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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for February 28, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Hoffman unsure of continuing

Dutch CSC rider Tristan Hoffman's career is in doubt after he crashed in Saturday's Omloop Het Volk. Hoffman hit a bollard when the road narrowed on the descent of the Muur van Geraardsbergen, and broke his shin bone in two places. He was taken to the UZ hospital in Gent where he was operated on on Saturday evening. As he had targeted the classics to finish his career this year, the 35 year-old Hoffman suggested that it was all over because of a "stupid bollard".

On Sunday, he was in slightly better spirits, according to his wife Vera who told Algemeen Dagblad, "He can right himself quickly in a situation, which I'm sometimes very jealous of." Hoffman broke a vertebrae in his neck when he was 19. "The doctors told him that he could forget a career as a professional cyclist. Through hard training in the sports school he cam out on top again. Thus, who knows what he can do know?"

Although Hoffman will not be able to walk properly for several weeks, Team CSC director Scott Sunderland said that he would do everything to get Hoffman back on the bike for the late season classics.

Rabobank suffers a loss

The Rabobank team had some bad news on Sunday morning, when it found out that Stijn de Jaeger, the son of team soigneur Antoine de Jaeger was killed in a car accident on Saturday evening. Stijn often came to watch races, and was even there on Saturday to see Het Volk. His death was a shock to the team, most of which knew him. "This morning at breakfast, everyone was heavy hearted," said director Adri van Houwelingen to De Telegraaf. "We even considered not starting, but most of the guys wanted to ride. Whatever happened, the race today was of lesser interest."

Armstrong in Eindhoven TTT

Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf is reporting that Lance Armstrong is "virtually certain" of riding the new ProTour team time trial in Eindhoven on June 19. It will thus form one of his most important preparation races in the lead up to the Tour de France. "Eindhoven is an ideal chance to prepare well for the Tour's team time trial," said Discovery team director Dirk Demol. "Here you can work on the smallest details. Since it's two weeks before the Tour, you can go full on with the whole team in Eindhoven.

Hamilton hearing starts

Tyler Hamilton's future as a professional cyclist could well depend on the outcome of his three day hearing with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency that begins today (Monday) in Denver, Colorado with a decision expected on March 12. Hamilton is hoping to prove that the scientific test used to detect blood doping, which was introduced in 2004, is not accurate enough to give a positive drug test.

In August and September of 2004, Hamilton failed three out of four tests that he was administered for homologous blood doping, with the fourth test result unable to be determined due to the freezing of the blood sample. Hamilton has strongly denied ever having a blood transfusion, which is indicated by such a positive test. His former teammate at Phonak, Santi Perez, also failed a test for homologous blood doping, and was yesterday given a two year suspension for doping by the Spanish Cycling Federation. He is expected to appeal that decision.

Hamilton's lawyer, Howard Jacobs, told the Denver Post that he was "fairly optimistic" of winning the case, as the test was relatively new in sports. "It helps it that if you have an athlete who tests positive for Nandrolone, which has been tested for 15 years, and you say, 'Hey, the test isn't valid,' you won't get far with that," said Jacobs. "But here the validity of the test has to be established. We've preached all along it's not a valid test. Maybe we know something they don't."

Although the test is new in sports, the science behind it (cytology) has been successfully used for 10 years in hospitals for organ transplants and pregnant women.

Related story: In the blood: How the new blood doping test works

No further sanction for Peden

New Zealand track cyclist Anthony Peden will not be further sanctioned by the Cycling New Zealand Federation (CNZ) following his admission to having used a prohibited substance in the period leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games. An independent Inquiry Tribunal established by CNZ effectively endorsed earlier findings of the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) that the agreed withdrawal of Anthony Peden from the NZ Olympic Team was of itself a sufficient penalty, and that therefore no further sanction is necessary.

