Philip Gomes Wed 22 October 2014, 10:00AM

Too soon to get the band back together?

road, cycling, USA, George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong

When is it a good time to get the old band back together again? That’s a question I’ve been asking myself when I heard the news that several members of the 1999 Tour de France winning U.S. Postal Service (USPS) team would be riding together at the 25 October Gran Fondo Hincapie.

USPS alumni George Hincapie, Lance Armstrong Christian Vande Velde, Kevin Livingston, Michael Barry and Tom Danielson will be joined by the likes of fresh faced Tejay van Garderen and Alex Howes in the annual event.

We can be cynical jokers about this. I know I’ve already thought up a few not so funny zingers about blood bags and Motoman. It’s great fun for about ten seconds but I’m tired of making sport with these guys.
2014 Hincapie Gran Fondo jersey is actually graphical representation of GH's July hematocrit levels 1994-2012

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Philip Gomes Tue 14 October 2014, 10:00AM

Three Grand Tours full gas? Maybe not

cycling, Grand Tour, Tour de France, Giro dItalia, Vuelta a Espana, Oleg Tinkov

Tinkoff-Saxo has now published an expanded version of the “three Grand Tours in one season” idea floated by its billionaire owner Oleg Tinkov, and even with some extra meat on its bones, it still isn’t a good one for the riders.

If you haven’t been following the story, Tinkov wants an injection of excitement in men’s professional road cycling via head-to-head matchups during the 2015 season with the four best Grand Tour cyclists.

The big four, Alberto Contador (Tinkoff-Saxo), Chris Froome (Sky), Nairo Quintana (Movistar) and Vincenzo Nibali (Astana) would have their pumps primed, so to speak, with an incentive of $363,000 each.

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Philip Gomes Wed 08 October 2014, 11:00AM

A better way for Tinkov to spend a million

cycling, Grand Tour, Tour de France, Giro dItalia, Vuelta a Espana, Oleg Tinkov

Tinkoff-Saxo owner Oleg Tinkov has continued with his one-man effort to get all of the key Grand Tour contenders to race together in not just one or two of the big races, but all three, adding a $1.4 million incentive for riders to his earlier taunts.

Ok, maybe not exactly a one-man effort. Giro d’Italia organisers are also trying to position their race in such a way as to make a Giro-Tour double doable, with less overall elevation, fewer high mountain stages and shorter transfers. All of which should make recovery for a later Tour de France tilt much easier.

But that just shows many in the sport are already thinking in that direction, which makes Oleg’s million an unnecessary distraction. There are better ways for him to make a lasting impact in cycling than throwing money where it isn’t needed.

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Philip Gomes Thu 02 October 2014, 03:00PM

Time for Vino to man up

cycling, Kazakhstan, astana, Alexandr Vinokurov, doping

With the news of a second positive anti-doping test at Astana it’s time for Alexandr Vinokurov to man-up for once in his life and take a hit for the sake of the sport.

To lose one Iglinskiy to a doping positive is unfortunate for team Astana, to lose a second in less than a month is nothing less than embarrassing. For Vino, Kazakhstan and the sport.

At risk of presuming guilt before the B-sample is tested, I'll press on because it's unlikely that Maxim Iglinskiy's A-sample is a rogue result. The technology is good and so is the science of sampling.

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Philip Gomes Wed 24 September 2014, 02:00PM

Tinkov trash talking the sport back to the past

cycling,grand tours,Oleg Tinkov, UCI,plan,reform,,Contador,Froome,Nibali

One of the big problems in professional cycling is that we don’t get to see the best Grand Tour riders in the world ride head-to-head often enough.

Tinkoff-Saxo’s owner Oleg Tinkov wants to change that and so too does the International Cycling Union (UCI) with its long term plan to rejig the World Tour calendar.

"We proposed in an very informal way to the other teams. We believe the best riders should go up against each other in the biggest stage races in the calendar, it seems logical to us," Tinkoff-Saxo general manager Stefano Feltrin told Cyclingnews.

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