Thursday 3 May 2012

Cycling Evening News 03.05.12

Swift end to the Giro for Sky's Ben - Tour of the Gila - Brailsford will select Millar - Italy drops National Team lifetime ban for ex-dopers - Surprise success for Afghan team at Pakistan Women's Nats - Weylandt's girlfriend to attend Giro - Kampenhout honours Impanis - Yorkshire CX series - Leipheimer uncertain for Tour of California - Hulsmans will miss Giro - Yawn: another "I ride a bike but I'm still a lady" story - Cancellara's recovering - Other racing news - Addison Lee damage limitation exercise - Cycling newswire

Swift end to the Giro for Sky's Ben
It's looking unfortunately as though the Giro d'Italia is already over for Team Sky's Ben Swift - the 24-year-ol reported via his Twitter feed that he had a heavy crash during training on Thursday and will have to undergo tests. British Cycling reports that he has suffered a fractured shoulder..
Ben Swift ‏ @swiftybswift well that is my Giro over, had a very heavy crash out on the bike today very disappointed not to be able to start. further checks tomorrow
He will be replaced by Jeremy Hunt (born on the 12th of March in 1974, Hunt does not become the oldest man in the race as has been reported elsewhere - Luca Mazzanti was born on the 4th of February in the same year).

Tour of the Gila
Kristin Armstrong, now with Exergy Twenty12
Kristin Armstrong (Exergy Twenty12) rode a remarkable stage to finish no less than 2'18" faster than second place Carmen Small yesterday, grabbing herself a considerable lead in the General Classification.
Alison Powers ‏ @alpcyclesThe Mo-ge-on and @k_armstrong hurt my legs today. Team did great and I was 4th.
Top Ten
  1.  Kristin Armstrong Exergy Twenty12 3h15'39"
  2.  Carmen Small Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies +2'18"
  3.  Jade Wilcoxson Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies +2'42"
  4.  Alison Powers NOW and Novartis for MS +2'48"
  5.  Janel Holcomb Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies +3'35"
  6.  Robin Farina NOW and Novartis for MS +3'39"
  7.  Emily Kachorek Primal/MapMyRide +3'43""
  8.  Tayler Wiles Exergy Twenty12 +3'54"
  9.  Catherine Johnson Panache Boulder +4'00"
  10.  Olivia Dillon NOW and Novartis for MS +4'16"
Full results and GC

Rory Sutherland (UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis) was the fastest man on the challenging climb into the Mogollon Mountains at the end of Stage 1 at the Tour of the Gila yesterday, winning the stage after cruising over the finish line with a 12" advantage over a three-man chase group.

Top Ten
  1.  Rory Sutherland UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis 4h45'43"
  2.  Joseph Dombrowski Bontrager Livestrong +12"
  3.  Chad Beyer Competitive Cyclist Racing Team +14"
  4.  Sebastian Salas Team Optum Presented By Kelly Benefit Strategies ST
  5.  Christopher Baldwin Bissel +33"
  6.  Marc De Maar UnitedHealthcare Presented By Maxxis +39"
  7.  Francisco Mancebo Competitive Cyclist Racing Team +52"
  8.  Luis Enrique Davila +1'02"
  9.  Cesar Grajales Competitive Cyclist Racing Team ST
  10.  Carlos Lopez Gonzalez +1'14"
Full results and GC

For the men, 128.7km Stage 2 both starts and finishes at Fort Bayard - a historic frontier fort that was once home to the Buffalo Soldiers (known also as "The Negro Cavalry," they were one of several troops made up of black soldiers and not fully integrated into other units until the 1950s) who, in the 1890s, were elected to be the first "bicycle troop" because bikes were cheaper than the horses supplied to other (white) troops. On their first test ride, over 3,056km from Montana to Missouri, they proved themselves able to cover the distance more quickly than the horses.

They reach the first Cat 3 climb at 16km and climb to 2,164m, then the second begins at 24km and climbs to 2,361m. After crossing the Continental Divide (with an uncategorised climb of, oh, only 2,045m) they head to a final and very steep Cat 3 at 100km, climbing to 2,070m before the descent and last 16km back to Fort Bayard. The women use a similar parcours but miss the first 25.4km and climb, beginning instead at Pinos Altos. The remainder of the route is identical to the men's.

Brailsford will select Millar
The only thing that can now keep
David Millar from the Olympics is
David Millar
Dave Brailsford says he will select David Millar for the British Olympic team as long as he's fast enough. "He's available and that's the key thing, it's not my decision to make policy," he told reporters at a press conference yesterday in the wake of the Court for Arbitration in Sport's decision to end the British Olympic Association's lifetime ban on athletes who have been banned for doping.

However, it's still not clear if the rider will accept. Millar, who served a two-year suspension for EPO, has said that he has no wish to compete as a "black sheep," but hoped the CAS would block the law so that he can represent Scotland at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Italy drops its own National Team doping ban
The FCI, Italy's cycling federation, has lifted its own lifetime ban on riders riding on the National team after a doping conviction, despite having already survived one legal challenge from Danilo di Luca. The policy had come under attack again recently with an appeal mounted by Annalisa Cucinotta, who served a two-year suspension after testing positive for Boldenone - an anabolic steroid not approved for human use and primarily prescribed by veterinarians to horses. The recent CAS decision in the BOA case will have been received by the FCI as an indication that they had little chance of continuing the policy.

