Hello and welcome back to GCN, coming up we’ve
got news from Qatar Oman, Paris Nice, Mario Cipollini, Pat McQuaid and Team Garmin Sharp.
It was Mark Cavendish who ended up with the overall honours at the Tour of Qatar last
week, his Omega Pharma Quick Step team finished third on the team time trial on day 2, but
he then went on to take the last 4 stages in a row, comfortably earning enough bonus
seconds to propel him to the top of the overall standings. Surprisingly, in a career where
he’s already won over 100 races, this was only the second time he’s won a race overall.
But as the inner ring pointed out on twitter, he now has more stage race wins than Andy
Schleck. GCN were over in Qatar making friends with Cavendish and bringing you all the action.
Alright to everyone at Global Cycling Network, except the cameraman he’s an annoying pain
in the ****. Whilst a lot of riders went straight to the
Tour of Oman from Qatar, there are a few notable additions to the hillier of the desert races,
including three former Tour de France winners. Alberto Contador of Saxo Tinkoff, Cadel Evans
of BMC and team Sky’s Sir Bradley Wiggins who is also joined by team mate Chris Froome.
Throw in Vincenzo Nibali of Astana and Joaquin Rodriguez of Katusha into the mix and you’re
going to have a really hotly contested general classification. Other riders heading east
include Peter Sagan of Cannondale and current World Champion Philippe Gilbert of BMC. Once
again GCN’s been over there to capture all the action. The creme de la creme of world
cycling including world champ Phillipe Gilbert and Tour champ Bradley Wiggins were content
to drift around the rear of the pack. The route of the 2013 Paris Nice, otherwise
known as the race to the sun, was announced by ASO last week. Running from 3rd-10th March,
the 1174km event kicks off with a 2.9km prologue around the streets of Houilles. The 1600m
Montagne de Lure on Stage 5 will be the highest ever summit finish in the races history, and
will no doubt shake up the overall standings. Those overall standings should be wide open
this year with many big names including 2012 winner Sir Bradley Wiggins. Among those that
are confirmed to start are Robert Gesink of Blanco, TJ Van Gaarderen of BMC and Thomas
de Gendt of Vacansoleil. The big news this weekend came from Italy. Mario Cipollini made
the front page of La Gazzetta dello Sport, who linked sprint legend with the infamous
Dr. Fuentes. Fuentes reportedly provided Cipollini with EPO, growth hormone and blood transfusions
from 2001 to 2004, a period in which Cipollini won Milan San Remo and the World road championships.
The news continued into Monday with the paper claiming Cipollini paid €130000 to Dr Fuentes
in those 4 years. Cipollini has denied the allegations through his lawyer. Neal Rogers
of Velonews grabbed an exclusive interview with UCI president Pat McQuaid as he attended
the World Cyclocross Championships in Louisville. In the two part interview, McQuaid distances
himself from former president Hein Verbruggen, and reiterated how much he has done to improve
the sport since becoming president in 2005. Here at GCN, we’ve been lucky enough to
get our hands on the new Garmin 810. It’s a tough job but somebodys got to do it! Let
us know what you think and add your comments down below.
It was a bad start to the season for team Garmin-Sharp. This is what greeted their mechanics
on the morning of the 4th stage at the Tour Méditerranéen. Overnight, thieves had broken
into their team truck outside their hotel in Aix en Provence, stealing 17 bikes worth
in the region of €250000. Team CEO Jonathan Vaughters said: This is a big loss for the
team because the Tour of the Med was a huge goal for us and the team was in great shape
for it”. Despite offers from other teams to loan them equipment, the decision was made
that it was a bit too late in the day to set them up, and so the riders were forced to
quit the race and head home. Thats all we’ve got time for on this weeks GCN news show.
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