Tour de France stars Andy Schleck (RadioShack-Nissan) and Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) ended their seasons early this year to recover ahead of 2013.
“The shooting pain when I go on longer rides can [still] not be denied,” Schleck said yesterday in a press release. “It makes no sense to appear at races where I might not be able to even reach the finish line.”
Schleck, winner of the 2010 Tour and second last year, suffered a crash in strong winds in the Critérium du Dauphiné time trial. The incident and lack of form forced him to skip the Tour and yesterday, call an early end to his season. He was due to start in the GP Fourmies on Sunday.
“I’m very disappointed that I couldn’t show anything so far this year. This has been a dreadful season for me,” he added. “I still hope to return to racing before the season ends.”
Last year’s Tour winner, Evans announced the end of his season on Tuesday due to his current fitness level. He suffered in the early season from a low-grade virus and abandoned the Tour of Colorado with a sore right knee.
“Considering there are so few races left, and with his current level of fitness, the medical staff and management decided to make this the end of his season,” team doctor, Max Testa said in a press release.
The decision means Evans will miss the two Canadian one-day races, the World Championships and the Tour of Lombardy. Evans explained, “I’ll completely recover and do what I can to be back to my normal level next year.”
Armstrong doping: Hamilton releases book
Lance Armstrong’s former team-mate, Tyler Hamilton released an autobiography, The Secret Race, yesterday in the USA detailing doping practices when the two raced together.
“He was incapable of being passive, because he was haunted by what others might be doing,” Hamilton wrote, according to The Telegraph. “I came to think of it as Lance’s Golden Rule: Whatever you do, those other ****** are doing more.”
Hamilton raced with Armstrong in team US Postal until 2001. He also rode for teams CSC and Phonak, won Liège-Bastogne-Liège and a Tour de France stage before caught blood doping.
He wrote Armstrong stored EPO in his kitchen. “I opened it and there, on the door, next to a carton of milk… I was surprised that Lance would be so cavalier.” He explained that Armstrong’s gardener, Philippe, followed the 1999 Tour on a motorcycle with EPO for the team. “Lance practically glowed when he told me about the plan – he loved this kind of MacGyver secret agent stuff.”
Because of the tighter libel laws, the publishers will release the book later in Great Britain with some allegations rephrased.
Sky: Barry retires, Cataldo likely to join
Michael Barry announced yesterday that he will leave team Sky after three years when he retires following the Tour of Beijing next month.
“Cycling will forever be my passion,” he wrote on his website, “but it is time to change direction.”
Barry fractured his elbow in the Tour of Qatar this season. He fell on it again in the Tour de Wallonie in July.
“Through my 14 year professional career I’ve been fortunate to race with many of the top teams,” he said. “From my first coaches and club mates to Dave Brailsford and my Team Sky team-mates I’ve had the opportunity to race and learn from many of the best.”
Dario Cataldo, winner of the Vuelta a España’s Cueto Negro stage, said yesterday that he will leave Omega Pharma-QuickStep for Sky.
“I’m not sure what my role wil be,” Cataldo told Italian website, Tuttobiciweb.com. “I’ve been working hard in Grand Tours for three years, I’m ready to make myself available and do my job.”
Saronni celebrates Goodwood Worlds win
Giuseppe Saronni celebrated yesterday the 30th anniversary of his World Championships win in Goodwood.
He now manages team Lampre, which sent out a press release honouring his “rifle-shot.” “That action is well fixed in the memories of the cycling fans and inspired generations of cyclists.”
Bertagnolli faces three-year ban
Leonardo Bertagnolli faces a likely three-year ban, recommended yesterday by the Italian Olympic Committee (CONI).
It wrote, “In relation to the abnormal readings the Union Cycliste International (UCI) found with its biological passport.”
Investigators also linked the Italian to banned trainer, Michele Ferrari. After the UCI asked Italy to investigate his suspicious passport readings, he retired on June 27. Since the start of 2011, he raced with team Lampre.