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Portuguese rider Andre Cardoso plans to fight the four-year doping ban handed to him by the UCI last week.
Cardoso, 34, said he hopes to take his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport in an effort to clear his name of any wrongdoing in the anti-doping case, which stems from a positive out-of-competition EPO test in 2017.
“I have nothing to lose because this case has already taken everything,” Cardoso told VeloNews. “I’ve already spent a lot of money and I want to do this to prove my innocence.”
Cardoso tested positive for EPO in an out-of-competition test performed at his home in Lisbon on June 18, 2017. He was notified of the positive test just days before the Tour de France, and was provisionally suspended by the UCI on the eve of the race. Cardoso rode with Trek-Segafredo during the 2017 season and was set to make his Tour debut that summer.
EPO cases are often open-and-shut affairs for anti-doping agencies, but Cardoso’s lingered for months. In June it was revealed to VeloNews that while Cardoso’s “A” sample showed signs of EPO, his “B” sample did not. Official documents from the Laboratoire Suisse d’Analyse du Dopage in Lausanne, Switzerland said the presence of EPO in the “B” sample was “doubtful but inconclusive.”
“The result of the analysis of the urine sample is doubtful but inconclusive regarding the presence of recombinant EPO,” reads the test report for the B sample.
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Cardoso appealed his ban in 2017, and the action set off a 16-month battle between his lawyers and the UCI. Cardoso said he spent more than 60,000 euros on the court case, paying lawyers and legal experts to argue against the UCI. Cardoso says he dipped into his savings and took a job as a cycling guide to pay for his defense.
“Why does the UCI need to take 16 months for my case?” Cardoso said. “It’s because if you spend more time, a rider needs more money to pay for that time.”
On November 15, the UCI made its ruling: it banned Cardoso for four years. The UCI declined to discuss specifics around Cardoso’s case but did release an official statement that read, in part: “The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (use of Erythropoietin *) and imposed 4-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”
Cardoso says he has 21 days to file an official appeal to the UCI ruling, which places the deadline on December 6. He is investigating ways to pay for his defense, and says he may start a crowdfunding campaign to help him cover the costs of his case.
“I want a fair fight against the UCI,” Cardoso said. “Unless you have big money, that is difficult.”
Read the full article at Cardoso to fight UCI ban: ‘I have nothing to lose’ on

On stage 2 of the Larry H. Miller Tour of Utah, Sepp Kuss made a monstrous, audacious solo attack over Mount Nebo. He rode up to and through the day’s breakaway. He turned himself inside out into a stiff headwind on the upper, rolling terrain atop the highest peak in the Wasatch Range. Finally, he bombed down to Payson, Utah, to take an emphatic stage win and the overall lead by 29 seconds over his LottoNL-Jumbo teammate Neilson Powless.
With several demanding stages to come in the weeklong race, any cycling textbook would suggest Kuss simply play defense, sit on the wheels of his nearest rivals, and allow his WorldTour team to control the race. If he did that, a big professional win would surely be his.
Scratch that. Sepp Kuss doesn’t know how to follow wheels. He doesn’t care what the textbook says. He doesn’t want to patiently play defense.
In the most dominant fashion, Kuss ripped the race apart, stage after stage. In stage 5, on the final climb to Snowbird, he decided with 8 kilometers left to race that he couldn’t hang around anymore. Later guys! He rode away from everyone, including a trio of EF Education First-Drapac riders and BMC Racing’s Ben Hermans. And he had a big, beaming smile on his face all the way to the summit.
After the stage win, with a 1:21 lead over Hermans in the overall, Kuss could breathe easy, relax, and soak it all in. Or not.In the final stage, Kuss hit the base of the much-feared Empire Pass climb. EF Education First’s Nate Brown was several minutes up the road, though not in contention for the overall win. Mitchelton-Scott’s Jack Haig, sitting fifth overall, launched an attack that put Kuss on the ropes — for a moment. Eventually, Kuss couldn’t stop himself. He again rode up to and through the remnants of the day’s break. Two kilometers from the summit, Kuss passed Brown; at the summit, he had a 42-second lead on the field. After a tricky descent down the rain-slicked streets into Park City, Kuss claimed his third stage win and the title of Tour of Utah champion with the most dominant performance in the race’s history.
