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  • Jaime Roson (Movistar) has been handed a four-year ban by the UCI after anomalies were found in his biological passport. Movistar had already suspended the 26-year-old but have since confirmed, through their holding company Abarca Sports, that they have terminated his contract. “The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) announces that the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has rendered its decision in the case involving Jaime Roson Garcia,” a statement on the UCI website read. “The Anti-Doping Tribunal found the rider guilty of an anti-doping rule violation (Use of a prohibited substance) based on abnormalities detected in his Biological Passport and imposed a 4-year period of ineligibility on the rider.”ADVERTISEMENT Roson was notified of the findings at the end of June last year, several weeks after his last race at the Criterium du Dauphine. The anomaly occurred in January 2017, when Roson was still racing at Caja Rural. He was immediately suspended from racing by Movistar, the team he joined at the start of 2018, who stated that there had been nothing out of the ordinary with Roson’s health checks. Roson is a former under-23 Spanish national champion and he won the Vuelta a Aragon last season, as well...

  • Fabio Aru says that he will approach the up and coming Volta ao Algarve with ‘grit’ as he hopes to continue a steady progression of form towards the Giro d’Italia in May. Aru will lead a youthful UAE Team Emirates squad at the Portuguese race, one that will include rising Classics star Jasper Philipsen. Aru had a difficult 2018 campaign that left him with disappointing appearances at the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. With this in mind, the team decided to give him a considerably lighter race programme ahead of his return to the corsa rosa. UAE Team Emirates has undergone a shake-up during the winter, with team manager Giuseppe Saronni retiring and new directeur sportif, coaching and medical staff brought in. Aru began his season at Challenge Mallorca at the end of January, taking part in two of the four races. His performances were quiet but solid, and the Italian hopes to build upon that in his second contest of the year. It will be the first time since 2016 that Aru has ridden the Volta ao Algarve. ADVERTISEMENT “After the good start in the Mallorca Challenge, I expect that I will find even more...

  • Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) watched on slightly amused as Remco Evenepoel made his professional debut at the recent Vuelta a San Juan, knowing what it's like to be at the centre of attention and have every performance – good or bad – scrutinised and discussed. The Belgian media at the Argentinean race followed the 19-year-old Belgian's every move as he made his debut with Deceuninck-QuickStep, with his eventual ninth place overall and success in the under-23 classification garnering more attention than Winner Anacona's overall victory. Evenepoel will ride the UAE Tour later this month, making his debut at WorldTour level, where his performance will be compared against Grand Tour stars such as Chris Froome and Vincenzo Nibali.ADVERTISEMENT Evenepoel sparked headlines early in the Vuelta a San Juan by revealing that Sagan had congratulated him on his riding in the echelons during stage 1. Sagan admitted to Cyclingnews he couldn't remember speaking to Evenepoel but did know about his rapid rise to success, his double junior world title in Innsbruck and his step-up to the WorldTour without racing as an under-23 rider. Sagan observed Evenepoel's debut from inside the peloton. Like an older brother, he offered some advice...

  • Ireland's Rás Tailteann stage race – often better known simply as 'the Rás' – will not take place as a UCI-ranked event in 2019, the organisers have announced. Race director Eimear Dignam said that she's "extremely disappointed" not to have been able to find a major backer in time to stage the 2019 race at UCI 2.2 level. Instead, it's hoped that a shorter, non-UCI-ranked, race may still be organised, with the hope of the event returning to its previous international status in 2020. The Rás has been run every year since 1953, and has been a UCI-ranked event since 2000. Past winners have included four-time champion Sé O'Hanlon in the 1960s, and 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche (1979), as well as current WorldTour pros Tony Martin of Jumbo-Visma (2007), AG2R La Mondiale's Gediminas Bagdonas (2011) and Bora-Hansgrohe's Lukas Pöstlberger (2015).ADVERTISEMENT "We've exhausted all opportunities in relation to sponsorship for a UCI race this year," said Dignam. "I'm extremely disappointed. I've been involved in the race my whole life. But I'm satisfied that I explored every opportunity to us to secure a sponsorship. We never envisaged that it would come to an end like...

  • Dimension Data's Ben O'Connor is looking forward to trying to do some damage on the upcoming Tour of Oman's 'queen stage' on the penultimate day of the race, which includes a summit finish on the climb of Green Mountain. The Australian climber – who truly made a name for himself with some impressive performances at last year's Giro d'Italia – will take part in his first Tour of Oman, which starts at Al Sawadi Beach, 60km west of Muscat, on Saturday, and finishes on the Mutrah Corniche in Muscat on February 21. The Tour of Oman celebrates its 10th edition in 2019, and has become a race at which the spring Classics riders, in particular, come to try to find form in what is typically a fast, flat race, with plenty of bunch sprints on offer. However, there are chances for the climbers, too, with the climb of Green Mountain having been added for the first time for the race's second edition in 2011.ADVERTISEMENT This year, after a flat opening stage, O'Connor should get the chance to warm his climbing legs up a little on the following three days' lumpier parcours, which features climbs of Al Jabal...

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