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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for August 27, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones & Hedwig Kröner

Vuelta starters get ready

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Granada

Luca Solari (Domina Vacanze) will be the first rider to on the road in this year's Vuelta a España on Saturday at 13:50 CEST. Defending champion Roberto Heras (Liberty-Würth) will be the last rider to race the 7 kilometre time trial in Granada beginning at 17:06. Cyclists will depart at one minute intervals.

The last ten cyclists to start will be: in 188th position Bradley McGee (La Francaise Des Jeux), 189th Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel), 190th Gilberto Simoni (Lampre), 191st Thor Hushovd (Credit Agricole), 192nd Ruben Plaza (Comunidad Valenciana), 193rd Alessandro Petacchi (Fassa Bortolo), 194th Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom), 195th Francisco Mancebo (Illes Balears), 196th Oscar Pereiro (Phonak) at 17:05 and 197th Roberto Heras.

There are other riders to watch like Oscar Sevilla (T-Mobile team) who will start at 16:55 (186th), Manuel Beltran (Discovery Channel) at 16:50 (181st), Carlos Sastre at 16:49pm (180th), Joseba Beloki (Liberty-Würth) at 16:44 (175th), Tom Boonen (Quick Step) at 16:25 (156th) and Santiago Botero (Phonak) at 16:21 (152nd).

Cyclingnews will be covering each stage of the Vuelta live, beginning at 14:30 local time (CEST)/8:30 EDT (USA east)/5:30 PDT (USA west)/22:30 AEST (Australia east).

Olano's prediction for the Vuelta

By Hernan Alvarez Macias in Granada

1998 Vuelta a España champion Abraham Olano is a member of the current Vuelta organization. Cyclingnews spoke to him on Friday and he was clearly looking forward to the next three weeks. "I can't wait for the start," said Olano. "I can see excited people, some people are already tired, but we are excited to watch the show that gives the Vuelta".

Referring to the favourites Olano said, "I saw the Spanish teams are the favourites, we should see how [Gilberto] Simoni (Lampre-Caffita) is doing. In my opinion, the candidates are inside the national [Spanish] outfits."

Climbers should be favoured by the route of this year's Vuelta, but Olano pointed out that it was "not only for climbers, but also for a rider who climbs the mountains well and who makes gaps in the time trials. There are two time trials where some riders can increase the differences, even though we all know in the last one they cannot make big gaps. I think the ascents are hard, but not as hard as the ones they rode in the last few years."

40 positives in 1998 Tour

In an interview with German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, Jacques de Ceaurriz, director of the French Laboratoire national de dépistage du dopage de Châtenay-Malabry (LNDD), where the anonymous retrospective testing of pre-2000 Tour de France urine samples took place, revealed that 40 of 70 tested samples of the 1998 Tour showed evidence of EPO. "Seventy samples were analysed, and forty turned out positive - but be careful; that doesn't mean that there were forty different riders who doped," he said. Each day at the 'Grande Boucle', the stage winner, the leader of general classification as well as several other riders drawn at random are tested by the UCI Anti-doping commissaires.

The retrospective tests of the 1998 Tour de France, as well as those of the 1999 edition, were demanded by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA), explained De Ceaurriz. "They wanted to know if the athletes had changed their ways of doping in recent years," he said. "WADA was under the impression that the riders took greater doses of doping products during their training periods and only refreshed them at the races. We had to find out if we could identify those smaller doses taken during racing by means of our test. The question behind all of this is: Shouldn't the limits according to which we consider an athlete doped be reviewed and decreased?"

When the urinary EPO test was first developed by the LNDD in 2000, urine samples from the 1998 Tour de France were used, as it was believed they were likely to contain EPO. The LNDD reported that 14 of the 102 samples tested gave a clear indication that there was exogenous recombinant EPO present, while another 14 were suspiciously high. This time the laboratory tested only 70 samples from the '98 Tour, and established the presence of EPO in 40 cases, indicating that the method has been made more sensitive.

No action by USA Cycling against Armstrong

By Mark Zalewski, North American editor

Gerard Bisceglia, CEO of USA Cycling, told Cyclingnews today that his organization will not be pursuing any action against Armstrong unless directed by the U.S. Anti-doping Agency (USADA) or the World Anti-doping Agency (WADA.) "We will perform our function as stated in the guidelines," said Bisceglia. "We are not taking a position as to guilt or innocence." Bisceglia continued saying he does not expect any further action. "I don't know how it can go forward. We don't take any action until notified by USADA, and I haven't been notified by anyone."

Earlier in the day, USAC issued a statement offering its complete support of Armstrong. “Preposterous is a strong word, but it is warranted in this case,” said Bisceglia. “Lance Armstrong is one of the most tested athletes in the history of sport and he has come up clean every single time. This kind of years-ago testing of a single sample with new technology is completely without credibility. What’s worse is that Lance cannot defend himself because there is no mechanism for final resolution.”

“We are appalled at the blatant violation of ethics associated with the release of these supposed results and will support Lance in whatever action he chooses to take in efforts to denounce these accusations,” Bisceglia added.

Fassa and Landbouwkrediet line-up for Plouay

Italian team Fassa Bortolo has announced its roster for the French GP Ouest-France-Plouay on August 28, 2005. The following riders will compete at the event: Paolo Bossoni, Massimo Codol, Claudio Corioni, Massimo Giunti, Andrej Hauptman, Kim Kirchen, Vincenzo Nibali and Kanstantsin Siutsou.

