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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Wednesday, June 28, 2017

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

A true conservationist is a man who knows that the world is not given by his fathers but borrowed from his children - John James Audubon

Current Racing

Upcoming racing:

Latest completed racing:


Trek-Segafredo rider André Cardoso tests positive for EPO

Here's the story that appeared in Cycling Weekly:

Trek-Segafredo rider André Cardoso has failed an out-of-competition test for blood booster EPO, the UCI confirmed on Tuesday.

The Portuguese rider, who was due to ride the 2017 Tour de France starting Saturday in Düsseldorf in support of Alberto Contador, was notified of an Adverse Analytical Finding of Erythropoietin (EPO) in a test sample collected in an out-of-competition control on June 18, 2017.

While the UCI won’t comment further on on-going doping cases, with the rider able to request to be present at the testing of a B sample, Cardoso’s Trek team released a statement saying they had suspended the rider immediately.

Andre Cardoso

Andre Cardoso in the 2013 Vuelta

“It is with deep disappointment that we have just learned that our rider, André Cardoso, has tested positive for a prohibited substance,” the statement read. “In accordance with our zero tolerance policy, he has been suspended immediately.

“We hold our riders and staff to the highest ethical standards and will act and communicate accordingly as more details become available.”

You can read the entire story here.

Since the UCI made the positive result public, Cardoso has denied using EPO and has requested that his "B" sample be tested. Trek-Segafredo is calling up veteran racer Haimar Zubeldia to replace Cardoso in its Tour de France team.

Quick-Step Floors announces its Tour de France team

Philippe Gilbert, Marcel Kittel and Daniel Martin will headline our squad for the 104th edition of the Grande Boucle.

The Tour de France – cycling's biggest scene – puts on the table this summer a different parcours than the one of the past years, with just 37 kilometers of time trial, five mountain stages, seven flat ones, and several others which could create some serious damage in the peloton, as the traps that lie hidden on the route can change the pre-stage scenario, and at the same time force the general classification contenders take the initiative early.

World Tour leader Quick-Step Floors will head to Germany, from where the race is set to start for the first time in three decades, with a strong and experienced team, built around riders who between them have scored 17 of the 35 victories that the outfit managed by Patrick Lefevere has racked up so far this season.

German sprinter Marcel Kittel will be again the team's designated sprinter, as he'll try to become only the third active rider with at least ten Tour de France stage triumphs. The 29-year-old will be supported by a powerful lead-out train comprising New Zealand National ITT Champion Jack Bauer, Fabio Sabatini, Czech Road Race Champion Zdenek Stybar (himself a Tour de France stage victor, two years ago, in Lyon), double stage winner Matteo Trentin and Julien Vermote.

Ronde van Vlaanderen and Amstel Gold Race champion Philippe Gilbert, a stage winner and former yellow jersey wearer at the Grande Boucle, will return here for the first time in four years, and the experienced Belgian, who'll celebrate his 35th birthday during the first week, is sure to give the team a valuable card to play in the hilly stages.

Philippe Gilbert

Philippe Gilbert at this year's Tour of Switzerland

If Gilbert is set to come back on familiar terrain, the same can't be said of Italian Gianluca Brambilla, who'll make his first appearance at the Tour de France; the 29-year-old, who put in a strong and impressive ride at last Sunday's National Championships, will back Dan Martin in the mountains, but at the same time keep an eye on any opportunity which could arise and see him join the select group of active riders who've won stages in all three Grand Tours.

Last year, Dan Martin came close to a stage victory at what was his best Tour de France outing, which saw the attack-orientated Irishman make his way into the top 10 overall for the first time in his career. The 30-year-old, who concluded the Critérium du Dauphiné earlier this month in third position for the second season running, after a remarkable final stage which showed his amazing fighting spirit, will have another crack at the general classification, hoping to improve on last year's result.

SveinTuft takes his tenth Canadian time trial title

Orica-Scott sent me this news:

ORICA-SCOTT’s Svein Tuft claimed his tenth individual time trial title today in his national championships in Ottawa.

The result makes Tuft the first ever Canadian rider to win ten titles in the event having won his first time trial title back in 2004.

The 40-year-old powered around the 36kilometre course under rainy conditions, stopping the clock with a time of 48minutes and 13seconds, five seconds faster than his nearest rival Nigel Ellsay (Silber Pro Cycling).

