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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for August 11, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner & Jeff Jones

An interview with Sylvia Schenk

Strong-minded Sylvia Schenk continues quest for Law & Order - Part I

Photo ©: Stefan Schwenke
Click for larger image

Former German Cycling Federation (BDR) president and current member of the Union Cycliste International (UCI) Management Committee, Sylvia Schenk believes that the upcoming UCI election has been seriously compromised and filed a complaint with the International Olympic Committee's (IOC) Ethics Commission in June 2005. Schenk complained about the UCI's financial support of Pat McQuaid, Road Commission President and UCI president-elect, and is about to file another complaint with the UCI Appeals Board before eventually taking the case all the way up to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), as she told Cyclingnews' Hedwig Kröner in an exclusive interview. (See also: Part II)

Schenk, a Frankfurt attorney, alleges that McQuaid's cost of living in Switzerland has been entirely paid for by the UCI since February 2005, and that it violates Article 52 of the UCI Constitution. "Pat McQuaid obviously lives in Switzerland at the expense of the UCI since February - and Verbruggen doesn't deny that," she said. "So one has to conclude that there is either a contract existing or if there isn't a contract, it represents a by-pass of the Constitution which stipulates that no member of the Management Committee may have a contract with the UCI at the same time."

Schenk also questions the UCI's - or more personally, its president Hein Verbruggen's - involvement and handling of the upcoming election for presidency. Verbruggen, who is already Chairman of the IOC Coordination Commission, is leaving the UCI for an as-yet unknown position with the IOC, after the vote for presidency at the UCI Congress is held during the World Road Championships in Madrid on September 23, 2005.

The 42 voting delegates will determine which candidate of the three - Irishman Pat McQuaid, Malay Darshan Singh or Spaniard Gregorio Moreno - will become Verbruggen's successor.

But Schenk claims that neither Singh or Moreno were given the contact details of the delegates for their electoral campaign, whereas McQuaid is being supported by the UCI and Verbruggen.

"It just cannot be that a Federation finances one of the candidates to the presidency, when there are in fact three candidates," Schenk told us. "That never happens anywhere. The other two candidates were not even given the addresses of the electoral delegates (for lobbying) whereas Verbruggen mailed all of them saying they should vote for McQuaid," she alleges.

Schenk is clearly not intimidated by the UCI, even after it issued an extraordinary press release in late July that was widely reported. The statement pointed to her "forced resignation" from the German Cycling Federation because of the "numerous controversies which have characterised her mandate", yet the UCI didn't offer any specific incidents to support its claims.

Unperturbed, Schenk is determined to shed some light on the UCI’s electoral processes and wasn't afraid to tell Cyclingnews about the numerous heated exchanges with Verbruggen during her time at the UCI.

Click here for the full interview. See also: Part II.

Divorce, Italian style

By Tim Maloney, European Editor

Although the rumours have been around since the Giro d'Italia, it appears now that the team cohabitation between Lampre and Cafitta will finish up at the end of the 2005 season. Team co-manager Giuseppe Saronni's Lampre squad is where diesse Giuseppe Martinelli will end up along with his protegé Damiano Cunego as well as most of the key riders from the current Lampre-Cafitta squad. Valsir, a Brescia, Italy based building products company that is currently a co-sponsor of the Barloworld team, and Lampre will likely be riding Wilier Triestina bicycles as they did in 2004, before the fusion with Cafitta, when they switched to Cannondale.

As for Lampre-Cafitta team co-manager Claudio Corti, it's not clear where he and the Cafitta sponsorship are going in 2006, but one thing is sure: Lampre-Cafitta's Giro d'Italia runner up Gibo Simoni will be riding elsewhere in 2006. The oldie but still goodie Simoni, who turns 34 later this month, is reportedly being courted by Quick.Step, Cofidis and Illes Balears for next season.

In other transfer news, 14 year pro Andrea Noé will stay with Liquigas-Bianchi, while last year's World Pro Road Championship bronze medalist Luca Paolini will leave Quick.Step to join Liquigas-Bianchi.

T-Mobile and Fassa Bortolo announce San Sebastian rosters

The Clasica San Sebastian, this season's 20th ProTour race, will hit it off on Saturday in the Basque country. The race will follow its traditional course through the province of Guipuzkoa and roll along scenic coastal roads before heading inland where the riders will face a series of sharp climbs. Six categorised climbs, including the Cat. 1 Alto de Jaizkibel are sure to shake things up in the peloton.

The local Euskaltel-Euskadi riders will be looking to make amends for a poor showing in the Tour de France, with Iban Mayo, Haimar Zubeldia and Aitor Gonzalez all starting. Italian classics specialists Paolo Bettini, Davide Rebellin and certainly ProTour points leader Danilo Di Luca will be motivated for the race. In total 20 teams - including four wild card continental teams - with eight riders will line up on Saturday.

German T-Mobile Team has announced a roster of classics specialists and climbers to Saturday's Clasica San Sebastian, headed by Spanish duo Paco Lara and Oscar Sevilla. "This is always a very challenging race. Due partly to the sweltering heat that usually rages there, but also because of the tough parcours," directeur sportif Frans van Looy said.

Because of the withdrawal of Alexandre Vinokourov (cold) and new dad Giuseppe Guerini, Van Looy has had to reshuffle his cards. Coming into the roster, although originally scheduled for a German event (Rund um die Hainleite) are Sergey Ivanov and Andreas Klier. "We will probably see a small lead group form [at the Alto de Jaizkibel]. We have to make sure we are alert and ready," Van Looy continued. The parcours could suit Matthias Kessler in particular. "He is a prime candidate for a good placing, as are our Spaniards," adds van Looy.

