First Edition Cycling News for October 13, 2005
Edited by Hedwig Kröner
Merckx: "Doping pays"
Cycling's greatest hero, Eddy Merckx has commented on the recent media polemics on the use of performance-enhancing substances in the sport. Speaking to L'Equipe, the man who was once known as 'the cannibal' because of the number of his victories, said that the problem of doping wasn't a new one, and that he viewed it in an economical context.
"For more than 30 years, doping has been the black sheep of cycling for the whole of the media," Merckx said. "Since Simpson died on the Mont Ventoux in 1967, cycling has been linked to doping, being an headliner in the papers. Nowadays even more so because society is more moralistic, less permissive.
"But the phenomenon of doping is of economical nature. Many affairs are oriented, the media get their public, the laboratories and the pharmaceutical industry are making profits with it and publicity. Doping pays, and that's an important factor. Those who invest in doping control machines want their cash to be returned, their business to be profitable."
Meanwhile, the former pro rider defended cycling, which in his opinion, the same rules weren't applied as in other sports. "I can understand why a journalist publishes the information," he replied to a question about the allegations against Lance Armstrong. "But I have my doubts on the lab. And I ask myself: Why only Armstrong and not the other ones? Why only cycling and not the urine samples of the French soccer players in the 1998 World Championships?"
Merckx, who continued by saying that he believes it is possible to win the Tour de France without taking banned substances, also admitted he was not entirely in favour with the fight against doping as it is practiced today. "Doping should be redefined to know where it starts, and where it ends. In Belgium, a particular product is considered curative treatment for soccer players, but doping for cyclists. It's always double standard. I've always believed in the fight against doping, but I've never been in favour of 'zero tolerance', and never will be. It's not realistic and it's not compatible with the high level sport."
Saunier Duval and Quick.Step in Italy
Spanish Saunier Duval-Prodir have announced their rosters for the upcoming Giro del Piemonte today, as well as for the Giro di Lombardia on Saturday, October 15. Racing the Giro del Piemonte will be Chris Horner, Manuel Quinziato, Rubén Lobato, Ivan Ravaioli, Nicolas Fritsch, Marco Pinotti, Rubens Bertogliati and Manuele Mori.
Next Saturday, the last UCI ProTour race this season, the Giro di Lombardia, will see Saunier's Chris Horner, José Ángel Gómez Marchante, Rubén Lobato, Tino Zaballa, Nicolas Fritsch, Marco Pinotti, Rubens Bertogliati and Manuele Mori at the start.
Meanwhile, Belgian team Quick.Step has also communicated its lineup for Lombardia. Heading the outfit directed by directeur sportif Serge Parsani will be Paolo Bettini, supported by Davide Bramati, Juan Miguel Mercado, Cristian Moreni, Luca Paolini, Filippo Pozzato, Patrik Sinkewitz and Guido Trenti.
Cooke out for Sun Tour win?
Baden Cooke celebrated his birthday with a win on day four of the Jayco Herald Sun Tour, and the Australian will get the final chance to manufacture a time gap on his rivals in his bid to repeat his 2002 overall victory today. With no time bonuses available for stage wins, the time trial on Friday is expected to have a big impact on the final result of the general classification unless someone can complete today’s Tour of the Yarra Valley by riding into Healesville with a healthy lead over the other contenders.
Thursday's 140.9 km stage five takes the riders around the wineries of the Yarra Valley, starting and finishing at Healesville. The stage includes intermediate sprints at Yarra Glen and on the first return to the start/finish point after 108 km. It also features three hill climbs, the most of any stage - a moderate category 2 rise on Old Healesville Road and then two testing category 1 ascents on Mount Slide and at Chum Creek. Those climbs will also decide the King of the Mountains classification currently led by Japan's Makoto Iijima on 8 points, just one point ahead of Savings and Loans rider, Josh Collingwood.
