Monday, November 24, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Tour leader Nibali: Doping belongs to cycling past

Cycling Tour de France

Italy's Vincenzo Nibali puts on the overall leader's yellow jersey on the podium of the twelfth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 185.5 kilometers (115.3 miles) with start in Bourg-en-Bresse and finish in Saint-Etienne, France, Thursday, July 17, 2014. (AP Photo/Laurent Cipriani)

By
From page B8 | July 18, 2014 |

SAINT-ETIENNE, France — Because of doping’s ravages on cycling, it’s natural for suspicion to fall on Vincenzo Nibali, who led the Tour de France on Thursday for a 10th time in 12 stages.

But Nibali says the sport has changed, doping cases have become rare, and “this theme belongs to the past.”

The Italian has had a praiseworthy, almost unbreakable lock on the yellow jersey, yet he will be looking over his shoulder more on Friday. The great race enters two days in the Alps that feature uphill finishes, starting with the hardest climb that the peloton has faced so far.

Off the roads, Nibali said he expected questions about doping, a scourge of much of the last generation, for whom performance-enhancers such as blood-booster EPO or human growth hormone, and methods like blood-doping were common.

Many cycling experts say the sport has greatly cleaned up its act. On Thursday, the Sky team, which has won the last two Tours, sacked British cyclist Jonathan Tiernan-Locke after he was banned for an irregular biological passport. He was not a Tour rider, but few would say the Tour peloton was totally clean.

Doping’s shadow remains at the Tour, among team staffers, and even a rider or two.

Nibali’s team, Astana, was kicked out of the 2007 Tour after its star rider Alexandre Vinokourov tested positive for banned blood transfusions. He served his ban, returned to racing, and won gold at the London Olympics. Vinokourov is now Astana’s general manager.

Rider Michele Scarponi who, like Nibali, won the Giro d’Italia and was racing in this Tour, was given a three-month ban in 2012 for seeing banned physician Michele Ferrari, a longtime adviser of Lance Armstrong.

Nibali says Astana has changed.

“I’ve chosen Astana for the possibility to build a group that I can trust to bring me at a competitive level for important races like the Giro, the Tour and the (Spanish) Vuelta,” he said.

“There have been many mistakes in cycling in the past, by many riders, but they belong to the past,” Nibali said. “We now have a biological passport, out-of-competition controls, controls at home …

“Nobody can say that cycling hasn’t changed. Nowadays, there is an isolated case. There’s always the possibility that an idiot does something stupid …”

Nibali, a native of Messina, Sicily, nicknamed the “Shark of the Strait” after the Strait of Messina, is trying to become only the sixth rider in history to win all three Grand Tours of France, Italy and Spain. He would also be the first Italian to win the Tour since Marco Pantani in 1998. The late Pantani was convicted in Italy of doping offenses during his career.

Giuseppe Martinelli, a cycling guru who worked with Pantani for years before they fell out, is an Astana manager.

“Thanks to him,” Nibali said of Martinelli through a translator, “I became closer to the Astana team that has invested a lot in an Italian group in order to regain credibility.”

To succeed Pantani, Nibali is keeping an eye out on other race contenders: Richie Porte of Australia trails by 2 minutes, 23 seconds, and Alejandro Valverde of Spain was third, 2:47 back.

The mostly flat 185.5-kilometer (115.5-mile) course from Bourg-en-Bresse to Saint-Etienne in southeastern France was well suited for a possible sprint finish and that’s how it was won by Alexander Kristoff, a Norwegian specialist with Katusha.

American rider Andrew Talansky pulled out before the stage due to back pain from two previous crashes. A day earlier, the Garmin-Sharp leader rode for hours and finished last.

Stage 13 will put riders’ legs under the most strain yet. The 197.5-kilometer (123-mile) trek begins in Saint-Etienne and will crescendo: It first covers a mid-sized climb and the Category 1 Palaquit pass, and finally an 18-kilometer (12-mile) ascent to Chamrousse — one of cycling’s hardest climbs.

