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EuroTrash Thursday!

The Tour de France rehearsal race, the Critérium du Dauphiné, is hotting up with “new boy” on the block; Rohan Dennis showing the future and taking charge of the overall. From the old order; Stuart O’Grady has signed up for yet another season, 40 years old and still going. All the results, video and rider comments fill today’s EuroTrash Thursday. You know the drill; get the coffee!

TOP STORY: Vini Fantini-Selle Italia’s Two Dopers
During the Giro d’Italia it was announced that Danilo Di Luca found positive for EPO in an out of competition test taken before the race. This week Mauro Santambrogio has been suspended by the UCI due to an adverse analytical test for EPO on the eve of the first stage. He won stage 14 to Bardonecchia ahead of the race leader/winner Vincezo Nibali in a snow storm and looked good for a high place until he struggled in the last week.

The Vini Fantini-Selle Italia team has since said it will not take up the “Wild Card” entry it received from the Giro organisers, RCS, for the Tour of Lombardy on October the 6th.

The team management have distanced themselves from the riders quicker than Santambrogio went up hill. DS Luca Scinto is blaming the team sponsor; Valentino Sciotti for signing Di Luca and that Santambrogio was a cheap transfer from BMC.

One team rider being positive might be an over sight, but two in a matter of weeks is more than suspicious. According to many; the rumours during the first week of the Giro were all about how suspicious Santambrogio has been since leaving BMC. He had gone from an average domestique to a possible Grand Tour winner. Earlier this season was 3rd in the Trofeo Laigueglia, 2nd overall in the Giro del Trentino, 5th in the GP Citta di Camaiore and won the GP Industria & Artigianato.

As to Luca Scinto, as Hamlet’s mother might say; “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.” If you regularly watched the TV coverage of the Giro, you would have noticed that Scinto quite liked the camera and is not shy for the publicity. His statements have been; “It’s the end of our project”. “You’re right. Massacre me”. “They’re mad and I’m an idiot to believe them”. “They’re crazy and sick”. Scinto also alleges that when he spoke to Santambrogia after the positive announcement, Santambrogio said “sorry, I betrayed you.” The rider has asked for the B sample to be tested; “I can only say that I am in disbelief about what has happened and will request the counter analysis as soon as possible.” The two stories don’t match.

Luca Scinto was a Pro rider from 1992 to 2002 and I think we know what was going on in those days, Scinto is either very naive or blind and deaf if he did not realise that something was going on. Or did he just want the wins and the fame?

Critérium du Dauphiné 2013
Elia Viviani (Cannondale) took a fast finish win on Stage2 on Monday from Châtel to Oyonnax over 191 kilometres. There were six climbs to cover in the stage and José Mendes (NetApp-Endura), Rudy Molard (Cofidis), Thomas Damuseau (Argos-Shimano) and Arnaud Gérard (Bretagne-Séché) took advantage of the easy start, but were not allowed much of a lead by the Europcar team for the overall leader David Veilleux. With around 40 kilometres to go on the climb of the Côte de Communal, Omega Pharma – Quick-Step lent a hand to Europcar to bring back the break. Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM) and Rudy Molard (Cofidis) both tried to go for a solo win, but failed. Another Cofidis man; Rein Taaramae nearly made it to the finish, but the OPQS team pulled him back in the last two kilometres working for Gianni Meersman. Cannondale were also in the fight and Viviani came off best.

Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Philippe Mauduit was happy about the performance: “Everything went as planned. A break went away and but today, the peloton was in complete control of things and the final escapee was brought back before hitting the foot of the final slope. It was a technically demanding finish with loads of bends but we had the boys across the finish line in the first group. Tomorrow’s stage is pretty similar. A couple of climbs in the finale and our goal is to be among the first 20 to pass the final climb before descending to the finish line,” said Mauduit.

