First Edition Cycling News for November 1, 2004
Edited by Hedwig Kröner & Jeff Jones
Phonak confirms Perez positive
Santiago Perez' Phonak team has issued a statement confirming that he tested positive for a blood transfusion on October 5, just over a week after he finished second in the Vuelta a España. "The Swiss Phonak Hearing Systems team was notified by the UCI that a medical test made on 5 October in Aigle (sic) indicates that Santi Perez had undergone a blood transfusion," read the statement. "The test used was the same type that was used on Tyler Hamilton. Because this test's soundness and interpretation are still being disputed, the team management is maintaining the rider's innocence."
Like Hamilton, Perez has denied that he had a blood transfusion. "I am sure that the truth will come out very soon and it will show that none of what they are accusing me of is true," he told Todociclismo.com. Perez confirmed that the test was analysed by the UCI's anti-doping laboratory in Lausanne, Switzerland, and his B sample was tested earlier this week.
Phonak described itself as being "surprised by another charge against a Phonak team rider" after Hamilton's positive during the Vuelta and his A sample positive at the Olympics. Perez is the third Phonak rider to test positive in the second half of this year after Hamilton (blood doping) and Oscar Camenzind (EPO). So far, the Australian-developed test to detect homologous blood transfusions has only picked up riders from the Phonak team.
"We still have the same opinion: This has to do with an interpretive test for which we have no validating documents to date," said Phonak. "So far, neither the UCI nor the IOC has provided, or has been able to provide, us these supporting documents. A panel of internationally recognized serologists, haematologists and microbiologists was formed, and it is now working under pressure to examine this test procedure, both in terms of its methodology and its application. If it turns out that the new test delivers clear and reliable data for a flawless interpretation and that the previous UCI tests are confirmed, then both riders would have to be dismissed in accordance with our regulations. In the event that they are shown to be innocent, then both Perez and Hamilton will remain on the 2005 team."
Phonak added that the work of its scientific panel is being made difficult by the fact that neither the UCI nor the IOC will release a full set of documents describing the tests. Team owner Andy Rihs commented that, "Our greatest effort is still fighting all forms of doping. But in order to protect the sport, the tests used have to be absolutely correct. Otherwise the entire effort loses credibility."
Aitken out of Tour of Queensland
By Rod Morris
Olympic gold medallist Brett Aitken has succumbed to injury on the eve of the 2nd annual Jayco Tour of Queensland and has returned immediately to his home state of South Australia. Aitken (33) is suffering a build up of lactic acid in his left leg and was forced to abandon, ending his comeback from six months off the bike.
Half of the winning Madison team from the Sydney 2000 Olympics, Aitken has not ridden competitively since this year's Bendigo track carnival in March and was treating the Tour of Queensland as his first real comeback race. "Its extremely disappointing to have to withdraw so close to the race, but it wouldn't be fair to my teammates, the race organisers and sponsors or to myself to start in the race and then have to pull out 10 minutes up the road," Aitken said.
The rider arrived in Brisbane on Saturday and the following morning went for a training ride before the leg problem blew up. "I thought at first it may have been a similar problem that Stuart O'Grady had and he was off the bike for about five weeks recovering," he said. "I had a hard ride last weekend and another hard ride on Tuesday and I could feel a little bit of a problem there, so I gave it a few days rest to see if would come better, but obviously it hasn't. The lactic acid build-up in the leg affects my muscle co-ordination and my sprinting power, which for a bike race like the Tour of Queensland, I would obviously need," he said.
Aitken is making a concerted comeback to the sport and is eyeing off the 2005 Australian Track Championships and Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under has his key races. "This injury could have a big impact on my whole track summer campaign - depending on what the doctor says this week. I had hoped to ride in the Tasmanian Christmas Carnivals as well, so I'll be sweating on what the medical advice is," he added.
Aitken's place in the Tour of Queensland has been taken by 17-year-old Queensland rider Todd Dawson, who will complement the four South Australian riders that make up the Lysaght team, Corey Sweet, James Hannam, Chris George and Mathew Rex. Aitken's departure from the tour paves the way for Victorian David McKenzie to stage a successful defense of his crown won last year. The Tour of Queensland will start in Maryborough (300 km north of Brisbane) on Monday, November 1 with a 27 km criterium. This year's tour will include eight stages over six days, finishing in Bundaberg next Saturday.
Manchester World Cup sees clash of Olympic titans
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
Britain's Olympic heroes will be back in action against stars from over 30 nations when Manchester's Velodrome hosts the UCI World Track Cup Classic from January 7-9, 2005. Last weekend they were part of the very successful party that was "Revolution 5".
Fresh from celebrating its exploits in Athens, Britain's track team had the 'House Full' signs up, and the majority of those present saw Bradley Wiggins, the first Briton to win three medals. The team is now already preparing for the Manchester clash, aiming to score valuable World Cup points.
All eyes will be on Olympic Kilometre champion Chris Hoy. who will be aiming to reproduce the form that saw him claim both the World title and Olympic gold this summer. With less than half a second covering the fastest four finishers in Athens, there is no shortage of challengers for Hoy's crown. They include world record holder Arnaud Tournant of France, whose dream of Olympic gold was once again dashed by a British rider. At Sydney, it was Queally who snatched victory from the Frenchman. This time, Hoy's record breaking ride snatched the gold. Tournant recently announced that he has put the disappointment of Athens behind him and will return to the track in 2005, hoping to add to his tally of four world title victories.
Bradley Wiggins emerged as one of the outstanding personalities of the Games after winning gold in the Individual Pursuit, silver in the Team Pursuit and bronze (with Rob Hayles) in the Madison. Wiggins' friend and rival Brad McGee of Australia took winning points in last year's World Cup Pursuit at Manchester. The two have clashed in Commonwealth and Olympic finals, and another Anglo-Australian battle could on the cards in this year's World Cup.
