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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for November 21, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Heras' counter-analysis "might be surprising"

Roberto Heras at the Alcala de Henares TT, where his A sample tested positive for EPO
Photo ©: Unipublic
Click for larger image

The lawyer of Liberty Seguros rider Roberto Heras, Andreu Garriga is confident that the outcome of the counter-analysis will be negative, proving that the winner of the 2005 Vuelta a España did not take EPO to boost his performances. The rider's B sample will be opened and tested as of today, Monday, November 21, at the Consejo Superior de Deportes (CSD) laboratory in Madrid, in the presence of Heras' lawyer and an Italian expert from Florence University.

"I think that there is a possibility [that the B sample test will turn out negative]," Garriga told Spanish newspaper AS. "It would be exceptional, as in 95 percent of all doping cases the counter-analysis is positive, too, but in this case, I have substantial hopes." On top of the alleged unreliability of the urinary EPO test, the attorney bases his confidence on Roberto Heras' serenity facing the investigation.

"Roberto told me that it must be a mistake as he didn't take anything, so the outcome of the counter-analysis must be right. I would be very nervous in his situation, but Roberto shows so much calm that it makes me very confident," continued Garriga, who also trusts the laboratory in charge of the examination. "I'm convinced that the CSD has done a good job and will continue to do so. We want the B sample test to be carried out without any problems, and if so, there might be some surprises."

Nevertheless, should the result of Heras' B sample be a positive, too, the lawyer and his client would "use all possible resources" in the legal fight for innocence. Garriga already defended two Spanish riders, Joan Llaneras, whose B sample vindicated him, and Pascual Llorente, whose use of Banned substance EPO was confirmed. The test results jeopardising Roberto Heras' fourth Vuelta victory, the credibility of his entire career and the future of his Liberty Seguros squad are expected to be released on Thursday, November 24.

An interview with Myles Rockwell

Rockwell rages on

Myles Rockwell
Photo ©: Red Bull
Click for larger image

Red Bull's Road Rage event, held over the weekend of November 5-6, was a chance for mountain bikers and road riders to compete in order to see who could descend the fastest. The weekend's big winner was former downhill world champ Myles Rockwell, who won the time trial and pack race to take home $6000. But wouldn't that be small fry for a former world champ? Cyclingnews' Les Clarke finds out that being a retired downhill mountain biker isn't all about glamour, girls and maybe the odd bit of coaching.

After winning the world championship crown in 2000, Rockwell retired from professional downhill riding in 2002, with injuries during 2001 taking away his motivation to perform at the highest level. "When you're not healthy, it just doesn't feel very good; you just want to get better and I was kind of at the end, mentally, when I won world's in 2000."

As well as the injuries, Rockwell says the face of downhill racing had changed, and not necessarily for the better. "I had figured that 'ok, unless something special happens, I'm probably going to be done,' and in mountain biking everything was winding down; the money was going away, all my friends were going away...I'd been on the circuit for ten years, and everything was changing, becoming less and less like home," says Rockwell.

Also, the financial rewards associated with something as high risk as downhill racing had dried up, and with a change of emphasis towards freeriding, Rockwell had had enough. "There was a big shift going on - freeriding and all that - a lot of money going away from downhill - so it became increasingly less comfortable to ask for the money you thought you should get, or face riding for less than you thought you should be getting paid...I wanted to get out while I was still in one piece," he says.

Click here for the full interview.

Simoni knows all 2006 Giro climbs

Lampre-Caffita's Gilberto Simoni is this year's early bird in having ridden all of the decisive climbs of the 2005 Giro d'Italia already. "Of all the 2005 Giro climbs, I was only lacking the Plan de Corones," Simoni told Italian website tuttobiciweb.com last Saturday, before taking his bike out for a spin up the Plan de Corones, which will be the final ascent of stage 17 taking place on Wednesday, May 24, 2006.

