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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

First Edition Cycling News for August 2, 2006

Edited by John Stevenson & John Kenny

Big names announced for Vuelta

Denis Menchov (Rabobank) will return to defend the Vuelta title. Menchov won the 2005 edition after Roberto Heras was disqualified for using EPO.
Photo ©: Sirotti
Click for larger image

The Vuelta a España organizer, Unipublic, has announced a list of big name riders for the August 26 start headed by Denis Menchov (Rabobank), who will wear number one as the defending champion. He will be supported by Tour stage winner Michael Rasmussen.

Also included in the Vuelta start-list are the Caisse d'Epargne-Illes Balears riders Óscar Pereiro and Alejandro Valverde. The winner of Sunday's Vattenfall Cyclassics, Óscar Freire (Rabobank) will be looking for stage wins. Saunier-Duval Prodir has listed Koldo Gil and Gómez Marchante and Euskaltel-Euskadi riders Iban Mayo, Samuel Sánchez and Haimar Zubeldia will be hopeful for a high overall placing.

Carlos Sastre (CSC) is in doubt for the tour, but Team Astana is on the start list. Unipublic has deferred its decision on the eligibility of the team's riders to the UCI. According to Unipublic's ethical code, riders cannot be ruled out until doping investigations have been finalized and UCI bans imposed.

Cyclingnews reported last week that the UCI had voted to allow Astana to continue to race under its old ProTour licence, but only under the condition that none of the riders or staff implicated in Operacion Puerto were involved.

Landis B sample result due Saturday

The result of the test of Floyd Landis' B sample should be known Saturday, according to the UCI. However, the organisation has declined to comment on the record about the report in yesterday's New York Times that isotope testing of the A sample revealed evidence of exogenous testosterone.

UCI counsel Philippe Verbiest confirmed to the Associated Press that an isotope test had taken place, but declined to provide details, while UCI president Pat McQuaid said he had not seen the test results.

McQuaid also said that no penalties would be imposed on Landis until he had a chance to defend himself before an arbitration panel. If the B sample test also returns a testosterone:epitestosterone ratio above the permitted level, which Landis and his representatives have said they expect, then the arbitration panel will be Landis' opportunity to demonstrate that the elevated ratio has an origin other than doping. Landis could then take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The French anti-doping lab at Châtenay-Malabry, where the test will take place, is due to close for holidays this weekend. McQuaid said that the necessary test is a two and a half day process while UCI medical officer Enrico Carpani told AFP, "We have done everything to ensure that all goes quickly and the laboratory has agreed to extend its opening hours until Saturday."

Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case

May 29, 2009 - French authorities summon Landis and Baker
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied

Cyclingnews' complete coverage of the Floyd Landis case

No way out

The South team aren't so naive about doping in cycling; regardless, it's a subject being brought up much too often, says their manager Brian Stephens
Photo ©: Mark Gunter
(Click for larger image) Awww, ain't it pretty... the South team check out the new jersey

With the third consecutive Grand Tour winner falling under a cloud of suspicion, it's unsurprising to see sponsors and fans steer away from cycling. However, for some, whose lives revolve around the sport, it's not so easy to pull the pin. Nor do they want to, as Anthony Tan finds with South team manager Brian Stephens.

Even a month before, South Institute of Sport team manager Brian Stephens wasn't sure whether to confirm their trip to the Baby Giro in early June. One of the most important races of the season for aspiring under 23 and under 26 riders, Stephens, brother of former professional Neil, saw his plans come to nought last year when the race was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to financial problems.

"This year, I had a few other options, because I wanted to make sure the boys had some racing to go to," Stephens said. "As it turned out, the race went ahead, it was well organised, the presentations were good, and it was a great race."

However, four days from the conclusion of the race, organisers Egidio Event issued a dire plea: "Il Giro Under 26 e Giro Donne rischiano di morire" (the Giro d'Italia U26 and Women's Giro risks dying).

"We cannot hide our will to supply a [greater financial] contribution to cycling, yet we are in a 'bloodbath' financially," said Mario Poli, executive general manager. "It is true, the technicalities did not allow a [potential] title sponsor after the budgets were closed, but it is equally true the media, and that of television in particular, should have offered greater [financial] consideration."

Click here for the full story.

O'Grady hoping to turn season around

Stuart O'Grady (CSC) is hoping to put his tough season behind him and has made the Tour of Denmark, which begins today, one of his main goals for the season, according to

O'Grady crashed in the Tour and fractured a vertebra. He had a previous bad crash in Tirreno-Adriatico, which kept him out for most of the spring. So now O'Grady hopes that the Tour of Denmark will be the turning point of his season.

"I came out of the Tour de France in much better shape than I expected. In the last part of the Tour I was going really well and this Sunday in Hamburg I was up front until I had a puncture with a couple of kilometres to go," O'Grady said. "The team did an excellent job for me all day long and I believe I would've had a chance of making the podium had it not been for that puncture. But now I'm just even more determined to retaliate in the Tour of Denmark."

Sports director Dan Frost also believes O'Grady has a good chance of doing well in Denmark. "In Hamburg Stuart proved he's in great shape, he was right where he was supposed to be until the puncture. However, the Tour of Denmark is a special race, so you never know quite what to expect," said Frost. "The other teams will probably be watching us, and waiting for us to take charge, but on the other hand that gives us the opportunity to choose when and where to attack."

