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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for September 18, 2005

Edited by Hedwig Kröner

Conflict between Schenk and UCI goes on

Just a few days before the UCI presidential elections at the World Championships in Madrid, the conflict that has been opposing the former president of the German cycling federation and current member of the UCI Management Committee, Sylvia Schenk, and the President of the International Cycling Union, Hein Verbruggen, has been taken to another level.

While the decisions regarding Schenk's complaints about president-elect Pat McQuaid's relationship with the UCI have been rejected by both the UCI Board of Appeal and the UCI Ethics Commission, the UCI, its President and Pat McQuaid have decided to instigate legal proceedings against her for defamation.

In an official statement dated Friday, September 16, the UCI explained its point of view on "repeated, and apparently systematically organised, attacks" coming from "a small number of ill-intentioned individuals who are conducting a genuine campaign to destabilise the UCI."

Sylvia Schenk, in return, is ready to continue her complaints while "refraining from any defamatory attacks against persons" and "take all possible measures against [the recent decisions], especially ask the IOC Ethics Commission for a decision," which she announced in a press release dated Saturday, September 17.

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

UCI doctor gave information to L'Equipe

The UCI anti-doping chief Dr Leon Schattenberg announced in the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung, that it was him who gave one of the 1999 Tour de France doping control protocols to a journalist of L'Equipe, who used it to reveal Lance Armstrong's alleged use of EPO in the paper on August 23.

Schattenberg said that the journalist came to the UCI headquarters in Lausanne, Switzerland just a few days before the 2005 Tour de France ended. According to the Dutchman, the journalist wanted to know whether Armstrong was allowed to use testosterone after his illness with cancer. The Federation replied that this was not the case; and to prove it, Armstrong himself allowed the journalist to see one of his doping test protocols - of which the code number was used by L'Equipe to identify one of the positive samples tested retrospectively by the French laboratory in Châtenay-Malabry.

Giro della Toscana: a debacle raced neutral

By Kristy Scrymgeour

All hell broke loose in the Giro della Toscana Femminile on Friday night as dark and dangerous conditions caused riders to race neutral to keep things safe. Leading the way in the protest was Australian Olivia Gollan, who was voted in by riders earlier this year to be the first President of the Women’s CPA (Professional Cyclists Association), an organization that represents the rights of the riders. Gollan, who is participating in the race for Nürnberger told Cyclingnews on Saturday that the night time criterium was "pitch black with 13 corners in 3 kilometres as well as many other obstacles such as garbage bins on the road and just too dangerous for us a week before World Championships."

Unfortunately for Gollan, the decision by the riders as a whole came only ten minutes before the start of the race, creating a rather chaotic turn of events, which in retrospect, Gollan said, should have been handled a little bit better.

As the race started the majority of the peloton had agreed to ride the race neutral to keep everybody safe with the plan to give the win to somebody down on GC so that the time bonus points didn’t affect the race proper. However with four laps remaining, Mexican rider Clemilda Fernandes Silva (UC. Chirio Forno D'Asolo) attacked, going against the plan of the peloton. With the bunch looking to Gollan for what to do next, Gollan rode up to the girl to try to talk to her. Fernandes Silva explained that she had been offered money to attack.

Gollan was told to return to the peloton by the Commisaire and a new plan emerged out of the bunch and that was to stop riding all together. In unison the peloton stopped riding as they hit the finish line with three laps to go. Fernades Silva kept riding despite continual pressure from the rest of the riders. Eventually all riders continued the race at a slow pace, as they needed to finish to be able to start the next day.

On the finish line Katia Longhin (SC. Michela Fanini Record Box), also a member of the CPA and instrumental in organising the protest, was told she wasn’t allowed to continue by Brunello Fanini, who is the President of the race organization and owner of the Michela Fanini team. Longhin did not complete the criterium and was not allowed to start the following day. This morning race, organisers also told Gollan that she would not be allowed to start either. This caused more upset in the peloton with many more girls wanting to pull out.

Gollan spoke from the stage telling riders that they should continue to race, especially since today was the actually memorial day ride for Michela Fanini, who died tragically at 21 years of age having already won the Giro d’Italia Femminile and an Italian Championship. "We had made our point," Gollan explained. "I didn’t mind that I wasn’t racing but I wanted to make sure that the memorial still went ahead. It was an emotional time for everybody involved."

With many riders in tears on the start line, the race continued, but Gollan said the whole incident was disappointing. "Maybe we did the wrong thing, maybe we did the right thing, I don’t know. I’m aware that I probably did things in the wrong way and I totally respected the jury’s decision to pull me out of the race, but I think we still have a problem here. If I as the President of the CPA can’t take control of a situation like this and try to do the right thing for everyone and make things safe for the riders, it means that the CPA means nothing. The conditions of the race last night were so dangerous. It is rude and disrespectful to our sport to make us race under those conditions. It is something we need to deal with after the World Championships.

"On a good note," Gollan added, "I know we had the support of all the riders and the team directors. The girls even gave me all the prize money last night to go towards the Amy Safe Foundation."

USA announces World's roster

USA Cycling has announced the riders that will represent the United States at the 2005 UCI Road World Championships in Madrid, Spain, from September 21-25. A total of 21 riders in three categories - elite and U23 men and elite women - will compete for the title of world champion in road race and time trial events.

