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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for December 24, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

WADA continues Armstrong investigation

The World Anti-Doping Agency is continuing its investigations into doping allegations against Lance Armstrong, WADA president Dick Pound told the Reuters news agency. "It's not going to go away," he said. "We're dealing with all the spins out there right now, but behind the scenes there are investigations quietly proceeding. There is no urgency because he is not going to be in another race, but there are some explanations that are going to have to be given."

Pound also criticized the UCI, saying, "The UCI says it is conducting an investigation, although we can't seem to get information about it, and we are doing our own. I'd rather have the UCI do it, by all accounts they should. If they do a complete and thorough investigation more power to them. But I'm not overly confident so far. Right now the only thing they seem concerned about is how did this embarrassing information became public."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations

October 11 - UCI investigator promises independence
October 9 - Steffen retracts
October 7 - UCI appoints independent expert for 1999 Tour samples
September 25 - Rogge wants new investigation into Armstrong
September 24 - Olympic execs call for investigation & suspension of French lab
September 23 - Lindner thinks more will come from L'Equipe
September 20: UCI denies leaking Armstrong documents; Accuses WADA of blocking investigation
September 18: UCI doctor gave information to L'Equipe
September 17: Verbruggen reacts to Pound statements
September 16 - Armstrong blasts WADA chief Pound
September 16 - Pound: "Verbruggen was the leak"
September 15
- Schenk criticises UCI over Armstrong case
September 12 - Three more names published from 1999 Tour
September 10 - Armstrong legal update: Anderson judgement; Le Monde defamation case
September 9 - UCI declaration over L'Equipe findings from 1999 Tour
September 6 - Armstrong & Crow announce engagement; Lance back at Tour 2006?
September 5 - New EPO test developed
September 4 - L'Equipe journalist replies to criticism
September 2 - Hammond denies Simpson/Millar reference
September 1 - Former Olympic head spears Armstrong, Hammond weighs in on L'Equipe
August 31 - L'Equipe denies witch hunt
August 30 - "History will show cycling at two speeds" says Madiot
August 30 - UCI responds to L'Equipe
August 29 - L'Equipe puts more pressure on
August 28 - Ex-USPS soigneur speaks
August 27 - 40 positives in 1998 Tour, No action by USA Cycling against Armstrong
Armstrong on Larry King Live: Response to doping allegations
Jon Vaughters interview: No evidence of EPO at Postal
A can of worms: Ethics and privacy ignored
Riding under the radar: How to 'prepare' for the big races
August 26 - CPA supports athletes' rights
August 25 - Leblanc in favour of retrospective testing
August 25 - EPO test under scrutiny
August 24 - Accusations against Armstrong rock cycling
August 23 - Tour champion under the microscope again
August 23 - French resume pursuit of Armstrong

Army training for Phonak riders

Swiss ProTour team Phonak has six of its riders in a military training program over the European wintertime. Martin Elmiger, Steve Morabito, Aurélien Clerc, Sascha Urweider, Steve Zampieri and Gregory Rast are working out at the elite sportsmen recruit school in Macolin, Switzerland, to keep in shape for next year.

"This military service gives us the basis for success in the coming season," said Steve Zampieri, happy to be enrolled in the inaugural Swiss army project. The training sessions involve cross country skiing, mountain biking and muscle training. "These conditions allow the necessary workout for this time of year," said directeur sportif René Savary when he came to see his riders.

Team Phonak will return to official training on January 9, 2006, when the squad will fly to Balearic island Mallorca for its first cycling camp.

Zabel "wouldn't want to be Ullrich"

Erik Zabel (T-Mobile) getting interviewed after his victory of Paris-Tours this year
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

Erik Zabel wouldn't want to trade places with Jan Ullrich, he said in an interview with German Zeit newspaper. "Sure it's nice to earn a six-figure salary instead of a five-figure salary," Zabel said, "but I wouldn't want to pay the price for it: If you drink one beer too many or have an accident, then there are too many people happy to see your problems."

