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Mt Hood Classic
Photo ©: Swift

Latest Cycling News for September 15, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

Schenk criticises UCI over Armstrong case

Sylvia Schenk, ex-President of the Bund Deutsche Radfahrer and member of the UCI management committee, has criticized the handling of the latest doping charges against Lance Armstrong, saying that the UCI and its president Hein Verbruggen "are less interested in the resolution of the Armstrong doping case than they are in finding the leak."

In an interview with, she said that the UCI is apparently looking for whoever it was who helped L'Equipe put a name to the samples. "Verbruggen is making progress slower than expected," she said. "At first they thought it was someone in the French Ministry. But the informer can also have been someone who works for the UCI." Schenk has previously denied to Cyclingnews that it could be her.

Schenk noted further that since 1998, much has been done to combat doping in cycling, "But everything is suddenly different when it comes to Armstrong...There is obviously a close relationship to Armstrong. For example, the UCI took a lot of money from Armstrong - as far as I know, $500,000. Now of course there is speculation that there are financial relationships to Armstrong as well as to the American market."

In addition, Schenk said that the German teams T-Mobile and Gerolsteiner had potential problems getting their Pro Tour licenses last year. The UCI's guidelines violate EC rules, she said, for example requiring the teams to hire all riders as salaried employees rather than as freelance workers. The two German teams wanted to protest that requirement, but, "The UCI threatened both teams with non-participation in the Pro Tour. And that would have upset the sponsors."

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations

June 27, 2006 - Carmichael defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
June 26, 2006 - LeMond: "Armstrong threatened my life"
June 19, 2006 - Armstrong calls for Pound's exit
June 18, 2006 - Lance Armstrong's open letter against Dick Pound
June 4, 2006 - UCI hits back at WADA
June 3, 2006 - WADA slams the Vrijman report
June 2, 2006 - L'Equipe stands by its story, UCI supports Vrijman's findings
June 1, 2006 - UCI, WADA and Armstrong react to Vrijman's report
May 31, 2006 - UCI lawyer asks for Armstrong's name to be cleared
May 14, 2006 - Two more weeks for Armstrong investigation

Click here for full coverage of the L'Equipe allegations.

Moreno says he's not a Grand Tour stooge

The Spanish candidate for the UCI presidency, Gregorio Moreno, says that he has the unanimous support of all Spanish cycling bodies and that he is not a puppet for the Grand Tour organisers in their fight against aspects of the UCI's ProTour. After current UCI president Hein Verbruggen suggested that Mr Moreno was acting like a candidate for the Tour de France, Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espaņa, the Spaniard issued a statement clarifying his position.

"The competence to present candidatures corresponds to the National Federations, not to the Race Organisers. Mr. Gregorio Moreno is a candidate on recommendation of the Spanish Federation, and not by intermediary of the Race Organizers. This candidature was presented in the right time and form by this Spanish Federation, with the support, the approval and the impulse of:

  • The Spanish Teams Association.
  • Spanish Riders Association.
  • The Spanish Races Organizers Association.
  • The Spanish Professional Cycling Council
  • The Spanish Higher Sports Council.
  • The Spanish Cycling Federation.

Mr Moreno went on to state that he has never received any financial assistance from the Grand Tour organisers, and has developed his activities in cycling independently of the Teams, Organizers, Riders and the UCI. He concluded: "It is obvious that the Spanish candidate, Mr. Gregorio Moreno, enjoys the unanimous support of all the Spanish cycling organisations, and also of the Spanish political sports institutions, circumstances which should be evaluated adequately by Mr. Verbruggen before carrying out inadequate declarations, and which grant support for Mr. Moreno. We doubt the other candidates enjoy this much [support] in their respective countries."

Cyclingnews coverage of the UCI elections

September 24 - Spain's perspective on UCI election result
September 24 - Darshan Singh retires
September 23 - A wonderful moment for McQuaid
September 23 - McQuaid wins UCI presidential election
September 22 - IOC rejects complaints; Election to go ahead as planned
September 21 - World's opens, Spanish federation explains
September 20 - UCI committee exits Madrid
September 18 - Conflict between Schenk and UCI goes on
September 15 - Moreno not a Grand Tour stooge
September 8 - Baguet explains, Singh files third complaint
September 6 - McQuaid still UCI choice
September 3 - Verbruggen candidate for UCI presidency again
August 31 - Verbruggen nominated for UCI president
August 25 - UCI Ethics Commission meets
August 17 - Darshan Singh protests against UCI elections
Interview with Pat McQuaid: Next in line? Part II
Interview with Sylvia Schenk: Continuing her quest for Law & Order. Part II
August 6 - Moreno aims for presidency role
July 31 - UCI attacks Sylvia Schenk
Interview with Pat McQuaid: ProTour & Phonak, New teams & the UCI succession. Part II

Vuelta diary watch: Hard times and dreams of Madrid

"That was the hardest day of my career," writes T-Mobile's young Bernhard Kohl. "After 40 kilometres we had an average speed of 50 km per hour, and that despite one mountain. I had to fall back on the first climb and forced myself up with five others. In the descent we somehow caught up with the field, but I fell back again on the next climb. Somehow I managed to get to the top, alone in the middle of the team autos, and reached the gruppetto. I was dizzy, and could barely stay on the bike. But I forced myself and reached the finish with the gruppetto.

