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Dauphiné Libéré
Photo ©: Sirotti

First Edition Cycling News for October 12, 2005

Edited by Anthony Tan & Les Clarke

Final ruling for Museeuw early 2006

After defence lawyers and prosecutors submitted written statements on Tuesday, the next judicial hearing into the doping case involving Johan Museeuw, Mario de Clercq, Jo Planckaert and Chris Peers has been set for December 6.

As a consequence, all four former riders, including veterinarian Jose Landuyt, a masseur and two couriers will not know until early next year if they will be asked to stand trial on drug charges. Lawyers defending the former cyclists and Landuyt argue the prosecution's research is null and void due to the quantity of evidence already leaked to the Belgian press, which involves extensive text message conversations between Museeuw and Landuyt dating back to August 2003. Furthermore, defence lawyer for Museeuw, Jef Vermassen, told the court that his client has already been sufficiently punished, referring to his two-year ban delivered by the Belgian Cycling Federation in October last year, six months after he announced his retirement from the sport.

Said Vermassen to the Associated Press: "Never before in an investigation in Belgium was the secrecy of the inquiry disregarded to such an extent. The damage to the reputation of this man [Museeuw] and to certain riders is incredible."

"It will likely take several more weeks for a decision," said prosecution spokesman Tom Janssen on the December hearing, who expects a final ruling early next year.

T-Mobile prepares for Aldag's swansong

After celebrating Erik Zabel's farewell win in Paris-Tours on Sunday, the T-Mobile Team now switches its focus to the season finale in northern Italy this week and a double swansong in magenta.

First up is the Giro del Piemonte semi-classic on Thursday, followed by the prestigious 'Race of the Falling Leaves', the Tour of Lombardy, on Saturday. T-Mobile sporting director Valerio Piva said: "With the ProTour, the race calendar has got much heavier. The riders have less time to recover after races, and many are feeling cooked by now. It is a good thing then that the season is finishing."

Oscar Sevilla leads the T-Mobile roster on Saturday's 246km loop from Mendrisio to Como. "Oscar is still carrying good form from the Vuelta, and he is the man in the team with the freshest legs for the challenge," said Piva. On top of that, the hilly Lombardy parcours suits the 29 year-old Spanish climbing specialist.

While the Giro di Lombardia marks the end of the cycling season and the inaugural ProTour series, it will also be the last race in Rolf Aldag's epic pro career. After 13 years with Telekom/T-Mobile, the raky 37 year-old calls it quits when he climbs off his bike in Como on Saturday.

The Italian duo of Giuseppe Guerini and Daniele Nardello will be on home turf on Saturday. Nardello, in particular, knows the region around Lake Como like the back of his hand. "I live in the area and often train in the mountains around here," said Nardello who has previously scored second and fourth place finishes in the Italian classic. "I am always extra motivated to do well at big races in my own backyard."

Rounding out the team are sprinter Eric Baumann, neo-pros Bas Giling and Bernhard Kohl and Torsten Hiekmann, who on Saturday takes his final bow in magenta. Next year, the Berlin native rides for rival German team Gerolsteiner, but like Zabel last Sunday, Hiekmann will be keen to sign off on a high note. Last year, Aussie rider Cadel Evans (now at Davitamon-Lotto) and Nardello placed fourth and fifth respectively, narrowly edged out by Damiano Cunego in the final shake-up.

Team roster for Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia:

Riders: Rolf Aldag, Eric Baumann, Bas Giling, Giuseppe Guerini, Torsten Hiekmann, Bernhard Kohl, Daniele Nardello, Oscar Sevilla
Directeur-sportif: Valerio Piva

Liquigas, Illes Balears and Naturino for upcoming races

Di Luca fit for Lombardy

While Danilo Di Luca appears to have recovered from the knee injury that forced him to retire from last Sunday's Paris-Tours, he'll only ride the Tour of Lombardy after originally planning to ride both the Giro del Piemonte and Lombardy. Charly Wegelius will ride Piemonte this Thursday but will sit out Saturday's race.