Belgian team Landbouwkrediet-Colnago has named the following riders for Plouay: Maxime Monfort, Steve Cummings, Gregory Habeaux, Jean-Paul Simon, Jurgen Van Loocke, Sven Renders, Ludovic Capelle, and Glenn D'hollander

Ullrich to GP Citta' Di Misano

Race organisers of the Gran Premio Città di Misano - Integra Sport on Saturday, September 17, 2005 have confirmed the participation of German T-Mobile rider Jan Ullrich. The event scheduled one week prior to the World Championships will also see 2004 Giro d'Italia winner Damiano Cunego (Lampre-Caffita) line up, as well as 2005 Giro third-placed José Rujano (Selle Italia-Colombia). Further big names include Italians Franco Pellizotti and Stefano Garzelli (both Liquigas-Bianchi).

Vierhouten looking for team

Dutchman Aart Vierhouten will not get his contract with his current team Davitamon-Lotto renewed. The 35-year old, who might be included in his national team for the World's in Madrid, was informed of the bad news this week and is therefore looking for another team for 2006. Contacts have yet to be made but Vierhouten, who lives in Ravels, Belgium, hopes to find a ProTour team again. "I know I can still hold that level," he said. Vierhouten started his career as a professional with Rabobank in 1996, then changed to Lotto in 2002.

UCI doping news

The following riders have been sanctioned for doping offences by their national federations:

Oriol Colomer (Spa), tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide during the l'Area Metropolitana on August 21, 2004, sanctioned by Real Federacion Española De Ciclismo, fine of €601.

Krassimir Dimitrov (Bul), tested positive for testosterone during the Tour of Hellas on April 18, 2005, sanctioned by the Union Bulgare De Cyclisme, suspension of 2 years from May 21, 2005 to May 21, 2007, disqualification of the race.

Eduardo Garito Gamboa (CRC), tested positive for Phentermine during the Vuelta a Costa Rica on March 14, 2005, sanctioned by the Federacion Costarricense De Ciclismo, suspension of 2 years from March 14, 2005 to March 14, 2007, disqualification of the race, fine of CHF 1,000.

Amy Mosen (NZl), tested positive for terbutaline during the Women's World Cup on February 27, 2005, sanctioned by Bike New Zealand, warning and reprimand.

Alexandr Osmak (Kaz), tested positive for salbutamol during the event Grand Prix of Sochi on April 24, 2005, sanctioned by the Kazakhstan Cycling Federation, suspension of 1 year from June 2005 21, 2005, to June 21, 2006, disqualification of the race.

David Zubiaur (Spa), tested positive for triamcinolone acetonide during the event Premio Asteasu de Ciclo-Cross on January 6, 2005, sanctioned by the Federation Española De Ciclismo, suspension of 2 years from June 2, 2005 to June 2, 2007, disqualification of the race.

Only hours left before Fantasy Vuelta game begins!

We are pleased to confirm that Giant Bicycles will be returning to sponsor a Fantasy game this year's as main sponsor of the Vuelta game.

Win the same bike as Jan Ullrich and Alexandre Vinokourov! This bike is not for sale to the public, but Giant has been extremely generous to provide a Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile '05 Tour De France Team Issue bicycle as Grand Prize for the Cyclingnews 2005 Vuelta a España Fantasy Game, with a retail value of $8000 if it were even sold in stores! But you can only get one by entering the Cyclingnews 2005 Vuelta a España Fantasy Game and winning it.

Giant TCR Advanced is made from Giant's most sophisticated formulaOne materials and technologies. TCR Advanced is Giant's lightest, strongest frame and the result of more than 20 years of composite manufacturing experience. In a small size, the Giant TCR Advanced frame without fork weighs an incredible 865 grams.

High strength, High Modulus Aerospace grade composite fiber called 'Fibrium' is used for better strength and rigidity in the Giant TCR Advanced, while a new, Nano resin is used to achieve a higher lamination strength to weight ratio. New Resin and fiber are being mated and woven on Giant's own in-house developed composite machine using proprietary technology. And Giant's propriety Dynamic Adaptive Tubing Technology (DAT), a special molding process, allows very efficient fiber distribution enabling the reduction of overlapping material at cross sections such as head and seattube. 7075 Aerospace Aluminum is being used for the aluminum parts (bottom bracket, dropouts and headset components) for increased strength and lower weight in the Giant TCR Advanced.

Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile '05 Tour De France Team Issue bicycle specifications

Frame: Giant Tcr Composite Advanced
Fork: Giant Full Composite Advanced
Wheels: Shimano Dura-Ace 7800
Tires: Continental
Groupset: Shimano Dura-Ace 10 Speed
Saddle: Selle Italia
Seatpost: Giant Racing Components Composite
Handlebars: Giant Racing Components
Stem: Giant Racing Components
Headset: FSA

Top tips

Find out how previous winners selected the best teams in last year's game in the winners section of the Fantasy site. Have a look at which riders performed the best in the game in the Riders Reference area of the downloads section of the Fantasy site.

How to play

Be a professional team manager, with many opportunities to win prizes in this year's game. You will take up the challenge of using your knowledge and tactical skill as a race team manager to compete with managers from around the world. For more info go to

You can begin creating your team/s now. You can play the first five stages for FREE! We will be making additions to the start list on a daily basis. The Tour games are easy to play, all you need to do to manage your own team is select 15 riders from the live start list then select 9 of these riders to race each day throughout the Vuelta. You score points according to how well each of the riders place each day in the Vuelta. So try your team today and see if it's for you. It's a great way to follow the Vuelta. Create your teams now at

Good luck!

The Fantasy Cyclingnews Team

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