Monday 5 March 2012

Daily News Roundup

Nick Nuyens has abandoned Paris-Nice. The 31-year-old Belgian rider turned up at the start of the second stage this morning, but decided not to go on as he is presumably suffering in the wake of a hard crash yesterday.

Pat McQuaid
(image credit: Oblongo CC BY-SA 2.0)
McQuaid harbours Contador doubts?
UCI boss Pat McQuaid has revealed that he's not convinced Spanish rider intentionally doped at the 2010 Tour de France - and even hints that he's not happy with the Spanish rider's punishment, telling the Spanish AS sports newspaper that "The Court of Arbitration for Sport in its ruling does not say that Contador is guilty or has doped, and states that a contaminated nutritional supplement is to blame." When asked if it would have been worse for Contador to be escape prosecution and continue riding, even with suspicions hanging over him, he says: "I do not know, honestly."

McQuaid also says that he believes the war against doping is being won. "Doping has not been what it was  for some years now. Fortunately, the situation has changed for the better, and there are less positive results." Asked if doping is cycling's worst enemy, he says "One of the worst, no doubt because it is a deeply rooted culture - as it is in other sports." However, he feels that the problem is now sufficiently under control for the UCI to start looking at combating other issues: "...another very serious problem that affects other disciplines to ours is that of illegal gambling. That sporting fraud is on the agenda."

Vos: "I have so much more power available"
You might think Marianne Vos would be content with where she is now, winning just abut everything she enters. You might even think she couldn't get any better. Marianne, who will be 25 this May, loves her sport so much that she believes she can get even better: she explained in Rabo Wielermagazine that one of the best things about riding with the new Rabobank Women's Team is the improved training program which gives her opportunity to improve specific areas. At present, she's working on her time trial performance in preparation for the Olympics. "It is, of course, a test on a stationary bike in an enclosed space and you can't compare it to a real race," says the Dutch rider. "However, it gives me confidence that I have so much more power available."

Other news
Cofidis rider Florent Barle broke his collar bone at the Three Days of West Flanders - a new misfortune for the 26-year-old Frenchmanwho won the 2010 Tour of the Pyrenees but went without victory in 2011.

Canadian Heather Moyse - who has already had successful careers as a rugby player and in bobsleigh - proved her recent decision to begin a third career as a cyclist was a wise one yesterday when she was the fourth fastest rider in the 500m TT at the PanAmerican Championships in Argentina, recording a time of 36.207".

Bernard Hinault is tipping Tom Boonen for success in today's second stage at Paris-Nice. "Boonen has made an impression," says the five-time Tour de France winner. "He was very fast, even on the climbs. He is aiming, of course, for the Spring Classics, but with the form he has he can make use of any opportunity. If an opportunity arises he won't miss it, because he is a winner." Boonen is paying respects to LeopardTrek's Wouter Weylandt with a "108 per sempre" badge on his bike. 108 was Weylandt's race number when he died at the Giro d'Italia last year.

Three-time track cycling World Champion Gary Neiwand appeared before Melbourne Magistrates today, where the 45-year-old Australian faces two counts of deliberately exposing his genitals to women whilst masturbating in his car. Magistrates received a medical report stating that Neiwand is responding well to treatment for psychological problems caused by heavy drinking and now has his drinking under control, but said that they believe the rider needs the threat of imprisonment hanging over him to encourage him to continue treatment. According to the Herald Sun newspaper, "In an extraordinary outburst outside court, Neiwand’s lawyer threatened to knock a TV camerman’s “head off” as the former cycling great was bundled into an awaiting car."

He's OK, folks -
Alex Dowsett
(image credit: Adambro CC BY-SA 3.0)
British Time Trial Champion Alex Dowsett broke his elbow in a crash during the final stage at the Three Days of West Flanders on Sunday. Team management had initially believed the rider had not broken any bones after another rider crashed in front of him, but subsequent medical checks confirmed otherwise. The 23-year-old Team Sky rider preferred to be treated back home, as he revealed when he passed on the news via his Twitter account...
Broke my elbow yesterday. Drove myself back from Belgium & checked into A&E. Operation today at Royal London Hospital.

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