Annalisa Cucinotta
In Britain, as far as cycling is concerned David Millar has been the biggest name in the case (though he chose not to play an active part in the appeal). In Italy, the end of the rule frees up a number of high-profile riders who may now be selected for their nation's Olympic team, including Davide Rebellin, Stefano Garzelli, Alessandro Petacchi and Ivan Basso as well as di Luca.

Surprise success for Afghan women at Pakistan Nationals
The Pakistan Railways team won two of three medals on offer in Day 2 at the Pakistan National Women's Championships after winning the 20km team time trial and 1km sprint. Punjab took gold for the 1km individual time trial. A surprise success was the Afghanistan National Team, competing for the first time after receiving an invitation to the race due to the lack of events in their own nation - they won two bronze medals by coming third in the same events won by the Railways team. Further races will be held today at Lahore's open-air velodrome.

An-Sophie to attend Giro
Wouter Weylandt's girlfriend Ann-Sophie de Graeve will visit two stages of the Giro d'Italia. "I've never spoken about Wouter's death because I haven't been able to find the words to do so," she told Gazzetta dello Sport. "I was looking for reasons and explanations, not places, but I couldn't find them."

Weylandt, a rider with Leopard Trek, died on the 9th of May last year during Stage 3 as he descended the Passo del Bocco after his pedal touched a wall running alongside the road, throwing him to the other side of the road. A doctor working with the Garmin-Cervélo team administered CPR in an attempt to revive him, but an autopsy later found he had died immediately upon impact from a fractured skull and massive internal injuries.

An-Sophie, who gave birth to their daughter on the 1st of September 2011, will visit Stage 3 in Denmark and the following time trial stage in Verona.

Kampenhout honours Impanis
Raymond Impanis, 19.10.1925 - 31.12.2010
The council of Kampenhout unveiled a commemorative bust of Raymond Impanis in the town's Sint-Servaaskerk last week. A winner of the Ronde van Vlaanderen, the Waalse Pijl, Paris-Roubaix and two editions of Gent-Wevelgem and Paris-Nice, Impanis was considered one of the finest Classics riders of the 1950s but also did well in stage races with third place in the 1956 Vuelta a Espana, finished in the top ten of the Tour de France three times and once at the Giro d'Italia.

Born in Berg on about the 19th of October 1925 and abandoned as a baby on the steps of the village church, Impanis was found by a priest and raised by the local baker - his surname being based on the Latin plural "panis," plural of bread. He lived around Kampenhout for the rest of his life, was made an Honourary Citizen in 1999 and died in the 31st of December 2010 at the age of 85.

Yorkshire CX Summer Series off to a good start
The Yorkshire Pedalsport Cyclo Cross Summer Series got underway yesterday at Oakbank School in Keighley with Ian Taylor (Craven Energy) making good use of a parcours made very tough by recent heavy rain to battle his way through to the front on the very first lap and a ten second advantage. He then continued to add to it all the way to the end of the race, finishing with a lead of 2'41" over second place Ed McParland (GT Racing).

Leipheimer uncertain for Tour of California
Kevin Hulsmans, now with Farnese Vini-Selle Italia
Levi Leipheimer, who was involved in a collision with a car one day before he was due to start the Tour of the Basque Country, is worried that he may not have sufficiently recovered in time for the Tour of California. The rider sustained a broken leg in the accident, leading some to wonder if - at the age of 38 - his career might be over, though he has not yet given any indication that he has considered retiring.

Hulsmans will miss the Giro
Kevin Hulsmans, who had been chosen for the Farnese Vini-Selle Italia Giro team, will miss the race due to an inflamed knee he's been suffering since Paris-Roubaix. Instead, he'll concentrate on recovering in time for the Ronde van België.

Yawn - another "I ride a bike but I'm still a lady" story
On the morning of her Olympic appearance in London this summer," says the The Toronto Star, "Emily Batty will first attend to her own appearance." The newspaper then goes on to describe how she will put on her make-up, fasten a string of pearls about her neck and diamonds in her ears before she tackles the cross country course.

"I’m a cyclist, that’s my profession, my passion, but I’m definitely a woman first," she says. OK Emily, that's fair enough. You can ride in whatever you like, even a frilly pink frock and high-heels if you choose (provided the UCI allow it, and you can find high-heels with pedal cleats). That's your business and nobody has the right to tell you otherwise. It's the fact and way that this is presented as news that is an issue.

Apparently, "the emerging mountain bike superstar has a supermodel-like appeal for young male fans of the sport" - a comment that does women's cycling no favours at all, because we most definitely do not want any young women considering taking up cycling to think that they need to impress male fans if they're going to get anywhere. It's a hard and, often, ugly sport, and those women who compete do so because they are competitive athletes, not to look good - which is precisely how it should be.

