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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for March 3, 2004

Edited by John Stevenson

Sassone positive

Robert Sassone
Photo: © Mike Gladu
Click for larger image

Robert Sassone, the former Cofidis rider charged by a French court in January with trafficking in doping products tested positive for a controlled substance at last year's Six days of Noumea, authorities have revealed.

Sassone tested positive for betamethasone, a glucocorticosteroid used in the treatment of asthma. He was to have ridden for the Oktos team in 2004, but his career has been in limbo since his court appearance. The charges arose after Sassone's Hyères, France home was searched by police January 14, where substances such as amphetamines, steroids, and EPO were seized, according to the French paper l'Equipe.

Sassone was one of four current and former Cofidis riders investigated, along with Marek Rutkiewicz, Cédric Vasseur and Philippe Gaumont, and soigneur Bogdan Madejak. Cofidis management has strenuously denied any involvement in the use or trafficking of prohibited substances.

Jeanson gets a US licence

Canadian rider Genevieve Jeanson has been granted a racing licence by USA Cycling, according to a report on Jeanson was unable to start at her first scheduled race of the season, the Valley of the Sun stage race, because her home body, the Quebec cycling federation refused to issue her a licence until she presents medical documents explaining her high haematocrit at last year's world championships. Jeanson was refused a start at the world's after returning a haematocrit reading above the UCI permitted level.

Jeanson is able to take out a US license because she is a resident of Arizona. According to USA Cycling's Sean Petty, UCI rule directs a rider to take out a license "where, according to the legislation of that country, the applicant has his main residence at the time of application."

Petty told Cyclingnews, "The rule basically states that a rider should take out a license in the country where by they have legal residence. We do this for a number of foreigners who ride for US teams and live in the US. That's normal. According to Jeanson, she is a resident of the USA. It is also the understanding of the CCA [Canadian Cycling Association] that this is the situation too."

Although she has never tested positive, Jeanson has been under a cloud since the world's, a situation that has not been helped by her association with Canadian doctor Maurice Duquette, who pled guilty last year to 13 charges of wrongfully prescribing, including one charge that he prescribed EPO to Jeanson. Duquette later retracted his statement and denied any such charge concerning Jeanson, and has claimed that his first lawyer was not authorized to enter the guilty plea, and thus has challenged the previous verdicts.

As a member of USA Cycling, Jeanson will be subject to the same testing regimen as other top athletes, according to Petty. "She was told that once she took the license, she would be enrolled with USADA and be subject to no-notice regular random testing," he said.

"She agreed to that and understands that and we have sent her the paperwork. Basically if she doesn't fill out the paperwork or fails to complete three tests in an 18 month period she would be suspended. So she is on the clock now and understands that. Further if there was something that came up she would be subject to our rules. It is more than likely that she will be tested quite regularly. In fact most of our athletes are tested multiple times per year."

UCI sanctions Santoni

The UCI has suspended Domina Vacanze manager Vincenzo Santoni for a month following the circumstances leading to the team's participation in last year's Vuelta a España.

Domina Vacanze gained a wild card entry in the 2003 Vuelta on the understanding that Mario Cipollini would start the race, but the then-world champion pulled out after the prologue.

The UCI's disciplinary commission fined Santoni 1000 Swiss francs and suspended him from Spril 8 2004 to May 7 2004 for "incorrect and dishonest behaviour". In a statement announcing the suspension, the UCI said:

"In fact, in view of obtaining a wild card for the Vuelta a España, Vicenzo Santoni had assured the organizer of the presence of Mario Cipollini, without in fact obtaining previously the agreement of the Italian champion. In order to ensure that the trade team Domina Vacanze-Elitron could take part in the Vuelta a España, Mario Cipollini was compelled to start in the prologue of this cycling race, abandoning right after due to a poor physical condition."

MacLean and Hoy aiming big at Manchester

Top sprinters Craig MacLean and Chris Hoy are both aiming to carry out big rides at the Manchester round of the track world cup, April 9-11, 2004.

MacLean will be attempting to qualify for the track world championships the following month in Melbourne, Australia (May 26-30), and from there to earn a place in the UK's squad for the Athens Olympics where he will take part in the team sprint and kilometre events.

The team sprint is his focus, however, an event in which the British team has performed well in the last couple of years, taking gold at the 2002 world's and bronze at last year's event.

"I haven't done any specific kilometre training as yet because if we get the team sprint right, it's a guaranteed medal at the Olympics," said MacLean. "I can hopefully still ride a good kilometre on the back of that training."

Chris Hoy, Maclean's team-mate in those two medal-winning team sprint rides, and 2002 kilometre world champion, is looking forward to competing in front of a home crowd at Manchester. Although Hoy's Scottish and the world cup round is in England, 'local' nationalities take a back seat when there's other top track nations such as the French and Australians to beat.

"It really does give you a lift when you have the crowd behind you" said Hoy. "The Manchester World Cup race is going to be very important for Olympic selection for us. Having the home crowd makes a big difference for all the British riders". Hoy believes that this could even mean some new world records being set this Easter.

For more information see

USA team named for Mexico track world cup

USA Cycling has named the team that will take part in the next round of the track world cup, in Aguascalientes, Mexico March 12-14.

The men's sprint disciplines will be contested by the team sprint squad of Giddeon Massie, Adam Duvendeck, and Christian Stahl plus Marty Nothstein who will race the keirin. Massie will also ride in the sprint and Stahl in the kilometre time trial.

