Latest Cycling News for October 21, 2004
Edited by Jeff Jones and Hedwig Kröner
Frank Vandenbroucke (MrBookmaker.com-Palmans) will have to front the correctional court in Dendermonde next Monday in order to answer questions about the banned substances that were seized from his home in February, 2002. Vandenbroucke has already served a sporting sanction for drug possession, but he is also being accused of contravening Belgium's drug laws by importing and possessing hormonal products, risking a five year jail term. It is alleged that he bought the drugs from sports doctor Georges Mouton for €7,436. Mouton was caught several years ago for prescribing doping products.
Sportwereld.be published a list of the substances that were found in a cupboard in VDB's garage. The list included Clenbuterol (beta-2 agonist), which was found in Ventipilmin Granulaat; Erythropoetin, which was found in Aranesp, Neorecormon and various syringes with blood traces on them. Vandenbroucke is also suspected of importing Aranesp from Germany; Somatropine (growth hormone), found in Genotonorm, which VDB is suspected to have bought in Spain; Undecanoaat (hormonal testosterone product), found in Delapride; Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA, testosterone precursor); Androstenedione (testosterone precursor); Synacthen (corticosteroid); Pregnenolone (steroidal hormone) and morphine (narcotic analgesic).
Pantani's ex-manager publishes book in Italy
Eight months after the tragic death of Marco Pantani in a hotel room in Rimini, Manula Ronchi, Pantanis ex-manager, has published an Italian book entitled A man on the run: The true story of Marco Pantani in collaboration with Gianfranco Josti, a sports journalist. In 260 pages, using the notes the cycling legend wrote during the last few months of his life, Ronchi recalls the Pirate's last years, beginning with the doping investigations after the Madonna di Campiglio searches on the Giro 1999 until the drug addiction that led to his death on February 14, 2004.
"Pantani thought that he was the victim of a conspiracy headed by the president of the Italian Cycling Federation, Giancarlo Ceruti", Ronchi wrote. "Marco was afraid at night. He thought he was spied on with microphones. He searched for video cameras in the whole house and heard voices on the roof. His obsessions were the anti-doping investigations and his girlfriend." Ronchi also relates the difficult partnership between Pantani and his former girlfriend Christina Jonsson.
A part of the expected sales income will benefit the Marco Pantani foundation involved in fundraising projects. The film production company Colorado has already bought the rights to the book.
Gerrans finding form
By John Trevorrow
Cyclingnews caught up with Simon Gerrans just after he punched the air and gave the one finger salute after taking stage nine of the Sun Tour into Mansfield. "I came into this tour with the main objective of winning a stage, but it is doubly pleasurable to win into my home town of Mansfield," said Gerrans. "I wasn't too sure how I would go on General Classement because it has been a long season and I have been racing extremely hard over recent months. Then of course there was the lost passport saga that saw me arriving from Europe on race day. I just didn't recover after the big day in the Otways last Monday.
"I would like to dedicate this stage to my Uncle Noel who passed away this year. I was in Europe and wasn't able to go to his funeral, so this is for him."
Hoy and Obree back Bravehearts
By Richard Moore
Olympic champion Chris Hoy is set to be confirmed on Friday evening as the first patron of the Braveheart Cycling Fund, set up last year by former Motorola professional Brian Smith to offer financial assistance to promising young Scottish cyclists. Hoy will be guest of honour at the Braveheart’s second fundraising dinner in Ayrshire on Friday, alongside former hour record holder and world pursuit champion Graeme Obree.
"I'm keen to be a supporter of the fund and I'll be there to offer advice and help or just to have a chat with the riders," said Hoy. "It’s great that there’s something in Scotland to support young riders who show a bit of talent; there’s never been anything like it before and you can see the benefits already with some of the riders funded this year doing really well and showing big improvements. I'm delighted to be associated with it."
Obree returned on Wednesday from Venice, where he took on and triumphed over world number one Damiano Cunego over a kilometre just a day after the Italian star’s victory in the Tour of Lombardy. "I was second behind Mario Cipollini in the same event nine years ago," said Obree. "I was on a borrowed bike this time, and my main motivation was to not make a fool of myself. It was good to win, but unlike Cunego I hadn't just ridden the Tour of Lombardy the day before."
