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Mont Ventoux
Photo ©: Sirotti

Latest Cycling News for January 28, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones and Les Clarke

Federation asks for four years for De Clercq

Belgian cycling federation prosecutor Jaak Fransen has asked that Mario de Clercq be suspended for four years and be fined CHF10,000 over his involvement in the José Landuyt doping affair. De Clercq, who retired from competition at the end of last year, has admitted that he spoke with the veterinarian Landuyt about EPO, however he denies ever having used it.

"If every rider in the Tour de France is considered doped if he talks about EPO, then you'll have no-one left in the peloton," said De Clercq's lawyer Peter Callebaut to Sportwereld.be, after confirming his client's admissions to discussing the drug with Landuyt. "De Clercq has never tested positive for EPO in his whole career. Also the blood and urine tests taken during the legal investigation showed no banned products."

De Clercq is also accused of possessing growth hormone, but there appears to be some controversy surrounding the identification of the Somatropine that was allegedly found at his house in 2003. "The investigators said in their first verbal report that they had found a Chinese-manufactured growth hormone," said Callebaut. "The laboratory analysis found nothing. Only after a second analysis in another lab, the suspicions of the investigators were confirmed and there is again talk of a forbidden growth hormone. Mario de Clercq has now asked for a third analysis for his own benefit. That result is not yet known but the disciplinary commission still wants to suspend him."

After Callebaut's attempt to delay the hearing failed, the Belgian federation's disciplinary commission will release its verdict on De Clercq on March 2. So far it has suspended three other professional riders implicated in the case - Johan Museeuw, Jo Planckaert and Chris Peers - for four years, with two years suspended.

An interview with Floyd Landis

Back from his new team Phonak’s training camp
Photo ©: Jonathan Devich/CN
Click for larger image

Floyd Landis has just returned from his new team Phonak's training camp in Majorca, Spain where, according to Landis, the team showed its confidence and commitment to the coming season. Although feeling the stress of uncertainty throughout the off-season, Floyd says he is now looking forward to the season and feeling good on the bike. In the coming week the team will learn whether or not it will be accepted to this years Tour de France and once that has been determined the team's and Landis's schedule will be finalized.

Since returning to the states Landis has been busy with a side project, the Floyd Landis Power Camp. The camp is a chance for weekend racers or recreational cyclists to ride with Floyd and with the Saris Powertap, while information gathered by the Powertap is analyzed by Dr. Allen Lim. Dr. Lim is a leading expert on training with power and has coached many professional cyclist and national team members. The camp is based in Temecula, California, which provided some great weather and even better country roads. After the second day of camp Cyclingnews' Jonathan Devich had a chance to sit down with Floyd to catch up on his recent happenings.

Cyclingnews: How was the Phonak camp?

Floyd Landis: It was good, team morale was good considering all the BS that's gone on.

CN: So the attitude was good?

FL:: I think everyone was really motivated, probably more than normal. They want to show them that they made the wrong decision but that's no reflection on the strength of the team. Obviously the team is good and the organization is good.

Click here for the full interview

Cofidis Presents for 2005

Cedric Vasseur
Photo ©: AFP
Click for larger image

With Australian Stuart O'Grady and perennial French favourites Jimmy Casper and Cedric Vasseur (pictured) featuring on the roster for 2005, the Cofidis squad was presented in Paris on Thursday, looking to firmly plant itself as one of the movers of the ProTour.

A talented line-up including new recruit Sylvain Chavanel (former Brioches la Boulangere rider) and neo pro Nicholas Roche (son of 1987 Tour de France winner Stephen Roche) is looking to perform well in the Classics and Grand Tours. Stuart O'Grady, one of the team's 'captains', hopes to perform well in Milan-San Remo, a race he's dreamt of winning. With the help of Australian teammate Matt White, this dream may well be fulfilled. The two recently rode the Jacob's Creek Tour Down Under, with White taking an emotional stage four victory. Australian media outlets have been quick to note the potential for these two to work closely in France during July.

The rocky roads of 2004 seem to be behind Cofidis, and as media speculation surrounding their well-publicised doping scandal has decreased, focus has switched to the potential of the team to excel in 2005. Team Management were relieved to gain the signature of former Baker Boy Chavanel, who, at 25, is looking to establish himself as a major rider within the peloton. Big things are expected of Chavanel within France, and after his stage victory in last year's Tour, David Moncoutie is another name mentioned for further successes.

