First Edition Cycling News for September 20, 2005
Edited by John Stevenson & Les Clarke
UCI denies leaking Armstrong documents
Accuses WADA of blocking investigation
Responding to comments by Dick Pound, the head of the World Anti-Doping Authority, the UCI has denied supplying French newspaper L'Equipe with the doping control forms necessary to link Lance Armstrong with the 1999 Tour de France urine samples that L'Equipe alleges indicate Armstrong used EPO in winning the Tour.
"Mr. Verbruggen [UCI president] has never been involved personally, contrary to what Mr. Pound said in another statement," said the UCI in a press release yesterday. "However, it is also apparent that the reporters were given at least five and perhaps fifteen of Lance Armstrong's doping control forms from the 1999 Tour de France, and it is certain that those forms did not come from the UCI."
The UCI has admitted that it provided one of the doping control forms, however. "WADA has been informed by the UCI that the reporter only received one doping control form from the UCI, and the false pretences used by the L'Equipe reporter to gain access to that form were explained in the UCI letter that [Dick Pound] references," it said.
The UCI initiated an investigation into the L'Equipe allegations on August 29, and said at the time it would announce its findings within ten days. On September 9 it announced that it had been unable to find out anything because WADA had not responded to all its questions about the research and testing being conducted by the anti-doping lab at Châtenay-Malabry.
Since then, Dick Pound has cast doubt on the UCI's motives in investigating the case. "We're waiting to see whether they have a commitment to get at the truth and the whole truth before we decide to participate further in the investigation, " he said. "We are prepared to help further if one of the issues that the UCI wants to explore is how some of this information became public, that's fine. But we're not prepared to sit by and participate in an investigation that only looks at how the information became public."
In response, the UCI says it is attempting to conduct "a comprehensive examination of all issues related to the reported testing" including, "the reasons for the testing; the testing protocol; funding; the approval of the testing; how samples were selected; how the testing was conducted; the accuracy of the tests; the results reported; the use made of the results; and all other issues related to the L'Equipe article and the allegations contained therein."
"It has been three weeks since we initiated the investigation at WADA's request," the UCI statement continues, "and WADA has failed, to date, to provide all the documents and information we have requested, which we need to conduct the investigation, even though WADA has stated its willingness to assist the UCI."
Cyclingnews coverage of the L'Equipe allegations
June 27, 2006 - Carmichael
defends Armstrong, Armstrong answers L'Equipe & LeMond
Click here for full coverage of the L'Equipe allegations.
UCI committee exits Madrid
In the latest twist of the ongoing power struggles within cycling's governing body, the UCI, the majority of the organisation's management committee has left Madrid for a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland today and will therefore not attend the opening of the world championships.
The UCI has accused Spain's cycling governing body, the RFEC, of attempting to destabilise the UCI on the eve of its annual congress. According the UCI, the RFEC filed a request with a Swiss court on Friday for the UCI electoral congress to be placed under a 'curatelle' - a form of legal supervision. The UCI alleges this in effect prevents UCI president Hein Verbruggen from supervising the meetings at Madrid which were to have included the selection of a new UCI president.
The UCI presidential succession has become extremely contentious in recent months, with former president of the German cycling federation and current member of the UCI Management Committee, Sylvia Schenk, alleging the organisation breached its own rules in paying Pat McQuaid an allowance to work for the UCI in preparation for his likely election as UCI president. The UCI has strenuously that this breaches its rules, and has announced it is taking legal action against Schenk for defamation.
Cyclingnews coverage of the UCI elections
24 - Spain's perspective on UCI election result
Seigneur calls time
After finishing the last stage of the Tour de la Somme, French veteran and four-time French national time trial champion Eddy Seigneur has decided to call it a day. "It was not an easy decision to take," said Seigneur. "But it was necessary. I have 14 pro seasons behind me. It had to come to an end one day or other, and this was a personal decision based on personal choice - I remained motivated from start to finish of my pro career."