Jelle Vanendert has left the Critérium du Dauphiné during the second stage from Châtel to Oyonnax. In the first stage yesterday he didn’t feel good either and finished fourteen minutes later than the winner. When it started to go uphill again today, Jelle was dropped immediately. After some tens of kilometers he decided to quit. On Wednesday tests should show what has forced him to leave the race. Vanendert first of all wants to know what causes his problems before he gives any statements about his participation in the Tour. His health is his first priority.

Jelle Vanendert: “Yesterday in the first stage I wasn’t good as well and today it didn’t go at all. Already on the first hill I had to let the group go and then you know it can’t go on like that. I don’t know what’s wrong, but I don’t have any strength and uphill I don’t move up one meter. The past months haven’t given what I had hoped for and that’s of course frustrating. In the Vuelta al País Vasco I had to quit, then it turned out I had an inflammation of my oesophagus, the Ardennes classics weren’t good enough and in the Tour of Belgium I had to throw up after one of the stages.”

“Tonight I’m flying back home to Belgium where a series of tests are planned on Wednesday, then I hope to be wiser. It’s logical people ask the question ‘what about the Tour?’, but that doesn’t occupy me at this moment. First I want to know what’s wrong with my body so we can take the necessary measures to get healthy again; only then I can set goals again.”

David Villeux finished with the bunch and held onto the overall lead.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 2 Result:
1. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale in 4:39:15
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard
4. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Argos-Shimano
5. Anthony Geslin (Fra) FDJ
6. Armindo Fonseca (Fra) Bretagne-Seche Environnement
7. Bram Tankink (Ned) Blanco
8. Warren Barguil (Fra) Argos-Shimano
9. Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Spa) Vacansoleil-DCM
10. Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 2:
1. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar in 7:56:50
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:56
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard at 1:57
4. Warren Barguil (Fra) Argos-Shimano
5. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
7. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky
8. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
9. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky.

Stage 2:

A tough finale was waiting for the peloton on today’s 167 kilometre long Stage 3 starting in Ambérieu-en-Bugey and with the finish line in Tarere. A categorized climb was the natural catapult for breakaways as an only 9.5 kilometre long descent waited from the top of the slope to the finish line.

Four escapees; Jacob Rathe (Garmin-Sharp), Juan Antonio Flecha (Vacansoleil-DCM), Fumiyuki Beppu (Orica-GreenEdge) and Sander Cordeel (Lotto Belisol) threatened to take all attention, but towards the finale the peloton regained full control of the situation and the last standing escapee was caught a few kilometres from the top of the final climb.

On the top of the climb first in line, Saxo-Tinkoff’s Michael Rogers and Alberto Contador were sitting side by side ready for the gruelling dive towards the finish line. In spite of an attack from Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) and Gianni Meersman (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) on the closing straight they had to be content with second and third places on the day after Edvald Boasson-Hagen (Sky) took the stage win.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky): “I’m really happy to take the win today. The team did a great job to chase down the two riders on the front in the final kilometres. Geraint and Pete did lots of work to bring the move back and then gave me a great lead out.

“I felt pretty good in the sprint and I managed to take the win so I’m really happy about that, both for myself and the team. The whole team is really strong and I’m looking forward to the rest of the stages here.

“It’s a good boost. I’m aiming to get in better shape for the Tour de France and it looks like I am heading in the right direction, so I’m happy about that.

“I did a good block of training after the Tour of Norway and then took a few days to relax, and that meant I was good to go here at the Dauphine.”

Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador crossed the finish line in the first group without his Danish supporting rider, Chris Anker Sørensen who abandoned the race before the start of the stage because of illness: “Of course, I’m not happy about leaving this race and my teammates but I can ruin my chances of getting ready for the Tour if I continued. Besides, had it only been stomach flu, I would probably have been able to complete the Dauphiné but as fever is involved, I had to abandon. Now, I’m going home to recover and time will show which races, I’ll be able to do,” said Saxo-Tinkoff’s Danish climber, Chris Anker Sørensen.

