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Bicycle Racing News and Opinion,
Sunday, December 17, 2017

Back to news and opinion index page for links to archived stories | Commentary | Our YouTube page
2018 Tour de France | 2018 Giro d'Italia

I hate housework! You make the beds, you do the dishes and six months later you have to start all over again. - Joan Rivers

Latest completed racing:


Tony Martin walks back attack on Chris Froome

First, here's the 4-time world champion Martin's original Facebook post on the UCI's handling of the Chris Froome doping case:

"I am totally angry. There is definitely a double standard being applied in the Christopher Froome case. Other athletes are suspended immediately after a positive test. He and his team are given time by the UCI to explain it all. I do not know of any similar case in the recent past. That is a scandal, and he should at least not have been allowed to appear in the World Championships.

"Not only the public but also I have immediately the impression that there is wheeling and dealing going on behind the scenes, agreements are being made and ways are being sought as to how to get out of this case. Do he and his team enjoy a special status?

"These actions are major blow to the difficult anti-doping fight, which I am leading with riders like Marcel Kittel. We need a consequent and transparent approach by the UCI. What is going on here is inconsequent, not transparent, unprofessional and unfair."

And here's his December 16 Facebook post walking back those remarks:

"I received a lot of feedback about my comment of yesterday. I even got a phone call from a UCI’s representative who took the time to clarify how the process had been handled. I now understand that the UCI is managing this case in accordance with the rules and that Chris Froome did not get any special treatment. According to the rules, in a case involving a specified substance, every athlete shall have the chance to explain whether the numbers can be due to natural causes.

"That said, I am always very angry when another case in relation to antidoping happened in our sport. I will, as I always did, continue to take a strong position regarding the fight against doping and I will always remain an outspoken advocate for a 100% clean sport."

Bardiani-CSF says Michael Bresciani cleared by UCI

The team sent me this note:

With regard of today’s communication from Union Cycliste Internationale on Michael Bresciani, Bardiani-CSF express its satisfaction for the investigations’ outcome and the consequent decision that fully clear the rider from any accusations of fraudulent violations of anti-doping rules.

For Bardiani-CSF the UCI motivations prove that Bresciani has not violated any internal rules and team policy in terms of anti-doping, which declare the strong will to don’t have any riders in its roster with previous anti-doping violations not attributable to negligence and, in case of athletes under contract, the immediate dismissal.

At the end, the team confirms that the precautionary suspension of Bresciani is finished and that Michael will be at disposal to face the 2018 race calendar.

Giro Rosa 2018 (Women's Giro d'Italia) will climb Monte Zoncolan

Here's the organizer's news release:

The first veils of the 29th edition of the Giro Rosa have been taken off this morning in the Garzoni Theatre in Tricesimo (Udine), where the presentation of the first and the last two stages has taken place. Enzo Cainero, President of the Stage Committee of Friuli, and Giorgio Baiutti, Major of Tricesimo, welcomed all the participants.

The Big Start, on Friday 6th July 2018, will take place in Verbania with a Team Time Trial of 15.5 kms along the Lake Maggiore. The successful experiment of the last 30th June from Aquileia to Grado, when the Team Boels Dolmans took the Stage victory and the first Maglia Rosa was for the Canadian Karol-Ann Canuel, will be then repeated.

The 2018 Big Finish will be on the great mountains of the Carnia (Friuli): the Stage 9 will be on Saturday 14th July, from Tricesimo to Monte Zoncolan (104.7 kms): the “Kaiser” will be climbed from Ovaro, on the western side, with the following, “scary” numbers: 11.9 kms length, 1200 meters of heigth difference, 11.9% average slope, 22% of maximal slope. The Zoncolan was already climbed during the Giro Rosa 1997 from Sutrio until the chair lifts, where Fabiana Luperini took the stage victory.

Monte Zoncolan

Monte Zoncolan as ridden in the 2011 Giro d'Italia

The Overall winner will be crowned on Sunday, 15th July, after the Stage 10 in Cividale del Friuli (120 kms). The route will be around the small, historical town in Friuli until the Torre and Natisone Valleys, close to the Italian – Slovenian border. There will be a final circuit with the short but tough climb in Trivio (4 kms with 10% average slope).

"The big mountains are back as protagonists of the Giro Rosa", declared the Race Director Giuseppe Rivolta, "it will be for sure a spectacular race and a sport show on the Italian roads."

"The Zoncolan from Ovaro to its top is new for the Giro" declared Enzo Cainero – President of the Friuli Stage committee, "and it gives a truly, biggest importance about the quality and power of Women Cycling, which gives very big emotions."


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