Brajkovic opens up after accepting 10-month ban

Brajkovic opens up after accepting 10-month ban

'I'm happy that it finally got out. I can start dealing with it and not pretend,' says Brajkovic. Read the full article at Brajkovic opens up after accepting 10-month ban on VeloNews.com .

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The testosterone tribunal: the story so far

British Cycling pursuit team 2007

Peter Stuart 18 Jan 2019 The medical tribunal into Dr Freeman, the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, could have serious consequences Next month the former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor, Dr Richard Freeman, will face charges of ordering testosterone to enhance the performance of an athlete , and various acts of dishonesty associated with that charge. It is a serious hearing for the career of Dr Freeman, but it has far wider implications too. When the UKAD investigation into the Team Sky’s delivery of a mysterious ‘Jiffy bag’ package ended in 2017, many thought that the issues was closed. However, UKAD essentially passed on the investigation to the General Medical Council, becoming ‘aware of information that it considered to be of possible interest to the General Medical Council (GMC)’. That information was sufficient for the GMC to bring charges over 11 separate allegations against Dr Freeman, which ...

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The natural: Jimmy Whelan isn’t riding like a WorldTour rookie

The stitches came out of Jimmy Whelan’s chin two days ago. You can still see where the chainring lodged itself in his face at the Aussie Road Nationals earlier this month but the wounds seem to be healing well. It’s looking like he won’t have a scar which, as Whelan notes with a smile, is … The post The natural: Jimmy Whelan isn’t riding like a WorldTour rookie appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Alaphilippe: I raised the bar, but now it goes back to zero

Julian Alaphilippe wears the new Deceuninck-Quick-Step jersey

There's an old maxim in football that says if you go a goal up early on, you should pretend it's still nil-nil and try to continue playing with the mindset with which you started the game. Julian Alaphilippe seems to be tapping into that as he reflects on a breakthrough 2018 season and prepares to try and back it up in 2019. "Looking in the rearview mirror, let's say I raised the bar," Alaphilippe said in an interview at Deceunicnk-QuickStep 's team presentation in Calpe this week, before later adding: "Now the meter goes back to zero." Alaphilippe has been destined for big things ever since bursting onto the scene with podiums at La Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège in 2015, his second season as a professional. Yet, despite winning the Tour of California in 2016 and a stage at the Vuelta a España in 2017, the Frenchman hadn't quite done ...

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Intxausti targets WorldTour return

Benat Intxausti (Movistar) celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the 8th stage of the Giro

Beñat Intxausti stepped down to Pro Continental level to join Euskadi-Murias in 2019 , but the Spaniard aims to eventually work his way back up to the WorldTour. In an interview with Marca , Intxausti said he is fully recovered from a long-term spell of mononucleosis, which set him back over the previous three years, and that he will start his season at the Mallorca Challenge. "Since July I am finding myself very well," said Intxausti, who was diagnosed with the illness in 2016. "When I signed with the team, I had some good time off to get strong and now I'm good, practically normal, with no problems. I'm improving every day." Intxausti spent three seasons at Team Sky, where a series of health issues left him with sub-par performances and nearly unable to race. He was not offered a contract renewal from Team Sky and instead found a deal ...

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Preview: Your guide to the 2019 men’s Santos Tour Down Under

The Santos Tour Down Under is the biggest bike race in Australia and the first race on the 2019 men’s WorldTour calendar. It’s had a bit of a shake-up this year with the queen stage moving to the final day which should make for exciting racing until the very end. Read on for our preview … The post Preview: Your guide to the 2019 men’s Santos Tour Down Under appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Thursday Thoughts: Ranking the races

A look at the calendar for 2019 I don’t know if you guys noticed, but 2019 has started. Even more excitingly, we have the calendar for the VDS races for 2019 . You may have read about it . In my view, the six categories of races is the best combination of “fair” and “simple” anywhere, two things that any rating system should be. That doesn’t mean it is perfect, though. Category three and four races are primarily determined based on “official status” of races and there are a few good races (cough Yorkshire cough) that are in category five despite being superior to a range of 3s and 4s. There are also, as Ursula notes, some races missing – Brabantse Pijl being on the list for now. I can live with those variances. The question for today is, which races would you most like to win? We’ll all have ...

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The weekly spin: 15 reasons to be excited about the 2019 racing season

Mountain bikers on the road. The debut of a future star. Alternative events. Intra-squad rivalry. The return of a world champion. What follows is a 2019 season preview of sorts, exploring 15 different subjects, stories, and subplots of the upcoming mens’s and women’s racing calendars. The list could have been twice as long. I thought … The post The weekly spin: 15 reasons to be excited about the 2019 racing season appeared first on CyclingTips .