The world-class sprinter reflected on Ullrich's great achievements, saying that the Tour de France winner could not match the public's expectancies after his 1997 victory. "There are those who can be as bad as they want to be, and they are still considered to be a success, and there are the others who finish second or third, or even first - and are still seen to be bad," Zabel said.

The winner of six Tour de France green jerseys said that he tried to work out his frustration at being left off T-Mobile's Tour de France team this year by riding his own personal Tour. The first Tour week he participated in the Tour of Austria, the second week he spent on Mallorca training and the third week he was in France, commenting the 'Grande Boucle' for German TV ARD. In France, he also had his bike with him, and rode on the parcours early each morning.

"The riders at the Tour, my colleagues, didn't know about that," Zabel continued. "It's like this: When you're an outsider at the Tour, you have no contact with the participants. It would probably have been better just to have looked at my bike for an hour each day and ignored it the rest of the time," he added with his own particular humour.

At 35 years old, Zabel said, "I don't feel at all old - just like my colleagues, I'm interested in DVDs, I-Pods, ring tones and such things. But when I look at the birth years of the riders and see that someone was born in 1985, I think to myself: 1985? He was still in diapers when I had my first motor scooter!"

Zabel said that he had taken his leave of Jan Ullrich, but didn't give him any advice. "If he would ask me for advice, I would give it to him, privately. But I don't believe he would ask me for it." The most difficult leavetaking for him was with team masseur Dieter "Eule" Rothenberg. "I'll see the riders again now and then, but not him. He was a man who didn't just give me a massage, but who I would also unload on emotionally. It was a tearful scene when we said goodbye. First he started to cry and then of course I did too," Zabel revealed.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Looking forward to T-Mobile: Ludewig and Gerdemann

Jörg Ludewig and Linus Gerdemann, who will be part of German T-Mobile team as of next year, have finished up a 12-day training camp on Mallorca, calling it a "valuable experience". The two met for the first time at the T-Mobile team meeting in November, but "hit it off right from the start" according to Gerdemann, who is joining the squad from Danish Team CSC. "It was the first training camp in my life in which after 12 days I wasn't bored one bit," said Ludewig.

The two spent four to six hours a day on their bikes, and were based in Alcudia, in the north of the island. "It was more than just back and forth on the coastal road. We have three good climbs here than can be approached via three different routes - you can even sweat it out a bit," he continued.

The pair hopes to ride together during the season as well, especially Paris-Nice. However, they have different goals for their time at T-Mobile. "Ideally I will prove myself a strong domestique for Jan Ullrich following Rolf Aldag's footsteps. The icing of the cake would be riding for Ulle through France in the first year of the post-Armstrong era," said Ludewig, 30, who already pulled Gilberto Simoni over some Tour de France mountains at Lampre two years ago.

In the meantime, 23 year-old Gerdemann considers the next two years "as an apprenticeship," while looking to a future as a stage race winner.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

An interview with Warren McDonald

It's all about moving forward - together

The AIS women's coach Warren McDonald
Photo ©: Gerard Knapp
(Click for larger image) The AIS women's coach  - and Cycling Australia's coach of the year - Warren McDonald, with talent identification coordinator Tammy Ebert.

The past two years, since Australian national women's road cycling coach Warren 'Wazza' McDonald signed on for the job, has seen highs and lows to the very extreme. caught up with McDonald at a training camp at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra to find out how he is looking to move forward into 2006.

It could be said that 2004 was the golden year, with 'Wazza' leading the AIS women's team to World Cup success for Oenone Wood, and then training the AIS riders to help deliver an Olympic Gold medal to Sara Carrigan. They were too good for a 'development' squad, with the majority of the girls going on to sign with professional teams by the end of the year.

But this year, McDonald and Australian cycling were hit with disaster, that of losing one of their athletes, Amy Gillett, in a tragic accident which saw another five riders severely injured.

