First Edition Cycling News for January 9, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner and Jeff Jones
Court says Museeuw doped
In the doping case involving veterinarian José Landuyt and Belgian cycling star Johan Museeuw, the public prosecutor of Kortrijk (Belgium) issued a final evaluation on Friday. As Belgian newspapers De Morgen and Het Laatste Nieuws reported, the court found overwhelming indication that Museeuw used EPO and Aranesp in the year 2003 and stated: "Taking into consideration the investigated SMS and fax messages, the examinations and confessions made by Landuyt as well as other persons, it is established that Johan Museeuw has definitely taken EPO and Aranesp."
SMS messages sent from Landuyt to Museeuw clearly indicate the veterinarian advised the rider on how to use what they call "wasps", a code name for Aranesp which was confirmed by Landuyt. In a message to Museeuw dated July 7, 2003, Landuyt wrote, "Now you should take 80 to 100 wasps, and upon departure on July 9, minimum 40 and maximum 60, then you will be clean as of July 19."
On July 27, Museeuw sent a message to Landuyt saying: "I have 52", to which Landuyt responded "Take salt and drink a lot." One day later, Landuyt again received an SMS from Museeuw that said "Still 52", to which he replied, "Snuff salt and drink a lot." The court considered it highly probable the Belgian rider was trying to bring down his haematocrit level, which must be under 50 in order to be declared fit for racing under UCI rules. Blood boosting drugs such as EPO will raise a rider's haematocrit.
Meanwhile, Museeuw still maintains his innocence. At a fundraising race in Diksmuide, Belgium, Belgium's greatest classics rider said: "I have nothing to hide, because I have done nothing wrong. Absolutely nothing." Furthermore, Museeuw has decided to be very involved in the debate around his integrity, but wants to keep it away from the media. "I want to continue the debate at the right places, not via the papers or TV. Apparently they want to dethrone me. But that's not going to work that easily," he said.
Armstrong wins suit
Lance Armstrong has scored a significant victory in his libel battle against The Sunday Times and its chief sports writer David Walsh.
A judge in London's high court has struck out the newspaper's defence in its entirety after the six-times Tour de France winner sued them for libel. The suit was prompted by an article last June, bylined Alan English, repeating allegations made in a book LA Confidentiel: The Secrets of Lance Armstrong which Walsh co-authored but was published only in France. The newspaper had sought to argue that the article was true. They could now face a six-figure compensation payout to the American. Mr Justice Eady said he considered the tone of the article to be "sensational" and to "stir things up".
The book calls on 52 witnesses, whose evidence, as Walsh admitted when the book was published, is "circumstantial". Armstrong has repeatedly denied allegations that he has taken performance-enhancing drugs. Upon publication of the book and article, the Tour de France winner mobilised legal teams in London and Paris. News International has removed the article from its online archive.
Armstrong is also involved in a bitter court case in his native Texas, having sued his former personal assistant, Mike Anderson. Anderson claimed he wanted $500,000 and other benefits under an employment contract. Now Anderson has counter-sued for an unspecified amount, accusing Armstrong of fraud, breach of contract and causing him severe emotional distress.
Source: The Guardian
Dajka satisfied with return to racing
By Gina Gershon in Manchester
Australian sprinter and 2002 world keirin champion Jobie Dajka was pleased with his competitive return to the track after serving a ban for lying to a doping inquiry. The Australian finished seventh in the men's sprint at the third round of the track cycling World Cup in Manchester on Saturday, losing in the quarterfinals to the eventual winner, Frenchman Mickael Bourgain.
Dajka was the eighth-fastest qualifier in 10.511 seconds, while Bourgain was quickest in 10.393. Dajka said that while his time was about where he expected it to be and he had no problems with accelaration, he did need to work on his top-end speed ahead of the World Championships in Los Angeles in March.
"There was two ways of looking at it," Dajka said. "I was disappointed not to get through, but he (Bourgain) was only 0.12 quicker. To come back and only be that far behind the leader was definitely a positive." When Dajka sat down to set his goals for the meet a couple of weeks ago, his main objective was not to embarrass himself with a poor performance in his comeback race. Now he believes he has achieved that aim.
"It's certainly satisfying," Dajka said. "It was good to be out there." It was Dajka's first race since he was axed from the Australian Olympic team shortly before the Athens Games. He was suspended until January 1 by Cycling Australia for lying to a doping inquiry headed by Justice Robert Anderson. Dajka was not convicted of any doping offence. His suspension was imposed for a code of conduct breach.
Bourgain won his contest for the sprint gold medal with Poland's Lukasz Kwiatkowski in straight races, while Jose Antonio Villanueva Trinidad beat another Frenchman, Gregory Bauge, to the bronze medal, also with two consecutive wins.
With world record holder Australia not entering the event, Olympic silver medallists Great Britain won the 4000-meter team pursuit. Rob Hayles, Paul Manning, Stephen Cummings and Chris Newton beat Spain in the gold medal ride-off and Germany beat the Netherlands to bronze. Vasil Kiryienka of Belarus won the men's points race, with Russian Nikita Eskov claiming silver and Pearce Colby of the United States the bronze.
Australian Katherine Bates won the 3000-meter individual pursuit ahead of Britain's Emma Davies and Karin Thurig of Switzerland. Russia's Tamilla Abassova won the women's 500-meter time trial, while Britain's Victoria Pendleton added the silver medal to her second place in Friday's sprint. Italian Elisa Frisoni was third.
For full results and report, see our Manchester coverage.
