What's Cool In Road Cycling

EuroTrash Thursday!

Flиche Wallonne yesterday and Liege next Sunday, it’s all go in the Ardennes and also in Italy with the Giro del Trentino, we have the results and video’s…of course. ”Top Story” is the news of new drugs for the Olympics and we have loads of other stuff for your entertainment, finishing with a great little retro film of Tom Simpson. Take 10 minutes (or more) for some EuroTrash Thursday coffee.

“Top Story”

New Illegal Drugs Available for Olympic Games?
A recent article by John Mehaffey on Reuters reported on a anti-doping conference where German researcher; Mario Thevis told the delegates that maybe up to one hundred new drugs could be in use by sportsmen by the time of the London Olympic Games later this year and that there are no test for these drugs. The drugs would “act like EPO but they are structurally different and that means the current tests will not pick them up.

“It doesn’t surprise me,” responded World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) director-general David Howman. “We are in the area where we are into third and fourth generations and they continue to climb. Whether they are detectable or not depends on the ability of the individual laboratory.” He added that the problem will be the build-up to the Games; “What we need is extensive pre-Games testing and we need all the samples that are collected to be tested for the full menu of substances.”

This brings up another problem, the one of the federations closing their eyes to the problem, Howman commented; “You can understand the frustration that I have been voicing over the past six months,” he said in an interview. “We can do a little bit better than that and one of the reasons we don’t do better is that many of the samples are sent to the lab and the lab is asked not to analyse for EPO. That’s just outrageous.” He quotes the federations as saying “One, we don’t want to pay the extra cost for EPO, two we don’t think we have a problem in our sport and three, maybe, is we don’t want to know what the results are going to be,” he said. “What we are getting is many, many samples not being analysed. That’s our suspicion that there were only 36 positive tests in 2010…that defies logic.”

The next problem is Gene doping which at the moment is very difficult to detect and there will be nothing in place at the London Games. Anna Baoutina, a senior research scientist at the National Measurement Institute in Sydney, told Reuters effective methods are being devised but it was up to WADA to decide when they are to be implemented. “In effect, gene doping is the ‘illegitimate’ derivation of gene therapy. Gene therapy aims to treat human diseases which are caused by defects in genes. It does this by introducing in the cells of our bodies new genetic material.

“Gene doping is also the introduction of genetic material into the cells but in the absence of defective genes and with the purpose of enhancing performance. For example, if additional copies of genes for human growth hormone (HGH) or EPO are delivered into athletes’ cells, the cells will produce more of these proteins and this may result in performance enhancement.”

David Howman reiterated: “You need to look at HGH and testosterone, you need to look at the 40-odd varieties of EPO,” he said, “and then you need to look at the ways and means some of these substances are used in micro-dosing or cocktails and so on mostly in an effort to avoid detection.

“That’s what you are dealing with, you are dealing with people who are very sophisticated and have devised the art of being sophisticated in order to avoid detection.

So a new battle may have already begun?

Here is the full article on Reuters.

La Flиche Wallonne 2012
It was a very happy Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha) who crossed the finish line at the top of the Mur de Huy at the end of La Flиche Wallonne. The wet and cold day came down an exciting climax on the Huy, Lars Petter Nordhaug (Sky) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) had put in a brave attack in the last 10 kilometres and looked like they could have pulled it off, if it hadn’t been for the Katusha team who chased hard for their team leader. The two were caught most of the way up the climb and as soon as they were reeled in Rodriguez exploded off the front to take three or four bike lengths. Behind him; Michael Albasini (GreenEdge), Philippe Gilbert (BMC) and Jelle Vanendert (Lotto-Belisol) tried their best to get up to the flying Spaniard, but to no avail.

Dirk Bellemakers (Landbouwkrediet-Euphony) and Anthony Roux (FdJ-BigMat) enlivened the early part of the race breaking away after 50 kilometres, they managed a lead of two and a half minutes at one point, but they were never going to win and were caught with 30 kilometres to the finish.

