Daryl Impey tests positive for masking agent Probenicid

Orica-GreenEdge’s Darryl Impey has returned a positive A and B sample for the masking agent Probenecid following the South African Championships in February.

The 29-year-old South African wore the yellow jersey for two stages in last year’s Tour de France and was left off Orica-GreenEdge’s roster for this year’s Tour, much to the confusion of some fans.

In a statement on his website, Impey maintained his innocence: “I had no knowledge of Probenecid nor have I ever taken the substance knowingly in any manner. I am committed to drug-free sport and fully intend to take all steps necessary to clear myself of all suspicion.

“The notification came as a complete shock to me just days before the start of the Tour de France, particularly since anti-doping test conducted on my (sic.) on 8 and 9 February, 2014 yielded no adverse results.”

Probenecid is banned by WADA as it can be used as a masking agent. It’s primary use is to treat gout but it can inhibit the detection of other drugs.

Pedro Delgado tested positive for Probenecid in 1988 while he was in the Yellow Jersey, but didn’t face sanctioning as it wasn’t on WADA’s banned substance at that time (although it was banned by the IOC). Stefano Garzelli tested positive for Probenecid in 2002 and received a nine month ban.

With both Impey’s A and B sample coming back positive for the substance, the South African is likely to face a stint on the sidelines.

Click here to read more at CyclingTips and here to read more at The Inner Ring.

Porte – “Winning the Tour de France will be harder than ever”

It’s been a season of mixed fortunes for Sky’s Richie Porte who suffered with illness and missed the Giro d’Italia, but who has come back and appears to be coming into good form ahead of the Tour de France. Speaking ahead of the Grand Depart in Leeds Porte appeared confident but realistic about the team’s chances of overall victory again.

Tour de France 2013 stage-18

“Obviously we’ve won the last two and we’re going with Chris in good form, so it’s exciting. I know that it’s not going to be easy, but then more personally for me I’m in good shape and I’m looking forward to getting to Yorkshire and starting the race,” Porte told Cyclingnews.

Porte was invaluable to Froome in the mountains in last year’s Tour and despite a slow build-up to the Tour this time around, the Tasmanian believes he has peaked just in time.

“I’m going really well on the bike and my weight is down on 12 months ago. It wasn’t great to have the Giro as my big goal and not race it, but I’m fresh and I’m going into the Tour in better shape than I was last year. It is what it is, and I would have preferred to do the Giro for myself, but it’s still easy to get excited by the prospect of being in top form for the Tour.”

But winning a third straight Tour for Team Sky won’t be easy, Porte says.

“I think it’s going to be harder to win this year than it was last year. There’s a better Alberto Contador this year and Chris had that crash at Dauphiné, which wasn’t good for him but he’s back where he needs to be and in good shape.

“At the start of the Dauphiné he won the first two stages quite convincingly. The crash he had did take it out of him. He realised that it wasn’t going to be possible to win Dauphiné at that point but in training he’s quite impressive. He’s ready.”

Click here to read more at Cyclingnews.

Tour de France preview

This season we’ve been able to bring you some great race previews courtesy of Mikkel Conde, and now Mikkel has put together a comprehensive preview of the Tour de France.

Criterium Dauphine Libere 2014  stage -2

In the article Mikkel takes a quick look at the route before analysing the big contenders for the overall and the sprint stages, and the riders you should keep an eye on.

Here’s an excerpt:

Without any bad luck or other incidents, I can’t see Chris Froome losing any time in the mountains. Even if he does, he will be able to take it back in the long and hard time trial on the penultimate day.

Froome is also in good hands for stage 5 on the cobblestones, thanks to Geraint Thomas and Bernie Eisel. Don’t forget that Thomas finished second on a similar stage in the Tour in 2010. Anything can happen in the Tour de France, but personally, I would be surprised not to see Chris Froome winning this race.

Check out the preview in full here and check out The Inner Ring for more information about the teams in the race and the riders to watch. For daily stage previews, check out Mikkel’s website and follow him on Twitter here.

Giro Rosa preview

Meanwhile over in Italy many of the best riders in the women’s peloton are getting ready for the Giro Rosa, the longest and most prestigious stage race on the elite women’s calendar.

Giro Rosa stage-6

Here at CyclingTips we’ve put together a comprehensive preview which looks at each of the 10 stages, the contenders in the general classification, the sprinters to watch, other riders to keep an eye on and, crucially, how you can follow the race.

Click here to check out the full preview.

Stop at Nothing: the Lance Armstrong story

There have been any number of Lance Armstrong documentaries, films and news stories in recent years and last night ABC TV in Australia aired another one, Stop at Nothing: the Lance Armstrong story. The ABC describes the doco as “An intimate but explosive story of the man behind the greatest fraud in sporting history. Revealing new details about the scandal, with insights from the former friends whose lives and careers he destroyed.”

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While much of the detail in the film won’t be new to those that have followed the story for the past few years, there are some things you mightn’t have heard, such as the fact Oakley continued to sponsor Armstrong long after knowing he’d been doping for years.

If you missed the documentary and would like to see it, you can catch it on ABC iView here.

The Tour is nearly here: sleep while you can!

If you’re a cycling fan in Australia, the month of July is one of late nights and limited sleep. Or, as Tim Renowden so eloquently puts it over at The Roar, “The Tour de France is nearly upon us, and July is going to be a magnificent, bleary-eyed sporting hell.”

Tim has written an entertaining piece about the realities of being a Tour fan back in Australia while also talking through his predictions of the race. Here’s an excerpt:

My preferred survival techniques for the next month include grabbing a couple of hours’ sleep between dinner time and the TV coverage (starting 10pm AEST most stages); coffee; sleeping on public transport; more coffee; sleeping in a meeting room at the office (perhaps set up a PowerPoint slide show full of boring graphs on loop to warn off anyone glancing through the windows); yet another coffee; and a big bowl of Harden The F*** Up.

Spectating is an endurance sport, it requires preparation and dedication. You need to maintain your energy levels. Under no circumstances let your fridge or pantry run out of late-night snacks. You’ll definitely need to send a domestique (in my case, I am the domestique) back to the fridge for refreshments during the stages.

Click here to check out Tim’s piece in full at The Roar.

German police apologise for fining one-armed cyclist

German police have apologised to a cyclist with one arm after fining him for only having one brake lever on the handlebars of his bike. Bogdan Ionescu from Cologne was hit with a €25 fine after being stopped by a police officer back in March. The police officer told the cyclist his bike contravened German traffic laws, despite the fact it had a back-pedal brake installed.

Ionescu was later apologised to by police and had his fine refunded.

“It’s great news, I’m really happy”, Ionescu said. “It’s good that this is how it ends, it’s unbelievably good.”

Click here to read more at The Local.

British cyclist killed while descending Alpe d’Huez

A 53-year-old British cyclist has been killed while descending Alpe d’Huez after being involved in a head-on collision with a car coming up the hill. The crash took place on bend number 17 and preliminary investigations suggest the motorist took the bend too wide and was unable to avoid hitting the cyclist.

Click here to read more at ledauphine.com (via Google Translate).

Couchlandrian Training Video: Avoid Over-Exertion

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of The Sufferfest’s training videos here at CyclingTips. We particularly like the mythology of Sufferlandria, a mythical country where only the strongest of the strong cyclists are welcome. Contrast this with nearby Couchlandria, a land of more sedentary people. Here’s a short video from the guys at The Sufferfest showing what the Sufferlandria/Couchlandria mythology is all about:

The Rocacorba Recap

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


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Today’s feature comes from Jered Gruber and shows his wife Ashley riding in Italy’s Abruzzo region.