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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Cycling News Extra for August 31, 2005

Edited by John Stevenson

L'Equipe denies witch hunt

The editor-in-chief of French sports daily L'Equipe has denied that his paper is engaged on a "witch-hunt" against seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.

"If Armstrong was a Frenchman and we had seen the same data, we would do the same thing," Claude Droussent told French TV station LCI.

L'Equipe last week alleged that testing of urine samples from the 1999 Tour de France showed that lance Armstrong had used EPO during his first Tour victory. Armstrong has strenuously denied the charge.

Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations

June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
June 2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
June 1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
May 14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation

Click here for full coverage of the L'Equipe allegations.

New programme planned for Navigators in 2006

By Shane Stokes

Navigators Insurance directeur sportif Ed Beamon spoke to Cyclingnews before the Tour of Britain race start in Glasgow this morning, confirming that the team will continue its European campaign next season. "We are definitely planning on doing a programme of races over here," he said. "The plan is to do a little less in the spring and then do another block in the autumn. The budget will increase slightly for 2006 in line in order to cover the increased costs we will have in running the team."

Although Beamon isn't ready to announce the team composition for next year, he says that there will be changes in the line-up "A few new faces are coming into the squad while some others will be leaving. We are holding on to the two Irish riders, Ciarán Power and David O'Loughlin. David's ridden well in his first year with the team, while Ciarán has been struggling a bit with a leg problem. He's seeing a specialist about it after this race and once he gets it treated, he should be raring to go." Power finished 13th in the Olympic road race last season but has been hampered by the injury since then.

Beamon is one of the fitter directeurs sportifs on the pro circuit and rode the Glasgow Grand Prix last night. "It was a bit of a blast," he said.

Southam building form

By Shane Stokes

British rider Tom Southam is riding the Tour of Britain as part of the Barloworld team but didn't seem too confident about his form this morning. "I'm not going well," he said. "I had a bad crash earlier in the year and came back too fast after it. I never really got going properly again."

Southam will hope to get some condition this week as he should be riding the world championships. "I'll be going there to help Roger [Hammond]," he said. Southam lived close to Madrid earlier this year, staying with team-mate David Plaza, but has since moved back to Italy. He's got another year to run with Barloworld and so is aiming to get a good winter in and post some strong rides in 2006.

The 2004 British road race silver medalist is known as something of a character. He sported a large pair of Elvis shades at the Tour de Langkawi earlier this year, and last night wore a fake moustache in the Glasgow Grand Prix. "A mate sent me a packet of them, and I've got another seven left," he said with a smile.

Discovery confirms 2006 signings

In an official announcement, the Discovery Channel team has confirmed that it will add Russian rider Vladimir Gusev to its roster for the 2006 season.

Gusev joins previously announced new signings Janez Brajkovic and Egoi Martinez, plus Australian Trent Lowe and Belgian Jurgen Van Goolen to make up a five-strong group of young riders to bolster the team's future development.

Gusev in particular is a rider whom Discovery is tipping for good things. He is Russian time trial champion and finished in the top 10 at both the Tour of Flanders and the HEW Cyclassics in Hamburg. "He's a strong all around rider who did well in the Classics this year but still has a big margin for improvement," said team directeur sportif Johan Bruyneel. "I think he can be a contender almost everywhere; he's good in the hills and is a strong time trialist. While he still needs to develop his skills and gain experience, what I've seen so far makes me think Vladimir can be one of our key riders for the future."

Fassa Bortolo for Trofeo Melinda

The Fasso Bortolo team has announced its line-up for the Trofeo Melinda, September 1. Under directeur sportif Mario Chiesa, the team will field Marzio Bruseghin, Massimo Codol, Mauro Facci, Massimo Giunti, Kim Kirchen, Gustav Larsson, Vincenzo Nibali, and Kanstantsin Siutsou.

Naturino-Sapore di Mare for Trofeo Melinda

The Naturino-Sapore di Mare team has announced its line-up for the Trofeo Melinda, September 1. Under directeur sportif Fabio Becherini the team will field Valerio Agnoli, Alessandro Bertuola, Antonio Murillo Fischer (Bra), Massimiliano Gentili, Luca Pierfelici, Antonio Quadranti and Filippo Simeoni.

Junior races kick off Australian nationals

This weekend the 2005 Australian National Road Cycling Championships gets underway on the Sunshine Coast, Queensland and kicking off the week long cycling spectacle Australia's best junior talent will be on display in an attempt to claim a national title.

The junior women and men in the Under 15 and Under 17 categories will contest four disciplines - road race, individual time trial, criterium and pairs time trial.

Organisers are excited about the growth of the pairs time trial event which they say "most fits the National Club Championships ethos" as it tests skills, fitness and teamwork - essential attributes for junior riders to develop.

A wide range of clubs have entered teams in the pairs time trial, with squads as far afield as Darwin and Tasmania - the latter's Mersey Valley Devonport Club has four teams in the under 15 divisions and another in the U17 boys.

Favourites include Brunswick Cycling Club's Warren Moore and Patrick Drapac in the under 15, both current national medalists, and strong local Queensland teams, Gold Coast Goldstars pairing, Grayson Follett and Christopher Murphy. The Broncos team of Tamara Josefski and Courtney Dutton in the girls' division will be hot contenders.

In the U17 boys' division the track team pursuit championship provides an indicator of riders' chances and on that basis favourites include rising superstar Leigh Howard and fellow Australian team pursuit champion James Langedyk in the Geelong CC "Dream Team". Another of the Australian team pursuit champions Glenn O'Shea is riding with the recent runner up in the Victorian State Road Championships Anthony Rix in one of the two Bendigo teams (the second team consisting of Lachlan Ritchie and Joel Fahy).

Norwood CC boasts an excellent team with Christos Winter and Jack Bobridge, who where both members of the silver medal winning SA team at the National Track Championships. Queensland club Kangaroo Point also have two national track medallists in Joel Lewis and Byron Davis. The field also includes current national champions in Ricky Peoples and Trevor Griffiths representing Shepparton Cycling Club.

The National Road Cycling Championships kicks off in Yandina on Saturday September 3 with the National Junior Road Cycling Championships incorporating Under 15 and Under 17 age groups and will run until Sunday 12 September.

Merida auctions bike for Vietnam Village of friendship

From September 2 to 12 the Multivan-Merida Biking Team and the Merida Bike Company are auctioning a special, one-off gold-trimmed version of their team bike to raise funds for the "Village of friendship" project in Vietnam.

The Village of Friendship was founded by US Vietnam veteran George Mizo whose belief that "we can make a difference" led him in 1986 to establish a project dedicated to reconciliation between the US and Vietnam. In 1993 the village was begun with a ground-breaking ceremony an former rice field 11 kilometres south of Hanoi and five years later the first inhabitants moved in.

The village is now home to around 130 handicapped children, orphans and elderly people who receive medical care and education. Funds raised by the auction will help to furnish and equip the expansion of the medical centre, which is also open to non-residents of the village. The Vietnamese government is covering the cost of the building.

For more information see

Cancer survivor rides for Texas center

Starting September 14, cancer survivor Geoff Luttrell is riding from San Francisco, CA to Houston, TX to raise funds for the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston TX.

"12 years ago I was diagnosed with Angio-Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive cancer," says Luttrell. "I was given a 10% chance to make it 6 months. I was treated by the incredible doctors and staff at MD Anderson and the money will go to help uninsured patients receive critical treatment. The uninsured face problems far beyond "just" a cancer diagnosis. My medical care exhausted a $250,000 insurance policy, so I'm sure you can see the importance of this project."

For more information see

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