The T-Mobile roster in Spain will thus include: Sergey Ivanov, Matthias Kessler, Paco Lara, Daniele Nardello, Oscar Sevilla, Andreas Klier, Christian Werner and Steffen Wesemann.

Meanwhile, Italian team Fassa Bortolo has also announced the following roster for the Calsica San Sebastian: Mauro Facci, Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni, Massimo Giunti, Volodomir Gustov, Kim Kirchen, Vincenzo Nibali, Fabio Sacchi and Matteo Tosatto. Bruno Cenghialta will act as directeur sportif.

Two Spaniards for Discovery

The Discovery Channel ProCycling team has signed two Spanish riders for 2006: Egoi Martinez (Eusklatel-Euskadi) and José Angel Gomez Marchante (Saunier Duval). The 27 year-old Martinez has signed a two-year deal with the American team. His Basque directeur sportif Manuel Madariaga is aware that his rider could not deny the apparently generous offer of Johan Bruyneel.

"I've spoken to Bruyneel and I know that the rider said that he owed us a lot, but that an offer like that didn't come around every day," Madariaga told Diario Vasco. Martinez won the Tour de l'Avenir in 2003.

Gomez Marchante is currently still under contract for another year with Saunier Duval, but will reportedly buy his way out of the agreement to join Discovery. Marchante climbed the Mont Ventoux for second place in this year's Dauphiné Libéré. Another rider apparently targeted by Bruyneel is Illes Balears' Xabier Zandio.

Naibo to Ag2r

The 23 year-old Carl Naibo (Bretagne-Jean Floc'h) will join the professional ranks as of next season. Frenchman Naibo, who won the overall classification of the Tour de l'Ain on Wednesday, has signed a two-year deal with the Ag2r team directed by Vincent Lavenu. At Ag2r, Naibo will be working for Tour de France fourth placed Fransisco Mancebo in 2006.

Scotland team announced for Tour of Britain

The Scottish cycling squad who will face the world's top international teams in the UK's premier cycling race, the Tour of Britain, was announced at Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries & Galloway. Four Scotland team positions have been confirmed with a further two still up for grabs.

The confirmed Scottish places will go to Alex Coutts (21), from Gorebride who races with the Belgian Pro team, Flanders, Gary Hand (23), from Livingston who is part of the Pedalpower racing team; Evan Oliphant (23), from Wick, who races for the UK Pro team, MC and Duncan Urquhart (33), from Tiree who is in the army and lives in Hampshire.

"All four are proven international riders and all will also be racing to secure places in next year's Commonwealth Games in Melbourne," Scottish National Cycling Coach, Graeme Herd, said. "All these riders rode exceptionally well in last year's Tour of Britain and will be looking this year to emulate the success of team mate Duncan Uquhart's podium position after last year's first stage."

The Scottish squad riders vying for the final two places are Gareth Montgomerie, from Castle Douglas; Stuart McGregor, from Motherwell, James McCallum, from Uddingston, Dave Smith from Thurso and Robert Palmer, who qualifies via parentage.

Two of the Scottish squad were in training today in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle which is one of the most scenic parts of the course. said: "I am training hard to secure a place in the Scottish team," Gareth Montgomerie said while training in the grounds of Drumlanrig Castle, one of the most scenic parts of the Scottish course of the Tour of Britain. "It would be great to be racing at this kind of level up against some of the world's best riders on roads that I have cycled on all my life."

"The competition is going to be really tough to beat, but it will be great to be racing in Scotland with a Scottish jersey on," Evan Oliphant added, who was traniing with Montgomerie. "The Tour of Britain is the only major UK competition offering British cyclists the opportunity to compete on home ground and it's really great that we have been able to extend it by a day this year and have it beginning in Scotland," added Tony Doyle MBE, Tour of Britain Event Director and twice world pursuit champion.

"Over sixteen of the world's top teams will take part, we are still confirming the line up, but have just heard that the Danish team, CSC, who won the first stage of the Tour de France, will be entering a team along with American based Navigators Insurance Cycling Team. Other favourites have to be last year's winners, the Belgian team, Chocolade-Jacques. The team is also fielding a strong line up with three World Champions and three Olympic silver medalists," Doyle said.

A complete list of teams is not yet available but will include Quickstep-Davitamon, Barloworld-Valsir and T-Mobile. The Scots will also as be up against, national teams from Great Britain, Ireland and Wales.

The Tour of Britain will arrive in Scotland for the first time this year on Tuesday, August 30 for the start of the six day race. The 115-mile Scottish stage will begin in George Square/Glasgow and finish in Castle Douglas, passing through East Kilbride, Strathaven, Muikirk, Cumnock, New Cumnock, Kirkconnel, Drumlanrig Castle, Conehead, Dumfries, New Abbey, Dalbeattie, Craignair.

Details of the Glasgow Grand Prix which will take place in George Square at 7pm, Monday 29 event were also revealed today. George Square will be closed to traffic to allow over fifty elite riders to compete in the hour long fast and furious race on a closed one-kilometre circuit. The Grand Prix forms part of British Cycling's Elite Criterium series where riders are awarded points for each Grand Prix. This will be the penultimate event before the final in London.

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(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)