Friday, 20 April 2012

Evening Cycle News 20.04.12

Schlecks want La Doyenne - Teams start announcing Giro squads - Romandie Routes Revealed - Millar may still be picked for London - Minicab boss angers cyclists, "die-in" to take place outside office this Monday - London mayoral hopefuls clash on cycling safety - Other cycling news from around the world

Schlecks determined to win La Doyenne
Following a somewhat lacklustre start to the season, the Brothers Schleck say that they are determined one of them will win Liège-Bastogne-Liège this weekend.

"I can’t tell you now what we plan to do. One time I went on Redoute,” Andy told journalists at a press conference near Liège. “Is it on La Roche? Is it on Saint Nicolas? We have to wait until the race."

Andy won La Doyenne three years ago, but which brother goes for the win remains to be seen - he's the most successful of the two, but Frank has demonstrated better form so far this year.

Lotto-Belisol and BMC announce Giro squads
Thor Hushovd
Teams have begun announcing their line-ups for 2012's first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia - which kicks off in the Danish city Herning in a fortnight's time. Lotto-Belisol and BMC were first to publish lists: Lotto are sending Lars Ytting Bak, Gaetan Bille, Brian Bulgac, Bart DeClerc, Francis DeGreef, Adam Hansen, Olivier Kaisen, Gianni Meersman and Dennis Vanendert. Meersman, as reported yesterday, has been experiencing knee problems - he and any other rider who cannot ride will be replaced by one of the two substitutes Kenny Dehaes and Gert Dockx.

BMC plan to send Alessandro Ballan, Mathias Frank, Thor Hushovd, Taylor Phinney, Marco Pinotti, Mauro Santambrogio, Ivan Santaromita, Johann Tschopp and Danilo Wyss.

Romandie Routes Revealed
The Tour de Romandie starts next Tuesday and organisers have published details of the course on the official race website. The race begins with an individual time trial prologue of 3.4km at Lausanne, Stage 1 covers 184.5km between Morges and La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Stage 2 covers 149.1km between Montbeliard and Moutier, Stage 3 covers 157.6km between La Neuveville and Charmey, Stage 4 covers 184km between Bulle and Sion and the Stage 5 team time trial covers 16.5km beginning and ending at Crans-Montana.

Mountains higher than 1,000m this year are Les Bugnenets (1,116m, Stage 1), La Cibourg (1,081m, Stage 1), Col de la Tourne (1,129m, Stage 1), Haut de la Cote (1,035m, Stage 1), La Communal de la Sagne (1,158m, Stage 1), Les Genevez (1,025m, Stage 2), Le Chatelard (1,1002m, Stage 3), Col del Mosses (1,452m, Stage 4), Bas Nendaz (1,008m, Stage 4), Veysonnaz (1,473m, Stage 4) and St-Martin (1,423m, Stage 4). Maps. profiles and videos are available here.

David Millar in 2008
Team GB would pick Millar if lifetime ban rule repealed
Dave Brailsford, performance director at Team GB says that he will pick Scottish cyclist David Millar if the British Olympic Commission are not successful in retaining a rule that bans for life any athlete who has been banned from competition after failing a dope test. (More details from Wales Online)

Millar was banned following one of the most high-profile investigations into an individual cyclist ever seen, returning to cycling shortly before the 2006 Tour de France. After making a full confession, he became widely viewed as one of the most honest professional cyclists and, as one of the more articulate and intelligent members of the peloton, has become a spokesperson on the sport and riders' rights. However, he is famously a very sensitive and emotional person, suffering badly with depression while serving his ban and, as a result, it's far from certain is he would even accept his selection: "I am quite happy looking forward to 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games," he told the Daily Telegraph newspaper last month. "That will be a much more joyful experience than me going to the Olympics as a black sheep. I've nailed myself to a few crosses and I'm not sure if I'm prepared to go for the final big one on this."

Minicab boss about everyone
Addison Lee minicabs boss John Griffin has caused controversy after claiming that cyclists in London are irresponsible in "throwing themselves onto some of the most congested spaces in the world...[on] a vehicle which offers them no protection except a padded plastic hat."

His comments, which he made in his editorial section in Addison Lee's in-house magazine Add Lib, created a storm on the Internet with cyclists, road safety campaigners and the majority of responsible motorists very much not in favour. Generally, a company would be pleased to find its name trending on Twitter, but in this case almost all Tweets were from people stating they'd never use an Addison Lee cab again and were about to or had already cancelled their account with the firm.

Griffin went on to say that it's his belief that cyclists should pay road tax: "It is time for us to say to cyclists: ‘You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up.'" He is, apparently, unaware that nobody has paid road tax since 1937, when Churchill abolished it.

If you as a cyclist would like to let Addison Lee know your thoughts on the matter, the good news is that you can by using their customer contact webpage - which is here. Obviously you should be polite, even though their boss has just said that if you deserve it if someone runs you over and kills you.

London-based cyclists are (or anyone who can get there is) invited to join a mass "die-in" outside the company's headquarters on Monday the 23rd of April. Meet at 6pm on the corner of Stanhope Street/William Road (51°31'37.80"N 0° 8'27.00"W). Road accident cosmetics and fake blood are welcome. More details here.

London mayor and rivals clash on cycling
London mayoral candidates Boris Johnson (Conservative) and Ken Livingstone (Labour) clashed on the subject of cycling after Johnson, the current mayor, claimed that although sixteen cyclists died on London's roads last year the fatality rate is actually falling. Livingstone then brought up the matter of Bow roundabout, a notorious accident blackspot - according to Johnson's opponents, Transport for London recommended changes to make the roundabout safer for cyclists in 2010, but these changes have not been put in place and Kulveer Ranger, Johnson's former cycling advisor, says that he was never consulted on the matter.

Bow roundabout
"Your office instructed Transport for London to remove the cycling safety measures," Livingstone said during a televised debate. "Within a month two cyclist were killed and when the police investigation is over your office may be subject to a corporate manslaughter charge." The two cyclists he mentioned were killed in an accident on the roundabout late last year.

"That’s absolutely outrageous, not only because it’s from a man who can’t ride a bike, but one who stands on a platform of cutting investment," replied Johnson, who cycles daily but is considered by many to do so as a PR exercise.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrat candidate and ex-police officer Brian Paddick is even more forthright than Livingstone: "Boris Johnson's policy is killing cyclists," he said during the same debate. (More from the Huffington Post)

Amber Neben turns challenges into opportunities (ESPN W)

Allergy and asthma diagnosis for Astana’s Kessiakoff, Swedish rider believes he’s found reason for lack of form (Velonation)

Moore Large bringing Knog, Lake, Limar and more to Irish Cycling Show (Bike Biz)

Katusha meets after Galimzyanov's doping positive (Cycling Weekly)

25 hot bikes at Road Cycling Show this weekend (Cycling Weekly)

Earth Day in Detroit - Motor City becomes Cycle City (Forbes)

Route announced for inaugural Pedal The Plains bike riace across eastern Colorado (Denver Post)

Dismiss Cyclists At Your Own Peril: The Jackson Huang Lesson (Eagle Rock Patch)

"Chain gangs: spot London's cycling tribes" (Evening Standard)

Wealthy cyclist Joshua Rechnitz donates $40million to New York to build velodrome (The Brooklyn Paper)

Distance Cycling season kicks off this weekend when the Randonneurs roll into Talkeetna, Alaska (KTNA)

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