"On the first ascent, I thought that the Vuelta was over for me. For the first time I had doubts as to whether I would make it to Madrid. Tomorrow is another mountain stage, which I hope to somehow survive. The worst thing today was a sign along the road: Madrid, 80 km. Our goal is so close but we must still go through four stages before we get there. But I will give everything I have. I absolutely want to make it to Madrid." (

Gerolsteiner's Thomas Ziegler called it simply "a hellish day" and is amazed at how fast the race is. "The Spaniards ride like crazy: 20 men break away and they ride all like crazy to catch them , even when a member of their own team is up there! That's how it comes to this crazy speed. I have never before experienced 43 km per hour in a mountain stage. We're all amazed by the Spaniards, who are never so strong in races outside Spain but here can't be stopped.

"I want to make it to the end, no matter what. Still three more days. Madrid is definitely my goal. When you have managed to survive a three-week Tour, you feel like a winner at the end, because you've managed to overcome yourself." (

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Bui's suffers bad crash

Italian Mountain bike champion Marco Bui suffered a very serious accident on Wednesday near Bassano del Grappa, in the north east of Italy. Bui was riding his scooter when he hit a car near the small town of Pove del Grappa. He was taken to Bassano del Grappa hospital and was diagnosed with multiple fractures of his right leg (shin and thigh) and a perforated spleen, among other injuries. He underwent several operations overnight and doctors said that his life is no longer in danger

Bui's parents, his team manager Mauro Bettin, and his team president Giovanni Battaglin are at the hospital now. Battaglin said that he will do all he can to help Bui, and maybe, in the next few weeks, he could be moved to a private hospital in France.

Courtesy of Lorenzo Franzetti/Ciclismo magazine

Lefevere: Boonen to Monaco not financially motivated

The Belgian press has been heaving a ball since QuickStep's Belgian sprint ace Tom Boonen announced his move to Monaco. Tom had said that he wants more peace when he's home and better weather to train. His popularity in Belgium had made it almost impossible for the star to lead a normal life and to avoid being harassed constantly by nosy fans. His manager Paul De Geyter, his family and friends already living in Monaco had advised him to change his home base.

But some believe that it was purely for financial reasons, something that Quick.Step manager Patrick Lefevere denied strongly. "It's totally wrong to think that Tom won't pay taxes here." Lefevere defended his poulin in Het Nieuwsblad. "Tom will pay 18 percent in Belgium, that amount will be kept from his salary before it's paid out to him. So in case Tom would be earning 1 million euro in 2006, 180 000 euro will be deducted and definitely will go to the Belgian fiscal authorities immediately. I don't think that you would fill the market in Brugghe with people who pay that much tax to the state! So to label his move as purely a fiscal flee is not correct."

Courtesy of Sabine Sunderland

Moerenhout takes Dekker's World's spot

Dutchman Koos Moerenhout will take Erik Dekker's spot in the Dutch team for the World Road Championship on September 25, reports ANP. Dekker, who was coming back from a broken collarbone, had to forfeit the Tour of Poland due to illness and his fitness will not be good enough for the World's. The men's team now has eight of the nine riders finalised: Moerenhout, Michael Boogerd, Pieter Weening, Bram Tankink, Joost Posthuma, Max van Heeswijk, Leon van Bon and Thomas Dekker. The ninth spot will be between Karsten Kroon, Stefan van Dijk and Servais Knaven.

Bert Grabsch out of World's

30 year-old German Bert Grabsch (Phonak) has been forced to end his season sooner than expected, and will miss the World Championships next week. A closer examination has shown that Grabsch suffered a broken right collarbone during a fall in the first stage of the Tour of Poland. "With an injury like this, the season's over. That means I won't be able to compete in the World Championships nor in the Championship of Zurich," said Bert Grabsch, who is racing in his fifth season for Phonak.

Aaron Olson to Saunier Duval

American cyclist Aaron Olson will spend the next two seasons with Spanish ProTour outfit Saunier Duval-Prodir. The 27 year-old said he was happy with the opportunity to race in Europe again. "I raced two years in Europe with the Under-23 U.S. National Team, and my goal has been to make it back to Europe to race for a top level team," said Olson. "Now, having the opportunity to ride with a team and organization like Saunier Duval-Prodir, I will have the opportunity to ride some of the biggest races in the World, like a Grand Tour such as the Tour de France."

After several false starts in his professional career, including one team that never materialized and another in Europe that fell apart mid-season, Olson has spent the past two years as one of the Colavita-Sutter Home squad's top workhorses. Though mainly a worker for the team's bevy of talented sprinters, Olson found his own bit of glory when opportunity presented itself. Olson won the Kelly Cup NRC Criterium in Baltimore this past summer and stages in the Tour de Beauce and Tour de Toona in 2004. His plethora of top-10 finishes and the wins chalked up by his Colavita-Sutter Home teammates were enough to attract the attention of a Spanish squad looking to bring on a talented, young rider.

"I am hoping for a few early season classics, like Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix," continued Olson, who will make his European home in Spain. "The team wants me to do a Grand Tour, so I will be working extra hard to make the Tour team. I like the fact that the team doesn't really have any big names. All good guys I am sure, but without those really big names, leaves room and opportunity for me to do some big races. It's been a goal of mine, that has been a long time in the making."

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