Lotto Belisol’s Sander Cordeel was in the break of the day: “I have had a busy day, indeed (laughs). Being in a break in that way is pretty fun. Considering the relative flat course the suffering wasn’t too bad and the cooperation with the other escapees went very well. It was a goal to attack today. What didn’t succeed yesterday, almost went automatically today. We were the first escapees and immediately got the necessary lead. Because Flecha stood at two minutes in the GC we knew it was going to be difficult because Europcar wants to defend the yellow jersey as long as possible.”

“Such a breakaway is of course also a way of showing myself and the team. At the end the schwung was out of the break and I tried to keep the tempo high to begin the final climb with a bit of lead. But when I saw that the others didn’t have much speed I tried to go solo, although I knew it would be hard. In the end I was more than 150 kilometers in the attack and I can look back on a successful day. A good time trial won’t be evident after such an effort. It will be necessary to recuperate to be able to help Jurgen Van den Broeck in the stages that come next.”

Bart De Clercq (Lotto belisol) tried near the end of the stage: “I had the best legs of the previous days, so I thought ‘why not’. I had looked at the profile and with the two climbs in the final there could be opportunities. It was a strong attack and I could easily overtake Didier of Radio Shack. Because of the descent and the last flat part after the top it wasn’t evident to make it to the finish. Kwiatkowski joined me but I had already given what I had.”

“I feel the condition is good and it gives me hope for the tough stages that are still coming. Now there’s a time trial; it’s been a while since I have ridden one, so I’m curious to see the result. In the mountain stages that follow, I have to help Jurgen to get a classification as good as possible, and who knows I might take my chance again.”

After three stages in the Dauphiné the real work starts on Wednesday, with a flat time trial of 32.5 kilometres. 58 riders didn’t lose any time yet, among them Jurgen Van den Broeck and Bart De Clercq. Gaëtan Bille had to leave the race yesterday because of knee problems.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 3 Result:
1. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky in 4:03:32
2. Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge
3. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
4. Thor Hushovd (Nor) BMC
5. Elia Viviani (Ita) Cannondale
6. Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Argos-Shimano
7. Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) FDJ
8. Paul Voss (Ger) Team NetApp-Endura
9. Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step
10. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Astana.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 3:
1. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar in 12:00:22
2. Gianni Meersman (Bel) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:56
3. Tony Gallopin (Fra) RadioShack Leopard at 1:57
4. Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Spa) Movistar
5. Warren Barguil (Fra) Argos-Shimano
6. Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana
7. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky
8. Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Spa) Movistar
9. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky
10. Alberto Contador Velasco (Spa) Saxo-Tinkoff.

Stage 3:

The Stage 4 time trial was the first real test of strength among the GC contenders as the peloton was challenged with a 32.5 kilometre long and pancake flat individual time trial from Villars-Les-Dombes to Parc des Oiseaux.

Not surprisingly, the German diesel engine, Tony Martin (Omega Pharma – Quick-Step) did the fastest time crossing the finish line with a margin of more than a minute to second place. But as the big GC favourites entered the course, the time gap kept getting smaller.

Second on the stage was Garmin-Sharp’s Rohan Dennis, the young Australian was 47 seconds slower than Martin and 5 seconds faster than Sky’s Chris Froome won the battle among the GC riders, which moved Dennis into the overall lead by those 5 seconds. Team Saxo-Tinkoff’s Alberto Contador lost 3.37 minutes to the stage winner, Tony Martin.

“I was really looking forward to today,” Martin said. “It was the first long time trial after Volta ao Algarve. It was a really nice form test for the Tour. In the past days I had some stomach problems due to a virus. The biggest problem I had was two days ago, and yesterday I was already feeling better. not 100 percent but when I woke up this morning I was pretty OK, feeling optimistic and feeling confident. So, I’m not 100 percent recovered, but almost. I’m happy with the stage win.”

Martin said it was a good feeling as preparation for the Tour de France.

“We have two ITTs at the Tour, but also at the beginning a team time trial,” Martin said. “So, it’s really important for me and the team as it is also a good chance to fight for the yellow jersey. We also have one of the best sprinters with Cav, so I think we will have a lot of opportunities. As for me, I was happy about my gap to a rider such as Froome today. I’m not 100% fit, so I’m happy with my result. It’s a nice moment right now, but I have to be realistic. The first ITT at the Tour fits me, but the second one for sure is pretty hard. I go to see it after the Dauphine and then I can make my opinion.”