Milram getting into gear
The new German-Italian team Milram is busy preparing for its first season in the ProTour next year. The squad sponsored by a German dairy products company will be managed by Domina Vacanze director Gianluigi Stanga, and include both Alessandro Petacchi and Erik Zabel. Dutch criterium manager Gerry van Gerwen, who has been appointed second manager of the outfit, is reported to be in Italy at the moment to further plan the team's line-up. The full rider roster will probably consist of nine Germans and 20 Italians.
"Erik Zabel will meet Gianluigi Stanga in Bergamo tomorrow to sort out the last details of his contract," Van Gerven told news agency dpa. "I'm in Bergamo now to talk on the racing programme of the riders." The Dutchman does not expect any problems between the two top sprinters of the team. "I've known both of them for a long time; there won't be any problems. If you sum up the qualities of both, it makes us three times stronger," Van Gerven commented.
The new team will be presented on January 10, 2006, in Bremen, Germany.
2006 Salzburg World's "for complete rider"
The 2005 season hasn't even ended but already news is leaking from the parcours of the 2006 World Championships, which will be held in Salzburg, Austria. This year, a Belgian sprinter/classics rider won the famous rainbow jersey, but in 2006, the Belgians will struggle to find a competitive squad for the road race - said 1976 Tour de France winner Lucien Van Impe, who now directs MrBookmaker.com.
"The World Championship in Salzburg 2006 is not for a Belgian rider," Van Impe told Belgian Het Nieuwsblad after reconnoitring the parcours. "This is for a complete rider. I'm thinking of Alejandro Valverde, Alexander Vinokourov and Paolo Bettini."
In the famous city of classical composer Mozart, the circuit to race twelve times will be 22.15 kilometres long, which amounts to 265.8 km in total - just a few clicks shorter than the road race in Madrid this year, where all of the above mentioned played a part in the event's finale, and Tom Boonen took the victory in the end. Spaniard Alejandro Valverde was particularly close to the honours, getting second for the second time after 2003 in Hamilton, Canada.
"There's a three-kilometre-long climb that will be crucial. Halfway through the race, it's certainly going to explode on that hill," continued Van Impe, who won the Polkadot jersey of best mountain rider at the Tour de France in the '70s, so he should know. "A sprint is excluded. I can't see how the bunch could reel in a breakaway on such a parcours," he added.
Nys in doubt for Ruddervoorde
Cyclo-cross World champion Sven Nys has been feeling his balance impaired, which is why the Belgian did not attend the official presentation of the Gazet van Antwerpen Trofee Veldrijden on Tuesday. It is not yet known if the balance problems Nys was experiencing were due to a crash into a tree at the GP Pro Cycling Neerpelt last Sunday. The Cyclo-crosser did finish the race in fourth position, and felt fine on the next day at the presentation of his Rabobank team.
The dominating rider of the last Cyclo-cross season in Europe will now take a medication to cure his condition. If this doesn't help, a more thorough examination will follow, possibly meaning that Nys won't be at the start of the opening race of the Superprestige series in Ruddervoorde, which he won in 2005.
UCI adopts 'Cycling and Environment' Charter
The UCI has adopted a charter on environmental issues provided by its Management Committee on September 22, 2005 in Madrid. In this document, the UCI has in particular committed itself to taking into account environmental criteria when evaluating bid files for the organisation of UCI events, to make National Federations and their partners aware of the problems with the protection of the environment and sustainable development and to support the promotion of the bike as an ecological means of transport.
The UCI Environmental Charter will be officially presented at the 6th Sport and Environment World Conference organised by the IOC Sport and Environment Commission, in cooperation with the United Nations Programme for the Environment (PNUE), which will be held from November 9-11, 2005 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Fantasy Vuelta 2005 Winners
The results are in for this year's Vuelta 2005 competition. There were 31 opportunities to win a total of 81 prizes in this year's Vuelta a España Game worth $15,000! Many thanks to our main sponsor GIANT who provided us with a TCR Advanced T-Mobile '05 Tour De France Team Issue bicycle for the top slot in the prize list. They were joined by a huge range of prizes from Campagnolo, Upland Sports, Speedplay, fi'zi:k, Giro, Aerus Akona, and Park Tool.