On the Braveheart fund, Obree said: "It’s difficult to reach the top level if you're from Scotland, but something like this is not just about financial support. It’s also about taking an interest in young riders. I competed for years feeling that no one really knew that I existed. Even if someone gets just £100 from the fund that can make a big difference - and apart from the financial help, it means someone thinks you're worth something. For a young rider, that can be a big motivation."
The winner of the raffle to win a Lance Armstrong signed Tour de France yellow jersey will also be announced on Friday at the dinner. Tickets can be bought on ebay until 3pm on Friday.
Nicolas Fritsch goes Spanish
The Fdjeux.com rider Nicolas Fritsch will join the Spanish team Saunier Duval for the ProTour calendar next season. The 25-year old won the Tour du Finistère and one stage of Paris-Corrèze last year, and placed third in the Tour de Suisse in 2002. Fritsch has been signed for his climbing talents, along with Lampre's Juan Miguel Garate, fourth-placed in this year's Giro.
All for one at Fassa next year
Fassa Bortolo's team director Giancarlo Ferretti has turned to the East for to assemble his 2005 team roster, signing up the Espoir road world champion Kanstantsin Siutsou from Belarus, Slovenian Andrej Hauptman and Estonian Andrus Aug. Also joining the team are Italian riders like Fabio Baldato, Paolo Bossoni, Lorenzo Bernucci and 19-years old Vincenzo Nibali, whose performance at the World Championships was also impressive.
With Aitor Gonzalez off to Euskaltel-Euskadi, the team seems to focus on one leader only: "Ale-Jet" Petacchi, the world's best sprinter but certainly no candidate for General classifications. Also leaving are Tom Danielson, Guido Trenti, Dario Cioni, Luca de Angeli and Filippo Pozzato.
For a full list of rider transfers, click here.
Tour du Faso starts October 27
The 18th edition if the International Tour du Faso, held in the African country of Burkina Faso and organised by ASO, the Tour de France management, will start off on October 27, 2004 and finish on November 7. For the first time, the race will pass the country's boundaries and move into Mali for a stage finish/start in Sikasso.
The UCI rated 2.5 race will count 1240.5 km on African roads before finishing in the capital of Ougadougou. 16 international cycling teams are participating, of which 10 are African: 3 from Burkina Faso and 1 each from Mali, Nigeria, Togo, Benin, Cameroon, Senegal, Nigeria and Ivory Coast. The team lineup further includes French teams (of which one from Guadeloupe), Belgian, Dutch, Spanish and Japanese teams.
A special "bikeraising" event took place during this year's Tour de France under the name of "1000 bikes for Burkina Faso" to collect as many velos as possible to support the country's 22 cycling schools. 652 bikes have been gathered this way and will be handed over in Ouagadougou at the Tour de l'Avenir cycliste de la Francophonie, a cycling schools race on November 2.
Park City Cycling Academy
A new developmental cycling programme will debut in 2005 in Park City, Utah, U.S. The Park City Cycling Academy will allow young cyclists to live, train and race in the mountains of the western United States. The Academy will be housed in a 16 room facility located only 1 kilometre from the Start/Finish of the U.S. National Championship course in Deer Valley. Daily training programs will be administered under the guidance of top elite racers and coaches, including local professionals Burke Swindlehurst and Jeff Louder. Academy members will train around Park City in the Wastach and Uinta Mountains, as well as on the National Championship course.
Park City Cycling Academy Director Todd Hageman came up with the idea of the academy after reflecting on his early racing days. "As a young racer in Detroit in the 80’s and early 90’s, I dreamed of racing out west and participating in the great races I read about in the cycling magazines. But without any guidance or support, it wasn’t possible, especially if I only wanted to come out during my summer break during college. The Academy provides the foundation and support for those riders that want to race the classic races, like Cascade, Iron Horse, Gila, Bisbee, etc. The Academy will also give our riders a home field advantage during the National Championships which will start just outside our front door."
The Academy plans on racing NRC and large regional races in the Intermountain West as well as the National Championships in Park City. Riders will be provided housing, uniforms, entry fees, race support, transportation, race lodging, equipment discounts and daily trainings. Cyclists can come out on a monthly basis or for the season. Riders must be 18-25 yrs. old and be a Category 1,2 or 3 rider.
For more information, check out www.parkcitycycling.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2004)