Although Simoni had to change for a mountainbike at one point, as there was already snow on the Dolomites ski resort, Sunday proved to be a perfect day for reconnoitring the course under blue skies. "It's a truly demanding climb," the two-times Giro d'Italia winner said on the 17 kilometres-long climb averaging 7.5 percent gradient. "Even though with the snow I couldn't discover it properly. But I'm close to home here so I can come back during the beautiful season!" Simoni will be riding the event in the colours of his new team Saunier Duval.

Voigt injured

Team CSC's Jens Voigt took a tumble on Sunday while warming up for a cross country race in his hometown of Dassow, tearing three ligaments in his right shoulder. Further examination in a Berlin hospital will decide whether the 34 year-old needs surgery to heal the wound. "I wanted to jump over a tree trunk, but I wasn't fast enough," he said. "It's too bad, but not tragic neither - it's not that I lost a leg or anything," Voigt added, speaking to Radsportnews.com. The preparation for the coming season will not be disturbed by the accident, he said.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Keisse struggles for Gent Sixday

Belgian track rider Iljo Keisse is not certain of being able to participate in the Gent Sixday, which will be taking place this week, starting on Tuesday, November 22. Keisse, who as usually partnered with fellow Belgian Matthew Gilmore in the Munich Sixday won by German pair Erik Zabel and Robert Bartko, injured his left shoulder and backside in a fall in that event.

"The ligaments in my shoulder were stretched, but I will undergo surgery only after the season," Keisse said. "The bruise of my bottom is impeding my a lot. In Munich, I couldn't pedal round anymore. I'll know more after an x-ray examination. The aim is to start in Gent in good condition."

2006 Canadian Cycling Calendar official

The Canadian Cycling Association has presented the preliminary 2006 Canadian Cycling Calendar. More then 37 cycling events will be presented across Canada from May to September 2006. The Mountain Bike sector still leads the Canadian cycling scene with a total of 16 events for 2006, with perennial favourite Mont-Sainte-Anne World Cup and new comer Whistler Crankworx cycling festival. The Road sector is following closely with 14 events including the Tour de Beauce Bell and the Montreal Women World Cup. Three events will be held in BMX and Track while Cyclocross got only one race at this time.

All of these events will be part of the newly created Canada Cup Ranking. The ranking will include all national and international events, as well as some selected provincial events presented in Canada. The ranking will be maintained in Road, Mountain Bike (XC, MX, DH, 4X), BMX, Track as well as Cyclocross; and include junior, U23 and elite categories. Leader jerseys will be awarded on a monthly basis in Junior and Elite Categories.

For the complete calendar, go to www.canadian-cycling.com.

Belgium creates special Giro stamp

The Belgian Post service has created a special stamp to honour the start of the 2006 Giro d'Italia in Belgium, where the race will stay for four days next year. "La Vallonia lancia il Giro 2006" [Wallonny starts the 2006 Giro - ed.] is printed on the 50 Euro cent stamp, which shows Gilberto Simoni in the maglia rosa as winner of the race. The Giro stamp will be produced in four languages in a total circulation of 220,000, to be released on the market on April 24, 2006.

Trust House Cycle Classic partners with EMC2

The race director of the Trust House Cycle Classic, Womenís Tour and Womenís World Cup, Jorge Sandoval, has announced that an agreement with EMC2 bikes has been reached. EMC2 is now "The Official Bike" of the cited bike races in New Zealand, which allows the brand to promote its products by placing logos on jerseys, official cars and at the television interview area.

EMC2 bikes are designed by four times Tour de France rider and internationally recognised road bike designer, New Zealander Eric Mackenzie. "Iíve know Jorge Sandoval for a very long time," said Mackenzie. "We are very happy to be part of his international promotions."

Sandoval, in return, honoured the former pro. "Eric is one of the best riders this country has ever seen and knows the industry inside out, so for us itís a privilege to have him as one of our sponsors," the race director said. The Trust House tour is on from January 25-29, 2006.

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