Slow-Mag: Edition - Cycling

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Chris Froome nominated for Laureus World Sportsman of the Year

Posted: 20:13, 17 Jan 2018

Chris Froome has been nominated for the prestigious 2018 Laureus World Sportsman of the Year award. The organisation collected the nominations through a ballot by members of international sports media. The full list of nominees was announced on Tuesday. The winners, as voted for by members of the Laureus World Sports Academy, will be revealed in Monaco on February 27, according to the organisation’s website. The Laureus World Sports Awards is an annual award ceremony honouring individuals and teams from the world of sports along with sporting achievements throughout the year. The awards support the work of Laureus Sport for Good, international projects that use the power of sport to end violence, discrimination and disadvantage, proving sports has the power to change the world.ADVERTISEMENT Froome is up for the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for winning his fourth Tour de France title in 2017. He joins a list of other high-profile athletes nominated for the award including soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo, distance runner Mo Farah, Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton and French and US Open champion Rafael Nadal. In September, Froome returned an adverse analytical finding (AAF) at the Vuelta a España for twice the permissible dose of the asthma medication salbutamol. The test took place September 7 following stage 18 of the Vuelta, a race which Froome went on to win overall. He was notified of the failed test after winning the bronze medal in the individual time trial at the UCI Road World Championships in Bergen on September 20. He has denied exceeding the permitted dosage of his asthma drug. Salbutamol is a 'specified' substance on the World Anti-Doping Agency prohibited list and so Froome was not provisionally suspended. To avoid a suspension, Froome and his legal team must convince the anti-doping authorities that he did not exceed permitted dosage and that his sample was skewed by other factors such as dehydration. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Tour Down Under: Stage 2 highlights - Video

Posted: 17:45, 17 Jan 2018

Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) laid claim to the Santos Tour Down Under ochre leader's jersey after powering to the stage 2 victory in Stirling on Wednesday.  The Australian team took advantage of the fact that overnight leader André Greipel was dropped on a late climb, and delivered Ewan to a commanding sprint victory, with teammate Daryl Impey taking second. After leading the sprint too early and seeing Ewan speed past, Peter Sagan let his Bora-Hansgrohe teammate Jay McCarthy slip across the line in third to take the remaining time bonus.ADVERTISEMENT Ewan leads the general classification over Impey and Sagan, with McCarthy now in fourth on the same time as Sagan - 12 seconds behind Ewan - but more importantly now four seconds ahead of defending champion Richie Porte (BMC Racing) and all his other rivals. Listen to the Cyclingnews podcast You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Lappartient on Chris Froome: It is important to protect the rights of riders

Posted: 17:36, 17 Jan 2018

UCI president David Lappartient has said that he hopes that the investigation into Chris Froome's salbutamol adverse analytical finding will be resolved ahead of the Giro d’Italia. Lappartient mirrors the wishes of Giro race director Mauro Vegni, who yesterday made a plea to the UCI to "sort out" the case, but emphasized that it is important to protect the rights of riders. Froome is scheduled to ride the race in May as he attempts a Giro-Tour double. If the investigation does not reach its conclusion before the Giro d'Italia, Froome would still be able to race. Should he win, the result could later be disqualified if Froome was retroactively banned, as in the case of Alberto Contador in 2011. “I hope so,” Lappartient told Swiss publication Neue Zurcher Zeitung when asked if the case would be resolved by the Italian Grand Tour. “The case is very bad for cycling. He is the most famous rider we have.”ADVERTISEMENT Lappartient added that Froome had not been given any special treatment by being allowed to continue to compete while the case is ongoing, saying that forcing Froome to suspend himself would go against their own regulations. Although, he added that it would have made things easier if Team Sky were part of the MPCC, which requires teams to suspend any riders under investigation. "It is important to uphold the rights of the rider," Lappartient said. "There is no special treatment for him, even if some riders claim that. Salbutamol is one of the drugs allowed in a limited dose. An immediate suspension would conflict with the rules in force. "It would also be good if Sky were MPCC members. Then Froome would have suspended himself. But that's up to the teams." Motor doping, team radios and Lance Armstrong You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Could Vandenbergh be Bardet's Tour de France guardian angel?