"Batty, just 5-foot-2, says the sport has always been a male bastion, but that her emergence as a top draw star may be helping to erode its machismo," the article continues (in actual fact, she doesn't say that at all - she says that "carrying feminine ways" into cycling makes her easy for fans to recognise). Bullshit. Women such as Alfonsina Strada, Elsy Jacobs, Beryl Burton, Jeannie Longo, Missy Giove, Leontien van Moorsel, Caroline Alexander, Judith Arndt, Ina-Yoko Teutenberg and Marianne Vos have been eroding the machismo of cycling and making inroads for other women to follow them for years; not by looking pretty out on the parcours but by being excellent cyclists. Batty may well do the same if she's good enough (and going by her palmares to date, she probably is), but not because of how she looks.

Nobody worth listening to has ever believed that cycling (or any other sport) in some way reduces a woman's femininity, nor that femininity is the measure of a woman's value. Once again, Emily Batty can wear whatever the hell she likes, but reporting the fact that she slaps on a bit of lippy before a race is categorically not news, nor do cycling fans - nor those who are going to become cycling fans and/or riders - care. Worst of all, reporting it in the way that The Star did may damage the sport.

Cancellara's getting better
Fabian Cancellara, whose Spring Classics campaign was brought to a sudden halt by the quadruple collarbone fracture he suffered at the Ronde van Vlaanderen, says that recovery is taking more time than expected but it won't be longer.

"I thought, 'hey, it's my collarbone, that heals quickly,'" the Swiss rider explains, "but the breaks were just a part of it. There's also the damage around the bone - my shoulder, the ligaments, the muscles, it was all damaged. It still feel strange and painful. I could take painkillers, but I prefer to do without. I felt hopeful after the surgery and the pain disappeared quickly, so I stopped taking painkillers then. Everything was going well, sensation returned - then I had another ultrasound and they found another tear in the ligaments

"What I have to do now is find a new position on the bike. The handlebars and saddle are different to what I'm used too because I have to sit as upright as possible, which is uncomfortable. I feel like a cyclotourist!"(More from Het Nieuwsblad)

Other News
"Youth circuit racing is popular" (Stratford Observer, London)

"Brit Stannard ready for Grand Tour outing" (British Cycling)

"Giro d'Italia with a future start in Germany?" (Cycling News)

"Porte tries Dauphine route to Games" (Brisbane Times)

"Waikato's Jaime Nielsen won the bragging rights over her Olympic teammates on the first day of the national club cycling road race championships today" (NZHerald)

"Amateur cyclists will attempt “America’s Toughest Stage Race” in Utah" (Examiner)

"Utah welcomes the USA Cycling Collegiate Road Nationals" (Daily Peloton)

"Cyclists storm Maple Ridge streets" (Maple Ridge News, Canada)

Stephen de Jongh on Sky's Giro squad (Gazzetta dello Sport)

"Second Edition Of National Cycling Tour Of Ghana Launched In Accra" (Government of Ghana)

Addison Lee to introduce cyclist awareness training for drivers
Addison Lee - the London minicab firm that found itself in a real-life PR nightmare last month after chairman John Griffin claimed that the capital's cyclists have only themselves to blame if they're killed or injured on the roads - has announced that its drivers will be given special training to increase their awareness of cyclists.

The news was revealed to BikeBiz editor Carlton Reid in an interview with Addison Lee's PR director Alistair Laycock, who claims to have started cycling to work and that the company is looking into the practicalities of installing video cameras in its fleet to provide a record of what happens in a crash and take action against a driver if he or she is found to be at fault. (More from

So that's alright then, isn't it?

Erm - well, no, actually. It'd be wonderful if it was, but this sounds suspiciously like a company desperately trying to claw its way back out of the big hole dug by Mr. Griffin after discovering that cyclists are numerous, proactive and in possession of considerable political clout rather than failed loners who can't afford to drive or take cabs, as he apparently previously believed. Only by keeping an eye on Addison Lee in the future will we know for certain if the company - and Griffin - genuinely do wish to help prevent injury to cyclists or whether this is just an attempt to placate an enemy who turned out to be much more formidable than they had initially assumed. Are these long-term plans or will they be forgotten as soon as the media furore dies down? We'll be watching you, Addison Lee.

"Cycling safety fears are stopping more hitting the saddle" (The Courier)

"How cycle safety has gone up the election agenda in London" (BBC)

"The Union of cyclists held the demonstration on the Earth's Day" (Dalje, Croatia)

"Cyclists accuse Toronto mayor Ford of 'war on bikes'" (BBC)

"A man who allegedly helped his friend flee a hit-and-run collision with a cyclist has been charged" (WA Today, Australia)

"Once downright hostile to cyclists, Fresno has come a long way" (Fresno Bee)

"Bicycles, coffee, and beer: the next generation of bicycle shop hits Carytown" (RVANews, Virginia)

"There's room for more bicyclists in Yuba-Sutter" (AppealDemocrat, California)

"Pedals turning on cycling plan" (Woodstock Sentinel Review, Ontario)

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