Velonews: Boom, Astana Caught In An Mpcc Pickle Over Cortisol


Jan 3, 2005
<figure ><img title="2015 Dwars door Vlaanderen: Boom chases" src=""/><p></p></figure><p>UTRECHT, Netherlands (VN) — Lars Boom, the Dutch rider who won last year’s stage across the cobbles, might not be starting the 2015 Tour de France.</p>
<p>In a fast-developing story on the eve of the start of the 2015 Tour, Boom tested for low levels of cortisol in pre-Tour health screenings. Though not against UCI regulations, those low levels run afoul of rules from the MPCC, a volunteer advocacy group of which Astana is a member.</p>
<p>Boom would likely have been tasked with shepherding Astana teammate and defending champion <a title="Nibali: ‘We are not machines’" href=""target="_blank">Vincenzo Nibali</a> across the pavé of <a href="" target="_blank">stage 4</a>, but now that is in doubt.</p>
<p>Late Friday, the situation remained fluid.</p>
<p>As it appeared Friday night, Astana could leave MPCC (Movement for Credible Cycling), and perhaps start with Boom. If it remained part of the group, which outlines strict limits on the use of corticoids, Boom would be sidelined for a two-week rest period to allow his levels to return to normal, and not be allowed to start.</p>
<p>Astana sport director Giuseppe Martinelli told <em>VeloNews</em> contributor Gregor Brown the team is considering all of its options.</p>
<p>“[Team manager Alexander] Vinokourov is deciding what to do, to start with eight riders or not,” Martinelli said. “We could leave the MPCC, but nothing is decided yet.”</p>
<p>UCI officials confirmed Friday night that Boom could not be replaced by another Astana rider.</p>
<p>“As per UCI regulations, teams cannot change their starting lists after the directeur sportif meeting has taken place,” a UCI statement read. “The UCI is committed to applying its regulations consistently, and will therefore not authorize any team to change its starting list now.”</p>
<p>The latest development puts Astana under the microscope. The Kazakhstan-backed team struggled to retain its WorldTour license for 2015 following a pair of EPO positives involving the Iglinsky brothers last year.</p>
<p>MPCC president Roger Legeay told AFP, “Astana asked the UCI to authorize a replacement, but the UCI refused. It’s now up to the team to make a decision.”</p>
<p>Other riders recently have been caught out in similar situations, including Chris Horner during last year’s Vuelta a España, and George Bennett was left out of the Giro this year.</p>
<p>Check back to <em>VeloNews</em> for more developments on this fast-breaking story.</p>
<p>Gregor Brown, Andrew Hood, Caley Fretz, and Dan Cavallari contributed to this story.</p>
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