“This title is more important to me than just the statistic of it being my tenth title,” Tuft explained. “Last year I came here and didn’t take it too seriously, I thought I would be able to win it and didn’t quite realise how much the level has improved here in Canada and I ended up running third.”

With heavy rainy and a fairly undulating course, Tuft knew it would be a challenge to come away with the victory but was confident in his preparation and was able to produce a ride good enough to walk away with the win.

Svein Tuft

Svein Tuft grabs his bike to start stage 16 of the 2016 Vuelta

“I knew it would be difficult today because it isn’t a course that particularly suits me,” Tuft continued. “There was a lot of climbing maybe 600metres in total over 36kilometres. It wasn’t a super high average speeds so I had to really expend my energy well."

“I really wanted to keep my motivation high after the Giro d’Italia and race hard in Slovenia so that I could come here and have a good go at the nationals, so I am pretty proud of that aspect more than anything.

“I had complete respect for my rivals and I am super happy to pull it off and take a tenth title.”

Canadian individual time trial championship results:

1. Svein Tuft (ORICA-SCOTT) 48:13
2. Nigel Ellsay (Silber Pro Cycling) +0:05
3. Rob Britton (Rally Cycling) +0:22

Team Sunweb's upcoming racing

The team sent me this update:

RACE PREVIEW: JUNE 26 - JULY 4 

GIRO ROSA (WWT)

The longest stage race on the women's calendar gets underway this Friday with the 10th edition of the Giro Rosa. For the first time in the race's history a team time trial will be included on the parcours, taking place on the first stage. The second stage is hilly, followed by two flat days for the sprinters. A hilly individual time trial is on the cards for day five with another day for the sprinters on the sixth stage. A stage for the climbers comes on day seven, acting as a warm up before the queen stage the following day. The penultimate stage provides a final opportunity for the sprinters, with the ascent of Mount Vesuvius to close on stage 10. The race provides a variety of opportunities and Team Sunweb will challenge on all fronts.

Team Sunweb's Giro Rosa coach Adriaan Helmantel (NED) said: "This year’s Giro Rosa starts with a team time trial where we can apply our knowledge and where optimal coorporation is required for a good performance. The other stages are a nice mix of flat stages where the sprinters will have a chance, hilly stages that will suit the all-rounders and hard climbing stages. Our biggest aim is to go for a stage success. We have Coryn who has already showed that she can be successful in the flat sprints and in the more difficult stages. With Lucinda we have another rider who can take chances in the more difficult stages. We have Julia as our experienced road captain and a rider who will be important in the lead out for the sprints. Floortje, Sabrina, Rozanne, and Molly are strong all-rounders who are important in the sprint stages and also have the ability to support in the harder stages."

RACE: Giro Rosa (WWT)

DATE: 30/06-9/07/2017

COACH: Adriaan Helmantel (NED)

LINE-UP
Lucinda Brand (NED)
Floortje Mackaij (NED)
Coryn Rivera (USA)
Julia Soek (NED)
Rozanne Slik (NED)
Sabrina Stultiens (NED)
Molly Weaver (GBR) 

TOUR DE FRANCE (WT)

The 2017 edition of the Tour de France begins this Saturday with the Grand Départ in Düsseldorf, Germany. Taking place from July 1st to 23rd, the 104th edition of the race will be contested over 21 stages covering a total distance of 3540 kilometres. Included in this year's race are nine flat stages, five hilly, five mountain stages, two individual time trials and two rest days. Team Sunweb once again head to the Tour de France with the overall aim of stage success and after a successful recent training and racing campaign the team looks forward to the second Grand Tour of the season.

Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek detailed some more about the team's ambitions: "For a German team having the start of this year's Tour in Düsseldorf is really special and we are all really looking forward to it. We've carefully analysed the stages and constructed a plan for the guys to execute on the road for selected days. On the difficult sprint finishes we aim to fully support Michael for a stage result and onto the mountains stages we have three strong riders in Warren, Laurens and Simon who can go deep looking for opportunities. With the rest of the team we have riders who will be crucial to the lead-out, as well as providing all round support during every stage. The morale in the team is really high at the moment after our stage victories at Dauphine, Tour de Suisse and Ramon's national championships win, so we are looking to kicking off the Tour."

RACE: Tour de France (WT)

DATE
1-23/07/2017

COACHES
Arthur van Dongen (NED)
Luke Roberts (AUS)
Aike Visbeek (NED)

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