Friday, 29 March 2013

Daily Cycling Facts 29.03.2013

The Ronde van Vlaanderen was held in this day in 1925 and the winner was Julien Delbecque, who would also win Paris-Roubaix a year later.

Igor Astarloa
Igor Astarloa in 2006
(image credit: Heidas CC BY-SA 3.0)
Igor Astarloa, born in Ermua, Euskadi on this day in 1976, turned professional in 2000 with Mercatone Uno-Albacom and remained with them for two seasons before spending two more with Saeco. In 2004, he joined Cofidis after winning the World Road Race Championship the year before, but secured his release in April following the David Millar doping scandal and moved to Lampre. He then moved to the British-based Barloworld for the 2005 and 2006 seasons.

In 2007 he'd moved again to Milram but was dramatically sacked from the team on the 29th of May 2008 after an anti-doping test revealed irregular blood values. He found a new contract with Amica Chips-Knauf, but that team folded in May 2009. One month later, he became one of the first riders to fall victim to the UCI's newly-introduced Biological Passport, a programme that keeps an accurate record of haematocrit counts, steroid profiles, whereabouts and other data in an effort to make it almost impossible for riders to use performance-enhancing drugs without detection. This left him unable to find a new contract and he announced his retirement at the beginning of 2010.

On the 1st of December 2010, the Spanish Cycling Federation handed Astarloa a €35,000 fine and a two year ban which, since he was approaching the age of 35, effectively ended his career even if he decided to come out of retirement should a team be willing to take him on. Cycling News later revealed that the rider had been under suspicion since as long ago as his 2003 World Championships victory with his test results becoming subject to considerable scrutiny during 2008 and 2009 in the wake of the results that led to his dismissal from Milram, but investigation had not found sufficient evidence at that time to prosecute.

Other than his World Champion title, Astarloa's best results were overall General Classification wins at the Flèche Wallonne in 2003 and Milano-Torino in 2006.

Evy van Damme, born in Lokeren, Belgium on this day in 1980, won the Novices National Road Race Championship in 1996, later becoming National Road Race Champion in 2000 and 2001 and National Time Trial Champion in 2003. She is married to Nick Nuyens, winner of the 2005 Tour of Britain and 2011 Tour of Flanders, and her younger sister Charlotte is also a professional cyclist.

Pasquale Fornara, born in Borgomanero, Italy on this day in 1925, won his fourth Tour de Suisse in 1958 - a record not yet broken (others: 1952, 1954, 1957 - when he also won the King of the Mountains). He rode well in the Grand Tours, coming 3rd overall and the Mountains Classification in the 1953 Giro d'Italia, 2nd overall at the 1958 Vuelta a Espana and 4th overall at the 1955 Tour de France.

Hyderabad Bicycling Club Enduro Team
On this day in 2009, the Hyderabad Bicycling Club held its first ever cross country cycle race over three laps of 5km and featuring rocks, mud and a stream crossing. The race was open to all, regardless of gender, age or bike

Other cyclists born on this day: Jon Norfolk (Great Britain, 1975); Milton Wynants (Uruguay, 1972); Jozef Regec (Czechoslovakia, 1965); Erik Cent (Netherlands, 1962); Weng Yu-Yi (Taipei, 1973); Benjamin Evangelista (Philippines, 1949); Jenning Huizenga (Netherlands, 1984); Jalil Eftekhari (Iran, 1965); Jan Bos (Netherlands, 1975); Lionel Coleman (Canada, 1918, died 1941); Michelle Hyland (New Zealand, 1984); José Castañeda (Mexico, 1952); Jarich Bakker (Netherlands, 1974); Les Haupt (South Africa, 1939).

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