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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Latest Cycling News for June 25, 2004

Edited by Jeff Jones

Millar confesses

According to Friday's edition of L'Equipe, World Time Trial Champion David Millar (Cofidis) has allegedly confessed to taking EPO. Millar allegedly made the confession to French police while he spent 48 hours in custody in Biarritz this week.

L'Equipe reported that empty ampoules of Eprex (EPO) were found by French police in Millar's house whilst he was being detained, writing "Millar has recognised that he used Eprex (erythropoetin) in the practice of his profession which puts him in the same position as a positive rider in the eyes of the UCI."

If this is the case, Millar will likely be charged by Nanterre judge Richard Pallain, who is heading the investigation into the Cofidis team, with illegal possession and use of toxic substances. So far, eight others have been charged in the affair which began early this year: Cédric Vasseur, Philippe Gaumont, Robert Sassone, Médéric Clain, Marek Rutkiewicz and Daniel Majewski (all riders), Boguslaw Madejak (ex-Cofidis physiotherapist), Oleg Kozlitine (former directeur sportif of Oktos).

T-Mobile announces Tour team

At its official presentation in Bonn on Friday afternoon, T-Mobile has named the nine riders that will take part in the Tour de France. Led by Jan Ullrich, who in six Tours has finished first once and second five times, the team contains Rolf Aldag, Santiago Botero, Giuseppe Guerini, Matthias Kessler, Andreas Klöden, Sergei Ivanov, Daniele Nardello and Erik Zabel. Overall, the team is weighted towards helping Ullrich as much as possible, with particular emphasis placed on the team time trial and the mountain stages.

"We have prepared well and we have a good team, despite missing Vinokourov and Steinhauser," said Ullrich at the presentation. "We'll have a very strong team at the start and we'll try our best."

Ullrich reiterated his satisfaction with his one second win in the Tour de Suisse, saying that it was proof that his hard training had paid off. He added that he saw "four or five" favourites for the Tour. "Hamilton, who has a very good Phonak team; Mayo, who was very strong in the Dauphine; Heras and Ivan Basso, who has improved his time trialing. These are my favourites, but of course Lance is the one to beat."

A key man for Ullrich in the mountains looks likely to be Giuseppe Guerini, who showed his climbing prowess during the Tour de Suisse. "I think that we have a very strong team in the mountains," said Guerini, who didn't think the mountains would pose as much of a problem to Ullrich in 2004. "I think that Jan is stronger than in other years."

Ullrich releases autobiography

Jan Ullrich is a busy man, having officially released his autobiography, Ganz oder gar nicht (All or Nothing) together with author Hagen Boßdorf presented the book in Cologne's Hyatt Regency on Thursday evening. The book describes the highs and lows in his personal and professional life, including the time he tested positive for amphetamines after taking ecstasy at a nightclub in 2002, as well as his love for chocolate.

After the book launch on Thursday and the T-Mobile Tour presentation today in Bonn, Ullrich is now getting ready to ride the German Championships on Sunday in Freiburg.

Euskaltel aiming for another orange tide

The Euskaltel-Euskadi team is aiming for a repeat of the "orange tide" during the mountain stages of this year's Tour. Next week, the team will distribute thousands of orange t-shirts to its fans who traditionally line the roads in the Pyrenees in the last half of the Tour. The t-shirts are similar to previous years, and are distributed free following sms and email requests to Euskaltel.

Pearce fêted in Denver

By Kristy Scrymgeour

Pearce and Vaughters
Photo ©: CN
Click for larger image

The TIAA-Cref team held a party on Thursday night in Denver, Colorado to celebrate the selection of Colorado local Colby Pearce into the Olympic Track team for Athens. Pearce qualified for a spot in the points race after a successful season, including a win at the Sydney Track World Cup and a third place in Manchester World Cup.

During the evening, Pearce was presented with an Olympic jersey by CEO of USA Cycling, Gerard Bisceglia, and lavished with praise by his close friend Jonathan Vaughters.

Cyclingnews caught up with Pearce during the evening who said he is "very proud to represent the US" at the Olympics. Taking up cycling in 1988, Pearce says it wasn't until 1999 that he thought he might have a chance to make the Olympic Team. "In '99 I had the brilliant idea that I should focus on the points race. I finished sixth in my first world cup and then and there I knew that this is my calling."

Despite a disappointing result at the World Championships in Melbourne, Australia this year after having won the points race at the Sydney World Cup a week earlier, Pearce explained how World's was bittersweet for him. "At World's I got my ass kicked," he said, "then I looked at the results and thought wow, I just made the Olympics."

Already helping the development of Cycling with his involvement in Team TIAA Cref, Pearce hopes that he can continue helping young riders in the future. "I'd like to get more involved in helping young guys," said Pearce, "but more specifically in track."

Pearce believes that the new indoor velodrome at the Home Depot Center is a very positive thing for track cycling in the US and more than that he said "there's a lot of people who are convinced that there will be an indoor track built in Boulder, Colorado very soon. If that happens it will be great," he added, "and it will be a very fast track."

Coast 2 Coast Challenge

By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent

From next week on, the cycling world will be in the throes of watching the Tour de France - either on TV or in person. And traditionally, the month of July inspires people to get out on their bikes a little more.

If you are a leisure cyclist, fitness fanatic or an elite competitor, Cycling Ireland and the Diabetes Federation of Ireland - the nominated charity - are staging a test in July: The 2004 Coast 2 Coast, which follows the scenic, traffic-free Esker Riada historic heritage route from Ireland's east to west coast and back over the weekend of July 10-11. The total distance of the even is 384 km and participants are required to raise sponsorship of €250 (£185) to gain entry.

Completed registration forms along with a booking deposit of €50/£35 (no cash) can be sent to: Diabetes Federation of Ireland, 76 Lower Gardiner Street, Dublin 1.

It is also possible to pay via Credit Card on the Cycle Hotline: 1850 909 909 (00 353 1 8363022 from outside Ireland).

All proceeds raised from this event will go to the Diabetes Federation of Ireland with a contribution being made to support Cycling Ireland's Youth Development Programme.

Red Robin International Sprints at Lehigh

The Lehigh Valley Velodrome will host the Red Robin International Sprints on Friday evening, June 25. The event will feature sprinters Andy Lakatosh (Tri-State Velo), Anton Quist (Evolution Cycling Team), Jame Carney (Northwestern Mortgage), and Bobby Lea (T.E.A.M. Fuji).

"We will be inviting 12 riders to compete for a spot in the Red Robin Sprint Tournament," said Nancy Seay, Interim Director at the Velodrome, "there will be a 200m time trial to determine the top eight riders that move on and a series of rounds to determine the winner."

Other men's events for the evening include a 3-mile, 10-mile and a miss-and-out sponsored by the Java Joint. Women's events for Friday include a keirin, unknown distance race and a miss-and-out sponsored by the Java Joint. The men's 3-mile, sprint, 10-mile, and the women's miss-an-out and keirin will count towards the Valley Preferred Series and the Morning Call Rider of the Year.

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