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The 2010 UCI Calender got under way last week with Andre Greipel taking the six stage Tour Down Under.

That can only be a positive sign for Cav's Columbia squad for the coming season. Also interesting was the second place finish of Luis Leon Sanchez.

In the same weekend young Italian Vicenzo Nibali won the Tour de San Luis in Argentina.

Onwards to the great races that are Paris Nice in mid-March and then the Spring classics in April.

Then we can get down to the serious business of who will beat the great Alberto in the Grand Tours.

Luckily for the challengers the great Spaniard has already decided to throw them some scraps but ruling himself out of the Giro d'Italia.

So all things being equal Alberto will only be winning the Tour, Vuelta double this season.

Edited by keithgy

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i'm already developing a deep loathing for team sky.

the assumption that track success will just transfer to the road does my head in. team gb is succesful on the track because they have by far the most money and the best cyclists from other countries all concentrate on being pro road riders. aprt from hoy and pendelton the british track team seemed like an arrogant bunch of p***ks, if team sky take that attitude into the peloton they'll have an uncomfortable year.

there was a bit in one of the papers with brailsford banging on about how their high tech bus, lightweight bike paint and kit and other techinical nonsense was going to give them a competitive edge. if the guy thinks mood lighting and sports psychology is what you need to compete with contador, schleck, valverde, sanchez, hushozd, cavendish, cancellara ect then he's in for a big shock.

on a more positive note i'm looking forward to the season. the main thing is to hope that all the riders stay clean, especially the returning rasmussen, vino and ricco. the tour route looks a belter and hopefully we'll see a bit more competition this year. last year the middle week was dire because contador was in control and astana were so strong, this year the talent should be spread round a bit more makng it competitive and hopefully guys who for one reason or another weren't in the GC shake up last year (levi, menchov, evans, valverde, sam sanchez, sastre) will be involved at the sharp end.

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i'm already developing a deep loathing for team sky.

the assumption that track success will just transfer to the road does my head in. team gb is succesful on the track because they have by far the most money and the best cyclists from other countries all concentrate on being pro road riders. aprt from hoy and pendelton the british track team seemed like an arrogant bunch of p***ks, if team sky take that attitude into the peloton they'll have an uncomfortable year.

there was a bit in one of the papers with brailsford banging on about how their high tech bus, lightweight bike paint and kit and other techinical nonsense was going to give them a competitive edge. if the guy thinks mood lighting and sports psychology is what you need to compete with contador, schleck, valverde, sanchez, hushozd, cavendish, cancellara ect then he's in for a big shock.

on a more positive note i'm looking forward to the season. the main thing is to hope that all the riders stay clean, especially the returning rasmussen, vino and ricco. the tour route looks a belter and hopefully we'll see a bit more competition this year. last year the middle week was dire because contador was in control and astana were so strong, this year the talent should be spread round a bit more makng it competitive and hopefully guys who for one reason or another weren't in the GC shake up last year (levi, menchov, evans, valverde, sam sanchez, sastre) will be involved at the sharp end.

Couldn't agree with you more on the team Sky point. Their assumption that they just have to turn up to win seems more than a bit simplistic for me. The whole basis for the confidence seems to be that Brad Wiggins had a good le Tour last season. I recall Ramondas Rumsas having a good tour one year and look what happened to him. The fact that Cav wouldn't leave Columbia to join them speaks volumes.

Incidentally I just assumed that Sky would now buy up all the rights for bike racing but I hope that doesn't happen. Eurosport is cycling's home for me.

On your other point Michael Rssmussen is the one that interests me most. His duels with Contador two years ago were nothing short of epic. He's obviously going to be getting watched with a hawk but if he can ride the same way clean then I would make him the big threat to the great Spaniard.

On a negative note I would think it's unlikely to happen. You only have to look at what happened to Ivan Basso, Tyler Hamilton and miriad others to see that it's very difficult to match up pre-ban and post-ban performances.

Interesting times ahead though.

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A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant against American cyclist Floyd Landis for suspected hacking into an anti-doping laboratory computer.

French anti-doping agency head Pierre Bordry told Reuters that the judge Thomas Cassuto believed Landis, whose 2006 Tour de France title was stripped after he failed a dope test, wanted to prove the laboratory where his samples were tested was wrong.