As for the next days at Dauphine, Martin will now focus on helping his teammates.

“In the next days I will try to be useful for the team on the mountains,” Martin said. “I have to improve a bit on the climbs before the Tour and the last days of the Dauphine are perfect for it.”

Kwiatkowski, now 3rd in the GC, said he is happy about his top 5 result at the Dauphine ITT.

“I think I went much faster in the first part than the second part because I usually catch Capecchi and Santaromita,” Kwiatkowski said. “That was my goal, to see where they are. In the middle of the TT I caught them. The second part I maybe lost some time, but finally with 5km to go I gave it all. I am happy about my race. I trained a lot actually before this race for the time trial, and I had a good feeling. The result is not important now. Because, the first race after such a long period without racing, makes me happy about such a good feeling about my position and everything, and also having no problems during the course. The 3rd position in the GC is a good result so far, but now we will go into the mountains and the GC will probably change. We will see day by day.”

Saxo-Tinkoff’s DS, Philippe Mauduit said after today’s time trial: “I think it was obvious for everyone that Alberto was not at his normal high level today. He had a feeling of lack of energy and it seems like he had an off-day at a very unfortunate time and that is significantly crucial on a time trial like this. Now, it looks more than difficult in terms of targeting a top overall result but we’ll continue our preparations for the Tour. Naturally, we hope that Alberto will back at his best tomorrow when it’ goes down again among the favourites on the uphill finish.”

The Lampre-Merida’s DS Piovani’s said: “Today I expected from Cunego a good response on the road, after a difficult start here at the Criterium du Dauphiné because of the malaise that has affected him in recent days. I must say that evaluating it in the range of riders closer to its features and bearing in mind that today was not his favourite specialty; he managed to make a fair time trial to remain practically with the group of riders as Rodriguez, Contador and Valverde. It was a trial similar to those that he will confront the Tour de France in which you have to have great legs to push large reports on this type of road, I liked Damiano despite everything as he has a great attitude. We are confident to see him good in the next stages, his condition appears to be increasing today and we hope that there might be a good sign for his part before the end of the competition”.

Critérium du Dauphiné Stage 4 result:
1. Tony Martin (Ger) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step in 36:54
2. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp at 0:47
3. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:52
4. Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Spa) Movistar at 1:08
5. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 1:13
6. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 1:19
7. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 1:20
8. Jan Barta (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 1:36
9. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC at 1:38
10. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 1:42.

Critérium du Dauphiné Overall After Stage 4:
1. Rohan Dennis (Aus) Garmin-Sharp in 12:40:00
2. Christopher Froome (GB) Sky at 0:05
3. Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Omega Pharma – Quick-Step at 0:26
4. Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Sky at 0:32
5. Richie Porte (Aus) Sky at 0:33
6. Geraint Thomas (GB) Sky at 0:55
7. David Veilleux (Can) Europcar at 1:09
8. Leopold Konig (Cze) Team NetApp-Endura at 1:11
9. Stef Clement (Ned) Blanco at 1:14
10. Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana at 1:26.

Stage 4:

Nibali extends contract with Astana Pro Team through 2016
Press Release: Astana Pro Team rider Vincenzo Nibali signed a contract extension on Thursday in Kazakhstan’s capital city that will see the Giro d’Italia champion remain with the squad through 2016.

Astana Pro Team General Manager Alexandr Vinokurov and Vice President of Kazakhstan’s Cycling Federation Darkhan Amanovich Kaletaev announced at a press conference in Astana that the Sicilian rider would set his sights next on the second half of the 2013 season, with an eye on the 2014 Tour de France.

“We are very pleased to prolong our contract with Vincenzo Nibali today in Astana, and look forward to supporting his clear-eyed start to the Vuelta a Espana in August and a strong run at the World Championships in Firenze at the end of September,” said VInokurov.

