Peter Sagan (Cannondale) will return to race Paris-Roubaix in 2014 after skipping the last two years. As a junior, he place second to Brit Andy Fenn.
“The first time I raced it as professional in 2010 I didn’t arrive in Roubaix and one year later I finished the race in the gruppetto faraway from the leaders,” he said in a team statement. “It’s a race in which it’s important to have experience and luck, as well as to have a feel for it. Riders such as Cancellara and Boonen, for example, are specialist for Roubaix and they have a lot of experience, much more than me. I can only ensure that I’ll give hundred per cent to have the best result I can.”
The 23-year-old Slovak placed second in Milan-San Remo and the Tour of Flanders this year. He said that they are his goals, along with a third green jersey at the Tour de France. He did not mention the Ardennes Classics but he may skip them since he is adding Roubaix to his schedule.
“It’s clear, he has to make a decision,” team sports director, Alberto Volpi told Cycle Sport this spring. “You can’t ask a tractor to plough through the pavé and run like a Formula 1 car in the Ardennes.”
Greipel crashes in training
André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) crashed in training on Sunday in Spain, scraped his face and received 15 stitches.
“With the team photo shoot, I hope they can do wonders in Photoshop!” the German told Het Nieuwsblad.
He fell at the team’s camp in Majorca, Spain. He said he was already going slowly as he thought the road was dangerous.
Spanish stars test 2014 Worlds course
Spanish stars visited Ponferrada in the country’s northwest on Wednesday to test the 2014 World Championship circuit.
“This won’t be the hardest world championship in history but it is a selective one,” Miguel Indurain said in a press release. “It is possible to have a small group finishing together but it won’t for sure be a massive sprint.”
“The course could suit me very well. It’s a shame I am no longer racing!” said Oscar Freire, three-time world champion. “Many riders have a chance on such a course: the one who will decide to attack but also those who prefer to wait for the sprint as I used to do.”
Igor Astarloza, Abraham Olano and Pedro Delgado also previewed the circuit that the professional men will race on September 28, 2014. It covers 18.2 kilometres and features two climbs, one 5.1km long and another 1.1km. The second climb, which climbs from 600 to 700 metres elevation, leaves five kilometres to the line. The men will race 254.8km and climb 4284 metres.
Carera returns home
Alex Carera, agent for Vincenzo Nibali and many others, returned home on Wednesday after a deadly car crash one month ago in Italy.
“It’s going better,” Carera told Cycling Weekly, “but the road is long.”
Carera owns A&J Sport Management Agency with his brother Johnny. On November 23, he collided with an oncoming car on the A4 motorway near Brescia. Carlo Loda exited the wrong way from a service station, travelled it 500 metres and hit Carera and another car.
Loda died, the other driver escaped with minor injuries and Carera spent a month in the hospital. Doctors operated on Carera’s left arm and legs during his stay.
Rogers blames Chinese meat for doping positive
Michael Rogers (Saxo-Tinkoff) today blamed his clenbuterol doping positive on a visit to China. He raced the Tour of Beijing in October before winning the Japan Cup and failing an anti-doping test.
“I have never knowingly or deliberately ingested clenbuterol,” the Australian and former team Sky rider said in a statement.
“I understand that it has been acknowledged by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) as well as other anti-doping bodies, that food contaminated with clenbuterol is a serious problem in China.”
The governing body announced on Wednesday that Belgian rider Jonathan Breyne (Crelan-Euphony) also tested positive for clenbuterol. He failed the drug test during China’s Tour of Taihu Lake.
Saxo-Tinkoff team owner, Oleg Tinkov wrote on his Twitter account that he supports Rogers. “I hope that @mickrogers’ case is just misapprehension,” Tinkov said. “He will prove that he was clear. I trust him, and believe in him.”