First Edition News for June 17, 2004
Edited by John Stevenson
Beloki confirms Tour absence
Joseba Beloki has confirmed that he will not ride this year's Tour de France. After Beloki's departure from the Brioches la Boulangere team yesterday, Brioches team manager Jean Bernaudeau said he thought it was impossible for Beloki to find another team with which to ride the Tour, but Beloki says this isn't the case.
"I am free, but the reason I have decided not to ride the Tour is that I am not in condition to do so," he said. Beloki said that his relationship with Brioches la Boulangere had gradually deteriorated. The situation had not been helped by him being unable to use the allergy medication he has used all his life and for which he has a UCI permit. The decision by the team sponsor not to renew for 2005 meant he preferred to leave, said Beloki.
Beloki is now planning to find a team that will support him for a comeback at the Vuelta a Espana. He has not ruled out joining Liberty Seguros, the team run by Manolo Saiz, his former manager at ONCE.
"That is something that can be discussed," he said. "I am available and if someone is interested in putting me on the roster he should call me. I am not closing any doors, but my intention is to ride [for a Spanish team]. Living abroad is difficult and I am a person that needs to be very united with my team-mates and team support," Beloki said.
Phone taps implicate Italian riders
In the aftermath of last week's extensive raids on Italian cyclists and various people associated with Italian cycling, French newspaper Le Monde has obtained material alleged to be transcripts of phone taps and hidden microphone recordings that implicate several riders in involvement with doping.
Riders under investigation by Italian police include Saeco's Alessandro Spezialetti and Eddy Mazzoleni, and the transcripts allegedly involve Mazzoleni talking to doctor Carlo Santuccione about the use of doping products.
Santuccione was arrested in the June 10 raids, charged with "prescribing and adminstering performance-enhancing drugs outside of any therapeutic context and of having given advice on how to take the medication with the sole purpose of avoiding that the substances be identified in an eventual doping test" and banned from practicing medicine. He was previously barred by the Italian federation from having any involvement in cycling between 1995 and 2000.
The transcript alleges that Mazzoleni called Santuccione to express concern about the effects of something he had taken. "I spoke with Danilo, because, on Sunday, I did 4000 units subcutaneously and I am racing on Saturday - will there be problems?" Mazzoleni allegedly asked.
The police dossier obtained by Le Monde concludes that "this is almost certainly about EPO."
Santuccione is also alleged to have been consulted by Fabio Sacchi (Fassa Bortolo) and Mario Scirea and Alessio Galletti of Domina Vacanze. Taps of Galletti's mobile phone have allegedly allowed authorities to uncover a network of distribution of blood transfusion bags.
Domina Vacanze has suspended Scirea and Galletti, but no action has yet been taken against the other riders named in the investigation.
Garzelli takes a break
After dropping out of the Tour of Switzerland on Tuesday, Stefano Garzelli is taking a month off from racing and will miss the Italian national championships on June 27.
Garzelli will seek treatment for an injury sustained in April and will most likely return to racing at the end of July.
Surgery for Förster
Injuries sustained by Gerolsteiner's Robert Förster in a crash in stage 4 of the Tour of Switzerland Tuesday have turned out to be slightly more serious than first thought.
Förster was examined yesterday at a hospital in Liepzig and subsequently told radsport-news.com, "The doctors found that the shoulder was sprained and I had damaged the adductor and cartilage. The supervising doctor recommended an operation." Förster will undergo surgery today and spend a week in hospital recuperating.
Pichon leaves intensive care
Brioches la Boulangčre rider Mickael Pichon, who was seriously injured in a crash in the Dauphiné Libéré last week, has left intensive care. Pichon has undergone three operations by orthopaedic and facial surgeons since the crash, but according to the university hospital of Grenoble he is now in a stable condition and has been moved to a regular ward.
Cofidis for Route du Sud
The Cofidis team has announced the riders that will start this weekend's Route du Sud, June 19-22. Under directeur sportif Alain Deloeuil the team is: Frédéric Bessy , Jimmy Casper, Arnaud Coyot, Christophe Edaleine, Peter Farazijn, David Millar, Staf Scheirlinckx, Hayden Roulston, and Janek Tombak.
Proving that it can happen to any of us, Johan Museeuw was involved in a collision with an unexpectedly-opened car door on Tuesday morning. Museeuw was riding to the Quick.Step - Davitamon Service Course in Wevelgem when a motorist opened the door of a parked car right in his path. With no way of avoiding the obstacle, Museeuw collided with it and fell, bruising his shoulder and sustaining a cut on his neck.
As they used to say on Hill Street Blues - let's be careful out there.
Selector stands down from Olympic panel
By Shane Stokes, www.irishcycling.com
Cycling Ireland announced this evening that Frank Campbell has voluntarily stepped down from the selection panel of the Cycling Ireland Athens Planning Group, to avoid what could be perceived as potential conflicts of interest.
He will be replaced on the panel of selectors by Sean Bracken of Maynooth, Co. Kildare. Bracken and the other panel members will decide the two Olympic road race places after the national championships in Sligo on the 27th of June. The full Irish Olympic team will be announced on the 30th of June.
Campbell's decision does not affect his other roles within Cycling Ireland. He will continue to serve on the Performance Steering Group and will also be available to manage Irish road teams, as before.
The decision was taken by Campbell and Cycling Ireland in order to inspire confidence in the full objectivity of the selectors. Campbell runs the Totalcycling.com team with whom Olympic candidate David O'Loughlin competes. French based Philip Deignan has also raced in the colours of the team when in Ireland.
Irish track championships this weekend
By Tommy Campbell
This weekend (Saturday and Sunday) at the Eamon Ceannt Cycling Track, Sundrive Road in Dublin, the Men's and Women's All Ireland Championships are down for decision.
Organiser Willie Byrne says, "There has been a tremendous upturn in track racing [in Ireland]. Ray Clarke's performance last year in Agile in Switzerland where he won a bronze medal has certainly given a new impetus to the sport."
Sign-on will open Saturday morning at 9.30am and close at 10.00am followed directly by track accreditation and racing commencing at 11.00am. Riders must be members of Cycling Ireland and sign on fees will be €25 for all races in each category or €10 per an event.
The weekend's schedule is:
Saturday: Men & women sprint qualifier; Men & women pursuit qualifier; Men & women sprint rounds; Men & women pursuit rounds (if required for women).
Sunday: Men & women sprint semis; Men & women pursuit finals; Men 1km time trial; Men & women sprint finals; Women 500m time trial; Women points race; Men points race.
See www.trackcyclingireland.com for further information.
NORBA series heads to Mount Snow this weekend
The US NORBA National Mountain Bike Series will continue with round five this weekend in Mount Snow, Vt. The classic Vermont setting provides 45 miles of mountain bike terrain for amateurs and professionals alike as they compete in cross-country, downhill, mountain cross, short track, and trials.
This weekend's pro field won't see the usual favorites, as many of the world's top riders will contest the World Cup event in Schladming, Austria. The UCI points up for grabs in Austria are valuable to the American and Canadian Olympic hopefuls that usually dominate the NORBA scene.
The absence of some top guns provides a chance for riders such as Travis Brown, Ryan Trebon, Chris Sheppard, and Trent Lowe to steal the spotlight. Among the women with good shots of securing wins are Jimena Florit, Dara Marks-Marino, and Gretchen Reeves.
Racing begins with Thursday's mountain cross on a course that features sharp-banked S-turns, rollers, and a tabletop finish. The cross-country event will be contested on Saturday on a "cloverleaf" course design, while the event will conclude with the short-track and downhill competitions on Sunday.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)