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Pro riders union upset by doping control during cycling gala

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PARIS — The professional cyclists’ union is urging anti-doping authorities to treat athletes in a more respectful manner after a Belgian rider was forced to leave a cycling gala to follow anti-doping inspectors for an out-of-competition test.

Pieter Serry, who rides for the Quick Step team, missed the Gala of the Flandrien on Tuesday after doping inspectors came to the ceremony to take samples.

In a statement published Wednesday, the riders’ association (CPA) complained about “another case of non-respect for the privacy of the riders” and criticized the odd timing of some doping controls.

“There have been cases reported where the riders were checked on their wedding day, during a funeral or on their child’s first day of school,” said Gianni Bugno, the president of the CPA. “Now we read about the case of Pieter Serry, controlled in the offseason, out of the hour scheduled, while at the Flemish cycling festival. … The riders pay 2 percent of their prizes to make these controls possible, they are the only athletes in the world who pay the anti-doping from their own pockets,” Bugno said. “The riders respect the measures required for the fight against doping, but at least they ask for the respect of their private life in return.”

Belgian media quoted Serry as saying he had already been tested two weeks ago and told antidoping authorities he was available from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. at his home.

“I understand that there must be checks and that people have to do their work, but two checks immediately after each other, out of season, is simply a waste of money. I feel like a prisoner with an ankle monitor,” Serry was quoted as saying.

The CPA added it will try to find out whether it was the Belgian anti-doping agency, the national cycling federation or Cycling’s anti-doping foundation (CADF) which ordered Serry’s test.

“In addition, the CPA will present an official request to all the bodies involved in the fight against doping and the UCI to establish a code of conduct for the controllers, to ensure the respect for the private life of the athletes, at least in certain circumstances,” the CPA said.

Britain’s richest man becomes new sponsor of Team Sky

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LONDON — Britain’s richest man has bought the Team Sky cycling team, which will be renamed Team Ineos.

Jim Ratcliffe, who is the chairman of chemicals giant Ineos, is reported by the Sunday Times rich list as being worth 21 billion dollars (18.5 million euros).

Ineos pledged in a statement on Tuesday to honor all “existing commitments to riders, staff and partners.”

The team’s launch takes place at the Tour de Yorkshire which starts in Doncaster on May 2.

Sky’s long-time team principal Dave Brailsford welcomed the move, saying “it ends the uncertainty around the team” and “represents a huge vote of confidence in our future.”

Sky has won six of the past seven Tour de France races, with Chris Froome winning four times and Bradley Wiggins and Geraint Thomas winning it once.

British broadcaster Sky announced its withdrawal from the sport last December following the European pay TV giant’s takeover by American company Comcast.

Roglic wins Tirreno-Adriatico by one second ahead of Yates

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SAN BENEDETTO DEL TRONTO, Italy — Primoz Roglic of Slovenia won the Tirreno-Adriatico cycling race by one second when he beat British rider Adam Yates in the final-stage time trial on Tuesday.

Victor Campenaerts won the 10-kilometer (six-mile) individual time trial in San Benedetto del Tronto.

Roglic, who rides for Team Jumbo-Visma, started the time trial in second place in the overall standings, 25 seconds behind Yates.

“It was unbelievably close. I was lucky in the end,” Roglic said. “I felt strong … I tried to make a difference and really go for it and I really pushed until the finish line.

“I was confident but I can only control myself.”

Yates had been in the lead of the race since the second of the seven stages, while his Mitchelton-Scott team had won the opening-day team time trial.

“It was close, but it wasn’t enough, that’s how it goes, that’s bike racing,” Yates said. “I did the best I could, I said yesterday that 25 seconds isn’t really enough. But I did a good TT, I’ll have to look back but I think the power was good and I held my position for as long as I could.

“There wasn’t much more I could do, the strongest man won, but for sure next year I’ll be back and hopefully I can come back stronger.”

Jakob Fuglsang of Denmark finished third overall, 30 seconds behind Roglic and nearly a minute ahead of Tom Dumoulin.

Campenaerts won the final stage in 11-plus minutes. Alberto Bettiol was three seconds behind the Belgian. Jos van Emden of the Netherlands was four seconds back.