Kupfernagel defends title at German cyclo-cross Nats
Hanka Kupfernagel will continue to be Germany's best female cyclo-crosser for a fifth time, conserving a comfortable lead of 2'35 over Sabine Spitz at the finish line in Kleinmachnow, close to Berlin. In the U23 race, Finn Heitmann outsprinted Paul Voss.
In Spain, Rosa Bravo won the women's race in front of Rocío Gamonal and Ruth Moll. Results in The Netherlands saw Lars Boom the winner of the U23 race, whereas the unstoppable Daphny van den Brand dominated and won the women's race. New elite champion in Italy is Enrico Franzoi, with Veronica Alessio victorious among the women.
The National Cyclo-cross Championships in Europe will continue on Sunday, January 9.
Pichon race comeback planned in April
After suffering very severe injuries when he fell into a 15-metre deep ravine during the 2004 Dauphiné Libéré, Mickaël Pichon (Bouygues Telecom) hopes to return to competition in April this year. The French rider subsequently spent three months at a Grenoble hospital, where several orthopaedic and facial surgeries were performed. At the moment the 31 year-old is back in training with his teammates, having ridden 3000 km since the accident.
X-Power dig deep for underweight Downing
Dean Downing of the X-Power-Recycling-Litespeed professional cycling team had a surprise at the World Cup track event in Manchester this weekend, when his bicycle was deemed too light by officials.
Citing a rule that states that no bicycle may weigh less than 6.4 kg - a measly 14 lb - Downing was threatened with expulsion when his titanium Litespeed was found to weigh 400 grams less than the minimum.
"I had a whip round and drummed up eight pound coins," explained team mechanic Bob Rouse. "I wrapped them up with an old bike chain with a bit of bandage and stuffed it into the bike frame."
The prosaic but inventive solution nearly came up trumps, as Downing rattled round the Manchester Velodrome to qualify for the final of the points race, but his tribulations were not over.
"It was pretty combative stuff, and I got squeezed down over the blue line in the rough and tumble," reported the Yorkshire pro. Crossing the blue line that circles the inside of the track means instant disqualification, and Downing had no complaints about his dismissal.
"I reckon they heard the pound coins jingling up behind them and shut the door on me," he laughed.
Victory in the final went to experienced Frenchman Jerome Neuville, after the home crowd had been entertained by an attack from Olympic hero Bradley Wiggins.
Catherine Marsal becomes DS of team S.A.T.S.
In Copenhagen, Danish Team S.A.T.S. officially announced that its new directeur sportif in 2005 will be four-times World Champion Catherine Marsal, who finished her professional racing career at the end of 2004. Marsal will be accompanied by Sandrine Marcuz Moreau to guide the women's team at World Cup and other stage races throughout the new season.
Chris Maconald, the squad's manager explained, "Catherine is the most qualified person for our young team, which still needs to make a lot of progress despite good international results in 2004."
Team S.A.T.S. includes the following riders for 2005: Sandrine Marcuz Moreau (Fra), Rachel Heal (GBr), Meredith Miller (USA), Melissa Holt (NZl), Karina Sørensen (Den), Trine Hansen (Den), Mette Andersen (Den), Mette Fischer (Den), Dorthe Lohse (Den) and Lise Christensen (Den).
Michael Rasmussen has decided to help the tsunami victims of Southeast Asia. He is selling two Rabobank jersey, signed by the entire Tour de France 2004 Rabobank team to raise funds for donation. The two shirts are signed by the Dutch champion and Paris-Tours winner Erik Dekker, former Amstel Gold winner Michael Boogerd, as well as Levi Leipheimer, Marc Wauters, Karsten Kroon, Bram De Groot and of course Michael Rasmussen himself.
To purchase the jersey, follow the instructions on Rasmussen's website: feltet.dk/michaelrasmussen/news.php?extend.27
Team Alliance Environmental for 2005
Alliance Environmental Systems, Inc. of West Chester, Pennsylvania, has announced it has taken over title sponsorship of the Elite Amateur Cycling Team formerly known as Team Lite Bites (in 2002 and 2003), and Team Land Rover of West Chester presented by Marvin Segal Associates (in 2004).
With 16 elite wins last year, not including those of new addition Mike Miller, Team Alliance Environmental, which will compete primarily in the Mid-Atlantic region, now fields the first five finishers the 2004 Pennsylvania Best All-Around Rider competition. Retired from cycling this year is 17-year former professional rider, teammate Steve Speaks.
For the full team roster, click here.
Don Smith Memorial supports Braveheart fund
The annual 'Don Smith Memorial' supporting the Braveheart Fund will take place this year in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, UK on Sunday, February 27. The event will have three separate rides to cater for all levels. Don's wife will flag off the first group of riders at 10:00 am.
70 miles starting at 10:00 (want-to-be fast guys)
All rides will start and finish at the Johnstone Wheelers Club rooms, Millar Street, Johnstone. Soup and sandwiches will be available at finish along with a certificate of completion to all participants.
All participants will be entered into a prize draw where the winner will receive a new Braveheart Fund jersey designed by Peleton Design. The first 100 entries will also receive a 'goodie' bag filled with various bits and pieces. Dooleys Cycles will be having their annual Sale with many bargains.
If he is not away filming, Graeme Obree will be participating in the sociable ride. This is a great opportunity for any newcomers to ride with a legend of Scottish cycling. Former Olympian Brian Smith will also be participating in the moderate ride. Entry Fee/Donation is £5.00 with all proceeds going directly into the Fund.
Send entries to: Andy McKinlay, 3 Ashgrove Workshops, Ashgrove Road, Kilwinning, KA13 6PU
Email Enquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For further information, please visit www.braveheartfund.com
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)