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Lance Armstrong will give his first interview since being stripped of his seven Tour de France titles later this month when he appears on the 'Oprah's Next Chapter' program on her eponymous US cable television network.

The interview, which will go to air on January 17 will also be available simultaneously through the network's website.

Armstrong was the focus of the United States Anti-Doping Agency'sinvestigation which labelled the US Postal team's operation as "the most sophisticated, professionalized and successful doping program that sport has ever seen" on October 10, 2012. USADA stripped Armstrong of all results from August 1, 1998 when he declined to contest charges of doping in late August and handed the Texan a lifetime ban all of which was later ratified by cycling's governing body, the UCI.

The 41-year-old will give the interview from his home in Texas.

A media release on Oprah.com said that "Armstrong will address the alleged doping scandal, years of accusations of cheating, and charges of lying about the use of performance-enhancing drugs throughout his storied cycling career."

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U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks on Monday upheld the jurisdiction of USADAto pursue its case against Armstrong, noting that the agency's authorization stemmed from an act of Congress and that its arbitration process does not violate Armstrong's right to due process.

Sparks said the court "should not interfere with an amateur sports organization's disciplinary procedures unless the organization shows wanton disregard for its rules, to the immediate and irreparable harm of a plaintiff, where the plaintiff has no other available remedy."

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Alberto Contador (Saxo Bank Tinkoff Bank) explained why he made a surprise move in a hot spot sprint bonus 162.5km into stage 2 of the Vuelta a Espana to claim a two-second time bonus for a third place behind two breakaways.

"Grand Tours are sometimes won and lost by seconds," he said.

The Spaniard was doubtless referring to last year's Vuelta, which Chris Froome (Sky), a leading rival for this year's title, lost by 13 seconds last year to Juan Jose Cobo (Movistar). And without time bonuses, Froome would actually have finished first overall.

Contador explained that he had been in a good position anyway on the slight rise through Viana, where the time bonus was situated - preceding a loop round the town and final bunch sprint finish - and had seen the opportunity to go for the third place in the time bonus behind two breakaways.

"I was toward the front anyway with [Danish teammate] Niki Sorensen, we were well placed, and we decided to go for it," Contador said, "and if there's another opportunity to take two seconds or six seconds tomorrow, I'd do it again - major Tours are won and lost by seconds sometimes."

Asked if it was a sign of whether he was nervous about his form or ambitious, Contador said, "That depends on how you interpret it. My objective is to do as well as possible overall."

As for the two upcoming summit finishes, Contador said they were "very different. Arrate [on stage 3] is short and punchy, whereas Valdezcaray is much longer and gentler. It'll be difficult to attack on Valdezcaray, though, if it's windy - it's very exposed at the top."

His compatriot Jonathan Castroviejo (Movistar) was none too optimistic about his chances of staying in the lead tomorrow [Monday], saying, "Although it's not too long, and I know it well, I've got to be realistic, the big names for the overall classification will start to attack, and I just hope it's a teammate who is up there and takes over the lead."

"It's a finish we often use in the Tour of the Basque Country and very typical of the kinds of climb you get in that race. I think we'll start to see there who can win the Vuelta.

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You don't need Bradley Wiggins's fitness levels – but staying in shape helps reduce pain when cycling. Photograph: Gustau Nacarino/REUTERS

Cyclists' squats

If you ride around a lot, most likely you're going to have pretty tight calves, which can make squatting well fairly tricky. Elevating the heels about 5 cm by placing some weighted plates (if you are in the gym) or books or magazines (if you are at home), allowing you to squat deeper with an upright torso. Keep the feet parallel (as you would if you werecycling). Try three sets of 12 repetitions, with enough weight to mean the 12th repetition is very hard indeed.

Core training

Just because cycling seems to use mostly leg muscles doesn't mean you should neglect your core strength. A strong core will help you to keep good posture while you ride, especially when you're out of the saddle, going uphill for example. The plank is an exercise you can do at home, outdoors, or under your desk: lie chest-down on the floor. Push yourself up onto your elbows (kept directly beneath your shoulders) and tuck your toes under. Hold this position, keeping your back straight, for as long as you can.