Seigneur rode for the RAGT Semences team in 2005 and during his career the 36-year-old rode all three Grand Tours, was French road race champion in 1995, and French time trial champion in 1996, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He always rode from French teams, including Gan, Francaise des Jeux and Jean Delatour.
Seigneur doesn't intend on quitting cycling completely, though. "I can't ever imagine stopping cycling altogether," he said. "Cycling is for life."
While he plans to stay active, his professional involvement may see him switch from wheels to keyboard. "I'd like to stay in sport; in cycling of course," he said. "I wouldn't say no to other propositions either. I'm ruling nothing out for the moment. I'm going to give myself a year to get used to my new responsibilities. I'm pretty attracted by the idea of working for the written sports press. I've already made one or two moves in that direction."
Henderson may not return for 'The Grafton'
New Zealand's former scratch race world champion, Greg Henderson, may not be back to defend his Grafton-Inverell crown. Henderson, who has had a great season for Health Net in the US, took the sprinters' jersey at the Tour de Georgia and has had a host of stage wins on the US National Racing Calendar circuit.
But 'the Grafton', run Sunday in appalling cold and windy conditions, was one of his hardest victories. It was, "Too long and too hard, I didn't enjoy it," Henderson told race-caller Peter Sunderland after his win. Would he be back? "Don't know," was the answer.
Henderson, making his debut at Australia's toughest single-day race, not only had to overcome one of the biggest fields ever assembled for the events 'A-grade' category but a biting north-westerly wind. The Kiwi rode the 228km epic in 7:18:56, almost 80 minutes outside the race record set in 1985. The weather was a decisive factor. "It wasn't a wind, it was a gale," Peter Sunderland said. "It was a big test for all the riders."
Henderson beat Australian under-23 road racing champion Simon Clarke with Matthew Lloyd third in a sprint finish also including Trent Wilson and Victorian Institute of Sport's Richard Moffatt. Trent Wilson was King of the Mountains while Peter Dawson was the Sprint King. See Cyclingnews' report and results for full details of this torrid test in northern NSW.
Australia swaps world's seats
Cycling Australia has announced two changes in its men's team for the world championships, Madrid, Spain, September 21-25; Brett Lancaster and Simon Gerrans will stand in for Rory Sutherland and Bradley McGee.
Sutherland is being replaced pending the result of testing on the 'B' sample after an 'A' sample from the recent Tour of Germany tested positive to a banned substance. Sutherland's professional team Rabobank released a statement over the weekend stating the substance was neither blood doping or EPO related. Cycling Australia says it has no more information at this stage and is awaiting further official notification from the UCI (International Cycling Union).
McGee has withdrawn from the team because of a back injury.
The two riders who will take their places are considerably more than last-minute stand-ins. Lancaster was a member of the Australian track pursuit team that last year claimed Olympic gold and set a world record. This year he won the prologue of the Giro d'Italia and therefore wore the race leader's pink jersey in the first road stage. Gerrans made a solid debut in the Tour de France this year, making it all the way to the finish in Paris and taking third place in the 17th stage.
Meanwhile, Australia's contenders for Wednesday's and Thursday's time trials have arrived in Madrid to finalise their preparations. Two time world time trial champion, Michael Rogers, will line up on Thursday to defend his crown in the 44km men's elite race. Ben Day, the 2003 Australian time trial champion, will also contest the time trial and arrived in Madrid Monday night local time.
In the women's time trial on Wednesday reigning world number one and recently crowned World Cup champion, Oenone Wood, and Athens Olympic road race gold medalist, Sara Carrigan will fly the flag for Australia while Tasmanian Mark Jamieson and Victorian Will Walker will start for Australia in The men's under-23 event on the same day.
Yoplait Nouriche Women's Cycling Summit gathers at Interbike
On Thursday, September 29, cyclists from across the country will gather at the Interbike Trade Show for the Yoplait Nouriche Women's Cycling Summit. This is a summit to chart the direction of women's cycling and will include a presentation on 'Cycling Made Real' by one of its national leaders, with a panel discussion on adding value to sponsorships by representatives from Jelly Belly, the Nature Valley Grand Prix and Cyclingnews.com.