Basso will not defend Denmark title

Ivan Basso, who was withdrawn by Team CSC on the eve of the Tour de France after he was implicated in the Operacion Puerto doping scandal, will not be defending his Tour of Denmark title according to AP. Basso also won four of the six stages last year.

"Basso has been suspended from the CSC team until further notice," team spokesman Brian Nygaard said yesterday. "That means until we get some kind of clarification. So he is not competing in Denmark."

Basso's name was not on the CSC lineup for the six-stage race in Denmark which starts today in Frederikshavn, in northern Denmark.

Quick Step-Innergetic for GP Citta' Di Camaiore

The Quick Step-Innergetic team has announced its line up for tomorrow's GP Citta' Di Camaiore. The team will field Paolo Bettini, Francesco Chicchi, Ad Engels, Filippo Pozzato, José Rujano, Ivan Santaromita, Leonardo Scarselli, Matteo Tosatto, Guido Trenti, and stagiaire Alessandro Proni.

3 Molinos Resort for Vuelta a Burgos

By Antonio J. Salmerón

The Vuelta a Burgos, August 6-10, could be one of the last races in which the 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística team participates in its brief existence. The Spanish Professional Continental team was founded at the beginning of 2006, after previously being an under-23 and elite local squad. Its continued existence is in doubt, and its best riders are looking for offers for the next year.

For the Vuelta a Burgos, Julio García will replace Santos González who is suffering from mononucleosis and is not expected to race again this season. Jan Hruska will lead the team, which will be completed by Alexis Rodriguez, Jesus del Nero, Mikel Artetxe, Eloy Teruel, Rafa Casero and Jorge Ferrío. The 3 Molinos Resort Murcia Turística will be directed by Luis Fernández. The Spanish race has two key stages; the third one, against the clock, and the fourth, which will finish on the top of the Lagos de Neila.

Renewals and stagiaires at Landbouwkrediet - Colnago

The Belgian Landbouwkrediet - Colnago Professional Continental team has announced the four of its riders are renewing their contracts for 2007. Bert De Waele, Kevin Neirynck, James Van Landschoot and Steven Kleynen have all renewed.

The team is also taking on three stagiaire riders for the latter portion of the season. Briton Edward Clancy, a member of the 2005 world champion British team pursuit squad will join the Belgian outfit on the road, along with Belgian Kevin Maene from the Lombarden/ Firestone/Middelkerke club and his compatriot Joeri Clauwaert, a former member of the same outfit who has ridden this year for WC Soemens-Germond.

Zabel wheel auctioned for club development

Want to own a piece of Tour de France history? Wheel manufacturer Carbonsports is auctioning a Lightweight front wheel used by Erik Zabel in the 2006 Tour de France; all proceeds from the auction of the auction will be used to fund development of young riders in the Seerose cycling club.

However, this isn't just any Lightweight wheel - it's truly battle scarred. Zabel used the wheel in the Tour until stage 14 when he was involved in a crash with Nicolas Jalabert. Jalabert's rear derailleur got caught in the spokes and broke several of them, rendering the wheel unusable. It's therefore very much a collector's item for aficionados of gear that's been trashed in the heat of competition!

At the time of writing, bidding stands at €351.

To see the wheel and bid, got to eBay.

Australian Open road title back in Ballarat

By John Kenny

The Australian Open road cycling championships will return to Ballarat, Victoria, after being run concurrently with the Tour Down Under in Adelaide for the past two years.

"There is joy throughout the cycling fraternity that the championships are returning to Ballarat," said race organiser John Craven. "People have told me that the racing on the Buninyong circuit is the closest that they have seen to European-style races in Australia."

Racing around the Buninyong circuit has been popular with crowds in the past. "In 2004 we had about 12,000 spectators on the circuit," said Craven. "The riders do 18 laps of a 10.2 kilometre circuit, so there are plenty of opportunities to see the riders on the hill and still have time to make it down to watch the finish."

Gennie Sheer of Cycling Australia said that crowd numbers were not the sole factor in the decision to grant the titles to Ballarat. "We would of course have loved tens of thousands of people to watch the race in Adelaide, but the decision was not purely based on crowd numbers. We re-tender the titles every couple of years. It's a matter of allowing all the States to have a chance to host the event."

Repairs for Sydney's Canterbury Velodrome

Sydney, Australia's Canterbury Velodrome is to undergo repairs ahead of the second edition of the reborn Sydney Thousand track meet on October 29. The concrete outdoor track was built in 1982 and has hosted national championships and Olympic trials, but since the construction of the wooden, indoor Dunc Gray Velodrome for the 2000 Olympic Games has been somewhat neglected.

Last Wednesday, Canterbury Council engineer Bob Bullivant, parks coordinator John Dodd and president of the UCI track cycling commission Ray Godkin inspected the track and discussed the necessary repairs to return the track to world standard.

Work began on the southern bend last Friday. The planned work will include cleaning the black-stained track surface. As well as improving the track for the Sydney Thousand, the work will benefit the many local clubs that use the facility for summer track racing and training.

Moving the Sydney Thousand to Canterbury Velodrome will allow promoter John Scott to expand the program. Australian track carnivals such as the Tasmanian series over Christmas and New Year traditionally include running events and the 2006 Sydney Thousand will host an 80m 'Gift' sprint event for runners and a 300 metre circuit race as well as the cycling events.

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