Tricep dips

The back of your arms can take a bit of a thrashing on bumpy rides so it's good to keep them strong. Place your hands behind you, fingers pointing forward, on a bench, block or step. Keep the knees bent and thighs parallel to the ground. Bend the elbows until your bottom nearly touches the ground. Extend the elbows. Repeat 12 times. Rest one minute and go again.

Lower back

It's usually around 26 miles (marathon distance, interestingly), that it kicks in for me when I'm doing a long ride: the lower back ache. Now I'm sure it's partly because I haven't spend hundreds of pounds on the best bike in the world and getting it set up by an expert (another tip, get the ergonomics right), but it's also just because the back gets tired. And it gets tired because it's not strong enough. So keep the lower back strong by performing weighted row movements with dumbbells or kettlebells.

Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Bend down until your torso is as close to parallel with the floor as you can manage and make sure your back is straight, shoulders pulled back into their sockets. Tilt your pelvis slightly forward so that you hips point upwards a little. Holding the weights in either hand, bend at the elbows and pull the arms up until the weight brushes your chest, keeping elbows close to the body. Extend the arms and repeat! Start with three sets of 12 repetitions, with a minute's rest in-between. It should be heavy enough that you struggle to get out the last repetition.

Intervals

Increase your cardiovascular fitness quickly by including intervals in your training. Start with basic repetitions of one minute hard, say 80% of maximum effort, one minute easy, around 40% of maximum effort. Obviously this isn't very conducive to commuting so try to do it either on a stationary bike in the gym, or in a park where you can let rip for a minute! Also, spinning classes or similar are basically just one long interval and hill session.

Add power

Pat Leahy is a professional ironman coach and athlete. He says: "You should do at least one very hard power session each week. This is best done on a spin bike indoors where you know you won't have to stop for any reason. Start with, say, 4-6 minutes on a high resistance, then take 1-2 minutes recovery. Repeat it 4 times and build it up each week."

Hit the hills

Find a hill, any hill that's long enough, hard enough and pretty enough to keep you challenged and interested, and set yourself a goal to get up it a certain number of times. It's simple, it's effective and you'll feel amazing (and be fitter) after: it's hill training.

Stay flexible

If you're a regular rider, the likelihood is that your hamstrings are tight and, let's face it, how many of us stretch for at least five minutes every time we get off the bike? One great way of ensuring that you do the flexibility work necessary is to do a couple of yoga sessions every week, ideally heated (where you practice in 35-38C) as that helps the muscles to warm up quicker and allows for safer stretching.

Rest

Take at least one day off per week. It sounds counterintuitive but actually rest is the only way to get stronger. It has to be rest in between training sessions (or long commutes by bike) of course, rather than just never-going-out-on-your-bike kind of rest. But when you train hard the little microfibres in your muscles (called mitochondria) actually break down, and when they rebuild they do so stronger. That's how you get stronger. But they can rebuild a lot better and quicker if they are given some time out every now and again.

Eat well

The same goes for what you eat. The microfibres will rebuild much faster if you feed your body well. Eating the right things, at least 70-80% of the time will ensure that you can recover well between sessions. Athletes and bodybuilders, or those with special dietary needs (suffering from diabetes for example), do need to take more care over the detail of their diet, but for regular, active people, good nutrition remains fairly simple. Eat regular meals and snacks, ideally consuming something every 3-4 hours. Lots of green leafy vegetables, fruit and meals consisting of protein, slow-release carbohydrates and vegetables.

•Lucy Fry is a journalist and published author as well as being a personal fitness trainer, boxing and kickboxing instructor

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If you fancy a cycle ride that really makes a difference, and doing it side by side with a legendary cyclist, then you'll need to act fast to get on board with Cycle A Difference in May 2013, a charity ride supported by many big names in the bike industry which aims to raise money for the Newborns Vietnam charity.

Mike Hall, who broke the world record for cycling round the world in June this year, taking in 18,000 miles through 20 countries and four continents in 92 days, will be riding in support of the charity again.


The route takes you from Hanoi in the North to Da Nang - where you will get to meet some of those who will benefit from your efforts – before finally finishing off in the nearby port of Hoi a World Heritage site. Along the way you'll get to ride through the Northern Highlands, along the Ho Chi Minh trail, the Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park another UNESCO World Heritage Site, to the ancient capital of Hue, and over the Hai Van pass - the highest mountain pass in Vietnam (check out the Cycle a Difference flickr gallery to get a flavour of the route).

