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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

First Edition Cycling News for April 22, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Verbruggen: "No sport controls doping like cycling"

Speaking in Madrid at a meeting of the Professional Cycling Association, UCI president Hein Verbruggen has emphasized once again the extent of cycling's anti-doping efforts, according to Europa Press.

Verbruggen commented on the Jesus Manzano case, saying, "What Manzano has said has had a great deal of repercussions and I lament and deplore [what has happened]. I don't know if what he says is true, I expect not, but the fact is that he has spoken out and there is an investigation in motion that will clarify things. But when the press starts to pay for these type of statements always there will always be riders willing to tell 'their' stories, and we cannot do anything about that."

"However, let nobody forget that no sport controls doping as much as cycling. No sport does the blood tests that cycling does, or the health controls, and despite all this we have the same percentage of positive samples as other endurance sports. Only 1.5 percent of samples. The World Anti-doping Agency did 700 controls in cycling and only 0.5 percent were positive. What happens in these cases is that our sports gets more publicity than the others, and we can't do anything about that but learn to live with it."

Verbruggen also mentioned, as he has previously, that the UCI's anti-doping authorities have certain riders under suspicion. "We know many things about the pelotón and we know who are the doubtful ones,' he said. "We tested Rumsas in the Tour and he did not test positive, but he was caught six months later. Therefore, in spite of all these problems I am optimistic."

Verbruggen said he still believes "the majority of the pelotón is clean, I guarantee it." He added that he was still happy to be UCI president, mostly because of the fierce loyalty of cycling's fans. "The fans are still loyal to this sport," he said, "you only have to see Paris-Roubaix, Flanders, Amstel... Paris-Roubaix had twice the audience of the tennis and that comforts us, but there is nothing you can do when the press pays for these stories."

[Note: In our recent interview with Jesus Manzano, he denied being motivated by money in telling his story. Cyclingnews did not pay Manzano for our subsequent interview.]

Museeuw, Planckaert and Peers to face disciplinary commission

Belgian riders Johan Museeuw (Quick.Step, recently retired), Jo Planckaert (MrBookmaker) and Chris Peers (Chocolade jacques) are to face a disciplinary commission of the Belgian cycling federation (LVB), according to a report from Europa Press. The three were implicated in involvement with doping products as a result of police investigations into Belgian veterinarian José Landuyt and soigneur Herman Versele.

The attorney office at Courtrai passed reports on these three riders to the disciplinary commission of the LVB, which will arrange a preliminary hearing within the next 30 days.

Reports on three other riders investigated in the Landuyt case, Mario de Clerq (MrBookMaker), and amateurs Nico Hendrickx and Olivier Penney are expected to be handed to the LVB in the next few days.

The police investigation started September 4, 2003. Landuyt and Versele have admitted to supplying products to riders, but blood and urine tests on the riders in question all turned up negative.

Wales Stena Line team named for FBD Milk Ras

By Shane Stokes,

Experienced Welshmen Huw Pritchard and Anthony Malarczyk will lead a strong national selection in this year's FBD Milk Rás, which starts on Saturday 23rd of May in Dublin. The two Rás regulars will be joined by promising young rider Yanto Barker, who finished third in the Junior Tour of Ireland in 1998, plus Paul Shepperd and 22 year old David Crowley. The five will line out for the Wales - Stena Line team for the eight day, 2.5 ranked race. They will be part of an impressive field which will include professional and international riders from around the world.

FBD Milk Rás race director Dermot Dignam welcomed the news, saying that they should be a big factor in the race. 'Welsh riders have a tremendous record of forceful riding in the big Irish event and the team named by the Welsh Cycling Union for this year's race has the strength, experience and determination to enhance that record,' he said.

Dignam also expressed his gratitude to Stena Line, who play a vital part in the running of the race. 'We are also very pleased that Stena Line has backed the race again this year. Their support is very important in transporting teams from Scandinavia, Britain and continental Europe to Ireland.'

In the official press release, Mr. Eamonn Hewitt, who is the Communications & PR Manager for Stena Line's Irish Sea Organisation, articulated his satisfaction with the relationship. 'Stena Line is delighted to support the FBD Milk Rás again this year. The company has a relationship that goes back many years, not only with the FBD Milk Rás, but with Cycling Ireland also. We had the privilege of moving the Tour de France into and out of Ireland in 1998 and can appreciate the organisational complexity of an event such as the FBD Milk Rás, so we congratulate Dermot Dignam and his hard working team on their sterling efforts over the years.'

'We are particularly delighted to have the Welsh National Team on board as three of our routes operate between Ireland and Wales, so the synergy is obvious".

Sijmens injured

Landbouwkrediet-Colnago rider Nico Sijmens is on the injured list after a serious fall at yesterday's Flèche Wallonne. Sijmens sustained damage to his wrist knee and hip, and was scheduled to undergo a more thorough examination Wednesday evening.

Osa surgery successful

Spanish Illes Balears-Banesto rider Unai Osa is expected to leave hospital today after an operation to repair the collarbone he broke in a training accident Tuesday morning. Osa underwent surgery yesterday at the Clínica Universitaria de Navarra to repair a multiple fracture of his right collarbone.

Surgeons installed a plate to hold the bone fragments together and Osa co\dition afterwards was said to be "very satifactory".

Tour de Nez adds events

This year's Mighty Tour de Nez criterium in Nevada, (June 26) will comprise more than the twelfth annual dash for cash round the streets of Reno. Organisers have added a century road race and a 100-mile mountain bike race to the program, which now covers the 'long weekend' of June 24-27, among other featured events.

For more information see the race site at

Honey Stinger goes intercontinental

The Honey Stinger/Spinergy Cycling Team has announced its roster for the 2004 season. An elite team based out of Cleveland, OH USA its goal is to provide a learning environment for collegiate and post-collegiate racers in which to learn cycling. The team races all disciplines of cycling. The main contingent of riders compete in the Midwest and select national events while a smaller group is racing in Adelaide, Australia.

Full roster

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