First Edition News for October 4, 2003
Edited by Chris Henry & Jeff Jones
Vandenbroucke faces court again
Frank Vandenbroucke (Quick.Step-Davitamon) will be required to appear in court in Dendermonde soon to hear the verdict of his drug bust case. Vandenbroucke is accused of "possession and use of forbidden hormones, anaesthetics and stimulants" after police found a large quantity of drugs when they searched his home in Lebbeke in February 2002. They found quantities of growth hormone, testosterone, clenbuterol, aranesp [super EPO], morphine, amphetamines, diuretics and four other unspecified products, and some of these packages had been opened, according to a report in Het Laatste Nieuws.
HLN reported that during Vandenbroucke's questioning in the case, he had allegedly confessed to using the doping products found in his home. "He told the court that top sport is impossible without doping," wrote HLN. Vandenbroucke also had "means in his house to avoid doping controls. Drips, syringes, and needles lay around the house."
If found guilty, Vandenbroucke risks a maximum jail term of five years.
Ullrich says no to Balears
Despite reports linking Jan Ullrich to the possible successor to iBanesto.com, a team sponsored by the 'Illes Balears' region, the German is not planning on a move to Spain for 2004. "We never negotiated directly with the representatives from Majorca, and this isn't an active topic," Ullrich's manager Wolfgang Strohband said in an AP report.
October 31 remains the deadline for Ullrich (and others) to secure a new employer for the coming season, and while he has indicated his own desire to secure his future soon, Strohband echoed the sentiments. "In any case, it shouldn't take that long," Strohband added.
Euskaltel completes renewals
The Basque Euskaltel-Euskadi team has made its final contract renewals for 2004, re-signing several additional riders from the team. Iker Flores, Roberto Laiseka, Alberto Lopez de Munain, and Egoi Martinez have all reached agreements to stay in orange for the coming season according to a Marca report.
Laiseka, Flores, and Lopez de Munain each signed a one year deal, while Tour de l'Avenir winner Martinez secured a two year contract with team manager Miguel Madariaga.
Providing the team secures its anticipated 6 million euro budget, additional contracts may be offered to riders still on the market, including notably the brothers Osa, Unai and Aitor, who currently ride in the iBanesto.com colours.
Noël Demeulenaere's new Jacques-Wincor Nixdorf-Passage Fitness team is one step closer to Division I reality next year, with the payment of the €13,400 registration fee to the UCI now completed. The payment was due on September 1, but according to Demeulenaere "The UCI only told me exactly what I had to do today. How can I get a fine then? I certainly find €13,400 to be a lot of money. Cycling can't go the way of Formula 1, certainly with the economic situation of many businesses."
It is not certain what will happen to the existing Division II team Marlux-Wincor Nixdorf, in which Noël Demeulenaere is also involved. "I want to do everything to keep Marlux in division II," said Demeulenaere. "I have various sponsors in the background that are possibly interested in a financial commitment. It looks good to me."
Ballerini OK with Cipo's decision
Italian national team selector Franco Ballerini has declared himself comfortable with the absence of reigning world champion Mario Cipollini from the Squadra Azzurra in Hamilton. Cipollini, as 2002 world champion, was the team's 13th man rider, and thus his withdrawal will not prompt any replacement.
"The defending champion has the right to choose whether or not to participate," Ballerini said in a Datasport report. "My desire was to have him with us."
Cipollini has raced on a select few occasions since his crash in the Giro d'Italia, and showed at the beginning of the Vuelta a España that he was a long way from the fitness necessary to be of help to Italian team leader Paolo Bettini on the hilly Hamilton parcours.
TQ Paper International is go
By Shane Stokes, Irishcycling.com
History will be made Saturday when the biggest ever women's field lines out for a race in Ireland. Over 70 riders are making the journey for the start of the TQ Paper International 2 day, including riders from Germany, the Netherlands and the UK.
The action begins at 11am Saturday morning with a flat 64 kilometre circuit race. This takes in eight laps of the Boot Inn circuit near Dublin Airport and most likely to end in a bunch sprint. The riders then tackle a flat 2 kilometre time trial in the afternoon, a test which should act as a better pointer as to which riders have a chance of carrying off the final yellow jersey.
Sunday's second day of competition is over a tough 74 kilometre course, winding out through the Naul, Stamullen and Ballyboughal villages and taking in several climbs along the way. The stage gives ample opportunity for attack and so a real shake-up is expected, with the top contenders scrapping it out all the way to the line.
Of those contenders, eyes will be on the Dutch Moving Ladies Groenewoud team due to their success in the last two editions of the race. While their double winner Esther Van Der Helm is not competing this time around, riders Sharon Van Essen, Inge Klep and Judith Helmink have all ridden well in the past and should be in the running. Van Essen was fourth last year, Klep took fifth overall plus a stage win, while Helmink was sixth overall in 2001. There is also a second Dutch squad with four riders lining out in the colours of the District Noord-Holland team, the German team RC Charlottenburg-Berlin, plus six teams from Britain.
Faced with a daunting international challenge, the selectors have in response picked strong Irish and Leinster teams. The national side comprises Louise Moriarty, Collette Swift, Kate Rudd, Karen Bothwell, Marie O'Reilly and Gillian McDarby. The Leinster squad is also a good one, with Cycling Ireland Women's League winner Siobhan Jacobs, Roisin Kennedy, Beth McCluskey, Orla Hendron, and Susan O'Mara all confirmed. 2001 world rowing champion Sinead Jennings was also due to be on the team but she leaves tomorrow with the rest of the Irish squad for the world championships in Hamilton, Canada.
Ampler's condition improving
German ex-professional Uwe Ampler is making steady progress after suffering serious head trauma in an accident while training. Hit by a car on the roads around Leipzig, Germany, Ampler has been in a medically-induced coma for a week, though Ampler's father Klaus tells German news agency SID that "the doctors are pleased with his recovery." Uwe remains for the moment in the intensive care unit.
Clear Channel gets another message
Clear Channel radio station G105 in Raleigh, North Carolina has begun to feel the heat after it shocked listeners with 'humorous' programs about motorists running cyclists down with their vehicles. After an initial backlash, the station reportedly offered to air a series of bicycle safety messages, but aired more spoof segments instead.
The offensive broadcasts have prompted several local advertisers to pull their business from the station, and DJ Bob Dumas is said to have been suspended along with the "Bob and Madison" morning show.
Steven G. Goodridge of Cary, vice president of the N.C. Bicycle Club, commented on the broadcast of spoof messages instead of public safety segments. "The trouble was, [G105] promised this on Tuesday, and then on Wednesday the radio show in the morning aired a fake or a mockery of a public service announcement," Goodridge said in the Raleigh newspaper The News & Observer. "As far as the timing goes, that was very insulting."
The Raleigh broadcasts were not the first of their type. Clear Channel networks in Texas and in Ohio had already outraged listeners with DJ's advocating violence towards cyclists on the road. The cycling community has vowed aggressively seek amends from the stations.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2003)