Wednesday 18 April 2012

Cycling News from around the World 18.04.12

Hopes for 2013 Russian Tour - Saxobank to challenge UCI, Riis sees no reason Contador won't be on the team for 2013 - Canadian students develop bike crash test dummy - Other News - Today's Top Tweets

Fleche Wallonne News

Russia hopes for "mini-Tour"
The world's largest nation is taking advantage of UCI efforts to expand cycling out of its traditional western European heartlands, which has already seen races in the Far East, Australia and elsewhere, with its own week-long tour - and the first edition could be run as early as 2013.

"We plan to call it the Tour of Russia - a smaller version of the famous Tour de France race," says Alexander Gusyatnikov of the Russian Cycling Federation. "It would start in St Petersburg, continue to Moscow, then riders would fly to Sochi for another three or four days through the Caucasus mountains."

Sochi, on the Black Sea coast, is already home to a four-day cycling tour and will host the 2014 Winter Olympics - the only city with a sub-tropical summer climate to ever do so - and a round of the Formula 1 Grand Prix series. (More from Yahoo)

Saxobank to challenge UCI, Riis sees no reason Contador won't be on the team for 2013
Bjarne Riis' SaxoBank team is to challenge the UCI rule that any points scored by a rider during the first two years since return from a suspension cannot count towards his or her team's overall ranking. The rule has been widely criticised by riders, team officials and fans who feel that once a rider has served a ban, he or she should be free to continue their career.

It - and getting it repealed - is of especial relevance to SaxoBank if they are to re-sign Alberto Contador when his current ban expires on the 5th of April: "We cannot, under any circumstances, accept this rule," Riis told Denmark's Politiken newspaper. "It's the same as if Lionel Messi was re-signed to play for Barcelona after a ban and scored goals, but his goals were not counted. It's grotesque."

"We are currently engaged in a thorough investigation of how we should proceed," the ex-professional rider continues. "I know about the UCI's stance, and now it's up to us to demonstrate that an attempt to overturn the ruling stands a chance. It's a purely legal battle and we can't take anything for granted - I can't say anything more right now.

"Before we really get started with UCI, we obviously need to make sure Alberto will sign a contract with us for 2013 - I've not yet given that much thought, but I assume it's as much as guaranteed. Negotiations are ongoing, and I can say that there's no obvious reason it won't go ahead.”

Two days ago, Contador told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser that SaxoBank are his first choice: "Without a doubt, though, my priority is SaxoBank - they gave me their unconditional support through difficult times, which is something money can't buy."

Canadian students develop cycling crash test dummy
Students at Carleton University, Ottawa, are developing a cycling crash test dummy - the first project of its kind anywhere in the world. "The idea is that we should be able to throw this crash test dummy into whatever situation and get a reasonably accurate result, regardless of whether we know (in advance) what injuries we’re going to have," mechanical engineering student Evan Hayes explained to the Ottawa Citzen. Crash test dummies used in car safety testing are designed specifically for that purpose, making them little use for studying what happens in a cycling accident which places the body under a different set of stresses.

The dummy is fitted with two accelerometers, each of which can be relocated on its "body" - at present, the students have placed one within its head to reveal whether helmets fitted with a visor cause the head to snap back in a crash, thus heightening the likelihood of concussion. (More from the Ottawa Citizen)

Other News
"British cyclists will continue to deliver Olympic success even if Dave Brailsford gives up day-to-day control of the team, says GB rider Ed Clancy" (More from BBC Sport)

"Cycling is going to be our strongest sport" at the Olympics, says Sir Steve Redgrave (More from The Sun)

"A ground-breaking new cycling festival will be hosted in Pietermaritzburg from 25 to 30 April, entrenching the city's status as a premier cycling destination, and providing a rare opportunity for spectators and the cycling community to enjoy elite BMX, track and mountain biking events, all in close proximity." (More from

"The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall will visit the Isle of Man Cycling Club at the NSC, where they'll watch youngsters taking part in a race" (More from Energy News)

Anthony Pope ‏ @Plastic_Peloton
The 'Walloon Arrow' sounds like a mediocre super hero. Special powers - ability to ride in cross-winds and drink vast quantities of beer
Chloe Hosking ‏ @chloe_hosking
Hey @MagnusBackstedt & the other ESPN commentator! Asking about things u havent mentioned today? The women's race. Won by @evelyn_stevens.

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