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NewsWire: Contador returns; French squad questions British ‘hidden’ wheels

In our daily NewsWire, we bring you a collection of the intriguing stories from newspapers, journals and elsewhere around the world of competitive cycling. Pour your coffee, mute your phone and read on.

French federation searches for answers to British track dominance — L’Equipe

Following the string of Olympic titles and world records put together by the British track squad in recent days, long-time rival France is searching for the home team’s secrets to success.

“We ask ourselves many questions: how have they won as many tenths of a second in a few months? And even, in the pursuit, seconds?” questioned the French National Technical Director Isabelle Gautheron.

Equipment, particularly wheel selection, has been the primary target of inquiry. Team GB is sponsored by Mavic for the games, as are France, Germany, and Australia. It appears that all four teams have been riding the company’s disc and IO five-spoke front wheel, or twin discs, depending on the event. But the French squad wonders if the wheels used by the British squad are not really those of the French wheel manufacturer.

“They hide their wheels a lot, those bikes used in competition are hidden in bags on arrival,” Gautheron told l’Equipe. “Unlike frames, the wheels should not be approved by the UCI. Did they really use Mavic wheels?”

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Gallery: Contador starts stage 1 of the Eneco Tour — Het Nieuwsblad

Spaniard Alberto Contador made his return to racing Monday at the Eneco Tour in the Netherlands. The Saxo Bank-Tinkoff Bank man, who served a six-month racing ban stemming from his two-year UCI sanction over doping at the 2010 Tour de France, has never raced the all-rounders’ and sprinters’ race. Contador plans to start the Vuelta a España later this month.

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