Cycling News Extra for July 10, 2004
Edited by John Stevenson
Dangerfield steps in to UK Olympic team
Top British time-trial rider Stuart Dangerfield will replace David Millar in the British Olympic cycling team, according to a report from the BBC.
Millar was dropped from the team after empty EPO vials were allegedly found at his home in Biarritz in a police raid last week.
Team GB chief Simon Clegg said, "I am delighted to welcome Stuart into Team GB for the Games. Stuart has been one of Britain's top cyclists for many years. His experience will count in the Olympic Games."
Dangerfield will be the UK's sole rider in the time trial in Athens.
AOC 'withholds' Dajka from Aust track Olympics squad
By Gerard Knapp
In what could be good news for the British track cycling squad, the Australian Olympic Committee yesterday cast doubt on Jobie Dajka being part of the Australian Olympic team to compete in Athens.
Dajka, 22, was the world keirin champion in 2002 and is considered one of the world's strongest track sprinters, but the AOC "is currently withholding final consideration" of this rider's nomination to represent his country.
The rider was nominated by Cycling Australia on July 2, but his selection - and and that of all other athletes - will not be confirmed until Monday, when the AOC meets to endorse all athletes nominated for the Olympics.
Further, the AOC said on Friday in relation to Dajka, his endorsement is "pending the outcome of the continuing investigation into him by the Australian Sports Commission and Cycling Australia".
Therefore, it is still possible that Dajka could represent Australia in Athens, but it depends on the AOC being satisfied the rider is not involved in a matter being investigated by the South Australian police. It's understood that the SA Police have provided all relevant material to the investigator, Robert Anderson, QC.
Despite the ongoing investigation, the AOC said yesterday, "Even then Daijka’s (sic) selection and the selection of other athletes is conditional upon the outcome of the current investigation by the South Australian police into the source of the Equigen phials found in the sharps bucket in Mark French’s room at the AIS facility in Del Monte."
Earlier this week, there were leaks from the confidential report by Mr Anderson, that indicated Dajka was implicated in a police investigation into a South Australian veterinarian surgeon who is known to ride a bicycle.
The "continuing investigation", as stated by the AOC, presumably refers to the inquiry headed by Mr Anderson. The first part of his report, which further investigated French's claims of other riders using his room at the Australian Institute of Sport for injecting a range of substances (also delivered on July 2), cleared all the cycling team for selection as the retired judge found that French's testimony could not be proven or substantiated.
Despite the leaks, the Anderson report has remained confidential due to privacy legislation, according to the Australian Sports Commission (ASC) and Cycling Australia (CA).
But sources say the leaks include the most damaging excerpts designed to discredit the cleared Australian cyclists. It has added fuel to speculation that ongoing publicity surrounding the 'French affair', an unprecedentedly messy doping-possession case, is of a political nature, as the sporting bodies involved in this matter attempt to either grandstand or protect themselves and their members. Leaks are supplied to selected media and the story is perpetuated.
Overall, the French affair is seen by insiders as an opportunity by the AOC to embarrass the ASC and CA, as relations among the three organisations could be described as poor. Indeed, the AOC has been the subject of speculation that it is the source of the damaging leaks, but all three organisations have denied leaking any confidential material provided to the three separate investigations into French's allegations.
Ultimately, it is yet another chapter in the ongoing saga to pin the use of equine growth hormone on other Australian cyclists, apart from French. Some 13 used ampoules of the product EquiGen were found in the room of suspended rider French, who has told several inquiries that he was unaware of that substance and that he never used it.
French has told the inquiries that his room at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) in Adelaide was used by another five cyclists for injecting a range of substances, although he was unable to identify the products being used.
Two of the riders French named were overseas in the period they were allegedly using his room in Adelaide, while the other riders have all denied any involvement.
However, the AOC is supporting French's allegations, although his testimony has been criticised by two senior jurists who've investigated the matter.
Cycling Australia has not named a replacement rider for Dajka in its Olympic squad, and remains in support of the rider representing Australia in Athens. In the Olympics, each respective sporting federation nominates its team for Athens, and then that team has to be cleared by the Australian Olympic Committee (AOC).
(In its latest announcement, the AOC has misspelled the rider's name, but it's understood it is referring to 2002 world keirin champion.)