Five months have passed since the accident, and Wazza and 25 Australian women cyclists gathered at the AIS in Canberra to get everyone together and look to the future. Present at the camp were Katie Brown, Lorian Graham, Katie Nichols, Alexis Rhodes and Louise Yaxley, who were involved in the accident, as well as Commonwealth Games prospects - including the Australian women with professional contracts - and also young or new riders that McDonald and the state coaches have identified as future talent.

"We have over 25 riders here," says McDonald, "and we probably would have had 30 if one of the MTB selection races for Commonwealth Games wasn't on this weekend. It shows that the structure we have, with state institutes around the country, is really working. The state coaches are continually feeding new talent through to us. Coming out of the state system myself, I have a good understanding of where the athletes are coming from and where we need to go with them.

"This camp is to do a bit of testing but also to get everyone together to do some good training to learn from each other and to gain from each other."

Click here for the full interview.

Kohut recovering

Miche rider Slawomir Kohut, who was involved in an accident while training in Poland on December 13, is finally in a stable condition and starting to recover. "Slawomir is answering the treatment," said team manager Marco Tozzi. "If all goes well, he might be able to go back home in one week."

Aaron’s finalizes pro women’s roster

Athens Twilight Criterium winner Shannon Hutchison will be teaming up with Roswell Criterium winner Candice Blickem to round out one of the strongest criterium squads in the North American women’s pro peloton.

"We have a small team, but we are really excited about the horsepower we have put on this squad", said Micah Rice, General Manager of the Aaron’s Corporate Furnishings Cycling Team. "We plan on giving some of these larger teams a run for their money this coming year."

Besides Hutchison and Blickem, Catherine Powers and Mackenzie Dickey give the team tremendous depth for such a small squad. Powers, already a strong presence on the NRC scene has had solid podium finishes at the Chris Thater Criterium as well as at Superweek. Dickey, who is quickly making a name for herself, has dominated the New England race scene, while proving she is a force on the NRC circuit as well with podium finishes at Stages of the Fitchburg Stage Race.

While the team’s focus remains criteriums and one day events, they will have a solid presence at a good portion of the remaining NRC races as well. Joining the team for select national calendar races will be Jen McRae from Texas, Tracy Sproule from North Carolina and members of the women’s regional elite team based out of Atlanta, Georgia.

For more information about Aaron’s Cycling Team, which also has an elite men’s team and a club team, please visit

CQU Rockhampton Cup On Wheels Sports Lovers Pass

The Central Queensland University Rockhampton Cup on Wheels, taking place from January 20-21, 2006, has new inclusions in its program. Over 160 cyclists are expected to converge from across Australia for races from U11's through to Masters, including the prestigious CQU Rockhampton Cup on Wheels, the Herron Todd White Capricornia Cup on Wheels and the Tuckers Avanti Plus/Peak Fuel Madison, which makes its return to the Cup.

For entrance into the Kenrick Tucker Velodrome, the Rockhampton Cycling Club is offering the "Sports Lovers Deal", which provides the purchaser with ten entry passes for $40. Sports Lover Deals can be purchased from Tuckers Avanti Plus, City Centre Cycles and Different Cycles right up until the CQU Rockhampton Cup on Wheels rolls off.

For more information, please go to

First Endurance sponsors Zabriskie in 2006

First Endurance has announced that it will be sponsoring Team CSC rider Dave Zabriskie with Optygen and Multi-V in 2006. Zabriskie, who won the prologue in the 2005 Tour de France - beating second place finisher Lance Armstrong by two seconds - and wore the Yellow jersey for three days, has been working with First Endurance since the company started, when he was riding with the US Postal Service.

"I started taking Optygen four years ago and felt a noticeable change in my breathing and how my muscles fatigued," Zabriskie said. "Combine Optygen with Multi-V and you’re good to go train hard. Multi-V is the only vitamin that has helped with my performance. Not only does it have important vitamins and minerals, but its enzyme formula give me everything I need to train hard and its antioxidant formula keeps me healthy so I can keep training hard."

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