"French judge Cassuto from the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre informed us that he had issued an international arrest warrant on January 28 against Floyd Landis, who tested positive for banned testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France, after our laboratory computer system was hacked," Bordry said.

"He was summoned by the judge, he didn't come so he's now under an international arrest warrant."

The French anti-doping agency launched legal action against unnamed persons after they found their laboratory computer system had been hacked into in September 2006.

Landis, the first rider to be stripped of a Tour victory, has continually denied any wrongdoing but the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected his assertion that his positive test was due to procedural mistakes by the laboratory.

Landis, 34, said last year after his two-year ban ended that he was trying to decide whether to follow fellow American Lance Armstrong's example and ride again in the Tour de France.

"It seems that (Landis) made all he could to enter into our computer system to try to prove the laboratory was wrong. He showed many documents he got by hacking to numerous sporting instances," Bordry said.

"The judge traced a network of hackers back to the ringleader."

Reuters

Edited by Shuggie_Murray7

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A French judge has issued an international arrest warrant against American cyclist Floyd Landis for suspected hacking into an anti-doping laboratory computer.

French anti-doping agency head Pierre Bordry told Reuters that the judge Thomas Cassuto believed Landis, whose 2006 Tour de France title was stripped after he failed a dope test, wanted to prove the laboratory where his samples were tested was wrong.

"French judge Cassuto from the Tribunal de Grande Instance of Nanterre informed us that he had issued an international arrest warrant on January 28 against Floyd Landis, who tested positive for banned testosterone during the 2006 Tour de France, after our laboratory computer system was hacked," Bordry said.

"He was summoned by the judge, he didn't come so he's now under an international arrest warrant."

The French anti-doping agency launched legal action against unnamed persons after they found their laboratory computer system had been hacked into in September 2006.

Landis, the first rider to be stripped of a Tour victory, has continually denied any wrongdoing but the Court of Arbitration for Sport has rejected his assertion that his positive test was due to procedural mistakes by the laboratory.

Landis, 34, said last year after his two-year ban ended that he was trying to decide whether to follow fellow American Lance Armstrong's example and ride again in the Tour de France.

"It seems that (Landis) made all he could to enter into our computer system to try to prove the laboratory was wrong. He showed many documents he got by hacking to numerous sporting instances," Bordry said.

"The judge traced a network of hackers back to the ringleader."

Reuters

Interesting to see how quickly the Americans hand over Landis seeing they are so keen to lock up Gary McKinnon

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you're actually almost forced to believe landis's lies because it's impossible to comprehend that anyone could be so stupid. complete meltdown in stage 16 where he comes in ten minutes back then the next day wins stage 17 by five minutes on his own<_<. then when he very unsuprisingly fails a drug test he claims that drinking whiskey the night before the stage had given him testorone levels 4xs what they should be.

what's actually comforting about this is that when big riders have been caught doping recently it has been fairly obvious even from watching the stages that it is likely they were cheating. landis, vino, ricco, schumacher, kohl, rebbelin and de luca all stood out a mile and it was no suprise when they variously got busted. what's annoying about that is when you watch the difference between ricco in the mountains and a mainly clean peloton in the 2008 tour and de luca and the rest in the 2009 giro you realise that it would be impossible for anyone to win the tour clean before the doping controls got tightened and the epo test was introduced. there's is no way in the world i'll believe that armstrong won clean all those years when his main rivals and his closest team mates have all been caught doping. his achievements considered on a level playing field are staggering but with almost everyone else doping and him clean it's impossible.

i don't hold a grudge against any of the riders who doped as they were all in a bad situation and had very little choice. however the fact that armstrong benefits so much from his image and uses his power to influence things in cycling and beyond even although all the evidence points towards him doping does my head in. hopefully one day landis or tyler hamilton will grow a set of balls and come clean and the full livestrong sham will come tumbling down.

