First Edition Cycling News for February 6, 2005
Edited by Jeff Jones
SMS dialogue between Museeuw and Landuyt published
Johan Museeuw's strange SMS discussions with ex-veterinarian José Landuyt, dealing with what appear to be doping products, methods and controls, have been published by Belgian newspapers De Standaard, Het Nieuwsblad and La Dernière Heure, following on from De Morgen a few weeks ago. The messages used a simple code word system, with the now infamous "wesp" (wasp) indicating the blood-boosting product Aranesp; a "wasp's nest" meaning a course of Aranesp; a "wasmachine" (washing machine) indicating a centrifuge to measure one's own hematocrit; and "de binnenband" (inner tube) meaning in intravenous injection.
On the basis of the phone exchanges, Museeuw, who retired nearly a year ago, was banned from holding a licence by the Belgian cycling federation for two years, with another two years suspended sentence. Museeuw has always maintained his innocence and has appealed to courts against the decision of the Belgian federation.
The main dialogues published:
July 2, 2003
Museeuw: "A wasps' nest, can you work one out? I'm leaving on Wednesday
for a training camp. I have no sight of the wasp. I have no control until
Museeuw: "Subcutaneously or in the nose?"
July 27, 2003
Museeuw: "I'm two above."
Museeuw: "Down to 49"
July 28, 2003
Landuyt: "Stand up and drink some more water. Everything OK?"
August 12, 2003
Museeuw: "I arrived yesterday [in Denmark]. Had a WADA control. From Thursday afternoon 42. So no problem."
Museeuw: "What is acyline?"
De Cauwer accused of selling pot belge
Belgian national coach Jose De Cauwer has been subjected to more serious drug supplying allegations by former amateur racer Ronny Vansweevelt, who is facing court in Antwerp on trafficking charges. Up until now, De Cauwer's only admission has been that in the mid-1990's he gave Vansweevelt a phone number of a Dutch soigneur who could supply him with amphetamines, as Vansweevelt was an addict. But Vansweevelt is now claiming that De Cauwer sold him 'pot belge' - a mixture of heroin, cocaine, amphetamines and caffeine - between 1983 and 1986, some 10 years previously.
"He asked for double what another dealer wanted," said Vansweevelt, who is under psychiatric care at the moment. De Cauwer's lawyer claimed that, "The explanations are not in the dossier" while Vansweevelt's lawyer countered with, "My client has really said this."
VDB to skip Belgian classics
Frank Vandenbroucke (MrBookmaker.com-Sportstech) has decided to skip the Belgian spring classics due to a lack of condition. VDB, who injured his foot and was sentenced to 200 hours of community service at the start of winter, made the announcement last Thursday, saying that, "It has been too long since I have trained, it makes no sense to force it. I will not be there for the opening weekend of the Belgian season. But the season has just started. There are still some very nice races in May and June."
Freire plans steady start in Mallorca
Triple World Champion Oscar Freire will start his season in the Challenge Illes Balears, which opens in Palma de Mallorca on Sunday. But the Rabobank rider doesn't expect any early season successes, as he has been sick with a cold recently. "I've had problems training at the start of the season due to a cold," he was quoted by AS as saying. "I've always done well in the Mallorcan race, but on this occasion I will not be able to perform in this race like I did last year."
"I think that I'm going to participate in four of the five grandes premios of the 'challenge', but you have to see that for the bunch sprints, there are some very good riders on the start list, beginning with World Cup and Olympic champion Paolo Bettini."
Freire said that he will do the Vuelta a Andalucia and Trofeo Luis Puig after Mallorca, with his main aims this year to "win stages in the Tour and try to keep my jersey at the World Championships in Madrid."
Illes Balears presented in Mallorca
The official presentation of the Illes Balears team took place on Friday, February 4 in Palma de Mallorca, just a couple of days before the team debuts in the challenge Illes Balears. The presentation was overseen by the principal authorities of the Balearic Islands (Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza and Formentera) Government, including Consejera de Presidencia y Deportes Ms. María Rosa Puig, Consejero de Turismo Mr. Joan Flaquer and Director General de Deportes Mr. José Luis Ballester.
As it marked the first public appearance of all the new Team Illes Balears' members, there was a good deal of attention focused on Alejandro Valverde, the brilliant young sprinter/climber who was poached from Comunidad Valenciana towards the end of last year. At the post-presentation press conference, Valverde said that he was confident in facing the new season, where he wants to confirm himself as a future cycling champion.
On the other hand, Francisco Mancebo, team leader for the Tour de France and Spanish Champion in 2004/2005, said that he wants to continue to build on his successful 2004, where he finished on the podium in the Vuelta a España.