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Roundtable: Five up-and-coming riders to watch in 2019

Roundtable: Five up-and-coming riders to watch in 2019

The pro peloton has a number of young up-and-comers who are in line to emerge as new superstars in 2019. Here are our five favorites. Read the full article at Roundtable: Five up-and-coming riders to watch in 2019 on VeloNews.com .

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Kwiatkowski sets sights on Liege, worlds

Kwiatkowski sets sights on Liege, worlds

The Sky rider says he wants to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège this season. Read the full article at Kwiatkowski sets sights on Liege, worlds on VeloNews.com .

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Offseason Capsule: Lotto Soudal

Can the only Lotto left in town start cashing in some of their tickets? Lotto Soudal are the hipster cyclist’s favorite cycling team-- overwhelmingly Belgian, but not the most successful Belgian team, chock full of young talent, but not the most precocious of the neo pros, and boasting some of the most exciting, but not always successful, riders in the pro-ranks, while still trying to maintain the cycling team as a family but not a business feel (but perhaps not successfully), boasting (but perhaps not for long) Tom Boonen as an “advisor,” and repping the original Lotto before Rabobank thought it was cool. As of late, success has been secondary to style for Lotto, but perhaps that’s about to change. What we said last year Andrew was prescient in his prediction for Lotto’s 2018 season: [W]ith Gallopin leaving and Greipel aging, the odds of maintaining 8th place and matching the ...

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Offseason Capsule: Quick Step

We didn’t see any Quick Step Flaws In 2018, Patrick Lefevre’s boys put together a season for the ages. What does 2019 have in store? Well, they can’t possibly match last year (can they?) but nothing says Christmas on Podium Café like looking back over the most dominant cobbles season we’ve seen in the modern era. What we said last year I’m reasonably pleased with this. I was optimistic about the team surviving the loss of Boonen and continuing to lead the peloton in wins and topping the VDS rankings. I talked up the sprint unit and was optimistic of increased success in the Ardennes, and I also enthused about the chances of many strong cobbles riders between them grabbing a cobbled monument. I was comparatively down on their GC chances and I didn’t see Enric Mas coming. I also missed the sheer onslaught of wins, but I used the ...

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Bradley Wiggins: Jiffy bag story was set up to destroy me

Team Sky's Dave Brailsford and Bradley Wiggins in the team bus at the 2013 Giro d'Italia

Bradley Wiggins has questioned the credibility of the Parliamentary report that found his and Team Sky's use of Therapeutic Use Exemptions unethical, saying he believes the investigation was set up to destroy him. In a long interview with Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws at their 'Crystal Bike' awards ceremony, the 2012 Tour de France champion also voiced his frustration at the lack of conclusive evidence in the so-called 'jiffy bag' saga , again denying any knowledge of the contents of the package couriered from Britain to France in 2011. In 2016, the Fancy Bear hacking group revealed that Wiggins had availed of TUEs to use the corticosteroid triamcinolone acetonide - banned in competition - ahead of the 2011 and 2012 Tours and the 2013 Giro d'Italia. The Daily Mail later revealed a jiffy bag had been couriered by a member of British Cycling staff from the governing body's headquarters in ...

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Thursday Thoughts: No breakouts here!

Three guys who definitely won’t be on my 2019 VDS team There’s a decent chance that if you met me, you’d think I was a miserable sod. If you only get to know me slightly you see the grumpy and cynical exterior. There’s a little secret that I’m going to let you in on, though. I’m actually a positive and optimistic person. Grumpy and cynical, sure, but really not that miserable. I believe the glass is half full. Still, a man has his limits. It is dark, cold, and wet in Edinburgh and I am scraping ice off my car every time I use it. At this time of year, four straight weeks of being positive about guys who are going to make a breakthrough is all I can manage. Let’s take a week off optimism and bring some negativity. Here, then, are three guys who I think are going ...

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Offseason Capsule: Team Sky

Meet the new bots, better than the old bots Another year of glory in the high mountains, but 2018 came with some fresh new faces. Scarily for the rest of the peloton, the youth movement shows no signs of abating. What we said last year I spent a while on the youth movement (as I will this year) and a while on the off-bike stuff (which, pleasingly, I will brush past in this capsule) but did eventually make some predictions about the 2018 season. I predicted that Froome would win the Giro and pick up a podium in the Tour. We certainly went the scenic route, but that’s not bad, huh? I was too optimistic about their chances in the Vuelta and on the cobbles. Also, having not predicted the Quick Step juggernaut, I saw them ascending to the top of the pile in overall rankings. What we got in ...