The Schleck brothers showed a little bit of form, but Philippe Gilbert has nearly got his fitness back on track, he commented: “The past several weeks my condition has been improving day by day. So time is on my side – it’s my best ally.” He added; “I’ve come from a long ways down so I am satisfied to be back at this level,” he said. “Being on the podium is nice, but most important is a victory. Today, Rodriguez was the deserving winner.” Should be a good Liege-Bastogne-Liege on Sunday.

La Flиche Wallonne Result:
1. Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha in 4:45:41
2. Michael Albasini (Swi) GreenEdge at 0:04
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC
4. Jelle Vanendert (Bel) Lotto-Belisol
5. Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Astana at 0:07
6. Daniel Martin (Irl) Garmin-Barracuda at 0:09
7. Bauke Mollema (Ned) Rabobank
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9. Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-ISD
10. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto-Belisol at 0:11
11. Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Astana
12. Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita) Ag2r-La Mondiale
13. Maxim Iglinskiy (Kaz) Astana
14. Sergio Luis Henao Montoya (Col) Sky
15. Wout Poels (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM
16. Paul Martens (Ger) Rabobank
17. Igor Anton Hernandez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi
18. Rui Alberto Faria Da Costa (Por) Movistar at 0:18
19. Julien Simon (Fra) Saur-Sojasun
20. Frank Schleck (Lux) RadioShack-Nissan.

Here are the last kilometres:

Giro del Trentino 2012
The BMC team won the Stage 1 team time trial to put Taylor Phinney into the first leader’s jersey. Astana were 10 seconds slower in second and surprisingly Liquigas-Cannondale and Lampre-ISD were beaten by Colnago-CSF and Androni-Venezuela.

As the first rider from the BMC Racing Team to cross the line, Phinney donned the fuchsia jersey of race leader. “The whole team worked well together and we were really strong,” Phinney said. “There wasn’t really a plan at the finish line on who would be first to finish. I just wanted to help give us the best time.”

The former U.S. national time trial champion, who also donned the white jersey as best young rider, said he is realistic about his chances of keeping the lead in the four-day race that features two mountain-top finishes. “The stages here are full of climbing and really difficult and I’m not exactly a climber,” Phinney said. “But I’ll do everything I can to help keep the jersey within the team.”

BMC Racing Team Assistant Director Rik Verbrugghe said the seeds of victory were planted during three days of intensive preparation and reconnaissance of the course. “We did a lot of time trial training like we did last year in Belgium before the Tour de France,” he said. “You need to have strong riders, but everything also has to be perfect. All the small details are important.”

Verbrugghe said the efforts by Phinney, Alessandro Ballan, and five-time Italian time trial champion Marco Pinotti were particularly important on a technical course that started with a headwind, continued with a tailwind and crosswind and finished with a tailwind. “The last three kilometres those guys did a lot of work and that made the difference,” he said. “Phinney did the last 600 or 700 meters by himself. He was really strong.” Wednesday’s stage is 152 km featuring four categorized climbs, including a summit finish.

Giro del Trentino Stage 1 Result:
1. BMC in 15:50
2. Astana at 0:10
3. Colnago-CSF Inox at 0:13
4. Androni Venezuela at 0:15
5. Acqua & Sapone at 0:16
6. Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:19
7. Lampre-ISD at 0:23
8. Team NetApp at 0:24
9. Utensilnord Named at 0:38
10. Spidertech p/b C10 at 0:44.

Giro del Trentino Overall After Stage 1:
1. Taylor Phinney (USA) BMC at 15:51
2. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC
3. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC
4. Yannick Eijssen (Bel) BMC
5. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC
6. Ivan Santaromita (Ita) BMC at 15:56
7. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 16:01
8. Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Astana
9. Kevin Seeldraeyers (Bel) Astana
10. Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana.