Giro del Piemonte (October 13): Enrico Gasparotto, Patrick Calcagni, Mauro Gerosa, Nicola Loda, Vladimir Miholjevic, Devis Miorin, Andrea Noè , Charles Wegelius
Directeur-sportif: Roberto Amadio, Stefano Zanatta

Giro di Lombardia (October 15): Danilo Di Luca, Patrick Calcagni, Enrico Gasparotto, Mauro Gerosa, Nicola Loda, Vladimir Miholjevic, Devis Miorin, Andrea Noè
Directeur-sportif: Roberto Amadio, Stefano Zanatta

Illes Balears-Caisse d'Epargne for Giro del Piemonte

Riders: Chente García, Iván Gutiérrez, Joan Horrach, Pablo Lastras, Francisco Mancebo, Mikel Pradera, Vicente Reynés, Alejandro Valverde
Directeur-sportif: José Luis Jaimerena

Naturino-Sapore di Mare for Giro del Piemonte and Giro di Lombardia

Giro del Piemonte (October 13): Antonio Murilo Fischer (Bra), Valerio Agnoli, Cristian Gasperoni, Massimiliano Gentili, Massimiliano Mori, Antonio Quadranti, Luigi Sestili and Filippo Simeoni
Directeur-sportif: Fabio Becherini

Giro di Lombardia (October 15): Antonio Murilo Fischer (Bra), Valerio Agnoli, Cristian Gasperoni, Massimiliano Gentili, Massimiliano Mori, Antonio Quadranti, Alessandro Bertuola and Filippo Simeoni
Directeur-sportif: Fabio Becherini

Gates, Rodriguez extend contracts

Further to yesterday's news regarding Australian champion Robbie McEwen's contract being extended till 2008 with Davitamon-Lotto, his team-mate and friend Nick Gates is also confirmed for another three seasons. Furthermore, 32 year-old American sprinter Fred Rodriguez will continue to ride with the team until 2007. McEwen intends to be back at his home in Brakel, Belgium by February 2006.

Sun Tour stage 4 preview

Can the internationals steal the show?

After yesterday's domination of stage three of the Herald Sun Tour by the Australians, the big question on day four will be whether the internationals can fight back and stamp their authority on the race. This year's field includes 72 internationals, but apart from the stage win on Monday by Lithuanian Dainius Kairelis (Amore e Vita), the visitors have been surprisingly quiet. But the return to a mix of open road and hill climb sections today, after yesterday's flat course, opens the door for yet another overseas raid on the event.

There is sure to be almost as much interest off the road as on, as race officials consider Baden Cooke's appeal against his disqualification during the sprint finish to yesterday's stage. With riders from the other teams leaping to Cooke's defence, the outcome is eagerly awaited, with reinstatement a realistic possibility.

Stage 4 includes intermediate sprints at Seymour and Alexandra, a category two climb on Cotton's Pinch and an even tougher climb up Skyline Road in Lake Eildon National Park.

Verge New England 'cross series starts Saturday

The first of the 2005 Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series kicks off this Saturday with the Downeast Cyclo-Cross in New Gloucester, Maine. All six Verge NECCS races boast prize lists of at least $5,000, with overall elite men's and women's series winners splitting a $1,000 payday.

In an effort to draw quality fields, this year's series offers two sets of "double dip weekends" with races on Saturday and Sunday: November 12-13 in Farmington, Conn. and Northampton, Mass., and December 3-4 in Rhode Island, the latter coming less than a week before and only a few miles away from the start of the National Cyclocross championships.

Four-time defending Elite Men's series champion Mark McCormack (Team Clif Bar) comes into 2005 with perhaps the best fitness of his career and seems on course to tally a fifth Verge crown. However, the return of local legend Tim Johnson (Cyclo-Crossworld-Louis Garneau) to the cyclo-cross fold after a three-year hiatus could provide a worthy challenge to McCormack. Adam Craig (Giant), series runner-up in 2004, will follow up his highly successful summer of World Cup mountain bike racing with another full slate of New England 'cross racing.

As for the out-of-town set, Todd Wells (GT-Hyundai), Ryan Trebon and Barry Wicks (Kona-Les Gets), Ben Turner (TIAA-CREF) and six-time Canadian cyclo-cross champion Peter Wedge (Kona-Les Gets) head the list of challengers. Six-time US national champion Jesse Anthony (Team Clif Bar) will try to defend his Under-23 national and Verge Series titles on home soil. Anthony figures to face challenges from Todd Wells (TIAA-CREF) and Tommy Magrath (Redline).