Past summits have identified Cycling Made Real as one of the country's most successful programmes recruiting new cyclists to women's racing. Started in 1995, the programme organises women's clinics and entry-level racing series to remove barriers and make the sport more welcoming to women. Cycling Made Real began in Maryland and has spread across the country, with programmes in New England, the mid-Atlantic states, the Southeast, Northern California and the Pacific Northwest. The impact on women's cycling has been immense, with women's fields growing by significantly wherever the programmes develop.
The event is open to everyone who supports women's cycling, and will be held in room Casanova 607 of the Venetian hotel from 5:00 to 6:30 PM on Thursday, September 29. For more information, visit www.WomenCyclists.com or email: Summits@WomenCyclists.com
Stellar field for Star Crossed Cyclocross
Clif Bar/FSA Star Crossed Cyclocross has attracted a top-notch field to kick off the US cyclocross season for 2005-06 at King County's Marymoor Park in Redmond, WA, October 1. Headlining the men's field will be defending champion and US elite road champ Carl Decker (Giant), NORBA champion Geoff Kabush (Maxxis), and 2004 US Grand Prix of Cyclocross champion Ryan Trebon (Kona/Les Gets). The fourth edition of Star Crossed will also be marked by the return to 'cross by Tim Johnson, 2000 US national cyclocross champ. Adam Craig (Giant), who has enjoyed a strong 2005 on the World Cup MTB circuit will add even more class to the field.
Local favourites Jonny Sundt, Russell Stevenson and Barry Wicks will be trying to upset the big names in what is a highly-anticipated event. Race announcer Dave Towle believes that, "It's a lot more than a bike race, and the promoters deserve a lot of credit for creating what is now viewed as an event not to be missed. The quality of the riders, the 'Daytona 500 effect,' and the huge crowds leave everyone smiling at the end of the day."
Lyn Bessette and Anne Knapp, the top two female riders in North American cyclocross since the late '90's will resume their rivalry at the event, and will be joined by Wendy Simms, Canadian national cyclocross champ.
There's a host of activities off the course, including the Toņa Cerveza Beer Garden, global cooling by Clif Bar, free raffles for spectators including a Giant Simple Single and TCX cross frame, and a live DJ. Races for beginning and intermediate riders start on the day at 3:00pm with the headlining senior men's race at 8:00pm. Beginning riders welcome on mountain bikes with the purchase of a one-day racing pass, available at the event. Rider entry fee is $20, spectators $5.
Coonamesset Eco-Cross returns
This fall's Coonamessett Eco-Cross race has a new date, Sunday, October 2. Eco-Cross is famous for its European flavour with the course including the Buzzard's Bay Beer Pavilion on each lap at Coonamesset Farm in East Falmouth.
In addition to the racing, there will be activities for the whole family, including a kids race at Noon and of course plenty of food and refreshment courtesy of the Farm and Buzzards Bay Brewing. The event will also showcase critical environmental & cycle initiatives on the Cape by hosting organisations like Self Reliance, Clean Power Now, and MassBike and will follow-up Northeast Sustainable Energy Association's Solar Tour.
The race, held under ABR permit, will honor all USA Cycling licenses. Racing starts at 10:30 am and there will be food available at the farm, as well as Beer. To register see www.bikereg.com
Forest City Velodrome
Friday, September 23 Forest City Velodrome challenges riders to set a track record for the flying lap, which currently stands at 8.17 seconds by Zach Bell (Jet Fuel Coffee/Sympatico). Racing starts at 7pm, with a full programme, including handicaps, keirins, scratch races, sprints, triple threats - the 'Velo-Kids' and Masters riders will also be going after record times in each of their age groups.
The Nas-Track Madison League will also be racing both nights. The track will be open at 5pm for race warm-up and for out of town riders are advised to come early to get comfortable on the boards. Admission is $10.00 for adults, seniors $5.00, kids under 12 are free - see www.forestcityvelodrome.ca for up to date information.
(All rights reserved/Copyright Knapp Communications Pty Limited 2005)