Bradley Wiggins is racing and winning prior to the Tour de France, but his rivals are training. RadioShack-Nissan general manager, Johan Bruyneel changed Andy and Frank Schleck’s schedule following a “disappointing” run in the Ardennes Classics.
The brothers will train at altitude in Spain’s Sierra Nevada for 10 days with Yaroslav Popovych and Haimar Zubeldia, according to Het Nieuwsblad.
“It’s appropriate,” said Bruyneel. After Liège-Bastogne-Liège, he explained that he was disappointed with how the two rode in the Ardennes Classics.
They will test in a wind tunnel on May 3, train at home afterwards and race different programmes prior to the Tour de France. Frank races the Tour of Luxembourg and Tour of Switzerland; Andy the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Omega Pharma imposes one-hour Twitter ban
Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep is banning Twitter for one hour before and after races.
“Sometimes they write something they regret. I think you just have to think twice before sending a Twitter message,” sports director, Brian Holm told Denmark’s Ekstra Bladet. “You are at your worst just right after a sprint finish.”
He welcomes riders using social media at other times and says he was happy with Mark Cavendish’s Tweets.
“He could come up with some venom, and people loved it or hated it. It was not anything that shifted his focus from racing.”
BMC to continue through 2016
BMC announced on Friday that it will continue to sponsor Cadel Evans’ team through 2016. Last year it won the Tour de France, hitting the top after starting as a third division team in 2006.
Building on the momentum, it signed star riders Philippe Gilbert, Thor Hushovd and Tejay Van Garderen over the winter.
“Our best marketing strategy is to have the best cycling team in the world,” owner Andy Rihs said in a press release.
The bike company’s CEO, Thomas Binggeli added, “We want to profit from the knowledge and experience from the world’s best athletes to build the best bicycle.”
Liquigas announces new sponsor
Liquigas-Cannondale announced yesterday that it signed a deal with new sponsor Ristora. The Italian food and beverage company will appear on the jersey and socks starting from May 1.
The deal is important for team manager, Roberto Amadio. He is trying to find a new sponsor or to convince Liquigas to renew ahead of next season. Vincenzo Nibali’s contract also expires at year-end. He is reportedly in negotiations with Amadio for a new two-year deal, at €1.8m (£1.47m) annually.
Ricco refuses to go away quietly
Riccardo Ricco hit back after Italy’s high sporting court (TNA) issued him a 12-year doping ban.
“Now, I’ll begin to speak about all the rot in cycling and everything I’ve seen in this false world of hypocrites,” he wrote via Twitter on Friday. “And I’ve seen a lot and know a lot! Those who’ve come across as little angels are the worst, I assure you.”
The Italian received a 20-month doping ban after testing positive at the 2008 Tour de France. He returned to racing, but last February, he nearly died from a botched blood transfusion.
He added, he’s ready to open up. “Beautiful. Now, I’ll have some fun.” Two days later, on Sunday, he rode in the San Marino Granfondo.