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Rolland calls for Vital Concept to be given time to earn Tour de France selection

Pierre Rolland (EF-Drapac) joking around

Pierre Rolland has called for his new squad Vital Concept to be given a chance to earn Tour de France selection in the early part of the 2019 season. The Frenchman joins the Pro Continental squad from EF Education First-Drapac and is aiming to make his 11th consecutive Tour appearance. In 2018, ASO announced the Tour’s four wildcard invitations in the first week of January, before Vital Concept had raced competitively, and the new squad was overlooked for one of the four wildcard places. Manager Jerome Pineau has looked to buttress the roster for their second campaign. Sprinter Bryan Coquard remains in situ, while the new arrivals include Rolland, Cyril Gautier and former French champion Arthur Vichot. “I’ve done ten Tours de France in a row, which is something quite difficult to imagine,” Rolland told Ouest France . “But every year, whether you’re in a WorldTour team or not, you’re ...

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Offseason Capsule: AG2R

What next for the over-achieving brown shorts? After taking big steps forward over the last few years, 2018 was a season of consolidation, marked by regular prominence but few major wins What we said last year I was in optimistic mood . On reflection, perhaps too optimistic. I’m pleased I put Bardet up as a contender for the World Champs and pumped the brakes on his Tour chances, but I may have oversold his chances of repeating a productive couple of years in ’16 and ’17. Olivier Naesen didn’t quite get the results I hoped for though at least I threw in a positive note for Dillier. As for the climbers not named after lettuce (thanks, Brad’s son!) there was a big gap between my hopes and reality. What we got in 2018 Romain Bardet turned in a strong spring, with second in a tough Strade Bianche and third in ...

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Freeman to face medical tribunal over testosterone patch delivery

Richard Freeman, former Team Sky doctor

Former Team Sky and British Cycling doctor Richard Freeman is set to face a medical tribunal in connection with the 2011 delivery of testosterone patches to the national team's headquarters in Manchester. According to a report in The Sunday Telegraph , Freeman is likely to face the General Medical Council tribunal which could decide to punish him with a suspension or remove him from the medical register. In 2016, UK Anti-Doping launched an investigation into the delivery of a 'mystery package' from British Cycling headquarters to Team Sky during the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine for Bradley Wiggins. During their examination of the records at the Manchester National Cycling Centre, investigators found evidence of a delivery of banned testosterone patches, as well as 60 - 70 vials of triamcinolone. Freeman worked for both teams in 2011, and the medical equipment for the two programmes shared storage space at the National Cycling ...

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Geraint Thomas admits frustration at status on Team Sky during Tour de France

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) on the final podium at the Tour de France, with Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) and

Geraint Thomas has admitted to frustration at how Team Sky had designated Chris Froome as their lone protected rider at the Tour de France despite the Welshman’s victory at Critérium du Dauphiné in the lead-up to the race. In an interview with the Guardian , Thomas discussed how he was informed that the team would not wait for him if he punctured or crashed in the stage 3 team time trial at the Tour, by which point he already had a buffer of 52 seconds over Froome. “I was frustrated because I thought I was also a protected rider,” Thomas said. “But it’s not a decision they took lightly. They would have thought about it and debated it. I said my bit, and they said: ‘No.’ So you have to accept it. The likelihood [of a puncture] is really slim but at the time I thought it’s a shit situation. ...

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Lotto Soudal bid a fond farewell to Marcel Sieberg

Marcel Sieberg (Lotto Soudal)

While always heralded by the team that they're about to join, rarely does a pro rider receive much of a good-bye from the team that they're leaving. But Lotto Soudal are bidding a very fond farewell to Marcel Sieberg , who's leaving to join Bahrain-Merida next season. Sieberg has spent eight years at the Belgian WorldTour team, mainly in a capacity during that time as the lead-out man for sprinter André Greipel , who's also leaving for pastures new at Fortuneo-Samsic in 2019. In a clear demonstration of how well-liked 36-year-old Sieberg is on the team, Lotto Soudal has put together a Facebook gallery of some of the German's most memorable moments with the squad, writing on Twitter that they "want to thank 'Sibi' with this beautiful photo album". Sieberg has so far only taken two wins in his pro career – at the Ronde van Drenthe in 2005 and ...

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