Headlining the list of elite men is 2004 Olympic time trial bronze medalist Bobby Julich (Glenwood Springs, Colo.) who will be gunning for a rainbow jersey in the elite men's time trial on September 22. One of the top time trial riders in the world, Julich captured major time trial wins this season at the Tour of Benelux and Criterium International and placed fourth in the 55-kilometre time trial at the Tour de France.

Joining Julich on the elite men's squad are UCI ProTour riders Christian VandeVelde (Boulder, Colo.), Fred Rodriguez (Emeryville, Calif.), Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa), Patrick McCarty (Allen, Texas), Saul Raisin (Dalton, Ga.), and Guido Trenti (Natick, Mass.) while domestic-based pros Phil Zajicek (Tucson, Ariz.) and John Lieswyn (Ames, Iowa) round out the nine-man contingent.

Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash.) leads the five-man U23 team. The recent winner of the USPRO Criterium Championships and a stage of the Tour de l'Avenir, Farrar will look to excel on a relatively flat course tailor made for a sprint specialist.

Joining Farrar on the U23 list is national time trial champion Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.), John Devine (Colorado Springs, Colo.), John Murphy (Marietta, Ga.) and Michael Wolf (Decatur, Ga.).

The six-member women's team consists of current U.S. and Pan American time trial champion Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho) and national road race champion Kathryn Curi (Danville, Calif.).

European-based pro Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.), Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.) and Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.) are also on the squad as are sprinters Laura Van Gilder (Pocono Pines, Pa.) and four-time elite national criterium champion Tina Pic (Dahlonega, Ga.).

Several of the riders who originally received automatic nominations declined to participate.

The U.S. national team roster in short:

Elite Men:

Bobby Julich (Glenwood Springs, Colo.), John Lieswyn (Ames, Iowa), Jason McCartney (Coralville, Iowa), Patrick McCarty (Allen, Texas), Saul Raisin (Dalton, Ga.), Fred Rodriguez (Emeryville, Calif.), Guido Trenti (Natick, Mass.), Christian VandeVelde (Boulder, Colo.) and Phil Zajicek (Tucson, Ariz.)

U23 Men:

Steven Cozza (Petaluma, Calif.), John Devine (Colorado Springs, Colo.), Tyler Farrar (Wenatchee, Wash.), John Murphy (Marietta, Ga.) and Michael Wolf (Decatur, Ga.)

Elite Women:

Kristin Armstrong (Boise, Idaho), Christine Thorburn (Menlo Park, Calif.), Amber Neben (Irvine, Calif.), Kathryn Curi (Danville, Calif.), Tina Pic (Dahlonega, Ga.), Laura Van Gilder (Pocono Pines, Pa.) and Kori Seehafer (Louisville, Colo.)

Wesemann goes Swiss

At the moment, T-Mobile's Steffen Wesemann is riding the Tour of Poland as a German citizen, but on Monday he will turn his German passport in and become a Swiss citizen. He noted that he has lived in Switzerland for 10 years and that his wife and two daughters are Swiss citizens. "I see my professional future there, too," Wesemann said. "I want to gather experience in cycling management and advise riders. And it really doesn't matter if I travel to do that with a German passport or a Swiss one." Last but not least, Wesemann has been nominated for the Swiss road race roster in the upcoming World Championships in Madrid next week.

The T-Mobile rider also commented that he was eligible to vote in the German national elections on Sunday, by absentee ballot, but that the decided not to. "It would be unfair to vote for a political system with which I will have nothing to do after Monday," he added.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Venezuela's World's line-up

Venezuela has announced its line-up for the World Road Cycling Championships. With seven riders allowed to participate, the Venezuelan federation named three Elite and four U23 riders travelling to Spain.

Without José Rujano (Selle Italia-Colombia), who finished third in this year's Giro d'Italia, the national team will include: José Chacón (three times winner of the Vuelta a Venezuela), Honorio Machado and Arthur García as Elite riders, as well as Iván Castillo, Anthony Brea, Miguel Chacón and José Ramos in U23 category.

Pantani's mother calls for further investigations

Toninia Pantani, mother of the deceased Marco Pantani, has called for further investigations into the circumstances of the death of her son. In an interview with the Italian newspaper La Voce di Romagna she said, "I am sure that Marco was not alone in the last hours of his life. Someone was in the room with him and I hope that the truth will come out.

"The toilet had been removed from his hotel room, there was chaos in the whole room, and my son didn't even have any scratches on his hands. How is this possible?" she asked. In addition, she noted that two jackets which did not belong to Pantani were found in his room. "It must be discovered who they belonged to," she added.

Pantani died on Feb. 14, 2004, in a hotel room in Rimini from the results of a cocaine overdose. Four drug dealers and Pantani's last girlfriend have been charged with contributing to his death.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

Reichl killed in motorcycle crash

Former T-Mobile rider Dirk Reichl, 24, was killed in a motorcycle accident Thursday night, the T-Mobile team has announced. Reichl was a member of the Telekom Youth Team and joined the then Team Telekom in 2002. His contract was not renewed and he joined the "Jan Ullrich" GS-III team before ending his career.

Courtesy of Susan Westemeyer

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