Three years ago, Kuss raced for the University of Colorado cycling team in one of his first road races in Denver’s City Park. During the race, a teammate rode up beside him to recommend he ride in the drops through the course’s technical corners. In August, Kuss crushed a world-class field at the Tour of Utah. The progression has been phenomenal.
How’d he do it? A performance of that caliber deserves a closer look.
Kuss had what looked like a smile plastered to his face as he rode away from the competition on the climb to Snowbird Resort on stage 5. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.comNeo-pro novelties
After racing for the Pro Continental Rally Cycling team for a year and a half, Kuss signed with LottoNL-Jumbo for the 2018 season. In January, he sat down with team staff to discuss his season plan. “Probably 95 percent of the races I did this year I knew about leading into the season, which is pretty nice,” Kuss said.
For both the Amgen Tour of California and the Tour of Utah, Kuss and fellow American Powless were earmarked for co-leadership duties from the beginning of the year. The team’s confidence in the young pair, 23 and 21 at the time respectively, was evident.
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While it was stressful in the peloton, American Sepp Kuss (LottoNL-Jumbo) was out front in the breakaway at Strade Bianche. Photo: ©Tim De Waele | Getty ImagesIn his first WorldTour season, Kuss faced a trial-by-fire scenario several times. It was his first year competing in many of the biggest European races, including the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana, Volta ao Algarve, Strade Bianche, and Vuelta al Pais Vasco. To say his spring was difficult would be an understatement. Kuss admits he struggled, mentally and physically, feeling as if he never could get his head or legs where they needed to be. Nevertheless, the mellow Kuss kept plugging away, doing the things his team suggested he do. He reasoned that whenever you start with a new program or are in a new coaching environment, it takes time to have the confidence to say how you’re feeling or give constructive criticism. He didn’t want to rock the boat; he was also curious and willing to try their way.
Finally, after the Criterium du Dauphiné, where Kuss feels he rode fairly well, he sat down with the team to discuss where he was at and where he wanted to go.
“I said, ‘This is kind of the direction I want to go with training the next few months — maybe we can try to incorporate some of these things, let’s not do X and Y anymore, let’s try something different based on what has worked and what hasn’t in the spring,’” Kuss remembered telling his coaches. “Everyone is different, so one style of training is not necessarily right for everybody. I think it’s a healthy coaching relationship when you can say what works and what doesn’t.”
After the Dauphiné, the team selected Kuss for the Vuelta, so they told him they were already hoping he’d put in a bit more volume than normal, which further influenced his training.
Back to basics
In July, Kuss returned to the U.S., first to train in Boulder before returning to his hometown of Durango. A quick glimpse at his Strava profile tells you what big miles mean to a pro. The number of KOMs he gobbled up belie the fact that he was reducing intensity.
He was back on familiar terrain, and able to return to the training that had worked for him in the past, with some subtle but significant modifications. Comparing the lead-ins to the past two Tours of Utah, Kuss included much more intensity and lower volume in 2017. (He finished ninth riding for Rally Cycling.) Three or four consecutive days of “good intensity” were followed by less rest between training blocks. By comparison, in 2018 he did two- to three-day blocks with longer hours and 50 percent less intensity.
“Some of that intensity in those volume blocks was also just on my own, freestyle, whatever,” Kuss said. “And a lot of riding at altitude for extended periods of time, which also helps when you’re just riding along.”
The reason we aren’t able to be more specific about the training load is that Kuss isn’t able to. Kuss, who doesn’t have a personal coach outside of his WorldTour team, is essentially self-coached, and always has been. Those new-fangled data points such as Training Stress Score (TSS)? “I don’t really look at those graphs,” he said. “I don’t totally believe in all those numbers. But certainly, looking back, all the weeks in training as a whole were much harder than the race in Utah.”
