Tuesday, January 16, 2018

5 Killer Cycling Workouts For 2018

Do you want to get fitter and faster in 2018? Yeah, we thought so. Here are our Top 5 killer training sessions to help you do just that.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

2018 Paris-Nice Route Includes 18km TT and Intense Finale

16km climb to Valdeblore La Colmiane and 110km final stage likely to be decisive
The Route Map of the 2018 Paris-Nice (ASO)

The route of this year’s Paris-Nice is again expected to produce another close and aggressive race, with race organiser ASO including three stages on the exposed plains of central France, a 18.4km time trial to Saint-Étienne, a 16km climb to the finish at Valdeblore La Colmiane and a final 110km hilly stage around Nice.

The eight-day race will be held between March 4-11 and includes 27 climbs and a total distance of 1,187km.

ASO also announced that a mass-participation sportif ride, called the Paris-Nice Challenge, will be held on Saturday, March 10, covering the same roads as the final 110km stage of the professional race. French former rider Thomas Voeckler was confirmed as ASO's new race ambassador. He replaces Bernhard Hinault and will also work for French television at a number of races.

The 2016 Paris-Nice also ended in a fight for every second, with Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) holding off an aggressive Alberto Contador. In 2017, Sergio Henao (Team Sky) did the same. The Spaniard went on the attack on the final stage to Nice, but Henao limited his losses and Contador missed victory by two seconds.

ASO is hoping the lack of an opening time trial will keep the classification close again in 2018, with the sprinters and puncheur likely to fight for early success in Meudon, Vierzon and Châtel-Guyon before the overall contenders take charge

Stage 1 is short at just 135km but ends with the 1.9km, six per cent climb up to the Observatoire. The final 500 metres are apparently on a cobbled road. Stages 2 and 3 are both suited to the sprinters.

The fight for overall victory will begin with the stage 4 time trial from La Fouillouse to Saint-Étienne. The 18.4km route includes a gradual climb in the first eight kilometres, before rolling roads down to the finish.

The route then transfers south to Provence for stage 5, with the four final stages including climbing of some kind. Stage 5, from Salon-de-Provence to Sisteron heads deep into Provence, while stage 6 to Vence includes five category 2 climbs plus the challenging Côte de la Colle-sur-Loup just 10km from the finish.

Saturday’s stage 7 ends with a 16km climb to the La Colmiane resort ski resort. The climb rises for 16km at a steady 6.2 per cent.

The final stage in the hills behind Nice once again offers a final chance to attack, with the Col d’Eze tackled from a different side than in the past. It means that there are just nine kilometres of fast descending before the climb of the Col des Quatre Chemins and the descent to the finish. The stage finish will return to the Promenade des Anglais overlooking the Mediterranean.

Julian Alaphilippe (Quick Step Floors), Tony Gallopin (AG2R La Mondiale), Warren Barguil (Fortuneo-Samsic), Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates), Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha-Alpecin), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Simon Yates and Esteban Chaves (Mitchelton-Scott) are all expected to fight for overall victory, with Marcel Kittel (Katusha-Alpecin), Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates), Arnaud Démare (FDJ), Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) contesting the sprints as they prepare for Milan-San Remo.

2018 Paris-Nice route:

Sunday, March 4: Stage 1: Chatou-Meudon 135km
Monday, March 5: Stage 2: Orsonville-Vierzon 187km
Tuesday, March 6: Stage 3: Bourges-Châtel-Guyon 210km
Wednesday, March 7: Stage 4: La Fouillouse-Saint-Étienne 18.4km ITT
Thursday, March 8: Stage 5: Salon-de-Provence-Sisteron 163.5km
Friday, March 9: Stage 6: Sisteron-Vence 188km
Saturday, March 10: Stage 7: Nice-Valdeblore La Colmiane 175km
Sunday, March 11: Stage 8: Nice-Nice 110km

Article Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/2018-paris-nice-route-includes-18km-tt-and-intense-finale/

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ulissi’s Salbutamol Ruling Was Kept Secret — Froome’s Might Be Too

Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Don’t hold your breath to see how Chris Froome’s Salbutamol case plays out.