Cyclingnews coverage of the French affair
Spaar Select ends sponsorship
Finance company Spaar Select, whose name has become synonymous with cyclo-cross in recent years thanks to its sponsorship of riders such as Bart Wellens and Erwin Vervecken has announced that it will no longer sponsor a team, according to velostory.net.
The team's last hurrah is set to be the Zomercross in Zolder, Belgium,
Team LPR for Giro Medio Brenta
Italian division II squad Tam LPR, which includes former top Russian rider Dmitri Konyshev, has announced its line-up for tomorrow's Giro del Medio Brenta.
The team will field Dmitri Konychev, Angelo Lopeboselli, Claudio Lucchini, Daniele Masolino, Daniele Contrini, Ivan Degasperi, Massimo Boglia and Aitor Hernandez.
UCI extends Pro Tour application deadline
Cycling's world governing body, the UCI has announced that it has extended the submission period for teams to apply to become part of next year's Pro Tour series. On June 30 the UCI Licence Commission designated the first 11 of the 18 available ProTeam spots, and has now decided to extend the period for submissions to August 15, "in order to offer all candidates the option of submitting an application complying with the conditions imposed to obtain a UCI ProTour licence," according to a UCI statement.
The Pro Tour and its attendant restructuring of professional racing, including bigger teams and all teams expected to ride all three Grand Tours, has been controversial. Several Division I teams, including Fassa Bortolo, Saeco, Lotto-Domo, AG2R did not submit for Pro Tour status in the first round of applications.
The teams selected for the Pro Tour so far are: Abarca Sports S.L. (Illes Balears-Banesto); Active Bay S.L. (Liberty Seguros); ARcycling AG (Phonak Hearing Systems); Cofidis Competition Eusrl (Cofidis, Le Crédit par téléphone); Esperanza B.V.B.A. (Quick Step - Davitamon); H-S-M Holczer Radsport-Marketing GmbH (Gerolsteiner); Professional Cycling Promotion B.V. (Rabobank); Société de Gestion de L'Echappée (FDJeux.com); Tailwind Sports Corporation (US Postal Service presented by Berry Floor / Discovery Channel); Vélo Club de Paris Eursl (Crédit Agricole); Walter Godefroot GmbH (T-Mobile Team)
NYC Cycling Championship wants volunteers, adds junior race
The BMC Software New York City Cycling Championship, August 1, will kick off with the second leg of the Pro Cycling Tour Junior Grand Prix series, with junior riders racing on the same 1.2-mile dog-bone course that the pros will use later in the day.
The NYC Cycling Championship is also looking for volunteers to marshal the course and assist with security and the food and beverage areas.
Points competition added to Kerry Youth Tour 2004
Organisers of the Kerry Youth Tour, July 31 - August 2, have announced that this year's edition of the popular junior race will include a points competition, thanks to the acquisition of a new Dutch-designed results system, Stagerace.
Prizes for the points competition will be awarded for Category 1, Category 2 and Category 3 riders, and organizers believe that the new system will also speed up the production and distribution of results.
The stages of the 2004 Kerry Youth Tour will use the familiar courses in Beaufort and Killorglin featuring Churchtown, Sunhill and the Donal McKenna circuit. The time trial will be held over a new course this year, a flat, two-mile route with just three corners, which should result in some very fast times.
Entry forms are available at www.killorglincycling.com and should be returned to Míceal Concannon, Carhoonahone, Beaufort, Co. Kerry before July 19. Entries received after this date may be subject to a late entry fee.
Australian Polaris dates set
Organiser Huw Kingston has announced the dates and locations of the next two Australian Polaris bike orienteering events. The first of the pair, the 2004 Urban Polaris, will take place in Canberra on November 14, while the 2005 edition of the two-day Polaris Challenge off-road event will be held somewhere "north of Sydney" on the weekend on March 12-13, 2005.
UCI Doping sanctions
The following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences, according to the latest communiqué from the UCI.
Piotr Formicki, sanctioned by the Union Cycliste de Pologne, warning (Art. 132 AER) and fine of CHF 200.
José Talero Barrero, sanctioned by the Federacion Colombiana de Ciclismo, disqualification from the Vuelta a Colombia 2003, suspension of 6 months from 20 December 2003 to 20 June 2004.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)