Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Daily News Roundup 06.03.2012

Andy Schleck
(image credit: R. Masoner
CC BY-SA 2.0)
Andy Schleck has abandoned Paris-Nice due to gastroenteritis. The 26-year-old has reportedly struggled through the first two stages in some pain - he was almost 11' behind stage winner Tom Boonen yesterday. Directeur sportif Alain Gallopin said that Andy, recently declared winner of the 2010 Tour de France after Alberto Contador was stripped of the title, had felt better this morning but the decision to pull him from the race was taken after he developed stomach pains and a high temperature on the team bus as it traveled to the start of today's Stage 3.

A new memorial plaque is to be created in honour of Schleck's team mate Wouter Weylandt in Middelburg, it has been announced. The first three stages of the 2010 Giro d'Italia were held in the Netherlands that year, with Dutch fans lionising the 26-year-old Belgian when he won Stage 3 in the town. During Stage 3 the following year, as he desceded the Passo del Bocco as around 80kph, he lost control of his bike and crashed. Doctors concluded that his injuries were so great he would have been killed instantaneously. Weylandt's girlfriend An-Sophie, who was five months pregnant at the time of his death, will attend the unveiling ceremony on the 2nd of April this year.

The Tour of the Basque Country and Clasica San Sebastien have been saved by a last-minute financial deal with bank Sabadell Guipuzcoano, say reports that apparently confirm news released last Friday. Euskadi's most important races, beloved by a vast swathe of the Basque people, faced oblivion when organisers announced a 150,000 hole in funds with the autonomous region's government unable to provide money as has previously been the case. Fans and riders have been pressing the UCI to make up the difference, especially in the wake of recent news that professional cycling is doing well overall, and the governing body has agreed to channel support into the events. Race president Jaime Ugarte was expected to make an announcement on Monday evening.

Comeback for Cipollini?
(image credit: Eric Houdas CC BY 3.0)
Cipo to return to racing?
Mario Cipollini is apparently considering making a return to professional cycling at this year's Giro d'Italia, says Velonation - despite the fact that he will be 45 in two weeks' time. Cipollini was one of the fastest sprinters the sport has ever seen and one of its most colourful characters, frequently angering the UCI and delighting fans by dropping out of mountainous races (in which, like most sprinters, he suffered badly) and then publishing photographs of himself lounging on a sun-soaked beach with cocktail in hand and entourage of beautiful women around him, dressing himself and his Saeco team up as Roman centurions for a mad, bad Tour rest day of hedonistic fun and his infamous Muscle Suit - a skin suit printed with a disturbingly lifelike representation of the human muscular system (note: he was a colourful character, not necessarily a tasteful one).

Meanwhile, the UCI have declared his return "not possible" this year at least, citing an anti-doping regulation that stipulates all riders returning to competition must have been subject to tests for six months prior to the first race they enter since announcing their intentions. With the Giro just two months away, Velonation suggests that the entire story was nothing but a stunt aimed at getting some publicity for Cipo's bike range. Farnese Vini-Selle Italia team bosses say they'd heard nothing about the plan before now.

New cycling magazine
You might think there are already plenty of cycling lifestyle magazines on offer - after all, cycling is a lifestyle for us, not just a hobby - but there was never a cycling lifestyle magazine for the inner-city trendy cyclist. You know the type: they ride Dutch bikes and wear ultra-stylish, ultra-expensive couture rather than sweaty lycra. A strange breed to be sure, but any two-wheeled breed is to be welcomed (apart from teenage hooligans on scooters, anyway). That's where Momentum Magazine comes in. Having previously existed as a give-away title available through a few select newstands, the first full-length issue went on sale in Canada last week priced at $4.95. Expect similar magazines everywhere trendy yoof spend their trust funds on bicycles in the very near future - and hey, don't crow on about it too much: nobody's forcing you to buy it. Two wheels good, four wheels bad and all that.

Other news
Lars Van Der Haar has been given special dispensation by the UCI to race in the Elite cyclo cross class next season following his stunning Under-23 World Championship victory earlier this year, says nusport.nl. The Dutch rider will be 21 when the season begins.

Nick Nuyens suffered a broken hip when he crashed during the Paris-Nice opening time trial, managers of the SaxoBank team have confirmed.

A report in The Times claims that numbers of cyclists admitted to a London hospital after accidents involving motorised vehicles have increased threefold in six years - in 2004, the Royal London Hospital saw 24 cycling casualties and zero deaths, but in 2009 it saw 69 casualties and eight deaths. The study also shows that heavy goods vehicles are most likely to injure or kill cyclists - no surprise to cyclists there then. The newspaper's Cities Fit for Cycling Campaign has called for HGVs to be fitted with devices alerting drivers to the presence of cyclists around their vehicles.


had a nasty little crash today but G'd up for Wiggo who has taken the jersey in Paris-Nice! 

Ted King ‏ @iamtedking  
I propose the name becomes "Paris-Stress-Nice" because we sure as crap ain't getting from Paris to Nice without riding thru abundant Stress.

@mmmaiko can't Wiggo have a 'Tourminator' style nickname? The MODerator?

Annie Simpson ‏ @LittleSimo  
Finding it hard to concentrate on Uni work as the prospect of going out with the Family for a curry is too distracting #kormadaydreaming

Even as a joke I can't accept cipo.

@aslongasicycle Cipo is an entertainer. The sport misses characters like him. The word "panache" was invented for him 
Methinks Cipo fears his sexiness will be forgotten with all the pretty young things riding for Liquigas and Farnese these days.

Nick Hussey, Vulpine ‏ @aslongasicycle 
Cipollini should be ridiculous. But he is so so sublime

mmmaiko ‏ @mmmaiko
radioschleck should put black tape over the _0_ butthole to mourn the loss of andy to diarrhea. #ParisNice

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