was stronger than Belgian champion Tom Boonen and Ramon Sinkeldam. On Thursday Greipel will start in the leader’s jersey. Roelandts is now fourth in the GC at seven seconds.

André Greipel: “It was a victory from the text book. The final was hectic with many turns, but we were well organized and could stay together. The guys perfectly prepared the sprint. My gear was a bit too big, but I finished it off. I am very happy with this win. We work together very well; other riders search us in the way up to the sprint because we have such an excellent train.”

“We are racing together again for the first time since Tirreno-Adriatico. From now on it’s one line to the Tour de France via the Tour of Zeeland Seaports, Berlin and the ZLM Tour. We now have to get confidence and sharpen the automatisms. Tomorrow’s stage suits Jürgen Roelandts very well, but it will also be difficult to get rid of me on the climbs.”
Thanks to the Lotto Belisol team.

Tour of Belgium/Ronde van België Stage 1 Result:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 4:34:53
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano
4. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
5. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
6. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Europcar
7. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
8. Niki Terpstra (Ned) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
9. Maxime Vantomme (Bel) Crelan-Euphony
10. Adrien Petit (Fra) Cofidis.

Tour of Belgium/Ronde van België Overall After Stage 1:
1. André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Belisol in 4:34:43
2. Tom Boonen (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:04
3. Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Argos-Shimano at 0:06
4. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Belisol at 0:07
5. Pieter Jacobs (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise at 0:08
6. Nikolas Maes (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:09
7. Danny van Poppel (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM at 0:10
8. Michael Van Staeyen (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise
9. Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Europcar
10. Tom Van Asbroeck (Bel) Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise.

Stage 1:

Bayern-Rundfahrt 2013
Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung got off to a great start in the 34th International Bayern Rundfahrt (May 22-26 / UCI 2.HC), with a fourth place finish for Gerald Ciolek. After 193.1 kilometres from Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm to Mühldorf am Inn, the 26-year old just missed out on the podium as the win went to Alex Rasmussen of Garmin-Sharp, who also took the overall lead in the race. Second was Ben Swift (Sky) ahead of Spaniard Juan-Jose Lobato del Valle (Euskaltel-Euskadi).

“That was a very hard day for all the riders. In these conditions it is not so much fun to ride races, “said Ciolek commenting on the rain soaked stage. “In the last 100 meters I was missing a bit of strength. I had a bad cold up until last weekend but actually it went pretty well for me today and I am confident for the upcoming days. The team is good and we are all motivated for the next stages.”

The opening stage was marked by bad weather conditions with constant rain, cold and wind. Eight kilometres after the start in Pfaffenhofen a group of four riders got away and stayed away most of the day. The three German’s Grischa Janorschke (Nutrixxion Abus), Henning Bommel (rad-net Rose Team) and Alexander Grad (Heizomat), together with Spaniard Javier Megias Leal (Team Novo Nordisk) quickly built up a lead of nearly 11 minutes.

After about 100 kilometres, the peloton got serious with its chase. Team MTN-Qhubeka p/b Samsung worked together with ProTeams; Sky, Blanco and FDJ at the head of the field to organise the chase. The gap had fallen to 3’50“ with 40 km to go, and had fallen to under one minute as they crossed the finish line for the first time. The escape came to an end at the 5 kilometre marker and the teams of the favourites started lining up for the expected mass sprint.

Javier Megias Leal (Team Novo Nordisk) concludes positively anyways: “I thought it might be a good opportunity to go into a breakaway group today since the course was promising that it might stick: small roads with a lot of turns and little climbs. Everybody in the breakaway group worked perfectly and yet in the end the peloton caught us. I‘m a little bit disappointed since Theo Bos crashed right in front of me in the last hill. I had to fight with Grischa Janorschke for a good position in the sprint because we both had the same points in the mountain classification – in the end, I lost. I’ll try again tomorrow and hope to stay with the best riders to go for a good result in the overall classification.” Best rider of Team Novo Nordisk after 4:34:27 was the Dutchman Martijn Verschoor who finished 72nd, 22 seconds behind today’s stage winner.

The second stage on Thursday runs 194.5 kilometres between Mühldorf am Inn and Viechtach. After 123 kilometres the riders will face the famous 895 meter high Sank Englmar climb (category one).

The 34th Bayern Rundfahrt runs over five stages and 785,4 kilometres from Pfaffenhofen an der Ilm in the Hallertau over the Bavarian forest to Nürnberg.

