CONI bans Danilo Di Luca for life

Italian cyclist Danilo Di Luca was on Thursday banned for life after testing positive for the banned blood booster erythropoietin (EPO) before this year’s Giro di Italia.

Giro d'Italia 2011 - Quindicesima tappa "Conegliano-Gardeccia"

The punishment was meted out by the Italian Olympic Committee (Coni).

Di Luca, 37, failed the control in an out of competition test on April 29, forcing him to quit the Giro d’Italia.

The Italian has already served two bans for doping incidents in the past, including a positive test for EPO in 2009.

As well as the life ban, Di Luca was also fined 35,000 euros and his results since mid-April have been erased from the record books.

To read a great feature article about Danilo Di Luca and how he got to this point, check out edition #62 of RIDE Magazine.

Text via AFP.

Juan Jose Cobo signs with Torku Seker Sport for 2014

After being set free following two years at Movistar, Juan Jose Cobo, winner of the 2011 Vuelta a Espana, has landed on his feet at the Turkish Continental squad, Torku Seker Sport.

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If that team name sounds familiar it’s because that’s the team that the past two Tour of Turkey winners — Ivailo Gabrovski and Mustafar Sayar — have ridden for. Both riders tested positive to performance-enchancing drugs after their wins.

In the past week Cobo had spoken about being willing to take a step down from WorldTour level and while he has taken two steps down to Continental level he is reportedly happy to be with Torku Seper Sport.

Click here to read more (in Dutch) at WielerUpdate.nl

Michele Acquarone lashes out after being fired by RCS Sport

Former Giro d’Italia race director Michele Acquarone has been let go by race organiser RCS Media after 13 million euros reportedly went missing from the company’s coffers.

Acquarone, who was provisionally suspended by RCS Sport while an investigation was underway, has spoken angrily about the ordeal.

“Over two months, it can only make one announcement? It blamed me, cut me off, removed my computer and took my telephone. They’ve ruined my reputation,” Acquarone said. “I’ve done everything according to the books in my years at RCS.”

RCS Sport is yet to make an official announcement but Acquarone was quick to tell his side of the story in a press conference and then with an official statement, an excerpt of which can be seen below:

With deep regret I inform you that my relationship with RCS is over. The decision was taken unilaterally by RCS and I simply have to take note of it.

Similarly I take note that yesterday, after convening this press conference, the news of my dismissal was widespread but, even today, after two months since my publicly disclosed interim suspension and of the internal and external inquiry, RCS has not yet provided any additional information on facts and responsibilities.

This make the damage caused to my image and my reputation even more clear and serious, by combining my name to the alleged multimillionaire shortage found out in RCS.

Everyone knows that I have always worked with the greatest effort and with good results and, in the years of my direction, RCS Sport has gained prestige and consideration in the sporting community in Italy and abroad.

Therefore, I really do not know the reasons for which RCS wanted to find in me the scapegoat for a situation that has now become extremely delicate and serious, how the persisting deafening silence of the Group suggests.

Click here to read more, including the full statement from Acquarone, at VeloNews.

Greg Henderson to miss Tour Down Under for knee surgery

For the first time since 2008 Lotto-Belisol’s part-time Melbourne resident Greg Henderson will miss the Tour Down Under after undergoing surgery on his knee this week.

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Henderson went under the knife to treat prepatellar friction syndrome which is the irritation of a tendon in the vicinity of the kneecap. The injury was caused by simple wear and tear and after attempts to address the issue were unsuccesful, a more direct approach was taken.

“The treatments and the rest he took in the past weeks didn’t have the desired result,” stated Lotto Belisol. “Because of the surgery Henderson will miss the season’s start.”

It’s not known as yet when Henderson will be able to get back to racing.

Click here to read more at VeloNation.

Simon Gerrans praises “fairer” nationals course

Former Australian national road race champion Simon Gerrans believes the return to the tried and tested nationals road race course for 2014 is the right choice.

winner Simon Gerrans happily on his way to the podium

Next year’s course will return to simple loops of a 10.2km course, doing away with the extended loops that featured in this year’s course.

“The great thing about the (basic) course is that there’s never much of a disadvantage or advantage, you’re not having to work that much harder whether you’re in the break or the bunch,” Gerrans said to Cycling Central.