It's not a walk in the park at 850 miles in 10 days of riding, but reasonably fit cyclists should be fine. A deposit of £500 and a pledge to raise £3000 in funding will secure you a place for the ride of your life.

Mike's very persuasive in his support of the cause. He said: "As an endurance rider, cycling for me is all about finding new challenges and expanding my horizons.

"I wasn't aware 10,000 babies die everyday worldwide in developing countries mainly from easily preventable causes. I was talking to a friend just the other day whose son was kept on the neonatal ward in Birmingham for a few days before going home, it was no drama for them but in another country, like Vietnam, it could have been the difference between life and death.

"The direct work that Newborns Vietnam is doing is going to give more babies a chance to survive, their approach is all about making long-term lasting change and for newborns this all about training for nurses. The combination of the sport I love, a great cause and at the end of the ride seeing first hand what my sponsorship will support ticks all the boxes for me."

Cycle a Difference is run by unpaid volunteers, meaning that all the money you raise aside from the costs of the trip go direct to the charity - organisers say that should be as much as £2,600 per person - so you really will cycle a difference.

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NEW Australian cycling star Matt Goss wants the London Olympics to be payback for his narrow loss at September's world road championships.

Few silver medallists have looked as filthy with the result as Goss did when he stood on the podium at Copenhagen.

British sprint ace Mark Cavendish narrowly beat the 25-year-old Tasmanian to win the elite men's road race.

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Gutsy … Rochelle Gilmore broke her pelvis, fractured her back and cracked her ribs in the Giro d'Italia. Photo: Peter Rae

Back in the saddle, a 'rebuilt' Rochelle Gilmore tells Fleta Page she's gunning for Olympic gold.


Five months ago, cyclist Rochelle Gilmore was lying on a couch in a Milan rehab centre, peeing in a bedpan and losing 11 kilograms of hard-earned muscle. She had multiple breaks in her pelvis, a fracture in her back and three cracked ribs.

 

The fact she has learnt to walk again, got back on her bike and intends to win next month's Jayco Bay Classic in Victoria is testament to the Commonwealth Games gold medallist's professionalism and determination.

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Jonny Bellis says he is delighted to have the chance to continue to rebuild his career after signing with the An Post Sean Kelly team for next season.

The 23-year-old is fighting his way back to fitness after suffering serious head injuries in a life-threatening scooter crash in 2009.

Bellis said: "I'm really happy to sign for the team. It's another step in the right direction."

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The world of professional cycling has been astounded by the remarkable story of a paralympic hand-cycling athlete who has been recruited to one of Holland's top racing teams after an accident prompted a miracle recovery enabling her to regain the use of her legs.

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The island of Cyprus lies just off the south coast of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea, with typical Cypriot temperatures averaging between 28˚C and 32˚C. Many of us most associate this island with lazy beach holidays, but Cyprus is also the perfect destination for a cycling holiday.

Cycling in Cyprus is a very pleasant experience. The north especially offers a wide range of cycle-suitable trails and routes which follow the coast as well as taking cyclists through the more mountainous landscape. The island’s diverse scenery is made up of coastal plains to wooded valleys, making it ideal for those not only looking to get off the beaten track, but for an element of adventure too.

Cyprus is proud of its growing mountain biking appeal, with many cycling tours operating on the island. With everything included from accommodation and food to bike rental and guidance, a cycling holiday package adds another dimension to this island. But remember, half and full-day bike hire is also available for those wanting to hit the open road (and off-road tracks) for a shorter period of time.

Most visitors wouldn’t think (or indeed want to) bring their own bike, so luckily there are lots of bike hire shops dotted around the island. Most resorts offer bike hire to their guests as well. Despite the popularity of cycling on the island, there are actually few sign-posted routes to follow, so a good, detailed map (or even better a local guide) is recommended to ensure both safety and an enhanced experience.

For many, the notion of mountain biking invokes some pretty tiring images, but there are cycling routes and lengths for all fitness levels. Naturally, cross-country length trails around the island require a much higher level of fitness than a half-day cruise along next to the coast, but a cycling holiday in Cyprus is not exclusive. Fun, for all the family, cycling adds another dimension to holidaying in Cyprus.

Don’t miss the best offers on Cyprus holidays. And have a look at this great example of travel SEO.

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