Sepp Kuss, an accomplished skier, is quite happy with his winner’s prize of a season pass to Snowbird. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.comTo be clear, in the race a lot of time is spent just sitting in the peloton, thus the smaller overall load. However, peak power numbers were much higher in the race than what Kuss did in training.
While Kuss built toward a solid performance at Utah — a race he “knew he could do well at” — he also had to consider what would help him prepare to make a grand tour debut in his first year on the WorldTour. It was a complex and daunting balancing act. The two objectives made for a perfect source of inspiration.
“The whole motivation for my training was the bigger picture, looking at the Vuelta — it was a big, big opportunity to do that and knowing that I would have the chance was a huge motivation to go out there and train and make sure I did everything right,” Kuss said.
Nothing to lose
Finally, with all the big miles behind him, Kuss launched himself at the Tour of Utah. From that attack on stage 2 to his final surges on Empire Pass, he dominated the race. Amid all the fun he looked to be having — when’s the last time you saw someone beaming as they throttled their way up a climb like Snowbird? — it also seemed like Kuss was getting away with some tactical errors, making moves that were ill-advised given the circumstances. Had there been stiffer competition, would those moves have backfired?
A young Kuss said he wasn’t really concerned with that.
“I felt really good, and when you have that certain level of confidence and condition, you have nothing to lose,” he said.
He claims everything he did was under his limit, and he never felt like he was going to blow. He does concede, however, that if the race were at sea level or there were more WorldTour teams, maybe it would have played out differently.
As for his attitude on Snowbird, his refreshing answer is as satisfying as his smile was on the day.
“That’s just cycling, you know. Maybe once in a season, once every two seasons, you have those moments when you don’t feel the chain, as the saying goes,” Kuss said. “When you’re in that moment you just feel invincible… invincible isn’t the right word. But you feel, ‘This is why I train. This is why I make all the sacrifices.’ At the end of the day, it’s fun. It’s fun to race your bike, especially when you feel good.”
Sepp Kuss wins stage 6 of the Tour of Utah in Park City, his third stage win of the week, on his way to the overall victory. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.comThe next step
On the heels of such a dominant victory, inevitably comes both confidence for the rider and higher expectations from fans and team alike. Kuss is aware of both the negatives and positives, and the greater significance of his win.
At the beginning of the year, when things weren’t going well, when the races were so hard he felt like he was digging himself into a hole, it presented a heavy challenge for a 22-year-old kid living in Europe.
“To come around and show the team that I can actually ride a bike was a good feeling,” he said. “They’ve seen how bad I can be, but also what my potential is… that it’s worth their time to invest in me and develop me and give me quality races.”
That’s a huge benefit, and relief, for a first-year pro. It may even bode well for his trajectory in the sport, although Kuss is the first to remind anyone that he has a chasm to close before he should be considered a grand-tour talent. But when he’s getting dropped in the third week of the Vuelta, and people say, ‘Well, you’re such a good climber, why can’t you hang on?’ that’s the downside of expectation. As he puts it, maybe he’s just tired; maybe he’s just not good enough. Just because he did it in Utah doesn’t mean he can climb away from Chris Froome.
“I can handle the expectation, because to me it doesn’t matter what people expect or what mold they want you to fit in, but it’s easier for me if I fly under the radar, nice and steady,” he said.
Read the full article at Inside Sepp Kuss’s dominant victory at the Tour of Utah on

Here’s your News roundup for Tuesday, November 20. This is our way of keeping you up to speed on all of the stories circulating in the world of pro cycling.
Dimension Data picks development team rider with Zwift Academy
Slovenia’s Martin Lavric will join the Dimension Data development team in 2019 after winning this year’s Zwift Academy challenge.
The 19-year-old was one of three finalists joining the Dimension Data WorldTour squad at a team camp in Cape Town, South Africa.