With Valverde and Mancebo, Spanish time trial champion Iván Gutiérrez, white jersey in the last Tour de France Vladimir Karpets and Unai Osa (who will target Giro de Italia), there are several good GC riders on the squad that will make a strong impression this season.
For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here
Images by Illes Balears
Images by Franklin Tello Photography/franklintellophoto.com
Tallingii the all-rounder
Maarten Tjallingii from the Chinese-registered Marco Polo Cycling Team has had an excellent start to the season in the Tour of Qatar. The 27-year old Dutchman with little experience in professional stage races proved to be one of the strongest riders in the star-studded race, finishing fifth behind three CSC riders and Tom Boonen.
"A dream that comes true," said Tjalllingii. "In the second stage I went in the long break, like I planned before leaving for Qatar. This was after my teammate Kenji Leung did a great solo on stage 1, so the Marco Polo team spirit was high. After that stage I was suddenly high up in GC and I wanted to defend my spot. When CSC broke up the field in stage 3, I had no problems getting in that echelon (17 riders broke away, all known top-riders and Tjallingii). I had to jump a few times, but made every break. Too bad I missed the seven guys that broke away in the final. In the fourth stage I was alright and kept a bit more quiet."
Tjallingii's preparation wasn't aimed at this race. "Less then two months ago I was still on a holiday in Africa, then I started training because I wanted to see what I can do in cyclo-cross," he said. "I finished fifth in the Dutch national championships."
A past winner of the Tour du Faso, Tjallingii is also ranked 26th in the world for cross country mountain biking, proving that he is indeed an all-rounder.
Sutton hopeful for Cofidis
Young Australian talent Chris "CJ" Sutton, who has ridden for Brad McGee's FDJ-NSWIS team for the past few years, is getting closer to a full professional road contract. After winning the U23 Australian road title and the Australian Madison Championships (with Chris Pascoe), Sutton said that he hopes to finalise negotiations with Cofidis next week. He has also been talking to Liberty Seguros, but it seems that the Australian connection of Stuart O'Grady and Matt White have swayed things in favour of Cofidis for Sutton.
CSC for GP Costa degli Etruschi
The CSC team is hoping to continue its early season success at the GP Costa degli Etruschi, which opens the Italian season on February 6. Coming off wins in Qatar, GP de la Marseillaise and Etoile de Bessèges, CSC's roster will include Michael Blaudzun, Vladimir Gussev, Peter Luttenberger, Nicki Sørensen, Brian Vandborg, Christian Vandevelde and Scott Sunderland as directeur sportif.
Launch party for Jittery Joe's-Kalahari
The U.S. domestic Jittery Joe's-Kalahari Pro Cycling Team will be kicking off the 2005 season with a launch party at the Jittery Joe's Coffee Roasting Company. Dave Towle will be the Master of Ceremonies for the event on Saturday, February 26 in downtown Athens, Georgia.
The entire "Bean Team" will be present, from Tim Johnson, Geoff Kabush to Jeff Hopkins, as well as team staff, sponsors, and invited media. The party will be during the team training camp held from February 23-March 5. Included is a team presentation, music, and drinks courtesy of Jittery Joe's Coffee, Kalahari Rooibos Tea, and Terrapin Beer Company.
Tickets will be available in advance at any Jittery Joe's Café, @The Hub Bikes in Athens, or online at www.hubbikes.com. Tickets are $20 ($15 for students) and all the proceeds go straight to the team to help fund their first major race, the Giro del Capo in South Africa.
Britain's top cycling squad Recycling.co.uk-MG-Xpower-Litespeed will hold its official team launch on Wednesday, February 9 at The Conference Centre, MG Rover Group, Lowhill Lane, Longbridge, Birmingham. Refreshments and buffet will be available from 13:15, with the presentation taking place in the theatre within the Conference Centre at 14:15. The entire team will be present including Olympic medallists Rob Hayles and Paul Manning and former World Points Champion and Olympic medallist Chris Newton.
More information: www.recyclingteam.co.uk
Arctic Shorter Rochford
The British-based Arctic Shorter Rochford Racing Team has now finalised its team roster for the coming season. Danny Axford (formerly Stilton RT) returns to the team as team leader, eliminating a large gap that was partially filled last year with Simon Gerrans (now with Ag2r) and Jonathan Dayus (formerly with Team Ringerike) spearheading the team in the key events. Danny brings a wealth of experience with him, having been a the top of UK cycling for some time now. He will target key Premier Calendar Series road events and the National Time Trial Championships at 10, 25 and 50 miles, he will also again ride the Hillclimb season, defending his BUSA National title.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)