Stage 1 TTT:

Damiano Cunego (Lampre-ISD) won Stage 2 by outsprinting Carlos Betancur (Acqua & Sapone) and Roman Kreuziger (Astana) at the end of 152 kilometres to Sant’Orsola Terme. The race split coming off the Passo Redebus in bad weather, overall leader after stage 1; Taylor Phinney (BMC) missed the front group, but his team mate Matthias Frank did and took the overall. After Frank had put on his first leaders jersey he said: “I knew only Roman Kreuziger couldn’t win because he would was only 10 seconds down and could have taken the jersey with the bonus seconds,” Frank said. “So for me, it was good to stay in the group and try my best in the sprint. I lost a few seconds but got the jersey. It’s really exciting for sure.”

Giro del Trentino Stage 2 Result:
1. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD in 3:59:30
2. Carlos Betancur (Col) Acqua & Sapone
3. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana
4. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:03
5. Franceso Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone
6. Hubert Dupont (Fra) Ag2r-La Mondiale
7. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC
8. Marc de Maar (AHo) UnitedHealthcare at 0:09
9. Alesandro Bisolti (Ita) Team Idea
10. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp.

Giro del Trentino Overall After Stage 2:
1. Mathias Frank (Swi) BMC in 4:15:23
2. Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Astana at 0:03
3. Carlos Betancur (Col) Acqua & Sapone at 0:07
4. Marco Pinotti (Ita) BMC at 0:09
5. Damiano Cunego (Ita) Lampre-ISD at 0:10
6. Francesco Reda (Ita) Acqua & Sapone at 0:16
7. Eros Capecchi (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale at 0:19
8. Miguel Angel Rubiano (Ita) Androni-Giocattoli at 0:27
9. Bartosz Huzarski (Pol) Team NetApp at 0:29
10. Michele Scarponi (Ita) at Lampre-ISD at 0:34.

Stage 2:

And the race action:

A Short Interview with BMC’s Philippe Gilbert
How do you feel after the Amstel Gold Race?
“I’m satisfied; having had a respectable result is good for the morale and helps me recover a little faster.”

Emotionally, what did you feel during the Amstel Gold Race?
“I knew my condition would be back one day and it’s nice to be better and it’s always easier. Cycling is an extremely demanding sport, so when we suffer it is not always easy to be good during a race. Being in better condition helps me to see the race, to analyze it and to place myself in the front.”

What do you think you are still missing in order to achieve a victory?
“I’m not 100 percent yet, but I feel it’s coming. I think that at this level you really have to be at the top and every little failure is paid immediately.”

What did you work on to increase your chances of victory this week?
“The past several weeks my condition has been improving day by day. So time is on my side – it’s my best ally.”

How do you feel mentally?
“I’m fine. It feels good to be here for sure. I will not be satisfied unless I get another good result. And I’ll be very happy if I win.”

Your fans are present in large numbers during this week of the Ardennes classics. How does that make you feel?
“At the finish of Amstel, there was a huge turnout, including my family and my fan club. They have always been at my side and never abandoned me – even when things weren’t going so well the past few months. Those are people I can count on. The rest does not matter, so for sure it’s always a great pleasure to see them.”

Thanks to Sean Weide of BMC.

Philippe Gilbert’s 2011 Ardennes Grand Slam:

Denis Galimzyanov Admits EPO Use
The Katusha rider Denis Galimzyanov has admitted in an open letter that he did use EPO before his positive out of competition test on the 22nd of March this year in Italy. In a handwritten explanation he draws attention to the “fact that Katusha team has nothing to do with what happened.” He pointed out that “no team member knew and could know about what I did. It was my personal decision and my responsibility.” Galimzyanov added that he; “ready to face the appropriate punishment.” He said; “I deeply regret about what happened, and I apologize to the whole team and my teammates, along with my fans whom I disappointed.”

Did he win the Tour of Beijing’s final stage in 2011 clean?