“On the road, we’re looking at how they can ride a bike ultimately,” U23 team coach Elliot Lipski said of the trip in a YouTube video. “We’ve spent the last two and a half months looking at the power through Zwift. It’s about how they ride together in a group.”
Lavric rode with the Continental team Attaque Team Gusto in 2017 and raced in several events this season as a member of the Slovenian national team.
Zwift will also place a rider in a women’s pro team in the coming days, as Canyon-SRAM is currently evaluating three Zwift Academy finalists at a training camp.
Bardet mulls Giro participation
According to L’Equipe, Romain Bardet is considering racing the 2019 Giro d’Italia.
The 28-year-old Frenchman, twice a podium finisher at the Tour de France, has never raced the Giro. Six of his seven career grand tour starts have come at his home tour, with one Vuelta a España participation in 2017.L’Equipe reports that he is mulling a possible 2019 debut in the Italian race and that he will decide on his plans at the end of this month.
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Broeckx back on his bike
Two and a half years after a crash that left him in a coma, Stig Broeckx is back on his bike.
Racing with Lotto Soudal, the Broeckx was involved in a pileup at the 2016 Baloise Belgium Tour when two motorcycles collided and then hit a group of riders. He spent six months in a coma. Since regaining consciousness, he has undergone extensive rehab.
Now, he’s back on two wheels. Broeckx posted photos of a mountain bike ride to his Instagram account this weekend.

View this post on Instagram
Uitkijktorens: Dessel ✔, Lommel ✔
A post shared by Stig Broeckx (@stigbroeckx) on Nov 17, 2018 at 8:41am PST

“I have been looking forward to this very much,” he told Studio Brussel. “The next goal is to ride the racing bike. I still have a love for the road, and I’m still following it.”
Dumoulin acknowledges Tour route challenges
Sunweb’s Tom Dumoulin remains undecided about his participation in the 2019 Tour de France.
The 28-year-old Dutchman, the runner-up at both the Giro and the Tour this season, hinted last month that he’d like to go the Tour to win, but recently expressed doubt about making the start in an interview with De Telegraaf.
With its dearth of time trial mileage, next year’s Tour route is not an ideal one for Dumoulin, the 2017 world champion in the discipline.
“I do not think that there has been a grand tour in recent years that fits my profile so badly,” Dumoulin told said, according to the Dutch newspaper. “In all respects, the Giro is much better.”
Read the full article at News roundup: Zwift Academy winner; Bardet mulls Giro; Broeckx is back on

Side-pull vs. center-pull brakesDear Lennard,
Recently, a friend sent me post cards from the cycling shrine at Madonna del Ghisallo, Italy. One pictures the bicycle ridden by Gianni Motta in the 1966 Giro d’Italia. The bike has side-pull brakes. The cable tension screw on the levers looks like the system used on Universal brakes. But I recall that Universal was only making center-pull brakes, which were all the rage until Campagnolo came out with their side-pull in 1968. I am the original owner of a 1965 Masi Special that has Universal center-pull brakes. It is strange; when I started racing in the late 1950s, side-pull brakes were the only thing around. Then the fad went to center-pull (and recessed headsets, too) and back again to side pull. Do you have any idea what brakes may be on the Motta bicycle?— MichaelDear Michael,
I’ll bet those are Universal, which did make side-pull brakes and were the low-cost alternative to Campy Nuovo Record side-pulls at the end of the 1960s. They were light weight and had very thin, flexy arms; they offered very low braking power compared to what we are now used to (or to Campy brakes of the 1970s). My roommate in college in 1977 had some Universal side-pull brakes on his otherwise full-Campy Cinelli that he had bought used, so it was probably late 1960s vintage.― Lennard
Regarding last week’s columnDear Lennard,

In regards to your recent Technical FAQ about fatigue life of aluminum, this photo might give your readers pause and send them off inspecting their aluminum frames immediately. I found this while washing the bike. I don’t know how long it was like this, and we had just finished a week-long trip along Lakes Erie and Ontario, riding every day. I shudder every time I think of it.
