Latest News in Cycling
BERLIN — German state broadcaster ARD is considering screening stages of the Tour de France again after refusing to show live coverage since 2012 due to doping scandals in cycling.
A decision will be made at the end of the year, ARD chairman Lutz Marmor said on Wednesday at a press conference in Hanover, Germany.
Two years ago, both main German broadcasters ARD and ZDF pulled the plug on screening the world’s top cycling race in Germany after repeated doping scandals rocked the sport.
But ARD’s program director Volker Herre says they feel the sport has made significant progress in the fight against doping in recent years.
Recently, German sprint star Marcel Kittel has ben unparalleled in the Tour’s flat stages, spurring renewed interest in German cyclists. He even hinted that he’ll aim for the sprinter’s green jersey at some point in his career.
“Everyone can be proud of it, it’s great to see so many German riders here,” Kittel said after the Tour. “It shows German cycling is part of the top of the cycling world and that’s awesome.”
Editor’s Note: This video is courtesy of The Col Collective. The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily represent the opinions of VeloNews.com, Velo magazine or the editors and staff of Competitor Group, Inc.
The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announced Wednesday that Artur Fedosseyev, a rider for Astana’s Continental team, tested positive for anabolic androgenic steroids in an anti-doping sample collected at the Tour de l’Ain on August 16, 2014.
This is the fifth positive doping test linked to the Astana team this season, after the Iglinskiy brothers, Ilya Davidenok, and Victor Okishev all tested positive for banned substances in the second half of the 2014.
The UCI has provisionally suspended Fedosseyev, and it remains to be seen if the Kazakhstani will request a B sample test.
The post Astana’s Fedosseyev tests positive for anabolic steroids appeared first on VeloNews.com.
All those bumps, lumps, dismounts, and run-ups were bound to take their toll.
Tim Johnson (Cannondale-Cyclocrossworld.com), something like American cyclocross royalty now, has been dousing the pyrotechnics of back spasms since 2007. But this year, the fiery pain has been more consistent, and kept him from his best form. And, flatly, if the injury doesn’t get any better, he may have to hang it up.
“I’ve been in a situation for the past two months where I’ve been dealing with this back problem,” Johnson said earlier this week. “Every year I’d have an episode where my back would spasm like crazy … Can’t move, can’t stand up, can’t walk.”
Through the years, Johnson has been able to manage the issues, caused by two herniated discs and contact between vertebrae. But this season, he hasn’t been able to stay out front of the pain. “It’s gotten worse,” Johnson said, noting that on a Saturday — podiums in Boulder, Madison, and Providence — he’ll have a good ride, then fade away come Sunday on a double-race weekend.
“It’s like someone drew a line horizontally across my lower back. And from there down I always feel that line. … All of the sudden your lower back turns into one solid thing. You lose all the power and mobility,” Johnson said. “It really sucks because sometimes it is the most debilitating thing. Because on the outside you still walk, you still talk … but man, when you’re trying to race and you’re going full gas outta every corner and you don’t have your back … I don’t even have a word for it.”
He’s been to doctors and tried assorted therapies for his kinked back. At this point, Johnson, 37, has just dialed down the level. “What’s going on right now is that I had planned on racing more than I had been. I planned on going to UK for the World Cup this weekend. But since I’m really not in any kind of form to represent the U.S. at the first World Cup off the Euro continent, I had to cancel,” he said.
Instead, Johnson will race in Japan, at the Nobeyama Cyclocross Race in Japan. He will then look to the USA Cycling cyclocross national championships in Austin as a benchmark. “I’m going to try and train for the next week and a half, two weeks, and then do another test. And if I haven’t really improved then I’ll know that things aren’t salvageable much,” he said of the season and, perhaps, beyond. In a month or so, Johnson will make the larger call on his future; will he keep riding, or retire?
If he did walk away, it wouldn’t be so bad, would it? Johnson took third in 1999 at the under-23 race at the UCI world cyclocross championships, and he’s a three-time national champion in the elites. He’s as well-known as any cyclocross rider is stateside.
“Growing up, you have no idea what anything is. Ten years ago, at 27, if I had thought about how long I wanted to ride as a pro, then I would have been totally content getting to this point,” he said. “As much as I’ve learned the ins and outs of the actual sport itself there’s so many other things to learn about life. And hopefully some of these things will apply, you know?”
MILAN (VN) — American Tyler Farrar is set to play an important part in the next chapter of MTN-Qhubeka as it pushes to become the first African team at the Tour de France.
“The Tour is the big event in our sport and that’s what we are going for,” Team MTN general manager Brian Smith told VeloNews.
“Nelson Mandela Day is the 18th of July, during the Tour de France. If this African team gets into the Tour de France, then that’s going to be huge for the team but also for the Qhubeka charity.”
The Qhubeka charity is committed to providing bicycles to children in need, in South Africa.
This winter, South Africa’s MTN squad beefed up its second division team by signing several riders from top, WorldTour squads. Along with Farrar from Garmin-Sharp, the team signed Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky), Dutchman Theo Bos (Belkin), Englishman Steve Cummings (BMC Racing), Australian Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge), and Belgian Serge Pauwels (Omega Pharma-Quick Step).
Some critics have said that MTN’s signings did not make sense, arguing that Boasson Hagen, Bos, Farrar and Goss are all the same type of riders: fast and strong, but not enough to win often.
Boasson Hagen won the 2009 Gent-Wevelgem and has won two stages at the Tour. Goss took the 2011 Milano-Sanremo title. And Washington-native Farrar counts stage wins in all three Grand Tours, including his 2011 Tour stage in Redon.
“Everyone has his own opinion,” Smith added. “I had to take on eight riders, thinking what is good for the team and its sponsors. I thought, how do you get brand awareness? I looked for experienced riders with names, riders that people forgot about. It was like when I worked at Cervélo TestTeam, we were looked for people with a point to prove.”
Farrar took the back seat in team Garmin this year as the team focused on its budding stage race talents Dan Martin and Andrew Talansky. Farrar raced the Giro d’Italia, but skipped the Tour de France and Vuelta a España. As if spurred by his new contract, he won for the first time in 2014 in October’s Tour of Beijing.
“Some people forgot about these riders,” Smith said. “If you take Farrar and Boasson Hagan together in a race like Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, their combined efforts are that of a race favourite. They just need that confidence and self-belief.”
“It’s good to challenge yourself sometimes,” 30-year-old Farrar told VeloNews in September after he inked his two-year deal. “You can fall into familiar patterns, so going somewhere different, with a different culture; that can be a good thing. I hope it can be a breath of fresh air.”
Farrar, and Smith’s other WorldTour signings, will have several challenges. They must help MTN’s young African talents like Louis Meintjes and Merhawi Kudus, lead the team in stage races and classics, and help bring Qhubeka money.
MTN-Qhubeka receives support from Africa’s telecommunications giant MTN and from electronics manufacturer Samsung, but gives to Qhubeka. The non-profit group provides poor Africans with bicycles in exchange for good deeds, such as growing 200 trees to 30 centimetres or collecting 4500 plastic bottles. Since 2005, it has distributed 51,000 bikes.
Smith wisely signed WorldTour riders from different areas of the worlds to attract potential donors who can help Qhubeka’s work.
“Louis Meintjes, Youcef Reguigui, and Adrien Niyonshuti are not recognised in America, but Tyler Farrar is,” Smith continued. “If Tyler wins next year in an MTN-Qhubeka shirt, what do you think the possibilities are of him rising funds from America?”
The post Farrar to play important part in MTN’s 2015 ambitions appeared first on VeloNews.com.