For the longer-distance events, the team will comprise Colby Pearce in the points and scratch races, and jame carney who will team up with Pearce for the Madison. Joseph D'Antoni will ride the individual pursuit.

Tanya Lindenmuth, Jennie Reed, Erin Mirabella and Rebecca Quinn will make up the women's team for Mexico. Lindenmuth will ride the 500m time trial, plus the sprint, keirin and team sprint along with Reed.

Mirabella will race the individual pursuit, points race and scratch race. Quinn will also ride the scratch race.

In addition to the team sprint, Reed will also contest the individual sprint following her victory at the World Cup Qualifier and the keirin.

Jittery Joe's for Tour de Georgia

The Georgia-based Jittery Joe's Cycling Team has once again been selected for the Dodge Tour de Georgia, April 20-25, 2004, and team sponsors and personnel are understandably rather pleased to be taking part in their 'home' tour - especially as this year's edition of the race will inevitably garner huge media attention thanks to the participation of Lance Armstrong.

"We are excited and honored that we are one of 10 American teams to be invited to the Tour," said Micah Rice, team director in a statement, "This is Jittery Joe's home state and we are proud to be able to represent Georgia cycling at the biggest race in North America."

Keith Kortemeier, Jittery Joe's CEO concurred, saying, "What a huge opportunity for the team and for Jittery Joe's Organic Cycling Coffee. We are so excited that we will be able to showcase our pro cycling team to such a huge audience from our hometown of Athens, Georgia."

The team will start eight riders in Macon, Georgia for the first stage. Expected starters include climbing phenomenon Cesar Grajales, winner of the T-Mobile International KOM prize, Chad Hartley, second in the under 23 classification at the 2003 Tour de Georgia, and Chris Pic, former Mercury team rider and current Georgia resident.

TIAA-CREF/5280 launches

By Kristy Scrymgeour

The new espoir team on the US national racing circuit, TIAA-CREF presented by 5280 Magazine, welcomed sponsors and other members of the cycling community to the Adega restaurant in Denver, Colorado, last night to launch the team and raise some money for the season ahead. Stemming from the 5280-Subaru team of 2003, the team has grown in numbers and ambition with the help of their new title sponsor TIAA-CREF and of course team director Jonathan Vaughters, have an extended their racing calendar this year to include 29 national calibre events.

The evening featured talks from Vaughters and team coach Colby Pearce, and a chat from cycling legend Greg LeMond, whose company, LeMond Fitness, is a sponsor of the team. (The team will also ride Lemond L'Alpe d'Huez aluminium frames.) LeMond explained his enthusiasm for a team that consists of young guys all under the age of 23. LeMond said he believes that good coaching at an early age is extremely important in the development of young riders and the development of the sport in the US. "When you are young you have the talent and the ability to be able to race with the best, you just lack the experience," he said. "Good coaching and direction is exactly what you need."

The evening included a fund-raising auction and a three-course meal laid on by team sponsor the Adega restaurant. Look out for a full report on the launch on shortly.

More information about the team can be found on its website,

Lopes injured in 4WD crash

Top mountain bike four-cross rider Brian Lopes will be out of action for three months after breaking his leg in an off-road driving accident on Sunday, according to a report on Lopes was aboard a 4-wheel cart when it lost traction and rolled over, catching his left leg between the ground and the roll cage breaking his left tibia. Lopes sustained an open compound fracture and underwent surgery at the Memorial Hospital of Savannah to repair the broken tibia.

Subaru renews with Wachovia series

Wachovia Cycling Series organiser Threshold Sports has announced that Subaru will again be the official vehicle of the June 1-6 race series that includes the USPRO championships. Subaru will also sponsor the Subaru Master the Mountain Challenge for the best climber of the Manayunk Wall in the Wachovia USPRO Championship. Riders accumulate points based upon their placing over the Manayunk Wall each lap. The rider that accumulates the most points at the conclusion of the race will win a cash prize.

Nature Valley comes to Red Wing

The City of Red Wing, Minnesota will see its first ever pro bike race when it hosts the fourth stage of the five-day Great River Energy Bicycle Festival and Nature Valley Grand Prix on Saturday, June 12, 2004.

Organisers expect the 2004 Nature valley Grand Prix to be used by US team hopefuls as a tuning event for the following weekend's trials for the Athens Olympics.

"The Great River Energy Bicycle Festival and Nature Valley Grand Prix get dramatically bigger and better each year," said David LaPorte, director of the event. "They've taken on lives of their own, growing from local events in 1999 to some of the most important racing in the country. We're particularly excited about the 2004 event, since it'll be a chance for the people of Minnesota to see athletes who will compete in the Athens Olympics."

"We are extremely pleased to have landed this event," said Bob Musil, executive director of the Red Wing, Minnesota Visitors and Convention Bureau. "This world class event highlights Red Wing as a premier Midwest bicycling destination. We are fortunate to be at the hub of several paved and off-road systems including the renowned Cannon Valley Trail, and in a central location less than an hour from the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul."

People Cycle 2004 development team

People Cycle, Inc. returns to racing in 2004 with an elite junior development team. Formally Coast to Coast Development - Stelvio Teamwear presented by People Cycle, Inc., the team is based in Cape Cod, Mass. and will focus on the New England race calendar, as well as an international schedule that will include both the Tour de l'Abitibi (Quebec) and the Junior Tour of Ireland. Selected team members will also represent the team at U.S. Junior World Qualifier Races and the National Championships in August.

Full release and roster

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