Having taken several materials classes in my engineering school days, I have always understood the fatigue issues with aluminum, and I always did look the bike over when I washed it, but I should have been even more diligent. In this case, luck won out.
The bicycle is (was) a 2004 Burley tandem, with about 15,000 miles on it.
A related question — what are the fatigue characteristics of carbon fiber structures? My only experience with composite materials is reinforced concrete.— RichardDear Richard,
While carbon fiber composites can have very high strength-to-weight ratios and high elastic modulus (hence, high stiffness), they do not have a definable fatigue limit or endurance limit. Thus, fatigue failure is, in theory, possible with carbon parts, but since the strength of the part can be so high, this can keep the stresses still well below the S-N curve for a carbon part.
I’ll let the pioneer in carbon bicycle frames, Craig Calfee, answer your question more completely.― LennardHi Lennard,
Composites are very different when it comes to fatigue failure. Theoretically, because the strength of carbon fiber is so high, designed stresses would never approach the yield strength, (which is almost the same as the ultimate tensile strength because carbon fiber is so brittle). A well-designed (and well-built) carbon fiber component will never fail under normal loading. But a stress concentration can be built into a poorly made component, rendering that area prone to a fatigue crack. The failure mechanism starts with the epoxy matrix, which starts microcracking in the high-stress area. That starts rendering the epoxy ineffective as a matrix for the carbon fiber and soon results in the fiber starting to break. This is when the fracture starts to be visible on the surface. Note that the vast majority of composites failures make their appearance on the surface because that is where the maximum stress is located when caused by a stress riser. Once the fiber starts to break, the component will soon fail catastrophically, not giving nearly as much warning as metals do.
If a component is designed for lowest possible weight without margin for typical abuse, minor manufacturing errors, or subtle changes to the design, a very small gouge will become a stress riser that will lead to a failure. This is why we stay quite busy with our carbon repair service. A component designed with a margin for this type of real-world experience will last a lot longer because a small, unnoticed gouge will not progress into a full-blown crack.— Craig Calfee
Founder and President, Calfee Design
window.iad_1 = googletag.defineSlot('/21732621108/velonews', [300, 250], 'ad-iad-1').defineSizeMapping(szmp_3x2).addService(googletag.pubads());googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('ad-iad-1'); });Dear Lennard,
I was quite put off by the answer you gave to Gary when he asked about whether having ridden 24,000 miles on his frame so far should worry him that it won’t last through some touring.

The answer you gave seemed to be something like, “well, aluminum will eventually fail. I don’t know when it might happen, so you should get a new frame now.” 

What frame of reference are you using for that? How much stress is a frame actually experiencing in different situations? And how many cycles might occur per, say, 1,000 miles of riding? Personally, I don’t know what rider weights, uses, and impacts can cause a stress of, 10ksi, or 20, or 50. Do you? 

What if everything but a hard crash causes — TravisDear Travis,
Your reading of my answer is different from mine. Gary is planning an extended loaded tour on a bike that he had ridden 24,000 miles on, some of it loaded touring, and he is concerned about whether his bike will make it through. I was answering from the perspective that he may be better off getting a new frame than having that worry in the back of his head detracting from the awesome trip he is embarking on. I am sure he doesn’t want to find a crack on his tour like the first reader in today’s column.
Since I know nothing about how heavy or strong Gary is, what kind of road surfaces and terrain he rides on, how heavily his packs are loaded when he tours, what his riding style is like, and what tubes his frame is made out of, I cannot begin to approximate the magnitude of the stresses his bike has been subjected to in absolute terms. I can tell you that in terms of fatigue testing, each pedal stroke is considered a stress cycle, so that is quantifiable if we were to know Gary’s average cadence over all of those miles.
I can give you an answer to your last question, since any bike shop can tell you that they have seen plenty of aluminum frames that have cracked from fatigue within a year or two. Consequently, we know that those riders are producing stress cycles far beyond 1ksi (i.e., 1,000psi).