Alberto Contador’s Return to Racing in August
Alberto Contador appeared on “El Partido de Las 12” on the Spanish radio station COPE last Monday night, where he revealed his race calendar for his return to competition in August and early September:

ENECO Tour: Monday August 6th to Sunday August 12th 2012.
Clбsica de San Sebastiбn: Tuesday August 14th.
Vuelta a Espaсa: Saturday August 18th to Sunday 9th September.

Some Contador action:

Omega Pharma – Quick-Step team Injury Updates
Press Release: Tony Martin and Levi Leipheimer on the mend!

Tony Martin Update:
Tony Martin’s physical condition is improving. The TT world champion, who was hit by a car last Wednesday during training, has had the pleasure to finally get back on the saddle, even though only for a limited amount of time.

“I am really happy to be able to get back on my bicycle on the road,” Martin said. “I pedalled for 30 minutes yesterday on a bike path near home and today I went out again riding my bike for about an hour. Obviously, these aren’t training sessions, but just some pedalling to get used to the bicycle and the road again. I am trying to listen to my body and I’m pedalling without taking any type of risk. It’s a very pleasant feeling, especially thinking about the fact that a week ago I was lying in a hospital bed.”

There is no scheduled date yet for Martin’s return to training and races.

“Right now I am focusing on my body and I am only thinking about recovering fully. I will start more intense training sessions only when I feel like I’m ready for it and the team’s medical staff will say it is ok to do so,” Martin said.

Levi Leipheimer update:
Levi Leipheimer is still suffering after fracturing his left leg’s fibula. The Omega Pharma – Quick-Step Cycling Team rider was hit by a car during training the day before the start of Pais Vasco (April 1, 2012).

“The situation isn’t pleasant at all,” Leipheimer said from his home in Santa Rosa.” Ever since the day of the accident I haven’t managed to get back on my bike out on the road, and I honestly don’t know when that will be possible. Recovery is slower than we expected. I still have pain in my leg and I’m having trouble walking. I also have pain in my ribs and hips due to the fall, this is limiting my movement.”

Levi Leipheimer’s participation in the Tour of California is uncertain at this point.

“The Tour of California was one of the objectives for my season,” Leipheimer added. “I wanted to be competitive in order to win a fourth overall title. At this point, merely participating will be a success. I will put in my best effort to manage to be on the starting line, even though it won’t be easy.”

Levi might not be at this year’s Tour of California:

Evans Withdraws From Remaining Ardennes Races
Press Release: Cadel Evans will not participate in Flиche-Wallonne on Wednesday and Liиge–Bastogne–Liиge on Sunday while he continues his recovery from a sinus infection, the BMC Racing Team announced Monday.

Better Recovery At Home
BMC Racing Team Chief Medical Officer Max Testa said Evans, a past winner of Flиche-Wallonne, was motivated to play a supporting role in the two races. But after withdrawing from Sunday’s Amstel Gold Race, the decision was made for the defending Tour de France champion to return home to help speed his recovery. “Cadel has the Tour of Romandie coming in one week and with this infection, we don’t want to take any risks,” Dr. Testa said. “The weather won’t be helpful – it’s going to be rainy and cold here – so it was probably the best decision we could make in the interest of the health of the rider.”

Plan Remains The Same
Directeur Sportif John Lelangue said Evans’ absence does not affect the BMC Racing Team’s approach to either race. “We still have a good field around Philippe Gilbert (who finished sixth Sunday at Amstel Gold Race) and Greg Van Avermaet to make two good Ardennes races,” Lelangue said. “Cadel was coming here with the objective to help them. That was always the plan. We know his main objective is in a few months in July. Therefore he has to make a good Tour of Romandie. It will be a good test in real stage race conditions – with a time trial, prologue and mountain stages.”

Download the BMC Racing Team Race Card (PDF with roster, bios, statistics, etc.): https://bit.ly/HZPhwF.