Bayern-Rundfahrt Stage 1 Result:
1. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Sharp in 4:34:05
2. Ben Swift (GB) Sky
3. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
4. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka
5. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
6. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Argos-Shimano
7. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
8. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
9. Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre-Merida
10. Johannes Weber (Ger) Team Heizomat.

Bayern-Rundfahrt Overall After Stage 1:
1. Alex Rasmussen (Den) Garmin-Sharp in 4:33:55
2. Ben Swift (GB) Sky at 0:04
3. Grischa Janorschke (Ger) Nutrixxion Abus
4. Juan Jose Lobato Del Valle (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi at 0:06
5. Adriano Malori (Ita) Lampre-Merida at 0:08
6. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka at 0:10
7. Davide Cimolai (Ita) Lampre-Merida
8. Nikias Arndt (Ger) Argos-Shimano
9. Andreas Schillinger (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky.

Thanks to the MTN-Qhubeka team for the race info & photo.

Stage 1 winner Alex Rasmussen (Garmin-Sharp):

No Tour de France for Boonen, Ever!
Omega Pharma – Quick-Step’s Tom Boonen told Belga that he will not be starting the 100th Tour de France this July. The Belgian Super-Champion said “Maybe I will never return” when asked about his Tour participation. His team manager; Patrick Lefevere had wanted Boonen on the start line in Corsica, but it looks like he will be in the Tour of Wallonie and the Tour of Poland during July.

Denis Menchov Retires
The 35 year old Russian rider; Denis Menchov has announced his retirement after a 13 year professional career. Menchov turned Pro for Banesto in 2000 and won two Vuelta a España’s (2005 & 2007) and the Giro d’Italia (2009), add to that he was the Best Young Rider in 2003 Tour de France, Tour of the Basque Country (2004) and the Vuelta a Murcia (2009). From Banesto he moved Rabobank where he became team leader. Geox-TMC was his next team where he was co-leader with Tour winner Carlos Sastre, although the team folded at the end of the season and he moved to Katusha. Menchov has been mentioned in a few doping investigations, including the Austrian human plasma case, but nothing has ever been proven.

Sylvain Georges: Positive B Sample
The test results of Sylvain Georges first sample was positive for Heptaminol, which the Frenchman thought was from a harmless drug that can be bought over the counter in France. Georges was informed and did not start stage 22 of the Giro d’Italia on May the 15th, he had been tested on May the 10th. Now that his B sample confirms his doping, the UCI have asked the French Cycling Federation to take disciplinary action. His Ag2r-La Mondiale team is member of MPCC and will have to voluntarily miss the next WorldTour race (see next story).

No Ag2r-La Mondiale in Dauphiné
The French Ag2r-La Mondiale team has had two doping positives in the last 12 months and as they are a member of the MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling) they have to suspend themselves from racing for eight days from the start of the next WorldTour event, which will be the Critérium du Dauphiné which is the teams’ local big race. Steve Houanard tested for EPO in September of last year and then Sylvain Georges earlier this month (see above) and so they will miss this important race voluntarily. The team hopes to be able to ride the Tour of Switzerland, although it falls within the eight days.

Brad McGee Takes Over as Australian DS
Brad McGee has become the new Australian sports director taking over from Matt White and will be assisted by the Austrian based team selector and European co-ordinator; Brian Stephens. McGee rode for Française des Jeux and CSC from 1999 to 2008 and then as DS at Saxo Bank from 2009 to 2012. As a rider he won an Olympic Gold medal in 2004 in the team pursuit, 2 Tour de France stages and a stage in the Giro d’Italia. He has also won numerous World and National championship on the track.

Motorists & Cyclists in Cambridge
Not our usual sort of cycling video, but this documentary film that Bradley Stearn has produced for his EPQ at Long Road sixth form, it is about cyclists and motorists in Cambridge, nice work Bradley:

Don’t forget the new “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. Basically you can read those bits of news that maybe didn’t make the deadline for EuroTrash Monday/Thursday or wasn’t big enough for a standalone article, there will also be press releases from teams, races, manufacturers and anything else we think you might want to know. NEWSWIRE won’t be taking anything away from the current sections, but will hopefully add to your PEZ enjoyment. New items will be posted as they come in to us at PEZ HQ, so give it a regular check.


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