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Ill Froome pulls out of Tirreno-Adriatico

Chris Froome won't be taking part in the Tirreno-Adriatico due to ill-health, the Team Sky rider has announced.

The British rider didn't elaborate on what his illness was nor when he might return to racing.

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UCI wants Astana's licence revoked, putting Tour winner Nibali in limbo

Vincenzo Nibali won last year's Tour with Astana. Credit: PA

The UCI will ask its licence commission to revoke the licence of Astana following an independent audit after a number of anti-doping infringements.

The news, announced by cycling's world governing body, puts Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali in limbo.

A statement from the UCI read: "The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) today confirms that it has now reviewed the audit produced by the Institute of Sport Sciences of the University of Lausanne (ISSUL) (1) on Astana Pro Team and its anti-doping culture, policies, structures and management systems.

"The audit was one of the conditions attached to the registration of the team in the 2015 UCI WorldTour.

"After careful review of this extensive report, the UCI strongly believes that it contains compelling grounds to refer the matter to the Licence Commission (2) and request the Astana Pro Team licence be withdrawn."

Chris Froome: Sports Life Stories sneak preview

The new series of Sports Life Stories continues on ITV4 tonight with Team Sky's inspirational cyclist Chris Froome.

Tune in from 10pm to watch Froome recount the remarkable story of how he became only the second British winner of the Tour de France in 2013.

In this short clip, Froome explains why he got the nickname 'Crash Froome' - it was quite a crash!

Watch Chris Froome: Sports Life Stories on ITV4 on Tuesday 24th February at 10pm, with contributions from Sir Dave Brailsford and David Walsh.

Watch Chris Froome Sports Life Stories on ITV4

The new series of Sports Life Stories continues on ITV4 tonight with Team Sky's inspirational cyclist Chris Froome.

Tune in from 10pm to watch Froome recount the remarkable story of how he became only the second British winner of the Tour de France in 2013.

With unique access at his home in South Africa, we gain a new insight into his fierce rivalry with team-mate Sir Bradley Wiggins, and discover how Froome overcame personal tragedy to win one of the most demanding sporting events in the world.

Watch Chris Froome: Sports Life Stories on ITV4 on Tuesday 24th February at 10pm, with contributions from Sir Dave Brailsford and David Walsh.

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Former Team Sky doctor banned for life

Geert Leinders pictured in 2013. Credit: PA

Former Team Sky doctor Geert Leinders has been banned from cycling for life for multiple doping violations, the United States Anti-Doping Agency has announced.

Leinders was banned for violations committed while he was the chief team doctor and a director of the Rabobank cycling team between 1996 and 2009.

Leinders worked for Sky on a freelance basis in 2011 and 2012 and team principal Sir Dave Brailsford later described it as a mistake.

The USADA said in a statement: "After a hearing at which the detailed evidence, including eyewitness testimony, corroborating documentation and an expert analysis of abnormal blood values of cyclists was presented, the independent arbitration panel found that Leinders possessed, trafficked, and administered banned performance-enhancing substances and methods without any legitimate medical need, including EPO, blood transfusion paraphernalia, testosterone, insulin, DHEA, LH and corticosteroids to athletes under his care, and was complicit in other anti-doping rule violations."

The USADA said it had discovered evidence of doping by Rabobank during the course of an investigation in 2012, and worked with its equivalent organisations in Denmark and Holland to bring Leinders to account.

Cavendish salutes young sprinter ace

Mark Cavendish signalled his admiration of young rival Fernando Gaviria after the Colombian outpaced him again to win stage three of the Tour de San Luis.

For the second time this week in Argentina, 20-year-old Gaviria had Cavendish in his slipstream as he crossed the line first, this time at the end of the 176.3 kilometres the riders raced from Concaran to Juana Koslay.

Gaviria, riding for his national team, burst clear inside the final quarter of a mile and held off second-placed Cavendish, a serial winner of sprints at the highest level in world cycling.

The beaten Briton, from the Etixx-Quick Step team, wrote on Twitter: "Well, 2nd again in @TourSanLuis to @77Gaviria. He has this phenomenal acceleration that's hard to close a gap to.. Impressive. Congrats!"

First African team to compete in Tour de France

Team MTN-Qhubeka competed the 2014 Vuelta. Credit: PA

Team MTN-Qhubeka will become the first African cycling team to compete in the Tour de France.

Africa's first UCI Pro Continental Cycling Team confirmed on their official Twitter feed this morning they have received a wildcard for the 2015 tour.

The interest in our team has been going to incredible heights. In South Africa the Tour de France is everything and once we get there, race it and do well, and show the potential and the talent, I think that it will open doors for other riders.

For me, that is the most important thing. We don’t want to be the only African Pro Continental team. We want to pioneer change. Could you imagine and Ethiopian team or an Algerian team or an Eritrean just to show what the potential is? We hope that the Tour de France and our involvement in that will grow and get more people into cycling

– MTN-Qhubeka team boss Doug Ryder speaking to cyclingnews.com
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