A bit Cadel sillyness here:

Mario Cipollini at IPC’s Road Cycling Show
Italian ex-World champion; Mario Cipollini will open IPC’s Road Cycling Show, taking place at Sandown Park, Esher, on Saturday April 21st. Paligap, the UK distributor of MCipollini frames, has brought ‘Super’ Mario’ to the show to meet fans, sign autographs on Saturday morning and be on the Paligap stand where the 2012 range of MCipollini frames and clothing will be on display. Mario Cipollini will be cutting the ribbon to open the Road Cycling Show at 9.30am before a day of many different activities.

“Super Mario” and the bottle incident:

Geraint Thomas MBE Returns From Success at World Championships to Ride Etape Cymru Route in North Wales
Press Release: World Champion and new Team Pursuit World Record holder, Geraint Thomas MBE, returned to Wales to take on the route of the Etape Cymru yesterday [Wednesday 11th April 2012].

Thomas took on a 30-mile section of the closed-road cyclosportive’s route, including the Panorama and Horseshoe Pass climbs. The event will be held on Sunday 9th September 2012. “I really enjoy coming back to Wales to ride, the roads are unbelievably challenging but at the same time provide really nice scenery so there is plenty to look at on the way round,” he explained. “I come here to ride when I can as my girlfriend has relatives just around the corner so it’s always good to come back to North Wales and ride these great roads.”

“The Etape Cymru route has been designed with some great climbs and includes some spectacular roads. And it’s in Wales, at the end of the day, it’s the best country in the world,” said Thomas.

The Welshman returned to his home country as a new World Record Holder after flying straight from the World Championships in Melbourne. “Melbourne was unbelievable. To go there and win the Worlds in Australia’s back yard and get a world record at the same time is just a great feeling,” he explained. “It was good to turn it around from London and I’m not sure a lot of people expected us to do it so quickly.”

Come September, participants of the Etape Cymru will get the rare chance to take on the cyclosportive under closed road conditions. “It’s great to support the event, especially with the Etape Cymru being on closed roads; not many people get the chance go ride on closed roads so it’s the perfect opportunity for them to do so.”

Thomas may have returned to his home country on a high, but ahead of the London Olympics, he insists there’s still more room for improvement from the Great Britain team.

“I definitely think we can improve, if I spend more time on the track I will improve a lot more. From the Worlds in 2008 to the Beijing Olympics we improved nearly three seconds and I think we can similar again. We’ve still got a lot of training to do and it’s part of the plan to keep pushing forward and I think, for sure, we can improve another couple of seconds.”

The closed-road Etape Cymru is organised by Participate Sport, who also own and organise the Wiggle Dragon Ride in South Wales. Thomas, a proud Welshman, has taken the decision not to ride the Tour de France in order to focus on becoming a Welsh Gold medallist for the second time at the 2012 Olympics.

“Wales doesn’t have lots of chances for a Gold medal so I’m proud to be in this position. I felt with the Tour, leading up to the games it would have drawn my attention away from the track; I wanted to give the Olympics everything,” Thomas clarified. “I’ve grown up watching the Olympics, wanting to be part of it. I want to get on the start line in London and know I haven’t jeopardised my chances in any way. I don’t want to get there with any excuses or doubts in my head. Hopefully it will be enough on the day, and if not, that’s the way it is; I’ll have no excuses.”

Thomas believes his ambition to succeed for Wales will have a positive effect on cycling in Wales, and the rise in people taking up cycling and mass participation challenges. “People watching the games will be inspired to take on challenges like the Etape Cymru,” he suggested.

He added: “More and more people are aware of leading healthy lifestyles and it’s just a great challenge. Having the chance to cycle on closed roads is a massive incentive for people to get stuck in and ride their bikes in this unique environment and come and discover a great part of Wales.”

The Etape Cymru is committed to supporting the local area and is working with Macmillan Cancer Support as the national charity and Nightingale House Hospice as the local charity.

Macmillan Cancer Support are encouraging people to sign up and fundraise for them: “We are delighted to be the official charity partner for the Etape Cymru and are looking forward to being part of a successful event in the stunning North Wales countryside. We hope the knowledge that riders’ efforts are helping to support people affected by cancer will encourage and motivate more people to join Team Macmillan and take part in this fantastic event.”