“To have a great champion on Astana Pro Team ahead of Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan’s capital will help to broadcast around the globe that our cycling federation has world-class talent to go with its world-class ambitions. Next year we will look to bring Vincenzo to the 2014 Tour de France,” Vinokurov said.

Astana Pro Team riders Valerio Agnoli, Paolo Tiralongo, Alessandro Vanotti, Dmitriy Gruzdev, and Andrey Zeits are all currently in Astana, together with Nibali and Vinokurov, to meet with fans, supporters and Kazakhstan’s President Nursultan Nazarbayev following their successful Giro d’Italia campaign last month.


No Tour for Samuel Sánchez
The ex-Olympic champion; Samu Sánchez win not have recovered from the Giro d’Italia in time for the 100th Tour de France starting in Corsica on Saturday, June the 29th. Sánchez is at the moment riding the Critérium du Dauphiné, after it finishes on Sunday he will rest with a view on returning at the end of the season, with the possibility of riding the Vuelta a España.

Serebryakov Positive Again
Russian rider Alexander Serebryakov was found positive for EPO on March the 18th in an out of competition test and is at the moment suspended. A re-analysis of a sample taken on February the 21st 2012 has also shown traces of EPO. The test was performed by the WADA accredited Cologne laboratory which can detect cases of micro-dosing. Serebryakov was riding for Team Type 1 in 2012 where he was quite successful, which helped him receive a contract with the Spanish ProTour team; Euskaltel-Euskadi for this year. He should now be facing a long ban.

Tom Boonen Pays €2M Tax
Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws is reporting that Omega Pharma – Quick-Step rider Tom Boonen has paid the Belgian tax man two million Euro’s to cover his claimed tax evasion. Boonen’s tax evasion case came to light due to him living in Monaco from the end of September 2005, just after he won the World road race championships in Madrid. The Belgian champion moved back to his homeland earlier this year and was accused of not declaring enough of his income to the Belgian tax authorities. The case is open as other riders are also implicated.


Blocked Road for the Tour of Austria
The 2.HC Tour of Austria starts on the 30th of June and runs through to July the 7th with 8 stages from Innsbruck to Vienna over 1,190.8 kilometres. But they have a problem on stage 3 as there has been a rock fall between Salzburg and the East Tyrol and isn’t expected to be cleared until the autumn. A new bypass road is being built, but this will not be open in time for the race. In a press release race director Ursula Riha said; “race officials are in constant contact with local officials and unfortunately the situation has deteriorated. Right now we have a huge problem, as we don’t know how we will come to East Tyrol and the finish of the third stage in Matrei.” That isn’t the only problem as on stage 2, 3 and 4 the race should be climbing the Großglockner, but there is snow; “We need not only a Plan B, but also a Plan C and D, because also the Großglockner could be closed due to the current weather conditions. But what will we do when the weather continues to be so crazy and there is snow? We are working all out on a solution and hope to find one by the time the race starts!” Is this the Giro all over again?

65th Int. Österreich Rundfahrt Trailer:

Stuart O’Grady Re-Signs With ORICA-GreenEDGE for 2014
Stuart O’Grady has re-signed with ORICA-GreenEDGE for the 2014 season. Australia’s first Classics champion, six-time Olympian and inaugural Tour Down Winner will retire after the Tour de France next year.

“I have been getting asked more and more when I’m going to retire,” said O’Grady. “I’m quite relived to have settled it. I’ll race next year, and, if all goes to plan, my last race will be at the Tour de France. I wanted to finish off my career at a race that’s meant a lot to me throughout my time as a professional. The Tour has probably made my career. To retire on the Champs-Élysées would be a symbolic way to close things out.”

O’Grady has appeared in every Tour de France since he made his debut at La Grand Boucle in 1997. The South Australian has supported three riders, Andy Schleck, Fränk Schleck and Carlos Sastre, to a combined total of six Tour de France overall podium finishes, including Sastre’s 2008 Tour de France victory. With 16 starts, 14 finishes, two stage wins and nine days in yellow to his name, O’Grady is one of the most experienced Grand Tour riders in the peloton.

