First Edition Cycling News for December 28, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones
Museeuw to take Belgian Federation to court
Johan Museeuw, who was suspended for two years by the Belgian Cycling Federation (KBWB) in October for his involvement in the Landuyt affair, is taking the federation to court over what he believes was an unfair decision against him. Museeuw's lawyer Jozef Lievens is arguing that the KBWB had no right to suspend his client, as Museeuw had already retired and handed in his licence and therefore held no valid contract with the KBWB.
Mr. Lievens also believes that because the Landuyt affair has not been closed, the KBWB had no right to suspend Museeuw. It did so "without the whole file, which is still open and could perhaps double in size," said Mr. Lievens to Sportwereld.be. "We pleaded fruitlessly to the disciplinary commission to wait until the whole civil investigation was completed. How can the correctional court proceed on the assumption of innocence now? That is really a flagrant mockery of all justice."
Mr. Lievens added that Museeuw "wanted to show that he has ended up in a Kafkaesque state [Museeuw believed in his own innocence, but also believed that he would be found guilty via a false procedure - ed.]. Suddenly, in the middle of a civil court case, a private organisation started a disciplinary procedure, without knowing the whole dossier. Do they know what they are doing? What happens if Johan is declared innocent in the civil case?"
Museeuw will not, however, be taking his case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), which is the highest court available to athletes and sporting bodies. Neither he nor his lawyer believes in the judicial rigorousness of the court. "We are of the opinion that if sports federations violate European laws, a normal judge is more competent."
Regarding Museeuw's licence with the KBWB, the federation declared that Museeuw hadn't read the fine print. "Johan Museeuw should know that in 2004 he was in receipt of a licence from the KBWB, and that therefore that he had to obey the rules," said the president of the KBWB's disciplinary commission Cyriel Coomans. "In those same rules, it states that a rider who retires can still be sanctioned after his career, if he is confronted with doping or doping products. That is the case with Museeuw, and for that he was found guilty. The UCI deliberately added that article [The rule came into place on January 1, 2004 - ed.]. Museeuw must therefore accept the consequences. We'll let the affair calmly run its course."
Armstrong named Athlete of Year
Lance Armstrong has been named The Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year for the third straight year, following another successful season where became the first rider to win six Tours de France. In receiving the honour for the third year in a row, Armstrong became the only other athlete to do so alongside Michael Jordan, who won the AP award between 1991-93.
"For me it was a special year," Armstrong told AP. "It's always nice to win the Tour, but this year was special simply because I broke the record and made history."
The award is judged by sports writers and broadcasters, and Armstrong received 51 first place votes and 312 total points. Daylight finished second, followed by Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, who scored 17 first-place votes and 156 points.
Armstrong also acknowledged the importance of winning the Tour when it comes to being recognised both in and outside of cycling, as well as hinting towards other goals next season. "I could win the Tour of Flanders and I wouldn't win AP Athlete of the Year," he said.
Muenzer Female Athlete of the Year in Canada
Canadian Olympic gold medalist Lori-Ann Muenzer has been named Canada's Female Athlete of the Year by The Canadian Press and Broadcast News. The 38 year-old, who was Canada's sole track cycling representative at the Olympics, became the first Canadian to win an Olympic cycling gold medal when she won the sprint ahead of Russian Tamilla Abassova.
"I think that's the highest honour an athlete can receive," Muenzer told the Canadian Press. "Just to be recognized. That's amazing."
Muenzer received 42 first-place votes and a total of 185 points from the judging panel, which consisted of Canadian Press sports editors and broadcasters. In second place was wheelchair racer Chantal Petitclerc, who garnered 36 first-place votes and 172 points. Hurdler Perdita Felicien was third with 27 first-place votes and 161 points, while speed skater and former cyclist Clara Hughes was fourth with 48 points, and kayaker Caroline Brunet was fifth on 43 points.
Cyclo-cross World Cup resumes in Hofstade
The seventh round of the Cyclo-cross World Cup will take place on Tuesday, December 28, in Hofstade, Belgium. With over 75 starters, the elite men's race should be a battle between the Belgians and the rest of the world, with UCI number one Sven Nys and the in-form Sven Vanthourenhout and Erwin Vervecken up against Richard Groenendaal (Ned), John Gadret (Fra), Enrico Franzoi (Ita), Zdenek Mlynar and Petr Dlask (Cze).
In the women's race, World Champ Laurence Leboucher will lead the French contingent that also includes Maryline Salvetat. Germans Hanka Kupfernagel and Sabine Spitz and Dutch Daphny van den Brand and Marianne Vos should figure among the front runners. The U23 race will see Belgians Niels Albert and Kevin Pauwels in action against Czechs Zdenek Stybar and Radomir Simunek and Dutch rider Sebastiaan Langeveld, among others, while the junior race will feature Ricardo van der Velde (Ned), Jan Van Dael and Wim Leemans (Bel).
Devonport Carnival Preview - Night 1
By Rod Morris in Devonport
By the end of the opening night of the Devonport Carnival, Launceston rider Matt Goss could well be Australia's newest scratchman. Goss (18), fresh from a stunning victory in Monday night's $20,000 Gunns Launceston Classic Criterium, has been pencilled in as the favourite for the Kym Smoker Memorial Mersey Wheelrace at Devonport.
Goss won the race two years and on Wednesday night will ride from 40 m, and despite the expected appearance of up to five scratchmen in the final, is tipped to claim a sprint finish. This time last year, Hobart's Stephen Rossendell won the Mersey Wheel and it elevated him to the elite scratch mark, Goss will be aiming to do the same. However he faces any amount of dangers, including renowned sprint kings such as Jame Carney and Graeme Brown.
Over 2000 m, the Smoker Mersey Wheel has a rich tradition at the Devonport Carnival. The race is named in honour of a former bike rider and long time supporter of the race, who died tragically seven years ago after being knocked from his bike on Queensland's Gold Coast.
Wiesenhof goes Continental
The Wiesenhof team has been granted a Continental team licence by the UCI, and will be the third biggest German pro team on the circuit after T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner. Led by the veteran Jens Heppner, Wiesenhof has increased its roster to 14 riders, including new signings Steffen Radochla (Illes Balears), David Kopp (Lamonta), Andre Greipel and Daniel Musiol (both neo-pro's). The team will start its season with the Tour de Langkawi and the Tour of Qatar.
Rolf Grabsch (Ger), Andre Greipel (Ger), Jens Heppner (Ger), Enrico Poitschke (Ger), Lars Wackernagel (Ger), Christian Knees (Ger), David Kopp (Ger), Roberto Lochowski (Ger), Sebastian Siedler (Ger), Martin Müller (Ger), David Musiol (Ger), Björn Schröder (Ger), Rene Obst (Ger), Steffen Radochla (Ger).
Team Nerac.com names roster
The new US Continental Team, Team Nerac.com, has announced its roster for the 2005 season:
Patrick Heidkamp, Roger Farrell, Adam Hodges-Myerson, Oscar Pineda, David Werling, Cody Powell, Ari De Wilde, John Hanson, Jason Williams, Aaron Brown, Michael Norton
Director/CFO: Patrick Heidkamp
Nerac.com, Stelvio TeamWear, Rudy Project, Crank Brothers , Cycle-Smart, Dare
Stubbe to Jacques
23 year old Belgian Tom Stubbe has signed for Chocolade Jacques-T-Interim next season, and is the final rider on the team's roster. The winner of this year's Tour de Loir et Cher (among other races), is considered a good time trialist, and is looking to perform well in the shorter tours in future.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)