Posted: 16:35, 17 Jan 2018

Stijn Vandenbergh hasn’t competed in a Grand Tour since 2010 and he’s only ever finished one three-week race in his entire career, but the 33-year-old Classics specialist is in contention for a place on Romain Bardet’s Tour de France team. Why, when teams are being cut from nine riders to eight, would AG2R la Mondiale consider giving a place to a rider who has never made stage racing his forte? The answer lies in the profile of the first week of the Tour de France and Vandenbergh's relatively unique skill set in a team more suited to stage racing in the mountains. The opening days of the Tour – until the first rest-day – are littered with danger, especially for a lightweight like Bardet. Cobbles, tight roads, fights for position and a team trial – Bardet could potentially be minutes down before the race even reaches the mountains. Step forward Vandenbergh.ADVERTISEMENT "Something like the Tour depends on the condition but I don’t know yet if I’ll do it. It’s been a long time. The last time was when I was at Katusha and I did the Tour de France two times. I finished it once. That’s been seven years ago now," he told Cyclingnews at the Tour Down Under. Almost two meters in height, Vandenbergh was for five years one of Tom Boonen's protectors at Quick-Step. What was good enough for one of the best one-day riders in history would surely serve a rider like Bardet during the chaos of the first week at the Tour. One issue, perhaps is that Vandenbergh track record in three-week racing is virtually non-existent. Two starts, one finish does not scream consistency. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Bugno: Chris Froome is innocent until proven guilty so it's right he can race

Posted: 15:45, 17 Jan 2018

Gianni Bugno has defended Chris Froome’s decision to continue racing while trying to explain his Adverse Analytical Finding (AAF) for salbutamol, insisting the Team Sky leader is innocent until proven guilty. Bugno, double world champion in 1991 and 1992 and now the president of the Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) riders association, told La Gazzetta dello Sport that he is “on Froome’s side”, but called for a rapid verdict in the case. Twice the permitted level of salbutamol was found in Froome’s urine after stage 18 of the Vuelta a España as Froome fought to defend the leader’s red jersey. The 32-year-old denies exceeding the permitted dosage of his asthma drugs. Given that salbutamol is a ‘specified’ substance on WADA’s prohibited list, Froome has not been suspended by the UCI, but the onus is now on the British rider to convince the authorities his sample could have been skewed by other factors. On Tuesday L’Equipe suggested that Froome’s defence could be based on an unusual accumulation and then release of the drug via his kidneys. However, Froome and Team Sky have not revealed any details of their defence or spoken about the case since initial statements in December. It is understood that Froome and his legal team are still responding to questions from the UCI, with an eventual disciplinary hearing and verdict some time away. Froome has continued to train for the 2018 season since The Guardian and Le Monde exposed the on-going case on December 13, with the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France remaining as major goals. He could possibly make his season debut at an early-season stage race in Europe in February as he builds up to the May 4 start of the Giro. Riders often suspend themselves while caught up in a doping case, or are suspended by their team due to internal rules or those of the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Credible (MPCC). Team Sky is not a member of the MPCC. The World Anti-Doping rules allow time away from racing under a self-suspension to be included in any eventual ban. However, Froome seems determined to race as he fights to clear his name, convinced he has not done anything wrong.ADVERTISEMENT Bugno agrees with his position. "I’m totally on his side. Froome is innocent until proven guilty and so it’s right he can race," Bugno told La Gazzetta dello Sport. "If he can’t manage to prove his innocence he’ll pay the consequences. That’s the way it is for everyone, not only him. The important thing is that sporting justice quickly decides things." Chris Froome returns adverse analytical finding for salbutamol Chris Froome: I haven't broken any rules Prudhomme wants Froome situation resolved quickly Giro d'Italia director calls on UCI to 'sort out' Chris Froome's salbutamol case You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Tour Down Under: Sprints, crashes, and a looming GC battle - Podcast

Posted: 15:10, 17 Jan 2018

Stage 2 of the Tour Down Under ended with a sprint win for Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) and in the latest episode of the Cyclingnews Podcast – brought to you in association with Prendas Ciclismo and Pinarello – we hear from Andre Greipel, Ewan, Richie Porte, Adam Hansen and Steve Morabito. Greipel won Tuesday's stage 1 and pulled on the first leader's jersey, but today, on the road to Stirling, Ewan surprised everyone on the gradual climb to the finish, won the stage and took the overall lead in the process. After two days of racing, Ewan leads the race by 10 seconds, with a host of GC candidates hot on his heels. We hear from Greipel about his stage 1 win, and what was a difficult and emotional 2017, as well as from his long serving teammate, Adam Hansen, who has ridden with the German since 2007.ADVERTISEMENT We also hear from Porte on the battle for the GC, and how his title defence could and should come down to Willunga Hill on stage 5. There’s Ewan on his first stage win of the race but the standout interview comes from Morabito, who calmly explains how he popped his shoulder in after dislocating it in a stage 2 crash. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Ewan back to his best with Peter Sagan-beating stage win