Peden, who was originally a member of the NZ team for Athens, said that he was administered intra-muscular injections of triamcinolone acetonide, a banned glucocortiscosteroid, by a German doctor between 19 and 28 July 2004. The injections were to treat low back pain and sciatic nerve irritation. After the New Zealand team was subjected to out of competition drug tests on August 9, 2004, Peden applied for a Therapeutic Use Exemption (TUE) on August 11, 2004. This was rejected by the IOC and WADA on the grounds that alternative permitted means of treatment, such as epidural or root sleeve injection, were not administered and failed; there would not be a significant impairment to Peden's health if the prohibited substance was withheld; and that he would have significant residual levels of the glucocorticosteroid in his body for a prolonged period after the last injection.

Peden had signed an athletes' agreement with the New Zealand Olympic Committee on May 25, 2004, and at the time of his TUE disclosure in August he was still under the jurisdiction of the NZOC, which announced his withdrawal from the team on August 20, 2004. The NZOC was of the view that Mr Peden's exclusion from the Games was sufficient punishment and that additional punishment would not be warranted given that he had voluntarily disclosed information and had missed out on the Games as a result; he had followed appropriate procedures, albeit belatedly, for a TUE application; any further disciplinary action against him may have the effect of dissuading other athletes from coming forward to declare all that was necessary in order to pursue even a belated TUE application.

CNZ's Inquiry Tribunal considered this judgment and further evidence from the New Zealand team doctor and New Zealand Sports Drug Agency that it would not be desirable to charge an athlete with an anti-doping violation on the basis of a TUE, whenever made. CNZ also ruled that as the NZOC had already penalised Peden, an additional sanction would go against the principle that a person should not be penalised twice for the same error, which is applicable to cases such as these where more than one international sporting body could claim jurisdiction in the matter.

Liberty, Illes Balears and Relax for Murcia

The 25th edition of the Vuelta a la Comunidad de Murcia takes place between March 2-6 this week over five stages and 642 kilometres. The race is classed as a UCI 2.1 stage race and was won last year by Jose Iván Gutiérrez (Illes Balears). Liberty Seguros-Würth, Illes Balears and Relax-Fuenlabrada have announced their team rosters for the race, as follows:

Liberty Seguros-Würth: Joseba Beloki, Allan Davis, David Etxebarria, Koldo Gil, Jesús Hernández, Isidro Nozal, Nuno Ribeiro, Iván Santos

Illes Balears: David Arroyo, José Luis Carrasco, Sergi Escobar, Toni Colom, Chente García, Iván Gutiérrez, Cayetano Julià, Vladimir Karpets.

Relax-Fuenlabrada: Xavier Florencio, Iban Mayoz, Luis Pasamontes, Javier Benítez, Angel Vallejo, José Almagro, Nacor Burgos and Daniel Moreno.

Bishop signs with Trek/Volkswagen

Jeremiah Bishop has signed to ride for Trek/Volkswagen for the 2005 racing season. With four years of experience on a Trek/VW regional team, Bishop will spend '05 with a full factory-backed position on Trek's professional MTB team. Bishop is the reigning Pan American Games Champion, six time USA National Team member, and won the 2004 NORBA National season opener.

Ontario Master Cycling Association schedule

The Ontario Master Cycling Association (OMCA) has announced its 2005 schedule of races. The OMCA was founded to provide Ontario cyclists, aged 40 and up (ladies 35 and up) with races not normally available to older cyclists.

The races are age and ability related. Road races and time trials are handicapped proportionally with age, pursuits use a handicap based on results from a previously recorded time trial. Races are held on quiet country roads at various locations throughout Ontario's "Golden Horseshoe" area.

More more information, contact the race secretary at or visit the OMCA's booth at the Toronto Bike Show, March 4-6.

May 1 - Time Trial, 40km
May 8 - Pursuit, 69km
May 15 - Road Race, 61km
May 29 - Time Trial, 40km
June 5 - Pursuit, 69km
June 19 - Road Race, 60km
July 3 - Time Trial, 40km
July 10 - Pursuit, 75km
July 17 - Road Race, 65km
July 31 - Time Trial, 40km
Aug 7 - Pursuit, 60km
Aug 14 - Road Race, 69k

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