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Bayern Rundfahrt
Photo ©: Schaaf

First Edition Cycling News for September 29, 2005

Edited by Jeff Jones

L'Equipe reports Aitor Gonzalez positive

Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

French newspaper L'Equipe has reported that 2002 Vuelta a España winner and this year's Tour de Suisse winner Aitor Gonzalez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) has tested positive for a banned substance during the last Vuelta a España. L'Equipe did not specify what the substance was, and the Spanish cycling federation (RFEC) has neither confirmed nor denied the report. Gonzalez's lawyer said that he had no idea of the positive, and Euskaltel's team manager Miguel Madariaga said that the team had not received anything official about the positive, but warned that Aitor would be fired if it was true.

Gonzalez pulled out of the Vuelta three days from the finish, while lying in 28th overall.

Ballerini no longer Italian selector

Franco Ballerini (Italian national coach)
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

After Spain's Paco Antequera and Belgium's Jose De Cauwer resigned from their positions as national coaches this week, Italy's Franco Ballerini will not have his contract renewed by the Italian cycling federation. In Madrid on Sunday, Italy realised its second worst result ever in the men's road race, with Paolo Bettini's 13th place only being "exceeded" by Giuseppe Saronni's 17th place in the 1983 World's. Italy did not score any medals in any of the other races either. Nevertheless, since Ballerini became national coach in 2001, his riders have scored gold medals in the 2002 World's (Cipollini) and 2004 Olympics (Bettini), silver in the 2001 World's (Bettini), and bronze in the 2004 World's (Paolini).

The Italians also have a new federation president in Giorgio Di Rocco, and Ballerini's sacking is part of the federation's restructuring, which will begin mid-October. It's not yet known who will take his place. Ex-World Champions Giuseppe Saronni and Moreno Argentin have been named as candidates.

De Cauwer joins the Davitamon-Lotto pyramid

Belgian national selector Jose De Cauwer will now be part of the Davitamon-Lotto cycling pyramid, having finished his selector's career on a high note with Tom Boonen's World Title. De Cauwer's chief role will be to help young riders develop within the team's structure, which will also include the Bodysol-Win for Life and Davitamon-Lotto-VC Ardennes continental teams, and the Bodysol-Lotto-Cycling Team Menen for juniors. De Cauwer will be the youth coordinator for all the teams.

"Financially, this is better than the federation, but also the challenge interests me," said De Cauwer on Sporza radio. "Without the court case [where he is accused of supplying amphetamines to a rider 10 years ago] I would have also taken up this offer. The fact that Davitamon-Lotto doesn't doubt my integrity of course gives me heart." De Cauwer added that he doesn't expect a heavy sentence in the amphetamine case, the verdict of which will be known next week.

De Cauwer, 56, has considerable experience as a rider himself. He turned pro in 1973 with Hertekamp and rode for Hennie Kuiper with Panasonic and Peugeot. He did the Tour de France five times, and helped Kuiper finish second in 1977. He also won a stage in the Vuelta in 1976. After he finished his career as a cyclist, he became a team director with ADR, where he saw Eddy Planckaert win the Ronde van Vlaanderen and the Tour de France's green jersey in 1988, and Dirk Demol win Paris-Roubaix that same year. He also helped direct the team the following year, when Greg Lemond won the Tour de France in sensational fashion, and a certain Johan Museeuw began his pro career.

José De Cauwer has been involved with the Belgian national federation for a few years, to begin with as a national coach for the U23s, and then for the professionals. During his time there, he has seen Jurgen Van Den Broeck win gold in the junior time trial in Lisbon 2001, Johan Vansummeren win silver in the U23 men's road race in Hamilton 2003, Peter Van Petegem win bronze in the men's road race that same year, Axel Merckx win bronze in the Olympic men's road race in 2004, and Tom Boonen win gold in Madrid 2005.

Boonen's operation goes well

World Champion Tom Boonen (Quick.Step) underwent surgery on his intestine at the Mol hospital in Belgium on Wednesday. Doctor Ceulemans and his team of medics started the operation at 7 o'clock this morning. The operation lasted half an hour and was completed without any complications. Boonen will remain in hospital for the following 24 hours and will be discharged on Thursday afternoon.