Caroline Siddall, Income Generation Director at Nightingale House Hospice, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen to be the local charity partner for the Etape Cymru closed road sportive. Participate Sport have very kindly donated free places to help raise money for the hospice.”

She continued: “We are all facing challenging financial times and in 2012 it will cost Ј2.54 million to run the Hospice – this equates to nearly Ј7000 per day. We greatly rely on the generosity of the communities we serve to raise the additional funding we need to open all year round. The places in this event will really help up towards our target. All we ask is that those supporters taking one of our free place pledge to raise a minimum of Ј150.”

More information on the Etape Cymru route can be found on: https://www.etape-cymru.co.uk. The event will cost Ј55 and entries are now open.

Here you can ride De Ronde with Geraint:

ROADS TO GLORY – Indoor training film
Press Release: Cyclefilm has launched a brand new series of indoor training DVDs and digital downloads filmed on location at legendary climbs across Europe. Each film compliments a 60-minute indoor training session and features extended intervals of 5-15mins in length with 5min recovery periods to replicate continuous climbing efforts on long mountain passes in the Alps and the Pyrenees.

Volumes 1 and 2 have been filmed along the exact route of the 2012 L’Etape du Tour and therefore are a perfect route reconnaissance for anyone signed up for either Acte 1 or 2 of the L’Etape in July. The Films are presented by the experienced Sportive rider Mike Cotty from Cannondale, who rides each route in its entirety from start to finish highlighting all the ups & downs of road. Mike also dishes out valuable L’Etape survival tips on climbing and descending techniques, clothing, nutrition, ride preparation and training, while at the same time encourages you to keep the pedals spinning as you ride shoulder to shoulder to the summit of each climb.

The Roads to Glory Series is designed to familiarise yourself with legendary mountain passes while at the same time help you to get in shape on your indoor trainer by completing various intervals at effort. Paired with your outdoor training regime, you’ll be ready both physically and mentally for your challenge ahead.

To play the films, no computer hook up or special software is required. The DVDs play just like any regular film on any DVD player, TV or Computer. HD digital downloads are optimised for iTunes, but will also play on any other PC or MAC platform.

DVDs can be purchased from the Cyclefilm Shop.
Digital Downloads are available from the digital store.

Special Thanks to our production sponsors Cannondale, Muc-Off, For Goodness Shakes, Pyractif, Mavic, Garmin, Continental, Powerbar, AssSavers.
You can follow Cyclefilm Director Markus Neuert on Twitter or connect on Facebook. Follow Michael Cotty on Twitter.

Here is a bit of work from Cyclefilm:

The Big Ride!
Press Release: On Saturday 28 April 2012, we’re organising the Big Ride, London’s biggest-ever bike traffic-free ride calling for safer streets for cycling. We want you to come too.

On Saturday 28 April 2012, we’re organising the Big Ride, London’s biggest-ever bike traffic-free ride calling for safer streets for cycling. We want you to come too.

The Big Ride (download the poster) on Sat 28 April is a fun event with a serious message, calling on London’s mayoral candidates to make the capital’s streets as safe and inviting for cycling as they are in Holland.

You can come on bike, foot, skates or rollerblades
Dress up yourself and your bike in red/white (campaign colours). Make some noise: drums, whistles, cowbells, sound systems, etc.

Ride details
11am assemble Park Lane (Upper Brook St).
12 noon ride departs.
Route Piccadilly Circus, Trafalagar Sq, Parliament Sq.
2pm Victoria Embankment (finish).

And here is the ride video:

Tom Simpson at De Ronde
Here is a fantastic bit of retro film from 1961 when Tom Simpson won the 45th Ronde van Vlaanderen. The video was put together by occasional contributor to PEZ; Christian Millar, our man in Norway…great stuff Chris!


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