Nairo Quintana wins the Tour de Romandie 2016

Nairo Quintana won the Tour de Romandie yesterday a key race in the lead up to July’s Tour de France. Quintana took the lead winning the stage 2 summit finish at Morgins after attacking the race favourites with 6.5km to go, only last years winner Ilnur Zakarin could follow Quintana and the two riders held a steady gap until the finish which was initially won by Zakarin before being relegated for changing his line in the two up sprint to the finish.

Chris Froome made amends for losing 17 minutes on Stage 2 to win stage 5 the toughest stage of this years Tour de Romandie after attacking with another race favourite Tejay Van Garderen 40km from the finish on the first ascent to Villars. With Van Garderen a threat to Quintana’s overall race lead his Movistar team kept the attack in check and his group finished only 4 seconds behind Froome.

The final stage proved to be no threat to Nairo Quintana’s lead finishing in a bunch sprint won by Michael Albasini with Quintana safely finishing in the bunch winning a significant race on the way to July’s Tour de France. Three of the past five Tour de Romandie winners have gone on to win that years Tour de France but Quintana won’t be relaxing.

“We must not relax. The Romandie win gives us confidence and calmness, and the whole group is strong, so no matter who we bring to the Tour, we’ll be well protected. However, things can change before July and surely our rivals will bring powerful squads to the Tour. We will be just one team between many contenders,” Quintana said.

Results – Top 10 overall Tour de Romandie 2016

1. Nairo Quintana (COL) Movistar 16hrs 20mins 20secs
2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA) FDJ +19secs
3. Jon Izagirre (SPA) Movistar +23″
4. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS) Katusha +26″
5. Tom Dumoulin (NED) Giant +57″
6. Rui Costa (POR) Lampre +1:12″
7. Simon Spilak (SLO) Katusha +1:16″
8. Mathias Frank (SWI) IAM Cycling +1:16″
9. Bauke Mollema (NED) Trek +1:24″
10. Tejay van Garderen (US) BMC Racing +1:27″

Main image: Jean-Christophe Bott / Keystone

Kate Perry wins the NRS Mersey Valley Tour 2016

Kate Perry (Specialized Women’s Racing) won a wet and windy Mersey Valley Tour 2016 the third round of this years Subaru National Road Series. Perry took the lead by 2 seconds after finishing fourth in the lead group of five riders on Saturday’s Ulverstone – Gunns Plains – Riana stage 2.

The final Sheffield – Railton – Dunorlan – Sheffield stage was won by Tessa Fabry (High5 Dream Team) with an impressive solo break of over 50km while battling the Tasmanian weather, Fabry’s team mates Lucy Kennedy and Lisen Hockings finished second and third on the stage while Kate Perry’s fourth place was enough to hold the yellow jersey and win the 2016 Mersey Valley Tour. Lisa Hockings and Lucy Kennedy were second and third overall.

“This is my first overall win of the Subaru National Road Series,” exclaimed Perry after the race. “I was hoping to do well, but you never really know. I was fortunate to have a very strong team help me grab my first win – I think I am still in shock!”

Results – Top 10 overall Mersey Valley Tour 2016

1. Kate PERRY (SPW) 5h 14:44
2. Lisen HOCKINGS (HFD) +:06
3. Lucy KENNEDY (HFD) +:25
4. Tessa FABRY (HFD) +:36
5. Miranda GRIFFITHS (HWC) +:43
6. Ruth CORSET (RSH) +:47
7. Lucy BECHTEL (BNG) +1:19
8. Justine BARROW (BRT) +3:48
9. Sharlotte LUCAS (HWC) +3:57
10. Madeleine FASNACHT +4:07

The men’s Subaru National Road Series finally gets underway this Saturday with the Grafton to Inverell Cycle Classic while the women’s next race is the Battle on the Border on June 3-5.

John Degenkolb returns to racing

John Degenkolb returned to racing at yesterdays Eschborn-Frankfurt race after the terrible accident he and five teammates had in January. It’s been almost five months since that accident and Degenkolb will be using races over the next two months to get into the best possible shape for the Tour de France starting on July 2.