Posted: 12:13, 17 Jan 2018

With his Tour Down Under winning streak broken on the opening stage of the 2018 edition of the race, Caleb Ewan bounced back in style in Stirling. The Mitchelton-Scott rider took his best stage win yet at the Australian race, powering past Bora-Hansgrohe's Jay McCarthy and world champion Peter Sagan. Lead-out man Daryl Impey held on for second place, erasing the memories of defeat 24 hours prior in Lyndoch. "It is probably more exciting winning on a stage you are unsure about going into," said Ewan, who also moves into the leader's ochre jersey.ADVERTISEMENT "By this time last year I had a few wins by the time we got to the second stage. Maybe my confidence went down a little bit so it was great to see the team's confidence didn't go down at all and they backed me on a finish that probably didn't suit me so well." Ewan's stage 1 loss to Andre Greipel was a new experience at the race, having won the six previous sprints he'd contested. Of his now seven career stage wins, Stirling was arguably the hardest of the lot, with the added advantage of taking an early season win over Sagan. "To get one up on him here in a finish that suits him is a bonus," said Ewan, who beat Sagan and John Degenkolb to a Vuelta a España stage win on a hilly finish as a neo-pro in 2015. "I think winning on these harder stages is what I need. Even the flatter stages of the Tour [de France] are going to be pretty tough." Impey impact You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Richie Porte keen to see Tour Down Under decided on Willunga Hill

Posted: 11:41, 17 Jan 2018

Stage 2 to Stirling had the potential to open up the overall classification at the Tour Down Under but in the end the finish came down to a reduced bunch sprint with Caleb Ewan (Mitchelton-Scott) winning ahead of his teammate Daryl Impey and Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe). For the defending champion Richie Porte (BMC), it was a relatively calm day in the saddle and despite the brutally hot conditions, and the frantic finale, the Australian was relatively happy with the stage. “The aim was to try and keep out of trouble but in the end Simon Gerrans and Danilo Wyss really sacrificed and did a fantastic job for me. There was a headwind and it was nice to see Caleb win. I’m not really surprised though, he was climbing well at the nationals so it’s good to see,” Porte told Cyclingnews.ADVERTISEMENT The day started out in a relatively calm fashion with a small break going clear and the sprinters’ teams marshalling the main field. BMC, despite their stature as the race favourites, were able to sit back as others looked to bring the fight to them. Porte can now look forward to the stage 5 to Willunga Hill to mount his attack for a second consecutive overall victory. While there are intermediate stages where bonus seconds can be shipped, the Australian has only lost four seconds to Impey, and two to McCarthy and three to Nathan Haas. “It was a tricky little course but as they say it’s another day closer to the weekend,” Porte said. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Shoulder popping at the Tour Down Under with Morabito

Posted: 11:25, 17 Jan 2018

When television images showed Steve Morabito (FDJ) clutching his right shoulder and sitting on the tarmac on stage 2 of the Tour Down Under, everyone predicted that the Swiss rider would leave the race with a broken collarbone. Everyone but Morabito, it seems. As the peloton pushed through the heat and towards the finish in Stirling, leaving Morabito behind, medics rushed to the rider’s aid. When he made it to his feet he immediately knew what he had done and as he stood over his bike, and gripping the bars tightly, he and his team staff yanked his shoulder into place. “I did it by myself. The guys behind in the ambulance don’t want to do it, I know how to do it and so I did it by myself with the help of my team,” Morabito told Cyclingnews and CyclingTips at the finish.ADVERTISEMENT “I grabbed my handlebar and some guys were keeping my bike straight and I just pushed a little bit the shoulder and it came in. It was really painful before and when it’s come in it’s again ok.” By the time Morabito had crossed the line most of teammates had left for the race hotel, some 45 minutes drive from the finish of stage 2. However, with his young family in Australia, Morabito took time to play with his young daughter and catch up with his directuer sportif. He barely had a scratch on him when two journalists approached him, but indicated that he would ride the full distance back to the team hotel and then be assessed ahead of Thursday’s stage. “I’ll ride to the Hilton and after I will see tonight and I hope to start again tomorrow. Now it’s ok. It’s a bit sore I will say. First I touched my collarbone and felt it was nothing on it and I realised the shoulder was just sitting in the front and it was very clear … no doubt it’s this.” You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Tour Down Under: Stage 3 shortened due to 40 degree forecast