While documents are frequently released as part of anti-doping cases, they’re just as often kept under wraps. It depends on jurisdiction and the terms of the settlement. The U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s Reasoned Decision in the Lance Armstrong scandal, for example, provided an eye-opening glimpse into the murky waters of blood doping, EPO, and other PEDs.

Yet documents can also remain sealed in anti-doping rulings and investigations, leaving fans and journalists wondering. One of those was the 2014 Salbutamol case involving Diego Ulissi.

Many have drawn comparisons between Froome and Ulissi. The Italian served a nine-month ban for high levels of Salbutamol. Both he and Froome tested for similar levels of Salbutamol — Ulissi with 1,920 ng/l to Froome’s 2,000. Both argue they suffer from asthma. So it’s natural to look at the Ulissi case to guess what might happen with Froome.

Efforts to parse documents for a comparison between the two cases have proven frustrating. Why? Because the Ulissi documents were never released.

Ulissi held a Swiss racing license when he tested for high levels of Salbutamol during the 2014 Giro d’Italia. After efforts to reproduce the same readings failed via pharmacokinetic testing — an analysis that Froome is likely to employ — Ulissi’s legal team argued that Ulissi inadvertently exceeded allowed levels to treat his asthma. The Italian admitted negligence without the intention of enhancing his performance. He received a nine-month ban. That opened the door for him to return in time to race the 2015 Giro.

No one in the public ever read those documents, however. Swiss Anti-Doping authorities confirmed to VeloNews that the agency does not publicly release documents involving disciplinary actions. A request to view the Ulissi documents was denied.

And just like Ulissi’s ruling, details surrounding Froome’s case might never be publicly revealed.

Ulissi’s documents were kept under wraps due to Swiss anti-doping protocol. Froome’s case might never see the light of day, but for different reasons.

Froome’s case remains at the investigative stage under review by the Cycling Anti-Doping Foundation (CADF). That means he is not formally facing a disciplinary action, at least not right now. WADA rules allow athletes a chance to explain their cases involving specified products like Salbatumol, which can include thresholds, reduced bans, and maximum bans of two — not four — years. This review process calls for confidentiality [not per request from the athlete as previously reported -Ed.], but leaks to British newspapers burst it into public view late last year.

Froome’s legal team is working behind the scenes to try to demonstrate that high levels of Salbutamol occurred without Froome breaking the rules or taking more than the allotted dosage. The four-time Tour de France winner vows he did not break any rules when he tested for Salbutamol levels double the allowed threshold en route to winning the Vuelta a España in September.

That’s a high-risk strategy that could trigger a potentially longer ban if Froome’s legal team cannot prove its case.

If successful, however, it could mean that insider details of the case will never be disclosed. The UCI or WADA could appeal any agreement with CADF, and insist that a full disciplinary process begin. That would mean what would likely be a months-long process.

So far, Froome’s legal team is not giving much away, and it’s unclear when Froome’s lawyers will present their evidence before CADF. Froome, meanwhile, continues to train with hopes of racing in 2018.

Anyone hoping for a USADA-style treasure trove of documentation from the Froome case might be in for a disappointment.

Read more at http://www.velonews.com/2018/01/news/ulissis-salbutamol-ruling-kept-secret-froomes-might_454257#Awmkk6eDkKUFO7f4.99

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Valverde’s Comeback Begins in Mallorca

Alejandro Valverde will return to racing in Mallorca this January. Photo courtesy Movistar Team.

If anyone is itching for the 2018 racing season to begin it’s Alejandro Valverde.

The Movistar veteran saw his career nearly end in the opening-day time trial at the 2017 Tour de France in Germany last summer. Surgery and a setback-free recovery mean that the 37-year-old will be able to resume racing.

And that day is drawing near. Valverde’s comeback begins in Mallorca at the end of January in just a few weeks.

“My ambition is to come back and win,” Valverde said. “I don’t know if that will be in January, or in April. I hope it doesn’t take long.”

Movistar officials confirmed this week Valverde will race at least one of the four-day races at the Mallorca Challenge at the end of January. And later he will line up at the Vuelta a la Comunitat Valenciana, the Vuelta a Murcia and the Clásica Almeria.