Here's who and what they won:
Manager "Tim M" from USA team "Team Pantani" came 1st place with 6634 points, winning a Giant TCR Advanced T-Mobile '05 Tour De France Team Issue bicycle and a Park Tool, Worth $8015 USD - the same bike as Jan Ullrich and Alexandre Vinokourov!
Here's what "Tim M" had to say about his tactics:
"Thanks a lot for Cyclingnews for doing this contest and Giant for being our main sponsor! I think I have entered most of the fantasy contests you have done, and this is the first time I have won anything in it!
For the Vuelta I made sure to get some riders from the non-ProTour team Comunidad Valenciana, since like the Giro, those second tier teams race very hard. Carlos Garcia Quesada rode will last year, and Ruben Plaza is a very good time trialist and I knew that would be important this year. You mostly need riders that will do well overall because they place high on most stages as well as in the KoM and Points competition. With the addition of some sprinters like Petacchi and Thor for the stage points.
For the last few riders I tracked the points the first few days before the fantasy teams were finalized and got some riders that did not cost much and scored some points with René Haselbacher and Christian Vandevelde. Both those riders came through for me as well in the final weekend getting some points.
Most important of all was to have luck with all of my GC riders not crashing, leaving the race, or not being allowed to start a stage by their team. Thanks again, and I will be back to try my luck again next year.
Manager "Erik Pettersson" from Sweden with team "ShuvIT Pro Team" came 2nd place with 6619 points, winning a Campagnolo's Record component group, Giro helmet, CSC edition pedals from Speedplay, Team issue saddle from fi'zi:k, and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 1975
Manager "Marko Tammsaar" from Estonia team "Team Everest" came 3rd place with 6491 points, winning a Aerus Aerobar, Aerus Aero carbon fork, Giro helmet, Team issue saddle from fi'zi:k, Ultimax RSX Shoes, and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 1160
Manager "Giorgino", team "Giorgino" from Denmark came 4th place with 6458 points, winning a Giro helmet, Ultimax RSX Shoes, CSC edition pedals from Speedplay, Team issue saddle from fi'zi:k, and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 805
Manager "João Marques", team "Joaomark9" from Portugal came 5th place with 6435 points, winning a Giro helmet, Ultimax RSX Shoes, Team issue saddle from fi'zi:k and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 610
Manager "Azta", team "Dent Wizard" from USA came 6th place with 6400 points, winning a Giro helmet, CSC edition pedals from Speedplay, Team issue saddle from fi'zi:k and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 525
Manager "João Marques", team "Joaomark2" from Portugal came 7th place 6378 points, winning a Giro helmet, CSC edition pedals from Speedplay, Akona Biospeed Transition bag and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 450
Manager "Hansemann", with team "The best?" from Norway came 8th place 6377 points, winning a Giro helmet, Team issue saddle from fi'zi:k and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 330
Manager "Jonagoldstars", team "Sprinting Misty" from the Netherlands came 9th place 6376 points, winning a Giro helmet, Aerus white carbon bottle cage and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 255
Manager "Jonagoldstars", team "Dirty Harry" from the Netherlands came 10th place 6360 points, winning a Giro helmet, Akona Biospeed accessory box and a Park Tool. In total worth $USD 215
21x Cyclingnews posters and 21x pairs of arm-warmers.
Won by managers:
1 - Charles Henry
To read more about the winners tactics go to the Fantasy Cyclingnews winners pages.
If you want to join in next year's games and would like us to email you when the game is ready you can register on the Fantasy site now. Thanks to the sponsors for their continued support. The next game will be the 2006 Spring Classics in March next year.
We hope to see you all there, good luck!
Fantasy Cyclingnews Team
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)