Edited by T_S_A_R

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you're actually almost forced to believe landis's lies because it's impossible to comprehend that anyone could be so stupid. complete meltdown in stage 16 where he comes in ten minutes back then the next day wins stage 17 by five minutes on his own<_<. then when he very unsuprisingly fails a drug test he claims that drinking whiskey the night before the stage had given him testorone levels 4xs what they should be.

what's actually comforting about this is that when big riders have been caught doping recently it has been fairly obvious even from watching the stages that it is likely they were cheating. landis, vino, ricco, schumacher, kohl, rebbelin and de luca all stood out a mile and it was no suprise when they variously got busted. what's annoying about that is when you watch the difference between ricco in the mountains and a mainly clean peloton in the 2008 tour and de luca and the rest in the 2009 giro you realise that it would be impossible for anyone to win the tour clean before the doping controls got tightened and the epo test was introduced. there's is no way in the world i'll believe that armstrong won clean all those years when his main rivals and his closest team mates have all been caught doping. his achievements considered on a level playing field are staggering but with almost everyone else doping and him clean it's impossible.

i don't hold a grudge against any of the riders who doped as they were all in a bad situation and had very little choice. however the fact that armstrong benefits so much from his image and uses his power to influence things in cycling and beyond even although all the evidence points towards him doping does my head in. hopefully one day landis or tyler hamilton will grow a set of balls and come clean and the full livestrong sham will come tumbling down.

Agree with everything you say (again).

On the Floyd Landis point - I don't think you would even need a positive test to determine his guilt. All you would have to do is show a video of him finishing the last climb on stage sixteen (?) and then what he did the next day. No further evidence your honour. I think when Floyd got caught he was the 6th or 7th ex-member of US Postal to be positive. What a coincidence!

On your general point about winning while doping - I think you could make a very strong case for virtually every rider that has won a grand tour being doped. Since I started watching back in the early 80's the only exception to this would be Greg Lemond, who I think was clean. That's based on how vocal he has been with regard to Armstrong's achievements. If he had doped I wouldn't think he would push his luck as far as that.

It's really sad because it's a fantastic sport, but unfortunately the doping always has been and always will be endemic. I don't know if you have read the book called Bad Blood by Jeremy Whittle but if you haven't you should. It's all about doping in the peloton and how hard it is for clean riders to succeed, especially the ones that are openly vocal about it. There's a story about a rider called Filippo Simone who was shunned by the peloton for daring to talk out of turn about Armstrong. It's heartbreaking to see what happens to the fella and really says all you need to know about Armstrong.

The sad thing is they will all be at it this year again, and I will keep watching because its magic. I don't think they ever get rid of blood doping either. Not when in most of the big cycling nations learning to dope properly is viewed as just another part of your career development. I can't see how you can change attitudes like that.

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i'm an optimist and i want to enjoy it all so right now i believe that it's currently as clean as it has been for a very long time. i've got faith in the schlecks, evans, cavendish, hushovd, wiggins, cancellara and although contador's dominance raises suspicions i even believe he's clean. i think the biological passport makes all the difference as it swings the risk/reward in favour of riding clean. i've not read the whittle book but i don't generally like the guy as he tends to get published a lot in the papers during the tour and he weighs balance of the coverage heavily towards doping rather than the competition.

team sky seem to be making themselves as popular as expected in the peloton. yesterday in oman they had held the lead jersey but had a go at the other teams en route for not working enough then accelerated during the feed zone which didn't go down well with the rest of the peloton. the peloton got revenge by attacking while bosan hagen (the race leader was taking a piss) which is against the etiquette but was seen as fair enough after sky's bad behaviour. the end result was sky losing the race lead and all their riders being out of contention. the team gb/brailsford ethos doesn't seem to be going down well in the peloton, they'd do well to remember that 9 can't beat 100 plus and as you said about simone it's not easy being the black sheep of the peloton.

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When is Milan-San Remo? I would assume Cavendish would again be a top favourite for the first of the one-day monuments?

20th March. He should be favourite I would think, as it has been a race for the fast men in recent years.

Here's the full schedule:

19.01.2010 24.01.2010 Tour Down Under AUS UPT

07.03.2010 14.03.2010 Paris - Nice FRA HIS

10.03.2010 16.03.2010 Tirreno-Adriatico ITA HIS

20.03.2010 20.03.2010 Milano-Sanremo ITA HIS

22.03.2010 28.03.2010 Volta Ciclista a Catalunya ESP UPT

28.03.2010 28.03.2010 Gent - Wevelgem BEL UPT

04.04.2010 04.04.2010 Ronde van Vlaanderen BEL UPT

05.04.2010 10.04.2010 Vuelta Ciclista al Pais Vasco ESP UPT

11.04.2010 11.04.2010 Paris - Roubaix FRA HIS

18.04.2010 18.04.2010 Amstel Gold Race NED UPT

21.04.2010 21.04.2010 La Flèche Wallonne BEL HIS

25.04.2010 25.04.2010 Liège - Bastogne - Liège BEL HIS

27.04.2010 02.05.2010 Tour de Romandie SUI UPT

08.05.2010 30.05.2010 Giro d'Italia ITA HIS

06.06.2010 13.06.2010 Critérium du Dauphiné Libéré FRA UPT

12.06.2010 20.06.2010 Tour de Suisse SUI UPT

03.07.2010 25.07.2010 Tour de France FRA HIS

31.07.2010 31.07.2010 Clasica Ciclista San Sebastian - San Sebastian ESP UPT

01.08.2010 07.08.2010 Tour de Pologne POL UPT

15.08.2010 15.08.2010 Vattenfall Cyclassics GER UPT

17.08.2010 24.08.2010 Eneco Tour --- UPT

22.08.2010 22.08.2010 GP Ouest France - Plouay FRA UPT

28.08.2010 19.09.2010 Vuelta a España ESP HIS

10.09.2010 10.09.2010 Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec CAN UPT

12.09.2010 12.09.2010 Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal CAN UPT

16.10.2010 16.10.2010 Giro di Lombardia ITA HIS

UPT - Pro Tour HIS - Historic

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The first big race of the season starts on Sunday.

Paris-Nice, the race to the sun.

Heres the stages......

March 7: Prologue: Montfort-l'Amaury 8 km

March 8: Stage 1: Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines – Contres 201.5 km

March 9: Stage 3: Contres – Limoges 203.5 km

March 10: Stage 4: Saint-Junien - Aurillac 208 km

March 11: Stage 5: Maurs-la-Jolie (Cantal) - Mende 172 km

March 12: Stage 6: Pernes-les-Fontaines - Aix-en-Provence 153.5 km

March 13: Stage 7 Peynier - Tourrettes-sur-Loup 220 km

March 14: Stage 8: Nice-Nice 119km.

Stages 7 & 8 should decide the race.

Here's the start list.......

Alberto Contador Velasco

and loads of others.

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Magic Picture that of Oscar Freire.

Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday,

Usually a great race. Can Stijn Devolder make it 3 in a row?

Not so sure myself. Ballan back in form and should go close.

Lots of good riders in the field though so should be a good race.

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Fabian Cancellara launched a devastating attack on the Muur leaving Tornado Tom Boonen toiling in his wake. Poor old Tom looked like he was peddling squares and the locals looked none too chuffed either.

It was as impressive as his peerless win in the world time trial championships last season. If the big fella could climb the big hills he would surely be a serious contender to the great Alberto in the grand tours.

The only thing that cheesed me off was seeing him celebtrating with Bjarne Riis afterwards.

That man should have been hounded out the sport and as long as he is managing the strongest team in cycling I will take CSC's result with a large pinch of salt.

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is it true that 97% of cyclists are homosexual?, and the other 3% can't afford a fuking car.

No, but it is true that you're a cunt.

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How are the Schleck's doing this year?

They've done nothing of note in the early season races.

They will be holed up somewhere under Riis's instructions getting 'prepared' for the Giro d'Italia no doubt.

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that's the spring classics finished. obviously cancellera came out on top with his two wins on the cobbles but evans, gilbert and vino will be delighted with wins they all badly needed for various reasons. team sky didn't manage much at all, they must have had the wrong colour of lighting on the buses.

the giro starts in about ten days. i've no idea what to expect other than a few doping offences. if liquigas decide to put out their strongest team i think nibali or pelliozoti could win it. also maybe sastre or menchov if they decide the tour is beyond them now.

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pelliozotti has been suspended due to his bio passport being dodgy, he hasn't failed any tests though so i'd imagine this is heading for a long court battle. he did improve quite a lot over the last year or so and he apparently has links to the infamous doctor ferrari so it's not a massive suprise.

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Been dipping in and out of the Giro this year, mostly at the weekends obviously. Last Saturday's stage on the dirt road in the rain and today's mountain top finish were fantastic.

Cadel Evans is looking really good this year, Vino looks as if he is getting it back together and even Ivan Basso looks good again.

What is Contador up to at the moment anyway? Not seen him since Fleche Wallonne I don't think.

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