Posted: 09:21, 17 Jan 2018

Stage 3 of the Tour Down Under has been shortened by 26km due to forecasted temperatures of 40 degrees and above. The stage was due to finish with three circuits in Victor Habor but will instead only feature one. The adjusted stage length will be 120.5 kilometres. The decision was made by race director Mike Turtur in consultation with Cyclistes Professionnels Associés (CPA) representative Adam Hansen and UCI race commissaires. Stage 1 of the 2017 Tour Down Under was also shortened due to extreme heat with Turtur enacting the UCI Extreme Weather protocol. The planned Bupa Family Ride has also been cancelled due to the expected challenging conditions.ADVERTISEMENT "The safety and welfare of the riders, spectators and everyone involved with the race is always our primary concern," said Turtur. "We consulted with rider representative Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal) and with our Chief Commissaire, and both agreed it would be sensible to shorten the stage distance." There is also extreme fire danger warnings for tomorrow around Victor Harbor and severe danger ratings across the state. Stage 3 of the race will still start in the seaside suburb of Glenelg and travel south to Victor Harbor. The stage was won last year by Caleb Ewan in cold, windy and wet conditions. Ewan will be wearing the ochre jersey as race leader for Thursday's stage. You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Heat is on as Jan Braai tackles TransCape (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 10:30, 11 Jan 2018

Jan Braai, renowned for his National Braai Day initiative, will turn his attention to a fresh challenge when he participates in the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter next month.

TransCape riders to sample La Couronne wines (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 16:26, 10 Jan 2018

Participants in the Liberty TransCape MTB Encounter will be treated to a selection of award-winning wines during the mountain bike race that finishes after a taxing 614km at La Couronne Wine Estate in Franschhoek on February 10.

Premium bicycle brand ‘HEAD' to South Africa (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 11:48, 12 Dec 2017

HEAD, market leaders in several premium sporting brands, have brought their highly rated bicycles to South African consumers with the first consignment hitting local shores last week.

Shusha and Smith rule at Wild Coast MTB Classic (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 14:30, 09 Dec 2017

Two KwaZulu-Natal cyclists, Lindani Shusha and Hayley Smith, took the honours in the feature races of the Bestmed Wild Coast Sun MTB Classic near Port Edward today.

TransCape lands major title sponsor (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 12:48, 04 Dec 2017

One of South Africa's top mountain bike stage races, the TransCape, has received a major boost with the news that Liberty will be the title sponsor from 2018.

Stiff climb key to victory in wild coast race (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 11:57, 30 Nov 2017

A 14km stretch of district road leading to the top of a plateau could be the tipping point when cyclists tackle the Bestmed Wild Coast Sun MTB Classic near Port Edward in KwaZulu-Natal next weekend.

ASG Group open luxury cycling store in Pretoria (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 15:44, 24 Nov 2017

With numerous local and international cycling personalities such as cycling commentator Phil Liggett and Olympic Gold medallist Elia Viviani in attendance, the latest ASG store opened in Pretoria last night.

Top SA women's cycling team sign rising star (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 14:54, 24 Nov 2017

Former Tour of Ireland best young rider Hazel Magill has been included in the Bestmed-ASG squad's rider line-up for the 2018 season.

Wild Coast mountain bike race a family affair of n (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 12:37, 24 Nov 2017

Organisers are literally leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to ensure that the inaugural Bestmed Wild Coast Sun MTB Classic is a family affair of note.

UCI race opened up to commuters and tourists (Own Correspondent)

Posted: 10:15, 22 Nov 2017

Riding 614km over seven days with 10 200m of vertical ascent does not sit in everyone's legs, which is why the organisers of the TransCape mountain bike race in South Africa have come up with a plan.

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