“This year will be my 17th Tour de France,” said O’Grady. “Next year would be my 18th start if I make the team and get to next year’s tour healthy. This year, I’ll tie the all time record for Tour de France starts. I would set a new record next year, which would be a pretty cool achievement.”

While O’Grady’s personal victories have become less common in the later years of his career, he can still be seen turning himself inside out on the front of the bunch for his teammates. He serves as road captain and has become an integral part of the support and development of the younger, less experienced riders on the team.

“This isn’t a Farewell Tour,” O’Grady said. “That’s my not my style. I’m not sticking around for myself. I’m riding because I want to give back to this team. It’s important to me that I make the time and effort to pass along my information and experience to someone who can step up and fill the road captain role. We’ll be working on that intentionally in the next year.”

“Obviously, you never know what’s around the corner in terms of any plan we’ve put together,” added O’Grady. “Hopefully it all works out. I think it will feel really good to do my final Tour Down Under, my final Classics campaign, my final Tour de France and to know that each is my last. It’s really motivating to me to think about, and I’ll definitely go into this next year at my best.”

O’Grady repeatedly reiterated how grateful he feels to have spent the last years of his career with an Australian WorldTour team. He admits that it’s not something he expected to see during his time as a professional bike racer.

“I never thought I’d be around to see an Australian team race the Tour de France,” said O’Grady. “This has been a dream come true. To finish my career on an Australian team with Shayne Bannan and Gerry Ryan on board is something special. I’ve known those guys my entire career. All the pieces have fallen into place, and I feel privileged and grateful to race for them on this team. I can’t thank Gerry enough for what he has done for all of us.”

“It was pretty amazing for the first Australian WorldTour team to win their first WorldTour race at the Tour Down Under,” O’Grady continued. “Gerro’s [Simon Gerrans’] win at Milan San Remo was just as satisfying. It’s been a fantastic 18 months. For me, the highlight of it all is getting to be a part of it and passing on as much as my experience as I can to the younger guys.”

O’Grady has enjoyed his role as elder statesmen of the young squad. He finds himself motivated by helping his teammates achieve.

“I’m having a great time helping our younger riders,” he said. “It’s a special feeling to help someone else realise their dreams. I’m not here to win anymore. I’m here to help out with tactics and provide leadership on the road. I hope to help others win in the process – maybe today, maybe sometime in the future. It’s a different role, but I like it.”

Happy to have a plan in place for his final year of racing, O’Grady is content to leave his post-race plans unspecified at the moment. He intends to stay involved in the sport although he has yet to decide in what capacity.

“I’m definitely planning on staying involved with cycling after I stop racing, and it’s looking pretty likely that I’ll continue to work with Gerry and the team,” O’Grady explained. “Cycling has been my life in the last 20 odd years. It will be nice to wake up and think about something other than training and suffering and pain. I’m looking forward to spending more time with my family and not having to be so selfish on a personal level. I’ve done that for a long time. We have time to find a role for me after retirement. It’s something we can discuss more at a later date.”

“I can say this for certain,” he added. “I’m happy to continue for the next 13 months, and then it’s all over. Once I hang it up, it will hung up very high and very well. There will be no comeback.”
Thanks to the Orica-GreenEdge team.


Brian Cookson announces candidacy for UCI Presidency
Press Release: British Cycling President, Brian Cookson, today announced that he is willing to offer himself as a candidate for the position of President of the Union Cycliste Internationale (International Cycling Union). Elections take place at the Annual Congress in Florence, Italy, in September.

Cookson said;
“I am today announcing that I am standing as a candidate for the Presidency of the UCI. I have the full support and nomination of my home federation, British Cycling, and I respectfully ask for the support of the national cycling federations of the world and the whole international cycling family.

I am not doing this lightly as I know how much needs to be done. When I became the President of British Cycling in 1996, the Federation was deeply troubled and close to bankruptcy. Since that time cycling in my country has been transformed beyond recognition. Many wonderful people have helped this process, motivated by a passion to do the best for cycling, and I have been proud to lead them.

