Length of the Vuelta a España up for discussion

Vuelta a España director Javier Guillén has revealed his vision for the Vuelta a España, saying he is open to the idea of cutting the length of the race as long as there is some significant payoff, particularly a stronger field on the start-line.

Guillén spoke at a forum organised by Spanish sports newspaper AS, and mentioned the possibility of introducing of a third rest day or even a cut to the length of the three-week duration of the Vuelta and the Giro d’Italia, so that they run for two weeks or a little more. Guillén stated: “That is a debate that is certainly going to take place.”

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‘Miracle’ needed to reopen Armstrong case: WADA

Disgraced cyclist Lance Armstrong needs nothing less than a “miracle” to revisit his lifetime ban from sports after admitting to doping, the world anti-doping body chief said Tuesday.

“I see it as done and dusted and it would take something close to a miracle to see it go forward in his case,” said John Fahey, outgoing president of the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA).

Armstrong, 42, said in an interview he would cooperate to discover the extent of doping in the sport so long as he’s treated the same as his fellow drug cheats.

Punishment for other cyclists has been less severe after they admitted to doping, while Armstrong was stripped of his record seven Tour de France titles won between 1999 and 2005.

But WADA’s Fahey was unsympathetic after Armstrong had denied for years that he used banned substances.

“He did not cooperate, he did not defend the charges,” Fahey told a news conference at the World Conference on Doping in Sport in Johannesburg.

“There’s been no mood to say ‘I want to give substantial assistance’.”

Any decision to reopen Armstrong’s case would have to come from American anti-doping agency USADA, who banned him in the first place, said Fahey.

Even then, the fallen star would need “a damn good case”, he said.

Brian Cookson, the new president of the UCI, the cycling’s world governing body, has promised to set up an independent commission to find out the full extent of doping within the sport.

“I am confident from what UCI have indicated … that it will happen within weeks rather than within months,” said Fahey.

“There’s some work to be done,” he said about doping in cycling, but “the goodwill appears to be there.”

text via AFP

Quintana likely to target Giro d’Italia rather than Tour

Nairo Quintana placed an outstanding second place in this year’s Tour de France, but he’s given a further indication that he may concentrate on winning the Giro d’Italia instead in 2014 rather than focusing on the Tour.

Tour de France 2013 stage-18

Biciciclismo reports that Quintana said (roughly translated), “The Giro has always attracted me and I’ve always preferred that to the Tour because there are more mountains,” “I think it is a race that suits me. “I really like the course because at first glance it adapts well to my characteristics as a pure climber. In the first week you have to be careful not to fall into any traps. In the third week, although I don’t know the Italian mountains, they seem hard to me.”

Read Velonation’s take on it here.

Five big names still without a team for 2014

The combination of teams folding and past suspicious, the market for contracts is tough. Some riders are simply victims of circumstance, and others are may be too risky to a team’s reputation.


Significant riders who are about to be made redundant in 2014 include:

Chris Horner
Samuel Sánchez
Luis Leon Sánchez
Allan Davis
Juan José Cobo

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Gerdemann rejoins pro cycling with MTN-Qhubeka

After almost retiring, former Tour de France yellow jersey wearer Linus Gerdemann returns to the pro cycling next year after signing a two-year deal with the pro-continental squad MTN Qhubeka.

Gerdemann did not race in 2012 after his contract was not renewed with Leopard-Trek.
He told cyclingnews that his good friend Gerald Ciolek’s victory at Milan-San Remo was what sparked his desire to make a comeback.

He said to cyclingnews, “I’ve trained for a long time with him. For me, he is like a young cycling brother as we spend a lot of time together on the bike and off the bike. It was such a great moment for me [when Ciolek won Milan-San Remo] because I knew he had that potential and I was really happy to see him use it in one of the most important races on the calendar and that was very inspiring and motivating for me.”

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Inrng Shorts

If you’re tired of all the same mainstream news you’ll read everywhere, head over to Inrng for his Tuesday Shorts. Over there you’ll find all sorts of quirky news stories in the world of cycling that nobody else manages to dig up and put into one place. And while you’re there, surf through the rest of the site where you’ll find a goldmine of information on pro cycling that’s always written from a different angle and asks the questions nobody else will ask. I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Bicycle anecdotes from Amsterdam

Last but not least in today’s Rocacorba, here’s a video you might enjoy about the “City of Bikes”. It provides a nice cross-section of commentary on life in Amsterdam.

If you’d like to skip directly to topics, you can jump to them here:

0:17 Rejecting the Automobile
2:15 A bike system that works for everyone
4:05 There’s a science to what looks like “bicycle chaos”
5:55 Coming to The Netherlands from the United States
7:33 Dutch Bicycle Culture

And finally this morning, here are a few things you might have missed:

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