This year’s men’s road race will feature 18 laps of the hilly circuit for a total of 183km. Gerrans will go into the race as one of the favourites.

“I’m in a good position to be going well in January, because I finished 2013 a little earlier than I might’ve liked, and I’ll have a few more k’s in my legs than I would normally have, and hopefully that translates into some good form for January.”

Click here to read more at Cycling Central.

Mark Cavendish to skip Milan-San Remo in 2014

Changes to the Milan-San Remo route in 2014 will turn the “sprinter’s classic” into a race that’s more suited to climbers, a fact that Mark Cavendish is well aware of.

100e Milano - Sanremo part 2

“I won’t take part. And if the route stays the same, perhaps I’ll never ride it again. My success in 2009 is destined to be unique,” Cavendish told Gazzetta dello Sport.

The addition of a new 5km climb to the 2014 Milan-San Remo route has proved controversial and is likely to change the make-up of the race with the new Pompeiana climb sitting between the Cipressa and the Poggio, only 20km from the finish.

Click here to read more at Cycling News.

Interview with David Walsh, author of “Inside Team Sky”

After a season spent behind the scenes at Team Sky, David Walsh published “Inside Team Sky”, an intimate look inside the Sky machine and concluded that the team does not have a doping culture and that Chris Froome is a credible Tour de France winner.

Tour de France 2013 stage-18

In an interview with Cycling News David Walsh has spoken of the reception the book received, answered some probing (and largely cynical) questions from Cycling News about Team Sky and Chris Froome, and spoke about comparisons between US Postal Service and Team Sky.

Here’s a snippet from the interview, in which Cycling News asks Walsh at what point he was approached by Chris Froome to help ghostwrite the Tour winner’s autobiography:

“It was well after the Tour. He rang up and asked if I’d do it, and I said I’d consider it. I said to him during the conversation we had, ‘As things stand, I do believe in you, but if you have any doubts about any part of your past, it would be great if you could go and ask somebody else.’ And he said, ‘There were no worries. There are absolutely zero worries on that basis. I wouldn’t be asking you if there were, believe me.’

And I do believe in him. We had a meeting during the Tour and I’m not going to talk about it, although I allude to the meeting in the book. It was a very, very private conversation and we spoke, and I do believe in the guy. That was a very private thing and it related to doping and I do believe he’s clean. I wouldn’t be writing his book if I didn’t believe that.”

Click here to read the full interview at Cycling News.

Rapha to end sponsorship of Team Rapha-Condor-JLT

Rapha has confirmed that it’s sponsorshop of the Rapha-Condor-JLT team will come to a close at the end of next year.

rain 2013 Tour of Britain stage 1: Peebles - Drumlanrig Castle, 209km

Rapha co-founder and CEO Simon Mottram said: “Both Rapha and Condor have grown and developed in that time as well. Our eight years together have been really important to Rapha, helping us become established as a legitimate fixture of the UK racing scene.”

“After eight years the cycling market and our business have changed and we have decided that having a UCI registered Continental Racing team is not the best way for Rapha to contribute to the UK racing scene. We are exploring other ways in which Rapha can usefully invest in UK racing and further plans will be announced shortly.”

The clothing brand first began sponsoring the team back in 2006 when it was Rapha-Condor.

Click here to read more at Road.cc.

Team CyclingTips cracks top five at Suit Up and Ride

On a wet and miserable summer afternoon the CyclingTips team headed out to Alexandra Gardens in Melbourne yesterday to take part in Suit Up and Ride, a ~500m time trial, ridden on Melbourne city bikes, with all teams dressed in regular work attire.



The day was all about raising awareness about youth mental health, via charity partner Orygen Youth Health, and Matt Goss and Cadel Evans were there to throw their weight behind it.

The CyclingTips team, which included special guest Matt Keenan, qualified with the fifth fastest time in the rain-affected heats before going through to the top-10 shootout and placing fifth in a near-torrential downpour.

Congratulations to the team from Frank Health Insurance for taking out the overall win and well done to everyone that took part.

Click here to learn more about Suit Up and Ride and click here for a few photos from the day.

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature image is by Kristof Ramon and is from this year’s memorable Milan-San Remo. Next year’s edition might be memorable for different reasons, given the addition of an extra climb near the end.