This transformation has been achieved, above all, by creating a well run, stable federation governed on the principles of honesty, transparency and clear divisions of responsibility. These principles are even more important for an international federation.

Cycling has been at the heart of my life for as long as I can remember. It has shaped my personality as much as it has my professional career, and I will always be grateful for the sheer enjoyment, inspiration and opportunity that cycling has given me. I still ride my bike almost daily.

Many good things have happened in our sport around the world in recent years, and I am proud that British cyclists and British events such as London 2012 have played their part in showing what a superb sport we have in cycling, in all its diversity.

But the passion I and many others have for cycling cannot hide the fact that our international body, the UCI, remains hugely distracted, continuing to flounder in waves of damaging historical controversies. For far too many people our sport is associated with doping, with decisions that are made behind closed doors and with ceaseless conflicts with important members of the cycling family and other key stakeholders. This situation is deeply damaging for our sport, and it has severely compromised the UCI’s ability to develop and communicate some of the good work that is happening across the world.

The stakeholder consultation exercise held this year by the UCI has clearly demonstrated that there are many excellent aspects to the UCI, with much good work underway, but all of this has been severely compromised by the widespread absence of confidence in the integrity of the organisation.

Against this backdrop, and after careful consideration, I have decided to stand for the Presidency of the UCI. This is because I passionately believe that the UCI needs to embrace a new way of doing things, and address, head on, some of the critical challenges facing our sport.

We must restore cycling’s credibility. The first priority for the new UCI president must be to change the way that anti doping is managed so that people can have confidence in the sport. We must also urgently carry out a fully independent investigation into the allegations of corruption in this area which have so damaged the UCI’s reputation.

Cycling is not the only sport with problems but if we don’t have a sport that parents can send their children to with absolute confidence then we are failing. If elected I will devote myself to rebuilding relations with WADA and establishing with them a completely independent body to deal with anti-doping in cycling so that no-one can doubt that it is being tackled without fear or favour. I will also seek their full co-operation in the independent investigation into the UCI’s past.

In the next few weeks, I will publish my manifesto, which will outline clear recommendations to tackle the future challenges for our sport, as well as specific policies to address those problems from the past that still haunt us today.

More broadly, I want to see a UCI whose culture and way of doing things is defined by openness, transparency, and a commitment to more collegiate decision making. We need to work for the good of cycling globally, and not protect vested interests, wherever they may lie. The best way we can achieve this is to be much more open on how we operate and make decisions. In essence, my manifesto will outline how I would build trust in the UCI, and what our vision should be, for the future.

I believe that I have a strong and proven track record in delivering positive change in cycling, and in a way that is collegiate – not confrontational – as my time as President of British Cycling shows. It is this style of approach that I want to bring to the UCI.

I would be truly honoured to be elected UCI President, but I also understand the magnitude of the challenges we face. If successful in my campaign, I will do all in my powers to turn my vision of a more open and modern UCI into reality, in full partnership with all the other stakeholders in the sport we love”.

Pat McQuaid’s Answer
Soon after the announcement of Cookson’s election statement, an email was sent by the UCI President; Pat McQuaid to all the National Federation Presidents, you can read it here: https://s4.skins.net/misc/NFs_Presidents_UCI_elections_4_3_6_2013.pdf as it is far too long to print. Mr. McQuaid poses many questions of why Brian Cookson is now running for UCI Presidents job and his connections.

How to Pedal Like a Pro
Another great video from globalcyclingnetwork, in this one you might learn to at least look like a Pro. There is a technique to pedaling efficiently and smoothly, but many people ride without giving it a second thought. In this video, they explain how to get the most out of your pedal stroke with a few simple tips from the pros:

Don’t forget to check the “NEWSWIRE” section, you can find it down the right hand side on the home page, just above the EuroTrash section. The bits of news that missed the EuroTrash deadline are in there, plus any news as-it-happens will be in there too.


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