Well another week, another roundup – apologies for the absence of last weeks Friday Roundup! There’s plenty going on here at the moment, more of that in a few weeks…
Big week in cycling this week, meatgate has finally been settled – or has it? Let’s take a look at the news highlights this week:
UCI pause for thought on Compliance.
Last week we reported on the UCI’s proposed compliance scheme. With far ranging implications, it was potentially very bad news for small/medium sized manufacturers. The good news this week is that the UCI have withdrawn their initial proposal following consultation with manufacturers. A new scheme will be proposed in consultation with frame manufacturers in February. We think this is great news – true collaboration between the UCI and manufacturers should produce a scheme which is fair, helpful and will move the sport forward. As always we’ll keep you up to date with news as and when!
It emerged on Tuesday that everyone’s once favourite Spaniard, Alberto Contador, is likely to receive a 1-year ban for his positive Clenbuterol test. This was confirmed by the Spanish Cycling Federation on Wednesday.
From the response on the social networking sites of the world, it appears the majority of the sports followers are happy that he will be suspended. Nevertheless, there are those who have questioned the relatively short sentence, suggesting that he should also be the recipient of a 2-year ban which is the usual punishment for such offences. As such, there have been several cries of favouritism.
The case of Fuyu Li, a Chinese RadioShack rider, suspended for the same offence and now facing a 2-year ban is an interesting one. It strikes the unbiased observer that there is a level of injustice involved in Contador’s sentence on the basis of Li’s case which shares so many similarities.
While Alberto will lose his 2010 TdF title, Contador should be relatively happy at the outcome of this debacle, given that he’s already served 6 months of his 12 month suspension and that he’ll be free to compete in the Vuelta later this year.
Alberto’s due to hold a press conference this Friday, but we’ll have to wait and see if he admits to doping and vows to race clean in the future, or continues to proclaim his innocence and moves to appeal the decision before a final verdict is given on February 9.
On a related note, there have been rumours that Sastre and Menchov, stuck with the ailing Geox-TMC team, may make guest appearances at Saxo Bank in order to ride in the TdF. These are still rumours but Riis will certainly be looking for a substitute for Contador in the coming months.
Swapping mud for tarmac.
World Champion Cyclocross rider Zdenek Stybar officially signed for Quick Step earlier this week. The Czech rider officially put pen to paper on Monday after months of speculation. Stybar will be an official member of the Quickstep Team from March 1st and looks set to make his road début at the Tour of California or the Tour of Belgium. After dominating the 2010 Cyclocross World Championships it should be interesting to see how he fairs on tarmac. However Stybar was quick to mention he will not be turning his back on his roots.
“This doesn’t mean I’ll be quitting ‘cross. I love this sport and intend to keep at it.”
The 25 year old will return to for the cyclocross season next year as well as representing his country at mountain biking at the upcoming 2012 London Olympics.
Santos Tour Down Under.
The first Pro Tour race of the year has just ended and for once the roles were reversed with Europe struggling to view live coverage of the racing! This hasn’t stopped the PBK office feeling noticeably happier though, in these days of very little sunshine and few miles, any quality racing is welcome here!
Congratulations to Cameron Meyer on a top win (P.S great effort with the podium girls Australia).
Sky, with their Pro team riding served the UK viewers very well and it was great to see actual Pro Team racing and all the new colours and kit designs for 2011.
At just a week, the Santos Tour Down Under is short but sweet with stages tackling climbs and crit style circuits along the way.
A few highlights of the Tour:
- Ben Swift (UK) winning both the first and last stage in the sprints. A great start to 2011 and we’ve made sure his twitter (@swiftybwift) is on our list of followed people!
- The Armstrong and Co. charity ride. He led a 25km ride through Brisbane to raise money for Queensland’s flood relief effort. Also in attendance was Brisbane born cyclist Robbie McEwen who joined him for the Queensland Ride Relief. A great effort for a very worthy cause.
- And of course Cyclingtipsblog.com‘s amazing pictures of it all.
Video of the Week:
Picture of the Week:
Tweet of the Week:
There was no contest for this week’s tweet of the week courtesy of George Hincapie:
Pick of this week’s new product:
Fresh in at PBK this week, here’s two highlights of the new Colnago clothing range at PBK:
We’re getting more of the Fizik Versus range in, check out the Fizik Aliante Versus:
Deals and Promo’s at PBK:
A new one this week – don’t wait to take advantage of these promotions and offers currently on at PBK:
What are we up to this weekend?
- Chris is not doing a lot – French red wine will feature, as will some quality sitting.
- John is doing not a lot once he’s been mud wrestling played rugby.
- Grant is doing not a lot, he’s all talented out from last week.
- Anthony is doing not a lot once he’s been for a skinny tyre ride on Saturday.