“I’m sure our rivals will try to attack but on the other hand, if I can gain some seconds, I’ll go for it,” the race leader said. “I’ll have to evaluate the strength of my adversaries and consider every race situation.”

The race has 10 more days.

 

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

    Cadets raise cash to help wounded Air Force veteran

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A1, 1 Comment | Gallery

     
    Solano cities gather for Thanksgiving meal

    By Tony Wade | From Page: A2

     
    Food Addicts group sets Thanksgiving Day meet

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Local government board schedules meeting

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

     
    Turkey Trot returns Thanksgiving Day

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

    Holiday tree-lighting events begin

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A3

     
    Holiday boutiques in full swing

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    .

    US / World

    3 months after Napa quake, recovery rolling

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    US looking past Ebola to prepare for next outbreak

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Anxieties mount as Ferguson waits on grand jury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Surfer missing off beach south of San Francisco

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

    Thief suspect falls through ceiling, leaves phone

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    1 killed, dozens injured in California bus crash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4, 2 Comments

    San Jose police arrest man after airport chase

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4

     
    Israeli Cabinet moves to define Israel as Jewish

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 1 Comment

    Former DC Mayor Marion Barry dies at 78

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Islamic State group recruits, exploits children

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Giffords rides in Tucson cycling event

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Suicide bomber kills at least 45 Afghans

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Some 30 horses die in stable fire outside Chicago

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Crew blasts off for International Space Station

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    US tells Iran to consider nuclear talks extension

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Damage worse than thought in Japanese earthquake

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Joey Chestnut devours turkey to win eating contest

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Strong quake in west China kills 5; 54 hurt

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Boy with fake gun dies after shot by Ohio officer

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5, 3 Comments

     
    Health care M&A leads global deal surge

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

    .

    Living

    Today in History: Nov. 24, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Community Calendar: Nov. 24, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    Horoscopes: Nov. 25, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B5

    My sister-in-law expects me to pay her for damages, but she won’t pay me

    By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: A7

     
    Horoscopes: Nov. 24, 2014

    By Holiday Mathis | From Page: A7

    .

    Entertainment

    ‘Mockingjay, Part 1′ opens with $123 million

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    TVGrid Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

    List of winners of the American Music Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    1D, Katy Perry win big at American Music Awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    TVGrid Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Sports

    Speights scores 28 as Warriors hold off Thunder

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Hyde scores go-ahead TD, lifts 49ers past Redskins

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Federer leads Swiss past France for Davis Cup

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Hamilton answers Rosberg in style to clinch title

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    UCLA honors Robinson, retires No. 42 for all teams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Katy Perry to perform at Super Bowl halftime show

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    NFL roundup: Seahawks roll past Cardinals

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Athletics acquire 1B Ike Davis from Pirates

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Revs win 2-1 at Red Bulls in East final 1st leg

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sarvas puts Galaxy past Seattle 1-0 in West opener

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    First lady attends Princeton women’s hoops game

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Stacy Lewis sweeps 3 biggest LPGA awards

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    This date in sports history for Monday, Nov. 24, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Leslie “Esi” Gros

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Jack I. Johnson

    By Glen Faison | From Page: A4

    Dorothy Pouge Arnold

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Arthur Irving Weiner

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

    .

    Comics

    Frank and Ernest Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Wizard of Id Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baby Blues Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Pickles Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    For Better or Worse Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Dilbert Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Blondie Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Rose is Rose Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Zits Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Peanuts Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Beetle Bailey Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Sally Forth Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    B.C. Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Get Fuzzy Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Baldo Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

     
    Garfield Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B4

    Cryptoquote Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Word Sleuth Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Crossword Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Bridge Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

    Sudoku Nov 25

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B5

     
    Baby Blues Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Dilbert Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Rose is Rose Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Frank and Ernest Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Peanuts Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Beetle Bailey Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Pickles Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Wizard of Id Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Sally Forth Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Baldo Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Get Fuzzy Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Zits Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    For Better or Worse Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Blondie Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    B.C. Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

    Garfield Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A6

     
    Word Sleuth Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Crossword Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Bridge Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

    Sudoku Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7

     
    Cryptoquote Nov 24

    By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A7