Second-tier Italian cycling team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec has been banned for 30 days after two riders tested positive for doping.

The International Cycling Union has suspended Italian team Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec for 30 days after two riders tested positive for doping.

The UCI says the ban starts on August 1. Team manager Gianni Savio said the team will appeal the suspension.

The second-tier team becomes the first to be suspended since the UCI's team rule took effect in January.

Teams can be barred from major races for up to 45 days for "two potential anti-doping violations within the same team within a 12-month period".

The two Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec riders who have pushed the team into suspension are Davide Appollonio, who was suspended in June, and Fabio Taborre, who was notified of his suspension on Monday.

Taborre tested positive for FG-4592, which stimulates production of endurance-boosting hormone EPO, while Appollonio had tested positive for EPO.

As a second-tier team, Androni Giocattoli-Sidermec needs invitations to World Tour races. It did not receive an invite to the Vuelta a Espana, which starts on 22 August.

Thursday 30 Jul 2015

Alberto Contador was due to start the World Tour Clásica San Sebastián race but illness has forced him to abandon all of his late season plans.

“Obviously, the team's main objective was for Alberto Contador to win the race and his absence will significantly change the goals and strategy of the team," Tinkoff-Saxo sporting director Patxi Vila said. "Alberto still has high fever and is unable to race. He also renounces the criteriums he was scheduled to attend and as a result, his 2015 racing season has come to an end."

Roman Kreuizger will replace Contadro in the  San Sebastian line-up, joining Matteo Tosatto, Manuele Boaro, Jesus Hernandez, Sergio Paulinho, Pavel Brutt, Oliver Zaugg and Chris Juul-Jensen.

Van Garderen was intent on defending his USA Pro Challenge title, a race he has won the past two years. But he needed to prove himself on a Grant Tour stage after a disappointing exit from the Tour de France where he appeared on target for a podium place.

"But after looking at the route and considering what happened at the Tour, all things just seemed to point in the direction that the Vuelta was the path to take," van Garderen said. "The more I have thought about it, the more excited I am about doing it. It is a great new challenge.

"This is 100 percent my decision. It would be nice to go out and try to win the USA Pro Challenge again. But after what happened at the Tour, I need to prove myself on a bigger scale."

BMC for the Vuelta a Espana
Tejay van Garderen (USA), Darwin Atapuma (COL), Marcus Burghardt (GER), Alessandro De Marchi (ITA), Jempy Drucker (LUX), Amaël Moinard (FRA), Joey Rosskopf (USA), Samuel Sánchez (ESP) and Peter Velits (SVK).

 

Etixx-QuickStep’s classics star Niki Terpstra won the opening stage of the Tour de Wallonie and held on to win the five stage tour in Ans, Belgium.

He finished 22 seconds ahead of Victor Campenaerts (Topsport Vlaanderen-Baloise) with Sergey Lagutin (Katusha) third overall at 36 seconds.

Danny Van Poppel (Trek Factory Racing) won the second and fifth stages , Philippe Gilbert (BMC) the third and Jonas Van Genechten (IAM Cycling claimed the fourth stage.

Terpstra's overall victory is the 39th on the road for Etixx - Quick-Step in 2015, and his 6th victory of the season.

“I’m very happy about this victory because from the day I first put on the yellow jersey until today it wasn’t easy," Terpstra said.

"There was a final circuit with a cobbled climb in the middle. This made for some hard racing. But I could count on my teammates today, as I could the entire race. They gave me a big hand, really controlling the entire day.

"My victory is also a result of their job. Of course, my victory the first day was key. I finished with a gap and was able to defend it for four more stages. I am happy and proud about this victory, as it’s only the third stage race that I won in my career, after Tour of Qatar this year, and also last season.

"I’m proud of this, because I won in a completely different parcours compared to Qatar. Qatar is completely flat and windy. Here we had to struggle on the Ardennes climbs. Really it was a different kind of race. So I am really happy I made it at a parcours that, on paper, doesn’t typically suit a rider like me.

"This victory gives me the motivation to continue to perform well in 2015, and be ready at the next race, which for me will be the Eneco Tour.”

Despite a hugely sucessful maiden Tour de France campaign, South African Pro Continental team MTN-Qhubeka will lose the support of telecommunications company MTN.

The company said tougher market conditions led the organisation to reassess its marketing commitments, including its sponsorship of the team which it has supported to the tune of $10 million since 2013.

"Considering the tough operating environment in the telecommunications industry we've really had to reassess, not just the Qhubeka sponsorship, but a number of other engagements we feel don't have a return on that investment at the levels of comfort to us," the company's group corporate affairs executive Chris Maroleng said.

However team founder Douglas Ryder said the squad was financially secure as it continues to build its presence in world cycling.

"The team has many options going forward, huge interest as you can imagine, so the future of the team is incredible. There are no issues there," Ryder said.

Current technology partner Dimension Data is rumoured to be stepping up to title sponsor status of the team in 2016.

The team will line up next for the 22 August Vuelta a Espana.

The North Queensland city of Cairns will again be the site of a double round for the 2016 UCI MTB World Cup.

The city hosted a complete second round in 2014 but this time will showcase the opening cross country (XCO )round and round two of the downhill international (DHI) competition on 23-24 April.

Cycling Australia CEO, Nicholas Green OAM, said organisers were delighted that the World Cup would make a return to Cairns.

“We are very much looking forward to hosting the 2016 World Cup round in Cairns, following a tremendously successful 2014 event,” Green said.

“We anticipate all the world’s best cyclists to descend on Cairns in 2016 and look forward to a great battle just months out from the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

“The 2016 World Cup will also allow us to build momentum heading into the 2017 World Championships, which are also to be staged in Cairns.”