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News Roundup: Kroon admits to doping; Fans steal Roubaix cobbles

Karsten Kroon admits to doping; Paris-Roubaix sections repaired after fans steal cobbles; Tuft likely to retire after this season; Trial begins for driver charged with killing five cyclists; Saudi women participate in first bike race

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Here’s your News Roundup for Wednesday, April 25. This is our way of keeping you up to speed on all of the stories circulating in the world of pro cycling.

Karsten Kroon admits to doping

Details emerged this week that Karsten Kroon, a Tour de France stage winner who last rode for Tinxoff-Saxo in 2014, doped during his career.

Rumors appeared earlier this week at AD Sportwereld, a Dutch sports newspaper, and Kroon confirmed them.

“I was a professional cyclist in a very difficult time and I have a lot of respect for my colleagues who have resisted the temptation to use doping at the time,” he told ANP, a Dutch news bureau.

Kroon, now 42, had discussed his doping in applying for a role as an analyst with AD Sportwereld. Kroon didn’t take the position, and a journalist at the newspaper published the details.

Kroon will be working for Eurosport as a commentator for the Giro d’Italia. A spokeswoman for Eurosport acknowledged the news and said, “The most important thing for Eurosport is that he has now taken responsibility by giving openness and expressing regret.”

Paris-Roubaix sections repaired after fans steal cobbles

Cobbled sections of the Paris-Roubaix have been repaired after fans pried and pulled the stones out after the race.

Tweets by Les Amis de Paris-Roubaix (The Friends of Paris-Roubaix), showed before and after pictures of sections where roads were damaged.

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The group works to protect the history of the race and keeps a stockpile of stones that will closely match those on the roads.

The Friends of Paris-Roubaix have been around since the 1980s. They have already been hard at work preparing stage 9 of the Tour de France.

Tuft likely to retire after this season

Svein Tuft of Mitchelton-Scott has told Cyclingnews that this may be his final year racing as a pro.

While the 40-year-old Canadian said that he was not yet 100 per cent sure of the decision, this will most likely be his last Giro and last year racing.

“I have a son, he’s six months old, and there’s real importance in that. It’s more than racing,” he said.

Svein Tuft (Mitchelton-Scott) taking on fuel midway through stage 5 at the Abu Dhabi Tour. Photo: Tim De Waele/Getty Images

Tuft is a talented time trialist who also earned a reputation over his career as a domestique that helped propel his teammates to victories.

However the rest of this season plays out, he is currently focusing on the Giro and helping his team.

“It’s a lot of work but I really enjoy that aspect of it, and trying to help those guys out,” he said.

Trial begins for driver charged with killing five cyclists and injuring four

The trial for Charles Pickett Jr., who killed five cyclists and injured four in 2016, started this week.

Pickett was driving down a road in Kalamazoo, Michigan when he hit a group of nine cyclists at close to 60 mph, according to WZZM.

Pickett had attended a funeral prior to the incident, and returned to a hotel room where he was staying and swallowed a handful of pills, according to the Kalamazoo County assistant prosecutor. He then got into his pickup truck and began driving out of control. Witnesses phoned the police with reports of reckless driving, but he did not stop until after hitting the group of cyclists, who were riding single file.

Pickett was charged with five counts of second-degree murder. His toxicology report was positive for methamphetamine, hydrocodone, and tramadol.

He is also facing charges of intoxicated driving causing death and four counts of operating while intoxicated causing serious injury.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

Saudi women participate in first-ever bike race

Five years after Saudi Arabia announced that women could legally ride bikes, 47 women participated in their first race.

The event was organized by Be Active, a women’s cycling advocacy and training group. The group expected only 30 women to race initially, but raised the limit to 47, when more than expected showed up at the course.

In April of 2013, a law prohibiting women from riding bikes was lifted in Saudi Arabia, albeit with stipulations; women could ride as long as they only rode recreationally, in a park, fully clothed, and with a male present.

“All the ladies were very happy and excited for the race,” Abu al-Enein, an organizer, told Bicycling Magazine.

Al-Enein plans to hold another race in the future.