Another addition to the roster, former Saeco rider Leonardo Bertagnolli, is a rider looking to cement his place in the well-rounded squad, along with the nine new faces in the Cofidis line-up. And with an average age of 28, there's a real mix of youth and experience within the squad, something many teams are trying to achieve with the ProTour format forcing a tighter race schedule on an overall basis. Team management seem to be excited by their prospects in the ProTour, and in 2005 it looks like they'll step up to the challenge.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Daniel Schamps

Images by AFP Photo

Naturino-Sapore di Mare presentation

Management and a team bike
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

Pro Continental team Naturino-Sapore di Mare were unveiled Thursday, in Italy. Although a new outfit, they have gained the services of the experienced Francesco Casagrande to guide their young riders through the new Professional Continental racing format - the next rung down from the ProTour. Representatives from Naturino, including their president joined directors Vincenzo Santoni, Giuseppe Petito and Antonio Salutini in launching the new squad.

The team is made up of remnants of the former Domina Vacanze squad, after a mass exodus including Mario Cipollini took place at the end of 2004. 19-year-old Valerio Agnoli featured with Casagrande at the presentation, displaying new SAB bikes and their distinctive canary yellow uniforms. It was a low-key affair, with sponsors confident the team can be competitive within the new competition format.

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Fotoreporter Sirotti

Chocolade Jacques-T Interim presentation

The Chocolade Jacques-T Interim
Photo ©: Chocolade Jacques
Click for larger image

The Professional Continental cycling team Chocolade Jacques-T-Interim was presented to the press in the historic Bouchout Castle, just a stone's throw away from Belgium's capital Brussels. The team is based on the former Vlaanderen-T Interim-Eddy Merckx team, with a handful of young pro's from Jong Vlaanderen 2016 signing on as well as a couple of Lotto-Domo riders. Thus, with a new name and new sponsors, the squad enters its 12th year in the international peloton and will remain at least until the end of 2006.

The team's priority will remain the same: to train promising youngsters to enable them to move on to well-established teams. Riders such as Tom Steels, Mario Aerts, Serge Baguet, Wilfried Cretskens, Bjorn Leukemans, Nico Sijmens, Stijn Devolder, Wim Van Huffel, Jan Kuyckx, Matthew Gilmore, Geert Verheyen, Kurt Van De Wouwer, Leif Hoste, Wim Vansevenant, Glenn D'Hollander, Ben Berden, Tom Vannoppen, Erwin Thijs, Geert Van Bondt, Bert Roesems, Paul Van Hyfte and the late Stive Vermaut all started their professional careers in this team.

In terms of results, the 2004 season was the team's best ever, winning 17 road races including eight by sprinter Steven Caethoven in his first pro-season. The team also won the team prize in the Tour de l'Avenir and there were victories in track and cyclo-cross races. For 2005, Chocolade Jacquyes-T Interim hopes to equal or better these results. The team also aims to put its young riders in action in ProTour races in Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Newcomers in 2005 are new road captain Niko Eeckhout and Kevin Van Impe (both from Lotto-Domo), together with neo-professionals Pieter Ghyllebert, Kurt Hovelijnck, Aron Huysmans, Kenny Lisabeth, Tom Stubbe, Maarten Wijnants and track specialist Iljo Keisse. Also new are general manager Christophe Sercu (after four years as a manager for Lotto-Domo) and Sports Director Walter Planckaert.

Steven Caethoven
Photo ©: Chocolade Jacques
Click for larger image

On Wednesday, January 26, eight riders (Caethoven, Stubbe, De Schrooder, Ghyllebert, Van Mechelen, Van Speybroeck, Wijnants, Hovelijnck) left for Qatar under the supervision of sports director Jean Pierre Heynderickx. They will ride in the GP Doha and the Tour of Qatar. The other races on our program in February are GP d'Ouverture La Marseillaise, Etoile de Bessèges, Ruta Ciclista Del Sol, Trofeo Laigueglia, Tour du Haut Var, Classic Haribo, Omloop Het Volk, Kuurne-Bruxelles-Kuurne and Clasica de Almeria.

The team's sponsors are Chocolade Jacques (a division of Callebaut chocolate), T-Interim (a temporary work agency), Capri-Sonne (lemonade) and Eddy Merckx, the godfather of the team. The Flemish government is still a very important partner and subsidises the team.

Team website: www.jacques-t-interim.be

Click here for the full team roster

Photography

For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Chocolade Jacques-T Interim/www.jacques-t-interim.be

Sunde Memorial raises $2000

A great day of racing, fundraising and general Australia Day enjoyment was celebrated on Wednesday at the 12th Annual Joseph Sunde Memorial Criteriums which are dedicated to the memory of Joseph Sunde, who passed away in 1993 after an 18 month battle with leukaemia (see about Joseph). Fundraising on the day was over $2,000 which is donated to the Children's Cancer Institute of Australia to support CCIA's research into childhood cancer.

