Latest News in Cycling
There are more turbulent waters ahead for UCI president Pat McQuaid and his bid for re-election to a third term as the leader of cycling’s governing body.
AFP reported Wednesday that three members of the Swiss Cycling Federation are challenging the decision last month to endorse McQuaid’s candidacy for elections in September.
AFP reported that three unnamed members have filed a formal appeal to challenge Swiss Cycling’s decision in May to endorse McQuaid.
“We received a complaint Tuesday. It emanates from three members of Swiss Cycling,” Swiss Cycling spokesman Selina Küpfer told AFP.
Küpfer also said the issue would be considered by the arbitration tribunal at Swiss Cycling, but did not provide a timetable.
The appeal could have major implications for McQuaid, who is now facing a serious challenge from British cycling president Brian Cookson, who confirmed last week he will stand for the elections in September.
The latest move comes after Jaime Fuller, owner of Skins and founder of Change Cycling Now, garnered support of Swiss Cycling member Kurt Buergi to challenge the federation’s support of McQuaid.
Without endorsement from a governing body, McQuaid or any candidate would not be able to stand for election as president of the international cycling federation.
The Irishman sought the backing of the Swiss federation after members of the Irish cycling federation pressed for an open vote among members.
Instead, McQuaid, who has lived in Switzerland since 2005, sought the backing of the Swiss cycling federation, but others have challenged that move.
Last week, McQuaid punched back, releasing a letter he addressed to cycling federations, characterizing efforts against his candidacy originating from a “small group of activists.”
McQuaid has come under heavy fire in the wake of the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency’s ruling on the Lance Armstrong doping affair.
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) won the fifth stage of the Tour de Suisse on Wednesday.
Kristoff out-sprinted Peter Sagan (Cannondale) at the finish of the 176-kilometer stage from Buochs to Leuggern. The road ticked upward in the last 500 meters; with about 300 meters left, Sagan and Arnaud Demare (FDJ) — who won stages 3 and 4 — launched their final attacks.
Shortly after, Kristoff pulled around the wheel of Matti Breschel (Saxo-Tinkoff) and pedaled hard to the line. Sagan and Demare, who finished second and third, had no answer as Kristoff flew past them.
Mathias Frank (BMC Racing) remains the overall race leader with four days left. He holds a 23-second advantage over Roman Kreuziger (Saxo-Tinkoff) and a 35-second buffer over Rui Costa (Movistar).
A four-man escape group that took off 18km into the stage was caught with about 24km remaining. At that point, BMC took charge at the front of the peloton to keep Frank safe and out of trouble.
A few riders attacked the main pack in the final 15km, but each attempt was unsuccessful.
The race picks up with Thursday’s 186km stage 6.
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MILAN (VN) — The Tour de France celebrates 100 years this year by tackling the Alpe d’Huez twice in one day. To accomplish the feat, the organizer is taking the riders up and over the never-before-used Col de Sarenne. According to Tony Martin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step), the inclusion of the climb and above all, its descent, is reckless.
The two-time defending time trial world champion rode the climb as part of the Critérium du Dauphiné’s stage 7 on Saturday. Samuel Sánchez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) went on to win 120 kilometers later in Superdévoluy, where Martin shook his head in wonder.
“I was excited to ride the new road from Alpe d’Huez, the exact same route we’ll see in the Tour,” the German wrote on his website. “I have say that I was negatively surprised. The road is old and narrow. It’s a bad road, no guardrails. A mistake could see you falling straight down 30 meters.”
The Amaury Sport Organisation (ASO) will use the iconic Alpe d’Huez climb and new back road around Sarenne at 1,999 meters in the 18th stage of the Tour de France, three days before the race wraps up in Paris. Martin regrets the ASO’s decision.
“It’s irresponsible to send us there,” Martin added. “And I cannot imagine that something will change on the road for the Tour.”
ASO resurfaced parts, put asphalt down on the gravel, and flattened out other bits on the Col de Sarenne, but has been unable to give it a complete makeover. Local environmental groups lobbied to keep ASO from resurfacing the 5km stretch ascent and 26.5km descent.
The only other improvement ASO will make between now and the Tour’s stage, as with every stage, is sweeping for a clean passage. Though the road appears rough, it still seems better than many found in the Giro d’Italia last month.
The Giro has had similar criticism. For instance, two years ago organizer RCS Sport cut Monte Crostis due to mounting pressure. It placed padding against dangerous objects and strung up nets to stop free falls. Ultimately, an alternative route was used to bring the peloton to Monte Zoncolan.
‘Ride the conditions’
The Tour hopes that riders take it easy so that it can celebrate its 100th anniversary in style.
“It all depends on how you ride it,” former Tour stage winner and ex-head of the Association of Professional Cyclists (CPA), Cédric Vasseur, told VeloNews. “Besides, only the top riders will take it all out, the rest of the guys can go easy down Sarenne.”
Vasseur will follow the riders as he gives live commentary daily from a motorbike for France 2.
Richie Porte will be racing to protect Sky’s captain, Chris Froome. He rode it with Martin Saturday and echoed Vasseur’s comment.
“It wasn’t any worse than some we have been down but we also went down it pretty easy as Froome spoke to Alberto Contador and co., and we decided to go easy,” Porte told VeloNews.
“I guess you just have to ride to the conditions!”
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