After that, Valverde’s spring schedule remains undefined, but if things go well, he’ll likely headed back to the Ardennes. And the team is even hinting Valverde could race two grand tours, and possibly all three, en route to the world championships in Austria.

Valverde is clearly expecting to be back at his best for what will be his 18th pro season.

“A few months ago, I had doubts that I could be at the same level as before. Today I do not,” Valverde said in October. “I did some hard efforts, and the knee was completely perfect. I am ready to race, and win.”

Valverde was coming off one of his best spring campaigns ever last spring, winning his first three stage races and pulling off the Ardennes double with wins at Flèche Wallonne and Liège-Bastogne-Liège.

A horrific crash on a wet left-hander during the Tour ripped a hole in his knee all the way to the bone. Valverde initially thought his career was over on the spot. Excellent medical support in Germany and later in Spain with surgery saved his career. After training 6,000km last fall, he was even considering racing the new Chinese race but decided to hold off until 2018.

Movistar boss Eusebio Unzué said Valverde’s return to the roster for 2018 is a salve for the team.

“He is a guarantee for us in any race,” Unzué said. “We will see how the season evolves, but every indication is that he will be able to return to the Alejandro that we all know.”

Valverde is hoping to return to prolific best but also vows to stand aside to let Mikel Landa and Nairo Quintana stake their claim in the grand tours. Valverde will be waiting in the wings if anything happens.

“I still feel young,” Valverde said. “We all know where I am coming from in terms of the injury, but in the head, I am not tired, or weary. In body and mind, I feel ready good.”

How good remains to be seen. Valverde is back in the battle soon.

Read more at http://www.velonews.com/2018/01/news/valverdes-comeback-begins-mallorca_454132#IFIopk93Mv8zJVEh.99

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Lance Armstrong Throws Support Behind 'Icarus' Documentary

Armstrong will host NYC screening the day after Oscar nomination voting opens

Lance Armstrong talks with fans upon his arrival in Rodez, southwest France, after riding a stage of The Tour De France for leukemia charity.  

Lance Armstrong has thrown his support behind the Netflix documentary Icarus, which details the alleged Russian state doping system put in place at the Sochi Olympics. Armstrong has pledged to host a screening of the film on January 6 in New York City, according to a article on the Hollywood Reporter website. Oscar nomination voting opens on January 5.

Armstrong first mentioned the film, which premiered one year ago at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, with a tweet on December 26, commenting that "After being asked roughly a 1000 times if I’ve seen @IcarusNetflix yet, I finally sat down to check it out. Holy hell. It’s hard to imagine that I could be blown away by much in that realm but I was. Incredible work @bryanfogel!"

In its article published Wednesday, the Hollywood Reporter said there has been no time or place set for Armstrong's screening, but the evening will be co-hosted by author Robert Stone. Armstrong's event is one of several supporting director Bryan Fogel's film, according to the report, including an event in Beverly Hills hosted by Rob Reiner and former Russian ambassador Michael McFaul.

Fogel told the Hollywood Reporter that he first learned Armstrong had watched the film when he saw Armstrong's tweet in December, and he was happy that Armstrong responded positively.

"He was certainly punished in having his seven Tour titles stripped from him, and this is a subject that is obviously very close to him personally," Fogel said. "But the scope of the Russia conspiracy, in my opinion, shows that Lance's doping was really just a needle in the global haystack of sporting frauds.

"I'm hoping that Lance’s support of the film will help to bring further attention to this scandal and to Russia’s meddling into world competitions, and global politics, with the intent to win at all costs," Fogel told the Hollywood Reporter. "More importantly, I hope that his support will help to further protect Dr. Grigroy Rodchenkov, the whistleblower who is now being hunted by Russia for his bravery to tell the truth."

Article Source: http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/lance-armstrong-throws-support-behind-icarus-documentary/

Monday, January 1, 2018

Happy New Year!

May the new chapter of your life be even better than the last. 
Have a wonderful New Year!

Friday, December 29, 2017