It may seem like an odd thing to say right now but there is only good news and good news coming out of the doping positive of Danilo "The Killer" Di Luca.
For those who missed the headlines, Di Luca was suspended on Friday (AEST) after testing positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test taken a week before the start of the Giro d'Italia. We now await its confirmation, usually a formality.
This is Di Luca's third serious career brush with the anti-doping authorities so clearly he is a hard core recidivist.
One need only cast their minds back eleven years ago to support the overused TV commentator’s phrase that ‘anything can happen’. But as Anthony Tan writes, for the podium to be redefined four days from the finish, logic, caution and reason must be thrown out the back door.
The most interest in terms of racing is going to be amongst the fourth to tenth players. They’ll be the ones squabbling over the seconds, chasing each other down and one of those moves might just be the catalyst that Nibali is waiting for to show just how superior he is.Before the final time trial and the arguably the two most difficult mountain stages in this year’s Giro d’Italia, it seems the canny Scotsman reckons the podium is just about set in stone, with the scrap for minor placings where he predicts most change.
It’s a big call. Because maglia rosa Vincenzo Nibali needs to have just one bad day in the Dolomites and he could lose five minutes. Or ten. Or fifteen.
Thirteen years is a long time between drinks for fans of Australian
cross country (XCO) mountain biking but on Monday the community awoke to
a pair of victories and blossoming hope for the future, writes Phil Gomes.
On Saturday night (AEST) Rebecca Henderson was the first to break the long running Australian drought by winning the opening race of the under 23 category at the UCI Mountain Bike World Cup in Albstadt, Germany.
Her victory was the first recorded at that level by any Australian rider since Cadel Evans and Mary Grigson at the turn of the millennium in 2000.
It’s never easy when apprentice usurps master, particularly when it happens earlier than expected. But as Anthony Tan writes, for those on the sidelines, it makes for fascinating viewing.
When the winner of the 14th stage of this year’s Giro d’Italia, Mauro Santambrogio of Vini Fantini-Selle Italia, was asked what it felt like to drop his former leader Cadel Evans on the climb to Bardonecchia-Jafferau, he responded thus:
“It gives me great confidence, although I have to thank Cadel because I learned a lot when I rode alongside him. With Cadel I learned how to prepare for a three-week tour. Now, as a captain on a team, I can really make the most of what I have learned.”
Women’s race organisers in France have turned their tainted reputation a little muddier, after the debacle of the second consecutive cancellation of the Tour Languedoc Rousillion, originally scheduled as UCI 2.2 stage race from 17-22 May.
In 2012, the race was cancelled because of possible ‘financial problems’ leaving many riders in a tight spot. It had been the final opportunity for women to fight for UCI points to qualify places for the London 2012 Olympic Games before the May 31 deadline.
Last year, teams had three weeks notice. This year, many teams were already in Carcassonne, or en-route to the region in the south of France known for its good wine and great cycling terrain.