"The operation went well," the World Champion said. "Doctor Ceulemans told me that I will have to rest for the next two weeks and that I must be careful not to gain weight. That said, he mentioned that I will be allowed to do some fitness work in order to keep myself in shape. I'll be making the most of this forced rest period to recover energy after a very long and intense season."

Young Belgian caught with Aranesp

A 21 year-old Belgian rider from the TW Classic club has been caught buying the illegal blood boosting product Aranesp, according to reports in the Belgian press. The rider, "N.D" from Deinze, had bought the drug in 2004 from a teammate who wanted to get rid of it. The Flemish anti-doping agency got wind of it and started a process against N.D. In his defence, he claimed that he "did not use any forbidden products, only food supplements."

N.D's lawyer asked for a reduced penalty in order not to put his client's future in jeopardy. The young rider risks a ban and a fine of €3000. The anti-doping commission will decide on the case on October 4.

Giro presentation on November 12

The Giro d'Italia, which will be ridden for the 89th time between May 6-28 next year, will be unveiled to the press and invited guests in Milan's MazdaPalace on November 12. The race, organised by RCS Sport, will start in Belgium next year with an individual time trial in Seraing, in Wallonia. That will be followed by two in-line stages, between Mons and Charleroi, and from Perwez to Namur. The third stage will also start in Belgium, in Wanze. The three week tour will finish in Milan's corso Venezia on May 28.

Patrick Sercu Europe's ambassador for Sydney Thousand

Patrick Sercu, track cycling legend and the key Six Day promoter, has given the Sydney Thousand the thumbs up. The meet will be run at the Dunc Gray Velodrome in Sydney on Sunday, November 27. Sercu has contracted Germany's World Champion Rene' Wolff and Mathias John on behalf of Events Du Monde to compete against Ryan Bayley and Ben Kersten at the meeting.

Pendleton takes on the Dutch at Revolution

Victoria Pendleton, the queen of British Sprinting and reigning Sprint World Champion will be racing in the first Revolution event of Season 3 on October 15, 2005 in Manchester, Great Britain. Unlike previous one-off women's events at Revolution, Victoria will be participating in the event's first women's invitation sprint omnium. She'll be up against two strong Dutch riders: Willy Kanis, 4th in the 500 Time Trial at the World Championships and reigning world BMX Champion, and Yvonne Hijgenaar, who placed one higher at the World's, coming in 3rd in the 500 TT.

Pendleton won't be the only British sprinter in Manchester though. Making up the British contingent will be the Junior World's silver medalist Anna Blyth, who will be making her first appearance in an elite women's competition having spent last season in the Girls Future Stars events.

The women will compete across a variety of events, accumulating points to ultimately decide an overall winner. The races will include a Match Sprint competition, 1 Mile Dash and a two up Team Sprint where the British and Dutch riders will work together to in a head to head competition decider.

Pendleton has been training hard and is looking forward to the challenge, saying, "It's great to have a competition across different events, because if you're going badly in one you can make it up in the others, which leads to exciting racing, particularly with only four riders - every point is crucial. It's rare to ride in front of a crowd like the one at Revolution so I always really look forward to it. Hopefully Anna and I can give the crowds something to shout about!"

Sprinting giants Chris Hoy and Theo Bos will also be racing with their respective teammates.

More information:

Danielson speaks in Tennessee

Discovery Channel's Tom Danielson, winner of the Tour de Georgia and top 10 finisher in the Vuelta a España, will be a guest speaker at the annual Tennessee Bicycle Racing Association Awards Banquet on October 29. The banquet is to celebrate the 2005 season, and will commence at 5:30pm at the Marriott at Cool Springs in Franklin, TN, USA. At the end of Danielson's speech, TBRA will announce the top racers in each category of racing during the 2005 season, awarding jerseys to overall leaders and plaques to silver and bronze finalists.

Tickets can be purchased via

Allen Lim Tour de France lectures

U.S. based exercise physiologist Allen Lim, PhD, advisor to Phonak's Floyd Landis, will be participating in a national lecture series this autumn. The "Allen Lim Power Tour" will include a lecture on the demands of the Tour de France, as well as a day-long clinic involving on-bike coaching and post ride analysis. Each lecture series will last for two days.

For more information, visit

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