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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Tuesday, February 4, 2020

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2019 Tour de France | 2019 Giro d'Italia

I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people. - Isaac Newton

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Astana, Jakob Fuglsang, and Michele Ferrari deny alleged connection

Cyclingtips.com posted this news piece:

In the wake of reports that link Astana and riders like Jakob Fuglsang to Michele Ferrari, the Kazakh WorldTour team, the banned doctor, and Fuglsang have all publicly denied the alleged connection.

Denmark’s Politiken reported on Sunday that the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF) has information suggesting that the Italian doctor is involved with the Astana team and has worked with with Jakob Fuglsang as well as Alexey Lutsenko. Among the allegations were reports that Ferrari has spent time motorpacing Fuglsang, as well as attending the Volta a Catalunya with Astana in 2019.

Jakob Fuglsang

Jakob Fuglsang winning stage 16 of the 2019 Vuelta.

Ferrari was banned for life in 2012 for his relationship with Lance Armstrong.

Astana released a statement on Monday noting that that it “does not collaborate with any suspicious doctor, such as Dr Michele Ferrari.”

The statement did not include any direct mention of Fuglsang or Lutsenko, but said that “riders are not authorized to consult any doctors external to the team in order to perform any activity, or to be prescribed any diet or treatment, related to their performance.”

“The team is in contact with the UCI and CADF in order to know more; it will collaborate with any inquiry that could be opened by CADF or the UCI,” Astana said.

Fuglsang put out a statement on social media later in the afternoon contesting the allegations, noting that he is “extremely concerned that such rumors could be spread out in the press.”

You can read the entire piece here.

Here is the entire Astana press release on the subject:

STATEMENT REGARDING CADF REPORT

03/02/2020 /  NEWS

Astana Pro team has taken note of the press article by Danish and Norwegian media relating to the existence of an alleged confidential report by CADF suspecting some riders of the team to have been in contact with banned Dr Michele Ferrari.

Astana Pro Team is committed to the fight against doping in sport. The team requires from all its affiliated riders that they comply all time with all obligations under anti-doping regulations, including the prohibition to be associated with banned individuals or doctors. The team does not collaborate with any suspicious doctor, such as Dr Michele Ferrari. The riders are not authorized to consult any doctors external to the team in order to perform any activity, or to be prescribed any diet or treatment, related to their performance.

The licence of Astana Pro Team has been renewed for the year 2020, confirming the full compliance by the team with all its obligations, including in terms of fight against doping in cycling.

The team is in contact with the UCI and CADF in order to know more; it will collaborate with any inquiry that could be opened by CADF or the UCI.

However, for the time being, no procedure has been initiated against any rider affiliated to the team. The Astana Pro Team trusts that if the CADF had any evidence of wrongdoing by any rider of the team, disciplinary proceedings would have been immediately initiated in accordance with anti-doping regulations and the World Anti-doping Code.

Peter Sagan's Bora-hansgrohe team reports on Vuelta a San Juan final stage

The team sent me this report:

The 2020 Vuelta a San Juan was brought to a close with nine laps of a city circuit, totalling 141.3km. The pan flat parcours would make for high speeds, and the last chance to take a stage win would make the pace even faster. Capitalising on the flat terrain, a break of six went out on the first lap, but with the high ambitions in the peloton for today’s stage, they weren’t able to gain an advantage of more than 1:30. With the peloton so close and never letting up, it was clear the escapees lacked the belief that they could last to the end of the day and with 43km to go, the break started to split, leaving just one, determined rider out in front.

While this lone rider still had just under a minute’s advantage with 20km to go, it was clear that the peloton was biding their time, waiting to pull him back in before preparing for the finale. With 12km remaining, it was all over for the break and it was time to get ready for the sprint. Here, Daniel Oss took to the front to keep speeds high and police any late attacks that might go out, before dropping off and letting Peter Sagan push for the line.

Fighting hard and creating space, Peter held his top speed, but with one rider ahead of him, he was unable to find the extra pace to take the win, closing his Vuelta a San Juan campaign with a strong second place.

Fernando Gaviria

Fernando Gaviria wins the final stage.

From the Finish Line:
"It was a very fast sprint and, again, thanks to the excellent job of my teammates, I was able to position myself well in the finishing stretch. I think I got the best result I could have achieved today, Gaviria was very strong. Now that the Vuelta a San Juan has come to a close I'd like to thank the organisers and the public for this beautiful week of racing." – Peter Sagan

"We knew the break would find it difficult to last the whole day, and so we didn’t work too hard at first and expend energy unnecessarily. We didn’t want to make the catch too soon, otherwise another break could have gone, so it was timed well with 12km to go. From here, Daniel controlled the pace almost single-handedly before setting Peter up for the sprint. He was positioned right behind the train of Gaviria from where he was able to start his strongest sprint this season so far. The second place was a nice reward for the teamwork and a satisfactory end to our Argentinean race campaign. The team showed promise so it’s been a good week." – Ján Valach, Sports Director 

Team Sunweb headed to Jayco Herald Sun Tour

Here's the team's update:

Jayco Herald Sun Tour: FEB 5-9

Luke Roberts - Team Sunweb coach:
"We finish our block of racing in Australia at the Jayco Herald Sun Tour where our goal is to continue the developmental work we've done with our young sprinters and GC guys. The race gives some good opportunities for the sprinters so Alberto and Max will be looking to take a result in those stages. As the route heads into the Victorian Alpine region we'll see two summit finishes on Falls Creek and Mount Buller to decide the GC; our three Australians Jai, Rob and Michael will be the guys up there fighting for us."

Jai Hindley

Jai Hindley (shown at the 2019 Tour of Poland) will race the Herald Sun Tour. Sirotti photo

Line-up:
Asbjørn Kragh Andersen (DEN)
Alberto Dainese (ITA)
Jai Hindley (AUS)
Max Kanter (GER)
Robert Power (AUS)
Michael Storer (AUS)
Florian Stork (GER)

Further shutdowns in China increase chance for shipment delays

Bicycle Retailer & Industry News sent me this:

(BRAIN) — Due to the spread of the coronavirus, Chinese businesses and government officials are extending the Lunar New Years holiday closing period until at least Feb. 8 in more regions, increasing the likelihood of bicycle shipment delays.

Officials in Suzhou, a manufacturing hub, say businesses will stay closed until the 8th.

"This will start to slow the business down. The Suzhou area includes Kunshan, Taichang, and Jiangsu, (which) all do a lot of bikes and parts," industry veteran Mark Pippin told BRAIN. Pippin is director of the bicycle business for Madison, a United Kingdom distributor.

Many businesses in China and Taiwan normally would have re-opened this Friday, Jan. 31 following the holiday but officials have officially extended the holiday to Feb. 3 nationally and some individual cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, have extended it to Feb. 9 or 10. Several airlines have canceled flights into mainland China.

Organizers of ISPO Beijing, a sports industry trade show that includes a fair number of bike industry attendees and exhibitors, announced that they were canceling this year's show because of the virus. The show had been scheduled for Feb. 12-15.

You can read the entire piece here.

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