Consider the following facts:
1. The ultimate strength (tensile strength) of high-quality aluminum tubes used in bike frames is on the order of 60ksi.
2. Some strong riders manage to break frames made out of such tubes within a few years of normal use.
3. Even though aluminum has no fatigue limit, its S-N curve is high above the horizontal axis (indicating stresses that are a high percentage of ultimate strength) for a huge number of cycles (the horizontal scale — number of stress cycles — is logarithmic on an S-N curve).
From these facts, we can certainly say that those tubes, in order to break within a few years of normal riding, are experiencing stresses on the order of at least 30ksi. Add loaded packs to the same bike with the same rider and the stresses go up and the frame’s life is even shorter.
Since any bike survives the vast majority of rides that its rider embarks on, and Gary’s has survived 24,000 miles, chances are that his will survive this trip, too. But he asked me if the number of miles on the frame is a practical concern. Since it is aluminum, which has no fatigue limit, every single pedal stroke, and hence every mile traveled, is indeed a practical concern, because every one of them shortens its life. I still have no idea how long that life will be, given the dearth of data about him and his bike that I had to work with, and I said that.
My point is that the unpredictability of it lasting the trip or not increases when using a material like aluminum that has no fatigue limit. If he instead had a steel or titanium bike (which have fatigue limits), and we were able to measure that the stresses he is providing on its steel or titanium tubes were below 30ksi when on his loaded tour, I could guarantee him that a well-made frame without notches, dents, or corrosion would not fail from fatigue during his trip. That’s because titanium tubing used in bike frames has tensile strength on the order of 100ksi, and steel tubes in quality bike frames have tensile strengths of 125-200ksi, so 30ksi is well below the fatigue limit (typically around half of tensile strength) of those tubes.― Lennard
Read the full article at Tech FAQ: Universal brakes and frame fatigue on

Javier Minguez, the legendary Spanish director who led Alejandro Valverde to the world title last month, said he should have won more.Peter Sagan might have won three world titles in a row, but Minguez said it’s Valverde who perhaps deserves more world titles on his trophy shelf.
“Alejandro is a more than a worthy world champion,” Minguez said in a phone interview Tuesday. “Remember, he won six medals before winning in Austria. In my opinion, he deserved many more world titles. This victory is compensation for his entire career.”
Minguez, who directed teams throughout the 1980s and 1990s in Spain, came out of retirement to take over the reins at the Spanish national team in 2013. Since then, Spain’s been knocking on the door of victory, with second and third in 2013 and third again in 2014. Valverde was third in 2013 and 2014, and fifth in 2015. He skipped Doha in 2016 and missed out with injury in 2017. The stars aligned for Spain and Valverde in Innsbruck.
“In some ways, the worlds is not that complicated of a race, but there is only one winner,” Minguez said. “More things can go wrong than right. That day in Austria, the Spanish team was a ’10,’ but it was Alejandro who had to finish it off. It was sublime.”
Minguez said the tactics for the Innsbruck course were relatively straightforward: he wanted Spain to control the race before Valverde could take over in the final lap. The team rode well to keep Valverde in perfect position to follow the attacks over the final decisive climbs. When Valverde looked around and only saw Michael Woods (Canada) and Romain Bardet (France) with him, the battle was half won. Tom Dumoulin (Netherlands) bridged across, but it was Valverde’s race to win. Or lose.
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“Everyone spoke of [Julian] Alaphilippe as the favorite, but when I saw [Wout] Poels beat him in that stage at the Tour of Britain [stage 6 up Whitlatter Pass], I thought he won’t be a big factor in the worlds,” Minguez continued. “It was Bardet who was the best in a very strong French team. The worlds puts everyone in their place.
“Alejandro is more than a worthy winner,” he said. “He finished off the race perfectly. When he saw his distance, he knew what he had to do in the final sprint. It was a lifetime of work and experience coming together. The victory was something more than beautiful. With his palmares, Alejandro is one of the best of all time.”
Read the full article at Spanish sport director: Valverde should have more than one worlds win on