Australia should also provide the chief opposition in the team pursuit. There's no doubt that Britain and Australia are the world's top exponents of this spectacular and demanding discipline. Britain came out on top at Manchester last year, but the Aussies got their revenge in the World Championships and Olympic Games. With riders of the calibre of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Newton, Paul Manning, Steve Cummings and Rob Hayles, Britain could yet topple the mighty Aussies.
Britain's team sprint trio have been consistent high achievers at world level over the past five years. But they failed to recover from a slow start in Athens and finished out of the medals for once. Winners of the Manchester and Sydney rounds in the 2004 World Cup, the team sprinters Chris Hoy, Jamie Staff, Jason Queally and Craig MacLean are bidding for a winning return at Manchester. Out to stop them will be Olympic champions Germany, with sprinters Jan Van Eiden and Rene Wolff already pencilled in to attend, plus Japan who were the revelations of the Athens series.
Among the individual sprinters, Britain's Victoria Pendleton burst upon the world scene with a gold medal ride at Manchester 2004. Now, a year older and stronger, Pendleton can make a flying start to her 2005 campaign. Another rising sprint star is Ross Edgar, who went to Athens "for the experience" and qualified sixth fastest before going out in the quarter finals.
Local Manchester girl Emma Davies will be riding the endurance events and looks to prosper in front of her home crowd. With the crowd-pleasing madison, keirin, points race and scratch events also on the program, Manchester is set to host an action-packed three days of racing.
The UCI World Cup campaign opens in Moscow (November 5-7). Los Angeles hosts round two (December 10-12). The action switches to Manchester (January 7-9), and Sydney stages the final round (February 18-20).
Lampre and Saeco fusion: Lampre-Caffita
The new Italian ProTour team that will be created out of the fusion of Lampre and Saeco finally has a name: Lampre-Caffita. Headed by Claudio Corti and Giuseppe Saronni, the squad will number 27 riders, 15 of them coming from Saeco: Leonardo Bertagnolli, Giosuè Bonomi, Salvatore Commesso, Damiano Cunego, Juan Fuentes, Gerrit Glomser, Eddy Mazzoleni, Evgueni Petrov, Dario Pieri, Marius Sabaliauskas, Gilberto Simoni, Alessandro Spezialetti, Gorazd Stangelj, Sylvester Szmyd and Andrea Tonti. From Lampre, the new team will provided with seven riders, namely Igor Astarloa, Alessandro Ballan, Gianluca Bortolami, Samuele Marzoli, Daniele Righi, Michele Scotto D'Abusco and Francisco-Javier Vila. The Lampre-Caffita team roster will be completed with Daniele Bennati (ex-Phonak Hearing Systems), Alessandro Bertolini (ex-Alessio-Bianchi), Giuliano Figueras (ex-Panaria-Margres), as well as neo-pros Enrico Franzoi and Marco Marzano.
O'Loughlin turns pro with Navigators
By Tommy Campbell, Irish Independent, Evening Herald, Sunday Independent
David O'Loughlin from Cong in Co. Mayo, Ireland has become the latest recruit to join the paid ranks as a professional cyclist, effectively becoming a member of New Jersey based American Navigators Insurance Team yesterday. O'Loughlin thereby achieved one of the goals that he set himself this year: to represent Ireland at the Olympics and become a pro. He almost fulfilled his first ambition, but was just squeezed out in the final shake when the accumulation of UCI points fell short of the mark despite registering a win as the National Road Champion plus successes in Britain and Belgium. 26 year old O'Loughlin's season started with the Telekom Malaysia Le Tour de Langkawi last February and ended with the World Cycling Championships in Verona.
"This is a major step up in class for me," O'Loughlin said. "The Navigators are a very professional outfit and being a member will help me become a top class professional where I'll be representing them at various locations throughout the world. Also, for any aspiring pro, the idea of being based in Europe for part of the season, which is one part of the hub of cycling, will benefit my skills and hopefully I'll reciprocate by giving the Navigators an endorsement for their support with success on the roads of the world."
David is the latest addition to the Navigators Insurance Cycling Team. He will join Waterford's Olympian, Ciaran Power on the American based team as it begins its 12th season. "We are looking forward to adding David's aggressiveness and strong time trialling to the 2005 squad," said Ed Beamon of the sponsoring outfit. "Ciaran has been a great asset to the team, and we expect David will bring a similar commitment and work ethic to our program. It's exciting to have two of Ireland's top riders in the same organization, and I expect they will compliment each other well."
Both Ciaran Power and David O'Loughlin are expected to begin the 2005 Season with the team in Australia in January for the Jacobs Creek Tour Down Under before returning to the European Continent for a spring tour in Western Europe. Equipment for the David and Ciaran along with other members of the team will be the Colnago C-50 frame.
Marcuz to UC Artix
Julien Marcuz (Crédit Agricole Espoirs) will ride next year for French amateur team UC Artix, which will develop into a DN2 team, according to cyclismag.com.
Cycling Trivia Night
Can you name the Australian cyclists who won two medals at the Athens Olympic Games? - You can test out your knowledge of cycling at the Cycling Trivia Night and raise funds for the National Stroke Foundation in Melbourne, Australia on Saturday, November 13 at 7:00 pm. There will be prizes to win and several items up for an auction, including an Ultegra equipped Millward bike and memorabilia from athletes competing at Athens and the 2004 Tour de France.
The Trivia Night will be held at Angel Hotel, corner Dandenong and Glenferrie Roads, Armadale. The price for dinner is $50. All queries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)