John, Christine, Edward and Portia Sunde thank to the 150 cyclists who competed on the day, the spectators who donated so generously, the event sponsors and the Eastern Suburbs Cycling Club for organising another memorable event.

Results, report and photos: Elite men, Support

Bacardi-Nuvo Cycling Team

The Bacardi-NUVO cycling team has announced its team roster for the 2005 racing season. With a new title sponsorship from Bacardi Rum, Bacardi-NUVO cycling team is expanding the elite cycling team to include an eight-member, espoir development squad. Bacardi-NUVO will also race to benefit Bottled H2O - a virtual science museum that will host online science exhibits and lessons for teens and young adults in a non-threatening and fun way.

Click here for the full team roster

Eclipse Racing

The Eclipse Racing Team returns this year as a mix of young aggressive talent and veteran racers. The team will kick off its season at this year's Valley of the Sun Stage Race (Phoenix, AZ) which will serve as the team's first official race outing.

Seven riders will return from 2004 to the Cat 1/2 team, with four new Cat 3 additions rounding out the 12 man squad. With three riders under the age of 23, Eclipse Racing will function as a junior development team, masters, and category 1/2 team focusing on USCF races and top National Racing Calendar races in the U.S. "I'm looking forward to taking this group of riders to the biggest races in the US and teaching these guys to race and present themselves as up and coming pros," said returning Manager/Director Scott Blanchard. "We have some great young talent as well as older guys who are committed to the teaching the younger guys how to both race and win. Eclipse Racing will surprise a lot of people this year!"

Click here for the full team roster

We have a winner of the Argon18!

Argon18 Krypton FC & Red Ace Leg Shave Prep
Click for larger image

Christmas came a little late to a reader in Virginia, USA, but it seems that it was worth the extra wait, as Mr Jose Aguto of Alexandria has been confirmed as our winner in the special Red Ace - Argon18 competition we held last month.

Thank you to the thousands of readers who entered this competition, where you had to correctly answer a question about the Red Ace preparation. Mr Aguto was thrilled to be called and keenly awaits throwing a leg over the very choice prize - a Dura-Ace-equipped Argon18 Krypton FC road bike from this rapidly emerging Canadian firm.

Mr Aguto, 39, is a keen commuter and occasional racer, although he said he's realised he's "not the second coming of Eddy".

"I'm a proud member of the (in)famous Team Lardbutt, Greg Taylor's squad/motley crew in northern Virginia," Jose told us. "I currently ride a Quattro Assi Team 2000. I use it primarily to commute to work year-long along the George Washington Parkway bike trail along the Potomac River into Washington DC, except when the snow hardens on the trail. I particularly enjoy inclement weather, when I and other commuters pass even more automobiles into work," he said. "I also ride with the Lardbutts on occasion during their regular Sunday morning rides, though I often wonder why, as getting dropped by 40, 50, and yes, sometimes 60 year olds does very little for the ego, though I suppose it could be worse since they generally do so with cheery smiles."

Well, it seems that Jose will now have one less excuse for being dropped by the rest of the bunch. Congratulations and thanks again to all those who entered. Cyclingnews is certain to be offering more great competitions in 2005, so there will be further chances to win great prizes provided by our wonderful sponsors, who help us bring the news to you every day.

And another winner!

Dahron Johnson
Photo ©: Sink Photo Services
Click for larger image

While we're on the topic of prize winners, we'd also like to thank all of you who took the time to complete our 2004 Readers' Poll. We realise it took more than a handful of seconds to complete and appreciate the effort to recognise all those cyclists and events that made 2004 such a great year.

As a special incentive to all those who entered, we offered up to $200 in Cyclingnews.com merchandise as a prize, and the name who came out of the cyber-barrel was Mr Dahron Johnson, a former cyclo-cross racer who's had to put aside the racing to concentrate on his studies as a student at Vanderbilt University Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee.

Johnson said he still maintains membership with the Cycles de ORO/The Printery team in Greensboro, North Carolina, as well as belonging to the Vanderbilt collegiate squad. However, one is most likely to see him on a bike during his daily commute through downtown Nashville to and from school, jumping fences on closed bridges and giving the one-finger salute to more vehicles than one would expect from someone in such training.

Dahron plans to spend his huge kitty on items like the Team Cyclingnews jersey and knicks, Cyclingnews-branded socks by DeFeet and maybe even a poster. Thanks again to all who took the time to complete the survey.

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