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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Thursday, December 29, 2016

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2017 Tour de France | 2017 Giro d'Italia

Conservative, n: A statesman who is enamored of existing evils, as distinguished from the Liberal who wishes to replace them with others. - Ambrose Bierce

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Bradley Wiggins hangs up the chamois

Bradley Wiggins, winner of the 2012 Tour de France as well as the winner of five Olympic Gold medals, has announced his retirement. Wiggins has also been dogged by questions about a therapeutic use exemption and a mysterious package of medicine Wiggins recieved at the end of the 2011 Criterium du Dauphine.

Wiggins posted his retirement message on Facebook, which you can read here.

Bradley Wiggins

Bradley Wiggins enjoying the 2012 Tour de France

CBS's 60 Minutes to air segment on mechanical doping

Front Page Cycling posted a story regarding an upcoming 60 Minutes segment on mechanical doping:

For months, rumors have been swirling of a big story regarding mechanical doping in professional cycling. Istvan Varjas, the engineer widely regarded as the technology’s inventor, recently told French newspaper Le Monde that the public should expect major revelations on television in January, with the newspaper suggesting the shakeup would rival the Festina Affair – the largest exposé of doping culture in cycling to date.

We now know more. CBS’s 60 Minutes is preparing a segment on mechanical doping in cycling, and questions surrounding Lance Armstrong will feature heavily. Could 60 Minutes be the major reveal that Varjas hinted at?

Concerns around mechanical doping – or technological fraud, as it is called by the UCI – first gained widespread traction in 2010 when some speculated that Fabian Cancellara rode a motorized bike in several of the Spring Classics. These allegations stemmed largely from an impressive acceleration away From Tom Boonen on the Kapelmuur in the Tour of Flanders and questionable hand movements which could have activated a hidden motor.

Other athletes whose bikes and performances raised questions include Ryder Hesjedal, whose rear wheel continued to spin after a crash in the 2014 Vuelta a España, and Alberto Contador, who made some oddly timed bike changes when riding on to win the 2015 Giro d’Italia. Despite these allegations and the implementation of enhanced bike testing by the UCI, there has been no definitive evidence of mechanical doping in the professional road peloton to date. The sole case comes from the U23 women’s UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships where one of Femke Van den Driessche’s bikes was found to contain a concealed motor.

You can read the entire story here.

2017 Tour of Qatar cancelled

The UCI posted his short note: "The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) has today received notice of the cancellation of both the Tour of Qatar and Ladies Tour of Qatar. It is understood the decision follows difficulty attracting sponsor financial support."

The men's pro race was scheduled to be run February 6 - 10.

Here's our podium history of the race, won in 2016 and 2013 by Mark Cavendish.

Mark Cavendish

Mark Cavendish wins the first stage of the 2016 Tour of Qatar

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