Canadian Lyne Bessette (Cyclo-Crossworld-Louis Garneau) figures to be the odds-on favorite for the entirety of the New England series. The only North American to win a cyclo-cross World Cup, Bessette figures to contest all six NECCS events after nearly three years out of the sport. Local and regional racers lining up to take their best shot at Bessette include 2004 Verge Series runner-up, Maureen Bruno Roy (Independent Fabrication), Anna Milkowski (Team Lipton), McKenzie Dickey (Bicycle Alley), Pauline Frascone (Independent Fabrication), Rebecca Wellons (Gearworks-Spin Arts), and Marianne Stover (Independent Fabrication). The wildcard in the Verge Series remains two-time defending series champion Mary McConneloug (Kenda-Seven Cycles), coming off the back of a fifth-place overall in this year's mountain bike World Cup.

More information:

Verge New England Championship Cyclo-Cross Series

October 15 - Downeast Cyclo-Cross, New Gloucester, ME
November 12 - ChainBiter 7.0 Cyclo-Cross, Farmington, CT
November 13 - Cycle-Smart International Cyclo-Cross, Northampton, MA
November 26 - Gearworks Bay State Cyclo-Cross, Sterling, MA
December 3 - W. E. Stedman Co. Grand Prix of Cyclo-Cross, S. Kingstown, RI
December 4 - Castor's Grand Prix, Warwick, RI

British cyclists nominated for 2005 Paralympic Awards

British cyclists Darren Kenny and Aileen McGlynn have been nominated for two awards each at the inaugural Paralympic Awards. The 2005 Paralympic Awards aim to honour outstanding achievements in the fields of sport and the media directly related to the Athens 2004 Paralympic Games.

Kenny has been named on a shortlist of 12 athletes for the best male athlete award and also features on the best Games debut shortlist. The 35 year-old from Bournemouth had a spectacular Games in Athens, winning gold medals in the CP3/4 1km time trial and the CP3 3km individual pursuit ­ both in world record times. He also won a silver medal in the combined CP3 road race and time trial.

McGlynn joins Darren on the 13-strong list of nominees for the best Games debut title and also features with eight other athletes as a contender for the best female athlete. The 32 year-old visually impaired cyclist from Glasgow earned her gold with a world record in the B1-3 1km tandem time trial and silver in the B1-3 tandem sprint, partnered by sighted pilot Ellen Hunter on both occasions.

Utah memorial ride honours Allan Butler

Allan Butler's family
Click for larger image
The start of the Allan Butler Memorial Ride
Click for larger image

Over 400 riders came out in support of the Allan Butler Memorial Ride last Saturday in Salt Lake City, Utah, to honour the American who was killed while crossing 'the Strip' in Las Vegas on Thursday, September 29, during the Interbike trade show.

The event was well covered in the local media with articles in the paper and repeated stories on evening news programs. Local professionals Dave Zabriskie and Burke Swindlehurst personally escorted Butler's mother, Tammy, up the canyon to the summit where the hundreds of cyclists that came out waited, applauding her and the rest of Allan's family as they crested. Butler's Logan Race Club's Healthy Choice-Goble Knee Clinic team-mate, Marc Yap, had the honour of riding to the summit with Allan's widow Jenny Butler on a tandem.

Anyone wishing to make a donation can send a cheque to:

Odessa and Jenny Butler
c/o Elizabeth Lockette
Morgan Stanley
2645 E. Parleys Way
Salt Lake City, UT 84109


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Logan Race Club

Pro MTB riders to Nebraska for fundraiser

Nebraska's official trail advocacy group "T.H.O.R." (Trails Have Our Respect) will host a fundraiser on Saturday, October 29, with Trek pro MTB riders Travis Brown and Cameron Chambers scheduled to attend. Now in its third year, the 2004 event raised $1000 and featured a Q&A with Keith Bontrager. Highgear Bike & Outdoor, the Lincoln Bicycle Company and Trek Bicycles will host the festivities, which begin at 4pm in Platte River State Park near Louisville, with a scheduled finishing time of midnight.

Activities include a freeride jump demonstration, BBQ, Q&A with Brown and Chambers, plus a freeride video contest and 80's dance party. Individuals interested in entering the "Freeride Video Contest" should contact event organiser, John Lefler, Jr. Contest videos should be a maximum of 4-5 minutes in length and in VHS format.

Doping 101: WADA launches new doping quiz

As part of World Anti-Doping Authority's Athlete Outreach Program, designed to educate athletes and their support personnel about the dangers and consequences of doping, WADA now have on their website 'The Doping Quiz'. A series of questions aimed at testing one's general knowledge on anti-doping issues, the timed quiz can be played in nine different languages, including English, French, Spanish, Italian, German, Greek, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian, with Arabic, Polish, and Finnish language versions available soon.

To play, go to and click on the Doping Quiz link.

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