John Degenkolb gave his thoughts after the race: “From the start, I’ve tried to show myself at the front of the bunch and to have a good race. Relatively early in the race, the pace was really high, and after four hours of racing, as expected, it was enough. Overall, I am satisfied with my ride and I tried to work for the team as much as possible.

“It would have been nice if Simon or Sam got away on the last climb, but in the end, it was a sprint and I hope next year that I can be involved in it.

“The support from the people, the fans was amazing today and it’s great for my confidence for the upcoming months. I didn’t have any specific preparation for this race on my way towards the Tour. The first step was to pin on a race number and I am really happy how it went today.

“I hope my current freshness will be to my advantage near the end of the season. At the moment, I don’t have the needed intensity yet, but I hope I will have it again at the Tour.”

Alexander Kristoff won the Eschborn-Frankfurt race.

Crash at the Red Hook Crit

In a what were they thinking moment a stalling lead motorbike at the latest Red Hook Crit took down almost the entire field. Video footage by Instagram user @guerciotti captured the moment after the start that the motorbike stalled and some riders getting past before a rider crashed into the back of the moto and others also piling in with riders and bikes going everywhere.

A video posted by Chris (@guerciotti) on

Simon Yates tests positive for Terbutaline

Simon Yates recorded a positive test for terbutaline following stage 6 of this years Paris-Nice race (March 12) and late last week news of that positive test was leaked to the Daily Mail and published on Friday. Orica-GreenEdge responded with a statement identifying the substance and the circumstances leading to the adverse result.

The best article I have seen summing up the current situation and a comparison to a similar case with Norwegian cyclist Vegard Robinson Bugge is this on Velonews.

Orica-GreenEdge statment regarding Simon Yates’ adverse analytical finding

On April 22, the team was notified that Simon Yates has an adverse analytical finding from a test conducted at Paris-Nice, stage 6 on March 12, 2016.

The positive result is for the substance Terbutaline.

The substance was given to Simon Yates in the form an asthma inhaler and accordingly, this was noted by the team doctor on the Doping Control Form, signed at the time of the test.

The substance was given in an ongoing treatment of Simon Yates’ documented asthma problems. However, in this case the team doctor made an administrative error by failing to apply for the TUE required for the use of this treatment.

The use of Terbutaline without a current TUE is the reason it has been flagged as an adverse analytical finding. This is solely based on a human error that the doctor in question has taken full responsibility for.

There has been no wrong-doing on Simon Yates’ part. The team takes full responsibility for this mistake and wishes to underline their support for Simon during this process.

The team is concerned by the leak of this information and has no further comments until there has been a full evaluation made of the documentation, statements and evidence that the team and Simon Yates are now submitting to the UCI in order to clarify everything.

Lance Armstrong and the US Federal Government file for Summary Judgement

Lance Armstrong and the federal government both filed motions for a judge to decide on key parts of the 3 year old civil fraud lawsuit against Armstrong and two other co-defendants Johan Bruyneel, Armstrong’s former cycling team director, Tailwind Sports, the cycling team’s owner.

For it’s part the federal government has filed for summary judgement of $32,267,279.85 being the sum of sponsorship money paid to the team between 200 and 2004.

“Because the factual record is undisputed, the United States respectfully requests that this Court enter an order granting partial summary judgment in its favor,” the government stated in its filing Wednesday.

If the ruling is awarded in the governments favour it could open up damages of three times that amount.

Lance Armstrong then filed a motion seeking summary judgement to end the lawsuit against him saying the case against him is “long on speculation and hyperbole_but short on evidence and viable legal theories.”

“Although it turns out that Armstrong and other riders on the team used performance enhancing substances and publicly denied doing so, the USPS enjoyed substantial benefits from the sponsorship and never took steps directly to address or prevent the use of performance enhancing substances by team riders. Its assertion of claims for damages against Armstrong alone among the team riders, a decade after the end of the sponsorship, is hypocritical and meritless,” Lance Armstrong’s lawyers wrote.

You can read more here on USA Today.


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